Zechariah Did Not Believe (initially) #sketchnote

I am flying tonight from Oklahoma City to Raleigh, North Carolina, to share three presentations at their statewide educational technology conference. I started re-reading the Gospel of Luke tonight, and was reminded of our church’s presentation of the musical “One Incredible Moment” as I read the story of Zechariah. I don’t think I remember the story of Anna, which also is shared by Luke in the second chapter:

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38 NIV)

I am practicing my sketchnoting skills (feeble as they are) with a new iPad stylus (the Paper53 “pencil”) and the iPad app Paper53. I don’t like it as well as ProCreate, but since it is free (ProCreate is not) and I’m sharing a presentation on visual notetaking this week, I decided to practice a bit. I can’t get the “undo” function of the app to work, so some of the unintended smudges I made on this drawing persist. I do like the watercolor brush though, and will likely use it more in some Sketchnotes I’ll make at the conference this week.

I pray God will give me faith to believe in the truth and goodness of his promises, and not doubt them as Zechariah did when the angel Gabriel foretold the birth of his son, John.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” (Luke 1:18-20 NIV)

A Fast to End Injustice and Oppression

From the verses in Isaiah I used last week for an Ash Wednesday sermon, starting the season of Lent:

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.'” (Isaiah 58:6-9 MSG)

These verses are on my heart as I think about the challenges schools so close to our home face, and my own prospects for teaching in the year to come.

Our Bodies Are Temples for God’s Holy Spirit

Today’s sermon message focuses on how we should act and care for our own bodies, which are temples for God’s Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 619-20 NIV)

I used iMovie for iPad to create a narrated version of this sketchnote.

Prayers for Joe Rightmyer

I shared this comment tonight on the Layman Online article, “PCUSA defrocks nationally recognized renewal leader.”

Actions like this by the PJC of the PCUSA Denomination further disclose the spirit of the organization and its leadership. Sadly and tragically, that spirit is revealed to have become divorced from The Holy Spirit.

 

My prayers are with Rev Joe Rightmyer. I also pray God would change the hearts of those who actions appear to be based on spite rather than love or any other fruits of the spirit.

 

These actions also highlight the wise course of action taken by HPPC to sever ties with PCUSA. I am thankful to God that our congregation was also able to sever those ties and join ECO. It is wonderful to be finished with denominational squabbles which attempted to take our eyes away from Jesus Christ, rather than [STAY] firmly fixed upon Him.

bread and cup by tcd123usa, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  tcd123usa 

Comparing Translations of Romans 12:2

We are reading and studying Romans 12:2 in Sunday School today. This is one of my favorite passages of the Bible. The NIV version is the more familiar version:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

This is the version in “The Message:”

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1-2‬ MSG)

One of my favorite parts is “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..” The message says this well: Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

These verses particularly speak to me when it comes to discerning God’s will. As a metaphor for this, I think about a marinating steak. I need to “marinate” myself continually in God’s Word to follow these mandates, recorded by the apostle Paul. I need to spend time in prayer each day. I need to regularly seek the community and fellowship which comes within the body of Christian believers.

Oh how I need the encouragement of these verses from Romans! Praise to God that He sent his own son to earth, and provides ways today for us to live in relationship with Him!

Tonight’s cloud show by rkramer62, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  rkramer62 

God Rejoices With Us

Some great verses and thoughts about Christ and joy from our associate pastor, Matt Jones, this morning.

Remember God rejoices with us:

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3‬:‭17‬ NIV)

God’s voice is heard loudly and clearly through the words of Jesus.

Jesus shared and shares his words, the words of God our Heavenly Father, so our joy can be complete.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭1-11‬ NIV)

Jesus Called Him Simon Again

When Jesus called Simon to be His disciple, Jesus gave him a new name: Peter. In the garden of Gethsemane just before he was betrayed by Judas, however, Jesus called Peter by his former name once again. I never noticed this before, and our pastor (Matt Jones) pointed it out today in his sermon. In Mark 14:37 we read:

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?

Jesus calls us all to remain awake and not sleep as we face times of trial together.

Bringing Up Daughters of the King by Dan Liberto

These are my notes from Dan Liberto’s workshop, “Bringing Up Daughters of the King,” on May 3, 2014 at the Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference.

thefreedomgirls.com
– family discipleship ministry
– objective is partnering with parents and helping them discipling their children

Do this through workshops, conferences, and Biblical Ruth Doll / Book

Ministry name: Generation with a Name
Psalm 145:4 “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.You as the dad and leader of your house, or as a grandparent, or as a mentor…”

– you have the opportunity to stand in the gap between that child and a culture that is roaming around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour

Highly recommended book: “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know” by Meg Meeker

Research shows your physical affection for your daughter is the best predictor of of your daughter’s self esteem

No gimmicks, no tricks: Just Deuteronomy 6
– simple to understand, difficult to apply (because of our sin nature)

we have to fight the battle for our kids, but we also have to fight our own battles

