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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The guy on the fence.


If you have ever been to a High School football game, then you have seen them. The guys who are in their late 20's to 40's standing by the fence near one end zone or another. These guys gather around and gauge how this years team stacks up to the year that they played. This video I think describes what it is that these men are seeking.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tim Tebow, the bandwagon, and 3:16

Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards this past Sunday in a football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also averaged 31.6 yards per completed pass (an NFL record). 

The stats coupled with Mr Tebow's open profession of faith in Jesus Christ has prompted many different writers to make the connection to John 3:16. I can understand the allure of such a connection. 

John 3:16 is one of the most well known verses of the Bible in America. It is probably quoted as often as "judge not lest ye be judged." 
However, I would like to point out that the majority of the books in the Bible have chapter and verse 3:16. 

Start with Genesis, the first book in the Bible: 
To the woman he said,
"I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16 NIV)

Maybe that is the message God would want us to take away from the alignment of stat to scripture connection? 

Or it could be this passage: 

The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord's. (Leviticus 3:16 NIV). This verse is a part of a description of offerings that were a staple of the Israelite worship in the Old Testament. Maybe God is using Tebow to spur us to a better physical fitness level so we can all glorify God in athletic ways? Ok, maybe not. 

But what about: 

Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. (Judges 3:16 NIV)

Or...

And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there. (Ecclesiastes 3:16 NIV). 

Maybe?

The Lord says,
"The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles. (Isaiah 3:16 NIV)

Could be that the message intended was for us to read from a book with the same first name as Tebow...


Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

Maybe the point is to handle ourselves day in and day out so that when others ridicule us we have comfort...

keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:16 NIV)

You know it could be to draw our hearts to the other John 3:16:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NIV)

It could even be to let us know about the judgment of those who are half-hearted found in the last book of the Bible Revelation 3:16

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

I am not insightful enough to tell you exactly what the message should or should not be. I know that God would not be offended were you to explore the other verses numbered 3:16. I know that God is probably pleased with Tim Tebow not because he is a winner at football, but because he loves God and loves others. 

Hope you find this helpful,

simply HIS,
jb

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not a thumping gizzard.

First I would like for you to go and read this post by a woman I know as Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.

http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com/2011/11/guard-your-heart-bro.html

Now then. Here is my response to her post.

Distant. Angry. Frustrated. Driven. Workaholic. Crude. Bastard. Jerk. Jock. Checked out. 
Layers upon layers of names have been given to men over the course of their lives. Crybaby. Queer. Punk. Sissy. Useless. Quitter. Failure. 

Over and over again, the lies wash over our identity hammering at who we really are. Denying what is the truest about us. That we were created to bear an image, to reign over all created things, to stand up to the adversary that seeks to ensnare and destroy the truth about you and me. 

And it has damn near worked. 

There is a voice that speaks other words, gives other descriptions...

Son. Warrior. Lover. King. Mighty one. Kinsman, Redeemer. Brother. Husband. Father. Friend. 

A voice that cries out from the dirt and the rocks. A voice that whispers through the breeze of a summer evening. A voice that sings with the birds and the thunder. A voice that stirs a place deep within my heart. A voice that knows the truth laying beneath the rubble. 

Strong. Honorable. Worthy. Enduring. Protector. Defender. Rescuer. 

The reason our hearts need guarding is that they are the most valuable thing we have been given. The heart is the place of true reason and faith. The heart bears eternity and is the stronghold of our true name. The name that was spoken to us before the sands of time began. The name that we were crafted to carry with honor and courage. 

Jamie, thank you for the reminder Dear One. 




I would like for you to join this thread and comment. To hear your story as well, either on this blog or on Jamie's.
God Bless you and speak to you your true name.


simply HIS,
jb

Friday, November 18, 2011

What's that sound?

My friend Ken Holsberry taught on Sodom this past Wednesday night. Here were some thoughts from his lesson. 


Sin has a sound. Genesis 18:16-33; Isaiah 59:4. Is there anyone to intercede?
  
God hears the shouts of the abused, mistreated and tortured. 

He hears the moans of poverty, and the cries of the hungry. 

What does my sin sound like to God?

Why can I not hear it? Do I ignore it?

Abraham stepped in between God and Sodom to bargain for their life. (Gen 18:22-32)

Paul would go to hell to save his countrymen. Moses bargained for the lives of the Israelites. 

They all loved someone who was going to be destroyed. Do we love any who are in danger? Do we love those caught in their sin?

God hears the deafening sound of sin. 

During the triumphal parade like entry into Jerusalem, Jesus stopped and wept over the city for the destruction to come. The Christ begged they be forgiven from the cross and he desires that all would come and repent and be redeemed
From their lives of brokenness. 

 God is a justifier.


 God is a healer.


 God is a restorer. 



