Friday, March 31, 2006

More viewpoints on Duke

Ok - continuing on the last blog about Duke (which is where I work, that is ONE of reasons why I'm so interested in this). Also, The Summit Church is doing Focus on Hope and this is one of things we want to help reach and prevent in our city.
I came across this article, read it, nodded, laughed, agreed...good. Since I can't get the link to work, it is on sports illustrated - commentary by Tim Layden.

The Friday is going by quicker then W and Th did, but my scanner is not working properly, so it is quite aggravating!


duke lacrosse

Well, I thought I would comment on the Duke Lacrosse thing:
1. You are innocent until proven guilty - one of the backbones of the judicial system in this country.
2. No, we don't need to ruin the player's character before the results of DNA testing are back.
3. yes, rape is wrong in every case if it happens.
4. But, what are clear that the Duke LaCrosse players did: had a party, hired a female dancer: neither of which are becoming to a top notch school where these players are touted as being ones with high character and good grades, excellent students.
So, as one of my friends said, these things are unbecoming, much less if you add rape and racial slurs. Those things just make it worse.
But, like I've said, if we are going to fault them, then let's do the same kind of reporting for every person that rapes or has a wild party or hires dancers for parties. Would any of it decrease?

weekend, gators, in light of, psalms

As I am sitting here this morning, I was thinking of the title of my blog. Even though I don't always talk about the Word, proper...everything we do in life should be in light of the Word and our relationship with its Author. As I tell many of my can read anything you want (within reason of course), as long as you read it in light of the Word and everything in it in light of TRUTH. So, that is how I look (hopefully) at everything: sports, worship, songs, books I'm reading, relationships with friends and 3on3s.
Anyway, it is finally the weekend. I have opps this weekend to chill (not many), have people over for the GATOR game (hopefully my wings turn out well - Alan is the pro, not me), drive to Franklinton and Raleigh two separate times so I get good drive time, anticipate a small deadline at work so it will be crazy today, talk with friends, participate in worship, hang out with kiddos, etc. Busy weekend, but at least I don't have to work as well.
I'm reading a book called Sex 180. My main thing with it right now (it is good, don't worry), is that so many times we are looking for the right answers for why not to have sex before in a committed marital relationship, but so often we are not asking the right QUESTIONS. It is not so we won't get pregnant, won't get STDs, wont' get AIDS, won't get hurt, but it is so we can please our Heavenly Father - the one who died for ALL of our sins, and wants all of us. He is not being stingy, but He is jealous for His glory to be lived and displayed through us. That includes our sexual lives as well.
Ps 40-43
40.11- Mercy, steadfast love, and faithfulness will preserve me.
40.16 - Another great song, (and I don't need Gaynor's help with this one). i love being able to read through the word and have melodies come to mind because the ones I sing are verbatim Scripture.
42.1-2 - When will this become true of me? When will be able to be said of me, I thirst for God, I can't wait to spend time in his word, not be it drudge work for me to do, or just something that I have to do...
43.4 - Is he my exceeding Joy (ps 16.11)
42 and 43 are very similar, some verses are identical.

Now onto making a grocery list...


Thursday, March 30, 2006

randomness and psalms

Been taking a slight break from my reading plan, but tonight will do some catch up in the Psalms. I've gotta go back and do Luke here eventually. Probably not this weekend now as it will be kind of hectic, but all good.
Been baking, enjoying my job, going like crazy, got a hair cut (don't worry, nothing drastic), saw old friends, will be doing some scrapbooking, etc.
Been doing some reading and preparing for some writing opps I'm going to be having, so that is taking some of the free time too.

Now for Psalms 26-39
26.7 - Do I do that? Go around telling of what you've done - or do I go around telling others what I've done? My life is mostly about me I am finding out - and not solely about what you are doing. Help me to change focus.
27.1 - The Lord is the stronghold of my life. But what else is. God isn't going to share the position of power in my life with anyone or anything.
27.4 - A great verse. ONE THING - not one thing out of many. May I ask that one thing because that is where I find everything I NEED.
31.3 - Why does God take great delight in leading and guiding me...because it is for the fame of HIS GLORY
32.9 - I have the best in the eternalness leading me, why am I so often like a mule or a donkey - not wanting to go in the direction He is pointing - I fight it. I don't want a bit in my mouth. Those things look painful - I didn't even want braces. Why can't I go painlessly?
33.1 - Praise befits the upright. That is what I want said of me. I want to glow when I worship. Not because i've adorned the outside more that day, but I want my life to glow because I am praising the only one worth my praise. This is what should make me beautiful - not a new glossy haircut!
34.5 - Goes so perfectly with the reference above.
37.3-5 - These verses mean more to me every passing day. Sometimes I don't think I believe them, but I know I trust in the goodness of the Lord (and a BTC song comes to mind - Gaynor could probably tell me exactly which one I'm thinking of).
37.31 - The Law of his God is on his heart. What god's law is on my heart - the god of this age or the GOD OF THE AGES? What does my life illustrate?
39.1 - Help me to watch the things that I say...not be fake...but just have speech that is seasoned with salt, especially around the godless of this time and city.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

AP list, frazzled, and Sex 180

OK - looking at ESPN this morning, the AP list for b-ball players this year. Not wanting to take away from the players who are on there...but did anyone notice that only 2 players from the Final Four are on that list. Now the question goes to prove is that either the AP players didn't play very well on crunch time or they didn't seed the teams very well this year... Or I was just thnking that it could be that those teams (GM, UF, LSU, TX) have fewer stars and work better as a team together - so everyone gets the credit and not just one person.
Frazzled day, still got much of it left, and I got a new book to read: "Sex 180" How our culture influences how we think about sex.

