My first attempt at a moto-movie. Spent about 15-20 minutes on this without ever using this program before. Pretty cool...
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Rob Bell is the author of a new book called Love Wins that seriously undermines biblical truth when it comes to salvation, God's holiness and justice, and the reality of an eternal hell. I just recorded an audio presentation dealing with this topic for my radio program CrossTalk that is available to hear online below or download the file at www.sermon.net/solafide.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
How can it be that God is good and all-powerful, yet evil exists. There is a good, rational, biblical answer. Find out and equip yourself to give an answer to others.
To get this same material, including the graphics, in print, order here
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I have a new radio ministry program called CrossTalk. Listen to interviews with Christian leaders from New Mexico and elsewhere about how to keep the main thing the main thing when it comes to living the Christian life. Listen to this 2.5 minute audio promo to learn more about it (below). You can also download past programs at www.sermon.net/solafide.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
• On a sign along an Alaskan highway: “Choose your rut carefully. You will be in it for the next 200 miles.”
• What’s the difference between a rut and a grave? About 5 feet.
• Are you in a rut?
• You might be in a rut if you can’t remember that last time you tried something for the first time?
• You might be in a rut if you spend more time watching others fulfill their dreams on TV than you spend fulfilling your own.
• You might be in a rut if you haven’t made a big mistake lately.
• You might be in a rut if you can't remember that last time you were excited about something the Lord showed you in His Word.
• You might be in a rut if you have cannot remember that last time prayed on your knees for someone else.
• You might be in a rut if you can’t remember that last time you had a conversation with a non-Christian about the gospel.
• You might be in a rut if during a worship service you are more aware of yourself and others than you are of God.
• You might be in a rut if you engage in sins that you don’t even bother to confess anymore.
• You might be in a rut if you routinely make decisions, spend money, make plans, and God’s will never crosses your mind.
• The only way out of a rut is a holy determination to seek God.
• “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13, ESV).
Monday, January 31, 2011
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
We communists have a philosophy of life which no amount of money can buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty personal selves into a great movement... compensated by the thought that each of us...is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind. The communist cause is my life, my bread, and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night....Therefore, I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas, actions according to how they affect the communist cause . . . . I've already been in jail for communism...if necessary I'm ready to go before a firing squad.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
|Stack of ESV Thinline Bibles|
These are all I have left as of April 5, 2011. Get 'em while they last!
- Smyth-sewn binding
- Words of Christ in red
- Presentation page
- Family record pages
|Dark brown Bible on top of black/brown.|
|Note the natural calfskin grain.|
- Dark Brown/tan - $95
- Updated 2007 text
- Convenient portable size
- Single-column, paragraph format
- Over 80,000 cross-references on the inside margin
- Words of Christ in readable black text
- Concordance with nearly 6,000 references
- Table of weights & measures
- 7.4-point type
- Introductions to each book
- Ribbon marker
- Silver page edges
- Presentation page
- Smyth-sewn binding
|Note the stitched edging and leather lining.|
- Dark Brown - $90
- Tan - $100
|NASB Bibles on left, ESV Personal Reference on right.|
- Updated 2007 text
- Less than 1 inch thick
- 9-point type
- Words of Christ in red
- Presentation page
- Family record pages
- Full-color maps
- Smyth-sewn binding
- Double-column, paragraph format
- Ribbon marker
- Gold page edges (unless otherwise noted below)
- Tan with silver pages - $110
Email me to order: mlorenzini-at-hotmail.com. Shipping is $5 for first Bible and $3 for each additional Bible.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I received my new HCSB Study Bible today. This review is based on my initial impressions and will not address the HCSB translation (which I do like), but only the features of the study Bible. I must say, the HCSB Study Bible certainly raises the bar for study Bibles. One of the first things you will notice is that Holman spilled A LOT of ink on this Bible. There are entire pages with color, full color photos and maps right there on the Bible pages, and different color inks for verse numbering and cross references (blue) and headings (brown) that effectively stand out from the usual 'sea of gray' study Bible.
I realize that photos seem like a gimmick, put they really do draw the reader into the text and give the impression of 'being there' (a picture is worth a thousand words). I find the brown, ancient scroll-like coloring for pages used for book introductions and charts very appealing too.
The content for book introductions is quite brief compared to what you will find in the ESV Study Bible and to a lesser degree other study Bibles. Perhaps this feature is in keeping with the publishers goal of keeping the focus on the text itself, but the difference is substantial. The amount of commentary below the text is similar to other study Bibles like the NIV, ESV, or MacArthur Study Bibles. In addition to the many in-text charts, maps, illustrations, and Hebrew and Greek word studies in the HCSB Study Bible, I appreciate the short doctrinal essays scattered throughout on topics like "Christ in the Old Testament" and "The Biblical Basis for Missions." Rather than a regular concordance, the HCSB Study Bible contain an topical concordance which is fine with me, though I know some readers greatly dislike a study Bible without a substantial concordance.
