Monday, March 31, 2008
Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,but he who hates reproof is stupid.
In this passage the stupid person may be extremely "bright" or "intelligent." The reason they are called stupid is because they are unwilling to take correction. I am often corrected, and usually how I take correction depends on who is giving it to me. If I am to be wise, I will have to take correction.
Lord, help me to love discipline and help me not to be "stupid."
On the positive side - I have some good pictures and even a few good stories to tell from our Retreat. So this week I'll be catching up - hopefully I'll be able to get things posted before the next crazy weekend hits!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Think about this - basically we're looking at a repository for every applicable video, song, illustration, book, story, for any particular text of the Bible. This does have some pretty tremendous potential.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Deuteronomy 6:2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
I was shooting hoops with my son last night and wondering what I was passing down. It's not easy teaching someone to play defense when the person they are defending is about 2 feet taller. It's downright frustrating for him and me too. But it was an important lesson to always keep trying. I'd love for my son to play ball as he grows up. But I hope I'm passing down a lot more than a good jumper and some defense. I hope that I am passing along a real, authentic love for God.
Lord, I tell you this almost every day, but I hope you will help me, and especially my kids, to love You more than anything else.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
O The Wonderful Cross
O The Wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die and find that I
May truly live!
O The Wonderful Cross
O The Wonderful Cross
All who gather here by grace draw near
And bless your name.
I know this isn't a new song by any means, but I enjoyed it so much. I thought I would just share my joy!
First two people to email me will get an iTunes gift for The Wonderful Cross by whichever artist you like. (Actually, it turns out you can't buy the Tomlin versions unless you buy the whole album so I'll be giving away the PCD version.) I really like Tomlin and Redman, but I also like Phillips Craig and Dean. You get to pick.
Here's a youtube video if you'd like to listen now.
Calvary Setlist for Easter:
Because He Lives
Here I am to Worship
The Wonderful Cross
Worthy is the Lamb
Proverbs 11:24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,and one who waters will himself be watered. 26 The people curse him who holds back grain,but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
Lord, please let me always abound in generosity, because you have been so generous with me.
Deuteronomy 1:9 “At that time I said to you, ‘I am not able to bear you by myself. 10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven...12 How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? 13 Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads...’ ’15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes...(17)And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’
Lord, thank you for answering my prayer. Now please help me to train others that they may help shoulder the work that You want us to do.
Monday, March 24, 2008
My friend Jason is up to something crazy again. (The list of all his crazy things will have to wait for another post.) What I love about Jason is his desire to connect with his community in any way that he can to share the love of Christ.
I actually have an egg hunt story of my own.
I must have been about 6 or 7 years old when I attempted my first egg hunt. I had worked so hard on decorating my eggs exactly how I wanted them. (I still have creative control problems!) On Sunday afternoon after church I went over to my childhood sweetheart's house. Her older brother hid the eggs and then we went out searching. I am horrible at finding anything, let alone eggs, but I found a few. She found all the rest, by far eclipsing my measly sum. When we were done, I started to give her eggs back and of course expected to get mine back too. I had worked so hard at decorating them, but she didn't give them back.
Thus began a life of bitterness over egg hunts.
I started to put a ton of egg puns in this story, but I found someone who has done a much better
Jason would like for everyone to pray. This event is growing by the minute. (As of Friday afternoon they have registered over 4000 kids. They are looking for 8,000 to 10,000 attenders.) There is a tremendous opportunity for lives to be touched.
Jason called and said they had 7000 show up today. Everyone was safe - that was a big answer to prayer. Please pray about tomorrow as well. Here's a picture...
Here's what he would have us to pray for...
