Saturday, December 29, 2012

Freindship?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pastor Joey Newton gives real answers...On MSNBC

Pastor Joey Newton of Newtown Bible Church gives some solid Biblical answers on how to respond to the tragedy in Newtown.  Skip to 8:08 into the video to get to Pastor Newton's comments.



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Weeping with those who weep. A first-hand response from Newtown

by Joey Newton



The church I pastor is three miles from the site of Friday’s slaughter, where 26 people were murdered. Certainly this event will in some way define and shape the spiritual life of the community for decades to come. I know it will profoundly affect my family; many of those killed were the same age as one of my three daughters.

I spent last Friday in the counseling center the town set up, where families had gathered waiting to hear the names of their child, or to see if any new information came out. At one point an official came in and let everyone know —as best he could—that if their children were still unaccounted for, than certainly they were among those who had been slain. All afternoon there was, understandably, weeping. All I could do was take any opportunity I had to minister grace to them.


“Weeping with those who weep” was the first and obvious biblical command to apply. It was not difficult to do. This event was tragic, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, of waking the next morning to an empty bed that would not be filled again. For those who suffered loss and are not Christians, I prayed that God would reveal himself to them, and point them to Christ. For those who do know the Lord, I sought to encourage them by reminding them that God is still on his throne, and that this—as hard as it is to
 imagine—is part of his permissive will. There is good at the end of this unspeakable evil. Maybe some will come to faith in Christ through this trial. Maybe believers will be encouraged to trust God more deeply, and live for Him more faithfully. We don’t know what the good is, but we know that God’s word promises that for those who are called by God, all things work together for our spiritual good and his eternal glory.

Continue reading...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Newtown and My Troubled Heart

Excellent short article from Thabitti Anyabwhile. This truly reflects my heart and thoughts on the Newtown massacre.

My reaction to the school shooting in Newtown, CT last Friday is troubling. I’ve read the reactions on twitter and skimmed reflections on blogs. I’ve read anguish and anger, pleading and politicking. Parents have written of the fresh gratitude they’ve felt at being able to hug their own kids and of a trauma that stretches beyond human powers of empathy. Political hacks have spun the massacre to imagined advantage for their pet political issue–a shameful display of the very lack of empathy others have expressed. Some thoughtful others have written to help people through such trauma and pain. I’m grateful for such pieces.

But I’ve been troubled by my own heart. I’m afraid I haven’t felt deeply enough. It’s not that I’ve been impassible, unmoved, unfeeling. It’s not that I’ve had the wrong kinds of feelings and thoughts, like the political hacks. I just don’t think I’ve felt enough. I’m afraid my emotions were too shallow and too fleeting. Already I’m off to my life, my routine, my Christmas celebrations, my world. When I read the laments of others, the often reported horror (and it is unspeakably horrible!), I’m concerned that as a father of a six year old who would have been in such a class that I’m not more horrified.

Something is not right. I know the world is so relentlessly and consistently twisted and touched by evil that men and women can become too think-skinned in the face of tragedy. I know that’s possible, but I don’t want to settle for that in my own heart. I don’t want to be so tough, calloused, jaded, or whatever that I can easily “move on” from the wicked shooting of twenty children–children!–and their teachers–teachers!

I wonder if I’m alone. I suppose I cannot be alone because for all the horror and grief rightly felt things seem to remain the same. School shootings now dot recent American history, the most prominent of which include names like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Sandy Hook. And I’m left wondering why true outrage isn’t felt, why deep mourning is missing, and why sustained indignation unexpressed. What’s wrong with my heart? Why so shallow and worldly and easily distracted? Why does “coping” look so suspiciously like avoiding, forgetting, ignoring, and abdicating?

I understand that human beings can’t cry forever. I fully realize that anger needs to give way to resolve. I know that feelings are a gift from God but we can’t feed upon them unceasingly. But I’m still left feeling I should feel more and asking why I haven’t. What about you?

HT: The Gospel Coalition

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Genius; The Movie

Here's another great short film by the makers of 180.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Correction: Add the McNeace Family

I failed to mention in my last post that Clarke McNeace and his family also joined us later in theeveninig  at the Chandler Light Festival.  Clarke has been my faithful partner in proclaiming the Gospel on the streets and on local college campuses  for several years now. He is usually  joined by his wife and children and has been a great encouragement to me. The McNeace's distributed 500 Christmas quiz tracts complete with candy canes as well as a two hundred more different tracts before calling it an evening.

Clarke McNeace at one of our many outings to Chandler Gilbert Community College.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chandler Parade of Lights

In the thick of the crowd!
Each year in early December, Chandler Arizona celebrates the Christmas season with a tumbleweed Christmas tree lighting ceremony and light parade. The event draws many thousands of valley residents and provides a great opportunity for evangelism and fellowship.

This year, I was joined by my friends Greg Ortiz and Robert Quiroz from my home church of  San Tan Bible Church in Gilbert, AZ. We partnered with a couple of other local churches endeavoring to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a sound biblical message. Sherry Pierce of First Baptist Church of Chandler does a great job organizing the distribution of thousands of gospel tracts and is always happy to accommodate fellow laborers who are willing to help. Before the night was over, we were able to distribute over 6,000 gospel tracts before the parade even started. Please pray that those receiving  tracts would  hear the message of eternal life in Christ and reach out to Him in faith.

Rob brought his boys
My daughter and her friend
Greg and Me

Sherry Pierce and friends
5,000 tracts each with a piece of candy!