Willohroots


Sunday’s Sermon at Dayspring
February 4, 2010, 21:52
Filed under: Bible study | Tags: , , , ,

If this works, it will get posted on Dayspring.trials



Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Lord.
December 4, 2009, 12:30
Filed under: Christ, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Luk 2:14      Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.   So we have read it, so we have sung it,  so it must be, right?  Then how do we explain to those not of the family of Christ, and they always want and need explained to,  why there are wars, and why so few truly have peace with God?  You can not be at peace with an unknown entity,  not be at true peace with One you feel hostility toward.  Since the Word is true, why did the Advent of the Christ not bring a new era of peace to the earth, and make the last two thousand years a paradise?  Where is this peace of which the angels sang?  Something is wrong here.

My journey through faith and reading of the Word has taught me that if there is a fault with the Word, it is on man’s side not God’s.  Let us take a look at other translations.
New King James “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Footnote:
* NU-Text reads toward men of goodwill.

NLT   “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.*”

Footnote:

  • Or and peace on earth for all those pleasing God. Some manuscripts read and peace on earth, goodwill among people.

NIV  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

NASB and RSV “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”*

ESV “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”*

Footnote:

* Some manuscripts peace, good will among men


I see here a huge difference.  God did not come at Advent to make nice with the world.  God came to give an avenue by which we may please Him,  the avenue of Faith in the Messiah.  How did the King James translators deal with this verse later in the same book?

Luk 12:51    Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Does that not propose a conflict?  The fault is never God’s, it is ours.  Would Christmas attitudes be different if the carols sung said, “Peace on earth to all who please Him by Faith?”  The unbelievers might feel a bit more left out, and seek to get on board.

Do you have the peace He brought?  Are you pleasing to the Lord, not by your inherent goodness or your works, but by your faith that brings the inevitability of good works?  May we all praise God for the Gift this season!



odd man out
December 1, 2009, 13:03
Filed under: What would you do? | Tags: , , , ,

Have you ever felt like a square peg in the village of round holes?  You would think I would feel at home in a group of Baptisty  preachers and pastors, but I really do not.  There was a dinner at the mission, and i ended up sitting with the recovery people, I just felt more at home.

Then there is the music.  i really don’t enjoy listening to much country music.  I like Bebo Norman a lot,  but the live stuff quite often tosses me into rebellion.  There was a very talented man playing trumpet, guitar and singing to a recorded track, but he had that spikey short hair and one of those mustaches that slipped off the upper lip and landed just below his lower lip.  If i didn’t look, I could admit he was very talented.  I am that jaded.   The whole CCM scene has left me being judgmental to all CCM artists  and i am sure that is wrong.

They guys in the program told me they liked when I preached.  They said the last fellow gave a rousing dissertation on baptismal regeneration.  He stated that all “so-called Christians” that believe in baptismal regeneration are going to Hell.  He knew that because he had the Holy Spirit and that if you had the Holy Spirit and attended a church that believed in baptismal regeneration  you would immediately quit and join his denomination.   So much for Steve “theoldadam” and the lovely Church of Christ people who first befriended me.  Personally, I put a lot more faith in my Savior than in my denomination or my doctrine.

A lot of pastor meetings really depress me.  I was with a friend who was really struggling with a crisis in his ministry and life.  We were going to a pray in. On the way there he was rejoicing that he was going to confess and get support for a huge problem, it was so big that he needed the group to help.  We circled up and began to pray in order.  After one preacher prayed for God to guide the deacons to give him a raise, one prayed for  his flock to accept modern music, and another fervently, tearfully, prayed to God for his board to give him permission to rip up the pews, as we all know that souls are best saved by preaching in the round.  When it was my friends turn to pray, he said,”pass”.  Two months later he left his wife and his two churches and ran off with the gym teacher.  I don’t go to those meetings anymore.

I served on a regional board for about two years, we spent most of the time writing and adjusting the bylaws.  When i was an organizer I was taught that to take a group out of a coalition, get them working on their bylaws, it renders them useless.   I shared this, to no avail.  We finished the bylaws, and within a year the structure of the whole thing changed. Throw those bylaws out, start over. I don’t go there anymore.

I fit in at Dayspring!  Thank God he gave me a place to hang out and glorify The Lord!  I feel at home there.  We aren’t much, but we are real.



Finding Joy thru dark clouds
November 25, 2009, 13:55
Filed under: Bible study | Tags: , , , ,

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday.  Thanksgiving has a great theme, wonderful history, and none of the stress and less of the emotional baggage that Christmas brings for me.  No. 1 daughter will make a great meal, [I can put up with fruit in the stuffing, I guess],  we will have guests, all will be well. All except me.  I am dealing with a wave of depression. The best way to describe it is having the feeling of Satan standing on my chest.  Seriously, if you have been blessed to avoid depression ,  I will share,  it feels like waves, literal waves, and affects even the breathing.  To me it is the virus of the spirit, a head cold of the heart.

So I turn where I have learned to turn for solace and strength,  not my wonderful wife, I learned that is really not her job, although she helps, but to my God through His Word.  I seek His joy.

Proverbs 15:13

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

I do not want to be the wet rag thrown on the party tomorrow.  My fake smile is horrible.  I would starve as an actor, or a poker player.  You can read me like a billboard.  The spirit that I need to have to serve the Lord and my family is wounded if sadness reigns.  I am broken, and need mending.

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

So what is wrong with me?  Am I not a disciple? I am sorely lacking in the continually part.  There are times I am joyful, and I praise God for the times the Holy Spirit fills me to the brim,  but it is not continual.  I wonder just how long those early followers were continually filled. Didn’t they have a bad day?  A bad week?  I admit, I have a weak week once in a while. So I turn to the Psalms.

Psalm 51:8
Make me to hear joy and gladness,Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

Make me hear it!  My flesh does not want to be filled with joy, it seems to like this cozy cave of gloom and self pity, so God, please, make me hear Joy and gladness!

3 John 1:4

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

How can i not be joyous?  My children are not perfect but they are a blessing.  My #1 daughter is an RN, and a great one!  I have been told she lights up a floor with her presence!  She is good hearted, though rough talking, lives with us, she and her husband paying utility bills i could not afford since my lay off. And her husband is a good hearted man, who plays too much playstation, but has been as a son to me.  #2 daughter last night was sharing about the Lord with a recovering addict who is living with us.  She is a musician, whose songs have moved many people,  She dropped out of colege to pursue her dream of writting and performing music.  She leads our praise band and loves God.  Children like this and I am depressed?  Forgive me lord.

Romans 14:17
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The thanksgiving meal is not to bring joy, but to celebrate it!

Psalm 100:2

Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.

I forget that I, little old me, gets to serve Yahweh God!!!

Psalm 87:7
Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,”All my springs of joy are in you.”

While I can not toot a flute, i strum a guitar. I look forward to an eternity of singing praises to God!  I like life, but death offers so much to me, a promise that I look forward to with joy.

Psalm 84:2
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

I take refuge in my God, it is more an act of His strength than of my weakness, for His strength far surpasses my weakness.

Psalm 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for a lifetime;Weeping may last for the night,But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

I know the morning is coming.  The night may be long and dark, but the morning always comes.

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

That is how I want to spend Thanksgiving,  giving to those who have not, having a holy day unto Him. I should not be grieved for the strength of the Lord does bring me joy.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of Your salvationAnd sustain me with a willing spirit

The joy when He first touched me!  When i first realized, by the Holy Spirit, that He was my Father, I was a sinner, and that He forgave me through the blood of Jesus!  Indescribable joy!    Yes restore that joy to me Lord!  Sustain me.

Matthew 25:23

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

That’s what I live for, to hear those words from the mouth of God.  If I can be faithful  with His strength, not fail on my own, what a joyous reward awaits!

Hebrews 12:11

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

James 1:2
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

So for now a trial, a dark moment.  morning will come showing me molded more in the image of my Savior,  brought a tad closer to His perfection, yet still miles away from it.

