Monday, December 07, 2009

I've moved

After almost 2 years with Blogger I have decided to move to Wordpress. Please follow the address above to find it. Thanks to Blogger for the past 2 years. Again, the new blog may be found at

-- Post From My iPhone

The Writing on the Wall

This is a story that happened to me yesterday and that aches my heart. This is a story of regret, confusion, and a certain level of anger. This is a story of how a hunt for a tiny Christmas tree turned into a search for God in a dying world. This is a story of Satan jumping into a car and hitching a ride.

My family and I went to our local Christmas tree farm(Tara Place) this past weekend and bought our Christmas tree for this year. It was a fun experience and the farm we visited goes all out to guarantee that you leave feeling ready for Christmas. Despite that fact though, I still wanted to find a small tree to place on the front porch of our home and to cover with lights. It's just something I thought would be neat. Not wanting to pay for said tree though, I decided just to drive around and see if I could find one out in the woods or off the road somewhere.

I tried to sneak away but I had been out with the boys playing that Sunday afternoon. Naturally, when they saw me getting into my vehicle, saw in hand, their curiosity peaked and I soon had two helpers loaded and ready to go with me. As we drove we talked and laughed and the boys were both big eyed and vocal in helping their dad look for that perfect little tree.

Soon enough, I spotted a group of young pine trees off in a field. I knew that one of these would be perfect and they were in a spot that I knew they were growing wild. All that was left to do now was to turn around and cut it down. How I wish I would have never turned around.

As we looked for a place to turn around, the best place was an area up the road where a gas station used to be. As we reached the road, the boys were both talking about how they had never been to this place before so they were both eagerly investigating the scenery. Then I saw it. As I pulled forward, spray painted on a wall were the words that I wasn't prepared to see. Written in large black spray painted letters was a message to one of our local law enforcement officers. This message which started with an "F" and ended with "you" prefaced the name of the officer. Not knowing what to do, I didn't mention it and just tried to speedily drive past.

Then the question came. My 8 year old son, who still thinks that words like stupid, butt, and hate are "bad" words but who reads so very, very well, asks me, his father, "Dad, why does that wall say F___ you?" There was no stuttering, stammering, or blunting of the word. He read it and said it boldly just as I have heard him read words like mother, tree, zoo, or elephant. This fact told me that he did not know he was saying anything bad but that he was simply reading what had been placed in front of him.

Stunned, I was not sure how to answer his question. The first thought that went through my mind was to answer him that some people in this world were trash and that they take pleasure out of defacing and devaluing people's property and that they don't care how their actions affect others. However, my thoughts were quickly changed to answer my son with a Christian response; one that does not counter evil with evil but that rather expresses the reasoning behind why their mother and I so often remind them that the world needs strong Christian young men and why we are trying to train them to be such. Therefore, I answered him, "because there are people in this world who do not know the love of Christ and who do not allow Christ to be the center of every action they take in life." I explained to my sons, sooner than I would have wanted, that this word was a very bad word and one that a Christian should refrain from using because it is very hurtful and powerful. Both of them verbalized understanding but I know now that this word has been firmly planted within their heads and I am very saddened by this. They not only know now how to read it, but how to use it and the power which it holds.

So what is the Christian father to do now? It's not really reasonable or possible to lay down a new family law that says no more taking the kids anywhere in the world. Nor would it be prudent to force the kids to wear blindfolds from now on when we go in the car. I don't think we could afford to replace all the windows in our car with glass that one cannot see out of. So, what to do then?

For whatever reason, my mind goes to the book of Ezra where we find Ezra preparing his followers to move forward in their journey to Jerusalem. Ezra, knowing the dangers that would lie ahead for them on the journey knew what the best answer was and I take great strength and hope in his example today. Ezra writes the following in chapter 8:

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him." 23So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

Fearful and concerned about the safety of those he loves, Ezra's action was to humble himself before God and to plead for the protection that they knew they would need. Ezra recognizes that he could ask the king for their physical protection, but to do so would in a sense make Ezra a hypocrite as he has been preaching about how great and powerful his God is. Ezra was placed at a crossroads in which he had to choose to trust God or to trust man. Ezra chose God and later in Ezra 8 we learn that God answered their humility with the protection they so needed.

As a father, there is nothing more important to me in this world than the spiritual and physical protection of my sons. I can build walls, make rules, place blinders, and block the world all that I want. Yet, without the trust that God will keep his promises and will answer prayers for our children, all these other actions are but vanity. Therefore, I do intend to call my local mayor and city council officers and ask that they cover the graffiti up so someone else will not have this same ordeal. Still, I will trust God that He will not allow this Satanic intervention along our journey yesterday to corrupt my sons. Without this trust, I have no hope about any aspect of their life.

Just as a side note. I happen to be friends with the officer to whom the mentioned graffiti is addressed. I spoke to him about it this morning and he says he knew it was there. He's known it was there for almost 2 years. Why does it take 2 years for someone to get something like this taken off of a publicly visible wall?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration - Exactly Who Are You Aligning Yourself With

In this day and age of it being considered rude to distinguish oneself as a Christian, but rather a Christ-follower, there is little confusion over why so many are so quick to sign the Manhattan Declaration, a document that declares the position of American Christians on life, marriage, and religious liberty. If you have not read this document that is asking for you to sign it, you can read the document in it's fullness here. While I find the main idea behind this as a good idea, I do see several glaring problems. First, and most glaring, where is the gospel in this document? Second, why does this have to be interlaced with political jabs? Third, has anyone really taken a look at who and what you would be aligning yourself with should you sign this document? I don't think that I could say what needs to be said better than some of the people I enjoy reading. I personally am choosing not to sign it as I do not see any need to put my name on some declaration written by the hands of men when I know that my name has been written in the book of life already with the blood of the spotless lamb. I would not condemn anyone who does decide to sign it but I would caution that some look at the drafters of this document and those who agree the most with it. Signing this paper though will not make you a better Christian.

