Tuesday, June 29, 2010

UPS invented a Teleporter!

 

Here's a screen capture of an Amazon.com order I placed.  If you look at the details, you'll see my package Departure scanned Lexington, Kentucky at 4:58 this morning.  It then arrived in Little Rock at 4:59.  As UPS has obviously therefore created a teleportation device that takes approximately 1 minute to work, I'd highly recommend you invest in this new technology!

And yes, I'm jealous because when I worked there, no one told me that the company had teleporters.  I would have stayed and become a teleporter expert.

Dougimage

Sunday, June 27 Services

Text: Matthew 12:22-37

Theme: Judgment

Date: June 20, 2010 AM

Location: CBC Monticello

  1. United

    1. The Kingdom of God has a singular focus

    2. Do you? If we do not, then we are working against the Kingdom

  2. Forgiven

    1. Unforgivable: to blaspheme the Spirit:

      1. How? I want to avoid this, really.

      2. Do not ignore the Spirit as if He is not God

      3. Listen to the conviction: of sin, of need for salvation

    2. Forgivable: anything else

      1. Including insulting the Son of God

      2. Not an exhaustive list

      3. Rather a “this really awful thing is forgivable so everything else is too”

  3. Visible

    1. Hypocrisy shows un—Kingdom involvement

    2. Visible evil shows against the Kingdom

    3. Make it all good

    4. Words: the things we speak

    5. Words and deeds go hand in hand

    6. It will be obvious by your words and deeds

    7. This is how you will judged:

      1. That your life has been Christ's or not:

      2. Your words will be evidence.

 

 

Evening Sermon Outline:

Text: Philippians 4:4-7

Theme: Rejoice when?

Date: June 6 2010 PM

Location: CBC Monticello

  1. We are here commanded to rejoice always.

    1. It's not given optionally

    2. It is a command

  2. I cannot rejoice always

    1. Life is not always good

    2. Life is not always fair

    3. Life is not always joyful

  3. Paul gives us how to know how to rejoice always:

    1. The Lord is near.

      1. This is the key to all of these commands

      2. We have not been abandoned

      3. The Lord is near:

        1. He knows who does what

        2. He knows where we are

        3. He knows when we'll need to go

  4. So, we can:

    1. Rejoice in all things:

      1. Jesus Christ, who died for me, is near

      2. I can, therefore, rejoice in His nearness if nothing else

    2. Have a gentle spirit

      1. Jesus Christ, who died for me, is near

      2. I can, therefore, be gentle and follow His example of gentleness

    3. Not be anxious

      1. Jesus Christ, who died for me, is near

      2. I can, therefore, rest unanxiously in His care

    4. Have my heart guarded by peace

      1. Jesus Christ, who died for me, is near

      2. I can, therefore, trust that I am guarded by His peace

  5. The joyous life is not based in the surface of our circumstances

  6. Neither is it in our ignoring those circumstances

  7. Joy is found because of the underlying truth:

    1. THE LORD IS NEAR!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: The Portable Patriot

As we start towards Sunday's observance of Independence Day here in the United States, it's the perfect time to remember where we've come from as a nation.  We should be stopping to remember what price was paid for our freedom, and what we struggled with to reach the point of our freedom.

Into this situation comes The Portable Patriot, compiled and edited by Joel J. Miller and Kristen Parrish.

The Portable Patriot: Documents, Speeches, and Sermons That Compose the American Soul

This is the second book I've read with Joel Miller as an author.  The first, The Revolutionary Paul Revere, is also available from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Revolutionary Paul Revere

Both books show Miller's passion for the Founding Era of the United States.  It's not an entirely bad passion.

Now, to The Portable Patriot.  A few things about this review:

1.  I'm not about to criticize most of the content of this book.  While I may have my agitation with various interpretations of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, I'm not feeling qualified today to critique the Founding Fathers.

2.  This is a Booksneeze Book Review.  The book was free in exchange for the review.  Most bloggers can get free ones.

3.  My personal knowledge of the Founding Era isn't adequate to tell what documents Miller and Parrish chose to leave out of this collection.  There were, certainly, documents that were left out.

