Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2 must have albums in my world

So good to finally get some good music this year.




I'm loving the new Metallica album. Full of meaty riffs and cracking guitar solo's. A million times better than St. Anger. The only minor blip on the album is track 7 "The Unforgiven III", I'm not too keen on it; but the rest of the album is a breath of fresh air in the realm of good proper rock.




The fourth album from the Kings of Leon and they arguably get better. I'm loving this album. You can see some huge influences from U2 on he album, that doesn't bother me though. As Bono says "every poet is a thief". The only slight blip in the album is again track 7 "17", I'm not mad into it, but the rest is 10/10. I'm going to see them in december with my lovely wife and can't wait.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Books

I love new books. I got a good few today which I'm looking forward to reading. I was introduced to Bill Johnson by my good friend Ferg. Jane (my lovely wife) is reading his "Face to Face with God" book which she is loving and I'm looking forward to reading to. I've also been listening to some of his podcasts and he comes across as a man with integrity who is so in love with Jesus and wants to see his kingdom come.








We've really enjoyed reading some Don Basham especially Deliver us From Evil. I bought his little handbook on Holy Spirit Baptism to see what he has to say about it. Should be interesting!



I've heard so much about smith wigglesworth, I figured it was time to buy a book to see what he has to say.




i read a Derek Prince book on worship recently which I loved and I've really enjoyed listening to some of his podcasts. He seems to be on the case with spiritual warfare so I bought this book to see what he has to say.



Lastly I got a book on The will of God and Decision Making. It's written from a Calvinist perspective and as I'm still trying to get to grips with the God of Calvinism which I find very contrary to the God I understand from scripture I though I'd read another book from their point of view.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Herecy hunters...

Sometimes I think we forget what Romans 2:4 says; God's kindness leads you toward repentance.
I had a chat with a guy on Friday night who was intent on putting down anything that appeared to be of the spirit and was outside his box of christianity. "The emerging church" he said, "is heresy". I asked him what the emerging church was, of course he couldn't answer. I asked him did he know any of the leaders names, he couldn't answer that either, I asked him had he ever prayed for anyone 'caught up' in the emerging movement, he couldn't answer that either. It was a difficult conversation! He did go on to say that they 'water down' the gospel. I asked him what that meant, he said they don't preach enough of the blood and cross of Jesus and the wrath and anger of God. I asked him what leads us to repentance. He said the blood of Jesus, I agreed but I said what aspect of God's character leads us to repentance. I told him what it says in Romans 2:4, that it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. It's not a fear of hell that should lead us to him but a joy of heaven and knowing his father heart towards us.
Why are so many people intent on judging people and crying heresy at the first sign of something not fitting into their box of christianity? The conversation ended with him walking out of the house we were in in a storm when I told him I loved the Shack. This was another sign of end times heresy according to him.
I was so sad for him. He is so caught up in pride and religion that he can't see the Father heart of God and is intent on judging anything that makes him feel uncomfortable. Yes we need discernment, but we need to be very very careful in throwing stones.
When he was giving out about the seeker friendly gospel and as he said "social justice, what's that??" There needs to be a balance. Yes we need to know the depths of our sin and the power of the cross, BUT people need to know about the love of the God who has dealt with their sin and the kindness of a Saviour who would die for us. A God who has chased after us from the beginning of time, who is desperate for us to join in the relationship that is within the trinity. God loves us with the same love he loves his Son with (John 17:23). Amazing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jesus is their friend too!

Following this post, I was incredibly amused to see the video below posted on youtube. David Crowder Band* are a crackin band in my opinion and this adds to their awesomeness in my book. Apologies for the lack of quality but it's worth a look. That bass solo is kickin!

Did I Mention...



I'm LOVING Charlie Hall's new album. Buy it.


