Backward verse of the day (#10)

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11 Jesus Christ reverses the relationship we had to life and death. In the past, sin was our lover and death our destiny. But Christ absorbed the abuse we deserved for sin and he became one with sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus actually became sin. For our sake he [the Father] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. This is the great exchange that we call “salvation.” Jesus Christ became sin for us, we become righteous to God. The greater understanding one has of his or her own sin, and the greater understanding one has of the holiness and perfect righteousness of God, the more shocking and mind-blowing this exchange becomes. This is, without question, the most…

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The World Needs Strong Men

Nancy Gibbs published this article in Time Magazine called “Affirmative Action for Boys.” She ackowledges the problems that college admissions departments face in trying to maintain a balanced boy/girl ratio in their freshmen classes. In an effort to achieve this, some “colleges are quietly stripping the pastels from brochures and launching Xbox tournaments to try to close the gap in the quality and quantity of boys applying.” The unintended and unfortunate consequence of progress regarding women in society has led to men more and more finding themselves somewhat useless and unmotivated.

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Backward verse of the day (#9)

9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. James 1:9-10 …has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? James 2:5 James gives us a backwards (=biblical) view of money here. A biblical view of money leads one to the conclusion that wealth is ultimately cancerous to our souls. Why? Because it slowly deceives us, day by day, into placing too much hope in money. Jesus warned of a rich fool in Luke, who said this: “I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:19). God responds to him and says “You fool!” Wealth is not…

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The Apostle Paul and Abraham Maslow on “Needs” and “Wants”

What is the guiding principle when considering wealth? Contentment. Paul says this in 1 Timothy 6: 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. My wife and I are planning a move to Cincinnati to plant a church this summer. As we survey the various housing options available, it creates quite a stir in our hearts concerning “needs” and “wants.” All people agree on certain needs: food, clothing, shelter, etc., but there are other things that we may call “needs” that quite certainly belong in the category of “wants,” such as a house with a garage, 3 bedrooms, central heating and cooling, and so on. Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist, summarizes in a chart a “hierarchy of…

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Backward verse of the day (#8)

1 Peter 3:9 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. On the practical side of backwards theology is how Christians are to respond to the various evils in the world. Jesus was our ultimate example of this, who blessed others while being persecuted and executed. Unfortunately, some have turned even this notion into moralistic religion, assuming that the means to achieving our approval before God is to simply follow Jesus’ example of backwards living. This is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that we are to place our faith in Christ and receive a purified heart through the Holy Spirit. As a result, we can obey this verse. But if Jesus is merely a moral model, then he is no greater than Ghandi. Ghandi was quite impressed with…

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Worship Leadership Series (part nine): Building Your Band

If you want to have a solid, contemporary worship band, you’ll need the right combination of instruments from different categories. 1. Lead Instrument: acoustic guitar or piano. A lead instrument is a stand alone instrument that can be used to lead worship with or without the presence of other instruments. Acoustic guitar is most common and much easier to play and so most bands will be built around it. You can lead contemporary worship songs with just a guitar or a piano; I’ve done it many times. You can lead worship with an electric guitar, but not without other instruments present. 2. Rhythm Section: it is best to have both percussion and bass guitar or none at all. The kick drum and the bass need to synchronize timing for a tight sound. Essentially, the bass guitar and drums are married. The rhythm and cadence of a song is critical because…

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Are You a Christian Misfit? (again!)

C. Michael Patton has done it again. He has shown me that there is hope for those of us who don’t fit in well in the Christian subculture. To see how well you fit in, go here. By the way, Michael and I are good friends.

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Backward verse of the day (#7)

The book of 1 Peter has several backwards commands for us. The gospel reverses our suffering; turning it from a moment of shame and pain into an opportunity for rejoicing. When we suffer unjustly, we share uniquely in the unjust sufferings of Christ. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:20…

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