Friday, December 29, 2006
Click on this link to read the story.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Next Sunday we will get to the application. Should be interesting......
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
1Cor. 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
1Cor. 6:13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.
1Cor. 6:14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.
1Cor. 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!
1Cor. 6:16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”
1Cor. 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
1Cor. 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
1Cor. 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1Cor. 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
In Canada, Boxing Day is observed as a holiday, except (in some cases) for those in the retail business. Boxing Day and the days immediately following are when many retail stores sell their Christmas and retired model products by holding clearance sales. Some shoppers will line up for hours at night (sometimes before midnight and after midnight on December 26) for retailers to open their doors. Except in Quebec, retailers often open their stores earlier than usual, such as 6 or 7 am. Some retail companies internally refer to the sales week after Christmas as the "thirteenth month." (See Boxing Week.) It is similar to Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in the United States.
Oh, to be in Canada where the shopping is at its peak. Can I say, NOT!
Boxing Day 2005 was the single largest economic transaction day ever in the history of Canadian commerce (according to Visa). Individual big box stores can even gross over $1,000,000(CAN) on one single boxing day.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Click on this link to view the article
Thursday, December 21, 2006
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (New American Standard Bible)
6Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
7but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
8the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
9but just as it is written,
"THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
16For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
What is cohousing? It is sometimes called sustainable housing. Here is a description from the website of the project.
Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing that attempts to overcome the alienation of modern subdivisions where few people really get to know their neighbors. It is characterized by private dwellings with their own kitchen, living-dining room, bedrooms, etc, but also extensive common facilities. This type of housing began in Denmark in the late 1960s, and spread to North America in the late 1980s. There are now more than a hundred co-housing communities completed or in development across the United States and Canada.
Cohousing communities balance the traditional advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors. These cooperative neighborhoods are among the most promising solutions to many of today's most challenging social and environmental concerns.
Cohousers are united by a mutual desire to live an environmentally sound lifestyle and enjoy a cooperative, intergenerational neighborhood. They value energy and resource efficient design, good architecture and natural beauty. Cohousers have no common political or religious orientation.I was very impressed with the people interviewed, and why they wanted to live in this type of community. Folks park their car outside the community and walk to their dwelling. The farm is central to the community. I was even impressed to find out that some people paid more for their units so that other units could be offered to low income families with small children or farmers who could not afford the cost of the homes.
It truly impressed me that people, who are not necessarily Christians are taking seriously developing community and avoiding the pitfalls of the American lifestyle.
One man summed it up nicely when asked what he is giving up to live in the cohousing community. He said, I am giving up not knowing my neighbors and living an individualistic lifestyle where I pull my car in my garage after a day of work and ignore the people who live around me.
What do you think?
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The normal routine in the morning at the Wakefield home is for me to take the kids to school. as we make our way to the school, I usually "entertain the troops" by being a little goofy or talking in funny voices. Just for fun.
Normally, I drop Nikki, our Kindergarten student at the front of the school, and the teacher meets us there at the curb. Yesterday, right before we pull up, Nikki turns to me, and says......"Daddy, don't say anything" Referring to my goofy voices and conversation. Apparently, I was embarrassing her.
I complied with my daughter's request, but it told me something about the stage of life we are in with our family. My kids are growing up fast.
Monday, December 18, 2006
I flew back to MHT just in time to catch the final performance of the Nutcracker and I was not disappointed. From the participants, they said it was their best performance of the weekend.
I was very impressed with the students and of course our daughter in particular. It was very well attended and I am hoping it was a success for the dance studios involved.
Congrats dancers, I thought it was a big success!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Being apart of a wedding is always encouraging and a privilege. I am thankful to have the opportunity and enjoy seeing old friends.
Perrysburg has really changed since I left, and I am glad. There is a Starbucks right around the corner from where I am staying. For West Coasters, never a big surprise, but when I lived in the Midwest, coffee places were scarce. Glad I have somewhere to boost my caffeine!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
1Cor. 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
1Cor. 2:7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
1Cor. 2:8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
1Cor. 2:9 but just as it is written,
“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1Cor. 2:10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
BTW - Rhode Island has the lowest percentance of evangelicals in the country, less than 2% of the population.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Keller does a fantastic job of articulating the problem the church has in a post modern, post Christian world. I really think it is worth your time to listen to his presentation.
