• Monday, July 14, 2008

  • Hay season was particularly hectic for us this past month trying to get the hay cut, dried, baled, and into the barn in between rain storms. Several nights we were picking up bales with the beauty and the fright of lightning about us. We picked up the last bale from the fields for this year last Friday night, just as the storm was entering the area.

    Deb and I are going to take a few weeks off from ministry and so I may put an article or two on the site here or I may not. We still have storm damage to clean up from the Spring on the farm and horses that need as much exercise as we do.

    I am looking forward to extended time reading the Word and hopefull a few books to nourish my soul. Also some recharging to continue to grow as a pastor and servant.

    The picture is of Deb and I heading out for a load of hay bales taken by her sister.


  • Sunday, July 6, 2008


    This is an easy week of reading (3 pages) but require a lot of thought and assessment of your methods of teaching your children. It will likely hit you in your comfort zone.

    The Tripps introduce “How to share biblical concepts with children so they understand.” How do we get our children to understand words, phrases, doctrinal declarations from God’s Word? We have difficulty with it ourselves! The attitudes and conduct we expect from our children depend heavily upon a spiritual foundation of understanding. The Tripps propose 3 principles to help with the process:

    1. Don’t mix imaginary stories with true Bible stories. I fully agree with this and it is the reason why a couple of years ago I cleaned out the Faith Bible Church children’s library of “Veggie Tales” videos. They are fun entertainment that teaches good morals but they are horrible teaching tools for the Bible.

    2. Don’t trivialize the gospel to be “relevant.” If you have taken the advanced training for children’s ministry at Faith Bible Church then you know I address this. A common method of children’s ministry (and adult teaching as well) is to try and make the Bible relevant to our lives. WRONG and DANGEROUS! Help your children understand that their life is to be relevant to God’s Word and the gospel – confession, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, mercy, grace, and on and on…

    3. Help young children to relate Bible stories in tactile and physical ways. Be creative. Children learn best when multiple senses are involved. Help them beyond just hearing the stories, but help them see it, touch it, and speak it.

    APPLICATION: Very simply evaluate yourselves in all 3 areas and begin to prepare yourself for changing the way you instruct your children.

    Declaration of Independence from Tyranny

  • Wednesday, July 2, 2008

  • I prepared a message last weekend to minister to a group of residents at Windcrest Retirement Home on 4 tyrants over which Christ has won the victory in view of the upcoming Independence Day celebration. Much of this comes from John Stott’s book, The Cross of Christ.

    1. We have been delivered from the tyranny of the law. God’s good gift for it is holy, righteous, and good. Galatians 3:23 states that “before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law.” The reason the law is a tyrant is because it condemns our disobedience and brings upon us the curse or judgment of disobedience. Because of Jesus Christ, the curse or judgment of the law is broken so that we are not under its condemnation and set free to obey the law. (Romans 8:1-4)

    2. We have been delivered from the tyranny of the flesh. Our flesh is our fallen nature or self that we inherited from Adam. It represents all the characteristics of our self-centeredness. Jesus stated that everyone who sins is a slave to sin but He added, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” This freedom from our fallen nature and its self-centeredness comes to us through the cross of Christ. (Romans 6:6)

    3. We are delivered from the tyranny of the world. The world is the means which the devil exerts pressure upon us outside of our flesh. The world represents the godless human society which is hostile to the church and its values and standards. The Apostle John was outspoken in 1 John stating that to love the world and to love God were totally incompatible. The world is the community of unredeemed people whose outlook is dictated by their nature. John summarizes their nature as natural desires, superficial judgment and arrogant materialism. John lets us know in 1 John 5:4, 5 “for whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” When we believe in Jesus, our values change and we are weaned from worldliness by the cross of Christ. (Romans 12:1,2; Galatians 6:1-4)

    4. We have been delivered from the tyranny of death. The fear of death is universal. Jesus has unseated the devil and sin as stated in Hebrews 2:14, “that through death He (Jesus) might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” The sting of death is sin and the reason why death is a painful thought. Sin has caused death and is the judgment for it. But Christ has died for our sin and taken them away so that we can shout at death the way Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “O Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Death and the devil have no reply so we shout in triumph, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because Christ has taken away our sins, death has no power to harm or to terrify us. Jesus summed it up in 1 Corinthians 15:26, “the last enemy that will be abolished is death.” And John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”