Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa Christ?

Santa Christ?
by Sinclair B. Ferguson

I took the hand of my toddler son (it was several decades ago now) as we made our way into the local shop on the small and remote Scottish island where earlier that year I had been installed as minister. It was Christmas week. The store was brightly decorated and a general air of excitement was abroad.

Without warning, the conversations of the customers were brought to a halt by a questioning voice from beside me. My son's upraised index finger pointed at a large cardboard Santa Claus. "Daddy, who is that funny-looking man?" he asked.

Amazement spread across the faces of the jostling shoppers; accusing glances were directed at me. Such shame--the minister's son did not even recognize Santa Claus! What likelihood, then, of hearing good news in his preaching at the festive season?

Such experiences can make us bewail how the Western world gives itself over annually to its Claus-mass or commerce-mass. We celebrate a reworked pagan Saturnalia of epic proportions, one in which the only connection with the incarnation is semantic. Santa is worshiped, not the Savior; pilgrims go to the stores with credit cards, not to the manger with gifts. It is the feast of indulgence, not of the incarnation.

It is always easier to lament and critique the new paganism of secularism's blatant idolatry than to see how easily the church -- and we ourselves -- twist or dilute the message of the incarnation in order to suit our own tastes. But, sadly, we have various ways of turning the Savior into a kind of Santa Claus.

Santa Claus Christianity
For one thing, in our worship at Christmas we may varnish the staggering truth of the incarnation with what is visually, audibly, and aesthetically pleasing. We confuse emotional pleasure -- or worse, sentiment -- with true adoration.

For another thing, we may denigrate our Lord with a Santa Claus Christology. How sadly common it is for the church to manufacture a Jesus who is a mirror refection of Santa Claus. He becomes Santa Christ.

Santa Christ is sometimes a Pelagian Jesus. Like Santa, he simply asks us whether we have been good. More exactly, since the assumption is that we are all naturally good, Santa Christ asks us whether we have been "good enough." So just as Christmas dinner is simply the better dinner we really deserve, Jesus becomes a kind of added bonus who makes a good life even better. He is not seen as the Savior of helpless sinners.

Or Santa Christ may be a Semi-Pelagian Jesus -- a slightly more sophisticated Jesus who, Santa-like, gives gifts to those who have already done the best they could! Thus, Jesus' hand, like Santa's sack, opens only when we can give an upper-percentile answer to the none-too-weighty probe, "Have you done your best this year?" The only difference from medieval theology here is that we do not use its Latin phraseology: facere quod in se est (to do what one is capable of doing on one's own, or, in common parlance, "Heaven helps those who help themselves").

Then again, Santa Christ may be a mystical Jesus, who, like Santa Claus, is important because of the good experiences we have when we think about him, irrespective of his historical reality. It doesn't really matter whether the story is true or not; the important thing is the spirit of Santa Christ. For that matter, while it would spoil things to tell the children this, everyone can make up his or her own Santa Christ. As long as we have the right spirit of Santa Christ, all is well.

But Jesus is not to be identified with Santa Claus; worldly thinking -- however much it employs Jesus-language--is not to be confused with biblical truth.

The Christ of Christmas
The Scriptures systematically strip away the veneer that covers the real truth of the Christmas story. Jesus did not come to add to our comforts. He did not come to help those who were already helping themselves or to fill life with more pleasant experiences. He came on a deliverance mission, to save sinners, and to do so He had to destroy the works of the Devil (Matt. 1:21; 1 John 3:8b).

Those whose lives were bound up with the events of the first Christmas did not find His coming an easy and pleasurable experience.

Mary and Joseph's lives were turned upside down.

The shepherds' night was frighteningly interrupted, and their futures potentially radically changed.

The magi faced all kinds of inconvenience and family separation.

Our Lord Himself, conceived before wedlock, born probably in a cave, would spend His early days as a refugee from the bloodthirsty and vindictive Herod (Matt. 2:13-21).

There is, therefore, an element in the Gospel narratives that stresses that the coming of Jesus is a disturbing event of the deepest proportions. It had to be thus, for He did not come merely to add something extra to life, but to deal with our spiritual insolvency and the debt of our sin. He was not conceived in the womb of Mary for those who have done their best, but for those who know that their best is "like filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6)--far from good enough--and that in their flesh there dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18). He was not sent to be the source of good experiences, but to suffer the pangs of hell in order to be our Savior.

