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Thursday, January 31, 2008

River Oak Grace Team in Thailand

Here's a video of a pastor-friend of ours (Paul) who regularly leads a ministry team Thailand. Thanks for praying!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Hokey-eth Pokey

"The Hokey Pokey" (Original Lyrics)

Put your left foot in,
Your left foot out,
Your left foot in,
And shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey
And turn yourself around
That's what it's all about.

"The Hokey Pokey" (Shakespearean Style)

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from heaven's yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.

(A Crosswalk Daily Funny)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Why be expedient

Here's a great reason why we need to make sure every person hears the gospel.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heard in Chapel

"Being in the same boat as Jonah means you are going to lose your stuff."

--Dr. Roy King

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Unbelief

"In all unbelief there are these two things: a good opinion of one's self and a bad opinion of God." (Horatius Bonar)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Resisting the Intrusion of the Irrelevant

"When Peter asked our Lord, concerning John, 'Lord, and what shall this man do?' (John 21:21), the reply was, 'If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me' (v. 22). Our Lord was never sidetracked by the secondary. Whether questioned about tribute to Caesar, dividing an inheritance, or why a Jew should ask a drink of water from a Samaritan, He always stuck to the main issue. We must resist the intrusion of the irrelevant. 'What is that to thee? Follow thou me.'"

from Pepper 'n Salt by Vance Havner. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966

Monday, January 21, 2008

Death ends it all

An evangelist told the story about the atheist that said to him, “I do not believe what you are preaching.”

The evangelist replied, “You have told me what you do not believe; perhaps you will tell me what you do believe."

“I believe that death ends all.”

“So do I; shake on it.” And the evagelist thrust out his hand.

“What!” the atheist exclaimed. “You believe that death ends all?”

“I certainly do,” the evangelist answered.

The atheist said, “You are a strange Christian.”

“I am sure of that; there is none other like me in the world. As a Christian, I assert the belief that death ends all.” When the atheist said he had never heard such a thing, the evangelist added, “It is time you heard something new.”

“Death ends all your chance of doing evil. Death ends all your joy, all your projects, all your ambitions, all your friendships. Death ends all the Gospel that you will ever hear. Death ends all for you; then you go out into the outer darkness.

“Death ends all my wanderings, all my tears, all my perplexities, all my aches and pains. Death ends it all, and I go to be with my Lord in Glory.”

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beat the Coke truck!

“Reports have been circulating that the Coca-Cola International Corporation has a business plan with a goal of being able to get a cold Coke within one mile of every person on earth by the year 2020.”

Steve Schadrach, of Mission Frontiers Magazine wants to “use this company’s goal to motivate Christians to get the gospel within a mile of every human being [some don't know there is a Jesus to believe in] . . . . Although God has supplied us with infinitely infinitely more resources (than Coca-Cola has) to get His message out, are we as committed to seeing our job finished as they are?”

Steve Schadrach, “Finding Your Role in Mobilization.” Mission Frontiers, Jan-Feb 2008
(Note: Mr. Schadrach references a website in this article that is either not up yet, is not working, or has been changed.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Name that Sin.

And now it's time for another exciting round of "Name that Sin!" (Much like old-time favorite: "Point that Finger," only different). This is based on a sermon by Samuel Logan Brengle (1860-1936) , an American Methodist born in Indiana who joined the Salvation Army in the 1890s.
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  • One Catholic priest once declared that he never heard a confession for this sin.
  • This sin is so deadly that the wrath of God comes upon men because of it;
  • a sin so common that probably everybody has at some time been guilty of it;
  • a sin so gross in the sight of God as to be classed with whoremongery [sexual immorality], idolatry, murder, and etc;
  • a sin so subtle that men most guilty of it seem to be most unconscious of it;
  • a sin that has led to the ruin of homes, to the doom of cities, the downfall of kings, the overthrow of empires, the collapse of civilizations, the damnation of an apostle, of ministers of the Gospel, and of millions of less conspicuous men.
  • Men in the highest and most sacred positions of trust, and enjoying the most unlimited confidence of their fellow-men, have, under the spell of this sin, wrecked their good names, and have brought shame to their families, and misfortune, want, and woe to their fellows.
  • When amid the thunderings and lightnings of Mount Sinai, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, one of the ten was against this sin.
  • When Lot lost all he had in the doom of Sodom and Gomorrah, it was primarily because of this sin.
  • When Nadab and Abihu were suddenly consumed by the fierce fires of God's wrath, at the bottom of their transgression was this sin.
  • When Achan and his household were stoned, it was because of this sin.
  • When Eli and his sons lost the priesthood and died miserably, it was at root because of this sin.
  • When Saul lost his kingdom, it was because this sin had subtly undermined his loyalty to God.
  • When Ahab died and the dogs licked his blood, he was meeting the doom of this sin.
  • When David fell from heights of God's tender favor and fellowship, and brought shame and confusion upon himself, and incurred God's hot displeasure and lifelong trouble, it was because of this sin.
  • When Elisha's servant, Gehazi, went out from the presence of the prophet smitten with leprosy white as snow, it was because of this sin.
  • When Judas betrayed the Master with a kiss, thus making his name a synonym of everlasting obloquy, and bringing upon himself the death of a dog and a fool, it was because of this sin.
  • When Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead at Peter's feet, they suffered the dread penalty of this sin.
  • When the great war burst forth in 1914, enveloping the earth in its wrathful flame, sweeping away the splendid young manhood of the world in storms of steel and rivers of blood, and engulfing the accumulated wealth of ages in a bottomless pit of destruction, the disaster could be traced to the unrestricted and deadly workings of this awful, secret, silent, pitiless sin.

