72 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 9-18-17

  1. Under the Heading of THINGS YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T DO
    Yesterday after church I stopped by Winn Dixie for a few things. About 3 I decided to start cooking and it seems I didn’t make it home with my ground beef, so back to the store I headed with my receipt.
    On the way I saw a woman walking. There was something about her posture and determination that made me pull over and ask if she needed a ride. She was headed to Winn Dixie too. On the way I got her story. A man! It’s always a man!
    A man she has know almost 30 years asked her to move up here from south Florida. He had rented a house for them but he got cold feet and left. He is living at his business and for whatever reason won’t return her phone calls. Her daughter finally got in touch with him. The daughter is sending a bus ticket for her mother to return to south Florida. The woman cashed in change at the store to buy a couple of cans of soup and some Dr. Pepper. I gave her my card and told her I can get her as far as Pensacola, then dropped her off at the house.

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  2. Getting to Pensacola doesn’t help a lot.
    We had some friends in Fort Worth whose home was in Miami.
    He said that when he got to Pensacola, he was exactly half way home.
    I never knew how true that was.

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  3. He didn’t really say Pensacola. He said “Florida line”. I interpreted it for my statement.
    For some reason, I thought I needed to correct that.
    But it amounts to the same thing. ,

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  4. The alphabet failed me last night, so I started praying at 3, got out of bed about an hour ago, have played with the kitten, struggled with Utmost and now am going to make coffee and hunt up my list. Ah, the kitten returns . . .

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  5. I’ve been staying up two or three hours later than my husband, and getting a lot of packing and sorting done most nights. Though I don’t work on Sundays, I haven’t crawled in next to my husband until after midnight, anyway.

    Last night I had been in bed a few minutes when he said softly (in his sleep), “Now you’ve gone and done it.” I said, “Really?” thinking he might possibly elaborate, but he didn’t.

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  6. In other news, the new kitten can leap from the floor onto my keyboard in a single bound, then latches her claws into the keys. Her tail brushes the touch screen and it changes. Life is very exciting these days . . .

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  7. Good morning. I changed my mind again about the refrigerator. I’ve heard indecision is a sign of depression. And perhaps it is a sign of constantly changing choices. Well, I found one I think I can get through my brother. We shall see.

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  8. Now I have to make more choices about who to invite to a fund raising dinner for Christian Library International. A lady who said she would invite two people was not able to get those to attend.

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  9. Guy from the dog park didn’t make it over to check out the lighting fixture job, he had relatives in from out of town at the last minute. I told him it’ll all wait, no rush.

    No more word on the foundation job.

    But: I did get a lot of work done this weekend in and around the house and I have a bulky-item pickup from the city set for Friday. Progress.

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  10. My friend, Karen, said her husband calls cats that spring up like that, “Helicopter Cats.” And when Miss Bosley was scared at the vet’s office and her spine bowed and her fur flared out, the vet called her a “Halloween Cat.”

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  11. Time to get those rain gutters cleared out. Rain is in the forecast. Sixteen year old daughter is working on that. She does not do ladders so it is challenging. Usually eleven year old does it but she needed something to do.

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  12. Oh, no, Jo. Michelle got the cat for her husband for his birthday. It would be very discourteous to shut the thing out. After all, she now needs to entertain it for her husband until he gets around to spending time with it. It is not Michelle’s kitten, it is for her husband. Did you not read that yesterday? It is not her kitten.

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  13. “This would be a great place for a getaway or a fixer-upper. Partially finished but would take no time to finish it to your liking. It has a seasonal well & a seasonal creek with pond. There is a Briggs & Straton 5kw Generator that is wired in and ready to go. Walk in meat room & covered woodshed are next to the house. Horse pasture and room for animals.”

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  14. Elk City is a lovely hamlet just fifty miles out of Grangeville. Some might consider that a city, if they live in Elk City. It is out at the end of the road in the middle of the National Forest. Quite lovely. I have driven through it while going camping. Some people have summer homes there. That is the place that got cut off for a couple of months due to a landslide. And often in the winter due to snow.

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  15. I just opened my mail from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of GA. As of the end of the year they will no longer offer my health plan. So is this ground hog day deja vu? Another costly decision awaits. But I will think on that tomorrow. As for now it is refrigerator decision day.

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  16. Well, that might be a nice place for us then. We’d be snowed in, of course. We meaning me and the animals.

    Funny, I saw an add for a beautiful chandelier today online and all I could think of was “What a lot of dusting that would need!”

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  17. Cat and human in the ultra freaked-out mode. In the West African village, setting your cat on a rat was a losing proposition. The cats there were lean and mean, but the rats outdid them in weight and size. Just who would eat whom for breakfast was very uncertain.

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  18. I haven’t read anything by Francis Chan, but his name is familiar to me due to a couple of relatives who occasionally share something by him on FB. These relatives are people with whom I frequently do not agree with their ideas of what Christianity should look like. They bemoan the current state of the Church and seem to enjoy sharing verses about judgement. They also like to bash those who believe in election. It has gotten to the point where I flinch when I see their name on a post in my feed. One of them also indulges in Christian conspiracy theories. Since they seem to think Chan agrees with their idea of what’s wrong with the Church, I have not been interested in reading what Chan has to say.

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  19. One of my grown children pointed me to him. I have watched a few of his sermons and they seemed quite solid. Just wondered if I was missing something. What your “friends” are reporting does not seem to quite go along with what I am seeing, though I suppose if you come from that perspective, some of what he says could be misconstrued.

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  20. I have been thinking he and his wife seem to have a pretty solid view of Christianity. We should be about our Father’s business, not caught up in the seeking of wealth and fame. Not caught up in having a perfect family. Not letting our family become our god. He does say it is important to take care of our parents but not making that our primary mission. Interesting balance. But I am easily convinced that people mean well. So I ask and will be watching for the things you mentioned.

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  21. I’d not heard of him, but googled him. Former mega church guy apparently:

    I suppose I see enough criticism of him on various sites (though I’m not familiar with those sites so hesitate to post links to them here) that I’d want to investigate further into his teachings and theology.

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  22. From the article linked at 8:08:

    __________________________________

    … It seems to me that some preachers simply have no tolerance for ordinary, daily life with all its messiness and imperfection as a realm in which God is at work, and in which we participate through simply being who we are, trusting God, and loving our neighbors. No, the message is loud and clear: do more, give more, sacrifice more, serve more, be more obsessed, take more risks, go farther, reach higher, run faster, be more like this extraordinary person and not like your ordinary self.

    Chan’s vision of the Christian life is more, more, more. In Crazy Love, he writes, “If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. Or, to use another metaphor more familiar to city people, we are on a never-ending downward escalator. In order to grow, we have to turn around and sprint up the escalator, putting up with perturbed looks from everyone else who is gradually moving downward.”

    I’m worn out just reading those words….
    ______________________________________

    I am, too, though I can see the point Chan tries to make about an active (not passive) faith.

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  23. Some of that reminds me of that saying, ‘He’s either Lord of all, or He’s not Lord at all.” Now, I realize there are a couple ways that can be taken (of course He truly is Lord of all), but the way I always heard it used was that if you had not totally surrendered every part of your life to Jesus (“Lord of all”), then you were not letting Him be your Lord (“at all”).

    But surrendering every part of our lives is a lifelong process, not a single event. We do, in a general way, surrender ourselves to Him, but then as the years go by, He points out to us the areas in our lives that need more attention, more surrender & repentance.

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  24. More from the earlier link:

    ______________________________

    …. When did “discipleship” come to mean a manic sprint up a down escalator? I thought it was “walking with Christ.”

    I don’t think people who promote this kind of discipleship read the New Testament correctly.
    They realize, don’t they, that Jesus himself only lived a “radical” life of active ministry for two or three years?

    They realize, don’t they, that the exciting, non-stop action of the book of Acts describes primarily the acts of the apostles, who had a different calling than most Christians?

    They realize, don’t they, that none of this frantic, manic, obsessive activism that is being promoted as an antidote to nominal Christianity is represented in any of the epistles?

