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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fun For Geeks

This is a fun thing...if you are a geek. It is a super hero maker. You give the specifics and you can make just about any super hero you ever wanted. You have to try it. It is easy once you get use to the interface.

Hero Machine 2.0

I will try to post my best creation (not sure if I will be able to do that). Anyway, I made one for Jessica (Super Jessica) or something like that but apparently I didn't save it.

Let me see you creations, if possible.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Teaching Theology

I am preparing to teach a class called Christian Doctrines. It is a systematic theology class. I am really looking forward to it. The textbook is Erickson's Introducting Christian Doctrine, which is something of an abridged version of Erickson's classic Christian Theology. These are both great books for a study in theology. The first is a bit more managable with about 450 pages while the other one is more a reference book with about 1300 pages (not really a quick read).

The class will follow the standard format of most systematic theology classes (for the most part - there are some differences):
God and His Work
Humanity and Sin
Christ and His Work
Holy Spirit and His Work
The Church
The Last Things

It will be really good for me to prepare the notes for this class. I really enjoyed my theology classes at Seminary. In fact, I think theology should be the most exciting topic anyone every studies, as it is the study of God Himself. And that study of God should always find its end in application. In other words, theology is not something we simply know, it is something we do.

I have been gathering several theology books over the last year. I will have great sources for preparing. I hope to incorporate more of the history of theology than in the classes in which I learned. I think it would be good for students to get at least some teaching on some of the thoughts of theologians throughout the centuries (I posted previously on a resource for this HERE).

For example, what did Gregory of Nazianzus say about the Trinity in the 4th century? "The divine nature cannot be apprehended by human reason, and...we cannot even represent to ourselves all its greatness.". What was Cyprian's thoughts on the make-up of the church in the 3rd century? "The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure." (that is, the church is made up of believers). I think these things insights will help the students greatly with understanding the shape theology has taken over the years.

Well, anyway, like I said, I am looking forward to teaching this class. Now all I need is students.

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.29.07

What you I want it!

Rhonda and Jessica, doing the worst Aretha Franklin impression I have ever heard, and yes, they got the words backwards.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Overton Update

Well...We heard from the church in Nevada this week. They decided to pursue another individual. I am not sure why but whatever the reason I am no longer a candidate at that church. So, my family and I are continuing to pray for God's direction.

Our time out there was really nice. We saw some great sites. We saw Hoover Dam which is an remarkable feat of engineering. It was amazing looking over that wall and see this gigantic dam which harnesses the Colorado River to power a lot of the southwest. If you have a chance to go see it, it is worth stopping and spending some time there.

We saw the Valley of Fire. This is like Garden of Gods on steroids. These incredible red-rock formations were fun to climb around and beautiful to view. As my new friend Kim informed me, part of Star Trek: Generations was filmed there (the scenes where they were on the planet where Picard and Kirk fight the bad guy played by Malcolm McDowell). Anyway, we all had fun running around that park.

We saw the Lost City Museum. We saw the Las Vegas strip (which is not really my thing, but it was pretty impressive). It was a very nice trip.

We also met some really great people. The church we visited treated us very well. They were very friendly. It is a wonderful little church and the man God has prepared for them will be greatly blessed. While my family and I are very disappointed but we know that God has a place for us to serve that will be exactly where He wants us to be.

So in the mean time, as I said, we will continue to pray for God’s guidance and continue to serve where we are currently. Isn’t the Christian life a fun adventure!

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.28.07

There is a picture of a dog on that monkey's bottom.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Remembering Being a Bapitst

I came across a an interesting mnemonic device the other day that will help one remember what it means to be a Baptist. It is in the form of an acrostic:

Biblical Authroity
Autonomy of the Local Church
Priesthood of the Believer
Two Ordinaces (Believer's Baptism and Communion)
Individual Soul Liberty
Separation of Church and State
Two Offices of the Church (Pastor and Deacon)

This is a pretty decent overview of what it means to be a Baptist. While there is more that could be detailed here, this would give someone a great understanding of the basics to which Baptists hold. When I saw it, I wanted to share it with others. I hope this is helpful to someone.

By the way, I retrieved this from and specifically from the section detailing different Christian denominations, and under that, the Baptist link . This website would be useful when investigating different world religions. While I do not think it is a "Christian" site, it is worth browsing through as it give objective facts about all kinds of different religions.