We will be advertising heavily our service on Sunday. Here is what I need from you to pray for:
1. Pray for good weather (I know we live in Yuma where the sun always shines, but wind and sand could affect things)
2. Pray for safety - with this many people, we want it to be accident free.
3. Pray for everything to run smoothly.
4. Pray for people's hearts to be touched by the generosity and kindness of God.
5. Pray for more salvation decisions then we have ever had on Easter Sunday
6. Pray for God's anointing to be upon us as we hold our service on Easter
The Vertical Church had one salvation decision this Sunday with many visitors. Please continue to pray for Jason and Danny and all the people out in Yuma working so hard to bring others to Christ.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Our worship team has been going through some transition recently, but today everything came together. Something special happened as we sang The Wonderful Cross. I hope the Lord was pleased. It was pleasing to sing praises to Him.
How was Easter Sunday in your neck of the woods?
By 10 pm my friend, Kent Ross, pulled into my driveway and announced, "Get your coat. We're going to the hospital." He wasn't urging or recommending. The car was running. He was taking me. Within minutes, our friend, Jennifer, arrived to stay with Olivia until I returned from the hospital.
Reluctantly and painfully I got into Kent's car and checked into the ER. 3 hours later after x-rays, blood and other tests, CAT scans and IV drips, I was sent home to rest with 4 broken ribs and some minor internal bruising. I suppose the trip to the hospital was the right thing to do.
Sometimes you need a good friend to help convince you to do what you really would rather not do. Mark is very blessed to have people like this in his life and I must say, I have a couple of friends like this too.
Sometimes you have to let people make their own decisions, but sometimes you just have to get involved. The tricky part is knowing when to sit back and when to jump in. May the Lord help us all to know the difference.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
- I appreciate this quote on more than one level...
"To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer." -- Farmer's Almanac
- She needs a napkin - somebody help her. Improv Everywhere is at it again. HT: Challies.
- Mohlyer says Americans still believe in sin. Well at least certain ones...
- Marko has a real good quote from Wimber
- Wordpress 2.5 is on it's way soon. What do you think of Wordpress over Typepad or Blogger?
- Kruse is still looking for the heat from Global Warming.
- TSK found a beautiful song.
- Seth Godin (by way of Tony Morgan) ponders persistence.
- Love this quote from Bob Hope:
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it."
- I love Baptism stories - Kimball shares a couple.
- Challies has found some new "old" music.
- What happens when you turn off the TV?
- Jake found something that has him speechless - me too!
- I leave you with the best Quote of the Day I've read in a while - it's from Gahndi
"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."
Friday, March 21, 2008
Yesterday when we went to pick up the kids their Grandpa showed off some of their "first signs of spring" and I couldn't resist. The pictures don't do these little guys justice. These are some beautiful petals. I think I'm ready for spring!
Here is the gallery...
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Here is the Easter Setlist for Tanner Trails:
My Savior Lives
All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises
How Great Is Our God
For a closing special they are doing "How Could You Say No?"
Are you doing any special music for Easter?
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Everlasting God is the song that I am presently enjoying off of the album My Savior Lives. This is not the same Everlasting God as sung by Chris Tomlin and Lincoln Brewster. (But I like that one too!)
If you want to hear the song, you can check out the youtube video.
First person to send me an email can get a copy of Everlasting God through iTunes Gift songs.
Calvary Setlist for March 16th, 2008
Sacrifice of Praise/He has Made Me Glad
Glory to His Name
Our God Reigns
Monday, March 17, 2008
Numbers 22:31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.Baalam's eyes are opened and he too can see the Invisible Reality.
Last night we watched The End of the Spear. The Waudoni spoke of seeing the missionaries they killed "jump the Great Boa" while they were still alive. It appears that the Lord allowed these people to have their eyes opened in order to help them come to Christ.
I wonder what all we miss because are eyes are not opened. These things are reminders to me that just because I can't see it, doesn't mean that it is not real.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I'm just about ready for some spring flower pictures, but here's one last winter shot. This guy was hanging around our feeder when the snow was covering the ground. I'm not much of a bird photographer, but I always love the color of a redbird in the snow. It would have been even better if he had been in our evergreen tree.
