Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Pic to Share...

Since we got 'snowed in' (actually just the schools closed) we had a day with the entire family at the house. For dinner I donned my "Uncle Phil's Diner" hat and proceeded to make some great burgers with sauteed mushrooms and onions. I slapped some cheese on them and added a couple pieces of bacon. (I have to get all this in before my doctor's appt on Monday - lol). After dinner my wife, Angie, was telling the kids about her mom making snow ice cream. I looked it up on the 'net and we made about a half gallon of the ice-milk like substance. It wasn't too bad - it had the occasional piece of grit or tree bark in it, but was kinda tasty. The kids talked of taking all the snow in the yard and making snow ice cream and then selling it in the summer to make lots of money. They crack me up. It was a good 'snowed in' day at the Kelly household.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Super Savings Day!

I began my day today by meeting with a good friend for breakfast at a local restaurant in Warsaw. Known as "Maria's", this establishment is well-known for ample portions and great cuisine. Even better was that fact that Dan was going to buy for both of us! We took a look at Hebrews 10:19-25 (we're working through Hebrews together) and then dove into the food. Near the end of our meal our Senior Pastor came over and sat just briefly with us. He was with a former church member who was back in town for some business. Our check disappeared off our table as the former member picked up the tab for Dan & I!! Awesome!! Dan stiffed me on the tip - lol - but we were pretty pumped to be able to schedule perhaps another trip to Maria's in the future!

After getting home (I'm taking today off instead of last Monday) my wife and I headed to JC Penneys where they were having $1.97 sales. We purchased 11 items totaling $22.97 and saved over $376 dollars!! That's crazy awesome!

Leaving there we went to "Our Father's House", a local thrift store, where I spent another $6 on 4 dress shirts. It was 1/2 off day today on clothing! awesome.

We also stopped at Sherman & Lins a scratch and dent grocer where I dropped the remaining change from my original $20 bill. Between Our Father's House and Sherman & Lins, I spent $20 but got 4 dress shirts, 10 cans of soup, a package of Zantac 150, some brownie mix and a couple other snacky things! That's some Super savings!

Tonight we're going to a spaghetti fund-raiser in New Paris which is hosted by a ministry that helps families and especially women in the post-abortion process. I am excited about going and checking out this ministry as well as throwing some cash behind their efforts.

Well, God bless & have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Prov.18 progression of destruction

Proverbs 18:6-7: A fool's lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows. A fool's mouths is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
So, these are two verses out of Prov.18 that I read today. I read that chapter and studied out every use of any indication of speech, words, etc. There is a very significant progression seen in these two verses - (at least I see it). Let me share what I saw today:
It seems that a fool is characterized by his speech. When someone who is a 'fool' begins to let his yapper run, it brings first of all conflict. (fool's lips bring strife). I am looking at this in a verbal conflict way. As you study this word out, it seems to have a quarreling aspect to it. I don't think that it's a far stretch to assume that someone who is foolish with their speech often is involved in arugments and quarrels. The Proverbs seem to be pretty clear that a fool brings this on himself through his speech.
Secondly, the writer of Proverbs says that a fool's mouth calls for blows. How often and quickly do verbal quarrels lead to physical confrontations! It doesn't take much for the fire of passionate foolish talking to get out of control. You see this same word used in the next chapter when the writer says that judgment is prepared for scoffers and blows for the back of a fool. It is physical violence that often erupts from a fool letting his mouth run wild.
In verse seven we see further progression of foolish talking. The fool's mouth actually brings about ruin. It may start in verbal quarreling; which may progress to physical confrontation, but it quickly leads to ruin. Now this destruction could be death, physically. Certainly many murders have been a result of some fool shooting off his mouth inappropriately. But I think ruin happens in so many other ways as well. How soon a relationship is destroyed with foolish talking! Spouses seek divorce, children run away, employees quit their jobs, church members leave a church and on and on the list goes. Many relationships come to ruin because a fool speaks unwisely with his mouth.
Lastly, the fool's lips are a snare for his soul. The word snare is the word for bait or trap. It's the same word used in Joshua 23: ...know with certainty that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you... A quick consultation to the Theological Wordboook of the OT states, A snare metaphorically is something that allures one from his real purpose and then destroys him. That certainly puts a period on this downward progression doesn't it? The fool thinks that his speech is actually going to benefit him in some way (perhaps in control over the situation or person - part of the allurement) and actually it snares his soul. He destroys his very self.
I think this very quick look at these two verses at the very least challenges my thinking on the way I use my speech. Consider your speech today. Are you quick to be foolish? Be forewarned then my friend, there is a certain progression of destruction that is laid out for you in Proverbs 18.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Officially over the hill...

Yesterday was it. I turned the big 40. Funny, I don't feel any different. Physically it was last year that I noticed the change in what I could do, not do, wished I hadn't done, etc, etc... This year it seems I am just coasting along.
Last night our church held a surprise birthday party for me - that was pretty cool. Lot's of cards and one big container of prunes. I like prunes. Old people like prunes. Therefore I must be old. Used to be coffee would be the thing to get me going, I guess when you get older you need help in other areas as well. Now prunes will join the list of things that keep me going... (don't you love the english language?)
Last night was also our teen's youth service at our church. Lot's of Truth was communicated in a variety of ways: puppets, drama, music and song. I also got a chance to preach on the "Dynamics of Death" - yeah, one of those encouraging sermons! I hope it was.
Nascar's Daytona 500 was yesterday. I've watched Nascar all my life - I'm not a huge fan, but if it's on, I'll watch. Yesterday I watched FOX from 1p-3:30p and never saw a lap of the race. It started after I had to return to the church. Nascar must be big business now to have that much introductory material before the 500. I heard that a local driver (to us) won it: Ryan Newman. I'm kinda particular to the Earnhardt clan myself. Hope he does well this year.
This morning I was awakened by the blessed beeping of my java maker. It was pouring succulent Mocha Java from it's nozzles. This is my favorite brew from Gevalia. I grind it extra-fine and brew it strong. A little creamer and this coffee is wonderful!
I pray that your day will find God at the forefront and that you will consider how to achieve the goal laid out for us in 2 Corinthians 5:9: ...therefore we make it our goal to please Him...

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's over...

Wow... I certainly didn't do a very good job of blogging while at this conference. It was such an intense experience! Below are some favs:

  • Fav quote (from a counselee giving a testimony to the power of Biblical Counseling as she worked through some medical issues): "God never wastes pain." Wow. That hit me right in the heart - that is a powerful statement.
  • Fav song in sessions that featured worship times: There is a Fountain. Between 8-900 people lifting their voices in praise just blew me away. Honorable mention: O Worship the King - as a group of about 75 men, we sang it one morning before starting the day off. Good stuff.
  • Fav session: (Just one? Are you kidding?) Counseling Conflict from the Book of James by Kevin Carson with Baptist Bible Seminary, Springfield, MO. Really, many of the sessions were awesome.
  • Fav plenary session: Quest for More by Paul David Tripp. Absolutely blew me away - I'm halfway through this book and this just fleshed it out wonderfully.
  • Fav speaker: Steve Viars, pastor -Faith Baptist Church, Lafayette, IN. This guy is incredible. I think you either love him or hate him - but he is one of the most matter of fact speakers communicating Truth out there.
  • Fav moment: Meeting people. I met several men that were very encouraging to talk to as we discussed life, ministry and how God was working in each of our lives. Thanks guys!
  • Fav beverage: Venti Caffe Mocha by Starbucks. This morning they hit it just right. Had a raspberry scone to go along with it too! Mmmmm!!
I am so glad to get home. My 3 year old daughter ran up and gave me a hug and said, "Dad, I missed you". It doesn't get much better than that!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Conference, part 2

So, I was supposed to do this yesterday - now I'm all out of wack as far as timing goes and my posting! It's been very busy - not an excuse, but a realization. It's been two years since I've been able to get over here, and I had forgotten how much time is consumed in sessions.... and sitting. I'm tired of sitting and it's only day 3. We do have very nice comfortable chairs to sit on, but when all you do is sit and have limited space to move - it can get rough.

