Saturday, November 10, 2012

Phoenix Story

I'm not usually one to introduce myself to total strangers in public restrooms. And end up exchanging emails with them for that matter. But let me start at the beginning.

I mentioned in a prior post that my family has a history of going to a family camp / conference center in the Adirondacks called Camp Of The Woods. COTW is full of happy memories for my family, as Janie & I would, for several summers in a row, load the kids into the car and head there to spend a week with Janie's sisters and their respective families. The place was full of relaxation and cousin-ish fun and we adults would be able to hear daily chapel messages, so our souls were refreshed as well.

We did this for many summers until Janie's diagnosis of breast cancer back in 2004. Even after the surgery and treatments that would continue off and on for the next six years, Janie never felt up to going back to Camp. And frankly, after she died in May of 20120, I didn't really have the heart to spend a week there either. 

me on the left
Fast forward to this past summer, 2012. Becca had taken a full-time staff position at none other than Camp of the Woods for her summer break, so I knew this would be the year that I would try to stay for a few days for a visit. I should mention that I had been to COTW in the early 70's when I was little, so between my early childhood memories and my own family's history there, for me, Camp is a place soaked in memory and nostalgia. 

Now I had heard that Charles Price, whom I had known as a teen, (read what I said about him here) was going to be the speaker during a particular week in August, so I arranged a couple of days for Carly, Daniel and I to stay at a little cabin called Mohawk. Mohawk is, I think, the very last property at Camp still left un-renovated, so it still has the crooked, creaky floors and the tacky 1960's-ish lamps and furnishings and a certain musty-woody smell that easily transports me right back to 1971. It's wonderful and in a way I regret that Camp is renovating at all, though I understand that

Thursday, October 11, 2012


On October 11th, back in 1965, the world became a better place. I know most folks think of the 60's as tumultuous times, and they were, but truly, the world became a better place because Janie-Lynn Brown was born October 11, 1965. It was a good life. She grew up and gave to the world around her. She gave and gave and gave. She loved God and gave His love to all she came in contact with. 

I know that I sound like I'm memorializing her all over again - we did that back in May of 2010 - but how does one talk about her and not praise her? She was the best of the best.

I thought it would be good, in light of this being her birthday, to post the text of what I shared at her memorial celebration. I hope as you read it, you catch a tone of joy that was there that day as we sent her on her way, so to speak. Yes, there was great sadness - we miss her so much! - but also joy. She was a joyous person...her joy being rooted and grounded in her life with God begun here on earth and now come to fruition as she has been with Christ 'face-to-face' for two and a half years now. 

Thanks to all of you who continue to pray for us - we are truly blessed. I pray you are blessed as we remember Janie this special day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

God In The Shutters

So at least we know who to blame. According to, it was the Ancient Greeks who invented the window shutter, that HORRIBLE-TO-PAINT device that does nothing but 'decorate' modern houses and make teenaged boys of the 1980's miserable for their entire summer. Obviously, the Spartans had something to do with the invention - to aid in their austere, grueling, cruel training regimens. 

Spartan Drill Sergeant, very loudly:
You are to scrape every last bit of paint soldier! I want to see absolutely NO PAINT left on even one louver on that shutter! I want to see two coats of oil base primer on them with absolutely NO DRIPS and I want two gleaming black finish coats of paint on ALL SIXTY FOUR SHUTTERS! Do you understand, maggot?!

Newbie Spartan cadet:
Sir, yes sir! Thank you sir may I have another!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Nostalgia Is Great, Actually

When my cousin and best childhood friend, Erik, would come visit, we'd sleep in the living room on the pull-out bed stored in the sofa. You know, the bed with the bar that runs across your back like Ben Hur had when he got arrested and taken to the Roman slave ship. The bed with the bar that disfigures you like Quasimodo by morning. That bed. The cool feature of this particular model was that the head end could be locked in a semi-upright position so one could read a book like the people in those Craftmatic Adjustable Bed ads. I remember all of this very well because I spent hours - hours! - lying awake while Erik snoozed next to me, him having dropped off pretty much immediately. Children shouldn't be insomniacs. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

This Momentary Marriage

What an outstanding couple.

