Posts from — February 2001
today i am tired. i am fairly certain i would rather be at home today, lounging on our queen size air mattress, reading a book.
yes. i am certain.
February 28, 2001 No Comments
i was told i needed to post up a new entry.
how do you decide upon a church to make your own? megan and i have been going to westminster presbyterian church since we were married. recently, we got a letter about a small reformed church in lynchburg called blue ridge reformed church. it is a church plant of christ church, moscow. we visited blue ridge this past weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed our day out there. and it was a whole day. after church, we (along with everyone else in the church) went to one family’s house for lunch. it was delicious. then we sat around and talked for some time, and dessert was served. oh my. then we (and one family and two couples) went over to the pastor’s house and sang psalms for about an hour. then we had some more dessert. it was great. we were late for church, so we only heard about ten minutes of the sermon, but what i heard i liked. and they served the lord’s supper (which they do every week) and used real wine! it was optional, of course, but we were excited to find a church that uses real wine. i don’t know why so many churches don’t give you the option – grape juice or nuthin. anyhow…
now i’m trying to decide which church megan and i should attend. i don’t think it is right to wobble between churches. we should be commited to one.. to get to know the people there, and devote ourselves to helping there. there’s nothing necessarily wrong with westminster. the people there are super nice and helpful. and we were asked to think about helping out in the youth ministry. which i think would be nice for us. but the truth is not proclaimed as clearly as we would like there. it seems to me to be a bit “tip toey”, so as not to offend anyone.
so there i am. my current struggle in life. or, at least one of them. got advice?
February 26, 2001 No Comments
a small note to attach to the end of that last entry…
2 Corinthians 7:8-12
For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while. I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God.
ask yourself, what kind of sorrow do you get from conviction?
February 20, 2001 No Comments
if you’ve been even remotely following the discusion on the back40 for the past week or so, then you’ve seen quite a bit of discussion. (if you haven’t been reading it… i really encourage you to go back and read through it. there is some defensiveness, some curt remarks and some rude remarks throughout, but it’s a discussion that you may help you if/when you’re married.)
right now i’m not going to talk about the topic of the debate, but instead i’m going to talk about the reaction people have to different things and how that’s related to conviction. i know for a fact that there has been at least a little bit of conviction going on with the back40 crowd, and i suspect there has been more than i can (or am willing to) confirm.
now we’re going leave the back40 discussion – isn’t it strange how we react to correction? i would say that an easy 95% of the time, we get angry about it. even if it’s perfectly clear that what we were doing was wrong. i am a perfect example. my wife and i will be watching a show on tv, and somebody will come on and i’ll mock them. ‘that guy’s fat!” “look at his eyebrows!” “why is his face so long? he’s like a cartoon character.” and any number of other things. i certainly wouldn’t say these things to the people’s face, and that fact reveals that i know it’s rude, and sinful. but what do i do when megan calls me on it? i get all upset, and say that i’m only joking. and if she still insists that it’s wrong…i get in a huff and give her a dirty look and either sit there silently or walk away. and then i realize how i’m acting the fool’s part, and apologize for my gruff, and admit that it was wrong. i think that everyone has this same reaction to conviction, in varying degrees. some people assume you are belittling them. some people think you’re just propping yourself up. some people get mad and lash out at you. and then there are those rare moments, where the person acknowledges their error right off the bat. usually it’s accompanied by an explanation, which could either be a vestige of their first reaction, or it could be a sincere effort to explain what they were thinking at the time of their error. regardless of the meaning, they clearly have a good understanding of what it means to live like a christian.
if you’ve been confronted this week by what a fellow christian has considered wrong and sinful behavior, and thanked them for their correction – i commend you. and i pray that we can all be more like you in this area of our lives. it is certainly easy to dish out the correcting but most difficult to accept it joyfully.
and a little rule of thumb to go by… if you get angry or annoyed or anything like that to make you the least bit upset when someone confronts you with your sin, i suggest you not reply to them until you calm down and can think about what they said without feeling that way. and i think there are only two ways you can come to that level self control in the situation. either by 1 – accepting your error, thanking them for their rebuke and correction and try to live more consistently as a christian, or 2 – accepting that you are, indeed, innocent in the situation, and then try to find out why they charged you with this sin… calmly. (i think option two is MUCH more rare.)
let’s all kill our pride.
