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Entries for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Don’t DUCK the Controversy

I just read a short piece stating that the icon has spoken.

Charlie Sheen takes on Phil Robertson by dropping down to basement talk and slinging ‘you’re a dumb redneck idiot’ talk on Twitter. Really! Charlie Sheen the poster boy for stupidity calling anyone else stupid and being taken seriously?

We are seeing 1 Cor 1: 27, “for God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise….’ come to life right before our eyes.

My take on that principle is exactly what we are seeing. The ‘wise’ in their own eyes will not accept true wisdom, but rather rant and rail based on their mind games they set up to help them feel ok in spite of overwhelming evidence they are really headed downhill on a runaway humanistic created theology headed for a cliff.

The evidence is everywhere. Today’s paper has an editorial from the editor of the editorial page about how the current pope doesn’t care about politics and closes with let religion stay where it belongs, ‘in church on Sunday.’

Well my Bible says just the opposite. My religion belongs on the street everyplace I go. It is part and parcel to WHO I am. It cannot be removed from daily life.

Phil is getting hammered for quite simply believing this very concept. Live according to Biblical principles because you truly believe them. He called sin a sin. This is simple yet profound, and not something the world wants to hear. Charlie Sheen says this is unforgivable. Really. It is just the opposite. This is the core of true love! It is calling white black and believing you just redefined colors.

Jesus came and said, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

He provided me a way to solve my main problem, living under the power of sin in my life. Sin that creates failure at all levels of life and even leading to death. Failure in every relationship, in every enterprise, and in basic functioning in a joyful satisfied way.

Jesus’ solution is not available until I understand sin and call it what it is; wrong, and my fault.

Once I get the great Ah Ha, sin is my problem and the source of all my problems; I now have a resolution to all these problems. Repentance!

But until the Ah Ha I was lost, foolish, darkened in understanding. I was smart, got good grades, lived a moderately successful life, but was inwardly miserable. I was doomed to ultimate failure over and over and over again. But unaware of my pitiful stupidity.

So is the way of the world.

Railing at something as simple as – here is a list of things God says are wrong. I love you and have a way for you to solve your issue. But I am God, not you. And you must solve your problem that you created, my way. Through Jesus’ payment of the penalty for doing wrong things. You must turn your desire to be a god over to the one true God. Accept the payment and you will be changed to a new creation, with a new life and eternal safety.

So the world rails at Phil.

It will rail at me.

It will rail at you.

But in taking our ‘religion’ and turning it into our witness of God’s love to us then taking it to the streets, we begin to change the world we come into contact with.

The world can argue theology, religion, church, and the right wing. But it can’t argue about the greatest message of all time, the changed life Jesus gave me and you.

We will be a force for change as we prepare the way of the Lord for His return. We will be a force for good and transformation of lives. We will be an occupation force on all streets, every place we go.

But we will also be railed against by those who don’t like the sound of ‘you are doing something God says is wrong.’

But we must say this because this is the core definition of LOVE.


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2 Religions

Here is my latest businessman theology.

In my view of the world there are really only 2 religions. ‘Code of Honor’ and ‘Agape’.

In Code of Honor religion, there is a list of things to do or follow. Depending on the Name of the CofH Religion, the list is different. If you fail the list, then the result is Shame. All CofH religions are ME based. How do I improve or live better, or get ahead? If I fail, I am subject to discipline that can procede even to death. But surely I will undergo shame from my peers.

In Agape the focus is outward; sacrifice, service, giving are terms used. Agape is true Christianity. Led by Jesus. I become part of Agape when I make a positive choice to follow Him. When I fail Agape, the result is not shame it is a restoration process centered around repentance, and on the foundation of Agape for one another.

There is a ‘Christianity’ that stays on the CofH side. Its terms and sound is a lot like Agape, but it is still a list filled with shame and me oriented. To move to Agape, I must do more than just affirm or acknowlwdge Jesus, I must truly Absorb Him through Faith as both Savior and Leader. I will see myself changed and starting to think and do things on the Agape foundation.

Now under Agape, I am changed into a new person. I am filled with the Holy Spirit and can hear and follow the voice of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will make the Bible come alive and lead me in daily choices. All things have become new.


