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Showing posts from 2011

BookReview: Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament

Today’s book review book is provided by Kregel Publishers. It’s from their Academic and Professional Line. The title is Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament and it is edited by Daniel B. Wallace. Here’s the cover and Amazon link:Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence (Text and Canon of the New Testament)Wallace is the editor, but the book itself is a collection of six essays regarding the textual basis of the New Testament. These are contributed by Wallace and five of his former academic interns (think something more than a student but less than a one-to-one disciple). Naturally, Wallace has a high opinion of their work and is the key to their involvement in this project. They are not quite as well-known as Wallace, so his credibility is the support of this work.What is this work about? It is, essentially, a response to the work of Bart Ehrman in Misquoting Jesus and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. The former work…

Sermon Wrap-up for Christmas

Christmas Eve Service Outline:Christmas Eve 2011 Almyra First Baptist Church Almyra, Arkansas Call to Worship Silent Night, Holy NightPerformed by the Almyra Baptist Church Choir Reading: Genesis 3:15 The LordGod said to the serpent…”I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall strike you on the head and you shall strike Him on the heel”Congregational Singing Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus                               #176 Reading: Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.Congregational Singing O Come, All Ye Faithful                                               #199 Reading: Isaiah 60:1-4 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of theLordhas risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But theLordwill rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, And kings to …

Merry Christmas

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11 (NASB95)Christmas in 21st Century America is about many things. The retail world counts on Christmas to balance the books. The movie world waits to release award-worthy films around Christmas. The schools count on those two weeks to restore the sanity of the teachers. Many families count on Christmas to be the time they get together. Christmas 1914 was the scene of something even greater. In the opening year of World War One, the young soldiers at the front lines of Germany, France, and England were not yet so bitter that they forgot about Christmas. Ignoring orders from superior officers, small groups of men joined together where tens of thousands had been killed, and where hundreds of thousands more will be killed, and exchanged gifts. Why? Christmas is about more than all the things we can list. Christmas …

Strange Moments

Thirteen years ago today, I woke up married. Now, I went to bed married, and was fully aware of having been married in the process, so this was not really a surprise. However, it was a change. A pretty big one, really.I was originally going to try and list the things that had changed. I had brainstormed some of the stuff that I no longer do/have/spend and then list all the positive replacements. It's just that idea seemed a little trite and a little like I'm trying to sell you my marriage: here's all the benefits! Look! Worth the time! No regrets!After all, there were folks who really thought marriage was going to be a passing fad for me. Side note: the people that said we wouldn't make three years? They know say we won't make the hard part: 20 years. Some of them moved the target at 3, 5, 7, and 10. Get over yourselves, ok? There were those that wondered if we would survive, if we could just live on love, all of that.And it's tempting to say "I told you s…

Sermon Wrap-up

We had a song-service celebration last night instead of any organized preaching, so there's no podcast of that. Related to that, I would give you a highly shortened summary of something from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together: singing together is an important part of the community of faith. Corporate singing requires dependence on and awareness of one another, and that's good training for living as believers in this world.The morning sermon was from Matthew 1:18-24:Matthew 1:18-24 (audio) (alternate audio) Immanuel: God with us We have seen:  God as Creator: Genesis 1:1 God as Judge: Genesis 3:15 God as Savior: Genesis 6 God as Deliverer: Exodus God as King: 1 Samuel God as Leader: Numbers God as Provider: Ruth God as Sovereign Conqueror: Joshua God as Holy: Leviticus God as Righteous: Deuteronomy God as Just: 2 Samuel God as All-powerful: Kings God as Wise: Proverbs God as Praiseworthy: Psalms God as Eternal: the Prophets God in Heaven Now, though, we see most clearly:  …

