Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Song for Harvestfest

I post this mainly for the worship team, but everyone can enjoy our new song for this Sunday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tough call or slam dunk?

Alright, what do you think of this.I am not going to respond until I hear your opinion...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Too Much Time on my Hands

For Amy (nobody else will get this)

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Our girls are really advancing in their dance class:

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Absolutely, Mindblowingly Good Stuff

"I want this church to be a work that God truly blesses. I refuse

to be a program manager of the latest Creative Programs that
will attract Carnal Christians. I’m not here to entertain. I want to
shepherd a flock that hungers and thirsts after reality with God. I
want the living Savior to be at work in our midst in unmistakable
ways. I want to remove every hindrance that would block God’s
hand of blessing and I want to add every quality that would bring
His blessing on His church. As Ezra testified to King Artaxerxes
(8:22), “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those
who seek Him….” I want us to be a people that seek God."

-Steven J. Cole

I Guess Tax cuts Are in the Bible

From my study for next weeks sermon:

You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.
(Ezra 7:24 NIV)

That is King Artexerxes talking to Ezra as he is preparing to leave for Jerusalem. Here is the commentary by David Guzik:

a. It shall not be lawful to impose tax: To promote the work of the temple in Jerusalem, Artaxerxes commanded that priests and other workers at the temple be given tax-exempt status.

p.s. The sermon is not about taxes, I just thought that was interesting. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well, this is new...

UPDATE: Check out this survey taken of conservative republicans on the simple true/fals statement: "Human beings, as we know them today, evolved from earlier species of animals."

Notice the paragraph before the results:

Nothing too surprising, but Creationist Republican politicians have mass support, so it may be that in coming years that that position will become the Republican elite norm as the pro-life position has become. The only caution, and hope, is that historically Creationists are generally beaten back by anti-Creationist elite Republicans and conservatives when they manage to force their ideas into the classroom on the local level.
(emphasis mine)

28% of protestants said true, and 58% of Catholics answered true. It just reinforces the fact that Christians increasingly don't belong in any political party. This is from a blog called

Conservative. Republican. Atheists. They are on the rise.

Seems like athiest conservatives are all the rage now-a-days.

Even though I try to keep it out of the pulpit, I do follow politics (don't do it, it's a disgusting habit)and there are a few blogs that I follow fairly closely every day. It has been great to see what people call the "New Media" (the internet), do real investigative reporting that the news doesn't seem to want to do anymore. A great example is the exposure of ACORN by two college kids with $1500 of their own money. The videos were posted on a new website called, and in a matter of days, they almost singlehandedly (Is that a word? Spell check doesn't think so)brought down this organization that people have known for years was full of corruption, but couldn't seem to make anything stick to it.

Another of my favorite blogs is It has just the right amount of facts and sarcasm that make me come back every day, usually several times to see what the democrats are up to and usually laugh in the process. The main contributor to the site is a guy that goes by the name Allahpundit. In the last few weeks I've learned something new about him: I guess he's an atheist. Here is a quote from the above link:

"..if I were inclined to get on my knees and wish/hope/pray for intervention from either God or Barack Obama, I’d call out for The One (President Obama) too. After all, there’s at least a chance he might show."

"Nor do I understand the snotty, presumptuous accusation that atheists are “filling the void” with money and careers. Personally, I don’t feel any spiritual void, and even if I did, I’d rather not be lectured about it by a guy who has his own media empire and who’ll make more money this year than my entire extended family has made in the past century. What “void” in Beck’s soul is he filling with his fantastically popular show? See how condescending it is to even ask that?"

A few days ago He had a post entitled, Growing Pains star ready to save America from rational thought, a hit on Kirk Cameron, who is an outspoken Christian and Apologist.

That snarky header took me back a little. If you watch the Kirk Cameron video in the link, I don't think you'll get the feeling that Kirk thinks he is on the Enterprise. Instead, it seems like a very rational challenge to people who believe in evolution to look at both sides and then decide what seems the better explanation of origins. Pretty straightforward debate of ideas. However, according to Allahpundit, it's akin to losing your mind, it's so ridiculous. It's not just disagreement, but outright hostility towards the idea which I don't usually get from his site.

I don't say this to denigrate his character, he is who he is and he thinks what he thinks. I am just a little surprised at the combination of two things that I didn't think mixed: conservatism and atheism. I guess it's because for years the word conservative has always been followed by the word values. I assumed they went hand in hand (not to say that Allahpundit doesn't have any values). We were the party of God, for the most part. It was those wascally liberals who said that God was dead, and demanded that prayers not be said and that crosses come down.

