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Monday, May 30, 2011

Daily Read May 30, 2011 - Memorial Day

 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:6-8, New International Version)


Thanks to the brave men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. 

Jim

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Tunes - Building 429: "Listen To The Sound" Official Music Video



There is just something about this song that I really like. Enjoy a good song on this Friday!

Jim

Watch it HERE!



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

8 years??!!??? Really, already??!!

I can't believe that it's been eight years already.  But it has!

Eight years ago today I was feeling nervous, excited, thrilled, and maybe a little scared (okay... a lot scared!).  Because I was about to marry to woman of my dreams!

I can't believe that she's put up with me this long!

Happy Anniversary to the best person in my life!

My wife!

Jim




Monday, May 23, 2011

The Good News of God's Truth... Math Problems... and Humility

I am hoping to hear some of the remarks of Harold Camping... if he shows his face again.  I'll just be interested in hearing his excuses. 

On one hand... as I told the students last night at Awake... I would have been okay with being wrong about Jesus' return.  It would have been great to have worshiped on Sunday around the heavenly throne. 

But on the other hand, we still have work to do here. 

So...
I guess I find myself asking what we've learned here:

First, God's Word and his Truth supersedes math problems.  Mr. Camping thought that he could figure out what Jesus couldn't figure out using some complex mathematical equations.  Unfortunately, God's Word spells out pretty plainly that we can't and won't know the hour or the day (Matthew 24).  It would have been better if Camping (& crew) would have used the millions and millions of dollars that they used to plaster billboards and bus sides to spread the Good News of Jesus rather than fear of the end. Jesus promised that he will return and I believe with all my heart that he will.  Unfortunately for us, we can't put it on our schedules.  It will be a surprise.  Which won't be all bad. 


Second, while Mr. Camping circulated a great deal of false theology and prophecy, he also opened the door for interesting conversations with total strangers about spiritual things (I had a couple of phone calls... a random conversation with someone at the Chinese buffet and a couple of folks at Starbucks about this topic... totally out of the blue).  If you notice the graphic connected to this post, 140 folks hit my blog on Friday.  While that may not sound like a lot compared to some of my more noteworthy blogging friends, that's quite a bit for my blog.  Additionally, those that hit my blog got a big, full, heavy dose of the Gospel and God's Word.  Many of you who visited here on Friday, visited from around the world (North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia... see the little blue stars for locations of where folks visited from).  So God's Word and his Truth went around the world on Friday and Saturday. 

Finally, there is still work to be done here.  Jesus told us in Matthew 24: "14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)  On one hand, Mr. Camping may have hurt the image of the church... many think we're all crazy like he is.  But on another hand, he opened the door for conversations.  Many of those conversations may actually hasten the end.  


We have work to do here.  There are still folks here who need to hear God's Truth.  They need to hear about the love and forgiveness that only Jesus can provide.  Jesus is the only one who has defeated death, sin and separation from God.  That is a message worthy of a few billboards and buses.  


Jim




Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daily Read May 22, 2011

 8 There was a man all alone;
   he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
   yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
   “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
   a miserable business!
 9 Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
   one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
   and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12, New International Version)



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Daily Read May 21, 2011

    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
   45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
   6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
   7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
   9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
   10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
   11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
   12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
   13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.  (Matthew 24:36-25:13, New International Version)



Friday, May 20, 2011

Harold Camping... False Prophets... and the end of the world...

Okay... I can't stand it anymore...

I was going to try to stay above it... but I keep getting phone calls at church and students texting asking about it.  So I'll address it here and hopefully provide some encouragement those reading this (especially those who ended up here simply because they Googled "Harold Camping...")

The end of the world is probably NOT going to happen Saturday night at 6 pm.

Why use the word "probably?"

Because no one knows when the end will come.  

Harold Camping doesn't know... (he's been wrong before... ironically enough he is "definitely sure" that it will happen this time... he was wrong in 1988 when he was certain and he was wrong in 1994 when he was positive...). 

Jim Clark doesn't know... that would be great knowledge to have... but no, I don't know.

Jesus, Son of God, God in Flesh and Messiah of the World, doesn't even know.  Check it out:
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (Matthew 24:36-42, NIV)


Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour... therefore, sorry Harold... you can't call Saturday night at 6 pm (which is funny... I haven't even heard what time zone that is... Eastern Standard... Pacific... Greenwich Mean Time...???)!

