Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Item #2: The Democrats pulled an all-nighter last night complaining about the Republicans who would not vote for cloture to move to vote on a bill to withdraw troops from Iraq. One after another they expressed outrage at the Republicans failure to allow an up or down vote on the matter.
The irony is that such cries of outrage from the Democrats were non-existent during last year's votes on judicial nominations. The Dems refused to vote for cloture to allow an up or down vote.
What utter hypocrisy. If it was important to have a cloture vote now (where a majority probably would have voted for the amendment), why wasn't it important to have a cloture vote then (where a majority would certainly have voted for confirmation)? Answer: Because the Democrats don't want solutions. They want issues to run on.
It may well be that the government is irretrievably broken. Which may be good. The only thing better than the Congress doing something is the Congress doing nothing. At least it keeps them from increasing the problems.
Are the Republicans hypocrites for not voting for cloture now when they did then and complained about the Dems not voting for cloture then? Well, I think the case can be made that the judicial nominations receiving an up or down vote is a constitutional issue. The constitution provides that judicial nominations be confirmed with a simple majority, not a 60 vote margin. The constitution makes no such provision for the Democratic position last night.
Regardless of what we think about the war, we should all be disgusted with the ridiculous useless circus that was the Senate last night (and most other days as well).
Congrats to Arlen Specter who is now on CSpan 2 rightly pointing out the utter lack of leadership by Harry Reid. What a farce last night was.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I have been using it daily for the last four or five days since I found it. I have found it helpful.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
"I measure ministers by square measure. I have no idea of the size of a table, if you only tell me how long it is; but if you also say how wide, I can tell it's dimensions. So when you tell me what a man is in the pulpit, you must also tell me what he is out of it, or I shall not know his size" (John Newton, cited in Brian H. Edwards, Through Many Dangers: The story of John Newton, p. 174).A pulpit ministry alone is not enough. Pastors must also be pastors on weekdays, in homes, coffee shops, street corners, front porches, or wherever else they may encounter the people to whom God has called them to minister.
I remember a college professor who said, "If all you want to do is preach, stay out of the pastorate." It is advice worth considering.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Speaking of baseball, what would people like Mays, Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron, and other greats from past eras be worth today? I am not sure there is a price that can be put on that. George Herman "Babe" Ruth was a career .342 hitter. That's a career season for many multi-million dollar players today. He reportedly said he could have hit .600 if he had been trying to hit singles instead of home runs. Somehow, I almost believe him.
And Ruth's drugs of choice were hot dogs and beer. Can you imagine if the guy had taken care of himself? No Balco scandals for the Babe.
Speaking of Balco scandals, the dreaded day is not far off. Bonds will break Aaron's home run record sometime in July. I would love to see Selig stay home with Aaron that night. But Selig hasn't done anything right for baseball yet and it is doubtful he will start now. My vote is for Bob Costas to be the commissioner. IMO, he is a guy with an appreciation for the game and its history. He is not a former owner, and most importantly, he is not Selig. It's a shame that Bart Giamatti died when he did. I think he would have been great. Of course a dead Giamatti is probably better than a live Selig.
Tonight, one of the commentators on Fox (either Joe Buck or McCarver) talked about the suspicions surrounding Bonds. Newsflash: The day of suspicions and Bonds are way past over. I don't think there is any doubt that he knowingly used steroids. But I guess when MLB is paying you big bucks, you probably stay away from that.
The second half of the season should be good. Look for the Tigers to make a move for the bullpen and Gas Can Jones (at least he makes you want to watch the 9th inning). They need to shore up the bullpen.
The Tigers should win the Central, the Red Sox in the East, and the Angels in the West.
I think the NL East race will be good. The Braves, Mets, and Phillies are all fairly close. The Braves were earlier, but went on a disastrous slide (9-24 I think). Now that Smoltz is hurt, it is hard to tell what might happen. But they could be around at the end. I lean towards the Mets winning the East. Elsewhere in the NL, I think the Cardinals win the Central from 7.5 back, and the Padres hold on out West.
The Wild cards will be the second place team in the AL Central (probably Indians) and the second place NL East (Braves is my guess).
