Another Bulletin Article: Runner or Couch Potato?

Runner or Couch Potato?

Two of the most well known things about David are his victory over Goliath and his sin with Bathsheba. When we consider his triumph, we wonder how we as a congregation can have our own great victories. When we consider his sin, we sometimes think we could never fall into such extreme wickedness, but may indeed later find ourselves in divisions, heresies, laziness, and sins that are no better. There is a temptation to only see the endings of great Bible stories and to miss how things came to be. If we do that, we will find ourselves failing to reach the desired end and being surprised when we have ended up in the sinful one. Let us consider two lesser-known statements from both events in David’s life, for as they stand in contrast to each other, they teach us it is not only the fancy ending that is important, but also the humble beginning.

The 1st statement comes from 1Sa 17:48, which states, “David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.” Here we find an aggressiveness, a determination, a confidence in Yahweh’s ability to prevail that defines all that David does in 1Sa 17. It is this trust in the Lord, and this courageous zeal to accomplish His will, that resulted in David’s success.

In our 1st statement, little David, trusting in the Lord, bravely hastens toward a massive warrior. In our 2nd, of all the things mighty King David could do during “the time when kings go out to battle,” 2Sa 11:2 tells us, “late one afternoon, David arose from his couch and walked on the roof of the king’s house.” Here we find no fervor for the Lord, no zeal to accomplish His will. In fact, we do not even find someone who trusts in the Lord enough to care a thing about what he ought to be doing. All we find is someone whose greatest deed of the day is getting up off of his couch late in the afternoon. It is this seemingly harmless selfishness and complacency that led to the rampant evil we all condemn.

Perhaps, the reason we sometimes do not find ourselves achieving the great victories of David but rather find ourselves in danger of dwindling and failing, is because from the outset and throughout the process, our attitude is wrong. Perhaps, we are ambivalent, rather than determined; comfortable, rather than zealous; doubtful, rather than trusting. We must have the trust and zeal of David to have the victory God gave him.

Let each and every one of us approach the work here at [Insert your congregation here] with a zeal for the Lord’s will and a trust in the Lord’s ability to deliver. Let it never be said that at [Insert your congregation here] our greatest work was that “late one Wednesday afternoon we sat down on our padded pews.” It is time for us to go out to battle. Let us run quickly against whatever giants stand opposed to our Lord. Let us equip ourselves through study, and go out and share the good news and love of Jesus with our friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, enemies, and strangers. Only then will we have the great victories of David and avoid his great sins.
  • jjorangeswirl
    Good article. It'll be good to see ya soon. Are you taking John?
    by jjorangeswirl at 08/19/07 1:02AM
  • create_a_way
    Dude, I LOVE the way you think!
    by create_a_way at 08/19/07 7:36PM
  • requiem2651
    It is a good article! And now I can read it, since you stole my bulletin!
    by requiem2651 at 08/20/07 12:41PM
  • frozenfish
    I've changed my mind... I think I do like the new Mae album the more I listen to it. A good chunk of it sounds the same as a lot of other music, but there are about 4 pretty good songs on there. I really like the song "Novocaine". It's pretty awesome. I'm not sure if they'll have it on myspace, because it's a bonus track thing.
    by frozenfish at 08/20/07 8:09PM
  • frozenfish
    It'll never beat The Everglow, but it's acceptable.
    by frozenfish at 08/20/07 8:09PM
  • jusplayin
    It was cool seeing you today! I might end up asking for some advice for Greek.
    by jusplayin at 08/22/07 11:01PM
  • heatharobertson
    Forrest Lake, MN is where you want to get your apartment. 25 min south of Pine City and 25 min North of the Twin Cities
    by heatharobertson at 08/24/07 2:27PM
  • heatharobertson
    I spoke with Rick Lanning yesterday. He is one of the evangelists for the New Hope congregation Minneapolis. He said they have heard about you and are very interested in supporting you. I gave my reccomendation and now they need a letter from you. You can get the address from the church directory in the FC Library office (it's by Brooke's desk).
    by heatharobertson at 08/24/07 2:30PM
  • heatharobertson
    They have dedicated themselves and their funds to supporting evangelists who are willing to go to the 5 states around Minnesota. You will find good advice and training in your fellowship with this congregation. He said they want it to be much more than a monetary fellowship. They want to spend time with you and Jen and would send a preacher to Pine City so that yall could come and worship with them 4 or 5 times a year. So, I would expect them to invite you to preach when you are up there this winter.
    by heatharobertson at 08/24/07 2:33PM
  • heatharobertson
    Let me know if you need anything else
    by heatharobertson at 08/24/07 2:33PM
  • tony
    yeahh, once you get past that mental block, it's possible:P but it took me like 20 tries, and then i finally got it.
    by tony at 08/28/07 3:36PM
  • truman
    hi
    by truman at 08/28/07 10:40PM
  • abrahamp
    Wow Dominic, I don't come to ur blog as much as i'd like 2, everytime i come here i find something else about God and his word, thanks 4 the enlighten ment bro!
    by abrahamp at 08/30/07 12:10AM
  • mastermind9879
    hey dominic why is it that i heard you were afraid of fc tradition and ran a whole intire hour so that they dont shave your legs and they put a block of ice on your chest.
    by mastermind9879 at 08/31/07 2:27PM
  • lightbringer
    Awesome article, Dominic!
    by lightbringer at 08/31/07 3:05PM

