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Showing posts from July, 2009

July 31 2009

July 31 2009
Proverbs 31:4 → Good thing we have a President and not a king, then, isn't it? Elsewhere, Scripture speaks of wine and beer as bringing pleasure and as making one forget troubles, along with the warnings of intoxication. I'm seeing here it is not for those who lead to forget their troubles, nor the troubles of those they rule over. It's one thing to take a short break, but if you lead people, hold responsibility for them, you aren't ever allowed the luxury of forgetting about them.
Proverbs 31:11 → Husbands, do you realize your wife is the good you need? That any other stuffis unimportant with an excellent wife. And other passages, like Proverbs 19:13 and Proverbs 21:9, point out that no stuff is worth it with a quarrelsome wife. So? Praise and encourage your wives into excellence. Reserve your criticisms for the one who needs them most: that guy in the mirror.
Proverbs 31:25 → She can laugh, not because she doesn't understand, but because she realizes w…

July 30 2009

July 30, 2009
Proverbs 30:3 → Wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One are inseparable.Proverbs 30:5 → HCSB has 'pure' with 'refined' footnoted: the term here is about metal that has been refined/purified. Some thoughts: it's intentional, as God was intentional with His word. Also, refined metals are stronger, more useful. The Baptist Faith & Message statement 'truth without any mixture of error' is an appropriate descriptor. Refined gold is gold without any mixture of lead. God's Word is pure, contains exactly what He intends it to contain.Proverbs 30:6 → I need to be careful on this one. It's so tempting to think that my understanding of His words need to be elevated to the same status. Not so.Proverbs 30:11-12 → This describes many people in my generation, even in churches and church work. We refuse to bless our predecessors, dismissing them as dinosaurs, without stopping to even consider where we would be without their work. I know I've been …

Bailouts again.

I'd like to whine a little bit, if you don't mind. About things both personal and political. It's about bailouts. In fact, let's throw church into the mix too.
I'm sick and tired of the bailout mentality, and I'm realizing that it started long ago. It's not just been the past year or so, it's not just Presidents Bush and Obama, but our American tendency. How do I know?
Let's consider:
Some of you who know me, know that I have been a little overweight for, well, 12 years. Really. I didn't gain a freshman 15 in college, I gained 50, which put me to 200 pounds. I have since made it all the way to 250, and was starting to stay consistently over 250 the past few months. Well, I know I need to lose weight, I've known for years. I feel better when I'm down, I know the long-term health risks, like family tendencies for heart issues and Type II diabetes. So what have I done before? I've tried Slim-fast, I've looked at diets, diet pi…

July 29 2009

July 29 2009
Romans 8:26-39:
Romans 8:31 → If God is for us, who is against us? Is it possible that we ought not consider ourselves truly opposed by anyone? That the infinite God so outpaces whatever and whomever we face so badly that it is our shame to count it as opposition? Our own failure to obey is what causes us to stumble and struggle, not the strength of our enemy. It is that we count earthly struggles at a level worth comparing, when they don't belong there.
Romans 8:28-30 → Man, this is a passage that we use and abuse so much! 1.) All things work together for good. Not all things are good. And good is judged in light of eternity and God. He doesn't make all things good, He makes it work for good. I can't imagine how some of the tragedies people face could ever be made good, but I know they can be made to work for good. It may seem subtle, but it's important. I need to realize that while I proclaim the promises of God, not to make new ones on His behalf. 2.)Forek…

July 28 2009

July 28, 2009

Lord God, I ask that today I be a fitting vessel for your glory. I have no hope in this world, except what you give to me. Hold me closely to your side. I ask that you protect my family, and look after those who trust in you. Especially, Lord God, I ask that you strengthen the members of the family of faith that face death for their commitment. May the Christians in North Korea be strengthened by you. And let us not forget them.

Proverbs 28:6 → Yet who do we have running our government(at all times, not just now)?

