February 2006

Business Thoughts and Encouragement28 Feb 2006 12:29 pm

Came across this christian podcast site today:
Bible Stories My Kids Like – Just what it says.

Business Thoughts27 Feb 2006 01:33 pm

Free Money Finance has a great post on being faithful with what you have. While their emphasis is on money, it is equally important in all aspects, including time.

Sermons27 Feb 2006 11:40 am

From the 2/26 Sermon a book was mentioned – The Barbarians Way:

From Amazon:

Erwin McManus wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so when he came to Christ as a college student, he didn’t know the rules of the “religious club.” He didn’t do well in Shakespeare courses, so he didn’t really understand the KJV Bible he was given either. But he did understand that prayer was a conversation, and he learned to talk to God and wait for answers. Erwin’s way was passionate and rough around the edges-a sincere, barbaric journey to Christ.

Barbaric Christians see Jesus differently than civilized Christians. They see disciples differently, and they see Christ’s mission differently. The Barbarian Way is a call to escape “civilized” Christianity and become original, powerful, untamed Christians-just as Christ intended.

Interesting  editorial review.  I will let you know more after I have read the book..

Sermons27 Feb 2006 10:23 am

The Sunday sermon this week was on the Army of God. The church is described as the bride in combat boots (heh). One of the ideas that really stuck with me was the idea of the aggressive soldiers.

That certainly makes sense. You would hardly expect a soldier in battle to tiptoe around an enemy, afraid to hurt them. Aggressiveness is rewarded on the battlefield, or on a football field, but not so much in most workplaces, in homes, or in the church.

Aggressiveness is looked upon as a bad thing. An aggressive businessman is someone who cuts corners, cheats employees, and is not someone you want to be around, right. We all are witness to aggressive drivers.

Aggressive: having or showing determination and energetic pursuit of your ends.

This definition of aggressive does not seem bad though does it. We need to stop thinking of aggressive only in the negative.

As Christians, we need to show determination and energetic pursuit of telling the world the great news of Jesus Christ.

Update: Ambition is another forbidden word:


  • a cherished desire; “his ambition is to own his own business”
  • a strong drive for success
  • Thats not so bad.  Speaking of ambition, a new season of The Apprentice starts tonight, and I am sure it will yoooge!

    News26 Feb 2006 02:29 pm

    I never met Don Knotts, but like most who saw him, he brought much enjoyment.

    Some notes on Don Knotts (from the IMDB).

    1. Enlisted in the United States Army at age 19.
    2. Is a member of the fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa.
    3. Veteran of the Second World War who was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with 4 bronze service stars), Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksman Badge (with Carbine Bar) and Honorable Service Lapel Pin.
    4. Attended and graduated from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, with a BA in Education graduated 1948.
    5. Took an early job plucking chickens for a market when he was told he didn’t have a future in acting.

    I am glad that Don Knotts gave up plucking chickens, and didn’t listen to the naysayers. Not only did he have a future in acting, his acting left quite a shadow.

    Thank You Don Knotts.Don Knotts (1924 - 2006

    Tunes25 Feb 2006 10:39 pm

    The Friday tune this week is one of my favorites, and it speaks directly to the heart of Giving Your all For God. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross is a hymn that often gets pulled out towards Easter. Is there a song that is as visually rich with pain than this?

    See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

    His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree;

    For the redeemed the song is also one of the most incredible love songs ever written, for it has as its source the greatest love story ever told.

    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

    As all good music, as well as art it leaves us challenged:

    Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.

    What an incredible song. The perfect melody to complement such a sad, triumphant, loving song.

    When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.

    Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.

    See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

    His dying crimson, like a robe,
    Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
    Then I am dead to all the globe,
    And all the globe is dead to me.

    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

    Encouragement25 Feb 2006 10:29 pm

    That all changed last week for the team manager in the final home game of the season. The 17-year-old senior, who is autistic and usually sits on the bench in a white shirt and black tie, put on a uniform and entered the game with his team way ahead.

    McElwain, 5-foot-6, was considered too small to make the junior varsity, so he signed on as team manager. He took up the same role with the varsity, doing anything to stay near the sport he loves. Coach Jim Johnson was impressed with his dedication, and thought about suiting up McElwain for the home finale.

    His performance was jaw-dropping: 20 points in four minutes, making 6-of-10 3-point shots. The crowd went wild.

    “It was as touching as any moment I have ever had in sports,” Johnson told the Daily Messenger of Canandaigua.  Full story here.

    What a fantastic story.  Can’t you imagine how nervous his parents must have been when he entered the game, and their joy as the crowd went wild.   Good for him, and for those who have loved and supported him.

    Encouragement21 Feb 2006 09:00 pm

    The trumpets blare the first notes of the Olympic Anthem, and my pace quickens. I really enjoy the Olympics, and the Winter Olympics especially. Over the last weeks, I have watched with excitement as young men and women, have strived for Olympic Gold.

    As I have watched, several things have stood out to me.

    • In so many events, the difference in Gold, and sixth place is only a fraction of a second.
    • The fervor for which each country cheers its athletes, and takes pride in their accomplishments, has encouraged me.
    • The sportsmanship with which these athletes compete is admirable. For example, in one of the Cross Country Skiing events, the skier who had won Gold in Salt Lake City fell down in the opening, and was back almost 14 seconds. His countrymen moved to the front of the pack, and slowed the pace down, while the rest of the field allowed the skier to pass towards the front.

    As I watch these athletes compete, giving their all, I am forced to consider my own efforts. Am I giving my all. Can I work harder to make sure that the flag of my savior is lifted atop the flagpole.

    Family Thoughts20 Feb 2006 10:56 pm

    A bitter winter wind, blows across the mist covered cemetary. The green tent of the funeral home stands guard over the freshly turned earth. A row of oak and hickory trees marks the edge of the cemetary.  Along the fence, a dogwood, has begun to bloom, tricked by the recent warm weather into an early arrival. Winter, in its icy grip, can still show its power; the temperatures now in the low thirties. Yet, the bleakness of this day, and the solemn procession of the mourners are betrayed by the warmth of the memories of this place.

    The old country church, with the gravel parking lot stands watch, just as it has done for years. We have visited this place often; more often than we would wish. We came to remember Uncle Edward, and Mammaw Butler.  Some call it the old home place. Years have passed, and most have moved away, yet still we come together on sad occasions, and we see faces that remind us that, although we may leave this place, this place will never leave us.

    As I pass Mammaw’s tombstone, a tear escapes my eyes, not in sorrow or in loss, but a tear of thanksgiving, for having known this remarkable woman. I take a rough count of the headstones as I walk, maybe 80, maybe 100 people. Many of these people are members of the family.

    I turn and look at the procession. I see the faces of my cousins, my aunts, and close family friends. And while we came today to mourn a loss, we also glory in the reunion of the family. My cousin Walter, whose sister we now grieve, put it best in his remarks: We thank God for this place, and for this family and we should seek to enjoy our time together and be happy.

    And as the rain began to fall harder, and the funeral broke up, I smiled and thanked God for this old home place.

    Tunes19 Feb 2006 07:22 pm

    Well, the Friday Tunes this week will actually come out on Sunday due to a busy workload. As it turns out, I attended a funeral on Saturday, and the friday tune comes from the service. Precious Memories, became a fitting tribute to the life of a beloved cousin, and more importantly a trip to the old home place, where my mothers family was from.

    Precious memories, unseen angels
    Sent from somewhere to my soul
    How they linger ever near me
    And the sacred scenes unfold
    Precious father, loving mother
    Fly across the lonely years
    And those old home scenes of my childhood
    In fond memory appear

    Precious memories
    How they linger
    How they ever flood my soul
    Then, the stillness of the midnight
    Precious sacred scenes unfold

    Precious memories
    How they linger
    How they ever flood my soul
    Then, the stillness of the midnight
    Precious sacred scenes unfold

    Precious memories

    I offer prayers that your life will be filled with precious memories of warm people, and wonderful places. Thank You God for the people in our lives, some who may only sail by for a moment, but who forever change the river of our life.

    Encouragement16 Feb 2006 01:45 pm

    As the sound of the childrens laughter echoed through the camp, my heart snapped back to memories of my own days running up these hills. The wonder of topping a hill with a fresh possibility behind each mound, the thought that maybe, just maybe the ghost stories were real. The complete trust that no harm would come.How far gone those good times seem. I have struggled mightily with depression lately. I watch my life passing, as if looking into a snow globe. My legs ache from running injuries, and the strain of added weight. My bank account is bare each day, as I struggle to try to keep up. My spiritual life feels without energy or desire. Angrily, I ask God for the keys to fix these problems. Silently I listen for any response.

    Yet still the children play, and the smoke from a nearby fire wafts through the clearing of pines, and in a small corner of my mind, God plants a seed, and that seed grows, watered by the serenity of the scene around. God is a compassionate God.

    Jeremiah wrote an entire book of Lamentations. A book of sorrow and pain. The heartache of a nation crushed, enslaved, tortured and killed. Of generations lost. Yet in this small book that details such suffering and pain, hope remains.

    Lord, As I face the blackness of this night, remind me that even in the darkest of nights, you are a compassionate and loving guide.

    Originally written in March 2005.

    News and Tunes10 Feb 2006 09:57 am

    First a recognition, and recommendation. Several years ago, I worked with a guy, whose dream was to be a musician, and while most everyone harbors dreams of being a rock and roll star (see American Idol), this guy was different. His name was JJ, but he now goes by Jaystorm. JJ was a good guy, who worked hard at his music and today there was a good article on him in the Knoxville News Sentinel (registration required – really, why do they do that).

    From the moment I woke up this morning , I had the song – Standing on the Promises in my head. Getting ready for work, I kept thinking don’t quit, keep going. Work you see has been rather dull lately, and my co-workers have been unkind. I get to work, pop open the Knoxville News website, and their is JJ looking out at me. Keep working indeed.

