Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jesus the Scandalon

 
Jesus the Scandalon

In the advent season (coming toward) we can clearly see that the coming of Christ is a great mystery, but also a great scandal or as the Greek puts it "Scandalon". Not that Jesus is scandalous in the way we think of scandal today, but the Greek gives it the idea more of a stumbling stone which is what Scandalon means. I have thought today of three ways that Jesus is the scandalon of God and on your way to God you must stumble over Him (Jesus). For He said it Himself, "I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but through me."

1. Jesus lineage is a scandalon
Matthew 1:1-17
Tamar: pretended to be a prostitute in Gen 38
Rahab: was a prostitute that helped the Israelites conquer Canaan
Ruth: was an outsider (non-Jewish) which would create a stumbling stone to Jews
Bathsheba: committed adultery with David. Her second son Solomon was Jesus ancestor
Mary: unwed mother makes Jesus illegitimate in the eyes of the people around him

2. Jesus birth is a scandalon
Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph was very close to divorcing Mary for unfaithfulness because they were betrothed (virtually married) and she was found to be pregnant which of course does not happen without another man. "It takes two to tango".
Illustration: the nativity story movie: Mary is found to be pregnant and the devastation that it would cause in those days. This movie gives a very good picture of what it would have been like for Joseph and Mary.

3. Jesus work is a scandalon
Romans 9:33
Mark 13:57
Matthew 11:4-6
The presence of Jesus may result either in faith or in the complete missing of faith. People love talking about God but when you bring up Jesus they suddenly don't want to talk because he makes people wrong "I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except through me"
Matthew 13:53-58
Luke 4:28-30

Conclusion: I received a fraudulent email the other day of someone saying I won one million euros and that all I needed to do was to give them my bank account numbers and address and other pertinent information and they would transfer the money directly to my account. I am sure you have never received this junk before! Now it would be crazy to pursue this email, but it is altogether sane and right to pursue the crazy Scandalon that is our Lord Jesus because he is anything but a fraud or liar or lunatic but rather He is Lord and God! So this Christmas season do what the shepherds and the wise men did come and worship Jesus! Give your Christmas gifts this year in the name of Jesus and sing Christmas carols that honor Him. two easy ways to worship Jesus on Christmas!

Referenced: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (one Volume) Gerhard Kittel Gerhard Friedrich pg 1036-1038

Monday, December 6, 2010

Youth miniStarZ



If you are in youth ministry or have ever looked up to a youth pastor then this video is for you. It is Hilarious! Please have a look and comment on your favorite experience with a youth pastor. You could even comment on the most spiritually significant thing that your youth pastor handed down to you. As a current youth pastor I love to hear of stories of how youth pastors have shaped peoples lives.

A Student's Unspoken Plea



This is a cool video about how to share with hurting people. It is a plea of a student to share the Love of Christ with them. People are hurting and crying out for you to share with them and to touch a life with the Love, authenticity, and compassion of our savior. Can you be so bold as to love? Can you be so brave as to be caring? Will you?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

JULIAN SMITH - Techno Jeep (Original)



This is one of the most incredibly creative things I have seen in a long time. This guy also has some other really creative stuff on You Tube. I have not seen all His stuff but it looks all clean a funny and creative. So enjoy. I think We should always look for ways to use our creativity for the Lord! So always be looking around you and thinking how can I use my abilities to serve and glorify Christ. I am reminded of a great verse Col. 3:23 "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men." and I Cor. 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do it all for the glory of God. Oh Lord use our gifting, use our work and our creativity to Honor and Glorify you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

As for Me and My House | Joni and Friends


As for Me and My House | Joni and Friends

This is a story about one of my favorite worship leaders Brian Doerkson. His Music was Overwhelmingly Powerful in our family's life when Ana our first daughter was born with Down Syndrome and many other complications in 2006. I then found out a little later when He came to do a concert for our church that he had disabled children with Fragile X syndrome. He has been to those deep depths. This is a very moving story about him and his trust in the Lord. I hope you enjoy and please share your comments. I love hearing what people are thinking about these issues!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Teddy Bear Pooping



Funny what My daughter tries to do with her toys! I love being a dad! They are both kids learning so much right now and I get to be a part of everything that they go through. Lord I pray I am leading them to you above all else.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poop At A Wedding?


