Showing posts from August, 2008

Foolishness, Politics, and Christianity

Read a very insightful and very short post tonight discussing what a Christian's posture should look like during election season. Here's a snippet:
God doesn't send his church into the political fray with a strut and an open mouth but with gentleness and courtesy—with a readiness to do good, to avoid quarrels, and to speak evil of no one. Why gentleness and courtesy? Why such an unexpected posture? Paul follows with his reason:Click here to read the rest of the article.

Season ending softball stats

I had a great time playing softball this summer and I am already looking forward to next year.

Record: 4-9
19-33 (.575), 13-H, 1-2B, 5-3B, 4 BB, 17 RBI, 1 SAC
Fielding: 7E
Selected to Mid-season All-Star team

Reading, Quoting, and Brains

Not sure if I've posted these quotes before or not,
"The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own."-Charles Spurgeon, Sermon: Paul, His Cloak And His Books_____________________________________________________________
Quoted in his biography, Martyn Llyod Jones provides a great caution against the danger of living: "a kind of second hand spiritual life on books...We may do this for years without realizing that we are living on books instead of living on Christ." HT: Justin Buzzard

Our Cravings Underlie Our Conflicts

Steve McCoy linked a great post about questions that serious Christian friends should be asking one another. One question caught my attention regarding conflict. I had never thought about conflict the way the blogger put it in the following quote,
When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment?

Scripture tells that conflict is the result of cravings. James 4:1-2 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” Cravings underlie conflict. Hopefully these questions get you going in the right direction. Let there be awkward questions!"Cravings underlie conflict." What a great line. When I hold up this idea against my life I can see its great truthfulness. Most of the conflict in my life comes from my craving to be right or to be in control. When I lay down those cra…

Family Day in Waseca

Had a great day filling in the pulpit for my friend Chrisat his church in Waseca, MN. I was able to bring the whole family with me which was pretty cool. One cute thing that happened was during the children's sermon Andrew kept answering all my questions very loudly, and then he paused on the stage and waited for me to give him a kiss before he went back to class. The church loved it.

After the service we all went to a park in town. Then we hit up a place called The Pizza Ranch for lunch. Once our bellies were stuffed we went to the beach in town and walked around in the water. On the edge of the lake we found a little baby turtle that kept getting pushed onto shore by the waves. It was a fun day with the family!

Let the Dead Bury the Dead

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesussaid to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” - Luke 9:57-60This passage has always confused me. The problem, I think, is that I took the request of the man to bury his father as a literal, present reference. Tonight I heard it explained that this is unlikely, but rather, that the man is requesting to continue on in his present life, only willing to commit to Jesus at 'some point' in the future.

How often am I like this man? I love Jesus and want to follow him but I don't always want to follow right now. Knowing the cost of following Jesus, I ask for some extended personal time to take care of the thin…

Taking Jacob to the Dentist

Today I took Jacob to the dentist to get some fillings done. He was such a brave boy! The dentist and nurse said he did much better than most four years old they see. I think he probably has more guts than me when it comes to the dentist. However, they didn't have DVD players above me head while I laid there getting worked on. The worst part of the 30 minute experience was trying to keep Andrew from pushing buttons and touching all the teeth tools.

You can see pictures of Jacob's first visit to the dentist here.

Book Review: Wild Goose Chase

Today Mark Batterson's newest book Wild Goose Chase hits the shelves of bookstores. I was lucky to get an advance copy to review here on the my blog.

Wild Goose Chase is a fun read that will inspire you to think more about what it means to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. Written in much of the same style as Mark's first book, Wild Goose Chase is an easy to read book filled with personal stories, Biblical character case studies, provoking challenges and memorable one-liners.

