Monday, November 29, 2010

To get anything of value, you have to sacrifice.

In a sermon from Matthew 10:16-31, John Piper suggests 6 costs and 10 blessings of frontier* missions.

6 Costs of Frontier Missions:
  1. The cost of being arrested by authorities. (10:16-18)
  2. The cost of family betrayal. (10:21)
  3. The cost of being hated by all. (10:22)
  4. The cost of being persecuted and driven out of town. (10:23)
  5. The cost of being maligned. (10:25b)
  6. The cost of being killed. (10:28)
"For two thousand years, thousands of missionaries—unnamed people of whom the world is not worthy—have counted this cost and put their lives at risk to reach the lost with the only message of salvation in the world. And the reason they could do this is because the blessings so outweigh the costs."

10 Blessings of Frontier Missions:
  1. The blessing of being sent by Christ. (10:16)
  2. The blessing of being given words by the Spirit of God. (10:19-20)
  3. The blessing of experiencing God’s fatherly care. (10:20b)
  4. The blessing of salvation at the end of it all. (10:22b)
  5. The blessing of knowing that the Son of Man is coming in judgment and mercy. (10:23b)
  6. The blessing of belonging to Jesus’ household. (10:25b)
  7. The blessing of knowing that the truth will triumph. (10:26)
  8. The blessing of having an immortal soul. (10:28)
  9. The blessing of having a heavenly Father who sovereignly rules the smallest details of life. (10:29)
  10. The blessing of being valued by God. (10:31)
  • Listen, download, or read the entire sermon here.
*"Frontier missions is crossing a culture to plant the church where the gospel has not already taken root. This is the mandate that is still valid for us today. The job is not done. And the word of our risen king Jesus is binding on us today as much as when he first gave it."

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it?!



Yes, the terrorists have already won.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Read President Washington's presidential proclamation of Thanksgiving (1789).

Read about 10 Bigoted Remarks Made by the ‘Tolerant’ Left In Obama’s ‘Post-Racial’ America.

Check out this Bible Q&A with John MacArthur: Should Christians Be Hospitable to Cult Members?

Read Why Do Blacks Still Buy The Government Plantation Lie? by Star Parker.

Read Tom Elliff's 10 Truths about Thanksgiving from Luke 17:11-19.

Check out this Washington Post piece arguing that Obama should intentionally be a one-term president: One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012.

Check out the patriotic bicycle ride of Cody Alicea, the middle school by ordered by school officials to remove his American flag from his bike.

Read the Top 10 Boneheaded Parenting Trends From the Left.

Read the Top Ten Reasons Why Conservatives Should Not Be Celebrating the Election Results.

Check out what Clinton had to say about Bush's new book, Decision Points.

Read about Bill Clinton joining the cast of Hangover 2.

Read about Why Left-Wing Women Hate Women on the Right.

Read about J.I. Packer, the "One-Point Calvinist."

Read about the "Church as 3rd Place," after home & work, instead of Starbucks et al.

Check out Pat Sajak's confession/lamentation that he was the one who first put Keith Olbermann on national television.

Read about how the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Splits with President – Opposes Homosexuals in the Military.

Read In the Reagan Mold: 10 Conservative Men in Hollywood.

Read about Christian Music for Children from Tim Challies.

Read 18 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 18.

Read about the schoolboys punished with detention for refusing to kneel in class and pray to Allah.

Read about the US giving an additional $150,000,000 to the Palestinian authority. (Hey, aren't we in debt in this country? Aren't Americans needy?)

Read about the presidential panel recommending we freeze military pay for the next 3 years in an effort to reduce the deficit.

Read Stuff Christians Like #14: Dating God instead of me.

Read about in-state tuition upheld for illegal immigrants in the state of California.

Read about how Republicans May Yet Have Upper Hand in Senate according to this Wall Street Journal article.

Read about How to Identify a Reliable Preacher by Tullian Tchividjian.

Read about Michelle Obama wearing a Muslim headscarf whilst touring an Indonesian mosque, which caused a bit of controversy.

