Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just wondering

Well, here's the latest article on the 'Swine Flu' pandemic:

WHO to stop using term 'swine flu' to protect pigs


GENEVA – The World Health Organization announced Thursday it will would stop using the term "swine flu" to avoid confusion over the danger posed by pigs. The policy shift came a day after Egypt began slaughtering thousands of pigs in a misguided effort to prevent swine flu.

WHO spokesman Dick Thompson said the agriculture industry and the U.N. food agency had expressed concerns that the term "swine flu" was misleading consumers and needlessly causing countries to ban pork products and order the slaughter of pigs.

"Rather than calling this swine flu ... we're going to stick with the technical scientific name H1N1 influenza A," Thompson said.

Egypt began slaughtering its roughly 300,000 pigs Wednesday even though experts said swine flu is not linked to pigs and not spread by eating pork. Angry farmers protested the government degree.

article continued here if the link still works.

A handful of wonderments:

1. Egypt is a heavily Muslim country. As in, dietary regulations and everything. They don't do pig! What are they doing with 300,000 pigs anyway? Or is this just an excuse to dispose of those infidel porkers?

2. I'd advise people named "H1N1" to avoid Egypt for the time being.

3. Shouldn't government decisions be a little more rational than slaughtering the apparent namesake of an illness? What would do about Legionnaire's Disease? What about whooping cough? Kill the whooping cranes?

4. I'm thinking they're really dropping 'swine flu' because one too many Americans have decided to associate it with 'pork politics' and have made jokes about it. H1N1 influenza sounds a lot scarier anyway!

5. I'm still trying to find a way to link this University of Arkansas athletics, but haven't found it. Oh well...woo pig sooie!!



Doug

April 30 2009

Motivational quote: "There comes a special moment in everyone's life, a moment for which that person was born. That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission--a mission for which he is uniquely qualified. Int that moment, he finds greatness. It is his finest hour." -Sir Winston Churchill

Thought #1: You mean God has a purpose for everybody?

Thought #2: Seek that moment, don't just wait for it to find you.

Proverbs 30:1(NLT) ->the NLT uses an alternate translation/letter division from the majority of other translations. But it makes more sense to me. Compare it to Proverbs 30:1(KJV)

Proverbs 30:4(NLT) ->Who is He? The Great I AM, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 5:3-5 ->First principle: adult children have the primary responsibility to provide for their parents when needed, yet our society (and our churches) barely encourages planning for that. You can get plenty of info on retirement, paying for your kid's college, planning for your own senior years, but very little on planning for your parent's senior years.

Second principle: The church should not expend its resources to do what its members are responsible for. If there are family members capable of helping, they should do so, moreover the church is right to expect them to.

Prayer: Lord God, we need to push forward in our lives and in this church. Give us the willingness to take the time to do it.


Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Things we don't understand

One of the things that I use to keep connected with the outside world is a web-service called Twitter. Now, you may have no use for keeping the world updated with 140-character shouts of what you are doing. Or, you may not have time to wade through all the people that want to be your friend in the same way your neighborhood Amway family wanted to be your friend: Yeah, that's great, and I can sell you __________to help with it! If you don't have the courage to block or not follow people you can't imagine needing to follow, or that are obviously trying to sell you stuff, stay off Twitter. You'll only frustrate yourself.

But, one of the great things on Twitter is that there are a few celebrity types that use it, and they actually keep up with it themselves. I follow a few, selected celebrities. They are, in no particular order, Mark Lee (guitarist for Third Day), Mac Powell (lead singer for Third Day), Third Day's official Twitter feed, Mark Hall (Casting Crowns lead singer) (what can I say? If downhere had a twitter feed, I'd follow them. That would cover my music), Thom Rainer (president of Lifeway Christian Resources), Sam Rainer (Church Consultant), and Phil Johnson (executive director, Grace to You; also blogger-supreme at Pyromaniacs) and Frank Turk (blogger extraordinaire at Pyromaniacs and his own blog). Then there's some busines authors, some political people (Congressman Mike Ross is on Twitter), and I take a news feed from ESPN.

Do all of these follow me back? Nope. the Rainers do, ESPN does (I think they just courtesy follow, and never read it). But that's okay. I have about 20 people that follow me that I don't follow, because I don't want their every 5 minutes cluttering up my feed.

It was on Mark Hall's feed that I saw something interesting a few days ago. While I was happily in Kansas, he was in North Korea. No, he wasn't giving them our rocket secrets, that much I'm sure of. I know that Casting Crowns, and Mark and his wife especially, have been involved in charity and relief work in North Korea for a few years now. This isn't his first trip. In fact, they were invited to perform at the country's spring arts festival. Back to what Mark said on twitter, here's his post:

I've been reading some articles about our trip to N Korea. It's amazing how much you can write and have no idea what your talking about. -markhallcc on twitter, 6:23AM April 21st.

Now, I'm not trying to attack their trip (not that I could. The DPRK is quite probably the most isolated country in the world. The opportunity to go and sing Christ-centered music is exceptional) or defend it (after all, by going they might be seen to be endorsing the DPRK's personality cult for their leaders), but I wanted to look at his quote, "It's amazing how much you can write and have no idea what your[sic] talking about"

How often do we do this? I know that I do, occasionally, launch off on a criticism or a praise of someone or some action without knowing the full facts. I think our greatest tendency is to criticize people when their actions don't measure up to our ideals. We're pretty quick to do this in the church, and it's part of what I think is tearing us apart at the seams in the SBC especially.

Now, I know that many of us have, in our minds, every right to be cynical and jaded, and suspicious of the motives and hidden agendas of people around us, because we've been burned before, hurt before, embarassed, criticized or ridiculed. So, we walk around with our defenses up, our paranoia in tune, and are ready to pounce as soon as someone says something. After all, it's not really paranoia if they are out to get you, right?

I'd like to encourage you, first of all, to back off on the cynicism. Not everyone has ulterior motives, not everyone is out to destroy everything in the world you stand for. Really. They aren't. Take people at face value, give them the benefit of the doubt.

But wait, you say! I could get blindsided by something! I could be wronged by another person if I let my guard down! To that I say this: YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! You could be wronged. What should you do about it? Well, I'd start here:

7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.

1 Cor 6:7-8 (NASB)


That's the part we overlook in 1 Corinthians 6. We read it, and claim to abide by the passage where the Bible explicitly condemns taking issues between believers into unbelieving courts, but then we qualify it out with "Well, they wouldn't resolve it the way I needed it resolved, so I had to take them to court. It was my last option." No, it wasn't. Your last option was to read verse 7, and allow yourself to be wronged and defrauded by your brother in Christ. That's right. Let it happen, rather than bring the world's reproach on the body of Christ by your lawsuit.

How does this come back to Mark Hall's quote? We so often jump into issues without knowing both sides, because we're preparing to defend ourselves, rather than allow God to deal with the issue. Rather than accept Paul's words, and let ourselves be wronged by another, and let God vindicate us, we jump in quickly to attack first, and ask later.

We then end up overreaching what we really know, and instead find ourselves making statements about things that we just don't understand.

