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Showing posts from August, 2007

Prelude for Beautiful Victims

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Read Previous Article in Series The two words in adjacent ink do not have harmonious rhythm – “Beautiful Victim.” But their sound, though chaotic, is hopeful and promising. It is like the punishing tones of an aggressive concerto. The opening measures demand attention, awaken the audience, provoke curiosity. How could this possibly become beautiful? But it does. Movement by movement the pieces are pulled out, each tone given a forum to explain its theme, its purpose, its place in the score. And then another piece speaks, given its time, and placed perfectly back into arrangement. Each movement played by masters; each movement playing the emotions of those who listen. Near the end, a crescendo, a progression of moments in which the aggressive tones return, but this time less punishing and more triumphant. The same rhythms, the same tones now better understood and welcomed. But for now the words “Beautiful Victim” beg for explanation. How, why, for what purpose are they chosen? Will

Joseph, Beautiful Victim Series Explanation

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I am preaching through a series right now at Ridgecrest ( http://www.rbconline.net/ ) entitled Joseph, Beautiful Victim. I will be posting and podcasting the audio as well as writing some entries to go along with the series. By nature of "blogging" the articles will actually be archived backwards, from the earliest entries to the latest entries. So, if you can figure out how to read the series in order, maybe you can get something out of it, which is actually the meaning of "making heads or tails" of something. As always my articles will be posted bi-frequently and semi-often. So please check back from time to time and follow along. I have also posted my blog to RSS through feedburner . I am not sure how it all works, but subscribing through a news reader may be the best way to go if you want to follow along as the story progresses. Subscribe in a reader

Fallacy of Religion # 3, You are Alone

Fallacy of religion: The people sitting around you don’t struggle nearly as much as you. Truth: You are not alone; it’s just that no one is talking. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. - James 5:16 NLT

Sermon: Abused by Family - Joseph, Beautiful Victim Series

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And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:28-29 New Living Translation People are led to believe that if there are two things that will destroy your life, two things that give a person a good excuse to be destructive and dysfunctional as adults. Those two things are being abused when you are young and being abused by your family. The Bible’s Joseph, whose story is told in Genesis, was abused when he was young, by his family. Yet God fulfilled His promise and made one of the most regrettable experiences of Joseph’s life work toward his good. God can take the most painful and regrettable experiences of our lives and give us happy endings. A message of hope to those who feel like their life was ruined. Listen to audio of the sermon

Quit

I forgot to quit. Its not that I didn ’t feel like quitting, I just didn ’t have time. Quitting is the easy way out. Nothing is ever easy. Quitters never win. I wanted to make it to the finish line to make sure that’s true. Most people quit too soon. I was late. There will be more opportunities to quit, but I have no more excuses. I forgot to quit. Give it a few days. Someone will remind me. I am not a good listener. "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?" (Nehemiah 6:3)

Eat Like Children

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In the Bible, Paul said that when he grew up and became an adult, he put away childish things. I get the point; we all need to mature, but what about kid food? Kid food in Paul’s day was probably pretty bland. I haven’t done a whole lot of archeology to back it up, but think about the kid Andrew brought to Jesus. Jesus took a boy’s lunch of loaves and fish and fed thousands. If Jesus took my daughter’s lunch the multitude would have been fed with tiny slices of turkey and cheese from a Luncheable, an Oreo cookie, and would have washed it down with a juice box. It just seems like food is more fun now than in Bible times, and that we have forgotten how fun food can be. I have matured in my eating. The older you get it seems like you are really encouraged to eat fiber. Oak trees contain fiber. I know a lot of adults that as they get older they drink fiber supplements that smell like tree bark. But fiber is mature food, not very fun. The great thing about having children is that all the f

On Snake Handling

Some people believe that one way you can express your faith in God is by handling poisonous snakes. Some people worship God by handling snakes in church. We have a hard time with raising our hands and clapping on beat. Snakes would be way too distracting for our congregation. But some people can clap on beat, raise their hands, play the drums and handle snakes in worship. Snake handling people must be very coordinated, probably great dancers. Snake handling worship people believe if you get bit either you had sin in your life or that God is trying to send you a message. I think if you pick up a rattlesnake and get bit God is sending you a message. I think if you get bit by a snake at church God is sending you a message. God is telling you to put the snake down and never bring it back to church. From now on clapping on beat will be a sufficient expression of your faith. I’m not sure if it was a divine oracle, but for a couple of days this week a snake was living in our church

Building for Tragedy

I have learned that when it comes to building, I am a foolish man. That’s really not a stretch considering I can’t even build a birdhouse. I inherited my carpentry skills from my father. My dad told me that when he was in High School he was a member of the Future Farmers of America club. They told him to build a birdhouse, so he did. He said that the city of Chatsworth condemned it. He claims it’s a true story, which probably explains why he worked on computers for TVA and I never experienced what it is like to grow up on a farm. Since I am a foolish man when it comes to building, God sent three wise men into my life; the city building inspector, an architect, and a contractor. If you think it is expensive to go to the doctor you should get the three wise men together. Every time you get the three wise men together it runs you about six digits. At each and every meeting they add digits. When it’s all said and done the three wise men will give you plans for a nice birdhouse