Saturday, December 31, 2011

Random Acts of Poetry: A New Kind of Resolution

(c) 2011 Rick Kelley

Keep pressing, 
Keep pushing, 
Keep fighting, 
Keep trying.

Keep changing, 
Keep morphing, 
Keep living, 
Keep dying.

Keep singing,
Keep laughing,
Keep giving,
Keep flying.

Keep sharing, 
Keep daring, 
Keep caring, 
Keep crying. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

How we do Christmas

I'm not inclined to criticize others' Christmas practices.

Sure, some people step deep into materialism.

Some step into human innovation and call it religion.

Be that as it may, Christmas, like anything else, is a matter of preference. People must choose - even at Christmas - whom they will serve.

For our family, we try to bring honor to our Father. We hope to use the Day - and the season - to demonstrate the love of God to people who are especially sensitive and receptive.

If you'd like to know more details of how we do Christmas at our house, head over and take a peek inside Sam'sNoggin.

Blessings at Christmas, and all seasons, from the Kelleys!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Most Haunting Sentence in the Bible

Red-Letter Monday: 
"...I never knew you..." (Mt. 7:23)

There is a constant struggle in our home to get to know one another, to learn to handle the different personalities that are at work on any given day. It's quite a task. 

There are misunderstandings. Motives are guessed. People do not always get along. 

Getting to know one another is a constant process. 

Can you imagine spending your whole life thinking you knew Jesus, only to find out at judgment you didn't?

Jesus warned that many people are going to think they knew Him (cf. Mt. 7:21-22). They will be in for the shock of all eternity, when at judgment Jesus responds, "I never knew you." 

That is the most haunting sentence in the Bible. 

The only safeguard to never hear them then, is to hear Him clearly now.

May God help us all to hear and follow only the Shepherd's voice. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Acts of Poetry: My Feet

(c) 2011 Rick Kelley 

A little prayer-Haiku...

May my feet always
leave a path to the Savior
that others may find. 

Find other contributions to online Christian poetry here

Monday, December 12, 2011

The power of a single moment

In this brief pop-culture post (which I try to keep to a minimum), I'm going to recount an incident, make some comments, then make two observations.

Tom Brady's football career has been idyllic. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame-r. But yesterday during a game, Brady got into a nasty shouting match with a coach on the sideline - complete with language that, even to the average lip reader, left nothing to the imagination. It was rather un-Brady (or, as some have suggested, un-Tebow), to say the least.

Let me ask you, what years did he win the Super Bowl? What is his career passer rating? Completion percentage? Win-loss record? How many touchdowns has he thrown?

While the records above are highlights any NFL player would be proud of, unless you're a Patriots fan - specifically, a Tom Brady fan - you can't answer half these.

But what everyone knows is that, in an uncanny moment, he lost his cool on the sidelines yesterday. It was ugly; and it's being replayed over, and over, and over, and over. Oh, how humans soak it up when other humans get knocked off the horse.

Two quick observations here:

1) In life and football: Just because someone gets knocked off the horse doesn't mean you have the right to hop on it and look down at him (and I'm no Brady fan, ask my wife).
2) In spiritual life: Christian brothers and sisters, everyone's watching, and waiting, for you to lose it - just once.

Men went to the point to fabricate scenarios where they thought He might show His weakness, but Jesus never gave them such satisfaction. Nor must we. If you're anything like me, you must diligently "...pray that you might not enter temptation" (Lk. 22:46). 

Put your sword away

"Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?" (John 18:11)

Jesus died in the prime of life. People today would say, "He was so young! What a tragedy!"

What Peter called premature, Jesus accepted as divine. What Peter called preservation, Jesus called ambitious.

By human standards, I have outlived Jesus. And can you believe it? I want more time.
I want to live long enough to raise my children, take care of my wife, care for my parents, do more with my work.

I guess I want a lot. 
Moses insisted: the longer the life, the more "toil and trouble" (Psa. 90:10).

Jesus was drawn and committed to the eternal. He knew exactly where He was going. And because of that, men have followed Him even to death.
He promised a place, "...where I am, there you may be also." 
Better yet, He promised a Person: " Father's house..."
I must put away my sword.
It is not my job to stay longer.
It is my job to live better. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Major Award!

So, I've been nominated by my good friend, Randal Matheny, for a Liebster Award, an encouragement for those of us of the small-potatoes variety of bloggers. 

Okay, so there's no trophy, but it's good, encouraging fun, anyway. 

Here's how it works: 

I tell you who nominated me (see above. check out Randal's blog and find out why I would have nominated him likewise, had I been chosen first). Check!

Share the Liebster Stamp ----> Check!

List five fellow bloggers who encourage me, those who have a following of 200 (or is it 300?) or less. I'm not really sure how many followers all of these have, but since I didn't win a real trophy, I shouldn't get in any real trouble, either, right? Here goes: 

Preacher Pollard’s Blog – Neal’s writing epitomizes balance and biblical wisdom. Persistent writing proves whether someone is merely saying something, or has something to say. Neal’s daily offerings never lose their shine.

The Leadership Fund – Nobody – not even the so-called “guru” (J.C. Maxwell) – does it better than Bob Turner. In fact, in many ways, Bob does it better. Pithy and powerful, Turner is, on biblical leadership. You will NOT find a better, 5-day, shot-in-the-arm blog on spiritual leadership. I repeat: NOT.

The Meek – I wrestled with this because I already nominated his brother. I’ve just recently come across Brent’s Pollard’s writings, which are both eclectic and spiritual. A dose of everything: science, fiction, life, philosophy, music, religion – Brent tackles the mood du’jour.

Biblical Preaching - I'm coloring outside the lines a bit here. Peter Mead has a supreme passion for expository preaching, something destitute in many places. While I haven't been following it regularly of late (say, last 6 months or so), and we are not theologically in sync, I never fail to glean something from this site totally dedicated to sermon prep and delivery. 

Sam's Noggin – I don’t like to break rules, but here I go anyway. The fact is that I'm not an avid blog reader, so my pickin's are slim. My wife’s blog has over 500 followers (I know, step down from the podium and give back the trophy), but she encourages me so much each day with her thoughts about our family life. However, it is her passion for homeschooling, photography, and something so many struggle with – fitness – that makes it a must read for everyone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Random Acts of Poetry: If I am Christ's

If I am Christ’s, and He is mine,
Then to the world I can resign.

If I am Christ's, and He is mine,
Then to heav'n I am inclined. 

If I am Christ's, and he is mine, 
Then with the cross I am aligned.

If I am Christ's, and He is mine, 
Then by His death I am defined.

If I am Christ's, and He is mine, 
Then to sin I'm disinclined.

If I am Christ's, and He is mine, 
Then for His sake, I'll be maligned.

If I am Christ's, and He is mine,
Then I'll, one day, in glory shine.

If I am Christ’s, and He is mine,
Then to the world I do resign.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A smile for dad

I love reading blog posts and articles about how terribly immoral the current television programs are that kids (and grown-ups) seem to be watching, and nobody in our home (including me and the wife) has a clue what any of them are.

That's all I wanted to say.