Sunday, January 31, 2010
In his booklet From Pride to Humility, Stuart Scott has compiled an insightful list of 30 biblical indicators as to whether pride is resident in our hearts. Read these slowly and prayerfully.
1. Complaining against or passing judgment on God (Numbers 14:1-4, 9, 11; Romans 9:20)
2. A lack of gratitude (2 Chronicles 32:25)
3. Anger (Proverbs 28:25; Matthew 20:1-16)
4. Seeing yourself as better than others (Luke 7:36-50)
5. Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts and abilities (Acts 12:21-23)
6. Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities (1 Cor. 12:14-25)
7. Perfectionism (Matthew 23:24-28)
8. Talking too much (Proverbs 10:19)
9. Talking too much about yourself (Proverbs 27:2; Galatians 6:3)
10. Seeking independence or control (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 5:21)
11. Being consumed with what others think (Galatians 1:10)
12. Being devastated or angered by criticism (Proverbs 13:1)
13. Being unteachable (Proverbs 19:20; John 9:13-34)
14. Being sarcastic, hurtful, degrading, talking down to them(Proverbs 12:18, 24)
15. A lack of service (Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 2:10)
16. A lack of compassion (Matthew 5:7, 18:23-35)
17. Being defensive or blame-shifting (Genesis 3:12-13; Proverbs 12:1)
18. A lack of admitting when you are wrong (Proverbs 10:17)
19. A lack of asking forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24)
20. A lack of biblical prayer (Luke 18:10-14)
21. Resisting authority or being disrespectful (1 Peter 2:13-17)
22. Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked (Philippians 2:1-4)
23. Minimizing your own sin and shortcomings (Matthew 7:3-5)
24. Maximizing others’ sin and shortcomings (Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 18:9-14)
25. Being impatient or irritable with others (Ephesians 4:31-32)
26. Being jealous or envious (1 Corinthians 13:4)
27. Using others (Matthew 7:12; Philippians 2:3-4)
28. Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes (Proverbs 11:3; 28:13)
29. Using attention-getting tactics (1 Peter 3:3,4)
30. Not having close relationships (Proverbs 18:1-2; Hebrews 10:24-25)
[from the 9Marks blog]
I fee like I fail on every question. Thanks be to God for His grace in Christ.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I thought you might like this from Justin Taylor’s blog…and check out this quote at the end from John Newton!
I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.
He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”
I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”
He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked,
Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”
I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”
He said, “That is correct.”
I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”
All of a sudden there was silence.
You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.
John Newton in a letter to Rev. Thomas Jones (October 20, 1767): “As to myself, if I were not a Calvinist, I think I should have no more hope of success in preaching to men, than to horses or cows.”
Monday, January 25, 2010
Me: "Great buddy, you'd be great at studying math."
Malachi: "But Mom, could I also play ping pong?"
Me: "Actually buddy, lots of people who study math in America also like to play ping pong!"
So, I realize that it sounds like a bit of a racial comment, but Brad was a math major. And I'll tell you that he was one of only a few whities in the class.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
This morning, we had a little time on our hands, so we gallivanted off to a park. This is pretty much what Makaria looked like for a decent portion of our stroll. She laughed and said hi and shook hands and lifted up her shirt for all to see.
This is the first time I've gotten to do bubbles with her. I love 'first time' things with your kids. What a blessing.
Then we got to eat Turkish food. I love Turkish food. I do not love the hair on the arms of Turkish men.
I will tell you, that if there was such thing as an Old Person's Olympics, China would take the entire Western hemisphere to school. One of the things I love about China is watching the older people do their hobbies. They are always outside doing something. Playing cards, carrying around their grand kids, beating their legs on a tree, kicking around a hacky sack, walking backwards, hitting a badminton birdie, the list could go on and on. I've finally decided to capture some of it in pictures.
In this picture alone, there's a squatting man, a woman dancing with a plastic ring, a woman using the bridge to stretch, and a woman doing Tai Chi.
This is not your family reunion type of badminton. These people sweat playing it.
Now, this man with the jacket. He was initially walking around in circles clapping. He then realized that Makaria was sleeping and so decided for a quieter form of exercise. (This might have been a decision hastened by the fact that I shot him an evil eye.) So he removed his jacket. And started running in circles. And then twirling the jacket around like Julie Andrews.
This is one of my favorite exercises to watch. They all have a small racket with a ball on top. Then, there is music that is played and a routine that is danced. They twirl around, moving the racquets in a very fluid motion so that the ball doesn't fall. It's really amazing to watch. They put it behind their backs and through their legs and spin around. Amazing. And Makaria thought so too.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The article, "Is the God of the Missional Gospel Too Small?" comes from a ministry called "9Marks", which is solid in every respect (led by Mark Dever).
