- Have someone to fetch beverages from the fridge.
The reality is that no one under the age of five can carry a can of carbonated refreshment without shaking it. Getting from the living room to the kitchen and back almost certainly involves running twice around “the loop”, hopscotch across the kitchen tiles, lifting the can over the head (and dropping it) like a muscle man, and finally, leaping, in a single bound, over the arm of the couch to triumphantly deliver the beverage.
I don’t get a lot of comments on my blog, so it’s encouraging when I do. On one of my previous posts, Writing on the Door Post, a slow trickle a comments has broken my heart and got my hackles up a bit, as well. While the blog is about memorizing scripture, for one reader it triggered memories of a Christian father who abandoned his family for a younger woman. Another reader’s pain and frustration with unfaithful men wrecking havoc on wives and children.
Just about every morning, one or both of my two youngest boys wakes us up to crawl in bed for a morning snuggle. It is pretty easy to predict how the day will go for them by how they act in those early morning minutes. If they are whiny, or argumentative, or sullen, it’s going to be one of “those days”. If they are cuddly, or silly and playful, or asking about what they get to do today, it is likely to be a good day.
The sovereign LORD has given me the capacity to be his spokesman,
so that I know how to help the weary.
He wakes me up every morning;
he makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do.
– Isaiah 50:4
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. – Deuteronomy 11:18-21
I recently read how modern-day Jews still follow this admonition by attaching something called a mezuzah, a small box or scroll shaped container attached to the front door frame containing a small roll of parchment inscribed with a prayer from the Torah called the Sh’ma and one of the names of God, Shaddai. ( “God Almighty is sufficient” )
I was stumbling some blogs (ouch! I seem to have a bad buzz word infection!) and ran across this this of 12 Ways to turn a bad day into a better one. There is some good advice near, but the one I focused in one was:
3. Sing in your car.
And sing as loud as you can. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to frown while you are singing?
I had to laugh. It’s not a secret that I am among the ranks of the harmonically challenged. I am also called to serve in a fellowship that has a talented worship team and a strong focus on musical worship. Now, nobody has an expectation that everyone be on key, we all know that the focus of our worship is to bring a sacrifice before the King of kings, a sacrifice of our praise, our hearts, and our lives. But… there is something to be said for not sounding like a crow entering adolescence.
With that in mind, I have been changing my drive-time listening habits from preaching/teaching radio to worship and contemporary Christian music. So, if you pass a blue VW Bug blaring out a mix of Third Day and a tom cat in pain, it’s just me, giving God what I have, if not what He deserves.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7
My wife and I are big Dave Ramsey fans. If you not familiar with his top-rated, 3 hour-a-day radio program, his 3 NY-Times best selling books on personal finance, his Fox Business Network TV show, or his down-to-earth, biblically based financial advice, you have a couple of things you need to do:
First, get out more often! Second, go to his site, http://www.daveramsey.com, find a local radio station that caries his show and get a copy of his “The Total Money Makeover“.
After facilitating a couple of his Financial Peace University classes in our home, wrestling with budgets and bad spending habits, falling off the wagon and getting back on, we are finally free of the bondage of school loans, credit cards, and car loans. With the exception of our home mortgage, we are debt free!
There is a lot of cool stuff that can come from getting some friends together and heading off to a big Christ-centered event. Whether it the conversations and goofing around on the long road trip, praying and worshiping with hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of people who you don’t know but still have a connection with, getting to hear inspirational speakers you may not have heard before, or just the chance to pick up a cool new book or t-shirt, Christian events have a way of letting you get out the grind we can get into (even us on fire, swing for the fences, shake ’em and tell ’em about Jesus types!). They encourage us, build us up, allow us to make new connections and new friends, inspire us to return to our harvest fields with new energy and fervor.
In the past, I have avoided going to a lot of conferences, because, as much as they lift you up, there often seems to be a bit of a let-down right after the conference. The problem seems to have been that all the effort goes into plan for and attending the conference, but little though seems to go to what happens next. Our men’s leadership team has been going through Truth Project in the weeks following Iron Sharpens Iron., which places a lot of emphasis on planning for after the big event. I my case, my small group of guys will be going through Focus on the Family’s
So If you’re worried that a Christian event will just pump your sneakers for the short run, or you want to build on the momentum, make some plans for after the event. Plan to joint a new study group, start coffee club with some friends, volunteer for a service ministry like the food bank or life skills mentoring.
So, next time a group is getting together to head off a men’s or women’s conference, a worship seminar, or even Christian music festival, plan to go, plan to be inspired and encouraged, and plan to keep the fire burning when you return home.
Opps, I meant “Free Word“!
I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of copyrighting and limiting the reproduction of translations of the Scriptures. I think I understand why the people at copyright holders like Zondervan, the American Bible Society, and the Lockman Foundation have resorted to copyright. I understand the desire and need to protect the integrity and trustworthiness of a bible that is published with their respective titles such as NIV or NASB. I even understand and agree with the need to make money to pay a fair wage to the people who maintain the translations and create the huge range of different formats, notes and helps, and additional content included with modern print bibles. I recently ordered an NASB wide-margin from Zondervan.
But… ( You knew there was going to be a “but”!)
When I was first saved, I had the strange idea that bibles were sacred. I don’t mean The Bible, the Word of God, I mean those paper and ink books that had the Word of God written in them. It might seem like a semantic thing, but the effect of this odd idea was that I thought it was wrong to write in your bible. Like letting the American flag touch the ground or not taking off your hat when you ate, I thought it was somehow disrespectful to underline, hi-lite, or add little notes or cross references. It wasn’t until I got to know some real lovers of the Word, people who lived in and by the Word, and looked at their bibles that I began to change my view on writing in my bible. Seeing their personal walk with, and revelations of, the Word of God spelled out in the margins and between the lines, helped me see my bible as less of a holy relic and more of a daily companion and confidant.
For the past couple of years, I have carried a beautiful leather-bound NET bible that I got as a gift from the folks at Bible.org that I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write in. As a compromise, I have been using the Personal Commentary module in my Gnomesword software to keep notes. This has worked pretty well, but I am finding myself in more and more situations where I have a paper and ink bible with me and firing up my laptop just isn’t convenient.
With that in mind I just ordered a wide-margin Zondervan NASB. This will be the first bible I have purchased with the main intent of writing in it.
If your more of a digital life type, you might want to checkout MyVersion. MyVersion not only lets you make notes, but you can add links, images, and videos and share them with others.
If you have an iPod or other personal media player, I bet it is stuffed full of good music, Christian and otherwise. I found a pretty cool project called Scripture Release that has taken a number of scriptures verses recommended by the Navigators Topical Memory System and put them to music. A plus for me is that some of the songs are performed by Kim Hill, whom I have been a fan of for a long time. The basic idea is that music and song have a way of fixing God’s word in our hearts better than just about any other method.
Since it’s not likely the musical style of the Scripture Release tracks will appeal to everyone, I want to hear about any songs that accurately recite scriptures – songs that, when you hear the tune, the scripture automatically comes to mind.