Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Roller Coaster Ride

Today I was in a deep conversation with a couple close friends when this story began to creep into my head. One of my friends related our Christian walk with a roller coaster ride. We've all heard that analogy right? Well, lets think about the passengers on the roller coaster shall we. Usually there are two main types of riders, and we know this because the pictures taken when you're on your way down. There's the "grip the handle as hard as you can and close your eyes rider, and then there's the hands up totally just relaxin' havin' a blast rider." But if you're like me, and I bet most of you can relate, you're kind of a mixture of those two guys. I'm a hybrid. Hands up relaxin on the way up the hill when your coasting, but when the really steep hill comes you got at least one hand on the rail. Amen? That's me all day, and that's me in my spiritual walk. When things are going great I'm "praise God this and praise God that." The hands are up and i'm just relaxing, trusting that the Lord's plan is leading me the right way. But, when times are tough I wanna grab that rail and hold on for myself. This life is meant to be a roller coaster like ride. Each rise and fall is there to teach us lessons, help us grow as Christians, and to Glorify God. Several great points were made to me today. One, we are called to give thanks and be grateful for every situation we are put in...not just good. If things are suddenly stripped of us we are called to give thanks for that too. Ephesians 5:17 & 20 not to be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is; that at all times and for everything, give thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the father. My flesh is telling me that's easier to type than to carryout. Point number two, if your problems can be fixed with money then they're not big problems. Point three, all problems are spiritual problems. You got something wrong, then there is One, and only One, who is qualified to listen and answer all you want to bring to His attention. Hands up boys, lets see where and what God has in store for us when we get there.
Hoping to see you all at PAO,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request...

A few posts ago Terry mentioned a podcast by a pastor named Matt Chandler. If you haven't listened to them I strongly recommend them. His ministry has played a HUGE role in my sanctification over the last 2 years.

Thanksgiving day Matt Chandler had a seizure and was rushed to the ER. While he was there the doctors gave him a brain scan in attempt to identify the cause of the seizure. The scan came back and showed a mass in the frontal lobe of his brain. He is awaiting an appointment with a neurologist on Monday. We don't yet know if it is cancer or not, but a tumor in the brain is never good. I don't know how to pray for this situation...selfishly I want him to be healed because I love his church and ministry, but I don't know if that's God's plan. So...I guess we just need to pray that God's name will be glorified in this situation whether that's in Chandler's life or death.

I've only met him once, but my heart is very heavy over this situation. It's my prayer that God's not done with him and the Village Church's ministry.

PS- Let's not overlook Terry's post about Jealous God...there's some profound Truth to be found in this discussion...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Jealous God?

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." - Exodus 20:4-5 (The 2nd Commandment)

So I bring this up to start dialogue. What does God mean when He says He is a jealous God? Jealousy is not a very attractive characteristic especially for a perfect Almighty God. The word "jealous" sounds as if one's self-control has been lost, however we know this isn't the case with the Almighty God so my question again is..... What does God mean when He says He is a jealous God?


Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday Bread - "The Manhattan Declaration"

How should the church interact with politics; or should it at all? What about us? You know, I have never really been a fan of Christian's getting too involved in political issues. I have always thought that pastor's should preach the gospel and leave the political stuff to someone else. There was a guy in Louisiana, where I worked for FCA, who would go to the local Wal-Mart and hold up signs urging Christians to boycott Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart made a decision he felt was immoral). Others have urged there congregation to boycott Disney because it has a gay parade every year in Disney World.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that we could all agree that this isn't the most effective way to create change in our culture. However, there are deeper issues to be considered. What about abortion? What about euthanasia (assisting in the death of an elderly, or sick individual)? What about the freedom of religion? What about the sanctity of marriage? These are issues that I believe we cannot turn a blind eye to.

Today I received a document called the Manhattan Declaration. It was crafted by pastors, theologians, and other influencial people from Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians. I have attached the document to this e-mail, and I hope that you will take some time to read it. If you are interested in signing the document go to

We cannot sit passively by. I believe we are to obey the laws of the land, as long as they do not go against the law of God (see Romans 13). However, if they do go against the Law of God, we are to stand in opposition. This has been demonstrated numerous times throughout the history of the church. I believe the last line of the Manhattan Declaration says it best when it says that " we will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s." "But under no circumstances
will we render to Caesar what is God’s."

