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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Sins of Jeroboam

This morning I preached the seventh message in our series from Jonah and Nahum covering the interim period between the ministries of Jonah and Nahum, examining the kings of Israel who reigned from 800 to 722 BC.

Interesting developments as we studied the "sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin." He created a counterfeit religion that used the same terminology, same rituals, same feast dates, and all the same ceremonies as Judah with one exception - they worshipped two calf idols as false representations of God!

Listen here:
The Sins of Israel - 2 Kings 14:23-29; 15:8-31; 17:1-4

I will post more later on the significance of the false religion that Jeroboam instituted in Israel.....so stay tuned.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Phillip's Phunnies - Separated at Birth (Star Wars)

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Imitating Purgatorio once again, here are a few separated at birth pictures, this time with a Star Wars twist!

Sheldon & Rancora

(thanks to Dustin for this one)

John Kerry & Jar Jar

Pat Robertson & Yoda

Bruce Willis & C3-PO

Grizzly Adams & Chewbacca

Jerry Jones & Jabba

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Shocking Truth about the Making of Disciples

This is a follow up to the article The Difference Between Discipleship and Debate. I will have a few more articles to post in this series on the topic of discipleship in the weeks and months to come.

Proverbs 27:17 - Part 2
A Shocking Truth about the Making of Disciples

Pastor Phillip M. Way

As iron sharpens iron,
so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

An examination of this verse shows us that the foundations of a friendship, when based on mutual unconditional love, give us the ability to aid one another in the pursuit of holiness. It is speaking about working with each other and teaching each other so that we are becoming more and more like Christ, by the power of the Spirit through the application of the Word of God to our daily lives. It is, in short, a snapshot of what it means to be making disciples.

Discipleship is often misunderstand and even more often neglected in the Evangelical church today. So much that the church does is so far from the Biblical blueprint for ministry that the church seems to be losing its way. People pick a church as a consumer picks a restaurant. Do they serve my favorite foods? Is the service good? Do I leave feeling satisfied? Is the price paid a fair value for goods received? The corporate meeting of the local church has become more and more about what the congregation wants and less and less about what God commands!

Instead of coming to focus on God and give Him the glory and honor and praise due His name, people come to church to feel better about themselves and how God supposedly views them. They come to get, not give. They come with felt needs, seeking a solution to their problems, wanting encouragement that it will all turn out okay. In fact, people are very good at going to church but very bad at being the church. Why is this?

It is the evidence of a failure within the leadership of the church to uphold the Word of God. The simple, straightforward, foolish to the natural man Word of God. And the greatest area of neglect appears to be the area of disciple making. How can we make disciples when we are wanting to come and get instead of give? The process and the relationship of making disciples is very much a two way street. It is not just coming to get from the professional Christians whose job it is to teach us the Word of God and encourage us in living what we hear. Discipleship occurs inside and outside the meeting of the church. It occurs when two Christians work hard at building one another up. It is indeed Body Building. The work of service to each other in the Body of Christ for the purpose of edifying the whole church.

The leadership, our elders and pastors, are given by Christ to the church for the specific task of equipping us to build each other up. It is how Christ builds His church. Pastor-teachers work at “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12). That means that we are to be taught how to make disciples. So if we are failing to make disciples we must start where we see the root of the problem. And that root is the failure of those in leadership within the church to do things God’s way!

Understanding Discipleship

If it is true that many Christians are not being discipled or making disciples, then the church is not growing. No matter how many people are attending services, no matter how many members are on the roll, no matter how much money is given, no matter how large the building, and no matter how dedicated the congregation – if we are not making disciples we are failing to obey one of the primary and essential commands given by Christ to His Church.

Perhaps the truth is that we have not been taught how to disiple others. Perhaps we have had a wrong view of discipleship all along. Or maybe we are not being held accountable to actually go and make disciples. Whatever the case and wherever the problem, we need to see discipleship for what it is and that will help us to determine whether or not we are being equipped for service to one another in the body.

Disciple making is not about a teacher/student relationship. There is a false belief prevelant in much of the church today that it is the job only of those who are mature or who are assigned the role of teacher in the church to disciple those who are younger and perhaps weaker in the faith. While there is responsibility for the older (more mature) to teach the younger (babes in Christ), it is also at the same time true that within the body we are commanded, not expected, but commanded to esteem all others as better than ourself (Phil. 2:3). So when we work at making disciples, once people have been brought to saving faith in Christ by the work of the Spirit and the Word, we are now to teach them and be taught by them about the Lord we love and serve.

Discipleship is “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:20). But it is also being taught! There is nothing worse in the church than an un-teachable teacher. Like it was stated already, discipleship is often misunderstood because we believe that it is a one way street. Either we believe that the leadership in the church is responsible to disciple us and therefore we bear none of the responsibility for disciple making. Or we believe that once we have arrived at a mature understanding of the Word of God then we are to teach others, looking down on them in their ignorance and need for instruction.

A shepherd does not look down on his sheep because they are hungry and need to be fed. He does not consider them dumb animals and despise them because he must be sure that they are provided for and fed nourishing meals. If he does, he should not be a shepherd. Jesus as our example, as the Good Shepherd, shows us the love and tenderness that a Shepherd has for His sheep (John 10:11-15).

So we need to approach discipleship from the point that we have something to give and to get from one another in the body. Our testimonies will be different, our growth at a different pace, our maturity at a different level. But we are all to be learning from one another. And there is the root of much that is leading to a lack of disciple making in the church, a wrong view of others members in the body.

What then can be done to make sure that we are being equipped to serve one another within the body of Christ?

