Saturday, April 24, 2010
I remember growing up in a pastor's home. Happy times much like any other - filled with bumps and bruises but also love and sacrifice. I received Christ on November 21, 1991 and was baptized (again!! 3rd times a charm!! ;) shortly thereafter. My mom and dad would tell you that my coming to faith was for real. Jesus dramatically changed me! *I love you mom and dad*
I've not forgotten about this and have prayed over and over about when God would have me to pastor a church. I'll admit that I have been pushing it off because I've seen all that pastor's go through. It is no small task and not for the faint of heart. Most pastor's are under massive amounts of stress and on the "full stretch" at all times.
Monday, April 5, 2010
"What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be human? I cannot help but suspect that at one time in the history of thinking that people believed that it meant that we were spiritual and that we could make choices and were capable of aspiring to higher ideals... like maybe loyalty or maybe faith... or maybe even love. But now we are told by people who think they know, that we vary from amoeba only in the complexity of our makeup and not in what we essentially are. They would have us think as Dysart said that we are forever bound up in certain genetic reigns - that we are merely products of the way things are and not free - not free to be the people who make them that way. They would have us see ourselves as products so that we could believe that we were something to be made - something to be used and then something to be disposed of. Used in their wars - used for their gains and then set aside when we get in their way. Well, who are they? They are the few who sit at the top of the heap - dung heap though it is - and who say it is better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven. Well, I do not know that we can have a Heaven here on earth, but I am sure we need not have a Hell either. What does it mean to be human? I cannot help but believe that it means we are spiritual - that we are responsible and that we are free - that we are responsible to be free."
Sunday, March 7, 2010
ESV Online Study Bible Crossway: "Joshua 15:63 But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day."
Up uintil this point Israel had been able to drive out everyone that God had commanded in order to give them the land that God had promised Abraham. It is possible that what Israel "could not do" here in verse 63 (drive out the Jebusites from the land) was the first sign of spiritual slippage--failing to follow the Lord "wholly".
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Up until now I can say that I have had little to no interest in seismic shifting and tectonic plates but all this recent activity has got me, and many more, thinking about the fact that we are at the mercy of either the environment (which is cold, arbitrary, unfeeling, and erratic), or under a sovereign God (who is just, holy, ignored, misunderstood, and above all loving).
NASA scientists have said that the 8.8 earthquake in Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet. "Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said that the effects of the Chile earthquake moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or milliseconds).
Plate tectonics (from the Latin tectonicus - means "building") and is derived from a scientific theory which describes the large shifts in the Earth's Lithospere which is a theory building on the concept of continental drift (of which I know very little). The lithosphere is broken up into what are called tectonic plates and in the case of Earth, there are currently seven to eight major and many minor plates. The plate which shifted causing the latest earthquake in Chili is known as the Vazca Plate and is a part of the volcanic "Pacific Ring of Fire" being responsible for 80% to 90% of the Earth's volcanic activity.
We see in the book of Joshua how this prophet of God asked that the Sun stand still... and it did. Some offer alternate explanations *italics taken from ESV Study Bible* such as (1) a solar eclipse (problematic, however, as the sun and moon are described in opposition, not conjunction); (2) poetic imagery (a day that seemed prolonged by virtue of how much was accomplished); (3) a day in which the sun's heat was diminished (perhaps by cloud cover), allowing Israelite troops to continue fighting; and (4) a refraction of light (causing the light to linger until the battle was completed). An additional possibility proposed more recently suggests that (5) Joshua is exploiting the Canaanites' superstitious fear of a bad omen, related to the position of the sun and the moon “standing” on the opposing horizons (the sun “at Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Aijalon,” Josh. 10:12). None of these proposals are without difficulties, however, and each fails to do justice to the claim that there has been no day like it before or since (v. 14). Given the miracle-working God of the Bible, the traditional understanding is certainly possible (perhaps cf. 2 Kings 20:9–11, paralleled in Isa. 38:8, where the sun's shadow moves backwards 10 steps). Although there is not enough information in the narrative to determine the precise nature of this exceptional day, the author's emphasis in any case is on the extraordinary answer that God gave to Joshua's prayer, and on the fact that the Lord heeded the voice of a man (Josh. 10:14). Apart from the present context, the Book of Jashar is mentioned only in 2 Sam. 1:18.
