Archive for March, 2007


Muslims Coming To Christ

March 30, 2007

I was speaking with someone recently about the greater and greater influence that Muslims were having in the US on legal and religious issues etc. I ran across the following video at Marty Daniels Shout life site. Please take a minute and listen to this translation of a much longer discussion about the influence that Christianity is having in Africa among the Muslim world. This is especially of interest to me as Brad and Jennifer Blake, daughter and son in law of Barry and Darlene Becker, our close friends in PA, are now working in Northern Nigeria among the Muslims.


We may lament the lack of evangelism taking place here in our country, but God is doing wonderful things in Africa and Christianity is exploding in China, even if mostly underground. Our Father is an amazing God!




Quote Without Comment

March 29, 2007

“Thousands of people think that necessary changes come only from outside, from revolutions and change in external conditions. It is for us Christians to prove that in reality everything comes from inside – from faith and life according to faith. The Church, when she entered the Greco-Roman world, did not denounce slavery, did not call for a revolution. It was her faith, her new vision of man and life that progressively made slavery impossible.”

– Alexander Schmemann, “Great Lent”, P.104


Find Your Wings, by Mark Harris

March 27, 2007


A New Favorite Scripture

March 21, 2007

If you are like me, you probably have a number of favorite scriptures. I have just added a new one to my list and I plan to use it to start each day the rest of this year. Here it is:


Some how those few verses bring a lot of Biblical truths together in one place. I like that!



March 19, 2007


Our lives are in a bit of a transition right now. I just learned that it is likely that the job that I am presently doing will be moved to our factory in
California, which means that I will be going back on the road again. At the same time we have our farm up for sale and are in negotiations with offers, and at the same time trying to determine where we will move when the sale goes through.  We decided some time ago that we wanted to be closer to Madison and our work. This could be a time of stress and concern about the future, but we have determined to not let that happen. When we began this process we turned the outcome over to the Lord, and are committed to not taking it from Him.

There is such peace in not worrying about the outcome of life situations. The security of resting in His love and direction brings a peace to your heart that you just cannot describe. I have tried it the other way oh so many times; trying to figure everything out ahead of time, trying to run ahead of God, which can be so very frustrating and stressful.

Barb just called and we are pre-approved for the mortgage, so now it is just a matter of finding a new home.

I have heard some who say God is not a God of the details in our lives, but I have come to believe that He very much is and desires to be involved just that much. There are still many choices to make, many details to consider, and I am not saying that He has a right or wrong opinion in what we choose, but that we simply allow Him to be considered as we make those decisions.

Changing gears a bit, we had our care group last night. One of the young ladies that attend is getting married to a great guy from
Texas. We had a Care Group Shower for her and her new bow. After we ate our meal we had a season of prayer and a number of folks led our thoughts for this young couple as they look to the future. How encouraging it was to hear each one pray not only the wedding, but their relationship, there lives together, challenges that would come and on an on. What a great time of fellowship and I know it was a great encouragement to them.

As the sign says at Waffle House: Thank You for stopping in. You could have gone anywhere but you chose to come here.

UPDATE!  Our house just sold! God is so Good!



March 17, 2007


Metal of Honor. Honor Guard. Scouts Honor. Honor students, honor rolls and an honor society. There is even a place called Honor,


Barb and I watched the movie, “Rob Roy” last night. The film was generally inspired by elements of the life of a 17th-18th century Scot named Robert Roy MacGregor and his battles with feudal landowners in the Scottish Highlands. The distributors of the film, describe Rob Roy as a “riveting adventure of courage, love and uncompromising honor.” In one of the early scenes Rob Roy is asked by his young son, “What is honor?” His reply begs meditation. He said, as I remember the quote, “Honor is not something that a man can give you, or take from you. Honor is a gift you give to yourself”


Things To Consider On A Friday

March 16, 2007


Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

When someone asks you, “A penny for your thoughts,” and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s just stale bread to begin with.

When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Why isn’t 11 pronounced onety-one?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked and dry cleaners depressed?

Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?

Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?


