Friday, September 22, 2017

"Is the World Ending 9/23/17?" Part 1

Just in case you're worried about this fake prophecy that some are passing around, saying the world is going to end tomorrow, 9/23/17, you should read 2 Thessalonians 2. There are certain things that must take place before the end of the world...

First off, there must be a great turning away from God before Jesus' return. We've seen much of that in Europe already. The underground church is growing in parts of the world it is persecuted in. The U.S. is becoming more post-Christian by the day, especially with the rise of the Millenials.

Before Jesus returns the Man of Evil must appear. The Man of Evil will declare himself to be God, trumping all of the world's religions. He is going to sit in the temple...which requires there to be a temple for God in Jerusalem first.

Now in the days that Paul wrote his two letters to Christians in Thessalonica, it had become a real problem that people weren't being productive in life anymore. Hopefully you can see the same danger today in your own life if you were to believe such foolish false prophecies as the world ending on 9/23. Paul instead urged that the Thessalonians, and in turn, us, must go about life, being productive citizens, because that day has not come yet, however, even then, as well as now, the powers of evil are working through the world's governments, and religions, to bring to world power the antichrist, through the power of Satan.

As for right now, this man of evil is being held back. When he does show up, you should take notice for who it really is, because he is going to perform great works via false miracles, signs, and wonders. God will allow it so that everyone has a free will choice to make. There are some, even within the church, who have believe a lie of Satan, that we have no free will choice to respond to the Holy Spirit calling us to Salvation through Jesus Christ. Many of them believe each person is destined to either salvation, or damnation, but it is not true as I will explain shortly. Instead, God desires that as His Holy Spirit draws you to consider the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that you repent and believe the Truth. In otherwords, change your mind and your direction entirely. Let "Jesus take the wheel" so to speak in your life. Then respond in saving faith - that is faith beyond the evidence that God has presented to you. That is how any relationship begins.

What if you choose not to believe? Then you will be deceived, because your choice will be made sure. The Bible is clear that those who hate the truth will be deceived. It also promises if you reject, you will die...and it will be your own choice. Yes, I know this is polarizing. There is nothing more polarizing than the Bible. If will offend you until you submit to Jesus, and then you'll be more thankful than I can describe, because you will know you have found salvation in the only one who can give it. Jesus Christ.

Friday, August 04, 2017

SPARK

I'm happy to be leading worship music and providing audio services to the SPARK marriage seminar this weekend. :-)


Invest in your marriage… one day of fun, fellowship, and learning conveniently located at CCC!
Register for Spark today!
When: Saturday, August 5th from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: $45 per couple (lunch included)
Deadline: July 16th
Childcare will be available.
 http://chesterfieldcommunity.org/events/spark/

Monday, June 05, 2017

Limiting Our Freedom

I thought this had to be one of the best devotionals I've seen to make application of this scripture. It comes from the "Parenting by Design Daily Devotional" in the YouVersion Bible app. The original only referenced verse 9, but I thought it fitting to include a bit more for context.

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many "gods" and many "Lords"— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:4‭-‬13 ESV - http://bible.com/59/1co.8.4-13.ESV)

Many people believe a "good" Christian lives by many rules. In fact, the opposite is true. A strong believer doesn't need a lot of rules. He needs only a few guiding Biblical principles he can apply to any situation. It is actually the weaker Christian who needs more rules because he doesn't have the wisdom and discernment necessary to apply Godly principles to difficult situations.
But, a strong Christian may give up some freedom and follow more restrictive rules so a weaker Christian will not misinterpret his actions. In parenting, we might consider staying away from activities that could become stumbling blocks when seen through our kids' immature eyes. This passage should influence our choices about alcohol, the movies we watch and even the jokes we tell. Although we might be able to maintain a healthy balance, we don't know where our kids may be especially vulnerable to temptation. We should sacrifice some of our privileges until our kids have the maturity to know when, where, and why to abstain.
Being a good example may require you to give up some of your freedom until your children are wise enough to exercise the same discretion.
Obviously, as this devotional is directed at parenting, it has application there, but it's really just an application of scripture with much more broad application opportunity. I've looked at this scripture today from my own perspective and continue to make application; as a Christian, a man, father, husband, public performer, artist, etc. The religions of the world require many lists of rules. The heavenly Father gives very few that are necessary if we are walking with Him.

Thank You, Lord, for your simple Truths.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Returning to Viviano's, Chesterfield

Hey all, I'm excited to be returning to Viviano's Festa Italiano, in Chesterfield, from 6-8pm, the following dates:

  • Saturday, 5/20
  • Saturday, 6/10
  • Saturday, 6/17
Viviano's is a spot my wife and I like to drop in for a tasty meal. We've most often been there for lunch, but recently learned it's a great place for dinner, and entertainment. Aaaaand now I'm part of the entertainment. It's a recipe for a great Saturday night - a family friendly establishment with good food & drinks, and the best tiramisu in STL. Give it a try.