If you click on the title of post, it will take you to the Manhattan Declaration website.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Check Yo Lifestyle

After unpacking from this season I was going through some of the Baseball Chapel handouts that I kept and I came across one that stood out to me and I wanted to share with ya’ll. Not only was the message good but there are a few scriptures in here that are some of my favorites.

Do I long to know Christ? “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” Philippians 3:10

Am I faithful daily to meet with him? Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’” Luke 9:23

Do I have a teachable spirit? “Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” Psalm 25: 4-5

Can I honestly say, as the psalmist did? “As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

Longing to know Christ; Denying yourself; Guide me and teach me; and having my soul pant for God!!! All of these scriptures should make us all check ourselves and the lifestyle we are living. We may be saying to ourselves; “Ya, my soul pants for God” but is it really??? Don’t kid yourself, look around and it will be evident if your soul REALLY “pants for God.”

I pray that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and safe traveling as well!!! I’m looking forward to seeing some of ya at PAO!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

1 Corinthians (Real Power)

1 Corinthians 4:20-21 "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and a gentle spirit?"

Johnny Mac says that Paul is eluding to the basic idea that spiritual character is measured not by words but the power of life. Paul's actions enabled him to say things like he does in verse 21. "Should I come down to the town with a whip or a sack of love, you choose?" Sometimes we need to hold others accountable and hit them with some truth but how can we do that if we're not living the gospel? There also will be times when we need somebody to whip us with some Jesus. You might say "No way, that's not true, Jesus was a lover not a fighter, that's just not Christian." Read John 2 and get back to me on that subject. True power can be seen in the way the Spirit transforms your life. Lets be accountable to one another to a consistent approach at the plate of life change.

Podcast Recommendation

The Village Church (matt chandler)
Name - The Games People Play (series)

Terry put me on to this podcast and it has been fire.

Quilt Of Many Holes

Quilt of Holes:
As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in ever day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all. I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who un fairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you." May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through! Please share this with someone you love, care about or even someone who needs Jesus in their heart. They may scoff, but at least the seed has been planted, and God will do the rest. May God bless you today and Forever! And so ye are blessed! God determines who walks into's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wuv...Twu Wuv

Yep. Today was the big day, and although I wasn't able to make it, our boy Blake "the knife" Hawksworth got married. As a celebration of his big day I thought I'd commit a few minutes on our E-Fellow to talk about what God thinks of marriage. But first, congrats to the Hawksworth's, and safe travel on the honeymoon. Hopefully you wont read this til you get back. Here we go. Our Lord makes it abundantly clear right away that we are better off married than not...And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper that is suitable for him. Genesis 2:18. He waited all the way until Genesis 2 to get this going. We aren't meant to be alone guys. We are meant to have one wife. Helper didn't have an s on the end of it. And when we get married we are called to leave home...sorry momma but guess who comes in a distant second now. There's no more checking with mom to do this or that. The Lord tells us we better be making sure we put her, the wifey, first in Genesis too...Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24 Everybody on here knows that person that constantly battles with mom and his wife about things. "Well, mom wants to ...but my wife wants to just don't know what to do." You heard that one before. If that person speaking is you then you better check yo self right now. I'm no marriage counselor but I know there's only room in the nest for one hen. Enough bad metaphors from me on this. God tells us its good to be married. And that we are blessed to have finally found our soulmate. As He stated earlier we are called to be so close we become one flesh. So when you hear all that wives submit to your husband stuff just know that as husbands we are called to do the same right after that. A few years ago at PAO, the headline speaker was Gary Chapman who wrote the 5 Love Languages. It wasn't until he broke down a few of the different languages that I really understood what made my wife tick. I'm not gunna go into all the languages but I'll tell you that my wife's language is Quality Time...followed closely by acts of service. What that means is that she would much rather me just hang out with her or do the dishes for her than give her a present...for her that is a present. Me...I, like most men i'm sure, am a Physical Touch language guy. Followed closely by acts of service. I need the touch and love the dinner prepared or dishes/laundry. When I get home and my clothes are clean and folded it's like better than Christmas. So, moral of all these stories, God loves marriage and take the time to get to know your wife/husband for who they really'll help you love the marriage that God so loves. See all y'all at PAO.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Active belief

Sup fellas, got a short one today. I touched on believing what you are praying, now I want to dabble in acting out what you are believing. I want to run off of Luke 11:9"9So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you".

