Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vancouver 2010

What a great evening to share about Vancouver! It's always great to remember all the great things God has done. Here's the video from Sunday night in case you missed it. I am also currently working on a slideshow of some of the more crazy times! So keep your retinas peeled!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Taking the Unchangeable and Changing

We all know the joke...
Q: How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?.......A: Change?  What change?  We don't change!
Hardy har har

Last night we talked about how God's Word is unchangeable (Heb.6:17-18).  When thinking about God's Word, for this example, I do not want you to think of the 66 books that make up the canon.  Sometimes when we talk about the Bible, we can get into a mindset that it is just a book as opposed to THE living Word of God (Heb. 4:12).  So I want you to understand the Bible as God speaking.  God's unchangeable words are given to us, so that we might change.

Change only comes through changing...revolutionary, I know.

What I mean by this, is that we hear messages every Sunday and Wednesday.  In small groups we talk a lot about how our life needs to change based upon truths that are unchanging.  The only problem we have is taking our application from small group and actually applying it.

Here are THREE practical steps to help you apply what you learn:

  1. Write down on a note card ONE thing that you want to work on for the week
  2. On that same note card, write down the one verse that showed you what you should work on.
  3. Read that note card at the beginning of each day
Here are TWO spiritual steps to help you apply what you learn: (Note: without these, you will not apply God's Word!)
    1. Pray that God will help you apply His Word
    2.  Love the Lord
    Without the Help of God, you cannot change.  It is only through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that we will see what we are doing wrong.  Through that conviction, we then see how we can glorify God with our lives.  It is only through loving the Lord that you will have that desire to change after you have been convicted.

    Take the unchangeable words of God and change...for His glory and grace.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Worse than 450 Bleeding Prophets of Baal

    This taken from the blog at Desiring God Ministries

    And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. (1 Kings 18:28-29)
    Imagine that scene: 450 prophets of Baal, weeping and pleading, wounds all over their bodies with blood gushing out, exhausted and limping around an altar, hoping for Baal to show himself. Could it ever get any more gruesome that this? Imagine it. Could there ever be a scene more horrible than this?


    The only scene more gruesome than a crowd of people limping around an altar, wounded all over their body with blood gushing out , begging to see a god who doesn’t exist is the true God of the universe hanging on a cross, wounded all over his body with blood gushing out, showing his love to a people who don’t care.

    The prophets of Baal begged their god,  “Answer us!” “Say something!” “Give some gesture!” “Please, do something!”

    And the true God showed his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. We didn’t ask him for that. We were sinners who didn’t care anything about God, we worshipped ourselves, we were dead in our sins.

    And it was precisely then that God showed himself. It was while we were still weak, at the right time, that Christ died for the ungodly.

    Praise him.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010


    This taken from John Piper's journal:

    O Lord, have mercy on me. I am so discouraged. I am so blank. I feel like there are opponents on every hand, even when I know that most of my people are for me. I am so blind to the future of the church. O Father, am I blind because it is not my future? Perhaps I shall not even live out the year, and you are sparing the church the added burden of a future I had made and could not complete?

    This was written in 1986.  He was so discouraged, he thought about stepping down from his ministry.  You can get a real sense of how he is seeing his world just fall apart.  Have you ever felt like that before?  Have you ever just thought to yourself...

    "I am in way over my head"?  "Why did I take on so much?"  "I will never be able to catch up on my work"?

    I know I've been there before.  My first year here at Calvary, I felt that.  It seemed like all the events and lessons to work on were just too much to bear.  I had come from a church that did an event about once every month.  Here, there are about 3-4 events a month!  How am I going to keep up with that???

    The following sentences of John Piper's journal, read like this:

     I do not doubt for a moment your goodness of power or omnipotence in my life or in the life of the church. I confess that the problem is mine. The weakness is in me. The blindness is in my eyes. The sin—O reveal to me my hidden faults!—is mine and mine the blame. Have mercy, Father. Have mercy on me. I must preach on Sunday, and I can scarcely lift my head.

