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Bring me back a t-shirt from Bali

The Freo boys that is......
Probably the most dissapointing season ever....more than any other because there was real exectation we would do well....
With all the hype pre-season this should have been our best year. Everything was set for our club to continue on and do better than 2006. With star recruits and other players maturing, everything was in place, but it was not to be. Injuries, misdemenours, and unrest in the ranks, derailed our season.

But....there is a lot to look forward to in 2008. A new coach, who appears to have the players respect, and will impose his will on them. The best centre half forward in the AFL
The best crumbing forward.
One of the most creative and attacking defenses
Exciting ruckman.
Roll on 2008, it will be our best year ever.
focused captain, hopefully Bell plays on.....

And some other things to look forward too,
St Kilda continuing their slide down the ladder........into obscurity......
West Coast players disgracing themselves....
Richmond moving up to their default position in 9th

Anyone but them

After Freo gets flogged by Port........
Its go Geelong, and after that....anyone but the high flying....in more ways than one.....weages. I'll even barrack for the Pies or Port over that bunch of big sunglass wearing, smug, oily dorks. And if one more person tells me to support the WA side, I will not be responsible for my actions.

Son of a preacher man

Is it good to grow up being a pastors son?
I don't know, having grown up an engineers' son.
I worry about my boy, he is such a great kid. But then I am also glad for some reasons too.
I worry because being a pastors son is not like being a fireman's son, or even a businessman's son. At some point it will be embarassing for him being my son....maybe it is now.

But then I am glad too. What other dad gets to pick their son up from school and take him out to kick the footy? Some do, in fact there are about two or three dads when I pick him up. Yet being a pastor is a lot more flexible that other professions.

But then I am out a lot at night, sometimes 4-5 nights a week. Normally he is in bed at 7.15pm, so it does not affect him too much, yet.

Sometimes when I am feeling irrationaly depressed about it I remind myself that it is better to be a pastors son that a drug addicts son !!!

Most of all I want him to grow up in a church that he loves, that is indispensible to the community, that is exciting, contemporary and relevant....that probably drives me as much as anything.

There are a lot of Mark Edwards's in the world

Googling your own name is something we have all done, but none of us would admit it.
There are stacks of Mark Edwards's in the world, from rock stars to geologists.
There are a number of Mark Edwards's who are Pastors. One of them leads a church in Queensland, he also posts on Phil Baker's blog.....For those who have asked, it is not me....I have not had a coffee made from cat poo beans......

I have three blogs....thats enough.
(And yes, I know that is probably not how you spell the plural for Mark Edwards...but you get the idea)

Noah Message

Here's that message on Noah I promised you.....

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Cirumcision

Here is an interesting fact...sort of...and not for the squemish.

1 Corinthians 6: 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.

Why did Paul write this? Well at Corinth there were 'athletic games'. These were played in the nude by the athletes. Some of the Jewish and other competitors were embrassed by the fact their 'old fella' was circumcised. So... they were actually having a pseudo reverse type operation to make it look like everyone elses....true...

Phil Collins on TV Evangelists. What we are up against

The English, cynical, yet often able to see right through rubbish. If cynicism is taken too far, it leads to bitternerr, or closed minds.
Many pastors have put out rubbish, said a lot of stupid things...and the rest of us pay for it.
I wonder if Australians are a bit more balanced. A bit more discerning...I hope so.

I didn't do it!!

As alluded to in the last post, a certain Melbourne based AFL club has had its confidential medical records lost, literally in the gutter, which reveal that two players from the same club had failed drug tests twice, and had both been admitted to the same drug rehab clinic. I know who the two players are, but am not going to say on this forum.

Brendan Gale has come out quite angrily threatening that players will protest the breach of confidentiality by boycoting some Channel Seven events, and he has also harshly criticised the AFL.

But the most laughable event is AFL head hunch Andrew Demetriou who has come out angrily at Channel Seven. He is seriously trying to deflect attention away from the AFL's own ineptitude in allowing this material to get out. Its like blaming someone for broadcasting something you have done wrong. The AFL have form in this area.....and so I dont buy his denying of AFL's own responsibility in this area.

Birds of a feather

Amazing how birds seem to flock together, do the same sort of thing...even football teams with bird names......
If you dont know what I mean, you did not hear the news on Friday before the AFL put in its injunction.

