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Showing posts from February, 2007

A Week With No Posts

To the faithful few who read my ponderings I am giving you a week of vacation (at least from reading my thoughts). After a time of prayer and worship this morning I decided that I needed a week free from extra distractions (I still have my responsibilities that I need to attend to) so I can focus on my life and devote myself to really pursuing the life God created me to live. It is so easy to allow ourselves to become distracted and in the process allow the opportunities God has placed in our lives to slip away. Giving up blogging is a huge thing for me, I love doing it, but it has also become one of my biggest distraction. So goodbye for now and I hope that you will stop by next week to see what God has being doing in my life.

Choosing God's Path

“There are no shortcuts to obedience of faith with God! Either your turn to Him for counsel and obey what He says, or you make your choice in what seems right to you!” ~ Henry Blackaby; Created to be God’s Friend

We have a very limited perspective of the world. If we are honest we would admit that we are far more ignorant about what is happening around us. This is not an ignorance of choice or laziness, but of reality. The body in which we live is confined to one place in time, we simply cannot know all of what is happening around us, and what we do know is colored by other people’s perception.

This reality makes it impossible for us to fully understand what is best for our lives and the lives of others. Something that might seem right at the moment may, in fact, have lasting effects in the future.

Take for example Joseph. We read about this man of faith in the Old Testament. We know that while he was the favorite son of Jacob, tragedy was part of Joseph’s life. He was sold into s…

Thoughts on Life

It is one of those nights when I just can't fall asleep. I have been tossing and turning in bed for an hour, but I just can't fall asleep, even though I am dog tired. Why can't I fall asleep? Because I keep thinking about life.

I think about how life hasn't turned out the way I wanted it to. I am so far away from the life I wanted it isn't even funny. In some aspects this is a good thing. There are times when I love the fact that I am a bachelor, I am not intimately responsible for anyone else's life but my own. I enjoy the quietness of anonymity. There was a time when I thought it would be cool to be famous, to be a celebrity, but those days are past. I like being able to blend into the background.

As much as I like the single life there are times when it gets down right lonely. It takes a special individual to forsake the call for an intimate relationship with the opposite sex, and I am not sure that I am quite special enough. I cannot ignore the inte…

Discovering Joy

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. ~ Galatians 5:22, 23; NLT

The Apostle Paul tells us that joy is one of the characteristics which make up the Christian’s life. The assumption we can make is that joy is something that God intends for us to experience in life. God does not desire that we go through life frustrated and grumpy. Joy should be one of the primary descriptions of our lives.

The pressures of this life often make joy one of the most elusive characteristics to have. We experience times of happiness and pleasure, but true joy eludes us. Part of the reason for that is because joy is not so much a feeling as it is a quality of life, and we have learned to settle for these momentary feelings rather than taking time to discover the joy God wants us to experience.

Joy, I believe, is discovered in our…

Making The Good Choice

“I thought I didn’t have a choice about being the Batman. That Gotham City chose me to protect her. That is wrong. Ever since the night my parents were taken from me, I made the choice. It means that some of my hearts desires may go unfulfilled…But many more are satisfied…It is a good choice.” ~ Bruce Wayne; Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1: Choices (Jeph Loeb writer; Tim Sale artist)

Choices. Life is filled with decisions and the choices we make determine the direction our lives take. For Bruce Wayne the choices he made led him to become Batman. While our choices might not lead to such a melodramatic lifestyle they still determine what we do with our lives.

The choice to become a Christian is a choice that will affect every area in our lives, just as Bruce Wayne’s decision to become Batman ended up affect every other area of his life. The two are inseparable. To be a Christian means to surrender our entire life to God’s will. Everything that we do and say is measured aga…

Hmm Interesting...

You scored as Divine Command. Your life is directed by Divine Command: Your god and religion give you meaning and direction.



“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”

--King James Version of the Bible



“Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion--human religion--but any number of faiths.”

--Mahatma Gandhi



More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...

Divine Command80%Existentialism60%Utilitarianism60%Kantianism45%Hedonism45%Justice (Fairness)30%Nihilism15%Apathy10%Strong Egoism5%
What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
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The Deception of Global Warming

The interest I have in science wouldn't fill a thimble. I am not a scientist and I have not looked at the relevant data concerning the climate change of the planet. Even if I did I wouldn't be in a position to accurately evaluate the data. Lets face it the majority of the people in this country aren't either. It is no wonder the Main Stream Media can produce such terror in ordinary citizens.