Testing a Ministry and a Minister

It is not my intention to delve into a study of the role and duties of elders, nor to give specific details about the ministry of the Word from those who teach us. But it is my intention to show that we must be testing a ministry and a minister by the Word of God. As we know, to disciple someone and be discpled by them we must be interacting in a relationship built on trust and unconditional love. And here is the key for evaluating a ministry or a minister in their effectiveness at making disciples.

Are we being taught and led by example, or does the leadership have a “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality? What are we being taught about disciple making? Are we being effectively equipped to humbly and lovingly serve one another as members of the same body?

A glaring fact that cannot be ignored is that those who teach us and model for us Christian behavior must be held to the standard of the Word of God. They must love those in their care unconditionally. They must be humble. They must be holy. They must be men of God!

I do not expect pastors to be perfect. I am a pastor and I assure you, I am far from perfect. But if a pastor is not being conformed into the image of Christ, if he is not modeling the Christian life for those in his care, then he needs to step aside. As an elder in the church, as one appointed by Christ to equip the saints for the building of the body, he must serve willingly, not by compulsion. He must be eager in his work, and not in it for what he can get for himself or for dishonest gain (gain in finances, reputation, etc). He must not lord it over those in his care but is commanded to be an example to them in his service to Christ (1 Peter 5:1-4). Only then can he expect to hear “Well done” when he stands before Christ, the Head of the Church. Only then will he receive a “crown of glory that does not fade away.”

And what is the purpose of this crown of glory? It is the mark of a faithful minister that will be thrown at the feet of Jesus in worship and adoration of the One who gave Himself for us and Who we were blessed to be serving as we cared for His body.

But today, the truth is that many who claim to be teachers, many who hold with a tight grip to the offices of the church, many who are responsible to be an example to the flock are setting a bad example! “How?”, you ask.

Love for Christ vs. Love for Self

The failure to understand and apply disciple making principles within the church stems from misdirected love within those who should be leading us by example. Those pastors and elders who know what unconditional love is but lavish it upon themselves instead of on Christ and those they shepherd!

Instead of fulfilling the mandate of 1 Peter 5:1-4, and serving willingly, they serve from compulsion. It is irresistable to them to be in a postion of power, authority, prestige, and leadership. They are drawn to the praise of men, the adoration of those who look up to them for their abilities to preach or teach or explain hard truths. They are in it for dishonest gain. Instead of seeking to build up Christ’s church they are seeking to build up their ministry. As a result they lord it over those in their care. Those who would trust them and follow their example are neglected and abused and trampled under this stampede towards self-magnification.

Instead of a self-sacrificing love for Christ and His people, these shepherds love themselves and their comfort and their ego. They know what unconditional love is, and it is how they think about themselves, pampering their flesh, praising their accomplishments, parading their abilities and talents, and failing to realise that it is all a gift from God. It is mis-directed love.

Peter is clear in his second epistle that we can tell a false teacher by the way he lives. 2 Peter 2 speaks about the depravity of false teachers. They have eyes are full of adultery and cannot cease from sin. They are never full of self or sin. They may appear holy on the outside, but what is in their hearts will eventually come out of their mouths (Matt 15:18-19), and what they truly believe will eventually be made manifest in their behavior.

The chief example I want to deal with in this article though is a matter of manners. These false teachers, these who neglect the Word and cannot teach others to make disciples, are often identified by their manners or the lack thereof. The shocking truth about the making of disciples is that too many teachers have abandoned the pathway of being a loving, consistent, self sacrificing example and have instead settled into the very bad habit of trying to shock people with their teaching.

We are seeing a rise in those in and out of reformed circles, usually noticed as those embroiled in the latest controversies and fads, who are just plain rude in their behavior. There are actually debates on Christian internet forums as to whether a Christian can use profanity in every day life, or how far we can go into sounding like the world while remaining distinct from it. Leaders in the Federal Vision movement and the Emergent/Emerging Church movement (just to name 2 current examples) thrive on controversy and on being crude.

It is a deliberate effort by “ministers of the gospel” who think that to engage the culture is to shock the culture and that to motivate the church to obedience is to harass her into action. They are not shepherds lovingly and sacrificially leading their flocks. They are brash cowboys who are driving mindless herds of people according to their own agenda. And a benchmark, a signal of the validity of their message and their ministry is seen in whether or not they are courteous and well mannered.

To be sure, a man’s message can sound right, but if his life and his attitudes are wrong he is still a false teacher and will mislead the church. That is why the qualifications for an elder in the church and a deacon in the church are based on his character, his relationships, and his personal holiness (1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-16)! Notice, there is not a doctrinal summary or confession of faith listed in Scripture that a teacher must adhere to in order to be a teacher. But there is a list of character qualities that he must meet. Why is that? Because what you believe is manifest in how you behave, and sound doctrine always leads to sound living.

Here we see why a man can sound right but be wrong. If he is truly holding to sound doctrine, then what he teaches will lead to right living in his own life and in the lives of those who hear him. Sound doctrine is doctrine that leads to godliness.

