Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness

I'm going to post the words to this song by Getty/Townend.  It's wonderful and sums up all I praise God for spiritually.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses and strengths
And causes fear to fly
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above;
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace;
Whose every thought is love.
For every day I have on earth
Is given by then King.
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow Him.

I'm still ever thankful for my father, my grandfather who is giving me a loan for school this week, the fact that I'm going to school again, Mary who cares for my brother, my brother, that the three of us got to see Winnie the Pooh and that I still had gift cards for Olive Garden that covered everything but half of the tip.  I'm thankful for my church, that they let me lead their young'uns, that they pay me, that they are understanding.  I'll be thankful when kids come tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

That praying NASCAR guy

I don't have much words for Joe Nelms.  (That is his name isn't it?)  It's a sad state of our church that people can be so irreverent when they should be on the front rows taking God seriously.  No wonder people don't believe in the Lord.  His representatives treat him like a child and not like a king.  Either way, this next video is a great response.


I'll admit.  I'm a girl.  I'll cry at the drop of a hat.  Especially if I've had little sleep.  This doesn't help that I volunteer to counsel pregnant ladies at the local pregnancy center.  Now, I know my tactics aren't always best.  In fact, tact is an acquired taste for me.  But I also try real hard to not be judgmental.  Despite being a virgin, I have sinned enough (once is enough) to merit hell for eternity.  Jesus, however, saved me, so I am free from sin and don't feel like I have to do that anymore. It is my place to judge no one.

So, a woman came in.  Fairly successful looking woman, dresses nicely.  Her mother and son also came in.  7 weeks pregnant.  First I explained that I can't give her baby clothes until she has the baby due to policies.  She questioned the logic in that.  Should she send her child home from the hospital naked?  No, I said, usually the hospital will have something for her to wear.  Then I filled out a referral form so she could get some clothes at a local charity.  I also mentioned that she, as a professing Christian, should not be living with her boyfriend, but I couldn't go far before the mother decided I was being judgmental.  Never mind that more abuse happens in cohabitating relationships for everyone involved, never mind I want to tell her the truth, I'm being judgmental because there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.  I apologized for coming across that way but it was not my intention to sound judging.  I want to tell the truth because soon you'll not be pregnant and will be subjecting your kids to an abuse-prone house and you'll be in a situation where you won't want to say not to sex.  But to her I was unprofessional and that since I've never been pregnant I shouldn't be there.

But anyway, I guess I was a bit judgmental.  I admit it is one of my main flaws.  I did cry today.  I wasn't going to, it just happened.  Not in front of the clients, but just in a way where I couldn't stop.  It was good to talk to the staff ladies some.  (One said one time a client slashed her tires.  That didn't happen to me.). 

Both the judging lady and the staff people had good things to say.  The lady who judged me for being judgmental said when a person comes in needing help, that I listen to them and offer help.  That's good to know, but how exactly do I do that.  And how am I supposed to be professional when I don't get paid?  I'm a volunteer.

The second advice from the staff lady, Janice, is that look what happened to Christ.  He got crucified.  If they rejected his advice, they'll reject me even more.  We've all had terrible clients, some we could have handled better, but ultimately, we're doing the Lord's will in helping these ladies both materially and spiritually.

But how do you approach people with the truth in love without sounding like you are judging them?  What would you have done in this situation? 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

While My Rag Mop Gently Sweeps -- from CC

I look at the traffic of doubt from the Beatles
While my rag mop gently sweeps.
The vacancy where God should be stabs like needles
While my rag mop gently sweeps.

I don't know why they push agendas
And their vendettas of doom.
Life's sad enough without dreamers imagining
World with out heaven, such tragedies.

I mop up the gore caused by selfish drug users
While my rag mop gently sweeps.
The revelers, pro-choicers, lost child abusers
While my rag mop gently swee-ee-eeps.

This is from Eddie Eddings's word writing challenge.  In the video I include more of George Harrison's words.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The House of Wine

Now that she's being laid rest today, I'll mention Amy Winehouse's death.  I never really listened to her.  I've only heard her song "Rehab" and new she was a talented lady who didn't sound like she looked.  I really didn't care about her at all and yet I am saddened by her death.

