Bono’s Testimony of Faith

Names-of-Jesus-2Kudos to Bono for his recent courageous and public testimony of faith!  Note the words in the link: “unexpected response.”  I hope we would all have the same unexpected response!

If you haven’t seen the clip from the interview, here’s the link.  If you want to get to the specific confession about Christ, start at the 36:23 mark.

http://www.charismanews.com/culture/43324-watch-bono-s-unexpected-response-to-who-is-jesus-question

 

 

 

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The Song of Sensible Sinners

Are you a “sensible sinner”?  At times, that accurately describes me.  Sadly, it isn’t true of me more.

Just prior to Cadence’s birth, I found myself drawn to one of the Psalms.  In particular, Psalm 89:1-18 captivated my attention.  I guess I needed a healthy dose of a very practical doctrine–the faithfulness of God.  The result of a proper meditation upon this truth is godly sensibility.  In other words, the contemplation of the character of God leads the people of God to a rational response.  And that rational response is song.

Consider the words of Psalm 89:1-18:

I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever; To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. 2 For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever; In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.” 3 “I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever And build up your throne to all generations.” [d]Selah. 5 The heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. 6 For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the [e]sons of the mighty is like the Lord, 7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him? 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty [f]Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. 9 You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. 10 You Yourself crushed [g]Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with [h]Your mighty arm. 11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and [i]all it contains, You have founded them. 12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name. 13 You have [j]a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and [k]truth go before You. 15 How blessed are the people who know the [l]joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance. 16 In Your name they rejoice all the day, And by Your righteousness they are exalted. 17 For You are the glory of their strength, And by Your favor [m]our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, [n]And our king to the Holy One of Israel.

John Gill is one of my favorite theologians.  He has a good grasp on both glory and grace. Take a moment to read his comments on verse fifteen:

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound,…. Of the love, grace, and mercy of God displayed in Christ, of peace and pardon by his blood, of justification by his righteousness, of atonement by his sacrifice, and of complete salvation by his obedience, sufferings, and death; this is the sound of the Gospel, and a joyful one it is to sensible sinners; and is so called in allusion either to a shout made upon a victory gained, and such a sound is the Gospel; it declares victory by Christ over sin, Satan, the world, and death, and every enemy; and that he has made his people more than conquerors over them; or to the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty and a restoration of inheritances, (Lev. 25:9) and so the Gospel proclaims liberty to the captives, freedom from the dominion of sin, and condemnation by it, from the tyranny of Satan, and the bondage of the law; and gives an account of the inheritance the saints have in Christ, and through his death, to which they are regenerated, and for which they are made meet by the Spirit of God, and of which he is the seal and earnest: or to the silver trumpets, for the use of the congregation of Israel, and blown at their solemn feasts, and other times, and were all of a piece, (Num. 10:1), the trumpet of the Gospel gives a certain sound, an even one, a very musical one; there is no jar nor discord in it; is a soul charming alluring sound, and very loud; it has reached, and will reach again, to the ends of the earth, (Rom. 10:18), it is a blessing to hear it, but it is a greater to “know” it, not merely notionally, but spiritually and experimentally; so as not only to approve of it, and be delighted with it, but so as to distinguish it from all other sounds; and by faith to receive it, and appropriate the things it publishes to a man’s own soul; and such must be “blessed”, or happy persons, for the reasons following in this verse, and in (Ps. 89:16),
they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance: enjoy the gracious presence of God, have the manifestation of himself, the discoveries of his love, communion with him through Christ, and the comforts of the Holy Spirit, and these continued; so that they shall walk in the sunshine of these things, though not always; for sometimes they walk in darkness, and see no light; but it is an unspeakable mercy and blessing to walk herein at any time, for ever so short a season, see Psalm 4:6.

Source:  http://biblehub.com/psalms/89-15.htm

Sensible sinners are sinners who have come to their senses; individuals who have chosen to meditate upon the person and works of God and the to respond appropriately. The evidence of their success is their singing to and about God.

Have you been singing today?  Have I?  We should be!

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Happy Birthday, Cady!

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Our baby girl is one week old today!