Basically, what I get out of this is do not stop once you have prayed. Get up and go look for what you are asking for. I mean if you are believing God for a new house, then go looking. You wouldn't just stay at your current residence hoping a relator knocks on your door. Go knock on theirs, network your family and friends, ask about any houses they would know are available, and just go flat out looking around town.

My point is this, God watches us, He sees our belief and us acting out our belief in Him and His will for our lives. For me currently, I am a free agent hoping and praying that God opens a door for me to get back with a club. But hoping and praying is not ALL that I am doing. I have my agent working for me and I am continuing to train this fall and winter as if I already have a place lined up to be at come March. This is my active belief. Some people ask me why I am doing all this and spending my money on a trainer not knowing if I'll even be picked up. I just say I believe in what I am praying for. Maybe I'll be back with a club come march, or maybe it will be Indy ball, or maybe it will be nothing. What kind of faith would I have if I hoped and prayed, yet did nothing active about it. If God has already answered my prayer then I want to be ready. I want to already be moving and displaying that I am ready for Him to use me if this is His will for my life.

Proverbs 16:9 says this, "9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." The Lord determines his STEPS. Now, I understand some cases may be different, but I believe this correlates with active believe. People may say, "Well I'm just sitting here waiting on God." But my guess is He is responding, "No my child, I am waiting on you." Or another way of putting it is, a ship cannot be guided if it is docked.

trying to die to myself

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Economics to Salvation in a QT gas station

I was in line at a QT the other morning at about 7:30am or so, as I sometimes stop to get a coffee or paper or what not before work. As I looked around there are two types of people in there every morning. On one side you have to suit and tie guys or pant suit girls and even down to the golf shirt and slack gang. On the other side of the coin is the Latino side with paint stains on their Dickies and boots strapped up. Now which of these two groups do you think has the saddest, maddest, most exhausted looks on their faces?? It's not the Latino heat. It's the white boys with college degrees on their walls, keys to a nicer car, polished shoes, matching clothes, etc. Have you seen these people in the mornings?? They look like they are going to a funeral, not to a desk where the first thing they are going to do is log onto Facebook and do nothing for an hour. I look at these latinos with a bag of cheetos in their left hand for breakfast and a 12 pack of Cokes in their right hand for later on in the day when it is blazing hot, or coffee if it is freezing cold. They could not be happier. Laughing it up at 6am. Probably shared a room with their wife and kids the night before, as I toss and turn on a pillow top mattress.
I just told that story to tell you where I took that thought in my head. I went a couple places, as I do most of those mornings as I scan the room. I finally came to the Biblical lesson of money and then right into the promise of salvation. I will explain.....Over 700 times in the Bible does it talk about wealth either directly or indirectly. That is more than double the discussion of heaven or hell. So, when I see the financial divide in a QT in the morning and try and put two and two together. Why did our Savior talk so much about money, if it is such a trivial matter? Matthew 6: 19-21 has been mentioned in this study many times and for good reason "Do not lay up yourselves treasures of earth......." Read the rest.
The economics of this world is based on scarcity. Things cost more, the harder they are to obtain. Supply and demand. It is often not how important something is, but how hard it is to get your hands on it. Take diamonds vs air. Which is more important? Air, obviously but air is free and very easily accessible, therefore its value is low. And, vice versus with diamonds. This scarcity drives us. There is not an abundance of things, which creates competition which leads to hording and stealing. How much competition was there in Eden? How much of survival of the fittest was happening in paradise? None. And there will be none in the new heaven and earth as well. Revelations 22: 3-5 "no longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him....."
This will restore the balance, and cooperation that is so hard to teach in this world. This is what we saw with the apostles after seeing Jesus risen from the dead. Completely free of the restraints of this world. Just flowing, walking Gospel bombs. They underwent great persecution with full thoughts on heaven and saw death as a joyous release. That is why Jesus talked so much about money and focus on it. Many well off people that you see at the church have a great life and find it hard to see death as anything but a dreaded event. And who can blame them? Look at what they have. We know better, right?.....right?......right?
So to bring it home. I just saw the analogy of the Latinos in the QT as focused believers who know how good they have it and will have it in the future, because their eyes have been opened to reality. Much like what happens to us as believers when we become saved. Such a different lens we look through as we live out our lives. So, stay focused on what is important and look forward to that time when the word scarcity is just an afterthought.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"You Talking Loud But You Ain't Saying Nothing"

