June 30, 2005

In Loving Memory - Rebecca Winkler


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June 23, 2005

Cling to the Cross

Cling to the Cross
Abraham Piper

I cling fast to the cross that drowned
My sin in blood—in Christ’s blood.
(And I) cry aloud with a grateful sound,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Blood was in the tears that dripped when he was crowned.
You could feel him break when that hard whip unwound—
Shudder with screaming at each hammer pound.

Clinging fast to the cross that drowned
Our sin in blood—in Christ’s blood,
(Let us) cry aloud with a grateful sound,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

There’s a bloody cross set on a desert mound
And all sinners who come there to gather around
Find that salvation and hope still abound,

If you’re slipping down—Oh, here is solid ground.
And if you are in bondage—here you’ll be unbound.
If you are lost—here’s where you may be found—

Clinging fast to the cross that drowned
Our sin in blood—in Christ’s blood.
(Let us) cry aloud with a grateful sound,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


I found this site to be wonderfully refreshing this morning.

Check it out . . . CIsongs

Good stuff.

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June 21, 2005

I've been burned.

The illustrious Phillip Johnson @ Pyromaniac spotted me in his most recent Blogspotting post.

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Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.


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June 16, 2005

How Big is Your God?

After reading my title, did you start thinking, “How big is your God....hmmm...Well, the Bible says He is infinite. His voice is as the sound of many waters…He is everywhere…if I ascend to heaven, He is there…if I go to hell, he is there...He’s huge.” Yes. He truly is. But, my question is not, “How big does the Bible say God is?” We can see that in Scripture. I did ask however, “How big is your God?” In other words, practically speaking, how big is your God. How much place do you give him? How supreme is He over your decisions and choices? How big is your God?

But today, you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’
I SAMUEL 10:19

In my trek through the Old Testament the last few weeks, God has been bringing one major thought back to my mind—don’t let a man ever take My Place. It’s always always always always all about Me. My influence is most important, never the influence of men. Fear Me and keep My commandments.

I came to I Samuel the other day, and I listened to Israel’s whines for a human king. They saw the other nations and were afraid. They were afraid…scared to death that God would not be enough to deliver them from Nahash, king of the Ammonites. Not only that, but they were probably afraid of what they looked like to other nations. When it all started, they said they wanted to “be like all the nations.” (I Samuel 8:20)

When you saw that Nahash, king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, “No, but a king shall reign over us,” when the Lord your God was your king.
I SAMUEL 12:12

Living man-centered. The silent killer. The quiet brakes to our Christian growth. It creeps in with seemingly innocent thoughts and wants, but in the end, it turns from innocent to idolatrous. The scary thing is that man-focused living is so easy to fall prey to. It is almost commonplace thinking for a lot of us; I mean really how often do we think, “It doesn’t matter what others think or can do to me, God is supreme.” Eeh. [buzzer] Wrong. More often than not we think things like, “I can’t go through with that, I’ll be laughed at…” “I can’t get close to people, they’ll see who I really am.” “I can’t be honest about my problems. They’ll humiliate me.” And by saying these things, we may as well blurt out, “God, man is more important than you right now…sorry.”

Let God’s words to the children of Israel speak to you, “today, you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us." (1 Sam. 10:19) The problem with the children of Israel was that they grew man-focused. They saw a man-solution to a problem God had fixed many times before (who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses.) They wanted a human king instead of the One King. They valued a man more than their God. People got big, and God got small.

The same is true for us though, isn’t it? We lose sight of the truth and jealousy and wisdom and love and grace and providence and mystery and power of God that has been proven time and time again in our lives and in the pages of scripture. We miss the Truth for the lie that is fear of man. How do we grow man-focused? It happens when we aren’t willing to do what we know we must, because of what someone might think. It happens when we would rather worry than pray. It happens when we get upset, because something doesn’t turn out the way we wanted. It happens when man is bigger than God in our minds.

Are you living man-focused or God-focused? How big is your God?

What is the solution? Fear God. Learn a healthy trembling fear of Who God is.

He is terrible. He is awesome. He is jealous. But, as you grow in your knowledge of the Holy, you begin to grasp His love…mercy…longsuffering…None of these negate the other characteristics, they simply enhance and complement them. He is God the terrible, awesome, jealous lover to whom all our worship belongs.

Now, what has just happened? An honest look at God sends man where he ought to be. It’s all about God. Fear of man ought never influence us away from God’s purpose. (Proverbs 29:25) His ways, His truth, His influence.

Fear Him.

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June 15, 2005


No man can take a survey of himself but he must immediately turn to the contemplation of God in whom he lives and moves.


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June 14, 2005

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire - Book Review

Rating: . . . if you look at what I have problems with.

