Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I have found myself sharing bits and pieces about my church and I would be remiss in my description without stating that it centers on the preaching of God's Word. Most churches would claim to do the same.
I have written a bit about why expository preaching of the bible is the best way, but John MacArthur makes such wonderful points here about why full proclamation is the "only right way".
(By John MacArthur)
For many reasons, faithful and full proclamation of the Word is the only right way to preach. First of all, such preaching lets God speak rather than man, because it declares God’s own Word. And it is an incredibly thrilling privilege to give voice to God!
Second, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it brings the preacher into direct contact with the mind of the Holy Spirit, the author of Scripture. It is for that reason that the preacher of the Word finds the process of study and discovery to be even more rewarding than the preaching that results from it, gratifying as that can be.
It is tragic and puzzling that so many preachers who recognize Scripture to be God’s own Word spend more time investigating and interacting with the limited and imperfect minds of other men than delving into the infinite and holy mind of God. Part of the reason, of course, is that many hearers do not really want to delve into the depths of God’s righteousness and truth, because it exposes their own shallowness and sin. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned his son in the faith about the danger of those who hold “to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Tim. 3:5). Later in that same epistle he would warn again that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;. . . and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3–4; cf. Acts 20:29–30).
Third, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it forces the preacher to proclaim all of God’s revelation, including those truths that even many believers find hard to learn or accept.
Fourth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it promotes biblical literacy in a congregation, not only through what is learned from the sermon itself but also through the increased desire to study Scripture more carefully and consistently on their own. The faithful pastor, and all other faithful believers, love to learn God’s Word because they love the God of the Word.
Fifth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it carries ultimate authority. It is the complete and perfect self-revelation of God Himself and of His divine will for mankind, which He has created in His own image.
Sixth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because only that kind of preaching can transform both the preacher and the congregation.
Seventh, the final and most compelling reason that preaching the Word is the only right way to preach is simply that it is His own Word, and only His own Word, that the Lord calls and commissions His preachers to proclaim.
Today’s post adapted from John’s commentary on 2 Timothy (Moody Press).
So does this mean we dismiss the call to evangelize because we are too focused on preaching God's Word?
No. Preaching God's Word does not offer exemption to the church from evangelism. On the contrary....
It does mean that the "only right way" to share the gospel is by faithfully testifying to the whole counsel of God's word and that must include the depravity of our sinful soul and our desperate need for redemption through Christ. We cannot resort to our pragmatic man-centered methods.
I am so perplexed when I hear people say that doctrine is less important than loving our neighbor. What is love without the truth??? I dare say it is not love at all.
I hear this & read this countless times in the midst of growing churches today. Without God's word as the power to change hearts then the works of service are either non-existent or contrived by man. Love and service will exist where God's word is faithfully preached. I believe this because I trust that when God converts a man's heart he does not leave it the same. The man is changed and moreover will continue to change through the beautiful process of sanctification....
"Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." 2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJ)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Early each morning, I sit down to write a post about biblical theology, homeschool blessings, courtship versus dating, biblical womanhood, the Iowa Caucus, or any number of thought-provoking issues.
Somewhere around sentence two, my doorbell rings and men arrive that are eager to fire up air-compressors and chainsaws. The dog starts to alternately bark and pee. Samuel comes running out of the downstairs bathroom with his underwear around his ankles.
And my ribs start to hurt.
I am beggin' for some mercy and because I lay my head on a pillow at night where I manage to wake up the next day, I am confident He is supplying that mercy.
Pregnancy in this stage certainly presents it's challenges. Add to that, 1/2 dozen men who are traipsing through my house with all sorts of debris on their shoes and clothes, while taking notes of my short-temper....Well, it's no great stretch of the imagination that I am a teensy bit on edge.
So. How 'bout some pictures instead of belly-aching? It is far more interesting and does not lend to my selfish desire to throw hissy-fits.
Some of these pictures are a couple of weeks old. Certainly, I will receive no grief for this. Certainly, because most of you know what's good for you.
