SOMEDAY . . .

I spent some time this morning pondering the biblical story of Caleb’s boldness in Joshua 14:6-15.  The essence of the story is that at eighty-five years of age, Caleb was chomping at the bit to claim the land that was promised to him by Moses forty-five years earlier.  He was not afraid of the giants, the Anakim, who occupied that land.  He knew he could take them because the Lord had promised him.

Verse 12 gives us a little of his gumption:

So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.

Remember, that is an eighty-five year old man saying that.  Lest you think that is some kind of ‘well everyone was older in the Bible’ stuff, even the Bible makes a big deal here about how old Caleb is.

Someday, I"ll . . .
Someday, I”ll . . .

This time period in biblical history is hard to get a handle on, because things are fluid, and it is hard to reconcile Christian ethics with the warfare and genocide recorded in the conquest of Canaan.  However, that aside, four things jump out at me from Caleb’s story that are inspiring.

1.  Caleb never forgot what his goals were.  I can imagine that everyday for forty-five years he went to bed thinking, ‘Someday, I’ll take that land.’  There is probably something missing in our lives if we ever lose that feeling of, “Someday, I’ll ….”

2.  He was thinking of his children, grandchildren, and lineage.  He knew he’d never enjoy the land for long, but he wanted to secure it for the generations.  If only people in church, in business, on the streets, and in the government would make decisions based on what as best for the generations that come after us.

3.  He kind of liked it that the Anakim were in the land he wanted.  The Anakim were giants, and Caleb liked the challenge.  The bigger they are, the harder the fall.

4.  Even though he was strong-willed, he still submitted himself to his leadership for permission.  “Give me this,” he asked his old friend Joshua.  Joshua knew it really wasn’t his to give, because in God’s eyes it was already Caleb’s by promise.

It is tempting to draw an equal sign between Caleb’s desire to claim his promise of land with our spiritual inheritance of eternal life.  There is some level of truth there, but a more applicable truth is that Caleb is an encouragement to us to pursue our dreams, never give up on our goals, and to take responsibility for securing a better future for ourselves and our offspring no matter what our age is or what obstacles might be in our way.

I hope and pray that I have Caleb’s fire every day.

GREENBEAN 2012 FAVES #4–PREACHING COMMANDMENTS

I continue today with a review of my top 5 2012 blog posts.  Note, these are not the top viewed posts, but the the ones I enjoyed the most.  #4 was originally written in October and is about preaching, sort of.  It was originally titled TOO MUCH FUN NOT TO WEIGH IN ON:  PREACHING’S TEN COMMANDMENTS.  I apologize for not posting it yesterday, but I was busy cleaning the house and un-decorating with Mrs. Greenbean and the sprouts.  Happy New Year

MOSES AND THE FIRST TOP TEN LIST
MOSES AND THE FIRST TOP TEN LIST

So, everyone thinks David Letterman invented Top Ten Lists,

NOT MOSES

but we all know God did.  At least Letterman stole from a good source.  At various times in my life I’ve made “Top Ten Lists” for leadership in our church or for membership or for staff or etc… and I always try to have fun with it.  This morning in in my inbox was an article from sermoncentral.com that promised the “10 Commandments of Preaching” written by Tyler Scarlett.  I don’t know who Tyler Scarlett is, but that is a GREAT NAME!  Sounds like an assassin in a spy movie, or perhaps a gun for hire in the old west.  But I digress.

A MAN NAMED SCARLETT, A MAKER OF LISTS

Scarlett’s list is good.  Here are his 10 Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt not put words in God’s mouth.
  2. Thou shalt prepare and preach every message as it were thy last.
  3. Thou shalt not present the  Word of God in a boring and non-compelling manner.
  4. Thou shalt always point to Christ in thy message.
  5. Thou shalt edify thy hearers to faith and obedience.
  6. Thou shalt not be one kind of person and another kind of preacher.
  7. Thou shall not open a commentary until thou hast read the passage 100 times.
  8. Honor thy context above all else, so that it may go well with thee in thy messages.
  9. Thou shalt make the point of the text the point of the message
  10. Thou shalt preach and teach doctrine above all else.

Like  I said, I think his commandments are pretty good.  A bit dry and too serious, though, for me, especially with all that King James language.  But my Top 10 is better and more practical and it comes to you in more of a New Living Translation feel.

  1. Gargle with mouth wash immediately before you preach.
  2. Make sure you know how the sermon is going to end.
  3. Check your fly before you go to the platform, not after you get there.
  4. Try and talk to people in the crowd one-on-one before you preach.
  5. Remember, you care more about the details than they do so get to the point.
  6. Leave your notes in your study–Preach from the heart.
  7. Laugh at yourself and make some laughter in the sermon.
  8. People had a choice to come hear you, honor that choice.
  9. For the love of all that is good and decent do a sound check ahead of time.
  10. Write your own sermons.

I bet if I sat here all day I could come up with about 40 others.  Hey, someday that might make a great book on preaching because there clearly are not enough books on preaching (sarcasm alert!)

TOO MUCH FUN NOT TO WEIGH IN ON: PREACHING’S 10 COMMANDMENTS

MOSES AND THE FIRST TOP TEN LIST

So, everyone thinks David Letterman invented Top Ten Lists,

NOT MOSES

but we all know God did.  At least Letterman stole from a good source.  At various times in my life I’ve made “Top Ten Lists” for leadership in our church or for membership or for staff or etc… and I always try to have fun with it.  This morning in in my inbox was an article from sermoncentral.com that promised the “10 Commandments of Preaching” written by Tyler Scarlett.  I don’t know who Tyler Scarlett is, but that is a GREAT NAME!  Sounds like an assassin in a spy movie, or perhaps a gun for hire in the old west.  But I digress.

A MAN NAMED SCARLETT, A MAKER OF LISTS

 

Scarlett’s list is good.  Here are his 10 Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt not put words in God’s mouth.
  2. Thou shalt prepare and preach every message as it were thy last.
  3. Thou shalt not present the  Word of God in a boring and non-compelling manner.
  4. Thou shalt always point to Christ in thy message.
  5. Thou shalt edify thy hearers to faith and obedience.
  6. Thou shalt not be one kind of person and another kind of preacher.
  7. Thou shall not open a commentary until thou hast read the passage 100 times.
  8. Honor thy context above all else, so that it may go well with thee in thy messages.
  9. Thou shalt make the point of the text the point of the message
  10. Thou shalt preach and teach doctrine above all else.

Like  I said, I think his commandments are pretty good.  A bit dry and too serious, though, for me, especially with all that King James language.  But my Top 10 is better and more practical and it comes to you in more of a New Living Translation feel.

  1. Gargle with mouth wash immediately before you preach.
  2. Make sure you know how the sermon is going to end.
  3. Check your fly before you go to the platform, not after you get there.
  4. Try and talk to people in the crowd one-on-one before you preach.
  5. Remember, you care more about the details than they do so get to the point.
  6. Leave your notes in your study–Preach from the heart.
  7. Laugh at yourself and make some laughter in the sermon.
  8. People had a choice to come hear you, honor that choice.
  9. For the love of all that is good and decent do a sound check ahead of time.
  10. Write your own sermons.

I bet if I sat here all day I could come up with about 40 others.  Hey, someday that might make a great book on preaching because there clearly are not enough books on preaching (sarcasm alert!)