Please take time to read the following links to educate yourself more on this document:

From Pyromaniacs: 19 Questions for the Signers of the Manhattan Declaration

From Dr. James White: The Troubling Aspects of the Manhattan Declaration

From Al Mohler: Why I did sign the Manhattan Declaration (there is nothing I can argue with in these statements)

Muppets Sing Bohemian Rhapsody

This video may be the best thing I watched on the internet in all of 2009. The Muppets plus a great song = 4 minutes of pure joy for me. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Something to Behold

As if I need more reasons to love my wife, I have found another that I feel is worth sharing with the world. I will probably get in trouble for this but what she did was and is so inspiring to me that it will be worth it. Not only has she inspired me by her actions but also by the report she returned from her action. I feel that this is worth sharing.

This is a story that begins with disappointment. Last Sunday night, after returning home from church, our home soon began to have the glorious odor of something from the goodie genre cooking in the oven. Upon my investigation, I found that my wife was cooking bread, banana-nut bread to be exact, and it smelt glorious. I knew that she had been speaking of possibly making a Thanksgiving basket to give to the elderly widows who reside around us but I did not know she intended to do it this soon. Disheartened when told that none was for our family, I told her what a great woman she was and how proud I was to be her husband.

She literally spent hours baking these loaves of bread and my heart went back to my childhood and memories of my mother working away to make and deliver her now famous pound cakes to the sick, bereaved, or just her friends. I thought about how fortunate I was to have such a wife and how useless it would be for me to offer her any help. I am mean with the grill but baking is not my forte. Needless to say, I was happy when she was finished and we could settle in and watch the recorded episode of Amazing Race, her favorite show, from that night.

The next day, for some reason that I don't know, I decided to come home and get my lunch. As I pulled into our driveway I was met by Joy and our infant son Kip. They were leaving to go make their deliveries. At first I wanted to ask if that was not something that all of us should do as a family but I quickly realized that this was her mission and that doing this on her timeline and

to her pleasure would be best. So that she would feel no obligation to stay with me while I ate I told her I would just get something to eat elsewhere, told her I loved her, and returned to my office. I couldn't help but smile as I saw her in my rearview mirror with her baskets pushing the stroller on her way to do her good deed.

As the day progressed I thought several times about how it went for her. I wondered if the women were home, if they were warm and welcoming, and if the baby had behaved. I knew in my heart though that all would go well because I knew the driving force behind her action. I knew that the sole purpose of her action was to glorify God and in her own small (easy for me to say) way let his love shine out of her. What a great woman and what an amazing fruit of the spirit that Christ provides.

As I got home though and asked her how it went, I was not met with a message of happiness but rather one of stark realization. While Joy did report that all of the eight widows she visited were happy for the company and that they enjoyed holding and playing with the baby, she was most overwhelmed by the loneliness and quiet that these ladies live in. None of these ladies live in what we would consider desolate situations. They all have large homes but Joy was shocked by the fact that they only use part of their homes. The rest remains shut off and rarely used. They have these homes but live in apartments they build into their homes. What was most shocking ot her though was the quiet they live in. While so many of us reside in homes that always has the television, the radio, the computer, or some other noisy distraction going, these ladies all lived in utter quiet. Joy commented on how she could hear the clocks all ticking and the appliances shutting on and off in an intrusive fashion. Yet, that is the life these ladies, none of whom live more than a few hundred yards from us, live. Desolate, shut off, and quiet is their lifestyle.

That leads to the reason that I write this. How easily are we caught up in our own lives, forgetting about the ones who need our time the most around us? Some of these ladies are the ones who you shake hands with or hug at church on Sunday, never once thinking about what it is they will be returning home to. How happy they must be to have company and someone to spend time with talking to. I can think of widows I personally know who their own children do not even visit them. However, I cannot judge them because the only time I tend to think about visiting them is if they are sick. What a difference we can make in someone's life though by the most simple of good deeds. While I am sure the bread was an added treat, just our time spent with them would be a gift they must cherish. This is not to be done to make our lives or relationship with God better, but rather to glorify God by making someone else's life better.

I struggled over the weekend to think of scripture that would put the light I see my wife in at this time into words. What I came up with was the following:

Psalm 119:124-128
124Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. 125I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! 126It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken. 127Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. 128Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.
That is my wife - how lucky am I

Pilgrim's Map of the Day

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Here's your map of what is catching my eye and heart today.

* First up, sometimes you see something that makes you realize how much detail and work God put into the creation. This video about worms, sea stars, and dead seals did that for me. Just watch and think about this creation that we rarely even see, much less think about. God is amazing. Here's the link (embedding was disabled).
* This makes me sad but no more so when I see other people using Christ and

Christianity in marketing ploys. The picture here is of a body spray (think Axe or Bath & Body Works) that somehow uses the scent of Christ to attract the opposite sex. How sad, but at least you get 20% more Jesus free in each can. I wonder what God must think when he sees such things. Just so you know what the "world" thinks of this, this image was found in "comedy" section of the Huffington Post.

* Along the same thought as the above picture comes this picture found in the Museum of Idolatry. I don't think any words I could use could better sum this up than the words used at the Museum of Idolatry.
"Sassy, Savvy, Saved is the slogan for the website for ChurchGurl's 'christian products' for women. We think they forgot one "S" word.....Slutty."
* This made me laugh because there is so much truth tucked within this satirical video. Sadly, this is what so many want despite the Biblical truths that it will never happen. Nice touch with the "Do right or I might smite" plaque in the house. Trey Morgan offered up a nice reminder also that we Christians are to be in the world, just not of it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Purpose Driven Death

Paul's letter to the Galatians is possibly my favorite of all the epistles. Not only does this letter show us that the gospel was now available for both Jew and Gentile it also reveals to us the curse that was the law (see chapter 3) of God and that living a life in which we strive to justify ourselves by law keeping, or following the curse, is foolishness. Why though? Why is Paul so adamant in this letter regarding the fact that the people in this church he had helped to plant are now, for lack of a better phrase, legalistic slaves. I find Paul's answer to this question in the 21st verse of chapter 2 of Galatians where he writes:

"I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness
were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose."

This statement comes after Paul reminded the Galatian church that his life he lives now, although he remains in the flesh, he lives through his faith that Christ Jesus' blood shed on the cross is enough to cover his sins, past and present. Paul, the man who recognized himself as the foremost of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), is telling this church and us today that although you find yourself unable to satisfy the burden that is the law of God, have hope. His suggestion is not "try harder." His advise as guided by the Holy Spirit to deliver is not, "do better." No, Paul's advise is to remember that there is ZERO righteousness that comes from working the law. Paul's advise is to remember that we Christians are saved by grace that was poured out on the cross at Calvary.

