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Showing posts from February, 2006

God Defines “Good”

I’ve been meditating on the goodness of God for a while. What Paul Cochran shared with the church on Sunday is something he’s shared with our care group and with me personally. We have these preconceived notions about what is “good” but God is the one who defines what “good” is. We automatically attribute pleasant experiences to the providence of God, but we are less quick to attribute trials to His sovereign care. And yet, what is ultimately good is not based on our circumstances, but on the grace of God working the character of Christ in us:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29)
This is the first time I’ve seen the connection between the goodness of God’s workings in verse 28 with a more specific explanation of those workings in verse 29. God work…

My Car is Tired

Or, to be more accurate, I could say my care is de-tired. Or, to be most accurate, I could say my car has another flat tire. Because it does (have another flat, that is). This time, it’s the front right tire.

The worse news: due to my procrastination, I haven’t replaced my old spare tire (which is now my front left tire). So now I need to buy two new tires. It’s my own fault. Idleness is indeed the devil’s playground…and I just got schooled.

At least, by God’s grace, I’m laughing about it more than anything else. I could be hopping mad…but that would just make me tired. And I don’t need to be tired when my car is tired...er, de-tired...tire-less...whatever.

Fundraiser Ideas

The weekly lunch meetings for CCK singles are turning into weekly “Cap and the girls” lunches. Not that I’m complaining. I grew up around a bunch of girls so I’m used to it. Anyway, we discussed (among many other things) fund-raising ideas for the singles ministry formerly known as SPAM. A couple thoughts we developed:
Take the clichéd “host a dinner” and “car wash” ideas and combine them into a fundraising extravaganza. People could come to the church parking lot, where we would serve them a spaghetti dinner. They could enjoy the meal in their vehicles while we washed them (the cars, that is). The evening would be called “Sonic Flood.” (Get it? Ha! Creativity at its finest!)Host a singles auction. Instead of auctioning off used items (which wouldn’t rake in a lot of dough), we would auction off CCK singles for a date night. It would be called “Courtship Kickoff.” No, we did not get this idea from Josh Harris. Our inspiration came from the book How to Date Like the World Without Actual…

Confessions of an American Driver

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Sometimes, interesting things happen when you’re driving. Below are a few incidents that have taken place in the past couple days. Actually, one of the items below is not true. Can you guess which one? (I’ll eventually let you know.)
On my way to work, I must not have been as awake as I thought I was: I came to the four-way stop at Gleason and Gallaher View with no other cars in sight. Nevertheless, I just sat there waiting for the light to change. I finally remembered that there was no light and went on my merry way. When I did reach a stoplight less than a mile down the road, I didn’t immediately realize the light was red. I’m sure the driver of the car I almost hit is thankful I decided to stop.At another red light, I pulled up behind a truck that was filled to almost overflowing with dogs. Yes, dogs. I couldn't count them all. The things is, they were all dead. (Living dogs don’t lie upside down with their legs stiffly raised in the air.) At least, I’m assuming they were dead—e…

The Pain and Pleasure of Trusting In God

“Patience is a virtue.” Now there’s a cliché that should be avoided like the plague. Er…yeah. I guess the saying “patience is a virtue” is a cliché because most people are prone to minimize its importance. At least, I know I am. In all honesty, patience is something I have consistently refused to cultivate in my life. Now, in His providence, God has declared my refusal to no longer be an option.

If I was God and I looked at Cap, I would say, “Oh gee, he’s having trouble trusting me. I think I’ll make things easier for him.” That would be the extent of my “wisdom.” God’s wisdom, however, is exhaustive. And based on a gazillion factors I can’t readily see (and may never readily see), He has decided to make things worse.

I’ve been suffering from a particular physical ailment for the past couple years or so. It might be a form of psoriasis, although it doesn’t exactly fit the dictionary definition of that particular disease. I have yet to visit a doctor for a diagnosis because of insurance …

Highlighter

I just realized something: this yellow highlighter, which I have had in my possession for over a year, is an aromatherapy highlighter. That’s right, it smells fruity. We’re talking lemony freshness at its finest! How I never recognized this before is beyond me. Now my problem is…I can’t stop sniffing! At least I know it’s “nontoxic” and “conforms to ASTM D-4236”…whatever that means.

