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Showing posts from November, 2011

BookTuesday: Shameless self-promotion

No, that is not the title of a book, although perhaps I could write one as a companion volume to my book on humility when I get around to it. Seriously, who writes a book on humility? You would have to write it, stick it on the shelf with a note that you are nowhere near qualified to publish it, and then have it published after you're dead.Actually, I'm using my own blog to push my own effort at a book. No, it's not published by some of the great publishers that you see me review books for. Rather, it's self-published through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. Here's the whole story: we started listening to Christmas music a little bit after Canadian Thanksgiving, so that the age-old rule of "No Christmas Music Until After Thanksgiving" could be followed. Then, in early November I was thinking about the Advent season as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. And how we always seem to have trouble finding a devotional guide to use for our church.…

Sermon Round-up November 27 PM

Audio link here1 John 4:7-11 I. Love?      Looking out for another above yourself.      Treating others as God has treated you. II. Love shown at Christmas      Not in presents      In the manger III. Love shown in Christians      Guess who does the work now?      God does through us. Find someone to love, to show love to, to be the reflection of the incarnate God this year. Make it a habit.

Thankful for…Day 5

Here's another brief list of things I'm thankful for, building on this list from earlier.11. I'm thankful to live in farming country. We get to see the process of how rice, soybeans, and corn go from seed to field to combine to trailer. Then we eat the stuff we buy in stores.12. I'm thankful for grocery stores. A friend and I were due to go hunt yesterday morning. It was raining. We stayed home. Guess what? Neither of us will go hungry for that, because we can buy cows. That's a good thing.13. I'm thankful for meat processors. Well, maybe. If I shoot a deer, I'm glad that all I really have to do is haul that thing to a guy who will turn dead deer into usable meat, instead of me doing it.14. I'm thankful for the Internet. Good job, Al Gore. Oh, wait…all of the people at DARPA, not Al. We get the opportunity to interact with people that we can't see or be with since we can connect digitally.15. I'm thankful that, in the midst of all the chaos and …

BookTuesday: December 1941

There are some great and wonderful book reviews out there. Then there’s a few that aren’t so good.This one is hopefully better than the not so good, but, honestly, it’s a little clichéd. Essentially, my review of this book is this: this is a great book for those of you who like books like this but if you don’t like books like this book, you won’t like it.

Now, would you care for some details? I thought you would…

December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World The book is December 1941 by Craig Shirley. It is an historical work, non-fiction. It runs to 544 pages of text, followed by nearly a hundred more of footnotes. That’s the place I’d like to start.
Shirley’s goal with this book is to present the state of America and the world during, surprisingly, December, 1941. The month starts with the United States not in World War II and ends with the US in it. There, I’ve given away the whole plot.

Actually, what Craig Shirley has accomplished is what most history writers are…

Sermon Wrap Up

Subscribe links:iTunes: http://bit.ly/dhpodsubOther Feed Software: http://bit.ly/dhitsubListen: AM:  http://bit.ly/tOy2By (preferred) or http://bit.ly/u66X2l (alternate)PM: http://bit.ly/dhg1120p (preferred) or http://bit.ly/dha1120p (alternate)AM Outline: 1 John 3:18-24Thankful for: 1. Assurance of Salvation: found not only in word but in our hearts 2. Assurance of truth: that we know that we can know something, that's something to know, you know? 3. Assurance of provision: that we know that we will always have what we need to do what He wants 4. Assurance of direction: that we know that He wants us to do certain things and that we ought to do them! 5. Assurance of completion: that He will finish the work and come back for us. PM Outline: 1John 4:1-6Don't believe everything....or everybody 1. There are deceptive spiritual forces involved. 2. There are deceptive people involved. 3. There is only one source of truth: The Lord Jesus Christ. 1. Test what you hear: agai…