Paul condemns the Christians of Galatia with, to me, the most disheartening words any lover of Christ could hear. He tells them that because they are seeking to please God through their works of human minds and hands, that Christ's bloody and violent death was for nothing. "...Christ died for no purpose." If it were possible for us to save ourselves, or others for that matter, through being good or even being "Christ-like" (I deplore that term, for who of us can be spotless) then there was no purpose for Christ to have suffered as He did. Paul, in the most resounding and condemning of ways reminds these people that God in human flesh came not to save a people who are just choosing not to listen and act or who have some evil agenda, but rather to save a people who are lost, hopeless, and hell-bound without Him.

As we find ourselves today dwelling in a culture of "purpose driven lives" that are powerlessly staggering to find righteousness and their mission here on Earth let us remember the one and only life that has walked on this soil with any truly righteous purpose. As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, are we thankful for the works of our hands or the works of the nail-driven hands? Are we choosing sides based on our own works and wants or are we allowing ourselves to be rinsed of our own helplessness by the blood flowing from Christ's pierced side? Are we seeing our lives as good enough and pointing others to how great we are or are we reminding ourselves and others of our SHARED wretchedness and need for Christ's redemption?

If we are finding ourselves as being like the Galatians or having a life cached with good works we think we can present to God in our own justification, the call to all of us is to repent. To become dependent on our own works, actions, and ideals, or to strive to make others see how to become more loved or pleasing in the eyes of God is idolatry in it's purest form. We need to repent of this and cast all of our hope and care on Christ. The fruits of this will naturally follow. Let us be Christians who don't condemn one another or even the world but rather Christians who help one another in their sinful and lives. Christ died for a purpose. That purpose was to save us, even in our present state today and because no matter how hard we try, we will sin tomorrow. Christ's purpose was to save you and I from sending ourselves to Hell. To think and teach otherwise, as Paul put it, makes Christ's death pointless and with no purpose.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Beautiful Surprise

Below is the sight I walked in on as I came home from work yesterday. I snuck this picture but I cannot think of a more beautiful sight then that of your seven-year-old son taking time to read and study the inerrant word of God. My heart leaps for joy to see him doing this on his own.

I love you Luke.

Pilgrim's Map of the Day

Welcome to all today. Here is what's catching my eye today and helping me to grow. I hope it does the same for you.

* Apprising Ministries provides a great post on the growing homosexual agenda in today's "evangelicalism." This is a detaile post that I suggest you explore the links embedded in it.

* Chris over at Extreme Theology has some pretty poignant observations regarding organizations that boycott businesses for not saying Christmas but that overlook so much worse sins. GOOD STUFF!!

* offers up an interesting look at some of the world's most unique golf courses/holes.

* FUNNY!!!

* Finally, Adam Faughn has a great post on the problem with apathy. Very insightful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not Ordained?

Following my post regarding the response from Christians and Christian organizations about the recent health care reform vote in our legislature, I have received several dissenting opinions via e-mail (still can't figure out why people don't just use the comment section on the blog). Most of the response to this vote I read came from an e-mail strand from a friend of mine who happens to be a physician. The heart of this e-mail was his apology to his friends and his deceased father regarding what has happened to health care in the U.S. His father was alive and active in the forming of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the U.S. Basically he was wondering what response he would have for his father if his father asked him what his generation had done to help the less fortunate of the country. It came off as heartfelt and sincere yet this e-mail combined with the posting I referenced above sparked some very harsh words and what appeared to be anger. I have not responded to those e-mails for the most part, as none of them have necessarily embodied the subject of the original post. That being said, there was one statement made that I found particularly bothersome and that I feel warrants some cleaning up.

The statement I refer to came from an e-mail in which the author felt somehow singled out by the posting. I will take this space to say that the post was written to no one particular person and not one particular group/organization. The statement made though was this: "God does not ordain the President of the United States." Actually, scripture says quite the opposite.

There is a number of text to discuss this matter with. We could discuss Timothy 2:1, 2. We could discuss Paul's instruction to the preacher in Titus 3:1. We also could discuss 1 Peter 2: 13-17 whereby we learn the fruit which comes from doing what I was urging in the post in question. "Fear God. Honour the emperor."

However, for this discussion I believe a look into Romans 13 will serve our purpose. It is in Romans 13 that we find Paul's instruction to the Roman church beginning in verse 1: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good."

Allow me to preface the rest of what is to be said by saying that at no point will I say that this passage is pointing us to be completely obedient to the powers of a nation. I am saying unequivocally that Paul, in this writing inspired by the Holy Spirit, is telling us that the leaders that are place in a country at any given time are only there because God placed, or ordained, them to be there. This holds true for the Republican who can't stand Obama as it holds true for the Democrat who deplored George Bush. Should God had not wanted Obama to be the president of this great country, then he would not be the president of this great country. Rather this ordination is a blessing or a curse, time will tell but in the meantime we must look at Paul's instruction further.

If one reads the Epistles or any of the works of the first centruy Christians (Justin Martyr, Tertullian, or Athenagoras) one thing is clear. The first century Christian church, our standard, believed that the official teaching of the church should be that obedience and prayers be offered to the rulers of their nation. Let us not forget the tyranny and persecution which they lived through.

The same holds true with Paul. The people he was writing this letter to were historically rebellious against civil power, believing that the only authority and king of the Jews was God. This affected their obedience to paying taxes and some historical accounts, Barclay's in particular, refers to them as nationalistic, dagger-bearing terrorists. They lashed out not only against the Roman government but even their Jewish brethren who dared pay taxes to the Roman government. Paul found this, as I find the current tone from the American Evangelical movement, to be a complete abandonment of any Christian conduct. Paul was striving to say that being a good citizen, even in first century Jerusalem, and Christianity were to go hand in hand.

