Friday, February 27, 2009

Fun with the Stock Market

I've been playing a game over at with the stock market. It's basically practice, but I'll never play the market. I'll stick with Mutual funds, thank you. regardless, if you'd like to check it out, click this link:

Practice invest

Let me know if you join, I'll add you as a friend and watch you loose fake money too. =)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Knowing God

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. --Ephesians 1:15-23

Now that we have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, Paul exhorts to us that we should get to know God. Warren Wriesbe writes, "The believer must grow in his knowledge of God. To know God personally is salvation. To know his increasingly is sanctification. To know his perfectly is glorification. Since we are made in the image of God, the better we know God, the better we know ourselves and each other.It is not enough to know God only as savior. We must get to know Him as Father, Friend, Guide, and the better we know him, the more satisfying our spiritual lives will be."

Know God's Calling

The word, Church, literally means, "called out." Which is really what we are. The Bible makes it clear that each and every person who has been saved through faith, was first called by God. (Galatians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 2:9 and 1 Peter 5:10.) We can take peace in this calling, because Jesus tells us that those who his father has called and delivered can not be snatched from his hand. The fact that God has called us out tells us that there is hope in a future with Christ. Knowing God's call and knowing that we will one day see Christ and be like him should motivate us to live like Christ today.

Know God's Riches

I find it interesting that the riches that this passage talks about are not monetary riches, or a vast knowledge or even "the riches stored up in heaven." This passage talks about God's riches being you and I. God knows that those who he has called and saved are capable of doing great things in his name. God views you and I as valued possessions and just as a man's riches bring glory to his name, you and I will bring glory to the name of God.

Know God's Power

What good is it to have wealth if you are too weak to use it? Paul tells us that our God knows nothing of this dilemma. He is a powerful God. His great power was proven to us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. God did more than merely raising Him from the dead. Christ also ascended to heaven and sat down in the place of authority at the right hand of God. He is more than just our Savior. He is also sovereign over everything. (Acts 2:25-36) There has never been anyone or anything greater than Him and there never will be.

Today my challenge to you is to take Wiersbe's commentary to heart. Get to know your God. Don't stop at His calling, His riches and His power. Go beyond that and journey down the path of sanctification until one day his promise is fulfilled and you know him completely.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've heard the concern that in the NT days there was only one church, but I'm not really sure if that argument holds water. When reading through the Epistles, we find that the different churches of the NT dealt with a variety of problems, including homosexuality, affairs, backsliding and an undisclosed sin that was great enough to have an influential member of a church excommunicated. The one advantage that they had was the instruction of leaders who literally walked with Jesus Christ, yet that didn't stop the church in Ephesus from adopting a completely different set of problems than the church in Corinth. We are much like the NT church, but on a MUCH larger scale.

Now, on to why I believe that denominations are a good thing. There is an idea that is taught called, "Disputable Dispensations." These are basically beliefs that we are allowed to disagree on. They are basically doctrinal differences that are not essential to salvation.

There are certain doctrines that are necessary to salvation. Things like Salvation through faith, the resurrection of Christ and the deity of Christ. These are the doctrines that unify the church as a whole. They are things that Rob Bell, Joel Olsteen and John MacArthur all agree on.

A perfect example of a disputable dispensation is speaking in tongues. The Church of God, in general, believes in speaking in tongues. The Southern Baptist Convention, in general, does not believe in speaking in tongues. Like it or not, this is a fairly divisive doctrine. If half a church broke out into tongues in the middle of every service and the other half flat out doesn't even believe that speaking in tongues is a modern spiritual gift, that would be a problem. It would be a VERY large stumbling block.

The advantage of denominations is that you and I can find a church that teaches and worships in the style that fits us best. If you want to find a more traditional church that believes in predestination and sings traditional hymns, there is probably a Southern Baptist Church with your name on it. If you are looking for a church that sings contemporary praise songs and speaks in tongues, there is probably a Church of Christ with your name on it. Both churches are united in the sense that they include members who are saved through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, faith in that blood and the grace of God, yet to try and combine the two on a weekly basis would pose big problems.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Plagiarism in the Pulpit

Redemption, Plans and Promises

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.--Ephesians 1:7-14

He Paid the Price
The word, “redeem,” means to purchase and set free by paying a price. That is exactly what Jesus did for you and me. Before the saving grace of Jesus Christ, we were slaves to sin, (Romans 6:19.) But Jesus paid the price in blood, to purchase us. Once he purchased us, he then set us free, through his forgiveness. The word, “forgive,” means “to carry away,” and that’s exactly what Jesus came to do. (John 1:29) He has taken away our sins so that no accusation may stand against us.

He Laid the Way
For some time, it may have looked to those in this world like God had lost control. His perfect creation had fallen to sin and nothing was going quite as planned. It may have looked like the sacrificial system had been designed simply as a cover up for man’s sinful nature, (a back-up plan.) But the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ proved to us that God’s plan had really been in action from the beginning. God has now proven to anyone and everyone that he is bigger and more powerful than sin.

He Made a Promise
The final two verses of this passage lay out two very important ideas. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit and we are guaranteed our inheritance. These two verses also lay out a simple process of salvation and how a sinner becomes a saint:
First, he hears the gospel of his salvation. This is the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again. When he hears the word, he believes, receiving salvation through faith, (Ephesians 2:8-9.) When he believes, he is sealed with the Holy Spirit, (which is important, because it speaks to the finality of his salvation.) The passage then goes on to explain to us that the Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance. In the KJV, it uses the word, “earnest,” rather than “deposit.” In Paul’s day, an earnest meant the down payment to guarantee the final purchase of some commodity or piece of property. (A definition that still holds true in the modern real estate market.) This seal is God’s promise, that our salvation is final. Once we are truly born again, we can not be snatched from God’s hand. Otherwise, we would get to keep his down payment and the Holy Spirit would have to accompany us to our fiery grave.
What a mighty God we serve!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Global Warming Has always Bothered Me.

The founder of the Weather Channel is ridiculing Al Gore over his calls for action on global climate change, saying in a column that global warming is a "hoax" and "bad science."

John Coleman, now a weatherman at San Diego's KUSI, wrote on his station's Web site Wednesday that Gore refuses to acknowledge the faulty research on which the idea of global warming is based.

Coleman's lengthy scolding came as the former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would put caps on heat-trapping gases and take the lead on a global climate treaty.

Coleman wrote that the Environmental Protection Agency is "on the verge" of naming CO2 (carbon dioxide) as a pollutant, and that seemingly all of Washington is on board with such CO2 silliness."

"I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it," Coleman wrote, describing the decades-old theory that increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere leads to global warming.

"Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a high jacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history," Coleman wrote.

Read it here.