Yes, I know it is officially spring, but the ice and snow here don’t know that. Started out trying to go to church this morning, but the ice was making me slide too much and scaring my wife. So, I turned around and came home. I guess I was used to Mississippi, but spring doesn’t come as early in South Dakota.
“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.”—Jonathan Edwards, American Theologian in the 18th Century (via nivekuk)
How did you find it being a Christian in the armed forces?
It was alright. I just figured that Romans 13:1-7 applied. Governments do what they do because God long ago has ordained that these wars will happen. We don’t know why, because we aren’t God, but He is sovereign so it must be for some reason. That being said I was a squad leader with appointed authority from a government and therefore it was part of my responsibility to do what my government appointed me to do. But, being a christian I ensured that myself and my squad did not abuse the authority that we had and as a consequence we had much better and uneventful deployments. Not that anything bad didn’t happen, but because we restrained ourselves and acted in a decent manner towards people we caught less flak than other squads and units in our battalion.
I will say though that it is hard to keep a good christian witness while in the military. I fight it and pray about it, but I still cuss sometimes and I wrestle with getting angry which is another consequence of that life.
But, through the grace of God and the Spirit’s help I am improving and fighting against these sins now.
Glad I am retired from the National Guard now. I seriously have no desire to go and fight in yet another nation. What is this the third in the space of 10 years?
Pray for any soldiers that get caught up in this, not just for their physical well being, but mental also. This rate of deployment is really getting to them. I don’t talk about it, but I get anxiety attacks when I get in large crowds that are moving around. Comes from my first deployment to Iraq when we had to be on our toes all the time while pulling security for Civil Affairs units in towns.
I am glad that Iraq is halfway settled down, but pray for our soldiers in Afghanistan and any in this new conflict in Libya.
And pray for an end to all this soon. It all makes me yearn for Jesus to return and for true justice to reign!
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”—(Revelation 20:11-21:8 ESV)
Here’s the audio of my interview with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on his interview with Emergent Universalist Rob Bell of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids. Martin discloses whether or not he is a committed Christian and if the blog rumors are true that he attends Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.
The answer is that Martin Bashir is a committed Christian and attends Redeemer Presbyterian.
I must say that it just goes to show how well they teach at Redeemer that a lay person was able to so discomfit Mr. Bell.
In my opinion, Bell loves to ask questions, but really wants to have his answers well received by all that hear them, resulting in an almost political non-answer.
People need to pray for this man that God will reveal truth to him.
“If we don’t want to experience God’s closeness here on earth, why would we want to go to heaven anyway? He is the center of everything there. If we don’t enjoy being in his presence here and now, then heaven would not be heaven for us. Why would he send anyone there who doesn’t long for him passionately here on earth?”—Jim Cymbala (via niksawake)
“The apostles of Satan are not saloon-keepers and white-slave traffickers, but are for the most part ordained ministers. Thousands of those who occupy our modern pulpits are no longer engaged in presenting the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, but have turned aside from the Truth and have given heed unto fables. Instead of magnifying the enormity of sin and setting forth its eternal consequences, they minimize it by declaring that sin is merely ignorance or the absence of good. Instead of warning their hearers to “flee from the wrath to come” they make God a liar by declaring that He is too loving and merciful to send any of His own creatures to eternal torment. Instead of declaring that “without shedding of blood is no remission,” they merely hold up Christ as the great Exemplar and exhort their hearers to “follow in His steps.”—A.W. Pink
“False prophets are to be found in the circles of the most orthodox, and they pretend to have a fervent love for souls, yet they fatally delude multitudes concerning the way of salvation. The pulpit, platform, and pamphlet hucksters have wantonly lowered the standard of divine holiness and so adulterated the Gospel in order to make it palatable to the carnal mind”—A.W. Pink
“And the most true excellent knowledge of God is the knowledge of his glory or moral excellence; and the most excellent exercise of the will consists in esteem and love and a delight in his glory.”—Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World (via joeholland)
[kĭ rĭgˊmə] (Gk. kḗrygma “preaching, proclamation”).* The proclamation of the good news in the New Testament and later. The word has become a quasitechnical term for the content of early Christian polemic, the “gospel” par excellence.
Myers, A. C. (1987). The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (621). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.
I want to introduce you to a 50 cent word…”kerygma”.
It is the proclamation of the Gospel…and that proclamation followed a certain pattern with a specific content in the New Testament.
You see this repeatedly in the sermons in the book of Acts and we see Paul use it in the well known passage of 1 Cor 15
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:3
Why dost I bringeth this up?
Because I believe that this formula is inspired…and timeless.
Because I believe that, I believe that all of the hand wringing and book writing about finding new ways to reach different generations and cultures is …a lot of hand wringing and book writing.
We have four things to announce…Jesus died, Jesus rose, Jesus ascended, and I’m a witness to the power of the risen Lord.
That has been the Gospel for two thousand years and it will be the Gospel if He tarries two thousand more.
It’s simple, powerful, transcultural, and transgenerational.
It’s enough…and it need not, cannot, be changed and cannot be improved on.