Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just do it!

From: How Systems Affect Decisions by Bill Easum
"A person with enthusiasm brings a new ministry idea to the pastor. The pastor takes the new idea to the official body or to a few key leaders. They reject the new idea 95% of the time because they "have never done that before." The pastor tells the person it cannot be done. The person figures out that this is a place that does not respond to new ideas. The person is disappointed and drops out and looks for another church. The leaders are glad they did not respond favorably to an idea from someone so uncommitted to their church. The story is repeated over again and again.  In time, the leaders are never presented with any new ideas."
As long as you have God’s leading that this is the path you are supposed to follow, just do it and on don’t worry what others think or say. Ricinella in Now I walk on Death Row states to not worry if others agree with you or not, it is time to follow where God wants you to go.

Monday, February 27, 2012


D’Souza in What’s so great about Christianity and Martin in The Jeusit guide to (almost) everything both state that the poor are closer to Jesus than those of us classified as middle class. The poor don’t have a comfortable lifestyle that gets in the way of their relationship with God; they live in world of hardship, poverty, persecution, and exile. They can relate to the Bible stories about hardships and trials. Yet Christianity is growing in these areas as opposed to in the developed countries.
What do you need to do to get rid of the barriers between you and God? I am not suggesting that you sell all you have and move to a third world country, although if that is where God is leading…
I am suggesting that you evaluate your lifestyle and see what is keeping you from a full and meaningful relationship with the living God. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Psalm 139 interpreted by Michael Card

"Search Me and Know Me (Psalm 139)" Lyrics [edit]
by Michael Card | from the album The Way of Wisdom

Oh my Lord, You search and You know me
You know when I sit, You know when I rise
You know what I think, You know where I'm going
Nothing oh Lord, can hide from Your eyes

You close me in, behind and before me
You shield me with Your mighty hand
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me
Too much for me to understand

Where can I go to flee from Your Spirit?
And from Your presence where can I hide?
Behold up in heaven You're there beside me
In the depths of the darkness You're by my side

And if I rise on the wings of the morning
Or settle on the far side of the sea
Even there Your hand will guide me
For Your right hand is holding me

And if I say the darkness will hide me
The night will shine as bright as day
So search me Lord and lovingly lead me
In Your everlasting Way

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Christ in Every Book of the Bible

In Genesis Christ is the Seed of the Woman
In Exodus Christ is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus Christ is our High Priest
In Numbers Christ is the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night 

In Deuteronomy Christ is the Prophet like unto Moses
In Joshua Christ is our Judge and Lawgiver
In Ruth Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer
In Samuel Christ is our Trusted Prophet
In Kings and Chronicles Christ is our Reigning King
In Ezra and Nehemiah Christ is the Rebuilder of the broken-down walls of human life 

In Esther Christ is our Mordecai
In Job Christ is our Ever-Living Redeemer: for I know my redeemer lives 
In Psalms Christ is our Shepherd
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes Christ is our Wisdom
In the Song of Solomon Christ is our Lover and Bridegroom

In Isaiah Christ is the Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah Christ is the Righteous Branch
In Lamentations Christ is our Weeping Prophet
In Ezekiel Christ is the wonderful Four-Faced Man
And in Daniel Christ is the Fourth Man in “Life’s Fiery Furnaces”
In Hosea Christ is the Faithful Husband, “Forever married to the Backslider” 

In Joel Christ is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire
In Amos Christ is our Burden-Bearer
In Obadiah Christ is the Mighty to Save
In Jonah Christ is our great Foreign Missionary
In Micah Christ is the Messenger of Beautiful Feet
In Nahum Christ is the Avenger of God’s Elect
In Habakkuk Christ is God’s Evangelist, crying, “Revive your work in the midst of the years”
In Zephaniah Christ is our Savior
In Haggai Christ is the Restorer of God’s lost heritage
In Zechariah Christ is the Fountain opened to the house of David for sin and uncleanness 