Question: Will it be possible for the Christians of this country to totally disassociate themselves with the government? If you live in a society, like it or not, you are part of that society. Without seeking your proper documents and setting up residence under another flag, you are not going to be able to cancel your subscription of being an American. We must forget what benefits that includes. However, as citizens, be you atheist or Christian, it is not reasonable that we would expect to relish in the benefits of our citizenship and not have to fulfill any of our civil duties. God did not and I dare say would not, set His children up to navigate themselves through such a difficult scenario.

Of course, one of the biggest benefits we as citizens should be thankful for is protection. Be it by our military, who we so honor and even pray for in our churches, or animal control protecting us from wild animals, the state provides us security. Let us not forget that the nation we live in, or any nation/state for that matter, is basically a group of people who have agreed to intermingle with one another by properly keeping within the boundaries of certain laws and limits. No more, no less. These restrictions or laws are in place to keep the strong and selfish from dominating the weaker.

That last sentence is what I want to focus on for a moment. Are we as Christians that stronger or the weaker in this country? Are we the fearful or the feared? Ten years ago I would have been confident in stating in a blanket manner that the Christians in America are strong and are confident in Christ's promise that He has not left us with a spirit of fear. Today though, as I read the shouts of fear of the future & uncertainty of the upcoming I see a certain lack of faith in God to carry the faithful through no matter what happens. I see compromise and spite, a deadly combination.

Barclay states that Paul saw the Roman Empire as the "divinely ordained instrument to save the world from chaos. Take away that Empire and the world would disintegrate into flying fragments." Paul knew that it was the Roman Empire itself, as evil and persecuting as it was, that gave the Christian missionary ANY chance in the first century to do his work. In Heaven, souls will be bonded by Christian love. We aren't in Heaven ladies and gentlemen and we are not promised Heaven here on Earth (sorry all you Prosperity Gospel lovers). Therefore, since all of us are not tied by Christian love it is the government, the laws, the customs that bind us together. Just as it was the Roman Empire preventing the world from drifting into lawlessness, despite their morals, the U.S. today does the same thing. Paul knew this and so do we if we search scripture. The nation in which you live, regardless of the leaders and their choices, are an instrument of God. Just as the Prince of Persia was set in place in Isaiah to return the tribe of Judah to their home, he did not know that God knew before he allowed him to become leader that this was why God allowed such a thing (and he may never have), our leaders, to their knowledge or not, are doing some part in fulfilling God's work.

It is our duty as Christians to HELP, not devise plans, protests, civil disobedience against them. Help is up for debate but I will contend at this time that no help we can offer is greater than the prayers of the saints. Paul tells you in no uncertain terms, should we resist, we are literally resisting what God has appointed or ordained. Should we search our hearts in honesty we are going to find that our desire to revolt is based on selfishness, Satan's tool, not Christian beliefs. This is why Paul concluded his passage in Romans 13 by stating: "But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience."

Pictured below are two picture, one being a group of protesting Christians casting judgment. The second is a group in quiet, peaceful prayer. Ask yourself, which do you think would be more likely to have an audience with your gov't leaders at their discretion. Secondly, ask yourself which group you would want to be associated with. Third, ask yourself which has the Father's ear at the given moment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Emergent Nutshell

I speak a great deal about the problem that is the Emergent Church in America. Recently, two of the leaders of the Emergent Church, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt, held the Christianity 21 conference. Sadly, many attended and were exposed to this trash. Below is a video shot at this conference that sums up the idolatry that these individuals not only believe in and profit from, but that is doing more damage to the landscape of America than any atheist could ever dream of doing. Being missional is one thing, but this goes above and beyond. Notice how they replace the word church with "community."

TransFORM: Missional Community Formation from TransFORM on Vimeo.

Pilgrim's Map of the Day

Hello to all. Here is what is tweaking my interest and thoughts today.

* Watch the video below to witness both an amusing and terrifing commentary about how the camera/media is able to manipulate human behavior.

*Being a "Red Letter Christian" certainly sounds like a noble thing to be. Sadly though, as Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries points out, this new group naming themselves Red Letter Christians are far from being in line with those exact words from scripture.

* Pajama Pages gives us all a quick yet elegant synopsis of exactly what baptism is.

* John Mark Hicks provides us with an excellent answer to the question "Who is Wise & Understanding Among You" (James 3:13). This is a long but fulfilling read.

* Trey Morgan shares a wonderful story of an 8 year old girl telling Satan "Hell no!"

* I found myself becoming physically ill as I watched this video that reveals the heresy known as the Prosperity Gospel and how it is being used in Africa. Please note that just because this is in Africa, you American teachers and followers of this false gospel appear the same way (lost and greedy) as these people in my eyes.

The Prosperity Gospel from The Global Conversation on Vimeo

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mind Controlled

I find it so disheartening to look around myself today and see the hatred and anger flowing from the mouth, pens, and keyboards of the Christian faith today. It seems not long ago I was posting a similar piece on how many of these same individuals or organizations were reacting to the death of Ted Kennedy. Yet, here we are again, not even three months later, and the same distasteful and putrid ideals and attitudes are creeping back out of these people's dark hearts. Most disturbing is the fact that this is being done in the name of Jesus Christ. Heresy abounds!

Over this past weekend our government here in the great United States of America voted to move forward with legislation that would overhaul the health care system in the United States. The reported motivation behind this is to make health care (access to doctors, medicine, and other assistance) affordable to all those in this country who do not currently have it or who have some form of health care that is inferior to their needs. As with all things, it is much more complicated than that of course, but on the surface, that is the idea. Supposedly we already have such a program in this country, but somehow this system has become messed up and for lack of a better word BROKE, both financially and structurally.

After months of debate, name-calling, and pandering by and to both Democrats and Republicans it now appears that this country is headed toward health care reform. Sadly, the American Christian landscape is filled with groups and individuals who fail to yield to the fact that it is God Himself in control of all things. Sadly, many of these people are willing to cast aside Christ in their lives in order to make their political views known or their displeasure with decisions heard. This is unfortunate to me because so many of these individuals continue to camoflauge themselves in their self-made cloaks of Christianity, giving those of us who truly see God's hand in all things a bad name as well as placing us in a dilemma of having to defend their selfish ambitions. By the way, no more will I be doing that for you, it is time you guys get it together and start relying on Christ.

