Monday, September 30, 2013

day no. 12,761: in the heat of the day where the high life can't reach‏

Chambers brought an important point to light this morning when he said:
If we are going to be ready for Jesus Christ, we have to stop being religious. In other words, we must stop using religion as if it were some kind of a lofty lifestyle - we must be spiritually real.

If you are avoiding the call of the religious thinking of today’s world, and instead are “looking unto Jesus” (
Hebrews 12:2), setting your heart on what He wants, and thinking His thoughts, you will be considered impractical and a daydreamer. But when He suddenly appears in the work of the heat of the day, you will be the only one who is ready. You should trust no one, and even ignore the finest saint on earth if he blocks your sight of Jesus Christ.

When the heat of the day is upon you and you are up against it, you will fall away from Christ if you are not connected to Christ.

If we are connected to ideas about Jesus and desires we wish Jesus to fulfill for us rather than communion with Himself, the struggles of earning, eating, preparing and cleaning up after daily bread will exhaust our ability to will ourselves gracefully and respectfully through it. 

We cannot navigate life successfully for Christ without Christ.

There is not a culture on earth that can satisfy God.

Only Jesus provides, establishes, secures and confirms right standing before God legally and positionally. 

If we are found anywhere else, we are found there as fallen short.

Repent of living for Jesus without Him.

Receive Jesus' life, livelihood and living on your behalf as acceptable before God. Then turn around and delightfully devote yourself to good works to your good, God's glory and your neighbor's exhortation.

Friday, September 27, 2013

day no. 12,758 continued... daily bread and communion with Christ

Luke 24:30-31

30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.


Luke 24:35

Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Something in the breaking of bread was used by God to reveal Himself more fully to those who were already interested, familiar, associated, etc.. with Him.

He is good to reveal Himself at all.

He shows His sense of humor in being revealed in something as simple and available and everyday as daily bread.

The body of Christ, the bread of Heaven.


day no. 12, 758: jesus loves me‏

I recently downloaded a lot of PAGE CXVI’s music.
I have found particular joy and peace in listening to their take on the lullaby“Jesus Loves Me”
You can listen to it HERE.
Rest in Christ.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

day no. 12,757: we walk by faith and not by sight‏

My morning mate,Oswald, dropped this gem this AM:
I know when the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence. But when I begin to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate enter into my mind, I am bringing in an element that is not of God. This will only result in my concluding that His instructions to me were not right. Many of us are faithful to our ideas about Jesus Christ, but how many of us are faithful to Jesus Himself? Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything (see Matthew 14:29). But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.
I love being wise.
I hate being foolish.
It makes me feel…. like a fool.
Following Jesus may involve feeling foolish in light of your desire to protect yourself from shame.
Following Jesus may cost you your opinion of yourself.
1 Corinthians 1:19-29

19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks,Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Conventional American proverbial wisdom persuades us to, “never give up!”

The Bible urges exactly the opposite.
2 Corinthians 5:6-7
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Faith is not shutting your eyes.
Faith is walking when you’re unable to see.
Not because you won’t see, but because it’s difficult to see.
Faith is walking while trusting in what you’ve seen, not refusing to walk until you can again see.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

day no, 12, 756 continued... baptism or bathtism?

Have you been dunked after believing?
Do you know what baptism represents?
Do you know what the Bible says about who, what, when and where people should be baptized?
Listen HERE.

day no. 12,756: a surprise party!

Being immersed into Jesus is not as much about a "how-to" as much as it is about a "how about that?"
1 Corinthians 1:21
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
Practical wisdom can practically guide you through most things.
But it is powerless to save.
The Gospel surprises us.
“Well, would you look at that?”
God paid it all.

Acts 20:28
care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Monday, September 23, 2013

day no. 12,754: versus verses‏

Romans 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

When you feel like you’re up against it today consider the faithful fact that God through Christ is for you.
Paul is not saying that circumstances, people and patterns will not oppose you.
He is most certainly saying that they WILL oppose you.
He is saying, however, that they will not WIN.
Suffering, by nature, pulls people away from something.
If you desire God, the utmost desire of your heart can never be taken from you.
Suffering may pull a million and one comforts away, but if you are God's adopted child by faith through grace in Christ alone you will never suffer the loss of Christ for you.
If you desire fortune, fame, family, etc… your desires can and will be taken from you someday either in this life by circumstance or in eternity by death (theirs or yours, whichever rusts and/or decays first).