"I believe. I believe. It's silly, but I believe." --Natalie Wood.
Sometimes that is the way we approach faith. Last night we were looking at the faith of Abraham from Romans 4 and verse 21 resonated with me...
21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
This passage is specifically about the promise of a son to Abraham when he was "as good as dead" in regards to reproducing. But Abraham believed. He believed God would do what he promised he would do. This is the essence of faith. Do you believe like this?
In my reading for today I noticed the same idea in 3 different passages. Isn't the unity of the word of God amazing?
First Moses' lack of belief...
Numbers 20:7 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” 9 And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
Then Zechariah's unbelief...
Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John... 18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
And finally the Psalmist writes of his faith...
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
Lord, help me to be fully persuaded that you will do what you have promised in my life and the lives of those around me.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Rob starts by sharing about his own father's practice of reading the scriptures and shares his testimony about how quiet times became of utmost important in his own life. He was speaking with Dr. Stephen Olford and asked him for advice. Dr. Olford replied, "Never, never, never miss your quiet time." Ruth Bell Graham encouraged him to start journaling or the "notebook habit" as she called it. The third big influence on Morgan's devotional life was through his study of Christian biographies. It seems the more he learned of great Christian men and women, the more he learned they had a steady devotional life.
Rob shares a lot of the biographies with the reader, but I'll just give you one to wet the appetite.
This is what a biographer wrote about evangelist D.L. Moody: "He was an early riser. He generally rose about daybreak in summer, devoting the early hours to Bible study and communion with God. He used to say that one who followed this plan could not get more than twenty-four hours away from God."
Rob then moves on to what the scriptures say about "quite time." He speaks of Daniel's habit of praying and even the public knowledge of this habit. Jesus also took regular time to pray. (Mark 1:35) Jesus encouraged us to "get into our closets" in Matthew 6.
Rob does give a couple of warnings: First, quiet time isn't the "totality" of our relationship with God. Secondly, quiet time can become a ritual, but it should be a relationship.
One of the really helpful parts of this chapter is the section on How Do I Do It?
Rob gives the following helpful instructions...
1. Have a procedure for your quiet time. (Have a plan)
2. Use a pen. (Take notes - or even blog about it. :) )
3. Have a prayer list. (Possibly pray for different people on different days of the week)
4. Find a regular place and a regular time. (Be consistent)
5. Exercise perserverance. (Don't quit!)
I thought the Scripture Memory Verse was very appropriate:
"I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word" (Psalm 119:147-148)
I want to say that I have really enjoyed reading through the ESV bible this year thanks to RSS feeds. You can check out the many options of their reading plan here.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Proverbs 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
Our own riches, whether they be materials or even the good works of our lives, are worthless in the Day of the Lord. But being declared righteous by God through Jesus Christ will ultimately deliver us from death in that Day.
The Glorious Unseen sounds more like a track title than the name of a band, but their music deserves a listen. I don't know how many of you have found virb.com, but a lot of the bands have full tracks on their sites. You can even build a playlist. Check out The Glorious Unseen on Virb.
I also found a video clip of Hear Our Prayers which is my favorite from the album.
The first person to reply to this post can pick whatever song they like from the Tonight the Stars Speak Album. I'm still giving away songs through iTunes gifts, but I'm working on a way to give away songs that won't need iTunes. So hopefully soon, you'll have a choice about how you can download your song.
1. No takers, this deal is over.
Calvary Setlist Sunday March 9th:
Worthy is the Lamb
Holy is the Lord
We Fall Down
Worthy, You are Worthy
Monday, March 10, 2008
27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered...’29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same...34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch...” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
I hate how much I can identify with Peter. I want to believe that I would die for my Lord. And yet, I have trouble praying each day as I know I should.
Lord, my flesh is so weak. Strengthen my spirit.
