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Showing posts from December, 2009

Proverbs 31 by Doug

Proverbs 31:1 (NRSV) –>Taught by his mother.  Be extraordinarily careful not to disregard real wisdom simply because you think everything has to come from a man.Proverbs 31:3-4 (NRSV) –>Not for kings to drink or chase women…can you imagine what she would say to Congress?Proverbs 31:6-7 (NRSV) –>This is not to suggest a government program to hand out liquor to the poor.  Just to point out that for the king, he has no reason to forget, so no reason to drink.Proverbs 31:8 (NRSV) –>This is one of the primary Biblical justifications for political action, especially on behalf of the unborn.  Proverbs 31:10 (NRSV) –>Some Biblical scholars draw a line between verse 9 and verse 10, and say this starts a separate segment after the oracle of King Lemuel’s Mother.  Why?  Who better to tell a man what kind of wife to seek than a wise mom?Proverbs 31:27 (NRSV) –>There is a point of needed rest.  Then, there’s a point of idleness.  Where are you?

I wish to be left alone!

I wish to be left alone!
Somehow, we went through the Christmas season and watched 1 Christmas movie. That's it, just one! It The Muppet Christmas Carol, which, I must admit, is still my favorite interpretation of that story. While there are liberties taken from the original, such as making Scrooge partners with the Marley Brothers, rather than just Jacob, they don't disrupt the storyline. The change is simply to allow the use of Statler and Waldorf as Marley, which seems almost what Henson created them for years ago.
However, thinking about Scrooge, I think about his remark the gentlemen that are raising funds for the poor and destitute at Christmas. Scrooge expresses that he wishes “ to be left alone” when asked to help. Audiences and readers have long cringed at his retort, and it exposes his heartlessness.
Yet how often do we respond in this manner in our own hearts? We won't openly scoff that we wish to be left alone, but even the basics of human compassion are often to…

Proverbs 30 by Doug

Proverbs 30:1 (NRSV) –>"How can I prevail?” is how the NRSV translates the last phrase here.  I can feel that pain.  How do we prevail? I think that Agur was tired, stressed out, and probably burned out.  He was striving to do right, but couldn’t get anyone to go with him.  How could he prevail? Look on down to verse 5:Proverbs 30:5 (NRSV) –>”Every word of God” is how we prevail. It’s not by our strength or by our own wisdom, but by the power of God.  And when we are too weary to keep trying, take refuge in Him.Proverbs 30:6 (NRSV) –>Adding to anyone’s words is a recipe for a quick rebuke.  How much more to add to God’s!  Yet we see it happen frequently, whether it be by adding more laws or saying God has changed His mind about something.  We must be very careful.  By the way, if it’s your opinion, say so! Be prepared to explain it.  Even if it’s just your intuition or gut feeling.  But don’t attribute it to God!Proverbs 30:8-9 (NRSV) –>I’ll pray half of this, but the…

Testing Things Out

Testing things out….

I’ve got a new piece of software to do blog posts, so this is just a test to see how it works.  I’m currently in the middle of trying to take this week and plan out my preaching for most of the coming year.  It’s something I’ve heard other preachers talk about doing, and I always thought they were crazy.  Why?
I.  Who has the time to take a week off?  But, in reality, the biggest part of my responsibility is to know what I’m doing when I stand up to teach.  So, taking a week to make sure I’m organized in that regard for a year isn’t such a bad plan, is it? 
II.  Who sticks with a plan for that long?  Well, first of all, I’m not going to be legalistic about the plan, but it really makes more sense to be prepared.  It’s much better to adjust a plan than to have to make it up as you go.
III.  Who can focus on it?  Well, this week hasn’t been as easy as I had hoped.  A lot of preachers that do this go off into the woods or out of town for the week.  I’m just trying t…

Derailed by Tim Irwin

Book Review---Derailed by Tim Irwin, Ph.D.

