Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2012 by mrthrower

This is an amazing story.

celtic straits

(Updates follow article)

Four years ago today, I posted a blog about my emergency room “miracle experience” after the Aurora Theater shooting. The post went viral, and created some controversy. Does God really do miracles? Why for one person and not another? Does a good God even exist?

I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I saw the miracle with my own eyes. Thank you to those who have asked me to repost this story for a reminder: God is still at work.

July 23, 2012

At Columbine High School, I have seen this before. But not up close.  As a church pastor in Denver, I have worked as a chaplain alongside several police and fire departments. I was privileged to counsel parents just hours after the Columbine shootings. However, in this new tragedy at the Aurora Theater Dark Night shooting, one of the victims was a 22-year-old…

View original post 1,737 more words

Theology Part 1: Abortion

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , on February 17, 2012 by mrthrower

This is one of many essays that I intend on writing in order to express my opinion in regards to some important issues.  As you may have gathered from the title, I am writing about abortion in this episode.

And so we begin.

Definition: abortion is the early termination of human life in prenatal form.

In my opinion there is absolutely only one instance where a pregnancy could be legitimately terminated.  I will get to that in just one second.  Let me first lay out some of the reasoning that outlines my thinking.

I believe in the proliferation of life, or in other words, creating a world where all life is given the best possible chance to live in a state of liberty and freedom to pursue happiness.  At the very heart of classical liberalism or even the American ideal as laid out by our founders is the idea that all people are “endowed” by their Creator for LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Those who are in power are empowered at the behest and for the direct benefit of the people.  People then, in my opinion, are morally bound to ensure that the same opportunities that they enjoy are shared with all other people and future generations.  Only the morally ambiguous or nihilistic would disagree.  Furthermore, I believe that children and future generations deserve the best opportunity that can be afforded to them to not only survive but also thrive.

In my opinion life begins at conception.  When the sperm and egg meet and fertilization occurs, the zygote, embryo, or fetus are set on a naturally motivated course toward birth.  All human beings go through this process.  In fact all living things go through a similar process.  All life relies on the sacrifice and nurturing of others from conception to death.  Only the intellectually dishonest would say that since the earlier human forms rely on the Mother for life then they are not truly “living”.  In my opinion that is a gross mischaracterization or even redefinition of the very meaning of the word life.

Abortion is just a prettied-up word for murder.  Abortion is the taking of a human life.  It is killing something that is rapidly growing.  It is ending a process that will naturally lead to a thinking, breathing, eating, creating, learning, and achieving human being.  Biblically speaking, murder is wrong because it breaks an edict conveyed by God himself to Moses and reaffirmed by Jesus Christ.  The premeditated killing of a human being in every other form; baby, child, teenager, young adult, or elderly; is punishable at the very least by prison and in many cases by death.  In fact, legally speaking, the gratuitous killing and mistreatment even of animals is frowned upon at worse and legally punishable at best, just ask Michael Vick.

Now that I have presented by opinion, I think it would only be fair to show the other side.  I will also offer my thoughts in response to the other-side.

Abortion is necessary because the deviant oftentimes imposes pregnancy upon the innocent.  Rape happens.  Molestations happen.  These are awful realities of what can be a dark cruel world.  Many women or even young teens are impregnated by psychopathic-immoral beasts who have no regard for the sanctity of human life.  Why should they be forced to bear the scars from such a terrible betrayal, the pain associate with pregnancy and birth, and the life-long responsibility of nurturing a child?  In my response, since abortion is taking another life, why would we fight fire with fire?  Why punish the innocent because of the actions of a tyrant?  It is absolutely terrible to take what isn’t yours, but it is doubly terrible to take from another because you have been taken from.  At some point justice must be served to the criminal, and the innocent must be protected.

Abortion is necessary because the mother is unfit or incapable of taking care of the child.  Due to the rise of teen pregnancy and the growing rate of poverty, children are increasingly being brought into this world only to be born into situations where the very necessities of life are hard to come by.  Therefore, it is more compassionate to end a life before it is allowed to go through such a terrible struggle.  In response to this, let me ask you one question.  If I took all your money, your job, and your possessions and you had to struggle through life for a few years until you were able to get back on your feet, would you just say “Go ahead and end it all, I don’t want to live.”  I think most people would be lying or acting upon irrational emotions if they said yes.  Short-term sufferings are a small price to pay for the opportunity to live or at least have the ability to make the choice for ones-self.  Yet another terrible irony in abortion is that by preserving “choice” for one, you are taking away choice from another.

