Saturday, May 30, 2009

Treasure - Free Song by Luke Pehoski

My sermon text for tomorrow is:
Matthew 13:44-46 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

(45) "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, (46) who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

I came across a song that Luke Pehoski (a.k.a - Pastor Luke to some) wrote a few years ago and I hope we can sing the song soon at Grace Church. It fits so well with the sermon and discipleship to Jesus Christ--our Treasure.

Here is the song:

You can download it for free here.


Lyrics and Music by Luke Pehoski

Jesus be my treasure, be my one consuming passion
Jesus consume my actions, Lord be my only all

For Lord, You are sufficient
Teach me to thirst for You
Lord, You’re magnificent
The One and only True

Source of pleasure, hope forever, satisfying passion
Be my complete, final joy, every need fulfilling

May I never truly rest, Nor be complete in seeking
Lord ever increase my hunger for You, all my days

Paul is Five Today

Five years ago my first son was born into this world--Paul Stephan Lewis Patz. I thank God for this gift of His grace and at the same time recognize that this boy is not mine but God's. I pray that God would pour out His Holy Spirit upon him at an early age and give him a life of faithful and dedicated service to the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Friday, May 29, 2009

This Sunday's Sermon - "The Joy of Discipleship"

Here are a few details about this Sunday's sermon:

"The Joy of Discipleship"

Matthew 13:44-46

Read or listen to this or past sermons here

Pastor Daniel Patz Preaching

Mr. President - You May Not Appoint A Pro-Choice Judge

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am appreciative and I join Douglas Wilson's warning to President Obama regarding the appointment of a pro-choice judge to the Supreme Court:

You may not do this thing. And if by the time this message is preached, you have already placed the name of such a person in nomination, you are commanded in the name of the Lord Jesus to repent, and withdraw that name from consideration. The one to whom you ultimately answer is the Lord Jesus Christ, and not the American people. And this Jesus, who is the Lord of all presidents and parliaments, kings and congresses, forbids what you are in the midst of doing. And so I say it again. You may not.

You said in the campaign that you did not have "a litmus test" for your nominees, but it is important for you to know and recognize that the Lord Jesus does have a litmus test for judges. He requires them to hate injustice and to judge righteously (Dt. 1:16), to defend the fatherless (Is. 1:23; Jer. 5:28), and to keep the land from being soaked with the blood of innocents (Hos. 6:6-8; Ps. 10:18). Judges must adjudicate with godly wisdom (Prov. 8:16). Judges must recognize that there is a Judge above them, one to whom they answer. The Lord is our judge, lawgiver and king (Is. 33:22). And judges who refuse to acknowledge the wisdom of heaven are judges that the Lord will bring down to nothing. He makes the judges of the earth as vanity (Is. 40:23).

...You have no mandate to allow for the summary executions of anyone. You have no authority to make whether or not a baby is allowed to take a breath of air a matter of somebody else’s political "choice." That is not yours to give. You have no right to deprive anyone of life without due process. And to address the crowning hypocrisy in all of this, you have no authority to invert the meanings of empathy and cruelty. You have stated that one of the characteristics of your nominee would be "empathy." But the treatment that unborn children receive in this calloused and cruel nation of ours is a photo negative of true empathy. We dismember little children, we kill them with saline injections, we suck out their brains with high powered equipment, and you want a nominee who will keep this ghastly business going, and you want one who will call what he is doing empathy. But the prophet Isaiah has declared an authoritative word—"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Is 5:20-21). Woe, in other words, to those who do exactly what you are doing.

Furthermore, the one who is the resurrection and the life, the one who is the source of all our life, is the Lord Jesus. The Lord gives, and so the Lord is the only one with the authority to take away. You did not give life, and so unless you have direct warrant from the one who did give life, you have no authority whatever to take it away. This is why the magistrate can execute a murderer after a fair trial; God has given that kind of authority to the magistrate (Rom. 13:4). But without authorization from heaven, the capacity to kill does not confer the right to kill. Murder on a large scale, or conducted in a highly organized fashion, does not mysteriously turn into something else.

On Monday, President Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Supreme Court Justice.
Where will she stand on this issue?

Download and listen to Douglas Wilson's sermon.

