Archive for January, 2008

Earl Paulk, Mona Brewer & Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit

earlpaulk.jpgI am Jack’s raging bile duct.

I love God.

I love people.

So does He.

This is why I get utterly furious when I learn about pastoral sex scandals and folks using God as a tool to take advantage of the unsuspecting.

So, as the world now knows, Earl Paulk, the so-called “Archbishop,” the great founder of the “Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit,” is the unholy father of his nephew by his own brother’s wife. Also, it seems he manipulated another woman into sleeping with him many times over the course of more than a decade by convincing her it was her only path to salvation. What does he make of the warning of scripture that those who become teachers face a stricter judgment? What of the words of our Lord who warned/promised that what is whispered in secret will soon be proclaimed from the housetops? Has he no fear? Read the rest of this entry »

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Smiles’ sermon at Trinity Reformed Chapel, Pistol River Oregon

This is a sermon prached by my good friend Smiles Welch last Sunday when he did pulpit supply for a small church in Oregon. (Click ‘Read the rest of this entry’ below to listen or download the sermon.) He preached on Psalm 42.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Read the rest of this entry »

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The thin line separating genius from insanity

I just stumbled upon this article from the UK’s Daily Mail from my buddy’s Facebook, and it’s really stunning. I almost wonder if it can be real. Apparently this old gentleman in Italy dug a massive complex of beautifully sculpted temples beneath his hillside home. The complex spans 300,000 cubic feet, or 20 times the volume of London’s Big Ben clocktower. The artistry of the complex is simply stunning. There is no other word for it. Apparently Italy is calling it the eighth wonder of the world.

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Law & Gospel in the Proverbs

I’ve been thinking about Mary & Martha lately. The lesson is basically a very practical example of how the gospel is lived. It is about how grace is applied practically in being and becoming who God wants us to be. It seems to me to parallel the passage about John laying his head on Jesus’ chest, the instruction to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all ‘these things’ will be added to you, and the teaching about Jesus being the Vine in which we must abide.

We do a great deal of wondering about what God’s will is. Books are written in droves on the topic. What these passages teach me is that I do not become who God wants me to be by thinking about who He wants me to be and then trying to be that way.

Often as I worship, as I am enjoying God the most, or put another way, when I am abiding most richly in the Vine, I find that I am changed. The strange thing is that I am usually surprised by what I am changed to. God makes me into someone quite different than what I expected.

What this proves to me is that I never could have gotten there by thinking about who God wanted me to be and trying to be that way. I never would have thought of what God intended. I think the difference between trying to figure out who God wants us to be and then to be that way on the one hand and simply worshiping and seeing who we become on the other hand is the difference between leaning on our own understanding or else turning away from evil by fearing the Lord. Put another way it is the difference between law and grace, work and faith.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

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Sermon: Why should we worship Jesus?

So here’s my latest. I was set the question, ‘Why should we worship Jesus?’

I think I learned more from preparing this sermon than I’ve learned from preparing any other of my sermons. I learned not just about my material, most of it I’ve already been learning, but I learned a lot about me and how I must lead and preach. It was the most worshipful and enjoyable time I’ve had preparing a sermon.

Here it is.


Or, you can download it here.

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