Previous month:
July 2007
Next month:
September 2007

August 2007 entries

Life Is But A VApor

I awoke this morning to be reminded by a local radio talk show host that this was the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana's death. Could that really be true? Ten years? It hits me hard because Marilyn and I were married the same year as the "royal couple". I remember Marilyn looking at the books and magazines that covered every book stand that year with pictures of the wedding. It was carried on every T.V. station and was the talk for weeks before. Afterward, people were interested in where Prince Charles would take his young bride on their honeymoon. Then was the anticipation of the first child. The world was living a fairy tale through these two "blue bloods". Unfortunately, they did not live happily after all. Fairy tales give way to reality. The realities of extended family relationships getting strained, ghosts of former lovers who were never really ghosts at all, the strain of raising children, and all this under the white hot spotlight of public scrutiny. Finally, after a painful separation Diana began to crusade for the less fortunate. Unfortunately, ten years ago at age 36 she died.

Ten years ago she died, wow, I just had to remind myself again. She would only be 46 today. How quickly life comes and then it goes. No one is promised tomorrow. I wonder if the Apostle James, the half brother of Jesus, was thinking about his brother when he wrote, "Life is but a vapor, it appears for a short while and then it vanishes away. It cause me to pause and ask the question, "What am I doing with my own life?". Occasionally we all should just stop and consider what we are doing that will leave a lasting impression when were are gone. Will the world be better, worse, or just the same ten years after they lay us to rest? Someday someone will wake up one morning and say, "Has it been ten years since they died?". Hopefully the response will not be, "Oh, did they die?".

In His Shadow, Pastor Ken         

 


The Virtual Pastor

It is yet to be seen whether this is a passing fad or the wave of the future. From dozens to hundreds of worshipers, are settling down after an energetic and hip worship experience to study the Word from a well known Bible instructor. The lights go down and suddenly the teacher instantly appears before them. While a story is aptly delivered to draw the listener into the moment, some in the back begin to realize what those with ring side seats have known all along. The speaker is a projected image from anther time and another place. This is no incarnation. This is modern technology at its best.

This new phenomenon is happening with increasing frequency in the most traditional of locations. I recently asked a pastor at lunch how such a church start is doing here in our fair city. His answer echoed what I was thinking as well. After the initial hoopla surrounding the kick-off of said church I have not heard much more about it. I'm sure it is still in existence. It just isn't making the impact in my sphere of influence that I thought it might.

The reason I bring this subject up at all is based upon a discussion I had recently with one of our staff members about my plans for the future. It is no secret that I would like to implement what I have learned at Dallas Bay in a church start somewhere when my time at DBBC is over. It has been an amazing experience to see what God has done here and I would love to see it spread. Healthy churches are as rare as modest rock stars. There needs to be more, healthy churches that is. This staff member suggested that I not wait to start a mission, but rather a satellite somewhere and thus follow the lead of the "big boys". A satellite campus is quicker to get off the ground and is often less expensive. The worship is lead by real flesh and blood musicians and singers while the pastor of the main campus usually teaches by video. In essence the pastor is "virtual" person.

Wow, why didn't God think of this first. Imagine if He had come up with this idea then things would not have to be so painful for the Godhead in heaven. Rather than a tearful goodbye Jesus could have just made a video. Imagine John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He sent a video of His Son..." Or what about John the Beloved, "We beheld a projected image of His glory...". Don't misunderstand me, I am pretty progressive for a Baptist pastor. I know what you are thinking, that's like saying that one turtle is faster than another. However, those of you who know my story know that I have taken my share of bumps and bruises for being different. But, there is something to be said for "incarnation", that is being in the flesh. Much of my preaching over the course of three services each Sunday is modified according to the response I get from the congregation. Congregations are different and they respond to different stimuli. I'm not sure that sending a video to a remote campus of last week's message would have the same effect as being "in the moment". Not to mention the leading of the Holy Spirit in the process of delivering the message. I guess the DVD operator on the tech team at a satellite campus could also be spiritually sensitive and reverse a to a previous chapter or "ff" through a non applicable point in the sermon, but I doubt it happens very often.

