was for this reason separated from

GodTube recently changed its name to Tangle, on the shabby excuse that it had to do with John15, and not because they wanted to remove the word "God" from its URL and make God less prominent. I'd link to the site, but I don't believe them, and I think the new name is stupid. I still peruse the site every so often, but I'm beginning to think I'll stop doing that soon. How can a site that is presumedly religious or faith-focused be overrun with Miley Cyrus videos? I'd also not be surprised to see High School Musical or American Idol clips. Because these three shows are apparently popular in part due to the large numbers of believers who watch them.

I think it's utter ridiculousness for Christians to embrace something on the sole grounds that it is PG. The reasoning behind their flocking to the box office or couch goes something like I'm a Christian so I should only be watching things without swearing or sex or other unwholesome things. This Disney-created thing is free of such deviant behavior. I need to be entertained. I'll watch this and bring all my kids. What a good believer I am. Self-righteousness added for effect.

Problems with your line of thinking:
* Disney and all other media companies are centers for profit, and profit alone. If Disney thought it could make money by creating shows focused on ritual goat sacrifice, they would. They make shows PG not because they buy into the Christian worldview, but because they want your dollar bills. Feeding into their model shows you are a fool, not that you are wholesome.
* You'll separate your viewing habits to distance yourself from unwholesomeness, but not in other areas of your life? How about you stop gambling, drinking, complaining, divorcing, et al. Picking and choosing which things you distance yourself from, and which you keep nearby, sort of defeats the purpose, no?
* You do NOT need to be entertained. I repeat, you do NOT need to be entertained. Going to a movie theater is not a basic human right. Watching TV is not an entitlement.

In summary: stop watching Miley Cyrus and HSM. They're stupid.


they will exploit you with false words

Obama wants to increase the nation's reliance on science. If you give him the benefit of the doubt, it's because he wants to move us technologically forward. If you want to read into End Times prophecy, you'll see it as thinly veiled contempt for religion, especially Christianity. I fall into a position in between where I see him wanting to push us forward into the future -- unfortunately, that's a future that denigrates faith.

All that to point out the continuing ridiculousness of science:
* Maybe we can continue unfounded speculation on events that may or may not have occurred. How is it considered "science" to be writing articles on events that existed -- according to their own stupid notions -- millions of years before human existence? It's like me writing a paper claiming that dinosaurs subsisted on unicorns and trolls. Utter speculation masquerading as intellectual content.
* Maybe we can continue imagined creations on events that may or may not ever happen. Some "scientists" made up a video to show possible events in space-- in the same way I could use video-editing software to show my children flying in space without spacesuits. Special effects these days show animated Ents, realistic superheroes, and robots that can turn into vehicles. Utter speculation masquerading as intellectual content.
* Maybe we can continue sinking billions of dollars into a failed dream that may or may not destroy the world. How could something be "even more perfect"? Isn't perfection the top level you can reach? And how can your existing thing that is perfect be broken for 7 months? We have people criticizing possible discrepancies in the Gospels, and yet you can create perfect machines that break on their first run and call it good science? Utter speculation masquerading as intellectual content.

Want to run some experiments? Combine people who hypocritically disregard faith even though their life's work depends completely on faith in false gods, with a large body of liquid heated to a degree beyond which it combusts. Simmer for eternity. Going to be an awesome experiment.


to begin with the family of God

"The Doctrine of the Church"
* Intro: Acts1 (150 people); Acts3 (3000); Acts5 (5000)
* Why the church?
- Already here; already connected
- Too much misinformation
- Jesus loves the church {Eph5:25,29, Matt18}
* Nature of the church
- "The community of all true believers for all time"
- Invisible church: Way God sees it; sees the hearts
- Visible church: Hands & feet of God (from small group to megachurch) {Acts9:31, Rom16:5, 1Cor1:12}
* Function of the church
- Body of Christ {Eph1:22-23, 1Cor12:27, 1Cor12:12, Rom16:17-18}: Preserve & fight for unity
- Building of God {1Pet2:5, Eph2:20}: Dwelling place of HS; preserve purity & holiness
- Bride of Christ {Eph5:25-27, 31-32}: Designed for oneness w/ Christ
* Purpose of the church
- Vessel by which God spreads His gospel {Rom1:16, 1Cor15:1-4, Eph1:13}
- Make the gospel central to our lives
* Application
- Stay connected
- Join small group
- Stop "dating" the church: bloom where you're planted
- Parents: lead your kids by example
- Kids: submit to parents as they lead
- Seek to preserve unity
- Use your gifts


