Saturday, December 29, 2012

Welcome Baby JD!

Joseph Donald Hardecker was born on Dec. 28, 2012.  He was 7 lbs. 10oz. and 18 inches tall.  Marcia is doing well.  God is good to us and we just  ask that you would continue to pray for us.  I can't wait for WT (who is now 2 years old) to meet his new brother.  I am so thankful for family, church family and friends for their prayers and well wishes!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Prose - Pfeiffer's Epilogue

This is taken from Charles F. Pfeiffer's book "Between the Testaments." (An excellent and succinct survey of the background to the Persian and Hellenistic eras and how exactly it contributed to the spreading of the gospel).

In the days of Herod the Great, in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire, in the city which had been the birthplace of King David a millennium earlier, Jesus the Messiah was born.  History took little note of His life.  Only a few devoted disciples openly espoused His cause.  The religious leaders attributed the miracles He performed to Beelzebub, the Prince of the Devils.  To Roman officials He was an insurrectionist; to the Jews, a blasphemer.  In the hour of his trial, His disciples forsook him and fled.  He was crucified as a malefactor, between two thieves.

Yet His life and His death introduce a new age.  From apparent defeat came the triumph of victory.  The death of the cross is heralded as the divinely provided atonement for sin.  The resurrection brings the assurance of life eternal.

Merry Christmas! The Lord Jesus came to earth to die for our sins enabling us to worship, fellowship and serve.

Friday, December 21, 2012

5 Digital Documents for Your Consideration

One of the most amazing online tools is  I use it by integrating a number of documents on my blog which are included in my "Missionary Information Packet."  My page has five documents for any to peruse.  It contains a letter of interest, a recommendation letter from the pastor of my sending church (Pastor Randy Starr), a recommendation letter from a seasoned missionary (Dan Tessin), a recommendation letter from the president of Fairhaven Baptist College (Pastor Roger Voegtlin), and a copy of my doctrinal statement.  The use of this technology helps in cutting cost (time, postage & materials) and it can effectively expedite information.  I will be adding a few more documents which are relevant to my packet (including a brief account of my salvation testimony and call to preach and a digital copy of the front and back of my prayer card).  The only other document I would like to place on it is the "personal references" page (outside my family), but because their personal contact information is contained in it I figure it would not be wise to place that online, IMO.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prose - The Husband's Biblical Role in Marriage by Pastor Terry L.Coomer

Dr. Coomer serves the Lord as Pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Little Rock, AR.  He is also the director of the "For the Love of the Family Ministries." After reading this particular article I thought that it would be a blessing to you, and so with his permission I present to you this important article.

Ephesians 5:21-33, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see she reverence her husband.”

After many years in the ministry I am convinced that the Christian home is in very serious trouble. The lack of understanding and applying true Biblical principle in the home has created a huge disaster in the church, for the cause of Christ, and especially for the children. Through the ministry of For the Love of the Family we hear from people around the world. Through our counseling ministry I am greatly concerned about the lack of understanding and applying Biblical truth in the lives of God’s people which is breaking down the home. As a Pastor we will do more marriage counseling than anything else. Maybe you are reading this article and you have just about given up on your marriage. You do not understand why you cannot change your life or your spouse will not change theirs.

The pain and agony that goes on in many Christian’s lives and homes is totally unnecessary. Let me share with you as a husband and a father God has the answer for you in His Word. Many times Christian husbands are told, “Be the leader God wants you to be!” A sincere man goes forward in a service and prays for God to make Him that leader, but nothing changes. The husband lives in defeat and discouragement and asks, “Where is God, why does He not help me?” Simple answer, God has already told you from His Word how to be the leader He wants you to be. Most Christians think that if they ask God to forgive them for a sin then that sin should go away. The reality is it won’t unless you use God’s Word to renew your mind and change your thinking to God’s thinking about the matter. True Biblical change comes when a person changes their thinking to God’s thinking from God’s Word. The Bible calls it “renewing your mind”, Ephesians 4:22-24. When you change your thinking to God’s thinking then your behavior changes. It does not change until then.

