Robin and Batman
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. -Matthew 7:11
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” -Matthew 22:37-38
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good.” -Luke 18:19
But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. -Romans 5:20-21
Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not. –C.S. Lewis
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39
Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus. Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie. After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the Christians in the churches in Judea didn’t know me personally. All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” And they praised God because of me. -Galatians 1:11-24
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We got there at eleven o’clock in the morning. We set up shop. We had the official Pack 396 sign on our table. Benjamin wore his little uniform. When he was a tiny first grade Tiger Cub, he had the extra cute thing going for him. All women and most men would smile at him, many would stop and talk, and a decent percent would even purchase some popcorn.
He is still pretty cute, but a growing third grader’s cuteness is much different than a tiny first grader’s cuteness and the popcorn is now a tougher sell.
As people walked into the store, many tried to avoid eye contact. I was so proud of Benjamin. He looked people in the eye and asked them if they wanted to buy popcorn. Person after person had one of the following replies: “No”, “No thanks”, “Not today”, or “No, I’ve already bought some”. But Benjamin kept asking. He even changed his sales pitch from: “Would you like to buy some popcorn?” to “Would you like to support the Cub Scouts?” People still said “no”.
Finally after about ten minutes, he got his first “yes”. He was so excited. Then came another string of people saying “no”. He showed people the different kinds of popcorn. Some more people bought from him. Others said they would get buy some on the way out of the store. Most still said “no”. A friend of mine and his wife bought some. A former scout was Benjamin’s biggest sale. A young couple talked to Benjamin for a few minutes and decided on some Carmel Corn. A woman decided she didn’t want the popcorn, so she chose the military option and bought some popcorn for a soldier serving overseas. One woman gave us a donation. But most people said “no”.
After an hour of selling, it was another scout’s turn. Benjamin and I added up his sales for the morning. He sold almost two hundred dollars worth of popcorn.
On the way home I asked Benjamin how it felt to be rejected. He said it was tough. I followed up by asking him why he kept working so hard. He could have just sat behind the table and waited for some business to hopefully come to him. He said, “I wanted to raise as much money as I could for the Cub Scouts.”
I’m guessing a few hundred people said “no” to Benjamin. I know ten people said “yes”. Rejection happened over ninety percent of the time! The alternative is having zero people say “no”. It sounds pretty good until you realize in this scenario that zero people will also say “yes”. You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take in life. The wise learn that failure and rejection isn’t the opposite of success…it is part of success.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Assume that I am at a restaurant and there are four choices of pie. Each pie has an unlimited supply and cost the same to produce. Further assume that I am the only customer. Which pie should the restaurant charge me the most for? The Key Lime pie, of course, because it is the pie with the greatest demand. Although it doesn't cost any more to produce, I demand more Key Lime Pie than all others kinds of pie combined. If they charged twice as much for Strawberry Rhubarb pie than the Key Lime pie, chances are I would never eat the Strawberry Rhubarb pie.
A company who gets this: Apple. They own the market for MP3 players. The iPod is the Key Lime Pie of MP3 players. Apple knows that most customers prefer iPods over other models. So, they can price the iPod higher than their competitors. Today over seventy percent of portable music devices sold are made by Apple and Apple is making gobs of money off it's iPods.
A company who doesn't get this: General Motors. The company prices their vehicles similar to Toyota and Honda. (GM has bigger issues like labor costs, but I'll stick with preferences and demand for now.) What happens is the consumer buys Key Lime Pie (Honda and Toyota) since it costs the same as Cherry and Pumpkin Pie (Chevrolet and Buick). Then the restaurant has too much Cherry and Pumpkin Pie, so they offer special deals on the Cherry and Pumpkin Pie, like employee pricing and letting people pay for the pies interest free over the next five years. And they wonder why they are losing money.
In two weeks: What would happen if Apple raised its prices too high?
Monday, October 19, 2009
One of the points I was trying to make is that I wouldn't force people to hold hands (like during a prayer) or shake hands (like during our intermission) during the worship service. Other things I talked to her about were cleaning toys in the nursery, communion servers using hand sanitziers, and our food and beverage people using gloves.
I've visited a few kids in the hospital in the last week. It is serious stuff.
Read the article here.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. –James 4:13-14
ἀτμίς = tūphos = mist
Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. –Ecclesiastes 1:4
O God, remember that my life is but a breath. -Job 7:7
Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring. -Proverbs 27:1
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’” –Luke 12:16-20
Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever. –Frederick Buechner
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
The entire world, with one small exception, is composed of others. –John Maxwell
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? -Matthew 6:25-27
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Texas Tech pretty much owned Nebraska in all areas of the game. The game wasn't as close as the 31 to 10 score indicated. Even though the game was not good, it was a wonderful afternoon. I don't know the last time we spent eight hours together without kids.
