Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fathers Day - Celebrate Champion Fathers 2016

G.H. "Dick" Law, George Law, J.B. Johnson -Champions provide for their families

Father Fletcher Law, son Graham Law, Grandfather George Law got to celebrate a state championship together

We are approaching Father’s Day.
Mother’s Day is almost a sacred day in the church calendar.   People wax poetic for Mother’s Day.
People are quick to point out the sorry Fathers on Father’s Day.

This blog is about GOOD FATHERS.
George Law my champion
Other blogs will talk about the dreadful state of father’s.  I am sympathetic to that.  Today only about 30% of school kid’s live with both parents.  Many children we find are by necessity being raised by grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts uncles or friends.  These children might not have the  ideal family situation but they have people pulling and supporting them, thank the Lord, anyway. Many times kids children with poor home lives today do not even have a good model family with a father in the neighborhood to observe.

Once at a conference about youth I heard speaker say deridingly that a neighborhood of traditional intact families was a myth “There is no such thing as a ‘Leave It To Beaver’ family-never was. That is a myth. Nobody had that!”
My friend (Cason Farr) from childhood, church, school and high school football team whispered out loud “We did”.  And my friend was right.

We had great families and it was not by accident, luck, societal standing or ethnic group.
We had “Champions”.
What is a champion?  Isn't this a sports metaphor? No it’s biblical.
champions have a heart to compete
And as I said when I preached my Father’s funeral my family had one - a great champion - our father George Law.
What is a champion in biblical talk?
A champion represents, protects, provides and leads a people in the way they should go.  Yes there are good and bad champions.  
My adult son’s favorite childhood bed-time story was David and Goliath.
Goliath the giant Philistine was the champion for evil.
David the very young man (probably in his early teens)
was the champion for God’s people of Israel.
Worlds collided.  You know the story.
The giant Goliath was slain by a slingshot and beheaded by the small youth who had no chance.
No, the youth David was not helped by The Almighty because of the misguided notion that “God helps those who help themselves”.
The greater champion was David’s champion who delivered the victory for young David.
The champion David was a man “a man after the Lord’s own heart” as we read about the David and the Lord's relationship                   in Acts 13:22.
This boy man David was a champion because  he knew to serve the God of Israel.  Was David flawed? Sure he was.  But as the old time Methodist evangelist Sam P. Jones said “David was a great sinner, but he was a first-class repenter.”
David knew there there was a God in Israel and trusted and followed Him.
If you will read Psalm 51 David knew he had a Redeemer-Savior.
David’s champion was the Lord and a trust in a coming Messiah.

At a Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s meeting I once heard the University of Georgia football strength coach Dave Van Halanger talk about his young son’s anxiety in hearing the often repeated command "to follow Jesus".  The boy asked his father with a worried face and tears how could he follow a Jesus he could not see as that was taught in Sunday School. 
Dave told him from the Good Book in 1 Corinthians 11:1(NIV)
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
Dave then put it in other words to be understood by his troubled young son.
 “Son, you follow me, I’ll follow Jesus.”        

You have a champion no matter your gender, race, income or status.  We all have a champion who defeated death, hell and the grave for you.
His Name is Jesus Christ.
Lord send a revival now we plead.

Lift Jesus Up!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Death: The Last Enemy of Jesus Christ

Death must be the subject least talked about in American society.  Death is conversely the most thought about unspoken subject on our minds.  The Orlando mass murders made the nation’s soul gasp. Days before a young female celebrity was shot and killed while in a receiving line to meet fans. On our streets a mother and her children were killed as they merely turned into traffic. Loved ones with a cancer die in agony in the hospital. Over 800,000 babies per year have died as the result of abortion. War fatalities now and in the recent past affect our American society. How do we really think about death? This June there is a movie “Me Before You” that ends with encouraged suicide.   “Death was a blessing” is said at thousands of funerals where we really have tremendous doubt and uncertainty about the person’s eternal destiny.

What does The Lord through Scripture say about                                    the value of human life?
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

What does Jesus Christ think and will do about death? His Word calls Death His  LAST ENEMY & HE WILL DESTROY DEATH
1 Corinthians 15: 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

Why did death come into the world? Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

What did Christ do about death? He paid your penalty of sin with his death that atoned your sin on the cross.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

There is no redemption and eternal life in heaven with the human death of a person. There is salvation and heaven in the sin payment death of the God/man Jesus Christ.  

