Friday, February 03, 2006


in Exodus 19, God tells Moses that he is making a holy nation from the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob's name was changed to Israel (because he wrestled with God), and he had 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel. In 2 Samuel 7, David is promised that his kingdom and thrown would last forever. For the next 1000 years, the Israelites awaited the Messiah, who would be the king from the line of David. Folks, it's not a coincidence that Jesus Christ fulfilled so many prophecies about his coming to earth. Throughout the Scriptures, God progressively reveals His plan. Born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, escape to Egypt, and God with us are just some of the prophecies he fulfilled.
Through Jesus' earthly ministry, we see that he ministered to the Jew exclusively. We see that God's plan was that Israel would be saved, and that Israel would reach all the nations for God. This is evident in Matthew 28 and Acts 1-7, where God is still working with Israel as his people. It's not until the stoning of Stephen that we see a change. The book of Acts is really the rise and fall of Israel. In Acts 9, God saves Saul, a Jew with Gentile rights. He is the chosen vessel to go to the Gentiles. question? "Great Commission" ? Didn't Jesus already tell his 12 to go to the Gentiles? Why in the world did God choose Paul to be the chosen vessel? If Paul is preaching the same message as Peter, why didn't Jesus tell Paul to go talk to Peter, he can help you. If Peter is preaching the same message as Paul, why does Paul claim in Galatians 1 that he didn't go speak to anyone, especially Peter for at least 3 years. If Paul is preaching the same message as the "12", why does he (Paul) claim to personally have received the dispensation of grace? Why does Paul use the word musterion or secret, to explain that God revealed this dispensation to Paul (not spoken about in the O.T., the gospels, or even Acts 1-8)? (Romans 16:25, 1 Cor 2:7, Galatians1:13-17, Ephesians 1:9-10, Ephesians 3:1-11, Colossians 1:25-27).

Paul went to the Jew first in the early part of his ministry. At the end of the transition period, he makes the statement that as a nation, God has postponed his dealings with Israel. Acts 28: 26-28, Romans 11:25. We also see that Paul participated in many Jewish ceremonies and rituals, that a) he stopped doing later in his ministry b) he wrote that he quit doing it c) he either de-emphasized it or used negative language in describing it
this includes
a) water baptism (Paul says he is glad he only did 2 or 3 people/families (how many churches would say this in 2006? )) replaced with spiritual baptism at the moment of salvation 1 Cor 1:13-17, 1 Cor 12:13, Ephesians 4:4, Titus 3:5-6
b) speaking in tongues (unknown languages) 1 Cor 13:8
c) healing (Phil. 2:25-30, 1 tim 5:23)
d) circumcision (replaced with spiritual) Romans 2, Col. 2
e) meeting on the Sabbath ( 1 Cor 16, now they meet on the 1st day of the week, instead of the last day), Col 2:16
f) dietary laws (col. 2:16, 1 Tim. 4:4) Peter doesn't receive his vision about meat until after what? (Pauls' salvation) Peter doesn't receive vision about Gentiles being clean until when? (Paul's salvation)

So where does this leave Jerusalem? the Jew today? Paul says in Romans 9-11 that an individual Jew can put his or her faith in Jesus Christ and be saved. just like a Gentile, (American, Canadian, Filipino, Korean, Costa Rican, Arab, Mexican, get my point.
But as God promises, He will resume his relationship with Israel someday. We know after the rapture, there will be a renewal in Israel. God will save 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel. There will be a terrible persecution in the earth (Matthew 24, Daniel 9, Revelation 3-19). This 7 year period will be unlike anything ever experienced. But God will be faithful. Christ will come down on the Mt. of Olives (Zech 14:4, Acts 1:9-12) and set up His kingdom on earth for a 1000 years (Revelation 20:6). Jerusalem will one day be devoted to Jesus Christ again!! Praise God for these promises, that He is faithful indeed.

Some famous people were born around this once and yet future Holy Land. David, son of Jesse. Jesus son of God son of man, and Natalie Portman.