Proverbs 28:7 → Not a discerning son pleases his father, but keeps the law. The best way for children to act is in obedience to Christ. Fathers have to learn to be pleased with that behavior.

Proverbs 28:8 → Excessive interest is a passive way to make money off the work of others. There's value in work, and to simply profit always from others' work is not the wisdom God sends.

Proverbs 28:9 → There are some people that should not pray. Why offer a d…

July 27 2009

Oh Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world: Spare meOh Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world: Pardon meOh Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world: Hear me.
Lord God, that today I will not forget my deep need for grace, nor your abundant depth of it. I thank you for granting Ann and I measurable success in our fitness efforts, and I ask you to continue to do so. Thank you for helping me learn self-discipline in the process. Lord, help this, your church, to see measurable successes from our efforts to follow you. We ask for your grace to cover our sins, and for your power to be in what we do.
Genesis 29:15-28
As I begin to see the goal that I think I should work for, it is becoming easier to conceive of time in long amounts. The idea of spending several years to accomplish something seems far less daunting than it was even two years ago. I see this in Jacob and Leah and Rachel. I also see the idea of an intermediate reward. Jacob had to work a total of 14 ye…

Psalm 86:11

Some time ago, I subscribed to receive every 6 week shipments of a commentary set made up of various writers from the early church. It's actually a good set, and it's interesting to see how far back some of the mysteries of Biblical Interpretation goes. For example, even Irenaeus, who lived in the second century A.D., refused to give a hard answer about the identity of the beast or the false prophet, and only speculated as to the meaning of 666 in Revelation 13:18. So, now, 1900 years after it's written, we have people trying to definitely call these meanings, when a man who lived a mere 100 years afterwords thought it was meant to be vague. Oh, and Irenaeus is thought to have studied from Polycarp, who studied with John, the author of Revelation.

However, that's not the point right now. My 'free gift' for signing up for the subscription was a devotional book that includes thoughts on various passages each week, and uses the liturgical calendar to schedule …

July 21 2009

Psalm 86:11 ->Wow. How many things is my heart divided by?

Proverbs 21:10 ->It is wickedness to want bad things to happen to people. Any people.

Proverbs 21:27 ->My life---is it right?

1 Peter 2:3 ->The kindness of the Lord->leads to repentance, rebirth, renewal. That we would realize that kindness!

Quote: "It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him." -John Stenbeck.

Thought: This is what I see wrong in so many ways in our churches. For many years we've labored under the idea that we cannot expect people to do things. We can't preach tithing, because some people will be offended. We've got divorced people, can't preach that. Can't expect youth to come to 'big church' since it's dull. Oh, now we can't expect young adults to come either. Now we seem to not expect anyone under 21 to come to the normal church service, and anyone under 35 shouldn't be expected to go to some boring 'traditio…

July 20, 2009

Proverbs 20:3 ->Be careful not to start something just to start trouble. It will consume more than you intend.

Proverbs 20:14 ->Results silence critics.

Proverbs 20:22 ->Ouch.

James 1:20 ->Even our "holy" anger. It does not cause us to be more like Jesus.

James 1:27 ->There's an important "and" there. I'm thinking more and more that our faith and obedience hang more on the "and" situations. It's not faith or works, but faith and works. Not pure sovereignty, but sovereignty and freedom. Not missions or preaching, but missions and preaching. Not young or old, but young and old make up the church. Ever notice the divides we cut just for our own convenience? It's too hard to do both, so we split it down the middle. We have a ministry group that does orphans and widows, or maybe just orphans, and then we have another group striving to be 'unstained' by the world. How is that right?

Revelation 15:3-4 ->Glorify God in the …

We could take a lesson...

On handling rumors, innuendos, and gossip from Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Seems this past week at the International Christian Retail Show, rumors started flying that Thomas Nelson Publishers was being sold, or had been sold. The scuttlebutt was that because they were in financial straits, instead of closing down, they were being sold off.

