31. May 2011 08:52
So I own 800 feet of prime Morgan County pond front. That's how long it is if you walk the edge of my pond all the way across my property.
I set out yesterday to trim the tall grass around the pond. When I do trimming I typically just fill the gas tank and work till it runs out. I can't do all my property in one day anyways - time and energy don't allow it. So I'm getting near the end and wondering if I'm going to run out of gas before I finish... it has been long, hard work. And I ask myself, "What will I do? Will I stop short of my goal, or will I go get more gas and finish the job?"
I get to the end of the pond and am amazingly not out of gas. So I do like I always do and keep trimming, planning to go until I run out of gas. I run out of gas not FIVE FEET after I left the edge of the pond. And of course, what's playing in my ears? A song by Lincoln Brewster about a passage in the book of Isaiah about God giving us strength to walk and not faint, run and not be weary, etc.
31. May 2011 08:47
I love this analogy by John Piper and figured I'd better get it recorded here so I don't lose it (again).
The Compost Pile - John Piper
So what about the compost pile? Picture your marriage as a grassy field. You enter it at the beginning full of hope and joy. You look out into the future and you see beautiful flowers and trees and rolling hills. And that beauty is what you see in each other. Your relationship is the field and flowers and the rolling hills. But before long, you begin to step in cow pies. Some seasons of your marriage they may seem to be everywhere. Late at night they are especially prevalent.
These are the sins and flaws and idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and annoying habits in you and your spouse. You try to forgive them and endure them with grace.
But they have a way of dominating the relationship. It may not even be true, but it feels like that’s all there is—cow pies. I think the combination of forbearance and forgiveness lea... [More]
13. May 2011 22:04
I suppose to be more accurate I should say that I'm blogging by the backlight of my laptop's screen, but piling rocks by moonlight sounds much more idealistic. Plus, I AM outside on our deck, at 10PM, with a cup of coffee, and everyone else in my household either in bed, in a stall, or out for the night. (And no, Erin is not the one in a stall.) And it's not at all quiet. The bullfrogs are out. The peepers are out. Occasionally the sound of an unmufflered ATV drifts across the fields. And junebugs. They appear to have shown up early.
Nonetheless, here I am. Finally quiet. It's been a busy, yet not so busy, week. So often I get lulled into this idea that I'm either succeeding or NOT succeeding based on how busy I am. So during a week like this week, I'd be utterly confused! I picked up a nice sized project for a client where loyalties go both ways, and have another project on the horizon that is so big in scope that it defies my imagination; yet my role in it is to scale it down to t... [More]
2. May 2011 22:39
A few days ago, Mark Layton (our associate pastor) put a post on Facebook about testimonies for the revival services we're having right now: “I am asking for volunteers to share a testimony about how God has delivered you from a difficult situation and made you ‘more than a conqueror.’” I’ve been through my share of spiritual ups and downs in my life, and sure, some of them have felt like victories… but “more than a conqueror?” I wrote back and said “I find that some of my best of days are simply battlefield victories and skirmish triumphs.” When I think of conquerors, I think of people like Brian Jennings, our guest speaker, referred to yesterday. Missionaries who give their lives to their work and don’t live to see the results of their labors. Martyrs who die for their faith. People that really give up something valuable, you know?
People like this guy – Chet Bitterman. Not only does he have a cool name, but he... [More]
2. May 2011 08:00
“The flower falls and the grass fades away, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.” (something like that)God, I want my life to MATTER. I want TODAY to matter. Is that selfish of me?You are the maker of all things, the master of the universe, the designer of DNA… and yet I find it so easy to wake up in the morning focused on myself… my success, my purpose, my lack of sleep, or my need for coffee.Re-center me on Jesus today. Remove me from the equation. Solo Gloria Deo.Does just saying that make it happen? Of course not. What DOES, then? How DO I put the focus back on you and take it off my own joy, misery, busyness, and rest?Perhaps I’m somewhat like Sampson. Destined to bring you praise, but living futility in my own strength. Glory eventually did come to you, Father, but not until he was literally removed from the equation. I choose to give you my life. Make me a living sacrifice. I want my days to LIVE for you (although I’d be fine with dying ... [More]