What I believe is not being seen in this matter is the fact that for whatever reason(s), this country has found itself in a condition that makes it more reminiscent to Iraq than Camelot. Of course the reason given by so many is that this country has turned it's heart from God. I agree! However, at the same time I see that because of this, many today in our borders find themselves similar to the places in the world that we would consider to be God-forsaken. Trust me, in my travels to Israel I have visited places that we are told Biblically that God forsook. Even our worse off are peachy compared to those piles of stone. Yet, despite that our worse off are so well off, can you blame THEM for saying yes when a group walks up saying, "choose me, I will make this better for you. I will make it so your children can get medicine, I will help you find food, I will make your life better." I can't find fault in them for wanting this yet when I hear many of my Christian friends describe the people who voted to put these people in office I hear words like trash, ignorant, stupid, nigger, and worse. I see the groups of men gathered at the backs of churches I attend discussing political matters and feel obligated to turn the other way to avoid those conversations. I get the e-mails depicting these people as anything but children of the one true God in need of His mercy. You people wouldn't know mercy if it hit you in the face and that is why so many of you fail to fathom the fact that you are no better off in the eyes of God than any of these people. You, just as much as them, should be pleading for mercy. I, am pleading for mercy.

We now find ourselves at this crossroad. Seeing the inevitable, I know that many of you will now tuck your tails and run back to begin asking for donations to help you in your "great" Christian causes that are nothing more than thinly veiled political or socio-economic ambitions. Sadly, you will continue to step outside of ANY Biblical authority and bash the current leadership that God saw fit to put in command of the borders in which you reside. Sadly, you will push more and more of the Godless in this country away from the cross, unless they pay and decide to vote, errr, worship with you. Many of you already worship with the people this reform will affect in the most positive sense - would you sign your name to your opinion before handing it to them face-to-face? But ask yourself a question: how many times have you prayed for the people who are so in need of what this leadership is offering? How many times have you asked to God to use you to help provide for them? How many times have you stepped outside of your daily routine or your "JOB" of being a Christian to address the needs that will now be addressed? For the majority who read this, the answer would be few. Yet, you all find time to make funny pictures to e-mail, write books condemning people who are in such lowly states, or even worse, hold assemblies or gatherings in order to all get together and show just how strong you are. I see you as weak today though because while you are all piled together, there is no Christ there. You, just as the God-forsaken are, as you see them too, nothing. No Christ = no life.

Question: Can you possibly live a life for Christ without losing yours? You see, there are people in the world today literally dying for the Christian faith. There are people who if they proclaimed their faith in Christ publicly would be murdered. However, when I search my heart about why I would be against health care reform the only reasons I find to be against it are reasons that affect me and my own wants. I no longer have that right. Yes, can this legislation affect my children's future? Possibly, but I am not a prophet and scripture is silent on this matter. Therefore, in the name of Christ, I keep my mouth shut and look for how God is working in this matter.

In closing, I would like to make one point. In the job that I have one of the benefits is free health insurance for me. That does not include my wife or my three children. In order to insure them the cost is around $750 each month. I am not naive enough to believe that I work in the only company in America where an employee faces this similar financial concern and it is indeed a very painful one. The only way to have more money would be to work another job or for my wife to enter the workforce. This however would take me away from my children even more and should my wife enter the workforce there are "Christians" waiting to crucify her for that. So, let me get this straight: you don't want people in this country to have access to free or affordable health care but at the same time you would agree that in order for everyone to be able to more easily afford it they would have to do things that would put their Christian family at risk. I'm sorry, I can't understand you because you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. I suppose for many of you though, your political affiliations are worth more than the Christians in this country.

Here's my solution: my family and I will see God in everyday that the sun rises. We will look for Him in every problem or unrest that arises. We will trust Him to carry us through no matter what the political landscape looks like. We will pray to Him to not only care for us, but to care for all of his creations. We will honor Him through our agreement that He is the One in control. Should we happen upon some of these people who are so hurting that they would choose the administration they did, we will help them in any way we can, never offering our judgment or condemnation, but rather the gospel of Jesus Christ first and foremost. No letter, bulletin, speech, e-mail, or argument will ever trump or out do that. You have the right to not agree with individuals politically but are your feelings worth your not being in agreement with Christ?


Friday, November 06, 2009

Pilgrim's Map of the Day

Here are things that have recently sparked my interest and I find worthy of sharing.

* Jim Martin over at A Place for the God Hungry does a good job of pointing out some people who may have taken a break from humility.

* Michael Hyatt discussed five characteristics of a weak leader.

* Terry Rush from Memorial Drive Church of Christ discusses 7 positive traits he has seen in good elders of the church.

* Watch this video. This female soccer player makes Florida Gators football player Brandon Spikes (infamous this week for his eye gouging incident) look like a big pussy cat. Why are fighting girls so funny to me?

Have a great weekend everyone.

That Sounds About Right

"Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration - whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday - I thought we could mark this November the fifth, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?Cruelty and injustice...intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told...if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent."

- Posted a day later than I meant to. These words and the entire dialogue from the graphic novel V for Vendetta were words that led me as a teenage boy to first think about the world around me and the "powers that be." I just thought that today would be a good day to read and post these words today as we look at the social landscape around us.

While the novel these words came from called for anarchy, I think we should look around us and possibly remember God's promises linked to prayer and reliance on His word. It seems that despite all of the conforming to society that so many of the churches in the U.S. are undergoing, the problem does not seem to be getting better. Maybe some of you should abandon that strategy. Along those same lines, if you are a preacher, please do not take this idea or speech from this novel and try to form a sermon around it. You only have permission to teach the word of God, not graphic novels. This is a blog, not a pulpit.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Good Debate

I would advise you to take the time needed to watch this debate between two very smart men. The topic is if Christianity is to blame for the problems in the world. The debaters are both very accomplished and have many points that are worth thought. Christopher Hitchens, who is a wonderful crafter of words and whose book Kissinger is one of my all time favorites, takes the stance of the atheist in this debate. Let's just say I liked Hitchens better when he was a socialist. He is now a very militant and agressive atheist publishing at least two books that I know of on the topic. The stance of the Christian in this debate is taken by Dinesh D'Souza and he does an excellent job. He intentionally avoids scripture to make his points and unless I am mistaken, Hitchens actually uses scripture more than D'souza. This vid is 90 minutes long but is a good listen if you are sitting at your desk working or doing otherwise.

