Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Moral Theology of the Devil

I'm reading New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. I was thinking about this on my way into work this morning and discovered how often I've used Satan's theology. "See, didn't I tell them that would happen, God is Just" or "If they'd have just listened to me, God has shared his wisdom" or "See how fruitful my ministry? Surely God has blessed me!" What a trap and what a load of bull. Complacency is not faith, fruitfullness is not holiness, wealth is not selfishness no more than poverty is generousity, the size of a church is not directly related to its effectiveness in developing people of God. Our judgements are useless!

I pray that with every fiber, thought, and prayer in me that I stay in the Sonstream and my comings and goings and words and deeds are central to God's overall plan for my life. I also pray that from my mouth come words of hope, life, and love.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Am I misinformed or what?

United Methodists, Muslims, form pact in Northern Illinois -

I have some strong opinions on the ludicrousness of this but I'd like to hear other's comments. I may be being narrow-minded and I won't cry that "narrow is the path" like the Westboro Baptist bunch but I seriously see flaws in the idea that Christians and Muslims can get together and "agree to disagree". Are we serving the same God as Islam? What about Jesus? What about the anti-semitism of the nation of Islam? What about Abraham being called out from Caldea to separate him from those worshipping the same God that Islam worships? Is this like a dog returning to its vomit?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Family Research Council: Thursday, April 20, 2006

Family Research Council: Thursday, April 20, 2006

I thought the article about the required reading in Maine was interesting in "By the Rude Bridge". I'm totally against our public education system leaning so far to the left, against popular opinion, but what can we really expect? Oh God, help us to be salt and light regardless of what the world is coming to.

Nigerian Archbishop Demands Justice - Christianity Today Magazine

Nigerian Archbishop Demands Justice - Christianity Today Magazine

Hey Todd, was wondering if this was talked about by the locals during your trip.

Yup Yup

Whew, what an awesome Men's group. Thank you Todd Butler for following the cheesecake to our meeting. I'll bet you weren't planning on staying the whole time but I believe the greatest work God does is in the midst of our distraction. I am convinced, as you are, that shovels are important and God has a sharp one in you. I'm coming down with some throat thing and was a little sore and feverish last night. I didn't plan on staying for the second group of men that came in but I and Bruce were the only ones that were there for awhile so I stayed and what a blessing it was. I am sure that God is going to produce a miracle in the life of a young man that has fallen away from the church and the landslide of the spirit (in a certain family) that will be birthed out of that miracle will be something I've prayed for for a long time.

My thoughts on communion....

Do you think we've been doing it backwards? Well maybe not backward but out of focus. Some have whole church services built around communion. We have denominations that center their doctrine around communion. As I read the account in Luke 22 and contemplated Jesus' instructions and the context in which they were given it occurred to me that while I enjoy the ceremony of communion I feel I've made more of communion during communion than I have of Jesus. "Do this in remembrance of me" means to me that I should be doing it as often as is practical whenever I come together and eat with other Christians. Taking a simple meal at home and adding the reverance of the Lord's Supper will be an awesome way to exhibit the presence of God in ALL that we do, for the sake of my children. No Duane, I'm not going to buy a case of Boone's Farm.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Doing "church"

My prayers have changed much over the past few months. Of course I pray for protection over my immediate family and pray for my friends, enemies, and whoever comes to my heart while I pray but lately I've found myself praying for unity in the body. If we are called to be witnesses to God's reign here on earth we need to devalue our own personal ideas about what that means and breath by breath ask the Holy Spirit to help us let go. It seems that if we belong to a megachurch we feel that is Christ's model. If we have a house church, that is Christ's model. If we worship traditionally that is Christ's model. If we have a street corner ministry, that is Christ's model. It boggles the mind at how many models we can call Christ's in an effort to defend our own preferences. I'm not the first but I want to go on record to say they are all valid. Last night I talked to a friend who just surrendered to Christ. He isn't, in his own words, the "church" kind of guy. We have another mutual friend that he avoids like the plague because he feels guilty for not taking him up on his invitation to attend the friend's Pentecostal charismatic church. My friend does "church" just fine one on one. He plays worship songs on his guitar, reads from scripture and ponders creation, lives out his new-found faith at work and at home. He lives a long distance away from me so we've done study on the phone. I suggested that the next time our mutual friend puts the pressure on he invites him to do a one on one Bible study. I think that is a powerful way to worship God. It always has been for me and this morning I witnessed it happening in our local coffee shop.

