No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: Salvation

The next time someone asks you if you’re a god you SAY…


The title may look a little familiar to you.  This is the response that Winston gave to Ray after the Demon spirit in Ghostbusters fried them.  This is relevant to today in that many word of faith preachers say that we are “little gods”.  Some of the more well known preachers associated with this doctrine are Joyce Meyers, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar, and Bill Winston.  Some quotes from the preachers:

Hagin:  God “made us in the same class of being that he is himself”. 

Copeland: “You don’t have a god in you, you are one”

Meyer:  “Now you understand I’m not saying you are God with a capital “G””.

The argument:

The “little gods” doctrine is based largely two key points. 1. God produced after his own kind, and two that God called us “gods”.   The ramifications of this doctrine are far and wide.  If we are in fact little gods, there isn’t anything on this earth that we cannot control.  Weather… no problem.  Sickness… no problem.  Whatever it is we have control of everything because we have been created as gods.  Word of faith preachers will follow these arguments up with statements of “there is divinity in humanity”, and some will say “You don’t have to go to Him (God), to take care of any problems” (This is from Bill Winston).  Anytime I listen to a sermon regarding this doctrine, I always see a high level of excitement, and the reading of these Bible verses.  Never, have I seen a pastor go into the context of the verse being used.  I get the distinct feeling that there is no thought put behind the use of these verses, rather just a superficial use of the verse to demonstrate a point that then comes off as being hollow.  As I mentioned in my previous posts, without context you can make the Bible say just about anything you want.  If you pull two obscure verses out of thin air you can warp it to mean….that you are gods on earth – Which is coincidently very similar to Mormon doctrine.  Here is what the Bible verses mean in context.

Today we will take a look at the first point…

  1. God produces after his own kind.  The scripture used to support this is Genesis 1:26.  The argument is as follows…Well let’s just use Mr. Dollars own words from a sermon given to his own congregation:

Dollar: “If horses get together, they produce what?”
Congregation: “Horses!”
Dollar: “If dogs get together, they produce what?”
Congregation: “Dogs!”
Dollar: “If cats get together, they produce what?”
Congregation: “Cats!”
Dollar: “So if the Godhead says ‘Let us make man in our image’, and everything produces after its own kind, then they produce what?”
Congregation: “Gods!”
Dollar: “Gods. Little “g” gods. You’re not human. (The) Only human part of you is this (the) flesh you’re wearing.”

 This argument focuses on the first sentence of Genesis 1:26:  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.   It also takes the central theme that each produces after it’s own kind.  This theme can be found the 1st book of Genesis.

  1. God produces after his own kind.  We have to start at this point because it (for me at least) is the underlying theme to the little gods doctrine. 

Genesis 1:26:  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…

In this verse word of faith preachers will tell you that because everything produces after its own kind, and God produced man in his own image and after His likeness that we are in fact gods on earth.  If we follow this argument all the way through to conclusion…God created Adam.  Adam, being produced by God, was…god (Hagin and Copeland both assert this).  Adam sinned meaning what….God can sin?  Even if we work it backwards….If Adam could sin, and Adam was a carbon copy of God…does that mean that God could sin?  Of course, the answer is no.

What do you think of when you hear the word image? Do you think of a carbon copy of yourself?  Would an image of yourself contain all of your qualities, all of your mannerism’s, all of your talents?  Because this is exactly what God did.  God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27).  He did not create a clone of himself.  But what about the word likeness?  Wouldn’t that mean that that we were like God?  No.  The Hebrew word used in this verse was “dmwt”,which means “image.  Thus, Genesis 1:26 could really read “Let us make man in our own image…”.  When you hear the word image do you think of a carbon copy, or do you think more of a picture? Which makes more biblical sense?

There are none who are LIKE God. Take these bible verses into consideration when praying about this point…

Ray, the next time someone asks you if you're a god you SAY YES!

Isaiah 43:10 – “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen,   so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Isaiah 46:9  – Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other;  I am God, and there is none like me.

God makes it extremely clear that there are NONE LIKE HIM, and that there will be no god  formed before him or after him.  There is a clear contradiction between the word of faith interpretation of Genesis 1:26, and the word of God.

Part two tomorrow!  Stay tuned!

