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Showing posts from 2006

Another Passionate Preacher Hero Of Mine

Last night Elizabeth and I spent time with one of my hero preachers. Rick Anderson is an amazing man who preaches biblically with absolute passion every time he steps into the pulpit. You can listen to his sermons here . Trust me. They are worth while. Rick's preaching is a modern-day George Whitefield. I plead with you to listen, be convicted and be as passionate for the truth as this man is. I was greatly encouraged last night as I was able to probe him about his ministry, struggles and family issues. I was able to see his study which, for a fellow-preacher, is an exciting adventure for me. After spending last night with Rick and his lovely wife, Penny, I have been all the more encouraged to be a faithful preacher of God's Word, to preach it accurately, fully and boldly. I never want to compromise. Rick is a model of a Godly man, a husband, a father, a pastor and shepherd who does this. God help me.

A Charge To Preachers

This is from MacArthur's Book, Preaching: How to Preach Biblically , which he co-wrote with many of the Master's Seminary faculty ( ). It is some exhortations that the preacher must remember as he studies the text, prepares the sermon and preaches the sermon: Preach to honor God's Word Preach to reach the unconverted Preach to please God Preach to equip Christians for the work of the ministry Preach to lift up the downhearted Preach to be more effective this time than last Preach to bring conviction of sin and repentance Preach to compete with no one but yourself Preach to refresh the spiritually weary Preach to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ May we as preachers take these exhortations to heart and preach biblically and passionately.

The Theme of First John

I recently concluded a series preaching through the whole book of 1 John. I was overwhelmed by the boldness and bluntness of the Apostle John in his preaching to his congregation back in Ephesus. After thinking back on the theme of the book of 1 John, this is what I came up with: The theme of 1 John : One who is really born of God will inevitably evidence it by the way he lives in holiness, the way he loves as Christ unconditionally loves, and by what he believes regarding the Son of God. Any feedback?

The Supremacy of God in Preaching

I just read (yet again) Piper's classic, The Supremacy of God in Preaching . I think this is a book that all preachers should read at least once a year. It should be on the bookshelf closest to the Bible and other study materials. It is in this work that Piper quotes Spurgeon by noting that GOd's call to the ministry of the Word (that is, to preach) "is an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work" (p.18). The Supremacy of God in Preaching can be laid forth in a Trinitarian formula: I. The Goal of Preaching: The Glory of God II. The Ground of Preaching: The Cross of Christ III. The Gift of Preaching: The Power of the Holy Spirit Piper notes, "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are the beginning, middle and end in the ministry of preaching. Written over all ministerial labor, especially preaching, stand the words of the apostle: "From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever" (Rom 11:36; Piper, p.19). One

A Godly Wife, part 3

Today we turn to the third aspect of what it means to be a Godly wife, as defined by the Scriptures. For the Word of God is indeed our only sole authority by which we seek to tune our lives so as to please and bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. We have seen two aspects of what it means to be a Godly wife as defined in the Scriptures and today we turn to the third. I. A Godly Wife Practices Submission II. A Godly Wife Is A Suitable Helper III. A Godly Wife Is Selflessly Reverent Our third characteristic of what it means to be a Godly wife is that she must be selflessly reverent . Ephesians 5:33 33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect (Greek, phobeo ) her husband. What does this mean? By being "selflessly reverent," I mean that she fears her husband. The Greek word, phobeo literally means "to fear, to be afraid." But of course from the context we know that Paul is

One Day In The World

This afternoon between our morning and evening services at church, I decided to go to Starbucks and read. Over the course of being in one Starbucks restaurant for two and a half hours, at the same table, here are four things I saw or heard: 1) I heard four individuals talking about Jews who are "for" Jesus and how that is ludicrous. These four women were making fun of Christianity. They were saying those who say they are "Jews for Jesus" are simply trying to convert Jews to Christianity. They thought it was nonsense. That conversation was at the table right next to me for about a half hour. I just sat there and listened as I was brokenhearted. 2) I heard a woman venting for (literally) an hour and a half to two of her friends because the boyfriend that she is living with is not treating her right. She went on and on...and on...and on about this guy she is living with and how fed up she is that he's not treating her the way that she deserves to be treated. In the