This latest fad of shock jock preachers is nothing more than an abdication of the purest motive for ministry, unconditional love for Christ and His body. Because discipleship is based on love we need to know what love looks like. Sure, 1 Corinthians 13 is a common and well know passage, the definitive passage on love. But perhaps we have forgotten how love is defined. Let’s look there and see how a minister of the gospel is to behave as an evidence of his love for Christ and the church.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

A ministry and a minister motivated by love will suffer long. There is patience and a willingness to set self aside and even allow self to be abused for the sake of those we lead and teach. There will be kindness, acting and speaking with gentleness. There will not be envy of the work, ministry, or success of others, trusting that as the Word is consistently sown God will give the increase. There will not be a a parade of self for others to see, seeking opportunities to increase ministry or influence by building a reputation. There will not be a puffing up. A man who is puffed up is a man who has knowledge without love (1 Cor. 13:1-3). There will never be rude behavior! There is no crudeness, no hard exterior that is rough and gruff, there is no desire to shock or appall people with the latest new theology. There are manners and common courtesy. There is not a motive do it for what one can get. It isn’t for show or for self. There is not a easy provocation into arguments where one is known to live to fight and argue, as if the fun were in the battle and wounding sheep was sport. There is not a thought toward evil. The term evil means “that which harms.” There is never an intention or motive toward harming someone else. There is not rejoicing in iniquity – iniquity is using Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh, it is a sin of the self will, so that even good things can be iniquity if they are done for the wrong reason. There is however rejoicing in the truth. There is a desire for the truth to be taught clearly and embraced willingly. And when one is motivated by love for Christ and His church, there is a willingness to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things, because godly self sacrificing love never fails.

We need ministries and ministers who are motivated by love for Christ, not self. We need men who are humble in carrying out their duty and who are loving toward those they lead and serve. We need men who shock people by the depth of the sacrifice instead of by their choice of words or their unseemly behavior. We need shepherds who look like Christ!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Going Overboard On Dry Land

In this Sunday's message we find Jonah going overboard again! This time though it is on dry land. Just as he was ready to be thrown into the sea and die before going to Nineveh, now he is exceedingly displeased and angry that God has shown them mercy after he preached throughout the city! We find out that Jonah has a right view of God but a wrong view of himself. He believes that he (and Israel) are entitled to God's grace while the Gentiles in Nineveh are completely underserving. However, we find out that in the Scriptures grace is never merited or earned - otherwise it would not be grace.

The challenge in this concluding message from our series on Jonah is that we must have a right view of God, self, sin, and others. When we do, we approach witnessing with an attitude of boldness and confidence and hope. Instead of fear and doubt, worrying about how people will react or respond to the gospel we must focus on what God is able to do! We must learn that when we witness it is not what people do but what God can and promises to do with His Word that is important.

Too often we think and act like God cannot save sinners. But the truth is that God can and does save sinners! And Jonah is proof of what God can do - and of what kind of attitudes we should avoid while witnessing.

The message is titled Going Overboard On Dry Land and is taken from Jonah 4:1-10.


Hebrews 13:3 - Pastor Georgi Viazovski

I received this update from my friend Steve Owens in the UK and wanted to pass it on:

Remember the prisoners as if chained with them- those who are mistreated- since you yourselves are in the body also' (Heb 13:3 ).

Situation of Pastor Georgi Viazovski

Pastor Georgi Viazovski is the pastor of Christ's Covenant Reformed Baptist Church in Minsk, Belarus. The church was established in March 1994 and has 35 members. The fellowship meet in a prayer house which is officially designated as a residential building.

Pastor Viazovski is known to many in the UK, having trained in pastoral theology from 1992-94 at the London Reformed Baptist Seminary, and having worshipped with the Metropolitan Tabernacle in central London. His training and his own stance emphasises personal religion and morality as opposed to any form of political activism.

Prison Sentence
On Friday 3 March Pastor Viazovski was sentenced to a ten -day prison term for conducting religious worship in a 'private home' (in breach of Administrative Violations Code Article 167-1, part 1). This is the first time in twenty years that religious worship has incurred a prison sentence in Belarus. He was released on 13 March, but is presumably likely to be re-arrested as soon as he resumes his ministry. As the first Christian prisoner in Belarus since the end of the Soviet era, and a citizen of a country which upholds freedom of religion, does his imprisonment mark an end of such freedom?

Pastor Georgi had previously been found guilty of a similar offence on 24 November 2005. On that occasion he was issued with a warning. Police visited his church on 5 February 2006, interrupting worship and taking photographs. He was summoned to appear in court on 3 March. It was widely expected that he would be sentenced to a fine at this hearing since this has been the pattern with similar cases in Belarus. The custodial sentence came as a great shock to the church and to other independent Baptist churches in the country.

Registration of Churches
Pastor Georgi's fellowship had tried to obtain re-registration under the 2002 religion law.

Although the majority of churches have been granted re-registration their application was rejected.

Request for Help
Pastor Viazovski has asked for prayer and also that concerned friends write to the Belarus authorities on behalf of his fellowship. The addresses of the Belarus Embassy in London and Washington is shown below. Letters should be typed, and if writers have significant positions in employment and possess university degrees these should be referred to as they are taken account of by Belarus officials. The tone of letters should not be hostile.

In the UK:
His Excellency, Dr Alyaksei Mazhukhou
Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus, Belarus Embassy
6 Kensington Court, London W8 5DL

In the US:
His Excellency, H.E. Mikhail Khvostov
Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus, Belarus Embassy
1619 New Hampshire Avenue., N.W.
Washington, DC 20009


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Phillip's Phunnies - Laws and Lamentations

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

This week's phunnies include 2 items that a pastor friend pointed me to that made him and a few of our good friends laugh as well as a story I read online posted by a former Marine - though once a Marine always a Marine - Semper Fi!

Laws Concerning Food and Drink and Household Principles
Lamentations of the Father
by Ian Frazier

Laws of Forbidden Places

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room. Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein.

Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage therein you may not eat, neither may you drink.

But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.

Laws When at Table

And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were.

Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me.

Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.

Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away from my presence.

When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck: for you will be sent away from my presence.