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US vs. Algeria – US Wins in Dramatic Fashion


WOW! What a game! If you missed it here’s a quick recap… The US dominated play against Algeria but didn’t score the winning goal until the “added time” at the end of the 2nd half. The Yanks HAD to win to advance because England was winning their match against Slovenia… This was a nail biter for sure.

For much of the match it seemed like the US was going to be robbed of a win on a mysteriously disallowed goal, much like they were against Slovenia earlier in the tournament.  Plus, in spite of their best efforts and spectacular opportunities, goals were just not finding the net… However, during the added time Donovan perfectly placed a ball that weakly ricocheted off the Algerian goal keeper after a fabulous US counter striking run on goal. I literally jumped out of my seat!

Like the last dramatic match, this one got me thinking about spiritual stuff… Immediately after the goal was scored Matthew 20:1-16 popped into my head. This is a parable that Jesus told that demonstrates that as long as you’re alive, it’s never too late to accept Him and enter the Kingdom of Heaven (by placing your faith and trust in Jesus – click HERE to learn how to do that). Like the US, it doesn’t matter how many opportunities you’ve let slip away in the past… the important thing is that you do it! However, unlike the US, who only faced elimination from a tournament, this decision is the difference between Eternal Life in Heaven and Eternal separation from God in Hell.

Now, some of you may be thinking something like… “I’ll wait until the last minute and accept Christ then, cuz I wanna have my fun now.” That is a dangerous game to play… The US didn’t know in advance how much added time there would be at the end of the match (if any)… That is why they valiantly tried to score all game long – and their desperation became more and more evident as time elapsed – they knew England’s score… they knew that they had to score as well. Additionally, they didn’t know how many scoring opportunities they would get… Similarly, none of us knows how much time we have left here on Earth… nor do we know how many opportunities we are going to have to trust in Jesus… But, like the US, we know that time is running out… God’s patience with you is not leis e fare. In fact, the Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 that, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Consider this, Jesus said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” But He won’t knock forever… Won’t you open your heart to Him? If you do the party that awaits in Heaven is far greater than our mutual rejoicing over the US Soccer team’s win today (see Luke 15:7).

For more details on the US victory click HERE.

US vs. Slovania – Yanks Robbed of a Victory


I only saw the very end of the US vs. Slovenia Soccer match… but I’ve got to say the US got ripped off by the ref. With very little time left and the score tied, the US had a free kick which resulted in the apparent go-ahead goal, but the referee disallowed the goal because of some mystery call (no one knows for sure yet even what the call against the US was). Strange…

But, like many things, this got me to thinking about life – More specifically, it got me to thinking about the afterlife. And again, I’m amazed by the fact that we will not have an incompetent judge deciding our fate… and unlike the World Cup, our fate will not be decided by our own merit and/or performance either!

From what I’ve heard, the US probably deserved to lose the match because they played so poorly in the first half and fell behind 0-2 (only 21 other times in World Cup history has a team come back from that kind of deficit to tie or win). Like the US… All of us EVERYONE deserves to live life now and in the hereafter separated from a perfect and holy God. Unlike a sports team, however, we cannot just fight back and be good enough to even things out or make things right. Instead, because of God’s justice a penalty must be paid for our sin. Here’s where the good news comes in.

Jesus came and paid the penalty for our sin!  He didn’t just even things up… He made us winners… Here’s an abbreviated version of what the Bible has to say about it… Read these out loud, and ask yourself “What does this mean?” – Think about it… It truly is Good News!

Romans 3:23 – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 6:23 – the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9-11 – If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 5:1 – Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 8:31-32, 34, 37 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

 Again, the US might have been deprived of a victory because of their bad play in the 1st half and because of a horrendous call from the ref… but those who trust in Jesus are assured of an eternal victory, though they don’t deserve it. Have you trusted Him? If not, will you?

All you need is faith, faith. Faith is all you need.


Is faith in Christ enough for salvation?  This simple question can ignite a war of words.  The “Word of Faith” doctrine holds, on many levels, that there are “side effects” to your salvation.  These side effects would include speaking in tongues, being healed from affliction, and gaining prosperity.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the method to how these “side effects” are given to believers.  The natural question based on the above argument is…”If I don’t speak in tongues, or get sick, or do not prosper…am I saved?”  While this is a question that I have struggled with, and one I think that is worth asking, I believe that this is the wrong question.  The primary question that needs to be asked should be “Is faith enough?”

