January 31, 2009

You May Be Getting Old If You Alive When

  • portable cellphones were the size of bricks
  • both the Jets and the Giants actually played football in New York
  • Tetris was the hot new video game
  • no one was sure who was going to win: VHS or Betamax
  • everyone on TV sitcoms slept in single beds
  • 8 tracks began to replace LP's
  • people actually wore their Sunday best to take a flight
  • American Idol was called Star Search
  • computers used punch card decks
  • Ronald Reagan was President...of the Screen Actors Guild

January 30, 2009

How True


Prayer Time

Some thoughts on a verse I put in my journal two years ago:

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 (NASB)

Solitary prayer alone with God. Jesus got up early, obviously before anyone else was up to do this. If it was important to Him, to His spiritual life to have the type of time alone praying, His "Table for Two" with the Father, how important is it for us?

A snippet from the 1/28 The Daily Spurgeon ties in nicely with this for me:

The true Christian has a peace which is totally unknown to any
other man; yea, he hath “the peace of God which passeth all
understanding.” There are indeed two kinds of peace into the secret
satisfaction of which no unconverted person can enter — peace with God, and peace in the heart...

From a sermon entitled "The Great Privation: Or, The Great Salvation."

I pray to get nearer to God.
I pray to get the peace that is not otherwise available to me. I pray when I struggle with my life (like yesterday) to get the calm, if not all the answers, to go on with things in a way that glorifies my God.

I pray because Jesus did, and how can I go wrong with His behavior to aspire to? If only I could do it more faithfully and consistently (or a little less stubbornly), for when I do I enter His rest and feel His peace.

January 29, 2009


This is a real news story. Someone hacked into a highway sign in Austin, TX and managed to post this message. It is getting some national exposure by the news services.

Others have featured it in their blogs as well. I saw it recently at goodwordediting. I had a good laugh about it myself.

It is one of those funny things that everyone has a laugh over and many secretly admire the drive and ingenuity of those who accomplished it. That they use their talent for God's glory instead.

My question and complaint is why does this stuff always seem to happen in Texas? Can't you guys go to one of the other 49 states once in a while?

Give me a break, I have to live here you know.

Knowing, Listening and Following

My wife gave me great advice today, let go of my ideas about my education and ministry and just let God take me there. Smart woman. ( To paraphrase Howard Hendricks, I married so far above my station it is immoral).I have been struggling the past few days, getting ahead of myself, getting behind myself and sometimes just getting in my own way.

Sometimes our greater strengths are our greatest weakness. I am very organized, I have things planned out to the nth degree (at least in my mind-which can be a terrible place to be). Projects, meetings and the like neatly platted onto the calendar of my mind. Oh, so organized and in control. Uh huh.

And then stuff happens and things do not go according to my carefully laid plans (of which I am both mouse and man). At these times I can be like a broken machine, trying to perform the programmed function or activity, but things are not lining up like I planned them too. Picture the movie scene ( I think it was in Back to the Future) where the breakfast is set up to make itself. But there is spilled coffee on the counter, a pile of burnt toast on the floor and a whole mess of broken eggs everywhere. The pity is that I know, deep down in my core, that it does not have to be that way. I know it.

I need to let God move me at His pace, not at mine. I need to listen more for His loving voice in my life. Somehow I got very hard of hearing this week. I need to recharge, reset myself, listen and follow His lead. Why is it so hard some days to do that? It isn't like my plans are actually a viable alternative to His. I know that as well.

May it start today.

January 28, 2009


There is a saying that people should not know how laws and sausages are made.

I guess the same goes for tie knots.

Some Things Never Change/Some Do

Seminary classes were canceled today because of icy conditions. It called to mind similar times in my childhood when the occasional snowstorm canceled school. We didn't get many ice storms in NYC when I was growing up, but we did get a big snow every once and a while.

Sorry to say that my reaction this morning was similar to that I had as a child. Even though I am a grown (and growing more daily), mature (debatable) adult (also debatable) I had the same reaction. Although my attending seminary is growing me in my walk with the Lord, I had the same reaction.

A smile spread across my face as I heard the news--a whole day off from school! No messing around with a late opening when it warms up and the ice melts off, we are the whole nine yards.

Is it sinful nature, or the sheer joy of the inner child fighting his way to the surface to cry out in triumph "No school today!" before being forced back down and out of sight. A brief shining moment I was 8 years old. In this case I think it is just the little boy in me gets a chance to get a little air. It is nice to know that at 52, there is still a pre-teen deep within me.

So what has changed? The inner child was quickly silenced. I am not going out to build a snow fort or a snow man (Texas snowmen tend to be pathetic looking creatures, with twigs and gravel stuck all through them. Sorry, but I speak the truth in love).

So what am I doing? I am working on a paper. And the child inside is crying silently.

The Next Generation

I recently read a journal post from two years ago that centered on the following verse:
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18 (NASB)
As I thought about it, about teaching the next generation, I realize this is something that God has put on my heart, sharing what I know with men and women coming up behind in the following generations.

Why teach? Why is it so important? What happens if we drop the ball on that particular duty? Another verse I think about often comes to mind:

All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Judges 2:10 (NASB)

This is when the problems of disobedience to God and the subsequent cursing started after the nation of Israel came into the promised land.

Why invest in our young? The church is only a generation away from fading out to almost nothing. The Lord will always protect a remnant in even the toughest of times, but don't we all want a flourishing and growing church, not a remnant?

My thanks to all that have picked up the cudgel and are beating away the darkness by teaching. What others sacrificed and served to do for us; we need to do for the next generation about the Lord.

January 27, 2009

Tip Appropriately

I'm Ready For The Road

I'm ready to hit the road again. I am not going anywhere, I am in the beginning weeks of a new semester at school, but I am ready to go. I am enjoying school but there is something to the freedom of the open road that appeals.

That would be me getting back into the car after a stop for a venti cup of coffee at Starbucks, ready to roll again. Even a semi-pointless drive to nowhere particular would be fun. Just me and my bride. (I would even let her be Elwood and drive).

How does this fit into any plans for seminary or ministry? It doesn't. A little down time is good, ask anyone.

Sometimes you just need a wide open two-lane highway and some good blues music to clear out the cobwebs. The road behind you sometimes makes you fitter for the battle ahead.

Back to the next paper and/or reading assignment before I head off to classes tomorrow.


January 26, 2009

Search and Read

Here are some great thoughts from The Daily Spurgeon today:

Search the Scriptures. Do not merely read them — search them; look out the parallel passages; collate them; try to get the meaning of the Spirit upon any one truth by looking to all the texts which refer to it.

That is probably my problem, I just read the Bible most of the time, I am not searching it. Searching sound so incredibly active compared to the somewhat passive sounding reading. Searching, seeking God out, mining the nuggets. Searching, I like that.

Read the Bible in a commonsense way. Do not read it on your knees, as I have known some people do, it is an awkward posture: get into an easy chair: read it comfortably. Pray after you have read it as much as you like, but do not make a penance of what ought to be a pleasure.

But before you turn into Bible CSI, make sure you read it as well. Comfortably, leisurely, with joy as well as prayer. I like that too.

What this says to me is that the Bible is there for all aspects of our life: work and study, leisure and play, rest an d prayer. What this says to me is that this book is to be my one constant companion. The one book you would want to be able to have with you on a desert island. The one you would never grow tired of.

Search, read, study enjoy. Grow in the Lord.

Time is Flying By

I just realized that my 300th post was the other day. So much for tracking milestones. I never would have thought I would be doing this that long, or get here this fast:

  • 1st Post 06/28/08
  • 100th Post 10/20/08 - 115 days later (9,936,000 seconds)
  • 200th Post 12/09/08 - 51 days later (73,440 minutes)
  • 300th Post 01/23/09 - 46 days later (1104 hours)
Things cannot keep accelerating, or I will be posting non stop. I have this mental image of the Matrix, when the characters are moving so fast you have to show them going slow. But I would need to hire a special effects crew to make that happen.

The interesting thing is not that I necessarily more to say, as much as it is that I am more comfortable saying it. When I started I was posting once every three days. Now, I can post 3 in a day, although I do not do that often (I find three a day's tiring).

My questions for those of you who blog (and my answers):

  • Have you reached an optimal posting level? (two a day seems most comfortable, but I often only do one)
  • How long did it take you to get there? (a little over three months into my blogging)
  • Did you dial it back from your highest posting speed? (not really)
Given my current production rate, I will probably be noting (at least in my mind) the -ennial posts every 45 to 60 days, 6 to 8 times a year, pacing which would have made me nervous six months ago.

But given I usually have nothing to say other than my faith walk, I should have no problem saying so much. I will never tire about talking about God, about sharing my walk with Jesus. And I find it amazing that He gives me the opportunity to do so.

January 25, 2009

Where's The Beef?

It is at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. I have been in the DFW area for almost six years and I finally made it to one yesterday. Livestock is usually not in my weekend plans, so this was a big change. Yesterday, we went with some friends, people who have been here before, willing to take some rookies out for some air (although the air was decidedly thick at times). We had a fun time. If you are in the area and you want to see some prime beef, as well as other animals, stop by and see the show. For a NYC born and bred boy, this is a whole other world, one of which I know next to nothing about. But it was interesting to check it out.

All I know is I was craving a burger when I left the joint. And that is just what I had at a late lunch.

January 24, 2009

Sell Out To The Right Person

Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim. He was brought into a vivid, personal, overpowering relationship with Jesus Christ. Acts 26:16 is tremendously compelling ". . . to make you a minister and a witness . . . ." There would be nothing there without a personal relationship. Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else.

Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest

Jesus Christ is a person, not a cause. We need to treat Him as such. He is our personal Savior, our Lord and Redeemer. We can come to Him, speak to Him, and walk along with Him. He is not a banner to be carried, a flag to be waved. We should share Him, our relationship with Him, let others know what it is He means in our life, how He has become our life.

But in a personal way, people talking to people, not at people. Paul preached Christ, he did not parade Christ. He took beatings, got up and preached Christ again. Because of his personal relationship with Jesus and his desire to share that all may know Him.

Sell out. Sell out to the right person. Sell out to Jesus Christ. Do not buy into a cause.

Who Do You Think Of During The Day?

Yesterday morning driving to class I was without my iPod. Somehow it froze up and I have not been able to get it working. As a result I was not listening to The Confessions by Augustine on an audio book. I was humming a tune, a song from my past, running over a few verses in my mind. I mean you cannot hum Augustine; not much of a beat and hard to dance to. I stopped for a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks to begin the journey into DTS.

As I got back in the car, I turned on the radio and on the station that was playing came up the song, the exact song I was humming just a few minutes before. An auspicious start to the day.

The song? Pride and Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Don't ask why, I'm the guy who wakes up with Barry White playing in my head at 3am.

"Yeah I Love my baby, she's long and lean.
You mess with her, you'll see a man get mean."

That was the verse and it came on about 10 seconds after the radio went on. Could not believe it. One of my favorite two liners in rock (OK, blues-rock). I liked this song long before I got to Texas in 2003.

Guess because I always think of my wife and what I would do if someone messed with her. (Not very Christian thoughts, but hey, that is what forgiveness is for. You can mess with Texas before you can mess with my bride.)

Guess it means I was thinking of her 6am in the morning getting heading out for a day of classes. Guess it means I think about her all through the day. I usually send a text message from campus at a point in time I cannot have a conversation. I get a response back, either immediately or when I am sitting in class. Either way is sweet.

Who loves ya, baby.

January 23, 2009

Thoughts From Seminary-II

Some additional thoughts based on readings, assignments, lectures or comments picked up from my seminary studies:

  • Our goal is to be mastered by the Bible, not to master it.
  • Saved by Christ, that is the basis. Saved through Christ, that is the means.
  • Christ came first to serve not to rule. So in the Upper Room, He took off His outer robe (sign of superior as Rabbi) and took up the towel (sign of subordinate as servant).
  • The Psalter is a special Book of the Bible: recite the words as if you were speaking them to God, not someone else.
  • Develop a clear sense of your mission so you can say "No" to the good and "Yes" to the best
  • Our God is impossible to impress, but easy to please
I need soak in these, and soak these in.

January 22, 2009

Look To Me

I liked this portion of the My Utmost For His Highest devotional today. It is a simple yet profound statement:

Wake yourself up and look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter how
many things seem to be pressing in on you, be determined to push them
aside and look to Him. "Look to Me . . . ." Salvation is yours the moment you look.

