Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Resolutions and thoughts on the future

My 3 Resolutions for 2009 were:

1. Read one book per week - successful
2. Read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice - successful. If you'd like to do this this year, here's a nice reading chart
http://static.crossway.org/excerpts/1581348150.1.pdf
3. Write one hand-written letter per week - failed (got to about 33, had a baby, and never got back to it)

My considerations for 2010 are:

1. Run (and/or use the elliptical) for 1,000 miles.
2. Read all of the Johannine Literature (John, 1-3 John, Revelation) in Greek
3. Complete a Marathon
4. Read 5 novels by Dostoyevsky
5. Bench press 225 lbs.

(I'm leaning toward #s 1, 2, 4)

Any thoughts, votes, other important goals?


Also, I have completed my 5th of 6 semesters at Denver Seminary. I have officially started the job hunt. So your prayers and recommendations would be most appreciated. We hope to be hired by a church before my May 2010 graduation.

Reflections on 2 Chronicles 31:1

"Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim adn broke down the high places and altars...until they had destroyed them all..." 2 Chronicles 31:1

The "this" is the celebration of Passover (cf. 2 Chron. 30). They celebrated God's deliverance of them at the hands of their enemies. They remembered the slavery that sin had had over them. They worshiped their Deliverer, YHWH, God of Israel. In response to this holy worship and remembrance, they looked around and saw multiple idols that they had foolishly trusted in. They destroyed all remnants of their false worship and returned to the LORD.

Let us return to our Lord in such a fashion. Might we measure the "success" of our worship services not on whether they were fun or if we liked them but whether they led us to abandon idols and serve the Living God???

Monday, December 14, 2009

So, I'm itching to know . . . Djibouti reader, please make yourself known

I have a regular reader from Djibouti, Africa (or at least someone who's internet IP goes through Djibouti). I don't know who this person is, but I'd love to know. Thanks!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"The Root of Joy" - Nehemiah 8:1-12

For the third Sunday of Advent, I preached a sermon on "The Root of Joy" from Nehemiah 8:1-12 at Hillcrest Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. I personally was blown away by all the implications as they relate to Nehemiah 8:10's "the joy of the Lord [which He has toward us], this is our refuge/strength/stronghold/fortress."

Feel free to download the sermon audio: MP3 of "The Root of Joy"

Or for the pastors in the room, my chicken-scratchings manuscript is available here: Sermon Manuscript on Neh. 8:1-12

Friday, December 11, 2009

Roll-over!!

Big day for Caleb - he rolled over!! Twice over his left side and once over his right. He's getting to be a big boy!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hi to the Johnsons and a little family silliness

After dinner, we got a bit silly. We also took this time to say happy birthday to Aunt Heather and to express our desire to see the whole Johnson clan (Uncle Jase, Aunt Heather, and cousin Sayers) soon!

Aunt Heather reaches 30!!!


Today we celebrate 30 years of life for Aunt Heather (Matt's older sister). Heather received an early birthday present on Thanksgiving day, her first child Sayers MaryAnn Johnson. The pic is a bit old (her and husband Jase from Christmas last year).

Here are the 30 reasons we dropped in the mail to Heather on why we love her:

1. She is one of the most loyal people we know.

2. She consistently makes an effort to stay connected to us.

3. She is down-to-earth and practical.

4. She has a great, dry sense of humor.

5. She gives thoughtful gifts—especially the farm and animals, which are a definite favorite!

6. She is not afraid to say what she thinks.

7. She sure can keep a clean house. ;)

8. She appreciates beauty and art, and brings beauty wherever she goes.

9. She is a selfless mommy.

10. She tells great stories about growing up in the Proctor family. :)

11. She loves and respects her husband in a way that is inspiring to others.

12. She is a hard worker.

13. She is committed to the Proctor family as well as to her in-laws.

14. She makes some mean chocolate chip cookies!

15. She was kind to her little brother: driving him to school, not letting on that she could have still beat him up during high school, and just generally being seen in public with him.

