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Wisdom for the Day

God gives mercy to take away the effects of sin, either inherent or self inflicted.  Grace is God giving us something we don’t deserve and yet in His love, He gives gifts to His children.  Nobody in Scripture asked for grace; they only begged for mercy.  What are your prayers like?

Ephesians 1:4 “He chose us…that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”  Christian, how are you doing fulfilling your God-given calling?

Jeremiah 2:3 “For my  people  have committed two evils:  they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns (water storage tanks), broken cisterns that can hold no water.”  Could this be said of us today?  Has money, prosperity, power and possessions become our broken water reservoirs  that hold nothing that will satisfy our thirst?

2 Kings 17:33 “They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods, according to the custom of the nations.”  The Church is in desperate danger of this today.


Woodworking Tips and Tricks: Blending Sprayed Finish With Tape

There have been times (actually many…) when I needed to do a repair of a lacquer finish (mostly from my error…), just a small spot in the middle of a finished piece.  The standard practice is to mask off around the area, sand the area, spray new finish to be thicker than the surrounding area, strip the tape and then sand/rub the finish back to the level of the existing finish.  And it never really comes out right; it seems you can still see that faint line where the two areas meet.

I got this tip from my buddy next door who does car and boat finishing, where there is a lot of this type of work.  He came over once looking for a cardboard tube.  He said it was to blend in the new finish with the existing.

Here’s how it works.  With small areas you can just use wide tape, like two inch masking tape (lengthwise) rolled into a long tube. For larger areas you can use paper rolled into a tube or even the tube itself.  What you do is put tube of tape/paper on the line where the 2 areas come together (instead of masking it of like you normally do).  When you spray straight on, the finish will go directly on the unfinished area you want but will also mist and bend around the tape onto the existing finish. This makes a tapered material layer from full finish thickness to none at all under the tape. The larger the roll of tape or paper, the further the taper of finish will go past the joint.   Then you rub it out like you would any finish and there  is no longer that line between the two.

It works great!  No more line.  Practice with a scrap piece and you will see how it works with the particular finish you are using.  From what I have heard, this tip is a standard in the automotive industry.  But I build cabinets and it took 20 years to finally filter down to my level….

Wisdom for the Day

If God blessed you with power, money and influence, it was never meant for your comfort, advantage or profit.  Following Jesus’ example, it is meant to be used in serving others.

“I frequently hear persons exhorted to give their hearts to Christ…But that is not the Gospel.  Salvation comes from something that Christ gives you, not something you give to Christ.  The giving of your heart follows after receiving from Christ eternal life by faith.”  Spurgeon
And I might add that the giving of the heart is not a one time thing but a daily surrender.

Many of us cannot be used as food for the world’s spiritual hunger because we have yet to be broken in Christ’s hands. Grain must be ground before it can be made into bread.

Serious sports team members continuing playing when they are hurt because the goal is more important than their personal comfort.


Quotes from Books Holy Transformation by Chip Ingram

More quotes from the book Holy Transformation by Chip Ingram

Your sins are removed and replaced by Christ’s righteousness.  That’s your legal standing before God.  That’s how God, the Divine Judge, sees you.  You don’t live trying to to get that.  You live out the reality of having it.  You’ve got it.  It’s a gift called grace.

One of your life goals as a believer is to master the contents and doctrines of the English Bible.

I guarantee that if you exchanged your “daily news intake” for a 3 month commitment to “master the English Bible”, in the way I’ve described, your life would be revolutionized.

Wisdom for the Day

In marriage, true communication is not just the exchange of words, concepts, ideas or even feelings.  True communication happens when there is the understanding of the meanings of words.  Then the rest can follow.  Asking, “What do you mean by that?” is probably one of the most important communication skills you can master.

The only person I don’t want to get what they deserve is me.

A Christian’s goal should be to be downwardly mobile, in His steps.

To be found, I must admit I am lost.  To be led, I must admit I am blind.

In the Church, dead people are the nicest people you could ever meet.

Everything worthwhile happens in the margins of your life.  Do you have any?

What a man should not do or say, he should not see or hear.

We are all part of what’s wrong with the world.

Every time you lie, you hold hands with the devil.

We don’t “deserve” anything.

