Monday, April 23, 2012

20 Seconds


Last weekend, I was at a conference where one of the speakers (Warren Barfield) described a scene where 600 families all fought for one small stream of water. They'd walk two hours through hot, dusty sand, literally fight to fill up their buckets, and then lug that life-giving liquid home to their families. They did this every-single-day.


I have mentally grumbled at the slowness of my refrigerator to give me water. I have to stand there practically forever to wait for it to fill up. Sometimes I check my email or respond to a text while I wait.

So after hearing that story, I went home and counted how long it took to fill up a very large glass.

20 Seconds

That's how long it takes my refrigerator to fill up a large glass of water.

20 Seconds

I am a spoiled, ungrateful human being.


Have you seen the You Tube video "Top 100 First World Problems" yet? He includes things like "my microwave doesn't quit beeping until I open the door," "I need to use 2 remotes to turn on the TV," "bad cell phone reception," and "the internet is slow."

I showed it to my kids, and we began compiling a list of "Top 100 Problems of First World Kids." They included things like "I lost my Webkinz password" and "I don't like any of the four cereals we have."


When I filled up my glass today, I took a moment to thank God for those 20 seconds, and the reminder to practice thankfulness in all of life.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Paul Tripp's Tweets

I recently cleaned up my Twitter feed. I'm no longer following over 1000 people. I now follow only 118. This was a huge accomplishment, and now my feed is filled with inspirational quotes, with an occasional sports reference thrown in now and then that I ignore.

I had to share a few by author Paul Tripp. (@PaulTripp)  He did a series for a few days on how our sins preach to us a false gospel.

Grab a cup of coffee and take your time through these. They are definitely more meaty than your average tweet.

False Gospel by Paul Tripp
  • Does envy preach to you a false gospel that tells you that God hasn't been as faithful and good to you as he's been to others?
  • Does legalism preach to you a false gospel of performance that seeks security in what you do rather than what Christ has done for you?
  • Does impatience preach to you a false gospel of urgency that keeps you from the blessing of resting in God's perfect timing?
  • Does selfishness preach to you a false gospel of entitlement that causes you to turn blessings into demands?
  • Does discouragement preach to you a false gospel that forgets that your future has already been written into the pages of God's book?
  • Does idolatry preach to you a false gospel that looks to something in the creation for what the Messiah alone can give?
  • Does vengeance preach to you a false gospel that focuses more on what someone did to you than on what God did for you?
  • Does bitterness preach to you a false gospel of God's injustice, telling you that others have been given what you deserve?
  • Does pride preach to you a false gospel of self-righteousness that keeps you from seeking the grace you so desperately need?
  • Does doubt preach to you a false gospel of timidity that robs you of your courage and causes you to question what is secure in Christ?
  • Does pride preach to you a false gospel that tells you you're righteous and able on your own, not needing God's forgiving, enabling grace?
  • Does fear preach to you a false gospel that tells you you're alone and left to the resources of your own wisdom and strength?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Building Blocks of Easter

My good friend Michelle shared an idea her kids had to model the Easter story with Legos. You can see this, as well as other great suggestions for Easter, at her website, Joyful Heart. My kids were inspired, and after reading through the gospel narratives, here are our five scenes:

 The last supper. Can you guess who Judas is?

Mark 14:22-26
 22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
 23 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.
   24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”
 26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

 The Garden Prayer

Mark 14:35
 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
 Judas betrays Jesus and the disciples flee.

Mark 14:43-50 
43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
   48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.

The Crucifixion
Mark 15:37-39
 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
The Empty Tomb

 Matthew 28:1-10
 1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”