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Passionate Grace

Is it Any Wonder They Call it… Amazing Grace – a Ragamuffin Blog

5 Things We Could All Do to Support our Teachers, Students and Community

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All of us can see things we would like to be different in Moses Lake – reduced violence and drugs, better jobs and pay, more restaurants and shopping (Olive Garden and Winco anyone?). As a society, we have become so dependent on government to initiate and determine change that we have forgotten that we live in a country that (for now) recognizes our inalienable rights to be free. However, if we fail to avail ourselves of this freedom – if we fail to invest ourselves with our time and finances to create the community we would like to have, we will not only not have the community we want, but we will also lose the freedom that has long been cherished in this country. I’ll be the first to admit that I have felt powerless to change anything. I’ve had the attitude of “well – I guess that’s how it is.” I care – things seem off – but I don’t know what to do. Maybe you are in the same spot. Continue reading “5 Things We Could All Do to Support our Teachers, Students and Community”

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Why Did Jesus Weep?

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John 11:14 “Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.

John 11:35 “Jesus Wept”

What is Jesus glad about in verse 14? That “he was not there” Glad that he was not there to prevent Lazarus’ death! Not there to heal him of his sickness! Jesus says he is glad he was not there. Let this verse alone sink into your theology. God has something greater in mind for us than only healing or even preventing us from dying – Something so much greater in his mind that he says something as seemingly calloused as “I am glad I was not there” to heal and prevent death.

So what is this thing Jesus so passionately wants for us? Continue reading “Why Did Jesus Weep?”

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What is the Christian Gospel?

 

 

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What is the Gospel?

“God is Holy” – God is perfect in all of his attributes – glorious in all that he does. He is set apart – unique – His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. He dwells in pure radiant unapproachable light. Nothing and no one can stand in His presence.

“We are not Holy” – We are messed up people. We lie. We cheat. We lust. We steal. We are angry. We hold grudges. We are selfish. We are arrogant. We gossip. We do not honor God. We do not love God.

“The Penalty for Sin is Death” – That’s bad news for everyone reading this, because we are all sinners – God doesn’t weigh our “good” and our “bad.” He declares that if we have ever violated his holy law in one place we stand guilty of violating all of His law and are subject to condemnation. We have violated in many places and our just penalty is eternal death in hell. Don’t let yourself deny this reality. Acknowledge your guilt before an infinitely holy God.

“Jesus Died the Death We Deserve” – Jesus is God in human form. He came to the earth, born of the virgin Mary and lived a sinless life. Even though he was God he laid aside the splendors of heaven and became a man and dwelt among us. He humbled himself and died a torturous death on the cross though he himself was innocent. In his death he paid the penalty required for sin – he became our substitute. Though we are the sinful ones, He took our sins on himself. Though we deserve the sentence of death, he died our death in our place.

“God Gives Us Jesus’ Life by Faith and Not by Works” – Not only did Christ’s death pay our penalty, but for all those who receive Him, God gives them the righteousness (perfection) of Jesus. So when we give up trying to prove ourselves good to God and instead acknowledge that we are broken sinners in need of a dramatic rescue – there is hope. God Himself has died for us paying our penalty and by his grace through faith imparts to us his perfection. For all who believe in Jesus stand not condemned not because we are good but because He is and He has given his righteousness by faith.

“Faith is Casting Yourself on the Lord” – As you consider these things – God’s holiness, your sinfulness, sin’s penalty and Jesus’ payment –
you will be tempted to think is that really true? Is it really enough that Christ died for me a sinner? I have to contribute something don’t I? I am still tempted by these thoughts even though I have been a Christian for many years. But the truth declared in Scripture stands that salvation comes not to the one who works or is good, but to sinners who cast themselves fully on the grace and mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ who died to take away the sin of the world!

Isaiah 53:4-6:
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows
yet we esteemed him stricken
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace.
and with his stripes we are healed
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned – every one – to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on him
The iniquity of us all

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 4:4-5
Now to the one that works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.

II Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he (God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.

 

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The Solution for Shame in the Satisfaction of God

Intro:

Introduced to this church via Bob Smith –

Review Series – Beginning to End

Communion with God – is the great end for which we are made – Philippians 3:8-9

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

Continue reading “The Solution for Shame in the Satisfaction of God”

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Moses Lake Bond Vote Recounted and Challenged

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1) I was and remain strongly in favor of the school bond passing. It is essential, in my opinion, to the success of our public schools and health of our community.

2) I was relieved that the bond had appeared to pass by the narrowest of margins

3) I was irritated by the challenge to the bond count but figured it would just delay the certification of a passing vote.

4) The attached article indicates the challengers have the following questions. a) Were all ballots with signature issues treated according to the law – that is was an attempt made to notify each uncounted voter that their ballot was not being counted due to signature issues? b) Were voters who had signature issues and voted in favor of the bond contacted by school officials while those who voted against the measure were not contacted? These are valid questions.

5) As much as I am in favor of the bond passing it must be passed legally and without partiality. If any manipulation or favoritism entered the process that should rightfully be exposed.

6) In short, I am in favor of the entire process and vote being exposed to intense scrutiny so that the vote results are unquestioned by the people in Moses Lake. This has the potential to divide us particularly if the process is not brought to light. My hope remains that the investigation will show everything was done with excellence and integrity and the vote stands, but I support the right of voters to inspect and challenge the integrity of the voting process particularly in a vote this close.

