Sunday, July 30, 2006

Picking on My Friends

I recently preached on church unity and how we should consider the church of God our family and we as parts of that Body supplying each other's needs (Eph. 4:16). And although blood may be thicker than water, faith is thicker than blood.

As a family, of course, we have immediate relations and remote relations. I used an illustration of a friend from Boise (he knows who he is). He was a friend of a friend, but the fact that we are in the same national church (denomination) makes him a relative---kinda like a cousin. But with more commonality than I would have with any cousin in my family!

I used his name in the sermon, referencing his unique facial arrangment (you can see him in the latest New Horizon). I hope he doesn't mind. I even put in a good name for him.

I like to pick on my friends because they can handle it. And Hobart has large shoulders.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What Up Wit' Dat?

If we can shred the English language, if we can ignore basic logic, if we can feel good about theology (whatever its truth), if we can entertain people into heaven, if we can ignore God's commandments, if we can meet people's felt needs......................

Then why not drop little annoyances in the church?

Like that stumbling block,


We don't need baptism for church membership, right?

Then, in good ol' fashion American thinking, we should put it up for a vote!

Baptism as Requirment for Membership Set for Vote !!!

Now, what up wit' dat?

Monday, July 24, 2006

FV Critique Commended by General Assembly of OPC

As many are already aware, the General Assembly commended the critique of the Federal Vision written by her committee.

But what does that mean? Let the Prefatory Statement speak for itself:

"In commending the report for study, the Assembly approved the content and reasoning of the report. The Assembly did not take any action to endorse every word of the document or make the report itself a part of our constitution (which would have to be approved by the General Assembly and presbyteries in the manner provided in the Form of Government for the amendment of the constitution); nor was the document written with that purpose in mind."

I know some in other sister-churches and those symphatic to the OPC may wish a different approach but this is how such issues are normally tackled here. This report is commended to the Presbyteries. It was requested that the sesssions, churches and Presbyteries be "proactive" in dealing with this issue. Some have already been doing just that (Providence OPC, Denver).

If there are those in disagreement with the Bible and the Standards on such a serious manner as justification (and like related issues as rightfully noted in the report), they ought to change their minds or leave. If some are found out of accord, then they will be gently admonished to change their views in line with the Word of God. If they do not, charges may follow.

As I understand the GA and the report (as I was at GA), we are basically rejecting this new paradigm. And we are warning everyone accordingly.

This is no little matter. Some are saying that our justification depends upon our faithfulness instead of faith alone. Others are saying that those truly sanctified, forgiven, etc. can lose their salvation. (More will be said latter; see here for more info and critiques).

May God protect our small and weak Church.
May she depend upon Christ and His righteousness alone. Amen.

[Here is the OPC report access; here is the actual PDF report].

Cingular-ly Confused

That's right. I've never had a cell phone.
Why should I ever had one? It would mean talking more and doing less. But I digress.

I finally did buy one after much consernation and confusion. Should I buy a monthly plan or pre-paid? Should I go for many hours or less? A fancy phone or a simple one? Special weekend minutes or nightly minutes? Which company? Cingular? Jump Mobile? T-Mobile? Verizon? Sprint? Virginmobile? Net10? ??!!?!

So many choices!! I was truly confused.

I finally realized that the cell phone is a tool and not a toy (but it could be). So, what did I truly (and not in my own depraved imagination) needed it for?

For starters, being between homes, I had no phone! I also plan on getting a land-line at my new house. So, I need something temporary (maybe) and on the side (after my main land-line usage). Thus, contrary to all my friends protestations ("hey, you pay how much?!?!") I got a pre-paid/pay-as-you-go phone.

Here it is:

Well, almost, mine has the white face. But, as my wife would say, its a "cute" phone (very small).

It is attached to Net10. Which means 10 cents a minute, anytime, anywhere, no roaming and easy refill. I got 300 minutes with it over a 60 day period.

Yes, you'll go through the roof and say "you could've got X, for Y cents a minute!" But you have to understand the function of the phone for me. I rarely used my land line as it was (except for the internet!). So, why buy more than I'll ever use.

Besides it's less confusing then figuring out if its 7pm for evening rates or if I'm roaming. I don't like confusion. Our technology helps too much in that direction as it is.

I'm happy for now...just don't talk to me on my cell for too long. I have to pay 10 cents a minute.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mathis Manor 2

The house is spacious. It is actually larger than we would originally have liked, but the market in Denver is geared toward the large. That just means we can have bigger parties!

