Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
I've been preaching through the book of Revelation during our Sunday evening service. I just finished up Revelation 15-16 concerning the 7 Bowl judgments. Andrew and I decided to team up with some Lego creations to visualize part of Revelation 19.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Second, the moths are just about all gone. As quickly as they came in, the super high winds yesterday seemed to blow them all away. Praise God those little critters are gone. I have a new appreciation for the 10 plagues. I can't imagine living in ancient times without sealed windows and doors. Those bugs would be covering the insides of your house or tent or whatever you might have slept in back then. Crazy.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Hudson: [Knowing that the Aliens are close, Hicks and Vasquez are welding the door shut] Movement. Signal's clean. Range, 20 meters.
Ripley: They've found a way in, something we've missed.
Hicks: We didn't miss anything.
Hudson: 17 meters.
Ripley: [Checking the tracker] Something under the floor, not in the plans, I don't know.
Hudson: 15 meters.
Hicks: Definitely inside the barricades.
Newt: Let's go.
Hudson: 12 meters.
Ripley: That's right outside the door. Hicks, Vasquez get back.
Hudson: Man, this is a big signal.
Hicks: How are we doing Vasquez, talk to me?
Vasquez: Almost there.
[They welded the door shut, and stepped back away from the door]
Vasquez: They're right on us.
Hicks: [Waiting for the Aliens] Remember, short controlled bursts.
Hudson: 9 meters. 7. 6.
Ripley: That can't be; that's inside the room.
Hudson: It's reading right man, look!
Hicks: Then you're not reading *it* right.
Hudson: 5 meters, man. 4. What the? They're coming out of the walls!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
- The bruised reed is a man that for the most part is in some misery, as those were that came to Christ for help, and by misery he is brought to see sin as the cause of it, for, whatever pretences sin makes, they come to an end when we are bruised and broken.
- After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks. Even reeds need bruising, by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy.
- It is no easy matter to bring a man from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, so unyielding and intractable are our hearts.
- But if we have this for a foundation of truth, that there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us, there can be no danger in thorough dealing.
- Therefore let us not take off ourselves too soon, nor pull off the plaster before the cure be wrought, but keep ourselves under this work till sin be the sourest, and Christ the sweetest, of all things.
- Men, for the most part, are not lost enough in their own feeling for a Saviour. A holy despair in ourselves is the ground of true hope. In God the fatherless find mercy.
- The church of Christ is a common hospital, wherein all are in some measure sick of some spiritual disease or other, so all have occasion to exercise the spirit of wisdom and meekness.
- Suffering brings discouragement because of our impatience. 'Alas!, we lament, 'I shall never get through such a trial.' But if God brings us into the trial, he will be with us in the trial, and at length bring us out more refined. We shall lose nothing but dross.
- Being able to 'do nothing against the truth, but for the truth' (2 Cor 13:8), the truth being dearer to us than our lives. Truth does not have this sovereignty in the heart of any carnal man.
- We must carry this always in our minds, that that which is begun in self-confidence ends in shame.
- Faith works best alone, when it has least outward support. Hence, it is that we often fail in lesser conflicts and stand firm in greater, because in the lesser we rest more in ourselves, in the greater we fly to the rock of our salvation which is higher than we (Psa 61:2)
This book was very readable, very short and very good for those who are struggling with discouragement or melancholy as I often do. I highly recommend it.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
He learned sparring combination #1 today.
And sparring combination #2.
Andrew was so pumped up about Wu-Shu that he came home and became sensei Andrew. How is that when he's only a white belt? Matt only wants to do Wu-Shu at home. We asked him if he wanted to take lessons along with Andrew, but he said he was too afraid. Apparently, Emery is too afraid to even do it at home.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Croft begins by outlining the Scriptural principles regarding sickness, disease and suffering. He highlights 2 theological considerations behind these topics - God is sovereign over sickness and God calls His people to care for the needy and afflicted. Then, he outlines very specific pastoral and practical things to do when you visit the sick. My favorite was to make sure you have fresh breath.
This book had both depth and breadth, theology and practice, exhortation and encouragement - everything you'd want as a Christian to inspire you and help you visit the sick. I liked his emphasis that visiting the sick is not just for pastors, it's for Christians.
Sickness is not a misery but an opportunity to glorify God's character and His salvation.
- In the midst of sickness or affliction that someone in our church may be experiencing, we have the glorious privilege of pointing to a greater, divine and more significant reality than that person's physical circumstances. We can point to sickness and affliction as results of the Fall and to our dying bodies as reminders of our birth in sin. We can remind others that sickness was a means for God to discipline his chosen people that caused them to long for a Redeemer. We can rejoice that the signs of God's kingdom coming were the healings and restorations by the authority of the Son of God - a foretaste of what we will experience in full when Jesus returns and resurrection becomes a reality.
