Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Day of the LORD

A Lenten reading:

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming.
It is close at hand-

2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was of old
nor ever will be in ages to come.

12 "Even now," declares the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning."

13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.

14 Who knows? He may turn and have pity
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the LORD your God.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly.

16 Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.

17 Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
weep between the temple porch and the altar.
Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?' "

What do you make of verses like this? I know they were written for a people about 2500 years ago in a very different place. But why were these words preserved as scripture for believers in the LORD?

Maybe the key lies in the possibility of vv. 12-14. That if we return to him with all of our heart, that the calamity can be avoided. I'm going to camp out there for a bit in my prayers. Last night at the Ash Wednesday service I attended, we were challenged to examine our own lives to see if the sins of Pilate were in us? Were we in too much of a hurry? Did we fear loss of our own prestige when we ignored the words of the Lord Jesus. Are we unwilling to look at his truth?

Those are hard words to chew on, and a bitter meal to digest. But that is the beauty of Lent. It's a season of reflecting on what Christ has done for us. It's a time to measure ourselves against what God expects of us. It's a time of sacrifice and penitence for us.

This year, let the LORD speak to you during Lent. Quiet yourself before him and let his words penetrate your inner being as you "seek first the Kingdom of God" in all that you do. I won't promise you exorbitant blessings for doing it. But you will draw closer to the one who loves you, created you, and redeemed you.

Join me in this prayer focus. I think God has something to tell us, individually and corporately.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A good source for fasting information

If you are thinking about fasting during Lent, here is a good source of fasting tips and information that you will find useful.

I encourage each of you to think about fasting for a portion of the Lenten season.


Sadly, this is all many people get at home and at work.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lent? Fasting?

Are any of you feeling led to take on a Lenten Fast? If so, I would like to share that experience with you. I'm at a point where I feel like God is deconstructing my life and I cannot understand what he is doing. So many things are in flux, and I'm just tired of trying to hold this all together.

I'm going to use my fast to wait upon the Lord for answers to whatever it is He is trying to do. I'm praying for some clarity and resolution, one way or another.

If you want to join me in a fast, drop me a note. You don't have to divulge details. But the encouragement of knowing others are in there with me will help.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

Note: I'm not making light of the gruesome death of a human being.

How can a guy who creates a TV station designed to counter negative portrayals of Muslims think that beheading his wife is a good idea? This is a disgusting story, and one that makes me ill just thinking about it.

Somewhere along the way, he lost sight of his goal if he thought this was going to help.

I'll be praying for his soul and for mercy for her soul.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I've had projects like this

The drunken monkeys with a jigsaw puzzle is just a great mental image. Thanks Dilbert. These videos are available for free as podcasts via Itunes.

Cue up the Barry White tunes

I can't even begin to think that this is a good idea. I know zoos need to attract winter business, but this?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I can empathize with this guy

I felt like this at the end of my most recent 2-week modules at Nazarene Theological Seminary. My Hermeneutics class about made my head explode.

Friday, February 06, 2009

This is pretty funny

I'll confess I've never watched the Ellen Degeneres show, but this clip is pretty funny. I know people like her caller. Heck, some of them are relatives.

Free copy of Vintage church

Bible Study Magazine and Mars Hill are giving away 20 copies of Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Church. Not only that, but they are also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and a copy of their Bible Study Library software! Enter to win on the Bible Study Magazine Mark Driscoll page, then take a look at all the cool tools they have to take your Bible study to the next level!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

One church I will not be attending

Just click on the player.

Something to keep an eye on

The Obama administration is reviewing the faith-based initiative created by President Bush. How he handles this will give some insight into how much power the and other left-wing groups have in his administration.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I truly do miss his work

Berkley Breathed is a tremendous artist who created one of my all-time favorite characters in Opus. Sadly, he has retired Opus and moved him on to his eternal reward (details are on his website). This is one of my favorite comics from the Bloom County era. I may go pull those books out of the attic and revisit the genius that was Bloom County.
For those unfamiliar with Bloom County, Opus is the penguin.


It's no wonder that our federal budget is out of kilter

When you are this bad at math, and you are the Speaker of the House, what else can happen?

FYI - there are only slightly more than 300 million Americans total.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Something worth revisiting

If you never read anything else that I write, this series was probably the most lucid series of posts that I have composed. Plus, if the networks can get away with repeats, so can I :)

#1 Missional Churches

#2 Missional Churches

#3 Missional Churches

#4 Missional Churches

#5 Missional Churches

Concluding thoughts

Something fun to do

Go here and enter your last name. It will show you a map of where your last name is frequently found and how your name ranks nationally.