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Friday, July 31, 2015

Bicycle wreck and a great daughter

On July 23rd I was riding my bicycle down the highway.  I had ridden 27 miles and was about 6 or 7 miles from home.  I was having a good day and enjoying the morning ride.  Without any warning a 3/4 ton 4X4 truck came across the white stripe and hit me in the back.  The truck was traveling at about 60 mph.  I was launched into the air and then down to the pavement.  I slid for quite a distance on the pavement and lost a lot of skin.  The collision broke my bicycle in the middle, broke my wrist, damaged my ribs on both sides, twisted my ankle, hurt my shin and my knee on the left side, put bruises on legs, back, back of both arms, and truly impacted me emotionally as I thought through what happened.  The people who saw the accident all believed I was dead.  However, by the grace of God I am still alive.  I have been in pain for 8 days now and operating at a very reduced level.

This event has taught me a lot and I know that God has had and will continue to have great purposes to come from it.  The greatest impression that I had was the realization of the brevity of life.  My life is a vapor and soon it will be gone.  Secondly, it has reminded my once again of the value of family, friends, and certainly the church body.  Third, in the midst of pain and shock it is still right to preach the gospel to the ambulance personnel, highway patrols, firetruck personnel, paramedics, the guy who hit me, the people who stopped to check on me, and to anyone else who was listening that day.  Lastly, it has taught me that people actually do care and love me.  This has been the most humbling of all.  It has greatly impacted me for people to check on me, come by and pray for me, bring me food, and simply to write things that have blessed my heart.

I am thankful that God caused a truck to run over me in order to teach me these lessons.  I certainly do not ever want to experience this again, but I am thankful and I know without a shadow of a doubt that my God does all things well.

And to finish this article I would like to add what my daughter wrote about this event.  I love my daughter and what she writes shows her love for me:

"The bicyclist you just joked about running over for points, he has a wife that loves and depends on him. The bicyclist you just swerved, yelled, or threw your trash at; he has children, some that haven't even graduated yet, a young daughter that deserves to have her dad walk her down the aisle someday. The bicyclist that you just ran over with your truck at 60 mph because you weren't paying attention, he has a newborn granddaughter that hasn't met him yet. Please share the road. I know it tests your patience, but cyclists are people and their lives matter to many." (Samantha) 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Voice of the Offended Preacher

In the last few years and especially the last months it seems that the whole world is offended.  Flags are being removed, equal rights are shouting their views, a Confederate Soldier Memorial is vandalized in Denton Texas because it expresses Racism, politicians are apologizing for statements, people are infuriated because a cake baker will not bake a cake for certain people, and on and on and on and on and on it goes.  To quote the old line, "Where it stops nobody knows."

Well for anyone who cares to read my rant I just want to go on record that I am OFFENDED by the following (they are in random order as they come to mind):
Alcohol sales
Bad language in the public schools, public park, stores, and public events
Loud music
Country music
Gothic dress
People using the middle finger while driving
Texting while driving
People skipping church for worldly things
The gospel being watered down
Shallow music in the church
People using electronics while I am preaching
Pre-tribulation dispensationalist
Women preachers
Boys wearing earrings
Parents who will not use a belt on their kids bottom
And, I am offended at people who are offended by what I am offended about!

Just for the record, so as to bring some clarity to my position.  I am a preacher of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the only way to heaven.  Jesus is fully God and fully man.  Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and brought forth by a virgin.  Jesus is sinless.  Jesus is the judge of the universe.  Jesus will throw some people into hell and He will escort His elect into His Kingdom.  Jesus used words like hell, wrath, judgment, repentance, and He used them often.  Jesus excludes Muslims, Buddhist, New Agers, Atheist, Agnostics, Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and every other works based religion that does not repent and honor Him alone as the only Lord and Savior of sinful man. "Do you take offense at this?" (John 6:61)  Jesus said, "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." (John 6:65)

I will continue to preach that the sinless Son of God came to give His life as a ransom for many.  He died on the cross of Calvary as a substitute for sinners.  He absorbed the fullness of the wrath of God in the place of the elect.  He took the sinfulness of man upon Himself and imputed His perfect righteousness to all who repent and believe.  He rose from the dead on the third day.  He was seen after the resurrection by over 500 people at one time.  He has commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel.  Those who do will be gloriously saved and those who do not will be forever damned.

