Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I am on vacation this week and next so I probably won't be posting much on the blog. I will, however, continue to send out tweets from my reading (for what it's worth). It is enjoyable to send quotes or reflections.
We are have a great family time at our favorite family place - home. Vacation is a great privilege and blessing.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Starting tomorrow, after church, I will start a two week vacation. Last summer I was challenged by C. J. Mahaney to look at the family vacation (as the husband and father) in a different way (see here):
Husbands are called by God to serve and lead. But we are all vulnerable to viewing the family vacation as a well-earned time away from work where we can rest and relax! But this attitude and approach to a vacation normally reveals a self-centeredness that does not please God or serve our families...The pursuit of this goal last summer, though not perfectly attained, proved fruitful and very encouraging to myself, Molly and the kids. Most importantly, I believe God was glorified.
And you will know you are serving and leading effectively on your vacation when y ou fall into bed at night more exhausted than at the end of the most grueling day of work. The father must enter family vacations committed to serve, lead, plan, initiate, and work, and do all this with joy. This isn’t your time to rest. Only your wife deserves to rest on vacation (because no one works harder than she does the rest of the year).
But for the husband, vacations are a unique opportunity to serve and lead and work harder in some ways than he does during the normal work week. But this kind of work is a pure joy like no other work. (Read the entire article here)
This summer, during our "stay-cation" (not going anywhere over night but STAYing home) I want to focus on 2 specific goals as I lead my family in this vacation:
- "Skillful Surprises" - Mahaney: "Effective surprises begin with studying each member of your family to discover what a meaningful and memorable surprise would involve. But trust me, each member of your family loves to be surprised."
- "Intentional Togetherness" - At the age my kids are at (6, 5, 3, 1) the best way to be together is by means of a "Stay-Cation". I love going to my parents or in-laws, but less quality time is spent just as a family. Right now (at this age) togetherness is not a thing the kids like to revolt against--they LOVE quality and quantity family time.
Friday, June 26, 2009
It is important that we prepare our minds and bodies and take serious this meaningful "ordinance". The Lord's supper is not just some thing we do...it has a lot of meaning.
Observe the following by Wayne Grudem (compiled by Dave VanAcker):
The meaning of the Lord’s Supper.
- Christ’s death. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper we symbolize the death of Christ because our actions give a picture of his death for us. When the bread is broken it symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and when the cup is poured out it symbolizes the pouring out or Christ’s blood for us (1 Corinthians 11:26).
- Our participation in the benefits of Christ’s death (Matthew 26:26). That is, in taking part in the Lord’s Supper we are acknowledging the fact that we are united with Christ in his death and therefore in the blessings of his life.
- Spiritual nourishment (John 6:53-57). The spiritual nourishment, so necessary for our souls, is both symbolized and experienced in our participation in the Lord’s Supper.
- The unity of believers (1 Corinthians 10:17). This is remarkable in the local church. It is even more remarkable when we realize that this is the practice, and has been the practice, for all Christian churches for the past 2000 years.
- In the Lord’s Supper Christ affirms his love for me. Having instituted this ordinance and inviting us to participate, we acknowledge that it is an example of Jesus affirming his love for us.
- In the Lord’s Supper Christ affirms that all the blessings of salvation are reserved for me. Again, the Lord’s Supper is meant to remind us of the present and greater future blessings that await all whom Jesus invited to participate (all Christians).
- In the Lord’s Supper I affirm my faith in Christ. Taking part in the Lord’s Supper is an outward sign that we remain faithful to Jesus.
- We must not take in an unworthy manner
- Therefore we must examine ourselves
- In examining ourselves, we must discern the body -- look at our relationships with others in the church and reconcile fractured relationships before we eat of the table
Thursday, June 25, 2009
This week I came across a great resource by Mark Driscoll. You need to get and read this little book called Pastor Dad: Scriptural Insights on Fatherhood.
You can also read the chapters only below – see table of contents.
|Table of Contents |
Sunday was Father's Day and I preached to myself and to Grace Church giving the charge to men to "MAN UP"-- and fulfill the responsibility God has called them (us) to.
In the attempt to Man Up we face opposition from within (Douglas Wilson says its like riding up-hill because of our sinful nature) and from without -- the culture wreaks with the male-irresponsibility syndrome.
Here were my four points:
1. Man up and be Men of God.
2. Man up and be Men of the Word.
3. Man up and be Men of Responsibility.
4. Man up and be Men of Grace.
Here is the sermon audio -- "Man Up - A Father's Day Sermon."
