Wednesday, August 31, 2005

OK Go - the Video

I have written several posts about how the right mix for Internet video is short video done at a low cost. Here is a really cool music video that is not quite MTV video standards but fun, creative and makes you wonder what could have been done with a budget.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Why Go To War In Iraq?

Are We Really That Crass?
Reading this discussion at Digan's 75 Year Plan makes me want to answer this question. The reasons the U.S. going to war in Iraq are not merely the atrocities committee by the Bathist Government of Saddam Hussain, nor was it Saddam's attacks on his own people, nor was it merely because he was by many pre-war accounts developing weapons of mass destruction. The good reasons for going to war in Iraq have been stated many times and are quite simple. In fact, so simple that some feel it is not reasons at all.

Middle Eastern Thinking
In the past the Middle East has been home of a class of educated people who are devoted to their religion. Many of these people have opportunities to live comfortable middle class lifestyles or even better. However their nations (or is it people, or is it religion) do not have the international prestige that they desire. An overwhelming question in their minds and hearts is “Why has God not blessed our nation/people/religion?” The answer provided by their religious teachers is that they have sinned by not maintaining the purity of Islam. Some forms of this ideology call for Islamic governments, others call for non-violent struggling for their religion and others call for violence in their struggle. These answers are outside the realm of government and rest with the religious teachers and religious organizations.

Western Thinking
From a western point of view the problems in the Middle East is a dictatorial system of government which oppresses people. It is the breeding ground for radical ideology. The oppressive government systems cause the people to search for answers in radical groups, therefore, we need to change the systems of government in the area to democratic forms of government. Freedom, liberty and democracy will allow people to find other means to address their issues other than terrorism. Of course, there is no guarantee once people have the ability to participate in their government and that they actually will. It could be that once democracy is available in all nations in the Middle East, young men will still seek their answers with radical clerics. However, to allow the status quo to continue in the Middle East would mean a continued growth of influence for radical organizations and radical clerics. When President Bush says he wants to see freedom and democracy in the Middle East, it is not merely rhetoric to justify his actions, it is a strategy to break up the root causes of terrorism.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Capital Bible Seminary

Classes start this next week. Tommorrow is oreintation. I’m looking forward to the study. I have already completed on of the assigned readings. It was a pictorial overveiw of church history. It was enjoyable. I talked with one of the academic counselors yesterday. I really had questions about what was realistic ministry for myself and was seeking answers. He is a guy who retired early from the state university system is pursuing missions as an avocation. God sent the perfect person to tell me keep up the pursuit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Three Days of the Condor for Lunch

So my wife and I are looking for lunch near the Metropolitan Art Museum. We walk three blocks East and one block North and we happen to come up to a little place called the Candy Shop Luncheonette. Your son's school bus is bigger than this place. So it is sort of a diner, but small. As we sit there we notice that there are a lot of celebrities who have taken their picture with the owner. You know, like Jerry Seinfeld and such. I guess Jerry was trying to sponge off this guys name or something. Anyway, we read on the menu that the diner was used in the making of Three Days of the Condor. By the way the bacon burger is excellent and my wife had the tuna salad.

Televangelist Is Wrong More Than One Way

I don't watch the 700 Club but this quote from the Washington Post if accurate is highly irresponsible. I would not accept it from a Muslim cleric nor is it something I do accept from a Christian televangelist. Morally Robertson is wrong.

By the way, how can you do a covert op if it has been announced on TV and the Washington Post. Anyone killing Chavez has an easy party to blame, the US. This just shows that Robertson does not really have a clue what he is talking about. Covert ops and public media do not mix. They are mutually exclusive. Pragmatically, Robertson is wrong.

Below is the Washington Post quote.

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."Televangelist Calls for Chavez' Death: "'We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,' Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's 'The 700 Club.'

