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Showing posts from February, 2010

Habits

This morning, we had gotten the kids up to get started on their morning routine.  If you're a parent, you know what that means.  Even if you're not a parent, you can guess:  get up, get dressed, brush your hair, make your bed, feed the cats.Well, I looked down the hall, and Angie is standing in the hall by the bathroom door, which was closed.  So, naturally, I'm wondering what's happening…."Angela, what are you doing?""Waiting for Sissy to get done going potty so I can brush my hair.""Have you made your bed yet?""No.""Do you think you could make your bed and then come back and brush your hair?""But I brush my hair after I get dressed…..oh, she's done."Thus ended another morning exchange in our home.  Then I started thinking about this whole thing.  Why would my daughter who is, honestly, rather intelligent, not think about doing her morning in a slightly different order?  I'm so glad that we adults are…

Proverbs 25

Proverbs 25:1 –>What's one of the smartest things you can do? Write down the wisdom of those who have gone before you.  Don't neglect that someone has, perhaps, already been there and is readily available as a reference.  One of the best gifts you can leave others is to compile existing wisdom into a usable form.Proverbs 25:16-17 –>Be wary of overdoing good things.  There are consequences of getting out of balance.Proverbs 25:20 –>There is more that a troubled person needs than to be told to put on a happy face and have people sing happy songs.  Notice, though, that we're talking deep, real trouble here.  Not the whininess that pervades many American lives.Proverbs 25:26 –>How much have we polluted the well in the American church? How many times have the righteous given way to the wicked?  It is no wonder that we are not considered or sought out for wisdom or counsel any longer.  We have become like the trampled spring and polluted well.  The first thing to do?…

Proverbs 24

Proverbs 24:1-2 –>We should be much more concerned with the character of people than the outward appearance.  Even though it is likely that evil men have things that we want, the trouble and violence necessary to acquire them are not what we should give our energy to.Proverbs 24:10 –>If you don't have it went it counts, you don't have it.  Are you prepared? Are you strengthening yourself for the day of distress?Proverbs 24:30-34 –>Why are we struggling as churches?  Why does the work go underfunded and undone? The simple answer is that we do just as the sluggard here.  We sleep, we slumber, we fold our hands to rest rather than take on the work God has given us!

Dead to me!

We use that phrase in American culture to express our displeasure with someone.  We simply announce that "he's dead to me" and then proceed to ignore or downplay anything that person does.  It's an amplification of the junior high tactic of not speaking to someone.There was, in times past, a very real sense in which people treated the living as dead as a form of passing judgment on them.  People were treated as if dead for marrying badly, choosing certain professions their family found distasteful, or even taking the wrong side in politics.  It's no way to treat another human being.  Really and truly.Nothing in Scripture allows Christians to treat other people that way.  However, we are to act as if we are dead to certain things.  It's the opposite of our cultural behavior where we expect others to do the dying for us.  We are the ones that need to choose to die.One of the things we need to die to is sin.  That's what Paul is referring to in Romans 6:1-4.…

Punch it!

We made homemade pretzels yesterday.  Well, actually pretzel sticks, because I couldn't quite get them to roll out well enough to make the folded kind.  But, the sticks are yummy.Back on track, I'm fairly decent when it comes to cooking.  Ann and I both enjoy being in the kitchen, and we eat well around our house.  One thing I'm not good with, to be honest, is baking.  It's just not something I've done a lot of nor had much practice with doing.  Ann bakes bread on a weekly basis, plus does cakes, cupcakes, tortillas, and a wide variety of other goodies.  I use flour, basically, to make gravy.I decided, though, that I would tackle the pretzels.  Why? Well, I'm probably the bigger soft pretzel fanatic of the family.  Ann and the kids had just made a batch of graham crackers, so I thought I'd handle the pretzels.  Well, I got everything mixed up and then started running into a few difficulties.  We'll leave out the homophonic (same-sounding) word jokes: &q…

Old School

I have a confession to make.  I have come to greatly enjoy the TV show Scrubs.  Not the newer spin-off of Scrubs:Med School that's on ABC, but the original series from NBC.  The newer is ok, but it lacks the zip and chemistry of the original.Why do I class this revelation as a "confession"?  Well, there are certain TV shows that it's somewhat difficult for a Baptist preacher to admit to liking.  The first somewhat wrong TV obsession Ann and I had was Boston Legal.  Now, we've gone from legal drama to medical comedy with Scrubs.  I'm sure once we've watched the series completely through on DVD, we'll be over it.  (By the way, quick shameless plug: we're Netflix subscribers.  For about $15/month, we get a 2-DVD at a time subscription.  Free mailing.  It beats buying a DVD you'll only watch once or paying $4 at Movie Gallery to rent it.)Well, one of the episodes on Season 2 disc 2 features an amazing guest star: Dick van Dyke.  He's playing (…

