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Archive for September, 2007

May this passage be true of me.

Heard this during our recent Bible dedication at Wycliffe. 13 new New Testaments were dedicated, include on for the Cheyanne. I had no idea there were still languages in the U.S. without Scripture. May this passage be true of me.

Isaiah 26:8

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
       we wait for you;
       your name and renown
       are the desire of our hearts.

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Perfect fit

 Job 4:3-5. I also read this in Job and it describes my recent past perfectly and exposes my current doubts.

3 Think how you have instructed many,
       how you have strengthened feeble hands.

 4 Your words have supported those who stumbled;
       you have strengthened faltering knees.

 5 But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;
       it strikes you, and you are dismayed.

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God made me for a purpose

Job 10:8-12. I was reading from Job and this just exploded off the page.

8 "Your hands shaped me and made me.
       Will you now turn and destroy me?

 9 Remember that you molded me like clay.
       Will you now turn me to dust again?

 10 Did you not pour me out like milk
       and curdle me like cheese,

 11 clothe me with skin and flesh
       and knit me together with bones and sinews?

 12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,
       and in your providence watched over my spirit.

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Creation, et al

Discovering the passion God has given me is not so easy. On the one hand, I want to be involved in orphanges, digging wells and building homes. On the other hand, the focus of my mental passion seems to be explaining Creation/exposing evolution, helping people read and understand Scripture for themselves, explaining the person and work of Jesus, helping others understand their identity and position in Christ, explaining Islam, and the "arena of ideas." Seems like a tall order! Each one of these subjects can be their own ministry. I go back and forth on wondering if I should focus on just one thing because each time I hear something or read something about one of these areas, I just get so excited to know more for myself. So, I’ve written a list of goals for each area of study and will see where God takes me. Just be faithful. Just be faithful. "But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." (2nd Thess. 3:3)

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And so it begins

I had hoped to begin my routine of study and reflection om Monday. I didn’t until Thursday. Did nothing yesterday. A little today. I have yet to understand that I can’t just "fit this in" to my schedule. I have to alter my schedule to fit around my desire to grow. It is somewhat like a person who wants to run a marathon but just trains when it is convenient. My wife has trained through pain, inconvenience, tiredness and the mind’s desire to just blow things off. So, if God is asking me to "get back in the game," I need to make my training the priority and fit in other things around it. I mean, seriously, how difficult can it be to turn off TV and get off the couch? How difficult can it be to bring a journal or book to work and use my lunch time to feed my spirit?

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When life gives you lovebugs…

Wow are lovebugs a hassle! Yes, it is my fault that I did not wash the car EVERYDAY and now the metal is pitting and that is the pits (ha-ha) but on top of that, work today was crazy! I’m talking a plague of lovebugs. I had to work with one hand while constantly fanning my face with the other or they would land on my glasses, my face, the brim of my hat. I would get aggravated if it weren’t so funny!

I got to thinking how annoying they were (Thanks UF scientists for "inventing" them) and I remembered that it is often the constant bombardment of little things in our lives that cause us the most grief. Many times, the "big" problems in my life just roll off my back but the "little" things just drag me down. Pick, pick, pick, drip, drip, drip. You could set my truck on fire and roll it down a hill and I would probably deal with it really well. But if I’m faced with a bunch of little things, look out!

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My wife is right.

In my last post, I wrote about pettiness. She asked me how I can get back into ministry and do it for the long haul if I can’t deal with petty people. Good question. An appropriate issue for me to deal with. When I dialogue with my mentors and ministry collegues, I will invest quality time with that issue. I don’t know what my main problem with pettiness is. I have told my wife I struggle with the American Dream and I’m not terribly interested in it. That could be a reason I don’t handle pettiness. I also think Matthew 6:25-24, Mark 10:43-45 and James 1:26-27 have greatly influenced my worldview. So has Paul’s many references to the idea that this world is not our home (Example – 2nd Corinthians 4 and 5; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11 thru 12:3).

Of course, when I think of Jesus on earth, I think of how patient he was, and still is, with our earthbound hearts and minds. So, as his representative, I also need to imitate his example and remember Paul and Jude’s words: "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." (2nd Timothy 4:2); "Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh." (Jude 1:22-23)

 

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