16. She is a gracious hostess.

17. She is financially wise.

18. She has a generous heart.

19. She brings laughter to others through her keen sense of mis-direction. :)

20. She is a woman of honesty and integrity.

21. She is humble enough to admit vulnerabilities.

22. She is a great cook.

23. She loves her nephews!

24. She is a realist.

25. She is darn pretty.

26. She values good books and good movies, and likes to learn.

27. She helps carry on the fond memories of Grandma MaryAnn.

28. She is the kind of person that wants the best for other people.

29. She is a great listener.

30. She is a fabulous sister, sister-in-law, and aunt.



Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Heavy Subject - Abortion in the News

Two articles from today are worth your time:

The first, "Just How Pro-Choice is America?" by Jennifer Senior in the New York magazine gives a thorough history of abortion in America since 1973. Though Senior advocates for abortion, her writing effectively demonstrates just how unsettled America really is about abortion.

The second is a review of this article by Southern Seminary president Albert Mohler: http://ow.ly/K02g

His closing words are worth being recalled:

By any measure, Jennifer Senior has written one of the most honest, revealing, insightful, and important articles on abortion to appear in recent history. At the same time, it is one of the most troubling. Once again, we are reminded that the American conscience is not settled on the issue of abortion. We should be thankful that recent events and cultural developments -- aided and abetted by technology -- have made a real difference, helping and forcing Americans to understand that abortion is the killing of a human life.

In a very real sense, we should be thankful that the American conscience remains unsettled on this issue. A good and honest conversation about the reality of abortion is one of the best means of serving the cause of life. Jennifer Senior's honest article can serve as an incredibly potent catalyst for such a conversation.

Caleb's 4-month check-up and then some





Today at Caleb's 4-month check-up, he weighed 16lbs. 4.5 oz. (76th %ile) and is 25 1/4 inches long (55th %ile). Chubby boy!! :) Unfortunately, he could still feel the shots through all those fat rolls on his thighs, but he only cried for a few seconds. Here are some pictures from this last weekend. We made Christmas cookies together on our Sabbath - very fun! Samuel was in charge of running the cookie cutters, remaking the dough into a ball after every round of cutting out cookies, and his personal favorite - sprinkles! Caleb was supervising.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hope amidst great trials: a word from Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler is a young and gifted pastor who has gained a reputation as one of the leaders of my generation. But over the last 7 days, his life has been turned upside down. To make a long story short, he went under the knife today to remove a tumor from his brain. I encourage you to read the blog post he made this morning before heading to the hospital: http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/blog/hvpastor/?p=357

Here are some of his thoughts on today's surgery and the trial of the last 7 days:

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.

I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.

I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.

The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.

More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fascinating Insight for Growing and Stagnating Churches . . .

1) For thriving/growing Churches: A church that is growing, adding new members, and seeing lives touched by the Gospel does not need a lot of change. Sadly, people get addicted to the seeming change (which is really just the dynamics of adding new people). So they hire an innovator pastor. But when the innovator pastor tries to turn the ship too hard and too fast, he effectively kills all the established momentum.

Solution: If you church is doing well, find an established, wise, and faithful pastor. Someone who is willing to embrace the existing vision and ministry philosophy.

2) For plateauing/shrinking Churches: A church that has experienced minimal growth if not totally stagnation and decline needs a new vision; thus, a new visionary. Someone needs to rattle the system and cause the ship to get moving again.

Solution: If a church is doing poorly, it's probably time to change everything (well, probably not everything but it may feel that way). Bring in an innovative person who has not been molded by established practices, but someone who will bring a fresh view of ministry to the congregation.


From an August 2009 interview with Pastor Mark Dever interviewing Australian Dean (fancy word for senior pastor of a large Anglican church) Philip Jensen. You can click the link below for to listen to the entire excellent interview.

http://media.9marks.org/podpress_trac/web/509/0/interview20091201-Jensen.mp3

Monday, November 30, 2009

The best email of the day (so far):

Dear Matt,

Dr. Danny Carroll, chair of your M.Div. orals committee, has reported that you have successfully completed both the oral and written components of the orals process, and has forwarded to me a hardcopy of your approved doctrine and ministry paper. Congratulations!