Monday, March 27, 2006

One day Jesus

I love how certain songs seem to stick in your mind all day once you've heard it (like it's a small world). But this one is great. We've been singing it in choir practice for a while, and the day is coming (Sunday i think) when we are actually going to sing it in church...
Here are the lyrics:
Some days drag and some days fly. And some days I think of the day I'll die. Some days fill me and some days drain.
And one day Jesus will call my name. Chorus One day Jesus will call my name As days go by, 'hope I don't stay the same. I wanna get so close to Him that it's no big change, On that day that Jesus calls my name!
Most days I pray but some days I curse. A said number of days I put myself first. But it's not what I do, the cross made that plain. And one day Jesus will call my name!
Very simple, but oh so true. The past 3 or 4 weeks have been very evident of that. Some days, some mornings, I wake up totally refreshed, some I just want to stay in bed. One of my girls kind of mentioned this tonight at dinner. I always say "I want to read more of Your Word" but then I don't. Oh, I'm not looking forward to dying, I am just looking forward to being with Jesus.
One of the verses that came to mind as I was driving home after choir practice tonight is found in Galatians: - "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not live by the flesh" - or something like that.
If I wake everyday with those words of the Word on my lips and in my mind, than each day will be like the lyrics of that song - I wanna get so close to Him that its no big change, on the day when Jesus calls my name.

Just on a side took me nearly 15 minutes to find the lyrics online. Good gracious!


Sunday, March 26, 2006


Now, the stupid thing about living in NC is that you will be listening to the Gator game (not to mention that it is the Elite 8 game, in the 2nd half) and all of a sudden, the radio station will switch over to the girls' Duke game (not even the game, pre-game talk). WHO CARES??? Girls basketball will never be as good as men's - sorry.


Did I mention that the Gators beat the last #1 seed left in the tourney?

VA, UF, JC (all explained in the blog)

Ok - finally back in NC after a weekend in VA. I discovered I really liked the northern part of the state - could see myself living there (because I don't have to explain what sweet tea is, it is pretty, has good churches, and is closer to DC and NYC then Durham is). But, don't worry, I don't have any reason to go up there at the moment (for anything longer than a visit).
I went to a great mexican restaurant on Friday in Chesterfield with 2 friends from the Board. It was called Don Jose's - best chicken enchiladas I've ever tasted! :)
Then - we went home and watched bad officiating, but the GATORS won! they actually start playing in about an hour - I have to listen to it on the radio. Currently I'm watching the cinderella team (GM - which I was by their campus this weekend) and UConn. Go GM - mainly for the upset factor.
Then I drove to Fairfax to hear Carolyn Mahaney speak at Sov Grace church of Fairfax. Many more women there than I thought. Got to talk to a teenager who was not excited about moving with her family to start a sov grace church in Titusville FL. But, I got her info and will hopefully be able to encourage her in the coming months as she moves and ministers in the good state.
Then I hung out with one of my college guys who just moved to Fairfax to start working at the Dept of State in DC. We had Chipotle for lunch (sorta like Moe's - but they don't yell at you when you walk in the door). There is a wider variety at Moe's too. But, Matt was doing good - he had gone to the Sweet 16 doubleheader the night before.
Then I went shopping. After all I have heard about IKEA - it is not much to write home about. But, I found good stuff this weekend at Kohl's, BB and B, Michael's and Borders. Then I came back to Chesterfield and watched the game a little bit and called it an early evening. I was tired.
Got up late this morning and headed back to NC. My vacation weekend was over. Oh, well. Must I always live for the weekends?
My newest reading assignment for discussion with friends ( a newly formed book club?) is Wicked - the opposite story from the Wizard of Oz - a story about the originality of good and evil. Should be interesting.
One thing I sang this weekend stuck with me: Jesus, my Rock and my Redeemer, He is the reason that I sing. Why do I let so many other things determine what I base my joy on? Or let others determine when I'm happy and when I "want" to sing. The only reason I have to sing is because of the grace of Jesus - go Jesus! let me always sing to you.
On a HAPPY NOTE - my friends on the other side of the world, had their baby and the pictures are posted. He is adorable! I can't wait to see the little guy in person.

Well, back to work tomorrow - hope everyone had a great weekend. Go Gators! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Surprise of the Night, Cooking as a Ministry, Micah, and the weekend is brought to you by Don and Carolyn

Ok first - Duke lost. What was with that. I work at Duke, so this is going to make for a rough day tomorrow in our office. Oh, well. I told one of the ladies I work with (former head coach's daughter) that if you shut down JJ and Sheldon then they lose. You can't rely on 2 people to make a whole team. As Coach K said afterwards, "they played a very physical game and we never switched gears." At least he was honest. I do feel slightly bad for JJ and SW. But, GO GATORS!
Micah has some really cool stuff in it. Hope, refreshment, light at the end of a bad day, knowledge of what God wants from us, tells us to give up idols, brings us HOPE for the coming MESSIAH! (700 years before He was born in the little town of Bethlehem). More stuff this weekend back in Luke.
I had a great night with one of my girls, Laura. She came over and we ate good comfort food, baked (orange yogurt bread with a orange glaze) and choc chip cookies. YUM! We just had fun. Remember, as I've been reading on Carolyn McCulley's blog, cooking is such a ministry. Just keep cooking and getting better, gain confidence in it, then use it for ministry to other people. I love it! :)
I'm looking so forward to this weekend. Driving to Richmond tomorrow after work. Staying with a friend who works for the IMB, eating good mexican from a guy named Don, watching the Gators win (hopefully). Then on Saturday driving up to Fairfax to hear Carolyn Mahaney speak on the language of biblical femininity. Can't wait. Then hanging out with a friend who just moved to that area from here. Then coming home and hanging out in Richmond till Sunday afternoon. Glad to get away from here for a while, as my Mom said, "for a mini-vacation."
Yeah, the weekend is almost here

