Monthly Archives: September 2008

D.A. Carson is coming to Omaha Bible Church

I am very excited about this year’s 2008 Fall Conference. Not just because I love to attend conferences focused on the study of God’s word. But because one of my favorite authors and biblical scholars will be speaking this year. D.A. Carson has authored such great books as “The Gagging of God”, “How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil”, and “The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God” which we used in a previous bible study class. One of my favorite quotes from Carson is:

I would like to buy about three dollars worth of gospel, please. Not too much- just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted. I don’t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust. I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture. I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation. I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself don’t want to love those from different races- especially if they smell. I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged. I would like about three dollars worth of gospel, please.

-D.A. Carson, Basics For Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996/2005), pp. 12-13.

If you are in the Omaha area Saturday, October 4th, you should stop by and study God’s word with D.A. Carson and the rest of us attending the conference. You can register by clicking on the banner above and using the register link. For the time being please watch the video below as Carson answers the questions: What is sin? How is it different from Idolatry?


Spurgeon in Wordle

Above is a Wordle I created with the text from Charles H. Spurgeon’s sermon “Secret Sins” Please click on the image to view the larger more detailed version. The word cloud or wordle is designed to make the words larger the more frequent they are used in the text. You will notice an anomaly with one word as it relates to the modern church and it’s use of the word today. That is the use of the word sin. In this word cloud it is one of the largest words in the abstract image. In the contemporary church you would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of churches in a metropolitan area that use the word sin on a regular basis. That needs to change. Believers of Jesus Christ are called to make disciples of Christ by using His gospel. If we don’t use the word sin then how do we fully explain the reason for salvation?

ht: Really Robin for finding the Wordle tool.


Steve Stevens – Memory Crash

Unless you are a fan of the rock guitar or a big fan of Billy Idol you probably have not heard of Steve Stevens. Stevens was born Steve Schneider and is an American guitarist and songwriter. He can’t be all bad, we share the same birth year (1959) and same last name (Schneider). Stevens attended New York City’s prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts as a music major. He studied the guitar and graduated in 1977. He is most known for his performances and writing with Billy Idol during Idol’s rocket to fame in the eighties. He is also a well known session guitarist and played all guitars on the successful solo album for Vince Neil of Motley Crue. The Neil, Stevens relationship began in the recording of the successful single “You’re Invited But Your Friend Can’t Come” for the movie “Encino Man”. Steven’s previous solo albums “Atomic Playboys” in 1989 and “Flamenco A Go Go” in 1999 both received some critical acclaim and brief commercial success. Steven’s has worked with many artists from Michael Jackson on “Dirty Diana”, to Peter Criss. He is most notable for his guitar effects work like the ray gun sound on Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. He uses multiple devices and techniques to create the unique effect sound.

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Posted by on September 23, 2008 in Memory Crash, Music Review, Steve Stevens


Ray Boltz has come out of the closet.

I remember listening to Ray Boltz when my wife and I first discovered Christian music many years ago. He sang some pretty moving songs like “Watch the Lamb” and “I Pledge Allegiance To the Lamb”. Thinking back I don’t recall how theologically sound the lyrics were, but he still had quite an impact on the Christian music world. Now he has “come out” as the homosexual society puts it, and says he is happy again. Oh how the heart can deceive us into believing what makes us happy is right. There is an informative and interesting article about Ray Boltz at The Washington Blade that sheds some light on this story.

How should we think about this? There is a simple illustration I can think of. I am unhappy about having to obey the traffic laws, especially when I am in a hurry to go somewhere. It would make me very happy if I could ignore those laws in those times that are not convenient to me. But the traffic laws have a reason, and that reason is to keep us all safe while we are driving. God has given us laws as well. Whether we like them or not they do exist. Unlike state laws, these laws from God are not negotiable or subject to legislative changes. I believe that some of His laws exist to keep us safe as well. Regardless of the reason they exist, God, the Creator, demands that we obey them. These laws have been revealed to us in his scriptures. As believers in Christ we can choose to obey them or not. But please don’t fool yourself into believing there will not be consequences or an accounting for the foolish decision to ignore them.

As for Ray Boltz, we should be praying for him and his family. We should also be praying for those who will stand up and not be passive while this kind of behavior continues to filter into the local churches. We should also pray that we would make this stand in love and for the ultimate repentance and restoration of those like Ray Boltz. This brings up a thought for consideration. Can you be a Christian and also be gay? Please consider reading 1 Corintians 6. In verses 9 and 10 of that chapter you will find:

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

The apostle Paul goes on to write to the Corinthians in verse 11:

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The scriptures make it clear that believers of Christ have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Christ. We should no longer practice those former things. That is great news. Only by trusting in the Christ, will you have the power to fight against those former sinful things. Amen?