Onto the review:

I enjoyed the book.  First of all, the subtitle is this: "Documents, Speeches, and Sermons that Compose the American Soul."  As a pastor, I'm pleased to see "Sermons" included.  The founding of America came not just through political action but also through the work of preachers to encourage the people to freedom.  So, that was a positive to me.

The documents start with the Mayflower Compact, and concludes with Noah Webster's observations on the 26th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  The only documents that date from later than Webster's speech in 1802 are the Amendments to the US Constitution that date since that time.

Each document is briefly introduced to provide historical context.  These explanations are given factually rather than containing commentary, which is a strength for this work.

The commentary from the editors is expressed in the Introduction and the Afterword.  This is a good place for it.  It allows the reader to first be aware of the religious and political leanings of the authors, and to see and understand what perspective is being presented. 

The book is a hardcover, slightly less than 5x7.  The binding seems like it will hold up well over multiple readings.  I'd highly recommend this book. 

 

Remember to read Disclosures! to see how much I was paid to do this (nothing) or how much Booksneeze influenced the review (not-at-all.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Calling out the followers

Now, this is not a theological post, although there are many ways that title could be used for that!

No, this is a little more personal, and much more light and fluffy.  Ever since we started blogging, Ann and I have both used Statcounter to measure blog traffic.  We also have Google Analytics, but Statcounter responds quicker, even if there are things you can't do with it.  Since all we're really interested in is a visitor count, and that just for fun, it doesn't much matter.

However, one of the fun things Statcounter does is provide visitor paths, which shows, in a general sense, where a visit came from.  For example, if you access my blog from a computer at University of Arkansas, it tells that I had a visit from a computer on the UA network.  Maybe someone could ultimately track down where, but I can't.  And I don't have any real interest in doing so.  If you want to be anonymous, be anonymous.

We have, though, noticed some interesting locations that reveal returning visits.  So, we're curious who you are, and what keeps you coming back.  This is evident on our family blog, Ann's Blog, and my blog.  Additionally, we see growing numbers on feedburner.  Well, Ann does.  Mine are stable.  And lower.  Feedburner is what sends the blog to your RSS reader, like Google Reader or Outlook.

We did realize, though, that we do the same thing.  There are blogs I read nearly every day.  Some of them are big traffic blogs that are hardly curious about the Monticello visitor, but others might want to know.  So, we're going to try to make a comment on every blog we visit in the next 48 hours, including actually clicking through the RSS feed.  We might skip those of you who know we read you: Aaron and Joanna, Jeff, and anyone who doesn't have a comment structure, like Emil Turner

Would you do us a favor and do the same here?  If you regularly read this blog, leave a name or pseudonym, a general location, and anything else.  Like a helpful hint.  Or an Amazon.com gift card code for $1000.

Thanks for helping us satisfy our curiosity. 

Doug

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1 Peter 1:2

Reams of paper and digital ink have been spilled over the words at the end of 1 Peter 1:1 and the beginning of 1:2.  There's even been blood, unfortunately, spilled over this:

Who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.  1 Peter 1:1-2

 

Now, what's the problem?  Well, the problem comes in the "chosen" part.  We as people like to believe we're in control of our lives, that we're ultimately in charge of our own destiny.

Yet, how does this reconcile with being "chosen?"  I, for one, cannot fully answer you.  I firmly believe that God is more capable of ruling the universe than I am.  So, we'll pass on that.  It represents one of the pitfalls in Biblical study: you can bog yourself down trying to solve one argument and miss reading and doing what you can actually understand.

So, let's take a look at the rest:

1.  The foreknowledge of God the Father: this is God as we understand we are to pray to.  Without His foreknowledge, our prayers would be fairly useless.  If He has all resources, but not foreknowledge, where might that leave us? With a God who will be glad to do something about your problem, once He's had a chance to adjust to it.  Rather, God's foreknowledge means that He is able to supply what we truly need when we truly need it.  Now, you and I both know neither of us truly need that new Corvette.  Need.

