Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Saturday, November 23, 2002

One of the more fascinating studies from the New Testament (aw heck, they're all fascinating to me) is a word study on the Greek reciprocal pronoun ALLELOIS. Examining this word gives Christians a clear idea on what they are to be toward one another, what their reciprocal responsibilities are. Here is the summary from my Doctrine of Reciprocal Responsibilities:

A. Love another, so that you can work together. Romans 12:10,16; 13:8; 14:13; 15:5,7; 1 Corinthians 12:25; 2 Corinthians 13:11-12; Galatians 5:26; 6:2; Ephesians 4:2,32; Colossians 3:9,13,16; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; James 4:11; 5:9,16; 1 Peter 1:22; 4:8-10; 1 John 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12; 2 John 5.
1. Overlook the quirks and idiosyncracies.
2. Forgive the sins.
3. Confess sins, when you commit them against another.
4. Pray for one another.
B. Work together on inculcation. Colossians 3:15-16; Ephesians 5:19-20.
1. Use the most effective mnemonic devices. Music and rhyme are best.
2. May be reminders of principles, applications, or Biblical examples of application.
C. Work together to encourage the weak. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15.
1. Do not let them go without a fight; reach out in compassion.
2. Use easy, ‘milky’ methods of teaching and communication.
3. Teach and admonish; fill in their gaps.
4. Have as the objective their autonomy.
5. This is intended as a temporary situation for each individual.
D. Work together concerning the ministry of the word.
1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God might be proficient, fully equipped for every good work.”
2. The ministry of the Word enables and equips everything that goes on in the local church.
3. The ministry of the Word is the only way that individuals will fulfill the plan of God.
4. There must be teamwork regarding the ministry, so that it functions without a hitch.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Just back from a morning visit to the Littleton, Colorado VFW post. Mo Lowery and I went there to ask whether they needed people to speak and pray at funerals for veterans. About 2000 veterans die every day; 1500 of those from the World War II generation. As we walked in, there was another gentleman on his way out, and we introduced ourselves. He said he was there hoping to get volunteers for the All-Veterans Honor Guard. Hmmm. I may be thick at times, but I can figure out a divine guidance moment just as well as the next guy. He needs chaplains, rifle team members, everyone he can get. He has done 448 funerals at Ft. Logan National Cemetery this year alone, and he is swamped. I promised him that I would do as many as I could, and left him my phone number. I figure it is a great way to give the gospel, and at the same time serve men and their families who have honorably served our great nation.

Courage and Faith.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Many of you may remember my tribute to Rick Rescorla from this past Memorial Day. It turns out I was one the lead surfers on a wave of biographers. Here is Amazon.com's precis to a brand new book on the life of Hardcore One-Six:

"Sometimes from the ashes of tragedy comes an extraordinary, even magical story that inspires, offers hope, and helps heal even the deepest wounds. Heart of a Soldier is such a story, one of love and friendship, danger and courage, redemption and heroism, thrillingly told by one of America's finest writers.

Susan Greer, middle-aged and divorced, had just about given up on love and romance when she met a stranger who, oddly, was jogging in his bare feet.

Born in Britain on the eve of World War II, Rick Rescorla became an American citizen and a much-decorated soldier. His extraordinary life is woven into the military conflicts of his time, from the battlefields of colonial Africa, where he and his best friend, U.S. Army officer Dan Hill, led lives of adventure worthy of Kipling and Conrad, to some of the deadliest battles of Vietnam to the epicenter of modern-day terrorism. Surviving them all with great courage and style, Rescorla seemed invincible.

Rescorla tried to put combat and death behind him, and for a time it seemed as though he had succeeded. With Susan, he found the peace and domesticity he craved. But it turned out that everything in his remarkable life was preparing him for one last act of selflessness that would transcend all that had come before. Then, on September 11, 2001, he faced the ultimate test.

Heart of a Soldier shows us bravery under fire, loyalty to one's comrades, and the miracle of finding happiness late in life. In charge of security for Morgan Stanley, Rick Rescorla successfully got 2,700 of its employees out of the World Trade Center's South Tower on September 11. Then, thinking perhaps of the soldiers who had died in his arms and of Susan, the woman who had "made his life," he went back and began climbing the tower stairs, looking for stragglers."

Looks like this one's on my "must read" list.

Courage and Faith.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

This morning I had a very fine conversation with Nick Bacon, who is the president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He was kind enough to allow me to introduce myself and converse for some time about ministry and veteran's issues. Nick is an evangelical Christian who has strong roots in Berachah Church, where I was ordained.

The connection between faith and military service is well personified in Nick, who was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, and has chosen to continue his service to our great country in many significant ways.

Courage and Faith.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

"For beauty is nothing but
the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains
to destroy us."


Reiner Maria Rilke, The First Elegy
Translated by A.S. Kline

I thought I would offer some thoughts on this theme.
Rilke employs the German word schrecklichen to convey the sense of awe-struck terror, and compares that to schon, or beauty.

I believe he is but a stone's throw from Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

That passage identifies the beauty of nature with the awesome creative power of God. Yet there is something more awesome than the creative power of God. It is the power of His love, which in patience "disdains to destroy us."

Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

And,

John 3:17, "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

Monday, November 18, 2002

This week I am studying a most challenging passage: 2 Peter 2:20-22. Many have stumbled over it with the result that they have compromised their orthodox view of eternal security. Stay tuned for the results.

I am also preparing the Doctrine of the Church for our Christian Basics series.

A simple reminder from your Pastor as the holidays approach:

Psalm 46:10 "Cease striving and know that I am God..."

Slow down enough in your holiday busy-ness so that you do not lose your spiritual momentum.

A quick note to those who want to know when to check in: I post almost every day. Come back often.