Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Classified Humour

These are real Ads:

For Sale:
Bulldog. Will eat anything. Loves children.

Thanks to two special people who picked my wife up after a fall from her bike and broke her pelvis and severely damaged her back and many other parts of her body. Jim and Betty Kelleher - there are not enough words to express gratitude and heartfelt thanks for you and what you did for my wonderful wife.

Extremely Indepedent Male. 17 years old, needs to rent room. Call his mother at...

Have Family, would like to exchange for home in Amsterdam.

Or how about this actual transcript of a court proceeding:

Lawyer: When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?

Opposing Lawyer: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

National Geographic Blows It Again

Justin Taylor's Blog is about the only one I read regularly anymore. This caught my eye today:

"A good post here from Craig Blomberg on whether or not it is historically defensible to believe that Herod ordered the execution of those boys under two years old in Bethlehem around the time of Jesus' birth."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Aren't Wars Started By Religion?

People are sometimes skeptical of Christianity (or any religion) because they feel that many wars are started in the name or religion and that the world might just be a better place if there was no religion.

There is no doubt that many bad things have been done by religious people. However, the Communist Russian, Chinese, and Cambodian regimes of the twentieth century all rejected belief in God but produced massive violence against their own people. So clearly not all wars are caused by religion. Societies that have rid themselves of all religion have been just as oppressive (and sometimes even more) than societies that seem to be religious.

The only real common denominator behind all wars is people. So the only correct conclusion we can come to is that there is some violent impulse inside people regardless of their religion. This conclusion makes sense when viewed from the Christian worldview which says that every person is born sinful and will have a natural propensity to do wrong and needs to repent of this and trust Jesus for salvation and then beginning living out the peace, justice, love, service, etc. that is taught in the Bible.

Those Who Have Not Heard

The issue of what happens to those who have never heard about Jesus Christ is a question many people ask. The question is often phrased this way: "What happens to the innocent person in the middle of Africa or the middle of a Muslim or Communist country who has never heard about Jesus Christ and had a chance to believe?" The answer is that the innocent person has nothing to fear. The problem is that there are no innocent people anywhere.

God is not unjust. No one will be condemned for not believing a message they have never heard. Those who have never heard the gospel will be judged by their failure to live up to the light of God's grace and power in nature and in their own conscience.

The Bible says that God will show his anger towards people because they suppress the truth that they have by their wickedness. They know basic truth about God because God has made it obvious to them through creation so they have no excuse for not knowing Him. (see Romans 1:18-20.)

There is no non-Christian person in the whole word who is a broken hearted, repentant person who trusts in God’s grace and lives up to the light that they have. People are not innocent. They suppress the truth that they have and will be judged for that.

The Bible says that if a person seeks God with all their heart, they will find him (see Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13) and that He is actually not far off from any person (see Acts 17:27).

So if a person sincerely sought after God because of intuitively knowing about Him through creation and their conscience, God would surely send a dream, a vision, or a missionary their way to share the Gospel, which they would accept and thereby be saved. This concept of a person being given a dream or vision, or a missionary coming to someone who is right ready to accept Christ because they have been sincerely seeking God has happened and been documented. However, it is rare because people naturally suppress the truth and do not sincerely seek God with their hearts. Rather, most people are proud and far from innocent. God resists proud people (see James 4:6) and will judge them someday. (Those who actually do seek God do so because God has sovereignly caused them to because of choosing/predestining them to be saved. See 1 Thess. 1:4-5.)

If we had God’s perspective on the enormous difference between His awesome holiness and our pitiful sinfulness we would probably be less like to ask the question, “Why would God send people to hell when they appear at first to be innocent?” and more likely to ask, “How is it the almighty God would send anyone to Heaven?”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honest Ed the Used Car Salesman

"An elderly lady owned her," honest Ed had informed me on a cloudless day the previous summer while gently her contoured roof and adjusting his purple suspenders. "She only drove it Sundays, you know. Between the church, her heated garage, and the car wash. Changed the oil after each drive. Triple-undercoated the body. Kept plastic on the seats. Heh, heh, this baby purs like a Swiss watch. Ticks like a pacemaker. And it's all ready to go. Of course, I'll top off the tank before you take it."

Ed looked like he'd just stepped off of a bad television ad...

"As it is, I'll only be makin' 25 bucks on the deal," said Ed. "It'll goes towards the crutches for the twins, should they survive the surgery. We've gotta get 'em seperated, you know. They're Siamese." A tear wound its way down Ed's pudgy cheek and splashed lightly on his tangerie tie. could you not buy the car from a nice guy like that?

(from Phil Callaway again.)


Friday, November 07, 2008

#1. Departure time for church has arrived but your wife has not.

She is still moving about the house checking the appliances. While waiting in the car you decide to:

A. Return to the house and say, "I'm sorry you're behind because I was late bringing you breakfast in bed. Is there anything I can do?
B. Leave without her.
C. Return to the house and start World War III.
D. Resist the urge to honk, and instead read your Bible.

#2. After 13 agonizing years, you have finally reached the Annual Mixed Slow Pitch Church Softball Final. The rules require a minimum of two women to be on the field at all times. Five have shown up. You, the captain , decide to:

A. Sit on the bench, realizing that there are far more important things than baseball, that this could be a character building event for all, and that each person should be treated as an equal regardless of petty things like gender.
B. Hide their gloves.
C. Put three women on the bench, the fourth at catcher, and the fifth at second base where three guys can rescue her should something awful occur (such as a ball being hit in her direction).
D. Volunteer to sit on the bench and hope like crazy that one of the women says something.

#3. Your son Billy just hit a three-run homer to win the Little League Championship. This is remarkable considering that you don't even have a son named Billy. But if you did, and he hit the game winner, you would:

A. Faint.
B. Console opposing team parents by patting their backs and saying, "Hey, second place isn't all that bad."
C. Congratulate the umpire on finally calling a good game.
D. Run onto the field screaming, "That's my kid! That's my kid!"

(from Phil Callaway, The Total Christian Guy, 1996)

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