Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last Minute Preaching

My pastor called me Saturday morning and said he was puking and I was preaching on Sunday. So I went in Saturday afternoon to work on a sermon - without a clue what it would be on. I ended up preaching on "Why I Love The Word Of God." It was a simple sermon - with many points. I really enjoyed working on it and preaching on it. Since we had a small crowd (35ish), it was nice and informal. I actually did Bible Sword Drills for each verse (which was fun).

I ended up leading worship - and I had to work on my driveway at 6:00 a.m. so I could get out. It was an eventful morning - but good. I can hardly explain the simple joy from being with God's people on Sunday morning at our local place of worship. It was wonderful.

Youth Group is off tonight - bad weather - so I'm going to enjoy time with the fam - and maybe a few friends.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Relationships - Parents and Children

I am planning to do some teaching on relationships (familial, romantic, general) in the coming weeks. It's an important topic and very "relevant", yet it scares me. What the Bible has to say and what the world has to say are so diametrically opposed - well - I wonder what chance I have. Of course, I have no chance. God can do as He wishes. My best hope is to simply point them to God's Word. Somehow it's easy for me to doubt if even God can work this one out. So many students in so many sad situations. We are all dysfunctional - but too many of us are way above average.
I'm going to point students to Scripture this week as we look at the relationship between child and parent.
Pray for me, please.
Any advice, help, suggestions???

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Schools Vs. Parents

The problems young people have in life (home life, often) are huge detriments to learning. Schools have noticed these problems and tried to fix them. Well... they've tried to deal with the aftermath.
For instance - Teachers have noticed that some kids aren't getting enough to eat to start the day - so they have to feed them breakfast. They've noticed many such issues and tried to fix them. The problem with that mentality is that the root of many problems, the parents, are never worked on. In fact, I believe the school may actually be enabling parents to avoid parenting.
I hear much talk about all the things that sports teach - character, discipline, teamwork, etc... While that is nice, maybe it's a negative. Some who argue so strongly for school sports make it sound like teen-agers must have been without character 200 years ago when school sports didn't exist.It used to be that character, discipline, teamwork and the like were taught by parents. Now parents don't spend time on such matters - they've got the school to do this.
The school has become the parent (or the government has become the parent). That's a real dilemma.
It's time for parenting to be taken seriously. There may need to be serious consequences for not parenting. I guess I'm pretty Old-School.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Here is some info from International Christian Concern.

2/3/07 Iraq (Memri) Al Qaeda In Iraq Leader: 'We Find No [Blood] Sweeter Than That of the (Christians) -- On February 3, 2007, Islamist websites posted an audio recording by Emir Al-Muaminin (i.e. Commander of the Believers) Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, whom Al-Qaeda has appointed "head of the Islamic State of Iraq. This is a piece of what he said. We are not afraid of your coalitions...We have drunk blood [in the past], and we find no [blood] sweeter than that of the Byzantines [i.e. Christians]... Roast their flesh with car bombs, cut off ! their supply lines with [explosive] charges and tear out their hearts with sniper fire

They also spoke of a 13 year old daughter of a Pastor who was arrested or detained.

Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

You can get on their newsletter list by going here and clicking on Free Newsletter.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pray For Us

This weekend is our annual Junior High Retreat (EFCA - Central District - which basically means Iowa). My high school worship group is leading worship. I have many concerns about this. I'm also pumped. It's been great having my high school students lead worship in church for quite a few years - and now they do it without me (which I enjoy).

Prayer Requests for the weekend.
- for my 11 Junior High students going - that they would be closer to Jesus at the end of the weekend (many don't know Him at all)
- that my other adult leader would recover and be able to go
- that God would look good - no matter what we do (His glory, not ours)
- that my students would worship - when playing and when not playing
- that my students would be bold in guiding junior highers to Jesus
- that the technical challenges of the music would not be an issue

That's a start.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sermon on Job

I just preached on Job (the whole book) on Sunday. I always enjoy the study part of preaching and even though I thought I had a pretty good handle on the book, I learned SOOO much. Dr. John H. Walton, who I had as a prof at Moody, really opened my eyes through his books that touch on Job. I started off talking about Hermeneutics (how to study the Bible). Then I looked at the 2 big problems in the book of Job. Let me give a couple of highlights below.

PROBLEM 1: God is on Trial by Satan. Satan basically says that God's way of developing righteousness or godliness is a shame - it doesn't work. Even lab rats will do the right thing for reward.
Job never curses God or heads into sin. God's ways of developing righteousness are proven to be right.
In fact, God's blessing of Job at the end of the book is not because God felt bad for Job or because Job deserved it, rather, God is saying to Satan - I will train men in righteousness any way I want to

PROBLEM 2: Why to bad things happen to good people (Retribution Principle). God's Justice on Trial.
God never even tries to prove that He is just. Rather, He proves beyond a doubt that He is perfectly wise and soveriegn (wisdom is so much more than omniscience and sovereignty is so much more than omnipotence). You can trust God's justice because you know He is wise.

I closed with (reading) the Chorus of a song Babbie Mason sang (I believe it was her) -

God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind.
So when you don’t understand, When you don’t see His plan,
When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.

I leave the application aspects to your mind (though I spent about 1/4 of the sermon on application).

Fantastic Superbowl.

I do so enjoy the NFL - and so the SuperBowl is a big deal for me. I don't go to parties anymore - because I want to be able to see the whole game, hear every commercial, and not have to be social. So I enjoyed watching the game at home. The Vikings are my team, but my AFC team has been the Colts for quite a while. I spent 4 years in Chicago and then 5 years outside of Chicago, listening to Chicago sports radio - I learned to like any team playing against the Bears. I do dislike the Bears.

What a joy to see the Colts thoroughly trounce the Bears. The Bears even had the weather on their side - and opened up spotting Rex a 7 point lead. But the mighty Colts played real ball and won the game handily.

The Bears 3 scores could easily not have happened. The first two were one hit wonders - the Big play - they count, but I so much more respect the team that can work the ball all over the field and eat up the clock and score. The field goal came after a squib kick and a 15 yard penalty for a late hit out of bounds. The Bears truly got a whupping.

I've been saying that though they are good, they have had a lot of lucky things happen to them and could have lost a bunch of the games they won. Sweet Justice (from my perspective). Since the Vikes couldn't make it, there wasn't anything much sweeter than the matchup and outcome we had.

Maybe the most important fact: The Minnesota Vikings are Undefeated!!!