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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Not Just for a November Thursday

Giving thanks...
"give thanks in all circumstances..." NIV, ESV
"in everything give thanks..." NKJ
"give thanks in everything" HCSB
"No matter what happens, always be thankful..." NLT

Just a few versions of 1 Thessalonians 5.18; and all conclude pretty much the same, "...for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Wanna know God's will?

Can't tell you specifically (nor can any other human) what His will is for your life, but we can see one of the few places in scripture where "His will" is specifically defined (there are at least three others) be thankful.

But notice we are to be thankful in all situations, not for all situations. We need not be thankful for cancer, divorce, crime, war, gossip, etc. But we can trust the Lord and His sovereignty (to include Romans 8.28, which is a delightful verse to quote to other people!) and be thankful in the valleys, in the bad times, in the doubt and confusion. Important distinction...

I am so very grateful that God chose me in Him (and we don't have to understand stuff to be thankful for stuff!) before there was time. I'm grateful He called me to Himself.

I'm so very thankful for Jane...a Proverbs 31 wife who puts up with so much of "me" and still loves me. And I'm thankful for four great, wonderful, exasperating, prayer-provoking children.

I'm also grateful I get to "brag on Jesus" vocationally, and for those folks who pray and give that we might continue to serve as home missionaries totally dependent on "support/deputation."

And I'm thankful for you...a zillion things you could be doing, and you are reading this! Amazing!
Here's something from Elisabeth Elliott: "It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given. one or the other becomes a habit of life."
And this chewable from G. K. Chesterton: "The modern world (he died in 1936) has had far too little understanding of the art of keeping young. Its notion of progress has been to pile one thing on top of another, without caring if each thing was crushed in turn. People forgot that the human soul can enjoy a think most when there is time to think about it and be thankful for it. And by crowding things together they lost the sense of surprise; and surprise is the secret of joy." (emphasis added)

In the midst of the hustle and bustle, remember the giver of all good gifts and give thanks to Him...remember to verbalize your love and thanks to those who are crucial, precious, irreplaceable parts of your life...and remember that an optimist is one who sees a 28 pound turkey on the dinner table on Thanksgiving and who, on Friday, asks "What's for lunch?" my opinion...there is nothing quite as good as a cold turkey sandwich loaded with onions late Thursday or Friday...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

So last night I decide to read Psalm 119. I do that fairly often since it is so focused on the Word of God (though using a number of, in my mind, synonyms).
As I read I spotted three verses that methinks will develop into a sermon...I share them for your own edification and/or comments:

Psa 119.133 Keep steady my steps according to Your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

Psa 119.165 Great peace have those who love Your law, nothing can make them stumble.

Psa 119.173  Let Your had be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.
Rather cool, huh?

I'm sure some will think it is sacrilege, but makes me think of an old Beatles tune:

Verse me to walk steady...don't let any sin creep up and get power over me

Verse God's law; guarantee, nothing can make you stumble (cue D.C. Talk..."what if I stumble, what if I fall; will the Lord still love me when the walk becomes a crawl")...Doesn't say we won't stumble; does say nothing can make us stumble...we stumble on our own...

Verse 173...because I've chosen His precepts, God's got my back!

Here's another great verse: Isaiah 41.13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who says to you, "Fear not, I am the One who helps you."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Simple Test - Profound Message

Take this quiz mentally:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier? The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life.
I remember a teacher once saying that there were two kinds of people in the world, those who were interesting and those who were interested.
Interesting people spend most of their time telling you about themselves and are easily forgettable. Interested people on the other hand, tend to listen and act like they care. My best guess is the reason they act like they care is because they genuinely do.
If it's been a while since you've connected with and thanked a person of genuine influence in your life, maybe it's time? we proceed through life...may we all remember that people are more important than projects, those ministered to are more important those ministering ("as you've done to the least of these...") and that Jesus is vitally interested in individuals...and therefore so we should be...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Spurgeon Slugs

This slapped me the side of the head...

