Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fathers Matter

Right on James Dobson! This Speakout was in today’s Rocky Mountain News. It is a follow up to a Time Magazine piece that Dobson did and the subsequent firestorm.

Fathers do matter and married parents matter. Kids need both mother and father. It used to be a given. Now we have another social experiment where the kids will suffer for the goofiness and sin of adults.

Two dads or two moms is a dumb idea. There are things that each gender brings to a child. Without that input, the kid will suffer. Even in situations where there is a single parent, the wise one looks for a member of the opposite sex to help fill that place. Of course, in the homosexual parent situations, that need is rejected.

I’m thankful for people like Dobson who have a national platform and use it for the glory of God.

Philip

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In the World but Not Of It #3

If you haven’t read part one and part two yet, you should probably do that before this one.

We are talking about transformation and radical life changes. October 14, 1973 began mine. I didn’t want to hold on to anything that displeased the Lord or which might trip me up. I want to say that life was not perfect and still isn’t. Sin is a battle every day. Win some and lose some. Get up, brush yourself off and go on. I have probably done worse things since I became a Christian than before.

It’s a battle today! Marriage and family are tough stuff. No wonder so many people avoid them. Before I got married I thought I was close to perfection. Reality came quick though and I found out I had a lot of scum in my life. Kids brought out even more. As one author has said, “maybe marriage and children are to help make you holy and not happy.” I’m hoping I can have both.

I wonder sometimes what would have happened if the mentors I had in those early years would have taken a modern approach with me. It seems today, we do everything we can to avoid being different. We are told we need to be able to engage the culture if we are going to make a difference. We need to see the same movies and TV shows and listen to the same music so we have something to converse about at the water cooler. We are so worried that if we seem different it will scare people away. Now I do think we need to understand people and the lives they lead but there are ways to do that other than sitting in the same mud.

Here is some Scripture that is relevant: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. "And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty.”
We are told that people don’t “come” to the Lord anymore but it’s all a slow journey. There may be some truth in that but I think the result of some of that thinking is that we are afraid to call them to discipleship. We stand back while they have a yearning for God and are discontent with their life. We watch them on the journey, then all of a sudden the baggage they are traveling with, the temptations they face and the discouragement they encounter pulls them back into the mud.

How about this: Ephesians 4:22-24
“that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in [the likeness of] God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
I know this isn’t true in every case but it sure seems that the church today seems content to tolerate a lot of “worldly” living that years ago we would have called people out of and they would have gladly left. According to statistics, around 24 percent of abortions are committed by born again Christians. Our divorce rate is about the same, maybe a little higher. Our young and not so young singles are having sex outside of marriage at close to the same rate. We are reluctant to speak on these things because we don’t want to offend. So the discipleship of the world takes over. The world speaks into the vacuum. It says, “these things don’t really matter. Go ahead and be “saved” but you don’t have to drop all these things and change behaviors, at least not so quick.”

Here are three Scriptures I want to consider. James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. So, just what does that mean? Are we a little too cozy?

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. We need to raise Scripture as the standard. We need to speak to specific issues even if it makes us or others uncomfortable. If we don’t, the world will.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. The Phillips version says, don’t let the world around you squeeze you into it’s own mould. The things of the mind and of the body need to be transformed. This is a daily job. The world doesn’t let up in trying to make us like itself.

It has been said that people rise to a challenge. Let’s not be afraid to set the bar high. We may be surprised at all the people who line up to give it a try.

Philip

Monday, February 26, 2007

In the World but Not Of It #2

If you haven’t read part one, you should probably do that before this one. Click here.

So, October 14, 1973 changed everything. Jesus began changing me and a lot was happening quick. I was going to a church called Redeemer Temple. It was a Charismatic church but not of the flaky type. The pastors were very solid doctrinally and came from varied backgrounds. The church experienced massive growth because of two things. One was the Charismatic Renewal and the other was the revival going on called the Jesus Movement. The charismatic renewal brought in many people from mainline denominations. The Jesus Movement brought in the hippies, druggies, etc. Everybody loved Jesus and got along fine. The discipleship was excellent. For many years, I took notes on the sermons and I still consult those notebooks today. I am so thankful that there was a feast of meat with every sermon and I was learning what it meant to be a Christian.