Born: March 31, 2014
Weight:  7 lbs.
Length:  20.5 in.
Hair Color:  Blonde

Name:  Cadence Peace

Significance:  Cadence is named after “our missionaries” – Ray and Char Hauser.  It would be our great joy if our beautiful, little daughter walked to the same cadence–the rhythm of faith and fruit.  Our hope and prayer is that she both know and show the Lord Jesus Christ.  Ray and Char were instrumental during my rocky days as a young Christian in northern Japan.  I needed teaching and I needed examples.  The Hausers provided both.  They instructed me in how to grow as a Christian and illustrated what loving and living Christ looks like.  Ray recently passed away from cancer.  Char is continuing to minister to the military community in Hawaii.  Due to Ray’s illness, they were the first to know of our name selection.

Her middle name is Peace.  First, we had peace from God that we did not need to prevent a fifth pregnancy.  Although we were a bit surprised to find out Jodi was pregnant after a five-year hiatus, we were not disappointed!  In fact, we were excited!  We could not wait to hold  another baby and watch how her personality developed.  Secondly, we had peace that this fifth baby would also be our final one.  Had we started earlier and were younger than we are, we’d seriously consider having more of our own children.  However, next year I turn fifty, and this pregnancy and delivery was a challenging one for Jodi.  Our decision is clear:  If we want to add another arrow to  this crowded quiver, it will be through adoption.  And–as crazy as it sounds–that’s not completely out-of-the-question.

Update:  It has been an eventful week; a tiring week.  Cady was born on Monday night.  Once again, my amazing wife was able to deliver without an epidural, and God caused her body to do what He manufactured it to do moments before a C-section would have been required.  It was crazy!  We’ve enjoyed having another baby among us. The other kids love holding Cadence.  Since it does indeed “take village” to raise a child, we’ll work together to help our little one navigate the waters of life in our home.

Prayer Request:  Do you see the photo above?  That’s my hand.  I am holding Cady.  She wasn’t too heavy, but the responsibility is.  Being an engaged parent isn’t an easy task.  Please pray for us.  Pray that we will do what is necessary to raise our precious daughter “in the fear and admonition of the Lord.”  Pray we don’t mess it up too much!  Thanks!

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Cheating and “Conscious Uncoupling.” How sad!

If you count yourself among those who’ve never been cheated on, Cameron Diaz has these words of wisdom: It will happen, or it’s already happened and you just don’t know it.

The actress gave her perspective on relationships as she and Leslie Mann promoted their new comedy, “The Other Woman,” at CinemaCon, the annual convention of movie exhibitors.

The two ladies joked around with each other as they talked about the film, in which Diaz discovers her boyfriend is actually married to Mann and the pair team up to seek revenge.

In real life, Diaz insists that everyone has been the victim of a cheating partner.

“At some point in your life everybody has been cheated on,” she said. “I’m not saying that the relationship you’re in currently, you’re going to get cheated on, but eventually or maybe in the past it’s happened.”

And if you think you’re the exception to the rule, Diaz has news for you: “You’ve never been cheated on? You’ve never been cheated on ever? Really? Really, nothing? Oh good. Well, guess what? You may not know that you’ve been cheated on.”

The 41-year-old actress also weighed in on the “conscious uncoupling” of her friends Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

The actress and musician were married in 2003 and have two children. They announced their split on Tuesday in a message on the actress’s blog titled “Conscious Uncoupling.”

Diaz says they’re handling divorce the right way “because everybody is interested and they are giving them the truth.”

She added: “They’re being very honest about their relationship which is that they are really great friends, they’re amazing parents and they’re just consciously deciding that a part of their life is not going to be spent the way it’s been for the last 11 years, which I think is …”

“Eleven years is a long time. That’s a long time. It makes sense,” added Mann.

“The Other Woman” opens in U.S. theaters on April 25.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/03/28/cameron-diaz-cheating-gwenyth-paltrow-chris-martin/?intcmp=features

It’s a bit hard to talk with my jaw on the floor.  I feel sad for a famous, wealthy woman–Cameron Diaz (and Gwyenth Paltrow, Chris Martin and their two precious children).  In spite of her worldly success, Diaz is tremendously confused.  She surely has been victimized in past relationships.  Her cynical edge is understandable.  Plus, we can only imagine the dysfunctional relationships Diaz has witnessed in Hollywood.  She also indicates that she believes an eleven-year-relationship is “a long time.”  Furthermore, Diaz apparently has deep respect for the “amazing parents” (Paltrow and Martin) who are now “consciously uncoupling” after just a decade.  Clearly, Diaz has not been surrounded by examples of couples who live love.  My guess is that she has not seen two individuals commit to “death do us part” and work through their issues for the benefit of their children.