If what has been said in this blog is offensive, then REPENT.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I continue to run across people today that say that ‘tithing’ is not to be practiced in our day and time.  They claim that tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament and that it has passed away with the old covenant.  Is this true?  These well meaning people emphasize that giving is a matter of the heart and that God blesses a cheerful giver.  They claim that when giving is done in the church it ought to be out of a love for the Lord and not simply a duty that must be obeyed.  They claim that to encourage tithing is to fall into legalism.  The people who claim tithing to be a form of legalism are usually the same people who do not think that the 4th commandment is still valid.  If we put both of these thoughts together we end up with a group of people who rebel against the Sabbath and rob the local church of the necessary funds to do the work that God has called the church to do. 
First, I would like to say that I agree with God blessing a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).  In many ways the teaching of the NT should compel one to give far and above the 10 percent mark.  According to the NT it would be good to sell all one has and give it to the poor.  If all the saints would give with a full and joyful heart the things that could be done for missions would greatly increase overnight.  However, does the truth of a cheerful heart negate the reality that the saints ought to tithe 10 percent?  Second, if there is one thing I know about the people of the 21st century it is that most people are undisciplined.  In order for a person to tithe 10 percent each and every paycheck, they will need discipline, faith, and a resolve towards the things of God.  God gave us such a discipline to guard our hearts against materialism, selfishness, and forgetfulness.  When people do not tithe they readily spend money upon the material.  When people do not tithe they immediately begin to believe that all the money they possess belongs to them.  Thus, if they feel like it they will give a bit of it to the church.  When people do not tithe they forget to trust God and be dependent upon Him for all things.  
When Jesus is pronouncing judgment upon the Pharisees we find that He acknowledges the necessity ἀποδεκατόω (to tithe, collect a tithe).  In Matthew 23:23 Jesus once again calls the Pharisees ὑποκριτής (hypocrites, actors, pretenders).  They are acting one way and then doing another.  They are saying one thing and doing the opposite.  They get one side right and the other side wrong.  The side that they get right is that they ἀποδεκατόω (to tithe, collect a tithe).  The side that they get wrong is that they ἀφίημι (to leave, depart, neglect) matters that carry more weight than tithing.  They have neglected justice, mercy, and faithfulness.  They should have done these last three as well if not more so than the tithing that they were doing.  Notice what Jesus is saying in the last sentence of verse 23.  The English phrase from the ESV is “These you ought to have done.”  In Greek He uses δεῖ which means, “To be under necessity of happening, it is necessary, one must, one has to.”  Jesus is saying, “It is absolutely necessary for you to practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness.”  However, you should not ἀφίημι (to leave, depart, neglect) the tithing mint, dill, and cumin.  
In one verse Jesus has shown that tithing is valid and should be practiced and at the same time shown the importance of justice, mercy, and faithfulness.  Notice, Jesus did not say, “You do not need to tithe anymore since we are in a new covenant.”  He simply says that Christians must practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness without neglecting tithing. 

I am sure that there are those who will not be convinced about tithing by my very short article, but do not tell me tithing is not in the NT.  For those who have the audacity to say that it is only one verse, I would reply and say that one verse is certainly enough.  I would also let you know that this is not the only verse on tithing in the NT, but I will let you try to find the others.   

Thursday, February 20, 2014


ἀναγιγνώσκω - "To read something that is written or inscribed, read" (BDAG).  This word is used 32 times in the New Testament.  7 times in the gospel of Matthew Jesus is asking, "Have you not read?" in reference to the Old Testament.  Out of the 7 times this word is used in Acts, 5 of them are in reference to reading in the Old Testament.  In Thessalonians and Revelation the word is used in reference to public reading in the church.  

