Good Reading Here

There are many things I enjoy about being a pastor. One of those things is walking with people who aim to honor God in all they do. Here is some reading worth your time from one of those families I pastor.

I’m pleased to encourage you to visit the Wholehearted Homemaker site HEREhttps://wholeheartedhomemaker.wordpress.com/

Halftime Shows and Commercial Controversy

The Super Bowl… how does a football championship game play “second fiddle” to the halftime show and the commercial craze?

Disclaimer – the following thoughts are from a non Super Bowl watcher, Half-Time show boycotting, grammar challenged blogger.

The last time I watched a Super Bowl football game was about five years ago (and that doesn’t make me better than anyone who has). I am arguably the least likely guy to weigh in on what I think about the politicization of a sporting event even though the Denver Broncos are a lifelong favorite team of mine (I’ll turn 50 later this year). I have grown less and less interested in how things are working out. (I’ve been a Bronco fan from before Craig Morton first took the Broncos to their first Super Bowl loss). Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for another Super Bowl victory. I’ve stayed faithful to my favorite team through all 8 Super Bowl appearances (only 3 victories). But now I’ve lost track of my post.

Back to the thought on my mind…

I’ve lost all interest in the hype of the “big game”. While driving home Sunday night from a Magic Valley Baptist Association meeting I turned the radio on to hear if the game was over and who won. I tuned in just as Payton Manning was talking about how he was looking forward to hugging and kissing his family “talking to the man upstairs” and “drinking a lot of beer, Budweiser”.

Oh.

Okay.

He can do that if he wants. No skin off my nose. Lots of sports guys drink beer. But really? That’s your victory speech? I’m sure the beer industry likes an endorsement from a guy that is considered by many a wholesome guy. The beer drinking evangelical community likes to hear this kind of talk too, I suppose.

That’s not even the main issue I’m writing about though.

I’ve learned over the past several years that the social media world will prolong the commercial discussion over the best, worst, most offensive, most wholesome, funniest commercials. Then I brace myself for some kind of rank behavior and opinions to flow about the half-time show.

Let me quickly say this about the half-time show. I’m writing about a show I have not seen and quite frankly don’t care about – at all. I’m not interested, and I’m prepared for Christians to express their normal shock (while watching anyway) of the bold politicizing artist, vulgar dancing, and godless lyrics. That’s just the way it is. I’m not surprised by what I’ve read about it.

…the commercials.

I’m sure the funny ones were funny. The shocking ones were shocking. The vulgar – unsuitable topics for children – unfit for mixed company – and the ever popular politically incorrect were the most popular.

The one that seemed to get a lot of discussion was the Doritos commercial that pro-choice advocates are up in arms about. It seems to be making many of the pro-life community want to go out and buy more Doritos.

At the end of the day; this shows that marketing schemes are successful. Is it possible, Christian, that you’re being made fun of and you don’t even know it? I have seen the Doritos commercial, it has a likable touch. How quickly we forget… Remember Doritos endorsement of the LGBT movement this past year and their “It Gets Better” project?

Has Doritos found a way to make massive amounts of money by offending as many people as possible? They seem to have mastered the medium of the 30 second attention span of the typical American Christian.

This is a reminder to me that in this world I’m called upon by God to live a life unstained by the world and to live a set-a-part life as an ambassador of Christ’s reconciliation. I’ll have to do this with grace too; I come pre-stained and a former enemy of God. Grace will have to arrest my mind, my tongue, actions, and my attitude as I engage in this world.

Christian, stop being played the fool by thinking anything godly will come from the ungodly. Turn the lamp of Scripture on and go forth into the dark with the Gospel.

Today is “Abortion Day” in Twin Falls

I have a source that is telling me that the Twin Falls Planned Parenthood clinic does not have a doctor to do abortions so they have to bring a doctor in to do this. Planned Parenthood designates these days as “abortion days”.

“Abortion Day” is a day of great contradiction in the city of Twin Falls.

It was mid day on a bitter cold New Year’s Eve that we learned of that bag on the side of the road south of town with a naked baby girl in it; dead. And the right response of any community that hears of this is shocked and outraged.

But today, 27 days later a doctor will arrive at the Twin Falls Planned Parenthood and partner with a mother and “health care” providers to murder babies in the womb. It’s just another day at the office.

This is routine in the city. It happens multiple times a month. Where are the headlines of the babies today that will be murdered by doctors, care givers and mothers partnered together to stop life? Where are the shocked and outraged citizens now?

These are days filled with deep sorrow where life is intentionally taken from an innocent child in the womb of his/her mother. The very place God has ordained as the place where design, forming and developing of life takes place is a place the enemy of God mounts to take battle.

And this battle against life is protected by law and happening in our town on a regular basis. (Other upcoming scheduled “Abortion Days” are Monday, February 1, and Tuesday, February 9.)

