Monday, September 27, 2010

What Churches Should Expect From Their Leaders

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order,
 and appoint elders in every town as I directed you. Titus 1:5

I have been studying Titus 1:5-9 in preparation for teaching it at the chapel. I came across a great post today from Eric Redmond entitled: When a Pastor Falls. Follow the link to read the whole thing--he's few brief quotes:

First, churches should expect their pastors to be men who walk in holiness before God. All of us are called to be holy, for our God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). Pastors in particular are expected to be men who meets a full composite of qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-8; Tit. 1:5-9). Many of these qualifications concern the pastor’s personal holiness: “self-controlled,” “not a drunkard,” “not a lover of money,” “upright,” and “holy.” These qualifications should characterize the pastor throughout his tenure. This is the only way in which he can remain above the reproach of his people.

Second, churches should expect their pastors to be men who model Christ. Again, all of us are called to follow Christ and our Lord’s walk before God the Father. But pastors have many opportunities to set an example of Christ for others to follow. We must be able to say to our people, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). We are to “set an example to the believers . . . in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).

Believers are commanded to consider how their leaders live and imitate them (Heb. 13:7). If our people cannot see an example of Christ in us—including keeping our bodies pure from immorality—they cannot follow Christ by following us. To put it differently, our stead as pastors is no greater than our ability to say, “You can please Christ; just follow me and I will show you how to do it.” We have no credibility or meaningful role in evangelizing sinners if our message only is “God can change and keep you, but he cannot do the same for me.”

Third, churches should expect their pastors to be men who keep their marriage vows faithfully. Pastors must be “[husbands] of one wife” (I Tim. 3:2). The man of God must be one who keeps his marriage vows. This means that he should not be a man of remarriage, adultery, pornography watching, or bisexual and/or down-low relationships, for each of these items stands in contrast to fidelity in marriage to one woman. This is an issue where lesser understandings and disobedience to this Scripture are harmful to our churches...

Refocus Pictures After You Capture Them

If you're not interested in the how-do-they-do-that of the technology, skip forward to about 1:30 in the video to watch in in action.

Essentially, multiple images are captured as part of each "picture" you take. Using software currently in development, you can refocus on any portion of the picture that you'd like.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010


Anyone know anything about these mushrooms that have cropped up in our yard this fall?




Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Man Born Blind: That the Works of God Should be Made Manifest In Him

Then he replied, 'Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me.'

"Suddenly, I sprang to my feet and flung myself prostrate before him. Imploring his mercy and help, I remember how I turned my sightless eyes upon him, stretching out my arms in entreaty. Would he be moved by the cry of a forlorn beggar? The favors of the great were freely bestowed only upon those who could make some adequate recompense. And I--naught could I offer by way of bribe, inducement, or reward. Thus it flashed across my darkened mind how vain and futile such a plea as mine.

But even while I thus reasoned, I felt his hands pressing moist clay gently upon my eyelids. Then came the commanding word, 'Go wash in the pool of Siloam.' Without a word, unquestioning the sincerity of his implied promise, I began to thread my way through the streets. That was indeed a test both of patience and faith--patience, for you, to whom eyes are not as precious as the costliest gems that ever merchant found, cannot know how hard is the path of the sightless; and my faith also was tried, for, evil though I know now those thoughts to be, as I wandered on, doubts arose in my mind like the fever-laden vapors of the swamp. What could it mean? Was it only a pretense? Perhaps it was to rid himself of my importunity, and while I pursued some foolish quest, I was losing what little gain might otherwise be mine.

Then my heart rose in revolt against such unworthy thoughts. Had I trained myself to read the soul in a man's voice in vain? I knew that Jesus would not, yea could not, mock one in such a plight. And thus to Siloam's waters I came. As I stood by the edge and laved my eyes, lo! it was as though the curtains of night had been suddenly torn aside. There lay the pool like a silver mirror, the blue sky above my head, and people leisurely passing along the highway beyond. It was all so unbelievable, so wonderful!

I now stumbled on my way to the synagogue. My brain was set on fire. Two things I must do. First I must render thanks to the Almighty Benefactor of the race for the mercy that was mine. Then I must search out him to whom I owed so much. Even though none might tell me where he was, though I did not know his face, I had but to hear once more that soul-compelling voice to find my Master and Lord.


And from that distant day to this hour I have grown more fully thankful that to me was the promise of our ancient prophet Isaiah, fulfilled: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.' Yea, a living faith in Christ is, as I have said, like our noble river. But a superficial pretense of religion may best be likened to yonder Dead Sea. It receives all to itself; it gives forth nothing. It takes the bounty of God; it turns naught to account. Therefore it is dead. For in that sea no fish cleave the waters. No luscious vegetation clothes its shores. No bird will even wing its way across its sullen expanse. Rightly is it called dead. But is not the hollow profession of religion also dead and profitless? Tell me, do I not speak true? And what, therefore shall our own faith be likened to? To see, as this world reckons wisdom, is to be blind. But to be responsive to the touch of Christ, to obey his bidding, is, verily, to see indeed!"

~ The Glorious Galilean, J.W.G. Ward

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zacchaeus, Once the Avaricious, Now the Aspiring

'Behold, Lord,' I blurted out, ' the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any many by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.'

"My voice quavered with emotion. I dared not look at the Master. But instinctively I knew that he was not condemning my baseness unduly. He was glad that I had turned from it to the nobler way. That I desired to do above all else. By making a renunciation of half of what I had acquired, I sought to prove my penitence and detestation of my wrongdoing. But that was easier than acknowledging before others that I was no better than a common thief. And all who heard me that night perceived that that was how I rated myself.

