Month: April 2014

Riddles

riddle

Life is riddled with riddles.  Riddles that are unspoken. Riddles that cause the question…

Why?

Why this, why that, why did it happen, why didn’t it happen, why me, why them, why her, why him, why us?

and sometimes the answer that the “why” demands doesn’t come, which causes the question…

Why?

Why no answer? Why can’t I figure this out? Why doesn’t anyone know?

Why?

For some this is unsettling. In their acceptance of “this is all there is and there is no spiritual afterlife because we can only know what we see”, there is no answer.  For why means there is something bigger going on that we do not understand, that there is someone who has set what we are going through in motion (or at least has allowed it to happen). If this is all there is and there isn’t an afterlife or a God… the whys… produced by life’s riddles never have an answer.

So… no answer comes, for there is no purpose for anything that happens, there is only chance and it is in that chance that they live… thus…  what they see is a world that is filled with death and dying and they are headed toward a day where their life will end and they will be no more. Yes, their “switch” on their “body machine”  will be turned off, and they will be erased from the universe. So, the “why” doesn’t matter, though the riddles persist demanding the question.

But for others Why? is only unsettling to a point.  Accepting the belief that there is a God and He created us all.  Accepting the teachings of scripture that says God created everyone for a purpose, makes the “whys” –  produced by the riddles  – solid.  We know there is a reason, we know there is an answer to the “why” any riddle in life deals to us.

There is a purpose.  We may not like the circumstance… who would?  But there is a knowledge that this time of suffering is not without purpose, it’s not a random event without an answer, there is something more going on.  Something we may realize during the riddle…

but even if we don’t…

we know one day down the road it will all make sense when the God that created us takes the time to reveal the answer to our…

Why?

When He tells us the solutions to the riddles we lived through…

of course by then it may not even matter to us

and the “why” to that riddle is another blog for another time…

 

 

Blank (Because of “Freedom Restrictions”)

write-your-own-blog

Sometimes you sit down to write a blog post and you really don’t know what you should write. Sometimes a topic doesn’t come to your mind and at other times a topic you would really like to write about you feel like you can’t because of current cultural tensions.  Where as you have the right to write about those topics under the constitution in reality you really do not have that freedom because of the force of the reaction of those around you.

It would be nice to say that in this country you have the right to state what you believe or state “the truth” that is clear to everyone but in reality who you are politicly, what color your skin is, or your religious beliefs play a signifcant role in determining whether or not you can say certain things, use certain words, or even do certain things.

Now there are readers, reading this right now saying… Phillip just say what is on your mind, express yourself and don’t worry about what other people think.   Now there is a certain number of you who really mean this, others who don’t and then there are those who are ok with “your” expressions as long as they line up with theirs. But I know, one mess up, or one statement of disagreement has the potential of branding you for life as..

a Hater

a Bigot

a Racist

Ignorant

when you are none of the above.  Facts are seldom considered, questions that when answered could bring clarity to the situation cannot be asked.  Obvious contradictions cannot be uttered because of the emotional tide of reactionary idiocy of news media or other comments become (or are) so strong (and wrong) that you can’t stop the tide of destruction that has been set in motion to totally destroy you, the person or organization that has been targeted (misunderstood or not).

This is scary… and deeply concerning.  People have lost their jobs (in America) because their views didn’t line up with a certain group or because they were in a certain political party.  Others have been prevented from owning businesses because they held to a variant political view. All this is being enabled under the guise of a messed up “morality” that hurts more people than it helps. A “morality” that contradicts the very values it says it stands for with every protest and vocality it utters.

Yes, here in America.

As for me I am bound by a higher law and a higher call.  I must preach Jesus and teach the scriptures regardless of the cultural backlash and discrimination that might ensue.   I really don’t want that to happen but am well aware that those  who preach the gospel could face this resistance in the future if our current cultural climate persists.

We are after all, running out of freedom by those who take it away and are replacing it with the bondage of their view of  correctness. A view point that is always looking for it’s next moment of protest so they can advance their cause.

God help us!

5 Reasons Your Pastor Should Preach On Easter

92da43b28b47569c06af92998adc2ac0

Easter is like Super Bowl Sunday for the church.  Here are 5 reasons why your pastor should preach the Easter Service(s) at your church.

1. It’s Easter Sunday – it is the most attended service of the year with (generally) the most visitors. They need to hear the pastor of the church speak and  for the Pastor not to preach is like saying “our star quarterback isn’t good enough for the big game”. Now you might not be saying that, but that is what you are communicating to your guest.

2. It’s Easter Sunday – and God has ordained preaching as the mode of communication to spread the gospel.  The guest that come on that sunday need to hear the Pastor preach.  That will do more for a possible return visit than anything else you could do.

3. It’s Easter Sunday – it is not a day for the preacher to be off work.  That’s like a coach saying he’s not going to coach on championship day, instead he’s going to let someone else handle that game.  Now the pastor might need a break from preaching, he may need a Sunday off but there are over 49 others to choose from… don’t take Easter off.

