Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Father-in-law's surgery

My father-in-law's surgery was moved back to Wednesday. The doctors want an ICU bed available for him following the surgery. There was one available until Sunday night a person came in with a major heart-attack. That filled that bed, so the surgery could not be done. They have rescheduled the surgery for Wednesday at 3:30pm D.V.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Update on Father-in-law

Today my father-in-law will be moved from Palmerston Hospital to Grand River hospital in preparation for part 2 of the repair of his hip. The surgery is planned for Monday, and when it is done, the rehabilitation will be like that done with a hip replacement. In fact this second surgery is basically a hip replacement to replace the first one that failed that started out this whole process with the first surgery to clean up the place where the pin goes in and treat it with antibiotics. We don't have a time yet for when the surgery will be done on Monday, but please pray that those doing the surgery will be given clear minds, skilled hands, and wisdom to know what to do to make this successful.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

True For Us As Well

I found this blog entry, and found it sadly describes the RCA pretty much dead on. No pun intended

Dwelling of God

In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:22 (ESV) Sometimes I think today we really don't get how amazing the church is. We find many people, so called Evangelicals, saying we should get rid of the church. Oh, there intentions are good--they see a generation of people who are against organizations like churches, and figure by doing away with the institutional church they will appeal to these people. But if they really want to do that, if they really think the church has not place today, what do we do with scriptures like the above. It is from a section of Ephesians that speaks of how Christ takes people who are separated from God and from one another and brings them together into a new people. That sections ends with the words above, that we who believe are not only brought together, having the separation between one another and God removed, but we are also built "together" into a place for God to live. That is, the church, the gathered believers in Jesus Christ, are where God dwells. I can hardly comprehend that truth. As we are brought together as believers, we are where God lives. How could we ever think that the very dwelling of God that Christ suffered, died and rose to establish, is of no importance merely because the culture around us doesn't like institutions. Perhaps the problem is that we don't really understand who we are as the people of God in Christ. If we really started to understand that, and live that perhaps we would not be so quick to downplay it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Brian McLaren at RCA GS in June

I saw this in the newsletter sent out by the Central College. BRIAN MCLAREN TO SPEAK AT RCA GENERAL SYNOD — Noted Christian author and lecturer, Brian McLaren, will be a keynote speaker at the RCA General Synod (June 8-13) at Central this summer. McLaren, author of The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix, Finding Faith, and A Generous Orthodoxy, will address delegates on Saturday night, June 10. Time magazine listed McLaren as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals in 2005. To access additional information on Brian McLaren go to www.anewkindofchristian.com. Why is it that the RCA seems compelled to bring in speakers of questionable theology? First is was Anne Lamott whose views on abortion cause me to shudder being a speaker at the RCA women's trienial. Now this will be presented to GS delegates. Of course would they ever consider having someone with solid theology speak? Probably not, it might offend people in the liberal wings of the denomination. Well, for the record I am offended by this.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

John The Baptist And His Seeker Driven Preaching

I was reading Luke 3 this evening before bed, and was struck by the preaching of John the Baptist. He is a fine example of seeker driven preaching. We read the following: "He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."" Luke 3:7-9 I will let you form your own conclusions from that.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Snow Day

Today is the classic snow day. Windy, cold, and snowsqualls off the lake. At times I can't even see across the road. I guess today will be a stay at home and work day.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I always knew it

I took this online quiz. Boy, big surprise . . . not. My nerdiness level: High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!. I am nerdier than 89% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Great Resource

In my searching around on the web, I discovered this site from Covenant Seminary. It contains the lectures of a whole host of seminary level courses. Some even include .pdf files with transcripts and handouts. Well worth a look.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Instructions For People Set Free

The first sermon in our congregations first study on the Ten Commandments is now posted here Click to Listen

Banner of Truth 2006 Conference Information Released

Today I found that the Banner of Truth has released the information for the 2006 pastor's conference in Grantham PA. The information is in this PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. It is free and can be downloaded from Adobe.com As I said in my previous post about this conference, it has been one of the most beneficial things I have done as a minister. I wish I had went years back. It is well worth your time, and the time of your Elders to come. It is open to men only, so they are freed to focus on the teachings being given.

