Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review - Luke 5

Review of Lord’s Day: November 18th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 5

My take on Sunday's morning sermon at Andover Baptist and other thoughts.

Jesus did not come to conquer physical death but spiritual death.  The power He shows over death and disease shows His power to make men spiritually alive.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lookng Forward to It

Many times when I am struggling with difficult circumstances in life, I find it very helpful to look forward to good things on the horizon.  Right now I'm taking advantage of some vacation time that I've been looking forward to.  But when our life seems to be swirling out of control it becomes obvious that there is nothing else to look forward to in this empty life. These difficult times afford us the opportunity to turn our minds to things above where we can find true hope of a better life.  In Christ we have already begun this better life but when we think of heaven we are looking forward to the fulfillment of what has begun in seed form now. 

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:23-25

I've written a list of the specific things I hope to experience in heaven after the resurrection.  I was reminded of this list when my brother-in-law sent me a link to a choir singing the Hymn "Praise My Soul the King of Heaven." I hope to explore each entry on this list individually in future posts.  The thing hoped for is first and the counterfeit or opposite is in parentheses.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Election 2012 / Abortion Conversation

A reply to Brad's post regarding abortion and the 2012 election here.

Brad -

You said, "What I do not agree is that someone who thinks it might be alright to vote for someone who is pro-choice, on the basis of other reasons besides abortion, holds to an untenable premise."

I wanted to first say that my comments apply to America.  Let us now put aside hypothetical Americas and other nations, because that is what the American voter had to do.  It won't do to reference the U.K. or Australia just now.  We're Americans voting for the President of our country. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief because our analysis is much clearer now.

Let us also now put aside all pretenses to the supposed urgency of other issues.  We would be profoundly foolish to ignore other issues it is true.  But the reason there are so many one-issue voters such as myself who will only vote based on the abortion question is not, as you seem to think, that our facility for moral reasoning has shriveled.  Indeed, the success of moral reasoning depends not on its complexity, relevance to great philosophers, reference to current moral thinking and norms, or warm encouragement of non-believers or dissenting believers to mutual understanding.  No, successful moral reasoning results in a decision that is righteous.  The urgency of our time is to stand for the righteous cause of the unborn.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Preview Luke 5

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday.

Luke has established the divine origin of Jesus, recounted His temptation in the wilderness, and discussed the beginning of Jesus' ministry.  One final note on Chapter 4: Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15 which says, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers - it is to him you shall listen." And just as Moses fasted forty days on the mountain, Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness. 

This is just another interesting pointer to fulfilled prophecy, the unity of scripture, and the beauty of God's plan of redemption!

Friday, November 16, 2012

For the Joy Set Before Us

How Long O Lord?
Reflections on Suffering and Evil
D.A. Carson
Ch 8 - From the Vantage of the End

Thoughts on the monthly book study with members of Andover Baptist and Severna Park Evangelical Presbyterian.

It is absurd to suffer for Christ if we do not have a clear view of what we are hoping for in the future.  The quintessential example for us is Christ Jesus Himself: "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Carson: "Without that prospect [of "vindication and resurrection"] ... Christianity does not make much sense..."

"if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all others." First Letter to the Corinthians 15:19. 

The Unconcerned Traveler

There were two men sitting on a plane in the coach section. One of the men simply sat in his seat enjoying the ride. From time to time he would listen to updates of the estimated time of arrival. Once or twice this man even looked at his ticket to make sure he was on time and on the right flight.

The other man kept looking around and pushing the button to get a flight attendant. After pushing the button a few times he had a pillow, a blanket, two bags of chips, and a can of soda. He even stuffed the plane magazines into his carry-on. Eventually he got up, trying to look as un-suspicious as possible, and walked to first-class and sat down in an empty seat.

The first man was so surprised at this behavior he could hardly believe it. He went over to the other man’s seat and noticed that all of the magazines were gone and there were crumbs everywhere. He looked in the magazine rack and saw that the man had left his ticket in it. He grabbed it and walked it up to the fellow in first class.  As he walked through the plane and looked at the ticket, he noticed that the man was not even on the right flight! He handed the tickets to him and said, “did you know you are on the wrong plane?”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday Night Bible Study - Psalm 27

Bible Study on Wednesdays at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

  You have said, “Seek my face.”
 My heart says to you,
  “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
  Hide not your face from me.
 Turn not your servant away in anger,
  O you who have been my help.
 Cast me not off; forsake me not,
  O God of my salvation!
 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
  but the LORD will take me in.
  Teach me your way, O LORD,
  and lead me on a level path
  because of my enemies.
(Psalm 27:8-11 ESV)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Football Roundup - ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC!