I have always been skeptical of Global Warming, at least that notion the humans are the cause of it. Why? I remembered learning at some point in my education that the earth has continually gone through these cycles of change. And if we are to believe that we are the cause of this mess, then nothing short of getting rid of all our fossil fuel burning energy ways would help the problem. Once Al Gore starts traveling in a horse and buggy then maybe I will listen.

Today I came across an article, actually an opinion piece, that confirms some of my thoughts. Here is a guy that not only…

Let's Talk About Sex

“Sex is sacred, but not essential, and our lives say the opposite.” ~ Mark Moore

One of my heroes is Mark Moore. I have never met him and I have only heard him in person a handful of times, but he has made an impact on my life none the less. When I heard him say the above quote I was amazed at the genius of it. In a simple sentence he managed to state the reason why we struggle with sex.

I want to take a few moments and just look at the three sections which make up this sentence; because I think when we begin to grasp the meaning of it the place of sex in our lives will become much clearer.

“Sex is sacred…” Sex is to have a place of honor in our lives. The author of Hebrews wrote; Give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery (Hebrews 13:4; NLT). God designed sex to bring a man and a woman into an intimate communion that cannot be expressed in any other way. It is not dirty or sh…

Don't Focus on the Wrong Thing

Lately I have been thinking about John 9. In this chapter Jesus heals a man who has been born blind and because the Pharisees can't accept the miracle throws the man out of the synagogue. The event that sets off this chain reaction is a question the disciples of Jesus ask.

Jesus and his followers approach the Temple. This man who has been born blind is begging at one of the entrances to the Temple. The disciples use this as an opportunity to engage Jesus in a theological discussion. Discussing theology seems to a favorite past time for rabbis and their disciples. The question they ask seems to be a question that was much debated among the different rabbis of the time. Popular belief, among both Jews and Gentiles, was that divine punishment handed out in the form of physical suffering. So if this man was blind was it the result of his sin or his parents sin?

If it was his sin, since he was born blind, it would mean that he would have sinned while still in the womb. Some rabb…

The Cure for Loneliness

"As grand an experience as love is, it is not the final answer to loneliness." ~ Ravi Zacharias; Cries of the Heart

Loneliness is universal to human experience. Everyone, from the most famous to the least known, has experienced loneliness. Not just being alone, but the feeling there is no place we belong. Most of us believe the answer to our loneliness is a love relationship. The close relationships of friends and the intimate relationship of marriage we believe provide the answer to the loneliness which we experience. After all, if we are able to be with people then we will have place to fit in.

The trouble is many people who have friends and are married still experience loneliness. This is even the worst type of loneliness because we have what we believe is the answer to loneliness. So loneliness drives people to drugs and alcohol. Loneliness is the justification married person uses to have an affair. Love is a wonderful experience, but it alone cannot rid our hearts of lone…

God Is Not Pleased

"Thus, any discussion of the unfairness of suffering must begin with the fact that God is not pleased with the condition of the planet either. The story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the story of God's plan to restore his creation to its orginal state of perfection. The Bible begins and ends with the same scene: Paradise, a river, the luminous glory of God, and the Tree of Life. All of human history takes place somewhere between the first part of Genesis and the last part of Revelation, and everything in between comprises the struggle to regain what was lost.

"To judge God solely by the present world would be a tragic mistake. At one time, it may have been 'the best of all possible worlds,' but surely it is not now. The Bible communicates no message with more certainty that God's displeasure with the state of creation and the state of humanity." ~ Phillip Yancey, Where is God When it Hurts? , pg. 67

To Follow Jesus

It is easy to follow Jesus when we agree with what He says. I feel more inclined to give when I have extra money in the bank, but it is a little hard to be generous when I am worried about paying the bills. I am okay with loving people until they do something to hurt me, then it is a little harder to love them. I love to preach risk taking and stepping out of our comfort zone, but it sure is another thing when I am actually faced with the opportunity to do something that will stretch me. A follower of Jesus doesn't get to pick and choose what commandments or teachings he or she is going to obey. A disciple of Jesus spends their lives trying to be like Him in every way they possibly can.

To be a Christ Follower means that we have submitted our entire lives to the will and teaching of Jesus. It is moving beyond agreeing with data or mentally agreeing with truth and changing they way we live based on who Jesus is and what He taught. Faith is not demonstrated merely when we do …

Jesus a Hawkeye?

Last week I became rather excited when I realized something. You may or may not be aware of the fact that I am a big Iowa Hawkeye fan. Hawkeye football and basketball are my true loves when it comes to following sports.

What exactly is a Hawkeye? In 1826 James Fenimore Cooper’s book The Last of the Mohicans was published. The book features a character by the name of Nathaniel "Natty" Bumppo also known by the name: Hawkeye. According Wikipedia Hawkeye “was a personification of rugged individualism and pioneer spirit that remains central to the American identity to this day.” So a person could accurately describe a Hawkeye as a pioneer or trailblazer.

