Thursday, July 22, 2010

Creator and Sustainer

We had a great time in church tonight!  I’ve been preaching through the book of Psalms on Thursday nights for nearly 2 years.  Tonight we found ourselves in Psalm 104, and the truths were so encouraging to me that I wanted to share them with someone.  I shared them with my church and then with my family at the dinner table.  Now, my blog readers are next on my hit listJ.

Psalm 104 is a great doctrinal Psalm.  The entire Psalm revolves around and supports the doctrine that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  The key verse in my opinion is verse 24.  “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”  Many times we are asked what is the proof of God’s existence.  To the person whose eyes are open to the magnificent and beautiful world around us, the evidence is overwhelming!  Some people deny that there is a Creator.  Others concede the fact that there is a Creator, but deny the fact that God daily sustains all things in the natural world.  How I thank God that He is not only the Creator but also the Sustainer.  He keeps this old world spinning!  I don’t have to worry about icebergs melting or the sun burning out.  God created the world, and He will sustain it according to His will.

I.  The Creation of the World (vs 1-5)

God is big.  Very big! (vs. 1) He created entire galaxies with one sweeping motion of His hand, as easily as we would draw a curtain across a window. (vs. 2)  When God lays a foundation, it’s not going anywhere.  (vs. 5)

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Long Is Your Spiritual Attention Span?

My son came to me the other day and said with a slight whine in his voice, "Dad, can you make church not so long tonight?"

"Why?" I asked.  

"Because I always want to fall asleep!" was his honest reply.  

I answered, "Well, son, the people who come to church come to hear a message from the Bible, so I cannot promise that church will not be long."  Of course, "long" is a relative word anyway.  Our service lasts from 6:00 to 7:30 on Thursday nights.  Shorter than a movie or a ball game, but nonetheless to a 4 year-old, it's long!

About an hour later, he came to me and said, "Did you decide yet, dad?"

"Decide what?"

"If you could make church not so long tonight."

"Well, I already answered you, son."


But apparently he heard what he wanted to hear and not what I said.  Later in the day he told his sisters, "Daddy is going to make church not be so long tonight."  One of the girls said to me, "Is that true, daddy?"

"Is what true?"

"Stephen said you're going to make church shorter tonight."

"No, that's not what I told him."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friends, Food, Fellowship, and Freedom

Have you ever wondered if there is a 4th of July in Cambodia? don't really think the calendar jumps from July 3rd to July 5th, do you?  Seriously, for the Baptist missionaries in Cambodia (the ones from America), the 4th of July is our big, annual get-together.  This year my family had the privilege of hosting.  On Monday, July 5th, we had 66 Americans at our house, representing 14 different families.  What a great time we had!  Pictured above is Stephen Benefield with his buddy, Ethan Mau.

In keeping with tradition we had a BBQ and potluck and sparklers for the kids.  We also did a couple of new things.  We had an award for the Most Patriotically-Dressed family, an award for the Most Patriotic Hat, and a pie-baking contest.

We also had a program with singing, special music, poems, and some fun competitions.  When we got ready to start our program all of the attendees were told on which side of the auditorium they were to sit, then we asked who could look around and determine what criteria was used for the seating arrangements.  Mrs. Anna Johnson caught on more quickly than anyone...we had seated folks according to which part of the US they call home, the north or the south.  At the end of our program, and after several rounds of American trivia and other fun competitions, the south was the clear winner!  However, the north provided far more of our program entertainment than did the south, so that should count for something!  (At least, so they said!)

The selections of vocal and instrumental music and poetry were very stirring.  Candace and Deborah Benefield did a good job on their piano solos, and the Schrock children and the Wood children sang beautfiul songs ("I'm Thankful To Be An American" and "God Bless America").  David Stephens blew everyone away with his own arrangement of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".  The Ruppel family gave a stirring poem honoring our men and women in uniform, and then had us looking for the recruiter's office after their "Armed Forces Medley" (complete with Bro. Ruppel on the snare drum!).  Bro. Ruppel also gave a great poem about an old veteran standing up for "Old Glory".  Tom Johnson was a hit with his trumpet solo (with his back-up musicians, Rodney Ruppel on the snare drum, and yours truly on the piano).  A few people were seen throwing money into a basket, but we aren't sure if that was to get us to play more or to stop immediately!  Bro. and Mrs. Snyder provided comic relief with their modern day George and Martha Washington skit.  Megan Mau brought a southerner or two to their feet when she played "Dixie" on her flute, and then she brought the house down with her rousing-rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever".

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why I Love America

I love the freedoms we hold dear,
Seeing friends and family far and near,
At celebrations year by year.
That's why I love America!

I love the trees so strong and tall,
Which explode in colors in the Fall,
And my favorite sport, which is football.
That's why I love America!

I love the mountains, vast and great,
The towers of the Golden Gate,
Plenty of food upon my plate.
That's why I love America!

I love the unending Kansas plain,
Nostalgic drives down Christmas Tree Lane,
An old red barn with a weather vane.
That's why I love America!

I love the majesty of our land,
And building castles in the sand,
The rhythmic sounds of a marching band.
That's why I love America!

I love white steeples rising high,
Old Glory waving in the sky,
Honor due when soldiers die.
That's why I love America!

written by Stephen Benefield
copyright - 2007