'We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator,' he continued. 'It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.'"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Redeemer Presbyterian Church

My wife and I celebrated our 22 wedding anniversary this month by visiting the Big Apple. We stayed at a hotel in the Wall Street district. One of our highlights was visiting Redeemer Presbyterian Church. We took the subway up town to the corner of 64th and Central Park Avenue, on the West Side. The church meets in several locations, this one was a building belonging to an ethical society. It had traditional pew set up for the worship. The service seemed to be run by lay people for the most part with the sermon being delivered by one of the pastoral staff, Rev. David Bisgrove. The service did not seem to be overly liturgical, but leaned toward liturgical and less contemporary. My wife and I expected the music to be good and it was, but what impressed us was the authentic flavor of the music though classical in style.
Something different in this PCA church was the level of women in leadership. They gave the prayer, they read the scripture and took up the offering. Every church had deaconesses.
The sermon was excellent. Rev. Bisgrove gave many examples from popular print media and his own life to illustrate his points. His message, while tuned to an educated audience, sought to appeal to the emotions of the individuals.
New Yorkers have a strong sense of identity with “the city”. Prayers reflected this sense of corporate life as did other aspects of the church. As I mentioned, Redeemer has multiple services spread though out the city, and in order to reach this massive metropolitan area, they must not be confined to one neighborhood. The “church” has many congregations, but one ruling body of elders. They have separate deaconates for each congregation. At the congregation that I visited, the church was multiracial. That reflected “the city” but people seemed to all be from the middle class. Perhaps that reflects the neighborhood where the congregation meets.
If you are traveling or living in NY, I highly recommend attending Redeemer.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 Books: Emergence : Labeled Autistic Books: Emergence : Labeled Autistic: "Emergence : Labeled Autistic"

Browsing the bookstore biography I came across this book “Emergence: Labeled Autistic” by Temple Grandin, and Margaret M. Scariano. This biography is written in a style that is quite different than your normal biographical perspective, one somewhat distinguished by the autism itself. A prime example is an excerpt of one of the author's class paper's in college. The topic of the class is marriage but she somehow turns the topic to her fascination with cattle chutes. Strangely it works as a piece of literature despite the odd topics she can not leave behind. The book is only 180 pages and in a style that preteens and teens could read.
This book to me is about understanding people in general, not just the autistic. It is about seeing how perspectives can be quite different and yet correct. It is about how a mother struggles with her child to overcome a disability. I highly recommend the read.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

JOLLYBLOGGER: Review of "Total Truth" by Nancy Pearcey

My good friend Jollyblogger has written an engaging review of Total Truth. If have not the time to read the book, at least read the review.

JOLLYBLOGGER: Review of "Total Truth" by Nancy Pearcey: "At long last I have finished Nancy Pearcey's book, Total Truth and am posting a review. This book was provided to me by Stacy Harp at Mind & Media and was provided to her by the generosity of the good folks at Crossway Publishing. "

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Switched Onto Decaf

When I went to Operation DESERT STORM I took up the habit of drinking coffee. Eating breakfast at the dining hall meant that I would have to get up a half hour early. If I had breakfast of coffee once I got to work, I could sleep in. Oh by the way, I was working twelve on twelve off with an hour commute each way. I found the coffee habit a source of fellowship and a conversation item. After a while though I found my coffee habit one that could make me irratable. My attitude could be edgy and I would disenfrachanchise people around me. I also found myself depressed at times. I kept myself going with coffee when I should be resting. But I had not built enough time into my schedule to rest. I let myself get way too tired and too stressed by pushing myself way too hard. Then I found that I had a lot of trouble sleeping. Of course not sleeping was even worse on the stress managment issue.

I tried to simply not drink coffee quite a few times. My head would spin and basically I could not function. I had responsibilities and those had to be accomplished. I was dependant upon coffee to keep my life normal.

Four months ago I asked my wife to buy the coffee with half the caffine in it. So I started tapering off the caffine. Then a couple of weeks ago, I went to make coffee and there was none in the house. I did have decaffinated coffee so I made that. So I have made the final switch to decaf. I have had more than one day where I was feeling very tired. I have had a few head-aches. However, I have felt joy where I did not feel it a long time before. I have slept well and remembered my dreams. I used to remember my dreams I had dreamt during my sleep. But for the past few years I have not remembered my dreams. The week after I switched to decaf I remembered dream after dream. I can ususally guess what kind of problems my mind is processing through the dream. These dreams dealt with all the big problems I have in my life. I have found my mind does not wonder so much when I read. I have found I am less likely to get upset. I am told laying off the caffine will help my cholesterol levels too. Often when someone is drinking a lot of caffine the body stores water in the fat, sort of like a camel hump. I can tell my waste line had gone down a little and is no longer retaining water the same way.

