Skip to main content

August 7 2009

August 7 2009

Lord, today is a day that seems back to normal. Help me to remember today that while it's a normal one for me, there are others for whom it's not. There are hurting people in this community and around the world who need you. Let us remind mindful of that reality.

Proverbs 7:1-3 →Wisdom from previous generations should be treasured. It is something to value, keep, and heed!

Proverbs 7:10 →Even dressed like a prostitute, there's a hidden agenda: it's hidden from the young man because he thinks the encounter is about passion and pleasure. She knows it's about destruction.

Proverbs 7:21 →Am I enticed by persistence? At some point, my “no” must remain “no” rather than giving in because I'm being constantly asked. And then there's that “flattering talk” issue. How much do I bend over backwards for flattering talk? Tickle my ears and I'll do nearly anything!!

James 2:14-26

I'm actually looking at Lifeway's EXTRA for the Sunday School lesson today, which is a new habit for me. It's found at this link. ( For those of you who don't know, Sunday School lessons are written a good time in advance. To help with that, Lifeway generates a lesson 'update' with a more recent illustration to substitute for part of the written lesson. You can get it for free. Tell your pastor you need it. He'll help you be able to get it yourself.) The illustration today is related to Mark Buehrle who pitched a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox in July. This is different from the lesson, but most baseball players are superstitious about such things. If you ever watch a baseball game where the pitcher is throwing a no-hitter or perfect game, usually you'll see him sitting alone in the dugout, because there's a fear that if you tell him he's doing well, he'll screw up. But click through and read the story. You'll see that Buehrle and Pierzynski (two guys living to make spell-checkers useless) were talking and joking throughout the game. No acknowledgment of superstition, but instead just a determination to get the job done.

James is talking here about acting based on your faith. And I'm seeing that correlation here. Some baseball players have plenty of faith in their superstitions. They wear the same socks or the same hat or have the same routine for everything. Don't believe me? Watch some of these guys before they hit. It's amazing, and annoying sometimes too. Do we do this? How often do we treat superstition as real? Do we act in faith that: 1)not talking about bad things keeps them from happening? 2)Not talking about good possibilities will make them happen? 3)that 'knocking on wood' does something other than bruise your knuckles?

My point is this: many times we'll offer action to back up a faith in a superstition, while we don't do much to back up a faith in God. Tell someone looking for a job “Good Luck” and they say “thanks!” Tell them to pray about whether God wants them to have the job and they say “I have to get this job!” There is a lack of acting on our faith, and we need to change that behavior in our lives. We'll knock on wood when we say “I've never had a car wreck” but will we pray everyday for safety when we drive? Will we drive a little more carefully?

And we have our “ Christian” superstitions too. We tag on phrases like “Lord willing” or “In Jesus' name” to much of our speech. Well, “Lord willing” is great, if you're acknowledging that “Lord may not be willing, and that's ok” but is that the case? Or are you just idling babbling?

Not to run down those phrases, but we should make sure that our speech is compatible with our beliefs, and our actions as well. We'll act on things we know are false, but will we act on things we know are true?


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…