Thursday, April 30, 2009

Salad Luncheon - First Congregational Church of Waseca, MN

Friday, May 1st, 2009 is the annual Salad Luncheon at First Congregational Church of Waseca, MN.

We will be serving lunch from 11:00Am-1:00PM

Our Luncheon Features:
-Our own tasty take on Chicken Salad (nearly world famous!)
-A large variety of vegetable, fruit, seafood, taco and jello salads
-A fresh fruit medley
-Cocktail rolls
-Delicious and nearly fat free and calorie free home made deserts
-Genuine EGG COFFEE!

Cost $7.00 per person - though some people choose to donate above that amount.

Funds are used by our women's ministry throughout the year to support the wonderful things they do.

Our church is handicapped accessible with an elevator for those needing it.

Map here if you need it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eagle Brook Church goes over 19500 people at Easter!

I'm a bit behind in posting this, but I wanted to share that Eagle Brook Church is continuing to grow and reach people for Christ in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area. For those who don't know, Eagle Brook Church is now the largest Church in Minnesota. I will be at Eagle Brook in a few short weeks for their Relevance Conference for church leaders. Below is a note from pastor Bob Merritt:

Dear Friends,

Yesterday the Leadership Team and I sat around a table reflecting on Easter, and I wish you could have heard the conversation. It concluded with some statements that spoke of God's obvious hand of blessing on our church, and an overall sense that God is preparing us for a future that includes greater and greater impact throughout the metro and world.

Our greatest concern is that we stay close to God's heart through daily prayer so that we don't miss what he wants us to do. We are in constant conversation about future possibilities, and though we don't have perfect clarity, we do know that God is leading us to continue to reach people, expand into other areas of the city, and help other churches get better at reaching their neighborhoods. We are all humbled and grateful for the trust that God has placed upon us, and we are determined to honor that trust to the best of our abilities.

I don't have words to adequately thank all of you who prayed, served and invited unchurched family and friends. You may have already heard that we had a record-breaking Easter: 19,672 people attended our 15 services, and over 300 people said “yes” to accept Jesus for the first time. We expect that number to increase with “Yes!” tables up for the next two weeks.

In my quiet moments, I sometimes wonder why God has chosen us to do this amazing work. Why us? Why not someone else? I don’t fully know why, but I go back to the verse in 2 Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God searches the whole earth for people like you whose hearts are fully committed to him and who understand that it’s not about us—it's about what God wants to do through us.

Way to go everybody! What a Savior, what a church, what a miracle weekend!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sermon - Luke 3:21-22 - Gifted to Serve

Today's Sermon is posted for those who might be interested. You can find it at (Direct Link).

Here's a teaser:

When you read through the Gospels, you never find an account where Matthew, Mark, Luke or John make any mention of Jesus’ physical attributes. They never tell us anything about His talents or His abilities. Maybe He was a great juggler, and we’ll never know. Or maybe He was a really good cook – Ya’ know…He made the most delicious camel-tater-tot hot dish… But instead, the disciples wrote about Jesus’ wisdom and His power that is displayed through His life. Their writing chronicles the power of the Holy Spirit in His life and ministry as He fulfilled the Father’s purpose.

You cannot understand the life and ministry of Jesus without recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit. We don’t often think of it that way, or at least I don’t, but when you look at it with fresh eyes, you’ll see it quite clearly. And when you see this relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit it makes it easier to see how the Spirit can work in your life as well. The same One who has gifted Him has gifted you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Eastern Michigan University dismisses student for Christian faith

Student Refuses Remediation

An Eastern Michigan University student has been formally dismissed from a graduate program because she has refused to undergo "remediation" to help her "see the error of her ways."

According to Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco, Julea Ward refused to affirm a counseling client's homosexual behavior. "What we have here is a Christian who is a student in a master's counseling degree program who was dismissed, kicked out of the school, simply because she was unwilling to violate her own religious beliefs in not advocating for homosexual behavior within the context of the counseling relationship," he said.