1st pillar: Love the Lord with ALL your heart, soul and strength

2nd pillar: Impress his love on your children

3rd pillar: Tie them as symbols in your doorposts

If you are going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk
– it’s impossible for you to walk the walk without the strength of the Lord

these are all relational
2012 article in Homeschool Dads: “A Great Time to be a Husband, Parent and a Dad”

The marital bond is the foundation of the family
– it must be communion
– when you put Jesus Christ as the cornerstone, then you have the foundation

Parent in unified relationship with children
– need to be in unity

Obedience is more important than sacrifice
– parents can make it impossible for a child to be obedient if the parents are not unified in their relationships and expectations for the child

Dad in relationship with children individually
– this is the dad zone
– this is where we are specifically focusing today
– this is the “father daughter dance”

As a father you are called to give your children their needs, not necessarily their wants

Remember children aren’t saved through your faith
– you are fertilizing the soil through discipleship, so the Holy Spirit will grow the fruit

Garth Brooks: “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”

You have to give kids age-appropriate liberty so they will grow

Another book recc: “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp

You are God’s agent, not to manage your child’s behavior but to guide your child’s heart
– the behavior is a symptom
– the heart is the wellspring of life
– helping your child guard their heart is key

Never doubt your authority, it’s important for your children to never see you waiver with your faith

U571 movie scene: “Be a leader!”

Be courageous
– you are going to be ridiculed, made fun of
– the culture thinks it’s silly
– parents are subjected to peer pressure just like kids are

“The only way to know the inclinations of your child’s heart is to empower them to share their voice”

Be your child’s hero
– they need to know that you will move heaven and earth to help them with things they know
– let them know you will never abandon them
– best example: “The Prodigal Son”
– be grace filled

We hear it time and again in the Bible: “I will not leave or forsake you.”
– our children need to hear this constantly from us as parents

As dads, you have to get up on that wall
– you need to dress up like a warrior, to defend your castle against the many trojan horses that come in

Ephesians 6: this is a battle in the spiritual realm

Judges 5:8

God chose new leaders
when war came to the city gates,
but not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.You have to be your daughter’s “Prince Charming”

– be the man you want your daughter to marry

Help them make sense of life with a Christian Worldview

Take your child on a journey of discovery!

Turn off the noise, and turn up the fellowship in your family (with your kids & spouse!)

Have a multi-generational vision for your family
– pray for your children’s spouses, children, etc.
– put away the shotgun and start praying for them, like Hannah did when she brought her child to Samuel

Which dad are you? What picture are you painting for your family?

Challenge and call to action: Let’s get to our creative side, reflect back on the kind of picture we’ve painted in the past
– ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to use those areas we need to shore up, and the Holy Spirit needs to encourage us in
– after you have reflected and received that feedback from the Holy Spirit, then pull out your canvas and decide which canvas you want to paint for the future

What do airline folks say about emergencies: Equip yourself first for the battle/struggle, then tend to your children

Encouraged by the story of Joseph

Today and last week I have been very encouraged by the story of Joseph and his brothers. This morning on my way to work I listened to the following verses:

“Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8 NLT)

http://bible.com/116/gen.45.4.nlt

It is encouraging to remember that God walks with us each day, and is using the experiences we are going through to further His plans and His kingdom, when we are called according to His purpose.

Quoting Lady Gaga in a Sermon

Our pastor shared this quotation from Lady Gaga today in his sermon, in the context of Genesis 3:1-7.

As we began the conversation, Gaga spoke carefully in a very odd accent—some combination of Madonna as Madge and a robot, an affect enhanced by the fact that she refused to remove her lightly tinted sunglasses over the course of two hours. “What I’ve discovered,” said robo-Gaga, with a photo-ready tilt of her head, “is that in art, as in music, there’s a lot of truth—and then there’s a lie. The artist is essentially creating his work to make this lie a truth, but he slides it in amongst all the others. The tiny little lie is the moment I live for, my moment. It’s the moment that the audience falls in love.”

Mateen said he recognizes this strategy: to portray a lie as truth. It is a common strategy of the Devil. Having listened to many of Lady Gaga’s songs myself, I can affirm there are many, many lies interspersed amidst more positive statements and even some real “truths.” Reality is obsfucated and deceptions are presented as desirable and good. In this way, Satan manifests himself as an Angel of light:

These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NLT)

I have thought many times about creating some video deconstructions of Gaga’s songs to highlight the lies and deceptions which are artfully interlaced among compelling rhythms and melodies. I’m not sure I want to insert myself so directly into the “culture wars” of our current age, which those videos might force. I do think it’s extremely important for us to each be saavy & aware of the ways messages are crafted and presented all around us. We all need greater levels of media literacy to remain independent thinkers and (hopefully) avoid being manipulated unknowingly by others.

Our pastor’s use of this quote was the part of his sermon today that most caught my attention and got me thinking.

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