At the end of the semester, I will report to the Registrar’s Office that you have passed M.Div. orals, and they will officially post this result with other course grades shortly after the end of the semester.

Again, congratulations on this milestone and accomplishment.

Dr. W. David Buschart

Instructor of Record, M.Div. Orals, Fall 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

C.S. Lewis on charitable giving - great advice

"I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give [that is, no set standard for every person]. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we ought to give. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, [homes, cars,] etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Solving the economic crisis--C.S. Lewis style

I came across this quote in my reading today and I wonder what my readers might think??

From C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, ca. 1942-1944:

Now another point. There is one bit of advice given to us by the ancient heathen Greeks, and by the Jews in the Old Testament, and by the great Christian teachers of the Middle Ages, which the modern economic system has completely disobeyed. All these people told us not to lend money at interest: and lending money at interest—what we call investment—is the basis of our whole system. Now it may not absolutely follow that we are wrong. Some people say that when Moses and Aristotle and the Christians agreed in forbidding interest (or "usury" as they called it), they could not foresee the joint stock company, and were only dunking of the private moneylender, and that, therefore, we need not bother about what they said. That is a question I cannot decide on. I am not an economist and I simply do not know whether the investment system is responsible for the state we are in or not This is where we want the Christian economist But I should not have been honest if I had not told you that three great civilisations had agreed (or so it seems at first sight) in condemning the very thing on which we have based our whole life.

Thanksgiving reading - "Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor"

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson

I read D.A. Carson's book on his dad over my Thanksgiving break from Denver Seminary. It is entitled "Memoirs of An Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson." I recommend this book to seminarians, pastors, and for anyone who sits in the pew. It is a humbling reminder that ministry is hard. Pastors are not supposed to be like super-heroes, but rather more like faithful farmers putting in hours of labor that may yield a rich harvest or be destroyed by a storm in a moment.

On the last page, D.A. Carson summarizes his father's life:

"Tom Carson never rose very far in denominational structures, but hundreds . . . testify how much he loved them. He never wrote a book, but eh loved the Book. He was never wealthy or powerful, but he kept growing as a Christian: yesterday's grace was never enough. He was not a farsighted visionary, but he looked forward to eternity. . . . His journals have many, many entries bathed in tears of contrition, but his children and grandchildren remember his laughter. Only rarely did he break through his pattern of reserve and speak deeply and intimately with his children, but he modeled Christian virtues to them. . . .

"When died, there we no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mention in Parliament, no attention paid by the nation. . . .

"But on the other side all teh trumpets sounded. Dad won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man--he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor--but because he was a forgiven man. And he heard the voice of him whom he longed to hear saying, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.'"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thoughts on death at a tough time . . .

Having just celebrated the life and mourned the death of a family member, I was struck today by the words of another pastor on how we ought to do to prepare for our own death. These are sobering, but I believe true words.

I don't want you to go into final judgment. I've prayed and worked, even wept, that you would repent. But nobody forced you to sin, not even once were you forced; and nobody forced you to live your life defying God in the particular way you did it. I am not your judge, and for that I thank God. You answer to Someone a million times higher than I. You may be my father, my mother, my sister, my brother, or my child, but I defer the handling of your case to the Lord, who is the only one who can be trusted to do the right thing by you. God is no sadist. He orchestrated the murder of his own Son for you, so that you could be offered redemption. The suffering in your life that you blamed on God, would have been healed by God, if you had brought them to Him, but you refused. Instead, you used them as another excuse to live how you please. I've chosen my side. When the final judgment day comes, I won't feel any divided loyalties. I won't be happy for your judgment, but I won't be un-happy with my Lord, either. I recognize that you are individual living life in the sight of the God who made you for Himself, and I know that, in the end, you will have to stand before God as you, with me standing by and watching from the sidelines. -Pastor Jack Brooks

O, how I long for all my friends and family to put their faith in the Savior Jesus Christ. Death is the most sobering reality for every person because of our sin, but for those who embrace Christ as their Savior and Lord there is hope, rich abundant, eternal hope.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grandma Teddy


We are in Cedar Rapids, IA celebrating the life and mourning the death of Grandma Teddy. Teddy had two daughters, Sue and Mary (Mary is married to Carrie's dad Steve). The last years of Teddy's life were spent never fully recovering from some mild strokes. I (Matt) never had the privilege of knowing Teddy in her prime, but she still had lots of wit whenever I talked to her!

