Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Check it out, it's encouraging: http://www.gazette.com/articles/lepsis_45326___article.html/drugs_season.html
Thursday, December 25, 2008
1. Watching my son eat breakfast is such a delight. What a gift . . . Christmas couldn't get better. (The smell of ribs cooking in the slowcooker also warms the Christmas spirit.)
2. My wife is still in bed. Why? Well, she's carrying a very important Christmas gift (on lay-away until August). She's carrying our second child and still traversing the difficult journey of the first trimester. Pray for her health and strength. Pray that God knits this baby perfectly in her womb.
3. The incarnated Son of God changes people's lives. Some wonder how this can occur, others scoff, others feel guilty when they spend time with Jesus-touched people. NFL quarterback Kurt Warner recently had a unique piece done on him by ESPN. This is someone who has met the Christ child: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?page=hotread17/kurtwarner
4. I have a great core of family and friends. I am so thankful for each of you. Also, I am so thankful for the church family we have here in CO. We left such a special family in Boone and we are beginning to feel at home in CO too.
(be on the lookout for Xmas pics)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Newsweek has since provided a follow-up story with two authors of contrasting views engaging in a debate (http://www.newsweek.com/id/175223/page/1).
Bloggers around the world have also engaged in the issue: (e.g. http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2008/12/newsweek-on-gay-marriage.php).
I am no expert so I will not weigh in today, but instead, I choose to offer up a prayer for our country:
Father in heaven,
You created every person and even though we rebelled and sinned against you, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and offer salvation to Your children. Father, help us to sacrificially love those around us with the same love you have shown us. Teach us to debate, dialog, and discuss sensitive issues with healing grace. Help us to obey and trust You more each day.
In Christ's holy name, Amen.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Read entire article: http://www.whatsbestnext.com/2008/12/on-layoffs/
Monday, December 08, 2008
Here's a small portion of the article "An Anatomy of Surrender" by Bruce Bawer:
Mainstream outlets have also served up anodyne portraits of fundamentalist Muslim life. Witness Andrea Elliott’s affectionate three-part profile of a Brooklyn imam, which appeared in the New York Times in March 2006. Elliott and the Times sought to portray Reda Shata as a heroic bridge builder between two cultures, leaving readers with the comforting belief that the growth of Islam in America was not only harmless but positive, even beautiful. Though it emerged in passing that Shata didn’t speak English, refused to shake women’s hands, wanted to forbid music, and supported Hamas and suicide bombing, Elliott did her best to downplay such unpleasant details; instead, she focused on sympathetic personal particulars. “Islam came to him softly, in the rhythms of his grandmother’s voice”; “Mr. Shata discovered love 15 years ago. . . . ‘She entered my heart,‘ said the imam.” Elliott’s saccharine piece won a Pulitzer Prize. When Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes pointed out that Shata was obviously an Islamist, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review dismissed Pipes as “right-wing” and insisted that Shata was “very moderate.”
Monday, December 01, 2008
While driving back home in the middle of Wyoming from our Thanksgiving festivities in Rapid City, SD, I got a call on Saturday afternoon 11/29 informing me that a serious water leak had occurred in the apartment directly above us. Sadly, they too had been on vacation for several days so the leak created a small lake in the 1st floor apartment (that being ours). Here's some of the pics after we got home. Dozens of neighbors spent hours pulling up our carpet and moving our stuff to safety before we ever got back to Denver Seminary. Thanks to all of you who served so selflessly. The grace of Christ was evidenced in your life.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Here are some tidbits of our fall celebrations! Notice the irony of Samuel dressed as a cow, drinking milk, and wearing leather shoes. The pictures include Samuel with his little friend, Kate, who is dressed as a fairy, as well as some "process" pictures of his pumpkin painting adventure!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
This is how it starts:
He was classy.
Ripped for being out of touch, he chose just the right touch.
A man who critics say only mangled his words.
Conjured just the right ones.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
The British Parliament passed a massive piece of global warming legislation Wednesday. The Register newspaper reports the House of Commons spent six hours debating a bill to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent over the next four decades.
But this debate over the need for immediate action to deal with the rapidly developing dangers of global warming occurred as Londoners experienced their first October snowfall since 1922. A blanket of snow covered the Parliament as the bill passed on its third reading 463 votes to three.
But, The Register states that recent polling indicates 60 percent of the British public now doubts man's influence on global warming.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Here's one nugget:
"But something might be worse than abortion," said Theresa, "couldn't it?"
"Like what?" I asked.
Theresa thought for a moment. "Like an unjust war? There's a war going on right now."
"Do you think the war is unjust?" I asked.
"I don't think it's unjust, but some of our friends do. Besides, some wars really are unjust."
I nodded. "Through history, I'd say most wars have been unjust."
"Do you think this one is?"
"No," I said. "I think it's just."
"Just for purposes of argument," she persisted, "suppose candidate X supported abortion, and candidate Y opposed abortion but supported a war that was unjust. Like some of our friends think this one is."
