March 31, 2009

The Intersection of Grace

When this topic was originally suggested to me to do as a guest post, I said to myself it was one I should have written about some time ago. I have been blogging for about nine months now and have not hit this topic hard. I am an evangelical Christian so I should have gotten around to this before now. I do not think it is going to be used, so I decided to post it myself, as I like the message. If it appears elsewhere, that is not so bad either.

As I started to think of grace, I thought of an intersection, a 4-way street. The north-south street is one's relationship to God; the east west thoroughfare the relationship to each other.

In the circles of faith where I spend my time, the thoughts of grace are usually centered on a gracious God who forgives us for sins if we place our faith in Christ. Forgiveness that is available to all if you just come to that faith. A forgiveness all need but none deserve, even those who have come to that faith and may think they are better people because of it. They are not better, just forgiven. That's the grace part. That's the part God does if you come to trust in the way He asks.

That's grace coming down to us; there is also a component of grace that should be going up the road as well. Grace to accept what He has put in your life, no matter if it is good or bad. Grace to accept a God ordained will and be thankful for the grace extended to you, no matter what. That's an element of grace even the most faithful will struggle with at times. Things will not always be great, not always be rosy. I do not believe that is what is promised in Scripture. You need to graciously accept the grace offered, in the manner offered. For there is a plan beyond your comprehension decided by an infinite mind you cannot possibly understand. You need to have the grace to accept that.

There is another road grace travels on, the east-west road running between people. If you have accepted the grace of God, you really need to extend a measure of grace to others. Accept them as flawed individuals, struggling with sin, with their own set of issues. Accept them for what they are, even as you try to help them be better. Accept them as you need them to accept you. The fact of the matter is that you are the same type of flawed, sinful person that they are. You are no better than them, even if you have been blessed by the grace of God. Chances are you are worse.

The fact that grace has been extended to you by God puts you in a difficult position. Not to extend it to others exposes you as an ingrate, someone who truly does not understand or appreciate what they have been given. Someone who misses in large measure what has been done to release them from a standard of behavior they cannot possibly meet on their own.

Granted grace is a dangerous possession. Because to whom much is given, much is expected in return.

March 30, 2009

3 Questions to Ponder

Based on some readings I have been doing lately, here are some questions I have been thinking about:

  • Old earth vs. new earth - was the earth created 4.5 billion years ago or 10 to 20 thousand? Is a day in Genesis 1 a 24 hour day or millions of years? I like the way Grudem puts it that Scripture is more easily understood to suggest (but not require) a young earth, but observable facts seem to favor an old earth. I guess I lean to young earth, I like a more easily understood Scripture and a God who created out of nothing could certainly make it all look old from the start. But I do not know for sure and when it comes down to it:
It does not change one iota my view that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior

  • Premillennialism vs. postmillennialism vs. amillennialism - does Jesus return before or after the 1000 year reign described in Revelation 20:4-5? Is there even a millennium prior to the eternal state? This one is tough to discuss, there is not much to go in Scripture. I believe in the premillennial, pre-tribulation rapture view, but once again I do not know for sure and
It does not change one iota my view that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior

My point being we sometimes argue, disagree or split over things that in the final analysis ar enot important to the main thing, the main thing being where you stand with Jesus.
  • Spicy brown vs. yellow mustard - this one isn't of the same weight as the first two, but it is important. Thought we needed to lighten up a bit. OK, I didn't read any on this one, but could not get a hot dog this weekend when I stopped without getting yellow mustard. I'd rather eat it dry. I am a spicy brown mustard man. This one I know without hesitation or further reflection. And I am not even going to talk about the best hot dogs being a "dirty water" dog off a street vendor in Manhattan.
So let's stick to the main thing and once we do, we can also get rid of the yellow mustard as soon as we can.

March 29, 2009

If Christians Were Clocks...

...what kind would you be?

Would you be up in some tower banging away for all to hear, but basically unapproachable and so, mostly ignored but for a passing glance now and then?

Would you be some oddball clock that people mostly laughed at and you told the tale of time?

Would you just hang out with other clocks, seemingly in the world, but really completely apart and unconnected in any way?

Would you be an insistent sort, getting up in people's faces until they listened (and most likely turned you off and went about their business)?

Or would you be on a busy street, providing much needed help to those as they rushed by in their lives? Available, but apart; in the world, not of it. Noticeable and reachable, yet uncompromising in the message you gave out?

