Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welfare Quotes

  • “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ―Samuel Adams
  • “Here’s a pretty prospect―an endless vista of free false teeth with nothing to bite.” ―Robert Boothby
  • “Once the government becomes the supplier of people's needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right.” ―Lawrence Auster
  • “The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else.” ―Fredrick Bastiat
  • “But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” ―Fredrick Bastiat
  • “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution ... or have failed their purpose ... or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” ―Barry Goldwater

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Art of Insult

  • He looks as though he's been weaned on a pickle”―Alice Roosevelt Longworth
  • “His conversation had occasional flashes of silence” ―Sidney Smith
  • “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” ―H.L. Mencken
  • “So brilliant yet so corrupt, like rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks.” ―John Randolph
  • “His argument is as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigen that had been starved to death.” ―Abraham Lincoln
  • “A sheep in sheep’s clothing.” ―Winston Churchill
  • “A modest little man with much to be modest about.” ―Winston Churchill
  • “Fleas can be taught nearly anything a congressman can.” ―Mark Twain
  • “He could charm an audience and hour on a stretch without ever getting rid of an idea.” ―Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seen a Lot of Faces

I’ve lived long enough that I’ve meet, seen and know a lot of people. Much to my wife’s chagrin, it’s now hard for me to watch any movie without each actor reminding me of one of these many faces stored in my personal database. Everyone reminds me of someone else. In fact, this reminds me now of an incident in college where I mistook a stranger to be my fiancĂ©e. I approached her from behind while she was in the cafeteria line. Thankfully (for both of us), at the last moment I realized it was not my future wife.

Now the point I want to make from this relates to church and the variety of worship “styles” and liturgies that exist. We all have a “style” and a liturgy; that’s an inescapable concept. There are the good, the bad and the ugly. And, since the Christian Church is old, a wide range of traditions have become associated with different branches of the tree. It would, therefore, be difficult (if not impossible) to visit any church worship service and not make comparisons with what we have seen before and, in the process, to draw conclusions that include adjectives like: Bible-Churchy; Baptistic, Anglicany, Charismatic, Chatholicky, Lutheran-like, Orthodusty, etc. Our own styles and liturgies are influenced (to varying degrees), by our theology, church history, tradition, fondness for the old or new, fondness for the formal or informal, reactions to good or bad experiences, admiration or dislike for other groups.

So, who are we trying to reach? Who are we trying to be accepted by? Whose approval are we seeking? Who are we trying to distance ourselves from?  Why? No matter what our reasons are for doing what we do, we’re still left with the fact that the interpreters of our practice bring their own set of assumptions, preferences, experiences and reactions to the process. A robe and collar will scare some and attract others; so will a plaid sports coat and the cartoon tie, or the business suit, or the shorts and T-shirt. Everything reminds everyone of something else. And so, while we should be mindful of others, along with the dominant cultural norms from which they emerge, the church will always take different forms and shapes in the eyes of the beholders. We are called, however, to define worship in biblical terms and not allow others to define us. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Christin's Quote Book

  • If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill
  • I'm not confused. I'm just well mixed. – Robert Frost
  • I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools.  Let’s start with typewriters. – Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go, others, whenever they go. – Oscar Wilde

There was a young man from Peru
Whose limericks stopped at line two.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ground-Breaking Ceremony

Tonight, we had the official ground-breaking ceremony for the new church building for Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nacogdoches, TX.
Prayer of Dedication:

O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on the earth beneath. You are a covenant-keeping God, showing lovingkindness to your servants who walk before You with all their heart. You have fulfilled all that You have promised in ages past. Now, therefore, O Lord, our faithful God, let Your Word be established and confirmed in this place—that Your kingdom might grow and prosper in our midst— if only we take heed to Your way and live before You as the faithful believers of the past have lived.

O Lord, we commit this land to You, that we, Your people, and our children might be instructed and that we might serve in it this place.  We pray, Lord, that You would hear our supplication and turn Your eyes toward this place—that You would sanctify this work and use it for Your glory and for our good. May this place, O Lord, having been set apart for Your service, even as You have set us apart from the world, be a place of diligence, faithfulness and joy, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Father, we ask Your blessings on this project, and all that are involved. We especially pray for our contractor, Mr. Stanaland, and all those who labor on this place. Keep them safe and prosper their work.