February 19, 2001 No Comments
have you ever been discouraged because people you know – professing christians – don’t live consistantly with scripture? i don’t know, maybe i act like that sometimes.
[side note] if i ever do, and you notice it – please let me know. (privately if possible) see, i encourage you all to critique my christian life, as long as it’s in a positive way, seeking to edify me and, therefore, the body of christ.[/side note]
but these people just sort of make you feel like it’s pointless to really act like the bible tells us to, because it doesn’t seem to work. and then we just get down in a rut because of that. so if you’ve ever known anyone like that, and been discouraged by it, here’s a little excerpt from a book (Persuasions, by Douglas Wilson – available from Canon Press) that you may find comforting. it comforted me. it isn’t expressly for this purpose, but if you read it, i think you’ll understand why it’s comforting.
Evangelist seemed a little tired, and he sat down for a few moments by the side of the road. But he had not been there long when another figure appeared in the distance. As s he got closer, Evangelist rose to greet her. She was a middle aged woman, fairly stouts, but with a look for a ready and quick intelligence about her face.
She stopped and took a brief look at the paper which Evangelist had handed her, laughed, and returned it. “I know some other people who could use this more than I!”
Evangelist looked at her questioningly.
“Why don’t you hand these things out at churches? There is not shortage of sinners there!’ At this, the woman, whose name was Dorothy, turned to go.
Evangelist stopped her with a question. “What kind of sinners are you talking about?”
Dorothy smiled. “Doesn’t matter. Any sin will do when you are making a hypocrite. Why should I want to become a Christian? Look at all the hypocrites!”
Evangelist nodded soberly. “You are quite right. There are many. But your argument is lost on me. What do hypocrites have to do with it?
Dorothy was clearly interested in his question. She stopped, and folder her arms. “Hypocrites have everything to do with it. They proclaim themselves to be good Christians, and then live like the devil. Why should I want to join them?”
“Well, you shouldn’t, but then again, no one is asking you to.”
She shook her head.
Evangelist went on. “Do you have any money on you?”
“Why do you do that? You are apparently arguing, with regard to Christianity, that the mere existence of a counterfeit is grounds for rejecting the genuine. Surely you are aware that many counterfeit dollar bills exist. So why do you still seek to retain the genuine dollar bills?”
“I can’t help that. Everyone needs money.”
“True enough. And everyone needs God.”
“But you are assuming that He exists. I know that genuine money exists, and I need it. I don’t know that there are any genuine Christians.”
“You are quite right when you say that I assume that He exists. Everyone does that, even those who deny Him. But have you ever that that the mere existence of hypocrites is an evidence that there are genuine Christians?”
“Well, counterfeiters don’t spend their time forging brown shopping bags. They are not valuable enough. But they do spend their time on paper currency. Why? Because there is a real currency valuable enough to counterfeit. In the same way, hypocrites testify that genuine Christianity exists, and that it is a valuable thing. This is no proof, but it is evidence. If you want to base your actions on the behavior of hypocrites, it is at least worth considering.”
Dorothy shook her head again. “I don’t know. I don’t think I could take being on the same team with all those fakers.”
“Well, that’s another thing. Whose team are you on now?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, suppose for a moment that God is there, and that he did reveal his word to us in the Bible.”
“That’s a big suppose, but okay.”
“That means there are two ways of living. We can either live the way God says to, or we can refuse. There are two teams — one in submission to God and the other not.”
“Now, what does God think of hypocrisy? Is He for it, or against it?”
“Well, against it, I suppose.”
“Correct. So hypocrites are on the other team?”
“So what team are those on who reject God because of all the hypocrites? Whose team have they refused to join?”
“Now, because there are only two teams, this means that the hypocrites are on the same team with those who have refused to have anything to do with God because of the hypocrites. Is that fair?”
“I guess so.” Dorothy was looking uncomfortable.
“Now you said earlier that you couldn’t handle being on the same team with all those fakers. But it looks now as though you already are.”
Dorothy didn’t say anything.
Evangelist pressed the point home. “That’s one of the reasons why I couldn’t handle becoming a non-Christian — all the hypocrites in the church.” He grinned.
Dorothy smiled back, a little grimly. “You sound like you believe that hypocrisy is no problem at all for the Christian church.”
“Not at all. It is a major problem. But it is a practical problem not a theological one. If there are weeds in my garden, I have a problem. But it does not lead me to question the existence of lettuce.” Dorothy laughed, and Evangelist went on “there is another point worth considering. Have you ever noticed that Christians are in a no-win situation here, at least in the minds of those non-Christians observing?”
“What do you mean?”
“What would happen if a pastor of some Christian church started living with the church organist, and nothing really was done about it? What would the non-Christian say about it?”
“I suppose he would accuse them all of hypocrisy.”
“That is quite right, and he would be correct in the accusation. But what would happen if the church disciplined them — defrocking the minister, and excommunicating them both? What would be said now?”
Dorothy shook her head. “I am not sure what you’re getting at.”
“Why, the church would be accused of being a bunch of self-righteous fundamentalists. Who do they think they are? Is such an accusation possible?”
Dorothy nodded. “Yes, that could happen.”
“In other words, if Christians take action against some rank hypocrisy they run the risk of being labelled judgmental. If they do not, then they join the ranks of the hypocrites themselves. It is a good thing that Christians are to follow the teaching of Scripture. If we were required to obey the world in this matter, it would be hard to know what to do.” Evangelist continued. “There is also one other difficulty. Sharp discipline is required by the Bible for cases of moral rebellion. But there are many people within the church with many problems which are less overt. Such people must be helped, but the help must come through other means — encouragement, admonishment, and so forth. In the meantime, such struggling individuals can be uncharitably labelled by outsiders as hypocrites. It has been well said that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints. To reject Christ because the church has sin of this sort in it is like rejecting hospitals because they are full of sick people.”
At this Dorothy smiled and turned away. “You have given me much to think about on the road. Thank you for your time.”
Once again, Evangelist offered her the paper he had given her at first. This time she took it.
February 18, 2001 No Comments
so this morning i was eating my huge 32oz bag of fruity brontosaurus bites (or something like that…) while putting on my shoes and watching good morning america. during the local news section (which i happen to find pretty retarded because they just say the same things over and over and over throughout the day. anyhow…) there was an ad for a special they’re putting on about disciplining children. they said it was to help parents learn how to discipline their children properly because parenting can be a pretty difficult job. they went on to say how they’re going to explain and show how spanking isn’t necessary anymore, and there are other – better – methods to discipline our children today. my reaction? what fools.
now, i don’t say that because they’re idiots and don’t know their right foot from their left. i say it because they lack any understanding of scriptural teaching. they start with their own thoughts and desires, and go from there – assuming they know what’s best. the title of the show is “spare the rod”, so i just did a quick search for those words in scripture and here are a few verses that came up (from nkjv):
He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.
The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
i suppose i really shouldn’t expect anything more than exactly the opposite of what scripture says from the secular media. it just fascinates me that people don’t know why our kids are such hellions these days.
and it scares me that when i spank my child because i love him, i might get thrown in jail.
come lord jesus, amen
February 16, 2001 No Comments
reasons why don chaffer is a closet calvinist* (a continuing series)
reason number: 4
the album: to chase away the birds(my personal favorite waterdeep album) (buy it!)
the song: on a night that felt outdated
It wasn’t long before she was out sellin’ on the corner like something cheap
on a night that could feel like hell in the reminders that it made you keep
Like the one where you were standin’ on the driveway
there was a cold feeling on your lips
Some woman’s saying to ya come my way
and she’s pullin’ you by your hips
But the prodigal did not stay away
There was a destiny he had to keep
And I may give my mind a dirty day
But tonight I got floors to sweep
the doctrine i want to talk about here is perseverance of the saints, the P from tulip. but i think it is more accurately called preservation of the saints, seeing that it is God holding us to himself, and not us staying with God. on the other hand, perseverance isn’t all that bad… it is something we are commanded to do… persevere to the end.