Zeal marked our lives. The lack of wisdom and knowledge sometimes made that zeal a pain for others but we were hot and moldable in the hands of God. Much better than lukewarm.

My old friends disappeared and that was good. I needed time to grow. The time would come later when they would be able to see what Jesus did with my life. I know the danger when there isn’t a separation. Even with the power of God, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life go a long way in tearing a young Christian down.

It seemed that there was something going on almost every night. Church, Bible studies, and a Christian coffee house on east Colfax. We had a lot of fun but almost everything was Jesus/Bible centered. If we got together to hang out, inevitably it would turn into a Bible study. We were hungry for the Word of God.

Life changes were quick. The old music was gone, replaced with Jesus Music. The drugs and alcohol were gone; we were high on life. We had new friends and habits. We wanted to tell the world and change the world.

Here is something I can say about all that. The changes were not just because of someone telling me what I needed to do although, especially later, good teaching came on those things. I knew I needed to be different; inside I knew it. The old was passing away and all things were becoming new. I sold my old music albums and bought Bibles and Christian books. I carried around a briefcase in my car trunk full of those books. At a moments notice we could break them out for research and study.

Even my driving changed; I knew God wanted me to obey the laws. Speeding was out. Life was under the microscope. I had various stolen things that were traded to me for drugs. I knew where most of them came from and I took them back and told the owners why. I went back to my high school and met with some of the teachers. After one meeting, a teacher said, “Phil, your face is glowing.” I hung out on east Colfax and asked anyone who would listen, “Have you heard the good news?” What groovy times!

To be continued… Click here for part 3.

Philip

Sunday, February 25, 2007

In the World but Not Of It #1


I came to Jesus on October 14, 1973. It was in the middle of the Jesus Movement. I didn’t plan to, but the time was right and the rest is HIStory.

My life at the time of my conversion was dedicated to getting high. Marijuana primarily but anything would do. I was selling at the time so I had plenty of whatever I wanted. While not making huge amounts of money, I had enough to keep me happy.

I had graduated from high school the previous spring. It was a completely wasted summer and come fall, my dad decided I needed a job. I started looking for the least intrusive one I could find. I ended up at a carnation greenhouse. Spent the day tending and cutting flowers. Man, that place smelled good in the morning!

After a month or so at the greenhouse, I met a girl who was a backslidden Christian. She messed around with the world and it got a hold of her. I sold her some pot and we talked a bit at work. Then came the day; it was a Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure why, but we were talking on the phone. I think we were supposed to make another deal. She had quit working at the greenhouse. After a short chat she told me that she had been talking to some of her old friends. Then she announced it to me, “You can’t do drugs and know Jesus.” I heard it then and I remember it now. If I think of those words, I am transported back to that moment in time.

It shouldn’t have mattered. I was raised Roman Catholic and went to parochial school in grade school and high school. My dad spent a fortune on that education, which I squandered, and in my junior year of high school, I was given an option to leave or be thrown out. I ended up at a public school and coasted downhill for the next two years. I graduated with a B average even though I missed at least one day a week and can hardly remember a day there.

Anyway, I was a good Catholic. I knew the rules and played by the rules. I tried to stay away from serious sin, went to confession regularly, and went to Mass every Sunday. I didn’t want to go to hell and thought I had it figured out. Of course, drugs were fine and you could pretty much justify most other things as long as confession was kept up. If you were not raised Catholic then I’m sure I just lost you but that’s how many play the game.

So here is this good Catholic kid on a Sunday afternoon. Stoned, happy, talking to a girl that he wouldn’t mind getting to know better. But those words! I think she was speaking of herself, somewhat apologetic, but she might as well have been a prophet of God. “You can’t do drugs and know Jesus.” We finished our conversation and I can’t remember what happened the rest of the afternoon. Then came about 7pm that night, He must have been in my room. He was in my head. I didn’t know exactly what it meant but I decided I wanted to follow Him. All of a sudden, the good catholic kid was lost. I knew what she said was true and I wanted to follow Him. Somehow, I realized I had not been.

I grabbed a New Testament from the bookshelf and started reading (in Revelation.) The next morning at work, I wanted to tell people that I was a Christian. Something happened inside!

That evening I talked to the girl, Penny, and told her what happened. She invited me to church and on Wednesday night, I went with her and her mom. A week and a half later, I was baptized. Within a couple of weeks, Penny quit coming. She just couldn’t let go of the worldly things. She hasn’t had a good life since.

I kept going to church with her mom and after awhile started driving myself. It was a completely different life now. Everything was changing.

To be continued… Click here for part 2.

Philip

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Amazing Grace

I saw the movie Amazing Grace last night. I thought about it all night. It fills my thoughts this morning. You must see it!

I ordered a new book on William Wilberforce called Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas today. I want to learn more about this man. I want to know of his struggles and triumphs.

I have been involved in the prolife movement since 1989. I have seen many people and tactics come and go. It can be exhausting to persevere in a battle for life and death. The movie showed the toll on Wilberforce both mentally and physically. I think one lesson is to pace yourself for perseverance. Most battles are not won in a flash.

Another thing that came up in the movie was the idea of revolution. An associate brought it up, but Wilberforce completely rejected the idea. I know the same thing happened in the prolife movement. The late 80’s and early 90’s were great years of activism. Soon the legislatures and courts came up with ways to attempt to crush the movement. The cost of activism grew enormously. Because of discouragement, sometimes bitterness, and fear of defeat there was a small group that accepted the idea that violence was justified. There were a few bombings of abortion clinics and several abortionists were killed. Instead of accomplishing anything good, the end result was more oppression and bad public relations. Even though it was a few who did these things, the whole movement was painted with the same brush.

The movie highlighted what was done to educate people about the horrible reality of slavery. Most slavery happened somewhere else. Most people didn’t see or experience it. The same need happens with abortion. People talk of choice but don’t think of what the end result is. It’s abstract to them. With ultrasound, medical developments and pictures of abortion, a change is happening especially with young people. Education has been critical in bringing about the change in hearts that will eventually result in a legislative change.

According to the movie, for years a bill for an outright ban on slavery was introduced in Parliament and defeated. After awhile, an idea was hatched and a bill passed that ended up severely crippling the slave trade and there was less money available to fight abolition. Finally the slave trade was completely outlawed. There are parallels to this in the abortion battle. Lines are drawn on what legislation is acceptable. Incremental steps are viewed as compromise. To be sure, some have been but others were not supported that should have been. Abortion slipped in slowly and will go in the same way.

Wilberforce had a good sense of humor with his opponents. We need the same in our battles today. For a Christian, hate and bitterness are not options. We need to love even the abortionist; a love that would rejoice in his conversion. We need to build coalitions where we can.

I was greatly encouraged by the story of William Wilberforce and I look forward to learning what I can from his life. I feel like there is new wind in my sails. I will continue to follow God and persevere in the various battles that are a part of my life.

May God be glorified through us!

Philip

Find them at Amazon:
Book
Movie

Monday, February 19, 2007

Haggard of Haggard

More revelation on Ted Haggard came out yesterday. According to the Rocky Mountain News article and information released from the overseers of New Life Church there was, “everything from sordid conversation to overt suggestions to improper activities to improper relationships.” These things were going on with Ted before his exposure.

I’m glad this came out. If there weren’t things like this going on then you would wonder how you would ever figure in the future if something bad is going on with someone.

The question it raises is why the people who heard these things didn’t speak out or something like that.

I think I know the answer. I can think back to a time when I was associated with a nationally known figure in the pro-life movement. On a couple of occasions that I spent extended time with him, there were things that went on that I questioned. Movies that were watched, stuff he drank, certain words that were said, boastful talk of the Mercedes he drove. Not one single thing seemed huge but it left me uneasy. A few years later, he was divorced from his wife and married a much younger woman. It brought my thoughts back to those things that I wondered about.

A reality is that sometimes people in places of power and prestige start to think that the rules don’t apply to them. They excuse things because of the pressure they are under or maybe they feel that they deserve a little bonus for such hard work. Aside from people in ministry, we see this all the time with politicians and business leaders.