The byline of the book says, "Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God." Batterson explains that Christians can do this by getting free of 6 cages that hold them captive. These cages are:

1. Responsibility
2. Routine
3. Assumptions
4. Guilt
5. Failure
6. Fear

Some of my favorite quotes in the book are:

- When we lack the guts to step out in faith, we rob God of the glory that is rightfully his.
- We start dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don't really start living …

God, Not Me, Is Ultimately Responsible for My Kids

My wife put up a heartfelt post a couple days ago detailing some of her anxieties about becoming a teacher and no longer being a stay at home mother. It has been a tough decision to make. I always thought the only way for my kids would be a stay-at-home parent until they went to school. But for reasons mainly financial Stephanie has had to work. Being a teacher seems to be the most stable work for her because of the set weekly hours and the summers off. Plus, as a long term job, it puts her on similar schedules to the kids once they are in school.

One of Stephanie's friends put up an encouraging comment on Steph's blog. She reminded Steph that she will still be a mom to the kids, and that by being a teacher, Stephanie has the ability to impact a whole bunch of kids' lives. How true! I wonder sometimes if we as parents get too caught up in our own kids and forget that as followers of Jesus we have the duty to impact as many lives as possible. Sure, we need to care f…

Jesus is Our Hosea

So, Gomer, do you hear your Hosea calling? He has come looking for you. He longs for you to answer him and to return home. All he asks is that you put your whoring ways behind you. He has clean, fresh, bright white clothes waiting for you. You are not too dirty. You are not too far gone. He desires you just the way you are.

Do you hear him? Will you return to Jesus your Groom?- from my sermon on The Symbolic Purpose of Marriage

Right Now I'm...

It is 12:27 AM. I am putting the final touches on tomorrows sermon, eating Market Pantry pizza and drinking Super Chill Diet Classic Coke. The pop is not good. The sermon and pizza are!

Godly Contentment

While on a walk with my little Drew man yesterday I listened to a great podcast from the Village Church. There was a guest speaker who gave a talk on godly contentment. Solid stuff!

It should come as no surprise to those of you who no me that I struggle with contentment in most areas of my life. I am always thinking about moving forward, moving up, moving past, and moving on. The great challenge I face is being happy and satisfied where I am in the moment.

As an example, my buddy Jon gently pointed this out to me while we were at the zoo on Thursday. Without even thinking about it I was pushing the group from exhibit to exhibit so quickly that I was short-circuiting the adventure and joy of "taking it all in." Of course you have the other extreme as well, where people go so slow that they miss out on things, but that's an entirely different post. JT, can your write that one?

The one point that hit me in the godly contentment talk was this - if you are not content wit…

Daddy and the Kids

I had a great day with the kids yesterday. After meeting up with my friend Jon at the Minnesota Zoo we enjoyed walking around looking at bears, camels, dolphins and many other animals. Jon and I also shared some good conversation, as we always do.

After the zoo the kids and I boarded the Minneapolis Light Rail train and rode up towards the city. We got off at Lake Street and shared a Little Ceaser's "Hot 'n Ready" pizza before checking out the remodeling of a Target nearby.

The only thing missing from the day was Mom who was busy training for her new elementary school teaching position. If you haven't heard about it, click here.

Marks of a Christian Marriage

In a marriage lived according to these truths, the love between husband and wife will show itself in listening to each other's viewpoints, valuing each other's gifts, wisdom, and desires, honoring one another in public and private, and always seeking to bring benefit, not harm, to one another.

- Campus Crusade for Christ

Changes are Coming

The older I get the more I wonder if God sometimes just likes to make men sweat. Sunday I posted my questions on His decision to bring some possible changes into my family's life and then His seeming non-action on it. Well, as usual, His timetable is not ours. I will let Stephanie break the news on her blog, but we heard back tonight and got some information that will definitely change our lives in the next few months. We're excited and thankful to the Lord, and trusting Him with all the details that we will need to figure out in the next couple weeks.

Wild Goose Chase

I got a copy of Mark Batterson's upcoming book "Wild Goose Chase" in the mail on Saturday and I've really been enjoying reading it. I'll be posting a full review in about a week, but let me wet your appetite by saying that the book is fun to read, inspiring in content and in much the same voice as Batterson's last book "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day."

