into this world, so that

Something small today, and silly. First, that's a mean-looking Jesus doll. Second, if you're going to have David quote Ps23, for the love of mercy, choose the KJV. Third, unless the figures quote more than a few verses, how playable are they? Why the need for flexible posing? In what dimension are there people playing with a Moses doll and re-enacting the parting to hear him quote just the first commandment?

I don't mind when believers intersect with popular culture. As this interview proves, that's not a terrible thing when carried out right.


abusive speech from your mouth

Making history here. You might never have believed a Cruise reference would ever grace these pages. But he is the latest in a list that includes Madonna, Koresh, and Heaven's Gate. Society mocks him for his religious beliefs, and granted they deserve to mocked, but not in the subtle ways the media does it. They can't outright offend a whole religion, so they merely mention his beliefs in articles that describe his irrational behavior, and then let the readers connect the dots subconsciously.

Their purpose isn't the mockery of individual religions, however, but rather mockery of all religion. Once you have it in your head that Scientologists are crazy, it's not a far stretch to then connect insanity to the truth. Freedom of the press is an extension of the freedom after the fall to sin and run away from God.


now judgment is upon this

No surprise here. Did you expect any different from the world? You nine might not think you'll answer for this, but you will, and in a way that you won't for your other ridiculous decisions. It's one thing to proclaim evil good. It's another altogether to say His very word is evil.

Won't be a split decision on JDay, I promise you.


and to enter into His glory

Feeling unworthy. Knowing unworthy. Wondered about the manner in which we enter the heavenly city. The natural instinct might be to say up on your legs, running and leaping with the unfettered joy of being home with your family. And not arguing that isn’t the case. Just wanted you to consider that the opposing side might be true, and that’s on your hands and knees.

Your natural instinct at this idea might be denial. You are free from sin by grace, so free to stand. You are newly created in His image and pure, so free to stand. You are in your Father’s house, and like the prodigal son, delirious with joy, and like the blind and lame, leaping in happiness. Again, not arguing against this thought.

But the rebellion might simply be man’s ungodly response to humility. Initially you might be aright, but the second that realization hits that you are in the presence of God, you are down in worship, brother. The second the weight of glory and the majesty hits you, you are down in awe. The second the realization hits that you are unworthy, completely unworthy of being where you are – seriously, defend the natural inclination, if you will. But don’t claim it’s the more realistic one, or the more likely one. Home or not, you are so much smaller than the One.


not without honor

"Don't Back Down" {2Tim1:8-18}
* Good sign of perseverance: no shame. Shame opp of honor
* Stand w/o shame
- Begins w/ v7 actually -- no spirit of timidity
- by His power, who has called us {IPet4:16}
- by grace
- who destroyed death -- but we are NOT here to mark time
- find your purpose
* Suffer w/o shame
- Ten levels of persecution: disapproval, ridicule, pressure to conform, job loss, property loss, harassment, phys abuse, prison, torture, execution
- "because I know whom I have believed"
- that day = day of His return {2Tim4:7}
- shame now? shame on that day
* Serve w/o shame
- Guard the treasure w/ HS
- Support those who stand for truth -- Onesiphorous, another great minor, recorded for all eternity


what if God, although

What if you can't tell what the test of faith is? What if the test is a stepping out, a branching out, a being out? Or what if the test is a staying sound, a living still, a being content? Or what if the test is the thinking through, making a choice, and standing firm? Or what if the test is the handling of it all to all?

Or what if?


will burn up the chaff

This, this is the reason there exists such tension twixt science and faith -- because you fools make it that way. Look at your first sentence: "...a surprising degree of spirituality in a science-based field". There is nothing suprising about religion in science. Especially when the point of science in His view is that the intricacy and perfection point to Him. That's clear throughout the OT and NT.

Instead, you fools paint them into two different corners. You'd rather see the tension. It's clear from the poll that most of those scientists don't want to be on the wrong side of the shore come JDay. It's clear from your choice of words, media, that you don't care.


lies over their heart

With everything going on in this world, this is what makes your cover? Dinosaurs? And not only dinosaurs, but the subheadline "How they really lived" as if you had uncovered secret videotapes showing their lives. As if you had invented a time machine and gone back and seen them with your own eyes. This is how speculation becomes truth, by the shameless hawking of the media driven by bias.

You give science such credence that any remotely plausible theory with a smidgen of scientific "proof" that sounds reasonable is given the label of truth. And yet, given the historical records of the Bible, far more than any other document ever, that is labeled as fables and fairy tales.

Cover story: Reality at the lake is going to hit you pretty hard.


with reference to which

You find the unlikeliest places to see references to Jesus. Today's spot: Prov30:4. The reference to ascension and descension. The establishing of the ends of the earth. And the kicker, the reference to His name and the name of the Son?! And this in the OT.

