Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thru The Bible

I'm curious as to what kind of reading plan if any, my readers might have for reading thru the Bible in 2009. In 2007 I did just the N.T which turned out to be one chapter a day when read Monday thru Friday. Through this past year I've been focused on the books of poetry and for 2009 I have not yet decided.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Psalms 100:1-5 (NKJV)
1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


INTRO - How Much Is $1 Billion? It is difficult to comprehend what $1 billion could be, but at least I have heard an explanation that clears the air. A man gave his wife $1 million. He told her to go out and spend $1000 a day. She did. Three years later she returned to tell him that the money was all gone. She wanted more. He then gave her $1 billion. He told her to go out and spend $1000 a day. She didn't come back for 3000 years. (Atlanta Journal-Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations) How many of you would be content with $1 million? With $1 million you could have almost anything. One of Larson’s Farside cartoons depicts a couple of cows in a luxurious house and the wife in her beautiful dress says “I’m not content.”
We live a society where we tend to think we need more and more and more. Maybe it’s because the society at large has come to believe that more is all there is. A few years ago one of the big fads was the “Prayer of Jabez,” taken from 1 Ch 4:9-10. It was a prayer for more.
Just before Jesus gives us the model prayer, He tells us in Mt 6:8b Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. While God may know what we need Jesus teaches us to pray in Mt 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. What does it mean to pray for our daily bread and are we ready to?

I. I WISH I MAY, I WISH I MIGHT - 1 Kg 3:3-5 - Would God grant your wishes?
A. The Things We Want - Have you ever sat down and made a wish list? Kids will often do so around their birthdays and Christmas, while adults may do so around tax return time. Sometimes we have running wish lists that we keep adding to. I have several of them myself. One hundred years ago it was figured that the average American had 70 wants. Now, a similar survey showed his grandson had nearly 500 on his list.(Beveridge Paper Co. - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations) This sort of fits with the old saying “The more one has, the more one wants.”
B. In The Giving Business - Mt 7:7-11 - One sharp winter day, so runs a nursery tale, a poor woman stood at the window of a king’s conservatory, looking at a cluster of grapes, which she longed to have for her sick child. She went home to her spinning-wheel, earned half-a-crown, and offered it to the gardener for the grapes, He waved his hand, and ordered her away. She returned to her cottage, snatched the blanket from her bed, pawned it, and once more asked the gardener to sell her the grapes, offering him five shillings. He spoke furiously to her and was turning her out, when the princess came in, heard the man’s passion, saw the woman’s tears, and asked what was wrong. When the story was told she said, “My dear woman, you have made a mistake. My father is not a merchant, but a king; his business is not to sell but to give;” so saying, she plucked the cluster from the vine and dropped it into the woman’s apron. (Dr. Stanford.) - Through out the Bible God tells us that He wants to give to us.
1. Ps 37:4
2. Ps 145:19
3. Jn 15:7 If
4. Pp 4:19

II. WANTING, NEEDING, AND KNOWING - The Israelites, who had been in Egypt for 400 years serving as slaves, had been set free by the power of God. Throughout the 10 plagues, the Israelites had been protected & shielded as God brought both Pharaoh and the Egyptian empire to it’s knees. Yet, after seeing all of that, after experiencing God’s provision first hand, after experiencing His protection and deliverance, you would think the Israelites would have been willing to follow God anywhere, that they would trust him with anything. That they’d be confident that every single need they had, would be met. Well, just one month out of Egypt and we read in Ex 16:1-3 - God took care of them. He supplied their need of food not their want to return.
A. Our Daily Dessert? - Gertrude, a missionary on an island in Haiti is quoted as saying “Most American Christians don't need God.” She goes on “American Christians have everything they need, If they don't pray or read the Bible for weeks, it makes little difference in their daily lives. They still have food to eat, a place to sleep, regular income. They don't need to practice their faith every day.” We end up focusing on the extras, the deserts. In a recent report I heard on the radio it was noted that Americans have smaller families, bigger houses and need extra space to store their stuff. Let’s have some more please.
1. A Springfield neighbor was drawn to his door one day by the crying of children. When he got there, he saw Lincoln passing by with his two sons, both crying lustily. "What is the matter with the boys?" asked the man. "Just what is the matter with the whole world!" answered Lincoln. "I have three walnuts and each boy wants two." - (Christian Herald - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
2. Coming downstairs one morning, Lord Congelton heard the cook exclaim, "Oh, if I only had five pounds, wouldn't I be content!" Thinking the matter over, and anxious to see the woman satisfied, he shortly after handed her a five-pound note, then worth about twenty-five dollars. She thanked him profusely. He paused outside the door to hear if she would express her satisfaction and thank God. As soon as his shadow was invisible, she cried out, "Why didn't I say ten?" - (Prairie Overcomer - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
B. Wants Or Needs - A Japanese Proverb says “He who buys what he needs not, sells what he needs.” - Do our wants get in way of our needs? A prominent United states shoe manufacturer was asked to subscribe to a fund for supplying food to the suffering poor. He entered as his subscription one hundred sacks of flour and one hundred bushels of meal, to be used for the relief of every man in the district that could be found in need of bread, who neither kept a dog, drank intoxicating drink, nor used tobacco. The committee of the poor fund have not been able to claim a single cent from him yet, as their most persistent efforts have failed to find such a one. - (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations) Should we pray for our daily bread so we can spend it on our wants? Have you ever stopped to think about what causes our desires for more? What is it that convinces us that we have to have “It?” Commercials? Ads? Jealousy? Many people want what they don't need and need what they don't want.
1. Lk 9:25
2. Ec 5:10-12
3. 1 Tm 6:9-10
C. Our Daily Bread - Martin Luther wrote in 1529; What does daily bread mean? Everything that nourishes our body and meets its needs, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, yard, fields, cattle, money, possessions, a devout spouse, devout children, devout employees, devout and faithful rulers, god government, peace, health, discipline, honor, good fiends, faithful neighbors and other things like these…” Jesus says that we are to pray for our daily bread – NOT for our daily dessert…”
1. Lk 12:15- Now the word translated as greed – is a compound Greek word that means “to have more…” Jesus is telling them to guard themselves from the desire to have more… Millions of people are killing themselves for more….More choices, More experiences, More successes, More stuff. AND we’re bombarded, every day, by millions of messages that tell us that more, eventually, will lead to contentment.
2. The Apostle Paul, sitting in a jail cell sees things differently. He writes in Pp 4:11-13

III. SATISFIED WITHOUT - Mt 6:25-33- In praying for our daily bread, in praying for our NEEDS, we are saying:
A. I’ll Trust You Lord To Provide - When we pray Give us this day our daily bread we are saying We will, I will trust the Lord to provide. It says:
1. We can be dependent - Hb 13:5- Knowing that God will always be there for us helps us to realize we can depend on Him for our needs
2. We need not worry - Mt 6:34 - knowing that our need will be met eliminates worry and anxiety about tomorrow and the distant future.
3. We only need one day at a time - The word "daily" has been the source of a great controversy. The problem stems from the fact that this is the only occurrence of the word in all of Greek literature. It was found once in a nonliterary source on a papyrus fragment that contained a grocery list where it seemed to indicate the requirements of the day, though the meaning is not crystal-clear. Linguists today tell us the word can mean either "today's bread" or "tomorrow's bread," though many prefer the latter. Either way we need to trust Him to provide one day at a time
B. I’ll Be Content With Your Provisions - When we pray Give us this day our daily bread we are saying we will, I will be content with just my needs.
1. F. C. Blyth, M. A. Is quoted as saying “Contentment is a jewel which turns all into gold, yea, want into wealth. Covetousness is a canker which eats into the richest robes and the costliest treasures; a dropsy which, the more it drinks, the more it thirsts.”
2. Paul says to Timothy - 1 Tm 6:6-8
3. If you are not happy with what you have, how could you be happier with more? - (Complete Book of Zingers)

CONCL - Pv 30:7-9 - When we pray, we are allowed to ask for our desires, but we need to remember our needs. Problem is, too many are not willing to be satisfied with just their needs, they’re not ready to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” Are you?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


INTRO - I went on the internet and started looking at some of the headlines in the news. Here are just a few of the things I saw,
▸ A woman accused of starving her stepdaughters while keeping her biological children well-fed has pleaded guilty to abuse charges.
▸ A college student shot and wounded his roommate early Friday in their off-campus apartment, then killed himself.
▸ A baby sitter convicted of murdering three infants in her care nearly two decades ago was sentenced Friday.
▸ Armed men kidnaped a Briton from an oil rig in southern Nigeria.
▸ A suicide bomber struck an army recruitment center outside Baghdad, killing 15 people
▸ Cellphone videos appeared showing an Iraqi mob stoning and kicking to death a 17-year-old girl after she offended her minority community by eloping with a Muslim man.
▸ A gang of armed robbers forced a man to strip naked and then glued him to his exercise bike and sealed his lips with more glue while they ransacked his house
As we look around at all the “evil” and “violence” in the world. We may be tempted to pray as the Jesus taught us in Mt 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Or in other words “God can’t you get things under control down here!” By the way, is that what it means to pray “Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.?”

