Yesterday was Memorial Day, and it has been such a joy to celebrate it over the years. We have done this to thank those who served and to build a culture of honor on our community. Doug and I have organized and participated in many Memorial Day Celebrations. The first one was in 2000 on our farm. I will never forget it. It rained so hard all day that everyone had to stay together under the tent.
Yesterday, we were at the Roman Coliseum where some of the drama of the Italian campaign was played out as you can hear about in this video clip.
This is our eleven year anniversary celebrating Memorial Day at our farm. Everyone is welcome. Our purpose is to give thanks to those who served and the God who sustained them. This year is very special in that we are having Woody Williams, the last surviving Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient, on the platform. We start at 10:00 and end at 3:00. It is a great family fun day of honoring others, preaching the gospel, and… rides in military vehicles for all.
Jason Dohm, whom we recently sent out as a church planter says this about church planting, "Church planting is about God taking ground. There is nothing remotely sinister about this, since wherever and whenever the government of God spreads, happiness and every good thing abounds. Jesus is the best King there is, and to be His subject is to know a peace that passes understanding. Youngsville needs this just as much as a thousand other towns."
Here is an update on the church in Idaho that formally repented of the way they were discipling their people in age segregated programs. The pastor, Paul Thompson reports, "The motion in short was that we "repent and cease the practice of systematic age-segregation of all corporate gatherings; whether worship, small group (Sunday School, Wednesday night, etc.), prayer meetings, or discipleship…."
In my experience, things like this don’t go smoothly as people have very strong feelings about their age segregation. It is such a revolutionary change, that often there is slander and division and heartache. But in this church, Thompson reports, "The motion passed with a clear sounding majority affirmation vote. I respect those with concern about what do we do if we don’t do that. The process and questions help define and refine with clarity."
Tonight at our weekly church prayer meeting, we are coming together for something that has always been used of the Lord for earth shattering purposes. Why? Because we are dealing with God, the Ruler of the universe. These following passages of Scripture that instruct us of the immensity of the significance of prayer are from Joel Beeke’s book, Taking Hold of God,
Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me.
Take hold of my covenant.
— Isaiah 56:4
There is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up
himself to take hold of thee.
While I do not believe that every person should get married early, I do think there are some advantages for those for whom it is right according to the Lord’s timing and the unique situation some may experience. Here is an article that claims that it is "Not Too Late to Bring Back Early Marriage."
A Toronto couple has decided to keep their child’s gender a secret so the child can choose its own gender. While this may seem extreme, these parents are simply consistently applying postmodern gender wisdom. God’s binary, black and white distinction of male or female is not only limiting it is oppressive. "Witterick and Stocker believe they are giving their children the freedom to choose who they want to be, unconstrained by social norms about males and females." The assumption that man is inherently good and will make the best choice for himself if left on his own, has been getting us into trouble since the garden of Eden. The article continues "Stocker, 39, and Witterick, 38, believe kids can make meaningful decisions for themselves from a very early age… In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s(he) wants to be?!" Albert Mohler commenting on this remarkable position says, "The major issue at stake in this controversy is the objective reality of sex and gender. We are, in fact, what our genitals tell us we are. This is not because we are genitally determined, but because we were created by a holy God, whose plans and purposes for us are, inescapably, tied to our gender."
We ought to praise God that He has something much better for us than gender confusion. He guides us in many ways – one of which is through determining our gender and the roles and responsibilities that go along with it. What a disaster it is to be left on our own to discover what truth is.
See the pictures here of the home made dams people built to protect their homes. Some thoughts: First, what a blessing it is when men are proactive and aggressive in protecting their homes. Second, consider how men might protect their physical dwellings but are not protecting the spiritual and moral lives of the people in their homes. Third, it reminds me of what my son in law, Peter Bradrick is doing to help men learn how to effectively protect their homes and their communities. He plans to launch this in September… Go to bradrick.org
Each Tuesday at 6:00 am, we gather the men in our church together to study the passage of scripture we will be studying on Sunday. Since we are in the Beatitudes, we considered, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.’ Here are some of the thoughts that arose from our discussion:
When Jesus spoke of the blessings upon the heads of the merciful, he was not speaking of a secularized, psychologized, feminized type of mercy. He was speaking of the kind of mercy God has. Our thinking is fuzzy and even polluted when we think of mercy. This is why it is so important, in our day to develop an explicitly biblical doctrine of mercy – what it is and what it is not. There is a critical need for clarifying the doctrine of mercy. For example, the mercies of God include things like, Justice, Righteousness, and Punishment.
Also, mercy looks at suffering and desires to see it be relieved. Therefore, mercy does something about the suffering. It does not just sit there idly by and let it happen. It cares enough to take action with tangible remedies.
Here is what Tommy Vestal wrote reflecting on our conversation. He is making the point that, Mercy presupposes sin – and deals with it.
This concept of mercy begins with an assumption of an underlying condition that there is sin and unrighteousness present. For mercy to be present requires sin. Along with mercy comes the idea of forgiveness, but the two are not the same. Forgiveness recognizes wrong doing and forgets it. Forgiveness puts sin away without accountability or recompense. Mercy recognizes wrong doing, holds it accountable and contends with it with perseverance and endurance; love and long-suffering. The difference from forgiveness is the added elements of continually contending with a condition, to hold one accountable to God’s standard; not wavering on the standard, but flexing with ones inability to keep it. The application of mercy may include actual punishment and it may also not include punishment, but warn of its inevitability. Mercy can therefore be displayed from subordinate to superior, child to parent, citizen to civil magistrate etc. This ultimately leads one to an inevitable discussion that since we cannot keep the law and need mercy, the law of God is driving us to the knowledge of our need for a savior and the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ.
The character trait mercy can only then therefore be displayed by he who has been called into repentance by faith and saved by grace with the revelation and knowledge of his own sin by the conviction of the law of God. Mercy can only truly be shown then by one who is truly poor in spirit, that knows the futility of his own actions against the measure of the moral law of God and sees his own condition as helpless without a savior to fulfill it.
In short, mercy is shown by loving your neighbor as yourself, for no man ever hated his own flesh.
How then do those who are merciful obtain mercy? By the grace of God and not of any work within themselves given by the mercy of God. How then does a Christian show mercy? By doing so without conditions as mercy was first shown to us by God and in whom His mercy and grace gave birth to faith and faith unto salvation.”
With the birth of Peter and Kelly’s baby girl yesterday, now we have girl cousins… Here they are in all their cuteness.
Monday morning, my daughter Kelly gave birth to a baby girl. As you can see, Peter Bradrick has finally embraced the color pink.
We were all on pins and needles to see if this pregnancy would result in Peter and Kelly having four boys or three boys and a baby girl… We all cheered with delight when a baby girl was born.
She appears strikingly like her pictures in the 3D ultrasound we saw a while back.
Time is winding down for registering for the Financial Professionals Workshop. Taking place in Wake Forest, NC this Saturday, the FPW will provide an overview of how you can start a financial services business. We will explain opportunities such as Small Business Accounting Services, Senior Tax Service, Insurance, and Financial Planning and Investments. Speakers include:
|Scott Brown||Erik Weir||Ashok Noah||Adam Hall||Don Murphy|