• Friday, October 29, 2010
  • With the addition of Pastor Michael K. to the staff, we have had to deal with a serious communication issue on a daily basis. Many of you have heard his mom and dad (Franklin and Sarah) teach and we all smile and act like we understand them with their accent. So we do with Michael on a daily basis. So you feel our pain, check out Bill Cosby and have a laugh


  • Erik Raymond, Pastor at Emmaus Bible (formerly Omaha Bible South) and our speaker at the men's retreat posted this challenge to pass on to you....

    If you want to engage in an interesting social experiment, the next time you go out to eat, look around. Watch the people that are eating. I have been captivated with what I’ve seen.

    People hover over their plates or don’t put their burgers down. The only time they open their mouths is to put more food in it. It is amazing. I have watched married couples, dating couples, friends, and coworkers sit together and rarely say a word, just gorge their faces. And the eating is typically fast too.

    You may be wondering if I’ve just parachuted in from another planet or something. The answer is no. However, I think the habits of others have just recently hit home for me. Literally.

    Our dinner table is made up of seven people. The kids range in age from 15 months to 15 years. And recently I have seen an increase in the speed eating and a decrease in the conversation.


  • Thursday, October 28, 2010
  • October 31 draws our attention to Halloween but it should also be a day of remembrance and teaching to our children of the celebration of The Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther decided he could not remain silent any longer and nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to a door and began what would be known as The Reformation. It is the birth of the Protestant Church and a movement that would actually go on for nearly 200 years. Of the many things that came from the movement, the greatest was called the “durchruch” by Luther, or the “breakthrough.” What this means is that Luther rediscovered the gospel. I trust that every day is a “durchruch” for you as you discover the gospel in all aspects of life.

    You can learn all about the Reformation two fairly quickly ways this week. One is that Omaha Bible Church is hosting Stephen Nichols on Saturday, a reseach professor at Lancaster Bible College and nationally known church history expert who will be talking about the Reformation. Costs only $5 and includes lunch. You can register at http://www.omahabiblechurch.org/home/events/2010-fall-family-conference .  Another option is get Stephen Nichols' book, The Reformation; How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World.  I am nearly done reading it and highly recommend it to all. It is entertaining and very informative.

    Enjoy what I think is the best single performance of the great Reformation hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” written by Martin Luther and performed by Steve Green.

    J.C. Ryle - Watching Over Your Child's Soul

  • Tuesday, October 26, 2010
  • “Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you truly love them, then often think about their souls. Nothing should concern you as greatly as their eternal destiny. No part of them should be so dear to you as that part which will never die."

    “This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all that you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, ‘How will this affect their souls?"

    “A true Christian must not be a slave to what’s currently ‘in-fashion,’ if he wants to train his child for heaven. He must not be content to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is customary, or to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them, or to let them form bad habits, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called odd and strange. What if it is? The time is short—the customs of this world are passing away. He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than for the earth—for God, rather than for man—he is the parent that will be called wise in the end.”

    ~ J.C. Ryle: The Duties of Parents


  • Friday, October 22, 2010
  • I found this an interesting read on a topic that seems to be an area where parents are seeking wisdom. I believe that Jen Wilkin offers some very sound wisdom. Worth the read. The emphasis in the first paragraph is mine...

    By Jen Wilken, http://jenwilkin.blogspot.com/

    My oldest son started high school this fall. At his orientation the counselors took a portion of the program to speak to parents about the greatest challenge they see students face in school. I expected to hear about poor study habits or substance abuse, but to my initial surprise, these were not at the top of the list. Apparently, the greatest challenge presenting itself in the office of the high school guidance counselor is a growing number of kids struggling with anxiety and depression. Can you guess why? A combination of over-scheduling and sleep deprivation, linked to two main contributors: electronics use and extracurricular activities. We were encouraged as parents to go home and talk to our teenagers about setting boundaries in both these areas. Parents across the auditorium scribbled notes furiously as the counselors outlined some suggestions: limit texting, monitor bedtimes, cut back on team practices. I couldn’t help but think to myself: tonight there will be many demonstrations of teenage angst when mom shows up with her new list of suggestions.

    "I'M SORRY" -- Oh Really!

  • I had the privilege of doing a wedding last week and the heart of my instruction to the bride and the groom was the power of the gospel and how it applies to forgiveness that must be a daily pattern in marriage. I have personally experienced and seen it in all marriages that our daily marriage health is tied up in our understanding of confession, repentance and forgiveness continuously.

    A great resource on understanding these concepts not only in marriage but in all relatioships is Ken Sande’s book, “Peacemaker.” There are a variety of resources that the Peacemaker Ministry provides that are centered upon the Scriptures and the gospel.

