Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reading Tip And Other Stuff

In the helpful book Relational Masks (Intervarsity Press, 2004) Christian counselor Russell Willingham identifies 6 masks that keep us from relating freely, openly, and honestly to God and other persons. He also discusses several core beliefs that underlie and undergird these impaired emotional identities. This is a short, easy-to-read, practical work that would be beneficial to people helpers as well as individuals seeking to understand themselves better.

Watched the Democratic presidential candidates' debate from Philadelphia on MSNBC last night. I thought Hillary managed to do well against Barack Obama and John Edwards, but she hedged and bluffed her way through Tim Russert's questions about her quarantined papers from her husband's administration in the 1990's. I was most impressed with John Edwards. I do enjoy hearing Joe Biden talk, though. Some good, smart communicators in this group but I just can't swallow their philosophy.

Vicki bumped into the refrigerator last night. Got her foot x-rayed this morning...she fractured it and broke 2 toes.

Was reminded by Wade Burleson's blog that today is Reformation Day, celebrating Martin Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses to that church door in Germany so many years ago, the event that launched the Protestant Reformation. We are greatly indebted to Luther. I wonder how many people will think about that with all the Halloween hoopla going on?

And speaking of Halloween, I don't think that this day should be viewed as wholly devoted to darkness and paganism. Sometimes we Christians can get a little obsessive about that. Halloween can be a time for celebrating fun and children and can be a time for outreach projects and emphasizing light and joy. Costuming, if not sinister, can simply be an expression of a good time among friends. It should go without saying, however, that dabbling in the occult realm is forbidden...and extremely dangerous(Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm Concerned

I'm concerned...

...About what our culture's obsession with Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and Paris
Hilton says about us.

...About conservative political commentator Ann Coulter's remark on a talk show the other
day that Jews need to become Christians so that they can be "perfected". She's actually
right, but without being able to explain it, and by saying it without much grace and
compassion, and because of her reputation for making caustic remarks, she may have
done more harm than good. Of course, on the other hand, the Apostle Paul's witness to his
fellow Jews was not always sugercoated, either.

...About the nature of current political discourse in our country. Sure wish that instead of all
the carping and attacks between Democrats and Republicans, and instead of the
30-second sound bites on the nightly news and the rushed, extemporaneous comments
during debates that we could have extended, reasoned dialogues among the candidates
over their respective philosophies. Then we voters could make much wiser, more
informed decisions.

...About where all this global warming discussion is gonna lead us. And about why some who
don't believe it's as bad as is being touted are shouted down and shut out from the

I'll be taking a few days of vacation October 14-21. I hope to return to blogging after that.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Odds And Ends

My wife, Vicki, spent 4 days in the hospital late last month with pancreatitis. She was released on September 27 and has been doing real well since then. She has been her usual radiant self and has been catching up on a lot of her work at the convalescent center where she is the activities director. Please pray for her energy level...and that she can enjoy an absence of pain. With the Crohn's and the Celiac Sprue and the backaches and occasional headaches she doesn't have an easy time of it. She and I both want to stay as fit as we can for as long as we can so that we can keep up with our wonderful 1-year old grandson, Micah!

It's hard to believe but our second son, Wes, graduates from college in about 2 months! We are so proud of him. He's been studying at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. What's he gonna do after December 14? We don't know...and neither does he. I guess eventually he'll go to graduate school. He'd kinda like to get some traveling in at some point. Pray for him, that the Lord will draw him close to Himself and give him clear guidance about his future.

I was saddened Saturday to hear of the death of Virginia's first district congresswoman Jo Ann Davis as she succumbed to breast cancer. I had had the privilege of meeting her several years ago and inviting her to come to my church and speak briefly of her testimony. She was a strong, godly Christian with a beautiful, gracious countenance. It was good having someone of her character and convictions in Washington. She was so sincere. This lady served her region, her state, her country, and yes, her Lord, well. She'll be missed...but I rejoice that she is now in the presence of Christ.

The new book by Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins (NavPress, 2007) is helpful. It discusses how believers should pay more attention to the subtle sins in their lives that keep them from being at their best spiritually. Our tendency is to focus on the big sins of the culture around us rather than on our own shortcomings, such as jealousy or ingratitude or discontentment. Get a copy! And check out the new Apologetics Study Bible, too. It's a terrific resource.