"Okay," I said, "I'm supposing."
"Don't unjust wars also deliberately take innocent human life?"
"So an unjust war would be a sanctity-of-life issue too, wouldn't it?" she asked. "Just like abortion."
"It would," I said, "and an unjust war certainly could be even worse than abortion. But let's think a little further. To be even worse than abortion, just how bad would the unjust war have to be?"
"Well," said Don, "since the main evil is the same in both cases — the slaughter of innocents — I guess there would have to be even an even greater rate of slaughter in the unjust war than there is through legalized abortion."
"Right," I said. "Do you happen to know how many innocent lives are lost each year through legalized abortion?"
"Do you know exactly?"
Don looked inquiringly at Theresa. "You remember things like that, Reesi. Do you know?"
"Just through surgical abortions? We're running at about 1.2 million a year," she said. "More than 44 million babies have been killed since abortion was legalized."
"A third of your generation," I said.
She nodded grimly.
"So to be worse than abortion," I asked, "wouldn't an unjust war have to kill even more than 1.2 million innocent people each year?"
"Hey, that's right," said Don.
"What's the death rate in the present war?"
"Not even close," he said. "Thanks! That'll help you talk with your friends, won't it, Reesi?"
Friday, October 10, 2008
They recently released a manifesto on their view of being a true woman:
I thought this was a very powerful line in their manifesto: We believe that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God’s wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
- Pastor James MacDoand, Harvest Bible Church
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I read something today from a respected New Testament Greek Professor, Dr. Daniel Wallace, that speaks similarly to how I feel most days on this topic:
"I must confess: attitudinally, I am an egalitarian. I find what scripture says on these matters very difficult to swallow at times. However, I am positionally a complementarian because I can't go against my conscience. For me at least, to read these passages in an egalitarian way is to do some exegetical gymnastics in which one twists and turns the text to conform it to their views . . . By the way, I think that Doug Moo's articles on 1 Tim 2:.11-15, posted at bible.org, should be a great summary of the exegetical reasons for a complementarian view of that passage. He has done perhaps the best exegesis of this passage in print."
Read the whole thing by Dr. Wallace: http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=6133
Read Dr. Moo's article: http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=2829
Saturday, October 04, 2008
This morning we went on a hike to celebrate Carrie's birthday. We enjoyed seeing the fall colors at Lair of the Bear park.
Then this afternoon we went ahead and gave Samuel his first haircut. You get both the before and after pics.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Also, pray that our nation becomes a nation at peace. We do not need to worry about our needs (Mt 6:25ff), but we have an obligation to focus our spending on those things that bring about God's kingdom (Mt 6:33). We have ceased to rest in God's provision and pursued our own peace through the accumulation of worldly possessions. This pursuit of the world has eroded the soul of American ingenuity and hard-work. It has probably costs the spiritual souls of many as well.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
In fact, I will no longer be addressing personalities in the political contest. Issues will still be discussed on this site and principles for proper government. But this will not be a pro-whoever website pandering to relevance at the cost of the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A few quotes I liked:
Both have said — sincerely, I believe — that their highest priority is serving and proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ. But given the insidious nature of politics (it aims to co-opt everything and everyone into its service), ministers' Christian identity gets swallowed up by their political views. They were ordained to be heralds of the Great King. Instead they end up, like it or not, being seen as marketers for a partisan agenda. What a waste of an ordination.
Do you want to be politically relevant? Then gather your people together each Sunday and lead them to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Remind your people through hymns and prayers and proclamation that there is a Leader who can do something more significant for the nation than protecting their investments or providing cheap health insurance.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
1. Why? We get emotional because we take things seriously. There are serious issues at stake: e.g. health care, poverty, abortion, terrorism.
2. Appropriate? Yes and no. Yes, we need to let our whole being (emotions included) affect our voting on November 4th. No, God is in control. A Democrat or Republican President or controlled-Congress will NOT solve the problems in our fallen world. When our emotions become out of control, it shows that we have forgotten to trust in God and instead have put our hopes in a people to solve our issues and we fear if the wrong people are put in place the sky will begin to fall.
Today I am praying for the major political parties (both of them!). Both of the major presidential candidates. And for people groups who stand on opposite sides of important issues to me. This is my commitment to my nation today. And since it is the Lord's Day, I am going to rest in the Sabbath that Jesus chrsit has offered from His cross and resurrection (see Hebrew 4).
Friday, September 19, 2008
"Researchers at the Institute for Studies of Religion, who defined megachurches as those with more than 1,000 worshipers, found that their members were twice as likely to have friends in the congregation than members of small churches. They also displayed a higher level of personal commitment to the church -- attending services and tithing more often than small-church members."
For an opposing opinion, you can read this satire from Professor Doug Groothuis of Denver Seminary: http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-not-start-megachurch.html
Some of the most interesting points in the article:
Dan Kimball's (author of several emergent books): "I can't defend or even explain theologically what is now known broadly as "the emerging church" anymore, because it has developed into so many significantly different theological strands. Some I strongly would disagree with."
