Showing posts from 2014

Gold like glass?

I've always thought this description it was odd: ‭Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭18‬ ESV "The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass." But maybe the Romans understood the concept.  And if this kind of cup was used to detect purity – or warn of impurities that are present in what it contains – then the whole metaphor starts to get really interesting: Just an idea; not going to start a new denomination over it.  :)

Against universalism

If I were the kind of person to grab random Old Testament verses to proof-text what I'd like to argue Christ's relationship to mankind means – can you tell I'm not that kind of person? – this would be a good one.  As long as nobody thinks to read into Malachi chapter 3 were God talks about his plan for reconciliation, and parks at the end of chapter 2 where he says he's not interested in people who advocate for "evil" people, it would be a challenging argument. ‭Malachi‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬ NIV "You have wearied the Lord with your words. "How have we wearied him?" you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?"" See it at :

Reconciliation vs. Condemnation

I have a hard time placing this verse in the context of a Phelps-like "ministry of condemnation"; I wonder what Fred would say if he were still alive? If you rest on Paul's writing in Romans that God has "given them over" then what purpose do these verses in Corinthians serve or to whom were they written? ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭18-20‬ ESV "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." See it at :

Sorting the opportunities...

I'm not going to set a $10m standard like Tim Ferris does, but as I'm listening to Internet Business Mastery Podcast (IBM 255) on Opportunity Cost) it's interesting to ponder how I could evaluate and narrow down my vast variety of interests, perhaps with a dollar amount.  Or... not. :) The Ultimate Focus Guide for New Entrepreneurs - Download our new action guide on how to stay focused and motivated even if you have no idea what you should be focusing on.

Unknown unknowns

I think a role of a consultant (or friend or any advisor) is to help turn your "unknown unknowns" into "known unknowns". They might not have the answers, but can give you the questions you need to ask and make you aware of blind spots...

Do NOT pray peace?!?

It looks like nothing is safe or easy. A couple of years ago I encountered a teaching that said we can and should pray "peace" into the lives of people around us -- that it was an all-purpose Christian responses regardless of who they are or what they were doing. (The argument is that if they were doing something to earn God's disapproval, peace would come as they were Led away from that.) Looks like I forgot about John: 10So then, if some come to you who do not bring this teaching, do not welcome them in your homes; do not even say, "Peace be with you." 11For anyone who wishes them peace becomes their partner in the evil things they do. Argh.

Coping as a scanner...

I just encountered the podcast episode "ForeverJobless Podcast w/ Billy Murphy | Serial Entrepreneur and Blogger - The Wisdom of Life Consists in the Elimination of Non-Essentials. Episode 188: " ...which is pretty convicting, since it describes my eclectic interests... But then I remembered " Reinventure Me (026 Do your many interests hinder your next great beginning?): "Are you feeling pressure to nail down that ONE THING you're supposed to be good at? Maybe you're meant to follow the path of a horizontal master instead. " Time for me to re-listen...

Why call out women?

‭"The God women love" -- is this explanation from the Amplified the correct one?  It's an odd phrase... Daniel‬ ‭11‬:‭37‬ AMP "He shall not regard the gods of his fathers or Him [to Whom] women desire [to give birth–the Messiah] or any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all." See it at :

Random quote

"Society is living in a collective delusion of confirmation-bias."

Curation, Cultivation, Communication

What was a throwaway line from Leary Gates has really, really struck me. It's about 8 minutes from the end. More to come... Listening to Reinventure Me (044 The art of self-promotion): Have you ever struggled with the idea of self-promotion? You know you need to put yourself out there, but you don't want to be one of those guys. This episode will help you develop the art of healthy self promotion. This week's Inspire Me quote is from Sir Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. " In last week's episode, Leary and Armin had the opportunity to interview sales guru Stephan Schiffman. Stephan made the point that selling is actually an act of service, whether you are selling a product or selling yourself. When you look out for the interest of others saying, "I have someth

What’s holding you back?

"God wants us to be obsessively preoccupied with the needs of others." ~ Rabbi Daniel Lapin via Dan Miller

Like sheep...

Sheep are dumb, defenseless and driven by their own desires... And, I suspect, are often unaware of their status. Sometimes they know they're in danger. Oftentimes they don't.