"You talking loud but you ain't saying nothing", ya it's slang so how about this, "you are talking loud but you are not saying anything relevant". How many times have we had this thought pop into our heads when we hear somebody talk about something that has little or no value? It's just jargon! Let's get back into the 1st letter to Corinth.

1 Corinthians 2:1-2 & 4 "Brethren, when I came to you I did not come with excellent speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined to not know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified... 4 And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power."

MacArthur says this "the focus of the preaching and teaching to unbelievers was Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for sin on the cross. Until someone understand and believes the gospel there is nothing else to say to them."

This punches home some posts we have been having as it pertains to sharing with unbelievers, all we should do is share the gospel and pray that God will take the blinders off that person and reveal His truth to them. However this scripture for me puts more of a focus on getting back to talking about the truth of Jesus. Back in the early church followers were accused of worshiping a dead man by outsiders, that shows you how much Christ was preached back then. It was all about Jesus and I think that is because without Jesus there is no death, burial, and resurrection, and without that we have nothing. My encouragement for us is to get back to focusing our conversations, thoughts, and praise/worship on the Carpenter from Nazareth who claimed to be "King of the Jews".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lessons Learned from Water Skiing...

I’ve only been water skiing a few times in my life, but I remember something about it when from when I did. As most everyone knows, you start out in the water not moving at all and if it weren’t for the life jacket that I had on I’d be sinking. However, when the motor of the speedboat got cranked up and going that all changed. As we started going I started moving and as we started going fast I began to skim across the top of the water.

That’s one of the principles that God wired into the universe at creation…as you go faster and faster the more surface level you have to stay at, and the slower you go the deeper you can go. I’m sure there’s a scientific name for that, but you’ll just have to endure my description.

But as you may be able to recognize this isn’t just a physical principle, but also a spiritual one as well. Spiritually, many of us are going so fast that it’s impossible to live deeply and joyfully in God because we don’t take the time to slow down and actually spend time with Him. Our culture thrives on activity. We have something going every morning, every day, and every evening. There’s almost no time to eat, that’s why fast food is so popular. In fact, if someone were to ask you how things were going with you, you’d probably answer with “busy”, and that’s a respectable answer.

This can present a problem with us spiritually because a lot of us are just too “busy” to set aside time to get alone and pray. Jesus, however, took the lead in showing us how important it was to get alone with the God of the universe and pray.

Mark 1:35…Before the sun came up He’s praying.

Matthew 14:23…In the evening He’s praying.

Luke 6:12…He’s praying all night.

Luke 3:12…At His baptism He’s praying.

Luke 9:28…On the mount of transfiguration He’s praying.

Matthew 26…Before his crucifiction He’s praying.

Luke 23:34…On the cross He’s praying.

