Friday, July 31, 2009

Quick update & random remarks

I apologize for the hiatus since my last post. A few weeks ago, I took a much-needed vacation to beautiful Longboat Key Florida. I've always been fond of sunsets, and this trip provided a few great photo opportunities. This one was taken with my cell phone, which isn't exactly the best quality, but still conveys the great scenery there. Truly one of the most beautiful places on the Gulf coast!

I want to blog about other things, but feel like I need to wrap up the series on Jonah. So look for that next, and then we'll look at some other topics in the coming days. I had to move my sermon podcast, because my previous host decided to vanish from the web without notice. The new podcast site is and the feed is if you decide to subscribe that way. I lost all of the episodes on the previous podcast, so right now there's only one message uploaded....but more to come! Thanks for your patience. The podcast should have iTunes subscription capability within the next week or so.

I've been working on a lot of things this summer, including recording my first instrumental CD of original music I've written on the guitar. I've met some wonderful people during this process, and I appreciate all of the feedback and support I've received during this time. And it's always neat to hear from people who are familiar with my ministry. If you interact on the social networks on the web, feel free to add me as a friend on myspace , or Facebook . I'm not a robust 'tweeter', but I do occasionally update on Twitter, so you can follow me there at if you want to as well.

Well, that about wraps up my random thoughts early on this Saturday morning. I hope to hear from you soon. As always, I appreciate your prayerful support. I sincerely covet your prayers as Pam and I endeavor to do the work of the Lord in these last days. God bless you!

Until next time....

Friday, July 03, 2009

Who can tell what God will do?

Jonah 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

We will continue today in our installment of blogs regarding Jonah. The story of Jonah is truly remarkable on so many levels. The mercy and grace of God often gets overshadowed in discussions about Jonah's ride in the big fish. When Jonah was finally released from the belly of the fish, a revival of biblical proportions took place. Jesus says that Jonah's arrival in Nineveh was a "sign" to the people (Luke 11:30). This prophet of God arrived in the city with a message of destruction; "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown". Jonah's message was not of the "repent or else" variety. It was merely a pronouncement of impending calamity.

And yet something remarkable happened. This city known for its wickedness and opposition towards the people of God had a great awakening. The king of Nineveh proclaimed a fast and instructed the people to "cry mightily unto God". When we fast-forward to the end of the chapter (3), we see that God changed his intentions based on their response. The book of Jonah sometimes presents a problem for those of us who demand that every ounce of theology be systematic. In this book, a prophet's message of doom does not come to pass. In this book, God changes his course of action based on human response. Did this take God by surprise? Of course not. But this shows that a relationship with God is dynamic- not static!

For me, one of the highlights of chapter 3 is this example of the king of Nineveh taking a chance on God's mercy. Remember that the people of Nineveh had no guarantee that anything would change their outcome. At this point, they could have simply mocked Jonah, or taken the attitude of "let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die" (I Cor 15:32b). But instead, they risk everything and cast their hopes upon the mercy of God. And they were not disappointed! Now contrast the people of Nineveh (those who had no promises or guarantees) with believers in Jesus Christ (those who have been given "exceeding great and precious promises" -2 Peter 1:4).

You cannot go wrong with God. Among our greatest fears, is the fear of rejection. But we have some wonderful and comforting promises from scripture that I want to share with you in closing.

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Jam 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.