Sunday, August 30, 2009

What is the Glory of God?

As Pastor Don preached from 1 John this morning I was reminded of an article I read just yesterday on the glory of God.

The article I read was from the Desiring God website. On the glory of God, John Piper states...
The reason it is so important is because in the Bible I don't know of any truth that is more fundamentally pervasive than God's zeal to be glorified, which means his zeal for us so to think, so to feel, and so to act as to make him look as glorious as he is. We don't add to his glory...

What is it? I believe the glory of God is the going public of his infinite worth. I define the holiness of God as the infinite value of God, the infinite intrinsic worth of God. And when that goes public in creation, the heavens are telling the glory of God, and human beings are manifesting his glory, because we're created in his image, and we're trusting his promises so that we make him look gloriously trustworthy...
Read the rest of the article from Desiring God

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Katrina...four years later

I've been reflecting a lot today on the anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the gulf coast affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. People were displaced by the storm, lives were lost, and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. I was in Wisconsin when Katrina made landfall beginning my last year of college. And never in a million years did I think I would find myself on the gulf coast of Mississippi four years later.

I shared my journey to Lakeshore back in January this year in 5 blog posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I've seen God do amazing things here and in my life in the past four years. I could talk all day on things I've learned and experienced while in Lakeshore, but I want to highlight just a few things....
  • Cajun cooking is much better than northern food
  • God is Sovereign over all things, even over storms that bring destruction.
  • God works in the most mysterious ways.
  • When you think you have it all together and everything planned out, God's will will be made evident, often with plans you never thought of.
  • God uses the most unlikely of people to do huge tasks. Bringing glory to Himself.
  • Though the storm affected everyone on the gulf coast, Katrina also has impacted and changed the lives of many who've come to the coast to help in relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts - including mine. I never though something so far away from me at the time could have any impact on me.
  • God's given me friends, some who are as close to me as family could be. Thanks guys.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Exposed before God

It is great to be back in Lakeshore and hearing the word preached. It had been two weeks since I was under anyone's preaching.

Last night as I listened to the sermon from Luke 6 I was extremely convicted. There were several things that got to me, but one thing in particular was being poor (in spirit as the gospel of Matthew records). This being recognizing that I am spiritually bankrupt, that I've got nothing and there is nothing I can do to earn favor before God.

Had that been the only thing preached, I would have said, sure I think I have come to that point. But then as Pastor Don continued to speak, he said in just a quick sentence that this is like being naked before God. That got me thinking.

What if I was naked in public, how humbling that would be to bare it all to the world. Thinking about things in that way, I would say that I have not totally come to realize that I am spiritually bankrupt. Yes I admit that I am a sinner and know that God has saved me, but daily do I bare those things to him? I think there is sometimes that I try to do things on my own, attempting to hide my weaknesses and sins from God...the only one who can conquer those things.

Another statement from the sermon related to baring it all was “Deep seeded happiness comes from a full admission of our sinfulness”....In other words the only way that I can truly be happy is by baring it all before God, coming clean of my sinfulness and confessing them before God.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Series on Social Justice and the Poor

Kevin DeYoung, the author of the blog DeYoung, Restless and Reformed, has begun a series on Social Justice and the poor. I've read the first post in his series and am very interested to see where he is going to go from here with the series.

His reasons for this series are:

1. I want to learn. I’d like to take some time looking at the major texts that talk about the poor and social justice and see what they say. I’m sure I need to be convicted and corrected (and you may too). A blog provides a good medium for serial exploration.

2. I think there are some exegetical mistakes, overstatements, and sloppy thinking being promoted in an effort to arouse our passions for social justice and the poor. Perhaps a careful, slow look at a number of different passages can help put our concern for the poor on more solid footing.

3. When we see poor exegesis in a lot of Christian thinking about the poor and social justice some of us can tend to write the whole thing off as misguided do-goodism or liberal social gospel. This is a mistake. The Bible does say a lot of justice and the poor, but if we are to be convicted and motivated by truth, we must pay more careful attention to what the Bible actually does and does not say.

(From DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More for Scripture Memorization

I just came across Forever Grateful Music. These are cd's by Mark Altrogge that are scripture memory songs. I do not have any of the cd's yet, but I am looking at buying the pack of 8. For me singing scripture has been the easiest way for me to memorize scripture.

The newest cd is "Through the Waters" which features 20 scripture passages from the ESV all set to music. You can here the songs on the webiste as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Relying on God

As I have been speaking at churches this week the one passage that I've shared at every church is 2 Corinthians 1:3-11. I've heard pastor Don preach this passage before and I have read it before. But as I've been reading it over and over I am made more grateful that we have a God who we can rely on in all circumstances and that we do not have to rely on ourselves!

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New York OMC

I am over half done with the On Mission Celebration here in upstate New York. It has been a great week. The Lord has been magnified and I pray glorified this week. I will write a bit more when I return but here's a few pics from the first half of the week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My idol worship

The dearest idol I have known
Whate'er that idol be
Help me tear it from Thy throne
And worship only Thee

William Cowper
from "O for A Closer Walk with Thee"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Method for Prayer - Matthew Henry

I was browsing articles online and came across this great link. It is Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer (Online Edition).

