Not that anyone else cares…

… but my boys, the Wheaton College Thunder, are in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Div. III National Championship Basketball Tournament… At least until they, hopefully, face Hope College in Holland, MI for the Elite Eight! Figured you Michiganders deserve a mention since you crushed us earlier this year.

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Yesterday’s Ordination – “Charge to the Minister”

As some of you know, yesterday was the official Installation/Ordination hoorah here at First Christian Church. It was great. Some additional friends and family were there. And the Milligan College Concert Choir was there… that was a nice touch!

Anyhoo, especially for some who couldn’t make it due to sickness, work, and weather, here is the text of the “Charge to the Minister”, which was led by Charles Reese, former FCC Senior Minister, 2000-2007. By the way, I did in fact, say, “I will” at the end.

The Christian ministry is both a great joy and a solemn responsibility. Jesus called the twelve to be with Him, first of all, even before sending them out to preach and to serve (Mark 3:14-15). So, we charge you, first of all, to love God supremely. The intensity of this relationship will determine the spirit and motivation and performance of your entire ministry. Cultivate that love for God that you are now experiencing through secret devotion, constant prayer, and the careful study of God’s Word. God does not share His Lordship with another. Let every demand upon your time and strength be subjugated to the growth and development of your life in its intimate relationship to Jesus Christ.

We charge you, secondly, to be a servant of God to people. The calling of the Christian minister is primarily that of a servant. Guard against the multiplicity of ministerial duties which will tempt you to choose the non-essential functions and so fragment your ministry that it dissipates its very strength. It will behoove you to remember that people are more important than things, institutions, rules or schedules. Yours must be the work of the preacher, an evangelistic voice interpreting God’s Word in apocalyptic days; yours must be the work of a pastor, whose heart never becomes hardened through intimacy or familiarity with the congregation; yours must be the work of an administrator who maintains a constant vigil over the organization, carefully delegating authority to others so as not to become encumbered with the endless detail of the administrative office, and yet not shunning the menial task, as if it were below your calling.

Finally, we charge you to keep the spirit of the ministry as Paul presents it in his second letter to Timothy: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

So, will you pledge, as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness? Will you love God supremely? Will you serve these people? Will you preach the Word? And will you work hard to extend the Kingdom of God by promising to support the church and its worship and work to the best of your ability?

If so, will you please echo your agreement by saying, “I will.”

Breaking Biological Barriers

Check out this article, “Breaking Biological Barriers,” from Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint. This link has the original article and some good links.

I’m telling ya, people… We’re not far away from this sort of thing being more commonplace.

Mary Ann Andree was drying her hair in the Rio Sport and Health Club in Gaithersburg, Maryland, last month when the door to the women’s locker room suddenly opened. In came a man, wearing a blue ruffled skirt and make-up.

As Andree later told reporters, “I was very upset. There is a lot he could have seen.” Andree is far from alone. A lot of other women in Montgomery County, Maryland, are upset over a new law that demands co-ed locker rooms and bathrooms in all public accommodations.

Montgomery County, adjacent to Washington, D.C., passed the law last November to accommodate “transgendered people”—that is, men who perceive themselves to be women, and women who perceive themselves to be men. The law adds gender identity to the list of protected classes to the Montgomery County Code banning discrimination.

In effect, it means men will have full access to a woman’s restroom and locker room. A woman taking a shower after her aerobics class might look up to find a man turning on the shower next to hers. A little girl using a movie theater restroom will now have to worry that a strange man might walk in.

Michelle Turner, who leads a citizens group opposing the law, says, “Any biological male who is willing to wear a dress and who is feeling transgendered at that particular moment can enter the ladies room or locker room.”

And what is to stop non-transgendered men from entering the ladies’ room? Nothing. A child molester or rapist could put on a dress and go right in. So could pornographists. It is an appalling, shocking law. And get this: There is no exemption for religious schools, book stores, churches, and daycares. As Turner notes, “The act will use the force of law to make these organizations accept transgenders, transvestites, and cross-dressers as employees.”

The American Psychiatric Association classifies gender identity disorder as a mental disorder. Supporters of the Montgomery County law refuse to accept this, and they have decided that you and I are not going to be allowed to accept it, either. Dana Beyer, a “transgendered” person employed by the Montgomery County Council, says that if you believe that XY chromosomes and male genitalia make someone male, you are a bigot.

In effect, transgendered persons are demanding that Montgomery County erase the distinctions between males and females. Make no mistake: This is not about the need for co-ed bathrooms. This law is simply being used to normalize gender identity disorder—much in the same way the gay lobby uses laws to normalize homosexuality.

Montgomery County officials passed this law despite the fact that citizens opposed it by an eight-to-one margin. The good news is that concerned citizens have gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

But Montgomery County is not the only jurisdiction passing laws like these. Check out what your own local leaders are doing to protect your privacy rights. And parents, make sure your kids know the difference between the Christian view of sexuality and that being propagated by those who think they ought to be allowed to choose their gender and their bathroom.

PostSecret – Search for Significance

Postsecret - Fake Appointments

Here’s another Postsecret pic. (Warning: Some of the stuff on Postsecret is for grown up eyes only. Not anything you wouldn’t see on TV or not anything pornographic, but there are some adult themes.)

It’s amazing how important it is to make people feel a sense of belonging. The human desire to be loved is so great that people will do anything to get it. And it’s sad how many feel unimportant, like no one would be the wiser for their absence from earth. Tragic. We in the church can save a lot of souls if we can figure out how to come alongside lost people and help them realize their search for significance. I mean, what’s more significant than meaningful participation in the redemption of creation to God?!

Some Southern Drivers Are Too Nice

Everyone who lives around here ‘witha licka sense’ knows well the truth that the South is God’s Country. On that we can all agree.

But, when it comes to some Southern drivers, there is a recent epidemic of treacherous niceness that imperils all of us. Angry DriverAt least once a day for the last week someone inappropriately, unsafely, and illegally tries to be nice to me… And it’s making me crazy.

It usually happens when I’ve been waiting for a green light and there are lots of cars behind the benevolent offender, who is across the intersection from me. Well, like anyone used to driving, y’know, legally, I begin to inch forward to wait until it’s safe to turn left.

But, in what seems like a disease that’s catching, the person across the way from me, who’s obviously supposed to be crossing the intersection toward me, will flash their lights and sit there, waiting for me to turn. Huh?!

As you can imagine, because I’m accustomed to legally and patiently waiting for my turn, I usually don’t catch on until the third or fourth flash. Of course, this just makes them mad, and here’s the straight-out-of-a-movie part… The kindly culprit, angry that I’ve questioned their advances, inevitably floors it and, while sprinting by, throws up their arms and glares at me in disgust as if I’m the one who’s the problem. I’ve even been flipped off!

So, while I appreciate the (first) gesture, you (initially) well-intentioned drivers can save it and keep right on driving according to the law, because I’m not turning… bless your hearts.

Tommy’s Here!

Our new Minister of Youth and Family Life, Tommy Staggs and his wife Leslie are here… and I’m elated. End of post.

FCC Staff out to Lunch

FCC Staff at Chuckwagon BBQ

Now, don’t take the title too figuratively, people. Just thought I’d share a picture of our staff eating at a really awesome BBQ place here in Greeneville called Chuckwagon BBQ. Tommy, our new Minister of Youth and Family Life, made a good choice! (With some coaching, of course.)