A Christian Christmas
The Christians who first began to celebrate the birth of the Savior saw this. Christmas for them was not (contrary to what is sometimes mistakenly said) simply adding a Christian veneer to a pagan festival--the Roman Saturnalia. They may have been doing what many Christians have done in marking Reformation Day (which happens to fall on Halloween), namely, committing themselves to a radical alternative to the world's Saturnalia, refusing to be squeezed into its mold. They were determined to fix mind, heart, will, and strength exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ. There was no confusion in their thinking between the world and the gospel, Saturnalia and Christmas, Santa Jesus and Christ Jesus. They were citizens of another empire altogether.

In fact, such was the malice evoked by their other-worldly devotion to Christ that during the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian, some believers were murdered as they gathered to celebrate Christmas. What was their gross offense? Worship of the true Christ -- incarnate, crucified, risen, glorified, and returning. They celebrated Him that day for giving His all for them, and as they did so, they gave their all for Him.

One Christmas Eve in my teenage years, I opened a book a friend had given to me as a present. I found myself so overwhelmed by its teaching on my recently found Savior that I began to shake with emotion at what had dawned on me: the world had not celebrated His coming, but rather had crucified Him.

Doubtless I was an impressionable teenager. But should it not cause us to tremble that "they crucified my Lord"? Or is that true only in song, not in reality? Are we not there when the world still crucifies Him in its own, often-subtle ways?

The truth is that unless the significance of what Christ did at the first Christmas shakes us, we can scarcely be said to have understood much of what it means, or of who He really is.

Who is He in yonder stall
At Whose feet the shepherds fall?
'Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
'Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! Crown Him, Lord of all!
And we might add:

Who is He on yonder cross
Suffers for this dark world's loss?
'Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
'Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! Crown Him, Lord of all!
Let us not confuse Jesus Christ with Santa Claus.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A biblical perspective on the election and the future of our country

John Piper gave a great biblical perspective here on the election and the future of our country.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Even though Barack Obama will be our new President....

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes ~ Proverbs 21:1 NASB

1. The Bible is still reliable

2. Prayer will still be answered.

3. The Holy Spirit will still exalt the Lord Jesus.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. God will still use the preaching of the gospel.

6. The purposes of God will still not be thwarted.

7. God will still care for His people.

8. There's still be room at the Cross!

9. Jesus is still coming again.

10. Jesus will continue to save sinners and continue to build His church.

ISN'T IT GREAT TO KNOW THAT GOD IS THE GOD OF PURPOSE--- HE REALLY IS IN CONTROL!!!! ROMANS 8:28 WILL STILL BE TRUE!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!!!



Happy Reformation Day!!! Today October 31st we celebrate Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church in Wittenburg Germany. This sparked the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of western civilization. Luther's theology challenged the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church by holding the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian authority. Luther taught that according to the scriptures salvation is the free gift of God, received only by true repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, a faith given by God and unmediated by the church. Martin's translation of the Bible into the vernacular of the German people made the Scriptures more accessible to them. And his hymns inspired the development of congregational singing within Christianity.

If you don't know much about Martin Luther and you want something to wet your appetite I highly recomend the movie "Luther" which came out in 2003. It's a favorite of ours that we have watched many times.

Happy Reformation Day!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are you an American or a Globalist?

On Tuesday November 4th I'll be voting with my conscience and casting my vote for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party.

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http://www.constitutionparty.com/
http://www.baldwin08.com/

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A "New" World?

As I've watched the news over the past couple of weeks I can't help but wonder where this global economic crisis is heading. I've heard everything from discussions about a new currency, a union of The United States, Canada & Mexico (North American Union), the NAFTA Superhighway and a national ID card called the "Real ID Act". We are even hearing the phrase "New World Order" being used again. In light of all this one has to wonder what exactly was discussed at the G7 meetings with top world leaders this weekend. Could we be on the verge of a new America or even a New World Order? One thing is for sure, something big is about to take place on a global scale.

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The only comfort we have as believers in Christ is that our God is still on His throne!

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes Proverbs 21:1 (NASB)

The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples Psalm 33:10 (NASB)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ronnie's new drum




Ronnie's got a new conga drum that's his size! It was a prototype that one of the guys at work gave me. It's a real conga with a tunable calfskin head. Ronnie loves hitting on things, he has really taken to the drums.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A place to call home

My wife Marcy and I are so excited that we have finally found a church that we can call home!!!! We have both been discouraged in trying to find a church that was Reformed and that taught expositionally from the bible. By God's grace he led us to Grace Christian Assembly about a month ago. Sitting under verse by verse biblical expository teaching is like a breath of fresh air.