This is what happens when Project Runway meets Spiderman:
That is not a blueberry pancake. That is my daughter's leg after missing a back-walkover on the beam. Bruises like this are viewed as badges of honor:
Singing the Veritas History song....with hand gestures:
This is where we put the dog while we eat, so he can feel tortured and deprived.
Seriously, this is where the dog "chooses" to torture himself. I couldn't resist this picture.
I took this picture several weeks ago. I have so much to learn about my camera and so it's not the greatest but I still thought it was cool.
And here are some pictures of the
This is the dining room which lead into the new family room. All of our
It's a great combination for a pregnant lady who is ready to clean and nest. (sarcasm intended)
The new family/playroom:
The landing upstairs...we like to pretend that it's summertime at the Outer Banks with all the beach towels and such:
Sweet Baby's Room:
Emma's room (a window was moved from one wall to the other)
The doctor has scheduled my induction for Tuesday, January 29th. One of the girls asked me last night at bedtime if the doctor was "making" the baby come on that day and I told her yes.
She then asked, "Why won't the doctor make the baby come now?"
And her told her....
"Because the doctor is evil and she hates me."
Since that is what I truly believe.
This post was written over a week ago and my how things have progressed! I saved it in my drafts and forgot about it.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The blog is private and so it is through invite only. If you or your kiddos would like to stop by, just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll do the rest.
Friday, January 11, 2008
First of all, the position that I must take while seated at my computer is an uncomfortable one since there is a human being curled up in my rib cage. Second, I am in no position because of my ignorance on so many of the issues.
Now that I have made full disclosure of my shortcomings, I will share my two-cents anyway and hopefully come away with some insightful comments.
- I know that I am a hard-core conservative.
- I am staunchly pro-life. Period. No government funding for embryonic stem cell research. No provision for taking a human life despite dire circumstances. I don't budge here.
- I support the 2nd Amendment. I have a Smith & Wesson in my Vera Bradley right now. (hee-hee)
- Taxes? I hate them. I loathe them. They are ridiculously high and for reasons that I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around. I want a president who sincerely wants to drastically lower taxes....and never raise them again. (whisper...Ron Paul)
- Healthcare? I am not very well-informed, but I do not think government is the answer. I like the idea of tax credits for insurance costs. I need more information on this.
- Social Security? Another hot mess that I am clueless about. Raising the limits on the 401(k) is a start. Changing the way we view our government and their responsibility is the only way true reform will ever take place. I am an adult. I want to plan for my own retirement with my own money.
- Education? Obviously the government and I have differing opinions on how our children should be educated. I certainly believe there should be some sort of tax credits for private or homeschooling. I am not invested in prayer during school or whether the 10 commandments should be posted in the hallway and I wasn't invested in those things when my children attended public school. Public school is not a Christian-based program.
- Budget, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Environment, Oil, Corporations, Etc....I am not even remotely knowledgeable enough to form an intelligent opinion. Tell me what you think about these issues.
- The War. Have mercy. I love Ron Paul but I cannot find solace in his plan for our withdrawal in Iraq. Maybe there is more to learn. On other issues that are radical, he does a better job of mapping out the transition. It appears that his plan is basically just *throw it in reverse*. It just doesn't make sense.
- I want a smaller government. I have to admit that I have struggled with this in the past but no more. Let the individual citizen decide how & how much to aid their fellow man. Leslie hits the nail on the head below where I have her quoted. The responsibility of caring for the less fortunate should fall upon the church. The church has failed....is failing....and dare I say will continue to fail if there continues to be a lack of reformation....and I ain't talking about government reform.
- What about the moral values and the integrity of the president? It certainly matters. I cannot say that he *must* be a Christian, while that would serve as a positive. The problem is it is hard to know a man's true faith position through speeches that are written by someone else and handlers who guard his every word. Actions and consistency over the course of a man's life serve as a greater measure.
