Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Soldiers Silent Night

A Soldier's Silent Night - Touching Tribute to Our Beloved Troops from sharethemessage on GodTube.

During this season of giving, we feel it more important than ever to remember the men and women that sacrifice so much in order for us to celebrate and herald the incarnation of Christ in freedom. "Lord, bless, comfort and protect our troops, this Christmas season and always. Amen".

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

God Became Man

Infinite and yet an infant.

Eternal and yet born of a woman.
Almighty, and yet nursing at a woman's breast.
Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother's arms.
Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter's despised son.

—Charles Haddon Spurgeon

That man should be made in God's image is a wonder,
but that God should be made in man's image is a greater wonder.
That the Ancient of Days would be born.
That He who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle?

—Thomas Watson

Man's Maker was made man
that the Bread might be hungry,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired from the journey;
that Strength might be made weak,
that Life might die.


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth."
(John 1:14)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"A,B,C"'s Skills

Lily calls this the "abcdefg" song. Feel free to sing along!

Say "Lily"

He's been doing this for months now. He said "Lily" almost perfectly a few times for just one day, and ever since then when we ask him to say it, he just laughs! Silly boy!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

NASA - Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End

A great, no nonsense end-of-the-world Q&A from the experts at NASA. We just might all live to see January! Will we ever stop being distracted with this stuff???

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Invasion

"Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage." -C. S. Lewis

School Shootings and Spiritual Warfare

Moore to the Point – School Shootings and Spiritual Warfare

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas, Hope and the End of the World

"Superman, where are you now, when everything's gone wrong somehow? The men of steel, these men of power, are losing control by the hour."  Genesis "Land of Confusion"

Fear is everywhere today, filling the airwaves, magazines and news centers of the world. This week alone we’ve heard of the looming “fiscal cliff”, continued high unemployment, an American state fully legalizing marijuana and several deadly mass-shootings. And abroad, continued unrest in Egypt, Syria readying chemical weapons in its civil war and North Korea launching a long-range missile. All just this week, and just on the national and world-stage. Many American cities are seeing crime rates soar as violent crime, despite government statistics, clearly appears to be on a disturbing rise.
This past year was loaded with various predictions for “the end of the world” (or the world as we know it). With the lack of peace seemingly everywhere, the sense that a catastrophe is near seems logical and even prudent.
And yet 2,000 years ago, Jesus promised these things. He assured us that it would get worse, much worse before the “end” would come. Why would he do this? The answers are many and varied, but perhaps the most obvious answer is the best. He prophesied these things so that we would have hope.
But how? How do we hope in such perilous times? How can we have hope that things will get better and that our uncertainties will be made certain? When the sky is falling (or getting ready to fall), how do we entertain a mindset of hope?
The answer comes from Jesus Himself: we hope in Him. We put all of our fears aside and look to the God-man who long ago told us what was to come so that we would believe in Him, rather than fearing the things taking place:
“I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.” –John 13:3
The words of Christ in the Gospels declaring what would unfold in the course of human events tells us that we have a Sovereign who graciously says to us, “it may look bad, but I’m in control. These things must happen before I come in and clean it up once and for all.”
At the last supper, Jesus tells his disciples:
“You believe in God; believe also in me. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  -John 14:1&27
It is natural to fear our circumstances and what is happening in our world. But here, He offers us His peace, a peace radically different and “beyond understanding” to the world. And He tells us that it is ours, if we will only entrust ourselves to and believe in Him.
The God-man, God-made-flesh, stands over all of time and history and says, “this is all mine. It is all working toward an end that will bring Me glory and will result in eternal life and joy for those who call on Me and entrust Me to lead them into My eternal dwelling.
However that path to our eternal home may wind, whether through terrible hardship or a restful ease of life, our hope is not in this life or in the things of this world; our hope is solely in the hands of our omnipotent King. And our future is glorious. Because no matter what this life brings, one day, we will see Him. Yes, we will SEE Him!!
And what we are to see is not a baby in a manger. It is not the meek and lowly one in sandals and a carpenters garb. It is the resurrected ruler and awesome King of the universe.
19th century pastor and theologian J.C. Ryle said it well:
“The second coming of Christ shall be utterly unlike the first. He came the first time in weakness, a tender infant, born of a poor woman in the manger at Bethlehem, unnoticed, un-honored, and scarcely known. He shall come the second time in royal dignity, with the armies of heaven around Him, to be known, recognized and feared, by all the tribes of the earth. He came the first time to suffer – to bear our sins, to be reckoned a curse, to be despised, rejected, unjustly condemned and slain. He shall come the second time to reign – to put down every enemy beneath His feet, to take the kingdom of this world for His inheritance, to rule them with righteousness, to judge all men and to live forevermore.”