I want to encourage you to take time and listen to what people are saying. Then, turn off your cynical thoughts, and trust them to mean it. When people seek your advice, give them your honest opinion, but when they don't, leave it alone. You can always just stay out of it if you can't endorse it.

Now, there are issues of Biblical truth that shouldn't be ignored, and there are times and places to address things like how a group that claims to be a church is behaving unbiblically or wrong behavior by a minister. But those are not the things I'm talking about. I'm talking about the fact that you can't really paint every situation with the same brush. A pastor that calls off Sunday night services to encourage family time? If that's what he has prayerfully put together for his flock, leave him alone. A pastor that calls off Sunday night services to have drunken beer parties to meet new sinners? That calls for a rebuke.

We need to get back to trusting individual believers to make decisions based on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's guidance in their lives.

At least that's my opinion. Read into it whatever you like....

Doug

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Consider the consequences

I had the opportunity yesterday to visit the new offices of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. It was a very good opportunity, but there was one thing that I found slightly disturbing, and incredibly funny.

Right beside the room I was in for a seminar was a little alcove with vending machines. Starting from the left, there's a Coke machine, a snack machine, the Pepsi/Aquafina machine, and then something else. Look at the picture:

That's right. It's a scale. Like the one the nurse puts you on when you go to the doctor for anything that's wrong, and then shakes her head slowly. That one.

I thought it was funny. Add in that the scale is one door down from the cafeteria/lunchroom area, and it gets funnier.

But, then, as I was about to buy a Coke, I looked at the scale. And I considered the consequences of my actions...the health effects, the impact on my hope to lose weight, the fact that I'd be going to lunch with the folks in the seminar, and would likely drink more Coke then...

I thought it was quite wise to have the scale there with the vending. It may not have been intentional. They may have just had one scale, and so couldn't hide it the restroom. It may have been a joke.

But really, how great a reminder that we need to think about things before we do them. What if that credit card terminal at Wal-mart showed not just the amount you were swiping, but the total, with interest, that you would be paying? I know that when you take out a loan, the legal disclosures show the total cost, but what if we paid better attention? What if the sticker price on a car was that total?

What if, when you looked at the price of a cocktail with dinner, they included on the menu the picture of a family killed by a drunk driver? How about adding a picture of your own daughter to the pornography you're looking at, realizing the cost for your pleasure is another man's daughter? What if you were forced to consider the real consequences before every decision?

So many of us claim to do so, but why do we keep coming to the wrong conclusions? Why do we still go ahead and take that debt, still have that drink, buy that magazine, bet that horse, cheat on those taxes, lie to our spouses or defraud our employees? Because we really don't have a healthy respect for the consequences. We don't face the scale every day telling us whether or not we have met our goals, whether or not we are facing down a growing crisis, do we? Yet we should. We should evaluate our efforts daily, evaluate the results daily.

We should seek outside counsel on the consequences. With the scale, I know what I should weigh. I know what I do weigh. Right now, I'm just trying to make my driver's license true. Why do I know what it should be? Outside help told me so: a doctor. Plus, I know, from experience, that the world won't miss about 25 pounds of Doug. Seek outside counsel about your consequences, from people you can trust to be honest with you. Seek standards based outside of what feels good or is convenient to you.

As for me...I went to the water fountain. It cost me no money, was thirst quenching, and didn't add a pound, an inch, a tick on my blood pressure. It might have even helped. Every few steps add up to more steps.

Doug

April 29 2009

Motivational Quote: "Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example." -Edward L. Hennessy Jr.

Thought #1: This is not the Hennessy that produces alcohol. So, none of that 'sure, he believes in ethics, but he sells liquor to the poor' complaints.

Thought #2: Why do we pastors not get this? When we are closed off and secretive, the church gets that way.

Thought #3: Businesses and churches: this includes a level of openness. It requires sharing enough information to be credible in your ethics claims. People will not 'just trust you.' You've got to show enough that they can see it.

Proverbs 29:12(NLT) ->You are known by the company you keep.

Proverbs 29:16(NLT) ->See it, not force it. [not force it via revolt, but you darn sure should vote against the wicked.]

Proverbs 29:18(NLT) ->The wildness of ignoring the Lord isn't the same as happiness.

Proverbs 29:25(NLT) ->Don't be trapped.

Proverbs 29:27(NLT) ->That's why we don't mix well.

1 Samuel 14:27 ->A little refreshing can brighten our eyes to accomplish the task.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 ->These verses cut against the grain of many "pastoral authority" behaviors. We are to rebuke, but not sharply. Instead, we must take care to appeal to the family of faith, respecting each person. Not wishy-washy, but respectful. It is possible.

Lord God, today requires me to depend on You. Every day requires that, but many days I don't really try. Help me to remember that today.
Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Upcoming Review

I'm a very happy participant in Thomas Nelson Publishing's Book Review Bloggers program. You can find out about it here.

I've gotten the chance to read several books for them, and, in exchange, I get the books for free. The next time around, I'm getting to do something different.

I get to review the Bible. That's right. The Bible. This one, to be precise:
Hah!

Ok, so I'm not really reviewing the Bible. I'm reviewing some of the study notes, the format, and layout of this particular Bible. But still, I think this one may take a little extra dose of humility....

Although, with my status as a dangerous, right-wing extremist, this will probably be counted by the Powers-that-ought-back-off as propaganda or something like that. Especially since I'll be done reading this month's American Rifleman by the time it gets here....

April 28 2009

Motivational quote: "I have learned to do my best, and if the end result is good then I do not care for any criticism, but if the end result is not good, then even the praise of ten angels would not make the difference." -Abraham Lincoln

Thought: All that matters is whether, in the end, we've been obedient to God. The criticism of men or praise of angels is irrelevant otherwise.

Proverbs 28:6(NLT) ->Decide which you'd prefer.

Proverbs 28:8(NLT) ->Is this what is happening to banks?

Proverbs 28:12(NLT) -> Yep. Like right now.

Proverbs 28:13(NLT) ->Another verse for church leaders!

Proverbs 28:20(NLT) ->So skip that email---and go to work!

1 Samuel 14:12 ->All Jonathan needed was the assurance God was in it. No army, no detailed plan.

1 Samuel 14:6 ->Yet we wait to have many.

1 Samuel 14:43-44 ->Integrity vs. dumb oaths!

1 Timothy 4:16 ->Staying fast to the word demonstrates our salvation and provides the hearing for others as needed in Romans 10:14

Lord God, today I seek wisdom.  I pray it will be your wisdom, and not the world's!

Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Monday, April 27, 2009

Politics and Math

For those of us that have a hard time dealing with the insane amounts of money our federal government uses, here's a great video visualization:




I don't know about you, but that doesn't really look like much help.

Sure is a lot of change, though, isn't it?