For the manuscript see here.

For the outline see here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great Time Away - The Little Things

Last Friday, Molly, the kids and I loaded the van and headed for eastern Wisconsin where my parents live (Dunbar, WI - near Northland International University). We had a very restful and encouraging weekend. We returned to Minnesota on Tuesday morning.
I am thankful to God for all the little blessings that He gives us to enjoy.
Here are some highlights that I thank Him for:

Friday Night
  • Celebrated Paul's birthday (which is Saturday, May 30th - he will be five)
  • Watched the NBA playoffs with my three brothers
  • I was able to enjoy a good run through the country.
  • Went to a family run zoo in Wallace, MI (the UP of MI). The kids got to pet a tiger cub, baby coyote, kangaroo, and we watched the tigers and lions getting fed. Here is the zoo website.
  • We had a feast at my grandmother's house.
  • We watch more NBA basketball.
  • We worshiped at my parents church (where I grew up) - Faith Baptist Church in Pembine WI.
  • I enjoyed several walks by myself, with the kids and with Molly.
  • The VanAckers stopped by my parent's house on their way to MI. We enjoyed supper with them.
  • We watched more Playoff basketball.
  • Went on a four-wheel ride with Elijah and saw a bear with her two cubs. Got some good pictures (see above). We got very close. It was crazy to be so close to a bear in the wild.
  • Enjoyed a tasty grill-out of burgers and brats (it's Wisconsin).
  • Went miniature golfing with the kids.
  • More four-wheeling.
  • Watched Star Wars Episode 1 with the family.
  • Watched basketball.
Tuesday - Returned home via McDonalds playland in Ladysmith, WI.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Is Patriotism Christian?

I just read a helpful article by Kevin Bauder called "The Christian and Patriotism, Part 1." With memorial day weekend here (and Independence Day not too far off) I thought it would be helpful to post. Here are a few quotes from the article:

Should Christians be patriotic at all? If so, then should they carry their patriotism into their churches? I would like to offer tentative answers to these questions—tentative because I am an American and I share most of the American sensibilities. Therefore, my answers will hardly qualify as impartial. The questions, however, are important and should not simply be dismissed.

Patriotism comes in two forms. The first is equivalent to Jingoism. It is a xenophobic form of nationalism that sees in one’s own country the summum bonum. It advances the interests of one’s nation by encroaching upon the legitimate interests of other nations. It is smug, often arrogant, and sometimes rapacious. This form of patriotism is, in effect, idolatry.

Needless to say, this form of patriotism has no place in the life of a Christian. Christians can be susceptible to it, however. They may infer God’s approval from the prosperity or military success of their nation. They may identify their national interests with those of the Kingdom of God. They may even assume that the strength of their nation constitutes some form of divine authorization to interfere in the affairs of other sovereign nations. Each of these attitudes expresses a false and idolatrous patriotism.

There is another form of patriotism, however. It recognizes that each citizen receives a patrimony from the fatherland (the term is deliberate: both patriot and patrimony are related to the Greek term for father). With the patrimony comes (at minimum) a debt of gratitude. The recognition of this debt and appropriate expression of gratitude are akin to honoring one’s parents.
Read the Entire article HERE.

Sermon - You Have a Call On Your Life

Here is my sermon from last Sunday entitled - "You Have a Call on Your Life."

5.17.09 You Have a Calling on Your Life Ephesians 4:1 Read Read Listen
You can download by right click on "listen" and saving.

Every believer has a call on their life. I am reminded of this quote from Paul David Tripp:
I am persuaded that the church today has many more consumers than committed participants. Sure, Joe and Sheila may volunteer for a specific activity like VBS or a diaconal project, but this frequently falls woefully short of the “everyone, all the time” model of the New Testament. Our tendency toward ecclesiastical consumerism has seriously weakened the church. For most of us, church is merely an event we attend or an organization we belong to. We do not see it as a calling that shapes our entire life.
(Paul David Tripp – Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, p. XII)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Teaching Your Kids How Insecure Their Lives Are

I am reading George Marsden's excellent biography on Jonathan Edwards. He spends some time talking about the Puritan upbringing of Edwards.