The Word of Faith’s basic answer to this question is as follows:  “Upon salvation you receive the Holy Spirit; however your baptism of the Holy Spirit is separate from salvation.  Upon the Baptism of the Spirit, you will demonstrate certain sign gifts… In fact, you should be able to successfully call on Him to deliver you from sickness.  If your faith is strong enough, you will be healed.  If you are in poverty, and your faith is strong enough you can bring wealth.”  Or how about this “The baptism of the Holy Spirit is evident by speaking in tongues” (this from Gloria Copeland).  These messages are being preached in churches across the world.  The premise is simple.  In order to avoid issues with affixing anything to salvation, the word of faith movement creates two baptisms or assigns the baptism of the Holy Spirit to a point after salvation.  This premise allows a word of faith preacher to say that powers are received upon baptism of the Holy Spirit.  What they normally won’t say but end up implying is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is separated from salvation.  The timeline for a born again Christian would then be as follows:  Profession Jesus is Lord – salvation/indwelling of the spirit; Baptism of the Spirit – taking place at some point thereafter.  Either way the word of faith movement is consistent in saying that the sign gifts are required.  If you don’t have the sign gifts, you have not been baptized by the Spirit.

How does this process stack up against the Bible?  Word of Faith preachers point the Pentecost to answer the question.  The argument; All of the apostles were saved prior to the day of the Pentecost.  Jesus explicitly told them they would then be baptized by the Holy Spirit.  This shows two points for the apostles, salvation upon faith, and then baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Word of faith preachers argue that they are two distinct events.  Upon receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit the apostles were able to speak in tongues, and perform miraculous signs.  Thus if you do not speak in tongues, et al.  then you have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit.  This statement gets to the heart of the matter.

What if there is only one salvation, and one baptism?  The natural implication would be no sign gifts, no salvation.  Thus the dilemma.  If I don’t speak in tongues have I been baptized by the Holy Spirit? 

The Bible offers a number of answers in regards to the questions I asked above.  The best way that I can answer this is in timeline fashion.  First let’s take a look at whether or not there is separation of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from salvation. 

When do we receive the spirit?  1 Corinthian 12:3 gives us the answer:  Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  When do we proclaim “Jesus is Lord”?  We sincerely proclaim it upon salvation for the first time.  At that point in time…we are in the Holy Spirit.

When does the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place?  The baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place when we enter the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13 illustrates this point.   For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

When do we enter the body of Christ?  Upon Salvation.  If this is not the case, then we would actually have those who have faith in Christ, but do not belong to the body of Christ.  Also take this into consideration:  If we have believers who are not one with the body, then Christ’s prayer in John 17:11, 21-23 has not been answered.

How many Baptisms’s are there?  According to Ephesians 4:5, there is only one baptism. “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all

So what does all of this mean?  The Word of Faith Preachers use a piece of the Bible to illustrate a point that the baptism of the Spirit can be separated from salvation.  However, the use of all of the New Testament demonstrates that, from a practical stand point, this is impossible.  If we enter into the body of Christ upon salvation, then we have to be baptized at the point of salvation for 1 Corinthians 12:13 to hold true.  We also know that sincerely proclaiming Jesus is Lord is made by someone in the Spirit.  This proclamation is made at the point of salvation.  This means that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not separated from salvation.  They happen all at one time.

So what does all of this really mean?  Let’s go back to the very first question, “If I don’t speak in tongues, or get sick, or do not prosper…am I saved?”  If you can show that the baptism of the Spirit takes place at the time of salvation, then according to the word of faith movement….you are not saved.  This creates a fundamental issue on one of the primary tenets of Christianity, salvation through faith.  This brings us to the primary question, is faith enough?

Is it really true that all we need is faith? Absolutely.  There are a number of verses in the New Testament that support through faith alone (Romans 3:28-30, Romans 4:5, Romans 5:1, Romans 9:30, Romans 11:6, Galatians 3:5-6, Romans 1:16-17).  My personal favorite is Ephesians 2:8-9; For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast.”  On this point many preachers of the word of faith movement would not disagree.  Here is where the problem is, when you establish that the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place at salvation, word of faith preachers add to the requirements of salvation. 