Rejoice!

My youngest brother, Joseph, was baptized into Jesus today!

  • deusvitae
    Good to hear. :)
    by deusvitae at 08/02/07 10:35AM
  • southernpoet87
    Thats great!! :D
    by southernpoet87 at 08/02/07 11:20AM
  • tnuaruoy
    Great news!! Go check out my new entry.
    by tnuaruoy at 08/02/07 12:27PM
  • michellelb
    AWWW!!! That's great!!!! I know u must be elated! Congrats to him and u!!
    by michellelb at 08/02/07 1:54PM
  • frozenfish
    Praise God! That's great news!
    by frozenfish at 08/02/07 3:27PM
  • heidiw
    Oh Diminic! That is so great to hear! I could really get used to this kind of good news!
    by heidiw at 08/02/07 4:24PM
  • noby_wan
    yay!
    by noby_wan at 08/02/07 4:35PM
  • volleyball_guy
    wow awesome!
    by volleyball_guy at 08/03/07 5:29PM
  • nac
    It's always great to hear of new family members. :)
    by nac at 08/04/07 12:09AM
  • mustardgirl
    that's so great
    by mustardgirl at 08/04/07 5:44PM
  • prtbone
    that would be great! See you in another week :)
    by prtbone at 08/04/07 8:08PM
  • emmylou
    praise God! I am so happy! :)
    by emmylou at 08/05/07 7:56PM
  • hannahrunswithendurance
    YAAAY :D
    by hannahrunswithendurance at 08/05/07 8:36PM
  • heatharobertson
    awesome
    by heatharobertson at 08/05/07 11:31PM
  • vermonster
    Yay!
    by vermonster at 08/06/07 10:11PM
  • abrahamp
    i heard about it, great news! Itz a great feelin know ur close family is all saved.
    by abrahamp at 08/07/07 12:13AM
  • truman
    Congratulations!
    by truman at 08/07/07 10:08PM
  • dragonqueen95
    That's wonderful!!!! Hey.....your brother creamed me in the side while we were playing capture the flag....it kind of hurt, but I'm glad for him all the same!!!!
    by dragonqueen95 at 08/08/07 4:19PM
  • mastermind9879
    thats awesome news dominic just so you know who i am im jeffrey if you remember me
    by mastermind9879 at 08/10/07 12:08PM

“The Eyes of the Lord”

“The Eyes of the Lord”

It is amazing how simple truths could have great consequences in our lives, if only we gave them more thought and respect. One such idea is found in Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

An obvious application we can draw from this text is one even people of the world make, only with Santa being the omniscient being. The idea is that Santa, who rewards according to whether you are naughty or nice, is watching, so “you better watch out.” Certainly, though it is a commonly accepted truth among Christians in regard to God, if we thought more about it, we would avoid many of our secret sins; those things we think we can get away with because no one is watching; and those we are too ashamed of to commit in open sight.