The Preacher Has Got To Know His Text

I know we are in the middle of a three part series on what it is to be a "Godly Wife," yet I want to take a detour and meander to a topic that I have been doing much reading on, namely, expository preaching. Let me post today on what it is to be a passionate preacher who understands his text and then tomorrow I will return to the third part of a "Godly Wife." The story of old is like this, George Whitefield's powerful preaching was stirring the hearts of the people of Britain. When he was preaching in Edinburgh, many in the town awakened at 5:00am to gather and hear the evangelist. A man on his way to the tabernacle met David Hume, the notorious Scottish philosopher and skeptic. Surprised to see Hume on the way to hear Whitefield, the man said, "I thought you did not believe in the gospel." Hume replied, I don't, but he does." The point: When a preacher deeply believes his message, his strong convictions can have a powerful effect on those who

A Godly Wife, part 2

We are in the middle of a three part series on what it means to be "A Godly Wife" from a biblical perspective. This, of course, raises many eyebrows and sours many people as they observe the truth of God's Word and how it confronts our post-modern, egalitarian, feminist culture right between the eyes. We saw yesterday the first characteristic of a Godly wife. That is, that A Godly Wife must practice submission. Today we will see the second essential requirement of being a Godly wife. A Godly wife must be a suitable helper. I. A Godly Wife Practices Submission II. A Godly Wife is a Suitable Helper. So today, we are looking at the biblical truth of the wife as being a suitable helper for the husband. Genesis 2:18 18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." The last phrase, "suitable for Him" in the Hebrew literally means, " according to his opposite ," or " according to

What Came "After Jesus?" A Look at CNN's Take on the Question

This is an excellent post. It is quite lengthy but ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT. I think Mohler does a fabulous job of quoting these individuals and bringing it all together at the end. Read it HERE .

A Godly Wife, part 1

A few weeks ago, I did a three part series on what it is to be "A Godly Husband" biblically . I discussed three things that a husband is commanded to do in a marriage. He is to first be a Learner (of his wife); second, he is to be a Lover (of his wife); and third, he is to be a Leader (for his wife). It is amazing to me (and I'm not even married yet) to realize how common it is (unfortunately) that there are so many wives that are discontent with their marriages, with their husbands, with their sex lives or whatever. May we remember that the very first marriage in the Bible, Adam and Eve, they didn't have any choice as to whom they would marry, especially Adam. And listen, God NEVER makes mistakes. He never has and he never will and sure won't begin with YOUR relationship. As we begin this three part series on what it means to be a Godly wife, I want to encourage YOU with one thing, the question is NOT who am I married to, but am I going to be a Godly husband/wife

I'm Engaged!

So last night, I took Elizabeth up to this mountaintop because she thought that we were going to set up the engagement for another couple. So she is setting up the table and putting rose pedals all over the table and the ground around the table. Then we finished setting up the table and had a last look before we went down the hill so the "other couple" could come and get engaged with everything set up: Doesn't look too shabby for a guy doing all the shopping beforehand huh? :-) So we started our journey down the hill and I said, wait, we have time, let's go back there and hang for a few minutes. You see, we were at this mountaintop that overlooked the ocean and the coast on one side and you turn around and it overlooked the L.A. Valley! Then I gave her my speech (which will be omitted from this blog) and asked her if she would marry me. Her answer... "What Just Happened?"...(but then she eventually uttered the words I was waiting for), "YES!" Then

Of Course, One More Thing...

We all know the day would NOT be complete without another picture of my beautiful girlfriend, Elizabeth! One more will suffice:

Not Able to Sin

1 John 3:9 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. John says here in his epistle to the church in Ephesus that no one who has genuinely been born of (Lit. "out from"; Gk. ek ) God does not practice (literally "do") sin. In other words, the Apostle John wants to make absolutely certain that his congregation understands that a regenerate believer will not have a consistent pattern and lifestyle of sin. For a true believer, who has radically been changed and renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit will repent from sin and turn from it to righteousness and holiness. John continues by giving the reason as to why believers (those who have been "born of God") cannot sin. Because His seed (Gk. sperma ) abides in him (namely, the believer who is born of God). John goes even one step further by saying that this believer (who is born of God) is not even able to sin (Gk. kai ou dunatai

