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Showing posts from February, 2014

Sermon Recap: February 23

Morning Audio link is here for Holiness is not an Option: Leviticus 19Short Outline:I 1. Holiness 2. Holiness in worship
3. Holiness in family
4. Holiness in community
5. Holiness in compassion Goal: A. Commitment to Christ for Imputed Holiness
B. Commitment to obedience for practiced holiness
C. Commitment to community for demonstrated holiness
D. Commitment to service for recognized holinessHoliness: Not an Option: Leviticus 19 February 23 AM from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Q&A Raw link is here: I’ve decided to just put this up—it’s an hour long, and you may nor may not be able to hear it well, but this is the Q&A session from Sunday Night. It was good—excellent questions from various people. Due to its length, I didn’t actually preach https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B662DupsSRc3ZFhQM3hRM1hTNWM/edit?usp=sharingEvening intended outline focused on Leviticus 18 and the command to not be like the Egyptians. We are to leave behind our sin, not drag it with us as we go.Extend Morn…

Book: ReCreatable by Kevin Scott

I had taken a bit of a blog break this week, but the review is due today. I’m hopeful to be back on track in the coming week.Kregel Publications brings us ReCreatable by Kevin Scott. It’s available in print or on Kindle. The print version runs 230 pages. My review copy is definitely an ARC-type, printed a little different than the to-be-sold version, so your might look a little different. And I won’t comment on binding strength, because mine is not going to hold up—it’s not meant to.ReCreatable is a look into how God works in broken lives. From the title, Scott is not exploring how God “fixes” lives. He is explaining how God “recreates” lives. What has been broken, God does not glue back together. He makes new instead.Overall, though, ReCreatable is not a fluffy book. Scott’s work here is not to tell you that it is all going to be okay. He presents a practical approach to matching the theology of a God who makes new with the life of a believer who needs it.I like Scott’s presentation.…

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel

And it may not even be an oncoming train!Those of you who know me know that I have been pursuing a graduate degree for the last several years.The last 12 years, to be precise. You see, being a Baptist minister is an interesting career field. First of all, it’s supposed to be a calling more than a career, but all ministers say that. Then many of us go to work and get paid for it. That’s part of the interesting aspect: few people blend all the stuff of life into one all-encompassing life quite the same way ministers do. We go to church at work and go to work at church; we entangle religion and employment, business and pleasure, faith and finance all in ways that are beautiful when it works. And a fat mess when it doesn’t.Many religious groups require a minister to hold a basic level of education before they enter the ministry. Then, there is a higher level of mandatory training before one is “ordained,” usually a gateway process to being placed in responsibility for a church.Baptists, t…

Sermon Recap for February 16

Well, I’m a few days late and a few keystrokes short, but here we go:First, observations. We were blessed to celebrate a baptism Sunday night, so that shaved off some sermon length. According to many, that made the evening service doubly-blessed. I continue to record the question/answer time, but I still don’t quite know what to do with it for publication.Morning Audio is hereMorning Video:February 16 AM: Buildings, Offerings, and Christians from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Audio is hereEvening Video:February 16 PM Introducing Leviticus from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Concluding Notes:1. I do have the rough audio of Sunday Night’s Q&A session, but I’m not sure yet that it’s useful for posting.2. I am not sure how to improve video quality with the current equipment.3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list:A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is hereD. For Vimeo Video, subscribe to th…

Food Friday: Tamagoyaki-style Omelets

I must admit: I love the food of other cultures. I will admit that I often try to copy especially Japanese or Chinese cuisine, and typically do so badly. While the idea of a culinary “Tour of Italy” to examine the differing culinary regions of that culture intrigues me, I would love to take a tour of all the differing food regions of China. Then follow it up with a short trip through Japan, and a stopover in Korea. So, when I see ideas from an Asian cuisine that I’ve never seen, I tend to chase them down. Then, when I learn a little more, I either abandon them or try it out. Today, I am going to hit one that I tried out, and so far seem to be doing okay with: the Tamagoyaki. Now, as I titled this, I will call my work a tamagoyaki-style omelet, because it’s not completely inline with Japanese tradition.What is a tamagoyaki? It’s basically an omelet, but instead of a fold like you might expect, it’s a rolled omelet. The word tamagoyaki allegedly means “Grilled Egg,” but my Japanese is v…

February 2014: Proverbs 14 by Doug

Death is coming. Death is coming for you, and death is coming for me.






The real question is not whether death comes. It is how death comes, and when death comes. It is further a question of whether or not death as we see it is the end.




So we come to Proverbs 14:32 and the contrast of the wicked and the righteous. The considerations are these: what is it to be wicked, and what to be righteous? This is what we must know, because the results follow the actions.