Baylor University

my big brother and his wife are down at Baylor (waco, texas)
Nathan is someday going to be in NYC, directing under the big lights. He is my big brother. I owe much of my (little) athletic ability to the beatings I took as a small lad. Our favorite games were whiffle ball, basketball, and football. yes we played 1 on 1 football.
in whiffle ball, we would spend 30 minutes picking MLB all star teams, and another 30 minutes setting up our own homemade "Green Monster."
maren's a great girl, we all love her. she is german and i love bratwursts, so it all works out.
nathan loves legitimate theatre. he is doing a great job at Baylor, and hopefully he will be out here in NYC someday.
i hope he stars someday with tom wopat. who is tom wopat?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Our baby Sadie

Our baby Sadie is the cutest little puppy in the world. However, disobedience and bad behavior is not that cute. She brings us much joy in our life. However, sometimes she is bad. Jenn likes her, but she doens't want anyone to know it. Sadie loves her little mommy. We have had little ones over in the three years here, and Sadie is wonderful with little children and babies. So we are not worried at all about having her with our baby.
Sadie's typical morning: wake up, come in and wake us up, go downstairs and hang out, 15 minutes later she is back in bed for the entire morning.
(if it rains, she never even gets out of bed)


Many people believe that at the end of their life, God will judge their works. If the good outweighs the bad, then they are accepted into heaven. Many people, when asked why they are going to heaven, quickly point out that they have never murdered anyone. They compare themselves to other people.
Is this thought correct? Does the Bible teach that we can make it to heaven on our own merit?
The Bible tells us that God is perfect, He is holy and blameless. It also tells us that we are not. We have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Everyone of us has done something wrong. Over the course of our lifetime, we have all told lies. We have stolen or cheated. We have gossiped or approved gossip. We have lusted after people or coveted material possessions. When you start thinking about all of the sins we have committed, can we really say with a straight face, "I'm a good person"? Of course not.
The Bible says that we are condemned through the sin of Adam. Everyone of us has sinned and we are not worthy of heaven.
Under the law, God accepted animal sacrifices as a temporary covering for their sins. We know it was temporary, because every year they would have to sacrifice another animal. The Bible also teaches us that the blood of animals cannot take away the sins of the world.
We see the ultimate sacrifice through the Son fo God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This death was prophesied over 1000 years before Jesus Christ. In fact, we see over 30 direct prophecies about Jesus Christ. All of these were fulfilled literally. It was not coincidence. It was not dumb luck. Jesus died and rose again on the 3rd day.
The next question is this: If Jesus died for the sins of the world, then isn't everyone saved? God gives us the opportunity for salvation. He provided the way for mankind to achieve heaven. And the Bible says it's not by our works, but by His Grace upon our faith.
Many people think they are going to heaven because they go to church. They think that water baptism has saved them (or even confirmed them). They think that circumcision or following the law can save them. We see that salvation has always been by grace through faith. We see this with two specific people.
1) The thief on the cross did not have time to go down and be water baptize nor did he have time to do any good works. Yet Jesus told him that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise.
2) The jailer in Acts 16:31 asks Paul what he must do to be saved. Paul did not respond with a
) let me check and see if you were elected,
b) umm you need to be water baptized before you can become saved
c) have you been circumcised yet? (did he check?),
d) NO, he responded with this simple statement: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.
I tell you the same thing: If you want to go to heaven, if you want to have confidence in eternal life...."Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures. The moment of true belief, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit seals you, baptizes you into the Body of Christ, circumcises your heart, indwells you...etc. The moment you believe, you are a child of God, not based on your works, but based upon the faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
It is the best choice you could ever make!

Brett: Please Come Back

The biggest news of the day comes from Mississippi, where Brett Favre mentions that he might not have the mental desire to play another season in Green Bay. Brett has been very blessed in not having a main injury. Many legendary quarterbacks have had their careers or even seasons cut short by injuries, and he has not. The Packers had a rough season, but you cannot put the entire blame on Favre's play. What is disappointing, however, is all these 'haters' (sports talk radio) who disrespect Favre.
The greatest mark of a legend, is what did his peers think of him. Brett Favre is for sure, the most popular player in the NFL among his peers. There is more respect and love from other teams than for any other player. He is the type of player that you can enjoy watching for years. Do I think he's coming back? Yeah, I do. Would I be suprised if he quits? Possibly. But one great testament to Brett, money and records are not the reason he plays football. He will come back if there is a desire to play.