Wednesday, September 30, 2009

House for Sale


A man became envious of his friends because they had larger and more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm, planning to sell it and to purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right. He promptly called the realtor and said, “A house described in today’s paper is exactly what I’m looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!” The agent asked him several questions about it and then replied, “But sir, that’s your house you're describing.” Hmmm. :-) Blessings,


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly -- 2009 NFL Week 3


Week 3 Update...
The Good: Colts (I appear to owe Mr. Manning & Co. an apology on my prediction that Indy would stink :0); Saints (No Brees, but RB Thomas running like a "Gale" Sayers); Jets (The maturation of the Sanchize right before our eyes..."D" is still not too bad either); Brett Favre (The ancient one just keeps on doing amazing things); Vikings (A + B = W); Ravens (The second coming of Willis); Bengals (Save for a fluke, would be 3-0); Bears (Johnny comes lately and is coming on strong); Giants (Eli is earning his greenbacks); Kevin Kolb (Donovan who? Well...we S'ville folks would love that, but probably not yet); Eagles (Nothing like the Chefs to get a team back to feelin' good.); Matthew Stafford and the Lions (Good for for one week and one week only).

The Ugly: There is no bad this week -- just ugly! I don't know if I have ever seen THIS much ugly this early in a season. Lambs (Can't lose your two starting WRs and QB and expect good things to happen...bummer); T.O. (Hahahahahahahaha!); Larry Johnson (Hey...didn't you used to be Larry Johnson?); Redskins (JZ is one of my heroes, but he had better dust off his resume after losing ugly to the Lions); JaMarcus Russell (35 %? C'mon are an NFL quarterback!); Commitment to Excellence :-p Team (See JaMarcus Russell); Byron Leftwich (O-fer the game...practicially handed the starting job and gives it away in week 3); Bsucs (See Byron Leftwich); Brownies (Again...BQ is the answer? Nope -- doesn't just looks like Rick we know that he IS Rick Mirer).

The Bummer To Be You Award: Chad Pennington -- Probably done forever, which is too bad.

Super Bowl: Saints vs. Sinners...not really -- Colts
Stupor Bowl: Bsucs vs. Brownies


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Proliferation of Explicit Materials and Personalities


It is with significant sadness that I offer this commentary. The mainstreaming of immoral values continues to grow at an alarming rate. One does not have to look very far, as we are daily inundated by commercials and news in relationship to the subject at hand. The headlines on many of the ISPs...AOL, in particular...offer repugnant news that, at one time...and at best, could only be discerned from tabloids at the news stand. Hugh Hefner is now a mainstream commercial personality...and in one recent commercial, crows about how he likes "so many choices." We get inundated by former playboy bunny, Kendra Wilkinson, and NFL wide receiver, Hank Baskett's relationship and marriage...which prompts the question -- who cares? Well, obviously some people do...or it wouldn't be such big news. Sometimes, the influence of the world is much more subtle, as some schools are offering sexually explicit materials as "literature" in order to "educate" their students.

The interesting, albeit disturbing, thing is that much of this is couched within the purview or even "world view" of Christianity. Many of these folks who would offer or espouse these immoral views believe that their perspective is within what Christ would say is "acceptable." This is not the value system of the Jesus I read about in the Word...the world's perspective of Christianity couldn't be further from the truth. Nevertheless, such is the "blending" that takes place when the immoral base of society comes to the has been so, even throughout history. Many societies that have been decidedly anti-Christian have claimed to be Christian in scope and purpose.

The abnormal of society has become the norm, which, not long ago, was about respect, wholesomeness and love...but, has given way to disrespect, immorality and lust. We can see where previous societies in history have gone (away) who have allowed this to become the base value system of their society. If we follow the consistency of the historical is not a matter of if but when. Blessings,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

All for One, One for All


We live in a world that promotes individualism…so much so that some sociologists say that we are living in a time of “rugged individualism” – you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you…and we’ll all be the better. The message of community has been lost in many respects…even in the church. This is something that we need to continue to battle, because we are a community. In fact, what we do in partaking of the Lord’s Supper, is called – communion…and communion, community and communication all have the same root. In Romans 12:3-8, Paul is seeking to give a message of encouragement to a church that has been struggling some with community.