    One area that I fight myself with and see all too often in other marriage is the weakness of apology and how often it says nothing. Ken Sande writes:

    As God opens your eyes to see how you have sinned against others, he simultaneously offers you a way to find freedom from your past wrongs. It is called confession. Many people have never experienced this freedom because they have never learned how to confess their wrongs honestly and unconditionally. Instead, they use words like these: “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” “Let’s just forget the past.” “I suppose I could have done a better job.” “I guess it’s not all your fault.” These token statements rarely trigger genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. If you really want to make peace, ask God to help you breathe grace by humbly and thoroughly admitting your wrongs. One way to do this is to use the Seven A’s.


  • “We heavily depend on those who bring us up. We get from them a taste and a bias which clings to us most of the days of our lives. We learn the language of our mothers and fathers, and learn to speak it almost without thinking, and unquestionably we catch something of their manners, ways, and mind at the same time. Time will tell, how much we all owe to early impressions, and how many things in us may be traced back to the seeds sown in the days of our infancy, by those who were around us."

    “And all this is one of God’s merciful arrangements. He gives your children a mind that will receive impressions like moist clay. He gives them a disposition at the starting-point of life to believe what you tell them, and to take for granted what you advise them, and to trust your word rather than a stranger’s. He gives you, in short, a golden opportunity of doing them good. See that you do not neglect such an opportunity. Once you let it slip, it is gone forever."

    “I know that you cannot convert your child. I know that they who are born again are born, not of the will of man, but of God. But I also know that God specifically says, “Train a child in the way he should go,” and that He never gave a command to men and women which He would not give them the grace to perform. And I also know that our duty is not to stand still and dispute the command, but to go forward and obey it. It is only when we move out in obedience that God will meet us. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives the blessing. We only have to do as the servants were commanded at the marriage feast in Cana, to fill the water-pots with water, and we may safely leave it to the Lord to turn that water into wine.”
    ~ J.C. Ryle: The Duties of Parents


  • Wednesday, October 20, 2010
  • I have discovered in my old age that in my sinful, self-centeredness, I often think the universe ought to revolve around me. I may have seen it in a few others too.. I remember reading that when Teddy Roosevelt thought he was someone really important, he would look to the heavens and be reminded how vast the universe was and how small he really is.

    Take a few minutes to watch this video (ignore the mention of the big bang) that measures out the universe as we know it at this point in time in terms of vastness and then remember how big you really are and that God has marked off the heavens by the span of His hand (Isaiah 40:12)



  • One of my favorite writers is J.C. Ryle. His book, “Holiness” written in 1877 was one of the most nourishing books to my heart I have ever read. Known as a great theologian, bishop, preacher and man, many folks may forget that John Charles Ryle was also a parent to five children.

    J.C. Ryle suffered much heartache in his life. Most heartbreaking was the fact that he was widowed three times. Here is a brief snapshot of Ryle’s marriage and family life as described by William P. Farley:

    “Ryle suffered through the poor health of his first two wives. At age 29, he married Matilda Plumptre. After a few years, she died leaving him a baby daughter to care for. Then, death took his mother, older brother, and younger sister. He felt like Job undergoing God’s trials."

    “At age 33, he married longtime friend, Jessie Walker, and once again, joy and happiness filled his rural cottage. After 6 months of marriage, Jessie developed a lingering sickness from which she never recovered. Ryle nursed her for 10 years while managing their growing family (Jessie gave birth to four children). In addition to this stress, he managed his pastoral responsibilities."


  • Thursday, October 14, 2010

  • Southern Seminary’s Jim Hamilton has posted online his excellent essay, The Mystery of Marriage, from For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper.

    Here is the opening paragraph, which provides a preview of the essay:

    Marriage holds a unique place in all the Bible: what else joins two image-bearers together as one, serves as a key concept for understanding the relationship between Yahweh and Israel then Christ and the church, and consequently affords to every married couple the opportunity to live out the gospel? God sets himself on display in marriage, which means that God shows his glory in marriage. Thus, the thesis of this essay is that marriage exists as a unique display of God’s glory.

    In order to establish and exposit this thesis we will look first at the way that marriage joins two persons in the likeness of God as one.

    From there the second section explores the way that Yahweh’s relationship to Israel is treated as a marriage, and the third section of this essay will examine the way that marriage exists to portray the relationship between Christ and the church.

    The final section will look at marriages as mini-dramas of the gospel.

    This is a rich biblical-theological reflection, well worth reading. You can read the entire chapter at this site: http://jimhamilton.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/fameofgodsnamechap13.pdf or better yet, purchase the book, For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper.


  • Thanks to all of you who told me that you had been praying that I would find refreshment and restoration during my vacation time. God met Deb and I in very special ways and we made a good dent in the work around the farm. It is never done but progress was made. I did not get out to fish but I am still itching to with the good weather. Deb and I did cover alot of miles keeping a horse between us and the ground and enjoyed the changing colors of the countryside. Thanks again for your care to pray.