Sunday arvo ramble

Cant wait for my broadband connection to arrive at home, might have it tommorow. Optus new plan $69 per month including all local calls and line rental...cheap. Free modem, which I will have to get a wi-fi router for.

Great send off for two club legends yesterday, and it keeps our mathematical chances of making the 8 alive....GO Tigers!
I think we have to beat Port by 8 goals or something, and other results have to go our way. Very unlikely, especially after seeing them beat Geelong today. That was a very exciting game, especially if you are a Port supporter. Port may even give the flag a shake....anyone but West Toast I say. But I will be barracking for Geelong, being another port city club and not having won for so long, and being my second side.

Good morning at church today. We learnt 'Hosanna' from Hillsong's new album, its very good and definetly singable. I spoke on Noah, and how it is never too late to be what God wants you to become (Noah was 500+) and also on hearing from God's revelation, and acting on it. I also emphasised the need to not live as though Christ needs to rescue us from this world, but try and change it and make it better.

Parker and Cook Retire

Shane Parker and Troy Cook have announced their retirement from the AFL today.
What legends they are.
Parker: Deserved to be selected for the All Australian Team a number of times. Consinstently played on taller, stronger opponents than himself. When Freo were a basket case, and consistently lost, he has Mr Integrity.

Cook: I remember watching him play in a pre season practice game against the Bulldogs, and the crunching tackle he laid could be heard around the almost empty Subiaco oval. He also signed my Freo shirt when I bought him a beer at the Cervantes Tavern on Grand final day (when the Eagles lost to Sydney)

Both legends, and Shane especially deserved more success and recognition.


Noahs Ark

Speaking on Noah this week, one man who stood up and made a difference in his world....

Here's some lighter learning from Noahs story

(1) Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
(2) Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something really big.
(3) Don’t listen to critics. Do what has to be done.
(4) Build on high ground.
(5) For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
(6) Two heads are better than one.
(7) Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
(8) If you can’t fight or flee -- float.
(9) Take care of your animals if they were the last ones on earth.
(10) Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat.
(11) When the doo-doo gets really deep, don’t sit there and complain ?shovel!
(12) Stay below deck during the storm.
(13) Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals. (14) If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
(15) Remember that the woodpeckers inside are often a bigger threat that the storm outside. (16) No matter how bleak it looks, there’s always a rainbow on the other side.
(17) DON’T MISS THE BOAT!!!
(Don Kryer, Frontline Fellowship)

Here is a video loop I have made up to play while I am dribbling on....

Stomach woes

aaargh
those of you who know me know I spent 3 days at RPH earlier in the year with undiagnosed stomach/digestive problems. Quite serious...but no one really knew what to do, I had swarms of doctors and surgeons looking over me, prodding me, even in places where men should not prod other men :(

Last night the same basic symptons came back, and I missed worship practice....
Feeling better today...and hoping it was just a mild bout....But its not easy to focus on my message preparation, especially with a good mate going through a terribly dissapointing day.

Bishop ding dong Spong

How can someone be a bishop when they dont believe in the gospel?

I believe in tolerance and grace...but I do not believe in letting heretics be leaders in the church.

"Spong does not consider the Bible the primary source of divine revelation, or believe it inspired. It is a human book containing some profound wisdom and culture-bound limitations. "

"But Spong rejects the doctrine of atonement. "The Christ figure makes great sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is that God needed to kill Jesus to overcome Barney’s sins," he says, pointing at the interviewer. "

Look, people have freedom to believe what they want....but dont call yourself a Christian, then deny basic Christian beliefs...and dont try to pretend you are a bishop and speak for Christians....you dont...you are a heretic and should be thrown out of the church.

PS...One of Spongs main beefs is that the church is dying, and therefore needs to be relevant...mmmm... "Negative: During his tenure as Bishop of Newark, confirmed communicants in the diocese virtually halved, from 44,423 in 1978, to 23,073 in 1996" mmmmmm....

Story
H/t Phil Baker for link

Bakers seven

Well, the gutless thug got what he deserved, 7 weeks. Interesting that is was his own testimony that got him convicted. Baker's version of events is what the tribunal believed. However they judged that by him stopping it was reckless and deserved suspension. With a couple of weeks already hanging over the thugs kneck, he copped 7.

English soccer fans and church


"I’ve often wondered how the English, who are so rowdy on the soccer pitch, managed to create a church that is so reserved."

