Thursday, October 9, 2003

October 9, 2003

8:26 PM Marlene’s Mom arrived from Phoenix yesterday. This AM she went with Marlene to visit Oak Park Christian Academy. Tonight they went to the Lake Theater to see Secondhand Lions. Meanwhile, I went to Target to get a new screen for my electric razor. While I was checking out, I heard a voice say, “Hi, Pastor Ray.” I looked up and saw a mother with two young children, one in a stroller. She told me that she and her children have been coming to Calvary for a short time, and that last night she attended the Single Parents Class taught by Shirley Wilson that meets in my office. She introduced her children, told me she had two more, and said her name was Kim. She couldn’t stop talking about how encouraging the class was and how much she liked Shirley Wilson. And she mentioned that she had thought about what I said several weeks ago about the church staying in Oak Park. “Sometimes it’s hard to live here,” she said. I agree. I felt it was providential that I happened to run into her. It reminded me again that God is working is so many ways that I can’t see. At best I see only the “hem of the garment” of what God is doing in our congregation. 2:48 PM Chuck Colson says we are often our own worst enemies because we allow the culture to shape our thinking, especially in the area of sexual behavior. Here’s an excerpt:

How can Christians keep from getting sucked into a culture that strikes at the very heart of our beliefs? The key is the word worldview: seeing all of life from the perspective of our Christian faith. When we do this, we realize it is never “compassionate” to encourage people to act against God’s laws or the natural design of humans. We will never influence the world for Christ when we’re letting the world influence us. Learning to think like Jesus, as pollster George Barna argues in his new book by that title, is the best way to keep from becoming our own worst enemies.

2:05 PM Update on renovation project: Some of the inspections that needed to take place are under way. Others should be done soon. Concrete floors should be poured Monday in the gym stage area. This will allow us to move forward with the construction of new office and classroom space. Work continues on the new electrical installation. Work on the portico area should resume in the next week. The tentative projected timeframe for using the gym (not completion of the gym) is the second week of November. 8:55 AM Thomas Hibbs likes the new Luther film, but thinks it could have been stronger. 7:07 AM “Christianity has died many times and risen again, for it has a God who knows the way out of the grave.” —G. K. Chesterton 7:06 AM “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” —Indira Gandhi 6:36 AM Doing three radio interviews later today: WCTS, Plymouth, MN, 9 AM. WJBS, Jacksonville, TX, 11:05 AM. WFIL, Lafayette Hills, PA, 4:15 PM. 6:14 AM Today’s Chicago Tribune carries an article asking a burning theological quesiton: Is it okay to pray for the Cubs?: Various ministers and theologians are quoted in the article. Most of the answers are boring, but two of them caught my eye. Rev. Greg Sakowicz, pastor of St. Mary of the Woods Roman Catholic Church gave a very practical response:

“There’s a story of two boxers that I’ve told in sermons before. One makes the sign of the cross before the fight, and the other says to his trainer, `What’s that?’ `It’s a prayer,’ the trainer says. `Will it help him?’ the boxer asks. `It will,’ says the trainer, `if he knows how to fight.’ We can pray all we want, but it’s nice to have Kerry Wood on the mound.”

Erwin Lutzer of the Moody Church offers his own unique spin:

“If God wanted to bring an awful lot of gladness to millions of people here in the Chicagoland area, then indeed he could have the Cubs win. The problem, however, with praying they might win is there also might be many people praying in Florida that the Marlins win… . “

12:05 AM Since I’m up late anyway, and since it’s now Thursday, I thought I’d start the weblog for today with a fine sermon by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, longtime pastor in Glasgow, Scotland, and now a professor of theology at the Westminster Theological Seminary campus in Dallas, Texas. He helps us focus on Discovering God’s Will by asking six penetrating questions.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?