John Piper says about them, “I tremble with the glad responsibility of introducing you to Ian & Larissa Murphy in this video. Tremble, because it is their story and so personal. So delicate. So easily abused. So unfinished. Glad, because Christ is exalted over all things.”

You can read more of their story here, here and here. I would guess there may be even more from the Murphys, so you may want to subscribe at the Desiring God website.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Time has traveled on since May 8, 2010. Today is the second anniversary of that awful, amazing day when Janie Booth's family ushered her into the waiting arms of her savior. It's weird trying to recall to my memory every aspect of the day. Parts are so vivid, and I'm sure I'll never forget them; other specifics and details have faded some, which I'm told is normal.

Pastor Dave told me that when you lose a loved one, it seems to take two of all the special days of the year before you really begin to feel more like a normal person again: two birthdays, two wedding anniversaries, two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, and, perhaps most significantly, two anniversaries of the day of their death. I'm not sure how normal I am (I'll leave that to you all to decide haha), but I thought it would be good here on this second anniversary of Janie's home-going, to make a special post.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Matt Chandler - God Is For God

I wanted to say that this is the best Matt Chandler Sermon ever...but really, it's just typical Matt Chandler. Strap on your seat belt and click play!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Song In The Night

I predict that in about 11 seconds, you are going to say, "wow, Chris, that's heavy."

Have you ever had a night where a heaviness is so near and the phantoms of fear come up so close that the darkness is almost tangible? You toss and turn. A panic comes on. You get up and pace and try to shake it off, but you're just plain afraid.

I would guess that everyone has had a night panic at least once.

There seems to be something extra scary about being afraid in the middle of the night. Maybe it's because lacking a visual connection to the stuff around us, we have a frightful capacity to fill in the blackness with all kinds of phantasms conjured by our fearful brains.

There is a powerful weapon against the terrors of the night. Janie used to wield this weapon a lot. She utilized it to get settled when fears seeped in from behind the window shades and from under the dresser. Her fears about cancer. Her fears about the welfare of the kids and me when she would eventually die.

And the weapon's name?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What Did Jesus Christ Look Like?

What did Jesus Christ look like?

Well, first of all, he was white, or black, had blue eyes, was skinny and had good hair. He walked around in a white bathrobe with a blue prom sash over his shoulder and wore epic screen-printed tee-shirts and Birkenstock sandals and, evidently, glowed. He carried a lamb around and placed his hand on the tops of little children's heads. I understand He also played baseball and football in the backyard with some of the kids in the 'hood.

If I spend too much time thinking about

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don’t Rent That Clown Suit Just Yet…

This is from The Blazing Center blog, which is maintained by a father-son pastor duo from Pennsylvania.

Don’t Rent That Clown Suit Just Yet… 

by Mark Altrogge

We’re funny creatures, us humans.  We ask our heavenly Father to provide for us then we try to figure out how he’s going to do it.

We pray, then our wheels begin to turn.  Let’s see, I could get a second job.  I could sell my signed Justin Bieber poster on eBay.  I could rent a clown suit and do kids’ parties…

And when we can’t see how he will be able to answer our prayers, we worry.  Our fertile imaginations construct all kinds of “what if’s” in our mind.  What if I don’t have the money to pay my tuition?  Then what if I can’t get a loan?  And I have to get a job flipping burgers?  And what if I don’t make enough doing that and I have to start living under a bridge and turn to a life of crime?  And then get caught and put in prison next to an axe murderer?

Worry is essentially us trying to figure out the future.  Or how God will work in the future.  And when we don’t see how God can do it, we get fearful.  If we can’t see exactly how he’ll provide, or deliver or heal us,

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Walk

Now that the Janie's Christmas Stocking project is done, I thought I'd add one more thing from Food For The Hungry
The Walk from Food for the Hungry on Vimeo.

