Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking Back
Speaking In Celebration of Post #700

Jasper Speaks:

So, I have been keeping a blog for about 7 years now. Some years have been more prolific than others. There have been many things that have happened over that time. Leaving ministries, losing parents, celebrating return to ministry, becoming a father. as I have read back over many of the previous 699 entries and am overwhelmed by the grace God has shown us. There are some particularly difficult memories but it is humbling to see how God's plan has worked out over this time.

Today, I sit in a hotel room in Blue Springs, Missouri. Tomorrow I will lead a training sessions for other leaders in my state. How humbling it is to think that five years ago I had stepped away from ministry. God has restored me and is giving more than I ever could have imagined. I am a bit apprehensive. I wonder if I really have anything that can help others. I pray that God will use me. He has before. I trust He will again.

I am reminded of the Truth song that has come to my thoughts so many times:

It's getting harder to remember
Feeling lost and lonely
Because it seems been together for so long
I've been living in the moment
So I never stopped to measure
All the miles that passed the places where we've gone
But when I stop to measure all the ways
Your love has carried me
It doesn't take me very long to see

We have come so far
You have been so good
When I look at all the roads we've traveled
I've got to tell you Lord
I look at where we are
And see where I could have been'
And I need to say again
You've been so good
Who would have guessed that we would come
So far

So true. Oh and BTW I am enjoying watching Blades of Glory instead of the real Olympics right now too! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Archaeology Aids in Apologetics Again

Jasper Speaks:

Came across this article tonight. It never ceases to amaze me how archaeology continues to support the Bible. People are always saying we have no proof but time after time proof comes along. Brings to mind this passage:

Psalm 115

1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.

2 Why do the nations say,
"Where is their God?"

3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.

4 But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.

5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;

6 they have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but they cannot smell;

7 they have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

8 Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Defining Moments In My Ministry

Jasper Speaks

As you read these, think about your own defining moments.

Defining Moment #1 - The Day that I Embraced my Calling.

I can remember sobbing in a phone booth in my college dorm as I finally surrendered to God's plan and not my own.

Defining Moment #2 – The Day I Took My First International Mission Trip

It was on this trip that I realized God is global and that we share so much with the body of Christ throughout the world.

Defining Moment #3 – The Day I Surrendered To Student Ministry

A student in my youth ministry was tragically killed. I was devastated. Then God took the tragedy and confirmed what I would spend my life doing for Him. A part of me still wishes the pain of that time could have been avoided but in my life it is the beacon of the moment I now understand to be God using what was meant for evil for good.

Defining Moment #4 – The Day I Became A Husband

This may sound odd when talking about ministry but when Kendra and I became a team my ministry greatly benefited. God provided me a beautiful wife who has joined me as my major ministry partner.

Defining Moment #5 – The Day I left ministry without a job

One of the scariest things I ever did in my life. Although walking away from ministry for a season was not fun, it made me appreciate each day God has given me to serve Him full-time. I love my job and I think I understand true, biblical calling better after having to sit on the sidelines for awhile.

There are several more moments that have defined me not only as a Pastor but as a person. These are the five that have probably played the largest role in defining who I am as a minister of God's Word.

How is the Bible Special Revelation?
Theology I Ditty #2

Jasper Speaks:

Since natural revelation has been defined as the means by which God shows Himself in natural senses, special revelation can be defined as the means by which God shows Himself in supernatural senses. The Bible is the source of special revelation to us. In the Old Testament, God spoke through prophets. They revealed God’s Word to the people. Today, the final source of God’s message to us is found in His Word. 2 Timothy 3 tells us that all Scripture is God breathed, or inspired. God spoke His Word into existence to reveal Himself to us in a special way.

The Bible provides God’s special message to His people. It reveals things about Him and His redemptive plan that would otherwise remain a mystery to us. 2 Peter tells us that no prophecy came from the will of man but from God alone. Hebrews 1 reminds us that the incarnation was the pinnacle of special revelation. God’s Word is the record not only of the incarnation but also of how God would have us live as a result of it. Because the Word of God is written, it is reliable. It was no accident that God chose to use a written record rather than an oral one. The written record can remain untarnished by human emotion or interpretation. As God inspired the writers to write down what He would have us know about Himself, they were providing a means of special revelation that would outlast any spoken word. God’s hand in the writing of Scripture also maintains its infallibility and inerrancy. How can there be error in God breathed, special revelation to us? With God’s very breath speaking to the writers of Scripture, we are insured that what they have recorded is a specific and special message from the creator Himself to His creation.