Even beyond the obvious (though still neglected) application we often make, there is another in Proverbs 15:3. The verse is surrounded by proverbs that, rather than focusing on secret sin, discuss something else. Vs. 1 says, “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Vs. 2 tells us, “the tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” And vs. 4 states, “a gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” The text seems to be applying this truth to the area of speech, something not done in secret. When we use our tongues it is easy to think that all that is going on is between whom we are speaking with and ourselves, and that no one else has to be involved or concerned. Often, we are not at all ashamed that our words are out in the open, for we intentionally speak harshly, feeling justified in our dealings with other people. Other times, we are careless with what we say, because we know the person we are speaking with is either too ignorant or too weak to call us on it. Rather than worrying that our words could “break the spirit,” we intend for them to do so, failing to see that someone above our worldly conversations and arguments sees every word that is spoken.

Let us not commit secret sins, but rather dwell on the fact that the God who gave His son that we might be forgiven and attain something higher is watching the very actions we would not want even people of the world to see us commit. But let us also know that God watches our words when we speak proudly and boldly before our neighbor or enemy. Let us realize that our words do more than hurt someone we may feel deserves it, they can hurt the very God who gave us all His love. Let us be more careful with our tongues. Let us use our words to show love and build up, rather than viciously tear down with evil and selfish intent. May we have humility, gratefulness, and a love that calls us to higher speech and higher action, for we know that “the eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

Grace & Peace,
  • jjorangeswirl
    Good thoughts. These verses remind me of Eph. 5:6-15.
    by jjorangeswirl at 07/28/07 11:13PM
  • prtbone
    Amen, brother!
    by prtbone at 07/29/07 1:52PM
  • wildcaveman
    yeah too bad I already saw them earlier today
    by wildcaveman at 07/29/07 8:51PM
  • southernpoet87
    HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY DOMINIC!
    by southernpoet87 at 07/30/07 3:47PM
  • yourstruly
    Happy birthday!
    by yourstruly at 07/30/07 3:55PM
  • dixiedawn
    happy birthday, Dominic!
    20 - you're getting old :P haha j/k
    hope you're havin a good one!
    by dixiedawn at 07/30/07 4:04PM
  • requiem2651
    Happy Birthday! BTW - how in the world can I get a hold of you? Phone #?
    by requiem2651 at 07/30/07 7:04PM
  • michellelb
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
    by michellelb at 07/30/07 9:08PM
  • heatharobertson
    hows MN plans comin?
    by heatharobertson at 07/30/07 10:00PM
  • tnuaruoy
    happy birthday SmileyCentral.com
    by tnuaruoy at 07/30/07 10:10PM
  • frozenfish
    Hey, how do you get that Ron Paul link with the icon and stuff? Happy Birthday! Your family sends you various items with me. I'll get them to you asap.
    by frozenfish at 07/31/07 5:40PM
  • just2seeusmile
    by just2seeusmile at 08/01/07 7:53AM
  • deusvitae
    Happy birthday. :)
    by deusvitae at 08/01/07 11:20AM
  • ladymustang_08
    definately mmissed you at camp this year! happy belated bday.. *i posted on facebook* oh and i read jen's blog about MN, good luck ! i know you'd do great!
    by ladymustang_08 at 08/01/07 10:08PM

"The Gospel of Bhudda"

If you're familiar with the Jesus seminar, The Gospels of Thomas and Judas, and related things, you must read this article on the Gospel of Bhudda.
Its kind of long, but well, well worth the read. Be enlightened, oh friend.
  • jjorangeswirl
    Chuckle.
    by jjorangeswirl at 07/27/07 4:52PM
  • apbooklover04
    Wow, that was a seriously hilarious read.
    I'm so happy to hear about the Minnesota opportunity! I know you must be super-happy about that.
    by apbooklover04 at 07/27/07 4:59PM
  • southernpoet87
    Haha, that was hilarous.
    by southernpoet87 at 07/27/07 5:32PM
  • truman
    I am home!
    by truman at 07/27/07 9:27PM
  • engelishgentleman
    That was, as others have said, hilarious. :-) And it's funny precisely because it is so close to the way things really happen.
    by engelishgentleman at 07/27/07 9:58PM

"You are what you... worship?

You Are What You… Worship?
The old saying, “you are what you eat” warns us against eating unhealthy food and encourages us to eat nutritiously, since what we eat affects how we are physically. Could it be that what or whom we believe in affects who we are and what will become of us?

In Psalm 115:4-7 we find a scathing attack on the impotence of idols: “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.” But the writer does not stop at decimating and ridiculing the utter absurdity of the idols themselves, he continues in vs. 8: “Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” Indeed, it can be said, “you are what you worship.” As these pagans learned, their lives were just as meaningless as a lifeless statue, and their end came upon them just as their idols corrupted and vanished with time.

The majority of our modern scientific, academic, and religious culture would probably share with the Psalmist in ridiculing idolatry, as it existed back in that day. Yet, what they propose is just as vain. With Materialism and Secular Humanism ruling the day, many deny any gods at all, or at the least, that any gods are doing anything at all in our world today. They effectively remove any truly objective moral standard. They eliminate the afterlife. And they lift up humans as the answer to everything. It goes without saying; they quite literally are whom they worship. It has rightly been said, “The man who is his own god, worships a fool.”

After Psalm 115 deals with idolatry, it emphatically calls for us to trust in the Lord (Ps 115:9-11). If what or whom we believe in drastically shapes who we become and how we will end, how wondrous it is to place our faith in the living and eternal God! The great challenge for believers has always been to shun the influences of those who worship gods fashioned according to their own liking, in order to worship the true God. If we will do that, we will become more and more like the great God above. At the end of Ps 115 there is a contrast between those who are dead and can do nothing more, and those who trust God, of the latter it says, “But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!” (Ps 115:18).

May we not be lured by the popularity or flashiness of the “gods” around us or by our society and fleshliness that calls us to be self-centered, for we will become just as wicked as they and will likewise end in destruction. Let us rather trust in the living and eternal Lord, for rather than being made by man, He made us. Let us continue to allow Him to shape us according to His image and that of His dear son (Rom 8:29).

Grace & Peace,
Dominic
  • slave_of_jesus_jdb
    I just agreed to read Dunn's book for my first one in the independent study on historical jesus methodology i'm doing in the fall. i'm exctited!
    by slave_of_jesus_jdb at 07/22/07 12:24AM
  • slave_of_jesus_jdb
    Yes, exctited!
    by slave_of_jesus_jdb at 07/22/07 12:24AM
  • tony
    i guess mom didn't get a e mail from you yet?
    by tony at 07/22/07 6:39AM
  • robertthehun
    amen.
    by robertthehun at 07/22/07 11:18PM
  • robertthehun
    I saw your brother-in-law at camp today.
    by robertthehun at 07/22/07 11:18PM
  • hannahrunswithendurance
    interesting concepts! thanks so much for sharing.
    by hannahrunswithendurance at 07/23/07 3:25PM
  • jjorangeswirl
    I agree on the size of a congregation not being what matters. Some large congregations seem to care little about evangelism while some tiny ones are on fire.
    by jjorangeswirl at 07/24/07 8:53PM
  • jjorangeswirl
    Oh, and I think I understand what you were saying inyour second comment. It is sad that when you ask people what they know about the Jehovah's witnesses they say, "Oh yeah, aren't those the people that come to my door all the time?" We can learn many lessons from the desire to evangelize, and the love and compassion of denominations.
    by jjorangeswirl at 07/24/07 8:56PM
  • create_a_way
    nice thoughts bro...
    by create_a_way at 07/24/07 10:34PM
  • prtbone
    sounds good! You know, sometime in the future we'll have to play some volleyball like we talked about before school ended ;)
    by prtbone at 07/25/07 1:30PM
  • prtbone
    Plus, if you can get Jen to play, then maybe Alice will play too.
    by prtbone at 07/25/07 1:31PM
  • apbooklover04
    haha. Yes I would.
    by apbooklover04 at 07/25/07 5:02PM