Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Magic Trick!!

How did Jimmy get the knife through the butter dish? Go ahead try it yourself. If you succeed I will find you a rusty old lawn mower at the Salisbury Dump Mall!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Reisinger on Acceptance

John Reisinger is one of my favorite preacher/teachers. I was on his website reading a series of articles he has written on Galatians. He had some wonderful things to say about viewing and treating the Gospel as the sole sufficient basis for our right standing with God. He goes on to explain that we ought not expect of professing believers anything that God does not expect of them.

"Paul’s controversy with the congregation at Galatia concerned the freedom of which Jesus spoke. Paul viewed the conflict in terms of bondage to the law versus the freedom of grace. The bondage against which he argued was not only bondage to the world, but also bondage of the conscience to the Mosaic law as a means of gaining assurance with God. The same controversy continues to this day wherever the gospel of free grace is preached in simplicity and power. People with either a legalistic mentality or a pharisaical nature will always use the law incorrectly in an attempt to fetter the simple gospel. How many people do you know who would demand that Titus be circumcised (or whatever our contemporary analogy might be), regardless of how godly and blessed of God the individual might be? Before he is acceptable in our circles, he must first pass our personal inspection and have our distinctive mark of approval upon him. He must come through our schools and submit his conscience to our creed. It is true that Christ may have accepted him as one of his sheep, but before he can come into our sheepfold, he needs some additional preparation under our authority. Our understanding of doctrine, our interpretation of Scripture, or our particular practice becomes the new orthodoxy by which we measure heresy. My brother Donald used to remark, “It dangerous to say, ‘We know the Great Shepherd has put his mark upon you, but we must also put our peculiar mark on you before you are acceptable to us.’"

How do Paul and the other apostles view these kinds of demands? Not one of them intimated that Titus, because he was a Greek, ought to be circumcised. In fact, the suggestion would never have arisen but for the presence of some pseudo-Christians, who wormed their way into our meeting to spy on the liberty we enjoy in Christ Jesus, and then attempted to tie us up with rules and regulations. We did not give those men an inch, for the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL for you and for the Gentiles was at stake (Gal. 2:3-6 Phillip’s, emphasis added)."
Click here to read the entire article. The doctrine of justification of faith alone apart from the works of the law must not merely be applied to our relationship with God, it should also be applied to our relationships with those in the body of Christ. Reisinger does an excellent job here of pinpointing some areas which need work in many of the churches in America. Although some of those who open their arms to anyone and everyone go overboard in doing so and end up neglecting much of the Scriptures, this does not mean that it is ok to not live out our theology. We ought never build our practical theology out of fear of the extreme mistakes others have made. We ought always build our practical theology out of faithfulness to God's Word--His entire Word.

Friday, October 26, 2007

7 Random Facts About Jimmy Snowden

Seven Random Facts About Me:

1. Everyone, including my teachers, called me "Lumpy" and different variations of it (Lump, Lumpster, and my personal favorite Lumpy Gravy) until I graduated high school. Some of my relatives still call me Lumpy.
2. My second toe is way longer than my big toe
3. When I was young I used to pee out the hole in screen in our second story window
4. God told me to shut up one day as a 4 year old when I was talking to myself while peacocking the baseball in my front yard (literally, I heard an audible).
5. I never ate my boogers (not even once, it grossed me out), but I did attempt my own booger collection
6. As a young boy I always coveted a pair of spider-man undies--my parents always bought me boring undies.
7. I gag every morning when I brush my tongue with my toothbrush (honestly, anyone got a remedy?)

I was driven to post this upon reading Ariel's challenge, "If you think your random facts can compete with mine, which I seriously, seriously doubt, trot 'em out and link 'em in the comments. I dare you."
I had to take the challenge.
Anyone got any fun random facts?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reality, Certainty, and Demolition

I have pasted a little one page article I wrote about the importance of apologetics for my apologetics class. Because this is only a one page article, I was not able to qualify anything, however I think there are some helpful ideas here. Anyone, please feel free to share how the Lord has used apologetics in your life--whether it be in a personal way or in evangelism or whatever.