What can we do?

  • Keep writing legislators.
  • Vote for politicians who will put a stop to this and defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Elect a county sheriff who will not allow this.
  • Write letters (not rants) to the editor.
  • Share this information with others.
  • Pray with me.

Marge Lawley

Memorial Service for Marge Lawley at Eastside Baptist Church (204 Eastland Drive North) Twin Falls, Idaho on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 9:00 am.


MargeLawley

Marjorie J. (Shields) Lawley “Marge”, age 77, passed away on January 21, 2016, at St. Luke’s Clinic in Jerome, Idaho. She was born in Englewood, Colorado, October 9, 1938, and grew up in Buena Vista, Colorado, which was always “home” to her. Her parents were Earl Shields and Florence (Wheeler) Shields, now
deceased. She is survived by her husband Gene of the home in Twin Falls, Idaho; two children Grant and his wife, Tricia and their two children, Luke and Grace, of California, and LaNell Nelkin and her husband, Maksim , and their two children, Ana and Sasha, of Colorado. She is also survived by one sister, Ginger Behrman and her husband Bill of Colorado, and one brother, Bud Shields and his wife Frankie of Texas, as well as many nieces and nephews and their families. One sister Pat Shields is deceased. Margie developed many friendships in her lifetime before and since coming to southern Idaho in 1971. Her kindness and responsive ear drew people to her with a warmth that caused many to think of her as their “proxy” Mom. The evidence of the love of Christ in her life and her apparent gift of encouragement brought out a radiance of joy, peace and gladness in spite of her ongoing physical struggles. It is certain that she will be missed by many, and she would want all who knew her to join her in her new home with Jesus in heaven. Her physical remains will be deposited at her parents’ gravesite in Buena Vista, Colorado. The memorial service will be on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 9:00 am at the Eastside Baptist Church, in Twin Falls, Idaho. In lieu of flowers you may make a donation to either of these Christian ministries: Eastside Baptist Church for the Haiti Girls Home, 204 Eastland Dr. N, Twin Falls, ID 83301 of the Behrman Ministries, P.O. Box 1203, Buena Vista, Co 81211. Arrangements are under the direction of Rosenau Funeral Home, Twin Falls.

Watch video!

Propitiation (tBC030)

In this podcast (tBC030) I discuss the doctrine of Propitiation.

Wrath of God: Romans 1:18 – 3:20

Propitiation is not simply a legal pardon

Pardon:  forgiveness; the release of an offense or of the obligation of the offender to suffer a penalty, or to bear the displeasure of the offended party.

For our sin against God, propitiation is needed

Propitiation:

  1. a) The act of appeasing wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person;
  2. b) the atoning sacrifice offered to God to tranquilize his wrath and render him favorable to sinners

Propitiation – occurs when God’s righteous wrath is appeased or turned aside by the death of His Son on the cross.

Christ is the propitiation for the sins of men.

Romans 3:21-26 – But now we are seeing the righteousness of God declared quite apart from the Law (though amply testified to by both Law and Prophets) – it is a righteousness imparted to, and operating in, all who have faith in Jesus Christ. (For there is no distinction to be made anywhere: everyone has sinned, everyone falls short of the beauty of God’s plan.) Under this divine system a man who has faith is now freely acquitted in the eyes of God by his generous dealing in the redemptive act of Jesus Christ. God has appointed him as the means of propitiation, a propitiation accomplished by the shedding of his blood, to be received and made effective in ourselves by faith. God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past (the time when he withheld his hand), and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that he justifies every man who has faith in Jesus Christ. (Phillips)

1 John 2:1-2 – I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

1 John 4:10 – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Hebrews 2:17 – Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Living in a Biblically Illiterate American Church

“This really is our problem, and it is up to this generation of Christians to reverse course. Recovery starts at home. Parents are to be the first and most important educators of their own children, diligently teaching them the Word of God. [See Deuteronomy 6:4-9.] Parents cannot franchise their responsibility to the congregation, no matter how faithful and biblical it may be. God assigned parents this non-negotiable responsibility, and children must see their Christian parents as teachers and fellow students of God’s Word.” Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Full article HERE

Who Even Blushes Anymore?

Ephesians 4:29
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth…”
The potty mouth now belongs equally to men and women.

I listened to a stump speech of a popular female “conservative” endorse a popular “conservative” presidential candidate.

(Let me just say, first, I like presidential election season. I really do enjoy it.)

Is there anyone who filters their language anymore? Sure, one might expect hyper-pumped emotionalism from a half-time locker room, but is it appropriate for a women (or man) in a political speech to talk about kicking your enemy’s ______? Or using human anatomy descriptors as appropriate? And then for that one speaking like that to be lauded as an evangelical Christian.

