Monthly Archives: May 2015
That’s a good attitude to have when you’re experiencing a low in your life. When your family is not so great. When your church relationships are down. When your finances are NOT up. When you’re sick or your business/job sucks.
Look forward and insist on believing in success.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil –– Psalm 23:4. Sometimes it’s just a long valley.
Photo source: Pinterest. I neither own the rights to it, nor am I making any money on it.
Here’s some more Messi hyperbole: He’s a superhero. Worldclass players just aren’t as fast as him. He sees his way out of traps faster. He sees and sends through-balls faster. He cuts surgically faster. He curls in shots faster.
Lionel Messi led FC Barcelona to its second championship this season with two goals. The first was a solo goal that befuddles four (even six) defenders. That’s half the Atletic de Bilbao team. In the end, Barca dizzied their opponents to secure the King’s Cup, after clinching the league the previous week. Now the only thing keeping them from a triple-crown with the European Champion’s League next Saturday is the mighty Juventus from Italy.
Seriously, Messi makes top professionals look like clumsy kids.
What they say about a soccer player of his caliber is that he is always “dangerous.” That is, he is creating danger for the opposition (opportunities to score goals). He does things that no one else can. (Well, he hasn’t walked on water yet.)
When you pray, you’re being dangerous to the devil.
Somewhere in middle age, you need to consciously build muscle. Otherwise, you’ll be losing it.
I’m 47. I go to the gym. I’ve found that going to the gym is great prevention: you either suffer at the gym or you suffer in the hospital later in life. I feel very healthy, young, vibrant.
What’s true for the body is true for your spirit. If you’re not building up your spirit with the Word of God, prayer, fellowship and active kingdom work, you’re atrophying spiritually.
*Image source: dromo.co/5-reasons-why-youre-not-seeing-results/
A study suggests California is entering the worst drought in 1,200 years. Walnut growers provide 28% of the world’s walnuts, and they use more water than all the homes and businesses of Los Angeles combined (10 million people).
If the investment of water in walnuts seems mind-boggling, you should consider that more has been invested in your salvation. If God was willing to invest his only Son’s blood into one soul’s salvation, shouldn’t we be willing to give lavishly to fund the work of revival?
Toni Morrison’s only short story, Recitatif, invites you to guess the race of the two main characters, Twyla and Roberta, because Morrison carefully avoids stating it.
I always ask my U.S. Lit students at my Christian school in Santa Monica who is black and who is white. Results are always divided. Then my students begin to argue and pick out pieces of evidence from the story. This is a useful learning dynamic because it forces students to think, to use evidence to support their conjecture, but ultimately it is futile. Morrison’s genius is such that, being a African American writer, she writes about race with grace and gentleness.
The story is completely void of bitterness. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t even accept the conventional wisdom about racism. Both girls (all we ever learn conclusively is that one is white and the other is black, and your best guess is only conjecture) attack a mute, bow-legged “tan”-colored cook at St. Bonaventure’s, where they are housed as quasi-orphans. The picture of racism is simple: there is an almost irresistible urge in all mankind to hurt the powerless.
It is a haunting picture. It is a picture of sin. Left unchecked, sin will drive us to evil. Nobody escapes its clutches alone.
Morrison invites us to reflect about racism. It is nothing innate to whites or to blacks. In fact, it has very little to do with skin color. It has to do with the wicked, very human, innate heart condition to flaunt power over another. And in exercising that power, we humans harm.
Wow, this story explains much more than just racism! It explains why there is war.
But it comes up short in terms of finding a solution. In fact, the ending can seem anti-climatic. Roberta agonizes over the memory. She cannot fix for certain whether she and Twyla actually kicked the cook or did they just want to do it in their hearts.
Photo source: I don’t own the rights to the picture, and I’m not making any money on it.
And you don’t have to get on your knees to pray — although some people find the position of their body helps with there outlook.
You should call out on God before you get into desperation. Just saying.
You are too busy to NOT pray.
