Monday, April 23, 2012

Defining My Focus

I started this blog several years back. I had just learned about blogs and since I enjoyed reading them and I have a love/hate relationship with writing, I decided to start one. It was simply going to be an online journal of what God was doing in my life. So I came up with a name, signed up for a Blogger account and in a few minutes hours I had my very own blog.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five for Friday

On Fridays I will be posting a roundup of five blog posts that I found inspiring, practical, helpful, and worthwhile throughout the week. My hope is that they will serve you in growing in every aspect of your life.

Without further ado, here is the first edition of Five for Friday:

So You Want to Date My Daughter? - As a father of two daughters and two sons, I will be referring back to this one quite often. Jared Wilson nailed it!

No Stone Throwing - Speaking About Human Sexuality - While Christians should defend what the Bible says about human sexuality, we haven't always been so loving in actually doing it. Eric Metaxas helps us think about how we should speak about these things.

Ashamed and Disappointed - Tim Challies shares his thoughts about his recent experience with an abortion clinic in Louisville. Very thought provoking.

Speak for the Unborn - Denny Burk tells some of the history of a pro-life ministry that stands outside the abortion clinic that Tim Challies referred to, encouraging young women not to abort their babies.

My Brother Can't Cry - A beautiful article by Zach Bradford about his disabled brother. Zach does a wonderful job explaining the power of the Gospel in the lives of those with disabilities.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday’s Wisdom – The Ornament of Instruction

“Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. “ - (Pro 1:8-9 ESV)
It felt strange to type the title of this weeks Wednesday’s Wisdom post. “Ornament” seems, being something desired and valued, a misplaced metaphor for “instruction.” However, as we learned in a previous post, wisdom is having God’s perspective of the world and what goes on in it. And if God describes instruction as an ornament, we should align our understanding of instruction as close as we possibly can to His. So in this week’s post, we are going to try to understand how instruction is a really a precious gift to be desired and valued, instead of a condescending interaction to be offended by.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Big Picture

The Bible is a often a very intimidating and misunderstood book, though it need not be. I remember as a teenager thinking of the Bible as a mystical book full of magical power and that in order for the magic to work in my life, I had to read it differently than I would any other book. I can remember listening to preachers quote the Bible and not having a clue as to what they were talking about. I concluded I was missing the big picture and thought that the only way to get this knowledge was by some kind of supernatural experience with God. While much of this way of thinking had to do with the teaching of the particular denomination I was apart of, it lead to me reading Scripture and then waiting for the magic to happen. And when the magic didn’t happen, I would get frustrated and conclude that either  it didn’t work or I didn’t have the gift to “do it right.” Finally quit reading the Bible altogether.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday's Wisdom - Fear God

Last week I let Spring Break and the fact that I was working on my SpeakEZ Attire project be my excuse for not getting Wednesday’s Wisdom in. Perhaps that wasn’t so wise. So, in catching up, this week we will investigate what it means to fear God, which Solomon tells us, is the beginning of knowledge.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction."

I've heard "the fear of the LORD" explained as simply "reverence” or “respect for God" in an effort to lessen the "fear factor" so to speak. But to speak of the fear of the LORD as merely reverence or respect is to bring God down to be less than what He truly is.

I can remember as a teenager in high school being faced with choices to either do what I knew to be right or what I knew to be wrong. For example, on Friday nights after a ball game, I could either go home or go out drinking with friends. I always chose to go home. What could motivate a teenage boy to choose going home over partying with the boys? My father. Now have always loved and respected my earthly father. But I have come to realize it was not my love and respect for Dad that motivated me to choose home over partying.  It was fear. Pure fear. I knew that if I chose to do what I knew was wrong and my daddy found out, there would be a day of reckoning. And, honestly, I was afraid of what he might do to me.

I feared my earthly father. No, I didn't walk timidly around him anticipating a random act of violence. I didn’t avoid his presence or speaking to him because he was a volatile and abusive man. He was none of those. What I feared was his wrath toward my disobedience. And this fear motivated me to make the right choice on more than one occasion.

I believe that is a good illustration of the fear of the LORD. God is not a tyrant. He loves us more than we could ever comprehend. We don't have to tiptoe around Him. As His child, even when I was in the depth of my depravity, His love for me was the same as it is today and as it will be throughout all eternity. And because He is the perfect Father, He will always discipline me when I stray from Him. And that scares me. It also brings about knowledge.

The other day my son ran out toward the highway. And after I ran and snatched him away from the danger and applied superior force to his posterior side, he gained the knowledge that running onto a busy highway is dangerous. He has never seen what a vehicle traveling 65 MPH will do to a little boy upon impact. But he knows that there is something about that highway that initiates a strong reaction from his father who loves him. And hopefully, the fear of that reaction will keep him from running toward the road until he can understand the real danger such an act poses.

That is why I believe Solomon wrote that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. We may not completely understand exactly why God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead when He did, but we do learn that God’s discipline can be a matter of life or death. And we fear. And that kind of fear is a good thing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

SpeakEZ Attire

I've been a Christian for over a decade now, and one thing, among many, that hasn't gotten any easier is initiating a conversation with somebody about spiritual things for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. I love the Gospel. I love to share the Gospel. I've traveled through neighborhoods, door to door, sharing the Gospel.