This pic on the left is shot from the living room and shows the dining room and kitchen (see the island?). The main door is on the right and the study is to the left of that door.

My wife is poking her head into the garge. The basement stairs (lower wall) are on the right.

The kitchen cabinets were put in two weeks ago. They are darker than the picture lets on. The builder probably was annoyed with us since we did not upgrade the cabinets, floors, etc. We're too cheap for that!

There is much more space than our old house!

The island counter-top is actually a black base with a bespeckeled pattern. Oh, well, you can't see it too well here. We'll have black appliances to go with it. The island has the sink and the washer.

Below is the view from the master bedroom. They gave us a huge window (I'm not looking forward to paying for the curtains!). However, the view is gorgeous. From the front we have the mountains and the back is an open field (beyond that low fence). From start to finish this house is a blessing from the Lord!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Mathis Manor 1

God is a bountiful God. He owns a thousand cattle on a thousand hills.
Indeed, He owns the entire universe.

And out of that abundance, He has graced us with a new house. He sold our old one in 21 days (unheard of in this market); He gave us a temporary rental (an entire house that is on the market anyway for cheaper than a hotel!).

The next set of postings are for my curious family (on both sides) to see what the house looks like. Of course, everyone can sneak a peek! Naturally, we have oodles of pixs. Here are a few:


Above is the house.
Below is the view looking out from the front.

No, those are not clouds behind the truck, nor are they little hills--them there be the Rocky Mountains!!

We have this wonderful view without a premium (around the corner of that house are the houses with a $big$ premiums for location).

But only slightly less better than the view and location is the view and location of my--Lord willing--study!

When sitting down I can see God's great mountains (and any storms approaching!).

I also get my own fancy door for the office:

This is not a double door but a small set of windows. The front entrance is to the left; a u-turn reveals a closet and a 3/4 bath. Going right brings one into the kitchen/dining/living room areas and basement access.

Sorry, no pixs--that'll be the next posting!


Friday, July 07, 2006

Homeless in Denver

Well, to be more precise we sold our old house but our new house is not finished yet. So, we are between houses. We are living in a rental. To be homeless in the traditional sense would be bad by today's standards.

It was all quite hectic. Packing. Boxing. Rearranging. Moving. I have not done that in a while. My wife has only done it twice before in her life! You can imagine the stress.

On the other hand, I had moved 12 times before I was 18. This is my (I think) 23rd move in my short 34 year existence. I guess I'm slowing down. But I like it.

However, what it means is that I will not have a stable blogging time. I know once a week should not be hard, but it is! (Then there are the more hyper guys like White Noise--whom I finally met in person at the OPC GA. He looks just like his profile).

Of course, living in a rental after 8 years of domicile bliss can easily turn into frustration. So, I must--as always--turn to the Word to remind me that my treasures are in heaven, that this world is fleeting. The book of Hebrews reminds me that, just as my spiritual forefathers of the OT, I am a pilgrim in this world. Heaven is my home.

So, even when our new house is completed my family will still be homeless. And that is a good thing.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Craig's List is Da Bomb!

I recently discovered the Craig's List.

It is quite amazing for those of you not in the know. For all practical purposes it is a virtual garage sale--for free! Most of the items on the list are free and you can advertise on it for free.

Being a frugal Scot-Dutch Presbyterian family at heart, we could not pass this up. Through it we sold in two days:
a night stand
a small desk
a weight set
a lawn mower (with a bent blade!)

We were down to the last three items today, hoping to chuck them out of the house before we moved this week--the less stuff to move the better of course. Naturally, being a free service people call at the drop of a hat, inquiring about said items. And just as naturally, they do not show up to retrieve the items. Thus, we were stuck with our last three items: metal shelves, skies and the dreaded 7-foot, 70s orange couch (with a floral cover protecting our artistic sensitivities)--the couch that was on the list for four days.

Over these four days we had over 10 messages on our phone. But none were for that couch. One man did call for the couch...and the weight set. Since the set was sold, he was not interested in the couch. Sigh.

This night, however, a quite soul called our house enquiring about, you guessed it, the couch. He wanted it and was willing to pay for it. Having received this beloved couch almost ten years ago for free, we could only give it away in the same manner. The man showed up a few hours later with two other friends. They must have been roomies. Frat boys.

They took that couch most readily. I suggested they take our shelves.
They readily took them as well. Then my wife mentioned her skies.
Guess what. They took 'em too!

God is good! God is great! I thank God for the Craig's List.

It's da bomb.