Image source: Buzzfeed
Many things are said to be blessings, but not all comes from God. If you swallow the wrong stuff, it will be bitter. I guess that’s why Rom. 12:2 says we should pray for discernment. The fact that the majority says something is good does not mean that it is in fact good. As human beings, we want to receive true good from God, not a something that looks like it.
Comic source: pinterest
This is the oft-overlooked part of the gospel. God changes people. I thank God I’m not the same, that my sin is not my identity. I’m so glad there is a Higher Power that can endow me with power to become what I want, a worthy servant of the Most High. Thank God for His effectual power to transform people.
Sometimes in the Bible, the transformation wrought was so revolutionary that God even changed the person’s name. Thus, Abraam became Abraham; Jacob, Israel; and Simon, Peter.
Image from Pinterest.
I lived under fear. When criminals got our checkbook, I was afraid they would kidnap. So I hid at a friend’s house with my family until new passports could be issued. When I got on the plane in Guatemala, the burden of fear left. I was heading to a safe place. America.
I didn’t fight to keep America free and safe. I just enjoyed the benefits. Thank you, veteran, for fighting for us all.
Need a breakthrough in your life? Maybe you think you need money. But not too many of us have that in abundance. This is how you get a breakthrough without a monetary investment. It’s called prayer.
Prayer only costs us time. Other than that, it’s completely free.
When I was a missionary in Guatemala, I didn’t have a lot of resources. So I spent time praying. And God did amazing things.
I realized that more work wasn’t the answer. Logically, God can get more done that I could. So if I prayed more, God would do what I couldn’t do.
Some people are so busy that they don’t pray. They don’t know what they’re missing.
With an art degree, she became a high-powered finance manager, then ditched it all to be a missionary’s wife in Africa for 20 years.
After so many unusual twists in her life, Brenda Bowen is now teaching 6th grade at the Lighthouse Church School.
Good thing she was a military brat. She got used to moving around.
Actually, it’s hard to describe Mrs. Bowen as a brat because she’s so loving, sweet and humble.
“Mrs. Bowen is really good at art, and she loooves to help kids,” said Ana D., her student. “She’s hip. She won’t yell at you. She’s very understanding. She knows when something is up, and she’ll do something positive about it. She’s a well-rounded teacher. She does tons of things. Just the other day we did clay.”
She never got her second degree in education because her father, a major in the Air Force, looked askance at perennial students. So with a bachelors degree from Southern Florida University, Mrs. Bowen landed a job with 1,000-employee Dun & Bradstreet’s Insurance. Read the rest of the story.
… is to pray and work for others to get saved.
We have all eternity to praise God, to pursue our hobbies, to enjoy riches. But the opportunity to save souls stops at death.
*I don’t own rights to the cartoon, and I’m not making any money on it. I credit its creator with genius and thank him/her profusely.
I’m 47 years old, and I just discovered Nutella. Of course, I had tried it on crepes at fancy restaurants, but I had no idea that I could get it for home. But my daughter, who has a radar for yummy stuff, began dipping strawberries in it. The curmudgeon in my resisted such unconventional innovations.
Then, one day overcome by an odd desire to try something new, I tasted for myself. Eyes bulged. Scoffing disappeared. Immediately I was
It took me 47 years to discover this delight. After almost five decades of life, I’m still discovering new wonders that God has prepared for us humans.
And you want to tell me that Heaven doesn’t have unending wonders to please everyday for eternity? Sorry, but I don’t think wings, white robe and a golden harp describe adequately Heaven. The fact that the Bible talks little about Heaven only means that God kept surprises for us.
I’m still discovering delights here on Earth.
Dr. Bob Hamilton started medical missions in 1998. To fund these expensive ventures, he went from upscale to large-scale. When the high-end dinners didn’t work, he launched a walkathon around Santa Monica.
We just completed the seventh annual Walk to Africa. I and my family were a few of the 100 volunteers.
“It was not a home run; it was a grand slam,” pronounced Dr. Bob the next morning in church. “Lighthouse is a family. Scores of people came together in a phenomenal way. We go on display in the community. The event really does touch the community.”