Challenge: Listen to how this debate centers around moralism on the side of the atheist. Moralism is not Christianity!!!!

I, Barabbas

I so enjoy teaching Sunday School. Even more so, I enjoy teaching
pre-teen and teenagers about the wonder and love of Jesus Christ. To see a young person put together the facts that point to their need to be totally reliant on Christ and his crucifixion. I have found it both a gift and privilege to introduce the gospel message in an in depth and studious way to the mentioned age group where I attend church. For a year now, every Wednesday night these children have been asked what does the word gospel mean and what is the gospel message. At the same time, we have been studying the book of Mark, which if you want to study the gospel with kids I would always suggest the fast-paced book of Mark. It is both quick moving and action packed, moving from event to event in a seamless and fast way. I feel fully confident in saying that not only I have grown from this study, but these beautiful and God-fearing young children have come to a deeper and more appreciative idea of Christ Jesus. Their understanding of Him has grown from a childish to an adult and evidence based understanding.

There have been several moments during this study in which the understanding of Christ's love was evident upon these children's faces. This look is normally one of overbearing understanding and glee. Imagine a smile with head nodding mixed with a look of deep thought. This is the look that thrills my soul to see and I believe is the look of the gospel of Christ doing it's promised work. No sparkle, no gimmick, simply the inspired words of the gospel authors.

One such moment happened just last week. Our study has brought us to the 15th chapter of Mark's gospel and Christ's time spent with the Roman governor Pilate. The story brings us to the time in which Pilate, realizing that Christ is unlike any man he has ever encountered, gives the crowd a choice. Choice one, release this man Christ whose charges are based solely on hearsay that he blasphemed and wants to destroy the Jewish temple. Choice two, release one Barabbas, a criminal accused of the charge of murder, taking the life of another person. Of course, the kids in our class know how the story works out. They are aware of the cries of "crucify Him, crucify Him." They are aware of the injustice of how Barabbas, a lowly murderer, is released so that an innocent man could die.

Yet, when asked who in the room was like Barabbas, only myself and a deacon who attends our class raised our hands. When asked what makes them different than Barabbas, the responses were that he killed someone and they have not or would not ever commit such a crime, such a sin. Only when it was shown to them that just as Barabbas was release so Christ could be crucified, they have been released through their belief in Christ for their sins as well. Just as Christ gladly accepted the cross of crucifixion so Barabbas could live, so has He for them as well. I was shocked to see their faces of shock when reminded that because of their sins past, present, and future that they deserve hell. That because Christ and His Father are aware of our ineptitude to live sinless, Christ set us free rather than face death and eternal torment.

To see these children connect their own sins and lives to Barabbas and to see first hand in an example of what Christ did for them was exhilarating. To see their wheels turning and the connection of the gospel to their hearts and minds was beautiful. Thank God for His Holy Word, for His Son Jesus Christ, and for His Gospel. Good news = that despite our sins, Christ has set us free while our sins scream out "crucify him, crucify him."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Duke Basketball Is Losing It's Edge?

Call me a purist, but I am just not used to seeing an elite program like Duke do things like this. Granted, this is very entertaining and funny, especially Wojo. You have to wonder though, do things like this make Duke lose the edge and mysterious allure that always makes them so intimidating and scary to teams they are facing. We'll see...

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This week has been one of the most confusing weeks I have had in some time. Stemming from nothing more significant than the 7-9 year old soccer team I coach, my heart has been severely convicted this week. I suppose some back story would be appropriate.

You see, I have coached my oldest two sons soccer team for the past three years. In those three years, our teams have somewhat dominated the competition we played. I take zero credit for this fact but rather afford it to having a core of four kids who have been superior atheletes to the others their age. For this reason or maybe other reasons, many parents requested this year to have their kids on our team ( an honor) and we ended up with a team of 18 kids. Well, with that many kids it is impossible to dole out equal playing time (a duty that I think is most important) and keep your best players on the field consistently. Needless to say, our ability to win has suffered greatly this year. Therefore, my goal this season has become teaching these kids leadership and sportsmanship as well as more soccer fundamentals.

All was going well until a recent match against team in a nearby town. Quickly after the match started it became obvious to me that the refs, both teenage kids, were not aware of the rules in their entirety. I on the other hand am very much aware as I sat on the rules committee this year. Those are hours of my life I wish I had back.

As the game progressed I kept reminding the ref on my side of the field that the rules were in place to keep these kids from being hurt and that should he continue to not enforce the proper rules, someone would get hurt. Then it happened. This boy said to me that I was wrong about one of the rules when I knew I was completely correct. He proceeded to tell me the rules I was telling him, the rules I helped write, were not the ones he had received.

Deep breath Dave. I asked the kid for a moment as I pulled the PDF of the rules up on my iPhone. As I boiled on the inside all I could think was this kid is calling me a liar to my face. This kid is saying in front of my team that I am trying to cheat. He was saying to these kids who I have been stressing honest, fair play to for months that I don't practice what I preach. I cannot stand for someone to tell me I am wrong when I KNOW I am right. The fact that it was a boy, a young and unlearned boy doing this only made matters worse.

Yet, goodness prevailed from inside me. I showed the young man the proper rule and requested that he apologize to the team and myself. He obliged. We can play ball now right. All of a sudden I saw something from the corner of my eye darting toward me. A woman, dressed in green and with gleaming eyed was sprinting toward me. I stepped backward and suddenly this mad woman was in my face chopping her hands together inches from my mouth saying that I, the person who was in the right, was somehow wrong for calling the referee on his failure. Turns out, this lady was not only an official for the town we were in, but also the referees mother.

I continued to retreat from the lady explaining to her that the boy had apologized and he will tell her he was in the wrong. Finally I simply turned my back to her and she left. I was so angry that I could not tell you what happened the rest of the game other than, as I predicted, one of our players was badly hurt with no whistle or penalty being called.

