Friday, December 29, 2006

Goals for 2007

I usually make goals for the year. A friend once pointed out that most people make New Years resolutions and that I was slightly off base. I prefer to make goals and yes I'm slightly off base. In general, would it not be better to think in terms of steps to reach an outcome rather than pretending to have more intestinal fortitude than normal?

Most of the time I make a goal for the various areas of my life; walk with God, family life, career, education, ministry, music and fitness. I don't usually make goals about things that will take care of themselves. What I usually want to do is think of how to take the area to the next level. A couple of years ago I decided to include more people in my fitness activities. It was a total flop. It turns out I learned something. I like to exercise by myself for the most part. That is where I'm in my comfort zone. I would like to become a better gardener, but I'm not willing to dedicate the time to it. So I will probably continue plant some tomatoes in the Spring and hope to get some good ones off of the plants. I would love to some day learn guitar, but not now. I'm too busy with other things. I would rather learn Greek and Hebrew better. So I sort of have prioritized through the years the areas that are most important for me.

But here are my 2007 goals:

  • Pray every day.
  • Do more hiking and cycling with my family.
  • Make good use of my iPod.
  • Get licensed to preach.


If you blog about your 2007 goals, resolutions, or whatever you do, please leave a comment so I can link to you.



The Jollyblogger has a resolution for 2007:

I resolve to be an ordinary faithful guy and to not attempt anything spectacular for God in 2007.

You have to read the whole post to get it all

Saturday, December 23, 2006

2006 Web Discoveries- OK I mean new to me.

The big change in my web viewing this year is that I have quit listening to real.com and started watching youtube.com.

http://static.realone.com/realguide/images/white/headers/real_logo.gif

Why drop real? I'm not willing to pay a subscription for premium service to really get what I want. If I pay for music, I will just buy it right out. Radio is how I sample music, traditional (RF) or Internet, but if I want to pay I tend to purchase it rather than subscribe.

Why frequent YouTube? As my daughters say, you can find anything on YouTube. I enjoy seeing the creative videos made by youth, clips from movies and shows and especially those videos made by Improv Everywhere. When someone puts together a mash-up you know they are a real fan. One of my favorite mashups right now is one with the song Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting with loads of fight scenes from Lost. I think since the recent change of ownership YouTube has cut out copy written material, which is a good thing. But the little guy can get his video out there.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dark Roasted Blend: The Most Dangerous Roads in the World

Dark Roasted Blend: The Most Dangerous Roads in the World: "The Most Dangerous Roads in the World"

While it might be intriging, I'm going to not put this on my list of places to go on vacation. I have been stuck in the mud and it is not fun.

Friday, December 15, 2006

swimming

I got this from e-ministry notes. Well done.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

History of Who Rules the Middle East

This is a link to a map of the Middle East which shows who has ruled in the area through history. The insightful part of this dynamic map is the how those who rule come from the edge and sweep through the area. Also, when we think through the historical ruler, this map shows that current situation is relatively new.

Hat Tip:Jungle Pop.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Sunday School Lesson - Zechariah 2

Zechariah 2
By Terry L. Pruitt

Main Idea: The Lord will protect his people.

Outline
I. Man with the Measuring Line Zechariah 2:1,2
II. Jerusalem is so Large That It Has No Walls Zechariah 2:3-5
III. Return to Jerusalem You Who Are Scattered Zechariah 2:6,7
IV. Those Who Harm God's People Will Suffer His Wrath Zechariah 2:8-9
V. Many Nations Will Follow The Lord Zechariah 2:10-13


1. Josephus was looking for one literal fulfillment of this passage. Clark's commentary says...

The vision with which this chapter opens, portended great increase and prosperity to Jerusalem. Accordingly Josephus tells us, (Wars v. iv. 2,) that "the city, overflowing with inhabitants, extended beyond its walls," as predicted in the fourth verse, and acquired much glory during the time of the Maccabees; although these promises, and particularly the sublime image in the fifth verse, has certainly a still more pointed reference to the glory and prosperity of the Christian Church in the latter days, 1-5.