How different from our day - what modern parenting book has this design - "to teach children to recognize how insecure their lives [are]"?

Much of Puritan upbringing was designed to teach children to recognize how insecure their lives were. Every child knew of brothers, sisters, cousins, or friends who had suddenly died. Cotton Mather, under whose preaching Timothy had once sat, eventually lost thirteen of his fifteen children. Parents nightly reminded their children that sleep was a type of death that taught them such prayers as “This day is past; but tell me who can say / That I shall surely live another day.” The New England Primer illustrated the letter “T” with “Time cuts down all, both great and small” and a woodcut of the grim reaper. “Y” was “Youth forward slips, Death soonest nips” with a woodcut of Death holding a large arrow at a child’s head. One of the Edwards children's surviving writing exercises reads, “Nothing is more certain than death. Take no delay in the great work of preparing for death."

If life was uncertain and frightening, eternity was more so. Parents who themselves experienced God's saving grace and who lost children in infancy might have hopes in God's covenant promises of mercy from generation to generation. Young children might have saving grace, even if they did not live long enough for it to come to fruition in identifiable signs of conversion. One nighttime prayer (a form of which has long survived) was "Lord, if my Soul this night away thou take, / Let me by morning then in Heav'n awake." Yet no child was innocent or worthy of anything but eternal damnation. All were totally depraved. Not only would they sin as soon as they could, but they were also born guilty of the sins of the race. "In Adam's fall, we sinned all," was the first lesson in the New England Primer. Children soon learned that in their natural state they deserved the flames of hell. Only God's mysterious grace might rescue them. (Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, pp. 26-27)

Obama Wants the Impossible - Jesus Is Lord and Savior , Not State

Here is a good article by Douglas Wilson on the "religious impulse" of Obama's policies called THE JITNEY gODS OF WASHINGTON.

As the Obama saga gets weirder and weirder, Christians shouldn't forget to interpret all the news in the fundamental terms of who we want to be our god, and who wants to be the embodiment of that god. Worship is always the key to everything. And it is not the "key to everything" because we keep repeating that mindlessly like a mantra. It is the key to everything because it explains why so many people, otherwise intelligent, are doing such foolish things.

One of the central reasons why it is so important to insist on the absolute sovereignty of the triune God of Scripture (and for those just joining us, that would be the true God) is because if we dial that sovereignty back (not in reality, but in our fevered dreams) something bad always happens to us. We (also in our fevered dreams) think to step into the void that our imaginations created, the vacant spot recently relinquished by the Maker of heaven and earth. Denial of the true God is the first step of two. It is not that we want no God; it is that we want to replace Him. So the first step is to deny Him. The second step is a necessary one (meaning that it cannot be avoided once the first is taken), and it involves volunteering to pick up the slack created by the divine absence.

Of course, there is not actually a divine absence but rather a divine laughter, as the Lord mocks them to scorn. They do not want Messiah's chains, and so they declare their intention to scatter those chains, as it says in the second psalm from the front (Ps. 2:3). And at the conclusion of the psalter, second from the back, what does God in His kindness give as an honor to all His saints? He enables us through the power of our praise, to bind unbelieving kings with chains (Ps. 149:8).

As it turns out, sovereignty over all things is an inescapable concept. It is not whether someone will foreordain all things, but rather who will foreordain all things. When we cease trusting the God who actually is God, our sinful hearts and minds create a job vacancy. When we deny the God who was God before Calvin or Augustine were born, we wind up with the jitney gods of washington d.c. That sovereignty is claimed, on the one hand, by the God who numbers the hairs on every head, and, on the other hand, the god who doesn't know that you can't refill the pool by taking buckets of water from one end and dumping them in the other.

So whenever you see an outrageous attempt at overreach on the part of our elected solons, ask yourself what divine attribute they are attempting to duplicate. They are doing crazy things, but not because they are unintelligent. Most of them got where they are because they are industrious, intelligent, crafty, and a few other things, perhaps a bit less savory. But when in power they do really foolish things because they are not anywhere near competent to be claiming what they do, and the only alternative is repentance, which would require worshipping the God who created them. Since that is obviously intolerable, they continue on in their folly. And as they continue on, there is an inexorable pressure to fill the divine void. There is no alternative. To paraphrase the great Francis Schaeffer, if there is no God above the state, the state becomes god.