This seems like common sense, but so often we do not quite get things that are common sense without talking them out. So, here it is plainly: understand the results you want. Define them. Write them down.




Then figure out how to get there. Now, I know that ideally we want to worship God because it’s the right thing, it’s the thing we are created for, and even if there is no other benefit, truth for truth’s sake matters. Let us be realistic: most of the time, we do not start from there. We do not start to pursue righteousness because we…

Justice Will Happen: Numbers 31

In Summary: This chapter recounts the battle between Israel and Midian. Having fallen to the temptations of the Midianites earlier in the narrative, God commands the Israelites to attack. There’s something about that, isn’t there? Had the Midianites been content to let Israel pass by, God would have saved judgment on the Midianites for some other time. Yet they had to go after the people of God, who held no harm for them. This brought destruction. I think there is something to that in terms of how God reacts to those who oppose Him. When one opposes God, He continues to work to bring us back to Him. He extends grace in a wide path.Yet when we start to cross over into harming others, God draws a firmer line. It is true that He still allows evil in this world, but I would suggest the argument that this evil opens opportunities for God’s people to do good. This allows us to live up to the name of Christian: one who is like Christ but smaller. He came into a world of evil and did the ulti…

February 2014: Proverbs 13 by Doug

Well, I’m running a lot late today. I didn’t get off to a fast start, and there was work to be done that could not be postponed. We are chasing into Proverbs 13 today, and Proverbs 13:12 has the perfect verse for Valentine’s Day tomorrow:






Hope deferred makes the heart sick

But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.




Why do I say that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day? For a couple of reasons. First is this observation that I made to Ann this morning: we know people, including at least one teenager, who will spend more money on Valentine’s Day celebration (or have more money spent on her) than Ann and I have spent our entire married life on each other.




I do not say that to brag, nor is this anti-Valentine’s Day rant. I have depended on American Greetings for my livelihood, and if it weren’t for Valentine’s Day, all the florists would do is funeral, funeral, prom. Which would be sad, sad, depressing. And in truth, in prior romantic pursuits, I have spent a small fortune on Valentine’s Day gifts an…

Book: The Sentinels of Andersonville

Wars breed injustice. Wars fought to perpetuate one injustice breed injustice of incredible magnitude.What, then, do we do about it? More crucially, what would we have done about it if we were in the middle of it?This is the question that I cannot escape after reading Tracy Groot’sThe Sentinels of Andersonville, seen here: At the end of the post, you will find the synopsis and a link to the book trailer, but I want to give you a few short thoughts first. The Sentinels of Andersonville tells the story of the Civil War prison in Americus, Georgia. It also tells the story that destroy the myth of Southern Charm in war years. While one could attempt to argue that some Southerners did not fight for slavery but for their states, one cannot argue with the horror and atrocity that was the condition in places like Andersonville. This is not an easy book to read. Many of us, myself included, want to believe that starving prisoners, overcrowded prisons, and willingly allowing diseases like scurv…

Wednesday Wanderings for February 12

Tonight, the kids are moving from Saul to David….assuming that we continue on and have church tonight. As we come to this point in the history of Israel, a few questions are worth asking. First of all, what do we learn here about hereditary dynasties? Or, perhaps, about nepotism?I think the crucial concept here is that faithfulness is part of God’s approval process for His leaders. It is not just a question of who your father was, nor who signed your recommendation form. It is a matter of continued obedience to God’s Word.The next question that comes into play is the concept of transferrable skills. Do we only look for people with the exact right mix of experiences? Or are we willing to see the analogous skillset from other areas? David’s best work as King of Israel comes when he is shepherding. What about us? Do we look only at bare skills or concepts that people can understand?The focus for tonight is that God does not judge as people do. God judges right, all the time, all the way.…

February 2014: Proverbs 12 by Doug

I made a mistake last week. When I setup the bill payments for the first half of the month in our bank, I set one bill to pay from the wrong account. It was a careless error, but an honest one. I wasn’t trying to scam the bank for $385. Just a matter of clicking one thing too few.



Of course, given the banking system in America, the total fees and charges amounted to $58 for a simple mistake. I called the bank to see what could be done, and the very polite customer representative asked me a question. It was this: “How long have you been using online bill pay with us?”

Why did he need to know that? Because if it was a dumb, rookie mistake, he could refund my whole packet of charges. There was a decent chunk of money on the table when he asked me that question. My answer?

I’ve been using online bill pay with my bank for years. At least back to 2010, if not 2007 or 8. Maybe before. Ann and I have been early adopters for bank technology. We were depositing checks from home before anybody put …

Book: A Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 2

Some time back, I reviewed Allen P. Ross’ A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 1. You can find that review here. I am excited that Kregel Academic has furnished a copy of Volume 2 for me to review.

