September 30, 2010

I needed this word...

I was scrolling through the Google Reader, when this post jumped out at me:

"We need the help of the Holy Spirit."
"If we are not instructed, how can we instruct? If we have not thought, how shall we lead others to think?

It is in our study-work, in that blessed labour when we are alone with the Book before us, that we need the help of the Holy Spirit. He holds the key of the heavenly treasury, and can enrich us beyond conception.

He has the clue of the most labyrinthine doctrine, and can lead us in the way of truth. He can break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron, and give to us the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.

If you study the original, consult the commentaries, and meditate deeply, yet if you neglect to cry mightily unto the Spirit of God, your study will not profit you."

–Charles H. Spurgeon

I needed that word of encouragement.

September 26, 2010

Mere Christianity


I just finished listening to Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis via Christian Audio. I wrote a review for that book on their site, but I also wanted to mention it here:

Mere Christianity is one of those books that you hear about all of the time. So many have pointed out the simplicity of his arguments while referring to the depth of his conclusions in the same breath. Even the reviews already given on this site applaud this work.

I could sing the praises of this book as well because I felt that there were little light bulbs coming on as I encountered each new point as Lewis completed a few circuits in my mind, but I feel that I need to mention more than the book. The fact that I encountered this book in audio form has played into my enjoyment of the book.

Mere Christianity was originally a series of radio broadcasts. So as I listened to the recording, I almost felt like I was listening to Lewis giving those original broadcasts.

I highly recommend this book, but even more highly I recommend the audio version of this book.
I have a hard time writing reviews. I always feel like I need to be really profound so I end up writing and rewriting every single sentence. But even if the review itself is lame, the book is totally worth the time. Check it out.

September 24, 2010

Top 10 New Foods at the 2010 State Fairs

Sent to you by Mr. Harmless via Google Reader:


via Endless Simmer by BS on 9/21/10

With all due respect to George Washington Carver, America's greatest food inventions have all originated in one place — the state fair. From cotton candy to corn dogs to deep-fried Coke, the enterprising folks at America's state and county fairs top themselves year after year. Some observers thought state fair cooks had hit their peak last year, when the Texas State Fair debuted Deep Fried Butter. But in 2010, they outdid themselves once again, proving that if it's edible, it's even better battered and fried. From coast to coast (but mostly in the middle) here are our top ten favorite finds:

10. Hash Brown Hot Dog  – San Diego County Fair

hash brown dog
Hot dogs with french fries is a pretty fantastic lunch, but boy it takes a lot of effort to transport all those individual fries from the plate to your mouth. If only we could get the hot dog and the potato to be one cohesive unit, preferably arranged on a stick. Thank you, San Diego. Thank you. (Photo: It's Holly)

9. Deep-Fried Cheddar-Bacon Mashed Potatoes…On a Stick  – Minnesota State Fair

potatoes
Sorry, San Diego — did you really think you could best the Midwest at spuds-on-a-stick? Here, Minnesota achieves the state fair trifecta — potatoes, pork and cheese — all deep fried, all on a stick. For more of Minnestoa's many, many state fair foods, check out Baking Junkie's heart-stopping food crawl through the MN State Fair. (Photo: Baking Junkie)

8. Garbage Burger – Indiana State Fair

garbage burger
It's the great state fair dilemma. Should pork be the basis of your dish — or a topping? In Indiana, this is not a problem. Behold the garbage burger — a deep-fried pork patty topped with a healthy serving of pulled pork. Why settle for one pig when you can have two? See more at The Hot Cookie. (Photo: Sarah Richcreek)

7.  Deep-Fried Frito Pie – Texas State Fair

frito pie
No other state takes this season as seriously as Texas, the good people who started the deep-fried everything movement with their corn dog in 1942 and haven't looked back since. Earlier this week, ES told you about frito pies — those delicious piles of chili-topped corn chips. One guess what Texas has gone and done to 'em. (Photo: Texas Fried Frito Pie)

6. Deep Fried Klondike Bar – San Diego State Fair

deep fried klondike bar
California continues its surprisingly strong showing by having the cojones to throw a chocolate-covered ice cream bar in the deep fryer. This one's more concept than execution, because not so surprisingly, it's a total disaster to eat. My Burning Kitchen has more. (Photo: My Burning Kitchen)

5.  Chocolate Tornado Potato – Minnesota State Fair

2010statefairchocochipsks

Minnesota strikes again on the potato front. Fair-goers thought they'd never see an improvement on last year's Tornado Potato — a whole potato, spiral-cut, placed on a stick and deep fried. But this year they've dipped the whole thing in chocolate. Amazing. The Heavy Table has even more on Minnesota-fried goodness. (Photo: Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table)

4. Deep-Fried Cheesesteak on a Stick – Wisconsin State Fair

cheese steak
Sorry, Pennsylvania. Your iconic sandwich is great and all, but it took a state like Wisconsin to bring it to a whole 'nother level. By now you should know that level is what happens when you place something on a stick, batter it and fry it. (Photo: Cousins)

3. Sweet Potato Dog – San Diego County Fair

sweet potato dog
Because there's got to be at least one foodie at the fair who says, "don't you have another option besides just plain potatoes?" Why yes, we also batter that bad boy with sweet potatoes, thank you very much. This one doesn't look like it holds up in the oil quite as well as the hash brown dog, but they get points for trying. (Photo: It's Holly)

