Friday, August 29, 2014

day no. 13,094 continued... a slightly different take on love and hate

Proverbs 13:24

The one who will not use the rod hates his son,
but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Good fathers do the patient work of training and disciplining their children.

It requires work, patience and discipline on behalf of the one performing the discipline.

It is easier to let kids do what they want.
It is easier to be their friend.
It is easier to cater to their desires.

But that is the wide and easy way that leads to death and destruction on which both that parent and child end up journeying.

Laziness in this regard is not loving, but hateful.

The parent that loves their child disciplines them, just like God loves us.

Hebrews 12:6-11

For the Lord disciplines the one He loves
and punishes every son He receives.

7Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?8 But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons.9 Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live?10 For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness.11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

day no. 13,094: one little year

Laurelai is 1 year old today!

I love my little miss.

She is absolutely adorbs.

Everyone in the family is smitten with her.

One year ago today we discovered what we all were missing in our family.

We love you Laurelai!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

day no. 13,093 continued... last day at CUNA Mutual

Today was my last day at CUNA Mutual.


I am grateful that God provided me this way to be up here in the Cedar Valley.  Without work, I would not have been able to move here in the first place.

I am grateful now, as well, that I have the opportunity to transition into something I am more eager and excited to devote the rest of my life to vocationally.

Remember days like today, Todd.  Days where the weight of living felt lighter and the hope of tomorrow felt closer.  Remember this feeling and the gratitude in your heart.  It is good that I have Someone to thank.  I don't have to be left to the feeling of gratitude without the opportunity to be grateful before my God.

day no. 13,093: the penalty and the reward

Proverbs 13:13

The one who has contempt for instruction will pay the penalty,
but the one who respects a command will be rewarded.
There is a penalty that must be paid for not paying attention or respecting authority. The pockets of prideful people will be emptied.
There is a reward that will be provided to those who listen and respect the command and Commander. Their pockets will be piled high with grace and mercy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

day no. 13,092: delay and desire (death and delight)

Proverbs 13:12
Delayed hope makes the heart sick,
but fulfilled desire is a tree of life.
Waiting is hard.
The longer you wait, the harder it often becomes.
It can make you feel sick deep inside.
You know that feeling.
But a fulfilled desire is a tree of life.
It can bubble over to joy and jumping and jubilation  ~ had to do it, it came together organically for the first two and it seemed like a third should follow, so I follows my pastoral instinct and did it.  I’m not sorry! J
You know that feeling.
Have patience with those who are waiting and hurting and hoping.
Mourn with those who mourn.
Have excitement for those who have received what they have hoped and prayed for
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Some days you will feel sad and will have to buck up in order to rejoice with someone who has been blessed in your presence.
Some days you will feel joyful and will have to tone down and pay attention to the hurt that is happening in front of you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

day no. 13,091: a principle regarding your principal interest‏

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth obtained by fraud will dwindle,
but whoever earns it through labor will multiply it.
The kind of person that would defraud another person in order to become wealthy is the same kind of person that has no idea how to manage wealth.
The kind of person who works hard and labors to understand the ins and outs of making and keeping money slowly acquires more and more through patience and diligence.
Too many bank their future on the lottery.
Too few work out the details of budgeting for the future.

Monday, August 25, 2014

day no. 13,090: pride fighting‏

Proverbs 13:10

Arrogance leads to nothing but strife,
but wisdom is gained by those who take advice.
Arrogant people conjure discord.
They refuse to be humbled and it aggravates their audiences.
Wisdom is found by those who listen.
The mantra of the fool is “Don’t tell me what to do or how to do it!”
The banner of the wise is “What should I do and what’s the best way to do it?”
The arrogant are always at odds with somebody about something.
The wise are always learning something from somebody.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

day no. 13,089: what now?

This morning I am preaching two services at Pontiac Bible Church on Philippians 3:12-21.

The big idea is focusing in on the life we live in light of Christ asking, "What now?"

I will begin by reviewing the fact that Paul traded his former goals of reglious achievement as his means of salvation for Jesus' achievements on his behalf.

We will briefly discuss that he traded this goal for the goal now of knowing and becoming more about and like Jesus.

I will then march through PHP 3:12-21 as Paul unpacks what the Christian life of pursuing the goal of becoming like Jesus should look like.

1 - Dissatisfaction = first and foremost we must admit that none of us have arrived, even on this side of the Cross.

2 - Diligence = Paul then points out the fact that this dissatisfaction doesn't lead to despair or laziness in either assuming you're in because you had an experience back in the past or because there isn't anything you could do now to earn anything before God.

3 - Dependence = Paul anchors his diligence in the dependence that Jesus had a hold of him.  He oriented his life around reaching and holding on to Jesus BECAUSE Jesus is already holding on to us.

4 - Defining Development = Paul stresses emphatically that these are the necessary ingredients of being saved and living as a saved child of God.  A combination of faith and good works is evident in everyone who truly worships Jesus.  Faith in Jesus' finished work and current devotion to good works for His glory and our and our neighbor's respective good.

5 - Destination = Paul lastly fleshes out the two different destinations of those who orient their lives the way he has previously explained and those who ignore this advice and choose to ride their own melt and live their own way.  They follow their own desires and they will end up in hell.

That is the basic format going forth this morning at Pontiac Bible Church.

Link to the audio/video to come.

Friday, August 22, 2014

day no. 13,087: slackers suffer want‏

Proverbs 13:4

The slacker craves, yet has nothing,
but the diligent is fully satisfied.
Slackers crave.
Workers are content
Lazy people get nothing for all their efforts.
The diligent have everything they need.
Slackers suffer want.
Workers satisfy their needs.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

day no. 13,086: what happens when agape and phileo get married?‏

Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. (EPH 5)
What kind of love is that you ask?
Agape: the steadfast, never stopping, always, forever kind of love that is based on covenant and not on circumstances.
That is how husbands are called and commanded to love their wives.
Wives are called to love their husbands. (TITUS 2)
What kind of love is that you ask?
Phileo: the friendly, warm, helping, tender kind of love that experienced by besties.
That is how wives are called and commanded to love their husbands.
Men are called to lay down their lives and commit.
Women are called to orient their lives around helping their husbands in camaraderie.
That isn’t to say that men are not called to be friendly and warm with their wives or that women aren’t called to commit to and selflessly die to themselves in order to live for the well-being of their husbands.
Husbands and wives should both agape, phileo and eros each other.
But men are commanded to play the role of Savior to their wives. Not literally of course, only Jesus saves. But the role men are called upon to play in God’s production is Protector, Rock, Lead Servant, and Savior.
And women are commanded to play the role of helper, friend and companion. Not literally just a slave at the beck and call of their husband per se, but one who orients her life around helping him in his pursuits and making him feel safely loved as a friend who respects him. 
The role women are called to play in God’s production is Friend, Helper, Comforter and Counsellor.
Men often want to hang out and be buddies with their wives. That’s what men need.
Women often want to be wooed, pursued and romanced. That’s what women need.
If both spouses do what God is calling and commanding them to do, there will be no void or vacuum of needs going unmet.
Men need companionship, but more than that they need to extend loving kindness and adoration to their wives.
Women need romance, but more than that they need to extend friendship, fellowship and fun to their husbands.
Everyone gets what they want and need by dying to themselves and serving the other.
Too many husbands and wives respectively look outside of their homes for what they want and need rather than committing themselves to being what their spouse wants and needs.
Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
If husbands and wives embrace that, they will seek what their spouse needs rather than what they want and both will end up loved in the ways God commands and calls us to.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

day no. 13,085 continued... not Christ comma Jesus‏

Too many people claiming to be Christians ignore the Christ.
Christ was not Jesus’ last name.
He wasn’t listed in the phone book as Christ, Jesus.
Christ is a title.
It means Messiah.
Jesus the Christ: the Savior, the Messiah, the Rescuer, the Promise One, etc…
The early gathering of those who believed that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection fulfilled the promises of God and completely provided the means by which to be saved and sanctified were called Christians.

Acts 11:26b

For a whole year they met with the church and taught large numbers. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.
Christian meaning “those identified above anything else by their association with Jesus
So it is curious today that so many people who call themselves Christians reject entirely their need for a Christ.
They don’t believe they are bad people in need of saving.
Many don’t believe that they are dead people in need of regeneration.
Most don’t believe that they are disqualified from Heaven on their own merit.
To call oneself a Christian is to confess, at the very least, that a Savior is necessary.
To call yourself a Christian is to confess that there is only One who can save.
God saves sinners and His Christ is the only means by which we are reconciled to Him.
Many in churches today are not Christians.
They are Moralists and Good Worksians.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
To be a Christian means to confess a Christ and not just any Christ, but a very specific Christ named Jesus.

day no. 13,085: pop culture‏

A few weekends ago, Paige and I travelled to Chicago, attended a wedding, went to IKEA and drove home all in one day.
On the drive home after escaping toll booth purgatory, we exited to get some grub at Taco Bell (because they’re open late and it was late).
It was there that I first experienced Mt. Dew Sangrita Blast.
It’s available only at Taco Bell, so it looks like I will be using my out-to-eat times on tacos and Sangrita Blast!
I know. I know.
I’m 35 and I drink pop (or soda depending on where and at what point in history you’re reading this).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

day no. 13,084 continued... so that happened.

