Impromptu Worship

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it’s true that worship can happen anytime and anywhere people gather together in His name.

This evening when I got home from work, my little girl was feeling rather cranky (my wife and mother-in-law believe she’s colicky) and – as my wife had to be up way before I did, I volunteered to hold her and try to console her as best I could as my wife tried to get some rest.

After helping with a few things, I finally got dressed for bed and took my beautiful daughter in my arms and sat down on the bed with her, wondering how I could console in the inconsolable. I hugged her to me, belly-to-belly, trying to think of ways I could keep her calm so my wife – who is a very light sleeper and whom has probably awoken to the tapping of me writing this post (through one closed door in another room entirely) – could get the rest she needs (she’s a school bus driver).

As I sat there, I kept coming back to Bobby McFarin’s ‘Don’t Worry/Be Happy’ song, which got me thinking of Christ’s teaching on worry (and how we shouldn’t, I’m fairly certain Mr. McFarin’s song was in no small part influenced by Christ and this particular teaching), so I started talking to my daughter, letting her know she had nothing to worry about. Explaining to her how much she’s loved, and the more I talked the more I focused on G-d and His love for us, and while that seemed to have some affect on Ms. Sassypants’ mood (Ms. Sassypants is my nickname for Rebecca), she still wasn’t entirely in the mood for a chill evening. After exhausting what little I had to say on the subject of worry, trust, and love that I thought she might on some level understand, I broke out in to song. Worship is more like it. One of my favorite hymns, and my go-to for whenever I need to feel better, is Amazing Grace and so I started singing it, but I couldn’t remember all the lyrics (and my half-baked attempts only seemed to frustrate my daughter) so I got up, grabbed my phone, and did what any other reasonable parent would do: I googled the lyrics for the 4 original verses and was not disappointed. Of course, however, one cannot simply begin and end worship with just one song. I had to move on to It Is Well (With My Soul), Unfortunately I do not know the meter of that song so well and I had to retire my own attempts and rely on YouTube to supply me with something worthy of our private worship session (once again, I was not disappointed). We did one more song (Just a Little Talk With Jesus) done by a bass quartet (which, this video was a bit more comedic than worshipful, but I think still was nicely done and suited our purpose just fine).

Thank G-d for giving me this time with my daughter. I needed it as much as she did (and, of course, since I laid her down in her bassinet, she’s now cranky again, c’est la vie!)

Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 2

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The second post in a soon-to-be series of 5 on healing and why we possibly have not experienced in our lives.

walking on water ministries

If you didn’t see the introduction to this post, you can view it here. Once you’ve seen it, let’s get started on listing the ‘clouds’.

1. Lack of Knowledge

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” But before you complain that I have taken this out of context, it is explained in even more detail in 2 Peter 1:2, which says, “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” I’m sure that we can all agree that healing would fall under God’s grace, and here it shows that God will show us more grace as we grow in knowledge. Lack of knowledge will see us miss out. In Acts 14 v 8-10, Paul is teaching, and when he realises that the person has the faith to be healed, he…

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How Ephesians Killed My “Radical” Christianity

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I really cannot add anything to this than to say the author is spot on.

The Log College

by Pastor Peter Jones

Note: This has nothing to do with David Platt’s book Radical. I have never read it or to my knowledge read anything else he has written.


What is a Radical?

Definitions matter. So before proceeding I wanted to define the term “radical.” By “radical,” I mean that strain of Christian thinking that says living a normal Christian life, getting married, having children, raising them in Christ, loving your spouse, being faithful at your job, attending worship, reading your Bible, praying, loving the saints, and then dying is not enough. It is that strain of Christianity that says, “There must be something more that I must do to be a good Christian.” The radical thinks and preaches that, “Good Christians do amazing things for Jesus.” This type of thinking is found in all branches of Christianity. There are mission weeks, revival meetings, monks who abandon all…

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I am afraid of this indisputable pro-choice argument

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This is a wonderful refutation of what some see as the ‘ultimate’ pro-choice argument.