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thinking leads to light blogging and Gators over Uconn

Sorry for the light bloggings...just been doing some thinking the past two days, that's all.
Tomorrow teaching on Micah - another great minor prophet.
The 16 is this weekend - I'll watch it in Richmond with some friends. Go Gators. One of my fave pastors who writes for another blog picked UCONN to beat the Gators - what is he thinking. I liked him up till now! :) Go Gators - hopefully you do beat the Conns won't be the end of the world. I won't be in mourning for days like certain other Heel fans are right now just because they lost. at the end of the game I get over it - what good is mourning or rioting going to do for any body? Is it going to change the outcome of the game - no. So, you might as well just get over it!

Go Gators -

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Almost 16, Psalm 143

Well, yesterday was indeed a lazy Saturday in which I didn't do anything. I was going to venture out, but decided against it. Took my medicine, watched Foodtv and b-ball, and cooked some (that means I also ate, not a good thing because I ate too much).
Today is church and shopping and then I don't know what comes after that. Should be an interesting day.
Go Gators. Again, they didn't even have much of a game come the second half, neither did Duke (so much for an upset). Pulling today for Kentucky, Heels, and Wolfpack. 2/3 would be an upset - lets hope that Carolina plays better than they did on Friday night and doesn't that GMU get past them.
Ps 143 - we always want God to answer us quickly. That is what the Psalmist prays. What God does do is answer us in HIS timing, but He does lead our paths (if we allow Him to - if we don't follow our own ways).

Lke 6-7

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Random weekend stuff, Road to the Dance, Apologetics, and Luke

Many things, but nothing much of important:
1. Well, with all this down time I haven't done much of anything. I went into work for about 1 hour yesterday and was tired, so I went to get a few groceries and to the bank and came back home. I watched Spanglish which I really like and I cried. I think I cried the first time I saw it too, so I can't blame crying on being sick. Then I watched FoodTv, cooked a breakfast dinner, and watched b-ball, monk, House (which I'd seen - all about a dead cat), and more b-ball. UNC had it tough...let's see if they do better tomorrow night against George Mason I upset team!
2. I have all these clothes scattered around my room - I wish I could wear them. I need to be able to wear them. When I have energy again to be exercising - that will help. Eating less doesn't cut it when you aren't building muscle mass.
3. I didn't read any yesterday and I probably will just do my quiet time today - that will be all the reading I do. You know you go in those spurts where you wanna read all the time, I'm not in that spurt right now. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of stuff I could be reading...but...
4. Duke plays the first game today and Gators play next. I would really love the first game to be an upset. I don't like cockiness - and I think when you are ranked number 1 almost all year - every week - you get cocky. I think it happens to any team. USC for example. The Gators have done it too. I think it is bad for them as well, but they are my team, I have a vested interest in their winnings.
5. My old youth group is having a DNOW this weekend. They are talking mostly about tough topics and how to confront (with compassion) those topics when they are brought up in their relationships. Apologetics - every Christian needs to know them.

Ok - on to Luke...
1.4 - That you may have certainity. That is why Luke wrote Theo - shouldn't that apply to us as well.
1.38 - May I always have the faith of Mary, a teenager, a virgin, who was expecting a baby - not just any baby - but the King of the World. So be it...
2.29-32 - What Simeon said about the little Jesus boy: salvation, prepared in the presence of all peoples, light for revelation to the Gentiles, for glory to your people Israel
2.37 - the life of a dedicated prophetess widow: worshipping, praying, fasting...all those years, never giving up and going on to other business - but always being about the business of the Lord.
3.3 - A baptism (a dunking) of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. This is what the baptists teach (as well as some other denoms)
3.21 - Why was Jesus baptized - it obviously wasn't for the above
4.2 - Jesus was definitely human. After his 40 days of fasting - he was hungry (brings me back to YL days)
4.18-19 - I think these verses are found in Is 61 - what great truths - prophesy that was about Him that was now being fulfilled.
4.17-22 - This seems to have been done all very matter-of-factly. There was no room for discussion. Jesus picked up the scrolls, read it, sat back down, and said Yup - your looking at him. Then they all praised him. The people weren't there to argue about the history of Isaiah or the interpretation of the Hebrew.
4.32 - His word possessed authority (just as in creation and John 1). Just like the very words of Scripture. Logos
5.8 - Seeing the glory and working of Jesus - a very haughty, proud, and arrogant fisherman was humbled because of his sin. Oh, God - let me see you and be humbled and repentant.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Multi-Day Blogging Part 2

