Monday, September 17, 2007

So sad for my Volunteers!

How about them Vols showing up to play against Florida....o wait...they didn't!! Ok I have been one of the people saying stay off Phil Fulmer. He has won a national title, numerous SEC east titles and numerous SEC titles but this is starting to get sad. I am not sure what he needs to do but it is time to start looking at some changes. I don't mean fire Fulmer as he is always getting great talent in the recruiting(always in the top 25 of recruiting)but a change needs to be made. What has been the staples of UT football? On offense the Power I formation! We don't run that anymore but I will give Cutcliff a little slack as we are putting up nice Offensive numbers. The other staple has been shut down defense!!!We always run a 43 defense and we STOP THE RUN! Well we don't do that anymore. John Chavis is a good coach but change is not always a bad thing thus my question is it time for UT to make a move to improve our defense as it seems that has been the thing that is lacking in the recent years?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why use titles?

Ok I had a very interesting discussion at lunch today with some friends and it led me to get inspired to make a second post today. Why do we use titles and more specifically in the Christian world. How often has someone walked up to you and ask, "Hey what religion are you?" and what they really meant was, "What denomination are you?" This question led me many years ago to start responding to that question as "I am a Christian!" Now this answer seemed to puzzle those who meant to ask what denomination I am a part of and I would always reply with "I attend a Baptist Church." This used to be enough of a response but it seems as though here recently....and maybe it is because of my work and because of my location...that to be labeled a Christian is not simply enough anymore. Let me go in to a little detail....

In Louisville the hot button issue is Calvinism. For those not familiar Calvinism, it is a particular theological view of salvation. It is one of many views on salvation. Well the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is located in Louisville, has a president who labels himself a Calvinist. But what makes this interesting is this...Calvinism has 5 point of belief about salvation commonly referred too as the T.U.L.I.P. Now I have studied these 5 point and do not agree with all 5. I agree with 3 or 4 depending on who the context of the conversation I am in places these points. None the less I do not agree with all 5. Calvinism = 5 points thus Brandon <> (that means doesn't equal to in programming language) Calvinist or for you math folks out there 4 doesn't equal five. This seems rather basic to me or so I thought.

Well that isn't the case. Apparently the new trend(and I am not sure why) is that if you agree with 4 points you are a Calvinist. Now this is a very strange concept to me because that is like saying you are 80% pregnant. IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE are either pregnant or you aren't so to me you are either a Calvinist and you believe all 5 points or you are not. So I guess my question is this, "Why label yourself something if you aren't that?" I am really interested in answers to this question because we had 3 people at the table at lunch and really came up with 3 different answers!

Football Time

It is the most wonderful time of the year and no I am not talking about Christmas. I love football. I love all kinds of football. I love Pee-wee thru Pro. I could seriously watch football 24/7. So with all that said looks like it is going to be a good year for football starting this Saturday with my VOLS taking on Cal. GO VOLS!!!! I am going to make a few predictions on college and pro football. Give me your feedback and or your picks for the winners.

College football - I am an SEC homer so I will start with them.

SEC EAST - Georgia will win the east this year much to my dislike
SEC WEST - Bama. How can you pick against Saban with the amount of talent there.
SEC Champ - Georgia

Tennessee will finish 9 - 3 and Fulmer will be on the hot seat. Not sure he should be but he will be none-the-less.

Nation Champion - USC. I don't like it at all but GEES they are deep and talented

Pro Football

- Cincinnati
South - Colts
East - New England
West - San Diego

AFC Champions - GRRRRRR!!! New England. I hate to say it but gees they look scary on Defence and well Tom Brady just plain and simply wins alot of games

- Chicago
South - Dallas
East - New Orleans
West - San Fransisco

NFC Champions - Dallas

Super Bowl - New England. You have no idea how much i pain in writing that name.

Let me know your picts

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm drinking the Todd Agnew Kool-aid

As many of my friends know, I have a serious guilty pleasure when it comes to music. My favorite artist is with out a doubt The Dave Matthews Band. I am not sure why i have this un-natural love of them. Some say I have a man crush on Dave Matthews and that might be true but the music just speaks to me. I say all that to say I now have a number 2 on my list.

I have liked Todd Agnew for sometime just as many other. It started my dear friend Brooke Hall, God rest her soul, lost her life to cancer at the age of 22. She was an amazing woman of God. She was so amazing that she planned her own funeral and not only did she plan it but she made it a worship experience and took the focus off her death and put it on the right in Jesus Christ. But at her funeral she had Grace Like Rain played. The song spoke to me on that day and since then I have like Todd Agnew.

Well this weekend at Six Flag he preformed. Now anyone who has every run sound or tech for a concert knows how horrible a "change of the bands" is and can understand when I say the change went horrible. Nothing patched correctly and so when they started the set nothing worked. They finished the first song and Todd began to stall. What came after this was amazing. I heard a sermon to the likes I have never heard before. I mean I have been to a number of churches in the resent years and never heard anything that challenged me more. I would pay to hear him speak much less hear his music. But with that said as they start get things finished in the world of sound he picked up his guitar and started to lead in worship and it was one of the most amazing times of worship I have been apart of in a long time. The spirit moved and you know what, it did matter what church you attended or denomination you claimed to be....all that mattered at that time was the un-matched love of Jesus and what He has done for us.