Expository Preaching is God's Primary Plan for Today

This book by Steve Lawson (who is my favorite preacher and hero) is now one of my favorites. I sat down last night and read the whole thing as I was picturing him "preach" his way through the book. I guess every preacher would say that they enjoy a new book on preaching, but this one was really refreshing to my soul and passions. God's primary plan is for impacting cities today only through the preaching of the Gospel. One God-called man armed with one God-sent message, committed to one God-prescribed method - preaching - is always sufficieint for any situation. John Knox (of whom I blogged about in recent weeks as a hero of mine) was one such preacher. Though he would become the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, Knox entered the ministry ONLY reluctantly. The magnitude of the reponsibility to preach the Word was too great for Knox to assume it lightly. For this reformer-in-the-making, the pulpit was a sacred desk, a stepping onto holy ground. When Knox wa

Massive Hits that Hurt

So, you wanna see the hockey game that I used to play? Here is a good 3 minute video of some of the hardest hits in the NHL this month! Enjoy it here . And even a more hard-hittin'-body-slammin' video here . Enjoy!

Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Absolutely.

I have been studying for an exam I have today at seminary in a course called "Rapture Systems." In this course, we survey the different rapture systems out there (pretrib, posttrib, mid-trib, partial rapture, pre-wrath, preterist, etc) as well as survey a bunch of the eschatological passages in order to get the overall view of the NT teaching on the rapture of the saints. As I have been studying for today, I have been immersed in 1 Thessalonians 5. I am convinced that this chapter is teaching about the tribulation. Let me clarify, this is NOT a continuation from chapter 4 (v.13-18) which is clearly speaking of the rapture. We recognize that Paul does NOT continue the new thought but rather he transitions into a brand new thought (or a new topic) from the Greek construction, peri de (1 Cor 7:1; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1). Thus, if Paul was speaking of the rapture in 1 Thess 4, then he begins a NEW topic in chapter 5, thus discussing the tribulation period on the earth (or the Day of th

The ABC's to the ABS

Folks, this really works. It is a marvelous thing. It is healthy. And it really can't be characterized as a "diet" per se. You still eat a lot and much more often. But I know from trustworthy sources, that if you want to eat healthy, feel better, and maximize your workouts so as to achieve the best results, then this is the book for you. Funny, I sound like a great marketer huh? I'm not even getting paid by Zinczenko and Spiker to do this! But in any case, it may be worth a try :-)

A Godly Husband, part 3

We are in the middle of a three-part study of what a biblical portrait of a Godly husband is to look like. We saw first, that the Godly Husband is to be a Learner. Second we saw that the Godly Husband is to be a Lover. Today we'll see that a Godly Husband is to be a Leader. I. A Godly Husband is a Learner II. A Godly Husband is a Lover III. A Godly Husband is a Leader Jesus said, " Matthew 20:25-28 25 But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 "It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Do you notice a theme interwoven throughout these verses, that the ultimate Leader (i.e. Jesus) did not come to "Lord his authority ov

The Necessity for Biblical Languages

I am taking a one-day detour from my 3-part series on "A Godly Husband" because I want to write today on the necessity of biblical languages in the evangelical church. I find it sad, frankly it's depressing, that so many Pastors and even lay people are ignorant of the biblical languages. Though Geoff Kirkland is no one special in them, I am working hard so as to improve my skills to read through the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic comfortably anywhere in the Scriptures. I was confronted once again with a great man of old, Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) who is known for "carrying his Greek NT, the Hebrew OT, and his Latin Vulgate (notice this) along with his associates at his church . He was a man who preached from the original texts from the pulpit. He engaged in intense exegesis and study from the original languages. Why? What is the purpose? Why go through the rigors of learning a "dead" language? Put it this way. Reading the Bible in a translation (i.e., English,

A Godly Husband, part 2

Today is the second part of the series on what it means to be a Godly Husband, as defined in the Scriptures. Yesterday we saw that a Godly Husband is to be a Learner. Today we'll see that a Godly husband is a lover. I. A Godly Husband is a Learner II. A Godly Husband is a Lover Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. So we see here that if husbands are called to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. That comparative clause (just as) introduces the standard by which something can be measured. In other words, you want to assess how well you are loving your wife, biblically? Then compare it to how Christ loved the church. It must be noted that our American culture does not help us here as far as learning "how" to love our wives. The popular view of our culture is this macho, sexual conquest attitude. Let me take her to bed and then I'll show her how much I love her. This, however, is far from