I usually am not terribly intrigued by the national soccer competitions this time of year.  There's not much going on.  It isn't close enough to the World Cup for qualification matches to mean much.  But it is games like the Sweden 4 - 2 England match today which make national soccer truly the highest level of entertainment.  Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the hero of the match, plays for PSG in France.  Yes a Swedish footballer of Bosnian descent playing in France - a very strange situation indeed. But Zlatan is not just strange, he is preternatural.

Zlatan: From another planet?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Exelon - Time to Buy?

What is going on with Exelon stock lately?  It has dropped from almost $40 per share to about $30 per share over the past few months.  I find it surprising to see such a dramatic drop simply because the company honestly may have to cut the dividend.  This is a well run company with a great balance sheet and a tight cost structure.  There is a solid basis for the value of the shares in the high book value and there is every expectation that things will turn around for the company as power prices rise. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Mark: I hope a spider bites me so that I can turn into Spiderman!

Friend of my Mom's: you have to watch out with that sugar free stuff - it has acetaminophen in it!
Mom: that is Tylenol
Friend: Oh.. you know what I mean! (aspartame)

Mark: Dad I want the pizza cutter
Me: No Mark that is dangerous please sit in your seat.
Mark (smacking head): uggh.. Dad.. you don't.. it doesn't have the sharp, it isn't even the sharp... Dad you don't under.. Daddy you didn't understanded me! I just wanted the piece of pizza.

Review - Sunday November 11th

Review of Lord’s Day: November 11th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 4

My take on Sunday's Sermons at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

Recent events in the word of cycling have resulted in many cyclists being convicted of cheating.  The most notable of these has been Lance Armstrong who has had all seven of his consecutive Tour de France titles removed.  One approach for dealing with the rampant cheating in cycling was to offer a period of amnesty so that the vast network of cheaters and their methods could finally become unravelled.  The problem with this approach is that one of the sport's main governing bodies would only offer amnesty if the amnesty covered the ruling body as well.  The implication is that the network of deception extended all the way to the governing body itself!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preview Luke 4

Preview – Luke 4

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday

Lord willing we have another exciting day in God's house tomorrow.  This week we're studying Luke four.  In Luke chapter four Jesus is tempted in the wilderness.  How is it that God could be tempted?  If it is impossible for God to sin, then would it stand to reason that He could also not be tempted?  This is certainly a mystery but I think we find a helpful solution to this question when we consider Jesus' humanity.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review - Sunday November 4th: Relationships

Review of Lord’s Day: November 4th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 3

My take on Sunday's Sermons at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

What is responsible for the moral consciousness of modern society? It is Jesus Christ and the Christian religion.  Even godless philosophers recognize this. The genealogy of morals begins with Jesus.

Election 2012

Thoughts from a member of the Constitution Party:

First of all, I voted for Mitt Romney today for one reason: his stance on abortion.  I'm a one-issue voter and I think everyone in this country should be.  I'm quite confused as to why everyone is not a one- issue voter on this issue and am flummoxed at anyone who would vote for a candidate, such as Barack Hussein Obama, who does not want to protect life and liberty for certain classes of people, namely infants.  Sadly, Mitt Romney had previously not been strong on this issue but has thankfully "changed his mind." If someone would like to explain why I'm off-base on this, please leave a comment.

Now that we've got that out of the way I wanted to share a couple thoughts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Preview - Luke 3

Preview – Luke 3
Pastor Shane Walker

My preliminary thoughts on the passage to be preached this Sunday
John the Baptist is a prophet who is the subject of previous prophecy himself: Isaiah 40:3-5! Jesus was also the subject of much prophecy.  Both John and Jesus were announced by angels and were prophesied in the Old Testament.  

Friday, November 2, 2012


According to the purpose of Him
Who works all things according
To the counsel of His will

We were predestined as sons
Before the foundation of the world
That we should be Holy and blameless
Before Him

Holy and blameless
We will be like stars in the heaven
Burning bright forever in the night
What shall we be? You and I?
Accelerating light forever - infinitely?
The sound of our music echoes
Off the universe: Eternal Cathedral

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mineral Water

He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.
Exodus 32:20 ESV

Have you ever had a negative consequence from your sin?  I have.  I often wonder at how much easier my life would be if I would just obey God’s word. When I read this passage recently it stuck with me.  Every time I think of negative things in my life that are my own fault, I remember this passage and realize that thousands of years later I’m still tasting the ground up gold from my own sinful idols.