    There are no super-Christians in the New Testament.

    Just people, saved by grace, called into a variety of vocations in which we live our ordinary, daily lives in Jesus.

    Some may have extraordinary callings, some may have great gifts. Most are normal people, walking with Jesus day by day in the context of family, work, church, and community.

    Nor do Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, or John preach at us incessantly to live a “letting go, letting go, letting go” lifestyle that is focused on “heaven” and dismissive of the ordinary stuff of this world. Indeed, they tell us we are free from the voices of religious demand that cry out continually, “More! More! More!” They remind us of a good Creator and a faithful Redeemer who has given us freely all things to enjoy and the greatest gift of all, contentment in his love.

    What some people call “crazy love” I call “crazy-making.”

    And Jesus calls us away from that (in Matt. 11:28-30). …
    _________________________________________

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  25. I think this is one of his sermons that touches on all of those concerns. Judge for yourself if you think they are warranted. If you do watch it (it is 35 minutes) I would appreciate hearing what you think. By the way, my understanding is that he was part of the mega church but God led him out of it at the same time as he led the wife out. They were thinking of building a church but after an experience in Africa, decided to go with the outdoor church so their monies could go to addiction help, orphan ministries, etc rather than to building costs, and electricity and all of that.

    http://www.crazylove.org/sermon/358

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  26. From what I am getting out of it, he is saying take the life I am now living and make certain I am doing it for Christ. That does not seem like a bad message to me.

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  27. I suppose in general I am a bit wary of preachers who have big followings & media prominence to begin with — doesn’t mean they aren’t good and solid teachers, it’s just one of those little ‘red flags’ I personally have. And as I said, I’d never heard of him before (not that that means anything, I don’t always keep up with ministries). He may be fine. Or not. 🙂 Keep checking it out.

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  28. I ran out of the article preview and needed to subscribe. I did not.

    As to Chan, it appears to me, as I have been reading the Two Towers, he is saying something like, wake up. Like Fangorn realizing the battle had come to him, he could not sit by and let it pass.

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  29. DJ, from the Internet Monk piece, here is a quote by Chan which ties in what I see being said by my relatives:

    As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.”

    That’s the kind of tone my relatives take. Since one of them likes to claim that being worldly and lukewarm includes celebrating innocent holidays like Christmas and Easter, I suppose I could be included among said relative’s category of people who may not be Christians. After reading Chan’s quote, I’m not surprised my relatives like him. At times in my life, I have lived the crazy life Chan holds to be the ideal, but I really think that the places I’ve had the most opportunity to really disciple and witness is in that humdrum, ‘normal’ time spent among my family members, especially my nieces and nephews. One’s family is frequently both a mission field and a spiritual battleground. There are enough firm warning to provide for ones family and not to desert them – if your family decide to desert you because of your faith, that is their responsibility – to convince me that one’s family is a large part of one’s ministry. That is why I keep those relatives, who are part of my large extended family, as FB friends.

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  30. That is why I asked, I too am leery of that. But son seems to be developing into a solid believer and he recommended it. So, I said, how do I confirm this is a worthwhile site? Does it agree with Scripture (appears to from what little I watched) and what do my advisors advise? Our local Baptist preacher says he is a good guy. And you folks say to be wary. So I shall and will continue to listen.

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  31. I have not seen that quote or anything like it, Roscuro.

    He explains that ministry is part of his family life. He takes children with him when he goes to far away places and they are there when the parents have people staying who are escaping drugs or whatever. He involves his children as his wife does when she is ministering. She ministers from the home a lot, does counseling and the children are there. He also build his house to include the inlaws, but they chose not to live there. Sort of like what we did here. The space is available for the parents but they choose not to live here. Should we then move to their towns and minister to them there?

    I think that is another victim of our current social understanding, the division of families by distance.

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  32. So we shouldn’t fall into being lax in our faith.

    But people seem to feel he’s going beyond just that, giving up all materialism, etc.

