Monday, August 30, 2010

My kind of trouble doesn't take vacations.

I guess it's never too early to starting thinking about the 2012 presidential election.

The merits of Chuck Norris have been often lauded, but this is the first time I've seen a commendation for him to be president of these somewhat united states.

Top 10 Reasons Chuck Norris should be president:
  1. If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you. (All of our economic problems would be solved!)
  2. Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip. (We definitely need a President with self-control).
  3. There are no races, only countries of people Chuck Norris has beaten to different shades of black and blue. (No more Soviet leaders beating their shoes on the table!)
  4. When Chuck Norris was denied an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's because it was 10:35, he roundhouse kicked the store so hard it became a Wendy's. (The movie "Super-Size Me" is all I have to say.)
  5. Scientists have estimated that the energy given off during the Big Bang is roughly equal to 1CNRhK (Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick) (No more dependency on foreign oil!)
  6. When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side. (Enough said)
  7. When Steven Seagal kills a ninja, he only takes its hide. When Chuck Norris kills a ninja, he uses every part. (He is not wasteful! No more pork barrel spending!)
  8. Contrary to popular belief, there is indeed enough Chuck Norris to go around. (Equality for all!)
  9. Chuck Norris always knows the EXACT location of Carmen SanDiego. (Osama doesn't stand a chance!)
  10. When taking the SAT, write "Chuck Norris" for every answer. You will score over 8000. (American Education will be the best in the World!
Cereally, he apparently does have some pertinent political thoughts:
Wake Up, America!

It seems like wherever you turn these days, the news is bad. Illegal immigrants are swarming over our borders. Our nation and American families are crippled by debt. We remain vulnerable to Islamist terrorist attacks. Judges ignore the Constitution and instead legislate from the bench. Faith and traditional values are under incessant assault from the media, leftist lawyers, and the liberal establishment. The core message of the Declaration of Independence--that everyone has a God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--is under threat from liberals who deny the right to life (or even the very idea of God-given rights), and who think the answer to every problem is a government program. They think that God, if He exists, might not know best, but liberal-run government certainly does. If you're worried about the direction our country is going, you're in good company. Chuck Norris remembers a better America--an America of faith, freedom, and respect for tradition, history, and human life--and in Black Belt Patriotism he shows what we need to do to reawaken the American dream, reignite the American spirit, and give our children and grandchildren the America they deserve: an America of freedom, opportunity, and faith. In ten practical, down-to-earth chapters, Norris gets back to basics, mining the insights of our founding fathers and applying their wisdom to the problems of today: immigration, the culture wars, the war against global terrorism, national (and personal) debt, even the epidemic of obesity that is killing more Americans than terrorists do. With the optimistic, get your-hands-dirty, can-do spirit that typifies what's best about America, Chuck Norris grapples with the toughest problems facing our country and proves that they're no match for Black Belt Patriotism. (from inside flap)

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Why can't you just ground me like Stacy's parents?

If you've tried it, you know parenting is hard work. You know it's easier to pander your lazy side and let kids do what they want, rather than what they ought.

You've probably also encountered the frustration of being "rewarded" for your parenting efforts by children complaining you never let them have any fun or that you're overprotective.

It can be difficult to remember and effectively communicate that we discipline because we love.

I heartily recommend the following 2 messages from Chris Brauns, which he thinks and/or communicates when discipline is not heartily received as intended, for their own good, as an evidence of love.
Message #1: I love you too much to teach you that you can make bad choices without any consequences. As someone has said, “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.” Don’t be deceived God cannot be mocked. You reap what you sow. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Message #2: All your life, I have been willing to die for you. I can honestly tell you that it came down to your life or my life, I would give up mine on your behalf. So, if I am willing to die for you, then having you upset with me because I am protecting you is a relatively small thing in my world. If protecting you, means you being mad at me, then so be it.”

Cf. Hebrews 12:5-8
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.


Monday, August 23, 2010

... and you must be Grumpy.

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip. When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn't miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy man. He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive.

The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old man yelled to her, "While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card."

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played girl bunny?

Here are 10 Magnets to Men's Eyes, thoughts from Pastor Al Martin of Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, New Jersey.

Not too long ago I shared some information and links regarding modesty in dress, but Dr. Martin here does a nice job in explaining the way men's minds work.* He aims to help Christian women avoid giving their Christian brothers "an occasion of struggling with purity of mind."

10 Magnets to Men's Eyes:
  1. Dresses or skirts with lengthy slips
  2. Dresses or skirts which hug the buttocks
  3. Any upper garment that hugs the breasts
  4. Unbuttoned blouses, low necklines, or cleavage on any upper body garment
  5. Sleeveless blouses or dresses with large armholes
  6. Low-rise skirts, jeans, or pants
  7. See-through garments of any kind
  8. Skirts and dresses that are just plain too short
  9. Slacks or pants or jeans that hug the buttocks, the thighs, and the crotch
  10. A bared midriff and back
Pertinent Quotes:
  • "The purity of your motive does not cancel the effect of you dress."
  • "I'm not a dirty-minded old man trying to rob you of your Christian liberty! I'm a pastor determined that in this place women shall appear modestly to the glory of God and to the good of their precious brothers."
  • For a husband to help his wife by being the "quality control" for his wife in the area of immodest dress, particularly those magnets to men's eyes: "She's not a man! She doesn't think like a man! You can't expect her to think like a man, but you are a man, aren't you?! Well, begin to act like one!"