The article concludes: "As the emerging church rides off into the sunset, where does that leave things? Well, news has been leaking about a new network being formed by Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, Scot McKnight, and Bob Roberts among others. I understand further meetings will be happening this week to help solidify the group. The still unnamed network has agreed to start with the inclusive but orthodox theological foundation of the Lausanne Covenant, and they intend to emphasize mission and evangelism. They appear to have learned from the emerging church’s mistake—define purpose and doctrine early so your identity doesn’t get hijacked. If they do their work carefully, perhaps the new network can avoid getting "wacked" in every sense of the word."
The preferred airline of Ole and Lena.
One of the best advertisements for flying with Lutheran Airlines your next trip.
---WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE LUTHERAN AIRLINES IS NOW OPERATING IN MINNYSOTA! ALSO SERVING VISCONSIN, NORDERN MITCHIGEN, AND NORT AND SOUT DAKOTA.
If you are travelin soon, consider Lutran Air, the no-frills airline. You're all in da same boat on Lutran Air; here flyin is a upliftin experience. Dere is no first class on any Lutran Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows one tru six, bring rolls; seven tru fifteen, bring a salad; sixteen tru twenty-von, a hot dish, and twenty-two tru tirty, a dessert.
Basses and tenors, please sit in da rear of da aircraft.
Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by free will offering, and da plane will not land til da budget is met.
Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acquaint you wit da safety system aboard dis Lutran Air flight. Okay, den, listen up; I'm only gonna say dis vonce: In da event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly gonna be real surprised, and so vill Captain Olson, because ve fly right around two tousand feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably mean da Second Coming or someting of dat nature, and I wouldn't bodder with dose liddle masks on da rubber tubes--you're gonna have bigger tings to worry about den dat. Just stuff doze back up in dair liddle holes. Probably da masks fell out because of turbulence, which, to be honest wit you, we're gonna have quite a bit at two tousand feet..sorta like driving across a plowed field, but after a while you get used to it.
In da event of a water landing, I'd say forget it. Start saying da Lord's Prayer and just hope you get to da part about “forgive us our sins as we fo rgive dose who sin against us,” which some people say “trespass against us,” which isn't right, but what can you do?
Da use of cell phones on da plane is strictly forbidden, not because dey may confuse da plane's navigation system, which is by da pants all da way. No, it's because cell phones are a pain in da wazoo, and if God had meant you to use a cell phone, He wudda put your mout on da side of your head.
We start lunch right about noon and it's buffet style wit da coffeepot up front. Den we'll have da hymn sing; hymnals are in da seat pockets in front of you. Don't take yours wit you when you go or I am gonna be real upset, and I am not kiddin!
Right now I'll say Grace:
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest,
and let deze gifts to us be blessed.
Fader, Son, and Holy Ghost,
may we land in Dulut or pretty close.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Joe Carter in "An Open Letter to the Religious Right"
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Whoever you might vote for, I think Rudy Giuliani offered some sage wisdom, "Change is not a destination, and hope is not a strategy." Voting is about something more than gut feelings! Read the Scriptures, pray for the country, pray for your own vote, compare party platforms and the agendas of each candidate and then go vote for the candidate you believe best aligns with the principles of the kingdom of God.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Samuel went for his 12 month check-up today and here are the latest numbers: 30 1/2 inches in height (74th %ile), 20 lbs. 14 oz. (24th %ile), and his head is 18 1/4 inches around (50th %ile). The doc says he's doing well with his 7 teeth and his walking, and that he is growing as is to be expected. Here are some of mommy's favorite pictures of Samuel's birthday party. In the first, Samuel has finally gotten the hang of eating his cupcake. In the second, you see Samuel with 2 of his little friends, Kate and Emily.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns and Ammo Magazine.With Windows Live for mobile, your contacts travel with you.
3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads: "Hey Bubba, Me, Big Jim, Duke and Slim went for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls - they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house.Better wait outside.'Cooter'"
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,387262,00.html
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Feel free to read up: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/julyweb-only/129-11.0.html?start=1
My favorite line was this: "EFCA leaders often cite as their unofficial motto, "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ." If that's the case, they must see substitutionary Atonement and justification by faith alone as gospel essentials."
I say AMEN to that last line!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
This morning (Sunday July 13, 2008) a building collapsed in my hometown of Indianola, IA. The address was 112 W. Ashland Ave, but here's the scary tidbit. My wife and I lived next door at 110 1/2 West Ashland for 3 months right after getting married. If you look at the picture, it's the 2nd story windows you see in the adjacent building to the right!! My dad's financial planning business is on the ground floor and he's not allowed to enter the building (or the new tenants who live above) for fear of heavy rains causing a chain reaction of buildings falling down.
You can read about it via a local news station: http://www.kcci.com/news/16868526/detail.html
It talks about my dad in the section I have italicized. It's so cool to have such celebrities in the family.