Tell me, tell me please, what kind of clock would you be?

March 28, 2009

My Birthday Presents

My wife got me some cool Bose speakers to put on my desk to plug into my laptop. Great sound.

She also got me this book carousel from Levenger. I needed more bookshelf space and this is a much better fit in the mancave that a bookshelf. Two high, I may go three someday and maybe a second tower next to the first. Give the cave a sort of power plant look.

My bride, she treats me well. Much better than I deserve. I definitely married up, way up.

March 27, 2009

For ChurchCrunch

No good deed goes unpunished. Here is a pic of me holding some of my MOO Minicards.

John, do you recognize the setting?

My MOO Minicards Are Here!

Grand Canyon at dawn.

Sedona at sunset.

The flag of Penza, Russia (yes that is Jesus on the flag!).

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon.

Sedona at sunset.

A sign at an Indian reservation just outside the Grand Canyon National Park, I like that they put children before pets.

I won a set of MOO Minicards at ChurchCrunch a few weeks ago. If you are not familiar with these, they are mini-business cards, way too cool for an old boomer like me to be walking around with. But John, being a man of truth and honor bought me the set he promised in his contest. And it had nothing to do with a pay off for me guest blogging there.

I had to design them, so I picked a bunch of photos that I had taken that just tickled my fancy when I was leafing through my computer files. The challenge was finding scenes that fit well into the size of the card. Many I picked just did not look good on a minicard template so I had to nix the selection.

Hope you like 'em. Maybe you will get one if we ever do business together.

March 26, 2009

Christianity on the Down Low

Do you ever think about how bold you are in your witness for Christ? I know I am falling short of this:

Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS'? But you have made it a ROBBERS' DEN."
Mark 11:15-17 (NASB)

Now, I am not saying you should head out with a cat o' nine tails and do some ministry. That kind of action requires real righteous anger, and I am sure none of us are righteous enough to emulate our Lord and Savior on that front.

But you can model Him in proclaiming His coming kingdom. One of the last things Hew said to His disciples:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)

Jesus definitely did not keep His faith on the down low. Not even close. I just do not think we are doing our job.

March 25, 2009

Life Today

Last night I went to a taping of three episodes of Life Today with James and Betty Robison.

The shows will air June 8,9 and 11. Look for me in the audience.

It was the first time I have ever attended the taping of a TV show. An interesting process to be part of. It was an enjoyable evening with interesting guests, the best known (to me at least) was Josh McDowell, who talked about a tragic incident from his childhood, but in a very uplifting way.

Kirk and Tammy Franklin, talked about Kirk's past and his battle to overcome the struggles in his life. Also, an uplifting message, one that gives hope and encouragement to those who hear it. I applaud Kirk's openness and honesty, and Tammy's love and support of her husband.

Rex and Cathleen Lewis were the third set of guests we saw. A story of the grace in a life that would otherwiise be lost if not for the loving hand of God.

It is worth checking these episodes out. Real people, both guests and hosts. I enjoyed it. I would tell you more about the shows, but I do not want to spoil the watching.

Well, I am going to be watching looking for me, even if you do not.

March 24, 2009

God's Timing in Our Problems

Some further musings from different years on the same day in my journal:

He said to David, "You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you.
1 Samuel 24:17 (NASB)

David chose not to kill Saul when an opportunity arose because he saw it as his timing and not God's. He chose to trust God's will and timing and not forsake it for what seemed like a huge immediate benefit.

For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."
Ezra 8:22 (NASB)

Ezra teaches of the wisdom of waiting on God's timing and trusting in His will. Although he wasn't referring to David in any way, how applicable is the wisdom of the passage to the situation David faced in the cave with Saul. Ezra and David could have turned to man, to self to solve a problem but waited for God's timing.

Are we waiting for God's timing as we face the troubles in the world today? As I look around, I cannot help but feeling that we are trying to solve our problems without God's help.

I cannot help but feeling that we are going to make an awful mess of it as a result.

Let us turn to the Lord in prayer and get ourselves on The Narrow Road.

March 23, 2009

Fear Not the Speaking Voice

The Voice of God is a friendly Voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.
A.W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God

Some further musings today of the words of Tozer.

This sentence speaks volumes to me. What are we afraid of? Our pride? Our arrogance? Having our plans go astray for His? The truth?