Concerning the physical properties of the HCSB Study Bible, I purchased the genuine leather indexed edition. I am very pleased with the binding. This Bible is smyth-sewn and very flexible--enough for the pages to hang down over your hand if you hold the spine (the true test of quality binding). The leather is flexible, but SUPER thin. It seems likes they took a piece of leather and sliced it into about 5-6 sheets to get it so thin. This is the one complaint I have with the binding. The paper is outstanding as is the printing itself. My edition came with two ribbon markers. The thumb indexing has a unique cut rather than the regular "crescent" shape and there are different colors for OT and NT (black for OT and red for NT).
Overall, the construction, printing, and content of the HCSB Study Bible is exceptional and really does a good job of drawing the readers attention. At this point, I'm not sure the excellent features are enough to win me over from the ESV Study Bible as my main study Bible partly due to my preference for the ESV as my main study and preaching translation, and the too brief book introductions. But if you are not settled on a study Bible, the HCSB Study Bible is definitely one that I would recommend the reader consider. Even if you do not want to use the HCSB text as your main Bible translation, the HCSB Study Bible is well-worth the investment as a reference tool and perhaps even as your primary study Bible. Bravo Holman Bible Publishers on a job very well done!
If you are interested in purchasing a copy I recommend the Black Genuine Leather Indexed edition or, if you can afford it, the Black Premium Cowhide edition. I also recommend you order them through those links (Amazon referalls with the best price and optional free shipping) to help support my web ministry (http://www.frontlinemin.org/).
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
But what about biblical faith? What kind of faith does God's Word encourage? If we look at the book of Hebrews in the New Testament we see a lot of discussion about faith and its relation to God's promises throughout the book. But just examining chapter 11 we find the chapter begins with a simple definition of faith: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb 11:1, ESV). Throughout the chapter we find explicit connection between faith and promise:
- By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise (11:9).
- By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised (11:11).
- These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth (11:13).
- By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son (11:17).
- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions (11:33).
- And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised (11:39).
Faith corresponds to promises. They go hand in hand. Living the life of faith is living as if God will keep His promises. Ask yourself, "How would I live differently if I really believed God is who He says He is, the Bible is really His sure and infallible Word, and the gospel promises are really mine forever?"
Where do people go wrong in their life of faith? Mainly in two ways:
- Believing something God has not promised.
- Not believing what God has promised.
Those two errors seem to cover it all. First, faith is not wishful thinking or a "hope-so" sentiment. Faith is not a force that works supernaturally to make things go our way. Faith is not a lasso we throw on the neck of God to get Him to do our will. No, biblical faith is humble, submissive, confident knowledge, assent, and trust in what God has said.
Many people have expressed disappointment with God. Perhaps you know someone who has stopped attending church or praying or reading the Bible because something in their life didn't turn out the way they had hoped. Circumstances become larger to them than God's love expressed in the gospel. They wrongly conclude, "If God loved me He would never allow this miscarriage." "God let my spouse leave me for another person. I just can't trust Him anymore." "My son became an atheist even though I took Him to church all his childhood." Some people look at their negative situation and read into it that God doesn't care for them.
But, these people neglect to remember that God has not promised everything to go well for us in this life. Rather we find promises to the contrary:
- In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
- through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).
- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (12:12).
- Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12).
- Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you (1 Pet 4:12-14).
Rather than looking to our circumstances to see God's love and care we should look to the place where God has settled once for all His love and concern for us--the cross! "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). Or, "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find references to God's love in the New Testament that do not directly or indirectly point to the cross of Christ.
So God has made it unmistakably clear to us who believe that His intention to us is good and not evil. Even the trials and suffering we undergo in this life are not wasted but allowed by God for our good: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28). So even though our sufferings and hardships are very real we know that God has our good at heart and the glory that awaits us when Christ is revealed will far outweigh whatever sufferings we endure: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Rom 8:18). Yes, we can trust Him even in the midst of suffering.
So some people grow disillusioned with God because of their circumstances and so show that they have believed something God has not said, that "things go better with Jesus." The other way people go wrong in their life of faith is to not believe what God has said.
Ancient Israel is a good example of an unbelieving people. God had led them out of slavery in Egypt. They witnessed the 10 plagues on Egypt and the stunning deliverance through the Red Sea. They were led in the desert by God's manifest presence and experienced His faithful provision of manna and water. God placed His shekinah glory in the tabernacle and brought them to the edge of the promised land. Yet, the people believed the negative report of 10 of the spies rather than trust God's promise to give the land to them and believe the report of Joshua and Caleb. For this reason, God's anger burned against them and He promised that none of those people would enter the promised land (Deut 1).
Then 38 years later the next generation again is brought to the edge of the promised land and God instructs the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant to stand in the Jordan River (Joshua 3). God promised to cause the water to cease flowing and the people would cross over on dry land. They had to trust God and obey Him before they experienced God's promise.
Some people say, "I'll believe it when I see it." The Bible way is to say, "You'll see it when you believe it." Christ's enemies taunted Him while He was on the cross saying, "Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe” (Mark 15:32). Earlier Jesus told these people, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe" (John 4:48). Some people want proof and understanding before they will believe. But if that we had the kind of proof these people want, what need would there be for faith? Understanding is the reward of faith. "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Heb 11:6).