(from Grendel...the friendly atheist)


Message August 19th Moses, Revelation and life

Here is the message from Sunday from Exodux 3....you can say a fair bit in 19 minutes.
Based it around a couple of quotes about life...Moses...Revelation and hope.

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Rudd.....no gentleman


Wonder how all the Christians who heard Rudd last week are feeling now? Let down? Dissapointed? Don't care?
How are all the Rudd supporting Bloggers feeling? Will they say....well Howard is more guilty of sinning with his policy on immigration, social reforms etc....
Are they right?

It seems morality is polarised between traditional Christian morality...no sex before marriage etc.....and a new emphasis on active morality...caring for the poor.
Interesting...either way..will this incident be a vote breaker for some people?

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said the story would endear Mr Rudd to voters because it showed he had "blood in his veins".

Treasurer Peter Costello declined to criticise Mr Rudd, but said he had never visited the Scores club

Journalist Glen Milne who broke the story, and who was drunk and abusive at last years Walkley awards, says that Rudd is a control freak, who needs to realise that he cannot control thr truth.

Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) managing director Jim Wallace said everyone made mistakes.

St Kilda no saints

Two thugs won the game for St Kilda on Saturday.
Third quarter we kicked the first goal...and looked like making a comeback...until the perenial gutless wonder Baker decided to 'king hit' Farmer FROM BEHIND.

Gutless cheat Baker.....deserves 6 weeks for that. Probably will get off because Farmer does not get frees.
Interesting that Voss saw it...Now I find out Voss is still on Brisbanes list, and has to front up as a witness if called.

Gherig played his best game for the year and was unstoppable, well done for a no-kneck thug. Interesting though that he did not kick a goal in the 4th quarter when Mc Pharlin went on him. Harvey should have made that move sooner.
As much as it hurts me to say it, I hope West Coast thrash St Kilda next week...and Richmond thrash them the week after.

Great Sunday

We had a interesting service yesterday..and it turned out well.
Anne Marie led well...and the music was great. It was good to see some more visitors in the church.

I spoke on Moses, revelation, GO, and perseverance.

Remarkable

Remarkable.....something is remarkable because people remark about it.

(Seth G)

From this weeks message...

"So many people tiptoe through life, so carefully, to arrive, safely, at death." - Tony Campolo


"Moses who was fleeing from his troubles, fleeing from the conflict…setting himself up for a quite life in the desert tending his father in laws flock, after recieving revelation from God was now going to have to tend and lead a whole different sort of flock." (Mark E)

Smite them...O mighty Smighter.....


From the "Pastors behaving badly" series......

LA Times
"Wiley S. Drake, a Buena Park pastor and a former national leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, called on his followers to pray for the deaths of two leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

and his biblical and theological justification......

"Drake said Wednesday he was "simply doing what God told me to do" by targeting Americans United officials Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming, whom he calls the "enemies of God.""God says to pray imprecatory prayer against people who attack God's church," he said. "The Bible says that if anybody attacks God's people, David said this is what will happen to them. . . . Children will become orphans and wives will become widows."Imprecatory prayers are alternately defined as praying for someone's misfortune, or an appeal to God for justice."Let his days be few; and let another take his office," the prayer reads. "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.""


Missional


You may have seen the 'emerging' posters getting around the net....Quite funny and poking fun at emerging churches....

here is a response to them, which I like, and might use sometime...nice....but not in an emerging context...why should the EC have all the good words?

s

Church and Ecclesia "the called out ones"

Hamo has an interesting post on what it means to be a Christian.
Plenty of people say that you can be a Christian without going to Church.....And we all know what Keith Green said, going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.

But in our individualistic society, have we allowed the culture of our day to influence our beliefs?
Is there something about being part of a Ecclesia that determines our spirituality? If we are not part of 'a' body of Christ, to what level are we part of 'the' body of Christ?

Does Christ call us to be part of His Body? I would answer yes. To be responsible to it, to care for it, to help it grow, to be a part of His body here on earth? I am sure the answers are again yes.

So where does that leave those who are not part of an Ecclesia....part of a called out people?
Don't hear me saying you need to go to church on Sunday AM....it is far more time consuming and costly than that.
Isn't Christ calling us to be in a covenantal relationship with other Christians? Thats far more than attending Church on Sunday.

Who is this man?


This is the new series we are starting for August
Pinched some ideas from here there and everywhere.
Eliot will be kicking the series off....should be great.


