Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm Back!!!!!

I want everyone to know that it feels so good to finally be back to what I love and that is blogging. I want to thank all my readers for their prayers and encouragement during the move to Kerrville. We are moved in and the boys are adjusting very well to all the changes with new school, friends, church, house, and all the other stresses that come along with moving. We are so happy and thankful that they are doing so well.

Of course, my wife is extremely busy with papers and projects as she graduates in a little less than a week. We both think her new job is going to be a wonderful opportunity and a blessing to our family as she has many benefits that will help us all over time.

There are several job opportunities that I am currently pursuing. I know that God will provide and open the doors of opportunity that he desires for my life. God has never let me down and will provide opportunities to make a difference for his kingdom as I seek His will in my life daily. God has put in my heart the desire to write a book about what I have gone through in my life with the illnesses that I have gone through and overcome and the faith lessons that it has taught me over the last two years.

Again, I want to thank you readers for all you do and continue to do to strengthen my faith and help my relationship with God. God is so good. May we never forget all he does and continues to do in our lives from day to day.

I want each of us in this post to answer and discuss the subject of faith. I know the Hebrew writer gives the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 and lets the readers know that in verse 6 that without faith it is impossible to please God.

So, how would you define faith to a non-believer? Is faith a gift from God or is it something that is instilled in all mankind or just those who have been "called"? Does faith in Christ save us? If so, why do some Christians want their own works to save them? What does it mean to have an active faith? Does faith lead to repentance? If so, how? Is it really possible to grow in our faith and if so how? Can we doubt even if we have faith? Can you think of men and women in the Bible who had faith yet doubted? When is it easiest for believers to doubt or loose faith? Can we loose faith? Are we saved by faith? Do athiests have faith? Is there more to faith than just believing in the Trinity? How do faith and works work together? If you would like to share with us, how has your faith devoloped and matured over time? Should there ever be a time where we stop growing and stretching our faith?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.


Blogger Wade Tannehill said...

That's a lot to chew on, Preacherman. And those who regularly comment are probably chewing on it and wondering where to even begin.

I don't think faith is a gift in the hyper-Calvinist sense of people having no choice in the matter as if some are chosen, others are not, and there's nothing anyone can do to change it.

But I'm still not ready to totally dimiss the notion of faith as a gift in some sense. When Peter confessed Christ, this information was revealed to him by the Father. So in that sense, you might say Peter received the gift of faith. And yet the human response is still necessary. We have free will.

Jesus indicated that the secrets of the kingdom are given to some, but not to others (Matt 13:11-12; Mark 4:11). Is this arbitrary or is this knowledge dispensed on the basis of heart condition?

I'm just brainstorming here. Maybe someone else will pick up the ball and carry it a few more yards.

Glad your family is doing well. I will pray for you.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you are settling in Preacherman. I read your blog and have missed your posts. I appreciate it.

Faith in God is what we receive when we accept Jesus in our life. Through the spirit, it gets stronger with every good work and with every trial. Faith in God is what gives us hope and joy.

The spiritual blessings I have received in my life increases my faith. God is good all the time. Good times or bad.

10:46 PM  
Blogger magdalunandi said...

Faith in God is what we receive when we accept Jesus in our life.

But LarryBob, this does not make sense to me. Don't you need faith in God before and in order to accept Jesus into your life?

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magdalunandi....I think that when you accept Christ into your life you must have put faith in him. Once you are raised in newness of life in Baptism, your faith grows from the spirit that you were given. As you walk in the spirit, your faith grows more and more as you mature in faith.

I hope I said that right :)

11:32 PM  
Blogger J. P. McCarty said...

I've been lurking for a long time, even more so now that I've been worshipping at Woodlawn. is such a prickly subject in the secular world because it is either automatically equated to a blind acceptance of something in the absence of evidence, or at least as a counterpoint (if not exact opposite of) reason. I admit in the latter case that I've played favorites at the expense of faith (which led to a memorable and incomprehensible sermon in my somewhat younger days), and I still find myself more often than not mystified by faith and its workings.

But, as I was struggling with unbelief a few months back, I came across a simple quote on some blog somewhere: "Faith--either you get it or you don't."

That's been working for me ever since.

10:14 AM  
Blogger sojourner said...

many questions you ask preacher man! i'm going to focus on one simple point of faith that's been keeping me going lately - God's FAITHfullness to complete the good work He began in me and ALL of HIS creation.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Crowm said...

First of all, welcome back my friend! I will continue to pray for the right ministry opportunity (job).