John 16:24

” Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

So now I pray,  Lord God, in the name of Jesus I ask you to lift my heart from the pool of darkness.  Restore to me the joy of my salvation, let me sing Your praise, serve You, share You, and be faithful to you.  Lift the foot of my enemy from my chest and let me embrace my trials, as if i am in Your will, that is joy enough. Let me be joyously thankful in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Whew!  That is definitely better. Thank you God.  I hope this helps some of you too.



I miss fitting in, am I a misfit?
October 30, 2009, 19:05
Filed under: blessings, Christ | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thomas Grunfeldmisfit_4Thomas Grunfeld is my favorite taxidermist.  He has taken the Jackalope to new heights.  I really relate to these images.  Quite often I have felt that I too am an assemblage of cast off parts.

In my search for a new career,  OK,   job,  I  get the weirdest comments about my resume from interviewers.  ” So you were an Electrician for over twenty years, went from being  Pa.’s youngest licensed Journeyman electrician,  to an Electrical Inspector, then a teacher of robotics at a  junior college , yet you have a Psychology degree , spent more time as a volunteer Fire Chief  than in any kind of job,  worked as a banker for 12 years managing branches,  and you say you have been a Pastor since 2004, and now you want a career in with us?”  I can’t imagine why they are confused.  From this side of the desk it all seems so logical.

At least there is this degree of consistency,  my ministry resume is just as odd.  For years I did not go to any church planting meetings, as I did not think I was a church planter,  as I was in a pulpit of a church that was built 25 years ago.  Now I am in a church that is a new plant that started four years ago. It is the same  Church building, but a new church was born there.   I was just along for the ride.  There were no meetings or trainings offered for people serving in a church that was being reinvented.  Church Strengthening,  yes,  church Planting,  yes,  Church Reinventing or Church Rebirth, not so much.

I have been preaching the Gospel  as pulpit supply on and off for 32 years.  I never went to seminary, and that was by choice.  There is a  conservative Baptist dispensational  seminary almost in my back yard, and even though we preach from the same book and share so many values, I find an attitude there that repulses me.  I have looked back in the history of a few local churches and found that they were doing great, until a preacher from that Seminary was called to serve there.  After that church growth would cease and families would be torn apart, all in the name of Jesus.  As I looked into other sources of education I found two schools.  One so loosey goosey that scripture was a suggestion,  the other so sure of their doctrine that they would choose it over Jesus, and in fact I think some of them did. I then judged all seminaries by this one.  I am also nonjudgmental.

In most areas of doctrine people say I am quite conservative,  but I am comfortable with gays and addicts and criminals, and atheists,  many of whom really are nicer than I  by any standard.   I do not like liberal theology,  nor do I like the cocky conservative who is so sure of himself that he would advise the Apostles.  I am comfortable with reading conservatives, but would rather associate with liberals.  The conservatives think I am aberrant, the liberals think I am conservative.Neither side will buy me lunch.

I have never been ordained,  as the only groups whose ordination I would accept would reject me for some of my beliefs.  My head does not fit in the jar. I have sat on ordination councils, but it is not likely I will ever be ordained.  There does not seem to be too much of a problem with this in practice,  no one really seems to care.  When I was an Atheist I was ordained in the Universal Church Of   Life, as a professor of mine thought that if a bunch of ministers of this group met at his home , it would be tax exempt.   Ordained as an atheist,  but not as a believer.
What a misfit!

The people I baptize become Baptists, yet I was baptized Church of Christ.  I was dedicated as a Methodist, but was never a dedicated Methodist.   I play guitar in a praise band with drums and all, but I personally prefer the old hymns of the faith.  I serve communion with Matzo and Welches, and yet think that if there is  no Real Presence, something is awfully wrong.  I do  not believe in divorce, but the best elders I have worked with were divorced men. Divorce ends a marriage, not necessarily a ministry.

I preach out of the Holman, but only because I bought them for $3.00 a piece.  I love the King James, but lean on the NASB, study out of the ESV and put up with the NIV.  In the 70’s, after King James study and them discovering the NASB I really enjoyed the Good News bible.  I taught with a guy who claimed he was saved with the Good News,   and soon after his conversion the Holy Ghost told him the only translation was KJV.  Go figure .