We really have to do very little, it is less than taking a step. more like turning your neck. You don't even have to get out of your favorite chair. How great is it that we have a God that will do all the work. We really do get a free ride here.

Look to Him.

Look to Him,trust and believe in Jesus.


–adjective (sometimes initial capital letter)
1. desolate; remote; deserted: They live in some godforsaken place 40 miles from the nearest town.
2. wretched; neglected; pitiable.

1855–60; God + forsaken

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

I think this definition misses the mark. After all, God can find a town 40 miles from anywhere, and do so without a map. Here is a definition of how we should think of being godforsaken that has much, much more meaning in each of our lives:

At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" which is translated, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" Mark 15:34 (NASB)
Who amongst us can truly say they were forsaken by God? None of us. For look at what He did, giving us His Son to die on our behalf. A physical death on a cross as a human man, a spiritual death that is complete separation from God. That is what this verse says to me, cried out at the instant a man felt the crushing weight of separation from God, something none of us can bear, but which will have to be borne in one specific instance.

If we choose to forsake God, turning our back on our Lord, Jesus Christ.

God will never turn His back on you if you have faith in Him, never. Your life may be no easier, your pain on this earth no less, but you are not Godforsaken. Your eternal rest (security) is assured, you cannot be snatched out of the hand of the Greatest there is. And we have no one but our merciful and gracious God to thank for that.

January 21, 2009

A Year With The Institutes - 1.8.1-4

Continuing with my reading of the Institutes, this section from today's reading focused for me the beauty of the Bible:
Now this power which is peculiar to Scripture is clear from the fact that of human writings, however artfully polished, there is none capable of affecting us at all comparably. Read Demosthenes or Cicero; read Plato, Aristotle, and others of that tribe. They will, I admit, allure you, delight you, move you, enrapture you in wonderful measure. But betake yourself from them to this sacred reading. Then, in spite of yourself, so deeply will it affect you, so penetrate your heart, so fix itself in your very marrow, that, compared with its deep impression, such vigor as the orators and philosophers have will nearly vanish. Consequently, it is easy to see that the Sacred Scriptures, which so far surpass all gifts and graces of human endeavor, breathe something divine.

The Institutes of The Christian Religion Book One, Chapter 8.1

I have read through the Bible several times, and I never tire of it. Never will. I cannot say that for any other book I have read, no matter how much I enjoy them. Take The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. I have read it, since college, maybe 5 or 6 times, usually with a several year period between readings. I could not finish it, then start it all over reading it again right away. And I love LOTR.

Put the Bible away for several years and not read it? Are you kidding? As soon as I finish it, I am looking at how I want to read through it again. Only the divine word of God could move me so. No other book could make me eager to come to school, attend a lecture, waiting to mine the next nugget out of an infinite store of wisdom.

If you are not reading the Bible everyday, start. If you have not read entirely through it, either cover to cover or with a plan that hops around but schedules out the entire book, do it. Just Google "Bible reading plans" and see what you get to work from.

You may not agree with Calvin on everything, you may not agree with him on anything. But at the very least, you will have to admit that he got this one right.


Sun, moon, heaven, stars, water, air, none of these had swerved from their order, but knowing the Word as their Maker and their King, remained as they were made, Men alone having rejected what is good, have invented nothings instead of the truth, and have ascribed the honour due to God and the knowledge concerning Him to daemons and men in the form of stones. Athanasius, "On the Incarnation"
Ouch. Leave it to us to mess up a good thing. And everything knows it:

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
Romans 8:22 (NASB)

Good thing the rest of creation is not talking to us about this.

But wait. Look around at the world. Perhaps it is.

January 20, 2009

If A Doctor From My Childhood Had Been A Seminary Professor

Would you wind up with lessons like this?

Don't you find it very odd,
That some people don't believe in God?
There is no God? How very odd!
Yes it is odd, so very odd,
It is much odder than a cod!
If you don't believe in God,
I hope He spares you of the rod!

Don't you find it strange behavior,
That some would reject our blessed Savior?
What strange behavior,
To Have No Savior!
Have no Savior, Oh what behavior!
To say no to the Lord and Savior,
Why that's as odd as to have no God!

You should seek to have but one desire,
That is to avoid the lake of fire.
Lake of fire! Lake of fire!
Now there is a good and godly desire,
To miss burning in the lake of fire.
Not to seek the ground that is so higher,
Not to seek the joy that you never tire,
Why that's as odd as to have no God!

I could add a verse of two about the contrarianism of different forms of lapsarianism, but I think the good doctor (and most others) would find that odd, so very odd, in fact as odd as a cod-shaped god!

This Is Not The Post I Set Out To Write

Yesterday, I thought about doing a post on working on and substantially completing the first paper I have to turn in for the Spring semester. I worked on it most of the day. Not going to say which paper for what course, you never know who is going to read this.

But suffice to say by the evening I felt like the elephant had eaten me. I am so out of shape scholastically. (Well, I am out of shape physically as well, but this is about school, and there have been enough references to elephants already in the past week). It was not a particularly long paper nor particularly grueling, but I am out of shape. And I was out of shape before the month break between semesters, during which I avoided anything scholastic like the plague. (If I may paraphrase a book I read many years ago, you could take a carrot, put everything school related on the end of the carrot, stick it in your ear, and you would feel nothing but the tip of the carrot. I know, I know, don't ask what book, I do not remember the book nor the author, just that vignette).

I probably need a physical exercise regimen, I definitely need a seminary fitness program. That's the bad news. The good news is I tend to be an old school, brute force, last man standing type of business executive. (My wife sometimes thinks my motto is, "If it doesn't fit, use a bigger hammer") I do not quit easily and I keep on coming at you like a freight train.

I can be derailed, but not without a lot of screeching, sparks and a crushed automobile or two. So I will keep at it, trying to tamp down my pride and focus on His glory. I know that I can derail myself faster with pride than anything else, so I pray on I will focus on my studies as God's will for me and not my own ego. Because if it is ego, I am out of here.

I am keeping a healthy attitude about grades, just working to learn. Anyway, I think if you ask for your GPA in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, the numbers look better.