Numbers 11:21 But Moses said, “The people among whom I am number six hundred thousand on foot, and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month!’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, and be enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, and be enough for them?” 23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord's hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
Moses is tired of hearing the people whine for meat. He begs the Lord for some help. God says he will deliver meat - so much so that the people will loathe meat.
Then Moses has a "systems" problem. "God, where are you going to come up with the meat?" Is there enough fish in the sea to give meat to 600,000 people for a month? Look at God's answer... "Is the Lord's hand shortened?"
How many times have we felt this way? "God, how will you do this?" This is impossible. God says "Watch me!"
Lord, forgive me for doubting you. Help me not to whine, and more importantly, help me to trust you in all things.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
- Homeschooling is now illegal in California? (HT: Mohler) I'm sure this will get a lot of attention in the next week.
- Denny Burk has been updating links on the homeschooling story.
- Too much information? Google "Street View" was showing off one of our military bases.
- How old do you think the earth is? My son asked me this question earlier in the week.
- I'm very close to adding a "Tech Thursday" to the blog. Dean Peters has an excellent website entitled "Heal Your Church." A website won't remake your church, but it can have a lot of benefits.
- Einstein for President? "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." -- Albert Einstein.
- Do you stand in The Middle? A thought provoking post by Dan Kimball.
- A great post about always training volunteers from Greg. This applies to so much more than tech.
- Two of my favorite things... GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and Church Demographics. Stetzer shares about the new ARDA Maps - Association of Religion Data Archives. This is so cool. You can see where we need to take the gospel.
- I already shared one of these mind-blowing audio illusions. But here is the complete list of seven. If you haven't checked this out, grab your headphones and take it in. (HT: The church geek.)
- Furtick has some good advice for pastors.
- Are you "East Brained" or "West Brained?" Check out McKnight.
- Welcome to the "Cuss Free Zone." I have to admit, I like the idea. :)
- "Dear Lord, Thank you for the DSL." You gotta check out Crystal's Post.
- Interesting Read - "Neither Intellectual, Nor Property"
- Fitch is slamming the Bridge Illustration. What do you think -- has this tool outlived its usefulness?
- Marko relates a few of the more than 14,000 uses of salt.
- I'm still watching mine...
- Kruse still cracking me up with "Welcome to the New Ice Age."
- Tony is leaving facebook, and I've never really gotten started. Maybe this is a good thing.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Not exactly sure why, but I like this goose. :)
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “This applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. 25 And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more. 26 They minister to their brothers in the tent of meeting by keeping guard, but they shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites in assigning their duties.”
I find it interesting that after 50 years of age the Levites were to withdraw from service. They were to continue to keep guard, but no longer would they serve as they had previously. I've often heard preachers say that they would never retire, and to be honest, I feel that I have that mentality. I plan to speak and serve as long as the Lord is willing. Yet even in the scriptures we see that there is a time to serve and a time to stop serving.
When are you retiring from the Lord's Army?
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Number 6:24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Mark 10:47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”
Bartimaeus knew he needed help and he felt that Jesus could help him. So he cried. Those around him tried to hush his cries. They rebuked him, telling him to shut-up.
He cried all the more for mercy and Jesus stopped. That is an amazing thought to me. Jesus stopped. Bartimaeus' acquaintances that day told him to get up. They told him to take heart. He is calling you. What a tremendous day!
Lord, please help me to never stop crying. When the world, or my flesh or even the devil would say to me, "Hush! You shouldn't trouble the master with this!" Let me be like Bartimaeus and cry out all the louder.
Thank you for stopping for me.
I'm still interested in hearing from those who are Pro-Life and Voting for Obama. I am in awe of Barack's speaking ability. And I am even excited by the way that he presents hope to our country. But I am saddened over his unwillingness to defend the unborn.
