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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

missions week is coming up.

How timely it is that we will be observing missions month in March in light of the headlines. Everybody has an opinion regarding ISIS and I suppose I do too. I think the thing that has really sent me spiraling hasn't been so much what they are doing as WHAT WE ARE NOT DOING. Does that make sense? You see Christians have been persecuted as long as we can tell yet we have tried to live our witness to an unbelieving and increasingly hostile world. Christians have been called weak, judgemental, and hypocritical and all because we know what we believe and why. Although some of us realize it can be impacted by "how" we present what we believe as well. I read in Scripture the Acts of the Apostles and the evangelistic efforts, and clearly see challenges regardless of location and how presented. The gospel can be flat out offensive and seem extremely judgemental. Note I said "seem", because to the hearer it is offensive but lets face it if someone told you there was a booger in your nose it wouldn't matter if it was offensive or not, you would remove the booger. The goal of the gospel is of a pure motive to see those who are destined to a place that Scripture describes as horrific, a literal hell, and provide truth and evidence of a logical faith. I understand that some have made the gospel offensive with thier approach, words and legalistic views of what Christianity is. Every religion has those who reflect poorly on thier religion. My prayer is that Christians will consider how they present the message of the gospel and just as important how the persons words match up with thier actions. Being consistent is vital. People are watching and when they see one Christ follower mess up it makes it harder on the rest of us when we talk to them.
Now that all being said here is what really grates my cheese. ISIS is making headlines world wide, not for trying to share about their beliefs or convince us that their god is good and just, but solely on the basis of killing Christians. As a Christian man I take offense at their actions and firmly believe it is time to step it up and put a stop to this. Oops is this politically incorrect, or am I walking a dangerous line of offending a president and getting visitors knocking on my door? I find it amazing a country founded on Christian principles is full of self professing Christians that are unwilling to stand up for their cause. These terrorists that threaten the safety of Christians worshipping God use methods of intimidation, and are now flooding into America thanks to Mr. "O". Enough is enough! I love my country but first and foremost I love my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Are you prepared for the upcoming epic battle? It's on our doorstep and you're losing your ammunition, freedoms, guns generations, and mobility thanks to those who are sympathetic to terrorists. Remember your constitutional rights and claim them while you still can. And if you happen to know any radicals be sure and forward my blog for them, because this is one Christ follower who won't be tucking tale and running, but am prepared and ready to stand in opposition of this growing threat. Where do you stand?
Putting first things first

Gardening time

O.K. so it snowed last night and now I'm talking about gardening. Although this is not my usual type of blog I couldn't help but share with you a book i just reviewed. The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb is not only practical for utilizing your gardening space but exceptionally well put together. By far this is the most comprehensive, and informative book on gardening I have ever read. I received this book from the folks at blogging for books for free for an honest review.
I received the book and began fanning through it getting an overview of what i might be able to expect. To my surprise the pictures and explanations are fantastic. Not to give away any insider secrets but the Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden shows plots of ground with suggestions on where and how to plant what types of plants to best utilize the space. Not only does the book show you location of each plant, it shows you how to naturally protect your investment by planting specific plants that will repel the little visitors to our gardens that leave us with little stocks sticking out of the ground with no leaves and no veggies. This book includes guides on seed starting with pointers and times of year to begin including germination times. This book gives the reader the confidence and resources to know what plants grow well together and which ones should be seperated or not used together. I know i will be using what i have learned.......if we ever warm up and lose the snow.
Well worth the money and my guess is you will recoup the cost the first year on your yield. P.M.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

If God is Good

I received a free copy from my friends at blogging for books for an honest review of Randy Acorns "If God is Good, faith in the midst of suffering and evil. When i received it i was overwhelmed by the thickness of it, primarily because as a pastor i am looking for resources i can suggest that will be of benefit to those facing life's challenges. I was intrigued by the book as well for the topic. I don't believe I have ever met a person who acknowledges a supreme being of some sort that doesn't ask the question, "If God is good, why did ....... happen?"
That being said, it quickly became obvious as to why the book was so thick. Dealing with issues of good, evil, sin, morality, and divine sovereignty is no "light" subject. Randy does an awesome job of systematically addressing the issue of evil and why God can allow it when it causes us so much pain. He addresses the issues as they are and doesn't "skirt" the issues.  This is not a quick read, especially if you are willing to allow it to sink in as you read and contemplate what is being said.
I really appreciate the questions Randy asks and the answers he gives from the word of God. After all if we don't see sin and the consequences in the Bible, your plain and simple not in the Bible.
This book is well worth the time and i would highly recommend it to both pastors and lay leaders specifically to better prepare yourselves for the work of the ministry. Feel free to check out the previews of If God is Good, and then go pick up a copy. Why not invest in yourself and be prepared to face a skeptical world?

Amazing biography

I just finished up my first reading of "Abraham, One Nomad's Amazing Journey of Faith", by Charles Swindoll.
My first thought is, "wow, that was a wonderful in depth look at a patriarch of the Christian faith." It was written in story form, which Charles is a master of. We follow Abraham through his adventures following God and excercising faith at every turn. We get to know Abraham and see the real world issues that challenged him and his faith.
Charles gives practical application from the lessons of this great patriarch along with his illustrations which makes it feel like it happened last week. Abraham is an important part of the Christian faith and well worth the time to learn about his life.
I recieved my free copy from TyndaleHouse Publishers for an honest review and honestly it was well worth my time.