Thursday, September 27, 2007

Black Men and Dogs

Recently in an essay on National Public Radio, journalist Kevin Blackistone suggested that the actions of Michael Vick should not color our views of black men and their dogs. The piece is good and worth your time of reading and/or listening to. You can do so by clicking here. However, while I enjoyed listening to the essay, I was most intrigue by his last paragraph. He concluded his essay with these words:

"I'm not necessarily a religious man, but I do believe in much of the wisdom from the good book, like Proverbs 12:10. It says: "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

The way he states this is interesting to me because I am currently putting together my sermon for this coming Sunday on the final words of Matthew 7. These are the summary words following our Lord's Sermon on the Mount. They state:

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes (Matt. 7:28-29).

The people were astonished and amazed at our Lord's words. Isn't it interesting that people like Mr. Blackistone are still amazed and astonished at the truth of Scripture, but do not seem to be amazed at the God who authors those Scriptures? I appreciate the fact that Mr. Blackistone recognizes the truth when he reads it, and apparently believes that the Word of God has some authority. Unfortunately, he is not "religious" enough to submit to the authority behind the Word of God. And thus, he believes in "much" of the wisdom of the good book. Being in impressed with the truth is one thing. Trusting in the God of truth is another.

Yes, it is true that cruelty to our animals is a sin. And it is true that black men do have a good history with their dogs. This is because even a dog knows who his lord is. Do you Mr. Blackistone? I wonder, do we?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cheron Hardy in Haiti

Cheron Hardy is a missionary in Haiti. That is how she joyfully describes herself. Indeed she is right. She runs an orphanage there and brings the gospel and grace of God to many a man, woman, boy, and girl. Her life is a true testament to the wonderful message of the Gospel and the pleasure of God in seeing the gospel taken to the nations. This past Wednesday, Cheron was back home and she shared with us an update from Haiti and challenged us to pray for the nations and to lay our lives down so that we might really live. You can listen to and download her message here. It is a keeper.

And when you remember, pray for Cheron. Or better yet, pray we would have more young men and women with the heart she has for the Glory of God and the good of the nations.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

2007 Pastors Conference - "What is the Gospel?"

The 2007 Miami Pastors Conference is quickly coming upon us. The conference theme is one of the most urgent needs, namely "What is the Gospel?" It appears every generation the issue of the Gospel is raised. In every generation the gospel comes under attack and in every generation it must be defended. Ours is no different. Though the issues are old, the tactics are more advanced, insidious, and in many ways more docile and therefore more deadly. Today the false gospel is being dealt out with sweet, tasteful words and entertainment. Ours is a generation that not only hears the false gospel preached from large popular pulpits and platforms, but we also hear it sung with melodious voices and by large impressive choirs. Perhaps more than any other generation, our generation has taken the false gospels and put them to songs. These songs have catchy tunes and nice beats, yet are the purveyors of heresy and error. Unfortunately, people are innocuous to the error contained in these songs and thus they not only sing them in the car, but inevitably transfer them to the choir. And the church that once simply denied the biblical gospel from the pulpit is now denying it from the choir stand. In other words, the gospel is under attack from every quarter. When we understand that this is the case, we will understand the need to define and defend once again the true gospel in this generation. This is charge of the men who will gather to preach and teach at Glendale Baptist Church in Miami FL for the 2007 Miami Pastors Conference on November 8 - 10, 2007. Registration is open. You can find more information on the line up of speakers, schedule, cost, and accommodations by clicking here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Segregation or Assimilation?

Lionel Woods is sharing his thoughts on his faith and experience. Very thoughtful. Check it out.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Follow the Light, My Child

While we were on vacation, I had opportunity to take some great pictures of the family. One of my favorite pics was taken as I was walking behind our youngest daughter and we were heading for the lighthouse at Lake Michigan. It was a windy day and waves beat heavily and steadily against the rocks. You could see her keeping her feet steady and she headed straight for the lighthouse. She refused my help, she wanted to do it by herself. I remember recalling what a beautiful and awesome display of God's power was Lake Michigan that day. I also remember thinking how gracious and merciful God has been to us in giving us these little children to steward for His glory. As I later reviewed this picture I could not but help praying that God would keep her on the path heading toward his marvelous, guiding light.
When Christian, in The Pilgrim's Progress, was experiencing the weight of his burden and the need to flee the City of Destruction, Evangelist asked him, "Do you see yonder shining light?" Christian replied, "I think I do." Evangelist continued, "Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.” As my children walk through this world and feel the winds blowing against them and the waves beating against their paths, I pray they will remember to keep the light in their eye and move steadily toward the Lighthouse and may it "Shine, Shine, on them."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Why the PC(USA)?

Nathan Byrd answers why he has remained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) while so many question the theological integrity of his denomination. While the question would seem difficult for any person in the PCUSA, Nathan understands that the question for him as a black man is particularly acute. His answer is here.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Speaking of the Old Paths

Stephen Nichols is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. He is a professor of Church History and Theology at Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School in Lancaster, GA. There are a plethora of books out there on Church History. But what I particularly like about Nichols is how readable and engaging he is. His books are not filled with seemingly meaningless minutia (you know the kind of history books we read in college and seminary). Rather, his books are written with the church in mind, and not his colleagues in academia (though I am sure they would all benefit from his work). Timothy George said that Stephen Nichols "makes church history come alive." I concur. I am a lover of history and am always looking for good readable material. Thus, I am becoming more and more inclined to read everything that Nichols writes. If you are interested in reading some good church history, you would do well to get a hold of some of Nichols books. Of particular interest may be his books, Pages From Church History and The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World. Remember, you can't walk in the old paths unless you know where they are.