July 31, 2008

Not from Hume Lake but WOW!!!

This is crazy!! This girl flies! I'm not sure it's real, but if it is, it beats any blob flight I've seen at Hume Lake. Found at Gizmodo.

July 27, 2008

'98 Mitsu 3000GT on the List Again

I've posted this car before, but this time we are trying to sell if for a more reasonable price. Buy this beat down car and fix it up. Yours for $3,500. Check it out on Craig's List.

July 26, 2008

Gates vs. Jobs, with Light Sabers

Here's a game for you. Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs in a light saber battle.

Who Likes SPAM Anyway?

So here's a story I had to share. The "Spam King", Edward "Eddie" Davidson, a 35 year old man sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS after pleading guilty to falsifying header information to send spam e-mail, tax evasion and criminal forfeiture, escaped from prison with the help of his wife. Eddie later killed his wife and 3 year old daughter.

This is the kind of sad, sad person that sends spam. What a jerk. I can only imagine the wife's shock too. "Hey sweetie I broke you out of prison. What's in it for me?" BANG!!! I mean... that's horrible. The jerk killed his wife and daughter, and shot some other girl in the car. Oh yeah, and then the jerk kills himself, of course.

Seriously, don't send spam. And by all means don't kill your family (or anyone for that matter), especially if they love you enough to help you escape from prison.

Originally found on CrunchGear and MSNBC

July 24, 2008

Spread the Grace

Here we go again with the Bible always talking directly to me. Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." I am a pretty negative person. I'm always complaining and pointing out problems and frustrating annoyances. I corrupt the moods of others and make people feel like there is something always wrong with everything. I need to shut my month and think about what I'm going to say, why I'm going to say it, and if it needs to be said. More often than not, I'll probably not even need to talk.

I need to encourage and build up others with what I say. I need to forget the negative complaining and find ways to show grace to those in my life. I think the key to this verse is the word "grace." How much more grace has God shown me beyond what I deserve? And now I need to show others that same grace. I need to show grace to others so they can better understand God's grace through my example. I need to show grace so I too understand God's grace better. God has forgiven a multitude of sins in my life and continues to forgive sins on a daily basis. How can I not return that grace to others. Whether it's co-workers, family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers, I've been given so much grace by God for my sins, I should have an abundance of grace to shower on all others I come into contact with.

Praise God for His Grace.

July 23, 2008

I am a Thief

Today I'm almost confused by Ephesians 4:28. It's surrounded by verse that are clear in their meaning of turning from our old lives of sin and being renewed and transformed by our new lives in Christ. But verse 28 is so specific. "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." Why so specific to the thief? And if you think about Robin Hood, he should have done honest work with his own hands if he wanted to share with those in need.

There is something important here that I do gain. We are to work. And work hard. I've never been known in any job as a lazy or bad worker. In fact, the out pouring of praise from deputies and CO's I was working with at the jail, who all told me how much they would miss having me there because I did work so hard, has been great. And the fact that I was quickly given my job back at US Bank, because I had a reputation for hard work, was a blessing. We are to work. And we are to provide for those in need. Oh shoot. The second part becomes the convicting part. I live in a house that is too big and expensive for my current salary. I have a new car. I am well fed and comfortable in my life style. But I don't give to any one in need. I don't even have a home church right now where I give offerings. I am tight on money but God has provided for my needs and some wants. I need to remember that we are told to help those in need.

And maybe those in need are not in financial need. Maybe there are people in our lives that are in spiritual need. Instead of monetary giving, I can help people in need of a Savior. By being the best example at work I can, not only working hard but working with a proper heart and attitude, non-believers may see the light of Christ in my life. My example at work can lead people to wonder about God's grace and how they too can be filled with the joy of hope. Instead of stealing their opportunity to see Christ in me, I can work hard to show them God's truth.

I am a thief of their ability to witness God's grace in my life when I'm not working hard on my spiritual life. When I fail at living to glorify God, I steal from the non-believers, an opportunity to be changed by the power of God. I steal something more valuable than anything on earth. I am called to glorify God with my life. I need to work hard every day on that "job". It is my duty to live a life that please God and brings glory to Him. I need to work hard at this. I need to study God's word so I am equipped to work harder and longer and better in my duties as a believer. No more should I steal from the non-believers by my lazy Christian life. No longer should I be a thief. I need to provide my knowledge of God's great grace to their desperate need for it. God's grace is the only true provision for the needs of all.

