Saturday, October 29, 2016

Plot to Kill Lazarus Dumbest Ever

I recently was surprised during my New Testament reading.  This is always happening to me. I don't know if it shows that I have a bad memory or that I really haven't been paying attention in my previous readings, but I find new things all the time. Strange and wonderful things in both the New and Old Testament. In my last post about Donald Trump I included some interesting sentences about a basket with a woman in it. You can check that out in Zechariah chapter five.

But I am more surprised when something in the New Testament pops out that I haven't noticed before. Or maybe I noticed it and then forgot? That reminds me of the other day when I locked my keys in the car.... alright so maybe it makes sense that I was surprised in my reading but humor me!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Problem With Donald Trump is Not Donald Trump

The problem with Donald Trump is not Donald Trump. It's not that he is something new, something that is uniquely problematic, or something without which we would somehow, "be all right." That would be nice.

He has some problems. He is who we thought he was though. He hasn't changed for the worse lately. He's being who he is. And we are being who we are. And that is why he was chosen as the Republican nominee.

The problem with Donald Trump is the same problem with us.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Stop Being a Racist

What is happening in America right now? Violence against blacks continues at an alarming rate. The numbers are stacking up quickly. People are afraid to walk in the streets. We now have active shooters targeting people of a particular race and police seem to be killing black males for the smallest offenses. But there is a simple solution. 

Here in Baltimore we certainly remember the death of Freddie Gray and the strange course of events leading to it. I still wonder what really happened but I suspect we will never know. Each one of the recent killings has unique facts and circumstances. Some of those killed seemed to be going about their daily routine, while others were in the act of breaking the law, and still others were in the act of upholding the law (as in Dallas). Despite the uniqueness of the circumstances, there is a simple solution. 

The leaders of our country and the candidates for leadership are both not helping. They seem to be using these events to suit their own purposes, From grinding an axe about gun control on one hand to blaming Mexicans or Muslims on the other, they are completely missing the simple solution.

And finally the media continues to cover these stories with a decidedly racial and sensationalist slant. They often willingly leave out key facts while bringing to prominence hearsay and speculation which makes the story seem more interesting, but also more infuriating. The media seems to be fanning the flames of anger and hatred and the media fails to understand the simple solution.

The answer to racism is imagism. Imagism is understanding that all humans are created in the image of God and are therefore worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love. When we understand that all humans are made in the image of God, we can begin the path toward peace. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How is Your Faith?

Three years ago I had the opportunity to preach a sermon at my church in the evening service. It was great! Unfortunately (or fortunately?), the recording device did not work that night. However, I still have the notes and since this is one of my favorite passages of scripture, and I was reminded of it in Sunday School this morning, I thought I would re-read it and post it here for my reader (s?). 

December 15th, 2013
Luke 12:28
Evening Sermon

Introduction:  Eric Liddell

Have you heard of Eric Liddell? He is the subject of the Oscar winning movie Chariots of Fire.

Olympic Gold Medalist and record setting sprinter.  Born in China and died in China at the age of 43.  Refused to run in his event due to convictions about racing on Sunday.  Instead ran a different and longer event and still won while also setting a world record time.

Eric left racing and followed the legacy of his parents by becoming a missionary in China. He taught English and worked in the church where his father was the pastor.  He went to a poorer area to help his brother who was a doctor and was caught up in the war between the Japanese and Chinese. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Life (Under the Sun) Is Meaningless: Now What?

Hofburg Imperial Palace

I am increasingly aware that life is meaningless. That may seem like a really dour or depressing thing to say. But it really doesn't have to be. And importantly it is true. Not every true statement is the most exciting thing to hear - such as "death is inevitable" or "you must pay your taxes." But thinking about the meaninglessness of life doesn't have to be bad! It can actually lead to finding true meaning!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Are You Working Too Little?

There is a huge temptation to work too much and make work one's idol.  This is true. But on the other hand many of us are tempted to work too little and to be lazy. This is a great problem in society.  With all of the welfare programs and the failure of society to emphasize personal responsibility we have created an entire class of lazy citizens who rely on welfare.