So I have attempted to answer some criticism of those that would support abortion.  Now it is time to talk about the lone exception.  I call it “all things being equal”.  All things being equal, if the Mother’s life must be given up for a child, I don’t believe that it is fair to impose death on her.  Sacrifice is not something that should be required in this case.

So there you have it.  I’m sure I’ve missed some points, and I never claim to know everything.  Just some final questions:

  • Why not consider another option like, adoption?
  • What would the world be like had some that were supposed to be aborted but saved were aborted anyway?
  • Who have we allowed to be aborted that could have brought happiness and change in to the world?
  • Even if science isn’t sure when life begins shouldn’t we give a child the benefit of the doubt?

Well anyway, to God be the glory all honor belongs to Him. Amen.

Monument Building

Posted in Religion with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2011 by mrthrower

I am just sitting here after a long Sunday.  We had two very good worship services at Refuge Point today, our regular Sunday morning service and our monthly night of worship.  I am tired.  The past few weeks have been very busy.  We have moved in to the new apartment, but it seems like we will never be finished unpacking.

Last Thursday, I was sitting with a bright young man, Alex Weiss, at our weekly book club meeting.  As with most of our meetings, we spent a little bit of time talking about what we read then we meandered our way through church politics, religion, philosophy, education, and any other topic that came to mind.  It was just a good time to have good discussions about interesting topics.  Any-who, we did manage, on this occasion, to have some discussion about our reading for the week, which was from Joshua chapter four.

The first thing that I have had rolling around in my head, and as I move ever-so-closer to the point of this blog, is that once again God reveals himself by reminding us that its not always about us.  I’m not going to break down everything that happens in Joshua chapter four or even chapter three, which is really where this whole episode begins.  Joshua is about to lead the whole Israelite nation in to the “Promised Land”.  The Lord shows up that day and as a point of symbolism and even as a show of God’s favor on his chosen servant, He parts the Jordan River so that the people can go across.  Just like he did with Moses.  But something different happened this time.

A mad Pharaoh wasn’t chasing the people, they weren’t looking forward to 50 or more years of wandering in a desert, and they weren’t uncertain about where they were going to eat, sleep, or find water.  They had arrived home, and God was about to ask them to do something very important before they could even get their tents up or go charging in to battle to take what God had promised them.  In the middle of the Jordan River as the waters had receded, God commanded Joshua and his people to build a monument.

Now this monument wasn’t something that would take very long to build.  He simply said to go find 12 stones in the middle of the river where they were standing, one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel, and set them up.  Now, I’m sure that many of you out there could break this part down and give a very theological interpretation for this, but I only want to focus on one thing.

The Bible says the following in Joshua chapter four:

On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”

From reading this text, two things stand out about why God wanted Joshua and the Israelites to build a monument:

  1. He wanted them to build it because it was a display of God’s power, His mercy, and His fulfillment of the promise to bring them out of Egypt in to a permanent home.
  2. He wanted them to build it because it would be a reminder to future generations.

Earlier today our worship leader, Casi Easterwood, brought up a key point during practice that reminded me of this text and especially point number two.  Sometimes God is going to ask us to do things that don’t necessarily make sense for us and for us the task may actually feel like a burden, BUT as we are a part of a bigger plan (meaning bigger than us, a shock I know), our labor is for the benefit of someone else.

In many ways I think this point is lost on so many of us.  Many of us suffer from tunnel vision.  We limit our vision to our own narrow or even simplistic world-view.  Many of us are just too dang self-absorbed.  We can’t see anything because we can’t get out from in front of the mirror long enough (sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively).  We live very decadent lives where it can seem to outsiders that we are only interested in personal gain. I always think of the diamond studded piano in the gilded hallway of the enormous cathedral.  All of which at some time or another, I have been guilty if not directly definitely indirectly via association or turning a blind eye.  In effect, we…er…I have been building monuments for myself rather than God.

