Sunday, January 30, 2011

Preparing for War – #2 Offensive/Defensive

We begin with the second week of our 9 week basic training course on “Preparing for War”.

Last week we began with the first component for our “training” (if you will) as OBJECTIVE: purpose is ultimate destruction of enemy forces… and the will to take  every thought captive to Christ.

LESSON ONE we learned was that we cannot allow the evil we encounter I our lives to even slightly remain in our thoughts…..we need to plan on utterly destroy

2.   Offensive/Defensive – seize, retain and achieve the objective….prevail.

Initially when I was looking at this second key I thought of only offense. That an offense is the best component of in a strategy of war. When thinking about this I decided that we needed to add another component which goes right along with the old saying of “Sometimes the best Offense is a strong……..DEFENSE”.

a.      Football – only 1 defense player since 1935 (2) others played both ways.
                                          i.    When in doubt, punt!    
- John Heisman
                                                             ii.      Heisman! Most coveted college football award was named after……should be offensive! So many times you think you can make it when what you really need to do is punt so your defense can do its work.
b.      War
                                         i.    You may have heard many times about launching an offensive. Not too long ago I watched the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. The film is notable for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which depict the Omaha beachhead assault of June 6, 1944. The assault force expected to execute this plan totaled over 34,000 men and 3,300 vehicles, with naval support provided by two battleships, three cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 105 other ships. It is loosely based on the real life story of the Niland Brothers.
                                        ii.    Defensive could be the Germans stronghold or even later in the movie where the small group of soldiers held a defensive of the bridge while waiting on the additional troops.

c.       Bible Battle
                                                              i.       Joshua 6:1-5 1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. 2 And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”
d.      Little Known Fact
                                         i.    The Angers Bridge in Angers, France, collapsed on 18 April 1850 when 478 French soldiers marched across in lockstep; 226 soldiers died in the river below. "Because the soldiers were marching together, they caused the bridge to vibrate and twist from side to side, dislodging an anchoring cable from its concrete mooring."
                                        ii.    The Manhattan Bridge reacted dynamically to two recent mass pedestrian exoduses from the island. The cables groaned and the bridge swayed visibly from side to side as masses of pedestrians crossed the bridge after 9-11 and again during the blackout of 2003.
                                      iii.    Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) established a laboratory in New York. While experimenting with mechanical oscillators, he allegedly generated a resonance of several buildings causing complaints to the police. As the speed grew he hit the resonance frequency of his own building and belatedly realizing the danger he was forced to apply a sledge hammer to terminate the experiment, just as the astonished police arrived.

Matt 16:18 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

                                                              i. Verse :17 Jesus responded to Peter and tells him that man (flesh and blood) didn’t reveal this wisdom.  Man cannot do that.  We cannot understand the big picture.
a.   When you are a football player or warrior out on the battle field, you do not see the big picture.  Your small part adds to the masses and makes the picture whole. The coach or the general understands the implications of each soldier.
b.   Joshua’s men had to wonder why are we doing this?
c.   This is why the king used to stand on the hillside and watch the battle and direct the action.   Coaches are up in the box at the top of a stadium and watching the action of the entire field.
d.   God is over us and can see all of the action and understands the big picture. Jesus explains to Peter that his understanding has been revealed to him by His Father in Heaven.
                                                            ii. We have heard in football the players claim, “This is my house!” Basically meaning that the ground their opponent is coming to compete is theirs and no one is going to take it away.  They are going to make their stand. On this rock! Verse :18
a.   Many have said Jesus is calling Peter the man the rock. Even calling him a Pope, They said that the church of built on Peter. But they are wrong. That isn’t what Jesus was talking about.
                                                          iii. On this Rock. Not even the gates of Hades shall prevail against it, Jesus claims. You can call it offense or defense but the fact remains is that none other be able to bring it down. But by mentioning the GATES of Hades, I envision this as a defense against the church.  The wave of good (or the offense) will attack Satan.

All of this is figurative. The rock… the confession. By some the confession is a sign of weakness, but this is where so many are confused.  The best defense is a strong offense.  Jesus spins it all around just like he did in his death, just when Satan thinks he wins by Jesus dying on the cross, he realizes Jesus has won the battle wins by his resurrection.

Just punt! It isn’t a weakness.  It is turning it over to Jesus to finish the fight. That is what Jesus is telling Peter. On this rock……on this confession! I will build my church.