Read about How Christians can best witness to Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile.

Read about the Problem of Pastor as Rock Star by Ed Stetzer.

Read about how Planned Parenthood got $349,600,000 in OUR tax dollars, performed 324,008 abortions, and paid its president $385,163 in 2008.

Check this out: Couple Lets You Vote on Whether They Get an Abortion.

Read
about the CA supreme court unanimously ruling that illegal immigrants may receive in-state tuition.

Read about the Texas A&M student senate voting to end in-state tuition for illegal residents.

Read about the incoming NM governor vowing to repeal driver's licenses issued to illegals.

Read about the state of Texas' intentions of a tough crackdown on illegal immigration.

Check out NJ Gov. Chris Christie warning the GOP about overreacting to Islam.

Read about criticism over Obama completing the largest arms deal in US history while congress was in recess. Apparently, Saudi Arabia should have guns, even though Americans shouldn't.

Read for FREE online D.A. Carson's book, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. (HT Chaplain Galyon)

Check out the most violent country in Europe: Britain.

Check out the most violent city in the US: St. Louis.

Check out 10 Transformations in Social Media Monitoring — And What It Means for Businesses.

Read
9 reasons the SBC is in trouble if Calvinism is a threat.

Read 9 MORE reasons the SBC is in trouble if Calvinism is a threat.

Watch a MSNBC video about huge gap in educational outcomes between black males and their white counterparts.

Read about patrols in Afghanistan being ordered to use weapons without a chambered round.

Read about how using the "7 Deadly Sins" you can turn visitors into customers. (HT Tim Challies)

Check out the timeline showing the changes in economy class vs. first class airline travel. (HT Tim Challies)

Read this Wall Street Journal piece: Will Turkey Day Fliers Cry Foul?

Check out the news story about a shirtless boy getting the pat-down from the TSA.

Check this out: German Activists Protest Body Scanners by Stripping Down.

Check out Ed Stetzer's 4 Reasons You Should Resist the New TSA Security Procedures (and How You Can).

Check out this CBS News piece about a traveler left covered in his own urine after experience with the TSA pat down.

Read this ABC News piece covering a plethora of cag related to the airport security slooge.

Check out Rush Limbaugh's rant against the TSA's practices.

Read about the passenger who chose "strip down" over pat-down.
"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose." - Bill Gates

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Friday, November 19, 2010

There is no racial bigotry here.

My Reformation Day sermon was on Revelation 7:9-12 and dealt with the ultimate goal of Reforming/Reformation.

Along those lines, I thought it might be helpful to share Providence Church's official statement on church desegregation:

A Vision for Racial Harmony & Integration* (pdf)
  • Scripture teaches that the church is comprised of those the Lamb ransomed with His blood, a group consisting of every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9)
  • Within the body of Christ God has indeed redeemed His church from among each and every socio-economic status, language, people group, race, and ethnicity.
  • Those who are born again to believe in Christ are redeemed and are all equally children of God and equal in Christ, for they are all heirs. (John 1:12-13; Galatians 3:26-29)

ETHNIC DIVERSITY: A CHURCH VALUE
Since God is concerned about building a church comprised of all people groups …
  • those in His churches should also be concerned about all people groups.
  • local churches should be a microcosm of the church universal in reflecting God’s concern for all people groups.
  • local churches should strive for heterogeneity, at least to the extent of the community’s demographics.

A DEFINITION OF CONGREGATIONAL RACIAL HARMONY
The harmonious intermingling of all types of peoples in a community of redeemed, baptized Christians who live to follow Christ by loving God and other people, thereby impacting lives to the glory of God. However, such a church does not comprise doctrinal fidelity, God’s standards of holiness for the believer, or its commitment to the great commission of making disciples of all nations nor does it presume to be able to love God or His people apart from divine assistance.

