Archive for July, 2010

Perry Rose turns 2!

Today, as Perry Rose turns 2, I wanted to share a few things with you all.

Perry Rose is 2…

-Much Fun: Before we had her people would say things like, “Enjoy each other for a while,” or “Have fun while you still are young.”  Tenly and I would agree that having Perry Rose has been the most enjoyable experience our marriage.  The fun has just begun.

-Sassy:  Like when I ask her to do something, or stop doing something and she holds her hand up and says, “no shop (stop) it da da.”

-Beautiful:  She looks just like Tenly.

-Extaverted:  In 2 years she has never met a stranger.

-Smart:  Wow, she remembers everything and picks up on things quickly.  I have a particular shirt in my closet that I can point to, and she will say “Uncle Andy’s shirt.”   Apparently she saw my friend, Andy, wear a similar shirt once.  I will also ask her who is in the Bible…every time she will say Jesus, or she will see the mexican restaurant we visit once a week together on the days that  mommy works, and as we approach it she says “balloon,”because she knows they will give her a balloon.   

-Funny:  She likes to go to the couch (faux leather) and make loud tootsie noises with her mouth, or on her arm totally unprompted. 

Much a Dancing Queen:  At each of the wedding receptions we have attended this summer, Perry Rose has danced the night  away.  Just this past week we attended a wedding reception, and she was the first one on the dance floor. Sometimes she is the only one on the floor, and asks total strangers to dance with her.

-Strong Willed:  I’m not saying this is a bad thing…Im just saying when Perry Rose wants something done it better get done, and if she don’t want to do it…forget about it.

Happy:  She has always been an extremely happy little girl.  Every day is a good day for Perry Rose

-Sweet:  She likes to share whatever she is eating with me, and she does not like it when I get boo-boos.

-Inquisitive:  Everyday, “What’s that da da.”  One night we were watching Star Wars and chewbakka was “talking” or whatever he does, and she asked me the usual question.  I thought, hmm how do I explain a Wookie to a 2 year old.  So, I said that’s a Wookie,  to which she responded, “Wookie.”  I said he’s a man-dog.  How would you describe chewy to a 2 year old?

-Unique:  Not just the fact that she is in the 0% for her weight, and 86%  for her head.  This little girl has something special about her.  Most of which I believe is just starting to come out.

Capitalistic:  She found a bar of wrapped soap at my in-laws and tried to sell it back to them for $20.  And now when you ask her what she wants for her birthday she will reply money!  Then when you inquire how much, she says $20.  Neither Tenly or myself taught her that.    

Committed:  She has already been offered a tennis scholarship to play for coach Brian Shelton at Georgia Tech, and she committed on the spot.  2026 will be here before you know it. She already has her first racquet and has begun preliminary training with her dad.

Busy:  Like her mom she is always working on something. 

Much a Surprise:  It was a surprise when Tenly told me she was pregnant, and we waited til she was born to find out if she was a boy or girl.

Special:  July 29th 2008 was the best day of mine and Tenly’s lives.  July 29 is my most favorite day each year.  Happy 2nd birthday Perry Rose!


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Your labor is not in vain, thus says the Word, thus says the Lord.  Paul writes to the believers in Corinth,  58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).  Paul, in the previous verses stated that the sting of sin is death, but thanks to Christ we are no longer under the curse of sin that leads to death as believers.  I specifically loved the phrase, “knowing that you toil (labor) is not in vain.  If you are  like me then at times, perhaps even often you may feel like your work for the Lord is all for not. You may think all your seeds are falling in the wrong places.  But, the Word clearly says our labor is not in vain.  The harvesting of seeds belongs always to the Lord.  His Spirit is responsible for the seeds becoming beautiful and mature.  Even if we never see one person in our lifetime come to Christ through our love and labor we still are able to glorify God through our obedience in service to him and our affections being chief for our Savior.  We should concern ourselves greatly not with results, but with service and love for others.  The results belong to Christ, not us.  So, since we can not cause anyone to be saved we must continue to love and serve others in a way that points them to Christ, and we will trust Him with the results.  I believe this can free us up to do the work of the Lord without feeling the pressure to see the results only the Lord can provide.  Keep working, keep trusting, keep believing, keep loving, keep serving, and in all things giving glory to God the Father.

I Corinthians 3:5-7

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

 7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

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Imagine What your life would be like if…

-You had married the person you thought you should and prayed to God you would.

-You had all the money you once dreamed you would.

-If you had chosen the career path you once thought you would.

-If things had worked out all according to your plan.

Where would you be?  Who would you be married to (if at all)?  What would be your career? How would your life be different, do you think it would be better or worse?

Proverbs 16:9

    9 In his heart a man plans his course,
       but the LORD determines his steps.

If you are like me you are thankful everyday day your life didn’t turn out the way you planned (I would be married to the wrong person, living who knows where, working as meteorologist, and completely unhappy and unfulfilled because I would be chasing money and fleeting pleasures instead of Christ). 

Now Imagine What you life would look like if…

-If you spent more time in God’s word?

-If you communed with God more regularly in prayer?

-You spent more time advancing Jesus and not yourself?

-You were actively being discipled/disciplining someone else?