FIREWALL (2006) – Film Review

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I saw this movie on opening weekend (I just haven’t had a chance to complete a review until now). I mean, why not? I’m a big fan of Harrison Ford, I’m a big fan of suspense thrillers, and I really liked the trailer. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed with the actual movie. If I had to sum up the film in one word it would be “predictable.” That’s a problem, because Firewall is meant to thrive on keeping the viewer in suspense. The movie isn’t boring, but it’s hard to be emotionally involved in a story where you can always tell what’s coming next.

For those not familiar with the plot: Harrison Ford stars as Jack Stanfield, the head of security for a bank that’s on the brink of a merger. Jack’s not the biggest fan of this business move, but that soon becomes the least of his worries. It’s not long before he meets businessman Bill Cox (Paul Bettany). It turns out that Bill’s associates have infiltrated Jack’s house and have taken his family hostage. In exchange for his family’s life…

A Matter of Trust

On Monday I posted about my struggles in trusting God’s providence. Shortly thereafter I came across an mp3 file I had downloaded from the New Attitude website but had forgotten to listen to. It’s a message by Bruce Ware entitled, “Why Do We Trust God?”

The message was outstanding! Mr. Ware described how there are three legs to the stool of faith: (1) God is all-powerful, (2) God is all-wise and (3) God is all-loving.

God is all-powerful. Some say God does have power but He has chosen not to use much of it because He has given us power and He doesn’t want to interfere with it. Daniel 4:35 tells us otherwise: “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing [in other words, what can all the inhabitants do to inhibit the power of God being exercised? Nothing!]; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” God’s power is undiminished. If He chooses to act, nothing can …

A Spiritual rEVOLUTION

Almost 450 churches in the United States celebrated Evolution Sunday this week. Yes, evidently evolution has evolved to the point that it no longer conflicts with Scripture. Blogger Andrew Belli wrote a cleverly facetious post about the ludicrous combination of the “science” of evolution and the sanctity of Scriptural truth. One of the things he did was recite the Five Points of Darwinism, a.k.a. THORN:

Total Vulnerability – we’re at the mercy of nature
Humanism – we must strive to advance a master race
Oops – we’re the product of chance, not design
Resistance is Futile – you will be assimilated
Natural Selection – (although it IS unconditional)

If you want to read the entire post (which includes a priceless rewriting of the Nicene Creed), go here.

Just in case there’s anyone reading this who thinks there is no contradiction between the Scriptural account of creation and the theory of evolution, let me quote WORLD Magazine blog poster PeterS (comment #9) :

If evolution is true, then death pr…

Growing Pains

Sanctification isn’t always a stroll through the park. Lately, I’ve been more acutely aware of indwelling sin in my life—in particular, my prideful disposition to not trust in the providence of God.

Yesterday was filled with little “humbling moments.” I had several short meetings that needed to happen but didn’t; every motorist I got stuck behind apparently thought the far left lane was the “leisure lane”; my interaction with others didn’t always measure up to my expectations. My response to most of these situations was one of anger. Ultimately, my problem wasn’t people or circumstances—my problem was the pride in my heart that bristled at the sovereignty of God overruling my selfish plans.

As I went through my Scripture readings last night, I came to Psalm 32. Verses 8 and 9 spoke directly to my problem:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed wit…

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow…Inside

When I got back from my lunch break today, there was still some snow melting on a few of the cars parked outside the station. I decided to make a snowball and wreak havoc on some poor helpless soul inside. As I headed indoors, I knew I had to be selective in acquiring a target. After all, radio stations have a lot of equipment that requires electricity. Snow and electricity don’t mix well. My best bet was to ambush someone in the hallway. Unfortunately, the victim I chose caught wind of my intentions (I guess me running towards him with a battle cry tipped him off) and he dashed into the safety of a room filled with expensive equipment. Not an expression of mature masculinity, in my opinion.

I then decided to attack whoever was in the kitchen—one of the other few places to safely dispense snow projectiles without ruining company property. Alas and alack, no one was in the kitchen. The next best thing to do was wait. Shaun, the nighttime DJ for Love 89, doesn’t come in until mid-afterno…

Symptoms of Legalism

I haven’t posted anything serious in a while, so here are some notes I recently rediscovered, which I wrote while listening to a sermon by CJ Mahaney on legalism:

You are involved in legalism if…

* You are more aware of and affected by your past sin(s)—especially those committed after your conversion—than you are by the finished work of Jesus Christ.

* You are more aware of areas you need to grow than you are of the cross. If you are preoccupied with needing to study the Bible or pray more, you are probably involved in legalism. Yes, these acts are means of grace and they are important, and it is not wrong to evaluate the strength of these daily habits (or lack thereof), but they are not the basis of your acceptance with God. Misunderstanding this will lead you to participate in such activities with the wrong motives.

