Friday, August 9, 2013

Encouragement for LIVE13

For those going through LIVE13, I am guessing if you are like me you could use some encouragement. I remembered this song from years ago...It seems generally applicable as I deal with anger and every other sin that I need to confess and forsake (that have oddly arisen this week!). This is an encouragement for anyone who the grace of God is unwinding and teaching (Titus 2:11-12)...Though the synthesizer intro is a bit much, Wayne's voice and the gospel truth of God listing his people as a priority for rescue and redemption keep me humming this one...

It's Time by Wayne Watson

It happened many years ago
The memories still haunt you though
And who's to blame you really don't know
You're just locked all alone in these chains
Some times it's hard to live at all
The pictures of your history call
Your mind's a decorated wall
But the Lord has the cure for your pain

(Chorus)
It's time, come back to the land of the living
Come home to the land of the forgiving
Jesus will be faithful to the end
It's time, break the tangled webs that bind you
Let the grace of God unwind you
Give the Lord your broken heart to mend
It's time...it's time

You've had your little victories
But perfection's pretty hard to please
And guilt is an annoying breeze
That blows all that's peaceful away
And life is too short
To go on living like this
Or to brood over who's done you wrong
If the years pass you by
Look at all that you'll miss
You've been walking in shadows too long

(Chorus)



Shine in Darkness...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is up with Amsoil?



So, my brother says he has a product that will knock your socks off in regards to oil changes. I'm a sucker, so I bite. It's called Amsoil. I bought a case and tried it in my van.

Now I have a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country and I am no fan of changing oil.  Even moreso I dislike taking a car into a shop to have it's oil changed. When something is inconvenient, I try to do it well so I don't have to revisit too often. This is exactly why I love Amsoil's 25,000 mile oil change. Upon finishing the oil change, I said, "See you in 2015, baby!" I was sure to mark the mileage...and I have been checking the level regularly. All is still well.

Before I took the dive, I did a bit of research. I did find that this stuff rates out as the best on the market. Those are independent studies, I would like to add. It's really good stuff. But I couldn't understand why people haven't heard of Amsoil yet...

My guess is that more people would use it if it weren't for the multi-level marketing/lack of advertising of Amsoil. That AND the fact that there name sounds a bit like AMWAY--which, thankfully there is no connection. Nevertheless, their website seems to indicate that they are graduating from that type of marketing because you can purchase it online and not through a wholesaler (like my bro). Kudos to them, they certainly have a superior product, which should warrant better advertising.

As for the Sienna with higher miles, it gets regular oil. It would be a different case if it were younger in it's life cycle and not accustomed to the non synthetic oil, which is serving it fine. Amsoil is about the same price as your higher end synthetic oil you get at Autozone, so I do prefer to use it wisely.

So there you go. Amsoil: Official Oil sponsor of my van. And now you KNOW that. SID.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Calvin's Institutes...

...are now $.99 on Amazon. I just bought my copy and think this will be the only way I ever read the Institutes.  Just in time, because I finally finished the Hobbit. I just wanted to spread the word...Grace and Peace all.  SID.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Escaping Emotional Fragility

My pastor, Mark Vroegop, preached on Colossians 1:9-14 this weekend and relayed the story of Charles Simeon's life. One of the themes of Simeon's life was handling opposition and suffering. John Piper, a few years back, wrote a biographical sketch on Simeon, and I pass this on because it is like rare coinage:
What I have found – and this is what I want to be true for you as well – is that in my pastoral disappointments and discouragements there is a great power for perseverance in keeping before me the life of a man who surmounted great obstacles in obedience to God's call by the power of God's grace. I need very much this inspiration from another age, because I know that I am, in great measure, a child of my times. And one of the pervasive marks of our times is emotional fragility. I feel it as though it hung in the air we breathe. We are easily hurt. We pout and mope easily. We break easily. Our marriages break easily. Our faith breaks easily. Our happiness breaks easily. And our commitment to the church breaks easily. We are easily disheartened, and it seems we have little capacity for surviving and thriving in the face of criticism and opposition. 
A typical emotional response to trouble in the church is to think, "If that's the way they feel about me, then they can find themselves another pastor." We see very few models today whose lives spell out in flesh and blood the rugged words, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various trials" (James 1:3). When historians list the character traits of the last third of twentieth century America, commitment, constancy, tenacity, endurance, patience, resolve and perseverance will not be on the list. The list will begin with an all-consuming interest in self-esteem. It will be followed by the subheadings of self-assertiveness, and self-enhancement, and self-realization. And if you think that you are not at all a child of your times just test yourself to see how you respond in the ministry when people reject your ideas. 
We need help here. When you are surrounded by a society of emotionally fragile quitters, and when you see a good bit of this ethos in yourself, you need to spend time with people – whether dead of alive – whose lives prove there is another way to live. Scripture says, "Be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12). So I want to hold up for you the faith and the patience of Charles Simeon for your inspiration and imitation.
Charles Simeon: You can learn a lot from guys who are tough and dead 

I would surmise that emotional fragility is so rampant that it affects us like breathing in undetected chemicals. We all need to be mindful of how it zaps the strength and grace God gives us, much like a thief siphoning gasoline. The article and sermon were good reminders to spend some time with tough people and to become as tough as the grace of God will allow you to become on planet earth. Remember, the grace of God can be a tough thing. But tough isn't bad or wrong and tough can be satisfying and fulfilling. My pastor routinely says something similar, except is sounds wiser and more pithy coming from him:). Piper's transcript is here, read the whole thing. Tolle legge. TSID.