Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let Nothing Trouble You

Let nothing trouble you
Let nothing frighten you,
Everything is fleeting,
God alone is unchanging.

Patience will obtain everything.
The one who possess God,
Wants for nothing.
God alone suffices

-- Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Ministers' Meeting

Threee preachers, attending their monthly minister's meeting, began to share what was happening in their congregations.

"Things are starting to look up for us," said the Baptist preacher, "we gained three new families last month."

"We did better than that!" said the Methodist, "I think revival may be coming! We gained six new families last month!"

"Well, we did even better than that!" exclaimed the Presbyterian, "Revival has come! We got rid of our nine biggest troublemakers!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Resolve Wisconsin's Government Worker Crisis

Here's my suggestion for resolving the Wisconsin Government Worker crisis:  A Centrist Task Force.

This Task Force should be composed of:

1)  a half dozen Republican Teachers.
2)  a half dozen Democrat Small Business Owners
3)  a half dozen other Wise Citizens who can understand both sides, and don't have an agenda.

Put these people in a room together, give them all the information they need, let them make the decision -- and then live with it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stories

I was asked to guest lecture this past Thurday for an Evangelism Course at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Dr. Norm Wilson told me that the class was discussing how to reach a postmodern culture, and encouraged me to touch on that during my presentation.

So, I told stories, and everybody understood.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blasphemous Anxiety

When I am still, compulsion (the busyness that Hilary of Tours called "a blasphemous anxiety to do God's work for Him") gives way to compunction (being pricked or punctured.)  That is, God can break through the many layers with which I protect myself, so that I can hear His Word and be poised to listen.

(Leighton Ford)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

40 Ways to Fail

Over the years, I’ve seen lots of articles on how to succeed, but never one on how to be a failure. Thus, I’ve composed the following list: 40 easy ways to fail.
1. Focus on all the reasons why it won’t work.

2. Don’t bother praying.

3. Intend to begin, but don’t start.

4. Stop proceeding at the first speed bump.

5. Facing backwards, try to recreate the past.

6. Whine and complain often.

7. Fear making an investment.

8. Put in only what is required.

9. Be a self-centered pig.

10. Find someone to blame.

11. List a dozen good excuses, and use them all.

12. Absorb and reflect negativity.

13. Ignore wise counsel.

14. Hoard.

15. Manipulate people for personal gain.

16. Belittle yourself and others.

17. Fail to write down your goals and dreams.

18. Major on the minors and minor on the majors.

19. Don’t prioritize your use of time.

20. Don’t budget your money.

21. Live humorlessly.

22. Over-react when someone disappoints you.

23. Carry grudges and bear resentments.

24. Fail to plan ahead.

25. Never learn from mistakes.

26. Make mountains out of molehills.

27. Maintain an over-inflated opinion of yourself.

28. Strive to win every argument.

29. Refuse to grow.

30. Shrink back from committing yourself, saying “no” to everything.

31. Over-commit yourself, saying “yes” to everything.

32. Be a fault finder and gossip.

33. Be less than truthful.

34. Expect to fail.

35. Keep waiting for your ship to come in.

36. Disregard integrity and morality.

37. Always play it safe.

38. Throw temper tantrums.

39. Don’t finish the work.

40. Forget to say “thank you.”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Soulprint

Mark Batterson, my blogger buddy, and fellow Packer backer, is among my top three favorite authors.

His newest book, Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, is a masterful life-discovery book, that puts God at the center rather than self.

In his creative and engaging style, Batterson uses the story of King David as a model for understanding who we are, where we come from, and where we're heading in life.

The personal stories and thoughtful insights are well written and heartwarming.  Batterson has a unique way of drawing readers into the narrative, and keeps them turning pages, an unusual gift for a non-fiction author.

This would be a great text for small groups, or one on one mentoring, helping people discover their special mission in life.

Purchase Soulprint here

(A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me for review, by WaterBrook/Multnomah Press)

George Beverly Shea

102 year old George Beverly Shea To Receive Lifetime Grammy Award.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Packers and Steelers Share Testimonies

Your Golden Opportunity

Today is a golden opportunity -- make it count for something!
If your minutes were dollars, would that make a difference in how you spend them? For instance, would you spend $30 of time on the latest sitcom? Would you plunk down $120 for two hours of video games? Would it make a difference in how much time you spend just "shooting the breeze"?

Actually, time is even more important than money. Every second is precious, and only here for a moment. Then, it vanishes and we never have it again.

Once a schoolteacher brought three candles to her class: a tall, new, candle, a medium candle, and a very short one. "These three candles represent people," she explained, "One is the grandfather, one is the father, and one is the son. Do you know which is which?"

All of the students picked the tallest candle for the grandfather and the shortest for the son. "You are wrong!", the teacher proclaimed, "for the shortest candle has already spent most of its life and the taller candle has just begun."

If your life was measured by a candle, how much do you suppose is left? What are you going to do with what you have left? How are you going to invest the rest of your life?

Here are a few helpful hints as you consider these important issues:

1. Each day is a gift from our Creator.
We should never take our days for granted. This could be your last day on this earth. If you knew that you would be gone tomorrow, would that make any difference in how you live today?

2. Learn something new every day.
There is much to explore and learn in our world. It's almost a crime to allow a day to go by without learning something.

3. Try to make a difference.
What can you to today, this week or this month, to make a real difference? God is allowing you to take up space on His earth for a reason. Have your discovered why you are here?

4. Don't let the little things bog you down.
Life is too short to be sidetracked by pettiness, resentments, and annoyances. Keep your eyes on the main thing.

5. Allow thankfulness to permeate your heart.
Every night, before you go to sleep, it's a great idea to pause and thankfully reflect on the day's experiences and the gift of life.

