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Written by Alan Fahrner   
Thursday, 13 June 2013 23:58

Birthday cake with candlesWhen I was young, my birthday was second only to Christmas in excitement for me. As I've aged, however, they have morphed into more of an annual time for reflection. Sure, I still appreciate the love and attention I receive from friends and family members, the gifts, and the myriad Facebook Happy Birthdays, but as I begin my 50th year of life three thoughts stand out for me more than the actual celebration of my birth.

#1: Wasted potential.

I suspect I am not alone in thinking that I have, in great measure, wasted the gifts that God has given me (and the opportunity to be much closer to Him than I am). How about you? Do you embarrassingly look back on the hours you squandered on activities that helped no one, including yourself? Do you imagine what you could have been if you kept your eye on the prize and then lower your head in shame as you see the delta between it and where you are?

And just think...this is how I feel now...wait until next year when I turn 50. :-)

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A God that Does Not Want to Be Measured Will Not Be Measured PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 05 May 2013 17:54

Measuring tapeOne of the (many) shortcomings of Christian religion to atheists is that God remains unmeasurable.  Here is a being that purportedly has often interfered in the natural realm (including its very creation), yet no scientific instrument, photograph, video, or so on has captured a single one of His miracles (although I'm sure some Christians would argue otherwise).

Yet, as much as it might be claimed a cop-out, reality is that...

A God that does not want to be measured will not be measured.

Now, that is actually slightly inaccurate in that it implies God has hidden Himself, whereas Christians believe that He has actually gone through great efforts to reveal Himself, finally providing the ultimate form of communication:

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What Is Your Greatest Fear? PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 23 March 2013 13:58

Scared manWhat is your greatest fear?

I've heard before that people's greatest fear is public speaking. As a preacher I've either overcome that or have learned to fake it pretty well, eh? Personally, I think my greatest fears (if I allow myself to think about it) have to do with my children. I won't go into specifics (to write of them would bring them to the mental forefront), but even a common human fear...that of death...for me is mainly is a fear of how it will affect my children.

How about you? What is your greatest fear? Was it public speaking or death? Flying on airplane? Spiders? The dark? Clowns? :-)

We all have fears, and often irrational ones. They really aren't a problem unless they prevent us from living a normal life. We can avoid speaking in public, steer clear of dangerous activities, take a bus across country, stay away from creepy-crawly things, plug in night lights, and never enter a circus tent.

But sometimes fears can overwhelm us, and we've heard of individuals who (for instance) have agoraphobia and refuse to leave their homes. If we had a friend like that we likely would encourage them to visit a psychiatrist.

However, perhaps the worst types of fears are those that keep us from doing the right thing at the right time. Maybe at school you saw a kid get picked on and you should have spoken up, but you kept your mouth shut for fear that the bullying bullseye would move to you. Or maybe at work you made a mistake but you didn't tell anyone because you were worried about getting in trouble (and possibly even lose your job).

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Getting Back on the Horse PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 22:22

Man falling off horseI'm not really an emotional man, and change the last couple years has been so constant that (as much as I desire some stability in my day-to-day and week-to-week life) I cannot claim that the move to Colorado has thrown me for a loop.

However, leaving New Hampshire about a month ago has had a lot more impact on me than I wish. We left a town that we loved (and called home for over 9 years)...but more importantly we left a church family that can never be replaced. Additionally, we transitioned from living in a home in a rural town to an apartment in a heavily populated suburb. We've resided in even more urban areas, but not in about a decade. We were spoiled by being able to see stars by night and avoid traffic lights by day.

We drove to Denver from New Hampshire starting on a Tuesday night and arriving late Friday afternoon. That Sunday we found the closest Church of Christ and showed up for the 9AM service. The gathering was fine—nothing great, nothing terrible (although Michelle is definitely not a fan of using PowerPoint during song service and the sermon). The message was unmemorable, but not especially aggravating. Augie enjoyed his Bible study class, and the people who took the time to say hi were friendly.

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What's in a Preface? PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 23 March 2013 13:30

BibleHave you ever been asked to do something where, instead of lamenting the burden you were just handed, you felt extremely honored to be chosen? If so, were you especially diligent in your efforts, being extra careful to do it right and to live up to the charge you were given?

If you haven't had that type of opportunity, what kind of request would cause you to feel that way? Being asked to be the best man or the maid of honor? The President personally ringing you up to help with an important initiative? Something else?

Perhaps for a Christian one of the most significant tasks we could ever enter into is translating Scripture. Unless you've had years and years of biblical Hebrew and Greek (I haven't), it is probably difficult to imagine, but just ponder what you would be involved with. These are the very words of God being converted from their original languages into your common tongue. Every decision you make directly affects whether your reader is being given an accurate rendering of what our Lord said, either directly or by inspiring prophets of old. When manuscripts disagree, did you choose the correct one? Is it better to translate word-for-word than thought-for-thought so as to avoid putting your own interpretation into the verses? Is it better to translate thought-for-though than word-for-word because the latter would be near impossible to read and would not make any sense to the average human?

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