-If you found ways to give more away to those who suffer from hunger, disease, and poor living conditions?

-What if you gave your plans and your life completely to Christ and asked Him to make His desires your own?

-If you focused on and lived out the Greatest Command (Matt. 22:36-38) and the Great Comission (Matt. 28:18-20).

Questions like the ones found in the second group are questions we must ask ourselves regularly as we examine ourselves before a righteous and holy God in light of His character as found in scripture.  The truth is however, we must move beyond imagining, beyond self-examination, and ask God to transform our lives til we are purged of our evil and carnal desires to the point where Christ dominates our thoughts, our actions, our lives. It is time for you and I to stop imagining what our lives would be like if we gave ourselves completely over to Christ, and start today by devoting every moment to glorifying God and advancing the gospel.  Reality, is better than imagining because it produces results.  Results for the kingdom, for the lost, for the oppressed and discouraged, for the Glory of God.

Philippians 3:8

              8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

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All I really would like to say regarding the LeBron James decision is, unless he gets up to he podium and announces, “I have decided to follow Jesus”, then I really don’t care.  Too much, way too much has/is being made of one man’s decisions on where he will play his next basketball game.  It would be wise for us to remember that while much of the world will be tuned in for his big announcement, eternity will be focused on much more important matters…like the Glory of an eternal King, who unlike this “king” His reign will never end.  I pray the days and moments are fleeting like these where man esteems and honors his fellow-man and himself.  I am a realist however, and know that man loves to honor himself above God and honors the creation above the creator.  I’ve got no problem with LeBron or basketball, I just don’t like any supposed earthly king receiving the attention, praise, and glory that only one King Jesus deserves.  On a final note…I really like Dwyane Wade as a player, but please don’t tell me or anyone else, “it’s not about the money” ( this statement was made in reference to he and Bosh and possibly joining forces to win championships in Miami, while they could have gotten more money playing separately).  Statements like that are reserved for people who give up all they have to serve and live in orphanages in 3rd world country’s, those who open and run homeless shelter’s in the inner city, or missionaries who consider all their worldly gain “rubbish”  compared to knowing and serving King Jesus in a 3rd world context.  The statement Wade made should not be for those who stand to make $16 million dollars a year for the next several years in salary alone.  Take $15,960,000 of the salary your set to make next year give it to the poor and the then we can talk about “it” not being about the money, but championships.  Remember all kingdoms this side of heaven will fall, whether they are evil dictatorships, prospering  republics, or basketball franchises, only the one whose name is Lord of Lords will remain.

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Have you noticed…the other people all around you at church?  In all likely hood they look a lot like you and me.  And not only do they probably look a lot like you and me, they probably act, talk, and like the same music as you and me.  To be quite blunt (not that I am normally otherwise)  people like to go to church with other people who are most like themselves.  People of similar socio-economic status and race like attending church together.  This transcends all classes and racial groups.  We say we are the church, yet we don’t seem to like diversity, at least not in our local church on Sunday.  We say we love diversity in the kingdom, but we just don’t like it in “our” church.  Now, of course this is not true of every church, but it is true of my church.  I love my church, we have a great pastor, staff, and body, but we lack diversity.  I mentioned this fact to our pastor recently in a small group meeting I was invited to attend.  I don’t like the fact that middle-class Whites, upper class African-American’s, or Hispanic immigrants find it more satisfying to worship with those they most closely identify with than others.  How do I say this rightly…this is not being done in the Spirit of Christ, but the anti-Christ.  I am not saying that you and I are intentionally doing the work of satan.  I am however saying that you and I are sharing in the same mindset and desire as satan when we cling to the familiar and resent diversity.  We would all do well to remember that though now redeemed, we once were son’s of Satan, and still are capable of sinful acts against a righteous and holy God.  This sinfulness is due to the fact that while born again and sin no longer controls us, we still struggle with and engage in sinful acts of defiance against God because we are sinners by birth.  John Piper uses imagery of a dragon,  while the dragon (our sinful nature) has been slain and no longer controls us, he is still capable of  doing great damage to ourselves as well as others by flaring up and breathing fire.  Let’s call our lack of diversity what it is…sinful.  The church much more resembles a country club, a college sorority, or prefered social group who are keen on finding people who like themselves have “common interests and goals”, or are “like-minded”.  All just run around language for, I like you because you act and look like me.  The church of all instructions here on earth should be setting the standard when it comes to diversity of all kinds. And, lets not even talk about cowboy, biker, or online churches.  The church at least Biblically looks a whole lot different from the churches I see and attend every week.  Please don’t think I am speaking from a lofty place or ivory tower.  I am trying to figure this out as I hope you are.  I pray as an initial step you will take at look at your local church and consider the makeup of the congregation.  Then, look at your community and begin to pray and think about ways to bring everyone together in the name of Christ.  Lastly, talk to your pastor and share with him your desire for a more diverse local body and ask him how to effectively reach out to those who don’t look and act like most in your church.  And if you like your church just the way it is, with all the people who are a lot like you…I fear we may not meet again on the other side where the full body will dwell in perfection with Christ our savior.  All nations will be there, might as well get a head start on worshiping Christ togethor forever.  

Galatians 3:28

28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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