Friday, September 18, 2009

New Apologetics Blog

I am excited about a new apologetics blog that my brother has taken on. You should check it out--regularly! To date he is posting regularly. I don't know how long he will do so, but so far the posts are worth the read (and Yes, I know I'm his brother, so such evaluations may not be worth as much--that's why you should check it out for yourself).

The blog is called Submitted Thought Fort Wayne, and it an intentional counter to FreeThought Fort Wayne, a website promoting atheism.

(Some back story, for you who are interested:

Jeff recently told me about some of the things he had been observing on FreeThought Fort Wayne. He summarized some of their arguments and proceeded to highlight for me the holes in their thinking. He was very interested in this and told me he wished he could be on one of their programs some time just to debate.

I emailed him later, recommending he get back into blogging and that he blog specifically about apologetics. He started one up that day.

Jeff has always been interested in issues relating to apologetics, like the relationship between faith and science, and also the arguments of atheism and agnosticism. Add to that his sharp mind and his gift for writing, and I think he's got a winner with this blog.)

Nothing for Myself?

Today as I pray one of Andrew Murray's prayers, I pray, "Blessed Lord! Now and through all my spiritual life, let me want everything for You, and nothing for myself."

And as I pray that, I mentally stumble over it, and the Lord knows it. So I have to pray through that.

Here's what I affirm in with my mouth and my mind, but I'm not sure I truly, truly believe it in my gut:
  • When I live 100% for God's glory, life will never be better for me. When I deny myself and pour myself out for the Lord Jesus Christ, I will never have more joy or more peace or more satisfaction or more contentment.
  • The joy and satisfaction I garner now from the times I pursue my own agenda are paltry and moldy and stale compared to the joy and satisfaction I receive when I pursue the Lord's.
  • My little kingdom is comfortable, but flies are attracted to it, the walls are broken down in places, and if you can picture in your mind's eye the visible stench that surrounds Peanuts' Pigpen, the same is attached to my kingdom. By contrast God's kingdom is brilliant and beautiful and glorious. It's strong. It's prosperous. It's citizens where the genuine smiles of true happiness and security. That's the kingdom I should expend myself for, not mine.
So what's the problem? My lack of faith. I know this; I must believe it and live it.

I pray I will. I trust the Lord will answer and continue to move me from unbelief to faith.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On Changing Light Bulbs

How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?
At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and 3 committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad.

How many Lutherans? None. Lutherans don’t believe in change.

How many Methodists?
Undetermined. Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Church wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring bulb of your choice and a covered dish.

How many Episcopalians?
Three. One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

How many Calvinists? Every Calvinist knows only God can change a light bulb.

How many Arminians? Only one, but first the bulb must want to be changed.

How many TV evangelists? One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation...

How many Independent Baptists? Only one, anymore than that would be considered ecumenical.

How many Evolutionists? None - it will change itself - it will just take billions and billions of years.

How many Pentecostals? Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

How many Charismatics does it take to change a light bulb? One, and his hands are already in the air!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fans & Fanatics

Ever notice how sports enthusiasts are called “fans,” but Christ enthusiasts are called “fanatics”?

"Fan" is a neutral term; it doesn't have a negative connotation.

"Fanatic" is a negative term; it indicates excess, or improper investment.

Sports enthusiasts invest hours and hours in sports—watching, playing, thinking about; but somehow that’s respectable, and following Christ isn’t.

But that's the world's view. God's take is typically different:

... train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
--1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Preaching & Teaching

I'm in the midst of a week-and-a-half marathon of preaching and teaching. Along with my regular teaching responsibilities, three preaching opportunities were added. So much of my time has been invested in studying and thinking. I am enjoying it, though there are things piling up at home I need to get to ...

  • Adult Bible Study last week -- 2 Sam 18:1-19:8
  • Sunday School last Sunday -- Zech 2
  • Sermon last Sunday -- 1 Pt 2:4-5
  • Nursing home sermon yesterday -- Ps 73
  • Adult Bible Study tonight -- 2 Sam 19:9-43
  • Sunday School this Sunday -- Zech 3
  • Sermon this Sunday -- 1 Pt 2:6-8

God is good! Praise the Lord for his word and the opportunity to proclaim it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On Prayer Again

From Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer (ch. 25):

Once again, we learn this lesson: What our prayer achieves depends on what we are and what our lives are.

Living in the Name of Christ is the secret of praying in the Name of Christ; living in the Spirit is necessary for praying in the Spirit. Abiding in Christ gives the right and power to ask for what we desire. The extent of our abiding is equivalent to our power in prayer.

The Spirit dwelling within us prays, not always in words and thoughts, but in a breathing and a being that is deeper than utterance. There is as much real prayer in us as there is of Christ's Spirit.

Let our lives be full of Christ and full of His Spirit, so that the wonderfully unlimited promises to our prayers will no longer appear strange. "Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my Name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. At that day ye shall ask in my Name. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, He will give it you."