It’s a Thirteen Thursday…Kind of Day

Being that it’s thirteen Thursday…I’ve decided to reflect on thirteen of my favorite things.

1. Favorite book of the Bible…Roman’s – it’s such a full bodied book. It helps me try and understand God in his sovereignty, his omnipotence, his holiness and righteousness. It brings me great peace to know of God’s grace. And I’m glad to know that my God is so big that I will never fully understand him. Who can fully comprehend the concepts of free will and God’s sovereign will as it applies to our salvation. But Paul wrestles with these concepts and stretches your mind and spirit. By the way…starting in September…BSF Bible Study Fellowship is studying the book of Romans. So if you are interested…sign up…it’s an awesome study.

2. Favorite book of the Old Testament…Genesis – Again…like Romans…this book is so deep. You could read it for a lifetime and never get bored. Each time I read Genesis…I learn new things. And the people/characters in Genesis…are those whom the Judeo Christian faith started with.

3. Favorite New Testament Character…well now that’s a toss up between Paul and Peter. Paul…what an incredible man…so transformed by Jesus. From one persecuting and killing Christians…to one who took the gospel message to the world.

4. Favorite Apostle…Peter. Okay…I solved my dilemma by choosing Peter in this category. Why Peter…because I feel most like him. Bold enough faith to step out of the boat and try and walk on water…yet sinking when he gets his eyes off Jesus and on the storm instead. Peter…who at one moment proclaims that Jesus is the Christ…and the next is telling Jesus may it never be…about him going to the cross. I feel most like a Peter. Good intentions…love my Lord…and have a big mouth in which my feet can be frequently found.

5. Okay…how about favorite coffee? Starbucks Breakfast Blend. Smooth, steady…but light. But in no way wimpy.

6. Favorite coffee place and drink? That’s easy…the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Now really…must I limit myself to one drink? Favorite coffee drink…a large vanilla latte with soy milk, an extra shot…extra hot. Another treat…is the white chocolate latte…oh yeah. But why limit yourself to just one? Favorite tea latte…Blueberry Pomegranate Tea Latte…with soy of course. And of course a scone to go along with it…blueberry or cherry please. Really…honest and truly…you deserve a treat today…so you head on over to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

7. Favorite movie…shucks…I don’t know for sure. There are certain movies I could watch over and over again…and never grow tired. Rudy…just love that movie. Groundhog Day…As Good As It Gets…A Wonderful Life…You’ve Got Mail…Apollo 13. Well I guess there won’t be just one favorite movie. So on to the next favorite.

8. Favorite radio show…Dennis Prager. Wonderful…and I really feel like I am getting an education. Between the wisdom and knowledge of Dennis and that of his guests I can’t help but learn and grow. (Now Dennis has annoyed me of late over his flaking on his subscription service…but dog gone it…still love the man.)

9. Favorite author…that’s a little bit hard. But if push comes to shove…and I had to pick one author’s books to have with me on a deserted island…I’d pick Jan Karon’s books. Positively delightful…simple and easy…yet profound. When reading her books…you feel like you could step into the pages and onto the streets of Mitford…and make friends with characters therein. Lovely.

10. Favorite TV or Radio Ministry…Charles Stanley with In Touch Ministries. He has heart and love for God. A high view of God…and a love, care and compassion for man. Rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

11. Favorite church? Oh come on…that’s not even a contest. Of course it’s Kindred Community Church…and all the wonderful people that are members…and attend. I extend a personal invitation to any of you who would like to attend. Click on the above link for service times and directions.

12. Favorite Pastor…my dear beloved former Pastor…Chuck Obremski. Passionate for God and his Word. No nonsense…loved truth…and loved people. He was real…and shared openly and honestly…both the good and the bad. I look forward to seeing him in heaven one day soon.

13. Favorite attribute of God…grace. Why? Because I am in such need of an outpouring of grace each day. And I also need to learn that attribute as well so I may extend it to others.

Proud vs. Broken…how do you rate?

Continuing to look at the list from Revive Our Hearts that compares the attributes of persons who are proud verses those who are broken.

Proud = Concerned with being respectable, with what others think; work to protect their own image and reputation.

Broken = Concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; are willing to die to their own reputation.

Proud = Find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others.

Broken = Willing to be open and transparent with other as God directs.

It’s always important to keep in mind God’s perspective.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17

“He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34

Proud vs. Broken

At Bible Study Fellowship tonight…our teaching leader Terri shared a very convicting list…or self inventory. She only read a few items on the list…but oh my goodness. When I got home…I did a quick internet search and found the list.

I think I will focus on one or two items at a time…so as to better evaluate myself. I hope that you will do the same. If you would like to view the full list…please click on the link to Revive Our Hearts Radio.

