one tiny soapbox: November 2006
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Wednesday, November 29

Pink Slipped? or The Incredible Lightness of Being Laid Off

o one really knows the precise origin of the phrase. Nevertheless, it has enjoyed a long run as the premier way to convey the idea of having a sudden job loss. 9 hours ago, I had the distinct privilege of learning, first hand, just what it feels like to do so.

I was laid off; my position within the company was eliminated. And my copy of the slip was, in fact, yellow.

I do, however, know all too well what it's like to be "between projects," and so am no stranger to the full-time job of finding a full-time job. To The Sovereign Lord, I give thanks for His un-ending generosity. And to you Dear Reader, I give thanks for your prayers.

¡ovwssbgtfa!

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Saturday, November 25

Sovereignty & Injustice

Thanksgiving dinner for me was delightful, as usual. It is always a real Blessing being able to luxuriate at the table of a savory, well-prepared meal amidst the sanctifying company of Biblical Christians! But, my idyllic state of thankfulness was (thankfully) mitigated by a sobering conversation...

One of the dinner guests - a trustworthy Brother who is currently preparing for ministry in Asia - shared from his heart about a fellow member of our church who is presently incarcerated. He walked closely together with this prison-bound Brother throughout both the legal proceedings and the time of ungodly drama preceding them.

For some time, David's desire had been to use his formal theological training (from Dallas Theological Seminary) to serve as a missionary in Southeast Asia. His wife seemed to be enthused and in full support of this.

However, this dream was surprisingly dashed upon the rocks of a wife's sentiment turned completely against her husband. She falsely accused him of sexually abusing their three young children. Consequently, he now sits in prison, unjustly sentenced to spend what could be the rest of his life there. This at the hands of a woman who has shown all evidence of an Empty Profession of Faith in Christ.

There's more to the story, of course; a string of dramatic elements, including things like an accusatory testimony riddled with inconsistencies from the first; a distracted attorney who by witness accounts gave paltry attention to the construction of David's defense (highly favorable evidence from a prior civil trial went unused, witnesses went uncalled...outright lies were given to excuse such "oversights"); and most sadly, the forced turning of the childrens' own sentiments against their father, despite his innocence.

Indeed, this sort of "mockery of justice" can hamper one's trust in the American judicial system, and perhaps even one's view of the sacred bond of trust between a husband and wife. Nevertheless, God is in absolute control in David's situation, and in His Sovereign exercise has seen fit to bless him with a ministry to fellow inmates.

Meantime, he's seeking a re-trial.

My request of you, Dear Reader: despite the distance and lack of personal familiarity with these circumstances, please join me in praying for David, that he would be continually encouraged and strengthened, that his ministry would yield a harvest of souls for Christ's Kingdom, that his wife and children would be Regenerated unto Salvation, and that his case would soon be retried, to his vindication!

¡sbgtfa!

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Wednesday, November 22

I admit it

...I nearly cried when I read this brief post at a blog called titus2talk.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

¡sbgtfa!

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Monday, November 20

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Awesome! Amazing! Totally radical! Absolutely Fantastic!

Ever wonder if the use of words like these is overdone? What about: love...hate...adore...never?

I think these superlatives are frequently abused, and quite often given poor context. "Exactly how do you mean?" you may be wondering.

Well, consider that the only One to whom can literally be ascribed such descriptors as "awesome," "amazing," "absolutely fantastic," and the like is God, alone. Further, what more accurate definition of love can be found than was penned by Paul's own Inspired mind in his first epistle to the Corinthian assembly (many of whom were utterly guilty of losing sight of what it actually is - much like we have in the contemporary church).

I know, I know, it sounds like I'm trying to negate the cultural context of popular expressions. But really I'm not. Think about it: over 1 million words strong, and the English language has little more to offer than dizzyingly rehashed variations of the same old hyperbole? I think not. This is a call to not only consider the enslavement of these poor phrases, but also to remember (or learn) the vast richness that is the most common Tongue on Earth!

(Come, now...I know you can remember a few of those 2 dollar words ($.50, adjusted for inflation) from your high school English class...)
technorati tags: English mastery, superlatives, hyperbole, God, English abuse
¡sbgtfa!