    How often in our times of woe, do we turn to God and say, "You are perfect and good and the fault is all mine for feeling this way"?  Usually our mindset is, "God make everything easier".  Here are some great biblical truths that we can use, when we feel that the pressures of life seem too much to bear.

    I Peter 5:7 - "casting all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you"...you are not alone.  You have a loving and merciful Savior that desires for you to lean on him!

    Psalm 38:18 - "I am full of anxiety because of my sin"...maybe you need to take care of sin.

    Romans 8:28-29 - "All things work together for good"...so that you can become more like Christ.  Even the things that seem overwhelming.  They are there to help you become more like Christ.

    What are some other verses that you have found to be of help when you were in times of uncertainty?

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Missionaries try to take Orphans out of Haiti - Update

    Here is an update, since i reported on this story earlier...

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The judge presiding over the case of 10 American missionaries accused of kidnapping Haitian children has requested that they be freed.

    "I'm asking that they drop the charges and that they be released," Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said outside the courthouse where he has spent the week questioning the Baptists.

    Saint-Vil said he privately questioned the last of a group of Haitian parents who said they willingly gave their children to the missionaries to educate and care for them.

    "After listening to the families, I see the possibility that they can all be released," he said.

    Saint-Vil said his request to free the missionaries was forwarded to the prosecutor-general's office, which can object. But he said he intends to accept a request from the group's lawyers to free the Americans while an investigation of the case continues.

    The judge said the Americans, most of whom belong to an Idaho Southern Baptist church, would have to make themselves available for future questioning. He did not say whether they would have to remain in Haiti.

    Jean-René Tessier, a lawyer representing the missionaries, said the Americans may be allowed to return home.
    "That depends on the judge," he said.

    The Americans were charged last week with child kidnapping after being arrested Jan. 29 with a busload of 33 children, ages 2 to 12, whom they were bringing to an orphanage set up with church donations in the Dominican Republic.

    They said they had proper paperwork and permission from the families, and were merely doing what hundreds of other groups in Haiti were doing — saving children from a terrible existence. But thousands more Haitian children leave the country illicitly each year, according to the United Nations Children's Fund, and are forced into difficult jobs, used as sex slaves or sold on the black market for adoption.

    The pastor of the Meridian, Idaho, church attended by several of the detainees said he had yet to receive any official word on their release.

    "Our confidence continues to remain, both in our faith and in our attorneys that represent our people," said Pastor Clint Henry of Central Valley Baptist Church. "Now we wait and pray, believing that in the coming hours we will receive the news we have waited for."
    From behind cell bars in a grimy jail where they have been held, the missionaries declined to be interviewed Wednesday. The women were held separately from the men, who shared their cell with nine Haitian men, some of whom played checkers on the cell floor.

    "We've said all we're going to say for now. We don't want to talk now," group leader Laura Silsby said.

    Contributing: The Associated Press

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Tim Tebow: Super Bowl Commercial (Revealed)

    There were 2 main big reveals on Sunday.

    1.  Focus on the Family's Super Bowl Commercial.

    In case you missed it.  Tim Tebow's Super Bowl commerical (seen here) showed Mrs. Tebow sharing that her son was her "miracle baby", claiming that there were health issues.  He tackles her (fake tackle).  Then she talked about how she still worries about his health even to this day.  This ad was very non specific.

    It's amazing how so many people could get worked up over the Tebow's telling their story.  There was nothing about pro-life or anti-abortion.  They simply say at the end of the add that if you want to hear the whole story you can visit the Focus on the Family web page.

    My initial reaction on the add was disappointment.  They had a really great opportunity to share about the gift of life (Psalm 139).  My second reaction was, "that was good."  It offers an opportunity for those who want to learn more, and now, no one can say anything bad about the ad.  Everyone who were so up in arms over this ad now feels foolish for jumping all over Focus on the Family (FOTF).....this leads me to the second big reveal.

