Engaging Your World

Monday, October 31, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERYL

Today's blog will cover today and tomorrow, as I am taking part of today and tomorrow to dedicate to the love of my life, my wife Cheryl. It is her birthday tomorrow and I will be doing some special things for her these next couple of days. Let me tell you why she is the best and why I love her. First and foremost she has a heart for the Lord. She loves God and is passionate about serving Him. She always is looking for ways to serve her Lord, be it musically, with a meal, or leading the younger kids in the pinyata and bobbing for apples, like she did yesterday.

She is a great mother to our children. I marvel at her passion for our children, regardless of their age. She has always had an incredible heart for our kids. She is their greatest advocate. As a wife, I could have not asked for a better partner. God gave me exactly what I needed when he gave her to me. She has been though more with me than I care to remember, It is to my shame and embarrassment that I think of all that I put her through in our early years. But in spite of me, she hung on and remained faithful to the vows she committed to before God.

I praise God for my wife Cheryl, she is my best friend, my lover, my soul mate. It is with great joy that I look forward to growing old with her, and spoiling our grandkids together.

Happy Birthday Cheryl,
I Love You,
Tommy

Friday, October 28, 2005

YOUR INDICTED TOO!

Today we see that the special prosecutor has indicted Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby. I watch this and it seems like deja vu all over again. From what I can tell, Mr. Libby lied about what he knew and said. It does not seem like he had anything to do with any criminal activity, but what he allegedly did was lie to the government officials who questioned him. It is deja vu because it brings me back to Watergate. Where our President who had no exposure on the break in by lower level operatives, made the crucial mistake of lying about what he knew and when he knew it.

It is our sin nature that we are seeing on display. The natural unfortunate instinct in all of us to cover up and lie, when telling the truth would actually eliminate the problem. Scooter Libby if we was truthful, likely does not get indicted today. The Word of God tells us that our sins will find us out, that there is no hiding them, or keeping them secret. Yet many believers continue to live a lie and tell lie after lie, believing somehow that they can keep it a secret.

God is where the truth is, and God always knows the truth. Aren't we a funny people? We live as if God does not know, yet we know He knows all! So as we watch another leading government official receive an indictment, let us be mindful to consider our own lives. Is there sin in your life that you are trying to keep secret? Is there sin in your life that you lie about day after day? Understand the special prosecutor Jesus Christ not only knows, but He is coming with an indictment. But unlike any other indictment on this earth this one pronounces you guilty until proven innocent. And unlike any other indictment on this earth the special prosecutor dies to declare you innocent. So go ahead and be honest today with Him, and with those around you!

blog you later
pastor tom

Thursday, October 27, 2005

WHAT'S NEXT?

Today Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name as a nominee for the Supreme Court, signaling a defeat for President George Bush. She was his pick and it was made clear from both sides of the political aisle that she was not a popular pick. With the President's poll numbers very low, he did not have the political capital to get this one through. Ms. Miers recognized that and pulled out of the process. In withdrawing we are losing a potential believer in that position.

I personally spoke with someone from her church when she was first nominated. This person indicated that Ms. Miers was a born again Christian, and would hold to Biblical values on the bench. We will never know how she would have voted on Roe v. Wade, but we can certainly assume if her values were Biblical then she would have been on the side of life. She would have been on the side of the unborn, the elderly and the infirmed. She would have been a champion for life for those who needed it most. We never will know. She is gone as a nominee, but still in her capacity as the Presidents lawyer.

The issue now is what is next? This nominee is the most important pick in decades. It is one that will determine the court and more importantly determine the culture of our country for decades to come. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be affected by this pick. We need the President to pick a strict constructionist, someone who interprets and does not legislate from the bench. We need a champion of family values. We need a true conservative!

So pray for our President as he works through the public humiliation of his pick resigning and has to come up with a new nominee. Pray for him that he picks not out of anger, not out of spite and bitterness, but with the wisdom of God. This is the reason we vote, so that our values would be reflected in and from the highest and final court in the land.
But in the end, you and I know there is a higher and more final court over the land, and isn't it good to know that the Almighty Judge, is also your Savior and God?

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

CASUALTY NUMBER 2000!

