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Showing posts from January, 2010

Early Mornings

I'm sitting here in a recliner thinking of a Matchbox Twenty song…I believe it was titled "3 a.m."  Why? Because, for some reason, I'm awake.  At 3 a.m.  This is not my normal time to be awake.  Typically, I'm sound asleep right now, anticipating an alarm in about 2 hours that will start my day.Instead, I'm in here by the fireplace, considering things.  What things?1.  I'm wondering about the future of the church I lead.  Honestly.  It's not just doubts about the pastor, but questions in general about the future of the way we Americans do church.  It's very challenging to operate a church, especially a smaller one like ours.  It's actually not that we're that small, as we're truly just a little above average size for a Southern Baptist Church.  We're small compared to a few other churches in town, and we're small enough that sometimes things are hard to deal with.Part of the challenge with church is that we American Christians …

Famine in Egypt

I'm listening through the Bible again this year.  I'm following the ESV Chronological plan.  (Here's the link to Justin Taylor's blog with the links to all the podcasts and instructions.)  Something struck me as I was listening to it.  I've often wondered how in the world the people of Egypt were able to store up enough food in the good 7 years to last the bad 7.  I realized as I listened, they didn't.  Take a look:19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”Genesis 47:19 (ESV) and this:24 And at the harvests you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.”Genesis 47:24 (ESV) It wasn't that the famine eliminated all of the food, but rather that the famine …

The State of the Union

No, not the President's speech last night.  I didn't watch it.  Why not? If John Piper can present eternal truth in the excellent manner which he does every Sunday in under an hour, there's no reason to listen to the President politic for more than an hour.  Also, for those of you who think I'm just hating on President Obama, I never watched Presidents Bush (either one) or Clinton during the State of the Union.  Why? It's supposed to be a presentation to Congress about what the President has done for the country, what results he has gotten, and what are his plans for the current situation.  It's been nothing but political grandstanding for years when it is supposed to be about facts and realities.Which comes to my point.  The state of the union I'm thinking about right now is the state of your marriage union.  Whether you have one now or intend to have one in the future, your marriage is something to stop and think about.  If you've got one, it's so…

Revealing the Heart

I'm still reading through the book of Romans.  It's taking a long time, but I think I'm beginning to understand some of what's actually being taught through this book.  Today I was reading Romans 4:13-15, and I realized something.  Let's look at the text and see what's there:13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.Romans 4:13-15 (ESV)(by the way: I use ESV inserted in blog posts these days because the Bible Verse Inserter plug-in for Live Writer is ESV-based.  I still prefer the NASB, personally, but I do like the ESV.)Taking a look at verse 15, I was thinking about the statement "where there is no law there is no transgression" and wondering whether or not i…

Proverbs 27 by Doug

Proverbs 27:1 (NLT) –>Keep your bragging restricted to what you have done, not what you will do.  See the case of many high profile young athletes and their non-existent professional athletic prowess.  Or businessman.  Or preachers.  Or, well, anybody.Proverbs 27:2 (NLT) –>I'm just the most awesome person at this.  On a side though, learn to let others praise you.  There's a line at which it's not humility, it's insulting to your Maker and your encourager.And when you take 1 and 2 together: don't boast about tomorrow, since it's out of your control, and don't praise your own yesterday, let somebody else do it!Proverbs 27:5 (NLT) –>Wisely give this love, but give it! I see it too often, especially in church! Churches claim to love one another, but then keep things hidden, and I've heard one too many pastors express that the first time someone shared the complaints was at the business meeting to fire them.  Don't be cruel, but be open.Proverb…

Political Rantings

Well, I had a big long post written and realized all I was doing was complaining about politics.  A couple of quick thoughts instead:1.  If corporations have rights, including free speech, why don't people?  As in, if a corporation can unlimitedly pour money into politics, why can't nonprofit organizations, including me?  Why don't high school valedictorians?  Why do people fuss about Tim Tebow's speech?2.  If winning the Massachusetts Senate seat was a good thing for the Republican Party, if it's the beginning of a Republican resurgence, do they have a real plan? Yes, the pseudo-socialist agenda of Pelosi/Reed needs to go away.  However, the Saints aren't in the Superbowl simply because of defense.  Although it helped (tremendously) denying the Vikings the ability to score wasn't the only thing.  It took some positive motion.  What's the plan guys?3.  H&R Block wants Congress to do more regulation of tax software and tax preparers.  H&R Block? …

January 24 Sermon Outlines

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Text: Matthew 4:1-11
Theme: Temptation
Date: January 24 2010
Location: CBC Monticello
I.Temptation comes to everyone!
1.It is the result of sin in the world, not just sin in our lives
2.Usually when we have freshly expressed our commitment to walk with Christ or intensified our efforts to obey
3.Usually when we are in a weakened state:
1.Rod Loy of First Assembly in N. Little Rock used the acronym HALT as a reminder:
1.Hungry
2.Angry
3.Lonely
4.Tired
2.These are the times that Temptation comes the strongest
II.Temptation thrives in shortcuts:
1.To Material things: the bread. Whether wants or needs
2.To glory and fame: Jumping off the temple
1.Also to test God//see if He really means what He says
3.To power: The Kingdoms
III.Knowledge of Scripture is the front line of defense to temptation
1.Remember, temptation comes to all of us
2.We must know the text: it is the…

Philippians 1:29-30

29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.Philippians 1:29-30 (ESV)Have you ever read a Scripture passage and tried to convince yourself it was a misprint?  Being someone that believes that the original texts of the Bible were completely correct in saying what God intended for them to say, I don't think there are mistakes in the Bible.  I do think that there could be textual transmission issues and certainly printing errors can exist.So, when I encounter something in the text that I find incredibly odd, I start trying to find a way for it not to be accurate.  This is how I felt about Philippians 1:29-30.  Surely we can't be expected to see suffering as something granted to believers.  That has to be a mistake!Then I have to dial back and recognize this fact: it's not a mistake or a misprint.  The truth is, th…

Book Review: Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

If you ever read my Disclosures!, you'll see that I review books for a couple of companies.  One of them is WaterBrook/Multnomah. What have I gotten from them this time?Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris.  A tendency cycles through the Christian church from time to time to de-emphasize doctrine and focus solely on some of the fluffier themes of Christianity.  Usually it's born out of a combination of many years of doctrinal conflict and a society that is successful in material issues.I think we live in such a time.  I also think Dug Down Deep is a good book for this time.  Why?Joshua Harris has some name recognition for his earlier books related to dating and church membership.  I was in college when I Kissed Dating Goodbye came out and made Harris's name well known among my generation.  If most of the people that read Dating will read this one, the church will be much better off, and so will they. The book is well structured in terms of depth and practicality.  Harris does a …

Changing rules to win

For those of you that don't know it, today the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will elect a Senator to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  They'll go to the polls up there and choose between State Senator Brown and State Attorney General Coakley.What's interesting is how they got to this point in Massachusetts.  No, not Senator Kennedy's brain tumor and death.  Rather, why they're having an election to fill the Senate seat.  You may remember that when Illinois need to fill the seat President Obama had, the Governor appointed his replacement. (no comments for now.)  Each state has the authority to determine how to replace a departed Senator.  Most states allow the governor to appoint one.Massachusetts doesn't do it that way.  They did do it that way, until 2004 when Massachusetts Senator John Kerry ran for President.  Then, Senator Kennedy saw danger that the governor might appoint someone from the governor's party, Elephant, rather than the Senator's p…

Proverbs 19 by Doug

Proverbs 19:1 (NLT) –>Is this why most politicians are rich? Because poor and honest go together, while foolish and dishonest go together?  What do we often offer to trade for being rich?  How often do offer our honesty and wisdom?  STOP IT!Proverbs 19:2 (NLT) –>Take note of this verse, my brethren in the Tea Party movement! My Glenn Beck-loving reader, it's not enough to be zealous, to have enthusiasm.  We need to know what's going on, and that means real evidence, not the conspiracy theory fill-in-the-blank.  Proverbs 19:3 (NLT) –>Hmmm….Proverbs 19:11 (NLT) –>I have my days that I show this verse to be true. Unfortunately, it's by not having good sense.  Learning to trust God to deal with the objects of my anger is challenging.Proverbs 19:13 (NLT) –>Too many justify nagging by saying that at least the dripping will get fixed.  Put this in context---we're not talking dripping pipes! We're talking an unfixable drip.  And we're talking about a lea…

Sermon Audio Podcasts

Sometimes, the daily life of a pastor is filled with all sorts of exciting things.


Sometimes, it's not.


Today's a not-so-exciting day, as I have spent much of the day trying to find a way to make our worship service recordings useful. You see, we tape sermons Sunday mornings and Sunday nights. However, we lack both the extra tapes and duplication equipment to do more than just simply stockpile the cassette tapes. Also, since most people don't even realize we're taping, very few folks ask for tapes. And some people that want to listen don't have tape decks.


Long-term, the deacons and the sound committee are looking at ways to record and duplicate on CD. The first step of that will cost a little over $1,000, and will use our existing sound board and simply replace the tape recorder with a CD record. We'll also try to have the funds to purchase a CD duplicator that will make 5 copies at a time of the services. We'll see how the final costs look and present it to …

Proverbs 17 by Doug

Proverbs 17:1 (NLT) –>Isn't that true! Peace, the presence of good relations, is enough to turn dry crusts into feasts!Proverbs 17:3 (NLT) –>And it won't be a smooth test.  Fire melts and changes the form of silver and gold to demonstrate its purity.  God will not leave us as we are to show ours.Proverbs 17:16 (NLT)->This includes if he's on an athletic scholarship.Proverbs 17:21 (NLT) –>This is true, whether it's your own fault they rebelled or they just went astray.  However, there's no need to rub it in to these parents.  Their sorrow is enough on its own.Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) –>This explains a great many "mysteries" of medicine.  Those with hope somehow seem more likely to recover from certain illnesses.  Some people are just sicker than others, because their hearts are sad.Proverbs 17:26 (NLT) –>Yet we do it anyway.  What does that bode for our future?

Proverbs 16 by Doug

Proverbs 16:2 (NLT)  –>The Lord knows our motives.  We sometimes don't even know, and it's hard for us to know the motives of others.  God knows why you do what you do, so be honest with him about it.Proverbs 16:5 (NLT) –> I like the phrase "rest assured."  It speaks of leaving it alone so that God can handle it instead of us.  It's not my business to punish the proud.  God will.Proverbs 16:11 (NLT) –>Are you sure you're getting away with those shady business deals?  Really sure?Proverbs 16:17 (NLT) –>Away from evil.  Not into the midst of it.Proverbs 16:22 (NLT) –>Discretion---sorely lacking in so many, but to know when to hold back is life-sustaining!!Proverbs 16:27 (NLT) –> Don't hunt the trouble.  It'll be there soon enough.Proverbs 16:31 (NLT) –>Gray hair is something we dye away in our culture.  What does that say about us?Proverbs 16:33 (NLT) –>Life is in the hands of God.  Always.

The whole assembly

Joshua chapters 7 and 8 contain the story of the conquering of the city of Ai.  Interestingly, it's one of the few defeats recorded, and then there is success.I won't focus on Aachan's sin and the fact that one family in sin can derail the whole assembly.  Instead, let's look at Joshua 8:1-2:The Fall of Ai8:1 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. 2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.”Joshua 8:1-2 (ESV) Notice how the Lord commands that all the men go to battle.  If you look at chapter 7 you'll see that the people had originally tried to take the city with just a portion of the army: 3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have…

Book Review: Rediscovering God in America

Before you read to far in this book review, know that I received the book from Booksneeze.  Well, I didn't, really.  I got it from the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program.  It's just been renamed Booksneeze, which is much easier to type.Rediscovering God in AmericaRediscovering God in America by Newt Gingrich, with appropriate credit to Callista Gingrich for the photography work.What do I think of this book?  Well, I think it's really 2 separate works.  So, let's look at each work.The first work is the combined photo layouts of memorials, architecture, and artwork around Washington D.C. and an explanation of the history and meaning of the symbolism behind them.  It's based on a walking tour of D.C., and covers some well-known buildings, like the Washington Monument and the Capitol, and some that I wouldn't have thought of, like the Roosevelt Memorial or the Reagan Building.  Each stop is photographed, and various highlights also well photographed.  The h…

On shared beliefs with morons

First of all, like any human being with feelings, I can't help but be saddened by what has happened in Haiti.  That so many lives can be lost in such short time is tragic.  That the government of Haiti has been in such chaos and turmoil for many years, thus diverting funds that could have made for safer buildings and better infrastructure that would have reduced the calamity is evidence of the unspeakable evil that permeates our world.  Think about it.  With all the complaints in the USA about the situation and response that was the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the death toll in Haiti is at least an order of magnitude bigger than Katrina.And as a note: if you are able, skip a cheeseburger this week and give to help out.  Find a blood drive, pass on some money.  But give smartly: Red Cross Disaster relief, Samaritan's Purse, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, or the ABSC has a link to give.  Give through other organizations that you know! Disasters bring out the extremes in peopl…

Cooperation

This morning I'm head over to the monthly meeting of the Drew County Minister's Association.  Or Ministry Alliance…or something like that.  We tend to just call it DCMA, and I know the DC is for Drew County.  The MA, I'm not so sure.  What is a DCMA? It's a group of ministers from around Drew County.  It's not any one specific denomination, but has Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, and Assembly of God in it.  We do some basic things to help with the needs of transients in town, and put together a few community-wide worship services together.Do we all agree?  Certainly not.  This forum cannot contain the various shades of theological disagreement.  First of all, our separate church groups have standing differences.  There are real divisions between Catholic, Baptist, Assembly, and Presbyterian understandings of Scripture.  If the Methodists had time to be involved, we'd disagree with them too!  A quick glance through the official documents of our churches will…