I feel sad.  I feel sad for Cameron.  I feel sad for Paltrow and Martin.  I feel great empathy for their children.  Rather than being provided a foundation for future success, they are hamstrung.  Can they heal?  You bet they can!  Can they learn how to live love?  Absolutely!  Stories abound of individuals who have turned a dysfunctional past into a functioning present.   But how sad it is to hear stories of the reality of sin and the confusion of an actress who considers sin to be acceptable.

Need I provide the self-evident application?  Live love!  Live love today!  That’s my plan.  I use negative examples as fuel for my faithfulness.  And–I also utilize positive examples as models to mimic.  In a sense, I am thankful for both.  May my/our example provide the foundation my children (and future generations) need to live love to the glory of God!

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“My Reasonable God is a Decent Chap”

I recently finished Frank Schaeffer’s book, Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism), Da Capo Press, 2009.  The title for this entry is taken from that work.  Here it is in its context:

“I like to think the best of God. When people are dying, I talk to Him as if God too is an innocent bystander and not–as the evangelical/fundamentalists would have it–the author of death just itching to liquidate ‘non-believers’ at Armageddon. My reasonable God is a decent chap” (p.211).

None of us acts independently of our past.  That which we experience affects us in profound ways.  Schaeffer readily admits this fact throughout his book.  He is reacting to both his parents–the famous Francis and Edith Schaeffer–and his upbringing.  His book is honest as well as disturbing.  He admits faith, but his faith is pluralistic, not the exclusivity embraced by the evangelical/fundamentalists he has come to disdain.

What Schaffer truly disdains is dogmatism, whether it be religious (Christians) or non-religious (“New Atheists”).  His perspective seems to be accurately illustrated by the COEXIST bumper sticker found on many cars (see page 236).  However, in his reaction to brash individuals and propositions-poorly-presented, Schaeffer has wandered far from the clear teachings of the Scriptures.

His god does not any rough edges.  He has rounded them off.

But God does indeed have “rough edges.”

Can you handle the truth?  “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3; NASB).  That’s the truth.  God is absolutely sovereign, and He chooses to exercise that sovereignty in our lives–whether we like it or not, whether it coincides with our concept of what we believe God is like or whether it contradicts what we believe to be true of the Deity.

Simply put: God is God.

That’s meat; hard meat to chew when circumstances have all but extinguished your faith.  Ever been there?  I have.  Life is hard.  Bad things happen to God’s people.  Yes, we cling to God’s precious promises, and quietly preach Romans 2:28 to ourselves.  Following in the footsteps of the Sons of Korah, we talk to our souls, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him” (Ps. 42:11).  But sometimes we are holding on to God by the fingertips of our faith.

Maybe my faith is simply weak, perhaps shockingly weak to you.  Or–possibly–what I am admitting is resonating with your experience.  I wouldn’t be to too surprised to hear that you have wrestled with God’s rough edges as well.  Have you found God to be “unreasonable” at times?  In the deepest recesses of your heart, have you almost questioned His “decentness”?

What must we do in such distress?  How do we move forward in our faith?

By facing forward.

I cannot remember the identity of the speaker.  The context was a Desiring God National Conference about ten years ago.  The teacher for one of the sessions was instructing us how we should respond when we feel distant from God.  Ideally, he stated, we are all running in God’s direction, praising Him with joy.  But sometimes, the man admitted, we’re walking rather than running.  And some periods of our life we find ourselves crawling instead of walking.  And, amidst the particularly the dark times, we’re simply faced in the right direction.  We would prefer to be crawling, walking and perhaps even running, but if all we can do is face in God’s direction, we take comfort.  Our remorse is mixed with a godly resignation.

Trust even in tragedy.

Some of you are facing some rather difficult circumstances.  My emotional issues are insignificant to the genuine suffering you are experiencing.  Hang in there.  Don’t toss out the Scriptures.  Hold on to the Lord, even if it is by faith’s fingerprints. Stay faced in the right direction.

Face forward.

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How to suffer like a Calvinist; like a Christian

This past weekend we were thrust into the world of suffering.  Saturday was my mother’s first birthday since her passing.  My spiritual mentor went home to be with his Lord and Savior.  And–we found ourselves providentially connected to the Einwechter family.  If you have not heard about their recent tragedy, here is how the Chattanooga newspaper recounts the events.  More importantly, however, please notice Jonathan’s and Monique’s deep faith, even as their voices wavered.