won in battles to

Still thinking about my idea from last week to alter our observance traditions -- especially the Easter morning message. I already have the inklings for how it would go. It should be full-on gloating to proclaim the victory of God. It should be the resounding victory locker room speech between players and coach. It should be full of Amens and Hallelujahs. It should cause one to spontaneously break out in song. No pastor worth his salt would ever give up the pulpit on Easter. But boy, would I be ready for the call. (Bigger question is if I'm ready for the calling?)

A few quick thoughts:
* Finished work of the cross
* Gameplan explained (on the third day)
* Victory over death
* 1John5:4, 1Cor15
* Reminder of the eternal end, already revealed (Rev)
* Ending rush: Jesus saves


before the great and awesome

A few weeks ago, I entered my kids' bedroom while they were trying to fall asleep. My son had this look on his face, like he was trying to calculate the world's most difficult math problem in his head without a calculator. Turns out my daughter was trying to explain this unique numbering system she thought should be used in place of the standard 12-hour am/pm model. After she tried getting me to comprehend it to no avail, my son says, "I told you it didn't make any sense."

That look on his face has stuck with me, especially as I've been listening to a great hymn on repeat on my iPod. The look on my son's face was one of attempted understanding of something completely beyond understanding. And it is an attitude that should characterize our attempt to grasp the full depth of the love of God. Because the more you ponder it, the more you should stand agape in wonder.

The hymn expresses the notion that our song should ever be how marvelous and amazing the love of God is. And those two adjectives convey this idea that God's love for us should astound us in the same way seeing a talking circus elephant flying a jumbo jet should -- viewing something beyond impossible. We should be marveling at God's love for us in the same way that we would marvel at seeing the Old Testament inscribed on a pinhead -- viewing something completely wondrous. Because thinking about God's love and not coming away completely blown away means you're not thinking hard enough.


shall observe this rite

Been mulling over events of the past weekend, and we have it all backwards. By "we", I'm referring to us good evangelicals. Not the emergent folks, who are the spawn of Marc Driscoll and MTV (you know who you are). Back to my point: I love marshmallow peeps. Wait, that was my other point. Real point: we celebrate Holy Week all wrong. Here's the breakdown:

Maundy Thursday: Nothing
Good Friday: Believers' service
Holy Saturday: Nothing
Easter Sunday: Open invitation to believers, unbelievers, and nominal believers

Maundy Thursday: Last Supper celebration with a Passover seder/Communion
Good Friday: Unbelievers' service to introduce them to Calvary's cross
Holy Saturday: Worship night/believers' service
Easter Sunday: Believers' service -- celebration of victory
Monday after Easter: Bring me your leftover marshmallow peeps


the day dawns and the morning star arises

From yesterday:

"The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Hope in an Uncertain World" {1Pet1:3}
* Nothing new; reminder of 2,000-yrs-old truth: Jesus is alive
* What is resurrection?
- Matt28, Mark16:1-8, Luke 24, John20:1-21:25
- Diff twixt Laz & Jesus? Jesus' new body was not a resuscitated one {John11, 1Cor15:53}
- Jesus' new body was a physical one {Matt28:9, Acts10:41, John20:27, Luke 24:39}
* Why is Jesus' resurrection important? 1Cor15:14-19
* What evidence for Christ's resurrection?
- Prophesied in advance {Isa53:8-12, Ezek37:1-14}
- Jesus predicted own resurrection {Matt12:38-40, Matt27:62-66, Mark8:31, Mark10:33-34, John2:18-22}
- Jesus appeared physically alive 3 days after His death {Luke24:36-43, John20:17-28, 1Cor15:3-7}
- Recorded as Scripture immediately {1Cor15:3-4}
- Convinced His family to worship Him {Acts1:14, Acts15:13, 1Cor15:7, Gal2:9, Jude1}
- Confirmed by most bitter enemies {Acts9:1-22, Phil3:4-6}
- Disciples' loyalty in the face of death & suffering {Acts7:54-60, historical records}
- Change of worship day from Sabbath against thousands of years of Jewish tradition
- Testimony of early non-Christians confirms Biblical record (Josephus, et al)
* Application
- Hope for forgiveness of past {1Cor15:17}
- Hope for power to live life today
- Hope for eternity in future {John11:25-26, Phil1:21}


