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Showing posts from May, 2014

Books: Growing Up God’s Way for Boys and Girls

Today, it’s actually two books. One is Growing Up God’s Way for Boys and the other Growing up God’s Way for Girls. I think a joint review works for this, though.Parents are well aware of the impending, frightening years of puberty and body changes in their children. This is compounded by needing to discern the right way to even broach the subject and then needing to be comprehensive about a time that was, well, a long time ago for us parents. Additionally, we may not have even had all the experiences that are part of growing up, so how do we make sure what not to miss?Into this discussion come Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones, both pediatricians, and their books Growing up God’s Way for Boys and Growing Up God’s Way for Girls. These paperbacks weigh in at 76 and 78 pages, respectively, and are intended for preteen to early teen readers. The first positive I would note is both books provide information about the opposite gender. That is valuable, because the “man-to-man” talk about…

Wednesday—On Graduation

I can’t promise that this will be my last observation on going to seminary, and I assure you I’m not trolling for congratulations. Having just wrapped up a 12 year odyssey to obtain a piece of paper with six signatures and the words “Master of Divinity” on it, I do want to reflect a bit on it. And while I did not begin my journey with the destruction of Troy, nor was there an attempt by any to steal my wife, I do find some parallel as I consider Ulysses and his ten year journey home. If you will bear with me, I shall explain. First, I recognize that my path could have been easier. I tried to evade and avoid doing formal education, having been a pill of a student in college and not wanting to do it again. There came a point, though, where there really wasn’t much of a choice. I needed to learn, and I needed the proof that I had learned something. Second, I had many false starts. Like Ulysses, I could not manage the short path home. There was the crash and burn in 1999-2000 when Ann and…

Book: Know the Creeds and Councils

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Quick, tell me what Trent, Nicaea, Heidelberg, and Westminster have in common. Do you know?If you are a Christian, it would be good for you to know. These are some of the cities where groups of Christians have gathered to express the Christian Faith. While each of these, and others in Know the Creeds and Councils, were not perfect in their formulations, these Councils helped us know what Christianity is. It is quite certain that, as a Believer, there is nothing to be considered as important as the Word of God Himself, or the Word of God as revealed in the Bible. Yet how do we explain what we know about God as revealed in the Bible as a Trinity? There is no one verse that uses this word, or that fully summarizes the concept. Instead, we formulate the expression of God in Three Persons to show what the whole of Scripture contains.Likewise, how do we concisely explain the Jesus is fully God and fully man? This is an assumed, foundational concept in Christianity today, yet it took a few c…

Keep Heart: Ephesians 3

In Summary: Ephesians, like half of Paul’s writings, is a short book. Short on words, but not short on content. Had Paul lived in the Age of Blogging, he could do in one post what many of us take a series of posts to do. Summarizing Paul takes more words than he used to say it in the first place!Ephesians 3 addresses Paul’s comprehension of the Gospel as the mystery of Christ. Whole books have been written on this, but I’ll give you the quick view. Paul understood God’s grace, provided to humanity through faith by Christ, was the necessary component to being reconciled with God.That was only the half of it. The mystery extended to the unity of all mankind before God. First, the unity in need of salvation by grace. Second, the unity of all humanity in the provision of the Gospel. Third, the unity of all the body of Christ in salvation.Rather than seeing the world as a hodge-podge of component parts, Paul saw the mystery of humanity as a whole in need of God. And he saw that mystery sol…

An Observation for Memorial Day

Thirteen years ago, my daughter was born. We welcomed her in our own family way, and had no fears of wandering armies snatching her, nor of her being butchered in genocide because of our faith.We named her as we chose, and had to submit to no government whether or not she would have siblings. We have taught her to read and to think, and she has grown freely. We take her with us to vote, and we have taught her to speak her mind.She has access to firearms, freedom to be educated, and faces only the normal American worries of traffic, crime, and taxes.That’s the life she knows.And it’s not because I make enough money to bribe out the problems.It is because hundreds of thousands of men and women have shed their blood and given their lives for that freedom. From those killed on the battlefield, to those fathers and mothers who never came back from training and security missions in a war that was cold in name only, to those who seek the enemies of freedom to this day.On behalf of a teenager…