My job was a cheer people on at the 6-mile mark, offer food, point out the bathroom, point out the right direction after they rested. I can take satisfaction in doing my all — just a small but integral part — in raising $115,590, over half the goal.
My cousin called me the Energizer Bunny. I just want to see big things done for God. I don’t want to die not having spent my energies for Jesus.
Today we mounted the large-scale event, the Walk to Africa in Santa Monica, a walkathon that raises funds for Lighthouse Medical Missions. I’m exhausted.
I set up at the Fun Zone at 7:00 a.m. I directed traffic and cheered on walkers at the 6-mile mark. I packed up at 2:00 p.m. I was one of a hundred people staffing the event.
To help achieve a bigger goal than my own agenda is grand. You should try it. Especially if it involves serving humanity and serving God.
The central issue of the poorly named “cultural wars” is trust. People cannot bring themselves to trust our loving God whose Bible is nothing more than instructions on how to have happiness in life. He tells us how to avoid pratfalls and how to succeed.
But many people refuse to trust that He knows what He’s doing. They prefer to take matters into their own hands. Typically, they mock the Bible, sneer at Christians or just plain ignore them. And then they destroy their lives.
That’s ok because at any point you can come back to your Loving Savior, who will NOT reproach you for your rebellion. He’ll heal your wounds and give you a new life.
You can trust putting your heart into the hands of the Maker.
Gif: Gavin on Reddit. I don’t own rights to this gif and I’m not making any money on it. I admire its creator for his talent and work.
“I heard the kids at the house talking about the troubles in high school,” she said. “I felt like God was telling me that this is where I could help. High school can be a tumultuous time for teenagers.”
Mrs. Clancy is a volunteer extraordinaire at Lighthouse Christian Academy. She does everything from answering phones to counseling kids. And the extraordinary thing is that kids actually confide in her. She’s a high standard for loving staff among Santa Monica Christian schools.
“She is always there for me when I need advice or a little cheering up,” said Lizzie Hofer, a junior. “I can talk to her about anything and not feel weird that she is my friend’s mom.”
Mrs. Clancy is mother to two Lighthouse students and one graduate. A native of Chicago, Mrs. Clancy and her husband moved to Santa Monica four years ago with their four boys.
Now she is teaching an elective that helps students to discover their strengths and plan a future career. It’s called Passion Present Purpose and with nine students meets twice a week for an hour and a half. To teenagers, the future can be daunting, but Mrs. Clancy helps break it down. Continuing reading.
Children have joy. They make friends. They forgive. The love life. They’re trusting. They’re not cynical. They don’t know pride. They are innocent.
Have we become so sophisticated that we are out of touch with God?
If you are a human being, you can’t deny that you have influence. As a dad or mom, what kind of example are you giving you kids? At your workplace or in school, what kind of example are you giving to your fellows?
I’ve been overly anguished of late because my church, in dire arrears, is selling the property we purchased years ago for our high school, the Lighthouse Christian Academy. The property comprises three buildings and a yard; it has a double-story hall used by the high school, a church and a parsonage. The goal has been to keep the church a church in Santa Monica.
I’m appealing to all my blogging buddies to pray. This comes to a congregational vote May 20. I think we are behind in payments tens of thousands of dollars. We purchased the property for $2 million (something like that), and the sale price is $5 million.
The buyer won’t keep the church. One less church for Santa Monica. And, it seems to me, we are scaling back our commitment to Christian education. The high school will continue by packing the high school kids back in with the grade school and middle school kids at the main church building. We are past the eleventh hour.
What disturbs me also is that the secular buyer has a backer with $5 million cash to pay for it. Why do the Christians NOT have someone who can splash the cash to get us caught up with the bank loan and keep this property for God’s use?
I’m breaking my genre here and appealing for prayer and funds. If you know anyone who could donate $1 million (sorry, I don’t know the real numbers because I’m not on the Church Council) to keeping Christianity moving forward in Santa Monica, please contact me. Should I set up a gofundme account?
