Saturday, December 30, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

We're home save and sound! The day began with not too much optimism. Everything that I heard on the news indicated that it would be Sunday at the earliest before the roads opened. The weather was great--bright and sunny--and yet the interstate remained closed with only pessimistic reports. A little before noon (the stated time to either commit to another night at the hotel or check out) a rumor was circulating that they "might" open the road at 2pm. That was all the hope that I needed. We packed our gear, loaded the van, and vacated our motel room and began the waiting game. 2:00 became 3:00 and it was nearing 4:00 when the road finally opened. The boys and I had been waiting at the interstate on-ramp for about an hour when a couple of Colorado's finest opened the gate and led us westward towards Denver. The roads were great and we were able to do 75 most of the way. We arrived home about 7pm with a well-shoveled drive (thanks!) and a "happy-to-see-us" dog.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Road Closed!

We have awakened to the news this morning that I-70 is closed until further notice. Fortunately, we have a nice room at a nice motel where we can hang out today. It's my understanding that we have to decide by noon whether we want to keep the room for another night or not. I'm pretty sure that we'll keep the room--don't want to spend the night at the truckstop.

I would much prefer to be home but I also understand that God many times has things for us to accomplish at times and places that we would neglect were it not for his insistance (closed roads). And so, I will resist the urge to stay isolated in my room and will make it a point to visit with anyone that I can, as often as I can, in order to be God's servant at the Comfort Inn in Limon, Colorado.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Limon, Colorado

We left Abilene, Texas this morning and made it as far as Limon, Colorado before finding a comfy motel (with pool and internet). We were starting to get quite a bit of ice on the road and it was really foggy. I could hardly make out the hotel signs from the interstate. We are just about two hours from our home and will hopefully make the final journey tomorrow. But if we don't--at least we have a pool and the internet (and a nearby Arbys).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Vacation...

I'm not sure what day I'm supposed to be on...sort of got lost in the snow storm. Anyway...the boys and I are on our way back to Colorado by way of various places we hold dear. We had a wonderful couple of days at Tina's mom's home in Bastrop seeing lots of family. Yesterday, we traveled to Conroe where Tina's sister and her husband have been staying for the past several months. They are IMB missionaries to Mexico and we were fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with them just prior to their return to Mexico. They have been staying at a very nice missionary home that West Conroe Baptist Church provides. It is one of the nicest missionary homes that I have ever seen. Thanks to this great mission-minded church for not only providing housing but for opening up their church family to these modern-day apostles ("one's who are sent"). Tina is staying behind for a few extra days to help her sister finish up final details. The boys and I are in Abilene tonight. We came through Fort Worth and walked around the campus of Southwestern Seminary. Unfortunately, it was all locked up for the holidays. We had a nice time walking around just the same. We came from there through Granbury where we have spent much time in the past and eventually made our way to Lipan, where I pastored for six years prior to coming to Colorado. The current pastor, David Peacock (my former youth pastor at FBC Lipan) gave us a great tour of both the church and the parsonage (our former home). Not much has changed in Lipan! We grabbed a coke at the Pak-a-Sak and headed out for Abilene. God was with us and allowed us to find a great room at a great price with an indoor pool. We even found a Chinese buffet--can't get much better than that!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Vacation: Day 2

Not much to report...just lots and lots of snow to shovel. I reached the end of my driveway and struck asphalt about 1:00 this afternoon. I navigated the Monte Carlo down the narrow-walled passageway that I had dug and had a nice drive around town. Tomorrow, I will dig the mini-van out and perhaps we will make another attempt at I-70. It's open now and hopefully will be smooth sailing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Vacation: Day 1

