2014 Year in Review

2014 Year in Review

Part of my list of ideas and hopes for this year is to write and post more frequently than in previous years.

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    Enjoyed wonderful meal at Japanese place in Knoxville, then celebrating with family. I was 44.
  2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why?
    Exhaustion from working so many hours at KIA. Then fear and peace about moving to Hardin Valley. Elation at being with my family so much after being gone too much the previous 14 months.
  3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
    Moved older children from their friends.
  4. What did you want and get?
    Wanted to spend more time with family and be involved in the work of God full time.
  5. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?
    A book written.
  6. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
    Following God’s will to an unknown, unfamiliar place. Also, not taking credit for any of the awesome things He did. That is His glory alone.
  7. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?
    The Lord and my sweet wife, Andrea.
  8. What song will remind you of this year?
    When God Has Another Plan sung by Andrea Holloman
  9. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).
    “In Your Everlasting Arms, All the Pieces of My Life, I Can Trust You”
  10. What was your most enjoyable purchase?
    Samsung Galaxy S4
  11. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Rested
  12. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Rushed
  13. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?
    Settled, Adventurous
  14. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?
    Confident that God Can
  15. What’s a life lesson you learned this year?
    I can always trust the Lord.

Based upon questions from RA.

I discovered these questions on one of my favorite former student’s blog Dash of Ash . She also frequents twitter at  http://twitter.com/ashleybmcneese

The Days of Our Years

2015_std_t_nv2015In my traveling, I am doing more reading than writing (other than sermons !)

I read this this morning, enjoy!

The Days of Our Years

A few days after these words appear in print the old year of our Lord will have gone to join the long procession of years and centuries that move on into the shadows of a past that can come no more.
In the year just gone the world has been writing history, not with ink only but with blood and tears; not in the quiet of the study but in violence, terror and death in city streets and along the borders of nations; and other and milder but more significant history has been written by incredible feats of power in sending man-made objects out to circle the moon and the sun.
But what is more important is that each of us has also been writing history. That the church has made history is not so significant as that you have and I have. What is done by a group is possible only because individuals have been at work. A company cannot work as a company nor will it be judged as such. Paul by inspiration singled out the individual and stood him up alone to receive judgment:

Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13–15)

And again,

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

At that day there will be no hiding in the crowd. Each one will come carrying his own book of history under his arm. So we should close reverently the book of the year just gone; we shall see it again.
To each one fortunate enough to live out 1959, God will have given 365 days broken into 8,760 hours. Of these hours, 2,920 will have been spent in sleep, and about the same number at work. An equal number has been given us to spend in reverent preparation for the moment when days and years shall cease and time shall be no more. What prayer could be more spiritually appropriate than that of Moses, the man of God: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Tozer, A. W., & Verploegh, H. (1993). The warfare of the spirit (pp. 133–135). Camp Hill, PA.: WingSpread.

The Labor of Self-Love by Tozer

Great section from one of my favorite books!

The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them.

Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.
Tozer, A. W. (2006). The Pursuit of God (pp. 105–106). Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread.

Values of an Institution

(As I am putting away this semester, and working on my opportunities for the Summer and Fall, I have been trying to re-read some of my earlier writing among other items to help clarify my direction and gain some momentum for the writing season ahead.)

Every school, business, family, church, or college has a set of values. They may not be codified or even formalized, but they are present and they do shape the influence and the emphasis of the group associated with these values. Some years back I was asked to try to codify a rough draft of the values of the college I graduated from and have now been a part of the faculty for almost 9 complete years. As I read these again, I was reminded of why I want to serve at at place like Southeastern.

Our Values:

 * We value a Christian worldview that permeates all our disciplines.

* We value a theological education that is orthodox in doctrine, fundamental in application, and true to our Free Will Baptist heritage.

* We value a thorough preparation for our students for a lifetime of ministry.

* We value academic excellence and scholastic integrity among our students and our faculty.

* We value an atmosphere of Biblical preaching and instruction that helps the student in their passion to live for and be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

* We value an education philosophy that not only teaches the theoretical, but the practical as well.

* We value an environment that promotes spiritual growth and transformation (Eph. 3:16-19).

* We value globally accessible theological education (Matt. 28:19-20).

* We value on-going institutional quality and improvement (Col. 3:23-24).

* We value personal soul-winning and global evangelization.

* We value self-discipline in our students and faculty.

* We value the Christian School as an extension of the home and are committed to training quality teachers for this ministry.

* We value the local church ministry model as taught in the New Testament and teach it diligently to our students.

Ice Cold Water Devotion

Here is part of what I read this morning…Wow!

What a great responsibility God has laid upon us preachers of His gospel and teachers of His Word. In that future day when God’s wrath is poured out, how are we going to answer? How am I going to answer? I fear there is much we are doing in the name of the Christian church that is wood, hay and stubble destined to be burned up in God’s refining fire. A day is coming when I and my fellow ministers must give account of our stewardship:

What kind of a gospel did we preach?
Did we make it plain that men and women who are apart from Christ Jesus are lost?
Did we counsel them to repent and believe?
Did we tell them of the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit?
Did we warn them of the wrath of the Lamb—the crucified, resurrected, outraged Lamb of God?
With that kind of accounting yet to come, the question John hears from the human objects of God’s wrath is especially significant: “Who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17). Who indeed?

Lord, how am I going to answer?

A. W. Tozer, Tozer on Christian Leadership : A 366-day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA.: WingSpread, 2001).