Faith is something I think that all mankind has. In other words, when we turn the key in an ignition, we expect something to happen. However, saving faith is something that God gives us as a free gift (Eph 2:8-9).

Our faith grows as we become obedient to bigger challenges throughout our lives. Lastly, I believe faith is much like a language. If you don't use it, you lose it. In other words, if one hasn't been intentional about growing their faith and tragedy occurs, there's a much greater chance of forgetting The Faith altogether.

Just some thoughts. Again, it's good to "see" you Kinney!

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you're back, Kinney! I'll be praying for your job pursuit.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Great to see you back Kinney!

So many questions.. I think that I'll just say this about faith - you don't really know that you have faith until it is tested.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Glad you are doing well friend. I know God will use you for His glory.

Wow! To answer all those quesitons I would need to write an epistle!

What is faith? Taking God at His word. The most elementary meaning is that I simply believe what God promises. I recently preached on the text where Nicodemus came to Jesus. What response did Jesus require of this religeous leader of the Jews? He was to believe what Jesus told him. Abraham believed God (faith) and it was credited to him as righteousness, and because his faith was genuine he acted on what he believed in his heart.

Do all have faith? No. Faith comes by hearing God's word according to Romans 10. Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith according to another writer.

Jesus spoke of "little faith" and "great faith" and I think "faithless".

We must never make the mistake of thinking "faith" stands alone or has some power of it's own. The object of our faith is far more important than the quality or quantity of it. I remember how a man with some faith and some doubting and unbelief got his sick child healed. And Peter's friends had just enough faith to pray for his release from prison but not enough to believe it was him at the door when God answered their prayer.

As we grow in grace and the knowledge of Him who promised, our ability to quickly take God at His word and more fully trust Him to do what He has promised will grow as well. I have seen God answer specific prayers for over 40 years. I am much more likely to just trust Him now than when I began my walk with Him as a teenager.


8:42 PM  
Blogger The Ponderer said...

Welcome back, Preacherman.

You asked, "When is it easiest for believers to doubt or loose faith?"

I think it happens when things don't go the way WE want them to go. When we are short-sighted - taking our eyes off eternity.

Faith is not about the journey as much as it is about the destination. The works of the Spirit are about the journey.

12:14 AM  
Blogger jel said...

WOOHOO Preacherman is back! ;)

glad to hear the move went well!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Won't try to answer your question but will say I'm glad you're back at it. Peace.

3:16 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

It seems as if you were thinking of a lot of stuff to challenge us with while you were moving.

I'll take on the issue of faith saving us and why Christians want their works to save them.

Dikaisune, is the Koine Greek word for "Righteous". It is defined as, "Investiture with what causes one to be in a right relationship with God"

I'm a Christian who believs in the necessity for works. However, my faith in Christ is named first. Then, my works show that I am signing my life with the signature of God's family. That signature would say, "Love".

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you are back !

let's see...hum...i think maybe faith is what comes into our heart when we realize our need for God.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Keith Brenton said...

It's probably faith that is being described as the gift of God in Ephesians 2:8 ... but definitely in 1 Corinthians 12:9. That's not to say that He gives it to some but not others. No evidence for that.

But James 2 makes it pretty clear that some people are willing to put faith to work, and it lives - and others are not willing, and within them it dies.

Live faith in the Son of God can save us ... because we put it to work in partnership with God; with Christ's own Holy Spirit living within us and working through us. It should lead us to desire to be like Him; to teach and help and love and live and even die like Him - full of faith that God can and will resurrect.

So faith must be more than "mental assent." It should be an informed belief, so that it is not guided solely by the heart to the extreme of gullibility. But most of all, it should be active.

It's a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.

So glad you're back to blogging!

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think atheists have faith. Faith is trusting in something bigger. They don't think anything bigger exists so what would they have faith in?

Unless you would say they trust themselves and that is their faith.

You asked so many questions. I'm glad you are back. I don't get around the blog world as much as I used to. Job is keeping me busy which is good.


10:17 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Yay!! And I nominated you for a blog award. :)

Blessings, brother! -Kim

11:46 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Somehow your post and coming back escaped me early on, and lately I've been sleeping a lot, but at last. Great to have you back in the blog world, and great to see how the Lord has led you and your family. Also great to hear about your anticipation in writing a book. Go for it, brother, and you have my prayers!

