Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday, Psalm 100-- A Psalm of Thanksgiving

IT'S BEEN A LONG, LONG WET WINTER AND VERY LATE SPRING.  On top of that, for weeks I've had a  sinus infection  that's left me de-energized and listless. Haven't known it till two days ago.  Now on antibiotics, I'm gratefully starting to feel my energetic self again.  It's a good thing--- I'm leaving today with family for Europe.  Blogging has been sparse to non-existent lately and may mostly stay that way.   Still, I may post a few pics from my phone cause I'm not taking my computer with me.  What a relief!

The sun is out today and warming our souls and spirits!  It seems a good time to post Psalm  100, a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to God!

1Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;[a]
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday: Idol #3---Need for Power

John Piper:  The Righteous Are Not Perfect, from Psalm 1, with video

A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth....the wise prevail through great power and those who have knowledge muster their strength.  (Proverbs 11:26, 24:5)

POWER.  Another overdesire is the will to power.  In 11:26 the word gains means to seize or take hold of through sheer power.  That is how ruthless men live.  By contrast, the kindhearted woman is 'characterized by grace...someone who acts for the benefit of others, not expecting a return.'  While she gives up power to serve others,  they serve only their love of power, which can take many forms.  Ambition and careerism can be driven by a desire for wealth as a means of gaining power.  The overlove of power can also show itself in people who are opinionated, poor listeners, argumentative, highly partisan, unteachable, and afraid to admit when they have been in the wrong.

As the woman gains honor, paradoxically, by not seeking honor at all, so Jesus achieved true strength by seeking not power but service. "Who is greater, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?...I am among you as one who serves." (Luke 22:27)

Proverbs 24:5 teaches that wisdom itself---not being wise in your own eyes, loving God, disadvantaging yourself for others---is in the end the greatest power and strength of all.

When did you last give up significant power in order to serve someone else?

Lord, there is nothing more seductive than power. If I am honest, I confess that there are many situations and relationships I enjoy mainly because of the power I exercise in them. Help me to kill the sinful part of my heart that rejoices in that. Amen.

Timothy Keller,  God's Wisdom for Navigating Life,  page 98

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Pal Sent Me This of Her And Mrs. Bush....I, Too, Have A Fun Tale To Tell of Meeting Her

REALLY GORGEOUS PIC JUDYC OF YOU AND FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH IN DC.  TWO GREAT, CLASSIC DAMES, TO SAY THE LEAST.  Let's talk about this and other tall tales of the Bushs and beyond over Zucchini Panko and pork tenderloin in Jackson next summer.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday-- Idol #2---Inordinate Desire for Comfort


Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will  have food to spare....Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;  whoever loves wine and olive oil will never become rich.  

---Proverbs 20:13, 21:17

A second form or inordinate desire is an inordinate love of physical pleasure and comfort.  The pleasure described is the joy that comes from the satisfaction of physical wants.  Wine, of course heightens spirits and oil was used in cosmetics and indicates beauty and sensual comfort.  The Bible isn't against pleasure per se.  Wine gladdens the heart of man and oil makes the face shine (Psalms 104:15)  And the overlove of comfort is no more wrong than the overlove of discomfort.  Sleeping when you should work (20:13) and working when you should be resting (Psalm 127:2) are both wrong.

Yet if we become 'lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4), it leads to disaster---not only economic,  but also emotional and spiritual.  At one level, addiction to comfort can make people detached, avoiding entanglements with people in order to protect their own time and convenience.  It can also lead to literal addictions to substances and sexual practices.  Idolatry takes many forms, and it is the wise man or woman who can locate and destroy anything usurping God's place.

What pleasures are perhaps too important to you---not just giving comfort but giving you a consolation only God should give?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you left the unimaginable comforts of heaven for a life of hardship on earth for me. Someday I will live in that same unimaginably glorious world.  Until then, however, let me not set my heart on thrills, sensations, and comforts but follow in your footsteps.  Amen.

----Timothy Keller,  God's Wisdom for Navigating Life,  page 97

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Utterly Disgraceful Mueller Coup


The Mueller coup

Robert Mueller's unconstitutional raid on the president's lawyer -- with Democratic Party operatives grabbing privileged communications -- is the last straw.

Mueller should not be fired.

Mueller should be arrested and charged with political espionage.
That won't happen, but I trust that something calmer and more effective will occur.

I hope that the president will empower Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to raid the offices of Mueller and every one of the two dozen Democratic lawyers he put on the public payroll with absolutely no vetting by Civil Service or Congress.

Furthermore, Horowitz should raid their private law offices and their homes.

Then -- and only then -- fire Mueller and his henchmen for abusing the authority of the special counsel.

What a government we now have. The FBI covered up the real high crimes and misdemeanors by Hillary, Huma Abedin, and the rest while pursuing Fake Crimes concocted by Democratic Party operatives.

Sadly, this unconstitutional spectacle is only the latest attempt by the Democratic Party to invalidate the last election and overthrow the president.

If you vote for any Democrat from senator down to county surveyor this year, you are condoning this un-American activity.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday, God Substitutes: Number 1--- Needing Approval

Fear of man will prove a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.  

---Proverbs 29:25

APPROVAL.  The only way to reorder our desires toward God is to identify where our hearts are already committed instead.  Let us look at the most typical God substitutes.  The first is human approval.  The fear of man is a snare.  If we look to human beings more than to God for our worth and value, we will be trapped by anxiety, by an overneed to please, by the inability to withdraw from exploitative relationships, by the inability to take criticism, and by a cowardice that makes us unable to confront others.  Our feelings will be easily hurt and we will tend to overcommit out of a desire for acceptance.

The devastation that comes from the fear of man has many forms.  It includes parents who are afraid to discipline their children and employees who are unable to call out corruption in their companies.  But we must obey God rather than men.  (Acts 5:29)  The only thing that casts out the fear of man is a deep love relationship with God. (1John 4:18)  Then we can say, "The Lord is my helper;  I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me? (Hebrews 13:6)

Whose approval is functionally more important to you than God's?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you said that you were the liberator (John 8:36) Now liberate me from my enslavement to "the fear of man."  I am far too concerned about what people think of me.  If I have the regard of the King, why should I care about what others say?  Never let me forget this.  Amen.

God's Wisdom for Navigating Life, Page 96
Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spike---Saying Goodbye For Now to One of Nashville's Very Best Men

BEEN A DREARY WEEK TO THE WINTER THAT WON'T end.  On top of that,  one of my favorite guys in Nashville lost his several years battle with cancer.

We all knew it was coming since last summer,  but prayed nonetheless for a miracle.

Spike was a family man,  a terrific CPA,  a farmer and an outdoorsman who loved duck hunting and fly fishing. He had a joie de vivre that was infectious.

I and many others will miss him mightily. His death has brought me to tears off and on all week. But Spike's beloved tractor with funeral flowers in front of the church in typical fashion made me laugh!