April 27 2009

Motivational Quote: "The way I see it, leadership does not begin with power but rather, with a compelling vision or goal of excellence. One becomes a leader when he or she is able to communicate that vision in such a way that others feel empowered to achieve excellence." -Frederick W. Smith

Thought #1: It's interesting to me to see the world's perspective of 'Frederick W. Smith' after living in Memphis, home of FedEx, and seeing many local people's view of 'Fred Smith.' I wouldn't put this quote in his mouth based on the people I knew that worked at Fed and how they felt at that company.

Thought #2: FedEx is an amazing company, all of the success and wonder surrounding it, you forget that Smith used a multi-million dollar inheritance to get it started.

Thought #3: I think this quote is missing a that. I would find it to make more sense if it said that "others feel empowered to achieve that excellence" in reference to the leaders vision. You're not really leading people if they are not achieving the goals you have set--you might be inspiring them, but not leading them.

Proverbs 27:7(NLT) ->Excess destroys appreciation

Proverbs 27:12(NLT) ->Consider the consequences, be prepared.

Proverbs 27:14(NLT) ->And blasting Iron Butterfly's Inna-godda-divida is just plain wrong.

Revelation 6:17 ->Only those who trust in the Lamb may stand!

1 Samuel 14:23 ->Credit where it's due.

1 Samuel 14:1 compared to 1 Samuel 14:21 ->Some Israelites had already 'crossed over,' just not in a good way.

1 Samuel 14:30 ->Jonathan wants a complete victory.

1 Samuel 14:35 ->His only one? I might be overlooking it, but I don't see a reference to Saul building other altars to the Lord.

1 Timothy 4:15 ->be absorbed in Scripture, preaching, teaching.

Prayer: Lord God, I want to be absorbed with your word, your way. Consume me for you!

Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

The Noticer


Ok, I get free books from Thomas Nelson Publishers, because I take part as a book review blogger. Usually, the way this works, I read a book, post the review, look through available books, and pick the next one I want.

Then, one day, I got an email from the blog review department, announcing they had a special project to get a limited number of reviews for Andy Andrews' next book, The Noticer. The email raved about how this was his next book, all of his accomplishments, and so on. It sounded great. Well, except for one minor detail.

I've never heard of Andy Andrews. Really. I don't try to live in a bubble, but UPS wasn't a hotbed of motivational speaking, and the Baptist world is, shall we say, a little over-hero-worship oriented, and he's not a Baptist hero. So, not to be rude, but he hasn't made it into my world. Until now.

The Noticer is a remarkable little book. The story contained within its 167 pages is well told, recounting the experience of a small Alabama town with a visitor. It's hard to give more summary without wrecking the experience of reading it, but I'll try.

I think Andrews' point is that, many times, we falter before the challenges of life because we lack a good perspective on what is happening around us. Moreover, that we often neglect the people around us that can bring that perspective. He uses a charming story, some factual, some possibly exaggerated, and all of it compelling you to turn the page and read just a little more before you put it down.

Which, fortunately, you'll be able to do after a day or two. It's only 167 pages, which will take a few hours. So, turn off the TV tonight, and curl up with The Noticer. A little perspective will do us all some good...


By the way, my favorite quote from the book? This one: "Remember, young man, experience is not the best teacher. Other people’s experience is the best teacher."

The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Buy it from Amazon, Wal-mart, Barnes & Noble, CBD, the airport bookshop, basically anywhere you can get a decent book!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26 2009

Motivational Quote: "I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy, and enthusiasm and hard work."-Harry S. Truman

Thought #1: And those people didn't even need a middle name--just a letter!

Thought #2: Ecclesiastes 9:10 anyone?

Thought #3: If you are faithful with what you have, more will be added...

Proverbs 26:13(NLT) ->And I have a ferocious cat in the kitchen! But I still have to cook and clean.

Proverbs 26:16(NLT) ->There's a difference in laziness and wisdom to avoid unnecessary work.

Proverbs 26:20(NLT) ->Drop it. Move on with life.

Revelation 5:6 ->Christ has the fullness of the Spirit and the power

1 Samuel 13:14 ->Saul still has the opportunity to repent.

1 Timothy 4:14 ->The ones who go before have both the right and responsibility to strengthen the ones behind them. Including observing their gifts, and pushing the use of them (don't let the young men in your church that you think would make great pastors off the hook! insist they pray and seek God about it!)

Question from 1 Timothy 4:14 ->Should retiring pastors select their own successors? Possibly several years early, to prepare them?

1 Timothy 4:14 ->We should all be striving to strengthen someone.

Prayer: Lord God, help us see You in worship today. Guide our hearts, our tongues, that we may follow You.
Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Random Observations

1. Kansas City, Kansas is smaller than Kansas City, Missouri. Shouldn't that be the other way around?

2. Motivational speaking is scarier than preaching.

3. Even with increased security, you're still 30,000 feet up, hoping the mechanics were having a good day.

4. When you fly, now you get a drink, but can buy a snack. On the way from Little Rock to DFW, the announcement was that 'Items are available for purchase. Just inform the flight attendants what you want to purchase.' Since it was early Monday morning, and I didn't want to cause a problem, I didn't ask to purchase a parachute. I thought about it.

5. All of Kansas isn't flat.

6. Make sure you realize how many steps you're taking when you take the stairs instead of the escalator!

7. Racetrack grandstands are huge!

8. I'm wondering how Cabela's got the stuffed and mounted elephant?

9. There's not a lot of room in the back of an Impala.

10. I'm happy to report that the Warren, Arkansas, Police Department does not engage in profiling. Even when it's painfully obvious that the old white guy with the Buick is not the one with the noise ordinance violation.

11. I like my Blackberry. But I don't type very well on it yet.

12. If you have an airport security issue, and nobody seems to be listening, just keep reporting it. Eventually, the suits will come. And then, everybody cares what you have to say! (Fortunately, it was just a little report by someone else about a passenger near me on a flight. Nobody hurt, no issues. And TSA handled it well)

13. I don't handle sudoku well. Really.

14. The Spurs are really missin' Manu. Maybe missing David Robinson, too.

15. The extremes of man's inhumanity to his fellow man confound me. There are exceptions, but all told, people can be downright mean.

16. I still wonder if Cardinals are called Cardinals because they wear red and look like bird cardinals, or if bird cardinals are cardinals because they are red like Cardinals wear red.

Doug

Book Review: John C. Maxwell's Put Your Dream to the Test


My next book in the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program was John C. Maxwell's Put Your Dream to the Test.

John Maxwell has written several books on leadership, most of which have dealt with developing your ability to lead others and impact the organizations you are a part of in a positive manner. This latest offering is slightly different. Put Your Dream to the Test focuses more on the individual's leadership of, well, their own selves.

My opinion? Well, first a little background: I've worked in small business, big business, and now as pastor of a church, I have read and continue to read many books on leadership and personal development. Most of them are like Fridays at my college cafeteria: Monday's leftover potatoes met Tuesday's ground beef with Wednesday's peas, all reintroduced with the title "shepherd's pie." Most leadership books are just that, a remixed mash-up of other books, repackaged and retitled, but, in truth, you've got the same stuff. Rarely do you find a different approach, much less new material.