A CHURCH RESOLUTION FOR RACIAL HARMONY

“Contrary to the history of the American church and contrary to the contemporary mindset of many churches in our land, we will follow God’s leading in demonstrating love across racial boundaries by striving for a congregation that better reflects the demographic make up of our community as a testimony to God’s love for all people and as a testimony to the world of the transforming power of God’s love to unite across racial boundaries so that, ultimately, God will be glorified.”

• “Contrary to the history of the American church ….”
We repent of past wrongs committed in the name of Christianity in our country whereby some people groups were mistreated because of the color of their skin. We repent of anything in the history of our church and/or denomination that might have contributed in any way to such sin. We lament the fact that the non-Christian world has been more concerned about racial reconciliation than the church and that the church has been dragging its feet rather than leading the way in showing the non-Christian world the transforming power of God’s grace to bring together people of all races. We will keep our eyes open to social injustices in our land and declare them sin, being counter-cultural in our Christian witness when necessary.


• “and contrary to the contemporary mindset of many churches in our land ….”
Far too many churches are not concerned about racial reconciliation or even concerned about those people God has placed in their geographic proximity. This is seen in lack of outreach and/or fleeing the inner city areas to the suburbs. Other churches are particularly striving for homogeneity by actually targeting only certain types of people for their congregations.


• “we will follow God’s leading in demonstrating love across racial boundaries …”
God has demonstrated love throughout the pages of human history and in the pages of sacred Scripture, but most clearly in His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ love transcended educational levels, classes, and ethnic backgrounds. As our example, our commitment should be to mirror that love that transcends culture and ethnicity.

• “by striving for a congregation that better reflects the demographic make up of our community …”
Just as the early church was comprised of both Jew and Gentile, so should our church reflect the different groups represented in our community. Just as there were challenges in the days of the early church, so should we anticipate difficulties, but only those that can be overcome through our bond in Christ which transcends other identifying factors (e.g., ethnicity, gender, educational level, and income).

• “as a testimony to God’s love for all people …”
Ironically, Christianity is at times viewed as a “white man’s religion.” Although God is concerned about and loves all types of people, His love is more easily seen when congregations in Christ’s church are visibly constructed of different types of people.

• “and as a testimony to the world of the transforming power of God’s love to unite across racial boundaries …”
Sadly, the watching world sees the church as apathetic, at best, and hostile, at worst, regarding racial harmony. Government, educational systems, sports, and employment agencies have led the way in equity among the races, demonstrating a greater concern for all races. To our shame, churches are among the last bastions of segregation. But only God’s love has the real power for lasting transformation across racial boundaries and His people need to show that to the world.

• “so that, ultimately, God will be glorified …”
As a church and people of God, we strive not for our glory, but for God’s alone. As we embrace the notion of Soli Deo Gloria, we realize that this goal will be furthered when the world and God’s people see God’s transforming grace glorified in the harmonious congregations of those redeemed from every ethnic group, worshiping and growing together in community.

PRACTICAL STEPS TOWARD REALIZATION OF OUR VISION

Organizationally:
  1. Embrace such a vision officially.
  2. Examine with vigor the church and its practices to determine if there is anything that is, intentionally or unintentionally, unappealing and/or repelling to those of other ethnicities.
  3. Strive to show Christ’s love to our community by concerted outreach strategies to see people come to Christ and come to join our congregation.
  4. Strive to help those underprivileged financially who may also be different that us ethnically.
  5. Remind the congregation of our value on racially representing our community.
  6. Pray for God to show us where we have been wrong in this area so we may repent and change where necessary, by His grace.
  7. Pray for God to build His church in a diverse fashion.
  8. Pray for God’s grace to assist us in loving those that we do not find as easy to love.

