Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here's Your Answer to the High Gas Prices

Tired of paying so much at the pump for gas? For just over $1,000 you can get one of these for around town!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Pretty Impressive and Needed Daily Prayer!

A good friend recently sent me this prayer which he received at a training seminar at his work. Might not be a bad idea to pray it (and mean it!) every day!

A Prayer for the Day…Everyday!

Dear Lord,

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Taken From A 17th Century Nun's Prayer

My Quick Visit to the Doctor

This video has nothing to do with my post except to emphasize my point that amazing things can happen in a relatively short time!

Okay, so for the point! I went to my dermatologist yesterday for my annual checkup to see what new things my aging body has decided to decorate itself with. (By the way, if you haven't been checked by a dermatologist ever, it's time! I was talking to a church member's daughter yesterday who kept nagging her husband to go and get a spot checked and finally he did, and it was melanoma which is a skin cancer that can kill you, so this is not a joke! He found his in time, but it is a reminder that a little mole can be big trouble, so don't play around....GO!)

Besides, if you use my doctor, such an exam doesn't take long at all! I like my doctor, friendly, competent, and fast! I arrived a minute late to my appointment (no one fussed), got my insurance form to update. Before I could fill out my address, they called me back, before I could start again in the exam room (on the form), in comes Dr. Jordan....boom, it's over, and I'm paying my co-pay and I'm still filling out the form! A new record! Oh, I got a clean report!

On top of that, I had a credit on my account so it cost me seven bucks, and I got a chance to talk with two of the ladies working in the office. I told them how impressed I was with their precision and speed and that I was going to blog the experience, which led to several minutes of discussion with my going on and on like I do. They were very patient, and very kind, and acted like I had blessed them.

It really doesn't take that much time (or even preparation) to bless people, and it's fun. The world stinks in so many ways, why not take a moment to engage people more on a positive note. Paul knew the power of the spoken word when He wrote: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Eph 4:29

Husbands and wives, parents to children, friend to long has it been since you've said some "helpful, building-up, need-meeting, or beneficial" words? Maybe it's time!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spooky Technology - Amazing Virtual Pet from Sony

This is a little hard to believe, but then again, Sony comes up with some pretty amazing stuff. This "EyePet" will be available in 2009 for PlayStation 3.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Cool Perspective on the Olympics - Literally

I found an amazing picture of the inside of the Olympic stadium in Beijing. Now the picture here is NOT the amazing part, just a screen shot of the actual picture. Click on the link below, and then wait until the picture loads. It may load twice so wait until the little pinwheel counter stops and you have a color picture. Then you can click on the picture and then click and hold (or use the arrow keys) to move around the stadium, including up and down. You can also zoom in and out using your mouse scroll wheel or the SHIFT (IN) and the CTRL (OUT). Enjoy....The Link:

The photography company is Finnish, and they have another VR picture similar to this one at the top of one of their high (very high....make that insanely high) ski jump. Here is that link:

Then go to: Interactive virtual tour of the Lahti HS130 hill and click on the top most box with two Finnish words on it! Clicking on the boxes show other areas of the jump area. It really is cool.

An Apology to a Faithful Reader

Once upon a time (like today), a blogger attempted to moderate comments before he had consumed enough Diet Mountain Dew to clear his morning mental fog. He had talked with a faithful blog reader the night before who had made a pertinent comment on his blog (below) about living water. In his pre-Dew fog, the inattentive blogger accidentally clicked on "reject" instead of "publish." To his horror, he could not find an undo option, and he was sad.

Then, he remembered the email reminder he had received containing the inadvertently deleted comment. So, thanks to my email is the comment!

A wonderful illustration, reminded me of what I had just read in Zechariah (which to me brings up images of Rivendell, the mythical Elfen city in 'Lord of the Rings'....the city built around a magnificent waterfall...) I was particularly struck by the phrase 'living waters'...which your illustration dramatized as well. Zechariah 14:8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.