We look forward to growing and serving with this community of beleivers.

GCA's website http://www.salvationbygrace.org/

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The difference between religion and The Biblical Gospel

What is the Gospel? The word gospel simply means “good news.” The central message of the Bible is the gospel, or good news, about the person and work of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–4, Paul provides the most succinct summary of the gospel: the man Jesus is also God, or Christ, and died on a cross in our place, paying the penalty for our sins; three days later He rose to conquer sin and death and give the gift of salvation to all who believe in Him alone for eternal life.

The great reformer Martin Luther rightly said that, as sinners, we are prone to pursue a relationship with God in one of two ways. The first is religion/spirituality and the second is the gospel. The two are antithetical in every way. Religion says that if we obey God He will love us. The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.

Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people. The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.

Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good moral person. The gospel says that you should trust in the perfectly sinless life of Jesus because He alone is the only good and truly moral person who will ever live.

The goal of religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power, and control. The goal of the gospel is not the gifts God gives, but rather God as the gift given to us by grace.

Religion is about what I have to do. The gospel is about what I get to do. Religion sees hardship in life as punishment from God. The gospel sees hardship in life as sanctifying affliction that reminds us of Jesus’ sufferings and is used by God in love to make us more like Jesus. Religion is about me. The gospel is about Jesus.

Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God. The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.

Religion ends in either pride (because I think I am better than other people) or despair (because I continually fall short of God’s commands). The gospel ends in humble and confident joy because of the power of Jesus at work for me, in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me.

*copied from off of Mars Hill Church website.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A few quotes

"Christian faith does not grant immunity from sadness and sickness, from bereavement and disappointment. At least not now! Those who suggest that it does mean the present enjoyment of health and wealth and peace and prosperity appeal to the general desire for wellbeing that marks our culture. But such a story is neither true to the Bible nor to human experience" -Alistair Begg

"The truth is that more spiritual progress is made through failure and tears than success and laughter" - AlistairBegg

"Ease and luxury, such as our affluence brings today, do not make for maturity; hardship and struggle however do" - J.I. Packer

Monday, August 25, 2008

Whatever happened to the gospel?

It's obvious to this church has no clue. How much further can this kind of nonsense can go on? Sadly I have a feeling that it's only going to get worse

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"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths" -2nd Timothy 4:3-4 NASB

Friday, August 22, 2008

Family vacation in Virginia Beach & D.C

Last week we took a little family vacation and went to Virginia. The weather was perfect and we stayed a block away from the beach. This was Ronnie's first time flying, he did a great job! We all had a great time... enjoy the pics.



Ronnie & me on a pier in Virginia Beach



Here we are at the White House



Ronnie playing on the lawn of the Capital



Marcy & me at the Washington Monument















Ronnie & me making a sand castle-it doesn't get any better than this!















Ronnie at the Lincoln Memorial















Ronnie at Virginia Beach, he really enjoyed himself.
He loved playing in the water and picking up sand!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Revival? I don't think so

I've been hearing about this guy for months now, his name is Todd Bentley and he's been leading the so called"revival" down in Lakeland Florida. Masses of people are traveling from around the world to come and be part of these meetings. Todd boasts not only of all sorts of healings that have taken place in his meetings but also of many people being raised from the dead. It's obvious from watching this guy that he has a fascination with Benny Hinn and pro wrestling. I suspect that there is some demonic activity going on here as well (you'll see what I'm talking about as you watch the clips) and it's blasphemous that this is touted as the work of the Holy Spirit. Hucksters like this dishing out this kind of crap are deceiving thousands of people by giving them a false hope and make Christianity look like a big joke to the watching world. As you watch these clips listen as the people laugh at this guy, how tragic! Sadly these people have no spiritual discernment and people like Todd Bentley prey on these kind of people. The end result is that these people don't get healed and may of them end up questioning God and blaming themselves for a lack of faith. It is obvious that the time has come when people no longer endure sound doctrine. Brace yourself as you watch these
clips...

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Read Jeremiah 23 the next time you open your bible to see what the Lord has to say about false prophets.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

future drummer?

We may have a future drummer here....














drum roll please....
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life

John Piper is one of my favorite bible teachers, I admire his passion. As you'll see in the two video's below John is very passionate in his charge to us as believers to not get caught up in the mindset of our culture by wasting our lives with mindless entertainment and temporal pleasures.