At this point in my life, I feel comfortable going to hospitals and nursing homes and visiting those who are sick and/or elderly. But I remember years ago, having to go to a nursing home during seminary as part of one of our service days. I had no experience in that type of thing and cannot recall ever being taught anything about how to do it. I surely didn't have a book like this which would have been extremely helpful (and it's still helpful today). But I did have a friend who was an experienced, caring pastor who took the lead as we went from room to room. He was a great example who impacted me with his love for the sick that day. Thanks Ken.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Specifically, these companies developed a core ideology - an inner culture, "the organization's essential and enduring tenets," their true character. This core ideology transcended even charismatic individual CEO's and leaders, their particular business model and their products. This was who they are as an organization that has lasted for some of these companies, over 100 years.
But as important as the core ideology is to these visionary companies, they are only part of the process. This core ideology never changes, but everything else can. That is the other side of the coin so to speak. These companies preserve the core ideology while stimulating progress in 5 specific ways - through big hairy audacious goals (BHAG's), cult-like cultures, try a lot of stuff and keep what works, home-grown management and good enough never is (a relentless drive to improve).
What astounded me was how biblical this process is. First off these visionary companies are what the church should be. The church should be the most impressive and amazing organization on earth. Second, the church has a core ideology that should never change - sound biblical theology found in the inerrant Word of God. This ideology should be preached consistently, taught effectively and implemented consistently in every area of the church as it is done in these companies. Third, and this is where so many churches have dropped the ball, the church should be stimulating progress in how we apply sound biblical theology. We should have BHAG's (after all, God has the most audacious power and ability to achieve amazing goals), Christians should have a fanatic commitment to the church as an organization and to one another, the church should be fearless in its ability to try any type of ministry that's consistent with sound biblical theology and keep what works, the church should be making the ultimate home grown management in faithful teachers and elders, and Christians should have a relentless pursuit of holiness and transformation above all others.
Collins made a very interesting observation that was part of his thesis. He called it the "Tyranny of the Or," that is embracing "the Genius of And." His point was that most companies and people make everything a binary decision. It is either this or that. You can make a profit or be altruistic to others. You can be values driven (driven by principles) or be pragmatic. But in reality, these companies figured out how to be both profitable AND altruistic, driven by values AND pragmatic. He writes this:
- We're not talking about mere balance here. 'Balance' implies going to the midpoint, fifty-fifty, half and half. A visionary company doesn't seek balance between short-term and long-term, for example. It seeks to do very well in the short-term and long-term. A visionary company doesn't simply balance between idealism and profitability; it seeks to be highly idealistic and highly profitable. A visionary company doesn't simply balance between preserving a tightly held core ideology and stimulating vigorous change and movement; it does both to an extreme. [italics his]
I find this same dynamic in a church. Often times the choice is between being very biblical or being very practical; being very conservative or being open to new people. But the reality is, we should be both deeply biblical AND very practical; soundly theological AND very pragmatic; cherishing traditions AND welcoming new ideas and people. Not because this book proved it, but because THE Book advocates these ideas. Collins and Porras simply made great observations about these biblical principles in companies.
If you're into books on organizational leadership, this is a great one.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Andrew was compelled to give a victory speech to the masses.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
For 2012, my goals are very similar. I have settled into a groove that works for me in a lot of ways. These aren't all of my goals as I have more personal goals, goals as a husband and goals as a father. But here are 4 that I like to track through the blog:
1. Read through the Bible
- Technically, I'm reading through the NT, Psalms and Proverbs twice and the rest of the Bible once. I've finished Psalms and Proverbs and am in Hebrews right now. The Bible reading program is going well. I am reading at a much slower pace than last year (read through the Bible twice which was about 7 chapters a day), and I like it a lot. I'm able to read through the study notes and think more about what I am reading. I even re-read texts too. One thing I did this year in drawing up my reading plan was to divide reading sections into their more natural book divisions or thematic sections. This is helpful too.
- Philippians chapter 1 is 30 verses long. I am currently at v.24. It's good to be ahead of schedule. If I can keep up this pace, I may go for chapter 3 this year too.
3. Run the Duke City Half-Marathon in under 2 hours
- This half-marathon is in ABQ on Oct 21 so I have some time. My main goal is to be able to run 4 miles at a 9 minute mile pace by July when my training really starts. Right now, I'm at about a 9:10 pace. Real close. I've also run 6 miles without a problem so I am in good shape right now. Ahead of schedule in this one too!
4. Read 20 books
- So far I've finished 9 books this year. I am surprised at how many I've read. I guess I have adjusted to the studying load that was a tad overwhelming at the end of last year. I can't believe how far ahead of schedule I am on this one too.
Going into this year, I knew the transition to a new ministry and a new church would be difficult so I purposely cut back my goals. And I won't sugarcoat it, the transition has been hard in a few different ways. But God has been sovereignly using them for my holiness and for my good. He has been good. Surprisingly though, they haven't affected most of my personal goals so far.