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Monday, November 13

Love...

quietly perseveres;

is affectionate;

sincerely congratulates others, with no concern for its own lack;

thinks little of itself;

is respectful, considerate;

insists not on its own way;

is not irritable, keeps no tally of offenses;

is gladdened by Truthfulness, saddened by sinfulness;

muffles others’ unpleasantness;

trusts in Providence, is ever Optimistic;

is absolutely tenacious;

I declare this, with welled eyes, that to which I failingly aspire
technorati tags: love, truth
¡sbgtfa!

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Saturday, November 11

Today's Featured Blogger...

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Friday, November 10

...In Dust and Ashes!

Okay, I admit it...I'm a blog bandit. I say so because the following scintillating reading was provided, not by some lashing, Biblically astute wit inside my own head, but by some gifted bloggers down the road. I guess you can call it extended "blog-spotting."

First, this excerpt:
...no Christian transitions instantly from holiness to impurity. For instance, when a church reels from the scandal of an adulterous pastor, you can be sure that spiritual appeasement is responsible. When a root of bitterness sprang up, it was allowed to push roots deeply into the soil and leach vitality from the soul (Heb. 12:15). When circumstances pressured a weak conscience, they were allowed to press the conscience to the side (1 Cor. 8:7). When the right action was apparent, it was replaced with inaction (Jas. 4:17).

Step by step, a mosaic of sin began to form. Rather than declaring war on sin, the pastor sued for peace. After all, the wandering imagination is only natural. The flattery of attention is powerful, but not deadly as long as you know it's happening. Implementing God's commands are time-consuming, and there will be more time tomorrow (or the day after). Gradually, tiny acres of the soul were ceded to Satan with the understanding that this would be the final allowance. The pastor willfully ignored the fact that the Devil is a predatory dictator who will be satisfied with nothing less than total control of both body and soul. But Satan is also a wily diplomat; like Hitler, he will agree to partial control, knowing that a foothold today is a firm grip tomorrow...
Then, there's this great gem from the comments section:
The consuming, self-destructive nature of sin is like the technique used by Eskimos to kill wolves. First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed in a block of frozen blood. Next the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he realize that his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own blood. He just craves more and more until he drops dead in the snow. We are consumed, the Bible warns, by our own lusts. [Emphasis mine.]
(For attributions and full reads, go here...)

Ouch! May we all be bereaved over the exceeding sinfulness of our sins...and fight hard against it in our selves, our homes, and our Churches!
technorati tags: christ, sin
¡sbgtfa!

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Monday, November 6

Ted Haggard & I...

Surely by now, you've heard. If not, go here, and here to read about it.

I encountered Ted Haggard while attending Oral Roberts University. He was one of the favored speakers there. My most prominent memory is of his address to a men's conference one year, at which he admonished us to show patient consideration with respect to our (prospective) wives' differing libidos.

I have to agree completely with Tim Challies, on this one. Truly, I am inwardly no better than this, or any other man. I am a chief, self-deceiving Sinner. My own heart is as wicked, vile, totally sinful and untrustworthy as Ted Haggard's has shown itself to be.

With Peter, I acknowledge this sinfulness in me and supplicate: please, please, please, Lord, have Mercy on me, preserve me and do not drop me from the Blessed Grasp of your Grace!

And so, what now? I say the most appropriate responses to the Ted Haggard failing, are to: 1) Pray for New Life Church in Colorado Springs; 2) pray for our own hearts, lest we think ourselves beyond the reach of the Heinous; and 3) continue to call all men to repentance, humbly using even this sad thing as an opportunity to do so.

AFTERNOON UPDATE:

To be true, I must confess in the aftermath of this - another highly publicized moral failing of an Evangelical church leader - my thoughts have been somewhat mixed (ultimately for the good, I trust). On the one hand, though I abhor the tendency of many to grossly over-indulge in a dependence upon God's attribute of Love, I equally detest the ugly, compassion-less tendency to over-emphasize God's attribute of Holiness (or Wrath). Both these attributes of our Lord are very real and very, very relevant to each one of us. (As one expressed it, recently: 'It is the holiness of God that requires man's repentance/redemption and the love of God that makes man's repentance/redemption possible.')

I admit, I have tended to lean toward the latter, in an endeavor to compensate for the former, of which I was plainly guilty in my "BC" days. I'm still grappling with the balancing act between the two. Yet, I don't think I'll ever quite leave off the belief that the two must go hand-in-hand in any well-rounded presentation of
Gospel Truth...
technorati tags: ted haggard, immorality, sin, moral failing, evangelical leaders
¡sbgtfa!

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