Now, as we break this ground, we likewise, dedicate ourselves afresh, as Christian servants, to love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We present ourselves as living sacrifices, which is but our reasonable service. May Your blessings now be upon this land, this building, and upon each of us individually.

In Jesus name, AMEN

BENEDICTION:  1 Kings 8:56-61.

“Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, 58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. 59 And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. 61 Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”

Friday, June 24, 2011

10 Things You Ought to Hear Your Son Say

  1. You’re right and I’m wrong.
  2. Will you forgive me for…?
  3. I need some help.
  4. I need some advice.
  5. Thank you mom.
  6. Thank you dad.
  7. What does this mean?
  8. Wasn’t that a good sermon?
  9. Can I go with you, dad?
  10. Dad, I want to be like you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

20 Things Your Son Ought to Hear You Say

  1. No, you can’t have that right now.
  2. Did you ask if you could help?
  3. You may not speak to your mother that way.
  4. You may not speak to your brother or sister that way.
  5. You need to redo that job until it’s done right.
  6. You’re going to finish that job.
  7. That’s not good enough.
  8. If you said you would do it, then you’re going to do it.
  9. No, you can’t quit.
  10. Yes, you’re going to go.
  11. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to eat it.
  12. Look him in the eye.
  13. Start over.
  14. No, you can’t play a game.
  15. Have you sent your “Thank You” notes yet?
  16. I love you.
  17. I’m proud of you.
  18. Well done!
  19. You’re becoming a man.
  20. I’m sure you can handle it without me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Pleasure, Please

I want all the legitimate pleasures that life (i.e., God) has to offer. There is a pleasure that comes from desert and a pleasure that comes from recreation. But there’s also a pleasure that comes from vegetables and a pleasure that comes from hard work. There’s an enormous pleasure that comes from sacrifice and a job well-done. And there is only one way to get these bigger pleasures. For example: the pleasure that comes from hard work only comes after the hard work. It cannot be had any other way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We Don't Like What We Don't Know

The right kind of desire doesn’t, in most cases, come naturally or easily. Little children often think they can look at something on their plate and tell you, before having tried it, that they don’t like it. Indulgent parents frequently give in to this, not only when it comes to the food on their plate, but in a hundred other areas of life.

If you never make you sons do things they don’t want to do, you will raise immature and foolish sons. They can never be men, because men often have to do a lot of things they don’t want to do. They must learn to do their duty to God and toward others and find the pleasure that comes from having done so. We often discover that many things we didn’t want to do turn out to be, not only good things, but some of the greatest things in our lives. It turns out that we not only like them; we love them. The path to some of the greatest pleasure in life is often difficult and this is the reason so many never know them.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Christin's Quote Book

  • I pay very little regard to what any young person says on the subject of marriage.  If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person. – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
  • Smoking may cause cancer, but it cures ham. – Unknown
  • The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. – Benjamin Franklin
  • To be social is to be forgiving.  – Robert Frost
  • The difference between “involvement” and “commitment” is like an eggs and ham breakfast: the chicken was “involved,” the pig was “committed.”  - Unknown

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Planet of the Apes

The desperate need of evolutionists to find a missing link has contributed to some inexcusably gross scientific boo-boos. The most notable of these was Nebraska Man. A pig’s tooth, found by Harold Cook in 1922, was proclaimed by the eminent evolutionist Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborne (Then head of the department of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History), to belong to the first anthropoid (man-like) ape of America, which he named Hesperopithecus (“western ape”). The Illustrated London News for June 24, 1922, printed an artist’s impression of the tooth’s owner as an upright-standing apeman, showing the shape of his body, head, nose, ears, hair, etc., together with his wife, domestic animals, and tools. This highlights the fact that fossils of so-called “hominids” are often only fragments of bones which, when combined with a huge dose of imagination, are transformed into apemen. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Missing Links

The late Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, wrote a book, Evolution. In reply to a questioner who asked why he had not included any pictures of transitional forms, he wrote: “I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fos­sil or living, I would certainly have included them. . . . I will lay it on the line there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”

The renowned evolutionist (and Marxist) Stephen Jay Gould wrote in Evolution Now: A Century Alter Darwin: “The absence of fossil evidence for inter­mediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persis­tent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.” He goes on to say, I regard the failure to find a clear “vector of progress” in life’s history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record.

