Devil’s Convention

I think I’ll dig out my copy of “The Screwtape Letters” this weekend.

— Author Unknown [Thanks to Dwayne at GodsWork]Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ.

If they gain connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church. Let them have their conservative lifestyles. But steal their time, so they can’t gain that experience in Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day.” “How shall we do this?” shouted his angels. “Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work six or seven days a week, 10 – 12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep
them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.

Over stimulate their minds so they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play
the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

Fill their coffee tables with newspapers and magazines. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services and false hopes. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.

Let them be involved in soul winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause.”

It was quite a convention in the end. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.

Has the devil been successful at his scheme?

rut vs. grave

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

I find as I mature physically I appreciate consistency in ways I never did before. Not being surprised is very pleasant. However, as I ponder the above one-liner I am challenged to consider if my purpose is in fact to be comfortable. I am not talking physically here, but rather spiritually. Do I expect to see God’s moving daily as I expect the sun to rise? Do I assume God is in control and walk as led? Do I use spiritual muscles that I did not even know I had? Am I spiritually sore in the morning, but it’s “that good kind of sore”? Or am I where I was yesterday?

Lord, do not allow me to remain where I was… move me!

They’re Home!

Yes, I enjoyed this quiet week with my bride but it is so great to have the kids home again!

They both are full of stories from their time in Birmingham with World Changers. This was a bit different than other summer retreats they have been on in the past. As my daughter said, “this time it was not about us.” There were about 60 from our church who met up with other youth groups from around the southeast to do some hard work in the name of The Lord. There were around 800 youth total. They slept on the floor of a local middle school and worked on various construction projects in the area.

They demolished, hammered, roofed, painted, poured concrete, landscaped, played with little children, went into the neighborhoods as witness teams and to a child grew closer with their saviour. This earthly father is truly blessed!

Cool, but Pointless

Admittedly this is way cool, but I’m afraid I don’t completely get the point. Canesta has developed what is essentially a keyboardless keyboard. OK, so it makes traveling lighter and it has a tremendous cool factor, but you can’t feel the keys. I am an atrocious speller to begin with and I imagine my lazy pinky finding rest on the tab key or my fat thumb unintentionally sending me to the menu bar. But… it is very cool.

Now, for interesting but not nearly as cool. FrogPad is selling a one-handed keyboard. Out with QWERTY and in with FARWP. Now it is not that this old dog resists learning new tricks, I actually use an alternate layout on my PDA (FITALY), but FrogPad requires multiple key strokes for a single letter. Can you say “hand cramp”?

Well, how about some worthwhile use of technology? eDOT is convinced that technology can “help us further God’s kingdom”. Their focus is electronic Discipleship Outreach and Training by providing “creative outreach and training tools to assist the church in Europe in fulfilling the Great Commission.”

Believers Only!

I was reading a discussion online this evening that troubled me somewhat. But, as I considered the discussion I realized there was much to the argument that church is for believers. in fact a strong case is made that we should not bring unbelievers to church. Wow, even as I type this I feel my knee jerking.

Consider; do we bring people to church to have the preacher take care of business? Do we hope that something rubs off? Or, does church equip us to share Christ with a world that so needs Him? Are we having an impact on those around us and taking joy in observing the Holy Spirit work in their hearts and rejoicing when a life is changed for eternity?

Well, when in doubt read the instructions:

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (43) Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. (44) All the believers were together and had everything in common. (45) Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (46) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, (47) praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Here the early church was being equiped via the apostles’ teaching, edified by the fellowship and encouraged by the miraculous signs and wonders. Notice that they were also accesible to the public as they met in the temple courts and enjoyed the favor of all people. The result is that the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Enough said.

Beethoven?

With the kids in Alabama it sure is quiet around here. The kitchen is spotless and my bride and I are running out of things to talk about.

Tomorrow’s Sunday School lesson is on 2 Kings 13. Verses 18 and 19 beg the question, do we settle for limited success in Kingdom work? What would happen if we put our whole heart into our obedient service? Might we be used even beyond our death as Elisha was?

2Ki 13:21 (NIV) Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.

Or are we more like Beethoven?

When Beethoven passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, a small boy was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Beethoven was buried.

Terrified, the boy ran and got his father to come and listen to it.

His father bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the father ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, “Ah, yes, that’s Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, being played backwards.”

He listened a while longer, and said, “There’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backwards, too. Most puzzling.”

So the magistrate kept listening; “There’s the Seventh… the Sixth… the Fifth…”

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, “My fellow citizens, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Beethoven decomposing.”

World Changers

Well, the kids are leaving early this morning for a World Changers project in Birmingham, AL. They’re pretty excited even though this will be different than previous summer camp type events. Please pray for safe travel and that the heart of each person on the trip be prepared to experience God and that through this trip they are drawn into a closer walk with their Saviour.

I had the opportunity last evening to perk up the blog site a bit. The jury is still out regarding the presentation of the links to the right. Though I am pretty sure I’ll stay with the simple, white space approach for the overall page. I think it is well in keeping with a blog/journal type environment.

Still He Walked

Well, I’m just getting this blog underway and I find myself again running out of time for all I wanted to accomplish today. I must get up for work in about six hours so I’ll take a short cut and fill this first entry with something I did not write but find very poignant.

But Still He Walked

— Author Unknown [Thanks to Dwayne at GodsWork]

He could hear the crowds screaming “crucify” “crucify”
He could hear the hatred in their voices,
These were His chosen people.
He loved them, And they were going to crucify Him.
He was beaten, bleeding and weakened…His heart was broken,
But still He walked.

He could see the crowd as He came from the palace.
He knew each of their faces so well.
He had created them.
He knew every smile, laugh, and shed tear,
But now they were contorted with rage and anger…His heart broke,
But still He walked.

Was he scared?
You and I would have been,
So His humanness would have mandated that He was. He felt alone.
His disciples had left, denied, and even betrayed Him.
He searched the crowd for a loving face and He saw very few.
Then He turned His eyes to the only one that mattered
And He knew that He would never be alone.
He looked back at the crowd, at the people who were spitting
At Him, throwing rocks at Him and mocking Him and He knew
That because of Him, they would never be alone.
So for them, He walked.

The sounds of the hammer striking the spikes echoed through
The crowd. The sounds of His cries echoed even louder,
The cheers of the crowd, as His hands and feet
Were nailed to the cross, intensified with each blow.
Loudest of all was the still small voice inside His
Heart that whispered “I am with you, my Son”,
And God’s heart broke.
He had let His Son walk.

Jesus could have asked God to end His suffering,
But instead He asked God to forgive.
Not to forgive Him, but to forgive the ones who were persecuting Him.
As He hung on that cross, dying an unimaginable death,
He looked out and saw, not only the faces in the crowd,
But also, the face of every person yet to be,
And His heart filled with love.
As His body was dying, His heart was alive.
Alive with the limitless, unconditional love He feels for each of us.
That is why He walked.

When I forget how much My God loves me,
I remember His walk.
When I wonder if I can be forgiven,
I remember His walk.
When I need reminding of how to live like Christ,
I think of His walk.
And to show Him how much I love Him,
I wake up each morning, turn my eyes to Jesus,
And I walk.