Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2012

Two Turtledoves: Leviticus 5

On the second day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meTwo TurtledovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.If you’re wondering why I’m quoting Christmas songs in September, it’s because two turtledoves are part of what we see in Leviticus 5 (link). The book of Leviticus is continuing with instructions about the Law/Holiness Code for the Nation of Israel. We’ve seen some of the offerings described, and eventually Leviticus will get into the specifics of how the people were expected to live.The starting point, though, are the consequences for when the people fail to live up to the Laws that they have not even heard yet. This is not unlike perusing the Internal Revenue Code and starting with the penalties, because the rest of it is simply impenetrable. You know that something bad will happen if you do this wrong, but you do not yet know what is wrong and what is right.Now, when we get into the Holiness Code section of Leviticus, it’s less confusing than the Internal Revenue Code. God’s Law was n…

Sermon Recap

Just a few notes: I think the videocasting experiment is about to end. It’s not working to relay down to the nursery and we haven’t had anyone else tuning it, so we’ll give it another week or two, but there doesn’t seem to be a need for it. We’ll revisit the idea—I think we have a greater call for finding a way to store and use as a video archive than we do for a livestream, so that’s my next experiment.Morning Sermon:Audio here (alternate here)Outline: Luke 14:15-24Subject: Be present at the Wedding Feast
     No one must miss Heaven, but some will Central Theme:     The grace of God provides more than mere adequacy for eternity and He determines that it should be shared. Objective Statement:  Each of us should: 1. receive the grace; 2. extend the grace Rationale:
Setting: Jesus has just highlighted not to exalt yourself at a banquet, but to attend humbly and allow others to exalt you if you deserve it. One major point is that the host determines who is important. Not the attendees. Cu…

Evidently Evident Evidence: Acts 11

Take a moment. Now, read the rest of the post :)Take another moment and think about a time when you did something that you thought was just great. Maybe you were away from home or your normal friends or your typical coworkers and a great opportunity dropped in front of you.You took it.Then on the way back, you spent the whole trip thinking of how great it was and how much you wanted to tell the story. You walked in, the first words you met were “How in the world could you have done that?”Feel the deflation? If you’ve been through that circumstance, you know the feeling. Here you thought that you had done well but the response is devastating. Someone has either taken issue with all that you did or perhaps just one little detail is under assault, but either way you feel laid low instead of lifted up.Now, take a look at Acts 11 (link). Well, go back to Acts 10 first (my blog post about is at this link) if you need the context. Peter has gone from the Jewish world into the Gentile world a…

Someone has to pay for this: Leviticus 4

In one of the last movies Nicolas Cage was in that I actually like, he shares a few scenes with Harvey Keitel. Through the course of National Treasure, several laws are broken, and Keitel is an FBI Special Agent responsible for bringing to justice those who are breaking those laws. He gets the line, frequently, that “Someone’s got to go to prison.” In the off-chance that you have listened to the critics and skipped this film, I won’t spoil how it ends for you about who goes to prison. Suffice it to say that one does not simply walk into Boston’s Old North Church.The theme, though, is clear. When the law is broken, justice requires that a penalty be paid. Even though the film demonstrates that much of the law-breaking is done for good reasons, done with noble intentions, that law-breaking requires payment. Even the semi-unintentional kidnapping of Diane Kruger in the film requires that an arrest be made.The truth is, when wrong is done, someone must pay for the wrong done. This is not …

Book: The Shorter Catechism Activity Book

Today’s Book Review is brought to you by Cross-Focused Reviews, who provided a copy of the book in exchange for the review. They send the book and schedule the blog tour, and I write how I really feel about the book. Trust me, there’s not enough money in these print-run of specialty books like this to bribe all these bloggers :)I am a Christian of the Southern Baptist variety, and so we do not have an official creed for our churches nor do we have a catechism for the teaching of basic doctrines. We’re a bit more random than that. While I would agree that we might need some changes in that area, this is not really the place for that discussion. Instead, I provide you with that information so that you know I do not come predisposed to a different catechism program or a preference for the one I grew up with, because I didn’t grow up. Or grow up with one.The Shorter Catechism Activity Book by Marianne Ross looks a little something like this: So, now you know how it looks. It’s published b…

