Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Radio Show

I've been blessed with the opportunity to do an hour radio show each week on our AFN station! The first week was kind of rough but an excellent learning platform--some things I can only learn from doing!

This week we covered the topic of Hope and touched on suicide issues. Next week I've planned a show on friendship. We talk a lot about the Wingman concept. Chaplains use the word "friend". We all need friends! The music this Tuesday at 1500 will celebrate friendship.

I've even been able to plan the following week: parents and children. I've gotten most of the music for this but it has been the hardest so far. If you know of any tunes from the 70s, 80s, or 90s that covers this topic, let me know!

My sermon for Sunday is also underway! The topic for the sermon will be "Strength", as in the Lord will lift us as on wings of an Eagle! The Father strengthened Christ in His time of need, we too can expect to receive strength in our times of need.

An illustration of this: a young girl was going to take the plane to her grandmothers. This was in the day when we still used paper tickets. In the days and weeks before her journey she kept pestering her father to give her the ticket so she could hold on to it and know her journey was guaranteed. Her father kept replying that he would keep the ticket in safe-keeping until the moment she needed it.

That is how it often is with our strength--God gives it to us as we need it! We are all capable of far more than we realize. It's been said a hero is a normal person in extraordinary circumstances. When we have the need for strength, the Lord will deliver us!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Great Reversal

The Bible is full of reversals. People who have labored to get ahead and sacrificed their morality, their integrity and their souls to gain the world find that the world is an empty promise.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. The world only takes. Human beings are truly only dust in the wind in terms of the history of the world. Even the greatest civilizations of the past have been forgotten. Ours too will be forgotten and others rise up in its place (unless the Lord comes first!)

The Kingdom of God is eternal. It will never end and all who invest in it will be richly rewarded!

It is like the extravagent spender--he may look wealthy and happy, but he's living hand to mouth--spending income as he gets it, even going into debt to keep up the lifestyle. When it ends, it ends abruptly and he finds himself destitute.

Others live frugally, appearing to be somewhat poor even as they wisely save for the future. One day their investments mature and they live in wealth until the end of their days.

It's like the fable of the ant and the grasshopper. Here's a link to the fable if you've forgotten it!

The Kingdom of God works similarly--some choose to reject God and live according to the desires of the flesh. (Billy Joel--"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.") We can even be jealous of them in the shine of their youth as we watch them having fun, doing what they want. But the harvest they reap from this lifestyle is certainly not to be envied!

Instead, the people who have lived by restraint gain wisdom and become respected and sought after for their teaching. They become the rock, the shelter in the storm sharing the strength of God who has kept them strong all the years.

Certainly salvation may come to both types of people through the grace of God in Christ Jesus--but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord! I'd rather know the full joy of walking in will of God than the empty satisfaction of gorging my stomach!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Great Power=Great Responsibility

The catch-phrase of Spiderman is "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." This should also be a catchphrase of the Christian.

God has invested great power in the invidual Christian and even greater power in the Christian community known as the church. Individually and collectively, Christians have the power to forgive sins, the power to pray, the power to witness, the power to be the light on the hill, the power to be the salt of the earth, the power to be Children of the Lord Most High.

With that power comes responsibility. We must work to bring people to salvation. We must be good ambassadors for our Father and King. We must be the one's who take the high road even when it's not popular. We are witnesses! Let us tap into the great power, for then we will find the ability to share in the responsibility!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Christian Growth and Trees

Christian growth is much like the growth of trees. It is not constant. It comes in spurts and even seems to go away at times.

In the spring the tree grows quickly and puts out buds and new life all around. This is equal to times of joy and vigor in the life of faith.

In the summer the tree settles down to full leafy green beauty. This is the equivalent of the more mature Christian settling down to learn the depth of God's Word.

In the late summer the tree bears fruit. This is seen in the Christian life as the mature Chrsitian bearing the fruits of the spirit.

In the fall the tree is clothed in a glorious colorful display. In the Christian life this is the time of acknowledgement for service done in the church.

In the winter, the tree appears to be dead and not growing. In the Christian life this is the "Dark Night of the Soul". It can feel like faith is gone and God no longer hears prayer. But have no fear, life remains deep within and the roots still carry nutrients! And Spring is around the corner!

Christian growth is not constant at all! We need to rejoice at every stage of the way and not become prideful nor frightful!


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Is Baptism the Work of God or the Work of Man?

Who does the work in Baptism? This is key question in understanding the doctrine. For if the work in Baptism is done by humans then the benefit of baptism comes from the worthiness of the person being baptized.

If the person being baptized is being baptized based on his or her worthiness, then what is baptism? What benefit is baptism?

Now, if the work in baptism is done by God, then a person is made worthy in baptism. Baptism is a way that God reaches into a person's life and brings grace and favor into that person's life.

Baptism clearly belongs to God. He made the promise attached to baptism. He instituted baptism. God does the work in baptism.

This is a comfort because our relationship with God does not depend upon our strength of faith, strength of character or stength of anything in us. And that's a good thing because we're all sinners and we are weak. If our relationship with God depended upon anything from within us, that relationship would soon fail.

Instead, our relationship with God depends upon His strength. Our relationship with God depends entirely upon God. He gives us our faith, He gives us our strength, He gives us our Salvation. This is a comforting thought, in the darkness of our weakness we will always see the light of His strength!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What If the Wicked Witch of the West Repented?

We do find repentance entertaining. One of the biggest repentance scenes in a movie is that of Darth Vader in the third Star Wars movie. And the movie clearly implies that Vader found forgiveness upon his repentance.

What if the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz had repented? Of course she didn't and we see the other preferred end of evil characters: death and destruction. She remained hard hearted and it led to her destruction. Consider the end of the Wizard of Oz had she repented like Vader!

We also have what I would consider the opposite of repentance in the Incredible Hulk. He changes from a mild mannered gentleman into a raging hulk of a monster! That too is a complete change in thinking and acting but in the wrong way!

Repentance means coming to terms with your past. Hard heartedness means continued denial of reality and leads to bitterness and indeed destruction. I think Vader is the better path over the Wicked Witch!

It is up to each Christian to throw off the fetters of hard heartedeness and repent! For then we shall find forgiveness and be truly free!


Pastor Boarts