For one thing, she more than likely had not made her peace with the Lord and now has to spend eternity in hell.  This was a lady who loved fame, drugs, sex, drugs, alcohol, and drugs, more than the Lord.  She worshipped drugs.  She paid money for them, people wanted to help her with them, and eventually gave her life for them.  Mark Driscoll is absolutely right when he says that people don't have problems with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.  They have worship problems. 

Amazingly, Winehouse was just the embodiment of post-Christian British culture.  They threw God out of their lives but now have less complete lives, so they have to fill it with booze, crack, and free love.  But this never satisfies so they turn to more booze, crack, and free love.  (To Amy's credit, she was married until about a year or so ago, but it still was probably a marriage based on sex and convenience, not love).  If they would repent of their sins and turn to the Lord, then they would more than satisfied.  They'd have the living water and never thirst again. 

And stupid, stupid, stupid Russell Brand thinks we should be more understanding of addicts.  No, we need to get them far away from their addictions and replace them with the Lord.  Clearly, Winehouse's addiction lead to hear early demise.  We don't need to understand them, we need to steer them away from their habits. 

And finally, Amy Winehouse was only 27.  I'm 26.  I have a year before I'm 27.  This seems younger and younger.  I had no idea she was that young because she had aged herself from destructive habits.  And if God had not saved me and given me good parents, I'd be in the same predicament.  You would be too.  If you are still, please realize that life is unpredictable and can end any second.  Don't waste your time.  Come to the Lord and see how he is better than any boyfriend, girlfriend, beer, pill, wine, video game, image, or anything this world can offer.  He's more exciting and satisfying.  Give your life to him.  Read his words in the Bible.  Believe the Bible from the first verse.  Know that you don't have to fix yourself or work for his affection.  Let his affection work in you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

About that Norway massacre

Okay, it's been ages since I commented on anything my cousin posts because we usually don't agree on anything other than we love each other and consider each other not just cousins but friends.

Anyway, she posted about the massacre in Norway proclaiming that this is why fundamentalism is dangerous.

So, point number 1.) This is pretty much a blanket statement.  It doesn't cover the truth.  It's calling names without really considering individuals.

2.) Isn't just about anything dangerous?  Following Christ certainly is.  You could get killed for it.  Christ certainly is.  He got crucified.  Plus, he's the lion of Judah, not tame, but good.  God is very much dangerous.  He is very loving and forgiving, but because of his love he also judges sin and those who do not turn from their sin and give their lives to Christ.

3.) Just because one wacko bombs a bunch of Muslims does not mean that you can label him as a fundamentalist.  It's like the guy that shot up Tuscon, AZ.  He's a left wing, pro-Nazi communist who hates Republicans and America, and yet they still have the audacity to blame Sarah Palin for the shooting.  I'm sure whoever bombed the Muslims, even if he is right-wing and "Christian" is no fundamentalist.

4.) I consider myself a fundamentalist.  I'm pro-life, Republican, a creationist who believes in six literal days, I believe tattoos are sin, etc.  Do you see me bombing any abortion clinics?  Am I burning crosses in my backyard?  Do I claim all theistic evolutionists as heathens?  No.  I take very seriously 1 John 4:8 which says he who does not love does not know God because God is live.  Many other fundamentalists like John MacArthur or Ken Ham or Todd Friel are probably outraged that more murders have been committed in the name of Jesus.  I sure am.

5.) Hitler, KKK, the Crusades, Eric Rudolph: what do they all have in common?  They are all people who have committed murders, pogroms, ethnic cleansings, and yes, bombed abortion clinics in the name of Jesus.  I am ashamed of these people, but these are the exception, not the rule.  All people are sinners.  All Christians are sinners, and they will all do embarrassing things.  But you cannot be a Christian and heartlessly hate people and murder them, even Muslims or politicians you can't stand.  Sorry, Calvin, not even Michael Servetus.  You can't even kill Uriah, David.  If you are taking part in murder and hatred, then your relationship with God is not doing very well at the moment, and you need to repent and ask God to change your heart.  God can forgive you and bring you to a new place, but you cannot wish for the death of others.