    But what is the sin that the Catholic priest never heard mentioned in his confessional -- this sin that apostles and priests, and shepherds and servants have committed, and upon which the swift, fierce lightnings of God's wrath have fallen -- this sin of which every one at some time has probably been guilty, and yet which is so secret and subtle that those most enthralled by it are most unconscious of it?

    Coveting.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"You Jonah"

"And Jonah stalked
to his shaded seat
and waited for god
to come around
to his way of thinking
and God is still waiting for a host of Jonahs
in their comfortable houses
to come around
to his way of loving."

--From Thomas Carlisle’s poem “You Jonah”

[If anyone knows where I can find the full text of this poem, please contact me.]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dear Comfortable Pastor, . . .

"There is no greater hindrance to revival than a comfortable pastor settled and satisfied, coasting along until he reaches retirement, who does not want his flock disturbed or the status quo upset. He has long since lost his burden and concern for a mighty upheaval of God among the resters at ease in Zion. He resents any intrusion into the complacency of a sleeping church, and interprets the prophet's call to repentance as an indictment of his own preaching. He is determined not to get excited, assumes a philosophical tolerance of things as they are, and he may speak facetiously of the prophet's seriousness. Sometimes his own people may get under conviction, and put him to shame by a concern he does not seem to feel. This makes it exceedingly difficult for any revivalist calling Christians to repentance, but what a delight when pastor and prophet stand together!

Most pastors understand that the traveling prophet can say things the pastor cannot say-that he fills a different role and follows an utterly different pattern. They complement each other. One plants, another waters, but God gives the increase. The teacher plants the seed, the pastor cultivates the crop, the evangelist gathers it, but the prophet must first break up the fallow ground. Breaking up the ground is never a pleasant, comfortable business, and churches sometimes resent the plow of plain preaching. Blessed is the pastor who knows this, and stands behind the lonely prophet who calls the church to repentance . . ."

--Vance Havner

Friday, January 11, 2008

Survey said . . .

Could you please take a moment to answer this 10 question survey? Thanks for your time!


Click Here to take survey

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ear-itch, or Heartburn?

“’We don’t want sermons,’ say the program chairmen of many religious meetings today, as well as many editors of religious periodicals and leaders of youth meetings. Sermons are no longer a drawing card. ‘Put on a picture or have a celebrity in the pulpit to pack the house.’ Then maybe the preacher can give a gospel message. But plain, old-fashioned preaching cannot stand on its own, to hear some people tell it. It must have a crutch to get along.

My Bible does not say, ‘How shall they hear without a brass band?’ It says, ‘How shall they hear without a preacher?’ If preaching won’t do God’s work, nothing else will. We have fallen upon all sorts of carnal devices to pack the house with the argument that the end justifies the means. It is an admission that we have failed to follow the New Testament pattern. God’s method is to use a Spirit-filled church. Rather than pay the price of being Spirit-filled, we substitute false fire and worldly expedients.

It is not the duty of the preacher to fill the house; it is his business to fill the pulpit. The church members should fill the house by being there and bringing others. Lacking a Spirit-filled membership, fervent soul winning and a separated testimony, we are hard put to devise other means to secure the desired ends. Of course, the preacher may also be at fault in the state of his heart or the content of his message, and he may need to build a fire under the pulpit in order to warm up the church. But preaching is still the appointed means; and although we are in a day when men will not endure sound doctrine but have ‘ear-itch’ instead of heartburn, let us not forget that the command in that very connection is “Preach the word” and that God manifests His Word and His will through preaching.