"Remember that your brethren and sisters in Christ, with whom you find so much fault, are God's elect. And if He chose them, why do you reject them?
They are bought with Christ's blood, and if He thought them worth so much, why do you think so little of them?
Recollect, too, that with all their badness there are some good points in them in which they excel you. They do not know so much, but perhaps they act better than you. It may be that they are more faulty in pride, but perhaps they excel you in generosity. Or if perhaps one man is a little quick in temper, yet he is more zealous than you. Look at the bright side of your brother, and the black side of yourself, instead of reversing the order as many do.

The drift of this lesson is this; as your heavenly Father has pity on you, have pity on one another. Jesus, the Compassionate One, covers our sins with the mantle of His love! Be as tender towards those who sin as the Master was. He remembers that we are dust; remember this of others. I will not find fault with you, my friend, if I can help it, because you will be one day without fault before the throne of God! If God will so soon remove your faults, why should I take note of them?"   Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reconnected with one of my favorite quotations of all is from Peter Kuzmic. He was born in Yugoslavia (which became Croatia) and started a seminary there...

Anyway...the quote:
"Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future.
Faith is having the courage to dance to it today."
May we all have the courage to keep our feet moving in light of the hope that the Lord has stored up for us in heaven (see Col 1.5)
And, should you have a problem with the concept of dancing, read Psalm 150.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Finally - The Truth About Diets!

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies. 
1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. 
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Italian Pasta Diet! It Really Works!

1) You walka pasta da bakery.

2) You walka pasta da candy store.
3) You walka pasta da Ice Cream shop.
4) You walka pasta da table and fridge. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

BOOM! If We Don't Like It, Why Would Anybody Else Want It?

"The glum, sour faces of many Christians. They rather give the impression that, instead of coming from the Father's joyful banquet, they have just come from the Sheriff who has auctioned off their sins and now are sorry they can't get them back again."
Helmut Thielicke

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What You Can Not Judge (and it's not what the Matthew 7.2 quoters-out-of-contest say)

"We may judge doctrine and behavior by the objective standards of right and wrong that are given to us in Scripture. What we may not do though, is judge a person's heart and motives."
Tim Challies 
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, p. 77.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Apostle Paul's Resume?

 A man, as he goes down in self, goes up in God.  It is apostlepaulinteresting to trace this in the experience of the apostle Paul, as gathered from his Epistles.  In the year of our Lord 59, he is the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because he persecuted the church of God.  In the year of our Lord 64, after four years more of growth in grace, he is "less than the least of all saints."  But in the year of our Lord 65, and not long before he was about to receive his crown in heaven, he is, "the chief of sinners."
George Cheever

Confession Time:

It seems that lately my life has been getting more complicated, and I want to thank those of you who are brave enough to still associate with me regardless of what I am today.
I was born white, which makes me a racist.
I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which makes me a fascist.
I am heterosexual, which makes me a homophobe.
I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.
I am a Christian, which makes me an infidel.
I am older than 60 which makes me a useless old person.

I am a Veteran, therefore this makes me more dangerous to our nation than ISIS!
I think and I reason; therefore I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which makes me a reactionary or conspiracy theorist.
I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe.
I value my safety and that of my family; therefore I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing extremist.
I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual's merits, which makes me anti-social.
I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland by all citizens, which makes me a militant.

Please help me come to terms with this, because I‘m not sure who I am anymore!
Newest problem, considering our current state of politics – I'm not sure which bathroom I should use.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rabid Dog Details Press Bias

Rabid Dog Attack ((NOTE - I first posted this in September of 2005!)
Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when one of them was  attacked by a rabid Rottweiler. 

Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off of a nearby fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and twisted it, breaking the dog's neck. 

A newspaper reporter from the Boston Herald witnessed the incident  and rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline: 

"Brave Young Red Sox Fan Saves Friend From Jaws Of Vicious Animal" 

"But I'm not a Red Sox fan," the little hero interjected. 

"Sorry" replied the reporter. "But since we're in Boston, Mass, I  just assumed you were." 

Hitting the delete key, the reporter began:  "John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Dog Attack" 

But I'm not a Kerry fan either," the boy responds. 