Praise God for His Perfect Provision.

July 22, 2008

Batman Dark Knight

The movie is awesome. Dark, but awesome. I'll post my review later.

Jeremy's Sins Revealed (Part 1 of Millions)

All too often the Bible seems to speak directly to me. I'll read a passage on a particular day, and that passage will say something that directly relates to a situation or problem I'm dealing with. Ephesians 4:25 and verses 26-27 seem like two different messages that both apply to what I'm currently struggling with.

Verse 25 says, "Having put away falsehood," each of us need to speak the truth with our neighbors. So many times I look at my co-workers and see myself as no different. I don't often look at myself as some one who has "put away falsehood." Most of the time I don't behave in a way that would lead to a chance for someone to hear the truth if I did speak it. Instead I here, "you go to church?" Or, "you're a Christian?" How sad that this is the life I lead and live.

Verses 26-27 say, "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." Yikes. Since it's "Jeremy's Sins Revealed" day, I have to confess my anger last night. A tailgater actually pushed me to the point of road rage. After riding my bumper for a time, the driver passed me when I entered the left hand turn lane on my route home. As he passed me my blood went nuclear and I pulled in behind him. I gave him a few high beams and honks before turning around and resuming my normal path home. When my wife (who was in a different car ahead of me during initial tailgating) confronted me about my anger, it only fanned the flames. It took her asking me to show her where the Bible talked about my actions being acceptable, for me to realize how off I was. "Be angry and do not sin." I think that's something that humans may have a hard time doing. I definitely did not do last night.

Why does God present passages that directly speak to us. How does a book as long and as large as the Bible directly speaks to me, a sinner born 2000 years after it was written. How? Why? Because God is God. There is one true and Holy God in heaven, in control of all things. God is able to create the universe, and He is able to directly influence me meaningless life of His glory.

Praise God for His Word.

July 18, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I woke up feeling sick today. Not fun. I can't focus.

July 17, 2008

Off With the Old, On With the New

Around 13 years ago I did a lesson for the junior high group at First Baptist in Auburn. I taught on Colossians 3 where Paul talk about putting to death the earthly things and putting off the old self. He continues by telling the Colossians to put on the new self, as God's chosen ones. I don't want to pretend that I did a good job; I never did do a good job at teaching a message, but I do remember the title, "Off With the Old, On With the New." Years later I asked the then high schoolers if they remembered what I taught on and one girl seemed to always remember that title, and then she could tell me what it meant.

In Ephesians 4:20-24 Paul talks about putting off your old self "which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires" and putting on the new self "created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." It's so impacting for me to hear the old self described as corrupt through "deceitful desires" because there are too many times I think I want something and once I pursue a specific desire, I realize there is no true joy in it. Instead, I feel as though I've failed God again. I need to be pursuing the righteousness and holiness of God. Colossians has a great list of things to help put the old and new into perspective. "Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:2.

The Colossians 3 list of things to put to death:
sexual immorality
evil desire
covetousness which is idolatry
obscene talk

The Colossians 3 list of things to put on as God's chosen ones:
peace of Christ
knowledge of God's Word through teaching and admonishing
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs

It is good to see the things God desires from His chosen people. Even just reading the list brings me great joy. Sure it would seem like it's a list of things that I'm a failure at, but because I know that it is God's desire for me to work on these things, He provides joy in them. He knows what will bring us the most joy and fulfillment in our lives because He created us in His likeness. We are most pleased when we are living the way He designed and desires.

In the words of John Piper, "The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever." As our main purpose for existence is to glorify God, we can do that and enjoy our existence by enjoying God forever. We should love to please Him and desire to do so. By doing this, we will have more joy in our lives.

Praise God for His Joy.

July 15, 2008

Out of the Futility of Our Minds

In preparing for my new cell phone I ended up messing up my computer and I had to format the hard drive and re-install all the programs. And, while this is my excuse for a couple of days, I've failed to study my Bible for most of those days as well. Even now I sit here, having read the next set of verses in Ephesians and my brain is struggling with what to write. It's sad to think about the state of my Spiritual life. Even these verse today (Eph 4:17-19) talk about the futility of the mind of sinners, the darkened understanding, the alienation from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, hardness of their hearts, the callousness and the giving over of themselves to sensuality, and the greedy practice of every kind of impurity. I can't help but feel that I'm struggling with these very things right now.