As we usually do...we stayed up late last night packing and getting ready to leave early this morning. I had a Bible Study to teach at 6:30 last night which was especially important because I opened the class by baptizing a mom and her teenage son. The study went well with some awesome stories of how God has been speaking to some of the attendees. I got home about 8:00, did the necessary preparations for travel--like filling up the gas tank and cleaning out the van. After washing a few loads of laundry and skillfully packing, I hit the sack about 11:30 with an eye on the weather channel. Beep--Beep--Beep! I jump out of bed and take a quick look out of the window and am relieved to see absolutely nothing--no snow anywhere. After a quick shower and cup of coffee, I get the family up and we are in the van ready to go by 5:30. It's starting to flurry just a little bit as we head out of town, stopping only to return an overdue video game. The weather starts happening pretty quick and before even an hour passes we're driving on snow-pack. We're almost to Bennett, Colorado (I've never heard of it either) when we hear the dreaded announcement on the radio: I-70 is closing in both directions! NOooooo! Now, I'm not one to take chances in the snow--I don't like spending hours or even days waiting at a truckstop of the roads to reopen. We turn around and slowly retrace our path back home with the roads becoming ever more treacherous. We pull back in the house about 11 and unload the van. What a day! The snow is supposed to continue through tomorrow and so I don't have any hopes that we will be able to try again until Friday at the earliest.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We're Heading South for Christmas

Well...the family and I will be loading up the minivan and trying to beat the bad weather out of town tomorrow morning. There is a nasty storm headed our way but I think that I can get out ahead of it by leaving early and driving fast (ha!). My day 1 driving goal: Oklahoma! I'll let you know how far we get tomorrow and any exciting adventures that occur (assuming I get a hotel with internet access).

My site hits are way down but I am going to resist the temptation to mention Wade Burleson, the Southern Baptist Convention, alcohol consumption in the Bible, or even personal prayer languages. Other bloggers might make use of such key words to build their audience--but not me. I'll trust that the people who find their way to my sight will do so without me mentioning, "The Secrets of Revelation" or other such hit magnets.

I'll see you tomorrow...hopefully in Oklahoma.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Congratulations! You are the TIME magazine "Person of the Year"!

Evidently, your use of the internet has made a dramatic impact on the state of the world.

You can read more about yourself at the TIME magazine website by clicking here.

By the way, if you want to see your face on the cover of TIME, you will have to get a hold of an actual copy of the magazine. It has a mirror that will allow you to admire your image as you celebrate your accomplishment.

This is going to look great on your resume...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Is God really JEALOUS?

Is God really JEALOUS?

Right in the middle of the Ten Commandments, God speaks a remarkably revealing statement, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). Is God really jealous? Is the maker of Heaven and Earth, the all-powerful, all-knowing God really jealous? Apparently, yes!

What causes this jealousy? The answer is revealed in Exodus 20, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (v3-5). What is God jealous about? Us! God is jealous whenever we, who were created to love and adore Him, turn our affections to someone or something else. The Apostle Paul appeals to God’s jealousy when confronting idol worship in Corinth. He states, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?” (1 Corinthians 10:21-22). Anything or anyone that we put ahead of God is a demonic idol and provokes God’s jealousy.

We tend to think of “jealousy” as a negative emotion stemming from insecurity. Does God’s jealousy indicate that He is lacking in self-confidence and thus less than perfect? Absolutely not! In fact, since God becomes jealous, it must be seen not as a weakness but rather as a virtue. Let’s clarify by looking at a different emotion—anger. Like jealousy, we usually think of anger in a negative light. When we’re angry, it’s usually sin for us. We kick the cat and scream a lot. However, when God is angry, it’s never sin! In fact, it’s a virtue. It is a “righteous indignation”. It is anger directed at injustice or oppression. T.W. Hunt in The Mind of Christ (LifeWay Press, 1994) suggests that each virtue (love, joy, peace, patience, etc) has a Satanic opposite as well as a good-intentioned perversion. For example, the satanic opposite of love is “hate” and it’s perversion is “possessiveness”. In the same way, the satanic opposite of faith is “unbelief” and its perversion is “presumption”. So what would be the satanic opposite of “jealousy”? Perhaps it would be “not caring at all” or some form of emotional detachment. The perversion, on the other hand, is what we most often see in our own lives—a selfish, insecure, possessiveness. Godly jealousy must lie somewhere in the middle of these two ungodly extremes. He cares and thus is righteously offended whenever we give devotion that is due only to God to something or someone else.

For further reading, see J.I. Packer’s classic work, Knowing God (InterVarsity Press, 1973). He deals extensively with the subject in Chapter 17, “The Jealous God”.