reThinking48 – A Beginning

reThinking48 – A Beginning

Encouragment
Someone once reported after having cataract surgery that the world was suddenly brighter and more colorful. The dull film that clouded their vision was gone, and they could see the world around them as it really was. That same eye-opening, mind altering, joy-inducing experience is the goal of our next Lambchow Series.Philippians 4:8 is a well know verse to many that follow Jesus and will be our focus for this series. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NASB95) The contextual wrapper around this verse is peace. Context In the previous verses Paul provides some quick phras
Like a Goldfish in Water

Like a Goldfish in Water

Encouragment
They say that a goldfish doesn’t notice the water around it. That living in water is so natural and common that they take no thought of it. I wonder sometimes if the same isn’t true for us.Could there be something about our lives that is so common that we don’t take thought of it very often? The direct metaphor between fish and us would be the air around us or the earth beneath our feet. But I think that there is something even more pervasive or even prevalent than those examples.To perceive this “thing” we must for a moment shut off the busyness of life, push aside our preconceptions of the world around us, and lay down our previous experiences. In short, we must look past all the distractions of what we regularly see for just a moment.So often we see the Bible, (no that’s not
Walking Through 1st Peter: Peace to All in Christ

Walking Through 1st Peter: Peace to All in Christ

Encouragment
Twenty-four weeks ago we began a journey. We opened Peter’s first letter to the persecuted believers of Asia Minor and chose to walk through it instead of rushing through it. Along the way, we noticed familiar verses and discovered new vistas.  We watched as Peter returned several times to his main themes of suffering, triumph, and encouragement. Even in these last few closing verses, those same themes reverberate.Peter closed his letter in this way. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that
David’s Bad Day Prayer – Psalm 86

David’s Bad Day Prayer – Psalm 86

Encouragment
This article is much longer than our normal Lambchow Article. It is an edited transcript of the sermon Dale presented at Vineyard Church Peoria on June 11th, 2017. Thank you VCP and Pastor Ben Hoerr for the opportunity. The audio can be listened to on their iTunes podcast or from their website - http://www.thevineyardchurchpeoria.org/2017/06/11/davids-bad-day-prayer/We’ve all had bad days. One of my bad days happened early in my career as a computer networking consultant. The office machine company I worked for had recently launched a division aimed at this new opportunity of making PC’s talk to one another. There were two of us dedicated to growing that business in Peoria.One of our early calls was to a local Police Department. They had a particular kind of server, and we want
I Have This Rock

I Have This Rock

Encouragment
I have this rock. It’s has a flat side and a rounded side. It’s about the shape and size of a hand with the thumb tucked in. There are hints of green and streaks of gray that run through it. I’ve kept on a shelf for over twenty years, and it is basically worthless, it’s just a rock.But this rock has value to me because there are memories attached to it. It reminds me of a summer day vacationing in Colorado. A down day where we didn’t run off to do something. Hours watching a mountain stream dance in the sunlight and play on the rocks. Time spent rubbing smooth this greenish rock found in the stream while my son tried to catch some trout.Memories are like that. They attach themselves to things, to sounds, to smells, to colors, to names, to rocks, and to our own hearts. I don’t even
Walking Through 1st Peter – Resisting the Lion’s Roar

Walking Through 1st Peter – Resisting the Lion’s Roar

Encouragment
I don’t know anything about lions. I’ve seen them at the zoo, even heard them roar. But to be honest, I felt pretty safe since there was a fence and moat between them and me. In fact, they seemed to act like large house cats laying lazily in the sun. I’ve seen a few things on TV ala Marlin Perkin’s Wild Kingdom about how lions stealthy hunt their prey. I’ve watched cats do the same thing to mice. But the stealthy approach in the veldt and Peter’s description of a roaring lion seeking someone to devour seems a bit at odds.Welcome to our twenty-third and next to the last installment of our Walk Through 1st Peter. If you’re just joining us all the previous articles on available on our website – lambchow.com.Peter wrote, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil,
Walking Through 1st Peter – Are We There Yet?

Walking Through 1st Peter – Are We There Yet?

