Tag Archives: wisdom

B90X- A short look at the Kings

The two books of Kings have captured my attention on this lap of B90X like never before.

Not sure if it is age, experience, or what.  Maybe it is a combination of  hourglassboth.  This quote by Jean-Paul Sartre may sum it up appropriately, “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Wednesday night I had the privilege of sharing just a few thoughts with The Ananias Project at CRBC.  One of them was, just hang in there, stay faithful to Jesus, you will get it, as you grow things will get more clear and understandable.  (It looks like more than one thought, but is really, one.)

Having seen just a bit more clearly some of the more intimate details of the two books of Kings, the following short ideas are presented:

1. God is the source and giver of wisdom.  It is obscure to think that it can come from anywhere else.  Not from spots on a liver, not from bringing back the dead, not from a lifeless metal statue.  Father is the only source of wisdom.  Similarly to how Solomon asked for it and received it, we can all do the same.  ”If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).  Pretty straightforward.

2. God is pleased to live among his people.  Father loves his creation and desires dwelling in the intimate details in each one of our lives.  When we have the inclination of our hearts turned towards Him, there is a smile, a sense of his liveliness in our lives, and his great pleasure of working in, through, and around every day.

3. God, in his grace, warns over and over again.  If we could see this one thing.  It is not always about just judgment and God out to get you or me.  It is his loving kindness that keeps him warning and warning.  He doesn’t give up easily.  He knows what is best and stays persistent in following through with us knowing that he is not giving up on us.  ”As was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

4.  Yahweh reigns.  There is no other.  He is greater than Dagon, greater than Molech, greater than all the Ba’als, greater than Anat, Athirat, Chemosh, Ishtar, and Marduk.  Combined. To the nth degree.  No other.  Many can’t hear, speak, or see.  Yahweh is the true and living God.  He is creator.  He is and there is no other.  He is, period.

B90X Jan 3, 2012 “Something about Job”

Some people don’t like Job.  Yes, its true.  I have heard them say it.  So this blog will hopefully clear up something about the complexity of the book.

Overwhelmed by suffering, Job was not comforted, but condemned by his friends.  Each of their views represents a well-known way to understand suffering.  God proves that each explanation given by Job’s friends has less than the whole answer.

First, let me say that reading through the Bible Chronologically is going to be very cool.  Already, after jumping from Genesis 11 to Job 1 there was a mercurial excitement, not the predictable sameness we are so used to when beginning the Pentateuch.

Men with profound erudition have been able to boil down the seemingly endless prolix narrative of Job.  It all just gets jumbled and pointless after awhile, so let me share a little something I came across:

The only way any of Job’s friends help is by silencing their diatribes for seven days.  Allowing Job to have plenty of time to think through his mourning and crank up the pity-party.

Eliphaz explains Job’s pain by intimating that his suffering is because he sinned. His advice to Job is to go to God and lay his cause before God (5:8).  Job retorts with demands that Eliphaz take back his accusations (6:29).  In the end, God rebukes Eliphaz (42:7).

Bildad thinks that Job is hiding his sin and won’t admit it, so Job must suffer.  He encourages Job to give up and confess (8:2).  Bildad wants Job to confront God and ask what charges God has against Job (10:2).  Like Eliphaz, God rebukes Bildad (42:7).

Zophar is the more Pharisaical, religious one, he thinks Job deserves even more suffering than he has already experienced.  He advices Job to get rid of his sins (11:13, 14).  Job stands firm and doesn’t fall into Zophar’s super-pious hubris, and knows that he will be justified (13:18).  He too is lumped with Job’s other friends who have no valuable advise (42:7).

The youngster, Elihu, is the only one who gets close to getting it right, albeit wrong.  He thinks God is using the suffering to mold and train Job.  He is just a bit off, yet instructs Job to be silent and he will be taught wisdom (33:33).  Because God doesn’t deal directly with Elihu, we are left to wonder if his analysis is correct.

In the end, we hear from God himself.  Job is confronted by God and is told to be content without knowing why he is suffering.  There is no reason given for the suffering and asks Job how long he wants to argue with the Almighty (40:2).  Job realizes he was talking about things he did  not understand (42:3-5).

“Why Youth Stay in Church When They Grow Up”

As a former youth pastor, it pains me when I hear about young people who appeared so strong in faith as young people, yet when they venture off to college, move out of their homes, finish high school, or join the military, don’t participate in church life as they did earlier in life.  

The Gospel Coalition posted an article by Jon Nielson a youth pastor in Wheaton, IL on what we can do to help keep our young people faithful to the Lord.   Enjoy!

Why Youth Stay in Church When They Grow Up

 “What do we do about our kids?” The group of parents sat together in my office, wiping their eyes. I’m a high school pastor, but for once, they weren’t talking about 16-year-olds drinking and partying. Each had a story to tell about a “good Christian” child, raised in their home and in our church, who had walked away from the faith during the college years. These children had come through our church’s youth program, gone on short-term mission trips, and served in several different ministries during their teenage years. Now they didn’t want anything to do with it anymore. And, somehow, these mothers’ ideas for our church to send college students “care packages” during their freshman year to help them feel connected to the church didn’t strike me as a solution with quite enough depth.

The daunting statistics about churchgoing youth keep rolling in. Panic ensues. What are we doing wrong in our churches? In our youth ministries?

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Are you examining what you are doing?

I just saw a quote on Facebook today from a pastor friend of mine, Chris Hodges, as RT’d by my friend Layne Schranz, “If you don’t get better at what you do, you will criticize those who are.”   

Socrates at his trial for heresy as found in Apology 38a said, “The unexamined life is not worth living as a human being.”

The first quote set me on a course to think about how humans work symbiotically either for growth and healing or desecration and decay.  It is easy to be critical just for the sake of criticism.  After all it is our right as Americans, I think some call it ‘free-speech.’  It is harder to be critical for the sake of wanting things to be better.  Judgmentalism to damage another takes no character, honoring each other enough to look for ways to grow and improve takes wisdom and love.

As we go through life, are we cruising aimlessly or are we finding out our purpose and explioting it to the fullest?  Are we looking at the ways we do things and asking if it is Father’s will or something for our own glory?  Are we asking if what we are saying passes the “Who Cares Test?”  Are we looking in God’s Word to see if we are continually working at conforming ourselves into the image of the Son?  Are we honest and courageous enough to receive information, no matter how difficult it may be to hear, in order for us to grow?
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Gossip Kills!!!

Image from Slovenian beehive of two demons sharpening a woman's tongue.

On the MarbleRoll to the right there is a website called Koinoniablog.net .  A while back I signed up to get a daily email from them with all sorts of fun stuff about the Bible.  Well, every Monday they have a feature called “Monday with Mounce.”  He is a Greek scholar who breaks down the New Testament in fun and inspiring ways.  Today he broke from his tradition to address a critical issue- the issue of criticism and gossip.  It was so impactful that I wanted to share it word for word with you all.  The original post is found here

I am so thankful to be a part of a church with doesn’t look for negative everywhere.  That wants to grow and learn, be life-giving and powerful in the kingdom of God, that wants to be honoring and gracious.  There is an old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”  The kingdom corrollary is “Familiarity breeds honor.”  I would much rather find the good in someone than focus on their faults!  Let’s work hard to change the stereotype the world has of Christians!  The devil has a hayday when Christians turn on eachother.  He doesn’t really have to do any work, cuz Christians do the work for him.

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