Monthly Archives: February 2014

Five @ Free Flow Friday!

Can I get a Hallelujah????

It’s FRIDAY!!!!!!!

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First order of business today. . . If you missed the word yesterday: Check out FBC El Dorado’s new website NOW.

It goes live today!

Next, take a look at these – VERY RANDOM (no rhyme nor reason) – articles that I think might interest you. As always, there is no lack of helpful opinions on the web.

Happy Friday Everyone!

#1. “The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ the Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of” by Ruth Graham

What sets apart Jesus Calling is that it is written in the voice of Jesus Christ, presented as speaking directly to the reader. This Jesus who spouts feel-good mysticisms like, ‘As you walk along your life-path holding My hand, you are already in touch with the essence of heaven: nearness to Me.’ The book’s soothing tone has made it wildly popular among believers, but its apparent claims to contain new revelation from God have also made it controversial.”

#2. “On Weddings and Conscience: Are Christians Hypocrites?” by Russell Moore

And we might disagree about what sort of pastoral counsel should be given as a Christian seeks to live out his or her life in the marketplace, but in order to do so we’ll have to deal with what the Bible teaches about our responsibility both to love our neighbors and to testify to what we believe to be true: That they, and we, will face a God who has revealed himself in our consciences and in the Scriptures. We might disagree on whether or when to bake the cake, but surely we ought to agree that it’s worth at least asking the question of whether and when the icing on the cake might imply, ‘Hath God said . . .? (Gen. 3:1)

#3. “Dying to Disciple: How Far Are We Willing to Go in Our Pursuit of People?” from 20 Schemes

I think that the parables of Luke remind us that many of our relationships with unbelievers don’t get built from the pulpit or in formal teaching sessions; they get built, in the main, ‘on the road’(so to speak). In Niddrie that can mean in the car on the way to the chemist for their ‘script’(Methadone/Valium etc), giving someone a lift to town because you passed them at the bus stop, going to the local hairdresser, the job centre, the doctors or at the corner shop. Most of the best conversations I have had have been off the cuff, chance encounters in the street and I have just decided to change my schedule. Flexible Spontaneity, we call it at Niddrie. That’s where some of the more task focussed members of the church fall down. They won’t cancel or delay that meeting they are on the way to, no matter what. Someone may stop them in the street but they miss out because they are on their way somewhere. The problem is that we’re all on our way somewhere! The key to a more intentional life is to develop an ‘on the way’evangelistic heart.”

#4. “Call to Prayer: Where Are All the Godly Men?” by Jason Allen

The ‘peer pressure’ of ministry is oriented toward events, products, conferences and materials. It is as though the paraphernalia and garnishes of ministry have displaced the more biblical and eternal aspects, like godliness. Perhaps this is why Matthew Henry lamented some preachers who, ‘when in the pulpit, preaching so well that it is a pity they should ever come out; but, when out of the pulpit, living so ill that it is a pity they should ever come in.’

#5. “IMB Leader Launches Search for Successor” by BPNews staff

We are, indeed, ‘chasers after darkness,’ looking for the black holes of sin in our world and thrusting into that darkness the Light of the glorious gospel of Christ. With such urgent need, I am content to believe that God is already at work, preparing both the heart and mind of our next president to lead IMB into its most effective years of service ever.

It has been a humbling privilege to serve as your eleventh IMB president in our storied 168-year history. Now, Jeannie and I joyfully anticipate the privilege of joining ranks with those who, like you, will prayerfully support our next president, faithfully holding up his hands in this great battle for the souls of the unsaved billions scattered across the globe.”

Throw It Out There Thursday

Okay – today is going to be short and sweet.

I’m gonna “Throw This Out There” and trust that you can do this on your own. . .

Tomorrow – February 28th, 2014 – I want you to click here.Unknown

Or, put this in your internet browser bar thingy: www.fbceldorado.org.

Yep – I’m “Throwing Out There” the news that FBC has updated and revamped our website!

So go ahead. Tomorrow – click here.

See you . . . well, tomorrow!

Wisdom for Your Wednesday

For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

Proverbs 26:20

Have you ever noticed that if you quit putting wood on the fire in the fire place that the fire eventually goes out?

Likewise – have you ever noticed that if you put more wood on the fire it just continues to burn?

Sure it does. That’s how it’s SUPPOSED to work. Unknown

All of us understand this.

The EXACT same thing is true of gossip.

Take gossip out of the picture – the ‘junk’ ceases.

Add more gossip into the discussion – the ‘junk’ gets worse.

Before you think, “Man, I hope ‘so and so’ read this,” let me ask you: Have you thrown any “Gossip Wood” on the fire?

Heard something recently about somebody or some thing that you just had to share?

Has what started out as “no big deal” turned into a raging “youth-harvest-party-bonfire” type incident?

Want to see it stop burning and destroying things? Take away the whisperer.