Part 2 - Well, good things there were some upsets today in the world of the Big Dance, but I'm so glad UF played well. They really weren't even involved in a contest come the second half. USA played pretty good the first half, but then lost interest in the second. I thought BC would lose, but their opponent gave up in the second over time. I was actually pulling against UT, but then they came out with a win in the end. And Erin's team didn't pull it out - that was probably the biggest turn of the day - OU losing. Now we have Gonzaga playing - let's see if UNCW can pull an upset, then the Devils tonights. I doubt Southern will give them much of a contest. Uconn and Villanova and UNC tomorrow (along with other people). Thanks for ESPN RealTime so I can keep up with all these games!
Even staying in bed all day (which I did except for making some great chicken noodle soup and watching the first OT of the BC game) was hard. My shoulders hurt now, I'm already sick of taking Penicillen, finished a John Grisham book (getting to be like my mom - finishing a novel all in one day), getting on wwws and blogs.
One of the other things I did was confront theological issues again. Will it always be a battle. Maybe not this particular one, but yes, in a fallen world (myself included, yet saved by grace) theological issues will always be at hand. Unfortunately mostly in the church. But, the thing to remember - Rely on the Infallible, inerrant, perfect Word of God and not the books of any other person. Know the Word inside and out. Be able to discern what the peripheral doctrines are - not the ones key to salvation (the grace doctrines). As one SBCer said, Is that going to be a hill on which I'm going to die. You've gotta choose your battles.
There are some people very dear to me that I differ on key doctrines with, but we let the conversations come and go, each believing what they believe, and thankful for the chance to know our respective sides a little better. Then there are some people that like to make personal attacks when they differ about theology. That is not something I want to be about. Some of my best friendships during seminary were with people who disagreed with me on some issues - but we didn't let that get in the way of our friendship because we kept our disagreements in the world of theology.
I love arguing - and I'm willing to get in a discussion with most anybody on any given theological subject (sometimes I'll just listen because I don't know a lot of things about most things). And I like to hear a good theological debate. I remember one that the Student Gov't sponsored on SE's campus back when I was a part - a Duke prof and our president. Pretty interesting stuff. Even Duke people said we "won". Then there was a recent one including some conservative guys and some liberal guys - I heard the liberals blew us out of the water. The precision of argumentation. I wish I knew how to do it better. But once it gets into personal attacks (which I've been to some debates where that is what has happened) - I tune them out. They have left the world they are knowledgeable in. It is no use defacing theologians personally just to win an argument. It is not becoming of Christians or theologians. we are. 3 years out of seminary, still learning, and realizing it seems the further I get out of seminary, the less I know.

I do know this...God saved me by grace through His Son's Work on the Cross and the Empty tomb. I did nothing to earn it, and I can't lose it. It was God's choice - and He let's me love and serve Him. For that I am grateful.

Tomorrow, to my knowledge, I am going back to work for the afternoon and then going to decorate Easter eggs and sugar cookies - should be fun. We'll see how I'm feeling after one more pill and a good night's rest - (hopefully). I may have to wake up everynow and then and see how duke is doing.

Multi-blogging day Part 1

This will definitely be a multi-blog day. First will be thoughts on the rest of Ezra - then the second will be on March Madness day 1 (Go Gators), daily reading, and the reward of staying home for a day with strep throat...

7.6 - Here we have the character of Ezra: knew the Law, blessed by the king of the land, God's hand was upon him.
7.10 - What are the dreams in your heart? Ezra's was simple: know the law and teach it. Oh, that that may be an outcome in my life of knowing you better. That I might press into you more and more and therefore be able to teach it to my girls (and anyone else you would have me teach) more in depth and from a heart of one who has been saturated by it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

American Idol, March Madness, The Cross and Strep Throat, Ezra

In honor of American Idol - I offer this blurb from Gene Veith - one of the leading thinkers on popculture and the Christian.I think he is right on!

I approve of "American Idol." In the judging phase, at least, it reinforces the notion that there are, indeed, objective aesthetic standards. No, you are not good just because you try real hard or are sincere or have a dream or think you are. Simon shoots down that subjectivist mindset with commendable force. The competition is rigorous, and--though the judgments are turned over to the masses who do have their heartthrobs and subjective sympathies--at the end of the game, the best artists so far have indeed risen to the top.

On to more exciting things...March Madness begins tomorrow. Go Gators. They play S. Alabama (who in the world are they) tomorrow at 2.25. And, thanks to STREP THROAT and Penicillen (sp?) - I get to watch it with even more vigor here on my home computer in ESPN realtime. The Heels don't play till Friday night.

Yes, that is right - the last two days of being sick have issued in Strep throat. My friend went with me today and for that I was very thankful - I didn't want to go by myself. It was a "minute clinic" at CVS. We actually got to talk to our NP about medical missions, church, and the whatnot. She was very nice. But, I looked at the little stick after 5 minutes and I either was having twins (a boy and a girl) or I had strep. I think I'll take strep. So, I got a doctors note to stay out of work tomorrow, but I have to go in some on Friday to turn in my time card because I want to get paid. I've been reading The Cross Centered Life - I offered this thought to my Mom today in light of the sickness: our decaying (sick) bodies are due to sin. In the Garden they never got sick - there was no sin. The Wages of sin is death. But, that is why we have the Cross! Thank you Jesus!

So...more on CJ's book: It seems like lately I've been practicing legalism. Not that I would ever say I need works to get me to heaven, because I would never get there, but CJ puts it like this:
"Legalism, in other words, means the glory goes to people rather than God. ...The implication of legalism are staggering in their arrogance." So, when I want people to notice what I am doing and how much I am doing - that is legalism. Oh, Lord, help me not to "steal" your glory.

Now, on to Ezra...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Reading, lunch, CJ, Romans and Ezra

When you are sick - you've got a lot of time to think.
John Grisham may be a Christian (by his own words) but he doesn't write Christian fiction. I've been trying to teach my girls that whenever they read - whatever they read - read it in light of the gospel. This even goes for The Broker. What would you do with 6 years of solitary confinement? Would you have memorized the Word enough to be able to recite it - would you have memorized hymns so you could sing them (even if off key)? What would you do when you got out? What would freedom taste like? Being in bondage in misery is what life is without Christ.
I took lunch today and just chilled (because nothing I ate tasted good to me). So, I read a couple of chapters in CJ's book - The Cross Centered Life. This is a quote I underlined:
"Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry."
He was talking about having our lives either being centered on the gospel of the cross, or having it be centered on other things (even good things like ministry and teaching, etc). What is your life centered around?
Finishing Romans 14-16
14.3 - Help me not to pass judgment on the things that I abstain from when that abstaining is not in Scripture.
14.34 - WHATEVER does not proceed from faith is sin...Boy that is a strong statement. Help faith to be so IN my life that I do not sin because of a lack thereof.
16.10 - Who has ever heard of Apelles - not me, but the one thing the Word says about him is that he was approved in Christ. What better thing would you want said of you?
16.17 - "avoid those who create obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have been taught" There is an answer for me.
16.26 - These writings (the WORD) has been made known to all the nations to bring about obedience of faith - all because of the command of God.

Now for Ezra
1.1 - So Ezra and Jeremiah (one of my faves) were contemps
2.41 - Asaph (writer of Psalms) had sons who were singers. Imagine a choir director having sons who sang!

Sore Throat Reading: Grisham

Oh how I love being sick. I've been attempting to get a sore throat now for about 10 days and yesterday after my wonderful impromptu lunch with a friend of mine, it hit full blast. So, I came home and read a little (more later) and then went to bed. Then I woke up about 9, took some Tylenol Cold - went back to bed around 10 when I could feel the medicine working. Then woke up on and off then finally was awake about 630 this morning. That is exactly what I plan to do tonight. Unfortunately I am having to cancel some quality hang out time, but you do what you have to do. And when you work with kids at the Summit - I'm surprised I haven't already been sick!
So when I'm sick I don't want to read anything heavy on the brain because I probably wouldn't remember it anyway, so I picked up The Broker by John Grisham. I had gotten about 1/3 of the way through it and put it down, so I just started over. Much better this go around than the last.
Anyway, so today is a full day of work (hopefully as slow as it was yesterday) than home to sleep some more!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Different Churches, Tourney Sunday,and romans

You know - God has allowed different churches to exist for some reason, and I am really glad He did. I went a different church this morning for the early service. Most wear suits and they aren't contempory (by some people's opinions). But the pastors love Jesus and missions and stand for the inerrancy of the Word and the preaching of sin, hell, heaven, and the cross and empty tomb. They don't water down the gospel. Then I got to come back to my church and love the contemporary worship and I don't know of any of the pastors that wear suits (JD did have on a sports coat this morning) and our pastors love all of the above as well. Just different means of getting there.
March Madness continues - and today is conference finals. Gators and Blue Devils are winning. Go Gators! :) Oh, that one was close. I thought the Gators were going to let the Gamecocks get the better of them - but whoohoo - they pulled it out. BC is ahead of Duke. Oh, how sweet an upset would be. Mainly because Coach K thinks it is his team's destiny to win this game. But, Duke does have a 1 point lead with 11 seconds left - who will win??? And Duke won it be 2 - close game though...
On in Romans - 11-13
11.6 - If works played any role in our salvation - it wouldn't be salvation by grace. There can't be both.
11.36 - I love Paul's use of prepositions in this verse.
12.18 - But peaceably don't mean "be tight friends who share everything" - it just means peaceably. Peaceably means none of this passive aggresive stuff. But hurt is hurt and pain is pain - very real in this world of sin we live in. Now to determine life on the other side of that. Relationships are never the same. Remembering back over relationships in my life...hurt and pain helps add to education and guarding and growth (not necessarily in that order). Paul may not have meant this type of peaceable relationships - but...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

JDs article

If I haven't said it lately...God has blessed the Summit with incredible smart and relevant and Godly pastors. This is the result of one's beliefs. JD - lead pastor - wrote an article on Scripture and the Emerging Church. You need to go read it. It was in SBC life this month.

Saturday, March Madness, Trust and Truth in Finalized Hope

Well, pictures are hung in my house so things are looking more like a lived-in apt then a sterile environment. There is COLOR!! A friend of mine came over and did his best picture hanging job. It is great to have a perfectionist come hang pictures - you know it is going to look good!
FL and UNC won yesterday, Wake really beat State (sorry Gray and Jenn - but Gaynor and David T are happy). Today is more games within the conference tourneys but I won't get to watch any of them I don't think.
Been thinking about Prov 4.23 and what that means in my life right now. Trust is an easy thing for you to get in my life, but once broken, very hard to re-earn. Guarded - it is where I am right now. God heals in His timing though.
Women's conference going on today for the Summit. My friend Christina is speaking at it. I pray the women listen with openness to the "gospel" of biblical womanhood. Also, today, a group from the Summit (mostly college kids) are on their way to NO to help with Katrina relief. I personally am missing the NYC trip - but maybe that will come back around at some point.
Today: going hiking in Raleigh (yes, there is a place), helping a friend unpack, reading, and then chilling tonight at home (I hope).
But for now, Romans 9-10. Some really hated chapters (really only 9) by some, but gospel truth to others. Just sometimes hard to explain to others - the sovereignty of God.

Rom 9.3 - Will I ever be there - where Paul is - that he can say that he wished he would go to hell just so others would be saved?
9.14 - God is not one of injustice. Everything is based on his holiness. Whether it is grace given to those who are saved (because we should be going to hell) or whether it is people in hell (because they should be in hell just as I should be in hell). I am not the dispenser of grace - God is. That is why it is Unconditional Election. I've done nothing to earn the grace that I have received. Christina is speaking on this this weekend. Grace is unearned. It would be payment for services rendered if it was earned - not grace. Grace is free, but not cheap.
9.22-24 - Good verses on the subject.
10.4 - Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Do you see the hope in resting on someone else (who is perfect) for your righteousness. Hope transferred to one who has already accomplished it.

Where is the gospel?

