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Showing posts from March, 2015

In the Morning: Luke 24

In Summary:

He is risen! It’s that easy to summarize Luke 24: HE IS RISEN!


In Focus:

Risen indeed! The certainty of the resurrection of Jesus echoes throughout this chapter. Wherever we might focus, that is what we will find. Whether you look at the angel at the tomb, or at Peter and his sprint to the tomb, or the two on their way to Emmaus, we see Jesus alive. When we look at the fish by the sea in 24:42-43, we see that He is clearly risen! Not just appearing to be alive, but Jesus is fully and truly alive.

These appearances were needed to reassure the disciples, including the women involved, because they knew He was dead. They had been at the cross. They had seen the body. They knew where He was buried.

Yet after all the darkness and sadness of the human story that ends in Luke 23, Luke 24 puts the focus right here: Risen, indeed!

In Practice:

At this point, for me, I accept the Resurrection of Jesus as a settled fact of history. I revisit the narrative to remind myself of the glorious ho…

Sermon Recap for March 29

In the morning service, the choir presented the musical Thank You for the Cross. It was very good. And very much covered under copyright laws regarding rebroadcasting it, so it’s not here.Evening sermon came from Psalm 199:9-16. Here’s the audio link. You’ll notice the lighting is odd. The power went out during Q/A time before the sermon, so it was just getting darker as we went…That’s the way it goes. March 29 PM Sermon Water buffalo--Philippines When I was a kid, we lived in the Philippines. No, I did not meet Tim Tebow in that time :) One of the problems we had, as did many of the people there, was access to pure water. You could drink the water, but at times there were risks of disease from it. Especially if there were problems with the purification systems on the Air Force Base.
The solution? Water buffalo. Not the animals, but these giant trailers that the military would fill with purified water and you could and fill a couple of 5-gallon jugs. This would be your drinking water …

Books: Ghost Fleet and The Three Emperors

One of the joys of blogging is free books. These books, though, were not free because of this blog but from the Amazon Vine Review program. I just thought I’d go ahead and share them here.You should note, dear reader, that these are mainstream/secular published works. Unlike many of the books you will encounter on this blog, these are not at all worthy of consideration as faith-growers or enablers. Instead, these are part of engaging in the wider world and knowing a bit about the culture we live in. The vocabulary is closer to UPS than Chick-fil-A, so filter yourself.First, Ghost FleetWhen I was in the 8th grade, I read Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, envisioning the World War 3 that we were almost ready to believe would not happen. I then read a few other books on the subject, such as General Sir John Hackett's The Third World War, which was much more dreadful. And much less engaging as a read.Today, we do not truly picture the great NATO-USSR conflict of earlier generations. …

The Law: Deuteronomy 22

In Summary:

Can you tell from the infrequency of Through the Whole Bible Old Testament posts that having some difficulty finding new ways to deal with the book of Deuteronomy? If not, there’s my confession of the reality.

Deuteronomy 22 continues the codification of Israel’s laws. Here we see several aspects of morality addressed, ranging from farming regulations to sexual behavior. The ready intermingling of various subjects supports the view that the whole Law should be considered together, though there are clearly emphases that run along the traditional division points of civil, moral, and ceremonial. However, if God inspired the commandment not to plow with a mixed team (22:10) just a few sentences from commandments about dealing with marital issues, then we should be cautious about cutting our own divides.

Rather, I would suggest that the Law stands as a unit. Looking back through the New Testament, we seethe Law treated in that manner: Jesus states that He came to “fulfill the Law”…

A funny story from Cub Scouts

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One of the ways I spend my time is helping with the Cub Scout Pack that Steven is a part of (or with the Boy Scout Troop in the same organization). They meet at a church in Stuttgart. A couple of meetings ago, one of the den leaders had arranged a visit from the local paramedics to talk first aid and show the ambulance to the boys.After a little bit of time in the meeting room talking about first aid and paramedic work, they took the guys down to the parking lot to show them the ambulance. And the transport cot, including how you strap someone to it.Did I mention that there was a church board meeting set for around the same time? Where the decision-makers and pastor for this church were coming to the church offices, housed right next door?Because they rolled up about the time the paramedics had one of the boys strapped to the cot, the lights flashing and the siren on for the ambulance.That’s a memory worth preserving. The pastor and an abundance of serious people headed to a committee…

In the Tomb: Luke 23

In Summary:

Luke 23 is the conclusion of the human story of Jesus. Luke has tracked the miracle-working, people-loving “Son of Man” from his birth all the way through his death and burial. If Luke had written the chapter divisions, he almost certainly would have placed the break here where we find it.

As you read through Luke 23, it feels like a conclusion. Especially in the modern era of leaving stories with unhappy endings (Nicolas Sparks, anyone?) in the interest of reflecting reality, we see all the opportunities to stop the execution of Jesus and think, well, no, that chance was missed. He’s got no one to save him now.

