Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pro-Life Argument in 1 min

If the unborn is growing, it must be alive. And if it has human parents, it must be human. And living humans, or human beings like you and I, are valuable aren’t they? From conception, all that’s added to the unborn is a proper environment and adequate nutrition. But those are the same things all of us need. And not only that. There’s one quality all of us have equally that demands equal treatment: we all have a human nature. Racism and sexism are wrong because they pick out external differences and ignore the underlying similarity between men and women, blacks and whites. And my concern is for your rights as a woman,
that you can vindicate them against the will of the majority, but you can only vindicate your rights if you base them on your human nature. But the unborn also has that same human nature, so shouldn’t we protect him from discrimination just like we protect minorities and women? (1 minute)
To download this in PDF form click here. It comes with a good explanation on how he uses this.
© 2005 Steve Wagner Stand to Reason www.str.org

(HT: Z)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007


World Trad
e Center Movie

Maki, Yuki and I watched this movie tonight. For any who haven't seen it yet,
I highly recommend it. There is a lot of inspiration here for anyone. In fact,
it really made me think about the message I gave at church on Sunday about
how our lives are short, just like mists (James 4:13-15). Through this movie
I was refreshed to see this point driven home again, as well as to see the
name of Christ honored instead of degraded. Unlike Hollywood, true
stories often have these positive messages if we would look for them.
What an encouraging REAL-LIFE unsung hero - A guy who was willing
to die in order to help others live. There is no greater love than this, just
as Jesus himself said. (John 15:13) Jesus inspired this hero, and this movie
declared that truth!
Finally, to see as the two men faced death, that Jesus himself was there to
help them... Wow, I don't think I can expect too much more from Oliver
Stone and the rest. Praise God! - Please see this movie!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

We love Noah's smiles, but I wonder if he will laugh as much as this little guy!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Unbinding the Rules

Recently a good friend, whom I respect very much, posted an article
about "Origins" on his blog. In it he highlights the view of (in my mind) a fairly new
gap theory endorsed by John Sailhamer and a few other modern Hebrew
scholars. As with many modern theologians, Sailhamer goes to great
lengths to make the Bible agree with modern "science" in his book, Genesis Unbound.

If you read this blog much, you know that I don't have a lot of respect for
naturalistic "Origins Science". The name itself is an oxymoron. Science in
its very definition cannot deal with things in the past as it based on repeatable
and testable hypotheses. Things that happened in history are reserved for historians
and/or theories alone.

We need, rather, to start with the Bible and then go to empirical science as
we look at the Bible. Many deceptions and lies get started because we look at
"science" before we look at the Bible. If we want to do real science as we
consider the beginning, we must look to the only Scientist who was there and
who observed everything from the beginning - God Himself. That is where we

Read a great critique of Sailhamer's book here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Daddy playing with Noah
Noah earns "World's Cutest Boy Award"!Noah, a favorite on this blog, earned the award by a panel of judges - (Maki and I) last Tuesday. Upon reception of the award his comments were, "AA...AAA!"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Living Life as a Mist

(The intro to a message I will give at chapel next Sunday.)

“Hey, waz up?!”

Mike Shelton was a super-genki athletic friend I first met at college and this how he would always greet me.

Over the school year I started to get to know Mike better and he started to open his heart up more to me.

One day we were talking about God and he told me that he didn’t know if God really existed or not.

Growing up in the Catholic Church he hadn’t seen anything so wonderful to lead him to believe that God truly existed.

One day as we talked, he told me about his indecision.

“Maybe I just haven’t seen enough of God yet to really believe.” He said.

From talking to him, I knew that Mike had an open mind, so a few weeks later I had an idea and I proposed it to him.

“Would you like to take one month with me and look together at what Jesus had to say about himself in the Bible?” I asked.

“After that you can be more clear about what you think about God, Jesus and the Bible.”

I thought Mike might turn me down, but instead he said, “Yeah, that sounds good.”

For the next four Tuesday’s Mike and I met and read the Bible together, talking about what Jesus had said and done.