Ward referred the client to another counselor — who did not take issue with homosexual behavior — upon a supervising professor's suggestion. Still, the school said she could stay in the counseling program only if she would undergo a "remediation" program to reconstruct her belief system and help her "see the error of her ways." Ward refused. Tedesco believes the school is guilty of religious and viewpoint discrimination.

Ward underwent a formal hearing that concluded with her dismissal from the counseling program on March 12 and appealed the decision to the dean of the College of Education, who upheld the dismissal on March 26. Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit on her behalf. []

President Obama Has Religious Symbols Hidden

Before President Barack Obama spoke from Gaston Hall at Georgetown University last week, his advance team requested that the university hide or remove any religious symbols or signs while the president was on stage. Of the more prominent was a monogram IHS, whose letters in Greek spell out the name of Jesus and which normally perches above the stage in Gaston Hall. During the address, the monogram was covered with what appeared to be black wood.

Georgetown is a private Catholic institution founded by Jesuits in 1789. The auditorium in which the president spoke is normally adorned with religious imagery, but only the symbols directly on the stage — those likely to be picked up by a television camera — were obscured.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, accused the university of "cowardice" for acceding to the While House, and criticized Obama's team for asking a religious school to "neuter itself" before the president made his address. "No bishop who might speak at the While House would ever request that a crucifix be displayed behind him," said Donohue.

The White House said that the backdrop, which included blue drapes and a host of American flags, was standard during policy speeches and other events.

Though the advance team asked that the religious signs be veiled, the president himself included in his message an analogy from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount as he outlined his plans for an economic recovery. "We cannot rebuild the economy on the same pile of sand," he said. "We must build our house upon a rock." []

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Christian Volunteering Increases with Tough Times, the largest Christian online volunteer matching website, has shown a 300 percent increase in traffic in 2009 from a year ago. As people have difficulty finding a job, many of them are turning to volunteering to keep themselves busy. Other groups are showing similar growth: applications to AmeriCorps, a national service group, have tripled since last year; twice as many people participated in January's Martin Luther King Day of Service; and significant growth is expected for National Volunteer week, April 19-25th.

Andrew Sears, Executive Director of TechMission, the nonprofit that runs, says, "Bad times make good neighbors. In these tough times, many Christians are following the call of Jesus to love their neighbor." is free and works in a similar way to job matching sites like except matching volunteers to volunteer opportunities.

TechMission websites have served over 650,000 unique visitors in 2009, and they expect to match over 10,000 volunteers this year, according to a press release. Last March, TechMission started a group on Facebook called the One Body of Christ Experiment, in an effort to bring together Christians and to get them serving their communities. Only a year later, the group is now one of the largest Christian groups on Facebook with over 846,000 members.

Other Christian organizations are also joining the drive to help others during hard economic times. A recent partnership with and will place thousands of volunteers serving the poor this year.'s other partners serve over 35 million low-income individuals each year and include the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, World Vision, Mission America, Christian Community Development Association, Here's Life Inner City (Campus Crusade), Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and YouthPartnersNet (formerly Compassion USA).

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ignore this post - I'll delete this post later

Sorry RSS readers - ignore this post!

Christianity Blog Directory

The Gospel Coalition National Conference 2009 - John Piper notes

I love the passion of John Piper. It is inspiring! Below are my notes from this afternoon's session.

The Gospel Coalition National Conference 2009
Entrusted with the Gospel – Living the Vision of 2 Timothy
April 21-23, 2009

John Piper – Bethlehem Baptist Church
Session 2
2 Timothy 1:1-12
2TI 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

2TI 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

2TI 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

2TI 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

We need to be looking for the main point in every text

The point of this paragraph is “Timothy, keep feeding the flame of God’s gift in you – namely the gift of unashamed courage of speaking about Christ and suffering for the Gospel.”