Scenes

Chill and cold and flakes of snow,ice and sleet, frost and cold
Each storm cloud and thunderbolt, lifts my mind to You
Every work and every power, every second of every hour
Fall of dew and sweet rain showers, lifts my mind to You
Summer wind, fire and heat, autumn leaves and blooms of spring
Ocean waves and mountain streams, lifts my mind to You

I see You in every scene, I bet You are thinking about me,
I have such a short memory so You keep reminding me of You



As I lay me down to sleep, as I walk on city streets
As I laugh with friends and feast, it lifts my mind to You
As my children play and run, in the news with wars and guns
In the church where songs are sung, it lifts my mind to You
Deep inside the beggar's eyes, as for sweet love I fight
On the radio at night, it lifts my mind on You

Painting pictures of your love, You lift my mind up,
reminding me of You, my heart comes alive

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blessed be the name...

Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?'
Job 21:15

Last night I was singing the Matt & Beth Redman song "Blessed Be Your Name" at our youth group. It's a great song of surrender and truth. Declaring that God's name is to be blessed and he is worthy of praise in the good times and the bad. At the end of the song is the couplet that says "You give and take away, my heart will choose to say Lord blessed be Your name".
I love to sing this line. I want to say to God that he can have his way in my life and I want to surrender to his will. However it frustrates me when the lines attributed to Job (Job 1:21) are taken as universal truth. That when every tragedy happens we are told "well, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away". When an expectant mother loses her baby, when a man looses his wife, when a whole family is wiped out by a hurricane, when a marriage falls apart - "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away".

What picture does this paint of God? I think people can tend to loose sight of the fact that Job later repents of this theology.
Job also says "Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?" (Job "10:8)
and "I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
and again display your awesome power against me....
Are not my few days almost over?
Turn away from me so I can have a moment's joy
(Job 10:16,20)

Why are these same passages not quoted as theological truths as with Job 1:21? Job says in 10:20 that joy can be found when God is turned away from us, and in 10:16 that God stalks us like a lion. Is this true? Of course not. Why then is it assumed that everything that is taken away from us is at the hands of the sovereign Lord?

In Job 42:3 Job says "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know."
and he repents saying in 42:6
"Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes."
Job realised that his blueprint theory of God was wrong and he had judged him in error. I love how despite Job's error in his thinking about God, God still does not reject him. Job was raw and honest and even though his theology told him he should reject God, he didn't. He worshipped God because God is God. I love that about Job, he was angry and desperate before his God and still he worshiped him.
We have an enemy who prowls around like a lion. It is not God, it is the great Satan who is our enemy and out to get us and bring disaster and pain and suffering to us. In ALL this God can bring good out of such tragedies and he does for he is God and worthy of all our praise. He is a God who can genuinely be trusted that he is out for our good.

New Testament use of the Old Testament Quiz

Peter Kirk at his blog Gentle Wisdom
had this quiz that looked interesting. I figured I'd see where I stand. The book seems like it's another in the line of the "four view" series which I greatly enjoy. Although this one is 'three views'. My results are below. I don't trust the accuracy of these kind of quizes, especially when there's only 7 questions, however they're fun to check out.



NT Use of the OT -- Test Your View!
Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents view You seem to be most closely aligned with the Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents view, a view defended by Darrell L. Bock in the book “Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament” (edited by Kenneth Berding and Jonathan Lunde, Nov. 2008). This view affirms the singular nature of the meanings intended by the OT and NT authors when OT texts are cited in the NT. In spite of this essential unity in meaning, however, the words of the OT authors frequently take on new dimensions of significance and are found to apply appropriately to new referents and new situations as God’s purposes unfold in the larger canonical context. Often, these referents were not in the minds of the OT authors when they penned their texts. For more info, see the book, or attend a special session devoted to the topic at the ETS Annual Meeting in Providence, RI (Nov. 2008); Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Darrell L. Bock, and Peter Enns will all present their views.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Does Satan believe his own lies?