I'm glad that I have made the switch. I still enjoy my decaf. Starbucks anyone?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Reforming Youth Ministry

My friend Laird sent me a link to this blog. I did not know my buddy was even into blogs. Go figure. Check out what seems to be a promising topic.

Reforming Youth Ministry: "Welcome to reforming youth ministry. This blog will be dedicated to an ongoing conversation of reforming and rethinking Youth Ministry in a covenantal context so that our methodogy would match our theology. This will be a place to toss out ideas, to be challanged, and Lord willing encouraged as we strive to be reformed and always reforming to the Word of God. The vision is a cross generational, family based, evangelistic, covenantal ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ. The vision is big and the problems hard, but may the God bless as we seek to make much of Jesus Christ and be faithful to His Holy Word. Let the conversation begin..."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Here I am Lord

Sermon on 1 Samuel 3
By Terry L. Pruitt

Title: “Here Am I Lord, Let Me Speak Your Word”


Samuel is called the last of the judges and the first of the prophets. He is the last of the judges because he led Israel until there was a King. He may not qualify as a judge in the sense that he led the children of Israel in a battle. Last week brother Badorf preached about one of God's judges for Israel. And with Samuel the days of the judges are passing by and the days of the kings and prophets in Israel's redemptive history is coming. There are a number of prophets in redemptive history before Samuel. There is Noah. He functioned as a prophet. He warned the people of God's impending judgment. There is also Abraham. God calls Abraham a prophet in Genesis 20:7 when addressing Abimelech regarding taking Sarah into his house. Moses is called a prophet in Deuteronomy 18:15. So there are other prophets before Samuel. However, Samuel marks a turning point in history of God's redemptive people.

In the beginning of 1 Samuel 3 the boy Samuel does not know God nor his Word but by the end, he is a man of God, known to be a prophet. In this story the boy is transformed from lackey to leader. He starts out receiving instruction from Eli but ends up giving Eli warnings. What makes this difference in the life of Samuel? It is the transforming Spirit of God and the transforming work of the Word of God. Samuel has been prepared for service in many ways, however, he does does not wait to begin his ministry until he is fully mature. He is obligated by his possession of the Word of God and by his ties of responsibility to his mentor Eli to declare the Word of God to him. We will see in this chapter how the Word of God transforms his servant Samuel as he ministers it to God's people.

Main Idea: The Word of the Lord Transforms His Servants as They Minister It In His Name.

Just to remind you of my method for preaching is to go verse or a group of verses and talk about the content. I try to use the natural outline of the biblical passage to create my outline. They all center around this idea of how Samuel is transformed by his experience with coming to know the Word of God. I also hope by the end, that if you are finding that you lack experience with the Word of God and do not know God, you will not wait for some day when you are more mature. I hope you will receive the Word of God now.

A. The Word of the Lord Was Rare (Verse 1)

I have never met personally someone who died from thirst. The people I have known who died, passed away from either disease or from an accident. But we know that a person can live much longer without food than without water. We can live without food for perhaps a few weeks, it really is determined though by how much fat reserves the person has. When a person goes without water, it does not depend on their size. A person can only survive without water for a matter of three or four days. The two survival situation that could cause someone to die from a lack of water are being stranded in the desert and being lost at sea. The person stranded in the desert simply has no water, but the person lost at sea has a lot of water, just none for drinking. I believe these two situations illustrate the differences of people in Israel in the days of Samuel and many in our nation who have never heard the Word of God preached. Neither of these situations today applied to those who have heard the Word of God, I'm talking about here in America there are those who have never heard nor read the Word of God. They have a million voices speaking to them, television, radio, friends and family, telephones, newspapers, Internet, movies, gossip, over heard conversations, songs, jokes, and the list goes on. But these people hear all kinds of things being said, they have not hear what God has to say. They are spiritually dehydrated. They thirst.