Thank you Jeff for your patience, friendship and forgiveness in what could have been a devastating event of unintended deletion! And for everyone else, here is a pic I found of Rivendell from the first LOTR movie:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stagnant Decoration or Living Water for a Thirsty World?

Click on the video frame and see my amazing tabletop fountain!

Ok, ok, so it’s not that amazing…maybe this will be a little “more” amazing…”

This controlled water release into the Grand Canyon this past March released 300,000 gallons of water A SECOND into the canyon, not just for fun, but as an attempt to restore the needed sediment levels that had been disrupted by the Glen Canyon Dam. In short, they needed to stir up dirt in the river to help the fish. They were “stimulating” the ecosystem to sustain and multiply life.

The lesson? Well, some churches (and Christians) can easily become like my little fountain. There is music, and some movement, but newcomers can quickly tell that there is a lot of recirculation going on. The water may be “pretty” to look at, but they wouldn’t drink it! (Have you ever looked in the “tank” of one of these fountains after a couple of weeks? Nasty!)

Also, if you don’t add water to those things, they dry up as the water evaporates, and the pump gets ruined and you have a useless piece of nothing. Again, it is possible for a church to not depend on or expect God’s living water (i.e. the Holy Spirit) to do much of anything new, and people are content to come and watch a show, hear some music, and leave unchanged. If there is no awakening to the presence and purpose of God’s Spirit, things can quickly dry up!

In John 7:37-39, we read, “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” It is obvious that Christ-followers are supposed to live in a “stream” of “living water, not in a stagnant pool. This stream does not have its end in us, but is meant to flow to others in love, kindness, compassion, service, humility, joy, peace, etc., that they may be stirred up to see their need for Christ.

God meant for the church (insert your name here if you are a Christ follower) to be like the canyon water, being released into to the world to stir things up for life! Paul says plainly that we are reconciled to God through Christ NOT just for heaven, but so that we can go into the world as Christ’s ambassadors (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ).

So don’t settle to be a re-circulating table decoration, be a Spirit-controlled, flood of living water! Read the next post below for a new way to let the flood flow!

Getting the BIG Picture and Sharing It!

God is faithful in providing us all we need to penetrate the world as His ambassadors. A new way of "opening" the flow of God's Spirit from our lives to others may just be as simple as drawing some circles on a napkin.

A friend of mine sent me a link to this website maintained by James Choung, a graduate from M.I.T. and currently serving as
the divisional director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in San Diego. He has come up with a new communication model (which can use a napkin!) for sharing Christ that focuses not merely on getting into heaven, but on God’s desire to use us to bring healing and new life to a broken world. (See Matthew 6:9,10: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.)

In the training material explaining the four circles, Choung points out that a person’s view on his/her salvation may be out of balance. This new model addresses that possibly paralyzing imbalance.

He maintains we need to balance the items on the left with the God ordained, biblical and non-optional aspects of one’s relationship with Christ on the right…

A relationship with Christ involves:

  • A decision but also PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION into someone who lives more like Christ guided by his Spirit, truth (the Word) and His purposes.
  • An individual relationship with God through Christ, but also a life connected to the COMMUNITY OF FAITH as a part of the BODY OF CHRIST. (Note: “Connected” does NOT mean just “attending” services at a church)
Think about that for a minute: life with Christ involves
  • Decision AND Transformation
  • Individual Commitment AND Commitment to Community
  • After-Life Later AND Mission-Life Now

When we start believing all of the Bible (not just the parts we like), and believing that God’s Spirit is real, and is up to something wonderful in our lives, then we’ll see (and others, too) what abundant living is like!

Please remember that Choung's presentation is a tool to open conversations with people about Christ and is not a complete Gospel presentation. Click below for parts 1 and 2 of Choung’s presentation of the “Big Story.”

Part II...

