June 20

I hope you all had a great father’s day.  I know I did.  I am very proud of my three boys and how they are maturing day by day and week by week.  But fatherhood is hard and it takes effort to raise children.  Sometimes I think raising kids may be getting harder in today’s culture, but then I consider fathers down through the ages.  They all had different,difficult crises to deal with and who knows whether our crises are harder or not than theirs.  I am sure they did not think raising us was easy either.  The main job is still the same: how to raise selfish, sinful, ignorant boys and girls to be selfless, godly, knowledgeable young men and women who will be able to repeat this task with their own children.  And there is no formal training and differing opinions on how to do this.  It is hands on training, in real time, and often we find ourselves “flying by the seat of our pants”.
It was no different with Joseph in the Bible either as we saw a bit in yesterday’s sermon.  Raising a perfect son was not much different from raising an imperfect one.  You need love, patience, and a lot of wisdom from someone far greater then us: our heavenly father.  So do not get discouraged if your children do not turn out as well as Joseph’s son did.

June 13

It was good to sit back in listen to a message I did not have to prepare.  I really enjoyed Joe’s take on Esther and it was a good reminder to me (and I hope to you) that God knows all about the circumstances and the situations we are facing.  And the reason why we are facing those circumstances and situations is because God has a purpose by placing us in those circumstances and situations.  So we should not focus on the question why we are in such circumstances and stiuations, but how we can be used by God “in such a time as this”.

June 6

It may have seemed surprising to some that according to Jesus in Matthew’s gospel that the rapture will not take place until after the great tribulation (post-trib rapture).  Many books and movies portray the rapture as before the tribulation (pre-trib).  But nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the rapture will take place before the tribulation.  Most of the places that talk about the rapture connect it with Jesus’ second coming which is always placed after the tribulation.  And the few other places that talk about the rapture have no mention about the timing.  Just because the rapture is said to be immanent (close at hand) does not make it immediate or next on the end time timeline.  And, to link it to last week’s sermon, just because the rapture/return is unknown does not mean that we do not have any signs leading up to it that are known (especially to those in the light and to those who the thief will not catch unawares.)  So having a 7 year tribulation time (3 1/2 of which will be the “great tribulation”) does not negate the unknowable nature of the rapture/return.
Unfortunately, do to scheduling issues, I will not be able to preach about our readiness for the rapture/return for two more weeks (guest speaker on 12th and Father’s day on 19th).  So hopefully, you will tune back in on the 26th, to hear about the tribulation and how we can be ready to face it (and the consequences of teaching a pre-trib rapture.

May 30

I am posting this later on in the week because I took a bit of a holiday on Monday and Tuesday.  We celebrated Memorial Day with my in-laws and remembered those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  It is something that we need to do every so often to realize that our freedom was costly. Freedom is not free.
It also cost the life of the greatest human to walk this earth in order for us to have freedom from sin and a right relationship with God.  And this is something we need to celebrate and remember daily.  Jesus laid down his life to free us from bondage.  Freedom is not free.

May 23

The Battle of Mt. Carmel was a showdown for the ages.  Elijah was about to stand up against the wicked King Ahab.  That was tough enough.  He had the power to kill Elijah.  That is why it took Elijah 3 years to stand before him.  But the question I have for you is would you have been tough enough to stand up to the 650 prophet of Baal and Asherah.  That would have been much tougher.  One on one maybe, but one on 650?  That took guts.  And to challenge them at this dual and putting yourself at a disadvantage as well (with the water).  That was true faith.

May 16

This is posted a few days later than usual since I was out of the office the first part of the week.  But I want to go back to our topic on Sunday about Hell.  Jesus was given power over hell by breaking it’s chains and claiming victory over sin and the grave.  Because of that we never need to fear hell and death again.  If we trust in Jesus’ power, including the power over Hell, we will live forever with him.  This is why we too can say, “O death, where is your victory, O death where is your sting!” (1 Cor 15:55)  We have the power and the victory with Christ.  It no longer has a claim on us.  It can no longer overwhelm us.  We have hope that cannot be taken away.  Praise the Lord!

May 9

Mothers are truly a blessing.  And the way God created females with their gifts, tendencies, graces, etc. is remarkable.  We should never take for granted those who love us like mothers.  And I hope that all the mothers out there felt special yesterday.  And as I shared yesterday that God even has some feminine characteristics.  But that might be looking at this a bit backward.  Because it is some of the qualities of God and his image in which females are given those “feminine” qualities.  So I should not say that God has feminine qualities but females have God-like qualities.  So whether you have been created male of female, thank God for the qualities of Himself that he has put uniquely in you and your gender.

May 2

We are now in the month of May.  Things are starting to grow outside.  But my question this week is are you growing on the inside?  Are you a May Christian?

April 25

Well, my birthday is tomorrow.  It is the last one before meeting a major milestone.   I am not one who is fearful about getting older.  It is just another year closer to meeting Jesus face to face.  So I do not need to worry about one day out of the year changing my number.  I just keep daily serving God and do not fret about one day over the next.  So getting older is no big deal.  However, getting old is.  Getting old implies that you are more set in your ways and less likely to move or grow.  Getting old means not getting new or renewed.  Getting old is something we all need to avoid doing at all cost.  I see a big difference from getting older (aging) and getting old (stubborn/set in our ways).
So as we get older, let’s prevent ourselves from getting old.

April 18

Hallelujah.  Jesus rose from the grave.  He rose a victor from the dark domain and he lives forever with his saints to reign.  Praise the Lord.  We have so much hope due to this fact.  Easter is the proof of Jesus’ divinity and points to our victory over death.  We no longer have to fear death.  Because death is not the end.  The same power that raised from the dead will change our mortal bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Phil 3:21).  So let us rejoice and worship this God who reconciles us to himself and follow the Savior who laid down is life for ours.