Archive for July, 2007

Discrepancies

July 18, 2007

I passed the 1st Apostolic Oneness Pentecostal Church in our little town and saw this on their church sign:

15 Baptisms and 10 Filled with the Holy Ghost.

And two things crossed my mind…

1) Oh, how sad! The five who didn’t get the Holy Ghost filling thingy, must be terribly upset.

2) That there is a remedy for this discrepancy. Tom in the Box, linked to the right, has developed just what they need. Take a look:

Do you ever find yourself on Sunday mornings, tired, depressed, down and out? Ever feel like you just can’t “get into the spirit” of the worship? Do the songs seem dull and repetitive? Are you just plain lousy at speaking in tongues? Now there’s help.

Spiritryl is a new specially formulated all-natural supplement to boost your religious fervor. Just one dose of Spiritryl and you’ll be the most spiritual and worshipful person in your congregation, GUARANTEED!

The Spirit Filled life aint easy, but now there’s a pill that can help.

al sends

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5000 and Ticking (or Tic-ing)

July 17, 2007

I moved this to the top of the Blog, using some mad skills – al sends

Sometime today one of you will be the 5000th visitor to the site…  Do me a favor and take a screen capture of the site counter below the blogroll and send it to me.  If you do that I will send you something cool (by my definition). 

 If you miss the 5000th I will take 5001, 5002 etc…  Basically whoever is the closest to 5000 after we reach that mark, send me the screen cap. and you will get what is probably the best present ever (again by my definition). 

 (Don’t just sit there hitting refresh or F5 all day… Do something constructive for the Kingdom.)

 In Christ

al sends

The Big Lie…

July 17, 2007

Okay, there are many ways to go with this but here is what popped into my head when I saw this… 

Faith Hill Gif

The sexualization of our culture is a big fat lie. They change everything from her eyes, to the length of her arm.  From the bulge at her back to the prominence of her clavicle.

The women pushed on men as sex objects (and I am not saying Faith Hill is such a woman) are not real.  And this is what makes the marketing of such women so destructive.  You will never meet this woman in public, your wife (or future wife) will never look like this woman.  Heck, Tim McGraw doesn’t go home to this woman and he’s married to her.

Everywhere you look the lie is being preached John 8:44 speaks of the Devil this way He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

A lie can sure look pretty, but in the end it is still a lie.

Someone sent me to THIS WEB SITE, from which I obtained this image.  Kudos to them for their efforts but I must provide my readers with a content warning.  While I did not view the whole site it does not appear to… ummm, promote Godly thought. 

al sends

A Few New Links Added

July 17, 2007

If we may draw your attention to the right hand side of the screen… You will notice a new category called “Pastors We Like.”   We will be posting some of our favorite pastor’s blogs in this section, with Jeff Meyers taking up the first slot.  We will not do like Doug Wilson and link, let’s say Peter Leithart, in both the Pastors We Like section and the Deep Thinkers section.  That is just gratuitous and while we can’t prove it, we believe it to be a cheap trick, making  it look like we know a bunch of people. 

We have also added S.G.’s Blog, “Mutiny on the High Seas,” under our Friends and Family category.  She has the distinction of being the first woman blogger to be linked here.  Some of you thought that St. Anne’s Public House was a woman and refused to click the link because of misguided interpretation of 1 Cor 11 and that is unfortunate.  Please do not do that to Susan, she deserves better.

One last one…  Team Pyro is under the Apologetics category.  They love the Gospel and strive to tell others the Good News of Salvation in Christ Alone.  Read them from time to time, you will be edified (even if they are a bunch of flaming Baptists).   

Grace and Peace,

al sends

Impressing the Lord God

July 16, 2007

An author I was reading once made the point that when we gather to worship, we do so in order to impress the Lord. That caught my attention.

It really sounds quite ludicrous – how can we impress the Lord of glory? Our singing pales compared to the singing of the angels. Our hearts still carry around corruption that is not yet removed. Our minds are weak and our understanding is feeble. When we try to look into the Word, we find that we often just stare and blink stupidly. When we try to fix our thoughts on the glory of Christ, we find that we instead begin to think about our plans for the day or the latest repair that our car needs or how the person in front of us needs a new hairdo. How can we impress the Lord? Is it not arrogance to try?

But the author made the point that when we worship we do this because it is inescapable. Either we will be trying to impress the Lord, or else we will be trying to impress someone else. We were built to worship, to seek the pleasure of the one who is our audience in worship. So we will either do this with the Living God, or else we will do it with an idol.

But I think the real power of this thought is that it drives us back to the gospel. It drives us back to the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers us like a robe. If we must impress the Lord, and we must, how can this be done apart from resting in the goodness, the worth, the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lived and died to make us acceptable to the Father?

So remember this morning that our worship is perfectly pleasing to the Father – it impresses Him – because we offer worship to God that is perfect in every respect. It is perfect because it is the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head and only righteousness of the church.

A Family Prayer – Part I

July 15, 2007

Matthew 6:9-13

There are two reasons we pray this text back to God every Sunday. First, we believe that it is hard to go wrong with offering up to God a promise in a prayer. And this prayer is a promise. Matt 6:8-9 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray…  God knows what we need before we ask and earlier Jesus said our Father knows and will answer us out of that secret place of His.

Secondly, it is good to establish a pattern for prayer. To pray this prayer regularly establishes a groove in our souls that all future prayer may follow. There are many paths in the woods. Some are cut out with tools others are there by way of simple use. The deer follow the same steps to the water every day and each day they do so the path is established until eventually the way to the water is easy and without obstacle. We desire our prayers to follow a well worn path and for that path to be without obstacle.

With that in mind let me point out two features of this prayer I want you to carry with you as we go through this series. First of all this is a family prayer and secondly it is the Father of the family who answers our prayers.

