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Strategy for Living Through the Snares

posted Feb 28, 2019, 8:56 PM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Feb 28, 2019, 8:57 PM ]

I needed an epiphany this Epiphany Season - a fresh strategy for living as a Christian among the snares of the world. By snares, I mean living in a world of unbalanced wealth, where lies pass for alternative facts, where racism is rising, where dysfunctional and corrupt politics prevail, and where we’ve degraded “our common home” to the precipice. 

Fortunately, God provided that epiphany.  To read it, click on Living Through Snares.

Blessings,
Tim

Characteristics of God - Revised

posted Feb 4, 2019, 11:51 AM by Tim Isbell

I know, this sounds like a really odd title. 

You probably already know that God hasn't revised his core characteristics in, well, forever! 

But in 2018 God revised my understanding. A year ago I posted a webpage listing two categories of God's characteristics: Greatness and Goodness. Last year, God showed me a couple of new ones: Glory and Beauty.

So I decided to revise the original post. It's available at Characteristics of God.


Blessings, Tim 

The Romance

posted Jan 2, 2019, 8:44 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Jan 2, 2019, 8:47 AM ]

I counseled, taught, and preached about an intimate romance with God for many decades. Since 2010 I intended to write a single, concise article that makes this concept more widely accessible. Last fall, a friend's question prompted me to start gathering material for the writing project. But I got stuck on one last question. Then, just before Advent, another friend tipped me off about some material from Christian musician and writer. I bought it and was shocked when his insight resolved that final question. So I finished the article over the holidays and now offer it to you in the link below. The article took 35 years to write - but you can read it in 15 minutes. I wrote it to shave decades off of your journey to the romance. Here are the questions that frame the article:
  1. When did you start thinking about this romance concept?  
  2. What's the big deal about Christmas and Easter?  
  3. What is so valuable about humans that made God condescend so far?  
  4. How can we possibly respond to such a passionate heart as God's?  
  5. What roadmap can I offer others that will guide them into the romance?  
To read the whole article, just click on The Romance. --Blessings, Tim

Notes & comment on Tim Keller's "Unstoppable Church" talk

posted Sep 27, 2018, 7:16 AM by Tim Isbell

Timothy Keller is on my shortest "short list" of Christian thinkers, writers, and speakers. So when I heard he was coming to speak in Mountain View I immediately bought tickets. He spoke on September 6, 2018 in a lecture (his term) that occasionally strayed into preaching. Click on The Unstoppable Church for my description and brief comments on a snippet of his talk, and a link to my notes of the complete talk. The notes also contain the link to a Vimeo video of the talk. This web page is written primarily for serious Christians, Christian leaders, and ministers.  -- Blessings, Tim

Yogi Berra on Investing

posted Aug 11, 2018, 8:14 AM by Tim Isbell

Two of my hobbies are baseball and investing. So when Vanguard published an investment article based on seven Yogi-isms I was quick to read it. That intrigued me enough to write my own version. If you find it helpful, thank Yogi.   

For readers unfamiliar with Yogi Berra, here's his 1954 baseball card (from my collection). He was a great catcher who played for the New York Yankees during the years of Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. Yep, I have their cards, too.   

Yogi remains famous for his baseball skills and priceless quotes. Without trying to be funny, head-shaking Yogi-isms just popped out - and the world continues to laugh at them. They're bigger than baseball! For investing wisdom from 7 Yogi-isms, click on Yogi Berra on Investing.

-- Tim Isbell

Is your Power of Attorney up-to-date?

posted Jul 2, 2018, 3:54 PM by Tim Isbell

Some folks came to me recently asking for advice about retirement funding. While working with them I realized that if they ever set up a Power of Attorney, it was long enough ago that they don't remember where it is. 
About the same time, I ran into an excellent article in the quarterly newsletter I receive from the Nazarene Pensions and Benevolence Department and decided to share it with my readers. So, with the permission of the Nazarene P&B organization, here's the article: Priority #1: Power of Attorney.

All the best, Tim Isbell

Revisiting Beyond Conversion 1

posted Jun 4, 2018, 7:18 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Jun 4, 2018, 8:08 AM ]

I posted Beyond Conversion 1 last September. Since then I've used it in a few conversations and, as seems common in my experience, those discussions sent me back to revise the post. In particular, I completely rewrote the first paragraph, the one that summarizes initial conversion. I thought it was "perfect" before; now it is "more perfect" by a considerable margin. I put as much extra work into upgrading the five stages of the redemptive loop. And I simplified the rest of the post to keep it focused on the family metaphor by relegating the other related material to the footnotes. It's enough of an upgrade that I decided to repost it to my subscribers at Beyond Conversion 1. Hope you find it helpful.

Blessings, 
Tim

Political Dealing - The Crisis of Evangelicalism

posted May 6, 2018, 6:03 PM by Tim Isbell

I've long wanted to address the topic of authentic Christian life as its currently expressed in America's political and economic reality. But it seemed "above my pay grade." Fortunately, a couple of weeks ago Dr. Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary (where I attended), articulated it wonderfully in a talk at Wheaton College. Please take 10 minutes to read it: 
Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism.

Revisiting C.S. Lewis' "The Weight of Glory"

posted Apr 2, 2018, 8:44 AM by Tim Isbell

After reading C.S. Lewis' “The Weight of Glory” essay several times, I decided to make my underlinings and annotations more accessible on a webpage. Midway through the writing process, I found myself scheduled for a challenging legal deposition in San Francisco where an attorney would spend an entire day cross-examining me. By the day before the deposition, my anxiety had reached its limit. So I decided to avoid the next morning's commute and drive to the city that night, check into a hotel, and hope for a good night's rest. Once there I needed something to settle my nerves, so I read through my draft, reflected on it for a few minutes, and then headed to bed. Surprisingly, I slept pretty well. The next morning, I repeated the process before walking across the street to the deposition. While driving back home that evening, I realized that at critical times throughout the day excepts from the draft came to mind. That experience, along with the prayers of my friend George and those of my wife Robin, resulted in a calmer me than I'd experienced for several days! Since then I've polished up this webpage in hopes my readers will find it helpful. To read it, just click on Weight of Glory - revisited.

Blessings, Tim

What about those who've never heard?

posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:44 PM by Tim Isbell

People ask, "What about those who've never heard of Jesus? It doesn't seem fair that God would send them to hell!" It's a good question that keeps many people from seriously considering Christian faith. A few weeks ago a church invited me to preach. The pastor there is a lectionary preacher and my Sunday fell on the first Sunday of Lent which includes the Noah story. Preachers take the Noah story in many directions and I organized my sermon around four questions. The third was, "Suppose you get to heaven. What are the chances you'll meet any of Noah's neighbors?" For more, check out Those Who Never Heard.

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