Friday, September 20, 2013

day no. 12,751: plants and pillars‏

Psalm 144:12
May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace
This is my prayer.
Full grown plants are strong and produce fruit.
They are stable and rooted.
May my boys become men.
May they do this at a young age.
Pillars are structurally necessary.
They are stable and determine the course for the columns to follow.
Corner pillars are beautiful.
They are not merely pragmatic, but powerfully persuasive.
May my daughters be beautiful and bountiful.
May they fill the roles determined for them in grace.
May they depend upon grace for their sense of beauty.
I love my kids.
I love the Bible.
I love what the Bible says about kids.
My heart echoes this prayer intensely.
There is so much I could flesh out from it.
I plan to encourage my kids with these words often.
Plants are only as strong as their dependence upon water, soil, sun and circumstances.
Pillars are only as beautiful as they are carved, conformed, anchored and established in the place and image that the Craftsman desires.
May my family be full of plants and pillars, boys and girls who become men and women after God’s own heart.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

day no. 12,750: just as He had told them‏

Luke 22:13
And they went and found it just as He had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
Jesus knows the future.
Jesus holds the future.
When we arrive, we will find it “just as He has told us.”
Take courage, have hope, find faith and believe in Him. 
He has accomplished entirely the boast of God’s Gospel.
He is interceding on our behalf now.
He will one day make manifest the rest of what’s left to be fulfilled.
“Just as He has told us.”
“Just as He has told us.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

day no. 12,749: a tale of two daughter‏s: the wall and the door

Song of Solomon 8:8-10

8We have a little sister,
and she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day when she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

10I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds peace.
I pray with my daughters, Penelope and Laurelai, every night that they might be a wall and NOT a door.
A young woman who is a wall is a gift to her parents, her siblings and her future husband.
That said, I would rather have a repentant door than a proud wall if my prayers for a humble wall are not answered by God.
God, by Your grace, save my daughters from insecurity, sexual immorality, promiscuity, crude flirting, facebook hook-ups, and the like. But if it is that they are ever in any of these, may You save them out of them to love and worship You as their Rescuer. Amen.
God rescues His elect from sin.
He restrains otherwise wandering hearts by His Spirit.
He forgives hearts that have wandered by His grace in Christ.
May Penelope and Laurelai be elected for eternal life by grace through faith to God, the Father through God, the Son in God, the Spirit. Amen (again).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

day no. 12,748: a hymn for each kid

I don't know where the idea came from exactly. 

I seem to recall my wife mentioning something to me about some family perhaps that had picked out a hymn for each of their children.

Wherever it came from, I liked the idea and applied it.

We sing each child's hymn with them nearly every night prior to going to bed.
We do not sing the entire hymn, but rather just a verse and a chorus.

Here are the hymns we have chosen for each of kids so far as well as the verses we sing:

Atticus - Nothing but the Blood

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Penelope - Before the Throne

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

Although my favorite verse is the second which goes:

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Finneas - Rock of Ages

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Laurelai - Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Hallelujah! x 8

So that's how we roll (to steal a line from my wife)

Monday, September 16, 2013

day no. 12,747 continued... take courage‏

Mark 15:43
Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Joseph took courage.
He had been cowardly before.

BUT he took courage on this occassion.

He rose up.
He honored God.

You have been a coward.
Take courage today.
Honor God.

In whatever it is you do today ask for forgiveness for cowardice.

Pray for bravery for the occassions in which you find yourself.

day no. 12,747: thicker than water

My wife has type o negative (O-) blood.
She is a universal donor.
She can give her blood to anyone.

I have type a negative (A-) blood.
I can only give blood to another A - and an AB+ (since they are  universal receivers)
I can get blood from another A - or my wife (who is a universal donor, O-)

All of my kids have my wife's blood type.