At the end of those four weeks he told me that he didn’t want to stop but that he wanted to continue to study the Bible with me.

During this time Mike continued to see love from God and true friendship through his other Christian friends. He wanted to know what made them different.

After two and a half months of meeting weekly, the school year ended, and Mike still wasn’t clear about what he believed.

He was going to go back to his hometown and I would not be able to see him for 3 months.

Of course I was a disappointed, but I just decided to trust God and keep praying for him.

That summer, God heard our prayers.

When Mike came back to school three months later, he excitedly told me, “As I was reading the Bible and thinking, I began to pray and suddenly I knew that I believed. Mark, I know that God is real! As I trusted God, He filled me with tons of joy and love! Mark, I accepted Jesus into my heart!”

I was so excited for him, especially when I saw that his life really was changing from the inside out.

He told me, “Before I feared becoming a Christian because I didn’t want to have to go to church every week.

Now, I want to read my Bible and talk to God and talk about Him to others all the time! It is not a “have to”, it’s a “want to”! My heart is like brand-new!

A few weeks later as we sat down for Bible study Mike said, “You know Mark, I can’t wait to go to heaven.

I just feel God’s love so much in my heart. I want to be with God more than anything!”

While I was happy for him, I also tried to reassure him that God might have some good plans for him here on earth too.

He said, “Yeah, but I just want to be with God and see Him face to face.”

I was so happy with how much God was doing in His heart.

Two weeks later I got a phone call from a friend.

“You may want to sit down first,” he said. “Mark, Mike died last night.”

“He was swimming in the university’s swimming pool and drowned.”

I almost thought it was some cruel joke.

Mike was a state-champion swimmer! How could he have drowned!

I just laid on my bed for hours staring at the ceiling in utter shock.

I couldn’t imagine that my friend Mike, this fiery, young, healthy 19–year-old guy was dead!

All I could say over and over was, “Why?” and “How?”

Finally, after the shock wore off, I began to thank God that he had accepted Christ and that Mike was now living in heaven.

Then I recalled what Mike had said to me about wanting to go to heaven.

“I just want to see God face to face!”, He had said.

With a smile I jumped up and down and shouted with joy, “This is where Mike wanted to be!”

Jesus had heard his heart’s desire and had brought him to a joy beyond what this world could ever imagine in heaven with God.

I had to rethink: Was Mike’s death at the young age of 19 really the worst thing?

Can I ask you? Are you ready to die?

Mike’s death made me think about that: Am I ready to die right now?

It also made me think about whether I am living this short life rightly.

I determined after that to live for things that truly matter and will truly last. I don’t know either when my time will be up.

I realized that I wanted to help others find full life with God in Christ, the true life that will never end.

James 4:13-14 says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will we will live to do this or that.”

According to the Bible your life and mine are like mists.

Our lives are just breathes of vapor in the air on a cold day.

The vapor comes out for two seconds and then it vanishes.

All that we can see is fading from us fast and will soon be gone.

All of my clothes, my computer, my TV and car are vapors, and nothing more.

They are all vanishing into the wind. Everything we have will soon be gone.

So if this life is vanishing quickly, what should we live this short life for?

And how should we live?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Darwin's Deadly Legacy

"The Chilling Impact of Darwin's Theory of Evolution"
Pre-view the Dr. Kennedy special online. If you are in America,
you can pre-watch it and invite your friends to see it on T.V.
on August 26 & 27.
Spurgeon: My need for private prayer

(from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotional)

"The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out."
--Leviticus 6:13

Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here, there- fore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and experimental religion.

Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the Church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbours, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world. Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the Church and in the world.