1) Where does that point come from?
-Seeing the main point in the text.
-SHOW ME THE TEXT! Don’t generalize
-vs. 6-8
-Speak openly and suffer well
-God did this in you (vs. 8)
-depend on His power

2) Is that the point of the whole book
1:16 – not ashamed
2:3 – share in suffering
2:9 - I am suffering
2:10 - I endure
2:12 - If we endure
2:15 do your best to not be ashamed
2:24 endure evil
3:1 – difficulty
3:10 - followed sufferings
3:12 - persecution
4:5 – they turn from truth
4:6 – being poured out
4:7 – fought the good fight, ran the race
4:16 – stood alone
It’s the point of the book!
If you are in the ministry for an easy, comfortable, safe life, get out NOW! And if you are single, don’t marry a woman who wants that!
-It’s a hard road to follow Jesus, take up your cross and deny yourself, lose your life to find it

3) How Paul intends for Timothy to feed the white hot flame of this gift
vs. 8 – By the power of God
-linking 1:2 with 2:1 – be strengthened – be powerful by the grace that is in Christ Jesus
-Paul starts all 13 of his Epistles with a grace to you, and ends with a grace be with you
-Paul is very aware that as they begin to read they will be receiving grace through the
truths that he is saying/writing, and then when they get to the end, they need to take
that grace with them, it will go with them.
-Grace as the central truth, as the means of power, as the means of courage

4) Let’s do it!
vs. 3-5 – “Timothy, I believe with all my heart that your faith is real, even though it came from your grandmother, and not your dad, and from your mom, and not your dad.”
-John Piper “I am a momma’s boy”
-Paul serving as a spiritual father for Timothy – Timothy’s father wasn’t a believer
-Paul gives himself as a pattern for courageous suffering for God’s sustaining grace
-Timothy, when you speak as a preacher/teacher you are going to suffer
-Paul is in prison, but not ashamed
-The reason we don’t have to be ashamed in the one who entrusted us with the
Gospel is because the Gospel is powerful
-Paul modeling for Timothy what it looks like to be a man living in grace, even in hard
-Most important sentence (though not the main point) - vs. 9-10
-That’s the kind of power with which to feed the flame
-The grace of God (vs. 1) was not given to you when you were converted, but rather
before when the world was created – before the stars were made!
-Not according to your works, but according to God’s purpose and grace – Romans 9

Sealy Posturepedic Chair - Excellent Customer Service

I wanted to write a quick post about some great customer service I just experienced. A little over a week ago a caster on my Sealy Posturepedic office chair broke. Initially one side of one wheel broke at the axle and came off, and then the next day the whole caster broke into pieces. It's a 5 pointed star design chair, so I've been surviving with it on just 4 casters ever since. I finally had a moment today to call Sealy and see if there was anything they could do about this. I dialed in, pressed zero for customer service, and within 3 seconds I was talking to someone. She passed me onto someone in the chair department, and quite litterally he picked up before it even rang on the transfer (on my end) - nearly instantanious tranfer. I said I had a caster break - he asked about the purchase (and chair model) and said no problem and took down my mailing info. He said they would send a set of all FIVE casters out before Friday of this week. Honestly, the whole transaction took 2 minutes, and they were very curteous.

If you ever need the number for Sealy Posturepedic customer help it is 1-888-217-2577 and press zero for customer service. I have really enjoyed this chair, and I am very happy that they are taking such great care of me.

The Gospel Coalition National Conference 2009 - Tim Keller notes

Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Day 1
Session 1

Paul, in his preaching of the Gospel, always took on and challenged the idols of the culture and the people’s heart – to minister to the heart we must do the same – challenge and expose the idols

