Monday, March 30, 2009

Still prayin'! Still prayin'! Gettin' right with Jesus!

My sermon yesterday at Providence Church was on Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

(click to listen)

Peacemaking is a characteristic of those who have been born again and are children of God, with all the rights, privileges thereunto from "sonship." I broke our peacemaking obligation up into two varieties, the vertical and the horizontal.

Yesterday we focused on making peace between people and God (i.e., vertically):
Next week we'll focus on making peace between people (i.e., horizontally).

The following are a few quotes I shared in yesterday's sermon:

"It's been said that peace is that glorious brief moment in history when everyone stops to reload."
-John F. MacArthur, Jr.

"My pappy was a pistol; I'm a son of a gun. Dang me. Dang me. They oughta take a rope and hang me. High, from the highest tree. Woman would you weep for me?"
-Roger Miller, “Dang Me”

"even though by nature we are rebels against God and have committed high treason and are worthy to be eternally court-marshaled and hanged by the neck until dead, nevertheless God has sacrificed his own Son and now declares amnesty free and clear to any who will lay down their arms of independence and come home to faith."
-John Piper

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

George Washington Carver made the first computer! Out of a peanut! A PEANUT!

I have my first guest blogger, my daughter, Rachel. She wanted to share with the blogosphere her report on ... George Washington Carver.

Little George was born in Missouri sometime in 1864 and died on January 5th, 1943. He was a slave and got stolen. They managed to find him but could never find his mother. So, he lived with the Carver family. Young George couldn’t go to school every day because he lived very far away and because of his skin color. But he spent time outside learning about God’s creation and became a scientist.

George made 350 products from the peanut. His gravestone read, “He could of added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.” He liked to wear a flower every day on his jacket and hated to wear shoes. George Washington Carver helped farmers rotate crops so that the plants would grow better. Mr. Carver invented over 100 ways to use sweet potatoes. He made milk, coffee, crayons, dye, soap, flour, paint, and ink. These were things that he discovered that they didn’t have until he made them.

At church we watched a DVD about Mr. Carver called “Man of Science, Servant of God.” I liked that he never gave up and kept trying even when people were mean because of the color of his skin. Like him, I want to be a leader and not follow things that aren’t right. He was a great Christian man because he helped people and loved God.

Some quotes from or about Dr. Carver, some from the above mentioned DVD:
"God gave them [the discoveries] to me; how can I sell them to someone else?"

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these"

"Learn to do common things uncommonly well."

"No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind."

"It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success."

"He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world."
-Inscription on George Washington Carver’s grave

"Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater."

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."

"We have become ninety-nine percent money mad. The method of living at home modestly and within our income, laying a little by systematically for the proverbial rainy day which is due to come, can almost be listed among the lost arts."

"We get closer to God as we get more intimately and understandingly acquainted with the things He has created. I know of nothing more inspiring than that of making discoveries for one's self."


Monday, March 23, 2009

I don't work January 8th, cause that's Elvis' birthday.

This is good bull. This link will tell you what was the Billboard chart's #1 song on the day you were born, graduated, married, etc. (HT James "Rev" Galyon)

For me?

The number one song the day I was born was ... no kidding ... Three Dog Night, "Joy to the World."

What was the number one song the day you were born?


Sunday, March 22, 2009

It ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

My sermon this morning at Providence Church was on Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

Click to listen to “Pursuing Purity.”

The following are some related quotes (some not in sermon) as well as my threefold application to HOW we are to be pursuing purity.

“Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love.”
- John Bunyan

“There are only two kinds of religion in the world. One is the religion of human achievement, which comes under every name imaginable. It teaches that you can earn your way to heaven. The other is the religion of divine accomplishment, which affirms that God brings salvation through faith in Christ alone and that people can't make it to heaven on their own. The many forms of the religion of human achievement all serve to propagate Satan's lies.”
– John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“…the Christian faith is ultimately not only a matter of doctrine or understanding or of intellect, it is a condition of the heart.”
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God. And what you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what your are at the visible branch.”
- John Piper

“How many today rest satisfied with a head religion, supposing that all is well if their creed be sound; and how many more have nothing better than a hand religion—busily engaged in what they term ‘Christian service.’ ‘But the Lord looketh on the heart’ (1 Sam 16:7), which includes the mind, conscience, affections and will.”
- Arthur W. Pink

“Christian people can see God in a sense that nobody else can. The Christian can see God in nature, whereas the non-Christian cannot. The Christian sees God in the events of history. There is a vision possible to the eye of faith that no-one else has. But there is a seeing also in the sense of knowing Him, a sense of feeling He is near, and enjoying His presence. … Another way we see Him is in our own experience, in His gracious dealings with us. Do we not say we see the hand of our Lord upon us in this and that? That is part of the seeing of God.”
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“… one of the most conclusive evidences that we do possess a pure heart is to be conscious of and burdened with the impurity which still indwells us.”
- Arthur W. Pink

How are we to pursue purity?
  1. Pursue purity by reading your Bible, to facilitate the renewing of our minds. (cf. John 17:17; Rom 12:2)
  2. Pursue purity despite discouraging setbacks. (cf. James 3:2; 4:6-10; Phil 1:6; 2:13)
  3. Pursue purity for God’s glory (i.e., not your own).
“So often when we sin we are more vexed at the lowering of our self-esteem than we are grieved at God's dishonor. We are irritated at our lack of self- control in subjecting ourselves to some unworthy habit. ... God does not honor these self-centered desires. This is one reason we do not experience more of his enabling power in our day-to-day struggles with so-called besetting sins. God does not give us power so that we can feel good about ourselves; he gives us his power so that we can obey him for his sake, for his glory.”
- Jerry Bridges, Pursuit of Godliness

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Mercy?! I'm afraid that my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.

The following are some quotes I used in my sermon yesterday at Providence Church, “Mercy Me, Mercy You,” and a few that I ultimately had to leave out.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
-Matthew 5:7
Click to listen.

“Mercying others shows that you’ve been mercied by God.”

“The Christian gospel places all its primary emphasis upon being rather than doing. The gospel puts a greater weight upon our attitude than upon our actions. … A Christian is something before he does anything; and we have to be Christian before we can act as Christians.”
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“[The cross] is God, I say, looking down upon man in his pitiful condition as the result of sin, and having pity upon him.”
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“My willingness to mercifully forgive others demonstrates that I have been mercifully forgiven.”

“If, when you sin, you see it and in repentance go to God, and there on your knees immediately realize that you are not forgiving somebody else, you will have no confidence in your prayers; you will despise yourself.”
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“We proclaim, therefore, whether we have received forgiveness or not by whether we forgive or not.”
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“If you are not merciful there's a good possibility that you aren't a Christian. Those who show mercy are merciful because they have received that characteristic from God.”
-John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“If I am not merciful there is only one explanation; I have never understood the grace and mercy of God; I am outside Christ; I am yet in my sins, and I am unforgiven.”
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

To be merciful “is a melting disposition whereby we lay to heart the miseries of others and are ready on all occasions to be instrumental for their good.”
-Thomas Watson

“No merciful man could forget the poor. He who passed by their ills without sympathy, and saw their sufferings without relieving them, might prate as he would about inward grace, but grace in his heart there could not be.”
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”
-Jesus in parable of unmerciful servant (Matt 18:33)

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

See this? This is this. This ain't something else. This is this.

Early on in my Christian life I was made aware of the words of Jesus in Acts 1:8, even memorizing it.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Like many, I was taught that my Judea was College Station, my Judea was Texas, my Samaria was the US, and the end of the earth was ... well, the end of the earth.

But is that a valid interpretation/application?

But, what if Jesus simply means for His witnesses to carry the gospel message from Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and then all over the earth?

In other words, what if my we're actually carrying out that last bit by evangelizing in Texas, or wherever you happen to be, presuming it's not Jerusalem, Judea, or Samaria?
*Some good comments motivated this cogitation: Should churches rethink their evangelization strategy, particularly with a MUCH greater emphasis on the places where the gospel has yet to be (i.e., the end of the earth)?

