Uncategorized

God Loves

God the Father when he breaks his silence:

Mark 1:11  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

The Father unleashing his glory:

Matthew 17:5  a bright cloud…a voice from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Jesus on why he would die:

John 14:31a  “But that the world may know that I love the Father.”

It’s amazing! The transcendent, never created, always eternally there, infinite perfection of one God in three persons, when speaking of one another, say, “This is the one I love.” Perfect love. Agenda harmony love. Love that produces only the ultimate best.

When Jesus prayed before dying:

John 17:23c,d  “that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me.”

What!? The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father. The Father loves his followers just as, even as, the same as he loves the One and Only Begotten Son!

More than amazing! The transcendent, eternal, infinite, perfect creator… above, beyond, and utterly other than his creation…in love chooses to be immanent, here, personally present with us.

Breathtaking…the love that God has for you.

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Bible

A Fifty Year Reunion About Salvation

What a beautiful verification of God’s amazing call in the life of missionaries Don and Carol Richardson and their children. What a beautiful verification of God’s amazing grace among the once cannibal headhunters known as the Sawi. This is truly a must see.

The book to the left tells the incredible mission of Don and Carol to the Sawi people. The video below tells the amazing story of Don’s 50 year reunion with the Sawi.

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Bible, Life's Moments

Protection From Above

I’m not sure, but I think my son, Daniel, once had shades of Snoopy lingering in his thoughts. You know, that particular image of Snoopy perched in a tree like a vulture keeping watch over everything below. Ready to pounce. Ready to provide. Ready to protect.

It’s okay. I got this.

It happened during that period of time when a mom and dad begin to nudge the responsibility and self-discipline training to the next level. Daniel was about 10 years old. Vanita and I had discussed some timing issues and some method issues regarding Daniel’s training. One of the items we chose was to leave him at home alone for a half hour or so.

“Daniel, we need to run to the store real quick. Matthew wants to go. Of course, Jessica is coming with us. Would you like to go or would you like to stay here and look after the house?”

Now all ya’ll know where this was designed to go. And it did.

“Really? I can stay here,” he asked.

“Yes. You’ll need to be very responsible. You know the house rules, right?”

“Yeah, I can do it!”

“Right, we know you can. So, okay, we won’t be long.”

Driving away produced no small amount of stress, but drive away we did. Training goes like that. A little older…a little more instruction…a little more responsibility…a little more autonomy to achieve success…a little more grace for the slips…and a whole lot of praying. We drove away with the stress and moderated it with the praying.

All these years later, I’m happy to report success. Back then, well, let’s just say I wasn’t always so sure.

We were anxious to get home, but we gave Daniel the time we had predetermined. We pulled into the drive way…and the excitement began. Daniel came on the run…not from the front door, not from the back door, but from up in a tree.

The tree was one of his favorite toys. It was one of those classic climbing trees. Situated just off the front porch and overlooking the front door, it provided a low branch for a swing and a tall climb for rambunctious kids. Apparently, it also provided Daniel with a fantastic ninja position.

“Dad, Dad…Mom, I saw this lady. I saw her.”

“What lady, Daniel?”

“The lady, the lady walking up the street. I could tell she was gonna come to our house.”

“Did she come to the house?”

“Yeah, I knew she would.”

“Oh, Daniel, did she knock on the door or anything?”

“Uh-huh, I knew she would.”

“You didn’t answer, did you? You know you’re not supposed to do that.”

“No, no, I didn’t. I couldn’t.”

A little bewildered, we just kind of stood there looking perplexed.

“I couldn’t answer the door. Instead, I said, ‘Who goes there!?’”

“What,” his Mother asked.

Daniel answered, “I said, ‘Hey, who goes there,’ and the lady jumped and screamed. I took care of it, Dad.”

“Daniel, wait, wait. What are you talking about,” I asked.

“Well, when you left, I was kinda scared, but I wanted to take care of everything, so I decided to climb the tree. That way I could be safe and watch over everything. So, I grabbed the hatchet…”

“The hatchet? Daniel, what? Why the hatchet? You know it only has certain uses and I need to be around when you use it,” I said with a nod to authority. On the inside, though, I knew where this was going and my Father/Daddy/Papa/Dear ‘ol Dad pride meter was climbing at break-neck speed.

“Yeah, the hatchet, Dad. (Breathing kind of fast) I was a little scared, but I knew I had to protect everything, (breathing a little harder) so I got the hatchet, (taking a gulp of air) turned everything off, locked the doors, put the key in my pocket, and climbed to the top of the tree. (Big breath, from corner to corner his smile stretched as far as the east is from the west). I did it Dad. Everything’s okay.”

“And the lady,” we asked.

“Oh, after she screamed and asked what I was doing in the tree, she left.”

Just like that, it was okay. It was okay.

Mom gave him a big, long hug.

I gave him a high five.

It was okay. Still is.