Sure, some of the matched prophesies from Isaiah or others could mean any number of things. But when it is specific to things like the trinity in places you wouldn't expect aligning with places you would expect -- well, it reminds you of the consistency of God, and the truth of His word meeting you where you are.


to the end that thoughts from

Which would you rather have: a life of not knowing God, but letting yourself be caught in the last few years of your life, or a life of serving God, but like Solomon, an end in record of a backturn?

On one hand, not knowing God all your life, how could you stand it? Knowing Him, and knowing how good it is to know Him, why would you ever want to delay that? You would want to know Him as early as possible, and not regret not knowing sooner. Most would make the claim that this is the worse of the two options.

But I tell you what, on the other hand, ending badly just before you're about to see Him is not recommended. In fact, it is probably more disappointing at the throne that your last days, after having walked with Him for so long, that your last ones be apart. Like Moses, the penalty for close knowledge of Him and then a straying is harsher than the regular.

of the power of the air

Cool contrast in choice of words. This is the reason for the chronological read. 2Chron9 has the Queen of Sheba "breathless". IKing10 has her as having "no more spirit in her". The lesson is clear: that your breath, what sustains your life, is your spirit. And really, what salvation is is letting your sustenance be not your spirit but the spirit of God; walking with Him is allowing that spirit to win out.


not know which to choose

you assume there is a wrong and a right assume that there is one path one defined path to walk but the will isn't about the single path of options whittled to one it's about the one path near Him and considering the allpresence why assume that path is singleminded assume instead the branching roads to get there with all roads equally close in which case His will for you is simply a matter of choosing and staying close which when you think about it really isn't helpful at all


will last for you

Part one of a ten-part series. That's right. Ten parts. Yeah, me and you both.

"Encouragement to Persevere" {2Tim2:1-7}
* Context:
- Written 65-67 AD
- In prison in Rome, Paul writing last letter to encourage Tim during Nero's persecution reign
* "Faith gets you started; perseverance gets you to finish"
* You have bright future
- According to promise of eternal life
- Because of grace, mercy, peace
* You have loving friends -- you can't imagine how many praying for you
* You have sincere faith
- Review your salvation
- Rekindle ministry
* Nothing to fear
- Power: His ability to handle all
- Love: His capacity to love all
- Self-discipline: (Sound mind) His perspective


for this reason also

Great discussion this morning about money and the Christian. Not revisiting that whole thing, but rather a side point: Christian rationalization. You have the suffering rationalization about dross and gold and the refining making up for the trial. You have the tithing rationalization about crowns and spiritual gifts making up for the material return. You have the prayer rationalization about the will and the will being done making up for the unanswered.

Guess what? God doesn't need your excuses. He doesn't need the reason whys. Consistency is only for your benefit. Faith is lessened by your desire to explain what you cannot connect. And the jibes of blind faith will be answered at the throne; you don't need to explain yourself to anybody.

Take the step and don't look at the water.


even more quiet

Prov26:20,22 bring up an issue seen in Job4 and discussed, really, in Eph6. And that is that the fight isn't where you can see and hear it loudly, but where it is quieter, under the surface, and just below your perception. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier to fight. But seeing the liar for what he is makes it easier to explain to yourself laterPosted by Hello


find His body, they came

I find IKings9:3 extremely interesting because of the parts of God being mentioned -- not only His name, but also His eyes and His heart. It's probably fairly easy to guess at their symbolic meaning:

* His name: His reputation, His characteristics, His presence
* His eyes: His wisdom, His knowledge, His vision for the future
* His heart: His spirit, His intimacy, His blessing

But again, what of a different meaning? What of the trinity? His name (God)? His eyes (Spirit)? His heart (Jesus)? Just a reach, or the perfect alluded message?


to be gratefully shared in

I'll blame it on the Catholic upbringing, but guilt is an amazing thing. On the one hand, it keeps you in gratitude, reminds you that you deserve nothing. On the other hand, it keeps you from the joy of experiencing the gifts of grace. I don't know that there is an appropriate balance, and it may be that the balance is situation-dependent.

I want to enjoy and be purely thankful for the gifts. But I never want to lose the feeling of gaining something I simply don't deserve. I want to say thank you knowing full well thank you isn't enough but that nothing besides the thank you is wanted.

And if the life of faith is simply walking the line that looks for the balance, sign me up for that marathon.


who has devoured your wealth

As someone who grew up in poverty, and as someone with a heart for the poor, I completely understand Warren's position here. If you want to mainstream with superstars like Bono, more power to you.

