Friday, August 29, 2008
I would like to be able to say on this blog that this is a regular occurrence in this house, but it hasn't been. We, like so many families read the Bible in spurts. We will do it really regularly for awhile, but then it will taper off. I confessed to my sons the other day that this was my fault. As the dad, I view it as ultimately my responsibility whether or not this happens. My sons graciously volunteered to help me in this, which they have... hence the Bible reading last night. Back to the story...
So, I was reading the Bible to my children before they went to bed last night. I had taken a few days to read some proverbs to them and talk about what those things mean, but the last couple of days I shifted into the Old Testament to read some of the stories. Well, I got a little boost (or maybe a kick in the butt) to continue on in this daily endeavor when I stopped reading.
You see, I had just been reading a little bit at a time each night. So, when I came to a stopping place (or so I thought) and said, "We'll have to see what happens tomorrow..." I was met with a stereo "No!" Then a calmer, "Just a little bit more... Pleeeease."
What a motivation to keep reading! That freshness of perspective and experience renewed that sense of awe within me. "What a great story this is!"
[In fact, while I was typing this, my youngest came up and asked what I thought was going to happen next.]
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
If you haven't seen it yet, here is a picture of my school, taken by the Science teacher, Mr. Heavner.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The excitement in people's voices...
The sense that they will be anxiously awaiting my return call...
The feeling of love and happiness that they had a reason to call me...
That is what I felt when my sister left this message the other day.
By the way...
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Here is a clip from the preface:
You might be curious about a guy who would write a book called When Sinners Say "I Do." My name is Dave and ... well ... I'm a sinner. Saying "I do" twenty-five years ago to my beautiful wife not only didn't solve that problem, it magnified it times ten.
He goes on to say:
If you are married, or soon to be married, you are discovering that your marriage is not a romance novel. Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And that luggage always contains sin. Often it gets opened right there on the honeymoon, sometimes it waits for the week after. But the suitcases are always there, sometimes tripping their owners, sometimes popping open unexpectedly and disgorging forgotten contents. We must not ignore our sin, because it is the very context where the gospel shines brightest.
It has been so good that I have wanted to blog something from every other page. Maybe it is a little premature to start buying copies of it and handing it out to all my friends, but I have to say that is has already moved up to the top of the list of books on marriage that I own.
Before this my favorite book was Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson. That was a very convicting book, and one that I have recommended to others already, and still recommend. I thought that I had written some posts about it, but I can't seem to find them.
Anyway, If you have a few extra bucks, Check out this book, it is worth a read (at least the first few chapters. Once I have finished the book, I will let you all know how I feel about the rest.
I found this over at Rodney Olsen's blog and just wanted to pass it along...
Sent to you by mattharmless via Google Reader:
What do you hope people will say about you when you die? Does it really matter to you?
Sometimes I wonder who'll turn up at my funeral when my life here is over. Will those who do show up have good things to say or will their silence tell a different story?
I will have no chance to control what's said when the time comes but I can do something about it while I'm still here by the way I choose to live my life.
Will I leave friends and family with good memories? I guess that's up to me and the choices I make every day of my life.
I wonder about what kind of difference I'm making to the wider world. Will I be missed by more than those close to me? Will there be those I've never met who will be thankful that I was once alive? Am I making a difference through my work and through the the volunteer tasks I undertake?
I was saddened to read the following obituary for a lady who died earlier this month.
1929 - Aug. 7, 2008
Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.
She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.
Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.
Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.
There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.
How devestating to think that this woman could have made such an impression on the world she left behind. How sad that no one thought enough of her to even arrange a service to farewell her.
When they finally shut the lid on the box and send me on my way, I hope that someone will shed a tear. How do you hope to be remembered?
Things you can do from here:
Saturday, August 23, 2008
In the process of refreshing my memory and revising my notes, I ran across a verse that has never jumped out at me before, but I thouroughly enjoyed it, so I am passing it along to you.
Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you-
for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others.
Isn't that just a great verse? What verses have you had jump out at you lately? Maybe they were more like a smack than a jump...
Here is the description of the class from my church's website:
God’s Word gives us wonderful insight into such heart issues as anger, depression, guilt, fear, anxiety, and more. Join Matt Harmless and Jim Phillips as they share sound Biblical truth you can use to help counsel yourself and others. Counseling 101 is offered during the fall and winter Life Ed. sessions. This training is vital for those desiring to minister words of encouragement or exhortation in obedience to Scripture (Romans 15:1-3a; Galatians 6:1-3, 9-10; Hebrews 10:23-24, etc.). (Room 106)
I am looking forward to the class already. Not just because I love to teach (Which I do), but also because I always learn so much during the preparation process.
I doubt that anyone who reads this blog lives in the area, but if you do, I would like to encourage you to join the class. The class runs from September 14th to November 16th at 5:30 pm.
Find my church by clicking here.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The book started out quite interesting. It had a great premise and the author put the thoughts together in a very systematic, logical fashion. It was well researched and contained several great quotes and supports for his argument.
I am not going to attempt to summarize this book, but here is the gist of it: (Is "gist" a real word?) Intellectualism and the cultivation of the mind is an essential part and a core value of true Christianity. In other words, true Christianity and its faith includes reason and rational thought, it does not stand in opposition to it.
I agree with this basic idea. I get bothered by those who pass off the Christian faith as something for the dull-witted, like anyone who believes the Bible is some kind of back-woods redneck who hasn't been enlightened yet. I can be an intelligent, rational human being and believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the Jesus Christ really came to this earth in the flesh and died on the cross for the sins of humanity and that this earth was created in 6 literal days without evolution from species to species over long periods of time. These beliefs don't fly in the face of rational thought, they complement each other. I would go as far as to say that true rational, logical thought will lead straight to God, and the Bible is full of examples of Christ and the apostles reasoning with the lost in order to lead them to faith. I encourage rational thought, I am not afraid of it.
I am over-generalizing my thoughts here, so don't critique me too much.
The problem that I had with this book was two-fold. First, the guy was too wordy. He took 200 pages of small print to say what he could have said in 100 pages of normal text. Second, the book began to feel more and more like a rant. With a greater frequency, he began to use phrases like, "I think..." or "I believe..." or "Here are some suggestions that I would like to make..." as the book progressed. It was just getting to be a little too pompous for my taste.
So, I am recommending this book... sort of. Maybe you could call it a recommendation with a disclaimer.
Monday, August 4, 2008
The biggest reason this summer flew by is my lack of time off. I went straight from working at the school to working at the moving company. Then I have only taken two days off from the moving company. One Friday for a short family trip to Chimney Rock, the other was a Tuesday because I had the flu. Add in the hours that I have worked at the church, and it has been packed with work.
Now, here it is a Monday, and I am back at work at the school.
Fortunately I am going to take a short vacation starting this week. I am starting with a little family reunion in Gatlinburg, TN. Then I am going to visit more family in Indiana and Illinois. We are then taking a little trip up to Chicago for son #1's 10th birthday.
But do you think that I am going to leave all that work behind? Oh no. I will, of course, be bringing some of that school work with me. Mostly books that I need to read, but work none-the-less.
Hey boss, when is break time?