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Galatians 5:25

You don't need to wait till the next Janie's Christmas Stocking project to bless needy people in the world. You can make a change all through the year by sponsoring a child...or giving to one of FH's many ministries. I don't want to "guilt" anyone into doing anything, but I am asking those who are feeling the tug, who are tired of resisting and are ready to follow God in this way, to follow through and commit to parting with some of your money. I know the video said that throwing money at the problem may just kick it down the road, but, well, if we can't personally go and walk with the needy, why can't we financially back those like FH that are?

This passage jolted me this morning, though I've read it a thousand times: "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Jesus is calling us to invest in non-material things - peoples' hearts and souls - by spending a material thing: money. Have you ever sold something of yours so you could give it's "value" to charity? I haven't.

I think I'm going to give it a try...I'm starting with my kids' old gaming systems and I'm only half-way kidding! I wonder what else in my basement I can free myself of?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Janie's Stocking 2.0 Final Whizbang Wowie

Don't you hate it when your kids are in the position to be able to say, "I told you so?" Well, that's me right now. Back in November when we were deciding on what item from the Food For The Hungry "Gift" Catalog we wanted to select for Janie's Christmas Stocking, I wondered about the idea of being so ambitious as to choose the largest gift in there. We'd seen God do amazing things last year, when over $1700 came in when we had hoped to "reach" $500. But still, this year I expressed a little reservation. It went kind of like this:

Me: "I have some reservations this year."

Carly (scoffing a bit): "Of course we'll reach $2500, Dad. You'll see. Have a little faith."

Me: *wince*

And with that, we decided to

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Authoritative, Indespensable Year-End Roundup of EarnestlyICQ

The Authoritative, Indespensable Year-End Roundup of EarnestlyICQ

Heh, I enjoyed that post title. Any guesses where I ripped that off from?

Anyway, I've never done a year-end roundup of the most popular posts of this (obscure) blog...and I'm not about to start now. However, I thought it might be fun(ny?) to put up some of the posts that I most enjoyed typing (or were most meaningful for me at the time) from the ENTIRE  HISTORY (since July 2009 haha) of this blog....for your year-end reading enjoyment. So both of you reading this blog can

Book Roundup 2011

It's year-end-roundup time, and the blogosphere feels different for a week or so. We give our "funniest posts roundup," our "most popular posts," our thoughts on the turn of the year and......*pensive pause*   ha! you thought I was going to give you my list of books I read this year, didn't you! Nope, I'm turning the tell me what books you read this year instead! Thanks to The Blainemonster for the idea. I'm always nervous about asking people to comment though...what if they don't? I'll feel silly gosh darn it. At least you'll comment, Blaine....won't you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Creepiest Piggy Bank Ever 2.0

Long-time subscribers to this blog (bwa-haha that's funny) may recall that last year when we did the first-ever Janie's Christmas Stocking fund raiser, my friends Steve and Ruth Hall contributed the contents of their spare-change piggy bank. Well, they've dropped off the bank again this year too, God bless them. It's a wonderful way to be a part of the fun, but they gave it with a few caveats:

1) I have to return the bank. No Problem...the thing gives me nightmares. This year, they dressed it up with some false eyelashes and a big red bow on the top of it's head. Yeah, that makes it much less chilling. Remember that awful shower scene in Psycho when the shadow falls on the shower curtain and the lady knows she's about to get it? "Reeee! Reee! Reee!" "Screeeeaamm!!" I wake up in a cold sweat having seen this pig, pretty eyelashes and all, appearing in the mirror when I closed the medicine cabinet. Or I get in the car and reach up to adjust the rear view mirror and there it is....slightly grinning. Or pushing me out of an airplane. Go ahead, click the picture. I dare you.

2) We have to remove the change ourselves from the

Monday, December 19, 2011

Janie's Stocking Is Going Great

Janie's Stocking is cranking right along! Thank you so much for giving. People you will probably never meet, people like this, will have a tangible evidence of your loving them because you gave to the project! Thank you! Don't stop spreading the word and thanks again!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anti-Facebook Snobbery

Wait, let me explain. I'm sorry. I don't really mean to hate on you, Facebook, it just seems to happen. I just blurt stuff out without thinking. I'm really sorry. I hope you can forgive me. It's just, well, I've seen how you have changed things so much, and I feel like not all of it is for the better, honestly. It just seems to me that the last thing our already narcissistic culture needed was more stuff about me, me,, us, us. Here's my list of reasons why I've hesitated to get a Facebook account for so long:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things by Gungor

Another word for what they are artfully saying is the word redemption.
"He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit." Galatians 3:14

And that's the nature of the Christmas story, isn't it?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Koyaanisqatsi And Me

When I was a senior in high school, I saw a film called, Koyaanisqatsi. That's a Hopi word which means, "life out of balance."


