Monthly Archives: October 2006

And now for something really scary …….

Anyone who grew up in the church will probably remember when the rock band U2 came on the scene with songs like “40”. This came out in the early eighties and it was just Bono singing Psalm 40 from scripture with the band. Some of their other songs were considered to be religious as well and it created quite the excitement in Christian circles. Wow, a Christian band in the secular market maybe this will create some interest in Christ. Then Bono used the infamous expletive on the MTV music awards, and all doubt of their Christianity became the topic of conversation. We all have read about Bono’s extensive charity work and some would consider him to be a saint. Personally I have not seen or heard Bono or any of the other members of U2 make any statements regarding their relationship with Christ. But regardless of his or the band’s commitment to Christ some churches have still taken their ideas and song lyrics into their corporate worship. I ran across a little news article that reports just this alleged fact. You can see the article at the following link. U2-charist.

I researched the song “If God Will Send His Angels” which is the song mentioned in this smaller article. I would recommend looking at it to review the lyrics. Now please tell me if you can picture a congregation singing this song in their communion services as the article suggests. The article also suggests that this song is being used in over 150 churches in 15 states of across the US.

Ok. I kinda get the whole being relevant thing the emerging church movement is focused on. I don’t like it, but I do get it. I guess this is just one more step in that progression. Maybe more of a leap. The song has no relationship at all to the sacrament or observation of communion, let alone any relevance to worshipping a holy God. Borrowing the beats from contemporary music is one thing but borrowing the lyrics from songs such as these is ridiculous, and in my mind an abomination to the Lord.

Forget about goblins and ghouls on this Halloween. Do you wanna see something really scary? Watch as the church (and I use the term loosely) focuses on relevance over substance. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

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Posted by on October 31, 2006 in Christian News


Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke?

I am one of those people who are loyal to a particular consumer product if it appeals to my tastes or desires. An example of this would be that I like the diet cola type Pepsi products. Diet Pepsi, Diet Vanilla Pepsi (my personal favorite) and the new Diet Jazz Pepsi products. Since I have been working at my new job at our client site I have not been able to find a single Pepsi product in any of their vending machines. Today I wanted a diet cola product to drink with the lunch my thoughtful wife prepared for me so I purchased a Diet Coke out of the machine. The choice turned out to be ok and for the most part it wasn’t bad. The Diet Coke did not taste bad or make me sick, but it just wasn’t the same as my familiar Diet Pepsi. Now it’s time to stretch a little, but not so much.
Since the Lord has led me to the awesome church I now call my home church, I have found a taste for sermons and messages that are centered on God’s truth. The expositional preaching is the style I long to hear and study under now. I read books and articles that are based in reformed theology, like the teachings of Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Martyn-Lloyd Jones, and contemporaries like, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, D.A. Carson, and Mark Dever. It goes without saying that I love to study under our own pastors and elders as well. Once in a while I run into Christians who tell me that I should listen to this pastor or that pastor. I will usually go and find some of their audio files on the Internet and give them a listen. When I hear those wimpy, psycho-Babel, man-centered messages it’s like drinking a Diet Coke for me. It may not be heresy (although a Gospel message that is man-centered is in my opinion) and it probably won’t be bad or make me sick. But it just doesn’t quench my desire for the deep expositional preaching. (like Diet Pepsi Vanilla)
Now I know that deep expositional preaching of the truth is much more vital to my heart’s desire and spirit than a Diet Pepsi. (my wife would tell you that I don’t need that Diet Pepsi at all) Because the preaching and studying affects so much more of me than just my taste buds. My hope is that the next time you are at the vending machine making a choice between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi maybe you will consider this simple lesson. One you’ve tasted the truth of the Gospel and the expositional preaching everything else is just a Diet Coke, or worse yet, a flat, watered down, been sitting in the sun for hours Diet Coke. I would recommend checking out some of the sermons and messages from those I mentioned above and also checking out the audio web page of our church and listen to some of the awesome messages there, and ……….. drink Diet Pepsi!! 🙂

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Posted by on October 27, 2006 in Preaching