God speaks to us lovingly, patiently, graciously. What we hear is our problem, not His. There is no lie in His words. There is great comfort in hearing Him, but it can be painful if we choose to struggle against what He has to say to us:

And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Acts 26:14 (NASB)

We really do try to kick against the goads most of the time. Like a child struggling against taking the medicine his parents tell him is for his own good. The child trusts the parent's word, yet kicks against the goads anyway. How like that child we kick against the goads; in either fear or definace of our Father's voice.

And it is such a friendly voice that we fear when we do so.

How sad is that?

March 22, 2009

The Bible Comes Alive

The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free...It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful.
A. W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God

I have had the chance to spend some time in Tozer recently preparing for a small group meeting. It makes me sorry that I do not spend more time when I read something like this. As a friend said, there is no fluff in Tozer.

I am always in awe of how the words of the Bible can leap of the page and into your heart. It is for me the living proof of the inspiration of God, the words spoken into the minds of men from the hand of God.

When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
Exodus 30:18 (NASB)

This is the vivid picture that this passage and Tozer's words create for me. The Bible lives because it is the speaking voice of God written down, the very words etched in our hearts by the finger of God.

If you ever read the Bible, studied the Bible with an open heart, you have felt this. You may fight it, but you have felt it. If you have read the Bible, you have been privileged to read read the very words spoken by God, written by His command.

Let them live in you as if placed there by the very finger of God.

March 21, 2009

Another Roadtrip

We are in for Branson, Mo for the weekend. A nice drive to visit some friends, hit a great church at Telos Bible Church on Sunday and a meeting at the Kanakuk Institute on Monday. Only regret is that we are not going to be able to spend more time with the men and women attending the Institute this year.

Oh, well. You cannot have it all, all the time.

As usual, I am enjoying a road trip, it seems to be my favorite mode of travel these days. We have the CD series, The Best of Prof, to listen to. It is a collection of talks by Howard Hendricks, collected over 50+ years of bible teaching by one of the best. Really looking forward to spending a few hours with the Prof on the road.

Flat Stanley is also coming with us. He arrived from our great-niece in Virginia for some time in Texas, and he gets a bonus trip out to Branson as well.

So, a lot planned for a short road trip. But we are looking forward to it.

March 20, 2009

True Rest

A few days ago I wrote about True Surrender. Here is another thought group from a page in my journal:

You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Deuteronomy 13:4 (NASB)

Then she said, "Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today."
Ruth 3:18 (NASB)

What I am hearing running through both these verses is the concept of resting in the Lord. In the first, a clinging to Him, a following along, a desire to be close to the peace and security only God can give us. In the second, a restless drive that does not abate until you do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and then comes your rest in Him. In either case, I think the rest that comes from being in fellowship with the divine presence underlies both passages.

When I think of the times I am restless in my surroundings it is usually because I have not surrounded myself with the will of the Lord, but have enmeshed myself in my own thoughts, cares and concerns. I am not getting the rest because I have not waved the flag of surrender to Him.

I will look to use this post as a reminder in the future to settle it and get my rest in Him.

March 19, 2009

Simpler Is Better, Well It Is At Least Easier

I spent a good part of the day setting up my new blog, A Trinity of 3 for a class assignment. I hope you all head over there and help me out by commenting on the questions that will come up from time to time.

I am exhausted, must be the high expenditure of mental energy in a sustained period of time. Boy, am I out of shape, physically and mentally. Have to work on both, but another story for another blog post.

A Trinity of 3 will be a simpler blog. I am resisting the temptation of hanging all sorts of stuff on it, like the Christmas tree this one is. Who knows, it may make me cut out a lot of this stuff on this blog as well.

Simpler was easier to set up, but I need to do a little more work over there over the next few days. I'll have to find the time.

Life lesson: it is so easy to add clutter and accumulation to one's life. Things get messy in a hurry. Every once in a while you need to open all the windows and sweep furiously.

But not today, I am resting from here until tomorrow.

A New Blog!

I started a new blog today, A Trinity of 3, for a seminary project. it will explore people's thoughts and issues with the concept of the Trinity. Please stop by and comment, you would be helping this poor student out on a class assignment if you did.

Get to talk about on of the deepest concepts in religion, and further the cause of education, all in one blog visit and comment.