Do you think Jesus was busy??? Absolutely! However, he MADE SURE to SLOW DOWN and spend some time with the God in heaven. May we stop skimming across the surface of God and let go of the rope, sink down, and live deeply in the God of the universe.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Durham's Sunday Bread

“For he who has died is freed from sin.” – Romans 6:7

When someone dies do they still struggle with sin? Think about it, all the cares of this world are gone. All those sins the person struggled with gone. At the moment of that person’s death, sin lost all of its power. Sin can’t master a dead person!
This is Paul’s argument for the believer. The argument he anticipates from his readers in Romans 6 is that if we are saved by grace, why not keep on sinning? If where sin increased, grace abounded all the more (Rom 5:20), why not keep on sinning? If it is not through obedience to the Law, then wouldn’t Christians keep sinning?

What is Paul’s response? “May it never be (Rom 6:2)!”

Here is what he says:

“5For (K)if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection 6knowing this, that our (L)old self was (M)crucified with Him, in order that our (N)body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for (O)he who has died is freed from sin.”

We are dead to sin! Why, because we have died with Christ. That means we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:16-18). Sin has lost all of its power over us, who are in Christ. What great news!
What if a person says they are a Christian, but continues to live a lifestyle of sin? They are still slaves to sin. Paul says in Romans 6:16 that “you are slaves of the one whom you obey.” This person has not died with Christ, therefore they are not true believers.

We don’t have to be afraid to preach salvation by grace alone for fear that someone might abuse it. If someone truly trusts in Christ they will be united to Him in His death, and therefore sin will lose its power over them.

What sins are you struggling with? What sins “seem” to have power over you? If you are a Christian, they don’t! You do not have to live in slavery to sin! We are dead men walking.


Romans Chapter 1

Me and Tanner just started going through the book of Romans together. Here are the notes for chapter one.....

Paul had always desperately wanted to visit the Roman church, but because of constant persecution had been prevented from doing so (1:13). Therefore, through God's sovereignty, Paul's inability to visit Rome gave the world this inspired masterpiece of gospel doctrine. Unlike some of his other letters, Paul's purpose for writing his letter to the Roman church was not to correct bad theology or rebuke ungodly living. The church in Rome was doctrinally sound, but, like all churches, needed rich doctrinal and practical instruction that this letter provides.

Romans 1:16 - "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..."

When referring to salvation the word "believe" is often used in the present tense ("is believing") which stresses that faith is not simply a one-time event, but an ongoing condition. True saving faith consists of three elements... 1.) mental = the believer understands the gospel and the Truth about Christ. 2.) emotional = the believer embraces this newly revealed Truth with genuine sorrow over sin and joy over God's mercy and grace to freely forgive these sins. 3.) applicable = the believer submits his entire life to Christ and trusts in Christ alone as the only hope of salvation. Genuine faith will then produce authentic obedience (James 2:17-20).

Romans 1:19-21 - "What may be known of God is manifest in men, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that men are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

The Truth of God can be clearly observed from conscience (2:14-15), creation, and God's Word and although this evidence is irrefutable, men still choose to resist and oppose God's truth by holding on to their sin. Now, I want to talk about the conscience real quick....

God has sovereignly planted evidence of His existence in the very nature of man by reason and moral law. Paul explains that Gentiles who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law.... they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also testifies, and between themselves their thoughts accuse or excuse them (2:14-15). CS Lewis explains this moral law in his book Mere Christianity.... "Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it........ Men find themselves under a moral law, which they did not make, and cannot quite forget even when they try, and which they know they ought to obey...... Something which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong."

God holds all men responsible for their refusal to acknowledge what He has shown them of Himself in His creation. Even those who have never had an opportunity to hear the gospel have received a clear witness about the existence and character of God - and have suppressed it. CS Lewis again speaking on conscience says, "You find out more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built". If a person will respond to the revelation he has, even if it is solely natural revelation, God will provide some means for that person to hear the gospel. Man is conscious of God's existence, power, and divine nature through general revelation. Those who know of God but do not glorify Him as the God of the universe and seek Him out will harden their hearts. When man rejects the Truth, the darkness of spiritual falsehood replaces it (John 3:19-20).

Romans 1:24-25 - "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves who exchanged the Truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator..."