Here's my sessions from yesterday:
  • Counseling Conflict from the Book of James - (probably my fav session of the day - very practical
  • Counseling Teens in Sexual Sin 1 - (very practical - I need to get Andy Woodall for a retreat for my teens)
  • Children of Divorce
  • Handling Death and Grief - (my second to least fav session)
  • Heart of Change 3 - (Brent Aucoin is simply amazing - does he even use notes?)
  • ADHD - (least fav - couldn't sit still long enough for it)
  • Counseling Hope for People with Fatigue - (very practical again)
Today I hope to get some pics of the inside of the Community Center where I have my sessions. Very cool, very nicely done.

I'm also trying to get a sermon written for Sunday - I got about 'half a point' done last night. =)

As far as the weather goes, we missed out on all the snow predicted, but ended up with some freezing rain (my car is running outside my window - hoping to melt the ice, b/c I didn't bring a scraper) Yesterday it would hardly run - but today is warmer and I'm hoping for better things!

I think in a couple of minutes I'll go out and check on it and then head to the coffee house for a cup of joe before getting to the church.

God bless!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kicking off the Conference... Sunday, part 1

I woke up this morning anticipating a great start to a very packed week of training in biblical counseling. I had three choices of services to attend at Faith Baptist here in Lafayette: 8:00a, 9:30a or 11:00am. I chose the 9:30 service - because I didn't want to get up too early and I thought the 11:00 service would be too late. Turns out I chose the right service. I got up and around and decided to head over to Starbucks for some liquid breakfast.
As I got out to the car, I had to go to the passenger side (because my driver's side lock doesn't work) to open it. The wind was blowing fiercely and the temp had dropped drastically from the night before. My car door was actually frozen shut due to the rain that we had also rec'd during the night. No biggie - I forced my way in on the passenger side and hit the unlock button. I went to the driver's side but could not get the door open. It was then I realized that my whole lock / door mechanism was frozen and no amount of gentle coaxing would free it. The gentle coaxing turned to frantic banging and mild anger loss. I got in the car on the passenger side deciding to just let it heat up and hopefully thaw out the door; as I got in, I knocked my middle console over which spilled about 478 pennies across the interior of my car. The mild anger loss turned to a violent bout of "Why me?!" and "Why now?!" and "How in the world am I going to get in and out of my car all week?! Since I had no tools, I actually tried to use jumper cables as pliers to pull my lock up and work my door - to no avail. (It actually thawed by time I meekly surrendered my situation and predicament to Christ and headed off to the service). Funny what God uses to show me my pride isn't it? I'm sure I can use this for a sermon illustration some day - when it becomes funny to me. lol. So I didn't have breakfast at the hotel, just a grande mocha with an extra shot of espresso and some stale 'free samples' of Starbucks coffee cake they were handing out.
I made it to FBC in time for the service. It's fun to be a pastor and be in another church and watch intently how people treat "visitors". I'm sure I'm not the most approachable guy - especially in my Seventh Day Slumber shirt (hey I was running late and didn't have time to change into anything else... get over it)The sermon was by Pastor Steve Viars - one of my fav speakers and a guy who tells it like it is. It was a continuation of their study in 1 Timothy; today being 1 Timothy 5. The sermon dealt with Generational Piety and who we were to honor in the church. The three groups he focused on today were: sinners (yeah, hang in there I'll explain it in a second), widows and elders / pastors. Sinners, he explained, needed to be 'honored' or dealt with in a biblical manner - the church today being guilty of dealing un-biblically with sinners either: shooting their own wounded or ignoring the sin altogether. The part on widows was a good reminder and the section on pastors and their pay was great! Read the verses out 1 Tim. 5 - and see how biblically your church compensates your elders.
Lunch today was nothing special - just some liverwurst and chips & cheese washed down with an RC cola. (I stopped at Meijers for groceries hoping to save some cashola). In fact, here's what I've eaten thus far today:
  • Grande Mocha, w/ extra shot of espresso
  • two sample coffee-cake tidbits
  • one sandwich, liverwurst
  • a handful of chips & cheese
  • a handful - okay, two handfuls of M&M's (it's dessert...gimme a break!)
  • Another mocha w/ extra shot - see below
So I found this other coffee shop and went there to read for a while before picking up all my materials for the conference. It's called Local Mountain Coffee Cafe. They had some killer coffee - all coffee is killer actually, but I enjoyed it. I sat near the door which was a mistake because of the cold. Every time someone walked in I was freezing - so I didn't stay long.After slamming the mocha and two chapters of Quest for More by Paul David Tripp, I headed over to FBC to get my stuff. I took some pics of Vision of Hope which is their newly opened resident girls home. (that's the first pic) And then two pics of their community center & skate park - which will be where I will spend the most of my time this week. (At the center, not the skate park)
Vision for Hope girl's home