For even more information:
The author's website:

Article in Christianity Today:

Actual training manual from Intervarsity:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Human Ingenuity Takes Another Leap

Though it's hard to believe, Emily in this video is FAKE! A computer animation...creepy! What you are looking at is bascially a huge collection of 0's and 1's being juggled by a really, really smart computer program! Still, God designed the brains that designed the computers and computer programs that brought Emily to life!

Monday, August 18, 2008

God's Attention to Detail and His Opinion of You

You know how every snowflake is unique, but when was the last time you thought about a single grain of sand? Here's what ONE looks like...Looks a little "jewel-like" doesn't. I've never seen a picture of a grain of sand before, and I can walk on sand without ever thinking about the beauty I'm crushing beneath my feet. That's sort of how many of us (preachers included) can go through life. Getting so busy that we pass opportunities every day to see beauty in this world God has given us.

Oh, and speaking of God's attention to detail, this grain of sand reminds me of Matthew 10:29-31:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Let me make one last point. God's "opinion" of you is the same thing as reality. No one else possesses the perfect truth of who you are (even yourself) other than your Creator. The point: find out what He thinks of you, and then adjust your attitudes, thoughts, values, and behavior accordingly!

God is smart. Infinitely smart. He knows everything there is to know about biology (He wrote the book), anatomy, neurology, cardiology (add all medical disciplines to the list to complete), zoology, botany, quantum mechanics, computer programming and engineering, psychology, mathematics, philosophy, politics, world religions, theology ...well, you get the picture....oh, and He knows everything about YOU. So find out who He is, and what He thinks about you, and you'll end up with a clearer picture of who you are, how valuable you are (and others, too), and why you are here! Next time you go to the beach, maybe you should take a magnifying glass!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Coach from Columbia, SC

Just another little bit of Olympic news so all we South Carolinians can feel a little more apart of the games in Beijing, and especially with regards to Michael Phelps' remarkable string of gold medals. Bob Bowman (The guy in the picture who is NOT Michael Phelps!) who has coached Phelps in swimming for the past 12 years, grew up in Columbia, SC! FYI

Give Cavic a Gold Medal for Sportsmanship!

Want to know what 1/100th's of a second looks like? Look at the picture above. That's the margin by which Michael Phelps beat Serbian swimmer (and world record holder for this particular race) Milorad Cavic to win his seventh gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. This tied the record set by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Munich games.

How fast is 1/100th’s of a second? Try blinking your eyelid 100 times in the next second! The Serbian swimming team lodged a protest, but after reviewing the video, and double checking the timing mechanisms, the results were made final.What’s worth blogging,however,is Milorad Cavic’s reaction to losing a gold medal by 1/100th’s of a second. Cavic, who speaks impeccable English and trains in Florida, said he came in simply wanting to earn a bronze medal, so he wasn't bitter about missing out on the gold. "From the heart, I'm really enjoying this," he said. "I'm not about fighting it. I'm not angry at all." Way to go Milorad!

Cavic congratulates Phelps on his 1/100th of a second gold medal victory!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't Let Other People Define You!

This is pretty much self-explanatory. Playing life too safely guarantees mediocrity!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm a Happy Tiger!

Look at The Happiest College Students in the U.S.A.

Believe it or not, the fairly thin kid kneeling on the floor in front (Next to Tree Rollins who went on to 18 seasons of professional basketball) is me in the public speaking class I took at Clemson University. See how happy we all are! Maybe it's because back in the '70's, Clemson was the happiest university in America. Then again, that is just my

In 2008, however, Clemson University has been rated as the #1 happiest university by the "Princeton Review" which asked 120,000 students at 368 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics. The results will be reported in the 2009 edition of The Princeton's Review's annual college guide
"The Best 368 Colleges" on sale now for $21.95.