Sermon Recap: May 25

Another week, another sermon recap.Morning Sermon:2 Chronicles 5: Unmeasured SacrificeAudio Download LinkVideo:May 25 AM: Unmeasured Sacrifice from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Sermon:1 Kings 10: Evident WisdomAudio Download LinkMay 25 PM: Evident Wisdom 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 this channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/almyrafbcE. For Youtube Video, subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dheagle93/4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each service or hits on each blog, but in total it’s a decent reach. A social media expert might suggest changes, …

Book: The Return of the Kosher Pig

Programming Note: Friday night, I graduate from seminary, so I’ll be quiet until then. I could not resist tackling this review, though, and it’s got a due date.
Where does one begin when a book is titled The Return of the Kosher Pig? For most Gentiles, the one thing we know clearly about “kosher” is that pigs, well, aren’t. Haven’t ever been, and generally we think they never will be.
Then we turn to the subtitle: The Divine Messiah in Jewish Thought. Now we start to see where Rabbi Itzhak Shapira is headed. His goal is to develop an explanation of how Jewish Rabbinic teachings (the Midrash and Talmud, especially) explain the Messiah. From there, he goes on to connect their teaching back to Jesus of Nazareth, who Christians have long claimed is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament and explained in the New Testament.
Here is where this book gets dicey for me to review: I am not well-versed in the Rabbinic literature. Not at all. Shapira’s quotations are noted (and joyously, we cel…

Sermon Recap for May 18

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Blog Note: I am going this week to graduate from seminary. As in, literally walk the stage and have them hand me a piece of paper that says “GET OUT AND GO AWAY!” So, except for a book review that will post tomorrow, I’ll be quiet. Upon my return, though, I will actually have a Master’s Degree in hand, so then I’ll be ready to go Sunday Morning Sermon: Transitions  and Reconciliation 1 Kings 2:1-12Video: May 18 AM: 1 Kings 2 Reconciliation from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Sunday Evening Sermon: Security Psalm 141Video:Psalm 141: May 18 PM from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Prior Sermon Audio is here: http://dheagle93.libsyn.com/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, t…

Long Enough: Deuteronomy 1

In Summary: Deuteronomy. The names means “second law” in Greek, and this book essentially recaps the life of Israel from Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Included are reminders of crucial laws, but excluded are details like the size of the Ark of the Covenant. One of the differences in the telling of Deuteronomy is the presentation in first person. I am of the opinion that Deuteronomy represents the record of Moses’ oral presentations to the people of Israel. The more natural manner of speaking would be first-person, using words like “I” to describe what he saw. This first chapter deals with how the people of Israel have reached their current situation. They are in the wilderness area just across the Jordan River from the land of Canaan. In modern terms, they are in Jordan, or thereabouts. Moses retells the Exodus, briefly, and then about the wandering times. He does appear to cast the light a little brighter on himself than Exodus does. The retelling is necessary because we are now …

Wednesday Wanderings for 5/14

We’re taking a look in 1 Chronicles 22 tonight, and I’m hung up on the idea that David wasn’t permitted to build the Temple. The reason given is that he had shed much blood (1 Chronicles 22:8). I can see that in light of the continual warfare, but was it not done at God’s command?I think, but I’m not sure, that there are a few more things to consider in light of this.First, David went overboard at times. Consider back to his time at Ziklag in 1 Samuel 30, among others. David not only fought, but he tended to go ahead and kill off survivors or slaughter whole towns. Second, David went along with violent men. Looking at Joab and others, David allowed violent people into his inner circle, and went along with their actions. Even when he knew what they had been up to and disagreed with it.Third, violence retains consequences. Every person killed in battle with David and Israel, and every civilian killed afterward in the mop-up work, was a bearer of the image of God. True, many of them were…

Be Sensible! Proverbs 14:15 for May 2014

Today, we turn to Proverbs 14, specifically Proverbs 14:15. Here we find a contrast between naiveté and sensibility. This is different from the usually contrasts in Proverbs which fall between the righteous and the wicked. Instead, we see a contrast between one who has learned to pay attention, and the one blundering through life.Naive, or simple, in the context of Proverbs refers to those folks who are essentially blundering through life. It is the natural, original status of man and the Proverbs are written to help us rise above that status (Proverbs 1:4). In fact, the testimony of YHWH is provided to make the naive into the wise (Psalm 19:7), capturing one of the purposes for God’s Word in our lives.There is no fault found with the naive in Proverbs until they choose naiveté over wisdom. As parents should recognize, there are times people make mistakes in ignorance and innocence. Consequences remain, but the willfulness of the heart matters here—while the naive person needs to lear…

