Saturday, March 25, 2006

An Excellent Quote

Below is a quote from "Systematic Theology" by Augustus H. Strong. The quote is from the preface and is dated August 3, 1906. Though these words were written 100 years ago, they could have been written today. I can only say AMEN.

"I am distressed by some common theological tendencies of our time, because I believe them to be false to both science and religion. How men who have ever felt themselves to be lost sinners and who have once received pardon from their crucified Lord and savior can thereafter seek to pare down his attributes, deny his deity and atonement, tear from his brow the crown of miracle and sovereignty, relegate him to the place of a merely moral teacher who influences us only as does Socrates by word spoken across a stretch of ages, passes my comprehension. Here is my test of orthodoxy: Do we pray to Jesus? Do we call upon the name of Christ, as did Stephen and all the early church? Is he our living Lord, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent? Is he divine only in the sense in which we are divine, or is he the only-begotten Son, God manifest in the flesh, in whom is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily? What think ye of the Christ? is still the critical question, and none are entitled to the name of Christian who, in the face of the evidence he has furnished us, cannot answer the question aright."

Friday, March 24, 2006

I shot this in 2002 when the B-1B bombers left McConnell AFB in the last BRAC. The B-1 is one of my favorite aircraft, sleek, fast, strong and beautiful.

I took this about a month ago on a beautiful winter day. The shot is of the Kansas State Capital building in Topeka, Kansas.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I took this about 17 years ago. I still like it. This is my daughter being lifted by some teens at a church dinner. My daughter is now 20 years old and 6 Ft. tall. To my knowledge this is the only basketball she has ever played. BTW I am very proud of the young lady my daughter has become. She is a very Godly young lady and makes her father quite proud.

Monday, March 13, 2006

We miss you Danny

Danny's funeral was Friday. Very sad day. Danny was only 15 and had ridden dirt bikes for years, so his death from a motorcycle accident was quite a shock. the one consolation is that he professed faith in Christ. With that profession I have every hope of seeing him again in heaven. Death always leaves a big hole in you.

I took this in Sept 2004 while on patrol with the Coast Guard Auxiliary on Cheney Lake. Great shot on a beautiful day of a racing Hobbie.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

When I pastored in Coffeyville, KS there was a little rural church surrounded by a cemetary. the church and cemetary were both called Springhill. Acording to local lore the church had been there for years and was still used. Interestingly enough there was still a little privy out back. I didn't check to see if the privy was sitll used though.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

On the church front this has been an interesting week. Unfortunately the events of this week fuel my cynicism more than my hope.
The first event happened last Sunday when the Pastor of the church I attend suddenly announced his resignation. The fact that he resigned is not what bothers me. What bothers me is two fold. First the reason he gave for resigning was that he had sinned. Now I know preachers do sadly fall into sin now and then, but he did not ever say what the sin was. The fact that he has left that question completely open opens the door to much speculation and I am sure that the rumor mill will grind big time. That is sad. I wish he would have given more details as truth always drowns out gossip. The second thing that bothers me is the emotional downpour during the service. The pastor cried, by cried I don't mean shed a few tears, I mean sobbed, throughout his message. This was followed by 80 to 90% of the people at the service sobbing and crying over it all. In my life I have learned to be very wary whenever any event gets sicky, sobby, emotional. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with emotions or crying. I have problems when the emotions are obviously overriding all else that occurs. Time will tell, but I have a sick feeling that things at my church home are going to go downhill fast. Please pray for the church and our former pastor.
This week I received the newsletter of my denominations local association. Reading the newsletter highlighted one of my biggest pet peeves in the Christian world today, the selling of the gospel. I strongly believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is free to all people. Free both on a spiritual level and also free on a temporal, especially financial level. Within the newsletter were announcements of two events that to all appearances seem to be "selling" the glorious gospel. One has registration fees of from $60 to $115 and features such topics as "how to study the Bible". I don't know about you but 30 years ago when I came to faith in Christ the pastor taught how to study the Bible from the pulpit twice on Sunday and again on Wednesday. The church never charged a fee for teaching the Word of God. Another event is about evangelism. The fees for this event range from $20 to $70.
I can't help but wonder whatever happened to the Church of Jesus Christ choosing to go out into the world and preach the Gospel? When did the Church become a just another conference center with a product to sell? When did the Church become a lifestyle choice instead of a group of people who have been forgiven and set free through the shed blood of Jesus? When did the gospel become a product to promote and sell, instead of good news about salvation from sin and redemption into a new life?
Maybe I'm an old foggy and out of touch, well so be it, the scriptures that have not and will not change declare that Jesus is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." Jesus freely gave himself on the cross at Calvary, I shall continue to freely give that gospel to anyone who wishes to listen.
Well for what it's worth that's my rant.

This is a good friend, Fr. John Wolesky. Fr. John is the wing chaplain in Kansas CAP. One thing I have learned in the ministry school of hard knocks is that faithful followers of Christ come in many forms. God Bless you Fr. John.

What a view! I took this abut 18 months ago from the rear of a USAF KC-135. Thanks McConnell AFB airman.