The evolutionist paleontolo­gist George Gaylord Simpson wrote in 1944, in Tempo and Mode in Evolution: “The earliest and most primitive members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous series from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed.”

Darwin also excused the lack of transitional fos­sils by “the extreme imperfection of the fossil record.” Nevertheless, even organisms that leave excellent fossils, like turtles, are lacking in intermediates. Michael Denton points out that “97.7 percent of living orders of land vertebrates are represented as fossils and 79.1 percent of living families of land vertebrates; 87.8 percent if birds are excluded, as they are less likely to become fossilized.”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Missing Links

“The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic (gradual) evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid.”

Steven Stanley, Microevolution

“Despite the tremendous increase in geological activity in every corner of the globe and despite the discovery of many strange and hitherto unknown forms, the infinitude of connecting links has still not been discovered and the fossil record is about as discontinuous as it was when Darwin was writing the Origin. The intermediates have remained as elusive as ever and their absence remains, a century later, one of the most striking characteristics of the fossil record. . . .There is no doubt that as it stands today the fossil record provides a tremendous challenge to the notion of organic evolution, because to close the very considerable gaps which at present separate the known groups would necessarily have required great numbers of transitional forms.”

Michael Denton, M.D., Evolution: A Theory In Crisis

“If it is not the fossil record which is incomplete, then it must be the theory!”

Professor Niles Eldredge (of the American Natural History Museum)

“Herein lies a powerful tautology, a circular argument.  The assumption of evolution is the basis upon which index fossils are used to date the rocks; and these same fossils are supposed to provide the main evidence for evolution.  The fossil record, itself based on the assumption of evolution, is interpreted to teach evolution.  By this sort of reckoning, the main evidence for evolution is the assumption of evolution.”

Michael Pitman, (instructor of biology at Cambridge), Adam and Evolution

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anthony Flew the Coop

Anthony Flew’s book, There is No A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, is an intriguing look into the mind of an influential, 20th century philosopher. Having abandoned the ranks of the professing atheists, he currently occupies the “respectable” realm of deism. At age 85, Flew had better be in earnest about completing his philosophical expedition. Nevertheless, like Agrippa, he is almost persuaded to be a Christian. While still clutching to his rationalism, Flew writes:

As I have said more than once, no other religion enjoys anything like the combination of a charismatic figure like Jesus and a first-class intellect like St. Paul. If you’re wanting omnipotence to set up a religion, it seems to me that this is the one to beat!

In this book, there is little that is new in the way of argumentation for the Christian Faith. These are the arguments that Christians have used over and over (updated in the context of more recent scientific knowledge); yet they are new to Flew. Nevertheless, it is exciting to see a former skeptic concede (especially one of such notoriety). Not only does he leave the ranks of atheism, he takes a few Parthian shots on his way out.

Roy Abraham Varghese coauthors the book with Flew and contributes an appendix titled: “The ‘New Atheism’ A Critical Appraisal of Dawkins, Dennett, Wolpert, Harris, and Stenger.” I was pleasantly surprised to read the following presuppositional excerpt:

Three things should be said about these phenomena [i.e., rationality, life, consciousness, conceptual thought, and articulating and understanding meaningful symbols], and their application to the existence of God. First, we are accustomed to hearing about arguments and proofs for God's existence. In my view, such arguments are use­ful in articulating certain fundamental insights, but cannot be regarded as "proofs" whose formal validity determines whether there is a God. Rather, each of the five phenomena adduced here, in their own way, presuppose the existence of an infinite, eternal Mind. God is the condition that under­lies all that is self-evident in our experience. Second, as should be obvious from the previous point, we are not talk­ing about probabilities and hypotheses, but about encounters with fundamental realities that cannot be denied, without self-contradiction. In other words, we don't apply probability theorems to certain sets of data, but consider the far more basic question of how it is possible to evaluate data at all. Equally, it is not a matter of deducing God from the existence of certain complex phenomena. Rather, God's existence is presupposed by all phenomena. Third, atheists, new and old, have complained that there is no evidence for God's existence, and some theists have responded that our free will can be preserved only if such evidence is non-co­ercive, The approach taken here is that we, have all the evi­dence we need in our immediate experience and that only a deliberate refusal to "look" is responsible for atheism of any variety.

N.T. Wright contributes a second appendix to the book, defending the claim “that there is a self-revelation of God in human history in the person of Jesus Christ.” Flew says, “The claim is defended by one of today’s premier New Testament scholars, Bishop N. T. Wright. In my view, Wright’s responses to my previous critiques of divine self-revelation, both in the present volume and in his books, comprise the most powerful case for Christianity that I have ever seen.” Flew concludes the book with these hopeful words: “Is it possible that there has been or can be divine revelation? As I said, you cannot limit the possibilities of omnipotence except to produce the logically impossible. Everything else is open to omnipotence.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arguments and Evidence

Sometimes, when I have tried — very imperfectly, I confess to present arguments in defense of the resurrection of our Lord or of the truth, at this point or that, of God's Word, someone has come up to Me After the lecture and has said to me very kindly: “We liked it, and we are impressed with the considerations that you have adduced in defense of the faith; but, the trouble is, we all believed in the Bible already, and the persons that really needed the lecture are not here.” When someone tells me that, I am not very greatly disturbed. True, I should have liked to have just as many skeptics as possible at my lecture; but if they are not there I do not necessarily think that my efforts are all in vain. What I am trying to do by my apologetic lecture is not merely—perhaps not even primarily—to convince people who are opposed to the Christian religion. Rather I am trying to give to Christian people—Christian parents or Sunday School teachers—materials that they can use, not in dealing with avowed skeptics, whose backs are up against Christianity, but in dealing with their own children or with the pupils in their classes, who love them, and long to be Christians as they are, but are troubled by the hostile voices on every side.

It is but a narrow view of Christian apologetics that regards the defense of the faith as being useful only in the immediate winning of those who are arguing vigorously on the other side.  Rather is it useful most of all in producing an intellectual atmosphere in which the acceptance of the gospel will he seen to be something other than an offence against the truth.

But because argument is insufficient, it does not follows that it is unnecessary. What the Holy Spirit does in the new birth is not to make a man a Christian regardless of the evidence, but on the contrary to clear away the mists from his eyes and enable him to attend to the evidence.

So I believe in the reasoned defense of the inspiration of the Bible. Sometimes it is immediately useful in bringing a man to Christ. It is graciously used by the Spirit of God to that end. But its chief use is of a somewhat different kind. Its chief use is in enabling Christian people to answer the legitimate questions, not of vigorous opponents of Christianity, but of people who are seeking the truth and are troubled by the hostile voices that are heard on every hand.

―J. Gresham Machen

Monday, June 13, 2011

Christin's Quote Book

  • If a is a success in life, then a equals x plus y plus z.  Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut. – Albert Einstein
  • Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting. - Dave Barry
  • Women are successful in the business world because the business world was created by men.  Men are babies. And women are good with kids. – P.J. O’Rourke
  • Well, don’t know which one is worse: doing your own thing or just being cool. – Bob Dylan
  • Humor is the only test of gravity and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit. – Aristotle

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Baptism of Sylvia Corinne Booth

Today, as a minister of the Gospel of Christ, I will have the great joy of baptizing my granddaughter, Sylvia Corinne Booth, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God has made promises to believers and their children that their children have an interest in the covenant as well as the right to the seal of it. Moreover, this includes all the outward privileges of the Church, under the Gospel, no less so than for the children of Abraham in the time of the Old Testament; since the Covenant of Grace is essentially the same for both; and the grace of God, and the consolation of believers is more plentiful than before.

