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Good thougths about change in worship

Saturday, June 21, 2008

If you are like me, when you hear the words "change" and "worship" together, it likely puts up a "red flare," since most who advocated a change in worship are generally advocating adapting the worship of God towards the appetites of the world.

However, Pastor Matt Jury has written a good article entitled A Village Re-Elects a Dead Mayor: Some Thoughts on Worship at his new blog - Life is Worship.

Matt has been gracious over the last two years in arranging accommodations for me during the National Leadership Conference in Lansdale and is eager to get going in this new adventure in blogging. He is off to a good start, check him out.

Just my thoughts on his thoughts,


What do missionaries do all day?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I have had similar questions over the years regarding "What does a Pastor do all day?" Missionary David Hosaflook in the Balkans provides a humorous answer in this post.

And, if you want something of a more serious fare, read his previous post - A Strategy of Saturation for Syncritistic Peoples

Just his thoughts,


What does a teacher make?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In most of the United States, school is out or is getting out very soon. With the end of the school year comes a lot of excitement, some sadness, a sense of relief on the part of some and sense of dread on the part of others.

One of the time-honored traditions regarding the end of the school year is to get a gift to thank the teacher for their work with your children during the school year. It is a shame that this is often the only time that the teacher gets such recognition, but it is hopeful that most teachers at least get some type of recognition during this time of year.

Over on IVMan's Blaque, I found this item that I thought was fitting in thinking about the impact of teachers.

What does a teacher make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

He went on to tell the other dinner guests that he thought it was true what they say about teachers - “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

To corroborate his statements, he said to another guest, “You’re a teacher, Susan. What do you make?”

Susan, who had a reputation of honesty and frankness, replied, “You want to know what I make?”

“I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like the Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face if the student did not do his or her very best.”

“I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.”

“I can make parents tremble in fear when I call home.”

“You want to know what I make?”

“I make kids wonder.”

“I make them question.”

“I make them think critically.”

“I make them apologize and mean it.”

“I make them write.”

“I make them read, read, read.”

“I make them spell “definitely and beautiful” over and over again, until they will never misspell either one of those words again.”

“I make them show all their work in math and hide it all on their final drafts in English.”

“I make them experience music and art and the joy in performance, so their lives are rich, full of kindness and culture, and they take pride in themselves and their accomplishments.”

“I make them understand that if you have the brains, then follow your heart … and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you pay them no attention.”

“You want to know what I make? - I make a difference.”

“Now, what do you make?”

Just some borrowed thoughts,


May is over

Thursday, June 05, 2008

In May, I gave challenged myself to "30 days of blogging" in which my goal was to write a blog post every day.

I did not quite accomplish my goal of blogging every day (at least if you count only A Thinking Man's Thoughts - I think I may have posted every day on one of my side blogs - Daily Quotes and Illustrations,but it is much easier to maintain and a weak attempt to make some aspect of computers pay for itself) but this will be my 27th post since I started what I hoped to be "30 days of blogging" - so 90% is not too bad.

I learned a few things during the process that I hope will help me in the future (and had some things reinforced.)

1. I do still enjoy blogging, so I probably will keep doing it. (Besides, as my recent post indicated, Blogging is good for you.)

2. I am probably not an "every day" blogger. There are too many things in real life that necessitate attention to commit to posting every single day. (And, besides that, see number 6 below.)

3. I am long-winded (although I do not know if that is the right terminology when used in connection with writing instead of talking). I admire the skill of guys like Chris Anderson to get their point across succinctly. This will have to be one of the things that I seek to develop.

4. Blogging is much more fun when it is interactive - which is probably why a forum like SI tills appeals to me (even if it can be frustrating at times). Posts that receive comments and feedback seem to be more enjoyable, even if they are posts that are not as "deep" or involved - or even if they do not get as many hits as other posts.

5. People who come here looking for specific information from a search engine tend to only look at that information and move on (for instance, I still get a lot of hits of people looking for information on Pastor Jim Schettler - but most of the people who come to the site looking for him don't hang around and look at other pages).

6. Very few people pay attention to blogs (or at least, my blog) during the weekends. (I think the same is true of other, larger blogs - like SI - on the weekend as well.) This tells me that posting a lot on the weekend would be a waste of time.

7. Posting at least somewhat regularly is good for readership.

Just a few thoughts,


Some Good Thoughts at Stray Thoughts

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Barbara over at Stray Thoughts has probably one of the best blogs for Christian ladies that you can find on the internet. Even though I am not her target audience, she has a regular place on my bloglines and she writes well. While there are a lot of posts that are specifically geared towards women, she is also very purposeful about being a testimony and representing Christ well on her blog.

Her post on June 3rd is aptly titled, "OK, I've had about enough". In it, she takes on the blasphemous and frustratingly common expression "O my God." The prevalence of this expression has reached epidemic proportions and I appreciate her words on the subject.

Just my thoughts,


Pickering Books Available for Free Downloadng

Dr. Ernest Pickering was one of the outstanding spokesmen for Fundamentalism in former days. He was instrumental in helping many have a better understanding of the doctrine of separation and had such a knowledge of Scripture and love for the ministry, that even after he became blind, he continued to preach at churches and conferences.