The Jewish and Gentile Christians there are having some difficulties working together, and Paul is seeking to give them some guidance. He wants to help them…and us…understand that each person is an important part of the body…the church, even though the body is made up of individuals. And everyone works together for the good of the whole. If we belong to each other, we are to minister to each other. Paul tells them, and us, to examine ourselves…take a good look in the spiritual mirror…to determine if our attitudes are more selfish or if we are becoming more Christ-like. It is important for believers to perform spiritual self-examinations on a regular basis…but, it is necessary to do this in all honesty and humility. It does us little good to merely glance in the spiritual mirror, instead, it is necessary that we take a good look. We need to be all that we can be for the Lord to the benefit of our own spiritual growth, and the growth of the body…the church.

And so, this principle is particularly relevant in relationship to our spiritual gifts or talents. It is important that we do not overrate or under-value the unique gifts that the Lord has given to us. Some of these talents may come naturally, while others we may develop…all are God-given -- and He doesn’t make mistakes! In turn, we can help others find their talents, whether this is teaching, helping, serving, encouraging, giving, and the like. It is the Lord’s desire for the body that His people be equipped to serve (Ephesians 4:11-13). In the church at Rome, as well as at Corinth, it seems that some are comparing their talents to those of others -- the greatest reason that they are overrating or undervaluing themselves. As with the church in Corinth, Paul uses the illustration of the human body to describe the multiple functions of the spiritual body, the church. Though these believers have the appropriate gifts, they lack the Spirit…particularly the fruit of the Spirit of love. Love is the life-blood that keeps the body alive. If there is no love, then there is no life.

The temptation is for us, as individuals, is to think…”if only these members were like me, the church would be a better place.” If only everyone was an “eye,” so to speak. The eye is not better or worse than the big toe, elbow or mouth. Each member of the body is important and serves its purpose…so it is with the body of Christ. The idea is that, even though there are many parts to the body, there is still only one body -- this is the unity. This should offset the danger of individualistic thinking that permeates our culture. As we, Christians, fellowship together in one body, any self-centered thinking should be cast out – we should be looking out for the best interests of others in the body, rather than ourselves. Once again, there are three truths – the unity of the body…all work together, the diversity of the members with diverse talents…all are different, and mutuality…each belongs to all the others. The beauty of unity in diversity is that this should help us in our appreciation of one another…we should not be fearful. By faith, this is the way that God made us…and it is okay! We may be black…white, young…old, a newer Christian…a more experienced Christian, progressive…conservative, and whatever other distinction that we could determine, and it is all good! This is the way God made the body!The more that we are able to respect this, the more that the body is able to grow!

This is all a good and challenging proposition in many respects. We learn a number of things that are very significant for our spiritual health and well-being. Those who might think that they can choose whether or not that they can belong to the Body are gravely mistaken if they think that it is a matter of choice. We really can’t decide whether we are going to be involved, or not. Either we are, or we are not, part of the Body. This whole message implies and indicates connection and communion. There is no “choice” -- it is not a decision…it is an imperative. In other words, we are purchased with blood, and are made a part of the body when we are converted to Christ. We, as the body, are connected to the Head. The greater the Body’s capacity to be open to the leading of the Head, the greater the capacity for opportunity and growth. Some bodies do not grow, because they are not or have quit being connected to the Head. There can be no severing of ourselves, for as gruesome as it is to consider from a physical standpoint, it is even worse in a spiritual sense. Those not connected to the Body are not connected to the Head. This may not be a message that some want to hear, but it is a spiritual reality. This is all with due respect to the principle…that where two or three are gathered in my name…I am there with them. If there is commitment and connection, there is community.

As we begin to consider the life and activity of the body, the church…this is all very significant. We need to consider these principles, especially as it relates to the beginning of our small groups and other activities. I don’t think anyone can say -- I am not going to be involved in these things…in the fellowship of the saints -- and not expect that there isn’t going to be a negative spiritual effect. As has been mentioned, being “transformed” to be like Christ also involves fully, and personally, realizing our connection to the Body. This does away with any selfish individualism – no one should think or feel that the church is about “me”…what I want. It is not about “you” or “me”, it is about “us!” Any decisions that we make or are made with regard to the whole, are decisions made concerning “us”, and these need to be respected…this is critical in order for the Body to continue to grow in unity. Like the 3 Musketeers, we are to be all for one and one for all. We are to experience unity, even though we are diverse. We respect the diversity that we have…we are all different and it is okay – we don’t have to think alike, act alike, be alike. We all belong to each other…we can’t say – I don’t need this certain member to be a part of the body, because this is not the way it works. We are all connected…and the life blood that flows and holds us together is love! If the church continues to cultivate an atmosphere of love, warmth and acceptance, building relationships, finding our talents and using them, building up one another…then there will continue to be spiritual growth and prosperity, individually and collectively!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly -- 2009 NFL Week 2