I try to not be in the habit of leaving church services or meetings early, but with two small kids my habits have changed (2 and 4 years old) is anybody with me? So I have not many times left a church service and I am not the type of person to be embarrassed easily, but I happened to be at a wedding this past weekend which is like a double whammy if you leave early. So right before the bride walked in my two year old was in my arms and was quiet as a church mouse, which made me wonder what was coming. She all of a sudden started to shout Ah! Ah! really loudly. To you and to me this means nothing, but my daughter is learning German as she grows up in a bilingual house, and to her (and any German speaker) that word means Poopy! I know the bride pretty well and I know she speaks and understands a good level of German (Her Grandmother is German). So instead of letting the Bride walk down the aisle hearing my daughter yell Ah Ah! Ah Ah! and pointing at her I decided to remove her and not too soon. I walked out the door and the bride was ready right in front of the door to walk down the aisle. So to not ruin her day, or make her laugh hysterically as she walks down the aisle, I decided on the lesser of two evils. Ruining a wedding, or walking out before it starts (no brainer right?). I am not embarrassed easily, but I would have been horrified if my two year old would have ruined someone's beautiful moment. So yes that was pretty embarrassing, but it could have been worse, and yes I walked out of a church service too (sort of). So I sympathize with those who walk out of church services now, but just make sure before you walk out of a church service that it is a matter of horrifying embarrassment before you leave. Or a matter of calling a bride poop at her wedding!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DOCTRINE FOR DUMMIES WEEK 4


Sorry I don't have the week 3 notes but I hope to have them soon until then enjoy week 4
Doctrine for Dummies (week 4)
Apostles Creed
"Was crucified, died, and was buried"

1. Was Crucified
A. Our Savior was murdered with a Criminal's death although he was innocent
B. The gospel writers didn't sensationalize the cross (i.e. passion of the Christ) they just stated it as a matter of fact
C. Every Gospel writer says, "They took him to the place of the skull and there they nailed him to the cross"
D. Details of crucifixion: doctors said Jesus most likely died of a ruptured heart

2. Dead
A. Swoon theory: "Passover plot" is a book by Hugh J Schonfield also made into a movie that says that Jesus did not die on the cross and that he only fell asleep and feigned death
B. Gnosticism said that Jesus was spirit and just ascended into heaven
C. Pilate was surprised that he was dead so he would have made sure that he was dead
D. The soldiers came to break his legs to kill him faster and the found that he was already dead that is why they did not break his legs as well

3. And was Buried
A. Theory That they found the wrong tomb
B. The "Dave" theory that Jesus had a twin brother
C. Joseph of Arimithea is so important because he took his body to bury him

Conclusion: why Is important that Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried? because if he had not been crucified, dead, and buried there would be no atonement or appeasement in God's eyes. This would also nullify the resurrection, and the resurrection secures our forgiveness and freedom from our sins because death is linked to our sins and so victory over death signified and secured victory over sin. Have you ever noticed that every time you bring up Jesus people flip out. God they are OK talking about, but Jesus death on a cross makes them need help with their sins. Jesus makes them wrong! And without him they have no way to God (John 14:6) "I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except through me". Check out this Hilarious video of someone who knows what it's about even when under the influence. It's all about Jesus. "Tell Me Who's in the House, JC! Jesus Christ is in the House OH Yea! video

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Doctrine for Dummies (week 2)


The Apostles Creed is our basis for this study, and this week I'm addressing the line, "I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, Our Lord."

1. I believe in Jesus Christ
a. Christ is the Greek word for Messiah which means "chosen one," "anointed one" or "deliverer." He has come to deliver us from the penalty, power and punishment our sins deserve.
b. Jesus is the beginning of faith, and He also is the object we place our faith in.
c. Jesus was a real person who lived a life on this earth for 33 years, worked miracles, taught with authority, died on a cross, rose again from the dead, and is now a man forever in heaven seated at God's right hand. This we believe!

