"...follow their instructions..."
"Accept their verdict and follow their instructions in every detail." (Deuteronomy 17:11)
Okay, so you think it's so amazing that one of our Boston Terriers is reading the instructions for the new Christmas toy before attempting to demolish it. A lot of folks would say the truly amazing thing is that it's our male Boston Terrier reading the instructions before attempting to demolish it. Sorry for that one guys, but let's face it, we're often the ones found guilty of trying to assemble all those Christmas morning toys on Christmas Eve without first reading the instructions. Why won't Tab C fit into Slot C? Oops, it's because we were supposed to attach Flap A before attempting that Tab C to Slot C step. Guessed we missed that one. You get my drift. I remember early in my ministry I decided to make home-made bread from scratch. I dumped in all the ingredients and wound up with pretty good tasting, but very,very flat bread. An expert bread maker
Blog Posts by Dr. Gary Nelson
"...follow their instructions..."Read More »from Follow Instructions
"I have everything I need."Read More »from How Much Am I Worth?
"The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need." (Psalm 23:1)
No, your eyes do not deceive you. It really is a "For Sale" sign on a swamp. The placard just went up recently on the swamp behind my house. Now, I ask you, how do you put a price on such an unbelievably "hot" piece of real estate? What's it worth? How do we determine how much it's worth?
As I'm being subjected to the seemingly endless stream of television commercials, billboards, radio spots, etc. during this Advent season I'm struck by how much they're aimed at that very question, "How do we determine our worth - our value? In other words, they want us to believe that if we truly value our own self and want others to do the same, we've just got to wear, use, drive, or give their product. Surely we wouldn't want to insult someone by giving something that would be of inferior quality or label, leaving them to believe we just don't think they're worth much to us! Surely we want to be seen
Read More »from Listen
"...all the colors of the rainbow."
"The figure seemed to be shining like bronze in the middle of a fire. It shone all over with a bright light that had in it all the colors of the rainbow. This was the dazzling light which shows the presence of the Lord. When I saw this, I fell face downward on the ground. Then I heard a voice saying, 'Mortal man, stand up. I want to talk to you.'" (Ezekiel 1:27-2:1)
On the way home from Virginia last week Patti and I stopped on top of Shenandoah Mountain near Franklin, West Virginia as the sun was just starting to make it's final plunge behind the opposite ridge line. I let the camera take a series of photos while the darkness began to engulf us. There was barely a sliver of red left above the ridge when the camera captured a moment and Patti, while looking at the photo on the back LED screen remarked, "Hey look at the green!" Sure enough, there was something there we had never seen before. When I loaded the photo on the computer and lightened
"What right do you have..."
"As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders came to him and asked him,
'What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you such right?'" (Mark 11:27-28)
Boom! Right in your face! Forgive me, I know it's a cannon, actually one from a civil war battlefield. I offer it not so much because it's a cannon but rather for the feel of the picture. Doesn't it give you sort of an, "in your face" feeling and almost make you want to recoil backwards from it? You know what I mean, don't you? Your moving along in a relationship or situation and then suddenly, almost out of the blue, someone lands the "in your face explosion" and you're left wondering, "Well now what do I say?" You can feel the sudden shift in the winds from the rational to the irrational. That's why there's that sense of, "What in the world just happened?" or "How do we move on from here?" or "Well, that's the end of that effort to Read More »from What GIves You the Right?
"...bar your way..."
"The angel demanded, 'Why have you beaten your donkey three times like this? I have come to bar your way, because you should not be making this journey.'" (Numbers 22:32)
We were trekking down a major highway in southern West Virginia last week when I saw this sign just off to the right on a side road. Immediately I found the next place to turn around and went back to get this picture. You just don't see many signs like this. Now, if that sign wouldn't stop you I don't know what would. We can get so caught up in our emotions and irrational thinking at times that we need a road block to keep us from barreling down a road to our own destruction and the ruin of others. Sometimes we need to have our way barred.
