2 Corinthians 4

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I found this encouraging today.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12
“7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Read on…

“16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Excerpt From: Tyndale House Publishers. “Life Application Study Bible NIV.” Tyndale House Publishers. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

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Quote

1 Corinthians 16

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“13 Be on your guard; stand firmt in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

Excerpt From: Tyndale House Publishers. “Life Application Study Bible NIV.” Tyndale House Publishers. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/HCLtE.l

SOBE Life Water

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I don’t normally pay much attention to what I find under a bottle cap. But today at lunch I was struck by SOBE’s paraphrased adoption of “live free or die” – New Hampshire’s state motto. SOBE has decided to compare our freedom to the “Green” movement. Our battle to rid ourselves from a tyrannical government is somehow the same as being “Green”??? If we don’t live “Green” we should die???

The irony of it all was that it was printed on a plastic bottle cap! I’m not entirely sure but isn’t SOBE’s entire product line sold in plastic bottles?

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8 lb Bass

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Caught a nice bass today just before it started to rain. He tried to make a run for the weeds along the bank but I kept him on top. Look at the size of his mouth. I could stick my whole fist in there. I caught him using a zoom super fluke – baby bass lure.

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Love

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This is my prayer today for me and my family. May we love each other with God’s perfect love!

1 Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues a of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in parts and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Excerpt From: Tyndale House Publishers. “Life Application Study Bible NIV.” Tyndale House Publishers. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=508450593

Paul’s Use of His Freedom

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1 Corinthians 9
19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Excerpt From: Tyndale House Publishers. “Life Application Study Bible NIV.” Tyndale House Publishers. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=508450593

Disqualified

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There are moments in the life of being a parent when you don’t know what to do, when you feel like a complete failure. You feel like if parenting were a sport you would be tossed out of the game – disqualified.

I’ve been a parent for 19 years, 10 months, and 29 days now. One would think that after practicing a craft for such a long time that you would be considered an expert. With parenting the opposite is true. The older I get the less qualified I become. This must be the truth as my teenagers affirm it with the roll of their eyes and spouting off at my seeming inability to grasp what they are dealing with.

Often in this journey we have taken the road less traveled. We have chose to do the hard things. My wife has stayed at home the entire time, foregoing 20 years of income, in order to be there. We have homeschooled a good portion of that time, to create huge opportunities to explore their interest. And yet, I am finding out that my kids are going to make their own decisions regardless. They are men now, and quite honestly, this is a terrifying viewpoint knowing just how harsh the world can be.

I know that I will never stop being a dad, but as I am drawing to the end of getting them to their adulthood, I can’t help but wonder if it was enough – was it too much. My head is filled with a whole lot of second guessing. One thing is for sure, we weren’t handed any owner’s manual when left the hospital. We can say that we have done our best, we left it all on the court.

It’s a funny thing that anyone you ask has an opinion on child rearing. You should do THIS or you should do THAT. Even young couples with no kids at all can be complete experts on how to deal with an unruly kid in the grocery. The only thing that is predictable about being a parent is that it is completely unpredictable. Really, I don’t even feel worthy to write on the subject or anything else for that matter. That’s probably why I have posted very much in the past few months.

I asked my wife the other day “What’s the point of being a parent if our children won’t listen and they are just going to learn things the hard way?” Without hesitation she said “To draw you closer to Jesus”. We both laughed but it’s so true. So when it’s really hard, and difficult, and serious, and there are no answers – There’s just Jesus and prayer.

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Psalm 1
The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Going for a Swim

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jesus at bethesda 2

There was a pool in Jerusalem during the time of Christ that was called Bethesda.  In Hebrew the word Bethesda could mean either House of Mercy or House of Grace.  In Aramaic the word could mean shame or disgrace.  During this time the pool was believed to have special healing powers.  People believed that when the waters were stirred that you would receive healing if only you were the first one in the pool.

Well Jesus shows up (John 5:1-15) at this pool to find a man who has been an invalid for 38 years!  For 38 years this man has tried to get well through his own efforts.  I can picture him trying to drag himself to the edge of the pool once the waters started to move, thinking to himself that “maybe today I will succeed and be made right“.  The bible says the man tells Jesus that no one will help him when it’s time get in the water and consequently he is pushed out of the way by others.  38 years of frustration!  I would imagine that he has become bitter towards others because they won’t help him in his struggle.

Then Jesus ask him the question “Do you want to get well?”.  Obviously the man wants to become healed, he has tried for 38 years!  I love that the pool’s name has two meanings – Mercy and Disgrace.  Here is this man who society would label as shamed or disgraced because of a physical disability.  Everyone would have judged him on appearance that either he or his parents caused this condition due to sin.  All this man wants to do is remove the shame.  So Jesus already knows that he wanted to be made physically well; He’s asking him about the condition of his heart.  Jesus replies to the man’s answer with “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

How many times do try to be made right with God?  We can struggle with sin in our lives for years, crawling toward some kind of perceived hope.  The truth is that no matter what we do on our own, like the invalid, we will never be able to make it to the pool of Mercy.  Jesus is the only one who can heal our Disgrace and our Shame.  Jesus didn’t care what the man had done, he simply ask “Do you want to get well?”.  He is still asking us today, “Do you want to get well?”.  He wants to take you by the hand and say “Get up!”.  He wants to take what others judge to be your pool of disgrace and turn it into what you will see as an Ocean of Mercy!

jesus at bethesda

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