14:03:03 The Allelon sayings from Allelon

We are members of one another We are to build up one another We are to love one another We are to pursue one another's good We are to bear with one another in love We are to bear one another's burdens We are to be kind and compassionate to one another We are to forgiving one another We are to submit to one another We are to consider one another better than ourselves We are to be devoted to one another in love We are to live in harmony with one another ...see a previous post

14:03:03 currently reading but not today- it's much too nice outside

Wrote most of this yesterday on a day off to ponder and be there but I will post today...

Earnie e-mailed me to get chips and diet caffeine free dr. pepper for the group tonight. If I blog this maybe I won't forget it...

Second time through Purpose riven Life..(riven? HMMM maybe so...) 'cause Iam leading a discussion group on it at FBCM

A is For Abductive has been on the shelf for a while and it called out to me the other day.

A new Flash MX book since I'll probably teach it this summer at the college.

Pastor Joel and I gee. Larry gave me a heads up on this site. Thanks Larry...now why isn't the css changing this link color?

Latest aquisitions: Beyond the Cosmos by Hugh Ross- on the shelf for now- I bought it cause it got such lousy reviews on Amazon. It was on the 50 percent off clearance table and I had another 10 percent off coupon. Never buy anything retail.

Counted Righteous in Christ by Piper. Got that one at Earnie's request.

14:03:03 March Madness is here!

And my team Kentucky stands to be number one in the polls entering the Tournament if they survive the SEC tournament...since UCLA whupped Arizona...

14:03:03 Satire R Us

Axis of Evil Wannabees. By popular demand: "'An axis can't have more than three counties', explained Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. 'This is not my rule, it's tradition. In World War II you had Germany, Italy, and Japan in the evil Axis. So, you can only have three, and a secret handshake. Ours is wickedly cool'." (Scroll down about 1/6 of page)

Weapons of Mass Destruction

More silliness to take seriously

14:03:03 And you thought prayer cloths were bad enough...

Here's a story on the Charmin Rasputin

A Woman With Two Problems- Authorities in Lincolnshire, England, are trying to identify the 60-ish-year-old woman who was admitted to Lincoln County Hospital in December, suffering from amnesia but insisting she is Barry Manilow. The only things she was carrying were several Manilow albums. [BBC News, 12-20-02]

God will provide: Kenneth Hawthorn, a Jehovah's Witness proselytizer, filed a lawsuit in Adelaide, Australia, against a couple whose ram attacked him, battering him to the ground, as he approached the couple's door. (The parties settled the lawsuit in January.) (Bonus detail: The ram, since deceased, was named S___ for Brains.) [Newsday-AP, 2-13-02] [Herald Sun (Melbourne), 1-23-03]

News of Weird denominations -check March 9 entry on the target site.

And more proof that locally things aren't much better: from USA Today

CLAYTON, Mo. ‹ Police arrested a man who allegedly dropped his pants in the crowded lobby of the St. Louis County Courthouse and made photocopies of his buttocks. Police found Daniel Everett holding two copies he had already made. He was making a third. ''What did I do? What did I do?'' witnesses said Everett asked police. Everett, an immature 38, told police that the copies were intended as a practical joke for his girlfriend. Boy that Dan isn't he a card...

14:03:03 Purpose

Lots of good discussion last night and one comment of note: Had a short discussion with someone from an Arminian background on the sovereignty of God. I agree that Warren handles the "God has a wonderful plan for you life" in the tradition of the 4 spiritual flaws..err, laws. It wasn't wrong but I allowed the fact that in such a short space the doctrine couldn't be deconstructed.

I have to agree that there is a tremendous disconnect when you have witnessed the devastation of abuse and even torture as the persecuted church has worldwide, and here someone imply tht is God's wonderful plan for those lives. even though that's not what sovereignty is about , the American religion misappropriates and misapplies the doctrine too readily and maybe we can trace a lack of compassion to a determinism that is not Biblical.