I lay awake the other night, thinking, like I sometimes do. I know, melancholies are weird like that.

I was in Boston, staying at a swanky hotel. If you know me at all, I'm pretty sure you would know that "swanky" is not really my style. I was there because the company I work for got hired to photograph the Christmas party of a very large, swanky  company. I promise I will not us the word swanky anymore in this post. These people, virtually all 800 of them, were young, beautiful professionals. The party was at the absolutely gorgeous Boston Public Library. I brought Carly along so we could do some of the Boston-at-Christmas thing the next day.

The company put us up in a, um, fancy hotel, called The Colonnade, and it was very euro-sleek and stylish. It had a view to the North - right toward the 50-story Prudential Center. Fabulous.

The next day, Carly & I took a stroll through the mall in the Pru, walking past the Anne Taylor store with the eight-foot tall posters of Demi Moore wearing (presumably) Anne Taylor's clothes in the store windows. We moved along to Copley Square and ended up, inevitably, on Newbury Street, aka the Rodeo Drive of the East. Everyone (that's not hyperbole -it's really everyone) on Newbury Street was beautiful. Their stylish clothes, their up-to-the-knee boots, their carefully managed handsome/pretty faces, and especially their silky and properly product-ed hair, was beautiful. I'm not troubled by the beauty - that's not what I was

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My friend (and Carly's youth pastor) Rob Townshend recently had some articles published on a blog for youth workers. It's been fascinating to watch Calvary's students "own" their youth group and take hold of the paradigm that Rob describes. My Carly has been really changed and blessed by it.

Here is the first one, and here is the follow-up.

Good job, Rob, and thanks for being so willing to be led by God "out of the box!"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanks For Sharing

I'd like to say a public Thank You! to those friends and family - you know who you are - who tweeted, blogged, emailed and shared on Facebook about the Janie's Stocking project. As you know, spreading the word about something of this nature is the only way for it to succeed - people can't give to something they don't know about! I'm especially grateful to Calvary Bible Church here in Rutland for sharing via their email list (as well as letting me talk about it on Sunday) and to my friend Jared for posting about it on his widely read blog. Thank you all! I'm excited to see where God takes this!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Janie's Christmas Stocking 2011

So it's time for the big reveal of a new twist on Janie's Christmas Stocking: Online giving! Yep, you don't need to mail a check or catch me in the hall with cash (unless you are Steve and Ruth Hall) or give me your firstborn or right arm or anything! Food For The Hungry has graciously set me up with a page for Janie's Christmas Stocking, and it's pretty cool.

If you don't yet know what this is about, click here, and for where it all came from, click here.

We are extending the deadline to December 31 this time.

Also, if you would still prefer to

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful For....A Sock?

Yes, I'm thankful for a sock this Thanksgiving! It's not just any sock, however: the mystery photo from the last post is Janie's Christmas Stocking (you can read what we did with the stocking last year here). It was a thrill last year to collect, alongside so many friends and family (as well as a few total strangers!), enough money to buy a cow for a family in Rwanda through a wonderful aid organization called Food For the Hungry. We also helped several local families. I honestly wonder who got the greater blessing, the folks who received the help, or all of us who were involved with giving it. So I'm thankful.

Before last year's project was even over, many were asking if we'd do it again this year. Well, we decided with a resounding, "yes!" We've decided this year to not only help one family with one cow, but to help a whole village of people by buying them a well! Can you imagine walking four hours, waiting in line for two, getting your jerrycans of clean water, and walking home another four hours with forty pounds of water? And repeating this every three days? That is what some families have to do to obtain clean water that won't cause sicknesses from water related disease. A well right in their own village can save people from all this, and it will help not only one or two people, but a whole village of people. Plus, Food For the Hungry gives these resources in Jesus's name, which is the greater gift of course.

