Archive for January, 2012
January 27th, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » Christian Living, My Life / Family
This is a repost of an article I shared over at our ministry site, just-1.org. If you haven’t checked it out to learn about the orphan care ministry Nancy and I have been blessed to start, we’d love you to do so (and share with your friends!). You can also connect with us via both Twitter and Facebook.
Obviously, it’s a huge phrase for us… it’s what we named our ministry, after all. We feel it was clearly God-given (both Nancy and I had the phrase placed solidly in our minds), and we’ve used it many times to try to convey to others what it means to us.
But I’ve been reflecting on it again over the past couple of days.
I want to have a real conversation with him, but it never happens. #JustOne
I wish there was at least one person who truly understands how I feel. #JustOne
I just want one thing to go my way today. #JustOne
I want one boy to prove to me that every boy isn’t the same. #JustOne
Let me have a hug. #JustOne
I just want one wish to come true. #JustOne
Just 1 miracle, Lord. #JustOne
You see, “Just 1″ is something people long for. There are so many people with a need for a “Just 1″ story. So many people who have a “Just 1″ story to share.
So many ways each and every person on this planet can make a difference in the life of “Just 1″.
For us, it’s about orphan care. We hope and pray that one day, we’ll be able to adopt “Just 1″. We desperately desire to help others make a difference in the lives of “Just 1″.
But what about you? How can you make a difference in the life of “Just 1″?
You have a “Just 1″ story. There is someone who needs you to touch their life… someone God has planned for you to impact.
Are you willing?
January 19th, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » Bible in a Year, Pictures, Scripture Snapshots
1The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
January 17th, 2012 | 2 Comments | Posted in » Bible in a Year, Devotions / Bible Studies, Scripture Snapshots
Yes, I’m a bit behind in sharing Scripture snapshots from my daily Bible reading plans. Here’s some from yesterday’s readings. Cool how so many of these run together in a common theme.
13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
2 Timothy 2:14-18
14Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
1Then Job replied:
2“I have heard many things like these;
miserable comforters are you all!
3Will your long-winded speeches never end?
What ails you that you keep on arguing?
5Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
23A wise man’s heart guides his mouth,
and his lips promote instruction.
28A perverse man stirs up dissension,
and a gossip separates close friends.
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
January 8th, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » My Life / Family, Pictures
I find it a bit ironic that my pastor preached this morning about the differences between men and women.
Why? This afternoon, we got a first-hand example.
Background… My son received some tools for Christmas. He’s just NINE years old, so maybe that’s weird, but it’s something he was absolutely thrilled about. And we’ve seen that he certainly has no aversion to using them (case in point here).
This afternoon, he showed us yet again that this is the case. This time, though, he didn’t stop with just HIS tools. He managed to sneak into my shop which I was napping (recovering from a migraine), and he used some of my POWER TOOLS.
Here’s the end result:
You see, Jeffrey just wanted to customize an old remote control car he found yesterday. He had another vehicle (a green Jeep Cherokee) that didn’t work very well anymore, and he thought it would be cool to put that body on the RC car.
Taking the body off was no issue at all. A couple screws, and mission complete.
The problem lay in attaching the new body to the RC frame. Short of a couple screws and holes, or tape (which he’s QUITE fond of, by the way… I need stock in 3M!), it just wasn’t gonna work.
So Jeffrey simply did what any industrious nine year old would do… sneak into Dad’s shop, find the drill and appropriate drill bits, find a couple screws that would work, and go to town.
Before I was awake and Nancy realized what he was up to, he was already done.
Well… Nancy was justifiably freaked out. POWER TOOLS! A NINE YEAR OLD! SERIOUSLY?!?**
My response was quite a bit different:
An ear to ear smile. “Nice work buddy! Next time, though, let’s have a bit of adult supervision, okay?”
My son was beaming (of course, you see that above). He still was when I tucked him into bed, actually. The jeep is parked on his headboard.
I don’t know. I guess he’s developing his inner Phineas and Ferb.
Which is SO much better than frying his brain with video games.
I’ll take it.
**Just to be clear, Nancy is 100% supportive of Jeffrey’s creative construction urges… she was just concerned about safety. Obviously, I am too. We don’t expect another surprise like this again. Jeffrey’s future construction projects using power tools WILL be supervised!
