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Showing posts from October, 2011

Reformation Day!

Note: this post is huge. There is no natural break point. Sorry.At the risk of over-simplifying world history and religion, 500 years ago, everyone in Western Europe was either a Catholic, a Jew, or a pagan. There weren't too many pagans, the Jews were not always (unfortunately most always) treated well and so kept to themselves, and many of the Catholics weren't all that clear about what they believed nor were they in line with what the official doctrines of the day were. Partially because survival comes before Sunday School and there's no real distinct Catholic way of growing wheat or minding the herds, and those were the main concerns of life. Well, that and keeping the warring king next door from overrunning your warring king and killing you.Anyway, this led to a great deal of corruption within the religious beliefs and structures of the day. There's probably a dissertation that needs to undergird this, but I think that corruption grows best in prosperous times and…

Sermon Round-up October 30

Here's the morning audio linkThere's not an evening link because I wasn't there and didn't want my fill-in to be intimidated by the recording system. Maybe next time.Text: 1 John 2:15-17We are finite creatures: our ability to focus is limitedFocus in attentionFocus in affectionThese two things define our heart:Attention: what we give our mental strength toAffection: what we allow to drive our emotionsWith these two things, our heart is givenWithout them, your “whole heart” isn't really in itWe can give our hearts to a variety of things:Painful:Lusts of the flesh or eyesBoastful PridePassing: Earthly pursuitsComfortsPermanentLove of the FatherWill of GodWhere is your heart?Pleasing self at the pain of your soul?Passive and taking whatever comes?Pleasing God for permanent joy?Your choice.

Quick-hits w/e October 29, 2011

1. I own an Amazon Kindle, and love it, but I've realized something: Kindles are not high-tech books. They're fancy scrolls. Well-designed for back and forth, linear activity, but not for jumping about to various places. Apparently, we need to develop the "Kindle Codex" for that. In the meantime, would Bible developers make one for the Kindle Touch that has the old-school jump tabs on the side? Like the thumb-index Bibles for quick changes? Thanks.2. Saw this week that Vice-President Biden is considering running in 2016. Can we please finish the 2012 election, that started last year, first? Thanks. Also, given what happened last time a VP ran: start training Florida vote counters now. And Florida voters: punch the whole chad out, ok? Thanks.3. It is time for a mercy rule in College Football and in the NFL for all teams playing against the Colts. After a team is up by 4 touchdowns (28 points), the 22 named starters for that team must sit out. The 11 defensive starters…

Homeschooling part 1

I thought I would take a few posts in the coming days and explain about our family. Most folks that know us know that I am the pastor of a small-town Baptist church (empirically small), and that I am married with three kids who take after their mother in all the good ways. We choose that our kids do their education, right now Kindergarten, 3rd grade, and 5th grade, here at home instead of going down the road to the county school system.I wanted to give a little bit of perspective on reasons that we made the decision to do it this way. Some of these are fact-based reasons, some faith-based, and some emotion-based. And since none of the rest of you are the Hibbards, you've got to make your own choices anyway, but in case you're pondering what to do, here's part of how we made our decision.First, let's hit some basics:1. Homeschooling can be done very, very badly. In some cases, parents use homeschooling as cover for educational neglect and let their kids do nothing all t…

You cannot preserve the status quo

I was pondering what to blog about for the day, and this thought hit me: You cannot preserve the status quo and change the world. Some wise person can probably source that and find it came from other than me. I'm okay with that and would give credit if I knew for sure where it came from. I don't but I will gladly acknowledge it could come from elsewhere.Think about it for a minute: You cannot preserve the status quo and change the world.If you're Ray Kroc and making a good living selling and servicing Mixmaster Milkshake Machines and walk into the McDonald Brother's Restaurant and see their operation, you can preserve the status quo: you can keep your good job and let them keep theirs.If you're Truett Cathy and the world is obsessed with hamburgers and your restaurant is across the street from a seven-day a week manufacturing plant, you can preserve the status quo and cook hamburgers 24/7. You can make a good living, turn a profit, and drive nice cars.If you're…

BookTuesday: Has God Spoken?

I spend a great deal of time trying to help people see that the Bible is a trustworthy book. In fact, my effort is to persuade more than mere trustworthiness, but to show that the Bible can be trusted as divinely inspired and without any error. It's a discussion that comes up with people in church, out of church, and even those who are 'in ministry.' Most of the information I tend to use comes from a hodge-podge of sermon notes, lecture notes, book comments, and websites.The information is good and reliable, but most of what I have is chaotic in nature. Into this scene comes Hank Hanegraaff's new book, Has God Spoken?Has God Spoken?: Proof of the Bible’s Divine InspirationHanegraaff presents arguments and evidence sets that I have seen in other places and from other writers and speakers. He has some newer material, but most of that newer material is about the critics of the Bible and not about evidence for the Bible. It's interesting to note that the names of the c…