and in the vision of the Apostle John on Patmos:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”  -Revelation 19:11-16
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King"

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King"

Merry Christmas and In Excelsis Deo!!!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Godward Gratitude

"God created humanity for gratitude. You exist to appreciate God. He created you to honor him by giving him thanks. Appreciating both who God is and his actions for us — in creating us and sustaining our lives — is fundamental to proper human life in God’s created world. As he describes in Romans 1 what’s gone wrong with the world, the apostle Paul gives us this glimpse of the place of appreciation in the created order:
"Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened."
Part of what the first man and woman were created to do is honor God by being thankful. And part of what we exist to do is honor God by being thankful — and thus the numerous biblical commands enjoining gratitude.

Humanity was created to appreciate God."


We pause today and reflect on the countless graces that God pours out on the world. Both believers and non-believers alike share in the gifts of God, "for He sends rain on the just and on the unjust." But the greatest gift that any human soul can receive in this life is the miracle of a heart and mind healed from it's inherited blindness and now able to see "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."  God is the supreme Sovereign of the universe who alone deserves our gratitude, praise and thanksgiving. In John's vision of the end of time, he is witness to the throne room of God and hears angels and the elders surrounding the Throne of God proclaim: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." -Revelation 7:12. Scripture speaks loudly and clearly and constantly about the heart matter of gratitude toward our Father in Heaven.

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. -Psalm 7:17

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. -Hebrews 12:28-29

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me. -Psalm 50:23

Too numerous to list, the Bible is one long, extended story that declares that God alone is worthy of all our praise, and that His adopted children will spend eternity with hearts overflowing with thanksgiving, bathing in the light of His glory. This is the reason that today and every day, we seek to live lives of worship and gratitude, and say with the Psalmist: "In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah." -Psalm 44:8

So today, we unite in spirit with God's Church to remember that: "He did not leave himself without witness, for He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness." -Acts 14:17

The wind and the clouds and the blue in the skyThe sun and the moon and the stars so highThe sand on the shore and the waves in the seaThe air in my lungs and the way You made me
The blood in my veins and my heart You invadeThe plants how they grow and the trees and their shadeThe way that I feel and the love in my soulI thank you my God for letting me know.
I am captivated by YouIn all that you doI am captivated "Captivated" -Shawn MacDonald
Though life is but a fleeting breathA sigh too brief to measureMy King has crushed the curse of deathAnd I am his forever
Oh praise Him, hallelujahMy Delight and my RewardEverlasting, never failingMy Redeemer, my God
"My Soul Finds Rest"- Aaron Keyes
"Father, we thank you for the Cross of Jesus Christ and the gift of eternal life, a life that begins now, as we see and savor Your great works and your kindness that leads us into lives of contrition and repentance, for you alone are Holy."
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  -Psalm 100

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Adoption Quote

> "Our spiritual adoption in God's mind was not Plan B. He predestined us for adoption before the creation of the world. Plan A was not lots of children who never sin and never need to be redeemed. Plan A was creation, fall, redemption, and adoption so that the full range of God's glory and mercy and grace could be known by His adopted children. Adoption was not second best. It was planned from the beginning." -John Piper


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wisdom from Lewis...

"It was not for societies or states, that Christ died, but for men."
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thinking Politically, Biblically

It's worth noting that the words below, written by the apostles Peter and Paul, were penned in a political environment far more antagonistic to Christianity than anything we can comprehend in our day.

"Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." -1 Peter 2:13-17

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." -Romans 13:1

"He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away." -Job 12:23


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kingdom Politics

We generally have tried to avoid direct commentary on politics, and especially politicians, here on our blog. But given what appears to be an increasingly un-Biblical weight that many American Christians attach to the outcomes of our political processes, and the all-too-often harsh rhetoric that precedes and follows our election cycles, we have read and decided to share the two articles below that we believe put these important matters firmly into the light of Gospel-centered truth.

Fellow Christians, the kingdom that we live for is not of this earth. We are seeking and awaiting the kingdom to come, or better stated, that is coming. If we are to take the scripture at it's word, we must rest in the knowledge that our God is sovereign over every appointment and every decision of every elected official everywhere on this planet. So let's joyfully exercise our precious, blood-bought right to vote our consciences without fear of reprisal. But once that vote has been cast, as believers in the risen and victorious Lord of Creation, let's put our lives and destiny in the hands of the One who said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to to me".  -Matthew 28:18

God bless America and God bless our President.

E & J

On God's Election of Barack Obama

By Michael Patton

I have kept an eye on what people are saying in my circles about Obama's re-election. Things don't look too good there. Fear, anger, frustration, and hopelessness are filling the thoughts of those of us who are supposed to have the most hope. There is no time that the sin of idolatry comes to light more than after a Presidential election. One person I know says that they are taking off a week of work to recover. Another says they are leaving the country. Yet another says this is the downfall of America. It is the end. The downfall of America? The end? Really?
It is hard for me to get too upset about these elections. Sure, there are implications. These implications extend to my family and my job. They make me look at the people in my country and think, "Really, is this who we are now? Is this what it has come down to?" Were I to place the full weight of my body (which is getting lighter every day!) on the chair of human achievement, I suppose I would feel less secure today than I did yesterday. But I don't and I can't. In fact, I found myself rejoicing once the results came in.
Obama is our president for the next four years. How bad is that? I suppose I could talk about all the issues involved, both economic and moral. I suppose I could talk about how much worse it is now going to get. I suppose that I could get ready for the most bleak outcome: increased unemployment, higher taxes, less pay, fewer donations to Credo House, waiting in line for health care, homosexual marriage, increased toleration for the death of the unborn, increased intoleration for Christianity, and a thousand other things. But this would lack perspective. Whether it is Obama or Romney, I pause and take account of this fact: I live in the most secure, free, and moral country that has probably ever existed. And we are a long way from giving up this title. Are we heading toward a "fall"? Maybe, but we are still a long way from the cliff. In fact, it is not even in sight yet.
But let us say for the sake of argument that Obama is the iconic president who will lead the charge off the cliff. Let us say that America is heading for disaster. Let us say that in ten years our teeth will be on edge due to the sour grapes that Obama is handing out. Let us say that Obama will be the cause for an imminent loss of security, freedom, and morality. What then? If we knew this without a doubt, what then? Is it then time to despair? Is it then time for us to rent our cloaks, shave our heads, and go into mourning? How could it be?
My favorite theologian and philosopher, Bono, once said in a song about Christ's death, "I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword. I threw the dice and they pierced his side. But I have seen love conquer the great divide" ("When Love Comes to Town"). The worst event in the history of the world is when we hung our Creator on a tree and let him die. We all went to the polling booth and said, "We will not have this man to rule over us." We voted against the very incarnation of goodness, righteousness, and truth. We held the scabbard of the soldier's sword as he killed our savior. Yet, while this was the worst event in the history of humanity, it was also the best. While it was a day for the greatest mourning in the history of the world, it was also a day for the greatest rejoicing in the history of the world. While angels gawked at the arrogance of man, they gawked more at the love of God. God drew the sword on himself that day. He was in charge. I held the scabbard as the King of Kings was unelected from office. Yet God's plan was that through evil greatness might be revealed. Have we not learned? Do we stand in the crowd in front of the cross with hopeless despair or with great anticipation and excitement of what God is doing?
We all stand in front of the cross on election day, not knowing what God's plan is. Will righteousness be delivered or killed? Will evil triumph or be smothered? Will we begin to heal or continue to be beaten? Who knows? But what we don't have the right to do is keep from rejoicing in anticipation that our Father is going about his business and he has something in mind.
Obama has been reelected. Please don't come down too hard on me as I rejoice. Me and my kids got down on our knees tonight and prayed that Romney would win. He did not. Yet, in a very real way, I am excited. No, I don't agree with Obama, his policies, his plans, or his dreams. Yet I have this really awesome Father who does incredible things like kill his own Son. I have this Father who knows what he is doing and is in complete control. I have this Father who elected Barack Obama as his man and you are not going to believe what comes next. Yes, it looks bad. Yes, there are a lot of people in this crowd crying. Yes, they are without hope. But let me tell you about the way he works. It is too cool.
I am in the crowd tonight listening. Dashed dreams and hopelessness are topics of conversation. But I can't join in. I know the Guy in charge of all this. And because I know his M.O., I will hold the scabbard with great anticipation and joy. God's will has been done tonight and I can't wait to see what he does next. Don't fault me for rejoicing in the unexpected and unwanted. I can't help it. This is Christianity 101.
"Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." –Titus 3:1-2
Pray for my president that God elected tonight. I commit to loving and encouraging him. I will speak no ill-will of him. He is the man God elected and my arms are laid down. There is no authority except from God and who am I not to hold the scabbard of God's mission?