Found in sermon notes

Last night, I found where I had taken notes at the ABSC Pastor's Conference last year.  If I'm discerning chicken-scratch, my native written language, correctly, they are the notes I took during Scott Maze's sermon.  (It's entirely possible I've got the name wrong)Since it was a Pastor's Conference, naturally the sermon is slightly directed toward the duties and work of pastors.  Preaching, especially, is the focus of this sermon.  I won't trouble you with all of what I wrote down.  Here were some of the things I wrote:The sermon was from Malachi 2.  It's the chapter before the chapter where 90% of tithing sermons come from.  Yes, there's more good stuff in Malachi.First thing I wrote down: "God's evaluation of us will not involve consulting the deacons." On reflection, it won't involve consulting anyone.Next thing: "Do we communicate more about our other pursuits than our God?" When preaching, teaching, doing much of any…

Pondering on the Gibeonites:

I've been reading through the book of Joshua, and have been thinking long and hard about chapters 9 and 10. These are the chapters that recount the interaction of the Israelites with the Gibeonites. The Israelites were supposed to completely eliminate all of the people in the Promised Land, but instead were deceived by the Gibeonites into making a peace treaty with them.I've preached through this passage before as an illustration of making decisions without consulting God. Had the Israelites done so, they wouldn't have made the decision they made, they wouldn't have found themselves fighting a battle in Joshua 10 to protect the Gibeonites.However, there's another aspect here. First of all, while the people's decisions are questionable, realize that no decisions by people ever surprise God. Therefore, God knew, even before Israel left Egypt, that they would make peace with Gibeon. So, what can we learn from it?There are times when we make decisions based on fals…

Book Review: The Voice New Testament

To warn you up front: I get free books from Booksneeze in exchange for honest reviews.  Click on the Booksneeze link up there if you want more information.  Read my Disclosures! post to see more details on book reviews on this blog!Today, I've got a review for you of The Voice New Testament from Thomas Nelson Publishers:The Voice New TestamentThis is actually a tough review for me to write.  Why?  I have greatly enjoyed reading The Voice.  It does an excellent job making the story of the New Testament come alive.  The use of a screenplay format for dialogue, rather than "Peter answered and said unto him….." followed by "And then John answered and said unto him…." removes some of the redundancy that the original language used.  The reading is easy.  The chapter and verse notations of traditional translations are still present and can be used for reference, but the flow of thought is followed well across the artificial divisions.Meanwhile, there are inline devoti…

Proverbs 16

Proverbs 16:1 –>What plans are in our hearts? Are we prepared for the answer from the Lord about them?  I know my plans---to persevere, to tackle new challenges.  What does God say?Proverbs 16:2 –>And this speaks to why God answers certain plans.  He knows why we really want what we want.Proverbs 16:1-3 –>You should be noticing that this is a string of verses about future planning.  All 3 steps are necessary: Consider what's in your heart.  Ask the Lord for guidance. Examine your motives, and compare your heart to God's commands. Commit to do His will.Proverbs 16:22 –>Is my discipline healthy or folly? Proverbs 16:31 –>Real gray.  Not 'Just for Men' gray.

A few days

It's been a few days since I've actually posted something here on the blog.  You may have noticed.  You may not have noticed.  Either way, now you know…I haven't written much.And no, this isn't a "I'm sorry I haven't posted, I promise to do better" post.  I'm not sorry I haven't posted.  I have been pretty intellectually lazy the past few days, a little spiritually lazy too.  So, no, I'm not sorry I haven't posted.  Only rarely should I waste your time with having nothing to say and a lot of free blog space to say it in, so there shouldn't be posts when I'm like that.The problem is being like that.  It's not a good habit.  The intellectual and spiritual laziness thing.  It's destructive to myself, harmful to my family, and less than helpful to my church.  True, I still went to work, did the things I was supposed to do, but I did it with perhaps a bit too much of a routine attitude.As a result of what was going on inside…