I. WHAT IS GOD’S WILL - Have you ever heard the saying “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” or “The last will and testament of so and so.” But what is a will? One’s will could be described with any of the following words. It could be ones wishes, desires, intentions, purpose...
A. God Created Us - Gn1:26-27 - Since God created us should He not also be our instructor on how we should live? And what are purpose for being here is? And what He desires of us?
B. God Has A Will We Should Obey - Through out the Bible we not only read about the will of God but we read that we should be in obedience to it.
1. Mk 3:35
2. 1 Pt 5:1-2
C. God’s Will Is For Us - Have you ever taken the time to ask “What is it that God wishes and desires of mankind, of me?”
1. First and foremost God reveals to us that He wants us to be “Saved.”
a. 1 Tm 2:4
b. 2 Pt 3:9
2. O.T. and N.T. alike cover God’s will for us
a. Dt 10:12
b. Mi 6:8
c. Mt 12:7
d. 1 Pt 2:13-15
D. God’s Will Works In Mysterious Ways - Pv16:4- Sometimes we just don’t understand God’s will. What we think He should do, he doesn’t and what we don’t think He should do, He does. When one looks at the story of Joseph in the Bible for the first time, one may wonder why, but Joseph sums it up in Gn 50:19-21 - You see, God sees both the heart of men and the bigger picture as is show in this illustration
"This rabbi," said Merlyn, "went on a journey with the prophet Elijah. They walked all day, and at nightfall they came to the humble cottage of a poor man, whose only treasure was a cow. The poor man ran out of his cottage, and his wife ran too, to welcome the strangers for the night and to offer them all the simple hospitality which they were able to give in hard circumstances.
Elijah and the rabbi were entertained with plenty of the cow's milk, sustained by homemade bread and butter, and they were put to sleep in the best bed while their kindly hosts lay down before the kitchen fire. But in the morning the poor man's cow was dead.
"They walked all the next day, and came that evening to the house of a very wealthy merchant, whose hospitality they craved. The merchant was cold and proud and rich, and all that he would do for the prophet and his companion was to lodge them in a cowshed and feed them on bread and water.
In the morning, however, Elijah thanked him very much for what he had done, and sent for a mason to repair one of his walls, which happened to be falling down, as a return for his kindness.
"The Rabbi Jachanan, unable to keep silence any longer, begged the holy man to explain the meaning of his dealings with human beings.
" 'In regards to the poor man who received us hospitably,' replied the prophet, 'it was decreed that his wife was to die that night, but in reward for his goodness God took the cow instead of the wife. I repaired the wall of the rich miser because a chest of gold was concealed near the place, and if the miser had repaired the wall himself he would have discovered the treasure. - (John Oliver - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)

II. COULD GOD ENFORCE IT - When we pray “Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven,” could we be meaning “God get everyone and everything else in control except me?” - We may have a will or desire to see God’s will or desire enforced here on earth as it is in heaven, but how would one or even God go about enforcing it? From my perspective, I only see two ways in which God could enforce it.
A. Eliminating Non Conformers - the first of the ways to bring about conformance to God’s will is to eliminate the non conformers, the one’s who do not do what God tells them to do. How many people in this world can claim to be entirely in conformance with God’s will. If you think you know someone, your fooling yourself.
a. Ec 7:20
b. Rm 3:23
If God were to wipe out all the non conformers. Who would be left? When we turn to the book of Genesis we find two occasions where God did just that.
1. The story of Noah - Gn 6:1-8,7:17-23
2. The story of Lot - Gn 19:12-26
B. Eliminating The Choice - I remember watching a show one where three boys got to make one wish each that would come true One of the boys wished that his parents would do what he told them. He got his wish. Kids are probably thinking yeah, great, way to go, but there was a problem. You see, while he got his wish for his parents to do what he told them, it was the only thing his parents would do. If he wasn’t there constantly telling them what to do, they wouldn’t do anything. In a sense, they had become puppets. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we always did what we were told and never disobeyed? As I was working on this sermon I came across an article that addressed this issue in the magazine NGJ (No Greater Joy) I would like to share a part of that article with you.
The Bible tells us that the first man Adam was created “in God’s image”. The remarkable thing about the creatures in God’s image is that they are independent of any programming. They are not limited to living by instinct. They can think freely, separate from any predisposition of their creator. When God was creating a creature who could freely choose to love, he of necessity was creating a creature who could choose to withhold that love or direct it elsewhere.
“Why does God allow all the pain and suffering? Why not create a world where all is good and right, where no one ever dies, gets sick, or is sad?” He did. God did indeed create a utopia where there was no sickness or death. But the very first man, Adam, out of a desire to be independent, divorced his Creator and took all his posterity with him into a life of lonely estrangement.
“But, why not create a world where that couldn’t happen - where all is love and peace all the time, with no possibility of us messing it up?”
If all our thoughts were preprogrammed, there would be no thoughts except those of the programmer. If all choices were predetermined, there would be, in reality, no choice. Only in the absence of free will, which is equivalent to the absence of our humanity, would it be certain that no one would choose wrongly. “But God can do anything!”
If God would make free will (which is the essence of individual personality), he cannot make the will free and not free at the same time. A will that is indeed a will, is able to violate the will of its designer. The power to creatively think is the power to creatively choose, which means a person has the power to love or, on the opposite side of choice, the power to hate. It is inconceivable to imagine a human mind existing in a free and joyous state not having the ability to think independently.
To create a thing that can only do what it is programmed to do is not to create a person at all; it is to create a machine. Can a machine love you? Can there be any satisfaction from the loyalty rendered by a program? No one ever thanked an ice maker for giving them ice, but if your daughter brings a glass of ice water to you when you are working in the heat, there is love, thanksgiving - there is a life. There is meaning. No machine has ever been called a hero or had a medal pinned on it for bravery. That a person could love without choosing to do so is an oxymoron.
Yes, God could have created a world where sin was impossible, but it would have also been a world without expression of any kind, a world without success or glory or satisfaction.
In the popular children’s story, Pinocchio, the lonely old puppet maker Geppetto wanted a little boy. So he made a life-like puppet of wood and then, skillfully handling the strings, he danced with his creation. But, alas, his heart was not satisfied with the feigned fellowship he had manufactured, for he longed for a real boy who could reciprocate his love, one who could choose to dance and choose to please. When the magical fairy came along and imparted free will to the wooden boy, the little fellow did indeed choose to dance to the delight of his father. But in time, he also chose to disobey. He rebelled, indulged his appetite wantonly, and then ran away to live a life of self-gratification. The sinful life twisted the boy into manifesting attributes of a jackass, and eventually took him to the bottom of the ocean where he would die for his sins in the belly of a whale. His father loved him still, pursued him, delivered him, and persuaded him to have a change of heart, ultimately saving him from his self-made destruction.
Someone may have asked why the puppet maker would create a puppet that could descend to such low depths, resulting in pain and suffering for everyone. “Why not create a puppet that could do no evil?” The puppet maker had fifty such puppets hanging on pegs in his shop, their strings and limbs lying limp, waiting on the master to pull them in whatever direction he pleased, but they gave him no pleasure, and they experienced none.

III. SUBMITTING TO GOD’S WILL - Mt 16:24 So what’s the answer to God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven? How about this for an answer - submission? Putting God first instead of self.
A. A Prayer Of MY Will Be Done?- Sometimes we are really concerned with our will and claim it to be God’s
1. Years ago an old Scottish woman went to country homes to sell thread, buttons and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick in the air and go whichever way the stick pointed. One day she was seen tossing the stick into the air several times. "Why do you toss the stick several times?" someone asked. She answered, "It has pointed every time to the road going to the right, and I want to go on the road to the left. It looks smoother!" She kept on throwing up the stick until it finally pointed toward the road she wanted to go. - (Walter B. Knight - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
2. An overweight business associate of decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffee cake. Everyone scolded him, but his smile remained cherubic. "This is a very special coffee cake," he explained. "I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, 'Lord, if you want me to have one of these delicious coffee cakes, let me have a parking place directly in front of the bakery.' And sure enough," he continued, "the eighth time around the block, there it was!" - (Illustrations Unlimited)
B. A Prayer Of THY Will Be Done - Since God gives us all a choice, and since God will not yet take that way and since God won’t yet eliminate us, the alternative is up to us. To pray thy will be done is to say I’m going to do your will, I’m going to do what you want not what I want
1. A young girl, who had struggled with the question of submission to God, said: "I could see easily enough that making God's way my way was very different from submitting just because I had to do it, or because I felt that it was my duty. I was on the way down to Miss Howland's to see about having my new dress made. I had some notion of how I wanted it to look, but when I showed her the materials she told me how it ought to be made and trimmed, and it wasn't the least bit as I had planned. I didn't altogether understand her, but I fell right in with her plan and was perfectly satisfied to have her go ahead with it. Now, it is just because I know Miss Howland so well, and we are in such perfect sympathy on questions of color, etc., that I am at rest in letting her work it out, though I don't know just how she is going to do it. She knows what suits me better than I know myself. And it seemed to me," dropping her voice a little, "that we ought to be just that way with God." If our hearts are in harmony, we will be able to say that His will is ours, even when we don't know what it is. He knows what is suited to us better than we can possibly know. - (Bible Illustrations)
2. At a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bobby Richardson, former New York Yankee second baseman, offered a prayer that is a classic in brevity and poignancy: "Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen." - (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
C. Letting God’s Will Be Done - If we are going to pray “Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” there are some things we need to do
1. First, I believe, we need to admit there is a twofold will for your life from God
a. The general things all Christians / people should be doing
b. The specific things He wants you to do
2. Second, we need to take the time to learn what it is that God wants of us. - Ep 5:17 "Understanding" suggests using our minds to discover and do the will of God. Too many Christians have the idea that discovering God's will is a mystical experience that rules out clear thinking. But this idea is wrong and dangerous. We discover the will of God as He transforms the mind Rm. 12:1-2; and this transformation is the result of the Word of God, prayer, meditation, and worship. If God gave you a mind, then He expects you to use it. This means that learning His will involves gathering facts, examining them, weighing them, and praying for His wisdom (Jm 1:5). God does not want us simply to know His will; He wants us to understand His will.
3. Third, we need to commit to doing HIS will. - In other words, just simply do it.