But the point that can’t be missed is that we are called for a purpose, which is to do the work of God while we are on this Earth.  It is not always going to be easy.  Sometimes we have to go out of our way to do something that will only benefit someone else.  We may not see any immediate personal benefit from it at all, but in the grand scheme of things, if we remain faithful to God’s calling, His plan, and His purpose, His kingdom will be advanced.  His glory will be revealed.  His name will be lifted high.  We will be able to look back at that work or what we built, and it will serve as a beacon of hope for some, a reason for faith, and a reminder of God’s love for us.  Who are you building a monument for, and what will future generations remember or know about your life when they look at your monument?

What about holiness?

Posted in Religion with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by mrthrower

I am just sitting here thinking about this oft overlooked topic for today’s Christian.  The holiness of God seems to be a primary directive in the scripture.  There are several references in both the Old and New testaments which direct us to recognize this all encompassing feature of God.  The more I think about it though, and the more I research the Bible and other sources; the more I see my own lack of understanding for the holiness of God.

I think the term holiness for some may lead us to thinking about some ultra-spiritual sects of Christianity.  Maybe long hair, long sleeves, which seems like an external expression of maybe and internal purity, comes to your mind.  A necessary problem with any external expression can be the lack of connection to an internal truth.  Though some might look the part, their hearts can be far from God.  So the question becomes how can we understand the holiness of God and give God the awe that he deserves?

I honestly don’t know.  After reading one blog, a pastor of 31 years turned the topic into a hit piece on “seeker-friendly” churches.  In an attempt to be self-examining, I think he made some solid points.  He talked about the significance of the holiness of God.  It is all encompassing.  It is not merely a part of God’s nature like being loving or just, God has holy love and holy justice.  Holiness is defined as a being a cut above the rest.  There is no one like Him.  There never was anyone like Him.  There will never be anyone like Him.

I didn’t see eye-to-eye with everything the pastor said.  Some of his statements wreaked of bitterness toward churches who’s take on what the church is and should be are different from his own.  I’m not sure who is right or wrong…or even if we as human beings are capable of making that judgement.  Maybe a further look into the holiness of God would reveal that “His ways are not our own” sometimes.

Anyway, the point of this whole topic is to really apply what I think this means to me and you.  How do we as christians recognize the holiness of God, and why is that important?

The holiness of God is important because it is what sets God apart from everybody or everything else.  When God said He is holy, or when Isaiah experienced His presence and understood that He is holy (Isaiah 6), it was not some optionally understood sentiment.  It was a requirement for admission.  Here is the thing.  As a God seeker, we have to recognize one thing that God makes abundantly clear throughout scriptures, God is holy.  He is the only God.  He is the only one deserving of our praise.  He is all that we need.  In Him we live, we move, and have existence.  Humanity taking its own initiative outside of a directive from God always leads to failure.   When human beings recognize the holiness of God and apply that to how they live, it puts us on the cusp of doing something great…for GOD.  We can’t do anything without God.  In fact we can’t even come to God without God.  Jesus, being God’s son and our physical connection to a spiritual God, is the only way to the Father.  He said so over and over in scripture.

The holiness of God is what makes all the other parts of God the best.  Because God is holy, you and I will never experience peace, love, or justice like He has to offer.  Only a holy God could show His love towards us so much that He would send a part of himself to die for us.  Only a holy God could reveal His peace to us as it is described as a peace that transcends all understanding.  Only a holy God could make the tough decisions regarding the eternal soul’s final destination, Heaven or Hell.  In an age of questioning all things for personal understanding, God stands in stark contrast as a being who is who He is whether we understand Him or not.  And it is with that knowledge that it should compel us to come to him in utter and complete humility and awe of His holiness.

How do we then recognize the holiness of God?  Jesus said in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things and remind us of everything that Jesus did.  Without God’s help through the Holy Spirit we can’t see, hear, or understand God.  Our 5 senses aren’t enough.  We don’t have the perceptual capacity to fully understand.  Apart from God, we can’t sense or perceive God.  Understanding that should guide how we live, pray, worship, etc.  Lord, teach me how to live.  Lord, teach me how I should pray.  Lord, show me how to worship you.

Personal note: I was praying the other day, “God show me your way, speak to me”…I was then struck by the notion that maybe God’s way or plan is already revealed and He has already spoken.  The problem is not God’s action or lack of action, it is my lack of sensing and understanding His plan and His words.

Post-Apocalyptic Thoughts: Footnote 1

Posted in Religion on May 25, 2011 by mrthrower

Just thinking a little bit more about my blog post from the other day.  I hate putting something out there like that and getting the feeling that it was incomplete.  So here is an added footnote from something I referenced in my blog post from Sunday.