As a minister, it is imperative that I not merely proclaim the truths of God’s Word, but that they become a reality to me personally. Unless God’s Word becomes a reality, my ministry will be fruitless. Apologetics is of utmost importance to me because it gives me certainty that the infinitely splendorous God that I read about, lets say, in Hebrews 1 or Isaiah 6, actually exists. Could there be a more life-giving quest than to prove that this glorious God (in all of His infinite glory, beauty, and splendor) truly does exist?

The fact and certainty of His existence guards me from beholding God as a mere theology or idea. This God, who has been revealed in Scripture, can be pursued and enjoyed because he is real, and the quest of Apologetics is one of the things that the Holy Spirit uses to convince me of this fact.

Because of the rising influence of postmodernism in the west, Christians are suffering from a lack of certainty. Genuine believers desire truth, but have been so shaped by the culture in which they live that they sheepishly seek out certainty as if it were somehow unattainable. Apologetics is often the tool used by the Lord to reveal the faulty foundations of radical perspectivism. I have seen many believers gain a greater passion for the Gospel and the proclamation of it because of the task of apologetics and the certainty it spreads. Because of the present cultural context, neglecting apologetics can have weighty consequences.

One of the primary goals of an evangelistic minister is to remove every stumbling block to the gospel, to the best of one’s ability. The goal is to get the unbeliever to a place where the claims of the Gospel are, in some sense, feasible. Although it is best not to equate evangelism with proving the existence of God to an unbeliever (many theists go to hell), this often times has to be the first step in getting someone to the Gospel message itself. Apologetics is the steam roller which paves a (somewhat) smooth road to the ultimate stumbling block—the cross.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This is for my reformed brethren (and I am reformed).

The toothpick (splinter) in the eye of Rick Warren, Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, the majority of the Southern Baptist Convention, and many other contemporary evangelicals:

-Their methods of evangelism are more often than not misleading and not conformed to the Scriptures.

The telephone pole (log) in the eye of a great part of my Calvinistic brethren:

-We completely neglect the command to evangelize.

I am not saying that some of the abuses and excesses in the seeker movement are mere splinters. Many of their approaches are unbelievably dangerous and need to be addressed (see my posts on 1 John and 1 John Part II). However, unless you are doing the work of evangelism yourself, you have no business picking the evangelistic toothpick out of your brother’s eye.

As one fine preacher once told me, “I like how they are evangelizing wrongly better than how you are not evangelizing at all!”

The greatest thing I learned from Jim Elliff (in KC, MO) was how to not merely knit pick the evangelistic short comings of contemporary Christianity, but how to better and reform the short comings of contemporary Christianity. Unless you have tested and tried practical alternatives to the crooked ways of evangelism in our present situation (and neglecting evangelism is not a viable alternative) then you ought not speak as an authority on it.

This is a rebuke to myself as much as it is to anyone else.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Doctrine of Halloween according to Lynn (Mom) Snowden

My mom and I have often discussed the hotly debated subject of Halloween. Christians are very divided on the issue. She has clearly explained her position on Halloween from the Bible and from her experience. To let you know, we see eye to eye on the issue. I think you will find that she has something of a gift for writing--I wish I got her gene (oh well).

What God Taught Me - A Few Golden Nuggets

As Halloween is approaching again there has been much discussion in the Christian circles about do you are don't you celebrate Halloween. Many years ago I watched a video that explained what Halloween meant and how the pagans developed and used Halloween to their Satanic pleasure. It was to say the least disgusting and because of that knowledge I made a decision that we would not - as a family - be celebrating. This was a center point for me for a few years and I spoke openly and bravely about it. Yet, even in that process God began to teach me many things and I have listed three of the most important to me and I hope they minister to you as much as they did me.

1) Pagan rituals are followed all over the place in our world today. For instance - did you have bridesmaids? That too was a pagan ritual - read up on it! There are things that we in our world do today that all took place and began as pagan rituals each and every one of them to glorify Satan. I don't think we can decide which ones are better and which ones are worse - pagan is pagan just as sin is sin.

