Monday, July 17, 2017

Headed to Peru

Well, it’s that time again this year. I’m headed off to Huanaco, Peru, with a team from the church. We’ll be gone for about 2 weeks. (No, I’m not posting about an empty house. Everybody else is at home. Armed to the teeth, if necessary.)

If you would, pray for us. It’s a long haul of flights and there have been some changes where we’re going—so we don’t know exactly what we’re getting into. It will be good, but we’re basically going prepared to do “anything.”

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of flying, so that aspect is always nerve-wracking. The other aspect is that this year, unlike last year, I’m responsible for five other people. Everybody’s an adult, so it’s not a “legal” responsibility. It’s just an ethical one: if something goes wrong, I’m the one who got them into this. Not a major issue. Unless we don’t get Joel to the Avianca counter in Lima quick enough on Tuesday morning and we have to navigate getting him a replacement ticket in Spanish…then it might be interesting.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to come back exhausted and refreshed. I’ve been wrestling with some questions since May or so, and I think I’ll have the opportunity to process some of it while we do our work in Peru. Upon return, I intend to get back to writing and take on a few other projects that need doing—and from those, draw what I need to my work here at the church better.

It’s a cycle. Hopefully one headed for an upswing.

Sermon Recap for July 16

Good morning!

Before I jet off to Peru, here are the sermons from yesterday. There's an audio player where you can select a sermon to listen to, then there are the two video links to YouTube. Then there are the outlines. When I get back, I'll try to get the baptism video put up. (Yes, the "audio" player looks like a giant video. It's not. Just an audio. Click on "More Episodes" to get the different sermons.)

Doug








Passage: Acts 2:38-47

Context:

Establishment of the church; Preaching on Pentecost; Apostles holding up the Word

Overview:

  1. NEED for Jesus
  2. Forgiveness for All
  3. Lord and Messiah!
  4. Then….

Reflections:

The purposes of the church: learning about Jesus, drawing together, worship, and prayer!

Expectations:


  1. come to Christ
  2. Commit to grow
  3. Build fellowship
  4. Worship fully
  5. Pray constantly

Passage:

Acts 2:1-13

Context:

Preaching at Pentecost

Overview:

We need Jesus
God will work that we come to Christ
No boundaries for the Gospel
Tongue speaking

Reflections:

Pray and seek, God will work

Expectations:

Pray!
Seek!
Speak!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book: Learning Change

Today’s book is provided by Kregel Academic and Ministry books. The provide the book, I provide the review.

Change. Within Christian circles, we cannot separate the idea of organizational change from personal growthand this is the primary concept behind Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor’s book, Learning Change. 

At the outset, a couple of things need to be made clear. First, this is explicitly a Christian book—this is not a general organizational work or a self-help book. It’s based on work with churches and with Christians. Second, it is a deeper academic type of book. While it is not dry, it is jam-packed and references historical and theological concepts that one should know in church leadership. They are not always explained, so you’ll have to draw on other resources.

Now, to the meat: multiple authors are utilized to provide extra viewpoints. While that results in some unevenness—I found a few chapters better than others, but would not say any of them were ‘bad,’ just that some were better—diversity of viewpoints here is helpful. We get a better-rounded look at the church as an organization through the differing experiences brought to light. And, to be honest, a touch more diversity might have added depth, but the authors are drawn from those who worked deeply through the process.

This is the strength of this book. Rather than one pastor proclaiming what he did in one church and providing it as a template, the reader is given the results of a process used several times across multiple churches. The idea, as stated, was to show how change works outward from individual transformation.

So, if you want to see an organizational shift in the church—and a church is an organization, whether we like that label or not—then you start by helping the people in the church grow into what God has called them to be. From there, a true community of Christ-followers can form and that, in turn, leads to the organizational change we need for the church to be effective.

Does it work? I think it does. It’s not a book that you can read casually, but it is worth studying through.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Only His Glory: 1 Corinthians 10

In Summary:
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians continues with a look at the history of Israel. There’s an important side fact here: one does not comprehend the New Testament fully without knowing the Old Testament. Seriously—you don’t have to memorize the list of kings, but you should know the flow of the narrative. Paul draws an important lesson from the history of Israel and, unfortunately, it appears that we may need a refresher course.

The events Paul narrates are primarily from Exodus, though some of them are recounted in Numbers as well. It is the story of a people rescued from slavery who then, in all practical ways, turn their back on the God who delivered them.

Paul is warning the Corinthians that they are walking down the same path that Israel took. That they, though they have been joined to the same rock and draw from the same well, are drifting away from the Lord. The hammer comes down hard in 1 Corinthians 10:21-22: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.” Mixing up the two, serving two masters, is to be avoided.

In Focus:
The structure of this chapter puts the argument throughout the chapter with the payoff at the end. 1 Corinthians 10:31-32 are the seal for the end of the argument, the call-to-action upon the evidence presented. What is that call?

That rather than pleasing self, either in the rebellious Israelite or the Greco-Roman idolatrous fashion, everything the believer does should be for the glory of God. Everything. 

How you eat? What you eat? 

For the glory of God.