CONCL. - Ec12:13 - Christ came to show the way, He came and was submissive to God’s will, He showed us it could be done. While there are things God could do to force you into compliance with His will, He’s left that choice up to us, so are you ready to pray “Your will be done?”

Computers And The Free Stuff

When it comes to computers and the software running on them - nothing beats a price tag of free. If your willing to experiment, Linux is a free alternative to handing out hard earned cash for Windows. My favorite Linux operating system so far has been Ubuntu. I have all three of the computers in our house set up to dual boot between windows and Linux so a new system can be learned. If your interested the newest version of Ubuntu will soon be out and is in my sidebar. With almost all of the major distributions you have an entire office sweet along with web browser and e-mail programs along with much more and all free. While it won't run Window's programs outright - there are free alternate programs that will do much of what the windows programs do and there is a program as such that will allow some windows programs to work.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


INTRO - Have you ever wanted something to come only to wish it hadn’t after it arrived? In Lessons From Snow, by Alan Smith we read this. Dear Diary:
▸ AUG. 12 - Moved to our new home. It is so beautiful here, the mountains are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see snow covering them.
▸ DEC. 8 - It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our coffee and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a postcard. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
▸ DEC. 9 - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so got to shovel again. What a beautiful place; I love it here!
▸ DEC. 14 - Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
▸ DEC. 15 - 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and two extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
▸ DEC. 16 - Ice storm. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. Boy, do I hate it when she's right.
▸ DEC. 20 - Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the nasty stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Stupid snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying.
▸ DEC. 22 - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of that white mess fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to use the bathroom. By the time I got undressed, went and dressed again I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.
▸ DEC. 24 - 6 more inches. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. If I ever catch the guy who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his fingernails. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the snowplow.
▸ DEC. 25 - Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the messy slop tonight. Snowed in! The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. Oh, hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot.
▸ DEC. 26 - Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
▸ DEC. 27 - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.
▸ DEC. 29 - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
▸ DEC. 30 - Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. Another 9" predicted.
While this may be on the humorous side, what Jesus asks us to pray to come is not. When Jesus was teaching us how to pray in Mt 6:10 He taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come.” The question this morning is do we really want the kingdom to come? Are we really ready to pray “Thy kingdom come?”

I. HAS THE KINGDOM COME - Is 9:6-7 - Over the years conflicting interpretations have been given to the meaning of "your kingdom come."
1. Some have argued this is a prayer for the Second Coming of Christ and that is all - it has nothing to do with present life.
2. Others have seen "your kingdom come" as a call to social action and nothing else - a mandate to bring in the kingdom now through good works.
3. And then there are those who have seen "your kingdom come" as spiritually fulfilled in the salvation of souls.
A. Jesus Taught About A Kingdom
1. Mt 4:17
2. Lk 4:43
3. The word "kingdom" in the original language means "rule" or "reign". God’s Kingdom is unique-it is not a human kingdom. Earthly kingdoms rise and fall, but the reign of God will prevail and last forever. God’s program involves the rule of righteousness.
B. The Kingdom Was Compared - Many of Jesus’ parables emphasize the mysterious nature of God’s kingdom. For example, an insignificant mustard seed will grow a tree, as God’s kingdom will grow far beyond its inception (Mt. 13:31-32). The kingdom of God is like seed scattered on the ground. Some seed will fall on good soil, take root, and grow. Other seed, however, will fall on hard, rocky ground and will not grow. Likewise, the kingdom will take root in the hearts of some but will be rejected and unfruitful in others (Mt. 13:3-8). As wheat and tares grow side by side, indistinguishable from each other, so also the sons of the kingdom of God and the sons of the kingdom of darkness grow together in the world until ultimately separated by God (Mt. 13:24-30,36-43). - Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
C. Has The Kingdom Come - In the book of Daniel we read about a dream of the future. Daniel than interprets that dream for us. Dn 2:36-44 - The fourth kingdom came - Did God’s kingdom come too? When Jesus was standing before Pilate, Pilate asked Jesus what kind of king He was; Jesus didn’t fit Pilate’s perception; He didn’t conform to the popular notion of a political ruler. Jesus responded, saying, "My Kingdom is not of this world." - Still Jesus had this to say:
1. Mk 9:1 some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." - Is it here?
2. Lk 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you - Is it here?
3. Lk 17:20-21 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." - Is it here?

II. IS IT CHRIST’S RETURN WE WANT - Ac 1:11- There is another dimension to the Kingdom of God - a future dimension - beyond what is here now. Paul looks forward to the resurrection of the body and to changes that will sweep the universe. "The end will come, when [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power" (1 Co 15:24). Even death itself will be obliterated. And we will participate in this consummation of time and anguish, when all that is wrong will be made right (1 Co 15). "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," Paul says (1 Co 15:50). But we will be raised from the dead, changed and fit for an eternal Kingdom. The scriptures, therefore, speak of the Kingdom as coming, at some unexpected future time, because the King Himself is coming again. - Discipleship Journal - I’ve always thought that when we pray “Your Kingdom come,” we are asking for Heaven, we are asking for Christ’s return.
A. What About Heaven? - Lk 10:20 The thoughts we have of heaven are usually wonderful thoughts based on scripture
1. 1 Pt 1:4
2. 2 Co 5:1
3. Mt 6:20
4. Rv 7:16-17
5. Rv 21:2-4
6. If this is what we want, we need something more - like an entrance day
B. Second Coming? - Mt 24:36
1. Repeated Promises Of Coming - Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the Second Coming of Christ. There are 1,845 references to it in the Old Testament, and a total of seventeen Old Testament books give it prominence. Of the 260 chapters in the entire New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming, or one out of 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. The four missing books include three which are single-chapter letters written to individual persons on a particular subject, and the fourth is Galatians which does imply Christ's coming again. For every prophecy on the First Coming of Christ, there are 8 on Christ's Second Coming. - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
2. Columbus And Prophecy - An all too little-known fact from the life of the discoverer of America is that he predicted the end of the world. In all seriousness he wrote a volume called The Book Of Prophecies, in which he prophesied that the world would end in the year of our Lord 1656. He even states very definitely that "there is no doubt that the world must end in one hundred fifty-five years." - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
3. One of the common threads of Cult's theology is their insistence of making "end time predictions." The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, reported that a third of the world's cults predicted the world would come to an end in the year 2000. - Reuters, 12-18-99
4. God’s Word fills the gaps:
a. Jn 14:3
b. Lk 9:26.

