25th December 2008

Christmas 2008 Photos!

Here are some photos form Christmas morning!

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25th December 2008

New Motorcycle!

I got this motorcycle in exchange for installing a home theater system in my friend Jim’s house. It’s a 2002 Suzuki Volusia Intruder with 6300 miles on it and tons of neat extras…

suzuki

I go to my motorcycle training course on the 2nd and will hopefully be riding it, licensed and insured, by the 4th! It’s mostly for getting me back and forth to church. What’s really cool is that my friend Mike has a 2003 model that looks almost identical to this and my neighbor has a 2001 that’s set up more like a sportster model. So when we all ride together we’ve got essentially the same bikes from 2001-2003!

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25th December 2008

Bathroom/Bedroom Photos (for Those Not on Facebook)

Here are some pictures of our finished bedroom and the tub which is nearly finished. We got some requests for photos by those not on Facebook so decided to post them here.

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16th December 2008

Fundamentalism – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Lord, you are the maker of everything and the ruler of all. Your authority and wisdom and knowledge surpasses everything. We only hope to glean some of the things you reveal to us in nature, in your word and through the Holy Spirit. Help me be a willing and worthy vessel.

Father, I have not made myself a servant to all. I may have condescended, but I have not had a true servant’s heart. I have not given except of my excess. I have not made myself small enough so that I can win the people you have delivered to me. I have not reduced enough of myself so that only you are left to be seen in me.

Thank you that you are faithful, even when I am not. Thank you that you have the answers, that you are the truth and that you can fill me and equip me with whatever I need to fulfill your plan for my life. Thank you for constantly forgiving me and welcoming me back with open arms.
Father help me to become less and to elevate you in my life to the highest possible position. Help me to spend more time thinking on you and your word. Make me better in that I am a follower of your commands. Make me wholly focused on you in all that I do, say, and think. Help me to love you more, and as a result love others more and lovemy family more.

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15th December 2008

The Law Matters, Not Position – 1 Corinthians 7:19

“For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.” – 1 Corinthians 7:19

Paul seems to be explaining that status counts for nothing in the church. Those who are circumcised (Jews) and those who are not (Gentiles) matters little in the kingdom of God and heaven. But to keep the commands of God matters much. This also seems to extend to heritage and can be extrapolated to equal, by factor of location/ethnicity, denominations or church bodies. While keeping the commandments of God is essential and does count for something, your nationality, position, status and/or circumstances in life do not.

Lord, you are the maker of all and there is none like you. You created heaven and earth and all that is in them and govern and rule over all. Your will and your plan are perfect and we all do best when we listen and follow your commands and your word and law.

Father, forgive me for not clinging to your word as if it was my last breath – and therefore rendering all of my dependence upon you. Forgive me for placing judgment on those whom I should not judge, for you are their judge and I have far greater sins than those I see in them. Forgive me for ascribing importance to position and race and ethnicity as if it were anything at all. Forgive me for taking advantage of your grace in where I was born and placed and not realizing the immense responsibility it carries.

Thank you, Lord, for revealing to me the truth that is your word. Thank you for loving me enough to give me your commandments and ensuring that I understand the importance of them vs. status, position, ethnicity and more in the kingdom of heaven. Thank you for showing me grace in all that I do and the incredibly arrogance I have shown towards your people and others.

Help me to live in a way that reflects your truth. Help me to obey your commands and teach them to my children. Help me to help others learn to love your law and realize their situation as it pertains to your judgment. Allow me to live in a way that esteems others as greater than me and elevates you above all else in my life or consciousness. Let there be more of you and less of me.

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9th December 2008

Doing the right thing – 1 Corinthians 4:12b

“When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat.” – 1 Corinthians 4:12b

This little bit of info nestled in the midst of v12 captures a unique characteristic of the Christian who correctly understands his position. When reviled we bless. The Lord has given us so much that it is unthinkable that we do not pity and love those who do not yet see, and forgive them their sins of arrogance and ignorance of the nature of God. As Christ said from the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”, we must also forgive those who sin against us. I must forgive those who revile me. For I have been forgiven much much more.

When persecuted, we endure. Lord, forgive me for living in such a way that I am never persecuted for your sake. You are worthy of such outstanding and outspoken love that I should be held a lunatic by our own standards in my proclamations of your holiness and your wondrous works. And yet I am not able to relate to the persecution you describe and which Paul and the apostles endured.

When slandered, we entreat. Father, forgive me for not turning aside my desire of immediate justice when slandered. Instead I must desire earnestly for those doing the offense to come to know you and to love your ways. Rather than take offense, I must grow more earnest in my love for the offender.

Thank you for your word and the amazing grace you give me to learn more about you and follow your law and your will. Guide my life so that I draw nearer to you and obey your voice, hearing it above all else and eschewing my comfort, my convenience, and my pride for what you desire of me.

