New Bible Study Tool Online

Lifeway has started a new online Bible study tool. It is called From what I can tell right now, it looks neat. It is geared towards leaders who sign-up groups for studies. The idea is very cool; however, the cost is fairly high…$17/month/group. This would be ok if the leader could copy stuff off the site, print it, and distribute it to the participants; however, the terms of use prohibit that. They even address it on their FAQ about this very thing:

Q. Wow! Can I just get one subscription for our church and make copies of the lessons I customize to distribute to my leaders?

No. While the Terms of Use specify that leaders can create a second copy of their teaching notes for a substitute who will teach in their absence, the license does not grant the subscriber a legal right to create more than the one copy for themselves and/or a copy for a substitute. While it is possible, it is not lawful.

While I applaud Lifeway on this really cool use of technology, they need to make the information free. Before you write me, I mean free as in freedom not free pizza. For more information (and other links) dealing with free as in freedom, refer to the “Are there any special things for me to consider?” question on my store about page. I’m sure that Lifeway is bound by the terms of their agreements with the various authors and publishers of the material they use; however, they are big enough they could take a stand and really make a difference. If they began to publish all their material under a Creative Commons license or something similar, they could have a tremendous impact on the world. Imagine a collection of free materials published by a company as big as Lifeway!

[Update 01-18-2009 01:51:47] Updated the Lifeway link at the start of this story.  It was bad.

IMB Interview

Well, I had my initial interview today with the International Mission Board. Ted called me today at 9am just like he said he would. Most of the interview was your standard "HR" type questions: How do you work well with others, give me an example of sometime you did something really good, really bad, etc….

I got to ask him some questions. All, this job would be an answer to prayer if it is God's will. The work environment benefits, mission opportunities, etc…. So, if you are praying, pray that God's will be done. Pray that He will reveal His will to us. Pray that we will be sensitive to His will. Pray that we will do what He wants. Even thought this job would be awesome, it would be more awesome to do what God wants…to be in the center of His will. I will keep everyone posted.


Well, I'm agrivated. Bloxsom uses last modified dates to figure out when to put posts in the list. Well, I accidentially uploaded the wrong file to make a post this morning, so my blog times and permalinks are all messed up. I need to find a plugin that uses filenames for dates instead of modified dates.

Devotional Thoughts

Over the weekend, one of the My Utmost for His Highest readings dealt with our attitudes towards God and being made "holy." The scripture reference was from the story of the rich young ruler:

Mark 10:

24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

The main verse was verse 28. Oswald Chambers had this to say about that:

Beware of an abandonment which has the commercial spirit in it – "I am going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy." All that is the result of being right with God, but that spirit is not of the essential nature of Christianity. Abandonment is not for anything at all. We have got so commercialized that we only go to God for something from Him, and not for Himself. It is like saying, "No, Lord, I don't want Thee, I want myself; but I want myself clean and filled with the Holy Ghost; I want to be put in Thy show room and be able to say – 'This is what God has done for me.'" If we only give up something to God because we want more back, there is nothing of the Holy Spirit in our abandonment; it is miserable commercial self-interest.

That hit me like a ton of bricks! We should want to abandon everything and serve God simply to serve God. How many times in our Christian walk do we want to "get away" to be "made right?" God will make that happen, but we should want to serve Him. And we should want to serve Him because we love Him.

I'm not bashing modern hymns or choruses here, but have you looked at many? Have you noticed how selfish they tend to be? Now, there are hymns that are equally selfish, and there are great choruses too. Yesterday in church, we sang How Great Thou Art and it was wonderful. Here are the words:

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!

And when I think that God His Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, My God, How Great Thou Art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!

Our God…the one true God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The creator of the universe. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My savior. How great Thou art!

Job Interview

For all of you keeping up on my current job situation, you know I applied for a job with the International Mission Board. Well, Friday when I got home, I had an e-mail from a gentleman at the IMB wanting to do a telephone interview! It will be Tuesday morning (I'm still waiting for final confirmation of the time).

Please pray that God's will will be done and that I will represent Him well in this interview.

Men@HBC Wild Game Dinner

Well, I’m head of the men’s ministry at Highland Baptist Church and we had our first Wild Game Dinner last night. We had 15 guys present, and we had a great time. Our speaker was Kevin Bryant.

Kevin began a law enforcement career in 1974 with the St. Louis Police Department. In 1977, he accepted a job with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He retired after 27 ½ years. He currently pastors at Southwood Baptist Church in Beech Grove Indiana.