When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; verily I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same before you.

Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is.

And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, because we do not do that, that is why.

And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why.

Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away.

Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup.

And now behold.....even as I have said, it has come to pass.

Laws Pertaining to Dessert

For as we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert.

But of the unclean plate, the laws are these:

If ye have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then ye shall have dessert.

But if ye eat a lesser number of peas, and yet ye eat the potatoes, still ye shall not have dessert; and if ye eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, ye shall not have dessert, no, verily I say unto you, not even a small portion thereof!

And if thou tries to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear that thou hast eaten what thou hast not, ye will fall into iniquity.

And I will know, and ye shall have no dessert.

On Screaming

Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time.

If ye are given a plate on which two foods ye do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, and your voice rises up even unto the ceiling, while ye point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say unto you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct his transgression and peace shall prevail throughout the land.

Likewise if ye receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, verily, refrain from screaming.

Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose.

For even as I have made the fish, and it is as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.

Concerning Face and Hands

Cast your countenance upward unto the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off.

For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, and there is rice thereon.

And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner beyond comprehension!

Only hold thyself still; hold still, I say.

Give unto each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb.

Lo, how iniquitous they appear.

What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go henceforth until I have done.

Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time.

Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any beast of the field, or any fowl of the air nor of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub your feet against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what hath the cat done, that you should go forth and afflict it so and bindeth it with tape?

And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book.

Verily I say unto you, you will drive me to madness.

Neither forget what I said about the tape.

[Ian Frazier, "Laws Concerning Food and Drink: Household
Principles, Lamentations of the Father," The Atlantic
Monthly, February 1997, Volume 279, No. 2, pages 89-90.]

Head Bangers
author unknown

I heard a story recently about a student named Donald MacDonald from the Isle of Skye (in Scotland) who was admitted into the prestigious Oxford University and was living in the hall of residence in his first year there. His clan was so excited that one of their own had made it into the upper class of education, but they were concerned how he would do in "that strange land." After the first month, his mother came to visit.

"And how do you find the English students, Donald?" she asked.

"Mother," he replied in his thick brogue, "they're such terrible, noisy people. The one on that side keeps banging his head against the wall, and he won't stop. The one on the other side screams and screams and screams away into the night."

"Oh, Donald! How do you manage to put up with those awful noisy English neighbors?"

"Mother, I do nothing. I just ignore them. I just stay here quietly, playing my bagpipes..."

Farm Kid Joins the Marines
writes a letter home

Dear Ma and Pa:

I am well. Hope you are too. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer that the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay...practically nothing. Men got to shave but it's not so bad...there's warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie, and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you 'til noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.

We go on "route marches," which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home.

Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice but awful flat. The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own
cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near 300pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding on in.

Your loving daughter,


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spurgeon for Today

Sorry for the delay in devotions this week - my schedule has prevented me from devoting time to writing. But to fill the void - here are Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and Faith's Checkbook devotions for the day. I'll be back tomorrow!

"I am a stranger with thee."—Psalm 39:12.

YES, O Lord, with Thee, but not to Thee. All my natural alienation from Thee, Thy grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with Thyself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. Thou art a stranger in Thine own world. Man forgets Thee, dishonours Thee, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows Thee not. When Thy dear Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. Never was foreigner so speckled a bird among the denizens of any land as Thy beloved Son among His mother's brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these Babylonians among whom I dwell an outlandish tongue, my manners are singular, and my actions are strange. A Tartar would be more at home in Cheapside than I could ever be in the haunts of sinners. But here is the sweetness of my lot: I am a stranger with Thee. Thou art my fellow-sufferer, my fellow-pilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society! My heart burns within me by the way when thou dost speak to me, and though I be a sojourner, I am far more blest than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than those who dwell in their ceiled houses.

"To me remains nor place, nor time:
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none:
But with a God to guide our way,
'Tis equal joy to go or stay."

"Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins."—Psalm 19:13.

SUCH was the prayer of the "man after God's own heart." Did holy David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for us babes in grace! It is as if he said, "Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin." Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What might not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in providence and in grace! The psalmist's prayer is directed against the worst form of sin—that which is done with deliberation and wilfulness. Even the holiest need to be "kept back" from the vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning saints against the most loathsome sins. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." What! do saints want warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do. The whitest robes, unless their purity be preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, boast not in your experience; you will trip yet if you look away from Him who is able to keep you from falling. Ye whose love is fervent, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, "We shall never sin," but rather cry, "Lead us not into temptation." There is enough tinder in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God shall quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing uncleanness? Hazael said, "Is Thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" and we are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence.

Faith's Checkbook
To Others an "Example"

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:9)
It is well when a man can with advantage be so minutely copied as Paul might have been. Oh, for grace to imitate him this day and every day!

Should we, through divine grace, carry into practice the Pauline teaching, we may claim the promise which is now open before us; and what a promise it is! God, who loves peace, makes peace, and breathes peace, will be with us. "Peace be with you" is a sweet benediction; but for the God of peace to be with us is far more. Thus we have the fountain as well as the streams, the sun as well as his beams. If the God of peace be with us, we shall enjoy the peace of God which passeth all understanding, even though outward circumstances should threaten to disturb. If men quarrel, we shall be sure to be peacemakers, if the Maker of peace be with us.

