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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

getting tired?

Don't serve because God needs you, serve because God has enabled you.

Don't serve in order to establish the Kingdom of God, but serve because God is establishing the Kingdom of God.

--from DTS chapel podcast

Sunday, September 28, 2008


"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

Lots can be said about what a "reward" from God is. The chief end of God is to glorify Himself. The chief end of man, then, should be to glorify God, too.

One of the joys of being a Christian is knowing that God works through us to fulfill His purposes. Christians en"joy" being a part of His loving and eternal plan. The reward is the joy, but the glory goes to Him.

If we glorify Him, how do then get rewards? Because we are co-heirs with Him.

"And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise." Galatians 3:29

God glorifies Himself and rewards Himself, we, as co-heirs, receive the rewards as well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just in case you need a laugh:

(note: this has been around for a long time and the carrier names have been changed many time, but this is still funny. --Mark)

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,' which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints s ubmitted by UPS ' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.*

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search

P: Aircraft handles funny.
(I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last...

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.


Monday, September 15, 2008


Check out this headline from a major news source:

Rove: McCain went 'too far' in ads

However, Karl Rove says that both sides of the campaign have gone one step too far

Friday, September 12, 2008

watch my lawn!

I have a neighbor across the street that must have used a lawn service for the first time today (never seen them before, and my neighbor wasn’t home). The lawn care team and did a pretty good job of the usual cut, edge, and blowing away of the grass clippings. Not more than 20 minutes after they arrived, they were on their way.

Here is where it gets interesting…

It wasn’t less than 5 seconds after these guys drove away in their truck and the next door neighbor (to where the crew just worked) was tearing out of his garage with a blower cleaning up whatever mess the lawn care team left on his property. He cleaned the sidewalk, and the street in front of his house. He even blew away whatever mess was on his lawn. No kidding!

After he blew away all the grass clippings, he shut the motor off, and with an unlit cigarette dangling out of his mouth, he glared down the street in the direction the truck went. Gladiator!

Now, to this guys credit, he has the nicest lawn on the block. His front yard isn’t extravagant, but, it’s very well kept and it looks really good. And he should be proud.

But, I guess what I thought was interesting, was that it seemed like he was just waiting for these careless culprits to finish so that he could bound out there to get his lawn back to order.

It works out that my home office is upstairs and the windows look out to the street and I can hear and see most of what happens, and when I’m doing Greek homework like today, anything is bound to be distracting!


Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday freedom

Is there any day of the week like Friday that the feeling of freedom seems to take hold? Besides a few industries, (foodservice, retail, and public services to name a few), most of the working class the world over feels the weight of the work week fading behind them on a Friday. The anticipation of two whole days away from typical responsibilities is such a great feeling. For the all too quick year that I was on staff as a pastor at Fellowship Church and had Fridays off, it was a welcome day of rest as we prepared for the excitement and work of weekend services and activities.

If Fridays can give a sense of release and refreshment, think about these few simple, yet profound words:

"For freedom Christ has set us free." (Gal 5:1)

I find it amazing that so few people I talk with think of Christianity in terms of freedom. Yet, in Galatians Paul’s writing is so emphatic (and clear wouldn’t you say?) about the unchained, unblemished joy of freedom that believers in Christ have. What kind of freedom? Not only freedom from the bondage and tyranny of trying to keep every commandment and law of the Mosaic covenant (which is impossible), but also the freedom that forgiveness of sins brings. One of the main elements of this freedom is the ability to worship God with all that we do. Worship doesn’t happen only when we are in church, or in prayer, or around other Christians, though those things may help focus us, but with all aspects of our life all the time. Faith is not about whether I have long or short hair, or whether I eat one thing and drink another, or what kind of music I listen to. It is about living the life I have been given in authentic expression of loving God and others with all of the heart, mind, soul and strength God gives, according to our spiritual maturity and giftedness. it is a blessing to love God. It is a gift.

"only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, "(Gal 5:13)

The interesting thing is that even though we have freedom, Paul warns us to be careful not to use (abuse) this freedom for evil. I am not sure if you have noticed this, but it is an unfortunate part of the human condition that wherever there is freedom, there too often follows irresponsibility. Humans cherish freedom, but we also tend to take it too far. Christians are not immune to this. We are loosed from “rules” but then the wheels come off because temptation is sometimes stronger than our faith. Thankfully, God is a forgiving God, and when we honestly repent (think turn away from sin, not just feeling bad about it) and ask for forgiveness, He is always there. Always.

I heard a wonderful and inspirational song on the way to work this morning. I didn’t hear the name of the song, or the artist but here are some of the words I remember from the chorus. Read through them and ask yourself if you are enjoying the freedom that Christ gives in a way that lets you:

“See like Isaiah,
fly like Elijah.”

“Sing songs like David,
love like the Savior.”

“Dream dreams like Joseph,
know You (God) like Moses”

For freedom Christ has set us free!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

where did you live as a child?

I grew up in Hamtramck, MI, a two mile square “city within a city” – inside Detroit that is). My childhood home (and where my mom and some family still live) is just shy of three miles from what a lot of people now know as 8 mile.

This was an inner city culture that I knew was rich in diversity, but recent surveys show that Hamtramck is really exceptional.

A recent survey found 26 native languages spoken by Hamtramck schoolchildren.

According to the 2000 United States Census Bureau, Hamtramck has 8,000 households and a population of almost 23,000.

Major ancestry groups reported by Hamtramck residents include:

Polish - 22.9%
Black or African American 15.1%
Yugoslavian Albanians 10.5%
Arab (Excluding Iraqi and Lebanese) 8.2%
Asian Indian - 5.4%
Ukrainian - 3.2%
German - 2.9%
Albanian - 2.8%
Bangladeshi - 2.7%
Irish - 2.2%
Italian - 1.8%
Russian - 1.4%
English - 1.1%
French (except Basque) 0.8%
Lebanese - 0.7%
Scottish - 0.7%
Mexican - 0.6%
Pakistani - 0.6%
Macedonian - 0.5%
Iraqi - 0.5%

I wonder how different census stats looked like in late 1970’s, and early 1980’s, when I was walking the streets as a punk getting into trouble all the time?