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Christmas Letter 2011

To: Kathryn, Krisiti, Kimberly, Joshua, Matthew; Dennis, Rebecca, Grace, Emily; Zach, Taylor, Autumn, Emory, Mya; Marrisa, Byron, Jaelyn, Paxton;  Amanda; David, Jana, Nathan, Caleb, Sophie; Brian, Holly, Kaelyn; Nathan, Michel, Caelyn; Nathan, Kim, Kathleen, Nate, Josh, Adam, Carissa, Jenna; Kristy, Ray, Rayme, Joshie; Ed, Karen, Brian, Lisa, Tim, David; Matt

Dear Ones,

Adding me, this makes my 50 person prayer of Jabez daily prayer list. (sorry for any spelling issues, in my head I don’t have to remember the spelling). It started about 30 years ago when Kathryn and I heard Bruce Wilkinson teach on it, years before he wrote the book. It has been an almost daily staple since:
     

  ‘Bless each of us indeed, enlarge our borders, put Your hand upon us, and keep us from evil that it would not hurt us’


Over the years, as God talks to me, I add other pieces- sometimes the Lord’s prayer (as an actual request, not just a way to pray:)) – sometimes asking for His favor – sometimes adding others for a short season (like Matt Myatt while he is living with us, or boyfriends or girlfriends, or just my friends from work or church, etc.)

With this list I also have a list of daily attributes of God that I use to remember His glory (these I have written down since they can change each day- about 50 or so of them), and recently I am trying to remember people from the day before to start my day being thankful for them and my relationship to them.

All this to lead into; why am I writing a Christmas letter again after a few years taken off?

It’s Joshua’s fault. He said he talked to Kimberly and she was missing the letters (assume this is so, however there was that year when we got Missy on a Christmas eve waiting for pizza and he said Mom said she wanted a new kitty;-)

I stopped writing the letters when I realized I no longer had intimate knowledge of what was going on in each of your daily lives. They really were to help you remember your personal walk with God and Christian heritage. Kind of a personal old and new testament.

Then I saw Josh taking time out to write and print his letters this year, so I am blessed to see this tradition being carried forward. Not that it needs to be, but that each of your families have their own traditions to lay the memory foundation for each new generation.

This year’s letter starts a new tradition for me- I am going to try to share with you not so much what I see God doing in your lives, but what I see him doing in mine – to show you this spiritual journey we each individually start has no end………………………………

This year God took me to a whole new level of hearing His voice. Yes, I am hearing him speak to me cleared than ever before.

John 10 starts out talking about the good shepherd and His relationship to the sheep. It tells us he knows us by name and we not only hear His voice, we know His Voice.

Earlier this year Kathryn and I spent a few days watching our Nielsen grand kids. One day, I decided to take them for a walk. It was the opposite way from the day before. They were on bikes. Their previous day training of stopping at each street to be walked across was still intact. Good start at street one. Then as they took off in front of me and I was able to take my full time attention off Mya, I looked up and noticed (to my horror), not residential, but commercial driveways. A whole new level of danger for the young ones on bikes! So I sped up and started shouting. “Stop, Stop!” It was the end of the block before I caught up with them and by this time Autumn was crying. I had yelled at her. So I assured her I was not upset with her, just concerned for her safely. And whenever Papa used his Big Voice, that is all it is—concern for her safely, not being upset with her. It took about a half block for her to settle down and the rest of the trip went great, especially after stopping for some treats.

When we got back I was in a men’s bible study, when I heard the Holy Spirit at a specific point in the study say, “tell them about the Big Voice.” So after just a bit of inner argument, I did. Then He said to tell them, “That’s how I communicate with you. Sometimes I use my Big Voice, because I am concerned with your safety. Many times My Big Voice is circumstances to get your attention.”

For the last few years, I have been hearing God’s Big Voice. It started with difficulties in business/ job/ start ups/etc. and it included change in church, new relationships, and a new start up business; economics and finances not where I expected them to be at this stage in my life. But as my physical hearing has degenerated, my spiritual hearing has improved. As our personal finances have deteriorated, my abundant living has improved. As my ties to this world have been loosened, my expectations for His return are heightened.

Not sure if any of you are hearing His Big Voice or not, but I am also knowing his voice better as He opens up His word to me when I take time to meditate on it and ask Him what He means for me and those I love when I read it. Verses I memorized years ago are taking on new life. The Holy Spirit’s small still voice is getting a bit clearer. My believing friends are more willing to share with me. I can see Him in circumstances. All in all, I know His voice better.

And I know Jesus is coming back. And I know we each have a role in hastening this return, and it may be a bigger role than we can even now imagine.