I welcome your comments, criticisms, questions and suggestions.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- Many church "members" are not members of the kingdom of the Heaven
- Many people who asked Jesus in their heart never experienced the New Birth and never truly believed and repented
- Many people who say that Jesus is their LORD, contradict their profession with their life of disobedience
- Many trust in a prayer or decision and not in Christ
- Many have no idea what true repentance and faith looks like in a life
- Many people who sincerely believe they are going to heaven will go to hell
Matthew 7:13-23 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. (14) For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (15) "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (16) You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (17) So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. (18) A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (21) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (22) On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' (23) And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
On Sunday I preached a sermon called "Man Up."
One of my points was this - "Man up and be Men of Responsibility."
A few years ago I came across these basic but often ignored principles on responsibility:
HOW TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PERSON
- When you agree to do something, do it. If you let people down, they'll stop believing you. When you follow through on your commitments, people take you seriously.
- Answer for your own actions. Don't make excuses or blame others for what you do. When you take responsibility for your actions you are saying "I am the one who's in charge of my life."
- Take care of your own matters. Don't rely on others to remind you when you're supposed to be somewhere or what you're supposed to bring. You take the responsibility.
- Be trustworthy. If somebody trusts you to borrow or take care of something, take care of it. If somebody tells you something in confidence, keep it to yourself. It's important for people to know they can count on you.
- Always use your head. Think things through and use good judgment. When you use your head you make better choices. Don’t rush into quick decisions.
- Don't put things off. When you have a job to do, do it. Doing things on time helps you take control of your life and shows that you can manage your own affairs.
Friday, June 19, 2009
This Sunday I will preach, Lord willing, a sermon for Father’s Day (June 21st) called “Man Up!” – Being a man of God, the Word, responsibility and grace.
1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Please start your Father’s Day with worship with God’s people.
Join us for worship at Grace Church, Wyoming MN
9:15 - Sunday School
10:30 - Worship Service
I recommend you downloading some of the sermons from the 2009 Resolved Conference that took place last week in Palm Springs.
At least check out the Trailer below. I have also copied the sermon links for you to access easily.
- The War Against Your Soul
- Rick Holland
- Fri, Jun 12, 2009
- Blessed Bankruptcy
- Steve Lawson
- Sat, Jun 13, 2009
- Who’s Really at Work?
- C.J. Mahaney
- Sat, Jun 13, 2009
- Enfield Concert (unavailable)
- Sat, Jun 13, 2009
- Blessed Purity
- Steve Lawson
- Sun, Jun 14, 2009
- A Theology of Creation
- John MacArthur
- Sun, Jun 14, 2009
- God’s Sovereignty Over Satan’s Fall
- John Piper
- Sun, Jun 14, 2009
- A Biblical Strategy For Fighting Sexual Sin
- Rick Holland
- Mon, Jun 15, 2009
- The Sanctifying Shepherd
- John MacArthur
- Mon, Jun 15, 2009
- The Troubled Soul
- C.J. Mahaney
- Mon, Jun 15, 2009
- How Sin Serves the Glory of Christ
- John Piper
- Mon, Jun 15, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I enjoy following Dr. Al Mohler's blog at www.albertmohler.com. In one of his latest post, entitled "Avoid the Summer Brain Drain", Mohler gives some helpful tips to parents to use the summer to learn with your kids.
You can listen to him share this article or read it.
Read "Avoid the Summer Brain Drain"
Today the new Sovereign Grace Music kids' CD came out. My family loved the first CD, Awesome God, and we look forward to enjoying "To Be Like Jesus."
I love the rich God-centered lyrics (like "Mighty Savior" in the first CD) as well as the music.
Here is the info on the CD:
To Be Like Jesus contains twelve worship songs that teach the fruit of the Spirit in a creative and memorable way. Through these songs kids will learn that Jesus is our perfect example of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. More than that, they’ll discover that we can’t be like Jesus unless we trust in the power of his cross to forgive us and the power of his Spirit to change us.
You can buy the album for $12 and download all the songs for $9 here.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Last Friday and Saturday Grace Church put on an evangelism seminar called "On a Stand: The Heart, Mind and Practice of Evangelism." Our Pastor for Discipleship, Dave VanAcker, did a great job putting this together as well as teaching the seminar. The sessions were powerful and foundational. If you were not there, you need to listen to them. Here are the session's audio and manuscripts (right click the "listen" link to download the session).
Session 1 -- The Evangelical Mind Listen
Session 2 -- The Evangelical Heart Listen
Session 3 -- The Evangelical Life - Part 1 Listen
Session 4 -- The Evangelical Life - Part 2 Listen
Session 5 -- The Evangelical Church Listen
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Last Sunday I preached on evangelism and fear.
Here is the audio of my sermon -- "Fear and Discipleship".
