Sunday, June 20, 2010

Louisiana Day of Prayer

According to an article on Fox News the Louisiana State Legislature declared Sunday, June 20, a day of prayer "to focus on Divine intervention to find a solution" to the oil spill crisis plaguing the Louisiana Gulf coast. It is great that they recognize that in this time where the impotence of man has been openly displayed there is a God who rules and overrules all things with His mighty and sovereign power. It is great that our state has made a public declaration that God is our only hope during this time of desperate need. During our worship service yesterday we prayed seeking God's aid during this time of crisis.

What is missing in this plea for God's help, however, is any sign of repentance on the part of our state. It is so typical of the view most people have of God. Most see Him as a puppet to use at our convenience like a marrionette on a string. They see God as a good resource to help us in time of need as long as He doesn't make any demands of us. They are willing to add Christ to the rest of their idols but they are not willing to bow to Him exclusively.

God will not be manipulated. He is God; the only God. He commands, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." He commands all men everywhere to repent of their sin and turn to Him in absolute submission and obedience. What we need to hear from our legislature is, "Oh God, we have sinned! We have acted foolishly in seeking our own way. Forgive us of our iniquity." What we should hear from our state legislature is a declaration that our state will immediately seek to operate to the glory of God. Abortion is no longer legal in this state. The state lottery will be phased out over the next six months. Casinos have six months to close their doors and move out of this state. Our state will be restoring the "Blue Laws" in honor of the Lord's Day so that our citizens may spend the day worshipping God. This state no longer recognizes homosexuality as a legitimate expression of human sexuality and will seek to strengthen the traditional family.

You might say, the Federal Government would never allow some of these declarations. Our answer would be, we will obey God rather than man. God is bigger than our Federal Government. But how could our state survive without the revenue generated from legalized gambling? Is the God who is powerful enough to stop a spewing oil well not powerful enough to bless a state that seeks to honor Him? Is our state really willing to trust God, or do we simply want Him around long enough to plug the leak?

It is great that our state sees the value of prayer but prayer lifted up from idolatrous hearts will always be ineffectual. "So when you spread out your hand in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you, Yes, even though you multipy prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood" Isaiah 1:15). "Behold, the LORD's hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010 Trinity Baptist Church VBS

It's hard to believe we've completed another Vacation Bible School. I'm so grateful to all of our members who worked so hard to bring it to pass. From the classes to the kitchen to the crafts to the nursery all gave of themselves sacrifically to make this year's VBS a success. I am continually filled with great gratitude to be one of the pastors of such a faithful group.

I am also thankful for another opportunity to set Christ before these young souls. They heard the Gospel several times throughout the course of VBS. We must now give ourselves to prayer that God will take the Gospel and apply it effectually to their hearts.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My iPod

Many of you know I lost my iPod Touch last week. We were at Home Depot and I glanced down at my waist and my iPod case caught my attention. It was upside-down and empty! We searched the store and the parking lot and checked at the customer service desk. Nothing. I checked my truck. Nothing. I checked the couch cushions at the house, just in case it fell out there. Nothing.

Like so many technologies, I've become dependent upon my iPod. I use it for so many things: email, contacts, personal and church calendars, keeping up with the names of visitors, keeping track of my auto milage, and even checking the weather, and it has both the KJV and ESV Bibles and the 1689 London Confession. And all of my music, podcasts, and sermons. The worst thing about the ordeal, however, was the knowledge that someone had picked up my iPod and now had access to all of my email - a possible security risk. Foolishly, I didn't have my iPod password protected. Someone could even send email messages to my contacts as though from me.

Well, I prayed, "Lord, if it would please you, help me recover my iPod. Protect my email information from being missused." I went back to the store on Friday and again on Saturday and again on Tuesday to check if someone had turned it in. I purchased a new iPod - not a cheap solution. I set it up and it was soon just like my old one. Still, the lingering thoughts of someone peeking at my emails haunted me.

As with every trial I sought what God was trying to teach me through it. Was I too dependent on "things?" I was reminded again of how excellent God's ways are. Even in our losses His ways are perfect. Once again, I was reminded of how I must trust Him in all things. I even thought, perhaps it isn't about me. After all, my iPod has two Bible versions on it and lots of Christian music and sermons to listen to. And many of my emails are edifying. Perhaps God is using my iPod to stir the heart of a lost person.

Now I have to tell the rest of the story. Last night we came home from our Wednesday night service and we prepared for bed. I went into the den and noticed the mantel clock had run down so I went over to wind it. As I was winding it I noticed a flat shiny device sitting on the mantel. MY IPOD!! I couldn't believe it. It had been there the whole time.

And so I'm reminded of how infinite the ways of God are. He did hear my prayer. He did protect my email info. He did allow me to recover my iPod. And if I'd been more patient to trust and wait upon Him, perhaps I wouldn't have needed to purchase another iPod. Oh, how He teaches me continually and how slow I am to learn.

So I now have two iPods, but I've always loved having spares. And both of my iPods are now safely password protected.