One final thing that moved me....As he was stalling he made this statement, "God didn't call me hear tonight to make you feel good. God brought me here tonight to challenge and change you." Some people in the crowd(including myself) yelled AMEN and he said(and I won't ever forget this), "hold on better be careful because God will hold you to that." Far to often when we hear something that is true we scream out AMEN as if we knew it but the truth of the matter is that I nor did anyone else in that crowd before that truly believe that God was going to change us. Well he changed me and I don't mean that lightly.

I am drinking the Todd Agnew Kool-Aid!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Al Molher repondes to the Catholic Church

Not very often do I read a blog entry by Al Molher and come away thinking "WOW he really hit the nail on the head on this one." Now in that statement I am not saying I am smarter or have been more enlightened to the ways of God more so than him but merely pointing out that on a diverse issues of theology we differ. The beauty of this is we can. But I am off point. He wrote an article on his blog this morning about the document put out by the Roman Catholic Church(The Vatican) claiming that they are the only true church due to the papacy and the fact that Peter was the first "Pope". Now most chruches founded from the reformation do not recognize this as truth according to scripture. You can agree or not but his entry about this is 100% on target and he as a key voice for Southern Baptist did exactly as he should have done. Read this article and I think you will see what I mean.

So I must say Thank You Al Mohler to putting this issue in to the right context and having such a great insight in to how we as "protestants" should respond.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sad Day!

Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN. Thus no more ESPN Radio Dan Patrick Show. I am very sad by this because I love to listen to him during the middle of the work day. I am SAD!

Dan Patrick Leaves ESPN

Monday, July 09, 2007

Interesting debate on Baptism

Ok.. I have been involved in an interesting discussion on some blogs about the act of baptism and thus I feel a need to make a short post on it. This will be quick as I do not feel that the debate on this topic is generally helpful anymore nor do I feel like any resolution will be come too.

The discussion is about the forms of baptism in the Christain churches ie immersion, sprinking, pouring. Are all of these forms acceptable and if not why? These topics can range and can get very heated and i have experienced myself. The simple point I have tried to make was the Jesus was baptized by immersion. It is amazing to me the number of people who want to debate this text in Matthew 14 but if you do a little, very little research, in to the words used in the Greek you find the word in the original text was baptizo. The root word for baptizo is the word bapto. Now people want to argue the context of baptism of Jesus simply because Mark and Luke do not account the baptism of Jesus of coming "out of the water" This is clearly stated in a way in the greek that should not be confused. If that is a dogmatic and legalist way of reading the scriptures so be it but let me make my point a little more.

Bapto: to dip, dip in, immerse
1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe
3) to overwhelm

Commentary on both words:
"Note on Baptism in Ac. Baptism in water (such as John's) is distinguished from baptism with the Holy Spirit (i. 5, etc.). Those who receive the latter, however, may also be baptized in water (cf. xi. 16 with x. 47); and there is one example of people who had previously received John's baptism receiving Christian baptism as a preliminary to receiving the Spirit (xix. 3 ff.). John's was a baptism of repentance (xiii. 24; xix. 4), as was also Christian baptism (ii. 38), but as John's pointed forward to Jesus (xix. 4), it became obsolete when He came. Christian baptism followed faith in the Lord Jesus (xvi. 31 ff.); it was associated with His name (ii. 38; viii. 16, etc.), which was invoked by the person baptized (xxii. 16); it signified the remission (ii. 38) or washing away of sins (xxii. 16); sometimes it preceded (ii. 38; viii. 15 ff.; xix. 5), sometimes followed (x. 47 f.) the receiving of the Spirit." (F. F. Bruce. The Acts of the Apostles [Greek Text Commentary], London: Tyndale, 1952, p. 98, n. 1.)

This word should not be confused with baptô (911). The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be 'dipped' (baptô) into boiling water and then 'baptised' (baptizô) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change.

Final point. Why is this such a source of debate for people? Why do people want to pour or sprinkle for baptism instead of following the model of Jesus. I can see a few extreme situations, new believer no in a place where immersion could happen, where this would be challenging but plain and simple in the church today this situation isn't a problem on a large scale. Everyone basicaly has the opportunity to be immersed. I don't care how many people want to argue the context of the Baptism of Jesus it doesn't hold up. The words of Matthew speak for themselves so I don't have to argue context on that.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

1st and 2nd Commandments

1st commandment - "Thou shall have no other gods before me" Exo 20:3

Seems like a reletively easy commandment to follow in my opinion. Not a lot of meat to dig in to on the surface but let us look a little below the surface by asking a few questions and hopefully a few of you readers will respond to this.

Question: In this command is God acknowledging the existence of other "gods"? and if so what are some of these "gods"

The word that we translate for before is also used in the Old and New Testaments for a different word....besides! This word surely changes the way this commandment reads.

