Monday, March 28, 2011

A Deep Question

At my small group I kind have a "question of the day" to get us thinking and discussing. Last week the question was "Which of the 7 deadly sins do you find the most difficult to resist and which are the easiest?" Like me, the questions are kind of random and are usually tied to whatever I'm thinking about lately. So here's a question I've been thinking about lately:

If a spouse denies their partner sexual intimacy for an extended period of time, is this a form of unfaithfulness?

Just curious what you think . . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

She Left Me!

Yes, my wife left me.

For Ecuador.

Jobina is doing a self propelled missions trip to Quito, Ecuador with her friend Lee. The two of them are delivering supplies to a pregnancy crisis center that is in the start up phase and is being started up by a couple from our church. Jobina is going to have a very full week of holding babies, visiting orphanages, encouraging her hosts, singing in prison, and helping out at a daycare that's situated in a dump. Luckily my wonderful mother in law is staying with us to help out on the homefront (which is awesome!) but I have a few prayer requests for Jobina if you think of her this week:

-pray for her not to get altitude sickness (Quito is 10,000 feet above sea level!)
-pray for safety in travel to/from/and in Ecuador
-pray for the ability to connect with babies, children, and mothers from a different culture and language and show them God's love

Also, feel free to pray for those who are left behind. I'm very proud of my adventurous wife and I hope that God really challenges and blesses her!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Above All Else . . .

I have been reflecting on these words the past week:

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

Thia is wise counsel for any young man, and even "older young men" like myself. I find that by focusing on this daily passage for awhile that my thoughts and habits are altered. What scripture have you been reflecting on lately?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Places To Visit: Nyiragongo Crater

When I saw this picture it redefined to me what "a campsite with a view" could mean:

Isn't that amazing? The rapidly changing lava lake at the bottom of Nyiragongo Crater is located in the Congo, Africa. It is actually an incredibly dangerous place to visit - the crater has occasionally overflowed with lava and destroyed nearby villages. Until the expedition where this photo was taken happened, no one had survived going down close to boundary of the lava. The winds can quickly change sending 1300 degree heat and/or poisonous gases your way which can quickly be fatal.

By the way, the picture above is a bit deceiving; the surface of the lava is still about 400 feet down. If you want to see more pictures and see how close this brave scientific expedition made it to the lava, check out this link:

The pictures are really quite extraordinary - they are equally beautiful, mysterious, and kind of scary!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Delicious Library

If you own a Mac (sorry PC users your out of luck as there is no PC version), you may want to check out this great little program called Delicious Library 2. Using your built in iSight camera as a bar reader, it can scan the UPC codes on any book and automatically enter it into your personal library. Besides the surprising fun of simply scanning and adding books, I find the program to be useful for several reasons:

1. You can in not only books but DVD's, music, toys, video games, tools, etc.
2. Want to borrow out a cool book to a friend? Easy, you can do it just like a real library. I wish I had stumbled on this years ago as I have so many outstanding books (with no way to track them) that it's not even funny!
3. You can make a back up of your library (great for insurance purposes) or post it to the internet for others to take a look at.
4. You can look at your library as a list, or in a bookshelf mode that is pleasing the eye.
5. For older or rare books you can input the book info manually and even take a picture of it.

I really love this program as scanning and looking at all of my books made me aware of (and interested in) some old books that I had forgotten I had. I'm thinking next year I'll make it a goal to read mostly books from my own collection (over 300 books). Anyway, thought I'd highlight this great little program (available for $39 on the Mac App Store) or from the Delicious Monster website.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Preview: The Four Hour Body

I'm currently reading "The 4 Hour Body" by Tim Ferris, the author of the bestselling "The 4 Hour Work Week." I'm absolutely fascinated with this book, so much so that I'm making notes on it as I go through it. It is a rather unorthodox approach to body hacking and has "how to" ideas on things like:

-rapid muscle gain
-fast weight loss
-strength building quickly
-improving your sex life (and sperm count!)
-being fully rested on 2 hours of sleep
-living longer
-increasing your endurance to ultramarathoner levels

Check out his web page for more details. And here is the rather unique trailer for his book:

P.S. Warning: this book is not written by a Christian and some people would find his writing style and some content objectionable.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


My wife asked my daughter this morning "So, when you grow up are you going to be a great chef in a restaurant or a great cook for your family?" Trinity thought for a moment, smiled, and said "Both!"

I love her answer.

Too often I am the victim of what I call "either/or" thinking. Either/or thinking is when you feel like you can only have one thing or the other - not both. So you settle. For instance we sometimes feel like we have to choose:

-Your spouse's dreams OR your dreams.
-Financial security OR a job that I enjoy.
-The acceptance of others OR standing up for what you believe.
-An exciting sex life OR life long monogamy.
-Sacrificial servanthood OR ministry we enjoy.

Much of the time I believe we have too little vision, too little faith too see that surprisingly you can sometimes really have your cake and eat it too. It just takes creativity, perseverance, and the belief that maybe, just maybe you can have and accomplish two noble things that at first seem incompatible with each other. It's not always possible, but I believe that for most of us we often miss the possibilities simply because we don't believe they could exist. These kind of "can I have my cake and eat it too?" problems are great to help us test our creativity and practice finding solutions to things. And they reveal much about our personality.

Of course, many people con others by tapping into their desire to have naturally conflicting things ("get rich with no work" is one that comes to mind) so it is still necessary to be discerning and wise. But too often we go to the other extreme: intellectual closed to possibilities. I kind of think of it on a scale:

Gullible ................................................. CREATIVE & ......................................Sceptical & Must
& Naive......................................... OPEN TO POSSIBILITY ............................... see to believe
(Too open) ...................................... (open but discerning) ............... (closed to most possibilities)

Where do you think you are on my little scale? This scale is a work in progress (feel free to suggest changes) but basically I want to be somewhere in the middle. Open, discerning, and challenged to find ways to make the seemingly impossible or incompatible work.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Power Of Illusions

Illusions are funny things. They seem so real that you begin to accept them as reality. But reality is real, not illusion.

I don't know about you, but when I watch a magic show I don't want to know how they did it - I want to believe in the illusion. But with people, in relationships, these illusions can be incredibly destructive. Like the illusion that we can (or should) be able to control people. The reality is that we can't.

By the way, did you catch any of the sleight of hand in this video?