Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Reasons Why I Like Friday!

Thank our glorious God, it is Friday! This has been a very busy week. I have fallen behind on just about everything you can fall behind on. The silver lining shinning brightly for me is the fact that it is Friday. At 5:00 PM today, should today remain the same as before, I will be ready for the weekend. Here are five reasons I like Fridays:

1.  Until further notice, Friday's come once a week!

2.  Friday's allow me to play and sing along with George Jones on his song called It's Finally Friday.

3.  Friday's typically free me from the shackles of the "to do lists, goals, and the "R" word (responsibilities)

4.  Friday's is cheap date night with the most wonderful woman on earth (Hot and Ready Pizza and a movie)

5.  Friday's puts me two days closer to gathering with the body of Christ on the first day of the week!


Why do you like Fridays?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Church or the Clink?

Bay Minette, USA – Authorities say non-violent offenders in Bay Minette, Ala. now have a new choice: Go to jail, or go to church every Sunday for a year.

WKRG-TV reports that Operation Restore Our Community begins next week.

The city judge will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

If offenders select church, they will be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and the police department.

If the one-year church attendance program is completed successfully, the offender's case will be dismissed.

Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says the program could change the lives of people heading down the wrong path.

So far, 56 churches are participating.

What do you think?
Which would you choose?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Did You Ask What It Would Cost?

“Lord, I will follow you…” (Luke 9:57, NKJV)

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.(Luke 14:26, NKJV) (Emphasis is mine)

“…if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NKJV)

Jesus wanted followers. Jesus sought some to follow him and he allowed others to tag along with him. Over the course of three years many men and women came and went as followers. Jesus had some extremely difficult standards for what he meant by follow him.

Jesus did not want anyone to follow him blindly. He was not looking for people to tag along casually with no thought of what it meant to follow. He didn’t want people to think that it was an easy thing to follow after him. He wanted them to know that following after Jesus would be costly.

Two illustrations were used by Jesus to demonstrate to those who contemplated following him that a great amount of thought needed to be applied. First, those who are engaged in the task of building a tower carefully estimated and considered the cost of building. If they did not do this they would find themselves unable to complete their project and would end up looking very foolish.

Second, a king who is contemplating going to battle against an enemy needs to evaluate the intelligence that he had gathered in order to determine if he could win or not. If he could not win then he needed to pursue a peace plan.

Do not be in a rush to follow after Jesus. Look past the promises and fairy dust offered my well meaning people. Resist the impulse to run after glitter and gold. Many, with good intentions, have made the gospel so easy and following Christ so attractive that the crowds are willing to follow after a Jesus of someone’s imagination. When the invitation is extended to follow Jesus be sure to ask the question, what will it cost me? Am I willing to pay that price? Am I really willing to put my hand to his plow and never look back? Am I really willing to leave and forsake houses, lands, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters to follow him? Am I willing to really deny myself, my own desires, yea my own passions? Am I really willing to die to myself and all of my dreams? Am I willing to pick up a cross, and instrument of death, and die daily? Am I really willing to “hate” my mother and father or my brothers and sisters?

Some followed on rocks but when the sun came up were scorched. Some followed amongst thorns but were choked by them. These started out following but never counted the cost of following Jesus. When you began following did you ask what it would cost?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

False Teaching on the Move

Tuesdays with Theophilus

Did you hear? Rob Bell is leaving Mars Hill Bible Church. You know, the Rob Bell that wrote the controversial book about hell called Love Wins. Of course things don’t seem to be getting any better for the folks at Mars Hill since it seems that his co-pastor Shane Hipps will continue the teaching duties.

Bell plans on moving to Los Angeles, California. That should be no surprise, since many of the residents of the Greater Los Angeles area are described in The Song of Solomon 6:11, “I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley…I think Mr. Bell will fit right in with all the other theological nuts and fruits that southern California has spawned.

Apparently Bell told his Mars Hills congregation that he was not going to start another church as he wanted to concentrate on writing. Apparently as you read this he plans on releasing a “Love Wins Companion Study Guide in November. It seems this is a study guide for those who want “to go deeper” and “take the next step.” How far and how deep does one need go into deception and false doctrine?

It seems to me, in my humble Roman aristocrat opinion that this really is not anything to get up in arms about or raise our theological dander. I think I can safely say this for at least four reasons.

