Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Link Highlight 7.15.11

One of the links I posted Monday that seemed to draw the most interest was this one about the dark consequences of unforgiveness:

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/five-benefits-of-unforgiveness-then-the-better-way

I hope you’ll take time to read it.  It should challenge each of us.  Here are some additional thoughts:

We all do this.

It is very difficult to imagine that at some point in our lives we haven’t been guilty of it.  It’s fascinating to read about things and think they apply to everyone else, but this applies to us.

It makes us feel better about ourselves.

When we don’t forgive, it is very easy to feel better about ourselves.  As the article talked about, feeling like we have power over people makes us feel good.  It’s also a horrible expression of pride.  I hope and pray that anyone reading this will consider letting go of situations where not forgiving has falsely built our self confidence.

Forgiveness IS better.

There is no doubt that forgiveness releases us of many of the emotions that lead us to sin.  It’s harder to forgive, especially when you don’t think someone deserves it, but there’s no doubt that the benefits outweigh the control it brings.  Life is short.  It’s difficult to imagine why we’d think it’s worth it to spin our wheels in situations where just forgiving someone would make so much of a difference – for us and most likely them as well.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Monday Links and Bullets 7.11.11

Cool date.  Good reads.  Check out this week’s links.

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Do you think this guy is being charged with too much?

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Five things unforgiveness will do to you.

Counseling together.  Interesting website you should check out.

Grass roots Christianity in India.

–A great article for thinking today:  read this about holding absolute positions.

MISCELLANEOUS

–An interesting site about sperm donation: anonymous father’s day.

–Sports:  the Browns have a lot to lose from the lockout.

–States and immigration: here’s an article from the BBC about Alabama’s new immigration laws.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

  • This doesn’t usually happen, but with the kids away at a VBS this morning and our foster daughter sleeping, I was able to sleep an extra hour and half late this morning.  Honestly I can’t say when the last time was that I took a 90 minute nap.  Much needed.
  • On a related note, I’ve been running through some tiredness.  Trying to stay consistent as I attempt to figure out what to do with my training this summer.  Still looks like a race at the end of August to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2012.  If that’s what I do, it’ll be a total crapshoot.
  • Gotta call Sears today and tell them they actually shipped me the pair of shoes they refunded me the money for.
  • Watching Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit sail into the seats was a great thrill.
  • Had a great day in worship yesterday and then enjoyed fellowship all afternoon at our church picnic.  Thanks to all who pitched in for a great day.
  • The death of Shannon Stone was a very sad day for pro baseball.  Guy took his 6 year old to a game and fell 20 feet attempting to catch a foul ball flung into the stands by a player.  He died later at the hospital.  Dads, spend some time with your kids!
  • I don’t know if anyone else watched the Jaycee Lee Dugard story on 20/20 last night.  It was very difficult for me to wrap my mind around.  I was left with the impression that she is a very strong person and that the legal system would do well to say they simply blew it.  Sixty times over almost 20 years they’d been to this guy’s residence and never bothered to search the back yard.  A neighbor even called and specifically said they’d seen kids living in the back yard.  Theological thought: without Christ I am no different in God’s eyes than the guy who did this.
  • Looking forward to our Nehemiah series over the next several weeks.

Monday Links and Bullets 7.4.11

Here are this week’s links.  After a week off you might think I’d have more than this.  Just a sign of a lazy vacation I guess!

LINK OF THE WEEK

–An excellent article by Tim Challies on raising kids, Christianity, culture, the gospel, and human nature.  The enemy is NOT next door.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

–There is value in normal churches.

Ever wonder if the New Testament is reliable?  Here is some excellent info, online, for free.  Be sure to find the July 1 entry.

MISCELLANEOUS

Funny, over-dramatic road signs. The commentary on these is hilarious!

Give me liberty or give me death.  The 2011 version.

