Archives for August 2008

8.31.08 gbcvic sermons

A bit of a challenging Sunday for us this week… Our attendance was down, several out sick, some out… who knows why? And a miserably difficult day of preparation the day before as the sermon just wouldn’t come together in my mind. I think the final effort succeeded in getting across the message I wanted, but the energy level was lower than I wanted it to be.

Nevertheless, the word of God is rich and powerful and lifts our spirits if we are devoted to it. I hope these might offer a blessing to you in some way.

Judged by Deeds (Rm 2.6-10)

Our second message from this passage focuses not on man’s destiny, but the issues man faces at the judgement bar of God: his deeds. Any man who assesses himself honestly will admit that he cannot meet God’s standard, no matter how hard he tries. The message of grace, as we learn elsewhere, is that One Man met the standard and willingly exchanged places with us so that in him we could pass muster in God’s judgement and share in His eternal life.

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the joy of the Lord is my strength

I’ll have to take that by faith over the next few days.

Yesterday morning I put my lads on a plane at SeaTac.

Last night we came home to a house that has had at least one boy in it for the last 24 years.

Today my boys are busy getting ready for their year at BJU, classes commencing next Wednesday. This is the will of God, and I accept it. (I didn’t say I liked it.)

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8.24.08 gbcvic sermons

Our sermon summaries for today:

Destinies of Men (Rm 2.6-10)

Our message today looks at the chiastic structure of Rm 2.7-10, which reveals the two destinies of men: eternal life or wrath and indignation, but puts the focus on the destiny of those who do evil: wrath, indignation, tribulation and anguish. The moral man must become aware of this, God’s special revelation to him. The moral man (the man who condemns others) agrees with God that sin must be judged, but is seemingly unaware that the judgement of God’s wrath is abiding on him… and awaits him.

The Activity of Demons

In which we consider the ways in which demons operate in their opposition to God and as the emissaries of Satan.


A good day, with a visiting pastor from Holland. We also had some visits from some young people our kids have worked with at McDonalds. Today is the last Sunday for our boys to be home before they head off to school. We had a testimony service in the afternoon followed by fellowship as a farewell to our youngest son, heading off for the first time.


so its Biden

My favorite Dem!

Obama’s VP pick makes it very interesting for our family. A few years ago we were in Washington, DC. We had arrived too late in the day to get a ticket for a Senate gallery visit, so we were just touristing around outside the capital, taking pictures, etc. My wife spotted Biden about thirty yards away and waited for him to turn towards us to snap a picture. He grinned and came over to talk to us, which of course thrilled us all. Here was a guy we had seen on TV just chatting us up!

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another missionary leave-taking story

My recent posts reminded me of the story of Marcus & Narcissa Whitman, missionaries to Walla Walla, WA in the 1840s. Some have been critical of their mission and methods. It seems to me their critics look at their efforts from the ‘wisdom’ and comfort of distance – a distance in years, the comfort of modern society. The Whitman’s gave their lives for Christ, giving the gospel to the natives of what what would become the Walla Walla area, and pouring out their lives and skills ministering to spiritual and physical needs of all who came their way. This is the story of their departure to the mission field.

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Hudson Taylor on missionary parents

As a follow-up to my post, ‘praying for missions’, a friend sent me this bit on Hudson Taylor’s parting with his mother as he first went to China. Of course, in Taylor’s day, the parting meant the real possibility of never seeing, never hearing, never conversing again in this life. Today, at least, missionaries even in remote areas can at least have some regular communication with home by way of telephone or e-mail.

This is from The Growth of a Soul, vol 1 of Hudson Taylor’s biography by Howard and Geraldine Taylor, son and daughter-in-law of Hudson Taylor. The excerpt comes from pp. 186-187.

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praying for missions

My friend Scott Dean has a moving post reminding us to pray for a missionary’s parents as well as the missionary. I think this is worth remembering, especially for missionaries in far-flung and difficult to access places. My parents are visiting with us this week. My mission field is almost in our back yard, so to speak (I can drive to my parent’s house in a day, if I have to). But for those in remote areas, Mongolia, for example, or many places in Africa, the South Pacific, etc, it is rare for parents to be able to visit their children. Yet these parents are among the most important ‘rope-holders’ a missionary has. Let’s lift them up in prayer also.



Franklin Graham unhappy with movie about father

An article discusses an upcoming movie about Billy Graham. It has this interesting paragraph concerning Franklin Graham’s biggest objection to the movie:

A scene Franklin Graham found more “troublesome,” DeMoss said, was one he categorized as embellished. In it, Bob Jones Sr., then-president of fundamentalist Bob Jones College, tells young Billy Graham, a student who has questioned some of the school’s strict views, that he will never amount to anything. In the scene, darkness partly obscures the ranting Jones.

DeMoss said Franklin Graham felt that the scene “completely misrepresented Bob Jones” and has written a letter to Bob Jones III, now president of Bob Jones University, assuring him that “we didn’t collaborate on the film.”


UPDATE: Christianity Today weighs in with their own article.

its not just the old fundies who worry

Others are at it also: “An open letter to young Southern Baptists“.

What is with this?

  • Simple intergenerational angst, once known as “The Generation Gap”?
  • The Spirit of our Age?
  • The whole world has gone mad?

Personally, I’m opting for that last one.


what one wishes DMD said

A friend of mine recently gave me a set of CDs containing the messages from the 2007 Mid-America Conference on Preaching, a conference hosted every year at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.

Unfortunately, none of the sessions from the 2007 conference appear to be available on-line, but I would encourage you to seek out a copy for yourself. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to a workshop by Dave Doran on this subject:

Conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists:

Recognizing the Differences

I have been critical of Dave for his message this summer at the FBF. If he had presented the material in this workshop at the FBF meeting, there would have been nothing to criticize.

I am going to include a few clips below. Dave’s presentation on this occasion was extremely clear and helpful. What mystifies me is how he can be so clear on some occasions and so confusing on others.

Be that as it may, I want to give you a summary of Dave’s presentation, taken directly from the accompanying pdf notes file that must have been included at the workshop itself.

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