6. Express your love and appreciation often.
We really do need each other.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarek Resigns!

"Mubarek resigns. We're nervous though. He could pull a Favre and end up the president of the Minnesota Vikings."
-- Jarrett Stevens

Unread Bibles

"Most Bibles in the homes of Christians never get read."
-- Thom Rainer, When the Bible is Read

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Settling

"God loves you too much to allow you to settle for self."

--  Dave Harvey (HT Wayne Schmidt)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How Much Having Does a Person Need?

How much "having" does a person need?

“How much money would it take to make you happy?” someone reputedly asked business tycoon, John D. Rockefeller, how much money it would take to make him happy.”

The business magnate replied, “Just a little bit more!”

But then, again. . . maybe not.

Contentment, after all, isn’t having what you want. It’s wanting what you have.

Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian author, told of Parkham, a poor peasant who dreamed of having a "break" in life. Much to his good fortune, he heard about a tremendous opportunity in a distant place. The government said that he could have all of the land he could encircle by foot in a day.
Excited about this wonderful possibility, Parkham sold all of his possessions and journeyed to the place where he could pursue his dream of becoming a landowner.

At the first crack of dawn, Parkham took off to claim his land! He ran at top speed all day long. Nothing was going to deter him! He wanted to cover as much territory as possible before the sun went down. Without stopping for food, water, or rest, he continued his relentless pace through the heat of the day.

Just as the sun began to set, Parkham completed the circle! He was the proud owner of a huge estate! His lifelong dream had been fulfilled. Oh, the sweetness of victory!

Then, the exhausted Parkham suddenly dropped dead. All he needed now was about six feet of earth.

"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit his very self?" (Luke 9:25)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Aaron Rodgers Postgame

"The Lord's had a hand in my life since I was a young kid.  I thank Him for the opportunity.  I don't think he cares who wins or loses, -- as long as He's getting the glory."
--  Aaron Rodgers in Post Game News Conference

View Here. (at around the 3:00 minute mark)

Sweet Victory

The Man Who Saved the Packers

Sportswriter Robert S. Lyons wrote a wonderful Philadelphia Inquirer article about how the Green Bay Packer franchise was saved by Bert Bell:  The Man who Saved the Packers.

As NFL commissioner, Bell was pressured by a number of team owners to either "straighten out" the failing Packers or "throw them out" of the league. 

It would have been easier to put the Packers out of their misery by sending them the way of the Duluth Eskimos and Canton Bulldogs.

I'm glad Bell believed in the Packers enough to choose the "straighten them out" approach.

Lambeau Field stands today as a tribute to the man who cared enough to step into a messy situation and help them find a redemptive path.

Makes me think of church ministry. 

Isn't it better to straighten them out than kick them out?.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Steelers Have Already Lost
Super Bowl XLV and the Kingdom of Light

John Stott on Biblical Preaching

• God wants his Church to grow up in maturity (not just in numbers).
It is clear from the Bible as a whole that God is not pleased with shallowness and immaturity. The Apostle Paul, who was of course a great missionary and church-planter, was not content merely to multiply churches. His greatest aim, he said, was to present everyone mature in Christ (Col. 1:28-29).

• The church grows through God’s Word.
The Bible is the primary means by which God nourishes his people. The Bible teaches and guides them in what they are to believe and how they are to live. It is the Word of God that grows the people of God. We live not by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4, referring to Deut. 8:3). Churches that are regularly fed by the Scriptures show healthy growth in maturity and witness.

• The Word of God comes to people primarily through preaching.
Of course, people can read the Bible for themselves — if they are literate, if the Bible exists in their languages, and if they can afford one for themselves. For many millions of Christians one or more of these conditions may not apply. So the only opportunity they have to be fed by the Bible is when it is preached or taught to them in the course of Christian worship. But the standards of preaching and clear exposition of the Bible are sadly very poor or non-existent in so many parts of the world. Even in many churches that call themselves “evangelical,” the Bible is hardly ever preached in a simple, systematic and applied way.

So, if we are concerned for the maturity and mission of the church around the world, and if the above three convictions are true, then the logical question to ask is:

What can we do to raise the standards of biblical preaching?

From John Stott Ministries

Friday, February 04, 2011

Doofy Mormon Ad

Dear Readers,
I apologize for the "I'm a Mormon" Youtube promotion that ended up on my blog today.  I had tried a new application for people to share my posts on other social network sites (i.e. facebook and twitter) -- and that bridge apparently goes both direction.

I've deleted Mr. Mormon, and will see if I can make the application without unintended consequences.

Inertia

"Lots of other sins will come trotting meekly in the wake of inertia."
-- Charles Foster in The Sacred Journey, PP. 92-93.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Why Rich Parents Don't Matter

Why Rich Parents Don't Matter:
A fascinating Wall Street Journal Article on the stunning inequalities between impoverished children, and those raised in wealthy homes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Extremity and Glory

This morning, I was supposed to speak at the Indiana Wesleyan University chapel , with my son Ryan leading worship-- but the great midwest blizzard changed the plan.

Somewhat disappointed, I find myself back home in Hayward -- the land of lesser snow, for a change!

IWU classes are cancelled today -- but Ryan told me they're still going to hold chapel for the students who can get there.

I believe something extra-special is going to happen there today.  "The Lord has his way in the whirlwind" (Nahum 1:3) -- and I believe He is going to have His way -- and pour out His beautiful presence upon the students who brave the winter storm and show up.

God often uses great extremity to reveal the greatness of His glory.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Great Advice for Public Speakers

"Use detail, drama and dialogue, and people will listen to your story."
--  Marcus Buckingham