A Godly Husband, Part 1

There are three parts that I will discuss as far as being a Godly husband. I will break each of these down and present one each over the next three blogs. In sum, a Godly husband must be a Learner, a Lover, and a Leader. But today, I want to focus on the first requirement of being a Godly husband. I. A Godly Husband is a Learner 1 Peter 3:7-8 7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Though I must do some exegesis to help you further and rightly understand the text. The phrase literally reads from the Greek, "live (dwell) together with your wives according to knowledge (gnosis). In other words, Peter is saying that the husband ought to live together with the wife according to a deep, intimate knowledge of her. He is to live life with her in a knowledgeable way. Though the world might say, "So WHO

Another Hero of Mine

Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was noted for saying on his death bed, "Do something bold for God's sake." Listen to a few things that Zwingli did: (1)He memorized the Pauline Epistles - in Greek (2)He wrote in 1516, "Led by the Word and the Spirit of GOd I saw the need to set aside all these [humanistic teachings] and to learn the doctrine of God direct from His own Word." (3)He began the Reformation in Zurich in 1519 and announced to his congregation that instead of reading "canned" sermons, he would preach straight through the Gospel of Matthew, then with Acts, 1-2 Timothy, Galatians, 1-2 Peter and the rest of the NT. Then when the NT is finished, they'll begin the OT. (4)Zwingli said, "If you can prove one of my articles false by means of teh Gospel, I will give you a rabbit cheese. Now let's hear it. I shall await it." :-) (5)Zwingli held ever so strongly to the Sovereignty (or Providence) of God. He said, "I defined Providence a

Burned for Christ

What would you do if you were living in 16th century with Mary Tudor ("Bloody Mary") reigning if she required you to recant your faith in order to return to Romanism? Many protestants at this time were burned because they refused to acknowledge the King (i.e. Bloody Mary) as the sovereign ruler of the church of England. Would YOU stand up, be bold, be unashamed, unequivocally affirm that Jesus Christ is the only Sovereign because of what the Scriptures teach...even if that meant your life was at stake? Literally? When we learned today in my Historical Theology class about these Protestants who were burned for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and refused to recant, it was sobering to me. I desperately want to be one who holds to the truth of God's Word just as these faithful men and women did in the 16th century. Would we really be willing to die - and at that, to suffer horribly while dying - for the name of Jesus Christ? May God give us the strength to be so bold tha

The High Priest that We Have

Last night I was preaching at the rehab center again and I began a series going through Romans chapter 8. In the middle of it, I was on a sidetrack and was talking about how Jesus is our substitution and our high priest. I told them, if you want to sum up the book of Hebrews in one word, it would have to be JESUS. Jesus is better than everything. He is better than angels, Melchizedek, the Old Testament sacrificial system, etc. I hope you find encouragement in that which I was truly encouraged by. Hebrews 7:26-28 26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perf

Relaxing Yet Very Productive

Yesterday, Elizabeth took the day away and did a bunch of activities together: (1) We went to her nephew's football game. But they lost :-( (2) Then we played a little bit of frisbee - serious frisbee. :-) (3) Then Elizabeth and I went to the beach for a walk and felt the absolute freezing cold LA water once again :-) (4) Then She and I went to the Coffee Bean and did some studying for about 3 hours straight. Seriously. She wouldn't even sit at the same table as me - yet again. :-( I guess she thinks she won't be able to get much work done cause she has to stare at me the whole time ;-) (5) We went to the Palms restarant. Here at the Palms you make your own steak. Literally. They give you a raw slab of meat or fish - I got the NY strip and she got the Halibut - and you go to this big grill in the middle of the restaurant and grill it yourself. It's a manly man's place :-) Sitting at the beach in December is not really all that shabby. Those that live in 'ol St.

