Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Psalms by Piper Part 3

The third Psalm Mr. Piper addresses in this series is Psalm 51. The title of this sermon is "A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise." As you may know, this Psalm is from a time in David's life when he is confronted by Nathan about his sins.

Some things that stuck out to me were:
  • David is truly full of sorrow over his sins
  • If you look at the story in 2 Sam 11-12, you see an early occurrence of God putting away the sin of David. This is what He does for us.
  • David doesn't make excuses for his sin, he owns that he is a sinner
  • David points out the the root of his sin is that he lost the joy of his salvation. This is important for us to look at.
Here is the link to the video "A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise"

Here is the main link

Here is a link to Psalm 51

Monday, November 24, 2008

What if Starbucks Marketed Like the Church?

Andrea sent me this email this morning. It is a link to a very interesting video that really has me thinking.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Psalms by Piper Part 2

The second sermon in the series on Psalms by John Piper is entitled "Spiritual Depression in the Psalms.

This is an incredibly important word for people who find themselves in times of trouble. The Psalmist deals with how to handle adversity and trouble in God. He deals with hopelessness and despair from the world and how to deal with yourself in it.

Here is the link to the video Spiritual Depressions in the Psalms.

Here is the main link.

Here is the link to Psalm 42.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Psalms by John Piper Part 1

The first video of John Piper is "Songs that Shape the Heart and Mind." Mr. Piper tackles Psalm 1, and encourages the audience on several points. I am going to give you several points I got out of this message.
  1. The Psalms are to be read to influence, not only to instruct.
  2. The Psalms are meant to be sung to yourself.
  3. The Word of God is meant to be learned.
  4. You can find yourself in many of the Psalms. Wherever you are in life, you can find yourself in the Psalms.
This is the link to the Video of John Piper, Songs that Shape the Heart and Mind.

This is the main link.

Here is a link to Psalm 1

The Power of Music Intro to Series "Psalms by John Piper"

Does anybody know the name Elvis? Of course you do! When you hear that name your mind goes to the vault and pulls up Jail House Rock, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, and a whole slew of other songs. As you think of the name your hips start to swing! If you are not careful you might end up swinging and singing in the shower with the back scrubber as your microphone, trying to mimic Elvis' every move! The next thing you know you are standing in the shower with a shampoo waterfall hairdo singing Jail House Rock in the mist covered mirror with a million fans (in your mind) screaming and cheering for you!!!

What if I said "Come Together?" Your mind travels to the Beatles. You have a million and one Beatles songs coursing through your veins. Your mind starts to think of the "love" generation.

Jimi Hendrix? Automatically, you grab your air guitar and start playing the greatest solos ever heard!

Devo? Whip it!

Pink Floyd? The Wall. We don't need no education anyway. You start to feel negative toward all your teachers.

Just about everyone I know (save for two) gets lost in a Journey song!

Eminem? Your hand goes up, your other hand holds the mic to your mouth and you start rapping away.

The Cure? If you know them you think, "the front runners to emo."

My point is that music has an incredible power to influence the mind, emotions, dress, and sometimes the actions of a person. Many times people will sing themselves songs to comfort themselves in times of trouble. Whole cities can be found singing Queen's We Are The Champions when their local sports teams win a national championship. The Cure's Killing An Arab made a resurgence after the atrocity of 9-11. The whole 60's were influenced and shaped by musicians and what they were doing.

I was pondering where to go next with our youth ministry and how to help them find a true hunger for God when I started thinking about the power of music in our lives. I felt the urging to go to Psalm 1. I started to study and think about the Psalms and how they can help us. Fortunately, I ran into a podcast from John Piper on my Zune. It happened to be on Psalm 1.

Over the next several weeks I am going to post links to the series John Piper did on the Psalms. I want to post them after our youth have heard them so that any who missed can catch up, but I encourage you to take a listen as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Just Wanted to Beat Mark to the Punch!

