jtrhart

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Christ Reformed Church Preaching Schedule

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Go here for details, looks interesting: www.ChristReformedDC.org

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Logos 4 for Mac

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I have yet to use it on a Mac but am looking forward to it – plus they are having a great giveaway!

Here is a link to the ad, check it out

iPad contest at Christian Personal Finance

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Have a look here to win an iPad, plus check out the site while you are at it there are some great posts on finance wisdom:

http://www.christianpf.com/free-apple-ipad-giveaway/

What Are You Passionate About?

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm

There are lots of things you can do. You have the ability, you have the tools, you have the knack. But are you passionate about these things? Are you doing them just because you can do them and is this really the best use of your time?

Let’s say you own a pool. Each year you have to open the pool in season and close the pool out of season. Each week you have to check the pH levels and adjust. Each day you have to clean it. Or you can pay someone to do all of this for you while you use the time to do something you are passionate about.

God gives us all responsibilities. If you own a pool you had better take care of it. To do anything else would be to ignore what God has entrusted you with. But taking care of it doesn’t always mean doing the work yourself. If you earn the money you use to pay someone to do the work for you then you are faithfully accepting the responsibility you have been given.

So what are you passionate about? Where are you focusing your time and finances and, ultimately, your heart? What can you let go of? For me, it’s drywalling. I’m done with it.

Nehemiah: Down To The Smallest Detail

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2010 at 6:57 am

It would be easy to skip over Nehemiah 7. It’s just a list of names. Why bother reading over names that you’ll never need to know? Here is a verse that might help put that thought into perspective:

7:5 “Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy.”

The verses that follow are the list of names that God put it into the heart of Nehemiah to compile.

God Cares About Everything

Don’t miss out on this, it’s fantastic. God made sure, by putting the desire in Nehemiah, that all of the names of the people were recorded. No one was left out. What a detailed God we have! When I stop and think about the size of God’s creation and how many people have lived on this planet I am in awe of how God can keep track of it all. Then to think that each individual human is important to him reminds me that God does not forget me.

My wife and I love to tell the story of our meeting, engagement, and wedding planning. It’s a great story because you can see the details of how God providentially worked all of the details out. As we talk through it we are again reminded of all of the different ways God works in His creation. Then, after we’re finished telling the story, I seem to be more mindful of God’s sovereignty and I can’t help but see it in every detail afterwards.

Look back at Nehemiah. Israel now has a recorded history of all of the people who came out of exile and helped rebuild the wall. They can tell this story to anyone who asks. They can tell this story to their children. They can tell this story to us who read it. All of the details are there, kept forever in the book. Whenever they question God’s control, as we all do in difficult circumstances, they can go back to this story and recount all of the wonderful things God has done.

Here is a great exercise: take one situation in your life that has brought you joy, start at the ending point, then work your way backwards. Try to remember all of the details in how that outcome came about. That’s it. Just that alone will get you thinking about the greatness of God.

Priority Setting

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2010 at 7:59 am

A common trend I’ve seen for setting priorities is to make up a list and assign a number to each item on the list. This list becomes your “priority list” and you make decisions about how you spend your time and resources based on this ordered list. The top of the list is your highest priority and the bottom is your lowest. Here’s a recent example:

  1. Jesus
  2. Spouse (if applicable)
  3. Children (if applicable)
  4. Ministry/Vocation

So, your top priority is Jesus, and then once you are done with him you should focus on your spouse. This might just be the way I’m thinking about these ordered lists but that is how it appears to me. Let me restate what I think is wrong: your top priority is Jesus and then once you are done with him you focus on the next thing.

Creating ordered lists like this appears to be putting your relationship with the Lord in a box. You have one box for your spouse, one for your children, and one for the Lord. Taking this one step further, you’ve separated Jesus from the rest of your life. It cultivates a religious worldview rather than one that is transformed by the gospel.