2.  The sanctification of the Holy Spirit: we are being made holy by the power of God.  It is not something we can do by ourselves or for ourselves.  It must be done in us by God Almighty.

3.  To obey Jesus Christ: this is our responsibility.  We cannot make ourselves holy.  We can, however, obey Christ and His commands.  That is our responsibility.  Let God do the rest.

 

What ways do we get bogged down on arguments when we could be obedient?

 

Doug

Monday, June 21, 2010

1 Peter 1:1-2

Continuing an intended long look through 1 Peter, I'm still in verse 1.  Yep.  3 weeks, and I'm still commenting on the first verse.  I've read more, but I'm still here.  Partly because the SBC had a negative impact on my blogging time.  Well, the SBC and the 16-hour road trip to get there.  So, 1 Peter 1:1-2:

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen

2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and besprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Three words stood out to me:

1.  Reside: I started thinking of the time I spent living "in residence" in college. The train of thought moved on to that time in medical school called "residency."  Both evoke the idea of someone living, working, and studying in a place not their home.  That their is a defined time and purpose that one is somewhere, and when it is completed, you go home.  Not a return to your home of origin, but your home of destination.  Home for me is no longer where I left to attend college, rather it's where I am.

2.  Scattered:  First thought: hash browns at the Waffle House.  Seriously.  Then, on to spices and seasonings in food.  Perhaps propaganda agents in enemy territory or lights across a field.  Scattered: you can have your hash browns at Waffle House scattered, instead of in the big greasy mass they are cooked in.  This allows for flavors to be added, and for the grease to subside (not much, but just enough).  Meanwhile, you scattered salt across fries, but you don't eat it straight up (at least you shouldn't).  If you sought to spread the truth of God's love (or even a lesser truth) into North Korea, you'd spread out your people, and it takes less power to light a room from multiple sources than to cluster the light in one place.  Scattering may distance us from those who are like minded, but it gives us more impact.  And, like the hash browns, it opens us up to receive flavor and impact from other sources.

3.  Chosen:  We are chosen in Christ.  We'll not hash and rehash all the ins-and-outs of Calvinism and predestination.  Suffice it to say that here in Scripture is an expression that followers of Christ are chosen by God.  Recognize that there exist other Scriptures that explain this choice is consistent with justice and the free agency of man.  The point is this: I've been selected to do something.  It is not my place to argue my own qualifications or abilities.  If I were incompetent for the task, I would not have been chosen to do it.  If I were not being made capable, I would not have been chosen to do it. (note, I'll not use "elected" here.  We elect incompetent people all the time in America.)  Now, am I able on my own?  Nonsense.  I'm able by the power of Christ.

 

Now, we're residing, scattered, and chosen.  What are we doing about it?

 

Doug

Sermons—June 20th

No outlines---both were hand-scrawled.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Promises that shouldn't have been made

The following is a basic synopsis of a paper I wrote for a Spiritual Formation class I took through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  I was, for a time, a student in their Semlink program, which I highly recommend for anyone pursuing graduate theological education.  Even if you intend to residence and graduate elsewhere, take 20-30 hours from GCTS.  Make sure most of it will transfer, but the added viewpoint will be of great value.  Especially for us Baptists---get a little bit from outside. 

Anyway, the paper had to do with a case study book we were using for the course.  The book featured various cases of situations that ministers were facing, whether personal or professional.  Many of them dealt with the crisis that happens when those two collide.  I selected a case study dealing with a minister that had gone through a divorce, and had been vaguely promised re-instatement of his ministry credentials after a certain time.

The minister, and the study called him "Pete," had stepped away from ministry after his divorce, and had been given certain steps he had to follow to be reinstated.  These were prescribed by his denominational supervisors.  (See why Baptists need to look outside a bit?  Most Baptist preachers will have nightmares about their Associational Missionary being able to suspend their ordination!)  At the end of the steps, done throughout 3 years, Pete was supposed to be eligible to receive his ordination back and be allowed to seek a place of ministry within the same group of churches.  The case study ended with Pete sitting outside the closed door meeting that was deciding if he should receive his credentials back and be allowed to return to ministry.

I had to answer whether Pete should be reinstated.  Why I felt that way.  What went wrong with the situation, how to handle it now, and how to prevent it.  This was, naturally, a challenge to deep South Southern Baptist.  Why?

We, typically, don't hold with divorced and remarried men in the pastorate.  Especially when the divorce happened while they were pastoring.  We're so certain of this that our seminaries are very hesitant to admit divorced students, and the one I intend just won't.  Not will maybe sometimes, will not.  At all.  And I agree with this viewpoint.  I think that the simple, plain reading of 1 Timothy and Titus give support to the viewpoint, and that the Lord Jesus Christ also had strong words prohibiting divorce.  I think that in modern American culture, with our convenient marriages and more convenient divorces, we should, as Christian ministers, marry in obedience to the Word and stay married in obedience to that Word, while behaving in marriage according to the Word.

So, naturally, my first thought is that Pete shouldn't be reinstated.  Pete's not qualified for the ministry.  He's not disqualified from the Kingdom, just from the pulpit.

Yet this was about more than Pete.  This was about a council of ministers and their word.  They told Pete he could preach again, even with the divorce.  They gave their word.  They shouldn't have done so.  The pulpit, the preaching of the Word, is not man's to give or take.  It is God's to give, and God's to take.  Man may be used by God to hold the people in the pulpit accountable, but the authority comes from the Word, not from anyone's preferences.  A minister that violates God's Word should be held accountable by God's people and removed.  A minister that isn't as exciting as you'd like or doesn't tickle your ears isn't yours to remove.  It's a line, not so fine of one as some would make it.

But they gave their word.  It doesn't matter if they actually "promised" or "vowed."  We're not supposed to be promising people, rather we are to be people of the promise, and people whose yes means yes and no means no.

The people of Israel, in Joshua 9, did the same thing.  They promised peace to the Gibeonites, though God had told them not to make peace with the people of the land.  Yet their promise was binding.  It was binding before God and man, whether it should have been made or not.

Likewise, I felt the district council had to reinstate Pete.  They had given their word.  Now, I think Pete should have disqualified himself from preaching roles, though probably not support roles, but that wasn't the point.  Though the promise shouldn't have been made, it should be kept.

Why bring this up?  Last week at the SBC, we had a discussion about promises that were made by a committee of the convention.  They promised to keep secrets related to their work.  As a result, they made some suggestions regarding changes in the SBC, and I believe more changes will come from this opening round.  Yet this group will not share any of the information that went into their processes, based on the promises they made.  An effort was made to compel the information, which I felt was ill-guided.  True, the promises should never have been made.  We're a convention of independent churches, and to ask pastors their opinions of denominational structure should have been risk-free, as no one in the structure can do anything to retaliate.  All of the agency heads that were affected by the change had already announced their intended departure. 

However, a promise was made to certain people.  It therefore became necessary to be a promise kept.  However, in an attempt to bridge the gap, I made an effort to moderate both positions, suggesting that the information be reviewed by 2 members of the committee and outside legal counsel (because attorneys can generally keep secrets, what with the threat of disbarment and all), and what was not promised as privileged be released.  This attempt failed.  The attempt to compel all the information failed as well.

The problem comes in that, when promises are made, there are sometimes tough decisions about keeping those promises.  Whether they should have been made or not, as God's people we've got to honor our word.  However, we must learn that, in the process, it may cost us and others dearly.  In Pete's case, I think the cost is the credibility of the pastorate and the denomination.  In Joshua's case, the Israelites had to fight a war to defend the Gibeonites, then some of Saul's offspring died because of Saul's attempt to break the promise.  In the case of the SBC, it will depend greatly on how those who made promises act in coming days.  If it is obvious they are not hiding an agenda or anything else, then all will be well.  They are only being people of their word. 

What promises do you make?  How often do you give your word?  Have you thought through the long-term impact of your word?  Anyone willing to share a time that keeping your word caused unintended consequences?

 

Doug

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In Florida

I don't know when this will post, since where I am right now I have no internet access.  But right now, I'm in Florida.  Zellwood, Florida.  You've probably eaten carrots from here.  They're good carrots.

Anyway, I'm on my way to the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, Florida, and it's been a day on the road.  I left home in Monticello, Arkansas, at 5:30.  We got here at midnight.  Thursday we'll do it all over again.  This is not something that qualifies as fun, but it's what I'm doing this week.  Why?

Well, it's not because the SBC is the world's most exciting 2 day business meeting.  It's not because I'm about to crash on the sofa at my grandfather's house and I was just dying to see him.  It's not because I thought it would be a good time for my kids to practice life without daddy around.

Neither is it because I have marvelous contributions to make to the SBC.  It's not because I have a sense of duty that, as a Southern Baptist pastor, I must attend the Convention.  In all honesty, the biggest impact I'll make this week is to hopefully bring some levity to the Credentials Committee which I'm serving on.

So why am I here?  Simple.  People that trust me asked me to be here.  It's not about the business or the process, the fame or the glory.  It's about the relationships.  It's about the people that have developed a relationship with me and I with them.

The result of which is that I will spend 17 hours on the road, sleep in borrowed rooms, and miss my wife for 6 days.  This is the power of relationships on most people.  There are times that people will go extraordinarily out of their way for a process or a cause, but most often, it's for people that people do amazing things.  Usually, it's not the cause, but the people.  It's not the fortune and glory, it's the people.

Are you building relationships that make you want to go out of your way for the things others care about?  Do our churches do this?  Do I?

Think about the power of relationship. Consider the need to change the world.  Put the two together, and then actually do something!

 

It will be amazing.

 

Doug

Friday, June 11, 2010

1 Peter 1:1 Part II

So yesterday we looked at the opening of 1 Peter.  Now, into the verse:

Peter addresses his letter to "those who reside as aliens in " and goes on to list several Roman provinces.  They're all in what is now Turkey, but we'll leave geography for the present time.  Instead, what about residing as aliens?

The first thing that comes to my mind, having been raised in the Star Wars/Star Trek era is, of course, ALIENS!!  You know, critters from another planet.  Whether benign ones like ET or bad ones like the Borg.  Aliens.  Sometimes like Vulcans, sometimes Klingons.  Sometimes Wookiees or Jawas or Gungans or….well, you get the picture.  Hopefully.  If not, go watch Star Wars and take in the cantina scene.  That's aliens.  Watch Star Trek VI and see the clash of cultures.  The fact is that aliens stick out, because they don't belong.  They have their own rules of conduct, manner of dress, and language.  They even have their own dietary requirements!

The next thing about aliens is our current national debate about immigration.  Typically, alien is used in conjunction with illegal, though the term is a legal term for any non-citizen.  People on the right-side (right as opposed to left) are concerned that the flood of aliens causes these problems: they won't live like us, they won't speak our language, and if they keep coming, they will turn our entire nation into one just like their home culture.

Finally, the whole context of alien makes me think of various movie encounters with aliens. Rarely is anyone the same of encountering an alien.  Whether it's Lonestar encountering Yogurt (Spaceballs) or Murtaugh and Riggs encountering the Hongs (Lethal Weapon 4), lives are radically different after the interaction.

So what does that mean for us?

If we are aliens in this world, then the same things should be evident in us:

1.  A different culture: including language, dress, and priorities.  Why should we look just like everyone else and sound like everyone else?  We're supposed to be different. 

2.  A subversive mindset: it ought to be our long-term goal to never assimilate ourselves, but rather to demonstrate by word and deed the value of assimilating to our culture.  Note: the culture of following Christ.  Not American culture.  There's a huge difference that's only getting larger there.

3.  A challenging interaction: people that interact with Christians ought to be able to know that they've been with Christians, and ought to be challenged to become like Christ from the encounter.  Not be annoyed by Christ.  Changed by Christ.  There's a pretty important difference there to!