We have no right to believe something God has not promised. We also have no right to disbelieve what God has promised. Where are you struggling today in your faith in God's promises? Have you neglected to feed your faith with reading and reflecting on God's Word? Have you neglected prayer? Are you believing things you have no Bible chapter and verse to support? Your faith will strengthen to the degree you know and believe God's Word. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom 10:17).
If you don't already have one, why don't you make a daily appointment with God to meet Him in Scripture reading and prayer right now? Don't let the circumstances of life control you and your trust in God. Make up your mind to fight the fight of faith and triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil. You can be an overcomer as you feed your faith on God's promises: "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith" (1 John 5:4).
Monday, November 30, 2009
Recently I became a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico and was paired with an 8 yr. old boy named Christian. On one of our outings I took him to see the new movie based on the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. It was quite a thrill with the techno animation and in 3-D. Of course, the story itself is pretty powerful. I was reminded how miserable it is to be a miser like Ebenezer Scrooge was and the joy of giving was rekindled as we saw Scrooge transformed due to his visits of the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.
Not soon after seeing this movie I listened to the audio book The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn. If you read just one Christian book in 2010, I highly recommend this one. Alcorn sums up the message of his book with six keys of giving. These are reproduced below along with some points to ponder taken from 18 study questions he posted on his web site. Listen for the voice of God’s Spirit as you read and see if God just might be calling you to embrace more of the giving spirit this Christmas and beyond. Someone said, "You’re never more like God than when you give."
Key #1. God owns everything. I’m His money manager.
We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted—not given—to us. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1). The land is Mine and you are but aliens and My tenants...the silver is Mine and the gold is Mine (Leviticus 25:23; Haggai 2:8). It is required of a steward [property and money manager] that he be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).
- If God is the owner, then what is my role? Do I have any rights? What are my responsibilities?
- Do I fall into the trap of "tipping" God a little each month? If I tithe faithfully, what are my responsibilities with the remaining 90 percent of my income?
Key #2. My Heart Always Goes Where I Put God's Money.
Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.
- Last year, did I give to others (e.g. tithes, offerings, personal gifts) as much as I spent on myself (e.g. entertainment, vacations, club memberships)? How does my giving history reflect my understanding of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:38-39, the second greatest commandment ("Love your neighbor as yourself")?
- Specifically, what keeps me from giving more? Am I afraid of giving? Do I trust that God will meet my needs if I give?
- How much giving (percentage of my gross income) would it take to make me uncomfortable ... 5%? 10%? 25%? 50%? More?
- Do I consider money I’ve given away as part of my ‘net worth’? Do I give the same attention to the money I give as I do to the money I invest?
Key #3. Heaven, not earth, is my home.
We are citizens of "a better country—a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:16).
- In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." As God’s steward, am I sinking His money into temporal things, or am I sending it on ahead, using it to advance His Kingdom?
- Am I more attached to the things of this world or to the things of God’s Kingdom?
- Does the way in which I live my life, spend my time, and handle my money point others to Christ? Am I more excited about the latest release of a Hollywood movie or the spiritual growth of a friend? Do I see a business deal as a prospect for profit or as an opportunity for ministry?
Key #4. I should not live for the dot but for the line.
From the dot—our present life on earth—extends a line that goes on forever, which is eternity in heaven.
- Alcorn compares our short lives on earth to a dot and our eternal lives in heaven as a never-ending line that extends from that dot. If God were to audit my finances, would He conclude that I live more for the "dot" or more for the "line"? What would some of His observations be?
- Do I consider money I invest as "mine" but money I give as "lost"?
- Do all of my purchases or spending have eternal consequences?
Key #5. Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts Him.
- Have money and possessions created greater faith or caused greater fear in my life?
- Are my possessions "competing" with my giving? If materialism is a "disease," then what is the "cure"?
- Which is really most important to me – "building bigger barns" (Luke 12:16-21) or "storing up treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:19-21)?
Key #6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
God gives us more money than we need so we can give—generously.
- Why have I been given more than I need? How am I using the "surplus"?
- Do I really believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)? How does my belief tangibly prove itself in my life?
To sum it all up, Alcorn says, "You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead."
Seeking an eternal perspective with you,
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Personally, I see that for the majority of our teens, the problem lies in the home. Most Christian parents are disengaged spiritually from their teens. They seem to believe that as long as they can get them to church they're fulfilling their responsibility. How many of these parents actually know the hearts of their children? How many know the questions they have about the Christian faith? How many have recognized what has captured the affections of their teenager? How many times do they discuss the pastor's sermon and how it relates to their life or pray together? I fear that when it comes to engaging our teens, we have dropped the ball and the world is quick to fill the void.
I would welcome your thoughts and what is or isn't working in your context. Perhaps to get some ideas flowing you might read the following article. Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, offers some advice to churches and parents. Read his interview with Answers in Genesis here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v4/n4/church-change.