Monthly Archives: December 2007

A Roby Link

If you were a fan or friend of Roby Duke, you’ll enjoy this clip . . .


The Passing of a Friend

Roby Duke was unique. He didn’t fit any of the categories into which I tend to put people. He was a wonderful musician. Also an encourager, an honest critic, a loving and loyal friend to those who knew him. I loved his sense of humor. He had some pretty cool music. He brought out the best in musicians around him. He was one of those guys you would call “real”.

Roby entered heaven this week.

I talked with Roby just days ago. He led our Christmas Eve service and was amazed and pleased at the way God put things together – especially the spontaneous “solo” of a little girl. He was so excited about some good things happening in his life. And, he was, as always, appreciative of folks in the church who had demonstrated Jesus to him.

A former co-worker who is new to blogging, has a great post about Roby who today beholds the Lion of Judah who for our salvation battled and won.


Director’s Cut

I’ve always wondered at the art behind the film …

Biblically Qualified Eldership

Thanks to Thabiti for linking to Joe Thorn and his post on a building process for potential elders and deacons. There is a follow-up post on some of the reading they do.

Thabiti’s blog also has a running series of practical insights into what biblically qualified elders look like and some of the questions to ask about candidates. Looks like a great deal of work for a pastor, but task of spiritual church leadership is vital.

Introduction: Finding Reliable Men
Above Reproach
One-Woman Man
Temperate, Self-Controlled, Respectable
Able to Teach
Sober, Gentle, Peacemaking
Not Lovers of Money
Leaders at Home
Mature and Humble
Pure Church: Finding Reliable Men: Well Thought of by Outsiders

Not My Story …

The following is not my story. It was written by Ann Welles in the Los Angeles Times. I put it into my files some time ago, thinking that it would be good to use “someday”. In going through my files today, I felt moved to share it today.

“A Story To Live By”

My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package.  “This,” he said, “is not a slip.  This is lingerie.”  He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip.  It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace.  The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.  “Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago.  She never wore it.  She was saving it for a special occasion.  Well, I guess this is the occasion.”  He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician.  His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me.  “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion.  Every day you’re alive is a special occasion.”

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death.  I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister’s family lives.  I thought about all the things that she hadn’t seen or heard or done.  I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.  I’m still thinking about his words, and they’ve changed my life.

I’m reading more and dusting less.  I’m sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.  Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure.  I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event—such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it.  My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing.

I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends’.

“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary.  If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.  I’m not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted.

It’s those little things left undone that would make my angry if I knew that my hours were limited.  Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with—someday.  Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write—one of these days.  Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them,

I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.  And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.  Every day, every minute, every breath truly is…a gift from God.

     By Ann Wells in the Los Angeles Times

9 Marks Journal

The November/December 2007 edition of the 9 Marks eJournal is now online at the website. (For the uninitiated, the 9 marks refer to the marks of a biblical church. The site and ministry seems to be strongly driven by Mark Dever and Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. This edition has a very helpful position paper from CHBC on the church’s responsibility to the poor and some provocative thoughts on the church and culture.

I very much appreciate the work and writings of this consortium. They call us to biblical understanding and practice at a time when so many are being influenced more by culture than the Bible. I think they have defined the problem well:

The church has come to reflect her culture rather than to shape it. The leadership principles of corporate America have made their way into church leadership meetings. The consumerism of suburban malls has infiltrated ministry methods. The therapeutic model of secular counseling has found a comfortable place on the couch in the pastor’s office. And the sins that typify the culture all too often scandalize the church.

We believe this situation has come about because modern church practices have been gradually redefining the spiritual understanding of Americans. In the evangelistic quest to “be all things to all people,” many churches have become “audience-driven,” “seeker-sensitive” and full-service. In the ecumenical quest for unity, many churches have preferred to see doctrine evaporate rather than elucidate. The statement continues here.

Old – A Personal Note

So … this week I had several “old” moments. You know, where my age seemed to be on display more than others. Like most people, I still think of myself as younger, 20ish or so, but that hasn’t been true for a good 35 years since I’ll be 57 next month. Since I’ve had gray hair since I was in my 20’s I’ve pretty much never taken offense when others think I’m older. I had a couple reminders this week that my age is catching up to my hair.

  • The very nice, but obviously non-pc, waitress at a favorite local restaurant asked if I was a member of the “old-people’s” club. I am. I like the discount. And I wasn’t offended – just reminded that I am looking more my age than ever.
  • I found myself reminiscing about the “old days” of church communications along with two administrative assistants at church. One of them chuckled with me as she remembered Gestetner duplication and mimeograph machines and how long it took to produce church bulletins and such … especially if you made even one small mistake that had to be corrected. The other assistant, a young woman under 30, was polite and properly appreciative of all the suffering we older saints had endured. She didn’t even roll her eyes in our presence. However, I think she was still thinking that her PC was a bit too slow. I walked away thinking … oh boy, I’ve become an “old guy”!
  • A young rude dude barged into the line at McDonald’s pushing aside a woman with 3 small kids. As seems to be the case “these days” the line wasn’t clearly defined and I politely (really!) mentioned that he might want to wait at the end of the line as there were 6-7 others ahead of him, etc. He turned and said “what do you know ‘old timer'” along with a couple of other dismissive and rude comments as if I was somehow too old to understand the way things work. I know it wasn’t about me – this kid was just rude – but the “old timer” stung a bit. I did appreciate the little girl who said to her mom in a loud whisper, “Mommy, we aren’t supposed to talk to “grampa people” like that”.
  • I came across this site last night and found myself realizing that I recognized far too much. Especially the pictures from 1960-ish Disneyland.

All that being said, for the most part, I enjoy being older, and hopefully a bit wiser. The Bible reminds us of that too.

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life – Proverbs 16:31 (ESV)

The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair – Proverbs 20:29 (ESV)