Friday, February 29, 2008

Larry Norman dead at 60

Say it isn't so! Larry Norman passed away Sunday of heart failure. I remember him most for singing rock music, having long hair, and writing "I Wish We'd All Been Ready". Oh, how we used to sing that song in our youth group when we were growing up!

Christianity Today has this story on their website:

Christian music legend Larry Norman died Sunday of heart failure, according to his brother Charles Norman. He was 60.

Norman, a blonde, long-haired rocker who is often called the father of Christian rock music, was a giant in the Christian music industry, said Chris Willman, senior music writer for Entertainment Weekly.

"His influence outweighed his sales so much that it's comical," Willman said. "He certainly had a heart for evangelism — almost to his detriment, I might say. He really could've been a star if he were singing about something other than Jesus." Read more...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shocking report

The Point has a post about some shocking news regarding Planned Parenthood. It seems that the Family Research Council reported that a pro-life student from UCLA conducted an undercover investigation that clearly exposed the racism of the nation's largest abortion provider. This really should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the history of Planned Parenthood and of its founder, Margaret Sanger.

Read the post here and follow the links to the FRC story and the video on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lord of the Rings>Just for Men

Here are some of the highlights from this past Sunday's message, Just for Men.

Ephesians 5:25 says that husband should love their wives just as Christ loved the church.

Just as Christ.

If men are going to love their wives just as Christ loved the church, they must start by modeling themselves after Jesus. The first step is to establish a personal relationship with him. The relationship includes recognizing that he is the Lord of our lives

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

How can a husband love his wife just as Christ loved the church?

By giving himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)

Jesus saw the need of the church and gave himself up to meet that need. Men, we must learn to live for our wives. We must learn to meet their needs. The marriage is not just about you. It’s about her, too.

By making her holy. (Ephesians 5:26-27)

If the wife is going to be holy, the husband must be holy. Just like Jesus sets the standard of holiness for the church to follow, the husband must set the standard of holiness for his wife to follow.

Husbands, don’t allow impurities into your marriage relationship. Keep yourself holy. No pornography, no inappropriate relationships with other women, no careless TV viewing. Keep yourself holy, and you set the foundation for a holy marriage and for a holy wife without spot or wrinkle.

By committing himself to his wife for a lifetime. (Ephesians 5:31)

1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love always perseveres. Jesus perseveres in his love for the church. We’ve certainly given him many reasons to stop loving us, but he continues to love us and lead us.

Men, your wife needs to know that you are committed to her for the rest of your lives. She has to know that you won’t talk about leaving her because she makes occasional mistakes, or even frequent mistakes.

If you’re going to love your wife the way that Jesus loves the church, don’t use the word divorce. It should not be in your vocabulary. Jesus has told the church, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That is what our wives need to hear, in word and deed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It's hard to believe, but Easter is less than a month away. You may already know that Easter comes earlier than usual this year, on March 23rd. In fact, the last time Easter arrived this early was in 1913! The next time it will be this early will be 2228. So this is the earliest that any of us will ever see Easter for the rest of our lives!

For those of you who might be wondering, Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is March 20. The earliest date Easter can fall is March 22, and the latest is April 25. Next year, Easter will be April 12.

Now that's something to think about.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tax Rebate

Dave Ramsey has some interesting thoughts about the stimulus tax rebate that most Americans will receive this summer. Basically, he's not too thrilled with the idea. Click here to find out why, and to learn some ways we can prepare for the tax rebate. It's all part of being a good money manager.

Just for Men

This Sunday, I'll continue the current message series on building a marriage according to God's design. I'm calling this series Lord of the Rings. This week, I'll be speaking primarily to the men. Guys, don't miss it. Ladies, don't let your husband (or boyfriend) miss this message!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lord of the Rings>Built to Last

Here are some highlights from last Sunday's sermon, Built to Last.

It’s interesting to me that couples that are planning to get married will spend several thousand dollars on the wedding but then cringe when the minister tells them it will cost them $200.00 for pre-marital counseling sessions. They are willing to spend lots of money for the wedding but they can’t see spending a couple hundred dollars setting the proper foundation for the marriage.

Many marriages today are built on romance alone. That is a terrible mistake. Romance alone lays a terribly weak foundation for marriage. That may be a shocking statement for many people because the concept of romantic love is so celebrated in movies, songs, and cheap paperbacks.

This is not to suggest that romance itself or the desire for more romance in a marriage is necessarily bad. Good marriages work hard to preserve a sense of romance. (Read the Song of Solomon!) But the idea that a marriage can survive on romance alone, or that romantic feelings are the most important consideration when choosing a spouse, has ruined many marriages.

Let me remind you that it was God who created marriage. Genesis 2:18 says, “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

Since marriage is God’s idea, it is imperative to remember that for a marriage to be built for a lifetime, it must be built on the foundation of God, and it must be build on the foundation of God’s design for marriage. In other words, God must be in the picture in more than just a passive way.

Adam and Eve were created by God for each other. Someone once said that when Adam saw Eve, he said, “Wo—man!” He wrote the first love song:

The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, for she was taken out of man." (Genesis 2:23)

But before Adam had this wonderful relationship with Eve, he already had an established relationship with God. Eve’s first relationship was also with God, for he had created her. The Bible says that after he created Eve, he brought her to Adam.

So, God first! Don’t even think about marriage until you have first built a relationship with God—a relationship that takes precedence over anything other relationship. Only God can meet your deepest needs. Only God can make you truly happy.