I am not writing this to show an example of being a Christian or to discuss rules. I am writing this because after this episode and for days after, until I asked my church members to pray for me, I was overcome with a feeling of guilt and pain that I have not experienced in some time. So, I am writing this for advise or thoughts. What should I have done differently? Why did I feel painful guilt? How should I have handled this differently? Your thoughts will be appreciated.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, October 19, 2009

Christian Churches in Africa Denounce Children as "Witches"

I was shocked as I read this story this morning. Saddened by what harm can be done by those who use the gospel of Jesus Christ for their own gain. I ask that you please read the story that I will link below and comment on your feelings here. Also, as you read, notice the section that discusses how many of these churches in question advertise a preaching of the prosperity gospel. Is there any doubt that this story is a fruit of this false prosperity gospel?

Click here to read the story from The Oklahoman.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pilgrim's Map of the Day

What is interesting to me today:

  • Although I don't know if I really agree with all of the ideas posted in this article, I must admit that reading this article about why white America chose Obama I was forced to think about some things that I don't think about too often.

  • I couldn't pass up posting this funny picture from the Boise State vs. Tulsa game last night:

  • First off, Ken Silva is the man. Please take the time to read his post over on Apprising Ministries in which through the life of Daniel he easily and simply shows us how to avoid falling victim to the counter Christian movement taking place in the church.
  • Doug Eaton uses the wonderful tool of irony to point out 10 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED THE POST MODERN ZONE (this is really good stuff).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Christians Don't Get to Trademark Everything

NOTE: At the end of this posting there will be a link to the presentation discussed

It was a real honor to be asked to present a Continuing Education Lecture at this year's Alabama Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (AADAA) Fall Retreat. Being asked by my peers and superiors to present in order to help others seeking to better themselves in our field meant two things. First it meant that someone must find me competent enough to share my feeble knowledge base with others, a very unexpected and appreciated compliment. Secondly though, and more frightening, it meant that someone other than myself would be selecting the topic on which I should present. Time would eventually tell that the topic I was to present on was the Biblical foundation in which the original 12 steps (Alcoholics Anonymous) was founded and how to present this to clients as therapists. YIKES!!!!

As I researched this topic and prepared my presentation the one thought that kept nagging me was that there would be, as in any secular field, both atheists and agnostics present during my presentation. Would they attack me despite facts? Will the evidence I present be sufficient to silence or convince them? Will I throw up on them? Where is my passport so I can just blow this off and leave the country?

As I researched and thought though, something became quite obvious to me. Were the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (more specifically, the Oxford Group from which A.A. became what it did) Christian and raised with a Christian upbringing - YES! Was the Alcoholics Anonymous big book that was originally published and sparked 60+ years of successful recovery from alcoholism a Christian publication or even rooted in Christian teachings - NO!!! While it is undeniable that Bill W., the foremost leader of the A.A. movement, was raised a Christian and that his explanation of clarity revolved around a Christian moment, the truth is that the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are a work based program, the complete opposite of Biblical Christianity. I suddenly felt a little jipped as I have always kinda believed it was and had read things such as the Recovery Bible and sat through sermons in church that claim such. There are parallels that can be drawn but to state that the Alcoholics Anonymous book is a Christian publication is a farce. I will stop short of pointing out how this is the major issue in the American Christian church today but will say that there is an epidemic of people taking certain ideas, usually their own, and drawing false parallels by taking scripture out of context.

The focus of my presentation then became to get across the point that the founders and authors of the original A.A. program were mostly Christian but that also meant they have Old Testament training as well. As treatment providers in a secular world with secular bosses and ethical standards we must adhere to, there is a way to use Biblical analogies and stories and yet not unethically impose Christian beliefs on our clients. This should be important not only to us as employees of a company, but also due to Biblical instruction to Christians on how to properly honor our employers. Therefore, my mission became to equip those in my audience with Old Testament stories from which 12-step parallels could be drawn and with which one could safely say that it was possible that Bill W. and the 12-step founders knew the stories as many were raised in Christian homes and went to Sunday school in which so many learn such stories. For some reason though, they chose to leave their Christian beliefs out of the original A.A. publication and we have no right to change it.

The importance of being culturally diverse as a treatment provider is often understated but as I aimed to point out, the world's two largest religions, Christian and Muslim, as well as Jews and some historically minded atheists can all agree that the stories of the Old Testament are accurate historical accounts. Just as the story of Solomon is important to a Christian, so it is to a Jew. Just as the story of King David is meaningful to a Christian, so it is to a Muslim. Furthermore, due to historical evidence, atheists cannot deny the fact that these biblical characters, Moses, Abraham, David, or Solomon were real and that their writings are indeed what they are held to be, historical documents. A majority of the separation occurs where the Old Testament ends and the New Testament begins. Therefore, as the treatment provider when you begin discussing the New Testament you alienate all other religions and leave yourself open to accusation of imposing your religion. Now, living in the southeast of the United States, a majority of one's clients will have been raised as Christian and will report in psychosocial evaluations that they adhere to Christian beliefs. However, as professionals we need to have as many tools at our disposal to handle any situation and to not neglect the spiritual side of our clients, regardless of their religion. By understanding the Old Testament parallels, we therefore can relate how these Old Testament characters belief and interaction(s) with God helped them through struggles similar to those faced by the addict today.

Sounds simple enough right? The long and the short of it is that the very atheists and agnostics that I was so concerned about were not problematic at all during my presentation. In fact, not a negative word or comment came from any of them. To both my surprise and disappointment, the majority of opposition I faced in my presentation came from people, two in particular, with Christian beliefs. If you view the presentation (available at the bottom of this posting), you will see that I point out that at step three of the original A.A. 12-steps that all similarity between Christianity and the 12-steps stop due to the fact that from this point forward, the success of the program all becomes about what you, the human, does. This is not Christianity. Christianity is about what has already been done and how the recognition and belief that this prior act will be enough to save you. The 12-step program, while stressing a need for the assistance of A God, not THE God, also is work based and your success as a person in recovery hinges greatly on your acts. That is not Christianity and one could talk for hours about how the separation occurs at the Christian belief that there is one true God.