If tongues are needed to demonstrate the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism takes place upon salvation…word of faith preachers are saying that you must speak in tongues in order to demonstrate that you have been saved.  And it’s not just tongues that would fall into this category.  It could include water baptism, prayer, and anything that someone says you must have in order to show you are saved.  These are counter to the teachings of the Bible.  Since the protestant reformation, we have correctly understood that all you need for salvation is faith.  At the point of salvation, you are baptized by the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit assigns gifts at His will.

When sign gifts, or anything for that matter, are attached as requisites for salvation it becomes an obstruction to the primary tenant of the Christian faith.  That tenant….salvation through faith alone.  This is something that cannot be blown off or left alone.  In today’s society many of us are offended by educators teaching erroneous ideas such as global warming, and evolution.  We also become frustrated by the notion of revisionist history being taught because of political correctness.  This is should concern you because of its nature. 

But we aren’t about just attacking folk’s ideas… Instead, this info is actually REALLY Good News!! How so? Well, for the Christian who has ever doubted their salvation because of their not feeling moved to or experiencing any of the sign gifts you can rest in the knowledge that these signs and wonders are NOT linked to your salvation in any way shape or form… In fact, I’d venture to say that most of our Charismatic friends would even agree whole heartedly with that. We would be content to just live and let live if it were not for the fact that many of the proponents of Word of Faith make this a primary (salvation) issue… Hopefully, we’ve shown well enough that it is NOT a matter of one’s salvation… If you still believe that it is, we respectfully ask that you reexamine God’s Word on this issue with an open heart and mind… We’ll examine more Word of Faith claims from a biblical perspective in posts that are soon to follow.

Why does God allow bad things to happen?


I know Kevin promised updates on the G90X on Monday’s.  Well…Kevin is not here, and I felt like I needed to post this.  I will give an update tomorrow on the G90X.

This piece is a companion piece to “Is God Evil”.  Just to recap… Two common arguments used by atheists and agnostics alike is that God is either evil because He is in control of everything and allows bad things to happen or He is not in control.  In the “Is God Evil” blog I refuted both of those points using God’s Word as the foundation.  So the natural response…If God is in control, and God is not evil…why then would He allow these things to happen?

I first began to think about this topic because I had my own motivations to study it.  I was curious about why God would allow a recession of this magnitude and other bad things I saw in the world around me.  I also was faced with a discussion with an agnostic/atheist who said they refused to believe in a God that would allow such horrible things to happen.  This gets to the heart of the matter for a number of atheists and agnostics.  Why? 

Recently I had a conversation with a woman that I have worked with for nearly a year.  Somehow during the conversation she had mentioned something about a trial, so I inquired.  It turns out that her son had been murdered.  The story is painful.  All I could think about was what my response would be had something like this had happened to my kids.  Anyway, her son had been shot because of an argument that went out of control.  The guy that shot him then proceeded to pour gasoline on him and set him on fire.  As she is telling the story she begins to cry, and then the most amazing words came out of her mouth… “I am so grateful that he was saved.  I know that I will see him again.”  Amazing!!  Here, this mother had lost a son, in the most extreme way, and was still grateful to God.

So why would God allow this to happen to her child?  Why would God allow a child to be raped (as David pointed out on several occasions from the “Is God Evil?” post)?  We could look at the cause of evil in the world today.  How the fall of man has allowed sin/disease into the world.  I would rather focus on the “why?” as opposed to the “how?”  Perhaps the “how?” can be addressed in a future post.

The first thing that has to be said when looking at the question “why” is that we have no way of knowing why God does the things that he does.  As smart as we all like to think we are we have no idea.  The perfect illustration to this is the book of Job.  To understand what I am talking about you have to understand Job.  Job was upright and blameless.  He had not committed any specific sin when God allowed Satan to strike at him.  Thus Job (and his friends) asked the question….why?  Why would God do this to him?  Now Job claimed he had done nothing wrong, and if he only had the opportunity to present his case to God he would be able to explain this.  Job friends said that he had to have done something wrong…otherwise why would God punish him?  Neither was right.  God responds in Chapters 3842.  God challenges Job’s by asking him a series of questions.  Basically God asks Job…”Who are you?”  He does this in a sarcastic manner.  Jobs response in 42:2-3 shows the lesson to be learned.  There are things we cannot comprehend, things we will not understand.  God makes this point very clear to Job, and Job gets it.  What is the first answer to “why?”  We will never know until God reveals it to us.