Then there are people like us who look up to these people and want to admire them. Sometimes we place them on a pedestal and look at them as otherworldly. We may overlook certain things or try to compartmentalize those things so our image of them is not tarnished. If we did not admire them, we would probably be a lot quicker to point the finger or expose them. Or, maybe the things by themselves don’t seem all that big.

So, I think there are some insights we can gain from Ted’s situation but it still won’t be easy. How do we hold each other accountable? I know there are things I wouldn’t do that others seem to have no problem with. Maybe they would say the same about me. I’m not talking about relativism. I believe in absolute truth and am a very black and white person. Here is an example: I don’t think it is wise to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, go to R rated or many other movies, I don’t watch TV, I don’t like video games where the object is to kill other people, I think cussing and off-color jokes are bad, and the list could go on. Am I holy or legalistic or neither?

How do we define what a red flag is? Some things like sexual would be obvious. But, what about the smaller things that leave us feeling uneasy. What should we do about those things?

Philip

Here is the statement from the overseers.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Caution?

Question: Is it better to be safe than sorry? Is it better to err on the side of caution?

By nature, I am a cautious person so these sayings would fit with me. But, I am wondering when they would not be good advice. Is there a time you should move forward despite reservations? When should you throw caution to the wind?

Of course, I’m not including times when the Bible is clear on something.

What do you think?

Philip

Friday, February 16, 2007

Seduction of the Evangelical Church

I got a book awhile back from World magazine. Called Salt, not sugar, it highlights 20 years worth of articles from the magazine. I’m almost done with it and it has been very interesting reading old articles that are still very contemporary.

I usually read the book at bedtime. The night before last, I read an article that so stirred up my thinking that it was quite awhile before I could go to sleep.

In the book, it was titled Defending biblical understandings. The original publication date was March 29, 1997. I looked up the archive and the original title was Femme fatale. The article starts out talking about Zondervan Publishers and the plan to change the New International Version of the Bible into an inclusive version. In case you are not familiar with this, it is basically a feminist move to neuter the Bible. He, man, brothers, mankind, etc., would be replaced with people, person, brother and sister, humankind, etc. If you know anything about Bible Translation and the original languages that the Bible was written in, you know that this cannot be done without a major corruption of God’s Word. The purpose of my thoughts here is not to give all the arguments related to gender inclusiveness. What I want to major on is the rest of the article.

It seems that the Willow Creek Community Church, pastored by Bill Hybels, has been on the forefront of pushing the feminist agenda in the church. I had wondered about that when I read of Bill Hybels promoting the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) which is the inclusive version of the old New International Version.

For all the details, read the World article cited previously. Here I will focus on the issue of female leaders and teachers in the church. This seems to be a big thing at Willow Creek. You have to go along with it to be a member. Here is what I took from their membership page FAQ:

13. What if I disagree with Willow’s view of women in leadership?
It is and has historically been the position of Willow Creek Church that the Bible, when interpreted comprehensively, teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness and opportunity for ministry. Therefore, Willow Creek affirms the participation of women in all levels of leadership, including elder positions and teaching positions (based on spiritual qualification and giftedness). We recognize that this is a complex issue and has historically been the subject of much debate among godly believers. While we respect the right of individuals to hold a different position, we ask that Participating Members of Willow Creek minimally be able to affirm with integrity the following:
  • That they can joyfully sit under the teaching of women teachers at Willow Creek
  • That they can joyfully submit to the leadership of women in various leadership positions at Willow Creek
  • That they refrain from promoting personal views in ways that would be divisive or disruptive
I don’t have a problem with women teaching other women or children. Where we run into a problem is when they are set over men in the church. Despite the flowery language Willow Creek uses, it is prohibited. In Scripture, only men were leaders of the church and elders. There are many places women can serve and exercise their gifts but pastor, elder, teacher or leaders over men are not some of them.

1 Timothy 2:12 is very clear. Here is what it says: But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. This is not a proof text but a defining text of what is said in the rest of Scripture. We may not like it and many argue against it but a simple exegesis of it says that women cannot instruct men in doctrine or be in authority over them in the church.