It is easy to say logically that if here is one maverick molecule in the universe, God is not sovereign. It's impossible to wrap your mind around that and the fact that God's ways are not our ways and His ways are higer than ours as the heavens arre abover the earth.

The Westminster Confession regarding God's eternal decrees:

God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

This is mysterious. it is not logical or illogical but rather translogical I think.

Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or [Ps 94:9; 146:8; Matt 11:5; Luke 1:20, 64] who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?


Met with Dave and man was that needed- it is always great to get together with a brother and share what God is doing in each other's life. God is working at EPIC Church and I related how I had overheard a conversation from a church planter on his way to Atlanta to plant a church based on EPIC's model.

As always I go with intentionality to minister to Dave and his pastor's heart draws me out and I talk about self more than I had planned. Face to face conversation will never be replaced fully with e-stylings. I think that is because of the power of incarnation.

Made me think about how one word is worth a thousand pictures. That the Word evokes images- the image is derivative of the reality and I think word is closer to the source of the mind than images crafted by skilled hands. the power of language is more essential than the ability to use tools to make images, and this seems to me to be reflected in the creation narrative.


Got a call that Pastor's Dad died semi-unexpectedly yesterday and I was needed to fill the teaching slot for Pastor's sanctuary Bible Study last nite on short notice- of course I agreed immediately- but this is always a daunting and terrifying task- to handle the Word before people with less than adequate preparation. So I did the obvious- I restyled the supplemental handout for Thursday night study for large group sage-on-a-stage format. Gratefully, after bathing it in prayer Father blessed with an impact on at least one life that came and asked for prayer amidst tears and upset. Thank God Earnie and one of the ladies were there to keep that divine appointment- they were able to minister to her after we prayed together. what a beautiful fulfillment of the principles the Lord had just surfaced from His Word! Life is hard, but God is good.

12:03:03 Christ's model for friendship

Here's a web version of supplemental teaching for this week's Bible Study... it's an htmlized Word document with the xml removed so apologies for the typo's.

12:03:03 Written in the lines...

I remember getting my first cassette recorder in 1969. I started making recordings that I could kick myself for discarding- lots of early early songs, meditations and such that are gone forever.

I have a colleague that collects wax cylinder recordings and has been digitizing them for some time. It just so happens that he is also a geology professor by profession. It occurred to us in a discussion one day that the grooves of the wax cylinder have much in common with the record of God's apparent building of the earth in its strata and layers. His- story is written in the hills. The latent remnants of voices long stilled by death on a variety of media are no less His Story.

So back to my recordings and the loss of many of them- I have kept many recordings of Grandparents and elderly aunts and cousins. These are remembrances and reminisces in oral histories that are a pleasure/treasure to me. Last trip home Mom gave me a recording of my Aunt and my Dad singing a special number at their church. I have not forgotten my Father's voice though he passed away 5 years ago, but I am amazed that with all those recordings it never occurred to me to record his. Sometimes the obvious escapes me...so I am here recommending that anyone who reads this overcome the obstacles and interview those close to you on video or tape- the voice is a very cool thing to possess.

12:03:03 Building God's House?

Erecting a church building in an anti-Christian environment may help establish legitimacy in the eyes of the community, but I wonder if it's really necessary and if it's worth the cost...Plusses and minuses I s'pose.. We can look at the NT and at early church history. While the church sometimes met in public areas (such as Solomon's colonade in Jerusalem) or rented out private meeting halls (such as the schoolroom of Tyranus in Ephesus), the basic pattern of church life seems to be "in public and from house to house."

They continued this style of gathering in the face of a *very* anti-Christian society, which opposed them with strategies ranging from ignore-them-and-hope-they-go-away to brutal annihilation. Pagan society of course had expectations for religious groups to have temples, yet historian Graydon Snyder claims that there is no archeaological evidence whatsoever for the existence of church buildings before Constantine. [Snyder, Graydon F. 1985. _Ante Pacem: Archaeological Evidence of Chruch Life Before Constantine. Mercer University Press. (ISBN 0-86554-396-8)]

12:03:03 The Radix

The root of the True Vine is our source of life in Christ. The ground of our new identity in the vine is Christ's identification with us in co-crucifixion and co-resurrection.

Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism in death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 .

This goes beyond the idea of purification alone. .Being grafted into the vine means we have a share in the history of its growth process, which includes planting, germination and bursting to life, as well as its glorious destiny. At the same time , the Kingdom is entered by the denial of one's own will and the confirmation of God's will. I think Christ's subjugation of his will in Gethsemane was as much a crossroads as Golgotha was. This stands central to understanding the kingdom.

12:03:03 Can the Church learn about leadership from Satan?

In Paradise Lost, Milton gives us an admittedly extrabiblical view of Satan.

Satan's sympathy for his "faithful friends" is evident after he calls them to arise, "Princes!" he says, and makes a case to them to fight . He is, as they all are, in pain:

His face/Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather...condemned
For ever now to have their lot in pain
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced...
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood

(PL.I. lines 601-611)

Perhaps Satan's success in this world is in part due to the one anotherness the demons share and the one anotherness the church does not share?

Note his references to the other angels as "friends," "comrades," and "Princes," Satan does what few leaders do: SHARE. Surely he realizes that he needs the fallen angels to fight his battle and he rewards them with treatment as equals. The temple constructed in hell is called Pandemonium meaning All evil spirits. Is it possible that these very qualities are the ones that won the angels to his side in heaven? In the temple, "A thousand demi-gods [sit] on golden seats" consulting as in a council. In hell, it appears that there is not just one throne and one almighty as there is in heaven.


" The standard of practical holy living has been so low among Christians that very often the person who tries to practice spiritual disciplines in everyday life is looked upon with disapproval by a large portion of the Church. And for the most part, the followers of Christ are satisfied with a life so conformed to the world, and so like it in every respect, that to a casual observer, there is no difference between the Christian and the pagan. "

Hannah Whitall Smith from The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life .

Man! that sounds like it was written yesterday! I pray for a church where spiritual practices are oxygen and the world does not fit. Think I'll find it?

12:03:03 Small groups

The Biblical basis for small groups is apparent. The early church met in this way(cf. Acts 2:46, 12:12, 20:8, 20:20; Rom. 16:4-5; I Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:5; Philemon 2). Many Biblical imperatives seem to require them.

Note the commands for Christians to minister to one another (Heb. 3:13, 10:24-25; Gal. 6:2; Col. 3:16; James 5:16; I Peter 4:8-9; Eph. 4:32). The very "one anotherness" of these commands necessitates Christian fellowship contexts small enough for our ministry to one another to be truly mutual.

One- anotherness is repeatedly mentioned in the same context with joy, I cannot think of a better thing to rejoice in than the work that God is doing in each other's lives.

Pronounced allay-lon, the ancient Greek word allelon is the very basis upon which community is built: loving relationships. The more precise meaning is ³one anotherness, mutuality² which is the bedrock upon which all meaningful relationships rest and loving communities reside.

The occurrence of this word-concept in the New Testament is legion, 178 times in 91 verses, yet we see very little of this mutuality encouraged or expressed in so many Christian communities. In the stead of oneanotherness we find authority hierarchies that resemble military or corporate structures with an elite group ³ministering² to the rest, but not many actually entering into that fellowship of equality and mutuality that allelon suggests. Yet one anotherness can exist in spite of the wrongness of the hierarchy.


Heard from a friend last night- her father died a week after finding out he had leukemia- he only lingered a short time. I've been praying for her and for him-. His passing was quick, he was 90 years old, and was a believer. So grace was once again sufficient and I need to tell someone this Godstory. Grandpa was saved at age 86. He is one who actually responded to a presuppositional apologetic in understanding his need for salvation.