There are additional answers that we have been able to identify from the New Testament that allow us to understand why God would allow these things to happen.  In my comments to the “Is God Evil?” post I identified a few. 

The question was asked then…”Does God really need to allow these things to happen to display Himself?”  The answer is yes.  Yes, He does. 

–          It allows a witness

We draw this example from Christ.  1 Peter 5:1 is an example of how suffering allows us to be effective witnesses.  Peter watched the suffering of Christ.  For this reason he was able to be an effective witness to the event.  Can you speak to suffering, if you have not seen the misery that comes with it?  Can you speak to anything with wisdom, if you have not participated?

–          It develops our capacity to comfort others

Look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.  Paul is making two distinct points.  First, that God is the father of compassion and comfort.  God will always be there to comfort us.  Also Paul makes the great point that the suffering we endure will create patient endurance and allow us to share our comfort.  Seriously, who is more able to provide more comfort in times of suffering?  Those who have not dealt with any, or those who have?  This was Paul’s point.

–          It is a training tool

Suffering allows us to grow.  James 1:2-4 tells us that trials will help us persevere.  The Bible verse here says it all. “… that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” See the parallel passage in Romans 5:3-53Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

–          It displays the awesome power of God’s grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 displays this point.  Here Paul is under attack, and describes the thorn in his flesh (suffering).  Paul pleaded with God three times.  God’s response?  My grace is sufficient.  God did not tell Paul, okay I will make it all stop.  God responded by saying, I get it, and my grace is enough for you during these trials.

It is hard to endure or even watch the evil and suffering that exists in the world.  How do you, from any perspective answer the question, “Why would God allow that to happen?”  Rape, child molestation, murder, genocide etc…  Look at the above answers.  As painful as it is for us, our faith has to reside in God, otherwise…what else is there?  Man? Randomness?  Chance?  These things happen for any number of reasons that will be beyond our control.  We must, in all circumstances, know that we must continue to have faith in God.

LOST Series Finale


Sunday night was bitter sweet for me. LOST is over… Yeah, I can admit that I’ve been a huge fan of the show. My wife and I didn’t start off watching it, but got caught up in about season 3 by renting the first two seasons on DVD just before season 3 launched. This series has been one of my favorite shows of all time and the finale didn’t disappoint.

Of course, there are plenty of things to criticize about the show’s world view… but seriously, who forms their belief system over something they know to be fiction? There are, however, at least a few parallels to biblical Christianity (this is often true of great literature)… So, to put LOST to bed, so to speak, please allow me to point out just a couple of these.

First of all… the concept of the show started out simple enough, but then it got REAL complicated – REAL quick… Not everything made sense – no one could ever quite understand all the rules governing the island and those living on it – good people went bad, people with dubious pasts redeemed themselves. To the very end everybody had their own opinions as to why such and such was happening (from the tiniest detail to the over-arching purpose/meaning)… In fact, the most helpful episodes were the reruns that included the writers’ and/or directors’ commentary – but even these sometimes brought more confusion and questions than they provided answers.

Isn’t that just like real life, though? Life starts out real simple, but gets REAL complicated – REAL quick. Not everything that happens to us makes sense – Why do bad things happen to us or people we know? Why does the economy stink? Why do folks get laid off? What is the Purpose of Life? Why is the government so jacked up? The questions roll on and on… And the stronger the questions and challenges the less we know how to deal with them on our own!

Sorting it all out can be crippling! So people turn to various religions and try all sorts of theories (remember the hatch… Hugo’s unlucky numbers… Daniel’s crazy insights and ideas – including the nuke… Desmond’s idea last night). But even when they find the right place (we believe this to be the Bible) to search for reliable answers to life and morality (I mean, just how are we supposed to fight the “Smoke Monsters” in our lives – whoever he is) the waters can still be muddy because people often have a hard time understanding it or it leads to more questions!