EXCEPT for Finneas.

He is the only A- in the whole lot.

So I'm happy we are producing a bounty of universal donors, but I'm kind of excited to have at least one kid who has my blood (specifically) running in them.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

day no. 12,746: welcome to Candeo!

Last week Sunday we had our very first service.

Today was equally as awesome.

I love my church!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

day no. 12,744: these are some of the best days of my life (so far)

Day number:

1 - I was born

8,400 (or thereabouts) - was reborn by God as a Christian

9,803 - met my wife for the very first time

9,882 - began dating my wife

10,232 - got engaged

10,525 – was married

11,001 – atticus was born

11,263 -  got my first salaried job

11,511 – penelope was born

12,188 – finneas was born

12,729 – laurelai was born


Thursday, September 12, 2013

day no. 12,743 continued (again)... A-29 is now taken twice

Penelope Page - April 29, 2010
Laurelai Rush - August 29, 2013

Too bad Bingo isn't Bango or we'd have A-29 covered two times over.

day no. 12,743 continued... you have not yet considered how great the weight of sin is

"You have not yet considered how great the weight of sin is." ~ St. Anselm
If you have not died to yourself in order to live to God through Jesus, you have not considered the seriousness of the situation in which you currently find yourself.
You may say, "I'm not that bad," or "I could be worse," and you may be right.
There may be examples of sin and sinfulness in existence and in history that serve as extremes to which you have never ventured or considered.
You may do some things wrong, but you could do it worse or more often.

All murderers could have killed more people.
All liars could have told more lies.
All haters could have produced more hate.

It's true.

But it doesn't excuse the death, deception and division caused by the murder, lies and hate you have bound up in your heart.
Your view of your weight of sin without Jesus is in direct proportion to the degree of weight you place on His majesty and mercy in doing for you what you could not do yourself.
Luke 7:47
Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.

day no. 12,743: initial thoughts


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

day no. 12,742: all glory be to Christ

listen HERE
purchase HERE

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

day no. 12,741: a weekend away (a while back)

***for those just tuning in, I write these in bulk and then schedule them out. the following story took place back in the day. but I digress...

I took my wife to Omaha this weekend to celebrate her birthday and enjoy some time with just the two of us while the amazing Aunt Lauren watched our kids.

We did some shopping and went to Bob Thune's Acts 29 church plant, Coram Deo.

It was awesome!

He was wrapping up a series through 1 and 2 Samuel regarding David and knowing God.

He preached primarily focusing on David's generosity from 1 Chronicles 29:14-16:

14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.

Have you ever lent someone a CD?
Have you ever decided you would like it back?
Have you ever had the following conversation?

You: Hey friend, can I have my CD back?
Friend: Why?

I don't need a reason why!
It's mine.
Honestly, I should not have to explain to you why I want my CD back.
The fact that it's mine should be enough.

But don't we often act like this when God asks for what is His?
We demand explanations.
We give back only when His reasons are "good enough" for us to let go.

1 Chronicles 29:3
Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God
Generosity to God and His ways is an evidence of having received grace from Him.
We respond to His generosity by surrending our everything to Him.
Pastor Thune also pointed out that David was very purposeful in his giving
1 Chronicles 29:2
So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble.

David knew that God's work required some gold, some silver, some bronze, some wood and some iron. He did not try to use gold for silver things or wood for bronze things. He made it a priority to consider all that God wanted to do and HOW He wanted to do it. David then oriented his life and work around ensuring an abundance of these things in order to most effectively be ready to provide to God's work when called upon to do so. This was a great conversation my wife and I later had over soup and sandwiches.

Overall, I ended up so grateful to God that His church is being so well shepherded by men like Bob Thune. It made me excited for Candeo and the adventure that will be starting the new church in Cedar Falls with Paul Sabino, Joel Vint, Stan Hayek and Thad Seydel. What joys exist for making much of Jesus according to His Word and finished work given to us.

As part of the service we read and responded to the Heidelberg Catechism's question #60 which reads:

Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?

Answer: Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil; notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, but only of mere grace, grants and imputes to me, the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.