The reporter says, "I assumed everybody in this state was either for  the Red Sox or Kerry or Kennedy. What team or person do you like? " 

"I'm a Texas Ranger fan and I really like George W. Bush" the boy says. 
Hitting the delete key, the reporter begins again: 

"Arrogant Little Conservative Punk Kills Beloved Family Pet" 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


((I wrote this in September of 2005...had you told me they'd still be rocking in 2016 I may have shaken my head)

Just amazed at the Stones...dudes older than I am still rocking out...the biggest tourband ever...quite probably not role models for my kids except that they are enjoying the fruit of a basic truth:

 The secret to success is to find people who will pay you  money to do what you would pay to do if you had the money. (depending how awake you are, you may have to re-read)

Anyway, rock on, Mick and crew. I obviously would love for them to come to Christ...though not the most important reason, can you imagine a praise and worship set with the Rolling Stones??????? I can even help them write one - "I finally got some, satisfaction..I found Christ, I found Christ, I found Christ, I found Christ, I finally got some (some/some/some) satisfaction."

I guess me writing p/w music is as possible as a democrat praising President Bush for anything.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ME? Agree With A Liberal? Well, Yeah...

Here's an intriguing quote from Henry Sloane Coffin:

"If there is one characteristic more than others that contemporary public worship needs to recapture it is this - awe before the surpassing great and gracious God."

Why so intriguing? 

One, Coffin was a pioneer of the ecumenical movement and...more important...though I can't determine when he wrote those words, he died in 1954!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Willie and Oprah Pontificate

((NOTE - I typed this August 3, 2006 - thought it apropos to repost)) Truth is truth, whether uttered by a king-james-donkey, a Bible-believing seminarian, or an atheist. A lie is a lie, but too many people take the uttered lies (though the lie may not be intentional) of "celebrities" as "gospel."
xanga willie In this weeks "Time", Willie Nelson says, "I believe that all roads lead to the same place. We're taking different ways to get there, but we all end up in the same place. It's kind of like Kinky Friedman's (a rather unique person running for governor of Texas) statement, 'May the God of your choice bless you.'"
The Christian group "Casting Crowns" has a line in "What if God's People Prayed?" that suggests instead of praying for guidance people "ask Oprah what to do"?xanga oprah
And whereforth is Oprah? Well, she says " of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way. Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God."
I'm certain there are some who will attack me for being...horrors...judgmental; but if these two talented individuals are accurately quoted they are not part of the family of God...
So perhaps it would behoove us to pray that their eyes...and hearts...are opened by the Spirit of the living and true God?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Yup - The Shoe Fits Too Often...

Samson slew 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. I have destroyed as many relationships with the same weapon.


Saturday, August 6, 2016


Not only does sin hinder prayer; prayer hinders sin. The two are always opposed. The more careless we are about sin, the less we will pray. The more we pray, the less careless we will be about sin. Both sin and prayer are powerful forces. Which one is moving you?
-- Dr. Alvin Vander Griend

Monday, August 1, 2016

Too Late?

A moldy oldie from young songstress Amy Grant seems rather real good you tube videos of the song, but here's one:

And here are the lyrics; the song came out in the mid 80s...

Well, it's too late for walking in the middle
Too late to try
Yes it's too late for sitting in the balance
No more middle line
Oh, it's too late for walking on fences
Time to choose your side
Yes it's too late for flirting with the darkness
Make up your mind

Oh the time has come for making a decision
And you say you found the light
But the talk is cheap when I see the way you're living
Walking in the night


Well, it's too late for walking in the middle
Too late to try
Yes it's too late for sitting in the balance
No more middle line
Oh, it's too late for thinking you can walk the middle line
Better get wise.

You may think you can live by your feelings
Different every night
But an emotional religion will crumble at our feet
If we're made to stand and fight

Well, it's too late for walking on fences
Time to choose your side
Yes it's too late for flirting with the darkness
Please make up your mind
Well it's too late for thinking you can walk the middle line
Better get wise.