SPOILER ALERT: Two of my favorite places in this last episode is where Jack initiated Hurley by passing him the bottle as Jacob had done for him – “Now, you’re like me”. Kate said “I know you don’t understand, Jack… But if you come with me, you will.” She touched his life profoundly and then led him to his father, who could (and did) provide the answers.

Both of these scenes demonstrate the kind of evangelism we need to have in the Church today… a passionate compassion for other people that leads them to be their best by seriously engaging in a relationship with God. In both scenes a life-altering decision was made and it was initiated by one of the characters simply asking them to make a decision. The decisions were tough but because of the love and care and friendship that had been invested between them the decision was really not all that hard… But still, one had to ask and the other had to accept. Demonstrating their decision wasn’t complicated – instead, it was so easy Hurley asked “Is that it?” It is the same for sharing and accepting God’s free gift of salvation. Through Jesus there is redemption for everyone even someone as evil as Benjamin Linus (I was glad to see them bring that character around for good through admitting his failures and apologizing). But for that to occur they must be presented the Good News that forgiveness and a new life are available though Jesus… this means that we are going to have to do a much better job of just lovingly asking our friends and family to make a decision (just like Kate and Jack did) – I’d venture to say that we will often get similar responses as the ones depicted on the show… acceptance (even if there is some reluctance at first).

That is what Robert and I are trying to do with this venue… it’s our driving force… our passion… our purpose: To connect with you and share life with you – to show you the way to the God and place (God’s Word – the Bible) where we’ve found our answers – And, we want to do this with No Shame, No Fear and No Apologizing – though we ourselves have been LOST, even though we fail… We sincerely hope you will come along with us and see where this ride takes us – It’s wilder and more awesome than anything Jack, Sawyer, Kate, John or Hurley could ever have imagined!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


I’ve been reflecting on graduation and everything that surrounds it.  Partially because I’m a youth minister and a lot of my students are graduating… partially because I just graduated with an MAR from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

Anyway, when I get all reflective and nostalgic about graduation, my ADHD mind almost immediately travels to thinking about Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” If you’ve been around any graduations recently, I’m fairly certain you’ve seen, heard or read something about this book… For those of you who aren’t familiar here’s the basic premise:

Someone poetically encourages a young person (presumably their child) who is just about to go out and take on the world… They tell them that they will be great and awesome and do amazing wonderful and spectacularly successful things… except when they don’t, cuz sometimes they won’t… and sometimes they will have to wait for things… and sometimes there will be hard decisions… on and on… It’s a really cute way to say, “Hey, life happens… but I love you and I support you, am here for you and I want you to be successful – Go forth and do your best… I’m with you every step of the way!”

When you think about it, that’s a lot like God… In fact, He said a lot of these same things in His word…

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. ~ Matthew 19:26

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:14

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. ~ Psalm 33:20

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. ~ John 15:18-19

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. ~ Hebrews 13:5

…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10b

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:18-20

So, here’s what my crazy mind takes from Dr. Seuss and these (and other) passages from the Bible…

  1. Whatever we decide to do as an occupation, our life’s calling is to be missional… That is, we are called to share Jesus’ love and work for the Kingdom regardless of how we pay the bills.
  2. Sometimes we are going to fail…
  3. Sometimes our plans and prayers require waiting – but God’s solution is always worth the wait!
  4. Life happens… but no matter what God loves you and will be there.
  5. If you are His child, He will support you and ALWAYS have your back and help you max out your considerable potential!

So, let me encourage you to go forth… take on the world… do your best… God is with you!!! Just remember:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

Erkle-like Witnessing moments: “Did I do that?!”


Hey, Robert and I have intermittantly been encouraging everyone to share their faith… Greg Stier has put together a pretty good list of ways we DON’T advocate (Check it out):
 
What kind of awkward witnessing moments have you had?

Time to push for the drive!


By now you should be pretty familiar with the kinds of topics and style that we will be hitting here at No Apologizing.  Kevin and I hope the stories/blogs that we write are helping all of you with you day to day battles and growth.

Now we need you to help us.

We are interested in reaching as many people as possible through this blog.  YOU are the key to making this happen.  Did you realize that if you invited just 10 of your friends that the word of God could reach about 800 people in the matter of one day!?

