Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Authority of Scripture

I'm tired today. I am not speaking of physical exhaustion, but I am feeling emotionally tired. For the past few days, I have been bombarded with instances of "Christians" voicing opinions that are contrary to scripture and God. They do all in the voice of love and tolerance. Many do it in ignorance of the truths of scripture. However, they all are wrong and are missing the mark.

This isn't new in our modern society, however. The elections and mainstream media are just highlighting the prevalency of this erroneous thought lately. These viewpoints punctuate much of society, and it is making me sad. The authority of God's Word, the Bible, has taken a back seat to opinions, cultural beliefs and political correctness. The Bible is deemed too negative, too judgemental, and too out of touch with today's society and its evolved sensibilities. "God is all about love!" they chant. "God wants us to be tolerant and not judge!" they respond. Wrong. To hear some wonderful sermons about these very points, visit our church website at http://www.compasschurch.org/ and listen to the sermons for October 26th and October 19th. We mistake God's patience for His approval. We are clearly told, however, that we will all be accountable to our Maker--regardless of whether we agree with Him or not.

Today, in the Orange County Register, Robert A. Schuller, is celebrating the great work that the Crystal Cathetral has done in theology. "He said the biggest accomplishment of the 'Hour of Power' is that it is transforming the theology of the church across America from 'a negative theology to a positive theology. Historically, there has been a tremendous emphasis on sin,' he said. 'Crystal Cathedral was larely responsible for developing self-esteem among the faithful. This church has taken the gospel in a positive light and spread that positive message around the world.'"

Upon first read, this doesn't sound awful to most Christian Americans. We are so used to now hearing about the need for positive outreach and helping people in love. Look closely, however. He is saying that the emphasis on sin in the gospel message--what leads us to repentance and true salvation, mind you--has been replaced with the message of self-esteem. Since when do people need more focus on themselves? The gospel message is first about SIN!!!!! We won't understand our need for God and Jesus' death on the cross if we don't understand our sin and lack of holiness.

A friend of mine posted a quick note on Proposition 8 on Facebook. For you out of state friends, Proposition 8 is trying to keep same sex marriage from being legal in California. This seems like a no brainer. However, there were 28 comments to his quick note, most of the comments dissenting against his stand against homosexuality. Sadly, these comments were made by professing Christians. They had no understanding of scripture--things were taken out of context or were seen as culturally irrelevant in modern day. The Bible isn't a work of literature with which we can agree or disagree if we are followers of Christ. It is the inerrant Word of God! This isn't like picking your toppings on your frozen yogurt. You have to accept the whole package and obey God's commands. If we don't see the Bible as the definitive view of right and wrong, we are joining in the sliding morals and rules of our relativistic society. 2 Timothy 4:3 tells us, "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

God has never been about our opinions or feelings on what is holy and what is sin. He doesn't need to be. HE IS OUR CREATOR! Isaiah 29:16 says, "You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'He did not make me'? Can the pot say of the potter, 'He knows nothing'?

These discussions among "Christians" about truths spelled out in scripture are tedious. If a person claims to be a follower of Christ's and yet rejects scripture's truths, they are probably not His, or they are ignorant and need to be taught. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent , equipped for every good work." We need to make sure we use the "Manual" God has left us to make our decisions and decide what is right and wrong. God tells us in Psalm 19:7 that "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

On the other hand, the great debates and philosophies of this age are really nothing new. Throughout history, people have claimed to know a better way and to be wise in their own eyes. God responds to this. I Corinthians 1:20 scoffs, "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philospher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" I Corinthians 1: 27 adds, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." God's truth might seem archaic and silly to our "evolved" society, but, in truth, society is in bondage to its sin and stuck in its foolishness.

So, should we throw up our hands and walk away? Not necessarily. We have been commanded by God to admonish and encourage other believers and to share the gospel with those who are not saved. Though it is an uphill battle, we know we are using God's power, and not our own. Paul didn't despair. He said, in Romans 1:14, "I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish." There will be many who do not repent and do not see the truth, but there will be some that see the truth and are snatched from the fire.

