Today I slept in just a bit...I think it was eight something when I woke up. As usually I grabbed my iPhone and after reading a few webcomics and blogs I was ready to get up. I think I need to stay up later some days just so I can sleep in more, ;-).
My folks are coming up from Tennessee today and bringing my nephew Josh. It should be a good Thanksgiving with many family members at my sister's house. I don't remember many family gatherings as a kid (except during the summers when we traveled) because my family is so spread out across the country, but I've enjoyed them since I've moved to Kentucky.
I will end up going in to the Creation Museum later today because I have to get a project done for tomorrow...if I remember I'll take pictures and explain later.
Last night my nephew Noah slept over, so I think it is about time to go make some breakfast...perhaps more brunch than breakfast, but it will do. I think that pancakes would be good. :-)
Fall back asleep that is. I woke up sometime in the last hour and can't get back asleep.
I've tried reading, but unsurprisingly that doesn't work. The only times that I fall asleep reading are when I'm extremely tired. There have been many times that I have stayed awake many hours past midnight to finish a good book. Reading is too enjoyable to cause me to sleep.
I am not sure what I'll do to get back asleep but it may just come down to quietly waiting for sleep while my mind unfortunately keeps racing. I wish I could just stop thinking of anything but sleep--yet that doesn't work either...
A couple days ago I saw a car while driving into work that just had me shaking my head in bewilderment. The license plate was from Indiana and it was a common custom design, the "In God We Trust," version:
Now of course it isn't only Christians that like this license plate, but I do know that many Christians do obtain it. With groups such as the ACLU blasting it I doubt too many atheists or anti-Christians pay for it. So it wasn't the plate that was surprising, but rather the plate AND the bumper sticker. The following (definitely anti-Christian or at least anti-True Christianity) bumper sticker was clearly visible: I understand what the bumper sticker is trying to say (and I think the one I saw may have been the version with even more symbols like yin yang and others besides the Muslim crescent, Star of David, and cross). I've mainly seen this image promoted by atheists and others who don't believe that religion really means anything. I just didn't think that group would intersect with the crowd that likes to see "In God We Trust."
"When Marriage and Mercy Collide" The Power of the Gospel in Marriage
Doing Surgery - part 2 The Neglected Practice of Loving Correction November 22, 2009; Brad Bigney
I. Invite and Pursue Correction from Your Spouse--Don't Wait for Them to Come to You
II. Always Start with a Personal 'Heart-Check' - but then have the Courage to Allow God to Use You to Do Surgery on Your Spouse
2 Samuel 11:1-15, 26-27; 12:1-9, 13 Nathan confronted David about a year after the incident...
David - a godly man way off track
#1 God pursues sinners #2 God uses sinners to pursue other sinners
When someone close to you is running from the truth, love demands that you speak. [extended quote from When Sinners Say 'I Do' by David Harvey, pp. 117-118] NT- calls us to be ambassadors of reconciliation
2 Cor 5:17-6:1 (HCSB) Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God." He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Working together with Him, we also appeal to you: "Don't receive God's grace in vain."
>>"Pre-op" questions you should to ask: (Adapted from "When Sinners Say 'I Do' " by David Harvey)
1. Have I prayed or am I just reacting and going in the flesh?
Col 4:2,6 (HCSB) "Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. "Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person."
Heartfelt cry--not just perfunctory, this reminds you of your limitations
2. Am I going because I see a pattern or am I just reacting to a single incident?
Guard against 'Sola Illustrata' - and make sure you're going because there's a sin pattern: "love covers a multitude of sins"
I Peter 4:7-11 (HCSB) "Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer. Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, his speech should be like the oracles of God; if anyone serves, his service should be from the strength God provides, so that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen."
3. Am I focused on one area or am I going in with a 'laundry list' of concerns?
Rifle or shot gun (or even machine gun)? Narrow the focus--if you're living with another sinner there is much you can see (and much they can see in you), otherwise too much--they stop listening. Past conviction into condemnation.
4. Can I be concise or am I just going to 'unload' and pontificate?
Can you say it in a sentence? Don't keep them under the knife longer than you have to.
Prov 12:18 (HCSB) "There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Prov 10:19 (HCSB) "When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise."
Don't say too much, don't talk too long. (smallest incision possible)
5. Is this a 'hit and run' or am I willing to see this problem through to the end?
Commit to post-operative care Patterns don't change quickly
6. Am I ready to ask questions or am I in a hurry to make accusations?
Don't jump to conclusions. Humility always assumes "I could be wrong."
You'll never have perfect insight into another person's heart...not even your spouse.
I Cor 13:4-7 (HCSB) Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
7. Am I focused on promoting God's Truth or my own preference?
The best reproof is one that's motivated by our desire to help our spouse become more like Christ...and to please God...not just make our lives more comfortable.
