Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dirty


I have long thought professional cycling is one of the dirtiest sports there is.

The news today shouldn't be much of a surprise as Alberto Contador-the latest Tour De France victor (3-time winner, no less)- has just tested positive for steroids. He'll undoubtedly hold a press conference and tell us how it's a false positive or because he used a certain acne medication.

Sorry Alberto, any cyclist who takes anything around Tour time, given the justified rampant suspicion, is a fool or a cheater. I'm picking the latter for Mr. Contador. Of course, as always, if I am wrong, I'll immediately recant and repent.

Give Lance credit...he somehow got away with it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's that time of the year again...

The Yankees have clinched yet another playoff berth. It’s their 15th in the last 16 seasons.

"It's that time of year again when all these Americans who deep down are Socialists start lecturing us about how the Yankees should have to fund every other team (even more than they do already) and how all baseball teams should have the same payroll to ...even the playing field. Of course, few of these people are excited to re-distribute their personal money to even the playing field in the game we call life."

Fr. Aaron Warwick


HT: Jeremy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

President Obama explains "his" Christian faith

Check out this very interesting interchange with President Obama today-




What do I think?

If President Obama genuinely trusts Christ, it wasn't clear from what he said. If he does in fact trust Christ for the forgiveness of his sins, there is at least a disconnect with the whole of Christianity and his apparent worldview.

In recent months and through interacting with Christians from all sorts of evangelical backgrounds (this summer in Colorado while at Horn Creek and through various churches I visited, assorted family members, and a whole bunch of students at HCA who go to many different churches) I have come to think the American church has never been more disjointed in what it professes and how it acts. People are able to give simple, but relatively cogent, professions of faith in Christ. If you probe what they mean, you find all sorts of varying explanations that begin to erode the "profession" they just gave- I'm talking about people attending churches that are basically bible-teaching (though very topical in their preaching practice). I just don't know what to make of a person's profession alone in the world of modern American evangelicalism. There has to be more questions asked and concepts probed. Perhaps just as important- how does your profession of faith in Christ affect and form your worldview and personal practices? I would like to ask President Obama how his Christian Faith informs his views and actions on many issues. I would like to ask most evangelicals the same question.

Lots more to think of and blog about concerning this important issue. Coming soon...

Ken Burns- "The Tenth Inning"


I don't know why I like baseball so much. I didn't play it. I have no plans to get my kids in to it. I think it's basically boring until October. In recent years I have been shaken by the rampant performance enhancing drug scandals that range the whole of the 90's and in to the early years of this decade. Still, I love baseball, especially in October. There's nothing like baseball in October.

I grew up watching the Yankees. Watching baseball some how brings me back to my childhood, I guess that's why I like it so much.

Tonight I am watching an excellent, newly released, Ken Burns special on baseball. I'm not done watching it, but so far it's just superb. Check it out. Pay particular attention to the great segment on the 1996-2000 Yankees!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Respect the Ref


Youth soccer referees have a tremendously difficult job I would not want. A poor performance evokes the scorn of players, coaches, multitudes of parents, grandparents, siblings, and other experts that hardly make the $40 per game rate worth it. A solid performance goes generally unnoticed, few people genuinely thank referees for what they do.

Simply put, there would be no game to play if referees weren't there to preserve its legitimacy and integrity by upholding the rules, encouraging fair play, and protecting the players.

Referees will makes mistakes. Some referees probably shouldn't be reffing because they are not qualified. Nevertheless, when they wear the stripes (or yellow/green/whatever), players have to respect them or be penalized. It has to be this way or there would be no game to play. It's about respecting the office of referee. Generally speaking, when players, coaches, and fans respect the referee, things will go well for all involved with the game.

While there are bad eggs out there, any youth coach worthy of coaching young people strictly enforces a code of no disrespecting the referees. Those of us who coach youth want to develop a culture of respect for the "office" of referee as he or she represent authority that gives our game credibility. Without refs we would not have the game we love to play. I do not permit my players to question or criticize any call by a referee. That's my job, and I do so respectfully. I want my players to respect the office that referees occupy. Sure, Refs will make bad calls from time to time. Yes, we'll come across the occasional person who shouldn't be wearing the stripes. Still, the development of sportsmanship, fair play, intense and satisfying competition, and a healthy overall sport, depends largely on a credible authority governing the games. Most youth coaches agree with my philosophy of teaching the boys to play the game and not question the calls of the referees. Respect the office referee's occupy and we'll all be better off.

It makes me sick when I see players disrespecting referees. Such is the coach's fault. Even coaches should be respectful and careful when asking referees for clarification or disputing a call. Too much is at stake to break down the relationship between the referee and the game we love, no matter how bad the guy or gal is doing their job. I think disrespectful displays against referees should be loathed by anyone who loves the sport.


Now, take all I just wrote and substitute "referee" with "pastor". Think about it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

By design not chance

Thanks to Malcolm for sending me this link.

Truly amazing is God's creation. How could a person deny the design of these creatures?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Special times with Pepa...


Tonight I saw the best Wizards game of the year, maybe of the last three years, as they managed to dig themselves out of a hole of their own creation to beat the Houston Dynamo in the last minute of play, 4-3.

The game served to enhance a very special time with my boys and my father as we all sat together cheering on our beloved Wizards.

My Dad is almost 80, so I cherish every such opportunity and praise God for the great memories my boys are stacking up with with Pepa. It seems like yesterday when Dad and I would go to Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Stallions games at the "Aud" in downtown Buffalo.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Ironic blunder...

Nathan alerted me to this-


Doh!

See story here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Delusional (again)


Historians and others will debate who the worst U.S. president was, a strong case for Jimmy Carter can be made.

Beyond his poor performance as president is his current embarrassing conduct. I was unable to embed video from an interview he just did, so I'll direct you through a link.

You have to check out what Carter says about himself and his superiority to other presidents-

Jimmy Carter Interview Here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ferguson on handling disharmony in the Church


" ...I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life." - The Apostle Paul to the Philippians

I have come to the passage above (Philippians 4:2-3) where Paul addresses two women in the church who are at odds. He bids an unnamed member of the church to help them "agree in the Lord".

We all know how hard it is to get along with each other-even in the church, among Christian brothers and sisters. Sinclair Ferguson relays challenging insight in his little commentary on Philippians-

Christian fellowships are often at their worst when dealing with differences of opinion. In some ways biblically-based churches find it easier to deal with false teaching. But personal differences can be almost as deadly, dividing the fellowship, sowing seeds of bitterness, diverting attention from central issues to sometimes petty, peripheral concerns, sucking energy that should be employed in building up believers and in reaching out to the community. How effectively we handle these differences may say more about the biblical character of our church life than how we handle heresy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Excited for November?


Well, I always look forward to November because it's the best whitetail hunting month. Am I excited for November this year because of the elections? Not really. No.

It seems that Republicans are running strong across the country. Apparently some people have come out of their stupor and realized the devastating fiscal effects insane spending creates-the practice of Democratic fiscal policy since forever...or at least since Jimmy Carter. Lots of people seem revved up to bounce as many Democrats out of office as possible and send a message to President Obama that he has gone off the deep end and needs to do his best Bill Clinton imitation and get back toward center.

Why am I not excited? Because Republicans have been irresponsible spenders since forever too...or at least since Ronald Reagan. Bush was one of the worst. The lack of fiscal conservatism on the part of the Republicans was a chief reason people got suckered in to voting for Obama.

Sure, I'm happy for any legislators who will put the kibosh on Obama's socialist, liberal agenda, but I'm under no allusion the Republicans will put on much of a kibosh. Under Bush we were on the 30 year plan to national bankruptcy. Obama has been Bush on a triple dose of steroids likely speeding up our fiscal demise by 20 years. Honestly, I just don't see a new batch of Republicans making a considerable difference. I hope they do, but I'm not naive.

Doug Wilson nailed it on his blog-

The Republicans are like an abusive former boyfriend, one who used to slap his girl around quite a bit. She finally left him, and hooked up with another man, one who enticed her with words like "hope" and "change," but turned out to be the kind who would beat her savagely. So when she starts making plans to leave the second guy and go live in a shelter, the first boyfriend, never the sharpest tool in the shed, takes this as an indication that she is falling in love with him again. He thinks he sees the lovelight in her eyes again, while it is only the glint of resolve to be done with the process of trying to choose a guy based on who might be less of a loser. "I know what I will do," she is now thinking to herself. "I am done with this kind of guy period."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thing of Beauty

I spend hours of practice time with my team (Heritage Varsity Soccer) working on two-touch movement of the ball. I believe such a style is severely lacking in much of American soccer. It's a difficult game to perfect, but once implemented, it wears out opponents, opens up the field, gives lots of scoring chances, and is downright fun.