Here's the situation: Michael Hyatt is the CEO of Nelson. If anybody knew they were being sold, he would know. He'd be busily negotiating a nice golden parachute package, and hitting the road. Instead, he publishes this blog post: "No, Thomas Nelson is Not Being Sold" on his personal blog. He details the rumor, the reasons given in the rumor, and some facts to fight against it. You're welcome to read it. The main supporting fact: Nelson has increased their market share by 1.5% in the last year, which is a good thing. The rest show how it's a good thing, and how well they are doing.

Now, I'm not advo…

July 16 2009

Jeremiah 7:16-20 ->Ouch. Enough said.

Proverbs 16:2 (HCSB) ->No one does things for motives they think are wrong.

Proverbs 16:6 (HCSB) ->One doesn't turn from evil because of cuteness.

Proverbs 16:26 (HCSB) ->No appetite, no work. Also: FOSTER AN APPETITE FOR GODLINESS! And for evangelism. Let our appetite for a right relationship drive us forward.

Proverbs 16:28 (HCSB) ->Loose lips sink ships. And churches, relationships, marriages, friendships, and so on...

James 1:5 ->Ask God, because God knows you ain't got it.

1 Peter 2:1 -> Even if the enemies of the church use malice, deceit, and slander, we cannot.

Quote: "A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm." -Charles M. Schwab

Thought #1: Like develop complex derivatives that crash the global free market economy?

Thought #2: I like the almost. It's like a hedge fund.
Moving toward the Horizon,

July 15

Psalm 143:12 ->Sometimes an act of love for one results in the destruction of another.

Proverbs 15:2(HCSB) ->Wisdom also lends itself to the ability to communicate wisdom. It's no show of your wise nature that you refuse to communicate that wisdom.

Proverbs 15:4(HCSB) ->Words are powerful.

Proverbs 15:19(HCSB) ->Thorny hedges make bad travel routes, great defenses, and serious barriers.

Proverbs 15:22(HCSB) ->This is hard for me. I have few advisers, though I know my need for some.

Proverbs 15:27(HCSB) ->Earn it. Respect, wealth, education. Don't get it through dishonest means.

Proverbs 15:28(HCSB) ->Contemplate your responses.

Proverbs 15:33(HCSB) ->Humility must be our action.

James 1:16 ->"Be not deceived" should we have this engraved on our computers and TVs? I think so.

1 Peter 1:25 ->Am I preaching the indestructible word? Or my own philosophies?

Quote: "The best way to get people to think out of the box is not to create the box in t…

July 14 2009

Psalm 143:9 ->God, you are my refuge! Not this house, not this nation, but You!

Proverbs 14:1(HCSB) ->Do you build your home? Or destroy it?

Proverbs 14:2(HCSB) ->Integrity is about your relationship with God more than with man.

Proverbs 14:10(HCSB) ->Empathy is good, but you don't really know what someone else is dealing with. You can still care, though.

Proverbs 14:15(HCSB) ->A verse about email forwarding!

Proverbs 14:28(HCSB) ->Don't short the King of His splendor!

Proverbs 14:34(HCSB) ->Especially God's people.

James 1:14 ->Your sin is from your own lusts and flesh. Take responsibility for it. And take control.

James 1:21 ->You are to put aside the wickedness you had before you came to Christ. Not continue to feed it to make you relevant.

1 Peter 1:25 ->The Word is what lasts.

Quote: "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." -James Baldwin

Thought #1: No, he's not r…

July 13 2009

(Yes, a day late)

Psalm 143:10 ->You are my God. Not food. Not A/C (which died during this devotional time). Not the Blackberry!

Proverbs 13:12(HCSB) ->Lord God, let our be fulfilled in You, not in anything else.

Proverbs 13:19(HCSB) ->Sometimes, one must turn from evil to have desires fulfilled.