It is in the way of truth that real peace is found. If we quit the faith or leave the path of righteousness under the notion of promoting peace, we shall be greatly mistaken. First pure, then peaceable, is the order of wisdom and of fact. Let us keep to Paul's line, and we shall have the God of peace with us as He was with the apostle.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Go to Nineveh: The Do-Over

God called Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah went the opposite direction and tried to run from the presence of God. God sent a storm and almost sank the ship, identified Jonah as the cause, and still Jonah stubbornly refused to obey to the point that he was willing to be thrown overboard and drown instead of obey the call to go! "I'd rather die!"

He was tossed overboard, began to sink, and was swallowed whole and alive by a great fish. He remained stubborn, enduring three full days in the fish before he prayed and cried out to God!!

Then God spoke to the fish who spit Jonah up on dry land. And God told Jonah a second time (a do-over) to go to Nineveh. Jonah immediately went to Nineveh and preached the message that God gave him.

To learn more about what happened as Jonah preached in Nineveh be sure to listen to this week's sermon from Jonah 3:1-10, titled:
Go to Nineveh: The Do-Over.

God's Design for the Family

Sermon Series - Ephesians 5:22-33

I am updating our sermon audio page with more sermons from the series we went through in 2003-04 as a church. It was a series of 32 messages titled God's Design for the Family. We examined everything from the source of and solution for family conflict, Jesus' definition of marriage, and the specific roles that God has designed for wives, husbands, and children in the home and at church.

This series is a compilation of years of Bible study and preaching combined with years of experience in pre-marital and marriage and family Biblical Counseling. It would be a good series for any single person or couple to examine much of what the Bible has to say about marriage and the family.

Please visit our "God's Design for the Family" page and check for updates. The series includes the following messages:

Dealing with Conflict

1. The Source of Family Conflict - Genesis 3:1-19
2. The Solution for Family Conflict - Ephesians 5:18-21
3. Strategies for Success - Romans 6:12-13
4. Successful Spirit-Filled Living - Galatians 5:16-26
5. The Assault on Marriage - James 4:1-6
6. Divorce and Remarriage - Matthew 19:1-10

God's Three Purposes for Marriage

First Purpose - Lifetime Partnership

7. Lifetime Partnership - Genesis 1:6-27; 2:15-25

Second Purpose - Lineage through Children

8. God's Purpose for Children - Psalm 127
9. God's Plan for Parenting - Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4
10. God's Providential Exception: The Barren Womb - Psalm 113:9

Third Purpose - Living a Parable

11. Marriage as a Picture of Christ as Savior - Ephesians 5:23-25, 32
12. Marriage as a Picture of Christ as Sanctifier - Ephesians 5:26-27
13. Marriage as a Picture of Christ as Shepherd - Ephesians 5:29
14. Marriage as a Picture of the Body of Christ - Ephesians 5:30, 32

Jesus Defines Marriage

15. Jesus Defines and Defends Marriage - Matthew 19:3-8

The Role of the Wife

16. The Wife's Role at Home: Submission - Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18
17. The Wife's Role at Home: Incorruptible Beauty - 1 Peter 3:1-6
18. The Wife's Role at Church: Covered - 1 Corinthians 11:2-16
19. The Wife's Role at Church: Serving - 1 Timothy 2:9-15
20. The Wife's Role at Church: Teaching - Titus 2:3-5
21. The Portrait of a Godly Wife - Proverbs 31:10-31

The Role of the Husband

22. The Husband's Role at Home: Love - Eph 5:25-27; Col 3:19
23. The Husband's Role at Home: Nourish and Cherish - Eph 5:28-33
24. The Husband's Role at Home: Understand - 1 Peter 3:7
25. The Husband's Role at Church: Elders - 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9
26. The Husband's Role at Church: Deacons - 1 Tim 3:8-13
27. The Husband's Role at Church: Younger/Older Men - Titus 2:1-2; 6-8
28. The Portrait of a Godly Man - Proverbs 31:1-9

The Role of Children

29. The Children's Role at Home: Obedience - Ephesians 6:1
30. The Children's Role at Home: Honor - Ephesians 6:2-3
31. The Children's Role at Church: Worship - Deuteronomy 6:1-6
32. The Portrait of a Godly Child - 1 Samuel 2; Luke 2

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Phillip's Phunnies - Books and Authors

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Here is a list of notable books and the authors who wrote them:

Tea and Cookies
by Duncan A. Biscuit

Opening Doors
by McKay Fitz Yurlock

High Explosives
by Diana Mite

Three Miles to the Outhouse
by Willie Makkit
illustrated by Bettie Dont

Through the Broken Window
by Eva Brick

The Herd Mentality
by Stan Pede

Going Up!
by Elly Vator

Knock, Knock
by Isabelle Working
illustrated by Theodore S. Locked

My House and the Hurricane
by Rufus Offit

Handbook of Poisons
by Cy O'Nide

Elephant Guns and Ammo
by Ivor E. Hunter

The Fencing of the West
by Bob and Barbara Wire

That's Better
by Clara Fied

Succesful Outdoor Advertising
by Bill Bored

Advanced Denistry
by Perry O'Donnell

The History of Kung-Fu
by Marsha Larts

Bluegrass Instruments
by Amanda Lynn

by M.T. Bed

Seventeenth Century Art
by Rene Sance

Without Warning
by Oliver Sudden

You're All Wet
by Wayne Storms

by Tim Berr

Learn the Alphabet
by A.B. Cede

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet
by Sue Perman

Plumbing for Dummies
by Dwayne Pipe

Outboard Motor Repair
by Rhoda Shore

Funeral Ettiquette
by Paul Behrer

Denistry 101
by Phil McKavity

Facial Expressions
by Rays I. Browse

Cats in the Desert
by Sandy Claws

French Sandals and Casual Wear
by Philippe Philoppe

BONUS #1 - Speaking of the French
Introducing the French Army Knife

BONUS #2: An extra joke for free
(told to me by my barber this week):

Did you hear about the termite that walked into a bar and asked,
"Is the bartender here?"