But you're all wrong if this is your priority list:
1) Global poverty
2) Diseases, such as AIDS
3) Illiteracy
4) Spiritual emptiness
5) Self-centered leadership

Big fan of the whole St Francis-spreading-gospel quote, but if 4) isn't 1), you're wrong. Not being poor and unsaved is worse, much worse than poor and saved, I'll tell you that. If they appear before the throne less poor and less diseased and able to read, but not knowing the Judge -- well, maybe you and your 25 years of congregants won't mind answering to that.


on some, who are doubting

Missions Sunday -- not sure if that's the dedicated day for all brides, or for just ours.

* Great Commission (Invitation) {Matt28:18-20}
* Context is in v 16-17: 11 disciples worshipping, but some doubted. Doubt is what triggered GC. GC is for doubters.
* Who doubting? Peter and friends, not Thomas. What doubting? Themselves, not the Lord.
* Peter clear on Him {Matt16:16}. Then commissioned (v 18). Then rebuked by God. Then in ch. 17, chosen witness to Transfiguration. Then rebuked by God. Then in ch. 26, the crow incident. And the sleeping prayer incident. And the ear-cutting incident. Doubting.
* Matt26:58: followed from a distance.
* John 21: Simon & friends returning to old lives (fishing). Do you love me more than these (fish, old life)?
* Not asking in GC for lone workers -- that's the reason for the end of the age comment. Footprints.

raise it up on

Too tired, too self-conscious, too unwilling to raise your hands in worship? Imagine if He felt the same way you do, too tired to raise His hands -- on the day of your salvation. Hardheart, you can be a believer and be hearted hard. Ask Solomon {1King11:4,9}.

Then follow not his example.


for your house will

Noticed something interesting in 2Chron2, and that's whom Solomon is building the temple for. v1 tells us that Solomon "decided to build a house for the name of the Lord". Not for the Lord, but for the name of the Lord. He confirms this in v4, and the same in IKing5.

The interpretations behind his choice of words? If you consider His name to be His actual name, Solomon is building a temple of such grandeur as to be worthy of the designation; if you consider His name to be His reputation, Solomon is building a temple whose congregation will spread His name to unbelievers; if you consider His name to be akin to His namesake, just a franchise, Solomon is simply building a house of worship to be remembered by all.

What if you consider His name to be another nickname for God Almighty? That this temple and the holy of holies is where the actual representation of God will dwell? Don't skimp on the pomegranates and bronze, then, because He's coming.


that no one misses the grace

I can't imagine why an Israeli would offer up a ridiculous theory about the cross. Oh wait. I do know why. Sour grapes.

Sorry your Messiah didn't fit your plans or fit your timing or fit your ideas of what God might do. Sorry you missed your chance at eternal happiness. 2,000 years later, and still griping -- talk about stubbornness.

Don't wonder why about the ongoing violence and the neverending search for salvation. No need to keep up with the charade. Admit your error; it really isn't too late. It isn't.


are the Holy One

I don't know what to make of this. It's different than ugly designs such as this. So it's not the wearing of your heart on your sleeve that troubles me. I'm all for public displays of faith. Except for the WWJD bracelets; I think those just look dumb.

But this is the Word of the living God we're talking about. In your shoes. The thing I admire most about Muslims is how much they love their holy text. They kiss the Koran routinely prior to and after reading through it. They riot if there's a hint that their sacred text is treated in a disrespectful manner. Americans cry foul when they burn the American flag.

But they'll wear Proverbs on their feet?!


in a loud

why on earth would you think i'm important in the least not in the least liar howling though i'm trying howling and i don't believe in the not being of the world not in the least howling the world howling if not there than why the howling Posted by Hello


to shine upon those

Another idea for -- well, considering my track record of following up on this, just for the ether. In any case, at some point maybe I'll get the will to do the roundabout. The idea for the rounding and abouting: light.

Prov13:9 caught the iris: "The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked goes out." Great link, I think, to v's such as John8:12: "Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, 'I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'"

Other subpoints that come to mind:
* Gen, of course, with the obvious "Let there be light."
* God in the burning bush or the pillar of flame.
* Moses and the shinies after his 1-on-1
* Jesus and the transfiguration
* The Bethlehem star, the shepherd's mapquest
* The eclipse during The Saving

Come to think of it, this isn't a sermon idea, but a sermon series. And either it's a major subset of the Rising year (sunrise and all), or it's the follow-up Year of Light.

All in time, come October... Posted by Hello


who is called

Been in my head since yesterday, and still there, so need to place down. As mentioned before, the issue of names is important throughout the word. Especially important with Him, the I AM.

I AM references no need for the adjective, just the being. He is the only one who can make the claim that He is self-sufficient enough to just be.