I really enjoyed how Sherif Girgis ended this letter:
Now is your chance, Senator Obama, to make good on the spontaneous slogan of your campaign, to adopt the more American and more humane answer to the question of whether we can secure liberty and justice for all: Yes, we can.
This song is everything I like about an excellent worship song. It is simple. It is easy to follow. It is easy to sing. It is easy to play. It has biblical content. What more could you want?
We hope to add the violin part in too! I'm sure some of you have done this a long time ago. For some reason it just came my way this past week. Maybe it would be something good to fit in during this Easter season.
Here is the video clip... (I'll warn you, it does end rather abruptly)
I can't believe that so few people take me up on my offer for free music. This week the first 3 people to send me a reply, I will send you and iTunes gift song of Ashes to Beauty and you can pick the artist. Kari Jobe has a really nice rendition. Of course Kathryn's is the standard. Tammy Trent also does a nice job. Tim and Em also have some good harmonies on this one too. Take your pick.
Calvary Setlist for March 2nd, 2008
The Everlasting God
He is Exalted
You Are My All in All
I Stand in Awe
28 “But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the Lord, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord. 29 No one devoted, who is to be devoted for destruction from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.
Only God has power over life to destroy it. Yet he destroyed the life of His son at the cross that we might be redeemed. Do you think Jesus was devoted for destruction? Or do you think the main meaning of this passage is something else? Some have said Jephthah may have incorrectly understood this passage and therefore took the life of his own daughter. Sometimes I see the Cross and the Christ where maybe it was not intended, but it does seem to fit here.
Monday, March 03, 2008
We had such a great time at our CTS Formal Dinner and the Calvary Cafe. It was so great to see something done so well and know that I had nothing to do with it! It's amazing what people can do when the pastor gets out of the way.
Rob starts out this chapter with the story of an interesting vision. He then reminds us of the truth that the church is not the building. He also reminds us it is made up of imperfect people. I love the illustration he uses to convey this idea:
When the church first began on earth, the pastor was being executed as a criminal; the chairman of the board was out cursing and swearing that he had never even been a part of it. The treasurer was committing suicide. Most of the rest of the board members had run away. And about the only ones who showed any signs of faithfulness were a few ladies from the women's auxiliary.
It is good to remind ourselves that God uses flawed people.
Morgan continues by sharing the origins of the church from the book of Acts. He arrives at this definition for the church:
"A church then, is a group of people committed to Jesus Christ who are bound together by the indwelling influence of the Holy Spirit."
In describing what our church is like, Rob speaks of Big Church and Small Church. (I can't help but thinking of Children's church whenever we use this terminology.) Rob uses "the temple" in Acts 2:46 as an example of "Big Church." This is where we gather together to sing and pray and preach. He uses the phrase "house to house" as an example of "Small Church." Small church is where friendships develop and burdens are shared.
I'm not really sure how much "Big Church" there was in the early church. But I do think we should get together to sing, preach and pray. Morgan uses the Great Commandment as another way to break down the big and small of church. Love God is a "Big Church" idea. It's about going vertical. Love your neighbor is a "Small Church" idea. It's about going horizontal. I'm not sure if the Jesus Creed was really meant to be taken this way. We should be loving God in "Small Church" and loving our neighbor in "Big Church" too.
I do think that this was an excellent opportunity to remind those beginning in the faith that church is both vertical and horizontal.
Next Up - Discipleship.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Missouri and Illinois have been bickering over this for years. I hope it works out well.
You can get more info from The New Mississippi River Bridge Project.
Eric & Kari, if you are reading this, come back to Salem. We'd love to have you around. You could commute to St. Louis to work on your next project. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this! ;)
- Scott gives a good post about thinking differently.
- How does Kruse continually find the good stuff? Here's an insightful article on "The Fourth Turning." This is worth the read.
- The Old White Guy is crying for Brittney. But don't tell him I told you. :)
- McKnight has an interesting take on a Robust Gospel.
"Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them. My mother cleans them." - Rita Rudner