Ok, so this isn't a book review I'm beholden to do for Thomas Nelson and the Book Review Bloggers Program. Instead, it's a book that Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson gave away to some of his blog readers recently. (Note that his blog is down for redesign until after Christmas.) So, I did get the book free, but am not expected to do anything but read it.

One of the joys I've had this past year is reading a few more business books than I previously have. Why haven't I read them in the past? Well, it's always bothered me that we seem to readily grab business practices into a church without considering the differences between church and business. Also, like anyone else, I've got a limited budget, and so must choose wisely what books I purchase. Generally, if it's something I'm unsure of, I wait for it to be cheap or until I get a chance to go the library. By then, though, I've either forgotte…

Thermostats...

Expectations and results....December 9 2009Doug
One of the things that I do, in fact the main thing I do, is that I pastor a small Baptist church in Southeast Arkansas. Part of our weekly schedule is a prayer hour on Tuesday nights at 8. To get ready for that time yesterday, I went over and tinkered with a few thermostats before I went home.
When I got back at 8, it was colder in the building than outside. This isn't unusual, since the weather here in Monticello was a little strange yesterday, with lots of cold, then rain, then warm, and I thought the building just never warmed up. I had only set the thermostats to about 64, because it's a small group that meets, and those that come know to dress warmly!
Well, this morning I went over to make sure all of the thermostats were set for church tonight. I then noticed something that I missed last night. I had set all of temperatures to 64. Unfortunately, I had also turned one of the major units to “Cool” instead of heat. All that tim…

Romans 2:6--Doug's Tuesday Thought

Romans 2:6
Doug's Tuesday Thought
December 8, 2009

I'm reading through the book of Romans, and I've gotten all the way to chapter 2 so far. It's only taken about 2 months to get through chapter 1, though I haven't commented on it very much. I've got the notes in my journal, and hope to someday get them all transcribed.

Today, though, I wanted to comment on Romans 2:6, where Paul points out that God will judge all people according to their deeds. Verses 7 and 8 tell us that those with evil deeds will get wrath, and those with good deeds will receive blessing. Sounds great, right?

This is theology that most of us would like to stop with. The good get rewarded, the bad get punished. Hurrah! Because I'm good, right?

Well, not so much---you've got to read on into the letter. Paul points out that we're all sinners. We're all bad. None of us get to qualify for Romans 2:8, we're all stuck with Romans 2:7.

What separates from that wrath? Wha…

December 8 by Doug

Reflections on Proverbs

December 8 2009

by Doug





Proverbs 8:9 (NRSV) →True wisdom is completely pure before God, not devious at all.





Proverbs 8:10 (NRSV) →Instead of---not first, not to get riches, but instead of the riches. We should pursue wisdom rather than wealth, and be satisfied to live with the wisdom.





Proverbs 8:22-31 (NRSV) →Here is your grand unified theory of everything: behind the strings, chaos, and quantums, behind the quarks and photons, behind relativity and gravity, is the Wisdom of God.

Christmas giving suggestions 2009

Christmas Giving Suggestions for 2009by Doug
Last year I posted some suggested thoughts for places that could use a little extra help at Christmas time. In that same vein, I'd like to post some suggestions for this year.
Why? Well, truth be told, we as Americans have a bit of a conundrum. We have a lot of people that our culture seems to expect us to give gifts to, but most of them don't really need anything. Seriously, your children's school teachers appreciate the thought, but how many “#1 Teacher” ornaments do they need? And are you getting stressed out about what to give your 2 nd cousin twice removed that you don't even like? I'm not against giving sincere gifts from the heart, but I don't care for giving that's driven by guilt. So, a few suggestions:
#1: For the people that absolutely need to have something given to them (you know, spouses and such):
Check out:World Crafts Village: Small businesses that help lift people from poverty, especially in region…

