Sharpening my SWORD

My pastor, Peter Horn, introduced us to a new Bible study method called SWORD. It’s not the first time I’ve tried it out with my daily reading but it was a great reminder to try a few different methods as part of my daily Bible reading to get the most out of the Bible and to continually keep things “fresh”.

I wanted to give it a try with my daily Bible reading of which I’m currently following the “Essential Jesus” reading plan through YouVersion. This is a great, 100 day plan that studies passages about Jesus.

So here’s the outline and answers that I got out today’s reading. I encourage you to watch or listen the video/podcast here as it does a great job of explaining what this is all about. I plan to incorporate this method, along with SOAP that my pastor taught me (thank you!), and study the Bible a variety of ways, whichever direction God is leading me!

Scripture reading of the day: Luke 2:41-52

o What do we learn about God? That God is in control, we are safe in His house.

o What do we learn about people? People are the reason we are too quick to assume the worst and not immediately trust that God is taking care of His people.

o Is there a command to obey? Trust God.

o Is there an example to follow? Spend time in God’s house and you will be safe. God is the great provider and will give all that we need.

Hockey Countdown – 36 Days!

Wow, time is moving fast! Only 36 days until we can watch some hockey at the CPC (even if they are pre-season games)! The first game of the official season is Oct. 14th but these pre-season games are a great way to meet the team (and newer players), get a feel for some of the lines and just get back in the spirit that is Texas hockey!

To commemorate the countdown, let’s take a look at some of the Texas Stars we might see this year: #40 Mathieu “What Would Tousi Say?” Tousignant, #38 Francis Wathier (Team Captain, right?), #37 Brad Lukowich and #36 Philip Larsen! Speaking of frequent Dallas call-up Larsen…he gives me hope that you don’t have to be 6’6″ 220 lbs to be a presence on the ice! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNkyBuXRUQM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of: http://hundreddegreehockey.blogspot.com and http://txstarsgirl.wordpress.com/tag/mathieu-tousignant/

Get in the moment!

20120820-205324.jpg

First day back at work from a 2 week vacation (praise God)! Just a disclaimer before i saying what I have to say, there’s nothing wrong with taking pictures and/or shooting videos of your family, especially on vacation. Over the past few years, I myself became a bit…excessive with trying to create the perfect moment or capture the perfect shot to the point to where it didn’t feel like I was there with my family.

I chose not to view my vacation looking through a 3.5 inch screen this year and I’m actually glad I took fewer pictures than ever. I made an intentional effort to keep my phone in my pocket and experience the time with my family. Sure, I did my share of posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram, but I didn’t let it dictate what we were doing or how we were doing it, I just had fun with my family.

Again, not knocking you if you took a thousand pictures on your weekend getaway, just sharing a decision I made that brought me great joy as I sit back and reflect on the valuable time with my family this summer.

20120820-205455.jpg

A Christian response

20120815-163803.jpg

In light of the shooting tragedy at the Family Research Center, Jim Daly from Focus On the Family had what I viewed as a very Christian response (read full quote here):

“Early indications are that FRC may have been targeted for its biblical views on social-policy issues. That is a chilling thought. No person or group of any ideological stripe – left, right or center — should have to fear physical violence for passionately articulating and acting on their deeply help convictions in the realm of public policy. That is the very definition of terrorism.”

Consider also this 1996 quote penned in his Center for Christ and Culture website:

“If we recognize the spiritual reality in which we all live, then we understand homosexuality as merely one more “pretension that has set itself up against the knowledge of God” in other words it is one of those deceptions constructed by Satan to keep people from a knowledge of the truth. The victims are not our enemy – Satan is our enemy. It is he whom we fight and the weapon he cannot overcome is the love of Jesus Christ. It is with the overwhelming force of Christ’s love that we must confront the homosexual man or woman. Where do we get this idea that the first thing that we need to do is tell them the rules and then go on to immediately inform them that they are breaking them?

This is not how we speak or act before a pagan world. Consider 1 Peter 2:12 – “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

Full story

I sincerely hope this is not a sign of things to come but given the nature of man I wouldn’t be surprised. Regardless, I have no fear of the future as my faith and hope rests in Christ alone. The point I want to make is, in the world that we live in, our response will not only define us but also pave the ways for others to follow.

Root Down!

20120814-052937.jpg

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

I’ve felt this way before, this “now what?” feeling. A few days after giving my life to Christ, I knew there wouldn’t be a transformation immediately, but I was also at a loss on how to “root down” and develop a strength/conditioning program for lasting measure. Persistent prayer (talk to God often), praise (give thanks to God in everything) and dedicate time to study His word (this has to be the easiest part).

This has been my plan since receiving Christ as my savior and giving my life to Him. Just like any human with a “plan”, I’m boy always perfect at it. But that’s what separates religion from relationship. Think about your own relationships, don’t they seem to go better when you take the focus off of you and give your time, attention and affection to the other person? What if you were “religious” with that relationship and told the person you loved them everyday at 9 AM and only gave them about 2 hours of your time a week (but no more)? It probably would feel forced and not last very long, right? That is the difference between religiosity and being in a relationship.

I hope my own experiences help you in some way, stay rooted!

I am a sinner and this is my friend

Becoming a Christian does not mean an end of sinning. The battle between flesh and spirit is something the Apostle Paul struggled with (and wrote about). He considered himself chief among sinners. The good news is… that’s who Christ loves.

I was inspired to share this post after reading this verse in Psalm 69:6 as part of the Essential Jesus reading plan from YouVersion:

“Lord, the Lord Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me.” http://bible.us/ps69.6.niv

Then, while driving down the 101 on our recent family vacation, I listened closely to the lyrics to the Casting Crowns song, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” and it reminded me of our words and actions as Christians. Are we swinging the sword of righteousness and driving people away from Christ or are we loving people in such a way to draw people to Jesus?

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

The eyes of the world are on us as Christians. Do our lives reflect Christ? Our actions speak volumes. We draw people to Christ, or drive them away, often by the things we say and do.

All of this reminded me to think, live and act intentionally to reflect Christ’s love and bring them to Him. What do you think?

Hockey Countdown – Day 63 with (ex)Dallas Star #63 Mike Ribeiro

Ribz plays for the Washington Capitals now but man, he was on fire during the 2010-11 season and played pretty well all throughout his Stars tenure. Nothing much to say here except to show one of my favorite Ribz moments below (one handed game winning goal against San Jose Sharks)! 63 days left until the puck drops in Cedar Park #isithocktoberyet

Hockey Countdown – Day 73 with #73 Brad Lukowich

You’ll only need to flip the calendar 2 more times until we get to hockey season! I’ll save a lot more info on my favorite Texas Star, Brad Lukowich when we get to 37 days (his jersey number for Texas). When Brad plays with Dallas as he’s been called up several times to do, he wears #73 so we can focus on some of his great moments with Dallas with this post.

From Wikipedia: Brad Lukowich (born August 12, 1976) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who plays for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. He has won the Stanley Cup once in his career, with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. He was on the roster of the Dallas Stars when they won the cup in 1998–99 but did not play enough games to get his name on the Cup.

Congratulations on an impressive career in the NHL and of course the AHL, Brad!

Follow Brad Lukowich on Twitter