Jim Cymbala

The amazing awakening of the congregation of Brooklyn Tabernacle. Pastor Cymbala displays the history of what God did in changing the mindset of a tiny, fledgling congregation in Brooklyn from man-focus to God-focus. This book is full of short snippets of the history and ministry of the Brooklyn Tab--a chronicle of God’s working in the city. Starting at the beginning of Cymbala’s ministry, the book opens with stories of failure and heartache. A 20 person discouraged church almost made Jim Cymbala quit, but through the difficulty and pressures, God broke Pastor Cymbala and used him to turn the congregations attention off themselves and onto the All-sufficient. Jim Cymbala rightly attributes what is going on at the church to what goes on in their Tuesday night prayer meetings. Story after story of changed lives fill these pages. The gospel is lifted high as it shown changing the hardest of stories into the best. Amazing stories of specific answered prayers are all over this book. Amazing. Only God. The book’s main focus is a call to prayer. A call back to our knees. A call back to dependence. This book is a story of what happened when one church did just that.

I love the city…New York City, that is. I love the people; I love the excitement. I love the hugeness of it all. I just love the city. So, anything that burdens me that way is a great use of my time. I discovered this book along with 10 other great hardbacks at a garage sale. All of them just 50 cents each. Nice. I’m all about that. But, needless to say, I wasn’t expecting much. I had seen it on the shelf at Christian bookstores before, and I just passed it off as some charismatic book. Looked like that to me…Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire? Come on.

I was wrong. Wow. I can’t remember the last time I cried reading a book. I cried 4 times during this book. The stories in this book broke me. Amazing stories of prayer answered. Amazing accounts of God’s working because of prayer. Wow. God started a work in me through the stories and scriptures in this book that hasn’t left me. I am not a man of prayer. I am not broken. I spend my time “planning” (worrying) when I should be on my knees. I needed this.

Pastor Cymbala’s point is simple. God’s house is to be a house of prayer. The church was founded with a group of men praying. The Holy Spirit was poured out when people prayed. And, he says the church has been diverted from God’s best. We are too focused on non-essentials. Too excited about being in “the game” of the Christian life--I mean, “Yehaw, our church is growing…people are transferring their letter here,” and we are forgetting to look at the scoreboard that is telling us we are way behind. “We are like the church at Laodicea. In fact, we have so institutionalized Laodiceanism that we think lukewarm is normal.” (p. 91) It is time for a shaking. He decried the lures of novelty, marketing, and doctrine without power. Good stuff. Real good stuff, this shakes you up, and I loved it.

Obviously, I did not line up with everything in here. They were more charismatic and emotional than I would be. The implications were there, and they spoke louder than I would agree with at times. Also, he seemed to place more value on prayer than on preaching. Where I stand, they go hand in hand. Not one to the devaluing of another. Preaching must be bathed in prayer, but we can never preach too much in our churches. Those two things upset me, but at the heart, I saw His message as, “Get on your knees, be broken before your God. Humbly beg Him for the working!” (The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much!) This book is powerful. Not because of its style of writing or exciting commentary. It is powerful, because it is the story of God answering prayer. It is worth the price of the book, just to read and rejoice with God’s people. It is worth the price of the book to be shaken back to a spirit of brokenness. It is worth the price of the book to be driven to your knees. Ooh. So good.

What does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct?

Yes, the roughness of the inner-city life has pressed us to pray…but is the rest of the country in fine shape? I think not.

What we have today is the work of "technicians" or "revisionists" or "idea men" who fell the need to innovate, to devise novelties in order to help God's kingdom along.
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June 13, 2005


unidentified working-on-sewer object


Umm, this was in my front yard.

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June 10, 2005

How to Become an Early Riser

1.jpgI read two articles the other day that I wanted to pass on. Because I am always looking for ways to better myself for Christ's sake, these ideas intrigued me. There is nothing more upsetting to me than wasting time, and if I'm wasting time feeding my flesh under the guise of "needed rest," I need to make some changes.

How to Become an Early Riser

How to Become an Early Riser - Part II

I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired (hee…hee…get it?) of sleeping in too much. I’m not sleeping in exorbitantly, but, I feel like I’m missing something. I often get plenty of sleep, but more often than not, I start to drag around midday.

My diagnosis is that I am sleeping too much.

Here is what I’ve got to go on. The days that I get up and get going I am more energetic, more creative, and more productive. The days I lay in bed playing silly mind games with myself about how much I’ve earned these next 15 minutes of slumber, I live in groggy bland world. So, I have enrolled myself in Steve Pavlina’s School of Sleeping Less. . . minus removing the refined sugars and animal products from my diet as he suggests. That's just not for me. But, what have I got to lose? I get 8 hours of sleep, I feel tired during the day. I try this, I get 6 hours of sleep, maybe I feel tired, maybe I don’t.

That’s a risk I’m willing to take. 30 days of less sleep, here I come.

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.

What do you think about what Steve says? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts…

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June 07, 2005


Sunday002.jpg You scored as Fundamentalist.
Fundamentalism represents a movement in opposition to Modernism, stressing the highest importance on foundational religious tradition. Science has brought on corruption of society. God is real and is watching. Scripture leaves little room for interpretation; man is God’s creation. About a quarter of the population in the U.S. is classified as Fundamentalist.



Cultural Creative














What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

Hat tip: Phil Johnson's Pyromaniac

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Love's hard as nails,
Love is nails;
Blunt, thick hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, haveing made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing, (with all that is)
Our cross and His.


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