Thankfulness And A Broken Ankle

The past week has been pretty quiet around here, and I apologize for that. Sunday morning, my wife fell and suffered a broken ankle. You may know that she is pregnant, and that has been a concern in this situation. I am relieved to say that the baby is fine (it’s a girl, by the way), but her ankle is not so good.

Ankle

The orthopedic doctor has instructed her to stay off of it for the next month. That has definitely changed our daily routines. As a result, the past few days have been less focused on writing and more on shuttling her to the doctor, and the kids to various activities. We are very thankful for those friends and family members who have helped us, and continue to do so. You are loved!

Needless to say, my writing schedule has taken a back seat to these family needs this week. I hope to resume a more normal schedule in the next few days. It will be nice to resume a normal routine as much as possible until Heather gets back on her feet.

Even in the midst of a minor crisis, there is much to be thankful for. The baby is fine. The injury could have been worse, or could have happened to one of the kids. The outpouring of love and support from friends and family has been tremendous, and our church family has been right there every moment we’ve needed someone.

Coffee Break – 10.27.2014

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5 Tips For Brewing The Best Cup Of Coffee – I am often asked about why I choose to make my coffee the way I do, via Chemex. After explaining it, invariably the next question is how I do it. The Roasterie has listed five necessities for the perfect cup of coffee.

How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep – The right amount of sleep, and good quality sleep, is critical to your health. Here are twenty-two things to consider when striving for a good night’s rest.

The Perfect Paper Airplane – A few weeks ago, I shared how to create a great paper airplane.  Here is another way to create an excellent airplane, this time in video format. Definitely worth knowing.

Memorize Scripture: Titus 1:10-11

In contrast to the description of the strong character of elders, Paul turns to the rebellious, the false teachers, and instructs Titus on how best to counter them.

Take a look for yourself in Titus 1:10-11:

Titus 1:10-11

Paul quickly shifts from describing the qualities of the men that Titus needs to install in positions of church leadership to those who form the opposite character. These rebellious individuals were a primary reason that solid spiritual leaders were needed. Someone needs to silence these men with solid doctrine.

These people are rebellious. This is the same word used in verse 6, translated as “disobedient.” The idea conveyed here is insubordination and an attitude that rebels against God’s Word and its authority. They reject the truth. Their teaching has no value, it is simply meaningless talk, leading nowhere. In fact, these false teachers are doing nothing more than leading people stray and deceiving them. There is no useful purpose to their teachings.

Unlike the two letters to Timothy, where Paul is somewhat vague about just who these false teachers are, even though he names a couple of them, in this letter, he plainly states that these false teachers are members of the “circumcision group.” That means they are of Jewish background. This does not necessarily imply that they were members of the church, or even believers. They may not have been at all. Early historians have placed a sizable Jewish population on the island of Crete.

Book Review – Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels

Playing SaintI have to admit, I wasn’t too interested in reading Playing Saint. Zachary Bartels is a new author, and this is his first book as far as I know. I’m usually skeptical of such books, simply because the author doesn’t have any track record, and first books are often a bit… well, cheesy.

I was totally surprised when I started reading Playing Saint. This book is well written, and captures the attention very quickly. And then it holds it until the very end.

Here is a brief synopsis. Parker Saint is a successful televangelist, serving at a megachurch that is exploding with growth. On top of all of that, he is close to launching his first book. Saint’s star is on the rise.

But when he becomes embroiled in helping the police solve a string of murders with religious symbols found at the scenes, his life turns upside down. He starts to slip, and soon discovers that he is in over his head. Between helping the police, being drawn into a search for an ancient relic with several mysterious Jesuits, and his own personal struggles, Parker Saint discovers that there really is a spiritual battle going on. And he finds that he is in the cross hairs of the killer.

Playing Saint is an exceptionally well written book, with a plot that twists and turns and leaves you completely surprised. It’s intense, and difficult to put down. Very few authors can create such an exceptional novel right off the bat, but Bartels has done it, and done it well. Along with Ted Dekker, Bartels will be an author to watch. I will be looking intently for his next novel.

Book Review – A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre

A Spy Among FriendsOne of my favorite authors of all time is Tom Clancy. The author of The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, The Sum Of All Fears and many more, Clancy can weave a web of intrigue in a novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

His novels center around the CIA and the intelligence community, and many of the best of his stories are from the era of the Cold War.

Though his novels are fictional, they are based somewhat on reality, albeit loosely. However, the underpinning of many of his novels could very well happen. And it did.

In the 1930s, the Soviet Union recruited an agent in the British government. And they had no idea just how far this spy would go. Kim Philby flirted with communism while at university. Unknown to his closest friends, he never discarded the ideals of the communist philosophy. He just buried them, and lived the outward life of a loyal patriot.

A patriot who just happened to be in the upper echelons of the British intelligence services, MI5 and MI6. Philby fooled everyone, from his own countrymen and colleagues, to his friends in other intelligence services. And he did so for more than thirty years.

Though much of his story is conjecture, and is either buried in the archives of the British intelligence files, or has been deliberately destroyed, Philby caused massive damage to British and American efforts to subvert communism throughout the Cold War. His betrayal gave operation and political advantages to the Soviets, and caused an unknown number of deaths.

Coffee Break – 10.20.2014

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Your Brain On Coffee – Understanding how caffeine works has long been misunderstood. Many seem to think that coffee actually stimulates your energy levels. That’s not quite true. Here’s a short video that explains how caffeine affects your brain.

14 Mind-Blowing Anamorphic Artworks – Some people can see things differently. And when you can envision some of the things these artists have come up with, you truly have a creative mind. These are pretty cool.

Rogue Industries – I recently bought a new wallet that I can carry in my front pocket for more protection. I got it from Rogue. Great prices. Quick shipping. Quality company. Check them out.

Anson Belt – On the subject of my personal accessories, a few months ago I purchased a new belt from Anson Belts. I am sold on these belts. I went back and bought a couple more options, giving me several combinations for any situation. Reasonable prices and great customer service.