Big Sky, Scenic View

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A Quote from Clay Werner

“When we are provoked… we should not seek revenge, but should remain calm and grieve more that their sin is against God than it is against us. Anguish should characterize us more than anger. Our internal disposition, no matter how deep the wound and how constant the hurt, should always be one of love. We should be willing to suffer the loss of our own peace or property rather than defend ourselves or respond in kind. Our love for the incomprehensibly glorious God should make us meek and humble towards others; our love for the immeasurably wise God should make us submit to his sovereign hand, knowing that all things are under His control–even the hurts we endure and the difficulties we walk through.”

From Clay Werner’s book, On The Brink: Grace For the Burned-out Pastor.”

Game Day Soccer: Andy Style

We finally got to see Andy play soccer this past Saturday. Here are some of the pictures. The first is a photo bomb. I was taking a picture of Joey’s hair, and Andy jumped in the shot and it worked out well. But truth be told, I love pictures that have both my boys in them. I’m glad Andy loves to photobomb.

A Soccer 001

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Demons, Pigs, and People

The Demons

And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

When Jesus went to the country of the Gergesenes, He encountered two men who were demon-possessed (Matthew 8:28-34). This is quite interesting because so many in our day and age try to ignore the existence of demons and the devil all together. But not Jesus. He confronted them head on in His ministry, and in doing so, showed us that He is not only the King of kings, but the King over all principalities, powers, and the rulers of darkness of this age.

If we could truly see the world with the eyes of Christ we would have no doubt that demon-possession does indeed exist. Not that I think we should go overboard and start hunting for demons, looking for demons in every corner, doorknob or crevice of our lives. However we should not ignore the reality that much of the problems we face in the world with people are related to demonic influence and possession. This is one reason why the evil seem to prosper as they do. It is why the wicked are exalted to such heights with their power, fame and influence. But none of the wickedness in this world is able to take place without the permission of our Father in heaven and His Royal Son. In the passage before us, we see Christ’s dominance of this realm, as well as everything else.

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My First Dictionary

I was trying to show the students in one of my classes how easy it is to write something. For their warm up, I had the Latin word “dict,” which means “to speak.” From that we get various words like dictionary, dictate, indict, etc. I had them choose one of the words from our list and I wrote the following for them.

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Game Day Soccer: Joey Style

Heidi and I drove over to catch my son’s first soccer game of the season and it was quite exciting. I would like to tell the story in pictures. I don’t have all the action, but the important stuff. We start with my little soccer player Joey! Here is Joey ready to take the field for the Outlaws in the position of fullback. What that means is that he stays close to his own team’s goal and when the ball makes it across midfield, he and the other two fullbacks are the last line of defense.

J Soccer 001

Given that he was playing fullback, and the Outlaws were so dominant over their opponents, Joey didn’t see a lot of action. Below you see the Outlaws advancing the ball in the early minutes of the game leading to the first score, 1-0.

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J.C. Ryle on ‘Judge Not, Lest Ye, Be Judged!’

“People tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like satan.” Paul Washer.

I know I have posted on the abuse of the passage found in Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” before, but really enjoyed what J.C. Ryle had to say about the passage in his commentary on Matthew. I post this in the hopes that my fellow believers will not be silenced when the wicked twist this passage in an attempt to silence us. Let us press on in doing good, regardless of what the wicked do.

Our LORD does not mean that it is wrong, under any circumstances, to pass an unfavorable judgment on the conduct of opinions of others. We ought to have decided opinions. We are to ‘prove all things.’ We are to ‘try the spirits.’ — Nor yet does He mean that it is wrong to reprove the sins and faults of others, until we are perfect and faultless ourselves. Such an interpretation would contradict other parts of Scripture. It would make it impossible to condemn error and false doctrine. It would debar anyone from attempting the office of a minister or a judge. The earth would be ‘given into the hands of the wicked’ (John 9:24). Heresy would flourish. Wrong-doing would abound.

What our LORD means to condemn is a censorious and fault-finding spirit. A readiness to blame others for trifling offense, or matters of indifference–a habit of passing rash and hasty judgments–a disposition to magnify the errors and infirmities of our neighbors, and make the worst of them–this is what our LORD forbids.

Of course, the lost will have no problem ignoring these clarifying words of Ryle. It doesn’t fit their narrative of finding a few passages to try and silence believers and the truth. They will continue to twist Scripture to their own advantage and their own peril until God calls them to give an account. Let them do so. Our calling is to continue to stand for the truth even when the wicked do not heed our words. Our LORD is big enough to deal with them.

Happy Labor Day!

I’m not really sure why we celebrate Labor Day. I could hop over to Wikipedia and do some research, but the holiday so bores me that I don’t want to waste my time researching it. I will say that I hope you have a happy one as you abstain from labor. I will confess, that when I realized today was a holiday, I rejoiced. The day meant a quick break from teaching and something that I have not had in years: a three-day weekend.

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New Blogger High

Just a blogging note of interest. My stats for the year surpassed the 55,071 mark tonight. That number was my second most active year since I moved to WordPress in 2010. My most active year was 2012 with 62,286 hits. Currently, I’m sitting around 55,550 hits and given that we are only into September, I should surpass the 2012 record within the next month or so. In view of that, I would like to thank all of my regular readers and the occasional passerby as well. Happy blogging, or as J. Butler says, “Cogito, ergo bloggo.” It means “I think, therefore I blog.”

“For me…” & “Let me be honest with you…”

Now that I’m an English teacher, I have to pay a bit more attention to grammar and phrases than normal. Not that this has ever got in the way of me stating my opinion, but just letting you know, I’m a professional now when it comes to…”ahem,” grammar and figures of speech. Given that, here are two of my pet peeves (having pet peeves is an occupational hazard of being an English teacher) when it comes to those speaking publicly. The first is when someone uses the phrase “for me,” as in, “For me, I think that liberals are the dregs of society.” This phrase is most used where opinions are put forth and one person asks the other for their opinion. The respondent then says, “Well for me…” It is a useless phrase since the person was being asked their opinion in the first place. Of course we want your opinion. You don’t need to tell us that it’s your opinion. You were the one who was asked.

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