Sermon Recap Oct. 23

Morning Audio is in this linkEvening Audio in this link.(Or you could copy and paste this into iTunes or another Podcast software and get these things automatically: http://feeds.feedburner.com/DougHibbardPodcast
but that’s up to you.)Sunday morning we were in 1 John 2:7-11. Here’s the outline:1. New commandment/Old Commandment:  Not a new set of laws or legalistic followings Yet still a command Not a novelty or unheard of thought, But one that echoes from the Beginning2. The Light is shining God's people follow it. God's people follow it together. God's people follow it together in harmony. God's people follow it together in harmony without hatred.The closing challenge was this: write down the names of 3 people: 1. A person in your own household 2. A person in church that you don’t know/are not super-relational with. 3. A person that is not in church anywhere: either never has been or used-to-be way back when… Once you have those three names, here’s what to do with th…

Does it matter #1: Theology

Some time past, I told you to look for occasional posts in the vein of asking the question: “Does it matter?” Here’s the first question to ask and answer: Does theology matter?The answer is yes. You didn’t come for that simple of an answer, though, did you?First point to address is the definition of theology. Taken at its simplest level, theology is the study of God. If you push, you could also say the study of gods or the gods and take the definition back from monotheism to simply theism. (Theism being the belief system that there’s some form of God/god somewhere.)That’s really it. It’s something that nearly everyone does. If you have beliefs about God, you “do theology.” You may be doing it wrong, but you’re doing it just the same. Even atheists do theology: they’ve decided what they believe about God: that there is none. While some will say that’s not belief, it’s provable fact, that’s an unscientific viewpoint. There is no verifiable, objective test to prove or disprove the existe…

BookTuesday: A Heart for Freedom

Today's book comes from Tyndale Publishers, who graciously provided me a nice, hardcover book in exchange for the review.It's called A Heart for Freedom and authored by Chai Ling. Here's the cover: A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's DaughtersI remember being in Junior High school during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in Beijing in 1989. At the time, I didn't know what to make of the whole thing: I knew China was a country dominated by communism, but what do you make of people that just won't go to work, school, or whatever and hang around and protest? Besides, if they were really that oppressed, how do they know about freedom and where's the news coming from?All that changed in early June when the news carried video of tanks and soldiers clearing Tiananmen Square. As a middle-class American kid, I had harbored doubts about people that didn't go home when their parent…

Sermon Roundup October 16

Sunday Morning Audio Link is hereI. Holiness and perfection of God:A. Perfect, with no darkness or evilB. No weakness either.II. Where do we fellowship?A. If we have darkness, can we fellowship with God?B. Only when we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, the atonement God made for us, can we fellowship with GodIII. Our fellowship with each other hinges on our relationship with GodSunday Evening Audio Link is hereA. Salvation is by grace through faithB. Salvation leads to us obeying Christ1. Works do not make us righteous2. Works do not even earn us a favorable response from God3. Works are part of our response of gratitude to God: we live in holiness because we can and we want to---if our hearts are made new in Christ.Note: I'm going to try a little harder to get written outlines this week. Hopefully something that will preach and blog!Doug

A few quick questions

1. Did the Occupy Little Rock protest pick this weekend because it's a bye week for the Razorbacks?2. If we're supposed to acknowledge that the "Occupy" groups are not defined by the radical fruitcakes among them, like the guy in Los Angeles calling for a revolution like the French Revolution, can we apply that to the Tea Party type folks as well? You know, the other batch of ordinary Americans that would like to be left alone by the government and voice their anger? Or does that only apply to this group?3. Does Michele Bachmann really think people will vote for her when she suggests silly things like flipping over the "9-9-9" of Herman Cain's tax plan to see that it becomes "6-6-6"? There's a decent question or two about the merits of Cain's plan, but really, flip over the numbers?4. When classifying religious beliefs, you're either a "religion" or a "cult." A "religion" claims to stand on its own two…

What is your Christian Experience?

For some non-work paperwork that I’ve been working on today, I am having to write out the answer to this question: What is your past Christian Experience? That’s gotten my thinking. A lot.Why? There’s a couple of things involved in my mind. Number 1: It’s a hard-simple question in general. I can tell you about being raised in a believing family, about becoming a believer in Christ myself, and that I’ve grown (hopefully) in faith since then. But at the same time, there’s much more to “Christian Experience” than just the date on a baptism certificate. There are the ways that I’ve grown, stumbled, and gotten back up. The influences that have been there along the way.And what are the current influences? How has this shaped me or that event affected me? It’s a remarkable mass of situations to put together. And then to reduce to a page or two---that’s the rub!Number 2: I’ve had to do this before. Many times for different reasons---and I’m sitting here wondering what the comparison would be …

4 Things a Church MUST Do

These are not original to me. The inimitable Gregg Greenway, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Stuttgart, Arkansas, shared these Monday night at the annual meeting of our Baptist Association. He spoke about four things that a church must do if they're going to survive as a church. There were several Scripture references under each one, and I didn't write them all down. I'll give you what I remember. Here they are:1. Preach the Word: that church which does not grow spiritually in discipleship on a steady stream of the Word of God will cease to be a church that is a force for the Kingdom of God. The Word of God must be preached/taught/shared/learned/use-whatever-verb-fits-for-explaining-and-understanding or the individual local church is done for. No matter the denomination.2. Pray. Why in the world do we have to say this? But we do: too many Western Christians just don't pray. Too many Western Churches just don't pray. If you are not pouring out before God for H…