The goal will be

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tis The Season For Online Awesomeness

I've got something cooking that I think you're going to stay tuned!

Based on the photo, can you guess what this might be about? Click the photo for a closer look and leave a comment if you think you know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Horace Silver's "Peace"

A favorite song of mine, sung by none other than Nora Jones. I guess this recording is a little's from Marion McPartland's Piano Jazz. I think it must be Marion on piano then. Both women are amazing, and so is Horace Silver who wrote the song way back when. Try listening late at night with very dim lights when all is quiet....mmmmm, nice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 and Sacrifice

Becca has (probably) started the NEXT BIG THING, and it's called, Fantastically Awkward Sweater Tuesday, or, F.A.S.T. for short. The first Tuesday of every month, she and her friends wear really hideous sweaters, like from the eighties. Not like the awesome Bill Cosby ones, either (well, actually, they are exactly like those). So far, they've had great success at thrift stores finding some very dreadful selections. When they wear these haute couture masterpieces, and are inevitably asked why they are wearing them, they can reply, "I'm!" And after all, hideous sweaters are the new hipster thing.

So I trotted off to the local thrift store to peruse the ladies ugly sweater aisle. Oh, yes I did peruse the ladies ugly sweater aisle.

 "Chris," you say, "why in the world would you risk your manhood and reputation by perusing the ladies sweater aisle for an ugly sweater?" Well, let me tell you about my mom.

My mom had noticed, when I was, say, six or seven years old, that

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Your Suffering Does Not Just Belong To You.

This is from Tim Challies' blog. I've been around some suffering, and honestly, I had never thought of this before. I think this gives some much needed perspective, and it would help to think about these things before the trials come....


One of God's Purposes in Suffering
by Tim Challies

The more I grow in my knowledge of the Lord (by his grace) the more I see the utter centrality of the church, the local church, in his plan for his people. The more I learn of him, the more I see what a jewel the church is—what a blessing, what an honor it is to be part of something so amazing, so other-worldly. This is something that has been brought home to me in recent years primarily by the joy and privilege of being part of a faithful local church. But it has also been emphasized through many of the books I’ve read.

A little while ago I read Ligon Duncan’s book Does Grace Grow Best in Winter?, a book that deals with suffering. There was something in there that really grabbed my attention in this context of the local church.

You may be familiar with these words from the first chapter of Colossians:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
These are words I’ve

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goat Rodeo Sessions

Oh, man, this will be incredible. Comes out tomorrow.........

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whole New World

This is just plain happy. I can't help but wonder if, when I open my eyes (and ears) in heaven for the first time, it might feel something like this:

Or maybe it might be more like this little guy:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: Death Is Life's Change Agent

I know that Steve Jobs had a gigantic impact on technology - sort of like how Henry Ford had a gigantic impact on the auto industry or, perhaps a better comparison, how Gutenberg had a huge impact on communications. However, I didn't really follow his life all that closely, so I thought I'd re-post what Ed Stetzer said on his blog:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Being Lifted Up

I've only ever had one brush with true greatness. I'm talking about me, myself, being great. Wait, let me explain. See, this moment of greatness came when I was in seventh grade, the grade where you are confused and finding out about life and yourself and everything and are confused about pretty much all of it. And there is no more intimidating place for a confused seventh grader than the middle school locker room. Why does everyone else, all the big kids (eighth graders) seem to know what's going on, while I feel so weird and uncomfortable just changing into a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt? Why does that big, intimidating gym teacher have to shout at us all the time? And what in the world is this weird indoor gym-class game, with all these weird rules?

My middle school was big enough that there were multiple gym classes going on at the same time, with different intimidating shouting gym teachers. The intimidating gym staff must have had a meeting to try to come up with new ways to intimidate skinny seventh grade boys who don't like changing their clothes in front of others quite yet. So they decided upon a tournament of this gym-class game, the one with all the weird rules. Each class would compete against the others, until one at last

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fist Bump

If you come to me wanting a fist-bump, I'm going to do ALL of these to you. I really will.