So is a satellite campus of Dallas Bay out of the question? No, I don't think so. It has some intriguing possibilities. Maybe, a campus just far enough way from the base that it would take a quick motorcycle jog each Sunday morning to give just enough time to arrive at the end of the worship service. Or maybe the church could buy a helicopter and thus expand out beyond the speed limits of my Goldwing.  With the acquisition of a regional jet the possibilities become limitless..... Sorry, I got my heart rate up and had to catch my breath. Whatever God has in mind for the ministry of Dallas Bay it will continue to be exciting. I just think I'm not ready to give up on the whole incarnation thing. Whatever God is doing or going to do, I want to be there to experience it in person. So my goal at this point in my life is to be virtuous not virtual.

See you around the throne...Pastor Ken      

            


Hi-Def Scenes of the End of Time

I'll admit it, I will watch the most boring programs if it is in high definition TV. Several months ago I splurged and replaced our old projection TV with a new flat screen hi-def one. When it was all set up and functioning correctly the result was a picture that was unbelievably clear. It was as if the images on the screen became 3-d. I'll never forget sitting up and watching an albino hippo in a river in Africa for more than an hour. It was doing anything interesting in particular. It was just that you could see the sun turn it pink and then red before your very eyes. It was like being hypnotized by a hippo.

Well, months have passed and while I am still intrigued by the picture clarity of a hi-def TV, I do not watch it indiscriminately as before. Still when there is an interesting show in high definition it will still win out over it's competitors for my late night viewing attention. Recently I was caught up in a show about the potential damage cause by a rogue comet crashing into planet earth. The effects of such a monumental catastrophe was discussed by a panel of scientific experts. Midway through their evaluation of climatic and environmental fallout I began to feel as if I had heard it all before. They spoke of the tidal wave that would consume all life and structures for several miles inland on more than one continent. They explained the resultant fireball that would break into millions of fragments and reign over much of he earth. The dust, steam and debris would form a cloud that nearly would totally envelope the globe and bring on a modern tragedy similar to the one that the scientist believe killed the dinosaurs. I know I've heard that entire scenario explained before. Oh yeah:

8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.
9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.
11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
Revelation 8:8-12 (NKJV)

It seems I was watching the end of time in hi-def. Imagine what the scene must have looked like to John as he watched this "mountain" crash into the sea. It seems scientists are just now considering what God has known all along. This hi-def stuff is incredible.

Pastor Ken

       Comet


What If the Airlines Were Run By Churches

It is not unusual to hear a story about the abuse some poor traveler has received at the hands of a particular airline. Stories of lost luggage are common. Everyone who has flown at least twice can tell of a delayed flight or being bumped to another flight. Most recently a survey of the industry revealed that a particular airline that serves our local airport consistently rated at the bottom of customer satisfaction. Some have labeled this airline as "Always, Sorry, Always". You figure it out.

Michael Duduit, yes that is his real name, editor of Preaching magazine, considered what it might be like if different denominations ran the airlines.

Baptist-air - No alcohol served, but we have a great covered dish in flight meal.

Sevent Day-air - We fly anywhere you want to go as long as it is not on Saturday.

Church of Christ-air - Those other guys aren't really airlines at all.

Pentecostal-air - The flight attendants will present emergency procedures in an unknown tongue. Interpreters will be available in case of a real emergency.

Presbyterian-air - All passengers must remain in an upright and locked position throught the liturgy, I mean flight.

Catholi-air - In case of loss of cabin pressure oxygen masks will drop from the overhead compartment and rosary beads will distrubuted to the faithful.

If you are offended by any of these the Lord told me to tell you, "lighten up!"

Pastor Ken


I'm Not Ignoring You

Just a quick word to all of you who send me such encouraging remarks. I almost always respond with a quick thank you, because I do appreciate so much all the positive feedback I get from you guys. But if you are sending your emails via a comcast connection then I am not able to get through to you. It seems comcast has made dallasbaybaptist.com a "spammer". So every email from us to any email subscriber using comcast (including myself) is being sent back. So until this is straightened out just send any correspondence, or kind words, to kenduggan@comcast.net. Any discouraging or negative comments may be sent via snail mail and unsigned as usual.