Seeking After Righteousness – It Only Works For You

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As I was listening to Brother Richard Cook’s sermon today, one of the Scriptures he quoted was really emphasized to me by the Holy Spirit, but in a context different to what Brother Cook was speaking on. The Scripture in question is from the Old Testament and can be found in Ezekiel 14:14-20 though what the Holy Spirit was showing to me only involved verses 14, 16, 18, and 20.

Ezekiel 14:14
“Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the LORD GOD.

In context, we need to look back at the two earlier verses, though (vv. 12-13). God is speaking of the unfaithfulness of the world around these men (including all their immediate family, if applicable) and that, even though these men lived in the land, they could only deliver themselves by their righteousness. It wouldn’t extend to anyone else. God repeats this 4 times to emphasize this point through the prophet Ezekiel. This is an important point. You cannot ride on the coattails of a righteous relative. Just because your mother, father, sister, brother, or 12th cousin thrice removed was a holy, righteous person – by God’s standards mind you; what man has to say in the matter of who is or isn’t righteous really doesn’t come into play – does not mean you get a free ride.

What you can do, though, is what is outlined in Romans 12:1-2

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

In other words, if you are calling yourself a Christian, and you truly have been born again, you will attain righteousness – not because of others – but by the redeeming power of Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You will be righteous because you will be a new man (or woman) in Christ Jesus and your life will reflect the change that has been made. It won’t be because Uncle Noah or Cousin Job or Nephew Daniel were righteous. Their righteousness only delivers them. Period. End of story, and not because I said so, but because God said so (and not once, but 4 times in the 6 verses in question).

You can only seek after righteousness for yourself, never on anyone’s behalf and you cannot rely on someone else’s righteousness to benefit you.

Full Independence from Fossil Fuels: Is it possible?

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I would have to say with some certainty that the answer is no and here is why.

Electricity isn’t easy to generate.Wind power doesn’t quite cut it yet. Even in areas where wind is near constant, you must have unseemly windmills and – apparently – planting more trees in the world actually slows down the wind overall making it even less practical in more areas. Hydro-power is limited to where one has enough water to turn the turbines at a reasonable rate (waterfalls and dams come to mind). Nuclear is getting yet another black eye (thank you Japan) and while I have nothing against it, many others do. Solar is still too inefficient (even with more efficient panels) and dependent on the sun being out, and the issue of storage (batteries, which need to be replaced every so often as they do not last forever). On top of all that, though, is the fact that most electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, etc.). That means your brand new all-electric vehicle (the one made with plastics, fiberglass, and other fossil-fuel derived products) is still dependent on fossil fuels.

Some people believe that alternate fuels in this country (USA) are being hindered by the government and others who profit by fossil fuels. I have no doubt about that, but it’s not to the degree that some would have us believe. Solar energy is relatively new to the energy game (windmills and batteries having ancient origins). No one in Tesla’s day could have imagined you could harness the light energy of the sun by having it strike a material that would generate an electrical charge when hit by photons and develop a system of electricity. Trust me, if Tesla knew about it (doubly so Edison whose baby was direct current) he probably would have been all over it like white on rice.

If anyone has studied the history of electrical power in this country, one of the biggest issues has not only been generation but it has been distribution. In the end Tesla won out because it’s easier and cheaper and more efficient to transmit AC power over long distances. For those not well versed, without an inverter all you get out of solar cells is DC. Not really useful in the home or over long distances without using an inverter to convert from DC to AC.

Therein lies another problem. Anytime you’re inverting (DC to AC) or rectifying (AC to DC) you lose something in the process. There is no avoiding it. Even when using AC you are only using 70.7% of the peak (single-phase, which is typically run to residential customers). Sure you could convert to DC and get more bang for your buck, but your still having to rectify the AC coming in off the power lines (most all of your electronic devices already do that, for what it’s worth). Rectification, filtration, and regulation of AC to DC is full of losses because of resistance. Everything has resistance. When electricity encounters resistance you just aren’t limiting the current, you are actually dissipating it as heat. No electrical circuit is 100% efficient (and anyone who tells you otherwise is flat-out lying). Even straight copper wire has resistance (something like 12 ohms per thousand feet, it adds up real quick when you start talking in miles).