Salvation is of the Potter

I am not talking Harry Potter here, but the Almighty Potter. I have been listening to a series on The Attributes of God by Pastor Mike at Bethlehem Bible Church. In the message Mike mentions some quotes from A.W. Pink and his writings on the Sovereignty of God. He says that it can be read in it’s entirety online so went to look it up. Sure enough you can, and boy is it good reading. In chapter three Pink writes about the Sovereignty of God in Salvation and a particular section sticks out to me and it follows:

“We readily acknowledge that it is very humbling to the proud heart of the creature to behold all mankind in the hand of God as the clay in the potter’s hand, yet this is precisely how the Scriptures of Truth represent the case. In this day of human boasting, intellectual pride, and deification of man, it needs to be insisted upon that the potter forms his vessels for himself. Let man strive with his Maker as he will, the fact remains that he is nothing more than clay in the Heavenly Potter’s hands, and while we know that God will deal justly with His creatures, that the Judge of all the earth will do right, nevertheless, He shapes His vessels for His own purpose and according to His own pleasure. God claims the indisputable right to do as He wills with His own.”

Pink goes on to use Acts 13:48 to confirm even more the sovereign work of God in Salvation. As it says “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed” If we have studied Scriptures even a little we understand that God is eternal and without too much digging you can understand that this passage is saying that the sovereign God, creator of the universe chose those who would believe. Why he doesn’t choose everyone is totally His call. Again, we are the clay, He is the Potter, who are we to question the why? The Potter makes what he wants of His clay. If He chooses to fashion some for salvation, praise be to God for His unearnable grace. Thanks be to God that He did save some. We were all headed for destruction. Think about it….

Please check out the BBC audio series and the online A.W. Pink book at the links below.

The Sovereignty of God

BBC Audio

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Posted by on October 24, 2006 in Theology


God created them male and female

I have been listening to all kinds of messages and books lately. I did when I was traveling in order to sell insurance and even now the habit has continued while commuting back and forth to Lincoln. My Zen MP3 player is my companion. I podcast the Albert Mohler Show and yesterday the topic was about two school systems in the US who have allowed for, now get this, transgendered kindergarteners. A school system in Broward County Florida and one in Oakland, CA are the concerned systems. For Broward County schools this is quite a new thing but they are still allowing a five year old boy to enter the school system as a girl. In Oakland this is not so new. An elementary school has bathrooms for boys and girls and a unisex bathroom. Go to Albert Mohler to read more.
So last night in our Care Group’s study in Genesis chapter 1 we read about the original plan for boys and girls, actually man and woman. In verse 27 we read that God created man in His own image and He created him; male and female. That’s it. We should celebrate this. We should be glorifying God for this. He did not create another gender. The world is trying to create another gender. This is another example of the world’s rebellion against God. The world continues to shake it’s fist and say to God, “I don’t care how you made us, we are going to do it our own way”. I told my daughter last night that in the not too distant future you are going to see unisex or transgendered public bathrooms showing up more and more. As my wife would say concerning the world…”to hell in a handcart”.
Anyone else’s thoughts?

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Posted by on October 21, 2006 in Christian News


Back in the saddle again

The new job is very interesting and I am very excited to be doing geek work again. I am working on projects for the back office systems for the World’s Foremost Outfitter. I know something about the retail business having worked for Walmart in one of their retail stores a few years ago. So this is going to interesting to see how things work in the business behind the scenes so to speak. I have met some nice people already. Some of them I have worked with before and some I am meeting for the first time. They have already invited me to apply for an open position as a full time employee but I am not in a hurry to jump out of the consulting game yet. I have only just begun so to speak. Being here as a consultant gives me an opportunity to be inside and see how the company treats its employees and not actually be one. The only benefit I see so far for being an employee is that employees get a merchandise discount while contractors do not.
We had our church family conference this weekend with Kris Lundgaard. It was great. Kris was very good at explaining his ideas from his book “The Enemy Within” and he expanded on it quite a bit. The enemy we are constantly fighting against is our flesh. The spirit of God within the believer is always opposed to the flesh because the flesh which is related to the human fall rebels against God and righteousness. Kris expanded on his book by talking about another weapon against the flesh (enemy). This weapon is remembering the love of God for us. Remembering that God loves us so much that God the son was willing to come in flesh, suffer, and die in order to redeem His chosen from death. What a love.
On another sidebar I have started reading Steve Camp’s (yep the contemporary Christian artist) blog again. Man is he ever in the reformer camp (pun unintended). He wrote recently in his blog about contextualizing the Gospel. (I wonder if he recently attended the Desiring God conference) He argued using Charles Spurgeon as an example of someone who was not burdened to contextualize the Gospel but to proclaim it. Steve has had some very heated discussions as comments to his postings and they are definitely worth the read. I would love to have Steve come to our church and do a conference. I will be talking to the elders to see if this can be accomplished. Steve Camp’s blog can be found at the link below.