Let us hope and pray that the people of God will grow weary of stones and seek bread. We do not better ourselves by aspersions cast on great preaching or by lowrating giants of a past generation; we could use a few today. “

—Vance Havner, condensed from The Standard

"Let all know that none are fitter for comfort than those that think themselves furthest off."

“Men, for the most part, are not lost enough in their own feeling for a Saviour. A holy despair in ourselves is the ground of true hope. In God the fatherless find mercy (Hos. 14:3); if men were more fatherless, they should feel more God's fatherly affection from heaven, for the God who dwells in the highest heavens dwells likewise in the lowest soul (Isa. 57:15). Christ's sheep are weak sheep, and lacking in something or other; he therefore applies himself to the necessities of every sheep. He seeks that which was lost, and brings again that which was driven out of the way, and binds up that which was broken, and strengthens the weak (Ezek. 34:16). His tenderest care is over the weakest. The lambs he carries in his bosom (Isa. 40:11). He says to Peter, `Feed my lambs' (John 21:15). He was most familiar and open to troubled souls. How careful he was that Peter and the rest of the apostles should not be too much dejected after his resurrection! `Go your way, tell his disciples and Peter' (Mark 16:7). Christ knew that guilt of their unkindness in leaving of him had dejected their spirits. How gently did he endure the unbelief of Thomas and stooped so far unto his weakness, as to suffer him to thrust his hand into his side.”

Richard Sibbes, "The Bruised Reed." (1630)

God doesn't turn over "new leafs." He makes new ones!

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Salvation is not an improvement of the old nature. God doesn’t take the old nature and fix it up by reforming it. No, the old nature is dead in trespasses and sins. When you become a new creature in Christ Jesus you have the new nature, God’s nature, imparted to you. Old things pass away and ALL THINGS become new. As you once loved the things of the world, now you will turn away from them because you have different affections. Once you had no taste for the church or prayer meetings. Now you love the brethren; you love times of spiritual fellowship. Once you had no interest in God’s Word. Now it is meat and drink to your soul. Once you craved sinful pleasures. Now it is your highest pleasure to do His will. Once your time was occupied with scheming and working for money and success. Now you have found eternal riches in Hi. Why? Because you have the very nature of God transplanted into your heart.”

Charles E. Fuller. “Manna in the Morning.” Boston: Fellowship Press, 1943.

Riding out the Hurricane

Back in 1969, twenty-four people decided to ignore warnings that Hurricane Camille was heading for Mississippi. They were going to ride it out. Twenty-three of them died in the wrath of that hurricane. What a terrible tragedy. If they had taken the warning seriously, they wouldn't have lost their precious lives. The cross is a terrible warning of the fierce hurricane of God's wrath, which no one can "ride out" on Judgment Day. We must never tire of warning every man "that we might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." He is their only hope. They must, as the Bible says "kiss [kiss toward, do homage to] the Son, lest He be angry, and perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little." There goes another minute. Gone forever. Go share your faith while you still have time.

Way of the Master Minute for January 10, 2008.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Iniquity of the Holy Things

As part of our daily family devotions, I’ve been reading Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening.” For me, each reading is like eating steak and though I read at the beginning of the meal, I sometimes feel so full spiritually I never have seconds (the Spurgeon Diet? No pun intended). This one was from yesterday morning—don’t plan on reading it quickly (you must chew your food). It may help if you read the passage in context.

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The iniquity of the holy things." Exodus 28:38

"What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, "My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, 'In what fine order is my garden kept!' This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, 'How finely your garden flourishes!' This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence." So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD:" and even so while Jesus bears our sin, he presents before his Father's face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!"

Monday, January 07, 2008

Columbia apt. complex burns, man warns neighbors to get out

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - People living in a Richland County apartment complex have a neighbor to thank after a fire burned out their building.

Officials say the fire started at the Bethel Bishop Apartments off of Colonial Drive.

Officials say one person potentially saved the lives of everyone living in the building.

"Matter of fact, it was one neighbor who noticed the fire and he actually went to the apartments and started knocking on doors making sure that everybody got out," said Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

Read the rest here.

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I wonder if he was met with retorts, such as, "I don't believe in fire," or, "the smoke is not real." Maybe someone told the door-banger to shut up and mind his own business, to stop pushing his safety issues and morality on others . . .