The talk is over an hour, but if you listen just to the first 20 minutes you will see what I am talking about. I think you will find it to be insightful and helpful.
Click on this link to hear the article...
Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
I have been slowly making my way through the Desiring God Conference 2006 and listen to Mark on a trip up North. I found it very thought provoking and I was impressed.
If your interested, click on this link to listen to his talk. Be prepared to be somewhat shocked, but challenged.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
1Cor. 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
1Cor. 2:3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
1Cor. 2:4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1Cor. 2:5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
The theme over the last couple of weeks has been foolishness. We first began with the foolishness of the cross. Next we moved on to the foolishness of the church. And finally, this week we will look at the foolishness of the messenger, the Apostle Paul.
This is not Paul making fun of himself or his work. But rather wanting to make a important point. And his point can be clearly seen in verse 5 => so that your faith would rest on the power of God.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
At an "Old Fashion Christmas Celebration"in Hillsboro, NH, the local Chamber of Commerce banned scripture reading at a local church. The minister was going to read a story about Christmas and then a scripture passage out of one of the gospels. After some pressure, the Chamber reversed its decision. The headline on the reversal was..
"Hillsboro Chamber To Allow Bible Reading At Christmas Event"
This is such a great example of the secularism of New England.
It is a Christmas Celebration
They have called it an old fashioned celebration
The event is inside the church
This was featured on the local New Hampshire TV Station. Go to www.wmur.com for more on the story.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Fight the good fight of faith, and God will give you spiritual mercies.
Do not waver, but give him that which he desires, your hearts; it is the heart the Lord Jesus Christ wanteth; and when you have an inward principle wrought in your hearts by this same Jesus, then you will feel the sweetness and pleasure of communion with God.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
1Cor. 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1Cor. 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
1Cor. 1:29 so that no man may boast before God.
1Cor. 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
1Cor. 1:31 so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”
This Sunday we are going to discuss......boasting. Even the most humble folks in our midst brag about something, whether it is their children, car, home, spouse, job, etc... We are proud about something and like others to know it.
But there is something we need to be very careful about when it comes to boasting, and that is related to our salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul warns the Corinthians about this, and it is a warning we should take seriously as well.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
My being on the road has kept me off the blogging trail, so I hope to improve my posting now that the holiday season is over.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
It is my hope that this passage will remind us that the cross is a very important part of who we are.
18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19For it is written,
"I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The Bible is certainly not silent on the issue of faith. Faith is central to the message of the gospel.
How about you? Do you have a strong faith?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. - Romans 10:17
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
1Cor. 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
1Cor. 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
1Cor. 6:4 So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?
1Cor. 6:5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,
1Cor. 6:6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?
1Cor. 6:7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
1Cor. 6:8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.
1Cor. 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
1Cor. 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
1Cor. 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
In this passage, Paul is very frustrated with the church, and it can be seen by the number of questions he has on their behavior. We will briefly look at Roman Law, as well as why Paul is so frustrated. The fact that we live in a lawsuit happy culture should provide numerous application for us in the 21st Century.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted.
The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Since it is Friday, I thought I would list a few movies that are out that I thought look interesting. To be honest, I have not seen one of these movies. Comments are welcome.
Deliver Us from Evil by Amy Berg
I will be mentioning this movie in the Sermon this Sunday. A disturbing documentary on a RCC priest and his victims.
It is also a documentary on a movement in evangelical churches to raise children to "fight" for Jesus. I am not exactly sure what is going on, but it is mentions in the film they are trying to counter the terrorist camps in the Middle East. Not sure what to think of that...
Fast Food Nation
This is a spoof on the fast food industry in North America. If you saw the movie, Supersize Me, also a movie critical of the fast food influence on America you will probably like this film.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
This Sunday we have one of the "hot topics" to cover in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. I think it will be an interesting sermon and one with lots of application. The exegetical work on this passage was very interesting. We need to understand such phrases as...
"absent in body, but present in spirit"
"deliver such one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh"
"Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump"
These phrases as well as the whole text are important for us to interpret and apply to our lives today. Always remember, the Word of God is not mere information on a page, but living waters that can transform a human heart.
1Cor. 5:1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.
1Cor. 5:2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
1Cor. 5:3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.
1Cor. 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
1Cor. 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Cor. 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?