Family – When Jesus is teaching us to pray He is precise in His language. Though Jesus had told His disciples that they should pray without hypocrisy, locking themselves away if necessary, the communal aspect of their life is never to be forgotten. He is not simply my Father, though He is my Father. He is our Father.

(more…)

Trinitarian, Missional, Festal

July 14, 2007

The Trinity is the first society. Before the world began, before ever there was an earth or man to inhabit the earth, there was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit dwelling in an everlasting bond of fellowship that we call covenant.

The covenant is an eternal bond of union, communion, and self-giving love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the three divine persons eternally relates to the other two in peace and humility. The Bible tells us that God has graciously and sovereignly chosen a people to be drawn into communion with the divine family. These people are the church. Believers and their children are made members of the covenant through Jesus Christ, the eternal Son incarnated in human flesh. We enter into this covenant through baptism. Then this union gives way to communion, celebrated in our weekly partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

What does it mean to be a Christian? It is many things, but at the center is to be a part of this people chosen to be welcomed into the society of the Trinity. To be a Christian is not merely an individual affair. It is to be part of the communion of saints – the one holy catholic and apostolic church we confess, that is this people whom God has chosen for fellowship with Himself in the bonds of His covenant love.

The church is Christ’s body, the presence of Jesus the Head in the world, participating in His incarnation and furthering the redeeming purpose of God in the world. The church is Christ’s bride, being made ever more beautiful and lovely as she is prepared for the great feast that awaits her at her wedding day still to come. The church is a thriving olive tree with many thriving branches vitally joined to it that is growing to fill the whole earth. The church is a building rising on the foundation of the apostles and prophets and being built stone by living stone until it rises to be an eternal house of worship for the triune God.

All of this truth about the covenant and the sacraments and the metaphors of body, bride, vine, and building all speak of corporate realities, of the church as a people being welcomed into fellowship with the Trinity. To be a Christian is to be part of the community of God in the world.

This is to repeat something that I have said again and again. The good life that we are sent to embody in the world is corporate. It is communal. And that kind of life is a rebuke to the individualism and privatized faith of our day that we have accepted from modernity. Too often the church has been domesticated by American culture, rather than embodying and announcing a new way to be human under the triune God’s reign. But our task must be finding ways to rediscover how to live the good life in community together as a way of showing to the world what it means to be in right relationship with God and to live life as God intended. That is being a missional community.

Consider the place of feasting in the Christian life and the life of the church. The good life is lived at its best during times of celebration and feasting. Can you imagine a feast of one? One solitary hermit celebrating a feast of his own making? The very nature of feasting is that it is communal. It has toasts and laughter and sharing and giving at its heart. Something special happens when people sit down to eat together with joy. Something sacramental. It echoes the partaking of Christ Jesus in the Lord’s Supper. It joins people together and displays their love and compassion and enjoyment.

Have you considered that the better we feast, the more God-centered enjoyment we derive from sharing a feast and celebrating together, the more we are being cemented together as families and as a covenant community, and the more we are then embodying the social reality of the Trinity relating in peace and humility? This is the good life in service to the mission of God. This is a missional community centered around the gospel of grace and love, and it is the very thing we are sent to do.

Tic-Tic-Tic

July 13, 2007

We are quickly approaching 5000 visitors to this here little blog… Should we mark the milestone or bask in our humility by not pointing it out?

I guess it is too late to do the latter so let’s do the former. What shall we give away? I notice that Frank Turk’s Pawn Shop is still up and running, perhaps a T-shirt or a mug from Frank or how about a book? We will see if we get any reaction (better yet more traffic) and then proceed.

al sends

From One Polytheist To Another… Peace.

July 12, 2007

Frank Turk came out of Hiatus to tell us he did not have time to blog this

Our Majority Leader is flexing his spiritual muscles. Read this and tell me what you think.

At its most basic level there is not much different when a Jewish rabbi comes to the well and offers his prayer. I guess since this is the first time it is jarring. Trust me, this shock will pass and we will get used to it. Our government has not been under the authority of Jesus Christ for a long, long time (if ever).

Apparently some folks were upset about it for all the wrong reasons: “For several days, the Mississippi-based American Family Association has urged its members to object to the prayer because Zed would be ‘seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god.'”

Sad. Really sad.

al sends

Rejoicing in Our Refuge

July 9, 2007

If the Triune God to whom we draw near today is a refuge for us, then this is a day to rejoice. The Psalmist said, “This is the day the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it!” It is indeed a day of rejoicing because it is the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Day is the day that our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death and hell. It is the first day of the week, the day of the New Covenant. We sit at His table on this day to remember what He has done to conquer death on behalf of His elect.

So let us remember that the Lord’s Day is a day of joy and celebration, not a day of fasting and humiliation. Our Lord Jesus said that there is a time for fasting and for mourning, but it is not while the bridegroom is with you. When the bridegroom is with you, it is a time for joy. The Divine Bridegroom is not absent. He is with us today, dear church. Christ Jesus, the Bridegroom of the church, is present in our midst. Therefore, it is a time for feasting and celebration and great joy.

To be sure, we come stained by our sin. We come with eyes wide open. We come soberly and reverently. We come aware that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God in a multiplicity of ways all week long. But though we come with our sin, we come with our sin to a Savior who is a refuge for us. We come not to ruminate on how aggravated our sin is and then just to lie there in it. We come to confess our sin and to find forgiveness and relief and peace. We come in faith and confidence and delight, not in weary, depressed, anxious, fretful, distracted, navel-gazing, unforgiven, burdened tedium.

So today is a day of gladness because we have a God who is our refuge. We take joy in Christ, and we take joy in one another. We take joy in God’s gifts. We find gladness in ascribing glory to our Lord.

“This is the day the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it!”