Saturday, October 31, 2009

God and Football

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, front, celebrates a touchdown with Chester Taylor during the first half of a game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday, Oct. 5, 2009. The graying quarterback connected for three touchdown passes and 271 yards in a 30-23 victory.

In view of the big football game tomorrow between the second meeting of Vikings and Packers - here is a recent post from Time magazine regarding God and professional football, specifically focusing in on the chaplains of each team and how they work. Here is a quote:

"The popular perception of Christianity in America, prior to the last 10 to 15 years, has been that being a Christian meant you were soft — you were considered weak, kind of a pushover," says Pastor Trapp. "You're the guy who was going to turn the other cheek. But you read in the Bible that some of those guys were brash and bold and forceful but still had a heart and a desire for God."
To read the whole article Click Here.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Our Hearts Are Restless

God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.
from Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Power of Personal Prayer

"The point of prayer is shifting control to God."

from “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

from Romans 8:26-27 by the apostle Paul

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Power of Prayer in Conviction

But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. (2 Corinthians 13:7)

October 20, 2009 - Channel 6 News, Indianapolis, Indiana

A man who police said was involved in a bizarre robbery in which he hugged and prayed with a frightened store clerk turned himself in after his mother saw him on TV. Indianapolis police Lt. Jeff Duhamell said Gregory Smith, 23, had a gun when he went to the Advance America Store in the 900 block of East Washington Street Monday. Police said Smith jumped behind the counter and pointed a gun at the female clerk, but then became remorseful when she began crying and talking about God. "He, at that time, starts to basically console her," said Indianapolis police Detective Kevin Wethington.

Police said the robber told the clerk that he hated to do it, but times are hard and he has a 2-year-old child to support. Surveillance video showed the clerk praying with the robber, who even went so far as to hug the frightened female clerk. "They were actually praying at this point about the decisions that he's making," Wethington said. When the clerk pleaded with the gunman not to shoot her, police said he made a shocking gesture to put her at ease. "He reaches down, hands her the bullet out of his gun," Wethington said.

After 30 minutes of conversation with the clerk, the robber grabbed about $20 from the register and the clerk's cell phone before he left, investigators said. Smith was expected to be charged with robbery.

Why We Should Read the Bible - Eugene Peterson

We do not read this book and the subsequent writings that are shaped by it in order to find out how to get God into our lives, get him to participate in our lives. No. We open this book and find that page after page it takes us off guard, surprises us, and draws us into its reality, pulls us into participation with God on his terms. (from Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson, pg 6)
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Laughing at Sin

A few weeks ago John Piper spoke at a conference for the American Association of Christian Counselors. When you click here to hear the message - listen closely to the first five minutes. Dr. Piper shared some of the deepest and most prevailing sins that he has struggled with his entire life – and the audience laughed! What happened is that over the course of a couple of days, those attended the conference had been trained to expect humor from the speakers - to the point that they were incapable of knowing when someone was being serious in their confession of sin to them.

One of the greatest (and the least addressed) issues I have observed in the church is that often the “joy of the Lord” has been dumbed down” to mean a shallow, light-hearted, childlike silliness, rather than a serious and heavy joy that is rooted deep in our souls. Those of you who know me know I am surely not against laughter – but I have observed that when humor and levity become the foundation of our joy in God it becomes difficult to be dearly serious about sin – and then even more difficult to be serious (and truly joyful) about our relationship with God.

We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:8-10)

10 Lifetime Leadership Lessons - Chuck Swindoll

1) It’s lonely to lead. Leadership involves tough decisions. The tougher the decision, the lonelier it is.
2) It’s dangerous to succeed. I’m most concerned for those who aren’t even 30 and are very gifted and successful. Sometimes God uses someone right out of youth, but usually he uses leaders who have been crushed
3) It’s hardest at home. No one ever told me this in Seminary.
4) It’s essential to be real. If there’s one realm where phoniness is common, it’s among leaders. Stay real.
5) It’s painful to obey. The Lord will direct you to do some things that won’t be your choice. Invariably you will give up what you want to do for the cross.
6) Brokenness and failure are necessary.
7) Attitude is more important than actions. Your family may not have told you: some of you are hard to be around. A bad attitude overshadows good actions.
8) Integrity eclipses image. Today we highlight image. But it’s what you’re doing behind the scenes.
9) God's way is better than my way.
10) Christlikeness begins and ends with humility.

From DD

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Obama Should Do With His Nobel Peace Prize

They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:14)

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

Here is an excerpt from a posting this morning by Mickey Klaus regarding Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. To read the whole posting Click Here.

What Obama Should Do With His Nobel Peace Prize

Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory--and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen ('What's he done?') problem, demonstrating that he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

David Letterman, Guilt and the Gospel - Russell Moore

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." (Revelation 12:10-11)

Here is an excerpt a blog posting called “What David Letterman Can Teach Us About the Gospel” By Russell Moore. To read the whole post Click Here.

David Letterman said the accusations bothered him because he’s a “tower of Midwestern Lutheran guilt.” But there’s nothing particularly Midwestern or Lutheran about it. It’s a signal of a conscience that points to judgment. But it could also point to the One who has borne all the penalty due at judgment, including the public humiliation of being caught. We’ve all been there.

Let’s remember the gospel, and learn from Dave Letterman how scary blackmail can be. As the accusations come at us, let’s acknowledge the truth of the satanic claims. Let’s find ourselves in Jesus. And let’s point to a bloody cross and an empty tomb where those accusations were verified and crucified.

Poor David Letterman. This extortion is nothing like the one he, and billions more, are facing from a threatening presence who can’t be indicted by a New York grand jury. Let’s pray for him, and plead with those like him in our neighborhood and in cities and villages all around the world, as we remember what it’s like to be that scared.

And let’s remember not to be paralyzed by cosmic blackmail. The satanic powers have the evidence against us; yes, they do. But every accusation comes before an Advocate with a still conscience in his chest, scabbed-over spike-marks in his hands, and a crushed snake skull at his feet.

The satanic accusations are usually true. They wouldn’t bring them up if they weren’t. But if Christ Jesus is raised from the dead (and he is) then they can’t paralyze us anymore.

Defining Legalism – Eugene Peterson

Imagine yourself moving into a house with a huge picture window overlooking a grand view across a wide expanse of water enclosed by a range of snow capped mountains. You have a ringside seat before wild storms and cloud formations, the entire spectrum of sun-illuminated colors in the rocks and trees and wildflowers and water. You are captivated by the view. Several times a day you interrupt your work and stand before this window to take in the majesty and the beauty, thrilled with the botanical and meteorological fireworks. One afternoon you notice some bird droppings on the window glass, get a bucket of water and a towel, and clean it. A couple of days later a rainstorm leaves the window streaked, and the bucket comes out again. Another day visitors come with a tribe of small dirty-fingered children. The moment they leave you see all the smudge-marks on the glass. They are hardly out the door before you have the bucket out. You are so proud of that window, and it’s such a large window. But it’s incredible how many different ways foreign objects can attach themselves to that window, obscuring the vision, distracting from the contemplative beauty. Keeping that window clean develops into an obsessive-compulsive neurosis. You accumulate ladders and buckets and squeegees. You construct a scaffolding both inside and out to make it possible to get to all the difficult corners and heights. You have the cleanest window in North America – but it’s now been years since you looked through it. You’ve become a Pharisee.

From “The Jesus Way” by Eugene Peterson, page 211.