How?

If you like what you are reading here, or if you know someone that can benefit from what we have to offer send YOUR friends a link to our blog.  Here’s how you can help your friends and family:

Send them invites through Facebook:

Rate us on FB!

If you are not on Facebook, Send your friends an e-mail:

  • Copy this link:  www.noapologizing.wordpress.com
  • Send it to as many friends as you can.
  • Encourage them to subscribe using the link on the left hand side of the website.

Whether you are on FB or not, please be sure to click “subscribe” for yourself on: www.noapologizing.wordpress.com

Our rating, the number of followers and subscribers we have make a significant impact on where we rank in search engine results… This has the potential to drive up readership globally and therefore spread the Gospel message “virally”!

Help us to spread the Word of God today.  Invite as many friends as you can.  You can have a significant impact on their life spiritually (possibly leading to salvation for some).

We would also like to encourage you to comment on how many friends you have invited to No Apologizing.  Remember…No Shame, No Fear, No Apologizing!

Retraction… JESUS LIVES!


As dawn broke that morning the shroud of sorrow that had covered them for the past days seemed strangely different. But why should it? Today His body would be prepared with spices by some of the women who had followed Him.

They were still afraid… still hiding, and yet there was something in the periphery of their minds, something just buzzing in and out between their subconscious and coherent thought that would not let them go. Though He had been laid in a guarded tomb, something within them would not let them bury this and just move on.

What had He said before that just wouldn’t come fully to mind? Had He told them this would happen?

Suddenly, Mary burst in the door shouting hysterically: “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

What else could go wrong?!?! Two of them bolted for the place where He was laid. Sure enough, He was not there – Neither were the Roman guards that had been stationed there. Strangely though, the burial clothes rested on the table where his body had been… the cloth that had covered His face was folded neatly aside, but the rest were not unwrapped, instead they were vacated as though the body had disintegrated or vaporized! How could any of this be?

They left bewildered… trying harder than ever to remember His instructions to them. There was nothing left to do but return to their hiding place – hole up, grieve and pray.

Mary interrupted the silent tears again exuberantly, almost incoherently exclaiming something about seeing Him in the garden after they had left. They rationalized that she must have been mistaken and in denial… So they locked the doors and hid… and trembled… and wondered…

That night as darkness fell the anxiety increased in this little group who were huddled behind their locked doors. Suddenly, a voice they never had dreamed in their slimmest of hopes they would hear again pierced the silence and startled them out of their stupor. It said, “Peace be with you!”

PEACE?!?! How could there be peace? He was gone and now they were delusional… because some had seen Him die, the rest had minimally seen the guarded grave – He was Dead, there was no doubt about it… And yet, here He was… Right before them – What in Heaven’s name was going on?

Their hearts nearly stopped from joy and shock when He showed them His scars. It was Him and He was ALIVE!!! It all made sense now… He HAD told them He had to die, but He had also hinted that death would not be the end of the story – He had promised that He would never leave them… Actually, He said that He would never, never, never , Never, NEVER leave them or turn them away!

So, now that He was back and had proved His ultimate power and authority, certainly He would begin the conquest now. But He said that He would not now – not in the way they had expected anyway… But really, had He EVER done things the way they expected?

He instead told them they were to take His message of peace, hope and love to everyone on earth! They could be confident that because of what He had done in dying for them  – in dying for the world He had fulfilled all their previous hopes and dreams and had flung open the lanes of fellowship between God and man… And He had validated and sealed the sacrifice by rising from the dead…

No one would retract the story of His death… why should they? He really had died.

Because He was Alive, they now understood… Not only was He the Son of God – He IS God and He always will be! And now He has gone to prepare an eternal home for all who place all their trust in Him…

Now they fully understood this: there was no way to remain silent – there was no reason to hide. Nothing, not even death had power over Him, so it had no power over them! The revolution HAD begun, but it was not a violent uprising – Instead, they began to shout out to all who would give an ear – a continual outpouring of grace, peace, love and hope…

And the refrain has echoed from the hearts and lips of His children throughout the years ever since: “HE IS RISEN – HE IS RISEN INDEED!” Hope Reigns eternal…

All because Jesus is King and He… is… with us!

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