Mark Freer is one of the better blues guitarists I know. He is a man who loves guitar, and watching him play it totally shows. He is one of those people who you can just tell gives it his all when he plays. Besides that, he is also a great pastor.

The reason I am posting this blog, though, is not just to tell you a little about my friend, but to beat him to the punch. He often posts YouTubes of some great music. To me, the song Voodoo Child is like a pinnacle of guitar playing. It has been done by the likes of Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. I wanted to post the links of this song before Mark did. I am posting them in order of my favorites.

Well, We Tried Hunting

Jordan, my younger son, is notorious for wanting to do things at the last minute. For example, one year, the day after the 4th of July, he wanted to go and buy fireworks. He is also notorious for not investigating things well. I say these things not to draw you to bad conclusions, but to help you enjoy the mind of a thirteen year old boy.

For several years we were into Scouting. He was the one who was really into the outdoors. Nathan, my oldest, liked the outdoors, but not as much as Jordan. This could be because we found Jordan as a baby swinging from tree to tree when we decided to take him home. Anyway, Jordan loves the outdoors.

Scouting took on the progression to shooting things. Jordan has built an arsenal of K'Nex guns, including semi automatics, shot guns, pistols, rifles, and even a potato gun and hand grenades (the potato gun is pvc, and the hand grenades are K'Nex). When he is up north he can be found searching for the perfect branch with which to make a bow and arrow set.

Well, it came... The time when all men who crave meat go out into the woods in search of big game... That time when mankind pretends to be a tree, sits totally still, thinks animal thoughts, wears clothes that make him look like the jolly green giant, sprays himself with deer urine spray to smell like the wild, doesn't shave, doesn't wear deodorant, doesn't change his clothes for days, moves through the woods like a silent ninja, carries lethal weapons, lives on beef jerkey,... I think you get the idea. Hunting season came. Yes hunting season came and Jordan wanted to go. Well, he doesn't have a license, has very little time shooting, doesn't have the appropriate clothes, pretty much is totally unprepared, except he has an unrelenting desire to join the ranks of the nature loving big game hunters.

What does that mean? That means dad has to do research, go to hunting stores, buy tons of stuff, get apprentice licenses, make more trips to the store to buy hunting gear, blow his shopping budget, blow his Ray's MTB budget, blow his Christmas budget, and every other budget, remember how to hunt, find out where we can hunt, drive up north, and a host of other things to be ready for bow season. Wait, BOW season??? Jordan wanted to start the year off with bow hunting 3/4 of the way through the season, AND he wanted to do rifle season, and muzzle loader season. Good thing he waited until late October to tell me...

Ok, all of the research is finally done. Jordan is totally excited. He can't wait to do this. He is sitting on the XBOX 360 playing Alaskan Adventure. I watch his hunting technique... Run through the woods, chase an animal. Shoot relentlessly until you expire all of your ammo... Oh no, this is going to be a long adventure for us. I sit him down to explain how to hunt, or at least how we will be hunting. We will be sitting quietly in the woods in a deer blind. Enter Nathan... Why does the talkative kid enter here? I don't know, but this is where he entered. "Dad, I have always wanted to hunt, but you always said no. I just abandoned ever going hunting because you didn't want to. Now that you are going, can I come, too?"

Oh boy. Here we go. This is going to be a true adventure. "Ok, boys, call grandpa and see if we can hunt on his property."

How do I deal with this? I know, Youtube! They have videos of everything! I will show them some clips of hunting and the mess of shooting a deer. I will show them field dressing video clips. They might not want to go after that... See, the reality here is I used to be a hunter, but I can't bring myself to actually shooting something, though I am a good shot.

"Boys, come over here and watch this clip."

"Aww cool!!!! Thanks dad, now we can't wait to go hunting!!!"

Something tells me that idea backfired...

