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Showing posts from March, 2014

Noah - How can a cruel God be trusted?

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So I saw Noah today and in the meantime endured every uncomfortable experience of movie theaters that reminds me of why I don’t go to the cinema that often.  The irritations of which I speak include the following but are not limited to: 20 minutes of previews and no fast-forward button, the guy who eats popcorn like a horse, the continual insistence to show off the sound system and then cruelly cut it to deafening silence so that proper attention can be drawn to horse-like popcorn eating guy, $8 Icees when I could have bought 40 of them for that price at any number of gas stations I passed along the way, the talking people sitting near the horse guy, and last but not least, guy who fumbles for an hour to unwrap loud plastic things but keeps on trying anyway - why doesn’t he ever give up . . . I digress.  This post will take awhile as it is, let’s proceed. Let’s get to the meat of what I want to say about Noah.  Forget the plot, my take on the quality of the film, the acting, so

My Shield

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Psalm 18:1 and 2 reads, "I love you, O LORD, my strength, The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." According to the prescript on this Psalm David penned it on a day when he experienced rescue from his enemies, particularly Saul.  No doubt in the heat of the moment, for those who trust the Lord the application of God acting as our strength and our refuge becomes apparent.  Our walk with Him deepens in the experience of the trial.  Yet I wonder how often God acts as "my shield" and I walk away unaware? Our student pastor's wife  at Liberty , Lindsey Rainey has a father who holds a critically important position.  Her father Micah , is the director of the Homeland Security Division for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS).  He probably has a faceplate on his desk that weighs 12 pounds!  I'm sure when you ask Micah, &q

Before you Sink Noah, Ask, How Biblical are Your Movies?

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I’m not much of a movie goer and so it should not be surprising that I have yet to view the recent offering of Biblical films at the cinema.  Son of God, nope.  God is not Dead, agreed, but haven't seen it.  Noah, negative.   What I have seen is the recent reaction to these films in the Christian community.  God is Not Dead seems to be doing well amongst church goers, but Son of God and Noah seem to be drawing quite a bit of flack.  To surmise the argument the beef with the films is that they are not Biblical.  The arguments range from omissions to additions to the Biblical story.  In the case of Noah the argument is that it is horribly un-Biblical not only in its story line but in its exegesis of the spirit of the story of Noah all together.  The call to boycott in Jesus’ name abounds.   I have but one question to ask, the other movies we watch and enjoy, how Biblical are they? I know that with a Bible based film we have some expectation that it should be Biblical, but whe

Doing Life at Godspeed - WALK

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I am excited to begin a new series of sermons at Liberty this weekend entitled the walk.  The journey into this series began for me a few weeks ago during my morning prayers.  I was praying through Psalm 119:129-136 and the Spirit brought me to a halt at verse 133, "Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me." My mind was immediately flooded by a number of Bible verses that speak about our relationship with the Lord as a "walk."  I continued to dwell on this verse throughout the morning and I went about my tasks.  I couldn't get my mind off of the idea of walking with the Lord.  My wife always says God speaks in themes.  That afternoon I made contact with my lifelong friend Chris Altman, student pastor at Roopeville Road Baptist Church in Carrolton, GA .  Chris has invited me to speak to his students for several years during their summer camp.  I asked him what his theme was for this year so I could begin to pre

Why We are So Wishy Washy on World Vision

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In case you missed it World Vision, a Christian relief charity focused on children in impoverished conditions, announced on Monday that it will change its hiring policies and will now allow same sex couples to work within its organization.  You can find out more information by reading an interview published by Christianity Today with World Vision’s U.S. President Richard Stearns here .  That decision lasted until Wednesday when World Vision’s board announced it had made a mistake and had failed to be consistent with the Bible.  You will find that story posted here .   I find World Vision’s actions, as well as the wide range of “Christian” reactions posted on social media and the blogosphere to be indicative of this current age of confusion.  It is symptomatic of the very thing Paul said we should not be in Ephesians 4:14b, “children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”   Why is