DAYTON, Tenn. — In the chapel at Fort Bluff Youth Camp, Monique Einwechter walked to the wooden, cross-shaped lectern. Around the its top hung the headband Einwechter’s 3-year-old daughter wore as the flower girl at a wedding about a week ago.

“Thank you all for being here,” she said to a crowd of about 200. “I’m still recovering from pneumonia. So if I get short of breath or I can’t make it all the way through, I apologize.”

Five nights earlier, on Monday, Einwechter crashed her Ford Expedition into the pond on her parents’ property in eastern Bledsoe County. Family members saved Einwechter, 2-year-old Jonathan David and 1-year-old Titus. But they couldn’t reach 3-year-old Elise or 6-week-old Enoch in time.

The family held a memorial service for the lost children Saturday. They wanted to honor the emergency responders who helped save three lives. They also wanted to share their faith, explain how God empowers them in the most devastating moments.

And they wanted to explain what happened in the 20 minutes that separated life from death Monday. In front of relatives, friends and emergency responders, Einwechter reflected publicly on the events for the first time.

Traveling a narrow stretch of her parents’ driveway, Einwechter steered the SUV too far to the right. The Expedition slid down an embankment and rolled, its passenger side landing in the water. The children screamed. Einwechter slammed the car horn, hoping her husband, father and brothers would find her in the dark.

“It’s going to be OK,” she told her four children. “Don’t worry. It’s going to be all right. Just hold on.”

Her husband, Jonathan, and one of her brothers managed to pull two children out of the vehicle and carry them to safety. The plan was to return and get the others. Einwechter turned to her daughter.

“Mommy,” Elise said, “I’m going to drown.”

“No, you’re not,” Einwechter told the 3-year-old. “We’re going to get you out.”

But the Expedition rolled again, this time landing with the roof in the water. They were deeper into the pond now. Einwechter couldn’t see Elise or Enoch.

“I was trying to find their seat belts,” she told the crowd. “Every time I moved, I bumped into something. I couldn’t find the way. It was so dark.”

Einwechter tried to hold her breath, but eventually she began gasping, swallowing water. She stayed under for about five minutes, her family estimates, before someone found her and pulled her out. Her brother performed CPR and revived her.

But the family couldn’t find Elise or Enoch until it was too late. During the memorial, Jonathan’s father, Bill, a pastor, gave a sermon. Other family members spoke, reiterating what they have said all week: They find solace in their faith. Monique and Jonathan Einwechter had just arrived in Dayton about nine hours before the crash. They came to stay with Monique’s parents as they prepared for lives as missionaries in South Sudan.

God has provided the Einwechters with a different perspective, they said Saturday. It was God who called their children home, not a freak accident. And it was God who spared the lives of two other children.

“God is just,” Monique Einwechter said Saturday. “I cannot make up my idea of who God is. I cannot determine what is good. That is his job, not mine.”

But, she added, that is not to say she is immune to pain, that somehow she can ward off all grief. As they spoke Saturday, Monique and Jonathan often trailed off, their voices wavering. Sometimes, they stopped for a moment.

And in those moments, the silence was pierced only by the sounds of other babies in the back of the room, crying and calling, “Mama,” as their mothers held them, shushed them, bounced them.

As he spoke, Jonathan thanked many in the audience. To those who helped on the scene, thank you. To those who have called to check in, thank you. And to those who are still praying for the family, thank you.

But, he said, “Don’t pity us as people with no hope.”

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or at tjett@timesfreepress.com.

Without a doubt, the Einwechter’s have a big view of God.  They worship a sovereign God.  I am comforted by Monique’s affirmation that God alone is God.  I am also struck by Jonathan admonishment to those in attendance (which included my wife and my eleven-year-old son).  “Don’t pity us as people with no hope.”  Yes, God is God.  But God is worthy of our trust, our worship.

Faith-filled suffering.  That’s how every Calvinist ought to suffer.  In fact, that’s how every Christian should suffer.

The article above can be found at:  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/mar/02/final-farewell-neighbors-console-family-in-tragic/

 

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Dukes of Hazzard Religion?

You may  find the following Q&A interesting.  It is taken from a FoxNews.com interview with John Schneider–the blond brother on Dukes of Hazzard.  I’ll not offer a commentary on Schneider’s reply.  Instead, I will include what readers posted after reading the interview.  I’ve underlined the sentiments with which I resonate.  At face value, some may seem contradictory when–in fact–they compliment one another.

FOX411: You’re born again?

