Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Blogfather's Birthday!

Today is my blogfather's birthday, and since he's the reason I ever even started writing on here (you can blame him!) I thought it'd be fun to write something here to honor him. 

My friend, Ellen, celebrates her family members' birthdays on her blog by writing heart-felt posts about the 5 things she loves most about those people on their respective birthdays.  I decided to take a page from her book (blog?) and try something similar...

Now, while I won't disclose his age on here, I will present, for your reading pleasure, and in no particular order, "56 Things I Love About My Blogfather!"

1.  He's been at it (blogging, that is) for over seven years!

2.  He writes HeartWorship articles for our church bulletin, usually on the same theme as the Sunday morning sermon.  They're usually not more than a few short sentences...but you'd be surprised sometimes by how much power can be packed into a few short sentences, when they're filled with His Spirit, teaching His Word.

3.  He enjoyed helping his daughter act out a fun Bible story at bedtime.

4.  He writes bad poetry.  (Okay, he says it's bad.  I disagree.  Judge for yourself.)

5.  He's a Trekkie!  (Hey, I guess someone's gotta be...and it sure ain't gonna be me!)

6.  Sometimes...not often, but sometimes...he does some of his best writing with a migraine.

7.  Since he used to work in advertising, he can write things in such a way that I read it with a voice in my head that sounds more like Billy Mays than my blogfather...

8.  He's a thespian!

9.  He preached this blog at PV one Sunday night...and committed himself to following Christ's instructions contained therein.

10.  He posted his own affirmation and encouraged others to do the same. (I just so happened to take him up on that challenge!)

11.  He wrote one of the most beautiful prayers for mothers that I have ever read.

12.  He was a househusband.

13.  He wasn't afraid to teach on the second coming

14.  He's a little bit nostalgic.

15.  He kneels!  (This is such a blessing to me, whenever I actually see it.  Which is not often anymore, since we worship at different times.)

16.  He likes to build things.

17.  He's a little bit of a computer guru.

18.  He's well-pleased with his son.

19.  Sometimes he goes the extra mile.

20.  He is employed by the church I worship with!

21.  He's thankful for his wife.

22.  He shared an exhilarating gift with his readers one Christmas!

23.  He recognizes grace...even if it takes a neon flamingo light to see it.

24.  Did I mention he's a thespian? (I would've given my right arm to have heard this in person...)

25.  He lives as a Mac in a PC world.

26.  He shares a most interesting (and maybe even a little bit scary) story from his college days...

27.  He thinks churches should be more like Cheers.

28.  He shared a precious communion moment with a brother in church.

29.  He sings in church..."lustily and loudly"!

30.  He skips church sometimes!

31.  He loves Eureka Springs.

32.  For awhile, he blogged "nothing but Christ and Him crucified".

33.  He offered grace to a brother who offered him only judgmentalism.

34.  More bad poetry.

35.  He wrote one of the most heart-rending posts I've ever read about 9/11.

36.  He makes a case for sarcasm! (Not that I would ever be sarcastic with you...)

37.  He took it upon himself to re-title some of our hymns.

38.  He knows what the gospel is and isn't.  And he shared it beautifully.

39.  He answered my question about the purpose of prayer.

40.  He taught me to pray like Nehemiah:  "Remember us, O God; for we want what you want."

41.  He wrote (and shared with our church family one Easter Sunday) a pretty good harmony of the gospel accounts of the Resurrection.

42.  He's a phenomenal story-teller!

43.  He says a prayer before blogging.

44.  He loves his pets.

45.  He knows that there is a time to be silent.

46.  He keeps his promises.  (I must also admit that I love this post because in the comments, he mentioned being proud of our church family, a sentiment that I share.)

47.  That whole communion series, 52 Weeks at the Table.  Except right now it's only about 30-something Weeks at the Table.  But it's incredible.

48.  Did I mention that he's a phenomenal story-teller?  He started telling His story as we read through it together in Project 4:4 last year.  Shame  he got sick and couldn't finish it.

49.  He prays for those who absolutely disagree with him.
Did I mention that he's a phenomenal story-teller?

50.  He has a secret life...

51.  He's told us what his favorite verse is...and why!  (Isn't that a lovely tile pictured in the photo?)

52.  He drives an egg.

53.  He's not afraid to attempt the absurd.

54.  He posted this issue of New Wineskins.

55.  He didn't let a little thing like a broken finger keep him from blogging.  (This was posted just 3 days after he described the incident that resulted in a broken finger and claimed he'd be "Out for the Holiday".  Glad he wasn't.)

56.  He knows that sometimes Reality Bites.

As a proud blogdaughter, I'd encourage you, my readers, to click on any/all of the links provided. What you'll find there is guaranteed to be more inspirational than anything you'll ever read here.

Oh yeah, and Happy Birthday, sir. Hope it's a good one!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Project Love--May--Love with ALL

I’ve been really hesitant to write about Project Love for the month of May, because unfortunately, I don’t have much to share as far as a church-wide project. The reason for this is that the church-wide project for May (and really to go on for the rest of the summer) was Adopt-a-Lawn. We were encouraged to get together in small groups and adopt the lawn of an elderly/disabled person for the summertime…someone that was needing their yard taken care of and they were unable to do so themselves. Since I don’t have a lawn and can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I’ve mowed my parents’ lawn…I figured I probably wasn’t the best candidate for that project. Regardless, I’m really excited about June’s project and sharing that here! So before I can do that, I figured I should go ahead and get May out of the way.

The devotional thoughts for May did not really include any study questions to answer. But there is plenty of study material, as we look at the ways that we are required to love God: (1)with all of our heart, (2) with all of our soul, (3) with all of our mind, (4) with all of our strength, (5) and loving our neighbor as ourselves. For each of these, we look at the Hebrew and Greek words used, and what they seem to mean.

1. With all of your heart—This seems to imply the center of a man’s inward life, or that which gives a man life. We are to love God with all our hearts by nurturing the spiritual life within us that He has given us. We can do this by obedience to Him and by fellowship with His Spirit, which He has given us.

2. With all of your soul—The words used for soul throughout the Bible are used in various ways, but they literally mean “breath” or “a breathing creature.” They seem to be used most often in scripture to refer to the emotions, attitude, and will. So in order to love God with all of our soul, we must choose an attitude of love and worship and obedience to God, rather than letting our own emotions get in the way.

3. With all of your mind—This word is not used in the Old Testament commandment about loving God found in Deuteronomy, but the Greek word that Jesus uses in the New Testament refers to deep thinking exercising the mind. With this in mind, to love God with our intellect, with all of our mind, is to ensure that the thoughts we have and the decisions we make must consistently be right and true and aligned with God’s will.

4. With all of your strength—The words used here for strength mean forcefully or vehemently. This means that we must expend all the energy of our heart, soul, mind, and body in loving God and doing the things that He would have us to do.

5. Love your neighbor as yourself—As we are using all of our energy to love the Lord, we must also expend the same energy in loving others. The example Jesus gives is a stranger needing help on the side of the road. This implies that anyone that you would meet that would need help is your neighbor. You must love them and help them in order to be loving toward God.

There is only one question with this month’s devotional. It is the simple question: Does God have your all?