    And work is much easier when you realize that you are standing on the eternal promises of Christ our King!!

    Standing on the promises of Christ our King
    Through eternal ages let His praises ring
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing, standing.
    Standing on the promises of God my Saviour,
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
    When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
    By the living word of God I shall prevail,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing, standing.
    Standing on the promises of God my Saviour,
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
    Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    Resting in my Saviour as my all in all,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Encouragement09 Feb 2006 03:41 pm

    The latest Christian Carnival – (Edition CVIII for those of you keeping score at home) is up at Part Time Pundit.  Some great reading there.  Check it out.

    Encouragement07 Feb 2006 11:36 am

    Go Deep was the title of Sunday’s sermon by Pastor Scott. The Super Bowl provided plenty of metaphors for our Christian walk. Appropriately enough, the sermon started by having the congregation sing the second verse of the childrens song “Deep and Wide” – “mmmmm and Wide, mmmmm and Wide, there’s a fountain flowing mmmmm and wide”.

    The scripture reference was Ephesians 4:11-13.

    11) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12) to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13) until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    As Christians, we must seek to not only grow wide, but to also grow deep. Ephesians 4:13 gives a way to measure our depth. Specifically there were three ideas that came from the lesson:

    1. Unity of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. The idea that we are all using the same playbook.
    2. Knowledge of Jesus Christ. More than knowing, having the relationship, and experience with Jesus.
    3. Spiritual Maturity in Christ Jesus. Our goal is to be mistaken for Jesus.

    One of the illustrations from the sermon that really stuck with me was the idea of a fisherman cleaning his nets. Technically this is not fishing, but without cleaning the nets, you cannot fish. Pastor Scott noted that he had talked with a boy who was fishing with nets, and he indicated that he spent about 80-90% of his time cleaning his nets. I think about the time that I spend tying fly’s for the spring and summer fishing trips. 80% sounds about right.

    Without the spiritual exercise of “cleaning our nets” – that is equipping for the journey, we cannot “fish” – that is win lost souls to the love of God. Ephesians 4:13 is a high standard that we should strive for in our lives.

    Encouragement and Family Thoughts05 Feb 2006 01:12 pm

    We have been working on a pinewood derby car, and when I say we, I mean of course me. It has been a frustrating experience, which when coupled with our previous pinewood derby history (we have mostly ran in the bottom 10% of the cars), left us with a general unease in the pursuit of this car. Rather than a bright, shiny finish, Thomas’s car would be a pale shade of green, which had been the color of a bathroom in a house some years ago. When I accidentally sliced a gash in the side of the car after it had been painted, it became character, not a mortal flaw for which it could not leave the house, nevertheless race. Our accepted motto this year had become – “Well, we can’t do much worse than last year”. But this was Thomas’s last race, and we still hoped that he would place.

    Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the race. At the pre race weigh in, we had ran a respectable race, and the starter commented that the car looked fast. Like Charlie Brown waiting for Lucy to pull the football back, we took a careful wait and see attitude. On the way to the race, Thomas asked if he could pray, and he prayed a sweet prayer. Let his car do well, and he would love to place, and if he couldn’t then could one of his friends. No doubt there were lots of prayers being issued from cars yesterday by 8,9,10 and 11 year old boys.

    I should point out that the other boys cars were amazing. Not only were they bright and shiny, but they looked like they were fast. It was as if they looked on the pale green wedge shaped car with disdain. “You cannot keep up with me, ugly green car” they seemed to say. We had our eggs solidly in the performance basket, for their would be no design prize today. Mom and Dad came, despite my Dad feeling sick. He must have felt as green inside, as Thomas’s car.

    When Thomas’s car ran in the fourth race for the Webelos, he won first place. I liked to have fell out of my chair. Thomas meanwhile was estatic, but quick to compliment his fellow racers. After four years of slow cars, Thomas is a model sportsman when it came to losing. I was proud of how he showed himself as a winner. Thomas’s car raced 7 more times, and he won a total of four races, and placed second on four more occasions. Each time he raced though, his car was right in the thick of things, just barely getting inched out.

    After the race when the finishers were being announced, Thomas was announced as Third place. We were thrilled. Long forgotten were the hurt feelings, as well as the piles of sawdust on the porch. Thomas had a winning car. His smile was worth every ounce of work we had put into the race. The years of slow cars, and disappointing finishes gave way to a smile that said in the end, it was worth the price.

    A committe gathered at the scorers table, and immediately, I felt like Lucy had just yanked the football, and we were in that small sliver of time between knowing that we cannot miss, and coming to realize that in just a moment we are on our back with everyone laughing. Instead the committe had reviewed the scores, and Thomas had won second place. In the end, his car had been more consistent.

    Reflecting on this day, I had so many glimpes of lessons from God. Hope to keep trusting Gods promises, the patience to be consistent in my daily walk, the joy God must feel at our happiness, and the true importance of our time were just a few of my observations.

    Thank you God for loving me enough to teach me important lessons, and for the joy and love of a little boy, to share it with. Thank you God for loving parents who shared these same lessons with me years ago.

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