Frustrated with Facebook

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Sometimes I take a break from Facebook for a while, then go back on and wonder, “Why have I been off for so long?” I enjoy the updates, pictures of kids and grandkids, and learning really useful stuff like, “The Best Cars for Under $100,000 That Can Hit 200mph.”
And then I read some posts that are like a hit in the gut. If some posts I’ve read in the past year are correct, then you can’t be a Christian and vote for Trump, or a Christian and a democrat, or a Christian and drive 200mph.
Lord have mercy.
My non-christian friends don’t bother me. I don’t expect them to follow the example of Jesus. It’s those who profess to follow Christ and at the same time seem to be doing everything possible to make Him look like a jerk that make me frustrated with Facebook. I’m sure I’ve done the same thing – through gossip, lifestyle, and trying to hit 200mph. But today, let me focus on Facebook. Hopefully it will be a good reminder to all of us, me included.
The problem – and the opportunity today is that we can all write for Christ. And we do, every time we write. It wasn’t long ago when it was difficult to get an article in the newspaper or published in a magazine. Now we can all have an audience, and if we claim Christ, then we are writing for Christ.
There was a terrific article on this topic by Greg Morse, who is a content strategist for desiringGod.org. You can read it all here. Here are some snippets….
 

“In Christ, our calling is to “be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom [we will] shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14–15). Who will there be to hold out the light of joy if we are known for online grumbling and vainly disputing?  … I invite you to put aside your childishness and steward your analytical giftings. I do not declare war against you; I aim to win you. We need your sharp wit, careful eye, and boldness to speak.

“Some of us, like Saul before Damascus, have been persecutors of the church of God online. Instead of using our comments to sharpen our brothers and sisters, we sharpen our axes to do away with their heads. Our insults and hasty speech refuse to heed our Master’s earnest call: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). He who laid his life down for us calls us to model the drama. But too often, we do not lay down our insults — let alone our lives — for our brothers.

“Charles Spurgeon describes the appeased believer as able to fault-find with the apostles themselves,

Nothing can please them, their cavils are dealt out with heedless universality. Cephas is too blunt, Apollos is too flowery, Paul is too argumentative, Timothy is too young, James is too severe, John is too gentle. . . Well then, let each servant of God tell his message in his own way. To his own Master he shall stand or fall.

I really liked this part – some good examples of questions we can ask ourselves before posting.

  • Am I speaking from a soul satisfied in God or from my discontent?
  • Have I prayed for this person to whom I’m about to respond?
  • Have I labored to understand what he is saying?
  • Do I love this person (1 Peter 2:15–17) — even if they feel like an enemy (Matthew 5:43)?
  • Am I merely trying to one-up him?
  • How would I phrase this critique if I had to speak it to him face to face?
  • Can I raise my critique in private instead of in public?
  • How can I say this in a way that aims to build him up as well as the hearers?
  • Is this particular critique needful at this point in time?
  • Could I be wrong?
  • Am I sowing discord or delight?

OK, enough of Facebook. I need to take my new Ferrari out for a drive.

AllBks

 

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Back to Haiti

19620963_10212792280577230_6770182231888743032_oOne of my questions when I get to Heaven, if I can get up the nerve to ask, is; “Why, when we were replacing a clutch under a Toyota Hilux, for needy missionaries, in the dirt, in Haitian humidity and heat, after ten hours of work, would You send a dog to mark his territory on the legs sticking out under the truck? It’s a first world excuse for persecution, but it did seem unnecessary.

Who’s going in 2018:

  • Dan – Leading his own mini team of “Mr. Fix its.” Dan’s team will head to Haiti a week before the other travelers to prepare the home and school grounds for English Camp.
  • Megan – IS NOT LEADING A TEAM this year…. and she is very happy about it. She’ll participate with the main missions team and stay for 7 days.
  • Cooley Friend – The Cooley’s have a friend! This friend would like to go to Haiti but due to personal restraints cannot fundraise. We would like to surprise him with the financial support to go. Not only does he already have a love for Haiti, he would be a substantial help in ways many volunteers cannot. He doesn’t mind dogs.

 

Why go?

Maranatha Children’s Ministry (mcmhaiti.org) English Camp is a school program run in the summer months for children of all ages that wouldn’t otherwise get an education or a healthy diet. They teach Bible, English, Science and PE to over 400 kids along with 2 nutritious meals and an opportunity to play and enjoy a safe environment. That is after you get off the motorcycle your dad brought you on.

How can you help?

  • Prayer – we need people to commit to praying for safety, rest, and ways to encourage the missionaries who live in Haiti year round. Just shoot us a note below to let us know you are praying. That way we can keep you updated by email when we are there.
  • Money – We need to raise our own funds to pay for transportation, insurance, and room and board at Maranatha. Simply go to anchorpoint.life
    • Click “giving”
    • Click “continue to give”
    • In the box that says “message” specify “Cooley Haiti Trip”
  • It costs us around $1350 each to go. If we raise that much we aren’t a financial drain to the Maranatha, the mission who is housing us.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Dan for all

AllBks

I Can Only Imagine a Good Christian Movie

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I saw Only Imagine yesterday for two reasons.