Tonight Lionel Messi scored on a beautiful example of how the ball should be moved through the final third of the field. Check this out-


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Supreme Attraction of the Christian Hope


Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Commenting on Philippians 3:20-21, Alec Motyer captures the supreme attraction of the Christian hope-

"It is he (Jesus Christ) himself who is the supreme attraction of the Christian hope. We may well look forward to many things: deliverance at last from even the presence of sin and temptation; meeting the great ones of old- Abraham, Isaiah, Paul himself; reunion with loved ones we knew on earth; the glory of the heavenly places. Yes, indeed, all these things, but beyond them all that one feature which gives coherence and meaning and focus to heaven, that one Person through whom alone this great company is gathered and for whom alone is the glory, 'the Lamb standing, as though it had been slain', 'the Lamb in the midst of the throne', the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 'So shall we always be with the Lord', wrote Paul in another place. 'His servants shall worship him; they shall see his face', promised John"

- J.A. Motyer, Commentary on Philippians

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Redneck Skydiving

I love this kind of stuff-

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared...


I am preaching on Titus 3:3-8 tomorrow morning at Heritage Christian Academy's chapel service. These have to be some of the richest words in all of Scripture. Here's a few thoughts I just jotted down on these verses:

Titus 3:3-8 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

-Apart from Christ, we are foolish, rebellious (disobedient), enslaved, deceived (led astray), haters.
-Salvation is necessary because we stand condemned and we cannot save ourselves.
-We have drastically and radically offended God and are helpless to endear ourselves to Him in this state.
-Fallen man could not be in a more desperate situation.
-Salvation doesn’t originate, in any way, with us: It can’t. Slaves are bound and unable to free themselves...Rebels are at war...fools are dead to spiritual things..haters don’t suddenly love on their own.
-Something from outside of us must intervene and save us.
-We are “dead” in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2)- the dead don’t raise themselves.
-Salvation originates with God- “but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…”
-Kindness/Love/Mercy of God is required.
-God is the source of salvation.
-Not our righteousness…we have none.
-Not based on anything we have done.
-Based on God’s mercy in Christ.
-The proof of His mercy? Sending Christ to pay for our sins.
-The ground is God’s work of mercy in Christ on the cross for us.
-The grounds of our salvation is the work of Christ on the Cross.
- Notice wording: washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ….THROUGH Jesus Christ is always a reference to His Cross Work.
-Christ the mediator on the Cross for you…this is the grounds of our salvation.
-Notice the work of the Trinity in our Salvation- God pours out the Spirit because of Christ’s work.
-God sends His Spirit to regenerate us through Christ’s Work- Salvation is Trinitarian.
- What has caused God to give His Son for us? V. 4- "Loving Kindness" V. 5-“Mercy
-Christ’s death on the cross happened 2000 years ago…how is that applied to me now?
-God sends His Spirit to apply the work of Christ to us.
-Through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.
-Washing/Regeneration/Renewal/Holy Spirit.
-Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration, pictured by water in baptism.
-The Holy Spirit brings life to a dead soul, enlivens us, quickens us, awakens us.
-To make us heirs of God.
-To give us the joy of looking forward to full inheritance- a stance that creates transformed, motivated, compelled, people.
-Such a positive outlook about the sure future causes changed lives, obedience.
-We are “Justified” by Grace”…meaning we are declared not guilty before the judgment seat of God and further, we are accepted by God as His children…by grace. Allowing us to be heirs together with Christ.
-God's grace changes us to heirs, adopted sons and daughters.
-Heirship ultimately reflects the giver- the glory goes to the one who makes heirs, not the heirs themselves.
-Heirs are beneficiaries, but credit is not due to them, rather to the one who gives!
-The saying is “trustworthy” means it works. You can count on it. Grace motivation is the way people change.
-These truths will show their fruit in the lives of the people who are regenerated as described: “so that…may be careful to devote themselves to good works…”
-The Holy Spirit is the One who enables us to live out the grace of God in our lives.
-Good works are not the grounds for salvation but they are the necessary fruit and evidence of true salvation.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"The Fool Says, There Is No God..."- Ps. 14:1


Many people consider Stephen Hawking to be the "smartest" or most intelligent human being living. Notice what a current article reports about him and what he has recently said-

Physics was the reason for the Big Bang, not God, according to scientist Stephen Hawking.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," the professor said in his new book, in a challenge to traditional religious beliefs.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going," he wrote in his book "The Grand Design," extracts of which are printed in London newspaper The Times.


The book, co-written by American physicist Leonard Mlodinow and published next week, sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have created out of chaos.


Even if you accept Hawking's illogical supposition that nothing could somehow produce or create something, you may still argue he is a brilliant intellectual. Maybe he is some kind of genius, but one thing is certain- he is not wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! - Psalm 110:10

Hawking's unfortunate digression should not surprise anyone familiar with Paul's words in Romans 1:

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010