We have Willow Creek holding the feminist position for many years and so it is very easy now for them to accept the corruption of Scripture called gender inclusiveness.

Many people wonder what difference it makes; so what if we change a few pronouns. So what if women are pastors and teachers. If you want to look into this further, I would recommend the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. They are on the forefront of exposing how these things corrupt Scripture and the church.

Now that I’ve said this I should be able to sleep better.

Philip

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Friends With Benefits

Okay, I have to admit that I’m not very smart but I do catch on quick.

It was just a few days ago that I saw the term friends with benefits in a newspaper advice column. Without elaboration I figured out fairly quick what the term meant and what the benefits are.

If I watched TV I probably would have heard the term sooner but I won’t let that be a tipping point in changing what I do with my eyes and time.

So imagine my surprise when I’m reading through the Rocky Mountain News last night (Valentine's Day) and I see a full page ad by Virgin Mobile advocating such an arrangement.

By the way, what the term means is that you get sex and don’t need a relationship, commitment or any of those unpleasant things.

So anyway, here is this ad advertising a cell phone without a commitment and basically advocating sex without commitment. Virgin Mobile must know who they are advertising to. I guess it’s probably the same demographic that shops at Abercrombie & Fitch with their sexually loaded advertising. One thing I know for sure is they won’t get any of my money.

What I really wanted to point out on all this is what a lie this kind of idea is. I would call it the consequences of friends with benefits. Bad things will happen even if people try to convince themselves otherwise.

Here are some of the problems I can think of:

broken hearts
dead babies from abortion
sexually transmitted disease
ghosts of this encounter in all future relationships
depression
loneliness
selfishness
lack of true intimacy
etc.
It makes me sad to know that so many people are being ripped off by this kind of thinking and living. We were made to be one man and one woman for a lifetime. The alternatives always come up empty except for their bad consequences.

Philip

The Attributes of God – The End

Yesterday marked 31 days of finding one attribute of God each day in the Psalms.

How enlightening this project has been. The focus has been very good. Sometimes concentrating on something gives a better perspective than otherwise. I think I see God in a bigger way.

One of the attributes that stood out the most is God’s steadfast love. He never stops loving me.

So, it is the end of the project but also a beginning. I know I will continue to go over the things I have learned and hopefully they will become a part of my life and my understanding.

Philip

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

God is My Song

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 118:14 The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.

Psalm 146:2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 147:7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving.

Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Psalm 98:1 O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things, His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him.

Thank God that I have a new song. The blues are gone. He has done great things for me.

Philip

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

God is Near the Brokenhearted

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.

This is the place of deep sorrow for our sin. It is a place where the weight of our sin begins to crush us. It is a place where we may despair if God did not come to heal us.

What amazing grace and love!

Philip

Monday, February 12, 2007

God is Righteous

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteous deeds; the upright will behold His face.

Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and Your law is true.

Righteousness = purity of heart and honesty; being and doing right.

It’s amazing but God makes us righteous through Christ. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

…and may be found in Him (Christ), not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. Philippians 3:9

Philip

Sunday, February 11, 2007

God’s Word is a Lamp

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light; and the reproofs for discipline are the way of life.

2 Peter 1:19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.

The world is a dark place. We are guaranteed to stumble and fall without the light of God’s Word. The world is always trying to squeeze us into its mould. God’s Word can renew our mind (Romans 12:2).

Philip

Saturday, February 10, 2007

God is On My Side

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 118:6-7 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I will look in triumph on those who hate me.

The condition: verses 8-9: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes (government).

God is in my corner. He is cheering me on to victory. He helps me to trust Him and to do His will.

Philip

Friday, February 9, 2007

God’s Works are Great

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 111:2-7 Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work, and His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wondrous work to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever. He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure.

The key as shown in verse 2 is to study the works of the Lord. Then we will see what He has done for others and we will be reminded of all he has done for us.

Philip

Thursday, February 8, 2007

God is Compassionate

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

Compassion is a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering. It is understanding the suffering and wanting to do something about it.

