Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life, More Life, the Most Life - reprint

I was reviewing some of my old blogs and ran across the following from October 2008. It struck me again. Thus, I probably aught to post it again. Still love the following quote:

"You only live once - but if you work it right, once is enough." - Joe Lewis


I love this quote. I think it brings a biblical truth to the reality of what life is all about. Another quote I remember came from my Mom as a plaque in our home as I was growing up. It read, "Only one life will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last."

Taking an inventory of my working, serving, and giving to the Lord is an important task we all share as Christians. What more can we give? He gave everything to us. Our Worship Choir sings a song titled, "Everything", words and music By Caleb Collins and Marty Funderburk;
Here in the stillness I can hear Your spirit Call.
Here in the moment, Lord, You're asking for my all.
How could Your holiness require any less than all I am and
All I'll ever be.

Here in the quiet I recall Your sacrifice,
And how You suffered; how You paid love's greatest price.
So, when You call my name, Lord, I will do the same,
Because of Calvary.

My heart, my mind, my soul, my life;
Today and tomorrow, for all eternity,
I'll give you everything,
Because You gave everything for me.

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). My prayer today is that I will never take advantage of the reality of work in life. My service, my giving, my all...are the means God gives to declare His worth in my life. Therefore, this life is not long enough, but if I work and serve Jesus and His Kingdom, then it will be eternal and full. How could I respond any other way other than everything.

You know I love ya - Don

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yielding seed for the Sower

Remarking on His complete sovereignty over His entire creation, the Lord says: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." - (Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV))

If all of this seems incredible for us today, imagine how awesome the power of God must have seemed to the people that lived thousands of years ago, without the scientific knowledge that we possess today. This in itself, I believe, makes a strong case for the God of the Bible to be the One and only God - the true God. Polytheism was the general religious persuasion of that time. For the Hebrew people to have simply concocted such an omnipotent Being seems highly unlikely. It is understandable that creative storytellers of old could conjure up ancient tales of great wars between the gods, and gods engaged in titanic battles with colossalmonsters of the sea. But how could any ancient author or authors possibly contrive a divine Being Whose very words - indeed, Whose very thoughts - are truth itself? This impossibility strongly suggests that the Scriptures are not merely the product of imaginative storytellers, but rather the inspired word of God.

I pray that as we walk into a new week, we will turn our hearts to God's words and declare His Worth in their lives. For more GREAT information on Scientific Proofs of God check out: "Answers in Genesis."

A fellow follower that is cherishing the proof! - Don

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Funny - You started it!

During Hard economic times - laughter is needed and in this case free:

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked a young Engineer fresh out of Texas A&M, "And what starting salary were you looking for?" The Engineer said, "In the neighbourhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, a company matching retirement fund for 50% of your salary, and a company car leased every 2 years -- say, a red Corvette?" The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?" And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."
Happy Friday and don't forget to laugh about it - Don

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On the Wooden Line!

Psalm 31:1-3
1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

I love this passage. I think it is my life verse....at least for now. I love that I can take refuge in God. It also amazes me that God's reputation is at stake on my behalf. As a Christ follower, I have committed to submitting my will to God's direction and ultimate plan. In return, He is willing to allow me to take refuge, to seek rescue, and to stand on His promises like they are solid ground that will never quake. It is through my faith that I will be faithful because I would not want God's name to have a tarnished reputation BUT ALSO, God will never back out because His name and reputation are put on the line for me....WOW! that is a little heavier than I thought it would turn out to be.

God put His reputation on the wooden line or should I say on the cross beam at Calvary. It is imperative that I (we) never take advantage of that reputation and cling to His mercies that are new every morning. In order to find comfort in the task before us, I cling to the closing line of Jude (another favorite verse) Now to Him who is able to keep me from falling and to present me without blemish goes all the glory and honor. He can keep me from tarnishing His name....another promise that brings comfort. Thank You, Lord.

You know we love ya, Don


Monday, September 21, 2009

Mathematically Certain!

I have always loved this email that passes around. It is a great illustration of Abundant Living!
How about
 ACHIEVING 101%
What equals 100% in life? 
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions: 
If: 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Is represented as: 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26. 
Then: 
H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K 

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98% 
And: 
K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E 

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96% 
But: 
A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E 

1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100% 
THEN, look how far the love of God will take you: 
L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D 
12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101% 
Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, andAttitude will get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top! 

You know I love ya - Don

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Funny - Cat impressionist!