Here is a video of Mr. Ravi Zacharias, an amazing Christian Apologist, reading from Friedrich Nietzsche‘s book Thus Spoke Zarathustra:


Perhaps the most important question to ask those who say that there is no God is: What is there to stand in the way of pure unadulterated nihilism when there is nothing but selfish pursuits outside of Divine morality?

Perhaps the most important question to ask those who stand by the Christian faith is: Are you living your life in such a way that you are murdering God, because you “honor God” with your lips but your hearts are far from Him?

Final Note: I am glad that His ways are above our ways, and His thoughts are above ours.  While we stand and squabble, dishonoring God with our lack of humility, He still stands with arms wide open.  I want to live my life in such a way that it brings Glory to God in spite of my imperfections.

Post-Apocalyptic Thoughts

Posted in Religion with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2011 by mrthrower

Well, I guess we are staring at the reality of a world flooded due to the melting of the polar ice caps.  No, that’s not it.  Hmm, well maybe we are organizing ourselves into tiny factions of humanity in order to restore order from the collapse of the American government by reorganizing the Post Office.  Nope, that’s not it at all.  No, I got it.  We are currently fighting the massive un-dead zombie army that was the result of evil corporations poisoning our water source.  Nah, that only happens in the movies.

Unfortunately for the many interweb fanboyz and the false prophet and his followers, we are not currently in a post-apocalyptic state and those Kevin Costner movies were terrible.  The false prophet was wrong.  Many people were mislead, hurt, and many more will be demonized for following a true form of Christianity that doesn’t resemble anything close to what that idiot was preaching.  But I’ll tell you this, the one thing I found most revealing, and maybe this makes me an “interweb fanboy”, was the amazing amount of vitriol being spilled out in the media and social media toward Christianity, especially Twitter.  It only took workings of one man to bring so many Christianity-haters out of the closet, and he wasn’t even someone that most Christians would identify as “one of us”.  Could it be that the very ones who preach acceptance and tolerance are in fact un-accepting and intolerant themselves?  I don’t think I’m going too far in saying that the highest ideals of modern man are acceptance and tolerance.  Of course, like always the world is always twisting the good and turning it into something else.  See the modern meaning for love, family, or even peace.  If the highest ideal of modern man is acceptance and tolerance, or at least their version of it, then the idol of modern man must be modern man himself.

You know we should have seen this coming.  When philosophers and cultural critics of the 19th and 20th century pronounced the death of God, it was prophetic to the then coming and now current deification of man.  We can solve all our problems.  While science and faith initially worked with each other, see the works of the early leaders of the scientific revolution like Newton or Galileo, we have since then used our God-given reasoning-minds to attempt to create a utopian world without God or morality. Wasn’t that the goal of Godless communism and fascism?  What we have discovered is that man isn’t capable of pulling that off, and my how so many do forget that.  Modern atheists have even gone so far as proclaiming that religion in and of itself is the worst epidemic to ever breach human thought, while ignoring the massive genocide and war that was brought on by perhaps world history’s most evil men ever born who spurned religion.

We now have a society that is driven by such individualism that to get in the way of someone else’s personal goals, desires, or truth no matter how awful it is, is wrong.  These ideas stand as a dark specter when compared to the illuminating message of the “highest ideal” of man that has ever lived, Jesus Christ.  There are 3 points I want to make about all of this, or this is what I think about this age of relativism.  Hopefully my thoughts are guided by higher power.  Even still it is an open discussion that others are welcome to comment.

1) Acceptance was and is a part of Christ’s Gospel…tolerance was not.

When Jesus spoke up for the adulterous woman in John 8, he drew a very important conclusion about what he thought about insiders and outsiders.  For our purposes here insiders are those that are “saved” or already hold the title of “Christian”, and outsiders are those that don’t claim such titles.  For the outsider, Jesus had nothing but acceptance.  He knew her sin, yet he took up for her in the presence of the very one’s who had devoted their lives to studying the Torah and even His own followers.  Who are we to know the mind of Christ in this story?  Is it possible that Christ was teaching a very important lesson about how we should treat those on the “outside”?  We shouldn’t beat them over the head with our understanding of the rules.  We should LOVE them.  BUT…it doesn’t stop there does it.  Doesn’t it then become the life purpose of every follower to give up EVERYTHING in order to follow him?  You see Jesus accepted the sinner, but when Jesus spoke to His followers, he made very clear His purpose for his “insiders” the importance of giving up everything to follow him.  Following Christ will cost you something.  He is accepting of who we are, but He will not tolerate, put up with, or turn a blind eye to our sin.