Two quick examples. Proposals to regulate something as complicated as the human economy of any society is clearly an attempt to duplicate the omnis -- omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. But government officials cannot do this. They cannot even approach thinking about what it might be like to be able to do this. As much as they want to be Lord, they cannot be. They are not competent. And when I say they are not competent, I do not mean that they are almost-but-not-quite competent. I do not mean incompetent, but within shouting distance. I mean something like the earthworm you turned up with your spade being annoyed because you interupted his reverie about taking up the violin and wowing sold-out crowds at Carnagie Hall. And even that illustration is giving away too much.

The regulatory state wants to be Lord, and with no veto power hanging over them from above. But the bad news for them is what we Christians call the good news. Christ is Lord. There is no other. And we serve a Lord who was crucified for us, not a lord who wants to crucify others for himself.

Another example of straining towards the divine attributes can be seen in the recent attempts by Obama through the U.S. Treasury to create wealth ex nihilo. But only God can create wealth that way. God spoke the word, and mind-boggling resources were instantly there. And God formed our first parents, and gave them the responsibility for stewarding those resources. That is the authority of the divine -- He speaks, and it is. And blinkered statists want to be able to do that. They should be able to speak, and it is "there." And so they speak, and what was there begins to vanish away. Jezebel brings in the fertility Baal to make Israel lush and green, and the first thing that happens is that Israel turns brown and crispy.

If they could whistle up wealth by fiat, they could save us from us from our poverty. But as much as they want to be Savior, they cannot be. They are not competent. The earthworm keeps dropping the bow. And the violin. And after a few exasperating practices, the earthworm decides that his dreams of glory aren't working because they are being subverted by right-wing extremists who harbor hatred for diversity in their hearts.

In short, Obama is proposing the policies he is because of a religious impulse, pure and simple. He wants the state to be Lord and Savior. We as Christians oppose this, but not because it would be bad if it succeeded. There is no possibility of it succeeding. We oppose it because our Lord and Savior has given us songs of praise with which to bind their dreams of glory.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Everyone's Call to Gospel Ministry

I like what Spurgeon says in the opening paragraph of his chapter "The Call to the Ministry" in Lectures to My Students.

ANY Christian has a right to disseminate the gospel who has the ability to do so; and more, he not only has the right, but it is his duty so to do as long as he lives. (Revelation 22:17.) The propagation of the gospel is left, not to a few, but to all the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ: according to the measure of grace entrusted to him by the Holy Spirit, each man is bound to minister in his day and generation, both to the church and among unbelievers. Indeed, this question goes beyond men, and even includes the whole of the other sex; whether believers are male or female, they are all bound, when enabled by divine grace, to exert themselves to the utmost to extend the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reminds me of Ephesians 4.

Ephesians 4:1, 7, 11-12
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called...But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift... And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...

I am a Fundamentalist, If...

Kevin Bauder in an address he gave in 2005 called, A Fundamentalism Worth Saving, defines the idea of fundamentalism like this:

In answering this question, I first distinguish fundamentalism as an idea from fundamentalism as a movement. As I have said on other occasions, fundamentalism is a great idea. As an idea, fundamentalism is essentially a doctrinal and ecclesiastical reaction against unbelief masquerading as Christianity. Ideal fundamentalists affirm that all doctrine is important, but they recognize that some doctrines are more important than others. They assert that some doctrines are so important as to be essential to the gospel itself. These essential or fundamental doctrines are held to be indispensably bound to the very definition of Christianity. While ideal fundamentalists certainly do not believe that Christianity can be reduced to a doctrinal statement, they affirm that Christianity rests upon an inviolable doctrinal foundation. To add to or subtract from that foundation is to deny Christianity itself. Moreover—and this is the crux of the matter—fundamentalists insist that no Christian fellowship can exist or should be pretended with people who deny the gospel.