1 Corinthians 3

verse 16....the Spirit of God lives within us

like a light leaping out of the page, so this verse touches me and disciplines me. It reminds me again....that I am nowhere near the person I need to be....it reminds me that the HOLY Spirit lives within me...but I am not holy, and often the opposite.

Pav to play on at Freo

I reckon Pav now knows who is going to coach Freo next year, and I reckon he thinks we are headed towards a premiership....


THANKS PAVLICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Technical Post How your mouse works

Ever wondered how your computer mouse works?
its interesting to see what happens when you just let it sit there as well....

http://www.1-click.jp/

Fraser G

Grover....this is what needs to happen next week...you and Josh get under the big lugs skin okay??

Great Sunday

There was something special about Sunday....cant quite put it down to one thing...but there was so many good things happening in peoples lives and the life of the church.
Really glad God is working....because at times when I dont do much, He seems to do more.

Q spoke from the heart this morning...and the congregation almost seemed shocked...and challenged. Sometimes how we feel about ministry bears little resemblance to what actually happens....because God is good, and uses the little we bring....because we are available.


Its good to be the Pastor at Bedford....the music was great this morning, the vibe was good.

Mathematically Possible


A great start for Harvey, lets be frank. 3 wins out of 4. Thats no fluke. The game plan has been simplified...and Gilmore has been significant.

If Harvey has done nothing else, he has not dropped Gilmore. As much as I liked Connolly, he did drop players inexplicably at times. I enjoy watching Daniel play, he is a simple, positive footballer. And quite frankly with the forward line we have, its a better than 50% bet to kick it long. Farmer, Tarrant, Pavlich...now starting to click.

It may be too late...despite the newfound enthusiasm...but it does look good for next year. But you know what...if we do get in the eight...I reckon we will make another prelim at least.

But I can't see us beating St Kilda this week at that excuse for a football ground, the Telstra Dome. But if nothing else, it will be good to see St Gaz tip us against his beloved Saints.
And on another point, hows the form of the Freo crowd in contrast to the Eagle Feral Fans (EFF for short). A standing ovation for a coaching legend, a respectful send off for Sheedy from the Freo faithful. This in constrast to the fact we now have 6 policeman at the opposition gate because the Subiaco Oval Ground Manager said the Eagles crowd were the most violent and abusive crowd he has ever seen. They get angry and frustrated when a team outplays them it seems.....

Extraordinary People Video

What makes an extraordinary person?
Here is a video I have made...
if you want a copy, send me an email..

Wisdom again...

Still reflecting on 1 Corinthians....
Small group last night, we discussed it...the variety and knowledge we bring together is great...maybe I should have small group before I have to teach this subject...

Trying to convince my class that exegisis is useful...some of them cant see the point...explained its like looking at a jewel, a diamond, a ruby.....if you look at it from various angles...you get all different yet valuable insights.

Heres a gem...
" 20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe."

At times...sharing the gospel with people may seem foolish....even to us....but through the power of God, people can come to see the true wisdom in accepting the Jesus story.....It is an honest assesment by Paul...which is very encouraging to us who deeply desire to see people come to know Jesus as we do.

Praying for a miracle

If a miracle happens and we slip into 8th......
and the Weagles continue to win lose win lose etc....
guess where they finish?? and guess what that means......

they finish 5th, and we meet them in a knockout final...at Subiaco....

I know your not meant to pray for your football team....because I don't reckon its on God's list of priorities.....

But I'm praying

And by the way....Sportbet have us at $3.25 to make the finals....I reckon thats exceptional odds. What I mean is that I would have thought it would have been a lot more than that.
And we were $4.20 to beat West Toast on Sunday.

The Passion Blog


Dave Quinn has recently been made Pastor at Merredin C of C.
I have only met him online, and owe him a mars bar after he correctly answered a question on this blog.
His latest post on Authority in Christ is a beauty...and on that basis, he gets added to my blog list.




But..he is crying into his socks after the magnificent win by the Dockers over his side.

Narnia Series of films to be made


Cs Lewis would be happy, I think. Walt Disney has announced that it intends to make the remaining 6 stories from The Chronicles of Narnia series into feature films.

The follow up to "The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe" will be 'Prince Caspian.'
Disney will release one movie per year commencing in May 2008.
I loved these stories as a kid, reading them all before the age of 12.
I also remember a BBC series which was pretty dodgy.
The themes are wonderful, with great insight into Biblical truths.

Wisdom of the world

Reading through First Corinthians today...did an exercise with a class I teach. We examined this passage.

