Video of the Week

Snapshot of David Britt videoThis Video of this Week, “Hand of Jesus” is a brand new track…as in “released yesterday” from David Britt. I am hoping this means in 2016 David will be releasing a Christian CD of EP. 🙂

This song reminds me of a sermon I gave a while back called “The Hand of God.” Punch line is that the hand of Jesus is the hand of God (the Father is no different than the Son in His love and compassion for us). To (sort of) paraphrase David, “Take the hand of Jesus and be saved…”

Episode 4 – Do You Really Believe?

David Britt's "Do You Really Believe"Welcome

Welcome to episode number four of Traditores Higher Frequency! This week we build off our interview with accomplished country musician David Britt last week, where we learned a bit about him, his music, and his faith. During that interview we touched on what might be my favorite song by him, “Do You Really Believe”…and today we are going to consider what it means to really believe in Jesus.

The song has a very creedal chorus. What do I mean by creedal? Creeds are statements of belief. For instance, you may have heard the Apostles’ Creed. It’s starts with:

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell1

Do you see what I mean by creedal? Now compare those snippets to what David sings in the chorus of “Do You Really Believe”:

Do you really believe
That Jesus Christ is the Lord
Do you really believe
That He died on the cross
Do you really believe
That there’s a heaven and a hell
Do you really believe
Look in the mirror, ask yourself2

And, the longer chorus at the end of the song further adds:

Do you really believe
Those nails were driven through His hands
Do you really believe
Those thorns were wrapped around His head
Do you really believe3
He gave His life for all of us

[Read more…]

Episode 3 – Interview with David Britt

Video snapshot of David Britt interviewWelcome

Welcome to the third episode of Traditores Higher Frequency. This week you get to meet a very talented country musician and brother in Christ, David Britt. David and I connected on Skype and chatted about him, his music, and his faith.

What you are about to hear is a shortened version of that dynamic interview…so please be sure to visit our website…thf.fyi…to hear…and to watch…the entire interview.

Without further ado, here’s our conversation with David… [Read more…]

Episode 2 – Who Is Your “Midnight Man?”

Shayne LeightonWelcome

Welcome to the second episode of Traditores Higher Frequency. Here is hoping the previous week has gone well for you…

And that you are ready to dive into Scripture to take a look at this week’s topic, temptation.

But, before we do that I’d like to introduce you to someone you’ll hear now-and-then on these broadcasts. Sitting beside me is…

[ Let Augie introduce himself and banter a bit. ]

[ Ask Augie if he has ever been tempted to do something wrong…what he should do if he is tempted…etcetera. ]

Sin Is Crouching at Your Door

It’s not just young boys who are beset with temptations. For instance, the inspiration for this episode is a song by Shayne Leighton called “Midnight Man.” Its lyrics are about a woman who repeatedly has intimate relations with a male friend. One who coaxes her into falling for sexual temptation by assuring her, “It’s okay, it’ll be alright. It’s not forever, it’s only tonight.” She then repeats that mantra to herself…that it is “not forever, it’s just one night, just one night.”

Of course, “you’ll get yours, I’ll get mine” (also from the song) happens more than just one night. It’s not safe to open the door to sin even a single time. The Book of James has some strong advice about this. Let’s turn to James 1:14-15 and read it together:

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Now, Shayne Leighton’s musical character was “lured and enticed by [her] own desire” and was looking for an excuse to go ahead and hop into bed with her smooth tongued friend. Her desire conceived and gave birth to sin…a sin that clearly grew…and…without God’s intervention…fully grown would bring death.

The Bible starts of with two perfect examples of how temptation grows into sin. The first is the one that got us into this mess to begin with, where Eve’s “Midnight Man” was a serpent and the temptation wasn’t sex, but a forbidden apple. [Read more…]

Episode 1 – The Right Foundation

Traditores Higher FrequencyIntroduction

Welcome to the very first edition of Traditores Higher Frequency…but before we chat a bit about the the program and me…

I’ve been listening to the Scorpions’ new album, “Return to Forever,” on my recent bicycle rides…and one of my favorite tunes off it is “We Built This House.” The chorus goes like this:

When the rain fell and the flood came
And the wind blew hard like a hammer on these walls
We didn’t crack or break or fall
We built this house on a rock, on a rock
This house on a rock, on a rock1

Now…it sounds a lot better when they perform it…and it’s not meant in a religious sense even though it is an allusion to Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24-27…but it helped convince me that this first episode of Traditores Higher Frequency should, after a brief introduction of myself and the program, build the right foundation…a firm foundation…for what will follow. [Read more…]

The Gospel According to Colt Ford

Colt Ford Workin' On Cover

Introduction

During this second opportunity…I should say blessing…the Lord has given me to stand in this pulpit, I am going to do something I am famous…or infamous :-)…for doing at the church in Antrim, New Hampshire I pastored.