Week 2 Update...
The Good: Saints (Second best offensive point total in history after two games...they make it look like a Brees); Ryans (Matt looks like Peyton Manning, Rex looks like the Staypuff Marshmallow Man...but, boy can he coach up the "D" -- keep calling those J-E-T-S fans, Rex); Falcons (See Ryan, Matt); Vikings (See Adrian Peterson run, and run and's that new team working for you Brett?); Ravens (He won't take no Flacco, just dish it out); Jets ("D" backs up the smack talk); Bengals (Bungles-No-More...Chad's Lambeau Leap wins him back some fans...and it helps that he looks like the receiver of old, too); Bears (Cutler makes the trade look good for da Bears this week); Giants (Plaxico who?); Chris Johnson (197 yards rushing...why don't they just let him run the wildcat too -- sheesh!).

The Bad: Tony Romo (Oh, Romo, Oh Romo...wherefore art thou?); Eagles "D" (Sadly, seriously seems to be missing Jim Johnson); Steelers "O" (Gots to find a running game); Chefs (No home cookin for 'bout cooking up some "O"?); Lions (Stafford needs to throw to Megatron on every down); Jags (Looks like more blackouts looming), Bucs DBs (Making every QB look spectacular so far); Chargers DBs (See previous reference); Packers (Not supposed to lose these games at home).

Ugly: No "D" for Titans or Texans makes some FFL owners very happy; Redskins over Lambs...9-7...sure this wasn't the Natinals and Cards? Couldn't be -- the Natinals could never score this many runs in a game; Patriots (Think Josh D might come back and coach up the old "O"?...Nope), Browns (So BQ is the answer?...looks more like Rick Mirer than Joe Montana),

Hyde to Jekyll award -- Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub and Jake Delhomme...Jekyll to Hyde award -- Tony Romo and Tom Brady (Yikes!)

Super Bowl: The "D" wins championships SB -- Jets vs 49ers
Stupor Bowl: Lambs vs. Brownies

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tony Is Not the Answer -- Yet


Tony (Don't Call Me Romeo) Romo found his December ways in September last night against the Giants. To say this is a disappointment would be an understatement, because this is a game the Cowboys clearly should have won in front of the NFL record 105, 000 fans at the new Jerry Dome. I don't want to say that Romo was terrible, but he was awful :-) ...1 TD and 3 pics (granted, one of them was a fluke, but the pass was poorly thrown). Once again (and again, and again), I have to question if he is the guy to lead the Cowboys to the playoff promised land...the jury is STILL out. It just seems like he is shrinking violet in the games that he really needs to be the BMOC...that he may have been paying too much attention to the press clippings that were talking about the Giants having, perhaps, the greatest front four in NFL history -- just the kind of news to send a shaky QB off to "psych out land." This can all be forgiven and forgotten if he really does learn, but it is awful hard to change personalities and the synapses in the brain. Some QBs -- see Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas -- just have had that I-Don't-Give-A-Rip-What-You-Think-Because-I-Am-Going-To-Kick-Your-Tail mentality, and others are more like Dave Krieg of the Seahawks of old, who could look like Dan Marino one week and Dan Aykroyd the next. There seems to be a correlation between the small college QBs that make it big -- see also Jon Kitna -- and those who play for USC, Miami, or Michigan. Those on the bigger stage seem better able to handle the glare of the spotlight. It's time to quit apologizing to the media and Cowboy fans for yet another forgettable performance and make something positive happen for a long stretch...preferaby through the Super Bowl. Oh well...things could be least we don't have the Raiders' Russell throwing and completing 30 some percent of his passes. So ends the arm chair quarterback's assessment. :-) Blessings,


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Body of Christ


The church is not called a collective, but a Body. If anyone would come to it with the misconception that the church was some massing together of persons as if they were pennies or chips, this person would be corrected by the discovery that the Head of the Body is completely unlike its inferior members – they do not share divinity with Him, except by the Head and Body analogy. What the analogy does do for us is to relate the connection of the Body to the Head…that we are creatures with our Creator, mortals with the immortal, redeemed sinners with the sinless Redeemer. His presence…the interaction between Him as us…must always be the overwhelmingly dominant factor in the life we are to lead within the body…
paraphrased from Transposition and Other Addresses in Daily Walk. Blessings,


