September 21, 2018

Reading Schedule for Ephesians

Here is a tentative schedule of readings in Ephesians. At each meeting, we will view a teaching video by N. T. Wright. The videos are approximately 20 minutes. After viewing, we will discuss and review the teaching.

This schedule is certain to change to accommodate conflicts. I will update it periodically.

The current effective date is: 2018.11/05

The updated calendar can be viewed here.

fillment homechurch
April 2, 2018


I have thought for a while about the best way for us to have conversations between meetings about the things we are learning from the Kellers’ book on wisdom. I have fallen behind in ++my++ personal daily readings and I expect others of us have as well. Daily readings are not meant to be a mindless rule/requirement, but periodic conversation about what we are reading is encouraging. So, I am still working on a gracious and efficient way for us to continue to frequently encourage each other to grow in wisdom.

- Jim D.


The next sections describe a system for volunteering to visit Dodie on Sundays. The succinct version is:

  1. If you have a google account, click here –-> Dodie Reservation calendar
  2. Scan through he available pages/screens looking for a Sunday that (1) fits your schedule and (2) has a block of time on it titled Visit Dodie (see image at right)
  3. Click on that block
  4. Fill out the info on the next screen. Make sure your name appears in one of the fields on that screen.
  5. Submit
  6. Option: review the Suggestions below
If you do not have a google account –>>
Notify Jim Davis of your wishes and he will make the time reservation for you. For more information about viewing the calendar, see the next section Using a Home Church Calendar.
Questions, Comments, Confusion?
Complain to Jim Davis

Home Church Event Calendar

It is not like we have so many events that we need a calendar to keep track. However, for reasons described in the next section about Dodie, I have created a public calendar for our group. At this time, this calendar is view only through a web browser on a computer or smart phone. However, if anyone would like to add it to his or her personal calendar app, I can provide subscription information upon request. A subscription would update your personal calendar app with information from the Home Church Calendar.

Visiting Dodie

Several weeks ago, our home church realized that we could bless and serve Donna & Bill by volunteering on a regular basis to visit with Dodie on Sunday mornings. These visits would provide Donna the opportunity to worship at Hope Chapel with Bill.

Initially we thought it good to try to create a (rotating) bi-weekly schedule. The value of a fixed” bi-weekly schedule is that it is easy to remember. The negative is that any gap in coverage creates a stress point. I.e., we have an empty slot — what are we going to do about it?!!

A solution
So, we have made a change — we will be people-driven instead of slot-driven. Instead of having slots that we feel pressure to fill, we have a calendar on which we can see the opportunities to serve and then take them on as we have capacity.

Using a Home Church Calendar

I have created an online calendar that shows dates of interest to the Home Church — and the Sundays for which someone has volunteered to visit Dodie. This gives everyone an easy way to identify open dates — and show Donna and Bill in advance that someone is coming on a particular Sunday.

If you wish to visit with Dodie, you can check the calendar to see which Sundays are available to you. There are two ways to do this:

View and notify
You can view the events already posted to the calendar and then notify Jim Davis of the date you wish to visit Dodie.
Sign up immediately
You can use a separate sign up calendar that automatically skips to available dates and allows you to claim a date immediately!

After someone signs up, if anything changes, Donna, Bill, or Jim Davis will notify you. To view the events on the calendar, use the following link View Calendar. A short form of the link if you have to type it manually is: The literal link is shown in the footnote2.

After finding a Sunday that is free/available, you may either claim it though a reservation system that is available to anyone with a Gmail account3 OR email, call, or text Jim Davis and state what date you wish to visit Dodie. You will receive a confirmation email, text, or phone call and thereafter you can see your name on the calendar.


Here are some suggestions for what to do next:

[x] 2 weeks
Try to choose a Sunday as far in advance as possible. A week in advance is very helpful, two (2) weeks is greatly helpful!
[x] Sign Up
Volunteers may either use the automated sign up sheet, or just write/call/text Jim Davis after viewing the calendar. See instructions below.
[x] Check the Checklist
Review the checklist for visiting Dodie. It describes general activities and what to expect during your visit with Dodie.d
[x] After your visit
If you can, send Jim a note about your experience. Any blessings you experienced? Any feedback for future volunteers? What would have made your visit better/easier?