I do pray for strength, boldness, HELP!!!! I often feel discouraged, and I think of David. David's Psalms are a roller coaster of emotional responses to the situations he was in. From fear to frustration to praise, David turned to God in every situation, knowing he was responsible to give everything to God. And David, a man who had some "major" sins recorded in the Bible, was known as a man after God's own heart. Although we all go through ups and downs in our spiritual lives, God doesn't change. He is always faithful to the promises He's made. God listens to our prayers and the desires and needs of our hearts. He will be faithful to answer those prayers too, although the answer is not always going to be what we want it to be. God knows our heart. He knows our every action and deed. He knows when we are living in the "futility of (our) minds" and not in a manner worth of the calling. If we turn our focus to Him, we begin to lack the room in our lives for the things that darken our understanding and alienate us fro the life of God.

Praise God for His Truth.

July 11, 2008

Photo test

Here is a photo I took with my phone. I really like this phone.

The iPhone is now on my hands

So this is a test of my ability to post with my new phone. Yes, I got
an iPhone. It's really great.

Sent from my iPhone

July 9, 2008

Speaking Truth in Love

"Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ." Ephesians 4:15-16 finish up this section of this book that talks about the church as a united body. "Speaking the truth in love" is a harder task then just passing on some sentimental comments about our great God to an unbeliever. The word "truth" should be bold to proclaim its importance in what is spoken. To speak the truth in love it takes a mature Christian "thoroughly equipped in sound doctrine" as one commentary states.

We are to be growing as a body towards the head, which is Christ. He is the authority and the leader. The whole body takes direction from the head. And as a united body with Christ as the head, the body will grow and build itself up in love.

Praise God for His Truth.
Praise God for His Love.
Praise God for His Son, the Head of the Body.

July 8, 2008

Tossed To and Fro

This is going to be a really hard passage for me to not feel the church has failed in. Ephesians 4:13-14 is a continuation of verses 11-12. God gave apostles, prophets, pastors, and evangelists to the believers to equip them for the work of the ministry and the building of the body of Christ. verse 13 goes on to say, "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God..." I can't help but think about how many different churches there are, each one doing "church" their own way. There is no unity of the faith. As believers we need to wake up and realize the problem with not having unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God. We have not reached "mature manhood". Although there is a need for multiple churches in different cities, the goal should be to reach more saints, not to design a plan for more unsaved to go. The ministries at the different churches should strive "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Looking at the ministry of Christ should be the example followed by churches today. We should follow what Paul taught to the early churches, to better equip the saints for the work of the ministry.

Why? Verse 14 tells us it "so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes." We need to look at the words of the apostles and prophets and be taught those things in church and go out and share those words with the word. Instead of having the buffet line of churches where you can choose what fits your style, we need churches and body of believers who are focused solely on the Word of God, measuring success by the stature of the fullness of Christ within that body. God gave us His Word as the ultimate and only authority for the Christian church and the Christian life. No longer should we be tossed around, tricked into believing in different people's opinions of how best to "do church" or "do ministry." The early church, the books of the apostles, Paul's letters to the churches, THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF CHRIST should be our examples of the best way for the church body to be united across the world, in glorifying God with our worship and our work of building the body. No more should we fall for "human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes." The church has the help in the Spirit and the Word of God to build the body the way God designed.

Praise God for His Word.

