The blog of Sterling Franklin (DJ Sterf), servant of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Calvin & Hobbyists

John Calvin owns you.

Ok, that's all for the Calvin part. DON'T BEG FOR MORE CALVIN!


What do you like to do for fun?

I'm trying to come up with ideas for something I might like to do in my spare time. Over the last several months, I realized a few things:

- I don't like my old hobbies.
- I seldom let myself enjoy my current hobbies, so they aren't hobbies to me anymore, either.
- Elements of my calling are my hobbies to an alarming extent.

I say alarming, because I ought to have something to do to unwind that is more passive. Otherwise, I could really burn out quite easily.

I could be wrong, but I don't think I am here. Street evangelism, writing sermons, preaching them, and counseling are actually my favorite things to do. They are amazingly fun to me, they mean a lot to me (significantly), and they are definitely passions in my life. However, I think I need something less active that helps me unwind.

So yeah:
- What do you do for fun?
- Any PG suggestions for me concerning hobbies?

I'll keep posted on these comments, mostly on Facebook.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.
- Revelation 7:12

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Push to be Thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Even if circumstances stink, push to be thankful. Not just tomorrow. Everyday.

It's definitely a push at times to be thankful, as our immediate experiences tend to color our mood quite a bit. However, think about the amazing blessings which we have:

- Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; freedom
- A house over our head, an internet connection to read my blog
- Food to eat, water to drink
- Relationships: Family & Friends
- Finances, though sometimes they may seem thin. They are finances nonetheless, and globally speaking, we're stinking rich here.

Ok, those are general basics.

What about citizenship in Heaven? The gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. If you don't have that, get it. That's something to be eternally grateful for. Why end up in hell, paying for your own sins, when Jesus has paid the price for them? Accept His gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Colossians 1:12
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Even the Lord allowing us to serve Him is something to be thankful for --

1 Timothy 1:12-14
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,
13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Everything we do should be bathed in thanksgiving --

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Walk wisely, and be thankful --

Ephesians 5:15-21
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Be thankful for the Lord's power over death, that we only can have through Him --

1 Corinthians 15:56-57
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

...and that we are no longer slaves to sin --

Romans 6:17-18
17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

So let us be this way --

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Life sucks sometimes. It really does, and often for prolonged periods of time. However, we're called to be thankful. The Lord has a sovereign plan for our lives, and often what we see is myopic (i.e. nearsighted). The Lord has blessed us so richly, and even though things aren't always the way we want them to be, know that the Lord has a plan for our good (Romans 8:28-29, Jeremiah 29:11). It's better His way and not our own. He does a good job of being in charge!

His way is tough. The Christian walk is a marathon (Hebrews 12:1-4)! On the way, we'll go through a lot of hardship and suffering (Hebrews 12:5-11). It's our lot, as believing on Him also requires us to suffer for His namesake (Philippians 1:28ff.). So let's persevere. We've had many faithful people in the past run the same race, and it's not our duty to fall back or walk over to the sidelines. I find it key that the writer of Hebrews warns about us growing weary, as it's easy to do. Life is short, but it seems so long at the present moment. It's a marathon. Push as hard as you can to try to reach the eventual finish line.

PUSH! And push to be thankful in the midst of it all. Know that God has called you to something big in His own eyes. He wants you to be fulfilled in Him.

The Lord got everyone through their first harvests and winters at Plymouth. The Lord will get you through much harder adversity than that, though the process is arduous.

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And for now, push.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

<3 Evangelism <3


There's nothing like Evangelism, man. Getting to tell people about the hope in Jesus Christ is really sweet, and there are so many ways in which to do evangelism.

Even tonight, seeing lives changed by the Holy Spirit's power through the Gospel was amazing. It never gets old. Isn't it interesting how the Lord has worked for so long, and yet what He does is always breathtaking?

Then there are those conversations where the Lord just gives you the words and things really move along to really deep matters. Or you see their expression completely change at a statement that convicts their heart and makes them want to know the Lord.

It's all so amazing, and there's no doubt that evangelism is an amazing gift from God. To do it is amazing, and sharing who Jesus is with others is eternally rewarding. To see lives transformed by God's power is absolutely awesome. What a privilege it is to be used by the Lord as a vessel by which He brings them into the light of the knowledge of Christ, into an eternity far away from the Hell that we deserve!

Regardless of whether they commit their lives to the Lord, recommit things to Him, or are totally shut off toward the Gospel, with faithful evangelism, the Gospel has done and will do its work (cf. Isaiah 55:10-11).

So praise the Lord for evangelism. I could do this all my life, and I think it's inevitable that I will. It's not my only passion, but it's certainly a consuming one.


Follow-up is often so neglected, though. I was very alarmed by a comment from someone tonight. After a few people prayed to accept Christ, I wondered what the hosting church's follow-up options were.

The guy responded, "Follow up? Where's that in the Bible? Oh, nowhere."

I responded, "1 Corinthians 3, Hebrews 5, Colossians 1:28? Present every man mature in Christ Jesus?" and I forgot to mention even the obvious Matthew 28.

So he replied, "Oh, well ok, I'm just an evangelist, I don't do that stuff."

But really, what the heck?

Good follow-up goes hand-in-hand with good evangelism. We're supposed to make disciples of all nations. It's good to evangelize. How else will they hear the Gospel if nobody preaches the Word to 'em? However, how will they come to know the Lord more fully and be able to tell others about the Lord in the next generation without the wherewithal to become mature?


So yeah, tonight was neat. There was a concert event at the mall, and I got to walk around and tell people about Jesus, hand out tracts, pray with several to accept Christ. Some really neat neat neat conversations. Thank you, Lord! Pray that the church actually does a good job with follow-up, because I'm skeptical. I gave out a few Bibles to a few who put their faith in Christ, so I'll need to restock myself. I did get 52 tracts from the church tonight, which was SWEET! I know, I'm odd, I'm really hype about getting free (and good quality) tracts. REALLY really hype!

Anyway, follow-up will be a huge point of emphasis when I (Lord willing) teach an evangelism group next semester. That's in addition to meditation on Scripture (learning it!), courage, purpose & privilege of evangelism, etc. I think follow-up, though, is way underrated and grossly omitted, and what we need in the world is mature believers!

Anyway, some verses on the matter...

Hebrews 5:12-14
12 ...For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

1 Corinthians 3:1-2
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready...

Colossians 1:28
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

God bless!

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