Why are we not sharing the Good News now! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Idols of our Minds

To see many Christians crawfish (backup) on certain biblical beliefs ask them if they believe in an actual and historical Adam, Noah, Moses, or Jonah.  You often can then step back and watch a mental banana split happen close up.  “Well it does not matter…, it’s the meaning…, it’s a faith story…, science …, in those times…, maybe sorta.”  I think another banana split is happening in their mind as the defense of biblical and gospel integrity is pulling against the defense of their most cherished idol. Their great idol has a little nymph  – their point of view which proceeds from their mega idol - their mind.   Many once great churches and seminaries have put in the museum the terms INERRANCY and INFALLIBILITY. And in their duty spot where these terms were once seated were left inadequate and misleading definitions of old pillars of the faith.  So we have people of the church who give up belief in Scripture over not being perceived as having a modern mind.
INERRANCY means simply in the original autographs that the message

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Judgement - a homeless shelter - a football game

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Driving home today from Good News at Noon I considered the vast array of people a person meets in a short time. I have served as the pastor of this ministry going on four years.   While working at this ministry you meet volunteers from all the downtown churches, street people, great citizens of our community that are of all ages, wealthy, poor, Christian, non-Christians, homeless people and the working poor. Good News at Noon is an almost thirty year old ministry that serves as a gospel centered homeless shelter, food kitchen, children’s ministry and a gospel preaching and teaching ministry.
Make no mistake this is a place where many people and myself love to serve.  People who visit almost always come back. But there is a problem there like all places – People!  People like me can be frustrating to work with. I have to remind myself not to look with reactionary eyes.  I need to look through the lens of grace and look to Jesus.  Many times I have been wrong in life by wanting a quick read and decision on people.  This made me reflect on a football game from almost twenty years ago.
For the 1987 Fiesta Bowl Football game for the national college football championship, the nation saw the Penn State Nittany Lions as good guys versus the Miami Hurricanes the bad guys . The good citizens at Penn State with their legendary republican head coach wore plain uniforms with no flashy decals on their helmets, stripes on their pants or names on the back of their jerseys. Penn State did it the “old school” right way. They were understated and respectfully polite. The Miami Hurricanes came to town wearing military camouflage outfits, walked out on a bowl game dinner for the teams, talked smack and brought WWE type flavor to the game. If the Hurricanes were not hoods they wanted to be seen as such. The “new school” did it wrong in the nation’s media view.
Penn State upset the very talented Miami team 14-10 in a nail biter.  The “good guys” won and the “bad guys” lost – so it seemed.  But as Paul Harvey used to say, now we know “the rest of the story”.
Penn State has great people but a respected defensive coach was committing crimes of sexual abuse on young boys while leading a charity for youth. This was going on for years and has scared this great university’s history.  Miami is known for great and eye popping football. Now we know many of the camo wearing players have done great things for individuals and charities.
So who are the bad people here? EVERYBODY.  That is why we need Jesus Christ.
Christ Jesus will not grade on your average of good deeds or on the curve.  He came to help the helpless which is us.  He grades on his blood which is pure and spotless and was shed to cover your sins. Are your sins covered?
Christ the King is coming back in judgment someday. This is overlooked too much by the church.  We will talk about Christmas(Advent), His death and Resurrection (Easter), and his Ascension.  His return will happen one day. Then their is a Judgement.  We worship the LORD Jesus Christ because of GRACE we  instead of our deserved judgement when we believe! Thank you Jesus.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

God is Not Dead 2, MY REVIEW

God is Not Dead 2,  MY REVIEW: The movie to me was totally believable by the way Protestant Christians are treated in American society. I know fellow ministers from overseas that I met in seminary that lost parental relationships when they became Christians. I work in a great public school system currently. Previously I have served in two different public school systems where I viewed administrators reprimanded teachers for having a Bible on a bookshelf or desk. After the movie credits 20 cases against Christian employees by schools were displayed. Yet I have seen a few reviews from some naval gazing theologians about what was wrong with this movie. The movie is inspiring, believable and I would strongly recommend it.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

1977 NCAA Final Four at The Omni in Atlanta,GA

                                  Marquette fans going Starsky and Hutch Mode to the big dance
                                      Phil Ford with a injured shooting wing that night
The Shark surrounded by Carolina and UNLV fans. Guess which schools they support by their dress.