Aaron and Amy will bring Sylvie to Christ, as they have their other four children. God will give her His triune name in baptism and hand her back to her parents who, believing in the His promises, will take her and raise her to His glory; praying for her, instructing her, loving her, and nurturing her in the context of the community of God's people.

The promises of God are real and true to all the children of His people. This is expressed most beautifully in these words, which I will addresses to Sylvie as she is baptized today:

Little child, for you Jesus Christ has come, 
He has fought, He has suffered. 
For you He entered into the shadows of Gethsemane 
and the terror of Calvary; 
For you He uttered the cry "it is finished." 
For you He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, 
and there for you He intercedes. 
For you, even though you do not know it, little child, 
but in this way the Word of the Gospel is made true, 
"We love Him because He first loved us." Amen.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Curious George and the High Voltage Line

Curiosity can be a good thing. It promotes exploration and discovery, and such discovery (when legitimate), enables us to enjoy God and His creation. However, just as we cannot know all things (for God has hidden them ― Deut. 29:29), neither may we allow our curiosity take us to forbidden places. Some doors lead to elevator shafts, and thus we must proceed with caution. Moreover, God has set moral limits on our curiosity such that we may not sin as we seek to satisfy our curiosity. When we trespass God’s moral limits, we have become thieves and seek to possess that which does not belong to us. Some things are simply private: private to God or private to our neighbors. To peek into forbidden rooms may open Pandora’s Box, which might unleash all the evils of the world. Curiosity did kill the cat.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” ―Philippians 4:8

“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” ―Titus 1:15-16

Friday, June 10, 2011

Eli and Krista, You’re Not Alone

Yes, it’s your wedding day but it’s not exclusively your wedding. Who you are implies involvement way beyond yourselves. You are Christians and you exist in a context; you’re connected to everyone. As individuals (bride and groom) you stand in various relationships that your marriage will impact. You are creatures and Christians—so, the triune God is involved (understatement). You’re a son and a daughter—so, your parents are involved. You’re a brother or sister, or nephew or niece, or grandson or granddaughter, etc.,—so, your extended family is involved. You’re church members—so, the church is involved. You’re citizens—so, the state is involved. In other words, in some sense, your wedding is everybody’s wedding! The whole world is watching. You just thought the guest list was long.

No doubt, you have great love and affection for one another. However, this crowd of witnesses is not nearly so concerned with why you think you want to get married as they are with what you intend to do about it from here on out. You’re making a solemn promise. You’re taking an oath of loyalty to one another and to God, and you do so before all these witnesses. The wedding is about the beginning of a marriage; and a marriage is about a lifelong commitment and the nurturing of that commitment in the face of a hostile world.

You will stand today as representatives of Christ and His Church: a husband who gives and who sacrifices for his wife to make her eternally lovely; a wife who submits, that is, who joyfully comes under the mission of the household. Together you subdue the earth―you multiply and fill the earth with godly influence and godly seed. When you do this well, the whole world is blessed; it’s how God and neighbors are best loved.

Eli and Krista, may the Lord’s blessing be upon you both not only on your wedding day, but every day that you live as one for His glory and the good of the world.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

East Tennessee

A little regional competition from my friend, Bill Waldrep. The Lord shows His Glory in East Tennessee as well. These were taken while driving home from work in January.

Northwest Sky

While we're at it, my son took this photo in Idaho while he was in college. The glory of the Lord is also in the Northwest!

Gulf Coast Wonder

My friend, Bettye Forster, sent this photo from Florida. The Heavens declare His glory!

Glorious Sunbeam

An approaching storm shows the glory of God.
Taken in Monroe, LA 5/25/11

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Poison of Sidelong Glances

Here is a sermon by Ben Merkle that is most helpful: 
"The Poison of Sidelong Glances."
HT: Nancy

The Poison of the Sidelong Glances | Benjamin Merkle from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Theology of Food (part 12 of 12)

So why does food play such a central role in the Bible? Because we can’t live without it. Why does Jesus describe himself in terms of food from heaven? Because we can’t really live without Him. It’s no accident that God embeds so much meaning and significance in an everyday object that we can’t live without. Everything the Bible says about food finds its culmination in Jesus.

