Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Biblical Turbulence

A new post at Biblical Turbulence, for my more "heady" followers.
Biblical Turbulence; smoothing out your biblical questions

Monday, April 22, 2013

More Pics From Sunday

Liturgical Dance Company

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Liturgical Dance At Beaverdam

Beaverdam was blessed with the Liturgical Dance Company and their choreographer Amy Shivar in worship today.

Bruce prays to open the service with a packed house of over 170.

 The girls showed us true worship

 Maddie helps us know that God is our All In All.

Just a small taste of what heaven will be like, as these angels took us before the throne.

Luke And Summer


Friday, April 19, 2013

Awards Day


Awards Day At Beaverdam. Two of our GA's got Awards from their school for A honor role.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another One Bites The Dust


I finished The Skilled Counselor today, leaving one more Counseling class for my Doctor of Ministry. Advanced Principles of Family Counseling starts in June. It will be nice to have a few weeks off before resuming classes.

In the Fall I will finally start the research and writing class. This will be the beginning of writing my Ministry Project, a slimmed down version of a dissertation.

Finally settled on a topic, “The Biblical Counseling Ministry Of The Local Church”

Sounds like a winner!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Devil Didn't Make Me Do That

A woman once bought a dress that cost $500. She was very concerned about what her husband might say about the extravagance of her purchase. When he came home she showed him how well the dress fit, how the color brought out her eyes, and generally how good she thought she looked in the dress. The then bombshell—$500 bucks! “How in the world could you do something so rash?” he asked. “Well; the Devil made me do it!” she shot back. “Then you should have told him, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan!’” he said. “Well I did.” She told her husband. “And he said, ‘uuuuu-we! It looks good from back here, too!’”

I never ceased to be amazed at the laughs I get from that one every time I tell it. But it does bring up a good point, and that is that many times we Believers want to blame the Devil for every ill fated thing that comes our way. It just isn’t so. In fact, honestly, the Devil probably has a lot less to do with your sin and mine than we would be comfortable admitting to. I have had people confide in me that Satan is responsible for everything from their hay fever allergies to their infidelity. They might pray against the demons of headaches, falling stock prices, and rage, but they will rarely seek to find out if their problems are based on their own sinful nature instead of the Devil's fiery darts.   

Adrian Rogers tells about a boy who called his sister a bad word, hit her with a broomstick, and spat on her. His horrified mother snatched him up and gave him a spanking, telling him that the Devil made him do those things. The boy tearfully replied, “The Devil may have made me curse at her and hit her, but spitting on her was all my idea!” That boy had a sound theology.

There are actually three things that cause us to sin; the world, the flesh and the Devil. The world is what the Bible calls the system of this age. It is found in places like 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The word for world there is cosmos and it means "a system." The problem is not that the world (or the system) is evil. Just that the world can cause you to be so busy, that you squeeze out God and place things in the system ahead of God. That's idolatry! The second is the flesh. Not your skin, but the temptations that are inherent to mankind. See Galatians 5:19-21. This is simply  us yielding to something that we know we shouldn’t do; like lie, steal, or cheat. Have you thought about the fact that we don’t have to teach our children to lie? It just comes natural, because we are fleshly. The last cause of sin is the Devil. But mostly he is there to provide us the tools to do what we would naturally do anyway. Like that boy, spitting is our own idea. In actuality, if the Devil disappeared tomorrow you'd keep right on sinning.

How do we get victory? 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Trust in God. Suite up with the whole armor of God. And tell the Devil to pound sand. You have victory in Jesus.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Parable Of Practical Atheism


The first parable in the Bible was not told by Jesus. It was told by Jotham, the son of Gideon and brother of Abimelech. It is found in Judges 9 and concern’s the treachery of Abimelech and the men of Shechem.

“The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them. And they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’But the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I cease giving my oil, with which they honor God and men, and go to sway over trees?’ “Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us!’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over trees?’ “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us!’ But the vine said to them, ‘Should I cease my new wine, which cheers both God and men, and go to sway over trees?’ “Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us!’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you, then come and take shelter in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon!’ Judges 9:8-15 (NKJV)

Here's the story in a nutshell:

Abimelech was Gideon's son through a concubine that lived in Shechem. His name means son of the king and I have a feeling that he took his name to heart! After Gideon died, Abimelech killed 69 of Gideon's 71 sons (leaving, of course, himself and one other; Jotham who had escaped) and set himself up as king. All of this was done with the help of the men of Shechem. When Jotham heard about his half-brother's treachery, he called on the men of Shechem and told them the above parable. Basically he said to them, "Why would you bunch of "trees" submit to a thorn bush (bramble)? You're bigger, better, more powerful, and more spiritual than this guy. You know that God is our only King." He then predicted that the men of Shechem and Abimelech would burn each other up, which they did. 

The problem really started with the practical atheism of the men of Shechem. What do I mean by practical atheism? Simple. That means that even though a person gives lip service to the fact that God exists, they live their lives as if He doesn't. They will say, “We believe in God.” Then they won’t go to church, acknowledge His Sovereignty in their lives, curse His name, and refuse to give Him glory. They claim to be Believers, but they live practically like they were atheists.

The men of Shechem claimed that they believed in God, but they dishonored Him by making Abimelech king. They said that Jehovah was their God, but they built a temple to Baal. They said what was politically expedient, but they lived whichever way made life easy.

Hmmmm. How many of us fall into the same trap?
We claim a devotion to God, but do we live as practical atheists?
Do we care more about our trips to the Lake on Sunday?
Do we tithe as though we believe that Malachi 3:8 is in the Bible, or do we just say we believe it and keep our first fruits?
Here’s one for you…Do we believe in the sanctity if human life, or do we just give lip service and vote pro-choice candidates into office because, after all; “It’s the economy, stupid preacher?"

It’s not the economy. Hey, my stocks have taken the same hit as yours. The question is, do we send Mr. Brambles to Washington, or will we send those who take a stand for what is right, no matter the cost? Will we live openly for God? Or will we just live like practical atheists?