Friday, September 30, 2011

Feature Friday: Courageous

Good Christian movies are hard to find.  I remember growing up in youth group and watching movies like The Cross and The Switchblade.

While the message was good, the movie was pretty bad.  We Christians have really fallen behind in the realm of media.  Most Christian music when I was growing up sounded like it was a decade or two old.  It really is a shame.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Theology Thursday: Who is in control? Free Will vs. God's Sovereignty

Have you ever pondered this age old question?  Is everything decided?  Is the future set in stone?  Are you destined to follow a certain path?  Or, on the other hand, are you free to choose any of the many possible destinies before you?  Is the future undecided and solely up to our choices?  Are you a puppet obeying the script that God has written for you with no choice in the matter?  Or is everything up to us and God has no say in what we do?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Widow's Coins

This Sunday, I'll be teaching the children the story of the widow who gave her last two coins in offering to God.

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.  And he said, "Truly, I tell you, this poor wedow has put in more than all of them.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."    Luke 21:1-4

Be Cautious When Judging the Offering of Others

Anyone standing by and watching the widow present her offering might have thought poorly of this woman.  We see it on Sundays at church too don't we?  The offering plate goes by and a person reaches into their pocket and tosses a few singles and some change or maybe a ten or twenty in.  If you are a regular attender at church then chances are at one point or another you've judged a person for that.  After all, a tithe or 10% would obviously be more than twenty bucks a week right?  Here you are giving an actual tithe and they are sticking in enough to buy a pack of gum.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Landau, Alladin, and Jesus

Even if you haven't been watching America's Got Talent, you've probably at least seen a youtube clip or heard talk about the Frank Sinatra singer with dreadlocks.  Just a few weeks ago, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. went from being a full time car washer with a failing music career to nationally famous with a hot new gig in Vegas. I'll be honest, he wasn't my first choice on the show this season.  I was rooting for the Silhouettes at the end there.  But I still find his victory heart warming.  Don't you?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Proving God Exists: Part 1

Does God really exist?  Its a question I've discussed with many people.  Can it be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt with 100% certainty?  To be honest, I don't know.  There have been times in my life where I've answered with a yes and there have been times I have answered with a no.  Right now, I'm just not sure if a person can prove God does or does not exist.

However, I do believe that there is enough evidence for the existence of God that it leaves me certain He does exist.  There is certainly enough evidence for the existence of God that you don't have to feel foolish for believing in Him the way you'd feel silly believing in a unicorn or other fairy tales.

There are some pretty solid age old arguments that give lots of evidence for the existence of God and some modern ones as well.  Today I'll share the first of many.  The first is known as The Cosmological Argument.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Powerful Song About You and Me

Christy and I have really been getting into Smallville lately.  Its the show about Superman's younger years.  I have been noticing that the show makes great use of music.  A song always comes on during the most emotionally powerful parts of the show.  When the episode centers around Clark and Lana's love, it ends with the two of them holding hands while a romantic Lifehouse song is playing.  When the episode centers around Lex Luthor losing his mind, it ends with Lex in a straight jacket with a creepy Johnny Cash song playing.  The music of it amplifies the whole point of the story.

Did you know that there is a song in Genesis 1?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Theology Thursday: Can a true Christian have doubt?

A few days ago, a friend E-mailed me asking if doubt was compatible with belief.  Can a person who has doubt still pray effectively?  Is doubt dangerous for your faith?  I think these are great questions, because we all face doubt.  Whether we are confronted with historical or scientific data that seems to contradict the Bible, we go lose a loved one and wonder where God is, or we just simply come to a place where faith is hard to muster up... we all face it sooner or later.

But I don't think doubt is all bad.  Here is an edited version of my response to that friend.

Is doubt sinful?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You can do it, Put your heart into it!

Two Sunday mornings ago, I went hunting.  Don't worry animal lovers, I wasn't hunting deer.  I was hunting for an iPad accessory so that I could hook up my iPad directly to a projector.  Every Sunday, I use a Keynote presentation to teach the 1st-6th graders a Bible lesson.  I usually use my Mac to run the presentation.  But the week Michaela was born, my Mac up and broke.  But with my baby girl in my arms, that was the last thing on my mind.

Friday, September 9, 2011

10 Years Since 9/11

I was a freshman in high school.  I left the locker room with my gym shirt and tight gym shorts on.  Why do they always make them too small?  I lined up with the rest of my class and we were cracking jokes about something or other when Coach Murry walked in.  He seemed a little shocked about something and with a shake of his head and a half grin he said, “Did you hear what happened?”  We all shook our heads no.  “Some idiot crashed a small plane into the Pentagon.”
Well that’s strange I thought.  We finished up PE and I thought nothing of it.  But by the look on my algebra teacher’s face when I walked into my next classroom, I could tell something was really wrong.  She turned on the TV and we watched in horror as smoke poured out of the towers on live television.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Holy Competition

So last week, a lot of people from my church took part in a Labor Day Basketball tournament.  The younger division's speaker had to cancel at the last minute and for a minute there, I thought I was going to have to share a message.  As I prayed and looked through the Bible for ideas, I stumbled across this incredible and amazing verse.

Now, before I give you the verse I have a question for you.  Are you a competitive person?  I used to think that I wasn't.  When I play sports, I do like to win.  But I've never been the guy who is losing his temper on the court.  Even when I'm playing against people that are a lot smaller than I am, I usually get walked all over because I just plain don't get aggressive enough.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Joy in Service

Michaela Lynn Brunke is here!!!!  I want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. 

Let me tell you, I absolutely love this little girl!  You know how I know?  I’ve never been a baby person.  All of my life, I have always thought and said that all babies look alike and none of them are cute.  They are just kind of weird looking and chubby.  But guess what?  I think Michaela is beautiful!  I don’t think I have every changed a diaper in my life.  Even when my nephew Malachi was a baby, I avoided diaper duty like the plague because that’s just gross!  But guess what?  Not only do I change Michaela’s diapers . . . I enjoy doing it!  It’s the strangest thing.  I enjoy cleaning her poopy diapers.  I love rocking her to sleep late at night when I’m tired and exhausted.  I love giving her attention when she wakes up, even when it interrupts important or fun things I’m doing.