I once had an interaction with a group of Mormon missionaries who asked me if I believed in Jesus Christ. I said, "yes, of course I do." They then asked me which one I believed in. "I wasn't aware there was more than one!" I replied. No matter how funny this is, there are many people out there who do hold to this view. I believe in the one and only "from the Father full of Grace and Truth." Let us not be tempted to make up a nice Jesus that fits everything we want and need like Thomas Jefferson did. He took the Bible and edited it to remove the supernatural elements, miracles, and perceived misconceptions of things Jesus could not possibly have said. Frankly, the only way we can get to know the true Jesus is to read the Bible and know what Jesus actually said. When I was in college, I had a project in which, with no assistance, I had to go through all the gospels (the books directly about Jesus' life) and find all the direct commands of Jesus. It was groundbreaking and eye-opening for me; I know it will be for you as well if you do it. We cannot forget Peter's classic confession- in Matthew 16:13-17, Peter says of Jesus, "you are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God." Who do you say He is?

2. God's only Son
a. John 1:14 & 3:16-18 describe Jesus as God's one and only Son
b. In these passages John the Revelator uses the Greek word monogeneis to describe the special relationship between the Father and Son. This word means "the only generated one." This refers to Him as the only eternal generated of the Father. This word implies that the Son and the Father are of one and the same nature. This means that the Son is also eternal. The prefix "mono" is attached to the word meaning "one" or "only" and thus Jesus stands alone as the only "unique" or "incomparable" Son of God. This we believe!

3. He is our Lord
a. John 20:28 is Thomas' declaration of Lordship. When faced with the presence of the Risen Lord, he said "My Lord and my God." Thomas went on (according to Foxe's Book of Martyrs and native southern Indians) to give his life as a martyr in India for this Lord.
b. Definition of Lordship (this is the simple version): There is no part of my life that is not turned over to Jesus for him to be in charge of. When I was in high school, I had a hard time letting Jesus be in charge of my athletic life. I thought He would make things no fun anymore. That was a wrong assumption. He made things better for me athletically when I bowed the knee to His control of that area. It was not always the path I would have chosen, but it was always better for me to take the road of His choosing. It helps to think of Lordship as we would our bosses. We all have bosses, some good and some not so good. When I think of bad bosses, the image of Michael Scott from the popular show The Office comes to mind. If you go back a little further, there's a movie that set that show up called Office Space. Here's a clip from that movie showing how bad a boss can be. It's pretty funny- enjoy!

video
After having viewed that, you might now be subject to nightmares or daymares of terrible bosses. But we can know and trust that Jesus is never a bad boss, never uses His authority to keep you under His thumb, never fails to love and care for you! Wow. What a Lord! What area of your life do you need to give to Jesus to take charge of today? What thing have you kept back for yourself? He is a good Lord and an even better boss. Release that one thing to Him now to take good care of for you. Cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Swagger Wagon

I hope you have seen the Toyota commercial "swagger wagon"; it's kind of poking fun (okay, it's really poking fun) at parents who do crazy stuff for their kids. It's really funny how much pride these people take in their Toyota minivans. Well, I joined the ranks of the minivan world. We were in need of a car recently with our little Honda on the fritz and much money needed for a repair. We started to pray that God would GIVE us a car. I received the best spiritual advice I have ever received from my mechanic when he said, "pray and make it known." So we floated prayer requests that we were in need of a car. Someone let us know about a vehicle that their father had, and it just happened to be a minivan. Not just any old minivan, it was a 1993 Chevy Lumina minivan! The car actually ran and had ONLY 80,000 miles on it. I went to see it and sign the papers, and WOW, talk about a "swagger wagon." It had door handles that didn't open, the seat belt was broken, the roof was falling, the paint is fading, etc etc. Oh, and did I mention that is looks like a spaceship out of the 1980's sci-fi era? But it ran and it was exactly what we had prayed for- an older family vehicle! God is good like that; he gives us what we need! Not more than that.

So I want to swagger in my wagon if I may. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "I will boast all the more in my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me" (2 Cor. 12:9). Another verse comes to mind: "Some boast in horses and some in chariots, but we will boast in the name of the Lord our God" (Ps. 20:7). So have a look at the pimpin' new swagger wagon I'm rollin in. I will boast in our God and His provision and be proud that my God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory. How about you?