"Moore and other people who live and work in that adjoining building are not being allowed back until a structural engineer can examine it."
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Basically, archaelogists have determined the authenticity of an ancient relic. The discovered relic is a first century B.C. (100 years before the time of jesus Christ) stone with writing upon it. The writing is in Hebrew and has now been called the "Revelation of Gabriel." In it, the writer describes the death of a Messiah and his resurrection 3 days later.
Let me tell you just how this discovery will be interpreted:
1. If you are an atheist or liberal scholar who does not like Christianity: First you will argue that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is furthered explained away with even more certainty as a fabricated tale. His resurrection was simply extrapolated by a number of myths and expectations that were apparent in all f0rms of Jewish thought. The disciples had to think of something to explain Jesus' martyrdom and sacrifice and some guy said, "Hey, I read something somewhere, about an angel Gabriel or what not, that said the Messiah could resurrect from the grave 3 days after dying. Let's quit hiding and fleeing for our lives, and go out and proclaim that Jesus is back from the dead. Who cares that the Jews will hate us, and the Romans will probably kill us if we declare there is a King other than Caesar? But it's a really cute story and we should tell everyone about it."
2. If you are a good student of history and religion: You will recognize that the connection between Jewish beliefs before and around the time of Christ line up perfectly with the Gospel accounts of Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection. It will show that an understanding of the Old Testament prophecies pointing to a killed and resurrected Messiah was already dawning before it came to be in the person of Jesus Christ.
Which story do you think the Associated Press and the like will run with?
Monday, July 07, 2008
A reminder of the past 4 months of events:
March 29: Zimbabweans vote peacefully in presidential, parliamentary and local council elections.
April 2: Opposition Movement for Democratic Change says its own tallies show Tsvangirai won presidential elections outright with 50.3 percent of vote.
April 4: Ruling ZANU-PF party says there will be a runoff and endorses President Robert Mugabe as its candidate. Opposition goes to court to try to force release of all election results; court rejects demand.
May 2: Electoral Commission releases presidential results, saying Tsvangirai won most votes, but not enough to avoid runoff with Mugabe, the second-place finisher.
May 10: Tsvangirai, who left Zimbabwe after the election, announces in South Africa that he will participate in presidential runoff.
May 13: United Nations warns that postelection violence is nearing crisis levels, with several people killed, hundreds hospitalized and many more displaced by violence.
May 16: Electoral Commission sets runoff date as June 27, after moving the deadline to 90 days after official election results are released -- beyond the legally required 21 days.
May 17: Tsvangirai postpones return to Zimbabwe after his party said he learned about a planned assassination attempt.
May 24: Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe.
May 27: Tsvangirai says politically motivated violence has killed 50 of his supporters since the election.
June 3: Government orders international aid groups to suspend operations, after accusing them of campaigning for the opposition.
June 4: Tsvangirai detained for nine hours north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.
June 5: A mob believed loyal to Mugabe assaults a convoy of U.S. and British diplomats, beating a local staffer. The government orders aid groups to halt operations indefinitely.
June 6: Tsvangirai detained briefly while campaigning near Bulawayo.
June 12: Zimbabwe's No. 2 opposition official, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, arrested at Harare airport upon returning from South Africa. Tsvangirai detained by police twice briefly while campaigning in the south.
June 19: Biti formally charged with treason, which can carry the death penalty.
June 20: Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights says it has recorded 85 deaths in political violence since the first round of voting.
June 22: Tsvangirai announces he is pulling out of the runoff, after thousands of ruling party militants blockade the site of the opposition's main election rally.
And the most recent affairs:
Violence rages up till June 27th election! Troops forced Zim civilians to vote for Mugabe and Mugabe wins by a landslide. That is what Bush has called sham election.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
- Philosopher William Lane Craig
Read the whole Christianity Today article, "God is Not Dead Yet," by clicking HERE.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
A summation of their meeting is a 4 page document that deserves reading (courtesy of the BBC): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/29_06_08_anglican_statement.pdf
I love their willingness to stand on the Scriptures, their clear teaching on what Biblical marriage is, and also on the "false gospels" that are being preached in the name of Christianity. I also appreciate their humility in confessing the sins of people who embrace heterosexual marriage, but fail to honor it as we should.
Here are a few of the statements in their Jerusalem Declaration that I believe every Christian should also be willing to confess:
"We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world . . . "
1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.
2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.
3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.
8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.
9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.
10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.
12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we
acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.
13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.
But now, it becomes commonplace news (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,373441,00.html).
A woman in the U.K. had 11 eggs fertilized to make human babies. Then six were killed and rejected because they carried a "potential" gene that might have led to breast cancer later in life. Not only was in-vitro fertilization used to ward off this "dangerous gene", but in-vitro was not even necessary because the couple had shown no complications to impede natural conception.