We will miss her. If you'd like to see a short video that Carrie made in her honor click here to download a small file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1531820/teddy.wmv

Monday is the funeral. Carrie will be accompanying her brother James on the piano while he sings Amazing Grace. And I have been asked to share a few words about her life and from the Word. We'd appreciate your prayers as we try to make this a special day for all present.

Here's Teddy's obituary: http://www.cedarmemorial.com/obituary/587476/teressa-j--protsman-cedar-rapids-iowa/ and her video tribute http://www.cedarmemorial.com/obituary/587476/teressa-j--protsman-cedar-rapids-iowa/tribute/

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Quote of the Day - Mark Galli of Christianity Today

Whenever the Bible is read, a hush should come over us. We should be inching toward the edge of our seats, leaning forward, turning our best ear toward the speaker, fearful we'll miss a single word— the deeds and words and character of Almighty and Merciful God are being revealed! In a world of suffering and pain, of doubt and despair, of questions about the meaning and purpose of existence, we are about to hear of God's glory, forgiveness, mercy and love, of his intention for the world, of his promise to make it all good in the end, of the way to join his people, of the means to abide with him forever! And there we sit, tapping our feet, mentally telling the preacher to get on with it.

But if we take the trouble to listen, really listen, to that Word, we'll discover something else marvelous: that the One being revealed is as patient with us as we are impatient with his Word, and as enamored with us as we are bored with him. Ah yes, even more enamored.

Mark Galli is senior managing editor of Christianity Today and author of A Great and Terrible Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Attributes of God (Baker).

Full article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/novemberweb-only/144-41.0.html

Monday, November 02, 2009

"What Are You Guarding?" - Sermon from November 1, 2009

We protect what we value, but what should we protect most of all?

I preached on this very question Sunday Nov. 1.

Check out and/or download my message: "What Are You Guarding?"

Also, I am looking for more constructive critique from my friends regarding my preaching. So if you feel comfortable giving me some honest feedback, it would be most appreciated. Feel free to email your comments or if you don't have my email, leave a comment with your email address and I will send it to you.

On a different note, I am one step closer to graduation. Monday afternoon Nov. 2, I successfully defended my theological beliefs before 2 professors at Denver Seminary (a requirement for all Master's of Divinity students). I was greatly humbled by this oral examination. They asked questions to which I had a difficult time answering and many that I simply did not know the answer. It was a great reminder that you can never stop learning. There is so much of the Bible I still have to learn.

Blessings to you!
-matt

How-ween





Here are some pics from the holiday Samuel refers to as "how-ween". He was Batman, if the picture isn't very clear (and is seen among a bunch of his super-hero friends!). Caleb just wore an orange little sleeper and bib that said "my first halloween". He did, however, smile for the camera for the first time. Very exciting! Also, there are some pics of Samuel painting our pumpkin and getting ready for church yesterday. He very much wanted to wear a tie just like his daddy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun in the Snow

It has snowed over 20 inches in the last two days. Yesterday, we took Samuel outside and let him sled for the first time. The backside of Denver Seminary has some sweet hills. We're going to go back outside in just a bit to hit the slopes again. Maybe we'll take Caleb with us today??

Enjoy the show!

More quotables from the Sam-Man

This morning, Daddy was getting dressed. Since it is chilly and majorly snowy, he was putting on his long underwear. (We affectionately call them "fruity pants" in our family.) Once he got them on, Samuel took one look at them and said, "Cute!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moses

Samuel's latest amusing quote while looking at an illustration of Moses' mother putting him in a basket into the Nile River: "Moses' carseat??" Well, sort of. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A worthy calling - Ezekiel 44:23

"They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean." Ez. 44:23, ESV

What a great responsibility it is as parents, Christians, pastors, etc. to faithfully teach our children, friends, congregations, and one another the truths needed to live well, to live lives worthy of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The boys on family picture day . . .