Civility and Societal Decay

Civility and Societal Decay

The following is from the book, Choosing Civility by P.M Forni.  He actually teaches a college level class on this topic. (If parents and culture were teaching and modeling this to their kids, it wouldn’t need to be discussed in a college class…)  I found the book very interesting, convicting and needed in today’s culture.  Every parent should buy the book and include what he lists there as goals for their children.

In the book he lists 25 practices of civil behavior.  Then, later in the book, he randomly adds to what he previously wrote.

This is one of those later short chapters.


“We now live in an age of idolatry of Self.  We have persuaded ourselves that first and foremost we live to realize our own Selves for our own good.  Having made the Self the central concern and value in our lives, we should not be surprised if self-centered behaviors have become more prevalent than altruistic ones.  We shouldn’t be surprised if civility has suffered.  The more we focus on our Selves and our self-gratification, the less moral energy we have available to spend on others and the less attuned we are to others’ well being.  We emerged from the upheaval of the 1960s and ’70s with a stronger belief in the decency of equality and the goodness of freedom.

What many of us are learning or relearning now is the essential role that self-control plays in the lives of democracies.  The emphasis on individual rights and entitlements in advanced democracies makes self-control particularly relevant to us.  It is in part to prevent the massive intervention of government and the law in our everyday lives that we are expected to develop civil discipline.  As a system of self-regulation, civility assures the survival of self-determination.  It is nothing less than the lifeblood of democracies.”

End quote

Couldn’t be said better.

A quote from James Madison:

“We have staked the whole of American civilization, not on the power of government…[but] upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

If one were to look at the news and read just about anything in the media today, self-control is almost a cuss word.  It seems that it’s OK (and required, if you are a college student) to say or do whatever comes in your head or someone else’s head, regardless if it makes any sense or if it impinges on anyone else’s life or safety.  Violence in the name of tolerance is a perfect example.

Then there are the media stars who are finally having to pay for their lack of self-control.  “Be sure your sins will find you out.”  This has included politicians.  Hugo Grotius  (1583-1645), “was one of the first to define expressly the idea of one society of states, governed not by force or warfare but by actual laws and mutual agreement to enforce those laws”. (from Wikipedia)  In 1664, he wrote this:

“He knows not how to rule a kingdome, what cannot manage a Province;
nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City;
nor can he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village;
nor he a village, that cannot guide a Family;
nor can that man Govern well a Family that know not how to Govern himselfe;
neither can any Govern himselfe unless his Reason be Lord, Will and Appetite [over] her Vassals;
nor can Reason rule unless herselfe be ruled by God, and (wholly) be obedient to Him.”

Know many (any?) in city or state or national government where self-control and self-government are key attributes of their personal lives?  For, as Grotius says above, if they do not know how to govern their own lives, they will not be suitable nor qualified to govern the lives of others, nor should they be given the opportunity to do so.

In a previous post, I lamented that I see little hope for this country.  We are headed towards anarchy.  “Freedom” to do whatever you want (in government and in personal lives) will get to a point where chaos will finally reign and there will not be enough police nor national guard to keep law-abiding citizens safe.  If the “thin blue line”, law enforcement, is all that is keeping us from chaos, we are already doomed; there are not enough police to keep the peace.  Unless self-control and civility are actually taught in preschool to graduate school, from family and church, and modeled in leadership at all levels of government, “what one generation tolerates, the next abuses” and that abuse will affect the daily lives of all of us.

“When a culture abandons moral vision, anything that will be dared will be permitted” (anon) and, I would add, eventually be applauded, which we are seeing today.  Just listen to any newscast or watch any media and you will find this is true.

Buy the book and see where you may have failed to be civil to your family or neighbor.  Then determine to become one the red cells in the bloodstream of our democracy, exhibiting attitudes and behaviors of self-control, bringing the oxygen of civility to the other parts of the body you contact, keeping alive not only our freedom, but our very way of life.

Wisdom for the Day

One of the most disobeyed commands of God by Christians in our culture is, “Be still and know that I am God.”

The spiritual disciplines are the paths where God’s grace walks.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

To whom little is not enough, nothing is enough.

An atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.

How much do you have to hate someone not to tell them about Jesus?

There are no pictures of you on your path to joy and fulfillment.

When we get to heaven, two things will be come evident to us: the “narrow path” was wider than we thought and narrower than we thought.