God will not turn a deaf ear, will you?


simply HIS,
jb

Friday, November 11, 2011

stuck in the pages

I was thinking today about how I read the Bible. I read the stories, the lists, the events, and I think on them and then teach from them. But I have no idea of the space and time that these events happened.

I know the historical situation surrounding most of the information. I know the teaching of some of the church fathers. What i don't get are the smells, the sounds, the dust, and sweat, the tension of the participants, the emotion showing on their face, the hearts racing in their chests, the silence...

I read stories of a man building an Ark, telling his neighbors about a rain and flood to prepare for, loading up his wife and sons and daughters-in-law. All in the space of 3 chapters, 68 verses, 2 1/4 pages. Astounding!! This 100+ years of life and activity and people and animals and wood, and splinters and arguments between husbands and wives......whew. Exhausting.

I lose this wander, and awe and excitement when I just readrightthroughtryingtofinishachapter. Yet the richness and fullness is there if I can just remember to put time in. Not more time reading, but remember that these people were living through all these cool and weird things in the same time constraints and effects I am.

LORD, please help me remember today the between the lines of the story you are telling.

simply HIS,
jb

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why?

My friend Benny Nowell (http://www.sevensonline.org) told me once about a vision he had outside of a place called Freedom tunnel (ironically spelled Freedoom). He witnessed this girl fixing up her heroin to shoot. The vision was that Jesus was standing next to her, His hand on her shoulder eyes fixed on Benny and saying, "it's about time you got here." 

The message was that Jesus is waiting for us, for His disciples to arrive in the dark places so we can reflect His light.  Many times we get all caught up in taking Jesus to the lost; yet, the fact is HE is waiting for us there. HE is wanting to take me to the lost. 

I hear the question frequently, "why would a good God allow suffering; bad things to happen to good people; children to starve...?" 

The question I ask in return is, "Why are you allowing it to happen, what are you doing to help?"

We can no longer just sit by and "Occupy Space and Time" we have a responsibility. When Jesus was asked what were the greatest commands, He answered 
  1. Love God with all you have.
  2. Love others as yourself.
This is a expository statement on the Ten Commandments. The Law and Prophets (The Old Testament) boil down to these two things Love God, Love everybody else. Why?
  1. Because God created you, and made the sacrifice that frees us from our crap that we choose instead of Him.
  2. Because God created others and they carry His image too.
Ephesians 2 tells us that God saved us not just to be little cute figurines in some cosmic display case, but that we were saved for good works. What are good works? Love others as yourself. Do you feed yourself? Get yourself out of dangerous situations? Clothe yourself? Buy yourself nice things? Then love someone else the same way. I am not saying you alone have to rush out and save everybody, but you can rush out and help someone. 

Lets agree to start small and simple, today make it your goal to only use words that build up and encourage those around you. No demeaning jokes, or sarcastic belittling of people. No jokes about Lindsey Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Joe Paterno, THAT person in the office, THAT kid at school, etc...

Look around, take notice, and then act on what you see. Lift some one up today in the name of Jesus Christ, lift someone up. 

simply HIS,
jb 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

You!


I have been between most of my life, between the world of church and “reality.” There has been very few times in my life where I have felt fully accepted, or where I had a sense of really fitting in. 
I have felt a divide between the world of home, school, work and church. I have also felt I have stood most of my life between two men. Two men who I love with all that I am. Two men that I look up to but quite simply do not fully understand. I cannot understand how two men so much alike in my eyes, who I have so much affection, and who I long to make proud could be so far apart. 
It has felt like therefore that I must offend one to love another, or that I need to bring them together. So i have lived this life of two worlds and they have collided. 
So how do I develop grace to all now?  I'll start with this. 

Yesterday I wrote about second chances to men like Osama Bin-Laden. Today I move past that hypothetical situation and speak about actualities. 

I could write out a list of men, women, children, dogs, cows, institutions, and ideas that offend me. But I just want to talk about one. You.

You make me sick to my stomach some days. You really do, you are hypocritical, lazy and insubordinate. I cannot believe that I even associate with you. I mean...REALLY? 

You gripe and complain and then chastise others who do the same. You neglect your daily Bible reading, go hours without one thought of others, and avoid hurting people because you do not want to be uncomfortable. You have told me the story of sitting in a McDonald's and being uncomfortable due to the people that were sharing the building with you. You look down on people that do not meet your expectations of holiness, service and dedication. You really chap my hide! 

You make me so frustrated that I am including your picture. 




I did not include your picture to embarrass you or shame you. I included your picture to tell the world that I forgive you. You need to know that when Christ died, He died for your sins too, and not just to forgive you; no, Christ redeemed you and is restoring you. You do not have to be stuck as you were any longer. There is hope for you that you may be made new. No longer trapped by what you have done, seen, or been. Today is a fresh day for you, a day of freedom and life. 

I pray that you take it and echo what one writer once said, " I run in the path of Your commands (LORD), for you have set my heart free." 

simply HIS,
jb