Thursday, October 31, 2013

day no. 12,792: your axe

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,
he must use more strength,
but wisdom helps one to succeed

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!


It is the most natural instinct in the world to swing harder when the tree is resisting the edge of your axe.

It is natural and stupid.

Wisdom helps one to succeed.

Wisdom looks common logic in the face and punches it in the throat!

Don't be a dope.
Sharpen your axe.

Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is set the axe down to sharpen it.

Trees are not impressed by blunt force.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

day no. 12,791: thrice is nice twice, right? (see day no. 12,782 too)

2 Corinthians 13:14

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Paul accesses the Godhead in closing out this letter to the Corinthians.
Note the three things are grace, love and fellowship (communion).

There is one grace.
It comes from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There is one love.
It is anchored and rooted in the Person and nature and work of God.
There is one communion.
It is in receiving the Holy Spirit to be with you and in you as Counselor.

When you get God, you get all of Him: grace, love and peace.
Grace from Him, Loved by Him and peace with Him.

Praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit: three in one.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

day no, 12,790: driftwood floats like boats, but He steers us home‏

Hebrews 2:1
We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away.
We are like driftwood that floats along the wide path of destruction without any effort at all. 
Left to our own, we float away with the current so slowly that we barely recognize how far away our beacon of hope is until it’s too late and we’re entirely lost at sea, tossed about by waves, shipwrecked and sinking to our demise into the deepest, blackest waters.
Hebrews 2:10 KJV
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
My friend, Nicole, reads the KJV and pointed out this verse to me the other day as a result of our Bible read through. She rightly concluded, “He steers us home.”
I was struck by the parallel language of 2:1 and 2:9 as it relates to seafaring adventures and shipwrecks.
Jesus is the Captain of our salvation.
He anchors us in assurance and guides us home through wind, waves, storms, etc…
He is a faithful Captain and as a passenger on His ship, we are safe.
Not because circumstances aren’t actually dangerous, but because we’re with Him.
Safety is a Person, not a place.
Home is being under God, not under a roof.

Monday, October 28, 2013

day no. 12,789: Jesus: the measure of a man‏

Hebrews 1:8

But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

My friend Tim is reading his Bible with me. The other day he sent me an email pointing out the following:

Jesus Christ as the righteous King has no standard to be compared against. He should be the scale against which every man is measured.

Spot on Tim!

I love that wording, “He should be the scale against which every man is measured.”

He is.

He is the perfect Ruler and the ruler by which we are measured perfectly.

His assessment of us finds us insufficient.
His measurement is perfectly gathered.

He leaves no detail uncontrolled or unaccounted.
By the standard of Jesus, we all fall short.

But God provided by grace the opportunity in faith to receive Jesus’ accomplishments as our very own.

If we are hidden in Christ, we are perfect and measured holy and blameless.

Jesus is the Ruler and the ruler of all mankind.

How do you measure up?

Friday, October 25, 2013

day no. 12,786: daily bread‏

Psalm 68:19-20
19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.

20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
Matthew 6:11
Give us this day our daily bread.
We are daily upheld by God in Christ by grace through faith.
He is our daily bread.
May your heart today be nourished by Christ in reflecting upon His generous love and provision for us, His children.
In no other place is there safety from death.
Mere bread will not protect men from their inevitable demise.
Exercise and good nutrition will find everyone one day dying.
1 Timothy 4:7-8
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Bodily training may be of some value in this life, but it is for this life only.

Godliness is of value BOTH today and FOREVER.

I love you my family.

God daily bears us up by His Spirit anchoring our hearts in the completed work of Jesus Christ

Thursday, October 24, 2013

day no. 12,785 continued... help for the heart and mouth‏

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to hHm.
Matthew 12:34b
...For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
In trusting in God I find myself and my heart helped.
I find a source of strength that never fails me and always protects me.
In God, I find all the power, all the glory and all the Kingdom forever and ever.
In this my heart exults.
From the overflow of my heart comes songs of joy and words of encouragement and testimony on His behalf and for His glory.
I give thanks to God with my mouth because my heart is by His grace transformed and being conformed to the One who did it all as God commanded and all on my behalf.

day no. 12,785: iss my berfday

I'm 35!