God is fully aware of our suffering and even that our own doing causes a lot of it. In spite of this, He still feels for us and sent Jesus to die for our sins so that our lives could be changed.

Philip

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sin Makes You Stupid

We have all been there. We’ve done something stupid because of sin. Totally irrational things. Things guaranteed to get us caught and found out.

There used to be a show on TV called America’s Dumbest Criminals. It was all about the stupefying effect of sin. We sit back and wonder what is wrong with these people; what could have been going through their mind. The answer is that sin makes you stupid.

We saw it with Ted Haggard. How could he do something so dumb? How could he have thought his sin was secret? How could he have done this to his family?

What made me think of this is the recent story of the female astronaut, Lisa Nowak. Married, 3 children, apparently very smart but made stupid by sin. According to the stories, it was a “love triangle” and she wanted to eliminate the competition.

People wonder how this could happen. She had to go through all the psychological and other tests to be an astronaut. They should have caught it. Or, maybe it wasn’t there then.

From what we have been told she was either involved physically or emotionally with a man other than her husband. Sin made her stupid.

I have posted the following lines before but I will do it again because it is such a good warning. As we take these words to heart, they will keep us from being stupid.

Sin will take you places where you don't want to go.

Sin will cost you more than you want to pay.

Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay.
Stay off the slippery slope.

Philip

God Reigns

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 97:1, 2 The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

God is the king over all the earth.

Psalm 146:10 The Lord will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 93:5 Your decrees are very trustworthy. The rules God makes are good.

Psalm 99:1 The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!
Psalm 98:9 He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity. God will judge those who refuse to bow before Him.

Psalm 97:7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, who boast themselves of idols; worship Him, all you gods. What a waste to make anything an idol. God alone should be worshipped.

Philip

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

God is My Insurance Policy

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 91

The cost of the policy:
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!"

3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence.
We are delivered from traps and deadly disease.

4 He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
General protection.

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day;
Restful sleep and cover by day.

6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
Day and night protection from disease and destruction.

7 A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you.
8 You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
Enemies are destroyed before they reach us. We get to see the Lord take care of them by Himself.

9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place.
A reminder that the condition is complete trust in God as our protection.

10 No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.
Evil and disease kept away from our home.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.
Angels watch over us. Hebrews 1:14 says: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
Protection from wild animals.

14 "Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
The condition is to know God and to love Him.

15 "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
The condition: we have to call on Him. He has to be the one we completely trust.

16 "With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation."
Long life and salvation.

I am completely satisfied with God’s care for me. There is nothing that can come into my life or home unless He allows it. I am well protected.

Philip

Monday, February 5, 2007

God is Faithful

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 89:1b, 2b …with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.

God is always reliable and fulfills His promises.

I can testify that God has never let me down even when I have let Him down. I have never been disappointed when I have taken Him at His Word. He has provided for me beyond what I could have ever expected. I am aware of his protection on my life. He is always faithful!

Philip

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

A big item in the Colorado news is the push to make a cervical cancer vaccine mandatory for middle school age girls.

A little background: Cervical cancer is primarily caused by the HPV virus, which is a sexually transmitted disease. Another name for HPV is genital warts.

A lot of the people pushing the mandatory vaccine are the same ones who push Planned Parenthood and oppose abstinence only education in the schools. Many view teenage, non-marital sexual involvement as normal.

Is the vaccine a good thing? A lot isn’t known about it. It won’t prevent all cervical cancer and the duration isn’t known. We don’t know if it will protect the female while allowing her to transmit the virus to males. We don’t know if there will be long-term negative consequences. One thing we do know is that abstinence until marriage is an absolute preventative with no consequences.

Many people oppose the vaccine because they think it will encourage sexual activity. It may give a false sense of security to some but as things are now, young people don’t seem to be scared by the threat of sexually transmitted diseases that can kill. I’m not sure having a little less to worry about would make a lot of difference. One thing that does encourage sexual activity among the young is the television, music and other media they are exposed to on a daily basis.

An interesting twist in the whole thing is that the Merck Company who developed the vaccine is bankrolling the push for the mandatory vaccine. This means that legislators have or will get nice contributions for their cooperation.

