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March 2013

February 2013 entries

Covered Up in Evidence for the Existence of God

I have been immersed into the world of apologetics the past few days. I have been gathering cosmological and biological evidences for the existence of God. Sunday I begin a series called, "Why I Believe."  My problem is not gathering enough information for the series of messages. The issue is what part of the mounds of evidence for God's existence do I present? I have a renewed confidence in the Psalmist's statement, "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God." Psalm 53:1

The tremendous weight of evidence for an intelligent Creator shouts to anyone who is willing to listen, "The heavens declare the glory of God!" Psalm 53:1

So why do many scientists insist upon the empty and circular logic that matter came out of nothing. It is not because they aren't intelligent. It is not because they are not educated. Allow me to have a representative from their world to speak on the subject of the existence of God. Esteemed evolutionist and scientist Professor D.M.S. Watson said, "Evolution is accepted not because it has been observed to occur or can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative - special creation (a Creator) - is clearly incredible." 

So it is the unwillingness to accept the existence of God that causes them to make leaps of faith when it comes to the creation of matter and intelligent design. They simply do not want to believe there is an Entity greater than science or themselves. The simple truth is: an object requires an objective creator, art requires an artist and intelligent design demands an intelligent Designer.  

"Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead." Romans 1:20

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we come together to worship our Great Creator! Until then, look up!

 

 


An Afternoon Away From It All

With Easter occurring early theis year, (March 31) it hasn't given me much time to relax since Christmas.  The brief time has been crammed with historic events like the birth of a grandson and the death of my mom. Now full steam ahead leading to the biggest Easter ever at Dallas Bay including our first Saturday night celebration and a helicopter egg drop. I was looking for a moment to get away. Particularly since our oldest son, daughter-in-law and new grandson will be living with us for a while beginning this weekend. I am excited for them to be in Chattanooga, but I know it will be stressful at times, particularly for them.

So, yesterday being the third Wednesday in the month, and thus a sheduled break from Wednesday night responsibilities, I decided to get the boat out and do some fishing. I checked with some of my fishing partners. They were either busy or sick, or both. Motivated to get away from the rat race I proceeded with plans alone. First, I looked for my minnow bucket. It was stored in a 3 sided building on my father-in-law's property along with the boat. It was nowhere to be found. The bucket, not the boat. Probably a gust of wind carried it into a neighbors property or into the woods nearby. Ok, so now I buy a bucket and minnows. I proceeded to back the truck up and attach the boat trailer. Once aligned, read here 10 minutes later and several prayers of forgiveness for my unspoken expressions of frustration, I realized I could not crank the trailer tongue high enough to attach to the truck. It seems over the winter both the tires and the ground had settled several inches. I enlisted Marilyn's dad for a hand to lift it high enough to attach the trailer to the truck. All the while the temperature was dropping into the low 40's, but as of yet no wind.

After stopping to buy minnows and a bucket, I arrived at the ramp to discover that on the way the three rods I had prepared were tangled together in a mess. I spent several minutes, without my reading glasses I might add, untangling 8 pound test fishing line. After stabbing my fingers a few times with fishing hooks, I became aware the wind was now gusting. My exposed hands were becoming numb. I looked up and saw a solo fisherman trying to keep his boat in position against the wind all the while attempting to manage his rods. I looked at the boat still on the trailer and made an executive decision to fish from the bank.

I waded through mud to a brush top in the water and cast my minnow. It was there only a few minutes before it was blown into the submerged brush. After several attempts to free my hook it broke off. The floater sailed on the surface of the water  into the crooked arms of the tree about ten feet from the shore. With a bucket of minnows and a rod and reel with line freely blowing in the now gale force winds I trudged back to my boat and truck. I tossed the rod and reel into the boat as I climbed into the cab. I started the engine and turned the heater on at full blast. Pulling away with my dry boat in tow I thanked God for a little time off. Man, I love fishing!                   


"Will you take this call or should I put Him on hold?"

I grew up believing there was only one holy calling. We didn't call anyone in our church a minister except for the pastor. He was to preach and lead because he was "called of God" to do those things. The man who led the choir and congregation in singing was just that; "the song leader." There was no education minister. There was a Sunday School Director. We had no youth pastor. Heaven forbid. We had concerned adults who looked out after the spiritual well being of the teens. Usually this person was a parent who wanted to keep a close eye on our activities while at church. We were left to our own devices during our secular moments outside church.

I say this because I was reminded of this religious mentality recently as I ate lunch with our new middle school pastor, Andy. He said he felt called to middle school ministry. In his mind and way of thinking it is not a stepping stone to the real calling of pastor. He really feels called to invest in the lives of middle schoolers. That's it. That idea is foreign to my experience with many other ministers who fall into any category but senior pastor. They often confess to working their way to the top spot. Let me say right here, for the record, that is not true with my staff here at Dallas Bay. They really feel calleded to what they are doing. I'm not looking over my shoulder and wondering who is vying for my position. I have to admit that it is comforting and not every pastor is blessed to have such support.

What is a calling? Is the calling to be a pastor and preacher greater than any other? Are there "holy" callings for some and "secular" callings for others? I don't think so. If you are a follower of Christ then you have been "called" into ministry. We all represent Christ. We all interact with other human beings. We are never in a position where we are not witnessing about our faith. We sometimes witness well, and other times not so well. Jesus said "You shall be my witnesses." We are all called into a sacred ministry of faith. I would not want to be a part of a church where some people are considered to be called and others are not. It excites me to think of a church culture where each believer understands they are called to a sacred vocation. Imagine how it would elevate the status of every believer. We would not assess value based upon a person's salary, but on how they are being used by God in their world. What if moms knew how sacred their vocation was? What if dads saw their role as spiritual mentors to their kids? What if the bagger at the grocery store understood he was just as instrumental in sharing the love of Christ as his pastor was on Sunday morning?

What would be the outcome of such radical thinking? Maybe we would see the church as a living body moving in the culture everyday of the week, and not just on Sunday. Maybe carpenters, mechanics, nurses and retail managers would see every person they met as a divine appointment to minister within their holy calling. Imagine how much this concept would add to the value of every moment of every day. I am called to be more than a pastor. As thrilling as it is to know God has trusted me with such a vocation, I am even more amazed He has called me to be a friend, a husband, a father and a grandfather. All are sacred callings.

1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.