Love and War Book Review

As I'm sure you've read in Disclosures!, I occasionally review books for WaterBrook/Multnomah Press.  They send me a book for free, I read it and write an honest review.  No money, no influence.  Just a free book for a book review.  Now that the FTC has been satisfied, let's take a look at the book:  Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge.  The Eldredges lead Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and have several books about living passionately for God in the Christian life under their belt.Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed OfMarriage books have got to be difficult books to write. It's a minefield of potential problems.  If you're married and write alone, what does your spouse say about your book? Do you live up to it? If you write together, are you prepared to share the labor and deal with the vulnerabilities of writing?Into this effort plunge John and Stasi Eldredge with Love and War.  The title is certainly taken from the …

Monday Morning

Well, it's Monday morning after the 44th time two football teams have played the most important game ever.  Which kind of puts that in perspective.  Here's some random Monday thoughts, because I'm not sure I can put together a complete post of any of them:1.  It's been a good end of the week and weekend for us liberty-loving Americans.  Apparently, Congress and the Executive Branch have been mostly shut down due to snow.  That's a good thing.2.  On a related note, the New Orleans Saints won the Superbowl.  See, Congress froze over, overfat political pigs flew---well, you get the point.  The Colts probably could have won, but they pulled their starters to save them for next week….oh, no, that was the regular season they gave up on, not the Superbowl.  However, when you start to set that pattern, can you guarantee to come out of it?3.  Just how many bandwagon Saints fans were there?  Now, I know that many football lovers needed to pick somebody, and since the Colts a…

Reading List as of February 2010

I've noticed several bloggers I read have posted some of the books they are reading right now.  I've also seen it in a couple of the email newsletters I get from people.  One had a quote I thought worth sharing.It was in Chuck Baldwin's email (yes, the Chuck Baldwin that ran for President on the Constitution Party ticket in 2008) newsletter that I saw this quote: "A man is the sum of the people he associates with and the books he reads. Choose both wisely." I deleted the email, so I can't source back farther than Dr. Baldwin quoting it.Given that, I thought I'd share a few of the books I'm reading right now:1.  The Holy Bible. If you've read the "About me" or "Profile" section, you know I'm a Christian Pastor.  If you are a Christian and your pastor doesn't read the Bible, get a new pastor. Either change churches or get your church to change pastors.  I, personally, prefer the New American Standard Bible. Second favorit…

3 AM. Again

Good morning, one and all!  Well, it would be nice if it were a good morning for all.  A random sample of the 123 most important people on twitter and 200 most important on Facebook indicates it's not exactly a good morning for many of us.  Why? Because we're awake at unreasonable hours for the schedule we keep.  So far, we've got some insomniacs, a few weary and delayed travelers, and we're up at our house with a case of the croup, apparently.What's the croup? It's an inflammation of the airways that makes a kid sound like a barking seal.  It's one of those issues that makes a parent panic, want to take your child to the ER, and then discover that, guess what? Unless it's a seriously severe case of the croup, there's no medicating it.  No, really. You can treat the symptoms, but there's actually not a real root cause, and the symptoms are best treated environmentally and not pharmaceutically.So, we've gotten the humidifier out, Ann's go…

They did what?

Take a look at Joshua 8:34-35:34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.Joshua 8:34-35 (ESV)This is shortly after the victories of the Israelites at Jericho and Ai.  Joshua has built an altar on Mount Ebal and the people are gathered to offer sacrifices and be reminded about the law.How does Joshua go about reminding them of the law?  Well, he doesn't scratch out a leaflet with bullet points.  The first thing he does is make a copy of the law on the stones of the altar.  Now, it's possible this is a situation where the leader is credited as doing something when, in fact, he commanded it and someone else did it.  I don't know, but I do know it would have truly embedded in the carver's mind the…

Proverbs 1 by Doug

Proverbs 1:1 –>To be known for collecting wisdom rather than for anything else.  That's a decent hope for life.Proverbs 1:7 –>Fear and respect of the Lord is the beginning not the end of knowledge.  We start by knowing God.  We grow from there.Proverbs 1:8 –>Are both parents teaching wisdom? Or have you assigned that role to only one parent?  What do you think that result will be? There's a reason you replace the brakes on both sides of the car at the same time.Proverbs 1:10 –>Take responsibility for your own actions.  True, you were enticed, but you consented.Proverbs 1:22-23 –>I've said it before: you don't have to be stupid and foolish.  Too many times we excuse ourselves by claiming that "we're not that bright."  ENOUGH!  Wisdom is calling out and available.Proverbs 1:32-33 –>Catch the contrast: naive waywardness and complacency will kill and destroy.  It's not just the evil that will get you, but the simple ignoring of wisdom th…