Counsel to women:
  1. Repent of the ways in which you have unwittingly and carelessly allowed yourself to be sucked in by the world's standards and have caused occasion of stumbling to your brothers.
  2. Then bring forth fruits meet with repentance (i.e., purge your wardrobe).
  3. Pray for and labor to cultivate a sensitive and well instructed conscience before God concerning this issue.
Watch the pertinent portion of the passionate message, or download the entire sermon, "Validating the Gospel in Modesty."
*Disclaimer: I don't believe the obligation for modesty only applies to females and I don't believe modesty only applies to attire and I don't believe males are free from responsibility when they lust.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Troops are ready for inspection, sir.

At Providence Church last night Mike Gendron taught, challenging us with the question, "Is Christ's Last Command Our First Concern?"

It was a great reminder of the priority of the Great Commission, as well as some excellent practical applications. (Cf. Mike Gendron's article on Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries website: Making Christ's Last Command Our First Concern.)

It also got me thinking about a wedding I did the previous week and my citation of God's command to "be fruitful and multiply." (Gen 1:28; 9:7)

I think sometimes missed in that is the focus and rationale for such a command. It's not merely that God wants a populated planet and enjoys seeing lots of babies. This is a command that God gives to His people. The expectation is that hearers will not only have kids, but will do what God commands and disciple them unto godliness.

Thus, I submit to you that the command to "be fruitful and multiply" is really a Great Commission verse. You help fulfill the Great Commission of "making disciples" (Matt 28:18-20) by having children in whom you cultivate Christlikeness. God is obeyed and God is glorified.

Sadly, I think followers of false religions understand this better than we do. Evangelicals* tend to have a birth rate significantly below that of Muslims, Roman Catholics, etc. For those of us particularly concerned about the rising influence of Islam in this country, self included, the fact that they are "taking ground" without having to resort to war or the shedding of blood shows just how shrewd a threat followers of the religion of non-peace really are.

The solution is not to pick up guns or have more babies. The solution is to make more disciples, as God enables, including being fruitful and multiplying to that end.

*I'm not sure if the term "evangelical" really has much meaningful significance anymore, but that's another show, as Donahue would would say.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

I hold myself in contempt!

“… what Christ did by dying on the cross for sinners was to appease the wrath of God against sinners. By requiring of his Son such humiliation and suffering for the sake of God's glory, He openly demonstrated that He does not sweep sin under the rug. All contempt for His glory is duly punished, either on the cross, where the wrath of God is propitiated for those who believe, or in hell, where the wrath of God is poured out on those who don't.” ~ John Piper, Desiring God (emphasis added)

For more of the topic of glorifying God (i.e., NOT having contempt for His glory), see the following:

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Monday, August 09, 2010

My office ... is right across that hall. Any monkey business is ill-advised.

Below you will find the prayer John Piper asked his congregation to pray for itself (Bethlehem Baptist Church) while he's away on sabbatical. While he's away, he wants them involved in ministry, not monkey business.

I found it an encouraging way to pray for Providence Church and thought you find it a beneficial way to pray for your own church.
O Lord, as you are often accustomed to do, show your great power in Pastor John’s absence. Send a remarkable awakening that results in…
  • hundreds of people coming to Christ,
  • old animosities being removed,
  • marriages being reconciled and renewed,
  • wayward children coming home,
  • long-standing slavery to sin being conquered,
  • spiritual dullness being replaced by vibrant joy,
  • weak faith being replaced by bold witness,
  • disinterest in prayer being replaced by fervent intercession,
  • boring Bible reading being replaced by passion for the Word,
  • disinterest in global missions being replaced by energy for Christ’s name among the nations, and
  • lukewarm worship being replaced by zeal for the greatness of God’s glory.

Lord, when Gideon had thousands of men you said, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judges 7:2). You stripped his army to 300, and with that you conquered the peoples of the East who covered the ground like locusts and whose camels were like the sand of sea (Judges 7:12).

O Lord, take the mighty 300 of Bethlehem and bless this church beyond anything we have ever dreamed. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

I can't have a chink in my chain.

How do we glorify God?

How/Why does it happen?

God is glorified when we bear fruit of obedience. We obey when we love Him. When we are forgiven (much), we love (much).

Our love for God will be proportionate to our realization of our forgiveness in Christ. (Luke 7:41-43, 47)

If you are in Christ, you have been forgiven far more than ever you could imagine. Yet, it's easy to forget that and our faith shifts from Christ to ourselves.
“For Luke, true faith is what happens when someone looks at Jesus and discovers God’s forgiveness; and the sign and proof of this faith is love.” ~N.T. Wright, Luke

Gunny’s golden chain to glory:
Forgiveness --> Love --> Obedience --> Glory

Ergo ... Let the Spirit illumine the Word that you might see your sin in light of God's holiness. The magnitude of your forgiveness is revealed at the cross. Channel your forgiveness into love for Christ. Channel your love for Him into obedience, that God would be glorified.


Monday, August 02, 2010

It's an interrogative form of sentence, used to test knowledge. But that's not important right now.

According to Voddie Baucham, there are 4 Questions that have been and/or will be asked and/or being asked by every human:
  1. Who am I?
  2. Why am I here?
  3. What is wrong with the world?
  4. How can what is wrong with the world be made right?
"It is in the soul of every man to wrestle with those questions."

In his message "The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World" at the 2006 Desiring God National Conference, Voddie Baucham asks & answers each according to first (postmodern) secular humanism and then Christian theism.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more glaring contrast between the two worldviews and the inevitable despair resultant in secular humanism's answers.

How would you answer those 4 questions above?


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