Is Jesus going to come back?
Yes.  He promised:
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4, NIV)

When is Jesus going to come back?
We don't know.   I may take a while... Because God's time frame is not our time frame: 
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9, NIV)


Ironically enough, the Apostle Paul in the New Testament dealt with this very same problem with the church in Thessalonica.  They were so convinced that Jesus' return was so immanent that they quit their jobs, grabbed some chairs and went up on their roofs to sit and wait for his return.  (Sound familiar?)  Paul's instruction: Get back to work!  We might be here a while:
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13, NIV)

The saddest part of this, and this is really what frustrates me, is that this guy is giving me a bad name.  Part of the reason that I have failed to address this (here) is that I didn't want to be divisive. The Church has enough trouble without other Christians making problems within the church, further tarnishing our image with the outside world.  But I believe that Harold Camping is a false prophet.  Listen to what Jesus himself warned:
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:23-27, NIV)
What are we to do with false prophets?  We call them out.  We identify them.  Then we put them in their place and ignore them so they don't lead the sheep astray.  Sadly, many sheep are currently being led astray by this false prophet. 


We don't know when the end will come.  It could be Saturday night... It could be tonight.  Jim Clark doesn't know.  Jesus didn't know.  Harold Camping doesn't know.  And anyone else who claims to have it pinpointed doesn't know either. 

But we do know:
The end will come. 
NO ONE knows when it will come.
Everyone will see it (Matthew 24:27).
We should be ready all the time (Matthew 24:42).

Jesus told us:
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:42-44, NIV)

So... What should we do with this? 
First, we have a unique opportunity here.  We don't know when it is going to happen.  But we do know that it is... it will happen eventually.  This is an excellent opportunity to talk to people about their relationship with Jesus.  Some folks are afraid of what may happen Saturday night.  After calming their fears, take the opportunity to talk to folks about their relationship with Jesus.  They are interested in having a conversation about spiritual matters... let's have a conversation. 

Second, we have been reminded.  We have been reminded that Jesus could return at any moment.  He could return before I get finished writing this... or before you get finished reading this.  We don't know.  Jesus told us that we should keep watch at all times (Matthew 25:1-13).  As Christians, we should be living our lives in a constant state of being prepared, at any moment, to meet our Savior and Messiah. 

So... Ignore the false prophet (Harold Camping and crew) and focus on the words of Jesus (Matthew 24).  If it does happen on Saturday night, that's fine (Amen. Come, Lord Jesus - Revelation 22:20) Your Church is ready.  If it doesn't happen this afternoon, tonight or tomorrow night, let's keep working while there's work to be done.

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NIV)

Jim

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daily Read May 19, 2011

 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
   Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
   “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
 41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
 45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.  (1 Samuel 17:34-49, New International Version)



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Read May 18, 2011

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.  (Proverbs 31:30-31, New International Version)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Daily Read May 17, 2011

 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
   but an enemy multiplies kisses.  (Proverbs 27:6, New International Version)



Monday, May 16, 2011

Daily Read May 16, 2011

 18 Like a maniac shooting
   flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
   and says, “I was only joking!”  (Proverbs 26:18-19, New International Version)



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Daily Read May 15, 2011

 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7, New International Version)



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Daily Read May 14, 2011

 22 But Samuel replied:
   “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
   as much as in obeying the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
   and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  (1 Samuel 15:22, New International Version)



Sunday, May 08, 2011

Daily Read May 8, 2011

 10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower;
   the righteous run to it and are safe.  (Proverbs 18:10, New International Version, ©2011)



Saturday, May 07, 2011

Daily Read May 7, 2011

 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
   and discerning if they hold their tongues.  (Proverbs 17:28, New International Version, ©2011)



Friday, May 06, 2011

Daily Read May 6, 2011

 25 There is a way that appears to be right,
   but in the end it leads to death.  (Proverbs 16:25, New International Version, ©2011)



Thursday, May 05, 2011

Goals...

Goals are a good thing. 

They keep us moving forward...
They keep us accountable for our actions, abilities and time...
They help us mark when we've succeeded...
They help us mark when we've failed...

They show us how we've grown.

I was thinking about goals a little bit tonight as I knocked out my first 4 mile run of my next training cycle... preparing for the full marathon.  And I stumbled on this picture.  (Which I like.)  Mostly because that how I see my next set of running goals... a long road heading into the sunset. 

The Flying Pig went well.  I've got some good distance accumulated so I'm rolling right into setting my next goal:

Completing my first full marathon...
26.2 miles...
Scheduled for September 17, 2011 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH...

Right now: My goal is to finish!

Jim

Daily Read May 5, 2011

 18 Pride goes before destruction,
   a haughty spirit before a fall.  (Proverbs 16:18, New International Version, ©2011)



Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ultimate Dog Tease - A Little Wednesday Humor



This just cracked me up a bit... a little animal humor for Wednesday!

Enjoy!


Daily Read May 4, 2011

 23 All hard work brings a profit,
   but mere talk leads only to poverty.  (Proverbs 14:23, New International Version, ©2011)



Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Daily Read May 3, 2011

 7 Stay away from a fool,
   for you will not find knowledge on their lips.  (Proverbs 14:7, New International Version, ©2011)



Monday, May 02, 2011

The Pig tastes bittersweet... Flying Pig recap

Success!!!!

Failure...

Both on the same day.

The Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon was a little bittersweet for me today.  As I posted a couple of weeks ago, I had two goals for today's race.

First, set a new personal record.  For the one who pays attention to details, you will see on the left hand side of this page, that goal was completed today.  My official Garmin watch time was 2:03:52My official Flying Pig time was 2:03:49.  A couple of interesting stats from the Flying Pig folks... out of 10,871 runners in the 1/2 marathon, I finished 2,533rd.  In my age group (30-34), I finished 293rd out of 641.  So, not bad... especially consider the elevation change on this course... more on that in a second.  
 

Second, to break the 2 hour barrier in the 1/2 marathon.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen today.  That was tough to handle.  I worked hard... I trained hard...  I hit every hill in Caldwell that I could find.  But today, it just wasn't there.  A couple of things went into that.  First, I started pretty deep in the field... choosing to start with a buddy near the rear rather than in my pig pen... so I had A LOT more traffic to deal with than I expected.  Second, it poured the rain down... making racing conditions slippery in some places... could have totally done without the rain.  Third, that hill... just check out the elevation change on that Garmin Connect data... was a killer... And I just couldn't recover.  I tried... I really did, but it just wasn't there and I didn't have enough miles to catch up.

Overall, it was a great experience.  This is the first time that I ever ran a 1/2 marathon with some friends.  Todd, Ben and I are pictured above.  That was fun.  (Although I didn't run much with them today...)

The atmosphere of the Flying Pig was great and top notch.  Lots of entertainment along the course.  Lots of helpful people handing out water, Gatorade, etc.  Good event.  Could have used a little better post-race participant area.  (Akron had their marathon and 1/2 finish in a baseball stadium where you could sit and watch folks finish... that was fun... no such luck in Cincy... down the shoot... grab some food... stand around (nowhere near the finish line).)

I wish my wife could have run with me.  She was planning to but has been struggling with a nagging injury... she'll be back... but it was too bad that she didn't get a chance to join me.

Hopefully next time.



Overall, it was a bittersweet.  I loved setting the PR.  In fact, for the last couple of miles, my iPhone was struggling with getting wet... therefore no music playing... it's hanging out downstairs in a bag of rice.  So I had time to think and concentrate.  I was watching the clock... making sure that I was going to set the PR.  But it was disappointed to fall short of breaking the 2 hour mark... But there will be other races.

(I had Jackie snap a picture of me with my two medals... last fall's Akron 1/2 and this weekend's Flying Pig 1/2).

So...
What's next?

So glad you asked.  Tomorrow, I'm heading out to get a couple miles.  Just need to get started again.



And then: The Air Force FULL Marathon on September 17, 2011.  I got to see the medal this weekend in Cincy... wait until you see that one!

Jim



Daily Read May 2, 2011

 26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
   but the way of the wicked leads them astray.  (Proverbs 12:26, New International Version, ©2011)



Sunday, May 01, 2011

Flying Pig Garmin Connect Data




Daily Read May 1, 2011

 15 The way of fools seems right to them,
   but the wise listen to advice.  (Proverbs 12:15, New International Version, ©2011)



Everything...

Everything I've thought about...
Everything I've trained for...
Everything I've worried about...
Everything I've prepared for...
Everything I've sweated for...
Everything I've dieted for, tapered for and hydrated for... 
Everything that has driven my training...

Waits just across that starting line.

Here goes nothing!  Here goes the Flying Pig!

Jim

(posted at starting time)