Sunday, November 25, 2007

So Much To Be Thankful For!

Wow, What a wild few days!

Thursday of course was Thanksgiving Day and that included a flying trip trip to Des Moines. We left Clear Lake at about 7 AM and arrived at my Mom and Dads at about 9:30 AM following a stop in Ankeny to hook up with Daniel and Maggie.

We all arrived at my folks to find that we were not the first one's to arrive. Soon the others began to file in, in short order . It was a great crowd, all the siblings were there except my big bro (I missed your help w/ the turkey!).

Once again my Mom outdid her self with the turkey. It was again perfection! Everything else that was great as well and it was the usual Thanksgiving spread. We ate our meal at about 12 noon, and everyone was stuffed like we were the bird!

After a little football and conversation the exodus began and slowly the family began to leave for other celebrations. The Clear Lake contingency pulled out around 3:00 and stopped again in Ankeny to pick up Lynn's Mom and bring her to Clear Lake for the rest of the holiday weekend. We got home in time to head over to a friends home and watched the film "Amazing Grace". A great movie that I really enjoyed it ... I would recommend it to you!

Friday for some was a day for shopping or relaxing or in the case of my running buddies in North Iowa - a great day for hunting! For me Friday was another day in the office because I was to drive that afternoon to Iowa Falls for a basketball scrimmage and I wanted to spend a bit more time in the study so no shopping, no hunting.

I picked up my bus at about 2 PM and fueled up and left for Iowa Falls at 2:30. Upon arrival in Iowa Falls I met up with Pastor Hill and went out for coffee then back to the High School to watch the scrimmage. When the scrimmage was over I returned to my bus only to find that because the alternator was shot the bus was DOA! I had to call for someone to drive down to get us and what was a quick trip to Iowa Falls turned into an all evening albatross! We finally got home around 9 PM. What a LONG DAY!

Saturday found our family driving to Southwest Iowa for the wedding of a family friend. Long trip, almost four hours both ways but worth every minute to spend time with our friends. The wedding was very nice and the bride was beautiful. I really enjoy getting to see our friend in the Cumberland/Massena area. We got home around 8:30 in the evening got all settled in to watch another movie only to have the electric go out for about 2 hours! A perfect ending to a crazy day!

Enough for now,
Pastor Steve

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Archery Season - Part 2: He Shoots, He Scores

Today at 3:33 PM my archery season came to a screeching halt when I arrowed a really nice 8 point buck.

This is the biggest deer I have ever harvested and the special kicker is that I took it with my bow.

I spotted the deer coming across a picked soybean field at about 300 yards out. The deer came in and presented me with a 20 yard broadside shot. The gory details are that I got a lung shot and which left a good trail, easy to follow. The deer went about 150 yards before piling up in some brush.

Hunting the rut ... nothing could be better! I saw 4 shooter bucks on Thursday afternoon and I knew the deer where in the area I'm just thankful that I had the opportunity to take a deer of this caliber! Praise the Lord!

I Remain,

Pastor Steve

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Faulty Theology Leads To Faulty Thinking

One of the many blog I read is titled "The World From Our Window". One of three men who regularly contribute to this blog is Mike Hess. He wrote this:

"The statistics are read over and over to us again - 3,000 churches closing their doors each year, armies of pastors leaving the ministry each year either due to sin, spiritual burnout or church negligence. Parishioners not sharing their faith with their neighbors, being anemic with their knowledge of Scripture, wanting the church to adopt the philosophy of "relevance", turning to secular and unbiblical secular psychology to diagnose their sin problems and eventually relying on meds and newfangled ideas concerning human behavior instead of dealing with the core issue of sin. Problems are there and it is not difficult to take notice. What is happening? Where did we go wrong?

For starters let me just say that all is not lost. The resurgence of [edit] young fundamentalists/evangelicals has had an enormous impact on a younger generation being absolutely convinced about the sufficiency and authority of Scripture and the absolute sovereignty of God. Many have also become disillusioned with the "felt needs" and "self-esteem" approach to church programs that mislead others into thinking that they are in need of a greater self-image and a greater self-worth.

However, many of the weaknesses that we see today in the lives of the average evangelical American church goer is not a result of fewer programs, less contemporary music or their felt needs being neglected. I would submit that most of this is the natural result of a solid theological ground work not being laid in the believer's life.

