Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How's Your Stillness?

"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

There's not a lot in this culture that promotes this kind of stillness. Most of the time it's MORE FASTER.

It is interesting to note the popularity of yoga -- an exercise and meditation system that promotes s-l-0-w. I suspect this is because it's an appealing alternative to MORE FASTER. I'm ok with the physical yoga exercises, but not the meditative side, because they encourage you focus on yourself and on nothingness. This is not Christian meditation at all. Christian meditation is focusing on the Lord through His Word, His Creation, His beauty.

Stillness is not laziness, men, but rest in Christ. Stillness takes some startup energy, and some focusing energy so we don't run off with every distraction. Stillness is necessary for us to be the spiritual leaders in our homes and communities that we need to be. Stillness before the Lord will recharge our souls and give us the deep wisdom that we need.

I encourage you to create space and time for this stillness before the Lord. If you won't do it for yourself, then do it for your wife and children and the people around you.

Friday, February 17, 2006

You Aren't Going to Compete Against These Guys, Are You?


Compare with our instruction in Ephesians 5:25-33:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Making Prayer Part of Your Regular Family Life

A brother pointed me to this nice list of 15 ways to weave prayer into your regular family life. Recommended. As our children get to be older teens, it's encouraging to see their capacity and capacity for prayer develop. We're the spiritual leaders, men, so set the pace!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day!

Go the extra distance and make today special for your sweetie, men. Remember, you married up.
Free Bible Teaching Tips Collection

Some of you are Bible teachers -- check out this free ebook of collected teaching tips at my other blog: http://teachtochangelives.blogspot.com
This is Shameful

Al Gore's speech in Saudi Arabia is shameful. I don't know what else to call it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I'm Not An Economist, But I Blog Like One on TV

I think part of the reason economic news is rarely given to the population at large is because we can't handle more than sound-bytes. And few of us have a good framework to analyze and understand the little bits of news we get.

There's plenty of handwringing and noise over the US trade deficit. So I found this short article helpful to understanding how to think about it intelligently.
Evangelicals and Environmentalists

There is growing media attention on prominent evangelical leaders who are pushing "pro-environment" platforms and legislation. Steven Hayward has an excellent analysis of the past history of the groups, and how they are finding common ground.
Did You Know This Information?

I was interested to learn that the cartoons caricaturizing Muhammed published in Denmark that have led to riots in four countries were printed ... five months ago. And reprinted a week later in a major Egyptian paper, without causing a ruckus.

It wasn't until Danish Imam Abu Laban worked at, augmented the original cartoons with fabricated pictures, and enlisted Al Jazeera and leaders in the Middle East, that the riots came.

Five months.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Book Recommendation: The Barbarian Way

I thoroughly enjoyed The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus and recommend it.

He encourages us to pursue the passionate, follow-Christ-anywhere, dangerous life, rather than "safe," domesticated, civil Christian practice. He made me think pretty hard about why I prefer certain things (because they make me feel more comfortable, frankly, not because they're biblical or in line with the Gospel).

Here's one tidbit I just love: "...a group of buzzards waiting around together to feast on leftover carnage is called a committee. ... This explains so much of what's going on in churches -- a lot of committees waiting around to live off human carnage."
Uproar Over Cartoons

People are killing, and being killed, over cartoon portrayals of Muhammad.

I overheard one person discussing this issue who said, "Why are they so angry? They should just grow up and be more mature. They're like little kids insulted over the smallest things at recess."

Actually, I think it's more accurate to characterize them as religious zealots with ambitions. Are these Muslims acting differently than Saul of Tarsus and the pious Pharisees in the first century? This is a logical outcome of religion, and we've seen example after example throughout history. The answer is a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.

John Piper has written wisely about the difference between Muhammad and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ bore all the insults, the lies, even the cross -- it was an essential part of His work to save us. There is no salvation in Muhammad.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tough Love

The best thing I can say about the free elections of Hamas to power in the nascent nation of Palestine is this: Hamas doesn't lie to cover up their true intent, as Fatah did. What you hear is what you get.

Charles Krauthammer makes an excellent argument for isolating the Palestinians from all recognition and aid, until they choose (through elections) peace and coexistence with Israel.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Don't Forget About Valentine's Day!

Your sweetie is expecting you to do something nice for Valentine's Day.

I know how focused you get on work, hobbies, etc. Your corpus corpolosum (the part of the brain connecting the two hemispheres) lost the majority of its neurons before you were born, so you're MALE and you can only focus on one thing at a time!

Your sweetie is expecting you to do something nice for Valentine's Day.

I know there are 1634 items on your want-to do list, plus a few hundred more on your should-do list, plus a batch of items, and you need to work on the taxes.

Your sweetie is expecting you to do something nice for Valentine's Day.

I know that you have over a week left, and even if you wanted to order something online it could get here pretty fast.

Your sweetie is expecting you to do something nice for Valentine's Day.

Plan to treat her "extra" special.

Your sweetie is expecting you to do something nice for Valentine's Day.

And remember that she is the woman God has given you. Every day should be like Valentine's Day. But it's not, so I really, really encourage you to get going on a Valentine's Day suprise for her.
The US Congress or the Church?

Perry Noble has some excellent insights from his visit to the State of the Union Address. As impressive and powerful as the US Congress is, the Church is the most powerful institution in human history. "The church--she's beautiful...and through her God wants to change the world. The government can pass programs that will assist in times of need--however, they cannot powerwash a soul or give an eternal hope for the future...but the church can. "