III. ARE YOU READY FOR HIS RETURN - Mt 24:42-44 - 'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house Not a creature was praying, not one in the house; Their Bibles were laid on the shelf without care In hopes that Jesus would not come there. The children were dressing to crawl into bed, Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head; And Mom in her rocker, with the baby on her lap, Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap. When out of the East there arose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter, Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash! When what to my wondering eyes should appear But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here, With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray, I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY! The light of His face made me cover my head, It was Jesus' returning, just like He had said. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself. In the Book of Life which He held on His hand Was written the name of every saved man; He spoke not a word as He searched for my name, When He said, "It is not here," my head hung in shame. The people whose names He had written with love, He gathered to take to His Father above. With those who were ready He rose without sound, While all of the rest were standing around. I fell to my knees, but it was too late; I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight, "Oh, if only we had been ready tonight." In the words of this poem the meaning is clear, The coming of Jesus is coming near. There is only one life and when comes the last call, We'll find that the Bible was true after all! - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
A. What Will Happen - When we think of the of the Lord’s return we need to think of more than just Heaven. We need to remember what is going to happen on that day.
1. Mt 25:31-32
2. 2 Pt 3:10
B. Will We Be Guilty Or Innocent - Or a sheep or a goat? God’s word makes it clear that there are those who will have no part in the coming kingdom.
1. Gl 5:19-21
2. Ep 5:1-5
3. Rv 22:15
C. Being Ready For The Kingdom -
1. Being a Christian, a member of the kingdom, means that we do not just always do what we want but what God wants. To pray "your kingdom come" is to repent. Of our wrong ways
2. This prayer also demands commitment. Jesus was very direct when he said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Lk 9:62). The kingdom of God is for those who have decided to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and do not keep longingly looking back. To pray "your kingdom come" is to commit ourselves to him.
3. Again, the kingdom is to be pursued above all else. Jesus again gave the authoritative word: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt 6:33). Before all else we are to seek the kingdom in obedience to him. This dispels any idea of easygoing, do-nothing, armchair Christianity. We cannot pray the Lord's prayer with folded hands. To pray "your kingdom come" is to pursue it.

CONCL. - Jesus told us that the time of His return was even a secret to Him. He told us to watch and be ready but are we? When He finally returns there won’t be any more second chances. Are you ready for that day? Are you ready to pray “Thy Kingdom Come?”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The last 24 hours have been very interesting. Yesterday afternoon we went to Thief River for a couple of soccer games. The junior team (of which I am coaching) lost 1 - 2 in very good game - it seemed like my entire offense was getting shots on goal. In the second game the seniors won 5 - 2. With the games done we headed for McDonald's for my favorite sandwich - the McRib. Than on the way home about a half hour from Thief River we opened up deer season. A young doe ran out in front of us. Even though I put the brakes on as soon as I saw her come out of the ditch, she still took out the grill, the passenger side headlight, and the radiator. It may have also sprung the hood as it popped open and than shut. It didn't set off the air bags however as I had slowed down enough before impact. With the radiator damaged and loosing all the antifreeze, we were unable to drive it home. A fellow half a mile from where we had hit the deer saw are hazard lights and came to investigate. He ended up towing our van too his place, and than loanded us his big car (that he doesn't hardly use) to get home in. It was very late by the time we got home. This morning we were able to borrow a suburban with a big trailor (used for hauling some kind of race car on) to go back town to our van, load it up, drop of the loaner car and come home. We took back roads coming home and tomorrow the body shop man will be coming over to look at it. Here is a pictrue of the damage.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jackpine Retreat

The Jackpine Retreat has finally come and gone for 2008. While this year turned out to be a wet year (the wettest I can remember since before I moved up here 16 years ago) it was another great retreat. The estimated attendance was 53. Thank you again to all who came and helped to make this year another great year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Soccer Season Is Here

Tonight was our first practice session of the 2008 soccer season. On the first night we had 30 kids in attendance for the junior team. There is the potential for at least 10 more players bringing our total to around 40. We will more than likely need to split the players into two teams as had been done in the past. On this first night we split the kids into three groups and worked on running, passing and kicking. At the end of the night we did a quick scrimmage with all kids playing. The game gave the coaches a feel for areas we need to work on. Our next practice will be Monday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I had to do it again as the berries kept calling me. This time I took Jason and we picked another 4 qts. Over all, counting the 9 we picked with our friends, we have picked 66 qt or 16 1/2 gallons.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Here we go again... Tracy and I headed out and with a little help from Melissa we picked another 4 qts of blueberries..

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


INTRO - Ex 6:1-3 Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. (KJV) - In the Hebrew culture, a person’s name was more than a mere label—it was synonymous with his character or reputation. When a person’s name was mentioned, it brought to mind all that he was. In his book The Lord’s Prayer, E. F. Scott writes, “It was assumed in ancient thought that the personality of a man was somehow bound up with his name, so that when you uttered his name the man himself was affected.”
In Mt 6:9, when Jesus was teaching us how to pray He said these words “Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” My question for you is this - Are you ready to pray “Hallowed be Thy name?”

I. THE CHOICE OF A GOOD NAME - In his book, I Almost Missed the Sunset, Bill Gaither writes: Gloria and I had been married a couple of years. We were teaching school in Alexandria, Indiana, where I had grown up, and we wanted a piece of land where we could build a house. I noticed the parcel south of town where cattle grazed, and I learned it belonged to a 92-year-old retired banker named Mr. Yule. He owned a lot of land in the area, and the word was he would sell none of it. Gloria and I visited him at the bank. He looked at us over the top of his bifocals. I introduced myself and told him we were interested in a piece of his land. "Not selling," he said pleasantly. "Promised it to a farmer for grazing." "I know, but we teach school here and thought maybe you'd be interested in selling it to someone planning to settle in the area." He pursed his lips and stared at me. "What'd you say your name was?" "Gaither. Bill Gaither." "Hmmm. Any relation to Grover Gaither?" "Yes, Sir. He was my granddad." Mr. Yule put down his paper and removed his glasses. "Interesting. Grover Gaither was the best worker I ever had on my farm. Full day's work for a day's pay. So honest. What'd you say you wanted?" I told him again. “Let me do some thinking on it, then come back and see me." I came back within the week, and Mr. Yule told me he had had the property appraised. I held my breath. "How does $3,800 sound? Would that be okay?" If that was per acre, I would have to come up with nearly $60,000! "$3,800?" I repeated. "Yup. Fifteen acres for $3,800." I knew it had to be worth at least three times that. I readily accepted. Nearly three decades later, my son and I strolled that beautiful, lush property that had once been pasture land. "Benjy," I said, "you've had this wonderful place to grow up through nothing that you've done, but because of the good name of a great-granddad you never met." (-- Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.)
1. Pv 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
2. Ec 7:1 A good name is better than a good ointment,
A. They Have A Reputation - Mt 7:15-18 "Beware of the false prophets,.... "You will know them by their fruits. - What do the following all have in common? Dell, Gateway, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Stanley, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Menards, Polaris, Marvin, Kodak, Cannon, Sears, McDonalds, Burger King, China, IRS. They are all names with which we attach some kind of reputation.
B. Getting One Is Easy - How many of you have a name? Did you choose it or did someone assign it to you? How many of you have a reputation? Is it any good? While most of our names are assigned to us, our reputation is earned. The easiest way to get one is to do nothing, but than again, it won’t be much of a reputation we earn.
C. God’s Is... - What kind of reputation does God have? When we think of God we may think of Him as loving, giving, forgiving, listening, deaf, judgmental, involved, uncaring and distant... While in the Lord’s prayer God is called Father, he is also considered Holy. We need to Hallow His Name.

II. HOLY, HOLY, HOLY - Can you imagine saying the same thing over and over and over and over... Repetition can be tiring to listen to. I wonder if God get’s tired of hearing Himself being called Holy.
1. Is 6:1-3 Seraphim stood above ... And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."
2. Rv 4:5-8 And the four living creatures, ... ; and day and night they do not cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come."
A. God And His Name Are Holy
1. Ex 15:11
2. Lv 19:2
3. Lv 21:8
4. 1 Sm 2:2
5. Ps 30:4
6. Ps 111:9
7. Hb 12:10
B. What Is Hallowed Anyway - Turning to Vines dictionary of NT words, He describe the Greek word “hagiazo” from which “Hallowed” is translated from in the following way - to set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of “common” A couple illustrations will help make this a little clearer.
1. Xerox - The concept of hallowing a name appeared in modern times in a series of unusual magazine ads placed by Xerox Corporation. Their purpose was not to sell a product, but merely to stop people from using the word Xerox as a generic term for copier. The company wanted its name to be set apart, to be used only for copiers it deemed worthy of the trademark. When we pray, “Hallowed be Your name,” we are in part asking that God’s name would be set apart in a similar way—that people would not trivialize Him or take Him lightly.
2. Toothbrush - Another helpful illustration of “holy” compares it to your toothbrush. Your toothbrush is special and important to you because of the unique purpose to which it has been dedicated. You wouldn’t take kindly to anyone using your toothbrush for a different purpose. You might even have another toothbrush around the house, one used to clean shoes or another to polish the terminals on your car battery. You wouldn’t want the three confused. Imagine your reaction if your youngster comes in and announces that he has just brushed the dog’s teeth with your brush! In a similar manner, anything in the Bible that is holy has been dedicated for a special purpose and therefore is deserving of special treatment. To pray that God’s name be made holy is to acknowledge that it is unique and special. God’s name is not to be treated as common or everyday. God’s name is to be Hallowed.

