Showing posts from November, 2014

27 Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Today is the day we focus on thankfulness. Here's 27 things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving Day, November 27.

1. That I am foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified by God, through Jesus Christ. 2. That I am not who I used to be, and that I am in the process of becoming someone even greater. 3. For my amazing wife who loves me despite my imperfections, who never quits on me, and who calls forth the greater man inside me. 4. For my three children, who are filled with passion, conviction, love, energy and I pray, God's Spirit. 5. For the steps I have taken towards greater physical health, including the loss of weight and the completion of two 5K races this year (Jesse James and Turkey Trot - both in Northfield.) 6. That I have a job I enjoy, co-workers I like being around and a company culture that allows me to pursue my interests to help the company grow. 7. For a boss that loves Jesus and talks about him openly. 8. For a small group of friends who are jou…

Notes and Quotes from my sermon "5 Things I'm Thankful For" - Romans 8:28-20

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at Main Street Moravian Church in Northfield (I will be back this Sunday also). I preached out of Romans 8:28-30 and shared 5 things I am thankful for, based on 5 words found in the text.  The words are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. The church was much fuller than usual, and I was happy to have my family and a couple friends in the congregation.  Here are a few things from the sermon that I wanted to share.

- That being said, as a preacher of God’s Word, I do not want to be afraid of the opinions of people, and I can not sugar coat what I feel the Bible overwhelmingly teaches to be true.

- It would be foolish of me to be so afraid of what people think that I would risk the displeasure of God by trying to soften or sweeten His Words.

- However, I believe there’s a way to share these words w/o being a jerk for Jesus.

- Here’s something to remember ---> Our attitude reflects our feelings of gratitude.

- To be a Chr…

Having a Hard day? Read Spurgeon's Description of the Christian's Future Hope!

Shared this quote from Charles Spurgeon in my sermon yesterday. I absolutely love Spurgeon's description of the hope Christian's have for glorification through faith in Christ.

"The night is dark, but the morning comes. Over the hills of darkness the day breaks forth. It may be that the road is rough, but its end is almost in view, you have been climbing up the steep sides of the mountain, and from the top of it you can view your glorious inheritance. True the grave is still before you, but your Lord has snatched the sting from death, and the victory from the grave. Do not, O burdened spirit, limit yourself to the confining miseries of the present hour, but let your eye gaze with fondness on the enjoyment of the past, and view with equal love the infinite blessings of eternity past, when you did not exist, but when God chose you for himself, and wrote your name in his book of life; and then let your glance flash forward to eternity future, to see the mercies which will b…

Does Connecting Foreknowledge and Free Will Get God Off the Hook?

Came across this in a Pastor John MacArthur sermon during my research for my sermon on Sunday. The questions raised in the third paragraph are worth considering for my free-will friends.

Where does salvation begin?  What’s the primitive point at which it all launches?  Verse 29:  “For those whom He foreknew – For those whom He foreknew.”  Now, for some people, this is a meltdown point for accepting the sovereignty of God in salvation.  They say, “Oh, that’s the key.  He foreknew.”  He, because He knows everything that’s going to happen, looked ahead and He saw what people were going to do of their own free will, and since He knew what they were going to do, He chose them to be His own.

Is that what foreknowledge is saying?  He saw what was going to happen – now let me tell you, He does know the future.  He knows the end from the beginning.  He knows everything that’s going to happen before it’s go…

Sanctifying Your Thinking

A great word from Pastor John Piper about the on going need to bring our thinking into conformity with Christ.

Until your mind is conformed to the mind of Christ, the teaching of this text will probably produce conflict, not comfort. This text is meant to comfort you and strengthen you and give you confidence that the best and worst things in your life will work for your good, because you love Christ and are chosen and predestined for glory. But it will only have this effect when God grants you a measure of the mind and spirit of Christ.

I don't say this to scold you or condemn you if you struggle. Just the opposite. I say it to encourage you that just like behavioral conformity to Jesus is a life-long battle with wrong deeds, and emotional conformity to Jesus is a life-long battle with wrong feelings, so intellectual conformity to Jesus is a life-long battle with wrong thinking. So I am never surprised when some folks stumble over the harder teachings of Scripture. Conformity to …

If You Are Married, You Have to Read This....

The following excerpt comes from a very important article....

Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it. In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed and breakfast retreat.

He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. And Gottman made a critical discovery in this study — one that gets at the heart of why some relationships thrive while others languish.

Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from h…

My First Deer! (Well….Kinda)

I have never been deer hunting but for the last couple years I've been interested in it. I know a lot of guys who are hunters and I've been asking questions and hoping for a chance to someday get out in the woods. On Sunday I got my first opportunity.

The call came from a friend at 9PM on Sunday night. "Hey, I shot a deer today. Are you up for a little adventure? Do you want to come out in the woods with me and help me track it and bring it home?"

Um….let me think….ah…..heck yes!

I threw on some old clothes and drove over to his house. He fitted me up with an orange vest, some rubber gloves and a head lamp. It was awesome. Before we left he taught me about the difference between slugs and bullets, hollow tips and full metal jackets, smooth and rifled barrels, lands and groves, and how muzzle-loading is done. More awesomeness.

Then we drove out to the woods. I thought it would be a little more freaky out there in the dark then it was. Maybe I was scared because I wa…

6 Simple Words That Will Instantly Transform Your Marriage….Guaranteed

Want a simple tip that will instantly improve your marriage?

6 words. That's all.

It really is that simple. 6 words to a happier marriage.

Are you ready? Get some paper and a pen. (You're going to want to write this down.)

Ok, here it comes.

Think the best of your spouse.

I made the words big so they stand out. I don't want you to miss them.

Think the best of your spouse.

It really is that simple to instantly transform your marriage.

How can it be? Let me explain.

When you think the best of your spouse you change the atmosphere of the relationship. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. Positive thoughts lead to positive feelings. Positive thoughts lead to more gracious, patient, honoring, respectful, kind and tender words. And those things take the relationship to a whole notha level.

Here's the deal. I'll bet you could tell me 10 things that bug you about your spouse pretty quick. "He's annoying." "She nags me." "He never gets any…

Doing Drills Creates the Skills You Need to be Successful, in Life and Faith

"You have to do drills, in order to develop the skills, that you need to be successful."

These are the words I spoke to my daughter after her basketball practice last weekend. She was frustrated about all the drills she has to do during practice. In her mind, it would be much more fun to just play games.

I get where she is coming from. I played hockey from the time I was five until the year I graduated from Bethel University. In those 17 years I went to a lot of practices I didn't enjoy. I'm sure I complained to my parents many times about how much I disliked doing the drills and conditioning.

Thing is, the older I get the more I realize the importance of practice. Sure playing the game is more fun, but what takes time to understand is that the game is more fun when you have mastered the skills in practice. Shooting the game winning free throw only happens after you've shoot thousands of free throws in an empty gym. By doing drills you develop the skills to succ…