I haven’t done a Friday Video in a while because, frankly, I hadn’t found anything worth putting up. This little gem however combines a few of my favorite things: Punk Covers, Pirates, and Veggie Tales.
I have decided to post an update on my effort to be a suburban missionary. Heather and I have talked at length about having a block party for our neighbors to get to know them all better but expressly to open the door to share the gospel. Well, I am unfortunately one of those people who will sometimes just talk and never do. Well this past weekend we started to do. We invited a few neighbors that we already have contact with and a few we really don’t.
It was a great success. We had 25 people over, two of which we didn’t know (It is really a party when people show up that you don’t know). We were able to really get to know a few of our neighbors that had hadn’t really talked to before.
There was even an opportunity to talk a little about the Gospel but that door wasn’t as open as I wished, but the opportunity is at least there.
I pray God will grant me the wisdom to proclaim the good news of his son to those who don’t know about it, or have been misinformed. I pray opportunities continue to arise so that he may be glorified. Please pray with me.
Through the Bible: Conquers in Christ.
This is the continuation of our trip through the Bible, if you haven’t read any of the previous posts feel free to click the “Through the Bible” category link at the bottom of the post or at the top of that page and take a look. If you want to join us the chronological schedule can be found at the top of the home page. You may notice I am behind currently so don’t feel bad if you are as well just stick with it. It will be worth it.
It is strange how even though I have read the entire bible I can read something almost as if I have never read it before. The text that really stood out to me was from Psalm 44.
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
24Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
26Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!
In reading through the Old Testament we see places where the people turn their backs on God and suffer because of their sins, but in this psalm it is clear that they haven’t forgotten God and yet they are suffering.
More noticeable was Paul’s quotation of this passage in Romans 8:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have often heard that we are conquerors in Christ but often ignored is the concept that if we are conquerors there must be something to conquer. We are not promised a smooth road or a peaceful journey. There is a concept of sanctified affliction that the church has completely lost in our attempts to ‘win the lost’. When we place Christ in the market place of ideas we often pitch it like a sale and look to ‘close the deal’ leaving out anything that may not be appealing.
Notice for who’s sake we are ‘being killed all day long’, for God’s. We are not promised a life of roses, a new car or a ‘best life’ the best life we can hope to live is one that brings glory to God. That may not look like a successful life but it may be your best life, and above all you will conquer through Christ.
Rob Bells Trampoline
In Velvet Elvis Rob Bell discusses Doctrine as the spring on a trampoline. The springs are not the main point; they merely facilitate the greater goal of “us finding our lives in God.” He compares it to looking at doctrine as a brick wall that when bricks are removed simply falls apart. However a trampoline missing a few springs can still be useful.
This analogy falls apart in itself in that when you remove enough springs you no longer have a trampoline but a tarp. However it betrays an understanding of Christianity that is becoming more invasive as this “emergent” line of thinking expands. Christianity, unlike other religions, isn’t based on a system of living; if you do more good than bad you will be accepted by God. It is based on the premise that our very nature is abhorrent to a perfect God and we can by no means please him. In fact we don’t even know enough to pursue him or look for him save for his provision of grace. Christianity isn’t simply a better way to live, which has lead non believers to the idea of “That may work for you but not for me or others.” Christianity isn’t subjective in its claims, the first century church was called to testify and bear witness of Christ’s resurrection, as historical fact.
There are certain dogma’s of the faith (the proper definition of dogma is to mean those things which can not be compromised not the negative connotation it has taken on) which we can not allow to be compromised for to do so would bring a halt to our Lords work.
Things like the resurrection must stand lest all of Christianity be destroyed, for even the apostle Paul said “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men….If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
‘Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.'”
If Christ is not raised we are left with nothing but a human invention of morality by which to live.
Christianity is different because the LORD not only requires perfection which we can not obtain but then provides the mean by which it is imputed to us by his grace and not by our own means, otherwise we would still be lost. Not other religion is one of grace and destroying the solid brick foundation of those dogmas destroys the Christian faith. I don’t think I am looking to bounce so much as I am looking for a ROCK upon which to build my house.
To be clear I am not opposed to examining other aspects of how we do things as Christians, I believe methodology is always up to examination and change as we adjust to the culture. However we can not compromise out doctrine in the process.