We should never discuss cultural ideas in the light of relativism when there are Biblical truths that address the issue. Use the authority of scripture. Though it will be rejected by many, we know the power of the Word to save and bring to righteousness! Hebrews 4:12 attests to the power of Scripture. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thought sand attitudes of the heart."

Though I lose heart when I feel overwhelmed by the lies of society and this world, I know God is still victor. I feel better after writing this post. I needed the reminder that we should "fear not, for [He] has overcome the world." (John 16:33)

" . . . for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." I John 5: 4-5

Friday, October 24, 2008


II Peter 1:12-15 "Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind."

In Women's Bible Study, we are learning about II Peter, and we just studied II Peter 1:12-15. in the prior verses, Peter reminds the church of the basic truths of Christianity. Here, he mentions his death and martyrdom is near. Instead of lamenting his own dwindling life, giving up His calling to go just spend time with his wife and family, he had an eternal perspective and wrote of how every ounce of energy left on earth would be spent in strengthening Christ's church and reminding them of Biblical truths so they would never forget.

In small group, we talked about how Peter's legacy was to reach out to other believers in order to strengthen, admonish and encourage them. He used his own past failures of anxiety, fear, denial, and lack of courage to teach others to not fall prey to these same vices.

The question was posed: What is your legacy now, and what would you like your legacy to be?

If I were perfectly honest with myself, my legacy is being busy at church, staying at home with my kids, and keeping a clean, nice house (I hope). Though those are great things, they only SCRATCH the surface of what I wish to do.

If I had to sum up my desire in one goal, it would be that my legacy to others is that God is EVERYTHING. He was the LORD of my life, and I didn't let other worries and concerns distract me from that truth. He was my number one priority. I can't say that is my legacy now.

I spend more time griping about whatever, worrying about this and that, and gabbing about kids, personal appearances and other "distractions" than I spend on REALLY discussing God with others.

Take time to think about your legacy. If people had to sum up the whole of your life, what would they say? Are you worried more about what people say about you/their external perceptions than you are about what God thinks of your actions, thoughts and attitudes?

LORD, forgive me for my weakness and sin and for not always making You my number one priority. I love You and want my legacy to be YOU. Thank you for Your mercy and the opportunities You continuously put before me to serve You!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Carter's First Sports Class

When Carter found out I signed him up for a baseball (T-ball), soccer and basketball class, he was beside himself with excitement. The class is a mommy-and-me half hour class through the school district, but Carter keeps calling it his "soccer team class". This morning was his first class, and he was literally jumping all over the house until it started at 9:00. Carter has two friends from Compass Bible Church in his class too, Parker Vigue and Luke Cummings.

Coach Tyler is Carter's teacher, and, poor guy, he is about 23 and has little kid experience. I was laughing inside when he lined the kids up (all between ages 2 and 1/2 and 3 and 1/2) in a horizontal line and asked them to patiently wait there until he called their number to run a relay. All the kids were confused because they got a number that wasn't their age (except Carter, who was number 2 somehow). One kid dissolved into tears until they changed his number from 5 to 3. "I'm 3!" he howled. It was hilarious.

We practiced catching and throwing a wiffle ball (baseball). Carter has an amazing throwing arm, but he couldn't catch the wiffle ball if his life depended on it. I'm trying to teach him he can move his feet or hands in any direction to get the ball. He stands there like a statue until the ball drops around him.

The class was fun, and Carter had a blast. It was fun seeing Carter interact with peers and teaching him in his favorite manner (kinesthetically). He can't wait until next Monday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's a Boy!