2) Christianity is more than a way of life, and it seems that very few “Christians” really understand that.

This discussion brings me to my second point.  I was reading “Radical” by David Platt, and I was so impressed by his understanding of what it truly means to give up everything.  As American Christians the line between our understanding of the American dream and God’s purpose for our lives tends to be very blurry.  For many people, their own desires become what they think is God’s desire for their life.  And who am I to judge the intents or purposes of man’s heart?  Only God knows what you believe, think, or feel.  But I have to bring up, as the book does so eloquently, that Christ made specific demands on his disciples.  He warned them that people wouldn’t understand them, people would reject them, and they would be seen as outcasts.  He made it clear that we remain in a state of child-like humility.  And he made it abundantly clear that our highest priority even above our family and ourselves was that we follow Him.  Who knows where He will lead you?  The important thing is that you are following Him.  It is so much more than a title you take, or a club that you join.  Following Christ demands that you deny yourself and become like Him.  Finally, he said that we must die to ourselves so that He could live in us. (See Matthew 10 and Luke 9 and 18 to start)

3) The gospel of Christ is exclusive yet inclusive.

So here we see a paradox two things that shouldn’t go together, yet they do.  John 14:6 says, that Jesus is THE WAY.  There is no other WAY.  If you want to get to the Father or get to heaven, you have to do it His way.  He establishes an exclusive Truth that is required for admittance.  “I am THE way” is a proclamation of exclusivity that makes many a post-modernist cringe.  We could discuss this for hours.  We could apply our own understanding of fairness or justice to this statement.  What did Jesus really mean?  It will really come down to this, we don’t know why Jesus said it, but He did.  But here is the absolutely fantastic wonderful news; this message is for everybody.  ALL can accept it.  Nobody owns this Truth.  We all can make our choice.  We all can follow His way.  He will make us into the best version of ourselves.  He is capable of taking the ashes of our lives and making it beautiful.  He brings joy in pain.  He is the hope of our salvation.  If you know Him, you know what I mean.  If you don’t you are lost.  The ONLY hope you have is Him, and the good new is this, He accepts you.

Well, that about does it.  I’m sure it’s incomplete in many ways, but its the best I could do for now.  As always, I love my wife, Lindsey.  War Eagle, 2010 BCS National Champion Auburn Tigers.  God bless.

The Sword in the Stone

Posted in Religion on November 5, 2010 by mrthrower

When I was kid one of my favorite movies was the Disney version of King Arthur’s rise to glory.  I really haven’t given the movie much thought in a while seeing how that I am now 30 years of age, and its at least been 10-15 years since I’ve seen the Disney version of the movie.  While it’s major theme has very little to do with my own life, young boy prepares to be future great king, I do find some noteworthy parallels to one particular king in the Bible, perhaps the most important king in the Old Testament, David.

I love the story of David.  David, like many other characters in the Bible, does a good job of reminding me that God doesn’t choose people who are perfect, but he does use regular human beings rife with weakness.  More specifically I find that David’s life before he became king extremely interesting, and it is therein that I find the parallels between him and the famed British king.

Throughout the movie, a great wizard named Merlin mentors young Arthur.  This could be compared to David’s relationship with the Prophet Samuel.  Also, Arthur is initially looked over as being too small or not exactly “looking the part”.  Again David’s elder brothers seemed to be better choices initially.  Additionally Arthur is forced to come to grips with the reality that we all must face; there is a lot of time and effort that goes in to reaching point B when starting at point A.  The time in between David’s anointing and his coronation was full of “teachable moments”,  “learning opportunities”, and moments of probably sheer boredom just tending sheep.

