November 2003


30 Nov 2003 09:37 pm

Sunday 2003/11/30 Morning
Rev. Scavo
Isaiah 12:3-6
THE BLESSING OF PRAISE

3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation. 4. And in that day you will say: "Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted. 5 Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This [is] known in all the earth. 6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great [is] the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"

1. Joy (v3).

Change in person from singular to plural. God saves individuals into the Church. We are united together.

Romans 12:5 "so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another".

Ephesians 4:4-6 "4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Westminster Confession Chapter 26:
CHAPTER XXVI.
Of the Communion of the Saints.
I. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ their head, by his Spirit and by faith, have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory: and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as to conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.

Joy – gladness for temporal or eternal blessings.

Psalm 4:7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.

Water is a picture of salvation. God provided the water Israel needed in the wilderness. God continues to bless us with mercy.

1 Cor 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

Well – source of water. We die if the well goes dry. Without the lifegiving well, people perish.

John 4. Jesus is living water.

Psalm 36:8-9 8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
9For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.

John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

Revelation 22:1-2 1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

2. Praise (v4).

This is an Imperative, a command. "You will say…"

Name – God’s name is not magic formula, but the qualities and character of God.

Exodus 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

1 John 3:23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Rom 10:13-14 13For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Public. The group of saved make known to the whole world what God has done.

Psalm 66:1-4 1 Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
2Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
3Say to God,
"How awesome are Your works!
Through the greatness of Your power
Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.
4All the earth shall worship You
And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name."

We don’t just accept the blessings. We remember them and proclaim to others and to ourselves what God has done.

1 Pet 2:9-10 9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Cor 15:3-4 3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

3. Proclaim (v5-6).

Sing – This is the proper response to God. We should do it with feeling, but above all, we should do it. God is worthy of worship.

Psalm 150 – 1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
3Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
6Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!

Mat 28:18-20. 18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

First we should tell people how wonderful God is. After that we tell them what He has done to fix our sin problem. This is ultimately about God and His glory, not about man and his problem.

Verse 6 has another change of person. It is singular and female. This reminds us of Miriam who led the praise at the Exodus.

Exodus 15:20-21 – 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21And Miriam answered them:
"Sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!"

The change to feminine singular is a picture of the Church worshiping God.

Isaiah 9:6 6For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 11:9 9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.

Jeremiah 31:34-35 34No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
35Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The LORD of hosts is His name):

Cry out and shout – Literally: "Cry at the top of your lungs." In our praise for God, we are to be like city on a hill that can not be hidden.

Matthew 5:14-15 14"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Isaiah is encouraging the remnant of his day that things will get better. We are living in those better days was speaking of. We should be crying out what God has done for us.

30 Nov 2003 01:47 pm

Q.66. What is the reason for the fifth commandment?

A. The reason for the fifth commandment is the promise of long life and prosperity, if these glorify God and are for the good of those who obey this command.

Our Church is working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism one question per week in Sabbath School. (We always called it Sunday School as I was growing up, but in the Reformed Presbyterian denomination, they call it Sabbath School. It still sounds odd to me to call it that, but I’m starting to get more used to it.) This morning we will discuss question 65, and question 66 is for the coming week. We are following a book, Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, by Starr Meade, in which we have daily readings on the question of the week. Then we discuss the question of the week in Sabbath School.

30 Nov 2003 01:36 pm

Q.65. What does the fifth commandment forbid?

A. The fifth commandment forbids being disrespectful to or not treating others as their position or relationship to us demands.

30 Nov 2003 03:33 am

I really enjoy The Lord of the Rings. The book is probably the best work of fiction I’ve read. I was originally sceptical that anyone could successfully make the books into movies. "It will be another ‘Dune’," I thought. But I was wrong. The movies are great, and amazingly true to the story, considering what Hollywood does to most books they make into movies. There are some things they changed in the movies that bother me, but I won’t quibble about them here.

I also would like to go to New Zealand some day. Seeing scenery in The Lord of the Rings movies only reinforces that desire. It is a beautiful place, from what I know of it.

Naturally, New Zealand is trying to capitalize on the movies to increase tourism. But this article, Kiwi hobbit habit hooks hordes of tourists, includes one of the dumbest tourist attraction ideas I’ve heard of in a while:

"A village near Wellington has just opened miniature Hobbit toilets, complete with grass roof and little round doorways."

Are people supposed to come from distant lands to look at little toilets? Maybe people would like to have their pictures taken with them? What were these people thinking? Imagine the ideas they rejected before they decided this would attract tourists. "A sculpture of Frodo made of cheese? Nope. The One Donut Ring? Nope. Hobbit droppings? Nope. But that give me an idea: Hobbit toilets! Yes!"