If you're up for a big laugh, I attached the swagger wagon video. Have fun. video

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doctrine for Dummies


Doctrine for Dummies (Week 1)
The Apostles Creed

When I say the word doctrine, what comes to your mind first? What came to my mind when I heard that word while in college was huge books and lots of boring reading. But I've come to know that it doesn't have to be that way. Doctrine is defined as "a system of teaching." In a nine-week series I'll take a look at the Apostles Creed and explain it as our main system of teaching. I will seek to break it apart for us 'dummies' and help us understand its implications for our lives. The first part of the Apostles Creed says,

"I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker (creator) of heaven and earth"

There are three parts to this first section of the Creed; the first is
1. I believe in God (Hebrews 11:6)
A. Belief in God is the beginning of doctrine; if we cannot get past a true and honest belief in God, then we cannot go any further.
B. God IS our faith. Everything starts and ends there; without him there's nothing. He is the Alpha and Omega of everything, including our faith.
C. My children come to me for everything at this time in their lives- they want to read books, play games, watch videos with me, and many more things like it. They not only believe that I exist, they also believe that I will reward them with good things when they come to me. This is what Hebrews 11:6 describes about our relationship with God, that he will reward those who seek Him. It isn't sufficient to just believe that God exists; we must seek Him and His reward.

2. The Father Almighty (Psalm 91:1 "he who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the almighty")
A. Description of His glory: Revelation 4:1-11. AMAZING! If you take a moment to read that chapter in Revelation, you will see a glimpse of the ALMIGHTY in power and glory.
B. He is a loving father and Almighty (in perfect balance).
C. I find it really hard to be a loving father and almighty to my kids because sometimes my wrath takes over my love, or my love outshines my wrath. But God never allows his wrath to take over his love, or vice versa.

3. Maker (creator) of heaven and earth (Hebrews 11:3)
A. By faith we must believe He is the maker. We were not there; we did not witness God creating, but we must by faith accept it. It would take as much faith to accept some other means of us arriving here as it does for us to believe in God doing it (i.e., we're alien spawn, or single cells arrived on the backs of crystals; sounds like science fiction) because we were not there. Faith is believing in something you haven't witnessed, and we didn't witness creation but we accept it by faith.
B. One time I searched for myself how many scriptures I could find that define or describe creation. With no concordance I found 20+ scripture references on how God specifically created this world and continues to hold it together. There are a plethora more than this. This was just me with a Bible looking up the passages I could remember. If you believe the Bible is the word of God- true and inerrant- you must believe God is the Creator and Sustainer of life.

This is a picture of the God we serve; He exists and rewards those who seek Him. He is our Father the Almighty, and He created everything from nothing (ex nihilo). This is the God we serve and we start there. Our only response can be that of worship. To help us worship, I attached a video of a song that puts the Apostles Creed to music. Have a look at this- it's by Rich Mullins, a great artist in his time who's now with the Lord.

video

Friday, July 30, 2010

Suckers and The Apostles Creed

I have been preparing for an upcoming series on Doctrine. I am going to call it "Doctrine for Dummies". So I referred again to the Apostles Creed. I have of course read this Creed many times and I was even reminiscing on the Rich Mullins song called "Creed" as I read. The text of the Creed reads as follows...

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and Earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only son, our Lord
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into Hell
on the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. AMEN

When I went home for lunch today my daughter greeted me at the door with her very first tootsie roll tootsie pop in her mouth! It was a pretty funny moment and I recorded it for infamy on my handy iPhone. Look at this cute picture and now get the image of her having her first sucker and you will get the feeling that I had as I read the Apostles Creed again for the very first time. It felt as though I was a kid with my first sucker. I was so excited to see something I had never seen before. I read the line in the past "He descended into Hell" as almost some kind of blasphemy. How could the God of the universe the creator of Hell descend into it and feel the punishment of Hell? I read John Calvin on the subject in "Institutes" He talks about the redemptive wok of Christ. He shows how it was paramount that Jesus descend into Hell and suffer the punishment of sins for us so that when he arose victorious our atonement would be that much more effectual. Could I have been a Christian for almost 30 years now, knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord, and my view of His atonement is changing? Could I have believed in a really weak atonement all this time? I am starting to think it is even bigger and better than I could have imagined. Could I be changing my theology? I think that God is up to something bigger that I could ever understand in this life. Is my need of freedom from sin so deep that my Savior and Lord had to suffer the punishment of Hell for me? If He did then I think that this atonement is that much more significant. Because He overcame not just the power of sin and death He also overcame the PUNISHMENT of sin and death! WOW! I am losing the ability for words I need to worship. Please take a moment and worship with me, comments also welcome! By the way if you would like a hefty read I will attach the link to Calvin's explanation of the line in the Creed.