The following are 13 reasons (listed on the website) it would be good to read this booklet as we learn to pray to our Holy God.

  1. Praying scripturally will teach us what prayer is, even while we do it.
  2. It will correct "shopping list" views of prayer which abound in the Christian community.
  3. It will begin to solve in our own minds the question of "unanswered prayer."
  4. It will remind us of just how much there is to pray about day to day.
  5. It will teach us of the extreme urgency of prayer
  6. It will return proportion to prayers long on petition, but short on adoration, confession, and thanksgiving
  7. It will instruct us how best to pray for ministers, missionaries, and one another.
  8. It will show us the proper way to approach God in prayer.
  9. It will remind us of the good things that God does for us (which we, more often than not, take for granted)
  10. It will remind us to always give thanks to God (which, paradoxically, is so important for our own assurance of His faithfulness in answering prayer).
  11. It will begin to engrave in our minds biblical patterns of thought which can help immunize us from the enticing folly of the world's view of life.
  12. It will force us to rehearse the solemn warning and precious promises of God (which will do eternal good to our souls).
  13. It will move us from our inherent man-centeredness in prayer to a biblical, God-centered way of praying.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Abortions in China

My heart has been aching as I ponder the topic of abortion and the number of lives lost each year. We know since the Roe vs. Wade court case there has been nearly 50,000,000 (that's 50 million). 50 million since 1973.

While that is shocking and makes me angry and sad. I recently read an article about the number of abortions in China. the official China Daily newspaper reported that each year in China 13 million surgical abortions. In addition to the surgical abortions, 10 million abortion pills are sold. That is 23 million abortions in one year and that only is the registered abortions. The report states there are many abortions done in unregistered rural clinics.

In less than 3 years Chinese women have more abortions that American women have had in 36 years.

I believe we need to stand against abortion in the US and fight for the lives of the unborn. But my heart yearns for answers and aches for the murdered unborn in China. Is there anything we can do as believers to stop abortions in other countries?

For now I'm praying for the country of China, for Chinese women who have lacked sex education, and praying for more education and that the value of human life, which begins at conception, will be valued among the Chinese.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rebuild Lakeshore T-Shirts

Many people have suggested and asked if we would make up a Rebuild Lakeshore T-shirt. Well that time has come. We have t-shirts available for purchase $15 plus shipping. Please fill out the t-shirt form below and mail it to Lakeshore Baptist Church.

Shirts are chocolate brown and available in small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large.

The funds from the t-shirt will go to Lakeshore Baptist Building fund.

T-shirt form

Mail forms and checks to:
Lakeshore Baptist Church
PO Box 293
Lakeshore, MS 39558

Monday, August 10, 2009

Going to New York!

Next week I have the privilege of traveling to New York to speak to 10 different churches in the Central New York Baptist Association. I will be speak Sunday Aug 16 in the morning and evening, then Monday - Saturday nights, and again on Sunday Aug 23 morning and evening.

I will be sharing my conversion, my call to the ministry, my experience and what the Lord has been doing in Lakeshore, what the Lord has been doing in my life, and future plans.

It is going to be a busy week, but I am looking forward to the opportunity.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Highlights from this summer

I wanted to share some of the highlights from my summer here in Lakeshore, I will try to be brief.
  • The last couple of weeks with Allison. (though her leaving wasn't a highlight, the time we got to spend together was.) BTW Al, you need to come back I am going through snow ball's pretty serious.
  • Setting up the event tent in June. That was the most dirty I've ever been in Lakeshore.
  • Learning/Directing/helping put up a fence on the church property.
  • Learning to tile floors
  • Watching the baptism of Tiffany, one of our church members.
  • Having my best friend from college come with a group from her church.
  • Meeting the hundreds of volunteers that had never been to Lakeshore before.
  • Reconnecting with the volunteers that returned to Lakeshore.
  • Watching people stretch themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of and succeeding.
  • Listening to Pastor Don preach the word. He wrapped up Ephesians, went through a series on the distinctions of a healthy church, and began preaching through the book of 1 John, in addition to the sermons in Luke we've been going through on Wednesday nights.
  • Seeing old friends whom I wish I could see a lot more.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I'm back!!

Well...I never really went anywhere. But apparently totally slacked on the blogging.

Nearly a third of the year has past by since I blogged last...and now that I say that to myself it hits me it has been a long time. Therefore I will be brief and highlight some things in the coming days.

Much has happened in the last four months. Literally hundreds of volunteers have flowed through Lakeshore Baptist, several homes were completed, others started, and progress moved forward a great deal on the others.

We are moving forward on the new bunk house, Lord willing that will be near completion soon. We've also started on the Mercy House and we are looking forward to the great things God is going to use both of the buildings for.

I am certainly blessed to be a part of this ministry and the things that God is doing through us. The Lord did great things this summer, one being, He put together a great summer team in addition to the amazing team I already serve with. I am grateful for the long term summer volunteers He brought this way - Emily, Josh, Betsy, Sonja, Kristen, Jayme, Liz.