1Cor. 5:7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
1Cor. 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1Cor. 5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
1Cor. 5:10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
1Cor. 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
1Cor. 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
1Cor. 5:13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
Friday, November 03, 2006
“Worship is the supremacy of God in the affections of His people.” - John Piper
There are many people, Christians, who feel that corporate worship is not that important. Personal Worship or simply time with God is enough to give honor to who God is and what He is doing in your life.
Personal Worship is important, do not get me wrong. But God's design is also that the people of God gather to worship. This is evident through out the Bible, Old and New Testaments. God's people gathering together for worship of their creator, sustainer and redeemer.
Is that important to you? To gather with other believers for worship? I hope so....
Psa. 86:9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
Rev. 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
Rev. 7:10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
1Cor. 4:11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
1Cor. 4:12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
1Cor. 4:13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
1Cor. 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
1Cor. 4:15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
1Cor. 4:16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
1Cor. 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
1Cor. 4:18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.
1Cor. 4:19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
1Cor. 4:20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
1Cor. 4:21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The seven week DVD series is produced by a church in London that has done a fantastic job of explaining the gospel from the gospel of Mark. The church that put this together is the church John Stott is associated with.
We are excited about getting this up and running and hope it will be a helpful resource to explain what we believe, and help others better understand the Christian faith.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Many folks with a Presbyterian or Lutheran background like to remember on the last Sunday of October the famous event of October 31, 1517. The key figure is Martin Luther, the famous church father who protested the abuses of the Catholic Church in the 16th Century. If you read this article about him, you will discover why this date is so significant and why many churches remember it as Reformation Sunday and sing, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God".
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
1Cor. 4:2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
1Cor. 4:3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
1Cor. 4:4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
1Cor. 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
1Cor. 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
1Cor. 4:7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
1Cor. 4:8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
1Cor. 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Theme: Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World
Date: September 29 – October 1, 2006
Location: Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN
Speakers: David Wells, Don Carson, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll, Voddie Baucham, and John Piper.
Check out the conference online, I have download some of the talks already and I am looking forward to listening when I get a chance.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I got to share Saturday Night about New England and Nashua and was able to expand on that during the Sunday School hour the next morning. I had a lot of folks come up to me afterwards and were very encouraging. After lunch on Sunday, I travelled to Charlotte Douglas Airport and waited for my flight back to Boston. The flight was uneventual and I got home late Sunday Night.
The featured speaker was Dr. Henry Krabbendam. A very good speaker and really challenged the church and missionaries to follow Paul's example as described in Philippians 1, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Friday, October 20, 2006
There are 14 missionaries from all over. Military chaplains, overseas missionaries, local missionaries, local ministries, college outreach, church planting, etc.... A great diversity for sure. There is something wonderful about being in an atmosphere with an emphasis on missions, evangelism and outreach. Those who were gathered were either directly involved in missions or were supporting it. It was a great start to the weekend conference.
Saturday is the highlight of the conference. For supper, an authetic southern BBQ followed with a talent night. I sure do love Southern Hospitality!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I am spending the next several days attending a missions conference at First Presbyterian Church in Stanley, NC. This PCA church has invited me to share about church planting in Northern New England as well as our efforts in Nashua, NH.
I am looking forward to sharing with folks about the needs and realities of ministry in Northern New England. I will do my best to keep up the blog while I am down here and give folks an idea of how it is going. Please pray for me at this important time that it would be fruitful and beneficial for the Kingdom.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Portsmouth Tea Company is founded by an elder in our Presbytery, Marshall Malone. From the news I am hearing, it is fabulous tea and the Company is rapidly expanding as their customer base is growing.
I am looking forward to trying some soon and I thought I would pass it on to anyone who might be interest. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
This Sunday we will continue to look at chapter 3 of First Corinthians. This passage has been prone to misunderstandings for centuries. The body as a Temple, Purgatory as well as the understanding of the church have been all affected by this passage. I hope to clear up these misunderstandings and see what the passage does say about the church. It should be interesting.
1 Corinthians 3:10-17 (New American Standard Bible)
11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
14If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
15If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
What has gotten a lot of people talking is that religion and reason is being considered as a core course at Harvard. It is currently not offered and the reason for the change is to prepare students for the real world. I personally think the recommendations make sense. But if you read the article not everyone is pleased. What do you think?