You may know that, according to our Law, when one has inadvertently wronged another, he is required to repay the sum, with on-fifth added thereto. In the case of a convicted thief, four times the full sum must be paid. And in that pure gaze stood all my sins remembered, and all my guilt lay bare. Jesus knew what it had cost me publicly to avow my shame. He must have done so. A heart so good and so sensitive, would understand as none other could. He turned those piercing eyes upon me again. I was now constrained to look him in the face. A smile of supreme satisfaction irradiated his countenance as he said, 'This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.'

I could scarcely believe my ears. Why should he dignify me with the term, A son of Abraham'? While it was meant to encourage one, yet it humbled one to the dust. But when he said that his purpose was to save the lost, and that even the most perverse were not beyond his succor, my heart beat high with hope. Gladly I felt he had not failed; the lost had been found, yea, what I had bartered away, even my birthright, had been restored to me.

Thus, in grateful devotion, have I sought to live unto his glory. I cannot tell if I have wholly succeeded. It has been hard, and many indeed the jesting words and the stinging taunts I have had to bear. They have cut me to the soul like whips of steel. And yet, it seems to me, no man can live his life in vain. His example, his influence, as well as the countless opportunities of doing some service for his fellows, abide in their effects long after life itself has ended. Thus do I counsel all men everywhere not to lose sight of the eternal riches. Thus would I point them to the pure delight and deep contentment of spirit that come to those who will, as the sacred Prophet says, 'Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.'"

~ The Glorious Galilean, J.G.W. Ward

The Glorious Galilean

I'm enjoying a book I purchased off of eBay entitled The Glorious Galilean by J.W.G. Ward. While I'm reading it, I'll post a few snippets. This is from the forward:

The story of the divine Son of God is so familiar that many people have almost entirely lost the sense of reverent wonder. On the other hand, there are those who have so idealized the central Figure of the Christian faith that Christ has become for them both shadowy and unreal. It is admittedly difficult to grasp the fact that he suffered and sorrowed, that he knew weariness and disappointment, that he walked the rough paths of daily duty as we do. In a word, we have well-nigh forgotten that he actually lived our life on this earth, and that the people whom he blessed were flesh and blood like ourselves.

In these pages, with fullest reverence, our object has been to make these men and women live again. We have sought their story, as they might tell it, in order that a keener sense of the real divine-human Christ may be awakened. Taking the scriptural records as the basis, we have allowed imagination to play around the facts in the earnest hope that a richer faith in the Living Lord may emerge. It is with this purpose that we send these studies forth on their wider mission.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Funny? We've Got Funny!

You just never know what these two are up to!

Chloe and Carly

Do You Like My Hat?

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Oh, what words I hear Him say!
Happy place! so near, so precious!
May it find me there each day;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
I would look upon the past;
For His love has been so gracious,
It has won my heart at last.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Where can mortal be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows,
And, when weary, find sweet rest;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
There I love to weep and pray;
While I from His fullness gather
Grace and comfort every day.

Bless me, O my Savior, bless me,
As I sit low at Thy feet;
Oh, look down in love upon me,
Let me see Thy face so sweet;
Give me, Lord, the mind of Jesus,
Make me holy as He is;
May I prove I’ve been with Jesus,
Who is all my righteousness.

It Is Not Worn Out. It Is Not Obsolete.

Let us never doubt for a moment, that the preaching of Christ crucified – the old story of His blood, righteousness, and substitution – is enough for all the spiritual necessities of all mankind. It is not worn out. It is not obsolete. It has not lost its power. We need nothing new – nothing more broad and kind – nothing more intellectual – nothing more effectual. We need nothing but the true bread of life, distributed faithfully among starving souls. Let men sneer or ridicule as they will. Nothing else can do good in this sinful world. No other teaching can fill hungry consciences, and give them peace. We are all in a wilderness. We must feed on Christ crucified, and the atonement made by His death, or we shall die in our sins.

~ J.C. Ryle via J.C. Ryle Quotes

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lo's Birthday

We enjoyed dinner at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant (one of Lois' favorites) and then celebrated back home with an ice-cream cake from Terry and Irene!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Adoption Day Fun at Thunder Road

We're enjoying Grandma and Grandpa Morgan being in town for a couple of days. We spent some time today outside at Thunder Road in honor of Sam's "Adoption Day". The official "day" when he became ours is in July, but we couldn't celebrate due to some poor weather conditions. But we had lots of fun today!

Sam's Baseball Game

The other night Samuel was busy for a long time in the living room. When he finished, we tried to figure out what it was that he was playing. Then Lois recognized that he had created a baseball game with his army men.

Sleep-Over at Grandma and Grandpa's House

The grandkids were at Grandma and Grandpa's house for a sleep-over last week. They had a lot of fun! 

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the quiet night at home!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stephen Had Lunch Duty

Google Reader suggested the One-Man Peanut Gallery blog the other day. 

I've been reflecting a bit on the first post I read on Michael's site. Here's a little snippet, but do read the whole post--it is well worth it.

Stephen's story in the New Testament isn't very long, but he makes quite an impression in only two chapters. This guy was such a powerful speaker that his most learned opponents "could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking", and resorted to lying about him to try to shut him up. When he was brought before the rulers, he delivered an incredibly bold, convicting, smoldering sermon that left the listeners with only two choices - repent, or kill him. They chose poorly, and Stephen became the first martyr for Jesus. Unwilling to be silenced or compromise the truth, he stands forever as a model to those who would rather die than disown their Lord.

Yet despite his obvious oratory gifts, what do we first see him doing in the Jerusalem church? He's in charge of making sure that when food is distributed to widows, the Jews don't get more than the Gentiles. This incredible preacher is assigned lunch duty, and he does it without complaint.