Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Biblical Case for Work

Last Sunday I preached at Hope E. Free Church with the topic being the biblical
case for work. The sermon traveled through a variety of Scriptures (Genesis, Proverbs, the gospel parables, the pastoral epistles) and so I don’t have space here to go through them all. However, I thought some of you might be interested in the summary points of the sermon. I post them below.

* We are workers because we’re created in the image of God.
* We are called to perform our work for the Lord. It is a part of our worship. And we must depend on Him for strength and success in our work.
* We work now under difficult circumstances but that’s not God’s fault; it’s ours.  One day, when the curse is lifted and all creation is reconciled to God, our work for Him will be fully adventurous and fulfilling and delightful…as it was originally designed to be.
* All work, if done for God, pleases Him and moves forward His kingdom.  There are no divisions between types of work just as there is no true division between the secular and sacred.  He is Lord of all.
* The Bible teaches in both example and precept a strong work ethic.  It condemns laziness and lack of planning.  It also condemns the exploitation of labor.
* Work, properly performed, is an ennobling thing – a virtue that God applauds and will reward in the life to come.
* One motive of work is to be able to help others in need.
* We are taught the seriousness of being a skilled worker.  This includes care, learning, wisdom, planning, and preparation.
* We are to continually invite the Lord to be in our work.
* The frequent emphasis on the performance of good works in the Lord’s Name isn’t just about “religious” activity. It includes our occupations, our housework, our lawn work…all of our work.

If you'd like, you can hear the sermon right here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why Voter Fraud Is Still a Massive Problem

From the editors of National Review comes this brief but important video clip. It's definitely one to watch, to pass along, and to be very, very alarmed about.

The Latest on the Culture Wars

From the alternative media, here's a few more articles dealing with culture war issues. Relevant, insightful stuff.

* “Men Are Getting Weaker…because We’re Not Raising Men” (David French, National Review)

* “For sale, the most brazen president money can buy” (Wes Pruden, Washington Times)

* “Voter Fraud Is Real. Here Are 4 More Cases.” (Peter Tapsak & Jason Snead, Daily Signal)

* “CNN (Castro News Network) Celebrates Fidel’s Birthday” (Humberto Fontova, Town Hall)

* “Signs of the Times: Liberal Hypocrisy in 2016” (Steven Hayward, Power Line)

* “Her Health Plan Was $257 a Month. Now Her Obamacare Plan Could Be $650 a Month.” (Melissa Quinn, Daily Signal)

* “‘The War Won’t Be Over Soon’: Ukraine’s Long Fight Against Russia for Freedom” (Nolan Peterson, Daily Signal)

* “$104 million lawsuit against Christian activist threatens to chill free speech in Canada” (Lea Singh, Mercator)

Monday, August 22, 2016

“Will Embryonic Stem Cells Ever Cure Anything?”

“Will Embryonic Stem Cells Ever Cure Anything?” is a skeptical headline which
you would expect to read in a conservative journal like the National Review or the Weekly Standard. However, it is a bit surprising to find it in the MIT Technology Review, in a profile of Douglas Melton, a Harvard stem cell scientist. 

From the article — “No field of biotechnology has promised more and delivered less in the way of treatments than embryonic stem cells. Only a handful of human studies has ever been carried out, without significant results. The cells, culled from IVF embryos, are capable of developing into any other tissue type in the body, and therefore promise an unlimited supply of replacement tissue. Sounds simple, but it hasn’t been.” (Michael Cook, Bioedge)

Recent Reads of Worth

Among the recent articles you may have missed (but shouldn't) are these:

* “Hillary Clinton Is No Champion of Religious Freedom” (Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review)

* “Embryonic Stem Cell Hype --Was Hype” (Wesley J. Smith, National Review)

* “3 Ways to Talk About Conservatism With a Liberal” (Beverly Hallberg, Daily Signal)

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Latest "When Swing Was King" Songlist

1) Glenn Miller Orchestra — “A String of Pearls”
2) Chick Webb & the Savoy Ballroom Orchestra — “Stars and Stripes Forever” (Photo theme: Honoring Old Glory)
3) The Andrews Sisters — “Begin the Beguine”
4) Artie Shaw Orchestra — “Out of Nowhere”
5) Ozzie Nelson Orchestra — “I Must See Annie Tonight” (Photo theme: Classic Hollywood Anns & Annies)
6) Harry James Orchestra — “Hernando’s Hideaway”
7) Ella Fitzgerald — “Blue Moon”
8) Benny Goodman Orchestra — “Here’s Love In Your Eye”
9) Frank Sinatra — “The Coffee Song” (Photo theme: A 1940s Look at Coffee Drinking)
10) Larry Clinton Orchestra, Bea Wain with vocals — “Heart and Soul”
11) Lawrence Welk Orchestra — “Hoop-Dee-Doo”
12) Fred Astaire — “The Way You Look Tonight” (Photo theme: A Fred Astaire Retrospective)

Come check out our latest volume of “When Swing Was King” at any one of the 14 senior care centers where we will be showing it this month. The residents and staff would love to have you come and be a part. The schedule is right here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

3 Key Responses to Good Preaching

The typical sermon in today’s evangelical church makes everybody feel safe, comfortable, and happy. Like the music that opens and closes the Sunday morning service, the sermon is designed to entertain, calm, and lift one’s self-esteem. The audience need not worry about too much theology, too many moral demands, or too many counter-culture exhortations. Learning? You can get that from the History Channel. Sacrifice? It’s time you increased your financial donations. Stretching?  That’s for the ladies’ yoga class that meets in the multi-purpose room on Tuesday mornings.

But what if you are among the few that have the blessing of listening to solid, biblically-centered teaching on a Sunday morning?  Then may I suggest you make sure you are observing three things.

1) Good preaching should be appreciated.  Thank God for the Word and for a preacher who honors God’s revelation enough to study it, submit to it, and faithfully share it with his congregation.  Show your gratitude also by follow the example of the Bereans of Acts 17:11; namely, to study the Bible yourself and consistently extend its applications to your life.

2) Good preaching should be applauded.  An expository preacher, one well equipped in hermeneutics and holy living, should be hearing from those that benefit from his teaching.  He should be supported, encouraged, defended, helped, and honored – to his face, as well as among other church members and to outsiders.  So many preachers who bravely stand against the culture (including the soft-headed, me-oriented themes predominant in modern evangelical circles) end up standing alone.  Come alongside and give them a hand.

3) Good preaching should be applied.  It’s not enough to hear good sermons or even to pat the preacher on the back.  The whole purpose of God gifting you with a good Bible preacher is for your ongoing sanctification.  His sermons are to give you solutions to moral and intellectual problems, to equip you to do the work of ministry in your various spheres of influence, and to change you more into the image of Christ.

So, if you have a preacher who is studying to know, live, and effectively preach the Word of God?  That’s terrific.  Appreciate those sermons.  Applaud that preacher.  And apply the lessons he teaches you from the holy text.

And if you don’t have that kind of preacher?

Go find one.