Does it matter: Calling it Christmas

One of the ever-recurring hot topics in American Christianity is the name of the day observed on December 25th. A few years ago the big angst was "Christmas or X-mas?" Now it's all the way to "Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or what?"I want to weigh in on this, because that's what a blog is for. Well, one thing a blog is for. Another is free stuff and shameless self-promotion, but we'll hit those on other days. Today, it's using the blog to grind an axe or two.The first thing I would say about this whole debate is that I personally believe that there are two different standards of behavior relating to Christian days of observance or holidays. That's right. This is not a purely right-or-wrong issue in front of us. There are two groups of people in this world, to present it simply, and each group has a different obligation in this case.What are those groups? Christian believers and not Christian believers. Or, to use the typical Baptist verbiage,…

Watch your inputs

Yesterday I went out deer hunting. Those of you who know me, know I've been deer hunting more than once or twice and that I've killed precisely zero deer. I haven't even shot at any.Typically I hunt with a friend from college who is also one of the deacons in the church I serve. He and I have been all over his farm and a few other places, and we've seen deer at a distance, but have not seen anything we could shoot.Yesterday I was on a different farm, but I was out by myself. Gary, the farmer, dropped me off on the edge of a soybean field, next to a corn field and by the old railroad tracks. There's an old wood deer blind out there that, honestly, just looks like an old shack on the ground. I walked over there with gun, thermos, and license and propped up and waited.After about an hour, I saw two small deer wander into the field. They were followed about 10 minutes later by four more does. Then, out walks the biggest buck I have ever…pointed a gun at. We're not …

BookTuesday: Late but short

I had a planned book review for today, but I received an email last week that there was a shipping delay, so the Big Book of American Trivia review will be a little late. Hopefully, I'll have it up next week.Upcoming, I'll be looking at Tyndale: The Man who Gave God an English Voice by David Teems. Tyndale translated the Bible (well, headed up translating the Bible) into English before it was legal and before King James paid for a new translation. The KJV uses somewhere between 85-95% similar wording to Tyndale. He was burned at the stake for his work. Looking forward to reading more about him.Also, I have a few reviews coming up for Kregel: Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament, The Post-Racial Church, and Reading Revelation. These all look good, and I already have them to read. Kregel uses a different system than Tyndale House and Thomas Nelson: the former schedules when they want reviews, the latter lets you review whenever you get to it.So, no major review this we…

Sermons from December 11

To subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast, click here for iTunes and here for any other feed reader.Morning Sermon: Luke 1:26-38Audio Link HereAlternate Audio HereOutline: Luke 1:26-38I. Christmas is coming...for the first time
1. This is a surprise.
2. An expected surprise, but a surprise nonetheless
3. Often, great things come when it seems just too late.
4. Yet notice the wonder in the situation: marvel, fear, questions II. Christmas is coming...again.
1. It's no surprise, is it?
2. We actually get kind of bored with it
3. Does that sound right? III. Christmas is always wonderful
1. ISAIAH 9:6 2. Do not let the repetition lead to dullness 3. Celebrate 4. You do not have to light lights and prop up trees 5. Clear the gunk from your hearts and heads Evening Sermon: Luke 1:5-24 Audio Link HereAlternate Audio Link HereLuke 1:5-24 How to be ready for Christmas: 1. Serve God as you have been commanded 2. Prayerfully ask God to work 3. Have faith that God …

Je ne suis pas un espion

Don't worry, the rest of the post is in English!Last night, I took a look at my Google Reader subscriptions. They were quite numerous. Google Reader is a program that allows the user to gather RSS feeds in one place to read them. Blogs, news services, and other websites that generate different content on a regular basis often use RSS feeds to distribute the content. It's also convenient for readers. You click 'subscribe' and you get a reader inbox full of new stuff. It beats checking all those websites every day.Except I had nearly 100 subscriptions. Never mind how many actual posts were there, I had nearly 100 subscriptions. Add to this checking a couple of news sites every day for local and non-local news and there was just a huge flow of information. Then there's checking links that get posted on Facebook, Twitter, or emailed to me, and I have been living in the full-out information age.This morning, though, it hit me. And it hit me in French, which is pretty ra…