Discern Idols, Expose Idols, and Destroy Idols

Discerning Idols:
-Paul preached in such a way that it changed people’s lives
-changed how they lived in the world, which changed the culture
-You have to live differently – confronting idols will do this
-Man made gods are no gods at all
-Acts 17:16 Paul saw the idols – discerned them
-need to figure out what the idols are in your town and culture/race/gender
-Paul went to where the culture was formed (the market) to deal with the idols
-Every culture not based on the glory of God is based on some sort of idol
-they look to this idol to give it meaning, hope, and salvation
-When the wrong thing becomes the central thing you are in trouble
-You can make anything into an idol, it doesn’t have to have a statue
-An idol is anything in your life that is so central to your life that you can’t have
meaning in life without it – if you lose it, you lose “life”.
-Making a good thing into the ultimate thing – idolatry
-Do you see the idols in your vocation, city, family, culture?
-Expose the idols
-Three Kinds of Idols you will have to expose
-Gospel is you are saved by grace, idol you are saved by something else
-often a form of works
1) Personal Idols
-Romans 1
-Money – Colossians 3:5
-Ephesus – worship of Goddess Artemis
-How do you make money just money, and not your salvation
- only with the Gospel
-if you look to this other person for your worth and value it is idolatry
-Then you have no boundaries in your relationship
-People looking to their children for their worth and happiness
-If they are smart, athletes, their faith etc. can all contribute to this
-This either crushes or repels the child
-then when this happens you blame God
-Martin Luther – all sin is at its root idolatry
-Functional saviors
-Can’t understand moral or psychological problems without understanding
-There is no mercy in false gods

2) Religious Idols
-These people think they are devoted to God, but are misguided
-Is it possible to say I am saved by the rightness of our doctrine, and not Jesus
alone? (yes)
-When you are always disdainful of people who differ with you (Proverbs calls
you a fool!) – a doctrinal Pharisee
-Mistaking spiritual gifts for spiritual fruit
-I know God is with me because look at all my success…
-Idolizing preaching for young pastors
-Typical for Christians to say the reason God loves me is because I do all these
Things (prayer, evangelism etc), so surely God has to bless me

3) Cultural Idols
-Traditional cultures – the idol is the family
-Western Culture – the individual and “my” feelings are absolute
-no one can tell anyone else they are wrong, cannot upset them
-idea that you should not tell people that their beliefs about God are wrong is
imposing a view about God on others

Destroy the Idols - How do you actually do something?
-When the idols are exposed, it is dangerous. Idols are violent and violently protected.
-Through idols the forces of darkness control us (powers and principalities)
-Idols cost Jesus His life
-Paul risked his life to expose idols
-I know Jesus died for my sins, but what is going to help me use this to put away my
-If you live for your career, it can’t die for your sins
-don’t love good things less, love Jesus MORE!
-could be your spouse, kids, service etc.

Freedom of Conscience for medical professionals

Americans Support Medical Professionals' Freedom of Conscience

A significant 87 percent of American adults believe it is important to "make sure health care professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections." The poll, conducted by Woman Trend on behalf of the Christian Medical Association, found support for that statement among 78 percent of those who consider themselves "pro-choice," and 80 percent of those who voted for President Barack Obama. []

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Gospel Coalition National Conference available live online!

The Gospel Coalition National Conference Webcast

As a reminder, The Gospel Coalition National Conference webcast, "Entrusted with the Gospel: Living the Vision of
2 Timothy,"
begins Tomorrow, April 21 and runs through Thursday, April 23 at

After the conference all videos will be available for FREE
on demand at

John Piper         Don Carson
Tim Keller          Mark Driscoll
Phil Ryken         Ligon Duncan
Bryan Chapell    K. Edward Copeland
Ajith Fernando
For a full schedule and to view the live webcast click here.

Follow conference activity on Twitter with the tag #gcnc09

I will be following this conference online as time allows over the next few days.  The timing wasn't right for me to go in person (bummer!) but at least I will get to watch it live and learn from these great leaders and teachers!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Article published in local newspaper

I forgot to mention that I had an article published this past Wednesday in our local newspaper - the Waseca County News.  You can read it online.  It's titled "The Amazing Grace of Easter".