Question: So if God is or isn't acknowledging the existence of other "gods" why did he feel the need to give this command?

The men teaching in my bible study almost compounded the 1st and 2nd commmandments on a surface level to answer these questions and I am curious if I am the only one who really doesn't think that these two commands are explanation for one another.

2nd commandment - "You shall not make for yourself and idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above and on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth" Exo 20:4

Question :What is an idol?

Websters defines it like this which I like : "an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed." SO an idol is a representation of a believed to exist deity or god. So an idol is not a god thus you can not link these two commandments together on that foot. They are separate and they can stand alone with out using one another as an explanation.

Final Question : Are material objects such as a car or cloths idols? aka is the "American Lifestyle" a "god"?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I don't line up revisited

Ok I have to start off by saying that I have sat back and really thought about my last post and although it was a good post I am not going to follow thru on my idea about discussing the 9 points of the 9 Marks Ministry. I think they are trying to do some good things and I believe that the common goal of the great commission is seeking to be filled by this group so I can't really knock them on that.

I think part of the problem with Christianity today is we spend more time debating and arguing with one another on things that aren't really relevant and let them divided us. Some people believe in election and some people don't, some people believe in expositional preaching and some believe in topical preaching...and so on. Most of these things are not relevant in my opinion to the good new of Jesus Christ(I know someone will argue with that point but then they are just re-enforcing my belief about to much debate)

So with that behind me to my next topic. I am in a bible study with some men at church whom I respect highly. We have been studying together for over a year now and it has been very good. I have grown to respect them more and hopefully they respect me more as well. We are starting down the path of studying the 10 commandments. This is a great topic and one that I enjoy to talk about because we in Christian circles have forgotten what the 10 commandments say much less the why and how they are important to us today. So I am going to email my bible study guys with a link to this blog and I am going to start a discussion on the 10 commandments hopefully. If you want to comment please do. My next post will come in the next 24 hrs hopefully and it will be on the 1st and 2nd commandments. I will email those guys and lets see where this little adventure will go.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I don't always line up....

....with what most people say, do, or believe. This is not merely in my character but also in my beliefs, my relationships, and my life. I don't like to follow crowds. This is sometimes a problem for people but it is the truth of who I am. I think far to often crowds of people believe in something simply because that is what they are told to believe and they don't feel they have any reason to question the teaching or words of those that are doing the teaching(this is not correct as we are challenge to test and approve what God's will is but that is for another time). Now this can in certain situations be a good thing so I am not bashing people who are like that. I actually am a little jealous because I wished I could take things are face value but I have never been that way. I have always investigated the validity of the teachings in my life. This is very true of my walk with Christ. When a pastor or teacher is teaching me something I always investigate what they are talking about to make sure it lines up with the teachings of the bible. If that course is inline with someone or something well then fine but sometimes it doesn't and I dismiss what that teaching and move on.

With all of that said I have a few thoughts and statements. My favorite question to ask is Why?. Some call that psychology but I simply think it is responsible. The why question is never fully answerable without a firm understanding of God. Don't believe time someone tries to tell you something then ask them why. They will try to answer it and then ask them why, rinse and repeat...what you will find is them getting frustrated because they can't answer that question fully.

Now you ask why I believe that is why. God can't nor will He ever be fully defined in human terms and or characteristics. Everything in this world was caused by something...if you believe in the big bang or in creationism something caused it to happen. Ask an evolutionist why did the monkeys evolve(if you believe they did) and then take their answer and ask why?. Eventually they won't be able to answer you. Take someone who believes in creationism and doesn't have a firm understanding of God and ask them why. What you will find is an inability to answer that question and here is why.....Nothing caused God! God was and is. He was here before the world and He will be here after the world. Science can't answer that question no matter how hard they try. So now that I have proven that you can't answer the questions of this world without believing in God it is time to move forward and tell you why I am writing a post like this. (if you wish to debate this point about science not being able to answer the question why feel free to comment. I welcome all points of view on this topic.)

A couple of weeks ago I was surfing the web and browsed over to 9MarksMinistry website. Now I have and had heard of this group before and heard some very good things about then. They basically want the church to be the church that God designed in the bible and they have 9 marks of what this church in the modern times should do. Now this is all well and good. They can hold to these ideals all they want but that doesn't mean they are right. This also doesn't mean they are wrong either. The why question can be used to analyze the nine marks and decide if these points are good and right according to the scriptures or if these nine marks are the what the founders of this group sincerely believe that the scriptures say according to human understand of God. I am not against what they want nor am I saying they are wrong but I think a series of post on this topic would stimulate me and hopefully stimulate you to ask the hard questions that need be asked and I simply picked this group because they are a popular group and powerful group of people in the Christian community. I am not trying to pick a fight nor am I going to. I believe that sometimes agreeing to disagree is ok and I am sure that on some of these points that will be the case with me. That is why i don't always line up!