Some people marvel that in-vitro fertilization allows for parents to pick the gender and greater ensure the healthiness of their child. But do we ever pause and think of the millions of lives that are not given a chance at breath because they carry "potentially" harmful deficiencies. I have the joy of knowing children with physical and mental handicaps. I know many men and women who have struggled through cancer and other vicious diseases. But all of them deserved a chance at life, and so do these babies who are being denied their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not to mention that many of the "rejected embryos" are then subject to scientific testing, as if these human lives are lab rats.
Please take a moment and silently think of the life that is being denied because of the "progress" of human scientific evolution.
Friday, June 27, 2008
For the first time in 58 years after the creation of the Evangelical Free Church of America, the denomination voted to revise its statement of faith. Unlike so many revisions across the history of U.S. churches, this revision has NOT moved in any direction toward theological liberalism. In fact, the E.F.C.A. further clarifies its strong belief in the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures. It takes a firm stand on the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ and His premillennial return.. It raises a banner on the importance of the biblical commands to feed the hungry and care for the disenfranchised! It expresses belief in the supernatural forces that wage war against believers and the world around us and our need to combat these forces through the Holy Spirit's power. It also challenges every believer and church to be active in fulfilling the Great Commission.
Though I was unable to attend the national convention, I commend the people who put forward this statement (now nearly five years ago) and those who voted in favor of it on June 26, 2008! I pray this statement guides our young denomination for another 50 years as well as the original statement of faith. I am honored to be ordained into such a Christ-honoring fellowship.
To read the document check out the E.F.C.A. website: http://efca.org/about/doctrine/
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
"Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." --Winston Churchill
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Praise the Lord this catastrophe has only caused the loss of one life across the area. Pray for continued protection for those suffering. Pray for the broken hearts that are being experienced by many as their homes, memories and lives have been ransacked by the flooding.
If you are interested in pictures or articles, the Des Moines Register (dmregister.com) has more than most can handle.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Click either one or both of these articles and enjoy these short explanations that help to clear up some confusion and false ideas that have been promoted lately in books and the mainstream press.
Article 1: Talks about why arguments again believing in God lack credibility.
Article 2: Talks about why we can trust the truth and historical accuracy of the Bible.
Here are my favorites:
1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I've met).4. They believe that the Bible is true, all of it.
8. They believe in hell and are loving enough to warn people about it.12. They resist trendiness.
15. They still sing hymns.
16. They are not breathless about being accepted in the scholarly guild. (my favorite)
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
the top generals of the Zimbabwean army has
mandated that all soldiers must either vote for
the incumbent president Robert Mugabe in the
upcoming run-off election or they should
immediately give up their uniform and leave the
Mugabe has been a totalitarian dictator of this
nation for almost 30 years. In the general
election on March 29, 2008, Mugabe lost the
election. But the opposition candidate, according
to the election commission, did not receive the
required 50% plus one votes to seal the election
(though the opposition claims they won the
election outright). Now in one month the two
candidates who received the most votes in the
general election (Mugabe and Tsvangarai) will
run-off on June 27th.
Since the initial election, Mugabe has threatened
those who oppose his re-election, has physically
abused many, and several have been killed. The
already spiraling economy has plummeted even
O Lord, save these people. Show mercy to those in
need. Help people to vote for wise leaders
despite the risk that is involved in such a
decision. Protect them Lord, in Jesus name!
Friday, May 30, 2008
We win, they lose.'- Ronald Reagan
"The most terrifying words in the English
language are: I'm from the government
and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan
'The trouble with our liberal friends is
not that they're ignorant; it's just that
they know so much that isn't so.' - Ronald Reagan
'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none
came about because the U.S. was too strong.'
- Ronald Reagan
'I have wondered at times about what
the Ten Commandments would have
looked like if Moses had run them
through the U.S. Congress.' - Ronald Reagan
'The taxpayer: That's someone who
works for the federal government
but doesn't have to take the civil
- Ronald Reagan
'Government is like a baby: An alimentary
canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other.'
- Ronald Reagan
'The nearest thing to eternal life we will
ever see on this earth is a government
program.' - Ronald Reagan
'It has been said that politics is the
second oldest profession. I have learned
that it bears a striking resemblance
to the first.' - Ronald Reagan
'Government's view of the economy
could be summed up in a few short
phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps
moving, regulate it. And if it stops
moving, subsidize it.' - Ronald Reagan
'Politics is not a bad profession. If you
succeed, there are many rewards; if
you disgrace yourself, you can always
write a book.' - Ronald Reagan
'No arsenal, or no weapon in the
arsenals of the world, is as formidable
as the will and moral courage of free
men and women.'- Ronald Reagan
'If we ever forget that we're one nation
under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This from the great Dr. B.B. Warfield (19th Century Professor of Princeton Seminary). My Hebrew textbook thought this would be encouraging; and it was!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Fox News reports on a recently discovered letter written by Einstein in the latter part of his life. He believed Biblical Judaism or Christianity smelled of childish superstitions. I thought it was interesting that he remarked that the only "chosenness" of the Jewish people was seen in this: "They are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them." Einstein saw that power was a great evil. I had never thought of the chosen people in this light. He may be onto something. Maybe the experience of the Jewish people in the Old Testament and throughout history reflects the testimony of the apostle Paul that God's grace is manifested in human weakness. Though in our flesh we want power, maybe the testimony of God's greatness is made more evident in using and loving humbled humans. That doesn't seem like a childish idea to me, Albert.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Here's some things I want to make clear about seminary that I have learned thus far:
1. Seminary is not a "cemetery." This joke goes back a long time and it suggests that seminary is a dead place where no life happens. The thousands of pages of reading, tests, new languages, and variety of theological opinions make seminary a confusing place, but if someone is spiritually dead because of seminary, then the problem lies elsewhere than in their classes and studies. Sadly, many seminary students disengage in ministry or become spectators and critics of their churches. Rather than finding their own Christian community and ministry opportunities, they place a false expectation on their professors to feed them spiritual food. Who goes to law school thinking it's going to be like time with the guidance counselor in kindergarten? Who goes to med school thinking their teachers are going to hold their hand and make smiley faces on their medical dissertations? You have to find your life outside of your seminary studies.