Richard Baxter on Walking With God

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Our walking with God is a matter of some constancy: It signifieth our course and trade of life, and not some accidental action on the by: A man may walk with a stranger for a visit, or in compliment, or upon some unusual occasion: But this walk with God, is the act of those that dwell with him in his family, and do his work. It is not only to step and speak with him, or cry to him for mercy in some great extremity, or to go to church for company or custom, or think or talk of him sometimes heartlessly on the by, as a man will talk of news, or matters that are done in a foreign land, or of persons that we have little to do with: But it is to “be always with him.” (Luke 15:31.) “To seek first his kingdom and righteousness.” (Matt. 6:33.) “Not to labour (comparatively) for the food that perisheth, but for that which endureth to everlasting life.” (John 6:27.) “To delight in the law of the Lord, and meditate in it day and night.” (Psal. 1:2.) That his “words be in our hearts, and t

Feel My Facelift

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I am working to upgrade FeelMyFaith using a new template.  Expect things to look a little quirky for a few days.  You may even see some strange menu items such as "health" or "politics."  I'm not going Oprah, I'm just moving through all of the changes as quickly as I can.  Thanks for your patience.

Walking With Jeremy

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I am beginning a new series of sermons on Sunday at Liberty entitled "The Walk, Conquering Life One Step at a Time."  This morning I spent some time with the Lord reading Jeremiah 1.  Here are a few things we can glean from his walk. What do you see?   Jeremiah is an unusual "prophet" book in that there are no miracles or fantastic visions for interpretation.  God told Jeremiah to look at things he sees along his path everyday, but to look at them in a new way.  God asked Jeremiah a simple question, "What do you see?"  I see an almond branch.  I see a boiling pot.  Suddenly Jeremiah really began to take notice of things he saw everyday.  God used those mundane things to speak into Jeremiah's life.  As you pass through your day today, what do you see?   Never stop the conversation.   The most tragic thing about our "quiet time" is that often it becomes our "only time" with God during the day.  If your quiet time is in the morni

Connectitudes

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The more social networking we seem to do the more socially inept it seems we become.  We know only how to deal with statements, we no longer know how to deal with people.  Friendship once required face to face conversations.  Now friendships are only a click away.  When it comes to the barrage of status updates and shocking news stories, endless lists, and videos captioned by the statement, “I can’t believe what I saw”, we have even fewer choices.  Like it or leave it. Perhaps this is why when forced into social situations so many of us have a face full of phone and we have only one question to ask, “Did you like it?”  The first practice with a new team is not assessed with what did you learn, what do you need to do to get ready for the next practice, but rather, “Did you like it?”  The first day at school is not evaluated by what you will be studying, or what does the teacher expect, but rather, “Did you like it?”  Even church, which is supposed to be a body of believers focused on

Being A Saint on Patrick's Day

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Yes, I wore a green shirt today.  I also ordered a side of green at lunch (which is not unusual for me).  I have a wife named Shannon and a daughter named Kiley; that's pretty Irish.  I think I have done my part to make March 17 interesting.  That's about the limit to my "going green." Other than the name St. Patrick I think most of the traditions and stories associated with the day are the stuff of legend.  Very few historians actually agree on much about St. Patrick other than the fact that he is the patron saint of Ireland, that he was actually British, and that there are no snakes on the island (which is a compelling reason for me to consider moving there).  As far as shamrocks, the meaning of green, leprechauns, and luck of it all, no one has the beat on how it all ties together.  Yet I do think that for Christians there are some things we can take from the day to move us forward in our faith. Pray soberly for missionaries.   Traditionally Catholics in Ire

What You Are Missing by Googling God - Steps

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The breakneck speed at which we do life has made one of the Bible's simplest teachings almost foreign to us.  Steps. We are driving, texting, talking, and updating.  Our pathways are guided by intricate systems which communicate our exact coordinates to global positioning satellites instantaneously.  We are told where to turn and exactly what time we are projected to arrive at our destination.  For the most part, we are unaware of our surroundings as we do life at smartphone speed. When the writers of Scripture describe life you can tell that they lived at a different speed.  They use words like "walk" and "steps."  When Paul says repeatedly in his letters for us to "walk worthy (Ephesians 4:1 or Col. 1:10)", he is not only admonishing them to pay attention to how they live, but he is reflecting life's speed.  They walked everywhere they went.  Walking was a way of life. David says in Psalm 37:23 that the "steps of a man are establishe