Ray Pritchard’s Blog – February 2009

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Paul Harvey Died Today

February 28, 2009

Legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey died today at the age of 90. Besides virtually creating his own medium that combined reporting with news commentary, he also knew how to tell a story. He gave the tease, paused, told a bit more, paused, let the story unravel a bit at a time, pausing along the way, then he would hit the punch line. He was a ma...

Day 4: Excuses

February 28, 2009

In an article about John Henry Newman’s Lenten sermons, Edward T. Oakes said that Newman had one theme that he returned to time and again:No one sins without making some excuse to himself for sinning.  Somehow when I read that, my mind drifted back to a volleyball game more than thirty years ago. I remember that it happened after a churc...

Day 3: Death

February 27, 2009

Death may seem like a heavy topic for Lent but it is, after all, what Ash Wednesday is all about. When the worshipers come, they have a little bit of ash (usually taken from the burning of the palm crosses used in the previous year’s Palm Sunday) smudged on their forehead, sometimes in the sign of the cross. More importantly, the pastor then ...

Older Shepherding the Younger

February 27, 2009

how to treat the question that the old shepherd and the yougers.

Fasting and “Giving Up” Something for Lent

February 26, 2009

Is there a Biblical basis for fasting during Lent? And would you look at “giving up” something as a form of fasting?

When We Preach, Miracles Happen

February 26, 2009

Recently I was asked to give a short quote on preaching for publication later this year. As I thought about it, I kept coming back to one thought about how amazing it is that God takes a human event (preaching) and uses it to produce divine results (salvation, conviction, spiritual growth, transformation). Here is the quote I submitted:When we prea...

Doubt and the Christian Faith

February 26, 2009

In evangelism, how do you explain that believers still doubt and how to deal with doubt? Also when a non-believer asks about all the suffering God allows, maybe expound on free will impact.

Day 2: Vision

February 26, 2009

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). Think of these simple words. Pure.Heart.See.God.We know what those words mean individually, but put them together and we enter a new realm. How do I know if I am “pure in heart"? What does it mean to “see God"? And how should we put these phrases...

Day 1—Wilderness

February 25, 2009

This is Day 1 of Lent, the forty days of preparation leading up to Easter, the day of ultimate celebration. A quick check of the Wikipedia entry will give you some helpful background. Note that in the Western tradition, Lent starts today with Ash Wednesday and continues until Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Sundays are not counted as part of ...

FAQs for You

February 24, 2009

I’m happy to announce a brand-new section of the KBM website called FAQs, which stands for Frequently Asked Questions. Those who surf the Internet know that most websites have an FAQs section for questions that com up over and over again.For some time we have wanted to devote a major section of the website to answering questions about the Bib...

How to Spot a Healthy Church—Quickly (2009 update)

February 24, 2009

Two years ago, more or less on the spur of the moment, I wrote a blog entry called How to Spot a Healthy Church–Quickly. That entry turned out to be popular or least noteworthy because it eventually drew 98 comments, which I think is the record so far for any of my blog entries.I hadn’t thought about that entry until Crosswalk decided t...

News and Notes

February 24, 2009

Herewith a collection of (mostly) unconnected items . . .*This morning I’m going to be on American Family Radio from 11 AM-12 Noon Central Time. To listen live, click on the link and then click on “AFR-Talk.” You can also watch the live video stream.*We have just posted a new sermon called Miracles Come in Many Varieties. We sent ...

What I Wish I Had Known

February 23, 2009

I am a new pastor. What is one thing no one warned you about, but you wish you would have known?

Prayer When All Hell Breaks Loose

February 23, 2009

Over the weekend I received an email from a friend who said:We need your prayers, all hell has broken loose in our lives the devil has attacked me on my job, in our finances and upon my ministry. Please keep us in your prayers we need a breakthrough.It occurred to me that in these uncertain economic times, when so many are losing their jobs and whe...

Taking Chance

February 22, 2009

Tonight Marlene and I watched Taking Chance, a brand-new HBO movie starring Kevin Bacon. Based on real-life events, “Taking Chance” tells how Lt. Col. Michael Strobl (Bacon), a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming....

Antichrist Alive Today?

February 21, 2009

Do you think the Antichrist is alive today? If he is, does he know he is the Antichrist?

Heaven and Earth

February 21, 2009

How much do people in heaven know about what’s happening on the earth?