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly -- 2009 NFL Week 1


Week 1 Update...
The Good: Cowboys (Romo and WRs look super...gotta love the Bucs DBs -- where is "Toast" Patterson?); Saints (How good was it to have the Lions week 1, Drew?); Vikings (Adrian Peterson is a BEAST! of the most impressive group of stiff arms I have ever seen on his TD run); Eagles (Just have to come after the 'boys -- too bad they can't play Jake D. every McNabb could spell trouble); Steelers (No running game, but Big Ben comes through, as usual); Ravens (Looks like Flacco is going to be even better...a dangerous team); Jets (Just dispatched what was supposed to be a good offense...if Buddy Jr keeps the "D" playing like this, it could be a big year for the J-E-T-S...Jets, Jets, Jets!); Brandon Stokely (Don't know if it is good, as much as it is lucky...but he has play 2nd best play of the year, so far -- AP's run is 1st)

The Bad: Bucs (From week 16 last year --"D" in "disappear" since Kiffin announcement); Bills (Good teams find ways to win...bad teams find ways to lose, typically); Raiders (See last statement...but they will be better this year than most think -- just not now); Lions (Wellllll, they scored 27 points against a generally bad "D" team -- Stafford 0 TDs, 3 picks...hmmm, but gave up Drew no less. It will be another long year for this team); Bungles (Don't think any team is going to win many games scoring 7 last 30 seconds...even if they lost it on a miracle deflection); Bears (Bad...Cutler, multiple picks...hahahahahahaha -- bad luck...lose Urclacher. This team could go from decent to bad, quickly); Note to the Lions...let Mr. Stafford carry the clipboard this year...he is going to get messed up -- remember Joey Harrington?

The Ugly: Panthers (I dunno...1 TD, 9 picks and 3 fumbles in your last two games -- I like Jake D., but even "manning up" isn't going to save him or the team if he keeps playing like this); Lambs (Picking up where they left off last "O" -- oh my); Dolphins, Texans (See first part of Bungles description); Message to Leodis McKelvin (Bills) -- take a knee, man...take a knee!

Super Bowl: Vikings vs. Ravens
Stupor Bowl: Lambs vs. Texans


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Living Sacrifices


Paul tells the believers in Rome to act on the mercy they have received and not be idle, as these leads to trouble. Unbelievers use the body to pursue the sinful desires of the flesh, whereas believers are to use their bodies to glorify God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Once a person has made the life-changing decision to follow the Jesus Christ, there should be a continual focus on Him and renewal by the Spirit. We continue to present our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2) through serving one another and outsiders...visiting, assembling together and the like. This is the idea behind the word – latreia, which means to live the life, walk the walk. It is not just about Sundays, but this is a general word for worship that covers the whole range of our Christian experience. Every day is a worship a sense, when I yield my body, mind and spirit to the Lord in service. This is reasonable, spiritual worship – it is to be deliberate and intelligent…in contrast to the sacrifices of the old covenant that were dutifully performed.

This is a continual, daily challenge, as Satan is, through the world, wanting to control our thinking, making us conformers to this world. The world, here, is not physical geography, but the world system of natural habits, and the values of sinful man apart from God. There are always two potential occupants for our hearts – we can be submissive or prideful, wise or foolish, sheep or goats, for God or for Satan – there is no middle ground. Believers adopt a new value system, based upon a new, higher concept of life – eternity. It is not of earth or time. We must allow God to continually transform our minds – metamorphosis is the word, literally translated from the original. It is the same word used concerning “the transfiguration” (Matthew 17:2).
God transforms His people by His Spirit and through His Word. By meditating on His Word and making it a part of our inner man, God makes our minds more spiritually focused. As the mind controls the body, so the will controls the mind. This can be a real struggle for some, who may want to give their minds and bodies to serve the Lord, but are unwilling to break their self-serving, rebellious will. Those who believe that they can control their lives through “will power” usually fail. It is necessary to surrender our wills through prayer – “Your will be done, O Lord.” In allowing His will to be worked out in our lives…it proves His will to be omnipotent. It is only when our wills are yielded to the Lord that He can use us and give us the “spiritual will power” to be victorious over sin, Satan and the world system.