III. TO USE NOT ABUSE - Ma 1:2-14 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect ?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name....
A. Warnings Of Misuse
1. Lv 18:21
2. Lv 19:12
3. Pv 30:8-9
4. 1 Tm 6:1
B. God Protected His Name - Throughout the Scriptures, we see God going to great lengths to protect His name. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt not because of any merit on their part, but He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known. (Psalm 106:8). David understood that God kept him on in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. not for his own good, but “for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). In the days of the prophet Ezekiel, God showed His mercy on stubborn and rebellious Israel not for their sake, but His (Ezekiel 36:22–23).
C. How We Abuse It - If we are going to pray “Hallowed be Thy name,” we must be willing to do just that, yet to often we do just the opposite, we misuse or misrepresent God’s name - Ex 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. - The Hebrew word “vain” (lassaw) means empty, meaningless, thoughtless, senseless, frivolous, worthless, groundless. It means using God’s name in a thoughtless and insincere way. The root of the word (shawu) has the idea of a vapor that fades and vanishes away, a vapor that is meaningless and worthless. It also has the idea of a tempest, a storm, a tornado that is erratic, that jumps here and there, that causes destruction and devastation, that is totally senseless and destructive
1. With our words we abuse - The psalms are full of exhortations to praise God’s name, accompanied by specific lists of His mighty deeds and His glorious characteristics. We, too, should honor God’s name by telling others—both believers and unbelievers—about what we see God doing, but do we.
a. A person misuses God’s name or takes God’s name in vain by profanity and vulgarity.
b. A person misuses God’s name by false swearing.
c. A person misuses God’s name by using His name in some irreverent way, in some frivolous, dishonoring, or light way.
2. With our lives we abuse - We who are called God’s children represent Him here on earth. We provide a picture to the unbeliever of what He is like. On the same occasion that He left us the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave us a command: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Years later, Peter echoed Jesus’ words: “Live such good lives among the pagans that . . . they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12).
a. A person misuses God’s name by hypocrisy. A hypocrite....
(1) Is a person who professes the name of God but lives for self and the world
(2) Is a person who uses God’s name to manipulate people (to get what he wants)
(3) Is a person who uses God’s name to secure support for projects that are not necessarily God’s will
(4) Is a person who uses God’s name to secure followers, to deceive people

CONCL - Make no mistake about it, our words and our actions have a powerful impact on the name of God. James reminds us of the power of the tongue - for good or evil. He cautions against words that contradict our prayers: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh . (James 3:9-12)
Ps 111:9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name Are we ready to treat God’s name with the holiness it deserves? Are we ready to pray “hallowed be Thy name?”

Monday, August 11, 2008

Noah's Ark - Suess Style

In a faraway land a long time ago
Noah the dude was a man on the go.
A nice little wife and three little boys
Who always took care of their God-given toys
When the boys grew old, they found them good wives
But on to the story, enough of their lives

The earth was wicked and wild and wrong
Not even a good praise-worthy song.
One day the Good Lord, Himself came down
Searching high, searching low, he searched all around
Looking for someone with which to find favor
He saw good old Noah who never did waiver.

I have some bad news for all of mankind
I am sending a flood to destroy all that I find.
So go build an ark, I have found favor with you
Along with your wife and your sons’ wives too.
You’ll fill the big boat with creatures galore
Creating a story going down in folk lore.

So two by two they started to come
Starting with animals that looked kind of dumb.
First to come in was a pink footed elegunt
Followed by a ribbed footed crinkle glunt
Than came a woosel in the color of orange
Who tripped on a small tiny creepy florange

What kind of creatures are these? Noah asked
As a blue striped webra slowly marched past
What’s going on? Noah’s wife asked with a fuss
As on marched a pair of green leffalupatus
Than green and white bibble birds flittered on in
And next slithered in a salamasin

All of theses animals and such a big boat
Everyone wondered if this thing would float.
Noah had faith in what the Lord said,
And no one was thinking of ending up dead.
“Watch your head,” shouted Noah out loud
To a giraffiga with his head in a cloud

Noah’s son came in running, shouting about
He had just seen a hungry tigerdelout..
It was chasing a helpless bit of a kanga-karouse,
A cross between a kangaroo and a mouse,
Who was chasing a baby platamaroo
It must have escaped from Dr. Suess’ zoo.
I wrote this years ago for Bible camp. It's a twist on Noah's ark that we used at a Bible camp

Dr. Suess’ Zoo is that where these came from?
Is that a great big red tuma tum tum?
A bugamaboo a freckled treetus
How will we fit in that Zathering Zuss?
“All aboard,” said the Lord. “It’s time to shut the door.
We’ve got all the animals and room for no more.”

For forty long nights it rained wogs and zats
And on the ark went to Mount Ararat.
And so they survived this horrid ordeal
With all of those creatures like the alligerneal.
This story’s almost done we need a bow in the sky
A platapatomus and a great big good bye.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I sold another 4 qt at work today so off we went to the woods and picked another 6 qt bringing us to 49 = the ones are friend and us picked yesterday make 58.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


We went back into the woods today for more berries. This time we went to a spot I scouted out on Wednesday for a friend who wanted to come over and pick. When she made it over we took off with 7 kids and in about an hour and a half we and another 9Qts picked. We have two more spots scouted out that we never made it too - at least not yet.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Today after work we headed back into the woods for more berry picking. In about 1 1/2 hours we managed to pick 11 more quart bringing our total to 43. however I just gave 8 Qt away. Earlier today the kids helped my wife pick about 15 Qt of raspberries at a friends house.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Today after church I took 4 kids to the spot we found less than a mile from home and picked nearly 5 more Qt bringing our total to around 32 for the season.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Today after work we took off for Blueberry Hill looking for berries and we found some. than on the way home we decided to drive down a trail less than a mile from our house and we went back until the road was under water stopped and the ground was blue. We'll be heading back there tomorrow I think. Anyway we have at least another 5 Qt putting our total to 27 or 28 now.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Today, Tracy and I added another 7 qt to our collection of blueberries. we've now picked a total of 16 qt. for our freezer. Next time out we'll start picking for family.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Sunday after church we headed south of Warroad looking for berries again. This time we brought back 4 quarts along with a bunch of wood ticks. That makes a total of 8 Qt for the freezer now.

Friday, July 25, 2008


This afternoon we went looking for blueberries with some friends. Our family was able to pick 4 quarts. It looks like it will be another week before they will be at their best as we found lots and lots of green berries.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Blueberries will soon be in season. This afternoon after church we went south of Warroad scouting around and managed to pick almost a quart the same as we did last year on our first time out. There appears to be lots of green berries so the picking should be good. I have some kids who are hoping to sell berries this year if they can pick enough.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


It's closing in on the time of year when the blueberries are ready to pick. On our way home form church today we stopped about 1/2 miles from our house to check out a patch of berries and we were able to pick about a half a small (Laura sized) hand that were ripe. There appears to be lots of green berries that should be ready in a couple weeks just in time for my 5 day weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to get out and fill the freezer - unless the kids decide to sell them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jackpine Retreat

In just over two months on September 12-14, 2008 the Warroad Area Church of Christ will be hosting the Jackpine Retreat. We picked out a theme (Running The Race), we have started putting together a flyer and will soon be looking for volunteers to speak. If you would like to volunteer yourself or another :) to speak me know. If you would like to recive a flyer you can let me know as well. I'll try to keep things updated when possible.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Just over 14 years ago our first daughter was born. It was a time of great joy. On June 29, 2008 I experienced an even greater joy as I was privileged to baptize her into Christ. Congratulations Tracy, and welcome to Christ’s family.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Outline For Sunday 6/22/2008


INTRO - Have you ever felt a little out numbered?

I. SPECIAL AGENT CALEB - Some of my favorite shows growing up revolved around a special agent...

A. Chosen And Commissioned - Are first introduction to Caleb is found in Numbers 13.Being freed from the bonds of slavery down in Egypt, God had lead the Israelites to the doorsteps of the Promise land. Upon their arrival God had some jobs to hand out.
1. A mission for Moses - Nm 13:1-2 To Moses was given the job of picking 12 men, one from each of the twelve tribes, and sending them in to the promise land as spies.
2. People for a mission - In the following verses we are than given a list of twelve names - twelve men who would become secret agents.
3. Sent on a mission - Once chosen Moses gave the 12 special agents, spies if you prefer, their mission
a. Go into the South Country; and the hill country. (Vs 17)
b. See if the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many (Vs 18)
c. Check out the living situations, are they in open or fortified cities. (Vs 19)
d. Don’t forget to check out the crops and bring some back. (Vs 20)
B. Spying and Demoralizing
1. They fulfilled their mission. - Nm 13:21-24
2. They reported on their mission - Forty days later the spies returned with their report and the news was great or was it.
a. On the positive side they had this to say. Vs 27 “ it certainly does flow with milk and honey,.”
b. On the negative side they said Vs 28-29, 31-33 , "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us. ..."The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; ... we became like grasshoppers in our own sight,
3. The people respond to the mission - Nm 14:1-4 the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; ..." So they said to one another, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt." - How often do men when freed from sin want to return? Even in light of all the miracles God had done for them they wanted to return.
C. Standing Firm And Being Blessed - In opposition to the people’s desire to return to Egypt stood Caleb. After giving the report of the land we find Caleb ready to go and take it away. 13:30
1. Almost killed - Upon hearing the request of the people to return to Egypt, Caleb took the opportunity to try to convince the people that they could take the land and almost lost his life in the process.14:6-10 "If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us ... "Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them." But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. As the people were preparing to kill Caleb, God showed up. I wonder what the people were thing about then.
2. Outliving the rebellious - As a result of the rebellion, God passed judgement on the people including the spies who convinced the people they couldn’t take the land..
a. Nm 14:24
b. Nm 14:36-38