This different approach is what you'll find in Maxwell's Put Your Dream to the Test. Rather than spoon-feeding inspiration with a helping of 'you can do it,' Maxwell provides the opportunity to discuss why you either haven't done it or why you will do it. This is the time-tested wisdom of someone with experience, not the fluffy hopes of a novice or newly-minted millionaire.

It's the voice of experience that has set Maxwell apart in my mind since Developing the Leader Within You. The same power pushes through here. This is not a work based solely on someone who is an inimitable success, but rather someone who hopes to be imitated, and who provides examples from various individuals who dreamed big, some who succeeded, some who failed, all of whom eventually tested their efforts, and built lives that count as success. His examples are taken from modern business, historical facts, and Biblical truth.

Useful? Absolutely. The younger the better.

More info about the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program is at http://brb.thomasnelson.com.

April 25 2009

Motivational Quote: "My own success was attended by quite a few failures along the way. But I refused to make the biggest mistake of all: worrying too much about making mistakes." -Kemmons Wilson

Thought #1: I didn't know who Kemmons Wilson was until I googled him. He started Holiday Inn of America, my second favorite hotel chain. He was born in Osceola, Arkansas. Which shows his determination. There's not a lot to Osceola.

Thought #2: I've been learning more and more how to cook, and not just from recipes. I learned this lesson in cooking as well: you can make sure you make no mistakes, and create blandness, or you can risk a mistake. Sometimes it's a good turnout, sometimes not!

Thought #3: I doubt he's saying that you can go do stupid and not worry about it. He's referring to making thought-out, wise choices that may not turn out right.

Proverbs 25:16(NLT) ->Too much of what we want is dangerous.

Revelation 5:5 ->Christ overcame completely. He doesn't need any further help, we need no other redeemer.

Revelation 5:13 ->All creation praises.

Revelation 5:10 ->We are a kingdom of priests. Priests serve God with complete dedication.

Revelation 5:9 ->Purchased by His blood! not by works.

1 Samuel 13:8 -> The people won't follow the king they demanded.

1 Samuel 13:9-10 ->You want separation of church and state? you better keep the state out of the church, then.

1 Samuel 13:22 ->Only 2 prepared warriors!

1 Timothy 4:13 ->Our focus as church leaders has to be the Word of God. And not on the private sharing or discussion of it, but on public reading, explaining, and instructing!

Lord God, today I need to begin afresh with you. I feel stale, wilted. The mold on my heart is worse than it should be. help me to release my defenses to you.

Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Shameless self-promotion

Sometimes, what you do with a blog is all about trying to get other people to read your blog, because when the visitor stats drop, you start to feel alone. And, knowing that you are being read is a good reminder to write. Add to that the hope that you will be read, and possibly get interacted with, for good or for ill, and so you write better.

So, today I'm writing a post to help me get listed on a bloglisting site so that more people will read my blog, because more people will go to the site, then link on through to my blog. This will generate revenue for the weblisting, and readers for me! I like readers...

The person running the website is Tony Kummer. He's also the brains behind some other blog sites, all of which are linked at his new website, www.mychristianblogs.com. So, naturally, I want to be listed on his site. To get there, I have to write a post about that site.

Now, keep in mind, not everything you'll find at www.mychristianblogs.com is going to be deep South Conservative Southern Baptist in its nature. That's part of the reason to be involved in this case. If you'll read through the veritable cornucopeia of blogs listed, you'll see sides of issues that you never knew existed, and fascinating rebukes and retorts will abound.

So, as a blog aggregator, this looks like a great place to find some very good Christian blogs out there. Once you find some you like, you can also check their blogrolls, but keep in mind, many of us are very hesitant to add someone to our blogroll. First we've got to know you want to be linked, then we want to make sure we're not linking to somebody who wrote 2 good posts and then went wack-o! So, a blog aggregator is a good bookmark site, to see what new things are out there.

Doug

Friday, April 24, 2009

From Emil Turner

Emil Turner's weekly blog from ABSC


“I Don’t Like My Pastor”
Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2009
<>

How could anyone not like a pastor? But, we do hear this from time to time. We hear it from church staff, church members, and occasionally from pastor’s wives—not really, just a little humor to lighten things up. In hopes that some of the folks that struggle with their pastors read this blog, here are some suggestions about what to do if you don’t like your pastor.

God wants you to be part of a local church. Not liking a pastor, staff member, deacon, or church member is no excuse for dropping out, withholding tithes, or refusing to serve in a church. The church is more important than the pastor. Pastors serve the church, just as you do.

God sent your pastor to your church. God is more grieved than you with your pastor’s faults. He is the one to whom you should appeal, not your fellow church members, or others in the community.

Pray for your pastor’s spiritual and physical health, his family, his ability to exercise his call to ministry. Don’t spend time asking God to change your pastor, instead ask God to either change you or confirm your opinions about your pastor.

Talk to your pastor honestly, but with Christian kindness. Do not talk in a way that will require you to explain what you said. “I was speaking the truth in love” does not erase words like “you are a tyrant and you are destroying this church”. Now, I am embarrassed to type these words, but here goes…: before you have this talk, ask your pastor not to mention the conversation from the pulpit. The pulpit is a place for ministry, not retribution.

Not all your differences with your pastor require action. Disagreement with your pastor does not necessarily mean you should seek another church. Even some theological differences can be “weathered”. A prayerful, humble spirit will enable you to stay engaged in a church you love, even when you struggle with the pastor’s leadership.

When the problem is so severe that action is required, there are two paths available. The extreme path is opposition to the pastor’s continued leadership in a church business meeting. Take this path only if heresy or the death of the church is at stake. The other path is to ask God to lead you to a church whose pastor and ministry you can endorse and by which you can be blessed. (By the way, voting against something your pastor desires is not opposition; it is simply expressing the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life.)

Finally, remember that you are part of the church, not a sports team, or a community service organization. God rules the church, and we serve in humble submission to Him. In all such struggles, the way you conduct yourself is more important than the struggle itself. Godliness, kindness, and prayerfulness should guide your actions. Peace should be your goal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Home from Kansas

Ok, I'm home safe and sound from Kansas. It was a good trip, albeit a fast one. I want to give a quick update and then I'll fill in details as the days come in next week.

First of all, I posted various pictures and short comments through the trip. Why? Because I had my Blackberry, but left my laptop at home, so I was typing on a really small screen. And, my thumbs got tired. The pictures were mainly of airplanes and airports, to keep my family posted on what was going on and where I was. They've all got the 'KC Trip' label. I didn't take the laptop for space reasons and because I figured I'd be sharing a hotel room with other people, and didn't want to be rude. Turns out, I had my own room. Oh well. At least it was smooth going through security!

Second, the trip was jointly sponsored by the North American Mission Board, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the Kansas-Nebraska State Convention, and the Bartholomew Baptist Association. I don't know who paid for what, just that I didn't actually pay for any meals, plane tickets, the rental car, the tour bus, the hotel room, or parking. So, thanks to all of these groups for whatever part you financed.

