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4752817426_b33d8b9ec2_zTim Challies has an excellent post that is worth sharing on 8 Email Mistakes You Make. I was expecting advice like “don’t use shorthand in email.” Rather he gives advice for learning to control email rather than letting email control you.

Here are the mistakes he lists.

  1. You check email all day
  2. You use your best hours to check email
  3. You use email for high priority communication
  4. You use email as your to-do list
  5. You compose or reply when you don’t need to
  6. You get a notification for every email
  7. You have a million emails in your inbox
  8. You use email instead of ________

New Theme?

May 10, 2011 — 4 Comments

I am thinking about changing my theme to THIS. I would take all of the girl out of it. Should I do it?

I have always wanted one where you scroll down to see the posts. I also want to change the name again. I think this all comes from my constant desire for change. When I had my own room when I was younger I would rearrange it as often as I could and encourage my parents to rearrange their furniture.

I also have the desire to move somewhere else every 3 years. I get antsy. I want adventure.

Compared to some, I have spent little time around Chip Stam. But when I was in high school, he was the music minister at our church. There was always cheerfulness in his eyes, and laughter on his face. The children would crowd around him. He was a man that was full of the joy of the Lord.

My dad said that he was also a man full of energy. He could walk across the floor on his hands. Once on a church staff trip my dad noted that Chip still had his computer screen glowing while everyone else was asleep. In the morning while everyone was still under the comforts of the covers, he came walking in his gym clothes, just finishing up his morning work out. He proceeded to ask who would play him in tennis later that day.

Chip Stam has been battling cancer for the last four years, but what I keep hearing is that he is suffering well.  If you want to learn more about Chip’s story you can follow THIS link. Here are some words from Chip.

But in the meanwhile, we can be well intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually because we trust the words of Jesus that through whatever illnesses or impairments we might suffer “God’s works” will be revealed in us. God’s work might be to take us home to be with Himself, but what better work could we imagine? Or the LORD’s work might be to reveal his sustaining grace throughout our afflictions. No doubt God has some surprises in store for us as to how the Trinity might act in partnership with us to accomplish divine purposes. The endless possibilities enable us to be well in trust and hope.

My dad wrote the following about Chip’s ministry to him:

Our beloved music minister and fellow-colleague at Southern Seminary Chip Stam has been battling cancer since 2007. He and his wife Doris have been such an example to us of faith and hope in God from the very beginning. I remember the first time we visited them after the cancer diagnosis. We were hoping to encourage them but they encouraged us instead! And that has been the rule ever since. We have always left Chip and Doris strengthened by the grace of God, for their faith has shone brightly as Chip has battled death.

Chip wants to live but he is ready to die. He knows that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for him and that it is far better to be with Christ. But the question is whether the Lord has future fruitful labors  for him on earth.  Whatever happens, Chip has been a testimony to thousands as he has fought the ravages of cancer. Don’t forget to lift Chip up in prayer, and pray that the message of the good news of free grace in Christ Jesus wins many to faith in Christ. Chip has touched thousands of people during his life, but it may be that he has reached many more in his four year battle with cancer than he has in all his previous years. I love Chip Stam as a friend and a precious brother. What a testimony he has been to gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our prayer for Chip is that he would get better, but if not that through this the comfort of Jesus Christ would become more real to him. As with John Bunyan he would learn the following:

I never had in all my life so great an inlet into the Word of God as now [in prison]. The Scriptures that I saw nothing in before are made in this place to shine upon me. Jesus Christ also was never more real and apparent than now. Here I have seen him and felt him indeed. . . . I have seen [such things] here that I am persuaded I shall never while in this world be able to express. . . . Being very tender of me, [God] hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one scripture and another strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often said, were it lawful I could pray for greater trouble for the greater comfort’s sake. (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Evangelical Press, 1978, p. 123)

This is the girliest title I will ever post. But when I saw this article in NY Times I had to read it. I watch Hannah regularly read “mom” blogs. Sometimes I find it weird that she is reading about these people she does not know, and then I remember that I check blogs of people I have never met. Well Heather Armstrong is the Queen of Mommy Bloggers at Dooce.com.

She is one of the few bloggers who wield that kind of clout. Typically, there are 100,000 visitors daily to her site, Dooce.com, where she writes about her kids, her husband, her pets, her treatment for depression and her life as a liberal ex-Mormon living in Utah. As she points out, a sizable number also follow her on Twitter (in the year and a half since she threatened Maytag, she has added a half-million more). She is the only blogger on the latest Forbes list of the Most Influential Women in Media, coming in at No. 26, which is 25 slots behind Oprah, but just one slot behind Tina Brown. Her site brings in an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 a month or more — and that’s not even counting the revenue from her two books, healthy speaking fees and the contracts she signed to promote Verizon and appear on HGTV. She won’t confirm her income (“We’re a privately held company and don’t reveal our financials”). But the sales rep for Federated Media, the agency that sells ads for Dooce, calls Armstrong “one of our most successful bloggers,” then notes a few beats later in our conversation that “our most successful bloggers can gross $1 million.”

Sam Rainer wrote a heartfelt post about prayer in the midst of a trying time.  His brother Jess (a high-school friend of mine) had their second son Will die just an hour after he was born.  Here are Sam’s words about the situation.

Sometimes it is difficult to know how to pray.

The apostle Paul struggled with how to pray while sitting in jail waiting on his potential execution. Would God spare him for fruitful ministry? Would God bless him with eternal worship? In Philippians 1 he writes, “I don’t know which one I should choose.”

On Thursday February 3rd my family received difficult news. My brother’s unborn son had a rare disorder which created a dangerous situation for his wife and child. Jess and Rachel were devastated. Would child and mom live? Would God bless either of them with heaven? We did not know how to pray. Uncertainty trumped any emotions. Quite frankly, we were stunned.

William Thomas Rainer was born, lived one hour, and then came to know the joys of God. He will never know the sorrows of this earth. He will only experience the presence of King Jesus. His mom was spared, given the fruitful task of raising Canon, their firstborn son, and—hopefully—more little Rainers.

Baby Will’s shallow breaths were not in vain. His hour on this earth was not grace-less. God was glorified as two parents gave their son back to the Creator. King Jesus called Baby Will home early. It was a painful reminder that we are not citizens of this earth, but rather, as James writes, “heirs of the kingdom.” Will’s death was a heart-aching, nauseating demonstration of the fallen nature of this world. But his death will be a marker in my spiritual growth—a point in my life where God lavished His grace.

How should I pray? Which should I choose? Paul’s words ring as true today as they did in his prison, “To depart and be with Christ is far better.” As David says in 2 Samuel after losing his newborn son, “I’ll go to him, but he will never return to me.” One day—come quickly Lord Jesus—I will see Will again. One day—come quickly Lord Jesus—Jess and Rachel will go to him. That day will be glorious.

Baby Will’s lungs did not last him. His heart could not pump fast enough. But he has new lungs now—lungs that are like the giant bellows of a pipe organ, belting forth the praises for a good God. He has a new heart—a pure, glorified, and complete heart that knows only the glory of a God slow to anger and rich in mercy.

See you soon, Will. We love you.

I didn’t get to some of the books I wanted to this winter, and I picked up some I didn’t think I was going to.  Here is what I got through.  Oh and by the way, Unbroken was the best book I read all year.

Class Reading List:

  • Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts: Harold Best
  • Worship By the Book: D.A. Carson
  • Created for Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You: Noel Due
  • Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God: Bob Kauflin
  • Engaging With God: A Biblical Theology of Worship: David Peterson
  • Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views: J.M. Pinson
  • Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation: Allen Ross
  • Introducing World Missions:  A Biblical, Historical, Practical Survey: Moreau, Corwin, McGee
  • Christian Mission in the Modern World:  What the Church Should Be Doing Now: John Stott

Fun Reading List:

  • Somebody Told Me: Rick Bragg
  • Hebrew Syntax, An Outline: Ronald Williams
  • A Beginners Handbook to Biblical Hebrew: Marks and Rogers
  • Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis: Steve Runge
  • The Basics of New Testament Syntax: Daniel Wallace
  • Greek:  A History of the Language and its Speakers: Geoffrey Horrocks
  • The Victory of Reason: Rodney Stark
  • The Epistle to the Romans (NICNT): Doug Moo
  • Worldliness:  edited by C.J. Mahaney
  • Unbroken: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Intro to the NT: Carson and Moo
  • The Cradle, The Cross, and The Crown, An Introduction to the NT: Kostenberger, Kellum, Quarels
  • What I Learned in Narnia: Douglas Wilson
  • Defending Constantine: Peter Leithhart
  • The Apostolic Fathers: edited by Michael Holmes

Books I Have Not Bought Yet List:

  • Money, Greed, and God:  Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem: Jay Richards
  • Whose Chose the Gospels: Charles Hill

Here is my list for the new Semester:

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh: translated by N.K. Sanders
  • A Basic Guide to Eschatology: Millard Erickson
  • The Bible and the Future: Anthony Hoekema
  • Symbolism of the Biblical World: Othmar Keel
  • Christian Theology: Millard Erickson
  • Perspectives on Church Government: edited by Brand and Norman
  • A History of the Church in the Middle Ages: F. Donald Logan
  • Out of the Depths: Bernhard W. Anderson
  • The Early Church: Henry Chadwick
  • A Survey of the Old Testament Introduction: Gleason Archer
  • Saved by Grace: Anthony Hoekema
  • The First Letter to the Corinthians: Rosner and Ciampa
  • Total Church: Tim Chester
  • Readings in World Christian History, Volume 1: Earliest Christianity to 1453: Coakley and Sterk
  • Williams’ Hebrew Syntax: Ronald Williams
  • The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861-1986: Stephen Neill and Tom Wright
  • The NT: The History and Investigation of its Problems: Kummel
  • Various Articles I do not feel like listing.