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Archive for August, 2008

Bad Jokes

 

OK, I admit it, I like bad jokes – “groaners” if you will. Here’s one:

Herb: Doctor, my hair is falling out! Can you give me something for it?

Doctor: Here, take this box.

Or how about this one?

A crab walks into a restaurant. Upon seeing him, the chef tells him he’ll have to leave, because “We don’t serve seafood here.”

Here’s another one:

Two fonts walk into a bar.

The bartender says, “You two will have to leave. We don’t serve your type here.”

Finally, without further ado:

Why did the atoms cross the road?

It was time to split.

That’s about enough for now. I’m sure you’ll agree!

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One of my favorite songs is “Thankful” by Derek Webb and performed by Caedmon’s Call. It beautifully portrays the biblical doctrines of man’s sin and God’s grace. Here are the lyrics:

You know I ran across an old box of letters while I was baggin up some clothes for Goodwill. But you know I had to laugh at the same old struggles that plagued me then are plaguing me still. I know the road is long from the ground to glory, but a boy can hope he’s getting someplace. But you see, I’m running from the very clothes I’m wearing and dressed like this I’m fir for the chase.

‘Cause no, there is none righteous, not one who understands. There is none who seeks God. No not one, I said no not one.

(Chorus) So I am thankful that I’m incapable of doing any good on my own.

‘Cause we’re all stillborn and dead in our transgressions. We’re shackled up to the sin we hold so dear. So what part can I play in the work of redemption? I can’t refuse, I cannot add a thing.

‘Cause I’m just like Lazarus and I can hear your voice. I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You because I have no choice.

(Chorus)

‘Cause by grace I have been saved, through faith that’s not my own. It is a gift of God and not by works lest anyone should boast.

(Chorus)

Derek, I’m thankful, too!

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Palin family values

 

In a somewhat surprising move, John McCain announced this morning that Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, will be his Vice-Presidential running mate. Andy Naselli, at Between Two Worlds, posted an interesting article on the Palin family, centering on their recently-born son, Trig (the content comes from Al Mohler). It’s worth a look.

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Cows face north when they’re in the field. Here’s the article that explains why. I don’t know what this piece of information means in the grand sweep of things – that’s why it’s in the “random thoughts” category.

I do use satellite dishes to navigate when I’m driving, though, because they always face south. Maybe I should pay more attention to the cows. The only problem is that they’re not as plentiful as satellite dishes where we live.

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Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.”

In Ephesians 4:15, the apostle Paul tells us to “speak the truth in love.”  What does that mean? Three things, in my opinion.

First, using the inspired wisdom of Ecclesiastes as a guide, there is a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking. the Holy Spirit will give us guidance as to which time it is. Sometimes, we have to say something – we simply cannot remain silent.

Second, when we speak, we must speak the truth. Rather than saying anything we want (no matter who it hurts), we’re bound to speak what is true.

Third, when we speak the truth, it must be done in love. Truth without love crushes. Love without truth enables and ultimately destroys.

Ephesians 4:15 is an excellent model for good communication. We need to speak and not remain silent. When we speak, we should speak the truth. When we speak the truth, it must be in love.

(This verse – and concept – was in the passage I preached on Sunday, but I didn’t have the time to do much with it.)

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Today was my first official Sunday as pastor of Immanuel! To say I was excited and nervous would be an understatement. Everything went well and praise God for His tremendous provision!

I can’t explain how good it feels to be “back in the saddle” so to speak. The congregation was warm, inviting, and gave us a great welcome. We couldn’t have asked for more.

“Out of the Gate” (suggested by my wife) is the title of my first sermon-series. We want to have a good start out of the gate for both pastor and church. Most likely, I’ll spend three or four sermons covering things I think are vital to the health and well-being of the church. Today’s sermon was taken from Ephesians 4:1-16. I used Paul’s admonitions to the Ephesian church as mine:

  1. Maintain your unity (vv. 1-6)
  2. Use your gifts (vv. 7-12, 16)
  3. Grow to maturity (vv. 13-16)

All of these things need to happen if the church (any church, for that matter) is to glorify God and be faithful to Him.

Tomorrow starts another school year, too – I can’t wait to get back! We have a teacher work day tomorrow and an open house on Tuesday.

Let’s get started for the glory of God!

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Real-Life Responsibility

 

Charles Colson has a poignant commentary on today’s Breakpoint called “Real-Life Responsibility.” It’s worth a listen or read, whichever you prefer. You can do either here.

A member of Joe Gibbs Racing (part of the NASCAR circuit) was caught cheating. There are all kinds of ways you can cheat in NASCAR, of which I know virtually nothing, but the point is that they did it and got caught. What makes it more of a story is the strong Christian commitment of Joe Gibbs himself.

But in his commentary, Colson points out that Joe Gibbs Racing has stepped up and accepted responsibility. No spin and no “not-quite-apology” apologies. Well done, Joe Gibbs Racing!

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