Monday, December 27, 2010
of the New Year
One: The "Blizzard: up here in the Maine is more like a snowstorm. There is a lot of snow and it's still coming down, but c'mon folks, it's Maine.
Two: The ski areas have received a great gift from the skies. I won't be there this week (too crowded and my pass is blacked out this week), but I hope to make it next week.
Three: (More important, but these are in descending order). We had a wonderful time of worship at Covenant Baptist Church yesterday. Our congregation is growing both numerically and spiritually. I have never enjoyed preparation and delivery of sermons more than now.
Four: The New Year's Resolution for all Christians should be the same as that of the Apostle Paul, who wrote to the Corinthian churches, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2). Know Jesus Christ - and share that knowledge in 2011 (but don't necessarily wait a week).
Monday, November 29, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
- This is the land in which the governor has declared that “nobody cares if you smoke a joint.”
- In this city homosexuality is not only tolerated it is embraced (I couldn't help myself) and celebrated openly.
- SF has declared itself a Sanctuary City. In other words, illegal aliens (lawbreakers) are given refuge
- The city has five abortion clinics listed in the Yellow pages and numerous doctors willing to perform abortions.
- Oh, and BTW, SF has banned "Happy meals" from that restaurant with the golden arches.
Monday, October 11, 2010
In an online forum in which I participate, the question was asked, recently, "What is the music in you head right now?" Srangely enough it was an easy question for me, since one song has been running through my head for some time. It's "For What It's Worth," by Buffalo-Springfield.
The group itself was only together for two or three years, although all its members went on to great musical careers. This song, which came out in 1967, was their big hit. Not only that, but it became the rock anthem of the 60s and 70s.
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and they carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down.
There's somethin' happenin' here.
What it is ain't exactly clear.
There's a man with a gun over there
A-tellin' me I've got to beware.
I think it's time we stop.
Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down.
There's battle lines bein' drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speakin' their minds
A-gettin' so much resistance from behind.
The song is only 2 minutes and 39 seconds long. Its worth a listen. And maybe we should "stop. Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down."
What think ye, coffee drinkers?
Thursday, August 26, 2010
- It was illegal immigrants who hijacked planes on September 11, 2001 and killed thousands of people – within our borders. The damages from those attacks continue to mount.
- Beyond the fact that their very presence in the US is unlawful, illegals account for a large number of crimes in this nation, including murder, rape, kidnapping, and even drunk driving. (Read a report here).
It is not racist to want secure borders. What is racist about wanting secure borders and a secure America? What is racist about not wanting people to sneak into America and steal benefits we have set aside for legal aliens, senior citizens, children and other legal residents? What is it about race that entitles people to violate our laws, steal identities, and take the American Dream without paying the price? For about four decades American politicians have refused to secure our borders and look after the welfare of middle class Americans. These politicians have been of both parties. A huge debt to American society has resulted. This debt will be satisfied and the interest will be high. There have already been riots in the streets by illegal aliens and their supporters. There will be more. (Read the entire letter here.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
Representatives of the “religion of peace,” killed ten aid workers in Northern Afghanistan last week. (story here). Guilty of the "crime" of offering medical assistance to rural Afghanis, they were taken out of their vehicles, lined up, and shot one by one. The Taliban claimed credit for the killings, stating that the martyrs had been preaching Christianity. A quick search on GoodSearch ** indicates that the murder of humanitarian workers in Muslim countries has been rising drastically in recent years.
It must be acknowledged that Muslims have their martyrs, too.
Let’s make some comparisons.
The ten Christian martyrs of last week, and many more like them, were killed while involved in loving, peaceful activities. In this most recent case, they were offering optical care in a very remote region. They had also delivered medical equipment which they had raised the money to purchase for these Afghanis.
Muslim martyrs strap bombs to themselves and their vehicles and try to kill as many people as possible, including a great preponderance of innocents, many of whom are Muslims. They fly planes into buildings full of non-combatants. Their compatriots, even those living the good life in these United States, often celebrate such attacks publicly.
The Christians who become martyrs, while not seeking martyrdom, are motivated by love for Christ and the people to whom they are sent to serve.
The Muslim martyrs are motivated by hate for all things western, Christian, and Jewish. They also hope that they will be comforted by the current number of virgins in paradise – and at times reap benefits for the families they leave behind.
Praise God for the lives of these martyrs. May their deaths be the catalyst that turns many hearts and minds to Christ.
Coffee drinkers, what are your thoughts on this? And what about that great big mosque on the site of "Ground Zero?"
I would like to hear from you here in the comments section.
** If you use GoodSearch, we would appreciate it if you would type Lifework Forum into the "Who Do You Search For?" box. This allows you to benefit our ministry without any cost to you. Thank you.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Beginning in 1989 with the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, each of these nations (again, with the exception of Russia) has moved toward democratic and capitalist models. Some have met with more success than others, but all are headed in the same direction. Most have made positive diplomatic treaties or agreements with the US. Each has many stories to tell about the cruelties and ultimate failure of the socialist model in their own histories.
Yet, here we are, in the United States of America, moving to occupy the space these nations have vacated. While each of these former Warsaw Pact (and other Soviet-dominated) nations moves further and further from its Socialist and Communist past, we, with amazing alacrity, move toward that model.
We have nationalized the auto industry, the health care industry, a great portion of the financial sector, we have attacks on our first, second, and tenth amendment rights (and probably several others). These attacks are not coming from without, but from within our government. We have crises which are not being handled well, such as a catastrophic oil spill and a border war which has already stripped the US of some of its sovereign territory. The US Attorney General is preparing a lawsuit against the State of Arizona (with help from the government of Mexico!!!) regarding Arizona's recently-passed immigration law.
This is a sad state of affairs. It is the talk around the water cooler, in schools, at church, and on a large number of internet chat boards. Some folks are seriously preparing for Martial Law.
The Obama administration's views on God and religion have been fairly transparent. His appointees are Godless and God-hating. It's not good to get on the wrong side of that battle. Obama needs prayer. He needs to be converted. He needs to seek and accept the Wisdom of God's Word. He needs to surround himself with Godly advisors. Even more important, the nation he heads needs to get back to worship of the One True God. Obama is POTUS because God put him there. Ponder the reasons for that!
What think ye, coffee drinkers?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
A Really Inconvenient Truth
The following essay appeared in the Kairos Journal. It is published here in its entirety with their permission.
We Can’t Help But Tell the Truth
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20 (NIV)
The world has asked the Church to sit down and be quiet, and the Church has largely complied. In fact, the Church itself has asked the Church to sit down and be quiet, and the Church has largely obeyed. The Church knows so many biblical things, but there are so many people who hate to hear them. So some pastors and teachers are tempted to water down the truth to maintain warm relationships within and without the Church.
Knowing that the truth of Jesus would undermine their authority, “the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees” (4:1) moved in to stop this preaching. They arrested Peter and John, jailed them overnight, and then brought them before the high priestly family. When asked, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” gave all the credit to Christ, the Savior (4:8-12).
Not knowing what to say, the Sanhedrin sent Peter and John back to their cell. Fearing public and subsequent Roman reaction, they decided to let the two apostles off with a stern command (parangelia) to stop their teaching, but the prisoners would have none of this. They explained that they were working under a higher authority than the Sanhedrin (and the Romans) and that they had a proclamation mandate from God.1 They also directed the judges to judge their own judging, to ask whether they might be setting themselves at odds with God.
This same Greek word for command (parangelia) appears repeatedly in the Gospels, but it is Jesus, and not the Sanhedrin, who issues the directives. In Matthew 10:5-6, Jesus commands the twelve to go to “the lost sheep of Israel.” In Luke 8:29, Hecommands an unclean spirit to come out of a man. In Mark 8:6, Jesus commands the crowd to be seated for a miraculous feeding. Thus accustomed to the divine commands of Jesus, the apostles were unimpressed with human commands contrary to Jesus’ Great Commission.
The Romans had delegated authority to the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious court, but this authority was tenuous. If the actions of the chief priests and elders fomented insurrection or chaos, then their power would be stripped from them. Rome would step in with more direct, secular supervision.
Jesus’ directives are distasteful and inconvenient. For example, pastors know that a strong stand on the sanctity of marriage, one drawn from Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, elicits astonishment and contempt from the culture and retaliation from the “wounded” and their biblically indifferent constituency in the Church. Similar backlash can fall upon pastors who discredit cults and embarrass the backslidden. Pressure also arises outside the Church. In the face of many counter-biblical forces, pastors have to decide whether or not they will stand in the tradition of Peter and John or fall down in the interest of personal safety or “peace in our time.”
Friday, March 12, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
- I do not enjoy the figure skating events. Does it seem to anybody else that the men get more and more effeminate?
- The fascination with curling is beyond me.
- Speed skating is ruthless - and the judges are not to be trusted.
- I can't believe the things that some of those skiiers and boarders do - and the slopes they ski.
- The mogul skiiers aren't human.
- Biathlon must be incredibly difficult. Getting your breathing to cooperate for the shooting after skiing hard seems to be quite a feat.
- I didn't watch it live, but that hockey game was obviously one for the ages. Congrats Canada!
- I wonder how much the taxpayers of Vancouver and Canada are going to end up paying for the privilege of hosting.
- I wonder how many missionaries were in Edmonton and Whistler.
- I never saw any of the ski jumping. I'm sorry I missed it.
Monday, February 01, 2010
The religion you cite in your book is a generally fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make any distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
What think ye, imbibers of Coffee with Curt?
Is there any such thing as a "liberal Christian"? For your reading assignment today, allow me to refer you to an old classic: Christianity and Liberalism, by J. Greshem Machen.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Dick died sometime last week. Nobody really knows when. He was found in his apartment and the assumption is that he had been dead about a week. He drank himself to death. What a sad end to a sad life.
Dick had once been a neighbor of ours on a street full of close, neighborly friends. Dick succumbed to demon rum, however. He got in all sorts of trouble, lost his job, and destroyed his marriage. Yet, when his ex-wife called to tell us of his Dick’s death, the tears were just below the surface. She was thankful for the good years she had with him.
So were we. We enjoyed barbecues, front porch visits, trips to local restaurants, and just hanging out together. Dick could be charming and fun. He could tell stories. But all the stories weren’t charming. Some were the lies he used to cover up his drinking and the increasingly difficult time he was having at work. When he finally lost the job he had had for many years, the house of cards really began to tumble and crumble.
What do we make of all this? What’s the point? How can we reconcile this with the goodness of God? There are a lot of questions to be asked. Not all the answers will be satisfactory to our ears.
There’s a lot of teaching about “trouble” in God’s Word. These verses comes to mind, for instance:
He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head. (Psalm 7:14-16).
Trouble is often the result of our own actions. We can’t blame God; and we can’t blame the devil. Is alcoholism a disease? I won’t go on that rabbit trail, but I will say that though we may even inherit a tendency toward addiction, the active participation in that addiction begins as sinful behavior, not disease.
God does not walk away, however, and say, “You made your bed, now lie in it.” He cares about the troubled, the oppressed. The Bible is full of promises about help for the troubled. Here are just a few from the book of Psalms:
- The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)
- For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)
- You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)
- The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39).
God is in the rescue business. Dick was made in God's image. God offered help. Dick was told the Gospel. He was invited to church. His response was usually along the lines of “Time for church is when 60 Minutes comes on.”
Is all this a glib way to say, “tough luck, Dick,” or to excuse his friends and neighbors for our parts in his demise? No. It’s just a tough, real life story. He had a hard life. He probably had a hard death. If nothing else, let us all learn to turn from our addictions; turn others from beginning in lives of drink, drugs, and promiscuity. Turn to God. Let’s bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Pray for those in your life who are afflicted. Tell them that God WILL help. And expect them to throw up on your shoes. Then pray for them again.
There is no happy ending, here. Dick’s dead. He was (probably) unsaved. There but for the (vast, enormous, eternal) grace of God, go I.