In Malachi Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings
In Matthew Christ is the Messiah
In Mark Christ is the Wonder-Worker
In Luke Christ is the Son of Man
In John Christ is the Son of God
In Acts Christ is the Holy Ghost
In Romans Christ is our Justifier
In Corinthians Christ is our Sanctifier
In Galatians Christ is our Redeemer form the curse of the law
In Ephesians Christ is the Christ of unsearchable riches
In Philippians Christ is the God who supplies all our needs
In Colossians Christ is the fullness of the Godhead, bodily
In Thessalonians Christ is our Soon-Coming King
In Timothy Christ is our Mediator between God and man
In Titus Christ is our Faithful Pastor
In Philemon Christ is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother
In Hebrews Christ is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant
In James Christ is our Great Physician for “The prayer of faith shall save the sick”
In Peter Christ is our Chief Shepherd, who soon shall appear with a crown of unfading glory
In John Christ is Love
In Jude Christ is the Lord coming with ten thousands of His saints
And in Revelation Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Rev 1:8


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam

1. The Bible does not put an artificial wedge between history and theology. Of course, Genesis is not a history textbook or a science textbook, but that is far from saying we ought to separate the theological wheat from the historical chaff. Such a division owes to the Enlightenment more than the Bible.

2. The biblical story of creation is meant to supplant other ancient creation stories more than imitate them. Moses wants to show God's people "this is how things really happened." The Pentateuch is full of warnings against compromise with the pagan culture. It would be surprising, then, for Genesis to start with one more mythical account of creation like the rest of the ANE.

3. The opening chapters of Genesis are stylized, but they show no signs of being poetry. Compare Genesis 1 with Psalm 104, for example, and you'll see how different these texts are. It's simply not accurate to call Genesis poetry. And even if it were, who says poetry has to be less historically accurate?

4. There is a seamless strand of history from Adam in Genesis 2 to Abraham in Genesis 12. You can't set Genesis 1-11 aside as prehistory, not in the sense of being less than historically true as we normally understand those terms. Moses deliberately connects Abram with all the history that comes before him, all the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden.

5. The genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1 and Luke 3 treat Adam as historical.

6. Paul believed in a historical Adam (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45-49). Even some revisionists are honest enough to admit this; they simply maintain that Paul (and Luke) were wrong.

7. The weight of the history of interpretation points to the historicity of Adam. The literature of second temple Judaism affirmed an historical Adam. The history of the church's interpretation also assumes it.

8. Without a common descent we lose any firm basis for believing that all people regardless of race or ethnicity have the same nature, the same inherent dignity, the same image of God, the same sin problem, and that despite our divisions we are all part of the same family coming from the same parents.

9. Without a historical Adam, Paul's doctrine of original sin and guilt does not hold together.

10. Without a historical Adam, Paul's doctrine of the second Adam does not hold together.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The basics

·       There is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Galatians 4:8-9).
·       God is three in one or a Trinity (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 2:32-33, John 10:30,17:11, 21; 1 Peter 1:2).
·       God is omniscient or "knows all things" (Acts 15:18; 1 John 3:20).
·       God is omnipotent or "all powerful" (Psalm 115:3; Revelation 19:6).
·       God is omnipresent or "present everywhere" (Jeremiah 23:23, 24; Psalm 139).
·       God is sovereign (Zechariah 9:14; 1 Timothy 6:15-16).
·       God is holy (1 Peter 1:15).
·       God is just or "righteous" (Psalm 19:9, 116:5, 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1).
·       God is love (1 John 4:8).
·       God is true (Romans 3:4; John 14:6).
·       God is spirit (John 4:24).
·       God is the creator of everything that exists (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 44:24).
·       God is infinite and eternal. He has always been God (Psalm 90:2; Genesis 21:33; Acts 17:24).
·       God is immutable. He does not change (James 1:17; Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 46:9-10).
·       The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:11-12; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
·       Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1, 14, 10:30-33, 20:28; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:8).
·       Jesus became a man (Philippians 2:1-11).
·       Jesus is fully God and fully man (Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
·       Jesus was sinless (1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15).
·       Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6; Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22).
·       Man was created by God in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
·       All people have sinned (Romans 3:23, 5:12).
·       Death came into the world through Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-15).
·       Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
·       Jesus died for the sins of each and every person in the world (1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Peter 2:24).
·       Jesus' death was a substitutionary sacrifice. He died and paid the price for our sins, so that we might live. (1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).
·       Jesus resurrected from the dead in physical form (John 2:19-21).
·       Salvation is a free gift of God (Romans 4:5, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:8-10).
·       The Bible is the "inspired" or "God-breathed," Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
·       Those who reject Jesus Christ, after they die, will go to hell forever (Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8).
·       Those who accept Jesus Christ, after they die, will live for eternity with Him (John 11:25, 26; 2 Corinthians 5:6).
·       Hell is a place of punishment (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 19:20).
·       Hell is eternal (Matthew 25:46).
·       There will be a rapture of the church (Matthew 24:30-36, 40-41; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
·       Jesus will return to the earth (Acts 1:11).
·       Christians will be raised from the dead when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
·       There will be a final judgment (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7).
·       Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). 