This illustration does not address people here in this church. It does not address the many blessed people in America. We have both the Word of God and we have it in spades. You can listen to the Word of God being preached on the radio. You can search the Bible interactively on the Internet. You can pick up the Bible in front of you and read it right now. You can read your Bible everyday. You can listen to tapes of Bible being read.

We have the Bible. It is God's love letter to us. We possess this special treasure. It is his gift to his people. It is our connection with God. It is our common heritage from the fathers and mothers of the faith. We have the scriptures. The Word of God is not rare here.

Listen to this short biography of John Wycliffe:

“John Wycliffe lived almost 200 years before the Reformation, but his beliefs and teachings closely match those of Luther, Calvin and other Reformers. As a man ahead of his time, historians have called Wycliffe the "Morning star of the Reformation."

Born in the 1300s, Wycliffe criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church. In 1382 he translated an English Bible--the first European translation done in over 1,000 years. The Lollards, itinerant preachers he sent throughout England, inspired a spiritual revolution.
But the Lollardy movement was short-lived. The Church expelled Wycliffe from his teaching position at Oxford, and 44 years after he died, the Pope ordered his bones exhumed and burned. Intense persecution stamped out his followers and teachings. It would be hundreds of years before men like Martin Luther resurrected the reforms of which Wycliffe dreamed.”
John Wycliffe was wise to know that it was not merely the printed, written word of God but also the spoken word of God. He knew that people had a need to read it and to hear it. We can thank God for giving his people in our history who have ensured we have the Word of God. Thank God for John Wycliffe and many others who have been a part of the legacy of our English Bible. I have heard complaints that we have too many translations of the Bible in English. It can be over whelming. We can have entirely too many choices when we choose a Bible. We are not in a desert nor are we lost at sea here in America, for the most part. We are on a cruise ship. All the meals and drink are paid for. We can choose tap water, or we can drink sparkling water, we can sip on spring water, or we can taste the perrie water, or we can guzzle water purified with reverse osmosis. I'm not really sure what that last one really is, but anyway, we have a lot of choices in reading the Word of God.

I told you earlier that I never met anyone who died from thirst. I have many times been present when people fainted or became ill because they were dehydrated. It is usually because the did not drink enough for the event they were doing. The dehydration come with plenty of pure water available but not drank. Likewise, we should not

I would like to give some tips for giving Bibles.

I would encourage each parent here to make sure your child who can read has a Bible that is appropriate for their age. I would not think a KJV is appropriate for a child who is in third grade. I enjoy the KJV and use it a lot. Make sure it Bible is accessible to your child while at the same time maintaining integrity of the Word.

I would also if you give a Bible as a gift that you get one is of the same quality that you would want to read yourself. Make sure the print is large enough to read. Make sure it is a solid translation.

B. Eli's Eyes Grow Dim (Verses 2-3)

Eli's eyes growing dim show his stage in life where he is declining and the coming dimming of the lights in the house of God foreshadows the future of Eli's work and life. This is not judgment necessarily, for judgment will come in the future. He is decreasing, another must increase. The natural part would be for Eli to decline and his sons to pick up the work of priesthood for the nation. Eli's work will be passed on to another.

This particular section is in contrast with the growth and development of Samuel which we see in point F of this outline.

Funny thing is that Christianity is a multi-generational institution. We pass it on from one generation to the next. Sometimes the passing of the faith from one generation to the next is successful. At other times it is tripped up. Passing the faith requires two parts, the passing of the senior generation to the younger and then an embracing of the faith by the junior. Each age must make the faith their own, but at the same time understand those who have gone before them.

Some do not have biological children but God blesses them with a work that they can pass on to. Eli fails to pass on to sons his office. But as he grows dim in his old age, he will pass the work down to Samuel.

C. Samuel Does Not Know the Voice of God (Verses 4-9)

Samuel does not know God, nor does he know the Word of the Lord. Those two things are not exactly the same. But God reveals himself to us through his Word. The scripture forbids us to have idols. We do not have a idols not because an artist might not get the statue right, but because God has his own way to let us know who he is. It does not originate with man. It is his Word. He has revealed himself by what he has done in creation and in providence. He has revealed himself in the person and work of Christ on the cross. He has revealed himself in his written word the Bible. Samuel did not know God, though he worked in God's house every day.

