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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Real men don't text

Tyndale house publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of the book "Real men don't text a new approach to dating", by Ruthie and Michael Dean for my review.
As a pastor I am always looking for great resources to add to my recommendations list for people looking for additional helps in their lives.
I have read what feels like a zillion dating books and have become somewhat critical of most of them. Real men don't text has a refreshingly strong core idea. The dating scene has become tech saturated leading to a new realm of issues. Though I am strongly on board with the ideas of this book I was disappointed with the delivery. Let me explain. As the authors attempt to strengthen the case for personal interaction complete with personal examples and sample texts it seems as though it becomes a journal of their personal experiences. That is good to draw from but I personally would have enjoyed a bit more scripture as well as more focus on the point than on their dating history.
The other thing I struggled with is the stereotypical all guys are pigs mentality. The real issue is where individuals are going to meet people. Believe it or not bars and parties aren't the best place to meet someone who is looking to get serious. Being equally yoked and setting standards and guidelines are mentioned in several spots and I couldn't agree more. I would probably would share a copy of this but it wouldn't be my first choice. My area of influence is likely different than the authors target audience.  Till next time

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Whats in a parable?

So what exactly is in a parable is the question. Some sort of hidden message? Some new revelation that is in secret code? A story that was used to entertain?

Well the answer is found in the definition of the word parable. Simply put it is where our word comparable comes from. The Greek word is made up of two roots. The first one is para and means beside or vicinity of, while the second root is bal-lo, meaning to throw at or toss into. Therefore the literal meaning is to throw two things together side by side for the purpose of comparison or correlation.
Last Sunday we looked at the "parable of the vineyard workers" and discovered what it was all about.
I shared some guidelines for studying parables but wanted to remind everyone about the second one.
Parables are often confusing so people walk away with many ideas of what the meaning was. The confusion comes because of a lack of understanding regarding meaning and application.
Let me explain. When your boss tells you to do a specific task you could draw many applications from his/her comment. Regardless of how the job gets done or why you think the boss wanted you to do this task, at the end of the day you were asked to do a task. These things are all applications that can be drawn from the command. The command it self has only one meaning, do the job.
So it is with parables, although many excellent teachers, teach on the multiple meanings of a parable, there is one core truth that Jesus is trying to communicate. The truth may be different from parable to parable but each parable will have a core truth being taught.
For instance in the parable of the vineyard worker found in Matthew 20:1-16 we find the kingdom of heaven is like a vineyard owner looking for laborers in the town square and could easily make several conclusive applications with just this one thought. The actual meaning here is that the kingdom of heaven is like a vineyard. How? Well Jesus goes on to explain, the point is that all believers are equal regarding eternal life and length of service, quality of service or any other self imposed comparison is merely an attempt at application. When we focus on the application so quickly we stumble plumb over the core truth. All believers are equal before a holy God and those who have been Christ followers longer have no advantage over the rest.
People like to make black and white into gray so they don't have to be pinned down for an explanation. After all safety is the most important. Or maybe not.
My challenge to you is to read scripture with your mind looking for answers and observations that will be ever changing.
Till next time, stay chilled.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where are the men?

Sorry if your search led you to this blog hoping to find a listing of eligible bachelors, but the question is legit. Not so many years ago if there was a disagreement on the playground or struggle for a cute girls attention, a macho show down or even a punch to the gut was exchanged but at least they worked it out like men. I am fairly confident that our senate, house and white house are sorely lacking these basic genes to stand firm for something they believe in.

Let me back up and say we just got our health insurance projection thanks to Obama care, and it went up over 300%. I guess this is affiliated to the Obama-nation that we now seem to live in. What happened to a president who listened to the people? What happened to a congress that would debate the issue and not put writers on a bill that had nothing to do with the bill so they could get it through. Plain and simply integrity in the United States leadership is almost absent. What kind of country would permit a president to spend excessive dollars to block off the federal parks to "make them feel it" until they pass his excessive spending limit. Mr. Obama is this how you run your household, spending more than you bring in? Of course, not you charge it to the American tax payers.

What an outrage and disgrace to have a , cough cough, president, cough cough, that ignores the veterans that have served this country and protected our freedoms, the ones we used to have, and then show the support to the illegal immigrants. How do I know their illegal? Because they are here, and not in the country they are supposed to be in. I have no issues with immigrants, in fact this country is known as the smelting pot of nations, which leads to great diversity, but do it legally.

I know how the prophets felt as they wept over Israel and Judah because of the complete lack of moral values, integrity and righteousness, all traded in for wickedness and self gain.

Here's my offer if the white house would like a copy of George Orwell's, Animal Farm, I would be more than pleased to provide a copy or two. A great read with a very revealing story.
Till next time, take a stand!