Schneider: Yup, it’s been a while since I’ve been to church, but you don’t get unborn again. It’s been so long I’d rather not go there. I make movies about people who kill each other justifiably, and Christians do not like me that much anymore because I drink whiskey and I believe that my relationship with God is between me and God, kind of a Johnny Cash thing. I’m not a Christian for your benefit. I’m a Christian for my benefit and how I walk my walk is my business, and how you walk your walk is your business. It’s kind of a box people put me in. I might have jumped in that box, I might have even built some of it around myself years ago. Things change. I don’t care who people marry or what people drink. I care that people are honest and they’re not trying to take something away from me that I’ve worked hard to give my kids.

Nicki Gostin interview with John Schneider, February 25, 2014 FoxNews.com

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/02/25/qa-john-schneider-on-working-for-tyler-perry-dukes-god-and-his-dad/?intcmp=features

Post from Rationalista:

“I’m a Christian for my benefit and how I walk my walk is my business, and how you walk your walk is your business.”

He uses foul language, takes the Lord’s name in vain without any kind of remorse and claims to be “born again”…and not even one mention of the Person whom he claims to follow – the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. …”
Matthew 7

It’s not about getting “unborn again”, John – it’s about being truly authentically born again in the first place

From pizzaroyalty:

“I’m not a Christian for their benefit, I am a Christian for my benefit.” Right on! You’re not out there to impress the world…just God and your relationship with Him is your business. LOVE IT! Stay away from the religious John…they will choke the life out of you and heap chains on you that they themselves can’t even carry.

From GradyC:

If he is of Christ, Jesus will bring him where he needs to be, if not Jesus will say to him depart from me I never knew you. I was saved and departed for 40 years until He brought me back where I belong, All have sinned and falls short of the glory of God Romans 3:23. All of Christ are being sanctified until glorified. The question is did He become justified by accepting Jesus as Lord and is there change (repent). You can not work your way to heaven and God does not weigh good and bad. Only by the blood.

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Kudos, Tennessee Temple University!

Can we admit it–not a single one of us is perfect.  Individuals are flawed from conception, bearing the mark of Adam.  Our nature is bent towards sin.  That remains true of each of us even after being declared righteous by a righteous God.  Christians are spiritual schizophrenics–declared righteous while experiencing the presence of sin on a daily basis (see Romans 6-8).  This explains the weaknesses admitted in the statement below, crafted by the current President of Tennessee Temple University.  I love their admission, as well as their desire to honor Christ by blessing others!  Genuine repentance is a beautiful thing.

A Statement of Reconciliation from the President and Board of Trustees of TTU

Tennessee Temple University is grateful for its heritage of being an institution that has trained  thousands for Christian service and ministry who in turn have reached hundreds of thousands for Christ. TTU is grateful for its forerunners whose staunch stand for the inspiration and inerrancy  of the Bible and the orthodox doctrines of the Christian faith contrasted with the detrimental  spirit of doctrinal compromise. Yet, as with any Christian organization TTU was and always  will be made up of imperfect people who did not and will not always model the image of Christ   perfectly. TTU regrets that in past years a judgmental spirit was at times present among some of  the TTU family. This judgmental spirit hurt those in the body of Christ who did not meet certain  outward conformity that was put forth as evidence of inward devotion. TTU publicly repents of  such actions and asks for forgiveness with the hope that any lingering wounded hearts could be  healed through the reconciliation of the cross.

TTU affirms that our distinction from the world is demonstrated by living out our new life in Christ. This new life is something received by grace and is not an achievement of human effort.   The measure of the Christian life is to be conformed after the image of Christ rather than human  standards.

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Am I a talmid–a genuine disciple?

TJ and I watched Ray Vander Laan’s video “When the Rabbi Says Come” (Faith Lessons: In the dust of the Rabbi, Zondervan) this morning  Have you seen it?  It is worth watching for every Christian.

In this particular 28-minute presentation, Vander Laan teaches about what it means to be a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ.  In order to do that, he takes us to a synagogue in Chorizon in Northern Israel.  One blog, commentating on this video, includes the following:

Every synagogue has a school. Boys and girls attended through age 12 or 13, and most children would have memorized much of the Torah. Most children were finished with school at this age.

Girls became wives and homemakers. Boys would go to learn their family’s trade. But a few attended the beth midrash, a high school to learn under the rabbi to master a deeper meaning of the Torah and to begin to memorize much of the rest of the Tanakh.