Though he does not know God, this is not the same thing as Eli's sons who do not know God and blatantly evil about it. Samuel is not neutral or sinless, but he has not had the transforming experience knowing God. His mother knew God. He is working in the house of God, where people come to worship the maker of heaven and earth. We often like to think we are neutral when arrive in this life. But our righteousness is not one that comes from ourselves. It never has and never will. Our righteousness is a dependent one. If we are properly nourished, it is because we are dependent upon food that comes from plants or animals. Our whole of life is a state of dependency. We can not live unless we breath, each breath means we are dependent upon our environment constantly for life, one breath at a time. Likewise our righteousness is one that does not flow from ourself, but it flows from the one who created the universe.

So our natural state is that of need. This is true when it comes to righteousness. Righteousness is a right standing before God. We need God to make us righteous. We are also in a state of need when it comes to ministry. We are dependent upon God to give us gifts, upon God send the Teacher the Holy Spirit. We are dependent upon God to help us use our gifts. We are dependent upon others to help us refine our gifts for ministry. Samuel begins his ministry here with spurts and starts. He is being given the Word of God and he does not even realize what is going on.

Someone suggested one time that when I preach here that I simply use a sermon that I have preached before I came here. There are a couple of reasons that I could not do that. I had my own spurts and starts when I began to preach. As a youth I attended a church that was very encouraging to young men who wanted to enter the ministry. Often even as a teen, I was give opportunities to preach in a pulpit during Youth Sunday. Between my Freshman and Sophomore year in college I started preaching each Sunday as a supply preacher. That meant I was not an ordained preacher but I was all they could get. To get to the church I had to drive an hour and a half to a small church near Sarcoxie, Missouri. There were only about ten people there on a given Sunday. We did not do much for hymns and so I would preach for an hour. I would preach way too long. The next summer I started preaching at a little church near my home town, Phillipsburg, Missouri. There I preached the best I could with a lot of really bad sermons. But the people were good to let me try my gifts. I had great hopes and dreams and the opportunities to see a thriving, growing church were just not realistic. It was a small town of about 170 people and six churches. Given some really bad preaching and not a lot of prospects of new members, I was frustrated. There in Phillipsburg I would preach way too harsh.

What went right? I was reading the Bible, I was praying and I was learning the things of God. I was sharing what God was teaching me with others. God confirmed my teaching gifts. I had a lot of very generous people encouraging me in pursuit of my goal of becoming a pastor.

What went wrong? I think I was enthusiastic about the things of God and I became prideful in what I had learned. When people were generous with me and said kind things to me, I felt like I knew it all. I wanted to not only preach the Word of God but preach it better than everyone else. In short I became full of myself.

God has taken me through several deserts in my pursuit of his calling on my life. Some periods where I felt like I had sinned and would never be in his favor again. In other times I felt like I was just not doing all I could to serve God.

Way back there in Sarcoxie, Missouri one the teachers gave a Sunday School lesson. She talked about a missionary who trained in college to do mission work. She applied to the mission fields but she found no opportunities. The situation became draining because she waited so long after graduation to find a position on the mission field. Finally a young man asked her to marry her. She went to a Pastor Brantley and asked what she should do. Should she turn the young man down and continue to look for a position with the missions board or marry the young man. Pastor Brantley said that she should exercise her gifts where God had put her. If she desired to do so, then she marry this young man. (I assume he was a fellow believer.) Then if she had used her training and used her gifts in a faithful way, she would be a missionary regardless of her formal position.

The application here is that we often learn to minister for the Lord by doing acts of service. We may not do them perfectly at first. We may not be the best at it. But God will use our humble service if we are open to hearing his call.

D.Samuel Receives The Word of the Lord Rebuking His Teacher (Verses 10-14)

The Word of the Lord was not all that original. It was merely confirming and expanding what an unknown prophet said at some point before. Why would God give Samuel a message that had been spoken before? There are a couple of answers to that question. One is that we often need to hear the Word of the Lord repeated. It is common to the human condition to need to hear a concept multiple times in order to understand it. We need to ponder an idea in order to embrace it. Two Samuel needs to take small steps in his initial ministry. Most children to do not simply start out their movements by running. Usually they crawl, then they walk and finally they run. One of our daughters started her movements out by rolling instead of crawling but it got the job done. I have also heard of children who sort of skip the walk stage and start out with a little trot instead of a walk. But most of us need to go through the natural progression to reach maturity. So God starts Samuel out with a simple message in order to let him speak it. It was a simple message but it was one that took courage to deliver.