Community Center and Skate Park (above two pics)

Soooo... I'm looking forward to tonight and the "official" first session which will be: Working with a Physician. I'll try to post daily from here on out, but to be honest - as the week goes will be very taxing on my spiritually and mentally. I've come to learn that I have much to learn and this concentrated week has an incredible effect on my Christian walk.
Pray for me - I'm praying that God will be glorified through what ever happens this week. God bless, and keep the coffee hot - because its freezing outside!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Counseling Conference Week...

I arrived in Lafayette, IN today around 5:15pm or so to begin a week of intensive conference training along the lines of Biblical counseling. I am going to begin tomorrow with my third track at the Faith Baptist counseling conference. I am looking forward to it. You can either click on the link ("third track") or look below for topics of what I'll be listening to:

  • Working with a Physician
  • Counseling conflict from the book of James
  • Counseling teens in sexual sin - pt.1
  • Children of divorce
  • Handling death and grief
  • Heart of change 3
  • ADHD
  • Counseling hope for people with fatigue
  • Financial concerns 1
  • Steps of Marital reconciliation
  • How to determine if a proposed treatment works
  • True repentance
  • Hermeneutics
  • Dealing with spiritual warfare in the family
  • How to counsel manipulative people
  • Wisdom parenting: counseling parents in today's world
  • Learning from counseling failures
  • Handling the past biblically
  • The far end of fear: OCD
  • Living with a bitter person
  • Financial concerns 2
There are also "Breakout" sessions for both men and women. This is what we refer to as drinking from the fire hydrant. Impossible to let everything set in fully - but it totally is everything I can use.

I'll try to post some things I am learning or impressed with as the week goes by.

Good news! I found a coffee shop right around the corner from the hotel!! I'll try to get a pic or two of that too!! lol...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Aiming for Heaven... C.S. Lewis

"...If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one. Aim at heaven and you will get earth 'thrown in'; aim at earth and you will get neither..."
~Mere Christianity

I am leaving Saturday for Faith Baptist in Lafayette, IN to attend their Biblical Counseling Conference. I am currently in the 3rd of 4 tracks. I am looking forward to the week, realizing that God could do a great work in my heart. I think I am being primed for it right now...

I hope to provide some updates as I have 'net access. God bless...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My son & poetry...

My oldest son, Brice, wrote a poem that blew me away. I really enjoyed it. He told me over dinner last night that he got the idea as he looked down on his Bible which was open to the book of Job. Below you see his thoughts and words. Great job Brice!

Job's Life

Sons, daughters, servants crushed,
and posessions also;
then Satan to God rushed,
gave Job boils, sores and woe.