    2. Association with the Gospel can be Dangerous

    After finally seeing the ad, the National Organization for Women (NOW) President responded.  Did she repeal her earlier statement of how absurd it was for CBS to promote a wacko pro-life agenda that FOTF stands for?  Absolutely not!  The LA Times reports this:

    NOW president Terry O'Neill said it glorified violence against women. "I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it," she said. "That's what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don't find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself."

    Celebration of violence against women?  Huh?  Violence came across stronger than the anti-abortion message?  Where were these messages at all?  I wonder if she even watched the ad.

    If your worldview is shaped by the Gospel, then you will no doubt be attacked.  You will most likely be attacked more than others who come to a similar position outside of the Gospel.  If someone is a non-believer and is pro life, they will be less ridiculed than someone who trusts in Christ and is pro life.  It is the nature of the Good News.  John 15:20-21

    "Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me."

    Jesus promises persecution for holding to His Word.  This should not cause us to fear, but to press on (2 Timothy 2:3-4).  We are to engage the enemy.  We are not to be frightened (Philippians 1:28), because we have a hope of salvation.  We shouldn't fear those who can only destroy our body, but the One who can destroy both body and soul (Matthew 10:28).  

    In humility, take a stand.  In love, proclaim truth.

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Thoughts on Watching the Super Bowl by C.J. Mahaney

    Thoughts on Super Bowl XLIV by C.J. Mahaney

    I like this post for two main reasons.

    1. He puts this game in perspective of eternity.  Guess what!!!  It's just a game.  Like Monopoly.

    2. He thinks the Colts will win.  He is obviously a very intelligent person.

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Baptists try to sneak orphans from Haiti out of the country

    This is an interesting story.  I don't know if you've heard much about it.  Apparently there was a group of Baptists from Idaho that tried to sneak 33 Haitian orphans out of the country illegally.  This is all alleged as far as I know, since no official arrests have been made.  Here is the story as reported by USA Today.

    So how should Christians view this?

    Would you do "everything" possible to get those orphans out?

    Is it the best possible scenario for those orphans to be out of the country and living in America?

    What do YOU think?

    (Note: Now in order for this particular blog to be beneficial at all, YOU will have to participate and write something down...Happy posting)

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Tim Tebow: Super Bowl Commercial

    I came across an interesting article in the Washington Post of all places.  Written by a woman who is unashamedly pro-choice in regards to abortions.  Here is the link to her article.  

    I'm pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I've heard in the past week, I'll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the "National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time." For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.
    Tebow's 30-second ad hasn't even run yet, but it already has provoked "The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us" to reveal something important about themselves: They aren't actually "pro-choice" so much as they are pro-abortion. Pam Tebow has a genuine pro-choice story to tell. She got pregnant in 1987, post-Roe v. Wade, and while on a Christian mission in the Philippines, she contracted a tropical ailment. Doctors advised her the pregnancy could be dangerous, but she exercised her freedom of choice and now, 20-some years later, the outcome of that choice is her beauteous Heisman Trophy winner son, a chaste, proselytizing evangelical.

    Joy Behar, obviously pro-choice anchor from The View, said on the show, "[People argue that Tim Tebow] could have just as easily become a rapist pedophile.  I mean, you don't know what someone is going to be..."  We never know who anyone is going to be, does that mean we stop having babies?  All children are created in the image of God (Genesis 1).  So it would be tragic and sinful to destroy that image...especially if we don't think they are going to be a model citizen.

    There is a huge uproar about this ad.  The ad will be focused on celebrating life.  What is so wrong about that?  How does a commercial that celebrates the CHOICE Mr. Tebow made in choosing life, become an anti-choice ad?

    I believe that this ad is well timed and will get a massive amount of attention, as it already has.  I hope and pray that this ad does more than just promote saving your child's life, but show how Christ can save your very soul.  Let us pray that this ad will help to bring people to Christ.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Should Tiger Turn To Christianity or Buddhism??