And I know you can hear His voice and learn to follow it.

I am looking forward to 2012 with a lot of anticipation to see what God will be doing in all our lives.

Love you all

Merry Christmas—- And a VERY BLESSED New Year!!


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Brain Rules

brain-rules-cover****½

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

This book can improve your life.

This book is not a “leadership-lite” book filled with cute and truthful antidotes, but a book with hard science communicated in an interesting way. Dr. John J. Medina is a developmental molecular biologist.

Presenting science in an interesting and useful way isn’t easy and Dr Medina succeeds sometimes and fails sometimes. But overwhelmingly, if you push through there are nuggets of gold to be found in this book.

Six of useful things I learned that can be productively applied:

1) If I make a presentation to a group for over 10 minutes and don’t do something to re-engage their interest, I am wasting the rest of my presentation. (Interesting application, for pastors, teachers, consultants or anyone trying to pass on knowledge.)

2) If I don’t exercise, I am basically killing my brain one cell at a time. But it takes very little effort (as little as thirty minutes of aerobic exercise, three times a week) to have a major positive improvement on brain function, including reducing the effects of some age related disease.

3) Multi-tasking is a myth and I lose significant productivity if I allow myself to be interupted. In fact, if I multi-task in the car on my cell phone, I have about the same safety factor as a drunk driver.

4) Sleep greatly helps brain effectiveness, and an afternoon nap can give a big boost to productivity.

5) Our brains were built to operate when our bodies are actively exercising. Creativity is enhanced when exercise is part of the daily routine.

6) Vision trumps all other senses when passing on learning, especially text, so I need to radically change how I do power point presentations.

Dr Medina explains the current state of scietific research and findings, gives interesting anecdotes and stories and gives some valuable implications to our daily lives.

This is a must read for anyone trying to pass on knowledge- pastor, teacher, consultant, business owner, or parent.


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Missional Renaissaance by Reggie McNeal

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****

The Holy Spirit is moving on hearts around the world and it is exciting to see how the same vision is being expressed through individual lenses in slightly different ways. This is a wave coming on shore that will herald the coming of Jesus as He returns for His millennial reign. This wave is a radical reforming of what it means to walk with Jesus as a 24/7 marketplace Christian intent on personal and community transformation for God’s glory.

McNeal lays out a missional movement in which the church shifts:

1) from an internal to an external focus,

2) from running programs and ministries to developing people as its core activity, and

3) from church based leadership to community-engaging  kingdom leadership.

He states, “The movement founded by Jesus was largely a marketplace phenomenon, an organic connection among people who were experiencing a way of life together.”  This was not characterized by a set of religious activities layered on top of other interests but rather an invasion of all areas of life.

This will be a movement away from institutional church activities to incarnational living where we are continually being led by the Spirit of God.

Missional followers of Jesus do not belong to a church but rather are the church.

This is an great discussion of another face of marketplace Christianity where the very nature of “Church” as we know it will dramatically change.


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Radical by David Platt

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*****

Reading Radical by David Platt made me weak in my knees. This book  is both challenging and insightful. This is a quick read that gave me several ah ha’s.

A pastor of a large southern church, David discusses his personal journey in trying to match what he saw in his church and other US churches to the church he reads about in the New Testament. His conclusion is that the church in the US and American Christianity needs a wake up call; and this book is it.

I agree with his premis that the “American Dream” build on self reliance and bootstrapping oneself to success has clouded the vision of the Western Church and Christians. We have centered on Gods Grace without balancing it with God’s Glory.

One ah ha for me was the concept that God created us in His image, blessed us and then gave us a command to take His image which He placed in us and spread His glory around the world.  Applying this to my life, I need to be God’s image wherever I go and spread His glory everyplace my foot steps.

Platt sees the needs of the world around us as a target for us to address and bring Glory to God.

After eight compelling chapters, Radical concludes with The Radical Experiment, a call to a movement starting with each of us as individuals; “One year to a life lived upside down,” in which the reader is urged to commit to:

Pray for the entire world
Read through the entire Word
Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
Spend your time in another context
Commit your life to multiplying community

This is a great way to launch us from this very practical and challenging book.


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Going Live

The Blog theme is installed and I am live – now blogging.


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New Blog

This is my new blog under development. Soon I will have a new layout and theme applied so I can start posting in earnest. Coming Soon.

Meanwhile my bio and old blog are at http://thomasrnoon.wordpress.com/


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