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I am looking forward to his visit and I think it will be eye opening for us as a congregation as we hear about his ministry to one of the most prestigious schools in the world. It is also my hope that we will be partnering with him in this endeavor through prayer and support.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Acccording to the ARDA, American Religious Data Archive, the national average of evangelical churches in 2000 is 14%. Roughly 1/7 of the population of the US attends an evangelical church. In the Bible belt, you have 25% of the population of North Carolina going to evangelical churches and 39% in Mississippi.
The states that rank below the national average are found on both coasts. For Washington, it is 10%, California is 7 percent. But the lowest percentage comes from New England, Rhode Island at just 1.5%.
New Hampshire and Massachusetts are not very far behind at 2.5% & 2.3%. New England comparied to any other region or state has the least amount of evangelical churches in the United States. Sometimes I feel like a missionary, and looking at this research I understand why. New England is very much a mission field.
A very humbling statistic.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Next Saturday, Oct. 7 @ 11:00 a.am. we will meet to travel up to Mt Kearsarge and have a picnic and a time of sharing. After our sharing time, we will hike to the peak (which is not too far) and spent some time enjoying the colors and spending some time in prayer in small groups. The 360 view is spectular and with the colors at its peak it should be amazing.
We will conclude this extended time on Sunday after the worship service with a luncheon.
We hope to see you there!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
So far the discussion has been very interesting and already we are seeing some fruit in this area. I have written a paper on the subject entitled, "A Biblical & Historical Foundation for the Reformation of New England" It is currently being proofread by a number of colleagues and when it is updated, I will share some parts of it here on the blog.
A number of guys believe we are on the verge of something here, and I think they are right. As we have shared with some folks about this purpose and vision for NE, we see excitement and agreement that this makes sense.
God is a God of reformation, just examine the scriptures for yourself and you will see.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
1Cor. 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
1Cor. 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
1Cor. 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
1Cor. 3:4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
1Cor. 3:5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
1Cor. 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
1Cor. 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
1Cor. 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1Cor. 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
We will be looking at Paul's reason for correcting the Corinthian Church in the issue of spiritual maturity and the overall methodology of how a church functions. Churches are unique institutions that are set up differently in comparison to businesses or schools. I think it will be worth while for us to explore this as a church and see how it applies to us.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
One tour in particular got my attention, the 14 Day Reformation Tour. This will give you an idea what type of nerd I am when it comes to church history. Honestly, I would do a trip like this in a heartbeat. This sounds so interesting to me seeing where Luther, Zwingli & Calvin began the reformation of Western Europe.
Monday, September 25, 2006
When I was flying over New England last Weds you could see a lot of sugar maples that had turned red. So the landscape was red and green. It looked like there were fires dotted everywhere.
As of this weekend, we are moving into full swing color changes. Lots of colors are showing in my neighborhood and leaves are falling. Yellow, red, orange can be spotted here and there. Not a lot of colors, but you can tell we are getting close to the peak season.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I was reminded how critical prayer is to a church planter. Bruce Finn, the coordinator for the Philadelphia Church Planting Network stated that at the begining all they had was prayer. No sugar daddies, no large sums of money laying around. Vision & Prayer were it.
You know, it is so easy to think that if I just had a million dollars, or if just the right church got involved, or if just the right person stepped in we would be accomplishing our goals. Those are good things, but they DO NOT replace God and our need to pray.
Vision & Prayer comes from the top down. The PCA men in Philadelphia were able to talk to elders and congregations about the importance of reaching lost people. Once the Presbytery, congregations and sessions were on board, that was when things got interesting.
It has reminded me of the importance of being on my knees and praying for the ministry in Northern New England. It also has reminded me of the importance of vision. I need to be constantly talking to people about reaching lost people and a vision for NE. With vision and prayer, things can indeed get interesting.
"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply" -- Hudson Taylor
"Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God" -- William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
What was encouraging is that these guys are just ordinary fellows who have been committed to seeing change in Philly. It has taken 10 years, but their persistance is paying off. There were a number of ideas I walked away with that I think can be transfered to New England. I will blog about this some more in the future. Right now I need to catch a flight to Manchester!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
1Cor. 1:11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
1Cor. 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
1Cor. 1:13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
1Cor. 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
1Cor. 1:15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.