We've been given a sneak peak of our photo shoot today, so we'll share with those who we love . . .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More hodge podge

Here are some recent photos of our crew. Caleb is sporting his cowboy outfit (the undershirt says "wanted") from Auntie Carmen. Samuel and his little buddy, Cole, are hanging out at the pumpkin patch at nearby Littleton Museum. It was impossible to get them both looking the same direction AND smiling! The last pic is one of the handsome, blue-eyed, Proctor men together.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Coloring of the American Church - and why I like it!

A great line from a recent CNN article (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/10/21/lia.browning.catholic.church/index.html): "Heaven on Earth is all kinds of people," Dowling says, "We don't have to wait 'til we get up there. It's all right here."

American churches, especially Catholic churches, are being rocked by the massive amount of immigrants. As such, historically predominant white churches are finding a bit more color among the pews. The quote above reflects exactly God's desire for the Church. We are to be a people that reflect every nation, tribe, and tongue. That's a key reason for Jesus' death (see below)!

Revelation5:6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

ABC's and hi to Grandma Teddy

Here, Samuel shares his alphabet with you, as well as a hello to his great-grandma Teddy whose health has been failing the last few weeks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We're going on a bear hunt!

Here is a picture of Samuel's latest pastime, arranging toys, blocks and books in rows. Here you see all of his farm animals lined up next to him. He plays like he is lining them up to have their picture taken. Once they are in position he exclaims, "Cheese!"

Also, here is Caleb just hanging out. He wasn't in the smiling mood this particular day, but he is still a cutie. (Not that we are biased at all...)

The video is a bedtime story read by father and son a few nights ago. Thanks for the book, Grandma Mary and Grandpa Steve!!




We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Anniversary Edition of a Modern Classic

Monday, October 12, 2009

The boys show off their latest tricks

Samuel has been playing with his little brother. (Yes, you heard right. He said "Peek-a-doo.") He has also been helping me bake ("fuffins", as he calls them). And Caleb is smiling and chatting all the time, besides just being darn cute in his little sweater vest. :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The boys


So Samuel's latest entertainment for his family includes the following conversation which took place at the dinner table:

Samuel: Dip, please.

(Daddy puts dip on Samuel's plate.)

Mommy: Tell Daddy, 'Thank you for the dip, Daddy.'

Samuel: Thank you, dip.

Kids really do say the funniest things...

Luther 95 Theses Rap - My Professor is Cool!

Today, Dr. Buschart, the professor who teaches my 16th Century Thought class at Denver Seminary, sent me this youtube video. You know you go to a great school when your professor is passing out youtube clips for educational purposes. If you want to see the lyrics to this video, click:
http://www.95thesesrap.com/lyrics/

Monday, October 05, 2009

Kern Family Foundation - http://www.kffdn.org/

I just spent the weekend with 38 students from 8 different seminaries who are all in their 3rd and final year in the Master's of Divinity program. We spent 3 days together at Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, WI.

We are all a part of the Kern Scholars Initiative. This is a scholarship program financed by Bob and Pat Kern, two generous octogenarians who have this stated goal: Bob and Pat Kern are committed to helping Kern Scholars realize their dreams of becoming pastors whose leadership positively transforms congregations and communities to the glory of God. They care deeply about the Kern Scholars’ spiritual development, educational program, and ministry experience. Bob and Pat have been blessed. They celebrate a shared sense of responsibility and gratitude as they seek to be good stewards of their resources.

I have been blessed to have the tuition for 3 years' of seminary to be fully paid for by the Kern family. They are kingdom-minded people who want to see God's kingdom manifest in this country who understand such endeavors require the leveraging of our time, talent, and treasure.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Kern. (not for just the $$, but for setting a good example of investing in the kingdom!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Go Cyclones!