and so, back to the song. we see that there’s a destiny he had to keep, in others words… there isn’t anything else he could have done. i think don’s done a spectacular job here of presenting a paradox similar to the one paul gives us in philippians 2:12-13 or peter in acts 2:23. see, there’s a definite plan that god has ordained, and no matter what we think will happen, it happens. but at the same time it is us that do these things. we are responsible for our actions, and god has ordained for us to do them. so, again, back to the song… there’s this guy that is falling over the line into an adulterous relationship (which is all analagous), but stops, knowing that it’s a sinful act, and then making amends for it. so basically, this guy realizes he’s sinning, stops the sin and repents… and does it all because it was ordained by God to go that way. wonderful.
so i didn’t end up talking about perseverance of the saints so much, but here are some passages of scripture relating to what a blabbed about:
“So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”
1 Corinthians 1:8-9
“who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:5
“Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.”
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will”
“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
2 Timothy 4:18
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”
1 Peter 1:3-5
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
and finally… those few verses on that paradox i was talking about..
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
“this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”
* by saying don is a closet calvinist, i don’t mean that he’s really a calvinist and pretending to the world he isn’t. i just mean that he says things that are very biblical, but holds to a theological position that is very unbiblical. he clearly reveals the inconsistency of the arminian position. nothing against don. i love the man and his music.
February 14, 2001 No Comments
this is our baby, approximately 6 weeks old at the time of the image.
February 12, 2001 1 Comment
why do people that are in a so called ‘serious’ relationship flirt with other people? isn’t that just about all of stupid?
[clarification] perhaps stupid was a strong word. what i mean is that you’re just asking for trouble in your relationship when you start flirting around with other people. sure, it may start off as something innocent, but you’ll only get drawn closer to this person. like, megan and i were watching dharma & greg the other night, and dharma was taking this class and her and the professor clicked pretty well and they were teasing each other and stuff. they didn’t show how it ended – it’s to be continued – but i didn’t need to see anymore. if that show were real life, dharma would be commiting a sin in her marriage. now, her husand was also sinning because he was neglecting his wife, and not loving her as christ loved the church, but that isn’t what we’re talking about right now. we’re talking about flirting. so anyhow… i turned to megan, and said “in a situation like that, you just turn around and leave… and don’t look back”.
i apologive for offending anyone by calling them stupid. megan and i, tonight, decided that we’re going to stop making fun of people we see… just random people. like this one guy that was on who wants to be a millionaire the other night… i called him fat. and this guy in some other show had a really, really long face, and we laughed at him. so anyhow… we are stopping now. so if you catch me mocking anyone… rebuke and correct me. thank you.
February 9, 2001 No Comments
i read this list of quotes from trials today, and, man this last one was just too funny not to post…
Q: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
Q: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
Q: “Did you check for breathing?”
Q: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
Q: “How can you be so sure, doctor?”
A: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
Q: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
A: “It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”
there are some other ones that are funny, but this is by far the best…
February 8, 2001 No Comments
but just some of my friends link to this here blog. kristen and sco and bethany are ones that i know of. (if someone else links to me, let me know, eh?)
so it just makes me feel cool that people think this here blog is worth reading enough to recommend it to other folks to read.
and knowing that feeling, i’ll stop one of my practices. i always liked to hide my links for some reason. like on the back40 (go heels!), i have a little link on the bottom of the page called links, which leads to a page with links to all my frequently visited sites. so no more will it be hiding on the bottom of the page. it’ll move right on up to the top.
what i’d really like for this is a page that has my blog, along with all my links and stuff i like and blah blah like sco and jonvw have. (and, no doubt, countless others…) that way i wouldn’t need to link to a separate page for all my links, just have them on one side. (or both)
but i just don’t know jack about building webpages. well… i know more than some people, but compared to anyone with a site, i know jack. so if anyone wants to build me a little site, please, feel free. i will host it at no charge. =)
until then, i’m working my uncreative mind for a solution to the page-of-links dilemma.
February 7, 2001 No Comments
here’s a thought…
whenever we’ve got a friend in some business, we’re always like “hey, you gonna cut me a deal cause we’re buds?”. and it’s often the case with other christians, only more so… “hey… we’re brothers, give me a good deal!”
so i’m wondering why it’s never the other way… “hey, you’re a fellow christian, so i’m gonna give you an extra 15%”
February 6, 2001 No Comments