Favorite Book of the Bible

February 21, 2009

What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?

Prayer and Doubt

February 21, 2009

Should we pray even when we doubt God is listening?

We Choose Not to Remember

February 21, 2009

I hear people say, “If you haven’t forgotten, you haven’t forgiven.” Is that true?

Divorce and remarriage

February 21, 2009

What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?

Many people praying for the same thing

February 21, 2009

Is God more likely to answer our prayers if many people pray for the same thing? If the answer is no, what is the real value of having many people praying for the same requests?

What happens if a person accepts Christ, but later, doesn’t follow Him?

February 21, 2009

If someone accepts Christ when they are young and don’t follow Christ, when they die do they go to heaven?

Is America Becoming Hostile to Children?

February 21, 2009

The always provocative Keith Drury has written a new article called How Dare You Have Eight Children! Despite the title, it’s not really about the “octuplet mom” in California. Drury is writing about a larger social trend in which having children is viewed as a purely personal choice and not as the natural outcome of the marriage ...

A Leftover Thought

February 21, 2009

A leftover thought from our Thursday night Men’s Bible study:You find out how much you love money when you have less of it today than you had six months ago. …

Prodigal Yet

February 20, 2009

Yesterday I shared a short poem by the Canadian poet Ethelwyn Wetherald called “My Orders.” I happened to find that poem in a blog entry by Tullian Tchividjian. In doing further research I found another poem by Ethelwyn Wetherald called “Prodigal Yet.” It is shattering in its power. If you do not deeply understand this, then...

I Can Relate to This

February 19, 2009

Marilyn Miller gave me a copy of this cartoon when we were at Mount Hermon. I think it’s the wave of the future. Or better yet, the future has already arrived.

My Orders Are to Fight

February 19, 2009

Until this week I had never heard of Canadian poet Anges Ethelwyn Wetherald (1857-1940). Here is a short poem she wrote called “My Orders.” It’s a good word for Christians who find themselves in a difficult situation with no quick end in sight. Her words apply equally to someone trapped in a bad relationship or someone who feels l...

Four Cracked Pots

February 18, 2009

We have just added a new sermon called Four Cracked Pots, based on the stories of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, four very flawed, very human, very fallible heroes from the book of Judges who made many mistakes (some of them disastrous) and yet they are mentioned in Hebrews 11:32 as men who lived by faith.It’s the sort of sermon that bri...

Will Allen Iverson Go to Heaven?

February 17, 2009

I confess to not having given any thought as to the eternal destination of Allen Iverson, a premier professional basketball player with the Detroit Pistons, and I would not have thought about it at all if Mr. Iverson had not raised the topic himself. During a press conference in connection with the NBA All-Star Weekend, Allen Iverson brought up the...

Same Kind of Different as Me

February 16, 2009

This is the best book I’ve read in quite a while. I finished it during our trip to Mount Hermon, in fact I stayed up late on Friday night to get to the end. It touches on so many issues that it’s hard to list them all. At its heart the book is about three people—a rich white couple who meet and befriend a homeless black man who gr...

Sunday Night at Mount Hermon

February 15, 2009

I am writing this note late on Sunday night from our room at Mount Hermon Conference Center in California. Been so busy that blogging has been put to the side. We’ve had a wonderful time with the 400+ who attended the All-Comers’ Conference. I have spoken four time so far with my final message coming up tomorrow morning. We have been hu...

Heading West

February 13, 2009

By the time you read this, we will be on our way to Mount Hermon Conference in California. To get there we drive to Columbus (about 60 miles south of Tupelo), fly to Atlanta, fly to San Jose where friends will pick us up and drive us to the conference center which is in the mountains between San Jose and Santa Cruz. Someone said, “Enjoy the o...

Lincoln and Darwin

February 12, 2009

A number of writers have been drawing comparisons between Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin since both were born 200 years ago today. Here is my favorite so far, taken from the comments section of the Mere Comments weblog (scroll down to the 3rd comment after the article):Two men whose lives had great impact on the lives of millions, even billions…

Darwin and the Christian Faith

February 12, 2009

Today being the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, I thought I would pull together various resources relating to the creation-evolution controversy. Writing about the impact of Darwinism, Al Mohler offers a simple summary statement: “The Darwinist account of the cosmos and the living organisms found within represents a straight...

