Monday Musings & Miscellany


Jenny, Mikayla, Curtis, Me

One of the great joys of being a pastor is being able to officiate weddings. I have done many over the years with each one being memorable in its own way. However, none are quite as special as when it is those whom you have known and watched grow up from childhood, both physically and spiritually. These two pictured with my wife Jenny and me I have known since Curtis was in 6th grade, and Mikayla since she was in high school. Saturday was a beautiful day!


“Alas! alas! for our stupidity, that we can write, or hear, or speak of these things, with so little feeling, affection, and fruitfulness. Oh! that the power of God would set my heart and pen at liberty while writing, and fill your hearts while reading, that we may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Oh, this unbelief!” John Newton, Jewels from John Newton, July 1st

I suppose I should just start calling this “John Newton Quote of the Week.” This one in particular struck my heart at a time I was thinking about how casually we can take out relationship with the Lord. My Scripture selection was selected in light of this.


Job 21:13–14 (ESV) — They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.

What a great reminder to me of how easily we can disregard the ways of God, especially when difficulty comes. I have been enjoying reading through Job more than I ever recall. It speaks so clearly of all of the emotions we can experience during difficulty. It is when we are in the blazing fire of trials that we can fall prey to despair and in that despair put aside the truths of God. It must never be, but rather in those times we cling all the tighter to our Savior. We must hold to the truth that trials will ultimately lead us to a hope that never disappoints us (Romans 5:3-5).


“Today, more than ever, we need to introduce—no, reintroduce—boredom into our lives. We need it for the sake of our minds, for the sake of our hearts, for the sake of our knowledge and wisdom and godliness. We need to deliberately step outside the flow of constant stimulus. We need to make time to be bored.”

I have always seen boredom as a negative thing. Perhaps it is because of too many years of raising children who often complained, “I’m bored!” Tim Challies changes my thinking on boredom. He gives us an excellent reminder that boredom provides great opportunity, a great time when “our brains “switch into a higher mode” and “begin to mull over ideas” which in turn “convert information into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom.”


“He (Stephan Pachikov) dreamed up Evernote, which he envisions as a physical extension of the human brain, both individually and collectively. A place to store a civilization. And for the philosopher-inventor, it represents a path to a kind of immortality.”

Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. Ask me what all that means and I can’t tell you (I copied it from the web). What I do know is that it is an app that I have been using, with greater frequency each week, for the past 8 years. It is a free app, though their are advantages to upgrading it to a premium subscription.

My appreciation of Evernote reach new heights after reading this article about its founder, Stephan Pachivov. This will take longer to read that the average articles I post, but it is worth it. It is a fascinating journey through the mind of  a significant Silicon Valley pioneer. I had no idea what was behind the Evernote app when I downloaded it so many years ago.


Time for the Independence Day Quiz which asks, “How much do you really know?” Every day thousands leave their homelands to settle here in the land of the free. Before they become citizens they are required to take a citizenship test and score 80%. Could you pass this test if you took it today?

Our quiz is made up of 30 questions, of which 20 were once used on the actual citizenship test. We’ve added a few curveballs (10 additional questions), but a score of 24 out of 30 is considered a passing grade.

Postscript:  I didn’t pass the first time around, 73%, but it was fun taking it. Let me know how you do. Have a safe 4th of July!




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