* You live thinking, believing, and feeling that God is disappointed with you rather than delighting over you…that God is “putting up” with you. God is pleased with you, not…

Kids Say the Funniest Things

In the deep reaches of cyberspace, I came across this list of things kids have said. I’ve been laughing my stomach into cramps…

No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.Never ask your 3-year-old brother to hold a tomato.You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic-tac.Never hold a dustbuster and a cat at the same time.School lunches stick to the wall.You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

Cereal Bowl Sunday

Yesterday, much of the world watched massive, gladiator-like human beings participate in an overly aggressive form of full-contact ballet, with the intent of holding and dancing with an eleven-inch long, air-filled sack of premium cowhide leather. Some who didn’t watch the Super Bowl participated in an alternative spectator sport: the Cereal Bowl. This activity consisted of wearing pajamas (or something like PJs), eating a mixture of several sugary cereals, and watching movies.

The first movie was Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Pod People. MST3K movies always have a gazillion clever/witty/memorable lines, and this one was no exception:

[One deer to another:] “Aw, the heck with this, Norm. Let’s go down to the suburbs and crash through a school window.”“Your breakfast is getting cold and she [the woman who just died] isn’t getting any warmer.”“Oh, why don’t you just go up to the door? You drove two seasons to get here.”“His last words were huzzah!”“Boo? Boo Radley.” “Beelzebub!” “Chie…

Worship Weekend

Technically, this was no more a “worship weekend” than any other weekend. As theologians have pointed out, we are all worshipping creatures and we are always worshipping something. However, our congregation was privileged to have worship leader Bob Kauflin visit our church and give several messages on the topic of worship—both in its broad sense (living our lives in service to God) and its narrow sense (worshipping through musical expression).

I am continually amazed by the leadership in Sovereign Grace Ministries. Humility and an others-centered mindset characterize every new pastor I meet. Engaging in conversation and fellowship with Mr. Kauflin was greatly encouraging. What he shared with me in response to the issues I am dealing with helped increase my faith.

Mr. Kauflin is also a fan of instrumental music, and film scores in particular! How awesome is that?! It’s not every day I can throw out names like Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, and Rachel Portman and have someone actual…

Who Are Your Friends?

The singles from Cornerstone Church who work downtown meet for lunch once a week (in theory). Today was this week’s day, during which we experienced good food, fun, and fellowship at Shono’s in Market Square. I like these people. I have considered them friends.

However, when I got back to the radio station and visited the facilities, I found out that I had a piece of food stuck between my teeth—very black, very visible. And no one told me about it. How long was it there? I don’t know. I can’t watch myself eat any better than I can listen to myself snore at night—not that I do snore…well, I don’t know if I do, but that’s beside the point. The point is, there were seven “friends” (and one guest) at the table. You expect friends to watch your back (or, in this case, your teeth), but no one did. So…are they really as good of friends as I thought? Maybe there’s something in Proverbs that speaks to this issue….

Cry Me a River

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This is probably going to come back and bite me in the rump later, but what the hey? While watching Chloe (my two-year-old niece) yesterday, I was reminded of an interesting truth: I cry in movies. In fact, I am most likely to cry watching children’s movies. Why? I have no earthly clue.

Well, I do have an hypothesis. It may have all started back in 1989, when I saw The Bear in theaters. I cried through the entire thing. Somehow, in some way, a gateway was opened that night and I have never been the same.

So Chloe came over yesterday and wanted to watch Beauty and the Beast, which I haven’t seen in, like, years. She loved it, I loved it. She laughed, I cried. She kept asking me to explain what was happening in the movie and I’d open my mouth to answer, only to find myself choked up.

I’m telling you, I’m more likely to weep during Homeward Bound—the ultimate tearjerker—than a more serious film like Schindler's List. There’s just something about the innocence of a children’s story t…

Hidden Joy

Walt Alexander recently made fun of me for starting a blog. After that small expression of depravity, he shared with me that a recent version of “His Love Can Never Fail” is on the Indelible Grace IV CD. I checked out the official web site; several of the hymns on the album are absolutely amazing so I went ahead and ordered a copy.

One of those hymns is “I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow,” by John Newton. It resonated with something I’ve been specifically praying for: that God would increase my desire and passion for Him and continue to burn away the chaff in my life. What I’m realizing is, He’s answering that very prayer. John Newton puts it like this:

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
A…