Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Hypothyroidism - How does that sound for a fancy word? This past weekend I was continuing to feel palpitations including skipped heart beats, so back to the clinic I went and after double checking me and my heart, and finding nothing wrong, the blood tests that had been taken were gone over so as to explain to me what the results meant and low and behold, one of the results - which for some reason had not been noticed before - was way out of balance. I'm now on meds for an under producing thyroid which in turn may be what is causing my palpitations. I was told it will take up to three weeks before the meds make much of a difference but I think they already are as I've felt better since I started taking them. I get to go back in six weeks for a check up. - Keep praying :) and Praise the Lord for the diagnoses.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Snow One To Blame

This morning we stayed home from church as did everyone else. The reason? we're all snowed in. The blame for all this snow - 9 inches worth - has been put on various family members. I've been blamed because I didn't tell the kids to pick up the yard. When I tell them to, the snow misses us. My wife has been blamed because she organized the mittens and tried to set up a racking party for today. I suppose we could also blame my daughter for planning a party for Sat.
With my snowblower down we've been slowly shoveling the driveway even though there is a chance someone may come and plow us out. Even if that happens, the road we live on is still buried. Once it gets plowed - hopefully it will - than we should be able to make it to the highway and to town.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Series

Has a kid ever said to you or an adult for that matter, "Why do we have to go to church?" I've been thinking of putting together a series of sermons/ messages on the subject. Some of the ideas I've come up with so far include
  • Some Assembly Required - We need to get together
  • Cheap Entertainment? - Are we to worship or be entertained?
  • Sunday, Sabbath, or Some Other Day - When do we do it?
  • Is It Story Time? - Reading and understanding God's Word
  • Carpentry 101 - Are we to build each other up?
Does anybody have any other ideas to add to the list?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Are You Ready To Pray Your Own Prayer

INTRO - I’d like to start with an illustration I’ve taken from a skit on the model prayer. Imagine if you will, you’re on your knees reciting the a prayer and you receive an answer....
Our Father who art in heaven...
Don’t interrupt me. I’m praying...
But you called Me.
Called you? I didn’t call you. I’m praying. Our Father who art in Heaven.
There, you did it again
Did what?
Called Me. You said, “Our Father who art in Heaven.”
Here I am. What’s on your mind?
But I didn’t mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting my duty done.....
Is what we call the Lord’s Prayer really the Lord’s prayer? Should we be reciting it as if it was our own? Or should we be learning from it so that we might pray Our own prayer?

I. PRAYER IS NOT AN OPTION - An Adult Sunday School class was discussing formal and informal prayer, when one man remarked, "I do some of my best praying while driving." From the back of the room, in a quiet voice, the man's wife agreed. "I, too, do my best praying while you are driving."
A. When Not If - The Bible says “when” not “if”
1. Lk 11:1-2
2. In Matthew 6 in the sermon on the mount Jesus brought up the subject of prayer by saying “When you...”
a. When you pray,(5a)
b. When you pray,(6a)
c. When you are praying,(7a)
d. Pray, then, in this way: (9a)
B. Pray, Pray, Pray. - The Model Prayer as it is better called, isn’t the only place we read about the necessity of praying.
1. Lk 18:1 at all times they ought to pray ,
2. Ep 6:18 pray at all times
3. 1 Th 5:17 pray without ceasing;
4. 1 Tm 2:8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray

II. FANCY ORATIONS AND RECITATIONS IT’S NOT - Not everyone is familiar with prayer. Two men were out walking one day. One guy challenged his buddy by saying, “If you’re so religious, let me hear you quote the Lord’s Prayer. I’ll bet you $10 you can’t do it.” The second guy responded, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” The first guy pulled out his wallet, fished out a $10 bill and muttered, “I didn’t think you could do it!” - How many of you can remember learning this prayer as a kid. How many of you, if challenged is such a way could recite the “Lord’s Prayer?” - Mt 6:9-13 puts it this way in the NAS
'Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
'Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
'Give us this day our daily bread.
'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]'
A. Is It Just Fancy Talk? - When we pray, do we simply pray to sound good? It may be that we use flowery words so we make ourselves sound religious. It may be that we say things just so that we can say we said them. - Like a politician, we use a lot of words but never really say anything. Jesus talked about those who would want to sound good in their prayers.
1. Mt 6:5
2. Lk 18:10-14
B. Is It Just Repeating Words? - When the disciples said, “teach us to pray” they didn’t say “teach us a prayer.” It’s one thing to read or recite a prayer; it’s something else to know how to pray.