Early Morning Courtesy

February 11, 2009

“If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse” (Proverbs 27:14).                   I hadn’t thought about this verse in a long time until a friend in China asked me about it via Facebook IM this morning. How could it be,...

Tuesday News and Notes

February 10, 2009

*The February edition of the KBM February 2009 newsletter is now online. The headline reads “Keep Believing Goes to the Philippines.” *Did you know that you can know make comments on any of the 800+ sermons in our database? We just added that feature a few weeks ago. *We’ve added two new blogs to our Blogroll—Post-Darwi...

Sean’s Story

February 10, 2009

Recently we received a letter from our friends at Prison Fellowship thanking us for partnering with them in distributing copies of our little gospel book called An Anchor for the Soul to prisoners across America. Enclosed with the letter was a testimony from a federal prisoner in Kentucky named Sean. His story illustrates the life-changing power of...

My Twitter Flock

February 9, 2009

Two weeks ago I finally joined the Twitter revolution. Although my following of 74 people is relatively small (some people have thousands of followers), it’s still an interesting an eclectic group. A program called Twittersheep analyzes the profiles of my followers to create a “Twitter cloud” from the most-used key words. Looking ...

The 60/60 Experiment

February 9, 2009

This morning Brian Bill announced a new idea called the 60/60 Experiment. I like it so much I think we should all do it. It goes like this.1) Set the chime on your watch (or your iPhone) to go off every hour on the hour. The chime reminds you that God is with you every moment of every day. Now here’s the cool part. When you hear the chime, yo...

“From ___________ to Jesus”

February 8, 2009

On Friday I sent out a new sermon called From Rahab to Jesus based on the story of the prostitute who hid the spies when they came to search out the city of Jericho (you can find the story in Joshua 2 and Joshua 6). Because she hid them and then hung a scarlet cord out her window, she was spared when Joshua and his army destroyed the city. One sing...

303,662 Visits

February 7, 2009

At the KBM board meeting today we talked about the fact that we are an online ministry. Since we redesigned our website in March 2008, we have had 303,662 visits from 206 countries. Increasingly we understand that we are not building a ministry in the usual sense of buying land and buildings. Not that we’re against that. We aren’t. We m...

Prayer After a Sudden Death

February 7, 2009

This morning the email brought sad news of the sudden death in the family of someone we know. A friend’s father died last night of a sudden and massive heart attack. He had just turned 60. The whole family is in shock right now even as they begin the process of making funeral arrangements. What do we say in a time like this? How should we pra...

Depreciate Not the Cross

February 5, 2009

Any list of the famous ministers of the 1800s must include the Scottish churchman and poet Horatius Bonar. A highly popular author in his day, Bonar edited two magazines, wrote many tracts and many books and penned over 600 hymns, including I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say. In 1874 he wrote a brief book on Hebrews called The Rent Veil. In the Preface…

Around the World With Five Miles to Spare

February 4, 2009

Today I reached a milestone that took me about twelve years to reach. While I was riding my bike along Bissell Road on the way to the Natchez Trace, I realized that by the time I got back home, I would have ridden all the way around the world. If you figure the circumference of the world at 24,000 miles, then I entered this year needing 91 miles to...

We Have Over 60 Podcasts

February 4, 2009

In the year since we started podcasting, we have uploaded over 60 different podcasts. Most are sermons preached in various places, a few are radio interviews, and we also have a question and answer session that I did at Cannon Beach Conference Center. You can currently access those podcasts through the Audio section of our website and also through ...

Preaching This Sunday in Elmhurst

February 3, 2009

This Sunday I will be speaking at the Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, IL for the closing service of their annual Missions Emphasis. This year’s theme is “Our God Reigns.” A few months ago they moved to their new location at 155 W. Brush Hill Road, next to Roosevelt Road in Elmhurst. They have two morning worship se...

Bible Bus Update

February 3, 2009

So here we are in February. How are you doing with your Bible reading this year? Are you still on the Bible Bus or did you jump off by the middle of January? If you’ve gotten behind, don’t worry about it. We are still very early in 2009 so there is plenty of time to hop back on the Bible Bus. That’s the nice thing about reading th...

Nervous Before Preaching?

February 2, 2009

Before my first message on Saturday morning at the Men for God rally, I was sitting by myself on the bleachers in the rear of the meeting area. It was a good place to relax while waiting for the service to begin. Up walked a student from the Bible Institute who wanted to know if I was nervous. “I always get nervous before I preach,” I r...

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