2. Seminary is a cemetery. Most people come to seminary soon after college. They have just been a part of biblical sound and vibrant ministries. They may have come to know the Lord in college, attended their first mission trip, and many people make some serious faith-solidifying decisions. Seminary is a cemetery in this: we must let our opinions die. We may hold convictions up the wazoo, but seminary will either humble us or harden us. We will embrace our beliefs with a humble orthodoxy. Or we will be come hardened in our beliefs, unwilling to see other biblical interpretations and practices do hold at least some merit.
3. Seminary is not a waste. Too many churches have given up on theological education. They think that it does not connect to real life and ministry. They think it puts pastors' heads in the clouds rather than in the lives of their people. Well, I just spent 5 years in full-time ministry before coming to seminary (which I recommend to many before coming to seminary, BTW). I wish I would have had the biblical insight and depth that seminary offers. I wish I could have heard about the highs and lows of church history in order that I might not repeat endeavors already attempted and failed throughout history. I wish my teaching had the humility that recognizes I am just one seeker in the history of a great movement. My thoughts are carried on the backs and lives of many who have gone before me. I am not a spiritual giant, but one beggar who has been handed some bread by those who have gone before me. That is what seminary offers and that is not a waste.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I encourage you to read the 20 page document, and if you feel so inclined, you might choose to sign this document as a commitment to the ethics described in the document.
Read the document: http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/docs/Evangelical_Manifesto.pdf
Sign the document: http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/sign.php
Official website: http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/index.php
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Chuck Colson is a former Nixon White House staff member who served a prison sentence for Watergate crimes. He became a believer right before entering prison, later he started Prison Fellowship ministries, and now speaks to churches about their role in culture and political engagement.
Greg Boyd is a middle-age pastor and adjunct professor.
Shane Claiborne is a 32-year old Christian who is a part of a new movement toward Christian monasticism.
They were interviewed together at the national Pastor's Conference. The audio clip is approximately 60 minutes.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
What's scary about this whole thing is that under current legislation, there is nothing illegal about this. O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Read the whole article at Foxnews.com.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
At an event this past weekend, the two Democratic candidates shared about their expressed faith in Jesus Christ, and then they both went on to espouse deep religious ideas that deny that human life begins at conception:
The two were asked if they thought life began at conception.
"I believe that the potential for life begins at conception," said Mrs Clinton.
"But for me, it is not only about the potential life, but the other lives involved."
She said the individual must be entrusted to make "this profound decision" about whether to terminate a pregnancy and that abortion should remain legal and safe, if seldom practised.
Mr Obama said he did not know whether life begins with conception.
"This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on... I don't presume to know the answer to that question," he said.
"What I know... is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates."
What are we supposed to do with this type of rhetoric?
I know some feel this passage of Scripture is overplayed, but how can it be denied by so many who call themselves Christians?
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
I recently posted news that former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev had confessed to Christian beliefs, but recent sources bring these reported events into question. Read the Christianity Today article for yourself. Though a bit disappointing, it paints a powerful picture of God's divine plan through Ronald Reagon and Gorbachev's relationship and leadership at an important moment in history.
Friday, April 04, 2008
The ruling party, the Zanu-PF, has been in power since 1980 when white rule was sufficiently wiped out. Their leader, Robert Mugabe, has since then become a vicious dictator and enemy of the people. It has the worst economy in the world (sparked by Mugabe's violent seizure of white-owned farms that were given to Mugabe's war buddies rather than able-bodied farmers).
Saturday's election results have been released slowly with no word on the new president of Zim. The parliamentary results have been totally released, giving the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) the majority. Today, we may hear word of the presidential results, but it's tough to tell. The uneasiness of the country is rising. Just yesterday the MDC's headquarters was ransacked, some fearing Mugabe was going ofter the MDC presidential nominee (Morgan Tsvangarai).