2. Corn Dog Pizza – Minnesota State Fair

corn dog pizza
I don't believe anything needs to be said about this item. (Photo: Northfielder)

1. Fried Beer – Texas State Fair

Deep-Fried-Beer
Yes, it's true. America has finally taken our two greatest loves and made them one. A ravioli-like pocket of pretzel-y dough is filled with good old fashioned beer. We don't know how it works, or whether it kills you immediately or just in the long term, but boy are we glad it exists. Try it this week at the official close of the fair season – the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. (Photo: Fried Beer)
Previously on ES:
Grease, Goats and Girth: The 2010 Iowa State Fair
Top 10 Food Finds at the 2009 Iowa State Fair
The 2009 Minnesota State Fair
Chicken-Fried Bacon

Things you can do from here:

September 23, 2010

"Well ... that was better."

Haven't watched the show in almost a year, but thought this was funny.




[HT: 22 words]

September 12, 2010

Living Faith: Manage Your Mouth

This morning I preached through the first part of that famous passage in James where he discusses the tongue. The title I picked was "Manage Your Mouth". I only made it through the first 6 verses this week. You can use the player to listen to this message, or right click here and choose save.




notes

(We had some minor technical difficulty. We missed the first few moments of the message.)

September 10, 2010

Blogiversary

Today marks the day that I started blogging 7 years ago...

... I wish this were a major achievement.

September 9, 2010

The Hymn of the Legalist

I just saw these lyrics posted on The Blazing Center.  It was written by Stephen Altrogee, with a little humor I assume...
Jesus Paid It Some

I hear the Savior say,
“You’re not doing enough;
Work your fingers to the bone,
I will save those who are tough.”

Jesus paid it some
I will do the rest
Sin had left a crimson stain
Now I will give my best

For now indeed I’ll try
To earn your love and grace
I’ll add the works I have
To complete the price you paid.

REFRAIN

And when before the throne
I’ll give my deeds to you,
I’ll hope I’ve done enough
To make you let me through.

REFRAIN (3x just to be sure)
If you are a true legalist, you just sang that.  There is no way you were merely reading it.

I am thinking about starting a support group for recovering legalists.  We will call ourselves LA (Legalists Anonymous).  We will meet at a different time each week, and you are never allowed to show up early.

Red States vs. Blue States

We might be leading to another civil war!  The Pop vs. Soda Controversy rages on!

September 3, 2010

I Faled


I think this is what my students are talking about when they say, "epic failure."



A good year.

I survived my first year as a pastor!

My church surprised me with a cake and a card and a gift!  Since my birthday was so close, the decided to throw that into the mix as well.

I don't know how much my church has gotten out of me being there, but I have learned so much from my studies... but not just the studies.  That is normally what I would have said, but as I write this, I have learned more than just what I have studied.

I am learning things about these people that are here. I am learning about their joys and their sorrows.  I feel connected with them in their struggles of life.  I want to spend more time with them, getting to know them, but I am trapped in my own cycle of "trying to make it" (in other words: work).

I am truly thankful for this year.I am thankful for the lady who gives everyone in the church a hug.  I am thankful for the guy who greets everyone every week, and when he is sick, he makes sure there is someone who will be at that door.  I am thankful for the guy who has recently come back to church.  I am thankful for the new people who are coming, just because they heard there was a new preacher in town.  I am thankful for the older gentleman whose wife can't get out, but he is faithful to make it.  I am thankful for his encouragement each week as he makes a comment about something that he has learned from the Bible that goes right along with what I was talking about.  There are more, but I just wanted to say that I am thankful for this family.

September 2, 2010

Priority Inbox from Google!

I love it when Google rolls out new stuff!

I just got my Priority Inbox in gmail!  "What is it?" You say...  Here you go:

Sermons

Two comments about the messages at Edgewood.

First, we started, through the efforts of my sister, a CD ministry at the church.  There is an older gentleman who attends very faithfully, and has been a great encouragement to me, who requested some sermons to take home to his wife, who is no longer able to leave the house.  After discussing it for a couple of weeks, my sister finally took the initiative to get it started.  Now we are rolling!

We will make the sermons available individually or in a set.  Then the sermons will be available to borrow from the church or purchase for $1 a CD.

Second, I get excited about little things like this which leads me to want to promote it.  The only problem with promoting this is that is feels like self-promotion!  No matter how I say it, it just sounds like I am saying, "Hey buy some CDs of ME!  Cause I'm just that awesome!"  So, I don't want to say anything, because I don't want to come across like that... but at the same time I want to promote the things that I am talking about!

For example, this last week I started tackling James 2:14-26.  A passage of scripture that has either been misunderstood or ignored so many times.  It is so potent in what it says that Martin Luther, the Great Reformer, didn't include the Book of James in his Bible!  We can't do that!  We can't be picking and selecting the parts of the Bible that make us feel good!  No!  I believe that Martin Luther eventually put his Bible back together, but we don't want to spend anytime away from the fullness of the Word!

So, if you would like hear a bit of the first part of the passage of scripture that changed my life  when I first read it back in February 1992, then I invite you to take a few minutes to listen to these words.



Living Faith: Part 1 from James 2:14-17