January 3rd, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » Bible in a Year, Devotions / Bible Studies, Scripture Snapshots
Perhaps it’s a small vial of sand or dirt, to help remember a memorable place. Maybe a coin from another country, or a ticket stub from a movie you attended with a special someone. Maybe it’s something else?
We love these things. They’re treasures to us… Markers of memories. Inherently worthless… yet invaluable.
Scripture contains an example of just this kind of remembrance technique.
1When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2“Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”
4So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’, 7tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
8So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.
We human beings have an amazing ability to forget what God has done in our lives. I don’t understand it, but it’s true. God can blow us away with His goodness, faithfulness, and love for us one day, yet we find ourselves questioning His love and care for us the next.
We need constant reminders of what He has done.
The Israelites had twelve stones, placed in a specific location to remind them of what God had done.
I have a friend who has an entire container of marked stones. When God does something important in his family’s life, they pick a new stone, write a couple notes about the event on the stone with a sharpie, and place it in a container they keep on display.
I have a tattered page from a Baptist Hymnal that I picked up in the front yard of my mother-in-law’s home May of 2003 following a devastating tornado. I kid you not, the song was “From Every Stormy Wind that Blows”. God worked in amazing ways in the town of Battlefield that week, and that page let me know immediately that God was still there in the middle of the destruction.
I have three rubber bands, one red, one yellow, and one pink, placed on my wrist in July 2010 by a beautiful little girl in the Dominican Republic. They’re worth less than a penny, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. God opened my eyes to our privileged existence on that trip, and gave me a heart for orphans.
My point, again?
We need these kinds of reminders of God’s goodness and work.
So what “stones” have you held onto?
January 1st, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » My Life / Family
I’m not sure this really will impact all of you who read this the way it did me, but it hit me tonight on this first day of 2012 that I’m really getting old.
Nancy and I were having dinner with the kiddos at a restaurant in North Kansas City on our way home from celebrating Christmas with family in Springfield. There was some ambient music playing that we both immediately recognized. I sang a few lines to Nancy to humor her. She didn’t laugh, though the kids sure did.
Jeffrey was grinning ear to ear. Apparently he kind of liked the song, which Nancy noticed. She turned to him and said something to the effect of:
“So, you kind of like the oldies, do you?”
I couldn’t believe she was referring to the song as “oldies”. I said, “It’s not THAT old of a song!”
Of course, I had to find out.
I googled the lyrics, because I couldn’t remember the title and artist (sign number one I was about to feel a whole lot older than I think I am):
“But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for!”
Google spewed it’s results.
Billy Joel. “You May be Right”. 1980.
I stood corrected. The song is 32 years old.
I feel MUCH older now.
January 1st, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » Bible in a Year, Devotions / Bible Studies, Scripture Snapshots
Today marks the beginning of a new year, and with it, a new Bible reading plan I’m embarking upon. I’ve shared about the plan here, so check it out if you want to get up to speed on what I’m doing. Suffice it to say that the reading plan presents an interesting combination of Scriptures given that I’m reading ten chapters a day from ten different books of the Bible.
Given that, I thought I’d share some verses that stuck out to me. I may not do this every day as I go through this reading plan, but I plan on doing it somewhat regularly. I think it will be very interesting to see what themes begin to emerge daily, and would imagine you’ll find this interesting too. So check back from time to time.
Before I continue, though, please be warned: combining snippets of Scripture from various places in the Bible can be a dangerous thing, as it’s not too hard to make the Bible appear to say something it doesn’t. I’m compiling these verses because I think it’s interesting to provide a snapshot of some of the Scripture I’m coming across daily, NOT to try to lead anyone into a certain way of thinking by reading these verses together. If you want to understand what God’s Word says (not to mention understand how God is using His Word to speak to you!), you simply cannot neglect context! If any of these verses jump out at you, look them up and read the surrounding Scriptures! If you have questions about what you’ve read, ask your pastor, or a trusted friend! Or even ask me… I’ll be happy to try to help you understand what God’s word is saying.
With that all said… here are today’s Scripture snapshots:
7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
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
19Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.
13Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.
14Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
my soul hates.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;
16wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,
17learn to do right!
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
18“Come now, let us reason together,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;
20but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
20At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”