So where does that leave us? A few days ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about the whole thing. The media circus, the lack of options, the decay of the country, etc... We were discussing the job of government (what it should be versus what it is). Later in the afternoon, Leslie posted this comment on Kim's blog. It reiterated so much of our conversation from earlier in the day, I thought I would just copy her thoughts here...
I think what we need to do is distinguish the difference between a true, or a traditional, conservative and a neo-conservative. Huckabee is a neo-conservative of the worst sort. He can talk a real good game, but that's about it. His biggest problem, apart from being a neo-con, is that he does not have any standards by which he makes decisions. He just does whatever he has to do to keep from making the really tough decisions. That's not leadership. I'm really surprised that the Harris family endorses him.
I'm afraid far too many Christians are supporting him just because he wears the tag "baptist." Well, Bill Clinton was a southern baptist, too, folks. (Or was he Methodist?) So was Jimmy Carter. All of the candidates wear their own religion tag. Does that mean we should vote for them? That should not be the basis on which we choose our candidates. Investigate their policies and positions. Make an informed decision. If you don't know about something then learn about it. Listen to what the candidates are actually saying.
The idea that we are supposed to choose presidential candidates based on what they will do for the poor and defenseless is faulty. Jesus gave those mandates for caring for the poor and the widow and the orphan to THE CHURCH! The Church has given up her God-given responsibilities to the federal government.
I'm not saying the President should ignore the Bible altogether, however, the Bible does not dictate what we do as a nation. That is the place of the Constitution.
Morality is not something that comes down to us from the White House, either, and I'm sick of listening to people tell me that we need a leader who can change our culture. Our culture is sick because it is full of sinful people. Plain and simple truth. Morality is not the job of the President of the United States of America. That is the responsibility of parents and churches. Let me ask you this, how holy are the people in your church? How holy is your city as a result of your church's presence? That's not POTUS's doing.
One more thing: Welfare and the nanny state is doing more harm to poor people in this country than you realize.Think about it.
What are our options? I mentioned crawling under a rock, but that is not much of a solution. I tried it last week when the contractors tracked drywall mud up and down my stairs. It does absolutely no good.
So where am I? I have been following Ron Paul for several months and love (love, love, love) his fiscally conservative and socially conservative stand on so many of the vital issues. His unwavering & consistent voting record is impressive, especially considering all the times he has stood in a minority position. Popular opinion has not been his compass for decision making. I love that.
I have always had and still have concerns about his plan for our nation's security. I can't say for sure that he is the guy.
Huckabee and Guiliani are off of my list. Huckabee is not a fiscal conservative and his immigration track record is foul. Guiliani is not pro-life. I could write more about both but I am losing steam.
I am in the process of gathering information. I think that is by far the wisest thing we can do at this point in the process. We have plenty of time to form a truly informed decision. I need more information on Fred Thompson. I need to really research Romney's position (and his previous position) on several issues. What about McCain? He seems to waver quite a bit, especially since his run in 2000.
Certainly a man is entitled to change his mind and his heart but when that man is running for president I feel like it takes on a whole different level of inconsistency. What caused the change? The desire to gain popular approval is more often than not, the cause.
Leslie has written some wonderful posts about this election. Kim has had some questions about Huckabee and her comment section was quite fruitful that day :) One of the commenter's said this,
" I have learned to rest and pray because none of these men (or woman) can thwart the plan of God. Remember, He turns the hearts of kings to accomplish His will."
True, and what peace we have to rest in that truth. At the same time, we must make a wise and informed decision and that can't be done if we hide under a rock.
I'm done. I did not watch the debate last night because quite frankly....I am tired. I am so tired that just a couple of days ago, I told the telephone to "come here".
Honest to goodness folks. With my children as my witness, the phone began to ring as I was reading something and without even pausing to look up I said (and quite sternly) "Come here!"
And I said it more than once.
It was Emma who gently and curiously asked,
"Momma......are you talking to the phone?"
That confession should excuse any grammar mistakes or politically incorrect statements made in this post.