June 24, 2008

How Can I Know God's Will?

I am so excited about the service we have planned for Wednesday night this week. Andy and Sara have some amazing worship songs prepared. I am going to tackle the question How Can I Know God's Will for my Life? Then we are going to share together in the Lord's Supper. I hope you'll bring a friend. It's going to be awesome!

June 22, 2008

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I've added a couple of lists on the right side of my blog. You can check out a list of books I'm reading now. Below that is a list of books I've read. I use LibraryThing.com to manage my books. Check it out!

June 16, 2008

Work Out

Philippians 2:12 says "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but more more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Many will read this and think that it means we have to work for our salvation. Of course, this is impossible. No one can do enough good works to earn salvation. We receive salvation as a free gift from God, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit.

In my quiet time today, I came to a deeper realization of what this really means. It is not about following a set of rules, or keeping up with a certain code of conduct. It is about spiritual exercise. If I want to have a healthy, fit body, I have to work out physically. If I want to grow up in my salvation, and have a healthy, fit spiritual life, I have to work out my salvation.

How does one do this? Spiritual disciplines: prayer, Bible study, solitude, silence, meditate on God's Word, fasting. There are quite a few disciplines a believer in Christ can use to develop and grow - to work out their salvation.

Are you working out? Are you growing spiritually? Engage - plug into a church, a small group, a Bible study. Get into God's word and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

Need help? Leave a comment - I'd love to give you some guidance.

June 15, 2008


Nancy and I spent the weekend near Boone, NC. On Saturday we hopped on the motorcycle and went for a ride. We rode up the Blue Ridge Parkway, and stopped in Boone for lunch. Murphy's restaurant seemed like a good place. We parked the bike, walked inside and sat down to order our lunch.

As we ate, we noticed dark clouds forming, and we heard thunder over the ridge of the mountains. We knew that wasn't a good sign, but what can you do? Nancy noticed a car with the windows rolled down. She asked out waiter if he knew whose car that was. His response sparked a rather interesting conversation:

Waiter: "Yes, that's my boss's car. We're not going to tell him!"

Me: "Why not?"

Waiter: "He was mean to us today. He cursed at us for basically doing what we were supposed to do."

Me: "Hmm, that's too bad."

Waiter: "Yeah - that's karma. When you do something negative, that negativity comes back on you."

Me: "Really? So by doing something negative (not telling your boss that his windows are down and it's about to rain) aren't you worried about karma coming back on you?"

Waiter: "No, when someone is mean, exudes negativity, then it comes back on you. I'm just not telling him about his windows, I'm not actually doing anything negative to him."

Nancy spoke up: "But if you know something bad is going to happen, and you don't say anything about it, then you are doing something negative."

I added: "If you know to do good, and you don't do it, that is not a good thing."

He smiled, with a bit of a perplexed look on his face, turned and walked away. A few minutes later he came back by the table with a big smile on his face. "I told my boss about his windows."

June 12, 2008

Has It Come to This?

Last Friday we decided to drive up to Concord Mills Mall for a day of window shopping. We stopped along the way to fill up with gasoline. We hit the road again, and within about 5 minutes the engine shut down. I pulled off on a side street, tried to restart, nothing happened.

So I called the tow truck, had the van towed to the shop and waited for the devastating news. How much was this going to cost? What was wrong?

About 3 hours later the call came in. "Mr. Janes - do you have any known enemies?"

"No, I don't think so. Why do you ask?"

"Well, it appears that someone disconnected a fuel line. There is no way this fuel line can come undone on it's own. It had to be done manually."

"And why would someone disconnect a fuel line?"

"They may have tried stealing some gas."

So, it's come to that. People are stealing gas out of my car in my driveway. What is wrong with you people? Are we so desperate for fuel that we have to steal it? It's not that expensive!

O well, what can you do. Maybe I'll buy a dog and chain him to the car at night.

June 04, 2008

Who Should You Blame?

I've been reading a book recently called "Do You Know how to Shut Up?" Michael Staver offers 52 short lessons on ways to improve yourself as you interact with those around you, whether at work, home, or wherever you are.

Today I read chapter 11 - Who Should You Blame? I'd like to share that with you today:

From the time we are very young, we engage in a game of blame. As a child, you probably answered your parents' questions about why you did something with "Everybody does it!" or "Because so-and-so did it!" or "So-and-so made me do it!" If you have kids of your own, you've probably heard the same words. And it's not only kids. How often do we hear adults blame their environment, the market, their significant other, their heredity, or some other entity for their problems?

I suggest that this is an enormous waste of energy and, in most cases, it doesn't matter who is to blame. I love this statement: "It's not your fault, but it is your problem!" I heard those words from Doug at Long Realty Company who thinks it might have come from his coworker Theresa. I am not sure who to blame (or credit) for this phrase, but I like it! I would counsel you to forget who or what is to blame and get on with the business of dealing with the problem.

What do you think? Should we find someone to blame, or just take responsibility and concentrate on getting the job done?