Third, flying wasn't that bad. Security wasn't that bad, either. I'm not sure you're gaining anything by making me take my shoes off, but, ok, go ahead. It was interesting to see some of the in-flight changes, like the huge door to the cockpit. On the S-80 from Dallas to Kansas City, the pilots needed something. The flight attendant barricaded the aisle with a beverage cart that looked like it was double-reinforced steel instead of aluminum, and then the pilot let him on the flight deck. I really think the cart would slow somebody down more than the door. I got a chance to talk to some TSA folks, they were nice, friendly, and very thorough. I didn't ask them why I didn't get hired back in 2002 when I applied. Figured they wouldn't know anyway. Also, I like the 757 better than the S-80.

Fourth, there is a huge need for people to be authentic, Biblical Christians in the Kansas City area. Seriously. People who will follow Christ and serve Him by loving people and worshiping together in groups called churches. That will extend the grace of God but also stand against sin. That type of thing.


Want to know a little more information? First stop: some of the pastors are writing blogs and using basic websites to communicate about their churches and ministry work. Here are the links:

Matt Maestas, Desoto Community Church: http://www.desotochurch.com

Lee Martin, Family Dispatch Church: http://www.familydispatchchurch.com

AJ Vanderhorst, Crossroads Church: http://www.arieljvan.com

Mark Leenerts, Journey Church: http://www.journeylive.org

Carl Garrett, Outpost Cowboy Church: http://www.outpostcowboyministries.com

Kansas City Kansas Baptist Association: http://www.missionalchurchnetwork.com

Southern Baptists of Kaw Valley: http://www.here2serve.org


Check these sites out. I'll be posting more info here and on the church blogs in the coming days.

Doug

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Been away

I didn't get this posted before I left. Meant to do it Monday from the Blackberry, but had dumb-thumb syndrome and couldn't type.  I've been out for 3 days.  I'll be catching up on this blog and others tomorrow.
Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Done

In Little rock. Just ate lunch with Ann and kids. We're headed to make a quick stop and then home!

Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

40000 ft

Here's a shot from 40000 ft over Missouri. Real updates on the trip tomorrow when I have a full keyboard.


Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

Outbound

Here's a shot across the wing of the 757 from my seat.

I'm sitting behind a lady that looks like Tina Fey.


Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

Sunrise

Headed home


Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lunch

We're headed to eat Famous Dave's barbecue. There's a bear statue out front.


Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

From 33000 ft

I didn't get a picture of the C-141 that was, well, a little closer than I expected another aircraft. All is well that ends well. We're headed to eat and check in to our hotel.
Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

In Dallas

Okay, I'm propped up on a vending machine. I've got one ipod earbud in, and we're waiting to board our flight. Here are some more pictures.

I didn't see Captain Oveur, but I found his phone!


Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

IPod

It's an ipod vending machine! DFW airport. Terminal A.
Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

in Dallas

We're safely in Dallas. Having breakfast. Then going to eat donuts! We had a smooth flight. I couldn't get a picture, but the sunrise was beautiful at 30000 feet.

God is so amazing with the beauty He has made!


Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

Airplanes

These aren't the best pictures but here is the first plane for the day.
Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

IMG00060.jpg

The crew.
Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

Moon over Little Rock

Here's the moon over Little Rock as we head into the airport!
Tapped out by thumb on my Blackberry!

237 AM Monday

We left Warren 5 minutes ago. We turned a corner and then, blue lights!

That's right, Bro. David got a car full of Baptist preachers stopped at 2 AM! Why?

The officer came to the car. Told us he stopped us because our music was too loud! He had us confused with a different car.

Tapped out by thumb on a Blackberry.

Monday 2 AM

Ok, the alarm went off at 1:30 this morning, so I'm up, showered, and waiting on Ray from Second Baptist.  We're off with the Bartholomew Association to Kansas City, Missouri, and then on to Kansas to look at missions partnerships.

And I check my twitter feed and see that some of the people I follow, like Mark Lee and Third Day, just went to bed about 30 minutes ago....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh dear

That's why it's so darn hard to solve these crimes!!


fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

What would they say, anyway? Ouch?

I'm thinking, maybe, "GET ME OUT OF THIS BOX!!!"
(note: Not all content at failblog is family friendly. Not all failblog content is funny either, but a lot of it is!!)

April 19 2009

Motivational quote: "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." -Lin Yutang

Thought #1: People walk where there is no road because of the destination they see. So, what we see with faith, and travel towards together, builds up the road of hope for others to follow.

Thought #2: Too much hope will put the highway department out of business. And the environmental lobby will be hacked that you destroyed a field in the country.

Thought #3: This illustrates the value of community. One person walks through the open countryside, a few blades of grass bend, and soon recover. A group passes through, they leave unmistakable evidence of their path.

Proverbs 19:2(NLT) ->Listening pastor? You who hopes to radically change your church overnight?

Proverbs 19:3(NLT) ->"Why did this tragedy happen?" The answer may well be in this verse.

Proverbs 19:14(NLT) ->God alone can make a marriage work: Seek His arrangement for your marriage, not your parents, and certainly not the one you can have just because of your money and houses.

Proverbs 19:17(NLT) ->Even in the scope of church ministries, this applies!

Proverbs 19:21(NLT) ->His purpose, with or without you. Obey and be with His purpose!

Revelation 4:7 ->All of creation!

1 Samuel 12:20 ->Obedience is the responsibility of the people, whomever is king!!

1 Timothy 4:12 ->Actions support or overrule people's presuppositions and prejudices. Timothy could act in accordance with people's expectations of his youth, or he could set the example, live differently than was the cultural expectation and norm for a young preacher, and therefore overcome the presumption.

Lord God, I pray for You to be evident among us today. Let the worship of You around this town, state, nation, and world today spark our hearts into obedience.
Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17 2009

Motivational quote: "Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. The only time you don't fail is the last time you try something, and it works. One fails forward toward success." -Charles F. Kettering

Thought #1: As long as you keep working forward---giving up is a failure. Be sure to learn from them.

Thought #2: Didn't this guy invent Freon? Does that count as success or failure? (Actually, he invented a lot of other stuff, so it's not like Freon was his claim to fame!)

Proverbs 17:7(NLT) ->But you'll see it!

Proverbs 17:8(NLT) ->Don't trust sudden success. It may be unearned. By extension, be wary of 'overnight success' in others---a little prudence goes a long way.

Proverbs 17:27(NLT) ->So why do you preach so long? [this verse should be a required memorize for sermon students]

Isaiah 45:7 ->Darkness is not simply God's absence, but is His creation as well.

Isaiah 45:10 ->Woe to those who criticize parents for having children?

1 Samuel 13:19 ->Disarm the people you wish to enslave. [this is as close as this blog will get to politics: the author of the Second Amendment was well aware of this passage. You should be too]

Revelation 4:8 ->There is no stopping the praise of God.

1 Timothy 4:11 ->Don't provide these things as options. Prescribe the truth as it is in Scripture. Insist on it, require it!!

Prayer: Lord God, let us not treat your word as optional, but instead realize the mandates of the Christian life!

Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16 2009

Motivational Quote: "A good manager doesn't try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you're the boss and your people fight you openly when they think you are wrong--that's healthy." -Robert Townsend

Thought #1: The difficulty is to not be wrong very often. Otherwise, every decision becomes a source of debate. Also, you've got to train people about proper avenues of debate and discussion.

Thought #2: There also comes a point at which, if you're leading, people need to be following. If you are constantly being questioned, second-guessing, why are you the one in leadership?

Thought #3: Don't over apply this: God is not to be questioned. The plain truths of Scripture are to be treated as just that: Plain truths. It is not healthy for people to question whether or not we should preach the Word, tell people about Jesus, read the Bible, gather with God's people. It's healthy to discuss how to put these into practice.

Proverbs 16:1(NLT) ->Weigh your pros and cons, but then do God's will.

Proverbs 16:11(NLT) ->Including churches.

Proverbs 16:16(NLT) ->Does this justify student loans? /tongue-in-cheek

Isaiah 45:6 ->There is no other! God demands our exclusive obedience.

Revelation 4:11 ->A significant part of worship is the simple acknowledgment of fact.

1 Samuel 12:12-25 ->God does not abandon His people because He will keep His promises.

1 Timothy 4:9 ->There are propositional truths worth accepting, without doubting or debate.

1 Timothy 4:10 ->A living God!

1 Timothy 4:10 ->Our hope is in Christ, not earthly things!

1 Timothy 4:10 ->Savior->especially of believers-> there is a general restraint of the effects of sin from all of creation, and this comes through His grace; the special salvation of believers is eternal.

Prayer: Lord God, help me see how to labor and strive for you. Let our beliefs drive our actions. Amen


Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Exodus 30:22-33

I try to bring God's Word into my head through several avenues throughout the day. I read my Bible in the morning, usually reviewing the Sunday School passage for the coming week, sermon texts for the coming Sunday, the day's Proverbs chapter (read Proverbs every day, the chapter that corresponds with the date. you'll read it through 12 times a year. I rotate through a few translations: NLT, NASB, ESV, KJV,NIV), and I get a daily Bible reading email. A few days ago, this was the Bible reading email passage:

The Anointing Oil and Incense

22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane, 24 and 500 of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. 25 And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the basin and its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them will become holy. 30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. 31 And you shall say to the people of Israel, ‘This shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you shall make no other like it in composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it or whoever puts any of it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.’ ”

Ex 30:22-33 (ESV)


I wanted to reflect a minute on the idea here. God is instructing Moses to do something for worship that is not allowed anywhere else in Israel. The following verses reflect a similar instruction for the incense used in the Tabernacle. What can we learn from this? I see a couple of things, and they're not necessarily connected. Here you go:

1. I see indications of early authorship, probably Mosaic authorship of Exodus. Think about it. This is the 'secret formula' for oil and incense, and it's spelled out exactly! Why would a priestly traditionalist write this down several centuries later? This is the kind of thing you would keep a secret. Unless you are writing at the beginning, as you record all the specifics as God gives them to you. Later priests would have lesser fears of losing the formula---after all, there were plenty to teach it to, plenty to remember it. Also, they would have had the option to record the formula securely, the way Coke or KFC keep their 1 copy of the recipe safe.


2. And this is the more applicable thought: There are things that belong only in the worship of God. There are behaviors, perhaps, and preparations that are about serving God, and we ought not borrow them into our daily lives.

I think there is a difference between walking in daily obedience and the acts of corporate worship as the Body of Christ. Where do these lines lie? Well, for one, I'd put the Lord's Supper as an act of the Church. At the very least, a local body approved gathering, such as church operated home groups. It's not something for a group to just decide to do on a weekend retreat, but should be something going on during a normal, expected, primarily attended activity. (Primarily attended? that would be the primary meetings of the church, such as normal worship services, home groups that are normal activities, something that attending marks active involvement in the church. And that carries no added on cost.)

Baptism should be, as much as possible, handled within the church context. There are reasons for exception here, and there would be with the Lord's Supper. One would not expect soldiers on deployment to find a local church to attend, but would not deny their participation in the Lord's Supper. However, chaplains are generally representatives of local churches somewhere, so there's a connection.

What other things? Good question! What do you think? I'd like to know if you think there are things that belong only in the worship of God, and things that belong outside of that. I know we would agree that certain things don't belong in church, when it comes to music lyrics and clothing, but many of those really don't belong in our lives at all. What about things from church behavior that we shouldn't take out at all?

3. The other side is that the worship of God should never be ordinary. A viable discussion can be had about being relevant and contextual, but the line stops at church becoming just like any other experience we have. Church should not be just as entertaining as culture, just as boring as lectures, just as somber as funerals, just as fun as the circus, or just as spiritual as the corporate retreat. There should be something different about being in church. And we should be careful to allow God to dictate that. Just as He told Moses how to mix the oil and the incense, let's have God tell us how to make our worship pleasing to Him.


Doug

Colbert Show Video

I wanted to share a couple of video clips from the Colbert Report. Now, typically, fundamentalist Baptists aren't Colbert's biggest fans, and, really, I think it's hidden somewhere that the SBC doesn't much approve of anything on the Comedy Channel. And there are some good reasons for that. Colbert, however, is quite sharp, and worth the occasional check-in. I think he's better than Jon Stewart, because it seems to me Colbert skewers both sides of a debate equally. He did, however, have a great interview with Bart Ehrman, and another good one with Queen Noor.


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest



Bart Ehrman is supposedly a theologian. However, to make the job easier, he has decided that you can't really know anything about God, which means you can't pick on a theologian for just, well, making it up as he goes....



Her Majesty, Queen Noor, is the widow of the late King Hussein of Jordan. When he passed away and King Abdullah II and Queen Rania took the reins of the Hashemite Kingdom, Queen Noor needing something to pour her energy into. She was on Colbert the other day, talking about some of it. And since Colbert's funny, although sometimes irreverent, and he's also quite sharp, I thought it would be good to share their exchange:


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
H.M. Queen Noor
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest


Now, who seems to have a better head on their shoulders?

And isn't good Queen Noor is a good sport? Or would Colbert not have a head at all?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Now, the Feds don't like me!

Well, while piracy is gaining a foothold of respect in the media, the government has officially listed 'right-wing extremists' as a threat. Here's a link to a prominent blogger, and her article has a link to the downloadable report. Why link a blogger? Because the media won't report this yet. It took over a week for any media, liberal or conservative, to report on the MIAC report that labeled me a domestic terrorist. It will take some time for the media to report this too.

What are some of the marks of right-wing extremists? Well, copied and pasted from the report are these marks:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Ok, hate-orientation is bad, but hate is an emotion, a thought---something you can't prove/disprove. I'm all for not seeing a resurgence in the Klan, but I'm not a big fan of the Black Panthers or the Nation of Islam either.

Where's the danger? read the last line: It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration. Ok, I'm opposed to abortion. And who is opposed to immigration? I'm opposed to illegal immigration. I don't think you'll solve that problem without an amnesty program, but I'm still opposed to it. And is this report alleging that people who want Americans to have the jobs in America to be a threat to national security?