Well it happened. Casualty number two thousand from the Iraq war. It is a sad and tragic day when any American soldier loses their life. In my mind, one casualty is too many! Having said that, we are living in an incredible time. The war in Iraq is one of the most successful wars for our country up to this point. The biased media will play up the casualties as if they are some unbelievable number. Well I have done some research and consider these casualties from previous modern wars:

World War I 320,710
World War II 1,078,162
Korean War 136,935
Vietnam War 211,471

We have had only two thousand casualties in a war in which we are fighting a number of countries, not just Iraq. Make no mistake about it, we are fighting Syria. Iraq,Iran and probably all the rest of the countries in the Middle East.

With only two thousand casualties consider what has happened. Iraq has ratified their constitution, has had two successful election days, and in a couple of months will have another. Saddam Hussein, one of the most barbaric leaders in history, sits today in a jail cell, waiting to be tried by his own people for his heinous crimes. His two terrorist, sadistic sons, have gone into a Godless eternity where they face a forever Hell. Where are the reports about the historic accomplishment of our military? Where are the stories of epic changes in the middle east due to the resolve and leadership of our commander and chief President George W. Bush. Where are the stories of the incredible men and women in our military who are achieving things no one ever thought could happen?You won't find those stories, at least not in the mainstream media, because we live in a country where the mainstream media is a PRAVDA type propaganda machine for the liberal left.

Well let me just say I grieve and pray for the families of those who have lost loved ones in this war. I pray that each one that left this earth knew Christ as his or her Savior. I know that each one left this earth a hero. May God bless the men and women of the United States Armed Forces!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

SHE DID NOT GET UP!

It was a day like any other day in Montgomery Alabama, it was the first day of December. Nothing going on very special just business as usual. A woman needed to use public transportation to get to where she needed to go, so she headed towards the bus. There was nothing remarkable about her, she was just an average forty two year old who needed to use the bus. The bus pulls up, she pays the fare and gets on like any other passenger on any other day. The bus is not particularly crowded so she grabs a seat towards the front of the bus as any other passenger would do.

The problem is, she was just not any other passenger, she was black and it was 1955 and she was sitting in the front of the bus, where only whites could sit. It was not as if she did not know this, she had been on the bus many times and taken her "right" place in the back. But on this day Rosa Parks had enough and was tired of being treated as a second class citizen so she sat down and refused to get up. The bus driver came over and told her to go to the back of the bus and she refused. When he told her he would have her arrested she told him ever so politely, "you may do that".

It was just another day for the young Baptist minister. He was going about his business of doing what it is that pastors do. Doing his best to serve God in the small Baptist church God has called him to. This young minister heard about the arrest of Rosa Parks and he organized a boycott of the bus system that lasted 381 days. Martin Luther King Jr. could not in good conscience sit by anymore and allow these injustices. He had to stand up for what he believed was right and honoring to his God!

This average 42 year old black woman and this young Baptist minister went on to become world famous for their fight in the civil rights movement. Rosa Parks is an icon of the civil rights movement. She never expected great things to happen, she says herself that is was an ordinary day and the only thing that made it different was that masses of people joined in. Martin Luther King Jr. was an average young pastor trying to follow the call on his life by God in his little church. Nothing special about either of them, but today the world has been impacted by both. Why? Because on an ordinary day they decided to stand up for what was right. They decided independently of each other to live what is that they believed was right, and the world was changed!

We can learn much from both of these courageous people. But more importantly we can learn about our God from them. Our God is a God who uses ordinary people to do great things for Him. If ordinary average people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. can live what they believe regardless of consequence, how can we not do the same? How can we who know the Lord Jesus not live our faith out in the public square as well as in our homes and churches. We live in times where the issues are just as critical, gay marriage, homosexual agenda in our public schools, abortion, you name it, there are plenty of places for us to say, " here is where I am sitting and I am not getting up".

Rosa Parks left this earth yesterday, I praise God for her and Martin Luther King Jr. I pray to have one tenth of their courage. I am thankful to God on that day that she sat where she did, and did not get up!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Monday, October 24, 2005

IT'S MONDAY!

Mondays! I was taught at Seminary to not do too much on Monday, particularly with people, as it is a day where pastors are at a physical chemical low. The whole week points to Sunday and then it comes and goes and so does much of the energy. For the most part it has shown to be true in my life that Monday can be a rough day. But how about you? What does Monday bring to you? How are you getting up on Mondays? Is there a bounce in your step with a great anticipation of another week with the Lord? Or is it a dreaded day that begins another long week of the same old same old?