Thankful for…Monday Morning

No, I’m not really thankful for Monday Morning. Well, maybe I am.You see, Sundays are big days for me. As a pastor, much of my week is about being ready for Sunday. First of all, there’s the study and preparation to preach two services. Then there’s the fact that many times, I don’t know of a problem either in church organization or church family matters until Sunday. So, being ready for Sunday takes some effort.Honestly, though I love it. But I am thankful for Monday mornings. Not because I sit here and gloat over how great a day it was yesterday. I think it was, most of the time. I preached what I thought I should preach, did my best to answer people forthrightly and honestly, and tried to adjust plans as appropriate. There’s no undoing any mistakes or errors I may have made. I can apologize for them and then try to do better.I’m thankful for Monday mornings because I get to do it again. I head back to the Bible for coming messages. Back to the books for learning. Back to preparing …

Thankful for…Day 3

There's a difficulty when it comes to writing up Thanksgiving posts. If you leave out the obvious, people wonder if you're really thankful for the basics of life or if you are assuming you're entitled to them. List them and you can seem disingenuous at best and smug at worst…I've only rarely had problems worrying about being called smug. I don't list these to be arrogant or to say that I'm a better person than you are for these. I am a better person than I would have been without these things. So, here we go:1. I'm thankful I was raised in a home with my two biological parents who were married the whole time. 2. I'm thankful that I grew up with a church habit that required multiple trips a week. Even if I consider whether the church I lead would be ok without a Sunday night organized service, my brain immediately starts to suggest ways to use that Sunday night for church stuff. 3. I'm thankful that I have never lacked for owning a Bible.4. I'm t…

Thankful for Day 1

Intro: In an effort to be focused on Thanksgiving for the next week, through the annual observance of Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, I'm going to find some things to express thankfulness for. This is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive: if you're not thankful for the same things, that's fine. If you think I left something out, that's fine. If you think I'm nuts to be thankful for what I'm thankful for, that's fine. 'Nuff said.Today's Thankful expression is this…I'm thankful for Day 1. No, that's not a misprint in the title of the post. I'm thankful for beginnings. For the possibilities that they bring, for the hope that springs from them.I'm thankful that, looking back, on Day 1 God demonstrated that His Words alone are necessary. As we're going through science with the kids, we're reading a book on energy. It's humorous because it's British and so words like color are spelled colour and it uses the metri…

Homeschooling Thoughts Post 4

Yep, we're back on this topic. I'm not trying to be a one-trick pony, but I want to get this done and go find something else to blog about.One of the common discussions in Christian homeschooling is related to being a Christian witness in the community. If you're not a Christian, you're probably not all that concerned with the idea---and will likely be bored silly by the following. Read on, though, if you like.The most frequent condemnation that Christians who choose to homeschool receive from other Christians is this: Since Christians are supposed to be "salt and light" in the world and tell others about Jesus, are you not abandoning the mission field of schools by holding your kids out?Here's the first response, and it's a kind of a knee-jerk defensive one: I will take that question seriously from anyone who has left their career and gone into public education so that they, as Christian adults, are working in the mission fields of schools. Not from …

BookTuesday: Decision Points

Today for BookTuesday, I’ve got the autobiography of President George W. Bush, Decision Points. It’s published by Broadway Books, but I received my copy free from Waterbrook/Multnomah. Here’s the Amazon Link where you can get paperback, hardcover, or Kindle versions:Decision PointsRight now, the only Presidential legacy more divisive in this country than President George W. Bush’s is President Barrack Obama’s legacy. If you want to stir up a fuss, wildly praise one or attack the other and then you’ll either hear rampant support from those who agree or vicious response from those who disagree.Naturally, similar bickering has followed President Bush’s personal memoir, Decision Points. It is an autobiographical retrospect focused on the President’s eight-year term of office, though it touches on his pre-presidential years in the first 80 pages and recounts his post-White House time in a brief wrap-up.In all, this book is about President Bush’s view of the events that occurred within his …

Sermon Wrap-up Nov 13

First, a bonus:I didn't preach on 1 John 2:26-27. In this section, John addresses that he has written concerning those who are trying to deceive. It's a few important points about Scripture:1. Scripture is there to help us avoid deception. Of course, this only works if we read it.2. Those who immerse themselves in Scripture will find that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of God in their lives, helps them understand what matters.3. If we abide in the Word, the Word will abide in us. In this, the Holy Spirit brings us the understanding of the Word and we grow as disciples.Now, to the sermons: (Subscribe to the auto-feed here)Morning Sermon: Audio Link hereText: 1 John 2:28-3:10 Theme: The Father's Love Date: November 13, 2011 AM Location: FBC Almyra Father's love Given but not deservedKnown but not understoodPurifying but not destructive (to what matters!)Practice of sin Sin is destructive (um, yeah) To usTo othersTo the fellowship of believersTo the fell…

