Thursday, February 28, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Here is an excerpt from a letter he wrote Saturday night:
Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye
Thanks to Monday Morning Insight for posting this.
I hope you enjoy this classic clip of Larry in concert.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Words: Attributed to Dallan Forgaill, 8th Century (Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride); translated from ancient Irish to English by Mary E. Byrne, in “Eriú,” Journal of the School of Irish Learning, 1905, and versed by Eleanor H. Hull, 1912, alt.
Music: Slane, of Irish folk origin. Slane Hill is about ten miles from Tara in County Meath. It was on Slane Hill around 433 AD that St. Patrick defied a royal edict by lighting candles on Easter Eve. High King Logaire of Tara had decreed that no one could light a fire before Logaire began the pagan spring festival by lighting a fire on Tara Hill. Logaire was so impressed by Patrick’s devotion that, despite his defiance (or perhaps because of it), he let him continue his missionary work.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
To follow Christ is an invitation to come and die. - Bonnhoeffer
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. -Jim Elliott
"God loved a lost world and gave His only Son to be a missionary. I love a lost world and I am a missionary, heart and soul. In this service I hope to live and in it I wish to die." - Dr. David Livingstone
emoi gar to znv Xristos kai to apothaveiv kerdos - Paul
This idea has been on my mind constantly for many days now. Add to the mix that I have been reading Thomas a' Kempis' The Imitation of Christ and have written a paper on the book makes me wonder what God is trying to tell me. I just started reading in Matthew at chapter 10 and I get to verses 24-39 and I have to pause and ask God what is it He is bringing to my attention.
Obviously, I can do better as a disciple. I think I am prepared to die. I am not afraid to share the Gospel and am ready to do so.
"He who has found his life will lose it and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."
Father, show me Your will. Share with me Your truth. Whisper in My ear what I am to shout from the rooftops. Tell me in darkness what I am to proclaim in the light.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
To live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Jesus Christ through my coming to you again.
Paul was struggling with the idea of dying and being with Jesus immediately and wanting to stay and help the church in Philippi become stronger in their faith. Apparently Paul realized this was a selfish motive and he would stay to do the work Christ would have him do, yet "To live is Christ and to die is gain." He had the best of both worlds: To live for Christ is a life that is blessed and produces fruit for the kingdom; to die is immediate joy to be in the presence of God.
I have heard too many older Christians say that they have paid their dues and are now cruising through the latter stages of life. I don't see that concept in the Bible. I want to live every day for Christ as if it is my last. If I don't wake up next to my beautiful wife, then I will wake up face to face with my beautiful Savior.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I have heard pastors back in the day that wished they were anywhere else other than the pulpit, yet they preached the Gospel. There was no fire or determination in their delivery, yet they proclaimed the Good News. I have heard some pastors that fumbled through their message, not being very good orators, yet they preached the Word.
If Paul can rejoice that the Word is being preached, and again, he said rejoice, then what do I do with this text? Do I lay aside my cynicism about certain preachers? Do I rejoice when someone is apparently preaching heresy or at best, no Gospel at all? I am really struggling with this passage. (That is normally a good thing. I want to study the scriptures so I can understand God's Word better)
I am interested to here what some of you guys think (Peter, Colin, John, Rolland, Paul, Randy) and of course anyone can chime in.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Reds start spring training this Saturday and here is a look at how the starters and 25 man roster might look on opening day in 6 weeks. There are 27 men listed, so that means a couple of guys will start in Triple A. It also means if Lofton is signed, Keppinger, Freel or Hopper will probably go elsewhere. Volquez or Valenzuela may start out in Louisville as well.
SS - Alex Gonzalez
3B - Edwin Encarnacion
RF - Ken Griffey Jr
2B - Brandon Philips
LF - Adam Dunn
1B - Joey Votto
CF - Jay Bruce
C - David Ross/Javier Valentin
SS - Juan Castro
1B - Scott Hatteberg
IF - Jeff Keppinger
OF/IF - Ryan Freel
OF - Norris Hopper
OF - Kenny Lofton (Not signed yet, but a big rumor)
Friday, February 08, 2008
But You, Lord, are always the same. You remain forever, always good, just, and holy; doing all things rightly, justly, and holily, disposing them wisely. I, however, who am more ready to go backward than forward, do not remain always in one state, for I change with the seasons. Yet my condition quickly improves when it pleases You and when You reach forth Your helping hand. For You alone, without human aid, can help me and strengthen me so greatly that my heart shall no more change but be converted and rest solely in You. Hence, if I knew well how to cast aside all earthly consolation, either to attain devotion or because of the necessity which, in the absence of human solace, compels me to seek You alone, then I could deservedly hope for Your grace and rejoice in the gift of new consolation.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
If you will set yourself to what you should do, follow Christ in suffering and death, it will soon be better for you and you will find peace. Even if you should be carried up to the third heaven like Paul, you will not be kept from suffering tribulations. Jesus said about Paul, "I will show him many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
If it is your desire, therefore, to love Jesus and serve Him forever, you are bound to suffer.
To many this seems a hard saying, "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus." But it will be much harder to hear that last word, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
But those who now willingly hear and follow the word of the cross will not in the day of judgment fear the sentence of everlasting damnation. The sign of the cross will be in heaven when the Lord comes to judge. Then all those who in their lifetime conformed themselves to Christ crucified and were servants of the cross will draw near to Christ the judge with great confidence.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
In July we will be sending 21 people to Teresina, Brazil to build a church. We will also, in two separate locations, lead Vacation Bible School and have a 9 session training program for pastors and church workers. We are very excited about these extensions to our normal church building activities. Of course, there will also be several preaching opportunities to prepare for.
Please keep these ministry opportunities in prayer and I will comment on them later in the year.
I have read many of the books on that list and the main problem I have with some of them is the lack of scripture that is used or mentioned. Brother Lawrence, for example, does not even allude to scripture in Practice in the Presence of God. I have a problem with that. If someone is wanting to have such a close relationship with God, then God's word would be a big part of that spiritual journey.
That is why I like Kempis. He uses scripture in every section and acknowledges the need to study scripture. Here are some of his quotes concerning scripture:
Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought for in reading the holy scriptures.
Each word of the Scriptures must be read with the same spirit in which it was written.
We should search the Scriptures for those things that will give us spiritual benefits rather that superior speech.
If you desire to benefit from the Scriptures, read with humility, simplicity and faithfulness - never with a desire to become known as a Bible scholar.
In each case, he will quote or paraphrase a part of scripture then give a comment on that passage. I wonder how he would have been as a preacher. I guess each section of his books may be considered a sermon since each section is thematic.
Anyways, I am enjoying this reading and will be writing the paper next week and putting the presentation together (i.e. powerpoint, music, drama, whatever I decide to do). I am toying with the idea of presenting in the first person, acting out Thomas a' Kempis giving a presentation of his life and work to a modern audience.