God was directly involved in bringing Adam and Eve together, but is he still that involved today in bringing couples together?

We find the answer in the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24.

Notice how when it was time for Isaac to be married, the decision about whom he should marry was not done by one person alone. It was not made in a vacuum.

Abraham was involved in giving specific instructions to his servant. The servant was involved in carry out his masters instructions, and in praying to God for direction. God was directly involved in leading the servant to the exact spot where he would find Rebekah, and in answering the servant’s prayer.

Now, I’m not saying that parents should still choose a spouse for their children without their children having a say in the decision. What I am saying is that more than one person should be involved in this big decision.

What we have today is young people making the biggest decision of their lives without asking for their parents’ advice, or without taking their point of view into consideration. Young people frequently see their parents as interrupters in the process of selecting a spouse. Parents are not interrupters. They are not bit-players in the entire scene. They play significant roles in this process.

Young people, ask for your parent’s advice. Act on their advice. Don’t make a decision based only on emotion.

The servant made a decision that was not only based on emotion. If he had, he would have given Rebekah the expensive jewelry right after he saw her, because she was a beautiful young girl. Instead his prayer indicated that he was taking more than just a romantic approach. He asked God to let him know that he was choosing the right girl by showing him a girl who was a hard-worker, who would do more than what was asked of her.

In other words, there are other factors beside how good-looking a young man, or how beautiful a young lady is. He might be a stud, but maybe he’s lazy. Maybe he mistreats people around him. She might be drop-dead gorgeous, but maybe she is self-centered. Maybe she is rude and unkind. Many young people are not able to see beyond the physical attributes, but parents can certainly give that all-important perspective.

Be determined that you’re going to build a marriage that lasts. Seek God first. Work on your relationship with God. That is more important than anything else in your life right now. Make him Lord of your life, and then he will be Lord of the Rings.

Secondly, don’t make this decision in a vacuum. Involve your parents, primarily, but also other godly people around you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lord of the Rings

Tomorrow morning, I'm starting a new series of messages called Lord of the Rings. It will be a biblical look at marriage, and how we can enjoy God's blessing on this all-important relationship. Invite someone to go to church with you tomorrow and for the next three weeks for Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tragedy in Illinois

Another school shooting, this time in Illinois. What is wrong in our society? We truly need Jesus. Pray for the families of all the victims. May God have mercy on us.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Biblical Perspective on Gambling

Sunday morning's message was on what the Bible says about gambling. As a follow-up, here is how gambling is defined in the official Assemblies of God Position Paper on Gambling.

To distinguish gambling from risks involved in legitimate venture it will be helpful to recognize three factors integral to gambling: (1) An incentive consisting of money or merchandise is offered. (2) The prize is acquired primarily on the basis of chance. (3) A payment of money or other consideration is required to become involved in the chance taken.

Gambling then is recognized as any activity in which wealth changes hands, mainly on the basis of chance and with risk to the gambler. Creative effort, useful skills, and responsible investment are not integral factors.

Click here to read the entire paper.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nathan Alfaro

Listen in on a conversation I had with Missionary Nathan Alfaro where he shares about his calling to be a missionary and about his current ministry in Nicaragua. He also has timely advice for young people who are seeking God's will for their lives.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Solid Rock____???

Tonight was our monthly InterMission service at Solid Rock Church. InterMission is an opportunity to focus on our mission as a church. Tonight, I spoke about The Potential of God's People from Ephesians 4:11-12.

It dawned on me as I was getting ready for this sermon that I don't have a clear way to refer to people from our church. Should I say Solid Rockers or Solid Rockites? How about Solid Rockians? What if I got really brave and used Solid Rockettes? Any other ideas?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Financial tools that help

I found some very useful financial management tools on the Joseph Sangl website. Take a look at these tools. You might find something that is useful for you. Pay special attention to the budget forms. The Debt Freedom Date Calculator is a fun one to use.

The one thing not found on this site is an expense-tracking spreadsheet, but you can set one up yourself pretty easily. If you need help, contact me. I'll be glad to assist you or find someone who can.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Buck Starts Here

Here is a recap of some of the verses we looked at this past Sunday as a part of the last message in the series In God We Trust.

In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,
but a foolish man devours all he has. (Proverbs 21:20, NIV)

This verse reminds us how foolish it is for us to spend every penny we make, rather than to save. I really like the way it reads in the New Living Translation:

The wise have wealth and luxury,
but fools spend whatever they get. (Proverbs 21:20, NLT)


We also talked about learning to invest so that our money works for us. Jesus gave us this principle in the parable of the talents.

The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. (Matthew 25:16, NIV)

In fact, Jesus said that the master had some harsh words for the servant who hid his talent. Notice what he says to him.

His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. (Matthew 25:26, NIV)

May we learn a lesson from the ant who knows how to save for the future.

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!

It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,

yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Tom Brady

There's an interesting commentary on The Point Radio Blog concerning something Tom Brady said recently. There is more to life than winning a Super Bowl. I pray Tom will turn to Jesus. Click and listen.

Friday, February 1, 2008

In God We Trust--one more Sunday!

This Sunday, we will finish the month-long series called In God We Trust. We are going to look at some practical tools for managing the business that God has given us, that of managing our financial resources. Don't let anything keep you at home this Sunday morning. I believe you'll enjoy and appreciate this message called The Buck Starts Here. See you Sunday!