The Other Preaching Job

I preached again Sunday at a church in another state.  I was praying the night before that I would do a good job in preaching and that my words would be true and good. I think it’s times like that where you realize the magnitude of the position that you have taken upon yourself and realize that people are going to be watching your every word and soaking it in. Some of them sadly will take it as gospel as many people seem to believe X just because their preacher said so and they can’t be argued out of it.

Yet I immediately had a thought upon realizing that I would be preaching. I realized that I was preaching every day. My actions are speaking what I believe the gospel to be louder than my words are. Do I believe that Jesus is Lord of all? I hope so, but I would honestly say my life doesn’t really reflect that. Do I believe God is omniscient and knows what’s best? I would hope so, but as I struggle with sin still, I realize that I am implicitly saying each time I sin that I know better than God. That’s hardly saying I believe in his omniscience.

Other people are seeing that and I am proclaiming a gospel to them. I can pray that it will be the true one. There are some who will sadly see what I do speak so loudly that what I say won’t matter. I would hope my arguments are enough to convince an honest seeker, but if I cannot get them to the point to listen to my arguments, then what good have I really done?

It makes me think of St. Francis of Assisi when he said “Preach the gospel. Use words if necessary.” Friends. I know honestly that I do fall drastically short. I know also though that means that I need the gospel just as much as the next guy. Luther once told us to preach the gospel to yourselves every day. I have accepted Christ as my Lord and savior, but I still need to hear that good news.

When I screw up, which I will, and when I screw up badly, which I will, I need to be reminded that God is there and that I can always come to the cross. When things are good, and they will be and are at times, I need to be reminded of the grace of God that he gives me times of blessing, but I also need to be reminded that when I am put back into the fire again, it’s not because he loves me any less.

Friends. We need that message. If we can’t convince ourselves of the gospel, how will we be able to convince others. If we are not truly living it, how will our lives be able to truly proclaim it?

Pray for me that I may live it. I pray that you will live it as well. Friends. Preach to me the gospel as well. I need that also.

Do you know all truth?

I had to preach this morning at a church in another state. I drove there as it’s not too far a drive, but I didn’t sleep much. Thus, when I got back home, I was kind of worn out. I listened to a Ron Nash lecture on MP3 online for awhile, but then I realized I needed to take a short nap before church.

<> It was one of those strange times where I went to rest and when I woke up, immediately I had grasped something I hadn’t realized entirely before.

In logic, we have four types of propositions. In each type, S stands for the subject and P for the predicate.

<> A: All S is P. (All horses are four-legged animals.)

E: No S is P. (No horses are four-legged animals.

I:Some S is P. (Some horses are four-legged animals.

O:Some S is not P. (Some horses are not four-legged animals.)

In the first type of statement, you have to know all horses to know they are all four-legged animals. Why is this important? Let’s look at an unspoken presupposition of naturalism that I believe is absolutely essential to the worldview.

All truth is explainable within a naturalistic worldview.

This is an A statement. Now in order to know this though, you must know all truth. If you do not know all truth, you do not know if it is explainable in a naturalistic worldview. If you do know all truth, you are omniscient and if you are omniscient, well, you are God then.

Now does this prove naturalism is false? No. It could be all truth is explainable within a naturalistic worldview. I don’t think it is, but it could be.  However, this does mean that a naturalist has to act on his idea of “faith” as much as he accuses the Christian.

<> Thus, I as a Christian feel no obligation to have to accept that premise. I would also say that this would apply to all truth being verified empirically.How do you verify empirically that someone loves you or that you love someone else for instance? How do you verify empirically that all truth is verifiable empirically?

Friends. Don’t let yourselves get pulled into these assumptions. Could it be truth that all truth is explainable in naturalistic terms? Yeah. I doubt it, but if naturalism is true, then it is. There’s no reason to accept such a premise though.

Secondhand skepticism

A co-worker tonight told me that I should talk to someone else. They’ve gone off to college and now are saying things like “The Bible was written by men after the times and is full of errors.” Many of us in apologetics have seen these kinds of arguments before. We know they don’t work and we know they’re flimsy.

We know that you can show that the ancients did place great emphasis on memorization. We know that you can show that we have a high number of manuscripts by which we can cross-reference to be sure the text we have today is what was written.  We can use archaeology to show that the text is reliable in what it says. We can finally use philosophy to show that the arguments against miracles are fallacious.

Now my friend comes to me though saying “But it is fact that there are plenty of errors in the Bible.” Friends. When someone says something like this to you, there’s always one question you should ask immediately. Phrase it however you want but the terminology is the same. “Name one.”