The 1977 final 4 was in Atlanta's Omni my senior year. Few remember UGA was the host and you could get tickets. This was before the NCAA learned they could gouge their fans and double dipping after receiving hundreds of millions from the networks. Marquette beat UNC Charlotte on a Duke Kentucky 1992 type full court last play of the game shot. This was not over-hyped as both teams made the mistake of not being in the ACC (so it does not matter). Dean Smith suffered a key injury to Phil Ford against UNLV. Ford was limited against Marquette in the championship fina. It was a different day. Short shorts were on the court. Carolina fans wore ties to the game and politely spit their Redman in a stadium cup and clapped like it twas a tennis match (balancing those cups I guess). UNLV fans dressed in stereotypical fashion like Telly Savalas, had perms (unlike Telly) silk shirts, chest hair and gold chains flying, UNC-Charlotte had Cornbread Maxwell, and that about sums up their basketball history. The fans mixed in as a big community college did not fit the scene. Marquette was a media darling. Coach Al McGuire hyped the crowd as he was who I think a lot of pro wrestler promoters took lessons from. He won his last game and cried on the bench as a national champion. He parlayed that into millions talking about this one game for over 20 years as a TV analyst for CBS college basketball.

See UNC - Charoltte come up short on Youtube

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Preachers & Presidential Politics When It Is Convenient For Them

1 Corinthians 14:8 (NKJV) For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?

The term evangelical is clear as mud today.  What I once presupposed was that “evangelicals” all believed  John 14:6“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  
During a 1970’s presidential campaign many evangelical preachers thought they had one of their own running for office.  A candidate used the term “Born Again” in a Playboy article.   This man still teaches Sunday School.  This one term President's tribe or affiliate of a Protestant faith definitely refutes in practice any inerrancy or infallibility claims of the Bible.   Next the evangelicals supported the man who would defeat that "evangelical" former president.  The winning candidate was divorced and rarely attended church when he was president. Next we had a conservative who attended a liturgical and mostly self described liberal affiliate of Protestant Christianity. He was defeated by a member of the largest conservative evangelical denomination in America. Some members of this conservative denomination tried to throw their fellow denominational member and presidential election winner out but their own theology kept them from it (church autonomy).  He was followed by a conservative who talked evangelical talk but was a member of a “opened minded”  church denomination with which his statements of faith rarely coincided with his denomination’s leaders.   The current president has been often questioned if he were even a Christian or of a middle-eastern faith.  No, this president declared he was a Christian. The current president said when running  that he was grounded in the historic faith at his local church. His pastor was then found by the media to preach messages with theology far from the historic faith that declared Jesus Christ as Lord.  Later the president could not recall some explosive and racially charged sermons that were far from the orthodox Christian faith recorded by his pastor.  A president would not be the first American to drift off during sermons and miss a preached message, or miss church for a round of golf.

In the previous election the evangelical community as a majority tried to elect a man that was not evangelical.   This candidate was not even part of the historic Christian faith. “Close enough” was the message we received from many conservative evangelical leaders. They were willing to twist and compromise theology to get their official guy elected.  It did not work out.
Now influential evangelical ministers and theologians are throwing accusations and endorsements all over the place.  The leading Democrat is a self-described liberal who credits her mainline denomination with teaching her society changing policies.   Her denomination’s heritage used to boast of their genesis that they were “born in revival!”  Yet some who will support her claim to be “evangelical”.  The muddy lens is thickening. 

The conservative “evangelicals” are now swooping to attack a populist front runner. Why? Does this candidate have a record of serial allegations of sexual assaults on women like a recent former president had while married and in office?  No.  Does this candidate plan to further fund Planned Parenthood and use our taxes to fund the abortions of innocent children like the current president?  No.  Evangelical conservative big-wigs are coming out and going for his throat.  This man cannot be tolerated.  What are the accusations?  The leading Republican candidate is rude.  He has a history of brashness.  This cannot be tolerated by any of our “evangelical” church spokespeople. 
                        A Message to Preachers

During the Christmas season this verse is often used and forgotten for the rest of the year.   Isaiah 9:6” For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;  And the GOVERNMENT will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”  Do you really believe Christ can deal with the government? 
Salvation is by grace and not works.  Politics are by works.   The people vote for people they can identify with.  The church today cannot even identify what an evangelical is.  Preacher your task seems pretty simple.  Preach the gospel clearly and stop making uncertain sounds with your trumpet of direction for your people.  If the church people do not know that an evangeical is one who brings the gospel then we have a big problem.   We now have to ask what is the gospel the church is bringing?  Confused people will cause confused voters.  How do you bring the gospel which is what an "evangel" is?  How do you serve the Christian faith?  When in doubt preach the only lifesaving faith through the life death, burial resurrection and one day return of Jesus Christ.  A good place to start is John 14:6 that says  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” 
Preacher, If you want to change the culture then help change your people.   In a time of panic in His day the preacher Jesus gave a message.  Mark 1:14-15 “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”