Absolute Truth

March 14, 2007


Some time ago I had an email discussion with some of my former students and one of the other instructors that taught with me. The discussion was about who is right and wrong in the religious world. It eventually boiled down to a discussion as to whether a person could know “the” truth. The mentality that our tribe has had for so many years is that we have arrived at truth, and if you don’t agree with us you are mistaken and in danger of losing you soul.

Fred Peatross recently posted an excellent brief article that I want to share with you. It really helps to clarify this whole debate.

When Christians say they have absolute (objective) truth they need to clarify. Are we talking about absolute (objective) truth or absolute knowledge?  Absolute knowledge means incorrigible knowledge (incapable of being wrong or corrected). From a Christian perspective this would be a God-attribute. Since we are finite creatures and “know only in part” and possess an amazing capacity for self-deception and error it would be ridiculous for us to claim absolute knowledge. But that’s what our culture hears when a Christian says they have absolute (objective) truth. So, for the sake of truth, please clarify!   John Allen Turner comments about this post…I prefer Art Lindsley’s approach. He says that there is such a thing as absolute truth, but since I am not absolute I’ll never be able to grasp it absolutely. Still, partial truth can be taken as real truth as long as we don’t assume it is the whole truth. 

This doesn’t mean that a person become wishy washy and stands for nothing. I still have strong convictions and beliefs…I just don’t see them as exclusive truth.  

So what do you think?


When Hell Is A Place Called Home

March 12, 2007

 The Church today has become a sheltered institution. Fear of the world and its influence on us has caused us to withdraw into our homes and church buildings. We deal with the sin we see in the world from a distance or in group protest. Help for the hurting is offered if you will come to us; our benevolent centers, building and distribution points. On occasions we will send out a patrol, most often our youth, to venture into a rough city or country in the hope that they will learn a valuable lesson about the world’s need.


Our friends are mostly other Christians. Many lament the work environment they work in; bad language, vulgar talk and so forth. We can’t wait until we can get back to the safety of our homes, or the next church service.


There are a few, a very few, that venture out and try to make a difference, but it is lonely out there and can be discouraging, so there is a lot of frustration and many causalities, so the efforts are not that effective.


There is a whole other culture at work out there in our world that Christians only hear about from time to time, but never experience.


I am not a rap fan, and you may not be either, but will you please, as a favor to me, listen to this video. It speaks of the reality that many in our world are dealing with.



In contrast, Jesus knew His world. He talked to, touched, ate with and cared deeply about people…ALL people, regardless of what they were dealing with in their lives. Who will come to the aid of the helpless, the misguided and the hurting today. Who will leave their comfort zones and go to them instead of saying come to me? Who will risk? Who will be Jesus to them today?


Thanks Virgil for pointing me to this video.


The Retention Factor

March 12, 2007


Do you have difficulty remembering what you hear or read? I was beginning to think it was old age, and then I ran across the following article The Retention Factor. Thanks to Ron Martoia for sharing this. It is good stuff!

All great minds have learned how to learn and how to retain.John Gardner, Harvard ProfessorWhy do some people just seem to have great memories and others of us struggle to remember where we put our car keys (well that could be an aging issue there)? The answer? All of us remember what we deem important and then store away for recall. While everyone has unconscious ways they store and retrieve important items, here are some of the strongest tips for peak performance in recall and using information you are learning or reading. And can I share with you a secret…I didn’t make these up, I was taught these by two people who I thought were genius and had amazing memories.  You know what they told me?  Both said, “I am not a genius, just disciplined at remembering what I want to remember.”  That is a big nugget.  Was it Einstein that said “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration?  Well there you go…start some new habits.1.    Take the 3rd party learning approach as much as possible. This means learning and reading as if you were going to teach the same material to someone tonight.
2.    Within 48 hours of learning something you want to seal in your memory go find someone and share it with them. No one available? Tell the cat. And you know what I hate cats
3.    Associate a memorable key word or phrase with that material, and place in a visible location for 1 week.
4.    Review your new learning once a week for 4 weeks. People don’t review.  You don’t review you won’t remember, it is that simple.
If you diligently do these four things your retention will dramatically rise and people will think you are a genius. The kingdom implications are enormous – your command of scripture, leadership principles, parenting nuggets to pass on will surprise even you.