It’s amazing how many people will be caught off guard by this. If, however, they do name one, then you really do give an answer. If you have to, be able to say, “That’s a good question and I haven’t encountered that one before. Please let me spend a few days looking at it and I’ll get back to you.”

Why do I call this secondhand skepticism though? Because these are sayings that have become commonplace in the marketplace of ideas and they’re usually spread by people who haven’t searched themselves and are merely going by what some college professor told them.

The danger is that these are often Christians who take a beating because they weren’t prepared, when answering questions like this isn’t difficult. However, we are not preparing them. Yes friends. It is largely our fault. We send children through Sunday School but we keep them at the level they start at. They are NOT ready to face an atheistic professor in college if all they have is their feelings and a testimony.

Like smoke, this stuff is inhaled easily and spreads just as easily. It’s a cancer that we can prevent though. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We can start now in training our young people how to answer these arguments. The anti-smoking ads keep telling us about truth. We can learn from that. It’s time we taught our young people the truth so they won’t get caught by secondhand skepticism.

Instead, maybe they can smoke their professors.


I think part of the human drive at least for the male of the species is adventure.

As I go outside my door today to go to work, I go hoping for adventure. If there’s a kid missing in the store or someone possibly stealing something, I’m on it immediately. Most higher-ups don’t really understand. I think any guy would though. We want to be part of something great.

Maybe that’s why we don’t feel satisfied in our lives often. We want there to be something more. A guy like me wants to have a dragon to slay. I want to have a lost treasure to pursue. I want to have a princess to rescue.

Yeah. I’ve read Wild at Heart. I think it’s right on this one. I think of so many of the Final Fantasy games that I love where they often start with one ordinary guy just going about his day and before too long, he’s out saving the world.

Could it be this is something put in us by God? It goes along with the command to be fruitful and subdue the Earth. Explore it. Have fun. Love your wife! Be a man!

Aye. That’s something our culture doesn’t tell us enough of. We men are not told that we have the right to be men. Masculinity has been shunned by the culture and men are becoming increasingly feminized.

Femininity is a wonderful thing, but it is wonderful for females to have it. Masculinity is for us men and we need more men who are men instead of men who are cowards and living under the thumb of political correctness.

I say man is a warrior. Man is meant to fight. Man is meant to be the knight to slay the dragon, find the treasure, and ride off with the princess. The princess is to be a princess, but to win her, the knight must be a knight.

Yes. That drive for adventure is strong, and I think God’s kingdom needs more adventurers who are willing to face the dragons of false ideologies, search for the treasure of truth, and rescue the lost souls for the kingdom.

 Wanna fight?

Friends worth fighting for

Readers of my blog know that it’s been a hard week. I haven’t said the reason why, but it’s just been a hard week.  Things haven’t made much sense and it’s those times where you do a lot of soul searching and you don’t like a lot of the stuff that you see but you know you have to deal with it in some way but you don’t know how.

I was talking with a friend of mine last night and I realized I have a lot of anger for instance. I have anger towards some friends and anger towards some family and anger towards various other people. There’s anger towards myself as well and to be honest, there’s anger towards God.

I was talking to a friend of mine last night and talked about how it seems that I never stand up for myself. It seems that someone will say something to me and even if they don’t mean it in a bad way and are just joking, I feel lowered in the process, but yet I just seem to roll over and let them say it.

I was discussing this with a friend on how we’d stand up for each other. It seems that we’ll gladly stand up for each other, but we won’t stand up when it is ourselves under attack. I started thinking about this and as I was doing so, I was really thinking about the value of my friends.

<> I recently bought Final Fantasy VI Advance. I love the Final Fantasy series and I think I see the power of friendship in them. No one wants to go on in the party without the others. If a character in the story dies, it is an actual loss. The characters don’t go through saying “X is expendable.” No. They’ll all willingly risk themselves for everyone else that they meet.

People who role-play often know this. You don’t just play with characters. You play with friends. You’re all in it together. You don’t just have your warrior. You have your healer as well. You don’t just have your wizard. You have your character who can get in and out quickly also. The team stands together.

Are you willing to fight for your friends? Are you willing to come alongside them. It has been said “Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” The hardest battle is not against flesh and blood. Your friends are battling many times even if they don’t show it. Are you willing to fight with them.

<> If you’re willing to do this though, are you willing to do it for yourself? Are you willing to see that if your friends think you have value, that maybe they could be right? Remember, you are told to turn the other cheek. You are never told though to be anyone’s doormat, not even of the people you love.

<> You are an image-bearer of God. Treat yourself like one.

To the source

In my continuing quest through this week, I chose to read some C.S. Lewis last night. I have a book that takes some selections from him from various works. I read something that particularly moved me to the degree that after I got done with it, I went on and turned out the light.