II. FEELING A LITTLE CROWDED - Caleb could have said well, God does want us to go in but you know, the rest of the spies have a good point and yeah, maybe we should go back to Egypt. But he didn’t. Caleb isn’t the only one in the Bible to deal with going against a crowd., some willfully went along while others stood their ground.
A. A Prophet And A King - In 2 Ch 18:4-12 we find the story of Jehoshaphat and Micaiah. Jehoshaphat had gone to visit Ahab and committed himself to helping Ahab in war but he wanted to get God’s input before doing anything. So, Ahab calls together 400 prophets to get an answer - Vs 4,5
1. Jehoshaphat - Even with 400 men saying go to battle, Jehoshaphat was unwilling to accept the answer they had, he was unwilling to go with the “crowd” and asked for a real prophet. Vs 6,7
2. Micaiah - Upon his summons, Micaiah was encouraged to go with the crowd. Vs 12 - Unwilling to go with the crowd, he mockingly tells the king to go and than tells Ahab the bad news.
3. 400 to 1 was not enough to get these men to go with the crowd. Like Caleb these men knew God and how He operates and could see the crowd was wrong. Sometimes we go with the crowd simply because we don’t know better.
B. Talking To A Samaritan - In the eyes of the Jews, Samaritans were the scum of the earth. If you wanted to fit in with the crowd you would have nothing to do with them. You would literally go miles out of your way to avoid them. Furthermore you would never be caught talking to a woman in public. She was both, Jesus was a Jew yet He took the time to talk to her. Jn 4:3-9 How often do we avoid someone because of what others may say about us or think about us. Many a missionary through time has gone to people groups against what the opinion of the crowds thought. God has never been afraid to go against the crowd. Jesus wasn’t afraid, should we?
C. Passing The Buck - Have you ever “passed the buck”? In this story the crowd won.
1. Jn 9:1-7 A blind man is healed and everything sounds great - so far.
2. Jn 9:18-23 The people didn’t want to believe what happened and they called his parents who didn’t want to give answer lest they get kicked out of the synagogue - Time and time again people have been afraid of the crowds when it comes to openly acknowledging Jesus Christ. Caleb was not afraid to stand up and say God can do it even in the face of being stoned. Stephen even gave his life while professing Christ.

III. WHEN THE PRESSURE’S ON - Through out our lives we will find our selves in situations that put us up against the crowd. And there’s more than one reason we may feel we need to go with the crowds.
1. Ignorance of what the crowd stands for or if we should be in the crowd
2. Desire to fit in and be accepted - It’s not man we need to please but God.
3. Fear
a. Afraid to make a scene
b. Afraid to stick out or being kicked out
A. Some Verses To Think Upon
1. Rm 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect
2. 1 Co 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." - We’ll become like the crowds.
3. Hb 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, - The crowd is sitting on the sidelines.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Here's an old poem I wrote to use in a sermon I gave around the 4th of July. I hope you enjoy it.


Down into Egypt did the Israelites go,
Walking into bondage if you care to know.
For four hundred years, Pharaoh they would serve
In bitter hard bondage to a guy without nerve.
Making bricks out of straw and other fine stuff
Till one fine day, God said, That's enough,
Moses, go and tell them I've heard their cry,
Freedom is coming from their God on high.


Now Pharaoh wouldn't listen and let the people go
And made their tasks harder, could he stoop that low.
Changing water to blood and putting frogs in his bed
Next lice and flies and now his cattle are dead;
Boils on the skin and hail in the air
Locusts in the fields and darkness everywhere,
Now all that Pharaoh needed was his firstborn dead
Before he'd say, Go, I'll do as God has said.


Laden with jewels, and silver and gold
They were on their way just as God had told.
Headed for the red sea wide and blue
Pharaoh and his army decided to pursue.
Down at the red sea Pharaoh coming fast
Pass on through, his army wont last.
Thought Pharaoh and his men we'll do the same.
Then God said, No, and put them to shame.


Now on their way to the promise land
God gave the Israelites a helping hand;
Manna from heaven six days a week
Water from a rock and Moses to speak.
Now at the mountain, the mountain of God
Moses was called to the top he did trod.
When he came down in his hands he did hold
God's ten commandments for all to up hold.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Outline For Sunday 6/8/2008


INTRO - Some people are remembered for the good that they have done. Some are remembered for the bad.
• 2 Pt 2:1-3,15-16. forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam,
• Jd 1:4,11 for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam,
• Rv 2:12-14. 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam,
As we look at his story this morning, I think we may see a bit of Balaam in ourselves, a bit of a man who was doing things for all the wrong reasons.

I. A PROPHET FOR HIRE - The story of Balaam is found in the book of Numbers during the 40 years that Israel found themselves wondering in the wilderness. .
A. An Intro To Balaam - Nm 22:1-6
1. Israel was camped near Moab
2. Balak and the Moabites were afraid of them Vs 4
3. Balak sends for Balaam to curse the Israelites.
4. It appears from this intro that Balaam had a reputation - a reputation of being able to place curses or blessing on people that came to be. A reputation that was know over 300 miles away. I believe he couldn’t do that if he wasn’t a prophet of God.
B. Balaam Goes To God - Nm 22:7-14
1. Balaam takes the time to do some consulting - Vs 8 "Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the LORD may speak to me." - Notice two things here
a. He goes to consult God and doesn’t claim to do his wok on his own.
b. He goes to Yahweh and not some false god.
2. God responds
a. God asks who the people are
b. Balaam responds as if it was natural.
c. God tells Balaam he can’t go curse them for they are blessed.
d. Balaam returns God’s answer - Vs 13 "Go back to your land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."
C. Balak Tries Again -.
1. He sends even more important people
2. Offers great honor and riches
3. Balaam claims he can not go against God - Vs 18 "Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the LORD my God. Notice that Balaam calls Yahweh his God
4. Balaam talks to God again and is told he could go but is warned - Vs 20
D. Balaam’s Blessings - After listening to complaints from Balak for not arriving sooner, Balaam reminds Balak he can only say what God allows him to.
1. Blessing #1 - In Nm 23:1-12
2. Blessing #2 - Starting in vs 13-26
3. Blessing #3 - Starting in vs 27 - 24:13
E. Balak Get’s His Curse - After being told to go home, Balaam goes on to tell Balak what’s going to happen to his people and what he has to say is not good. What Balaam has to say turns out to be a curse to the Moabites - Vs 17

II. BALAAM’S PROBLEM / OUR PROBLEM - Ek 33:13-16 Despite all the good recorded of this prophet, something was wrong, very wrong, for he is not remembered for good but for bad.
A. Some Missing Links - At first glance it is hard to see how Balaam was such a bad guy. So what went wrong? Lets take a look at the missing parts of the story
1. Balaam’s Donkey Ride - One of the famous stories in the Bible is that of the talking donkey - but why?
a. Balaam saddles his donkey and goes
b. God is angry with him for going
c. Three times the donkey sees the angel and turns away from him
d. Balaam starts to beat the donkey
e. The donkey talks back
f. Balaam’s eyes are opened to the angel with the sword
g. The angel responds - Vs 32 Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. - God sees the heart. It appears at this point that Balaam’s reasons for going were not in line with God’s. Further conversation with the angel makes it appear that he was going so he could curse the people for he was warned in vs 35
2. Balaam’s advice - After Balaam supposedly leaves we find trouble taking place among the Israelites.
a. Nm 25:1-3
b. Nm 31:15-16.
c. Apparently, Balaam was still eager to earn some cash even though God would not allow him to curse the people, so he gave the Moabites some advice. It appears that Balaam suggested that the Moabites use their women to seduce the Israelite men into sin and it seems to have worked.
3. New Testament Links
a. Peter when speaking of false teachers compares them to Balaam who he says in 2 Pt 2:16 loved the wages of unrighteousness
b. Jesus Himself tells us more in Rv 2:14 where he says Balaam kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
c. Balaam was motivated by wealth
B. Wrong Motives Motivate - Ulterior or wrong motives have surfaced more than once in the Bible.
1. For the wrong reason, Simon wanted the Spirit and was rebuked - Ac 8:21-22
2. For the wrong reason people have worshiped and sacrificed to God - Mt 15:8
3. Saul disobeyed God thinking he could sacrifice the flocks he should have destroyed
4. The Pharisees did many so called religious things for wrong reasons. They prayed and they fasted and they tithed simply to be seen of men.
5. Even the gospel is preached under false motives - Pp 1:17
6. The list could go on for many things through out history have been done for the wrong reasons
C. We Often Have Wrong Motives
1. Jm 2:4
2. Jm 4:3
3. From The Lamplighter, Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations - Some Go To Church...
a. Some go to church just for a walk,
b. Some go to church to laugh and talk,
c. Some go there the time to spend,
d. Some go there to meet a friend.
e. Some go there for speculation—
f. Some go there for observation,
g. Some go there to doze and nod,
h. Some, how few, to worship God.
4. Even if Balaam wanted to do the right thing, it seems clear that he wanted the money and this was his undoing
D. God Knows Our Inside Thoughts
1. Pv 16:2
2. Ps 44:21
3. 1Sa 16:7
4. In Mt 7:15, Jesus issued a warning to be on the lookout for wolves in sheep’s clothing. People with ulterior motives. Every action we participate in is fueled by motives.
E. Pure Motives Should Be Our Goal
1. 1 Tm 1:5
2. Ps 51:10
3. Ps 119:9
4. Heb 4:12.
5. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Most people start off saying, "I can not do anything contrary to the command of the Lord", but like Balaam they end up on the side of the devil. We must never underestimate the power that our desires have to lure us away from what is right. Balaam wanted money, but he also wanted to do God's will. On this occasion the two desires were in conflict. Balaam said he could not be bought for all of Balak's silver and gold, but he ended up being bought for a sum considerably less than that and payed for it with his life.