I have to be honest, that at this point in my life there is rarely a day where I am not in physical pain. There is rarely a day where I feel great physically, but I feel better these days than I ever have. I even am at the point of Monday's not being all that bad anymore. How? What has changed? Well physically nothing for the better,but I believe it is a Spiritual change. As the days go by I sense home more. I cannot explain all of this, but in my time in God's Word I see home. In my prayer time I feel home. God has given me an incredible gift of knowing I really am just passing through, and this world is really not my home, and even if it is another forty years, it really is not that long before I am home. Therefore I look forward to the days on this earth, even Monday's. I look forward to seeing what it is God has for me today, who He will bring in my path,and how He will work through me.

When you sense home, when you feel home, you have the right perspective. For this Monday to be great today, you need to understand as His child you are here for the exact time He has determined, no longer , no less, and you are here for His purpose, which is His glory. And soon and very soon you too will be going home to be with your King! So live today with passion for Him, and have a great Monday!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Friday, October 21, 2005

SATAN ON DISPLAY

What an incredibly horrific week for news, a woman who said she was hearing voices threw her three children ages 6,3, and 1 off of a bridge in San Franciso. In another horrific story from the Associated Press today we read:

MARTINEZ, Calif. " The teenager arrested in the slaying of a prominent defense attorney's wife once drew a pentagram on the ground at school and told other students he was reading from the book of Satan, according to former classmates."

The murderer of this woman turns out to be a 16 year old who said he was a follower of Satan and reportedly had been known to draw pentagrams. It is reported that the woman he brutally killed had a drawing cut into her back, reported as some gothic symbol. This should serve to remind us that we do have a battle we are in. That it is against principalities and rulers in dark places as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6. There are people right in our own country maybe even our town or city that passionately follow Satan, and will kill and rape and pillage in his name.

It is also another type of reminder, and that is that we win. We are a victorious people who need not fear anyone except God and that includes Satan. As the Word of God says we believers in Christ do have a greater Spirit in us than the one in the world. We who believe were once dead in our sins but He has saved us from all of them. So on the one hand these reports are shocking and sobering reminders that we do have an active very real enemy. On the other we are brought back to Calvary and reminded we are forgiven and forever His victorious children who need not fear, but can cry Abba Father!

As we move through this dark time of October where death and destruction are celebrated and things like these reports do seem, legitimate or perceived, to pick up at this time of year, let us be aware of our victory in Him. But let us, His ambassadors take these occasions to be more diligent in our witness to the world. May these shocking stories remind us of the dead and dying world we live in and move us to be a light and a lifeline to that very same world! Onward Victorious Christians Soldiers!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Thursday, October 20, 2005

FOOLS GOLD!

From the Associated Press today:DES MOINES, Iowa: A ticket sold in Oregon matched all six numbers drawn in Wednesday's Powerball (search) game to win the $340 million jackpot.

Well there you have it, another one has struck fool's gold. Another person has been prostituted in the name of gaming and education and help for states. Those are all the reasons given for the benefit of state lotteries, although those benefits do not prove out to be as good as advertised. But even if they were, the lottery is fools gold. Meaning that only a fool would look for gold there. Statistics show that over 80-percent of all lottery tickets are bought by only 20-percent of purchasers, as described by an MSN report, they are disproportionately "low-income, minority men who have less than a college education." The lottery is preying on the low income families. People who cannot afford that ticket. I wonder how many children go without because of mom and dad's passion to be rich through the lottery?

But the greatest tragedy in my thinking is that believers are sucked into this sleight of hand trick by the states. That people who name Jesus Christ as their Savior are actually spending money that could go to the work of the kingdom, betraying every Scripture and Biblical principal there is concerning money. God's Word tells us that hard work is how we earn, that if we will not work we should not eat. That there is value in work. God's Word tell us to give the first of our best, not waste our money trying to be rich, by the way which the book of Proverbs calls a fool. What are children learning from their parents as they watch them buy those tickets? They are learning the greatest thing that could ever happen in your life would be for you to be rich, so live with passion for money.I pray that God keeps us from chasing money. That He is our passion, joy and contentment and not being rich. I know the problem well, as before Christ I attended gamblers Anonymous, which did not help, but Jesus freed me from chasing money, and from the love of it.