Every Knee Will Bow

This is a post by my friend and a tremendously zealous brother for the truth and for God's glory to be manifest. Read it, understand it, meditate on it, live for that day. This is from his blog which you can access here . Every Knee Will Bow November 30th, 2006 The great hope of all Christian labor and perseverance is that one day every knee will bow before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the king of the universe and the rightful ruler of the world. If I didn’t believe this — and if God wasn’t faithful to remind me of it often — I would honestly give up. I would give up right now. Anything less than eternal, world-wide, universal, face-to-the-ground acknowledgement of Christ as the grand, supreme Lord of all is not worth the toil of Christian service. If your motivation sinks below this high-as-the-heavens standard, I can guarantee that you will soon begin to suffer painful disillusionment and lingering discouragement. You can work 18-hour days doing kingdom work — “night and

You think preaching for 30 minutes is long

Another hero of mine - as far as the homiletic aspect goes - is the reformer John Knox. When he was in Geneva, Switzerland later in his life -after coming from Frankfurt, Germany - he pastored an English congregation in Geneva and he loved it. First, did you know that Knox preached three sermons a week, every sermon lasting two to three hours. Knox is well known for his preaching: In his 2-3 hour sermons, Knox typically spent 30 minutes calmly exegeting a biblical passage. Then as he applied the text to the Scottish situation, he would become “active and vigorous” and violently pound the pulpit. Said one note taker in his congregation, “ he made me so to grew [quake] and tremble, that I could not hold pen to write." Second, Knox applied himself to pastoral duties, and in the time left over studied Hebrew, Greek, and the English Bible. This is a preacher that I want to emulate. May I be a man that is so determined to have as my ambition to fulfill my pastoral duties and to preach

Biblical Clothing, Part 2

Notice in Colossians 3:10 " and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him ." "Put on" is the Greek word enduo once again (cf. v.12) which means to "clothe yourself." Here it is in the aorist participle giving the idea that believer have put on the new man. Paul exhorts the believers in Colossae to make certain this is the case. He goes on to say how he wants them to grow. In v. 10 they are to put on the new man by being renewed in the knowledge of the image of Him who created him. In other words, the Colossian believers were called by Paul to (1) put off the old man (v.9); (2) put on the new man; (3) be renewed unto a knowledge according to the image (Lit. "the eikon ") of the One who created him. This is Paul's goal = Christlikeness. This is Biblical clothing. Notice it is not external, but internal. Not outward, but inward. Not from the hips, but from the heart. Paul

Your Framework for Seeing Life

In my Marriage and Family Counseling course yesterday, my professor said this, " The bible must set the parameters and framework for which we see all of life. The bible is that which frames our methodology ." Immediately after he spoke this, he said, "Take your Bibles and turn to..." This has become a normal and, shall we say, habitual thing to do in our class. WHY? Why do we make such a big deal out of the Bible? Why are we obsessed with the Bible? Why do we just have to incorporate the Bible into all that we do? Simple. Because the Bible is indeed the very breathed out Word of God. Just like Dr. Street said, it is the Bible - not some other idea, ideology, methodology, postmodern conviction, mythical thought - that alone must set not only the parameters but also set the framework for which we see all of life. This is a statement that I hold dear to because the Scriptures have so gripped my heart and my soul that I want to do nothing in life but know the Word of

Biblical Clothing, Part 1

Colossians 3:12-14 12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The verb "put on" is from the Greek, enduo meaning "I put on" or "I clothe." It is used in the NT most often for "putting on clothing" or "putting on the Godly person." So what is the biblical clothing? Is God really, I mean...really , concerned about me wearing a tie in the pulpit? Is God really concerned as to whether I wear baggy jeans or flip flops to church or not? I make the radical answer by saying, "NO." God doesn't care what I wear. This is not to neglect the importance of being a leader and an example to the people of God. But I

Externals are Not Enough

External Conformity to the Law of God is NOT enough. A wealthy man once approached the Son of God and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17). Jesus answered and said, in essence, "if you would enter life, then keep the commandments" (Matt 19:17). The problem with the rigorous law-keepers of that day, and cultural fundamentalists in our own day and age is that they (and we) focus on the externals ALONE . The problem with the wealthy man was that there was a serious malady in his heart. He lacked one thing. What was it? In essence, the attachment of that one man to his possessions needed to be replaced by an attachment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Could this be said of you and me? We must understand that if we want to keep externals, then the standard of the law is perfection - and nothing less (cf. Matt 5:48). Jesus does not and will not ever lower that standard. So how does Jesus solve that dilemma if we as humans cannot keep that

Do we lead with love?