In the book of revelation this word is used under the heading of those who would be blessed by God.  Those who are blessed are those who "continually read," "continually hear," and "continually keep" what is written in the book.  

Reading seems to be a lost art in our world today in light of TV, movies, and electronic fascination.  There is a tremendous loss for those who do not read on a regular basis and it cannot be recovered by any other means.  Reading is one of those things that cannot be duplicated by some other technique.  Reading is one of the greatest blessings that a person can engage in.  Reading exposes people to the gospel, to the beauty of Christ, the wonder of the atonement, the history of the church, the future of the church, the immanent return of Christ, etc.  Reading allows people to sit at the feet of Owen, Watson, Bunyan, Swinnock, Spurgeon, Edwards, Morris, Beale, Carson, MacArthur, and a host of others.  

Reading is a discipline.  Reading is a reward.  Reading is an adventure.  Reading is an exposure.  Reading is one of the greatest privileges of the Christian faith.  

I ran across the following quote and pass it on for you to READ:

Keep on Reading

Even if I don’t read as many books as others, I still read. If I’m not reading, I’m relying on my memory which seems to be decreasing daily. So I read. I once heard someone say that books don’t change people--sentences do. If I glean two or three sentences from a book that affect the way I think and the way I live, that’s time well invested. So I read. Books give me the opportunity to learn from and about godly, bright, insightful people I’ll never meet. So I read. What I know will always be dwarfed by what I don’t know. So I read. Books help me become more effective at what I do. So I read.

- Bob Kauflin

Have you READ lately?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

10 Commandments Revisited

10 Commandments Revisited
Let me start my theological reflection by saying that the use of the law in the conversion of sinners is necessary for our day.  It is the law of God that slays the pride of the human heart and exposes one to the need of the Savior.  We live in a world in which the idea of good works, good character, and good intentions seem to rule the day.  It is the law of God that will destroy those three categories.  As the apostle would say, “sin lies dead until the law comes and revives it.”  It is the law that shows men that they are liars, thieves, adulterers, and idolaters.  I am thankful for those who have helped us return to the use of the law in the conversion of sinners.  We have enough watered-down easy believism in the modern church of America and it is refreshing to know that people are using the law for the right purpose.
Over the years there have been discussions about which part of the Old Testament was still applicable in our day.  We understand as we read the Old Testament that we no longer have to bring a bull, turtle dove, or a grain offering to atone for our sins.  We agree that if a woman is caught in adultery today we cannot take her to the edge of town and stone her to death.  It seems that there has been a consensus that we hold to the moral law (10 commandments), but not the laws that were specifically for the nation of Israel and their government at that time.  These things seem clear in the New Testament as well and we can readily see the 10 commandments used and applied by the apostles and by Jesus.  
At this point you may be wonder where the word ‘but’ is going to appear.  You may be wondering where I am going with this theological reflection.  Well here it is.  In the use of the 10 commandments it appears that we have erased one of the commandments and many who are using the law in the conversion of sinners should have gospel tracts that refer to the 9 commandments.  Let me list the commandments for you:
  • You shall have no other gods besides me
  • You shall not make for yourself a carved image
  • You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain
  • Honor your father and mother 
  • You shall not murder
  • You shall not commit adultery
  • You shall not steal
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (do not lie)
  • You shall not covet
You can read through the list and you can check them in Exodus chapter 20.  Do you see that one that is missing?  Do you find your favorite command in the list?  Which commandments do you use on your children?  Which commandment do you use on your lost friends?  Which commandments do you use when you preach on the streets (while skipping worship at a local church)?  Which commandment do parents use on their children while they casually stroll off to work, shopping, and the ball game on Sunday?  Are you catching on yet?  There is very little if any talk about commandment number four.  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy!
How are we supposed to regard the Sabbath?  God says, “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.  On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter . . . why?  For in six days the LORD made all creation and rested the seventh day.  Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  It would be refreshing to hear some people begin to practice and use the fourth commandment.  After all, if the other nine are valid applications for the use of evangelism then what justification does one have to erase number four.  
Let us look at the law sir.  Let us look at the law madam.  Let us look at the law sports fans.  Let us look at the law fisherman, hunter, and discount shoppers of America.  Have you ever disregarded the Sabbath day in order to live life for yourself?  What does that make you?  Uh, I am not sure.  It makes you a disobedient rebellious Sabbath breaker.  The crowd of church skipping street preachers, Sunday working Baptist, and most of religious America says, “Hey, do not judge me! I like the other 9 commandments, but do not use number 4 on me because that was a different time and culture.”  
I have been counseling teenagers, wives and husbands for 14 years to not take that job and have just received word that I had one person listen.  That one person was my son and I am so proud of him.  He moved to Illinois, found a house, and started looking for a job.  He was given an interview and practically guaranteed the job.  The only problem is that it was a job that included Sunday.  The employer was a Catholic businessman and my son looked him in the eye and told him he would work hard, be honest, and show up to work on time, but not on Sunday.  What happened?  He did not get the job.  
However, the Catholic businessman was so impressed that he called the Baptist deacon who owns another business in town and told him he ought to hire my son.  Conclusion, my son did not get a part-time job that was on Sunday, but rather he got a full-time job that does not work on Sunday.  I am one proud dad today.  It is wonderful to see someone who would be obedient to God and see God take care of His own.  God can be trusted.  

