Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010


What we value is determined by how much we are willing to give or sacrifice. If we are willing to give all for something, then whatever we are desiring is of extreme worth. If we sacrifice everything, then ultimate value is assigned.

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable concerning the value of the Kingdom of Heaven. He compares it to a man who found a great treasure in a field and then in his joy, went out and sold everything he had in order to purchase the field. Jesus also compares the Kingdom to a merchant who searched for a pearl of great worth. When found, the merchant sold everything in order to own such a pearl.

The two mentioned in these parables were willing to give everything for that which was of extreme worth to them. When they found that which was invaluable worth, it was not difficult for them to sell all in order purchase that which was beyond any treasure they currently possessed.

The Kingdom of Heaven is of extreme value! Jesus wants us to know that when one finds it, he or she should sell and sacrifice everything. Not that we can purchase the Kingdom as it is by grace we are saved. But our heart, soul, mind and strength should be overwhelmed at what we have inherited through Christ.

Think about it! We who were once aliens and enemies of God, have now, by the grace and mercy of God, have become His children. We have been forgiven. We have been accepted. We have been declared righteous. We have an inheritance that will never fade or rust. We have Christ! We have the Kingdom of Heaven!

Do we realize the value and the extreme worth of the Kingdom?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Weakness...

This week for some reason has not been very easy! Feelings of inadequecy have seemed to wash over me quite incessantly for the past few days. My spirit has been plagued by an overwhelming sense of weakness. As I read Tim Challies blog today, as I usually do, I gathered some perspective and encouragement from a fellow struggler. In his blog he referred to 2 Corinthians 12 in which Paul boasted in his weakness and then quoted Kent Hughes who wrote:

Life is not as it appears to be. We are led by today's culture to imagine that God pitches his tent with the especially famous and powerful - those who can speak of ecstasies and miraculous power and who command large crowds as they jet from city to city and enjoy the spotlight of center stage - but it is not so.
Christ pitches his tent with the unknown, the suffering shut-in, the anonymous pastor and missionary, the godly, quiet servants in the home and in the marketplace.

These were such sweet and refreshing words to a soul that was weathered and parched. However, if not for my feeling of such weakness and helplessness this week, I might not have given heed to the strength that can only be found in God. I might have walked through this week in my own might not thinking twice about bending my knee in prayer. I would have continued to trust in my own abilities rather than in the one who is the cause of all things. To Him be the glory!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Conviction from Carl Trueman

We mediocrites struggle at a different level, hoping that our own petty contributions, irrelevant and ephemeral as they are, will be puffed and acknowledged by others; and in a sense, there is nothing we can do about that. I am a man divided against myself; I want to be the centre of attention because I am a fallen human being; I want others to know that I am the special one; and as long as the new me and the old me are bound together in a single, somatic unity, I will forever be at war with myself. What I can do, however, is have the decency to be ashamed of my drive to self-promotion and my craving for attention and for flattery and not indulge it as if it actually were a virtue or a true guide to my real merit. I am not humble, so I should not pretend to be so but rather confess it in private seeking forgiveness and sanctification. And, negatively, I must avoid doing certain things. I must not proudly announce my humility on the Internet so that all can gasp in wonder at my self-effacement. I must make sure I never refer to myself as a scholar. I must not tell people how wonderful I am. I must resist the temptation to laugh at my own jokes. I must not applaud my own speeches. I must deny myself the pleasure of posting other people's overblown flattery of me on my own website, let alone writing such about myself. I must never make myself big by clinging to the coat-tails of another. In short, I must never take myself too seriously.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where does the time go?

It was only yesterday, or so it seems, that my wife and I brought home our baby girl from the hospital. We didn't know what to do with her as she was our first child, but it didn't take long to figure out that when she was crying, something was wrong. It was only a few years later that my wife and I brought home our second and third child! Twin boys! And we thought we were busy with one child!

It was only yesterday, or so it seems, that I was pushing my daughter on a swing in our backyard watching her ponytail sway with each push. I could never push her enough! She always wanted one more swing.

It was only yesterday, or so it seems, that I was at Disney World holding both my boys at the same time. One was on my sholders and the other I was lifting with my arms. We were all trying to get a glimpse of one of the outdoor shows at Cinderella's castle. It was hot that day, but it didn't seem to bother me at that moment holding my boys.

It was only yesterday, or so it seems, but "yesterday" has turned into years! My wife and I's baby girl is now 13 years old. Our twins are now too big to hold. But it just seems like yesterday! Where did the time go?

It was only yesterday, or so it seems, that I made a commitment to blog consistently. A year later and I only have a few posts. It was only yesterday, or so it seems, that I made a commitment to read a book a week. Though I have read more, I have not come close to reading a book a week during the past couple of years.

It was also only yesterday, or so it seems, that I made a commitment to make prayer a vital part of my life. And yet.... You see, the danger in life is that we say things, make commitments, and before we know it we wonder aloud: "Where did the time go?"

The time between when we say we are going to spend more time with our kids, or whomever, and actually getting around to doing it, can be years. And then? Well, it seemed like only yesterday and now, well, they are really too big to push on the swing now!