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it 34.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

day no. 12,784 finale... pasture eyes'd‏

John 10:9

I am the door. If anyone enters by me,he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
In Jesus, there is freedom.
Fully and finally.
And the cost of this freedom?
I love that in Jesus we find pasture.
We find green grass and room to roam.
It is a pasture that has a door.
It is fenced in.
There is ONE WAY in.
But inside there is life and there is room to live.

day no. 12,784 continued... an opportunity for the flesh in both directions‏

Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brothers.Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Lord, save me from the folly of freedom found in any but You and from the rigor of religion resisting what You've revealed.

day no. 12,784: happy birthday mom!

My mom has been alive 74 years as of today.

That's 27,030 days for those of you playing at home.

Psalm 39:4-5
4 Lord, reveal to me the end of my life
and the number of my days.
Let me know how short-lived I am.
5 You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.
Selah is the Hebrew equivalent of "chew on that for a while."
So go and chew or stew or whatever it is you do.
For a while.

Number your days carefully so that you may develop wisdom in your heart.

P.S. It is also my mother-in-law's birthday today!  I know better than to report the number of days and years she has been alive.  But either way, here's to you too!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

day no. 12,783: where we are‏

Oswald put his finger on the trigger this morning when he said
We are so busy telling God where we would like to go... Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing— it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God’s plans may be, we are there and ready.
We aren't as concerned with where we are as God is.
We are, however, obsessed with where we are going.
We feel it is less spiritual to be grounded in today.
It isn't.
It is unspiritual to long ONLY for mountaintops.
Oswald ended his thoughts by proclaiming it this way:
A ready person never needs to get ready— he is ready.

Monday, October 21, 2013

day no. 12,782: a hope that is thrice as nice‏

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

The FATHER fills us with joy and peace as we believe in the SON so that the SPIRIT may overflow our hearts with hope.

I love how the Trinity works together to secure hope, extend hope and stir hope within us.

The FATHER pours out of His abundant riches into our hearts, minds and souls ALL joy and peace as we believe fully, solely and wholly in the work of the SON on our behalf so that the SPIRIT may stir in us a hope abundant enough to endure the days and proclaim His ways.

It is FROM, TO, and THROUGH God that we have hope.

Because He is the source, hope is secure.
Because He is the mode, hope is assured.
Because He is the means, hope endures

Friday, October 18, 2013

day no. 12,779: a perfect holiday‏

Chambers fired this bad boy off the other morning,

You no more need a day off from spiritual concentration on matters in your life than your heart needs a day off from beating.

If your heart takes a break, you die.

You cannot take a moral holiday and remain moral.

If your morality takes a break, your morality dies.

Have you ever acted immorally?

If you have, you are not a moral person.

You may be moral more often than not, but moral more often than not does not a moral person make.

The moral person acts with perfect morality.

I know we know that no one is perfect which is why we have a tendency to believe that morality is being more moral than immoral, but that is a compromise fitted to the spirit of our age.

You either have the Spirit of God or you have the spirit of our age.

One requires perfection, the other merely progress.

You cannot work your way back to perfection after missing the mark earlier.

Receive perfection or die imperfect and suffer the consequences thereof.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

day no. 12,778: the Holy Spirit is hard to have over for dinner‏

Ozzie could not have said it simpler when he said,

The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a Guest in a house, He invades everything.

The Holy Spirit is hard to have over for dinner.

He acts like He owns the place.

Have you made a little room in your heart for God?

I'm guessing that king-sized bed underestimated His requirements.

Get rid of the little room and give God the whole house.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

day no. 12,777: can i get a witness?

John 2:24-25

24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

If Jesus had found men He could trust, His death would have been unnecessary.
We would need only better programming or motivation.

But our problem was not one of being close but no cigar, but rather one more akin to being up a crick without a paddle.

Jesus knows the depths of depravity because He resisted them all.

He knows the darkness and despair of our condition because He lived among it without indulging it.

He NEVER sinned.

Not once.

May we too not entrust ourselves to men, but in faith entrust ourselves to Jesus.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

day no. 12,776: by faith or by froth?