What about you?  Are you a disobedient rebellious Sabbath breaker or are you one of those who sets aside the time and place to be with God’s people and worship the living God?     

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Abortion/Civil Disobedience/Blessing

Murder/Civil Disobedience/Blessing
The issue of murdering babies has been around for over 5,000 years and has always been a serious matter before God.  Murder by definition is, “deliberately killing a person”.  In Exodus 1:15-16 the king of Egypt commands the murder of Hebrew male children.  He says, “If it is a son, you shall kill him”.  The Hebrew midwives who were named Shiphrah and Puah clearly and adamantly defied the king.  The action of the midwives (we should say, “lack of action” – they did not do what he said) was clearly a case of civil disobedience.  Pharaoh gave a direct order and the midwives disobeyed.  This decision by the midwives is the same decision that Christians of all generations have made.  When the policies, decrees, and public opinions of the day go directly against the Word of God, it is then that the people of God stand in agreement with the Word of God.  It is similar to Peter and the apostles when they said, “We must obey God rather than men!”  
It is in times like these that Christians not only have the right, but the responsibility to resist.  These two ladies in Exodus started a revolution, a slave revolt, which ultimately led to Israel being delivered out of Egypt.  Shiphrah and Puah became the first pro-life heroines and the course they took gives an example for all Christians to follow.  Murder is wrong, even if commanded by the king of the land.   What would cause two women to have the courage to defy a king and actually put their own lives at risk (Pharaoh could have executed them for their disobedience)?  Exodus 1:21 tells us plainly that the actions of the midwives was motivated by the ‘fear of God’.  They understood that obeying God is always a safer path than disobeying God.  Shiphrah and Puah knew that murder was wrong even before the 10 commandments were given.  The law was written upon their hearts and they knew murder was wrong.  They knew that Pharaoh could kill them physically for their action, but they knew that their souls must give an account to God.  
What was the result for Shiphrah and Puah standing boldly for God and denying Pharaoh?  Exodus 1:20-21 says, “God dealt well with the midwives . . . and God gave them families”.  What action did God take against Pharaoh and those who would support the murder of innocent children?  God sent plague after plague upon the Egyptians until they let His people go.  God in absolute and perfect justice overthrew the entire Egyptian nation and drowned their entire army in the Red Sea.  The Hebrews multiplied to a number in the millions and were ultimately led into the promise land.  
Here we are in 2014 living in a country that has murdered millions of innocent babies.  We live in a country that condones, promotes, encourages, and pushes the agenda of the murdering of innocent babies.  Our country has so taken this position that abortion is seen as a normal and correct action for women of our day.  The president and government leadership of our country have yet to decree murder as a law, but it does not seem all that far away.  In our country it appears in public opinion that murder is correct and any person who would speak against the murder of innocent children is a radical extremist.  Our country has become so blind that they are offended that the word ‘murder’ is used in regards to the subject of abortion.  Wow!  A person would have to be absolutely blind to not be able to see that when a baby in the womb is killed that that is murder.  The woman having the abortion pays the physician to pull the trigger and execute the baby.  In any other scenario everyone understands what this means.  If a woman pays a man to shoot her boss, it is understood that both will be brought before the judge on murder charges.  When a woman on her on or with the assistance of others pays a physician to kill her baby it ought to be clear what the issue is. 

