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Showing posts from October, 2010

Sunday, October 31 Sermon Outline

Sunday October 31 Sermon Audio Link is here.Here's the rough outline of today's sermon:Sermon:Text: Romans 1:16-17Title: Reformation DayTheme: Living by FaithLocation: FBC AlmyraDate: 10-31-10 AM16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith .”Illustrate works-based salvation: a never satisfied God, a strict, angry, demanding God. Present the idea of a longing to be right with God, but not able to do so because His demands cannot be met. What are His demands?Be holy, as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16)Be right in heart not just deed (Jeremiah 11:20)Love God with all we have (Mark 12:30)Love is shown in obedience (John 14:15)Righteousness: address concept: righteous is being right before God.Not on man's standard Strictly on God's standard.Faith:…

Fires and responsibility

No, this is not a plug for Smokey Bear, although he's got a good point.  If you're done with a real fire, put it out.Instead, this is what I was contemplating this morning as I released a more greenhouse gases and sequestered carbon through my chimney.  Yesterday, we built our first fire in the fireplace here in Almyra.  It was a bit of a challenge, because the fireplace is huge, and I didn't take the time to split some good kindling.  Overnight, the fire fuel burned up, but there were a few coals left, and I brought in some smaller wood to get started this morning.  I got the fire mostly restarted, and then it seemed to simmer down to just some coals again, but with lots of wood and heat in the fireplace.So I got down in front of the fireplace, took a deep breath, and blew hard right at the hottest part of the wood. The wood burst into flame, and now we've got a good crackling fire in the fireplace.A few thoughts on this:1.  Take the time to prepare the fire properly.…

Book Review: A Year with God

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So, I got my next Booksneeze book for review.  It's a devotional book, a year's worth of reading.  Ann asked if I had to take the whole year before I could review it….we decided not.This book is A Year with God by R.P. Nettlehorst: A Year with GodThe premise of this devotional book is to take the parts of Scripture that are direct quotes of God and present devotional thoughts from those parts.  It's an interesting premise.  While a conservative like myself would find that all of Scripture is God's Word, it is interesting to study the direct quotes.The layout of this book is the traditional yearly devotional layout: each page has a portion of Scripture, and a devotional thought based on that portion.  The table of contents is organized by subject, and the order of the entries is also subject grouped.I'd say this is a strength for the table of contents, but a slight weakness for the book order.  True, I'm nitpicking here, but I would like this book a little b…

A positive happening in Baptist life...

A little over a year ago, a high school football team had traveled from one part of Arkansas to another for an away game. Like many other medium-sized town in Arkansas, Monticello had hotel rooms to stay in, but there wasn't meeting space large enough for 50 or more high school kids and their associated adult chaperones and coaches. Add in that football is a big deal, and there's not going to be much help forthcoming for a visiting team.
Well, one of the adults with this team was also the “unofficial” chaplain of the team. He sent out a message on Twitter that he was looking for a space to meet. That tweet was picked up by one of his friends, who happened to pass the info on to me. At the time, I was pastor of a church in Monticello. In fact, it was the church within rock-throwing distance of the hotel the team was staying at for the game. I made contact back with the team, and offered the use of the youth room in our church for their team to meet in, watch film, and do …

Conventional Wisdom

I'm currently at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, but was remembering a few things from going to Orlando this past summer for the Southern Baptist Convention.  I'm not sure if I ever got around to sharing this tidbit here on the blog, but I'll share it again.I was working at the SBC as a part of the Credentials Committee (there's an explanation for that committee, and it's dull).  As such, I was up front in the registration area when a US Army Major General walks up and asks where he's supposed to be.  This was the Army Chief of Chaplains, a post currently filled by a Southern Baptist Chaplain.  Chaplain (Major General) Carver was there to do the invocation and say a word or two at the service.  He had gotten there perfectly on time, but later than he preferred.  He also wasn't quite sure where to go.Now, I've never had the chance to tell an Army General where to go, so I offered to walk him to the stage area rather than just give directions.  Why…

