The second installment of the sermon series “Why You Do the Things You Do.”
The overhead presentation is below…
In wrapping up our sermon series yesterday (Life IS Worship… the final installment from yesterday will be posted on this blog in a day or two) I spoke a bit about the different “ways” we are encouraged to worship in the scriptures. I spoke about everything from singing to dancing (yes, dancing). But the message ended with a section relating to the tension we often feel between self-consciousness, others-consciousness, and consideration and awareness of the heart and needs of those around us when we are worshiping together. If you spend a bit of time thinking about those issues, it can be a very difficult issue to resolve in your own heart and mind.
Today I found an article entitled, “Oh, Behave! Conduct worthy of the Gospel in Corporate Worship.” It’s right along the lines of where I was trying to go yesterday with my application. It serves as a good summary of the issue, and great food for thought. I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to go over there and read it.
Did you hear it? The can of worms just opened…
This topic of whether or not the United States of America was ever a Christian nation (or whether it was intended to be) has been:
- Argued, and
by people of every stripe (Christian and non-Christian).
This last week I came across an interview on Dr. Albert Mohler’s podcast – Thinking In Public. If you’ve never listened to Dr. Mohler speak, teach, or conduct an interview, you don’t know he’s potentially one of the smartest people on the planet (my opinion, but I’m in good company). And you also don’t know that he’s passionately committed to Jesus Christ and truth… whatever it may be.
This particular episode was an interview with Dr. Gregg Frazer (scroll half way down the linked page). He is Professor of History and Political Studies at The Master’s College (affiliated with Dr. John MacArthur). Dr. Frazer has written a new book entitled, “The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation and Revolution.” In his book, Dr. Frazer uncovers the truth on this issue regarding the beliefs of the most influential founding fathers of the United States, and shows from their own writings what they truly believed.
I encourage you to listen to the interview… and to do so prayerfully, with a heart that seeks truth rather than some personal agenda.
Was the U.S. intended to be a Christian nation?
This question is not important because it is controversial. It is important because truth matters. What you and I believe impacts how we view the world and live in it. If we Americans are assuming things about our country that are not true, then we will act in ways that are out of place – and be representing AS true what is actually false.
LISTEN to the podcast… and enter the discussion below…
What did you think?
Since the beginning of this blog, it has been hosted on WordPress. I love the WordPress platform… absolutely love it.
But it appears that WordPress has hooked me in with all the “free” aspects of the service, only to attempt to get me to pay them money on a monthly basis. What am I talking about??????
WordPress has begun to insert advertisements into my blog feed to “keep the free services free” – as their explanation says. They say that the possibility of ads showing up on my blog was part of the terms of service I agreed to… and I’m sure that’s true (I, like 99% of you, do not read all that legalese when I sign up for a new service). So in that sense, I am getting what I agreed to. But you can BET I they knew that very few people would take the time to read the never-ending terms of service when they signed up… and thus, here come the advertisements!
Why is this such a big deal to me?
- The latest batch of ads are a bit racy – which is exactly OPPOSITE what this blog is all about.
- I was not at all aware of this happening until my father-in-law told me about. So, I’ve been sending out blog posts with questionable advertising in them for who knows how long.
That makes me MAD, because it has potentially compromised my testimony and witness in ways that I had nothing to do with!
What will I do?
I only see 4 options:
- Insert a disclaimer at the end of every post taking no responsibility for the advertisements or warning against them (scroll down… what do you think?)
- Pay the $30 a year and be happy that I have such a great blogging platform to use. (It really is cool and easy, I still have to admit…)
- Switch to the self-hosted version of WP, where I have complete control over my blog, though that costs even more (that’s where my other blog, Christian Home and Family is hosted).
- Suggest all of you good folks who subscribe to this blog go over to my other site and subscribe there, and then shut down this blog.
What do YOU think I should do?
UPDATE: later that same day…
Before becoming aware of the buried terms of service section that allows WordPress to put ads in my blog posts, I had sent a perplexed and preturbed email to the company that was supplying the ads -Sharethrough. I insisted that they remove the ads from my blog feed immediately.
Today, after having written this post, I got this reply from Mike Gaffney, their Chief Revenue Officer.
We’ve turned off the video ads appearing on your blog. These ads are authorized by your agreement with WordPress with whom Sharethrough has an agreement. I will forward you the correct person to contact at WordPress but I first wanted to let you know that the ads have been suspended at this time.
I appreciate that. Really, I do. It’s nice to know that somebody in the loop wants to be considerate of how a “hidden agreement” like this can effect people who think they are sending out one thing, but discover after the fact that they’ve been sending out another. Thanks Mike.
I’ll keep you informed of changes to this issue as they transpire…
UPDATE: Even later the same day…
My internet friend Loren Pinilis just informed me in the comments that I can self-host this blog on the same space my other blog is hosted. I’ve asked him to explain… and I’m eagerly awaiting the news!
I’m a musician… ( I sing, drum, play bass, and the ipod). It kind of runs in the family, in a way. My older brother has his doctorate in music, and has created a musically-oriented product that serves both music educators. and parents who need help with developing their children’s thinking skills (brain training). He can play almost anything brass, some of the woodwind instruments, and a few stringed things… and sings a mean baritone too. Another brother plays trombone (or used to at least), sisters who sing, etc. But I digress…
Being a musician, Christian music has had a HUGE impact on my life. Once I got serious about my faith (later years of High School) Amy Grant*, Michael W. Smith*, Petra*, Leon Patillo*, and others were spiritual food for me. No joke… I still remember many of the lyrics and the feelings they evoke in me to this day. And I remember the way they built my faith, brick upon brick toward what it is today. I’m not a nostalgic person overall, but right now I feel all warm and fuzzy.
Anyway, Christian music has come a very, VERY, VERY long way since then… mainly for the better.
Once again, my daughters introduced me to this group… and I’m really enjoying them. Needtobreathe has some cool stuff. You should check them out. Below is one of their funnest and best videos “The Signature of the Divine“. I think we’re gonna’ have to learn to do this song for our corporate worship! Enjoy.
(* = affiliate links)
From Ephesians 1:6-14 – “Your Greatest Treasure” Listen below!
The third way in which Thomas Aquinas reasoned toward the existence of God deals with the question of being and not being. Here’s how the argument goes:
From observation, we can see that the things around us in the world have the possibility of existing or not existing. For example, the computer you are now using to read these words, exists now but has not always existed. There was a time when the computer was not (at least in its present form). For something (like the computer) to move from non-existence to existence, that action had to be brought about by something or someone that was already in existence. In other words, for the computer to come into being, it had to be manufactured or made…. and to manufacture something you must “exist” or “be.” Something that does not exist cannot make another thing come into existence. Thus, all things that exist must be brought about by that which exists. There must be a “first being” through whom all things that do exist came about.
And if that first being exists, he must out of necessity, have never “not existed.” In other words, since non-existence cannot bring about existence, the first being necessarily has to have always existed. And this entity that necessarily exists and cannot not-exist, is God.
O.K. – what do you think?