So, for those of you in school and especially seminary, waiting for syllabus shock to wear off, take heart, it will. If you are wear you are because you answered the Lord's will, you are going to make it. You may be a bit scorched in the process, maybe a little 1 Corinthians 3:15 in the process.

Go ahead, look it up.

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible


Include this form on your page

But you will come out to face another day, another semester and another round of life.

January 19, 2009

I Think Therefore I Am

You have to love a lizard that loves knowledge.


No this is not a Victor/Victoria type of thing, but there is a line of demarcation in my life, and it happened in 1973 when I started college one month short of my 17th birthday. Up to then I was known as Andrew as my dad was Andy. All of a sudden I was a college man and everyone started calling me Andy. Except family as my dad still had claim to that version of the moniker Andre. Over time, some people like my brothers switched to Andy, but my parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and old family friends still called me Andrew.

It is a pretty good barometer as to how long someone has known me.

My wife gets a kick out of sales people who used to call the house to speak to Andrew and try to get my work number from her stating that just last week Andrew had said call me back as soon as you have the info I need. Usually stock brokers who tried that. It never worked. My wife is a quick study and a great listener. (She once shut down a sales call pushing a debit card on her by saying it would eliminate her ability to play the float. She hung up and asked if she said it right. Lord, you have to love a woman like that).

But I find now that I am a man of many names:

  • To a nine year boy and a six year old girl in Virginia, I am and always will be, Uncle Dude.
  • To a six year old in Branson, I am now "boulder-belly". My wife loves that one. She thinks it might actually make me want to lose weight. But being a guy and having no one I am trying to impress with my physique, I am OK with it. In the right context, it could sound strong and manly. I just cannot think of a context now. Or ever for that matter.
  • To various current or former telecom executives in the NY/NJ area, I am sometimes remembered as the Big Dog.
And those are just the nicknames I can talk about. I have been called things I would not repeat in this blog (including by a former Attorney General of the US).

Like a dust ball under a sofa, I gain these over time. It marks the passage of life. Andy/Andrew, a boy who was once a man, a man who is still a boy.

January 18, 2009

To Speak of God

"Since, then, thou dost fill the heaven and earth, do they contain thee? Or, dost thou fill and overflow them, because they cannot contain thee? And where dost thou pour out what remains of thee after heaven and earth are full? Or, indeed, is there no need that thou, who dost contain all things, shouldst be contained by any, since these things which thou dost fill, thou fillest by containing them? For the vessels which thou dost fill do not confine thee, since even if they were broken, thou wouldst not be poured out. And, when thou art poured out on us, thou art not thereby brought down; rather, we are uplifted. Thou art not scattered; rather, thou dost gather us together. But when thou dost fill all things, dost thou fill them with thy whole being? Or, since not even all things together could contain thee altogether, does any one thing contain a single part, and do all things contain that same part at the same time? Do singulars contain thee singly? Do greater things contain more of thee, and smaller things less? Or, is it not rather that thou art wholly present everywhere, yet in such a way that nothing contains thee wholly?"

St Augustine, The Confessions, Book One, Chapter 3
To me this speaks of a God of completion, not of contradiction. It speaks of a God of harmony and order, not of dissonance and confusion. A God of loving us to life, not leaving us to death. I will be the first to admit that I do not find Augustine easy neither to read nor understand, but for some reason, this passage seemed so very clear.

January 17, 2009

Going Deep Vs. Going Wide

I do not travel all that much, but I recently completed a road trip to Branson, MO. I like road trips, I do prefer them to air travel as I have mentioned before. But as in any thing else there are trade offs.

Air travel lets you go wide. For me, either coast in the US in a little over 3 hours tops. Around the world in a couple of days. Go anywhere you want, unless people with guns will shoot at you if you try to land in their country. Barring that minor inconvenience, the world is yours. But you miss so much that is going on between your starting point and destination. Not much interaction with anyone at 30,000 feet other than your fellow plane mates. And the seats are cramped for a six plus footer like myself. Much more legroom in my car. But you can see cultures and countries different from where you live. (After six years, the novelty of the cultural shift from NY to Texas has worn off)

Road trips let you go deep. Stop when and where you want (OK not in the middle lane of a three lane highway). Check out things that interest you. But it takes time to do it. And things like water barriers or really big holes in the ground tend to slow you down quite a bit. But you can stop at a presidential library and spend the afternoon if you want. You cannot do that on a plane without a parachute and a way to evade the federal marshals who will be looking for you once you reach the ground. Pacific island getaways and European jaunts tend not to be feasible with an AAA itinerary. But there are no security gates, just toll gates to pass through. And
the TSA folks do not raise the bar if you throw some change at them.

There are probably personality quirks, or deep seated fears or phobias that would drive someone (or fly them) towards one choice over the other. Some nationalistic stirring or pride factor possibly. Someone should do a study.

So I like the road more than the air. But I am a little conflicted by that. What does that say about me? I dunno, but it says something. Someone really needs to look into this.

January 16, 2009

An Uncomfortable Feeling

How Much Is Too Much?

I have a question for those of you out doing ministry and service in the name of the Lord.

How do you decide when enough is enough? I am assuming that there is a thing as too much, I mean we have family responsibilities, job responsibilities, personal needs. How do you decide when you need to say no to the next volunteer project or service opportunity? How do you deal with the potential disappointment you may generate when you say no when you have been counted on in the past for saying yes?

I find my dance card filling rapidly as i make myself available and explain to people what I feel I have a heart to serve in.

Is it OK to say no to an opportunity you can handle today leaving room for one you may be more suited to tomorrow? Is it OK to say no even if the one you are saving room for is currently undefined or unknown?

I know I should listen closely for God's voice, but do you sometimes find that hard when the curtrent needs are beginning to clamor?

Please do not get the wrong impression, I am not at the end of my rope, not out on a ledge somewhere. Just thinking thin gs through and trying to plan a little ahead.

Is that so bad?

January 15, 2009

Eating the Elephant

Yesterday was the first day of classes at DTS. Today I am laying out my work for the semester, meshing all the assignments and readings into one calendar so I can plan out what to do and when.

As anyone who goes to or has been to seminary knows, it is a lot of work and reading. It is my Spring 2009 semester elephant.

But as one of my professors said in class yesterday, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

I am starting to chew.