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It Is Well With My Soul

I was reminded of the story behind this well know hymn and wanted to share it, this is powerful!


This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled,'It is well with my soul', you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words,"When sorrows like sea billows roll ... It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of Spafford's life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.


Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because of Horatio's legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords' only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.
Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest -- DL Moody needed the help. He was traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French steamer 'Ville de Havre' across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned. He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read: "Saved alone."

On November 2nd 1873, the 'Ville de Havre' had collided with 'The Lochearn', an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her, "You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers was.

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us. No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford...

When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul! It is well ... with my soul! It is well, it is well, with my soul. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

$10,000 Creflo Dollar Challenge

I saw this yesterday on Steve Camp's blog and had to make a post. The gullability of people is.... welll..... wow!!!!! I mean you have to have absolutely no discernment to follow a guy like this.

$10,000 Creflo Dollar Challenge Published July 18th, 2008 by Editor in Discernment, Word Faith Yesterday, on the Fighting for the Faith radio program Chris Rosebrough issued the $10,000 Creflo Dollar Challenge.

Rosebrough was responding to Creflo Dollar’s claim that the rich young ruler (Matt 19:16-26) actually went and sold his possessions and as a result God blessed him 100 fold.
Rosebrough believes that Creflo Dollar is twisting God’s word and completely making stuff up. Therefore, Rosebrough is offering $10,000 to the first person who can provide Biblical proof from the New Testament that supports Creflo’s claims about the rich young ruler.

Click Here to Hear More About the $10,000 Creflo Dollar Challenge.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Future hope while living in a sinful world

This week on my way into work each morning I've been listening to John MacArthur's radio broadcast. The topic this week has been on the subject of sin and where it began. John's insightful teaching has once again got me thinking.

When I look at the world in which we live I'm struck with the reality that it is seriously broken and in such a mess because of sin. Sin has impacted everything in this world. As I watch the news I often wonder how those who do not know Christ make it through each day. What hope do they have when they wake up each morning to find the world in such turmoil? The world has no answers nor do they understand why this world is spinning out of control and all their efforts to fix it are in vain. Where is their hope? Their hope is a false hope. Man cannot fix this worlds problems and they are not going to be fixed by electing a new president, climate change, winning wars or becoming energy independent.

Our hope as beleivers isn't found in this world but in another kingdom. The more I grow as a Christian the more I long to be with Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I love my family but I look forward to leaving this world behind and being able to truly live free from sin. Some call that "escapism", but it is the longing of a true believers heart.

"He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly " Amen Come, Lord Jesus.
Revelation 22:20 (NASB)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gas prices & driving habits

With gas up near $3.75 a gallon and hearing everyone complain about it you would think that people would slow down a little to help get a little better gas mileage. I drive the interstate everyday to work and get passed all the time by people driving 80+ mph, what really amazes me are the people who drive like this in trucks with big V8 engines!!!! Americans are an interesting people, they love to complain but they sure don't want to do their part. Kinda like people who complain about how much money they make but don't have a problem with being in debt? Ok, I'll leave it at that :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Dirt Sweat & Gears 2008

Just last weekend I, along with my family, traveled down to Fayetteville, TN to be part of 2nd annual Dirt Sweat & Gears. Dirt Sweat & Gears is a national mountain bike race where I was on a 4 man team with some friends from our local mountain bike community. This event allows guys like me to compete alongside world renowned professional riders like Tinker Juarez, Nat Ross, Pua Sawicki & Rebecca Rusch. Also on hand was Mountain bike pioneer Gary Fisher of Gary Fisher bikes. The 10.6 mile trail is called the "Cotton Mill Preserve" and it is situated on 250 acres. This trail offers everything from tight technical singletrack to fast rolling fire roads with lots of climbing (+/- 1500′ elevation gain). It rained overnight before the race and the first couple of laps were a mudfest, thankfully the trail got better as the day went on. I cramped on my second lap but over all had a blast and our 4 man team ended up placing 19th out of 25. Thanks to my teamates Rick, Terry & Steve!! I'm already looking forward to this racing event again next year!!

check it out at www.dirtsweatandgears.com















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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here I stand!