This brings us to the moment where I make my point…as poorly built up as it seems to be in my mind.  I have often times, even here lately lots of times, felt weary of the process.  I have felt out of place.  I have felt unused.  And I have felt looked over.  There have been many times that I have felt as if I was running head first into a wall over and over.  I have been both victim of frustration and guilty of poor patience.  But several points from the previously mentioned stories continue to serve as a source of encouragement to me time and time again.  Here they are in no particular order:

  • Man looks at the outward man, God looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7 paraphrased) – As a good friend recently told me, this verse can be both relieving and troubling.  On one end, it is a relief that God doesn’t put any value on how we look on the outside.  I have always been a little less than comfortable with how I look.  I love that He doesn’t put much value on something so superficial as looks.  Over and over in scripture we see this theme drawn out to relate to outward rituals and social mores that are nothing more than public displays that often times only bring glory to the one making them.  Man attempts to put on a show, and God rejects it for true heart felt relationships.  The troubling fact about all of this is sometimes it’s easy to hide for people what is really in your heart.  If you aren’t careful, sometimes you can fall victim to just playing the game so that nobody really sees the condition of your heart, and the really scary truth is that you can’t hide what’s in your heart.  The heart will always reveal itself given enough time and opportunity.
  • Whatever you do, do it well. (1 Sam. 18:5 paraphrased) – I can’t lie.  I saw this tweeted by Darlene Zscech, and it immediately organized everything that I had been thinking about.  The thing I find interesting here is that God places high value on doing just the everyday things the right way and to the best of our abilities.  I have to learn to be content in all situations.  Whether I’m serving the soup in the soup kitchen, or being asked to organize it.  I have to learn to approach things with the same heart and the same level of intensity.  I have to learn to do whatever is told of me to do, well.  This is one of the hardest lessons to learn.  It requires a heart full of humility in light of others being place in leadership over you, and a heart of perseverance in spite of the oftentimes unbearable burden of the mundane day-to-day tasks.  This is one thing that I am struggling at the most…but I guess the first step to defeating a problem is the ability to admit that it exists.  I pray that my heart is kept soft in light of the weight of God’s calling despite what seems like mundane plain circumstances.  Lord, destroy any notion of bad attitude in me.  David tended sheep; he played the harp for the king he would eventually replace; and he served his father.  I think sometimes we have to play our harp, tend the sheep, and serve those that might not think much of us before God can move us into a position where He can use us.
  • Be ready when the time comes to stand up when others aren’t willing. (1 Sam. 17:32-36) – The thing I find most interesting about this scene on the front lines is not that David was bold and courageous.  Boldness and courage come with confidence in your relationship with Christ.  The thing I do find interesting is that David did not pigeon hole himself into any certain job or “calling”.  Some people, ME, have been guilty of thinking that God will only use me in one particular way.  So we tend to, I tend to, only look for opportunities in that area of ministry.  David wasn’t like that.  He understood that God’s calling is without repentance.  It does not waiver.  If God called you to reach people, who are we to place preconceived notions of personal preference of whom and when we reach out to those people.  God is not a respecter of persons, and we should follow that example.  We have got to learn to prepare our hearts for ANY opportunity that is presented before us.  We have to learn flexibility in God’s kingdom.  My heart has to get to point where it is more like putty in Gods hand that stone.

For lack of better comprehension or just sheer creativity, I can’t think of anything else.  I do feel better now.  It has been a while since I’ve “blogged”.  I don’t feel exactly relieved, but it is getting better.  I can only pray that God continues to work on me.  I hope and pray that I am, “acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.” (Micah 6:8)

By the way, is this my first blog as a happily married man?  I guess so.  I LOVE YOU LINDSEY.  You mean the world to me.  You are a gift from God above.  You keep me sane, and drive me to insanity all at the same time.  You challenge me, and you comfort me.  I love sharing life with you, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.

Visit Refuge Point Church.  And WAR EAGLE 9-0, GO CAM GO.

Insanity should be covered

Posted in 1 with tags , , on August 11, 2009 by mrthrower

So I’ve not really followed politics in a while, but I just got through doing a little bit of research on Obama’s healthcare reform plan here ( and other places, and I don’t really get the outrage or the baseless accusations from some folk. I guess some things never change in politics.

Also, here is a funny video from the Daily Show last night: Healther Skelter

And here: Healther Skelter: Death Panel

Worship: An invitation and a pursuit

Posted in Religion with tags , , , on July 30, 2009 by mrthrower

Well it has been a while since I’ve written, and summer is almost over too.  Well here are a few things that have been rolling around upstairs.

One of the most beautiful stories involving worship comes from the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan women at the well. This story can be found in John 4:4-26:

4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. 11″Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” 13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17″I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19″Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. 25The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

There are many truths you could glean from this reading.