Here is the book summary:
Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect.

“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. An…

My Favorite Olympic Athlete

My favorite Olympic athlete is Australian swimmer Brenton Rickard.

Any guesses why?

Interview Update

We expected to hear something today about Stephanie's interview last Friday, but as of yet we haven't received any calls or emails. It can be frustrating sometimes because you wonder why God would bring something into your life in such an out of the blue manner and then have nothing become of it.

However we know that the last chapter hasn't been written. As followers of Jesus we have confidence that God works all things together for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28), meaning we have faith that despite it not being clear to us why Stephanie went through the interview, we know that Jesus has a plan and a goal for us through the situation.

Catch or Release

Been loving the Eminem song "Lose Yourself" during my workouts. In the songs intro Eminem says,
Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip? (rest of the lyrics)
Great words for working out, or just for living each day out.

I'm sure you've had a couple moments in life when you let something big slip away. Maybe because you were scared of failure or rejection. Maybe because you doubted your abilities and talents. Maybe because you didn't think the timing was right. I've had a couple of moments I wish I could go back to and try again, confident that if I had another shot I would capture it instead of letting it slip away.

But you can't go back. You can only go forward and be ready for the next 'shot' that Jesus brings your way. It's coming. Promise. Are you ready to seize it?

Can You Smell What's Cooking

The Lord might be cooking something up that would mean major changes for our family this fall. Stephanie interviewed today for a teaching position at an elementary school near our home in Northfield. The chance to interview came out of the blue and we are just following along praying and waiting to see what Jesus might be doing.

Simple. Tough.

Simple questions. Tough Answers.

What do you hate most about yourself?
What are you doing about it?

The Olympic Games Begin

Tonight I watched some of the Olympic festivities before putting the kids to bed. There were some pretty neat things. Mostly what I saw was the parade of athletes. I like to hear the different facts and story lines of the participating countries and athletes. Some of the anecdotes are truly amazing, while others are very sad. For example, did you know there are multiple countries in the games with no female athletes because women don't have the national right to participate?

If nothing else I guess the games are good because they show us that the world is much bigger than we think and there are many things going on on it that would shock and appall us if we allowed our minds to dwell on them. Then, in most cases, all we can do is pray for the atrocities of the world, and that in His mercy God would somehow intervene.

Run Forrest Run

I felt a little like Forrest Gump today. I started running this morning and I just kept on going for almost 6.5 miles. I am training for a 15 K (9.3 mi) race in September, so today was a good tune-up. I ran it in 1:01 which is right about at my goal race pace of 9:30/mile.

What Would You Do?

If you could do anything you wanted to do - what would you do? I'm not asking to hear about what you would buy or where you would travel.

I want to hear about what you dream about? What would you want to accomplish that would make your life count, that would leave your stamp on the world? What do you dream?

Do you even have one of lasting value...

8 Topics to Connect with Evangelism

Great post at the Sub-Text blog on evangelism in the suburbs.
8 topics that can naturally connect to the Christian faith.1. Corruption, evil and sin.
2. Community.
3. Politics.
4. Environment.
5. War.
6. Family.
7. Church.
8. Art/pop-culture
Read the entire post here.

Softball Update

I forgot to update the softball stats last week. We have won our last two games, 28-11 and 19-10. Winning is definitely more fun than losing! I am having a blast. My goal in playing softball was to have fun and build some relationships with guys in my church. Its going well. I have met some cool guys and I enjoy going every week and seeing the team.

My hitting continues to improve. Last week I was 3-5 with 2 hits and a triple. Tonight I was 3-5 with a single and two triples, batting lead off. Check out the sidebar for complete season stats.

In the Dark

“God has wisely kept us in the dark concerning future events and reserved for himself the knowledge of them, that he may train us up in a dependence upon himself and a continued readiness for every event”-Matthew Henry
(HT: Generation Axis)