III. GOING ONE ON ONE IN PRAYER - The ship was sinking and the captain was passing out the life belts. Suddenly he called out to the passengers, and asked if anyone there knew how to pray. A preacher among the passengers eagerly announced that he did. "Thank goodness for you," said the captain. "We are short one life belt." - Time for fancy prayers? Time for reciting the “Lord’s Prayer?”
A. Getting Away From It All - While Jesus had much to say on prayer from which we can learn, we can learn from His example as well.
1. One thing Jesus often did was get away from it all..
a. Mt 14:23
b. Mk 1:35
c. Lk 9:18
2. Another thing Jesus did was let us see into His prayer. Jn 17:1-26 is what I would call “The Lord’s Prayer” for this is a prayer he prayed.
B. Personal, Honest And From The Heart - Is 29:13-14 - When it comes to learning prayer, there are many examples of those who went one on one with God in very personal and Honest prayers from the heart. After all, they had nothing to gain by saying something flowery and reciting another’s prayer well the timing wasn’t right:)
1. Jonah - While it wasn’t by his choice, Jonah got away to pray, one on one with God, in the stomach of a fish - Jo 2:1-9
2. Daniel - While he had nothing to do with it, Daniel was about to be executed. Time for some one on one with God, - Dn 2:20-23
C. Spending Time On A Two Way Street - All to often with think of praying as just talking, but praying is conversation with God and as such there needs to be times of listening as well so that God may talk.
1. God may not shout - 1 Kg 19:11-12 .
2. David knew about silence - Ps 62:1
3. Solomon knew too - Ec 5:1-2

CONCL. - How often are our prayers silent because we aren’t really praying - talking or listening? We don’t take the time to pray because:
▸ Prayer is boring
▸ We think we have nothing to say
▸ We don’t have time
▸ We can’t focus on praying
▸ We think we need a new way to pray
▸ We think God never listens
▸ I’m sure we could find more excuses
Jm 5:16 says Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Maybe the reason a righteous man’s prayer accomplish is because their not someone else’s, they’re his from the heart. How about you? Are you ready to pray your own prayer?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Outline For Sunday 4/13/2008


INTRO - Have you ever wondered about global warming? Is it real? Is it something to get excited about?

A. Cooling Down Again - Starting around 1895 thru about 1930 the entire planet went thru a global cooling. And fear of an ice age and global disaster spread. - The ice age never came and neither did the disasters
B. Cooling Down Again - In the 1970's it happened again. Another global cooling took place and again predications of an ice age and disaster came. Once again, the predictions failed to come true.
A. Warm Up Time - Today’s global warming advocates probably don’t even realize their claims aren’t original. Before the cooling worries of the ’70s, America went through global warming fever for several decades around World War II.
B. Warming Up Again - the media today is constantly bombarding us with bad news about global warming and its consequences. It tells us that we are at fault and need to do something. Or severe disaster will wipe out the planet - something like the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”
III. THE PLANET IS COOLING -.On January 6,2009 the following headline appeared in the Boston Globe “Br-r-r! Where did global warming go?” The article continues THE STARK headline appeared just over a year ago. "2007 to be 'warmest on record,' " BBC News reported on Jan. 4, 2007. Citing experts in the British government's Meteorological Office, the story announced that "the world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007," surpassing the all-time high reached in 1998. But a funny thing happened on the way to the planetary hot flash: Much of the planet grew bitterly cold.
A. The Planet Cooled Off - Here are some of the reports from around the world as to the cold that has been experienced.
1. In South America, for example, the start of winter last year was one of the coldest ever observed.
2. In Buenos Aires, it snowed for the first time in 89 years
3. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941.
4. China has its coldest winter in 100 years.
5. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history.
6. North America has the most snow cover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began
7. Record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
B. The Cold Facts - According to the numbers there has been a twelve month long drop in world temps that have wiped out the warming of the last century. All four major global temperature tracking outlets have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
IV. THE PLANET IS UNDER CONTROL - Man may do his best to wreak havoc in the world, but he can only do so much.
A. Something To Think About - As I studied on this topic I found some interesting things to note
1. It seems that the media is behind much of the hype over global warming or cooling. And I often wonder if facts being over looked on purpose?
2. Evolutionary time scales are often used instead of God’s
3. Accurate temperature records have been kept only since the end of the 19th Century, shortly after the world left the Little Ice Age. Beyond that temps are speculated.
4. If I only monitored temps from Jan 1st to Aug 31st in MN could I predict global warming?... What if I only monitored temps from July 1st through Feb 28th, could I predict global cooling?... What we need is a bigger time scale and what we would find is a cycle.
5. I never found what the planets temp is suppose to be and I don’t think anybody knows. What we do find is that while the planet’s temps fluctuate they are relatively stable. If they weren’t we be in big trouble.
B. God’s In Control
1. He created the earth
a. Ps 24:1-2
b. Is 45:18
2. He uphold the earth through Christ
a. Co 1:16-17
b. Hb 1:3
3. He controls the weather
a. Jb 12:15
b. Ps 147:16-18
c. Jr 10:13

CONCL - Have you ever wondered what it was like in the Garden Of Eden? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a perfect world? The Bible tells us that a day is coming when the earth we know will be done away with and that there will be a new earth. An earth like that on day 6 of creation - perfect with no worries about global warming or cooling at all.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Outline For Sunday 4/6/2008