Satan will seldom blitz us all out, although he is capable of doing this. Most believers can recognize this tactic and can steer clear of such traps. It is the subtle, imperceptible drifting away that snatches many believers. Satan lulls them to sleep, spiritually. We can’t allow this to take place. What is the solution? Latreia -- giving your whole live in submission to the Lord so that He can use you for His will…body, mind and spirit. It is only when we “let go” and “let God” be in control of our lives that we quit giving in to the world so much, making the big mistakes…but allowing the Lord to help our lives make sense!

A friend, Stan, posed this question on his facebook: What are the signs of spiritual recession? Then, what are the signs of recovery? Another friend, Avery replied...wonderfully: A sign of spiritual recession…isolation from other believers. You just don’t feel like you belong OR THAT anyone can relate or would offer love without conditions. A sign of recovery…ministry and service to others. He adds – once I get out of myself and begin to serve others, I am made aware, once again, that it has never been about me BUT ALWAYS about Him. This path I have found is the starting point of my spiritual recovery…fellowship soon follows.

Food for thought. Blessings,


Monday, September 7, 2009

Things I Haven't Considered About Space


For all of the wonderful things that astronauts see when they travel up through the atmosphere and out into space...there are some things that I just had not considered. For one thing, the shuttle astronauts were not prepared for smell of space. This is not something that had ever even occurred to me...that space would have an odor. They say that there is an odd tang in the air...and it is not tang -- it is apparently from outer space. After astronauts come in from their spacewalks there is a distinct smell of space on their space suits. It's not like anything that anyone has ever smelled before. It is described as something akin to gunpowder or ozone. The sounds of spaceflight have also been surprising, especially when Discovery fires up its large maneuvering thrusters. Discovery's seven-astronaut crew is in the middle of a 13-day mission to deliver fresh supplies and new science gear to the space station. All of the changes that have been made to the station over the past few years are truly a marvel. Recently, they have added a new solar array and some new modules. The space station itself is due to be completed in a couple of years. Blessings,


Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Year in QBs


Tis the, not that season yet, although it is getting closer, but...are you ready for some football? Here in these parts of Texas, football is BIG stuff. One can't talk football without talking about the guys that make it happen on the filed -- the quarterbacks. I have been a football fan since I can remember...and that would have to be about Super Bowl III with the Jets and the Colts...and yet, I can't remember a time when quarterbacks were such big news. I mean, there have been a lot of good college and pro QBs over the year's, but never have so many been so big and so in the news as in recent years.

I want to start with the pros. This would have to begin with Brett Favre and Michael Vick...they have only dominated about 80% of the sports news all summer anyway, so might as well continue talking about them. Favre has gotten a bum rap from a lot of people for his retire, rehire, retire, rehire shenanigans, but the man can play. I think he can still play...which is pretty remarkable for a guy who is almost forty, played 260+ games in a row and taken all of the hits he has. He IS the epitome of the tough guy QB, out of the Johnny Unitas mold. I don't blame him for changing his mind, when he can still play...but we'll see if he will ever really be able to truly retire -- I doubt it...I think they will have to drag him off the field. Vick has been the subject of intense scrutiny. Although many folks have had a lot of problems with what Mike Vick perpetrated, he has done his time in prison and should be allowed to play again. He needs to keep his nose, here's hoping he can do so. I will say this...the idiots from PETA need to get a real life and quit making trouble. We all know what he did, and it was, leave him alone and allow him to get on with his life. Everyone deserves a second opportunity. Will Romo be able to carry the Cowboys? We'll see...I am saying, "yes," and that they will win their first playoff game in over a decade. Aaron Rodgers will continue to improve. Matt Hasselbeck will be the comeback player of the year and Jay Cutler will excel with the Bears. How will rookies Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez do? I think that they will hold their own.

On the college level, there is news a plenty. Who will win the Heisman? Will it be Tim Tebow for the 2nd time? And, will he lead Florida to its third title in five years? It would be a good bet. How about Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford? It is truly up in the air. My choice is Jevan Snead, from Stephenville and now playing for the Ole Miss Rebels. He has been playing in a pro-style offense, similar to that of Matthew Stafford who was the first pick in this year's NFL draft. I believe he could come out of nowhere to do it, and here's hoping the local guy makes it happen. Blessings,