John 5:44-47

44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

The very "goodness" that many people assume about themselves is the very thing that will accuse them before the Father of failure.

Good people do not go to Heaven. Moses and the Law God handed down by him will guarantee that. The very thing in which people place their hope is the thing that will destroy them and accuse them before the Father.

How tragic the scenario that finds one rejecting revelation in order to cling with confidence to speculation.

Do not set your hope in what you have done or what you have not done or never would do. That claim will itself condemn you. The boast of your tongue will be the evidence against you. You are leaning on a sharp stick. You will get stuck.

Jesus is the end of the Law.

Receive righteousness that is by faith.
Reject righteousness  that is by froth.

Monday, October 14, 2013

day no. 12,775: the respective laws of hell and heaven‏

John 2:10

...Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.

The lure of sin is that it baits you with the best it can offer and switches to the worst it requires after you are hooked. This is the law of hell. Paint over dirt. Make things look great in order to cover up the magnitude of ugly that lies underneath.

The rule of Heaven is just the opposite. That which is enticing only gets better and better as you go further inward and upward.

C.S. Lewis said it this way, "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."

Or you may have heard it this way:

For the Christian, this life is as bad as life will ever be. For the unbeliever, this life is as good as life will ever be.

The law of sin is to take you further than you wanted to go, faster than you wanted to get there. Sin looks good on the surface. It seems like a good idea. It seems like it could satisfy.

But it's a shell game.

There is no substance underneath it.

It's water that makes you thirstier.
It's food that makes you hungrier.

It's a full that leaves you feeling empty, comfort that leaves you feeling vulnerable, and assurance that leaves you feeling paranoid.

Friday, October 11, 2013

day no. 12,772: to whom do you run?

Atticus: Can I get the legos out?
Todd: Not right now. If you put away the tools, you can get the legos out.
Atticus: But I want the legos out.
Todd: I understand, then put the tools away.

At this point, Atticus begins to cry and runs TO me.

I love this about kids.

They appeal to me with their requests and place their hopes and dreams in my hands and when I say, "No" they do not run from me in tears and anger and frustration, but in tears and anger and frustration they run TO me.

Atticus is able to think of me as BOTH authoritative AND comforting. I am the one he runs to when he is scared or sad even when my decisions are what creates in him sadness.

What a beautiful picture of our relationship with the Father through Christ.

We are free to request.
He is free to be God.
We cling to Him whatever happens.

The Gospel observed in the pattern of my children and the love of their daddy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

day no. 12,771: that's why they play the games‏

1 Kings 20:11

And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.’”

What a tough response!

It reminds me of the laconic response of "IF" (scroll to bottom to "Word Origin and History)

Only people who win wars take off armor. 

If you lose, your armor either is removed by someone else or thrown into a heap.

I love crap like this.

It makes me feel (even if only for one intense delusional moment) that I could be tough too. 

The words themselves feel powerful on your tongue. 
It is a tough thing to say. 

It is a tougher thing to believe.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

day no. 12, 770: no bull‏

1 Kings 18:26-29

26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

I love Elijah.
"Hey guys! Maybe you should consider speaking up. Your god is probably daydreaming about doulel-stuff oreos or something. Maybe he's in the bathroom and can't be bothered right now. Maybe he is out-of-the-office and forgot to set his Outlook to reflect that fact. Or maybe he's taking a nap." (VVCSV)
As funny as Elijah's mockery is, I can't help think about how sad those last words are,
"there was no voice. no one answered; no one paid attention."

Ignorance ends in being ignored.

Romans 10:3-4

3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
If you do not submit to God's righteousness, rest assured your self-righteousness will not persuade Him to action on your behalf.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

day no. 12,769: out of syncretism‏

Kings 18:21

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

I love the language Elijah grabs to explain the absurdity, inefficiency and heresy of syncretism. If the LORD is God, follow Him. If Baal is god, follow him. Do not try to follow both. They are incompatible.

If you try to follow the LORD and Baal, you will follow neither.

You end up limping along.
You do not run hard after either.

A house divided against itself will fall.
No one can have two masters.

It's illogical, impractical and impossible to love passionately and equally two positions that categorically despise each other.