2) To live as holy and acceptable to God means we put away the things of the world and take on Christ. We sin, but are we justifying it? Are we as disgusted with our current state in our fleshly body as we are in the practice of Halloween or other pagan ideas? Do we gossip? Do we look down on others as tho we are superior? Do we lie and cheat (even in the small things like packets of sugar!!!)? Do we put the needs of others before ourselves? Do we look at our sin as more disgusting that the sin we see in someone else that offends us? Do we work towards unity or towards division? Do we reflect fruit in Galations 5 by the flesh or by the Spirit? These things are more important to God than if we dress up and knock on someones door and say trick or treat! I can't imagine standing at the throne of God and defending my sin by saying - But Lord . . . I didn't do this and I didn't do that - and when He says . . . . You spoke ill of my people, you took delight in division, and your pride wouldn't allow you to hear the voice of rebuke - DEPART - so you showed the world that you stood against pagan ideas - DEPART - I don't know you.

3) God is Sovereign. No matter what Satan tries to do - he is only capable with what God has ordained him. Satan HAS been defeated - the victory HAS been won and we are to delight in that. If our focus of Godly living gets thwarted by focusing on battles that are already won then Satan does have the upper hand. What do I mean by this? Do I mean have a hay day and do whatever you want cuz bottom line the battle is won? Heavens NO!!! If God has revealed to you the nature of something that He wants you to be faithful in - such as the celebration of Halloween then by you not following that - it results in sin. BUT If God doesn't reveal that same thing to me and it is not an essential of the faith then is it sin for me? NO! It is all about being faithful to what God has called you to, not what he has called someone else to, but yourself. We must remember always that the battle that was won gave us victory and we have been given the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harm us. HOWEVER, we are not to rejoice in this that the spirits are subject to us, but rather rejoice that OUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN. What do I mean by this? I mean that we are called (Psalm 37:4) to delight ourselves in the Lord. We are told in Luke to rejoice that our names are written. We are told in Matthew to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth and THEN the end will come. God gives us straight up commands of what we are to do with our time and our talents - further his gospel - stand firm in the faith - and present ourselves as holy and blameless. No matter how hard we try to fight the darkness it will always be here. We can either fight it, or we can allow our light to shine and hope that by shining that light the darkness fades. People desire to be around those that have something they want. People have an inate desire to be happy joyous and free. When you emulate that there is a desire to be around you and others try to glean that from you. That is how churches grow - that is how the gospel is spread. When the fruit of the spirit is shining and being demonstrated in the human being it is a natural magnet to the lost. There is no progam and there is no class that can be more successful at this than the fruit of the spirit.

All of this to say - that is what God taught me! Again, I don't celebrate Halloween - but I know many that do - and that is their choice. If they ask me I will tell them. I find it no different than drinking alcohol. To some it is a sin, and to others in moderation and not crossing a line it is not. God didn't want me playing holy spirit - He had that covered!!! Jim (my husband) likes to hand out candy - he LOVES it when the little kids come to the door and he gets great enjoyment out of it. I stay in the other room and let him enjoy himself! For those that let their children partake in Satanic stuff I pray for them and hope that God will reveal to them how He wants them to live and deals with them accordingly - but for me - He has told me in his word that I'm to love them. Thats it. And if I read and meditate on His word I will know how to do that not only according to His Will, but to bring Glory to His name!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rocky III in Spanish!!!

Friday night Kristal and I watched the last 3o min of the classic "Rocky III" on the Spanish Channel (yep, that's right--Date night! All you men who need ideas, come to me). Just to let you know, it was just as good in Spanish as it was in English. I think this should be the litmus test for manly movies. You know a movie is just for men if you can watch it in Spanish with just as much pleasure as you can in English.
Rocky's redone Spanish voice was pretty funny, as was his Spanish speaking opponent--Mr. T.
Although the Latino's have ruined the great drama of Rocky III for those who don't know Spanish, they cannot ruin the fighting. Although I didn't understand a word that Mr. T said, I saw him grit his teeth, stare down Rocky, land a few good body shoots, and I think I heard a "stupido" once or twice. Sorry Spanish Channel--if you want your channel to be completely useless to us stupid Americans, you are going to have start playing movies that arn't so manly!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lewis on the Deity of Christ

It has been a long while since I have given good ole C. S. Lewis a hearing. I transferred to Liberty University and am finishing my degree online (I will be done in August–Lord willing), and I am taking an apologetics class. For this class I get to read "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis. I read the great majority of it about four years ago while getting my undergrad degree. It is such a blessing to revisit it. Lewis was such a brilliant man. I want to post a quote from "Mere Christianity" regarding the deity of Christ. I wish I could introduce this quote with as much profundity (haha–what up, that’s a real word, and it’s profound) as Lewis penned it (yep, silly to even try). Anyways, behold the glory and authority of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the God-man.
"One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if he was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offenses. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as silliness and conceit unrivaled by any other character in history."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Time for a New Poll!!!