Dealing With God’s Answers

INTRO - How many times have you asked a question, hoping for one answer, and got another, you an answer you didn’t want?
• You want to do a church program. Your friends at church say go for it, it sounds good. You put a bunch of effort into it and the church leadership comes along and says we want some one else to do it....
• On the job a co-worker is driving you nuts, keeping you form doing your job.... and you can’t stand it any more, you’re ready to haul off and whop him one but you hold off and ask management to remove him from your area so you can continue doing your job and all they can say is grow up.
• You knew what you did was wrong but it felt good and you wanted to do it besides no one else would ever know. A few days later you’re called in for questioning and to try to cover things up you ask if they have any idea who did it and you’re told that you were caught doing it on the hidden security camera....
• You work hard and always do your job, you are loyal to the company as they are always loyal to you and than you’re new assignment comes along and it involves going somewhere you’d rather not go to do something you don’t really want to do. You ask to get out of it but you’re told you’re the only one for the job.
How do we respond to unwanted answers? How do we respond when they are from God? Each of these modern day scenarios is based on a story from the Bible in which someone received an unwanted answer fro God. Let’s see how they responded

I. WORSHIP OR SCOFF - Our first story comes from the book of 2 Samuel and involves King David.
A. To Build A Temple
1. 2 Sm 7:1-3
2. 2 Sm 7:4-6,12-13
B. Two Ways To Respond - David had great plans for God, he wanted to build Him a temple. He told his plans to Nathan who in turn gave him the okay. God had different plans. As we look at this first story there are two words we need to think about, two ways in which David could have responded.
1. Worship - The first way David could have responded was with worship.
a. It was God Himself who wrote the beginning words of what we call the ten commandments. Ex 20:1-5
b. Later David wrote in the Psalms - Ps 95:6-7
2. Scoff - The opposite response would be one of scoffing.
a. An example of scoffers comes from the Pharisee. Lk 16:13-14
b. In the Psalms we read of the same kind of people. Ps 73:11
C. David’s Response - 2 Sm 7:18-22,25-26. - David chose to worship.
1. He went before God
2. He humbled himself
3. He praised God
II. ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION - Our Second story comes from the 1 Corinthians and involves the Apostle Paul.
A. To Remove A Thorn
1. 2 Co 12:1-7
2. 2 Co 12:8-9a
B. Two Ways To Respond - Paul had two ways to respond To God’s answer to his prayer.
1. Accept - When Paul received a No to his prayer he could have accepted it.
a. It was Job who said we should be able to accept the things that are not good - Jb 2:10
b. When Eli received a message of “bad” he accepted - 1 Sm 3:18
2. Reject - The other possibility was that of rejection. Paul could have ignored God’s answer and tried to remove the thorn himself.
a. People have the tendency to reject God’s words - 2 Tm 4:3
C. Paul’s Response - 2 Co 12:9b-10. - Paul chose to accept
1. He chose to boast in his weakness
2. He chose to be content
3. He accepted God’s ways as better.
a. Rm 8:28
b. Is 55:8-9
c. Jr 10:23

III. REPENTANCE OR IMPENITENCE - Our third story returns on to the book of 2 Samuel and to David.
A. To Cover Up
1. 2 Sm 11:1-5,14-15
2. 2 Sm12:1-7a
B. Two Ways To Respond - Again we will look at two ways in which David could respond.
1. Repentance - The first way to respond is to go to God and repent.
a. Repentance has been taught by
(1) John The Baptist - Mt 3:1-2
(2) Jesus - Mt 4:17
(3) The Twelve - Mk 6:7-12
(4) Peter Ac 2:38
b. It’s what God wants Ek 18:21-23
2. Impenitence - on the flip side of repentance is Impenitence - Revelations tells of these kind of people.
a. Rv 9:20-21.
b. Rv 16:8-11
C. David’s Response - Ps 51:1-19
1. He confesses his sin
2. He asks for pardon or cleansing
3. He asks for restoration

IV. SUBMISSION OR REBELLION - Our last story brings us to Jesus Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.
A. To Avoid Death
1. Mt 26:36-46
2. Mt 26:47-50
B. Two Ways To Respond
1. Submit - Jesus had a choice when it came to God’s will for Him to be there. He had the ability to choose to submit
a. Like Mary when she learned of her pregnancy Lk 1:38.
b. Paul reminds us that we should submit - Rm 6:13
2. Rebel - Jesus once said he could have called legions of angels to rescue Him, He could have gone against God’s will, he could have rebelled
a. Samuel had some words for us on rebellion - 1 Sm 12:15
b. 1 Sm 15:23
C. Jesus’ Response - Jesus had to make one tough decision - Mt 27:45-50

CONCL - Times are going to come when we will receive answers that we will not like, we will not want, and when they come form God we will have to respond to them in some way. The question is how will we respond? Will we respond with:
• Worship or scoffing
• Acceptance or rejection
• Repentance or impenitence
• Submission or rebellion
The choices are ours to make.