<> Lewis mentions what we are so easy to forget and draws a great parallel from it.  He points out that if we wanted to be wet, we would be in water because water naturally conveys the property of being wet. If we wanted to be warm, we would get near fire because it naturally conveys the property of being warm.

<> Where do we go for happiness? For holiness? For masculinity and femininity and so many other things? I would say we go to the source. We go to God. The more we draw near to God, the more those attributes are conveyed upon us as well as is fitting our character. (Masculinity for males and femininity for females for instance.)

Yet in all of this, we are not destroyed. God is the ultimate purifier. For our lack of happiness, the more we draw near to him, the more unhappiness will disappear from us. The more we draw near to him, the more unholiness will disappear from us. We will slowly become the people God created us to be while still being who we are.

We are in his image after all.  We are to be in such a way that we perfectly reflect him and all that does not reflect his qualities will be destroyed. This does not mean we’ll be omnipotent or omniscient. It does mean though that he will not see anything in us that goes against him.

<> Lewis is right for all of us then. We need to draw near. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you.

Where Can You Go?

If you read my blog yesterday, you know I wasn’t in the best of moods. Well, it’s kind of continued. It’s an emotional roller coaster going up and down and I have never learned to gain control of my emotions. I tend to follow them whereever they lead so that if I feel something, I tend to think it is true.

<> That’s something I must work on. I don’t suspect I’m alone in this. Sadly in our day and age, we have given feelings a high position and I blame the church in many ways. Do you have any idea how sick I am of hearing people talk about feeling led to do X and to hear in a church service that “If you feel Christ calling you, come down and be saved.” I’m thinking, “Come down and be saved regardless of how you feel because the message is true!” There was even a lady I talked to once who wanted to be a missionary but never went because she never “felt the call.” ARGH! Well, I digress….

My point at this is where to go. Where do you go when all your feelings are in a mix and your thinking is being held hostage? Where do you go when it seems at times that your whole world has been torn upside down? Where do you go when you really don’t feel like you can trust those around you and in many cases, they’re the ones you’re angry with, and you don’t think anyone understands?

I say, go to the truth. Go to the one who holds all the statements. He knows all the truth about you because he knows all truth, and yet he loves you anyway. I pray that he will reveal not just himself to me, but reveal me to me. Let me see me the way that he sees me. Why would I want a view of myself contrary to the way God sees me?

Now some of us might be thinking that it will be a negative view. Well, it won’t be a perfect view, but if you have some true faults you can work on, don’t you want to know them? If you have some awesome stuff about you that’s true, don’t you want to know it also? The only one to go to is the one who knows for certain. Friends can be wrong. Family can be wrong. Opponents can be wrong. YOU can be wrong. I can be wrong. God cannot.

Where do I go to when my world is a tumble then? I go to the one who holds it all together. I invite you to do so also. He’s waiting.

Letting it out

It has been an unusual morning. I slept in til about 10 A.M. It could have been later as I remember turning on the light at 10:30 and I’m not sure if I fell asleep betwen then or not. I didn’t have to be at work until later, but it is still unusual, especially since I really didn’t feel like getting up and it wasn’t just because of the thought of going to work.

This morning, I’ve been angry about something. I don’t think all anger is a sin, but I don’t think my anger is entirely justified. I don’t really want to say what it’s about, at least not at this point yet, but it did have me upset.

 I’m still the type of person that can go about my day normally but inside, there’s just something stewing. I recall today having feelings of anger towards friends, family, myself, and my God as well.

The last one is the one I’ve chosen to blog about tonight. Do you ever have those times of anger towards God? I will be quite skeptical if you tell me no. I find it quite comforting at times to read passages in the Bible like Jeremiah’s complaints, Habakkuk’s questions, and Job’s diatribes. These people had the same kind of questions that I had.

The Psalms are filled with this kind of language. I think about this because people often say “Well we shouldn’t get angry with God,” or “We shouldn’t question God.” You know what? I think they have a point. Maybe we shouldn’t.

But we do.

So what do we do then? I recommend we be honest. What good does it do to hide your feelings from one who is omniscient? Do you honestly think you can put on a show before the throne that life is just great when inside, your soul is saying that it really isn’t so?

And so I do. I think bottling up the feelings just makes them come out later when they’re even more difficult to deal with. I say go on and let them out. This is done through prayer, talking with friends, enjoying an activity, and writing. I write poetry for instance. Different people can think of other things they do.

The main thing though is to be honest. If you can’t be honest with God, then that will show even less trust in him. He is the Counselor and a counselor is one you are to be able to trust all your feelings to, even the negative ones.

Go ahead. He already knows. He’s a big God. He can take it, and he can help you through it.