So someone has one the big lottery, I pray it is not a professing believer, I pray that the winner will not thank God and talk about how "Christian" they are going to be in their giving. I am sure they will be unaware when the cameras are rolling that they are being prostituted by the lottery commission to entice more people to play the game, which truly is fools gold!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

IT IS JUST ANOTHER BEND IN THE ROAD!

Don't you love how God uses all of His creation to not only glorify Himself, but to also bless and comfort others? I have been in some serious physical pain the past few days, sleeping only a few hours a night, total sum of sporadic sleep. At the radio show yesterday I had the privilege of interviewing a cancer survivor, Kevin Linigan. It was truly a fascinating and inspiring time. He mentioned the sermon series that Dr. Jeremiah preached called "The Road that Bends", or something like that. During one of the breaks one of workers, Melissa brought in the poem that someone had wrote of the same name. As I looked at it the Lord spoke to me in the last few verses, particularly this line "relax, refresh, gain your strength back, this is just a bend in the road."

Now I am not dying of anything that I know of, but this has been some of the roughest few days physically I have had in a long time. I have not been questioning God or wondering why me, I just have been enduring the days, trying to do what I can until it passes. But God in His infinite mercy, decided to give me some comfort yesterday from a poem that one of His Children had wrote about a sermon series that another one of His children had preached. How awesome is that?

I am reminded of a couple of things because of this. First of all never discount how it is that God might use the gifts He has given you for His glory. He might be using them in ways you never could imagine. This woman who wrote the poem will probably never on this side of eternity know how God used her gift yesterday. We need to just be faithful to use the gifts He has given us and not worry about the outcome or results. God will do things with you that you might never know until you get home. Secondly, I am reminded again how caring God is for His children. I do not deserve anything from God. He has no obligation to care for me and look after me at all , let alone in the specific way He did yesterday, but He did anyway, because I am His. Isn't it great to know that your heavenly Father cares for you? That no matter what you are going through He cares and will care for you.

I don't know what it is that you are facing today, or will face in the days to come. But remember this in your time of affliction and trial, whatever it may be, relax, refresh and renew your strength, it is just another bend in the road that leads to home!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

WHAT'S IN YOUR GARAGE?

It cannot get any worse than this. The media cannot go any lower or be more ridiculous, although that will probably be disproved before I finish this blog. Yesterday it was reported as news , it was reported as news! What you ask? Karl Rove, President Bush's right hand man, his GARAGE was reported as news! I kid you not, there was an AP report on the contents of the garage of Karl Rove. Now for those that do not know, he has testified for the fourth time in front of a grand jury that is investigating the leak of a CIA source. Thus far he has not been said to be a suspect in anything. Regardless of that, it is incredible that the media would portray the contents of his garage as news.

This is more evidence of a bias, out to get any conservative they can, media. I say this all the time but I say it again to you today, you cannot believe the media on anything. Your first instinct with the media should be suspicion. Are they telling you the truth? Most probable answer being no. They are out to push their agenda and get you on board with their worldview. A great example of this was one of the times I was in Haiti and I had the chance to speak with Haitians as well as the man who was in charge of evacuating all of the Americans out of the country should that be needed. This was shortly after President Clinton had removed their leader and put in a new one. Our news reported it as some great thing the President did for Haiti. The people in Haiti and this other man told me something every different. They said they loved the man we removed, he was in their words, "a friendly dictator", which was all they wanted.

The media gave you a totally different story, designed to get you on board. So be careful as you read your newspapers and for goodness sake keep your garage doors shut!
blog you later
pastor tom

Monday, October 17, 2005

IRAQ AND THE GAY MOVEMENT?

This might sound crazy but I see a direct correlation between the vote in Iraq over the weekend and the gay movement in our country. In Iraq what the voting of the people will do is marginalize the Sunni's, a minority of the population that ruled the country under Saddam Hussein. Under Hussein's reign this minority was the majority. An amazing example of how the few can control the many if they can generate enough propaganda and fear. The Iraqi people could have overthrown Hussein themselves if they had the will to do it. Well now the votes are being counted and for sure the people will speak at the ballot box in Iraq, an amazing event, by the way, and the minority the Sunnis will be just that, the minority.

Jump across the ocean and consider our own country. In our country we have this smallest of minority populations, the gay movement, dictating to the masses. They are influencing our public schools, they are influencing our judges, and they own the media. How different are we the majority from the majority of Iraqis all those years? I am afraid not much. We like them can overthrow the minority if we just would have the will to do it. If the majority would speak and act the minority would be just that, the minority. But I am afraid we are afraid. We are afraid to speak out because the minority has us cornered with labels, like "homophobic". We are afraid to speak out because the media has us fooled into believing it is not that unusual and in fact acceptable.

We are a lot like those who sat under the reign of Hussein. They had the numbers, overwhelmingly so, but they did not have the will. We have the numbers overwhelmingly so, but do we have the will? Do we have the will to speak the truth, act on the truth, and live the truth? Do we have the will to sign a petition, go to the ballot box, vote out legislators and judges who condone this behavior? Like anything else that has ever had historic consequences it comes down to , do we have the will?

blog you later
pastor tom

Friday, October 14, 2005

A BIRD IN THE HAND

There is some important news "flying"(pun intended) under the radar of most people. It is all this talk about the bird flu. You see the President talk about it and you see articles here and there but most people are not paying too much attention to it. Well it is probably time to take a look at what is happening. According to Rueters news service there is an emergency meeting being held by European bird experts because of the spread from Asia to Europe of H5N1 the deadly bird flu strain. Here is the issue, most people will not catch this flu because it comes from direct contact with birds, but should the flu develop into the ability to move from human to human which is very possible if not even likely, then it will kill millions of people around the world. Birds are migrating back to Europe, the deadly strain has already moved from Asia to Europe, guess what? It is on its way to our shores!

Why does this matter to us? The reality is if this plays out as many, not a few, but many scientists believe, millions will die in our country. This flu is giving people a feeling of fear and total helplessness as they try to figure out what to do. Here is the great opportunity for believers! This is our time to speak to the reality of eternity, of death being gain, even if it is by the bird flu. When you look at the history of plagues you see it is the believers who would be caring for the sick. The pastors who kept visiting the deathbeds of people in spite of the risk and inevitable result being the loss of their own lives.

So it might be time for us to get ready if we are not. To search our hearts and see that we are in right standing with God. To ask ourselves if we are ready to face a plague like the heroic brothers and sisters of the past. I guess it comes down to really only one question that will answer it all for us, do we really believe death is gain? And are we ready to live that out, should this plague hit our shores?

blog you later
pastor tom

Thursday, October 13, 2005

TOTALLY DEPRAVED!

Well the news is in and we can all rest easy, Mardi Gras will go on in February in New Orleans as scheduled. This is being reported today in various news forms, and it is seen as a victory for New Orleans. Have you ever been to or seen a Mardi Gras celebration? It is the height of depravity. The streets are lined with people who are in various stages of intoxication. The police cannot keep up with all of the drunken criminal activity, and let us not forget the way that women can attain beads. For those that do not know, for a woman to get beads thrown to her she must life up her shirt and show her bare breast to the ones holding the beads. Which tells you a lot about women you might see on television during that time who have a bunch of beads around their neck.

Total Depravity, that is what this is a picture of. The fact that Mardi Gras is seen as a marker of health and victory for a city at a time like this, tells you how truly depraved man is. I know some would say the issue for the city is economic and that Mardi Gras is about bringing money into the local economy, and at some level it is. But the picture remains of decadence and people reveling, uninhibited in sin. For this to be the marker of a city reminds me of, well lets see......that's right Sodom and Gomorrah! Those places were known for their sin, known for their depravity, and we know what happened to them.

So, yes, Mardi Gras will probably go on, and sadly, the media and the world will celebrate it as a victory. For believers it should remind us that our depravity is total, and we too were once dead in our transgressions and sins, and but for God's grace to us in Jesus Christ, we too would be running to New Orleans looking to dive into the swamp of sin known as the Mardi Gras!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ARE YOU READY?

We have seen another amazing devastating disaster, the earthquake that hit Pakistan. Over 20,000 people dead in one event. An incredible reminder to us all that our lives are not our own and we do not know when we will be called into His presence. I am sure most of those who died that day did not wake up believing that this would be the day of their death. I am sure that most of those who died that day woke up concentrating on the things of this earth, as most people would do on any given day. But what interests me is Pat Robertson saying that the disaster made him think that the end is near and we are closer to the end of time.