This understanding distinguishes fundamentalists from two sorts of religious people. First, it distinguishes them from apostates, or people who deny essential doctrines while claiming to be Christians. Second, it distinguishes them from the people whom J. Gresham Machen called indifferentists, people who personally affirm the fundamentals but who refuse to acknowledge that those fundamentals are essential to the definition of Christianity or the existence of Christian fellowship. Typically, historic fundamentalists have felt themselves duty-bound not only to truncate visible fellowship with those who deny the gospel, but also to limit their cooperation with those whose view of the gospel is so low that they feel they can continue in fellowship with apostates. (read the whole thing here)

If this is fundamentalism. I am a fundamentalist.

Bauder was one of my seminary professors and is now the President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

If this topic is of interest to you I recommend reading the following:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Collision - Preview of Wilson v. Hitchens

This looks really good - an upcoming film debate between Christian pastor Douglas Wilson and renown atheist Christopher Hitchens (author of "The God Delusion").

I am so glad that I am a Christian and that Doug Wilson is on the right side.

Here is a sneak peak:

COLLISION - 13 min VIMEO Exclusive Sneak Peek from Collision Movie on Vimeo.

A preacher and an atheist walk into a bar...

Preview of the first 13 minutes of the forthcoming documentary "Collision".

The film follows renowned author and anti-theist Christopher Hitchens and

Pastor Douglas Wilson as they debate the topic: "Is Christianity Good For

The World?". A Darren Doane film.

Worship Tomorrow at Grace Church - May 17th

Tomorrow I plan to get back to Ephesians. Here is some of my sermon info ( from

“You Have a Calling

On Your Life?

Ephesians 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

The lyrics can be found here.

Kids Choir
  • Mighty, Mighty Savior
Welcome and Announcements

Worship in Music
  • Spirit of the Living God
  • And Can It Be?
  • Hope of the Nations
  • Grace Unmeasured
(Children ages 3 through 2nd grade dismissed)

Worship in Word
“You Have a Calling on Your Life” Ephesians 4:1

  • Where You Lead Me

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sermon - Motherhood as a Reflection of God

Here is my Mother's Day sermon with audio and notes:


5.10.09 Motherhood as a Reflection
of God
Isaiah 49:13-16 Read Read Listen

(Right click on listen and save to download)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Consumes Your Thoughts?

This sermon clip from Paul Washer really convicted me tonight when I watched it with Molly. I am glad I heard this needed word. May God consume my thoughts.

What consumes your thoughts?

The thing that most consumes your thoughts is your god.

What do you think about most?

You can pretty much put your finger upon your god - what you think about the most.

Unless it is God, you are serving a god that is dying.

Psa 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! (24) And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Abortion: Not a "Family Matter"

See this video clip posted at

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Our Eternal Occupation

Here is a very helpful and edifying article by Kevin Bauder from "In the Nick of Time" on OUR ETERNAL OCCUPATION. He discusses the fact that it is unlikely that we will not merely (merely is a poor word) gaze upon God's glory in heaven - as though we are in a "perpetual trance." Here are some highlights:

...In fact, part of the way that humans were intended to enjoy and glorify God meant looking away from Him rather than looking at Him. For example, when Adam named the animals, He was looking at lions and tigers and bears, not at God. By looking away from God, he actually learned more about God, for he was able to discern God’s character when He saw it reflected in God’s poiema. The naming of the animals also gave Adam the opportunity to perform a task to the glory of God. If Adam had refused to shift his gaze from the divine presence, then he would actually have missed an occasion to worship and serve God.

...Admittedly, Adam had moments when God was the object of his full attention. There were times when Adam was permitted to look at God, and there were times when he was required to look away. Bringing glory to God required Adam to do both, to oscillate between the beatific vision and the everyday things of the world, to alternate between the sacred and the profane—except that, when the ordinary things of this world are used to reveal God’s character and as tools in our service for God, then they, too, become sacred.

Everything in Eden was sacred because everything (material and immaterial alike) was devoted to the glory of God. Everything in our lives should become sacred in exactly the same sense. For the true worshipper of Jehovah, nothing is common.

As it was in the beginning, and as it is now, so it ever shall be, world without end. God does not intend for us to sit eternally in a celestial trance. To be sure, there will be moments of pure adoration when we add our voices to the mighty choir of patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs. We, too, shall cast our crowns at His feet. We, too, shall exalt the worthiness of the Lamb.

That being said, there is still the new earth, the holy city, the river, the tree of life, the nations, and our own resurrection bodies. While none of these things will be exactly natural, they will be material. Materiality must have some purpose, even in eternity future. Why should it be unthinkable that we might be required to shift our gaze away from the divine Shekinah in order that we may see the many splendors of His glory reflected in what He does and has done? Why should it be unreasonable to suppose that He will have some task for us to perform, some exercise of mind and limb, to which we must direct our attention in order to honor Him?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day and My Sermon - Reflecting God

Heads up husbands, fathers, children - Sunday is Mother's Day if you didn't already know that.

This Sunday, Lord willing, I will be preaching on a subject I talked to the MOMs and MORE group about - "Motherhood as a Reflection of God."

One of my texts is Isaiah 49:13-16.

Mothers are made in the image of God.
I want to look at how motherhood uniquely reflects the glory of God as well as the practical implications of this truth to mothers, husbands of mothers, children of mothers and the Gospel.

Please pray for me and for the body at Grace Church.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Adopted: New Blog by My Bro-In-Law - Jason Johnson

My brother-in-law and my sister, Jason and Janelle Johnson, adopted four kids (siblings) in March from Minneapolis foster care and are in the process of adopting little Amos - who is in their care. All together, they have six kids ages six and under!

Jason just started a new blog called "Adopted."

Here are his first three posts which are worth reading. The third post gives some startling statistics on foster care in MN and the kids that need to be adopted.

(1,572 kids in MN foster care (22.5%) are waiting to be adopted)

Sermon - Giving as Sowing to the Spirit

Last Sunday, May 3, I preached from Galatians 6:10. Below is the sermon notes and audio from where we post all the sermons.

(Right click and save on the "listen" link to download)
5.3.09 Giving, Sowing, Reaping, and Eternal Life Galatians 6:6-10 Read Read Listen

My main point was this:

Partner in the Ministry of the Word through giving and serving…

…As a way of sowing to the Spirit for eternal life…

…While patiently trusting in the Lord of the Harvest.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On a Stand - Evangelism Seminar

(You can view all of the details here)

Please consider joining us for the second of our three 2009 training and equipping seminars: On a Stand - The Heart, Mind, and Practice of Evangelism . During this brief time together we'll look at the evangelical mind, the evangelical heart, the evangelical life, and the evangelical church (see outline below). Our aim is to come to an understanding of the Biblical teaching regarding evangelism as well as to consider the practical implications of such a view. Our prayer is that everyone would leave with a clearer understanding of what the Bible has to say about evangelism, that this clearer understanding would lead to greater satisfaction in God, that this greater satisfaction would lead to a greater love for people, and that this greater love would lead to more frequent, bold, and compassionate evangelism at Grace Church.

For several years now God has placed a consistently increasing awareness of my need to continually speak the gospel to others. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to imagine a non-sinful justification for gospel-silence in my life. Lost sinners need to know that Jesus has made a provision for them to be reconciled to the Father by grace through faith. And God has, in His infinite love and wisdom, chosen to use found sinners to be conduits of this saving grace to the lost. Please pray with me that God would use this seminar to bring glory and sinners to Himself.

Pastor Dave

Session 1: An Evangelical Mind

What do we mean by evangelism? What exactly is the Gospel? What is the Gospel not? How should a mature Christian think about evangelism?

Session 2: An Evangelical Heart

What is the relationship between evangelism and satisfaction in Jesus? What is the relationship between satisfaction in Jesus and love for others? How should a mature Christian feel about evangelism?

Session 3: An Evangelical Life – Initiating relationships for the sake of the Gospel

What is the relationship between entering the lives of others and the effectiveness of our evangelism? What does a life committed to sharing the Gospel with others in a relational context look like?

Session 4: An Evangelical Life – Speaking the Gospel into the lives of others

What does it look like to speak the Gospel into the lives of others? How comfortable should we expect our evangelism to be (for us or our hearers)? What do we do if someone responds positively or negatively to the Gospel?

Session 5: An Evangelical Church

What will all of this look like at Grace Church? How might we best invest our evangelistic efforts in the coming months and years?

Who: Everyone is welcome. Please invite anyone that you think might benefit from an extended look at the nature and practice of evangelism.