Well, we had our big ultrasound yesterday, and we are officially a boy family, which is something I imagined all along. I just don't believe I'm girlie enough to have a daughter, as I didn't enjoy dolls growing up, I don't do nails or hair, and I am not in tune with my emotions like most girls. Ryan and I laugh that I act more like a guy sometimes with my habits than he does. I always liked the matter of fact and sensible way guys deal with life--no drama.
What gives me the greatest joy, however, is that I know the gender, and everything else about this little guy, was planned by my Creator ahead of time. He is the picture of health, and it was answers to our prayer that there was not a single physical worry about the baby.
I can't wait to meet him--no names yet, but we have a list started. Carter is going to be both excited and, probably, put off by the arrival of another boy, but they will be good buddies as they grow up together. I pray I have enough energy to be a mom of two boys, but it will certainly keep me from being physically lazy! I'll keep you posted on names and news as the pregnancy progresses.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I am not usually one to promote anything in Hollywood, but this weekend Ryan and I saw a movie that was such a breath of fresh air. In our marriage ministry, we had been promoting the new Christian movie, Fireproof, and even held an activity to go see it at our local theater. Unfortunately, that was the day after I came down with a bad cold, fever, chills and a sore throat, and it was the same night as my dad's surgery, so we were not able to go that evening.

Well, this weekend, my parents watched Carter while Ryan and I went to Outback for dinner and, afterward, saw Fireproof. To be honest, I was thinking it would be an uplifting and inspirational movie, but I expected some low budget acting and cheesy scenes. I had seen Christian movies in the past, and this seemed to be an expected formula.

Wow, was I floored! Fireproof should be on every Christ follower's must view list. It presented the gospel more clearly and accurately than any Christian film I had ever seen. It didn't just talk about God's love and grace--it dealt clearly with the issues of sin, missing the mark of God's holiness and our need for forgiveness. It wasn't just about saying a "sinner's prayer." The movie clearly showed a changed life and fruit from the repentance and faith that led to the salvation of a character.

In addition, Ryan and I lead a marriage ministry at church and find it so discouraging when we see how Satan sneaks into marriages with lies and temptation. This movie dealt with common problems head on and in a very realistic way. I was shocked that it was so honest and didn't romanticize the problems that marriages face.

I won't say any more, for fear of giving away too much of the plot, but I cannot urge you enough to see it. Bring non-Christian friends--especially those who might be struggling in marriage. Even if they are not, it gives an extended and amazing presentation of the gospel. Ryan and I both said we enjoyed the movie so much we were sad when it ended. The whole movie audience applauded when the credits were rolling at the end. I left the theater that night so full of joy and amazement that this type of message is allowed in a mainstream theater--though it be in limited release.

Before it leaves the theater, please go see it. You won't be sorry. Oh, and you'll understand the picture of the salt and pepper shakers AFTER you see the movie!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


As most of you can gather from my lack of new posts, life has been hectic this last week. Last week, I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday. We were able to spend the afternoon and evening with friends from out of town on Wednesday. On Thursday, I came down with a cold that--due to my run-down body--has turned into over a week of coughing and sinus infections. On Friday, my dad had surgery for his prostate and, thankfully, has been able to recover slowly, and well, at home since Saturday. Sunday, my father-in-law had a bicycle accident and landed in the emergency room with five broken ribs, a broken clavicle and a scatched or punctured lung. On Tuesday of this week, we received all new bedroom furniture, which required that I pack up all of our bedroom on Monday. In all of this, we have had to continue our normal weekly responsibilities of leading a ministry at church, parenting a two year old and dealing with pregnancy nausea and fatigue.

During this time, my attitude has not always been great, but I am aiming to focus on Christ's sovereignty and the honor of representing Christ to others around me. As always, God has provided and given me strength for each day. None of these events is as devastating as what some friends are facing currently, and I know it. God faithfully puts my struggles in perspective and keeps me striving for a thankful heart in all circumstances.

How easily we get overwhelmed! Life is messy and hard sometimes, but God doesn't change with the circumstances. He is in control. He is still my Redeemer and King. His promises do not change, and He still requires holy obedience from me.

Thank you, LORD, that you show me Your strength in my weakness. Thank you for being the Rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 139:7-8 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of You hands."