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Showing posts from August, 2010

The Atheist Hymnal by Steve Martin

Thanks to Pastor Bill Tussey for passing this one along.

Lazy Faith (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

One word could sum up the majority of modern day Christians - lazy. Hebrews warns that we should be progressing in our faith so as to be able to teach it to others. This the goal of the gospel to change lives and be shared with the lost. Unfortunately, our time in the Word of God has so diminished that we cannot articulate its power and impact in our own lives. We have ignored the discipline of studying the Word and thus our obligation to live it out in service. Listen to Audio

Carried Away

We are accustomed to homes and businesses outfitted with motion sensors, locks, and surveillance cameras.   But in a nomadic, desert culture it is tough to lock the tent.   There is no real security where there is no trust.   With the eighth commandment God taught His people that they should respect one another’s property by not stealing it, or literally translated, carrying it away.   Just in case anyone felt the urge to steal, commandment eight reminded them that God was watching. Cameras, locks, and alarms are not only a testimony that we no longer trust one another, but it is evidence that as a culture we have lost the sense of the watchful eye of a holy God.   He is not pleased when we steal.   Because we have exiled God from the public forum, security is big business.   When we do not trust one another we all pay the price.   The products we buy carry a security markup because they stand a good chance of being carried away.   Without a return to the core values of morality based

Resurrection Heroes (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Americans love hero stories. Our favorite sci-fi heroes are ordinary people who suddenly gain extraordinary powers. For the hero, the question is what will he do with his power? The resurrection of Jesus was a supernatural power. The Bible teaches that He shares this power with His followers. The question for those who follow Christ is what will they do with it? Listen to Audio

Islamophobia

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A phobia is an irrational fear.  In this respect “phobia” is a commonly used suffix attached to any one of a long list of words that make your fears seem more professional, or at the very least can make it appear to others that you have a good grasp on Latin.  Add to the list a new phobia, Islamophobia .  Congratulations to Bobby Ghosh for coining this one.  I am not sure he is the originator, but I haven’t heard it as frequently used as I did on the Sunday morning news shows following the release of the 8/30/10 edition of TIME magazine, which simply reads on the cover, “Is America Islamophobic?” The controversy over the building of an Islamic mosque at Park 51, near the site of Ground Zero, has resulted in anti-Islamic sentiment in the US of A getting press.  During political seasons, where there is controversy there will be polls.  61% of Americans oppose the Park 51 mosque vs. 26% who are in favor and 13% who either don’t know or didn’t answer.  The popular translation of this data

Don't Fumble

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Nick Saban would fumble. Way to go coach Richt! Original @ ajc.com

No Adultery

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Marriage, in America, is nearing its last breath.  When marriage is not revered and protected as a vital institution of society it will be disregarded, redefined, and in time will become meaningless.  Marriage is a commentary on culture.  The state of marriage is a statement about the moral climate of a nation.  Sexual behavior is either tied to sacred trust or it becomes the perversion of imagination.  We are seeing this story unfold daily.  Striking down proposition 8 and recognizing gay and lesbian union as marriage is but the final act of taking something holy and profaning it.  This slow erosion of marriage has not been on the agenda only recently, it has been there, globally, for centuries.  America is a relative newcomer to the stage.  So how did we get here? We failed to recognize the origination of marriage.  Marriage was not born in a courtroom, but in a garden.  It was Biblical before it was legal.  God created the world.  God also took man and woman and created marriage.  I

Crucified (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Like the crowd at the crucifixion, we can be cruel and fickle especially in times of suffering. We poise ourselves in the same mocking, demanding stance when we want him to remove our suffering and pain. We cry out, come down, save me, rescue me if you are the Christ. The lesson not realized is that He has suffered as we have. However, the suffering at the cross shows that God will deliver at a time which satisfies Him and accomplishes His will. The ultimate purpose is that everyone will know “that Jesus Christ is Lord according the glory of the Father.” Listen to Audio