6.) Fundamentalism is not the issue.  Religion is.  True Christianity believes the fundamentals of the Bible.  They believe it means what it says.  They believe it still applies to today.  They believe that Jesus is the only one who saves from sin, that those who don't believe in Jesus will perish in their sins (yes, forever), and try as hard as they can to get as many people to believe in Jesus and to live for him before they die.  People who follow a religion, however, add rules that you have to follow to be saved.  Religious people can't rely on Jesus alone for their salvation, they must look to themselves and what they can do.  Religious people look to man and not to God.  And if they make themselves their own gods, then of course they must rid the world of crazy Muslims because they certainly can't trust the real God to do it.  No, these people who bomb people or wish the death of others aren't being fundamentalist, they are following their own religion because they have no patience with God's timing.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What I did today

As I'm going to Clayton State University in a few weeks, I decided to go on their hiking outing to Raven Cliff Falls in Helen, GA.  I have no pictures :-(.  But it was beautiful.  We hiked for two eternities, I got to swim in this freezing pool at the bottom of a waterfall that I had to climb to get to.  I feel very sore every time I stand up, but it's a sore I like.  I hope this can be a habit and that I can be healthy. 

Tomorrow I'm talking about three solas, but this time I'm going to talk about how the Jews wanted the new Gentile Christians to be circumcised for their salvation.  It will give the lesson a story and be less accusing of Catholics should one show up for Sunday School. 

Also, I got a bunch of cardboard and assembled an ark.  The kids will paint it tomorrow.  I'm so happy to have Hobby Lobby in my life.  We'll also sing this song:

Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Lord Jesus can

So, Kids' Camp is all upons.  It's at my old church, Smyrna Presbyterian.  We're doing a theme of Willy Wonka and the theme verse is the Golden Rule.  Keith, the director suggested that I should rewrite the Candy Man song and make it about Jesus.  So I did.  I hope you like it.

Who can take your old self,
Make it good as new?
Raise you from the dead so you can want to join him too?
The Lord Jesus, The Lord Jesus can,
Only Jesus can 'cause he is the perfect one
and only he is good.

Who can take a rainbow,
Stick it in the sky?
Promise not to flood the world again if you slide
The Lord Jesus can, The Lord Jesus can,
Only Jesus can 'cause he is the perfect one
and only he is good.

The Word of God awakes
The hearts of former slaves
Who do not love Christ or his law.
Change their hearts from stone to flesh
You can come to him and rest!

Who can take your red sins,
Dip them in his blood?
Take on him your stains and make them white as snow?
The Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus can, the Lord Jesus can
Only Jesus can 'cause he is the perfect one
and only he is good.
Yes only he is good.
And without him you can’t be good.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red and Yellow, Black and White

I started reading One Race, One Blood by Ken Ham and Charles Ware.  This book is a powerful statement on how evolutionary thinking leads to racism.  This is an issue I greatly care about, and I think the race card is the strongest argument about why you should not believe in evolution, especially as a Christian.

Ken's first chapter, "Darwin's Garden" retells the tragic story of Ota Benga, and African Pygmy who ended up in the Bronx Zoo.  Evolutionary thinking led people to believe that Africans were a more primitive species than the superior white man.  Pygmies, being less than 5 feet, are the closest link to the apes we supposedly came from.  Ota Benga was a decent man with one wife and two children.  However, white people slaughtered his family and enslaved him and other pygmies.  They were on display at the World's Fair in St. Louis.  The white people would laugh and poke them and eventually they killed all except Benga in moblike fashions.  Later on, the sole surviving Benga was captured and held on display in the Bronx Zoo along with a chimp.