And I think I'm getting an El Camino. That's a sweet ride.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene's Damage Here In Rutland, VT

Here are just two images of the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene here in Rutland. These are roads we use every day. It will be a long time before these ares are passable again. Rutland is almost cut off from the rest of the world...There are more washouts to the north so our only major road is Route 4 to the east.

The power of water is just overwhelming. I can't help but think of Noah's flood and the terror the people back then must have felt.

 Route 7 South, Rutland (headed toward Clarendon) photo by Vito Starinskas

I got these photos from the Burlington Free Press website where there are lots more.

Our hearts go out to the people who have lost property and their homes, and we are especially praying for those who have lost loved ones due to this storm.

Route 4 East in Mendon (headed toward Pico/Killington) photo by Vito Starinskas

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready Or Not...

When our first baby, Becca, was going to be born, a huge 'nesting' instinct settled upon both Janie & I. We set up the crib and stockpiled diapers and wipes and got a whole 'diaper changing station' set up. We were full of anticipation and wondered if we were missing anything.

Strangely, I felt a similar sensation of nesting (or you might call it 'gathering') as I saw the growing pile of 'stuff' that our 18-year-old son, Daniel, would need for college. Now he's a guy, and had far less to take to college than certain girls I know (cough *Becca* cough) but there was still a nice little pile in the dining room prior to our jetting off to Roberts Wesleyan College on Thursday.

As we rolled across the New York thruway,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Caleb Chapman at Soulfest

A highlight of Soulfest for me was a set from Caleb Chapman (son of Steven Curtis Chapman). He has started a band called 'Caleb' with his brother Will and a couple other guys whose names I don't know, and they are really quite good.

So they were playing their set but

Friday, August 12, 2011

Manifesto by The City Harmonic

We saw these guys three times at Soulfest last week. Love it, love it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Sound (John Perkins Blues)

Since we'll be seeing them next week, here's what Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman had to say about their song, "The Sound (John Perkins Blues):"

 "The Sound (John Perkin's Blues) is a very important song for us as a band. I see so much hatred and fear around me, I see so many people living out their pain. I hear it on the radio. I see it in the headlines. John Perkin's story needs to be heard. This song was inspired by a man who sang a louder song than hatred. In a world where we are defined by our differences, Mr. Perkin's life of service and compassion is a tangible demonstration of what it means to live a life of love. Love is the loudest song we could sing. Louder than racism. Louder than fear. Louder than hatred. John Perkin's said it right, love is the final fight. We're excited to hear this song on the radio, louder than pain."  

Read about John Perkins here.

This is an unpolished, "alternate take," live studio recording. Don't play it if you don't like louder music...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From The Mouths Of Babes

Carly sent this to her grandfather in response to his birthday request that everyone in the family send him a bible verse that meant a lot to them. Not bad for a 13 year old kid who at 12 lost her mom.....


Happy birthday, Popsie! I didn't know you were turning 70 this year! I hope you had a good birthday, and that you've found a place to put all the chocolate. 

I would like to ask if the whole Bible can be my "favorite verse" because there are too many good ones to pick just one. But I suppose that I can just share a few that have really stuck with me. 

My verse for this year is Hebrews 12:1:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

This verse has really come to mean a lot to me, because I realized that I haven't really been doing my part in the Great Commission. So I am trying to look for opportunities that God has most certainly be providing me with. The question is just whether I see them. That is my verse for this year. However, I

Sunday, July 17, 2011

So Much To Say

Pastor Dave spoke on James 3 today; that's the part where James strongly suggests we bite our tongues rather than giving our two bits all the time. We just have such a hard time controlling ourselves: what we say can hurt others and even have a corrosive effect on our own hearts. 

So I thought I'd put up a few more verses about how careful we should be with what we say. By the way, the self-control needed to do this comes not from our own strength but from God's Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). That's so easy to say (or read) on a blog and so hard to do in the heat of the moment...when our anger is getting stirred up and we want to use words to lash out. God, we need help!

James 3:3-8  "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider