Month: January 2012

2012 Bible Reading in Idaho Falls – Relationship & Trust

1.  “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me” (Gen. 32:20).  Jacob wanted to give gifts to his brother, but he really didn’t want to have any close relationship with Esau.  The gifts are more like bribery.  Isn’t it possible to treat God the same way?  Offer Him extravagant gifts in order to get Him off your back?  See Micah 6:1-8

2.  Genesis 34 – The sons of the original patriarchal family for modern-day Israel have murdered all the male inhabitants of a city.  Wives and little children are in slavery.  Jacob is afraid for his life.  What does this Jewish family desperately need?  The direct, gracious intervention of Almighty God.  Grace – it is what we all need.

3.  “And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:2)  I cry out in prayer for brothers and sisters in prison on this day, January 17, 2012.  May the mighty Intercessor, Christ Jesus, grant new grace to those who are under intense persecution for their faith.

4.  Jesus says, “Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple” (Matt. 12:6).   How do you think we should apply this fundamental truth within the city of Idaho Falls?

5.  For the Occupiers on Hitt Road and the Tea Partiers in Freeman Park, consider the King announced by God through the lips of the ancient prophet, Isaiah:

Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!  I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.  He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.  A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory; and in His name Gentiles will trust (Matt. 12:18-21).

- utilizing The NKJV Daily Bible (Thomas Nelson, 2004)

Mormon Factor for Romney

Today’s headlines in our local newspaper:

‘Mormon factor’ wears off for Romney

Here is the input from Greer and Greenville, South Carolina:

“Although Romney’s faith is still a matter of some discussion, it is less of a political problem for him than it was in 2008,” said Jim Guth, a political scientist at Furman University in Greenville, in South Carolina’s conservative upstate. “Most Republicans have a generally positive view of Romney, even evangelical Christians.”

Four years ago, the Romney campaign directly took on suspicion about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Conservative Christians, including many protestants and Roman Catholics, do not consider Mormons to be Christian, although Mormons strongly do.

2012 Bible Reading in Idaho Falls – Trust

Sitting outside in the sunshine today during the noon hour and reading scripture (can you believe this weather in Idaho Falls?) . . .

1.  God tells Abraham:  “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen. 22:2).

2.  How do you respond to a command like that in which you do not at all understand?  Well, here is the section of Proverbs for today’s scripture reading – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

3.  Today’s New Testament reading:  “Lord, save us!  We are perishing!” (Matt. 8:25).  But sometimes as the Lord Jesus would answer our cries, He lovingly rebukes us, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 8:26).

There is one thing that we can always be confident about – “The-LORD-Will-Provide” (Gen. 22:14).

The Father’s loving provision to us is both His Son and His Spirit.  Glory.  We can trust.  If there is anyone we can fully trust, it is the LORD, the Everlasting God.

Craig Cooper – “Hail to the Pastafarians”

Guest Columnist, Craig Cooper, had his piece, “Hail to the Pastafarians”, published in the Post Register today.  “Cooper is a local scientist with expertise in energy, environmental, and policy issues; and a former member of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s legislative staff.”

Excerpts from his article,

My pastor and I were chatting after church the other day, and he shared the story of an interesting Nativity display that that some Pastafarians put up in a small Virginia town. . . .

Ya’ll will not be surprised to learn that this display was a tad bit controversial!  My pastor, however, was amused by the display’s creativity and seemed to consider it an example of how, “God works in mysterious ways.” . . .

The Pastafarians originated as a response to the growing political influence of fundamentalist Christian organizations. . . .

Many Pastafarians believe success in this endeavor could weaken the political power of Christian fundamentalism, and bring our society closer to a world where facts are established by science — not religion.

I am a Christian.  But I am also a scientist.  Many people see conflict in this.  I do not. . . .

To prosper, human society needs both science and religion.  Yet, we also need to understand the limits of each.  The Pastafarians can help us to better understand the limits of these two worlds of thought, and God bless them for that.

Let me say that I am a Christian who holds to bedrock fundamentals of Christian doctrine.  And secondly, I care not really about the power of American politics or its current trends (less so, I am sure, than Cooper).

But when Craig brings in a flying spaghetti monster into the debate between theistic evolution and creationism, what technique do you call this in debate?  In pofo format, how would you respond when your opponent throws out to you the meatballs?

(laughter?)

2012 Bible Reading – Ammon

1.  Our church building where I preach sermons resides within the city limits of Ammon.  Of course, that name in the Bible has a sordid history.  We read about it, today.  “It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ Then they made their father drink wine that night also.  And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. . . . And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day” (Gen. 19:34-35, 38).

2.  What or Who is the hope is for Ammonites?

3.  A leper in Matthew 8 came to Jesus and worshiped Him, saying, ” ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’  Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’  Immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:2-3).  If Jesus can help a leper with physically cleansing, surely He can help an Ammonite with spiritual cleansing.  And the complete cleansing of the sinful heart will be immediate.