Monday, July 29, 2013

John Stott on James 2:14

We cannot be saved by works, yet we cannot be saved without them.  The place of works is not to earn salvation, but to evidence it, not to procure salvation, but to prove it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Prayer

You showed favor to your land, O LORD;
You restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.
You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger.

Restore us again, O God our Savior,
And put away your displeasure toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
Will you not revive us again, that we may rejoice in you?

Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, 
And grant us your salvation.

                                                  -- Adapted from Psalm 85

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Latest One-Minute Message -- click and listen for one minute....

Pics From Islamorada

During a run one morning -- all of a sudden -- I began to notice all the various kinds of flowers... It is amazing how you can be going along and miss so much because you are not tuned into your environment.  The same is true with your relationship with the Lord.  Unless you are paying attention, you will miss SO MUCH of what He is doing and saying.

Monday, July 22, 2013

More From Stephen Seamands

The ministry we have entered is the ministry of Jesus, the Son, to the Father, through the Holy Spirit for the sake of the church and world.

I am convinced that no doctrine is, in fact, more relevant to our identity and calling as ministers than the Trinity.

Ministry is essentially about joining Christ in his ministry, not his joining us in ours.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trash on Your Beach

My family and I recently have been on a vacation in the beautiful Florida Keys.  We had a good time enjoying the water, the wonderful beaches, and exploring the different and various keys. (See my other blogs and those to come!) 

Imagine our surprise when we came upon this beach!!   Expecting to see God’s beautiful coastline….

We came across this…. The Atlantic Ocean’s Garbage Dump!  A beautiful beach covered with human litter and trash.

Most people never think about what happens when they go to the beach with their family and leave their trash; or what happens when they are out fishing on the water and they throw their trash overboard; or what happens when the wind blows something overboard when they didn’t secure their stuff when out on a tour boat or cruise ship.  Well, it all ends up somewhere -- like on this beach!

The people who live on this beach and renters who come here for vacations clean their beach, but guess what?  The next day there is just as much trash to pick up.

Now, I am not some wacko environmentalist crusader, but I am a follower of Jesus.  He taught that we should love our neighbors as ourselves (the second greatest commandment).  Part of loving our neighbor is respecting those who will come after us; considering the implications of our actions on others.  We attempted to teach our kids to be considerate of those who would come after – to respect those who will use their space when they are finished– whether that is their rooms, the family room, the kitchen, and what they did with their toys.

In the creation story we are told that God appointed humans as stewards over the planet.  We are to use it and enjoy it, but we are to take care of it and to remember those who will come after us.

Maybe, the next time you are on the water, and you drop something overboard by accident, you will try to retrieve it. 

Maybe, the next time you have your family out for a day on the beach, and everyone is tired and exhausted, you will still make the effort to leave your place better than you found it.  

Maybe, the next time you go fishing with the guys, you will make sure your personal items are secured and trash is put away so the wind doesn’t blow it overboard while you are dealing with being seasick. 

Just maybe!

Let's Go to the Beach!

A Few Scenes from the Florida Keys

If you live outside the United States, you will not probably know that at the south end of the State of Florida is a chain of islands called the Florida Keys.  They are connected by the Overseas Highway which travels for 127 miles and has 42 bridges, including one which is seven miles long.  On one side of each island and bridge is the Atlantic Ocean, and on the other side is the Gulf of Mexico.  Here are some random pics of our recent family visit.

Beautiful view from Islamorado

View from Islamorado

Part of the old Overseas Highway Bridge

Allison caught this with her camera

Allison on a "ride"

Old Movie Theatre saved and  now a Drugstore in Key West

Beachside Hotel in Key West

Southernmost Beach in the United States

Beautiful colors

Let's go to the Beach!

Friday, July 19, 2013

From Stephen Seamands

As E. Stanley Jones warns: "Unless the Holy Spirit fills, the human spirit fails.  Most of us give lip service to what Jones says but don't really believe it.  We depend nominally on the Spirit but primarily on ourselves -- our training, our skills, our personality, our past experiences, our knowledge, our sincere efforts.  As a result, what we accomplish is limited to what we can do.  As Wesley Duewel maintains, "If you rely on training, you accomplish what training can do.  If you rely on skills and hard work, you obtain the results that skills and hard, faithful work can do.  When you rely on committees, you get what committees can do.  But when you rely on God, you get what God can do."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Peachtree Road Race

An annual tradition in Atlanta is the Peachtree Road Race, a 6.2 mile (10K) fun run down Peachtree Road from Lenox Square to Piedmont Park.  This year Allison ran her 33rd in a row (yes, in a row).  The rain held off while over 66,000 of us ran (some walked) our way to the finish line.  Fun time. Good exercise!

Allison at 6:30 a.m. before the Race

Allison in form