CONCL - So what motivates us? What are the reason that are behind what we are doing. Are they selfish or Godly / righteous / pure? Whatever they may be, God knows - lets get them right so we can do the right things for the right reasons.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Puppet Stories

This past weekend I was retelling some of the stories about my puppet characters that I had created years ago. The kids loved the stories so much that someone suggested I post them in my blog for all to read. SO, for the last couple days I've been cataloging all of the puppet plays I have written and eventually I hope to post the plays in a story format. I currently have over 170 plays and 16 puppets to work with. I'm hoping to repair my puppets and post their pictures along with the stories for all to enjoy

Friday, May 30, 2008

Outline For Sunday 5/25/2008


INTRO - Who do you think of when you here the name Ananias?
■ Do you think of a liar? In Acts 5 we read of a man named Ananias who along with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and gave to the common fund of the church part of the purchase money, pretending it was the whole.
■ Do you think of a priest? Towards the end of Acts in 23-25 we meet with another man named Ananias who had become high priest. Like the liar, he too was a bit of a hypocrite.
■ Do you think of a disciple? In Acts 9 we meet another man named Ananias. He is called a disciple that lived at Damascus and Paul later tells us that he was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there.
If you’re like me, when you think of Ananias, you usually think of a liar, never a priest and rarely a disciple. This morning I would like to think about the disciple for he had to do something for God, something that would have him facing his fears

I. MEETING THE PERSECUTOR - When we first meet up with Ananias we find that he is with no special distinction in the church, yet for the time being he became one of the most important persons in sacred history. Let’s look at his story.
A. The Vision - Ac 9:10 - I sometimes wish Jesus would speak to us today in such a manner as he spoke to Ananias and others in the Bible - In visions and in such a way that like Ananias, we would know it was Him speaking
B. The Command - Ac 9:11-12 - Once he had said “Here am I!” Jesus gave him his orders in detail. He is told exactly where to go, exactly who to see and exactly what to do. Have you ever wished God would so direct us with such exact commands?
C. The Fear - Ac 9:13-14 - We may be afraid to have to speak to any somebody, but Ananias was being asked to go to the most notorious persecutor of the time. I think he had reason to be afraid.
1. Saul’s trip to Damascus - Ac 9:1-2 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, ...
2. Sauls words on his past - Ac 22:4 "I persecuted this Way to the death, ...
3. In more detail - Ac 26:9-11 "So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus...
4. Despite what Saul had done, Jesus told Ananias to go - Ac 9:15-16 And go he did.
D. The Obedience - Ac 9:17 - We do not see any delays in Ananias’ obedience to go. How often do we respond with such speed? His obedience was as exact as Jesus’ command: Ac 22:12-16
E. The Outcome Ac 9:18-20 - The results of Ananias’ obedience was immediate; for Paul received his sight at once, and was comforted at once, and baptized at once, went out preaching Jesus. Furthermore the church had peace. Ac 9:31 The work that Ananias did that day has gone on to impact millions of people.

II. FEAR - I don’t know about you, but I would probably had been scared to death to carry out God’s orders. It can be hard enough to go to someone who isn’t set on putting you in prison, harming you, or even having you put to death.
A. Fear Is Real
1. The man who doesn't know the meaning of the word fear probably doesn't know many other words either. - Phillips' Treasury of Humorous Quotations
2. It is reported that the newspaper counselor, Ann Landers, receives an avenge of 10,000 letters each month, and nearly all of them from people burdened with problems. She was asked if there was any one of them which predominates throughout the letters she receives, and her reply was the one problem above all others seems to be fear. People are afraid of losing their health, their wealth, their loved ones. People are afraid of life itself. - The Bible Friend, Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
3. One day in July, a farmer sat in front of his shack, smoking his corncob pipe. Along came a stranger who asked, "How's your cotton coming?" "Ain't got none," was the answer. "Didn't plant none. 'Fraid of the boll weevil." "Well, how's your corn?" "Didn't plant none. 'Fraid o' drouth." "How about your potatoes?" "Ain't got none. Scairt o' tater bugs." The stranger finally asked, "Well, what did you plant?" "Nothin'," answered the farmer. "I just played it safe." - Illustrations Unlimited
B. The Affects Of Fear -
1. In the Bible
a. Fear sent Adam and Eve into hiding
b. Fear kept Israel from the Promise Land
c. Fear kept Israel from fighting Goliath
d. Fear almost took Israel back to Egypt
e. Fear had David killing to cover up his sin
f. Fear had Elisha hiding in the wilderness
g. Fear kept the disciples in the upper room
h. Fear .....
2. What fear does
a. Fear can tie up our thoughts focusing them in the wrong direction. Always thinking about what can go wrong can lead to...
b. Fear can keep one from getting out and doing things, from interacting with others, it secludes us and we lose....
c. Fear can affect our motivation and enthusiasm and as a result cripple our ability to influence others for the good and bring boredom to self. Without motivation...
d. Fear can cause us to procrastinate keep us from doing things especially things that take us in to unknown territory.
e. Eventually Fear can than lead to godlessness because it opposes faith. and can eventually turn into ungodly behavior.
f. Left unchecked, fear leads to health problems.
g. Fear at its extreme can bring about ones death. Not only does the stress brought about by fear wear down the body and shorten life it can keep you from getting medical treatments, or worse yet it can kill you outright.
C. Fear Can Be Overcome - One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, "Mommy, will you stay with me all night?" Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, "I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room." A long silence followed. At last it was broken by a shaky voice saying, "The big sissy!"
1. Admit - One of the first things to overcoming fear is to admit we are afraid. Ananias wasted no time in telling Jesus that Saul was trouble. Denying we are afraid will accomplish nothing. We need to be honest with our selves about our fears, honest with God about our fears and we need to be honest with those around us.
2. Examine - How often do we look back at in hind sight and think “I was afraid of that...” How often have we told some one “there’s nothing to be afraid of.” I remember a time when a black mark on a chair terrified a little girl because she thought it was a bug. Often times, when we see things from a different perspective, when take a closer look at what we are afraid of, we realize there is nothing to fear or there is hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be that the things we fear and want to avoid are there for our good. Jesus told Ananias He had different plans for Saul and he was already taking care of the problem at hand.
a. 2 Co1:8-9 so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God
b. 2 Co 4:11 so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested
3. Overcome - An important truth to remember when facing fear is that we are not alone, God is with us and He has made some promises to us that we can hold onto. With Jesus assurance, Ananias went to Saul. Here are some promises to us to help us on our way to overcoming fear.
a. Mt 10:24-31 ... "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
b. 2 Tm 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
c. 1 Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,...
d. 1 Pt 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

CONCL - Ps 118:8-9 - The late President Roosevelt once said in a now famous radio address: "There is nothing to fear except fear itself." Mark Twain, has been noted for saying, "I . . . have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.". The same can be said of our fears. I’m not going to say there will never be a real reason to fear but when we do fear we need to take a look at the fear that besets us and turn them over to the Lord.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Outline For Sunday 5/18/2008


INTRO - Do we need Love?
• 1 Co 13:1-3 If I ... do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I ... do not have love, I am nothing. And if ... I do not have love, it profits me nothing.
• 1 Jn 4:7-11 .... Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
• Two friends were discussing the possibility of love. One said, "I thought I was in love three times.” "How so?" his friend asked. "Five years ago I deeply cared for a woman who wanted nothing to do with me." "Was that not love?" his friend asked."No," he replied. "That was obsession. And then two years ago I deeply cared for an attractive woman who didn’t understand me." "Was that not love?" "No," he replied. "That was lust. And just last year I met a woman aboard a cruise ship to the Caribbean. She was smart, funny, and a great conversationalist. And everywhere I followed her on that boat, I would get this strange sensation in the pit of my stomach." "Was that not love?" his friend asked. "No," he replied. "That was motion sickness."
We all have our ideas about love but what is it, what is love?