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[c]
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."[
d]

It is amazing how often in these few verses Paul alludes to 'wisdom' and foolishness'. Almost every verse.
It is also clear that he is quite disparaging about the wisdom of the world, even though at one point he may have even quoted Plato.

How does this stack up with us in our efforts to become 'all things to all people'. What I am thinking about in my mind is this.... do we sometimes pander to how people in society think in our mission and church endevours?

I am not having a go at churches here....at all.....just musing through some things.

At some point....the truth that true wisdom is found in Christianity and Christ....and what appears to be wisdom to the world....is very often said to be foolishness...needs to be said. Obviously grace, love, community, service and kindness are the most important things to display.......but then so is true wisdom.

I know I am going to get in trouble for posting this



But I cant help it, this is very funny.....check out the number she is wearing.

Very interesting article on Dawkins and reason and faith

Here is a good quote,

"We are living in a scientific, largely post-religious age in which faith is presented as unscientific superstition. Yet paradoxically, we have replaced such faith by belief in demonstrable nonsense.
It was GK Chesterton who famously quipped that "when people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing - they believe in anything." So it has proved. But how did it happen?
The big mistake is to see religion and reason as polar opposites. They are not. In fact, reason is intrinsic to the Judeo-Christian tradition.
The Bible provides a picture of a rational Creator and an orderly universe - which, accordingly, provided the template for the exercise of reason and the development of science.
Dawkins pours particular scorn on the Biblical miracles which don't correspond to scientific reality. But religious believers have different ways of regarding those events, with many seeing them as either metaphors or as natural occurrences which were invested with a greater significance.

James Cameron and wisdom

Interesting contrast between the show last night which sought to show, through some very dodgy linguistics, that they had found the tomb of Jesus...and what the Bible has to say. This might be helpful...

"All human attempts to gain wisdom and the knowledge of God fail unless they are grounded in the saving wisdom and power of God which is revealed in Christ crucified."

The gospel, good news about Jesus, and the Holy Spirit Who helps us understand deep mystery, is where true power and true wisdom is found.

It's official, Eagles fans are feral

That bastion of reliable reporting (at least this week) the West Australian, has correctly reported the feralness of Weagles fans....you lot should be ashamed of yourself.

"Walsh conceded he was stunned at the level of vitriol displayed by West Coast fans. Walsh denied any knowledge of reports Jeff Farmer had an altercation with an Eagles member at half-time. However, there was a heavy police presence at the head of Fremantle’s race after the match. “I had to put police in place around the Fremantle dug-out just before half-time because there were people leaning over as players came off the ground,” Walsh said. “They’re normally pretty good the Eagles supporters, but they were very agitated and extremely aggressive. “A lot of people were spoken to about their language, it was pretty intense. “We’ll assess the build-up to next year’s derby, but there’s every chance there’ll be more police and security just to keep things settled.” Seven Eagles supporters were evicted on Sunday, all before half-time.
source

If your wondering

Who Akermanis reckons is taking performance enhancing drugs...don't expect me to tell you...but go here and find out for yourself. Sincerly hope its not true...and Akermanis is an idiot.

Quaffable Quote

"On the other hand, it is better not to believe in God than to believe in a God who minimizes human beings, holds them under and oppresses them, with a view to a better world to come."

Edward Schillebeeckx, The Church with a Human Face: A New and Expanded Theology of Ministry, trans. John Bowden (London: SCM, 1985), p. 34. [via] Posted by: Phil Baker at 4-Aug-2007
H/T Phil Baker

How sweet it is......


aaahh......straight to the pool room with that vcr tape....

Now let me get this straight.....its not okay to boo Judd....but its okay to boo Carr...and Farmer when he injures himself??????

John Piper makes sense on legalism

Okay, he does not drink himself .......but does not want to legislate against those who do....This is a rather scathing yet justified comment on legalism within the church from John Piper.

Context
"This coming Thursday evening, at the second half of our annual business meeting, we will be voting on the proposed amendment to the church covenant. I want to try to clarify this morning what is at stake in this decision and to apply the Word of God to our present situation.
From 1871 to 1946 Bethlehem had no church constitution or covenant. From 1946 to 1965 Bethlehem lived under a covenant identical to the one we have today, except that for those 20 years there was no clause about abstaining from alcoholic beverages. In 1965, the church amended the covenant to add the sentence, "We engage . . . to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage." The constitutional effect of this amendment in 1965 was to make total abstinence from the use and sale of alcoholic beverages a prerequisite for church membership.