Yes, at long last a blog post not typed on my iPhone, ;-).
I am realizing that I do have a time when "useless mode" hits. In college my friend Jeremiah often said that after a certain time (I don't remember exactly when it was...nine or ten?) he couldn't play chess any more as he would make too many stupid moves or not remember proper strategy. I've always been one to stay up late and if necessary getting up early (skimping on sleep). But right now it is shortly after midnight, and I'm feeling that I am approaching the limit of my ability to work on work. Eventually I'll start falling asleep over the keyboard and won't be able to do anything more useful. Sadly that moment will probably come sooner rather than later, and I do have a project I need to finish either before I go to bed or before I leave for work in the morning... I guess I'd better stop blogging and get back to work.
In retrospect I think that perhaps I should have bought this book, for the same reason that I own 'The Communist Manifesto' and 'Mein Kampf.' These books are valuable to understand the minds of those who produced them.
I will admit that I haven't read 'Silent Spring,' but I've read plenty about it. Rachel Carson either lied or was grossly misled. DDT has done an amazing job of erradicating malaria from the developed world.
Instead of looking rationally at things it has become popular to sucumb to the scientifically weak (if not dishonest) ideas like anthropogenic global warming. Just as modern environmentalists won't give up their carbon footprints or jets I'm sure that those inspired by Rachel Carson wouldn't give up their freedom from malaria.
"When Marriage and Mercy Collide" The Power of the Gospel in Marriage
Choosing Forgiveness The Gospel Hope of Staying Together November 08, 2009; Brad Bigney
Three Steps to move towards forgiveness
Not forgetting what they did to you, but remembering what Christ did for you on the cross and extending that towards them regardless of feelings
I. You Start by Looking Past the Other Person and Back to God
Forgiveness has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God >He is the author of forgiveness
Parables were meant to be a punch in the stomach--NOT "storytime"
Matthew 18:21-36 (HCSB) the struggle with forgiveness isn't new Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" [forgiving three times was generous according to Jewish tradition at the time] "I tell you, not as many as seven," Jesus said to him, "but 70 times seven. For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents [one denarii was one day's wages, one talent was twenty years wages. Approx $9.6 BILLION today!] was brought before him. Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. "At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!' Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. [We are this slave] "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii[not pocket change, three months wages]. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, 'Pay what you owe!' "At this, his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' But he wasn't willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. [>>Forgiveness is hard enough for Christians who struggle with this--it is impossible without Christ<<] When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. "Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ' And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay everything that was owed. So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart."
This is a kick in the head...
If you don't understand the depth of YOUR OWN sin against God and how much He's forgiven you, then you'll never have what it takes to forgive other people around you.
Ephesians 4:30-32 (HCSB) "just as" "And don't grieve God's Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption. All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ."
MUST DO Colossians 3:13b (HCSB) "just as" "...if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive."
Matthew 18:33 (NKJV) "just as" "Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant [slave], just as I had pity on you? ' "
Give to others (horizontally) what you have received from God (vertically). "Marriage is meant to be a unique matrix for this display of God's grace." This Momentary Marriage, John Piper, p. 47
Forgiven people forgive others. Period.
II. You Stop Expecting Payment and You Choose to Absorb the Cost of Their Sin
I Peter 2:9-10, 21-25 (HCSB) "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people [aliens, enemies, strangers--rightfully objects of His wrath], but now you are God's people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
"For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; when reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounding you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls."
True forgiveness looks the other person's sin in the face--and then absorbs the cost of that sin by the power of God's abundant grace.
Giving what is undeserved and unexpected. It is HARD, but possible through Christ.
Forgiveness--This is who we are
FORGIVEN SINNERS FORGIVE SIN! •So why do so many Christians struggle with forgiving others? 1. Many claiming Christ aren't Christians--proven by lack of forgiveness [Dead people go around refusing to forgive] 2. You struggle because you're not feasting on the cross
•Are you feasting on the cross of Christ regularly in your life?
III. You Refuse to Let All the Sin in Your Relationship Define or Defile the Whole Thing
You work hard to see past it, and to see grace and mercy in the midst of it all
Extended quote from: This Momentary Marriage, John Piper, p. 59 Will you focus on sin or on forgiveness?
Closing song: Mighty to Save
Everyone needs compassion A love that's never failing Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness The kindness of a Savior The hope of nations
(Chorus:) Savior He can move the mountains My God is mighty to save He is mighty to save Forever Author of Salvation He rose & conquered the grave Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as You find me All my fears & failures Fill my life again
I give my life to follow Everything I believe in Now I surrender (I surrender)
(Chorus:) (2x) Savior He can move the mountains My God is mighty to save He is mighty to save Forever Author of Salvation He rose & conquered the grave Jesus conquered the grave
(Bridge:) (2x) Shine Your light & Let the whole world see We're singing For the glory Of the risen King Jesus
(Chorus) You're the Savior You can move the mountains Lord You are mighty to save You are mighty to save Forever Author of Salvation You rose & conquered the grave Yes You conquered the grave
I found this sign at the Museum Center recently. I wonder how many time capsules get forgotten over the years...
