Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
Ephesians 5:20 (KJV)  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;  

That verse fits our forefathers and it should fit us this week.  It certainly fits the turkeys in our illustration.  At least at the time the picture was taken, they weren't being cooked.

Those of you who've been here awhile know my favorite verse by now. Matthew 6:33.  It tells us to focus on God and that we can because we have assurance that all our needs will be met if we do.  That;s something to be thankful for.  In fact, our starting verse says to us we need to be thankful for everything, no matter what.

Those are some good thoughts to meditate on this week, as we approach the US Thanksgiving holiday.  Usually we blog our way through holidays.  We've decided to take the week off to catch up on some other things.  This post is it for today.  There won't be a guest post on Wednesday, nor one on Friday.  Thursday, we'll still publish our final LifeNote in the Psalm 23 series -- that's already set to go.  

We'll get back to normal next week and back to more good things from the Exponential conference. In the meantime, we'll be spending time with friends and with God, considering all we should be thankful for.  We hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.  If you're reading this in a place where the American holiday isn't celebrated, join us in spirit this week and consider all you can be thankful for, too.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Obedience and Approval

image used under Creative Commons license,
photo by Abhi Sharma, from Flickr
“At the end of the day, obedience is far more important than knowledge.” -- Larry Osborne

We already did one post on the subject Pastor Osborne spoke on, at Exponential West 2014.  But this statement is one I keep coming back to.  Maybe because it touches on thoughts God has put on my heart often, over the years.

There's truth and wisdom and there's knowledge.  The difference is whether we have mental comprehension or our understanding has undergone personalization.  It's the difference between knowing a subject and knowing a person.  Take a look.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Way of Rejoicing!

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org

Our Wednesdays detoured into the tech stuff for several weeks in a row.  All good information, some important to share.  But we don't want to abandon all the spiritual gems from sources other than my own walk with God.  As much as I recognize the blessings of of the insights God has given me, I also am very aware of all the spiritual talent God has surrounded me with, both online and in my daily life.  

One of those sources of spiritual goodness, of course, is my friend, Todd Parsons.  And I feel like we're overdue to be mutually blessed by one of his devotionals.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Abandoned in Spirit

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture uploaded by Zac Allan
Ed Stetzer was unable to physically attend the Exponential conference in person.  But he recorded a brief talk that stuck with me. At least in spirit, if not all the exact words.  And it struck at the heart of some other things that have been on my mind recently.  So, we'll start with what Ed Stetzer talked about and take a side trip to a couple of other things.

If you're new enough to Christianity and you possibly may be unfamiliar with the name Ed Stetzer,  he's a well known author, speaker, pastor, and church planter.  His more recent experience has been in the academic realm.  And his talk sounded like it. But he had one main point and he made it well.  Let's take a look.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Selfless Selfishness

copyright Exponential.org, October 2014
Yes, we're still milking thoughts from the Exponential West 2014 conference.  There's a lot the get us thinking and meditating.  We're just getting into the third and final day.  And remember, I was watching the web stream, which didn't include the smaller sessions.

Just to give a feel for the experience, the image at the top is from one of the Main Stage sessions of this conference.  As you can see, there was a good sized audience.  Whether you agree with all the theological stances or all the things that were said, it's good to see that many people gathered to learn how better to spread the Gospel.  As we begin today's post, we're going to start by jumping back a bit, to some things that Jeff Vanderstelt shared.  We already included one of his quotes in our first post in this series.  There are a couple more that we can't miss.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Come and See

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
It's amazing the number of seed thoughts one conference can supply.  I don't think Exponential West 2014 is any different than any other conference in that respect.  At least if God's there.  Usually God highlights a few things from a conference and has other seed thoughts at the ready. This time, God has me focused on the whole conference.  So, till He changes that, that's how we'll roll.

We'll take a look at some thoughts from Pastor Larry Osborne.  He's one of the senior pastors and a teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Vista, California.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Who We Are When Touched, Healed, and Delivered

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy
of commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Wnorbutas
We're at a point in my Exponential West 2014 conference notes where I have snippets and quotes, but not complete speech notes.  That might be a bad thing if they weren't cohesive.  But there's a conference theme.  And what I've shared from the conference, previously, has been a combination of what was shared and my take on the subject.  So, we should still have fun.

Today, we'll be looking at a couple of statements from James Meeks.  James Meeks is the senior pastor and founder of Salem Baptist Church, in Chicago.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Jasper - Jewel of Great Value (Excerpt)

image used under royalty free license, © Werner Dieterich/Westend61/Corbis
We're going to take a quick detour from the great content from the Exponential West 2014 conference.  Our devotional book for November went live on Amazon on Friday.  It's Jasper - Jewel of Great Value, available for the Kindle, click the title to go buy it.  And Today's post is one of the entries.

The image to the right shows someone giving alms to a homeless person.  And, indeed, our passage talks about alms. But the subject isn't really about giving. Instead, it's the heart behind the giving.  Anyone can give, not everyone allows themselves to be a cheerful giver.