Despised and Rejected by Men...

Many in the Sudan are calling for the execution of teacher Gillian Gibbons. Her crime? allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

When I read this I was reminded of a past article by John Piper entitled Being Mocked: The Essence of Christ's Work, Not Muhammad's. Following is an excerpt that speaks volumes of the difference between Christ and Muhammad:

"When Muhammad was portrayed in twelve cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the uproar across the Muslim world was intense and sometimes violent. Flags were burned, embassies were torched, and at least one Christian church was stoned. The cartoonists went into hiding in fear for their lives, like Salman Rushdie before them. What does this mean?

It means that a religion with no insulted Savior will not endure insults to win the scoffers. It means that this religion is destined to bear the impossible load of upholding the honor of one who did not die and rise again to make that possible. It means that Jesus Christ is still the only hope of peace with God and peace with man. And it means that his followers must be willing to “share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10)."

We are constantly being bombarded with images and sounds of Christ being mocked, and many of us are even ridiculed openly for our faith. May we be comforted in the face of ridicule by the words of Jesus, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11).

It is Merry Christmas!

This speaks my language!


Save the Environment... have an abortion

"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," 35 year old Toni Vernelli said about the abortion she had ten years ago.

Vernelli's action was to ensure that her carbon footprint would be kept to a minimum. Vernelli, an environmental activist, was later sterilized to protect the planet.

I suppose it was just her little way of saying she cares.... I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, aren't you?

Read the FOX News story HERE or the original Daily Mail story HERE.


Looking Ahead...

As we look ahead to the upcoming new year, Lord willing, I thought it would be helpful to offer some ideas that could help us grow in our faith. Below are a few things that come to mind:

  1. Read the Bible Through - Choose a Bible reading plan to help guide you through a thoughtful & careful reading of Scripture. A good resource is the ESV website which offers several good plans & devotional resources that you can read on the website or receive as a RSS feed. You are also given the option of listening to a recording of the text of the day being read by Max McLean.
  2. Take Inventory of Your Life - Don Whitney provides a helpful list of questions to ask ourselves at the beginning of the year. Prayerfully consider them and seek God’s guidance in making any necessary adjustments or in beginning something new.
  3. Read Books - Here are a few links to help in creating a reading list:

    20 Books to Read on Christianity and Culture by Tullian Tchividjian

    A Small List of Good Books also by Tullian Tchividjian

    Book Buyers Guide by Tim Challies

    Discerning Reader website

This list is by no means exhaustive but I pray it provides a helpful starting point. Please feel free to share any thoughts or ideas that have helped you in the past.


Random Recommendation

I just wanted to take a moment to recommend Google Calendar for those of you who are like me and need help remembering things easily. I suggest you do yourself a favor and utilize this wonderfully useful and user-friendly application.

You can create multiple calendar categories (i.e. Personal, Church, School, Bills, Birthdays & Anniversaries, etc.). Then, the event for that category is displayed as a color-coded entry in the actual calendar. (FYI: your categories are called "Calendars" by Google)

Using a menu on your sidebar you can check mark the custom categories you've created so that only the ones you need/want appear on your calendar. You can also choose different views of your events by clicking an appropriate tab. For instance, you can choose to display this information by Day, Week, Month, Next 4 Days, and as an Agenda (list) view.

By the way, you can add a Bible reading plan from the ESV site that gives you what to read each day. You can find the appropriate information by visiting the ESV Bible iCal Subscription Site.

The navigation is VERY easy, and adding events is easier still. Google Calendar is much easier to use than Outlook and much more practical for everyday use. Of course you can also access it from any computer instead of lugging one around.

I use Gmail as my primary email so it makes it easy to click the "Calendar" link and just keep it open in its own tab in Firefox. I do that for both email and my calendar so they are just a click away!

There you have it! There are other features I did not mention so go check it out. I pray you will be able to use it, as I have, to help you be more productive and responsible.



Kentucky Baptist Association Boots Church

According to their recent newsletter, the Upper Cumberland Association of Harlan, KY expelled Sunshine Baptist Church during the the 2007 annual meeting in September. The online newsletter states that they took this action because the church called a pastor with an Independent Baptist Church background.

In similar business, they recommended that all member churches cease fellowship with this church and also not to accept members from it or provide membership letters for those in your congregation moving to this church.

Surprisingly, there was no indication the new pastor was going to lead the church away from being a cooperating Southern Baptist congregation. Also, to my knowledge, associational leaders did not discuss this matter with the church prior to removal.

Therefore, I am absolutely dumbfounded why such a severe action was taken. I am especially troubled that the association did not share its concerns with the church prior to removal. For all intents and purposes they decide to treat this congregation as a group of unbelievers, but why?

I have heard rumors that it was actually because the new pastor's wife was married once before. If that is the case, why hasn't it been mentioned officially? I have been aggressively beating the bushes trying to get some answers, but to no avail. I want only the best for all parties involved, but based on the facts presented I cannot help but believe their actions are inappropriate.

I really want to be wrong in this situation. It is my home association involving people I’ve known for a long time and respect very much. So, I will be glad to change my opinion and publicly recant my comments if I determine there is more to it than they published.

I am proud to be a Southern Baptist and to serve as a North American Mission Board missionary, but I am truly saddened by such improper action by my home association. May God grant everyone involved humility and a heart willing to seek reconciliation.


Spurgeon Quote

"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


Where is My Award for Humility?


Steadfast & Immovable Mike

I'm sure this isn't very scientific but it's pretty cool! I even scored at a higher level than Dr. Mohler.

(I hope I don't have to explain the humor behind the title of this post)