http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/apostles_creed.html

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

THE PAIN OF THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL


My good friend Bob Nance posted a video from John Piper on the danger of the prosperity Gospel (Thanks Bob). Take a look at it below before you read this note...and then come back and read the rest...I think I feel John Piper's pain...When Ana was born (she was born with Down' Syndrome) I had someone from within our church ask me if I had faith that Ana would be healed? This guy came from a prosperity background. My answer to him was that Ana did not need to be healed. Why should something that God did need to be fixed? She was knitted together in Simone's womb (Psalm 139:13-18) and He does not knit anything incorrectly. Shortly thereafter I was asked by another person in our church who is selling medicine that has "proven" breakthroughs in making people with Down's syndrome to even change their appearance away from the features of Down's Syndrome. And again the prosperity Gospel says that Ana is something less than perfect something less than human, something less. I was stupefied...I was completely speechless...I had no answer for this guy because I could not believe what he was saying to me. He was trying to sell me a medicine that I would ask my daughter to take to make her less Down's syndrome like? What is the problem here? What has evangelical Christianity become? Do we really buy this bill of goods that cancer, and Diabetes, and illness and Down's syndrome are a curse from God? Then I got the most amazing Preaching CD ever. This person gave my wife the CD thinking that it would help her. Have you ever had someone hand you a Preaching CD saying "I think this will help you". What a condescending thing to do to someone especially in our situation. Ana developed "Infantile Spasms" a rare form of epilepsy. Simone was sharing at a women's Bible Study that she is not asking God to heal Ana anymore (we stayed up countless nights begging God to stop her seizures) but that we are now praying for Him to give her Grace ("My Grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in your weakness" -Paul the Apostle-). and someone in the Bible study gives her a CD that she thinks will help. The pastor that will remain nameless said...and I quote "God is good! Satan is bad! Health is good! Cancer is bad!" So what are we to surmise from that? Anyone who has any illness or who has ever had Cancer received it from Satan! or better yet is possessed by Satan! Please keep your CD and don't try to help with your wacked out theology that has no root in the goodness of God or his word! So I was confronted with my own pain and grief trying to mourn the loss of the child that I thought I was going to have, so that I could completely accept the child God had given me, and these prosperity people tried to rub in my nose again that she was something other, something less than what she was supposed to be. The fallacy of the prosperity Gospel is this that sickness and illness are abnormal, and that God does not want us to feel pain. The scripture is clear, in Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned" So we get ill and die because sin has entered the world...It also says in Romans 5:18-19 "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous." Notice that Christ's Righteous act doesn't secure our health it secures our righteousness. So keep your prosperity pain, and CD's, and medicine to yourself. I have "Embraced my weakness" for as the Apostle Paul said in 2 Cor. 12:8-10 "So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." I have never learned anything of value toward the deepening my faith during the "good times" only in the calamities and hard times have I ever learned anything about trusting my Savior. So I will embrace the pain and the weakness so that I can draw close to the cross of my savior! I hope this encourages you to draw close to the suffering of the cross also. Just another voice crying out in the wilderness. Please turn away from the lie of prosperity and turn to Christ and embrace weakness! Until later...-Richard-

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Promise of Jonadab the greatest Dad in the Bible?


My Dad wrote a book about Generational Blessings and the promise of an obscure guy in the Old Testament named Jonadab. I have read parts of it and am thouroughly impressed. Here is a picture of the cover and a link to preorder it on Amazon. It comes out June 28th. I am really looking forward to it. It reads like an inspirational devotional type book. There is even a chapter on my wifes family and their legacy of opposing the Nazis and missionary service. You can pre-order it on Amazon if it interests you. Here is the link to Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Jonadab-Building-Christian-Cultural/dp/1935507230/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275668266&sr=8-1

Monday, May 24, 2010

By Faith in Christ By John Newton


Our worship team did a great arrangement of an old hymn on Sunday it was incredible. I found the words so great and very worshipful too. See what you think. I will try to find a version of it to post later on YouTube or something.
/Users/richardmoore/Desktop/By Faith in Christ.mp3
By Faith In Christ I Walk With God

By: John Newton

By faith in Christ I walk with God,
With Heav’n, my journey’s end, in view;
Supported by His staff and rod,
My road is safe and pleasant too.