One story touched me deeply- of how he asked to see his only greatgrandson who is less than a year old at this point. His grandaughter decided to take the baby's clothes off and place him on the grandfather's chest and cover them so he could feel his great grandson's soft skin. Grandpa cooed and cuddled his grandson and wept and sang to him...

That reminded me of our nakedness before God- how he dreaws us to His side and enjoys us- delightsand sings over us according to Zephaniah 3:17. Oh God- that we might understand how richly and deeply and passionately you love us, your children. We are covered by the very blood of the Beloved and you cradle us and keep us- our names are written on the palm of your hand. Excuse me, I have to stop and meditate on this right now...


Thought for the day: Grace is power, not just pardon.

Question: what's the difference in spirituality and righteousness? Hint: see Micah 6:8

11:03:03 Anthony's pet peeve revealed

Every obedience to the Holy Spirit's prompting is a beachhead invasion- a strategic point from which an assault on strongholds may originate just down the road a piece. Conversely, an apparently trivial indulgence or compromise is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridge from which Satan may launch an otherwise impossible attack. Think about that next time you are running down the road at 80 mph flashing your icthus at everyone.

Thought- My head is a prayer closet.

Question: Does my purpose enable me to play out all of life's scenes with continuity and meaning and grace?

"Unreal humility goes about deprecating human nature; the second is the genuine humility that stands in love and adoration glorifying God. The true way to be humble is not to stoop till you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that shall show you what the real smallness of your greatest greatness is."Phillips Brooks

True glory is acting as a mirror as we stand up to that Christ and reflect His glory.As he moves, we move in step with the spirit of the worthy one. That is the only way to fulfill Paul's admonition to walk worthy Gal. 5:25

We are agents of redemption. In Lev 25:23 aliens and tenants receive the right to repurchase land for the original family. This side of the cross we are to be reclaiming spiritual ground for the landlord as we move toward life in the city of God.

It is so important to do the obvious. God leaves signposts for us everywhere in the mundane things of life. Teachable moments abound if we will see the unseen. These evocations of the spirit are realized by practicing the presence of the living God in the day to day  comings out and goings in of our lives. Intimacy with God creates and reveals small miracles we will altogether miss if we are living with distractions. Spiritual practices (aka-disciplines) are  a means to the end of focusing our attentions on the REAL realities.Seeing with the eyes that be behind ours.

11:03:03 Leading index of Spiritual indicators?

I've taken the Briggs Myers Indicator several times with varying results. Earnie (my dear wife) says from her counseling training the number one thing to beware as far as misuse of the tool is that it is an indicator, not a test. I remember in Dallas a couple in a seminar arguing over the results of their indicators and getting mad and leaving.  Spiritual indicators are  one of the silliest modern inventions I can think of.

The biblical way to 'discover' your spiritual giftedness (note that discover is not in the language used to refer to this) is to follow this illustration. Say you are given a handful of 'magic' beans. (OK, OK bear with me now) One or more of the beans have the potential to  produce a superabundant  harvest. You can take the beans into the lab, irradiate them, run extensive tests on them, run them through a cat scan, x ray them and so forth.

Or you can till the soil, plant them, feed and water them and see the results. Shouldn't we be planting ourselves in to the good soil of the body of Christ and eagerly anticipate the manifestations of our spiritual gifts?

11:03:03 God's honeymoon

I note in Jeremiah that the wilderness experience of the Children of Abraham was  depicted from God's point of view as a sort of honeymoon time when God had them in absolute  dependence upon himself. What does that say for our times we consider wilderness experiences?


It is amazing to me how God  shows himself in people who never received much love in their lives. That they can be  loving towards others defies explanation outside of the grace of God in the image of God in man.

10:03:03 The Call

It's strange to hear someone speak of calling as being a call unto all of life and then five minutes later abrogate that argument with identification of best call as being unto professional full time christian ministry, but I guess I'd better get used to it. This is one thing the emerging church had better get right or the path will lead right back into a modernist dichotomization of the sacred and secular.