Friday Funny -

Seems a guy was driving for hours through desolate country when he passed a farmhouse, and before he could react, a cat ran out in front of him and*splat*... he flattened the cat. Out of kindness and consideration, he stopped, turned around and drove back to the farmhouse to notify the occupants. When the housewife came to the door, said he, "Pardon me, madame, but I just ran over a cat in front of your house, and assumed that it must belong to you. I know this might be hard to hear, but I wanted to let you know instead of just driving off...."

"Not so fast", she said. "How do you know it was our cat? Could you describe him? What does he look like?"

The man promptly flopped down on the ground, and said "He looks like this" as he gave his best shot at a dead cat impression.

"Oh no, you *horrible* man", she replied. "I meant, what did he look like *before* you hit him?"

At that, the man got up, covered his eyes with both hands and screamed" Agggghhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!"

Keep Laughing - You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Worship instead of desperation!

On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."
David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked. "Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. - 2 Samuel 12:18-20

Did you notice David's response to God's response....?

Story Summery...David lusts over his neighbor's wife, Bathsheba. He seduces her and sleeps with Bathsheba. She gets pregnant. David had her husband killed. David takes Bathsheba as his wife. God is not happy with David. The baby gets sick and then dies. David pleads with God to intervene and heal the baby. God does not.

David could have very easily turned his back on God and did exactly what the servants anticipated..."do something desperate." But instead, we see Him get cleaned up and go to the house of the Lord to worship...He went and declared how much God was worth in His life. He went before he even went home or before he had anything to eat. I wonder how many of us would do that?

There is a lesson in David's actions. God is sovereign over all things. I need to learn that more and more. God is also not the main focus in this story...People do stupid things. David and Bathsheba were way out in the sin domain and what David did was absolutely against God. How many of the ten commandments could David break in one story? 8 out of 10....?

This is humbling to me, because I do stupid things too. I am also praising Him today because we live in the era of Grace. Jesus has paid the price from my stupidity...for my sin. I want to be more like David when the consequences of my sin fall my direction.

You may ask, "If God loves us, why does He refrain from protecting us from the wrong choices we make and sin we live." The answer is direct and gained in David's response...God chooses to go through the consequences with us. In other words, we grow and learn to lean on Him while we submit to our God and the discipline it takes for the release from the sin the so easily entangles us. He is a good God and never leaves us nor forsakes us...that is why when the results of poor choices or the results of "life" comes our way, we can do as David did and go to the house of the Lord and WORSHIP! We are not alone and there is therefore no need for desperation.

"Thank you Lord for being with us and always providing for us in the most opportune time. You are a great God and I worship you!"

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, September 14, 2009

Desperation leads to compromise!

Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.

Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name's sake. - Psalm 79:8-9
Desperation often leads to things that don't minister life to us. People who are desperate to make more money can get caught in the trap of compromising their conscience. I wonder how many young girls have gotten into pornography because they had a dream to be a model, but would not wait for God to open doors of positive opportunity. Another, is young men that will compromise their integrity so that they might move up the financial ladder.

Everyone of us needs to work on making decisions when we are calm and sound...not when we feel desperate. Desperate choices lead to poor consequences. If you are emotionally distraught, wait 24 hours and pray for God's direction and leading.

I once heard a story about a desert nomad who awoke in his tent one night feeling extremely hungry. He sat up, turned on the light, looked around his tent, and saw a bag of dates in the corner. He reached in to the bag, took one, and bit into it, only to discover there was worm in it. He spit it out and took a second one, but he found another worm. He tried one more time and all he had in his mouth was worm. Because his hunger was so intense, he pondered a moment what he should do. He turned off the light, reached into the bag, and proceeded to eat all the dates.

At times people turn out the lights of their conscience and do things in desperation, trying to fill the intense longing in their hearts. They are willing to bear the consequences of their sin in exchange for a moment of happiness. God's will is not that we have a moment, but rather a lifetime of happiness, adventure, romance, and fulfillment.

I am choosing to wait on God - in this desperate time in America, won't you join me. - You know I love ya, Don

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Funny - I Know, I Know!

Friday is upon us...Enjoy and remember to laugh at life.

HORSE IN THE HOUSE
Joe was trying to lead a horse in the street, but was having much trouble getting the horse’s cooperation. A passerby stopped and asked if he could help. Joe was grateful and gladly accepted.

After much pushing and shoving, they finally got the horse to the front door of Joe’s department. Joe indicated that the horse was to go through the door. More pushing and shoving.

Once inside, Joe and the passerby managed to work the horse up the steps and into Joe’s apartment on the third floor, then through the living room and into the bathtub.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, the good Samaritan said, “I don’t want to be nosy, but this is most unusual…”

Joe said, “When my wife comes home, she’ll look in the bathroom and say, ‘There’s a horse in there!’ “

“Hey, how many times in a man’s life will they ever get the chance to tell their wife, ‘I know! I know!’?”