Individually:
  1. Become a student of other cultures, particularly those in geographical proximity, to assist in developing a real love for people of other cultures.
  2. Recognize that the tendency of human nature is to gravitate to people like us (e.g., age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, etc.) and contend to develop relationships with those unlike you, especially racially.
  3. Pray for an ethnically diverse congregation that glorifies God’s transforming grace and educates the world as to the only true and lasting basis of racial reconciliation.
  4. Ask God to show you any sinful behaviors or prejudices that you might repent of them, also asking for the grace to change.
  5. Ask God to show you just how pervasive racism is in our culture so that you might fight against it.
  6. Ask Christians of other ethnicities, especially in our congregation, how you might be more sensitive in your efforts to love them.
  7. Love your neighbor as yourself.
*Inspired by a similar statement of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota and adopted by the congregation of Providence Church on recommendation of the elders on April 29, 2007.

  • Read also the Southern Baptist Convention's Resolution on Racial Reconciliation on the 150th anniversary of its formation. (HT Oilcan)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You're born into a family. You do not join them like you do the Marines.

During a recent pastors luncheon, Bruce White asked a question, the gist of which was, "Would your kids want to grow up and have a family like the one of which they are a part?"

In other words, would your kids say, "When I grow up, I want to have a family just like this one"?

That's a sobering question, isn't it?

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Friday, November 12, 2010

When I was your age, television was called, "books."

Providence Church deacon & youth director, Cody Dixon, has started a reading club of sorts and asked the elders for an "approved" reading list from which to choose. Each month, the plan is to read the book and gather to discuss it.

The following 13 made the list, but I'm open to suggestion as to what would be good for a church reading group.
  1. Hannah, John. Kregel Pictorial Guide to Church History
  2. Harris, Joshua. Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God
  3. Horton, Michael. Putting Amazing Back into Grace
  4. Luther, Martin. The Bondage of the Will
  5. MacArthur, John. The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
  6. MacArthur, John. Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You
  7. Metzger, Will. Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People
  8. Pink, Arthur. The Sovereignty of God
  9. Piper, John. The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
  10. Roberts, Vaughan. God's Big Picture
  11. Sproul, R.C. Chosen by God
  12. Sproul, R.C. Holiness of God
  13. Tripp, Tedd. Shepherding a Child's Heart

P.S. Others I'd recommend based on prior Sunday school usage:
  1. Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle
  2. Atteberry, Mark. The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do
  3. Dever, Mark. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church
  4. Packer, J.I. Knowing God
  5. Piper, John. Desiring God
  6. Piper, John. Future Grace
  7. Thomas, Gary. Sacred Marriage: What If God Intended Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Read 8 Things I Wish I’d Known (or Remembered) When I Was a Leftist by Kathy Shaidle.

Read Writing Checks Your Faith Can't Cash, by R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Read A Republican Correction Of Errors: We Could Have Won More by Melissa Clouthier.

Check out 40 Practical Tips for an Ordinary Rubber Band.

Learn How Members Can Serve the Church on Sunday Morning at the IX Marks blog.

Learn how the conservative women's movement is using social networks.

Read Top 10 Reasons You Should Attend a Small Church.

Check out "10 Easy Ways to Keep Me from Visiting Your Church Because I Visited Your Website."

Read about selecting a gun for home defense.

Read about this unbelievable story of a Michigan woman accused of discrimination for soliciting a "Christian" roommate via the church bulletin board.

Read the FoxNews version of the same "Christian" roommate civil rights discrimination story.

Check out Stuff Christians Life #880: Distancing Ourselves from the Word "Religion."

Read about Bad Writing and Bad Thinking by Rachel Toor.

Check out John Piper's helpful acrostic for what to pray before reading Scripture.

Watch Everything You Need to Know about Planting a Church in 3 Minutes.

Read Church Planters: Stop Wasting God's Money.

Check out 3 Questions and Quotes that Demand an Answer from the SBC.

Read the True History of Islam, Mohammed and the Koran.

Read about Child marriage, child abuse and muta’a, (temporary marriage) — Winds Of Jihad By SheikYerMami.

Learn about the Bible Memory Version.

Read about Detroit, Oregon, wanting to change its name to distance itself from Detroit, Michigan.

Watch a video montage of Lebon's "Rise" commercial interspersed with Cleveland fan reaction.

Read about the young mom who murdered her 3 month old baby who was distracting her with her crying whilst trying to play FarmVille on Facebook.