Proud People = Quick to blame others

Broken People = Can accept personal responsibility and see where they are wrong in the situation

Proud People = Unapproachable or defensive when criticized

Broken People = Receive criticism with a humble and open spirit

The Red, Red Robin

“God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.”
P. D. James

My friend and former co-work Len Thielen sent some terrific photos he took following a recent snow storm in Illinois. My favorite…the robin. I keep threatening to show up on Len and Phyllis’ doorstep to visit. I do so miss the snow. Thanks Len…for sharing these great photos!

Stress…God Spot

When reflecting about stress…and what’s its like for me…I describe it as having a full plate and people keep coming along and adding to that already full plate. Unaware of what else I have pending and the urgency of it. In other words…they can be rather oblivious to anything other than their request.

At the Women’s Retreat at Kindred Community Church this Saturday…one of the topics was stress. As I reflected further on stress I realized…that on occasion God may add to my full plate. Unlike people he is fully aware of what’s on that plate…yet he may choose to put more on it. Why? Perhaps the reasons vary. But I think that one aim that God may have in doing so is to encourage me to turn to him. To recognize that I am unable to carry the load on my own. Another reason…may be to get me to wake up to the fact that I’m carrying loads that he never intended for me to carry. I’m taking on undue burdens.

Have you ever offered to help someone…and can plainly see they need assistance? Yet…they refuse your help…even when it’s genuinely offered with good intentions.
How many times do I fail to accept God’s help?

How many times am I oblivious to the cares and concerns of others…when I go to them and need something? Am I solely focused on what I need…and not see what pressure, stress or needs they have?

Revelation, Light, Life and an Invitation

By Jason Whalen – 3/26/06

This week Bob Kraning was away…and we had guest speaker/Pastor, Jason Whalen give this morning’s message. Jason is on staff at Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton. It was pleasure hearing Jason speak…he has a passion for God…is well rooted and ground in the Bible and has a high view of God. Jason’s message was from John 1:1-3. Below are notes taken during Jason’s sermon.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” – John 1:1-3

Truth came to life. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Chuck Obremski’s life was a picture of these words. These are words not only to say…but words to live by. The gospel really works.

Some things in this life seem muddy and unclear. But God’s word is clear. Some things…God’s word and the truth’s therein are iron clad. The glory of God is seen throughout the gospel. The gospel…the Bible…that’s clear…its iron clad.

Now some example of not so clear messages…can be found in church bulletins:

  • The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus”
  • Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
  • This evening at 7 P.M. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
  • Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

Unlike humans…God never makes mistakes…or gives an unclear message. God desires that we his bride, the church of Christ, grow.

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the word (logos):
1) – Revelation…what has been revealed.
2) – Life and light….purpose…a certain kind of life and light.
3) – Invitation

Logos = A principle originating in classical Greek thought which refers to a universal divine reason, immanent in nature, yet transcending all oppositions and imperfections in the cosmos and humanity. An eternal and unchanging truth present from the time of creation, available to every individual who seeks it. A unifying and liberating revelatory force which reconciles the human with the divine; manifested in the world as an act of God’s love in the form of the Christ.

1) Revelation
Logos is God. God of eternity past…he has never not been. Created everything that has been made. Why didn’t God say that in the beginning was Christ?

Logos…the absolute elite. All meaning, reason and ideals. The pinnacle…the source of everything.

Jesus invests the word logos into a person. Jesus is the ultimate reality in all the universe. But he is knowable today.

The logos entered time and space. John 1:10 “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” Something new has begun…a new thing.

God spoke to us through his Son. Jesus has made God known to us. No one has ever seen or heard God. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”

Do you take these concepts and implant them in your heart? Jesus is prepared to see you through any circumstance that you face.

He created time and space. Colossians 1:17 – “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” He created the universe and sustains it. He holds the universe together and even our very lives and family.

2) Light and life…he came to give us a certain kind of life…a life in him. John 1:4-5 – “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

Life…Bios and Zoë.
Bios – biological life…air, blood, oxygen.
Zoë life…experience, vitality and passion.

We have a choice…to live a transforming life…or one in which we just go through life. In Mere Christianity…C. S. Lewis talks about the difference between Bios and Zoë.

We can live a life of vitality and significance…one of purpose…large. Bios or Zoë life…it’s the difference between looking at a picture…and living a real life and actual experience.

Jesus has given us this life. Before we were under the weight of the law or lived under paganism.

Light verses darkness. The darkness has not understood it (the light). Did not grasp it nor conquer it.

Darkness – danger, aimless, disorientation and fear.

But God…gave us a light that would fill our lives. Light…safety, purpose, pathway, peace and confidence that settles in us. An intelligence…not to make you smarter…but one that can change your life. We are to be light bearers. The darkness is expelled because of the light. No longer living in confusion, anxiety or difficulty.

3) Invitation

John 1:10 – “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” The world did not recognize him…and did not receive him. He gave us the right…the authority to become the children of God.

Beginning…the ultimate reality…God himself. He created everything, came to give light and life. He can do this with you…only he can do this…not you. You are a child of God. You are a child of purpose.

John 1:13 – “13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Need more clarity in your life? Invite Jesus to shine more light into your life…more clarity…to give you something greater.