And how about rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority? Uh-oh. Texas Governor Rick Perry is a dangerous right-wing extremist.

There's more gems to found in this mine:

During the 1990s, rightwing extremist hostility toward government
was fueled by the implementation of restrictive gun laws—such as the Brady Law
that established a 5-day waiting period prior to purchasing a handgun and the
1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that limited the sale of
various types of assault rifles—and federal law enforcement’s handling of the
confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

So, if you thought that a now-expired law was a bad idea, that burning down a building with women and children in it, that shooting an unarmed woman that's holding a baby is excessive force, you're an extremist.

And I'll close with this one: (although, you can email me, and I'll email you the PDF of the document, so you can see it all)

Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception
that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to
work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that
these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.

That's right! If you opposed NAFTA, you are a dangerous, right-wing extremist! Better watch out for this guy:

  1. Well, I don't think NAFTA has been good for America - and I never have.
  2. One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio.
  3. But what I refuse to accept is that we have to stand idly by while workers watch their jobs get shipped overseas.
Who is this dangerous right-winger? Well, he made a speech in Lorain, Ohio, on February 24, 2008. The full text is linked here. Mr. President, I've got to warn you: The Department of Homeland Security finds you to be a dangerous, right-wing extremist. They'll probably have people watching you, day and night.

Of course, we're getting used to that, aren't we? You've probably already got my Blackberry PIN. Message me sometime, Mr. President, and we'll figure out a way out of this mess. Bear with me though, I've got a Pearl, so I have to type slower...

Apr 14 2009

Motivational quote: "Don't follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise." David Seabury

Thought #1: This works for me. IF your spirit testifies with His Spirit per Romans 8:16. Otherwise, you're up against Proverbs 14:12.

Thought #2: He seems to be emphasizing that your whole self needs to be in line with the idea. Don't jump on just because you think it's a good idea, but your whole heart needs to be there!

Proverbs 14:4(NLT) ->You want a clean church? How are we going to get one? By it being empty?

Proverbs 14:9(NLT) ->Guilt isn't always bad...

Proverbs 14:15(NLT) ->Or everything you get forwarded in your email!

Proverbs 14:16(NLT) ->Danger is something to avoid, not plow head-on into. Or to recklessly send your children into.

Proverbs 14:35(NLT) ->So should all leaders.

Isaiah 43:2 ->Bad stuff will happen

Isaiah 43:25 ->He forgives for His glory

1 Timothy 4:7 ->leave behind the worldly ideas, the rumor-mongering, the fables and fantasies...do they draw you nearer to God?

Discipline ->work towards building yourself into God's design for your life. It will not be easy, and will require your effort!


Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Apr 13 2009

Motivational Quote: "Failure is a learning experience. It can be a gravestone or a stepping stone." -Bud Hadfield

Thought #1: Failure is also inevitable for human efforts. So, we need to be prepared to handle it well!

Thought #2: I'm flying to Kansas next week to go to a meeting about mission opportunities. I'm hoping the pilot has had all of the learning experiences he needs.

Prayer:Lord God, give direction to our motion, and help us to be actively following you today. Guide my steps into something useful, please. Let my light brighten today as I seek You.

Proverbs 13:3(NLT) ->Watch out for the quick zinger replies.

Proverbs 13:7(NLT) ->Appearances are not good indicators.

Proverbs 13:10(NLT) ->Learn to listen!

Proverbs 13:11(NLT) ->Skip that email! And get to work.

Proverbs 13:12(NLT) ->Wait for the joy!

Isaiah 40:7-8 ->How to stand in the Spirit of the Lord? by His Word!

Isaiah 40:12 ->He's either big, patient, or this is symbolic....this is not an indication that God looks just like you, only bigger.

Isaiah 41:2, Isaiah 44:28, Isaiah 45:1 ->Cyrus isn't even born yet, but God calls him by name and has a plan for him.

1 Timothy 4:6 ->Our nourishment comes from good teaching and sound doctrine, not from worldly amusements. That is the goal and reach of Scripture, to be our supply for all the stability we need.


Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Apr12 2009

Motivational quote: "He is Risen!"

Prayer: Lord God, you are the Living One. Life flows from you, and you alone!

1 Corinthians 15: The abandonment of the Christian faith is at the point of denying the resurrection of Christ. If the Son of God truly died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised up, and you believe that, with its Biblical definition (no redefining Son of God!), then the rest, God is able to correct in you....

Proverbs 12:3(NLT) ->Our roots are in Him!

Proverbs 12:10(NLT) ->watch over the lesser creatures in your care. Maybe your robots, too.

1 Timothy 4:6 ->The responsibility of the minister is to preach the Word, to remind the church of the Truth!
Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Apr 11 2009

Motivational quote for today: "There can be doubt. There can be questions. Hope is not the absence of these things, but the underlying assurance that there is a strength greater than the struggles that doubt and questions bring."

Luke 24:8 ->Remember His Words! That He will rise, that He will return. That we are to love one another, that we are to stand for truth, look after the helpless. That we are to go and tell!!!

We do not live in the Sabbath between the cross and the empty tomb. It is not the time to sit, rest, and go not much of a journey. It is not time to not work. It is time to GO! To follow Him who was dead, and now lives...


Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Random observations

Ok, no week in review this week. Maybe next week. Instead, tonight we bring you:

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS!

So, here they are:

1. Anybody that said Fireproof was a badly made movie never watched the Scorpion King.

2. The Disney corporation has never let facts get in the way of telling a great story.

3. When you play Fantasy Golf, not taking Tiger Woods seems dumb. But then you take him, and he goes -2, par, -2 and is 7 strokes back!!

4. I can't pick fantasy baseball any better than I can pick the NCAA Tournament bracket. On the upside, I beat President Obama, even though he picked UNC, which was right, and I picked Gonzaga.

5. Why did pick Gonzaga anyway? I want to take some classes from them, but can't afford. Maybe I should make a bet with their admissions people...

6. An Easter egg hunt is no place to discuss rabbit hunting.

7. Speaking of the Masters, what happened to that whole thing about women members at Augusta National?

8. Computers sometimes miss the obvious.

9. I like my new Blackberry. I can email from my phone!

10. You get what you pay for, you get what you ask for. This is what's going on in politics...we got what we asked for, now we get to pay for it.

11. The NBA Playoffs and the NHL Playoffs are apparently around the same time. Does this diminish the likelihood of a Canadian Basketball team making the NBA Finals? Or just that nobody will care, eh?

12. Is it hard for anybody else to take Jim Carrey seriously about real issues? Even though he does have some interesting things to day?

13. Why is the C-130 the obligatory big airplane to get blown up in movies these days? Independence Day, Transformers, it's jet, jet, jet, Hercules...

14. If the upswing in autism isn't related to vaccines, then what is it related to? And shouldn't there be a little more credence given to the question? And maybe some research not funded by drug companies?

15. Are they lip-syncing in The Sound of Music?

16. Why does ABC always show The Ten Commandments Saturday before Easter? Is The Greatest Story Ever Told unavailable? Or is it for Passover?