I certainly hope that Union Terminal is still around in 2095 (if we are) so that this may be uncovered. But are others forgotten when buildings are torn down or foundations covered up? How many are lost?
I also wonder if we learn more from these "official" time capsules or from excavations of trash or inadvertently preserved items...
I was an idiot this morning. Backing out of my garage I was distracted and didn't notice I was too close to the edge. I hit my drivers side mirror. It is now held on with Gorilla glue and duct tape. I feel more like a sterotypical Kentuckian... ;-)
Tonight I spent several hours helping paint handrails at the museum after work. It was fun to hang out with a few co-workers working on stuff I don't normally do at work. I did end up with some paint on me. I didn't get all of it by my own efforts, there was some nefarious activity by others... ;-)
I'm laying in bed right now trying to decide when I'll get up. I need to get to work by 7:30, but I don't want to get up too soon. I haven't turned the heat on at all and I'm very comfortable with several blankets on my bed. Just a few more minutes and then I'll get up. ;-)
I try not to eat out too much, but tonight I made an exception. After staying a bit late at work to get some work done I stopped by Panera on my way home. I'm still there now, enjoying listening to an audiobook (Tuck by Stephen Lawhead). The meal itself was a turkey sandwich and broccoli cheddar soup. It was delicious. Sadly though I do have to head hone soon...
I'm not sure of the source, but I really like this image. RINOs are quite frustrating. I wish they would just go join the Democrats. Republicans don't need to be DemLite. Reagan proved that conservatives can win. But enough complaining. Here is the image:
I've started taking notes on my iPhone during church. I thought I might share some of them here. Today was the third in a series on marriage.
"When Marriage and Mercy Collide" The Power of the Gospel in Marriage
Adding Mercy The Exceptional Sweetener that Makes All the Difference November 01, 2009; Brad Bigney
Mercy, sweetener, needed for whole marriage, not just start
I. Mercy Makes All the Difference in Your Marriage
Mercy = kind, forgiving treatment to relieve distress of others and cancel their debts (Paul Tripp)
Direct correlation between mercy dispensed and joy received
Love not just a feeling (c.f. loving enemies below)
Luke 6:27-38 (HCSB) "But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don't hold back your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks from you, and from one who takes away your things, don't ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. If you love those who love you, •what credit is that to you?• Even sinners love those who love them. If you do what is good to those who are good to you, •what credit is that to you?• Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, •what credit is that to you?• Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. [c.f. Ephesians 3 (not comprehend the love of God)] Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over-will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."
James 2:13 In the original Greek "shown" is DO (HCSB) "For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn't shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment." (ESV) "For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."
God DID mercy, sending His Son to the cross
Hebrews 4:15-16 (HCSB) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
The mercy from Christ should show up in the lives of those around you
II. Your Mercy Dries Up without a Fresh Appreciation & Awareness of God's Mercy to You
Humility and Gratitude!
Have an eye for mercy in Scripture--it should be a speedbump that slows you down >Don't ever "get over" mercy
Lamentations 3:19-23, 31-32 (HCSB) Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood *and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed. Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:
ח Khet Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
כ Kaf For the Lord will not reject us forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love.
*Wordweb: Any of several low composite herbs of the genera Artemisia or Seriphidium
Matthew 18:31-34 (HCSB) "When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. "Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ' And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay everything that was owed."
[See John MacArthur's message on the translation of slave in the NT--only the HCSB, among major translations, gets it right, like in this passage. They are not "servants."]
God takes this seriously, mercy isn't optional. He is a God of mercy
His mercy TO us makes a claim ON us >Objects of mercy are to become channels of mercy
III. Your [habit of doing] Mercy Will Empower You to Forbear
Colossians 3:12-13 (HCSB) Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion [It is a choice. Not us, but Christ in us.], kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.
>A. Showing Mercy Means You're Willing to Suffer Because of Their Sin
You don't walk away or give up. Your life WILL be troubled by their sin
>B. Showing Mercy Means You're Willing to Wait
Doing Mercy = living with a process mentality, not an event
I Corinthians 13:4 "Live is patient, love is kind..."
Are you extending what is undeserved and unexpected?
We closed with this song. Great lyrics!
"How Deep the Father's Love for Us" by Stuart Townend
How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away As wounds which mar the chosen One, Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders Ashamed I hear my mocing voice, Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished His dying breath has brought me life I knoww that it is finished
I will not boast in anything No gifts, no power, no wisdom But I will boast in Jesus Christ His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer But this I know with all my heart His wounds have paid my ransom