Saturday, June 23, 2012

Part 1 Apologetics: Reflections on book "Indescribable"

I just started reading the book "indescribable".  It is simply amazing to say the least.  First, let me start off by stating how small I feel which is suppose to happen.  Looking at how big the cosmos are and how intricate the details of creation had to be in order for things to work together is nothing short of perfect.  As scientists have proved if something like the moon was just a little bigger it would cook planet earth quicker than electrolux on steroids.

The glorious darkness that so accentuates the lights of heaven lifts up upward and draws us into its chorus.  The longer we look up the freer we become, lost in the wonder and mystery that surrounds us, lost in praise of the One who set each star in place.  Broken humanity has a ferocious gravitational pull, constantly shrinking us down to earth.  But as we lift our gaze to the skies, how can we not know in our hearts that there must be more?"  
(Giglio, Redman, pg. 27).

Redman also asks a very important question, "Why create stretches of the universe that will never be seen?"  Some would say why wouldn't God just give us the answers.  Why is he making us search for answers or why is He making it nearly impossible to get all the answers in our life time??

God does not want us to be lazy.  As any loving parent would act God also wants us to work and not be lazy.  A good parent does not hand His child all the answers.  After all, what would be the point of teaching if you wouldn't one day have to dig for answers yourself?  More importantly what would be our drive in life if we were able to be overwhelmed with information and what-ifs?

“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."
-Proverbs 13:4

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


As I was studying Psalm 40 tonight i came across this scripture:

"I waited patiently for the lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire.
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God."
-Psalm 40:1-4

Wow is all I can say really.  As some of my previous posts have talked about being rescued. Do you need to be rescued??  This week's service at my local church (Fellowship Church-Grand Junction, CO) made me realize how many people were not ready to proclaim how desperate they are to be saved.  How many of us can read this verse and in the quietness of our home say "Yes Lord" I want that.  However, when we get around our church family our pride kicks in and prevents us from doing so.

It is like we need a rescue to get rescued.

God wants to save you.....His precious and chosen children.  fear starts to cloud our egos and tries to prevent us from getting on our hands and knees and begging our heavenly father for this rescue.

God not only wants to rescue you but He wants that close relationship with you.  He will take you from your weakened foundation you are standing on in order to put you on a firm rock solid foundation.  Through these acts we can learn about faith in such a deeper level than before.

God wants to rescue you but the question is will you let him?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Silence can be uncomfortable.  As I write this I am half tempted to have the radio on.  Tempted is actually the perfect word to describe my feelings right now.  Lately I have realized how I do not need to have the radio on all the time.  My brain is on sensory overload and being busy does not mean you are closer to God. In my opinion when our pursuit for God becomes real and from the heart it is when we are at perfect peace with silence.

In this silence we can quiet our ego and even negative thoughts to allow God's thoughts and ideas to take over.  Only a foolish child keeps talking and does not allow their parent to respond.  That is being disrespectful when we behave that way.  I will be the first to admit I have been caught in that trap.

Does silence make you uncomfortable??  I know I use to feel uncomfortable within the silence not knowing where my thoughts would lead to.  If we are really pursuing God we do not have to worry about these fears.

"Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven.  This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion.  We are at the opposite end of the pole from there.  Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God.  But we may take heart.  to a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict god says, "Be still and know that i am God." and still He says it as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence."  
-A.W. Tozer  The pursuit of God

A Theistic Worldview: Why Do I Believe in God?

Who are you?  We can communicate our worldview in a way society understands with a simple phrase such as, “I am a Christian” without going into a lot of detail to describe our identity and people basically understand.  “The question of identity is the key issue at the center of most of the important issues of Western culture” (Phillips, Brown, Stonestreet).  How we view the world and how we process what happens to us is dependant on our worldview.  Some people may classify this process as a religion but to me it is faith.  As described in The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, faith is defined as a “belief and trust in and loyalty to God” and it is further explained as a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof”.  The Theistic worldview is based on having faith in an intelligent being we cannot see but have full trust in.  The faith I have in God is to help me discern His truth in The Bible as well as how I handle worldly concerns.  My identity and worldview as a Christian-Theistic individual is dependant on my faith in God as not just a God but also the one and only true God.

As previously stated I have a Theistic worldview and more specifically a Christian-Theistic worldview.  As a Christian I draw strength from God and use The Bible as a guide to learn and discern the commands of God.  The Bible is a true source from God.  While other books compliment the word of God The Bible describes how to live life in every situation.  It is the only word from God that will never change.  This is a reflection of His everlasting love and goodness for His people.

