Monday, April 27, 2015

Till Death Do Us Part

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Our title is part of the marriage vows.  I read a Yahoo story about Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard that really got me thinking about marriage, our society's throw away mindset, parenting, commitment, etc.  The article is actually a shorter version of an upcoming Good Housekeeping Magazine interview.

The picture at the left is a good start to our discussion.  Kristen looks like a California girl, Dax is blue jeans casual.  Every interview I've seen of the two of them, they sound different from each other.  Kristen can rock an evening gown.  Dax is like most guys -- a suit doesn't suddenly turn him into another George Clooney.  Dax is casual in his speech.  Kristen, while more precise, can be pretty blunt.  In other words, they're basically opposites who make you wonder how they grew together and stay together.  And that's what we want to look at.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cleansed and Made Whole by Words

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Good counsel is essential to our relationships.  Whether it's God or another person, we can't assume our lives are strictly in a vacuum.  And I think we're all aware we don't know everything.  

Our friend Dwight Clough started our present train of thought with a blog post written as a letter to a future possible son-in-law. That combined with an interview with Kristen Bell, where she and her husband shared some interesting insights.  And then there's this gem by Todd Parsons.  While the interview is secular in nature, it brings out some real wisdom that I thought could be nicely sandwiched between two slices of the Bread of Life, as presented by Todd and Dwight.

Todd Parsons starts this non-series off with some thoughts on getting counsel, leaning heavily on Proverbs 20.  Let's see where that takes us.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Resurrection Life

I use the term in our title a lot.  It's a foundational principle to what I consider real Christianity.  I've been wanting to blog about that for awhile.  Two things made that more immediately possible and essential.

The first is that the Christian Bloggers community on Google+ has a blog challenge for April that's highlighted by the hashtag #MyEaster2015.  And the title has been much of my meditation for this Easter season.  But April is almost 2/3 over and I should be getting my thoughts down and sharing them.

The second is the graphic for this post.  I reshared it on Facebook, it spurred a conversation that didn't go well.  And the fact that it didn't go well highlights a reality about our relationship with God and resurrection life.  Let's go exploring and see where God takes us with this one.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Except Ye Be Converted

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One of the things we like to do is share a reading from our devotional for that month. April's devotional book is Saved in Amber: April - A Time of Protection

April is when we really start thinking about Spring.  The flowers coming out, the green grass, the warmer temperatures, and sunshine.  It's almost as if our world is sharing its own message of resurrection.  Or, maybe closer in nature to conversion.

Monday, April 13, 2015

How's Your Pastoring?

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a pastor as "a spiritual overseer; especially :  a clergyman serving a local church or parish".  They say the root is "Middle English pastour, from Anglo-French, from Latin pastor herdsman, from pascere to feed....".  It's actually a 14th century concept.  

If you like playing with words like I do, there's an interesting mental picture we can create.  Think of one of those times you were in farm country or saw a picture of cows in a field.  The field is a pasture.  You caught that one, didn't you?  It comes from the same root word as pastor.  Which means the farmer is pastoring those cattle.  But the point is neither word games nor jokes.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Nothing Wasted, Nothing Unimportant

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If you've been a regular reader, here, or have been following our posts on LifeNotes, you may have figured out where this is going, from the title.  And, yes, we're going there anyway.

Our illustration is a bunch of coins falling out of someone's hands.  Think about our attitude toward change.  We don't really like carrying much change.  It's heavier than bills.  It takes a lot to buy much of anything worthwhile.  If it were up to us, pennies would quickly be out of circulation.  They don't seem to have much value.  Yet. there are all those pieces of gum and candy we'd never get without them.  Or, if something cost $.99 and we had no bills and only $.95, those four pennies become very important.

What goes into our salvation is very much like that.  There were some things we talked about in our 
Fear Not - Part 4 LifeNote that I want to look at further.

Monday, April 6, 2015

His Leaf Did Not Wither

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This is one of those weeks where schedules get messed with. This past Saturday night saw a pounding headache, my eyes hurt, and my sinuses were active.  I'm sure it wasn't anything more than something triggering my allergies, but it was enough to change my writing schedule.  As a result, Todd Parsons gets to bless us early, this week.  And what I had intended for today will become Saturday's post.

We've done a couple of Saturdays on leadership and we've also focused on the Easter season on our other posting days.  Our unintentional posting schedule change actually works well for keeping that going a little longer.  So, let's see what Todd has for us, today.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

5 Qualities of Great Leadership

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One of the blessings of being in a very active community of Christian bloggers is that I get to read all sorts of great posts on a variety of topics, all designed to help you and I reach the next level with each other and with God.  Last Saturday, we looked at Dwight Clough's discussion of our online presence, which is a form of leadership.  Today we get to reshare Jeffrey Perry's thoughts on leadership.

Our illustration kind of sets the scene.  It's "Scotland Forever!" by Lady Elizabeth Butler, depicting the Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo.  The officer at the front of the charge reminded me of a thought from John Maxwell.  He compared a boss and a leader.  He suggested that a boss pushes his people from behind.  In contrast, he described a leader as someone who was ahead of or with his people, bringing them along with him.  With that in mind, let's see what Jeffrey Perry has to say.