April 27, 2019

A Personal God.

From Stephen Um's commentary on 1 Corinthians:

“The idea of a personal God would have been almost impossible for the Corinthians to understand. In a sense it is equally difficult for us. And it is much easier to keep God at a safe distance. If he is just a set of data or a perceived lack of data, then we can treat him like an impersonal force. God becomes a decision that I need to make (“Do I believe in God or not?”) rather than a personal reality with whom I need to reckon.”
1 Corinthians: The WORD of the CROSS by Stephen T. Um

March 30, 2019

Preaching Jesus Christ... Crucified

“His task had been plain, his purpose definite; he determined to know nothing among them but Jesus Christ, and to know and proclaim him in a way least acceptable to the wisdom of the world, namely, as reduced to the deep disgrace of death by the cross. It was Christ and his atoning work and not any human philosophy of human salvation that formed the sum and substance of Paul’s message.”
Charles Erdman (The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: An Exposition)

March 23, 2019

we miss her when she's gone...

A couple of videos 
that I submit as evidence 
to how much we miss my wife 
when she is not in the house... 

You may draw your own conclusions... 

March 16, 2019


You ever read something in a book that leaves you sitting there, mind spinning? It is usually followed by an audible "hmm..."  I will then usually look up from the book and slightly to the left. (I'm not sure if that means anything, but that is how it happens for me. I love it when that happens, and I am usually grateful, because this occurrence goes along with my sermon study as I am preparing for Sunday.

This happened a couple of days ago as I was reading my commentaries for my 1 Corinthians study. This one came from Stephen Um's commentary in 1 Corinthians.

March 3, 2019

Welcoming All

At my church, when we are going through a book of the Bible, I never feel as if "I" have accomplished something or completed something... I always think of it as "we've made it through." In my mind... we worked our way through this, and this last book has been one of the largest undertakings of our Church: The Acts of the Apostles.

This morning, we will be completing our study of Acts. I believe that we started Acts in November of 2017. (You can find most, if not all, of the sermon recordings on our Edgewood Podcast.)  We've had a couple of side notes along the way, but I believe that it adds up to almost 50 sermons. I've learned so much on this particular journey, and I hope that those who have attended Edgewood, a little over the last year, have also learned from this endeavor. I thought about typing a post with some of the lessons that we've learned... but that felt a little too overwhelming. Instead, I would like to share a small fraction of the lesson that I found for today. 

February 28, 2019

Quiet Wisdom

For all of my teacher friends out there...

For all the ones who toil,
day after day,
attempting to help their students in the ways
that seem so small at the time...

For all those who offer
bits of direction,
and assume that there is only once concession,
well... maybe...

For all of those instructors
who instruct sincerely
and know in the end that very clearly 
that only a few were listening...

For every single educator
who educates from the heart
hoping each day that just one will start
to change...

For the teachers out there who counsel
though counselors they are not
this role they fill on the spot
when one child's ears are open...

Keep this saying in mind:
"The words of the wise
heard in quiet
are better than the shouting of a ruler
among fools."
Ecclesiastes 9:17 (ESV)g

February 21, 2019

God has granted you all those who sail with you.

About a year ago, I ran across a verse that gave me a measure of comfort. That verse is Acts 27:24.  It is right in the middle of a story involving Paul the Apostle, a ship, a storm, and an angel. (The angel is the one speaking to Paul in the verse:
... and he said, "Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you."
Acts 27:24 (ESV)
The last half of that verse resonated with me.

Even though I am never really alone, I was feeling alone at that time...  I was feeling like I was by myself in the work of the ministry.  I knew it wasn't true, but that feeling was working on me and I found joy in these words... especially thinking of our church as a ship and the ones who "sail with me."

I even set it as my background on my several of my devices for the next year...

"God has granted you all those who sail with you."  Acts 27:24b

February 12, 2019

Let your Requests be made Known to God

Philippians 4:4–7
[4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. [5] Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
At a typical prayer meeting, what do we do? ... We share requests. We have request boxes. We make lists. We submit them to one another, share them through prayer chains, and ultimately lay them at the feet of God. This is precisely what we ought to do, according to this verse, but there is more here.  Why did Paul use so many different words to describe our prayer request list?

February 10, 2019

February 9, 2019

"God's Own Fool"

"God's Own Fool"
One of my all-time favorite Michael Card Songs:

Seems I've imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind

August 23, 2018

The Seed and The Soil of Education (New Learning Project Part 1)

(This is my entry for the first part of my project for my New Learning course that I am taking.)


Corn Fields in Illinois
I have lived the majority of my life in the Midwest: mid-state Illinois to be specific. Where I live, farming is everywhere. My grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides of my family were farmers. My dad grew up on a farm and owned farmland, well into my own adulthood. But, even if it wasn’t in the family, I still would have been surrounded by farming. You can’t go more than a mile outside of my city’s limits without encountering miles and miles of fields. Most of our highways, and even interstates, are located between acres of farmland.

July 20, 2018

New Learning Course Update #4

As I've mentioned before, I'm taking a course this summer called New Learning through the University of Illinois. As a part of the course requirements, I must add 7 different updates related to the topics in the course.  This is update #4 on the topic of Authentic Pedagogy: More Recent Times.  The update ended with the prompt: Describe and analyze the features of an example of authentic pedagogy today. 

Here is my update:

Morning Bible Reading - Psalm 44

Morning Bible Reading today is Psalm 44