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Archive for June, 2012

Surprised.

When was the last time you saw something that totally surpised you? The last time you saw something that made you do a double-take and say “Did I just see what I think I saw?”?

In 2004 during the NBA playoffs the Los Angeles Lakers where playing the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Tim Duncan of the Spurs had just hit a nearly impossible shot to put the Spurs up by a single point. When the shot was made, the Lakers immediately called timeout. All the Spurs’ players, coaches, and fans where all going crazy, because they thought they had won the game and all the Lakers’ players are disspondant. There is now only 0.04 seconds (four tenths of a second) in the game

Because they called timeout, the Lakers got the ball at half court. The referee hands the ball to a Lakers player.  Derrick Fisher notices the man guarding him wasn’t paying enough attention to him and makes a break toward the inbounder. The inbounder fires a pass to Fisher, who catches the ball while simultaneously turning around while he caught the ball. When he finished, he was facing the basket. He jumps up fires up a fade away jump shot as time quickly expires. The shot goes in, Derrick Fisher and almost all his teammates run into the locker room, and all the Spurs fans go totally silent. All the referees run over to the scorers table to watch replay after replay of this shot.

The shot is called good, all the Lakers’ players run into the locker room, and all the Spurs’ players walk into their locker room totally dejected.

At the time of this game I was living in Scotland so I didn’t see it live when it happened. I have, however, watched the shot several times on youtube.

Every time I see it, I am amazed.

No doubt, the same surprize was on the faces’ of the disciples who encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24.

Jesus had died on the cross, was buried, and rose again from the grave. But not one of His followers expected Him to rise from the dead, despite His repeatedly saying He would.

While two of His disciples were returning to their home in Emmaus, Jesus mysteriously appears and walks with them. While they walked, Jesus asks them what they were talking about. They tell Him about Himself dyeing and being buried, and how dejected they were about it.

And Jesus proceeds to tell them about Himself and how Moses, the prophets, and all of scripture told of His life, burrial, and resurrection. It wasn’t long until they reached Emmaus, and the disciples went on home. But Jesus acted like He was going further, but the men strongly urged Him to stay with them, so He does.

When they sit down to eat, Jesus took bread, broke it, and gave a piece to the men. When Jesus did this, the men suddenly realize it was Jesus, and He disappered. The men hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples Jesus really is alive.

I hope and pray we all can have a lively spiritual experience.

Comments, questions, further thoughts, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! I meant to write last Monday about going on vacation. My bad y’all.

My family and I went to Gulf Shores, AL for a family reunion with my grandparents and our grandmother’s side of the family. We had a lot of fun reconnecting with several of those we hadn’t seen in the past two years (we have these family reunions every two years).

We left Gulf Shores on Sunday just ahead of a tropical storm. Just about every day there were rough waves in the ocean. I had been wondering why the waves were so turbulunt, and we heard about the impending storm and figured out that must be why.

In any rate, we’re back in town, and hope to do some blogging this week.

So please be tuned in.

G0d bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! The following is something I’ve been thinking about and struggling with.

Unity is something Jesus prayed for in John’s Gospel. It is important to Jesus, therefore it should be important to His followers.

Unity is extremely important. It can be achieved. But it can’t be achieved at the expense of scriptural truth.

There are things scripture teaches about how we come to a saving relationship with God through Jesus. If we disagree about that, it can be a problem with regard to scriptural unity. i have read books and listen to music written and sung by those who disagree about this. I am troubled, because the books I have read by these individuals have greatly encouraged and challenged me in my faith. I have been deeply touched by their books and deeply moved by their music. If we don’t come to saving relationship with Jesus the same way, are we brothers and sisters in Christ. I wish we could be, but we’re not.

I believe in male spiritual leadership, because that’s what the Bible teaches. Elders (shepherds) and deacons (servants) have to be males. I believe the preacher has to be a man. I believe a church can hire a girl to be a youth minister that works with the girls involved with the youth ministry. A girl can be a children’s minister. But the Bible teaches women aren’t to have authority over men in the church context. I’m sure there are some out there who do agree and those who don’t. For those who don’t believe that or practice that, are we brethren or not?

The one I struggle with the most is instrumental music. I believe in worship should exclusively be without instruments (that is a capella). That is the biblical mode in scripture in a congregational context. Instrumental music has no place in congregational worship settings. I know those who agree with this. But also know of those who don’t. There are some friends of mine who practice instrumental music in their churches. Are they wrong? How am I supposed to feel about them? Toward them? Are we brethren? Let me tell you. I don’t agree with instrumental music in church worship settings. I do believe we are brethren. I don’ t think I could ever join them in worship at their setting, but I do love them and accept them as my brethren in Christ.

That’s all I’ll say about that. What do you have to say? Any and all comments, thoughts, questions, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Lack Of Suffering

Greetings everyone! I was struck by something I read yesterday.

