Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Taz.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Worth Considering ...

"Arminians see God as doing what is best for man. Calvinists see God as doing what is best for God." (Lee Shelton, The Contemporary Calvinist blog, 2007).

I think this just about sums up the whole thing.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Stand Amazed

I have just seen pictures of my granddaughter. This is a common occurrence for many people, but not for me. You see, she was born (as I type these words) just under 20 hours ago. At 8:13 pm Central time, September 15th, 2007, Naomi Grace came into the world. And I stand amazed.

I am amazed that my daughter, whom I held in my hands for the first time not too many years ago it seems, is a mother. My daughter is a mother. Wow. How quickly our children grow up. I can remember back to little milestones in the lives of my own children ... they seemed like nothings at the time, but they are the memories we hang on to. There are so many of them now, and they passed by so quickly.

Now my daughter is grown. She has a husband and now a child of her own. I stand amazed.

And with the reality that my daughter is a mother, I am now a grandfather! My children have children. That really amazes me.

I stand amazed at the complexities of life. How wonderful this creation called 'man.' Even for my granddaughter to be alive, consider the billions of chemical, electrical, and other processes going on in her body every second. I was amazed when I held the lives of my own children in my hands and I marvelled at the wonderful works of God. Now, I marvel anew at this new addition to our family.

My God bless Naomi and her mother and father. Now, I will watch as my daughter raises her child to take her rightful place in the world, and as I watch, I stand amazed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New doesn't always mean improved ...

There is no doubt that one of the challenges facing every generation of Christians is how to make the gospel reach that particular generation. In our current generation, many have answered this challenge by trying to change the gospel message to make it more palatable to this generation. This is being done in a variety of ways, everything from using pragmatic worldly methods and gimmicks all the way to the Emergent Church experiment. Some of the biggest mega churches in existence have been built on these methodologies.

But new does not mean improved or better. Just like the old debate, it is not good to create unity by sacrificing truth, it is not good to invent new ways of doing things if they compromise the truth. We sing hymns in our church like "Tell Me The Old, Old Story" and "I Love To Tell The Story" or even "Gimme That Old Time Religion." There is a Christian faith that was "once and for all delivered to the saints." We mere humans dare not trifle with it or change it for the sake of modern convenience. Paul once asked in Galatians "Do I seek to please God or men?" When I was in seminary one of the worst insults that could be attached to a preacher was to be called a "man-pleaser." It described a man who had no scruples and would tell any one what they wanted to hear if it furthered his ends. Better was to be a "God-pleaser" and a "truth teller" and stand a strong and bold stand on the truth of the Holy Scriptures.

Beloved, beware of things that claim to be new. Scripture tells us there is nothing new under the sun. A lot of these new things are just the old heresies resurrected under new names. And a lot of what makes people look successful to other humans are the very things that make them failures in the eyes of God.

Instead, turn your eyes to the ancient landmarks. Look for the old paths. Find the ancient faith "once and for all delivered" and there is a place to anchor your faith. Don't look for new "re-imaginings" of Christ, look to the Christ of scripture. Don't look to the god who is a nice guy but look to the God who thundered truth from the fiery cloud on Mount Sinai and caused people to tremble when He spoke.

New isn't always bad, but it is not always good either. Be careful in our day and age that you don't end up trading a golden shield for a shiny one of brass. We are prone to praise the cheap imitation and call it the real thing. In the end, we may find out, it was worthless after all.