Love Notes

I am helping a friend who is helping a friend. Both are named Ryan, so I am helping Ryans. To me this is what part of the community of social media is about, reaching your audience with information they may not come across and at the same time, coming into contact with people who might not otherwise know you.

So let's make some noise here and follow through on this:

Love Notes: a biblical look at love

Author Ryan Dalgliesh has spent the last 13 years studying what the Bible has to say about the subject of love: How does God love us? How should we love one another? How does that play out uniquely in the context of marriage? This book is the culmination of his personal notes on the topic.

From the cover: “This is not a book full of opinions or stories about “what worked for me.” Rather, in these pages you will find how the Bible answers these questions. Love Notes is a concise look at what the Bible has to teach us about everything related to love.”

Giveaway: As part of getting the word out there about Love Notes, Higher Rock ministries is giving away copies of the book to readers who are willing to write a review on either their blog, facebook or both. All you have to do to get a free copy is send your name, address, email, and phone number to

Watch this for a lot more info:

I hope you get on board with this.

Necessary Volunteerism

Unless I am mistaken, we have sufficiently proved that man is so held captive by the yoke of sin that he can of his own nature neither aspire to good through resolve nor struggle after it through effort. Besides, we posited a distinction between compulsion and necessity from which it appears that man, while he sins of necessity, yet sins no less voluntarily.
John Calvin - The Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.4.1

We are captive to sin and can only break free by putting our faith in Jesus as Savior (and hopefully as Lord of our lives as well). I truly believe that.

We are sinful by nature and want to sin deep at our core. I truly believe that.

So we sin by necessity of our captivity and voluntarily by our nature. I hate it when Calvin nails it dwon so firmly that I can only struggle like a butterfly pinned in someone's collection.

It is thinking along these lines that drives me back to Christ each and every day to seek His strength in overcoming what I am and what I am helpless to combat without my Lord and General.

I know many do not like Calvin and I can understand that getting hammered like this day after day as you read him is not most folks idea of fun. But the nuggets of truth buried herein, mined out and brought to the light of your day, can make you reflect on who you are, and more importantly who Jesus wants to be for you. Your Savior, your Lord, the General to lead you into battle against your sinful self.

March 18, 2009

Prayer From The Wallet and Not From The Heart?

PrayerHow wrong is this? I cannot begin to say. I hope it is all a joke, although if it is, I do not get it.

"Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.

We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.

At Information Age Prayer we think our service should be used like a prayer supplement, to extend and strengthen a subscriber's connection with God. Traditional prayer is an integral part of this connection and should never be forgone, even after signing up.

You can subscribe for yourself, or you can purchase a subscription as a gift to friends or family."

[HT: ChurchCrunch] (By the way, cool blog that actually let me guest blog)

Writer's Block

I am in a valley right now as it relates to writing a paper I need to do for seminary. With some encouragement from a tweep (if you have to ask what that is, forget about it. Not important to the line of thought I am trying to follow). I thought I would try to write about it.

I am not sure, but I think writer's block goes on deep inside me. It isn't just about getting words on paper, it is about reaching deep into my core, starting a thought a stringing together a coherent (or semi-coherent, I will let the professor be the judge) discourse on a topic of interest to me. Of enough interest to me to make it come together is a well researched, well thought out and laid out paper that can pass muster at graduate level studies (when I say it like that it really sounds scary to me).

I almost get the feeling that this is similar to the blog post about nothing I wrote a little while ago.

But it isn't. It is about faith. My faith.

I am confused by this mental block but I know my Lord will break it at the proper time or not. I will either write the paper or not. And the road I walk will be His and I will follow.

Words have been few on The Narrow Road the last few days, but one thing I can always write about.

He is sovereign in this world and the next.

Whatever, it will be all right.

March 17, 2009

Sin: Which Way Do You Spiral?

The chief point of this distinction, then, must be that man, as he was corrupted by the Fall, sinned willingly, not unwillingly or by compulsion; by the most eager inclination of his heart, not by forced compulsion; by the prompting of his own lust, not by compulsion from without. Yet so depraved is his nature that he can be moved or impelled only to evil. But if this is true, then it is clearly expressed that man is surely subject to the necessity of sinning.
John Calvin - The Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.3.5

Calvin's point is clear, we have no choice but to sin, it is our nature to do so. You may not always agree with Calvin, you may not even like him. But it is hard to argue as you look at the world, as you look at your own life, that we are sinful by nature and need to be saved.

