Archive for February, 2010
February 28th, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in » My Life / Family, Pictures
Allison is definitely still my little birthday princess…
Hard to believe she’s three today! Daddy loves you, birthday girl!
February 18th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in » My Life / Family, Pictures
So… my mom and dad just took a week-long trip to Mexico. Yeah, they’re snowbirds of a sort.
But hardly your typical snowbirds.
Check it out. This is from an e-mail I just received from them, showing what a retiree (Dad) and an almost-retiree (Mom) do for fun on vacation.
Yeah. Rappeling and zip lines.
Parents these days.
February 17th, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in » Devotions / Bible Studies
Consider the words of Paul today:
20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.
When is the last time you really allowed yourself to break out of the fog of life and see what’s right in front of you? God’s creative glory is on display everywhere… we can’t deny the beauty and majesty of the creation. We can’t help but be amazed by the complexity of life… the vastness of the universe… the sheer number of the stars that can be seen on a moonless night away from the city. We can’t begin to fully grasp how our minds work… why the laws of physics are what they are… let alone how this entire universe came into being.
When we’re honest with ourselves, we find ourselves in complete amazement of life and all that it entails.
God is. God was. God always will be. And He’s screaming out for our attention. In fact, we can’t help but see Him.
Yet we’re so often willing to worship anything but Him? How?
We’re without any semblance of a valid excuse.
February 5th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in » Devotions / Bible Studies
The past couple of days, I’ve been reading from the book of John (as part of the MVBC 90 Day New Testament Challenge), and have been soaking in the interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees accounted there (particularly chapters 7 through 11). It’s very interesting to me.
You see, the Pharisees, despite every reason Jesus gave them, continued to persist in disbelief. Miracles… signs… wonders… none of it was good enough for them to simply believe that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Messiah… the Savior of the world. They continually questioned and criticized Him, investigated His miracles… generally butting heads with Him at every point possible in a feeble attempt to argue against what was becoming clearly obvious to everyone.
With the miraculous resurrection of Lazarus, enough had become enough. The Pharisees threw up their hands, in a sense acknowledging that they weren’t going to win. “What are we accomplishing?”, they say (John 11:47). Logic dictated that they couldn’t simply let Him go… He’d win too many converts and they’d lose their place of power. Only one option made sense: kill Him. After all, better to kill one man than to lose the entire nation, right?
Amazing the sheer ruthlessness of it all.
I don’t know about you, but I see a couple parallels here.
How often do we, as believers, struggle with accepting something God clearly lays out for us? Maybe it’s a mission trip He wants us to go on, or maybe talking to that co-worker or family member about Christ. Maybe it’s something even more basic… prayer, Bible study, even attending church? Whatever the case, in those times it’s almost crystal clear what God wants for us and from us. Every evidence points to that thing, every inkling of your heart cries out that it’s right. Yet we fight and fight and fight (a losing battle, mind you) against it?
Maybe it’s even the struggle the Pharisees had. Every evidence is pointing to you that Jesus is the Christ. That faith in Him is the sole path to salvation from sin. That loving and serving Him is all that really matters. You know you’re losing the battle with disbelief, so you throw up even more walls to “save” yourself?
What’s the point? Is the struggle (whether with belief in Christ alone or simply with obedience) really worth it? Is upholding your pride that your way is best really worth the misery of fighting a losing battle against God’s calling? What if submission to God’s way really is the only true path to peace and joy?
Think about it.
February 3rd, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in » My Life / Family, Pictures
Wow… Jenna is five years old. How is that possible already?
Happy birthday sweetie! Daddy loves you!
February 2nd, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in » Devotions / Bible Studies
Day 2 of the 90 Day New Testament Challenge. Reading from John 3 through John 6, one common message arises: believe.
Check it out.
In John 3:16-18, we find Jesus speaking with Nicodemus. After Nicodemus clearly fails to understand what Jesus has to say to him regarding being born again, Jesus says:
16â€œFor God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
At the end of John 3, we find John the Baptist teaching his disciples, testifying that Jesus is the Son of God. He clearly reiterates the teaching of Jesus:
36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
In John 4, we find Samaritans coming to belief, following Jesus’s interaction with the woman at the well:
39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, â€œHe told me everything I ever did.â€ 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
41And because of his words many more became believers.
Later in John 4, we find Jesus admonishing the royal official at Cana who has come to him pleading for healing for his son:
48â€œUnless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,â€ Jesus told him, â€œyou will never believe.â€
After Jesus heals the officials son, we find belief embraced:
53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, â€œYour son will live.â€ So he and all his household believed.
We see belief in the invalid healed at the pool in Jerusalem (John 5:1-15). We see Jesus sharing with the Jews residing in Jerusalem that the must believe in him for salvation (John 5:16-47). And we see Jesus sharing hard teachings regarding belief with the masses following him after the feeding of the five thousand (John 6).
If the Scriptures are a reliable source of information for answering the most basic questions of faith we humans have, we’re faced with a critical question that provides the answer to our ultimate outcome.
What do you believe about Jesus?
February 1st, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in » Church Stuff..., Devotions / Bible Studies
Today is the first day of the 90 Day New Testament Challenge for the men’s ministry at my church, Missouri Valley Baptist. We start our reading of the entire New Testament together with John 1 and John 2. As we’re reading Scripture together, my prayer is simply this:
Lord, show us something we’ve never seen in your word today.
For me, it’s summed up by three words, “come and see”.
We see the phrase twice in the first chapter of John. In the first instance, John and two of his disciples see Jesus passing by. John points out to them that it’s Jesus, the Lamb of God… the Christ, our Savior. Immediately the disciples jump up and start following Him… literally. Jesus stops, turns around to them, and asks, “What do you want?” Their response was anything but profound… “Where are you staying?” Jesus’s reply? “Come and see.”
With Philip and Nathanael we see a similar exchange. Philip has just come to Nathanael, and told him that they’ve found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael replies, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Philip’s reply? “Come and see.”
Come and see.
Simple, isn’t it? Come and see who this Jesus really is. Come and see just what it is that He teaches. Come and see the amazing things He can do. Come and see the difference He can make in a life. Come and see. Just come and see.
So what do you think? Are you ready to come and see this guy named Jesus? Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve looked at Him, checked Him out, thought about who He is. Maybe you’ve never given Him a thought. Whatever the case, won’t you come and see?
I am. Won’t you join me?