Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus


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When you don’t know what you don’t know

We joined the YMCA a couple of months ago, and in the meantime, my wife has been teaching the kids about exercise and nutrition and trying to get them to cut down on snacks like ice cream. She posted this Scripture on the refrigerator:

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.—Psalm 145:15 (NIV)

When I saw it, I thought that it was her way of using God’s Word to encourage the kids not to overeat and snack too much between meals.

Last night, our kids had their end-of-year awards for Awana, and when we arrived, their leader gave them some cards to read, one of which was the Scripture above that was posted on the refrigerator.

Why did they have the same verse as the one on the refrigerator? Because the kids recited Psalm 145 for the parents, and one of my kids was memorizing that verse.

It’s not irony or coincidence that this verse was on the refrigerator when it was a verse about food, and even though it was up for the purpose of one of our kids memorizing it for a recital, it still taught me something else from God’s Word.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.—2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NIV)

Has God ever used His Word in a way you didn’t expect to teach you something?


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May SPAM of the Month Club

spamI haven’t written one of these in a long time, mainly because I switched to Gmail, and their spam filters are way better than Yahoo! Mail.

However, last night, my blog got spam-bombed by some ‘bot out there, and I thought, hey… it’s time for some SPAM again! It’s always time for SPAM (at least once a month, there is). So, here are some blog SPAM comments:

Bette commented on Saturday Morning Funnies – 11.19.10

they can’t take your check but they can put a lien on your checking account. If you have direct deposit say bye to your stimulus. Cash it at a different bank or currency exfe2nge&#8a30;Recerhnces : Was this answer helpful?

Absolutely! In fact, there’s a Bank of exfe2nge&#8a30;Recerhnces right down the street from my house! I’m going right down there tomorrow to open up an account!

Do they still give away toasters? My wife has been after me to buy one for like 6 years now…

Ebony commented on Be salt, but don’t BE salt

I don’t know who you wrote this for but you helped a brtheor out.

Oh no… please don’t say that. I didn’t want to help out the Brtheors… now they’ll be able to invade our planet!

Chris commented on Saturday Morning Funnies – 11.26.10

Hello! This post con7&ud#821l;t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

I don’t get it… your old roommate was always talking about Black Friday or was he talking in botched HTML characters? Either way, sounds like it’s time to find a new roomie.

Milly commented on Ignoring the outliers

Lovely shot of a lovely barn.In Florida, the Republicans are working on a bill (maybe it’s already passed) which will make it a felony to go on a farm property and take phaorgotphs. This is to protect the large farming operations (who give big bucks to the Republicans) from accusations of animal abuse. So, when you visit Florida, don’t step on a farm property to take pictures. You could very well be arrested, put in jail and be charged with a felony! Is this a great state or what?

Yeah, but when you get right down to it, aren’t we all phagotrophs? I mean, that’s what the encyclopedia says… and I’m kind of on the government’s side here. You can’t just go on to somebody’s farm and walk off with a horse or a cow and drive off with it. Believe me, I’ve tried, and they did not enjoy the back of the minivan like I thought.

Esther commented on Plan to fail

That ints’higs just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

I don’t mean to be harsh, but maybe you shouldn’t drink while using voice-to-text.

Louisa commented on Bachelor Pad

Super jazzed about getting that knwhowo-.

Sorry, but I don’t speak Yoruba.

2017-05-19_1106.png

Servena commented on What I learned on my summer vacation

This has made my day. I wish all ponsgtis were this good.

Man, that’s a story for another day… the time I had ponsgitis. And by another day, I mean never.


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HAPPY new year

Saturday night, my Facebook feed was filled with people who were glad that 2016 was finally over and 2017 would be a fresh new start.

I understand why people would lament some of the events that occurred in the year that was. Terror attacks, violence against and from police, celebrity deaths, and a contentious election have all played across social media.

But really, whose fault is it that the perception of 2016 is so bad?

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.—Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

This verse implies that we have an illness, a heart that lacks joy, which requires medicine or some type of cure. A heart that lacks joy is one that wallows in negativity, anger, deception and hatred. It leads to a crushed, broken, withered, dried-up spirit, lacking in any strength.

If there’s anything that’s not lacking in the world, it’s negativity, anger, deception, and hatred. What’s worse, our sin nature encourages us to wallow in it, like a pig in the mire. It feeds our fallen and sinful selves, and the more we’ve dwelled on and surrounded ourselves with outrage over the sound bite of the day, the more it demands to be satisfied with more negativity.

Maybe I’m naive, but I found 2016 to be a huge year of blessing. God taught me so much in both the highs and lows, and I’ve watched my family grow spiritually, especially my kids. But then, again, maybe that’s just me. I understand logically why people might want to be done with 2016, but I don’t sympathize.

The world is full of hate and lies, and look what it achieved in 2016. As followers of Christ, we should be beacons of God’s grace and truth to the world. I guess if there is any lesson that should be learned to carry over into the new year, it’s that people need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ now more than ever. All of us should strive to make 2017 joyous.


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Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight

In The Untouchables, the great philosopher Sean Connery makes a comment about how unwise it is to bring a knife to a gunfight.

Connery’s son Indiana Jones demonstrated this in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I may or may not be correct about the family relationships there.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.—Ephesians 6:10 (ESV)

How ludicrous would you look if you defended yourself with a Nerf gun against people with real guns? And yet, that’s what we do in our lives when we try to accomplish things in our own strength.

When I try to resist sin with my own strength, I am feeble and fail.

When I try to endure trials with my own strength, I am frail and collapse.

When I try to do what I know I should do and I’m disconnected from God, it is inevitable that I will fail. It may not be immediate (in fact, immediate failure would be welcome, because false success feeds the ego), but it is assured.

Why? Because in my own strength, I am bringing a knife to a gunfight. In my own pride, I am the swordsman showing off my skills, while the enemy takes but a moment to roll his eyes and pull the trigger.

Let’s put away the Nerf guns and draw from true power, the power of God’s strength. If we want 2017 to be a blessed and successful year, we need to be strengthened by God’s might if we want our actions to be effective.