Friday Discussion: Should We Boycott the the New NIV Bible?

Southern Baptists this week in their annual convention voted to reject Zondervan’s new version of the NIV Bible. Citing the gender neutralizing changes, such as saying “parent” instead of “father”, among other changes, the convention voting decisively to state their objection to the new version. The resolution also suggests to Lifeway stores, a Southern Baptist entity, that they refuse to sell the version. There are actually several NIV versions after the original and more popular 1984 edition. This objection is to the newest release. You can read the entire resolution HERE.

I’ll be honest. I had already decided not to use the version personally after seeing a change in one verse. Philippians 2:5 is one of my favorite verses. It’s critical to understanding who we are to be in Christ, in my opinion. I don’t like the wording change in the TNIV.

  • The original 1984 NIV says: Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…
  • The new NIV says: In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had…

That seems like a major change to me. So, according to the revision, I suppose I’m only to have the mind of Christ when I am dealing with other people. If I’m by myself I can have any mind I want… 🙂

Anyway, that change alone was enough for me and I’ve decided not to use the version.

At the same time, I’m not big on denominational boycotts either, so I’m not sure how I would have voted had I been there.

What about you? Discuss with me.

  • What version of the Bible do you use?
  • How would you have voted at the Southern Baptist Convention?
  • Should we boycott the TNIV?
  • How do you feel about gender neutralizing the Bible?

Be honest…Discuss!

A Word to the Men: From Pastor Ron

The last two years have been a season of change in my life. I’ve experienced a change of perspective as we’ve transitioned into being empty nesters and I’ve experienced a change of passion in terms of where I see God wanting me to invest my energies.

At 47 years of age, I have learned enough to know there are things I wish I had known earlier in life. Reflecting on my role as a husband, father, and leader, I realize how much wisdom is necessary to accomplish all that is required of men. In my conversations with other men, I know that many men never received proper instruction and wisdom on what it means to be a man. I have a strong and growing desire to encourage the next generation of men and young leaders to be men of God in their homes, churches and communities.

Recently I felt led to address the younger men of our church with this issue on a Saturday morning. In a simple, two hour gathering, I plan to speak to men candidly and challenge them to live godly lives in all areas of their lives. The premise of the meeting will be to address the men as if I was sitting with one man, helping him discern how to be a godly husband, father, and leader.

If you are in the area, come join us Saturday, June 18 from 8 to 10 AM at St Bethlehem Christian Church. We have advertised this to men age 35 and under. That’s not a magic age and no ID’s will be checked at the door. We are limited in space and want to make sure I’m addressing audiences younger than me. I’m still learning how to be 47!

Young men, be honest: Do you wish someone further down the road in life would speak into your life?

The Strangest Thing You’ve Seen in a Woman’s Purse

So the other day I was at a mall and witnessed something that made me chuckle. This mom apparently had 3 kids and a husband. Of course, that was an assumption I made about them, but for this story it won’t really matter. What I thought was funny was the woman’s purse. It wasn’t huge, but every child and the husband wanted something from the woman and she found it in her purse. Apparently she was the keeper of her family’s stuff.

Ever seen that one before?

She had a brush, money, some kind of medicine, something to drink and a bottle of mustard…and I’m sure some other things. I know…random right…but that’s what made me chuckle. This mom was prepared for whatever her family needed…all within a single purse.

So it made me wonder

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in a woman’s purse? If you’re a woman…feel free to share the strangest thing you’ve ever carried in your purse.

I’m curious…Share now!

Thank You for Your Service

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Thank you for those who have committed their life to protecting our nation’s freedom!

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday Discussion: Should Christians Flash Lights?

A reader sent me a great question recently. He wrote: Do you think Christians should flash their lights to warn of cars on the road of an approaching radar patrol or police car?

I don’t know…but I think it’s a good question. I thought I’d let you help answer.

What do you think?

Do you think this is a gray area or is it cut and dry?

How do you make decisions for situations like this?

Are there other issues like this where you think Christians have to think through in this way?

How I Lost 10 Pounds in Less than 2 Months using LoseIt

I believe physical health is important for the leader. I have written about this before HERE. I know there are times a leader can’t do anything about his or her health, but if there is an option, the leader should strive to be healthy. It makes me more productive when I feel better physically.

Recently I lost 10 pounds to get in even better shape.

A short history:

I’m 47…I feel good…and I’m in good shape physically. I run almost everyday. I monitor my weight and I eat semi-healthy. In my mid thirties I got slightly overweight, about 15 pounds, and decided to do something about it. I worked hard to reach my ideal weight and stay there consistently for almost 10 years. In the last 18 months, due to stressful, fast-paced living, and lots of traveling, I added back another 10 pounds. I tried what had worked before to lose the weight, but nothing seemed to work.

Some call it a middle-aged spread.

The story:

On March 30th of this year, I had lunch with my friend Michael Hyatt. I hadn’t seen Michael in a couple months and instantly recognized how well he looked. He had obviously lost weight. He is slightly older than me, so I knew he would probably struggle as I had, so I asked him for his secret. Always a teacher, Michael shared with me that he had been closely monitoring what he eats using the LoseIt application. I had tried this application, but never disciplined myself to actually use it. Michael is one of the most intentional guys I know and a tremendous mentor, so I knew if he was recommending it I should do this!

This time I was determined. It worked!

Here’s how the LoseIt application worked for me:

I loaded the application on my iPhone, iPad, and laptop. I wanted it easily accessible and thankfully it cloud syncs with all three.