I like memory devices like this because they help communicate difficult information easily and quickly. It is like the FAITH evangelism stradegy in which each letter stands for another aspect of helping someone understand salvation. Again, just easy ways to remember. And I am always needing more and more help in that department.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Old New Testament Truth

I am teaching Sunday School for our class tomorrow. Our teacher called me Friday and asked if would sub. I enjoy teaching Sunday School and I think Lifeway's material is helpful for the instructor if used correctly. I hear a lot of complaints about Lifeway's materials and when I ask the critics about it, I find they are usually using the material differently that for what it was intended. Anyway...I digress...

The lesson is on Habakkuk (the whole book). Not that I think the whole book of Habakkuk can be covered in an hour, but one could do a quick survery of it. That is what this lesson is about. It essentially teaches the student that while it seems God is not doing anything, He is working and believers must place their trust in that.

Habakkuk is a great little book. It begins with Habakkuk registering a complaint with God. He says, "I see evil reigning in the lives of the people of God. It makes me angry. Why are you not doing anything about it?"

God responds to Habakkuk and says, "I am doing something. I am doing something that you would not believe even if you knew it. I am going to use the Babylonians to punish my people because they are living the way they are."

Habakkuk essentially says, "You are going to do WHAT!?! The Babylonians!?! How can you use these evil people to discipline the people of God??" After he asked God these questions he essentially says "I will wait to hear from you."

God responds by saying, "I am God and the righteous person will trust Me." (Hab. 2:4).

The book concludes with chapter 3, which is a Hebrew poem/hymn, which is summed up in the last few verses.
Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places. (Hab. 3:17-19, NASB)

These verses sum up the lesson found in Habakkuk. No matter how bad things seems to be, God is working and His people must trust that He is working. This is a message that is directly appliciable to believers today from a book that is mostly neglected.

One last lesson which is an important one from the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk 2:4 says,
Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

This is an Old Testament truth that the New Testament utilizes again and again. Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38 each quote this verse from Habakkuk. The righteous person basing their life in faith has been they way of God's people from the beginning. Habakkuk shows us that.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Too Late to be Blogging

It is almost 3:00 AM and I cannot sleep. This usually means God is trying to get my attention. At 1:00 AM, I decided I would read my Roger Williams biography. I did that for an hour and still wide awake. I got up at 2:00 AM and went to the basement (my study/office/poolhall) and looked into God's Word and in prayer sought Him out. I was looking over a sermon I gave a week or so ago in Psalm 119. I referenced a verse in Isaiah. Here is the verse that struck me at about 2:30 this morning (you will love this, Kim):
Yahweh will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will stregthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11, NIV

There were others verses I found through Scripture that really spoke to me in my search for God's Will. I continue to pray for God's guidance but right now I would settle for enough peace to get to sleep.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Catching Up...

My family and I were in Nevada for about five days meeting a church which is possibly interested in me as their pastor. So I got behind on the blog. I did try to remember the funniest things I heard along the trip. I posted them below to catch up on those.

As for the church we visited, what a great body of believers! They treated my family and me so very kind. These believers are in the middle of Mormon country and in the middle of the desert AND in the middle of gambling country. Yet, there is this group of Christians growing and serving the Lord together. It is really great.

My family and I are praying for God's direction for the pulpit committee and for our family.

In the mean time, I still have to get at least one more instructor lined up for the Fall 2007 semester at Pikes Peak Bible Institute, preferably two instructors. Once the instructors are enlisted, I need to get a mailing out to the students and churches in our area. I also need to complete two syllabi for the classes for these classes.

Additionally, I need to finish my sermon series of Psalm 119. I have been sharing these at the church were I am a member (Heritage Baptist Church of Colorado Springs). I am almost done. Today, I finished the sermon taking me through verse 144 out of 176 verses. I have four more to go and I will have preached through that chapter (23 sermons).

I need to get a couple sermons ready because I will be subbing for my friend, Pastor Tony Magar at Calvary Fellowship Monument in a couple of weeks. I always look forward to preaching at CFM. They have an AWESOME praise band which really leads people to worship God.

This is all in addition to regular house/yard maintenance, my personal study of Obadiah (sooo close to being done), reading, and just plain life... I have some catching up to do.

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.18.07

It was 112 degrees today.


The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.17.07

Good thing you bought the insurance.


The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.16.07

Good thing I bought the insurance.


The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.15.07

I don't think I am allowed to take the car into Arizona, am I?


The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.14.07

You are going to Las Vegas and you are drinking milk?