Let's fastforward to the big day. We are on the road enjoying every memory I had of hunting with my dad when I was a kid. Our jaws are sore from the famous Narski's beef jerkey. I use this as my dad used it. I used this as an intentional way to tire my kids talkative jaws so they wouldn't talk the deer to death the next day.

4:00am opening day. The boys are already up and dressed in their hunting gear. I pack them and the gear up and take them to our hunting blind. It is very dark. We get into our blind and set up. Then we wait. And we wait. We wait some more. The sun finally rises. The woods are teeming with wildlife. "Dad, look over there in the trees. It's a white moose!" "I think I see something!"

I politely remind them to be quiet. This works for the rest of the morning. We headed back to my parents for a quick lunch, then back to the blind. We saw some tracks so we must have just missed the deer...

Back into the blind and the conclusion of the story. One boy sleeps the entire hunt from this point out, and the other talks the entire hunt from this point out..... One dad has to drive us home. What a good time with the boys. Exactly what I thought it would be, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Worship Post

My friend Jeremy posted this a while back. I really have been thinking about it lately. I hear the comment, "it's just worship," a lot as though worship is some routine habit like anything else. I don't claim to be an expert on worship, but I think this video can say all I want to for the moment.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What a Disappointment!

I read this the other day and unsubscribed from this "devotional." Is this how Jesus commanded us to act?

God Removes His Hand from the United States

(1 Samuel 8:1-21)

But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do." 1 Samuel 8:6-9

The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king." 1 Samuel 8:21

God removes His hand from the United States, it is now time to act! With the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the next President of the United States, yesterday marked a watershed day spiritually for this nation. For decades now, this country has been operating in rebellion to God and His Truth. We legally slaughter 4,000 babies every day. We have made a mockery of God's Holy Institution of Marriage. God's plan for the family has been decimated. We have totally given ourselves over to the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of this temporal world. We have bowed down to and worshipped every false god and idol created in rebellion to the God of the Bible.

  • ROB'S NOTE: America has been going in the wrong direction for a long time. I agree that these things are a travesty. But, has God removed His hand???

Out of our rebellion to God, the people have now elected a man to lead this nation who is a staunch supporter of legalized infanticide. Speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, Senator Obama said, "The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." President Obama will repay the support of those in the baby killing industry by insuring abortion on demand at any stage of the pregnancy, and through executive orders, he will wipe out any progress individual states have made in trying to ban abortions in their state. As President, he will elect judges to the US Supreme Court who will insure Roe vs. Wade is never overturned, as well as activist judges to the Federal Courts who will rule on the side of death in any abortion cases.

  • ROB'S NOTE: I am very disappointed by President elect Obama's stance on abortion. We will need to pray for a change of his heart. We will ALSO need to be on the forefront of the battle now. We will need to actually reach people in sin in whatever condition, young, old, adulterers, rapists, BEFORE there is a need to get an abortion. Yes, I am suggesting that if anyone feels the need to have an abortion, the church wasn't there with the love of Jesus and the Gospel soon enough.

President Obama is also a great friend to the homosexual community and will be a champion of their radical agenda. President Obama will make it easy for gay couples to adopt children. I remember years ago warning people in my Daily Devotional that the homosexual community was targeting your children. People said I was over reacting. Today, an entire generation of children has grown up being brainwashed that being gay is normal and acceptable. They are being indoctrinated as young as kindergarten that there is nothing wrong with this choice of deviant sex. Again, through executive orders he will wipe out any gains made by various states to insure gay marriage will quickly spread across the nation, and the judges he appoints will help the radical gay agenda to move forward.

  • ROB'S NOTE: This is an issue to be concerned about as well. I believe that marriage was first mentioned in the Bible. Could not this, then fall under "separation of church and state?"