This doesn't mean that everyone on welfare is lazy! That is not the point. But there are certainly a sub-set of welfare recipients who have become lazy and feel no motivation to work.

Many people I know are tempted to be lazy but not that lazy.  There is a temptation to coast and to merely do enough to get by. This can come from a fundamental misunderstanding of one's motivation to work. Many have the welfare mentality but are just too embarrassed to go on it or have found a way to get paid enough while still being lazy to avoid it.

Here are a couple things that can motivate you to be lazy:

Friday, April 8, 2016

Are You Working For an Idol?

I have been thinking a great deal about work lately.  There have been so many changes within my organization it is incredible. I can hardly keep up with all the new people in new positions. I keep mentioning people's names as if they worked in certain areas of the business only to be reminded, "don't you remember they moved?"  

To top it all off I was recently given the opportunity to work in a different group. So now I am contributing to the mass of confusion!

But this has caused me to think a lot about work. What motivates us to move around so much and to push ourselves every day and do our best? Are we really doing our best or only trying to appear like we are? Are we working too much or not enough?

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Here's a great picture of my youngest looking out the window.  Just love it!  He's growing up so fast. He isn't walking yet but is saying daddy and trying to talk in long sentences.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Family Shepherds - Catechism

Family Shepherds - 1
Calling and equipping men to lead their homes
Voddie Baucham Jr.
Pg 64-67

Catechism is simply a pedagogical method employing questions and answers to teach a set body of knowledge. It’s explained in the following terms by Zacharias Ursinus, the primary author of the Heidelberg Catechism:

The system of catechiszing… includes a short simple, and plain exposition and rehearsal of the Christian doctrine, deduced from the writings of the prophets and apostles, and arranged in the form of questions and answers, adapted to the capacity and comprehension of the ignorant and unlearned; or it is a brief summary of the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, communicated orally to such as are unlearned, which they again are required to repeat.

Ultimately, catechism is a means of teaching Christian doctrine in a concise, repetitive manner. As Martin Luther wrote, “In the catechism, we have a very exact, direct, and short way to the whole Christian religion.”

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sinners & Saints Saved - Isaiah 56-57

03/20/2016 am Isaiah 56-57 Sinners and Saints Saved

Thoughts on sermons at Andover Baptist

1) warning to the wicked
2) comfort to the contrite

1) There are both religious and secular sexual sins mentioned in this passage. Also mentioned are idolaters and those who do not keep the Sabbath.

And there are also those in the church who have private sins:

“The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭56:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

They were offering infants as human sacrifices to their idols. Much like today in America we kill babies for convenience and we are doing this for our idols of comfort, beauty, and for more money.

“you who burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The next time you are about to sin ask yourself who you are afraid of? The answer is yourself or the idol in your heart. The idol says, "I want this for me; and I want it now!"

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Knowing God - Ch 14

Knowing God
J.I. Packer
IVP 1993 Americanized Version

Ch 14 – God the Judge

"People who do not actually read the Bible confidently assure us that when we move from the Old Testament to the New, the theme of divine judgment fades into the background. But if we examine the New Testament, even in the most cursory way, we find at once that the Old Testament emphasis on God's action as Judge, far from being reduced, is actually intensified. 

The entire New Testament is overshadowed by the certainty of a coming day of universal judgment, and by the problem thence arising: How may we sinners get right with God while there is yet time? The New Testament looks to "the day of judgment," "the day of wrath," "the wrath to come," and proclaims Jesus, the divine Savior, as the divinely appointed Judge. 


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Knowing God - Ch 8

Knowing God
J.I. Packer
IVP 1993 Americanized Version

Ch 8 – The Majesty of God

""Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord and my judgment is passed away from God?" (Is 40:27 RV). This question rebukes wrong thoughts about ourselves. God has not abandoned us any more than he abandoned Job. He never abandons anyone on whom he has set his love; nor does Christ, the good shepherd, ever lose track of his sheep. It is as false as it is irreverent to accuse God of forgetting, or overlooking, or losing interest in, the state and needs of his own people. If you have been resigning yourself to the thought that God has left you high and dry, seek grace to be ashamed of yourself. Such unbelieving pessimism deeply dishonors our great God and Savior."