The greek term used here for "gave them up" is a judicial term used for handing over a prisoner to his sentence. When men consistently abandon God, He will abandon them. He does this sometimes does this directly by specific acts of divine judgement and punishment (flood, Sodom, etc.). And He sometimes does this indirectly by removing His restraint and allowing their sin to run its inevitable course. Here, Paul is speaking of God indirectly giving men up to uncleanness of sexual immorality. The Greek word used for "uncleanness" is a general term often used when speaking of decaying matter. God abandons those spoken of here and allows their sin of sexual immorality to run its course which begins in the heart and moves outward to shame the body decaying the soul.

Men who deny the existence of the Almighty God of the Bible worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. Most men (without admitting it) worship and serve themselves because of this popularity within our culture to establish that truth is whatever one personally believes to be true. John MacArthur speaks of this in his book, The Truth War....

"Postmodernism in general is marked by a tendency to dismiss the possibility of any sure and settle knowledge of the truth...... Nothing is certain, and the thoughtful person will never speak with too much conviction about anything. Strong convictions about any point of truth are judged supremely arrogant and hopelessly naive. Everyone is entitled to his own truth."

This can be clearly examined through general conversation. You hear people all the time making comments such as.... "Well, I don't think God is exactly like that". I would then follow by asking what this particular person bases their beliefs about God on. You might hear something such as.... "Well, its just what I believe". So their beliefs about God are based on their own personal thoughts and opinions. They have become their own personal god and established their own false truth that fits their pleasure. I'll end with this.....

When asked by someone which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness, CS Lewis responded.... "While it lasts the religion of worshipping oneself is best..... If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly do not recommend Christianity."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

One song that I sing to my daughter almost every night before she goes to bed is The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Here's a refresher course on how it goes. The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider crawled up the spout again. I'm not trying to sing y'all to sleep here, I just always think of the song a little differently. Here's what I think of when I sing it. Lets break it down, and put ourselves in the song. The itsy bitsy spider to me signifies us as humans living our every day normal lives. Everything is going great and then all the sudden something (the rain for this purpose) knocks us back down to Earth. And when things get really bad we pray to the Son of God (He is the sun in the song for me), Jesus, and he reminds us that we are blessed, and that we are loved, and we rally and pick ourselves up and climb back up the water spout. Remember, when things get bad, they aint nothing compared to what our Lord Jesus did for us on that cross. And, God has promised us that He won't give those of us that love him a temptation we cant escape from with His help (1 cor 10:13). Think about it...why would we have a need for God if he gave us only things we could handle. Turns out we spiders need him pretty bad. This might be corny but its whats been on my heart all day. Thanks to the Son of Man for drying up all the rain and saving us from an eternity in a fiery place.

ps...blake "the knife" Hawksworth and I might start tag teaming this e-fellow on saturday night.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Do ya believe, really?

This week I wanna go at one of the hardest things for me in my prayer life…..belief. I am sure we have all been there a time or two…or fifty. Those times when you are in prayer, praying away, but not really wholeheartedly believing that what you are praying for will actually come to pass….maybe I’m the only one. But, I have learned how this can really hinder your prayer life.

See, after we plead our case, so to speak, we are to believe. Asking in itself does not cause you to receive. In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus says, “22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. He didn’t say will receive but receiv“ed”. When you ask, you should believe right then and there that you have already received it. In the book of Daniel you can read that Daniel prayed and that, the same day he prayed, the answer was on its way. However; Daniel did not know that. But, what did he do? He kept praying, and after 21 days an angel arrived with his answer. The point is Daniel didn’t give up after five or ten days. No, see Daniel believ“ed” that what he prayed was going to be manifested.

Doubts play a huge role in every person’s life. It is inevitable, undeniable, and inescapable. In fact one of my preferred authors, John Ortberg wrote a very good book called “Faith and Doubt: the most important word may be the one in the middle. And John does a really good job at tacking this hard subject. But anyways back to my point. Doubt enters our lives in so many areas, but I believe the area we need to fight the most to keep it out of is prayer. James 1:5-7 says, “5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.