It’s either you – or who you allow yourself to be around.

Stop throwing more wood on it and get away from the one who does.

It’s the only way not to get burned.

Timothy Tuesdays!

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

1 Timothy 1:8-11

Paul does something in these verses that is extraordinary.

In essence, he lets Timothy know that there is a right way and a wrong way to teach the law of God.

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The wrong way is easy: make it look like you don’t need it (because you think you’ve already arrived) and make others feel bad for not keeping it. Or, put another way: present the law of God in such a way that people think that if they do ‘good’ things, God will love them; and if they do ‘bad’ things, He won’t.

That’s easy. It’s easy to make people feel bad for what they are doing wrong and try to motivate them to obey God through guilt.

Easy. But wrong.

The right way? Use the law of God to let everyone know they are incredibly sinful and have no hope to be right with God unless He does something to rescue them.

“The law is good if one uses it lawfully.”

That’s hard. But right.

Why hard? Who likes to compare themselves to the mirror of the perfect law of God and be shown how evil and wicked and depraved they are?

“The law is laid down. . . for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners. . .”

The law is for all those who know they are sick and need a doctor.

But this is oh, so right! Why? It’s the only way ANYONE will understand their need of a Savior!

The law is good is if it is in “accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God.”

The ONLY way the law can be good is if it is presented as something God has given us to show us His standards; show us our failure to keep it; show us how He sent Jesus to keep it for us; and to compel us to trust in His way of salvation in Him.

Feeling lawless? Sinful?

Been disobedient? Ungodly?

Got that ‘unholy’ feeling?

Regretting that profane lifestyle?

Dissed your mom or dad?

Killed someone?

Participated in sexual acts that are shameful?

Participated in or feel like you may be homosexual?

Lied lately?

Guess what? You are in a GREAT spot! The law of God is for YOU!

Why? To show you that you are sick. Spiritually sick. And you can’t get better on your own. You need someone else to make you better – to do it FOR YOU.

Jesus already has done it all.

Teachers and Preachers – let’s make sure that ALL we teach is in accordance with the glorious Gospel of God.

Those of you feeling sick today (all of us, if we’re honest) – trust Jesus, not yourself, to make you healthy.

Now THAT’s a Good Question!

Considering what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34, how can a follower of Jesus ever think it is okay to financially plan for the future?

This question was posed recently by a blog reader via email in response to last week’s “Throw It Out There Thursday” post.
Below is my response:images
“You have asked an incredibly good and important question.
I think the main issues in the verses from Matthew are “worry” and “anxiety.” It is VERY wrong to store up things for the future because we are worried God won’t take care of us. It is sinful to be anxious about the future because we think God can’t handle it or will somehow, for some reason stop loving us, or run out of resources. Storing up for the future because we believe these things might happen is definitely wrong. They reveal the fact that we simply don’t trust God.
However, we ARE commanded – in multiple places – to wisely use our resources to ensure our family is taken care of.
The most important (in my opinion) is found in 1 Timothy 5:8 – “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Followers of Jesus are – without a doubt – to make sure their relatives – especially his/her immediate family – is taken care of. For THIS reason, it is good and wise and biblical to store up for the future. 
A second place is Proverbs 13:22 – “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” Again, it is right and good and wise and biblical to store up for the future so that your grandchildren can benefit from it. There are several such Proverbs that speak directly, or at least allude, to this.
Again – the issue here is “worry” and “anxiety” about the future like god-less (or pagan, “Gentile”) people do; OR, trusting God with our future and loving God by ensuring our family members are taken care of.
Worry and anxiety, of course, are wrong and should never be the driving force behind storing for the future. However, if the driving force is so that others (i.e., our family) might benefit and be taken care of – I believe it is not only right, but imperative for the Christian. “
What do you think?? Thoughts?

 

Five @ Free Flow Friday!

Is it just me, or has this been an extremely LONG week???

Yesterday morning Birti woke up and said, “Daddy, do you have to go to work today?” I said, “Yes, baby, I always go to work this day.” She said, “No you don’t, daddy. You usually get to be home on Fridays.” I hated to tell her the truth, but had to: “Birti, sweetheart, it’s just Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday.”

Day shattered. images

Until breakfast, anyway.

Today?  It. Is. Friday!!!! YES!

Today’s articles can be categorized as “Short, Sweet, and VERY Thought Provoking.” Please note the questions following quotes from the articles and feel free to dialogue in the comment section below.

[Warning: Several of the articles posted are from secular sites. Sometimes the advertisements and links can be a bit . . . shady.]

 

#1. “I Want to Save My Daughter” by Katie Fruge

Instantly my heart encountered shock, terror, and sorrow like I have never known. They allowed my husband and I to have a moment alone to absorb the news before meeting privately with our doctor to discuss our options. My heart sunk further as I listened to the doctor’s ‘medical opinion.’ She never said the word ‘abortion,’ but the suggestion had been made perfectly clear. It was posed with such delicate phrases: ‘My concern is to keep Katie as safe as possible…We need to think about what a delivery could mean for Katie.’ I could hardly listen; I was consumed with begging God to spare my daughter. Was my doctor really telling me my daughter wasn’t worth saving? As soon as I realized her suggestion, I remembered that I had made this choice long ago.