Check out insight from Thomas Cranmer on how to pray better in public and private courtesy of Tim Keller.

Check out 6 Reasons to Love Church History.

Check out 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me (about Christian ministry) by Brady Boyd.
"Television – a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done."
~Ernie Kovacs

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

I won't say a hero, 'cause, what's a hero? But sometimes, there's a man. Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place.

30 years ago today, this country made one of its greatest decisions ever, electing Ronald Wilson Reagan to be president of the United States of America.

Those who really lived through it know you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a president better suited for that era and the challenges specific to it.

I have a feeling President Reagan's closing remarks in the presidential debate with Carter will be useful in 2012:
"Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we're as strong as we were four years ago? And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for. If you don't agree, if you don't think that this course that we've been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have."

Among other things (e.g., economic recovery, strengthening of military, restoring respectability internationally, etc.), President Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, despite claims by the other party to the pro-woman party.

Of course, he was known as the "Great Communicator," so I leave you with a few of his quotes.
  • "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his."
  • [to Carter] "There you go again."
  • [about Mondale] "I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience."
  • "Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."
  • "Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."
  • "Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets."
  • "But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified 'Top Secret.'"
  • "We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added."
  • "The problem is not that people are taxed too little; the problem is that government spends too much."
  • "The most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
  • "Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
  • "Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15."
  • "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."
  • "If we ever forget that we are 'One Nation Under God,' then we will be a nation gone under."

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

But you can't latch the hood too well, if you don't take the can out, you no-selling waste of space!

This was my lesson in an adult Sunday school class recently dealing with hindering your prayers. These are not things which will keep you from prayer; that's another show. I'm talking about people who pray, but their prayers are self-destructing.

9 Potential Hindrances to Your Prayers:
  1. Trinitarian Confusion
  2. Cherishing Sin (Ps 66:18)
  3. Defiance of God’s precepts (Prov 15:29; 28:9)
  4. Trying to Impress Others (Matt 6:5)
  5. Unwillingness to Forgive Others (Mark 11:25)
  6. Pride (Luke 18:9-14)
  7. Doubting God (James 1:5-7)
  8. Satisfying Misguided Passions (James 4:3)
  9. Living Insensitively with Wife (1 Peter 3:7)

Others?

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Election Edition ...

Read about how the Tea Party could put a record number of black conservatives in office.

Read "This Is for You, Joy Behar! A Womans's Journey from Liberal to Conservative."

Read JC Watts' thoughts on why the Tea Party is on a roll.

Read Charles Krauthammer on the Great Campaign of 2010.

Read about how polling indicates Republicans Appear Poised to Win Big on Tuesday.

Check out Pastor John Lawson's explanations of the "Civil Rights Industry" and Why Black People Should Abandon Democratic Party.

Read about how Obama may be in big trouble, with the Supreme Court.

Read "Why I am a black Tea Party patriot opposed to Barack Obama" by Lloyd Marcus.

Check out Rasmussen polling for current results.

Watch Charles Krauthammer's thoughts: "This is how the great, post-racial promise of Obama ends."

Check out 10 Tea Party Questions the Media Loves ... Answered.

Check out these Outrages to Remember when voting on November 2nd.

Read about how 38 black Republicans running for national office is the "most under reported story of the 2010 political season."

Read about what Charles Krauthammer calls "Obama Underappreciation Syndrome."

Watch Zo explain why he's a Conservative Republican ... even though his skin color is brown.

A MUST WATCH ... Examining Black Loyalty to Democrats:


MUST SEE History ... Democrat party and the KKK:
"Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality."
~ John W. Gardner

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Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?

I've been asked who are the top 3 people I enjoy listening to. But, I've never been asked the similar question, "Who are the top 3 people you hate hearing from?"

Without having to spend much time contemplating ...
  1. Bill Maher
  2. Rosie O'Donnell
  3. Whoopi Goldberg
These are people who, for some strange reason, have the platform to communicate ideas, but in the world according to Gunny would nevermore would they have any such influence.

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