Oh yeah, and the music isn't bad either. ;-)  Hope to see you there.


Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 4-8 @ Viviano's Festa Italiano, Chesterfield




It sure felt good to be playing out again. It has been quite a while since I've played an outside gig...outside church music that is. Of course I've done a LOT of that in the past 3 & 1/2 years. I've DJ'ed quite a few events too. Despite all of that, I was very pleasantly surprised at how many friends came out to support the music in this neat, tiny little venue. There were at least 25 of you that came out, + regulars. Now, that may not be a lot for plenty of folks, and not even compared to the several hundred that have shown up at some gigs I've played....but the fact that 25 of you actually showed up to support me...that excites me. I'm so happy to get to share this gift of music that God has given us. It's a blast!

That being said, I'm working on some new cover songs, and tooling up for an entire new show that I hope to be bringing to you very soon. Additionally, there's the potential for some musical partnerships too. I'll report more when I have something nailed down.

Thanks a lot. Hope to see you out again soon.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Last Night @ Viviano's Festa Italiano - Fenton, MO

Wow! Last night was a blast! My friend Russ Wellington invited me to sit in with his duo, "The Other Brothers" (himself, & Bob Nicholson) @ Viviano's Festa Italiano, Fenton location (http://www.vivianosmarket.com/). "The Other Brothers" are lots of fun, and make great music. Oh yeah, and the food was delicious too. It was a perfect night for a laid-back double date, and making music with friends.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

On Post-Inauguration Liberal Violence


Recently I shared a video on social media showing violent acts by those protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump. I happened to be busy, and didn't really pay attention to the thread that exploded over the next couple of days. At that point, I felt it right to make a response. This is a synopsis of what I want to convey to all of my friends across the political spectrum.

I stated that the ideology of Liberalism brings violence - and I mean that, if it is followed to it's potential from the presently observed form by those that espouse it's representative political party in the United States of America. Meanwhile, I believe we each adopt some areas of classical Liberalism in this nation. The problem is that Liberalism followed to it's nth degree is inherently godless, denies natural law, and brings destruction by throwing off all boundaries, rather than freedom. Certainly I mean no injury or insult toward anyone. I made the original post because of the appalling actions of a few, demonstrating my point. Some didn't understand my aim, instead taking personal insult, so I thought it better to state my intention.

In the same time period, there was also a women's march upon Washington D.C.. I have some thoughts on that as well, but I'll save those for a different post, as I believe a female friend of mine has already stated mirroring thoughts, much better than I can. Aaaand she's a woman. So, there's that...

Here's the reality of the situation that drives me as I try to navigate the multi-faceted political spectrum. I know I have friends and family on all sides of this thing. I don't love any of you any less, regardless of where you may be. I also know this:

If we believe there are human and political solutions that will truly fix humanity's brokenness, we show the love of the Father is not in us. (1 John 2:15-16) Those same misguided passions give rise to violence, & further complicate the broken human condition. That means Republicans can't fix it either. We are, after all, sinful people, trying to rule ourselves, with varying degrees of effectiveness, as a stop-gap measure until we submit ourselves in repentance toward Jesus Christ. It is only when we follow Christ than we have the power individually to resist the sin that pervades us all. In our natural state we are perhaps not fully corrupt, but all aspects of our being are corrupted. This is sin...the human condition. In that state we seek after and love the desires of the flesh, the things we see, and exercise wrongful pride in what we have. None of that comes from God.

Politics can never be a replacement for the rule of Almighty God. He has allowed this for a time, even manipulating the rise and fall of nations, and those in power, so that all may have an opportunity to come to Him in repentance. (Acts 17:24-34)

If you would like to see further context what God has to say on this matter, read the book of Acts, chapter 17, and perhaps the surrounding context.

Thank you. I wish peace to you all - specifically the deep peace that you will only ever know by coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Look Back at Prodigal Mile

I once played in a band called Prodigal Mile. That band is working toward a reunion this year. I wrote some thoughts about it.

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A long, long time ago, in a place perhaps not so far away, you were cool if your favorite band was the most awesome band no one had ever heard of...and you got to introduce all of your friends to their music. Then that band just happened to show up and play at your college campus. Then when you showed up for monthly "Metro" Baptist Student Union events, that band was there too. They were a group of friends, making music to encourage others to live a life of worship of Jesus Christ.

It was new music. It was shared music. Some of it was original. Together, you were all like family, setting out on a great adventure, to see what our great God had in store for your life.

Eventually, life moved on. We all got jobs, careers, spouses (often from the very same group that hung with the band), mortgages, children, cars, bigger Nerf guns, and didn't leave a cow tongue stuffed in someone's couch. Life crowded out the sounds of the music, but the music resonates still in those whose hearts burn with the Holy Spirit.

Though often times altogether separate, we are many who continue to walk this journey. We are the prodigals, walking this journey with our Lord, trying to make our way home. What joy will fill our souls when on this road we find ourselves on that last mile...that Prodigal Mile.