    TAMPA (AP) — When Fox News analyst Brit Hume suggested last weekend that Tiger Woodsturn to Jesus to deal with his sins, critics argued that Hume showed little knowledge about Buddhism, the faith that has been a major influence in the golfer's life.
    "I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith," Hume said. "So my message to Tiger would be, "Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
    That rankled many American Buddhists, who say Hume is missing the point of the 2,500-year-old Eastern faith.
    "I think it's ridiculous to make those statements," said Robert Thurman, a professor of Tibetan studies at Columbia University. "It is insulting to Buddhism to indicate that Buddhism doesn't take care of its own believers and followers. But I think he will discover that Buddhists are very forgiving about his stupid statements."

    Woods, a married father of two, hasn't been seen since a bizarre Thanksgiving weekend car crash outside his Florida home unleashed a torrent of reports about his numerous alleged mistresses.
    On Monday during an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Hume addressed the topic again, but didn't apologize to Buddhists: "My sense about Tiger is that he needs something that Christianity, especially, provides and gives and offers. And that is redemption and forgiveness."
    Woods' spokesman declined comment for this story. But in past interviews Woods credited his mother and her Thai Buddhism with giving him the focus needed on the golf course and throughout his life, about how it teaches that people have to work out their own problems.
    "I believe in Buddhism. Not every aspect, but most of it," Woods told Sports Illustrated in 1996. "So I take bits and pieces. I don't believe that human beings can achieve ultimate enlightenment, because humans have flaws."
    Sex scandals in American society are nothing new, of course, and the Christian faith of many of the fallen is mentioned with their revelations. In the last couple years, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former presidential candidate John Edwards and Nevada Sen. John Ensign are a few of the recent examples of men who have cheated on their wives. All spoke of their faith in God and Jesus and finding forgiveness in the wake of the affairs.
    So how do the world's 350 million Buddhists deal with infidelity, marital strife and sin?
    They follow the example of Siddhartha Gautama — the Buddha — a wealthy prince they believe became enlightened in the sixth century B.C.
    "Buddhism starts with the premise that we suffer," said James Shaheen, editor and publisher of Tricycle, a Buddhist magazine. "At the foundation of Buddhism is ethics. An ethical life leads to a life of less suffering."
    Buddhism's code of personal conduct is just as strong as other major religions: followers should not kill, steal, gossip, use intoxicants like drugs or alcohol or commit sexual misconduct.
    "Adultery is as much of a sin in Buddhism as it is in Christianity," Thurman said. "The ethics are the same in both traditions. Adultery is a sin and causes the kinds of problems that Tiger Woods is in."
    Where many Westerners stumble is that Buddhists' definition of sin — and what happens after it — differs from the Judeo-Christian tradition, as the consequences of Buddhists' actions are a result of a person's thoughts and deeds rather than divine punishment. Believers have to look to themselves and turn to an ethical way of life for redemption, although there are savior figures within the faith who do their best to help a Buddhist in need. There is no one, omnipotent "creator god" to bestow redemption as in Christianity.
    Said Stephen Prothero, a Boston University professor on Buddhism and the author of "Religious Literacy: What Americans Need to Know:"
    "You have the law of karma, so no matter what Woods says or does, he is going to have to pay for whatever wrongs he's done," said Prothero. "There's no accountant in the sky wiping sins off your balance sheet, like there is in Christianity."
    Certain Buddhist traditions believe that if a person misbehaves, he or she will be reborn into various realms of hell. Others believe the justice is much swifter, that the penalties will be suffered in this life.
    "What causes you to do what Tiger Woods did is ignorance," said James William Coleman, a professor of Buddhist studies at Cal Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. "If you do what he's done, it comes back and hurts you. You wouldn't do that if you weren't ignorant."
    Brad Warner, a California-based Zen priest and the author of the book "Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate" suggests that Woods return to his Buddhism roots and become introspective.
    "I would first tell him to sit with the problem, look into himself and try to see clearly for himself what he needs to do," Warner said. "The problem is something he's got to work out for himself."
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