BookTuesday: Pershing

In my ever-running effort to post later and later each day, this afternoon I've got a book review for you. It is one of the latest in Thomas Nelson's The Generals Series, and the General in this case General Pershing. The full title is Pershing: Commander of the Great War. I received a free copy from BookSneeze, and you can buy it from Amazon here:Pershing: Commander of the Great War (The Generals)Notes on The Generals series: these books are written to provide short biographies of some of the great military leaders of American History. One of the intentions is to include a look at the personal and religious life of the generals in question as well as their military success. I've reviewed MacArthurfrom this series and Ann has reviewed Washington and Lee. At present, the only other title in the series is Sherman. John Perry has tackled several biographies, including the aforementioned biography of Lee in this series. Here, he crafts a compelling tale of General "Black …

Sunday Recap Oct 10

Sunday morning we heard from David Horton of the Gideons International about the work of the Gideons to spread the Word of God. I’d encourage you to check out their information. As I said Sunday, while I’m a firm believer and strong supporter of most everything Southern Baptists do through the Cooperative Program and all the missions and ministry involved, I don’t think you would go wrong supporting the Gideons and Wycliffe Bible Translators either. Sunday night we started into 1 John. We’re going to be there for the next few weeks looking at what the Apostle John has to say in this book. Here’s the link to last night’s sermon audio post. You can pull the feed here, but if that doesn’t make sense for you, just skip it.A little background on 1 John: if you want to grab a good debate about authorship, I’ll point you to Pate’s The Writings of John: A Survey of the Gospel, Epistles, and ApocalypseI’ll side with the majority of tradition here: the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John, 1, …

Presidential Campaign Announcement

While no one has asked for this information:Due to the Hibbard for President 2012 Exploratory Committee receiving precisely $0 in donations, I feel that the time is not right for me to enter the Presidential Campaign. At the present time, I make no endorsement of a specific current candidate. I remain available for any position in the upcoming administration, including Vice President and Cabinet positions.So, I join Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee as a person who would have lost either the nomination or the general election choosing not to run. I do look forward to my interview coming up on Fox, MSNBC, CNN, or, at the very least, The Cooking Channel.Thank you to all who helped me make this decision by not giving me a dime. Your clarity of purpose for the upcoming election is something you can always be proud of: you made my non-election happen.And really, folks, that's a good thing. For all of us. (If you can't at least chuckle at this, please just go on about y…

Does it matter? The Introduction

For some time now, I've been a little spotty with the blog writing. I'm supposed to be writing for my own dear readers here and for the occasional post at a team blogging project that I'm one of the low-end contributors. Part of my difficulty has been knowing what to write to you dear folks who take the time to read my writings. I was using the leftover material from sermons, but I felt like that was just beating those passages to death. I may bring that back if I can find a way to focus it better.Considering that, on top of being the least famous blogger in Almyra, I'm also trying to keep up with real work and school work, I was looking for some method to keep fresh ideas without spending hours every day on the ole' blog.So, I'm going to work my way into a couple of different series of blog posts. Here's the one I'm going to start with: Does it matter?Why? I spend a lot of time in research and learning, reading and writing. Right now, I'm working o…

Genesis 1-25 Recap Part I

So, last week I gave you Part II and said that Part I would come. I may have suggested Friday, but it didn't happen. Sorry about that.However, better late than never, so here it is:Genesis 1-11 are the chapters that address more than the origin of Israel in the Biblical narrative. These chapters address the origin of everything. This is the contextual foundation for the rest of the Bible: if Genesis 12 begins the story of God's work to redeem mankind back to Himself, why do we need redeemed?Abraham is called out from amidst a group of people---where did they come from? When you get to the Cross of Christ and the substitution of the Son of God in death for us, the question becomes: Was there not another way?Genesis 1 through 11 helps us see the truth about these answers:We need redeemed because we're broken. Dead, really, but broken works if you think of us as broken like a plate glass window: uselessly broken, hopelessly broken.We see that in the first 4 chapters. God crea…

BookTuesday: The World-Tilting Gospel #twtg

Back on Tuesdays with BookTuesday! This is good. Of course, not being up earlier in the day is a slip, but, these things happen.Today, I want to point you to a book that I count as well-worth your time. It's The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips. The subtitle of "Embracing a Biblical Worldview & Hanging on Tight" sums the book up well, but I'd like to look through a few things in it. First of all, here's the cover:The World-Tilting Gospel: Embracing a Biblical Worldview and Hanging on TightNow, to the book:Purpose: the author, in his introduction, makes the claim that modern Evangelicalism has lost something the early church had. He points to Acts 17:6-7 where the Christians are accused of "turning the world upside-down" and questions: why do modern Evangelical Christians not get accused of the same thing?  In other words, what did that group of under-trained social outcasts of the 1st Century have that we don't have?His purpose, plainly stat…