Photograph: Virgil Vaduva
This is another in the “Through the Bible series.” These posts are thing I have noticed and appreciated as I read through the Bible in Chronological order.I have fallen behind but continue to read in order to get caught up.
This week I have begun reading about David’s flight from Saul and all of the things he did to escape his king. I believe it was whynot42 who first pointed out that reading the psalms along side the narrative brings a great new light to the psalms. I have just read psalms David penned while on the run, and although I have read them before actually knowing that “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident,” isn’t merely an example or a hyperbole. David was facing an army as he fled, and yet he had confidence in the LORD.
21 Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
22I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help. (Ps 31:21-22)
I may not have known before that this city was not a metaphorical city but the city of Keilah. (1 Sam 23) This reminds me of taking a tour of Gettysburg when I was in school, although I had read about all of the battles that had taken place there, it wasn’t until I stood on the field where Pickett’s charge took place that it really came to life for me. Although I am not standing in that city, I can make the connection between the Psalms and the historical events, and the Word of God becomes that much more alive.
Lastly, the intro to Psalm 34 says “Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away,” but I don’t know if I would have put it together before. (1 Sam 21)
Have you ever had a moment where God completely pulls your butt out of the fire? A situation where you are not going to make it if God doesn’t pull through? Do you remember the feeling of exhilaration when God answered your prayers? This is the pure adrenaline that David is expressing, not simply a side thought but an in the moment praise of the LORD. I, for one, am so glad to be reading the Bible in this order as it is given me fresh insight on passages that had sadly become trite.
- I recently passed by a Speedway gas station and saw a sign for shockwave extra caffeinated coffee. I can’t help but wonder when the first American’s heart is going to explode from these “energy” drinks, if it hasn’t happened already.
- And while we are talking about signs, I pass a church every day that has one of those cheap movable letter signs and this week it said “Satan is a nerd.” I resent being grouped with Satan and I am sure all the rest of the nerds do as well.
- I have had many people tell me “Even if Christ never lived” I would still live a Christian (although I suppose it would have to be renamed) life because it is the best way to live. I just realized that is the opposite of Paul’s way of thinking: “If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.” I Cor. 15:32
- It is annoying when you try to do the right thing and people treat you like you are crazy. I happen to know that I was undercharged at our café and I told the cashier so, she looked at me very strangely.
- Why are basic economic reasons not good enough for some people? We have to demonize someone because the price of gasoline is going up. Could it just be that India and China are using more so demand is going up? And if we are going to demonize someone why not our government who have continually stopped all efforts to drill in our country for more oil and stopped efforts to build more refineries which we need.
- I am still wondering how long until the price of energy really begins to change our lifestyles and what it will look like. Zoning will have to change into smaller towns as less people are willing to drive 30 miles to shop. I believe schools and churches will need to be distributed for the same reasons.
As I said before I have fallen behind with the addition of our new little girl and my own lack of discipline, but I am determined to continue to read. I am almost exactly one month behind the schedule so I am starting in on the April 8th reading of 1 Samuel.
It was Monday night, I was recovering from a stomach bug and Heather was a tired as ever. We went for a walk around the neighborhood and Heather’s contractions were coming at about 5 minute intervals. However, as soon as we returned to the house the contractions stopped. They started again the evening and we sat and debated on if we should go to the hospital. After calling our friends to let them know we would be bringing Alora over, the contractions stopped. We called our friend again to say we were going to sleep on it and go in the morning, (keep in mind this is 11:30 at night). So, Heather took a Tylenol PM to help her sleep.
We had just read the book of James at church last week and we decided to pray for wisdom like it says wisdom to know when to go to the hospital. It was then that Heather started feeling something strange, it felt like the baby was having a seizure; it was actually very scary and no more than 10 minutes after we prayed Heather’s water broke.
The Labor was much easier than last time; Heather took the epidural as soon as she could so we were able to sleep a little. When she finally arrived the cord was lightly wrapped around her neck, we assume from the turning she did to move from breech to normal birth but it didn’t cause any adverse affects and for that we are very grateful.
Well, I have fallen far behind in my reading; I haven’t disciplined myself to have a scheduled time to read. I tried my lunch break but it is too easy to get pulled into meetings or to generally get distracted.