Here are some pics from today of the Proctors boys. (Can you tell they are brothers??) The boys say, "Go Cyclones!!" Caleb's shirt, if you can't quite make it out, says "Cyclones fan since birth." We had Caleb's 2 month appointment yesterday and he is weighing in at 13 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 23 inches long. He had 5 shots (ouch!) but was quite the trooper. Samuel has a couple of 2-year molars coming through and is now speaking in full sentences...though the grammar isn't always stellar. Mommy laughs out loud every time he asks to have his brother on his lap by saying "Samuel hold it."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Christianity and the Movies???

CNN posted an interesting article on the cross-section between Hollywood and Jesus.

http://campbellbrown.blogs.cnn.com/2009/09/18/commentary-hollywood-and-god-can-co-exist/

Specifically, the article discusses the success of filmmaker Tyler Perry. I love this line: "What the critics hate about Tyler Perry’s films is what I appreciate: A willingness to tell stories about love, redemption, family and God and do so in an entertaining way. He is an unapologetic Christian."

Go check out the article and then go watch these compelling movies.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Children just might be hearing their Sunday School Bible Stories:


Through the eyes of a child:
The Children's Bible in a Nutshell
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that.
Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.
Then God made the world.
He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.
Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff.
Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.
After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.
After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets.
One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats.
Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.
But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Thanks Aunt Sue!

Free Book on World Missions


https://www.mygfa.org/offer/freebook/?cm_mmc_o=2tyblfbzEbfYaBpzY.gBFCjC8w_C-pMwyfblbETCjCHFzbkCjCPv

Click the above link and order this book. No obligations!

If you're eager to dive in to these amazing stories from the mission field, you can download an MP3 version of Revolution in World Missions for free! Or, you can download a readable PDF if that's easier for you. You can listen to a 30-second segment of the book and download either of these free resources.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

David Robinson's Hall of Fame Speech

If you have not listened to David Robinson's (former Spur's basketball player) Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Speech, take the time to hear a person who honors his friends, family, coaches, fellow players, and his Lord. David did an honorable job!



Read this post on how one writer compares Michael Jordan's speech to David Robinson's:

http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2009/9/16_Be_Like_David..._Not_Like_Mike..html

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

More pics






Here are just a few more pics taken of the boys over the last few days. Caleb, as you can see here, is filling out quite nicely. He's also sleeping wonderfully at night, for which we are very grateful. Samuel is sporting his new PJ's from Aunt Heather and Uncle Jase - he's loving being Superman!!! Between bathtubs and streams, he can't get enough of being in the water.

Monday, September 07, 2009

New Sermon - "Two Ways to Come to Church" - Luke 18:9-14

I preached this yesterday 9/6/2009. If you (like me) have ever struggled with being self-righteous and/or if you (like me) have ever desperately felt in need of God's mercy, this message may resonate with you. There's a 1 minute prelude of music, you can just skip to the 1:15 mark if you want to find the sermon

https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/1531820/01%20Two%20Ways%20to%20Come%20to%20Church.mp3

If you want a very sloppy manuscript, you can always ask :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Eternal Security (15th century style)

"There was once a man who was very anxious, and wavered between fear and hope. One day, overcome with sadness, he lay prostrate in prayer before the altar in church, and pondering these matters in his mind, said, 'Oh, if I only knew that I should always persevere [as a committed follower of Jesus Christ]!' Then he heard within his heart an answer from God: 'If you knew this, what would you do? Do now what you would then, and all will be well.' So, comforted and strengthened, he committed himself to the will of God, and his anxious uncertainty vanished. Nor did he wish any longer to inquire into what would happen to him, but strove the more earnestly to learn the perfect and acceptable will of God, whenever he bean to understand any good work."

