Friendship Shouldn't Excuse Sin

May 31, 2012
When I was in High School I had a friend who was a perpetual liar.  He had such a reputation for going far beyond exaggeration that people who know him well knew that his word could not be trusted. 
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    After completing High School my lying friend went to work for a farmer who farmed right across the road from one of the fields I farmed.  During the fall of the year one of the farm radio shows would ask farmers to call in with yield reports.  Since this man had been a friend of mine for years I recognized his voice when he called in and I also knew that I could expect him to lie.  He was running my neighbor’s combine right across the road from where I was harvesting and as I listened to the radio, I could see how full his combine got in the same distance I had traveled.  By comparing the level of corn in his combine and mine, I had a pretty good estimate of how well the field was yielding, and sure enough, he lied.
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If you were to call my friend a liar, I could not argue with you.  Further, I would not try to convince you that lying is okay simply because I have a friend who lies.  Sadly, some people try to convince us that certain sins are okay simply because they have friends and family involved in those sins.  This is especially true of homosexuality.
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 A lot of things are sinful. That is why Jesus died and rose again- because we are all sinners whether gay or straight. What makes the discussion on homosexuality so difficult is that most people are willing to admit that lying, stealing, slandering, murder and so many other things are wrong, but want to ignore what the Bible says about homosexuality.
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At the same time, we must never forget that just like any other sin, if a person trusts Christ and really repents, it will be forgiven. We must also remember that we all struggle with sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Some people struggle with pornography, others struggle with alcoholism (drunkenness), others struggle with covetousness (greed), and some struggle with homosexual desires.
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Think of it this way, if a married man has a desire for a woman other than his wife, does it make it okay for him to sleep with her?  No!  It is wrong because it is adultery and God makes it clear that adultery is a sin. Some would argue that this is only wrong because the wife could be hurt in this situation, but even if the husband was able to do it without the wife ever finding out, it would still be wrong!  The point is, it is wrong because it is sin. The same is true of homosexuality.
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Now if a person has homosexual temptations, but admits that acting on them is a sin, then I see no reason to treat it different than other sins people are tempted with. But if the person has the temptation and says there is nothing wrong with acting on it, then they are denying the scripture.
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I understand that not everyone is a Christian.  For some of you my arguments really are not applicable unless you eventually come to the point to finally agree with what God has said, but for those of you who believe on Christ, you should believe the Bible, and it is very clear on this specific sin. That doesn’t mean we do not care about friends who are sinners, but let us not make excuses for their sin no matter what it is.  Let us also recognize that we are all sinners and not make excuses for our own sins either.
 

Memorial Day 2012

May 28, 2012
If I have my history right, United States has not formally declared war since World War II.  It seems the last formal declaration of war took place nearly 70 years ago on June 5, 1942 when Bulgaria, Hungry, and Romania were added as opponents in our war with Japan, Germany, and Italy. 
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Numerous military engagements have been authorized by congress since that time however.  Whether or not you call those activities wars, police actions, skirmishes, or national security ventures people have di...
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Prayer, Rain, and Thankfulness

May 18, 2012
Last fall was really dry.  I heard of farmers having extra wear and tear on their tractors and tillage equipment because the dry ground made pulling really hard.  Then several weeks ago, I heard about a farmer who was concerned about planting into dry dirt and having uneven emergence.  It is amazing how quickly things can changed once we got a 4“ rain.
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This reminds me of a dry spell we went through during my childhood.  My dad was a farmer and he was concerned that the crops get some rain. ...
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Will There Be Pets In Heaven?

May 4, 2012
We have a German Shepherd.  They are amazing dogs.  They were bred to be rugged working dogs.  Our dog loves to do her work of watching the neighborhood and letting us know what is happening with her well timed bark.  The only time that the church was ever broken into was when she was away on vacation at my in-law’s farm.
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She loves going to the farm because she loves being able to run outside at her leisure.  When Crystal and I were first married we tried having her in the house with us, bu...
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I Shouldn't Get Even

April 18, 2012
Imagine if you came out of a store and saw a huge dent in your car.  Another driver is sheepishly waiting for you as he stands beside the police officer filling out the accident report.  What will be your response? 
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In such a situation the Christian response should be to act with meekness and understanding.  “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
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Imagine however if after the police report is...
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Christ is Risen From the Dead

April 4, 2012
Is it possible to like a Hershey’s candy bar and not like chocolate?  Is it possible to eat a cheeseburger without cheese?  Sure, you can order a cheeseburger without cheese, but then it is not really a cheeseburger, it is just a hamburger.  Christianity without the resurrection of Jesus Christ is worse than a cheeseburger without cheese, because without the resurrection of Christ it is not even Christianity. 
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The Apostle Paul actually gave us the definition of the gospel message (the good...
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God Will Keep His Promises

March 23, 2012
Life is full of unexpected events.  Some are pleasant, and some are stressful.  Recently we had what could’ve been a stressful event turn into an opportunity to spend more time with family.  After visiting my mother, the alternator quit working on our vehicle.  Fortunately we were only about 15 miles from her house when we became stranded so she was able to come and pick us up and the boys got to spend another night at grandma’s until we could get the new part the next morning. 
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It reall...
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I Want You To Meet Someone

March 8, 2012
Imagine that you had a single sister and you  also had a friend who wanted to date her.  Your sister had never met this friend so you began to tell her about him.  You told her that he did not have a job because he was too lazy and that was the same reason that he was about 100 pounds overweight.  Further, he was rude and a real bully.  Besides, he was a liar who would cheat anyone he came in contact with.  Unless your sister was a total fool, she would not be interested in starting a relatio...
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How Does God Speak to Us?

February 24, 2012
Have you ever heard a voice from above that gave you a powerful message?  Let me share my experience.  When I just a kid, I was out in the hog house doing chores and as I walked out of the building I heard this voice from above that said, “Shake baby shake, I said shake baby shake!”  Since no one else was around, I was a bit inclined to tremble/shake a bit, but then I looked over to where Dad had parked the semi just a few feet away from the hog house.  I then realized that when he had sh...
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Should We Horde The TV?

February 13, 2012
My wife has been decluttering- getting rid of things that we seldom use so that we do not become like the people on that hoarders show.  The only time we have seen Hoarders is when we have been away from home or watched it on the internet, because we do not have TV reception in our house.  Thus as my wife has been decluttering, she has suggested getting rid of the TV.  I have argued that without the TV, we could not watch anymore VCR tapes.  Of course if we got rid of the TV, we would not hav...
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Look Out for the Bad Guys!

January 27, 2012
The other day one of our little boys came into my office and announced that he was going to the bank.  They often play make believe, but I realized that we do not live that far from the bank, and they might actually decide to walk over there some day.  We then had a long talk about the danger of getting run over by cars if you go near the street.
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Because we live in a sin cursed world, we also had to have another discussion.  I warned them about “bad guys.”  No doubt, it is a blessing to l...
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What Should I Wear Today?

January 12, 2012
My wife was all excited.  She is able to fit into her jeans again after having our big baby boy.  He weighed over 11 pound and at the end of her pregnancy she could not even fit into her maternity pants.  Fortunately she had a couple of skirts she was still able to wear. 
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I am glad that I do not have to deal with the fashion struggles that she recently had.  I still have shirts that I wore two decades ago, so I have to be careful not to continue to wear something that is totally out of style...
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Abounding as Needs are Met

December 30, 2011
In Philippians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul showed that he understood what it meant to abound and to suffer need.  We are so blessed in this country that few people here really know what it means to “need” food.  Sure we might have times when we are hungry because we cannot find a drive thru restaurant, but few have to worry about starving to death.
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Still, most of us know what it means to live on a budget.  In other words, we do not have a limitless supply of money to buy whatever we want ...
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The Best Gift

December 22, 2011
When I was a child we would get a couple of huge toy catalogs.  We would go through and pick out our favorite items so that we could pass a list on to Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa with hopes that they might fulfill our desires.  Recently our little boys found one of the small toy catalogs that came in the mail.  They were enjoying looking at all the pictures but had not get grasped the idea of asking to have the items they saw.  For now the catalog itself is a satisfying gift for th...
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The Truth About Christmas

December 16, 2011
A few weeks ago our little boys looked out the front window and saw the beautiful Christmas lights in and on our neighbor’s house across the street.  One of them got all excited and said, “they have Christmas!”
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Not long after that we went to the open house at our local bank and the boys got free coloring books.  One of them saw a picture of Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, and since he is young enough that he doesn’t know all his animals well, he asked if it was a horsey.  When I told h...

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Hypocrisy or True Morality?

December 2, 2011
Our family continues to grow.  We just had another baby boy.  He was welcomed home by three older brothers and a couple of aunties who helped care for him the first week of his life as mommy recovered.  He was also welcomed home by a daddy who not only lived with his mommy, but was married to her.

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I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how the moral values of our society have degraded farther than we could have imagined.  I recently read how few teenagers have both a mom and dad in the s...


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Penn State and Morality

November 18, 2011
As I write this article, the country is reeling over the news of one of the worst scandals to have ever hit college football.  The scandal is so bad that a famous head football couch has stepped down from his position.  I do not want to go into all the disgusting details surrounding the terrible events that happened at Penn State.  For those who may not know about this incident, it involved a high ranking assistant couch raping young boys who were around 10-12 years of age.  What made it wors...
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Those Cold Blanket Wars

November 4, 2011
The blanket wars have resumed in the Miller household.  There had been a cease fire in the battle for quite awhile.  Through the summer months blankets were not such a prized commodity, but now that fall has set in and the temperatures have gone down we had our first skirmish in a long time last night.
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Now before you feel sorry for our family and start donating bedding, realize that we have cedar chests full of blankets.  The problem occurs with the tug of war that can occur during the middle...

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Mystery in the Lake Bottom

October 21, 2011
My brother and I recently went out to the family farm and dug up some field tile.  These were lines that had been in the ground for many years.  We were amazed to find that the cement tile looked like they had just been installed.  We found something even more amazing as we were digging on the other end of the field.  There was a hole in the ground that looked like it had been caused by a tile washout (often when there is a large break in the tile it will wash away the dirt above it causing a...
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Are You Known as a Hater?

October 14, 2011
I recently watched multiple interviews with members of the Westboro Baptist Church.  This is the group that goes around to protest military funerals.  I was struck with the hatred that those being interviewed had for others.  Since we both share the title “Baptist”, I felt it was important to respond.
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Though First Baptist in Bancroft, and Westboro Baptist, both have “Baptist” in our names we have no common affiliations.  In order to call itself a Baptist church, an organization does n...
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A New Outlook on Revival

October 2, 2011
I decided to write this article because I have some concerns about revival.  Now before I go farther, please let me state that I am not opposed to revival.  In fact, I am praying that this country would have a revival.  When I say that, I mean a REAL revival, not just worldly sorrow over the consequences of sin.
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My thoughts about revival have changed somewhat since preaching through the Old Testament books of Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, and then Judges.  As the children of Israel were led out of...
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God's Glory in the Gospel

September 23, 2011
I grew up in a Christian home.  As far as I know, none of my forefathers called themselves anything other than Christian.  Other than a few agnostics here and there, most of the people I know would call themselves Christians. Still I have met people from other religions.
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There are about 20 different major religions in the world.  Even the religions at the bottom of that list have over ½ million followers.  This does not count many smaller religions that do not fit into the other 20 categorie...
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Godly Pleasures All Around

September 9, 2011
Our little boys are at an age when the simplest of pleasures are still exciting for them.  I didn’t realize how easy it was to entertain them until a recent trip to a Pizza Ranch.  We happened to be seated in a place where the boys were able to see the arcade games.  There was a hunting game with deer, elk, and moose.  The boys did not know it was a game but instead thought they were getting to watch a movie while they ate dinner. 
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The best part came after we were done eating.  We went bac...
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Converting That Ugly Rust

August 26, 2011
The other day I had to fix some rust on the minivan.  It actually surprised me, because I had not noticed a rust problem until I took a closer look.  The metal on the bottom insides of the doors was starting to deteriorate and the culprit- rust.
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Rust is a lot like sin in our own lives.  We might not recognize it at first, but it is still there.  I am reminded of Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” 
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Because of the deceitfulnes...
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It's Good to Save Ahead

August 10, 2011
We recently updated one of our vehicles.  The pickup had a lot of miles and with our growing family, we needed more room, so we ended up trading for the behemoth of SUV’s, a GM Suburban.  With the higher gas prices, the seller was motivated, and we were able to trade off the pickup.
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We had been looking for a while and were not overly anxious to buy unless we found the right deal.  We were actually at an advantage, because we had the finances set aside for the purchase.  By doing much of the...
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Windows and True Holiness

July 29, 2011
I have been installing new windows in the parsonage.  We replaced the windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom with plans to replace the bedroom and office windows next year.  Of course our little boys were all excited about the project.  They got to watch daddy work and they even got to crawl up and down the ladder outside.
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They definitely noticed the change as our house was renewed by having the old windows taken out and the new ones put in.  It reminds me of Ephesians...
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God Became Man for Sinners

July 15, 2011
Have you ever wished you could be in two places at once.  We had that challenge a few weeks ago.  A wedding and a graduation were scheduled on the same day, so my wife and I had to split up.  She and the boys went to the graduation, and I went to the wedding.  It would’ve been nice if I could’ve just duplicated myself and sent one of me to each place. 
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It is impossible for me to do such a thing, but it is not impossible for God.  He can be in more places than one.  Further, although He i...
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Don't Pull up New Believers

June 30, 2011
Early this spring, my oldest son helped us plant the garden.  As he saw us hoeing the ground, he wanted to do the same, but we warned him not to hoe the ground we had already planted.  Once the plants started to grow, we had a whole new problem- weeds.  As I started to pull weeds, my young helper saw what I was doing and like so many little boys, he copied his father.  Unfortunately, instead of pulling a weed, he pulled a newly sprouted zucchini.  
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Sometimes we as Christians are like little ...
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An Object Lesson to Remember

June 17, 2011
When we lived in Albert Lea, my friend Steve would open the Sunday School with intriguing object lessons.  He might brings some kitchen utensils or other items to drive home important Biblical truth.  I do not have Steve’s talent for such things.  I once did an object lesson with a flashlight for a group, but more often my object lessons are impromptu.  For example, my boys might come up to me with their toys and I will use the toys to teach them some lesson, or I might be on a job site and...
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A True Love Relationship

June 3, 2011
Through the years, I have watched other couples.  It seemed like so many relationships were forced.  It was like the two people didn’t even like each other, but they stayed together because they figured the other person could advance their popularity.  Then I saw other couples where it was as if God had placed them together (I believe He did) and no one could pull them apart.  That is what I found when I met my wife. 
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As I reflect on relationships, it seems that so many of them are based o...
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(The blog posts from
November 2010- April 2013
were entered by Former Pastor Jerry Miller
.)  

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