Lost in thought

I spend no money at all to subscribe to the RSS feed at Shorpy.com. What is Shorpy? It's a website that posts various old pictures. They call themselves the 100-year-old photo blog. I love it.I want you to click this link and look at this picture and then come back:Shorpy.com Pic of Old Soldiers at Gettysburg Reunion(I can't find an embed code and don't want to break their copyright to copy and paste it.)This picture came across on Veteran's Day, 11/11/11, and it just kind of stopped me. Pictures are worth a thousand words, they say, and with this pic I think that's short a few thousand.Here a man sits, some 50 years after a battle, and he's writing a letter. Behind him are others from that same battle. They sit, outdoors, beside the tents they are apparently staying in, in hard wooden chairs.I wonder about this man. What else did he see from July of 1863 until 1865? Who did he lose in the war? How has peace been for him?What does this man who likely walked to …

Quick hits week ending 11/12/11

Note: yes, there are very serious things in this world. No, this blog post itself will not address those things. Read real news.1. Colons are an important part of linguistic health. Make sure yours is in the right place. For example, the tweet that said "Lessons from Hezekiah: 7 things you need to know" was a valid sentence. The one that said "Lessons from Hezekiah 7: Things you need to know" does not reflect anything Bible-related.2. The SEC is expanding to 14 teams. At this point, our knowledge of geography is failing us because the apparent plan is to put Missouri in the "East" division. This being despite the fact that Missouri lies to the west of every SEC school except Arkansas, LSU, and Hog-fodder. Here's my suggestion: move Alabama and Auburn to the East Division. Put Vanderbilt in the West Division along with the new schools. True, West will be Arkansas or LSU for a long, long time---but that will give the East some real football.3. Friend An…

Veteran's Day 2011

Today is Veteran's Day. That it's both 11/11/11 in the US and 11/11/11 in Europe is entirely coincidental.What is Veteran's Day? It started as Armistice Day celebrating the end of the War to End All Wars. Then, the next War came along. And then a few more that weren't quite so big but just as dangerous for those who fought in them and left widows and orphans and childless parents just as much.So, what was a day to remember those who fought one war has since become a remembrance for the veterans of all the wars fought since 1775. (Lexington and Concord happened in 1775 and we mark those as the American Revolution. The country's a tad older than we claim.)It is a good time also to think about where we are as a country. To consider what we've got and how we got it.We live in a country with some seriously divided politics. Lots of people are more than a little concerned that the President of the United States is more than just a bad President. They're concerned…

A lot of writing—1000 posts

I accidentally clicked on "Send to Blogger" this morning on a Google Reader post when I intended "Send to Buffer." So, I canceled that and then actually logged in to Blogger to ensure I didn't steal Michael Hyatt's post this morning. I like to post links for other people's blogs, but I certainly never want to just repost their work. After all, most of us measure whether we're making an impact by two things: comments and traffic. No comments, no traffic, that means we're wasting our time. And if I re-blog his post, I get his traffic. That's not fair to him.Long intro to this point: I looked at my "posts" list on the Blogger dashboard, the area from whence I can control my blog, and I see that I have 999 blog posts. Two caveats: no, none of them endorse Herman Cain's tax plan; yes, one of them is a pre-scheduled book review for next week.That, however, makes this blog post #1000 on my own blog. I've guest-posted a few times a…

Homeschool Part 3

It's an ongoing series with no determined ending. I dropped "Reasons" from the title because it's not always about the whys or why-nots, sometimes I want to hit methods, problems, obstacles…Here is one of the top challenges when it comes to homeschooling your children: social skills. It's the major question asked by family members, was the subject of a 5 minute diatribe by a pediatrician who criticized us for homeschooling during a routine visit, and one of a conscientious homeschool parent's major concerns. If your kids only spend time at home, then how do they learn to relate to other people? How do they learn to get along with folks?Well, #1: family is people, after all—and when you live with your classmates and teacher, there's no chance that you get to just ignore someone being obnoxious and escape via the Yellow Bus. You're stuck. So, the first response I have is this: if they are never out of the home, they're still learning to deal with pe…

