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Archive for August, 2010

Logos 4 Mac

Logos just announced that Logos 4 for Mac will be officially released on October 1. While pre-release versions have been and are available, this will be the “all-the-bugs-are-(hopefully)-resolved” version. The celebrate the roll-out of the completed version, Logos is giving away some nice prizes, including an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, an iPod Nano, and an assortment of 100 gift cards from the Apple Store, iTunes, and Logos.com. Check out the giveaway at http://www.logos.com/mac.

I’ve used Logos Bible Software as my primary Bible study software for the past couple of years. It’s pricy, depending upon the base package, but well worth the cost. My only regret is not investing in it sooner.

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When my wife called that our daughter and her family were involved in an automobile wreck near Cookeville, Tennessee, I called the only person I know there—Bob Ward, president of Partners in Ministry, International (PIMI). Our church has supported PIMI for years, both financially and through teams of volunteers going to Romania, and esteem the work of Bob and PIMI in Romania.

Bob immediately went to work, contacting his church, Stephens Street Baptist Church. Bob and Rick Lowhorn, Minister of Outreach and Christian Development at Stephens Street, spearheaded the effort to see about Christa and Bob and the children, who had been transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC). The staff at CRMC proved thorough and caring in examining the family and seeing to their physical needs.

Though Kyla, the oldest child, was kept at the hospital overnight for observation because of a concussion, the family had escaped relatively uninjured. Bruises and cuts and scrapes, to be sure, but evidently nothing worse. Rick took Christa and the other children to buy some essential items (provided by the church, from what I understand) and took them all to his house for the evening.

I am especially grateful to Bob Ward, Rick and Amy Lowhorn, and the other members of Stephens Street who are being so thoughtful and helpful during this time of critical need. Their service will be always be fondly remembered.

Needs now include working with the insurance company, seeking to salvage clothing and other belongings in the Excursion and the camper they were pulling, and getting transportation to Kansas City, Kansas, where they were going to visit Bob’s family, and then on to Hawthorne, Nevada, which has always seemed to me to be on the other side of the world. Now it seems even farther. And yet God will provide, as he has provided our brothers and sisters in Cookeville.

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“I’ve got to have it now!” is the self-indulgent demand of our day, and countless individuals and families have the debt to prove it. Taking trips and buying products they really cannot afford, these folks find themselves in financial bondage.

Thanks to easy credit and a lack of self-discipline, many Christians find themselves in such straits. They have bought into the advertising mantra that they deserve to drive a nice automobile, take a relaxing vacation, enjoy a big screen television, or display a new wardrobe. Their children deserve to experience Disney World. Willingly accepting such thinking as truth, they make the purchase or take the trip, bills pile up, excuses are made, reputations are lost, and unhappiness returns. Unfortunately, the cycle is repeated as they again seek happiness through acquisition and indulgence.

What we often fail to recognize is that this lifestyle is a symptom of worldliness. We look to the things of this world to bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment. We sacrifice honesty and prudence and reputation on the altar of pleasure. John warned Christians, not unbelievers, about worldliness: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Many Christians know the answers to solving financial problems and can tell you what they need to do. Like too many, they fail to live by what they know, willingly believing the lie that they deserve whatever they want to buy or want to do.

The lesson not lived is that of contentment. The apostle Paul instructs: “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8). We know those words and give mental assent to them, but too often we fail to live them. Discontented with merely having our needs satisfied, we buy and do what we cannot afford and find ourselves in financial bondage. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).

If we get so distraught over debt that we start to design ways not to repay what we owe, the Bible gives us this stark reminder: “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives” (Psalm 37:21). If you have gotten into debt in an attempt to satisfy your wants, be honest and confess to God that you have sinned. You have sought satisfaction in what you could not afford. A book that I recommend and have given to others is The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It contains lots of concrete counsel on how to get out of debt and live debt free.

There is nothing wrong with buying a product or taking a trip. The problem occurs when such things put one into debt. Rather than attempting to find our fulfillment in purchases or trips, may we find our fulfillment in God alone. The Scriptures remind us, “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm” (Proverbs 19:23).

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