Thursday, April 30, 2009
I came to Jonah chapter two this morning and as I read I stopped at verse 8. Rather, verse 8 stopped me! I read it over at least 10 times as I thought about Jonah's words,
Jonah 2:8- "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."
These words were part of Jonah's prayer when he finally gave in to God's will as he sat in the belly of the big fish. At the end of this prayer God instructs the fish to spit him out and Jonah finally obeys God's commands to him, but let me camp for a minute on this verse..."Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." I honestly had never seen this verse before. It had to be there for the first time today. I know I have read this passage hundreds of times before, but I never saw this. It's profound! It's life changing to me. When we cling to the worthless idols of our lives we forfeit (miss, give up) the grace that COULD BE OURS. You can't hold onto your idols and grasp grace as well. You have to let go of one to find the other. I looked up the definition of forfeit for this discussion and here's what it means: "something to which the right is lost, as for commission of a crime or misdeed, neglect of duty, or violation of a contract." Another way of saying this is, "Those who cling to worthless idols lose the right to the grace that could be theirs." What idols are you clinging to that make you forfeit the grace that could be yours? What benefits of grace have we given up to have something worthless instead? Let me invite you to meditate on this verse for a bit and share your thoughts...in the belly of the big fish Jonah has shared with us an amazing truth to help us contrast the grace of God and any other option. It is, ultimately, the choice between the Christian faith and any other- grace or worthless idols. Cling to one and you will forfeit the other.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'm honestly ready for an electronics free zone....no silicon allowed! Imagine a place where we would really have to talk to each other and no phones would ring? You wouldn't have to wait while your companion is distracted by a vibrating device that catches their attention. What a vacation oasis that would be! Even as I write this my silly phone is vibrating beside me....I think I'll just turn it off....
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
click here to see image at 50% size
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
2Ch 32:7 "Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
I think it's part of our fallen condition to never find contentment, but always want more. Lord, if you could just do this one more thing....then I'll be happy. And the truth is that we won't be happy, because there's always one more thing...there's always a subtle discontent in us that wants more. We won't find that contentment we seek until we see him face to face. I long for the day when my "appetites" will be sated and I will finally be truly content. It will an amazing day when this subtle discontent we all experience is finally done away with and we find all we need by simply being in his presence.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Gen 28:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it."
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Barak: Hillary! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Hillary: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
Barak: Great. Lay it on me.
Hillary: Hu is the new leader of China.
Barak: That's what I want to know.
Hillary: That's what I'm telling you.
Barak: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Barak: I mean the fellow's name.
Barak: The guy in China.
Barak: The new leader of China.
Barak: The Chinaman!
Hillary: Hu is leading China.
Barak: Now whaddya' asking me for?
Hillary: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.
Barak: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Hillary: That's the man's name.
Barak: That's who's name?
Barak: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China? Hillary: Yes, sir.
Barak: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East. Hillary: That's correct.
Barak: Then who is in China?
Hillary: Yes, sir.
Barak: Yassir is in China?
Hillary: No, sir.
Barak: Then who is?
Hillary: Yes, sir.
Hillary: No, sir.
Barak: Look, Hillary. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Barak: No, thanks.
Hillary: You want Kofi?
Hillary: You don't want Kofi.
Barak: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.
Hillary: Yes, sir.
Barak: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Barak: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Hillary: And call who?
Barak: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Hillary: Hu is the guy in China.
Barak: Will you stay out of China?!
Hillary: Yes, sir.
Barak: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Barak: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.
A few weeks ago my wife found this video and used it in a message she taught in the women's ministry. I have waited to share it, but I really like the message, and so may I share it as we start the week? This is a very pointed video speaking to the way we often pray. We have our list and end up making it a monologue instead of a visit with the Lord. How often has your prayer time been a time when you didn't take time to listen?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Harry Stonebraker died at the age of 69 in March - after ballot papers had been printed and absentee voting in the town of Winfield had begun.