Alexander Strauch in his book "Leading with Love" has some good quotes that are worthy of mention: Strauch quotes Jonathan Edwards who once said, "[God] delights in little things when they spring from sincere love to himself. A cup of cold water given to a disciple in sincere love is worth more in God's sight than all one's goods given to feed the poor, yea, than the wealth of a kingdom given away, or a body offered up in the flames, without love" (p.15). Strauch continues by saying, "Since love is absolutely essential to the survival of the local church, its leaders must guard their own heartfelt love for Christ and continually monitor and encourage the church's love" (p.23). So how are we doing?

Favorite Dessert

Tonight, I (once again) had Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner. It was a feast. I feel like I've eaten just as much food the past four nights as I had for the Thanksgiving Day dinner! In any case, tonight after my turkey, sweet potatoes and dressing, I had this absolutely fabulous pumpkin cheesecake. I don't know where it came from or who made it (or bought it from someplace), but it was excellent. This leads me to my favorite dessert place in all of L.A. If I could have dessert at just ONE place, I would (no doubt, no hesitation, no second guessing) go to the Cheesecake Factory and have a piece of their cheesecake. A Few of my favorites are: Dulce De Leche Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Peanut Butter One word sums it up: delightful.

Because I'm Young?

My verse while working in a leadership sort of position at Christ Community Church is this: 1 Timothy 4:12 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Because I am a young guy on staff, I need to constantly remind myself of this verse. I am in a similar position to young Timothy - whom Paul wrote this letter to. Paul commanded Timothy to be a man and to be an example (a tupos ); literally, a type for the believers there in Ephesus. Furthermore, the context of this verse is worthy of mention: 1 Timothy 4:13-16 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yo

Hebrews 9 and 10

This is a must watch here . Special thanks to Todd and Bob for making this post known to me. Watch the whole video- it is only 11 minutes. It'll be an encouragement to you.

Biblical Discernment

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. The Sacred vs. Secular is an ever-present schism in the Christian community today. It is - let me say - a false dichotomy. There is nothing that is secular that can be divorced from something else that is sacred. We were saved out of the world when we were saved, but we were left in it. It is our responsibility as NT believers to neglect this ideology that everything that I do in life is secular except for my religious activities . I am convinced that this philosophy is not honoring to the Lord. If I say that I have to drop a class because my life is too busy with ministry activities - bible study, youth group, worship band practice, youth retreats, small groups, accountability groups and my personal bible study time - then I have completely categorized all of these activities in a spiritual sphere while everything else is left in the secular sphere. Do

Askew View of Marriage

In an article today posted here entitled "Woman Tells of Forced Marriage at Polygamist Hearing," it reads: ST. GEORGE, Utah (Nov. 21) - A woman who says she was forced to marry her cousin when she was 14 told a judge Tuesday that she sometimes used sex to get favors from her husband, such as money and the freedom to see friends. And more, I would just try to be a willing, submissive wife so that he would feel good about letting me do these things and have these things," the woman, now 20, testified under cross-examination...Jeffs, 50, is charged with two counts of rape as an accomplice for his suspected role in arranging the marriage between her and her 19-year-old first cousin. The woman was testifying at a hearing for the judge to decide whether there is probable cause to send Jeffs to trial. Finally the wife said, The ceremony at a Nevada motel in 2001 was "one of the most painful things I've ever been through. I just want to move on with my life and forget i

Apologizing for the Bible?