  • Jesus is God’s ultimate gift to us, God’s ultimate act of provision.
  • Jesus is the best of fare served at the finest of feasts.
  • He’s is the wine of life that gives joy to the heart.
  • He’s living water that quenches our thirst.
  • He’s the bread of life that ultimately satisfies.
  • He’s the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
  • He invites us to eat his flesh and drink his blood.
  • He commands us to consume him so that we can be consumed by his Spirit.

Whenever we enter a season of feasting, let us savor every bite and enjoy every sip. For every bite and every sip, points us to Jesus, God’s food, sent from Heaven. Let’s remember that a good bite of food is a reminder of God’s goodness. Let’s remember that a good meal is but a foretaste of the feast awaiting us at the end of all things in the kingdom of God. We’ll sit down with Jesus and eat the best food God can make for as long as we want and not have to worry about gaining an ounce of weight. As we give thanks for all of our blessings this week, let’s not forget that our greatest blessing is that we have been invited to wedding feast of the lamb and our greatest privilege is to feast on Jesus–the Bread of life.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Food and the Gospel (part 11 of 12)

How did Jesus communicate acceptance of sinners and outcasts? He ate with them. To sit and eat is to take some time. In Acts, how did God communicate to Peter that the good news about Jesus was for all people and not just Israel? With a vision about food. God reverses what is taught in Leviticus and declares all food clean. Peter realizes this is God’s way of saying that all people can be included at the table of Jesus. In His teachings and parables, Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as a feast or banquet.

Matthew 8:11
And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

He builds this image on:

Isaiah 25:6
And in this mountain
The Lord of hosts will make for all people
A feast of choice pieces,
A feast of wines on the lees,
Of fat things full of marrow,
Of well-refined wines on the lees.

This feast shows up again in Revelation.

Revelation 19:9
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

Christin's Quote Book

  • Ice hockey combines the best features of figure skating and World War II. – Alfred Hitchcock
  • Curling is a sport that blends bowling and housekeeping. ―Ben Stein
  • I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm.  Unfortunately, the manmade sound never fully equaled the sound achieved by the pig. – Alfred Hitchcock
  • When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second.  When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour.  That’s relativity. – Albert Einstein
  • I can win an argument on any topic against any opponent.  People know this and steer clear of me at parties.  Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me. – Dave Barry
  • A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. – Mark Twain

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Food is Spiritual (part 10 of 12)

In Scripture food is also used in a metaphorical way to describe our relationship with God.

Deuteronomy 8:3
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

The words of God are equated with food.

Jeremiah 15:16
Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.

Psalm 119:103
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Forgiveness and restoration are described as an invitation to eat the best kind of food.

Isaiah 55:1-2
1 Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

To return to God is to sit down at a feast.

Food plays a major role in Jesus’ life and ministry. In the wilderness, Jesus is tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread.  Jesus refuses and quotes Deuteronomy 8:3. For his first miracle, Jesus turns water into wine. He won’t turn stones into bread, but he will turn water into wine. I like that. During a conversation with a woman at a well, he offers her living water that will quench her thirst once and for all. Later, when His disciples try to get Him to eat some food, He tells them that His food is to do the will of God (John 4:1-34). Then there’s John 6. After feeding a crowd of over 5000 people, Jesus gives this teaching to a crowd of people still hungry for food.

26Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him…”

32Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34Then they said to Him, Lord, give us this bread always.” 35And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst…”

53Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Food is for Delight (part 9 of 12)

“While food keeps us alive, that is its smallest and temporary work. Its eternal purpose is to excite our senses in preparation for the day when we shall sit down at the heavenly banquet and see how gracious the Lord is. Food is the daily sacrament of unnecessary goodness, ordained for a continual remembrance that the world will always be more delicious than it is useful. It is lovely to speak of, to see, to smell, to taste, to feel.” [Robert Capon, Supper of the Lamb]

Sweet aromas, sights, sounds tastes and words―the Bounty of Harvest.