But what kept coming to mind is that the I AM is incredible in that He leaves it open to you because He is all things. He is your completion. He is your every need. He is the one who died for you. He is your salvation. He is your reason for being. He is the only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Back to the identity thing and the weptover. Rooted in Him.


God was going to appear

Always thought of Jesus appearances in the OT as afterthoughts. The prophecies together paint a picture, yes. The appearances to various of the forefathers, 97% grasped (always that little seed of questioning). But the last place you'd expect a reference is in Prov. What on earth would Solomon know of the One?

Probably very little, but enough to know that when He speaks the words, you capture them as quickly as possible. Prov8 does something remarkable. It begins with what you think of as simply a personification of a virtue. But the virtue becomes a master workman (v30), and you see that Prov8 is the identification of the One as wisdom incarnate.

Hardheart, still stuck on the mystery of the three? You aren't reading carefully.

will give you

Every church in the world probably addresses tithing at least once per calendar year. If they're not addressing it the way this is addressed, may they not have their needs addressed.

"How God Meets Our Needs" {2Cor9:6-13}
* When need, plant seed
- "My ways not your ways." {Isa55:8}
- Man's ways: borrowing, working, stealing, begging
- God's way: GIVE
* Give w/ right attitude
- Remember: He's after the heart, not the $ {Deut14:22-23}
- Thoughtfully, enthusiastically, voluntarily, cheerfully, regularly
- His anyway
- Promise: blessing in return
- Eternal rewards
* Expect God to meet all needs


on the list, for

Take note: when He says He hates something, hates it, sitting up and taking notes is the only proper response. And in Prov6, that something, that it, is actually seven things. The list:

* Pride
* Deceit
* Killers of innocents
* Schemers
* Those easily seduced by the dark side
* Paid liars
* And peacebreakers

On these seven points, seven notes:

* Eyes were cited as windows of the soul -- i.e. even secret arrogance pushes His buttons
* Interesting that tongue chosen. Deceive internally, but once it's out, it's yours to claim
* Veyr specifically excuses killers of the guilty -- so now what? Capital punishment okay again?
* Not wicked plans, but the heart that devises them; premeditated evil is worse than the evil alone
* The running rapidly down the slippery slope, where the desire to sin is great enough to cause a lemming rush to the fall
* Integrity up for bid? Liar bidding on that soul.
* Peacebreaking twixt brothers is what's mentioned. And peacebreaking among others?


you are standing firm

Flip randomly through the Word and you're bound to come upon one of His names: YHWH, LORD, Lord, God, the Almighty. Flip randomly through the psalms and proverbs, and you'll find a bunch more: rock, shield, salvation, strength, shepherd, redeemer. Saw one today that I really took to.

v5-6 gets all the press in Prov3, but check out v26 for today's fave name. "For the Lord will be your confidence." My Confidence, now that's a name. If you know Him, and you know what He is capable of, and you know what He has promised you -- well, need I say more?

Do the digging for meaning yourself. Me and my Confidence already know.


ventured to question Him

Rhetorical with a jump to reality: Do we ever question the inclusion of anything in the Word, or as remarked yesterday, do we not let the liar get away with doubt of any kind?

The jump. Song of Solomons -- what on earth?

I've heard it rationalized that the book is love poetry from God to His bride the church. I've heard it rationalized that the book is a model of marriage, reflecting perfection between husband and wife. I've heard it rationalized that the book was written by Solomon, wisest of the wise, thus its inclusion is important.

Seriously, the Council decided this was one of the most-used writings of the times by disciples in instructing others? That this book stands up to the test of time alongside James and Hebrews and Romans? And the Gospels? Seriously, this book? No answers, here. Just more wondering.


so that we may work the works of God

As everyone knows, Ps119 is long, really long. And because of its length, I don't know that I've ever fully appreciated its content. Because there is always the ease with which liar takes advantage of its length to discourage the reader. I've wondered on many occasion as to why the psalmist didn't split this psalm up.

One, the entirety of the psalm deals with the Word, and so for content continuity it's better to keep it together as a whole. But there are tons of psalms where David speaks of redemption and saving during desperate times and there's no call to combine those psalms into an epic.

Two, there are no real demarcations in this psalm -- no easy segues into a psalm beginning or psalm ending. But again, there are a couple of psalms whose beginnings or endings seem abrupt, ergo this is no reason for a uniting either.

I've heard said that just like there are "discrepancies" in the Bible, God often puts things in the Word to challenge us. And in a psalm about the Word, it is not ironic to have its length be a challenge. But that's just rationalizing. Why not challenge us with Genesis where we learn about who we are? Why not challenge us at the cross (although He certainly does that)? Why not just accept that this is how the psalmist was inspired, and how the convened council was inspired, and just shut up and focus and not let the liar use wonder for a reason to fail?

There's always that.