Sermon – Philippians 2:5-11 – Empty for

My Easter sermon is now posted at our church's web site - (direct link HERE). Here's a tidbit to get you interested:

But Jesus offers us a joy that never ends. Here is something I didn’t understand before I came to faith, before Jesus got a hold of me and changed my priorities, before He showed me what I was trying to fill my emptiness with. What I now know is that every day I spend with Jesus is better than the day before. You could’ve told me that a thousand times, and I wouldn’t have understood you, until, that is, I came to see Christ as the only thing that would make me whole again. I tried my way, and failed time after time, I couldn’t fix me, I didn’t have what I needed. In the same way, the man throwing the wedding feast finds himself in the same spot – and so Jesus took water pots and transformed them from emptiness to amazingness. And he is still in that business today.

And yes, the word amazingness isn't a "real" word. I don't care. :-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

How Deep The Father's Love For Us - Lyrics

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

©1995 Kingsway's Thankyou Music
Words and Music by Stuart Townend

Churches Adapting to Ailing Economy

Although churchgoers have been generous in their offerings amid economic woes, churches have still had to make major adjustments to respond to community needs and adapt to the challenging times, according to results from a new survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted by LifeWay Research.

The survey found that 62 percent of churches have received more requests from people outside their congregations for financial assistance in the last year than in previous years. To meet the demand, 37 percent of churches say they increased their spending to help the needy and 31 percent are exploring the idea of starting a new ministry to help people who are disadvantaged. Half of the surveyed churches said they have a greater sense of excitement, however, about the opportunities to minister to those in need.

Results also showed that giving in churches increased by an average of four percent in the last year; 26 percent of churches saw a 10 percent or more increase in offerings while 12 percent of churches saw their giving decline by 10 percent or more in 2008. Also, 70 percent of Protestant churches are either meeting or exceeding their budget.

Even though offerings have been generous, more than half of the surveyed pastors say the current economy is negatively impacting their churches, with seven percent reporting being "very negatively" impacted. Incredibly, 30 percent say the economy has had no impact on their churches.

Among the findings, 35 percent of churches say they held salaries for the new year at last year's levels, six percent reduced staff salaries, four percent laid off one or more employees, and 12 percent delayed construction or other large capital expenses that were planned.

Some pastors, according to the results, have had to personally invest in their ministry with 27 percent reporting that they paid for more ministry items out of their own pocket than normal. And in some cases, pastors have had to take on a second job to generate more income. Five percent recently added a non-ministry job for more income, five percent asked their spouses to add a non-ministry job and three percent of pastors have sought writing or speaking opportunities that provide royalties or honoraria.

"When times are tough, the church can be at its best — being, doing and telling the good news of the Gospel," said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. []

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Texas Says 'No' To Science Censorship

Texas became the seventh state last week to encourage students to "embrace open and critical discussion in the science classroom." The new wording of the policy allows students more flexibility in their discussion of such topics as Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Texas has sent a clear message that evolution should be taught as a scientific theory open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned," said John West of the Discovery Institute of Seattle who argued before the Texas Board of Education.

The new policy for Texas science classes states that, "In all fields of Science; analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations of science by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student." Before the recent change, the policy stated that students would simply discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific explanations, rather than "examine all sides."

An original change that just removed the language calling for the study of the "strengths and weaknesses " of scientific explanations, had been praised by pro-evolution groups, but a flood of calls and e-mails to the school board apparently led to the language being changed rather than eliminated. [,]

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


(my dad sent this to me.  I have a dumb foot!)

You have to try this please, it takes 2 seconds. I could not believe 
this!!! It is from an orthopedic surgeon.... This will boggle your 
mind and you will keep you trying over and over again to see if you 
can outsmart your foot, but, you can't.

1. Without anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY......) 
And while sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your 
Right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your 
Right hand. Your foot will change direction.

I told you so!!! And there's nothing you can do about it! You and I 
both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going 
to try it again, if you've not already done so.

Send it to your friends to frustrate them too!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Book Giveaway!

At the end of this week (week of April 6, 2009) I will be giving away a copy of one of the books below (and possibly a copy of each, stay tuned!). If you would like to be entered in this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post, or email me (see sidebar for my email address).