I prayed on Monday night that by the end of the day on Tuesday I would have a new job.

There was a phone interview scheduled with CBE for 1pm, so I had reason to hope that perhaps the interview would go well enough that a job offer would be made at the end of that interview.

I had also been asked to meet Paul and Stan for coffee at Panera before work to hang out and spend some time together.

What resulted was a conversation about the needs of Candeo Church and the gifts and skills Paul and Stan believed me to possess.  The cool part was that the church’s needs and my skills were one in the same.

Paul and Stan had come prepared to offer me a job working along their capable sides as the new Administrative Pastor of Candeo Church.

In addition to coming on board, I would also begin attending Cornerstone School of Theology to begin working on my MATS degree (Masters of Arts in Theological Studies) which will wrap up at the end of the summer of 2016.

The idea being perhaps after 2 years of experience in full-time vocational ministry and a completion of theological training, I may be asked to help plant the first church outside of the walls of Candeo (and perhaps the first 3C Network church to bust outside of the borders of Iowa).

I called Paige on the drive to work and in little to no time it was determined that I should respond quickly in the affirmative.

So as of late this morning, I put in my resignation at CUNA Mutual and accepted the offer of Candeo Church.

Amazing, right?

God heard my prayer and answered my heart’s desire.

It is not to say that this happened immediately.  In fact, I had been praying this for months prior to this day.  I felt like the widow relentlessly knocking on the door begging for resolve.  I don’t know how long she banged on that door, but I glean from the parable that it was after plenty of opportunity to stop knocking and to quit.

I can relate.

What relief, joy exhaustion, rest, etc… came when that door was opened.

It has been one of the more difficult seasons of my short life.

I’m glad it’s over.

I’m excited to move forward.

day no. 13,084: wisdom and worship‏

1 Corinthians 2:1-2

When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom.2 For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
We are often told that you have to choose: would you rather be wise about worldly things or wise about Godly things.
Paul here states that this is a false contradiction.
If you are not wise towards God, you are not wise towards anything. There is a worldly wisdom good for gaining the world, but God calls that foolishness.
There is a wisdom rooted in Christ that seeks to orient all thoughts, actions, beliefs and behaviors under His Lordship, but the world calls that foolishness.
If you do not understand God, you do not understand the world.
If you do not choose God, you do not get the world as a booby prize.
You either get God and earth along with Him, or you get nothing.
Because Christ is and owns everything.
If you make Him your all, you will be called foolish by the world.
But you will inherit the earth by your meekness.
They will lose the very world they worshipped.

Monday, August 18, 2014

day no. 13,083: shut it down and shut it up‏

Proverbs 13:3

The one who guards his mouth protects his life;
the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.
If you like your life, you should set up guards for your mouth.
If your lips are quick to flap, you invite ruin into your life.
Guards are given instruction on who and what to let in and out.
Guards guard valuable things.
No one pays guards to protect things that the payer doesn’t care about.
Do you care about your life?
Do more shutting up.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Guard your mouth.
Employ wisdom and faith to protect your lips.

Don’t just say whatever you feel or think.
Don’t blurt.
Don’t have diarrhea of the mouth.
It will cost you.
No more airing of each and every real or imagined grievance.
You will have to bite the bullet that is your tongue.
But it will be worth it.
Your life is protected when you guard your mouth.
Your life is vulnerable when you open the gates of your lips to every emotion and outburst you feel intensely.
Choose what you say by allowing wisdom and faith to guard you and determine if the thoughts of your mind ought to be published by your tongue.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

day no. 13,082: 7 years in the books

Today marks 7 years of making it happen in marriage.

Happy Anniversary to my darling wife!

I’m not sure if it feels like we’ve been together longer than that or shorter than that and I’m not sure what either scenario says about a person per se.

I do know that I really enjoy being married to my wife.

I like the life we have together and I like knowing that even when life feels difficult, I have the comfort of knowing that I get to struggle through it with her.

My wife is amazing and I’d choose her all over again a hundred times over.

So here’s to you and to 7 years of  Van Voorst magic as well as to many more in the house of Voorst.

Friday, August 15, 2014

day no. 13,080: the founder and the finisher of our faith‏

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
Jesus is the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith.
He is the Author and the Actualization of our faith.
He is the Founder and the Finisher of our faith.
He is the Catalyst and the Completer of our faith.
He is the Designer and the Deliverer of our faith.
He is the Start and the Summation of our faith.
The Beginning and the End.
Keep your eyes on Him.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

day no. 13,079: oil and water‏

1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 10 I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. 11 But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. 12 For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? 13 But God judges outsiders. Put away the evil person from among yourselves.

