Archive for August, 2011

First Words of the Day

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

A1: “If Werewolves were real, what would happen to them if they ate that frosting Maggie put on that cake?”

Me: “Um, nothing.  Why?”

A1: “I thought they were just meat eaters.”

* These were her first words of the day. Not, “Good morning, Papa”, not “I’m hungry”, just a question about the ability of werewolves to eat cake.

O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old:

 Psalm 44:1 (ESV)

We have a responsiblity to pass on to our children our faith.  Our children will not know if we don’t tell them.  It is not primarily the pastor’s, or Sunday School teacher’s, or children’s minister or the youth minister’s job to teach my children about God.  Their instruction in the faith, their discipleship is primarily my responsibility.

“We have heard what our fathers have told us….”

Google & Blackberry Storm 2

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Technology

Verizon replaced my broken Storm 2. I downloaded and installed Google Sync. For some reason only my Personal calendar events are syncing. Here is what Google’s support page says:

“By default Google Sync will only download events for your main Calendar. If you would like to synchronize additional calendars you can select them on the ‘Google Sync > Options’ screen.”

Well, that’s nice. What if Google Sync > Options doesn’t display additional calendars from which to select? Only my primary (personal) calendar is displayed. As an historical note, I had Google Sync on my previous Storm 2 and it worked perfectly. Why now does it not seem to be functioning correctly?

Every Christian is a Minister

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

Acts 18:24-28

Priscilla and Aquila were tent makers.  They were not seminary graduates or even students.  They had been taught by Paul, but so had a great many other people.  Yet God chose to use them to mentor a well educated, well spoken Alexandrian named Apollos. Apollos was a man whom Paul, later, counted as an equal in missionary service.  What qualified Priscilla and Aquila for this calling?  It was not training. It was not pedigree.

It was willingness.

Too often Christians expect their pastor to lead all the Bible studies, community groups, visitations, officiate all funerals and generally do all the ministry of the church.  But according to scripture the purpose of the pastors is not to do all the ministry, but to train the members for ministry.

Priscilla and Aquila ministered.  They didn’t write to Paul and tell him that he needed to come back and set Apollos straight.  They took Apollos aside and explained as best they could what Paul had taught them.

I think the key here is the phrase, “As best they could.”  God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but to be willing.  It’s okay, when leading a Bible study, or teaching a Sunday School class or talking to your neighbor to admit you don’t know.  I recently heard a pastor say, “My people expect me to have an answer for everything and I do.  It’s usually, ‘I don’t know’.”  Just do the best you can.  Give you best to God, and trust Him for the results.

The point is that every Christian is a minister of the Gospel.

Are You Willing to Get Messy

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Church, Faith

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”

Proverbs 14:4 (ESV)

My house is not very clean.  If anyone were to judge my wife or myself as parents based upon the cleanliness of our house then I’m afraid we’d fail.  With four children (and another on the way) it would take the vast majority of our time to keep the house spotless.  It’s not a hasmat situation, but neither is it very tidy.  I confess that occasionally a couple days go buy without me sweeping the dining area.  With four children things are constantly getting damaged and broken.  We coul spend all our time cleaning and repairing to the neglect of our children’s need for love, discipline, instruction and companionship.  We could lay down plasit sheeting on the carpet and sofa, make rules prohibiting indoor play and generally try to preserve the hosue in perfect order preventing wear and tear and damage.  That is no way to raise children or be family.   Wear and tear, brokenness, dirt… they part of human life.  They are part and parcel of living in community.

Church is the same way.  We could spend our energies preserving our buildings, traditions, and sacred cows.  Or we can get dirty.  Helping people means getting dirty: Both our facilities and ourselves.

Where there are no oxen, the barn can be kept clean and in order.  But no crops will be planted or harvest.  The barn is useless.  In order to plant, grow and harvest crops we must allow the oxen in and they will poop on the ground.  They will make a mess.  But it is a mess without which the farm will fail.

How’ your barn?  How’re your house and church?  Is everything so pristine people are afriad to sit down?  Or do you allow dirty people with messy lives into your circle?  Do you get messy and dirty with them?

Haircut

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Life

Today I got a haircut.  This is a big deal.  I went to a barber.  Not a hair stylist…a barber.  I haven’t been to a barber since my last visit to see my grandparents.  It’s hard to find barbers anymore, but I love going to an old fashioned barber and getting a haircut.

This gentleman has been at the same location here in Holdrege for fifty-one years.  Stepping into his shop was like stepping back in time…and I loved it.  It’s a nice masculine establishment (not macho, masculine).  I was completely comfortable and enjoyed learning a bit about his life as he restored my hair to its proper and appropriate length.

I feed much better.  I walked out of that shop with a big ol’ smile on my face.

Good Tech Bad Tech

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Technology

Yesterday I received my new Kindle.  I’ve begun the process of putting my books back on it.  What makes it more difficult than usual is the amount of non-Amazon books I had on my Kindle.  I have literally thousands of eBooks of various formats from before the Kindle days.  Fortunately there are little applications like Calibre which makes converting and uploading books to Kindle a snap.

Today I received my replacement BlackBerry.  It didn’t work.  It’s even more dead than my defunct original phone.  So, Verizon is sending out a replacement for my replacement.  Is this ironic or merely annoying?