 

I leave at 5 tomorrow morning for the SBC.  I hope to be back online by Sunday afternoon, but no  promises.  Pray for us.  We in the SBC have the most resources of any Evangelical group (I think) that could be used for the Kingdom of God.  Instead, we spend a lot of it bickering and on personal empire building.  It's got to stop, but this year doesn't look much better.

 

Doug

Thursday, June 10, 2010

1 Peter 1:1

Ok, I'm going to try and take a different angle on the blog for a few weeks.  I've started reading through 1 Peter and I'm going to focus on sharing my thoughts about it.  There may be a few comments about life in general, but I'm wanting to stay focused.  Why?

Well, let's look at 1 Peter 1:1 to start with: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,"  and then he goes on to address the specific audience. I'll touch on that in a different post.

Peter had a great many things he could have worried about.  The Roman Empire wasn't exactly godly.  There were problems among churches and church leaders.  There were economic issues and other problems.

Yet he identifies himself first and foremost as "an apostle of Jesus Christ."  I want to be more like that.  I have allowed myself to spend a lot of time catching up and trying to stay current on SBC issues, American Christianity issues, and politics.

And I'm tired.  Really.  It's been too much of a distraction from what's important.  And I'm not convincing anyone, am I?  Not likely.  So, I want to focus on what matters most: being a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Will I refrain from all political, social, or conventional commentary?  No way.  There are things that we need to deal with in our lives, both individually and corporately.

Rather, I'm wanting to look to the Word of God first, then come to the blog.  It will make for better days for me, and make me a better person.  Hopefully that means a better blog reading experience for you, my faithful reader. 

Thanks for reading!

 

Doug

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 6, 2010 Sermons

 

Text: Matthew 11:25-28

Theme: Weight

Date: June 6, 2010 AM

Location: CBC Monticello

  1. Every where we look, we see tired people

    1. They are burdened by life

    2. They try to ease their burdens the wrong ways:

      1. Drugs

      2. Alcohol

      3. Gambling

      4. Sex

      5. Bad relationships

  2. Ways we misunderstand this

    1. We don't have to do anything

    2. God won't put more on us than we can bear

    3. That we work for God but not with Him

  3. What it means

    1. There is effort to following Christ

    2. There is Never Solo Effort

  4. What we should do

    1. Our weariness shows that we are not working with Christ

      1. Typically by attempting to bear burdens He hasn't given us

      2. By not following His commands

    2. Come to Him, let Him give us rest

    3. Carry what He expects, and nothing else

  5. Being yoked with Christ allows us:

    1. Rest

    2. Guidance

    3. Meaningful work

 

I didn't preach my outline for Sunday night---changed sermons and scribbled notes between 6 and 6:30, so there's audio but no outline.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Review: The Last Christian

Confession time:  This book review was due last week.  I failed to deliver.  Why?  I have no idea.  It's on my to-do list.  It just didn't get to-done.

If you'll read Disclosures! you'll discover all the truth about me and book reviews.  This one is from WaterBrook/Multnomah's Blogging for Books program.  Good times.  Free books.

 

The Last Christian: A Novel

A few weeks ago I read The Last Christian: A Novel by David Gregory.  It was a good read, although I didn't find it quite the gripping page-turner a few others have.  If you'll click the title above, you'll hit the description page including a link to download the first chapter of the book, which will be a good tease for you if you're interested. 

What's to like in this book?  Well, you've got adventure, in terms of people hiding from evil businessmen bent on ruling the world.  You've got intrigue, with businessmen and politicians in secret alliances.  You've got romance between major characters, and family dynamics, both good and bad.

The action moves well, with a few surprising twists.  There are enough moments that what I expected to happen didn't happen to keep me guessing until near the end, but there were no major shockers.