Experiencing the Spirit: The Power of Pentecost Every Day - by Melvin and Henry Blackaby

Serve God as never before

The first Christians “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) shaking the gates of hell even in the face of severe persecution. The result: People all around “were filled with wonder and amazement” (Acts 3:10).What can give Christians today the same impact?

God’s Holy Spirit is ready to answer that for us in an awesome way, as Henry Blackaby and his son Mel Blackaby make clear in Experiencing the Spirit. You’ll see how the proof of the Spirit’s presence is our awareness of God’s personal assignments for us, plus our supernatural enablement to carry out those assignments. You’ll find essential clarification on the difference between natural talents and spiritual gifts. You’ll explore the dynamics of being filled with the Spirit through intimate relationship with Him, committed obedience, and radical departure from sin.

Instead of considering what you can do for God with your abilities and talents, you’ll be encouraged here to seek what God wants to do through you supernaturally by His Spirit, empowering you beyond your personal competence and capacities. Release the Holy Spirit’s work at the very core of your experience of the Christian life.

About the Authors:
Dr. Henry Blackaby has devoted his life to the ministry. A multi-faceted talent, he has served as a music director, senior pastor, college president, missionary, and later as an executive in Southern Baptist Convention. Blackaby is the author of more than a dozen books with more than one million copies sold, including the best-selling Experiencing God. As the President of Blackaby Ministries, he is a vibrant speaker and the father of Dr. Melvin Blackaby. Melvin serves as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro in Georgia, where he lives with his wife, Gina, and their three children.

The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving - by Randy Alcorn

Flip-Flop Your Concept of Giving!

Bestselling author Randy Alcorn introduced readers to a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity with the release of the original The Treasure Principle in 2001. Now the revision to the compact, perennial bestseller includes a provocative new concluding chapter depicting God asking a believer questions about his stewardship over material resources. Readers are moved from the realms of thoughtful Bible exposition into the highly personal arena of everyday life. Because when Jesus told His followers to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” He intended that they discover an astounding secret: how joyful giving brings God maximum glory and His children maximum pleasure. Discover a joy more precious than gold!

Story Behind the Book
After years of writing and teaching on the theme “God owns everything,” in 1990 Randy Alcorn was sued by an abortion clinic (for peaceful, nonviolent intervention for the unborn). Suddenly he had to resign as a pastor and was restricted to making minimum wage. Legally unable to own anything, Randy gave all his book royalties to missions work and need-meeting ministries. He and his family have experienced the reality of The Treasure Principle—that God really does own everything, takes care of us, and graciously puts assets into our hands that we might have the joy and privilege of investing in what will last for eternity.

About the Author:
Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM). Prior to 1990, when he started EPM, he served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has spoken around the world and has taught on the adjunct faculties of Multnomah Bible College and Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Randy is the best-selling author of twenty-seven books (over three million in print), including the novels Deadline, Dominion, and Deception as well as Lord Foulgrin's Letters, the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home, and Wait Until Then.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sermon - Luke 19:28-44 - Palm Sunday

My Palm Sunday sermon is now posted on line at (direct link). Here's a teaser bit to get started on:

Have you ever been in rush hour traffic in Minneapolis and seen a car breakdown in one of the middle lanes? One car stops, then all the other cars stop, like a chain reaction. I can see people in my mind like the Three Stooges running into the back of each other like dominos. I can just hear the people way back in the crowd that day saying, "What’s the holdup? What is going on? Why don’t you guys move on?" and some guy is honking the horn on his 97 donkey.

But the people who were closest to Jesus could see and they realized that it was Christ who had stopped the parade. Then they saw His body begin to shake. Maybe at first they thought He was laughing. Laughter would seem to be natural - for everybody else was laughing and cheering. But then they saw His face and they saw no evidence of laughter. Scripture tells us that they saw sorrow and tears on his face. He was not laughing. He was crying.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Strongest Wind Ever!