Lord willing, the MDC will take power and seek a more just system of leadership. With 80% of the country unemployed, inflation at 100,000%, and millions starving to death and being ravished by AIDS (life-expectancy at an all-time low of 36 years of age), I'd ask you to pause and pray today for this country.
God is close to the broken-hearted and oppressed . . . ask that the Lord would send a new season of blessing upon this hurting land.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
So some artists have such things as the Blue Period...well, these pictures are Samuel's little Green Period. Enjoy the series. Notice his fascination with the socks. He likes to pull them off and suck on them. We have also discovered him in his crib with his pants in various stages of removal. We're not quite sure what to make of all this, but we are hoping it passes eventually...
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
. (check out his website before you make too
quick of judgment on this post) -
Here's his whole write-up:
I was wrong.
Plain and simple, I was wrong.
What I thought would be a mild recession has
turned into something worse — maybe much worse.
I didn't think the government should get
involved. Now, I think it has no choice.
If the markets can't correct things, maybe Uncle
And maybe, just maybe, politicians demanding a
greater government role are right.
But that government role doesn't come cheap.
They know this.
Belatedly, I know this too. So, let me be clear:
We need to raise taxes.
You heard me right — raise taxes.
Not across the board and hopefully not
But enough to right some wrongs and pay some long
The rich have had a nice ride. Paying a little
more for the pleasure won't kill them and it
won't kill me.
We've tried desperately to bring the poor up.
Maybe it's time to teach the well-to-do a thing
or two and bring them down.
They won't miss the money. But maybe they'll get
Yes, it's time to raise taxes and the sooner the
Because, yes, I was wrong: Cutting taxes isn't
the answer. Hiking them, now, more than ever is.
Mark it down. This date: April 1st, 2008.
April Fools Day.
Matthew W. Proctor
Please direct all email communication to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Samuel is getting his rear up in the air, rocking back in forth in the bear crawl position, and is thinking crawling forward just might be a bit more productive than log rolling from place to place. He is eating, sometimes like a champ, but many days as if he's full from the moment he starts eating. We are trying to teach him a little sign language to give him an opportunity to communicate. So far, he just looks at us and thinks we talk too much with our hands.
Carrie is working 2 part-time jobs from home. She continues to write grants for the non-profit organization Serve our Youth, and she picked up an administrative assistant position for her step-father. She's a great mom, but like all great moms, wouldn't mind a few more hours of sleep each night. Right now, her dad is visiting us from IA. He's a nice encouragement, we appreciate his positivity.
I continue to plow through seminary studies. I have a large (40 pagesish) paper due in one week that has been a primary focus the last few weeks. Work is on the rocks since they may close the two retails stores I am currently serving. We'll see (big prayer request, BTW). I started playing basketball once a week through a church B-ball league. It's a nice outlet for pent up frustration :) I'm enjoying fatherhood, but only wishing the outside-the-home responsibilities could be narrowed so I had more hours with Samuel and Carrie each week.
We love you and miss you -
The Proctors (matt)
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Samuel says, "Why do only grown-up men get facial hair? I want some, too!" Or maybe he was just particularly messy with his prunes at breakfast. Either way, he and Daddy make quite a pair!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
"I'll believe Jesus rose from the dead," said the angry Communist, " when the atheist leader of the Soviet Union becomes a Christian." These remarks, of course were typical during the years of the Soviet Empire and the Iron Curtain. Teenagers in America today hardly realize what a remarkable change has happened in Russia since the early 90s. Indeed it is nothing short of miraculous, and I have had the privilege of observing this first hand while teaching from time to time in Moscow.
And now comes this story about which I can only rejoice. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Premier of the Soviet Union and the man whom President Ronald Reagan implored "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" when he was in Berlin is now openly testifying that he is a Christian. Below you will find the link to the story in the British Paper the Telegraph.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the influence of St. Francis of Assisi and his writings on Gorbachev in this whole process.
The Lord is by no means finished with us all yet, and the rise and flourishing of Christianity once more in Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc countries is a clear sign of the moving of the Holy Spirit.
The last time I was in Moscow there was a huge Christian rally at the downtown convention center which once held the large Communist rallies. Instead, there was a charismatic worship service, complete with American and British praise songs now being sung in Russian--- 'Slava Boga' (Russian for 'Praise the Lord'). There were hundreds and hundreds of young people singing at the top of their lungs. Only the coldest of Christians hearts would not be moved to tears by such a sight. Some day the day may come when Russia becomes a more Christian nation than the U.S. of A. for the Spirit moves where it will. In the meanwhile, I am thankful for all the signs of Christianity rising from the ashes in Russia even now. It must have something to do with that empty tomb in Jerusalem and the one who vacated it :)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Samuel wishes everyone a belated Happy St. Patrick's Day! (And Happy Birthday to his Aunt Lacey!) He celebrated by wearing his "Baby's 1st St. Patrick's Day" bib. Do you suppose St. Patrick liked football, too?