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Gospel in Batman Begins pt3

This is another exchange of word but the message is awesome. The exchange happens between Ras Aulgoul and Bruce Wayne on an Ice Lake while training with Samurai swords

Ras: "Your parents death was not your fault"
(Sword Exchange)
Ras: "It was your fathers"
(Bruce is visibly angry)
(Heated Exchange with swords and fist)
Ras: "Anger doesn't change the fact that your father failed to act."
Bruce: "The man had a gun"
Ras: "That wouldn't stop you"
Bruce: "I've had training"
Ras: "Training is not good for anything(knocks Bruce back down)...without the will to act."

This part of the movie is the key part where Bruce realizes what has been bugging him and he is beginning to learn about himself and what is inside of him. He is angry and is without the ability to seek vengence(See previous post or watch movie to understand that part). He must find his healing from somewhere else. He eventually finds it but I won't spoil the whole movie.

Ok I must approach where I am going with this in relation to the scriptural application to this quote. I don't want to make anyone mad but I also must speak in truth. It seems that most of Crystal and my friends are in seminary. I first must say that I don't envy them in the least but I do respect them for going back to school. Many of them see it as the only way to do what they what to do, be in the ministry. I have challenged many of them on this because(not 100% on the exact number but I am clost enough) I believe some 60% of KBC pastors are bi-vocational and those pastors don't have to have a masters of Dr. to preach the gospel. Sorry got on a soap box there.

Anyways to the point. Far to many of us (me included with all my studies)are sucking up all this knowledge from the scriptures and that is great but if it does not change us at the core of our being then it is pointless. We can spend 20 hrs a day in the study of scripture, learn about eschatology and epistemology, and not change a bit. My point and the link to the quote, "The will to act" is the most important part of our Christian walk. I don't mean simply evangelism although that is important. I mean in our fight to become more loving, our fight against sin, our fight to witness. We can be trained all day long and still not change a single soul. I challenge myself and those who want to spend all their time in the study and research of the Word to make sure that what we study is it "...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory now and forever."(2 Pet 3:18). Notice here that Grace is before Knowledge and not the other way around. If our knowledge doesn't led to grace and wisdom then it is pointless!

The Gospel in Batman Begins pt2

This is not mearly a quote from the movie but a segment that I think is wonderful. I am paraphrasing so if you want the full text watch the movie.

Rachel : I am sorry you had to see Schill die like that..
Bruce : I'm not sorry.
Rachel : You don't mean that..
Bruce : What if I do? My parents deserve justice!
Rachel : Your not talking about justice you are talking about vengeance
Bruce : No! Sometimes they are the same.
Rachel : They are never the same! Justice is about what is right and fair, vengeance is about you getting revenge for yourself.

This is the turning point of this movie. It really defines who Bruce Wayne really was and then you see who he becomes. How often when something happens do I want justice and how many times do I actually want revenge. Most of the time I have to confess I would like revenge when I have been wronged.

Now the God aspect of this concept of justice verses vengeance. I have a ton of thoughts and directions I could do with this so it is hard to nail it down to one thought but I think below is the direction I am going today.

God is not in the business of vengeance. Some who read the scriptures would think that because God displays his wrath at points in the Old Testament that is an example of revenge. That is simply now true. That is perfect judgment. God doesn't condemn humanity based on the fact that he wanted revenge on us because of what Adam and Eve did. God doesn't need to have revenge on us because he is God and we aren't. What more of an example of the fact that affirms this stance than the life of Jesus Christ. Roman 6:23 says "for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." The gospel is the greatest example of God's perfect judgment!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Gospel in Batman Begins pt1

I really wished I had a way to write down all the thoughts I have while I am cutting grass. It seems that I have my best thoughts during that time. Anyways with that said I need to move on to the subject of this post. The movie Batman Begins has moved in to my top 5 favorite movies of all times and is closing in on my favorite movie(s) of all times in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The story, the action, and the one liners are all very very good. So I have given some thought to this and decided that I am going to go over a couple of these quotes. Now anyone who knows me also knows that I try to come up with biblical themes or at the very least a biblical principle that can be seen. Thus I am going to take this quote and hopefully place a biblical concept to it.

Quote: "It is not who I am but, what I do that defines me!"

Bruce Wayne (Batman) says this quote at the end of the movie to Rachel, the girl whom he loves, as a way for her to know who he is because she said the same thing to him earlier in the movie. Now I love this quote because it speaks very specifically to the the fact that it doesn't matter how good we want to be or are on the inside but that it is our actions that define who and what we are.

This is a very biblical concept. How can we know God and not do what he ask us todo. What defines us as a Christian is about what we do. We are called to love people. We are called to be Christ example in this world. That defines us. James 2:20 says, But are you wiling to recognize, you follish fellow, that faith without works is useless. Now do not hear me saying that being a good person will get you to heaven because that is clearly not truth according to scripture but our works do define who we are to those who are not believers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Adopting a Child....