ht: Christian Theology Blog


Metallica – Death Magnetic

Metallica reminds me of a talented professional football team who are consistently their own worse enemies. When they are on, they are hard to beat. First of all and almost after the band’s birth, one of the founding members Dave Mustaine was kicked out of the band for substance abuse. Then in 1986 bassist Cliff Burton was killed when the band’s tour bus flipped over during their European tour. Over the past eight years the band has also had a love / hate relationship with their fans. In 2001 they filed a lawsuit against the peer-to-peer file sharing company Napster for sharing their copyrighted material. This began the alienation of their fan base who had already considered Metallica sellouts to the mainstream after their fanatically high powered album “…And Justice For All”. For many fans “Justice” was their last “trash-metal” genre influencing album. Then with the highly anticipated June, 2003 release of “St. Anger” fans found or didn’t find any guitar solos on the album, and gone for good were the long, addrenaline charged, thrash-metal songs. This was a total disappointment for their dwindling number of fans. The guitar soloing of Kirk Hammett had become a staple with this heavy metal band. Needless to say this latest effort by Metallica has not been as anticipated from the hard core Metallica fan as some of the past releases. They did release three songs early to iTunes prior to the album release. In an effort to try and win back their fan base Metallica, mainly Lars Ulrich, released a YouTube channel and a dedicated album website “Mission:Metallica” to personally plug into those fans once again. The anticipation of the new album release has gathered some momentum as of late. Many fans and critics alike consider the three songs that were released that of the “old school” nature. This has created a frenzy among fans to hear more. But in an effort to squelch the early sharing of their new music Metallica leaked false song names and fake recordings to the public. Again with the ped-execution.

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Posted by on September 16, 2008 in Death Magnetic, Metallica, Music Review


The Palin Doctrine

While my lovely, and politically savvy wife is out of town visiting family I will post something along those lines. I found this at the blogger American Thinker. If you saw the interview of Sarah Palin by ABC’s Charles Gibson and you are a thinker you might enjoy the political cartoon below.


Posted by on September 15, 2008 in Charles Gibson, Politics, Sarah Palin


Remembering 9.11.2001

Our enemies have made the mistake that America’s enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat.

– George W. Bush, President of the United States


Posted by on September 11, 2008 in 911, President George W. Bush, World Trade Center


John Fogerty – Revival

Today I am back to do another music review after an absence of a couple of weeks. This week I am going back in time. I am reviewing an album that was released about a year ago by an artist who has been making music since the Bad Moon Rising. John Fogerty was the primary song writer for the American roots rock band affectionately known as Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band, also known as Creedence or CCR, gained popularity in the late sixties and early seventies with a string of successful hits. Creedence founded a new genre within rock music called swamp rock. The band was formed with John’s two other school buddy’s Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook, and John’s older brother Tom. The three younger members used to back Tom Fogerty at gigs until they decided to form a band together. Tom was the original singer but John took over the lead duties as Tom later stated “I could sing, but John had a sound.” Creedence eventually broke up over leadership and direction in the middle seventies and John went solo. He recorded one record called “The Blue Ridge Rangers” with the Creedence label. Then began the struggle to get out of his contract with that original label. It wasn’t until the early eighties when David Geffen’s Asylum Records bought out his contract for an estimated $1Mil before Fogerty released another record. His next major hit came in 1985 with the song “Centerfield”. However he refused to do any old CCR songs while on tour. He received many complaints about this during and after his shows. Finally in 1987 he lifted his self-imposed ban to perform the CCR songs at the persuading of Bob Dylan and George Harrison who had joined him on stage. According to Wikipedia, the persuasion went like this “if you don’t, the whole world’s gonna think ‘Proud Mary’ is Tina Turner’s song”. Today John Fogerty performs the CCR songs along with his solo material.

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Of hummingbirds and bees

This past Labor Day weekend my lovely wife and I took a trip south. Specifically to Hampton, Georgia and then Chattanooga, Tennessee. We left Wahoo, Nebraska around 1am and drove 18 hours in shifts down to Georgia to visit my cousin Judy and her husband Howard (also know by family as Ole Weird). After a day or so of visiting in Georgia we headed back north to Chattanooga.

Our visit with Judy and Howard in Georgia was a wonderful visit filled with late night conversation, honey harvesting, and good old Southern hospitality. During our family reunion my wife developed an interest in bee keeping thanks to “Ole Weird” who is an avid bee keeper. So needless to say she was greatly excited at the prospect of helping him harvest some honey from his bees. I will let her share her experiences of that event from her blog.

Prior to Robin and Howard donning their bee suits to pillage the bee honey, we were sitting on their back deck talking and something very fascinating transpired. Howard and Judy have a couple of hummingbird feeders hanging from rafters above their deck. While we were talking several hummingbirds began to hover around the feeders. They were chasing each other off to get to the feeders and making quite a racket. I was amazed at how close they were getting to us. Pretty soon several more hummingbirds showed up and we had a nice buzzing and commotion going on. I got my digital camera out and tried to take some still photos. The birds were zigging and zagging in and out so much it was hard to get a still photo. So I got the idea to set my camera to video and recorded the video below. I held the camera while they basically swarmed in and out and around the deck. I only captured them in video for a little over a minute but you can hear them chirping and buzzing throughout it.

I was also amazed at God’s creation in the hummingbird itself. Here are a couple of things I have since learned about hummingbirds. Did you know that the hummingbird is the only group in the bird family that can fly backwards? The wings of the hummingbird will beat 15 to 80 times per second depending on the species. That is so amazing to me.

Later in the week I will post something about the visit with our daughter Amanda, her husband Reece, and our adorable granddaughters in Chattanooga.


Posted by on September 3, 2008 in Family, Georgia, hummingbirds, Personal, traveling