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Future Service Projects

Several of us have asked about doing another project similar to serving dinner to participants in the Families Count program. Cindy volunteered to be on the lookout for opportunities.

Back to TOP

Contact Jim Davis
(phone) 512.565.9968 (voice & text)

Back to TOP

  1. TL;DR means too long, don’t read”



January 20, 2018

Daily Readings in Proverbs

From God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life, by Tim & Kathy Keller

Date Verse Sub-topic
Jan 1, 2018 What Is Wisdom (see book)
Jan 7, 2018 What is Foolishness (see book)
Jan 17, 2018 How Do We Become Wise
Jan 21, 2018 1:28-29 Don’t Delay
Jan 22, 2018 3:5 Identify Your Idols
Jan 23, 2018 3:5-6 Submit to His Word
Jan 24, 2018 3:7-8 Be Teachable
Jan 25, 2018 3:9-10 Be Generous
Jan 26, 2018 3:11-12 Learn From Adversity
Jan 27, 2018 3:27-28 Do Justice
Jan 28, 2018 4:7-8 Just Get It
The Case for Wisdom
Jan 29, 2018 8:4-5 For Everyone
Jan 30, 2018 8:12-13 The Safety
Jan 31, 2018 8:14, 16, 18-19 By-Products
Feb 1, 2018 8:27-29 Foundations
Feb 2, 2018 8:30-31 Wisdom’s Joy
Feb 3, 2018 9:3-6 Wisdom’s Banquet
Feb 4, 2018 9:7-9 Wisdom’s Progress
Feb 5, 2018 9:12 Wisdom’s Fellowship
Feb 6, 2018 9:14-17 Folly Can Only Smuggle
Feb 7, 2018 9:17-18 The Walking Dead
Feb 8, 2018 1:7 God-Centeredness
To be continued
study homechurch
January 13, 2018

Proposal for 2018: Proverbs

Dated January 13, 2018

At home church on January 12,2018, we agreed to discuss insights from Proverbs this year. Our study guide is a devotional book by Tim and Kathy Keller, God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life.

This excerpt from Introduction describes our plan:

At the very least, then, we would like to urge you to use this daily devotional together with a group of friends. Here is a suggested way to do this.

Choose one or more friends and agree to use the devotional together, each reading the same reflection individually, in private, on the same day. At the end of each reflection there is a question that helps you think more personally about how the teaching applies to your life.

Write the answer to the question in a journal.

Then write answers to two additional questions about the day’s proverb(s) in your journal, unless your response to the first query has already included them.

  1. Where in your life or the life of someone else have you seen this observation illustrated?

  2. How can you put this observation into practice— in thought, attitude, word, or deed?

After completing your journal entry, pray the prayer at the end of each page. These short prayers are just on ramps”—suggested ways to begin talking to God personally about what he is teaching you in his Word. Put the prayer in your own words if you wish, and then continue speaking to him about how the particular Scriptural teaching should play out in your life. This should be your daily routine—read, meditate using the journal questions, and pray.

Then meet with your friends who are doing the same daily exercise as often as you can. Share your best insights, discuss them together, encourage one another to apply the insights to your lives, and report to one another on how your efforts are going.

There is an entry in the book for each day of the year. The goal is for all participants to read the same entry on the same day. I plan to start with the entry for January 13th and catch up the earlier entries while staying current. By doing 2 per day, I expect to get fully caught up in about 10 days, before our next Home Church Meeting.

The book arranges the Proverbs by topic — not in the order published in Scripture. This helps understanding what God wants us to know. The schedule for topics and the agenda can be viewed here.

study homechurch reading
August 14, 2017

Books Recommended on Videos Viewed at Home Church (August 11, 2017)

In our meeting August 11th, we looked at some videos that recommended reading books to deepen our spiritual knowledge and faith. I proposed that each of us pick a book to read and share with the group. Here are the rules”.