On the road again

Tonight, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Not because Jonesboro is just the garden spot of Arkansas, nor just so that I can have cable TV to watch Iron Chef America tonight, but I'm here for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.  The past two years I've been at each level of Southern Baptist organization: the local association, the state convention, and the national convention.  The streak will probably end next year in Phoenix, because I just don't see making a 2 day drive to get to a 2 day meeting to drive 2 days back.  While there are some benefits to going, such as some good preaching and the chance to reconnect with the occasional friend, that's just a bit too much.So, what will we do, and why are we in Jonesboro for it?  Well, I'm not sure how many total messengers we'll have.  Last year in Benton I believe we had 777 messengers, which is down from being above 1000 back in the 1990s.  However, the messengers that register will hea…

Above the Law

Right now, I'm reading through Hebrews in the mornings as my personal study.  (I try to make sure I'm reading and learning outside of what I'm preaching.  Right now, that means I need to be reading something in addition to John and Exodus.)  This is what struck me this morning:
For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.  Hebrews 7:18-19The author of Hebrews (Paul, Apollos, Barnabas, Aquila, or Priscilla?) has been comparing the Old Testament covenant with the covenant instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ.  This passage opened up a line of thought which I'd recommend you to consider:

We are not righteous of our own accord.  In fact, all humanity is born with a tendency to sin.  It's like coffee's natural inclination to get cold (and, therefore, nasty), our natural t…

Book Review: Really Woolly Bible Stories

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Book Review: Really Woolly Bible StoriesReally Woolly Bible StoriesYes, I chose to review and light and fluffy book. Well, fluffy at least. Sheep aren't light. Ann and I have been swapping Really Woolly cards and gifts for quite some time, and my daughter has a Really Woolly Bible, although I think that's really just the cover. So, naturally, I thought I'd take a read at the Really Woolly Bible Stories book, since we're kind of fond of those sheep around my house.First observation: this is a board book. There are not very many pages, and not very many stories. However, if you've been in the board book market, you know this, and are not surprised by it.Second: the writing: you've got Bible stories in short, rhymed verse. It's cute. It's not Shakespeare, but why should it be? The writer has kept the Biblical concepts clear and not diluted anything presented. This is a big plus in my accounting. Many children's Bible story books are overly concerned wi…

Catchphrases and mental blocks

For those of you who don't know it, early voting started today here in Arkansas.  It's an opportunity to vote a different day than Election Day, avoid lines, address issues, and have a little more convenience for yourself.  I've done it once, myself, but I probably won't do it this year.  Or very often, for that matter.You see, I remember the joking catchphrase about politics "Vote Early, Vote Often."  So, early voting has associated itself in my mind with fraudulent voting.  Living for 6 years near Memphis, which was the first district I lived near with early voting didn't help.  Memphis, after all, is a place where not just Elvis is still alive.  So are many people on the voter rolls, no matter how long it's been since their funeral.  The anecdotes are legendary, but there is a modicum of truth under them  (What's odd is that, even without the fraud, Memphis would still vote Democrat as a line, so why bother?)So, while I know there is nothing in…

Hebrews 4:2

2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.Hebrews 4:2 (ESV)Now, to give you a bit of background: the author of Hebrews (whomever he or she may be, though my old-school grammar will use he all the way through here) has been comparing the Exodus of the Israelites to what God has done for all of humanity through Christ.  The author is also contrasting our responses to the response of the Israelites.What chapter 4 covers is that the Israelites were not able to enter the Promised Land because they lacked obedience.  If you're familiar with the Old Testament, you know that God brought the Israelites to the edge of the Promised Land, told them to check it out and go take it.  They checked it out, then decided it was too much trouble.  Essentially, they said "We'd rather go die in the desert."  So they did.Something to notice about the Israelites then, and it'…