About Doug

A few comments about me, in case anyone's wondering:1.  My name is Doug. Simple, right?  Seriously, this blog at http://www.doughibbard.com, utilizes my name.  I'm not in any form of business that requires a creative name.2.  I am happily married.  Seriously. Ann and I got married in 1998, and haven't regretted it since.  She's smarter than I am, and a better writer.  She's at http://www.annhibbard.com  She's not the only Ann Hibbard, and you can check that out on her blog under the tab "The Other Ann Hibbard."3.  I have children.  At least 3.  You will occasionally see them mentioned by name, but often I will blur them into anonymity.  I will tell stories about them, because they are part of my life and learning.4.  I am currently a Baptist pastor, specifically in a Southern Baptist Church. This is what I think is my life's calling, at least at the moment.5.  I have no idea if I will ever make money from blogging.  I'm not sure I want to, bec…

Lowered Expectations

Not to complain too much, but the central heat furnace at our house doesn't work quite right.  Yes, I am aware that there are people without central heat.  In the summer, there are people without air conditioning.  However, this house was built with a couple of assumptions.  One of those was that, this being South Arkansas, it wouldn't get that cold.  The other that, when it does get cold, the single source of heat as a forced air furnace would be enough for the whole house.So, what's wrong with my furnace?  Well, Saturday night it just decided not to blow.  Forced air heat works by heating air in a chamber and forcing it out into the house.  The blower motor would not kick on.  So, while the temperature outside dropped into the teens, the temperature inside started the night at 65 and dropped down to 52 by 4 o'clock in the morning.  Ann and I did not sleep well that night.  We'd hear the furnace click, hear the gas burners engage, then something else would click a…

Sermon Outline January 10 PM

This was the outline for the evening service tonight.  Why are we here?

Text: Philippians 1:21-24
Theme: Why am I here?
Date: 1/10/2010 PM
Location: CBC Monticello




21  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22  But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23  But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24  yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

There are certain questions that most people ask. One of these is the classic question of purpose: WHY AM I HERE?


Other religions try to also explain the purpose of life

Buddhism: life is suffering


Hinduism: life is pointless, it's about a return to oneness with nothing


Secularism, the state religion of America: life is an accidental inconvenience



As Christians, we find the answer based on Scripture

One of the main answers is found in the Westminster Catechism:

“ What is the…

Sermon Outline January 10 AM

Here's the Sunday Morning sermon outline.  The main question: Are you willing to celebrate Christmas by surrendering your kingdom for His?

Text: Matthew 2:16-23
Theme: Hating Christmas
Date: 1/10/2010 AM
Location: CBC Monticello





Open: Not all people like Christmas.

Some people don't like the stuff that goes along with the celebration of the holiday


Other people just downright do not like Christmas:

Scrooge: BAH! Humbug.


The celebration of the birth of Christ


The birth of Christ itself




There were people in the actual Christmas story that didn't like Christmas:

Some were apathetic:

The people of Nazareth would have noticed Joseph and Mary return with a baby, but probably didn't make more of a fuss than they would over any other baby


The Egyptians didn't notice the coming of Christ---other than a small group of refugees. Probably an inconvenience, but at least a more customers and taxpayers



Some were downright hostile:

Herod: This was his kingdom, and he wasn't interested in surr…

Reminders of Lessons from Sports

After watching part of the BCS Title game last night between Alabama and Texas, I'm reminded of certain lessons from sports.  And I'm going to remind you of them:1. You cannot build your team around 1 single individual.  It just doesn't work.  Don't believe?  When's the last time the Chicago Bulls were worth following? Even when you have talent of Jordan's caliber, you have to have a team!  For Texas to fall apart on both offense and defense over one player's injury shows that they were not prepared to play as a team, but rather were built as a star with a supporting cast.  And just as a note: had Ingram gotten hurt, Alabama would have shown itself to be just as troubled.  College athletics have, unfortunately, become too much about a school striving to launch a high-profile pro-athlete as playing a team sport.So, the first lesson is leadership development and responsibility sharing, because that's what it takes to not be 1 person dependent.  In your ch…

Proverbs 8 by Doug

Proverbs 8 is similar in style to the previous chapters.  It's not quite the individual sayings that I think of when I think of Proverbs.This is instead Wisdom's invitation.  Chapter 7 saw the warning about the wandering woman, and used adultery as a symbol for foolish behavior. (Adultery, of course, qualifies as foolish behavior.)While I like the daily reading of a chapter of Proverbs, you should still read chapter 8 as a continuation of chapter 7.  Look at the prologue-type opening of chapter 7 where the father is talking about observing  the city streets.  Now, the first thing he sees is Folly and her victim.Chapter 8 is the other woman he sees, and her presence intensifies the tragedy of those that turned to Folly.  It wasn't that there was no alternative.  It wasn't even that the alternative was hard to find or unattractive.  Wisdom was crying out in the streets as well.The warning here is that life's results most often come from the choices we make, not from …