Monthly Archives: March 2011

People You Should Know #4 “Anselm”

@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Anselm Reluctant bishop with a remarkable mind “No one but one who is God-man can make the satisfaction by which man is saved.” In the Middle Ages, it was customary for bishops-elect to make a show of protest to signify their modesty. When Anselm, an Italian monk from Normandy, was chosen to become archbishop of Canterbury, he protested too. The episcopal staff had to be held against his clenched fist. But his refusal was sincere: for Anselm, becoming the archbishop meant less time for his studies. His instincts, in fact, have proved correct: Anselm is remembered today not merely as a great archbishop but as one of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages. Pulled to higher office The struggle between the scholarly life and that of high office began in Anselm’s earliest years. His father, Gundulf, wanted to see him in politics and forbade him from entering the local abbey. When the abbot refused to accept the 15-year-old without his father’s consent, Anselm prayed to become ill: he reasoned he could enter if he was in danger of death. He actually became seriously ill but was still refused admission. After wandering Europe for years, looking to stretch his mind, Anselm settled at Bec, Normandy, to study under Lanfranc, a renowned scholar. Anselm felt here he could live the monastic life in obscurity, since the fame of Lanfranc would outshine his possible accomplishments. But Anselm shined nonetheless. After three years, Lanfranc left the abbey to become archbishop of Canterbury, and Anselm replaced him as prior. He spent his time reading and reflecting […]

People You Should Know #3 “John of Damascus”

@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } John of Damascus Image-conscious Arab “I do not worship matter, I worship the God of matter, who became matter for my sake and deigned to inhabit matter, who worked out my salvation through matter. I will not cease from honoring that matter which works for my salvation. I venerate it, though not as God.” Visitors to an Orthodox Church are confronted with many unfamiliar elements of worship: for example, the use of incense and Byzantine chant and the custom of standing throughout the service. But perhaps the most perplexing element is the icons, especially when Orthodox worshipers bow before and kiss them. Isn’t this idolatry? This very question raged through the Christian world in the eighth and ninth centuries, and it occupied the attention of two of the seven ecumenical (worldwide) church councils. The strongest defense of the practice came from a Christian living in the heart of the Islamic empire, John of Damascus. Responding to the imperial volcano He was born John Monsur, into a wealthy Arab-Christian family of Damascus. Like his father, he held a position high in the court of the caliph. About 725 he resigned his office and became a monk at Mar Saba near Bethlehem, where he became a priest. In this secluded place at the relatively advanced age of 51, John’s lasting legacy began to unfold. It began when Emperor Leo III, in 726, outlawed the veneration of icons. The conflict had been brewing for decades. It wasn’t a question of bowing and kissing icons; this was a culturally acceptable way to show respect. The basic question […]

Japan quake also shook Edwards Aquifer

It really is amazing how everything in creation is so connected.  As I told you Sunday the Japan earthquake also shook Edwards Aquifer here in south central Texas. Just fifteen minutes after the quake hit our aquifer started fluctuating up and down for hours due to the quake in Japan. There is a spiritual lesson here for us as well.  Just as things in our physical world are connected it is the same for us spiritually.  Events, circumstances, and situations that seem totally unrelated to our spiritual condition can cause great fluctuations in our spiritual lives. This weekend we focused on the Sabbath and making sure we all take time to rest.  Rest may not seem important and is frequently something we put off for another day, but everything is connected.  If we refuse to rest, if we resist the Sabbath it won’t be long before our disobedience to one of God’s greatest commands catches up to us.  Take time to rest this week!

People You Should Know #2 “Augustine of Hippo”

Augustine of HippoARCHITECT OF THE MIDDLE AGES “Mankind is divided into two sorts: such as live according to man, and such as live according to God. These we call the two cities.… The Heavenly City outshines Rome. There, instead of victory, is truth” Barbarians surged into the empire, threatening the Roman way of life as never before. The Christian church also faced attack from internal heretics. The potential destruction of culture, civilization, and the church was more than an occasional nightmare—it was perceived as an immediate threat. And Augustine answered with such wisdom, his responses are still considered by some to be the church’s most important writings after the Bible. Sex and funFrom his birth in a small North African town, Augustine knew the religious differences overwhelming the Roman Empire: his father was a pagan who honored the old Punic gods; his mother was a zealous Christian. But the adolescent Augustine was less interested in religion and learning than in sex and high living—like joining with friends to steal pears from a neighbor’s vineyard “not to eat them ourselves but simply to throw them to the pigs.”At age 17, Augustine set off to school in Carthage—the country boy in the jewel of North Africa. There the underachiever became enraptured with his studies and started to make a name for himself. He immersed himself in the writings of Cicero and Manichaean philosophers and cast off the vestiges of his mother’s religion.His studies completed, Augustine returned to his home town of Thagaste to teach rhetoric—and some Manichaeism on the side. (The philosophy, based on the teachings of a Persian named Mani, was a dualist corruption of Christianity. It taught that the world of light and the world […]