The Fruit of Calling distilled from Os Guiness' The Call

Understanding and experiencing calling can bring a deep joy to everyday life.-several fruits of living on purpose.

1. First, calling enables us to put work in its proper perspective-neither a curse nor an idol but taken up into God¹s grand purposes.

2. Second, it contributes to a deep sense of identity that is formed by ³whose we are² rather than ³what we do².

3. Third, it balances personal with public discipleship by keeping our Christian life from becoming either privatized or politicized.

4. Fourth, it deals constructively with ambition by creating boundaries for human initiative so that we can offer sacrificial service without becoming fanatical or addicted.

5. Fifth, it equips us to live with single-mindedness in the face of multiple needs, competing claims and diversions-the need is not the call. Purpose driven life is not needs driven life.

6. Sixth, it gives us a deep sense of integrity when living under secular pressures by inviting us to live in a counterculture and a countercommunity-the people of God-so we can never become ³company people.²

7. Seventh, it helps us make sense of the brevity of our lives, realizing that just as David ³had served God¹s purpose in his own generation, [and] fell asleep² (Acts 13:36), we can live a meaningful life even if our vision cannot be fully realized in one short lifetime.

8. Eighth, the biblical approach to calling assures us that every believer is called into full-time ministry-there are no higher and lower classes of Christian discipleship


http://www.worldofends.com/- what the Internet is and isn't...

10:03:03 Bound and Unbound

I dreamt of being bound last night and woke up in a cold sweat.

There is a tremendous difference between being set free from bondage and seeking to have the oil of comfort applied to you in the midst of your bondage. I meet men and women who name the name of Christ who have not realized the freedom they have in Christ. They live beneath their privilege while entreating others to pray for them for help in bearing burdens Christ does not intend for them to bear. What they need is to reckon themselves to be who they are in Christ, refuse to listen to the lie and remit their lives to the authority and Lordship of Christ.

I am more convinced than ever that the Word of God has the power to make people authentic. It is through wrestling with the Word that we come to realize the Truth. The reality of God is not only expounded in the pages of scripture but a supernatural encounter of that reality is there awaiting all who will seek it. Our unbinding is bound in the pages of this book and the eternal truths it contains.

10:03:03 Bought and Owned

"You are not your own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Utter submission- this is what is missing in the body of Christ. The reason why people wonder about the call of God on their life, their ultimate purpose is that they have not first and foremost realized that they are not their own. To properly understand your call you must first reckon that you are bought and owned by someone other than yourself. God's prescriptive will has a context. We are called to serve Christ in the power that Christ supplies, so that Christ gets the glory for our service.

09:03:03 The Blessed Shoulder of the Road

Forgot to log this last week- I was on the way to work when a semi swerved over into my lane- thank God for the shoulder of the road! (BTW, I was NOT in the drivers blind spot!). I sat there on the side of I- 270 for few minutes while I gathered my wits and lowered my blood pressure and heart rate and dealt with my righteous indignation level.

I'd like for you to believe that insight came to me at that moment, but I was too busy being amazed at the fragility of life at that time. It was some time later, in the midst of a teaching session that it dawned upon me that we sometimes are pressing toward the mark, making timely progress when the semi of life comes barrelling into our lane. We hit the brakes and swerve to the shoulder (if we are blessed to see one) to wait for awhile and gather our wits. The one thing that is most important is to understand that God is sovereign over these times.

It is paramount that we do await a chance to merge safely back on the freeway. It may be either an opportunity or a detour to take another path in such a situation. But it must not be an occasion to turn back altogether or simply sit paralyzed by the side of the road.


09:03:03 Christ and Crisis

I read somewhere that the word picture  for crisis in Hebrew relates to the birthing stool.

We know that the word for 'crisis' [mashber] is the same word used for the transitional phase in birth, which is generally the most painful stage of labor.