Bet this title got your attention. No Crystal and I aren't adopting a child so don't panic. But I did figure I would get your attention. This post is about something different. My brother-in-law came to visit Crystal and I last night. He will be leaving for a mission trip to Nepal this Thursday and just wanted to come see us before he left. It was a great visit with him. As some of you know however it always seems that him and I end up in some kind of in-depth spiritual discussion that I think mutually challenges us both. However this is not the reason for this post. He was presented with an interesting question and he posed it to me. This question got me to thinking and thus I think it would be good to discuss this in a public forum. NOTE: the key word in this was discuss...there will be no argueing and if I since that going on in comments I will delete them!

Question: What if a 35 year old single woman with no kids and no family came to me(in the context of the conversation is me = pastor) and ask what I thought about her adopting a child?

My Thoughts: WOW what a loaded question this is. I will present my viewpoint in this but first let me start with saying there is nothing in scripture that speak 100% directly to this situation. Thus any points made are merely my feeble interpretation of the Holy Scriptures of our Lord. Also this is a complex question and I am not sure that any answer we come up with is completely right or completely wrong. Reason I believe that....simply put is the context and matter of the situation.

1) Jeremy stated that he would advice in a gentle and loving manner against the adoption on the grounds that it was not the way God designed the family to be. This is a very scripturally supported point and I don't think him wrong to make it. The ideal biblical family is not a single parent. Key word there is ideal! That is not to say that a single parent is not Godly nor is it to say they can't raise their children in the Lord. Simply stated I agree with him in that the best design(if marriage can be defined this) is how it is defined in scripture which is both a man and a woman not one or the other.

2) We live in a non-ideal world. In our creation we were designed not for this world but for perfect harmony with God(this can be summarized in a number of words but you get the idea). At the fall that all changed thus we are not living in the ideal. Now this does not change the gospel at all. To me this realization makes the gospel much bigger and a much more central point to our theology. So if we do not live in the ideal how do we reconcile this problem about a single woman wanting to adopt a child.

3) Maybe to me the most critical question to ask is what is the woman's desire for this child rooted in. Does she want a child because she wants a child or what if this desire was sincerely God's desire. Some are going to say well God desires the ideal thus could not want anything less than the ideal. You would be correct there except as I stated previously ideal is not possible until the second coming of Christ. I would also say that this is a very narrow approach to the interpretation of the characteristics of God. Thus point 3 answer is what is the motivation behind the desire. I think it has to be taken in to account. If the woman wanted a child out of selfish motives then I would also have to advise against it.

4) What if this woman's motives are pure. Now granted this is not something we can fully know because we aren't God but all intentions that we can logically see are pure. Reason I ask is simply it not better for this child to be raised with one parent that is loving and willing to bring them up in the Lord than to not have one at all. Are we willing to say that the foster care system is more loving and caring that a single mother could be. I am not willing to go there.

So to bring all this to a close I am not fully against a single Godly woman adopting a child but I am also not fully for it either. In this situation One size cannot fit all. As with scripture everything has to be put in to context thus every situation would be different. Let me hear what you think because I am truly interested to get some feed back about this topic.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happiness or Holiness

Now this title is a little miss leading. I know some of you are going to think about your personal life but I am not going to talk about that.

This past week I was in Chicago and I got to spend a good amount of time with a very dear friendfrom college who lives in Chicago. I admire, respect, and geniunely value him and his views on the Christain walk. But he made a very deep statement that I need to wrestle with. At first glance I agree with the statement but as with all things that are new to me I have to investigate further and make sure it is sound

The Statement
"Marriage is not about our happiness but yet about Holiness"

My Thoughts
I agree with this at first glance but I will expand a little on his statement. A few points that will hopefully give you an idea of where I am going with this.
1. The Christian walk is not about our happiness.
I know people don't like to hear this but it isn't. Happiness is an emotional reaction to events in our lives. Christ never once tells us that our walk with him is about our happiness. This about that last statment and how it ends....."our happiness". This is selfish and if you are following Christ for happiness you are missing out on the true blessings.
2. The Christian walk is about holiness.

Now don't take me to say that this is the only purpose of our Christian walk but it is one key part of it. "Be Holy just as He(God) is Holy" Holiness doesn't always make happiness. But holiness will bring Joy.
3. The Christian walk is about Joy
Joy is not an emotion but an yet a choice we make in our lives. I choose to be joyful or not. I don't want to go deeper in to this but this is, I believe, Scriptural truth.

So with all those points stated there is little room to talk about marriage. But I will say this...My wife doesn't always make me happy. When she ask me to serve her in one form, fashion, or manner I am not always happy about it. But I choose to be joyful and serve act of love. choosing to serve her over myself is a step towards holiness. She challenges me spiritually. She is seeking to make me holy.

"Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"

Christ made the church holy. I should make my wife holy and she should do the same. So at first glance the statement is correct but I think it should be expanded. Let me here what you think. Do you agree with this statement?

Saturday, May 05, 2007


We are on vacation this week so I won't be posting anything new after this post unless it is pictures or just tidbit notes from the trip in the big city of chicago. I will say this....we are on the 34th floor of the hyatt regency hotel in downtown chicago. I am just a big ol high class redneck for 7 days!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

To conform or...

not to conform...that is the question?