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Posted by on October 17, 2006 in Personal


A relevant mission

Ok I listened to Mark Driscoll on the Supremacy of Christ in the Postmodern World. I really like listening to him. He presents a number of challenges. If you haven’t heard it yet you should go to the following link and listen to it before reading any further. The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World

Driscoll says that we should contextualize the gospel once we have the sound doctrine. We should do this in order to be relevant in the culture. Do you think he saying that if we take the gospel to the gothic culture that we should get body piercings and wear black to fit in so those in that culture might listen? I have debated for Christian groups such as P.O.D. who say that their mission is to take the Gospel to those secular bands they tour with like Korn, and Marilyn Manson and others like them. They wear the piercings and have their bodies covered in tattoos. Folks will use verses like John 15:19, and Romans 12:2 that say we should be not of this world and we should not conform to it to debate against this kind of “mission work”.

Driscoll also challenges preaching relevance. When he states that we should be careful to not preach, above the head so to speak, to those unbelievers who come in off the street and want to hear something they can understand. How do you maintain this sensibility without causing your flock to get stagnant? I have seen this form of preaching go way to the other side until the preaching is fully centered on the unbelievers and the believers who desire to grow kind of get pushed to the curb. I am indeed challenged by the things Driscoll says and I do like his edginess. I don’t think I have ever heard someone refer to a form of Jesus that you could beat up before. But he is right. That is the way Jesus is portrayed most of the time. He is all of the lamb and none of the lion.

I invite you to respond to my post so I can get an understanding of what folks think about these challenges.

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Posted by on October 12, 2006 in Preaching


I’m such a geek

And I couldn’t be happier. It has been quite some time since I last posted. Much has happened. I have finally realized that door to door sales is not a career suited to me. I do admire those who can do it.
I will admit that the attraction of career independence and the possiblity of unlimited personal income was also an attraction. But the sales were just not coming. I couldn’t deal very well with the “no” after each presentation. So for the past week I have been considering going back to my original career in the Information Technology field. (Robin has been silently considering this longer.) This thinking was even more emphasized when I found her looking through the classifieds the other day in order to provide for some supplemental income.
About the middle of last week I got a phone call from a woman who works for a local consulting firm. My name was given to her from a good friend of mine and she that he had given me a raving reference, even knowing that I was no longer in the career field. She said they had some opportunities to present to me and wanted to know if I might be interested in meeting with them. I met with her and with their president. I really liked what I was hearing and seeing. Things have indeed progressed since last week. So much so that as of today I went to the office to fill out paperwork with their HR person in order to be officially hired. I will be working as a project leader at one of their client sites in Lincoln which happens to be Cabelas (very cool).
Praise the Lord!!
I am just amazed (God thing) at the way things have fallen into place (God thing) in such a short amount of time. (God thing) I have never been hired for a job so quickly, especially without doing much of the job searching work on my own. (again a God thing) When I met with everyone at the office the other day they were all amazed at how quickly this has all come together. I said that it was “defintely a God thing”.
I know that God is sovereign over everything in my life and that there was a reason I went through the sales adventure. I’m thinking it was to humble me for the most part. It had become a source of pride as of late. Enough of that, I didn’t mean to write an essay. I just wanted to share some of what has been going on recently. I will again try to make my posts more frequent.
Thanks be to God for His enduring patience.

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Posted by on October 11, 2006 in Family, Personal, Praise