4. It’s Easter Sunday – For the pastor not to preach on Easter Sunday communicates that the resurrection is not important enough to preach about.

5. It’s Easter Sunday – You aren’t going to preach? Really?  Is your choir really that good?  Did you sell tickets for their performance?  Do they have a best selling record out?  Are they really better than anything you could say on Easter Sunday?  (not trying to hurt anyone here) The answers to  these questions are as follows –  What? – What? – No – No – No – NO NO NO.

So next year encourage your pastor to preach on Easter, or if you’re the Pastor that makes those decisions, don’t chicken out and make the decision to be in your pulpit, preaching, on Easter.  If God placed you at that church then He thinks you’re good enough to preach on Easter Sunday.

You’re good enough….

Your Pastor is good enough….

don’t short change that.

Drama and the people who inspire it.

pitythefool

So, here lately we have been stocking our fish tank… a process that takes more money than you first realize. You can’t just buy a fish… there’s more to it than that.

So far we have 8 African Ciclids.  But they are not the same fish we started out with a week ago for our first batch died because of a PH issue. The 8 we now have are in harmony with each other and seem to be doing well, even though the PH levels in the tank are still some what of a mystery.

This past Saturday we purchased a beautiful Orange African Ciclid. (I know it has a real name but it was orange)  We placed him into the tank just like we did the other fish and at the moment He hit 55 gallons of freedom the dynamic of our fish tank totally changed.  Fish were zipping back and forth, swimming around each other, following their reflections, and nipping at each other. The increased activity in the tank was exhausting to watch…

so much so I counted it as exercise.

At first I thought that the fish would settle in after a while.  But they didn’t. The tank became more and more aggressive as time passed. Then one of the fish… my favorite… was injured in all the commotion.  So with an injured fish in the tank I made the decision to remove the Orange fish to see if the tank would calm down and sure enough with in seconds of His exit the tank calmed down and went back to a more relaxed state.

So what had caused all this turmoil?

Well,  I had upset the balance of the tank’s male to female ratio. The Orange fish was a male. At the point he entered the water it upset the balance and a fight began to see who would rule the tank and get all the girls.

Needless to say we have returned the Orange Terror and replaced him with a girl. And besides the PH mystery things are going well for our fish today.

(Now – Do not take what I’m about to say and apply it to your marriage)

Sometimes our lives are in turmoil because one person keeps stirring up drama and hardships.  You do not have to be around that.  God does not desire for you to submit yourself to people who constantly impact your life with their issues. If you have a friend or a family member who every time they enter a room drama pursues you need to distance yourself from them.  It’s not that you do not love them or treat them with love or that you’re not concerned.  But life is hard enough on its own without having to deal with drama = stuff that people over exaggerate or make more than it should be or make up in their own mind.  Some people are not happy unless your focus is on them or unless they can stir you up and make you upset.   These people are fools and the Bible is clear you do not have to hang around them.

So be free of them… as much as you can be.

It’s OK.

Proverbs  14:7-9, 13:20, 18:6, 18:2, 29:11, 18:7

It’s in The Stars – The Music

It's in the Stars Logo copy

Over the next few days I will be posting information I had to cut from the “It’s In the Stars” message.  Today however I am responding to a few questions concerning the music I used in the presentation.  Tomorrow we will get down to business with more “Star” info.

Here’s a list of the music that was used.

1. Psalm 19A – from the Album “Wait” by the Sons of Korah.  This Album is one of their best.  All their music comes from the book of Psalms.

2. Beautiful – from the Album “Simply Nothing” by Shawn McDonald.

3. How Great Thou Art – from the Album “Faith:A Hymns Collection by Avalon

4. Galaxies – from the Album “All Things Bright and Beautiful” by Owl City.  Owl City is a Christian and we also used His version of “In Christ Alone” that can be found on Youtube

5. God of Wonders – from the Album “WOW 2001” by City on a Hill

6. And Your Praise Goes On – from the Album “Past the Edges” by Chris Rice. This song was cut from the message for time reasons.

7. Indescribable – from the Album “Arriving” by Chris Tomlin

8. Hallelujahs – from the Album “Deep Enough to Dream” by Chris Rice

9. Singing Stone – from the Album “Come to the River” by the Rhett Walker Band

10. Astronaut – from the Album “Have I Ever Told You” by FFH.  This song was cut from the message but is fun to listen to

If you have any questions from the message from Sunday please post them in the comments below or contact me directly.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

Amazing

Screen-Shot-2012-02-05-at-3.50.06-PM

In the deepest parts of our heart lives things that we are not proud of.

Dark thoughts

evil thoughts

Thoughts that if they were ever made known to our friends and family they would send them running

But God knows these thoughts, our tendencies toward sin and the darkness that resides deep within…

the darkness that we hide from all others.

And He loves us any way

That is Amazing Grace.