Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beware the Idles of March

After February’s grand total of 12 blog entries, March has been an incredibly slow (read: lazy) month for blogging. Not counting this blog about not blogging, I’ve only had three postings this month. Coincidentally, last March I only had three as well. Course, then I had a good excuse what with Ben’s grand debut and all. Wow, I can’t believe he is 1 already!! Where does time go?! Anyway, my policy behind blogging is that it should be fun & interesting. That means if I don’t feel like blogging, well…then I don’t.

But I’ve not been completely lazy this month. I’m working on recording an abridged version of Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper” for the kids to listen to when we go to Arkansas for our vacation. I’m also reading a book in order to write a review for Thomas Nelson. I’m still working on Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” but haven’t made much headway on that this month. We’ve also had our Spring Bible Conference this weekend (more on that later). I also managed to get our rather old tiller started and tilled our little garden area so Sarah can plant her veggies.

So here’s to a more productive blog in April. I’ll leave you with a picture of my very entertaining company who is sitting beside me. (Well, he was 10 seconds ago, now he’s crawled off in search of his next great adventure.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

10 years ago today!

Today is a special day. 10 years ago, I was 21, a senior in college, and a couple months away from finally graduating. And here I was as nervous as a high school freshman asking a classmate of mine out on a date. Well, a date as far as life at this particular college was concerned, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up a little.

For the first couple years of college life, I had pursued a relationship with another young lady. I had not based the relationship on God at all, but rather what I thought I wanted. In the summer of 1998, a series of events showed me that I was in no way ready for the responsibility and maturity needed for a serious relationship. At first, I didn’t want to admit this, my pride insisting that I was ready and all God had to do was put his seal of approval on my plans! As most, if not all of us have learned (and learn…and learn…and learn…), God doesn’t quite work that way. Finally, I confessed this as sin and resolved myself to a life of bachelorhood. That was towards the end of the fall semester, 1998.

When I started my last semester in the spring of 1999, God had given me two great and Godly floor leaders along with guys in my prayer group who truly wanted to live for God and praise Him. I had a good job and a great class schedule. I had no idea what I was going to do after graduation, but somehow I wasn’t really worried about it.

Then I went to class. Or two classes in particular, actually.

Little did I know that my world was about to be shook (shaken?) up by the classmate sitting to my right in one class and behind me in another. Her name was Sarah. Now, this wasn’t like some romantic movies you might see where the girl comes on the scene with music playing, angels singing, hair blowing in the wind (this was inside, after all!), and the guy’s eyes popping out of his head. No, actually, the closest thing to that was a flying sheep. Unfortunately, I was probably a bad influence on Sarah in this class because I had discovered a hilarious program on my computer that made a little sheep come up and do all kinds of cute little tricks – like fly through the air and land in a bathtub. I know, corny. But hey, when you don’t have angels singing, I guess a flying sheep is the next best thing.

At first, I simply wanted to be friendly. Nothing more. After all, I was now a confirmed bachelor for life, remember? But the more I talked to Sarah and got to know her, the more I wanted to know her more. In a word, she was fascinating! I’m not sure when it happened and I don’t claim to have the gift of prophecy, but at some point during that semester, God seemed to be telling me that Sarah was the person whom I was going to marry. But get this – I actually and literally argued about that with God! “But God, I’m a confirmed bachelor, remember?!” And it was as if God poked me in the ribs and said “Are you trying to get me to stamp my approval on your plans again?” Ouch. Oh I wanted to know Sarah more, but I wanted to be sure that it was what God had planned on - not me.

So on March 19, 1999 – 10 years ago today – I very nervously asked Sarah if she would like to go with me to a picnic in the afternoon. To my horror, she said she had already planned to go with some friends. BUT, she added quickly, I could come along if I wanted to! “Hey, that’s better than nothing,” I thought. We enjoyed the picnic together with her friends and then went our separate ways. But that wasn’t enough for me. I had to see her again! I picked up the phone in my dorm and started to dial her room. I think I got about 2 digits out of the 4 entered before hanging up. Trying again, I picked it up, dialed – and then hung up. I think I did this about 3 times before finally getting the courage to actually let it ring and not hang up when she answered. I asked her if she would like to attend the Praise Service at church that evening with me – she said YES! I’m pretty sure I was about 6 inches off the ground when I hung up.

And so began a relationship with the most wonderful woman I have ever known. There were a couple of times where she wasn’t too sure about the whole “us” thing. To me, that was okay because I knew something she didn’t – I was going to marry her! After graduation, we went our separate ways, but God in his sovereignty and in a way only HE could bring about (ask me about that sometime!) provided a way for me to move to Roanoke, win over her mom (who Sarah swears always takes my side :) ), and most importantly, win Sarah’s heart.

I love you Sarah and I’m so glad you said “Yes!” :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Music Monday - In Christ Alone

This is perhaps one of my most favorite modern hymns.

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Free Audiobook of the month


Prayer. Fasting. Solitude. Worship. Stewardship. What exactly are the spiritual disciplines and how do they help us grow into disciples of Jesus? How do the spiritual disciplines lead us on the path to Godliness? This classic book answers those questions and prepares us for a journey into the life with God.

With deep thanks to the author, Donald S. Whitney, we are excited to offer Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life as the free audiobook download for the month of March.

Also, special thanks to the publisher for this month's free audiobook download. NavPress, a division of The Navigators, is an organization meant to advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and disciple among the lost. For the printed version of the book, please visit the NavPress online store.