Be Seated: Ephesians 2

I see here the immense crazy idea that doing one blog post per chapter of Scripture is. It would take me multiple sermons to cover this chapter. I’m going to do it under 1000 words here. Right.In Summary: Ephesians 2 is one of the best, concise expressions of the grace of God in Scripture. The chapter starts with the declaration that we begin life dead in our sins, but even this begins with a positive feel as Paul uses the past tense to say that is what we were. It’s not even really the past tense that is used, but what in Greek is called the “aorist,” which is one of those great big linguistic issues which we won’t deal with here. Suffice it to say this: aorist verbs typically refer to one-time, finished events. There are exceptions to this grammatically, but that is the general rule. So when we see statements like raised us up with Him (Jesus) or you have been brought near (to God), we need to see them in this light. It’s an action that has been finished. Carrying on through the cha…

Proverbs 13: May 2014

Proverbs 13:15 tells us that good understanding produces favor, but the way of the treacherous is hard. This is one of those proverbs that we often respond to by saying “Yeah, but…” and then fill in the situation we know that’s an exception.Doing so demonstrates that we don’t quite grasp the perspective of the Proverbs. We have to come to this text with the perspective of the Kingdom of God.First, the temporal kingdom in which Proverbs was first written. A kingdom ruled by God’s anointed king, where every aspect of life was to be directed by God’s Law, given by God’s own hand. In a community like this, there should be no doubt that walking with good sense, living with understanding, is rewarded. Treachery has no place in the kingdom that honors God.That the kingdom of Israel failed to hold that standard together does not make the Proverb out to be false. It simply illustrates that we are not capable of living in respect of God’s presence without the intervention of the power of God. A…

Books: May Speed Reads Edition

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Here’s a rundown on some books I’ve been reading:

Proverbs 12: May 2014 by Doug

It feels like a long time since we’ve talked Proverbs. It has been, actually, and I have missed it. First, I was lazy. Then, life caught up with me and I have been digging out of one hole after another. Then we were building a fence and I was quite literally digging holes.I would commend this to you from Oswald Chambers on spiritual habits. I was challenged by that one today.The fencing puts me in mind of Proverbs 12:15, though, so let’s take a quick look at this verse. I’ll give you the ESV here, and you should be able to hover the reference for NASB: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.Now, whether you like to use “counsel” in place of advice or sapiens for you Vulgate lovers, the concept here is the guidance of wise people. We have to take this proverb in context of the book. This means heeding the guidance Solomon gives regarding choosing your counselors in the first place.When we look at this, then, let us proceed on the assumption that we…

Sermon Recap for May 11

We wanted to allow families more time to celebrate Mother’s Day, so we dismissed the evening service. Therefore, there’s only one video and one audio.Here’s the Audio Player:The direct Audio Link is here (No Free Sacrifices)Vimeo:No Free Sacrifices: 2 Samuel 24 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.There was an outline, but it wasn’t very solid or followed very well, so I’m not going to post it.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 this channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/almyrafbcE. For Youtube Video, subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dheagle93/4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each servi…

Sermon Wrap-Up for May 4, 2014

Good Afternoon. Sorry to run late with this today, but apparently my allergies, asthma, and a minor infection are working together to keep me from being very active today.First note: I have changed Podcast service providers. If you see any problems, please let me know.Second note: We continue on our read through the Bible at church. I hope it’s helping you as much as it is challenging me!Morning Sermon: Psalm 51 (audio download)Video: May 4 AM: Psalm 51 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Sermon: 2 Samuel 6 (audio download)May 4 PM: 2 Samuel 6 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Morning Outline:Chapter 1: May 4 AM
1.1. Scripture intro
Cover the background of David's sin with Bathsheba and subsequent repentance
1.2. Opening Illustration
Address the idea of sacrifice/offering as compared to heart change and obedience going forward--give a large financial gift or live a life of faith?
1.3. Summary Sentence
We will go confess our sins as an offense to God and respond by walking in obedience
1.4. Backg…