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Labor Day

September 5, 2007

Well, since I hadn’t updated this blog since Memorial Day, I thought how appropriate it would be to update it for Labor Day!

I tried thinking about how God had impacted me over Labor Day, and it came down to this:  God’s Natural Revelation to us is remarkable!  We spent the weekend at Round Lake Christian camp in Lakeville, OH. Friday through Monday were spent camping with other folks from our church, and several hundred more people.  It was a great weekend with great fellowship and great worship! 

I do have to say at this point – remember the motorhome we spent our first months in Ohio in?  We sold it thinking we would get a new camper – instead we paid bills, so no camper.  This was our 2nd outing in a tent.  That was a completely different outing when we just had one daughter almost 10 years ago.  Now, we have 5 kids, and the youngest is just over 6 months old. 

Through all of the busyness, the swimming, the chapel services, we took time to just soak in God’s glory…His glory through creation!

All I can say is, “THANK YOU GOD!”

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Memorial Day

May 29, 2007

I am not entirely certain what happened on Sunday!  I had prepared a sermon on Gideon and his battle with the Midianite army.  I thought this was going to be the perfect Memorial Day sermon.  Before I preached, there was a video shown with all of the people associated with our church who have served in the armed forces.  Somewhere in the middle was a picture of an elderly lady in our church named Mary.  Mary is just a tiny little thing, and is getting up there in years.  On the screen was this beautiful young woman, and it said she was a nurse during WWII.  Immediately my mind began racing about the stories she must have, and I wondered how many people listened!

The way my mind works, that got me thinking about our own stories…the stories that we have about our redemption…the stories about what God has done in our life, and God kept taking me to Deuteronomy 6.

“Deuteronomy 6:4-9

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. “

We have a responsiblity to tell our children…to tell them every opportunity we get about the One God whom we serve!

Tell your story!

It was painful, but I scrapped my sermon on Sunday, and spoke briefly about this passage…I have never abandoned a sermon completely 2 minutes before I was supposed to preach it, but I couldn’t do anything else!

Impress your story on the people around you!

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Thoughts thanks to Fishing & Catching

May 10, 2007

OK…if you read my last post, you know where I was going in stating the differences between fishing and catching.  Jesus called us to both fish for men, and to catch men. 

Honestly, that was the basis of last weeks Bible Study on the Life of Christ.  This whole week something has been rolling around in my head (and unfortunately, there is far too much room for that).  In keeping with the fishing theme, I wondered to myself, and involved some people in a discussion of whether or not we are actually involved in a catch & release program.  I don’t know if it is the same in other countries, but here in the US, there is a sad trend going on in the church to get people to “cross a line” and then we seem to forget about them.

Let me explain what I mean by “cross a line.”  For some, it is that trip down the aisle, or the sinner’s prayer.  Maybe it is baptism.  For some, it might even be membership into a certain church.  What happens then?  Where is the discipleship? 

When was the last time someone asked you what you were reading in the Bible for your own benefit?  When was the last time you asked that of someone else?  What is God showing you about his character?  How is your prayer life?  These are questions that should be asked as the beginnings of discipleship, and they aren’t even asked down the road. 

Let’s step out of our comfort zones, quit this catch & release junk, and start making disciples!

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Fishing or Catching?

May 7, 2007

How do we respond to the battle call?I was studying Jesus encounter with a few fishermen and a miraculous catch. I noticed that both Matthew and Mark say that Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Luke, who includes more detail anyway says, “From now on you will catch men.”

If you have ever been hunting or fishing, you know that there is a difference between fishing and catching! I remember spending days fishing with my dad in Colorado mountain streams, and catching nothing…I was doing a lot of fishing though!

We are called to fish, and we are called to catch!

It doesn’t stop there though! The Greek word that the good Dr. uses is literally “to catch alive.” It is only used elsewhere in 2 Timothy 2:26 “that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” We have got to realize that we are living behind enemy lines, and we are called to free those captives!

Not only is there a difference between fishing and catchiing, but one other big difference…when we fish, we take those fish from life to death; when we go after men, we take them from death to life…the only true life worth living!

Answer the battle cry!

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CT Scans & Robins

April 30, 2007

What a crazy time this last few weeks has been!  I was reminded last week of how much the Father truly does love us!  My 2 month old baby has a lump on her head from when she was born (She was trying to come out sideways) so the Dr. wanted us to go to Akron Children’s Hospital for a CT scan.  Even though the Dr. was sure it was nothing I was still pretty nervous about this test!  She was lying there completely helpless, and I was only able to watch as she slid back into this machine scared.  I don’t want to even begin to intimate that only a parent can understand the love of God, but I think that day I understood it a little more clearly!  I understood how great the love the Father has lavished on us is, and I was even more keenly aware of 2 Peter 3:9 – “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

During all of this, I have been trying to figure out a Robin at the church.  We have windows down both sides of our auditorium, and starting last Monday, I heard a knocking on the windows on one side.  I stood to watch for a while, and saw a Robin fly up and hit the window a few times.  This literally went on all week.  You can even walk down the row of windows and see marks from his beak where he has been trying to get in on every window! 

Still today, this Robin is trying to get in!  I have shewed him away many times thinking he is going to hurt himself, but he still comes at the window.  Our church has been growing recently both numerically and spiritually, but I would still love for people to be so anxious to hear the Word of God that they are knocking on our windows.  Unfortunately, I don’t think this is what God intended…I think we are supposed to be out there telling them about Jesus so they will ask us more, not waiting for them to knock on our windows.  I guess I will relegate this bird to knocking on our doors status, and encourage our church to go out and be the church, and start knocking on the hearts of the lost!

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THANK YOU!

April 18, 2007

If I were a minister of a more liturgical church, I would feel like breaking into the Doxology right now:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

What has me singing?

Sanjaya is gone! – Wooohoooo

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Where 2 or 3 Come Together?

April 17, 2007

Ok, I just read a blog that said it, and I have heard it in church services more than half a million times.  “Jesus said that where 2 or more are gathered in my name, there I will be also, so Jesus is here in this service with us.”  That grates on me a bit!  Is it just that people have heard it the half a million times, or are they convinced that is what it means? 

If I learned anything in Bible College, it is that context is King!  (Thank you David Fish, Matt Proctor, Jim Johnson, and Mark Scott for pounding that into my head.)  If we look at the context of Matthew 18:19-20 what do we see?  We see Jesus talking about disciplining a brother who sins against us!  If we are in agreement as believers, Jesus is in agreement also!

Jesus has promised to be with us, and he has even sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, so even as I sit here all alone, Jesus is here!  Why do we make Bible passages say what we want them to say! 

Sorry everybody! Am I just straining the gnats here, or is it as bad exegesis (or actually eisegesis) as I think it is?

rant is done…all this because the person didn’t allow comments on their blog.  This would have been easier for all involved if I could have just mentioned it to that person!