To me the Catholic church has let down thousands of people,  so poorly taught them that the vast majority know very little of the Gospel, and fall into unbelief.  A couple weeks ago I sat in Mass  at a funeral and had a wonderful time of prayer and worship.  I disagreed with a couple points of the homily,  but the priest has such a loving attitude it did not bother me. It was all about Jesus and that suits me fine. I’m not turning, but I’m not all that turned off either.

I tell my  wife who is of Italian heritage that my Welsh heritage of song is superior to all, yet I listen to this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2SZ-nCBmsU Nice as it is, it can’t compare to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_XJFp5JXpk

So none of the pieces fit together.   Well I have been given a great gift of faith,  I know that my loving, Father will not allow a sparrow to fall, but that He knows.  Even if it is a funny looking sparrow.

Thomas Grunfeld misfit_8

Thomas Grunfeld, artist for today's images.



Jonah, the Myth, the Story, the Sign.
Get real.

Get real.

The stories of the Bible are a gift from God to mankind.  The inspired prophets penned tales that illustrate the condition of man, his relationship to God, and God’s great Love for us all.  It is annoying and horribly upsetting when well meaning people take these wonderful tales and present them in a way that renders belief in them almost impossible, and actually misrepresents what I would consider the main points and message.  The story that most offends me today is the story of Will,  pardon me, Jonah.  I relate to this story as it seems to be the story of my life.  To have it reduced to the story of Pinocchio is really upsetting.

The case in point that chafes my chaps today is the tale of Jonah.  I love this story!  I relate to this story! I think every word in this story is true.  I do not believe that the picture above is indicative in any way of what occurred.  The flannelgram pictures I was shown as a child that threw me into rebellion [ ok, I was already in rebellion, but this stuff helped],  are still out there.  The testimony of Christ himself should confirm my point.

I was in a study group one time and the leader told me,  “It is OK if you do not have the faith to believe that Jonah lived in the whale three days.”  I do not think it is ok to believe that Jonah lived in the whale, as I do not believe that to be an example of faith, I believe it to be an example of poor hermeneutics. Look at what happened in the tale as Jonah was pitched overboard.

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights

Fish.  Not whale. The Willohroots concordance defines the word used there, Keetos, as ‘giant swimming thing you would be scared of if it swam by you.

Here is a picture of Keetos from the willohroots concordance.

large-Whale-shark-feedingIt looks very capable of swallowing Jonah, or anybody it wants to, or is ordered to by God.

So this is probably a better representation,

August Jonah and the whale sm

Than is this,

GeppettoWhaleThe verbiage involved in the story seems to agree with me.  The King James’ says:

When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

Now I am not really sure about what that  means,  but I doubt I will be doing very much blogging after my soul faints.  The ESV makes it a bit clearer:

When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.

Seems like Jonah died.   I am not making a point to be argumentative, I feel this is very important.  When we teach the New Testament , the Old Testament stories are often critical to a complete understanding.  When Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of God and Messiah said,  “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one[i] greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”

So when we teach the sign of Jonah, does this make sense?

Sunday school illustration used when I was  a kid.

Sunday school illustration used when I was a kid.

Or should we be teaching this?

sidebar_tomb_sealedHow could the Savior have said to people,” I will live inside a fish, or more believable[ or no more believable than that] a giant whale, for three days, this is the sign I give to you.”  Is that what He said?  Or did He say, ” As Jonah was dead for  three days in a fish, so I will be dead three days in the tomb.  That is the sign. ”   What do you think was the lesson our Lord brought there?  Is there any way to use Jonah living in a whale to illustrate Jesus?

The bible , my Savior, my God, taught that,

jonahwas a foreshadowing of

tomb

So tell me, am I being one of those weird preachers that goes through the nursery and gets rid of the stuff that reminds me of Pinocchio and fails to teach a Gospel message?  I fear that putting falsehoods into the minds of children, even small ones give the Devil a foothold.   I am not saying i am right all the time, or smarter than the average bear, I am saying I care and will do all I can to rightly interpret the word from the nursery onward.

What say you?

The Sign of Jonah

29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.

May God richly bless the reading of His Word, and may the Holy Spirit who inspired it lead us to a useful and correct understanding of it.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.