I was lucky to be a part of a blog meeting this morning at the KBC. It was a gathering of all the KBC sponsored bloggers and me being the I.T. who helps support them. But we had an intresting converstaion about "what is off limits" in the blogosphere. I have always had a blog and it has been fairly private to this point so for me alot of topics that had been on the table probably shouldn't have been in the public sector but I discussed them anyways. But it was pointed out to me that the context of the conversation is always the most important point in your post. I mean for me to talk about religion is like second nature because it is so important to me. I have always felt that questions about doctrine and theology should be discussed in the open forum. I do not believe in conformity in any sense of the word. I have always made my faith and my beliefs mine. If someone taught something I would always investigate the truth of the teaching and if it was I applied that teaching to my life. I do not view that as wrong. But it was pointed out to me through this discussion that I do have to conform to some extent. I conform in marriage. If I had my heel set in the ground my marriage would fail. A good leader has to be willing to hear all sides of a discussion. I am seeking to conform in Christ. So I am a conformist just not in the sense that our culture views it. So the question is why is doctrinal/theological/spiritual conformity seen as a must in our Christian walk? Lets face it....we don't always agree and if we did then I fear that is worse than us not.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Invitation

This post has been a long time coming and I probably will make someone mad but I don't really care to much about that. So I am going to start with a question, give the answer, show the history, give the problem, and provide a solution so hold on to your pants cause here we go.

:Why in the Baptist Church do we feel a need to issue an "Invitation" at the end of ever service?

Answer:The church answer, view point, to the question is that we are extending an opportunity for those who have never accepted the message of the gospel to accept the Good News of Jesus Christ and make that public.

History: This is where you have to hang on with me. In the life of church history an invitation was something that has come about in recent church(by recent I mean 19th century). The invitation was something that when someone who heard the message of the gospel and responded to it would make that acceptance public. They would generally be introduced before the congregation at the very time they responded. I think this is a great idea. I think the body of believers should accept those who have responded to the gospel message with joy and prayer for the new believer and doing it at the very moment is fine.

My Beef: The reason for the invitation is two fold 1) Response to the Gospel message and 2) make that response public. Thus my beef with the invitation is two fold. I will start with the second part of the purpose of the invitation.

First:In the church I attend, presentation of a new believer is not done at the end of the invitation. We present new members the following week. Now I am not saying I think sticking to history is a good thing nor am I saying I think that presenting new members the following week is a good thing either. I am simply stating the facts of Church I attend. I believe the minute you ask Christ Jesus in to your heart you are saved and the public profession before the congregation is nothing more than obedience to the commands of Christ. But a public profession before the body is not required for salvation. Now some bible scholar out there is going to say that making your salvation known is a requirement for salvation. This is correct but is not speaking with a pastor, another believer, your spouse, etc. making that known? Does that not show that you are not ashamed of the Gospel? In the New Testament one of the main purpose in confessing Jesus is Lord was to show that we are not ashamed of Christ(there are others too so don't start bashing what I am saying). So again I say that a profession before the congregation is not required for salvation. There are a whole host of other things that do require the profession before the body but salvation does not! (Hope I was clear enough with that!)

Second: Now it is time to tackle the first part of the purpose of an invitation. The opportunity to respond to the Good News that Christ died for our sins so that we might have eternal life with God. You would be hard pressed to find a believer in Christ that says that this purpose is not a good thing and you will not find one here either. But I will say this....I don't think the modern invitation is living up to this opportunity. How may church services have your been in where the pastor extended the invitation longer than it should have been extended? A lot of times when a pastor does this he is also talking to you trying to get you to respond. The problem is for a non-believer this ends up becoming about the emotions of a decision. Let me be clear here....following Jesus is not an emotion! Emotions manifest from following Christ but it isn't the other way around! If you ask most Christians if they feel saved in the morning after 8 hours of sleep they are going to tell you no. But if you ask them do they know they are saved after 8 hours of sleep they will say YES! That is because salvation isn't an emotion. So when a pastor draws out an invitation he can play to the emotions of a person and if they accept Jesus because of an emotion we are doing this person wrong. Think I am wrong? Look at the numbers, a large number of people baptized are out of the church and claim they don't believe within 5 years. I credit this to people accepting Christ when they are emotional(the other part is lack of discipleship to the new believer but that is another post for another time).

Also besides the emotion I have heard pastors make the statement, "I know there is someone in the audience who needs to respond to message presented here today." Hey bud don't be so arrogant as to believe that your preaching was so good that someone has to respond. The only way someone should respond is if the Holy Spirit is moving in their lives and you can't know if the Holy Spirit is moving in someones life by simply gazing out over an audience. If someone wants more on this I will be happy to go in further detail but not in this post.

