Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The so-called “let down” can happen in the life of a church as well. The ministry of our Church is a marathon not a sprint. We are coming up to a tremendous high point in the history of our church- the completion of a landmark sanctuary for the worship of God. This new sanctuary will be a bold statement in the midst of our burgeoning community concerning what we believe about the greatness of God. Hopefully, such a statement will draw many inquirers in for a closer look and we, as a congregation, will rise to the godly task of welcoming many new faces so they might come to know Christ, grow closer to Him, and join the ministry vision of our Church. I am excited and I am certain the congregation is also. There was a buzz in and around the church after the steeple was placed on June 20. We are on the cusp of a tremendous high point in our church’s short life.
Therefore, my dear sisters and brothers- “NO LETDOWN”! It might be natural to have a psychological letdown of some sort after entering the new sanctuary. A new sanctuary is an awesome blessing and an effective ministry aid, however, it does not somehow symbolize that we have arrived. We are only just beginning to fulfill God’s directive for us. The sanctuary is a new beginning, not the end of a journey. Please, commit this to consideration and prayer, we cannot “let off” or “let down” in our ministry mindset and effort. There is far more that has to be done.
Redeemer’s goal is not to become a mega church but rather a healthy, self-duplicating mid-sized church that maintains a sense of community and personal spiritual nurture for all it’s members while at the same time having a major impact on our immediate surroundings through the transformed lives of our members and consistent, faithful proclamation of the doctrines of grace.
NO LETDOWN! Catch the long-range vision with me! On the most basic level I can see transformed Redeemer members and families being agents of transformation in multiple spheres of society-used of the Father to bring many to the Son. Beyond this I envision paying off our financial obligation and being able to use half of our general budget to support local and foreign missionaries (some of whom will come from our church) and outreach. I can visualize our school growing through high school and being a major “culture transforming” discipleship center through the students trained and educated here. I picture Redeemer starting a church-based theological education night school and biblical counseling center that gives interested Christians and current church leaders in the KC metro area the opportunity to study God’s Word and world more formally- a sort of mini-seminary right here on our property- The Institute for Reformation. I look forward to Redeemer planting her first daughter church some day. All of this to say- “NO LETDOWN”!
Monday, June 25, 2007
What folly! Nothing we could make or do impresses God if done independently from a love and appreciation for God and His great grace. Only works done in Christ "impress" God. Needless to say, the tower of Babel didn't qualify as impressive to God.
So it is that God would accomplish His Will with or without the cooperation of man. He confused the language to accomplish the end of mankind inhabiting the whole earth. We know from the genealogy table in chapter 10 that Nimrod went on with those who spoke his new language to build other cities but none like Babel. Babel literally means “Gate of God”, but its legacy is not what the people intended it to be. When a person utters in a seemingly meaningless bungle of sounds we refer to it as “babble”. Babies babble all the time. Only they know what it means.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Redeemer's new sanctuary is very close to completion, Huber construction tells us the building will be done by late August. This week the 70 foot steeple was attached to the steeple tower, it was a sight to behold. Regarding the significance of the steeple, note what the manufacturer (Jerry Bennett of Campbellsville Industries) of our steeple said-
"A steeple points one to the heavens, symbol of the dwelling place of Christ. Through city streets, across the valleys and lakes, through the countryside far and wide, the steeple declares Christ"
Friday, June 22, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Carroll kept the dogs, a male and female from the same litter, in a yard behind her home in Connersville. There were no witnesses, but Todd said authorities believed the male dog, which was the larger of the two, attacked Carroll.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Dear fathers and brothers of Heartland Presbytery, Stated Clerks in the PCA, and brothers and sisters of Grace Covenant Church:
Please be in prayer for the congregation of Zion Church (PCA) in Lincoln, Nebraska and their pastors: Stu Kerns, Tobey Brockman, Adam Odell, and Keith Ghormley and elders. The main building and worship facility of the church was destroyed completely last night in a fire that apparently began in the basement kitchen area. By the time fire fighters were called to the building at 5:00 a.m., there were 15-foot flames emerging from the north side of the building and the fire had spread to the main floor. Firefighters had to go into “defensive” mode to keep the flames from spreading to nearby buildings, with the main building already a total loss. To learn more visit this site.