I set a goal in the application of where I want to get to in weight. Based on my age and height, the program figures an estimated calories I can eat per day to lose the amount of weight per week I say I want to lose. Right now I’m set at 1.5 pounds per week. You could do 1 pound or 2 pounds. I took the middle number. This gives me an estimated date to reach my target.

Before every meal I look up the foods I’m about to eat. I also use the MyFitnessPal app, which seems to have more foods available, but they are not always as accurate. This decision alone saves me hundreds of calories a day simply in awareness.

After each meal I enter in the foods I have eaten. LoseIt has many of them pre-loaded and once I save them I can always go back to that food easily. Most of us repeat meals and foods we like, which makes this feature helpful. By the way, the picture is a stock photo, not mine. I actually cut out most sodas and junk food too. This process makes me think healthier to save calories.

Following any exercise I add the time spent, which figures a calorie lost value and adds that number to my daily calorie allowance. This is huge motivation to exercise more, even if it’s simply walking.

Everyday I add my weight for the day and it shows me my progress towards my goal. You can choose to add your weight whenever you want. Some want to do this daily, but some want to do it weekly.

In less than 2 months, I’m at my desired weight again. I’ve actually set a lower than desired weight gaol I’m working on now so that when I fluctuate I gain towards my desired weight, not above it.

People say they don’t want to be that strict with their eating habits. I agree, and I don’t intend to be forever either. I like to eat what I want to eat, but I do plan to be smarter about what I eat and this process has helped me form healthier habits. I would, however, remind you that if you went to Dave Ramsey for money advice, he would first have them write down everything they spend. It’s the same with what we eat. If we don’t know, we are likely to overeat, eat the wrong foods, and will struggle to remain a healthy weight.

Want to accept a challenge to get healthier? Are you serious about this process?

Join the fun!

May 21, 2011 Came and Went

“In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be” (declares the Lord) Amos 9:11 NIV

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on Harold Camping’s now failed prediction of the end of the world on May 21, 2011. (You can read that post HERE). We know that prediction didn’t come true, and most are relieved, but I can’t help but wonder if some are disappointed.

Do you have any broken places in the “tent” of your life? Are you ready for them to be restored? What Camping was promising would have been relief for many believers.

It seems hardly a day goes by that I do not encounter someone going through a struggle in life. That’s among those people inside and outside the church. We are experiencing the heartache and pain of a broken world.

May I offer this as hope as we continue in this path of life: Restoration is on its way! In the meantime, God’s Spirit stands ready to assist you in your time of need!

Jesus is going to return! At the very breath through the Father’s mind, Jesus will mount a great white stallion, whose rider is called Faithful and True, and He will, in a mighty display of His glory, bring victory to the people of God. The broken places will be made whole. Everyone will finally know that there is but One God, and He is Maker and Ruler of all things.

Jesus will come quickly, with a shout, and we will be brought before the Throne of the Almighty, where God will permanently and personally wipe every tear from our eyes. We will be with the Lord forever!

Are you ready for that glorious day? It didn’t come yesterday…but it’s coming!

Top 10 Tweets This Week

I got to thinking this week…the life of a Tweet is so short…

It’s there a few minutes…then gone forever…

I decided that sharing them here gives them more life.

Here are my top 10, most re-tweeted, tweets this week:

  • Don’t mistake what you cannot understand for what cannot be true.
  • The view from “the top of the world” is even more glorious when you’ve had a perspective from the bottom
  • Truly broken people have the advantage of always being able to look up & aim higher.
  • Every time you push through a fear you gain more confidence & grow your faith
  • What if we only had to forgive others one less time than God has forgiven us? Would anyone be left unforgiven?
  • You’ve got less chance failing if you do nothing…but you’ll accomplish nothing, have no fun, miss the excitement, be boring…etc
  • Don’t confuse a short-term setback with a long-term failure….
  • Owing a debt you cannot pay requires a penalty or a pardon.
  • The world would be a better place if we were less concerned about getting even and more concerned about granting pardon
  • Sometimes hidden in your greatest fear is an opportunity for God to display His greatest glory.

Which of these would you re-Tweet?

Are you on Twitter? Share your Twitter name here so my readers to follow you.

My Last Blog Post Ever?

Will this be my last post ever? It will be according to a recent prediction. It’s been the buzz all week, so perhaps you heard it.

Christian radio host Harold Camping states that the Rapture (the taking up into heaven of God’s elect people) will take place on May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. local time.  The rapture will sweep the globe time zone by time zone) and that the end of the world as we know it will take place five months later on October 21, 2011. (This according to a Wikipedia article.)

It’s been the subject of jokes, and teasing, and possibly some concern. What if it were the end?

I’m not jumping on a bandwagon of people making fun of Camping, nor am I going to assume no one is impacted by Camping’s prediction. The issue of End Times is serious business. It’s a sobering subject for some, as the subject should be.

I’m reminded of the concern of Jesus’ disciples following the resurrection. Consider Jesus’ answer in this passage from Acts 1:6-8:

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

For the believer, this should never be a time of stress. I’m leery of anyone claiming to know a date, but Jesus said it would be soon and we would know the signs. He also reminded us, however, that we should not be afraid, that we could cast all our burdens on Him, and that He was with us to the ends of the earth. I’m not stressed today, not because I don’t believe Camping, even though I don’t, but because I have a faith in the person of Jesus Christ, who raised from the dead!

If you are not a believer; a follower of Christ, let this moment soon to pass cause you to question where you stand with your Creator. Eternity is not a laughing matter. Call on God now and ask Him to save you. Place your faith in the risen Christ! I would refer you to another verse in Acts 2:21: “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lordwill be saved.”

If you serve a risen Savior, let me hear a hearty AMEN!