Due to protests from black congregations he was released.  He was allowed to serve at a black church, but since he could not find a way home and would never see his family again, he committed suicide.  Where were the Christians in all this?  Since they accepted the Darwinists' proposal of millions of years and evolution, they began to believe that blacks were less human.  Even today in Australia, evangelicals refrain from witnessing to Aborigines because they aren't really human.

Evolutionary thinking led to Hitler creating his master race, Margaret Sanger wanting to prevent black people from reproducing and killing their babies through abortion, and later on starting Planned Parenthood, and even today, blacks themselves are convinced that they are animals so they live like animals, sleeping with whoever they can find, committing crimes, and walking around the streets in front of cars.  This is beyond tragic.

In recent years, I have developed a heart for black people.  I'm ashamed of what whites have done to them in the name of the Lord.  Maybe it's because I see more of them at my pregnancy center, maybe it's because I'm surrounded by them in my community, but I long to help them to find value in themselves as children of Adam created in the image of God.  When we believe the Bible the way it is meant to be believed from the first verse, we see that all people came from Adam and Noah.  After the tower of Babel they separated and certain groups developed genetic dispositions for dark skin, some for pasty white skin, and some for slanted eyes.  The truth is, there is no such thing as race.  There is no Biblical concept for it.  It only developed during evolution's heyday when people decided that there were different species of human and rejected the Bible's account of Genesis.

If you can, go onto Answers in Genesis and read all their articles.  I hope they change your life like they changed mine. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness

What am I thankful for today?

1. God's protection.  I do so much driving on the interstate, go places alone, and risk my life all the time.  I'm so thankful that God has kept me alive 26 years and that he has a plan for my life.

2. My dad.  He lets me live in his house, gives me money, and I'm often not as thankful for him because we are too much alike and butt heads.  God, please lead me to better honoring my father.

3. Answers in Genesis.  They have such intelligent information, tons of videos, free stuff on their website, and the only reason people still believe in evolution after hearing their arguments is that they just want to sin.  Before I found these people, I would fall prey to evolutionary "proof" and try to compromise it with the Bible, but I don't anymore.   There's more proof supporting the Bible than there is for evolution.

4. Abraham.  The one in the Bible.  He believed in God no matter what.  He was far from perfect, yet God still chose him and changed him.  He's a great encouragement that even though I forget God often and forget to dedicate my belongings and my goals to him, he still has chosen me and changes me day to day. 

5. In that case, I'm thankful for all the Old testament Hall of Faithers and even those not listed because they didn't even have Jesus on the earth yet, but still believed in him.  They were far from perfect, yet God loved them anyway.

6. I'm thankful that God loves anybody and saves them.

7. Back to AIG, fossils.  They prove that the Flood really happened and that dinosaurs really lived, even into the middle ages.  I'm thankful that there was no millions of years of death before the fall of man in God's perfect world.

8. Calvinistic Cartoons and all the people on Eddie's blogroll so that I can keep updated with reformed news.

9. Tim Challies.  He is a wealth of resources, some that I have bought and use with the youth group at his recommendation.

10.  Craig Boyd and Ralph Peterson, my two followers.  Thanks for giving me a chance!

Friday, July 15, 2011

How Not to Vent Your Anger

I've seen some good posts this week about people writing TMI on their blogs.  One is Christian, by Kevin DeYoung and one may or may not be Christian, by Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks fame.  It's understandable.  I've done it.  In fact, I do it quite often on Facebook statuses.  Still, as a representative of Christ, I have to remember, that children look up to me, teenagers look up to me, and I need to remember to pray before I post.  It will always be too late to delete said post.

This topic comes to mind because I have many Christian friends that I stalk read on the news feed.  Or, at least they say they are Christian, and for the most part, I believe them, but like all Christians, they get their feet in their mouths. 

I'm about to go into an anecdote now.  If you read this and you know who it's about, sorry, but I'm going into an anecdote.  This past Good Friday, a friend went through a horrible weekend.  I know this friend is a good Calvinist who should be aware that we live in a fallen world and that despite bad things, God has a plan around it all.  Well, all this good Calvinism knowledge went out the window that weekend.  Her post said, "I hate God.  I wish I had given the last whip lash that killed Jesus..." and followed by expletives and how she doesn't want friends to comment on her cussing and to let her be her.

