Friday, November 13, 2009

The Joy of the Gospel

This morning is especially sweet for me. After a very busy week in which I did not feel the greatest I have the privilege of teaching in Grace School Chapel. Nothing better than preaching on the gospel! The school theme this year is Jesus as the light of the world. John 8:12, I am the Light of the world;. So, I ran with the theme and centered in on this verse to teach on the gospel. I love the purity of the gospel. Its simple yet profound and life-chaning truth. In my message this morning, I used the illustration of the sun to communicate three simple truths of the gospel. First, Jesus heals us from sin because He exposes our sin. Jesus, being God, was perfectly holy. When we encounter Jesus in the gospel and in the Scripture our sin is exposed. Disease cannot be healed unless it is exposed. Second, Jesus heals us from sin because He offers us forgiveness through His own shed blood on the cross of calvary. Only His blood paid for the eternal debt of sin, an dwe can receive this forgiveness by repenting of sin and believing upon His redeeming work. Third, Jesus lights our path as a believer. We have His law and His example recorded in the Scripture to light our walk as believers. Christ Himself, the cross and the Word of God all then become "light" in the gospel and for the believer.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Lesson from Joseph

Joseph was thrown into a pit and left for dead. Some might say, How could an all-good an all-powerful God allow evil like this to exist in the world? If He is in fact all-powerful and if He is in fact all-good, how do those truths reconcile with evil? Many unbelievers ask those questions and conclude that it is irrational to think that an all-powerful and all-good God would allow evil, therefore, God does not exist. Recently in my apologetics class we have looked at this issue. One principle to keep in mind when considering the problem of evil is that often times we look at evil from our perspective and not God's perspective. We should not question God as Job did and ten be rebuked by God accordingly. We must focus on the reality that we cannot know or fully understand the exhaustive purposes of God.

Just this morning in our family devotions we read Genesis chapter 50. In verse 20, Joseph explains God's use of the evil brought about in his life, God meant it for good. Through the act of his brothers, God sovereignly brought Joseph to Egypt and through him made provision to preserve the nation of Israel. As we experience evil in our life and trials that come upon us, we must keep in perspective that God is God and He is bringing about His purposes in and through those circumstances. He uses all things for our good and to accomplish His purposes. Romans 8:28 states, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." As we encounter trials and evil in our life, we should first confess that God is good and all-powerful and also ask ourself, "What is God going to accomplish in the midst of this circumstance?"


Friday, October 23, 2009

Simple Truth; Godly Results

Yesterday morning we were running late but wanted to do our devotions before leaving the house. Someone said that maybe we should look for a shorter section to read and then pray. I opened to Psalm 119 and said, "I think we should read all 176 verses." The kids laughed and we decided to read verses 9-16. The psalmist asks a simple yet profound question in verse 9, "How can a young man keep his way pure?" Great question! God desires His people to live holy lives. His people, Israel, were to be a light to the nations primarily by living a holy life. A life that is in accordance wth God's commands which when lived out is separate and distinct from the world. And notice that the Psalmist has already assumed this truth! Well, we read and spent a few minutes talking about his answers.
First, we keep it pure by keeping it according to His Word (v.9b). Obedience to His Word will keep our lives pure. Second, by seeking God will all our heart (v.10). In doing so, we will guard from getting of course and becoming stained by sin. Third, His word must be valuable to us so much so that we hide it in our hearts to provide the power and understanding that can keep us from sin (v.11). The Word of God is the key to a pure life, a holy life. We must seek it, treasure it and hide it in our hearts. When we make it our habit to do this, we are empowered to live for God and motivated to not sin against Him.
Well, we considered these few truths, prayed that God would help make these things are habit and headed off to school and work. Praise the Lord for His Word!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update on Isaiah

Looking back nearly 18 months I am happy to report that Isaiah's stomach is pretty much pain free! After a long saga of doctors, medicines, etc. we finally found help from a homeopathic doctor who steered us toward the fact that he had food allergies. By removing wheat, corn and dairy from his diet, (Not easy to do...) he began to get relief from the continual stomach aches. We now know that he cannot digest dairy and have reintroduced corn in small amounts and he seems to do okay. Wheat is still on hold at this point. He is healthy and growing, and we are thankful to the LORD that he answered our prayers and brought healing to our son. I am extremely thankful for my wife who was forced to completely re-think what and how she cooked for him and for our entire family. She has been very diligent and we are all very grateful!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogging to resume

Okay, I know it has been 9 months, but I have done some tweeks to the blog and hope to start updating it again soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Last Hoorah

Well, it was the last Saturday of Christmas break and we ventured out to Vasquez Rocks just north of Santa Clarita towards Palmdale. The rocks' origin is connected to the San Andreas fault (or so Wikipedia says). Anyway, the park includes 900 acres of fun!
What a great place to enjoy for a couple of hours climbing the rocks, hiking, and enjoying God's creation. The day was cool and windy but we wrapped up and spent a couple of hours at the park. Ali was enjoying the climb and Isaiah was ecstatic dressed in full army gear ready for the adventure complete with the camo do-wrag! Later that night we watched Kung-Fu Panda and then off to bed for church on Sunday.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas 2008 Update

Well, it only took us over 10 months, but finally a long-awaited update to It's A Small World! The year has gone by so quick, I can't believe it. The kids are in school now at Grace Community School and Brent is about to enter his final year of Seminary! Yeah! The family can't wait and neither can I. We had a great month of December enjoying the celebration of Christmas complete with our own family traditions. This year Kim planned a special event for the family. We purchased tickets to see the new Bolt movie at the El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Blvd. The show came complete with an on-stage pre-show including Disney characters, a 3-D viewing of Bolt along with popcorn and soda! We had a ton of fun and enjoyed some of the entertainment out front as seen in this picture.

Our month long celebration was filled with our traditional advent book, Grace Church Christmas concert, Grace Community School concert, fellowship with friends and a trip to see some amazing Christmas lights in Santa Clarita. We also created a new tradition this year called the "Blessings Box." Each night that we read from our advent book we each wrote down something we were thankful for and placed it in the box. We then prayed and thanked the Lord for this blessing and invited his help to keep our minds focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

The Lord also blessed us with some great gifts, toys, and much needed clothing! My wife cooked a great Christmas lunch, ham with the fixins, oh yeah. We were amazingly blessed this Christmas, and as we strive to honor Christ with our lives, I pray that He will continue to bless us in this New Year! Praise His Holy Name!
Posted by Picasa