Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Will You Help Haiti?

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10, NIV

Put simply,
the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) improves the lives of people around the world. Click the pic to securely donate any amount you can or call (800) 424-ADRA. All donations designated for "Haiti Emergency Response" will go 100% to that purpose. Your contributions to ADRA International, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, are deductible for computing income and estate taxes.

Photo courtesy: AP / The Canadian Press, Montreal La Presse, Ivanoh Demers

If the Wind and the Water Obey, Shouldn't I?

Today [January 21 if you're reading this post the day MailChimp emailed you the link] I may have already ridden a boat on the Sea of Galilee [since Israel is 7 hours ahead of Ohio] and continued on to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount. We will also be spending time in Capernaum [Jesus' home base throughout much of his ministry], Cana [where Jesus did his first miracle], and Nazareth [where he was raised]. If you're in Toledo on January 30th, I'll be telling you all about it and showing you pics too!!!

BTW, Wikipedia says [click pic for more info] the Sea of Galilee is actually the largest freshwater lake in Israel. It is approximately 33 miles in circumference, 13 miles long, and 8 miles wide. The lake has a maximum depth of approximately 141 feet. Luke 8 says one day Jesus fell asleep on the boat he was riding across this lake and that a storm arose. So the disciples [tough fishermen remember like the guys on the Deadliest Catch] woke Jesus up [because storms don't scare God] and said, "Master! We're going to drown!" So Jesus rebuked the wind and raging waters and all was calm.

Unless I'm REALLY jet-lagged, I'm fairly certain I won't be falling asleep on any boat. But I will be thinking of this story. And remembering that if the winds and the water obey Jesus, maybe I should too.

Reading and Relaxing?

During the month of January, I've been doing lots of reading and relaxing. Here's some books [click any pic or title for more info] I've read [or re-read]. ● The Cost of Discipleship starts and ends with a bang. "Cheap grace," Bonhoeffer begins, "is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship...Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know...It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."
● Don't let your New Testament get in the way of your Old Testament. Don't be scared to read this book or the Old Testament the same way ever again [and hear its author live in Toledo on March 5-6]. ● Because my church already has a contemporary worship service, is trying to balance traditional and modern tastes, and is seeking relevant worship for a secularized society, I wanted to read this book by Greg Scheer.

Here's some others still captivating my attention: Proverbs [you know, the book in the Bible?!!], The Collected Works of John of the Cross, The Lost World of Genesis One, and The Art of Pastoring: Ministry Without All the Answers. Still in my stack: The Dance of Change, Surprised by Hope, Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) and Waking the Dead. As for relaxing, I've enjoyed spending more time with Jackie and my pastor mentors instead of preparing my weekly 10 page paper [i.e. sermon—who is glad I don't share everything I find?!!], and sipping my healthy smoothies every day. I can also now putt better in Wii Golf than real golf and I thoroughly enjoyed Avatar in 3D even though the Vatican did not [click pic to see why]. I hope you can make time to read and relax too!!!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Your Fave WTG?

1 Thessalonians 5:11 [NIV] says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." In the new year, I resolve to use more of these specific, immediate, and sincere phrases [taken from a pamphlet called "97 Words of Encouragement for Children" in the Children's Medical Center in Akron, Ohio]. Which is your fave phrase for encouragement?
  1. You're on the right now!
  2. You're doing a good job!
  3. You did a lot of work today!
  4. Now you've figured it out.
  5. That's RIGHT!
  6. Now you have the hang of it!
  7. That's the way!
  8. You're really going to town!
  9. You're doing fine.
  10. Now you have it!
  11. Nice going.
  12. That's coming along nicely.
  13. That's great.
  14. You did it that time!
  15. GREAT!
  19. You outdid yourself today!
  20. How did you do that?
  21. That's better.
  23. That's a good [boy or girl].
  24. Good job [name].
  25. That's the best you've ever done!
  26. Good going!
  27. Keep it up!
  28. That's really nice.
  29. WOW!
  30. Keep up the good work.
  31. Much better!
  32. Good for you!
  33. That's very much better!
  34. Good thinking.
  35. Exactly right!
  36. SUPER
  37. Nice going!
  38. You make it look easy.
  39. I've never seen anyone do it better.
  40. You're doing much better today.
  41. Way to go! [Though I prefer WTG!!!]
  42. Not bad.
  43. Superb!
  44. You're getting better every day.
  46. I knew you could do it!
  47. Keep working on it, you're getting better.
  48. You're doing beautifully.
  49. You're really working hard today.
  50. That's the way to do it!
  51. Keep on trying!
  52. You're the best!
  53. Nothing can stop you now!
  54. You've got it made.
  55. You're very good at that.
  56. You certainly did well today.
  57. I'm very proud of you.
  58. You're learning fast.
  59. You've just about got it.
  60. That's good.
  61. I'm happy to see you working like that.
  62. I'm proud of the way you worked today.
  63. That's the right way to do it.
  64. You're really learning a lot.
  65. That's better than ever.
  66. That's quite an improvement.
  67. That kind of work makes me very happy.
  69. Now you've figured it out.
  70. PERFECT!
  71. That's not half bad!
  72. FINE!
  73. You've got your brain in gear today.
  74. THAT'S IT!
  75. You figured it out fast.
  76. You remembered!
  77. You're really improving.
  78. I think you've got it now.
  79. Well, look at you go!
  80. You've got that down pat!
  81. Good work!
  82. Outstanding.
  83. I like that.
  84. Couldn't have done it better myself.
  85. Now, that's what I call a fine job.
  86. You did that very well.
  87. Congratulations!
  88. That was first class work.
  89. Right on!
  91. That's the best ever.
  92. Good remembering!
  93. You haven't missed a thing!
  94. It's a pleasure to teach you when you work like that.
  95. You really make my job fun.
  96. You got BLANK right.
  97. You've just about mastered that!