Saturday, February 14, 2009

I deleted yesterday's version(s) of this video. There had been about 200 views at the Auburn Journal.

 Pushing the envelope
 while pulling the door, 
 there's still room for more,
 yes, there's still room  . . .

After we showed Holly the video, she offered some helpful feedback regarding some choppy editing near the end.

"Yeah, I know...", I thought to myself, " . . .
      I was just playing around. I wasn't working."

Still, her feedback stimulated my heart and mind. I gave the video more thought during the night. Then, this morning, I spent the first few hours 'working' on it.

Yes, tweaking takes time. However, one of the themes of SpiritSync®  is that we are incomplete without each other. We should welcome mutual reasoning. So, I got to work . . .

First, I cleaned up the area which drew Holly's attention. I then made the decision to retain historical references to Lessons One, Two, and Three (although I decreased the amplitude of the final fadeout). Those very lessons remind me that this video isn't all that it could be but there's plenty of what it should be.

For those who haven't heard the BellRoad Sunday Messages of 2009, it might serve as an introduction.

A final reference to Offense No. 491 involves the risky matter of the full gospel of Jesus Christ:

      (70 x 7) plus the ellipsis of this very moment
                                   and those yet to come . . .

About the birthday of my beloved: Cathy speaks all of 5 Love Languages fluently. So, Mary and I have ministered to a few of them for her.

Late yesterday afternoon, Cathy, Mary, and I went to Roseville to see the film, "New in Town". In the script, here are two references to a personal relationship with Jesus. I think they are worth discussing if anyone would care to.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Yesterday was a full-day-of-prayer' on the grounds at Bell Road. First, Cathy, Heidi and I walked-and-prayed a couple miles around the building.

Later, Pastor Matt and I did likewise for a few more miles..

 Then, as Cathy met and led 2 new guests in the PRISM program, I remixed a portion of our prayer from last Sunday Night.

It might not be your style...but it inspires me to pray:

--and if that isn't enough, here's the extended audio remix of Tom Ronk and me from last Sunday Night:

     *Spirit-Synchronized for mutual edification

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now online: last Sunday's Message:

"In Step with the Spirit: Share Responsibility"

We had a good prayer meeting this morning. Tonight's prayer meeting is at 7pm.

Please come: 

   707 Bell Road   Auburn, CA  95603

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday's Message is now online:

     "In Step with the Spirit: Protect Unity"

While trying to preach, I struggled with the reading of Scripture and delivery of the message. Initially, I had mixed up my opening verse and read from 1 Peter (rather than John 17 which was up on the screen). That threw me off but I pressed on through certain tongue-tied moments which I've deleted from the recording.

We had shared the Lord's Supper prior to the sermon. Such was the context in which this message was first delivered. I hope that this message will be useful to the Holy Spirit as He moves among members in the Body of Christ.

I discovered that I had made a mistake in the sermon. While in the process of preaching, I referenced mention of Timothy's circumcision during an evening service a few weeks before.

Then, I referenced Titus as having been circumcised--mixing up my facts. Since I was relying on my all-too-frail memory, I mixed up Timothy and Titus and, thus, misrepresented God's Word.

After preaching the message, I had a check in my spirit. So, I searched the Scripture and newly discovered the historical truths over which I had become confused.

I have deleted my errant mention of Titus from the audio file but felt it is also a good time to revisit James 3:1-2:

  "Not many of you should presume to be teachers,
      my brothers, because you know that we who teach
      will be judged more strictly.
    We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault
       in what he says, he is a perfect man,
       able to keep his whole body in check."

I feel compelled to make note of my mistake and plan to address the principle of human fallibility in the worship service sometime on a Sunday morning. Yes, we're being called to dig down deep as we lay the foundation for a new year of the public reading, teaching, and preaching of Scripture.

As a young Christian, I would hear sermons at different churches, and listen to bible teachings from various men on the radio, then 'teach' some of those 'truths' to others as part of my daily witness for Christ. I continued in that habit for a couple years until one particular night when I experienced a significant directive at an altar.

God spoke* to me (*in a still small voice).

Our son Jeremiah was a newborn babe. An unknown parasitic case of Giardia had caused Cathy to become severely dehydrated (as she nursed Jeremiah). During a roadtrip back from Louisiana, she had been rushed by ambulance to a hospital.
Upon hearing the news, I drove from Kalamazoo to find Cathy sound asleep with an I-V attached. She was stable but I had a profound sense of realizing that I could have lost her. In humble gratitude, I went down to the hospital chapel to pray through the night.

It was at that altar that the Lord impressed this clarification about the recent calling to preach His Word: I was not to preach regarding matters about which I did not have some personal revelation (from my own study of the Word).

I was to share only what the Holy Spirit himself had illuminated for me. That directive connected with 1 Peter 4:11:

    "If anyone speaks,
          he should do it as one
             speaking the very words of God."

          εἰ τὶς λαλέω ὡς λόγιον θεός

That testimony is as important to me today as it was that night. Since this issue has been brought to the surface, I am now reminded of the very theological discussion that can be made by comparing this issue as it related to the decisions made by both Timothy and Titus.

A parallel question and answer by John Piper:

"Was Paul inconsistent
   when he had Timothy circumcised in Acts 16:3?

After all, he had absolutely refused to let Titus be circumcised in Galatians 2:3-5. He said that the truth of the gospel was at stake. To concede that Titus should be circumcised would be tantamount to abandoning the gospel of justification by faith apart from works of law.

But what about Timothy? Acts 16:1-3 says,

Paul came also to Derbe and Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

There are three differences between the Timothy situation and the Titus situation.

1) Titus was a pure Greek (Galatians 2:3). Timothy was born of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. According to 2 Timothy 3:15, from childhood Timothy had been taught the Old Testament scriptures. In other words, his Jewish mother brought him up as a Jew. But his Greek father had not allowed the circumcision. For Titus the pressure was to become Jewish. Timothy was already very Jewish by race and by training. For him to be circumcised would not have had the implication of moving from Gentile status to Jew status.

2) The people Paul resisted in Galatians 2:3-5 were false brothers. The Jews to whom he catered in Acts 16:3 were not even Christians. The pressure in Galatians 2:3-5 was from professing believers upon another believer to perform a work of law in order to be accepted. But Acts 16:2 says Timothy was “well spoken of by all the brethren at Lystra and Iconium.” No Christians were pushing for Timothy’s circumcision. Rather it was “because of the Jews that were in those places” (16:3) that Paul had Timothy circumcised. “Jews” is used over 85 times in Acts and almost without exception refers to unbelievers. And here they appear to be distinct from “brethren.” So it appears that Timothy’s circumcision was not motivated by “Christian” pressure from within but by a missionary strategy from without.

3) Titus was a “test case” in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1), but Timothy was to be a constant travel companion (Acts 16:3). Therefore, in Titus’ case a clear theological issue was at stake. But in Timothy’s case, what was at stake was how unbelieving Jews might best be won to Christ. So just as Christian freedom caused Paul to resist Titus’ circumcision, this same freedom allowed him to remove the stumbling block of Timothy’s lack of circumcision. Paul applied his principle from 1 Corinthians 9:20, “To the Jews I became a Jew in order to win the Jews.”

On the basis of these three differences, then, I would say Paul was not inconsistent when he resisted Titus’ circumcision but sought Timothy’s."   --
John Piper