United Airlines Steward

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2008 Movies or GEEKFEST!

It is probably old news but I found out that there are some cool movies coming out in 2008. Here is a list of those that I would not mind seeing in the theater:

Speed Racer - A live version of the cartoon. I loved that show. Below is shot of the Mach 5. Matthew Fox of Lost is going to be Racer X.

Star Trek XI - J.J. Abrams, the director of Lost, will be directing this movie (I see a theme here). Apparently, it will star James T. Kirk but it is rumored he will be played by Matt Damon. I sure like those Star Trek Movies.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - This is second book in the Naria series (that is, second as Lewis wrote them). My daughter and I are both excited about this movie.

Dark Knight - Which, of course, is another Batman movie in the vein of Batman Begins. Christian Bale will play Batman again and apparently he will fight a villian simply known as the Joker. Hmmmm.

X-Men 4 - With no official website, I do not know anything about this movie, but it is an X-Men movie.

Wolverine - I do not know what this movie is about either, but of the X-Men, he is the coolest.

While there are many more movies coming out in 2008, these are the few that I would like to see in the theater. I know most of these prove how big a geek I truly am but I cannot help it. SciFi and Hero movies are my weakness.

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.11.07

Are you alright Agnes?

Judge Harold Bedford (portrayed by William Daniels) in the movie Blind Date.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Good Soup. Bad Breath

I made French Onion soup today. It turned out tasting very good. It was a very simple recipe and it really hit the spot. It tasted like the stuff you get in restaurants (not that French Onion soup can really vary from place to place). As I was slicing the onions I got to thinking that I could just see a French farmer a long time ago needing to feed his family. All he had was several onions and some beef broth. Maybe if he threw them together and heated it up, he could pass it off for soup. And then viola French Onion soup was born (note the French). However, I did not know this is how it was created but I thought it may be something like that.

So I began to search the Internet, knowing that anything found there should be taken tenously. I found a story that said King Louis the XV was the one who accidently created it by mixing onions, butter and champagne! I have a hard time seeing an onion soup made with champagne so I kept looking.

I looked at another site that had a more believable and perhaps more reputable story. It said that it was not King Louis the XV (or the XIV for that matter) but instead:
According to Dr. Paul Henry, a respected Lyonnais historian, the origins of the soup are probably quite pedestrian. Until relatively recently in rural France, soup was a staple of every household, kept simmering on the stove and eaten daily, often for breakfast. It was made of anything that was cheap, or grew plentifully in the garden—and the onion certainly qualified. It also had the virtue of being available most of the year—and was one of the more flavorful of vegetables. (from Global Gourmet)

(By the way, I did not use either recipe from the above links.)

Anyway, it seems like it came to be because the ingredients are so inexpensive. Whatever the case, mine was good, if I do say so myself. Even if I needed some breath mints afterward.

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.8.07

Paris Hilton was released after 72 hours of being in jail. I have spend more time in Monopoly jail.

Jimmy Kimmel, on a clip from the Larry King show

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Plans for Overton

My family and I will be traveling to Overton, Nevada to visit a church which is interested in me as their pastor. Overton is about 60 miles Northeast of Las Vegas and is on the northern shore of Lake Mead (Hoover Dam is on the south end of Lake Mead). This visit is not in view of a call but just so that they can get to know us and we can get to know them.

I will be preaching on Sunday morning, which will be Father's Day, and then we are supposed to have a dinner for them to get to know my family and I.

I am working on a sermon from Hebrews 10:19-25. The author of Hebrews presents two theological truths. First, we have confidence when approaching God. The Greek word translated "confidence" is parrasia and means "freedom of speech" or "speaking without fear." We can go to God and we have the freedom to say whatever we want to him. We do not need to be afraid. We can do this through the blood Jesus shed on the cross for us. Secondly, we have a Great or High Priest that intercedes for us. Jesus is that High Priest. First John calls Jesus our Advocate (1 John 2:1), the One who is our defense attorney, our help, the one who comes beside us and encourages us to continue.

In light of these two theological truths, the author presents three results in the believer's life. First, believers should be maturing in their relationship with God ("let us draw near"). This results from a changed life by accepting Christ ("hearts sprinkled clean") and following in obedience through baptism ("bodies washed"). Once we have become Christians, we need to mature in our faith.

Secondly, believers must be consistent in their faith ("hold fast the confession"). Once one becomes a believer and they continue to grow in their faith, they must hold fast to that commitment no matter what. There is no reason, NO REASON in which one can give in abandoning the relationship with the God who bankrupted heaven just to have a relationship with us. Christians must stand firm in their faith.

