Monthly Archives: December 2008

Good News on the Last Day

Well, got a call today and I have an interview next week. Great news for the last day of the year. Great news for anyone who is looking for a job. I have been trying to figure out all day what I am going to say here. I got nuthin’! I am very excited to have an interview as it is the second one since I started looking for a job in August!…AUGUST! So, i am going to go enjoy my evening of taking down the Christmas tree with my wife and leave you with my favorite blogs as of late.

Here in no particular order are the 2008 whatsthemotivation blogs of the year awards…

This is my buddy Josh’s blog. Doesn’t blog every day which is quite nice for the reader. He has good insights and always quotes great sources. Introduces many things to me as well. Check it out. http://eucatastrophe101.wordpress.com/ 

Curt Schilling’s Blog…nuff said go sox! http://38pitches.weei.com/

This is a project put out by the Southern Baptists…wait stop…..give it a chance…another friend of mine writes for it! Some are cool…some…not so much but anything by Jonathan Frank is great…he’s the one who looks liek an American Eagle model in his picture…sorry Jonathan. http://josiahroad.com/

This is just a cool blog…check it out. http://creationproject.wordpress.com/

You can not read this without loving your man self…if you’re a woman…let me know how it works for yah? http://artofmanliness.com/

Ok here you go. If there has to be a winner…this is it. My wife and I CAN NOT read this blog without hurting ourselves laughing. If you have grown up in the church…you will laugh your Crested Butte off! If you haven’t…you will finally get all the inside jokes. This is a must read on the same level as Brave New World and Pilgrim’s Progress! You will thank me for this. Unless you don’t like sarcasm…in which case…ughhhh…Otte you won!  http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/

There, my year end list. I haven’t posted enough to have a best of posts…and people don’t comment on my site…it’s ok I don’t cry about it…much. Enjoy your evening and drink up…you can read all about Christians and drinking on that last blog.  I’m still laughing….

-Fine

Ok, I’m not done…just a note to say that when I spell checked this upon completion…every instance of ‘blog’ was underlined…so my blog doesn’t recognise the word blog! Hmmm

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You Stink!

The story goes that once there was a little girl who wanted to welcome her new teacher to school. As everyone said hello and introduced themselves, this little girl pushed her way in and handed the teacher a bouquet of flowers. As the teacher knelt down to thank her, the girl spoke as the room hushed to hear what she would say. “These flowers will soon die but you will smell forever!”

I can’t imagine being there trying to hold back my laughter as this girl so honestly said what she thought was right to honor this teacher. The question then becomes, “Do you smell?”

The girl was right, her teacher WILL smell forever. The question isn’t whether she will small or not but whether she will smell beautifully or…not so much. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says that we will be witnesses; not might be, not could be, not even should be, but WILL be. The question isn’t whether we smell but how well we smell. The question isn’t whether we are a witness but whether we are a good one or not. Jesus does not give us the option of sitting this one out. We can not fill out a witness exempt form. We WILL be witnesses. Now, anyone who has read C.S. Lewis knows that we are not called to be expert witnesses in everything. In fact we will never get to the point in our lives where we could be called upon as THE definitivewitness on anything. We can only speak of what we know and that is that we once were blind but now we see! John 9:25 is our outline for success.

When you are dead and gone you will still smell forever. Your witness will continue even when you are not here to control it. It is a very humbling thought.

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Pulling the Strings

Been thinking lately about what is holding me up. It seems as though we attach ourselves to the things we want and they end up pulling our strings. Think of a marionette performance. Each of those strings is a concrete connection to both the doll and the puppet master. If we look for our happiness in cars, cars will be pulling the strings. If we look for 0ur happiness in our family, our family will be pulling the strings. Everything we do will be a result of our master pulling on the strings. There are so many good things that can grab a hold of us and take over our lives. I have been thinking specifically about church lately. Do we let the church (notice the lower case ‘c’) pull our strings? There are so many people who will push the church and everything it does/is/needs but rarely do we see that being 100% in line with Jesus.

Ok, now before you think I am headed down the path of bitterness towards the church or towards Evangelicalism in general…you’re wrong. I have just been thinking about the church lately, this entire thing can be said about other things such as family or toys. How many people work all week so they can come home and go out on their (insert random gas powered vehicle here) and ignore anything that will actually give them joy. Family…does family pull the strings? Let’s think of it another way; if your brother dies at 23 what happens? Does your family string get cut leaving you heaped on the floor?

Marionette…what is pulling your strings? That is your idol. I need to let God take the strings before one gets cut.