July 6, 2008

My 2008 Nissan Altima...What a Car

If you've been following me for awhile, you know I've been doing a lot of car driving, shopping, and researching for a good fit for my family. Well, I finally made a decision on what to get. The Nissan Altima fit into every category I could create when doing my research. It was the cheapest family car. It got the best fuel economy. It provided the best interior room. AND, one of the biggest for me, it drives like it's a sports sedan. We bought a 2008 Nissan Altima with 7 miles on the odometer. I think they drove it off the truck and onto the lot, and then I bought it before anyone got to test drive it. We bought the 2.5S model, a.k.a. the base model. Completely void of the extras. HAHAHA!!!!! This car is still loaded. Power windows, locks, trunk, and start. You simply leave the key fob in your pocket, and when the fob is within 3 feet of the car, you can use the little black button on the door handle to unlock or re-lock the car. Once inside, with the key fob still in your pocket, you push the start button and the engine turns quietly on. This car is so great. Roominess, handling, power, economy, and price are all better than the competition. We looked too. The Honda Accord is gutless and costs over a grand more. The Toyota Camry is okay, but is still weak and ends up costing close to 2 grand more. By the numbers available to anyone via the manufacturers websites, I created a 10 year comparison spreadsheet. Here is how the costs broke down: 2008 Nissan Altima Price: $20,470-$1000 rebate = $19,470 APR: 3.9% for 60 months Fuel Economy: 23/31 Total 10 year cost with estimated fuel consumption: $51,587.64 2008 Honda Accord Price: $20,360-$0.00 rebate = $20,360 APR: 2.9% for 60 months Fuel Economy: 22/31 Total 10 year cost with estimated fuel consumption: $52,973.93 ($1,386.29 higher) 2008 Toyota Camry Price: $18,720-$0.00 rebate - $18,720 (starts cheapest) APR: 4.9% for 60 months Fuel Economy: 21/31 Total 10 year cost with estimated fuel consumption: $53,499.95 ($1,912.30 higher) So just in the 10 year numbers, the Altima takes the cake. But, that's not the only reason to choose a car. After all, if the decision was based only on price, the Ford Escape or the VW Rabbit would have won at $4,190.75 and $5,050.50, respectively, less than the Altima. Performance, and roominess for a family were also big factors. First, the latter. My wife often travels with our son and his two cousins, who are all in car seats. The Altima fits all three car seats across the back seat of the Altima. That leaves room for my wife and her sister in the front. Wow! The second and most important item to me is the performance. Not only does the Altima win in the fuel economy category, it handles and is more powerful than the other two. This is due in part to a higher torque output. Nissan is known for designing and building sports sedans. They did it with this latest version of the Altima. The final category I'll mention, leaving out the awesome stereo, comfortable seats, cool A/C, and Xtronic CVT transmission (with manual mode), is the visual appeal of the Altima. For a family sedan, the Altima is really nice looking. The Camry is the ugliest of the group to me. And the Accord, although I really like the new design and bigger car feel, still has an issue in it's back end. Something in the rump design doesn't do it for me or my wife. And did I mention is feels like a 4-cylinder? But, the Altima (redesigned in 2007) is a really sporty looking car. Jet engine inspired tail lights, duel exhaust, and a wide stance, make this sedan look ready to handle a nice windy road. And...it does. I really do love this car. I know it hasn't ever appeared on the site before, but I've been so busy convincing my wife we needed to buy this, I didn't have time to write about it. Truly this is the car to buy for a great family vehicle. And, I'm not going to tell you exactly what I paid for mine, but I did even better than the numbers above. After all, those are the MSRP figures and I'm a haggler. Ted can tell you about the work I did on my 1999 VW Golf. Good times.

The Gifts for Men

Ephesians 4:11-12 gives a list of gifts God gave man. He "gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints..." The apostles were the 12 men that saw the risen Christ. Later, Paul was added to the apostles. The prophets were also given to declare God's will to the early church. Like the apostles, this position in the early church was replaced by the roles we still have in today's church. The two groups we still have in today's church are the evangelists and the pastors and teachers. The evangelists preach and teach the Word of God to unbelievers. While the pastors and teachers are the shepherds to the church, under the great Shepherd Jesus. The pastors and teachers are also known as the elders of the church.

With these gifts, the word of God can be taught to both the saved and unsaved people. The evangelists go out into the world and share God's word with unbelievers; while the pastors build up and strengthen the church from within. More often then not, we the believers need to fall into one of these categories. If we are not the pastor or elders of a church, we need to be sharing the gospel with unbelievers in our capacities in society. Why? Because as verse 12 tells us, God gave these men "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ..." Our duty is to build up the body of Christ.

We have a responsibility to share the good news of salvation with the unbelieving world. If not for the building up of the saints, then it is for the building up of the body. If we are not called to be pastors, we need to be evangelists at work, home, and in all aspects of our lives. If we are called to be pastors and elders, we are to be studying God's word to effectively equip the believers to go out and be evangelists. The pastor/teacher role is a key role in the proper equipping of the saints. These men will be held to a higher standard and will face God for the decisions they make in leading a church body.