Cost: $20 / family (includes dinner on Friday night, breakfast on Saturday morning, childcare, and an evangelism resource kit).

When: Friday, June 12th (6:30-9:00pm) and Saturday, June 13th (9:00am-noon).

Where: Grace Church (26680 Faxton Ave. Wyoming, MN 55092).

Is Jesus Seen as All Satisfying Because You Drive a BMW?

We watched this in our discipleship groups last night.

Psalms 73:25-26
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. (26) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Driscoll on Joel Osteen:

Serious Preparation for Evangelism

In four weeks Grace Church will be engaging in evangelistic efforts in ways and to degrees in which it has never done in the past. As we come nearer to these days; I myself, and perhaps many of you, have been feeling a great heaviness or weight come upon you in ways that you may not have in the past. Some of you may be feeling a strong pull to run away from this new, perhaps strange and scary territory. Others may even be feeling a great eagerness to bring the gospel in words and love to Wyoming, Forest Lake, the surrounding communities and people you know in your own neighborhoods and jobs.

No matter what the case, I would like to suggest that over the next four weeks, as we come closer to the start date of our evangelistic focus at Grace, that we all be praying daily for Grace Church as a whole and for those whom we will be coming in contact with during the summer. I would also like to suggest that some of us even consider fasting between now and then as an offering of dependence to God and as a reminder to ourselves that it is God who will bring the fruit from our efforts not our own wisdom or strength.

Prayer Suggestions:

1) Pray that God gives wisdom, strength and courage to the leadership at Grace as they lead us into this "new territory" of evangelism.
2) Pray for a deep love for the lost that overcomes selfish desires to run away from bringing them the good news of Jesus Christ.
3) Pray against demonic forces at work trying to thwart our efforts and discourage us from bring glory to God and salvation to the lost.
4) Pray for good weather on the days that we are scheduled to be doing evangelism outdoors.
5) Pray that God gives us all courage and peace in knowing that He will be with us and will give us the right words to say.

Fasting Suggestions:

1) Please consider fasting from certain forms of entertainment (i.e. TV, internet usage, etc.) and consider, instead, preparing your hearts for evangelism by:
  • Increasing your Bible reading and memorization
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Discussing God-centered topics with your family
  • Reading good books on evangelism or the gospel
2) Please consider an actual food fast as a worshipful gesture to God that states that we are dependent on God for satisfaction and strength and not the world's table. (Please see Pastor Daniel's post on fasting).

I am going to work with Pastor Dave and Pastor Daniel to try to find a day and an hour that we could possibly devote to a corporate prayer time each week to pray for this up coming summer and the work we will be doing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Prayers of One Obscure Person - from Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards wrote in his diary:
Wednesday, Feb. 5 [1724]. I have not in times past, in my prayers, enough insisted on the glorifying of God in the world, on the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, the prosperity of the church, and the good of man. Determined that this objection is without weight, viz. that it is not likely that God will make great alterations in the whole world, and overturnings in kingdoms and nations, only for the prayers of one obscure person, seeing such things used to be done in answer to the united prayers of the whole church; and that if my prayers should have some influence, it would be but imperceptible and small.

Thoughts about Edwards' Thoughts

I have not in times past, in my prayers, enough insisted on the glorifying of God in the world, on the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, the prosperity of the church, and the good of man.

  • the glorifying of God in the world,
  • the advancement of the kingdom of Christ,
  • the prosperity of the church,
  • the good of man.

Determined that this objection is without weight, viz.
that it is not likely that God will make great alterations in the whole world, and overturnings in kingdoms and nations, only for the prayers of one obscure person, seeing such things used to be done in answer to the united prayers of the whole church; and that if my prayers should have some influence, it would be but imperceptible and small.

It is very possible that God will make great alterations in the whole world, and overturnings in kingdoms and nations, only for the prayers of one obscure person, even though such things used to be done in answer to the united prayers of the whole church.

Pray earnestly (insisting on) for the glorifying of God in the world, the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, the prosperity of the church, and the good of man, knowing that it is very possible that God will make great alterations in the whole world, and overturnings in kingdoms and nations, even from the prayers of one obscure person, even though such things used to be done in answer to the united prayers of the whole church.