As we have no choice but to sin, we have no choice as to how to be saved form sin. It is only through Jesus, through trust and faith in Him that you can be saved from the inevitability of your sin.

I think that is hard to accept because in our pride we do not like to admit we are helpless in anything, that there is something that is totally beyond our control. In essence, that is the result of the very sin nature that is embedded into our very core.

A never ending spiral, or so it would seem. You can either spiral down into your sin, getting ever deeper into it for i think there is truly no bottom to the depths one can sin to. Our you can spiral up and out to the Lord. The first way you can go it alone, the second you need to ask God for help.

He is calling, answer. His Spirit is willing, is yours?

March 16, 2009

The Full Armor of God

At our church, we recently finished spending about two months walking through the following passage of scripture:

The Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 6:10-20 (NASB)

It was a great series and the point that really struck me at the end was that you had to put the armor on. Actively, aggressively, ardently. The firmer you were in donning it, the fiercer it was in protection. It can and will protect you, but you have an active part in the process, it is nopt going to happen with you sitting on your hands.

I love what the Lord will do for us, and I love how He involves us in His plans, His victory.

March 15, 2009

The Only One Who Is Right

Some reflections culled out of a page in the day of the life of my journal.

Who is it that we should follow after?

Is it ourselves?

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21:25 (NASB)

While it does not say it, you cannot read this verse and come away feeling that this is the right thing to do.

Is it others?

You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice.
Exodus 23:2 (NASB)

That sounds like a problem.

If neither, who?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

Let's face it, I am not telling you something you do not already know.

So why are you having trouble doing it?

March 14, 2009

Total Surrender

Yesterday I wrote about the true surrender a follower of Jesus should seek after, should strive for.

Today I want to mention another surrender that Chambers talks about:

In our surrender, we must give ourselves to God in the same way He gave Himself for us— totally, unconditionally, and without reservation.
Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest March 13 Devotional

Or to put it another way:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NASB)

Yesterday's surrender was true if it came from the heart. Today's is total because it comes from the divine. If you were grumbling about yesterday's surrender, you should be convicted by today's.

Yesterday's is not necessary unless you want perfect fellowship with God. Do it, and all you get is more than salvation, you get to grow closer and closer to the Almighty.

Today's is not necessary unless He wants to be gracious and merciful. He does it, and all He gets is us.

Who do you think gets the better deal in surrendering? Do you even have to think about it?

March 13, 2009

True Surrender

Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself.
Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest Devotional for March 12

How many of us are willing to do this? True surrender. giving our lives to Christ, being in it solely for the glory of God. Deep down inside, I think just about all of us struggle with this. Why is that, Chambers goes on to say:

It is like saying, "No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ’This is what God has done for me.’ "

That's it then. We want something out of it. Call it our pride, our desire to be the center of attention, our desire to be seen as somehow sacrificing for the Lord. But would we be willing to submit to the Lord's will if we had to suffer and sacrifice in anonymity, somehow faceless and unappreciated by those around us?

If not, that is not true surrender is it?

March 12, 2009

The Narrow Road Guest Post

You can catch me over at ChurchCrunch today for a guest post on supporting church/ministry leadership. I want to thank John at ChurchCrunch for the opportunity to guest blog and for the nice pictures he added to my post.

Go take a peek and see what else ChurchCrunch has to offer. You will not be sorry.

Planning Ahead

Registration opens up for me today for the summer and fall terms for seminary. It just seems kind of soon to be thinking about what I will be taking in August. I know, I do not have to register, but then I have to think about classes filling up and closing out.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 (NASB)

I guess the registrar at my seminary wasn't focusing on this verse. It is good advice, I will probably just register for some classes I need to take and then forget about it for a bit (but not beyond the payment deadline). Because today's trouble is looking at assignments due this term.

So what do you have going on in your life that you are worrying about too soon? Are you focused on tomorrows, or are you dealing with todays?

Do you feel you are placing enough trust in the Lord in what you choose to focus on? Or are you in fret mode?

March 11, 2009


I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and as Lord of my life.
I believe that faith and trust in Him is the only way to my salvation, that I can do nothing to earn or merit it myself.
I believe that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die for us.
I believe that God loves the whole world but that sinners grieve Him deeply.