You have the political machinations with Herod and Pilate, but through those, there is no stopping the crucifixion. We expect the crowd to support the one who has done so many miracles, but they do not. We see Jesus falter under the weight of the cross and think…is there no limit to the cruelty? Is there not a centurion who will say “He’s too weak now, let’s do this…

Sermon Recap for March 22

We had a guest preacher in the evening, so the records are only for the morning.Morning Sermon: John 12:20-33 (audio) Bulletin Outline: Focal: 24-33//Burial and Baptism 1. The _______ of Jesus is compared to planting a grain of wheat (burial) 2. Jesus ______ was not only to atone for our sins but to show what happens in our  ________ (death) 3.  Burial of our current life is necessary for us to __________ what we are intended to be (become) 4. The glory of God is found in who He makes us to be

Sermon Recap for March 15

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Beware the Ides of March! History gives us that Julius Caesar was assassinated on this date, 44 BC. This is one of the “major” events outside of the Bible that shaped the New Testament world. It’s not really relevant to the sermons. It’s just interesting.Morning Sermon: John 3:14-21 (audio) John 3:14-211. ____________ comes to Jesus at night (Nicodemus) 2. Jesus reminded him of the story in _____________ (Numbers 21) 3. Jesus came to provide ___________ from judgment (salvation) 4. Without believing in Jesus, everyone is ______________ judged (already) 5. Truth should be _________ (Practiced) Evening Sermon: 2 Timothy 3:16-17For those of you who do not attend, Sunday nights often have several components. That the sermon isn’t very long doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of patience in the congregation 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 curre…

Blogs I Read Revisited

Way back in 2009--an eternity in Internet years--I did a brief blog post about the blogs I read on a regular basis. I took a look at it today. It's time for a new list. Interests change, people change, and the blog world moves onward. So, here are some blogs I read, categorized a little bit.

First, there is the one blog that I don't skip: www.annhibbard.com. I know, she's my wife. I also like how she writes and what she writes. She also is the main one to keep up www.thehibbardfamily.com, though I am supposed to be doing a little better at adding on to it as well.
Second, Ann works for the Home Educating Family Association. Their website is at www.hedua.com. At some point, the section labeled "Blog" may move, but for now, that's a generally good resource for homeschool stuff. In with the education blogs goes http://blog.drwile.com/, where Dr. Jay Wile posts fairly frequently on matters of science and education. Rounding out education, I'd put Dr. Robert T. …

Blogs and Writing: An Interview with Jonathan Milligan

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I met Jonathan Milligan last year at a leadership conference in Texas. Since then, I’ve linked to his blog at JonathanMilligan.com and drawn from his wisdom in the EverFocus System. He has a new book about blogging and how to develop your blogging into more than a hobby. Even those of us who are blog as a sideline or an extension of other habits can benefit from this work. I had the opportunity to send Jonathan a few questions, and he answered them and encouraged me to share those answers with you. Here they are:In the book, you start off by talking about the blogging pyramid of success. What is that exactly?Over the years I’ve discovered that new bloggers want a step-by-step roadmap. More than anything they want other more successful bloggers to tell them exactly what to do. There are so many things you can spend your time on and what new bloggers fear the most is wasting their time. They don’t want to blog for a year only to look back and find out they spent their time doing the wro…

In the Night: Luke 22

In Summary:

In the night, both good and bad happen. In the history of Israel, they were delivered from Egypt in the night (Exodus 12,) thus setting up the primary celebration of the Passover as a night-time event. This was one of the most important remembrances for the people of Israel

However, night was also the time when evil things happened. Historically speaking, prior to easy lighting, most cultures avoided nighttime activities. It was impractical to have light enough at night to do anything useful.

(An interesting anthropological study would involve how night-aversion is different in cultures where the buildings aren’t as confined, like one finds in tropical cultures. I digress.)

Most of Luke 22 happens at night. The opening 13 verses summarize events that occur prior to that night, but even these are feeding into what occurs in the night of the Passover celebration.

In Focus:

Take your magnifying glass to Luke 22:24-34 and look at the disciples and their argument. What is the argumen…

Weekend Reflections

This past weekend, we celebrated 39 years of life for my beloved wife, Ann. We are blessed by the fact that most of what we enjoy, we get to do for a living—she works in the homeschool community and writes, I teach the Word of God and write—so “taking a weekend off” is a different sort of thing for the two of us. We’ve had years where we had to get away from work and life…we’re not currently in those years.That being said, there are still the day-to-day details that it’s nice to escape. The alarm clocks. The telemarketers. The cat who is living on some weird time zone wherein “you get in when we get up at 5” means “start banging on the door at 3 just to make sure she’s not forgotten.”We started the weekend off by heading up on Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton, Arkansas. It’s a lovely part of this state, and the partial snow covering was an added bonus. We had saved up our vacation money to take part in Table for Two at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (again). This time around, we m…

Book: God’s Battle Plan for the Mind

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<-In the interest of honoring my commitments, I’ve got a book for you today. Regular blogging returns next week.“What do you think about meditation?” is one of those loaded questions in some Christian circles. While one can readily find the word “meditate” in most English translations of the Bible, the multi-cultural setting of America causes us some difficulty in determining just how to put that word into practice. Meditation, as a spiritual practice, lacks a single meaning.Into that debate comes David W. Saxton’s God’s Battle Plan for the Mind. The subtitle, “The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation,” gives you the value of the work. He provides the historical concepts used by the Puritans when they “meditated,” allowing the reader to properly understand where that practice fits with some modern suggestions of meditation.Overall, the Puritan concept of meditation is much more active than many ideas put forward today. Saxton presents the idea of an intentional process of reflec…