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8th December 2008

Building on the Foundation of Christ – 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:13-15

Lord, you are worthy to test my work and the works of those who follow you or profess to follow you. You are teh one thing worth building on and the only real purpose there is to anything we do with our lives is to build you up and to carry out your will.

So much fills my life, Lord, that doesn’t build you up, further the kingdom or point to you and your wonderful creation. I have dwelt on my own purposes for too long and made you a second, third, fourth priority – and felt puffed up that I was being generous. I am a fool, living my life as if anything I do apart form you has any lasting significance for eternity, when even the largest accomplishment, without you, will burn away to nothingness. Yet the smallest thing done for you will live on eternal. Forgive my arrogance, my short-sightedness and my lack of creativity in finding you in all things that I do.

Thank you Lord for reminding me that you are in all things; that your purpose is above all. Thank you that you call me to be righteous in all that I do and that you help me to grow bolder and wiser with the boldness and wisdom that you give to me.

Help me Lord to put your will first. To do all things through Christ who strengthens me and to work as unto the Lord in all that I participate in. Help me to put you at the fore of my thoughts and to consider every word and deed subject to your will and your glory. Make me able to eat the meat of your word and not subsist on milk alone. Give me material with which to build upon the foundation of Jesus so that when the Day comes I will have something standing that is not ruined by the fire you will bring.

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5th December 2008

Cross – God = Foolishness – 1Corinthians 1:18-25

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Where is the wisdom of this age? Lord, you are wisdom. There is nothing we can discern in this world except that which you have imparted to us. We are merely discovering that which you reveal and there is nothing new to you under the son or in heaven above.

Father please forgive me for thinking myself wise. I am so inadequate and can only look to You to reveal your wisdom to me as you see fit. I confess that I have taken Your wisdom as if it were my own. I have acted as if I were greater than others and as if I possessed something of my own accord as if you had not given me everything that I have and am.

Thank you, Lord for your forgiveness and for allowing me to discover more and more about You and the world you created. Your truth is life and it is wonderful to be able to see the things you reveal to me. Thank you for not leaving me to the folly of my own rational mind and missing out on the wonderful blessings you have bestowed on the faithful.

Help me to love your law and obey your commands. Help me to do so that You may draw near to me and I may learn more of you. Help me to be truly wise and to impart Your words, love and truth to others. Forgive those who are trapped into thinking they are wise in believing they understand the natural world and how things came about. Forgive those who would put themselves in the place of You, Lord, and your wisdom. Forgive their ignorance and deliver Your word to them by whatever means you can. Allow them to see the truth and recognize You in all that exists and in all the knowledge and wisdom in the world. Let them see that they are but discovering that which You already have known forever. What a privilege to get to know you and learn more about you and your creation.

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2nd December 2008

You Have Made Heaven and Earth – 2 Kings 19:15

“And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.” – 2 Kings 19:15

YHWH is the God of all kingdoms of the earth. You were Lord in days past and You are still Lord today. Nothing, Father, has changed and no nation is ruled without your power overshadowing that rule in mightiness and authority.

Forgive me, Father, for acting as if our country and others are ruled apart from your overshadowing might. You are in control and nothing happens apart from your ultimate will – good or bad. You are not surprised. You are not disappointed. You are not set back. Your will is to be done. Please let me understand your greatness and your power and your authority so that I trust you in all things; trust you to rule; trust you to guide world events; trust YOU not to be surprised by any occurrences in the world. All things work to your glory.

Thank you Father for the assurance of heaven. Thank you that you desire all men to be saved and command us to do your will in spreading the good news. Thank you that we are not operating under our own power, for we would break under the strain. It is such a pleasure to be able to look to Jesus as an example and attempt to follow His leadership and example.

Help me, Lord, to trust you and obey you. Help me to understand the weight of the great commission and to be faithful. Help me to frame my worldview around the fact that your power and might are in control of everything. Aid my understanding and refine me so that my actions and words are better representations of someone who belongs to you.

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1st December 2008

God is Holy – Romans 2:9

“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.”Luke 2:9

God is holy, separate from us. He necessitates respect and honor and the shepherds have no choice but to bow down with fear before him. His glory is complete and it shines all around them. The Lord here is heralded, just like a king would be. His presence is announced. He is important.

When God appears to Moses, His glory is so complete that Moses cannot look at His face (no one can). God commands tremendous respect in the Old Testament as shown by His laws and rituals. His holiness is displayed in the splendor of what He commands for his people and the fact that he is so holy that no symbol, idol, or image can be used to describe Him – as it could not possibly adequately represent His holiness.

Jesus demonstrated that God is so holy that no one could stand before Him without a perfect sacrifice to purify us and allow us to come into His presence. As He provides the way, we are allowed to come into this sacred presence without fear of death.

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