Is the bar tender here? Get it?

BONUS #3: More Puns from Derick Dickens
A Good Pun is its own Re-Word


Friday, March 10, 2006

Testing Our Faith

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - 2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

Daily Scripture Reading - Acts 7

Puritan Catechism
Question #19 - Did God leave all mankind to perish in the state of sin and misery?

Answer: God having, out of his good pleasure from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life (2 Thess. 2:13), did enter into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of the state of sin and misery, and to bring them into a state of salvation by a Redeemer (Rom. 5:21).

Confessing Our Faith- NEW Feature!
This section of the daily devotional will be devoted to a reading taken from our church's Confessions of Faith - The First (1646) and Second (1689) London Baptist Confessions of Faith. Just as we study the Puritan Catechism to reinforce the truth of Scripture, so to it is helpful to remind ourselves of the standards of faith that we have confessed together as a local body of believers.

We will start with a daily reading from The First London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1646. For the history of the writing of this confession, visit the "Baptist Documents" section of the Reformed Reader site.

The First London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1646
Chapter 9 - The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote, the Apostles preached, He is the Son of God, the brightness of His glory, etc. by whom He made the world; who upholdeth and governeth all things that He hath made; who also when the fullness of time was come, was made of a woman, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David; to wit, of the virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her, the power of the most High overshadowing her; and He was also tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Genesis 3:15, 22:18, 49:10; Daniel 7:13, 9:24; Proverbs 8:23; John 1:1, 2, 3; Hebrews 1:8; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 7:14; Revelation 5:5; Genesis 49:9, 10; Romans 1:3, 9:10; Matthew 1:16; Luke 3:23, 26; Hebrews 2:16; Isaiah 53:3, 4, 5; Hebrews 4:15.

Devotional Thoughts
In the book of Acts, chapter 7, we read the account of the stoning of Stephen. One of seven men chosen to serve the church and the first New Testament martyr for Christ. As he proclaimed the truth to those accusing him he preached a message about the history and heritage of Israel. That message reads very much like Hebrews 11.

Stephen starts with the call of God to Abraham. He recounts the history of Abraham's journey from Ur and tells about the prophecy regarding Israel's stay in Egypt, and he talked about the promises that God had made. He mentioned the Covenant with Abraham and the sign of that covenant, circumcision. God had separated a special people for Himself.

It was significant because those listening were Jews. They were descendents of Abraham. They knew this history. But Stephen was making a point. For as he continued to preach, he told of the story of Jacob and Jospeh and the burial of Joseph's bones in Shechem. He kept going back to the promises and faithfulness of God just as we have been studying.

He went on to talk about Moses and the Exodus (still to come from our Hebrews 11 study). And then he made the point that the nation of Israel, though chosen by God, had continually been rebellious to God. They were a stiff necked people - a people who just like their ancestors persecuted the prophets and rejected the message of the gospel.

Stephen says that they resisted the Holy Spirit! For all that God did for them and through them there was only ever a remnant of faithful in Israel. The nation depended upon their ancestry for peace with God. They thought it was enough that they were Abraham's descendents. But Stephen made the point - they had rejected the truth, rejected God, and while the Patriarchs had been faithful, on the whole the nation had been rebellious and had displeased God time and time again.

Here we learn that as we study the faith of the Patriarchs, it is never enough to rest on the faith of others. For those who came after them were for the most part unfaithful. The "Hall of Faith" we find in Hebrews 11 is really a very short chapter when you think about it. How many more were not faithful?

Often we fall into this trap. We depend upon the fact that we might have been brought up in church, or that our parents are believers, or that we have always gone to church and tried to do what is right. But faith is more than that. Faith is not something handed down from generation to generation. It is not something bestowed by birthright. It is not something we can give our children or grandchildren. Faith is a gift from God, given to whomever He choses to give it.

So when we look at the faith of the Patriarchs, and our parents, and at our family and our church, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith! The Bible is clear. If we are in the faith there will be clear indicators. Likewise there will be evidence if we are not in the faith, too.

Sadly, many in the church today are deceived. They think that they are in the faith, but they are not. Their faith is not true saving faith. It is an illusion, fake and false. It is faith in self instead of faith in Christ. It is faith in works instead of faith in Christ. It is faith in heritage instead of faith in Christ. And faith that is placed in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ is only deceptive, dead, and false!

We are told, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified." What do we look for when we examine ourselves? How do we know if we are in the faith?

Some would say it is remembering your conversion - when you prayed a prayer or made a decision or asked Jesus into your heart. Some would say it is remembering your baptism, that public profession of faith made as you submitted yourself to the ordinance of the church. Some would say it was when you were confirmed before the church, or some other ceremony that is used for assurance.

But what does the Bible say? What do we look for to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith? Today we will quickly look at 4 things that we need to examine our lives for to see if we are in the faith!


Jesus says that we can know about any person and their faith by looking at the fruit that their lives produce. "A tree is known by its fruit." Interstingly we often have the wrong idea about fruit. We think of leading people to Christ or doing good in the community as fruit. Giving, praying, witnessing, volunteering, etc. We think fruit is being successful and friendly. But in the Bible fruit is more about the inside than the outside! It is a matter of heart and motive. The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit we need to look for if we are going to see if we are in the faith.

