Thursday, August 31, 2006


The beginning of September, September 9 to be exact, marks my third blogiversary. I started my blog September 9, 2003 to mark moving out to Limon to begin my internship here. It's kind of a "taking stock" moment.

(Another taking stock moment- realizing you're the only male at the county fair wearing sandals. But that's a different kind of moment.)

I've written an awful lot on my blog in the last three years. I know I've tapered off pretty bad over the last couple of months. It just kind of stopped being fun for a while. I frequently think about it, and intend to do more on it, but then in the actual moment it just doesn't happen. And it also occurred to me that all the words I've written over the last couple of years could easily be a book or two, so I started writing a book. But then I discovered that writing a chapter for your book and writing on your blog are really two completely different mental exercises, at least for me, and the one doesn't really transition easily into the other. So I'm working on my book, but that's coming pretty slow anyway and I still wasn't writing anything on my blog. So that's not really any kind of excuse.

It's been a good three years out here on the eastern plains of Colorado. I teach two Bible studies and one Sunday school a week and preach three times on Sunday. I guess you can say you're doing the right thing with your life when people keep wanting you to do more of it. And I'm going to keep going with the blog, though I'm not making any promises. It's kind of amazing to me that I still have readers when I went about two months without a post. So thanks everyone for reading, and I guess I'll keep writing.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


The last two sermons are posted at providencercus.sermonaudio.com. The first is on the subject of common grace, and the second is on the subject of Jesus' equality with the Father. Both are from John 5.

Also, we are resuming our weekly Bibly study, though it will be on Thursday nights for a while instead of Wednesday. We will be webcasting it. Go to providencercus.sermonaudio.com and click on the red "live" button when we start, at about 7:15.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Sign and the Word 

Sunday's sermon is posted. It's from John 4, and it addresses a theme we've seen a couple of times now in the book of John- the supremacy of the word of God over signs and wonders. It seems everyone these days is looking for a sign, some external thing telling them what God's will is. Sometimes people look for miracles or events that might indicate to them God's will for them. Sometimes it's perfectly mundane things like the size of the church building or the numbers or the dollars. But the Word of God is sufficient to tell us everything we need to know, and we should be checking the word for verification, not looking for a sign. It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks for a sign.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dressing up for church 

The last post, humorous though it was, raised in my mind a question that's often brought up- is it necessary to dress up for church? And if so, why?

God is no respecter of persons. God does not look on the outside but on the inside. Dressing up earns us no favor with God. People who do not have nicer clothes should never feel embarassed or ashamed, and people who do have nicer clothes should never make others to feel ashamed.

But there is another spirit that one sees all too frequently in our society, and that is the spirit that says, "God doesn't care what I look like, so I can come to church dressed as slovenly as I want." "Sunday best" was an expression that had more meaning in our culture just a few years ago than it does now, for it used to be taken for granted that you should dress up in your nicest clothes to come to church. Why is that? Did people truly think that God would value them more highly for wearing a jacket and tie or a nice dress? Or perhaps people used to know something about church that has been well-nigh lost to the church today?

Consider Colossians 3:16- "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Note here part of the purpose that the apostle assigns to acts of public worship- "teaching and admonishing one another." This is to say that our public worship is not just an individual act between myself and God. I can do that perfectly well at home by myself or out fishing. If the individual relationship to God is the only part of the Christian life that matters then church would be unnecessary. But Scripture constantly points us to the truth that God saves us by making us part of a body. The membership in the body of Christ is a crucial part of the means by which we are perfected. And when I go to church, it is not simply myself and God there, with a bunch of other people also having an individual relationship with God at the same time. We are there as a body, and we are there to teach and admonish each other.

God can look on my heart, but another believer cannot. He can only look at my outward dress. If I am invited out to a nice restaurant by a friend of mine, and I show up in a dirty t-shirt and cut-off jeans, what does that tell my friend about my respect and affection for him? If I go to a job interview dressed like a bum, what does that tell the prospective employer about my attitude? I can say whatever I like, but my clothes will be part of the message. So it is with church. How I come dressed to church will be an important part of the message to other believers about the importance I place on church, and part of my purpose in being there is to teach and admonish other believers. This is true not only of a pastor, but of every member as well. Col. 3:16 tells them to teach and admonish "one another".

So I'm not in favor of dress codes, and I'm not in favor of turning church into a fashion show. Jesus' warnings in Luke 20:46 are relevant here too, about the Pharisees who loved long robes for the ostentation of it. But I do think we need to consider what message we're sending to other believers about how we value church by the way we dress on Sunday morning.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Peanut Butter Sandwiches 

One of the things I am going to remember about my life during this period is driving around in my car to different places eating peanut butter sandwiches. I have eaten a whole lot more peanut butter sandwiches than I ever thought I would as an adult. It's a good thing I love them so.

Another thing I'm going to remember is what happened this morning. As we were getting ready to go to the first service of the morning, I noticed that Andrea was looking pretty casually dressed. Really casual. I was pretty uncomfortable with how she was dressed actually, but I didn't say anything. I know less than most people about women, but one thing I know is not to criticize how they're dressed. Better men than I have been sunk on that particular rock. So anyway, we went to church, pulled into the parking lot, and as Andrea was getting out she said, "Honey! I forgot to get dressed! Why didn't you say anything?" So I got out and she took the car back home and changed. She was in fact wearing the t-shirt she slept in, and some jeans. I was greatly relieved to find out that she still had a relatively high view of church, and a little concerned that she is apparently losing her mind. Kids will do that to you, though, I'm told.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hello, Hello Again 

I know I haven't posted in forever. But I just put up the last few sermons. I hope things have calmed down a little for a while. Maybe I'll even post again. There's so much going on in the world, but there's about a million people talking about everything that happens already, it's kind of hard to suppose one has anything original to say about any of it. But anyway, the sermons are up. They're all at providencercus.sermonaudio.com. This is the site we're using for a church homepage now. The link on the sidebar points there now too.

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