Resolutions

I know it’s about a week too early for this kind of post, but I’m going to do it anyway. I have been thinking a lot lately about what I am going to try to accomplish in 2012 and here is my list. I’m just trying to get the ideas out and written down before I forget, something I seem to be getting good at. So here they are my objectives for 2012:

Lose weight: since the last time I seriously dieted, back in 2009, I have gained back almost all the weight I lost then. I want to get back to the weight I was in high school-175. I’m thinking of doing a picture blog update and whatnot…just an idea, probably won’t follow through with that part of it though.

Write that book: I’ve been trying for years to write a book, I’m going to sit down and do it this year. I actually have several books in mind, a fiction, a non-fiction and a children’s book…I’m developing my characters for the fiction book now…I’ll keep you updated.

Work out more: This one sort of goes with number 10, but I want to gain back some of my muscles I had a couple of years ago, before I fell off the dieting wagon.

Enjoy my job more: I spend lots of time wishing I had a different job, something ministry related maybe, but I don’t…I work in the private sector…I don’t hate my job, it’s just that I don’t love it either, I just happen to be good at it. I’m going to take more time and enjoy it this year.

Have more fun with my kids: I spend lots of time with my kids bossing them around and not enough time enjoying them and having fun with them. I’m going to try to do that more in 2012.

Communicate with my wife better: I love my wife, I do…but I get this roadblock in my head when it comes to trying to talk with her about anything important, it fills me with anxiety to be honest…I’m going to work to overcome that this year.

To better express things that I think, but never say, to people in my life: I don’t know how many times I’ve thought something very complimentary or encouraging to say to or about someone but I never do. Maybe it will matter, maybe it won’t but I’m going to give this a try this year.

Spend more time in prayer: I’ve blogged about the importance of prayer before on my other blog…and this one too, I think…it really is the most under utilized weapon in the christians arsenal…and I’m going to be more intentional about it this year.

Learn to play the guitar: I won a guitar about a year ago and I’ve barely played it. I taught myself how to play Smoke on the Water and that was pretty much all I’ve done with it. I’m either going to learn to play the thing or sell it.

Join the worship team at church: I’ve been blessed with a pretty good singing voice. It’s nice and deep and I think I could really contribute to the worship team if they’d have me. I have this intense fear of signing in public that I’d have to get over first though.

Anyway, that’s about it for my list for this year. If you took the time to read this …thanks. What are some of your resolutions for 2012?

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The Gospel = Crazy Talk

I’ve shared the gospel maybe a few hundred times, but this past Sunday night something occurred to me in the middle of sharing the gospel with our youth group. The gospel sounds crazy. I’ve been going to church since nine months before I was born, I’ve grown up knowing about church stuff. But for a brief second I put myself in the shoes of some of those junior and senior high students who were staring back it me (quite politely too I may add) who may not have grown up in church and may not have heard any of the gospel before. The gospel sounds crazy…God had a son, with a virgin and his name was Jesus and he died for my sins, which apparently I have because of some guy name Adam and after he died he came back to life but now he lives in heaven and all I have to do is to trust him…what? Really it’s nuts if you think about it think about. I’m no stranger to hearing about a groups religious beliefs and thinking, “that’s crazy.” “Mormons believe what? That’s crazy” But really I can see now why faith in Christ is totally monergistic. There is no way I could believe without the Holy Spirit…it really is just too much for me to believe on my own. The Bible says that Christ is the author and perfector of our faith and with good reason…faith in the gospel…in a story that crazy, has to come from God. I know with everything that is in me the gospel is true and I know because I believe the Bible and I believe the Bible because the Holy Spirit has enabled me to do so. Some people believe that they can come to true faith of there own free will, but if that’s true than, frankly, you don’t need Christ to be saved…you just need determination. Furthermore, if that is true then Jesus was wrong when he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but through me.” Which is all the more reason I believe that saving faith comes from Christ alone, through faith alone, by grace alone, through scripture alone for the glory of God alone. I pray for those I know that don’t believe the gospel because while I know it’s part of my job as a christian to proclaim the gospel I can’t make anyone believe a story so crazy…and so true.

Mourning Christopher Hitchens

There was some sad news this morning with the reporting of the death of Christopher Hitchens. Even though Christopher was an atheist I still feel sorrow over his passing. While he was still alive there was hope, hope that our sovereign Lord would open Christopher’s eyes to the truth of the gospel. With his passing that hope has died, nevertheless God is sovereign. As far as we know Christopher died an enemy of God, but God does not rejoice at his passing

“God does not delight in the death of the wicked.”(Ez. 18:23).

In fact, the Bible tells us that God desires that all men be saved and come to know the truth of the gospel (1 Tim. 2:4.) even though we do not fully see the reason why God does not allow some to be saved the Bible makes it clear that there is no wrong doing on God’s part in all this.

“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion,but on God, who has mercy.”(Rom. 9:14-16)

As I mentioned in my post “Pearls before Swine” we are wasting our time trying to convince the inconvincible, when we should be spending copious amounts of time in prayer, praying for those who are lost that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes to God’s saving grace. We should be praying that God would lead that person across our path so that we could somehow plant a seed or better still, help lead someone to Christ and his marvelous gift of grace.

Christopher Hitchens spent his life rejecting the gift of salvation and shaking his fist at God and all who believed in him, but it is altogether good and right that we mourn his passing and that we pray for his family and friends. And as Christians it should strengthen our resolve to be a witness everywhere we go and every chance we get, not because “it’s what a good Christian should do” but because of our heart that’s been changed so that we desire, as God does, that all be saved.

Complaint Department

I like to complain…in fact I can’t wait to be an old man so that it seems more normal that I complain so much. It seems odd for a man my age to complain as much as I do, especially about my aching knees, but that’s how I roll. I like to complain about things so much that I may complain about a complaint. You could say I’ve mastered the art of complaining, I know all the different ways to complain. The in-your-face-complaint, the agrumentitive-complaint, the back-handed-complaint, even the difficult to pull off complaint-about-a-back-handed-complant while-administering-a-back-handed-complaint. (It takes lots of mental fortitude to pull that one off.) I’m a complainer…deep inside me there’s a lonely dude shouting “I need a hug” but I can usually shut him up with a package of cookies…so now he’s lonely and fat. Christmas is just around the corner and I have a whole list of complaints about that…but I’ll save it for another time. There is a problem with complaining too much, and it’s not that it’s obnoxious…which it is…but that’s not the biggest problem with it, the biggest problem is what the Bible has to say about complaining. It’s just one verse (though there are others) but it offends me more than I can say:

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Pearls before Swine

 The Purpose of Parables and why we should stop debating with atheists

It’s no secret that Jesus spoke in parables. The commonly accepted reason among most evangelical pastors (and congregants for that matter) is that Jesus did this was to make the truths of heaven easier for the common man to understand. The common man was too dumb to understand the plain truths Jesus spoke so he told stories so they would understand these truths better. Many pastors use this as an excuse to pepper their sermons with personal illustrations and movie clips. I have even been guilty of this in the past. Don’t misunderstand me, I think that personal illustrations can be good from time to time to help make a point and they can help the redeemed understand Gods truth better. Just don’t use the old excuse “Jesus spoke in parables, so I should tell lots of stories for the unsaved to understand ” The real reason he spoke in parables though was actually to make it harder to understand for the unredeemed. Jesus explains this to the disciples when they ask him about it in Matthew 13: Continue reading