In just less than two weeks, Daniel will marry the lady for whom he has been praying, hoping, and looking for since he was a teenager. Her name is Abby. Daniel will perch over her. He will protect her and provide for her. He will pray with her, play with her, plan with her, and parent with her. He will be passionate about her. peaceful for her, and patient with her. Because he has such a wonderful Dad. No, take it easy, I’m not talking about myself. At night, before falling asleep, he’ll check in with Dad. After each long day he will say, “Dad, Abba Father, I did it. Everything is okay. The house is locked up. Abby is safe. (One day, hopefully) The kids are okay. I did it, Father. Everything is okay. Thank you. Amen.”

Here’s the important part…

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Update: Daniel and Abby, happily married, love one another and our Lord more and more everyday, help others and their little Rachel to do the same thing, and expect a brand new little baby boy any day now!

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Bible, Life's Moments

Where is he? Where am I?

Saw this spoken word by way of a random search. Awesome.

Think I’ll get a coach and learn how to do this. I really like what young people are doing with different forms of communicating the hope found only in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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Bible, Life's Moments, Uncategorized

The Ethos of a Navy Seal

The Navy Seals have been in the news a lot lately. They cause us to stand in wonder. And standing in wonder has caused me to wonder what drives these guys? Well, perhaps, the statement of the Navy Seal ethic can help. Here it is:

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men.Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time.  I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

Wow! Awesome! I am absolutely thrilled with the whole, but these words from the sixth paragraph are off the chart: I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity…if knocked down, I will get back up, every time… I am never out of the fight.

I believe the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write a similar motto for fully devoted followers of the Savior. You can find it in Philippians 3:7-16. Here it is:

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Passion. Does anyone doubt that Navy Seals possess it? Does anyone doubt followers of Christ possess it? As Arsenio used to say, “Just something that makes you go hmmmm.”

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Bible, Life's Moments, Sports and The Savior

Seeing Jesus In Dan and Tim

Recently, I enjoyed the privilege of listening to a preacher who without doubt pointed his listeners to Jesus. As he spoke, I thought of my favorite hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” His name is Dan Wolgemuth and he is the President and CEO of Youth For Christ USA.

Now I do not know him (apart from a brief introduction), so I had only those two hours or so at a YFC banquet to learn. Still, I was certain that here was a brother who leads not so much from position, but from a heart enamored by the Savior. So, I decided to look up his blog. (You know…it’s always a good thing to learn from people who love the Savior.) While visiting his site, I was impressed with some of the subjects he touches upon. However, one title jumped off the page right away. It was a recent post about another man I am learning to admire, Tim Tebow. Here is what Dan wrote:

Tebow Time

by DAN WOLGEMUTH on MARCH 9, 2012

“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.’”  ~Mark 10:47-49  (ESV)

Nearly 2,000 people had hung on every word that Tim Tebow had spoken. First the focus was football, then personal, then faith.

I closed the time by praying for Tim and as soon as the “amen” was out of my mouth Tim was whisked away to travel to a middle school assembly where students sat in bleachers waiting.

We traveled in two vehicles and I was in the trailing van. As we pulled out of the parking lot at the University of Montana, the only Missoula venue large enough for the gathering, we were immediately snagged in traffic. As we sat in the congestion, I noticed a man in a wheelchair that had obviously been at the “Tebow event.” He rolled his electronic chair down a driveway and toward the sidewalk. It was then that he realized that on the road in front of him, sitting in the passenger seat, was Tim Tebow. With that reality in front of him, literally, he began to wave and to shout and to reach for a camera in his pocket so that he could shoot a picture of Tim.

But instead of shooting a picture of Tim, the tables turned, instantly. Tim Tebow had witnessed what I had witnessed… and he decided that he would do something to impact the situation. So, in an instant, he was out the passenger door; traffic jammed around him. He ran to the man, and in an instant handed the camera to someone else while he positioned himself for a picture with the man in the wheelchair.

This was not a media stunt, it wasn’t a political step… it was raw, unconstrained compassion. It was stewardship of position and status and popularity. It was as authentic and real as it was inconvenient and intrusive. Tim didn’t calculate, he responded. He didn’t measure, he stepped out. And by doing so he walked onto holy ground; into caring for the “least of these.”  His powerfully strong legs carried him into the sphere of helplessness.

Just as quickly he was back in the car; moments later he was standing in front of students and parents while the cheers ricocheted off of concrete walls. But on the way, with the video cameras absent, Tim Tebow lived his mission as he made someone else’s dream come true.

In the moment; in response; from his heart… living and loving like Jesus.

This put touchdowns and trophies in perspective. This showed the character of the man, even as it lifted high Tim’s Lord and Savior. This exposed Jesus.

No fourth quarter heroics. No scrambling from the grip of onrushing defenders. But make no mistake – this was full contact. The clock was winding down. This was Tebow Time. Raw, compassionate, unconventional, effective.

Like Jesus.

Wow. I love it that Dan admires Tim. I love it more that he sees Jesus through Tim. I love it even more that he directs us past Tim to Jesus. And I really love it that Dan is a leader less dependent upon his time spent with Tim Tebow than he is upon the Savior.

I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the Church in Philippi: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3:7,8).

Thanks Dan for showing us Jesus.

Follow Dan Wolgemuth, President/CEO YFCYSA at http://fridayfragments.com/

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