Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ken Taylor, Translator of The Living Bible, Dies at 88

Ken Taylor, a unique man who has a lasting place in the history of American Christianity died in June. You can read about his impact in a Christianity Today article linked here:

Ken Taylor, Translator of The Living Bible, Dies at 88 - Christianity Today Magazine

He was one of my early heroes. My family read the Bible together sometimes when I was a boy. I remember enjoying the Living Bible readings more than the King James, for sure. Those were about the only two options then.

He has influenced Bible reading and translation beyond what I can imagine. His legacy will live on.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Chew Churn File -- Anagrams for New Life Church


These and more anagrams at Internet Anagram Server. Have a great day and don't hurl any finches.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Summer Festival Update

Canning Hunger

In partnership with Oregon Food Bank, the High School group, Middle School group, Texas team and others collected almost three barrels of food for hungry families. Way to Go!!

They will do it again in two weeks if you'd like to get in on the action.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ostia Baptism

Here are some pictures of the baptism in Ostia. This is Marina. Two other women were baptized, but we don't have pictures.

One of the exciting parts of this is the crowd gathered to hear their testimonies. Those of you who have been baptized here need to know that even if you were baptized in Italy, you'd have to stand behind a microphone and give your testimony.

Please continue to pray that some men would step forward and be baptized.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tim Watt Joins New Life Team

Tim Watt, his wife Bree, sons Blake and Ty have recently accepted the responsibility to lead worship at New Life Robinwood. He will also be lead children's ministry there.

Tim and Bree come from a Christian camping background. They have spent the last year working with a church plant in Vancouver, WA. Prior to that they were ten years in Alaska at Victory Bible Camp.

They are both energetic, multi-talented, and love people. They have already been helping with Sports Camp.

A couple important and unique "God-things" had to happen before they could join the team. Tim & Bree had to find housing. And, just last night they were accepted with a ministry called Community Northwest. They will be program directors for the Cascade Summit Apartments and will have their housing paid!

They have had to raise support to serve here. Tim has several good friends who have supported his ministry for a long time that will be transfering their support to New Life Church.

They will begin as soon as possible in August.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

On What Do You Rest This Trust of Your?

"On what do you rest this trust of yours?" That question was posed to Hezekiah, king of Judah as he was under seige by the king of Assyria.
That really is the $64,000 question. In fact, it is the only question. Everybody believes something. The key thing is to make sure what you believe in is adequate.
The discussion in Isaiah 36 talks about trusting in chariots, or trusting in Egypt, or trusting in fancy words. We place our trust in inventions like that all the time. If we have a better leadership development program. . . If we have a stronger youth ministry. . . Sometimes the Lord blesses with chariots or youth ministry. Sometimes he wants us to trust him without them.
We must always make sure our trust is God, not in the means God uses to help of deliver.
So I ask, "On what do you rest this trust of yours?"

The Holy Spirit's Job

A friend reminded me today that, "The Holy Spirit does a good job of convicting people, but people don't always do such a good job."

It is so easy to assume the Holy Spirit's job. And, if we take his job, why do we need him?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Summer Festival is for you.

The summer festival is a fun series of events designed to help the people in our church reach their friends. They will be a smashing success if one or two people use each event to spend some time with their friends. . . and a dismal failure if we use them just to hang out together.

It is not hard. We just had a great time with some good friends tonite. Tomorrow their daughter may come to Sports Camp. Evangelism is not for super-saints, but for super-friends, people who spend time with other people. Take time. Use the festival. Be happy forever in Jesus. What could be simpler.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


You don't know what you don't know. Think about it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Whether I realize it or not, the cross throws a shadow across my life. I cannot escape it's influence. I can't run from it. I can't ignore it.

I think that's what it means to belong to Jesus.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My Response to a Plea for Animal Rights

As a pastor of one of West Linn’s oldest churches I feel obligated to respond to Betsy Wosko’s article last week in the West Linn Tidings entitled, Churches need to address rights of the most lowly – animals.

Her article challenged me, which was her aim. But I thought it fell short in four ways. First, she made the false assumption that animals are the most lowly. Surely, in the absence of any criteria except lowliness one must admit that plants are lower on the food chain than animals. Therefore, her article could have been directed at those who eat plants not animals.

Second, animals are not people. You cannot attribute to a Holstein the maternal feelings of a human mother. And, deceiving fish – really? Even non-religious people realize that human life is not like animal life in that killing a four-point buck is not the same as gunning down your neighbor.

Her third problem is logical. It does not follow that rodeos, circuses and fishing cause racism, abuse, war and crime. Lack of compassion toward animals is not logically or necessarily the root of any other sin. Eating turkey at Thanksgiving dinner does not ‘guarantee’ parishioners will be thirsty for meaning. It just doesn’t make sense.

The fourth reason her admonition to “challenge your church’s silence” falls flat is her ignorance of the Gospel. She states that “if churches are really serious about promoting compassion in accordance with the Gospel they must first start thinking critically about our treatment of animals.” The Gospel, as I read it in the Bible, states that human beings were uniquely created in the image of God and given dominion over the earth (including animals). Humans rebelled against God, sinned, and messed up everything. The inherent blackness of human hearts is sometimes directed at animals, and no one is in favor of that.

God sent his Son Jesus to reconcile people to himself. God reconciles people to himself by grace alone, not because of their religious performance, their good works or their diets. Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” This is the gospel, that God is reconciling men and women to himself through his Son.

Part of the freedom from religious formality that the Bible offers us is the freedom to eat any type of food. In response to a similar conversation to this one Jesus asked, "Are you so dull? Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.") (Mark 7:18-19).

How, then, should a Christian act toward animals? Three things come to mind, all motivated by a respect for God and/or other people.

First, we should seek to preserve creation and be good stewards of it. So, for the sake of generations that will come after us and as responsible people before God, we should, for instance, preserve endangered species.

Second, we should alleviate the suffering of an animal. Jesus said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? (Matthew 12:11). Jesus’ very next words are also instructive, “How much more valuable is a man than a sheep.” Other religions may (and I know some do) make animals sacred but that is not the Christian Gospel.

Third, we should treat animals humanely. For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain” (1Timothy 5:18). Think of the animal’s needs, even as it serves you. While this provides limits on our treatment of animals, it does not prohibit the use of animals for food, pets, labor, entertainment or research. Animals are not to be needlessly abused, but are to be employed in the service of humanity.

The chief concern of the church is and will remain that people are reconciled to God and that they love their neighbor.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Answers to Prayer

Had a couple interesting things happen today. One person I prayed for was miraculously healed and won't even need surgery. Another died! Why God does what He does remains a mystery to me.

On the one hand, I won't get overly confident. After all one of the people I prayed for died. On the other hand, I won't give up either. One of the people I prayed for is healed.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Abortion Article

Here's an article on abortion you might find interesting.