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I have been woefully absent from blogging for a long time. In the midst of life adjustments I forgot about blogging, but I think I’m back. And I have also moved.

Come check out the new digs here: www.EveryManComplete.com

For my whole life I have had “excellent” vision and I’ve never needed glasses. Although in my early teen years I really wanted to wear glasses and even bought a pair of glasses with fake lenses, because I thought I was cool. I wasn’t.
As we transition into full-time deputation we are leaving our excellent health insurance and with that comes much needed doctor’s appointments. And so I was at the eye doctor. I would have never gone if it wasn’t for my wife’s gentle prodding’s that I really needed to set an appointment, “just in case”. They concluded that my left eye has deteriorated some but my right is just fine and my prescription was very mild.

My point in saying all of this is that I thought I had perfect vision. In fact, I prided myself on my perfect vision. I thought that I had some control on whether I had good vision or not. I felt somewhat invincible with my eyes. I laugh as I type this, but God showed me that I am not as invincible as I think I am. I think of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18. The two men went to the temple to pray and the Pharisee standing by himself prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” The Pharisee thought he was perfect; thought he was superior. But the tax collector standing far off, beat his chest and prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

Jesus then says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”(Luke 18:9-14) I need to rely on God. I am in need of the gospel, not just to save me, but to sanctify my faulty view of life and to bring holiness.

We set a few family goals for 2010 last night, and one of our goals is to memorize a verse each week (one a month for Madelyn our 4 year old). Feel free to join with us or maybe just quiz us ūüôā

2010 Coulter Family Memory Verses

Last night we had a unusually warm evening, so we ventured out for a walk and playtime at the nearby playground. My daughter loves to explore playgrounds, and I sheepishly admit having irrational fears that she’ll be to adventurous and cause injury to herself. I think in the back of my mind that she’ll be more daring then I am myself, but tonight my fears have been relieved. She is as scared as I was when I was a kid, in fact she is quite timid.

One step at a time I’m sure these giant rubber mounds sticking up from the ground looked so big to my daughter before she mounted one to walk across, but after climbing the first, then second, which is a few inches taller and then to the third, now four inches shorter than the second, she began to get very scared and begged for our help. She asks for our hand, but we believe in her and cheer her on to complete the next step on her own.

After a few moments of hesitancy and disbelief in herself, she cries out again for help. I hold out my hand for her, but reply “All you need is my one little finger, you can do it”. She looks at me, grabs my one little finger and confidently walks to the next mound. We exclaim in loud, boisterous (and somewhat high-pitched parenting voices) “Good job Madelyn! We knew you could do it!”

In that moment I realized that sometimes all we need in our lives and ministry is to know that we can hold on to someone for strength, courage, and hope. But sadly all too often I forget that God is there and I ignore his hand. Some days I am completely confident… in myself. Which can get me into lots of trouble.

In the beginning of Joshua you read,

6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.¬†7 Only be strong and¬†very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law¬†that Moses my servant commanded you.¬†Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.¬†8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but¬†you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.¬†9 Have I not commanded you?¬†Be strong and courageous.¬†Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the¬†Lord your God is with you wherever you go.‚ÄĚ vv.6-9

Three times Joshua is charged to be strong and courageous in the task he was about to do. I can only imagine what he might have been thinking; except for the part where they would go to war and have to kill their enemies. Never done that before. But, I firmly believe that God has created each of us with the ability to make wise decisions but it is never divorced from Him and His Word. Twice in the above verses Joshua is commanded to do all according to the Word and to not let it depart from his mouth. And he ends in verse nine with an incredible promise, the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. We can be strong and courageous in life and ministry, but know that God is there to hold out his hand.

Over at Justin Taylor’s blog he posts a great quote from¬†Mortimer Adler,¬†How to Read a Book (p. 140):

“Teachability is often confused with subservience. A person is wrongly thought to be teachable if he is passive and pliable. On the contrary, teachability is an extremely active virtue. No one is really teachable who does not freely exercise his power of independent judgment. He can be trained, perhaps, but not taught. The most teachable reader is, therefore, the most critical. He is the reader who finally responds to a book by the greatest effort to make up his own mind on the matters the author has discussed.”

HT: Mark Talbot & Justin Taylor

128316-albeit-macht-frei---freedom-through-work--famous-gate-at-dachau-dachau-germanyWe just recently got back from a trip. My wife and I flew from Seattle to Munich Germany for a conference, and had a few days prior to explore some of Germany’s history. Our second day we decided to visit the very first Concentration Camp, established in Dachau Germany.¬†This was a very sobering few hours our our trip. So much so, we didn’t talk a lot. It was too much to take in. I wanted to make mention of one thing that we read while walking around the grounds. We walked into the Jewish Memorial and found a note that someone had written in remembrance. It said,

“We remember those that have died in this horrific way and know that this will never happen again if we have peace in our hearts.”

My bible says otherwise. “The heart is deceitful above all things,¬†and desperately sick;¬†who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 Our hearts before coming to Christ, are “desperately wicked” and are not full of peace. (Rom. 1:21; 2:5; Eph. 4:18)

Without Christ I am filthy rotten sinner. Without Christ I can do no good in myself. Without Christ I have no real peace in my heart.

Yesterday was my birthday and I am getting old. I have never felt very old, maybe because of my childish good looks.

But today I realized… I old. I am 32 and feel all of 42. I now keep my hair pretty short, because I can hide the gray hairs easier. I first noticed this last birthday and it has only gotten worse during the year. Luckily I still have a full head of hair, unlike my brother two years older. ūüôā 1226061254

I am also being a little more forgetful as of late. Yesterday I was busy getting some information packets together to send out to Pastors and also keeping an eye on our 3 yr old while we potty train her. I was so consumed with getting things done and getting lunch ready that I served her an hour early. I put her down for her nap a whole hour early. When my wife called to see how the morning was going, I told her Madelyn was down for a nap and she asks “why so early”? I realized I am either losing my mind.

We then decided to take a little trip into Tacoma to drop some things off at the post office. After riding the bus into town, we walked down one block (downhill) and when we reached the bottom I was a little winded. I couldn’t believe it!

It’s official – I’m old! But don’t feel bad for me… just think how my parents feel.

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Over at Timmy Brister’s blog you can read more about how to use Twitter and to do it for the Glory of God and the edification of the church.

-jeff

As was noted on our family website, I have the privilege of attending The National Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago, IL this year. I am truly excited for this time of spiritual refreshment. It will be a short, but full conference with 10 plenary sessions and 2 workshops. I hope to blog following each day (or during the day if I can find free wifi).

If you are curious of the conference, you can check out all the details here: www.thegospelcoalition.org.

-jeff

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I’m a book reviewer

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers