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Monthly Archives: July 2009

A clear sense of call

Is God calling me? Answering the question every leader asks, by Jeff Iorg, is a book I wish I had read 30 years ago. While it might not have changed the course of my life, it would have helped me better understand the process of how I got to where I am today. It would have helped me identify the key questions that needed to be answered on the front end of the process, rather than discover them in hindsight and through trial and error.

The book is designed to answer the question, “What is the call of God?” The author uses the following definition, “A call is a profound impression from God that establishes parameters for your life and can be altered only by a subsequent, superseding impression from God.”

The author explains that there is a universal call for all believers to serve God with their time, talents, and treasures. There is a general call of some believers to ministry leadership. There is also a specific call to a unique ministry assignment or position.

The author also explains that there is no “one-size-fits-all-call-experience.” God calls some people through sudden experiences, others through reasoned decisions, and still others through the prompting of others.

The book is practical, encouraging, and easy to understand. It reads more like a conversation with a good friend over a cup of coffee than a textbook. It should be must reading for every Bible College and seminary student. It is one that I will certainly recommend to those who are asking these questions.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Books, Mentors, Ministry, Personal growth

 

Man, it’s hot!

The temperature hit 102° at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday, July 29, 2009.

100 degrees

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in News stories, Photos, Seattle

 

The streets of Sammamish, WA

The city of Sammamish, WA does a nice job decorating the streets with hanging flowers and flags.

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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Flowers, Photos, Sammamish, WA

 

Don’t start fires

After weeks without rain and on a day where the thermometer is north of 90°, this sign posts an appropriate warning.

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Now, if I could only find a way to post it on the language center of my brain.

“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”  (James 3:5-6, ESV)

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in Personal growth, Photos

 

Comited to ecksellance

There are some stories you just cannot make up, and which are too much fun to leave alone.

“Errors mar new Rothschild/Schofield sign.”

A new highway sign in Wisconsin directing travelers to the cities of Rothschild and Schofield has every word misspelled except “Exit”.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2009 in Fun, News stories, Photos

 

Bolt the door!

How should a Christ follower respond when a member of a false religion knocks on the door? Should you accept the literature that is offered? Should you let them in the door? Should you dialogue with them about their beliefs? Does your approach change if they knock on the door of your business? What if they knock on the door of the church?

This past week, two Jehovah’s Witnesses came into the office of our church, United Evangelical Free Church of Seattle. They spoke with Anita, our Administrative Assistant, and explained that they were in the neighborhood distributing literature on how to understand the Bible. Would we like a copy of it? (I’m not sure if I was more amazed at their boldness or more curious if they really understood what the term “evangelical” meant.) Anita politely told them, “No, thanks,” and they went on their way.

She asked me later if I had wanted to talk with them. I responded, “I don’t give them the time of day.” In doing so, I’m not trying to be rude. I try to be cordial, but firm. A few weeks ago, two Mormons called at my home and asked if they could tell me about Jesus. I responded, “I believe in Jesus, but he is not the same Jesus you believe in. I am saved by grace through faith.”

Rather than rude behavior, my unwillingness to dialogue with them is based on the instructions in 2 John 7-11. In that passage, John writes,

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,  for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

If someone is seeking the truth, a Christ follower should give them as much time as needed. But if they are teaching false doctrine, we should limit our contact and interaction. Not a popular opinion in a PC world, but it is one which Scripture teaches.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2009 in Apologetics, Scripture, Theology

 

Mittens

Life is hard, being a cat. You spend your day trying to find the perfect “laying-out-in-the-sun-spot.”

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Then your owner comes along and picks you up.

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You think they want to give you a treat. But no, they want to put in a cage for the annual trip to the vet.

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The vet pokes, prods, gives you a shot, and to top it all off insults you by saying you’re overweight and need to lose one quarter of your weight. The indignity of it all!

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in Family & Friends, Photos

 

A contradiction in terms

I don’t like being pigeon-holed. I don’t appreciated being stereotyped. I don’t fit well into categories. I don’t enjoy taking personality assessments because I come away saying, “Yes, but . . .” “I agree with that description, but this one doesn’t apply.”

Now I know why. I am a certified “contradiction in terms,” who operates “out of pattern.” Truthfully, I found that fact very affirming and comforting.

This week I was introduced to the Golden Personality Type Profiler. It is similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, though it takes it a few steps further by identifying 36 additional facets of personality and behavior. Adding these facets allows individual personalities to emerge.

According to this tool, I am an ISTZ personality – Introverting, Sensing, Thinking, organiZing. I am dependable, responsible, practical, and accurate. (No revelations there.) But here’s where the fun, and contradictions, begin.

  • Introverting – While I tend to be quiet, reflective, and prefer a small group of close friends rather than a large group, I am socially bold–I am friendly and outgoing, comfortable leading, and enjoy public speaking.
  • Sensing – While I am concrete, practical, and slightly more conventional than visionary, I get bored with routine, seek new trends, and focus on change and the big picture.
  • Thinking – While I am rational and analytical, I am also compassionate and consider the feelings, beliefs, and needs of others. I am more relationship oriented than task oriented.
  • organiZing – While I am reliable, deliberate, and slightly more conforming than non-conforming, I am also slightly more open-ended than planned, which means I like to work things out as they unfold, which emphasizes adaptability and flexibility.

After reading through the results, I had two reactions. The first is that I felt affirmed. The results confirmed who I am and gave me insight how God has wired me. The second reaction was that I wanted to laugh. I found my contradictions humorous. Then again, that is who I am as well.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2009 in Personal growth

 

A vacation to get your heart pumping

Looking for an exciting vacation destination? Tired of the usual amusement park thrill rides? Want to do something none of your friends would ever dream of? Want to be the first on your block to experience new heights of excitement? A friend sent me this VACATION PLANNER. I’m more than happy to share it with you. Use it in good health.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2009 in Fun

 

If you don’t like change

“I hate change!”

It seems like I hear that phrase more and more.

My first response is to ask, “If you don’t like change, then why are you a Christian?” The Christian life is all about change. Romans 12:2 instructs us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 adds, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” Christians are to become more like Jesus Christ each and every day. That requires change and transformation on a daily basis.

My second response is to say, “If you don’t like change, then you will hate heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 explains, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” Without change, we cannot enter heaven.

Without heaping on the guilt overly much . . . when we resist change, we resist what God wants to do in our lives. Ouch!

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Personal growth, Scripture

 
 
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