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3,000 Miles and the Tower of Babel PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 26 February 2012 19:20

This past weekend I was able to successfully take my wife's Nissan Cube on a 3,000 mile road trip from New Hampshire to California. Even during the dead of winter, the landscapes visible from a northern route on American interstates was amazing. Perhaps more remarkable, however, was the fact that over 72 hours I was able to drive 1/8th the circumference of the entire earth...and that was even taking time each night to get some sleep.

When I was young, our blue planet seemed so impossibly large...but after traveling across the country last weekend...and around the world other location on our globe seems especially distant. Not necessarily close...but definitely attainable. The boy who so long ago grew up in Canaan, New Hampshire never imagined he'd drive or fly where his older, balder future version has.

Although, in some ways, having the world seem so much smaller is a bit depressing, during my trek it hit me that God created a perfectly-sized world. If getting from point A to point B really was impossible, nobody would attempt it...and humankind would not be able to see just how incredible our Lord's creation is in its myriad different forms across the continents. God gave us something we could achieve and the curiosity that would motivate us to try.

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Commitment and Encouragement PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 12 February 2012 16:37

[ This is our church's article for the March, 2012 Limrik. ]

In the first men's meeting of 2012, our chair, Rick Davis, suggested we set goals for the new year...and then proposed "Commitment and Encouragement" as an option. It was pretty clear that everyone sitting there that morning felt the pair were well-suited for our humble little congregation.

And it wasn't the sugar in the Dunkin' Donuts Rick brought speaking. :-)

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Friends PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 12 February 2012 15:59

As I write this I have a track repeating over-and-over on iTunes. It is a reminder of many things, including the fact that I was once young. :-)

The main voice is that of Michael W. Smith, and the other is of his good friend Amy Grant. If I remember a conversation with a more recent acquaintance of mine (of all things a friend I would not have if I hadn't lost my job in early 2011), he actually helped Michael and Amy write the tune I am repetitively listening to.

I assume between the title of this article and what I've already written, many (if not most) of you can guess what song is playing through my speakers..."Friends" off (originally) Michael W. Smith's Project album.

Friendship is on my mind, and although we can always talk about how "blood is thicker than water," the reality is that Proverbs wisely says:

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There is a Pony in There Somewhere PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 05 February 2012 12:00

When I listen to my entire iTunes library in shuffle mode I never know what might suddenly come over the speakers. Rock, classical, children's, christian, rap, bagpipe, country, polka, heavy metal...well, the list could go on. I even have some Ronald Reagan clips with which I did not set to "Skip when shuffling," and this week one labeled "Optimism" snuck in between songs. At the end of the selection he told a joke that brightened my day, and I hope will brighten yours:

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Fear or Friendship PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 22:01

In yesterday's Bible reading this quote made me think a bit:

Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin." The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the athick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:18-21, English Standard Version)

"...that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin." Basically, God will do whatever it takes "that [we] may not sin" and I fear that the vast majority of us could use a good scaring right now. Of course God, in the form of His Son, offered a different approach:

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).

Fear or friendship? Which do you want? Of course, it isn't a friendship of is a friendship with people who "know what [their] master is doing"...which means they also know who their Master is...and have trust (have faith) in their Master. It is a relationship where the created worships the Creator because they know the Creator deserves it. If you don't realize how "little" you are (in every respect) to God, then you probably need to spend some significant time at the foot of Sinai, developing a good fear of Him so that someday you can grow from a servant to a friend and "know what [your] master is doing."

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Dear Least Important Church... PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 19:40

On January 8th, Alan began a 11-sermon series called, "Dear Least Important Church..." In it, he is going through Paul's letter to the Colossians, not quite verse-by-verse...but letting the text lead the topics discussed, and trying to explain any of the more difficult passages.

Below are the titles of the sermons (hopefully they'll spark some interest), and the dates they are due to be preached (the later ones may change).

Please join can listen to past sermons at any time to catch-up if you "come in late" :-)

TalkVersesSermon TitleDate
1 Colossians 1:1-2 Dear Least Important Church... January 8, 2012 Listen
2 Colossians 1:3-14 Reacting to the News January 15, 2012 Listen
3 Colossians 1:15-23 The Invisible Materializing January 22, 2012 Listen
4 Colossians 1:24-2:5 Mystery Theater January 29, 2012 Listen
5 Colossians 2:6-15 The Debt Collector is Calling February 5, 2012 Listen
6 Colossians 2:16-23 Don't Be a Sucker TBD
7 Colossians 3:1-11 Where You Once Walked TBD
8 Colossians 3:12-17 Clothing for a Name TBD
9 Colossians 3:18-4:1 Eye-Service and the Fear of the Lord TBD
10 Colossians 4:2-6 Salty Speech TBD
11 Colossians 4:7-18 Maybe it is Better to Be Forgotten TBD
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Last Updated on Saturday, 11 February 2012 16:42
An Indian Big Mac PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 21 January 2012 13:05

If you grew up in the 70's you probably remember hearing this jingle (perhaps even sang it yourself):

Two all beef patties,
Special sauce,
Lettuce, cheese,
Pickles, onions,
On a sesame seed bun

What was that an ad for? Do you remember? Or did the title of this article give it away? :-)

The McDonald's Big Mac has been popular since the restaurant chain first introduced it, and I suspect that little ditty helped propel it's early success (although I am no fast food historian).

However, go to a McDonald's in India (as I did last December) and you will have to change the first line... It is "two all chicken patties." Apart from that, it's the same double-decker sandwich (except that I suspect the "special sauce" varies a bit too).

Do you know why the Big Mac and every other meat burger (other than fish) are almost always chicken and not beef? Because cows are considered sacred by Hindus and 80% of India is Hindu. Thou shalt not eat what you worship, if you know what I mean.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 January 2012 13:13
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