I had such a great time.
I love church.
I love Jesus.

I'm so excited to see what God is going to do in Cedar Falls.

Monday, September 9, 2013

day no. 12,740: overcoming evil with good‏

I was listening to the Bible Answer Man on tthe way home the other night and he was mentioning how an evidence of the resurrection is the total transformation of the disciples after having witnessed the risen Christ. He was speaking to the fact that a group of 11 men turned an entire kingdom upside down. In a very short time, Christianity would spread over the entire Roman world.

It reminded me of Romans 12:21 and Romans 13:1.
Christianity did not overcome Rome by force.
Christianity overtook Rome by faith.
Paul's instruction to the Roman Christians paid dividends in their obedience to his command.
They obeyed Paul and the Scriptures and in so doing produced the very fruit promised in its pages.
Not only is it good advice to avoid being overcome by evil, but good actually can overcome evil.
Christ overcame evil.
Christians overcame the tyranny of Rome.
Against all odds.
Christ rose from the dead.
Christianity survived Nero.
And both by faith in God and His unfailing Word.
That encouraged my heart.
May it encourage yours as well.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

day no. 12,739: if Jesus is worth anything, He’s worth everything​!

Candeo Church had its first celebration service this past Sunday.
My wife wrote about it HERE.
The past 10 months have been largely devoted to this.
It has cost us much, but I echo my wife in saying I would not trade it for anything.
What we have gained is irreplaceable.
If Jesus is worth anything, He’s worth everything!

Friday, September 6, 2013

day no. 12,737: the truth about that giant pain in israel's arse‏

The following discussion took place between 6:30 and 7:30 pm CST while reading "Bible Stories."
Penelope (while pointing at a picture of Goliath falling down):
Is Goliath laughing?
No. Goliath never laughed. He got angry and then he died.
I love being a dad!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

day no. 12,736: thoughts from church: Romans 13:1-7 by Jarrod Bartholomew‏

Today we talked about politics and religion at the same time in the same service.


Everyone MUST submit to governing authorities.(Rom 13:1)

Love MUST be without hypocrisy. (Rom 12:9)

When anyone hears that love MUST be without hypocrisy, everyone nods their heads in agreement.


Because MOST people want to be genuinely loved.

When anyone hears that everyone MUST submit to the government their heads shake with double-take.


Because MOST people want to have excuse to disobey and rebel.

Of course, Paul wanted people to really love each other.
I can get on board with true love.

But Paul could not possibly mean that he expected us to obey the rules of the civil authorities, right?

I am not ready to sign on for submission.
Especially to someone I don't like.

Jarrod made the point that the worst government in the history of the world may have been the one in place at the time Paul wrote this letter.

He also proposed that even the worst government in history is better than no government.
Anarchy is worse than bad government.

There is something in the institutions set up by God that are good for reminding us that we are under authority.

Parents, bosses, husbands, governments, church, etc...

I love my church.
I love my pastor.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

day no. 12,735: impromptu play‏

***just a reminder that I write these as they come to me and then they get scheduled out.  all that to say, I know today is not Saturday.  But it was when I wrote this.
I love Saturday mornings home with my wife and kids.
I just participated in an impromptu play.
Penelope insisted that I pretend to be a baby who was saying, "I'm a baby and I'm scared of the bad guys. Protect me!"
Atticus came running into the room holding a baby spoon as a sword yelling, "I'm a bad guy!"
Penelope rushed to my side, held me and said, "I will protect you baby."
Penelope then interceded between Atticus and I and pointed at him and said, "Hey, bad guy can you stop being mean?"
Before Atticus could respond she pointed at him and made a "bang bang" type sound (although it sounded more like "kish kish")
Atticus fell down dead and Penelope returned to me saying, "I'm a mommy who shot the bad guy."
Atticus sprung up and took on the personification of an army of bad guys that Penelope then proceded to mow down with her finger-pistol.
Atticus then ran into the other room and returned promptly as a good guy with a gun to commend Penelope's good work and offer his additional assurance that I would be safe under his protection.
I love my kids.
I love my wife.
I love Jesus.
I love Saturday mornings with all of them.