I will spare the details of their arguments but in the end they simply missed the point. Their arguments were based around the fact that they had witnessed people who work the 12-steps be led straight to the foot of the cross. When faced with how to relate that to the Jew who the cross means nothing to though, there was no response and when shown how offensive such spiritual guidance would be to the Jew or Muslim their response was anger and disdain. Further, when discussing faith based operations that have taken the original 12-step program and manipulated it to have a Christian message it is important to point out that by doing so they are ignoring the request of the original authors to not change or manipulate the message within the original text. I guess though when people have no problem ignoring not adding to the scripture they have no problem doing that with other, less sanctified books as well. Just as we see more of man's philosophy creeping into Christianity today, so we see the same in A.A. Could this explain the declining success rates in both?

In conclusion, at the beginning of my presentation I requested that each person attending the lecture give a 15-30 second synopsis of why they chose to take this course. 72% of the respondents stated that they chose to take it because they really did not know much about A.A. and it's workings. My response after all had finished was to point out that the number one after care program that we as therapists refer our clients to is A.A. or N.A. Yet, in a room full of our peers we will publicly admit that we really know hardly anything about what we are referring these individuals to. This should be troubling to us to say the least and speaks to a level of irresponsibility. Just as I, the Christian, have no authority to speak about something I do not know about or cannot say for certain, it is unethical as a treatment provider to refer someone to care that we really know nothing about. This seems to be a growing trend in both areas and the results are obvious in both areas.

To view the presentation discussed follow the links below. It is divided into two separate parts due to file size constraints in Google docs. Please take the time to review this and leave comments that you may think would improve this presentation.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Al Mohler - Why Moralism is Not the Gospel

Take time to read the post that is linked below. Too busy to read it, click the link and click listen at the top of the posting. Al Mohler hits this right on the head and this needs to be spread QUICKLY. The church is losing to morality. Please read this, here's a quick quote:

"We sin against Christ and we misrepresent the Gospel when we suggest to sinners that what God demands of them is moral improvement in accordance with the Law. Moralism makes sense to sinners, for it is but an expansion of what we have been taught from our earliest days. But moralism is not the Gospel, and it will not save. The only gospel that saves is the Gospel of Christ. As Paul reminded the Galatians, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." [Gal. 4:4-5]

Here's the link: Al Mohler - Why Moralism is Not the Gospel - And Why so Many Christian Think it Is.

Lynn High School vs. Hackleburg High School Post-Game Referee Attack

If you are not from this part of the world, this probably will not matter to you. There are quite a few from this area though who do read this and I thought you might enjoy the footage of what sparked the "riot" following the 10/02/09 Hackleburg High School football game. This video is great and filled with music and keys to watch. Why would someone attack a referee with a stadium seat????

Monday, September 14, 2009

Praising Him for What He has Done Already

This past Sunday marked the 7th annual Friends and Family Day at Kingsville Church of Christ. This is typically a joyous occasion in which old friends reunite and family members return home. The members of this small church always go above and beyond in setting this annual September worship service up and it is just a great time all around. Filled with praise, fellowship, and God's word it is easy to recognize the Lord's presence at this annual worship service. Our church went from having only 20 in attendance the previous Wednesday night to bordering on maximum capacity at this time of worship Sunday. It was great.

This year the elders of the Kingsville Church of Christ decided to allow the many young men in our congregation lead the worship service. While I relish getting to hear our normal preachers at Kingsville and initially voiced that opinion I also looked forward to getting to serve with the many other Christian men of Kingsville who I love and admire. While we devoted most of this service to songs of praise and Psalms of praise, the speaking portion was divided into three sections in which myself and two other men would briefly speak on three different subjects: Praising God for what He has done, praising God for what He is doing, and praising God for what He is going to do.

When asked which portion I would like to speak on I quickly jumped at the opportunity to talk about what God has done. I would like to share my thoughts that I spoke below. I hope you can find something in this that you can stop and quickly thank God for. Let us remember that there would be no hope for us today without what God has already done.

I Praise Him For What He Has Done

I praise you God for choosing me to be able to see your merciful love.

I praise you God for choosing me to be snatched from the bondage of sin and agony more than one time in my life.

I praise you God for placing me in the midst of Christians who have been redeemed from the same snares.

I praise you God for your law which so perfectly and painfully reveals our sins to us.

I praise you God for allowing us to survive the sins and horrible deeds that we have committed in order to be able to share your love with others.

I praise you God for your apostles and for giving us the account of their sacrifices shouldered so that we may understand what living in your service truly means.

I praise you God for Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaiah, David, and Solomon and for giving us the chance to learn from their mistakes and triumphs.

I praise you God for giving me time on this beautiful planet Earth that you created for us.

I praise you God for husbands and wives and your beautifully flawless system of marriage.

I praise you God for your system of children and parents and your perfect creations that you allow us to take credit for as parents.

I praise you God for those Christian men and women who have come and gone before us and for the wisdom, guidance, and Christian work ethic you led them to impart upon us.

I praise you God for your bride the church and for those who You have personally called out to be her living body.

I praise you God for the elders and deacons who have led your church for so many years before today and for the wonderful system of leadership you authored for your church.

I praise you God for the giving us the gift of the Lord’s Supper in which we remember Your Son’s death.

I praise you God for the gift of prayer in which we can communicate openly and freely with your might.

I praise you God for the gift of baptism in which through the combination of the water and your Holy Word, our sins are washed away.

Praise you God, Praise you Father, Praise you Almighty Creator.

I praise you God for the life your Son lived, shedding his deity to put on a rotting human flesh.

I praise you God for the life Christ lived and the message of hope which He brought to this Earth while being despised and hated by those who believed they knew anything of the fullness of your love.

I praise you God for allowing Christ to be betrayed.

I praise you God for allowing Christ to endure a mockery called a trial before Pilate.

I praise you God for His stripes, His torment, His torn flesh, and total abandonment by the very mankind who He came to save.

I praise you God for the cross, the nails which pierced Christ’s flesh and bone, the bloody crown of thorns, and the utter distress which Christ felt as He paid a price for my, for our sins, a debt He did not owe.

I praise you God for “It is finished.”

I praise you God for rolling the stone away and for Christ’s final defeat of Satan as he ripped the bonds of death away.

I praise you God for the Great Commission.

I praise you God for your gospel and I praise you God for letting us so proudly proclaim In you and Your Son’s Holy names that no man can have any hope, any knowledge, any peace without the pure and true gospel.

These are but a few things that you have done Father, thank you.

Praise God.