1Cor. 1:16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
1Cor. 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
The Apostle Paul was outraged that the church in Corinth had become so fragmented that he urges them in the beginning of the letter to be unified around the gospel. I wonder what Paul would think of the church of North America in the 21st Century? One website that tracts Christian denominations suggests that there are over 635 different denominations in the US alone.
It would not suprise me that Paul would have strong rhetoric for us today. We need to take seriously this warning from Paul not to be divided.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Christianity Explored (CE)- Allison and I are looking forward to hosting a group in our home this fall. CE is a great tool for explaining Christianity. Should be time well spent.
Fall Retreat - still working on this, but hoping to put something together for Oct. 7/8 I need to get on this ASAP
Small Groups - People are signing up and we hope to have 2 groups meeting.
Monthly Prayer Meetings - 2nd Sunday of the month during the Sunday School hour. A great way to start the week and focus on prayer.
Thats just a snapshot, but that will give you an idea what is happening.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The Weather Channel has a helpful map to figure out the peak time if that interests you. I will use the blog to keep you folks from outside the region updated on the colors.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
In a Time poll, 17 percent of Christians surveyed said they considered themselves part of such a movement, while a full 61 percent believed that God wants people to be prosperous.
I could really go off on this but I will resist. It really makes me sad and frustrated that gospel beleiving people feel that God should bless them in this way. The article mentions Joel Osteen's Lakewood in Houston; T.D. Jakes' Potter's House in south Dallas; and Creflo Dollar's World Changers in Atlanta -- are Prosperity or Prosperity Lite pulpits.
My favorite quote comes from Rick Warren......
Fellow megapastor Rick Warren, whose book The Purpose Driven Life has outsold Osteen's by a ratio of 7 to 1, finds the very basis of Prosperity laughable. "This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy?" he snorts. "There is a word for that: baloney. It's creating a false idol. You don't measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you - 1 Corinthians 1:1-6
This Sunday we will finish our intro to 1 Corinthians and I think this past Sunday was very useful. My goal was to establish the setting of the letter. I think I was able to do it and so this Sunday we will look at the reasons for the letter, the structure as well as the topics that are covered in Paul's letter.
If you missed the first part, don't worry, we are working on getting sermons online.
Monday, September 11, 2006
First, like most Americans, I remember exactly what I was doing that day. We were in Vancouver waking up to the news and shocked by what we saw. It was also my first day of class at Regent, and it made for a very surreal experience. I really appreciate my profs that night who prayed for the Americans and offered words of comfort and hope.
Secondly, 9/11 started in Nashua in one respect. Not more than a mile from my house is Boston Center, FAA control building that monitors flights over the Northeast portion of our country. It was in that building that ATC realized that there were planes flying overhead that were not responding to calls and that turned the transponders off. Nothing like this had happened before and I am sure they never expected what was going to happen next.
A very very sad day indeed.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
This Sunday we are beginning a new series in the book 1 Corinthians. There is so much to cover that we will be doing this introduction over 2 Sundays. I promise, this should be very educational as well as useful. This Sunday we will cover the Apostle Paul, the City of Corinth and the church in Corinth.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
We had a great time and in a few hours we saw.....
Air & Space Museum out near Dulles Airport
One of the highlights was watching the President leave the White House on Marine One. Very cool.
To say we are all exhausted is an understatement. but I am sure this will be a Labor Day that we will not soon forget.
Friday, September 01, 2006
"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supplies."
- J. Hudson Taylor
The message is clear, God's work is done by God, not by me. He is looking for servants willing to submit to His will. If we follow God, we will lack for nothing.
Jesus said to his disciples....
“When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” - Luke 22:35
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Yesterday I was chatting with a friend of mine who is church planting in Tulsa, OK and is looking into new facilities for the church. His church is very international and has a desire to reach the many nationalities represented in Tulsa that are currently in need of the good news of Christ.
So we were talking about how older church buildings have sacred spaces with added facilities, versus the more modern emphasis on multipurpose rooms that can provide a number of options. On a pragmatic level. the multipurpose concept is very user friendly. It can by a gym, sanctuary, hall, whatever....
But there is also something appealing about a sanctuary. When you are reaching people who have grown up going to temples, mosques, shrines, etc...... , would it not be better for the church to demonstrate the importance of a sacred space?