King of Kings, King of Me

With many apologies, I haven't been able to get a new post together. So, reprinted from Advent Reflections—The Gift CycleI present this thought about recognizing the Christ Child as King of Me.“For unto us, a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NRSV)The work of God through Jesus Christ was not merely for Him to come and remind us that He is the rightful King of Creation because He did the creating. He did not come just to check up on the spiritual portion of His kingdom, nor to merely reclaim the throne in Jerusalem. His time on earth was not spent to establish supremacy over other earthly kings. In fact, the only encounters with earthly kings and governors were disastrous: Herod the Great initiated the slaughter at Bethlehem, Herod Antipas does nothing, and Pontius Pilate orders Him crucified.His work here was not simply to reclai…

BookTuesday: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark BattersonIn a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day Publisher: Multnomah BooksI wanted to like this book. And, to be honest, I do like this book. On the whole, it is a book written to challenge you to overcome your fears and live a bold life. As a self-help, motivational book, Mark Batterson has produced a good one.Except that he does not claim to have just generated a self-help book. In fact, he puts forth his book as based in Scripture. He takes the title from the story of Benaiah in 2 Samuel 23:20-23. Benaiah was the captain of the bodyguard of King David of Israel. This passage is the introduction to Benaiah, who is also instrumental in establishing King Solomon's reign and whose father was Jehoiada the chief priest (1 Chronicles 27:5).In the 2 Samuel passage, Benaiah's feat of killing a lion in a pit on a snowy day is recorded. Batterson cites the New Living Translation that renders Benaiah's action as “chasing” the lion into the p…

Sermon Wrap-up December 4

Morning Audio Link HereEvening Audio Link HereSubscribe Link HereMorning Outline:1 John 4:12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12Illustrate: knowing something is real, waiting for it, expecting it. Seeing evidences but no definite things---This is life in many ways.From the time of Creation forward, no one saw God and knew it---Even Moses is told in Exodus 33:20 that he cannot see God, for no man can see God and liveThis is the fear of Isaiah as he stands in the Temple---My eyes have seen the King, The Lord Almighty.Yet this is the Grace of God, the story of Christmas:There is more than just a picture of GodThere is....Jesus. The Manifest Presence of God.Clearly shown.#1: Man could not go to God---his holiness, his righteousness, his greatness---but we lose Him in the cosmos, it's too hard to narrow the focus.#2: Man desperately needs God---authority, guidance, example, grace#3: God came to man---to …

Christmas Gift Giving Guide 2011

Every year, I try to put out a list of suggested places to consider if you would like to do some of your Christmas gift giving by donating to causes that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ this year. So, here they are in no particular order:1. Southern Baptist Missions: for those of you who are part of a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church, you should consider the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Your church should have more information if you want it.2. Wycliffe Bible Translators: these folks are dedicated to spreading the Gospel by translating the Bible into languages that do not have it. There are several times where Wycliffe has been the group responsible for transmitting an oral language into a written one, opening up educational opportunities and development in the area. That’s almost always been a good thing.3. Connected to Wycliffe Bible Translators: my friends Aaron and Joanna Choate are missionaries for them. Wycliffe does not operate like the SBC’s International Mis…

BookTuesday: Shameless self-promotion

No, that is not the title of a book, although perhaps I could write one as a companion volume to my book on humility when I get around to it. Seriously, who writes a book on humility? You would have to write it, stick it on the shelf with a note that you are nowhere near qualified to publish it, and then have it published after you're dead.Actually, I'm using my own blog to push my own effort at a book. No, it's not published by some of the great publishers that you see me review books for. Rather, it's self-published through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. Here's the whole story: we started listening to Christmas music a little bit after Canadian Thanksgiving, so that the age-old rule of "No Christmas Music Until After Thanksgiving" could be followed. Then, in early November I was thinking about the Advent season as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. And how we always seem to have trouble finding a devotional guide to use for our church.…

Sermon Round-up November 27 PM

Audio link here1 John 4:7-11 I. Love?      Looking out for another above yourself.      Treating others as God has treated you. II. Love shown at Christmas      Not in presents      In the manger III. Love shown in Christians      Guess who does the work now?      God does through us. Find someone to love, to show love to, to be the reflection of the incarnate God this year. Make it a habit.