1. The first is Christ’s answer regarding the woman’s reply about the physical well around which they were standing. The woman says, “How can you ask me for a drink, I am a Samaritan?” The answer that Christ gave was not one that the woman expected. He tells her that if she knew what kind of water He had access to then it would be her asking Him for a drink for He had access to “Living Water”. Here we begin to see the recognition of a God perspective and Man’s perspective, which I will talk more about later.

2. The second truth that we find expounds on this ideas of “Living water”. Indeed what Christ tells the woman that after the first statement seems to have gone over her head that the water that He was talking about was not found at the bottom of the well they were standing around. The water that Christ was referring to was the eternal satisfaction that is only found in having interaction with Him. It is a type of water that will so satisfy our thirst that we will never want any other kind. It is eternal. It flows from heaven.

3. The final truth deals directly with worship, and it kind of brings everything that Jesus has been saying back around to the first truth. After Jesus points out to the woman what kind of life she has lead revealing to her, her true self. He tells her to go get her husband knowing full well that she had had 5 husbands and was shacking up with a man at the moment. After which she continues by saying that she is a Samaritan and because of her position in society they believe in worshiping at the mountain where they were standing and not in Jerusalem. Jesus answers this conflict by saying that neither worshiping on the mountain nor in Jerusalem would be enough. He says that the time is coming and now is that the true worshipers will worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.

The Message Bible reveals a beautiful translation of this last interaction in more modern language: But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

From reading this and studying God’s word over the past few days God has been really speaking to me. In fact there are a couple of things that I feel deep in my spirit that God is saying to me and maybe it is for you too.

1. Worship begins with an examination of our true selves.

  • This passage speaks directly about our ability to honest with our selves.
    • There are always the stories of little kids who steal cookies or money and then try to hide it from their parents. We are often like that. We present a persona to the outward world of what we think they want to see to match whatever group we are in. You go to church. You try to get everybody to think you’re a Christian by doing Christian things when you could be far from it in your heart.  We really don’t want people to know who we really are.
    • There is the scene in the movie the Prestige where they talk about taking on a whole different persona around people in order to convince people into believing that who they are or what they can do is better than the truth when in fact it is all a fantasy.
  • Many people tend to live in a fantasy world where they lie to them selves. Eventually that fantasy world could become to that person the only “truth” they know. There is an interesting passage in The Brothers Karamazov written by Fyodor Dostoevsky where a Russian Orthodox elder is speaking to one of the main characters of the book about lying to one’s self. He says:

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract him self without love he gives away to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself. The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than any one. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill-he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness.”

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 – Says that man looks at the outward, but God examines the heart of man. There is a God perspective and Man perspective. While we may be able to hide our true selves from man. We cannot hide what is in our hearts from God.
    • Hebrews 4:12 – God’s word cuts deep to the heart and penetrates to the very center of the bone
    • God is not interested in an outward show. That is not true worship. True worship involves an honest expression of our true selves, our spirits.

2. Worship involves complete surrender to Christ.

  • Philippians 3:3 – Says that we worship with our spirits placing no confidence in the flesh.
  • True worship recognizes that none of our physical accomplishments mean anything if they don’t bring glory to God. They must be surrendered to Him in full recognition that they were impossible to do without Him.
  • Philippians 3:10 – Is the culminations of Paul admitting that none of his accomplishment on this Earth can compare to the knowledge of Christ, the power of his resurrection and fellowship in his sufferings.
  • Mark 8:34 – If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
  • Mark 8:34 – The Message: Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for

3. Worship involves partaking in the goodness of God.

  • Jesus said to the woman at the well that He was the Living the Water, and that if we partake of Him then we will never thirst again.
  • We have to accept his sacrifice on the cross. It was the ultimate sacrifice. Because of this He alone is worthy to receive all praise.
  • Matthew 11:28-20 –  28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (The Message Version Here)

Psalms 23 sums everything up very nicely: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

The Message Bible Version: 1-3 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows; you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. 4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. 5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. 6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

One of the saddest truths in this whole scripture is that the table is prepared, yet have we allowed the circumstances of this life, who we think we are, what we have done, or where we are to take precedent over partaking in that table. Or how many times have we gone hungry because we would rather hold onto to how we look in the sight of man rather than in the sight of God?

This makes me laugh

Posted in Music on April 14, 2009 by mrthrower
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