Thanks,

Pastor Ken


Skulls Point to Adam and Eve

I have always been dismayed by the number of people who believe that you have to check your brain at the front door of the church if you are going to be a faithful follower of Christ. So many of the faith cringe when a new story is released that seems to indicate the idea of evolution is correct. Well, cringe no more. (You shouldn't have anyway. One day we will talk about the validity of micro-evolution and the absurdity of macro-evolution.) Released on the Fox News website today is an interesting find in the sandy soil of Africa. It seems that our ancestors may heave originated at near the same time rather than a long string of incredibly difficult mutations. Here is the article almost in it's entirety:

Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man.

The new research by famed paleontologist Meave Leakey in Kenya shows our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, calling into question the evolution of our ancestors.

The old theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis, evolved into Homo erectus, which then became us, Homo sapiens.

β€’ Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Evolution & Paleontology Center.

But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years, Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature.

In 2000 Leakey found an old H. erectus complete skull within walking distance of an upper jaw of the H. habilis, and both dated from the same general time period.

That makes it unlikely that H. erectus evolved from H. habilis, researchers said.

It's the equivalent of finding that your grandmother and great-grandmother were sisters rather than mother-daughter, said study co-author Fred Spoor, a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College in London.

The two species lived near each other, but probably didn't interact with each other, each having their own "ecological niche," Spoor said.

Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian and Homo erectus ate some meat, he said.

Like chimps and gorillas, "they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.

They have some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived 2 million to 3 million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said.

Overall what it paints for human evolution is a "chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us," Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi Fora Research Project in northern Kenya.

That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings.

He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and wasn't involved in the research team.

"The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said.

Scientists used to think H. sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, a closely related species, he said, but now know that both species lived during the same time period and that we did not come from Neanderthals.

Now a similar discovery applies further back in time.

Leakey's team spent seven years analyzing the fossils before announcing their findings that it was time to redraw the family tree β€” and rethink other ideas about human evolutionary history, especially about our most immediate ancestor, H. erectus.

How about this as an explanation for the beginning of man and woman:

Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his nostrils. The man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 (GW)

Then the Lord God said, β€œIt is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.”
Genesis 2:18 (GW)

21 So the Lord God caused him to fall into a deep sleep. While the man was sleeping, the Lord God took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
22 Then the Lord God formed a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man. He brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:21-22 (GW)

Don't be afraid of science. The more the unbelieving world learns about our ancestors the more it will lead them back to the Book.

See you around the throne - Pastor Ken. 

  Skull


Who Wants To Go?

Passion_2 In the 1600's the Black Plague ravaged through Europe. One small German village, Oberammergau, prayed the they would be spared the same fate as the rest of the continent. They also vowed to vividly portray the passion of Christ. They have been doing so every ten years since early in the 17th century.

I would like to take a group to see this once in a lifetime opportunity in 2010. I'm looking to see how many others out there would like to go to. The trip can be as short as six days in length and will include a couple of other beautiful Alpine cities. The trips begin in May and end in October of that year. Please email me If you have the slightest notion that you would like to go. My address is kduggan@dallasbaybaptist.com. I have no prices as of yet. I hope to hear from many of you.

Pastor Ken   


Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

I was reading in Preaching magazine a few days ago and ran across an interesting quiz. I'm sure many of my readers have spent at least a few minutes of their down-time watching evening TV. One clever game show that has recently aired is "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" The reason for the show is either to show us how intelligent 11 year-olds are or to make us adults feel dumber than dirt. Well, for those of us who fall into the latter category, I've got good news. The students on the show are actually child actors who have studied "worksheets" prior to the show. When I was in school that kind of insider information got you suspended.

The magazine proposed a test for those of us who attended Sunday School as a child. Here are the questions according to the grade level where they were taught.

     !st grade: Where did Jesus perform His first miracle?

     2nd grade: To what did Naomi change her name after she was widowed?

     3rd grade: Which Bible character had surgery performed as he or she slept?

     4th grade: What soldier criticized David for coming to the battlefield?

     5th grade: What color was the cloth draped over the Ark of the Covenant?

Try these at first without a reference book, computer, or your Bible. Then look up the ones you could answer to verify their accuracy. Then search out the ones you couldn't answer with certainty and complete those. How did you stack up against a fifth grade Sunday School student?

Keep looking up (answers that is),

Pastor Ken