Thankful for…Day 5

Here's another brief list of things I'm thankful for, building on this list from earlier.11. I'm thankful to live in farming country. We get to see the process of how rice, soybeans, and corn go from seed to field to combine to trailer. Then we eat the stuff we buy in stores.12. I'm thankful for grocery stores. A friend and I were due to go hunt yesterday morning. It was raining. We stayed home. Guess what? Neither of us will go hungry for that, because we can buy cows. That's a good thing.13. I'm thankful for meat processors. Well, maybe. If I shoot a deer, I'm glad that all I really have to do is haul that thing to a guy who will turn dead deer into usable meat, instead of me doing it.14. I'm thankful for the Internet. Good job, Al Gore. Oh, wait…all of the people at DARPA, not Al. We get the opportunity to interact with people that we can't see or be with since we can connect digitally.15. I'm thankful that, in the midst of all the chaos and …

BookTuesday: December 1941

There are some great and wonderful book reviews out there. Then there’s a few that aren’t so good.This one is hopefully better than the not so good, but, honestly, it’s a little clichéd. Essentially, my review of this book is this: this is a great book for those of you who like books like this but if you don’t like books like this book, you won’t like it.

Now, would you care for some details? I thought you would…

December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World The book is December 1941 by Craig Shirley. It is an historical work, non-fiction. It runs to 544 pages of text, followed by nearly a hundred more of footnotes. That’s the place I’d like to start.
Shirley’s goal with this book is to present the state of America and the world during, surprisingly, December, 1941. The month starts with the United States not in World War II and ends with the US in it. There, I’ve given away the whole plot.

Actually, what Craig Shirley has accomplished is what most history writers are…

Sermon Wrap Up

Subscribe links:iTunes: http://bit.ly/dhpodsubOther Feed Software: http://bit.ly/dhitsubListen: AM:  http://bit.ly/tOy2By (preferred) or http://bit.ly/u66X2l (alternate)PM: http://bit.ly/dhg1120p (preferred) or http://bit.ly/dha1120p (alternate)AM Outline: 1 John 3:18-24Thankful for: 1. Assurance of Salvation: found not only in word but in our hearts 2. Assurance of truth: that we know that we can know something, that's something to know, you know? 3. Assurance of provision: that we know that we will always have what we need to do what He wants 4. Assurance of direction: that we know that He wants us to do certain things and that we ought to do them! 5. Assurance of completion: that He will finish the work and come back for us. PM Outline: 1John 4:1-6Don't believe everything....or everybody 1. There are deceptive spiritual forces involved. 2. There are deceptive people involved. 3. There is only one source of truth: The Lord Jesus Christ. 1. Test what you hear: agai…

Thankful for…Monday Morning

No, I’m not really thankful for Monday Morning. Well, maybe I am.You see, Sundays are big days for me. As a pastor, much of my week is about being ready for Sunday. First of all, there’s the study and preparation to preach two services. Then there’s the fact that many times, I don’t know of a problem either in church organization or church family matters until Sunday. So, being ready for Sunday takes some effort.Honestly, though I love it. But I am thankful for Monday mornings. Not because I sit here and gloat over how great a day it was yesterday. I think it was, most of the time. I preached what I thought I should preach, did my best to answer people forthrightly and honestly, and tried to adjust plans as appropriate. There’s no undoing any mistakes or errors I may have made. I can apologize for them and then try to do better.I’m thankful for Monday mornings because I get to do it again. I head back to the Bible for coming messages. Back to the books for learning. Back to preparing …