17. You can't hold a laptop and a cat at the same time.


That's my random observations for the night...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts on the day

It's been an action-packed 24 hours around here. Almost overwhelming when it's all put together.

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to the folks in Mena, Arkansas. They got hit with a tornado last night, did some serious damage. I lived in Arkadelphia when that town was hit, and the news media is using the same terms as they did then. So, it's a mess down there.

Second, some storms of a different kind are erupting in Monticello. Not everyone, it seems, that is in ministry ought to be in ministry. Unfortunately, it's hard not get painted with the wide brush that will be breaking out soon.


I want right now to be a celebration of the Lord's resurrection. It's a great thing! Jesus is ALIVE! We get to celebrate. Unfortunately, life's little burdens are bearing down a little hard on me right now. I feel more like Cleopas before he met Jesus on the way to Emmaus than on the way back.

So, yes, Easter ought to be joyous. Good Friday is a day to reflect on the cost of our sin, but we shouldn't limit our reflection, mourning, joy, and celebration. Every hour is an hour to do all of these things! All of our lives are lived in the beautiful tension of unworthy sinfulness taken over by unmatched grace. This is the promise of Easter. That, in time, the tension goes away. Not always as we would hope, for I doubt the disciples wanted Jesus to ascend and go away, but as we need. Not as we would plan, but as He wills.

Let us remember: He is risen. He is risen indeed!!

Doug

Apr 10 2009

Motivational quote: "Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centered and that gives their work meaning." -Warren Bennis

Thought #1: I don't know Warren Bennis, but I guess nobody introduced his writings to my division manager when I was at UPS. The most common refrain from him was that 'everyone can be replaced.' If you tell your people that, they'll let you replace them. If they are volunteers, they'll move on. If employees, some will move on. Others will let you pay them, while they mentally move on...

Thought #2: God's sacrifice of His only Son at Calvary was because we were at the heart of things. Our sin was at the heart of then need for a Redeemer.

Proverbs 10:4 ->Not always in an earthly, measurable fashion.

Proverbs 10:22 ->God's blessings are our wealth

John 20:21 ->I also send you: to carry the message of what you have seen, what you know: The Resurrection is real!

John 20:25 ->Unless people see Christ in our actions, they will not believe

John 20:29 ->We don't see, but must believe.

1 Timothy 4:4 ->Everything created is good. Anything evolved? Maybe not...

1 Timothy 4:4 ->Context shows that this is not just about foods, but institutions and behaviors, like marriage, which is a picture of Christ and the Church. Like the Church, which is His body...these things are good, when sanctified through His word and prayer.

1 Timothy 4:5 ->Our lives are sanctified by our relationship with God, not with anything else!


Moving toward the Horizon,
Doug

Emil Turner---I can see clearly now!

| Arkansas Baptist State Convention
I had been driving two years before I took the test for a license. I failed the test because I could not see. I had no idea my vision was poor. I assumed everyone saw like I did.

The day I got eye glasses was amazing. It was autumn and Dad took me quail hunting that afternoon. I could not believe the things I saw. Every tree stood out in sharp relief, I could see leaves flutter in the breeze, bugs on the ground, animals; everything was suddenly clearly defined, and brightly colored.

…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ… 2 Cor. 4:4

The lost world does not see like we see. The things that are obviously of Christ, His creation, the way He changes lives, the blessings that accompany faithfulness, all these are blurred and indistinct to those who have not been saved. They see foolishness where we see faith. They think we are irrational, when we believe we are faithful. The lost world sees the blurred, distorted image of holiness and calls it self righteousness or pious ignorance.

But when Christ comes, the world comes into focus. The miraculous creation looks less miraculous than new creation. The new believer sees that sacrifice as more beautiful than self indulgence, that Jesus is always looking in his direction, and that darkness is as transparent as noonday. When the spiritually blind begin to see, they revel in the Deity the world reveals. They can appreciate, can distinguish, for the first time the difference between that which is good and that which is merely not harmful. Clarity rushes in and overwhelms the senses.

Now, we live among the blind. Physical sight is no substitute for spiritual sight. We must be their guides, patiently, steadily bringing them into the light. Pray for their healing so they may see. Don’t react against the blundering bluster of the blind. Even though they do not believe they will ever see what we see, we must guide them, pray for them, and tell them there is a Light.


From Dr. Turner at the ABSC.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Interview with Dr. Turner Part 3

Here's the conclusion of my interview with Dr. Emil Turner of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention...


Why did you decide to move from local church service as a pastor to leading the ABSC?


I refused to consider denominational responsibility, even though the Operating Committee of the ABSC Board (which functions as a personnel committee) asked me to do so. After two weeks of ignoring their requests, Mary asked me if I was at least going to pray about it. I took three days to fast and pray at a private retreat site that I used from time to time. At the end of that time, God said to me, not audibly, but unmistakably, “You can reach more people with the gospel by working with hundreds of churches than by working with one church.” I knew then that I must be available to answer to this call.

Do you think it is necessary to sort all of our debates of interpretation, such as: Calvinism; what does 'husband of one-wife mean'; should we totally abstain from alcohol; deacons & pastors or deacons, pastors, and elders; day-age or 6-days; eschatology issues(not is the Bible true issues, but how do we interpret the Bible issues) to be able to work together as Baptists?

I want to sort out what I believe in each of the areas for my own sense of spiritual direction, even though I realize in some areas, I will have to live with uncertainty. But I do not think you and I, or the entire SBC for that matter, needs to stake out a position on every issue. Some of them we do, but most of them we do not. We need to accept one another’s views in many of these areas and trust that those who disagree with us are sincere Bible believing folks whom God will choose to use.


If we had to go down to only 1 English Bible translation, which one would you choose? Why?

If I had only one translation I’d use the New American Standard Bible. As a seminary student, taking Greek and Hebrew classes, we were instructed to use the NASB to check our translation work. Though the language is sometimes stiff, and does not sound conversational, I am convinced that it is as accurate a translation as is available.


What is the single most important activity a pastor does?


I believe that relationships are the foundation of ministry. If this were not true, Jesus would not have come to earth to die for us. The pastor must be a man of the Bible, he must preach, and lead. But above all, he must maintain his relationship with God and he must maintain and service his relationships with his church members.

How well are Arkansas Baptists responding to the call to Reach Generation Now?

I am encouraged by churches response to the need to reach children and youth. We are seeing a great response to the VBS clinics that the ABSC staff members are conducting and a commitment to VBS as well from churches that are not relying on these clinics. I am hopeful we will see a great harvest of children. I am not as confident of what is happening among youth workers, however. It is much easier to conduct youth worship services than to reach and disciple lost youth. I pray that our youth will again have Sunday School teachers that will pray for them and seek their souls, that youth leaders will not be satisfied with music and testimony based worship services, but would raise up young leaders to be deacons, Sunday School teachers and preachers.


Thank you to Dr. Turner for sharing this with us.

Sermon Recap for September 20

Good evening! We had some major technical difficulties this week, so we don’t have the music part of the service, and you get the video from...