I. DEFINING LOVE - What is Love? Like I said already we all have our ideas about love.
A. The Funny - In a survey of 4-8 year olds, kids share their views on love. But what do little kids know about love? Listen to what they said.
1. "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
2. "Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
3. "Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
4. "Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redbird."
5. "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
6. "When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
When it come to love our English language is limited. We use this one word as a catch-all for many different feelings. "I love my wife. I love Minnesota. I love our dog. I love cherry pie. I love a sunny day. I love my home." Oxford defines love as (1) an intense feeling of deep affection. (2) a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. (3) a great interest and pleasure in something. (4) a person or thing that one loves. (5) a score of zero.
B. The Bible words - What about the Bible? It was not written in English but in Hebrew and Greek. What do we know about the words used for love in the Bible.
1. Hebrew - First we’ll head to the Hebrew words of which there is namely one with it’s several variations. That main word is “ahab” and like the English word love, it seems to represent several kinds of “love”
a. First, the word refers to the love a man has for a woman and a woman for a man. Such love is rooted in sexual desire, as in Gn 24:67 where Isaac took Rebekah and loved her.
b. It is also used of the love between parents and their children. In its first biblical appearance, the word represents Abraham's special attachment to his son Isaac in Gn 22:2
c. The word sometimes depicts a special strong attachment a servant may have toward a master under whose dominance he wishes to remain as referred to in Ex 21:5
d. Another use of this word relates to an especially close attachment of friends: as in David and Jonathan in 1 Sm 18:1
e. The strong emotional attachment and desire suggested by ahab may also be fixed on objects, circumstances, actions, and relationships
2. Greek - In the Greek there are mainly three words for love, two of which are used in the Bible.
a. The first word, which is not used in the Bible, is “Eros,”but its meaning is referred to many times."Eros" means physical love, sexual love
b. The second word is “Phileo” - It means "brotherliness,” “companionship," & “friendship.” "phileo" love is too often a temporary type of love. It is a love that says, "I will love you as long as....”
c. The third is “Agape” & "agape" is the word that is used in 1 John 4, where it says, "God is agape." It is a love that is different from the other two because it is totally unselfish. It is a love that is more concerned about making the object of love feel loved, than it is in making the lover feel loved.

II. THE ACTIONS OF LOVE - Most people who pass out heart shaped boxes of chocolates, who give roses, who send valentines & expressions of love have no idea what real love, the love of the Bible is all about.
A. Paul’s Famous Definition - 1 Co 13 4-8 contain on of the greatest definitions of love. As we look at it I would like you to notice that much of what Paul tells us about love is not feelings but actions and we all know that “Actions speak louder than words.”
1. Love is patient.
2. love is kind
3. is not jealous;
4. love does not brag
5. is not arrogant,
6. does not act unbecomingly;
7. does not seek its own,
8. is not provoked, -
9. does not take into account a wrong suffered,
10. does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
11. rejoices with the truth;
12. bears all things,
13. believes all things,
14. hopes all things,
15. endures all things.
16. Love never fails;
B. Misc. 1 Co 13 is not the only place in the Bible to learn about love
1. Jn 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. - Love is obedience
2. Jn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. - Love is sacrifice
3. Ro 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. - Love doesn’t wrong
4. 1 Co 8:1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. Take Care with Your Liberty - Love builds up
5. Cl 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. - Love unites
6. 1 Pe 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. - Love forgives
7. 1 Jn 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. - Love is action
8. 1 Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. - Love casts out fear

CONCL - Mt 24:12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. While this is to be true, it is by love that we are to be known to be Christians. Jn 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Because we have the Bible we can know what love is all about. Because we have a God of love we can know what love is all about and we need not let it grow cold.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Outline for Sunday 5/11/08 - Mother's Day


INTRO - The young preacher was shocked to hear the well-known evangelist utter the words, "I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life in the arms of another man's wife. Yes, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life in the arms of another man's wife." Then, following a pause, the evangelist added, "That woman was my mother." "I've got to use that!" the young pastor thought to himself. A few weeks later, as he was speaking to a civic group, the phrase leapt into his mind and he exclaimed, "I have spent some of the happiest days of my life in the arms of another man's wife." Then, after another long pause, the young man muttered meekly, "But for the life of me I can't remember who she was."
Throughout the Bible we find all kinds of mothers, some godly and some not. Mother’s you would gladly call your own, and mothers you wouldn’t want to claim even if they were.
Gn 2:18-23
Gn 3:20
Before the first child had been born, Adam named the first woman “Eve” because she would become the mother of all living. The name “Eve” means “life or living” and fits the idea of motherhood for it is through the woman, that God brings new life into this world and it through the woman that many a child is influenced. - for good or for bad.
Pv 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. This works for the good and for the bad.

A. Jezebel - 1 Kg 16:29-31 - Here a few things we know of Jezebel from what has been recorded in the Bible.
1. A Forceful Character - She used her gifts for furtherance of evil and by so doing she destroyed a king, her offspring and a nation.
2. An Ardent Idolater - Not only did she worship Baal and Ashtaroth, she also housed and fed hundreds of their prophets
3. A Dominating Wife - She became the feared leader in Israel, not her husband
4. A Corrupt Tree - Her offspring, her son’s her daughter followed in her foot steps of evil, both in Israel and in Judea
5. A Treacherous Schemer - She plotted the death of Naboth so as to get his vineyard for her husband
6. A Fateful End - Her end was not pretty for she was thrown out a window and eaten by dogs.
7. Summed up, she could have been called a “she devil” for she was evil to the core. Some mothers are bad but are they as bad a Jezebel? Well, at least one was, one that was influenced by her mother - Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah.
B. Athaliah - 2 Ch 22:10-12 - just like mom. Her story can be found in 2 Ch 22 -24
1. Wicked - While her Mom inflicted Israel, Athaliah married Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat and brought her idolatrous wicked ways to Judah. Like her Mom she was a dominating queen and trained her son Ahaziah in her wickedness.
2. Influential - Eight years after her husband Jehoram took the thrown, God removed him and Ahaziah her son took his place but only for a year. Both were wicked being influenced by Athaliah.
3. Deadly - After Ahaziah died, Athaliah killed her grandsons and all who could take the thrown and ceased it for herself.
4. Idolatrous - During her six year reign she destroyed part of God’s temple to promote and build a temple to Baal
5. Destroyed - When Joash - a legal heir to the thrown who had been in hiding - turned seven, he was crowned king and Athaliah was destroyed much like her mother.
Mothers have a great influence over their children for good or for bad. As a mother one needs to be careful not to be a Jezebel or an Athaliah. Fortunately, not all mothers are so bad, some have positive influences

II. EVEN GRANDMAS - 2 Tm 1:3-5 Mom And Grandma - They are only mentioned by name once in the Bible and as a result we have very little information about them.
1. Of the grandmother Lois, she was more than likely the Eunice’s mother and also a jew and a Christian with a sincere faith.
2. We are told in another passage that the mother was indeed a Jewess and that she was married to a Greek in a mixed marriage which,
3. It appears that this mother - grandmother team had a positive influence on one little boy and very likely trained him up in the scriptures. 2 Tm 3:15
B. A Great Young Man - If you haven’t figured it out yet, the young man that this mother - grandmother team influenced was non other than Timothy. As a result of their influence, Timothy was of great use for God.
1. As A Missionary - Ac 16:1-5.
2. A Messenger
a. 1 Co 4:14-17
b. Pp 2:19-20.
3. An Encourager -1 Th 3:1-3
4. A Teacher - 1 Tm 1:3-5
5. A Martyr - according to old traditions, Timothy continued to act as bishop to the church at Ephesus until he died a martyrs death. Legand says the great festival of Artemis led him to protest against the license and frenzy which accompanied it. The mob were roused to fury, and put him to death with clubs

CONCL. - Mothers continue to have a major influence on their children.
• Theodore Roosevelt said - When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls, who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of the national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist, or scientist.
• Winston Churchill - A London editor submitted to Winston Churchill for his approval a list of all those who had been Churchill's teachers. Churchill returned the list with this comment: "You have omitted to mention the greatest of my teachers—my Mother."
• Thomas A. Edison said - I did not have my mother long, but she cast over me an influence which has lasted all my life. The good effects of her early training I can never lose. If it had not been for her appreciation and her faith in me at a critical time in my experience, I should never likely have become an inventor. I was always a careless boy, and with a mother of different mental caliber, I should have turned out badly. But her firmness, her sweetness, her goodness, were potent powers to keep me in the right path. My mother was the making of me. The memory of her will always be a blessing to me.
• What will you say of your Mother?