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Showing posts from July, 2016

Less than a Week

In less than a week, I’ll be on my way to Peru. In a week, I’ll be there. What am I going to be doing?PreachingWorking with the medical clinic.Working with the children’s events.Who with? Local church folks and a team from around the country. Where? Hu├ínuco, Peru. To what end? Whatever purpose it is that God has for us to be there. Hopefully, to find local churches our church can partner with and work to reach the world for Jesus. Hopefully, to share the love of Jesus with people and see them respond to Him.What else do I want you to know before I go on this trip?First, that God is in control. There are not any specific issues with Peru. I don’t know of any recent issues in our waypoints of San Salvador or Bogota, either, so it’s not a scary trip that Syria or North Korea would be. Then again, I don’t do well without adult supervision, so being away from Ann for 12 days is a bit intimidating. Plus, I don’t speak Spanish. In all, I’d appreciate your prayers. It’s going to be a couple o…

Sermon Recap for July 17

Good Morning! Here are the sermons from this past Sunday.Morning Sermon: Revelation 2:1-7 (audio)

Evening Sermon: Jonah (audio)

Book: The Beautiful Pretender

No, I have not taken a liking to medieval romantic fiction. Not even from authors my wife likes, like Melanie Dickerson. Today's review is written by Olivia, our teenager daughter.

I enjoy Melanie Dickerson's young adult fiction greatly, so when my dad gave me the option to review her newest book, The Beautiful Pretender, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. The Beautiful Pretender, in a pattern set by Dickerson's previous books, is based after a fairy tale, the story of the princess and the pea. However, even though it is grounded in a traditional fairy tale, it does not stay traditional for long.
Reinhart, the young and newly established margrave of Thornbeck, has just been ordered by the king to marry, soon. The king even provides him with a list of suitable young women to choose from. Reinhart is not pleased, but with prodding from his new chancellor, Jorgen Hartman and his young new wife, Odette, he sets up a series of tests for the young ladies to pass throu…

Out of Bounds: Matthew 15

In Summary:Matthew 15 sees the continued efforts of the Pharisees to trap Jesus with questions. There is, perhaps, something to be learned from His unwillingness to engage their assaults directly. Rather than play the exact same game or give them clear answers, He asserts His own authority. The opening question for this chapter is one He meets head-on. Not with an answer, but with a challenge.He then has to explain what He was talking about to the Apostles. They are, as we are, sometimes a bit behind. They were probably quicker to pick up on some things while we’re quicker with others, so there’s no room for pride here. They at least knew this: if you don’t understand, ask Jesus. When we don’t understand, we ask “experts.” Score one for the motley crew of fishermen, tax collectors, and others...We then see Jesus in a trip outside of Israel, where He heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman. He commends her faith, though there are some tough details about the interaction. Jesus comments…

Sermon Recap for July 10

Good afternoon! Here is the Sunday Morning Sermon. Sunday night, we spent chasing the rabbit of how to explain the Trinity. Which is a long rabbit to chase, and it doesn’t video well.
Morning Sermon was from Revelation 2:1-7. We’re looking, at length, to the Word of God and what happened in the church at Ephesus. We are starting at the end: Revelation 2:1-7 is directed to that church, then we’ll go back and see how that church started. For now, though, here’s the audio and video

That's all Folks: Deuternomy 34

In Summary:Moses dies. That’s the basic summary of Deuteronomy 34. God sends Moses up Mount Nebo, which is in present-day Jordan, and has him look over the whole of the land of Israel. The chapter closes with the official hand-off to Joshua and a closing praise of Moses, that no one has arisen in Israel that is his equal.This chapter marks the close of the Pentateuch, and is likely the work of a later writer than Moses. It is not necessary for Moses to have prophetic knowledge of his death so that he can write it just to preserve the idea of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Others wrote Scripture, it is not problematic for someone other than Moses to record this information.As the concluding chapter of the Pentateuch, we find the story seemingly at its conclusion. The Pentateuch opens with the creation of the world and the placing of God’s people in a fertile land. Then Adam and Eve are exiled from that land due to sin. The story carries forward to this point, where the people of …

Independence Day 2016

It’s that day again…time to celebrate all that is right with America even as we recognize that not everything is. Just like people birthdays or wedding anniversaries, we take some days and highlight the good and gloss over the bad. (Seriously: some people suggest not celebrating America on July 4th because we’ve done bad things as a nation. Okay---would you mind if we don’t celebrate your birthday because you’ve done bad things? Or if we ignore [fill-in-the-blank-activist/celebrity]’s birthday because they did bad things, too? Nonsense. Get over yourself.)This year, I present two things. One stolen from the Internet and someone’s rightly due credit. It’s a pretty America-first response to the recent “Brexit” vote. Which is a situation that I am not going to comment too much on now, save this question: how many of the doomsday effects are necessary for a vote that does not do anything for (possibly) years, and how many are intentionally instigated by governments, bureaucrats, and busin…

Sermon Recap for July 3

Good evening! Here is the sermon from this morning!July 3 AM: Revelation 2:4 (audio)Rev 2:4 The loves of the church The loves of the nation The loves of the people The loves of usFirst love? Cars and Sports! First love? Camp and romance... First love? What does it feel like? What do you do? I remember my first loves. What I would have done, what I did do…the chaos of how it felt. How nothing but that love mattered
First love of a nation? Liberty…justice…life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness?
And now? Some first loves are good to forget. Others are good to replace.
Because greater loves come along.
And when that greater love comes along, we should move toward it.
Yet some loves are never going to be eclipsed.
The love of the Savior is the pinnacle of this (Greater love has no man than this….John 15:13) His love drives our love (1 John 4:9)

What do we do?
Remember our first loves. Whether the first loves left behind or the ones we still embrace.
And hold to them. Why did we love the…

Book: Lessons from the East

Of late, I’ve read several good books. Fortunately, they are only in competition with each other for time rather than content. Otherwise, it would seem disingenuous that I am a fan of all of them. It’s been a better run for books these past few months. As is usual, I’ve been sent a copy of the book in exchange for the review.Lessons from the East, by Bob Roberts, Jr., and from David C Cook Publishers, is a packed paperback pushing perspectives previously pondered….okay, that’s all I can alliterate. The key thought is found on the back cover of the book: “What if our western view of church isn’t God’s view of church?”That is the question which drives Pastor Roberts’ writing. At first blush, this looks like another “everything we’re doing is wrong” book, like many have already written. That’s a tired genre. Note: for simplicity’s sake, I’ll be using “Western Church” for the overall mix of culture and Christianity we find in Western Europe and the USA as well as those places heavily infl…