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Showing posts from August, 2011

Q&A Sunday

Today I spent my sermon time fielding questions from the church family. This is always a rich time as we tackle different personal and doctrinal issues and attempt to bring God's Word to bear on them.

The audio has now been uploaded to our podcast. (Click here to listen).

Here are the questions and at what point they are addressed:

0:00     Introduction & Prayer
7:00     Is my wayward child a Christian?
13:35   Can Christians be demon-possessed?
16:30   How do I treat my atheist brothers who are ridiculing me? 
25:30   My brother is obsessed with conspiracy theories.
            What should I do?
33:20   How do we reconcile God's sovereignty with
            human responsibility?
41:00   Why don't we have revival meetings today?

Can Christians be demon-possessed?

A Christian counselor once wrote,

“Just this morning a young man I have never met called and poured out his story. He is a college graduate, articulate, and displaying a large vocabulary. He is a professing Christian, yet he is in such emotional anguish and bondage that he cannot hold down a job. He has spent large sums of money on psychiatry without apparent help. His waking hours are torment, and his sleeping hours result in hideous, bizarre behavior and a trancelike condition. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ he cried out. ‘Am I possessed with demons?’ ” (Mark Bubeck, The Adversary, p. 17)
Torment. Anguish. Bizarre behavior. Trances. Demon Possession. Is this possible for a Christian? Can a believer really be handled by a demon like a remote control?

Charles Ryrie defines demon possession as “a demon residing in a person, exerting direct control and influence over that person, with certain derangement of mind and/or body. Demon possession is to be distinguished from demon influence or demon …

Take a look in the mirror

Mirrors are an everyday part of life. We have them in our bedrooms, bathrooms, purses, and cars. They're in homes, offices, schools, and restaurants. Some are to help us with grooming and appearance. Others are for safety, or to add light, or to give the illusion that a room is bigger than it actually is.

It doesn't hurt to do a quick check in the mirror from time to time and make sure everything's OK (no broccoli in the teeth, please!). But whenever we prepare to worship God, and particularly when we prepare for the Lord’s Table, it's essential to look in a mirror. Not just a physical mirror out of concern for what others might think of our outward appearance. But a spiritual mirror out of a concern for what God will see at our inward appearance.

This is precisely what Paul has in mind in 1 Corinthians 11:28. "So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup." This speaks of a critical examination, a careful inspe…

Back home from the hospital

Thanks for your continued prayers for Natalie. I brought her home from the hospital on Saturday, and since then she has been showing slow but steady progress.

The doctor did a blood transfusion and a second surgery on Thursday afternoon, using the same incisions to drain the fluid, remove clotting, and stop internal bleeding. But interestingly, once inside, they never found a source of the bleeding. The surgeon carefully looked all around, even using an ultrasound down into the ovaries to see if there was a cyst. But there was no sign of an open wound anywhere. It seems the Lord healed this up on His own, without the doctor’s help!

They did insert a small drain tube to collect any new fluid, but this is not showing any signs of fresh blood either. So, we are very thankful to God for His protection and healing mercy.

Natalie’s pain became much more tolerable on Friday. She was able to take deeper breaths. Her blood pressure and oxygen looked better, and hemoglobin began to climb back u…

Update on Natalie

Please continue to pray for Natalie as she recovers from yesterday’s gallbladder surgery. Her blood pressure has remained pretty stable, but her hemoglobin has gone down a tad, and she’s in an inordinate amount of pain.

The doctor has ordered another sonogram to see what’s going on. They’ve also withdrawn food and liquids just in case she needs another surgery. I wonder if there might be some internal bleeding going on?

I stayed at home with the kids overnight, but will head back out to the hospital this morning as soon as Liz Tyree gets here to babysit the kids. Thank you for all your prayers. We serve a great and mighty God. He is a Loving Father, and He hears our prayers.

Here’s a quote I read from Paul Enns’ book Heaven Revealed yesterday. What comfort for the soul:
“On this sinful, fallen earth, life will remain difficult, fraught with suffering and sadness. But we are looking forward to heaven – and heaven is always better in every realm than the earth. We should never question, …

Please pray for Natalie

Natalie was admitted to the hospital last night with gallstones. The sonogram showed a 7mm gallstone in the bile duct, plus many other stones, so Lord willing, this is what has been causing her chest pain the past couple days.

This fits all the symptoms, though it’s been on her left side, while usually gallbladder symptoms are on the right side. But at this point, all heart tests have come back negative and her pain seems to be settling under her sternum area -- not as high in her chest as it was yesterday.

The surgeon will have final say in whether she should have surgery today or not, so please pray for the doctors to consider her case carefully and to have wisdom. Please also pray for our family to have peace and that we will all entrust Natalie’s life and health to our faithful Creator.

Book review: Flip Flop Fly Ball

Whether you’re a baseball fanatic or a rookie to the game, you’re sure to enjoy Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure by Craig Robinson.

The book begins with a personal tale - the quirky romance of a British young adult with the game of baseball. “There was something about the leisurely pace, the ebb and flow, the drama inherent in a sport where the ball is in play for such a small percentage of the total time, the unique proportions of the ballpark, the shape of the field, the uniforms. The fizzing joy in my head after seeing a swiftly turned double play, the one-on-one battles at the heart of a team sport…it all felt right.”

Robinson’s pilgrimage into the game is interwoven with art, photos, and infographics all about baseball. The author has an insatiable curiosity that results in all kinds of random and at times even educational charts. Some of the infographics are just plain fun. Others cater to the trivia buff. A few are absolutely brilliant. The opening graphic …