In the book of Hebrews the author writes; fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith...(Hebrews 12:2; NASB). F. F. Bruce in his commentary on Hebrews translates this verse as “pioneer and perfecter” of faith (The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Epistle to the Hebrews; pg. 337). In o…

Indie?

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Chosen By God

"'I do really wish to destroy it!' cried Frodo. 'Or, well, to have it destroyed. I am not made for perilous quests. I wish I had never seen the Ring! Why did it come to me? Why was I chosen?'

"'Such questions cannot be answered,' said Gandalf. 'You may be sure that it was not for any merit that others do not possess: not for power or wisdom, at any rate. But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.'"
~ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Ring has a dark history. It had used different people in an attempt to get back to its master. Yet something happened the Ring had no control over, it had abandoned Gollum in hopes of being picked up by a goblin, but instead, at just the right moment the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins discovers it. There is a higher power at work than the force of evil.

In the long history of the Ring, only Bilbo gives it up by his own ch…

Honoring Her Choice

As I watched The Return of the King today a thought occurred to me: women make awful big sacrifices to be with the one they love. Arwen, the elf princess, gave up immortality in order to be with Aragorn, the man she loved. For Aragorn to honor the choice Arwen made he had to put aside the ranger and become the king he was born to be.

I am no expert in female psychology and so I am not going to delve into the choices women make in order to be with the man they love. It appears obvious to me that women give up many dreams that they have to be with a man who they believe loves them.

What I want to consider is how men can honor the choice women make to be with them. How can a single guy begin to honor the choice some lady will make in the future? How can a boyfriend honor the choice of the girl he has yet to commit to? How can a husband honor the choice of his wife to be with him until death?

Maybe being a single male without very much experience in romantic relationships I am not very…

Divided About Jesus

As I have read through the book of John one of the things that have hit me is how people were divided over who Jesus is. Even the Pharisees, the group of people we talk about opposing Jesus were divided by Jesus (John 9:16).

In John 10:19 we again see that people were divided over Jesus: When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him(NLT). People we divided because Jesus provided something of a paradox for them. On the one hand Jesus taught with great authority and insight. On the other hand Jesus did not obey the culture expectations of the day, he was not always a "good" Jew.

The centuries really have changed much. People are still divided over exactly who Jesus is. Some want to classify him as a good teacher who was able to give profound spiritual insight. Some may elevate him to the position of prophet, a man of God giving people a word from God. Others may not be so kind and label Jesus as a liar who led people astray, …

Why Do I Quote Erwin McManus?

It was 3:11 am on Sunday morning when one of the many citizens of Los Angeles, CA visited this blog and left an anonymous comment. Really it wasn't a comment, it was a link. No, it wasn't a spam comment, though I treated it as if it was one. The comment was in response to the Erwin McManus quote I shared on January 30. The link took me to a blog set up by former members (supposedly including former staff) of Mosaic, the church that Erwin McManus is the lead pastor of in Los Angeles. Now what this has to do with a guy living in Iowa I have no idea, but this anonymous commenter thought it was important for me to know about this church conflict.

This got me to pondering. The reality is that I don't know the character of Erwin McManus. I wouldn't know if he was a prideful jerk or not. I have no idea how he treats his wife and children or his staff. I don't know what type of person he is, but I quote him an awful lot. Why is that?

It was January 2003 and I was i…

Weary of Pleasure

"The Bible addresses pleasure far more than it does the issue of pain, because the truth is that ultimately meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain, but meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure." ~ Ravi Zacharias, Cries of the Heart, pg. 128

Persecution for Iranian Christians

Dr. Carl Moeller in a column earlier this week for The Christian Post writes about some of the persecution Christians in Iran are facing. Here are a few excerpts.

In November, 2005, Ghorban Dordi Tourani, a 53-year old Muslim convert to Christianity, was arrested by police. A few hours later, his stabbed and bleeding body was thrown in front of his home in Gonbad-e-Kavus, where he lived with his wife and four children.