Reasons
"But the main reason the proposed amendment will help us avoid evil and the chief reason I support the amendment is that it helps guard us from an unbiblical legalism and exclusivism. Let me define what I mean by legalism. The New Testament does not use the word "legalism" and, therefore, it is thrown around today pretty carelessly. I want to try to define it in such a way that you can see that it is evil and that the New Testament does indeed deal with it, even if it does not use the word. I use the word "legalism" in at least two senses, but both have a common root problem. First, legalism means treating biblical standards of conduct as regulations to be kept by our own power in order to earn God's favor. In other words legalism will be present wherever a person is trying to be ethical in his own strength, that is, without relying on the merciful help of God in Christ. Simply put, moral behavior that is not from faith is legalism. The legalist is always a very moral person. In fact the majority of moral people are legalists because their so-called Judeo-Christian morality inherited from their forefathers does not grow out of a humble, contrite reliance on the merciful enabling of God. On the contrary, for the legalist, morality serves the same function that immorality does for the antinomian, the free-thinker, the progressive, namely, it serves as an expression of self-reliance and self-assertion. The reason some Pharisees tithed and fasted is the same reason some German university students take off their clothes and lie around naked in the park in downtown Munich. The moral legalist is always the elder brother of the immoral prodigal. They are blood brothers in God's sight because both reject the sovereign mercy of God in Christ as a means to righteousness and use either morality or immorality as a means of expressing their independence and self-sufficiency and self-determination. And it is clear from the NT that both will result in a tragic loss of eternal life. So the first meaning of legalism is the terrible mistake of treating biblical standards of conduct as regulations to be kept by our own power in order to earn God's favor. It is a danger we must guard against in our own hearts every day. And please know that my old self is just as prone to it as anyone.
The second meaning of legalism is this: the erecting of specific requirements of conduct beyond the teaching of Scripture and making adherence to them the means by which a person is qualified for full participation in the local family of God, the church. This is where unbiblical exclusivism arises. There is no getting around the fact that the church does not include everyone. We do exclude people from membership because we believe worship should imply commitment to the lordship of Christ, the head of the church. But exclusion of people from the church should never be taken lightly. It is a very serious matter. Schools and clubs and societies can set up any human regulations they wish in order to keep certain people out and preserve by rule a particular atmosphere. But the church is not man's institution. It belongs to Christ. He is the head of the body, and he alone should set the entrance requirements. That is very important! "

Read on here

Dog tricks

In the "someone has too much time on their hands" comes this website...

type in commands you might normally give a dog, then try some others, like "Dance"

http://www.idodogtricks.com/index_flash.html

Hands


Speaking on hands this week....may use the song by Jewel....

Hands
"Poverty stole your golden shoes It didn't steal your laughter And heartache came to visit me But I knew it wasn't ever after We'll fight, not out of spite For someone must stand up for what's right' Cause where there's a man who has no voice There ours shall go singing My hands are small I know But they're not yours, they are my own But they're not yours, they are my own I am never broken In the end only kindness matters

We are God's eyes ... God's hands .... God's mind....

Automatic Tithing Machine


On 6pr Simon Beaumont interviewed this guy. Dr Marty Baker

His church has installed an 'automatic tithing machine' or electronic giving kiosk.

It has been placed in a natural spot, with the pastor declaring the church 'did not want to be tacky'

This Pastor is looking at having these machines in over 40 churches over the US.

The machine takes all the popular cards....
The pastor said that the people in todays culture don't carry cash, and it is a valid way to give.

Challenging the Process Andy Stanley


This is an excellent message by Andy Stanley from Northpoint Church

Highlights

"Left to themselves, virtually every person and organization is in a subconscious pursuit of the status quo."

"Unfortunately, your zeal for improvement isn't always appreciated out in the real world. As a matter of fact, your natural bent for leadership sets you up for resistance from virtually all sides–including other leaders.
And unless you understand the nature of these dynamics, the very instincts that qualify you for greatness can also lead you to disqualify yourself and sabotage your opportunities. Effective leadership means learning to challenge the process without challenging the organization. There's a fine line between the two. But it's a crucial line. "

"As leaders, we must keep a sense of diplomacy without shrinking from our scrutinizing nature. When you stop challenging the process, you cease to be a leader and you become a manager. "