Dare to be Great

Pastor Howard White’s January (2016) sermon series is title Dare to be Great.

The Dare to be Great Challenge is:

A Great Commitment to the Great Commandments and the Great Commission done with Great Compassion will grow a Great Church (and a great Christian).

The 5 sermons in the series are

  • Dare to Follow
    • Matt 22: 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it:Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
      • Heart is the center. God is at the center and the thing at the center is the thing we worship. Rom 12:1-2 offering. Jonathan Edwards wrote down 70 resolutions and read them each week.
      • Soul – obedience
      • Mind – focus on God’s will
  • Dare to Care
  • Dare to Serve
  • Dare to Grow
  • Dare to Go

5 Solas (Solae)

[Disclaimer: I am not a theologian. This is just my take.]

The 5 Solae of Protestantism are five foundational Biblical principles upon which our (Protestant) beliefs are based. (While Luther and Calvin taught, wrote, and preached on these, I believe that, as a listing of five, the Five Solae were not articulated until the 20th Century.)

I like the way they can be logically lined up.

Here are 3 orderings.  I think each provides it’s own logical flow for the Five Solae.

1. Basic: We are saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, according to scripture alone, for the Glory of God alone.

2. Scripture & Christ Foundation (5 complete sentences): Scripture alone is the standard; by Christ alone we are saved; salvation is by grace alone; justification is by faith alone; it is all for the glory of God alone.

3. Scripture and God’s Glory foundation (with our faith being last): The scripture alone is the standard; it is all for the glory of God alone; by Christ’s work alone are we saved; salvation is by grace alone; justification comes by faith alone.

OK, I can’t resist…There are 5! (which is 120) ways to arrange 5 things. It might be interesting to ponder some of the other 117 orderings of the Five Solae.



Three take-aways

Three take-aways from our car ride across Kansas (to get to Colorado for our men’s ski trip)

Thanks especially to Jim McClarey

  1. Grace is number one. Offer grace to everyone.
  2. Provide the reasons why.  There are many do’s and don’t’s in the Bible, but it is important to understand the (logical) reason why those guidelines are given.
  3. “It has been my experience that….” is a good phrase to use when sharing.

TED Talk: Atheism 2.0

This is a fun TED talk. He is describing what can be learned from religion’s methods, even if you do not believe anything about religion (even if you don’t believe in God). He describes the tools and strategies of religion that ‘we’/culture can, and should, adopt.


(I am certainly not an atheist.)

I think the talk may be useful for those of faith. It reminds us of our strengths. We can learn from this. For example, about human nature.

He does include Charles Wesly.

I find it interesting that he mentions (in the 1800’s I believe) people were leaving the European church in large numbers and looking for ways to get (1) morality, (2) guidance, and (3) consolation from culture (from places other than the church). This would imply that these three are fundamental human needs.

OK, I liked it too because he has an English accent, pronouncing ‘either’ with a long i.

John Wooden (and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

John Wooden was a great man and a great coach. He won, as men’s basketball coach at UCLA, 10 national titles in 12 years. Yet, developing young men was more of his focus. This blog post points to some things we can learn from ‘The Wizard of Westwood’ and some pictures.

Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is something I had/used as a young coach in the 1980’s.   

 Pyramid webpage ~ Main website.

He lived from 1910 to 2010. Here’s a blog post. I love the picture of (old-age) Wooden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Jabbar (of course) went on to win multiple NBA titles.  He has become an influential and positive force/advocate in our society since. He can be found on Twitter.

Google will take you to many more resources and informationa about John Wooden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

History repeats itself

We regularly hear and see on the news of terrorists killing people.  Just today I saw a story http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/police_in_oslo_norway_proclaim_oslo_is_lost.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

About how a violent and outside element has ‘taken’ over a neighborhood.

There have been many examples of ‘terrorism’ in various forms throughout the history of humankind.  In each case, the rest of humankind needed to step in and put a stop to it.

I’m not a historian, but I’ll try to list a few:

  • Visigoths were ruthless attackers.  This didn’t mean that everyone in the Germanic tribes were cruel, but some were.  Their actions/methods needed to be stopped.
  • Crusaders.  This didn’t mean that all Christians were killing based on their beliefs, but some were.  Their actions/methods needed to be stopped.
  • The Mafia (e.g., from Chicago) killed to gain and maintain power and wealth. This didn’t mean that all Italians and people from Sicily  killed in cold blood, but some were.  Their actions/methods needed to be stopped.
  • Ditto for the drug dealers in Mexico.

In each case they trained ‘their own’ from their own – from their own families and groups and those that held the same beliefs.

When Muslims* kill it doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, but some are. For the ones that are terrorists, their actions/methods needed to be stopped.

*Or fill in the blank with any other group from which a group emerges that uses violence and killing to achieve their ends.

1 Chronicles 29 

The following go together, and you can’t have one without the other:1. Rejoicing in God (being thankful, but much more)

2. Willing, sacrificial, and joyful giving. 1 Chr 29:9

3. Glorifying God.

The People and David showed this in 1 Chronicles 29.

From Crawford Loritts’ March 1, 2015 message at


(2 Chorinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.)

In part 2 (Mar. 8), Crawford gives four applications and his conclusion is 

Life was given to us in order for us to give our lives back to God to be a showcase for his Glory.

This is from Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.