VACATION BULLET THOUGHTS

  • It was awesome just to have extra time to do things I’d like to do more.  Hold the baby, talk to the kids, eat with the family, be available to help with things, hang out with my brother, his wife, and our niece and nephew.  See our parents, Julie’s grandparents.
  • I took a lot of naps on this vacation.  Yeah.
  • I consumed a lot of caffeinated beverages.  Yeah.
  • We got the chance to eat out a few times.  Yeah.
  • I was in the mall with the three kids at a shoe store.  David was trying on Transformer sandals and said “Look dad, they fit!”  I replied, “Great David!”  Then with the most pathetic face ever he says, “Can we get ’em?”  I said, “What do you need those for? You have plenty of shoes”.  He paused, he thought, then he said “But they fit!” . . . he settled for a Mario T-Shirt.
  • We swam . . . a lot.  The kids swam more than Julie and me, but they loved it.
  • We heard a great message at The Chapel in Marlboro on Sunday, July 3rd.
  • Do I miss the church I pastor when I’m on vacation?  Sure, but apart from praying for people, we really had limited contact or involvement with anyone from the church during this time.
  • Is a pastor’s vacation a break from God?  No, I’d say it’s a break from spiritual exertion.  I took time during these days to spiritually reflect and soak, but not exert.
  • I really enjoyed the opportunity to watch a lot of tennis.
  • I got to do some extra reading, which was great.
  • In the final stretch of this vacation, we will have stayed at five different places in six nights.
  • In reference to the above bullet, my father-in-law said we were driving a “gypsy van”.  It feels like we’ve been living out of it for a few days, that’s for sure.  As of now, it’s a real dump!
OTHER BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK
  • Project Shine 2011 was simply amazing.  I’m thrilled to be part of this organization.  I’ll let everyone know when photos and videos have been posted.  May Jesus continue to work glorious things in the lives of the students, adults, and residents!
  • It is difficult to be away from people I work closest with.
  • One way people think you can get to God:  through finding him on your own.  Another way people think you can get to God:  by following rules and conforming to outward behaviors.  The parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 rules out BOTH of these as options for how to have a relationship with God.  Real faith in Jesus is RADICALLY different than both of those options.
  • I predict Derek Jeter will NOT get his 3,000th hit before the All-Star Break.
  • Week One of “competition phase” of marathon training:  exceptional.  45 miles mixing short, long, slow, and fast running. (The difference between competition phase and regular running is simply the amount of miles and the specific goals for each day).  About six more weeks of intense training to go!
  • I have definitely met some cool people since I last wrote a “Monday Links and Bullets”.  I love meeting new people.
  • I love it that David likes to watch “The Price Is Right”; even though Drew Carey is dreadful as the host.
  • I am grateful that we live in a free country.  In the moral landscape we live in, it is hard to imagine our country as we know it existing for the rest of my natural lifetime (assuming God allows me to live the average span)

Friday Link Highlight 7.1.11

Here is this week’s most interesting read about five deathbed regrets:

http://headhearthand.posterous.com/top-5-deathbed-regrets

This is very interesting to read. I encourage you to have a look at the link.  On to a few thoughts:

1.  Does what other people think matter too much to you?

I think that this is a huge issue for almost everyone.  If you are reading this, think:  do you really care what others think about you and how much does it influence your decision making?

2.  Guys – are you working too much?

I’m not really sure how to solve this one.  Perhaps if you feel the need to always work the overtime, take up a second job, or if you are more comfortable working than you are with your family and friends, then it’s time to look inside.  It said every male answered this – part of me says welcome to what it’s like to wake up and feel the pressure to provide for your family every day.  I’m pretty sure I’ll get to my deathbed and wish I worked less too.

3.  How valuable are your friends?

Staying in contact with friends is just a matter of making investments in people, and knowing who your true friends are.  There is no reason that you should get to your deathbed and regret neglecting friends.  Where are your priorities?

All in all, what would you list as your #1 deficiency on the list and what are you prepared to do about it?

Monday Links and Bullets 6.27.11

Here are some good reads for the week.  Enjoy!

LINK OF THE WEEK

Why you should read about the beheading of Christians (from the DG blog).

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

False prophet, real trouble.

Here’s a good site for thinking about the faith and apologetics.  Don’t know what those are?  Check it out!

–A Father’s Day article:  children don’t need providers.

MISCELLANEOUS

Top 5 deathbed regrets. Interesting.

Rehab for everything?  Good article about our mindset.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Well, Project Shine was amazing.  It is just so refreshing to see Jesus at work in people’s lives. I hope to have links to videos within the next couple weeks.
  • On a similar note, our service at Goss Sunday was a deep journey into the heart of Christ.  Great and meaningful worship!
  • In the beginning of the message, I challenged our church to focus on the people or types of people that get under their skin, upset them easily, etc.  Someone pointed silently and mouthed the word “you”.  Hilarious!  It was hard not to laugh.
  • Praying hard for several folks, just begging God to move in their lives.
  • “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”  – Psalm 112:7-8
  • So my marathon schedule got all jacked up.  I was going to try to run a race in Columbus in October to try to qualify for Boston in my new age group.  Then I found out you have register in September for next year’s race, and the qualifying times get 5 minutes faster for the 2013 race.  Guess I’ll be trying to find a race in August I can run!
  • We are still praying for wisdom and direction with our foster daughter.  She is the bomb.  We’ve had her now for almost eight months.
  • After last week, I will never think of Psalm 23 the same.
  • Hope everyone has a great week!