Last night I was at the University of Judaism here in L.A. for a Lecture. Avi Faust was the lecturer on the topic of Biblical Archaeology, the prophets of Israel, and the poor. It was a good lecture, but I was floored when I heard something that the introductory speaker said. Before Avi came up to lecture, a man recapped what last week's lecture, talked about next week, and then gave some background information of Avi. Then the introductory speaker read a Scripture from the OT on loving the poor, fatherless and widow and then he quoted a verse from the "Christian Bible" (or the NT) about loving your enemies and when Jesus said that the "poor you will always have with you." Then just as he introduced Avi to speak, he concluded his introduction by saying, "Please forgive me for quoting either from the Hebrew Bible or from the Christian Bible." What? Are you serious? Is this man apologizing for the Bible? Is he ashamed? Does he think the Bible will offe

The Infinite and the Finite

Thou Great I AM , Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at the thought of a Being with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, A mighty God who, amidst the lapse of worlds, and the revolutions of empires, feels no variableness, but is glorious in immortality. May I rejoice that, while men die, the Lord lives; that, while all creatures are broken reeds, empty cisterns, fading flowers, withering grass, he is the rock of ages, the fountain of living waters. Turn my heart from vanity, from dissatisfactions, from uncertainties of the present state, to an eternal interest in Christ. Let me remember that life is short and unforeseen, and is only an opportunity for usefulness; Give me a holy avarice to redeem the time, to awake a

Your Philosophy of Ministry

Do YOU have a philosophy of ministry? This is of utmost importance in the local church. Do you even know your church's philosophy of ministry? Every church (and ministry) is in desperate need for a philosophy of ministry because it will help keep the main thing the main thing. Paul says in 1 Cor 9:26, “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.” He understands the necessity of running with an aim or a purpose in mind. If you aim at nothing, you will surely hit it. The necessity of the philosophy of ministry is crucial. If the church does not have a purpose or a goal, and especially a means of attaining and reaching those goals, then it is probable that the church will become sidetracked with other issues that will either divert from the correct path or slow down the process of attaining the goal. A philosophy of ministry will keep the ministry focused on the core elements of the church and it will determine the respective pros an

We Flew

Literally. I have a friend from church who is getting his pilot license and he took Elizabeth and I flying - though it was a surprise to her :=) We went to the El Monte airport (down near Pasadena) and then hopped on a four-seater and flew to Santa Barbara. We walked to the pier, had lunch, played on the beach and then went back to the plane and flew home. It was amazing weather. Here are a few pics capturing the day: We had a sand-castle building contest. Now tell me - honestly - who's castle is better? OR But the best part of the day, I got to spend the whole day with my best friend. We had a blast. We were able to see the glory of God's creation: Psalm 36:5-6 5 Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies. 6 Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God; Thy judgments are like a great deep. O LORD, Thou preservest man and beast.

Hospitality gone old?

Last night Elizabeth invited a professor of ours and his wife over for dinner and I helped her set the table while she did all the hard work in preparing the delicious food :-). It always strikes me when I'm spending time with people over a meal (or whatever) in someone's home as to how wonderful and sweet fellowship really is. Great conversation. Great fellowship. Great stories. Great laughs. Great food. After dinner, we talked for awhile and then played some rounds of "UNO." I hope everyone knows what this card came is. We played guys vs. girls first (and the guys one - of course) and then we played individually (and I won - of course :=) ). As Elizabeth and I were cleaning up after they left, we were talking about how wonderful it is to have people over and enjoy the privilege of serving others by inviting them into my environment. There is something personal, intimate, and vulnerable when we invite others into our territory. Paul knew this and he expressed

Telling the Truth About Truth

This is a must see. Al Mohler has been invited to dialogue with a panel of individuals undertaken by the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine. The issue is entitled, "Visit on Faith: Arrive with one perspective. Leave with many." The webpage is here . May we all be as bold as Mohler is in declaring the truth about the truth to this soceity that is afraid of the truth. The blog has only been up for three days and it already has over 150 comments - most of whom are hostile to the truth - it is worth perusing.

Eternal Security or Not?

I was talking with a friend yesterday and the issue of eternal security came up. My heart has been drawn to the book of 1 John because that is what I have been preaching through the last year at a rehab center. I go to this rehab center to preach, I am not actually in the rehab center :=) ). In any case, we finished the book last week from 1 John 5:13-21 and i was amazed at verse 18. Here is what it says: 1 John 5:18 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him. I am convinced from this verse (and a host of others) that no person can ever, EVER lose their salvation after truly being regenerate. Yes I take a Calvinistic view on eternal security, Lord-ship salvation and the like , but here is the issue: This verse says that "he who was born of God keeps him." Let me make a few observations that may help out: (1) He who was born of God = this is the second member of the triune God, the Lord Jesus