And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I Have Repented, Now What Do I Do?

Grace and peace to you.

Here again for the purpose of your Monday morning Bible study, as a companion to Sunday's sermon, are my rough draft notes.  As often happens, there are deviations in the message from the actual notes.  It is my hope that like the Berean brethern of Acts, that your study intensify and clarify your understanding of the truths that are in the Bible.  Questions and coments may be sent to

I Have Repented, Now What?
Purely Theoretical
"There are many people in the world, alas, who are interested in religion, who talk about it and are always ready to have a debate about it. Many of them read books about religion and listen to lectures on the radio about it: perhaps they even listen to sermons in church about religion and are tremendously interested. But it is purely a detached, intellectual interest, something that they like to play with in their minds and to talk about to others. So the point I am making is this: Surely, this is infinitely worse than the position of people who say there is no God. Indeed, is there anything more terrible than a purely theoretical and academic interest in God and in religion and in the godly life?"Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Dead Religion)

Last session, we came face to face with a reality; the church itself is in a horrible state, we ourselves are accountable for our lives before a Holy God, and as long as we have breath we ought to be doing something about it.

A key passage was Rev 3, the Church in Laodicea.  The church today is highly ineffective, due to being lukewarm.  Being lukewarm comes from a loss of vigor, and assimilating to the environment around you.  In short, the church has become like the world, there is little difference.

I concluded with the question, “Is nothing sacred anymore?”

Today we turn to many passages, and I hope you have your handout.  But for time we will focus on two, Isaiah 6 and Colossians 3:1-17.

Isaiah became aware of his sinfulness and of those around him.  He repented, and then he was able to be sent by God.  Unfortunately, he went to others who did not repent, yet he was to be a voice for God.  The work was hard yet highly glorifying God.

Colossians 3:1-17

What can you do to in response to repentance? 

            Directive                                             Support                      Beauty

1. Seek the things above.                                Romans 8                    Power

2. Set your mind on things above.                  Romans 12:1-2            Growth

3. Put off evil.                                                 Galatians 5:16-21        Release from bondage

4. Put on the new nature.                                2 Cor 5:17                   Practice life in Christ

                                                                        Galatians 5:22-23

5. Forgive as you have been forgiven.            Matt 18:21-35             Christ Likeness

6. Put on Love                                                 1 Cor 13                      Biblical Love

7. Peace                                                           John 17:3                     Knowing Christ

                                                                        John 8:32                     Freedom by Truth

8. Let the Word dwell in you.                         John 15:5-7                 Growth

                                                                        2 Tim 3:16                   Doctrine

                                                                        James 1                        Orderly Wisdom Perspective

9. Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs                 Phil 2:3-4                     Unity of Believers

10. Do all to the glory of God.                       Luke 9:23                    Discipleship


Practical application for every day: Bases on James 1

·         Know your sins
·         Be prepared
·         Have an action plan for resisting temptation and avoiding tempting scenarios.
·         Follow through.

 Again, Is nothing sacred anymore?  Are you?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Honor To Pray

Tonight I am humbly excited.  In just a few hours the Guys for Life “How Great a Father’s Love” banquet will begin.  The banquet is featuring some delightful people, Randy Mayfield, Michael Shust, and from Focus on the Family, John Fuller. At the close, I have been asked to pray.


This is why I am both humbled and excited.  Humbled, as it is an honor to be asked to lead the group in prayer before almighty God.   Excited, because it is an honor to lead the group in prayer before almighty God.  I am redundant for emphasis. To lead in prayer is always a serious business, no matter the size of the crowd.  


 There will be several people gathered tonight, all in the name of the Lord, for the purpose of encouraging each other in the fight to help men become fathers to the unborn.  It is thrilling to think of how those people, gathered in His name, will be praying at the end of the evening.  I am in awe, considering the impact of "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:20)


To lead in the closing prayer finds me seeking God.  I pray that He moves tonight to keep us from growing weary in well doing.  This past election has revealed things about our country and the choices that are being made.  Since the seventies the fight has gone on for the unborn. The fight has been hard, and little hope of changes is on the horizon.  But we must continue to faithfully fight the good fight of faith, in the name of the Lord, for even the few that may be saved.  It is a worthy endeavor.


Being a father, pastor, and biblical counselor, I am encouraged by what Guys for Life seeks to do.  Kurt Ramspott’s heart is to see men gain the discipleship they need to become men of God and raise godly families. Often it is the fathers of the unborn that are the crucial factor.  If a woman receives the support of the father, then she is several times more likely to raise her child rather than abort.  Men need men.  Guys for life is all about equipping men to give their life to Christ and in turn be a man and raise a family.  I urge you to investigate the ministry, Guys for Life at


So my prayer is not only for those that gather, but for all that are fighting this fight of faith.  Not only for those who daily seek to end this holocaust, but for the unborn, and those families that Guys for Life will impact in the future.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Books Should I Read for Apologetics? or Help I Need Answers for Sharing My Faith.