Four schools in SC made it into the top 20 ratings on various topics. Here's the breakdown:


No. 1: Happiest Students and Students Involved in Sports

No. 2: Relationship Between School and Town

No. 6: Best Overall Quality of Life

No. 7: Best Athletic Facilities and Student Support of School Sports

No. 8: Best Career/Job Placement Services

No. 20: School Runs Like Butter (administrative efficiency)

College of Charleston

No. 15: Great College Towns

Furman University

No. 9: Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution (What? They rate this sort of thing?)

No. 9: Most Religious Students

No. 13: Best College Library

No. 13: School Runs Like Butter

Wofford College

No. 2: Major Frat and Sorority Scene

No. 13: Most Conservative Students

No. 20: Professors Get High Marks

So, Don't Worry, Be Happy!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Pride Goeth Before a Fall - Or a Swimming Relay!

I just watched Michael Phelps win his third gold medal at the Olympics which ties the record of nine career gold medals. (Keep reading if you you think I put the wrong picture here!) Still, tonight's race was nothing compared to Sunday's relay race between the American and French teams, in which Phelps won his second gold medal. To make a long story short, here are the highlights:
  • The French swimmer, Alain Bernard had said bluntly a few days before concerning the American Team, "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for."
  • Phelps swam the first of the four legs of the relay, and 32 year old (the "old" man of the team), Jason Lezak (the guy in the picture!), swam the last leg against the oh-so-pride-filled Bernard, who was well ahead of him when he entered the water.
  • The commentators "hoped" the Americans could pull out a silver, since Bernard is the world's fastest swimmer in the world for the 100 meters (make that "was" the fastest!).
  • But in the last 50 meters, Lezak started gaining on Bernard, and with everyone cheering, Lezak passes him to touch the finish line 8/100th's of a second before Bernard, who would realize in a little more than a second when he saw the results, and heard the cheers, that his "smashing" comment may not have been such a great idea.
The great thing about this gold medal for Phelps is that it drives home the point that no man (no matter how good a swimmer he is!) is an island. Phelps would be quick to add that he couldn't have gotten to where he is without his mom, coach, family, team-mates, etc.

Jason Lesak must be a pretty great guy because in an interview after the race, he said that winning that gold medal was the "second" greatest day of his life, next to his wedding day!

Finally, the verse this event reminds me of is this, from one of my favorite Old Testament prophets, Jeremiah (the single one!): This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23,24

So before you start bragging about "smashing" the competition, better think about it. You might save yourself some embarrassment later. Don't believe me? Then ask Alain Bernard! Oh, before I forget, CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL PHELPS, CULLEN JONES, GARRETT WEBER-GALE, and JASON LEZAK!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Car Feel Better - I Feel Better

My car is three years old this month, and she's doing well. I took her in for an oil change (she behaves so well, I got her a new air cleaner, too!). The technician went over the check list of fluids, etc., and gave her a clean bill of health.

It always feels a little bit better driving off the lot when a serviced car. Well, the thought hit me...why are we so reluctant to do regular maintenance on ourselves. I can't tell you how many times I come across people (and, on occasion to find out one of "those" people is me!) who seem to ignore basic internal maintenance. I still maintain that one reason many of us are tired, rundown, frazzled, etc., is that we ignore God's basic six-on-one-off rhythm of Sabbath keeping. I wonder what profound effects would occur if Christians really did take God seriously enough to take a day off from the world a week (yes, a week!) to rest, turn off the TV, ipod, cell phone, computer, beeper (do people still have those?) to actually hear what God might have to say.

Maybe God needs to put you up on the rack to check your basic "systems." Sunday I did a revival recap for the church and covered some of the basics of the Christian life that so many of us ignore...things like: taking a real Sabbath to counter the garbage of the world; being honest with others when you need someone to be accountable to in your growth and struggles.

Hmmm...taking a Sabbath, and actually confessing to another person....that's probably enough for this post. If we ever did take God seriously enough to actually do the things He says are best, we'd be amazed at how good life could be. So take some time, and ask God to do some internal maintenance! You'll get better mileage out of this thing called life!