• Faith Comes From Hearing

    Pauls words in Romans 10:17 make a point that many today seem to miss. The Word of God was and is meant to be heard, read, listened to and shared. Here in the US we pride ourselves on literacy. From controversial ‘No Child Left Behind’ program to the local churches who provide adult reading classes. We believe that every adult must be able to read at least at a fundamental level.

    Personally when I preach or teach I push people to have their Bible in hand so they can learn how to locate all of different books and authors. I try to have people read along with me as I read the pertinent scriptures so they can see the words and learn the flow of the writing.

    But Paul says ‘Faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of God’. Paul is than hearing the words that are being said. As you look at that verse from Romans again you will notice that ‘hearing’ is used twice the first time is straight foreword “Faith comes from hearing”. OK so faith comes from hearing, hearing is where you get faith. Well there is a stipulation, “and hearing from the word of God”.

    According to Paul just because you hear music, birds, waterfalls, or small children doesn’t mean you are going to develop faith. Faith according to Paul comes from hearing something specific “the word of God”. In order to have faith, the faith he has been talking about is ‘saving faith’, the knowledge of Jesus Christ you must hear the word of God. Not the stock market report, or cattle report or a great audiobook by whoever the latest greatest author is. Only through the word of God are you going find life saving faith.

    Sometimes we forget that the Bible was meant not only to be read but to be read out loud to others. We read it to ourselves in the quiet hours of the morning and call it good. But the reality of it is that we HAVE TO HEAR the word as well as read it. Now over the past several years I have trained myself to speed read. Sometimes I get so into it that I move past saying the words in my head as I fly through them and actually start seeing the sentences and paragraphs and pages as pictures of what the words are saying. I don’t actually hear the words anymore. But because Paul is so clear I take my time when reading the Bible and try to slow down and read the pages aloud so  that I can hear the words not in my mind but in my ear. If Paul is correct this method actually builds my faith.

    Another method of hearing the word is audio tapes, mp3s, cd or dvds of the Bible. List when you run, work, play, sleep. Build your faith! listen to the Word of God. Hear what He has to say to you.


  • May 2014 Workout

    Here is a great workout for the month of May!
    It consists of five exercises that you will do in a row with a 30-second rest between each and a 1-minute rest between cycles. Total number of cycles: 4

    • Chins/Pull–ups x 7–reps
    • Kettlebell/Dumbbell Clean & Press x 7-reps
    • Dips x 7-reps
    • Tactical Lunges x 7-reps

    If you need more rest take it but push to stay as close to 30-seconds and 1-minute as possible.
    Take a 2-minute rest and then do the finisher.
    While I prefer Mjolnrs you can use a ‘slamball’ for this one.

    You’re done!
    Do this 2-3 times a week and work on whatever you want for the alternate days. I do Kung Fu and Running for mine.
    May the Lord bless you and your house hold.
    John Roche

  • 2014 Horse Stance & Push Up Challenges are UNDERWAY!!

    So shortly before the beginning of the year I joined the fitness website Fitocracy and absolutely love the community and fellowship.
    Before the first of the year I decided it was time to set up an open fitness challenge for any takers. The challenge is to spend 2014 minutes in Horse Stance during 2014!
    You read that right, 2014 minutes. But in reality that breaks down to just over 5-minutes a day of Horse Stance training. Believe me that’s nothing. If you do 1-minute at five different times of the day you have it knocked in short order. The benefits are fantastic for your leg strength, balance and stamina.
    On weekends when things are quiet or when I am stationed in Master Control at work I have taken to doing one minute at the top of every hour for the entirety of the shift (10-hours) or the majority of the day. Now on the bottom of the hour I have am fulfilling another challenge from Fitocracy, the 20014 Push ups in 2014 Challenge. Ya’ 20014!
    I know that sounds like a lot but it amounts to 55-push ups a day. The challenge isn’t the number it’s the consistency. Doing them every day, without fail, week in and week out. Now that’s the challenge.
    If you are looking for a challenge for this year I would recommend both the Horse Stance and Push up challenges. Simply go to Fitocracy and set up a free account. Then in the search bar type in 2014 Horse Stance Challenge!, join the group and then accept the challenge. Do the same thing with the 20014 Push Up challenge and get started on a new you for the new year.

    May the Lord bless you and your house hold.
    John Roche

  • Year in Review: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”

    This is based off of a sermon I recently gave at the Wamego Family Worship Center in Wamego, Ks. Thank you Pastor Pat Green for the opportunity to preach again.

    Psalm 34: A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

    1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
    3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
    4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
    5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
    6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
    7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
    8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
    9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
    10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
    11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
    12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
    13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
    14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
    15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
    16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
    17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
    18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
    19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
    20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
    21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
    22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.  Continue reading  Post ID 151

  • Monergism, pt 1

    I know, you have never heard of the word and sure don’t know what it means. Well it’s like a lot of words in theology, it is the distillation of a ton of concepts and ideas. Over the next few installments I hope to this theological stance up for your.

    The Century Dictionary: "In theology, [monergism is] the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration [the new birth] – that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated [born
    again], and therefore cannot cooperate in regeneration."

    In today’s protestant church there is a prevailing notion that we wander through life lost and doomed until one day an evangelist comes and opens the bible you hear what he says and make a discussion to follow Jesus and turn your life around.

    Salvation occurs when you decide to respond to and "alter call" after hearing a great sermon. You go to the front and say a prayer and according to the pastor or deacon or prayer guy you have been saved.

    The problem is this, the bible doesn’t say that salvation happens like that. In fact according to the bible you have nothing to do with your salvation. You not only don’t make the choice you CAN’T make the choice.

