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False Altruism (Prayers)

I've seen a disturbing trend among prayer circles within the Christian Church. 

It goes something like this:

-The group leader asks if there are any prayer requests we need to be considering.

-Someone in the circle raises a hand and mentions a dear friend of theirs (whom no one else in the circle knows) who is without a job, and could we please pray for them to get a job.

-Another person in the circle raises a hand and mentions their neighbor whose mother-in-law is battling cancer. Could we please pray for her.

-Another person asks for prayer for an unspoken request.

...and on and on it goes.

There are 3 things about these prayer circles that have me concerned:

1. We have a tendency to only mention prayer requests that are not personal (to us, anyway). We are more than willing to share what is going on in someone else's life, but not vulnerable enough to share what is going on in our own lives.
(Now I realize there are a couple reasons for this. One is that it seems like other p…
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Cincy Sheds offers these garages for sale or in a rent-to-own option. You pay 36 payments on a monthly basis of somewhere around $500 and you own the garage at the end of everything.

Why pay to have storage space at some location at a big storage facility when you can have a storage unit brought to your house? And these look classy too!


Gaining Weight and Losing Will

We completed the Whole Life Challenge!! Hallelujah!

It was tough. It was fun. It was worth it?

It took a lot of extra time (roughly an hour) each day to make sure that we were able to complete all the tasks at hand. The hardest thing was definitely the food piece (it's amazing to see that 80% of what we eat on a regular basis has some kind of additive sugar!), but it is also difficult to carve out the time to exercise, stretch, and meditate each day.

The only way it was fun was through comradery. We had about 20 people from our church join the same team and we would all post daily about what we were learning/going through. Much of the fun was commiserating together and laughing about how deprived we were making ourselves (borderline masochistic if you think about it). It definitely made the nutrition part easier when your co-workers and family were participating in the same dietary restrictions you have.

Worth it?
Overall I gained 2 lbs through the challenge. Not that I had…

Running Start

"The worst that could happen is wet shoes and a broken ankle."
Those were the encouraging words Katie offered as we walked around the backside of the pond a second time.

On the front side of the pond was a little island, about 7 feet away from the shoreline. It appeared to be the home for the geese and ducks who flocked about the water that warm winter day. From a distance it looked like an easy jump to make it from the bank to the island, but the closer I got to the edge of the pond, the further the jump appeared to be. I definitely knew I wouldn't be able to make the distance from a standing jump but I felt fairly confident I could make the jump with a running start.

If it was just a matter of jumping from point A to point B, I would have attempted the jump with no hesitation, but there was some risk involved. Wet shoes, a broken ankle, and wounded pride were all fairly low risks overall, but still, it was enough to make me second-guess my parkour abilities.

So I decid…

Psalm 119

A guest blog post from Ken Read:
Scripture for Reading: Psalm 119 (v.1-16,45,105,129-130) Theme: Loving the Law Song: “Trust and Obey” Summary: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” So begins the famous poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning describing romantic love. Psalm 119 is a similar love poem, celebrating mystic romance with the Word of God. For 22 stanzas, each with eight verses, and each line within the stanza beginning with the same Hebrew letter, the worshiper “counts the ways” that he loves the Law. Perhaps each of the lines represents the eight different words for the Law that are employed throughout. In each stanza, these words come in a different order.
Nothing less than the longest psalm, the longest chapter in the Book of books, could convey the magnitude of devotion to the Law of God that the psalmist feels. Indeed, the Word of God has been refined seven times. (Psalm 12:6) It is the whole alphabet, it is all the synonyms, it is poetry, and it deserves the highest expre…

Enough to go around

WLC Day #32

I have been going through a wonderful read lately, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes. Totally worthwhile! In it, the authors mention the difference between Eastern and Western views of wealth. The Western way of thinking of wealth is that there is enough to go around; everyone can be wealthy if they just try hard enough. Eastern views on wealth are that there is only so much money and in order for one person to grow wealthy, other people have to grow poor.

I do not claim to know much about economics but I have a feeling that the Eastern viewpoint is more accurate than our Western mind would care to admit. The more wealth I accumulate, the less wealth there is available to other people (insignificantly, but still, the principle is there). Thus, if the American Dream is to become rich and famous then the underlying goal is to make other people poor and insignificant. Ouch.

Katie and I would like to grow our wealth someday. Mostly because we want to become debt-free and …