This is a strong and difficult word and one we often see overlooked because of the seriousness of it.
Paul does not mean here unrepentant sinners, but those claiming the Name of Jesus living in direct defiance to His commands with no plans to agree with God anytime soon.
Those who call themselves Christians and live in outright rebellion demonstrate that they are not His children, but still rebels deserving of wrath, in need of grace through faith in the Son.
Do not become this person by refusing to repent and becoming familiar and comfortable with your sin.
Do not become the person who would tolerate such defiance by those claiming to be obedient.
This is an IN HOUSE teaching as Paul points out.
We don't disassociate with rebels who aren't claiming to be citizens of Heaven.
We react the same way both to the unregenerate rebel and the rebel claiming to be regenerate. We share Jesus with them as ones who need His grace in order to be restored.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

day no. 13,078: should we fight for our right to party?‏

1 Corinthians 6 has a lot to say about our rights.

This is a topic we are intimately familiar with as Americans who often are engaged in discussions about our rights and the rights of others.
1 Corinthians 6:7-8
7 Therefore, to have legal disputes against one another is already a moral failure for you. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated?8 Instead, you act unjustly and cheat—and you do this to believers!
This is entirely contrary to the American spirit of insisting upon your rights. Paul here indicates perhaps the best course of action would be to forego your rights and endure injustice. He does not say this, however, without also firmly rebuking those who call themselves Christian would act unjustly and cheat anyone, let alone another who bears the Name of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality,10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Before we get too worked up over our rights, it would do us well to dwell upon what we deserve for what we used to do (and maybe even sometimes still do). If we got what we what deserved, it would be bad news for us. But the Good News is that in Jesus’ works and the Spirit’s presence inside us, we are washed, made holy and judged righteous.

God overlooked His right to destroy you as a rebel in favor creating a righteous Way to welcome you as a child by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:12

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.

Do not use your freedom as an opportunity of the flesh. You don’t have the right to live to yourself. You were bought with a price. Live to God. Do not become a slave again to insisting upon your rights. Not everything you could do is helpful to you or others. That which overcomes a person, to that they are enslaved. Be overcome by God and demonstrate that you are His slave, controlled and compelled by Him.

Make full use of your right to remain silent.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

day no. 13,077: the violent sweetness of God‏

You may see a ton of Ray Ortlund, Jr. quotes and content popping on my blog for quite some time. I'm doing a deep study of the book of Isaiah, using a commentary by Ray Ortlund, Jr. It is SO GOOD!

You can buy it HERE.

Here is another amazing thought concerning his thoughts on Isaiah 1:2-9

"Conviction of sin is the violent sweetness of God opposing the sins lying comfortably undisturbed in our lives."


That is awesome.

I am totally geeking out on this commentary.

God, please continue to expose and execute sin in my life by Your sweetness and if necessary by violence.


Monday, August 11, 2014

day no. 13,076: living sacrifices

The last line of My Utmost for His Highest for an entry I read recently said...

"Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him."

We have a tendency to tell God what He must do if we do what He says we must do. 

So we give it a try. 

We attempt to do that which He has called us to do and it goes horribly, nothing goes as expected. 

So we get angry at God and either turn on Him altogether or continue to walk near Him, but always suspicious of Him and His motives.

Do not decide in your heart what must come if you do the right and godly thing.

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

You do your job.
Let Him do His.

Friday, August 8, 2014

day no. 13,073: so that's pretty sick

Isaiah 19:14

The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.

Drunken people aren't notorious for pulling together great feats of walking in the first place.

They are known for upchucking their night's "fun" however.

Combine the two and you've got a recipe for disaster: slippery, vomit-laden, unstable disaster.

Nice metaphor Isaiah.

We get the picture.

Egypt will stumble about and is a danger to themselves and others.

Egypt is on the floor covered in vomit, passed out after several unsuccessful efforts to lift themselves out of their own puke.

What could inspire less confidence than a drunken person walking in slippery sewage?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

day no. 13,072: a prayer for my daughters

Song of Solomon 8:9-10

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.

10 I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds peace.

There can hardly be four words more imaginably peaceful for a father of daughters to hear than "I was a wall!"

Only better are the words, "I worship and follow Jesus" a la 3 John 4.

Doors do not have discretion.

Walls provide security and selectivity.

My prayer is that my daughters would use discretion and selectivity in guarding their hearts.

My prayer is to hear them in integrity and enthusiasm pronounce, "I WAS A WALL" as I walk them down the aisle to their God-fearing, Jesus-loving, humble, servant-hearted, courageous husband.

Oh Lord, hear my prayer!!!