EPHESIANS 2:19-22 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Jesus is the cornerstone, that is what we build upon. But he has to have a place ready to be placed in order to build that temple.  A smooth place ready to receive Him.  Ready and willing to receive the word. Peter’s confession in verse :16
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Sower of the seed…what kind of soil

This is our offense and our defense.  Sometimes the best offense is a stronger defense.

This is our victory. By this we are given the keys to heaven verse :1919 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3

Thru Christ we have won the war already…we just need to continue to fight the battles….that is a twist as well.
INVITATION: He has prepared a place for us……but first we must prepare for the war….by first making the confession. 
Romans 10:10
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Hear  - Believe  - Repent – Confess – Be Baptized

We are here as your re-enforcements to pray on your behalf, come forward and share your need as we stand and sing the invitation song.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Preparing for War - #1 Objective

This may not be all that exciting blog, but I thought I would post my sermon notes in a 9 part series entitled PREPARING FOR WAR.

One military battle, one sports battle, and one spiritual battle for each……and a little known fact

9 weeks lesson – never did this before – WHY? God told me to I guess.
9 points (one each week) – we hope for a conclusion each week…..and the theme will piece itself together with each lesson.
New King James Version

1.      Objective – purpose is ultimate destruction of enemy forces… and the will to take every thought captive to Christ. –
a : something toward which effort is directed : an aim, goal, or end of action
b : a strategic position to be attained or a purpose to be achieved by a military operation

a.      One of the first things we look for in preparing for war is a reason or an OBJECTIVE.
                                                              i.      There must be a rational reason for contemplating this war. The objective comes after the reason. It could be to concur a land (that doesn’t happen often anymore – at least by friendly nations). That land might have minerals or oil or access to a port critical for the delivery or export of goods.
                                                            ii.      It could be for the rescue of a nation under attack by others.  Either that country or an adjoining neighbor.
                                                          iii.      9 times out of 10 it is related to money. Revolutionary War was about tax dollars for England (Taxation without representation); Civil war was about slavery…(the south wanted the workers for harvesting the crops and working).

2 Cor 10:5-6 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
b.      The Peloponnesian War, GREEDY  from Athens 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese attempting to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the Peloponnese. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to attack Syracuse in Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the utter destruction of the entire force, in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta, now receiving support from Persia, supported rebellions in Athens' subject states in the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens' empire, and, eventually, depriving the city of naval supremacy. The utter destruction of Athens' fleet at Aegospotami effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year.
The Peloponnesian War reshaped the Ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens found itself utterly devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity.[1][2] The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence in the Greek world.
Greek warfare, meanwhile, originally a limited and formalized form of conflict, was transformed into an all-out struggle between city-states, complete with atrocities on a large scale. Shattering religious and cultural taboos, devastating vast swathes of countryside, and destroying whole cities, the Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth-century-B.C. golden age of Greece.[3]
2 Cor 10:5-6 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

c.       I have never been in the military so my lesson will not have a whole lot of “personal references” to the services but more outward looking in. The closest thing that I can say that I have been that relates to War is Football = Football is War. (Someone tell Jackie Thomas Eugene is preaching on football again).
d.      It is understandable there are objectives in preparing for a war just as there are objectives in preparing for a football game. The prime objective is to WIN. Now there is the question of how you go about doing just that.
1.      When you play football, you want to utterly destroy them. I am not talking about injuries….but in score! You want to get ahead of the other team, YOU DON’T STOP. More score, more defense.
a.      What happens if you don’t…..punishment for disobedience or as what happens like Giants against Eagles a few weeks ago. 4 touchdowns in 7 minutes…..28 points.
e.    “There are several differences between a football game and a revolution. For one thing, a football game usually lasts longer and the participants wear uniforms. Also, there are usually more casualties in a football game. The objective of the game is to move a ball past the other team's goal line. This counts as six points. No points are given for lacerations, contusions, or abrasions, but then no points are deducted, either.
-Alfred Hitchcock
  1. 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
f.        Bible Battle with Objectives
                                                              i.      Deuteronomy 7 1 “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them.
                                                            ii.      Deuteronomy 20:16 16 “But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, 17 but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the LORD your God has commanded you, 
                                                          iii.      Joshua chapter 10 and 11 talks much about the command God gave him to “utterly destroy”
                                                           iv.      1 Samuel 15 1 Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