Encouragment
Are we there yet? How many times have we said or heard that phrase? The cliché occurrence is a child going with their parents to someplace special. But how often do we assume that same kind of doubt and impatience in other circumstances? Why can’t things change now? Come on coach, put me in the game. Or when things hoped for seem to be endlessly delayed. Or when the restoration of injustice drags on. Peter has an unexpected answer for this angst as he prepares to close out his 1st letter.Welcome to the 22nd step in our Walk Through 1st Peter. If you’re just joining us, dive right in.  If you want to catch-up the rest of the series is available at Lambchow.com.Having advised the elders and church leaders in 1 Peter 5:1-4 he continues with some direction for the younger generatio
Walking Through 1st Peter #21, To the Elders

Walking Through 1st Peter #21, To the Elders

Encouragment
Teens know it’s coming. Those always present last words for their safety as they go out. “Be careful!” “Drive safe!” “Don’t do anything stupid, ok?” Well, maybe it’s not just teenagers that hear those words. I plan on visiting my 93-year-old grandmother today. After the “I love you’s” and the hugs of goodbye, just before I walk out the door she’ll say, “be careful going home.” It’s a given, like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Likewise, Peter has shifted his letter from his main concern to some “be careful out there” final instructions.Welcome to our twenty-first installment in our walk through 1st Peter Don’t fret (unless you’re a guitar player), the previous articles are on Lambchow.com if you’d like to catch up.Peter wrote, “Therefore, I exhort the elders amo
Walking Through 1st Peter #20, Your Kingdom Come

Walking Through 1st Peter #20, Your Kingdom Come

Encouragment
I hope you have your hiking boots on and not some fancy slippers. Our next step in 1st Peter is a difficult one on several levels. It deals with heartache, suffering, persecution, and judgment – many of the things we’d rather avoid even thinking about. But in our journey through 1st Peter, we’ve learned that this is why Peter is writing the letter in the first place. Lambchow reaches many nations with varying levels of acceptance and persecution. But here’s the thing, Peter’s conclusion is for everyone, no matter the situation or circumstance.Welcome to our 20th installment in our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if you’ve missed previous articles. By the way, they can be found on our website – Lambchow.comPeter encourages, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fier

Walking Through 1st Peter – Good Stewards of God’s Grace

Encouragment
One way or another we all care about something or someone. A child cares for their toys. A student stewards their time and focus. A factory worker sees to their machine. A husband and wife manage the home. Your pastor shepherds souls. A farmer husbands his field, flock, and harvest. We are all stewards of something. Peter reminds us that those who have chosen Jesus and walk with him are called to steward the gifts of God.Welcome to our 19th edition of our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if this is the first article of this series you’ve seen. Previous articles are on our website – lambchow.com.Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another
Walking Through 1st Peter: Suffering Sin

Walking Through 1st Peter: Suffering Sin

Encouragment
We, as followers of Jesus, can be carried away by our convictions. It is good that we’re sensitive to the Holy Spirit and desire to live a life that pleases God. The problem comes when we lay those burdens on others who haven’t yet decided to follow Jesus or been pricked with conviction from the Holy Spirit. I cringe when that happens. The words may be well and true, but the soil isn’t ready for them yet. Especially so when accompanied with condemnation. The result is often a wounded heart that is less receptive to God’s good news. I know because I’ve done it. Our next step through 1st Peter touches on that topic but centers on something else we don’t like to think about.Welcome to our 18th step in our walk through Peter’s first letter to the believers of Asia Minor. Don’t worry if
The Wind of the Spirit

The Wind of the Spirit

Encouragment
There is an unpredictability to life in the Spirit that can be unsettling. In this day and age, we do our best to be predictable. We plan our course. We set goals, write mission statements, and announce our intentions. If we don’t know how to get somewhere, we consult maps, GPS, or some other mapping software. Our lives are often regulated by the clock and calendar. Filling our hours and days well in advance with little space left free. Somehow we think that choosing a restaurant at the last minute is spontaneous all the while knowing we had planned to go out. All this leads me to one question – Who is in control?I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be good stewards of time or that we shouldn’t have plans, goals, and the like. What I am saying is that we can fill our lives to the point whe