BookTuesday: Sherman

This week for BookTuesday, I have the next installment in Thomas Nelson’s The Generals series. It is Sherman: The Ruthless Victor by Agostino von Hassell and Ed Breslin. The series editor is Stephen Mansfield. Here’s the cover and Amazon link:Sherman: The Ruthless Victor (The Generals)General William Tecumseh Sherman has a mixed legacy, especially down here in the South. Allowing for the need to be direct and strong in war, General Sherman went above and beyond with his decision to incinerate Atlanta after it was captured and other choices to wreak destruction that was incidental to victory. Much of what I have previously read of Sherman has sought to either vilify or sanctify his legacy. The effort to spin, one way or the other, his legacy has tainted those readings when trying to understand the man himself.This brief bio, though, did not disappoint in trying to explain Sherman and leave the reader to judge his decisions. It’s not the most exhaustive work on Sherman that you would fi…

November 6 Sermon Wrap-up: 1 John 2:18-25

I used the same text morning and evening: morning focused simply on the phrase in 1 John 2:18: The Last Hour.AM Audio Link is herePM Audio Link is hereSubscribe to the feed link is here for iTunes or any other Podcast receiving software.Text: 1 John 2:18-25Theme: Last hours and AntichristsDate: November 6 2011 AM/PMLocation: FBC AlmyraThe Last HourTime is shortFor distractionsFor repentanceEnough has already been seenAntichristReplacementoppositionSeparationIsolationSchismAbidingin the Son and the FatherThese two are inseparable

Quick hits w/e 11/5/11

Quick hits w/e 11/5/11Economy: Unemployment is down some. That's good news for the people who found jobs. Still at 9%, with a decent but unquantifiable chunk either underemployed or that have given up, and with gas locked above $3 and milk higher, it's not going to change much. People that have just enough to buy food aren't buying much else. Black Friday worries me this year: how many fights are we going to have over discounted junk this time?Food: How is vinegar “bottled at peak freshness?” Really? Vinegar is fresh? And what's with the expiration date on sour cream? What does it do, turn fresh?News: Only in America do you get these headlines on the same page: “Pastor to defy ban on prayer at schools” and “City to ban naked dining.” What a country! (Apologies to Yaakov Smirnoff). Yep, we have banned both naked dining and prayer. Although, to be honest, I can still pray calmly at home or silently in public and gladly know that naked people won't be at the Cracker B…

Q&A on the #ABSC

It's been a busy week with the ABSC, so I didn't get my book review written, with apologies to President Bush, his memoir will have to wait a couple of weeks. I also did not get this week's "Does it matter?" written, so I can't post it either. I thought that, for the sake of the curious, I'd give you some background on the meeting I spent the first half of my week in so you'd know a little more about it:1. What is the ABSC?The ABSC is the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.2. What are you, a politician? That's no answer: what is the Arkansas Baptist State Convention?The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) is really two things. The first is this: a 2 day meeting, with a 1 day pastor's conference, that happens nearly every fall. It is made up of messengers that are sent by various churches that participate voluntary in the ABSC. This participation is based on a level of assumed like-mindedness in belief and goal. The ABSC is the meeting that…

Homeschooling Part 2

More on homeschooling, starting with why nots and whys.1. We do NOT homeschool because the local school system is guaranteed to turn our children into hedonistic disciples of materialism, greed, and sensuality. Schools and peers within them have a great measure of influence on children, and as school days and school years get longer, that influence will certainly grow. For a lot of kids, their parents have disconnected from them and the school is the primary influence, but that is not the fault of the school system.There is no guarantee from homeschooling that our children will not find evil influences anyway. Just as an example, Hello Kitty is not purely evil but it's not a cartoon character we bothered introducing our children to. We introduced them to VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins, Scooby Doo and to the important cartoons: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Taz, and the Road Runner. No prohibition on Hello Kitty, but no family effort for it. Meanwhile, my middle daughter became a Hello Kitt…