Abandon the limp religion of idolatrous, people-pleasing flattery.

Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Monday, October 7, 2013

day no, 12,768: the infamous and anonymous "they"

Who has more proverbial wisdom than these unnamed guys?
Who has said more stuff than them?
I’m glad the infamous and anonymous “they” often say. stuff
Without them, I would have to actually get out my dusty ol’ MLA vs. APA formatting flow chart to properly give credit where credit is due.
Romans 13:7
Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.
I love the infamous and anonymous “they” because at the same time in the same way I owe them everything and nothing.
Thus the infamous and anonymous “they” have earned my respect and I don’t lose a penny of my thoughts in the equation.
Also, I don't like the infamous and anonymous "they" at all.

Friday, October 4, 2013

day no. 12,765: thoughts from "Sting of Death, Seed of Woman" a sermon on Genesis 3:8-19 by S. Lewis Johnson‏

I only recently got turned on to S. Lewis Johnson.  I heard that John MacArthur listens to this man's messages more than he listens to anyone else.  That piqued my curiosity of course.  The hullabaloo turned out to be warranted.  Here is a snapshot of a message I listened to by S. Lewis Johnson over Genesis 3:8-19. 

Listen to the full message HERE.

Now, you have to have a sense of humor to think of man as a civilized being today, but nevertheless there are people who think that, that is true. We might illustrate these two views by using what one theologian has called a simple little contrast of the Roman Coliseum and a modern ranch house. Ranch houses incidentally are not so popular today in Texas as they used to be perhaps, but nevertheless, we are all familiar with them. The Coliseum, many of us has seen and it is even in its ruins a spectacular, awe inspiring building, suggesting the greatness of Rome that was past, but it is a ruin. We look at it and we see the magnificence that characterize the Rome of the past, and in one sense that is a beautiful picture of man, at least from the biblical standpoint. On the other hand, there is the modern ranch house. A modern ranch house is a very attractive building, it is neat, it is comfortable, it has one advantage that a Coliseum does not have. It's beautifully adapted for expansion and consequently, additions to it may be made so that all of the fondest dreams of those that own them might be realized providing they have the funds.

In a sense, these two models are two models of men. There is the Coliseum, this tremendous awe inspiring building that suggests the greatness of the past, but now at last in ruins and the modern ranch house which grows, as families grow and becomes larger and more significant as the years go by. Shall we understand man by the model of the Coliseum or by the modern ranch house. Shall we understand it by Adam or shall we understand it by Pithecanthropus Erectus? The Scriptures of course decide for the former. That is, the Coliseum is a beautiful picture of man because man does have an awe inspiring, spectacular origin at the hands of God, a magnificent being intellectually, morally in all aspects of his being beautiful. He came from the hands of God and God himself said with reference to him that he was very good. But man is now in ruin as a result of what happened in the Garden of Eden.

Do you see the world around you Biblically as one fading in glory or do you see it blasphemously as one growing in glory as we go forward?

We are daily dulling the wonderful way in which we were designed and made. 
We are not advancing the ball down the field.
We're not almost there.

We're lost and wandering further from camp.

...The impulse to hide from God is natural to human nature. If you feel it, if it is in your heart at this present time, if there is something within you that is saying, I wish I didn't have to listen to the sermon by Dr. Johnson this morning. Well it may be that it is something of that same innate, impulse of man to flee from the presence of the Lord, not that I am the Lord, but here is the word of God speaking and we want to flee from it, because our minds, our hearts, our emotions are all oppose to the word of God and the truth of God.

We still flee from the presence of God.  The hiding places are more sophisticated and the coverings are more elaborate, but we still hide by nature our hearts from the holiness of God.

I love getting new dead mentors. 

I'm fascinated that someone could have so much material recorded and filed away for me to mine. 

How could I never have heard of him before? 
Either way, I'm enjoying hearing much from him now.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

day no. 12,764 continued... they shoot horses, don't they?

I was watching a video by R.C. Sproul called Nietzsche “The Consequence of Ideas” when he mentioned a movie called, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

I checked it out from the library and Paige and I watched it.