Application: If you are a Sunday School teacher, youth leader, a small group leader, or a parent, do not attempt to come up with esoteric or new teachings all the time. Stick the basics. Repeat the basics often. People need the basics. A good coach drills his team in the basics all the time. A good Sunday School teacher of the Word of the Lord also repeats the basics of the faith. We should never tire of hearing the gospel. We should never tire of hearing the God's grace is large enough to cover all my sin. We should never tire to hear that Jesus died for me.

E. Samuel Tells Eli The Word of The Lord (Verses 15-18)

Now Eli has the God-give right do what many of you have been dreaming for years. He gets to tell his boss off. Come now let's hear it for telling the boss off. Well, that is not exactly what is going on here. The message he has is not one that would be exactly popular. He is going to tell Eli that judgment is coming. So he is afraid to tell speak the message that God has given him.

I remember a few years back I had eye surgery. The doctor told me that my eyes would be sensitive to bright light for a few weeks. He gave me these sunglasses that did not especially accent my best features. In other words, they were UGLY. As he handed me the glasses he said, “The good thing about these glasses is that they work with your existing prescription glasses”. I'm not sure there was a way for Samuel to put a positive spin on the message God had given. I can just imagine Samuel trying to think of a way to use the phrase, "the good thing about this coming judgment is......” It just does not work. If we as God's people speak the Word of the Lord today, it is often something that is not what we would like to deliver. And we should put a positive spin on things when appropriate. But courage to deliver bad news is as important as enthusiasm to deliver good news is a part of the job description.

We must have the courage to deliver bad news as well as bring the good news. We need to be willing to suffer for the message we bring. Now I'm not talking about being in your face rude or harsh with people.

F. Samuel Grows as a Prophet (Verses 19-20)

As we pointed out earlier, here Samuel's growth is in contrast to Eli's decline. Samuel's growth though comes through the ministry of Eli. And Samuel's growth is a positive extension of Eli's ministry while Eli's sons are a negative extension of Eli's ministry.

When this passage says that Samuel was known from Dan to Beersheba it is really talking about a national recognition of Samuel gifts as a prophet. This would not be the area allocated to the tribe Dan in the West-central part of Israel, the location of modern day Tel Aviv. Dan was a city in the far North of Israel. So the phrase refers would be somewhat analogous for us say from Augusta, Maine to Maine, Florida.
How do we grow in the Lord? First of all it is all of grace and not something we can achieve without God doing it. Like a garden, you can set up the right conditions but neither you nor I make the plants in our garden grow. That is God work.
How do we refine our gifts of ministry? Well, first we must understand what our gifts are. How do we do that? More often that not, practically speaking, we do that the same way you find out whether some new clothes fit. You see a ministry you suppose might be a fit and you try it on. For instance, if you don't know your spiritual gift but someone asks you to teach a small group study, you might try it on.

G. The Word of the Lord Comes to Samuel (Verse 21)

A lot of times we see the Word of the Lord as answering things that are particular and temporal and the Word answers more often than not issues that are transcendent and eternal. What do I mean by particular and temporal? When I am driving home from church today do I need to ask God what speed to drive. This is a particular thing that I am asking for a this one time. In reality, if I look at just a few principles, I know I'm supposed to obey the powers over me and they have posted a sign on Aquahart Drive saying that I can drive 30 MPH. So if I stop to pray to ask that, will I get an answer. Should I ask God to tell me what color of socks to wear? I suppose that is how God could deal with us. Though his speaking to mankind is a multidimensional, he speaks in the person of Jesus Christ. He speaks in his creation. But when it comes to revelation, he has spoken clearly in his Word the Bible. When we are looking for answers to the questions of life, we need to search out the Word of God for the answers. How is it right to ask God for a particular answer of something temporal when he has given an eternal answer to his people. What I'm saying is that we should count the Bible as precious. We should count that the Word of God has answer in it for this generation.