  1. Bart, the song’s author that the movie is about, is an old friend, and
  2. I had been up since 3:15am, done church and had a wonderful fish taco lunch, and figured the reclining theater seats would make for a fabulous nap.

I was wrong on both accounts.

First, I am Bart’s old friend like a White House substitute one-day groundskeeper is a friend of Obama. We met once, when I was at a Mark Matlock Youth Conference. Mark and I had run into each other before, and he at least knew my name. I once booked him at our church in Tucson for a weekend conference. Later JoLynn and I moved to Winnipeg, and we brought a youth group down to Fargo to see Mark and this band that was traveling with him, called Mercy Me.

They weren’t bad.

The conference was small and, for Mark / Mercy Me Conference, a little flat. Mark decided to spice things up by escaping from a strait jacket, while suspended 100-ft high from a crane connected only with a fast burning rope tied to one leg, over concrete and hissing cobras. Or something like that. Bert decided that the best way to spice things up was to sing a song he had written for his dad called I Can Only Imagine. It wasn’t released yet except on a CD that Matlock I think had produced.

We heard it first.

I still remember that night, and still have that early release CD of the song. Not sure there is a working CD player left to play it on however.

I also kept the hospital wrist tag that Mark wore later that night.

The lessons are these:

  1. If you ever say you are, “driving down to Fargo,” you are living in the wrong place.
  2. It’s OK to lie in blogs. Mark didn’t go to the ER. But I do remember him escaping from a strait jacket while hanging from church beams over a large organ. Not sure why he didn’t get the movie.
  3. There IS a good Christian move! Well, for anything but a nap.  I missed mine till after I got home.
  4. Go see Only Imagine.

By the way, it came in as the third-biggest movie in America last weekend, behind only Black Panther and Tomb Raider. Not bad for a movie about a guy who has forgotten he once knew Dan Cooley… for a day.

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My 5 Favorite Epitaphs

prepareEarlier this year I attended three memorials in eight days. Death has been on my mind – but in a good way. I’ve seen faith passed down from father to son to grandkids, and heard some amazing testimonies of lives well lived. It helped me remember an old truth.
God determines the dates on your tombstone, but your family writes your epitaph.
Here are five of my favorites, some good, some just fun:
1. From Nova Scotia: Here lies Ezekiel Aikle. Age 102. The good die young. So much for kind Canadians.
2. From England: The children of Israel wanted bread, and the Lord sent them manna. Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife, and the Devil sent him Anna. Ouch.
3. Another from England, probably the saddest: Tom Smith is dead, and here he lies; nobody laughs and nobody cries; where his soul’s gone, or how it fares; nobody knows, and nobody cares.
4. Can you guess who this one was written for? Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m free at last. Beautiful.
Martin Luther King Jr.
5. Can you guess who this one was written for? Jesus Mercy.
Al Capone
I’ve been reading Ecclesiastes lately, for a future sermon series. It’s not a bizarre bible story, but it is a bizarre truth that we avoid talk of death, even though we are racing towards it. One take-away from the book for me is, it’s time to start living with our epitaph in mind.
At my age, better sooner than later!

What Would You Cut Out of Your Bible?

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Jefferson Bible Source books open to cut-up pages to show the missing pieces

Bizarre Bible Stories sold, in part I think, because the books included some of the Bible stories we would like left out of the Bible.

Did you know Thomas Jefferson made his own cut-and-paste Bible?

Well, not exactly, but close.

In 1819 Jefferson sat down with a bible, some glue, and a pair of scissors. He looked for the teachings of Jesus that he liked, and sliced them out. Then he glued them into a new book he called The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. When done, I suppose he trashed the left-over bible, attempting to eliminate all of Christ’s miracles and any signs of His divinity. You can read a complete copy of the Jefferson Bible here (with links to what he took out.)

If you sat down to make a cut-and-paste Bible, what parts would you take out? I certainly have some parts I don’t like. Maybe a bit less about judgment would be nice; a kinder, gentler entrance into the Promised land would be easier to stomach; and was Song of Solomon really necessary?

However…

Cutting truth out of the Bible doesn’t remove the truth. It just removes the Truth from affecting our lives. It cuts truth out of us, not out of reality.

I believe God spoke to us, and He spoke without error, through His Word, the Bible.

God had it written for our benefit, as the means to the end of a relationship with the Author. Removing parts of the book removes its impact. We lose. Truth is unaffected. Unfortunately, we are too.

Paul told Timothy, All scripture is profitable. (2 Timothy 3:15-17) That includes the bizarre stories as well.