Slain pastor laid to rest

Over the past few months several local churches in our area have been robbed.  Thankfully no one was hurt, and the thieves came and went without contact with any church staff or members.   But those events serve as a great reminder to all churches. We are not exempt from evil, pain, or hardship, in fact we can be certain that our enemy will inflict it upon us whenever he gets a chance.  Why people rob churches is beyond me.  Very few churches in the entire world have large amounts of money in savings and even fewer keep more than $50 cash on hand in the offices.  Like everyone else these days churches use banks to hold their money, debit cards, and checks are then used to spend money.  But still church robbery seems to be a growing trend in our area and around the country as our economy struggles.  Churches are not good targets for robbery for the above mentioned reasons, but they are soft targets.  It is much easier to rob a church, versus a bank.  Cowboy Fellowship has always sought to protect our staff and members.  You might not know this but there is live video surveillance inside of all of our buildings and parking lots.  We have recently increased our surveillance capabilities with additional cameras as well. Our church also hires uniformed and undercover officers for our events and  services.  Our church is also equipped with a state of the art alarm system that is monitored 24/7. We have recently initiated a new policy to better protect our staff as well.  Our doors are now kept locked  during the day and visitors are buzzed in through the office entrance.  This ensures […]

People You Should Know #1 “Athanasius”

@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Athanasius Five-time exile for fighting “orthodoxy” “Those who maintain ‘There was a time when the Son was not’ rob God of his Word, like plunderers.” “Black Dwarf” was the tag his enemies gave him. And the short, dark-skinned Egyptian bishop had plenty of enemies. He was exiled five times by four Roman emperors, spending 17 of the 45 years he served as bishop of Alexandria in exile. Yet in the end, his theological enemies were “exiled” from the church’s teaching, and it is Athanasius’s writings that shaped the future of the church. Challenging “orthodoxy” Most often the problem was his stubborn insistence that Arianism, the reigning “orthodoxy” of the day, was in fact a heresy. The dispute began when Athanasius was the chief deacon assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. While Alexander preached “with perhaps too philosophical minuteness” on the Trinity, Arius, a presbyter (priest) from Libya announced, “If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it follows there was a time when the Son was not.” The argument caught on, but Alexander and Athanasius fought against Arius, arguing that it denied the Trinity. Christ is not of a like substance to God, they argued, but the same substance. To Athanasius this was no splitting of theological hairs. Salvation was at issue: only one who was fully human could atone for human sin; only one who was fully divine could have the power to save us. To Athanasius, the logic of New Testament doctrine of salvation assumed the dual nature of Christ. […]

SOMETHING NEW!

OK. We promised change and here it is… What we have done is determine a goal to create a sort of cyber scrapbook within the blog . In the early years of our church our friend and fellow member, Brianna, kept an extentive hardcopy scrapbook. It is so much fun to go back and look at the progress the Lord has made with this group! But, over time we all became so busy that we allowed our scrapbook to fall by the wayside and unfortunately we have probably lost memory of a good bit of our history. My name is Phyllis and Pastor Pete has asked me to help him maintain this site. I would like to ask that anyone who has materials or information about goings on within Cowboy Fellowship at anytime to please feel free to let me know. If you would like to put your information in story form, that’s great. If you are more comfortable just supplying dates and number of lives touched, and/or photographs that’s fine too. We’ll take that information and turn it into an entry for our scrapbook. Our objective with this project is not to brag, or just “publish the numbers”, but to offer a reminder of what God can and will accomplish through His people. The devil would love nothing more than for us to live with defeat and the idea that we can do little. This scrapbook should be a reminder to us all the we “Can do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens” Philippians 4:13. He is the source of all power and the author of love. It’s God’s work we want to boast about, remember, and record! So if you are a leader […]

Have Faith in God

I read this challenging devotion yesterday from Charles Spurgeon and I have been unable to get it out of my mind since.  Maybe it will stir your heart in a simular way.    “Have faith in God.”Mark 11:22 Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could not have fought “Apollyon;” it needed “Christian” to do that. Poor Little-faith could not have slain “Giant Despair;” it required “Great-heart’s” arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nut-shell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little-faith says, “It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;” but Great-faith remembers the promise, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:” and so she boldly ventures. Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great-faith sings, “When thou passest through the waters, […]

You Can Count on Satan…

 Did the title of this post catch you eye?  It should have, but the fact is you can count on Satan…to make your life miserable!  The Bible says he wants to kill, steal, and destroy you, and I promise you can count on that!  We have been talking about “How To Waste Your Life” this past month at Cowboy Fellowship.  So far we have looked at Worry, Doubt, and Fear.  If you have missed any of the messages you can listen or download them by clicking here. Today while I was reading I came across the following commentary and I thought I would post it.  I think it will help you understand just how crafty, and dangerous our enemy really is.  Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New TestamentsThe serpent that appeared to Eve is later revealed to be none other than Satan himself (see Rev. 12:9). Those who seek to “demythologize” the Bible believe that this account of the fall is allegorical and not literal. They cite the talking serpent as proof. Can the story of the serpent’s deceiving Eve be accepted as factual? The Apostle Paul thought so (2 Cor. 11:3). So did the Apostle John (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). Nor is this the only instance of a talking animal in Scripture. God gave a voice to Balaam’s donkey to restrain the madness of the prophet (Num. 22), and the Apostle Peter accepted this as literal (2 Pet. 2:16). These three apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write as they did. Thus to reject the account of the fall as literal is to reject the inspiration of Holy Scripture. There are allegories in the Bible, but this is not one of them. […]

SOMETHING’S UP!!!

Change is coming… Watch for updates!!!(prw)

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