Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

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Garbage in, garbage out

There’s a term in IT that if a computer application takes in faulty data, then it will produce faulty results (GIGO).

Human beings are no different. There is so much research that supports the idea that media consumption (whether violent, profane, risque or any/all of the above) produces thoughts  and actions that lead to the same behavior.

This is really another example of how science supports the Bible. God’s Word doesn’t need science to support it, but why should we be surprised when God set the foundation for all the natural laws in the world? Academics are continually late to the party, attempting to make futile attempts to disprove the truth of the Bible, and yet figuring out what followers of Christ have known all along.

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God gives and takes away

I only pay attention to the important anniversaries: my wedding anniversary, birthdays in my family, and my work anniversary (so I know when my raise is coming). Yet, it didn’t surprise me that my wife mentioned this week that it had been a year since our previous church released us from ministry.

I haven’t really wanted to write about it much, because it makes me angry. I could go into a lot of details, but they would really embarrass people at our old church. Dredging that up isn’t productive for anyone and would really just be gossip that would only interest a small group of people, which I wouldn’t be interest in doing anyway.

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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.


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.