Israel, bin Laden, and few other thoughts from a jet lagged brain…

I’m back from an incredible trip to Israel and somewhat recovered from jet lag. Actually, some effects of jet lag are good.  I’m waking up earlier and getting more work done.  Not a bad thing…so far.

A few things I wanted to comment on:

  1. I posted the last of my pictures from Israel in a Flick’r collection. You can see them HERE.  I may post a small, “best of” series if I get around to it.
  2. Being in Israel during the bin Laden episode was interesting to say the least. The response varied along political lines as you would expect.  Our Israeli guide greeted us that morning with “God Bless America”.  Many in Israel were measured in their response, happy that a terrorist had met his demise, but conflicted over rejoicing in death.  One response from a Rabbi in the Jerusalem Journal was of particular interest: “This is a time to say ‘mazal tov.’ It’s a time of great jubilation,” Hier said, noting God’s sense of humor in bin Laden’s death occurring on the same date that Hitler’s death was announced in 1945. Some Palestinian groups were somewhat supportive, while others, such as Hamas condemned the killing and mourned him as an “Arab holy warrior”.  It was a bit tense, but we never felt threatened.  I’m extremely grateful for the bravery of our troops and pray that this somehow helps turn a corner in our war against terror.
  3. After being there, I think I will be more diligent about praying for the peace of Israel.
  4. It’s great to be back in Carolina. God practiced on Israel, but got it right when he created Charleston :-)
  5. I met a presidential candidate in church yesterday. Is it that time already?
  6. Speaking of presidential candidates: We’re starting a new study next weekend on the life of David, and I’ll be talking about “How to Choose a King” (or a president, or a spouse, or a business partner, or a friend). If a grizzled old veteran like Samuel almost got it wrong, I’m pretty sure people like you and I can learn something from his experience.

That’s all for now,

Shalom

Too good to be true?

Rule of thumb: When it sounds too go to be true, it’s probably too good to be true, right?

You’ve probably gotten the letter from the Nigerian guy wanting to give you a boat load of extra money in exchange for just a few pieces of personal information. Surprisingly, a lot of people have been scammed by that one.

Or maybe it’s the offer of a free or severely discounted iPad. (Okay, I know I’m a little too focused on shinny new technology since the iPad2 came out. I really don’t need one, do I? Well, maybe…)

There’s a whole website devoted to things that are too good to be true.

We all would do well to think twice before putting too much faith in incredible sounding offers.

Here’s the problem: This weekend we conclude our DNA of Joy study thru Philippians with one final look at a too good to be true scripture.

“My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

In the context, Paul is clearly talking about money. He is essentially saying that God has more than enough resources and can be trusted to take care of your money needs. Even in a bad economy.

Truth or too good to be true?

What do you think?

There's life in the second thought

This week at our Long Point Road 1st Wednesday service, I gave a short talk about a paradigm shift that is helpful in the joy depleting moments in our lives.

The key thought was this: There is life in the second thought.

The first thought is just observational, the second thought is life giving. As much as possible, live your life in the second thought, not the first one.

I used 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 as a text:
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

What about you?
Do you spend more time in the first thought or the second?

There’s life in the second thought

This week at our Long Point Road 1st Wednesday service, I gave a short talk about a paradigm shift that is helpful in the joy depleting moments in our lives.

The key thought was this: There is life in the second thought.

The first thought is just observational, the second thought is life giving. As much as possible, live your life in the second thought, not the first one.

I used 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 as a text:
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

What about you?
Do you spend more time in the first thought or the second?

Let God worry about your threads



“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith?” – Matthew 6:28-30

How valuable are you?



“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27