I really like what Pastor Dave said at the end of the evangelism seminar on fear and evangelism:
It can be very easy to submit to (and even seek to justify) the fear that we all experience to some degree; especially in light of the institutionalization of our fear. However, despite the ease of doing so, we must fight against it by clinging to the promises of God and choosing, by the power of the Spirit that lives in us, to obey rather than to disobey. We must recognize the need to pray for ourselves and each other. We must avoid any guilt-based methods of spurring one another on toward obedience in evangelism; but we must create a culture of evangelistic expectation at Grace by our words and actions.
Here is the outline of my sermon. You can read the sermon manuscript at www.gracewyomingmedia.com
1. DISCIPLES FOLLOW JESUS
2. FOLLOWING JESUS INCLUDES EVANGELISM
3. EVANGELISM MEANS SHARING OR PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS.
4. THE GOSPEL IS A SPECIFIC TRUTH THAT IS HELPFULLY EXPLAINED WITH SIX POINTS
God - There is a God who is infinitely glorious.
Obligation - We were created by God for His glory.
Sin – We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
Penalty – The cost of our sin—of failing to live for the glory of God—is death.
Exoneration – In order to show His love, uphold His justice, forgive sinners, and display His glory,
Life Change – The forgiveness of sins and the everlasting life bought by Jesus death belongs to all who repent, believe, and love Jesus.
5. THE GOSPEL PROCLAIMED IS GOD’S APPOINTED MEANS TO BRING THE POWER OF SALVATION. – Or – The Gospel is Powerful
6. TWO NEGATIVE (SINFUL) EMOTIONS ATTACK DISCIPLES IN EVANGELISM
7. WE MUST LET THE GOSPEL SHAPE OUR EMOTIONS –
SIX POTENTIAL FEARS FACING YOU REGARDING EVANGELISM
1. They might harm me…
2. They might ridicule and dislike me…
3. They might expose my ignorance…
4. They might be turned off to Christ by my method or manner…
5. They might expose my sin…
6. They might disown me…
Saturday, June 13, 2009
No, not brandy or a micro-brew -- but the God who is infinitely glorious. The God who is the Gospel.
Now that I caught your attention with the title, please take the time to listen to this three and a half minute audio clip by Piper on the necessity of having truly tasted of Jesus and the result it will have on opening our mouths in proclaiming him to the lost (evangelism).
Here is the Link DRUNK ON THE GOSPEL
You can now play the clip below.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Edward Welch's book Running Scared is excellent. He deals with fear, worry and the God of rest. He challenges us to listen to our fears to hear what they say about ourselves. Fears tell us that we are in danger, that we are vulnerable to that danger and that we have a great need. Here is an important thought to ponder:
Another way of expressing our personal vulnerability is through our experience of need. There is a close connection between what we fear and what we think we need.
If we need comfort, we will fear physical pain.
If we need approval from others, we will fear being criticized.
If we need love, we will fear rejection.
If we need admiration for our attractiveness, we will fear getting fat.
Whatever you need is a mere stone's throw from what you fear.
Two prominent categories of fear are those fears related to money and people. Their power to provoke fear is directly related to how much we need them. If we need what people can give us, they are in control and we will fear them. If we need what money can give us, we will notice rising insecurities whenever we do the bills. (p. 41)
|6.7.09||The Obedience of Discipleship||Matthew 7:21-27|| ||Read||Listen|
Those who are followers of Jesus obey Jesus. They don't obey so that they can become disciples, they obey because they are disciples.
Obedience is not a virtue we do well in - especially obedience to the things that are hard (it's easy to be obedient to the command not to have more than one wife - it is entirely different to abstain from looking at a woman with lustful intent).
Here are some questions I asked - Are you obedient?:
Do you read and meditate on the Word of God?
Is prayer a powerful and intentional element of your life?
Do you have sins that you make excuses for but care little to fight against?
Do you still view pornography? Are you fighting against it with accountability and counsel?
Husbands, do you lead and love your wife? Are you spiritually leading?
Wives, do you respect and submit to your husband?
Fathers, do you lead spiritually your children?
Mothers, are you gentle and loving as well as firm and wise? Do you let your husband lead?
Singles, are you seeking GOD’s will for a spouse? Does He call the shots in how you think about dating?
Fathers, are you harsh with your children?
Children, are you obedient to your parents?
Do you gossip? Do you regularly use critical speech?
How important is the body of Christ? Did you plan your vacation with any thought towards the impact it may have on the body of Christ?
Are you a member of your church?
Baptism? Have you been baptized as a believer? What holds you back?
Why are you not in a discipleship group when your spiritual leaders have formed these groups with the purpose of helping your grow in Christ as a disciple?
How do you spend your money? Do you give significantly as an act of worship and an expression that your money is really God’s?
Do you make the worship of God a priority? Do you prepare yourself to receive the Word of God?