It was one of the most miserable, depressing, dark things I have seen in a while. The sheer despair of life under the sun without a hope beyond it was devastating and difficult to watch.

It is the same sentiment captured well by the new Dustin Kensrue song "It's Not Enough."

Life under the sun is full of heavy regret and unmet expectation.

If there was no Life outside and beyond the sun, it would be more merciful to put us down and out of our misery like they do a horse with a broken leg.

In a world without God's grace, even when you win, you lose.

day no. 12,764: cup of joe

This is how I spend my Tuesday mornings.

I would not trade it for anything.

4 guys sitting down and talking about teaching and preaching the Bible.

That's my cup of tea.

Or my Cup of Joe in this case.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

day no. 12,763: bulletproof‏

There are two things I can say with some confidence about a vest that is made to be bulletproof.
(1) The odds are favorable that anyone interested in the vest understands they are frequently being fired upon. If you are not often shot at and have no reason to assume you will be anytime soon, the purchase of a bulletproof vest seems a bit excessive and unreasonable. Not to mention uncomfortable and likely unfashionable (unless you be all 50 cent up in herrrr and being shot at is street cred for sellin’ tracks).
(2) If the title is any indication of accuracy, it is entirely reasonable to assume that bullets hitting you in your vest will have no lasting impact on your health or overall well-being. That is to say if something is actually bulletproof, the proof will be made manifest when bullets fail to penetrate the vest.
Why do I bring this up this morning?
Because I’m super weird.
Additionally in listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon on “A Message to Seven Churches” an introductory sermon on the seven churches of the book of Revelation He said this:
“Again,there has been a false gospel preached in American Christianity that if you come to Jesus, he’ll take all your problems away, and he’ll make your life heavenly while on earth. That’s not true. In Jesus, to use John’s language, our life is not tribulation-free, but it’s tribulation-proof, and we can endure whatever tribulation, opposition, suffering, comes to us, through relationship with Jesus and his people in community together, together.”
Same logic as above applies here.
(1) You must understand that a life hidden with Christ will be set against the world, the flesh and the devil. They will actively pursue you and fire off shots at you. Do not follow Jesus if you want an easy life. Do not put on the tribulation-proof vest assuming tribulation will never come. Why even put it on? A tribulation-proof vest is like a tribulation magnet just like a bulletproof vest will inspire some to assume you should be shot at. Let’s face it: if I don’t know you I likely walk right on by, but if I don’t know you and you have a briefcase hand-cuffed to your wrist, I assume you’re up to something. A tribulation-proof vest is an invitation to endure. Don’t wear one if your goal is to avoid. It’s excessive and unreasonable if you don’t plan on coming across suffering. Not to mention it’s uncomfortable and likely unfashionable (unless , of course again, you be all 50 cent up in herrrr and you’re wearing a cash cross).
(2) If the title is any indication of accuracy, it is entirely reasonable to assume that tribulation hitting you will have no lasting impact on your spiritual health or overall well-being. That is to say if something is actually tribulation-proof, the proof will be made manifest when sin and sinners fail to penetrate the faith you have in Jesus to protect you from them.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

day no. 12,762 continued... nursing moms in Nineveh‏

If you were a nursing mom in Nineveh about the time Jonah rolled through town preaching, “In 40 days Nineveh will be demolished!” what would you have done when this happened?
Jonah 3:6-9
6 When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 Then he issued a decree in Nineveh:
By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. 8 Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from the violence he is doing. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent; He may turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish.
Choose your own adventure, but choose wisely and provide your rationale in the comments section.
(If you are a man reading this, think in terms of how you would head up your household under these circumstances. This is your wife and newborn.)
Don’t be hasty.
Take your time and flesh it out.
No one’s got a gun to your heard.

day no. 12,762: shirts v. skins‏

1 Kings 16:21-22
 21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts. Half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. So Tibni died, and Omri became king.

I love the Bible.
You almost have to intentionally restrain yourself to tell a story with as little detail as this one gives.

But I'll give it a try...

The people wanted two teams so some followed one guy and some followed the other guy. The one guy's people were stronger than the other guy's, so the other guy died. The end. (VVCSV)