This will be of interest to some. I have served on Fuge staff before (Lifeway youth camp), and I especially like the last paragraph in the blog posted on a Founders www. Read - it is good. YPs out there - think about it before you take your kids to a Fuge camp...
What will the kids learn at Centrifuge?
From the looks of what is being advertised on the site, this summer may be no safer than last summer for teenagers who are innocently set off to camp by parents and churches. This site offers the first day's lesson of the summer Centrifuge Camps. The Bible Study Leader's Guide for "Fuge 2006" is entitled, Thrill Ride and is written by Christopher S. O'Dell. The author is described in the preface as "a full-time stay at home dad of four children" who "served as a youth minister and worked Centrifuge camp" before becoming a dad.If the posted first day's lesson is any indication, this may be another infamous "Fugegate" offered up by Lifeway. According to Sephen Underkofler's blog about this, that is precisely what is going on. Stephen received the whole teaching guide in the mail and says, "there is no cross" in it. Specifically, he laments, "Yes, they want me to teach the 'gospel' without mention of the cross, resurrection, sin, or God's holiness." I searched the lesson that is posted and did find 2 quick references to sin, but none to forgiveness, repentance or hell. I did find this:
Ask: What’s the point of riding a roller-coaster in the first place? [The thrill!]Say: We can go to a carnival and see the most rickety, old, squeaky, rusty roller-coaster with a sign posted out front that says "WARNING: Not safe! WARNING: Really!" And still get on it. Jesus calls us to "step right up," yet we let uncertainty cloud our senses. In this lesson, we will see that Jesus is the most entertaining and thrilling ride we could ever choose. May we allow God to tighten the bolts and oil the gears of your faith. Jesus offers you a life full of LIFE. We should not be satisfied with waiting for everyone else to finish the thrill ride. We are to strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride.
Read Stephen's full account and get his take on this material. Regularly I am asked if I really think that we have lost the Gospel in our day. Things like this make it easy to defend my answer. And before anyone emails me accusing me of "pushing Calvinism" again, let me state the obvious that too often seems to be missed by some: This is not a Calvinist issue. It is a Gospel issue. My Arminian friends are just as appalled by this kind of whiz-bang, supercool substitution for the Gospel as we Calvinists are.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lam 3 and Romans

This was definitely a morning for Lam 3. Thank you for your mercies, faithfulness, and kindness. NOw, I've got a slight headache (see what happens when I get too much sleep). Anyway...I'm glad it is Friday and the hope of seeing friends and good weather and getting my house slightly more organized will help that day come and go and get to the weekend!
For the Summit guide today: the women's conference. Christina is speaking this weekend on grace, identity, and biblical womanhood. Lord, I pray that you would give clarity and understanding. Bring the truth forward this weekend and have the call to greater obedience be answered by the ladies who attend. Pray that you would cause marriages, churches, families, and individuals to look more like the gospel after being in your Word this weekend.
Rom 4-8
4.21 - This was Abraham "talking" - he believed God. I know and believe you can do what you have said you are going to do. Let me rest in that.
5.2 - We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. What a great verse for Christina this weekend and for me. Let me be every joyful because i know you are constantly bringing glory to yourself and the fact that you will bring ultimate glory to yourself one day (Phil 2.11)
5.... - Weak, ungodly, sinners, enemies...justified, saved, reconciled, recipients
7.6 - Having died to that which has held us captive. Oh, what a gracious thought.
8.15 - Not a spirit of fear, but one of adoption - Daddy!
8.18 - The weight of glory...CS Lewis

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Listening versus Talking - the battle begins

Listening and talking. Perception and reality. Whoever said that little quote "perception is reality"? I love it when I'm using that in my own defense, but it feels horrible when the tables are turned. So, as I told a friend tonight. Shut up. That is what I'll do. Immediately tonight I needed to read James - oh, that precious little passage about the tongue. Oh, what good it does, oh, what harm it does. God, may I use it less in the days ahead for harm (then I seemed to have done recently). Know your truth and speak it in love. Do what you have called me to do and not what anyone else asks of me to do. May I listen to you more than any man (or woman) you put in my life. Only listen to You and Your Word - that means I first must know it. Let me definitely read more and speak less. Use this time to teach me and discipline me - humble me (as a good friend said tonight). Humbling times are never easy - but oh, they are so good for us. Crying is good for us too - the salt stings your face (kind of like words misspoken do to the person) and then it leaves your face feeling very cold (b/c it is wet) and that is how some relationships are left as well (after words are spoken - not after being cried on). But, in all of it - God is good and His truth stands forever. Help me to know you and your truth more and more - may that be the pursuit of my life. James 3.1-12 speaks on this very subject. If you need to know (or just want a refresher course) on the impact of the tongue...than go read this - but don't expect to come away feeling great about your self. But, that is why we have grace.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Today's blog brought to you by the letter J and P

Ok - so this will be quick because I'm tired.
Jonah is really a funny book as we learned tonight at Bible study. So many hilarious (haha, not hoho) happenings in it. Go read it with fresh eyes and just see the humor that God provides us with - and so many truths as well.
Can I just say - I love my worship pastor. Talking about his grandfather, the difficulties in life, being vulnerable with us, knowing triplets and eighth notes and how that works into the truth of the song we were singing, tying it all in with the goodness of God. Being so energetic about the letter P. He's just really cool. Chris Gaynor is his name. He is about to marry one of my best friends. He is living proof of the faithfulness of God in so many ways. He's a great cook, loves college kids, knows how to decorate, play the piano, preach the Word, and pick out engagement rings. Thank you God for blessing Durham with a man of the Word and of music -