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Born To Die

Today, Christmas 08. is an interesting day. I feel as if there is something missing today. I can not say it, explain it, or even wrap my mind around it. I think we did better this year than in past years with not going overboard…not having a job helps that tremendously. We are starting to move towards a minimal Christmas and are taking different steps to do so. So far I am glad to see progress being made however, I still feel materialistic and ‘American’! Sure I got some things that I wanted (that were paid for by the same bank account that doesn’t have enough 11 months out of the year) and I was able to see my family receive some things that I know they will appreciate, and some they won’t…ahem; but for the most part there is still the feeling that I have not honored the One who was born to die.

I can always count on my dad to make sure that books are on the gift list. This year was especially exciting as I received a two volume set of daily readings by D.A. Carson titled For the Love of God. This is a work that is regarded as one of the best at showing Christ in ALL of Scripture. Many of my extra-non-reformed friends would shudder at the thought of pushing the Gospel into too much of the Old Testament, but I would venture to say that the Old Testament has been misunderstood for too long by Joe-shmo theologues like myself. I look forward to delving into a whole new chapter of the Gospel story called…dum dum dummmm…the Old Testament. I pray…honestly not Christianese…that these volumes will open my eyes to what the Bible has to say about Jesus and His relationship with me. The Gospel is so much more than 1.5 hours out of my weekend. Seriously…if it isn’t…then church is lame. I can think of a bunch of things that I would rather be doing than sitting in a church building on Sunday mornings if that is where the Gospel is.

Ok, off my soapbox…the kids just go up.

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CHRISTian

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. – Colossians 2:8

So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. – Matthew 15:6

It has been bugging me all season. I can’t keep it in any longer. Super-Christians are driving me crazy! You know the type. Just after Thanksgiving they start in. “This will be the year we focus on the TRUE meaning of Christmas!” “We’re not going to let the ‘world’ take over Christmas.” Here’s the one that tops them all. “We’re going to put CHRIST back in CHRISTmas!” Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Seriously, I know I have said it in the past when I was under the influence of religion, however I do believe that I was slipped a micky for the last one. The reason I get so upset is that when looking back on this holiday we see nothing but the manger. I do believe it is a great time to reflect as the calendar gives us a great opportunity to do so, but to say that this is OUR holiday as if we didn’t steal it first? History lesson…winter solstice has been a huge party in almost every civilization. Centuries ago in Britain this holiday was like Mardi Grasand Halloween combined…x30. What is now called carolling…was once a drunken mob that would sing songs that would make you blush while going from house to house looting. The Greeks used to hold a week long celebration of self-indulgence. The church decided that we needed to holi-fy this time so we came up with Jesus’ birthday. Conveniently placed on the one season that most definitely would NOT have been when Jesus was born. Don’t even get me started about how Santa Claus was a response BY the church!

So, how then do we respond? Christmas is what it is. I am not advocating a reformation of Christmas. I enjoy Advent, Christmas and even Epiphany this year…however, it’s all tradition. Tradition I tell you! Our Christmas traditions are like whate washed tombs…nice on the outside but inside they are filled with dead men’s bones! Who are we to demand that ‘they’ put Christ back in Christmas? “We need more ‘real’ Christmas songs”, I heard someone declare the other day. Oh?…REAL Christmas songs? Would those be the drunken bar tunes people would sing at they demanded food?…or do you mean the ones that make you feel better than other people as you sing about baby Jesus in golden fleece diapers?

Forget about Christmas…I want to put Christ back in CHRISTian! That is where I struggle, that is where my sin sits. When I read Romans I don’t see  our position before God having anything to do with redeeming holidays. I don’t read Colossians 2:20-23 and see our lust for an old-fashioned Christmas as anything but self made religion. As I sat here in my seat a few weeks ago I caught myself thinking about what I could do this year to make this a meaningful Christmas. It finally hit me today while speaking to Barry. Repent. I can make this a meaningful Christmas by acknowledging my need for repentance and seeing that baby as the One who was born to die. Everything I do , say, or think is just like filthy rags.

He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30

I want to leave you with some words from Jesus Saves by Travis Cottrell and David Moffitt.

He will live, our sorrow sharing, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves. He will die our burden bearing, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves. “It is done!” Will shout the cross, Christ has paid redemption’s cost, While the empty tomb’s declaring, Jesus Saves!…Freedom’s calling, chains are falling, hope is dawning bright and true. Day is breaking, night is quaking, God is making all things new. Jesus Saves!

Oh to grace, how great a debtor, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves. Are the saints who shout together, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves…

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