But really, does anyone care about wholesome speech anymore? Have we no shame?

intermission: I’m not saying potty mouth politicians are a new thing, or the qualifier of being or not being a Christian, I’m just saying… “Who even blushes anymore?”


Back on topic; This is really less about a political stump speech and more about a Christian’s duty in the public square.

Take a moment and examine your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. posts and see if you’re applying Ephesians 4:29-32. Is there even any consideration to what you post online?
Just a brotherly consideration for both men and women.
When Scripture says to “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth” does that only mean when you are speaking when your pastor is around? No, of course not. You are a better student of the word of God than that, aren’t you?
I might paraphrase it like this… Let no unwholesome word [picture, video, quote] proceed [shared, posted, liked] from your mouth [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc].
Don’t forget that some of the sites you like and share, as funny as they are, have unwholesome other things you may be endorsing by sharing and liking.
  • pastors, you must be careful about this.
  • older men, you must exercise caution of what ‘unwholesome’ things you like and share.
  • older women, you must use discretion when you like another’s photo, posts, quotes.
  • younger (male and female), your generation has become un-shocked by nearly anything. You don’t have to be like that.

Stop letting unwholesome words [posts] define you. You don’t have to drop an f-bomb to emphasis your point. Why not use your words that will “give grace to those who hear”?

Marketing the Church

A few minutes with me after the mail comes to my office will convince you of what I think of the majority of direct marketing directed at the church.

Before throwing most of it in the trash I read some of the one-liner zingers attempting to convince the church pastor or administrator to consider their product. After throwing (I do mean throwing) most of it in the trash I make way to my mini-fridge in my office for a bottled water, cold, refreshing, soothing.

Dear church marketing agents, publishing houses, mission agencies… etc,
Please stop treating this church the same way the pizza house treats me. I don’t mind it when the pizza house attracts me with high gloss photos of pizza. I get it, you are in a highly competitive arena with churches on limited budgets, but we are the bride of Christ, the church.

Today I just thought I would open up the discussion pipeline and hear what others think about what feels like a direct way to snag the attention of every distracted, discouraged pastor walking back to his office from the mail box desperate to be a pastor of a leading church.

(The pastor’s duty is not to be a ‘leading’ pastor of a ‘leading’ church, his duty is to obey the Lord.)

PizzaHere are a few that came out of the mail box this week. Some from unknown sources, some from familiar sources, all equally directed at the church (primarily the pastor) that their offer will solve all of his desires to be a ‘leading’ pastor of a ‘leading’ church. I’ll start with a positive one that I pulled back out of the trash can.


ANY TWO LARGE PIZZAS $20 (I think this one can be useful.)


“A church cannot develop an excellent evangelism strategy without planning far in advance.”


“WHAT ARE THE TOP EVANGELISTIC CHURCHES DOING THAT MINE IS NOT?

Specific things pastors do to lead on mission:

  • They have a Vibrant Vision – Evangelistic pastors have an exciting vision they continually keep in front of the congregation. You’ll find it printed in all their documents, plastered on the walls, set in stone and talked about from the pulpit. It’s not something written in an obscure document no one sees.
  • They have a Simple Strategy – You won’t find complexity in an evangelistic church but you will find strategy. They know how they are moving people from point A to point B. They know what they are doing to reach people for Christ and move them into a discipling relationship. And again … it is simple.
  • They create a Contagious Culture – Honestly, in most of these churches, you can feel it when you walk through the door. There’s something different. They aren’t striving to “create a culture,” rather, they are striving to “be the culture”

BUILD STUDIES. MAKE DISCIPLES.

(publication website) is a library of discussion-driven studies that you can customize to equip small groups of any shape and size to be environments of discipleship.

Find the Bible Study you need, enhanced by video from teachers you trust.


I don’t fault anyone for having a product, idea, experience, or desire to share what has been helpful in their circumstance. I get how effective direct marketing campaigns can be. There is a reason companies mail post cards, mailers, emails, with high gloss, flashy product. People are buying what they are offering. I really do get why it’s done in the consumer world. I’m just get a bit irritated when it comes to treating the church the same way.

Disclaimer: I don’t think the hard working employee doing the job they were hired to do is at fault in these organizations who market the church. I look primarily to the executive driven pastor, publishing house executives and research departments.

Oh, don’t get me wrong; I’ve been part of the problem in my early days of ministry under a spell as though I have to offer a ‘product’ that is an alternative to the world.

Pastor, minister, if I can encourage you at all in this matter I would like to. You and I have an important duty, we have been charged with the responsibility to put Christ, and Him crucified in front of all people and trust that God will draw all men to Himself. When we quit putting our trust in men and obey our charge and protect this trust we have been given from being littered with consumerism we can be content to press in, regardless.

Press in to Jesus, my dear friend, press in.

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