James 1:2 ->And the air conditioner quit. It can't mean to consider that joy, can it? Probably not, given that James wrote to people facing death for their faith. We shouldn't think busted A/C is even worth comparing. Instead, it's a chance to be reminded of the blessings we have, and a way to know better how to pray for our friends on the mission field without it, and to realize the needs of those without it around us.

Revelation 13:8 -> 1. This "all" doesn't mean everybody. 2. The book, known from the foundation. Christ has always known who is his.

Revelation 13:17 ->Buy or sell any thing or anything? Is this a true economic boycott of all believer…

My view of the hazards of blogging

Not that I am the world's foremost blogging expert, but I wanted to share a few thoughts on the hazards of blogging, from where I sit. Which is in my office, because the air conditioner is out at my house. And I read James 1:2 this morning about considering it joy when you have trials, and realized that none of James's readers had A/C in the first place, but were facing trials like family abandonment and death. So, lack of A/C is annoying, but it's not really even a trial. Want a trial? Click over to Voice of the Martyrs and pick a prayer request.

The following list is for bloggers like myself, that don't have widespread following or national renown. People like the Teampyro guys, Frank Turk, or other long-term part-time bloggers have different hazards. So do people with big names that have blogs, like Thom Rainer or Al Mohler. But there are hazards for the little people like me. And I want to share them. So, the hazards of blogging? In no particular order:

1. …

July 12 2009

Proverbs 12:5(HCSB) ->Be wary of whose guidance you take.
Proverbs 12:10(HCSB) ->Do cats count? Is that really "my animal" since she doesn't acknowledge my ownership?
Proverbs 12:11(HCSB) ->Lord, let me not chase fantasies, but instead to focus on obedience to you!
Proverbs 12:16(HCSB) ->Needs to be memorized by NASCAR drivers. And lots of other people too.
Proverbs 12:25(HCSB) ->Let me cheer up hearts!
Galatians 6:4 ->Boast objectively. Are you, personally, as obedient as you should be? Are you as faithful as you should be? This is where being a band nerd in school is helpful compared to competitive athletics. We called it "Marching Contest" and "Concert Contest" but ultimately, the evaluation was whether or not the judges felt your band had done the best it could possibly do. You weren't seeing who was better, but rather who had taken on a hard challenge and accomplished it. Which is much more akin to what Paul is saying here …

July 10 2009

Psalm 142:7 ->The righteous should be with each other, protecting and guarding.

Proverbs 10:8(HCSB) ->Are you wise enough to follow instructions?

Proverbs 10:19 ->Even in print or blogs!! See also Proverbs 10:18

Proverbs 10:23 ->Do we enjoy righteousness and wisdom? Or do we act like we are enduring it?

Proverbs 10:32(HCSB) ->How aware of the perverse are you?

Galatians 6:15 ->Heritage and tradition following, or lack of heritage and tradition ignoring, do no good without Christ.

1 Peter 1:22 ->Purified for a sincere love: We cannot love one another if we are not His.

Quote:"Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up depends on the stuff he's made of" -Josh Billings.

Thought #1: I thought life is a highway?

Thought #2: What happens to us reveals what is within us.
Moving toward the Horizon,

July 8 2009

Psalm 142:11 ->All for His glory, not for ours.

Proverbs 8:5(HCSB) ->You can get sense. You do not have to live with nonsense!

Proverbs 8:8(HCSB) ->Deception is not the act of the wise.

Proverbs 8:10(HCSB) ->Take knowledge, not to gain wealth but because it's better than wealth!

Proverbs 8:36(HCSB) ->Again, there is no neutrality. You are either for wisdom or death.

Galatians 6:16 ->"Follow this rule" ->See, there are some rules!

1 Peter 1:21 ->Our faith and hope are only in God!
Moving toward the Horizon,

Bible Verses

I have two Bible verses I'd like to share with you today. Here's the first:

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.--Proverbs 14:4

Why this verse? I'd like you to think about this one for a minute. I'd like you to consider what areas of your life are you more worried about cleanliness than abundance?