Solution: I hate to present a problem that I see without giving a way to resolve it. The solution is plain and simple. The invitation does not have to be given at the end of every service. If you are preaching from or listening to a sermon from I Kings chances are that the message is more about growth in your walk and less about accepting Christ. Thus you don't need an invitation. I am not down playing the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to a non believer thru I Kings but simply making a statement at the end of the service that if someone would like to speak with the pastor or other church staff member that they will be available in the same location every week is enough. When you preaching about the Gospel then an invitation is needed and should be offered but don't draw it out. If someone doesn't move from the chair then cut the invitation short and make sure they know that the pastor will be available to speak to after the service. I think it better to preform the invitation in this manner than to have Non-Believers accept the Gospel based on emotions.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Great Conversation

Very VERY rarely does a forward come across one of my many emails that I actually enjoy reading. Even less frequent is the fact that I might forward it on to someone. But today something is going to happen that has never happened for me. I am going to put a forward I received in the public sector for all to read. I read an article on CNN today by a Scientist who believes in God. I don't think this so far of a stretch as others do. (Disclaimer : I do not agree with this mans ideology on evolution but as for everything else...pretty close). *Collins Article* After reading this article I remembered this forward I had saved. I thought this very applicable. Bare with this post as the conversation below is fairly LONG

Setting: An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem Science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new Christian students to stand and.....

PROF: You are a Christian, aren't you, son?
Student: Yes, sir.
PROF: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
PROF: Is God good?
Student: Sure.
PROF: Is God all-powerful?
Student: Yes.
PROF: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal Him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm? (Student is silent.)
PROF: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?
Student: Yes.
PROF: Is Satan good?
PROF: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From...God...
PROF: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.
PROF: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.
PROF: So who created evil?
(Student does not answer.)
PROF: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.
PROF: So, who created them?
(Student has no answer.)
PROF: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
PROF: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
PROF: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
PROF: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.
PROF: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
PROF: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
PROF: Yes.
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
PROF: Yes.
Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness? PROF: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light.... But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?
PROF: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
PROF: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
PROF: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?.....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
PROF: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir... The link between man & God is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.

Now I don't know if this actually happened but it is great either way.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bible Study Quote

I am in a bible study and we meet every monday morning at 6 am. This is way early but very well worth the time that i devote to this because of the things I learn. But this morning we had a a great discussion on Evangelism. We where discussing the facts about speaking verses living out your faith. We all agreed that both are important and needed but I think we all agreed that to speak your faith and not live it would simply be wrong.

One of the men in the class had a great quote that made me laugh so hard I just had to post it. Context of the quote. Discussion about study of the bible and how it relates to the "sowing" vs. "reaping" in the terms of seeing people come to Jesus. Quote from Todd. "If you plant taters.....Ya get Taters". This was so funny but very very theologically sound in my opinion. The do as I say not as I do type of Christianity is just wrong. You can't expect to not study and learn the scriptures and then when as a question about scripture be able to explain it. Also you can't plant taters in peoples lives and expect to get a steak. Plant the seed that God commands us to plant. There are many other theological perspectives that could be taken here but I thought that this was by hilarious and very applicable.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Gospel in Song

From time to time I think it is important that I post on somethings that I find very enjoyable. I have over time really started to enjoy to listen to Todd Agnew. He is insightful, theological, and just plain deep. I rejoice when I listen to his music and I have some of the best times of worship just simply listen(and singing) to his music. The song lyrics below are from a song of his called "Something Beautiful". I will let the song lyrics speak for themselves. I will say that I totally 100% agree with every word of this song.

I am struggling to find a way to make myself attractive to You, attractive to You
I am trying to be more deserving of the gift You have to me, so free

It's funny how all I can be is someone completely ugly
And yet when You look at me, You don't see a wretch
You see a reflection of something beautiful

I am searching for the water that can wash me clean enough to earn Your love
I want to stop all the things that break Your heart, but come so natural to me, naturally


I can't believe you could fall in love with me "

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Expections vs. Entitlement

Ever had one of those "AA Ha" moments? I had one of those this weekend as I was working on the house. If you don't know crystal and i have done alot of work to our house. We have done nearly all the work ourselves to help save money. But no matter how much work we do on this house it never looks as nice as I think it should look. I want our house to look like a $250,000 in Prospect(a very nice sub-division in louisville). What I came to realize is this. No matter how much work or money we put in this house it is never going to look like one of those houses.

Two thing are at work here. First, this is sinful because basically I am trying to "keep up with the Jones" instead of being content with what God has provided for Crystal and I. I keep thinking "if i could just fix this or replace that" then this house would look like that "dream house". So basically I have unrealistic expectation of what this house should look like.

Secondly, this problem of expectations goes deeper. I feel like I deserve to have a big, fancy, nice, prospect type house. This is very cultural. We as a culture believe that we deserve it because someone else has it and we want it. Truth of the matter is that is sin plain and simple. Tha that is the pure definition of envy. So I have two things to work on in my personal life but I am not done yet.

