Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all
I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
We are not called to do witnessing; we are called to be witnesses.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Is that why Jesus went through the bleak and bloody horror of Calvary? Is that why He emerged in shattering glory from the tomb? Is that why He poured out His Holy Spirit on the church? To make nicer men and women with better morals?
The Gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creations.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Yet it seems that many Christians when given the blessed opportunity to minister to the needs of a hurting person instead choose to act as if they have some sort of moral imperative to point out their failures and to tell them, in their view, just what God thinks about it. Where is the love of God in that? Where is the love and grace from them that Jesus showed the woman who was caught in adultery? Instead of condemning her as the Law required and the self-righteous demanded; Jesus chose instead to give her the one thing she really needed and desired, love and acceptance. Not acceptance of her sin, but He loved HER and he accepted HER just the way she was.
The longer I am a Christian the more I am convinced that people can’t come to Christ simply to avoid eternal punishment, to get a “get out of hell free pass.” Yet that seems to be the message that I have heard preached in most of the churches I have been part of in the past. It is summed up in the phrase “turn or burn.” I simply don’t believe someone can be saved with a message like that. I think it leads to many false conversions. I know it did in my case many years ago when a preacher scared me down to the front of the church to say a prayer and get dunked.
No, people come to Christ by being convinced in their hearts of His love and acceptance and forgiveness for them and to be joined to the One who can give them, eternally, His life and hope and love. That is the good news that Christ died for. But people will not come to Christ unless the love and acceptance of Jesus is made real to them in the way we Christians live out our lives. Unless they see the love of Jesus in us, they will walk the other way. That love isn’t best expressed by trying to change their behavior. A change of behavior isn’t what they need the most. What they need is Jesus and to see His love expressed in us.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness.
To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
Part 1 (Downloadable)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I have not seen clear statistical evidence that fewer Christians die of cancer than non-believers or that they are immune in greater degree from the diseases that afflict the human race.
Some of the kindest, most selfless persons I have known have had more than their share of bad health. The fact that they belong to Christ did not insulate them from disease.
Therefore, I will not follow Christ for promised healing.
I will not deny or dispute evidence of restoration of health. I will rejoice at every recovery from what seems to be hopeless, threatened death. I will not hesitate to pray for recovered health for my loved ones and acquaintances. I will set no limits on what God may do but I will not follow Christ for promised healing.
I see no sign that Christians escape disaster and accident more often than others. I've helped dear friends empty muddy water out of dresser drawers and new appliances after a disastrous flood. I remember as a child taking clothes to a widow with five children whose house had burned to the ground. A bullet makes no detour around the body of a believer.
Therefore, I will not follow Christ for any promised protection from disaster.
I will not scoff at amazing survivals nor deny that providence has and continues to work for the good of God's own. I will continue to pray for protection from wicked men and tragedy, but I will not follow Christ for promised protection from accident or catastrophe.
I do not observe that Christians are especially favored with prosperity. Like James, we've all seen the rich oppressing the poor and justice is rarely perfect in this world. The psalmist has said that he "had not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" and in the deepest needs of this life, that is certainly true but all of us have known people of integrity who have not prospered.
Therefore, I will not follow Christ for promised freedom from physical want or hope of affluence.
I'm not sure that Christians have stronger personalities or fewer neuroses than non-believers. I do know that there is no bitterness like religious bitterness and no arrogance more insufferable. I have watched Christians suffer emotional and mental disabilities and though it may seem heretical, I am not sure that I would really enjoy living in the same house with either the Apostle Peter or Paul.
God wills that the mind of Christ be formed in us and there is no doubt in my mind that the Christian's attitudes and actions will be improved by his Christianity, but I will not follow Christ for any promise of personality enhancement or perfection.
Why then follow Christ? Why become a disciple of Jesus when life may become more complicated as He so often warned?
For one reason alone:
In Jesus we behold the face of God. He is the truth, the everlasting truth, God in the flesh. I know that in His life, death, and resurrection, I am reconciled to God, the giver of life.
I believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He has all power and goodness and I trust Him and His promises. To him, I offer my life, damaged or whole, brief or full of years. It matters not. He is the one certain thing in an uncertain world. He is to be worshiped, not so something will happen to me or to the world. Something already has happened to me and the world, but because He is God who, through Christ, has reconciled the world to Himself. He saves me. He is my justification. He is the center that holds. To worship the God of our salvation, to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; that alone is our vocation. We offer our lives to God, not so as to be healthy, wealthy, or wise, not even so to gain the strength to do great things for Him; we offer our lives to Him because He alone has claim upon us. God is not a means to an end.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Chilean Army -
Directorate of Technology Development
War Academy, Center for modelling and simulation (CEMSE)
FAMAE who manufactures Chilean Army weaponry
Chilean Navy - They are teaming with an American company (Thorpe SEEOP) to develop Spin Wing UAV technology.
IDETEC, Technology Institute who manufactures UAVs for commercial and military applications.
I enjoyed the trip...mostly. Spending 10 hours on an airplane in economy class SUCKS. We took the red-eye from and to Atlanta with, I assume, the goal of sleeping during the trip. As it turns out, I can't sleep very well on a plane. Needless to say, I am tired. I slept some when I got home from 11am to 5 pm. We went out to eat last night and I went to bed at my normal time and slept all night. I got up about 7 this morning, but I could have slept longer.
