2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Larry Norman and DC Talk

I remember being at a DC Talk concert when they did this. I also remember the first time I ever heard this song when it came out in the movie “A Thief in the Night.”

Matthew 24:36-44

36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.

41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Praying for New Words to Express Common Bible Verses?

You gotta love this. When I was a teenager someone showed up with a Bible that used a lot of the phrases being said by the Jesus Movement. I always wanted one like that as a novelty, I guess, but I just liked the unique way words met culture.

Today I discovered the Pidgin Bible. Well, it’s not complete, but has phrases loosely translated this way. Check out a common passage, Philippians 4:6-9.

Eh, no worry bout notting! Mo betta, everyting dat happen, pray bout um, an aks God fo do wateva you guys like him fo do. An same time, no foget tell him, “Mahalo plenny!” Den, God goin make you guys hearts rest inside. Dat goin be mo betta den anybody can figga. God goin take care yoa hearts an yoa heads, cuz you guys stay tight wit his Spesho Guy Jesus Christ. So den, tink bout all dese kine stuffs — wateva stay true, wateva get respeck, wateva stay right, wateva no stay pilau, whoeva you get aloha fo, wateva you talk good bout, wateva da bestes kine, weneva peopo can say, “Dass good!” — tink everytime bout all dat kine stuff. Everyting you guys wen learn from me, everyting I wen give you guys, everyting you wen see an hear wen I was wit you guys — go do um! Den, da God dat can make you guys hearts rest inside, he goin stay wit you guys. (Fo da Philippi Peopo 4:6-9)

Need Wisdom?

It makes sense that you can gain wisdom through research. That research becomes overwhelming and seeming infinite when it comes to the World Wide Web. We have Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo! search, and many ways to find information.

This is what millions of people do on an hourly basis throughout the world.

Economy in trouble? I’m sure you can find a lot of opinions and answers. What about grilling a steak? Yes, you can find that too. Philosophy? Psychology? Scientific research? Sociology? It’s all out there.

What about how to discipline or raise a child? You can find that, too. How to survive a divorce? 5,890,000 results on Google today.

But what about the wisdom that comes from God?

First, no matter what, if you want your faith to increase and to get solid foundational answers about God, you should read the Bible. Wisdom and information pours out of it. Although it is historical, the Bible is not a “History” book, per se. (I think that’s the first time I ever wrote out the phrase per se 😉  )

The intent of the Bible was to point to Jesus, the one way to be made right with God. See Romans 10 and Hebrews for more clarity about that. Anyhow, we can gain wisdom by spending time in God’s Word, the Bible.

Second, we can ask God for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  – James 1:5 (NIV)

Don’t be afraid to pray and ask God to help you … and us as a nation. We could all use a little more wisdom. So take a little time and invest your life in learning — and — asking!

New School vs. Old School — Same Goal

Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, and like about 100 others. All social networks, and people by the MILLIONS are embracing them.

Just as interesting is how fickle people can be. Earlier this year, Twitter was having technical difficulties. As a result, several other “micro-blogs” popped up all over the internet. In a way, that’s how we are today. Democrats vs. Republicans vs. Vice President choices. It’s a maddening race for popularity.

Facebook Graphic
Facebook Graphic

Of course, for most of us it comes down to VALUES — what do people and social networks stand for — and where do I fit into their scheme? As a Follower of Christ, I am influenced by a standard, God’s Word, the Bible. It has and continues to shape me. That message does not change or move.

I love it’s anchor. In a world where there are no moral absolutes, where rules change, and where networks of people move around so much, I need that. I have also attempted to live by those standards.

Oh, no, I am not perfect, that’s for sure. However, when I get off course I can look forward and strive toward a finish line that DID NOT move.

It can be confusing to follow the commands on the Bible. In fact there were like 1,630 of them listed. When Jesus was asked which was the most important He brought it down to a level we can all not only understand, but we can RELATE to it.

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Now THOSE SOCIAL NETWORKS ROCK!

What are You Rebuilding?

I think we all have our “to do” lists. Repairing stuff is either on the top of our agenda or pushed down another notch for another day. It was the same for the people of Nehemiah’s day.

And somehow we never know how it got this bad. BUT THERE COMES A DAY when enough is enough. For Nehemiah, it was the wall that surrounded the city of Jeresalem. He shook up his friends, family, and even the government. The words are recorded like this:

Nehemiah 2:17-18 (The Message — MSG) Then I gave them my report: “Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come—let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” I told them how God was supporting me and how the king was backing me up.

They said, “We’re with you. Let’s get started.” They rolled up their sleeves, ready for the good work.

Challenge: Open up YOUR eyes and LOOK around. That’s the first step for all of us, I’m sure of it.