Rather than doing it all for our own glory or for the glory of anything else, it should come back to glorifying God. The God who sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die in our place.

In Practice:
Everything we do is to be for the glory of God. That’s great and would look good on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker (both of which, by the way, are about as bad a source for communicating theology as Twitter is). But what do we actually do about it?

To answer that, work back through the chapter and contrast what had happened with what should have happened. The people of Israel should have worshipped God with the liberty they had been given. Instead, they chased their own pleasures and debauchery. We should, then, focus on worshipping God instead of chasing the stuff of earth. But it should be done “to the Glory of God,” not for the glory or approval of men. 

I’ll give you a direct example: 1 Corinthians 10:8 refers to the people falling into immorality. How do we as Christians teach sexual ethics? Usually as a combination of self-help and fear, actually. Don’t do this because you’ll hurt you or you’ll hurt others. If we apply 1 Corinthians 10:31-32 to the issue of sexual ethics, the relevant question narrows to this question: is what I am doing with myself within the glory of God? Proverbs and Song of Solomon speak of the grandeur of love and romance within a Genesis 2 type of framework, between husband and wife. God can be glorified through romance—living in that is a choice we make. One motivator, the glory of God, provides a far better idea than making a thousand do and don’t lists.

So, do whatever you do—and eschew what must not be done—for the glory of God. Let others see that your one passion is that God is glorified in what you do.

In Nerdiness:
Beyond this, there are some great things in this chapter in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 that speak to the Lord’s Supper. That’s the reference in “cup of blessing” and “bread” in this context. Paul speaks of the idea of the many being one body, for they partake of one bread. Two things:

1. Most churches don’t do this. We partake of a multitude of individually made pieces of bread for the sake of convenience. We might be missing the point.

2. Paul is not at Corinth when he writes this. But he still uses first-person plural phrasing. Why? Because the church is more than one local body, it is all the redeemed of all the age (as BFM2K puts it.) One point of celebrating the Lord’s Supper is the communion with all the saints.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...

I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:

First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.

Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.

That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and endowed by that Creator with certain inalienable rights—this is part of the basis of the United States of America. As we set that aside and move humanity from a little lower than the gods to barely higher than the animals, we reap the consequences of it. As we set aside that rights are inalienable endowments belonging to all and view them as kind benefits of government (those are privileges—not rights), we reap the consequences of that fallacy.

Let us awaken from our slumber soon, before we lose all common sense.

INTRODUCTION

Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of calling the right of it in question (and in Matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry) and as the King of England hath undertaken in his OWN RIGHT, to support the Parliament in what he calls THEIRS, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpation of either.
In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided every thing which is personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as censure to individuals make no part thereof. The wise, and the worthy, need not the triumph of a pamphlet; and those whose sentiments are injudicious, or unfriendly, will cease of themselves unless too much pains are bestowed upon their conversion.
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances hath, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested. The laying a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Party Censure, is the AUTHOR.
P.S. The Publication of this new Edition hath been delayed, with a View of taking notice (had it been necessary) of any Attempt to refute the Doctrine of Independance: As no Answer hath yet appeared, it is now presumed that none will, the Time needful for getting such a Performance ready for the Public being considerably past.
Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the MAN. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.

Philadelphia
February 14, 177


Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1998).

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sermon Recap for July 2

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.

If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://www.eebcar.com/sermons/feed

The video is linked on the East End Baptist Church web page here: http://www.eebcar.com/sermons-2/ or on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=public

Thanks!

Good morning! Here is yesterday morning’s sermon. Last night we spent recapping the Southern Baptist Convention, particularly what the parliamentary processes looked like passing resolutions. That wasn’t worth videoing. Really, it wasn’t. Want to know parliamentary processes? Get this book: A Parliamentary Guide for Church Leaders. I do not expect to ever be President of the Southern Baptist Convention, but I’m certain of this: if I’m not President of the SBC before Dr. McCarty retires from being the Chief Parliamentarian, I don’t know that I would want to be afterward.

Sermon was from Psalm 136. Audio is here or playable:



Preaching notes: (Keep in mind, this is directly from my notes which means it may not make much sense to read)

READ IT TOGETHER RESPONSIVELY
Passage:
Celebration of the Greatness of God
Context:
Shortly after the Songs of Ascent—120-134 are recognized as songs of going up to Jerusalem for the gathering of Israel—note that Psalm 119, the love of God through the law of God, immediately precedes these Psalms.
Then 135 is Psalm of Praise for God’s work which remembers some of the same events as 136
Psalm 136 then goes through those ideas as a corporate call and response, just like we have done it this morning.
Overview:
Preview
Skillful creation (v. 5) (6-9)
Exodus 10-15, wanderings 16-20
Joshua 21-22, Judges 23-24
Reflections:
Praise in Creation
SO KNOW IT!
Praise Redemption
SO KNOW IT!
Praise is commanded!
BECAUSE HIS FAITHFUL LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!
Expectations:
Thanks, Praise, Acknowledgment, OBEDIENCE!
Mission!

Service/Sermon Recap for October 25 2020

Good morning! Here are the service replays from today: Facebook Morning: YouTube Morning: Facebook evening: Wednesday Evening: And remember ...