I AM the resurrection and the life

"He is not here, for He has risen just as He said." {Matt28:6}

He is risen, indeed.


in death, but for the glory of God

Speaking to one of the sweet things about today, the Day He Loved Us Most. And the sweet thing spoke of asking Jesus into his heart when He was five, but how he hadn't loved God when he was 1,2,3, or 4. The wondrous one mentioned that even when he hadn't loved God yet those years, God was waiting for that day when he was five and did love Him back.

It reminds me of two families I know going through the process to adopt a child, and even though they don't yet know which sweet thing they will be picking up yet, they have these hearts bursting with love already waiting for them to appear. It reminds me of the Prodigal Son in Luke15, and one of the most wonderful details included in all the Bible: that the Father sees his long-lost son while still far away -- as if he had been waiting at the window watching for him -- and that the Father runs toward his son, love here also bursting and waiting for release.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." {Rom5:8}


who were in those parts

Snippets from tomorrow. Won't make any sense till then. And even then...

so amazing, all the host of Heaven broke
the resurrection, our faith, the whole
and he is moved to cry
wholly, deeply, and with
death if it means life
of what fire does to the things
His hand; He sets aside
to him, and then lead him back
of that payment through another
this future where sin is
that when the angels are exalting
truly beholding the Lamb of God


to reconcile all things to

The video below is a little long, and it's fairly obvious what's going to happen. But I still find it a very effective visual, and a clear reminder of the finished work of the cross, of the satisfied wrath of God, of the complete work of Christ. Two more days till the Day He Loved Us Most. If you're not meditating on Calvary's Cross, you're not trying hard enough, Luke.


our sins in His body on the cross

Thinking about the cross this morning. No surprise, given the Day He Loved Us Most approaches. I own several cross necklaces along with several rosaries -- all of which I have kissed at one point or another. It is not an uncommon action among Catholics, to kiss a cross. Strange practice when you consider it. If you were to lose a loved one in a jetski accident, would not your natural reaction towards jetskis afterwards be one of caution if not outright revulsion? I don't ever consume alcohol because a drunk driver killed a loved one. Our reaction to those things that are means of deaths are naturally negative.

And yet I still kiss my crosses.

The difference is that the cross -- while still the instrument by which my Beloved Savior perished -- is not just a means of death. It is, in fact, also the means of eternal life. It is the means of complete payment of debt. It is the means of grace, and the means of mercy. It is the means of redemption. It is the means of reconciled peace. And it is the means by which a separated God expressed a love deeper than the farthest reaches of the universe.

And I will kiss my crosses, I will kiss the cross, I will kiss the cross...


when our days there were ended

"What Happens When Christ Returns?"
* Why study eschatology?
- 30% of Bible prophetic
- Much fulfilled by Christ's return, but many left to be fulfilled
- 3 times as many prophecies about end of days as first appearance of Christ (1000+)
* Three Basic Views of Eschatology
- Amillennialism (spiritual reign, no real millennium)
- Postmillennialism (gradual millennium w/ Christ's return afterwards)
- Premillennialism (literal fulfillment of millennium after Christ's return)
* The Order of Future Events
- Rapture of Church {1Thess4:13-17, Titus2:13}: Physical & bodily return of Christ to take His bride to Heaven
- Tribulation {Dan9:27, Matt24:4-28, Rev4-19}
- Pre-trib {Rev3:10, 1Thess1:10, 1Thess5:9, Rev4-18 (no mention of church)}
- Temple rebuilt
- Abomination of Desolation {Dan9:27, Dan11:31, Matt24:15}
- Campaign of Armageddon {Ezek38-39}
- Second Coming of Christ {Matt24:27-31, Zech14:1-11, Rev19:11-16}
- Millennium {Isa2:1-3, Rev20}
- Final revolt of Satan {Rev20:7-10}
- New Heaven & Earth {Rev21:1-22:5, Matt19:28, Acts3:21}