We live in a day and age where the Word of God is abundant. Living in the time of Samuel, the Word of God had passed from being rare to being common in his servant Samuel. This closes the loop in the story here. The Word of God is no longer rare, but present with the people of God at God's house. The Word of God is not rare in our day and age. We all have Bibles if we want them. We must not neglect what God has given us. We should not be foolish in partaking of the Word of God when it is abundant.

In conclusion, the Word of God is precious. It is powerful to change not only the hearers but also the messenger too. Each one of you here, if you are a believer, have a ministry to offer. For some of you it is simply sharing over a cup of coffee with your friend what God is saying to you when you read Bible. For others it is giving a cup of cool water to the thirsty in Jesus name. Still other should be sharing the Word of God by teaching Sunday School, a small group Bible Study or perhaps the to the youth of our church. I wonder if you will like Samuel say, “here am I”. This is the same language used in the call of Isaiah 6. Isaiah saw the need to declare the Word of God. His reply was here am I Lord, send me. Samuel was called by God. He said, “Here am I Lord”. I am wondering if anyone here is sensing a call. Perhaps your call is to have that cup of coffee with a friend or co-worker and share what God is doing. Will you say “Here am I Lord”. Perhaps it is to lead our youth ministry. If God is calling you, will you say, “Here am I”.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ligers Make a "Dynamite" Leap Into the Limelight

You have got to be kidding?

Ligers Make a "Dynamite" Leap Into the Limelight: "Ligers Make a 'Dynamite' Leap Into the Limelight
Maryann Mott
for National Geographic News
August 5, 2005

It's half lion, half tiger, and completely real. Now thanks to a cameo in the 2004 cult movie Napoleon Dynamite, the liger has leaped into the limelight, prompting fans to ask, What are they really like?"

Friday, August 05, 2005

Parableman: Design, as long as it's not intelligent

I encourage you to slip on over to Parableman to read his interesting and thought provoking post on the intelligent design debate. It is a topic I find interesting and needing to be discussed.

Parableman: Design, as long as it's not intelligent: "Design, as long as it's not intelligent

I've returned from a research conference and another meeting, but I'll be traveling again next week.

I keep hearing talks at conferences that I find rather amazing. For example, in the areas of systems biology and biological networks, I've heard several talks about how these systems are 'designed'. Sometimes (as in the talk I just heard) speakers will go beyond saying that the systems 'appear designed', and state that the evidence shows that they are designed. This seems scientifically well-received as long as the speakers avoid suggesting that there was actually an intelligent designer who did the designing (and perhaps instead suggest that natural selection was the designer). I find it remarkable that it is scientifically accepted to talk about design in biological systems, as long the designer is left out of the picture or assumed to be unintelligent. But many scientists vehemently oppose any suggestion of an intelligent designer. Follow the link ...."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Assumptions Influence Conclusions In Study

While I have many blogging friends who are geographically close, I would say I have an equal number who are dispursed accross the globe. I have never met Parableman, but I think he is someone I admire, respect and occationally ask for advise.

My oldest daughter uses LiveJournal. I think the design of LiveJournal is built on friends you already know. From reading my daughter's blog and her friends, it seems to be a type of blogging plateform that is more focused on social networking. And that is fine. Other blogs are more focused on content creation. It even seems that there are some blogs out there that are written with no social purpose in mind.
LiveJournal is great, but this study should not be centered on this one blogging platform.

Bloggers Make Buddies Close to Home in a Small Online World: "In a recent study, scientists observed members of the online community, to track how relationships form in cyberspace. The researchers found that, even with the world at their fingertips, most users tend to select friends from their own geographical areas."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Profile Of Chinese Christian

I found this mini-biography at a site that promotes praying for China. Follow the link to get the whole thing...

Pray For China: "Soldier for Christ

His Old Life. In his youth, Zhang Xueliang played a prominent role in Chinas political development and lived the life of a patriotic playboy, but for his last 37 years he was a devoted soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. Zhang was born in Haicheng, Liaoning on June 2, 1900."