Friday, February 17, 2012

One liners part two

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

If God is your co-pilot – swap seats.

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you.

Prayer: don’t give God instructions, just report for duty.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One liners

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.

When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there.

Quit griping about your church; if it were perfect, you couldn’t belong.

Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

We are called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them – He’ll clean them.


Monday, February 13, 2012

How a can opener can help us with our church. (Sharpen or discard)

In a recent small group our fearless leader started a discussion about can openers. Maybe not the most spiritual topic to talk about, but read on – there is a point to this.

Here is the opening question: If a can opener can’t open a can is it still can opener?
After much philosophical discussion, along with breaks for oreos, fig newtons, and coffee, we concluded that it was not. But what to do with it?

Our fearless leader’s 14 year old son walked by and we asked him what to do with a can opener that did not work anymore. His answer was simple yet powerful.

“If it does not work, either sharpen it or throw it out.”

Could we not apply that to the  Church. If the church is not fulfilling its God given mission of making disciples, it should either be sharpened or thrown out.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heard in my small group

Some comments from my last few small group get togethers:

After meditating on Psalm 131: Sit on God’s lap, lay your head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat.

Holy discontent – never satisfied with what you are doing for God. Always wanting to do more.

Don’t miss the moment. There is mission in the moment in doing the little things for people.

God reveals Himself in little moments.

Do you live in darkness apart from God? God is willing to meet you there, at wherever point you are in your life.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

What, me worry?

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34  (NIV)
Or as Dale  Ricenella says in Now I walk on death on death row “if we take care of God’s business, He will handle our business. “  And as he stated a paragraph later he could find no where in the NT where Jesus took that statement back!

Worry here is the Greek work - Merimnaó  meaning I am anxious about, distracted. An alternate definition is to be pulled apart.

To be pulled apart raises an ugly picture full of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty that will take your mind off of God’s plan for your life.  

Here are two verses to help with the fear and anxiety:

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The wise man

The wise man
What are the characteristics of a wise man according to Proverbs 12?
  • Ready to accept criticism
  • Ready to admit correction
  • His plans are just
  • Built his house on rock, strong foundation
  • He cares for the needs of his animals!
  • Knows how to escape from trouble
  • Ready to listen to advice
  • He overlooks the insult
  • His testimonies are true – Trustworthy
  • His speech brings healing
  • Joy in his heart
  • Keeps his knowledge to himself? uses wisely!
  • Diligent
  • Disciplined
  • He is cautious in his friendship
  • His ways lead to life and immortality
Ask yourself following questions, and think of any situations in which you acted in certain ways.
  • How do I react to criticism? (Positive or negative)
  • Do I admit mistakes and accept corrections?
  • How do I plan my daily activities? (Keep it to last moment!)
  • What is the basis or motivation of my actions? (Why do I do what I do?)
  • Do I take counsel for important decisions?
  • How do I react to insult?
  • Am I trustworthy to others?
  • How do I make friends?
  • Am I a good administrator of my time? (Diligence and Discipline)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lessons from Noah's ark

  • Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
  • Stay fit. someone might ask you to do something really big when you’re old.
  • Don’t listen to critics. Do what has to be done.
  • For safety’s sake, travel in pairs. Two heads are better than one. If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
  • Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
  • When the doo-doo gets really deep, don’t sit there and complain–shovel!
  • Remember that the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic was built by professionals.
  • No matter how strong the storm is when you’re with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Horizontal or vertical?

Horizontal or vertical?

Ever notice that the vertical piece of the cross is longer than horizontal piece? I did not think of this until one recent Sunday the worship leader spoke about horizontal and vertical relationships. Our vertical relationship with God needs to be the primary relationship in our life as opposed to the horizontal one with people.

So when you see the cross next time, remember that the vertical arm is longer because it points to our primary focus in life. If our vertical relationship is in order, then our horizontal relationships should be good also.