If I have an interest in a specific subject beyond biblical counseling, it would be apologetics.  With our ever shrinking world, it becomes a great relevant urgency for Christians, who study to show themselves knowledgeable, ready to give an answer, to understand apologetics.  This area of learning is simply being well informed and capable to redemptively share their faith while illustrating the infallible truth of scripture.

My family and I have “adopted” international students at our local college from all over the world/  We have had great experiences talking with people from India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, France, and other lands.  Many of these are Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic. These relationship have served us well to learn many things firsthand.

On a youth retreat this weekend, our speaker Phil Nelson, related that “It is not our job to convert a person (that is what God does) but to share the true God with them.”  I agree.  Charles Wesley said that it was his goal to give everyone a right opinion of God.

During the retreat, Nelson shared a few book titles that ought to be read.  Having those books on my shelf, I today began ruminating through my library to compile an in depth recommended reading list.  Some books are more difficult to read than others. 

Why I am a Christian, John Stott   This book is a great book for thinking. Stott writes very well, and will compel the reader to think through problems beyond a short answer.

Tactics, Gregory Koukl   Sometimes sharing your faith can decompose into circular reasoning that gets nowhere.  In this tome you will find not only wise counsel for dialog, it will also help you to consider the depth of your own beliefs.

Why Good Arguments Often Fail, James Sire   As one of the most readable books discussing how to approach someone in dialog, this book quickly get to the heart of our fears.  Only God can convict a person.  This book will aide in giving you the boldness to trust God to do so, and to do your part.

Mere Christianity, C S Lewis  Simply put, Lewis is a master at thought provoking statements and questions.  This book helps shed the often rebutted legalism that is wrongly attributed to Christianity.  Instead, it illustrates the logical conclusions of a holy loving God at work.

Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.  This book is simply a working reference for answering hard questions.  It will give you a great start to in-depth answers.

Between Heaven and Hell, Peter Kreeft   This book is excellent for nonreaders. It is more of a three person play, all dialoging the philosophy of Christianity, secularism, and eastern religion.  I highly recommend it for nonreaders.

The Dawkins Delusion,  Alister McGrath and Joanna McGrath.  Few writers are like McGrath.  With Richard Dawkins leading the charge of atheism, this book head on confronts his strongest arguments.  If you have read Why Good Arguments Often Fail, or Tactics as mentioned above, this book will show you how they are put into practice.

Darwin On Trial,  Phillip Johnson.  This book is a great insight to the famous teachings of Charles Darwin.  A wonderful primer, which will put the reader way ahead of those who blindly accept his notions.

The Universe Next Door, James Sire   Confronting a belief system that you do not understand?  This book will certainly help.  In an ever shrinking world, we will become confronted and acquainted of people with a wide religious philosophy.  This book helps you understand.

Mere Apologetics,   Alister McGrath   This book is a practical application of theology to your sharing of the faith.  It is simple to follow and it will help you cover all the bases.

The Defense Never Rests, Craig Parton.  Parton, a lawyer, presents his apologetic in a manner the confronts the most objectionable opponents.  It is filled with reason and logic.  It is written for the more advanced student.

The Testimony of the Evangelist, Simon Greenleaf    This book, also written by a lawyer, walks through a discourse of accepted legal deduction to show how the gospels witness with evidence that is acceptable in a court of law, even 2000 years later.

Who Made God, Ravi Zacharis and Norman Geisler Here is another worthy quick reverence book that ought to be handy on your shelf.

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, Tim Challies   Blogger Challies is adept at pointing out simple truths.  One that must not be overlooked is the deed for Christians to be discerning.  IF we are going to be a credible witness, we must use credible evidence.  This book helps the reader to consider the source when discriminating influences.

A Call For Discernment, Jay Adams     With so many religions and philosophies, even among “Christians”, Adams helps the reader properly question those things presented to him.  Just as we need to have a good apologetic, we must also know how to discern what is apologized to us.

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek     If I were to teach a college or high school course on apologetics, this would be the text book.  It covers a wider variety of truth and helps the reader understand why not all things should be accepted.

An Answer to Everyone, Various contributors.    This tome would be the assigned reading for my credit apologetics class. Covering a wide variety of discipline it does prepare the reader for presenting a case for the gospel truth.