According to my Google home page, the wind is blowing at 255mph at the moment! F5 Tornado speeds! Which is pretty funny considering it is pretty calm out. Somebody go rap that weather station gauge with a hammer or something to get it running again!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

James MacDonald on false teachers

Pastor James MacDonald offers an insightful and scathing rebuke of both Brian McLaren as well as those who would defend his aberrant theology. Below is the beginning, but the whole article is well worth your time! Pastor MacDonald's words are strong, but they need to be when it comes to protecting the Gospel.

What an incredibly difficult thing it is to think and act like a Christian when we are so incredibly immersed in our culture. The job of thinking biblically, while the deafening noise of societal norms rings in our ears and our own personality biases our convictions, can seem impossible.

I receive some interesting comments on this blog, not all of which get posted. Especially pointed were several recent comments related to my post about Brian McLaren. I didn’t specify McLaren’s denials of the orthodox teaching on Hell (see note 1 below), or penal substitution (see note 2), or Scripture (see note 3) because the main audience for this blog is immensely familiar with McLaren’s writing. Another reason I did not detail his errors is because that has been done extensively in such helpful books as D. A. Carson’s Becoming Conversant With Emergent, and Why We’re Not Emergent by DeYoung and Kluck. (Tim Challies and Doug Wilson also have helpful reviews of McLaren’s Generous Orthodoxy.)

I do not view Brian as an ‘erring weaker brother,’ worthy of sympathy or olive branches, but rather as a dangerous false teacher who repackages mainline liberal theology. (Have the past 50 years not been adequate to see how liberal theology empties churches and damns souls?)

More dangerous still is that McLaren packages his false teaching and denials of Scripture as solutions to some of the excesses currently plaguing evangelicalism—the danger being his winning over of young people who have legitimate complaints about the current church, but who lack the discernment to see that his solutions are often unbiblical even when his critiques are fair.

Read the full post HERE.

Advance Church Conference - Resurgence of the Local Church

I got this in my inbox this morning. I cannot attend this conference, though I wish I could. If you are looking for a good conference to add to your schedule, give this one a look!

Registration is Live

Thank you all for signing up to be notified of when tickets go on sale for Advance: The Resurgence of the Local Church. The tickets are now live, and you want to sign up early. This is going to be a large conference, but the tickets are going much faster than we've expected, so you'll want to make sure you can get good seats.

Why This Conference is A Big Deal
The speakers are top-notch, but what's more important is that local churches are working with national organizations to put this conference on. We're practicing what we preach by showing the power that the local church has to rise to the occasion and become a catalyst for change in a region.

Join With Us
We want everyone to get involved in this conference. We need buy in from churches, parachurch organizations, and individuals to have the most effect on Durham, the United States, and to the ends of the earth!

Things you can do

  1. Register for the conference.
  2. Share this on your Facebook account, Twitter, blog, or whatever else you use.
  3. Make sure your pastors know that this is an ideal event for key leaders and members to help them grow a vision for the health of your local church.
  4. Send emails to your friends who may be interested.
  5. Follow @advance09 on twitter.

We're Excited To See What God Will Do
Please join us in asking God to work through this conference, for wisdom and discernment, and for the Holy Spirit to be working to bring the right people.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The Advance '09 Team

Births to Unwed Mothers Reaches All-Time High

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that births to unwed mothers in the U.S. during 2007 reached an all-time high of about 40 percent. More than three-quarters of these women were 20 or older.

Data showed that more babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any year in the nation's history — 4.3 million births — topping the peak during the baby boom 50 years earlier. CDC officials noted that, despite the record number of births, this is nothing like what occurred in the 1950s, when a much smaller population of women were having nearly four children each, on average. Today, U.S. women are averaging 2.1 children each.

David Popenoe, founder and co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, called the rise in births to unwed mothers bad news and one of the greatest family changes of our time. "Children born out of wedlock tend to have a much harder time in life on average than children born in wedlock," he told Family News in Focus. "I wish we as a nation were speaking out more forcefully against this trend." Popenoe added that many of these out-of-wedlock births are the children of people who are cohabiting. "We know that those people are going to break up at a much higher rate than married couples." In 1940, only about 4 percent of births were out of wedlock. []