Proverbs 7 by Doug for December

Reflections on ProverbsDecember 7 2009
Proverbs 7:1 (NRSV) →It's really not enough to know where to find knowledge and wisdom. You need to commit it to memory, to carry it in your mind and heart. There is no substitute for that, as sometimes you cannot look it up.
Proverbs 7:4-5 (NRSV) →A trustworthy, intimate sister. The kind that warns you about the girls that can't be trusted. This is wisdom...because the deceptive danger is hard to separate.
Proverbs 7:7 (NRSV) →Look at the parallelism. Without engaging in parallelomania (with apologies to both D.A. Carson and Samuel Sandmel, where Carson got the term), there is a fairly clear parallelism here showing youth and simplicity as essentially the same. The young aresimple. It's not a fault, but a reality. Are we providing them the path to wisdom in God or are we leaving them to be simple later?
Proverbs 7:10 (NRSV) →She's not a prostitute, but she's dressed as one....there are times and ways that we should distinctlyav…

Book Review---Living with Confidence

Book Review: Living with Confidence in a Chaotic Worldby Dr. David Jeremiah

A frequent refrain among Christian believers is that “We've read the end of the book, it's all going to be okay!” While that is often a comforting thought, it's not always a practical one. Sure, then end of the book sounds great, but have you read the 20 chapters before that? There's going to be a lot of chaos before we get to that end.
This book is aimed at dealing with that chaos, and how we as Christians hang on through it. There are some basic ideas presented differently than other places, but this isn't exactly new ground Dr. Jeremiah is plowing here. Which isn't to say it's a bad book, nor that heshouldbe plowing new ground. As the world does grow more chaotic, a reminder of solid roots and basic foundations is more valuable, at least in my mind, than untested innovation. It's well organized and structured to be an easy read. Also, the chapter organization also lends itself…

Pictures....and thumb drives

Taking up space....December 3
Since shortly before Olivia was born, Ann and I have been the proud owners of a digital camera. Our first was an Olympus D-something, which we greatly enjoyed. It was a 1.3 mexapixel point and shoot, and used a 32 MB smart media card. I think we could get around 200 pictures on it.
Then we got our second one, also an Olympus, supposed to be slightly better than the one we had. I don't remember the resolution, just the battery hungry ways. I don't know how many pictures you could put on it, because the batteries only held out for about 5!
Now we use a Kodak Easyshare, with rechargeable batteries, and a 1 GB SD card. This one will hold about 600 pictures or so.
Moving on, Ann loves taking pictures of the kids, and I love the fact that digital photos don't take as much space to store. Neither are they heavy to move.
However, organization is one of our concerns for the veritable cornucopia of pictures we have. Back-up in case of computer failure is ano…

Ladies' Christmas Fellowship

You’re Invited ToA Ladies Christmas FellowshipSaturday, December 5 th6 pmIn the Fellowship HallPlease make plans to attend; we always have a fun time together.We will have potluck finger foods followed by a devotion. We will then be making 3 lady’s gift baskets that the children will be delivering on December 16 th. Please bring an item to put in one of the baskets (ex. Lotion, notepad, pen candle, ornament….). Us your imagination!Secret sisters may exchange gifts at this time in they wish.Ask Karen or Gail if you have any questions.Hope to see you there!

Forgiveness and Privacy

On forgiveness and confession and privacyDecember 2 2009
Okay, so no one is screaming for my opinion on the current mess Tiger Woods is in over his personal life. However, the joy of blogging is that you get to give your opinion on stuff whether or not people are asking for it.
So, what about Tiger?
He, apparently, screwed up in his personal life. Yes, indeed, a sports star once again proves insufficient for a hero about how to actually live life.
You know what? Tiger Woods isn't paid to be a personal role model. He's paid to play golf and sell stuff that people will buy because an awesome golfer tells them to buy. That's it. For the most part, his personal life really isn't our business.
However, it's come out in public, and how has he handled it? Well, first he tried to hide. Then he tried to deflect. And now he has come out, given a guarded admission that he did do some things he shouldn't have, and asked for privacy to work it out with his family. Remarkably, th…