Now I do recongnize that you can go overboard with sacred spaces. I am not a big fan of some Gothic Cathedrals that are ornate. I tend to like Romanesque Catherdrals. Simple & Sacred.
I am inclined to side with my friend that a sanctuary is important. We need space to be silent, to draw close to God and a sanctuary has that ability. I do tend to be pragmatic so part of me likes the multiuse concept, but I am not sure I would want to give up the value of having a sanctuary.
What do you think? Comments?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Dr. Bruce Waltke, an Old Testament professor at RTS Orlando and Regent College in Vancouver disagrees with that only application. Dr. Waltke who has written the best commentary on Proverbs does a wonderful job exegeting Proverbs 31 from a Biblical perspective that is not limited to just one simple application.
Consider just this for a moment. Why do you think the book of Proverbs ends on this poem? Is it just tacked onto the end of Proverbs with no real connection to the rest of the book, or is it meant to be understood as a summary to Proverbs? Find out Sunday as we look at Proverbs 31 from a fresh perpective.
Monday, August 28, 2006
I was impressed that our kids were able to handle the climbs and hope to get one more trip in before the snow flies. This was certainly our last summer trip given that school starts tomorrow.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Nothing but prayer can bring us out of todays' warp speed. Real prayer is a sacred place where being driven ends and communion begins. God meets us in prayer in a way like no other. God enters into heart and life. He then transforms the rest of our space and time into sacred space. Talking turns into care and communication. Daily interactions become ministry opportunities. Technology and media diversions lose their addictive grip and we are able to engage with the present. Prayer is sacred space and prayer carves out sacred space from the rest of life.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Jon is well known to the congregation and I know will be a blessing. Jon has been church planting in Manchester for a couple of years. He will be preaching from the Gospel of Mark while I will be finishing Proverbs.
Monday, August 21, 2006
A good part of the time will be spent in prayer, asking for God's help in discerning the future and implaneting our goals. This meeting has been long in coming and very important. I am feeling like a broken record, but it is a critical year for us as a church. Pray for us as we seek to work together and share the good news of Christ with Nashua.
Friday, August 18, 2006
I was glad I made the extra effort from Northampton to see Missions Park in Williamstown. I will admit, it was not much of a sacrifice. The drive was scenic and the weather was perfect.
After visiting Missions Park in the morning, Drew and I made our way home via Southern Vermont through Bennington, Battleboro and then into NH through Keene. The southern Green mountains were worth the drive and I hope to find an opportunity to visit that region again. I got a decent amount of work done and I feel inspired by the trip. If your ever out this way, I would try and make sure to visit this part of New England.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Northampton is an interesting town, I am looking forward to visiting again to do some more research. It actually reminded me of some of the towns I travel through last year in Southern England. Very charming and lots going on.
I travelled up through the Berkshires to Vermont to camp for the night. Before I head home on Thursday, I am going to stop at Missions Park in Williamstown, famous for the Haystack Prayer Meeting which took place 200 years ago this month. So far, it has been a very inspiring trip.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Prov. 3:26 For the LORD will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.
Prov. 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.
Our last topic from Proverbs is a simple one, trusting God. Since this is a fairly straightforward topic, we are going to try and approach it from a fresh perspective. Why is it that we DO NOT trust God? What prevents us from placing our confidence in Christ?
Our last sermon on Proverbs will come on Labor Day Weekend. We are saving the best for last, Proverbs 31.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So with this disclaimer out of the way, I wanted to mention a TV program coming up this Sunday on the History Channel. It is called "The Exodus Decoded". Sounds suspicious to me, but I recently saw an interview of the film maker, Simcha Jacobovici, and I was fairly impressed with the footage I saw. If you have the time, check it out, this Sunday @ 8:00 p.m.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Next Saturday we are hoping to take a number of church folks with us to enjoy the view and the experience of being outdoors in NH. If your interested in the hike, email me and we will send you the info about gathering times and what to bring. So far a number of families have signed up and it should be a great time. I am looking forward to it.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Monday - the computer was locking up, not working properly. Contacted Apple, spent an hour on the phone with a nice lady who told me it was a hardware issue. It needed to be returned to Apple.
Tuesday - box arrived to ship, sent it overnight to Memphis, TN.
Wednesday - ibook repaired, new hard drive and cables, shipped back to New Hampshire
Thursday - received my ibook in the morning
Cost - $ 0
I had AppleCare which did cost $200, but covers the ibook for 3 years and it covers repairs and phone support.
