July 13, 2007

Answering my tags...

O.K., I'm late. I promised these two that I'd get to this on Thursday and I didn't. I spent the day (the whole day) cutting grass and washing cars (yes, we have a large yard and multiple cars). So, here it is Friday and I'm getting to it at last. I know the rules state that I am to tag others but the rebel in me is showing up and I'll not be tagging any others. Largely because I'm still really new in the "blogosphere" and I don't "know" 5 or 8 others well enough to tag them. So here goes...

Lucy's tag...
1. Each player must post these rules first.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random facts/habits

1. I have become an avid coffee lover. Check my post labeled "coffee" for the full story. This morning I enjoyed a marvelous pot made with Guatemalan beans.

2. There is nothing I enjoy quite so much as the sound of my family around the dinner table. When we moved to "Mayberry" My Beloved told me, "Dinner is at 5:30. If you want to eat with us, be here at that time." The driven side of me whined. The side of me that sees a watch as a decorative addition to my wardrobe rather than a functional device wailed. My children balked at the idea that we would all have to be at the table at the same time. My Beloved prevailed. Now, 9 years later we find ourselves circling the kitchen waiting for the magic moment to arrive. There will be joy and laughter tonight.

3. Morning is my favorite time of the day. My Beloved and I are polar opposites in this respect. I am a "Good morning God!" person. She is a "Good God, it's morning!" person. I love to take an early morning run and see everything fresh. If I'm not running you can find me on the front porch listening to the world wake up.

4. My "life verse" is Psalm 90:12 which state, "Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom." I try to live out the truth that each day is a gift from God. To waste that gift would be unthinkable! I can't remember the author, but the turn of phrase sticks with me, "...As if we could "kill" time without affecting eternity".

5. I love my job! God has called me to be a pastor (which, BTW, is simply a word that means "shepherd"). Sure it's frustrating sometimes but I can't begin to tell you the joy that comes from watching people, young and old, come to grips with their relationship with God in good times and in bad. I've held people's hands at births and I've held people's hands at deaths and I've held people's hands at just about every other spot along life's road in between. The memories are poignant and precious to me. I am humbled to be involved in God's work in other's lives.

6. I am awed by nature's majesty. The Psalmist is spot on when he states, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." (Psalm 19:1). I am mystified by those who simply write all of creation off as mere chance. How do they stand before the enduring grandeur of mountains, or experience the deafening silence of deserts, or dabble their toes in the immensity of the oceans and not see the glory of God being revealed?

7. I'm a sucker for an adventure, whether I get to participate or just read about it. Some of my favorite stories are Shackleton's incredible voyage on the Endurance and Adoniram Judson's life as told by Rosalie Hall Hunt. Some of my personal favorite journeys have been....1. My son's 16th b'day road trip. 2. A three day canoe trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas when I was 12. 3. A backpacking trip with my friend Tony - snow, wild ponies, and an unbelievable view.

8. Vanilla wafers and peanut butter make a great snack. I like to make little peanut butter sandwiches with them. Invariably my children will begin hovering around me like vultures with puppy dog eyes, lustily pleading for dear old dad to share with them. I'm a softy, they always win.

Paul's tag...
(a) Those tagged will share “Five Things They Dig About Jesus”.
(b) Those tagged will tag 5 people.
(c) Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what's being posted.

5 Things I Dig About Jesus.

1. Jesus is the smartest person I know! I have Dallas Willard to thank for this revolutionary and important insight. In his book, The Divine Conspiracy, Willard states that saying "Jesus is Lord" has little meaning in practice for anyone who hesitates before saying "Jesus is smart." I must say I had never paused to consider Jesus as being smart, but when you think about it he was, and is, wildly intelligent. Willard says, "He [Jesus] knew how to transform the tissues of the human body from sickness to health and from death to life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, and eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or ax. He only needed a word. Surely he must be amused at what Nobel prizes are awarded for today." (TDC, p. 95)

2. Jesus loves me! I know it's worn to the point of almost being trite, but the overwhelming truth that He loves me takes my breath away time and again. There is no reason for Him to love me. There is no benefit He derives from loving me. There is no compelling force beyond Him making Him love me. The truth is that He simply loves me. Excuse me while I pick my teeth up off of the ground again.

3. Jesus is unique! No other figure in human history can compare. Just how many people do you know who came back from the dead...AND ARE STILL LIVING!? He was, and is, so much more than just a good man or a great teacher. In fact, He doesn't leave us with the option of considering Him like that. He directly and repeatedly makes the claim to be the God dwelling among men. That's the talk of a madman...unless He is who He claims to be. For the record, I believe He is who He claims to be.

4. Jesus is a breaker of barriers! Humanity is really good a building barriers. Jesus is really good at tearing them down. I love how Paul puts it in Ephesians 2:13-14, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility."

5. Jesus is a promise keeper! "I will never leave you nor forsake you." "Behold, I am with you to the end of the world." "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where i am you may be also." Just to quote a few.

Thanks Paul and Lucy for the opportunity to share a bit with you and anybody else who cares to read. Be blessed today.


Panda said...

Hi John, thanks for taking the time to answer this meme. I don't blame your for not tagging somebody else - it has to stop somewhere! And after reading your answers - what more can we say? (Well, if we talk about Jesus, there's still a lot to say - we need all of eternity to praise Him!)

Carol L. Douglas said...

Excellent points, all. When Paul first tagged me, I was at a loss for specific ideas. Now I keep thinking of things I might add.

Your point about Him being unique really resonates. Part of that is that he is unpredictable. This is a good marker of who he actually is--if humans had "made him up" he'd have been a lot more like a Cigar Store Savior.

It is really interesting to see how each person handled this.

John said...


What a wonderful image, "A Cigar Store Savior"! I'm picturing one of those wooden Indians that invariably haunt these places. I think you are right on the mark with the observation though. Jesus is truly like no other! No way to imagine Him and then "sell" Him to the public for 2000+ years.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from you again.


Carol L. Douglas said...

John--I was inspired by y'all into updating my blog. Not that interesting unless you want to learn (technically) how to paint, but I can blame my revived interest on you and Paul, et al.