You can’t always get what you want

While at work on break yesterday, I was in the break room when a younger worker I’m a friend with came in. Myself and an older lady were in there. She’s double my age I found out from hearing her speak. We were talking about increasing the minimum wage and I said I was against it.

<> I gave my reasons why and the lady chimed in. She told me how she had had surgery and had been forced to live rather destitute surviving on leftovers from neighbors and charity. Many other such circumstances were spoken of, but she agreed with my conclusion. We started talking about how the government tends to pay for everything these days.

I was heading out and mentioned that government had paid for my college since I’m considered disabled, but I didn’t want any more of that. It was a help to my parents then, but when I go to seminary, I intend to pay every penny unless I get scholarships, which I believe are earned. She told me that God would bless me for that and I may not always get what I want, but God will make sure I get what I need.

I thought about that. It’s easy to take it as a way of thinking God will care for you when you trust him, but I thought of how much all that we have is that God sometimes does give us things we want and don’t necessarily need. I have so many cool items around my place here that I don’t “need”, but I sure want, and it’s my blessing to have them.

I thought of my dream of having a wife someday also. When you think about it, no one “needs” a spouse. No one will go to their grave for not having a spouse. However, the human race as a whole definitely needs marriage. (It helps keep the family in stock and this intercourse thing we’ve found out is pretty good at making the next generation.)

I hope God blesses me with what I desire, but it won’t be because of need. It will be because of desire. God’s a good God. He gives us more than what we need. We are blessed beyond measure. If you live in America as I do, you should really consider how much you are blessed.

I think it’s best to be careful asking how much you want. When I pray for a wife, I don’t try to be specific. (Let her be X tall with X color hair for instance) My prayer has simply been for a beautiful lady with a keen intellect who will love Jesus more than she loves me and who I can get to spend my life treasuring.

There are times God says no to our requests. Wouldn’t the world be chaos if he always said yes? Is it because God doesn’t care about what we desire? No. He made the things that we desire awesome. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. Sunsets don’t have to be beautiful, but by grace they are.

If there is one gift I do enjoy though, it’s the gift of learning. I find myself looking forward to time alone here where I’ll just read and absorb. When I get a wife, I pray she’ll be one that understands that no matter how much I love her, I still need my time to myself. Rest assured though, she will get plenty of my attention later on.

<> So I conclude with the thought that God is good. We do get what we need, but sometimes, we also get what we want.


I was at work today with an older lady I work with on the register and we were talking. I was speaking at the time when a beautiful female walks in. She notices that my eyes seem to divert for a minute and I have to remember where I was and then keep going. My co-worker isn’t offended. They know my character and they also know that I’m a guy.

Later, I have to step away and come back and there’s another young lady being rung up by this co-worker. I go and stand beside my co-worker and watch as she rings this girl up and bags her stuff and such. This girl was not showy at all and yet as she walked away I said “She was cute.” My co-worker smiled again and said she was friendly as well and then said to me “I’m glad to see you’re looking for more than a sex bomb.” (Yes. Those were her words.)

Personally, I am. I’m not denying that anyone who is seen as supermodel status is automatically someone I don’t want to be with, but it is often those that are simple in their beauty that are the most attractive. I said, for instance, that this second lady wore glasses and I personally find that attractive. The real beauties are the ones that don’t show it I find.

<> I also stated that I’d have to have someone who is more than just physical appearance. That is important, but it is not everything. I like someone I can connect with on an intellectual level. By now, readers know that I love the Smallville series and I absolutely adore Chloe. (Allison Mack! If you ever read this, please respond!) As I think about it, it’s not just because of her physical beauty, which she has and Clark should really wake up to, but because she’s also got a dazzling intellect and is quite assertive with herself.

The physical is nice, but I am again reminded that it is merely a pointer. Each physical aspect of our universe points beyond itself and says to go beyond it. If we treat the physical beauty as the end as we often do, we will miss out on so much more. I find a strange correlation with guys.

<> There is no secret that men like myself think about sex. However, I often wonder where we get the idea that if we want it to be the best, we need to get the lady with the best physique. If there is a correlation, I’m not sure how it’d be discovered. I think it’ll be just as awesome simply because I’ll be with someone I love desiring to please her and she’s desiring to please me. Where do we men come up with these ideas? I don’t know.

<> <>That person I marry though will be the person I die being married to or I will be the one she dies being married to. That physical beauty that looks so great now can fade over time. It is the beauty of the soul that I find to be the strongest of all. The bonding not just of bodies together but of souls.

<><>It is said that beauty is skin-deep. No. Beauty goes way beyond the skin. It reaches to the innermost. That is something to treasure.