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Small Things for Him

July 30, 2009

“Never tire of doing even the smallest things for Him,
because He isn’t impressed so much with the dimensions of our work
as with the love in which it is done.”

– Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

(Thanks for the quote, Brad.)

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Cowboy Coffee

July 29, 2009

This weekend we are going camping with some good friends of ours, Dustin and Daphne. Dustin claims to be a master campfire chef. We always just used the Coleman gas stove growing up, so I will look forward to this smokey cuisine.

My initial concern was how I would secure my morning cup of coffee. The answer: “Cowboy Coffee.” I know there are other ways, but I am eager to try this more ancient method. I found this post with instructions on how to make it. Here is the overview:

  1. Bring one quart of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of ground coffee.
  3. Return to boil.
  4. Immediately remove from heat and cover.
  5. Wait till the grounds sink (approximately 5 minutes).
  6. Serve.

I will give a report on Dustin’s campfire cooking and my cowboy coffee.

Recognizing Elders

July 27, 2009

Alan Knox recently described how his church is attempting to recognize elders. We recognized the elders in our church in a very similar fashion. I believe the overall health of local churches would change drastically if we followed the biblical practice of recognizing elders who are actually known by the congregation, have proven their quality, and whom the congregation believes has been called by God to shepherd.

Knowing God through Obedience

July 24, 2009

“All true knowledge of God is born out of obedience.”
John Calvin, Institutes

The truth of this principle is expressed in John 14:21:

“He who has my commandments and keeps them,
it is he who loves Me.
And he who loves me will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (NKJV)

The manifestation of Jesus is on the other side of knowing and keeping his commandments. What, then, is theology and biblical scholarship that is not born out of obedience?

(Originally posted Aug 04)

What Is Being a Dad?

July 23, 2009
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This morning I was sitting on the porch having some time with God, when my ten year old daughter Bethany came out with her Bible. She asked me if I would help her understand the passage she was reading. It was a great joy to discuss life changing truths with her.

A few minutes after talking with her, I visited my very first website. One of my first posts was written on August 28, 2004. It was a copy of a poem I wrote for Bethany not long after she was born. As you read it you will see why it was so meaningful just after my discussion with her on the front porch. I can see Bethany growing into “a young lady, beautiful and strong, graceful and shining,” beginning to look up to the Father for herself.

For You, Bethany

What is being a dad?
It is pouring all of God that is in me
into you.
I want dad to be the first place
that you experience Love Himself;
The Holy One,
Mercy, Righteousness, and Grace
in person.

I want more of God in me for you to see.
I seek God for you
that you may find Him in me.

I think now of you, a young lady
beautiful and strong
graceful and shining,
and the joy that will be mine
when you turn your eyes off of this dad.
When you turn your eyes up
and see for yourself,
taste for yourself,
love for yourself.
The inexplicable joy that will be mine
when you seek the face of our Father
with your own heart.

But for now, because I am your dad,
I will seek Him for you.
I pray you will find Him in me.

Dad 8/30/99

Garden Update

July 21, 2009

100_2489As I tweeted on Saturday, the whole family (except for those unable to work) spent all day working in the garden  together. And I really mean all day.

We dealt with some complaining at first, of course. But something amazing transpired as the day passed. The kids really caught the vision for our garden and taking pride in their work. By the end of the day, attitudes of helpfulness and contentment abounded.

It helped that we were able to harvest some produce as well. It wasn’t much, though, since not only do we have a later planting time up here, but we also had three weeks of rain when we could plant. You can see the beginnings of some cantaloupe on the left. We harvested some sugar snaps, green beans, and zucchini.

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The Jesus Paradigm

July 17, 2009

Dave Black, who was my Ph.D. mentor, is finishing a new book that will be out soon, The Jesus Paradigm. The website for the book provides this description:

The Jesus Paradigm challenges modern Christians to become completely sold-out followers of Jesus, to make ministry and mission the work of every believer, and to give their primary allegiance to the kingdom of God rather than to any nation, political party, or movement.”

You can read a review of the book by Alan Knox. I’m looking forward to getting a copy.