Friday, August 03, 2007

Survivor 2007

In case you would like a glimpse into our very laid-back, relaxing summer vacations...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Walter on How Men Look - Part the Third

You can read the first part of Walt's letter here.

For part two click here.

For a whole barnload of Walter's thoughts, go here.

Looking Down

A man’s eyes can’t always be up and there are a couple reasons why.

First, a man needs to look down when the look forward is full of female flesh he’d be better off not seeing. Now I know that at the root of lust is a heart problem, but it sure won’t hurt a man to make a visual contract with himself. Job did and the terms specified he would not gaze on a virgin. That means that although his glance might meet with the painted eyes and over-sensualized dress of an immodest (or mostly modest) lady, he’ll stare at his shoes before he’ll stare at her.

Better to look down and walk into a wall than gaze at what is in front of you and fall off a cliff!

Now I know that is not always the easiest thing to do, and I don’t mean to over-simplify the root of the matter – but you’re a heap less likely to get hit by a plane if you stay off the runway! Can a man take fire in his bosom and not get burned? Of course not, and he might as well stay away from the matches and kindling as well!

Of course, when he doesn’t, and the mind of his heart wanders to forbidden places, then he ought to be a might quick looking down in a second way – in repentance. Some men think of sin like it were a missed tee shot – something to be mad about, but a thing they can fix next time. But we need to see our sin as sin, and there is no better way to do that than give a fresh consideration to the cross. That is what my sin deserves.

Looking Up

Well, you knew I was going to get to this one didn’t you? And rightly so! For no look down is complete without a look up! And just as we need to look up to the Lord for grace and forgiveness, we need to look up to the Lord for daily strength. I took a quick glance over my life the other day and discovered something – I tend to grow a little lax in the Bible reading and prayer department in the summer time.

You’d think those extra daylight hours would be put to better use, but I am a slacker at heart. So, this year, I have made it goal to not miss one day in June, July or August when it comes to reading and praying… and so far, the Lord has given grace.

Maybe this would be a good idea for you, too. Nothing like a week of vacation to drop rats in your grain bin. Why is it we love our rest so much? Why not take that time of less responsibilities to do more spiritual growth? That’s what I’m going to aim for anyway, and I’d be happy to have y’all join me in the endeavor!

Looking Nowhere

Finally, having looked forward, behind, beside, down and up – we need to look nowhere. What I mean is that a man needs to learn to humble himself and get some rest. Is it pride that keeps a man up late? Is there some part of us that just wants to believe that we can get by without a respite. Only God never sleeps or slumbers, but men have to do both.

And when you fight rest, you usually end up encouraging sin. Too much late night singularity can lead to too much sin. A man is never so vulnerable to the enemy as when he is all alone and tired.

I realize there are times a fellow has to stay up and get things done, but I’m talking more about the “stay up just because I want to” kind of thing. A wise man will learn to accept the fact that he needs to sleep, and that said sleep will do more to make him do more than a dose of caffeinated coffee in his bloodstream.

Well, such is all I care to pen between the bleating of newborn kids.

Have yourselves a pleasant meeting and remember to not waste a second of the precious time God has granted you with one another.



P.S. I hope the red sticks win.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Daughter Was Baptized

What a great night!

It was my joy to baptize 4 tonight... one of whom was my own daughter.

I wrote her a poem on behalf of her mother and I, surveying the 14 years and 10 months of life God has granted her. I asked permission and she said I could share it here. I had thoughts of reading it at our service tonight, but we were blessed to have so many unbelievers with us that I feared they might get distracted from Christ and His Gospel if I threw this in... so here it is now, primarily for my church family.

Praise God for what He has done in my eldest’s life!

On Your Baptism...

On October 1st of ’92
You entered the world of air
All “girl,” bright-eyed, dainty, sweet
With locks of golden hair
I watched you grow and saw God’s curse
Had not passed you by
When fooled by promise of God-less pleasure,
You’d rather sin and cry
Than follow Him and His Word
That path just seemed to bore you
Deceived, deluded by false delight
Like mother and father before you

And then those YEARS where outwardly
The world saw smile and joy
But inwardly, we both knew,
Brewed anger fierce and coy
Thus, in His grace, God let you see
Your sin both “crouched” and real
In your own strength He let you fight
So sin’s “sinfulness” you’d feel.
Yet, in that same grace, He also preached
Through family, friends and church
The priceless Gospel of His Son
The end of your soul’s search.
“Flee to Him! You’re dead! You’re lost!
Your only hope is Christ!
He alone can justify
By His perfect sacrifice!”

You heard the news...You felt your sin...
And then, one day, THE LIGHT!
When “facts” turned “Truth” and scales fell off
A blind girl granted sight!
To see the Saviour, not just a story
Of redemption from some vague “fall”
But, Jesus Christ, your life, your hope,
Your King, your God, your all!
And in an instant (unknown to us)
With resurrection power
Your soul was transferred to Light from Dark
Yes, in that very hour!

And tonight, my dear, like saints before
You enter the sacred wave
And humbly preach to all that watch
Your hope beyond the grave
A hope not in water, courage,
Looks or testimony true
A hope both now and future set
On Christ alone who saved you
For earthy graves await us all
Unless this Lord appears
And only He can carry young women
Through failures and their fears

Thus, may this day be just a start
To a life lived all for God
Come temporal blessings or martyrdom
Until that Day of Awe
When every soul now gathered here
With every soul on earth
Shall stand before the King of Kings
Creation’s Supreme Worth
And all “twice born” (O the grace!)
Shall be ushered to His side
And stand by Him their sins had killed
And join the swelling tide:
“Great and amazing are Your deeds
Lord God, so just and true
All Your ways are right, my God
Who cannot delight in You?!”

‘Til then, my dear, keep your eyes
Set quick on Christ your King
And trust Him no matter what the trial
Yes, trust Him for everything
And remember water does not save,
Nor going to church or giving
Only Jesus takes the dead
And instantly, makes them Living!
So to Him we entrust you now
Just like the day you were born
And should He call us first to Heav’n
We’ll wait for you on that shore

We love you, dear. And thank God for the good work He has done in you.

- Dad and Mom

Baptisms Tonight!

It is a baptism Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church today! I can hardly think of a more precious time in the life of our church. I love these days.

Our baptisms will take place at a local pool for the first time. In the spirit of the Ethiopian eunuch, we looked around for the closest source of deep water! Lord willing, I will baptize two young men converted from Roman Catholicism and two younger ladies saved from within Christian families... one of them my daughter.

We would love to have you join us! We will meet at 4:55 tonight at Timothy Christian School, then proceed one block south to The Elms Pool. After the baptisms, we will return to Timothy to sing, preach and praise the God who saves. (You can find the details here.)

Below is the text of our opening hymn for tonight. May its clarion call revive and encourage your heart today!

Stand, Soldier of the Cross
Stand, soldier of the cross,
Thy high allegiance claim,
And vow to hold the world but loss
For thy Redeemer’s Name.

Arise, and be baptized,
And wash thy sins away;
Thy league with God be solemnized,
Thy faith avouched today.

No more thine own, but Christ’s,
With all the saints of old,
Apostles, seers, evangelists,
And martyr throngs enrolled.

In God’s whole armor strong,
Front hell’s embattled powers:
The warfare may be sharp and long,
The victory must be ours.

O bright the conqueror’s crown,
The song of triumph sweet,
When faith casts every trophy down
At our great Captain’s feet.