What Idols Do You Serve?

On Saturday night I watched Tim Keller's sermon from the 2009 Gospel Coalition Conference.
The sermon was called - "The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry (watch or listen here)."

Keller helpfully defined idolatry in this way:
Idolatry is anything [other than God] I look at and say, "If I have that, my life has value."
Anything that is so central to your life that you feel you can't live without it is an idol.

Idolatry is making a good thing an ultimate thing.

Personal Application:
What good things do I often look at and say "If I have that, my life has value"?
  • Having a healthy or growing church.
  • Being a good and effective pastor and preacher (seeing hearts changed by the Word).
  • Being a good husband and father.
  • Having kids that will grow up and be spiritually successful.
  • Having a lot of people read my blog or like my sermons, etc.
  • Having others aware of the above four points.
What things are so central to my life that if I lose them I have a difficult time moving on?
  • My wife and family?
  • My church?
  • My ability to stay physically fit?
  • The good opinions and approval of people I respect?
What good things in my life do I tend to make ultimate things (they take the place of God in my heart)?
  • So much of the things above.

On a similar note, Paul David Tripp writes:
It does beg the question, “What’s your one thing?” What is the one thing that your heart craves? What is the one thing that you think would change your life? What is the one thing that you look to for satisfaction, contentment, or peace? What is the one thing that you mourn having to live without? What is the one thing that fills your daydreams and commands your sleepy meditations? What is your one thing?

The spiritual reality for many of us is that the one thing is not the Lord. And the danger in that reality is this: your one thing will control your heart, and whatever controls your heart will exercise inescapable influence over your words, choices, and actions. Your one thing will become that which shapes and directs your responses to the situations and relationships of your daily life. If the Lord isn’t your one thing, the thing that is your one thing will be your functional lord. Here is what you say to yourself when something is your one thing: “Life has meaning and I have worth only if I have ___________ in my life.”

In what areas of your life do you see idolatry present? What is your one thing? Money, the acceptance of others, family, your children, work, toys, spirituality, service, health, sports, tv, food...?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Free Song - All I Have Is Christ

I love songs that testify to the Gospel's redeeming work in the hearts of sinners from the bondage of sin. I highly recommend downloading this song and taking the time to ponder the lyrics (below).

I came across this song by Bob Kauflin's son - Jordan Kauflin. It was sung at the New Attitude Conference '08.

You can download it for free here.

You can listen to it below.

All I Have Is Christ - Na Band

Here are the lyrics - they are powerful.


I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Preparing for Corporate Worship - Sunday, May 3rd

You can find the songs we will sing tomorrow here.

We will be having a pot providence (luck) tomorrow following the worship service. After he meal we will have a preach church business meeting.

Please pray for me as I prepare to preach from Galatians 6:6-10.

Here is a video we showed last August in regards to the power and importance of corporate worship.

Friday, May 1, 2009

For Pastor's Wives

(HT - Thabiti Anyabwile)

My favorite woman is a pastor's wife--Molly (that would be my wife).
I thought I would share with her and others the following links to the audio of the women's workshops from the Sovereign Grace Pastors' Conference.

  • The Pastor’s Wife and Culture: What Feminism Has Done to Femininity (Carolyn McCulley) Listen | Download MP3
  • The Pastor’s Wife and Ministry Opportunities: Five Great Deals She Won’t Want to Miss (Carolyn Mahaney) Listen | Download MP3

Friday Funnies

My wife enjoys keeping an eye on Girl Talk a great blog by Carolyn Mahaney and her three daughters. Every Friday they post a "Friday Funnies." She showed me last week's:

"One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.'

'Good morning Pastor,' he replied, still focused on the plaque. 'Pastor, what is this? The pastor said, 'Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.' Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked, 'Which service, the 8:30 or the 10:45?'"

Upcoming Sermon

Here is the information for the upcoming sermon this Sunday from our church website at

Sermon this Sunday, May 3rd

“Giving, Sowing, Reaping and Eternal Life”

Galatians 6:6-10

Read or listen past sermons here.

Pastor Daniel Patz will be preaching

Sunday School 9 AM; 10:30 AM Worship