It seems that may be changing. There are a growing number of conservative bloggers who claim to be Atheist or Agnostic. Put in a Google search for conservative atheist blogger and see for yourself. This has got me thinking:

First, We need to hold our political leanings loosely. The argument in Christian circles seems to be liberal vs. conservative, but the reality is that both of those can be godless. Although fiscal conservatism seems a whole lot smarter way to live than tax and spend liberalism, that doesn't make it a Christian principle, and it certainly doesn't mean that God hates all ideas that come from a Democrat.

Issues like abortion and evolution have traditionally separated the two camps (at least to most Christians), but today's conservatism may be more defined by immigration, taxes, military strategy, and small vs. big government - none of which are overtly spiritual or Christian issues. Who knows what God's opinion is on those things?

Our best conservative thinkers may have America's best interest in mind, but not necessarily Jesus' kingdom. Our mission in life as a Christian has very little to do with America and everything to do with Jesus.

Think of it this way: when I was in college I traveled with a singing group every summer and we would visit youth camps to counsel, sing, and plug for the school. Most of the time we had to sleep in cabins or tents with the campers. Usually, there was no air conditioning, protection from bugs, or warm showers. Once in a while we would be treated to staying in special quarters where we would be more comfortable and have it significantly better than the campers. Not only air conditioning and warm showers, but refrigerators filled with snacks and Pepsi (I have since been converted to Diet Coke, which I'm convinced is God's favorite). The mission or purpose of why we were there didn't change, we just got treated a little better along the way.

To me, this is like our situation in America. Our mission as a Christian is no different than a Christian living in China, Latin America or the jungle in Peru - we are just privileged to be staying in the deluxe cabin while we are here. For some reason, God has blessed us to live in America, but we must never forget what our mission is while we are here or be fooled into thinking that America's goals are God's goals.

The second thought that comes to mind about this whole thing is that normally smart, very intelligent people become very close minded and hostile at the idea of a God that created the world and will one day judge everyone in it.

What gets me is that these are the same guys that roast liberals for not debating honestly and for name calling rather than looking at the facts, and yet that is what they are doing with Christians. Allahpundit doesn't give any rebuttal to facts, he just points his finger and makes fun.

Hey, isn't there a Bible verse that talks about that?

"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts."
(Ephesians 4:17-18 NIV)

This kind of thinking should not surprise or even alarm us. It's not that they are stupid, but they have hardened their hearts to God and so they have lost their understanding of the things of God. It really doesn't make sense to them.

I will agree with Allahpundit on one thing, though. Ironically, one of his points is something that Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort teach in the "Way of the Master" series to not do when you are witnessing to someone.

He denies that he has any kind of void in his life that God needs to fill. Christians have been taught that there is a "God-shaped hole" in the human heart that only God can fill and that they will never be satisfied until He fills it.

This is an ineffective way to witness, because many people don't sense that void and are enjoying their life just fine.

Whether we feel a void in our lives or not is irrelevant to the existence of God, or our need for Him. We turn to Christ because there is no other name in Heaven by which we can be saved, and without that salvation we are going to experience the wrath of God against our personal sins. No matter how wonderful our life maybe for these 80 years or so, there is a day of reckoning that is coming that will determine what kind of eternity you will have.

It is better to point people to that day, rather than claim that they need Jesus to make their life better.

Well, that's my two cents; hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jehovah's Witness in a nutshell

When I lived in San Diego, I lived next to a Mormon elder. Very nice guy, and as it turns out, very handy because all the Mormon missionaries would come to his house and he would fix their bikes (which is why I am not a Mormon elder, because I am not very handy).

Because of that, we always had plenty of visits from Mormon missionaries. I would rarely turn them away without at least talking to them for a few minutes and sometimes would even invite them in and we would debate Christianity over lemonade. I enjoyed it because it challenged me to be able to defend my faith, and learn how to debate without being obnoxious. (I'm still obnoxious, just not when I debate someone).

Well, last Saturday there was a whole carload of Jehovah's witnesses unleashed on our neighborhood. I talked to an older man that owns some hearing aid businesses in New Braunfels for about 40 minutes. Again, very nice man and we had a good conversation. Unfortunately, I was very rusty on my Jehovah's witness theology, but I did manage to ask him some questions that he couldn't answer. So, he is coming back this Saturday, I'm sure with reinforcements.

As I have been reading up on their religion, I came across this video and thought it might be helpful if you want a short synopsis of their history and what they believe...