I travel through a desert wide
Where many round me blindly stray;
But He vouchsafes to be my Guide,
And will not let me miss my way.

Though snares and dangers throng my path,
And earth and hell my course withstand;
I triumph over all by faith,
Guarded by His almighty hand.

The wilderness affords no food,
But God for my support prepares;
Provides me every needful good,
And frees my soul from wants and cares.

With Him sweet converse I maintain,
Great as He is I dare be free;
I tell Him all my grief and pain,
And He reveals His love to me.

Some cordial from His Word He brings,
Whene’er my feeble spirit faints;
At once my soul revives and sings,
And yields no more to sad complaints.

I pity all that worldlings talk
Of pleasures that will quickly end;
Be this my choice, O Lord, to walk
With Thee, my Guide, my Guard, my Friend.

WOW It was a great arrangement also. Very Worshipful!

Monday, May 17, 2010

David Crowder Band - How He Loves (Official Music Video)

DESTROYING SPECULATIONS!!!


I have found the recent interest in the occult disturbing in the Christian Community. The current Twilight movement is especially disturbing among young girls. It has been especially disturbing because the Bible strictly prohibits involvement in anything having to do with the occult. Dark arts, Witchcraft, soothsaying, sorcery, divination, mediums, white magic, dark magic, etc are expressly prohibited in the Bible. I am writing mainly to parents who allow their children naively to read these types of books and see these types of movies. I want to warn you with all the energy that I have in me to not allow those things into your home! Take back the discipleship of your kids (your responsibility as Christian Parents) and show them what the Bible says about these things, mainly that they are dangerous for us and that God is jealous for our affections, and when we practice occult practices we are giving our affections to another.
Exodus 20:4 says, “You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” This is why he is so Jealous for us because he is the greatest thing in the entire universe. And he wants us to want Him as well, and when we do want him as well, he knows ultimately we will be completely satisfied in Him. He also knows that Satan desires our attention to be diverted from Him. He does that by substituting anything he can in the place of God. So we must be vigilant in the fight against any form of Idolatry because Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
Another reason that I am seeing we should stay away from these forms of entertainment is that they are extremely destructive when we see them as forms of entertainment. The Devil wants us to think of these things as not real and they are only fiction. Or we say, “it’s just a movie, it’s not real”. The problem with this view is that, IT IS REAL!!! It does hold power because the Devil the enemy of God and His people give it power. We in this western world think that type of stuff only exists in horror movies or in Harry Potter, etc. but in reality these things are practiced and hold power for those who practice them. That is the intrigue with these practices that they really seem effective. So I am saying that we might be affected by them because they are truly snaring even Christians.
I also have many stories of my wife growing up on the mission field and the many encounters the missionaries had there with the spirit world and the Animistic (i.e. Folk Religions) practices there. There is power in them (Occult Practices) because the Devil is influencing the whole thing. It is his area of expertise. The bible also says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” The devil at least tries to confuse us in these areas even as Christians. So I am making my stand in DESTROYING SPECULATIONS that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. What will you do in your life and family to DESTROY SPECULATIONS? Here is a list of Scriptures that explain the dangers of Occult. Pour over them so that you will be able to DESTROY SPECULATIONS.

Exodus 7:11-12
Leviticus 20:27
I Samuel 15:22-23
I Samuel 28
2 Kings 9:22
2Kings 17:16-17
2 Kings 21:1-6
2 Kings 23:24-25
I Chronicles 10:13
2 Chronicles 33:4-6
Isaiah 2:6
Isaiah 8:19-20
Isaiah 19:3
Isaiah 47:9-15
Isaiah 57:1-13
Jeremiah 27:9-11
Ezekiel 13:6-9
Daniel 2
Micah 5:11-15
Malachi 3:5
Acts 16:16-40
I Corinthians 6:9-11
Galatians 5:19-20
Revelation 9:20-21
Revelation 18:23-24
Revelation 21:8
Revelation 22:14-15