I believe we should hate the sin but love the sinner.
I believe God grieves all those who do not turn to His Son in faith as Savior.
I believe that I am a sinner and no better than anyone else, but that Jesus redeemed me by His death on the Cross.
I believe we should be in this world, but not of this world.
I believe I should model Christ's behavior every day, even knowing I will always fall woefully short of the goal.

I believe we should love on people, even when they less than like us.
For all of this, many would call me intolerant. I pray that I am not, nor will ever be. That is the road I seek to travel.

I have to ask, who is intolerant?

March 10, 2009

Watching the World, 140 Characters at a Time

If you are on Twitter, you know what I am talking about. I have been tinkering with it for the past few weeks and find it interesting. I do not think I will ever be twitterfreak like some folks I know, but I am closing in on a 1000 tweets (I know, a rookie), have more followers than I have Facebook friends (it is a whole different dynamic), I have sent a twitpic or two (I think I finally figured that out) and do enjoy the faster paced communication than you get on fb.

While I am not into microblogging at the speed of sound, it is interesting to blurt out bible verses and quotes about my faith to a large group of followers and watch them occasionally retweet to an even larger audience. Doing the same with someone else's Scripture or faith tweet and making the same snowball effect happen. Putting a hash tag on a tweet to flag it for people who follow that type of action. It is definitely an in the moment type of communication and who knows who will stop by and read something I tweet about the Lord.

Am I making an impact with it? Who knows?

But it is not for a lack of trying. Follow me.

March 9, 2009

Free Leadership

You get what you pay for.

An old adage. Does that apply to leadership as well? I find myself in several volunteer positions in which I help provide leadership to an organization. There are various reasons why I am in such a position but I will not get into that. It is the situation and I am in that position.

They are volunteer positions as I have mentioned. That may be code that the value of my opinion and expertise is properly measured by the fact that no one is willing to pay for them. Yet I am in a position to guide and lead and take people where my free leadership is wont to take them.

I have been paid for my opinion, both in a corporate and consulting role, so I know it had some value to someone somewhere at some point in time. Some how it did.

But now I seek to give it freely to those who might in some small way benefit from it. The Lord let me spend 30 years building up this store of experience and now He chooses to let me share it.

I am thrilled. I am hoping to model out some of this instead:

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
Hebrews 13:5 (NASB)


Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
Matthew 10:8 (NASB)

I am not looking to heal, raise, cleanse or cast anything, I was thinking of the back half of the verse. Instead of the first saying, I am hoping my gift to others with my experience will be more along these lines:

He freely gave what others most valued.

A special thanks to my new friend Foster who helped these thoughts crystallize in my mind with our lunch conversation the other day. There was more at Spring Creek Barbeque than the food that day.

March 8, 2009

Do Not Go It Alone

As we move through life seeking out God, as we look to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord of our life, we must realize it is not a journey we can go alone:

It therefore remains for us to understand that the way to the Kingdom of God is open only to him whose mind has been made new by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.2.20
Even after we have accepted Jesus, the fruit we exhibit in our lives, the fruit of the Spirit comes from without us and is instilled in us:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
We are the vessel, those cracked earthenware bowls that hold that sweet and life affirming fruit that is so precious and dear in our life for it presages the life that is to come.

"Fruit is the overflow of life in the root through the branch"
Dwight Pentecost - Spring 2009 Class Notes

Do not go it alone, do not even try, but seek out the Lord and embrace the Spirit that will indwell you when you do.

March 7, 2009

Trying to Keep Up

Calvin in describing work of authors in trying to understand the ways of God compared to the ways of man, of using that which is not of God to explain Him wrote the following speaking of the good that can come of earthly writings:

Whenever we come upon these matters in secular writers, let that admirable light of truth shining in them teach us that the mind of man, though fallen and perverted from its wholeness, is nevertheless clothed and ornamented with God's excellent gifts. John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian Religion: 2:2:15

Or put another way:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NASB)

Even Calvin cannot keep up with God. But it is good that he, and we try every day.

March 6, 2009

Stargold Update

I purchased a Starbucks Gold on November 8 2008 for $25. I just passed that in savings today, March 6,2009. In just less than four months w ehave pay back, now I am in savings free fall.

In this economic environment, it may turn out to be my genius financial move.

I am way too caffeinated.

But thank you Starbucks, for the deal of 2009.