As we have discussed before, there is bad fruit (works of the flesh) and good fruit (fruit of the Spirit) listed in Galatians 5. An easy summary shows us that if we are always bearing bad fruit then we are not in the faith! If on the other hand we bear good fruit consistently, then we can have assurance that we are in the faith. Here is the list again to refresh your memory:

Bad Fruit - adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.

Good Fruit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Which fruit is evident in your life?

Good Works

Secondly we look at works. James 2:14-26 is clear, faith that does not produce good works is dead faith. In other words, the proof of the reality of our faith is seen in how we act toward others!

This is convicting but think about this scenario. What would you do if you knew that a member of your church was suffering with some financial struggles? Perhaps a member of the family was out of work, bills were stacking up, maybe even someone in the family was having health problems. All of this piles up on a family and they are desperate and lonely. (Does this happen? Well if you do not know take your eyes off of yourself and look around - true faith sends us out looking for those in need in the Body of Christ so that we might help!) In this case, as bad as it sounds, what would you do? Notice the question. I is not "What would you think, pray, or say?" It is "What would you DO?" For it is not saying or thinking that matters - it is DOING!

The example given in James 2 is that a person who has FAKE faith, dead faith, faith that cannot save, that person acts like this: "If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" They say, "Be Warm! Be Filled!" But it is all just words. They do nothing at all to actually help. Why? Because they are focused on self instead of Christ and His Body!

The Apostle John goes further. He says that to act like this when there are people around us in the church who have needs and we see it and ignore it is to not even know the love of God! "But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?"

This is but one example. The church today is just too full of itself - self centered, self absorbed, self gratifying. All around us people have needs and yet we do nothing. Love and faith that does not count the cost of following Christ is neither true love nor saving faith!


It is true, love is a fruit of the Spirit and a mark of knowing Christ. Beyond fruit and works we need to see if we are truly living a life of love for God and our neighbor! If we say we love God but in actions and attitudes we hate our brother then the Bible says we do not love or know God! This is tough truth isn't it? But as we have studied the Patriarchs and have seen their faith we see that true faith pays the price - true faith is built on love. Again, in 1 John 3 we see an example given of Cain. We are not to be like Cain, but like his brother Abel. Who was accepted? Who was faithful? And who was full of hate and murder?

Love is a mark of maturity and an indicator of the genuineness of our faith. Not love in words - but love in action! What have you done recently to show those around you that you love them?


Love as a mark of true faith leads us to obedience. If we constantly disobey the Word of God then we cannot claim to have faith. Jesus said that if we love Him we will keep His commands. Obedience is fruit, works, and love all wrapped into one package. We love God and believe God and so we obey God. If we live in consistent and willful disobedience then we prove for all to see that we are not in the faith. You see, proof of salvation is not years ago where we prayed a prayer and "nailed down a stake" to remember our conversion. No. Proof of salvation, evidence of faith is seen in how we are living right now!

The Bible defines love for God as obedience to Him. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." As you examine your faith, what do you find? What are the test results that you get when you look at works, fruit, love, and obedience in your life right now today? Think of it this way - if you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you of the charges?

Think about your relationships in the church. Look beyond yourself. Look to how you treat others. Are you bearing fruit, doing good works, loving others, and being obedient to God?

If not, repent! And get in the Word and ask for faith. If we fail this test we have no hope and are in great danger! For this is the test that reveals the nature of our faith. Are we really trusting Christ? Are we saved? Are we in the faith? Our lives will tell. What is your life saying today?

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

Abraham's Faith, and Ours by Lig Duncan
The Activity of Faith by Thomas Hooker
Dead Faith and Living Faith by John MacArthur

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

Monday, March 06, 2006

Devotions Delayed

This week's devotions have been delayed due to my being out of town on Monday. We will pick up in our study of Hebrews 11 on Tuesday. Sorry for the delay!


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Go Fish

Last week we left Jonah Going Overboard and sinking in the sea. This Sunday we will pick up where the Great Fish comes in.

This weeks message can be found here: Go Fish - Jonah 1:17-2:10

This fourth message in our series titled "Why Go?" in Jonah finds us examining Jonah 1:17-2:10. In this text we discover:

  • God is Sovereign - 1:17a
  • Jonah is Swallowed - 1:17b
  • The Fish's Supper Supplicates - 2:1-6
  • Jonah Submits to God - 2:7-9a
  • God Saves Jonah - 2:9b
  • God Speaks to the Fish - 2:10a
  • The Fish Spits Jonah Up - 2:10b
  • Application: Surviving Affliction

Through this message we will learn more about the sovereignty of God and His control over all of His creation (Job 12:7-9; 40-41; Psalm 74:13-14; 104:24-26), even the wild animals. And we will learn in applying the text how to Survive Affliction. There are three steps that we see Jonah take as an example to us when we are overwhelmed with a flood of affliction. Those steps are:

1. Cry Out to God - Psalm 34:19
2. Confess the Sovereignty of God - Psalm 69
3. Comfort is found in the Word of God - Psalm 119:50

And they can be summed up by saying that in order to endure affliction we must focus on God. Notice - cry out to God, confess to God, find comfort in the Word of God. If our focus remains on self and our suffering we will fail the test! Focus on God - He will save you!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Phillip's Phunnies - Star Warts

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

I am posting this late in the day Saturday due to being busy elsewhere throughout the day today and so thought I would toss out a few phunnies, better late than never, right?! Here are some Star Warts!

The Empire Strikes Back - The Real Ending

A furious lightsaber duel is underway. DARTH VADER is backing LUKE SKYWALKER towards the end of the gantry. A quick move by Vader, chops off Luke's hand! It goes spinning off into the ventilation shaft. Luke backs away. He looks around, but realizes there's nowhere to go but straight down.