I am going to preach a sermon based on a popular song. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still a “Bible and Bible only” guy, but one of the advantages to being a topical preacher (versus expository) is there is more opportunity to choose “jumping off points.” Being a music addict, that means today you get to put up with the intersection of that love and the Lord’s Word.

I promise it won’t be too painful…every parishioner survived all my previous music-related sermons. 🙂

Who Is Colt Ford?

Anybody here ever heard of Colt Ford?

Well, I hadn’t until a couple months back when a tremendously talented country-musician friend of mine, David Britt, tweeted an image of a Colt Ford album he had just purchased. David’s tweets never steer me wrong music-wise…so I logged into Spotify and checked out Colt Ford’s work. I’d describe him as a country-rock-rapper. That is I would describe him as an incredibly gifted country-rock-rapper.

[Read more…]

“The Baby Jesus Is Going to Open His Eyes”

Mary and baby JesusNativities and New Years

As Michelle, the family, and I reflect on this past year…one thing we thank and praise God for is that…after more than a year and a lot of mokyearching, the Lord has brought us into a wonderful family here. I may not be able to remember all your names yet :-), but every one of you is a blessing from above to us.

Although it is not the building that makes a church, I’ve also appreciated how this one is decorated…and today’s sermon, in part, is inspired by the nativity you see right in front of me. Just after it was first put up…and before we moved it and the table over-and-over 🙂 Pastor Wayne…Augie came out of the sanctuary and said to me, “The baby Jesus is going to open His eyes.”

Along with a huge, proud fatherly smile a thought came to mind. When baby Jesus opens His eyes, what will He see? From the Bible we can get a picture of what He saw 2,000 years ago…but…and we know when He returns it will not be as a baby…but if Jesus were to return as a baby today and opened His eyes, what would He see?

Baby Jesus is about to open His eyes. What will He see? [Read more…]

Odd Juxtaposition

Every weekday morning when I am home and he has school, I get Augie up and grab the next random book in the series of Arch Books Bible stories. The last article I was reading beforehand on the exercycle was about the alleged“Rape Culture in the Alaskan Wilderness”, but the book was about Jesus raising Jairus’ tween daughter…and even taking time afterward to make sure the girl got food (see Luke 8:40-42, 49-56).

Odd juxtaposition. Man’s actions. Jesus’ actions.

I choose Jesus.

An Anchor for Jimmy Buffet’s Soul

From Twitter:


Anchor

@amazonmusic: “Where it all ends I can’t fathom, my friends. If I knew, I might toss out my anchor.” ― Jimmy Buffett

As much as any person can, I know where it all ends and I highly recommend Jimmy throw out this anchor:

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain (Hebrews 6:19, ESV).

And this anchor is not limiting, it is freeing…

Cognitive Dissonance (“Lord, Lord”)

Lord Jesus stained glass window

But Who Do You Say that I Am?

In my last sermon, “But Who Do You Say that I Am?”…which I preached about a month ago at the Antrim Church of Christ…I spent some time looking at what first century people were saying about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sadly, most of the biblical examples in the gospels weren’t on the positive side…although…kudos to Peter…he got it right:

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

Based on the verses I shared from Matthew, Mark, and John, our other options were glutton, drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners, a bastard, a person in league with the devil, and a person possessed by the devil, the devil, and a crazy man.

As you can well imagine, we sided with Peter. 🙂

Lunatic, Liar, or Lord?

Now, my inspiration for that sermon was a famous C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity:

[Read more…]

Did Jesus Waver at the End?

Interesting thought from the introduction to “Theological Essays” (published in 1867) regarding how Jesus showed a couple moments of “distress of mind”:

Panegyrists have described the bravery with which some martyrs have endured their sufferings before the eyes of their admirers. Jesus, who suffered not with a view to human applause, but to human consolation and salvation, was not ashamed or afraid to express all which he felt, and his faithful biographers were not ashamed or afraid to record it.

(Pages xvii-xviii.)

But Who Do You Say that I Am?

Jesus in stained glass

What Is the Most Important Question You Have Ever Been Asked?

What is the most important question you have ever been asked? The one that had the greatest impact on your life? The one you are either very glad you answered a certain way, or have long regretted your response to?