  1. Tell the group which book you picked. You can choose any book you wish — it does not have to be one from the list below.
  2. More than one person can read the same book
  3. Commit to share with the group, at a specific future meeting, what you learned, liked, disliked, about/from the book. I’ll put your commitment date on our calendar.
  4. No one has to read a book!

Below are the books described in the videos we watched with links to the Kindle version. You can read about the books and of course choose a different format and acquire the book from a library or any source you wish. The videos we watched are available here.

Anyone able to commit to August 25, 2017?

1. Andy Croft

2. Pete Greig

3. Rachel Gardener

4. N. T. Wright

fillment homechurch reading
March 20, 2017


Many good things exist solely because the common good is honored by the vast majority of people. Not just a majority, but the vast huge majority. Perhaps as much as 99%.

The snapshot number of people in jail in the U.S. is about 2.3 million, compared to a total population of about 309.35 million. So, at any given moment about 0.74% of the country is in jail. While some organizations believe this number could be safely reduced with alternative forms of rehabilitation,1 that is the number I’ll work with here.

The stability of our society is contingent upon 99% of the population actively committed to promote stability. That is, it would be impossible to police society enough to force stability. A stable society exists only when its members voluntarily discipline themselves to prefer and choose the common good. For example, if only 95% of the U.S. population actively promoted the common good, the prison population could increase over 500% ! The cost of such an outcome in terms of the expense of incarceration plus the loss of productivity is enormous.


  1. I am playing with numbers and do not intend to claim what is minimally necessary for stability. But I do think it is fair to say that order does not prevail because of the expertise of our police forces and our system of disincentives2. It is not the number of people who have to be jailed that matters as much as the huge number of people who do not.
  2. All members of society depend on the commitment of others to the common good. We live in precarious balance otherwise. It is not clear to me that everyone is intrinsically motivated to pursue and support the common good. Particularly when we are confronted by hard choices between self and group.
  3. Would our society be more prone to stability if our rich were slightly less rich in order that no one live in poverty? Are brilliant scientists only motivated by the prospects of fame and money? Does not logic suggest that people who increase their personal wealth by taking advantage of others would refrain from doing so because that runs counter to promoting the common good? Yet, in the west we generally oppose ideas that would bring life styles closer to a median.3 We demonstrate that money, power, prestige, etc., are the only true or satisfactory rewards for excellence.4
  4. I do not think survival of the fittest lends itself well to supporting the common good. I am not a student of biology, etc., but I do not see a lot of people explicitly strongly committed to the betterment of the species at the expense of self betterment. At most I see people wanting things better for their own children — but not for mankind in general. I will grant that if everyone wants things to be better for their part of the next generation, then collectively that might be a commitment to the common good. But I am not sure they are the same thing.5 So at best we have a collection of individual strivings that somehow produces a collective betterment of the species. I would like to know more about this likelihood from an observational viewpoint.6

I know I am not posing new questions here. Like everything else on this blog, I am mostly thinking aloud for myself — not to convince anyone else of anything. I share my questions and my answers to them in process.

I am left with the question: if humans (home sapiens) are not driven to promote survival of their species, what is the origin and ongoing energy for our commitment to the common good?

  1. Drug related and non-violent crimes may account for 20% of all prisoners.

  2. Imprisonment, etc.

  3. If both could comfortably, employed at what they liked best to do, why should someone who is a skilled surgeon enjoy wealth far beyond that of a car mechanic or nurse?

  4. Generally, we hold that excellence in some fields should be financially rewarded more more than excellence in some other field. And we are loathe to embrace non-financial incentives.

  5. As a sidelight, read about the misquote of Charles Wilson that has persisted for decades. What is good for General Motors …

  6. It is easier to posit that something must be at work since we see something that is hard to explain. I.e., since our species has survived, and only the fittest survive, the individuals strivings must complete/compose a collective survival/thriving. But I am not sure that follows. I’d like to see experimental, tested, proof of that idea.

opinion common-good