Most Christian men would like to be the leader God wants them to be, but they do not know how. They do not know how to Biblically change their life and therefore, their home suffers greatly because of it.

Let me give you three points that the Bible says is the “Husband’s Role in Marriage.”

The Husband’s Biblical Role in Marriage is he is to be a: 1. Learner 2. Lover 3. Leader.

In my study of the Scripture it was a great help to me as a husband and father when I learned I was to be a learner of my wife and daughters. Many husbands do not bother to learn their wives and it shows in their marriage. Did you know that being a learner is a command for the husband in the Bible? I Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (wives) according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” Did you notice “according to knowledge?” It means to learn about her, knowledge about her. The world says we cannot understand our wives and children. The Bible tells us we are commanded to know them.

Getting to know someone takes time. Let me ask you husband, how much do you know about your wife? I mean really know. Most husbands think they know about her, but in counseling I find that when couples come for marriage counseling the husband knows very little about his wife. Yet we expect God to work in our marriage when we are disobedient to the command of God in the matter of learning our wife. (See below questions to ask your wife). Learning someone means I need to study them.

As our girls were growing up one of the things I wanted them to learn was they needed to learn about the man they were going to marry. Is he lead by his emotions? How does he react under pressure? You need to learn about where he is spiritually. You need to ask questions and get solid answers. You need to learn about his heart. Do not leave things up to I presume or I suppose. You do not know what is in the heart of a person, unless you ask questions that reveal the heart.

As my daughters were growing up I took the time to take a drive with each of them individually after church on Sunday afternoon. As a busy Pastor I could have justified taking a nap or finding something else to do. However, I wanted to learn what was in their heart. My responsibility as a father is to get and keep their heart. It was a learning and revealing time to me. I asked the question, “What is God speaking to you about?” When I got the answer I then asked “what does that mean to you?” I then listened to what was on their heart. It drew us close together and helped me to encourage their focus on their intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God.

For our family, drive time is important! Kim and I have practiced for the last 38 years of married life taking a drive on Sunday evening after church. I ask her what she thought of the message that day. How did God speak to her, whether I was preaching or someone else was preaching? I listened to her answers about what God was speaking to her about. You see I believe it is important that I understand where God is working in her life. I want to have her heart as well and be open to building my relationship with her. We also talked about our children and where we needed to be working in their lives. I shared with her where God was speaking to my heart and life. We learned each other and are still learning each other to this day. Sometimes we would pull over and have prayer together for what we were learning and seek God’s face for our children and our home, for us to be all we could be with each other and with God. It was a precious time and we still practice this each Sunday. I have to admit as each girl grew up and left home, I miss the Sunday afternoons together with them. I find myself now as they are out of the home and in their own lives serving God, taking a drive by myself and thinking about our drives together and I find myself praying for them and the way God is working in their lives now. Guess what, every now and then when they are home, one of them will say, “Dad let’s take a drive!” Generally, they want to talk about something God is speaking to their heart and life about and ask for my thoughts and prayer with them on the matter.

Several years ago, I was at a church with a young pastor. He had been at the church a couple of years and it was his first and last pastorate. His church was growing and he was on fire about it. However, I noticed he treated his wife and young children shabbily. He was short and disrespectful to his wife. He asked me to come into his office. He spent the next hour bragging about his church while his wife and children were told to wait outside. When I mentioned to go ahead and take care of his wife and children’s needs his disposition changed to one of impatient and intolerance. He had an angry spirit. Needless to say all the pride and arrogance soon dissolved into some ugly problems for the marriage and the church.

Failing to learn her affects your spiritual life! Did you notice in I Peter 3:7, “That your prayers be not hindered.” Failing to learn your wife will affect your spiritual life. Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

So, a fundamental failure of the Christian home is the husband not learning his wife. It is a simple but deadly flaw.