So I had a bad day....

Ever have one of those days? You know the kind where you want to go back to bed around 10 in the morning in hopes that it will all just go away? Yeah...that was my day yesterday. While I will spare you all of the details, I will give you a few:

Right before lunch I arrived at Caleb's dayschool to find he is in time out while everyone else is on the playground. It seems he and another little boy refused to listen to his teacher and were running around pushing and shoving. He and I had to have a "conversation" when we got home.

After work we drove out to a nearby town to pick up a swing for our backyard that we found on Craig's list. Really good deal. That is until we got there and I noticed the fluid coming out from the engine of my truck. The truck had overheated the day before and I spent all night fixing it, or so I thought. We loaded the swing and headed home. We didn't make it. So Carrie, Noah, Caleb, and myself were stranded at the Catfish Den in Hiram, Georgia. To make things worse, none of us had eaten.

God sent a Good Samaritan to help us (thanks Brian!) and our good friend Eric came out to follow us home. Its a good thing he did since we made it about 3 miles from home where the truck sounded like it was going to explode. Thankfully it didn't. It was nine o'clock and the boys are hungry and starting to melt down.

We loaded into Eric's car and pulled into McDonalds. It's closed for repairs. We drove to Wendy's which had large orders because McDonalds is closed. We finally got home around 9:15 and Eric and I took some water to the truck in order to limp it home.

That's when Reggie showed up. Reggie is a good friend from church who came to look at our computer. Yeah it was dead too. But Reggie is the man and he fixed it. That part wasn't so bad. In fact, that's kind of why I decided to post this.

I woke up this morning. That's good.
My coffee pot is working. That's good.
I have a great family and a warm home. That's good.
I have my Bible. That's really good.
My bad days have no bearing on God's goodness, love, mercy, grace, justice, righteousness, faithfulness, and overall disposition towards me. That's so good, good, good.

I don't like bad days. But I do love God. And even in the bad days I can say "Your steadfast love is better than life so my lips will praise You!" (Psalm 63:3)

Posted by Jack | at 6:52 AM | 1 comments

Don't be a sponge

This post is the third so far in a series about loving God with your mind. You can read the first one here and the second here. As I have continued to pontificate on this matter there seems to be an interesting facet of loving God with your mind. We must use our mind to sort through what is true and what is false teaching.

There are so many things in our culture that are labeled Christian. Everything from best-sellers to television pastors are easily accessible to someone who take even a few seconds to look. And many of these things are extremely popular. Yet the question I have is this: how many believers actually take the time and think through what is being placed before them. Just because a book is being read by thousands of people, do we need to take it's message as authentic and godly? Just because there is a cross or a fish on the cover, does it mean the person who put it out holds to the truth of Scripture?

There are a few passages that come to mind:

Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-21

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
Acts 17:10-12

We as believers should seek those things which will edify us and draw us closer to Christ. Yet we must be careful to take everything and to examine it to ensure that it conforms to the words of Scripture. If it does, take it and treasure it. If it doesn't, don't swallow it and adopt it as your own. And don't simply disagree. Take the time to think why you don't agree and formulate some thoughts on paper.

Of do all of this we must really be soaking ourselves in the Word. If we aren't then how would we know that something is amiss. Just a thought...

Posted by Jack | at 1:28 PM | 2 comments

Ethiopian coffee and Tozer

This morning I brewed the last of the coffee I brought home from my trip to Ethiopia. It made me think of all of the people I met there, especially a man I have come to greatly respect. Afework Debebe is someone that has my utmost respect and admiration. Affectionately called "The Godfather," Afework is the planter of a house church network in Ethiopia. My friend Matt Setliffe who works regularly with Afework called him "a modern Ethiopian Paul" and in my opinion it is a perfect description. He wants people to know Jesus. It was amazing to see his love for the people, pastors, and churches. The pastors there look up to him and rightly so. Please take a moment and pray for a man you probably have never met. Thank God for men like Afework and pray that he and the believers in Ethiopia would hold high the glory of Christ for all to see. If you are interested, here is a video from the trip we took in November.

On a completely different note, I would like to share a quote from one of my favorite authors, A.W. Tozer. I read this yesterday and it was extremely challenging. I hope it helps you as you think about what hinders your worship and service of God.

It is only when we introduce our own will into our relation to God that we get into trouble. When we weave into the pattern of our lives threads of our own selfish desires we instantly become subject to hindrances from the outside. If I mingle some pet religious enterprise of mine with the will of God and come to think of them as one, I can be hindered in my religious life. Then I'll begin to blame whoever stands in my way and excuse my spiritual breakdowns as being caused by someone or something that is working to "hinder" me. A.W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous, p. 148

Posted by Jack | at 7:12 AM | 0 comments

Jesus and Thomas the Train

So last night I was supervising the Splash Zone (a.k.a. bath time for the monkeys). Noah, our 1 year old was pouring water in his mouth, letting it pour down his chin, and grinning from ear to ear. Caleb our 3 year-old had a Thomas the Train bath toy in one hand and a toy submarine in the other. All of the sudden I realized what he was saying. The words were something like, "Hello Jesus....Hello God....I'm riding on Thomas....I'm riding on the submarine...Let's go underwater...OK!"

At first I wanted to laugh. Then I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, "Yes!" I want my boys to know and love Jesus more than anything. I want them to think about Him all the time. I want Him to be central in their lives. The fact that even when he is playing in the bath he is talking about Jesus makes me smile. (We'll work on some of his theology later...)

One day they will both be faced with a decision whether or not they will follow Him. I cannot make that decision for them. It must be their faith placed in their Savior. Until that time I hope that my conversations and actions take every opportunity to present the greatness of Christ to them.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Posted by Jack | at 10:10 PM | 1 comments