A Comfortable Bed, Wednesdays, and Romans bed is so much more comfortable in this apt than the other one. It is very difficult to get up in the morning. But, alas, another day of work. It is rather cold (both outside and inside), so maybe that has something to do with my lack of want to get up!
Looking foward to today...class this morning for work, choir, Bible study, have to run to the store after that to get some stuff to make baked ziti with. Just a full day - sometimes I like those, I guess it depends on what it is full with! :)
Oh, yeah, I get to be in Romans for the next week. That is always good! I love the "Bible in a book" book.
1.5 - One of the things we have been given grace to do is call the nations to obedience. But, not for our sake or to the glory of the "soul-winners" (or to see how many baptisms we can have in one year), but for HIS GLORY.
1.11 - May I say that of people that I want to see...that I may impart some spiritual gift to them. I know that happens, especially when I see people I haven't seen in a while (I'm thinking specifically of Bobby and Phyllis back home - whom I haven't seen now since August - pray I'll get there before this coming August).
1.21 - How often do I act like the unrighteous: not honoring God or giving thanks to Him.
2.4 - Maybe my new favorite verse in Romans - it is only God's kindness that leads us to repentant. We could all be consumed by His holiness, but instead, he grants kindness.
3.3 - Of course both rhetorical questions. Of course all of us were unfaithful, and God is still faithful. He dependence does not depend on us.
3.24 - Such an overlooked verse - but good news nonetheless - justification and redemption is a gift of His grace! Praise God I don't have to earn it!

Beds bed is so much more comfortable in this apt than the other one. It is very difficult to get up in the morning. But, alas, another day of work. It is rather cold (both outside and inside), so maybe that has something to do with my lack of want to get up!
Looking foward to today...class this morning for work, choir, Bible study, have to run to the store after that to get some stuff to make baked ziti with. Just a full day - sometimes I like those, I guess it depends on what it is full with! :)
Oh, yeah, I get to be in Romans for the next week. That is always good! I love the "Bible in a book" book.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Simple Things, CJ's book, and the Big Fish

Yeah, the simple things in life: a night at home, a fixed computer (now I can show people pictures and they will be able to tell what they are), a good episode of House, and getting to bed before midnight - oh, the simple things. :)
Tomorrow starts the Summit's Focus on Easter - if you can really call it anything. We've got a prayer guide walking us up to a big day when lost people come to church (usually one of two reasons: someone invites them, or they feel they have to do be a good American). I am also going to be reading through CJ's book - The Cross-Centered Life. It is the precursor to Living the Cross Centered Life - the one JD recommended.
Tonight though - it is all about disobedience and a big fish - you guessed it - Jonah. And we are studying it in small group tomorrow night. What perfect timing. Vern is teaching, so it should be a good introduction - my reading it tonight.

1.2 - Don't we wish God's directions for us were this verbatim and clear. He left no room for discussion - but Jonah took matters into his own hands.
1.3 - Jonah paid to get away from the presence of the Lord. We may not pay boat fare, but what else do we pay to get away from God's presence?
1.6 - I wonder why they asked Jonah to call out to his God - could it be that their gods hadn't answered?
1.4 - Unbelievers called out to God saying that He had done as it had pleased Him. What a profound thought. But, we often question the goodness of God...
3.4 - As JD has pointed out, the shortest sermon and look at the remarkable results. That's God for ya. If you want a good series on Jonah, click on The Summit Church on the right and go to sermon archives and find the stuff on Jonah from this summer. I was away for all of the series but one of them. It was very good.
end of 4 - God is in control - He does what pleases Him.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Little things I've learned today and Philippians

Oh goodness, key changes are tough in some songs, how are you supposed to know things if people don't tell you, walking is good for you, don't eat when you are stressed about not having any baking soda for your cookies...oh, just a few of the little things I learned today.
Now onto one of my fave NT books - Philippians:

1.6 - Bring it to completion. Reminds me of the song we did tonight at worship practice (an oldie but a goodie), One Day...I wanna get so close to Him that when He calls my name not much will change. Am I in that tight of communion with God - I can answer that with a resounding no.
1.9-11 - Very pertinent to some conversations I will need to have in the next coming days and weeks:
1. love may abound with knowledge and discernment.
2. Approve of what is excellent (but God's standards)
3. Pure and blameless for the day of Christ (see reference to song above)
4. Filled with the fruit of righteousness that only comes through Christ (not works - see Eph 2)
5. All for God's glory - not mine (see Eph 2 again)
1.27 - Let your life be worthy of the gospel of Christ (the shame of the cross, the empty tomb).
3.7 - All those things that Paul just listed - give it all up, all of it trash - compared to knowing Christ.
3.9 - Righteousness comes from God and depends on faith (which is also a gift, see Eph 2).
3.14 - What is the upward call of Christ Jesus? And is that what I am pressing toward?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Summit News, Heels, Exodus, and Moo

A good day at church this morning. Great sermon. Later in the week you need to go listen to it by clicking on the Summit link over to the right. Go JD - way to preach expensively!
Another one of the Summit people got engaged, this time it was one of our secretaries and the guy who leads music at Cole Mill Road. Who shall be next?
UNC won - go Heels. I had to watch the game on the computer, cause I just didn't feel like going back out. They held on and came out way ahead. I don't know - did Duke just give up? That is two losses in a row for Duke. I may work there but my allegience still lies with the Heels (don't worry - the GATORS take all precedence though).
Now, onto the end of Exodus: The last three chapters of Exodus: Obedience, blessing, Presence of Glory.

Onto to some RBMW reading. This is to develop my studied answer on should women teach men (even in small group settings) and what should my response be to it? This is something I'm dealing with right now and need to be able to articulate my Biblical stance on it. But, once I got it down - how do I know what to do personally when I'm in a group that practices opposite what the Bible says.