As to faith, you ask all kinds of questions. Yes, it's a gift, but I could say that about all, and truly it is true that all of life and all in life is a gift. Of course I'm speaking about what is good. We'd have to get into how it works. But essentially it works by the word of God and in relationship with God. Yes, I believe a true Christian can lose their faith completely, can apostatize, though I think that is rare, at least from what I read in Scripture and what I've seen. But God alone knows the hearts.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, preacherman, aka kinney :-)

i have a question are imvited to come on over and have a wack at it.

2:08 PM  
Blogger cwinwc said...

I have enough time to say welcome back.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Ryan Dunn said...

Didn't Paul describe faith as having belief in things unseen? (Or was it the other way around, belief is faith in things unseen?)

In any case, I think faith is part of our humanity. Everyone has faith in something unseen. For most of us, we have faith in an unseen creator. Atheists may put their faith in the science of things unseen. Some of us stand with our feet in both puddles, having faith in science but also in a Master Creator.

So, if our lives are gifts from God, then isn't faith also a gift? As much as a gift as sight or smell or hair or skin? It's part of who and what we are.

7:29 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I want to first off thank everyone for their thoughts on faith. I just know that I want to continue to understand it and deepen my mind, heart, love, passion and relationship with Almighty God.

I want to thank everyone for their encoragement as well. Ya'll definatly make blogging worth it.

It has and will continue to be a crazy and busy Dec. Mrs. Preacherman graduated on Sunday. We had lots of family and friends over in and out this past weekend. I am so proud of her and her achievemet. Love you hun! :-)

Our middle son, and kinder had his very first singing program tonight. It was so cute watching them all. I praise God that he has and continues to get out of his shell and open up more. It is such a blessing to see in each of my three boys their different personalities shape.

Again, thank you again for sticking with me and for being such a blessing to me both personally and spiritually.

I wish each and everyone of you the happiest holiday season.
I pray that each of us during this season will cherish God, family, and our spiritual family of believers.
God bless!!!

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice note and update there...congrats to your wife!

thanks for the comment on my thoughts...
after reading the comments i am just thinking that i have limited the Holy Spirit in my life, i am thinking that i might be trying to hard in some pushing things along instead of following.

11:51 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I think that all believer's feel that way from time to time in their life. I know I have many times and it is in those times that I am putting my needs, wants, desires, credits as my own instead of the Holy Spirit in me. I hope that helps sis.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Glad to see you are back, we went through a move too, so I can know how you feel.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes please write a book, I for one would love to read it.

A friend of mine has pretty severe ALS and blogs about her experiences with it. I thought you might be interested so here is the link.

Glad yall are doing well in your new home.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

Kinney -Good to see you back. I know you've been "bottled up" but hey have pity on us poor mortals and only ask one question at time :) :).

Good questions though -- For your first question I'd start by saying everyone has faith in something - What do you take on faith? Many will say they have no faith but it is usually easy to counter that -- for example you can ask what time the sun will rise to-morrow and then help people see that their certainty of that answer is what Hebrews means when it says "Faith is the evidence of things hoped for".

We have faith in the predicitions about the sunrise because of the evidence of the past but until it actually happens believing it will happen is faith.

So this issue isn't whether you have faith or not -- it's about where you place your faith and why it makes sense to seek faith in a God that rewards those who believe that he is and that he rewards those who seek after him.

As to where it comes from I think it is either built or destroyed by our "testing" of the information we are given. Oneof my favorite illustrations of faith buildingand then a true act of faith is in the Indiana Jonesseries - the Last Crusade I think where Indy is seeking the treasure. He has followed a number of clues which have each proven to move him forward in the search. He is now standing at the exit of a tunnelon the side of a sheer cliff that drops out of sigt. The clue says "step out" sohe doesand whenhe is fully committed - no way back he can see a series of stepping stones -- that's faith stepping out and trusting in God to be there to "hold you up".

God Bless

5:35 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Preacher Man,
I am not sure if you noticed; I posted a comment in this entry, previously.
Anyway, welcome back.
Here is a link back to my blog, in the case you have forgotten how to get there. I am going to be posting a new blog item this weekend and wanted to bring two of my most recent to your attention.

Here are the links:
The Bethlehem Star

Our Intra Spiritual Existance.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Tim Lewis said...

Have them watch the Polar Express. haha

Glad you're back!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

Glad you're back. I have been away from reading blogs lately and it is so weird how God works. My post today was on struggling with Faith. Not "my faith", but struggling with do I have enough faith in God and His promises. And then I come over for a visit and your topic is Faith. God is Good. Blessings to you!

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