Okay, I understand, there are times when God makes no sense, you get disappointed, that big thing you were expecting totally turns around and bites your head off,  and you have to ask God why.  Sometimes, it's even okay to tell God you are mad at the moment (although you should always remember it's your fault, not his) and even that you are having doubts.  However, do not post your rantings on facebook!  Wait a day maybe, for your feelings to cool down.  Perhaps write them down on MS-Word and then the next day, erase any expletives, apologize to God, pray, and then post it. 

Another anecdote.  There's a teenager from my home church.  She's a teenager, so she goes through angst over friends, boyfriends, PMS, stress, you name it.  I'm in my late 20s and I still go through that.  I understand.  Still, when you post things like, "I don't give a f---," or other phrases that show your lack of intelligent vocabulary, you have to remember, non-believers are watching.  They are not impressed.  They'll go off and say, "See, God isn't real because her life certainly is no different than mine."  In fact, I know plenty of non-believers who are perfectly tactful in their letting us know they have had a bad day. 

Bottom line: you have to show the world that Christ is real and that he really has changed you and that your relationship with him isn't fair-weathered.  You gotta love him in good times and bad.  And you have to honor him with your words, especially in a format where the whole world can see and judge you.

Now, that list again.  If you ever need to vent:
1. Write your thoughts in a journal or MS-Word to get it out of your system.
2. Wait a day or two.  Maybe even till next week if it's that time, girls.
3. Erase any expletives or sentences that dishonor God.
4. Also, erase anything that exposes too much personal info.
5. Pray before you post.
6. Matthew 12:36-- But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

And finally, watch this video by Todd Friel:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Noah's Song

I have vast love for Contemporary Christian music pioneers.  Stuff my parents listened too, such as Phil Keaggy, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Matthew Ward, etc.  It's a miracle when I can pick out any song Phil Keaggy wrote.  Here I sing "Noah's Song" written by Keaggy and performed by Matthew Ward.

Here are the lyrics:
Lift up your wings and fly,
Fly away far across the sea,
And bring to me the sign
That we are blessed free.

See how the sun shines in,
Oh how I've missed the warmth of light,
And sing to me the song
That removes the night.

Rain, rain, You were pouring rain
I wonder, Lord, were they tears of pain
Yet You saved me, Oh I praise You,
Hallelujah, all Your words are true.
See the rainbow, all creation new.

Speak now, Your servant hears,
For in my heart Your promise lives.
It says to me, all life is from You a gift.
See how the sun shines in,
Oh how I've missed the warmth of light,
And sing to me the song
That removes the night.

Rain, rain, You were pouring rain
I wonder, Lord, were they tears of pain
Yet You saved me, Oh I praise You,
Hallelujah, all Your words are true.
See the rainbow, all creation new.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GRE moaning

So Friday, I'm taking the GRE test.  Why?  I may go to grad school again.  I'm not at the moment, but I can at least take it in case I do go.  And I'm taking it now because they change it in August.  I hear it's good for 10 years, too.

After much practicing, I'm still quite scared for both the math and verbal portions.  It seems that I'll do fine on the verbal part if I memorize the dictionary before Friday, but that's not happening.  Math, I'll do fine if I don't have to keep doing percentage problems twice because the first time my answer isn't one of the choices.  Oddly, I'm not nervous about the analytical section at all.  I'll probably do more prompts tomorrow, but I feel like I can do that.  If I can do that, then I surely can do the other sections.

Preparing for the test is also a pain.  I went to three websites for practice questions.  One, the website for GA College 411, has good verbal questions but terrible math questions.  In my Math prep class in May, we did not do number sequencing or patterns.  That was all this website asked about, so I had to move on.  Next, I found ETS's website.  They make the test, so they are the best place to practice.  However, I've done all the questions, now.  They don't have any more.  Now I found a generic website.  I can't remember it's name.  It had good questions, though I feel they are easier than I should expect on the actual test.  I got most of the answers right.  If they did the test, I'd feel very confident.  Either way, I'm going to practice with this site the rest of the week. 

