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“Few of us would escape the gallows!”

“If we were brought to trial for the crimes we committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.” (Paul Eldridge)  The following short video shows this point:

Let’s try a brief experiment.  If you are a long-time reader of this blog, would you consider posting a short comment today?  What’s one way that you hurt yourself in your Christian life?

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2017 in the Christian life

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 90)

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-6-57-12-am

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in attributes of God

 

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Time for Some Mitch Hedberg (what a tragic loss)

Mitch Hedberg was an amazing stand-up comic  who died from a drug overdose.  Here are some of my favorite jokes from Mitch:

“I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long.”
“I like rice.  Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.”
“I like to play blackjack.  I’m not addicted to gambling.  I’m addicted to sitting in a semi-circle.”
“I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I’mscreen-shot-2016-12-23-at-6-55-36-am gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve traveled to. But first, I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down.”
“I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.”
“The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.”
“I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”
“I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.”

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Mitch Hedberg

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 89)

Psalm 89

A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-6-32-01-am

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever
    and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,
    your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
    with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
    you founded the world and all that is in it.
12 You created the north and the south;
    Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
13 Your arm is endowed with power;
    your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.
18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.

19 Once you spoke in a vision,
    to your faithful people you said:
“I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
    I have raised up a young man from among the people.
20 I have found David my servant;
    with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
21 My hand will sustain him;
    surely my arm will strengthen him.
22 The enemy will not get the better of him;
    the wicked will not oppress him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
    and strike down his adversaries.
24 My faithful love will be with him,
    and through my name his horn will be exalted.
25 I will set his hand over the sea,
    his right hand over the rivers.
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, the Rock my Savior.’
27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,
    the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
28 I will maintain my love to him forever,
    and my covenant with him will never fail.
29 I will establish his line forever,
    his throne as long as the heavens endure.

30 “If his sons forsake my law
    and do not follow my statutes,
31 if they violate my decrees
    and fail to keep my commands,
32 I will punish their sin with the rod,
    their iniquity with flogging;
33 but I will not take my love from him,
    nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant
    or alter what my lips have uttered.
35 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—
    and I will not lie to David—
36 that his line will continue forever
    and his throne endure before me like the sun;
37 it will be established forever like the moon,
    the faithful witness in the sky.”

38 But you have rejected, you have spurned,
    you have been very angry with your anointed one.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant
    and have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have broken through all his walls
    and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
41 All who pass by have plundered him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword
    and have not supported him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his splendor
    and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with a mantle of shame.

46 How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how fleeting is my life.
    For what futility you have created all humanity!
48 Who can live and not see death,
    or who can escape the power of the grave?
49 Lord, where is your former great love,
    which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked,
    how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
51 the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,
    with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.

52 Praise be to the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2017 in relationship

 

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“The First Thing You Have to Do This Morning . . .”

My wonderful wife Linda got a great deal on a real, adult-size, screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-6-50-28-am“Hello, Kitty” costume.  Here’s a picture of her wearing the costume at our granddaughter Mary’s third birthday party:

Ever being the entrepreneur, my wife just sold the costume on Ebay.

Giving me my list of things to do today, Linda said, “Now the first thing you need to do this morning is box the head and ship it!”

That’s not something you hear everyday!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in humor

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 88)

Psalm 88

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A maskil[c] of Heman the Ezrahite.

Lord, you are the God who saves me;screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-6-12-11-am
    day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you;
    turn your ear to my cry.

I am overwhelmed with troubles
    and my life draws near to death.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am like one without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
    like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
    who are cut off from your care.

You have put me in the lowest pit,
    in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
    you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
You have taken from me my closest friends
    and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
    my eyes are dim with grief.

I call to you, Lord, every day;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
    Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
    your faithfulness in Destruction?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
    or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help, Lord;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, Lord, do you reject me
    and hide your face from me?

15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
    I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
    they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
    darkness is my closest friend.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in troubles

 

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Preparing for the Christian Ministry Seminars at Emmaus Bible College Feb. 6-7, 2017

Friends:

I’ve been invited to speak at Emmaus Bible College’s “Christian Ministry Seminars” this next month.  Past speakers have challenged the college students to give themselves to camping ministries, justice organizations, etc.screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-5-34-42-am  Perhaps because I’ve been in academia for over thirty years, I’ve been encouraged to give a series on a teaching/educational ministry.  The theme that immediately came to my mind was “Anti-Intellectualism Isn’t Spirituality.”  Here’s what I hope to accomplish in my four messages to the Emmaus student body:

Message #1- Message Thesis: “Our own history & the mood of the moment mitigate against the Christian’s use of the mind to love the Lord.”  I want to define anti-intellectualism and spirituality, as well as reflect a bit on both our Brethren history which discourages theological training and our present culture which assumes the Bible and Jesus-followers are opposed to the life of the mind.

Message #2- Message Thesis: “The Lord Jesus Christ, as our divine/human model, extolled and modeled the use of one’s mind in loving God in this world.”  I will survey how Jesus challenged us to love God with our minds and examine some of His use of both offensive and defensive logic in His earthly life.

Message #3-  Message Thesis: “The Apostle Paul in screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-5-38-50-amActs 17 models for us an engagement with his culture which uses his mind, connects him with his audience, and advances the gospel.” I look forward to going through Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill and seeing how God uses his intellect in reaching a diverse group of thinkers.  Not only was Paul not wrong in his approach, but he provides principles for us in reaching our post-Christian and anti-Christian world.

Message #4- Message Thesis: “There are specific, practical implications of a mind devoted to loving God in our world.”
Here I want to challenge all of us to take steps to connect with our lost world, to develop relationships with our lost friends, and to advance in our commitment to the godly use of our minds.  Some of the practical steps will include:  getting serious about friendships, surrendering our academic aspirations to the Lord, courageously critiquing our culture’s rejection of God (including reading what I call “Boiling Books” and doing good research), and some of us pursuing positions of influence in higher educational institutions.

Would a few of you commit to praying for me as I prepare these messages?  Let me know in the comment section below if you will lift me up before the Lord for this opportunity to influence these young people.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2017 in the mind

 

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