The time between when we say we are going to spend more time reading Scripture and praying and actually getting around to doing it can also be years. And then? Well, it seemed like only yesterday and now, well, after so many distractions and demands time just seemed to get away!

Be encouraged, however! By the grace of God you do have today! Tomorrow? Who knows? Today, yes! So if God permits, in a few years as you reflect and say, "It was only yesterday, or so it seems," the ending of such thoughts will not be ones of regret, but of gratitude to God that he has helped us to not get bogged down with the trivialities of life.

It was only yesterday, or so it seemed, that my daughter turned 13. And though it WAS just a few months ago, in several years, when she turns 18, I'll be saying the same thing. But I do have today by His grace!

Going to hug my kids...maybe pray for them as I do!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Twins, Water Hose, & Slip 'n Slide!

The simplicity of life is no where better exhibited than in watching my 9-year-old twin boys play in the back yard with a newly purchased slip'n slide. Watching them brings back memories of my own childhood days when I, too, owned a slip'n slide. I'm also reminded that if I tried to slide on one of these things today, I would most likely dislocate various parts of my body.

Though we have advanced technologically beyond any of my childhood dreams (I think on my block growing up, slip'n slide was as techonoligical as we got), I don't think it's possible to improve on getting some kids together on a hot summer day with a water hose and a slippery piece of plastic. Now for those who have not experienced the slip'n slide experience, you might be thinking, "What more can you do except just slide?" Well, let me inform you!

Though the basic premise of slip'n slide is to slide, it's more than that. For instance, you don't just slide, but see how far you can slide, how many ways you can slide (ie. frontwards, backwards, sideways, etc...), how fast you can slide, how wet you can get, how muddy you can get (don't ask how this happens), how much water you can put on the mat, and any other game or competition anyone slip'n and slide'n can create.

The reason I believe in the beauty of a slip'n slide on a hot summer day is not just because of the memories of my childhood, but because of the creativity and comradory that such a piece of plasctic in a backyard creates. I have just witnessed my boys create about 7 different games using the slip'n slide in the last 10 minutes. And at just this moment, they are laying down and drying out discussing the things that 9-year-old boys need to discuss such as how many bugs might like to use their slip'n slide as well.

So many times in our culture I feel that we are overly entertained. We have become numb to the simplicity of just sitting and enjoying a cool breeze on a summer day. Granted we might enjoy a cool breeze, but only as we sit with our IPhone checking email or news updates every few minutes.

We also bring such overly entertained attitudes into our worship life as well. We no longer know how to be still or to be unplugged from email, text messaging, facebook, and twitter. Nothing wrong with using all which technology has to offer us, but I pray for my own life that my use of technology does not make me less human. Could it be that maybe I just need to take my Bible, a pen and a notebook and find a quiet place to just sit and think and fellowship with our Creator? Could it be that maybe I have lost the art of thinking creatively because I have learned to turn my mind off during mindless entertainment (and forgot to turn it back on?).

My kids have video games and they enjoy playing them, but I really see their personality and their ingenious minds at work on a slip'n slide. Though I do enjoy technology, I think today that I enjoy the creation of the slip'n slide the most!

Going to clean up a mudhole!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Image Is Everything?

Nice jacket. Nice tie. Pressed slacks. Shined shoes. This is obviously someone who has it together. After all, if they dress and look like someone on the front of a clothing cataloge they must be educated, esteemed, a developed leader, and maybe even spiritual (If not a church attender, he would most definately be welcomed)

Or could it be that all this gentlemen esteems is wearing nice clothes? Anything wrong with looking nice? Of course not! But if that is as far as it goes, there might be a problem. What about the person who dresses a bit more shabbily and yet does so for the purpose of his ministry to the homeless? He doesn't have the "proper" image...or does he?

I guess that what I have been learning is that I am quick to judge others. Just by glancing at a person's looks and what they are wearing, I make assumptions. Someone who looks like they just climbed out of bed and donned a pair of shorts is most definately an individual who needs some organization skills and most likely, a job. Could it be, however, that this unkempt looking individual only looks the way he does because of staying up all night with a sick child or spouse? I am so quick to judge!

I am even inclined to judge others while gazing their yard. Why is their yard so green? What a waste of money on water? I wish I had money to waste on watering! Or, why don't they mow their yard? Don't they care? How lazy! Again, so quick to judge without first seeking to understand others.

The danger this creates for me is that I can be tempted to work more on my image, how I appear before others, rather than on my character, who I actually am. In other words, as long as I wear the proper clothes and mow my yard, things are good. Forget the fact that I'm struggling with how to discipline my children or feel lonely, the key is that all looks well.

I guess I still need to learn from Sawyer Brown's lyrics from their song "They Don't Understand." The chorus says:
Everybody's busy with their own situation
Everybody's lost in their own little world
Bottled up, hurry it up trying to make a dream come true
Everybody's living like there ain't no tomorrow
Maybe we should stop and take a little time
Cause you never really know what your neighbor's going through

I pray that we come to the realization that image is not everything. May we cease to judge others by image alone and stop seeking to perfect our own image to the detrimate of our character. Sola gracia