If you are married, perhaps it was something like, “Do you take so-and-so as your lawfully wedded wife (or husband)?” Or maybe, if you are a married woman, it was a question that preceded the wedding…when your boyfriend got down on his knee and asked, “Will you marry me?”

Was it some other question? Perhaps when somebody asked you to do something unwise, immoral, or illegal and you said, “Yes”?

Something else?

The Most Important Question Ever

Today we are going to try to look at the most important question ever asked…one that everyone has to answer. One whose response decides the fate of the responder.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke capture the question, but we’ll focus on the first. Let’s turn to Matthew 16:13-15:

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Within those words we have some options for who Jesus was:

  • John the Baptist
  • Elijah
  • Jeremiah
  • One of the prophets

[Read more…]

Are Your Ears Itchy?

Dog itching its earWhat is the saying? A lie can travel halfway around the world before truth gets its shoes on (or something like that)?

“How the ‘Jesus’ Wife’ Hoax Fell Apart”

(Subtitled “The media loved the 2012 tale from Harvard Divinity School.”)

What is the likelihood the truth will get the same press as the lie?

The entire article is worth reading, but this was especially interesting to me:

It is perhaps understandable that Ms. King would have been taken in when an anonymous owner presented her with some papyrus fragments for research. What is harder to understand was the rush by the media and others to embrace the idea that Jesus had a wife and that Christian beliefs have been mistaken for centuries. No evidence for Jesus having been married exists in any of the thousands of orthodox biblical writings dating to antiquity.

I think the author, Jerry Pattengale, is missing something obvious to us Christians thanks to “orthodox biblical writings dating to antiquity”:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (2 Timothy 4:3, English Standard Version).

If you want to believe, God will find a way. If you don’t want to believe, you will find a way (and God will allow it).

Choose Your Train (You Must)

Recently I heard the track “Dark Passenger” by the group Fozzy. It starts off with:

Jesus is my co-pilot
Or that’s just what they say
But it’s not the Savior
Who guides me every day

Although the lyrics are a bit ambiguous, and it almost sounds like the anti-hero of the song wants to repent, you know it is the Devil who is guiding the tune’s subject every day.

Fozzy’s song brought another train one to mind (for some reason, when I hear the word “passenger” I think of trains…I give credit to my train-loving 6 year-old :-)). Curtis Mayfield wrote this classic (“People Get Ready”), which begins with:

People get ready, there’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
on’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

And…as my mind continued it’s odd way of traveling down the tracks…”Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne was next in line. It’s initial verses are:

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train

So…based on how they all start…which train would you like to ride?

But my brain didn’t stop there. It seemed to me that those three songs, in a slightly different order, also mimicked the choices C.S. Lewis wrote about who Jesus is in Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Jesus is either part of the Crazy Train, is a Dark Passenger, or He is Lord. What say you?

And…as Lewis says…”You must make your choice.”

(Not choosing is a choice against “Lord”…)

Now, in case you are interested (and understanding that YouTube links don’t always remain working), here are the three songs that inspired this post in the order they were mentioned: [Read more…]

Where You Once Walked

Man tripping with food and drink

Ministry of Silly Walks

Although I didn’t really watch much Monty Python while it was being actively created, I have found a lot of what I have seen pretty funny. Now, by mentioning that show it doesn’t mean I recommend Christians imbibe it indiscriminately. They were talented comedians, but not apparently Christian ones…and there is some material that likely falls afoul of Psalm 101:3-4:

3  I will not set before my eyes

anything that is worthless.

I hate the work of those who fall away;

it shall not cling to me.

4  A perverse heart shall be far from me;

I will know nothing of evil.

In either case, one skit worth viewing is “The Ministry of Silly Walks.” Per Wikipedia:

“The Ministry of Silly Walks” is a sketch from the Monty Python comedy troupe’s television show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, episode 14, which is entitled “Face the Press”. The episode first aired in 1970. A shortened version of the sketch was performed for Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl. This sketch involves John Cleese as a bowler hatted civil servant in a fictitious British government ministry responsible for developing Silly Walks through grants. Cleese, throughout the sketch, walks in a variety of silly ways. It is these various silly walks, more than the dialogue, that has earned the sketch its popularity.1

Since my sermons are presently only audio, I cannot give you a visual…especially since I have long legs and would knock stuff over in the room I’m preaching this in. 🙂

But it is funny…and came to mind with today’s sermon entitled “Where You Once Walked”—the 7 in an 11-part series on the book of Colossians.

[Read more…]