7) Finally, if the vote is shown to have been mishandled and the outcome reversed, I would encourage both sides to neither gloat nor demonize the other. It takes all of us to make this community successful. If the outcome ends up not being what we desired let us leave behind vitriolic statements and disparaging words, and with humility continue to invest in our community. Moses Lake is where we all live – let’s not tear it up over this issue. Can we not persuade and even argue passionately for what we believe is best in a way that inspires rather than destroys? I think we can and if we do we will build our town up regardless of vote outcomes because we will be truly demonstrating care for each other as a strong community should. So Moses Lake friends and neighbors lets stand together, even in our differences, for the good of this place we call home.

Thanks again for listening and considering.

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Conservatism in a Donald Trump Era

3 Issues in the new Trump era.
1)  Rule via executive order.  Republicans and conservatives rightly were incensed over the way president Obama thumbed his nose at the opposition and bypassed congress by executive orders.  Trump is doubling down on Obama’s precedent and the right is largely silent about it or excuse it.  We do not have a king.  We believe in limited government with checks and balances.  The law making body of the US is the congress not the president.  Whether I am in agreement with the substance of Trump’s changes does not matter – making the change in a way that honors the well designed checks and balances of our founders does.
2)  When Obama nominated his cabinet the sneaky democrats found a way to cheat past the 60% requirement to break a filibuster by changing the 60% requirement rule with a 50% vote.  Republicans were rightly incensed.  But now that power has shifted into their hands they are taking advantage of the same rule they had said was wrong.  I agree with their original assessment and believe that they should change the rule back with a provision that it cannot be changed without a 60% vote.  I realize this is unfair because the democrats benefited from the rule change and we would likely have some of Trump’s nominees rejected, but I believe it would be the right thing to do.
3)  For the last 8 years Republians have hit Obama over the head with his exponential driving up of the debt.  He took it from 10 trillion to 20 trillion during his time in office.  It is deplorable and the republicans were right to denounce it.  But now, with a Republican majority in the house and senate and the white house, the first order of business for the Republicans was to pass a budget which BY THEIR OWN ESTIMATES drives up the debt another 10 trillion to 30 trillion in the next ten years.
Where is the conservative party?  I like some of Trump’s direction.  I like the Department of Education nominee.  I like the SCOTUS nominee, but at what cost?  If we drive over the top of our opponents because we presently wield the power it will come back doubly when the power shifts hands again.  Let’s return to a conservative, limited form of government as envisioned by the founders, rather than continuing down the well trodden road of power hungry politics.

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Why I am Voting Yes for Moses Lake Schools

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6 reasons why I am supporting the new high school project.

 

 

 

  • Having an excellent school district matters to everyone not just those with kids or grandkids in the school district. Good school districts attract top professionals to our community.  Good school districts improve home valuations.  Good school districts make for better employees.  We cannot “kick the can down the road” again.  Our schools cannot be excellent without this investment in our future.  We are simply out of room.   I believe that if we are short-sighted on this vote we will be failing our kids and our community.

 

  • The cost: 135 MILLION.  Freak out!  Go ahead… get it out of your system.  I get it.  I’m not a big proponent of raising taxes.  But most of the time my taxes get sent out to fund who knows what (like 80 million dollars for unused Afghanistan embassies… really).  These funds are staying here.  They help all of us improve this place we call home.  Now how much is it really going to cost you?  The median home price in Moses Lake is $145,800 (http://www.zillow.com/moses-lake-wa/home-values/).  This bond is for $1.46 per $1000 of assessed value.  That means that the average person will be paying 212.86 a year – that’s 17 bucks a month.  I don’t want to trivialize 17 bucks – I live on a tight budget too – but it is doable.  It does not break me.  And 17 bucks a month for a new high school, a remodeled high school and a new elementary school seems like a pretty good deal.  Many hands make light work.  Let’s do this together! http://www.moseslakeschools.org/files/_XKFov_/035b503c4414a1fe3745a49013852ec4/MLSD_MAILER_12-2016.pdf

 

  • Obviously I’m for this. I think it will make us a better community, improve the educational quality for our kids, and that it allows us to be part of making a community of which we are proud.  Still have questions or concerns?  There are two remaining bond meetings you can attend TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 7:00-8:00 PM, Board Room 940 E. Yonezawa Blvd and TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 7:00-8:00 PM, Board Room 940 E. Yonezawa Blvd.  Please do not just vote “no” without being fully informed.  This vote will have a significant impact on the next generation here in Moses Lake.  http://www.moseslakeschools.org/files/_XKFov_/035b503c4414a1fe3745a49013852ec4/MLSD_MAILER_12-2016.pdf

 

Thanks for listening 🙂

 

God of the Ordinary

If I could just have the passion and wisdom of John Piper, the fortitude and exegetical prowess of John MacArthur, the practical insights of Paul Tripp, the spiritual depth of Larry Crabb, the mind and theological grasp of Michael Horton, the thunder of Paul Washer, the grace of Brennan Manning, the knowledge of Tim Keller and the ministry reach of Billy Graham…Then…Oh then I would truly be satisfied….  And God would Really love me…
Or
Maybe
Probably not…
But maybe…
God uses ordinary people
Maybe God loves sinners
Maybe my chronic measuring of myself is a detriment to any ministry and hinders my sense of the extraordinary love of God for me.
And maybe the stamp of approval on my life will not be earned either by my actions or results but has been bought for me by His Son on the cross – Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me..

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So Let it Be – Peace in the Storm

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Reading today in I Kings 11 and 12
Due to Solomon’s sin of going after other gods, God says his kingdom will not endure. And the prophet Ahijah says this to Jeroboam: “Behold I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give you ten tribes…”
But how will he do that? After all Rehoboam, son of Solomon – the greatest king ever – is the king over all Israel.

Continue reading “So Let it Be – Peace in the Storm”

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