Monday, I wrote about birth control. It brings up a lot of questions to be sure. One of them posed in this article. Obviously, Katie made the right decision in this instance. Is what she decided always the right one? I believe it is. What are your thoughts?

 

#2.”Being Married with Kids and Young Now Deemed ‘Alternative Lifestyle’” by Mollie Hemingway

But isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle?

I’m glad David Wise won gold, but if this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.”

Is Hemingway right? Is David Wise normal and the media is crazy? Or, could it be that the media is right and Wise really is in the minority here? Thoughts?

 

#3. “3 Little Ways to Cause Big Change in a Marriage” by Shaunti Feldhahn

But our research has found the opposite trend is true! The last three years, as I’ve been studying what happy couples do differently, for my latest research project and book, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, it was clear that having a great marriage or healing a broken one is usually dependent on the little things, not the big ones!

Most husbands and wives deeply care about each other (more than 99% in our survey) and are trying very hard – but they don’t realize that they are trying hard in the wrong areas, so they aren’t making the other person feel cared for in the way they think they are.”

If you’re married – please stop, right now, and think about how you might be ‘trying’ in the wrong areas. Now think. What are the ‘little things’ that are the ‘right’ areas?

#4. “Faith-Healing Mom Sentenced in Death of Infant. Nuts or a Good Example?” by Kay Campbell

And why couldn’t Catherine Schaible and her husband have understood medicine as I do, as part of the truth that comes from God as human beings engage their God-given intellects? For me, the development of the antibiotics that could have saved Catherine Schaible’s children was as much a miracle as any laying-on-of-hands.”

This quote contains two of the wisest sentences I have read in a while – outside of the Bible. Our God gets blamed for all kinds of stuff because of our stupidity. Newsflash everybody: HE HAS GIVEN US BRAINS!!!! What are some ways you have seen God get blamed for people’s ignorant stupidity?

 

#5. “The Upside of Selfies: Social Media Isn’t All Bad for Kids” by Kelly Wallace

Eileen Masio, a mom of two in New York, monitors her daughter Amelia’s Instagram account 24/7. Yes, most of the posts are “selfies,” but it’s the comments that make her think there is also a positive to this nonstop engagement.

“I think just as damaging as social media can be, it can … help to build self-confidence, too,” said Masio, during a recent interview including her husband, 13-year-old Amelia and 8-year-old son William.

“When they post selfies, all the comments I usually see are ‘You’re beautiful,’ ‘You’re so pretty,’ ‘Oh my God, gorgeous,'” said Masio.

Honestly, this article breaks my heart. Not because I am anti-‘all things social media.’ But because this article says social media gives teenagers self worth. This article tries to put social media in a good light for our teens by saying it gives teens self worth. NO! That’s a HUGE NEGATIVE!!!! Positive comments from friends may offer some ‘confidence builders,’ sure. But what happens when the comments stop? What happens when the comments beg for ‘more’? What happens when social media goes away? Oh, and by the way, where is our worth found ultimately? What is actually BEST for our teens in helping them develop a healthy self worth?

 

Throw It Out There Thursday!

Today I want to “Throw Somethin’ Out There” that I am VERY excited about. . .

It’s a 6 week class that begins 2 weeks from this Sunday.

Yep – Sunday, March 9th – during the Sunday School hour (9 – 10 AM) – through Sunday, April 13th, Craig Bonsall will be facilitating sections of “Financial Peace” by Dave Ramseyimages

Many of you have requested wisdom on issues related to money – ranging from wealth to spending to saving to tithing to hoarding to giving it away.

I really believe this 6-week class will answer most, if not all, of your questions and put you on a biblically wise track with your financial resources.

The topics scheduled to be covered are:

March 9th: “Super Saving”

March 16th: “Relating with Money”

March 23rd: “Cash Flow Planning”

March 30th: “Dumping Debt”

April 6th: “Buyer Beware”

April 13th: “The Great Misunderstanding”

The class time will include watching Dave Ramsey teach via DVD, followed by a dialogue led by Craig.

All ages are welcome. The course will meet in the Craft Room at the Child Learning Center building. Again, it will only meet for 6 weeks – so you aren’t “committing your life away” for good, or away from your current SS class. Only 6 weeks.

For questions, you can email Craig directly at craig@neilcooil.com; or me at matt.pearson@fbceldorado.org.

Can’t make the class or can’t wait until it starts? Here are some books by Dave Ramsey you can start reading immediately:

The Total Money Makeover

Financial Peace Revisited

The Money Answer Book

Others can be found here.