Friday, February 10, 2006

What a pierced heart

"Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." Acts 2:36 I am sometimes amazed at how often I can read something, yet still miss it. It was only as I read this verse of the day that it struck me how these words would have pierced the hearts of those who heard them. The Jewish people had been waiting for the Christ for centuries. They had prided themselves on their religious obedience. Yet, what did all that get them? When the Christ came, did they recognize him? Did they receive him joyfully? Did they follow him? No, here Peter points out to them that the very Christ they were looking for, the very Lord they should have honored and followed, is the one whom they cried out to Pilate, "Crucify him, crucify him." The one whom they mocked, demeaned, and derided. The one whom they crucified. I cannot imagine how that would have cut to the heart of their self trust, but I know it does to mine. For while I was not back there some 2000 years ago, Jesus died for my sins. He died for all the times that I have ever gone wrong in my walk with God. He died for every idle word that does not bring glory to God. He died for ever idle thought that I did not take captive but let wander off down roads of the mind that should never be trod. He died for every moment when I live my life without the realization that I live always before the face of God. That pierces my heart, for I know how far I am from being the person I should be as someone who is joined through faith to Jesus Christ, and it moves me to go again to the only place I can find hope. For the very cross that convicts me of my sin, is also the very cross where my sins can be and have been dealt with. There at the cross, I find not only how horrible my sin is, but also I find that the Son of God died willingly to free me from that sin--from the punishment it deserves which he willingly took upon himself, and for its power over me, so that in him I can now say no to sin and yes to God. My question to all those who read this is does this pierce your heart? Does it cut you to the quick? Does it drive you to your knees? If it does then turn back to that cross again, and remember that Jesus died that death to set his people free from sin. Renew your faith in him, and seek to live in light of the cross. For there you find the only remedy that will clean your guilty conscience.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Which LOTR Character Am I

You scored as Gandalf. You are Gandalf! This wise, old mage is loyal and brave. He is known for his counsel and advice to his friends and allies during tough times. "All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you."



















Which LOTR character are you?
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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Morning Meditation

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.” Exodus 34:5-9 This was part of my Bible reading this morning. It is a wonderful passage that I have preached on in the past. At its heart is speaks about our awesome God. He is a covenant keeping God who is merciful, gracious, loving and faithful among other wonderful attributes. Yet, just because God is all of these, does not mean that he is not just. He will by no means clear the guilty. As I considered this once again, I realized that it is a call to myself and all people. We are guilty sinners in ourselves. We cannot stand on our own before the court of God expecting that he will clear us because we tried to make up for our sins with some half-hearted "good" works. God will by no means clear the guilty who come this way. The only hope we have is to come God's way. The way he has provided so that he can exercise his mercy, and forgiveness. Thankfully, God has provided this way through his Son Jesus Christ. He is the one who provides all we need through His perfect obedience which fully fills all the requirements of God's law. He is the one who willingly took the curse and punishment our guilt deserved upon Himself, suffering the suffering, facing the hell, and dying the death of punishment for all who trust in him. In doing that He brought the perfect justice of God and the perfect forgiveness of God together, showing how God can be just and merciful at the same time. What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus the Lord. In light of all this Moses response seems so very appropriate. We read, "And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”" How can I not bow down and worship our most holy God? How can you not worship? What further caught my eye was Moses prayer. It convicted me as a pastor. He said, "If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance." I guess some might take him to task in calling the people stiff-necked, but I know who I am and you know who you are. We are a stiff-necked people. If you are a pastor you realize that is true about not only yourself, but those you have been called to minister with. We may complain about that often. Yet how often do we bow before God and plead, even though we are a stiff-necked people, that God would go in our midst? How often doe we plead for God to wash us and those in our care of all our unrighteousness? How often do we plead with God to make us and those stiff-necked people we pastor, His inheritance? I know that I don't pray that way as often as I should. Before the word of God I stand convicted. Do you? It is only as God goes in our midst that we will be the people God has called us to be. All the conferences, programs, and plans in the world will come to nothing if God is not in our midst. It is only as God washes us clean of all unrighteousness that we will shine forth as lights in this world of darkness. Only then will people who do not know God start to see Him though his people. It is only as God make us his inheritance, His beautiful portion, that we will be moved from the wilderness to the promised land. The challenge to me is to stop saying prayer is important, and to start living out that truth and pray. That is the challenge to you as well, for all the great works of God start with prayer. If you are a pastor, and are discontent with the people God has put under your care finding them stuborn and intractable; remember who God is and bow down before Him. Don't simply complain, instead pray God to be in the midst of your congregation. Then all the plans and programs will bear the fruit that He gives.

