Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hard Drive

My new computer is here and in fine working order. I'm so glad. The only drawback is that the hard drive on my old computer died. I can't get any information off it. I use my computer for everything! And I never back up the data. Bad mistake.

Hard drives are wonderful things. The documents I use in my work (pastorate) are on there. The documents from the last three churches I've served are on there. Like most of what I save, electronic or otherwise, is of little value but some of it is very helpful. One documents is my preaching calendar. I keep a record of sermons I've preached as well as those I plan to preach. Now I'm scrambling trying to recreate the next few weeks. But my hard drive FORGOT!

God never forgets. Anything. He remembers me. He remembers my needs. He remembers to look out for me. He remembers that I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord when I was eight years old. He remembers!

In Jeremiah 31:34, God says, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

What? God forgets something?

I believe the Bible. All of it. So when the Bible teaches that God knows all things (it does teach that), I believe it. So when I read something that seems to contradict something else in scripture, it must be that I just don't completely understand something. The Bible really cannot contradict itself. My confusion is just proof that I don't know all the Bible holds.

So how can God be omniscient yet not remember sins? I'm sure that God knows I'm a sinner - he knows everything.

The key to understanding this "contradiction" is in the Hebrew word translated "remember" in this verse. It's primary meaning is "to remember." It also has a meaning of "to recall." To me, it seems that recalling is a bit more active than remembering. It's not that God forgets my sin but that he chooses not to recall them. When I accepted his salvation God choose to forgive my sins and not recall them anymore.

I wish my hard drive would choose to recall my data.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"Hi, Bob"

My computer died. It may or may not have been that sick but I am tired of living on the edge not knowing whether it will boot or not. At the moment it will NOT boot. Hopefully, Phillip can get my data off the hard drive.

I have a new HP notebook ordered. Maybe it will be here tomorrow. It's been over a week since my old one worked right. I'm having awful withdrawal symptoms. I guess you could say I'm a junkie.


Hello. My name is Bob. I'm addicted to my computer.

"Hi, Bob."

Addictions are controlling features, really. Something has control of you and you can't do much about it. Drug addicts often have to experience an "intervention" to break free. Alcoholics slip into addiction without realizing it: they started drinking as a teenager because everyone else did and it turned into an addiction that often costs them their families and jobs.

If there is anything a person should be so connected with that everything they think or do revolves around this, it would be Jesus. I'm so thankful for my relationship with him; it radically affects every part of my life. Like my computer, he died. But he lives again!

Hello. My name is Bob. I'm addicted to Jesus.

"Hi, Bob."

Dog, Deer, and Dears

Sandy is growing. She has almost doubled in weight since we got her on January 13. She now weighs close to 40 pounds and is about 6 1/2 months old. According to the humane society, she was only supposed to get up to 40-45 pounds. I'm thinking she'll blow past that before long.

She ain't nothing but a hound dog. Actually, probably a little something else, too. It's hard to tell. We went to Memphis a couple of weekends ago and showed Riley some of the Elvis stuff in town. He was impressed that this was the guy who sang "Hound Dog."

We've been talking about taking her to the training sessions at PetSmart but haven't done it, yet. We really, really need to do that. She has some bad habits: jumping up on you, running close to the road and not coming back when you call her, running to the edge of the woods and not coming back when you call her, standing on the other side of the room and not coming back when you call her. School would probably be worth the tuition.

About a week ago Deana was taking Sandy for her 8:00pm potty trot. Deana starts yelling at Sandy (who doesn't come when you call her) to get her back in the garage - evening sleeping quarters. There was something in the bushes across the yard. Deana said whatever it was was bigger than both of them put together. Rumor has it that there are bear(s) in these woods.

I went out and didn't see or hear anything.

The next night I'm taking Sandy for her 8:00pm potty trot. I hear something in the bushes across the yard. Of course, it is dark and the light at the garage is not shining bright enough or in the right direction. I get my flashlight and shine it in that direction.

Four sets of eyes were staring back at me. I couldn't see anything except the light reflecting in the eyes of four deer. I suppose they were deer; I hope they weren't bear(s).

Tonight was Deana's turn again for the 8:00pm potty trot. She saw a deer standing in the tall grass next to the tree line. With Daylight Savings Time kicking in, it was a bit lighter than usual. Light enough to see an outline anyway. By the time she called for Riley and me, the deer had disappeared.

Deana and Riley are pretty special people. Can't live without them.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Plenty of Work

I've talked with people in the construction trades recently and get mixed signals: some say there is plenty of work while others have experienced more idle time than they would like. That's sorta the nature of the business. We felt the same trends or cycles when we owned a floor covering store. The cash flow associated with seasonal or cyclical business trends is partially the reason for the poor results we experienced.

I'm 4 months into my first full-time pastorate. Having left a salaried position and a part-time church to move here, I really wasn't sure how my daily and weekly schedule would evolve. I am learning that ministry is cyclical, too. Each week I have the task of preparing for the scheduled services. I preach twice on Sundays and teach a Bible Study on Wednesdays. I read, study, and pray every day in preparation for these. Then I have my personal quite time and time spent praying for the church and our needs.

Still there is ample time to sit at the piano for a few minutes each week. I would probably go crazy without some piano time!

The past two weeks have had a few extras added in that aren't part of every week. Hospital visits and funerals are the cyclical parts of ministry. "Crises" - which includes these and other similar situations - round out the calendar.

A deacon called me a few days after I started and asked if the phone was ringing off the wall. I told him he was the first to call in several days.

It's almost 4 months later and I can't say that anymore. Pastoral ministry is applying the truth of scripture to a person's point of need. So these things are certainly NOT interruptions; they are the reason I am here.