Where would I begin in reviewing Dr. Allen Ross’ workA Commentary on the Psalms Volume 2? This 800+ page hardcover commentary covers Psalms 42-89 and is the companion volume of his excellent first volume in the series. It looks like this: (Click the picture for more info from the publisher)

I will begin, then, with the major fault I could find with this work. It is an excusable fault, and is based in this being the second volume in an intended series. A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 2 starts straight into the Psalms with Psalm 42-43, and provides no introductory material on the Psalms as a whole. It is perfectly reasonable, as the goal here is to build a set, but for the tight-budgeted among us, it is a bit of a hindrance. If you need the comments on Psalm 70 but can only buy one volume at a…

February 2014: Proverbs 11 by Doug

My son has achieved his first two ranks with the Cub Scouts. He went from being a “Cub Scout” to being a “Wolf Cub Scout” last night, pinning on his Bobcat and Wolf badges. I am, as his father, very proud of him. I earned those badges when I was a young lad. I imagine that his PopPop, whose Wolf Cub Scout book I have, is also proud of him. (It was late when we got home, so we didn’t get to call yet.)






Yet when we come to Proverbs 11:2, we see pride as a bad thing. After all, pride is followed by dishonor. Humility is where one finds wisdom.




I think this is another case where English flattens Hebrew words. We have to read, and reread, the text of Scripture with an understanding that the original language has words with a range of meaning, and that our English translations use words with a range of meaning. The English word used to translate a Hebrew word had the closest overlap in range of meaning at the time of translation, from available English words.




In this case, “pride” is used for a…

Not the Whole Story: John 20

In Summary: We are wrapping up John, and will be done with his Gospel next week. I appreciate you who read and keep coming back. More than words can say. John starts chapter 20 with the trip of Mary Magdalene to the Empty Tomb. The Synoptics show us Mary Magdalene and others going, but John emphasizes her there. It is possible that she makes two trips, one alone and one with other women, or that she arrived before everyone else. It is hard to say with certainty—the fact that she travels “before dark (v. 1)” shows us that she went very early. This was a clock-less society: time was governed by the sun. Making it somewhere in the dark showed a commitment above and beyond. Then we get the travel of Peter and John to the Tomb. It is empty. They are just not certain what to do with this reality. More on that in a minute. We get the Upper Room, where there is discussion and debate about what has happened, and then Jesus shows up. Right in the middle of everything. Debating and discussing s…

February 2014: Proverbs 10 by Doug

Proverbs continues to show us how life should look, lived in obedience to YHWH. I am starting to meander toward the opinion that following the Proverbs would work out perfectly in Eden, though it does not always do so now. The reality is, though, that we must take the long view on the veracity and implications of Proverbs.



Such is the case with Proverbs 10:2 and the condemnation of ill-gotten gains. If you do not know someone who has profited from ill-gotten gains, you have not watched the news. We all tend to be aware of that individual who has gotten something that they have no business having.

The reality is that short-term gains can be realized from ill-gotten gains. That’s why they are called “gains” here: there is a gain. It is not, however, a long-term winning situation. Instead, like a Ponzi scheme, ill-gotten gains are doomed to fail in the long run.

We need not limit our understanding of this verse to financial impropriety. I would suggest that Solomon did not think of this onl…

Sermon Wrap-up from February 9

Due to weather uncertainty, especially for Pastor Desmuke coming from Little Rock, we are rescheduling our worship gathering with Providence Missionary Baptist Church. I hope that rescheduling may help us move toward more than annual gatherings.Morning Sermon: Free to Worship, Serve, and PraiseFree to Worship, Serve, and Praise: Exodus 12 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Sermon: Psalm 90  MicrosermonWe had such an extended Questions/Answers time on Exodus that I sheared off the sermon to 2 minutes.Psalm 90 MicroSermon from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Morning Outline:Free to Worship, Serve, and Praise
1.1. ExodusWe are looking specifically at Exodus 12:33-38; 12:51 1.2. PropositionOur freedom in Christ is to worship, serve, and praise God Almighty in all our lives 1.3. Intro: Basis of CaptivityFood. It's always about our basic desires and wants. Survival, choices we think we have to make. Heritage, where we have come from. Inside, the attitudes and habits we cultivate within ourselves O…

February 2014: Proverbs 7 by Doug

Proverbs 7:22 speaks of the inevitably of sin and destruction. We may not like to read this and see that, but Solomon points out how it happens. First, there is the attraction of sin. Then, there is a point of wavering. After this is a decision. Once that decision is made, there is no stopping the fall.



We like to think it is different than that. Our stories and fables are replete with last minute deliverance from the peril of sin. That is how we want life to work. Sure, our hero has chosen poorly to follow the seductive spy down the darkened alleyway, but someone will come along and pull him out before her henchmen kill him.



That works in the movies, but it rarely works out like that in life. We have a few shining, beautiful stories of last-minute deliverance from addictions. We have some glorious moments in Gideon testimonies of the person in a hotel room, pistol in one hand, whiskey on the nightstand, and one last look at the Gideon Bible stops their suicide puts them right.



These sto…

Food Friday: Skillet Steak, Edamame, Green Beans.

My first installment for Food Friday is based on the recipes that Ann and I learned at Table for Two a few weeks back. So, all the original and better ways to do this come from Executive Chef Robert Hall from the Rockefeller Institute. When you do it with Chef Hall watching for mistakes, it comes out looking like this:Of course, if you’re reading about food on this blog, you likely cannot hire an executive chef for your daily cooking. You want a home tip or two.Here is how we worked this out at home.First, of course, when you cook you have to think through ingredients and tools. Nobody with any real sense buys new pots, pans, or kitchen tools every week for new meals. You purchase multi-taskers as you find a need for them. Fortunately, this particular meal requires a couple of things that should be standard in your kitchen. You need: A cast iron skillet.Another skillet or saute pan. I used a 10-inch stainless steel for this recipe.A set of tongs. We have some tongs that are silicon-co…

February 2014 Proverbs 6 by Doug

Proverbs 6:22 comes to the spotlight today. What is there here to spotlight?






First, let us consider the antecedents of the pronouns here. After all, you see here a repetition of the word “they,” and if you do not know what “they” are, then you are in danger of missing the point. Chasing antecedents is crucial.




In that pursuit, we have two helpers for this text. The first is sentence structure. Unless there is a compelling reason to look farther, we look for the closest nouns that match the pronoun logically. In this case, we should look back to Proverbs 6:20 where the father’s commandments and the mother’s teachings are commended. Here you have two things, which makes a “they,” and these fit logically with the ideas in 6:22.




There is another aid to the pursuit, though, and it is one you might not notice. If you have some of the more literal Bible translations, you will see a little footnote on the word “they” which marks that the word is more specifically “she.” She? Really? Yes, really.…

Merciful Vow-Breaking: Numbers 30

In Summary: This is one of those slightly awkward chapters in the Bible. To some, it is illustrative of a bias against women. To others, it is illustrative of a legalistic system that no one fully followed, or follows. What can we extrapolate here?First, let us look at the concepts present. Numbers 30 deals with regulations regarding vows. These are not wedding vows, but more like the vows of “I will worship the Lord,” or “I will sacrifice an extra sheep.” Some of these would have been vows to join the Nazarites for a time, or perhaps even vows like we see from Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:11, to “return a child to God.” Since society is made up of men and women, this chapter addresses men and women. Men are mentioned first. Why? Israelite society, despite many benefits of serving YHWH, still meshed with the culture around it and was male-dominated. So, the vows of men are addressed first. They are addressed the shortest, though. The vows that a man makes are binding. He is to honor every wor…

February 2014: Proverbs 5 by Doug

I keep telling myself that I will make these Proverbs notes short. I even set my word alert to 350 words. It’s not helping me limit myself. Today’s goal? Hit the 350 and stop. There’s stuff to do.






Proverbs 5 as a unit warns of the folly of adultery. You can spin it as the warning against adulterous religion or against chasing the Woman Folly instead of Lady Wisdom. I think you should take it at face value first: keep your marriage vows. And if you have no marriage vows, then do not take marriage benefits. They go together. The other meanings layer underneath that, using the picture of destructive sexual dalliance to show why they are also destructive.




The verse that hit me today is Proverbs 5:12, and the reason is this: it sounds like an old country song. At least it does to me. It is the song of the man who chose to go badly, though he was warned not to.




This is Solomon’s initial work on “Mama Tried,” with its infamous lyric I turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole. No one cou…

Book: Romans 1-7 for You

Timothy Keller has presented two prior volumes in his “For You” commentary series. I have had the pleasure of reading Judges for You, though I have not read Galatians for You yet. The series consists of hardcover (or Kindle) books that run under 200 pages, and is presented by The Good Book Company. This one is Romans 1-7 For You. First, Keller is to be commended for not trying to cover Romans in a complete 200 page book. The haste would have been problematic. Even with the breakdown, it is difficult to address every thing in the seven chapters covered. The format of Romans 1-7 For You is straightforward. There are 12 chapters, plus front and end matter. The front matter includes a basic introduction to Romans, but this is more focused on the impact of the epistle than to examine major issues in Pauline scholarship. This is fine, because that’s not the focus here. Grab a more academic book for those. Each chapter is divided into 2 segments that are present practical sides of Paul’s wri…