    He might not approve of my cute bathroom, for example. 🙂

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  33. When I googled him to see what the folk were saying, I found one site that basically called him a heretic but the source seemed to be a heretic so I did not get much out of it.

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  34. I did not get that from him. He is aware people have homes, he is just suggesting perhaps we don’t need mega homes anymore than we need megachurches. We all need some stuff. Though as I mentioned to the children the other day, “while you are sitting around eating but not at the table because you are not allowed because nobody thought it necessary to wash it, ever, realize that there are many people in this world who do not have a table so never have to think about washing it!

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  35. Mumsee, I know the pull charismatic (or even not-so charismatic) teachers who talk about being ‘sold out for God’ (a phrase Gothard used to use) have upon young people. Youth frequently wants a fiery cause to follow. Such teachers often are later revealed to have used that desire of youth to their own ends. Maturity isn’t flying off to the ends of the earth to do great things for God; maturity is sticking to the long, boring tasks that need to be done. In my experience, even those who go to other countries in the Lord’s service need such staying power – I spent hours on very mundane tasks, like counting pills from stock bottles of thousands into small bags of thirty.

    I listened to the sermon. It rings hollow. One cannot speak of changing the attitude of one’s heart without speaking of the finished work of Christ and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, which Chan never mentions once. Chan, in his sermon, constantly asks why he doesn’t weep over the things that grieve God, but his conclusion, that he doesn’t weep because he concentrate enough on God’s judgement enough, is faulty. I have sincerely wept over sin in the world, but I only came to that point by the slow transforming work of the Holy Spirit; and from my experience and the examples I see in Scripture, the primary cause that leads to us weeping for someone is love, both for God and for those made in His image. When Christ wept over Jerusalem, yes, He wept for their coming judgement, but what made Him weep was His love for them, though they wouldn’t respond to that love. Christ and the Apostles spent proportionally fewer words on the judgement of God, though those words are indeed fearful, than they did on hope, salvation, and grace. Chan also uses the classic manipulation technique I have encountered from other questionable teachers who seek to guilt their listeners into following them, that of questioning his listeners’ salvation. In contrast, the writer of Hebrews in chapter 10, after giving one of the most fearful warnings in all of Scripture, hastens to say, “but beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” After listening, I can see more clearly the influence of Chan on my relatives, and I don’t trust it.

    I’ve been there and done that. I will not walk again in the guilt trips of popular teachers and the efforts to satisfy God by the efforts of my own flesh. My life subsequent to ATI has taught me that Christ’s finished work is indeed sufficient, that the Spirit of God does indeed sanctify. Yes, I must walk in obedience to God and seek Him, but it is He who gives the strength and grace to do so. Trying to please God in the way then Gothard and now Chan say to please Him nearly drove me insane, and I do not exaggerate in saying that – I skated along the edge of madness for nearly five years. Beware the Bible teacher who only upbraids and never mentions God’s grace.

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  36. Thanks, Roscuro. I appreciate your views on this. I am trying to figure out if he mentioned the Holy Spirit, and it seemed like he did, but perhaps in other sermons. It seemed like he was giving the glory to God and trying to get people engaged with God and saying that, though we plant seeds and try to show the love of God, only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction and make a person new. But I don’t generally listen to sermons on the internet or tv or radio, only to people where I can see their lives and how it matches up. That does not mean I only listen to perfect pastors, but to those who are trying to live for God, letting the Spirit direct them through the Scriptures. This is new ground for me and that is why I asked.

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  37. DJ, I asked for (and received) Ordinary for Christmas a few years ago, and I admit I had ulterior motives in ordering it.

    See, my kids are in the generation being taught this crazy-making as normal: you must change the world, be the most radical Christian ever, and so on.

    And I knew from a few things our older daughter had said that she had heard enough of that kind of talk to be getting a bit discouraged. She wasn’t measuring up. This daughter is a lot like me: she’s a writer, she’s not really an extrovert, she loves nature, she’s a low-energy person, more a faithful plodder than a get-out-in-front-and-change-the-world sort.

