Thursday, July 06, 2006

Balanced Diet

Does ice cream count as milk? Milk is good for you...calcium, vitamin D. So ice cream must be good for you. Maybe better...add a little strawberries or peaches (that's a serving of fruit!) and chopped pecans or peanuts (protein!).

Riley started out drinking formula then milk. He loves milk. He's beginning to slow down on the milk a little and is adding meat (chicken strips and roast beef, but no hamburgers?). His diet is beginning to balance a little.

Balance. That's the key. He'll never (or shouldn't) stop drinking milk. And if he'd never started eating meat, fruits, and vegetables he wouldn't have developed like he has. Proper health depends on a balanced diet.

Proper spiritual health depends on a balanced diet, too. Peter wrote that Christians should crave pure spiritual milk now that we have tasted that the Lord is good. The purpose is so that Christians will grow up in their salvation.

Spiritual health relies on a balanced diet of godly principles. We must never outgrow the bedrock principles of our faith: salvation by grace, God is love. But we must partake of meatier truths as we mature (in order to mature): faith in God's sovereignty, developing godly character, iron sharpens iron.

Sometimes Christians can be so involved in the study and application of meatier subjects that we lose sight of and appreciation for the basic principles. That's why we should focus on a balanced diet. As a pastor who dishes up the servings three times each week, I have to remember that and look for ways to lay out a balanced buffet. As parishioners, we must purposefully look for the basic and the advanced if we want to mature into healthy Christians.

Cool Job

I like my two jobs. I really am not looking to make a change unless God directs it. So I regularly look at job postings in my two fields.

Alltel (wireless phones) has a posting for an Advertising Manager. I spent a total of 3 years in radio advertising sales and I have several years of management experience.

The job is specifically tied to Alltel's sponsorship of Ryan Newman's NASCAR team. "Some travel required." Daytona, Charlotte, Talladega...

I can almost hear God's voice. Probably just a little voice rattling around in my head. I guess I'll stay put.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

Today's a great day. America's independence is celebrated in grand style. Little Rock's first fireworks display of the season was last night at Ray Winder Field. We watched the Travs lose (again), then the fireworks. Spectacular!

We'll see more tonight.

While our Founding Fathers may have believed in God and may have even been Christians, I'm not sure they are the devout followers some claim them to be. Don't get me wrong; I think America has Christian principles in its foundation but there are other bricks there, too. America began as a place of religious tolerance AND taxation relief. Let's no forget the Boston Tea Party!

But certainly, part of the mix is religious freedom. At its core, the USA is not to dictate a religion on anyone and is to allow all people to pursue religion as they please. This is tempered only by the government's obligation to protect the citizenry - in other words, human sacrifice in the name of religion is still wrong because it is murder.

It's a great freedom. The greatest, in my opinion. I am free to worship God. I am free to proclaim the Gospel. I am free to seek the conversions of others to Christianity.

And those who follow other religions are free to do the same. So we better get to work! We have to reach the lost before the others reach them. We must take advantage of our independence as Americans and dependence (on Christ) as Christians and do the task of the Great Commission.

Jesus saves. All others fail.

Monday, July 03, 2006

At Home with Riley

I've got the day off as an optional holiday. I'm home with Riley and we're having a good day. We started out by cleaning his aquarium - I did most of the work. But it's clean, he helped, and the fish are still alive.

Then we worked on the lawn mower. I'm in the middle of changing the blades on the mowing deck. The nuts are on tight! So we squirted a little more WD-40 on them and played baseball.

He's good at baseball. Since the T-ball season has ended I pitch the ball to him. He'll be a good hitter. We're practicing catching fly balls now. We have more work to do.

Then we went to the bank, Lowe's for a tool to work on the mower blades, and Wal-Mart for birthday cards.

We finally got the nuts to break loose on the mower blades. That was difficult! So I changed the blades, put everything back together, and mowed the backyard while Riley played with bubbles and walkie-talkies.

We took showers, naps, and ate junk food.

Now we are getting ready to go the the Travs!

What a day.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


We had a great week of Vacation Bible School. Our church is small and most of the members are 60+. Maybe 60++. So for the first two years of my pastorate we've had a one-day VBS on a Saturday. But this year we decided to do the full week. We started on Sunday night and went through Friday night.

Our community is challenging. Mixed races, mostly low income, very small percentage of the population that actually go to church. We didn't know what to expect.

We started with 13 on Sunday night. We were thrilled since that was more than the last two years. And with it being Sunday night we figured we'd have more as the week went on.

Monday night: 29 enrollment. Tuesday night: 39 enrollment. We ended the week with 50 children enrolled and an average attendance of 33.

We raised $165 in our Pennies for Missions drive.

One girl gave her life to Christ.

This may be the spark our church needs. God has provided that spark; we have to work hard to follow up.