Alden Swan

Please pray for our friend and brother in Christ, Alden Swan.

Alden recently had triple bypass surgery last Thursday and is home recovering.

Read-about-it-here—not-one-of-my-bucket-list-items

Alden recently finished his book ‘The Gospel  uncensored’ 

more info. here: http://thegospeluncensored.com/The Gospel Uncensored: How only grace leads to freedom

Alden graciously sent me a copy and a book review will be forthcoming. My wife loved it!

We are all praying for you, Alden.  May the Lord heal you, and strengthen you!

 

 

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The Book of James

I ran into five Jehovah’s Witnesses on my way into work this morning. I didn’t have much time but I asked them if they’d listen to me for a minute. They said sure, so I just handed Christ to them with NO strings and told them there was absolutely nothing that we could add to Christ’s work for us on the cross, etc. 5.16.09 The Watchtower - 264/365 by TheWorldThroughMyEyes

They immediately brought out James and threw acid over the whole thing.

Oh well.

Good sermon

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              The Two Christian Paradigms

                                                        click on the above ^

Night & Day by • E l l e •

 

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Thanks to Flickr and Elle for the photo.

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Dangerous move

There are a couple of families that have recently left our congregation for greener pastures. Friends of their’s (who are still members of our church) say that there just wasn’t enough going on at our church for them. So they left for much larger churches where they have huge youth programs and lots of activities.saddleback Church by Cheng-YU Yu(Tony)

We have Sunday school, and we have a Word and Sacrament ministry and basically that is about it. No youth programs (other than Sunday school). We have maybe 8 or 10 little kids,  and no teenagers. We do, once a month when the weather is warm, have a ‘fun day’ when we have a barbeque and rent a jumper for the kids and pinatas and games.

But these families have decided that what they want is more important than what they need. What do I mean by that? Well, they want ready-made programs without having to build them themselves. Understandable. They want lots of choices and lots of kids the same age as their children. Understandable. They want their kids to be excited about going to church. Understandable, even if it is for the wrong reasons.saddleback church by musically speaking

The real danger in all of this is that they have chosen churches that are law driven. The churches they have chosen are very large, “successful”, non-denominational churches where the Sacraments are not present. These churches deny the Sacraments, they despise and preach against infant Baptism. They deny and preach against traditional worship. They deny the salvation process and instead put all thier hope in their “free will decision” for Jesus.

One mother in one of those families told me that they (their new church) really do use the Bible and follow it very closely and already their children “are guarding themselves against sinning”. There it is. The law. I wish them good luck in their “sin guarding” endeavors. That kind of exercise will only bring them to despair, or to phoniness, or to self-righteousness.

That kind of a “church” is a dangerous place to be. Those churches, as my pastor says, have in common with us the same vocabulary words… but the meanings vary greatly. Yes, they use the Bible, but they come up with a radically different message than the message of the forgiveness of sins for sinners (the gospel). Their message all boils down to… ‘you’, and what you do or don’t do, and what you think about and feel about  God.

This is dangerous.

 

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Photos from Flickr and musically speaking

and Flickr and Cheng-YU Yu

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