-from Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ, b. 1380, d. 1471 (from the L. Sherley-Price translation) from day 1 of reading for my 2nd to last semester at Denver Seminary!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hodge podge continued





Hodge podge






Here are some pics of Samuel enjoying his new pool with his friend, Cole. Also, Sunday morning before-church pics of the boys and some taken today before we ventured out to a local community festival. (Plus a few miscellaneous pics for your viewing pleasure...) The video is of Samuel's latest skill on the playground.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Churches and Vision Statements

Here's a good blog post from a friend and recent graduate of Denver Seminary:

http://thepeaceandthepassion.blogspot.com/2009/08/vision.html

Here's my favorite paragraph:

I’m also hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of the absolute necessity of vision statements simply because it’s such a new movement. Don’t get me wrong: I can see why it’s helpful. Clearly-articulated goals do help most people to move toward the Scriptural vision of the church. Without the leadership of the church setting out goals for, say, a new evangelistic program, that program probably won’t get done. But what I object to is the modern tendency to make “vision-casting” one of the fundamental, irreplaceable aspects of church life and pastoral ministry. Historically speaking, such an assertion is ludicrous. Isn’t it remarkable that the church survived (and actually grew) for more than nineteen hundred years without vision statements! Read any of the great classical texts on pastoral ministry; you’ll find virtually nothing on the topic of vision-casting and setting goals for the church. Rather, you’ll find the emphasis on other aspects, where I heartily believe the emphasis should be: the ministry of the Word and Sacrament; of teaching the Scriptures, praying, caring for individual members of the flock with spiritual guidance, and leading the church in its communal worship. The current emphasis on “vision,” “purpose statements,” “goals,” and “core values,” all comes from 20th- and 21st-century business-leadership models. It never existed in the church before that.

Christianity Today recently posted a similar critique to some of the churches various ministry activities: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/augustweb-only/134-41.0.html?start=2

Triviality and Hell

Professional golfer Paul Goydos made this comment in regard to the golf course he is playing on this week in the Barclays Classic: "This is going to be a spectacular tournament on television. . . . It really is going to be a great spectacle. It's undeniably going to be as gorgeous as hell."
(from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090828/sp_nm/us_golf_pga_6)


Certainly this is an interesting choice for a simile--as gorgeous as hell. I know very little about hell, but from what I read, I don't think gorgeous fits into any of the descriptions I have read. Hel is a term we should not drop in a trivial and thoughtless manner! Here are 54 verses from the Bible about hell (from: http://www.sounddoctrine.com/fifty.htm). I'm not necessarily trying to scare anyone. I am, however, asking us to all have a sober view about what God has to say about this very non-gorgeous place called hell. But to any who have put their trust in Christ, death and hell no longer has power over us!!

Deu 32:22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

2 Sam 22:6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

Job 26:6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psa 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psa 18:5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

Psa 55:15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in ther dwellings, and among them.

Psa 86:13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Psa 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Prov 5:5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Prov 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Prov 9:18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Prov 15:11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the chldren of men?

Prov 15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Prov 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Prov 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Isa 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

Isa 14:9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Isa 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Isa 57:9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.

Ezek 31:16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

Ezek 31:17 They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.

Ezek 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

Ezek 32:27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to their hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.

Amos 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Jonah 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Hab 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Luke 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

2 Pet 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sacrifice in sports??

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/How-Jarvis-Varnado-became-the-nation-s-best-walk?urn=ncaab,183885

Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State, like many other athletes, has sacrificed thousands of hours to become one of the best college basketball players today (most likely he will be on the All-SEC team this coming year). Jarvis, unlike many athletes, has recently sacrificed his full-ride college scholarship in order for a teammate to keep his. This is a rarer form of sacrifice that deserves notice.

Thank you Jarvis for modeling more than athleticism; thank you for modeling character.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Repent or at least get a dictionary

I read this today on CNN's headline article: "(CNN) -- The Senate's second-ranking Democrat slammed recent town-hall protests over health care on Sunday, insisting they violate "the democratic process," while the Senate's top Republican accused Democrats of "attacking citizens" with such complaints."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/09/health.care/index.html

Now, for those who do not know, the word democracy means "rule of the people." Democracy involves the speaking out and involvement of every man and woman in order to influence political action. So, this type of behavior is exactly what democracy is all about. Some people believe government is above the will of the people . .. this is socialism at best and totalitarianism at its worst. We live in a Democratic Republic, which means we allow all people to vote for representative government. We also allow all people to give voice to their opinions and concerns. It may not be pretty, but Winston Churchill probably got this right: "Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."