One more thing, tomorrow I'm taking a math placement test for Clayton State University.  I got accepted there and will attend in the fall!  The only thing I'm worried about for this test is trying to remember what time I signed up for and where it's supposed to be.  Oh, and I still don't have a parking pass. 

So, regular readers, pray for me this week.  I hope to get back to my normal rantings tomorrow.  I will post some essay prompts at least.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Trips to heaven

So recently, a young boy went to heaven at age 4, came back, and told his dad.  Two years later, he publishes a book about it and makes loads of money.  And sincere Christians believe this.  The book is  Heaven Is for Real and the dad is Todd Burpo, which in itself is a strange name. 

Here's the thing.  This book and Don Piper's 90 Minutes in Heaven are both supposed extra-biblical revelation which denies Sola Scriptura, denies that the Bible alone is enough to prove that heaven and hell are real.  The time for signs and wonders is over because Christianity is 2000 years old and does not need miraculous proof anymore.  The canon of Scripture is closed, and we don't want or need extra Biblical revelation. 

There is one place in Scripture where a man does go to heaven and comes back.  In 2 Corinthians 12, probably after one of his many stonings, Paul got to see heaven and then he came back.  The thing is, he did not talk about what was there or who he saw.  He goes on to mention an anonymous thorn in his flesh.  He never reveals what that means.  Clearly, Jesus told him to keep secret what he saw.

John got to see heaven on the isle of Patmos when he wrote Revelation.  He writes down what God tells him to write down and keeps secret what God says not to reveal.  We don't have details about who was there, what he saw other than Jesus and possibly Michael the angel.  There were streets of gold and pearly gates, but that could also be symbolic.  John MacArthur might disagree, but I suspect they aren't literal streets of gold or pearly gates, just like Christ isn't literally a lamb. 

And finally, Peter, James, and John got to see part of heaven when they saw Christ transfigured.  Moses and Elijah stepped out and Jesus glowed, and they couldn't even describe it.  Christ actually put a cloud over him and the two prophets after Peter tried to build shrines to them.  Christ clearly told them to not write what they saw, and at this point, I'm still not sure what happened just by reading the Gospel accounts. 

Now, I actually did read half of Don Piper's book, so I did read all of the heaven scene, which actually only takes up I believe one chapter if I remember correctly.  Most of the book is about him recovering and is quite tedious and even gruesome, so I couldn't finish it.  Don saw old friends of his that are dead now but were young and healthy in heaven.  Then he heard music, all different kinds playing at one time, but still sounding good, and no songs about the crucifixion.  None, because heaven is a happy place with no tears. 

I don't quite buy that.  If you're in heaven, why would you forget the thing that got you there?  Namely, the crucifixion and resurrection.  Statements like that reveal that people are still ashamed of what Christ did and act like the crucifixion was actually a defeat.  It's very much not a defeat.  God always planned to crucify Christ for our sakes, and there is no other way we could have been saved.  So, saying that there are no songs about the cross is really a slap in the face to God.  Some of my favorite hymns are "the Old Rugged Cross," "Where you there when they crucified my Lord?," "When I survey the wondrous cross" along with Chris Tomlin's chorus.  They remind me that my salvation is a gift and not anything that I deserve, but something I could not obtain on my own.  And again, Revelation 5, the first thing we see when we step into heaven is the Lamb that was slain.  That is how we know he is worthy to open the seven seals.  We're dipped in Jesus's blood and that's how we get white robes.  Even his robe in Revelation 19 is white but dipped in blood.  We're going to remember the crucifixion in heaven.