If you can give a $1 million, I can introduce you the reasons why you should give that money. There are almost 50 kids at Lighthouse Christian Academy, each of them a miracle of the power of God to transform lives, to rescue lives before they become totally destroyed. We have seen Lighthouse students become pastors and lawyers. We have seen lives be rescued out of gangs and other sins. To this ministry, I have dedicated my life. I teach here for free. My kids attend school here. I believe in this.
I can’t rule out the possibility that God would have something bigger for us in the future. But I also can’t get out of my mind that we’re not supposed to sell this property.
I wish I could give you the backstory behind these photos and tell you why these kids are worth more than $5 million each, but obviously I’m not at liberty to do so. They are stories of heartbreak and hope. You can find out more about Lighthouse Christian Academy by clicking here.
Before the Islamist gunman stormed a free speech rally armed with an assault rifle, Phoenix Pastor John-Mark “Vocab Malone” Rieser witnessed to him regularly at the package delivery service where both worked.
“When I heard about the attack, I wasn’t surprised,” said Rieser, a teacher-pastor at Roosevelt Community Church. “He’d expressed admiration for jihad before. He had told me Osama Bin Ladin was a hero. I’m just saddened he did it. It’s sobering to think he’s facing God’s judgment right now. Was there anything I could have said or done differently that could have saved him?”
Elton Simpson and an accomplice were shot dead by a cop with a handgun in Dallas on Sunday as they attempted to attack a Mohammad cartoon-drawing convention, a deliberate provocation to Muslims who feel offended by artistic renditions of their prophet.
Rieser considered him a friend.
“Elton was not insane. Elton was not mean. Elton was not rude. Elton was not wild-eyed. Elton was not constantly angry. Elton never threatened me,” Rieser wrote on his blog, streetapologist.com. “Elton was calm, level-headed, smart, and studious. He was generally kind and well-mannered. Bright and articulate, he spoke smooth and easy. Elton was not a poor unwanted outcast; a down-and-outer he was not. Neither the simplistic narratives of the right or left work for him.”
While the two were friends, they both tried to convert each other.
“We had interactions about who Jesus was, what the Bible is, who Mohammad was, what the Koran is,” Rieser said. “I cared about his salvation, and I believe that in his mind he was concerned for me.” Read the rest of the article.
The uncelebrated life fascinates me. The common man or woman, if we look hard enough, will show mighty acts of uncommon heroism that never went viral. The photoshopped face, the software-enhance voice of the media darling only proves a person who prostituted himself pursuing fame.
Wish your life could be lifted out of ordinary? Just give a little “extra.”
Photo from chicwithwords.
Editor’s note: I’ve always believed that “ordinary” people do “extraordinary” things in the common daily service rendered to our Lord. Here’s the charming story of a Southern teacher in Southern California at a Christian private school.
Most cheerleaders lose their spunk as they grow older.
Not Patti Cornett, Lighthouse Church School‘s 3rd and 4th grade teacher, who is every bit as vivacious as when she was a high school cheerleader in the second half of the 1960s.
“Even when she’s in a bad mood, she forgets about it and is positive,” said third-grader Roxy Photenhauer, who appears to have imbibed her teacher’s enthusiasm. “She SUHCKS it up, and the rest of the day, she’s positive. She’s very forgiving, but she still disciplines us.” (Yes, I know that’s a gross misspelling, but that’s how Roxy said it.)
In addition to her buoyant charm, Mrs. Cornett is loved for her southern accent.
Here are some Mrs. Cornettisms:
Y’all better sit down now.
You better put that away or might get gone. (Translation: it might get stolen.)
Go and bowance the ball.
And being from the South, she calls her kids “Honey.” But she says it like this: Huh-nee.
She’ll call even grown men Huh-nee. It’s not a pickup line.
Or maybe she’ll call her students, Mah sweets. In Californian dialect: My sweet. (She’s lived in Southern California for 14 years and hasn’t picked up the lazy-lip deadpan, but her students, giggling, remind her daily to drop the drawl.) Read the rest.