Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Road to Hell

Do you make New Year?s resolutions? Do you see this time to be a chance to set things straight or a good time to drop bad habits or set new goals? I?m really curious – please drop a brief comment.

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I usually don?t do stuff like this, at least in conjunction with January 1, but this time I am making a few plans for 2009:

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* For most of this year, if not the entire 365 days, I plan to mega-saturate myself in Romans 12. Maybe memorize it??
?* I?m going to drop 20-25 pounds. Mark my words – by 2010 you?ll be calling me “Slim”.

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Or maybe I?ll get bored with Romans 12 within 2 weeks and drop the idea. Maybe I?ll decide pizza is a gift from God and I?ll be content to just maintain weight in ?09.

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St. Bernard purportedly said something like, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” He must have been a big New Years resolution type of guy – at least for awhile.

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Peace,
?Dave

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A Bible for Penn

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I received this email this morning from my friend Brian:

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Hey Dave, I stumbled across this on YouTube today and thought I?d share it. Not sure how familiar you are with Penn & Teller, but Penn is a very vocal atheist and from time to time he posts journalistic videos on YouTube. Apparently someone approached him recently at one of his shows and handed him a Bible. I thought this spoke well to the Walk Across The Room series and, although Penn seems to remain an atheist, he seemed very moved by the sincerity and kindness of the man that approached him.

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Very interesting. Thanks for passing this along Brian!

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Have a Merry Christmas everyone. I pray we each take every opportunity to just walk across the room.

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Peace,
?Dave

Bob the Builder

This evening I had a really awesome opportunity. I prayed for a person’s basement.

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This past September we had a period of severe weather – it rained hard for two solid days. There were a lot of flooded basements in the area – especially in my neighborhood. One home in particular – had water in the basement just three inches shy of the ceiling as water caved in the basement windows. The homeowner, a single mom of two teenagers was devastated and discouraged beyond words. She cried for a week straight.

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At this same time our church was doing a 4 week teaching series – Faith In Action: Be the Church. Our challenge was to get involved in the lives of others – to be the hands and feet of Jesus; to love in practical ways – talk less and let our good deeds “do the preaching.”
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?Okay – stay with me – here is where the two stories intersect.

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Bob is a guy in our church. A skilled carpenter. God gave Bob a vision. Bob and his wife were friends of flooded basement lady. Bob became convinced that he was to give her back her basement. Bob recruited Mike and Phil and others. Lots of work – rip everything out down to the cement walls – new steel studs, drywall, all new electric, furnace, flooring, furniture, washer and dryer, fresh paint, etc. Today the work was finally completed.

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I was invited to be there tonight as flooded basement lady saw her newly remodeled basement for the first time. She screamed. She cried. We gathered in a circle to thank God. This is where I came in. I may not be mechanically inclined but I can pray!

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I’m thinking that this was the Body of Christ at its best. I am really proud of Bob. I think Jesus is too.

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Peace,
?Dave

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Living Fire Hydrants

“When I?m late to church, people turn around and stare at me with frowns of disapproval. I get the clear message that I?m not as responsible as they are. When I?m late to Alcoholics Anonymous, the meeting comes to a halt, and everyone jumps up to hug and welcome me. They realize that my lateness may be a sign that I almost didn?t make it. When I show up, it proves that my desperate need for them won out over my desperate need for alcohol.”

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I read this quote today in an article by Philip Yancey as he shares what a friend once said to him. I was really struck by this quote. It got me thinking.

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What explains the two very different responses to his coming in late?

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Brokenness. Recovering alcoholics are broken and they know it. God loves brokenness. They dispense grace to others like water out of a fire hydrant. God calls the church to be grace givers but we tend to be stingy with it. Our reflexive response is so often to judge rather than to accept. We might give lip service to our being broken but our attitudes and thoughts betray us. That kills me. I hate that about myself.

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I hope ACC isn’t like that too much.

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This also reminded me how badly we need a Christ centered recovery ministry at ACC. We have the vision. We just need a leader. Please join me in praying God raises up the leader we need.

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Peace,
?Dave

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Simple Prayer

Praying is hard! Almost every time I pray a 100 different things come flooding through my brain – upcoming meetings, unfinished tasks, people I need to contact and what’s for dinner? You know that experience? It makes me feel guilty and embarrassed that I could be so unfocused and maybe even disrespectful to God. It’s like having spiritual ADD!

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?This morning in preparing for my Thursday morning Soul Purpose bible study I was reading a chapter on prayer in John Ortberg’s book The Life You’ve Always Wanted.
?It was a huge encouragement to me. Here is some of what I gleaned:

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•?I should pray about what is really on my heart, not what I think should be on my heart. C.S. Lewis once wrote concerning prayer that we must “lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.”

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•?If my mind wanders to a certain topic or situation while I’m trying to pray – then obviously that’s something I should take time to talk about with my Heavenly Father!

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•?Prayer is a learned behavior. No one is born good at it and no one becomes an expert at it.

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•?God is my loving Father. Just as I, as an earthly father, delight in my children calling me on the phone or talking with me over a nice meal, so how much more does God delight in my attempts to talk to Him?

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Prayer is proof that we have a personal relationship with the Creator of the heavens and earth!

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Peace,
?Dave

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