29 Nov 2003 03:49 pm

I am in charge of cooking the dinner for my wife’s birthday today. She has requested chili con carne. Usually she makes it without chili powder at my request. But since it is her birthday, I included the chili powder. I hope she enjoys it.

29 Nov 2003 03:31 am

In an entry earlier today, I mocked the usefulness of implanting RFID chips into people’s arms, but here is a really good use for them: networking tables. Yes, researchers have figured out a way to network two tables at remote locations. Wired: Gizmo Puts Cards on the Table.

The idea is that when someone puts an object with an RFID chip on the "sending" table, the system will project an image of that object to display on the remote "receiving" table. Pretty useful, huh? If I had that system I could…. Well, I’ll get back to you later with what I’d do with it, but it is pretty neat! And it doesn’t even require outpatient surgery.

This system was developed by MIT Media Lab Europe, and is part of their Habitat project.

"Habitat’s designers say the system can give people a sense of what their loved ones are up to and perhaps even how they are feeling…. Researchers at the Media Lab’s Human Connectedness research group, who designed Habitat, say the tables convey a broader picture of someone’s emotional state over the course of a day.

"The appearance of an image of a book at one table may suggest that someone is enjoying a day off from work. The sight of a pack of cigarettes however, could mean the same person is feeling stressed out and might appreciate a phone call from a friend."

The article did not mention what the presence of an Alice Cooper CD might mean, but the general consensus around here is that it couldn’t be anything good.

This is an example of what the article calls

"ubiquitous computing, an engineering approach that uses networks of tiny devices — RFID tags, sensors and transponders — to enhance people’s everyday experiences and strengthen their social bonds."

Yes, that is what I would do if I had the system to network two remote tables. I would build social bonds with my ubiquitous computing.

28 Nov 2003 05:34 pm

Revelation 13:11-18 (NKJV)

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

In the circles I used to travel, this type of story was a sure sign the Antichrist was just around the corner. CNET: Chip implant gets cash under your skin.

I remember all the breathless discussion about how price scanners were coming, and how some day soon the Antichrist would use that technology to scan the mark he would force you to put on your hand or forehead. Now, it is more sophisticated: RFID chips.

I always thought those discussions were pretty silly. I didn’t learn until much later that the theology behind those discussions was also silly. But aside from the theological issues (or lack thereof) I also think it is silly to implant an RFID chip in your arm.

On the same site with the article about implanting RFID chips into your arm, they have another article about the dangers of not encrypting your wireless computer network: Commentary: A fate worse than lack of access. CNET clearly makes the point that it is a bad idea to let other people have access to your wireless computer network. An RFID chip responds to any query with your personal access information that gets you into an ATM. Maybe you shouldn’t be "broadcasting" that to the world either. And if your access information is compromised, don’t worry. It is only minor surgery to replace the chip with another. I don’t even like to think of what a robber would do to get your chip so they can empty your bank account.

Needless to say, I won’t be "chipped" any time soon, even for the $50 discount mentioned in the article.

28 Nov 2003 03:03 pm

Here’s the text of President Bush’s Thanksgiving Day speech.

The AT&T Worldnet home page has links to the "major" stories of the moment, usually provided by the All-Quagmire-All-the-Time Reuters. For a while, they had a link to the story of the President’s visit to Iraq. You knew they would be quick to find a more "on message" article for their home page. They just fugured out a way to "quagmire" this positive story: "U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Hours After Bush Visit". Thank you Reuters; and thank you AT&T.

28 Nov 2003 03:33 am

President George Bush showed up for Thanksgiving dinner with the troops. He served food in the chow line, gave a short speech and visited with the troops. Not surprisingly, he was given a warm reception by the soldiers. According to this report, when the troops discovered Bush was the VIP guest, they "climbed on chairs and tables to yell their approval".

Also, not surprisingly, some of the press are ticked off. According to Matt Drudge, some reporters resent the fact that they weren’t told about the trip beforehand. The New York Times Washington Bureau chief complained, "People are perfectly capable of maintaining a confidence for security reasons." Presumably, he then requested his bottle and blanket and curled up for his afternoon nap.

Had these elite press members been included, they probably would have been offended by the warm reception the President received. After all, those troops don’t realize this "President Select" is an ignorant buffoon who has alienated all our allies by unilaterally attacking two peaceful, non-threatening nations. He has bypassed the UN, and lied to justify his bloodthirsty aggression. And now he has us trapped in a quagmire in Iraq. And worse than all that, if the economy continues to improve and things stabilize in Iraq, all the hard work of the elite press will be to no avail as Bush will be re-elected. So you can see how annoying it is for them to not be included in the secret trip.

27 Nov 2003 04:08 pm

The Washington Times has the following headline: House will vote on alien reporting.

I haven’t read the article, so I don’t know if this will ban reporting by Geraldo Rivera, or if it will ban reporting on Dennis Rodman.

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