Month: February 2009

Last Day

What if you knew this morning when you woke up that it would be your last day on earth? Would your day look any different? If you’re a pastor, prepare your sermon {if you are still preparing} and preach your sermon this weekend like it’s the last one that you will get to preach to the body you serve…because it just might be.

Parental Percentages

I’m not a math guy. I hate numbers. But the Buzzard Blog has done some excellent work with numbers. I share Taylor’s entire post here because I want you to read it. But do check the Buzzard’s blog often.

Algebra For Parenting
A guest post by Taylor Buzzard:

This is a mathematics post. The reason for this different approach is my teething four-month-old’s frequent nighttime waking, which leaves me struggling to think clearly enough to form sentences. Math doesn’t require too many sentences, so I think this is a good plan. Let’s get started.

Your children are your dependents for 18 years. Yes, in some cases children try to remain dependents indefinitely. But, our task is to prepare them for life on their own, and 18 years is the amount of time they are our legal dependents, so 18 is the number we will work with.

Our algebra equation for the day is as follows:

x / 18 = y

“x” is your child’s age.

18 is the number of years your child is your dependent.

“y” is the percentage of time that has passed.

My firstborn is a mere 2.25 years old. He’s so young that I catch myself calling him my baby from time to time. Yet, mathematics tells me a sad truth.

2.25 /18 = 0.125
0.125 = 12.5%

12.5% of my time with him as my dependent is GONE. DONE. OVER. When I first did this calculation, I thought I had set up the equation wrong. It couldn’t be true, there had to be a mistake somewhere. I redid the math, I checked the equation, and had to face the dark reality. Over 10% of my time is done. And he’s still in diapers!

Algebra can help with parenting.

If you’ve had a challenging day with a know-it-all teenager, a pre-pubescent tween, a non-stop question asking child, or a shrieking infant, do the math and watch your heart soften. Our time with our children is fleeting. Be intentional. Seize every moment by the horns. And do the math again, every now and then, to remind yourself of how fast their childhood is going to whiz by.

Please, do the math. The math will help you love your children better today. The math will make you take a giant step backwards, away from the difficulties of parenting, to better see the privilege and delight of parenting. Take your child’s age, divide it by 18. Take the resulting number and move the decimal point over 2 places to the right, and that is the percentage of time that has passed. Leave a comment if the result leaves you a bit shocked.

Another Reason to Love Mac

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When I grew up and was learning to play the guitar, I was dependent on my immensely better musician friend Chad to teach me some chops {read 80’s metal here}. There was no youtube or anything like it. Learning an instrument is much easier now, with aforementioned website. My 9 year-old visits youtube often to learn new songs on guitar. He’s been playing for about a year and is better than I am. I blame it all on accessibility, but it probably has something to do with what they call talent or gifting.

But Mac has made learning an instrument easy too, but not by some kid on youtube with a videocamera. GarageBand ’09 brings not only lessons, but even lessons by the musicians you love to your computer and they show you how to play their songs.

Check out this link/videos {isn’t Sting the coolest? Who ages so well like him?}

Starbucks Instant Coffee

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2 articles on Starbucks Instant Coffee:

Lauren Shepherd, “Starbucks Via: Instant “Soluble” Coffee Product Planned

Howard Schultz, “Staying Real In An Instant”

I’m actually excited about this. They are guaranteeing that the quality will be there in the taste. There are many days when I sit sluggish in the office and I don’t have time to visit our local coffee shop or a Starbucks and I desperately need some java. Now, I can open a drawer and add water!

Preach!

Some good “slooge” {as my good friend Gunny would say} on preaching:

“Humor in the pulpit can be very dangerous. It’s like a narcotic. Your people will love it (how much more entertaining to hear you riff on something than to teach Leviticus or talk about sin). You’ll love it (less sleeping, more laughing at how hilarious you are!). And the temptation will be for you to give the people more of what they want and less of what they need. I listen to about 10 sermons a week, and some of the guys I listen to are both funny and really good teachers. But here’s what I notice… they have to tell three jokes for every one that really lands. Two out of three just kind of linger there and die. And so the whole sermon feels like it’s being interuppted by second rate comedy. Over time, my fear is that the people will come hungry for your humor and not necessarily for the word of God. They will be dependent on you and your charisma and your sense of humor, and you’ll never be able to plant churches because you can’t find anyone else as funny as you are, and so you’ll have to pipe your sermons into other locations.” Michael Mckinley

“In his opening chapter The Primacy of Preaching from the book Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea For Preaching Dr. Al Mohler wrote, “Evangelical pastors commonly state that biblical preaching is the hallmark of their calling. Nevertheless, a careful observer might come to a very different conclusion. The priority of preaching is simply not evident in far too many churches.

We must affirm with Luther that the preaching of the Word is the first essential mark of the church. Luther believed so strongly in the centrality of preaching that he stated, ‘Now, wherever you hear or see this Word preached, believed, professed, and lived, do no doubt that the true ecclesia sancta catholica (Christian, holy people) must be there….And even were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s Word cannot be without God’s people and, conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s Word.’”

Before he died the great Bible expositor James Montgomery Boice wrote, “I do not think it is too much to say that preaching really is an essential means perhaps even the most important means, of grace. If that is the case, then we should be very careful in our Christian lives to expose ourselves to the best teaching and attend the best churches available.” Caleb Kolstad

Dr. Harold W. Hoehner {1935-2009}

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Today is a sad day as I remember the life and ministry of one of my professors, Dr. Harold Hoehner.
From the Dallas Seminary website:

February 12, 2009

The Lord called home a faithful servant on February 12, 2009. Dr. Harold Hoehner passed away at the age of 74. His legacy and influence on Dallas Theological Seminary will be lasting. Dr. Hoehner was Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies. He carried on a very fruitful and significant career, teaching and providing leadership to the academic work of Dallas Seminary for forty-two years—twenty-seven of those years as Director of Ph.D. Studies and twenty-four as chairman of the New Testament department.

As a department chair, he brought the highest ideals in academic standards to the DTS campus along with compassion and encouragement to his department faculty and their families. Along with others in the department, he crafted a thorough yet learner-friendly model of New Testament Greek exegesis that is widely used today.

As a teacher, he always pushed his students toward excellence, careful study of Scripture, and fair-minded interaction with the wider world of New Testament scholarship. His magnificent commentary on Ephesians—his magnum opus—will continue to instruct and inspire pastors and teachers for many years to come. Because one of his books is entitled Herod Antipas, he became affectionately known to a generation of students as “Herod Hoehner.” He was known for his unwavering love for the style manual by Kate Turabian. With King’s College of Cambridge, England, as his doctoral alma mater, some have said his only educational regret was that he did not attend Texas A&M!

As a person, Harold was a man of integrity, frugality, hard work, strong opinions, and fairness to others coupled with a loyal, collegial spirit, humility, and humor. Though he was not a good actor by his own admission, he took opportunities to participate in Senior Chapel or Missions Conference videos because he knew students would get a laugh seeing him trying to act cool. His loving and exemplary family life with Gini, their four adult children, and eleven grandchildren was a model and blessing to all of us.

In 2006, the New Testament faculty, former students, and fellow scholars published a book on New Testament exegesis as a tribute to Harold as their teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. The editors concluded the preface with these words: “Most of all Harold has shown us what it means to be a man of God, committed to Christ and His gospel, and reflecting the fruit of the Spirit over a lifetime of faithful service.”