I think it is important to recognize that the end times began when Jesus came to this earth. People can get very wrapped up in end times discussions, books conferences etc., many times to their detriment. Many times to the neglect of the rest of God's Word. We do live in the end times, and we have since Christ came to this earth. These earthquakes and floods and hurricanes are in actuality nothing new and statistically not even much more frequent, if at all, depending on whose data you look at.

Here is the reality every day you wake up you are on day closer to the end. Either the return of Christ or your departing to go be with Him through your death. What these "natural" disasters should remind us of is the power of God. The awesome God who control the wind and the weather. As believers we should live each day ready to meet our Savior, regardless if it is a bright sunny day, or if an incredible hurricane is on its way, or just leaving. I pray that the disaster in Pakistan causes you to pray for those suffering there, inspires you to see the hand of God in His creation, and reminds you of the brevity and uncertainty of life. But I also pray that we are living now or get to the point where we live ready for His return or our departure, regardless of what is happening around us.

blog you later,
pastor tom

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

WHAT IS REQUIRED FROM YOU?

It happens all the time, every day as a matter of fact. You probably do not think about it much, if at all, but is always going on. What, you ask, am I talking about? The persecution of the church! It happens all the time, people suffering horrific things because of their faith in Jesus Christ. World Net daily reports:

"The North African country Eritrea has detained more than 200 Christians in an operation said to be the worst of its kind.
Eritrean security forces captured evangelicals and members of minority churches from the streets, their workplaces and homes Oct. 3, reported the British group Release Eritrea."

People taken from their homes from their jobs, maybe never to be seen again, because of their faith. One source said, "Please remember that in many homes children and women are suffering and have also becomes victims of persecution. There will be no salary coming into many homes and their lives are in danger. Please pray for us"

We read this in our comfortable living rooms, or easy chairs, or at our nice computer desks in our nice homes and we do not relate. We do not understand what these people are going through. Not many of us know the pain of having loved ones taken from us because they believe in Jesus. I do not mean to be critical of us, as I know God in His sovereignty has placed us where He has us for His reasons. It is only His will that we were born where we were and live in a land of privilege and plenty.

The question we do need to ask, is why? Why has God put you and I here and not in Haiti or Nigeria or the Sudan or in China. Why did He not place us in Muslim families where to follow Christ would literally cost us everything? We do not know all the answers but we do know enough about God to know He put us where we are for His glory. Which then brings the next question , which is, how do you and I live in this land of plenty so that He gets the glory. He put us here with an abundance of comfort ease and money. Yes, believe it or not according to the world statistics you and I are rich.

God has some of our brothers and sisters, truth be told many of them suffering and losing all for Him, around the world. Then He has you and I here in ease comfort and with abundance. The question we all need to consider is , God what is my responsibility as your son or your daughter? I cannot tell you what that is, to be honest I am trying to work through that with my life, and see what changes He wants from me. But this I do know and can share with you, to whom much is given, much is required!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Monday, October 10, 2005

GOD WORKING AT THE GYM!

It is always an honor to share the Gospel with people, but it is especially rewarding when you know it is a moment that God has ordained. Now I know good theology tells us all that moments like these are ones that God ordains and that is true, but sometimes that is clearer than others. Today I thank God that He allowed me such a moment this morning at the gym. Though I won't go into details, suffice it to say that God opened doors for me and another brother who I just met to share Christ with a man who God obviously has in His birth canal. What a blessing!

You see it does not matter where we are or what we are doing, God is always at work. I had no idea on my way to the gym this morning, that I would spend twenty minutes sharing Christ with someone. But God knew it and ordained it to be, and used the fact that I have been friendly to this person as the vehicle. This is the light and salt part of our witness, to be in relationship with those around us. This gentleman at the gym is someone I say hi to, and make small talk with, and make my self available to. This is all we are called to do, be available to people around us, because we have the truth. We have the answers to the question of why they do not feel complete. We know the real reason for the emptiness of their soul. So as we start the week, I praise God that He gave me this gift on a Monday, when I always can use a boost. And I write this to encourage and challenge you to be available to those around you this week. Who knows what conversations God has in store for you!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Friday, October 07, 2005

A GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE

As New York undergoes another scare, this time on it's subway system, I am reminded that things certainly have changed in our country. I remember as a kid staying out all day playing sports, eating at the closest parent's house and coming home just as it was getting dark. I remember when there were only three television stations to watch, the big three networks. One of the most exciting times as a child was the Friday night cartoon preview shows, where we learned what the new cartoons would be for Saturday mornings. I remember when an attack on our land was fantasy, sure maybe the Russians would try to nuke us, but we would get them before they could get us. Things have changed, you know that as well as I do. A day hardly goes by that we are not told in the news of a child being stolen, a young woman being raped and killed, the gay movement gaining ground. A part of this change in our culture is the realization we can be attacked, we have been attacked and you can be sure we will be attacked again.

The popular thing to do is long for those good old days. But I believe one of the greatest things that could be happening is exactly what is happening. Morality is low, culture is sick, and religious extremists want to kill us. Praise God! Now you might be thinking I have finally lost it, but stay with me. I praise God for this time in our lives because it is in times like these that faith grows and the gospel spreads. It is in the darkness that the light shines brightest. And it is in the times of persecution where faith is tested and proven.

We are not that far away from prison being the destination for those who will take a biblical stand on sexuality. We are not that far away from physical consequences, possibly even death being the price to be paid for being faithful to God and His Word. It is not too soon to check our faith and see that we are in the faith. It is not too soon to seek a deeper stronger relationship with our Father as the winds of trouble blow, and draw nearer our shores. Sure, the days are dark and perilous, but what a joy to know that God in His sovereignty has placed you and I in times like these to be His witness. What an awesome privilege to know that some of us might even have the honor of not only knowing Christ but also His sufferings! Things have changed a lot, or have they? In fact they have not changed as much as you might think. God has always called His people to give their all for Him. He has always called His people to shine in darkness. He has always called His people to live their faith out regardless of culture, time, or place.

The three networks are not the only stations anymore. Saturday morning cartoons are not that big of a deal anymore. It does not feel that safe anymore. But God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. What a great time to be alive!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

In 1994 Oregon voted on the Death With Dignity Act. It passed with 51 percent of the vote. It sounds nice doesn't it, death with dignity. It almost has a noble ring to it, I mean who would not want death with dignity? It is amazing what a title can do to dress something up. Death with dignity is a nice way of dressing up what is really murder. What this law allows doctors to do, is murder people. Yes it would normally be with the consent of the patient, but that is not always the case, Terry Schiavo ring a bell, and does that make it right?

If a patient want to be overdosed does that make it right? We are not talking about making a patient comfortable, we all want people to be as comfortable as possible as they suffer in their sickness and disease. None of us want a terminal cancer patient to suffer needlessly as they live out their last days on this earth. The desire for comfort should not be confused with killing the patient, which is what the Oregon law allows, and over 200 people have been murdered under the protection of this law.

Why this matters is that the Supreme Court with new Chief Justice Roberts, is taking up a challenge to this Oregon law from the United States. This is the first case the Supreme Court is looking at this new session and it will tell us much about the new Chief Justice. But more is at stake here than a look at where the new guy is going to land on this issue. This is a discussion of the sanctity of life. This is a further push towards a culture of death, should the court decide for Oregon. This is euthanasia, if a person does not want to live kill them, if someone cannot have the quality of life or be as productive as they believe or someone else believes they should be, then kill them. Does the name Adolf Hitler ring a bell?

Understand that the culture of death is growing and we are moving closer and closer to a society that kills those who do not fit the definition of quality of life. By the way, the older you get, that could mean you! So it is important to tune in to the Supreme Court Hearings and keep an eye on where this decision lands, as it truly is a matter of life and death!

blog you later
pastor tom

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

KNOWING YOUR SOURCES

The past few days the headline have been that Harriet Miers, the current nominee to the Supreme Court, is a pro-gay individual. I will not name all the places that I have seen the same headline, as it would take too much of my time and bore you to death. Suffice it to say I saw that same headline in over 10 places. If I was just a headline reader the conclusion I would have come was that she was a liberal horrendous nominee who will push gay rights and set conservative family values back to the dark ages.