I know I am not going out on a limb to pick the division leaders (except the NL Central), but I think those are the best teams in their divisions.
World Series: Tigers (if they fix the pen) and Padres.
Dark Horses: Braves and Mariners.
Good thing about midseason picks: If I am wrong, no one will remember. If I am right, I can post a link to myself.
The response of the believer should be a glad and necessary response of obedience and submission to the message of God’s word proclaimed. These expressions of worship focus on the nature of worship in the corporate life of the church, but worship must not stop there. The corporate worship should be the natural extension of the life lived in worship of Christ. Corporate worship should, in turn, add fuel to the fire of constant personal worship.
Worship is a two way street, not in terms of the trading of worship, but in terms of the actual process of worship. Worship consists of a conversation between God and his people, where God speaks and the people respond. Worship is therefore first and foremost centered on the God who is being worshipped. It is simply wrong to focus worship on man, no matter how carefully we might disguise our “man-centeredness.” God and the truth about him and from him are to be the center of worship.
However, true worship cannot be inconsiderate of man because it does not simply consist in the speaking of God. It must also include the response of man. One has not truly worshipped until he has listened carefully to God through the reading of his word, the preaching of his word, and the singing of his truth and praise. One has not truly worshipped until he has responded from the heart to these things.
Through this conversation of worship, God can be honored by having his truth publicly and clearly proclaimed and by having people respond in glad submission through the work of Jesus Christ.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
When asked how much time one should give to reading, Dr. Mohler replied,
“That question is impossible to answer on its face. A disciplined program of reading (beyond sermon preparation) that averages two hours a day will accumulate to great riches. You will lose some days in other urgencies and will find more than two hours on other days. Think long term. Also, different stages of life bring demand different patterns. Don’t expect to get a great deal of reading done right after the birth of a baby in the family. Take hold of the time you have and make the most of it.
Just as the ordinances are part of God speaking to us, so they are part of us responding to God. Through the ordinance of baptism, the new believer publicly confesses Christ as Lord along with his desire to unite with other believers in the local church in following Christ. Through the ordinance of communion, believers privately respond in confession, thankfulness, and praise to God for the sacrifice of Christ in our place. In so doing, we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor ).
While baptism is a one-time response, communion is an on-going response that is a necessary part of the believer’s Christian walk. The church must stress the importance of the corporate observance of a remembrance of Christ’s death. The frequency or manner in which communion is observed may vary from church to church. A church may choose to observe communion in a special service, or as a part of the regular services. They may choose to observe it as open communion or closed communion. However, the obedience to the command to observe should not vary.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
When the word of God is communicated whether through preaching, teaching, reading, or singing, worship is bound up in the appropriate response—the response of the spirit to the truth of God’s word. This response should not be separated from worship; it is a part of worship. When the word calls us to do something, we must respond in obedience.
The worship of preaching must make clear what the biblical response is to the truth that has been presented. It is not enough for the preacher to simply tell what God has said. He must also tell what God expects the hearer to do with what has been said.
When such a call has been made, the unbeliever who may be present in worship can be exhorted to complete his first act of worship—confessing Christ as Lord and receiving the salvation that is found only in him. It is true that unbelievers cannot worship in the music. However, they can worship God in the preaching by listening and responding to the call of God to salvation.
While evangelism is not a necessary part of the corporate worship, neither should it be regarded as an unbiblical part of corporate worship. When the church proclaims the truth of God in music and preaching, it is with a view of calling all men to a next right step from whatever place in life they are at. For the unbeliever, the next right step, indeed the only proper response, is calling on Christ for salvation. For the believer, the next right step may vary based on spiritual maturity and life context. The preaching of the Word must call people to take this step based on the message of the text.
Time should be given for this response, whether through time of silence, the selection of appropriate songs, or a public invitation to seek counsel and prayer with someone. The call for public response through “walking the aisle” is a matter which an individual church and pastor must decide. Such a public invitation is not a mandate of Scripture, and churches that do not have one are not disobedient. The practice may even vary from week to week. It would be wise for the preacher to announce the availability of an “inquiry room” or mature believers who are able to take time to talk with individuals about their personal questions or struggles with their faith or the claims of Christ on their life.