I want to conclude this short article by asking, “Where are the Shiphrah’s and Puah’s of the day?”  Will anyone stand up for the life of the innocent?  What will happen to our country in the end?  Who is God going to bless?  Jesus should have the last word on this matter: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). 

*Please check out the documentary, Babies Are Murdered Here, that our church plant, Christ is King Baptist Church (Syracuse, NY) has produced with Crown Rights Media.  It features Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. and has been endorsed by Dr. Larry Bray of The North American Reformed Seminary and Greg Gordon of Sermon Index

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Freewill - "The power asserted of moral beings of choosing within limitations or with respect to some matters without restraint of physical or divine necessity or causal law" (Webster Dictionary).   According to Webster's there may be some limits to freewill and there may be cases where there is no restraint.

I have been in church for over 45 years and have heard the term freewill so many times that I have lost count.  In a religious context the term is being used in relation to man and God.  Does man truly possess absolute freedom of choice or perhaps there are some limits to his choices?

A few observations of my freewill not working as of late.  First, the lake where I live is 8 feet low and it is a growing concern for local residence.  I went to the lake and stood on the shore and freely decided that the lake should be full.  Not surprisingly the lake is still 8 feet low.  Second, I am a avid cyclist and runner and in recent months my right knee has been causing me some problems.  Thus, the other night I freely and definitively made the freewill choice for my knee to be fully well.  However, my knee still hurts today.  Third, I have tried my freewill in the physical world, the physical body, and now I have tried it in a family matter.  My daughter lives in Alaska and recently gave birth to our first grandson.  They live just a bit over 4,000 miles away from us.  I made the freewill decision to have them move to Texas.  They are still in Alaska.  My freewill does not seem to be working out the way I wish it would. Fourth, perhaps I should try out my freewill in spiritual matters.  The thing that causes me the greatest difficulty in this life is sin.  If I could quit sinning surely my life would be full of abundance.  I made a resolute and firm freewill decision to stop sinning.  I decided that I would never sin again.  Well?  It did not work.

I was reading in Exodus this morning and started pondering the freewill of Pharaoh.  Pharaoh made a lot of decisions, but where his decisions contradicted God's decisions it was God who always got his way and Pharaoh who lost.  I list but one example.  In Exodus 1:10 Pharaoh says pen-yirbe, which means, "lest they multiply".  Pharaoh makes a decision to keep the Hebrew people from multiplying and enacts a direct order to murder all male babies.  In Exodus 1:12 God says, ken-yirbe, which means, "the more they shall multiply".  Two decisions have been made by two opposing parties.  They cannot both have what they choose.  In Exodus 1:20 the text says, "And the people multiplied and grew very strong".

God is the only possessor of absolute freedom and whatever He chooses He receives.  To quote the Psalmist, "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases" (Psa. 115:3).  Rather than clinging to and yearning for a supposed freewill it would be far better to humbly fall before the God of heaven and say, "Thy will be done".