Zion has been a flagship church in our Presbytery, and a mother to many of us. Let us rally to her in her time of need. Please pray that they will be able to secure a meeting place tomorrow for what will no doubt be a time of grieving and worship. Also pray for the leaders as they seek to secure a temporary meeting place for worship, care for the needs of a grieving and stunned congregation, and plan for the future. Zion was to break ground on a new addition tomorrow in order to meet their growing needs for Christian Education space.
Please join me in prayer for the brothers who pastor this church (Stu, Tobey, Adam and Keith) and the flock of God's people there. May the Lord provide for them in a mighty way at this difficult time.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Such a case shakes me at a human level. At first, I get furious with the individual-whom I don't even know- who has apparently done such a wicked thing. Honestly, I'm still at that point on this one. Eventually though, I start to assess the general wickedness of mankind because of sin, then the radical corruption of my own heart. I begin to wonder how wicked I would be- what evil things I would do- if it were not for my redemption through Christ and God the Holy Spirit now indwelling me. I can do some pretty sinful things this side of regeneration, what would I be like if not for the saving, changing, grace of God? I shutter to think. Still, even then, the level of wickedness the killer of Kelsey has gone- by God's grace- is relatively rare.
When I see the expressionless mugshot of Edwin Hall:
1. I remember the pictures of Kelsey I have seen and the absolute hideousness of what he has allegedly done.
2. I get mad at him. I get mad at all such evil. I grieve for his wife and child.
3. I pray for Kelsey's family and friends, this is an unspeakably difficult time for them and a permanent hurt going forward, even with the joyful knowledge that Kelsey is with Christ according to those who knew her relationship with the Lord.
4. I realize there is a fine line between me and Edwin Hall. The difference is Christ.
5. I/we must be about introducing people to Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can remedy human depravity.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
The Ducks moved efficiently through the most grueling playoff tournament in the world. You must win 16 games in 8 weeks. To do so, you could potentially play 28 games. There simply is no challenge in team sports like it.
Hockey players are modern day gladiators. My hat's off to the Ducks, the new Stanley Cup Champions.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
Yesterday I preached on this passage. It teaches us about the process or mode of divine inspiration (how God wrote Scripture). This led me to teach about the related doctrines of biblical inspiration, inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency. In my studies I came across two timely challenges from recent giants of the faith. The first is from Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones (died in 1981), the second is from Dr. J.I. Packer (still alive and ministering). The statements need no further explanation-
We all therefore have to face this ultimate and final question: Do we accept the Bible as the Word of God, as the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, or do we not? Is the whole of my thinking governed by Scripture, or do I come with my reason and pick and choose out of Scripture and sit in judgment upon it, putting myself and modern knowledge forward as the ultimate standard and authority? The issue is crystal clear. Do I accept Scripture as a revelation from God, or do I trust to speculation, human knowledge, human learning, human understanding and human reasons Or, putting it still more simply, Do I pin my faith to, and subject all my thinking to, what I read in the Bible? Or do I defer to modern knowledge, to modern learning, to what people think today, to what we know at this present time which was not known in the past? It is inevitable that we occupy one or the other of those two positions. – Martin Lloyd Jones
Certainty about the great issues of Christian faith and conduct is lacking all along the line. The outside observer sees us as staggering on from a gimmick to gimmick and stunt to stunt like so many drunks in a fog, not knowing at all where we are or which way we should be going. Preaching is hazy. Heads are muddled, hearts fret, doubts drain strength, uncertainty paralyzes action. Unlike the first-century Christians who in three centuries won the Roman world and those later Christians who pioneered the Reformation and the Puritan awakening and the evangelical revival and the great missionary movement of the last century, we lack certainty - J.I. Packer