The Wrath of God

Yesterday I talked a bit about the signs of God. Today I want to talk about His wrath. Not a popular topic these days. Not sure there ever was a time in human history when people wanted to hear about the wrath of God. It is often used by people to deny God's existence or the fact that He is perfectly just and compassionate. We have all heard someone say "How could a loving God allow..." or something that starts out like that when we speak about our faith in Jesus.

J I Packer in Knowing God sums it up nicely. He speaks of God's wrath being judicial, God giving what someone deserves. Not to cruel but just. Not to visit pain but administer justice. Packer also mentions that the wrath of God is what people choose; by retreating from His light or turning from His path. Adam was not cast out of the garden until after he chose to try to hide from God after Eve and he ate what was forbidden by God. You wonder would things have been very different if Adam had faced God and willingly confessed his sin and disobedience.

What it comes down to when someone is angry at God because of the pain and suffering in the world is that we are getting what we asked for in light of our sin and disobedience. It doe not make God's wrath easier to bear, but it is a just action by a loving and compassionate God, no matter what we may think.

January 14, 2009

Some People Are Tough

A Year With The Institutes-1.5.6-9

Continuing my reading of the "Institutes of the Christian Religion", one section really struck me today:

...Consequently, we know the most perfect way of seeking God, and the most suitable order, is not for us to attempt with bold curiosity to penetrate to the investigation of his essence, which we ought more to adore than meticulously to search out, but for us to contemplate him in his works whereby he renders himself near and familiar to us, and in some manner communicates himself...
The contemplation of God is so much more important to us, so much more within our reach, than understanding Him will ever be. We should reach for that, which with a struggle and much exertion, we can reach.

...And as Augustine teaches elsewhere, because, disheartened by his greatness, we cannot grasp him, we ought to gaze upon his works, that we may be restored by his goodness...
Gaze upon His glory, be joyous with His presence, but do not think you will ever comprehend the fullness of His infinite deity.

Noah's Neighbor

I was recently reading the Genesis account of Noah and the flood and it got me thinking about how easy it is for people to miss the signs of God. Whether they have hearts hardened by the Lord, eyes blinded by Satan or are just oblivious to the obvious, so many miss God right in front of them.

I think Noah's neighbor could be the poster child for this group. I mean, imagine living next to a guy who built a huge ark in his backyard, he must have cut down every tree in the neighborhood for the lumber. Some feel he worked on it 100 years, as Noah was 500 years old in Genesis 5:32 and Genesis 7:11 has Noah at 600 when the rains came. But the Bible says he was 500 when he fathered his sons, not when he started building the ark. No matter, it was 450 long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high, approximately. Safe to say this was not a weekend project.

You know his neighbors must have stopped by to question him, and most likely jeer, harass and threaten him as well. This was not done in secret. And you know Noah told them why he was building it, what they needed to do to get right with the lord and how time was running out.

But only Noah and his family was on the ark when God shut them in. Noah did not ignore his neighbors, God closed the door of the ark. And when God closes a door, it stays shut. Just look at Revelation 3:7.

So I give this warning to all who do not trust Jesus as the Lord of their life and Savior, the signs of God are around you. Do not be like Noah's neighbor, open up and see with the eyes of your heart. The signs of God are all around us.

January 13, 2009

There Was Many a Day

There was many a day when I would have liked to stand up in a business meeting and say something like this.

The Old Grey Mare

Church Crunch is running The "I'm a Blogger and I Need a Business Card" Contest. Go over and check it out. And stay on his blog and learn a lot of stuff about ministry and social media and cool technology.

As an aging boomer, I am somewhat tickled that the business card, a decidedly low tech piece of social media, is still highly desirable. What it says to me that personal, face to face, hands-on social interaction still resonates within us. We need it.

Even in the burgeoning world of social media, it is still important to have one. I do, that's it in the upper left. It has a title of Business Consultant and Seminarian. It has a cross. It raises an eyebrow or two as I hand them out. And yes, it has my blog address on it.

I need a card because I need to stay connected to both the print and electronic world. I think there is a place in community for both. I think both enhance the social interactivity of our culture if used properly.

The business card is an invitation, a badge and a claim stake out in the world. It is an ice breaker, a memory jogger and a collectible. I have bunches in rubber bands and some in card cases. But I do use them when I am looking for someone in particular, a product, a service or just a name and number.

Simple yet elegant. The business card thrives in an internet world.

A Personal Psalm

Something I penned for a men's small group meeting the other day:

Who am I to challenge you?
Do I not know who You are?
Have I lost my way in a fallen world?
Can you not find me anywhere I go?

You are the swiftest river,
Your source I cannot drink from.
I am thirsty as you pour into me,
I am too weak to drink alone.

You are the highest mountain,
Your peak I cannot scale.
I long to view your kingdom,
I cannot see without your eyes.

You are the deepest ocean,
I cannot fathom your depths.
I cannot surface without you,
I sink down endlessly.

I am ever thirsty,
I am ever lowly,
I am ever drowning,
Only my Lord can raise me up.

January 12, 2009

Look What Excites Me

This is a Levenger book bungee I got for Christmas. A book bungee is a wooden slat with an elastic band that serves as a bookmark that would basically require you to lose the book to lose your place in it. I have several. This one has holders for two writing implements. I am using it to hold a highlighter and a pen for my seminary reading. This book is On the Incarnation by Athanasius. Have not started it yet.

This is what excites me these days. Some would say that I am a nerd, or possibly a weenie. I prefer to be called the serious reader. Just ask the folks at Levenger.com.

A Definition of Community

This is a recent picture of my friend wheel off of my Facebook profile. To me, it is a graphic depiction of what one intertwingled community, that of my Facebook friends, looks like. Every once and a while I look at it to try to understand how connectivity between people is building as my network grows. There are some well connected segments across the top (my church, 121 Community Church) and top right (the Kanakuk Institute) and a loner contingent across the lower right side. Not that these folks are loners, they are quite social, it is just they do not link in with others in this particular world of mine. This wheel probably says much about group dynamics and how they develop that I have not even begun to think about.

It is a picture of how community can develop over time, especially when using tools that were not available just a few years ago. The key to this type of community is working to keep it growing deeper as the on line aspect makes a surface relationship quite easy.