Great insight today from the Ray Edwards Podcast (#128: Self-Propelled Productivity [Podcast]): Spiritual Foundations: Here's a question I get from readers and listeners every now and then: "If God's will is always healing, why am I still sick?" The short answer is I don't know. There are many explanations that sound good, and yet for every one there is a scripture that seems to disprove it. Think you don't have enough faith? Then what do you do with the man who didn't even believe Jesus could help his son… and then Jesus just healed the boy, despite the father's lack of faith? Think you have sin in your life that you have to get cleaned up first? Then what about the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, whom Jesus forgave and spared from physical death? Then there are interesting passages like the one where Jesus prays for a b

What prophetess is Isaiah talking about?

‭Isaiah‬ ‭8‬:‭3‬ NIV "Then I made love to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to me, "Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz." See it at :

How old is the book of Job?

There's a reference to " water wears away stones" in Job 12:1-15:35; isn't that pretty advanced scientific knowledge for thousands of years ago, given that erosion of rock isn't readily observed?

A therapeutic gospel?

This episode mentions the concept of a "therapeutic gospel" as a remedy for those who have been hurt by the church. Yes, that message is incomplete. But is it harmful? The Phil Vischer Podcast (Episode 112: Kardashians, Comic-Con, and Charismatic Catholicism!) Phil breaks down and says the word "Kardashian," girls at Comic-Con  say "no touchy!" and an account of one woman's journey from  Charismatic Catholicism to atheism to...?  It's another fun week on  the Phil Vischer Podcast!

Frank Schaeffer, The Atheist Who Believes In God Shared from the Umano app

Matthew Principle revisited

Looks like Matthew 13 is a much better grounding of this concept than the Parable of the Talents is. But it's represented there in a much deeper fashion and I wonder if it's descriptive rather than prescriptive...?

Why Grace?

Grace makes us right with God so we can purse holiness without fear of being destroyed for being inadequate. The purpose of grace and salvation is to pursue holiness and oneness with Him, not for our own self-gratification.

What did Jesus mean?

Dan Miller just quoted Malcolm Gladwell and the "Matthew Effect": But what if the alternative interpretation is correct and Jesus was actually calling out an unfair and oppressive financial system? If so, it's a shame that we honor it in His name today... Tough call.

Tracking down call SPAM

Finally had a chance to catch the phone and figured out that 785-799-3567 was a call from what sounded like "Redmond Media Group" (though some Internet posts show it as "Red Media Group" -- hard to make out exactly what their name was.) Why are they calling several times a day? Turns out this firm has been repeatedly calling to offer... a "Redhat Enterprise Whitepaper." Wow. The cheerful pitch when I asked them to drop me from their call list was, "Even if you get one or two pieces of information from it, it's worth our time to send it to you for free!" No, thanks. Let's see if they really do remove me from their list.  

Strange stories

1 Chron 19:1-21:30 is a weird passage. Lots of potential for study there. That is all.


Something just struck me about the concept of accountability: I think it's very difficult for anyone – Christians included – to hold each other accountable to not doing something. Accountability to do something is much easier, because you can partner up and do it together – exercise, prayer, eating broccoli, etc. But accountability to not do something – typically something sinful, but perhaps something innocuous like "not over eating" – is much harder because you can't partner up to "not do something." Does that make sense? And, if so, how do we fix that?

Does God use sin?

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter today. She asked what three things I world change if I could go back in time. That led to a really interesting conversation about the fact that our past shapes what we are today. So, I could have done things differently, but I'm not sure if I could have done "better," and doing different things would have made me a different person than I am today. (For instance, I wish I had made the choice to use push sticks when I was woodworking with a router in 1997, but perhaps my fingertip loss has led me to be more cautious or to teach good lessons today. Can't change it; there's no use lamenting it.) Anyway, I realize that there was one thing I could declare authoritatively: God would never give us a "better" alternative that comes about as result of personal sin. Period. Yes, all sorts of good things come about as a result of sin – either our own personal sins that lead to growth, o

Who led Apollos?

Was Apollos fervent in "spirit" as in "zeal and enthusiasm," or was he fervent in "The Spirit"? If it's the latter, it's another example of God's engaging and using people whose theology is far from perfect...

Work to your strengths...

"Work where you're strongest, 80% of the time. Work where you're learning, 15% of the time. Work where you're weakest, 5% of the time." ~ Dan Miller (48 Days podcast)

Baptism to empower sanctification?

Listening to Peter's speech in Acts 2, it sounds as though baptism was a first step prior to the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It's pretty common doctrine to say that baptism is not required for salvation. And it's pretty common doctrine it to say that sanctification is not possible with out being empowered by the Holy Spirit. So, is sanctification not possible without baptism? The broader question is whether Peter is being descriptive of local circumstances or prescriptive for future Christians.

