Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Grace of God in Good Sermons

It is 11pm on Sunday night and I am pondering the grace of God on Sundays. God gave me this day. He did not have to but he did. He also gave me the privilege of public corporate worship. I got to hear a sermon today. This is an amazing gift of God. Our pastor is preaching through the book of Hebrews and today his sermon was really a meditation on Hebrews 13:5-6 which deals with contentment. God is amazing in giving us faithful pastors who preach his word for his people. God's grace was further evident to me today in the preaching of his Word as the Holy Spirit convicted me. The final point of the sermon was this application, "I must remember that I do not belong to myself I belong to God."

As an American I think that I deserve so much, I deserve: great schools, financial help in a bad economy, health, good insurance, a life free of fear, low gas prices, social mobility, "The American Dream" I deserve to be the master of my life. In actuality, I deserve far less. God would be totally just in condemning me. God does not owe me anything. If he destroyed me in his wrath it would merely be to the exaltation of his glorious justice. I am a sinner. Too often my actions seek to dethrone God to organize a cosmic coup where I seek to take his throne and rule myself and others. Yet God rich in mercy does not pour out his wrath on me for my sin. No, he poured out his wrath on his Son, killing Christ in my place. I deserve nothing and I have been given everything. So fundamentally, my lack of contentment shows a deficiency in my understanding of the gospel.

What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Just gave a lecture/discussion on the importance of Penal-Substitutionary Atonement today to a few of the men of our church . For me this was just an awesome study and reflection on the work of Christ. In my study I was drawn to think Christologically about the first Passover in Exodus 12. In the first Passover there were 2 salvations

1. Pharaoh and Egypt
2. God's wrath for idolatry

Verse 12 of Exodus 12 is so important. God states that he would have dominion over the god's of Egypt, gods the Israelites no doubt worshipped alongside the Egyptians. It seems that God's judgment in killing the firstborn was his judgment on both Egypt's and Israel’s idolatry. In order to be saved from God's righteous wrath a substitute had to be provided. This is a divine picture to help us understand the perfect substitute we have in Christ. John the Baptist no doubt understood this when he exclaimed "behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Why do we object to Penal-Substitutionary Atonement? It is a hard pill for us to swallow. The only way we could have a reconciled relationship to God was for God to kill his own Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin. On the cross the righteous wrath and anger of God was poured out on Christ for our sin and rebellion against God. Perhaps some of us are uncomfortable with a God who is so perfectly just that he would kill his own Son in order to make sure that no sin goes unpunished.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

Friday, March 07, 2008

Faux Bloger

For the two people who actually read my blog, I am sure you have uncovered my dirty secret. I am not a real blogger. No, real bloggers post daily sometimes multiple posts in a day with great pictures. Most of them even understand Html. I however, struggle to post once a week and until recently thought Html was an abbreviation for Hot tamales.
I am really a faux blogger. I aspire to look like the real thing but discerning bloggers can tell the difference. So thank you for reading my faux blog.

On a different note I would like to post on sandwiches. Not only do I love to read and listen to good music I also love a good sandwich. I am not talking about pbj slapped between two pieces of Wonder Bread. No, a good sandwich is a magnificent work of art much like the paintings of, Monet, the symphonies of Mahler the improvisations of Coltrane. How few there are in our time who can make a good sandwich.

The base of any good sandwich is of course the bread any sandwich not made from a loaf of fresh baked bread is worthless. My preference is sourdough. Next it should contain a binding element like Miracle Whip, mustard, ranch dressing, Heidi’s deli one of my favorite sandwich shops uses a spicy pepper spread for one of their sandwiches. I prefer the veggies to go next. My basic veggies are lettuce (iceberg or leaf) tomatoes (out of your garden are always the best) onions (red seem to work best in a sandwich) and if in season avocado.
I prefer protein (meat) to be in the middle of the sandwich and I like many different meats depending on my mood. The important thing about meat is that it must be from a good deli and it must be thin sliced. It is better to have many pieces of thinly sliced meat than a big hunk of meat in the middle. Cheese is the final piece for me I love nearly any cheese but for sandwiches white cheeses are best. For ham I like provolone, for turkey a good swiss or baby swiss, for roast beef (you might think I am weird) muenster or blue cheese. Generally I use Miracle Whip for one piece of bread then on the other I will use either a good stone ground mustard or especially with roast beef a horseradish spread. I prefer then to cut the sandwich in half. Any sandwich worth eating must be gently and carefully compressed to fit into your mouth.
Oh we should thank the Lord for his divine goodness and providence in allowing us to discover and enjoy one of the greatest fruits of his creation the sandwich.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Jazz 101 with Dave Brubeck

Here is the Dave Brubeck quartet playing their most memorable tune Take Five. I just love this chart.