Merck stands to make a lot of money off this vaccine and even more if States start making it mandatory. That kind of thing always concerns me. What they really care about is the cash and sometimes that makes people secondary. The same with the legislators; campaign contributions may trump the best interest of children.

Well, what do you think? I would like to hear more input from deep thinking individuals on this. There is already enough knee-jerk and ideological comment around.

Philip

God is Slow to Anger

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in steadfast love and faithfulness.

This doesn’t mean that God never gets angry. He does, but He doesn’t fly off the handle as we tend to do.

Proverbs 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger calms a dispute.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Nahum 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

Because God is slow to anger does not mean that He overlooks sin. There will be a time of furious judgment.

Something that can help keep anger in it’s proper place is James 1:19-20. It says: Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness that God requires. Listen well, ponder your words and take prudent action.

Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger (wrath). The first anger is “righteous anger.” The second is when that anger gets out of balance and moves towards revenge. There is a right anger about sinful things. We must use that anger properly to motivate us beyond passivity and to proper rhetoric and action.

Philip

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Another Dead Baby

This story was in Thursday’s paper. I’m sure as time goes on, we will know a lot more of what happened to the baby and what is wrong with it’s mother.This is a very sad story. It’s not the first time something like this has happened but what is strange in this case is that apparently the mother kept the dead baby in her dorm room for about two months.

I feel compassion for her. I wonder what horrible situation happened. What was going on that she kept the baby with her?

I don’t bring this story up to talk about the mother. At this time, I’m not condemning her or defending her. What struck me was that she has been charged with first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and concealing death.

Those are serious charges and may be entirely appropriate. But, what about this? What if on the same day this baby came into the world she had decided to get an abortion? She could have been nine months along and if she had an abortion, it would have been completely legal. Her defenders would have been many. She would have been exercising her “constitutional right.”

This story is a good example of how messed up things are. Even sadder is there are those who would say there is no difference and parents should be allowed the abortion option following birth.

I hope this story makes people think about where we are. Will life be defended at all times or will we move farther down the slippery slope of death?

Philip

God is My Rock

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 31:3 For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.

Psalm 62:2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.

God is my strength and a place of security. In Him I can stand strong.

2 Samuel 22:32-33 For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? God is my strong refuge; and has made my way blameless.

Philip

Friday, February 2, 2007

God is My Teacher

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 71:17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Psalm 25: 4-5 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.

Even before I became a Christian, I was aware of God revealing Himself to me and drawing me to Himself.

Psalm 119:11 Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. The Bible is the main way that God teaches us.

Philip

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Dead Dishwasher Blues

As I came in the back door from work today, my son made a comment about water on the floor. I looked and saw brown water by the dishwasher. I wondered if it was a spill but as I investigated, it was obvious that it was leaking. Thanks to God that the leak appeared quickly rather than one of the slow ones that does damage until it is found.

The amazing thing too is that the dishwasher was installed in 1973; that’s 33 years old. My Dad put it in and always recommended the Kitchen Aid brand. I guess that is why. I must say though that in our old house we put in a Kitchen Aid about 10 years ago and it died after about 3 years. So maybe the new stuff isn’t as good as the old.

Grab tools, disconnect old one, haul it out the back door and head to Home Depot to get a new one. Pick one out and then find out they don’t stock any of them any more. Head to Lowes and pick out one there, more selection as well. Haul it home, bla, bla bla, job done. Wash dinner dishes.

The good thing is that for the most part I took it in stride. Just a little crankiness as people stood around watching the progression.

Even though I repair things for a living, it always seems different when something is broke at my house. Then I am not the happy repairman. Maybe getting paid has something to do with it.

Anyway, I am thankful to God that it happened at a convenient time, I had some money for a new one and it is much quieter than the old one.

Philip

God is Our Salvation

Meditations on the attributes of God.

Psalm 68: 19b, 20 God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.

God sets us free from the penalty of our sin and deliverers us from the attacks of the devil and the snares of the wicked.

We deserve the righteous judgment of God but receive forgiveness through Jesus.

Philip

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