Sent from my iPad

"Christians, Let's Honor the President"

by Russell Moore

The American people have decided that Barack Obama should have a second term. And, behind them, in the mystery of providence, God has decided that Barack Obama would be re-elected. So how should Christians respond to our once and future President?

Many of us have some disagreements with the President. As a conservative Christian, I believe unborn children have certain inalienable rights, including the right to life, and I wish President Obama would work to protect them. I believe freedom of conscience is the preeminent right in a civil society, and the Administration's incursions on religious liberty are troubling. I don't plan to back down one bit on these matters, even as our forefathers Isaac Backus and John Leland relentlessly stood up to the founding generation of leaders on behalf of religious freedom and human dignity.

We are going to disagree with the President on some (important) things; there will be other areas where we can work with the President. But whether in agreement or disagreement, we can honor. Honor doesn't mean blanket endorsement.

I am always amazed by those Christians who will dispute the command to honor, arguing that "kings" in our system are the people, and therefore we're called to honor the Constitution but not elected officials. But the Scripture doesn't command honor simply for the ultimate authority (which is, of course, ultimately God, in any case). Humanly speaking, the ultimate political authority in the New Testament context was the Emperor. And yet, the Apostle Peter specifically calls the people of Christ not only to show submission to the emperor "as supreme" but also to "governors" (1 Pet. 2:13-14). The Apostle Paul calls on the churches to pray and to show thanksgiving for "kings" (plural) and for "all who are in high positions" (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

Paul imitated this when he showed due respect to the governor Felix, referring to him with the honorific title "his Excellency, the governor" (Acts 23:26) and "most excellent Felix" (Acts 24:2), even as he appealed his way up through the political process of the Roman Empire of his time. Paul showed thanksgiving for Felix, despite his part in a system with which Paul disagreed at some important points, for his "reforms" for the common good (24:3).

Behind that is a more general command to "honor everyone" (1 Pet. 2:17), to pray for "all people" (1 Tim. 2:1). We are to not only pay our taxes but give "respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed" (Rom. 13:7).

Christians, above all people, should pray for and show respect for our President and all of our elected officials. After all, unlike those who see politics as ultimate, we recognize that our political structures are important, but temporal, before an inbreaking kingdom of Christ. We don't then need to be fomented into the kind of faux outrage that passes for much of contemporary political discourse. And, unlike those who see history as impersonal or capricious, we see behind everything a God who is sovereign over his universe.

So let's pray for President Obama. Let's not give ourselves to terms of disrespect, or every crazy conspiracy theory that floats across the Internet.

That doesn't mean slavish obedience. In a democratic republic, the President and the Congress govern by the consent of the governed. We appeal to our elected officials, and lobby them for the common good, expressing disagreement when we must. But we do this, as Paul does before Felix and Agrippa, with respect and honor, even as he seeks to persuade them of the need for religious liberty and as he preaches "righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment" (Acts 24:25).

However we voted in the election, let's pray for God to bless our President. We can pray for him to be granted wisdom and health. We can pray that God would prosper his good ideas, and change his mind on his bad ideas. Moreover, we can teach our children to respect our President, starting with referring to him as "President Obama" or "Our President," not as "Obama" or "the guy our parents voted against" or what have you.

There's a time to vote. There's a time to campaign. And there's a time to petition. But, through it all, let's be the people who, even as we speak with conviction, are marked by kindness and respect. When we have to differ with President Obama, let's do that, with backbone. But let's make sure we do all this with honor, with respect, with prayer, and, most of all, with love.

Let's render unto Caesar, as free people with natural rights. Because we know as believers that we will eternally say "Jesus is Lord," we can as citizens temporally say, "Hail to the chief."

Sent from my iPhone