I believe The Bible to be the truth and the only truth that was inspired by God and penned by man.  C.S. Lewis said it best as he described how Christianity has transformed his life, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else”.  Further, as a Christ follower I believe both the Old Testament and the New Testament are important with my walk in life.  These Testaments are covenants God has made with His children.  Even though the Old Testament was a covenant God made with a previous people it serves as an example of who God is.  God is not just His name it describes who He is, Holy and Sovereign.  These promises He made were the first promises in revealing His awesome authority.

Furthermore, The New Testament is also imperative to current and future believers to show His love for His children.  It also gives hope to the lost and weary.  The entire Bible is full of emotional terms to help us to relate and interpret what is written.  One of the closest human relationships we have is a parent and child relationship.  God sent Himself in the form of His son to show relationship and unconditional love for His people.  What is more loving than sending your perfect and unblemished son to die for mans sins?  “The Bible is not a book of abstract, technical information.  It is a book about relationships, primary relationships between God and people” (Duvall, Hays, 2005).  While some people may feel certain parts of The Bible are harsh these terms strike the heart in a deep and profound way.  It is no mistake on God’s part that people have a sharp reaction.  It was meant to shock and restart the deadened heart similar to the process of defibrillation.

The Bible is also true because God tells us so in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (New International Version).  Not only do I know this to be true in my heart but also I believe it makes sense how creationism is explained.  In the words of a book by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist”.  If I did not believe in God I would be forced to adopt the natural selection theory that life just appeared without a rhyme or reason.  How can life exist without an intelligent being as the creator?  We may be able to assume how things survive and evolve (as in micro-evolution) but first we must look at how we were created.  As Geisler points out even the Wright brothers needed some form of intelligence to create the first airplane.  Airplanes did not just appear without two things:  1.)  A Creator and 2.)  Intelligence.  “If intelligent scientists cannot break genetic barriers, why should we expect nonintelligent natural selection to do so” (Geisler, Turek)?

When we look at the validity of The Bible it is important to look at what evidence society has as well as what evidence we do not have to prove a certain issue.  A large majority of The Bible is prophecy and history has proven some of the predictions of what was written by authors cited in The Bible.  “The Bible contains nearly three hundred predictions concerning Christ.  Even critics agree that the latest of these come from some two hundred years before His time; many come hundreds of years earlier” (Geisler).  One large point that separates Christianity from any other Theistic belief is that prophecy foretold that Jesus would perform miracles.  Jesus performed miracles that are apart of historical evidence, which was both predicted and proven.  No other religion can say that about the one who rescues them.  Also, in regards to the writings testifying to Jesus the prophets are making themselves a target speaking about Jesus and the meaning of true salvation.  Some critics of The Bible claim these prophets lied but my question is how would they profit from lying about issues they could be jailed and killed for?  It is my belief that they would be the last people to lie about Jesus’ title as The Messiah.  People like the Apostle Paul would not be willing to die for something they did not know to be true.

In order to practice what The Bible teaches is good and righteous I look to Galatians 5: Life by the Spirit.  I can choose to either live to glorify God as The Bible states in Galatians 5:22-23, “…the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control”.  Or I can choose to not follow God’s commands and live in the flesh or sinful nature as Galatians 5:19-21 states, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like”.  I know for a fact that sinful nature results in feeling empty, lost, and without purpose so I choose to live in the Spirit.

In addition, I can also scrutinize discourses throughout the Bible in order to learn from it.  By using logical arguments such as deductive reasoning I am able to learn about what I am observing.  We do not have all the answers about God and His beautiful creations but He provides us with intelligence to seek the answers to our questions.  God also helps us discern the text especially when we connect with Him through prayer.  By reading and re-reading His word He can reveal more information to us that helps us to apply His word to our life.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Along with stories in The Bible there is also a communication between God and the reader, which shows how compassionate and loving God is for His children.  Specifically, Psalm 139:13-16 states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”,” My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.
My identity and my worldview is of a Christian-Theistic view and my faith in God as the one and only true God.  “Worldview in a Christian perspective implies the objective existence of the Trinitarian God whose essential character establishes the moral order of the universe and whose word, wisdom, and law define and govern all aspects of created existence” (Sire).  God speaks to His elect through The Bible and has used others to teach us what is good and what is disobedience.  Physical evidence has proven in a very specific way that the word of God is not merely written by man but inspired by God.  Apostle Paul is an excellent example of how God can use people to teach and encourage others.  It was a supernatural event that happened when Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and is further proof of the transformation that God can do.  Matthew 6:25-34 talks about His specific love for us to take care of us.  God takes care of the birds and the flowers and trees He loves us much more so how much more will He care for us if He provides for these small creatures.  These small creatures and plants do not worry about storing food for tomorrow so certainly we do not need to worry.  Through God’s tone in the scripture He emphasizes what breaks His heart.  There are no mistakes in His word and He often will repeat words and stories to get our attention.  God is our intelligent creator and loves us like a parent loves a child.  That is why He is called our Heavenly Father. 