ALL OF LIFE IS CENTERED ON THEOLOGY!!! What we believe about God is essentially the most significant aspect of our lives. That alone is the core of who we are. Not our possessions, charisma, social standing or influence. Hence, when we neglect this all important subject, then we naturally neglect the most instrumental tool in growing our people in Christ and having them "rooted and built up in Him".

A poor theology is evident on how a Christian handles the problems of life. A poor theology is exposed in how many believers today look for churches - their needs being looked at first instead of their gifts being given and offered to a local body of believers. A poor theology is reflected in a marriage where the roles of both husband and wife are confused and misplaced. A poor theology becomes evident when young people have the idea that fun is a means of becoming godly and will somehow prepare them for the inevitable trials that life will bring their way. A poor theology is buying into the mindset that a secular based (with Christian icing) 12 Step program can replace the biblical model of progressive sanctification that depends on the Holy Spirits guidance and power and the absolute sufficiency of God's Word.

All of this to say that we need to be encouraged to NOT run from God-centered theology and somehow keep that for the intellectually qualified. No, this is for EVERYONE! Get yourself a good systematic theology. Make it a part of your devotional life and let a God-centered theology give you an unquenchable thirst for God Himself."

Pastor Steve says:

Biblical Christianity is not something that we pull out on Sunday and stow away the rest of the week. If you claim the name of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, that relationship MUST impact every aspect, every moment of your lives.

I have been challenging the folks in our church that we must work out our theology to its logical conclusion. So many people have theology that, taken to it's logical conclusion, is nothing but a house of cards. It falls apart and leaves them empty. Trial and tragedy come into their lives and there theology tells them that they don't have enough faith or its bad karma or just offer it up for penitence. Where is the hope in that?

Faulty theology leads to faulty thinking. What say you?

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bus Driver Training

Last week I was required, by State law, to attend a 3 hour Annual Training for School Bus Drivers. It was your standard watch a video, discuss as a group and then walk through a test over the material.

Here are a few of the questions that we had to try to figure out:

1. TRUE or FALSE If the gates remain down after a train passes through a railroad crossing with more that one set of tracks, it is a malfunction and you can safely go around the gates?

2. TRUE or FALSE Trains have steering wheels, so they can swerve to get out of your way.

3. TRUE or FALSE Kids pushing your buttons can be a major safety problem.

4. TRUE or FALSE You should always steer clear of road rage.

5. TRUE or FALSE The shape and color of a sign have nothing to do with the information that the sign is trying to provide to the driver.

6.TRUE or FALSE Milepost markers can be a handy reference if your bus breaks down.

7. TRUE or FALSE Exhaust fumes all vehicles carry major health risks, especially for children.

I found some of these to be funny and others to be just obvious. Does the average person really believe that trains have steering wheels? If so, we're in deeper trouble than I thought!

Pastor Steve

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Offical - Susan PASSED Drivers Ed.

Friday evening Susan had her final drive time and received her completion certificate and it said she passed drivers education.

I rode with her to her final drive time and she did a very good job!

I'm very proud of her!

Pastor Steve

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Note From My Brother & An Update For You

I received a note today from my brother in Florida informing me that I'm not blogging enough.
Well excuuuuuuuuuse me!

Ok the truth be told I do leave too many days between my blogs and I will try try do better.

In the spirit of blogging a bit more ....

Archery season is in full swing in Iowa and I have been out a few times. As of today I've not harvested my deer but I did take a nice sapling. I had a real nice 6 point buck come in and I just flat peaked after releasing my arrow.

In golf you must keep your head down as you swing through the ball, no "peeking" to see where you ball is going. In archery you must hold on your target until the arrow impacts, even the slightest movement or "peek" will cause the arrow to fly erratically. So I nailed a sapling!

In other news Amy and Susan attend a formal dinner, called the Black Tie Event, in the Des Moines area sponsored by the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches Youth Committee. There were about 120 teens from all over the state and they enjoyed a formal dinner and then a number of activities. From all reports, everyone had a great time!

Philip did not go to the Black Tie Event, he had the opportunity to go to the Scholarship Weekend at Faith Baptist Bible College. The college is awarding about $75, 000 to the incoming freshman class. We are waiting to see if he will receive a reward letter. The weekend involved a number of interviews as well as some general sessions with all of the kids together.

That ought to bring you up to date. Until the next time...

I Remain,
Pastor Steve