Someone else pointed this out, but Don never actually sees God or Jesus in his 90 minutes.  Now, he did write that if he had entered the gates and seen them, then he'd have never come back.  But someone, perhaps Tim Challies, pointed out that he hints that he would have been perfectly happy in that opening scene without the presence of God.  John Piper emphasizes that if we can imagine heaven without Christ, then would we be fine with that?  If so, then we probably aren't going there.  Even with the dead relatives, pearly gates, etc., heaven isn't heaven without God.  Jesus is heaven and he is the Gospel.  I won't get my panties too much in a wad over this because Don, not John, did say that if he had passed the gates and seen God he wouldn't have returned.

Finally, after Jesus's parable about the rich man and Lazarus, he said that even if a man returned from the dead, the people who don't listen to Moses and the prophets won't listen to the newly animated corpse.  If these books bring people to Christ, then that's great.  I'm glad God can use anyone and anything.  I'm glad he uses even me.  But if they aren't elect, then no reasoning or miracles will lead people to believe in the truth.  And even those who are edified by this, they still are being led to believe that you don't need the Bible for your spiritual awakening, and that is a huge mistake.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

VBS Week 4 -- The Death and Resurrection

It's the last day of VBS!  This is the first and last year that we have VBS during church on Sundays.  And I felt like this was a good one.  Here is my morning talk:

Everyone, let’s round up and come sit for a spell.  During craft time today, you’re making a miner’s journal.  The miners in the Old West liked to record their thoughts in journals.  A lot of those journals held sad, sad news.  The long trip on the Santa Fe Trail was tough.  Many sad journal entries were written describing terrible hunger, choking dust, wagons swept downstream, loss of supplies, lost children, and sickness and death along the way.  In fact, so many people died on the trail (about one in twenty), the travelers would sometimes dig a grave in the path of the covered wagons, so the wagons could roll right over the grave to flatten it. 
But if they made it to gold country and found gold, you better believe their sad news changed to glad news.  The good news of striking it rich often made up for all the sad news.
Their sad-news-to-glad-news accounts are nothin’ though, compared to the one about the end of Jesus’s life.  We’ve talked aobut his unique birth and life.  Today we’re going to talk about his unique death and resurrection.  It’s the most amazing sad-news-to-glad-news story ever.  Here we go, y’all!
For VBS, I had two girls for the pre-teen class!  We each took turns read passages of Jesus's passion from the book of Matthew, and after each reading, we did hand signs to go with each passage.  I hope they can remember them and show them to their family when they are in their respective homes this week.  Another cool thing was an A to Z Scripture look-up with Jesus's names in both Testaments. 

For the skit today, we caught Ragin' Ronny.  How did we do it?  The sheriff laid out some M&Ms along with a tract and a Bible.  Now Ragin' Ronny is saved and everyone can have candy!  Yay!

Here is my 11:00 talk:

            What a wonderful testimony of God’s power to change lives.  He created the world with the words of his mouth and it’s his words in the Bible that can awaken people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord.
            What would happen if Ragin’ Ronnie had not been saved?  What would happen if you never got saved?  That would be some terrible news.  God would still be justified if he never saved us.  But he was not satisfied with that.  God always knew that he would send Jesus to die for us on the cross because Jesus is the only one who would be able to experience hell and live to tell about it.  And if nobody had ever sinned, then Jesus would not have come to save us and nobody would know God has the loving, forgiving Father that he is.  And because Jesus is God, we can know that God is our only Savior and the only reason that we are alive.  Amen!

I hope that isn't too mystical.  The part about Jesus needing to come die so that we could know God as a loving, forgiving Father.   I did derive it from John MacArthur's sermon about God ordaining sin, so it should be accurate. 

In the next three weeks, the lady who normally teaches the kids' Sunday School will be out of town so I'm teaching.  I had already thought of catching up the students on Genesis 1-11 before I start talking about Abraham.  I had started planning out lessons, but then got to October 30, the day before Reformation Day!  I was like, man, I gotta do a better job teaching about Martin Luther's reformation this year.  I might need to get a head-start and start teaching about the Solas.  I might mix both ideas.  But you'll hear from my lessons, I'm sure.  I also need to find better ways to teach the order of the Bible books so the kids can know them.  I think I'll just have to teach them some songs that I know.  I'm always open for suggestions.