I've got men's group tonight and it happens to be my favorite way of doing "church". What is yours? I certainly am not saying that I think what my favorite way is necessarily God's favorite way to have "church" done but I think living life together in as real a manner as possible is probably the easiest way to do "church". Lets talk about communion next.

Blessings and Peace

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

UK: Science class no place for creationism, says Royal Society

UK: Science class no place for creationism, says Royal Society

When scientists can provide skeletons representing a cat and each major change from amoeba to modern-day cat I will believe in the evolution faith, until then my faith rests in Jesus Christ.

He's Got it Covered

I called my dad yesterday. He's a prime example of a "modern" believer (quotes things he thinks is in the Bible and swears that if you live by the"Good Book" you can't go wrong even though he himself has never opened it) and struggles to understand my faith. We spoke of his upcoming doctor's appointment, my sister's families, my own children, work, etc. We don't speak often so we usually spend about 45 minutes on the phone. After exchanging the normal small talk my father asked me point-blank "So what do you think of all the fuss over the Judas Gospel they just found?". The question caught me off-guard not because I didn't know what I thought but because I didn't expect him to ask me. I replied that it wasn't just "found" and that early church leaders had already determined that it was at its best a piece of literature and more probably Gnostic propaganda from the days of the early church. I told him that God's word endures not only in text that has survived thousands of years but has been tested by the hearts of men and still remains central to Christianity. I told him that every day there is a test to a Christian's faith and every day my trust in God's plan for me and Jesus as my Savior and teacher and the Holy Spirit as my sustanence and guide grows through these tests.

"You don't worry about anything do you son?" asked my Dad. "I can't say that I never worry but I worry less than most, Dad", I replied and told him I'd see him Sunday after church.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

New Card Game

Hey everybody! My daughters taught Leslie and I a new card game. They call it "KEMPS" but you could call it anything you like I think. The game goes like this,

You have to have a partner and your partner and you have to have agreed upon a secret "signal" to communicate a play to each other. The object is to get four of a kind in your hand and signal your partner to say "KEMPS" before the oposing team says "STOP KEMPS" and steals your point. Each time you successfully win a hand you get a letter, much like the game of "HORSE" with a basketball.
You start with the dealer shuffling the cards and dealing each player 4 cards. The dealer then lays 4 cards, face up, for people to quickly exchange for a card in their hand depending on what they want or what they want to stop someone else from getting. When you get your 4 of a kind you signal to your partner and they say "KEMPS" and you get a letter towards spelling KEMPS. This continues until someone spells the word KEMPS. It takes skill, luck, observation, trickery, and lots of BS. It has kept me very busy during the past few evenings.

It is so important to spend time enjoying life with your kids.

I finished reading "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis early this week. I'm listening to "Captivating" as I work. I am reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis after the kids go to bed. I'm also breaking from Captivating by listening to Bob Coy's podcast (awesome) and Erwin McManus' podcast (equally awesome). I'm also following a couple Blogs. I feel I've been spending to much time in the head and not enough in the heart. I'm going to take some time with the guys tonight and I'm leaving for "Battlecry" Friday afternoon so I don't think I'll be on here much. Oh, Jon, your latest post is exactly what I read in 'Mere Christianity' last night. Humility, get it, be it, embrace it and leave pride forever. Easier said than done for me but much easier in Christ.

Love and Peace!