Author Chris Tomlinson said in a recent post:

the gospel touches every part of our lives—that it is the firm foundation on which we walk in our journey of faith.

He is exactly right, Jesus will have an impact on every area of our lives. He is just as concerned with what you do Monday – Saturday as He is with what you do Sunday mornings.

I like ordered lists. I would change the tone though because I think it has a life-altering impact on how you set your priorities. What are your roles (for men):

  1. Christian male
  2. Christian husband
  3. Christian father
  4. Christian minister
  5. Christian employee

Christian, I ask you, how will you fulfill each of these roles? Has each one  been renewed by the Lord Jesus Christ?

Difficulty

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2010 at 6:54 am

One of the most difficult doctrines for me to grasp is the doctrine of the Trinity. Here is my professor’s simple breakdown:

  1. God is one
  2. God is three
  3. Each of the persons is fully God
  4. Each person is distinct from the other persons
  5. The three persons are eternally related to one another as Father, Son and Holy Spirit

I appreciate the simplicity of these five points. When taken together as a whole they help you get your mind around the doctrine. I think one big reason why it is still difficult to grasp is that we have never experienced this kind of perfect relationship.

In this world our relationships are filled with strife, disharmony, disunity, and negative feelings toward each other. Every day we experience some kind of conflict with another person that makes us feel disconnected from them. This has never happened with God. Ever.

It is rare, but we do get glimpses of what a harmonious relationship looks like. When a marriage is on one of its peaks. When a team of people is working so hard towards a goal they don’t even recognize a chance for division. When volunteers have gathered to do something good and selfless for someone else. None of these are perfect in the way God is but we get tiny insights into the Trinity when we experience these.

Have you thought about this? What relationships have you experienced that have given you insight into the relationship of the Trinity?

Do One Thing, Well

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 at 6:19 am

Thinking more about my embarrassingly long list of unfinished projects makes me appreciate Nehemiah’s simplicity all the more. He did one thing and he did it well. Nehemiah was not a multitasker, if such a thing even exists. He didn’t try to refocus the people’s attention to the temple (chapters 7-9) while he was working to build the wall (chapters 1-6). He separated the two projects and waited until one was completed before beginning the other. He did one thing at a time and he did it to completion.

The tendency to begin one project before another is complete must be resisted. It takes a lot of energy to do a job with excellence. Spreading your energy over more than one thing will lead to poor performance in all things unless you know something about physics that the rest of the world doesn’t.

Do you have a list of uncompleted projects right now? Try this: only add another project if you can cross off three others and begin to bring that list under control.

Nehemiah: Finishing Well

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

checkboxDone.

Check.

Cross it off your list.

Finished.

The bigger the project the more satisfying it is to complete it. Nehemiah completed building the wall (6:15) but his project was not quite finished. He had to set things up so that the people could sustain themselves. He set up doors, gatekeepers and guard posts, reinstated the priests, and installed a governor over Jerusalem. In his mind, if this wasn’t done then the project was a failure.

It’s tempting to say you are finished when the majority of the work is done. You pushed hard to complete 95% and that feels “good enough” but that 5% will not complete itself, it needs the same effort. This is one of the differences between work done and work done well. It’s easily overcome with good planning done upfront. Have a clear definition of what will make your project successful and work towards that.

As I write this I’m thinking about all of the projects I have outstanding. It’s a long, embarrassing list. I will write about overcoming this tomorrow.

Dialogging Distractions

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

Wife: Who is Onofrio?

Me: It’s pronounced On-of,never mind…are you on Facebook?

Wife: Yes

Me: I thought you were doing your coupons

Wife: I will

Me: I thought you wanted to get them done before you went to bed

Wife: I do, but I’m on Facebook right now

Me: You’re being distracted. I’ve been talking about distractions for weeks, haven’t you been reading my blog??

Wife: No

Me: Great, my own wife doesn’t even read my blog, why not?

Wife: I can’t read it, it’s a distraction