Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry

I was so very happy to learn that my friend from college days, Ed Copeland, would be speaking at The Gospel Coalition Conference that recently concluded outside Chicago. I was not able to attend, but I’m thankful that modern technology has provided a means for those of us who couldn’t attend to listen and view via the Internet. Here is a video of my friend, the Rev. K. Edward Copeland, pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Rockford, IL, speaking on “Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry”, from 2 Timothy 3:1-9.

Look to the Lord

“To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:1-2).

Some problems only God can solve.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Catching up: My father’s visit

We have a new computer, so I’m back online from home. Between computer problems and busyness with other things, posting has been slow. For instance, when my father visited us three weeks ago, I meant to post some photos from his visit, but I never got around to it. So, below are some photos from my father, Carl Wilson’s visit.
Three generations: Me, Carl, and my son, Evan, at church after worship

The entire family eating out

At the airport before Carl's departure

Perhaps the best part of having Carl visit with us was being able to introduce him to others as “my father”. Since I only met Carl a little less than four years ago, I’ve never had the opportunity to introduce my father. In fact, besides God, I’ve never called anyone “my father”. Using those words was a new and different experience for me...and it felt good.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Our family computer “died” this past weekend, so I’ve not been able to post anything (I’m using another computer right now). Allow me and my wife a few days to get our computer situation straightened out, and I will be back online.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Standing in the need of prayer

First it was Massachusetts, then Connecticut. Now Iowa joins those other states as its Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, makes it the third state to legalize gay marriage.

Because I define marriage as the union of a man with a woman, this ruling makes no sense to me. To me, it is self-evident that marriage does not include homosexual couples. In my way of thinking, in order to have a marriage you need a man and a woman. Two men or two women do not a married couple make. It’s common sense. I’ve not taken a poll or read any studies, but I would venture to guess that thirty years ago, most Americans thought the way I think.

But, times have changed. It’s clear that today a growing number of otherwise intelligent people no longer consider marriage to be exclusively the union of a man with a woman. Even my dictionary, on the shelf beside my desk, defines marriage as simply “any close or intimate union”.

What has happened? In all honesty, I think the shift in thinking that is taking place in our country (and in the West, for that matter) is Satan’s doing (yes, I believe in Satan). I believe the redefinition of right and wrong that we see being played out in our courts, our schools, in places of employment and elsewhere, is the result of a growing satanic delusion spreading through our society. Strong words, I know, but the spiritual realm is just as real as the physical world that we see with our eyes, and I cannot think of any other realistic explanation. The Bible lets us know that Satan is subject to God (e.g., Job 1:12; 2:6). He does not have freedom to do whatever he wants to do; he must get God’s permission. So, if we see a growing spread of evil in our world, it can only be because God has lessened His restraint upon Satan. I think what we are seeing in our country, and throughout most of the Western world, is the working out of Romans 1:18-32. God is giving men and women up to follow the dictates of their darkened minds. Friends, if I read correctly, we’re seeing right now the visible effects of the judgment of God.

According to the AP news article, a conservative, pro-family group “immediately began lobbying legislators ‘to let the people of Iowa vote’ on a constitutional amendment”. You know, I suspect, in light of what Scripture says, lobbying politicians is not the pressing need. It’s not that it’s wrong; it just won’t do any ultimate good. If we’re under the judgment of God, we need to talk to God, not the politicians. We need to “lobby” heaven, not the legislature.

For something like thirty years, evangelical, Bible-believing Christians have used politics to turn our country back to God. It started with the “Moral Majority” and saw the emergence of the “Christian right”. Where has all this political activism gotten us? Well, to date, three states have legalized gay marriage (i.e., perversion). I’m sure more states will be following suit. Political action has failed. The spiritual darkness has only deepened, in spite of our best political efforts. And I would venture to say the church in the US, on the whole, has not grown in spiritual power and effectiveness. How could it be otherwise? We cannot fight a spiritual battle with carnal weapons.

What is the answer? I think God’s word to Israel of old is relevant to our situation today: “If my people who are called by my name [i.e., believers in Christ] humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven…” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Notice, God didn’t say anything about the pagans; He said, “my people”. Our nation is experiencing growing darkness because His people have fallen into sin. Nonbelievers are not the problem; believers in Christ are the problem.

What we need is revival. Our nation needs a spiritual awakening. The church needs a gracious visitation from the Lord. We need for God to pour out His Spirit upon us. He has done it before; we desperately need for Him to do it again. “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6).

However, corporate revival must start with the individual. Not only does our nation need awakening, not only does the church need revival, I need it. I’m not what I should be. I am weak. My soul is dry. “It’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

May God have mercy on us.