Of these, a very few became talmid or, in plural, talmidim: disciples. Jesus had as many as 500, and of these, he sent out 70. But 12 were especially close, and these were most truly disciples in the sense of “talmid.” The talmidim wanted not just to learn from the rabbi but to be just like him.

In the video, Ray asks this important question:

“How badly do  we want to be like Jesus?”

Notice that this question is not:  “How badly do we want to know Jesus?” nor is it “How badly to do we want to know about Jesus?”  Rather, the question is:  “How badly do we want to be like Jesus?”

I expect you know the how this transformation takes place.  The talmidim–the disciples in the 1st century–spent time with their Rabbis in order to learn from them and in order to mimic their lives.

Was the transformation instantaneous?  Not a chance.  Even a glance at the gospels reveals just how imperfect were the original twelve disciples.  The process of sanctification is indeed that–a process.  I am reminded of that each time I look in the mirror.

I am not what I once was.  I am not what I shall be.  I have come a long way, but I much more further to go.  Some days my actions, reactions and words contain echoes of Jesus.  Many days they do not.  In fact, most days I find myself vacillating between encouragement and discouragement.

Most believers I know can relate to that sentiment.

After the video, I reviewed the material with TJ.  I was thankful that he had listened carefully.  I see in my son a tenderness to the things of God.  I deeply desire that all of my children know and show Jesus in the world in which they live.  I do not want them to be religious.  I am not raising them to be conservative Republicans.  Rather, I pray that they might prove to be genuine disciples of Jesus Christ.  And I pray that I might more effectively live this example before their very impressionable eyes.

Allow me to close by invading your personal space.  Are you a talmid–a genuine disciple?

Socrates is reported to have said, “The unexamined life is not worth the living.”  Let’s examine our lives in light of Jesus’ call to discipleship.

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It Doesn’t Really Snow in Wisconsin

Did I spark your interest?

As I write this, we are getting an awesome snowfall here in Tennessee.  Right now we are at the 4.5″ mark.  That’s a big deal down here in Dixie.  Many businesses and all of the local school districts were closed today and will be closed again tomorrow.

This isn’t Wisconsin.

It actually does snow in Wisconsin.  In fact, it snows a lot more there.  I would know.  My first nineteen years were spent about ninety minutes south of “the frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field.

But Cascade, WI wasn’t the snowiest place I have lived.  Let me tell you the story.

After completing basic training in the US Army early in 1985, I went to Ft. Devens, MA for my “advanced individual training” (AIT).  I was studying to be an 05H Morse Code Intercept Operator.  First we had to learn Morse code.  Then we had to be able to copy it at reflex speed.  After mastering that aspect of the program, we learned about how and why we were going to do what we signed up to do (that’s where the top secret clearance came into play).  Just prior to graduation, I was told to report to a classroom where I would learn about my first duty assignment.

Where would I go?  Would I remain stateside?  Would I head to Europe?

I went forward and received my orders.  I sat down and studied the paper.

Misawa, Japan.

Japan!  How exotic!  Japan!  Tropics!  Palm trees!  Beaches!

Or…not.

As soon as it was possible, I called my Dad.  He wanted to know, and I knew he could tell me a bit about Japan.  And, he did.  But I was completely unprepared for the news he had to share.  After I admitted my excitement to be headed to a tropical location, Dad asked me for the longitude and latitude lines.  When I shared that specific information, he began to chuckle.  Much to his delight he informed me that I wasn’t actually headed to the Japanese version of Hawaii.  I was going to be living in what was equivalent to NORTHERN MINNESOTA.

Yes, I said Northern Minnesota.

I thought I had seen snow in Wisconsin.  Misawa, Japan taught me the true definition of “winter”!  The occasional blizzards I experienced as a child were regular events in northeast Japan.  It wasn’t uncommon to see FEET of snow on roofs of businesses and homes.  It didn’t surprise us to find a fresh FOOT of snow after a night of  sleep.

I survived two Misawa winters.  The tender winters to follow in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada were much easier to endure.  But days like today remind me that a fresh snowfall is a bit magical, especially as viewed through the eyes of children.  I like snow, but I love when it snows because my children have so much fun.  The monsters are finally in bed.  I know they’re excited about the morning.  Hours of sledding await.  I expect to see a snowman created.  I’ll even try to bait them into making face down snow angels.  A morning for making memories!

Tennessee isn’t Wisconsin, and it sure isn’t Misawa, Japan, but tonight we find ourselves in a winter wonderland.

Sometimes life can be pleasant (even if a bit cold and wet).

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