2. The Lord protects his people. In the last chapter we saw that the Lord not only let the four horns scatter the Jews, but we also saw God crush these oppressors for their harm to God's people. While the Lord may use a bully or an oppressor in a Christian's life, it does not turn out well for the bully. Have you been a bully or oppressor? Have you been the victim of a bully or oppressor?



3. It has always been God's purpose to bring the all the nations to himself through his people the Jews. He promised Abraham that all nations of the earth would be blessed through him. He blessed Israel by bringing the foreign Rahab the the prostitute to himself. He blessed Israel through Ruth the Moabitess. God was continually bringing people to himself through the children of Israel. When God poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost the apostles supernaturally spoke other languages. This showed that God had reversed the division that happened at the tower of Babel. Now he was uniting people around His Son. Who do you know that is from another nation, tribe or tongue that may not know Jesus?




4. Some people are blessed by God's people; others are cursed. What is the cause of each?

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Sunday School Lesson - Zechariah 1

In the tradition of free and open source software, courseware and others who are generous and yet somehow effective, I'm publishing my Sunday School lessons here on the web. Some other projects that I respect that are free and open are the MIT Open Courseware, Third Millennium Ministries and Crosswire Bible Society. I'm not going to mention all the software that is open source. I'm really wondering if Third Millennium and Crosswire should get together on some projects.



Zechariah 1
by Terry L. Pruitt


Main Idea: The Lord will defend His own reputation and His own people. Will you merely be a tool in His hand or will you follow Him?

Outline to Zechariah Chapter One

I. Introduction "The 'Lord Who Rules Over All" Says Turn To Me (Zechariah 1:1-6)
II. Introduction to The Visions (Zechariah 1:7)
III. Content of the First Vision – Four Horsemen (Zechariah 1:8)
IV. Interpretation of the First Vision (Zechariah 1:9-15)
V. Oracle Response To The Four Horsemen (Zechariah 1:16,17)
VI. Content of the Second Vision – Four Blacksmiths (Zechariah 1:18-22)

Literary Feature - Repetition:
A repeated idea in the first six verses is that the Lord is "the Lord who rules over all". This gives an international flavor to the book. This prophesy explains the international situation of the time when the Jews were returning from their captivity. They could have thought that God no longer cared for them, or that He did not exist and that is why they were sent into captivity. God sends these prophets to interpret what God was doing through the captivity.

Would the nations around them have thought of God as the God who rules over all? Who today would give us the same response?

Why Go To Captivity?
The captivity came because the Jews had neglected to follow the covenant. Even though they had failed, God was now being merciful. They were now to learn from the mistakes from the mistakes of forfatherS. The message now was that this new generation was not supposed to sin in the same way as their forefathers.

What are some of the sins of our forefathers we do not want to repeat?

How Do We Interpret International Situations Today?
The interpretation of the four horsemen is that God knows that the international situation is peaceful. God then declares through His messenger that He wants to restore Jerusalem.
Today we do not have a prophet to tell us exactly how to interpret our own international situations for the church. How do we keep from wild speculation while at the same time not thinking that our own times God does not act in a way that is meaningful?


Quote from Adam Clark on Verse 18:
Verse 18. And behold four horns. Denoting four powers by which the Jews had been oppressed; the Assyrians, Persians, Chaldeans,and Egyptians. Or these enemies may be termed four, in reference to the four cardinal points of the heavens, whence they came:-

1. NORTH. The Assyrians and Babylonians.
2. EAST. The Moabites and Ammonites
3. SOUTH. The Egyptians
4. WEST. The Philistines.

Interpreting the Four Iron Horns and Four Blacksmiths
Given the fact that the four horsemen in verse 8 seem to go to the four cardinal directions, then it is logical that the four cardinal directions are meant here also. What ever the interpretation of the four horns, God still metaphorically sent the four blacksmiths to destroy them. The horns represent strength, like the weapon of a bull, presumably of iron since it takes blacksmiths to pulverize them. God often uses oppressive people in our lives to shape us. On a personal level, a bully or harsh authority figure can be that person. As a nation we also have other nations that put pressure on us. The church through out the world has adversaries. Though God uses these, he also judges them for their oppressive acts.

Have you ever been the oppressor? Have you ever been the oppressed? What does God do for each?

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