In Hosea chapter 4, Jehovah God tells His prophet Hosea all the bad things His people had been doing.  And why were they doing those things? Because of their lack of knowledge (4:6a). And why did the people lack knowledge? Because the priests were in sin (vv 4b-9). Because the priests, their religious leaders, had failed to teach the word Jehovah God had for them about the way they should live. And God was threatening judgement on them (chapter 5).

As Christians, we are all responsible to read the Bible and study God’s word for ourselves. But it is the church leaders’ responsibility to give their people understanding in the scrputures.

If the church goes astray, and the church leadership does nothing about it, I believe God holds the church leaders responsible.  Just read Ezekiel chapters 3, 33, and 34; and Hosea chapter 4. All of that should make that clear.

As someone who wants to work with college students, I hope to help them navigate the changes in their lives, to make the faith of their parents to become their own faith. Perhaps some of them could be the next group of church leaders who will lead the church to follow Jehovah God.

Your thoughts, comments, questions, ect are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! My apologies for not updating this yesterday when I said I would. My bad.

This story is found in Luke 15. Allow me to share the story in my own words:

There was a man who had two sons. The younger of the two was sick and tired of the family rules. He knew he had a great inheritance waiting for him when his dad died. But the boy wanted to be out on his own and demanded his share of the family inheritance right away. (This was extremely disrespectful in biblical days. He was telling his dad he wished his dad was dead.) The father gave his younger son his share of the inheritance and let him go.

The younger son waisted no time in leaving right after the cash was in his hands. He went as far as he could. He was the life of the party. He made lots of new friends. He kept the people laughing and the boos coming.

But it wasn’t long until the money was gone. And when the money went out, so did his friends. He was so tired and hungry. He was so desprate he hired himself out to a pig-herder who sent him out to feed the pigs.

He was so hungry even the pig slop looked apitizing to him. So he got his hands in the trough and helped himself.

That’s when he crashed to reality. He realized how far he had fallen in life. He knew his family’s hired servants got more food than they could eat. He thought he could never repair his broken relationships with his family. He wanted to go back home and request to be hired on as a family servant.

So he started the long trip back home.

Both of his parents paced back and forth on the pateo every day since he left. Several sleepless nights. The others they cried themselves to sleep.

They wanted their son back home again.

Then one day the boys’ parents looked out at the horizon as the sun was setting, they saw a familiar sight. It was their son. He looked like he was about to fall over. They both took off their sandles and started running toward their son.

When they arrived, they hugged and kissed their long lost son as they cried. The boy, also crying, copposed himself and said he knew he disgraced the family and just wanted to be a family servant.

But his parents wouldn’t let him finish his talk. They hurried off to get a servant to give him a new pair of sandles, a signant ring for his finger, and a robe. They wanted the biggest and best cafe they had to be slaughtered, and a feast prepared. Their long lost son has returned home. It was time to celebrate!

Meanwhile though, the older son was out in the field doing his chores. He was walking back to the house after a long day and heard the celebration going on.

When he saw a servant about to go in, he stopped him and asked what was going on. His long lost brother had come back and their parents called for a celebration.

But big brother wasn’t in the celebatory mode. He was highly upset about this and refused to participate.

Their parents came out and begged their oldest son to join in, but he still refused. All he would say was how much he worked to please them and never disobeyed. It didn’t seem fair that his little brother runs away and comes back and he gets this grand celebration, and he never gets any reward for being so obediant.

All their parents could say was all they had belonged to him too. If he wanted to do something all he had to do was ask for it. His little brother had run away and came back. They wanted to celebrate that. Why won’t you?

Do we celebrate when the lost get found?

Any comments or other thoughts?

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! Some time ago I wrote a blog about Lost And Found and Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep.

Yesterday I was reading a book and I saw something that reminded me again of Luke 15 and the parable of the lost son(s).

In the Man ALive, the author talked about having a fight he had with his dad. Immediately he ran away from home and got an apartment with some friends. They lived there for a few weeks. One night they got some beers and got drunk. The next morning he woke up with a hangover. That same day a surprised visitor knocked on the door.

He answered the door and his dad was there. He reluctantly invited his dad to come in. He walks in and tells him that he and his mom loved him and asked him if he would be willing to go back home.

Every time I read that or think about it, I get emotional about it. My parents are my biggest heroes and if I ever did something and ran away, if they found me and told me I could always come back home, I would bawl.

As I read this, I immediately thought about Luke 15 and the lost son parable.

I promise to pick this up tomorrow, so this doesn’t get too long.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings everyone! Here is something for you to check out. Especially for men.

I just started reading Man Alive by Patrick Morley (really good book by the way). He also started a website for his ministry called Man In The Mirror (maninthemirror.org).

I subscribed to the website a week or two ago. Morley does a Bible study with several men from his church. It is recorded and put on the internet for others to see too.

Currently they are studying how a man becomes himself (or something like that). So far they have talked about Abraham and Peter. The studies are excellent.

I highly recommend you log on to his website and listen to the studies.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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