Now, I'm not completely against cleanliness. I have gotten over the guy's dorm mentality of Conger Hall, Ouachita Baptist University. For example, I no longer leave pizza out overnight since it will be good for breakfast. I recognize that socks should hopefully be worn only one day before being washed.

And I think hospitals should be quite clean, as well as restaurant kitchens.

But I think we have an obsessiveness with cleanness in our Christian life. Let's think about it.

In our churches: We spend a lot of money to keep churches clean. To paint them when the walls get scuffed. To polish metal, to clean…

Book Review: 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs

My next book review for the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program is 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs. The stories are crafted by Stephen Elkins, with illustrations by Tim O'Connor. Here's the cover:

So, what about it?

From my perspective, as a parent and a pastor: It's a children's Bible story book. It's not a Bible. Given that, the stories will be shortened and simplified. Some of the facts will be omitted, some glossed over. One example that a different reviewer pointed out is the book refers to Moses being happy when he saw the people march into the Promised Land. Well, if you read the Bible, you know Moses has died before the Israelites enter the Promised Land. I don't take it as a mistake, rather that the writer assumes that Moses sees what's happening from heaven and is happy. This is, of course, assumption on the writer's part, and assumption on my part that the writer thinks this. However, it's a child's Bible story book…


Ok, today's opening post is political in nature. Actually, it's just some links worth taking a read at:

Some of the arguments for a government mandated health care system include that "it works in Massachusetts." Ok, but watch this video and consider whether or not that's true.

And then there's this for all you environmentalists. Let's not consider the environmental impact of shipping banana sheaves to Colorado. Or of transporting the caskets to wherever you are. After all, why cut down a local pine tree and make a casket that will last any longer? Even though timber's a great renewable resource.

10,000 Pennies is worth a watch on Youtube.

Now, am I against health care reform? Do I believe in the slogan "Earth First! We'll Strip-mine the other planets later." No. However, the US Government is $11 Trillion dollars in debt, not counting the retirement payment obligations. We cannot continue to spend money we do not have. Period. Ou…

July 7 2009

Proverbs 7:5(HCSB) ->Another warning about adultery.

Proverbs 7:19-20(HSCSB) ->Husbands, stayhome! Let your heart be at rest with your wife!

Psalm 143:10-11 ->Teach, then, revive ->You don't get revival without knowledge, without the Word.

Revelation 12:8 ->satan is not strong enough. Never has been.

Galatians 6:14 ->The world should be dead to us! We should not allow ourselves to be attracted by it!

1 Peter 1:20 ->Christ has always been going to be the Redeemer, even before human understanding of it.

1 Peter 1:20 and Revelation 13:8 ->He was foreknown as the Redeemer, we as the redeemed.

Quote: "Money motivates neither the best people, nor the best in people. It can move the body and influence the mind, but it cannot touch the heart or move the spirit; that is reserved for belief, principle, and morality" Dee Hock

Thought: How do you seek to motivate? And do you realize that you must build into people the belief, principle and morality? That it must c…

SBC Controversy of the Month-July

The Southern Baptist Convention's Controversy of the Month for July is brought to you by:

So, what is our Controversy of the Month?

It's the sudden resignation of Clark Logan, Vice President of Administration and Finance for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. So, why is that a big deal?

First, background: The Executive Committee is funded by Cooperative Program gifts, and has, as I understand it, these responsibilities: study things related to the whole SBC, divide up the Cooperative Program checks that come in, make the Annual Meeting happen, and promote the Cooperative Program. The Executive Committee employs people to accomplish these tasks. These folks are full-time employees of the SBC, and should be understood to be there to serve the churches that make up the SBC. The Executive Committee are actually elected representatives. They meet occasionally to make sure the staff are doing what they ought to do. It's fundamentally the same as a Boar…