Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sermon: Intro to Nahum (Part 1)

Nahum 1:1The oracle of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

As I always do, before starting a new series we do some prep work. I want to answer questions like....

When was the book of Nahum written?
Who is Nahum?
What are the themes of Nahum?
What was going on in the world at the time Nahum had his vision?

These and other questions help us place Nahum in the context of the Redemptive Story of the Bible. In the past I have done this in one sermon, but I have decided on a new approach, to divide it up over 2 sermons, instead of one major sermon. I hope it helps.

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Sermon Series: Nahum

I am certain that some of my professors at Regent College would be surprised that I would attempt to start a new sermon series in the dead of Winter in New England on the book of Nahum. I must admit, I am a little nervous, it is not an Old Testament book that is often used in preaching.

Last Winter, I organized the sermons on First Corinthians in such a way that covered the more lively topics in First Corinthians. (Worship, Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy, etc...) This was to keep folks awake and on their toes.

So this Winter I seem to be doing the very opposite. Doom and gloom is the feel of the book of Nahum, and there is no getting past that. Yet, I feel excited to begin this series. Nahum is very different from Jonah, yet there are also similarities. Nineveh is the obvious connection, but also themes of God Sovereignty come into play as well. I think it will be interesting, but if you are still on the fence, come and visit us and find out!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bathroom Remodeling

I have been dreading for some time the remodeling of our upstairs bathroom. The Toilet was rusting and getting old, the tile was cracking. It was time to fix up our main bath.

But I kept putting it off, thinking it through, not really motivated to get on my hands and knees and begin the project. We had picked out the tile, made all the major decision on purchases, even started acquiring some of the needed fixtures. But I still was in no mood to get started.

So the Bathroom made the first move.

The toilet broke last week, forcing me to make the decision to get this bathroom updated. So without further delay, I will begin tearing out the bathroom floor and fixtures. Lord willing, I hope to have it done in a few weeks. We will see.

In part I am telling everyone on the blog so as to explain why my blog posts maybe a little scarce in the coming days. Pray for me, for the family. Any remodeling project has its unexpected moments. I am hoping they will be only a few, and will be easy to overcome. Fun fun fun.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Edwards & Whitefield Quotes

Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.
George Whitefield

Take care of your life and the Lord will take care of your death.
George Whitefield

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.
Jonathan Edwards

To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.
Jonathan Edwards

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hats off to Dartmouth!

Here is New England we are surrounded by a lot of choices in Higher Education. Some of the best colleges in the US are found here in New England. Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, etc....

For some time, Higher Education has been harder and harder to accomplish, given tuition costs. Most students graduate from college with a huge debt and many do not apply simply because they know they can not afford it.

George Washington University $37,000+
Bucknell College $36,000+
Columbia Univ. $35,000+

Dartmouth College in NH has decided to do something about it. In a Press Release this week, they are making a radical decision. If you are from a family that makes less than $75,000, and have the grades to get into Dartmouth, your tuition will be $0. I am not kidding.

They have over $3.2 Billion in reserves and are using that to make this happen. They are challenging other schools to make similar decisions.

Hats off to Dartmouth, very very impressive.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Church Planting in Lewiston, ME

We had Presbytery on Saturday and for those of you who do not know what that means, it is simply a quarterly gathering of churches in our denomination from VT, NH & ME. Our Church hosted it, and it went well.

Anyhow, the newest church ministry in our Presbytery, is in Lewiston, ME. The Church Planter is a friend of mine, Per Almquist, good guy and I think he will do well.

If your interested in what they are doing, click here for more information.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sermon Text: Jonah 4:9-11

We are finishing our last Sermon on Jonah.

Feeling a bit sad.....I have really enjoyed our time with Jonah. But it is time to move on. New Sermon Series, Starting Feb. 3

Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death."

10Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.

11"Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sermon text: Jonah 4:5-8

Jonah 4:5 Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.
Jonah 4:6 So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.
Jonah 4:7 But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.
Jonah 4:8 When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This is Huge....Christians & Muslims Together

I am still sifting through this, but I wanted to put this out there for folks to read and respond.

A number of prominent Muslim Scholars wrote a letter to Christians, A Common Word Between Us and You Some very prominent Christian Leaders responded. Where I went for my MDiv, a prof from Regent College, has signed it as well as some other well know individuals and intuitions.

I first read about this here. Click Here

Here is the Muslim Link to the letter, Click Here

And here is the Christian Response. Click Here

Friday, January 11, 2008

Methodist Anti-Credit Card

I thought this was an interesting idea. To get folks thinking about how they spend their money, the Methodist Church in the UK has come up with this gimmick.

Here is the press release from the Methodist Church.

I first heard about it while reading this article.

I like this quote

"The Methodist Church is encouraging people to buy less and live more this Lent, with their new alternative Buy Less: Live More credit card.

The card cannot be used to make purchases, but is designed to be placed in a wallet in front of other credit and debit cards to remind people to think twice before they spend.

Buy Less: Live More aims to challenge people to curb their spending and shrink their carbon footprint."

Anyone knows I am anti-consumerist. So this is right up my alley. What do you think?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Younglife Staff Fired in NC

I heard about this Tuesday and a ministers gathering, seems the staff in NC did not want to be proclaiming the gospel.

So the Younglife Leadership fired them. Click here to read the article.

Picts from Hong Kong / China

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sermon Text: Jonah 4:1-4

Jonah 4:1 But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry.
Jonah 4:2 He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.
Jonah 4:3 “Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”
Jonah 4:4 The LORD said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?”

If this looks like Deja vu, you would be right. I posted this text before, but never got a chance to preach the sermon because of a snowstorm. So for the month of January, we will finish of Chapter 4 in Jonah and then on to Nahum!

Monday, January 07, 2008

New Hampshire Primary

We got back in time for the insanity of the New Hampshire Primary. And insanity is the right term. The phone ringing off the hook, doorbells ringing, more banners and posters that you can imagine stuck in the snow. Yes, it is the big event of the year in NH.

For those who are interested, the NH TV station does a great job covering the event.

Go to http://www.wmur.com/index.html

We are back from the other side of the planet

Many of you know about this, but I am sure not everyone. The Wakefield Family spent New Years Eve and the 1st week of January in Hong Kong and Southern China. Literally, the other side of the planet.

This was a family trip with Allison's side of the family. We met up with 24 other cousins, aunts and grandparents for an opportunity to see the village where the family originated from in China. The highlights for me on the trip, were.......

Going to the Village where Allison's father was born
Making our way from the Airport to the Hotel on New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve Celebration in Hong Kong
Touring Repulse Bay, Aberdeen & Stanley Market
Riding the Star Ferry to Dinner on Hong Kong Island
Watching Heavies ( Jumbo Jets) land at LAX at In & Out Burger

I will post some pictures later, it was a trip of a lifetime, so glad we went. It did mean however 40+ hours of flying time in a week. Whew, glad to be off a plane.