Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Yea, I know. Most New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside by February. I’ve done my share of those. But let me strongly encourage you as you are making your New Year’s Resolutions you should add the resolution to read through the entire Bible in 2009—a great habit to start if you haven’t already. As a matter of fact, make this your number one resolution. There is no other that will benefit you more.

Let me first share with you below something funny to hopefully help motivate you. You may have seen this before in a church bulletin or elsewhere.

Top 10 Signs You’re Not Reading Your Bible Enough
10. The preacher announces that the sermon is from Genesis and you check the table of contents.
9. You think Abraham, Isaac and Jacob may have had a few hit songs during the ’60’s.
8. You open to the Psalms and a WWII savings bond falls out.
7. When asked, you say that your favorite Old Testament patriarch is Hercules.
6. Your favorite Bible verse is “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
5. You become frustrated because Charlton Heston isn’t listed in the concordance.
4. Catching the kids reading the Song of Solomon, you demand: “Who gave you this stuff?”
3. You think the Minor Prophets are a Little League team.
2. The kids keep asking too many questions about your usual bedtime story: “Jonah the Shepherd Boy and His Ark of many colors.”
And the #1 sign you may not be reading your Bible enough…
1. You keep falling for it every time the preacher tells you to turn to the book of Hezekiah.

In all seriousness; this year I’m trying to emphasize and encourage the Central church to get into the Word more and I believe the first of the year is a great time for such a re-commitment.

There is no greater activity for our personal satisfaction and spiritual development than meditating on the Word. Jesus’ response to the Devil’s temptations and His ability to sustain Himself in the desert will forever inspire and motivate me in my resolve to feed on His word. But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Matt. 4: 4) According to Jesus, the sustenance and nourishment He truly needed - even after fasting for forty days - came from the Word of God. There’s nothing better than what is written.

Now to accomplish this goal I suggest following a good Bible Reading Schedule (one that contains readings daily from both the Old Testament and New Testament. I’d recommend the ESV.org site has several one-year Bible reading plans to choose from. Most of them can be downloaded as a PDF file and all of them can be subscribed to by Email, RSS, read online in your web browser or read on your mobile device. Many other schedules are available online. Just do an internet search for “Bible reading schedule” and you’ll find plenty to choose from.

Perhaps the task seems daunting to you, but if you’ll follow each day’s reading, you’ll make it by the end of the year!

Happy New Year Reading!

Robert Prater

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Spirits

The group, Straight No Chaser formed back in the late 90s at Indiana University and when they graduated, they split up. They got back together in 2006 for a reunion and one of the guys had videos of a performance and put it up on YouTube since the members of the group were now living all over the country. By the beginning of December of 2007 about 100,000 people had seen it, which the group thought was pretty cool. But by the end of the first week of December, they had 200,000 total. By Christmas, 6 million people viewed it as well. And one of them was an executive from Atlantic Records who decided to call up and see if they wanted to get back together to capitalize on this and do a Christmas CD. And as you might be able to tell from the title of this post, they did, and it's called “Holiday Spirits.”

And it's good. They do a lot of standards as well as some fun ones, like Little Saint Nick. And they include the live version of 12 Days of Christmas, which is also good, but it's honestly better with the video. So, if you're looking for some new Christmas music, I'd give this one a shot. The production is great and the harmonies that these guys pull off is really, really excellent.

You can also check out the youtube video I've posted below of their interview detailing their reunion.

Robert Prater

Straight No Chaser Reunited

Straight No Chaser's new video detailing their reunion and the recording of their new album, "Holiday Spirits" for Atlantic Records.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Straight No Chaser

Last year about this time, I discovered a video by an A cappella group called, Straight No Chaser, doing a version of the 12 Days of Christmas. I’m posting that video once again to make you smile.

I’ve also recently gotten a copy of there new album and will soon be posting a review and more info about it.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bailout Explained

This is how the automaker's figured they simply have to have 25 billion and how they will divide it. I imagine though they used Powerpoint instead of the chalkboard:)!!

All of this talk today of "bailouts", "spreading the wealth", more "welfare/government assistance", etc. makes me think about the words and principle behind what the apostle Paul once wrote:

"For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thess. 3:7-10 NIV)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pulling Away from God

Human beings seem to innately know that sinfulness and God's presence don't mix. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God's command, they instinctively attempted to hide themselves from His presence (Gen. 3:8). Satan tries to keep us away from God and sometimes he uses our own sense of guilt to accomplish this.

When Simon Peter was overwhelmed at the miraculous catch of fish orchestrated by Jesus he said, "go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man" (Luke 5:8). This week while studying some material on evangelism, the author I was reading made the point that Simon was convicted by his own sinful nature and he tried to pull away from Jesus. That is exactly what he did. When we become aware of our own sinfulness it makes us want to pull away from God, away from the church, and away from fellow believers. This is Satan's work. Satan's desire is to keep us sin-sick, guilt-ridden, and away from spiritual healing. Satan whispers in our ears, "they will be shocked at what you have done," "God won't accept you back this time," "keep it quiet and the guilt will soon go away." All of these are the devil's lies. Only the Light of God's presence can destroy the darkness of sin and its slavery over us. Jesus provides the only healing for spiritual sickness.

Sin is shameful. Sin is embarrassing. But sin is also Satan's tool of spiritual manipulation. Guilt is used by God for good to bring us to repentance and spiritual healing. But Satan can also use our guilt. He makes us want to hide from God and cover up our sin. If you feel like pulling away from God because of your sinfulness, you must resist this temptation from Satan. Jesus provides healing. The only way to destroy sin in your life and find healing to spiritual sickness is to "confess your sins one to another and pray for one another that you might be healed" (James 5:16). Jesus, the great spiritual physician, can heal all diseases and bind up all your wounds.

God bless,