The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing towards Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart's fire, they are live coals; let us attend sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Al Mohler on the Division Between Protestants and Roman Catholics

Al Mohler is neither offended nor surprised at the statement approved by Pope Benedict XVI that the Roman Catholic Church is the only institutional form in which the Church of Christ subsists. On the contrary, Mohler appreciates the Pope's candor and sees this as an opportunity to discuss one of the defining issues of our division with respectful candor and clarity. His essay is worth quoting at length:
It all comes down to this -- the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and the Pope as the universal monarch of the church is the defining issue. Roman Catholics and Evangelicals should together recognize the importance of that claim. We should together realize and admit that this is an issue worthy of division. The Roman Catholic Church is willing to go so far as to assert that any church that denies the papacy is no true church. Evangelicals should be equally candid in asserting that any church defined by the claims of the papacy is no true church. This is not a theological game for children, it is the honest recognition of the importance of the question.

The Reformers and their heirs put their lives on the line in order to stake this claim. In this era of confusion and theological laxity we often forget that this was one of the defining issues of the Reformation itself. Both the Reformers and the Roman Catholic Church staked their claim to be the true church -- and both revealed their most essential convictions in making their argument. As Martin Luther and John Calvin both made clear, the first mark of the true Church is the ministry of the Word -- the preaching of the Gospel. The Reformers indicted the Roman Catholic Church for failing to exhibit this mark, and thus failing to be a true Church. The Catholic church returned the favor, defining the church in terms of the papacy and magisterial authority. Those claims have not changed.

I also appreciate the spiritual concern reflected in this document. The artificial and deadly dangerous game of ecumenical confusion has obscured issues of grave concern for our souls. I truly believe that Pope Benedict and the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith are concerned for our evangelical souls and our evangelical congregations. Pope Benedict is not playing a game. He is not asserting a claim to primacy on the playground. He, along with the Magisterium of his church, believes that Protestant churches are gravely defective and that our souls are in danger. His sacramental theology plays a large role in this concern, for he believes and teaches that a church without submission to the papacy has no guaranteed efficacy for its sacraments. (This point, by the way, explains why the Protestant churches that claim a sacramental theology are more concerned about this Vatican statement -- it denies the basic validity of their sacraments.)

I actually appreciate the Pope's concern. If he is right, we are endangering our souls and the souls of our church members. Of course, I am convinced that he is not right -- not right on the papacy, not right on the sacraments, not right on the priesthood, not right on the Gospel, not right on the church.

The Roman Catholic Church believes we are in spiritual danger for obstinately and disobediently excluding ourselves from submission to its universal claims and its papacy. Evangelicals should be concerned that Catholics are in spiritual danger for their submission to these very claims. We both understand what is at stake.

The Rev. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, responded to the press by saying that the Vatican's "exclusive claims" are "troubling." He also said, "what may have been meant to clarify has caused pain."

I will let Bishop Hanson explain his pain. I do not see this new Vatican statement as an innovation or an insult. I see it as a clarification and a helpful demarcation of the issues at stake.

I appreciate the Roman Catholic Church's candor on this issue, and I believe that Evangelical Christians, with equal respect and clarity, should respond in kind. This is a time to be respectfully candid -- not a time to be offended.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Missionary Quotes

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." -- Nate Saint, missionary martyr

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

"Someone asked, 'Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved?' It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved." -- Charles Spurgeon

"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light" -- John Keith Falconer

"Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ." -- Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan

more here

Friday, July 06, 2007

Trey Hillman
Trey Hillman, the manager for the Japan and Asian Major League Champion
Nippon Ham Fighters, came to speak at our school last week. As a Christian,
Mr. Hillman's first dream of making it to the Major Leagues was ousted by
the sheer lack of talent. At the age of 26 he quit his AA League team and took
a job as a manager of another minor league team. He became one of the youngest
managers ever. When God throws a curve-ball (sorry for the pun!), it is
easy sometimes just to get down and feel like giving up. Mr. Hillman, on the other
hand realized that God was providing him with another way to reach his dreams of
going to the Majors.
As the top manager in Japan, Mr. Hillman has an opportunity to speak to thousands
about his faith in Christ, including his players. Many of them have been encouraged
and challenged by him. Please pray for God's blessings on his "ministry"!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Needed: Godly Fathers - Dr. Kennedy

Watch these two videos
on being a good father.
As you can see, I'm praying and thinking about this
a lot lately!