Remember where you were…

18 but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.Deuteronomy 24:18 (ESV) This verse comes after Moses has reminded the Israelites of God's commands about how to treat Egyptians and slaves, Edomites, and Ammonites and Moabites.  What are the differences?Well, Ammonites and Moabites were to be excluded from the assembly of Israel for ever and ever, because of how they had treated Israel in the Exodus.  Edomites were supposed to be allowed within the assembly after a set time, because they had treated Israel well in the Exodus.Then there's the command that Egyptians were to be allowed into the assembly.  Now, the people of Israel have just (well, 40 years before) left slavery in Egypt.  They had been subjected to oppression and even an attempt at genocide.  Yet, God doesn't command vengeance, rather hospitality and forgiveness.He also commands that the slaves and servants of the Israelite…

Sermon Outline, October 10 PM

Ok, here's the sermon outline situation:  Sunday morning we observed the Lord's Supper.  I didn't record that, because it just doesn't audio record well, there's too many stops, starts, singings, waitings, and so forth.  Join us one Sunday and you'll see why.Here's the outline for the Evening Sermon, with audio link here.Sermon:Text: Exodus 3Title: Burning Bushes, Burning BridgesTheme: Responding to God's CallLocation: FBC AlmyraDate: October 10 2010 PMThe Burning Bush:When God seeks your attention, He gets itWhen God speaks, you should listenThe Burning Bridge:Cut your ties with the life you leave behindGo forward towards obedienceThe Present reality:We see God:Identify Himself to MosesBy history ---of Abraham, Isaac, JacobBy character --TimelessnessBy name –YHWHCommand MosesFor Moses' protection: come no closer to the Holy OneFor Moses' provision: what to say to obeyFor Moses' potential: to do what God has called Him to do.Has not forgotte…

Book Review: The Treasure of God's Word

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The Treasure of God's Word: Celebrating 400 Years of the King James BibleSome of you may not realize it, but an important milestone is next year:  2011 marks 400 years since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. Now, many people will discount this, since they aren't major readers of the Bible in general, while others will discount the KJV for other reasons.  Others will certainly celebrate the KJV for both religious and linguistic reasons.In the run-up to this anniversary comes this book.  It's the first I'm aware specifically targeted into that quadricentennial (yes, I looked that up) market.  It won't be the last.Which is a good thing.  The book reports to readers that the KJV is highly influential, but does not go very far in describing that influence.  The primary content of the book are copy-and-paste sections from the Bible itself, which is certainly good content, but not really worth another book purchase if you own a Bible, especially a KJ…

Bunny Slipper

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Swiped from I can haz cheezburger....the Baptist Blogger in his natural habitat!!
Bunny Slipper: "



Bunny Slipper
much better than bunneh coarnur…


LoL by: Unknown


Picture by: Jai Viray


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Confrontation in the Church, pt 2

Sometimes, it's not about sin.Did you realize that?  Some confrontation in church happens, not because of sin, but because of either preference or qualifications.  For example:1.  I am a pastor.  I do not lead music.  If you were to hear me singing one Sunday, you might confront me and ask me to make sure my wireless microphone is off next service.  There is a reason: I'm not qualified to sing into a microphone in the presence of people.  Your confrontation is about qualification.2.  Our church has certain criteria for leaders.  Our church also participates with other churches to accomplish things we lack the resources to do individually.  The smallest unit of this is called a Baptist Association.  Our association meets next week to elect leaders.  Guess what?  Many of you readers of this blog aren't going to get elected, and if you showed up and wanted elected, you would be confronted and told to sit down and be quiet.  Why?  Because we have a preference that the leadersh…

Confrontation in the Church

I'm not sure this is going to be pleasant, but it needs to be said, so I'm going to say some it.There is a time and a place for private confrontation between Christians that have been sinned against by one or the other.There is also a time and a place for public confrontation between Christians that have been sinned against by one or the other.The guiding passages are these: Matthew 18:15-20; Luke 6:31; Galatians 2:11-21; Philippians 4:8; James 3 (really, the whole chapter).  Go, click, read, and then come back.  Or get your Bible to read these.  Now, this is not an exhaustive list.  This is a blog, not a book, so it's shorter and less comprehensive.However, a few principles:1.  Matthew records Jesus teaching his disciples about how to handle sins between each other.2. Galatians records Paul's confrontation of Peter over Peter joining with the Judaizers. ("The Judaizers" is the term used to describe the people that taught in the early church that to be a good…