I wonder does Satan ever lie to himself that he's going to win in the end! I wonder does he fool himself that sin hasn't list it's power and death hasn't lost it's sting. Does he genuinely believe sometimes that he can overcome God or does he know that the death of Jesus was the seal of his defeat.
I ask because I know sometimes we can fool ourselves. When we lie to someone we somehow justify it in our minds and believe it was ok, even if for a minute. The girl/guy who struggles with an eating disorder believes that they are fat when they're not. The guy/girl who looks at porn thinks it's harmless and their partner wouldn't mind; deep down they know this isn't true.
Can this be the same for the great Satan?
Either way Satan has ultimately lost and his fate will be sealed shortly. In the meantime though we are to fix our eyes upon Jesus as he roams around tying to decieve us. He does a good job of it too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Musing...

The other night while trying to sleep I was thinking of my wife who was beside me and just looking at her. I wasn't thinking of specifics, I was just thinking of how incredibly blessed I am to have this amazing woman in my life and was marvelling at all her little mysteries that make her the angel that she is.
Obviously I couldn't help but thank Jesus for how much he has blessed me, and it got me thinking. I wonder does God ever just think about us. No plan, no reasoning, just thinking about us. I always imagine him as so busy and his mind is racing and when he thinks about me he's thinking about the plans he has for me or how he wished I'd been honest with him that day about what was on my mind, or that I'd just apologise to him instead of running away from him. But what if every now and then God just sits and thinks about me. He calls one of his angels over and he says "Have I told you about Ferg? He's a special one." and he muses upon me and loves that he's made me and dotes on me like a Father would. Then him and Jesus and the Spirit just talk about me for a while and laugh and share stories about me.

Sometimes you just need to know...

Psalm 18:19

He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.


Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ambiguity in worship

Today I was going through songs for worship tomorrow night. As I was flicking through my folder I came across "I could sing of your love forever" a staple worship song that has been sung in churches for well over 10 years and will continue to be sung for another 100 years no doubt. It's a great melody and a good song however I always forget just how ridiculous the bridge is.
"Oh I feel like dancing,
it's foolishness I know,
but when the world has seen the light,
they will dance with joy like we're dancing now"

When read, it's sounds like a good old cliche bridge in a upbeat worship song, however when sung it's nearly like a dirge. It's sung like the last thing one wants to do is dance. I hope the light doesn't have that effect on people! God bless Martin Smith but I definitely think that this is one time when it doesn't particularly make sense for him, or us!
Check out 2:46 in the video to understand what I'm talking about.

Love it...


I was right, well apart from Robbie Keane scoring BUT Liverpool won 2-1. So happy with the result, it's a big deal to beat united for the first time in the league in 4 years.

Come on the pool...


1 point from 24 against Man Utd is a shocking return. Liverpool play Man Utd today, Gerrard and Torres are fit, although I think they'll be on the bench. I reckon the team will be
Reina, Arbeloa, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Benayoun, Keane, Kuyt.
I really hope he does play Riera our new signing. We could do with a good left sided player. Kuyt has been playing excellently; not many goals but he's a work horse. Anyways, I have a feeling that we just might do it today. Keane to score his first goal for his new club and Liverpool to score their first win against United in the league for 4 years.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Joseph

After deciding not to help out with the youth group my wife leads in; I felt that I should change my mind. The young lads are great and I figure it's a privilege for me to get the opportunity to show them what living for Jesus is about. To have some kind of impact in these lads lives is pretty huge. It makes a big difference from work too - working with teenagers who actually want to be around me!!!
Anyways the theme for the next few weeks is Joseph which is very cool. He's a great character to pick. However, as the church I go to is a reformed baptist church I fear that when we get to the end of the story that it'll be taught that God orchestrated everything that happened to Joseph for his own glory. For the story of Joseph when one is disassociated from it; it can make sense and sound great. The problem is, what if a teenager is there who is feeling suicidal, or a teenager is there who is being horribly bullied at school, or being abused at home are they to think that this is something sent from God to build their character? Are they to think that God is to be completely trusted, despite the fact that he leads them in to situations where they will be abused so he can get glory from it somehow?
The two verses that are usually used in the story of Joseph to bring this way of thinking about is Genesis 45:4-5
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

And Genesis 50:20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

These two verses don't say that God decided to use his brothers evil intentions from the beginning of time; never mind creating his brothers evil intentions from the beginning of time or before the time that his brothers developed their own moral character. The verses do suggest that at some point God saw the opportunity to incorporate into his plan for his people to use the evil intentions of Josephs brothers. If Josephs brothers had chosen a different moral outlook God would have used a different way to bring them into Egypt; however God in his infinite wisdom chose to use the brothers freely chosen moral traits to fulfill his plan.
Scripture never says that God makes people evil, however it does say that he can use evil people to carry out his plans. His can use their dreadful intentions for good. God using evil for his own purpose is one thing, but to say that God ordains and predestines evil to occur to fulfill his sovereign plan creates huge moral dilemmas. God does NOT need to create evil to bring about good.
I may be surprised in what is taught over the next few Saturday nights; BUT even if I have problems with what may be taught, I respect the guys teaching it, I'm not there to rebel or cause trouble and I'm still privileged to have the chance to impact these guys lives.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Atheism...

Sarah Palin - 2 things...

2 things I can't quite get my head around this week.

The first one is the fact that Sarah Palin the VP candidate for the republican party is welcomed by conservative Christians who hold to a complementarian stance on women's roles. They have argued that the bible only talks about women submitting to men in the house and the church and they cannot lead men there. However I find it ridiculous to think that the teaching that does not allow women to lead in the home or the church can then allow a woman to lead a nation! what's with that?

The second thing is more of a minor thing but it still slightly intrigues me. Does anyone think that being a firm pro-lifer and being a member of the National Rifle Association is even 5% hypocritical? Being a pro-lifer which indeed I am is the belief that abortion is wrong; the killing of a baby in the womb is wrong. Being a member of the NRA is the belief in the right to bear arms. The right to own a gun, a gun which is there for protection in the home, which in turn could be willingly used to kill someone; even in self defence. Is there not some way that this is also a right to kill a person? even if they are guilty of entering your home etc etc, you are still wanting to be in a club that believes that this is right. Just because the constitution says you have a right to bear arms doesn't mean that morally you do. I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong, I'm just wondering is there a slight hypocrisy going on.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Angels

I've been hearing a lot about angels lately. As a christian I believe in angels. They are biblical and I've in fact seen some. Angels are ministering spirits that do the work of the Lord. There are also angels who do the work of Satan. There is a heavenly battle going on that we don't really know much about; although we do know who has won (that would be Jesus).
Anyways, the reason for my little post about angels is that it seems they are all the rage now. Angel stickers on cars, angel key rings, angel dolls, angel cards and now something I have recently heard about called angel therapy. A girl my wife works with has been into angels for a while and now I've discovered that a few people where i work are into them. One in fact is an angel card reader.
I find it extremely worrying that people are so taken with angels. It's seen as something harmless and something spiritual while not being religious. No responsibility, just nice little messages from your guardian angel. Aparently these angels are the angels of the bible and they do the work of the 'creator'. However they don't point to Jesus, they point to themselves as the helpers or oneself as the author of ones destiny.
As we are told in scripture that there is only one mediator between God and man, that man being Jesus Christ, the reason I find it worrying that people are turning to angels is that the angels they are looking to are not angels from God. I have no doubt that these people who 'communicate' with angels in fact do so, the problem is is that they are communicating with dark angels. Paul says Lucifer himself can disguise himself as a angel of light. These people do not realise that they are messing with something very sinister disguising itself as something beautiful. I read a great quote that says (forgive her slight misunderstanding that God is full of rules)
"For those who choke too easily on God and His rules, theologians observe, angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgmental. And they avail themselves to everyone, like aspirin," Nancy Gibbs.

I did a google search on the 'dangers of angel therapy' and 'a christian response to angel therapy' and so on and did not come up with any good information highlighting the dangers of this practice. If anyone knows of a place with good info please let me know. And if anyone has themselves noticed this trend I'd love to hear your thoughts.