    I also knew that she (like her dad and like me) really likes Michael Horton, and that if I left the book in the living room, she would read it. (If I asked, “Do you want to borrow this? I think it would help you,” she might not, but if she saw it lying there, it would intrigue her and she would read it. And she read it and loved it, and then once she was finished with it I read it and I too thought it very good.

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  38. I haven’t read (or listened to) Chan, but I have most definitely heard of him. I have a brother who is a real fan, for one. What I have heard before today, I really can’t say, but I too am a bit wary of those with huge followings, especially when they seem to be proclaiming hard truths . . . something feels “off” with that. (Jesus proclaimed hard truths and his audience shrank.) So without really knowing anything about him, I’ve been inclined to keep my distance.

    When I hear repeatedly from people I trust that someone who is popular is also good, eventually I check the writer/speaker/artist out. Jan Karon is too popular to be a good writer, for instance, but finally I read her and found that her books are decently well written. Popular doesn’t necessarily mean “this person twisted the truth to appeal to people’s felt needs,” but it does so often enough that I am wary. And my wariness has been supported more often than otherwise, so I continue to be wary.

    And yes, Roscuro’s assessments of people and movements have weight with me.

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  39. Is Chan a member of a church and thus under some authority? Or more of a lone ranger/independent preacher? That would be another question I’d want answered.

    I had to laugh tonight as I was walking the dogs — I can barely get them out before dark when I get home from work these days with the sun going down so soon. But I am always tickled by how happy a simple walk makes a dog. They bounce and sniff & just come to life, it’s the highlight of their little days. Sometimes drudgery for me, a duty — but when I notice how happy it makes them, I enjoy it more, too.

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  40. In listening to the Chan link, I found that he was preaching from the prophets and since that is the Old Testament, he was not covering the New Covenant and grace for that particular sermon. I do not know what he says about grace from listening to this one sermon…but I did not listen to the entire sermon. Perhaps he covered grace/condemnation at the end?

    I think he gains empathy by calling himself a hypocrit for not weeping over what breaks God’s heart, the sin in our lives and the lives of others. He pointed a finger at himself as being the man who lets God down, but has now felt convicted over that and will pray to have a response more in line with God’s response.

    I do not know any followers of Chan so I do not filter what I think of him and this sermon through what I think of those who like him. His sermon reminds me of how sad I felt as a nominal Christian going to a downtown church that there was such a small crowd a church on Sunday morning, but as we left church the streets were packed with crowds going to the stadium down the street. I felt priorities were off and it grieved me.

    I don’t know much about Chan’s work although I have heard of him. I think different pastors have different approaches to preaching because we are all individuals in our learning styles and background. Those who are called to live radical lifestyles need to follow where God leads. He calls others to live more ordinary lives as an example within their family or community. It is wrong and legalistic to say only one way is right. We are all a part of the body of Christ and are given different tasks to perform to help to advance God’s kingdom on earth. The tasks are no

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  41. Continuing…
    The tasks are not in any manner to be confused as works for earning one’s way to heaven. They are tasks that a believer can refuse which will be reassigned by God. I believe these tasks, completion or not, make the difference between earning little or many rewards in heaven.

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  42. Janice, I think you meant new Christian? (A “nominal Christian” is a Christian in name only, someone who calls himself a Christian, maybe attends church when it’s convenient, but is not a true believer.)

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  43. Cheryl, I meant nominal as you said it means. I was in process of being drawn to believe for a long time. I was not a true believer at that time. I was a follower of my parent’s tradition of attending a Presbyterian USA church that missed the mark in grounding me in Scripture. I did not know Jesus as Lord and Savior at that time, but I still had leanings and prompting from God about what was right and wrong. It totally seemed wrong to see masses going to the stadium, especially at times such as Palm Sunday, when we went out on the street to wave our palm fronds in a procession.

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  44. I did a wiki search on Chan and see he received degrees from the Master’s College which is John MacArthur’s college I think. I did not see a denomination for his church.

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  45. Did I mention, the pastor at the other church we have attended, said he had never heard of John MacArthur. Which could explain some of our differences in theology and why we view going to that church more as a mission.

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