He won by a landslide, securing 90% of the vote in the 723-population town.
Winfield will appoint a temporary mayor to serve until a special election is held in April 2010.
Lincoln County Clerk Elaine Luck likened the outcome to Missouri's US Senate race in 2000, which was won by Democrat Mel Carnahan who had died in a plane crash weeks earlier.
She said Harry Stonebraker was a popular mayor who had helped lead the community after flooding in 2008 damaged dozens of homes and large tracts of farmland.
"I figured he'd win because he seemed to get even more popular after he died, just like Carnahan," she was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
Mr Stonebraker was a life-long resident of the Winfield area, some 50 miles (80km) north-west of St Louis.
He was a retired construction superintendent who had nearly completed his third two-year term as mayor, AP said." -BBC News Online
I thought this was a wonderful article for two reasons,
1. It's a great commentary on a man who finished well. Even after he's dead people still want him to serve as mayor. What a great vote of support for this man and a great legacy for his town and family.
2. Stories like this make the news because here, unlike so many, was a politician who served the needs of his people. Their support and love for him was evident by their response. May men like this become the model of what a servant leader should look like. So many in politics simply serve themselves at the expense of the people. How refreshing to see a man in politics who served the needs of his people instead of them serving his needs.
This is a great story of a man who finished well!
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.
4. Every piece of bread you eat brings you nearer to death.
5. Bread is associated with all the major diseases of the body. For example, nearly all sick people have eaten bread. The effects are obviously cumulative:
99.9% of all people who die from cancer have eaten bread.
100% of all soldiers have eaten bread.
96.9% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten bread.
99.7% of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate bread within 6 months preceding the accident.
93.1% of juvenile delinquents came from homes where bread is served frequently.
6. Evidence points to the long-term effects of bread eating: Of all people born before 1839 who later dined on bread, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
7. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as a teaspoon of dough can be used to suffocate a lab rat. The average American eats more bread than that in one day!
8. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.
9. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and being fed only water begged for bread after as little as two days.
10. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
11. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.
12. Newborn babies can choke on bread.
13. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
14. Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.
In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:
1. No sale of bread to minors.
2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Miracle in corn country
Written by Lynn Vincent, WORLD Magazine
April 3, 10:52 AM
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning ruled that a statute affirming only traditional marriage in the state is unconstitutional. The Associated Press reports:
“The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa constitution must be declared void even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion,” said a summary of the ruling issued by the court.
Here’s a question: At its roots, what determines law in this country? Is it not precisely “strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion?”
Why is stealing wrong? Why is it wrong for an adult to have sex with a child? Because we as a society say they are wrong. And we elect, by popular vote consistent with our own deeply held traditions, lawmakers who legislate accordingly.
The Iowa court’s summary statement sets up the state constitution as some kind of objective moral interpreter that somehow burst into being independent of the collective mind of the people. As though it appeared, miraculously, without human authorship or any accompanying original intent.
The Iowa constitution is apparently a document so miraculous as to be able to mediate all societal disputes, when in fact constitutions, both state and federal, are meant to be precisely the opposite: Reserving to the people — those stubborn stewards of pesky traditions and opinions — all rights not explicitly assigned to the state.
From this article I just want to quote one statement and compare it to a passage of scripture that it brought to mind. It's funny how they are so clearly similar and how well the bible describes the heart of man. Here's the quote that caught my eye-
"We want to help those who have grown beyond religious belief to find their philosophical home," the nontheistic group states. The Dallas/Fort Worth Coalition of Reason
And, in response, here's the word of God-
Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind....
When people refuse the light God has given then darkness is their only choice. I'm saddened to see people who prefer the darkness of their own way to the light of following God.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
I'm one of those geeky guys who finds strange places on the internet. I'm not sure why, but I love the hunt...the hunt for great sites that inspire my faith, that encourage me, that help me to grow in knowledge. Here's a site I encourage you to visit...I think you will really enjoy it.