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
An allegory of God – I recently read the post of a young man who has decided to leave the Christian faith of his parents because of too many “inconsistencies” with the God of the Bible. He created an interesting allegorical view of God as both the author and superhero of the great story of life. Superheroes have great powers that necessitate great responsibility. Since God is the ultimate super-hero and author of the story of life, He has a responsibility to rid the world of evil (the only great responsibility sufficient for a character of such divine capabilities). You can see why this “straw man god” is easily taken down and abandoned.
Well, what if there’s a different allegory . . . something that attempts to balance how life really works, but still letting God remain the main character and author?? I see it more like this. God is never the author who stands outside the story. He is in control and He does know the end from the beginning, but He has not wound up the clock of history and then let every event proceed as if the other characters have no significance at all, just chapters in the author's story that will happen this way or that way because they have to. He is not the all-knowing one who pushes the little characters wherever He wants. Could he? Probably! But does He? Clearly not! Rather, God is intimately connected with the human characters—His friends and image bearers. Yes, He is the superhero, and the one who deserves all the praise and attention. But, like any good superhero, He uses all of His powers for the good of the weaker humans. Should we praise Him? Yes! But does He smite us if we don’t? No . . . well at least not right away.
Now there is no doubt that the most powerful character in any story will ultimately win. Similarly, the God of the universe (our superhero) will win in the end. This just goes to show you that God will one day rid the world of evil and stop all opposing forces, but the question is why not NOW or better yet why not BEFORE NOW? Why at any point in the history of this world was evil let in? Well, this is where the human characters in the story retain a true measure of autonomy and agency. It’s like they were placed in a story, but it’s one of those choose your own adventure stories. Yes, the author knows the end and will make sure the appropriate end is arrived at eventually, but He lets humans make real FREE decisions. Decisions to either reflect the superhero in their daily lives or try and be their own superhero. Don’t worry the real Superhero will come in and save the day eventually.
Now the important thing we need to remember about our little allegory here is that it is supposed to reflect life as accurately as possible. That means, we cannot ignore the supreme reality of good and evil. Superhero = good! False superhero = evil. It is like God is true harmony and beautiful music and anyone who plays His tune gets wrapped up in the true good. False superheroes want to play their own tune, but since they do not have true Superhero power, their music stinks. It is ugly, painful, and needs to be put to a stop (thanks Tolkien for this picture). Again, reality sets in. We are not talking about some crazy music teacher slapping the hand of a student pianist who played a wrong note! We are talking about life and death, good vs. evil, submitting to the Authority of the universe vs. Rebellion against the Cosmic Good! Rebellion deserves more than a slap; it must be destroyed. Now I know people get really frustrated when good/powerful/loving Superheroes destroy rebellious traitors . . . well actually I don’t know anyone who has any problem when this happens in stories we read. But it seems everyone has a problem with God when He chooses to punish the rebellious.
The thing about our Superhero is he usually gives people decades to repent, years to experience good things (not just deserved sickness, pain, etc.), and God even lets a few others get hurt in the process while maintaining a stay of mercy upon the rebellious. God is very patient, not wanting anyone to perish. Similarly, every superhero movie has the good guy give the bad guy at least one more chance. I think our Superhero gives people chance upon chance upon chance. Let’s say for a moment that our Superhero chooses to save some rebellious traitors and others He continues to allow further rebellion. Is our Superhero unjust? Yes, it is extremely gracious to save some rebellious sinners, but is it wrong if He chooses to let others experience the due course for their actions. Is it unfair? Maybe it shows that the Superhero has a limited focus on His saving actions, but no one can say it is unfair to punish enemies.
Not only that, but in our story, the Superhero comes down to earth and rather than inaugurate a totally just war against His enemies, He dies for them! Most people expected God’s first coming was going to be a bloodbath, but God chose to play out His Superhero movie in a two act play. Act 1 entails the Superhero demonstrating and living out a holy, gracious, humble life for all humans to emulate. His way of living gets Him killed and instead of retaliating, He says that this is exactly what He has hoped. This Superhero knew the only way to truly save the humans he had written into the story was to die for them. They had no chance on their own . . . they needed superhero strength and decision-making and love, but instead of seeking the superhero, they played their own tune. The punishment for their own way of living was death and the only just way our Superhero could welcome back traitors was to die for them. Now that someone has died for them, all they need to do is claim their reward (which means embracing the Superhero and following Him faithfully). Truly our Superhero is super and that’s why Act 1 got written into the story.
But there will be an Act 2 and it seems the only appropriate thing to do would be to say, “Superhero, I need your help. I get it that I am a rebellious person who has played the wrong tune for way too long. Help me and protect me from the great final battle You will inaugurate against those who have chosen to ignore Your plan. Thank You that You are powerful and that You know the end from the beginning.” The Superhero wins (He will ultimately fulfill His great responsibility of rooting out all evil), human characters get to make their own real decisions and thus have dignity and true personhood, and the Author got the story right the whole time (without giving away too many snapshots along the way, but just a few to give us hope).