Photo: Emmy's 2nd tooth

Emmy pulled out her second tooth today, again all by herself.  Somehow, she can still whistle.

Photos: A bike and some roller-blades

I started teaching Emmy to ride her bike last fall, but she was tentative.  With the warmer weather, she started again, and wow!  she's got it down.  It's like a light switch was turned on.

Jacen found an old pair of roller-blades we got last year and started using them.  He can motor around pretty good.

Multi-Site Churches

There's a lot of interest these days in starting up satellite churches or multi-campus churches.  Although a lot of people are saying how neat it is, I'm not hearing a lot of talk about how biblical it is.  I understand that some pastors have figured out how to make it work pragmatically, but the question I have is, "What does the Bible have to say about this idea?"

I was very interested to hear that a book has been written about the subject:  The Multi-Site Church Revolution.  I was really hoping they would deal with the theology, but apparently I'm to be disappointed.  To be fair, I haven't read the book yet myself; but I have read John Hammett's review (Hammett's a prof at Southeastern).  In short, the book is high on pragmatism and short on theology.  Bummer.  So for the moment, I remain skeptical.

Video: James preaching on intercessory prayer

Pastor Al graciously asked me to preach this week on the subject of prayer, so I taught about intercessory prayer from Paul's example in Philippians 1:9-11.  Calvary videoed it, so I've put this video on YouTube as well.  You can find the links to it from my about page.

Meaningful Membership

If the church is the body of baptized believers, then it seems to me to be good to verify as much as humanly possible that candidates for membership are indeed believers.  Here's what they did at Spurgeon's church:

  1. One of the elders interviewed the candidate.
  2. If satisfied, Spurgeon met with the candidate.
  3. If he thought favorably of him, the name was announced at a church meeting. Members were appointed to make careful inquiries of the candidate.
  4. If the investigation was satisfactory, the candidate appeared at a church meeting where he was examined by the Spurgeon.  The one who investigated gave his report, and the candidate was proposed to the church for acceptance.  If approved, the Spurgeon gave him the right hand of fellowship.
  5. On the first Sabbath of the month the candidate was recognized before the whole church and again given the right hand of fellowship.

[Source:  The Unforgettable Spurgeon by Eric Hayden, p 37.]

Overboard?  Maybe.  But it's lots better than not making sure whether some is saved or not.

Video: James preaching

I've done lots of teaching over the years, both in the professional world and in churches, but I've not done much preaching.  I've preached bits of sermons in my preaching classes, but it was not until last year that I was asked to preach my first sermon, the parable of the shrewd manager from Luke 16.

Calvary was kind enough to video it and send me a DVD.  I decided it might be helpful to put the video on the internet.  So the last couple days I have learned how to rip a DVD, convert it to AVI, create movies with Movie Maker, and post the results to YouTube.  Unfortunately, because of YouTube's time limitations, I had to split the sermon into 4 parts.  And for some reason, the videos tend to get out of sync near the end; I don't know why.  But overall, it's pretty decent.

You can find the links in my about section.

Studies in James

I've very nearly finished my studies in the book of James; only 2 verses remain.  I've posted everything I've done in my section on the New Testament.  The highlight of the book was definitely 4:1-10, where James describes how my desires for pleasure can take over my heart and cause conflict; how God refuses to let me remain in spiritual adultery, moves in powerful opposition, but still holds out grace; and how I can be restored when I submit to God in humility.  The most amazing sentence in the book is in there:  "But He gives a greater grace."  As powerful as God's opposition to my sin is, his grace is even greater.  Wow!

Photos: Emmy's Lost Her First Tooth

One of Emmy's teeth has been loose for about 10 days, and yesterday it came out.  Or more precisely, she pulled it out.  Refusing all help, she slowly but surely yanked that baby out.  The funny thing is that she can still whistle.  A second tooth is also loose, so we'll see if she can whistle after it falls out.