Do you have friends that are in sin but you have not lovingly confronted them though you know that you should (because you are afraid you might lose their friendship)?
Are you obedient as a witness for Jesus Christ?
Do you have neighbors or friends that you have known for years but you have never shared the Gospel with them or have not invited them to church?
Have you reached out to people in this church that are not in your comfort zone?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
If I profess with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ no matter how boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. -Martin Luther
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today marks the 65th anniversary of a battle that I am so glad was fought and won (for the Allies and the world) as well as one that makes me so thankful that I have not had to fight in a war. I am thankful for those who have fought in wars such as WWII (and the war in Iraq) and I praise God for His grace by giving the Allies victory over dictators like Adolf Hitler. On June 6th, 1944 the Allied Expeditionary force under the command of Dwight D. Eisenhower lead the largest amphibious assault in the history of warfare on Nazi Germany's army that had set up strong defenses along the beaches of Normandy France. D-Day (Operation Overlord) was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. It was the beginning of hope for millions enslaved in Nazi occupied Europe.
Proverbs 21:31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
Here is a video with some old footage of D-Day.
WARNING - THE FOLLOW VIDEO IS EXTREMELY VIOLENT.
Here is a clip from "Saving Private Ryan" where the men land on Omaha beach. I don't think I have ever seen anything that has made me more glad not to be in a war than this clip.
I am reading A. W. Tozer's book on 1 Peter called "I Call It Heresy." It takes only a page or two to remind myself why I like Tozer so much. His use of words turns almost every paragraph into notable quote (Paul David Tripp's books are like that too).
I am particularly looking at what he has to say about obedience and being a disciple. Here are a few quotes:
Brethren, I would point out that obedience is taught throughout the entire Bible and that true obedience is one of the toughest requirements of the Christian life. Apart from obedience, there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility. The essence of sin is rebellion against divine authority.
I am satisfied that when man believes on Jesus Christ he must believe on the whole Lord Jesus Christ - not making any reservation! I am satisfied that it is wrong to look upon Jesus as a kind of divine nurse to whom we can go when sin has made us sick, and after He has helped us, to say "Goodbye" - and go on our own way.
I thank God that heaven is the world of God's obedient children. Whatever else we may say of its pearly gates, its golden streets and its jasper walls, heaven is heaven because children of the Most High God find they are in their normal sphere as obedient moral beings.
You can read the entire book online. Here are the chapters with the links to the texts.
I have been posting some thoughts or quotes from my reading on Twitter here.
I Call It Heresy! - A.W. TOZER
Twelve Timely Themes From 1st Peter
1 - I Call It Heresy!
I praise God for His grace in my life. Today marks the one year birthday of my fourth child and third son - Barnabas John Calvin Patz. He is mostly walking now, he has teeth, he eats everything except baby food, he gets a new bump almost every day, he has adapted to life with three older siblings (ages 6, 5, and 3) and he has potty trained himself (just kidding -- just wanted to see if you are paying attention).
Click here to view album
|Barnabas 1 year|
Here is what I posted last year at his birth:
Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:36-37)
I praise God with amazing wife, Molly, for the healthy birth of our third son (and 4th child), Barnabas John Calvin Patz, who was born at 8:47 PM on Friday, June 6th 2008 at the
Barnabas was a hefty 9 lbs and 10 oz and was 21 ½ inches tall. Both the mom and boy are doing great (oh, and dad)!Here are a few pictures and a video clip:
Molly this morning:
Friday, June 5, 2009
For the past few months I have been sending out "tweets" through the fast-growing "social" [or anti-social] service called Twitter.
Twitter is an application that allows you to send messages 140 characters or shorter. I have Twitter on my Blackberry so it is easy to send a message wherever I am (running, just waking up, reading, studying, eating, hopefully not driving, etc.). I have the application set up so it also sends my Twitter to Facebook as my "status."
I have enjoyed "tweeting" biblical thoughts that are on my mind, Scripture I am meditating on or memorizing, situations that are humorous, quotes from my reading or study, prayer requests or thought provoking questions.
I invite you to follow me here on Twitter.
You can also "befriend" me on Facebook, find me at this blog (see above) or subscribe to my "tweets" through an RSS feed.
For a thought provoking article by John Piper on Twitter read his recent post - "Why and How I am Tweeting."
The result of regeneration (or the new birth) is that a person sees real things with new eyes. The things that he sees were always there but his old eyes couldn't see them. The new birth gives us the sight to see the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3). Fundamentally, the person sees Jesus Christ as a Treasure and Pearl of Great Price. So great is the valuing of Christ that a person JOYFULLY gives up everything to gain Him.
My sermon last Sunday looked at these two parables -- Matthew 13:44-46.
Here is my sermon audio from May 31, 2009.