First – False Teachers already exist at Mars Hill

Shane Hipps seems to be Bell’s successor as teaching “pastor.” Hipps has already shown his “true/false” colors in a number of sermons. Recently he stated, “…that all religions are valid and that even Osama Bin Laden has the divine spark within him.” One of Hipps most interesting and self-revealing statements (again in my opinion) “I have never died, so I don’t have a theological position on heaven or hell, I can only entertain theological possibilities.” Hipps is in step with those in the emergent church and so things most likely won’t change at Mars Hill unless they theologically grow worse.

Second – False Teachers are God’s judgment upon those who reject Him

False teaching and false teachers are a judgment from God upon those who reject Him. I don’t think you can find any stronger Scripture to substantiate this truth than Paul’s second letter to the church at Thessalonica. Listen, (2:11) “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order at that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Why would God send such a strong delusion as judgment? We find the reason in verse 10, by the way, that is why the therefore is there for, to lead us to God’s reason, “…because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” We also see a reason in the last line of verse 11, “…but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Regardless of whether it is Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, Rome, or Your Town, USA false teachers and false teaching are a judgment from God.

Third – False Teachings are necessary according to the apostle Paul

If false teachers are a judgment from God upon those who reject God, then, that alone would be sufficient to establish the necessity of false teachers. However, Paul reveals to the Corinthian believers a very remarkable principle in I Corinthians 11:19, “for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” (ESV) The KJV uses the word which we translate as “heresies.” The false and the dividers of the body are necessary in order to demonstrate the true and the genuine.

That seems odd to you and me but God has ordained it otherwise. The false is exposed and reveals the truth by its very existence. Brilliant, don’t you think?

Fourth – False Teachers will proliferate whether in Michigan, Los Angeles, or Rome

False teaching is dangerous. It can lead people away from Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation. False teaching can lead people to make terrible decisions or practice godless rituals. False teaching will be ever present opposing the truth, the very truth that Paul’s personal physician and companion, Luke taught me. Luke was so careful to investigate; interview, compare, and he trusted the Holy Spirit to enable him to record the truth about Jesus Christ and His gospel. False teachers and false teaching will oppose this truth anywhere this truth exists. So, whether it is Mars Hill in Michigan, or the likes of Rob Bell writing in Los Angeles, or here in my home town of Rome, false teaching will exist.

Now that I think about it, false teaching does rile me up and gets my theological dander up. It both grieves me and angers me to hear someone mishandle the precious Word of God. We need to cry out against false teachers as Paul commanded us, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17, ESV)

Sincerely Yours,


What do you think?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Facts

In conjunction with Seams Inspired's Blogfest, I give you my Monday Morning Facts, for what shall we say? For your enjoyment, entertainment, encouragement, curiosity, concern, comprehension, snoopiness, wonder, amusement, to tickle your funny bone, and or your inquisitivness!

Fact: - I was born in the Salem Community Hospital, Salem, Ohio.

In 1907, 14 Salem physicians formed a corporation called the Salem City Hospital Association. (Thanks guys - gave me a place to be born) Through an organized fund drive, the first of its kind in the U.S., the Association raised $65,000 in donations. A building fund was established, and the hospital was built at its current location on East State Street. The hospital opened in 1913 and could accommodate 70 patients.

The hospital began to take root and grow, with each decade bringing a major improvement to the facility. In 1948, a wing was added increasing the patient capacity to 108 beds and 24 bassinets. In 1955 yours truly made his debut. In 1956, construction commenced on the addition of a warehouse, power plant, laundry and pharmacy. In 1963, construction of the East wing increased the hospital's bed capacity from 108 to 150, and provided a chapel, lobby, outpatient waiting room and treatment rooms.

Fact: - Today is the last Monday in September! Where did September go?

Fact: - Since I started using Firefox as my web browser, I have not any problems. It seems, at least to me, thus far, to be faster than Chrome.

Fact: Praise God! I was drawn for a Tim Challies book drawing and just received via UPS two ESV Student Study Bibles and the entire set of The Crossway Classic Commentaries, ed. Alister McGrath and J. I. Packer. Thank you Mr. Tim Challies and Challies Dot Com!

Fact:  I did not expect the commentaries. I knew the ESV Student Bibles were part of the drawing and that I would receive them, but this is an added treat!

Fact:  Abraham Lincoln was right! "The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.  (Abraham Lincoln)

Fact:  I am behind on my Monday facts - here it is Saturday morning already.

Fact:  The Old Geezer has a new blog called Encourage One Another, be sure to check it out.

Fact:  We have had a great week of warm weather. This comes on the heels of a 57 day period of no rain. No kidding! 57 days in Washington without rain. We had a couple of days where we received 1.5 inches and then it was blue skies and white clouds again.