Dr. Pickering wrote a number of books and it has been great that Regular Baptist Press has been active in putting many of these books back into print recently. I picked up an updated copy of Charismatic Confusion at the National Leadership Conference in Lansdale, Pennsylvania earlier this year, and I am especially looking forward to holding in my hands one of the new, updated copies of Pickering's classic - Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church which has been updated recently by Dr. Myron Houghton of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary.

I noticed today (HT: SI) that Regular Baptist Press is providing a couple of Pickering's booklets as Free .pdf downloads from their site - here.

The first of these books is The Fruit of Compromise: The New and Young Evangelicals. (link to .pdf). This book was written by Dr. Pickering in 1980 and it should be an interesting read. I don't think I have ever read it, so it will be interesting to read it in light of the current state of evangelicalism.

Looking over the table of contents, I notice that the last section of this short, 44 page book gives "Direction for Fundamental Christians" and gives some great sub-headings that I will hopefully read soon for the meat - "Courageous Leadership is Needed", "Proper, Balanced Instruction Must Be Given", "Enlightening Information Must Be Made Available", and "Decisive Action Must Be Taken".

The second of the books is The Theology of Evangelism (link to .pdf).
Regular Baptist Press describes this book by saying that this 68 page booklet:

"describes the theological framework of New Testament evangelism with an emphasis on a balance between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. They author also address practical matters such as evangelistic methodology and compares current issues to the methods used in the early church."

I hope these comments whet you appetite and that you download and read these two booklets.

Also, for further reading on Biblical Separation, see Kevin's article The Making of Biblical Separation.

Just my thoughts,


Free Audiobook of Pilgrim's Progress

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That which is to come is probably the mostly read and best-loved book in the world after the Bible. Having been translated into over 200 languages and in print continuously since its first introduction in 1678, persecuted Baptist Pastor John Bunyan has supplied the world with a masterful allegory of the Christian's life and journey that has stood the test of time and cultures.

This month, is providing a FREE DOWNLOAD of Pilgrim's Progress. I have not had the time to listen to this production, but the other books that I have downloaded from have all been of very good quality. Unless you already have an audio copy, may I recommend you follow this link and get the copy from - the price is right.

Also, if you don't have a hard copy, the Christian Classics Ethereal Library has FREE versions of this book in a number of formats here (.pdf, Microsoft Word, Plain Text, etc.). (Of course, I would recommend that you go out and by a regular hard copy to read, instead - much better than reading off of a screen.)

Just my thoughts,


(HT: Jason Button)

Fundamental Missionaries threatened for "Hate Crimes"

Monday, June 02, 2008

The issue of so-called "hate crimes" legislation is a serious issue for Christians who take the Bible seriously. This is not because the Bible encourages "hate", but because Western society has twisted the meaning of "hate" and much of the legislation that is being pushed in regards to "hate crimes" really are more of an attempt to sensor and silence those who desire to speak out than they are to prevent or deal with actual crimes of hate.

Recently, two missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association were "threatened with arrest for committing a 'hate crime' and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned" for passing out Gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham, England (according to this article on the website of the British newspaper Telegraph). Even though the officer in question may have been overstepping his bounds, this is not a unique incident.

In an earlier post on The FFBC Blog (The Danger of So-Called "Hate-Crimes" Legislation), readers were reminded that this type of legislation continues to be pushed in the U.S. and has already passed in the house. Since then, it has also passed in the Senate, but has yet to reach President Bush's desk. President Bush has threatened a veto if the bill reaches his desk.

A resolution passed by the Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches in 1999 deals with the topic of hate crimes still rings true.

Since Cain murdered Abel, all crimes of violence have been "Hate Crimes". Those murdered in a robbery or as a result of domestic violence are just as dead as the one who was targeted by a racial or religious fanatic for extermination. The very radicals who tried to abolish the death penalty and now attempt to forestall the execution of every convicted criminal are those pushing for stiffer penalties for individuals accused of "Hate Crimes".

The homosexual lobby is behind much of this legislation, which goes far beyond dealing with crimes of violence. Their real target is not those who commit acts of violence, but those who would criticize their ungodly way of life. The White House and various members of Congress have backed this legislation, perhaps because of their own immoral lifestyles. Much of this legislation is aimed at "thought control" rather than crime control.

The Scripture tells us that "Whoso sheddeth mans blood by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6). If a serious effort was made to enforce the death penalty much of the violent crime in our country would disappear. We urge our legislators to reject so-called "Hate Crimes" legislation, to recognize the real purpose of those who sponsor it, and to remember that, constitutionally, laws should apply equally to all citizens convicted or accused of a crime.

The above information I posted on The FFBC Blog. I will make an additional comment here in regards to this, since this is a personal site and not a site directly affiliated with any ministry.

To those of you conservatives who are seriously thinking about sitting out this election, may I remind you that there are a number of issues like this where a Presidential veto may be the only thing stopping the issue from moving forward. For the record, here is an article regarding McCain's position on this issue - McCain Campaign Tells Brody File: No on Hate Crimes Bill.

Just my thoughts,