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Monday, March 09, 2009

It's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy I'm on working in D minor, which is the saddest of all keys, I find.

Obama's presidential symphony is being written in D minor.

This is what many of us who opposed Obama because of his views on abortion were afraid of. Obama is lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research.
"The executive order undoes former President George W. Bush's directive that was based on his determination that using embryos to create additional stem cell lines was morally wrong and, therefore, research on those lines should not be funded by the government."

This means your tax payer money will go to experimentation on human beings not permitted to develop and grow.
"Days-old embryos — typically from fertility clinics and destined for destruction — are destroyed for the stem cells."

The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message says, "Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord."

Don't be surprised if we see a boom in fertilizing eggs to bring on the conception of babies who were solely intended for research purposes, not treating them like humans, much as the Nazis did with the Jews in World War II.

To quote a buddy's Facebook status:
"Chris Ross [of the Daily Scroll] is sad that some humans are conceived only to have their bodies harvested for lab science."
Gunny is also sad. I fear at least 4 more years of D minor from composer #44, assuming we make it that long. Alan Keyes says it better than I ever could. (HT Tiffany)

See also Dr. Al Mohler's thoughts on this action: The Floodgate is Now Open -- President Obama and the Vulnerable Embryo
Those wondering when President Obama would make a clear move on a matter that involves the sanctity of human life now have their answer -- and its consequences. When President Obama says he will "respect" the point of view that such research is immoral, his respect is hard to detect.

See also the following Charles Krauthammer article Lance mentioned in the comments: Morally Unserious in the Extreme.
"I am not religious. I do not believe that personhood is conferred upon conception. But I also do not believe that a human embryo is the moral equivalent of a hangnail and deserves no more respect than an appendix."


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Praying for our brethren in Maryville, Illinois, and thankful for my cousin.

The news was tragic this morning as our brethren had their worship disrupted.

I just wanted to brag on my cousin, Darin Hartman, the first EMT on the scene at FBC Maryville, in Illinois.

Many times I've told him he's a hero for what he does there as an EMT and assistant fire chief for the Maryville Fire Department.

I'm also proud of the Baptist folks who wrestled with and subdued the gunman, incurring knife wounds themselves.

I pray that God would glorified in Maryville as His people represent Him well.

From the church website:
"A Message About Today’s Loss
Today, a little after our 8:15 service began, a man entered First Baptist Church and fired several gunshots at our Senior Pastor, Dr. Fred Winters.

Please pray for Dr. Winter’s family, our two brave members who were injured when they stopped the assailant, for the assailant himself and his family, and for our church members as they deal with this tragic loss.

In this day, where uncertainty seems to abound creating an environment in which people are vulnerable in doing things they might not do otherwise, one thing is certain, we, as human beings need a foundation upon which we can live our lives. We at First Baptist Maryville, along with other Christian believers, share this conviction: that foundation is God’s Word. In the pages of the Book we call the Bible, we find the pathway for peace, hope, and a quality of living life despite what circumstances we find ourselves in.

To those who believe in the power of prayer, we covet your prayers right now."

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

If you don't already have a print copy, or even if you do, this is good bull.

Crossway has made the ESV Online Study Bible available free to anyone from March 2 to March 31. For full access and free trial use for one month, visit

Simply create a login and password. Email information will not be shared, nor will there be any obligation to purchase.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Freedom, baby ... is never having to say you're sorry.

CNN's Lou Dobbs reports about the UN attempting to limit free speech where religion is concerned, particularly prohibiting any criticism of Islam ... including among all member nations, regardless of what any hypothetical First Amemdment might say. (HT Alpha & Omega Ministries via Jade)

This gives you a nice feel for how Islam operates whilst in the majority.

If you don't watch this video clip, then the terrorists have already won.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

As I child I remember hearing this bedtime prayer somewhere. I thought of it again recently, particularly the theology of it.
"Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

It seems to me there's a fine line between humility and uncertainty. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, but I'm thinking a regenerate child of God could/would/should have greater confidence about the destination of his/her soul in the event of unexpected death in the night.

What does this prayer teach, particularly to children?

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