Some of the dishes we had were deep-fried turkey, elk roast, deer chilli, rabbit stew, salmon, sushi, and deer stew. The food was great. Before we ate, we played guess the pelt with some pelts I had borrowed from the Ohio DNR. The winners were Doctor Heaton and his son (they both tied). After eating, Kevin showed us some videos from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s program to catch road “poachers” (I refuse to call them hunters….they are beneath that). These people shot at this fake deer 1-18 times. I don’t know about you, but I would begin to get suspicious if I shot and the deer didn’t fall over dead or run away. One of the videos even showed a man who had been caught earlier the same day road hunting! He was caught, he went home, got his wife’s gun, went back out, and was caught again! These people are nuts!

Thanks to all who came, and a special thanks to Kevin Bryant for coming to speak to us!

[Update 2012-12-26 14:52:53] The link to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s site was wrong.  I updated it to the correct link.

Sunday School Material

Kevin Bryant was in Columbus this past weekend for Highland Baptist Church Men's Wild Game Dinner. After the dinner, he and I began talking about Sunday School material and its cost. It turns out he has been writing his own material for sometime. Anyway, I asked him if he would be willing to let me put his material on my website so that others might use it. He said no problem!

So, be patient, but free Sunday School literature is on its way. I will post a message once I have the material on the webiste in my store.

Bill Rawlinson

Well, yesterday in the mail, we received our Christmas card from the Rawlinsons. Turns out, Lisa had misplaced it and they just found it. I thought that was funny…something I would do. Well, I saw him online today so I decided to IM him. I found out he has a few blogs I thought I would link to them here just so I could find the URLs later when I wanted to read them.

Read Bill’s Technicial Blog
Read Bill’s Personal Blog

[Update 2012-12-26 14:54:10] Bill moved his code blog to host it with his domain name.  Although, he was nice and redirected the old address, I updated this to the new address.

Daily Devotion Thoughts

For those of you who are more curious about what my pastor said, today's My Utmost for His Highest sums it up:

Acts 26:19: Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision

If we lose the vision, we alone are responsible, and the way we lose the vision is by spiritual leakage. If we do not run our belief about God into practical issues, it is all up with the vision God has given. The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God's highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision. The test is the sixty seconds of every minute, and the sixty minutes of every hour, not our times of prayer and devotional meetings.

"Though it tarry, wait for it." We cannot attain to a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes itself. We get so practical that we forget the vision. At the beginning we saw it but did not wait for it; we rushed off into practical work, and when the vision was fulfilled, we did not see it. Waiting for the vision that tarries is the test of our loyalty to God. It is at the peril of our soul's welfare that we get caught up in practical work and miss the fulfilment of the vision.

This is the most difficult part for me…waiting. I usualy have the mindset of "Do something, even if it's wrong." But God wants us to wait on Him. Things will happen in his time. Remember, Jesus was only in "ministry" for 3 years. He waited 30 years till the time was right. Who among us would claim that Jesus was ineffective because He waited? Even if we have to wait 10, 20, or 30 years for God to get us where He needs us, we will accomplish much more for Him than we ever could by our own means.

Job Stuff

Well, I have applied for a job with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. They had one opening that fit me very well (it was a programmer position), and another that would be a good entrance into the organization–it was called a Business Process Analyst. This has me very exited. Imagine working for a group that sends missionaries all over the world!

I also talked to my pastor last night about what Cyndi and I are going through. I went primarily to see what he would want to know before allowing us to be presented to the church for their “sending”. Basically, the answer was all he needed to see was evidence of al “call”. What this means is that we would say something like “Pastor Kent, we believe God is calling us to do X” and that would be sufficient. We also talked a little about the situation, etc…. Basically, what came out of it was that we are doing what we should be doing now. We are availble for God to use us. We are looking for opportunities. We are seeking God and what he wants.

To all who are praying out there, THANK YOU. Please continue to pray that God would show us where he wants us to go and what he wants us to do. Pray that His will would be done. Pray that God would continue to draw us closer to him.

On the NiSource front, we don’t know anything more yet. We just know they are “looking” at outsourcing. According to the timeline they gave to us, the 2 outsourcers should have their RFP responses back to the company shortly (well, the timeline has this happening starting now and going through mid-April). Then, NiSource will review them and decide what to do by mid-May.

[Update 2012-12-26 14:51:06] I had the IMB link wrong (either that, or they used to also have too)