I have for a long time had a problem with UK basketball fans. I couldn't really tell you what it was that i didn't like but UK basketball fans are just different. Ok let me be clear here...I am not speaking of all UK fans but a large group of fans that I am going to describe are like what I am going to say. For a while I thought it was the expectations they put on their program. I thought it was the expectations that drove Tubby out. But then I got to thinking. I am the first person on the wagon to see Darrin Horn be fired from Western Kentucky. He has not taken us to the big dance yet in four years. This is unacceptable for WKU...PERIOD!!!Heck if there isn't a band wagon yet, i will start the dang thing. I WANT DARRIN HORN FIRED!!!! Then it hit me, I expect WKU basketball to be in the big dance every year. I have high expectations. This is no different than UK fans wanting to be in the final four every year. Thus it is not the unrealistic expectation on the program that are what I don't like. I mean every fan has unrealistic expectation on the team they pull for and if you say you don't then you aren't a true fan.

Then it hit me. The problem is no different than what I experienced over the weekend. The feeling that I deserve a big fancy house. ENTITLEMENT! What drives me nuts about UK fans is just that. A lot of fans of UK think that simply because of their tradition that they are entitled to the final four, the best coach, the best recruits, etc. This is simply FALSE. Past preformance are no promise of future results. I as a WKU fan do not feel like WKU basketball is entitled to the NCAA every year. I think they need to work to get there but this seems much different from UK basketball fans. They feel like they are entitled to Billy Donovan. They are entitled the top 5 recruits. Now let me be fair every sport has this at different schools. Alabama and Tennessee football for example. So I am not condeming UK fans simply stating the facts. I am no different than then when it comes to tennessee football but we all should keep this in mind because our sports teams are ENTITLED TO NOTHING!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sporting Report

This is the sporting is the long and the short. This one will be short and sweet. How about some NCAA basketball. This is the second best time of the year for the sporting person only second to the NFL playoff!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Disciple vs. Christian

Something that has been bugging me for some time is this statement I hear alot from Christians. "Well I got my fire insurance, I know I'm not going to hell". Now that is a nice statement and I am sure that the heavens rejoice on high that you have accepted Jesus Christ as the only son of God, that died on the cross for your sins, and was resurrected 3 days later. But the next thing that comes to mind is it merely enough to accept that Jesus is Lord or does it require much more of us.
If you look at the great commission in Matt 28:28 it does not say go and make converts. It does not say go and make Christ like people, it say make Disciples and teach them everything that Jesus commanded. What a pitiful job we have done at this command. I for one was horrible at this. I always thought it was simply about seeing people come to accept who Jesus was and what he did. I never thought about the next step which is instruction and training in the Lord.
Now don't read in to my statements...I am not saying that if you accept Jesus in your heart and confess with your mouth that he is Lord that you aren't saved because scripture is very clear in this regard that you are forgiven of your sins and are going to spend eternal life with God. But how when you accept Jesus can you not thirst to serve him and serve others, by not being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The process of being all that God would have us to be is a long process and requires a lot of time, prayer, and study. I simply hope that anyone reading this post would hear my heart....I want to see people live the abundant life that God as planned for them and a relationship with Jesus is the only way to do that. Anyone reading this knows that a relationship of any kind requires more than one day a week for 2 hours. Saying that you believe Christ is who He says he is would only be the first step(The most important step as we can't go any further with out taking it) but there are many other steps in the life of a Disciple of Jesus.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Been Absent for a While

Ok I'm back. This has been along time coming but I have been so out of ideas that blogging just wasn't appealing for a while but I have some creative juices flowing again and time to get some folks caught back up.

First off lets do the "I havn't heard from you in a while thing." Crystal and I are fine. Work keeps us both busy and the house continues to keep us busy. In December I laid tile in the kitchen, entry way, and both bathroom. Here very very soon We will be replacing all the carpet in the entire house. Let me say Carpet is freaking expensive but all you married, or been married folks, know that if she ain't ain't happy so we get carpet. I am not against carpet at all I just can't believe the amount of money we have to spend to get it.

Now for some random thoughts from my mind and then I leave you hangin for the next post because it is going to be a good one I think
1) This years NCAA bracket is a pain in the neck. The matchups are not very good and the mid-majors got hosed really really bad.
2) Can UK fans please read the this article below and leave Tubby alone. Tubby Test
3) WKU Please fire Darrin Horn. I know he is the prodigal son and all but most of the boosters dislike him, he has made enemies out of the other coaches on campus with his "I am better than you" attitude and lets face it. He has yet to do anything in the post season. I am no UK fan but at least tubby is a good person. Darrin Horn isn't.
4) WKU Please fire David Elson. I know he is a good guy but no coach in the history of the NCAA has run an elite NCAA D1 2A program in the ground quicker than him. They are going to D1 1A football soon and lets face it, Elson is not going to bring us a Sun Belt title in football.
5) Final though. If you don't already listen to Alistair Begg you need to. This man is one of the most amazing expository preachers I have heard and he is also very down to earth in his preaching. If I lived inside of 2 hours of his church I would drive to it every sunday. Alistair Begg

Next post will be coming shortly but it is going to be a post about discipleship and what it means to be a disciple of Christ.