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 Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"His God Is God."

"His god is God." That was quote from Yul Brenner in the movie "The Ten Commandments." God had just defeated the Egyptian army and Yul Brenner as the Pharaoh Ramses was lamenting to his wife the defeat of his army. He summed up the entire battle with those four words.

Over and over in the Bible we are told that there is but One True God. Only One. There is no other God but Him. He is not like anything that exists. He is totally 'other' than His creation. He is so different that men are forbidden to make any image and either call it "God" or say that it is a likeness of God. Nothing we can image, in any medium, could capture the image and essence of the Person of God. In this, God is perfectly holy. Holiness is the quality of being separated and God is completely separate from His creation. As I said, He is totally "other."

God is also a mystery to us. All that we know of Him is what He has chosen to reveal to us. He describes Himself to us in human forms and word pictures. We call these "anthropomorphism's." It means to give some non-human human like qualities. We speak of leaning on God's everlasting arms. But God does not have arms like we do. We speak of His eyes looking into the hearts of men. But He does not have eyes like we do. But God uses terms like these because we humans could not even begin to comprehend what He is really like. Even in giving us holy Word, the Bible, God uses words we can understand. He has to accommodate Himself to us. Otherwise, we would not know Him at all.

His Being is a mystery to us. He is three Persons. They are co-eternal, co-existent, and co-substantial. Each One is 100% God. Yet, the Three together are the One True God. That is One God, not three gods. How can this be? Who can tell? Yet, it is the teaching of the Bible. We do not understand it. But we believe it. Al Mohler said it well when he said that a god who could be comprehended by men wouldn't be a God at all.

His knowledge and power are mysteries to us. He saw all the creation in His mind and then spoke it into existence. And, there it was, from quarks to for flung massive galaxies, all in one moment and all right on the first try. He is truly a God who is "worthy of worship, worthy of praise."

For all this, He is not a God who is far off, but the Bible presents Him to us as "our" God. Especially the God of His people. But of course, He is the God of all the world, all the universe. But He is our God. Feel the weight of that ... our God.

Try out that word "God." Feel it a moment. There is a weight to it. You just don't banter it around. It has meaning. It has substance. And not just "God," but "Our God." My God. Like Thomas' pronouncement at the appearance of Jesus ... "My Lord and my God!" It is an awesome thing to claim to be a disciple, a follower of a God. It is more awesome to be a follower of the One, True and Living God. He is God! You just don't call on Him, pray to Him, speak for Him ... lightly and without reverence and devotion.

When Isaiah saw God he saw Him "high and lifted up." Our churches and our Christians are going to be powerless, weak and mediocre until we once again see the Lord God for ourselves "high and lifted up." When we start to worship for Who He really is, then we will see the fire and the power return to our lives and our churches.

Most people today worship a god who is a lot like themselves. Even many professing Christians enjoy a god who conforms himself to them instead of One who calls them to conform themselves to Him. May we all pray that God will open all our eyes to the reality of His true Person. May we all be transformed by the true sight of Him.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Christian's Warfare and Weapons

In light of some recent news events, I thought this was a timely post. It is reposted from August 17th, 2008. I think it speaks to some current events.

Some people just don't get it. I am thinking of two groups of people. One group of people would try to further Christianity and slow the spread of evil by trying to get the right people elected into political office. The other group would try to slow the spread of evil by killing or bombing those they think perpetrate it. Both instances are groups of so called Christian people.

But in all seriousness, we cannot win the world by taking up the weapons of the world. Politics has proven it's inability to help the Church. Not too many years we had a Republican Congress and a Republican President. These were people who all said the right things that Evangelical voters wanted to hear. I was there. I was moved by the rhetoric. But years later, nothing in the nation had really been changed.

Then when you look at the people who think that killing abortionists or blowing up abortion clinics is the way to fight that particular evil. But we still (as a nation) put to death over a million babies a year. And violence has only further hardened the world to the message of new life in Jesus Christ. But even discounting that, for all the ones that have been killed, and the clinics that have been blown up, nothing has really changed.

I recall a quote that said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Obviously, using the world's ways has accomplished nothing. Perhaps it is time we started to fight with the weapons that God has given to His Church.

The Church's only weapon against the evil of this world is the Holy Bible. God's Holy Word is truth. The gospel is our message. It is the "power of God unto salvation." We seem willing to trust everything else except the scriptures. We are quick to trust our own wiles and our own power and ignore God's wisdom and God's power. We engage the culture through argument and debate. We write, we teach, we discuss, we debate and we hammer home the truth contained in the scriptures.

Christian, if you feel the need to be armed against the world, don't take up a gun, take up your Bible. The power of the word preached backed up by a holy lifestyle is an argument the devil himself can't refute. We Christians are in a war. We are in combat every minute of every day. Charles Spurgeon once told his church that the Christian life was a battlefield not a playground. We are only given two weapons by God to help us win in our combat, prayer and the preaching of the word. Pity that so few use them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Still Learning

I mentioned in the my last post that I have been accepted into the PhD program at Whitefield Theological Seminary in Christian Education. http://www.whitefield.edu/ The amount of work required is staggering. It has been a few years since I have been in school and I am having to re-learn how to write again. Writing for a grade I mean. Also, even though I am working on a PhD I am listening to lectures from people who are, without question, smarter than I am. I have a lot to learn.

Lighthouse Baptist Church is doing well. Last Sunday we baptized three people. There is so much to do and so much to teach. I have been involved in ministry now for over 18 years and I still feel like a novice sometimes. Indeed, I have a lot to learn.

Last week, I spent the day in my doctor's office being given a glucose test. This past Tuesday I found out I am diabetic. Today, I stuck myself with a needle for the first time in my life. If you know me, you know what a coward I am when it comes to getting shots. I have a book to read describing the lifestyle changes I will have to go through. I have classes to attend and new medications to deal with.

I joke with my wife that I am a life long student. I love school, being in school, studying, ... it is something I am really good at. The Lord teaches me that no matter how old I get, I really am a life long learner. Some days I think I am an "old dog" but God humbles me and shows me I am just a "pup" after all. Till my next post, here I am ... still learning.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Since my last post I have been extremely busy.

First, my son came down from North Dakota for a visit. It was a good time. I had not seen him in nearly three years. Mostly we were separated by distance and the ability to afford to visit each other. Today, the day this posts, it is his birthday. He is 21 years old now. He told me he joined the Army National Guard. Nutcase. At least I had the good sense to join the Air Force. Oh well. But don't be fooled. I am proud of him. Just surprised. His visit was too brief. But we hope to do better at seeing each other as the future unfolds, God willing.

On a side note, last Friday was his sister's birthday. My daughter turned 20. It was odd. She was born two days before Stephen's first birthday. So, for two days of the year, they are the same age. On Friday, they were both 20. Same on Saturday. Then on Sunday, Stephen turned 21. Now I have no children who are in their teens anymore. Wow. Paradigm shift here.

I have been working through the application process and late last month was notified that I have been accepted into the PhD program in Christian Education at Whitefield Theological Seminary. One former student described the program as read - read - read then write -write -write. As I look over the material they sent me, I can see why. I will produce hundreds of pages of material before I ever get to my dissertation. I look forward to the challenge.

On top of that I have been mentoring a young woman who is preparing for her GED test. Her test date is July 11th. We still have a lot to do but I am optimistic she will pass.

Now, my mother has come down from St. Louis to visit me for two weeks. She takes a lot of attention but we are still having a good visit.

So, there is a great deal going on. Be patient my friends, I will be back blogging soon. I just need to let my schedule settle down and see how it will all shake out in practice. God be with you all.