I think of community with God and how easy it is for me to keep my relationship with Him on the surface with the tools He has provided me. The death of Jesus for my sin allows me the access to the throne in prayer and supplication, in praise and joy 24/7. Yet if I do not reach out it will be a relationship on the surface only. To my loss and dismay.

So this wheel reminds my of that and the need to connect beyond and beneath the surface. Other than that, I like the pretty colors.

Sometimes It Works

And sometimes it does not. I am talking about my IntenseDebate comment system. Sometimes the comments come through on it, sometimes the come in the old Blogger system and once in a very rare while I get an email notification, read the comment, but see it nowhere connected to the blog post.

I am done trying to figure it out. I am getting comments somehow and am able to respond to most as necessary. I installed IntenseDebate using their widget process, so it was pretty basic. But I did something wrong.

The Social Mediot strikes again.

But I am done worrying about. Hey, classes start Wednesday, I got reading to do and paper topics to reflect upon. I am involved in a few ministries and that is more productive and satisfying than sitting here trying not to blow up mt Blogger template.

Someday I will sit down with someone who actually knows how to do all this stuff and clean up anything that needs cleaning. Some day the courage of man will fail him. But today is not that day. (OK, I got that from LOTR-Return of the King, the movie not the book.)

Until then, the Social Mediot rides high. And that height is matched by the depth of his obliviousness.

Revel In the Holy Spirit

J I Packer, in Knowing God, makes reference to the fact that the Holy Spirit is often the ignored member of the triune Godhead. His point is that we spend a lot of time writing, reading and speaking about Christ, but relatively little about the Holy Spirit. I have to confess, I am guilty of that as well. Just look at my tag cloud on the right side of my blog.

Packer makes many great points about this line of thinking. (He makes a lot of great points in all his writings) How the Son is subject to the will of the Father; how the Spirit is subject to the will of the Father and the Son. The Godhead works in perfect harmony and concert. Packer also mentions that it is not possible to truly know the Son without the work of the Spirit and quotes Scripture that clearly lays that out for us:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
John 14:26 (NASB)

"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

"He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

John 16:12-14 (NASB)

We cannot bear to hear what we need without the Spirit. We cannot fully understand what we need to know about Chrust without the Spirit. The Spirit is the Helper (NASB) sent to be with us, the Comforter (KJV), the Advocate (NLT), the Counselor (NIV). You can see the scope and breadth of the Holy Spirit's role and love for us in the various translations of the Bible.

I do not think you need to be particularly charismatic in belief, nature or disposition to focus on the Holy Spirit. It is not about that. You just need to acknowledge the third member of the Trinity and be as comfortable reflecting on the work of the Spirit as you are on the work of the Father or the Son.

Revel in the Holy Spirit, be joyful of the presence of the Helper in your life.

January 11, 2009

Not Too Late!

Hey Everyone:

Middle Zone Musings has Blogapalooza-What I learned From 2008 underway and it is going strong. You can still get in on it if you head over to the blog and sign up. Check it out. He has 92 entries in, 35 published and more coming out everyday.


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2 (NASB)

Yesterday I talked about being surrounded by God. That got me to thinking about what we do in our lives as we live day to day. We make a great deal about creativity, about creating something. But God is the only one who created something out of nothing. All we do flows from Him. Every new thought, every new deed has its roots in the verses above.

I am not an especially creative person with either hands or mind. I admire those who are, who have been blessed with that gift by the Creator. When someone fashions a story or a poem. When someone crafts an item out of wood or metal, paper or plastic. They are using God bestowed talent to create. Not out of nothing, but out of Him.

Based on this, there has no been an original thought, word or deed in the entire course of humanity. Everything flows from Him.

I might give us one thing: sin. But He allows it, He uses it for His greater glory, and He will vanquish it for eternity.

So even then, nothing we do is really lasting of ourselves; but only of Him.

January 10, 2009

The Upcoming

I have been sitting here this afternoon, alternating between some reading, some praying and some thinking about the upcoming days, weeks and months. Which is why I have been praying.

Have you ever felt on the cusp of some breakthrough in your life, a point of inflection where things are going to start moving forward in an ever quickening pace?

That's how I feel right now. That things are going to start accelerating, that the Lord is going to step up the tempo, and that I am going to have to push to keep up. Since He only gives us what we can handle, I may feel overwhelmed by it, but I will not drown, He will not let me.

It feels exciting. I am eager to start, anxious to begin, and I desire to serve Him as He has already foreseen.

Why do I feel this way today? I do not know why I feel like I am at the edge, ready to leap into His arms.

But I do. The hard part will be to be patient until His voice says "GO", softly but firmly, with a confidence, a surety that can only come from Him.

"Dear Lord, I want all that you have for me, but in your timing, not mine."

Wild, huh?

What I Am Not Going To Do Again

I changed my Blogger template yesterday, I wanted a new look, you know, 2009 and all that. Bad idea, I have had to breathe deep and ask God for patience.

I like the look but I have spent the time since reinstalling or reconstructing things that seemed to drop out of the new template for no apparent reason. So much for the elements moving over intact. Like my tag cloud, and my IntenseDebate comment system. And probably other items I have not identified as of yet.

So I apologize if I have given anyone an issue navigating around the new layout. I think it will settle down now.

I will be content in the Lord because He walks alongside me.

I will be content in my blog because it walks off by itself when I am not looking.

Surrounded by God

But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives;
For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Isaiah 52:12 (NASB)

God is all around us. He watches out in front, protects our backs, He walks along side us. We may not always feel Him, but that is us, not Him. He is there.

It is a comfort to me to know the path ahead has been paved by His power, if only I have the strength and wisdom, the faith to tread it in the confidence of the Lord. The past is protected, He has forgiven me, He will wipe away my tears, if only I have the trust and faith in Him to accept what He has already done for me.

I can stay in the spiritual calm of the eye of His hurricane if I just walk along at the pace His track for me would run. The world is stormy, but my passage through need not be if I follow His course.

Front, back and alongside, He has me covered. If I just let Him do what He loves to do.

January 9, 2009

Be Social

I hope you and I are more open than this. Not a good ministry slogan.