Finally, believers must develop fellowship with other believers - true fellowship ("consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds"). These are manifested by gathering together regularly and encouraging one another. Additionally, these are to be done even more often since the day of Christ's coming is closer and closer every day.

This is just an outline of my thoughts. Hopefully, the sermon will be a bit more polished and structured. However, I like the flow of providing the theological truths and then the results of those truths. I pray that it will be used by God to help someone and that our visit to Overton will help my family and I find the will of God for our future.

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.7.07

Four Hundred and Seventy Five dollars can buy a whole lot of man root.

Ben Bailey, Host of the Discovery Channel show Cash Cab.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Secret of History

It is amazing to me how you can read all about someone or something in history. I am not referring only to my previous post to Roger Williams. Today I was reading about the family who started the Cadbury Chocolate company. A man named John Cadbury and his brother Benjamin founded the company in England. John son's sons Richard and George continued to make the company a success. Most of us have had a Cadbury Egg at Easter or a Cadbury chocolate bar. They are great. But, as Paul Harvey says, here is "the reesstt of the story."

Richard had a daughter named Helen who started a ministry called The Pocket Testament League and was committed to giving out New Testaments to those who needed to hear the Gospel. She first became convicted of this at a worship service she attended with her father, who, again, ran the Cadbury chocolate factory. However, you will never read that anywhere except in Christian circles.

This is just one little story. Almost all of history is filled with stories like this that one will never hear unless one digs for it. Perhaps we should always be asking the queswtion "What is the story we are not hearing?" when we read any historical story - if we are not already.

I know this is not an earthshattering insight. I know that every aspect of every story could not be told. But it just seems like when there is an integral aspect of understanding a historical figure deliberately omitted then those who deal in the currency of truth must step up and find out what the real story is and let as many as possible know about it.

For the whole story concerning Helen Cadbury, check out there articles.
The Story of Helen Cadbury
A Brief History of the Pocket Testament League

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.5.07

I'm going to smash your dart.

My daugther, Jessica

Monday, June 04, 2007

Roger Williams Biography

I began a new book the other day. It is entitled Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America and is authored by Edwin S. Gaustad. I have read through the first chapter (Exile from England) and it provided me with a great overview/refresher of the religious background of the time in which Roger Williams was born and lived (as if there was another background at that time - everything was motivated by religion during the Reformation). From Luther, Calvin and Loyola, to Henry VIII wives and their constant flopping of national religion, to the Baptist movement and their leaders, Smyth, Hewlys, and Murton. And this was all in the first chapter. So far, it is very interesting.

In short, Williams found himself friends with a group of Puritans on a boat to America. I am looking forward to reading through this biography. He is an important figure in my tradition (Baptist) as well in the formation of America. In fact,
We may recall that it was Roger Williams rather than Thomas Jefferson who first used the image of a hedge or wall of separation between church and state. (p. ix)
If any history books talk about Roger Williams, they will most likely emphasize his political importance in colonial America, specifically, as founder of Rhode Island. However, they will probably leave out his impact on religious life in America.

It should be a fun read.

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.4.07

My toe is shaped like a baseball bat.

My daughter, Jessica

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Funniest Thing I Heard Today - 6.3.07

There's a weiner in that glass!

Said by Me.

Since It Is Baseball Season...

I found this game and became a little addicted. Hope you have fun.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Born Again Bargins

I went to my local used Christian book store today (Born Again Books). They had a pretty good one day sale. If you bought one book, you received 10% off, 2 books-20%, 3-30%, 4-40%, 5 or more books you received 50% off. Well, I just cannot resist that kind of offer. So I went in search of assorted commentaries. I came home with five:

* Exploring Genesis - John Phillips - This is not a great commentary but Phillips is an outlining and alliterating savant. His thoughts toward this end are VERY helpful when developing sermons.

* Zechariah - H. C. Leupold - This is a nice useable commentary with come good technical aspects to the book.

* The Thessalonian Epistles - D. Edmond Hiebert - I do not know much about this particular commentary but it looks fairly usable and well outlined. It is published by Moody so I can trust its theology.

* The Epistles of Paul to the Philippians and to Philemon - Jac J. Müller - This is a relatively tecnical commentary as it is part of the New International Commentary of the New Testament (NICNT).