I was very impressed with the service and my ibook is back to normal, in fact I am typing this blog with the ibook. This experience has helped to solidify that the next church computer will most likely be an Apple again.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
The Haystack Prayer Meeting (HPM) was the birth place of this notion that students could have an impact on the world. All those organizations mentioned above have built on the HPM foundation, and I believe we are better for it as a church. Young people with a passion to serve for a summer, one year or more has lasting effects for the Kingdom.
As a former teacher in China with ESI, I am grateful to the men of the HPM that demonstrated that students can indeed make a difference for the Kingdom. My year in China made a significant impression on me and gave me a heart for ministry in China. I am so thankful that ESI exists, for it helped develop in me a global vision.
HPM is more than an event, it was the beginning of a student lead campaign that continues today. We are indebted to those 4 men who endured a storm in order to birth a movement far beyond their expectations.
Monday, August 07, 2006
On a sultry Saturday afternoon in August, 1806, Mills and four other students gathered as usual in the maple grove of Sloan's Meadow for one of their twice-weekly prayer meetings. Thunderclouds broke open the sky, driving the students to seek shelter from the rain on the lee side of a great haystack. With thought turned toward their classroom studies of Asia and the East India Company, Mills shared his burden that Christianity be sent abroad. With the exception of Harvey Loomis, who felt that missionary efforts should first be concentrated domestically, Mills, Byram Green, Francis L. Robbins, and James Richards prayed that American missions would spread Christianity through the East.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
footnote=> the link to the sermon is from another website. I may try and make it available on nashuapca.org after hearing it.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Prov. 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently
Corporal punishment is a hot topic in our society today. There are diffferent views within the church as well on spanking children. How do we deal with verses like this is Proverbs given the current trend in the U.S. that wants to ban corporal punishment of children?
Proverbs has more to say about parenting and it should be a good opportunity for all of us to see what Proverbs has to stay about Parenting.
Prov. 1:8 Hear, my son, your father's instruction
And do not forsake your mother's teaching;
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
It occured to me that cold snowy winter days have one thing in common to hot humid summer days. In both cases, all you want to do is stay inside and avoid the weather.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
This weekend was a real blessing for us as a family. We have not had much time away this summer and it was good to get out and enjoy the beauty of our state. Ministry in NH is slow going, but times like this remind me of the blessing of living in NH.
We hope to get up north one more time this summer before school starts. Hopefully we can get a chance to do some more hiking in the White Mountains.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Our highlights were camping, swimming/playing in the Ammonoosuc River, smores, hiking, and simply enjoying the beauty of the area. My personal highlight was hiking the AT. Any guesses what AT stands for? Check out a later post for the answer!
Friday, July 28, 2006
First, prayer. Can't say enough about this. Asking God for guidance and wisdom in preaching a text. It is such an important decision, so I pray first.
Second, I look at my past studies and work in various books of the Bible. I have had formal training in graduate school and undergrad in various books. Genesis, Proverbs, Amos, Romans, Galatians, etc....
Thirdly, I read the text through and I am continually praying about whether this would be useful or not at this time in the life of the church.
Since taking this class and having a chance to look at First Corinthians so closely, it seemed like a logical choice. I personally believe it is going to be a great year of study and reflection for both me and the congregation. September 10 is the start date for our adventure in First Corinthians. I hope you join us.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The pastor before I came, Tim Andrews will be coming to visit and will be preaching this Sunday. We are glad to welcome him back and I am sure he will be a blessing to the congregation.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I have picked First Corinthians as our text and I am getting more and more excited as I have been reading and preparing sermons for the worship schedule. I will share in a later entry how I came to this decision, but for now I will just simply mention it.
Monday, July 24, 2006
It was a a fun time and most folks want us to do this again. Allen and I have been discussing a trip to Northhampton, MA to explore Jonathan Edward's ministry there in the 18th Century. I am looking forward to that!
