I don’t usually blog about work but I wanted to write about something God has orchestrated in my professional life. I work as a technical consultant for a local consulting firm here in Omaha. Just a couple of months ago I was doing a gig for one of our clients who is located in the heart of of downtown Omaha. I was traveling over an hour each way to do this gig. I also found myself doing basically the same kind of analyst work I’ve been doing for the past several years which is fine, but the travel each day was a killer. To shorten a somewhat long story I would just like to say that God ended that contract. He has also put me onto a project with some other consultants in our firm. I am only traveling half the distance for work and I am working with a dear friend who is a Christ follower, and with some other folks who have professional skills I dearly want to learn. The project will last a couple of years and I will be getting some wonderful hands on experience using development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005 Database, and C# (Sharp).Net. Included with these tools I will be learning about Reporting Services in the .Net framework, LINQ which stands for Language Integrated Query which is used to easily hook queried data from a database into your code, and AJAX which is a group of interrelated techniques used for creating interactive web applications. With these techniques you can retrieve data from the web server in the background without interfering with the behavior of the existing web page. Needless to say I am extremely excited. I am giving all the glory to God. Ok, enough of the geeks stuff, now for some Romans.
Category Archives: Praise
Although we will miss her, my mother went home to be with Jesus Thursday morning May 22nd. She is absent from her worn out earthly body and now present with our Lord. I want to thank everyone for their prayers for our family. God is so faithful and I delight in His eternal righteousness. I just wanted to share a verse of hope for those who have ever exprienced the death of a loved one who is a believer.
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened, not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
2 Corinthians 5:1-11
And one more verse found at the end of Psalm 16.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Holy Scripture speaks of this joy in the presence of the Lord and what is being prepared and waiting for us in heaven. If you have an unbelieving family member, please be steadfast in your prayer for them. May God draw them to Himself and grace them with the salvation only found in His Son Jesus Christ.
Mary Katherine Mauney Schneider: January 13th, 1940 – May 22nd, 2008
Our local church Omaha Bible Church recently went through a sermon series on worship. The series culminated with the final two sermons focusing on music in worship. While we were in the middle of the final two sermons I happened upon this little group from “down under” called Sons of Korah. They record and perform songs with lyrics that are straight out of the biblical Psalms. I found this live performance of them doing Psalm 117. Enjoy!
This weekend five men from OBC traveled down to Wymore, Nebraska to meet the need of a neighbor. The need which was mentioned in more detail at my previous post here. The work began Saturday morning June 30th at 7am and completed at 9pm on Sunday July 1st. The team of Craig, Keith, Tim, Allyn, and Barry worked as to Lord to get the bathroom completed by the end of the weekend. Throughout the weekend the family had several family members stop by to see what was being done and many of them expressed gratitude for what we were doing.
After we had completed the bathroom, I gave the adult daughter Tina one of the tracts Erik Raymond has put together and explained to Tina and Marvin that the tract will give her an idea of why we do what we do and what we are about as a church. Each of us shared the reason why we were doing this project for them and the gospel of Christ was presented. It is my prayer and the prayer of the team that this family would consider what was said and trust in Christ for salvation.
Pictures of the project can be seen at my Flickr account.
Hey y’all it’s BD 4 JC. I heard this tune the other day and it rocked my face off. I had to share. So I found this live performance of it on YouTube.com. This guy goes way back with dcTalk. He’s the only guy I know who can combine R&B, hip hop and rock and make it all gell. Enjoy! Rock On!!
I am currently involved in a bible study surrounding a book written by John Piper. The book is titled Future Grace. We’ve been doing the study for about 4 weeks now and it is great. The first thing Piper educates us on is this thing called future grace. Piper contrasts future grace with gratitude. He challenges us to find anywhere in the bible where believers were motivated to obedience out of gratitude. He contends that this good deed behavior out of gratitude is called debtor’s ethic. It says that since you have done something good for me I am indebted to do something good for you. This is contrary to what God intended. God intended for true gratitude to be a spontaneous expression of pleasure in the gift and the good will of another. There is a good quote in the very first chapter that kind of describes it with clarity for me.