A Year With the Institutes - 1.3.1-3

At the gentle prompting of David at Boomer in the Pew, I am trying to utilize a reading plan of reading John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" in 2009. I own a copy of the book, but it has been sitting unread on my bookshelf. This on-line reading plan will give me daily readings so I do not have to pace myself. And since I do not always do well absorbing on line reading of this sort, I have the hard copy as back up and for further reflection. I have gotten off to a slow start on this but I am trying to stay on track. This excerpt from today will help quite a bit:

Indeed, even idolatry is ample proof of this conception. We know how man does not willingly humble himself so as to place other creatures over himself. Since, then, he prefers to worship wood and stone rather than to be thought of as having no God, clearly this is a most vivid impression of a divine being. So impossible is it to blot this from man's mind that natural disposition would be more easily altered, as altered indeed it is when man voluntarily sinks from his natural haughtiness to the very depths in order to honor God! "

Institutes-Book First, Chapter 3, Paragraph 1

What a thought. Even the idolatrous acknowledge the one true God through their idolatry. They probably would not recognize that fact. We cannot, even in our most base form of pseudo-worship, ignore the fact of God's existence. We, no matter how proud, will acknowledge something that we need to worship. And these thoughts must come from the existence of the one true God or we would not feel driven to idolatry in the absence of acknowledging God.

This is one to chew on and over for the rest of the day.

The Excitement of Knowing

J I Packer, in Knowing God, makes a great point early on in the book. He talks about the effect on you ok knowing a powerful individual, of having that person share concerns with you, their thoughts and cares. Of how it would change your attitude in life if you were the confidant of such a powerful person. Someone like the president of the United States or the queen of England. How would your outlook on life change, would you have a new, higher standard to live up to?

Packer goes on to talk about knowing God like that. Would you feel the same way? God does speak to us, and we know a bit about the thoughts and plans of God, we have the Bible. Why is it that we do not feel as if we are in as exalted position, having God speak to us as we would if it were the president? I suspect it is the pride element hard at work. We can flaunt a relationship with a powerful and exalted personage, something tangible in a relationship that others would see, regardless of their beliefs.

Being invited to stay over and sleep in the Lincoln bedroom, something like that.

But knowing God from a book, claiming that He speaks to us from the pages of the Bible, that is not something we necessarily want to brag about to those who do not have a similar relationship to God that we have. Makes us feel uneasy, someone might think us a bit...odd.

Packer goes on to talk about how well we know Jesus from Scripture, about how we can have just as personal a relationship with Him that the apostles did. How that should fill us with joy, with peace and security. But how many of us would proudly proclaim that relationship as compared to knowing the president or the queen?

That is sad, especially since Jesus is so much more accessible than the president or the queen, so more much knowable, and the relationship so much more lasting than either of those could be.

January 8, 2009

Two Verses A Year Apart

These are two verses I reflected upon this date exactly one year apart in my journal that had in my mind a very similar theme:

1-But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my
roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. Matthew 8:8 (NASB)

2-What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:4 (NASB)

Here is what I took out of it:

1-Earthly authority does not equate to heavenly authority.

2-We are important, but only because God decides it so.

A year apart in time of reflection but next to each other in reflection on the Lord.

A Great Trip

We are back from a long weekend in Branson, MO and we had a great time visiting friends. We got to spend Sunday worship at Telos Bible Church where our friend Bernard is pastor. It was a great sermon on some of the resurrection appearances of Jesus (and the fact that I appeared that weekend in Branson is pure coincidence, do not read anything into it). It is always good to worship in a strong bible based church when you are away from home. There is none better on the road than Telos.

We spent Sunday evening and all Monday morning with the 2009 class and staff at the Kanakuk Institute. This is a great group of young men and women intensely studying the bible for a year and nurturing strong hearts for service in the Lord. This is a great ministry to pray for and support. Wed listened to a lesson on Esther that was taught by a fellow who is going to be a classmate of mine in Trinitarianism at DTS in the spring session. And we both had to go to Branson to meet for the first time. Small world!

It is very heartening to see a new generation of leadewrs developing right before your eyes. I expect wonderful things in the name of the Lord from all these folks at the Institute.

We stayed at the Chateau on the Lake while we were there. It is a great property and a fun place to spend some time. However, the weekend following New Year's is a bit slow in Branson so the hotel was quite slow. I do not want to say how slow, but the day we left I saw a kid riding a tricycle down the hall saying "Red Rum". I immediately located all the fire axes and checked out quickly (Here's Johnny!). For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about, I said my sense of humor was a bit off kilter.

We are going to be going back to Branson probably once or twice a year because of some stuff I will be doing out there. We love visiting all our friends out that way. It is becoming a home city away from home for us.

January 7, 2009

A Circle Does The Trick

Yes they do. Especially if it is The Circle of Life.


I was tagged by Sarah over at God's Not Finished With Us Yet on this one.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the facts about me:

1. I once ate reindeer in the Royal Opera House in Stockholm.

2. My favorite meal to cook is fettucine alfredo.

3.I play any sport right handed, but write and eat with my left hand. But I am not ambidextrous.

4. My favorite meal to eat is my bride's baked ziti. She got the recipe from my mom and does it as well if not better. Sorry Mom, but the two shall become one flesh.

5. I was once escorted on a flight out of Sweden by a rifle toting member of the Swedish Army. And no, it was not the result of item #1, although they are related.

6. I enjoy trying to be obedient to Christ, but I am not crazy about the idea of doing it for anyone else. Always had a problem with authority figures until He came along into my life.

7. I was on an airplane when the events of 9/11 were happening and had left from the same airport as one of the planes within 30 minutes of it. The thought still chills me from time to time.

Here is who I am tagging:

1. David

2. Laurie

3. Peter

4. Ryan

5. John

6. Shane

7. Barry

The Resolutions In Summary

I'd like to tie up this series by speaking about the summary Jesus gave on the commandments:


"This is the great and foremost commandment.


"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

Matthew 22:37-40 (NASB)

Trust the Lord to make it simple for us. Love God, and love others as you love yourself. A nice summary of the golden rule. Not easy to do. I know people (including myself) who have been working on it for years and still do not have it right. A friend of mine said he learned the golden rule at 5 years old. He did not want to deal with a lot of other stuff since he was still having so much trouble managing that one.