Mad As H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

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The new American ethic is to celebrate dysfunction.   No longer do we honestly evaluate what is right vs. what is wrong, the new moral standard is to garner the most attention.   No matter how stupid, evil, or harmful the action, if you get a reality show out of it, good press, or a large census on a Facebook fan page, you did the right thing.   Last week Steven Slater, a JetBlue flight attendant, cursed out a passenger via the in cabin intercom (at least this is what I gather), grabbed a beer, pulled the handle for the emergency shoot, slid victoriously down the inflated slide, and ran away.   It was his “Take This Job and Shove It” moment.   If you didn’t hear about this you don’t have an internet connection, a television, or any sort of magazine subscription.   I would not be surprised if Martha Stewart Living did a cover story.   This week’s TIME Magazine included it only as a “Briefing” on page 13. The writer of the brief article, James Poniewozik, said that Slater’s, “mad-as-hel

Facing Failure (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

No one likes to fail and rarely are we willing to admit our failures. Mark 14 is filled with examples of how we fall short in areas like our value of the gospel, discerning consequences, even facing our weaknesses. Yet at every turn we are also faced with the realization that Jesus never fails. He is the overcomer, the victorious one in every trial and he responds to our failure through His faithfulness. Listen to Audio

The Beginning of the End (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Is it the end of the world? In Mark 13 Jesus tells his disciples what to be looking for when he returns, but never a time. The time is irrelevant to the message. The real question is what are you going to do about it? Our focus should be less on when it will take place and more on whether we are prepared for His return. Jesus is coming back. Are you ready? Listen to Audio

Swagger Wagon

I thought this would be a fitting follow up to the Dad Life video from last week. Enjoy!

On "Inside the Minds of Animals" from TIME 8/16/2010

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I have always enjoyed Saturdays.  Saturdays usually mean second sleep , waffles, college football in the fall, less of a schedule, and a long quest for stuff.  Only on a Saturday can you be satisfied with spending half the day looking for a deal on a chair, or a shovel, a rake, or an aquarium.  Saturday is a weekly celebration of doing and buying miscellaneous stuff.  I have only recently added another glimmer of hope to my Saturdays with a subscription to TIME magazine.  TIME magazine assures me that I get some piece of Saturday mail that is not a bill or some stupid ad for a car lot with the winning key attached.  I subscribed to TIME for two reasons.  1)  I need to be more current.  2)  I wanted to know what people who are nothing like me think about.  According to the cover of this week’s TIME magazine, people nothing like me are currently thinking about animal intelligence.  When I took my Saturday walk of hope to the mailbox, pulled out the current issue of TIME, saw an ugly dog

Page 240 from People of the Lie

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Cover via Amazon Attitudes have a kind of inertia.  Once set in motion, they will keep going, even in the face of the evidence.  To change an attitude requires a considerable amount of work and suffering.  The process must begin either in an effortfully maintained posture of constant self-doubt and criticism or else in a painful acknowledgment that what we thought was right all along may not be right after all.  Then it proceeds into a state of confusion.  This state is quite uncomfortable; we no longer seem to know what is right or wrong or which way to go.  But it is a state of openness and therefore of learning and growing.  It is only from the quicksand of confusion that we are able to leap to the new and better vision. M. Scott Peck, M.D., People of the Lie, The Hope for Healing Human Evil, p. 240.

Beachspout

I saw this waterspout forming while I was sitting out on a balcony in Destin.  Since it was not technically over the water my weatherman friend Matthew Anderson said it was a landspout.  I contend that since it was over the beach, it was a beachspout!

The Deception of Disasters

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Time Magazine has two interesting articles this week on the Gulf’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, “The Spill’s Psychic Toll” by Bryan Walsh and “Big Spill, Little Damage?” by Michael Grunwald.  I appreciate Walsh’s article simply because it is about people.  In a culture gone green it seems like we are more concerned about the birds than we are about the people.  Coupled with Grunwald’s article, which suggests that the “predictions of ecological catastrophe” were “overblown”, one can surmise that the Gulf oil spill will cause more long term devastation to people of the region than it will to its habitat.   Crisis does something to people.  It causes panic and confusion.  As such, disasters have always been breeding grounds for dishonesty and deception.  Price gouging is the most obvious example.  The sheer lack of resources beckons shady entrepreneurs to make a quick buck off of desperate people.  One man sells a $50 heater for $300.  A cold man suddenly believes that a $300 heater is a