With true gratitude there is such a delight in the worth of God’s past grace, that we are driven on to experience more and more of it in the future. But this is not done by payments of debt in any ordinary sense. Rather, it is done by transforming gratitude into faith as it turns from contemplating the pleasures of past grace and starts contemplating the promises of the future.
This future grace is grace provided by God in the next day, in the next hour, in the next minute. We have confidence from past grace to trust God for His future grace. It is an awesome thing to behold and trust in.
In our study we recently discussed chapter six. It contains one of the most convicting things I’ve ever encountered. Faith in future grace versus pride. The chapter discusses three competitors to God for the human heart. Wisdom, might and riches. We think these can be obtained by our own self reliance. It is radically humbling to confess that the source of all our joy resides outside of ourselves. Pride is such an obstacle to future grace it opposes the hope and trust in the promises of God because we trust in ourselves, or others, or material things. But when we trust in God and His future grace we put away this human pride and walk in the second, the minute, the hour, and the day of God’s future grace.
As we continue in this study I will post some more information about it and review it as a whole. More to come.
Tonight I went to the Shepherds’ Conference web site to view the pictures they had posted from this year’s conference. Viewing them prompted to to remember some of my personal highlights from the conference. I will list them out as I try to remember them in order of each day.
Arriving Tuesday afternoon we all headed to the traditional OBC tour stop to eat lunch at the Fish Market Outlet in downtown LA. This is always an experience. We then headed to the Santa Monica Pier which for a few hours of shopping, walking, and Starbucks coffee, and seeing Mike Abendroth at the same spot we met him last year. I did get quite a bit of sun that afternoon. We then checked in to our hotel in Valencia (yes 24 fans, it’s still there) and went out to dinner. Wednesday morning we headed to the conference, verified our registrations, got our authentic fountain pen gifts and settled in on the Grace Community Church campus for a day of great preaching and seminars.
Highlights for Wednesday were John MacArthur preaching on premillennial theology in the morning and CJ Mahaney spoke on humility in the evening. Sitting with most of the guys at Starbucks and talking about the days events.
Highlights for Thursday were Q&A session with John MacArthur in the morning and Dr. Albert Mohler spoke on Greeting Card Theology from 1 Cor. 1 & 2. Getting our stack of free books and hanging with John Slack and eating In-N-Out burgers at lunch.
Friday was a busy highlight day. They include Mark Dever preaching on Daniel and our only hope is in God. Meeting Tim Challies from Challies dot com. Eating dinner with Hank, Bob, Steve, Dean, and Walter at the California Pizza Factory. Listening to Dr. John MacArthur speak on Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray. Listening to Dr. Mohler during the “soapbox” sessions. One of my favorite highlights was and hanging with the pastors and elders on Friday night drinking some brews and listening to Pat, Todd, and Bu talk about their days in seminary.
Saturday highlights were eating breakfast at Mimi’s, seeing Master’s College, driving down to West Coast Choppers, conversations with Chris along the way. More highlights were speaking of salvation with someone I met at the Crystal Cathedral, attending the evening service of the potentially self proclaimed “healthiest” church in America. The speaker presented an anger management seminar under the disguise of a sermon. More on that in a later post.
The highlights for Sunday our final day were, Dr. MacArthur and his sermon on Luke 18:35-43. This was Jesus’ last healing. The healing of blind Bartemaius. Flying home, conversations with Chris on the flight. Seeing my wife waiting for me at the airport gate. Sleeping in my bed.
I have been away from posting anything for quite some time. As the title says I’m back in black …and white actually (the printed text). I was away because I have been busier and to some degree a bit discouraged by something someone said. But I thought about it and prayed about it and decided that God has allowed me to find this medium for me to think through things, personally and theologically. So I am returning, to the glory of Christ I will be posting my thoughts again.