Thankful for…Day 3

There's a difficulty when it comes to writing up Thanksgiving posts. If you leave out the obvious, people wonder if you're really thankful for the basics of life or if you are assuming you're entitled to them. List them and you can seem disingenuous at best and smug at worst…I've only rarely had problems worrying about being called smug. I don't list these to be arrogant or to say that I'm a better person than you are for these. I am a better person than I would have been without these things. So, here we go:1. I'm thankful I was raised in a home with my two biological parents who were married the whole time. 2. I'm thankful that I grew up with a church habit that required multiple trips a week. Even if I consider whether the church I lead would be ok without a Sunday night organized service, my brain immediately starts to suggest ways to use that Sunday night for church stuff. 3. I'm thankful that I have never lacked for owning a Bible.4. I'm t…

Thankful for Day 1

Intro: In an effort to be focused on Thanksgiving for the next week, through the annual observance of Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, I'm going to find some things to express thankfulness for. This is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive: if you're not thankful for the same things, that's fine. If you think I left something out, that's fine. If you think I'm nuts to be thankful for what I'm thankful for, that's fine. 'Nuff said.Today's Thankful expression is this…I'm thankful for Day 1. No, that's not a misprint in the title of the post. I'm thankful for beginnings. For the possibilities that they bring, for the hope that springs from them.I'm thankful that, looking back, on Day 1 God demonstrated that His Words alone are necessary. As we're going through science with the kids, we're reading a book on energy. It's humorous because it's British and so words like color are spelled colour and it uses the metri…

Homeschooling Thoughts Post 4

Yep, we're back on this topic. I'm not trying to be a one-trick pony, but I want to get this done and go find something else to blog about.One of the common discussions in Christian homeschooling is related to being a Christian witness in the community. If you're not a Christian, you're probably not all that concerned with the idea---and will likely be bored silly by the following. Read on, though, if you like.The most frequent condemnation that Christians who choose to homeschool receive from other Christians is this: Since Christians are supposed to be "salt and light" in the world and tell others about Jesus, are you not abandoning the mission field of schools by holding your kids out?Here's the first response, and it's a kind of a knee-jerk defensive one: I will take that question seriously from anyone who has left their career and gone into public education so that they, as Christian adults, are working in the mission fields of schools. Not from …

BookTuesday: Decision Points

Today for BookTuesday, I’ve got the autobiography of President George W. Bush, Decision Points. It’s published by Broadway Books, but I received my copy free from Waterbrook/Multnomah. Here’s the Amazon Link where you can get paperback, hardcover, or Kindle versions:Decision PointsRight now, the only Presidential legacy more divisive in this country than President George W. Bush’s is President Barrack Obama’s legacy. If you want to stir up a fuss, wildly praise one or attack the other and then you’ll either hear rampant support from those who agree or vicious response from those who disagree.Naturally, similar bickering has followed President Bush’s personal memoir, Decision Points. It is an autobiographical retrospect focused on the President’s eight-year term of office, though it touches on his pre-presidential years in the first 80 pages and recounts his post-White House time in a brief wrap-up.In all, this book is about President Bush’s view of the events that occurred within his …

Sermon Wrap-up Nov 13

First, a bonus:I didn't preach on 1 John 2:26-27. In this section, John addresses that he has written concerning those who are trying to deceive. It's a few important points about Scripture:1. Scripture is there to help us avoid deception. Of course, this only works if we read it.2. Those who immerse themselves in Scripture will find that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of God in their lives, helps them understand what matters.3. If we abide in the Word, the Word will abide in us. In this, the Holy Spirit brings us the understanding of the Word and we grow as disciples.Now, to the sermons: (Subscribe to the auto-feed here)Morning Sermon: Audio Link hereText: 1 John 2:28-3:10 Theme: The Father's Love Date: November 13, 2011 AM Location: FBC Almyra Father's love Given but not deservedKnown but not understoodPurifying but not destructive (to what matters!)Practice of sin Sin is destructive (um, yeah) To usTo othersTo the fellowship of believersTo the fell…