Duvall, J. S., Hays, J.D.  Grasping God’s Word
Geisler, N.  Systematic Theology.  
Geisler, N., Turek, F.  I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.  
Lewis, C.S.  Weight of Glory.  
Phillips, W., Brown, W., & Stonestreet, J. Making sense of your world: A biblical worldview 
Sire, James, W.  Naming the Elephant.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Do You Need to be Rescued??

This past sunday our pastor at Fellowship Church (Grand Junction, CO) spoke a message titled, "Rescue me".  He talked about a very important point and pardon if this seems too aggressive but, "Stop talking about your problems to people who cannot rescue you".

How often do we gossip to others about our own personal issues??  What good does it do us or anyone for that matter by telling others about it?  They certainly cannot rescue us from that pit no matter how deep it is. Only one person can do that....God.

God loves you and wants you to trust Him with everything from the smallest problem to your biggest life changing event.  After all it is the attention God wants from us.  Especially when we are constantly seeking Him in prayer.  It is in that constant relationship that our faith develops and we start to pursue God with a unrelenting spirit.

In thinking about this how beautiful is this transformation that God is doing in our lives when seeking Him results in Him giving us more than we asked for.

So if you need to be rescued no man on earth can help you but our Heavenly Father is waiting for you to ask Him.  He is not going to force you to seek him.  Don't try to hide or bury the fact that you need to be rescued.

Seek help in our Father who first loved us.

1 John 4:19, "We love because he first loved us".

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Importance of a Father

Lately I have been thinking about the important role parents play in their children's life.  Ok honestly, this issue has been burning my heart, as an issue that I am "on fire" about.  I recently had the wonderful opportunity to see the movie Courageous and it made me think about my own childhood.

There was a clip in the movie where this man hadn't talked to his dad ever and he took some flowers to his grave to tell him what was truly on his heart as a grown man.  it was heartbreaking to see how the hurt he suffered as a boy carried over to adulthood.  It made me think about all the grown men who still carry that hurt.  What example do they emulate when teaching their own children about respect and what is right?

Parents are given a wonderful job ordained by God to protect, love, and guide their children in the way they should go.  Kids see how their parents act and will copy that behavior because that is what they know to be right.

What are your actions teaching your children?

" Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."  (Proverbs 22:6)

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." (Colossians 3:21)

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

"Pleasant words promote instruction." (Proverbs 16:21)

"A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction." (Proverbs 16:23)

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." 
(Psalm 127:3)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Night

I feel there is a peace that comes from the night.  Most people are asleep and it just feels so quiet and perfect.

In that darkness some people get scared because of the absence of light.  However, it is a wonderful break in that light that we are tempted and can see the fruits of our labor.  It also makes you realize how much you miss that light.  How much you miss the warmth on your face when basking in God's glory, in His will.

The night can be very lonely thinking about what is next in your life and more importantly where are you at right now.

I love writing at night because it gives me that peaceful atmosphere that I need to concentrate.  However, this also reminds me how I can't shut everyone out of my life.  I need to jump in feet first and experience life.  I think i love writing at night because it is some sort of protection from others critizing me.  The whole time I am just in the deep pursuit of God's presence.

Living by the Spirit

God has given us a wonderful choice once again.  He graciously gives us free choice when we decided to have faith in Him or not.  And here again he is giving us another choice.  Do we want to life in the "Flesh" as Apostle Paul describes it? Or do we want to live life by the Spirit?  Similarly James touches on this issue as well but instead calls it earthly and heavenly wisdom.

Below I will list the scriptures for reference of these particular characteristics.

My first question is: Why do we even have a choice?  Imagine that choice once again.  This question is more geared towards non believers who think Christianity is merely about legalism.

God is always giving us options whether it would be about salvation or even what the Christian Principles look like.  

First let's look at living in the flesh.  What do you accomplish or long to attain when you satisfy your sinful desires?  Galatians describes these as sinful natures, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God".

On the other hand Paul describes how to live in the Spirit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  Against such things there is no law."

Again we do have a choice to make.  In choosing this option of living by the Spirit, it is not going to be pretty and entails suffering.  It will mean we have to learn what it means to "take up our cross" on a daily basis.  

By choosing to live with the Spirit it produces blessings.  These qualities are from God and not earth and more certainly not from man.