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Today is my not-so-little-anymore-guy's birthday! He's 6 today. The above picture is us at a barbecue type of thing, where they bring around skewers of meat. I've blogged about it before, but they have things like cow's tongue and chicken hearts and pizza made with cheese and bananas. There's also a huge buffet with noodles, salads, fruit and tons of other various sides. Malachi wanted to go there for his birthday dinner, so we packed up the gang and headed out.
Makaria entertained the masses, while we scavaged for edible meat. We really did have a good time. I think the older 3 kids went up to the buffet at least 8 or 9 times a piece. They were just beyond themselves. It was really fun watching Malachi soak it all in. He's a kid that feels and lives deeply. The waiters, the new foods, the shiny deserts. They all were very intriguing to him. I think he sampled one of everything on the buffet line.
Then tonight we had a family dinner at home and ate the Oreo ice cream pie and opened a few gifts. We did our traditional going around the table and naming things that we love about Malachi. He's really grown up a lot this year. He's very concerned about taking care of the poor, about protecting his brother and sisters (he started Tai Kwan Do this year, so if he sees a potential coflict, he tells us not to worry and that he'll just Kong Fu Panda them) , and making sure that justice prevails. He and I (Carrie), had a little lunch date a few days ago and we had the best time. He asked me some really great questions and we just chatted like old friends. It was wonderful. I love that little guy.
We had a great time together. He's growing up way too fast. I cannot wait to see what the Lord does with him as he continues to grow. We love you, buddy!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
This is what my kids looked like as they got ready for bed. We don't really do pajamas in our house. I dunno, I can't seem to keep the pajama world organized, so I just deny it exists. Henceforth, we get this:
On a funny adoption note, I wanted to share what is probably my favorite comment yet. Our family and a friend were waiting at a tv station for Selah's dance performance to begin (you can rest assured that there will be a blog on this in the very near future.). So of course we acted as the opening act as all the families waited in the lobby. Pretty much everyone just stares, takes pictures of us and asks us funny questions. Our friend was holding Makaria, when she got asked this question: "So, as the baby (Makaria) gets older, will she get whiter and whiter? You know, to match the rest of her family." My friend was laughing really hard when she called me over to tell me the story. My first thought was: "She's a baby, not a chameleon!"
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010
"doing right things" (effectiveness)
"doing things right" (efficiency)
Who cares if we are efficient as being ineffective? When do you consistently evaluate if what you are doing in your family, job, or ministry is most effective?
This requires distinguished between what is good and what is best. Satan rarely tempts us with blatantly 'evil' things. It's usual 'good' things that stop us from the best. We hear them in arguments when people say, "It's not bad!" or "This is a good thing." This requires Biblical saturated minds that seek the wisdom of God hourly.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
I’m not so much interested in a debate, but for those readers who are Arminian (welcome, by the way; I’m glad you’re here), how do you understand a passage like Genesis 20:6, where God tells Abimelech “I . . . kept you from sinning against me” and “I did not let you touch her”?
If God can prevent the action of this king, was the king’s choice free?
And if God can do this for the king, can he and does he do it for others?
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
We walked in and she told me that next time we should wear more fashionable clothing. "Oh," I thought, "you have no idea what kind of clientele you've got on your hands here." They wanted me to take some pictures, but modeling is just not my thing. And I'll tell you that my 8 year old was a little too good at it for her mom's liking. The lady asked me if I had taught her these moves that Selah was giving the camera. And if you know me at all, the question will make you snicker. Teaching my 8 year old how to model just didn't make the home schooling cut. All of these are her own home grown moves.
There are a few more pictures with me in them, but I'm not posting them. Nope...just not gonna post them.
Implication: This includes a willingness to be influenced by others. If you are generally unaffected by what other people say, you aren’t listening.
(from What's Best Next blog)
Monday, January 04, 2010
What one needs is far more relevant than what one wants.
Let this simple thought protect us from compromising our preaching and practice, from church hopping, relationship fickleness, and the emotional fragility that plagues us as modern Christians.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
We tried having pizza...closed. We tried having Ethiopian food...closed. If you've never been to China, you would not believe the amount of stores that open and close in any given month.
I definately didn't bring my 'A' game on this trip. I forgot important documents, tried to take our family to places that no longer existed and then left my immunizations on the window ledge at our hostel. (I realize that sounded weird as I typed it. Many times, we just buy our vaccinations and bring them back and have a nurse/friend inject the vaccine. I was trying to keep mine cold by putting it by the window.)