Fortunately I am not just a headline reader. I have been around long enough to have become skeptical of any headline I read, good or bad. So what I did was get ahold of the late 1980's form that Miss Miers filled out when she was running for local office in Dallas. This form was one that the Lesbian and Gay movement gave to ALL candidates to fill out. In question one they are asked if they agree that homosexual and lesbian deserve the civil rights that heterosexuals have, and she answered yes, as would have you and I. Think about it, it does not say civil unions, it says civil rights! We all agree that all should have civil rights. The next question that had everyone jumping off the ship was the one about supporting AIDS education and patient support, and again she answered the way we would, that she is for education for AIDS and treating patients who are afflicted with it. We do not neglect medical care because we disagree with how someone acquired it, if we did forget treating smokers, drinkers and those who have sex before marriage! Miss Miers answered those questions thoughtfully and correctly. In fact at the end of the form there were two places to check off, one if you wanted the endorsement of the gay organization and one if you did not, and she checked off the one that said she DID NOT want their endorsement.

You can not do a worse job reporting than what has been done this week. It took me literally less than 5 minutes to track down her church speak to someone there who told me that Miss Miers was a born again Christian who loved the Lord and taught Sunday School and worked on Missions and would do anything to serve in her church. The moral of this story is you cannot be just a headline reader, if you are your opinions will very likely be ill informed and you will be shown to be in error more often than not.

The principle to follow whether you are reading a book of an article or hear it on the news, is if you are really interested check the primary source. Find out the source quoted and hunt it down for yourself. It is not all that hard and will be interesting for you to do. It is incumbent on God's people to be informed and not shoot off our mouths with only headline knowledge. Get beyond the headline, go deeper than there quote read, and hear everything skeptically , except the Word of God, which you can embrace whole heartedly right away. So I encourage you today to get beyond the headline, become more than a headline reader!

Oh by the way, you can now comment on the blogs, just hit the comment area and fire away!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

MORE HYPOCRISY FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

I never cease to be amazed at the Roman Catholic Church. It truly does show that you cannot come to Christ unless God gives you the faith to believe. I cannot fathom how people stay in such a corrupt system of crime and pedophilia. Regardless of belief, as a mom and dad how can you bring your children up in a church that enables, hides, and covers up the rape of children by it's leaders? That is a question for another blog.

Today I am fascinated by the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Church in the area of homosexuality. The church is extremely active in the citizens amendment that seeks to have marriage defined as between one man and one woman. I am glad they are active and getting people to sign the petitions, but there is a problem here. The problem is that the RC Church has for years ordained homosexual priests, without reservation. For years the RC Church has enabled gay men to have their way with young boys.

For the RC Church to come out (pun intended) so strongly against the gay movement and for the citizens amendment does not pass the smell test.(another pun intended) And what is the message from the RC Church to homosexuals? Like everything else they believe and teach it is a confused and heretical message. "You can be a priest, but we do not agree with your lifestyle. You can molest children, and we will help you cover it up and move you around from parish to parish, and if need be bring you to Rome where you are immune from any responsibility, but we do not agree with gay marriage."

I pray and encourage you all to pray for those trapped in the evil web of the hypocrisy and heresy that is known as the Roman Catholic Church!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Monday, October 03, 2005

THE NEXT STEP AFTER GAY MARRIAGE

Well it is happening, I quote from Al Mohlers blog:
"Brussels Journal is reporting the formalization of the first three-person civil union in The Netherlands. Victor de Bruijn of Roosendaal (a 46-year old man) "married" two women, Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35).
The report: "I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both," Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam's divorce the threesome decided to marry.
Victor: "A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage."
Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. "But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult." Victor stressed, however, that he is "a one hundred per cent heterosexual" and that a fourth person will not be allowed into the "marriage." They want to take their marriage obligations seriously: "to be honest and open with each other and not philander."


This is the next step and you can be sure this too will reach our shores. It will all happen and is happening under the banner of love. As long as you say love is your motivation then it it ok. How long will it be before adult men and women will because of love, seek to marry children? Not long at all in fact the media last year celebrated the marriage of the teacher who molested the 14 year old boy. She spent time in jail, got out, and wed the now 22 year old, and the media from People magazine to the daily newspapers celebrated this heinous wedding!

This is why we cannot stick our head in the sand and think things will go away or there is a time when the progression will stop. It does not stop and you can be sure your children and grandchildren are the prize for these sick people. So we pray for their souls and we fight the good fight for another day!

blog you later
pastor tom