Sermon Wrap-Up: September 16

Morning Audio Link is here (alternate)Morning Outline: (And the prayer guide referenced in the audio is here)Luke 11:1-13 Prayer I. Desire for relationship II. Recognition of situation      A. Prayer is from lesser to a greater      B. Prayer reflects our need      C. Prayer is not powerful: God is powerful III. Content:      A. Recognition of situation      B. From a heart of gratitude and understanding      C. Focused on what is necessary for obedience      D. Not focused on perfect wording IV. Attitude      A. Persistent      B. Desperation V. Trust      A. God knows already      B. God will answer better than we realize Application: 1. Pray.  2. Pray specifically 3. Pray generically 4. Pray for: Salvation for the lost; growth for the saved; the church to make disciples; strength to obey---provision and deliverance Evening was discussion, primarily, but here were some of the points I wanted to hit: I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and …

Book: Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day

This week, I am participating in a book review project for the book Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day. The book is published by BethanyHouse Publishers, and they sent me a free copy of the book to entice me to review it. All they enticed was the review, though, they did not require any level of review. The book looks like this: Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan is a short primer on more than twenty religions practiced throughout the world today. The obvious focus is on world religions that impact on world culture and American culture, but one of the good points present is that any major religion in the world impacts on those items in the modern day. As a side note, it appears that BethanyHouse is doing a series of "15 Minutes a Day" books, having started with Understanding Your Bible in 15 Minutes a Day and looking ahead to Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day. I will hopefully bring you a review of the latter after it…

The Gospel for Shrimp: Acts 10

We’re back into the book of Acts today as we go through the whole Bible. We saw Saul’s conversion back in Acts 9 (and talked about it some), and we’ve left him at home in Tarsus for the time being. Well, he may be headed off into the wilderness to hear from God (check Galatians 1:15-17), but for all we know right now, he’s in Tarsus.That chapter finished up with a return to examining the work of Peter. We’re actually winding down our learning about Peter: after the events of this chapter, he heads back to Jerusalem, and the book of Acts does not give us much else about him. He appears in the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15, but we have no further Scriptural locations for Peter. His presence in Antioch that is mentioned in Galatians 2 could have happened after this time or before it—we cannot be certain. (I think after, and I think it’s safe to think Peter makes it to Rome as historical tradition posits.)This, though, is his high-water mark. Peter has been an instrumental part of the infa…

Sermon Wrap-Up: September 9

Well, I thought I had recorded video of the evening sermon, and have spent the day trying to get it uploaded so I could embed it here.Guess what? I’m a computer nerd from the text-only days. It didn’t work. On a related note, anyone out there wishing to contribute to the cause of getting us set up to video, let me know. Morning sermon: no outline, we were planning on a guest speaker but a few communication lines got crossed up, so that didn’t happen. However, here’s the audio link (alternate link here).Luke 10:25-37 was the text.

Easy Peace, the Tooth Fairy, and Leviticus 3

There are certain things that people want to believe in, no matter what the reality is. Often it’s because we have been raised with those beliefs, while other times it because we need those beliefs to cope with a world that is radically out-of-control. Rationality does not come into play—we want to believe some of these things whether or not we can find any support of the idea. Some of these things are fairly innocuous: a belief in the Tooth Fairy does not do a kid much harm. Provided you couch it in the proper idea of fairy tales and imagination, it can actually be a great deal of fun, although those teeth are getting expensive. There are other things that you can believe in, even if they are beyond possible. For a time, it’s good to encourage your children to think they might be professional musicians or athletes, until a realistic look at their abilities points out that skipping math class to sing karaoke would be highly unwise. Reality is a harsh teacher, and it’s better to ease s…

Sermon Wrap-Up: September 2

We had our annual Labor Day weekend cookout last night, so there’s only the morning sermon.Morning Audio is here (alternate link here)Luke 9:57-62 I. Following Christ: No Easy Task II. The volunteer: when the going gets tough, are you still there? III. The called: Will you answer when it needs to happen, or do you want it on your schedule? Will you put the call of Christ above other calls? IV. The deal-maker: Let me finish this---then I'll do, but I want counted now. V. What are we?

Book: The Gospel According to Isaiah 53

In Acts 8, Philip the Evangelist is recorded as sharing the Gospel with a man from Ethiopia. His starting point? A question about Isaiah 53, posed by that same man. Given that event, Isaiah 53 has long been a major text cited by Christians about Jesus. It's viewed as a prophetic message that finds its fulfillment in Him.Far too often, though, this text is taken without serious consideration. First, the assumption is made that the only interpretation is that this passage refers to the Messiah. Second, the assumption is made that there is no additional meaning to be considered.These assumptions cause Christianity some problems. It appears obvious to Christians that Isaiah is speaking of Jesus, so we wonder why no one else sees that? This especially hinders our interactions with people of the Jewish faith and heritage. After all, Isaiah is truly a Jewish prophet--why, then, do current Jewish understandings of the passage differ so much from Christian ones?Further, we miss out in Chri…