I’ll end with this. Think back to when you were a child, and at about this time of year you are making out your Christmas list to santa. I do not know about you fellas but I know for a fact that I believed that I was going to receive every thing I wrote down on that list. Doubt actually never entered my mind. Now, did I get everything on my list(s), no, but when I penned them on paper I didn’t doubt that I would not obtain them. Now, I am not comparing prayer to a santa wish list (though some people think that prayer is like a Christmas list). I’m saying that we need that faith of a child when it comes to prayer. We believed that Santa was going to give us whatever we asked for, and yet we doubt sometimes that our Savior will give us anything less??

trying to die to myself

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Can you look in my Mind?"

Can the devil read my mind? I was reading a little Q & A on a Johnny Mac post and someone posed this question to him. It feels like that sometimes doesn't it. However, nowhere in the bible does it say that Satan can read our minds or is omniscient. Only God can read our thoughts. If holy angels can't read our minds then a fallen one can't either was the jist of the conversation.
What the devil can do is read us like a book from the outside and hear our words and tone of voice. How many times have you gotten into a fight with your significant other and they say "it is not what you said, but your tone of voice" ha. If there was a supernatural class on body language, the devil would run it. Satan can very easily anticipate what we are going to do or which way we are swaying and help push us in the wrong direction. Being in sales, I have learned to read people's body language and tone and it is very easy to see if they are interested in what you are saying or not. (Arms crossed = "no", leaning forward = "yes" etc..)
Thinking about this brought me to another aspect of human flaw and that is 'blame shifting'. I have heard it said and said it many times myself "Satan is really tempting me" or something to that degree. You see it in a much simpler terms in children. "He started it" is a phrase heard all to often to explain one's self. That is how I see myself when I sin. The devil started it. But, who has the ultimate call in this world of free will? Me, myself and I. It has been brought up in a few discussions lately about talking yourself into something (buying a car you don't need, hooking up with that chick, opening that porn site). Do we have these conversations out loud? I know I don't. I just have a conversation with myself. So, if the devil can't read my mind and I'm not talking aloud, then this is just sinful me talking myself into another disappointing moment in my life.
What's the answer? You have to arm yourself everyday with the FULL armor of Christ. Hit up Ephesians 6: 10-18
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

We all have felt when we are at the top of our spiritual game, and we know that there is no game the devil can play with us to get us to slip. We have to put on that armor everyday and be ready for anything that is thrown at us.



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1 Corinthians (division in the church)

Sorry for the delay, I honestly forgot that I promised to run through this letter of Paul's (1 Corinthians). So let's see what John MacArthur says about the 1st chapter.

1Corinthians 1:10-13 "I appeal to you brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers some from Chloe's house have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided?...

What Paul is eluding to is no different than what we see today in the church in form of denominations. The Corinthians were getting it twisted and focusing on things that weren't of the utmost importance and allowing this to break them up. You see that Paul is explaining that people are saying that they follow different people. Johnny Mac says that the Corinthians started to break up and follow who they thought was the coolest (High profile personalities), for example someone who hangs on every word from a pastor as opposed to every scripture/word from Jesus. Be reminded that all men are sinful and eventually will make an error, Jesus never has and never will so you know His word is always good. This brings back the conversation of foundational doctrine that can't be misinterpreted. As Christians we can't misinterpret the resurrection, virgin birth, substitution (life for life, Jesus for our sins), and various other doctrines. However we can disagree on drinking (having a leisurely drink versus no drinks), methods of witnessing, worship music style, and other issues that don't affect the foundation of our faith. We have to stay together despite having different opinions on things that don't affect salvation. One of the biggest turnoffs to non-believers is the division in the church, we see all the time. "Why would I want to belong to a group and have to oppose other groups when I can just stay neutral." It's ugly!

A problem I had was I used to dislike the Catholic church and claim that they were openly committing blasphemy on multiple accounts. Then I met a great Catholic follower and we talked ever day about our differences and shared beliefs, coming to find out that our foundation was the same. His church chooses to put a high focus on things I don't agree with but should that affect our brotherhood, I don't think so, we are both following Jesus. However we first have to understand what we stand for and what our foundational beliefs are (search archives for more on foundational doctrines).