Santiago is a very modern city of 6 million and the people are small town friendly. Most of the people I met spoke a little bit of English and a few spoke it very well. I only know a couple of words and phrases in Spanish. We were escorted by someone from the US Embassy that also translated for us when needed. The part of the city where we were staying was very nice with stores and restaurants within walking distance. We felt safe walking around even at night because crime is low in that area. We did drive through some of the poorer areas and living conditions looked pretty bad. The air pollution was very bad because of all the factories and automobiles. Santiago is surrounded by mountains so the pollution is trapped especially in the winter due to atmosphere inversion.
When we got to the airport we found an ATM and got a cash advance in pesos. There was a Chilean man (not our driver) waiting there as we walked outside to the van...he grabbed the luggage from my traveling companions and carried it to the van. I carried my own. When we got to the van he loaded their luggage into the van. He grabbed mine and loaded it into the van as well. He then started saying, "Tip....Tip..." Each of of us reached into our pockets and gave him the smallest bill we had from the ATM (5,000 pesos), which we calculated later to be about $10 each (three of us). It aggravated me some that I gave a man $10 just for putting my bag into the van, but I got over it.
All-in-all, it was an enjoyable trip. We stayed in a nice hotel, the InterContinental. We had very little free time so we didn't get to do any sight-seeing. I did take a few pictures, mostly around the hotel. Here are a few:
My traveling companions in the hotel sitting area
View from the hotel room
We also ate at another restaurant, Los Adobes de Argomedo, which was very nice. It had a live band and Chilean dancers and also dancers from Easter Island, which is a territory of Chile. The dancers from Easter Island kind of reminded me of hula dancers in Hawaii.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Copy and paste this list into your own blog and bold the items that you have done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (so low you couldn't hear)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Passover lamb was a spotless lamb
Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. (Exodus 12:5)
Passover lamb was a sacrificial lamb
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. (Exodus 12:6)
Passover lamb was a saving lamb
Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it...You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. (Exodus 12:7,22)
Passover lamb was a shared lamb
They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. (Exodus 12:8-9)
Jesus is a spotless lamb
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Jesus is a sacrificial lamb
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
Jesus is a saving lamb
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus is a shared lamb
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:8)
For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)
Friday, April 10, 2009
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Here are some picts from the weekend:
Ryan and Jamie
John and Joel
Joel, Jamie, John, Matt, Me
Thursday, March 26, 2009
But the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
What if we've got it all wrong about God in the modern church world? What if He is nothing like we've imagined Him to be? What if the most basic understandings we have about His nature, His personality and His approach to us completely misses the point?
What if God the Father didn't send Jesus the Son to come alone to earth so that the Father could vent His anger over sin against the Son instead of us, but instead so that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit could together come to deal a death blow against sin in order to free us from its grip before it caused us to waste away into eternal nothingness?
What if the work of Jesus on the cross wasn't to change God's mind about you, but to change your mind about God?
What if God isn't nearly as concerned about what you're doing or not doing as He is about how you see and understand Him?
What if God is smiling as He looks at you right now and you could never do anything to wipe that smile off His face?
What if the coming of Jesus wasn't God's reaction to Adam's sin, but was carrying out a plan that had been made long before Adam was even created?
What if the primary characteristic of who God is has nothing to do with being a judge, but has everything to do with being a gentle, loving, Father?
What if you could never cause God to become angry or even disappoint Him?
What if you didn't need more faith, but only need to depend on Jesus to express His faith on your behalf?
What if you were the child God always wanted?
What if fulfilling God's plan for your life didn't depend on you at all?
What if God loved Muslims and atheists and homosexuals as much as He loves you?
What if you were a part of the inner circle of love shared by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I think both extremes are related and the issue is with our perception of God and how He relates to His Children. How do you see your Heavenly Father? How do you think He sees you? I think that these are the most important questions to get right, aside from "are you saved?"
Sunday, January 18, 2009
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep."
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You" Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep." John 21:15-17
Most say that these three questions Jesus asked Peter relate back to Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus before His crucifixion. These denials came after Peter swore, even boasted, that he would die for Jesus; that he would sacrifice himself. They say that this reminding him of his failure is what cut Peter to the quick. This interpretation seems reasonable, but I think there is more there than meets the eye. I am not a Greek scholar, but I don’t think you need to be one in this case. The two words for love that are used in this passage are:
Agape – A divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing love.
Phileo – A friendship kind of love – brotherhood.
If you were to rewrite the passage above using the above definitions, it would read:
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you have an unconditional, self sacrificing love for Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You as a friend" He said to him, "Tend My lambs."
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you have an unconditional, self sacrificing love for Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You as a friend." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep."
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me as a friend?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You as a friend" Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep. John 21:15-17
Isn’t that interesting! Jesus knew that Peter didn’t have an unconditional, self sacrificing love for Him, but still He asked Him anyway. Given his denial of Jesus, Peter knew it too. God is so good to reveal our hearts to us, although it can be painful. Gone was the boastful Peter who thought he was capable of loving Christ with the same love as Christ revealed on the cross. It was replaced by the Peter that knew he was only capable of loving Christ as a friend.
So it is with us! We don’t have the ability, in our flesh, to love with an unconditional, self sacrificing love. The best we can do is to love Jesus as our friend, as our brother. But, praise God, it doesn’t end there. Look what happened in verse 17 and following. Jesus met Peter where he was as if to say, "Peter, I know that you don’t have an unconditional, self sacrificing love for Me, but that’s OK; it’s enough that you love me as a friend…I can work with that.” “You abide in me Peter and I will teach you, by my Spirit, to love unconditionally and when that love is perfected in you, you will even lay down your life for My sake.” (v18-19).
May God’s love be perfected in me.