Saturday, February 28, 2015

Alone at Last

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
A friend of mine recently went through one of those moments where they were feeling very alone, much like the man in our illustration, walking his own path, none around him for support, no physical or emotional contact.  Those feelings can make for some lonely, scary moments.

It's easy to say that we were created with a God sized hole in our soul or spirit that only He can fill, but our flesh tries all kinds of alternative ways to unsuccessfully fill that hole.  I've asked for Biblical evidence of that one.  I never get it.  Yet, it fits all we know about God. His desire to be one with us.  But it's also too simplistic and, in a way, it disrespects people who experience those moments of loneliness -- all of us.  My own experiences and meditations have taught me some things.  Follow along with me and let God bless you in this.

Our Sufficiency Is Of God - Part 1 (Video)

image used under Creative Commons 
license, courtesy of Wikipedia




We delayed this one for a bit to get Ann Voskamp's prayer tweets in. Here are some thoughts on grace from our Missions Director.  Some good thoughts for having a great day, great weekend, great week, great life.

It's all God, all Grace.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Change Not

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Julie Lyn
Proverbs 24:21-22 (KJV)  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

We said we were taking a brief hiatus.  And that's still true.  But later on Monday, there was an article that I just couldn't ignore or postpone commenting on.  Our chosen illustration is a broken cross.  We selected that because it's representative of what the article really shared, despite what it intended by its words.

The article was about some views expressed by Rob Bell, I know most of us have heard the name, but might not know more.  He was the pastor of  one of the Mars Hill  megachurches.  He no longer pastors or even attends a church.  The 21st Century apparently changed his theology.  In 2011, Bell wrote a book denouncing the Biblical view of Hell.  Shortly after the book came out, he resigned from his pastorate.  But it's his more recent conversion to supporting gay marriage that got my attention.  Let's look at part of the article.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hiatus, 2015/02/23

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I'm taking a recommended hiatus from LifeNotes for several weeks.  And I considered that doing the same, here, might also be wise.  Probably for a shorter period.  Saturday, we will be sharing the recent sermon by Pastor Scibelli that we promised.  Beyond that, we'll see.  But there's more today.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Twitter Thoughts on Prayer - Ann Voskamp

image used under Creative Commons license, 
artwork by navalatanjjnn, from deviantart.com
Ann Voskamp is renowned for her womens' ministry and her books.  I've only recently begun to follow her on Twitter.  On February 12 she tweeted a series of things with the hashtag #pray703.  

I'm assuming there was some kind of previous announcement.  Perhaps on Twitter or some other form of social media, maybe in a conference or book. Wherever it was, I missed it. Nevertheless, the few comments I saw seemed to indicate that the goal was a group of people would make it their priority to be praying at 7:03 am, wherever they were.  That's probably 7:03 am in Mrs. Voskamp's time zone, so they'd all be praying together, wherever they were.  But that's a guess.

I was blessed to find the series of tweets and several from the day before that I saw as introductory thoughts.  I realized that came together as a great meditation series of insights on prayer.  Other than these introductory comments to give you a heads up on what's coming, there are no further comments or explanations from me.  I think the tweets stand up by themselves, both individually and as a body of work.  The only changes I've made were to fix spacing in order to make some easier to read, since we don't have 140 character limit, here.  So, head over to the rest of this post and be blessed.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Submit?!? - Part 2

image used under Public Domain license,
picture obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
We started, last time, contrasting the world's idea of submission with the Biblical standard.  Today's illustration, an old drawing of a middle eastern slave girl, is how the world sees submission, perhaps with a little bondage thrown in for good measure.  Mostly involuntary, although it can be by choice, with elements of slavery, subservience, and servitude.  That's not how God intended it.  We'll start with several interviews on CBS This Morning, from last Wednesday. The idea of submission may be old one, but it's still practiced and practical today. Let's get to the interviews.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Submit?!? - Part 1

image used under Creative Commons license,
courtesy of openclipart.org, uploaded by pixabella
Happy Valentine's Day!  We were going to post a sermon video, today, preached by the Missions Director of our church about Grace.  We will share that.  Just not today.  A couple of things came together that made this post more appropriate for today.

Ephesians 5:22 (KJV) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

That verse (and Colossians 3:18) seems to give people hissy fits, both Christians and those in the world alike. Either verse is quoted out of context more often than relating to the verses surrounding it.  Whether it's a non-Christian or a believer, many women take issue with the idea of submitting.  That hesitance is with good reason, but based on misconceptions.  Let's take a look.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Decisions, Decisions....

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Maurizio Pesce
It's amazing how situations with tech can bring God's thoughts to light.  Who'd have thought God was a techie??

Seriously, I was in the process of switching, one more time, to the phone that should be with me for awhile.  But that brought on a discussion comparing the benefits and shortcomings of several carriers.  With a number of my friends advising a switch to another carrier.  In many circumstances, my friends' advice would have been real wisdom.  But my present situation makes not changing the smartest move.  I can, if my situation changes, make the switch fairly quickly, at a later date.  But I did some research online, chatted with customer service reps online, and called one of the local stores for the other guy.

So, what does all that have to do with God?  Read on.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Random Thoughts - February 7, 2015

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It's been quite awhile since we've done a Random Thoughts post.  There have been a few things, recently, that got me thinking and that I wanted to share, but they just haven't led me to do a full post on any of them.  But they're worth considering.  So, here we are, doing a Random Thoughts post, again.



Monday, February 2, 2015

Face to Face is Our Way of Escape

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
This is already turning into one of those weeks, coming out of a busy weekend.  Last week had a lot of good things happen behind the scenes.  We won't bore you with the details, but that went right into Saturday.  Yesterday, I had a chance to visit with a Pastor I hadn't seen in almost three years, hear him preach again, and meet the local pastor of that church (a friend of a friend).  That was followed by an excellent, but long lunch with some great friends.  And, of course, it was Super Bowl Sunday. So, we're going to flip our posting week and start the week with a long overdue devotional from Todd Parsons.  We'll take over Saturday's slot, this week.

First of all, congratulations to the New England Patriots on their fourth Super Bowl win.  As much as I was rooting for the new kid on the block, it was hard fought and interesting.  This was about the best Super Bowl I've seen in a long time.  Even though the final plays were triggered by one of the worst play decisions in the history of football.

As a Christian, I want to throw out a special (and huge) thanks to Katy Perry for her halftime show. While I think it was a little over the top, there was nothing prurient, it was completely family friendly, and it was entertaining.  Well done, Katy!

So, some thoughts from Todd Parsons: