Showing posts from September, 2011

Some Simple Christian Living Guidelines

Psalm 15.
1Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
   who does what is righteous,
   who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
   who does no wrong to a neighbor,
   and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
   but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
   and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
   who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.  Whoever does these things
   will never be shaken.

Andrew Brought Himself for "A" Day

This week in preschool Andrew was supposed to bring in something from home that began with the corresponding letter of the day.  Since we left Andrew's backpack in the car we were unaware of this.

On the first day, when the teacher asked the students to get their letter "A" items Andrew said he didn't have anything.  His teacher was very quick and wise, and she responded, "Yes you do.  What's your name start with?"  And Andrew said, "Andrew starts with A.  Oh yeah, I brought Andrew today!"

So, for letter "A" day Andrew brought himself!

What a great job by that teacher to turn a potentially negative, embarrassing situation into a positive one where my child felt good about himself.  So glad to know that is the environment my son spends his day in.  Way to go, and thanks to Ms. Hall!

I've Had It With Loneliness

My brother Jeff sent me these notes.  They were from a sermon series he heard at Eagle Brook Church.  There is some great nuggets in here if you or a friend are dealing with feelings of loneliness.  I especially like Q #3 because most people never go to that level of introspection in their lives but it is an important discipline to have from time to time.  No one should ever believe they have arrived at the best version of themselves that they have to offer the world.  Because of the damage of sin we all have things to work on until that day when Jesus makes us wholly complete.

Watch the sermon: I've Had It With Loneliness

3 Types of Loneliness:
-situational (eating alone in the lunchroom)
-seasonal (i.e kid leaves for college)
- chronic

4 Questions to Overcome Loneliness:
1. Are you trusting God?  Really?  Romans 15:13 "AS you TRUST in Him"
- continually know and trust God working in your life and honestly ask yourself how much you are truly trusting in God
Josh 1:5

2. Have you i…

My Wife is Racing in a Duathlon - She's Amazing!

Tomorrow morning my wife is participating the MN Iron Girl Duathlon in Bloomington, MN.  The race consists of 2 mi run, 22 mi bike, 2 mi run.  I am so happy for Stephanie that she is taking on this challenge.  Last summer Stephanie did a mini-triathlon in Northfield, but she didn't enjoy the swimming too much so this year's duathlon is perfect.

What impresses me the most is Stephanie's perseverance and commitment to training despite that the fact that she hates running and has felt sick.  As part of her training she ran in the Jesse James Days 5K earlier this month.  I can't wait to pack up the kids and head up to Bloomington tomorrow to cheer her on.  It's going to be awesome!

Run Stephanie Run!

Life of the Beloved: A Reflection on Friendship and Being Known

Stephanie and I have a meeting tonight with some friends who have invested much in our lives.  This group of men and women cared for us as we recovered from my wrong choices years ago, and we have met with them periodically ever since for prayer, guidance, accountability, encouragement, and on-going care.  They have given up time from their own families and colleagues, skipped potential vacations and trips, given financially, put their recommendation and word on the line, and they have done it all out of their love for us, and their love for Jesus Christ.  The more I reflect the more grateful I am for them and the many Christians brothers and sisters like them.

I thought of my friends specifically today as I finished reading Henri Nouwen's book The Life of the Beloved.  Nouwen was a Catholic priest whose books have always resonated with me.  He writes about Christ meditatively based on his own emotions, struggles, insights, and reflections.  I am touched by the vulnerability that …

Pat Robertson is Wrong

For the record, I think Pat Robertson spoke very foolishly recently with his remarks about Alzheimer's and Divorce.  The following is a great statement from Joni Eareckson Tada regarding the issue.
“Any marriage has its challenges, but add a serious disability and they can, at times, seem overwhelming. This is why God instituted marriage as a lifelong commitment – Heaven knows it requires vows, solemn and serious, to weather a couple through the demands of disability."“I was dismayed when this week Pat Robertson said to a nationwide audience that Alzheimer's disease is a kind of death that makes divorce justifiable. When a Christian leader views marriage on a sliding scale, what does this say to the millions of couples who must deal daily with catastrophic injuries and illnesses?" “At the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, we encounter thousands of couples who, despite living with serious disabling conditions, showcase the grace of God in their weakness…

Blow It Up...Put It Back Together

Blow it up, put it back together.