How salvation works

Evangelism without discipleship is cruel... but it isn't lethal. Don't confuse justification with sanctification; justification requires obedience to the call (which requires choice) but doesn't require obedience to the walk. The walk is sanctification which comes as the result of the justification. Discipleship serves to build sanctification; it doesn't justify us or anyone around us.

Unchanging by Chris Tomlin medley

The chorus is a 100% match to "I'm Pleasing To You" -- what a perfect mashup-in-the-making! Unchanging Chris Tomlin Discover, explore and share more music, TV shows and brands you love Get Shazam now

Social support?

In his book "Reaching Out," Henri Nouwen writes: "Why is it, that many parties and friendly get-togethers leave us so empty and sad? Maybe even there the deep-seated and often unconscious competition between people prevents them from revealing themselves to each other and from establishing relationships that last longer than the party itself. Where we are always welcome, our absence won't matter that much either and when everyone can come, nobody will be particularly missed. Usually there is food enough and people enough willing to eat it, but often it seems that the food has lost the power to create community and not seldom do we leave the party more aware of our loneliness than when we came." Discussion question: In a comment below, explain how Nouwen's insight does or does not apply to typical “church gatherings” (Sunday schools, Bible studies, men’s/women’s groups, etc.)  

What are sacrifices for?

1 Sam 15:1-16:23 says... "The Lord does not want your sacrifices; he wants your obedience."

Soul Ties?

I need to read up on this concept from John Eldridge.  My gut reaction is that I'm not sure whether if this is simple common sense, or needs to have a spiritualized particular prayer attached to it. "Learn how to break free from all unhealthy soul ties."

A FAQ helped!

I just started playing with the Swell app ( ) but was annoyed that whenever I switched apps, it paused. Then my phone timed out and locked, and Swell stopped. That moved it from annoying to useless. So, before I dug into support and Twitter, I read the FAQ. And found this: I'm having issues listening to Swell in the background or from my lock screen. How can I fix this? If you run into this issue, please try restarting the Swell application. We apologize for the problem and are working on a fix. Yup! Problem solved. Works like a champ now. Funny how documentation can be helpful...

Help yourself get help

Can I vent for a minute? It's a good natured, well intentioned vent. I understand that some people see their world has to busy and important for them to call in and get their own technical support, so they ask their secretary to do it. But the amount of time it takes to sort out whatever the problem truly is, then go back and forth trying to get it resolved, then end up back with the person who's actually having the problem... It's just not worth it. Trust me. We're not trying to thwart you or your efficiency or your success. We are just trying to help you, and that is not the way to get help. If you truly are so busy and important that you can't afford to call the help desk yourself, then you of all people need to call the help desk yourself.

Public notetaking

It's been so long since I've touched of this blog that I have no idea if anyone reads it anymore. But as I ponder journaling -- something I've pondered a lot the past few years – I wonder if I should switch from my current practice of dumping notes in Evernote to publicly blogging them here? Then, here's a business idea, they would need to be curated. I wonder if some sort of crowd-sourced curation process could help people clarify their ideas? (Minimally, a tag cloud could work, but more interesting than the most-popular words are the infrequent ones that pop up.)

Life vs. Soul vs. ?

Some versions translate life as soul here. That changes the meaning and implications, doesn't it? Deuteronomy 12:23 ESV "Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh." See it at< >:

Is hell annihilation? Life 2.0 #5 - Amazing Love

This particular podcast episode has the best description of the biblical basis for hell as annihilation as I've ever encountered: Life 2.0 with Bruxy Cavey

An interesting prediction...

Question: didn't the statement of these "false witnesses" actually come true with the destruction of the Temple and the rise of "Christianity" as separate from Judaism? Acts 6:13, 14 ESV "and they set up false witnesses who said, "This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.""

They Live (1988) - IMDb When the topics of Google Glass, polarized projectors, and worship services come up in the same block of conversation, this movie seems appropriate on a number of levels...

Does God always keep His promises?

Does Numbers 14 basically say, "I know I promised this land to you, but now I'm not going to give it to you?" Yes, of course the Israelites eventually inherited it as "a people," but there seems to be a backing off of a commitment here...?

Foolish promises

If you are enough of a Bible geek you know the story of the Old Testament character who made a foolish promise to sacrifice first thing that came out of his house as an offering to the Lord. Then his daughter ran out to greet him. Some commentators have approached that by saying that she was simply going to be dedicated as a Temple Virgin. But in today's reading, this passage from Leviticus sure seems to imply that she would need to be killed...? Ouch. Lev 27:14- Num 1:54, Mark 11:1-26, Ps 46:1-11, Pr 10:23

A prayer for meetings...