You know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09/09/09 - Let us go to the Seer!

(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, "Come, and let us go to the seer"; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.) 1 Samuel 9:9 (NASB)

I have always liked the number 9. No specific reason. I just liked it. Today is the ninth day of the ninth month in the ninth year of this millennium. So, I looked up this passage. This is the ninth verse in the ninth chapter of the ninth book - 1 Samuel 9:9.


It is a great passage for us today. I am focusing on the phrase, "He used to say." This verse is inserted in the story of Samuel anointing Saul as King of Israel. In that time, prophets were called seers. Thus, the need to explain the "formerly called" in the passage.

As a Christ-follower, I also can say, "I used to say...lets go to the seer." Now I can approach the throne without hesitation and speak directly to the God I love through the power of the Holy Spirit and intercession of Jesus. Jesus' death and resurrection opened a direct line to God. Thus, I can say, "I used to say." The writer of Hebrews (4:16) states it this way, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." This is such a great assurance and promise.

O.K. - On this day of nines...I approach the throne of grace and mercy to ask for help. I also reach up in praise to a God that brings order to chaos. I also give thanks for you and His working in all our lives to bring restoration in our relationships with each other and with Him.

Enjoy this unique day and you know I love ya, Don

Some other tid-bits of number fascinations I found are:

Both China and Japan have strong feelings about the number nine. Those feelings just happen to be on opposite ends of the spectrum.

The Chinese pulled out all the stops to celebrate their lucky number eight during last year's Summer Olympics, ringing the games in at 8 p.m. on 08/08/08. What many might not realize is that nine comes in second on their list of auspicious digits and is associated with long life, due to how similar its pronunciation is to the local word for long-lasting (eight sounds like wealth).

Historically, ancient Chinese emperors associated themselves closely with the number nine, which appeared prominently in architecture and royal dress, often in the form of nine fearsome dragons. The imperial dynasties were so convinced of the power of the number nine that the palace complex at Beijing's Forbidden City is rumored to have been built with 9,999 rooms.

Japanese emperors would have never worn a robe with nine dragons, however.

In Japanese, the word for nine is a homophone for the word for suffering, so the number is considered highly unlucky - second only to four, which sounds like death.

Many Japanese will go so far as to avoid room numbers including nine at hotels or hospitals, if the building planners haven't already eliminated them altogether.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day history and Labor for the Lord!

When I was growing up, Labor Day was a day of mourning. School always started the day after. Things are different now. Most places start school earlier or they are Home Schooled. So, what is this Holiday we call Labor Day?


HOW LABOR DAY CAME ABOUT

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

For more reading on Labor day click the following: Labor Day History

For the Christ-Follower our Labor Day Holiday is yet to come....1 Corinthians 15:58; "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Laboring toward the mark laid out before us for Jesus sake....You know I love ya - your fellow laborer

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Friday Funny - Crossing things out!

It is Friday and a long weekend ahead....Labor Day. Enjoy this Friday Funny!
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.
"How do you know what to say?" he asked. 
"Why, God tells me," the father answered.
The boy replied, "Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"
Matthew might ask me this someday.....You know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Worship: God has chosen me!

Matthew 14:33 - Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
After Matthew was born, I began to see how limited my thinking about God had been up to this point. Matthew, and a few years later Alice, helped me experience a small taste of what God feels toward us. I think about them often. I have pictures of them in my office. I try to get done early just to spend time with them. I carry their pictures with me and show them to anyone willing to look. I talk about them and tell their stories to others. I wake up in the middle of the night just to check on them and pray over them. I laugh with them and cry with them. I see new insights in my own discipline and try to hand off discipline to them. I want to give them the World.

Most times I come home for the church or visiting, and Matthew and Alice greet me by running to the door and jump into my arms before I can even get in the door. As you can imagine, arriving home has become one of my favorite moments of the day.

My own love and desire for my children is so strong that it has opened my eyes to how much God desires and loves us. My son and daughter’s love for me and their desire to be with me is the most amazing thing. Through this experience, my worship has expanded. I have come to understand that my desire for my children is only a faint echo of God’s great love for me and for every person He made. He also chooses to inhabit the praises of His people.

He loves me and He loves you. I am just an earthly, sinful father, and I love my children so much it hurts. God is our heavenly Father and He loved us so much, He died for us. He is offering His everything to you and me today…My prayer is that I will have the courage to move beyond staying in the boat, afraid and scared, neglecting the opportunity to kiss the hand toward God and experience His All-knowing, eternal, holiness. I want to jump out of the boat and walk on the water with Jesus.

You know I love ya - a fellow worshiper.