Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mowing the Lawn

Okay, this has to be one of the most awesome ideas I have ever seen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tough Passage

Mandy Leigh wrote this comment: "the thing that always sticks out in my head about this passage is Jesus' question, "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say,' Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'?" He seems to be asking this as an easy rhetorical question to the scribes who he was addressing, like the answer is obvious as to which one of these options is easier. To's not obvious. Which is easier? And, does Jesus heal this man proving to the scribes that He can actually do both? That the fact the man walked out of the room will cause the scribes to think "his sins may be forgiven too." I have more thoughts about this passage as's a loaded passage! :)"
This is a great comment. And I think Mandy brings up a terrific point ---- I really don't know which is easier (that being forgiveness or healing). Neither seem to be easier. Now look at the end of verse 7: "...Who can forgive sins but God alone?" This is the question that is on the table in these 12 verses. And Jesus says it in this dialog between the scribes, when he says it in verse 10: "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." God forgives sins --- and Jesus shows the scribes, paralytic, friends of paralytic and the whole congregation who has the power to forgive sins. We might want to just breeze over this point ---- the point that Jesus is God ---- but let's not just jump over that. This has radical implications. C.S.Lewis, in Mere Christianity writes: "Then comes the real shock. Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time ..... God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has even been uttered by human lips. One part of the claim tens to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: and sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic ..... He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offenses. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin ..... I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heritage Revival

(Click on the picture above for it to be bigger so it can be easily read.) I wanted to fill you all in on the Revival that we have coming up October 5th through the 8th. I anticipate this being a tremendous time of devotion to our faithful walk as disciples of Jesus Christ. Come out expecting to grow deeper in your faith and if you have any questions please let me know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Authority to Forgive Sins

This coming Sunday I am planning on preaching from Mark 2.1-12 and I could really use your help. So, what you can do is read it with me and then comment below what you think. The thing that sticks out to me right away is Mark 2.10-11, which says: "'But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins'--he said to the paralytic--'I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.'" Now, Jesus is speaking to the scribes at this point ---- but in many ways he is still saying this to us. Do we know that Jesus [the Son of Man] has authority to forgive sins? And if we do, then what does that mean for us that are still on the earth? Let's go over this together and see where God leads us. I look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beggar God?

I have often heard Jesus described as a beggar God. The reason people describe him as being a beggar God is that he describes himself that way in Matthew 25.31-46. So if that is the case ---- that we serve a beggar God ---- are we to be begging people? And I want to give an answer to that question ---- resoundingly, YES! We are to come before the throne of grace boldly, begging to God on behalf of others and ourselves. A great example of how we are to be begging people is found in Exodus 16. Here the Israelites come to Moses complaining and the Tremendous Lover pours out for them FREE FOOD. This seems to be a restructuring of the earth, where the curse of Adam is no longer relevant. And now God has become their savior and their provider.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What is it?

Now look at this verse ----- Exodus 16.14-15: "When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, 'What is it?' For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, 'It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.'"

So what is it? I understand it is bread from heaven ---- but what does that mean? It is almost as if a bunch of flaky crackers are laying on the ground. So you go around and pick up some wheat thins to get you by for the day ---- amazing! But there is this important distinction, it says that it is bread from heaven [Ex 16.4] and not bread from the earth [or Egypt, the store, Wal-Mart]. So if it is from heaven and not from the earth, what is God trying to say to us? Does it go back to Genesis 3.17-19?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Manna from Heaven

If you all haven't figured this out yet, my favorite book of the Bible is Exodus. The lectionary has come to Exodus in this year and I have been preaching from Exodus for two weeks now. This week the lectionary comes to a famous text ---- that being Bread from heaven ---- or Manna from heaven ---- you can find this in Exodus 16.1-15. You all read it over with me ---- and please share in the comment section what you think. I am preparing for a sermon on this passage and I love that we can be in conversation about this passage leading up to Sunday. I think this is a terrific way to keep the life of WikiWorship alive. Also, I think I am going to have exciting news to share with all of you about WikiWorship ---- but you all are going to have to hang onto your hats for that announcement. Also, check out the article about Warren's Grove in last week's Courier=Times. It talks about the beginnings of Warren's Grove as a school house and the revival that we have coming up in October. You can find out more information about the revival by going to the Church's website at Just scroll to the bottom and you will find a link.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Piedmont Community College

On Wednesday of this week I went with Brian McIntyre and Branden Mooney to Piedmont Community College. We went there to see if there was any interest in starting a ministry to that college. And you all would not believe it. We had 12 people sit down with us for an hour and talk about the things of God and the Church. It was awesome and we are very encouraged by this outing. Warren's Grove is going to continue this ministry to the college students at PCC and we would love for you all to send any students our way that you know of. Our next gathering will be on Wednesday, September 24th at noon in the cafeteria. We will provide the food and drinks and they can just come and talk about the things of God in an open and caring environment. There are many students in Roxboro and I see God doing big things in our midst. Let us be in prayer for this new ministry at Warren's Grove.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


If any of you have not heard me talk about this word before, I should give a little back ground. There is a group of people from many different denominations that meets to figure out a 3 year cycle of scripture for the Church calendar. This is called the lectionary. If a person was to read each of the verses of the lectionary each week for three years you would read about three quarters of the entire bible. This might be a little slow going for some of you, but if any of you need to work at a slower pace through scripture just email me and I will show you how you can keep up with this. Well, during the school year I become more and more of a lectionary preacher. So I will follow the lectionary Sunday after Sunday rather than preaching on themes [ie. WikiWorship]. So this Sunday I am torn between two lectionary texts. How about you all read them and tell me what you think, or what insights you see in them. Here they are:

Matthew 18.21-35

Exodus 14.19-31

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Back

Hello everyone. I wanted to give you an update on my back. Like many of you know I had a severe back injury right about a week and a half ago. I have been to the Doctor twice and to a Chiropractor twice ----- and I am doing phenomenally better. I was actually able to drive myself to school today [I had been getting rides with a colleague of mine]. And yesterday, I was actually able to mow the grass!!!!! Thank you all for your prayers. I have gotten a temporary handicap sticker so I can park close to class and not have to navigate the traverse area of Duke campus. And someone from Church lent me one of those rolling backpack thing-a-mijigies, so I am able to not kill my back with my backpack.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Inviting People

One thing that I have noticed with this passage is that it doesn't matter who is in the house. Now God explicitly tells the people of Israel that they should get together with their families (Exodus 12.3), but that doesn't leave out others. Why I think this is important ---- is due to the fact that if there were Egyptians at the time who believed in the God of Israel they could have gone into the houses of the Israelites and been covered by that same blood. But, they had to enter into the house of a Jew. This actually very similar to us as Gentile Christians. By entering into the house of a Jew we are saved by the blood. We must always remember that Jesus was Jewish ---- and was born into a Jewish world. And because of this Jew's shed blood we are saved. I thought this was an interesting thing that I noticed in the passage. Jesus invites us into his house ---- those that had not been invited before ---- and in that house we will be saved because we are covered by the blood of the lamb.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Exodus 12.13 says this: "The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." Now remember we are talking about the passover ---- this is when the death angel passes over the houses that have the smeared blood on their door posts and lintel. Now when I read that, I immediately think of Jesus shed blood. And that we are to be covered by the blood. What do you all think? Also, in reading this section of Exodus 12 ---- do you see any other links to the life of Jesus?