Human beings have been relying on their creative ability to reframe difficult life situations for a long, long time. The Chinese symbol, or pictograph, for the word crisis is a composite of two other pictographs: the symbol for "danger" and the symbol for "opportunity." For thousands of years, the Chinese have known that a crisis can be a dangerous time but also a time to look for new opportunities. Life can be even better and more fulfilling if we can find ways to endure hardships together.



Remember the verse 'Chedvat Hashem Hi Maozchem' [God's chedva/joy is your strength], which teaches us that a person can gain strength through God's  joy. There are four levels of happiness discussed in Jewish mysticism, and the one most connected to birth is the level of 'chedva,' which comes from the word 'chad' or sharp. This is an acute and pointed experience of happiness, which is felt internally, and when experienced on its own it is not accompanied by any outward physical manifestations.

 This name for birth relates to Chava (Eve) and birth which is associated with distress and despair. This woman cannot overcome the situation in which she finds herself, but another woman can see the good in the 'crisis', and can overcome the sharp pain through experiencing this sharp happiness [chedva].

08:02:03 Fear is a stairway to Christ. 

When  you allow yourself to be viewed as having it all together, don't be surprised if no one comes alongside you to minister grace to you.

 Isaiah 52:10 God bared his strong right arm to accomplish our salvation.Living in the light of eternity is not spiritual escapism. I  have heard that it is possible to be so heavenly minded you are no earthly good. I suppose if you fall into the mode of talking about heaven and when you will go while the world and it's people  are going to hell in a hand basket, the argument attains. But I wonder if that is real heaven mindedness? Doesn't seem to reflect the mind of Christ in any way. Actually  being Christ minded  rather than heaven minded makes us live in the now in the light of eternity. The greatest impact is made by those who live with a perspective that encompasses both time AND eternity. Like Jesus

08:03:03 Set apart from the womb

Galatians 1:15 says, "God . . . set me apart even from my mother's womb." It is amazing to think that the path to the fulfillment of Paul's purpose led through the valley of sin, fanaticism and murder. god used these perversions of purpose to bring about that work that he began in paul in his mother's womb. the gap between the purposing and the realization of that purpose in the end serves God's ends! So what does that say about our lives? God can turn anything- work ALL things together to bring glory to himself.


Bad Poets' Revenge

The filthy rags that Isaiah 64:6 likens our righteousness to were the menstrual rags discarded by women  when they were ceremonially unclean. Says a lot about our works. In contrast building us into the likeness of Christ conforms our character to His (Romans 9:29). That's what we take into eternity- I have often thought that the white stone that  he writes an new name on for us- a name that he will designate must be considered a part of our inheritance and the culmination of the adoption process whereby God displays us to the universe as His re-creation. That renaming must reflect in some way  the renaming of Simon to Cephas and Abram to Abraham and Jacob to Israel, as well as the naming of the animals by Adam.

In re-creation we are better off than in creation. Adam  was able to sin, we are not  able not to sin before birth from above, and able not to sin in rebirth. It is only in the consummation of time that we will not be able to sin. To me that leaves us much better off than if we were to have stayed in the garden. So God uses  the fall (our fault) to meet our need- and eternal dwelling in His presence. So you won't be seeing me trying to 'get myself back to the garden' (ref to CSNY- I just dated myself).

Rick Warren speaks in PDL of Life Metaphors. Not a new concept but one worth exploring- lots of richness here. Mine has been the anvil and the forge. I did a lot of metalsmithing in my day and I always identified with that process as a life metaphor. That's the process, as I see it whereby God reforms us into 'tools of righteousness' (Romans 6:13) one of my life verses. Here a page of metalsmithing links to explore and see the big ideas that pertain to this. I like to think of God flexing His mighty strong right arm to shape me. Isaiah 52:10 God bared his strong right arm to accomplish our salvation. Another metaphor of the work of Christ for us and in us.


From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://webpages.charter.net/awfoster/blog/