In the story from the book of Numbers in the Old Testament the angel of the Lord tries three times to get Balaam's attention through the falterings of his donkey. Instead of standing back and wondering why in the world a faithful and Read More »from Sometimes We Need a Roadblock
"...mystery"Read More »from Mystery
"They make evil plans and say, 'We have planned a perfect crime.' The human heart and mind are a mystery." (Psalm 64:6)
So now what do I do? A few weeks ago I told you that I was taking some pictures of Williamsburg, VA at night. I took about 100 pictures that evening, using the same camera and lens for every photo. The camera was mounted on a tripod and the photos were taken using a remote shutter release and about a 5 or 6 second exposure. In other words, the camera didn't move and was allowed to draw in light for about 5 or 6 seconds. As I went back through the pictures I discovered something a little strange.
This is a picture of the president's home at William and Mary College in Williamsburg. What's that "thing" in the left lower corner of the picture? I blew it up below so you could get a better look at it...
"It" is only in two photos - this one and the last one I took that evening about 90 frames later. See what looks to be the same object just to the right of
"We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead, we have faith and are saved."(Hebrews 10:38-39)
Are you sure...?
How do you know...?
If you were driving through our community this morning and decided to head across this bridge that spans the Ohio River, would you have continued across the river or turned back for fear that there was no end to the bridge on the other side? Sounds like a pretty dumb question, doesn't it? I think 99.999% of us would have continued to drive right across to the other side. But why? From this angle it does look a little daunting, doesn't it? Is there an end? What's at the end? What would have given us the confidence to continue?
Why would you have continued to drive across the bridge? Might it have been because you had driven across many other bridges similar to this one and always found your way to the other side of the river? Might it have been because after you started to drive across the Read More »from Turn Back
"The most secret things you say will have their consequences, and lying will destroy your soul." (Wisdom 1:11) (Part of the Apocryphal books of the Old Testament)
This afternoon I picked up a bench that had been sitting in the same position for a long time on the church's porch. Much to my surprise part of one the bench's legs fell off and failed to move with me and the rest of the bench. Upon closer examination I noticed that some boring insects (maybe termites?) had secretly made their way inside the leg and chewed it to bits, destroying the integrity of the leg.
The tiny, hidden creatures had secretly worked to destroy a bench leg that only a few months before could have supported more than a couple of hundred pounds of weight. Now the leg is probably worthless.
When I saw the bench leg I was reminded of the dangers of secrets - cancers that secretly grow inside a person and begin to steal life from them. How many times Read More »from Secrets
Read More »from My Heart is Like Melted Wax
"...my heart is like melted wax."
"My strength is gone, gone like water spilled on the ground. All my bones are out of joint; my heart is like melted wax." (Psalm 22:14)
This past Saturday a very "happy pappy" brought this beauty to our church's Fall Festival. It was, by far, the snappiest, coolest, hottest, hippest, gnarliest, raddist, dandiest, smartest, slickest, neatest, smoothest, most outrageous and bodacious beast of burden in the parking lot that day. This pickup truck is so amazing and old that it takes several decades worth of superlatives to describe it. I could tell its owner was having a lot of fun with his big green "toy." (If you look carefully you'll see my Crocs match the truck!)
There are a lot of things that give us pleasure and help us enjoy life to its fullest. What are some of the things that do it for you? As you can probably surmise, photography has become a lot of fun for me, right up there with banging on my drums and making music with others. I also enjoy
"...surprised..."Read More »from Surprised
"At that moment Jesus' disciples returned, and they were greatly surprised to find him talking with a woman." (John 4:27)
I was walking through the National Botanical Gardens last week and was surprised by this one lonely blossom shooting from the cactus plant draped over the rocks. That's one of the reasons I'm fond of cacti. The plants are bizarre and beautiful, but then almost out of nowhere come these amazingly gorgeous blossoms. What a surprise!
Sometimes surprise brings delight and joy, while other times it brings heartache and pain. I've been surprised by the goodness and generosity of some, and surprised by the rudeness and callousness of others. What do we do when we're surprised? A surprise can be a pivotal moment in a relationship. How we respond might just make a difference between drawing closer together or moving further apart. When the disciples were surprised by Jesus they responded by respectfully listening and learning. They grew in their