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When I saw that Desiring God posted “A Valentine for my wife in pictures and rhyme”, complete with many pictures of the happy couple together, I thought, “At last! An opportunity to finally determine who is taller – Pastor John or his beloved Noel.”

But I was disappointed.

For Example

Oh, I see . . .

But . . .

The mystery remains.

This is an experiment.

Do you have any suggestions on the formatting?

I feel like I haven’t had a hard life, nor have I done really hard things.

People* who have done these things have done harder things than I have ever done:

  1. Giving Birth
  2. Quitting smoking
  3. Getting a doctorate
  4. Being a missionary
  5. Jogging a Marathon
  6. Starting up a new business
  7. Giving up a baby for adoption
  8. Committing Walking-up-to-a-stranger Evangelism
  9. Trying to get back into normal life after losing a child
  10. Moving to a place where a different language is spoken
  11. Breaking off a relationship with someone you love because you think it is not God’s will

I feel respect for these people.

What hard things could you add to this list?

* I mean they’ve chosen to do them. My First Dad died when I was 10. That was hard, but I didn’t choose to go through it. I am talking here about people who have decided to do these hard things.

Let’s say there is an issue which causes a differences of opinion. Let’s say the extreme on one side of the argument is 10 and the extreme on the other side is 0.  And let’s further postulate that I am at, say, 7 and you are at 3.

Given that, you can’t prove I’m wrong by showing that someone who is at 10 is wrong.

Under the heading “things I found on the internet that I thought were funny but I’m pretty sure very few ‘Responsible’ readers have seen”:

Did you ever wonder if there’s a deeper and more historic reason why Baptists don’t dance or drink?

In the entire Bible, the color yellow is mentioned how many times?

Only three and they are all in Leviticus 3.

Striking Words From Last Week’s Sermon (but not found in the text)


This is a strange place to minister. The biggest Hindu temple in America’s here. Eckankar is here. They plan to build a forty-two million dollar mosque here. Something strange is going on in Minneapolis. A very dynamic Christian location and pagan throughout.

It’s just a very strange thing here that we Christians should be keyed up for. It’s like Ephasus. Or Tarsus or Antioch.

Sometime people say, “Whoah, what’s happening to America?” and you say, “Well, it’s like when the church exploded in the first century, that’s what it’s like!

Just pagan and pluralistic and debauched. Yes! There’s a place to minister!

They say “Oh, what happened to our America?”

Be careful lest you turn America into your kingdom. We’re citizens of Heaven. And we want to be salt and light and if God would be pleased to bring great revival that affected all branches of culture so be it. I’m not counting on it.

I pray toward it. I stand the window in my study and look at that city there, less than a mile away, and I pray “God, rock it! Rock that city with the Holy Spirit. May the Christians in this city – there’s so many of them – open their mouths with boldness and speak the Gospel into peoples lives and move by your spirit and take this city!”

I do pray prayers like that. But that sort of Mega-Corporate-Culture-Altering thing happening is not what I’m about. I’m about faithfulness to the word of God.

And in the Bible, my eschatology says it’s going to be pretty bleak at the end. And I want people to stand, and having done all, to Stand! When there’s only ten of you in the city.

So I don’t know what God’s going to do. Let’s pray for great glorious moves of his spirit, not moves of men but moves of God.

I was surprised, after yesterday’s post to find out that I was (apparently) the first person Google history to ever utter the statement:

Of course you know: This means prayer

Which seemed to me to be a rather obvious alteration of a well known catch-phrase.

Upon thinking about it, however, I realized that having this statement occur to one’s mind required a mix of (hopefully) proactive Christian thinking and knowledge of 50-Year-Old Looney Toons (i.e. Bugs Bunny) media.

Evidently, this is rare.

Last week marked the end of my third year of blogging, and as I’ve done in the previous two anniversaries, I will mark it with a Friday Everything.

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From This Year’s Friday Everythings – The Entries with 2,3,4,5 and 6 Words

Mohamed was not perfect. *** Dear God, help me. *** We can always hope.  *** Pray to Jesus. ***  Don’t lose faith. *** Accept the will of God. *** There’s always danger. *** God is indeed great. *** You can’t believe everything you read. *** Loneliness will blind you. *** Lighten up while you still can. *** Insufficient data coming through. ***  We super powers have it tough. *** There’s no delaying the inevitable. *** I hate snakes. *** Nothing shocks me. I’m a scientist. *** DON’T call me Junior! *** “X” marks the spot. *** Dance on your own time. *** We can’t plan on everything. *** People change in six years. *** People do strange things for religion. *** There is no combat without movement. *** One victory is not a habit. *** Analyze, then build. *** Be creative in your thinking. *** Influence is power. *** I’m in favor of surviving. *** Strange dreams are a safety valve. *** Don’t interrupt. *** Eagles aren’t forks! *** Don’t stray off the track. *** Don’t leave the path! *** May your beard grow ever longer. *** Third time pays for all. *** Every worm has his weak spot. *** Lucky numbers don’t always come off. *** It is horrible being all alone. ***  Never laugh at live dragons. *** Where there’s life, there’s hope. *** Cram is much better than nothing. *** Even a burglar has his feelings. *** May your shadow never grow less. *** Share and share alike. *** Orthodontists speak fluent ‘Brace’*** We’re all victims of Data. *** I love eggplants! *** Take away my pride. *** Take away my cynicism and anger. *** Help me to take responsibility. *** Courage is found in unlikely places. *** A good guy, Occam. *** Power to the people. *** Nothing is completely okay. *** Beauty is a gift.

And yes, the emphasis is added by me. From MPR:

As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is in a difficult spot – it needs aid, but deeply resents foreign meddling. Many have mixed feelings toward Christian groups that funnel hundreds of millions into missions in Haiti.

Christian missionaries alone run or support an estimated 2,000 primary schools attended by some 600,000 students – a third of Haiti’s school-aged population, according to government figures. Church groups also run vital hospitals, orphanages and food-distribution sites.

“There are many who come here with religious ideas that belong more in the time of the inquisition,” said Max Beauvoir, head of Haiti’s Voodoo Priest’s Association, which represents thousands of priests and priestesses. “These types of people believe they need to save our souls and our bodies from ourselves. We need compassion, not proselytizing now, and we need aid – not just aid going to people of the Christian faith.”

Two-thirds of Haiti’s 9 million are said to practice Voodoo, a melange of beliefs combining animism from west Africa and Catholicism.

Of course you know: This means prayer.

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February 2010