Today, the people of Israel should be very concerned. Over these past 60 years, they could always count on the full and total support from the United States government. No longer. It is bad enough we have had numerous Presidents now trying to make peace by giving away part of the land God gave to the children of Israel to those who want to see the Jewish people wiped off the face of the globe. Under President Obama, Israel will no longer have a friend in Washington that they can count on. Sadly for this nation, Genesis 12:3 that promises God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel is still in effect.

The truly sick fact is this will all be done by a man who will professes to be a Christian. Despite supporting the killing of innocent babies, the agenda and special rights of those who choose to commit acts of homosexuality, and believing the universalistic lie that everyone will get to Heaven regardless what they believe, President Obama proclaims to be a Christian. I have told you for the past few years that the biggest problem in Christianity, is the ever growing group of people who make up the Christian left. These are people who call themselves Christians, yet don't hold the Bible to represent Absolute Truth.

This liberal group that President Obama is part of, focuses on a social Gospel, things like world hunger, AIDs in Africa, and climate issues to name a few. These are noble causes Christians need to be involved in, but you can't just ignore issues like abortion and marriage like they don't exist. Most in the Christian left are a byproduct of this seeker/purpose driven/emerging church/liberal mainline denomination generation that lays down the absolutes of the Bible to attract warm bodies. It has flourished due to the gutless pastors who refuse to lead and preach a watered down, feel good, ear tickling message void of hard Truth so nobody is offended.

  • ROB'S NOTE: Okay, this is where I get off.
  • First, who can judge whether Obama is truly a Christian? It is true that many of his policies would lead you to think he is not, but how can you really know?
  • Second, when did it become a prerequisite that the president had to be a Christian?
  • Third, isn't God concerned with those things as well as abortion? Didn't Jesus spend the bulk of his time on earth with the poor, the weak, and the sick? Didn't He criticize the leaders of the religious and political spheres for their lack of involvement? Can it be possible that God is concerned with ALL of these things, that it should be a "both and" type thing and not an "either or" type of thing?
  • Lastly, though I am sure there are many watered down churches in America, when did Bill Keller earn the right to judge them all? There are many churches who are preaching Christ, who care about all aspects of the Bible. Many of them might still be considered politically conservative. This just really irks me that a Christian can be so narrow minded and not see that all of these issues are important to God. Maybe Bill Keller needs to be reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 25:31-46. Maybe he also needs to consider the establishment of the first church after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven in Acts 2...

The nation has had Presidents before who were no friend of God and we didn't crumble spiritually. That is because there was still a vibrant remnant of true followers of Christ. Today, we have the better percentage of two full generations who have never been to church. So many churches today do little or no evangelism. Over the past 40 years, that remnant of true followers has dwindled down considerably as older saints have gone to be with the Lord and haven't been replaced.

  • ROB'S NOTE: Maybe, if there are the better part of two generations who haven't heard the Gospel, we as the church need to roll up our sleeves and get our lazy butts to work!

The effect of Obama's election is that it will empower those who oppose the work of God. Those who serve satan will be bolder and more aggressive than ever. They will be targeting like never before, true followers of Christ. Spiritual crack dealers like Oprah who peddle New Age garbage are ok. Those who promote cults like Mormonism, the JWs, Scientology, Kaballah, and others are ok. The false religions like Islam, Buddhists, and others are ok. Those in the Christian left with their social agenda are ok.

Their target will be zeroed in on those who believe, preach, and teach the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word, representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters. They will be out to destroy true followers of Jesus Christ. This will come in many forms, such as laws to call the Bible hate speech as other countries have already done. For the first time, real and tangible persecution is going to be felt by those who refuse to compromise the Truth of the Bible and preach the Gospel.

The end result is that people are no longer going to be able to stand in the middle. The election of President Barack Hussein Obama is going to finally force people to take a stand. You are either a follower of Christ, which means you are also a follower of His Word, or you are not. Jesus said you can't serve two masters. Elijah told the people on Mt. Carmel to CHOOSE who you will serve. My friend, it is now time to choose. If you going to follow Jesus, it is time to act!