Darth Vader: Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.

Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!

Darth Vader: No... I am your father!

Luke: No, it's not true! It's impossible.

Darth Vader: Search your feelings... you know it to be true...

Luke: NO!

Darth Vader: Yes, it is true.. and you know what else? You know that brass droid of yours?

Luke: Threepio?

Darth Vader: Yes... Threepio... I built him... when I was 7 years old...

Luke: No...

Darth Vader: Seven years old? And what have you done? Look at yourself, no hand, no job, and couldn't even levitate your own ship out of the swamp...

Luke: I destroyed your precious Death Star!

Darth Vader: When you were 20! When I was 10, I single-handedly destroyed a Trade Federation Droid Control ship!

Luke: Well, it's not my fault...

Darth Vader: Oh, here we go... "Poor me... my father never gave me what I wanted for my birthday... boo hoo, my daddy's the Dark Lord of the Sith... waahhh wahhh!"

Luke: Stop it...

Darth Vader: You're a slacker! By the time I was you're age, I had exterminated the Jedi knights!

Luke: I used to race my T-16 through Beggar's Canyon!

Darth Vader: Oh, for the love of the Emperor... 10 years old, winner of the Boonta Eve Open... Only human to ever fly a Pod Racer... right here baby!

Luke looks down the shaft. Takes a step towards it.

Darth Vader: I was wrong... You're not my kid... I don't know whose you are, but you sure ain't mine...

Redneck Jedi Knights

You Might be a Redneck Jedi If.....

You ever heard the phrase, "May the force be with ya'll."

Your Jedi robe is camouflage.

You have ever used your light saber to open a bottle of Bud Light.

At least one wing of your X-Wings is primer colored.

You can easily describe the taste of an Ewok.

You have ever had a land-speeder up on blocks in your yard.

The worst part of spending time on Dagobah is the skeeters.

Wookies are offended by your B.O.

You have ever used the Force in conjunction with fishing/bowling/hunting.

Your father has ever said to you, "Son, come on over to the dark side... it'll be a hoot."

You have ever had your R-2 unit use its self-defense electro-shock thingy to get the barbecue grill to light.

You have a Confederate flag painted on the hood of your land-speeder.

You have the doors of your X-wing welded shut and you have to get in through the window.

You have a cousin who bears a strong resemblance to Chewbacca.

You suggested that they outfit the Millennium Falcon with a redwood deck.

Your business cards read "Billy Bob, Jedi Master".

Star Wars A-Team

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Shepherd's Conference

Tim Challies is live blogging the Shepherd's Conference currently being held at Grace Community Church in California. Reading the reports, I cannot wait to hear the audio!!

Read these summaries at Challies.com:

General Sessions

First General Session with John MacArthur
Second General Session with John MacArthur
Third General Session with Mark Dever
Fourth General Session - Q & A with John MacArthur
Fifth General Session with Albert Mohler
Sixth General Session with Steve Lawson
Seventh General Session with RC Sproul
Eigth General Session with Al Mohler
Ninth General Session with Lig Duncan


First Seminar - Is the Reformation Over? with Phil Johnson
Second Seminar - Evangelical Charismatics with Nathan Busenitz
Third Seminar - The Fad Driven Church with Phil Johnson
Fourth Seminar - Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, and Neo-Evangelicalism with Phil Johnson
Fifth Seminar - How to Raise a Pharisee with Carey Hardy

Don't miss any - but I have been especially challenged by the First General Session (MacArthur), the Third General Session (Dever), and the Third Seminar (on fads with Phil Johnson).


Thursday, March 02, 2006

March 2, 1836 - Texas Independence Day

The San Jacinto Monument
The tallest concrete pillar memorial monument in the world
(15 feet taller than the Washington Monument).

Happy Texas Independence Day

As a Sixth Generation Native Texan, I must take part of the blog space today and devote it to the history of this great Lone Star State!

(scroll down for today's devotional!)

The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on this day in 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas. Signed just 4 days before the fall of the Alamo, the Declaration established the Republic of Texas, which existed as a sovereign nation until Texas was brought into the United States by a treaty as the 28th state on December 29, 1845.

Thirteen Days of Glory
The Seige of the Alamo began on
February 23 and ended on March 6, 1836.

Texas won her independence in a final battle on the fields of San Jacinto. The battle cry that day was "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" (two previous battles lost to the Mexican Army where no mercy was shown and no prisoners taken). The battle lasted 18 minutes, saw no Texian casualties, and ended with the unconditional surrender of General Santa Anna to General Sam Houston.

The Surrender of Santa Anna to Houston, April 21, 1836.

Here are a few flags from the War for Independence.

The Alamo Battle Flag

A Mexican flag with 1824 across the middle, representing the Constitution of Mexico that General Anotonio Lopez de Santa Anna overthrew when he established a military dictatorship.

The First Flag of the Republic

This shows us the Lone Star of Texas.

The Third Flag of the Republic

This is still the flag of Texas today.

While a Republic, Texas included land that is now part of
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Here is a map of the Republic of Texas.

Here is a map of Texas today.

Texas has existed under six national flags:

(1519-1685 and 1690-1821)
The Republic of Texas
The Confederate States of America
The United States of America
(1845-1861; 1865-present)

Click here to learn more interesting facts about Texas.

On a personal note, I have pastored churches all around Texas and have come to believe that if the Lord ever did call me to a church outside of Texas, it would have to come with a specific call and appointment to foreign missions. For anywhere else other than Texas just isn't home! :)

God Bless Texas - The Greatest Nation on Earth!