Birth deploring, sleep demanding,
great grief and much pain.
Job, a man of God unbending
in righteousness obey'n.

In silence he bore much
and set the example for us;
he cursed not God and such
but listened, obeying Him thus.

His friends, saying he had sinned,
comfort in them he found not.
For his complaint indeed was grim,
in his life he had hope...not.

Questioning the reasons
he implored God amply.
Job, reproaching pitiless ones,
these his friends did not comply.

In Elihu's words he found strength,
to carry on with his life.
Terrible though the length,
he contended with the Devil, born with strife.

God's word he followed
hearing challenges from the Lord;
God Job's prosperity allowed
and His belongings He restored.

Brice, you've made me proud of your hard work and effort going into this poem!

Check out my eBay for my latest java sales. Search for grizzlie101's auctions. God bless!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The rains came down and ...

Well, there you have it. It's disgusting and gross. (And besides that, I can't 'stitch' a picture worth a hoot). The pic you are looking at is actually 3 stitched together to give an idea of what my basement walls look like. Pretty nasty if you ask me. We have been receiving so much snow, then rain, then snow, then thunderstorms... that my walls are leaking like a sieve. Fortunately I do have a shop vac that is getting a work out - and a couple fans and dehumidifiers as well.

What to do? All the options seem extremely expensive. I'd welcome any and all ideas. There's not much I can do currently with the weather like it is - except vac... vac... and vac. Come spring there will be major work that will need to be done. I'm happy it's not worse though!

I started a facebook page for our youth group the other day - you can find it here. I hope to keep it updated with events and information that we will be involved in. Spread the word to those who haven't signed up yet.

Happy Ash Wednesday! What are you giving up for Lent? I'm doing what I did last year: giving up a website that I enjoy to visit. It's a messageboard site associated with alumni from where I went to college. I enjoy going there pretty much on a daily basis - but, sometimes its good to take a break. So until March 23 - no more board...and even more focused time on Christ.

I received a shipment from Gevalia yesterday: a half pound of my fav brew (mocca java), a quarter pound of costa rica peaberry and a quarter pound of espresso roast. I thought my account was suspended (it is now), but it must have lapsed. I have to suffer through this somehow.

Monday, February 04, 2008

God Hates Fake Stuff.

God Hates Fake Stuff - (from walk in the word ministries)

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4

Everybody hates a fake.

My wife is so tricky sometimes! She puts out all this counterfeit fruit in bowls in our kitchen and I get so confused. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a great looking pear and almost broken my tooth when I tried to bite into it! How worthless is that? I hope you don’t have fake fruit at your house.

I also hate fake grass. Football should be played on real turf.

I hate fake laugh tracks on TV shows. What?-is the comedy so bad that it needs canned laughter?

I just hate fake stuff.

God hates fake stuff, too. Not so much the surfacey, silly things that bother me-God hates soul fakeness. He detests the gap in our lives between what we know to be true and how we’re living it. The biblical term is hypocrisy.

There should be some kind of alarm that’s goes off in your heart when there’s a substantive gap between what you say and what you do; between what you profess and what you actually live; between the appearances that you keep up at church in front of other people and what it’s really like at your house. God hates that phoniness. That’s why Jesus says, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1).

People will see you live your life; that’s not the problem. You don’t have to keep secret the fact that you go to church, or raise your hands in worship or get on your knees to pray, or open your written-in Bible. But when you do all those things so that people will see you-that is a problem. Doing-spiritual-things-so-other-people-notice goes right to motive. If you’re acting godly with the desire to get attention or affirmation or strokes from folks-you just got all the reward you deserve and lost God’s approval in the process.

So this begs the question, “Why is hypocrisy such a hard thing to shake?”

It’s because of the weight you and I put on people’s opinions of us rather than feeling the weight of what God thinks of us.

The solution: Don’t do anything “to be seen.” Have a better, more pure reason to do whatever it is you choose to do for God. Anything less than pleasing Him will only get you canned applause.