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

99 Balloons

Sing with Us, The Meaning of Missions

Repentance as an Outcome of Belief


Repentance as an Outcome of Belief

Scripture after scripture displays the affect of belief as leading to repentance. I have a hard time with repentance in my own life. If we truly hold to the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives we will live a life of constant and consistent repentance. It seems to me that if one is resistant to repentance that they have truly not believed the Lord of the Scriptures. He says, “If anyone would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” That seems like a pretty selfless lifestyle of constant realignment of oneself away from selflessness and toward Christ likeness. How can one move away from self and more towards Christ without constant repentance? I don’t believe it is possible. Jesus also said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” It is not possible to have Jesus as Lord of your life and to resist doing what he says (i.e. repenting from dead works, “faith without works is dead” James 2:26; Read the whole passage in James 2:14-26).
So then I have to in my own life constantly check the fruit in my life to see that it is keeping with deeds of repentance. Salvation has happened in my life once for all when I believed in Christ, realized my sinfulness, and repented. This is not the end of the story though I must move on to the second step of sanctification (fancy word for becoming like Jesus). That scripture there tells me that I cannot claim him as Lord and do not do what He says. I have to constantly be moving against stagnation in my faith and belief. If that goes unchecked it could lead to an unrepentant heart! And that would be the worst of all outcomes. Romans 2:4 shook me today, “Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sins?” Will it be today that I finally turn all the way? No, I will not see the perfection of my body until that day when I receive my new tent, and God completely redeems my body! I will wait with joyful repentant expectation until that day!
This is the disability conference that John Knight of Desiring God and "The Works of God" blog is also hosting in Minnesota 

This is a great film from the writers of the blog "The Works of God" John Knight. Great story about their struggle.
"This Was Grace" Extended Version from Andrew Laparra on Vimeo.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Worship as Worth-Ship


Somehow these days I like Hyphenating words that don't belong together. Like Michael Scott of The office TV Show. He is credited with such clever hyphenations such as superstitious and its antonym Little-Stitious, or turning the word Disgruntled into "Extremely Gruntled". So taking a page from His book I am making my own word. I want to turn Worship into Worth-Ship. I want to view Worship of Christ as Worth-giving. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let is fix our Eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith". Why do we fix our eyes on something that we do not give worth to? That is why worship is Worth-Ship or Worth Giving.
So what does worth giving look like in your life? I don't know about you but I give worth to things that I give my time, energy, money, hope, care and concern, love, dreams, life, and my physical posture to. This is worth giving at its best. I think the Accuser of the Brethren, the great enemy of God; the Devil wants us to think that posture is not important in worship. We are wrong to think that. The word for worship in the Biblical texts usually has a physical posture in mind and it is a posture of prostration. This does not mean we need to lay prostrate every time we go to Church. It does beg the question would you not bow so low in his presence that you would if he called you to lay prostrate do that as His best Worth-Giver?
Jesus in his conversation with the woman at the well alluded to this type of worth giving "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.”You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
Wow we must worth Him in Spirit Jesus says God is Spirit. So if you are not worshiping him and Giving God worth privately and corporately; as he explains worship is not bound by place, then we are not worshipping. He also says worth giving is to be done in truth. God is also truth so the closer you come to Him the closer you will come to truth. Seek Him and you will find truth, seek something else and all you come up with are lies and half-truths. The other thing I notice about what Jesus says is that God the Father is seeking Worth Givers. Such kind of worth givers the Father is seeking. When we come to God we think we have sought Him, but come to find out over and over again He has sought us to be His highest worth and glory givers! WOW! We are his prize and He is our portion. I pray this helps you become a hyphenated Worth-Giver!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fighting Un-Humility


Ever since I was a young man I have fought Un-Humility. Then I memorized Philippians 2:5-8. "Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross." after reading what Jesus did (Son of God) I then realized that I was a really proud person. Pride in anything. Anything I could get my hands on to wrap my pride into. Sports, school, my smashing good looks although my hair is washing down the shower drain daily, or anything that I could boost my Un-Humility. If it smacked of pride I liked it. I still like it, but everytime I read this passage again I realize the true depths of lowness I can sink to in the area of pride, and how sick it really makes me. And so my first post will be one of Humility. I will seek in this blog to relentlessy pursue the mind of the Humble Christ. If you promise to pursue it with me. Thanks for reading and hope it inspires you, empowers you, and most of all imprints you with the mind of Christ. Blessings!