    That very fact is why Grace is such an amazing thing.

    So until next time take time to read Ephesians 2:1-10.

    May the Lord bless you and your house hold.

    John Roche

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 8

    What about Chi & Ki (the force)?

    Chi (or ki) is the most esoteric areas of the Asian martial arts.

    For decades the Chinese have been spending mega bucks on “chi research” using everything from E.K.G.’s to M.R.I.’s. They have been using the extremes like severing the spinal columns of piglets, (1) and then using “chi gung” (2) to try and restore nerve impulses.

    Some studies have returned positive findings for mild electrical forces. But not nearly enough to do anything that chi masters are touted for.

    The elevation of chi to a universal power that can be tapped into and bring you longer life, greater health and the ability to zap a man with you death touch (3) is a sad jump.

    Chi is touted for increasing life span among other things. Yet even masters die at our national average age. The Grandmaster of Pai Te Lung was in his 60s (4) when he died of cancer. He was an avid practitioner of chi gong and tai chi.

    If you read any martial arts mags. you will find a regular flow of obituaries for dead master of both Kung fu and karate that were in there 60′s or 70′s. The national average for all Americans.(5) Chi Gong or not.

    I came from a very “new age” martial arts beginning. Chi and it’s development were high on the list of do’s. We practiced a huge amount of “chi” development exercises. Meditations, Chi Gung, Nei Gung ect.
    Continue reading  Post ID 142

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt7

    But Didn’t Buddha, Confucius and Jesus teach the same things?

    Haven’t we all heard this before?

    It is an amazing fact that people who don’t know, pretend to be wise by saying things like “aren’t they the same!” “There’s really no difference is there?” or “Jesus’ teachings weren’t revolutionary Confucius and Buddha said the same things”.

    Let me be very clear — there is a cavernous gap between the teachings of Zen (1), Chan, (2)  Buddhism (3) , Confucius (4) ect.. and Jesus.

    Yes, they all teach peacefulness, kindness, generosity and the BASIC social teaching. But it is at this point that their paths diverge.

    Buddhism teach that it is by your dedication to abstinence or meditation or other “self controlled” efforts that you will be released into heaven, nirvana or the next level of consciousness. The basic premise is that through your efforts you can attain enlightenment.

    Confucianism teaches a strong ethical and social system, but leaves no room for the work of God the Creator and Jesus the Christ, due to the fact that it is based in man’s ability to behave and act according to an acceptable guideline. As can be seen in the “six ways” of Confucianism: Jen is the golden rule; Chun-tzu the gentleman; Cheng-mingis the roleplayer; Te is virtuous power; Li is the standard of conduct; and Wen encompasses the arts of peace. Continue reading  Post ID 136

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 6

    What about bowing at my instructors alter?

    Or the Pictures at the front of our school?

    This issue has brought up the ire of more than one instructor.

    In an effort to create a traditional environment many schools have set up their own little alters. When students come in to begin class they are asked to pay homage to the alter. Bowing.

    The difficulty comes for Christians not wanting to offend their instructor and maybe loose their respect. To a hungry student that is scary prospect. “If I don’t bow He might stop teaching me” “What if he makes fun of me.”

    Is bowing before statue of “Buddha” or “dragons” or “incense” really that bad?

    As a believer in Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, we know that a statue is a statue and that there is only one TRUE God.

    The question is “Why would you want to bow before a false god or idol? (1)

    • We are not as Christians to have anything between God and us. (2)
    •  Idols of any type, graven images, money, family, or even the martial arts.
    • Those around us that know we are Christians take our actions as “gospel“(3). If we give credence to idols then we have given them permission to continue in their folly. Possibly to their eternal damnation.
    • Continue reading  Post ID 134

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 5

      Aren’t Christians supposed to be pacifists?

    There are many misconceptions of Christians that abound in our day.

    • They are cowards (1) and wimps.
    • They are hypocrites. (2)
    • They are detached from the real world. (3)
    • They are militaristic right wing loonies. (4)
    • They are pacifistic pushovers. (5)

    I won’t bother going into the rest (for now) but I will for now park on the first and last.

    Contrary to what many would want to believe about us, most of us are not “weak“, “sniffling pushovers“.

    Christ did not call us to be any man’s doormat.

    In the passage commonly called to the beatitude’s (6) Jesus says:

    • Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
    • Blessed or the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.

    The word “meek” is also used to describe Jesus and can best be defined as, “calm of temper and not easily provoked” but also implies “power under control“. (The image is that of a powerful horse controlled only by the bit in it’s mouth.)

    As followers of Christ we are to exhibit that control in our lives, to seek peaceful resolutions (7) and, as I’ve said before, show God’s mercy and grace in all of our actions. Continue reading  Post ID 132

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 4

     Surely you won’t teach it?

    Over the years this has been THE one must discussed areas of my walk with Christ.
    How can I be a follower of Christ Jesus and teach people the martial arts?

    My response: “With great joy”

    One of the major themes of the teaching of our Lord was how we as individuals behave in our daily walk. Whatever our vocation or hobbies or past times, we are to do all things as unto the Lord. (1)

    If you’re currently teaching the arts then you have been trusted with a great gift. The Lord has gifted you as the teacher. (2) Even though you teach the Martial Arts you are first and foremost a servant of the Most High. (3)

    This perspective should never be lost. If you’re salvation does not run through every area of your life (4) then you are quite simply denying the Lordship of Jesus in that area of your life. Jesus had a very straightforward teaching on this. He said in Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    This is a tough teaching but the point is simple. In every area of our lives we are to endeavor to be witness to the life changing power of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. (5) Continue reading  Post ID 129