Do we need to be concerned about fossil fuels? I think we need to be very concerned, but calling electric power the cure-all for our fossil fuel woes is not only short-sighted but straight out foolish. I think we need to get into energy conservation. I think we need to force car manufacturers to start bringing their fuel-efficient designs from Europe over here (look over at European cars and pull up their mileage charts (it’ll be in liters per kilometer, but the conversion process isn’t too inaccurate to miles per gallon). The car companies like Ford, GM, and Chrysler have the technology to lessen our dependence on petroleum. Why don’t they? Greed. Each company almost guaranteed has interests in developing new oil rigs (or interests in companies who are interested in drilling for more oil).

Don’t oversell electrical power. It’s good, but it’s far from efficient. It’s far from being the holy grail of our energy problems.

Worst Fast-Food Ever or Why I Won’t Eat At the McMinnville, TN Hardee’s Ever Again. EVER.

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The Scene

Mom wants to eat out at a fast-food place so someone else (outside of the house) can cook and clean. No big deal. She even took Dylan. She asked where we want to go. Dylan and I wanted Burger King (I was drooling for a king-sized triple whopper meal, Dylan for chicken nuggets) and dad wanted Hardee’s, so after much debate, Dylan and I were overruled. No biggie, I enjoy Hardee’s as they generally have the same level of service as anywhere else and good quality food, so to Hardee’s we went!

The Order

We should have been warned as customers stormed out cursing about a 15-minute wait and the unswept floors both behind and in front of the counter (and all around the store, really). We persevered, though, because we thought the service would be decent. It wasn’t.

The Wait

We waited about 15-20 minutes for our meal. Fries and onion rings were cold. The burger was kind of hot, you could at least tell it had been recently cooked. The chicken tenders were the hottest, freshest part of anyone’s order (dad and Dylan had chicken tenders; dad in a adults meal, Dylan in a kids meal).

Mom and I decided we weren’t hungry and were going to split another order (not something we do anywhere else, for what it’s worth). Another 20 minute wait. At least 10 of it because someone couldn’t look straight ahead when told to look straight ahead (looking to the right does not qualify). At least one of the people were pulling their first shift. I can forgive them that. The rest? They all acted like it was their first. I was so tempted to tell the shift-leader to make me all legal to work behind the counter and go in and get things humming. I probably would have ate sooner had I done so but I didn’t even try so whatever (not that I’m perfect, but by golly even the shift leader was acting the part of a n00b). At least everyone was polite. I guess that’s something.

During all this you could look around and without even trying to look for messes you could see them. Pick them out from across the store even. And looking behind the counter? It looked as if a salad exploded on the floor 2 shifts ago and no one swept it up. Hardee’s in McMinnville, TN I am never eating at the location again. EVER. Either get a new franchisee, new management, or shut it down. It’s a blight on the good name of at least your Murfreesboro store (the one on 70s).

Messy. Slow. Cold (the food at least). I give it two out of 5 stars (and those two only because of the politeness of the employees and the accuracy of the order) and that’s being generous.

Past and Future (via Ginrich’s Blog)

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Another gem from Ginrich.

Phil 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I was sitting on a porch looking out on a lake.  I looked at that same lake a few decades ago.  Back then, it was a Boy Scout Camp and we were considering buying it and turning it into a retreat center.  God took us a different direction and we forgot about the camp.  Now, decades later, we ar … Read More

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Coming Together (via Ginrich’s Blog)

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Mt 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Heb 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   In youth group we gathered around a round table and, without using hands, blew a ping-pong ball trying not to let it go off the table around us.  Each time the ball went off the table the person ne … Read More

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God’s Will 5 (via Ginrich’s Blog)

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A nice little thought for the day, almost a devotional.

John 7:16-18 Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself. He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. Once we have addressed the desire to do God’s will, how do we learn what His will is?  Jesus said we need to know … Read More

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