Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Inauguration

Here's an amazing photo of the inauguration. The resolution is incredible! Former president Bill Clinton looks particularly sober (Zoom in to President Obama's right next to George H.W. Bush).

Click for Inauguration Photo

Friday, January 30, 2009

What About Obama

January 20, 2009 marked the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th president of the United States of America. The media displayed the hoards of people cheering with great joy for their new leader. For most Americans, Obama is the hope of a new era of prosperity and happiness. For most evangelicals, however, his election brought great trepidation. After all, our new president has demonstrated support for gay marriage, stem cell research on fetal tissue, and partial birth abortion, as well as a fiscal policy of big government. So how should we view our new president and the prospect of the next four to eight years?

First of all, we must treat him with honor and respect. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1). He is our president. God has given him authority over us. His sinful behavior does not exempt us from God's command for us to honor him.

Second, we must pray for him often. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1-2—”I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we might live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” We must resist the temptation to rejoice when he does poorly. It is of no benefit to us or our nation if our president doesn’t do well. How wonderful it would be if God saved him and give him a heart of Godliness. That being said, it is also permissible for us to pray that God would replace him if he doesn't rule with justice and righteousness.

Third, we must remember that our wellbeing is not ultimately controlled by who occupies the office of president. Most people are looking to the government to solve all of the problems of life and to provide their happiness, but not us. We know that God rules over all. He has determined the outcome of history. Obama’s heart is in His hand. Our joy and contentment is found in Christ, not in who holds the office of president. May we continue to stand for justice and truth and live for the glory of the One whose Kingdom is not of this world—regardless of who holds the office of president.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back from the Storm

After five months of distraction from Hurricane Gustav it's time to resume my blogging. God was most merciful and kind through the ordeal. Our congregation demonstrated great maturity. We met the next Sunday after the storm in the dining room of a sister church. The temperature was soaring and we were without electricity. As I preached sweat dripped off my arms. But the Trinity Baptist Church congregation took it all in stride. Our attendance was great and there was almost no murmuring about the inconveniences of being away from our building. God's grace was evident upon His church.

We are now back in our own building. Everything is new! One of my personal blessings was my library. I'd originally feared that most would be lost. After the storm we moved my books to one of the dryer rooms in our building. Many were dripping with water. Most were wet. We threw away a number of books on the spot and packed away the rest in boxes and moved them to the home of a deacon -- his home was the only one with electricity. I assumed the mildew would destroy the lot. While most of my books are marked by water stains and mildew they dried and are still usable. I'll replace them a few at a time (except those what are out of print). I received some gifts that will aid in this. Praise God for His goodness.

We had a banquet a couple weeks ago in honor of Cedarcrest Baptist Church, the church that housed us while we were displaced. They were so gracious to us. Not once did they hint that we were an inconvenience to them, though the presence of our 20+ children cannot go unnoticed. The banquet was a joy as we reunited with these gracious people.

God demonstrated once again His sovereignty through the storm. He again proved Himself mighty in coming to the aid of His people. And He demonstrated again His goodness in giving good gifts to those He loves. Soli Deo gloria!