Quite a lot has happened since my last posting. I have been to Shepherds’ Conference in sunny, southern California. I will post some thoughts about that trip in the days to come. Right now I am finishing up a book by Mark Driscoll. He is a very controversial person who has some controversial ideas about evangelism. Driscoll suggests that Christians invest into getting to know the culture in which God has placed them in. In his situation God has placed him into a culture in Seattle, Washington where folks are pretty culturally diverse. He describes some of his members as body pierced, gothic, and fully tattooed. A culture which would most likely be foreign to us Midwesterners. There are some of Driscoll’s ideas that I think are just too radical. I think he gets a bit too extreme with the movies, and television shows he consumes in order to understand his culture. But as a whole I agree with the things he writes about. If you think about it where did Jesus go with His ministry on earth. He associated with those who needed a doctor not the ones who were healthy. He associated with the sinners such as tax collectors and prostitutes. He went to places most religious people of that time would not be caught dead in.
Christ has given me a heart to reach folks for His name so I have been reading about reaching folks in the culture. We have a place, where folks similar to what Driscoll describes, congregate. Our local church has a ministry leader who regularly goes there. I am challenging myself this spring and summer to go there with him and engage folks for Christ.
“How Great I Art”, “To Me Be the Glory”, “Great Is My Faithfulness”, and “I Need Me Every Hour” could be the hymns of choice based on a free will theology. If you are not sure what free will theology is please follow the link provided above.
I held this very view for more years than I haven’t. And even though I would not admit these hymns even remotely described my theology, I still affirmed man’s free will in salvation. So if you hold the view that man is ultimately responsible for his salvation because He chooses God then you should indeed pat yourself on the back and sing a praise in your behalf.
Now some might think this a bit too far fetched. But if you honestly look at the rational conclusion from the theology that says salvation has been provided by God and it was up to you to choose God, then you should rejoice in your salvation. And not only praise God for your salvation you should also rejoice and praise yourself as well. This is much like what a pastor friend of mine once envisioned getting to heaven and high-fiving Christ and proclaiming “We did it!”
But if you are from the “God does it all” camp then the stuff above would seem pretty silly. This is the camp I now sing around campfires in. And sing I do. If it wasn’t for the grace of God who gave me the faith to believe I would still be in opposition to a holy God. I would still be destined to be condemned to God’s just wrath for my sin. For it is God and God alone, which is known in theological circles as monergism, that provides the way and the means for salvation. He does it all. This my friends causes me to greatly praise my God.
Check out the lyrics for the following song.
It is always a great day when you learn something new. Today is kind of like that. In my ever growing, humble knowledge of a sovereign God I have often struggled with understanding the command for believers to lift up intercessory prayers for all the saints. Since God is sovereign, in control of all things, why would we need to pray on behalf of others? This has especially been at the forefront of my mind because my mother and Robin’s mother are both undergoing cancer treatments. We have been praying quite a bit for each of them lately. So why pray if God is sovereign?
The answer seems to lie (as it always seems to) in the way we view God. Do we view God as a wish genie, who is sitting on His throne granting wishes whenever a whim hits Him. Or do we view Him as the Almighty God who is indeed concerned with our lives and has everything sovereignly aligned for each of us. Things to benefit us and not harm us. Do we trust Him to know what is best for us? Back to the question at hand.
One of my favorite theologians and radio personalities, Dr. Albert Mohler, had recently been in the hospital for stomach surgery and subsequent blood clot complications and upon his return to the airwaves commented on this often asked question. The answer he provided made so much sense I had to blog about it. He said “In the bible, intercessory prayer is not presented as a means to change the mind of God. This is a huge mis-perception. When we intercede for others we are involving ourselves in a conversation with God that opens us up to a change that God would do within us.” In other words it is all about God and His Spirit (who at times intercedes for us) changing us through His sanctifying power and allowing us to participate in the process. This is so awesome. Praise be to God the Father for caring for us in all things for His glory. I am pumped to start thinking this way whenever I am in prayer. God is in the process of changing me as I live my life to be conformed in the image of His son Jesus. If you think about it, we read God’s word to know more about Him. We meditate on the things we read there and then as we open ourselves up in a spirit of prayer He is changing our minds.
It might be a good idea, if you do not already, to journal after your prayer time with God. Ask yourself these questions. What has God revealed to you about His word today? What has God revealed to you about yourself today? How is God changing you today?