That's a phrase my wife Stephanie and I use to correspond with our celebration handshake.  I know it annoys my neighbor which one reason we do it so much. However there is another, much more important reason - since we've started using this phrase we've come to realize it is actually a phrase that has a lot of meaning for us and the story of our life together.

We have gone through some pretty hard things during our 9 year run.  Always the Lord has been faithful to meet our needs and sustain us through the darkest times.  He is good.

I am usually the primary player in the 'blow it up' phase.  I never have bad intentions, it is just that I have struggled for a long time acting like the rules that govern everyone else don't apply to me.  I look for a way around the rule, or try to slide by on some technicality, foolishly thinking it will all work out in my favor.

I believe it is most often God's grace and not his wrath when ha…

9 Ways to Glorify God at Work

Our church talks a lot about being ministers in the marketplace.  Every believer should strive to be the pastor of their place of business.  This post by John Piper is helpful on thinking about Glorifying God in the Workplace.

1. Dependance
2. Integrity
3. Skill
4. Corporate Shaping
5. Impact
6. Communication
7. Love
8. Money
9. Thanks

Islam & Christianity, 9/11 Reflection

At church last Sunday we talked about some of the differences between Christians and Muslims.  It was a good sermon and I was reminded of the freedom I have as a follower of Jesus.  Unlike Islam, Christianity is not based on a set of divines directives that must be followed 'or else,' rather, Christianity is based on the love and forgiveness of God demonstrated by the giving of his Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins.

I'm grateful that my salvation is not predicated on perfect behavior because I would fall far short of the holiness standards of God.  My freedom as a Christian is not to do anything I please and expect forgiveness, but rather to live each day with an honest effort to please Christ, and to know assuredly that my failures will be forgiven.  Thanks be to God for rescuing me because of his great love for me when I could not rescue myself.
In the coming days there will likely be much talk about Islam and Muslims.  The acts of September 11, 2001 brought the I…

Izzy's ABC Prayer of Salvation

On Sunday night the daily devotional book I was reading to the kids told a story about a father who pulled his car over to the side of the road in a response to a warning light that was illuminated in the dashboard.  His kids wanted to ignore the warning and get to grandma's house, but he reminded them of the importance to responding to warnings right away.

The story illustrated the concept of Hebrews 2:3 which says, "how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"  The point was: if God is tugging at your heart don't ignore it because you don't know what will happen to you if you delay response to the warning light of the Holy Spirit.

After reading the story I asked the kids if any of them felt like God was telling them something.  Izzy said yes and so we all read through the little guide on the back page of the booklet that outlines the ABCs of response to God.
A= Admit you are a sinner
B= Believe Jesus died for your sins and was raised again
C= Choos…

This Fall Brings Many Transitions for Our Family

Fall is absolutely my favorite season of the year.  Some of things I enjoy during fall are the trees changing color, NFL and NCAA football beginning, lawn mowing coming to a halt, and perfect temperatures for being outside at orchards, bonfires, and playgrounds.

This fall is a unique one for our family.  This fall is marked by major transitions.  First, after two months of training I begin my new role as Operations Assistant Manager with Walmart.  I have enjoyed being in multiple stores and meeting lots of great people, but I am ready to take on the challenge of being in position and being a leader in my own store.

Second, Stephanie begins her new position as a 6th grade teacher at St. Dominic's School in Northfield.  Stephanie was a long term substitute at St. Dominic's last year and was offered a full-time position this year.  She has spent a ton of time preparing her classroom and lesson plans for tomorrow when the students come back to school.

Speaking of students retur…

Deep Roots

Here's a few quotes that have had me thinking recently...

Matt Chandler, in regards to intentionally spending time dealing with our 'junk' while we are still young,
"Deep roots almost never come up with the first pull." Dr. James Dobson radio show guest _______,
"Obedience brings the breakthroughs."
"Our character carves out our future."