I was surprised to see hot chocolate win the last poll. I thought for sure that it would have either been coffee or espresso/cappuccinno. This poll thing has sort of become the highlight of my life over the past few weeks (just kidding). If anyone wants to express themselves about why they choose what they do you can leave comments on this post.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Thoughts on Health

As of late I have become increasingly more aware of the brevity of life. I am 26 years old now and am sneaking upon my 10th year high school reunion (which I probably won't go to). Thoughts of aging have caused me to reconsider the way I live my life. Just recently I have started wearing ear plugs and protective eye wear while doing the lawn. I also make sure that I never listen to loud music. I just cannot imagine the thought, as a minister of the Gospel, of losing my hearing, sight, voice, or energy.

While I was living in Kansas City I was mentored by one of the most godly people I know (Rod). Rod was a very interesting man--he was one of those who always looked at things from a unique vantage point. Rod and I used to meet once a week for the sake of edifying one another through the Scriptures. One of the things that Rod always talked about was the importance of health. This is something I have not heard many Christians speak about, which is sort of strange considering the present obesity phenomenon in America. Rod's approach to this problem was extremely insightful. Having become more aware of the brevity of life has caused me to rethink much of what Rod shared with me.

Here are some of his insights: Do not pursue health as an end in itself, rather pursue it for the sake of the Gospel. If you pursue health for any reason other than the Gospel, you put yourself in danger of forsaking the Gospel for the sake of health. This is ultimately seen in those who work out 2-4 hours a day, but somehow cannot find time for the study of Scripture, evangelism, and prayer. The purpose of pursuing health is so that you may become a greater servant of Christ and His message.

One may wonder how pursuing health can make you a greater servant of Christ and His message. Well, the reality is that those who actively pursue health live longer lives. No, not all of those who actively pursue health live longer, however those who pursue health generally live longer lives--thus they are able to serve the Lord for a longer period of time. The man who does not pursue health, even if he outlives others, will not have as great of a capacity of doing the demanding work of ministry as one who actively pursues health.

Christianity benefits from crusty old men (props to Jim Ott for this crude saying) who are healthy and energetic enough to mentor young men. In our present day context, retired pastors are barely healthy/energetic enough to come to the Sunday morning service, let alone healthy/energetic enough to take young spirit-filled men by the hand, leading by example.
Of course, some of these health issues could never be avoided through hard work, however many of these issues can and should be avoided.

Kristal and I have decided to change our eating habits--we keep an eye on ingredients and implement portion control (which is a tuffy for me). I am not here talking about dieting, I am talking about a change of lifestyle (a lifetime diet). What is the purpose? The Gospel! I want to be a servant of Christ and His message not just today, tomorrow, or 10 years from now. I want to be a servant of Christ and His message as long as He keeps me alive on this earth. Anything that gets in the way of me serving Christ and His message on this earth needs to be removed if at all possible.

There is danger of going overboard, which is why Christ and His message must be the purpose of pursuing health.

Rod also talked about the importance of godly men loving and laying down their lives for the sake of their wives as long as they possibly can. What a shame it is when men die early leaving a wife and children behind because of avoidable poor health.

Many men, although not dead, have become virtually useless. They have become so unhealthy that they are forced to rely upon their wives to provide and take care of them. I am not here dogging on those who have fallen into an unfortunate/unavoidable circumstance--I am talking about those who could have avoided such circumstances through (even minimal) preventive actions.

Men, we have a responsiblity to take care of our bodies for the sake Christ, His message, the lost, our wives, and children. Is anyone with me here?

Any thoughts? Any commitments?