I had a few difficulties with this book.  The first was the depiction of Christians and their behavior.  Neither the protagonist nor the Christians depicted in flashbacks were good representations of Christianity.  In fact, one of the major characters of the book remembered his father's version of Christianity, which was described in detail, while there are no details given of a Christian that is not either rabidly fundamentalist or over-sheltered from life.  A more balanced depiction would have been nice, but it seems the author wanted to depict the reason Christianity died out to be the fault of those two extremes.

The other difficulty was the premise.  The basic description, even the title, indicates there is no Christianity left in America, yet part of the moral issue raised with the silicon brains is that people are losing their connection with God.  If there are no Christians, there is no connection to lose with God.  I found that a plot hole I couldn't quite escape.

In all, not a bad read.  It's good look down a possible future.  As a summer reading paperback, not a bad expense. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Two Weeks Later

Well, it's been 2 weeks since I've written a blog post.  A couple of things happened in those 2 weeks, and I'm going to comment on them both.

1.) The world failed to come to an end due to my lack of blogging.  I received no emails clamoring for me to restart my blogging, neither did any major religious or political figures call me to seek advice, since it wasn't forthcoming on the internet.

Neither did any of the issues that I thought had been thoroughly settled, since I had blogged the exact right answers in the past few years, go away.  There's still much digital ink being spilled over politics, taxes, Baptist life, and the upcoming end of civilization as we know it.  (It's true.  This fall.)

2.)  I realized that I missed writing.  I recognize that I don't write well, and the numbers don't lie that I'm not reaching a huge audience.  However, I enjoy typing out my little thoughts and ideas.  I find it somewhat satisfying to read rebukes of bloggers and realize that I might be one of the ones rebuked.  Except that most of the people that read my blog already agree with me.

The benefit I've missed has been the rabbit-chasing fun of blog-dom.  I'm trying to do less of that in sermons, in hopes of getting actually to the point.  However, the past two weeks have simply resulted in this:

IMG00089-20100531-0855

a lazy bunny. 

So, I'll fire back into blogging and keeping the rabbits from laying about so much.

 

With that, here's Sunday morning's sermon outline:

Text: Matthew 11:20-24

Theme: Woe is.....us!

Date: May 30 2010 AM

Location:

  1. 1322470

  2. The text:

    1. The Lord, the Righteous Judge starts pronouncing “woe” upon cities

    2. There are woes in the Old Testament:

      1. Woes when the Israelites lose the ark in 1 Samuel, and woes when the Philistines have it!

      2. Woes pronounced by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Amos, and other prophets

    3. When “woe” is pronounced in Rev, you get plagues of locusts

    4. Woe means that judgment is coming: Serious Judgment

    5. The cities mentioned have seen great miracles

      1. They are in Galilee, where Jesus' early ministry is concentrated

      2. Bethsaida saw: the blind see, the 5000 fed (And that was a crowd that was going to forcibly make Jesus king!!!)

      3. Capernaum: the centurion's servant healed, where Jesus first called the disciples\

    6. These cities are told that Tyre and Sidon would have repented, that they will receive more mercy in the day of judgment

    7. Capernaum is told that Sodom would have repented! That Sodom will receive more tolerance than they will.

  3. The implications:

    1. Christ had made great efforts to reach these people

    2. They had received miracles others had not

    3. They received the Word when others did not

    4. They willfully rejected the Word

  4. The modern:

    1. At a minimum, God has provided our freedom in this Country

    2. What might God say today?

    3. Perhaps “Woe to you, Paris, for had 40,000 died to liberate Beijing, they would have never turned from following Christ. Woe to you, Berlin, for had 25 million died to free Indonesia, there would be obedience to Jesus there.”

    4. Perhaps “Woe to you, Washington, for had 25,000 died to bring freedom to Tehran, they would have used it to worship the Lord God Almighty. Woe to you, New York, for when 38,000 died to keep Seoul free, they have remained committed to Me. Woe to you, Monticello, that 1.4 million have died that you may freely worship, pray, and preach, and you don't.

  5. Do we have to choose the woe? No. Why should we?

 

Worship Service Recaps for May 17

We’ve done another week of worship-via-Internet-connectivity. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this to be over. That covers Sunday ...