Today in Washington D.C. a mass was led by Pope Benedict XVI during his first visit to the U.S. The pope arrived in his pope-mobile to the cheer of some 48,000 people. As I watched the footage from the mass I began to think of the scene from the Luther movie where Martin is standing before the general assembly at the Diet of Worms in Germany where he was on trial for his writings against the practices & teaching of the Pope & the Roman Catholic church. If you want to get an idea of what the Catholic church is really about check out the movie "Luther". To give you a little taste check out this video of the scene where Martin is at the Diet of Worms.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Neanderthal man speaks after 30,000 years

This story caught my attention today while I was driving. I mean come on, you've got to be kidding me.... Right?

(CNN) -- It's been 30,000 years since Neanderthals walked the earth, but now we can hear what they sounded like, according to a Florida anthropologist.
Robert McCarthy of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton reconstructed Neanderthal vocal tracts to simulate their voice with a computer synthesizer.
The result is a single syllable that sounds strange and unremarkable: part croaking frog, part burping human. But McCarthy says that's because Neanderthals lacked the "quantal vowels" modern humans use.
"They would have spoken a bit differently," McCarthy said at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Ohio this month. "They wouldn't have been able to produce these quantal vowels that form the basis of spoken language."
New Scientist magazine discussed McCarthy's findings and linked to his vocal simulation on its Web site. Listen to Neanderthal man speak
McCarthy used 50,000-year-old fossils from France to make his reconstruction, New Scientist said. He plans to simulate an entire Neanderthal sentence, the magazine reported.
To reconstruct the vocal tracts, McCarthy teamed with linguist Phil Lieberman, who worked in the 1970s to deduce the dimensions of a Neanderthal larynx based on its skull.

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God For it is written, "He is The One who catches the wise in their craftiness." - 1 Cor 3:19

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our modern day problem with pain


I was travling for work today on the plane I was listening to John MacArthur teach on how God uses pain in our lives. This idea of God using pain in our lives is foreign to much of our modern church culture, instead most of what we hear are prayers for relief at the onset of any pain in our lives. Going through the scriptures John showed how many of God's chosen people grew through their pain and trials. I am learning that pain will cause me to rely upon God more as it will also humble me. Unfortunately our modern church culture's focus is on blessing and prosperity all the while any pain is viewed as a curse. We would do well to familiarize ourselves with the people that God used in the bible and to see how through pain and trials He shaped and molded them for His purposes.

"And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" - Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ronnie's Radio Flyer

Little Ronnie's grandparents got him a Radio Flyer wagon for Christmas. The other day was his first ride in it outside. Marcy and I took turns giving him rides up and down the driveway, what a blast. It doesn't get any better than this!!!







What a precious little boy God has blessed us with :)

We love you Ronnie - Mommy & Daddy
This quote doesn't need any explanation...

"The pleasure of sin is soon gone, but the sting remains"
- Thomas Watson

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How does a person making decisions know what is the will of God?

The will of God is not meant to be a secret we must uncover. God wants us to understand His will far more than we want to understand it. He always makes His will clear to those who seek it with an obedient heart.

Most of the real problem areas in the question of God's will are settled for us in Scripture. The Bible reveals that it is God's will for all of us to be:

Saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9)
Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:17-18)
Sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)
Submissive (1 Peter 2:13-15)
Suffering (Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12)

If all those things are true in your life, you may do whatever you want. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart." That means that if you are conforming to God's will in all the five ways listed above, He will place in your heart desires that reflect His will. So do what you want to do!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Why did you become a Christian?

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Virginia isn't just for lovers but also for proof that The Creator does exist

I travel sometimes for work and just last week I was in Virginia. Late one afternoon I got out and took some pictures of some amazing views. To look at the mountains and landscape and not see the handywork of The Creator is truly unbelievable.








For the LORD says, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else. -Isaiah 45:18

Friday, April 04, 2008

Ever feel as if your good works aren't enough? Well that's because they aren't...

"...If ever a monk could get to heaven through monastic discipline, I was that monk....And yet my conscience would not give me certainty, but I always doubted and said, 'You didn't do that right. You weren't contrite enough. You left that out of your confession.' The more I tried to remedy an uncertain, weak, and troubled conscience with human traditions, the more I daily found it more uncertain, weaker, and more troubled." - Martin Luther


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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Children are a blessing from the Lord!


Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 NASB

My wife and I have been blessed with a son, Ron DePew III. He has brought such joy to our lives. Children truly are a blessing from God. It troubles me to hear people complain about their kids. I often hear them complain about how kids cost so much to raise, or how kids are demanding of their time and how they disrupt their lives. How sad to view children in that way. Children are not an inconvenience, they are not a curse, God says that Children are a blessing! I want to encourage you to be grateful & thankful for the gift that God has given you!