Needless to say, both pastors and evangelists are responsible for knowing and understanding God's word, the gospel, and the saving grace of God. To effectively present God's truth, study and prayer are going to be key to a deeper understanding of who God is. As believers, we are blessed with the Spirit to help guide us in the truth. But a deep and strong knowledge and understanding of God comes from the work of constant studying and focus on God's character from His Word\, the Bible. God is great and powerful. His plan is perfect. His wisdom is freely given to those who seek it.

Praise God for His Word.
Praise God for His Wisdom.
Praise God for His Equipping of the Saints.
Praise God for the Gifts that point to His Awesome Will and Glory.

July 5, 2008

$7.8 Million Maybach

Ever wonder what you'd do if you had an extra $8,000,000.00 sitting around? Here's a video of the Maybach Exelero you could buy for just $7,843,000.00. Yeah, or 26 really nice homes with the market where it's at. But one Darth Vader looking car works too. Found on Edmunds.com

If He Ascended, He Descended

"But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift." Paul starts Ephesians 4:7-11 this way to lead us into a verse from Psalm 68:18, which talks of Christ's ascension into Heaven and the gifts He gave. Paul goes on to say if Christ ascended He had to have descended. Therefore, Christ is the one who came to earth to provide salvation, "led a host of captives." We were once captives of sin and Satan, now we are freed by Christ's ascension into Heaven. Without the ascension, Christ would not have been God. Power over death belongs only to God, and the Son of God descended to earth, died for our sins, and ascended back to Heaven.

And while on earth Christ "gave gifts to men." Paul goes on to explain these gifts. Christ "gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints..."

More on the gifts next time.

Praise God for His Son.

July 4, 2008

The 4th of July...Good Times

This picture is July 4th, 2004; we sat on the cement slab that is now the foundation of my current house and watched the local fireworks.

Happy 4th reader(s). Here are some videos of 4th's past...2004 Ted, Jordan and Melinda, Jarrett, and my wife. Sorry, it's crude.

This video is some of the same people, but it's actually Ted's birthday in June of 2004. "Ted did you get it?" is the famous Lisa line from this clip.

Anyway, Happy 4th of July. Awesome that our country is free, right?


Ephesians 4:4-6 explains there is only one God. In fact, the theme of this passage should be "ONE." So that's my title. :)

There is one body; the body of believers saved by the calling of God through the death of Christ. And there is one Spirit; the Spirit of God given to the body as a helper. And there is one hope; the hope we have in Christ. It is the hope of eternal life in the presence of the Almighty God. There is one Lord; Jesus Christ is our Lord. He came and died for the sins of His chosen people, and He was raised from the dead and seated at God's right hand. There is one faith; faith in God is the only saving faith. There is one baptism; the baptism into the family of the one true God is the only sign of true understanding of your need for Christ and your trust in His truth. There is one God and Father of all; there is no other God and no other Father. The one true God created and saved us, and he alone is God. He is the only one over all and through all and in all.

Praise God for He is the One and Only God.

July 3, 2008

Busy Week

I don't want to neglect my blog (and by "blog" I mean the journal of my devotions), but this week has been busy. With the car troubles and things we've been having in my little family, my time to sit and type is limited.

Ephesians 4:1-3 has that really great attitudes and actions we are to have and take as Christians. Humility, gentleness, patience, love, peace. We are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. This is work of me. But it's my responsibility to to. As a Christian, saved by God's calling, I must now live a life that exemplifies that calling. This list is given as a great way for us to show the love of God to others.

July 1, 2008

Walk in a Manner Worthy of the Calling

Ephesians 4:1-3 is something that I think "grace preachers" seem to forget. Paul, a man God chose to use to write like half the New Testament, urges the Ephesians to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called..." To me this is a command to do something in response to God's gracious choosing of you. We are to "walk in humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Quickly, "humility" should be a given if we understand the LACK of anything we've done to desire the gift of salvation. And "gentleness" would come as a result of this humbled life. "Patience" is something that will grow with our understanding of what a depraved place we've been pulled out of. We will be able to look at every situation that may cause frustration and the lack of patience and see that God has saved us from these exact situations simply because He desired to do so. Even situations with other believers, we can "bear with one another in love" if we realize our different levels of Spiritual maturity and the need to help one another through our spiritual growth. And if we can grasp this, "unity" will be achieved.

That was really too quick a break down to make much sense, the alarm for me to leave for work is BLASTING! More on these verse tomorrow, because I really do struggle with most of these areas.