A year before his death, Tourani wrote this prayer: “Lord Jesus, please let me glorify your holy name in every moment of my life on this earth. I am willing to give my life that belongs to you, for the sake of you and your church.”And...
Over the past two years, Iran’s harsh Islamic regime has targeted various Christian groups known to use literature and other means to spread their faith among the majority Shiite Muslim population. Under Iran’s strict apostasy laws, any Muslim who leaves Islam to embrace another religion faces the death penalty. Islam is the official reli…

That Amazing Thing Called Grace

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. ~ Titus 2:11-14, NLT

"He never has enough of us until He has all of us. Ninety-nine sheep weren't enough. Nor were nine coins. Nor one son. We've learned too easily to look at the lostness of our family and friends in statistical terms. Ninety-nine percent; ninety percent; even fifty percent -- those aren't bad numbers really. But God's grace isn't centered in statistics. He intends to give until there are no more in need. Don't you get the feeling …

The Life Robber of Guilt

"But the one who comes to the cross of Christ knows with certainty that the debt has been paid. This is the grace of God that faces the guilty one head-on and is big enough to forgive." ~ Ravi Zacharias; Cries of the Heart

Guilt is a great life robber. Guilt holds us back, keeps us locked in fear, and prevents us from building the deep relationships we need to live the life God has for us. We will never be the people God has created us to be when guilt is allowed to flourish in our lives.

I have this sense that God is calling me to do something, but I have yet to do it. The reason is guilt. In my mind what God is asking me to do I am unqualified to do because of my past. It is the very same sin that I allowed for so long to exist in my life that God is now asking me to challenge. "But God," I say, "wouldn't someone untainted by this sin serve you better?" I am ashamed over what I have done and the guilt weighs me down. To step out in faith seems to be h…

Are You a Nerd?

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You lack all things nerdy The closest you've ever come to being nerdy was the time you ate too many nerd candies. Chances are your favorite subjects include art, fashion and makeup. Math, Science and Algebra are words you've heard somewhere but could care less about. After all - they don't make you look any better do they?



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The Importance of God's Word

One of the weakness we have with the present day Church in the United States is the reality that we have promoted experience over teaching. We have become more interested in trying to make Jesus attractive to people rather than teaching the truth about Jesus. The result of this practice is a Church in the United States which is basically indistinguishable from the rest of the world.

An honest evaluation of the Church in the United States leads us to understand that we lack the knowledge and the spiritual maturity that we need to impact the world in which we live. We are ignorant about what the Bible says and how its teachings apply to our lives. Many of our leaders are better students of culture and current events than they are of the Bible. We are people of the sound byte and video clip rather than people of the text.

This lack of commitment to the Bible has hampered us from becoming the people God created us to be. The Bible is God’s revelation to His people, and if we truly…

Proper Worship

"You only have one life. And you only have one life of worship. You have one brief opportunity in time to declare your allegiance, to unleash your affection, to exalt something or someone above all else.

"Don't waste your worship on some little god, squandering your birthright on idols made only with human imagination. Guard your worship...and carefully evaluate all potential takers." Louie Giglio, The Air I Breathe, pg. 29

Finding Freedom in Jesus

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. ~ Galatians 5:1; NASB

Christ has come to set us free! Freedom is what we all desire and it is, at least for Americans, a right for all people. We want to see people live in freedom rather than in oppression. God too desires that we be free! This desire is seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This news that Jesus brings freedom is indeed good news.

We desire freedom and God desires that we be free. Here is where we run into a little bit of a problem: our definitions for freedom aren’t necessarily the same. Too often we see freedom as the ability for us to decide what we want to do. To be free from the expectations of authorities, parents, and other social restraints. To have the financial freedom to go where we want to go and do what we want to do. Freedom is defined when we have complete control of our lives.

God’s definition appears t…

The Characteristic of a True Disciple

21"Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as `Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' 23But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized'" (Matthew 7:21-23; NLT).

I find this teaching of Jesus quite interesting. The point Jesus is making here is that not everyone who refers to Him as Lord is a Christian. This is pretty easy to understand because we are witness to numerous people who make a claim to be Christians, but their lives reflect a very different lifestyle.

Some people understand the Truth, it makes sense to them, but somewhere in their lives there is a disconnect. The truth which makes sense in the mind never makes it to their hearts. While they agree wi…

My Brain Gender

Your Brain is 33% Female, 67% Male
You have a total boy brain
Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts
And while your emotions do sway you sometimes...
You never like to get feelings too involvedWhat Gender Is Your Brain?

Psalm 23: My Thoughts

Henry Blackaby in Created to be God's Friend has the reader read and meditate on Psalm 23. The following are the thoughts I had has I went through this exercise this morning. Perhaps you will find them helpful or encouraging.

Thoughts on Psalm 23 (NASB):

Verse 1: The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want. Jesus is my shepherd, for He is the good shepherd (John 10). I can trust Jesus to provide what I need. He loves me and will give me what I need for life. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:2-3, NASB).

Verse 2: He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. Jesus provides the security and rest I need so I can learn to trust His Father. Though it may not always seem to be green pastures and quiet waters, God will give us th…