* The Book of Acts - F. F. Bruce - Again, this is part of NICNT. Should be helpful in studying Acts.

These five books cost me about $35.00 so I think it was a good deal. I see good commentaries and other Christian books and resources as tools.

I usually tell my students to see their library as a mechanic would see his tool box. In any mechanics tool box there is a number of tools that they do not used every time they work on a car. However, when the time comes when that mechanic needs that tool, it is worth its weight in gold. The mechanic may not use an oil filter wrench every time they work on a car. But when they need that oil filter wrench, their job is much easier and more effecient.

This is the same with the Christian leader. When an opportunity comes to purchase a quality book at a discounted price I think the Christian leaders should grab it even though they might not immediately need it. I can testify from personal experience that when one does this, and if one is in ministry long enough, that book will be helpful at some point in time. (please note: QUALITY - there is a lot of "fluff" and some out right heresy out there in Christian bookstores).

Therefore, I always keep my eye out for great used books sales. I also try to keep in mind the kind of books for which I am looking. These help me not just buy anything I see, but to buy discriminately. One other tool that has helped me is a "Selected Bibliography" I acquired from my seminary Old Testament professor, Dr. George Klein. When studying a particular Old Testament book, I like to check his bibliography to see what some of the best sources are for that book. It also includes some of the best scholarly articles available on that book as well.

So, today I acquired the equivalent of a couple of wrenches or sockets, theologically speaking. I am looking forward using them.

I also like acquiring actual tools. But that is another post.

Friday, June 01, 2007

History of Theology

I almost finished reading Learning Theology with the Church Fathers by Christopher Hall today. I am about 11 pages short of the 296 page book and I will probably finish that when I go to bed. It was a pretty decent book. Covering the major area of theology, the books gives a glimpse of what those in the first and second century held to and why.

The thing that stuck me most about this book that I am not sure I noticed before is that each of these church fathers shaped their thoughts and crafted their creeds in response to some heresy. That is, there is always a historical context in which doctrine was nailed down and if that context is not understood then there is danger of misinterepreting that doctrine. For example, Irenaeus' (Bishop of Lyons ca. 130-200 A.D.) main concern was Gnosticism. Because Gnostics held to a series of lesser deities it was important that the church held to "'believes in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,' a teaching that clearly contradicts the Gnostic insistence that creation was the work of a lesser deity or evil angel" (Hall, p. 227).

Similarly, Augustines belief that the church is made up of a mix of true believers and false believers must be understood in the context of his discussion with the Donatists.

While it was a slow read (which is the best way to read it, in my opinion - take in about a third or half of chapter and then ponder it for about half a day), it was a good read. It is a nice companion to a systematic theology book. It was a great approach and I would recommend it as an addition to any Christian wanting a deeper understanding of theology.

Here is one of the most striking things I found throughout the book: So much of what the church fathers agrued against 1800 years ago or so is rearing its head again in the Emerging Church Movement (ECM). Take, for example this quote from Irenaeus in Against Heresies:

When, however, the Gnostics are confuted from the Scriptures,
they turn around and accuse these same Scriptures as if they
were not correct, nor of authority. They say that they are
ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by
those who are ignorant of tradition...But, again, when we refer
them to that tradition which origninates from the apostles...they
object to tradition. (Hall, citing Irenaeus, p. 207)

This sounds exactly like the claims of the insidious encrochment of Postmodernism into the present Church. The rejection of authority (which is essentially the basis of Postmodernism and the ECM), the refusal to believe in absolute truth, and poor arguments.

This is why Learning Theology with the Church Fathers by Christopher Hall is an important book. Knowing the history of what believers believe and why they believe it is a necessity to protect the church from facing the same dangers it faced in its infancy.

What is this all about?

Well, I am going to try this blog thing. I am not sure how much my thoughts are worth reading but I will post them anyway. I am guessing this blog with be a conglomeration of theological thoughts, personal antidotes, interesting resources I have found, worthwhile quotations, thoughts on current events, and things like that. I suppose like most blogs, will post regularly at first but then eventually post sporadically.

I guess I will start with the title of this blog and its related website: The 2 Timothy 2:2 Objective. Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2 "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (NASB). This verse encapsulates discipleship in a four-generational ministry. Paul -> Timothy -> faithful men -> others. This is my desire and my passion. It is my prayer that something from this blog or accompanying website contributes in some way in the discipleship process.

Please post your thoughts as well. I would love to hear if you find this helpful or if you would like to see something addressed.