With that said there are many cases of God commanding creation to do His will. Some instances were examples of Him moving on behalf of his people and some were only to show forth His power and ultimate authority over all things. I have no clue what all these recent environmental events mean for the earth or for us as humans but being a Christian I believe that God knows whats up with his creation and how to fix it if he pleases. In these troubled days, may it be said of us who follow after God that we looked to Jesus and put our entire self and cares upon Him.
On another note.. Lately I've had my nose in a book by J. Oswald Sanders entitled Spiritual Leadership. It has come to me by a qualified recommendation from more than one source. You would do yourself a favor by picking this book up if you are in Christian ministry. Here's a quote from the book pertaining to this blog post.
"DISCIPLINE - Without this essential quality, all other gifts remain as dwarfs: they cannot grow. So discipline appears first on our list. Before we can conquer the world we must first conquer the self. A leader is a person who has learned to obey a discipline from without, and has then taken on a more rigorous discipline from within. Those who rebel against authority and scorn self-discipline - who shrink from the rigors and turn from the sacrifices - do not qualify to lead. Many who drop out of ministry are sufficiently gifted, but have large ares of life floating free from the Holy Spirit's control. Lazy and disorganized people never rise to true leadership."
Those "large ares of life floating free from the Holy Spirit's control" are like tectonic plates in our lives. Yes the earth moves and stops at the sound of it's Creators voice, but unlike it we were created in God's own image complete with a will to follow Him.. or after our own desires. I have been in Christian leadership for a few years and have felt plates in my own life, and in the lives of others, shift with dramatic force. If I have learned anything from this it is to surrender to God these "areas of life floating free" even though the size of some of my short-comings may seem to be an irreconcilable force. As Spurgeon would say, "Look to Jesus and live!"
Friday, January 22, 2010
I know I planned on having more Freebie Friday's than what I've had so far but hopefully this will be a little more consistent. Nevertheless if you've never been to theResurgence.com than it is definitely worth your time going there and checking it out. It is a multi-hosted blog put together by Mars Hill Church in Seattle - Pastor Mark Driscoll
Via theResurgence.com#What is the Resurgence?
The Resurgence is a movement that resources multiple generations to live for Jesus so that they can effectively reach their cities with the Gospel by staying culturally accessible and Biblically faithful.
One thing I love about them is that everything is free. For freebie Friday I thought I would send along a link of some awesome scripture wallpapers they have in the media section. If you're trying to memorize scripture this year than having these on your desktop is a great tool for that. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Cameron and I were going through some of his school work today and were reading about how to research for a project. The book was colorful and interesting but it appeared to be old because it had pictures of a boy looking up info from a... wait for it... a real encyclopedia. I figured the curriculum was a little dated so I checked - it was published in 2009.
We then talked about how you can basically find everything on Wiki, Google, and YouTube but I felt bad for the library at the same time. "What will happen to our libraries", I thought? We have a great library here in Cranberry but I can't tell you the last time I actually went there to study something.
The writers of the curriculum had to have the same thought in mind in pitying our libraries. This is not an anti-plug for books with spines.. The Lord and my wife both know that I love my books but there has to be a better idea on the horizon for our libraries. Here's a quote from Seth Godin's blog I found interesting..
"What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age? They can't survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don't want to own (or for reference books we can't afford to own.) More librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That is not a long term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars. Here's my proposal: train people to take intellectual initiative. Once again, the net turns things upside down. The information is free now. No need to pool tax money to buy reference books. What we need to spend the money on are leaders, sherpas and teachers who will push everyone from kids to seniors to get very aggressive in finding and using information and in connecting with and leading others."
I agree with Seth. What are some thoughts you have on the future of the library?