Lost in thought

I spend no money at all to subscribe to the RSS feed at Shorpy.com. What is Shorpy? It's a website that posts various old pictures. They call themselves the 100-year-old photo blog. I love it.I want you to click this link and look at this picture and then come back:Shorpy.com Pic of Old Soldiers at Gettysburg Reunion(I can't find an embed code and don't want to break their copyright to copy and paste it.)This picture came across on Veteran's Day, 11/11/11, and it just kind of stopped me. Pictures are worth a thousand words, they say, and with this pic I think that's short a few thousand.Here a man sits, some 50 years after a battle, and he's writing a letter. Behind him are others from that same battle. They sit, outdoors, beside the tents they are apparently staying in, in hard wooden chairs.I wonder about this man. What else did he see from July of 1863 until 1865? Who did he lose in the war? How has peace been for him?What does this man who likely walked to …

Quick hits week ending 11/12/11

Note: yes, there are very serious things in this world. No, this blog post itself will not address those things. Read real news.1. Colons are an important part of linguistic health. Make sure yours is in the right place. For example, the tweet that said "Lessons from Hezekiah: 7 things you need to know" was a valid sentence. The one that said "Lessons from Hezekiah 7: Things you need to know" does not reflect anything Bible-related.2. The SEC is expanding to 14 teams. At this point, our knowledge of geography is failing us because the apparent plan is to put Missouri in the "East" division. This being despite the fact that Missouri lies to the west of every SEC school except Arkansas, LSU, and Hog-fodder. Here's my suggestion: move Alabama and Auburn to the East Division. Put Vanderbilt in the West Division along with the new schools. True, West will be Arkansas or LSU for a long, long time---but that will give the East some real football.3. Friend An…

Veteran's Day 2011

Today is Veteran's Day. That it's both 11/11/11 in the US and 11/11/11 in Europe is entirely coincidental.What is Veteran's Day? It started as Armistice Day celebrating the end of the War to End All Wars. Then, the next War came along. And then a few more that weren't quite so big but just as dangerous for those who fought in them and left widows and orphans and childless parents just as much.So, what was a day to remember those who fought one war has since become a remembrance for the veterans of all the wars fought since 1775. (Lexington and Concord happened in 1775 and we mark those as the American Revolution. The country's a tad older than we claim.)It is a good time also to think about where we are as a country. To consider what we've got and how we got it.We live in a country with some seriously divided politics. Lots of people are more than a little concerned that the President of the United States is more than just a bad President. They're concerned…

A lot of writing—1000 posts

I accidentally clicked on "Send to Blogger" this morning on a Google Reader post when I intended "Send to Buffer." So, I canceled that and then actually logged in to Blogger to ensure I didn't steal Michael Hyatt's post this morning. I like to post links for other people's blogs, but I certainly never want to just repost their work. After all, most of us measure whether we're making an impact by two things: comments and traffic. No comments, no traffic, that means we're wasting our time. And if I re-blog his post, I get his traffic. That's not fair to him.Long intro to this point: I looked at my "posts" list on the Blogger dashboard, the area from whence I can control my blog, and I see that I have 999 blog posts. Two caveats: no, none of them endorse Herman Cain's tax plan; yes, one of them is a pre-scheduled book review for next week.That, however, makes this blog post #1000 on my own blog. I've guest-posted a few times a…

Homeschool Part 3

It's an ongoing series with no determined ending. I dropped "Reasons" from the title because it's not always about the whys or why-nots, sometimes I want to hit methods, problems, obstacles…Here is one of the top challenges when it comes to homeschooling your children: social skills. It's the major question asked by family members, was the subject of a 5 minute diatribe by a pediatrician who criticized us for homeschooling during a routine visit, and one of a conscientious homeschool parent's major concerns. If your kids only spend time at home, then how do they learn to relate to other people? How do they learn to get along with folks?Well, #1: family is people, after all—and when you live with your classmates and teacher, there's no chance that you get to just ignore someone being obnoxious and escape via the Yellow Bus. You're stuck. So, the first response I have is this: if they are never out of the home, they're still learning to deal with pe…