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Showing posts from February, 2009

Impression= Action or Depression

I have a friend who once gave me this formula. Impression without expression leads to depression. He didn't actually give that formula just to me, he gave it in context of a personal story he told about his trying to circumvent an impression from God. What reminded me of that formula was preparation for teaching the first chapter of the book of Nehemiah.
First, Nehemiah became aware of a problem with his people in Jerusalem. His awareness came in response to a question posed to his brother who had just arrived from Jerusalem. Quite often we ask people how things are with them, their family or friends. Just as often, we immediately forget their response, or file it away in our "information" file. Nehemiah didn't file it away. He immediately began to act on the information he had received. His actions included;
Prayer and fasting (indicating the intensity of his concern)Formulating a plan of actionGoing through the proper steps to launch his plan.He had no exper…

Wasting the Elders

Maybe it's because I recently celebrated my 70th birthday, but I don't think so. What? It's the fact that we Americans tend to lump all our older folks into the "has-been" folder and generally forget about them. The only exception seems to be in government. We do have our fair share of seniors involved in government. The Bible supports the idea that the elderly have much to offer. Moses was 80 when God called him to deliver the Jews from Egypt. Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born. Caleb was 85 when he requested of Joshua the right to take the mountain occupied by giants that he had been promised as a 40 year old. In Biblical times, the elders of a city oversaw and approved most business deals transacted in their city. They also settle disputes without having to bring the courts into the mix. Today, especially in our churches, we tend to forget the more mature folks. We allow them to be a part of the "Prime-timers", or some other benighnly nam…

Spiralling Up

Today I'm borrowing a phrase from Robert McQuilken's study, "Live in the Spirit". We are just completing this study in our Home Group. In it, McQuilken lists 10 activities of the Holy Spirit in human lives. Creating, revealing, redeeming, indwelling, transforming, filling, overcoming, gifting, sending and glorifying. All who claim to be in Christ are somewhere on this spiral, and are either spiralling up or down. In order to continue spiralling up, we much make spending time with God daily THE priority of our lives. It has been my observation that many people never get past the "redeeming" work of Holy Spirit. Their latest testimony of the work of God in their lives is their salvation experience. Admittedly the church has to bear a great deal of responsibility for this. The only instruction I was given when I professed faith in Christ was, "Sit right over there and fill out this card." Recently, some 60+ years removed from that initial e…

Words, Words, Words.

By the time I read all the Twitter, Facebook & Plaxo updates, and a few of the myriad blogs I follow, my brain is awhirl with words. If amazes me that often words are thrown into the air, or onto paper, or into cyber-space via the internet seemingly without a thought given to how they might be received. I experienced that very thing recently. I responded to one of those aggravating "notes" on Facebook titled "25 Words About Me", or some other inane title. I had resisted perhaps twenty invitations to do this, and finally I caved in. I did not give a lot of thought to this, but breezed through it as if it were that game where you respond to a word or phrase with the first thing that pops into your head. Bad idea! Immediately I was upbraided (deservedly so) by my two daughters over one word out of the twenty-five.
Just this week Baptist Press ran an article about a pastor (not Southern Baptist) that bordered on a hatchet job. This pastor just so-happened to…

The View from the Other Side

Today my wife and I had a new experience. For the almost 43 years of our marriage, and for me for some 20 years prior, we had never joined a church without being on staff. Since we were urged into retirement some five months ago, we have been visiting churches, and praying that God would make clear where He wanted us to plug in. Our primary concern was and is that we don't feel that God is finished with us yet. We want to be somewhere where our gifts and abilities can be used for the kingdom. We have no interest at all in "sitting and soaking". After visiting several churches in our area, we found one that seemed to fit the criteria we had prayerfully set. Finally, I made an appointment with the pastor, and expressed to him our concerns and desires. He graciously answered my questions without putting any pressure on me to decide right away. We came away from that meeting with an agreement to pray for God's leadership.
Today as the service progressed, I became…

All In Good Time

If you are like me, you have a tendancy to want things done yesterday. We have become such a "microwave society" that we can't wait for the oven to heat up. The problem with that is there are some things that will always take time to come to fruition; a flower blooming, a child growing up, the acquiring of an education, etc. Also, there are those things which only come with experience. Now that I'm four score and ten, I'm realizing that there is a wisdom that comes from living a long time and having many experiences. In a conversation just today someone commented, "You sure do know alot." to which I replied, "I've just lived a long time."
We all are given 168 hours each week and 60 minutes each hour. There is no such thing as "not having enough time". We have all the time we need. The trick is, learning to invest it wisely so that we get a return on our investment. We can spend time, we can waste it, we can make the most…