This is a chapter written by Douglas Moo on 1 Tim 2.11-15
1. This commandment of SCripture is for the whole church at all times. It wasn't just for the Timothy's church at the time or the new churches in the first century. This does apply for the church today.
2. Women do have the gift of teaching. Sometimes they can teach better than men, but that doesn't mean that they should teach men with Scriptural authority.
3. I guess the lingering question for my group would be do they see the teacher as having authority over the group (which includes men). I think so. If you are preparing the Word, asking the questions, directing the group - then you have authority over that group - even if just for that one evening.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Boyd on Tsunami

Boyd sermon on the tsunami:
One of the guys in our church put this sermon on his www. Greg Boyd is an open theist who preaches and teaches much on the problem of evil. Just thought you would like to go listen to it as well. Listen to it in light of Scripture - that is what I challenge you to do. Go hear and listen to the first sermon:

1. I don't think God's main aim is love. God's main aim is showing the world Himself - yes, which a part is love.
2. The Church is supposed to be the New Humanity? Recovering the groaning creation?
3. The first five minutes almost made me turn it off right then.
4. Ok - I agree on the fact that creation and humans - our reflection of the glory of God - has clouded God's glory to a world because of sin.
5. So is he saying that Satan controls the things that happen in this world (tsunamis, earthquakes, plagues, etc)? Even though Paul calls Satan the 'god of this age' - God is still God of the Ages - that means He controls everything - including Satan.
6. So, we disagree - God does control everything - that means He is God. If He didn't control everything - than someone would, and he would be god then. God is God. He created the whole earth.
7. If Jesus wouldn't have done it - than God wouldn't do it? So God only does things that Jesus did? Jesus also said that the end is coming and it isn't going to be pretty. Is God going to be in charge of those earthquakes and wars and rumors of wars - isn't that part of His plan?
8. We don't live in a Good Friday world. If we didn't live in an Easter state of mind (world) - than we wouldn't have any hope.
9. Of course I love his last point - we need to be the kingdom of God!

Not a horrible sermon - I just disagree with his main point

The Almosts and the Justs

Today has been a productive day. Made breakfast for the girls. Got the stove fixed, cleared out some more boxes and threw them away. Went to Super Walmart and Goodwill. Went walking with another one of my girls and talked about all the people we know (small world) and the best Chinese food in NC (close second is Charlies) - CHEN'S in Franklinton - oh what a great place. She may even pick me up some! :)
Now I'm talking to another friend on the phone and we are talking about the "almosts" and the wounded pride we feel. God always picks the place where are strongest to make us weak. When we acknowledge that we are at the end of our own resources - that's when God kicks in!
Alright - now on to Exodus:

STarting in 26:
26.33 - And the veil will separate you from the Most Holy - then how precious the Cross is because the veil was rent in two. The glory of the Most Holy Place and One was made available to us because of the bloody cross. Doesn't seem to glorious by the world's standards - but God uses the foolish things of the world!
28.36 - On Aaron's head - "Holy to the Lord" - could that be worn on my head. NOt Holy for the Lord - that is works based, but Holy To the Lord is position based. God has set me apart to Himself. This was done in the action of the cross and in the election to be one of His daughters - to bear His image. Do I do it? Oh, Lord, consume my life that that can be said of me by Him - not necessarily by other people.
31.6 - God will give the ability where He has given the call.
32.4 - How could hot gold things bring you up out of any land? Much less out of slavery, bondage, provide manna and water, provide a way of escape...what was Aaron thinking?
32.34 - Yeah, sure - like throwing in gold things just comes out in a form of a calf? Aaron doesn't want to take the responsibility for the sin of the people God has entrusted to them. What kind of leader was He - not all the time, but just this time. Where is the unhindered obedience?
33.15 - What a great verse - one I always love and is always pertinent. EVen in the life of my friend tonight - I pray Lord that she would listen to you for her next step - outside of the almosts and the justs.

Wow its been a long time!

Wow - it has been a week. THis has been a busy one! Moving, parents here, new job, busy, busy, busy. Sleeping at a hotel with your parents is not conducive to getting up early and doing your quiet time. But it I had really wanted I would have made it happen - I just didn't.
Moved into the new apt now I just need to unpack! Some of my girls helped Wed and last night. I am about to go make breakfast for them (or now almost lunch) soon. It will be nice and healthy!
Work has been good. I felt frustrated by late Friday afternoon, but I definitely have a better handle on things then I did at the beginning of the week. And I will get better at it. I love the people I work with - they are fun! And the stairs - at least I know I get some exercise every day!
Bible study was good on Wed night. We spent a longer time in prayer after going verse by verse through Obadiah - because it was so short. We talked about humility and God's sovereignity and faithfulness to us.
Got some studying to do on "women teaching men" so I will do that when I get back from Chapel Hill while slightly watching the game. I definitely want to know what the Bible has to say about that and be able to articulate it.
Pray for separate friends of mine. Two missionaries who are expecting a baby any time now, one missionary who is trying to figure out what the next step is, and one of my friends here who is speaking at a conference next weekend, but may have to attend a funeral during the same time. God will work everything out in each of those situations.
Now, onto many chapters of catchup in Exodus. May not get to all of them before having to make breakfast, if not...I'll come back.

Exodus 22-37 (here it through 25 - more later today)
22.18 - So, the Salem witch trial was right? I'm just kidding. But we do watch Charmed, Bewitched, Harry Potter, Buffy, etc - why?
22.20 - Whoever sacrifices to another god shall be devoted to destruction. The works for any other god (money, things, sports, tv, etc) will be destroyed. Only the things done for the Lord will last.