Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bob Newhart-Stop It!!

The video is Bob Newhart’s spoof of a counseling moment. The comments below are from David Powlison (guest writing for Justin Taylor) as he comments on counseling from a biblical perspective and how it differs from this comedy piece. Here are a half dozen contrasts:

1. The Bible gives a vision for lifelong transformation and mutual aid—as well as for the 5-minute moment of insight, or the 5-week and 5-month seasons of change, or the 5-year unfolding movement of progressive transformation and deepening. “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” The encouragements of the gospel of grace meet us again and again. They are always new-to-you in some way. Yet they always embrace the Christ who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2. Our Father never simply says “Stop it!” to the Katherine Bigmans or anyone else. He knows we can’t change on our own. We have... (for the rest of the article...)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. The Mindset List website at www.beloit.edu/mindset, the Mediasite webcast and its Facebook page receive more than 400,000 hits annually.

The class of 2014 has never found Korean-made cars unusual on the Interstate and five hundred cable channels, of which they will watch a handful, have always been the norm. See the full list of 75....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is Chivalry Dead?

Chivalry Is Dead - This is not this young guy’s finest moment. “A young female Astros fan got a painful lesson in chivalry Monday night at Minute Maid Park. The woman, identified only as Sarah, was struck on the right arm by a foul ball off the bat of Chris Johnson in the fourth inning while sitting down the left-field line — a ball that she didn’t see coming because her boyfriend ducked out of the way at the last second.”

A Word for Workaholics

An Admonition to Workaholics - Here’s a good word from for those of us who are prone to work too hard and too long.

A History of Phone Etiquette

A History of Phone Etiquette - It is interesting to peer back into history a little bit to see how telephone etiquette took time to develop. That’s something to think about next time you’re on a bus and someone is yacking (very loudly) into his cell phone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Overcoming Conspicuous Consumption

The article, originating from the New York Times reads: "Conspicuous consumption has been an object of fascination going back at least as far as 1899, when the economist Thorstein Veblen published "The Theory of the Leisure Class," a book that analyzed, in part, how people spent their money in order to demonstrate their social status." Are we slaves to our love of stuff?

The author explores the question, "Do you have to be overwhelmed by debt and have all that stuff to be happy?" It has interesting ideas and examples. Jesus said it best, "Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15, NIV).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Much Land Does a Man Need

Last Sunday I shortened the sermon (always something that endears me to the congregation) by leavning out the following story. It's a good one though, so I share it hear.

Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, wrote a short story entitled “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” It tells of a man who was never satisfied with what he had. He decided that owning land would be the only way he would be really happy…yet he was not satisfied as he acquired more and more. One day he heard about an opportunity which would give him the opportunity to obtain as much land as he can encircle by walking during the course of one day for only 1000 rubles. The only condition is that he had to return to where he started by sundown.

The man starts out early in the morning, and as he gets further and further out, his eyes catch more and more good land. So he keeps on going. It is only when the day is more than half over, that he realizes he'd better make a turn and head back to the beginning - because if he doesn't fully encircle the land, then he gets nothing.

The afternoon wears on and by the end the man is running. Fear gripped him. In his greed, he feared he might lose it all. The finish line is in sight, and the sun is setting. He tries to run faster, but his body is exhausted. Finally, with his last ounce of strength, one moment before sunset, he lunges to the finish line. At which point he collapses and dies.

The story ends with the question of the title, “How much land does a man need?” In this case, only a plot six feet long and three feet wide and four feet deep…just enough to bury him.

Where Your Treasure Is

A story about a 104 year old heiress began to make headlines this week. She has been recluse for decades and has multiple multi-million dollar properties, some of which she has never even visited. She inherited her fortune from her father, a former senator from Montana. The story goes that when her mother died, she withdrew and it seems she lost her will to enjoy life. One of her statements is particularly interesting. She reportedly told friends that wealth was a "menace to happiness".

According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with having wealth and great possessions. Some of the most prominent people in the Bible were quite weathly by ancient as well as modern standards. The Bible does warn that there are dangers to be found in possessing wealth and it gives a great deal of advice on how to keep our wealth  and possessions from possessing us. Here are just a few verses:

Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

Mark 8:36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Luke 12:15 (Jesus said) “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Ecclesiastes 5:11 The more you have, the more you spend, right up to the limits of your income. So what is the advantage of wealth-- except perhaps to watch it as it runs through your fingers!

1 Timothy 6:10 The love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Galatians 6:7 If (a person) sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death.

Matthew 6::19-20: Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Holy Complications

This was a good word from pastor Mark Batterson. It's a short article but this will give you a taste:

Sin will complicate your life in unholy ways. The blessings of God will complicate your life in holy ways. But it's still a complication. When I got married it complicated my life. Praise God for complications!

A Prayer About An Anxious Heart

I have enjoyed these prayers from the blog of Scotty Smith. This one is a prayer offered from "an anxious heart." If you have a worries, fears, concerns about the future today...this might be a good prayer for you to consider.

Don't Waste Your LIfe

I ran across this quote from John Piper. It's  good word worth sharing.

"It is possible to waste your life. Few things make me tremble more than the possibility of taking this onetime gift of life and wasting it. Every morning when I walked into the kitchen as a boy I saw hanging on the wall the plaque that now hangs in my living room: "Only one life, twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." And now I am almost 58, and the river of life is spilling over the falls of my days with tremendous speed. More and more I smell eternity. And oh, how I want to use my life well. It is so short and so fragile and so final. You get one chance to live your life. And then the judgment. I speak as a father who has children your age, and I am jealous with Jesus that they and you not waste your life". (from December 29, 2003)

Scraps of Thoughts on Daily Prayer

I have found Tim Keller to be a good source of spiritual encouragement and challenge for my spiritual growth and development. He is the Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. In this article he shares some very valuable “scraps of thoughts” on daily prayer . He simply describes how he prays over the course of the day. Keller book, The Reason for God, is an excellent resource in apologetics.