The Psalmist writes:
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. -Psalms 84:10
Application: Even though the game wasn't the best, I was with Amber so it was a great day. Sometimes life isn't the best, but when we are in God's presence, it is a great day.
Friday, October 16, 2009
The couple is sitting across the table from each other at a restaurant. They may as well be a million miles apart. Being in close physical proximity doesn’t mean emotional closeness no more than sleeping in a garage makes you a car. They are busy. He is thinking about the day he had at work. He left office building, but for all intents and purposes, he is still there. She is looking around the restaurant. First at the fajitas when they are delivered to a neighboring table. Then she looks at a couple leaving together. As their food is delivered, he checks his email once more. She is sharing text messages with a friend.
They are in a relationship, but not on the best of terms. She decides to talk about some of the conflict. He doesn’t want to deal with this and gets defensive shortly after she starts talking. Their conversation is going nowhere fast. Both of them are more interested in winning, being right, whatever you want to call it. They talk. They are easily distracted.
The problem is that neither of them is listening to each other. They are not communicating. They are each seeking to be heard, but not to hear. To be understood, but not to understand. To be right and not to be loved or loving.
We’ve all seen these people before. We have probably even been one of these persons before, at least to some extent.
As we think about our relationship with God, it is helpful to look at these two people. Their relationship is struggling because they aren’t listening and they aren’t loving. To have a growing, flourishing relationship with God, the Bible talks about listening and loving:
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: "Listen!” (Mark 4:1-3a)
Jesus invites us to the water’s edge to listen to Him.
God also invites us to love:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Patience, humility, being open to God’s leading, justice, perseverance, hope, and endurance—these are the attributes that will help us in our relationships with other people and also the attributes that will help us in our relationship with God.
God wants us to listen to Him. I pray we respond with our ears, our eyes, our minds, and our hearts. God has created us to love Him.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Listen to the interview
Sunday, October 11, 2009
What if you were told to stop talking “at” God for a while, but instead to take a long, hard look at him before you said another word?
Then Job replied to the Lord, “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” -Job 40:3-5
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. -Romans 1:20
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. -Psalms 19:1-4
God is Holy
God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” -Exodus 3:14
God is Eternal
But you, O Lord, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to every generation….But you are always the same; you will live forever. -Psalms 102:12,27
God is All-Knowing
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes. -Hebrews 4:13
God is All-Powerful
For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. -Colossians 1:16
Saturday, October 10, 2009
5:44 (big uphill - a little ambitious!)
It was on a slushy gravel road.
The stage was supposed to be 3.58 miles. I got just over three miles on the Garmin. This was my better of the two runs today.
We had a blast. Four men and four women. Thanks Mike, John, Michael, Heather, Laura, Abby, and Anna for hanging out all day and doing some awesome running. Thanks Nicole for keeping us organized. We were in third place overall and leading the fourth place team by over ten minutes until the runner on our last leg got lost on a trail transition. :( Very frustrating but that is the way things happen sometime. He ran an extra 2.5 miles and we ended up getting passed by two teams and ended up in fifth place. Laura also ran an extra 2.4 miles on her leg and Vance had a little detour too -- so we totaled over 91 miles on an 86 mile race. We averaged 6:00 per mile for the 91 miles.
Can't wait to do it again next year.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. My weary nights are filled with pain…I cry to you God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you and you don’t bother to look. You have become cruel toward me. (Job 30:16-21)
When Job was done complaining, God had a few words of His own for Job. The words recorded are some of the most beautiful, powerful, and passionate Hebrew words ever written:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
I had a friend who recently ran a 100 mile race in just under 20 hours. So, an excellent ultra runner can run 86 miles in about 18 hours. Our team of four men and four women will finish in about 9 hours or half the time an individual could do it in.
It is an illustration that we can do more together than we can by ourselves. This is true in the church, in marriages, in other relationships, at work, and pretty much everywhere else.
- Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. -Ryunosuke Satoro
- Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. -Vince Lombardi
- If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
I'm thankful for all the people who are on my various teams. Lots of people have made and are making me better than I ever could have become by myself.
Think about these two questions:
- Who is adding value to your life?
- Whose life are you adding value to?
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I ate the burrito in about 3 minutes. About six or seven people were faster than me in the first part of the race. One guy ate it in way less than 2 minutes.
Then comes the mile. I ran well. I didn't know how much the giant burrito would slow me down. It wasn't much of an issue. I started off running about 5 minutes per mile. I passed everybody except the leader in the first half. With 500 meters to go, the leader had about 150 meters on me. I shut it down and settled for second place--no way I was going to catch him and I wasn't going to experience a reversal of fortune trying.
Burrito (3:00) + Mile Run (5:23) = Burrito Mile (8:23)
Post-run, I got the burrito taste out of my mouth with some ice cream from the Cold Stone Creamery and won't be eating a burrito anytime soon.