  • ROB'S NOTE: I am kinda back on with this point, though I think Bill is too narrow minded in his thinking. Now is the time to act if people like Bill are ever going to be saved. (I say that with sarcasm. I just can't figure out smileys on this blog yet.) This will be a time of choice and the church will need to be on guard. We will need to be more active than ever. We need to unite, though, support our president in prayer, get out on the streets and share the love of Jesus, and embody the Gospel, regardless of what the world around us does.

I love you and care about you so much. I realize that very few can "hear" what I am saying today. They woke up in their bed this morning and it seems like just another day. I can empathize with the frustration of the Old Testament prophets as they warned the people of God's coming wrath and most of the people simply ignored them or wrote them off as kooks. Yesterday, God's hand came off this nation. True followers of Jesus Christ no longer have the luxury of sitting back and doing nothing. Silence is not an option any more. We must take our stand now, or we will no longer have that opportunity. We have the only true answer for this nation and for the souls of men. It is time to boldly and without shame or compromise declare that answer!

  • ROB'S NOTE: Did God's hand come off the nation? Could it be that God knows more of what He is doing than we do? Could it be that God is putting His hand on the nation by causing it to take a great step forward to end racism? Or, could it be that He has just placed His hand on our country in a little more painful place than we are used to? (Meaning a big slap on the butt for Christians in American who have become complacent American consumers over being salt and light.)

As I was praying over all of this the other night, before going to sleep I was flipping through the stations and I stopped at TBN. On the eve of the election, with the spiritual course of our nation hanging in the balance, I expected to see true men of God preaching great messages of repentance and a turning back to God. Sadly, these people are as lost as the sons of Eli or Samuel. What were they doing? Having a telethon, raising money by promising people if they sent them money all of their financial problems would be solved. It was like watching the fiddler play while Rome burned !

  • ROB'S NOTE: Did you really expect to see anything else on TBN?

For those who have been following Liveprayer, you know in the Spring God gave me a vision for this nation. In July, I launched the Jonah Project. The Lord gave me this vision and the Holy Spirit guided me to set up this vehicle for exactly where we are at today. The Jonah Project is the plan from God to bring together the true followers of Christ at this moment in human history, to call this nation to repentance, to turn back to God and Biblical Truth, and to help lead the lost to faith in Jesus Christ while taking a bold and visible stand on the social issues of our day.

  • ROB'S NOTE: Why didn't you have this vision when you were converted?

Let me encourage you today to become part of the Jonah Project. You can go to the Jonah Project homepage at , watch the vision video, and sign up to be part of this great last days move of God. My friend, this is the only hope for our nation and for each soul. There is only one answer, JESUS!!!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Great Post by my Wife!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Devotional About Reaching Out to the Other

The other day I got a devotional that I wanted to pass along.

Relating to those Different from Us
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?'" (John 4:9).

Do you find it difficult to relate to others who are different than you? Do you shy away from interacting with those who may have a different belief?

Jesus interacted with his culture and especially those who thought differently than He. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well it was much like a Christian speaking to a Muslim or a Jew speaking to a Palestinian. Jesus built a relationship with the woman instead of taking an adversarial position.

In order to influence our culture it is vital believers engage with those unlike us. We often assume others who come from other cultures do not want to engage with us. This is a deception from Satan. Many who grow up in other faiths do so as a cultural tradition, not because they have strongly held beliefs. For instance, many Muslims do not know what is in the Quran and simply believe what they are taught based on tradition.

Every person is looking for a genuine relationship with God. Jesus operated based on that assumption. Notice how Jesus engaged with the woman.

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet (John 4: 13-19).

Once Jesus established a rapport with the woman He began to engage with her. He spoke supernaturally into her life which broke through the religious spirit which prevented a theological debate. This led to faith in Christ and even the city being impacted.

Why not seek out a relationship with someone different from yourself. You'll be surprised how God might use you.