Streaming Sermons

Today I started to do something that I have been thinking of doing for a while, putting my sermons online in a streaming format. I did a little bit of research, and a little bit of trial and error. Finally, after all that, I got them up and running. I am currently hosting them on my home machine, and as long as I can I will continue to do so. The downside of doing this is that they will not be online when I have my machine off. Either way, I find this really quite interesting that I can do such things with such relative ease. If I wanted to I could also stream our worship services live although that would require a somewhat larger outlay on some additional hardware. If you want to check them out you can go to Streaming Sermons

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just so I can comment

I didn't really need another blog. My primary blog is found on Live Journal at
Live Journal However, I needed a way to comment on some blogs I read, and that required a blogger account. If you want to read my regularly updated blog, check out Live Journal I will probably post here on occasion, but not very frequently.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Reminded of the blood

You shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram, and you shall kill the ram and take part of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tips of the right ears of his sons, and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the great toes of their right feet, and throw the rest of the blood against the sides of the altar. Then you shall take part of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and his sons' garments with him. He and his garments shall be holy, and his sons and his sons' garments with him. Exodus 29:19-21 As I was reading this during my morning devotions, it struck me what was being done here. A sacrifice was made to consecrate Aaron and his sons. A Ram was put to death in their place. Yet, notice what was done. The blood of that Ram that died in their place was mixed with oil and sprinkled on them leaving the stain of that blood on the linen robes they wore. That meant as the priests served in the temple, they carried the constant reminder of this sacrifice for their sins with them. Those stains were a constant reminder that they could only approach God because of the blood of the sacrifice. This brought to mind several things for me. First, that a Christian believers, it is only through the blood of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that we can approach God. It is in him and his sacrifice that we are washed clean. While we are not marked with the physical blood of the Lord, we still should always seek to remember that sacrifice that brings us to God. We need to be constantly reminded that it is only through the blood of the Lamb of God that we sinners can come to God. If that filled our minds, wouldn't it change how we live, moving us to greater gratitude and love for our heavenly Father. He did not spare his own Son, but gave him for us. Wouldn't keeping this in our mind help us be humble and Christ focused? So we need to seek to keep the sacrifice of the Son in our minds, because as we focus on the cross, we are strengthened to live as people of the the cross. Second, it reminded me of a message preached by Doug Kelly at the Banner of Truth conference when he commented on Revelation 6:9. There we read, "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne." He pointed out that their proximity to the alter in heaven would be a constant reminder of the love of our Lord and his blood shed for them. Here in this world, we often struggle to remember our Lord Jesus Christ, but when we come to eternity, we will no longer struggle with this. There we will always remember the love of Christ shown to us. We will always be reminded of how wonderful he is, and we will be single-heartedly focused on him. What a glorious thing to be reminded of that great love, of our great and glorious Lord, and of his willing sacrifice for the sins of his people. May that be what fills our minds as we minister in whatever role God provides for us. For we can only minister as God requires, as we live as people washed in the blood of Jesus.