Deuteronomy 14:23-26:
And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

Holy indulgence.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Food is for Fellowship (part 8 of 12)

We do not eat alone, nor do we eat merely for biological fuel. Sharing bread brings us into communion, as all partake of a single loaf.  At the table, food is passed and shared. Our feasts, like the liturgy of our worship, call us to participate in a common activity of the highest order, where we learn things which cannot be taught with words. As we feast with gratitude, this gratitude makes sense of our past, give us peace for today, and provides a vision and hope for tomorrow. Since our heavenly Father has made it a point to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat and drink, the least we can do is receive them with thankfulness, prepare them well, and serve them with ceremony. Some of the happiest hours of our lives are connected by the more or less tangible link with some memory of the table, and so, we build our friendships and memories around a joy-filled table.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Food is for Remembrance (part 7 of 12)

In the Torah, Israel was commanded to celebrate six feasts throughout the course of the year. They later added to two more (Purim and Dedication). God rooted the memory of His greatest deeds in food. Israel was taught that one of the best ways to celebrate and remember God’s goodness was to sit down and enjoy a good meal. Before He died what did Jesus gives His disciples to help them celebrate and remember who He was and what He was about to do for them? He taps into the festive tradition of Israel and gives them a meal. For 2000 years, Jesus disciples have been remembering Him with food.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24
and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

In Luke 24, the resurrected Jesus is recognized by two disciples when he takes bread and breaks it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Donate A Smile

Last Sunday our church had the privilege of hearing about the ministry of Dr. Rick Skowronski, and we were impressed by what he had to say and, more importantly, by what he has been and is doing to serve the truly poor and needy in Central Africa. Not only does he minister to the physical needs of these people, he brings this care to them in the name of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Our congregation will be taking up a love offering over the next couple of months for this mission and plan to find other ways to promote and support it in the future. I have added a link at the top of this page that will take you to their web site where I hope you will learn more about this work and will consider donating a smile. Even a small gift makes a big difference.

The Donate A Smile Ministry
We exist because dentistry is invisible. When your teeth don't hurt, you don't think about them, and when they do, you can't think about anything else! Sadly, that's the situation for millions of poor persons locally and around the world, but there are no dentists where they live, so suffering is their constant companion.

We bring dental care and education to remote areas like Sibut, a city in Central Africa where hundreds of children like these were SO excited to be given a toothbrush and a rinsing cup.

We've got the will, the skills, and the drills, but we need your help! Dental equipment and supplies are VERY expensive, to say nothing of the travel! Browse our website for photos and information about who we are and projects we're working on, then just click the secure link to support our mission and you'll be well on your way to making a person's life better! CAUTION: Some photos are graphic. They are included to help viewers appreciate the magnitude of the suffering we routinely see.

There's no better feeling than to KNOW that you've made someone's life better. Please give to Donate A Smile. You'll have a little less money, but you'll BE a whole lot richer!

About Our Founder
Dr. Richard Skowronski was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan and graduated from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1987. He has been a family practice dentist in mid Michigan for 23 years, is a member of the American Dental Association and the Michigan Dental Association and is a past president of the Saginaw Valley District Dental Society. He began working as a volunteer dentist to the developing world in 1997, and has served in Chad, Haiti, and the Central African Republic. Dr. Rick maintains an active dental practice in Frankenmuth, Mi. He has been happily married for 25 years and has two adult children.

Food is Central to Worship (part 6 of 12)

From the beginning, the sanctuaries in the Bible are dominated by food. Adam and Eve in the garden are offered the tree of life; Abraham builds altars, which are tables; there is an altar and a table in the Tabernacle. Communion with God is maintained through food shared before Him and food shared with Him. The Old Testament sacrificial system was built on Israel being called to sacrifice a portion of their food to atone for their sins. The alter was a table from which the aroma of the sacrifice arose and the Lord was well pleased. “The priest shall offer up in smoke its memorial portion, part of its grits and its oil with all its incense as an offering by fire to the Lord” (Lev. 2:16―NASV) [NOTE: the Lord apparently likes grits.].  The Lord’s Table is the centerpiece of our worship. Our call to worship is a call to the family Table. It is the place where His people gather.