Engaging Your World

Friday, September 30, 2005

SEEING GOD IN BASEBALL

There is no better time if you are a baseball fan than right now. It is the last weekend of the season and the good guys, the Boston Red Sox are playing their arch enemy rivals the dreaded N.Y. Yankees. The Sox are a game back, which makes this a dream weekend at old Fenway. But more is going on here than meets the eye, because in all of the fanfare and excitement of a great pennant race, I see God. You say to yourself, "he is really off his rocker, it is just baseball". First of all I have never been on my rocker, but that is for a different blog on another day. Let me explains how I see God.

God is a God of relationship and family. He is Trinitarian Himself. He is relationship, Father Son and Holy Spirit. He made us in His image. A part of that image is to be in relationships, but not just any relationships, the highest relationship on this earth God gives us is family. Husbands and Wives, Moms and Dads, children and parents. Family relationships display the Glory of God, by their very existence.

Here is where baseball comes in. For sports fans and even those on the fringe, the Red Sox rivalry with the Yankees draws families together in a special way. For example last night I am watching the Red Sox game with my youngest son and later on my daughter. The Red Sox cannot afford to lose another game, and they are losing by one run, and it is late in the game. Up comes David Ortiz and he hits a home run to tie the game, I jump up and am yelling, my son and I run towards each other and bump chests, everyone cheering. Then comes the next inning and we all are watching as the game is tied , the Red Sox have men on first and second and up comes again, David Ortiz, who proceeds to hit the game winning single. My son goes running around the house like he is in a race, my daughter and her friend are yelling screaming jumping around, I am in my chair laughing and playing baseball theme songs on the organ. It was a great family time.

In thinking about last night and the coming weekend, I am reminded that God uses things like sports, in fact all of His creation to being us joy, particularly as families. So yes you can do things like watch sports to the Glory of God! Enjoy the weekend, love your family and go Red Sox!

blog you later
pastor tom

Thursday, September 29, 2005

TOTAL DEPRAVITY

Tuesday officers at the Bogota Colombia Airport made a startling discovery during a routine search. Inside of Christian Icon statues they found three bodies of fetuses wrapped in plastic. They were destined for the United States. Authorities there believe they may have been intended for Satanic ritual abuse. I am reminded of a story told me by a missionary in Bogota when I was there speaking in 1995. He told me of a couple who had taken a dead baby on a plane. The baby had been killed, split open filled with cocaine and sewn back together. This is the depravity of man, this is the wickedness of the heart. In the book of Romans it speaks of God turning people over to the wickedness of their hearts, which is a frightening prospect.

You and I cannot imagine doing things like this. You and I cannot imagine being so hard hearted we would take infants and treat them in such a manner. But truth be told, you and I live in a society where this is done every day in doctors offices across our country. No they do not wrap babies in plastic to ship them out of the country, no they do not split them open and stuff them with cocaine. What the doctors of our country do, is go into the womb and kill babies. What doctors of our country do is to take a sharp instrument and while the baby is from the neck down already out of the womb and leaving the the mother, stab that child at the base of the brain. What the abortion mills do in our country is sell baby parts all over the world.

So before you recoil in shock at what was found in the Bogota Airport on Tuesday, understand this is happening somewhere within 30 miles of where you are reading this blog. So what can you do? Pray first and foremost for those involved from moms to doctors. But also get involved. Our church is opening up a pregnancy center to do our part in fighting the tragedy of our day. It is our desire to see babies born and moms and dads born again.

Total depravity is the condition of every person, it is the mission of the redeemed to give the prescription for the cure of that condition. Part of that cure is living out our faith in ways that make a difference in society.
For us at this time in our history, part of that cure is a pregnancy center, for His glory!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

IN THE MORNING
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 5:3 "In the morning, O Lord you will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to you and watch." We can take instruction from this passage and others that speak of our time with God "in the morning". It is in the morning where the tone is set for our day. It is in the morning where the devil is fought and our souls prepared for the glory of the day. I wonder how many get up "in the morning" with no thought of God at all. I wonder how many start their day faithfully with the non-negotiable have to have, that's right you guessed it, cup of coffee!! There is nothing better "in the morning" that you and I can do than spend time with our Lord in His Word and in prayer. So I pray that for all the days to come you take time "in the morning" to be with you Father.

blog you later,
pastor tom

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Being Good Stewards

As more and more news comes in about the misuses of funds by those affected by Hurricane Katrina, I am reminded of the necessity of Gods people being good stewards. We are not to give randomly to people and causes. Gods Word is clear that the first of our best is to go to the local church, and that we should give with cheerful hearts. Have you ever wondered why God would call us to give when He does not need anything and owns it all? The answer is that He desires we know the joy of giving. As we are told in the book of Acts it is more blessed to give than to receive. But we need to be sure we are giving in the Biblically prescribed manner. I am afraid that too many of God's people believe it does not matter where they give as long as they do, and nothing could be further from the truth. God works primarily through the local church, and that is where the bulk of our giving is to go.

We also need to seek greater joy in this area, praying that God would allow us the joy of giving more. This requires a desire to be free from materialism and calls for faith. It is a wartime mindset that puts the Kingdom of God as the priority, but what joy to be able to be stretched to give more. Consider the following testimonies taken from Randy Alcorn's website:

Jerry & Muriel Caven
After successfully establishing a restaurant chain,
two banks, a ranch, farm and real estate ventures
, Jerry Caven says that's when the real fun started.
"At age 59 I was headed into retirement, looking
for a nice lake home. Then God changed our plans
and led Muriel and me to put our money and
time overseas. It's been exciting. Before we
gave token amounts, now we put substantial
money into missions. Our hearts are in India
now. We visit and minister there often."
What changed the Cavens' attitude toward giving?
"It was realizing God's ownership that got through
to us. Once we understood we were giving away
God's money to God's work, we had a peace and
joy we never had back when we thought it was
our money! After seeing the way poor Christians
in India trust Him, we've asked God if he wants
us to give away all of 'our' money. He hasn't led
us to do that yet. But we've meant it when we asked."
Jerry says, "A non-christian couple saw us giving,
and saw how much it excited and changed us.
Then they started giving too, even before knowing
Christ. They saw the joy and they wanted in on it!"
He added, "One of the big results of our giving is
that we no longer hold things too close to our
hearts. We can let them go, realizing they
won't last...but we will."

Bob and Melinda Harvey
Bob and Melinda say, "Our life purpose for
giving is as follows: Help fulfill the Great
Commission by giving 50% of our annual
income to Christian causes that have the greatest
leverage. To do this we must maximize our
income, consult with people knowledgeable
about ministry, and select the best organizations
to support. We have averaged giving 33%
for the last 15 years and in the most recent
two years we have moved to 50% of our
gross income."

May God increase our faith and allow us to know the joy of being good stewards.

blog you later,
pastor tom

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Praise God I'm Blogging!!!

I am so excited to be up and running with our website and to be able to blog to you all. My deepest thanks to Jeff Hurley for all the work he is doing to get us up and running. Our website is another important ministry for our church and for the public at large. Pray that God uses it and this blog for His glory. I will be , (I hope) blogging each day. That's all for now, blog you later!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Welcome

Welcome to the Engaging Your World Blog.