Behold nothing but Christ

"In time of temptation, apprehensive consciences look so much to the present trouble they are in that they need to be roused up to behold him in whom they may find rest for their distressed souls. In temptations it is safest to behold nothing but Christ the true brazen serpent, the true `Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world', (John 1:29). This saving object has a special influence of comfort to the soul, especially if we look not only on Christ, but upon the Father's authority and love in him. For in all that Christ did and suffered as Mediator, we must see God in him reconciling the world unto himself (2 Cor. 5:19). "

Richard Sibbes, "The Bruised Reed."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

You can't thank Him enough

"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." (Exod. 14:13)

Often God seems to place His children in positions of profound difficulty—leading them into a wedge from which there is no escape; contriving a situation which no human judgment would have permitted, had it been previously consulted. The very cloud conducts them thither. You may be thus involved at this very hour. It does seem perplexing and very serious to the last degree; but it is perfectly right. The issue will more than justify Him who has brought you hither. It is a platform for the display of His almighty grace and power. He will not only deliver you, but in doing so He will give you a lesson that you will never forget; and to which, in many a psalm and song in after days, you will revert. You will never be able to thank God enough for having done just as He has.
(F. B. Meyer)
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Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1998, c1997, c1994, c1990). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Originally published: Chicago: Revell, c1990. (January 6). Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Living Under the Promises of God

Because you are reading through the Bible again this year ;-) here is a great quote for your encouragement:

“God is gracious enough to make promises, and he always keeps the promise He makes. He is a God of steadfast love and faithfulness. Mind you, he does not always fulfill His promises immediately. Abraham and Sarah “died in faith not having received what was promised, but having seen it and greeted it from afar” (Heb. 11:13). That is, although Isaac was born to them in fulfillment of the promise, their seed was not yet numerous, nor was the land given to them, nor were the nations blessed. All God’s promises come true, but they are inherited “through faith and patience” (Heb 6:12). We have to be content to wait for God’s time.”

--John R.W. Stott, “The Living God is a Missionary God.”

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I.P.O.D. G.O.S.P.E.L.

My friend over at Front Line Evangelism shared the following tools for evangelism:

I.P.O.D.
I: Intro - Ice Breaker

P: Probe - Ask Questions

O: Offer the G.O.S.P.E.L.

D: Decision - Make a Choice

The G.O.S.P.E.L.
G: God created us in His image, for His glory and to have a relationship with Him.

O: Our sin separates us from God. The wages of sin is death and the punishment for sin is eternity in the Lake of Fire.

S: Sin is breaking God's Laws (The Ten Commandments) and everyone has sinned.

P: Proving He is God, Jesus lived the Perfect sinless life, Performed many miracles, fulfilled all the Prophesies, then shedding His blood on the cross He Paid the Price for sin when He died and rose again. Share your personal testimony.

E: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, repents of their sin and puts their faith and trust in Jesus shall be forgiven for their sins, reconciled with God, granted Eternal Life and Enter Heaven when they die.

L: Love & Life - God showed the depths of His Love by sacrificing His only son. He wants to give you a new heart, a new Life, make you a new creation in Christ and have a personal relationship with you.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The New 10/40 Window

The 10/40 Window is an area of the world that contains the largest population of non-Christians in the world. The area extends from 10 degrees to 40 degrees North of the equator, and stretches from North Africa across to China.


Who lives there?

  • 105,000,000 Turkic Peoples

  • 16,000,000 East African Cushitics

  • 14,000,000 North African Berbers

  • 60,000,000 Kurdo Iranians

  • 40,000,000 West African Muslims

  • 121,000,000 Southern Chinese

  • 74,000,000 Indo-Malay

  • 80,000,000 Hindustani

  • 800,000,000 Northern Chinese

  • 60,000,000 Arabic

  • 119,000,000 Asian Muslim

  • 121,000,000 Indo China

But I think the 10/40 Window includes all those who need to hear the gospel, including America. I believe the following photograph is very symbolic.


Another Year is Dawning

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

“I with Thee would begin, O my Savior so dear, on the way that I still must pursue; I with Thee would begin every day granted here, as my earnest resolve I renew—To be and remain Thine forever.” (A Swedish prayer)

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“Another year is dawning,
Dear Father, let it be,
in working or in waiting
another year with Thee;
another year of progress,
another year of praise,
another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies,
of faithfulness and grace;
another year of gladness
in the shining of Thy face;
another year of leaning
upon Thy loving breast;
another year of trusting,
of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
of witness for Thy love;
another year of training
for holier work above.
Another year of dawning,
Dear Father, let it be,
on earth, or else in heaven,
another year for Thee. Amen.”

(Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836–1879)

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