The picture is of Whitefield preaching at the Moorfields outside of London. Notice the horn and drum. Preaching in the outdoors was quite a challenge back then.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
Sin is the 7th topic of our top ten series out of the book of Proverbs. Not a very popular topic in some circles, but a necessary one for all believers to think about. What is Sin? What effect does it have on people. What is the connection between sin and death? These are some of the questions we will be looking at this Sunday.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
So I should mention what I have been busy doing this week in my spare time..... reading and watching the largest's airshow on the planet. Every year at this time, folks gather near London or Paris for the largest aviation show you could image. It alternates each year, last year it was outside Paris, this year it is outside London.
Someday I hope to go to this air show. for now I will just enjoy it via the world wide web.
Check out the website for the airshow, it is called the Farnborough International Airshow
My favorite aircraft manufacturer is having a great year and I am enjoying the news out of the airshow. Wish I could be there. Any guesses who I am rooting for?? Click Here to find out.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Our Presbytery is made up of some great guys, I always look forward to the meetings. We are a pretty tight group, and we all have a heart for New England and the need for the Gospel to be preached through out our region.
The most excited business is the announcement and approval of a 2nd church in Maine. Per Almquist, who is currently interning at Portland will be starting a daughter church in Lewiston, ME. Per is going to do a great job and we will be praying for him as he raises support and forms a core group.
Next meeting will be in Oct. in Portland, ME. Hopefully it will be cooler by then....
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Keep your feet from their path
Proverbs has something to say about avoiding temptation. In order to deal with temptation, we must be willing to flee from it. That is often harder than it sounds. For we all can be tempted one way or another.
Temptation is one of the most basic realities that every human being faces. Proverbs offers some very practical wisdom that reminds us of its dangers.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I came across this quote that I found somewhat humorous. Whitefield preached in all types of settings, particularly in the great outdoors. The quote is from Whitefield after preaching in one of his favorite spots, the Moorfields outside of London.
"I was honored with having stones, dirt, rotten eggs and pieces of dead cats thrown at me." - George Whitefield
Now that makes for a challenging preaching assignment! Can't say I have had any stones or dead cats thrown at me!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
It is a follow up to his original book, Desiring God that he wrote some 20 years ago. This recent book answers the question that has been the most commonly asked of John since Desiring God. The question is => how do I cultivate joy? How do I find joy when I don't have it?
The DVD is in 6 sections, we are on number 5.
So far it has been very challenging. I recommend it!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
We continue through Proverbs to the hot topic of marriage in our top ten countdown. This one was a little more challenging because of the text and its interpretation. We are looking at Proverbs 5:15-20 and at the beginning the instructor uses the images of water to talk about the marriage bed. Very interesting stuff and challenging.
Often the Bible has been accused of being unsophisticated. Even Augustine, the most famous church father in the early church felt the Bible lacked style and elogence, and actually hindered him for some time in becoming a Christian. But when I read a book like Proverbs, I am truly impressed by its depth of wisdom and insight. Find out for yourself as we continue to look at Proverbs this summer.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
On of them is called From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biography History of Christian Missions by Ruth Tucker, a prof at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids. It is a fascinating look at foreign missions from the time of the Apostle Paul to the present age. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in hearing about those men and women who took the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Great stuff to read. If you are looking for a book to take to the beach or on long drives, give it a try. I think you will like it.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Monday, June 26, 2006
America set to hit 300 million and counting ...
300 million...thats a lot of people. Still small compared to countries like China and India, yet large when you compare it to Canada or Australia. For America, 300 million is a lot, and there is no place in the States that has not felt its effects.
Now I am not intersted in commenting on where this is a good or bad thing. I simply want to comment on this reality in regards to the church.
An older person in the church who grew up in NH feels that it has changed a lot over the years. She is right, it has. There are more people which means more homes, more roads, more cars, etc.... It is a fact of life no matter where you live.
Nashua use to be a town on its own. Now it is an "edge city" on the outskirts of Boston Metro. Not long ago, there was countryside between them, not anymore.
Sadly, as the population of the nation increases, churches continue to stay the same or shrink. The net growth of the PCA was less than 100 people for 2005. That is counting all 1500+ churches in the U.S. and Canada. Less than 100 people, that is sad if not discouraging.
Now there are many factors for this stat, but no matter how you slice it, the church is not growing at the same rate as the population. The PCA is not the odd ball in comparison to other denominations. Some denominations do not even have a net gain, but rather a loss.
This does not discourage me. If anything, is reminds me of one of the most important things I need to do in ministry....PRAY. More than ever, the church needs to pray and ask God for His guidance and wisdom.