  1. 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
g.    Football
                                          i.    To God losing to the enemy was not acceptable. Utterly destroy was what he said.  However we know that so many times this didn’t happen. Saul didn’t kill King Agag and Samuel went in and did it. God turned his back from Saul after that.
                                        ii.    I don't like to lose, and that isn't so much because it is just a football game, but because defeat means the failure to reach your objective. I don't want a football player who doesn't take defeat to heart, who laughs it off with the thought, 'Oh, well, there's another Saturday.' The trouble in American life today, in business as well as in sports, is that too many people are afraid of competition. The result is that in some circles people have come to sneer at success if it costs hard work and training and sacrifice.    
-Knute Kenneth Rockne

h.   This is our objective. This is our war.  Everything that is against God. Or specifically everything that exalts itself above the knowledge of God.
1.   We are to utterly destroy the evil thoughts that exist in order to bring ourselves into obedience.
2.      Against all things exalting above the knowledge of God
3.      Thoughts into captivity
a.      Have you ever had stuff just fall out of your face? Out of your mouth? Say something that you really didn’t give thought before you let it spew from your mouth. James 1:26 “tight reign on your tongue.”
                                                          iii.      Punish disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

i.        Little known fact
                                      iv.    There are rules to war….some that we are not even aware of.  There are even rules to memorials for those that are remembered from war.
                                       v.    If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Aroma of Coffee in the Morning

I am becoming very much the coffee freak these days! I say that because I never really liked coffee before.  I would have a cup every now and then and my wife would say I was playing grown up, like a little girl pretending with Tea and Cookies....except just the opposite.

I would try to drink some coffee during my days in Architecture school at Oklahoma State.  You know....for the reason of trying to stay awake.  Nope, couldn't do it.  It was enough struggle to keep going, but the coffee just upset my stomach. Of course the JOLT cola didn't do much better!

I think I must have been converted while my in-laws were living with us. My father-in-law would always get up first thing and make a pot of coffee......and then before long, he was make two pots of coffee for all of us. I think what I like most about the coffee habit is being able to pour a cup of coffee in the morning and then go out and sit on my patio surrounded by the flowers in my garden, (that I planted, by the way) and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet before the hectic day is to begin. Now our backyard is not exactly a fortress of solitude, but it has it's ability to take me away at least.

Of course that is in the spring or summer time.  In the winter time, I wake up and then my lovely wife (to whom I am so appreciative....staggers back from the kitchen with sleepy eyes partly opened and bring us our first cup of java for the morning).  ummm, wonderful smell, wonderful taste.....just right!

Now I don't go about adding a bunch of stuff to the coffee. No creamer. No milk. No sugar. No nothing.  Just plain black coffee! And we don't get a abnormally special coffee either.  Just FOLGERS breakfast blend or something like that. (Please don't ask me to buy it at the store....I am sure I wont buy the right stuff!) No if I go out for breakfast, and have a choice like PANERA, I will get some of the darker blends....but still no additives. Here is my MOTO: "If you are going to drink coffee....then drink coffee!"

We or maybe it is just I have started a collection of different coffee mugs from where ever we go.  We have a few from Eskimo Joe's in Stillwater (my wife has broken hers twice). We have a couple from Vegas, (my wife broke you see a theme happening here?). We have some Christmas ones, I got a Steeler mug for my is the best....big, strong and indestructible......ok, don't tell my wife about the indestructible part.

Juan Valdez...bring me another cup!
Have a blessed day my friends and remember to enjoy it to it's fullest!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Sweet Home

That phrase always sounds so nice. Sounds peaceful and restful and warmth and family and...and....and...bills, mortgages, repairs, taxes, more repairs, maintenance, more bills, more repairs.....and

Sometimes I think being homeless would be a grand thought. (I am sure it wouldnt). I just have so much garbage in this house and it makes me tired just to think about it.  Always thought when i was younger that I would live in a cluttered house when I had the opportunity to have my own, but maybe that is the way things work out regardless of your wishes.

We have had more "breakdowns" with this house.  Seems to always be something.  Mostly the plumbing. I bet in the neighborhood of 14-15 leaks due to quest pipes. More leaks than the Titanic! A little something here and another there.....they all start to add up...AHHHHH.

SO maybe this is the year to get it all finished, cleaned up and ready for whatever. I wrote the list, put in on the calendar so there is a all there is to do is ACTUALLY DO IT. I will keep you posted my friends......hopefully this is a promising year for the "HONEY DO LIST".

For now, let me call it our little Home Sweet&Sour Home.
Take care my friends