Something to keep working on. It is a big enough new year resolution for me to chew on for quite some time to come. It is about thoughts, words and deeds. It is about attitude and action. It is about all the things we struggle doing no matter how much we want to, how much we know we should.

I will try to do better in 2009 than I have in the past.

January 6, 2009

Snowman and Dogs

Even wintertime is tough on a snowman!

We Are Not Covert About What We Covet No Matter How We Try To Cover It

10-You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Exodus 20:17 (NASB)
I left this one by itself because most of us cannot make 5 steps out of bed in the morning before we blindside ourselves with this one. We think we have it covered, we try to keep it secret, but we are covetous deep down inside and it usually bubbles up to and onto the surface.

Somewhere someone has something we want, and want to the point of coveting it. This one is easy to miss since it is designed to be about thoughts and words more than deeds, attitude more than action. We do not have to do anything other than bounce it around our furry little brains. And since it goes on inside us, it is easy to hide from everyone. But God. He knows and cares, even if He is not in your face about it right now.

If you are honest with yourself, this is the one you know is easiest for you to break. This one was broken shortly after, or maybe just as the ball hit bottom in Times Square to announce 2009.

But no one is going to call you on it but yourself. And God. He may not get in your face, but He will get to you about it someday.

January 5, 2009

Fun Times

Not quite when the cat's away the mice will play, but along the same lines.

The Trippies

6-You shall not murder.

7-You shall not commit adultery.

8-You shall not steal.

9-You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:13-16 (NASB)

I call this next group of resolutions the trippies because they can really trip you up without you even knowing it. You think these are the easy ones: you are not a thief, you haven't slept with anyone outside the bonds of marriage and you certainly haven't killed anyone lately.

But think in terms of thoughts and words in addition to deeds as Jesus calls us to do. Have you stolen time from someone by your inaction? Have your murdered someone in your thoughts and how has that come out in how you interact with that person? Every had any issues ever with lust, even just once? Never, ever lied? C'mon, it is me who you are talking to. Be real.

In some way, shape or form, we are probably all mowing some of these down on a fairly regular basis. We just aren't good enough to steer clear of all the trippies 24/7. If you think hard enough (some of us need to think softer than that to arrive at the answer) you will have to say you missed somewhere on the list.

Remember it is about thoughts, words and deeds; attitudes and actions.

January 4, 2009

Rest and Honor

4-Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

5-Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Exodus 20:8-12 (NASB)

The next two resolutions deal with rest and honor.

I do not want to get into a discussion around the sabbath, which day it is, which day it should be. I want to talk about rest. Resting in the Lord, ceasing other activity to turn to Him and give Him your undivided attention. Get away from the routine of the week for a day and face God to replenish and recharge. The Lord calls us to labor on His behalf but He calls us to rest as well. Not couch potato rest, rest in Him. Doing His will, walking with Him. I think this can be as strenuous as any work you do the rest of the week, but if you are with Him, He will give you rest. And if you trust in Jesus, one day you will have that eternal rest that He has gained for you by His sacrifice.

Follow that up with honor. Your parents, your heritage, your gift from the Lord. Pay honor and respect to the seeds that were sown to make you who you are today, spiritually and emotionally, physically and mentally. Because if you honor that and keep going up the ladder, you will eventually give honor to God. You will realize that all you have to honor He placed in your life.

I need to start with Mom and Dad, but not stop until I get to the Father. It is a matter of attitude and action.

January 3, 2009

God, First and Foremost

1-You shall have no other gods before Me.

2-You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in
heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

3-You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Exodus 20:3-7 (NASB)

I thought we would start with God...always a good place to start. We all say we put Him first, but do we really? I know I often think about myself first, and then almost as often try to back and fill so it looks like I am following hard after God and walking in His will. I am not fooling Him, that is for sure. Maybe I need a "count to ten" type pause to realign myself every time I am about to do something, really train myself to think about Him, and others, and then me. I never find that easy.

Idols, there are so many to trip us up. Ever put your job first? Ever put your family first? Have you ever missed church because you had a Dallas Cowboys game to go to and they were playing early on a Sunday? Ever spent more time planning to party than to pray? Some of these may make you laugh, some make you squirm. But anything you put before God falls into the idol category as it becomes more important to you than He does at that particular point in time.

Taking the Lord's name in vain, there is so much here. You can take His name in vain through your actions as well as your words. And since the darkest battles are fought inside you, His name can be taken in vain in your thoughts as well.

Just started the list and I am messing up all over the place. How about you?

January 2, 2009

OOPS! Dangers of mobile blogging:

Dangers of mobile blogging: Premature OK depression and off the post goes. Anyway, the coffee is hot and the road open. Nothing better!

From The Road-Coming into

From The Road-I
Coming into Tulsa a little after 6.

Three Strikes

This dog is not having a good day.

New Year Resolutions

It is a little over a day into the new year. Have you kept all your resolutions so far?

I have never been one to set resolutions as I come out of one year into the next, I know me all too well for that. But I have been thinking about it and have this group of resolutions to talk about over the next few days:

1-You shall have no other gods before Me.

2-You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

3-You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

4-Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

5-Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

6-You shall not murder.

7-You shall not commit adultery.

8-You shall not steal.

9-You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10-You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Exodus 20:3-17 (NASB)

Not an original list, but a great one. And not all that easy to follow. Think about it, how are you doing? I'll share some more of my meager thoughts over the next few days.

January 1, 2009

On the Road

I will be traveling the next few days, visiting friends in Branson. I have scheduled a short series to run in my absence. Hope you enjoy. See you when I get back.

New Comment System for The Narrow Road

I have installed IntenseDebate (I think) to track comments on my blog. If a post has a comment already, it will continue under the old tracking. Any new posts or previous posts with no comments appear to have converted to the new system. I probably could have converted them all (I think), but the Social Mediot takes it slow, so it is a going forward process only.

Please bear with me during the conversion, I pray it is painless. Try one.

HT: ChurchCrunch for getting me into this.

A Review of 2008

As part of Blogapalooza, here is is a review of a selected post from all the months in 2008 I was blogging in. Since 2008 saw my inaugural blog post around the middle of the year, I only have a partial year history to refer to.

I am looking forward to 2009!

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year 2009! I figured the year would not get off to a good start with a bluesy, harmonica playing squirrel. The rest of the year should go much more smoothly now.