Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hating Serving

Okay, the title may be misleading making you think I hate serving. Well, we all do to a degree. This is from something I read today, Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline":

More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives is through the Discipline of service... Nothing disciplines the inordate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition.

After reading that I had to stop and come here. How True! It's one thing to get someone to help volunteer and serve, but man, ask them to do it and tell them no one will ever know about what they did or why? Never happen. For most people the only reason do something good is so others will know they did something good.

It reminds me of Friends where Joey tells Pheobe there's no such thing as an unselfish good deed because even if you do a good deed, you still feel good about it, or better yet, know that you made someone else feel good. Take it a step further. What about feeling good about it because the other person knows you did it for them?

Agree or not, the original statement is true that it's hard to serve and harder to do it in secret. Disagree with that? I have some stuff for you to do then...

"Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become the first among you must serve all of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people.” - Jesus from Mark 10:43b - 45

Thursday, December 14, 2006


So the other day Lorie was sick and since we drove to work together, I got to come home early. Trying to help Lorie get to sleep we decided to watch afternoon TV, usually really easy to do the job since your only choices are Dr. Phil, Maury, and "Mama's Stories". So we flipped around and for the first time in months Maury Povich was not asking some guy "Are you her baby's daddy?" Instead they were talking about 120 lb. 4-year-olds. Much better.

But we stopped for a second because they were interviewing a dietician who said something that hit me right away. Someone asked if eating a carrot cancels out eating a cookie. Isn't that the stupidest thing you've ever heard? You just ate 5000 calories, but you cancel it out by eating an apple. Ludicrous. The dietician had to explain that no, good does not cancel out bad. Good = good and bad = bad, no matter what.

This is the part that hit me though. How often do we do that in our spiritual lives? I said something I shouldn't have, I'll pray five minutes more to make up for it. I thought something bad about someone, better go say three Hail Mary's. Our spiritual diet is just like our physical diet. Fifteen minutes of Bible reading does not counteract a half hour of kicking puppies (I don't know why I always use kicking puppies as an example for sin, just work with me here). Sin = sin, just like bad food = bad for you. If you want a good physical diet, you simply have to cut out all the bad food and exercise. Likewise, for your spiritual diet, eat good food, cut out the bad, and exercise your spiritual muscles through serving and sharing the Gospel, etc.

Mind you I'm writing this while living in one of the most obese nations on earth... Physically and spiritually...


Sunday, December 10, 2006

We Think We Know It All

Sorry it's been a while, but I think you'll like this.

So I'm reading the news today, all fine and dandy. I had something else I was going to blog about tonight, but then this hit my eye. It was just too much to pass up.

As we all know, scientists know everything, they tell us that all the time. Even if they don't know their guesses are right. Well, one of the facts they have told us about is there are creatures they have found that are literally millions of years old. They date them and tell us they went extinct oh so long ago. Like this one I read in AOL news today:

"An underwater peak in the Coral Sea was home to a type of shrimp thought to have gone extinct 50 million years ago."

So, it's not really extinct. It's been here all along, we just couldn't find it. And since we couldn't find it, that means it must have died off long, long ago, otherwise, that would make us look a little dumb. Kinda like now.

When will we realize we don't know everything...?


Monday, December 04, 2006

So Who's The Good Guy?

It's something I've been thinking about the last few days. Matt (Liz's husband) and I talked a little about it (we have a liking to the same show which got me thinking about it, but again, I'm off topic).

How do good guys know their good guys? It's a valid question. Start small. You play on a soccer team. Your team thinks they deserve to win the game. But the guys on the other team also think they deserve to win the game. To you, you are the good guys, but to the other team they are the good guys.

Get bigger. What political party are you? Republicans think they are the good guys, that they are making all the right decisions and the other political parties are, well not bad, but not as good. But Democrats think they're the good guys, that they are what's best for the country.

Still bigger. Winston Churchill led Britain through World War II. He's a good guy, right? Martin Luther King taught us peace and caring for each other despite the color of our skin, also a good guy. Hey, let's go with Moses, knew God better than any other human being. Good guy. But, Hitler thought he was a good guy. In his mind he was doing what's right. Stalin believed he was doing what was best, in his mind a good guy. Atilla the Hun, Mussolini, Nero, all believed they were the "good guy".

So then how do you know if you're a "good guy"?

It obviously can't be how you feel, because almost everyone who does anything believes they are doing it for some sort of good, no matter how out of whack that "good" is. So you feel like you're a good guy? Good for you. You're equal with Hitler. How do you really know if you're good or not? How do you base your actions to know if they are "good"? Wouldn't you need some sort of role model to aim for, some sort of rule or measuring stick to know what good is, something or someone truly "good" to be able to measure yourself up against?

So who would that be...?


Friday, December 01, 2006

Smashing A Wii...

Okay, I just watched this and still don't know how I feel about it. There's just too many variables.

Basic run down. These two guys see that Nintendo's new Wii is coming out. They wait in line, buy one, then take it outside and smash it in front of everyone else waiting. That's basically their lives. Some people applaud them, some hate them. They've done it for most major new pieces of technology (PS3, X360, iPods, etc.). Are they idiots? Here's where it gets interesting.

The first reaction is to say they are idiots. They wasted money on something they weren't going to keep. They wasted time in line (apparently they have no lives) and they take away something from somebody who would appreciate it (they ran out, so of course, people went home without them, while these guys smashed one). It just seems mean. They're tormenting people for no reason.

But then you wonder, is there a reason? Some people say they are trying to show the world how materialistic we've become. A new video game. Oooo. And we wait in line and pay hundreds of dollars for it. Is that our society in a nutshell? I'm guessing other countries feel that way. Plus, you've got the added bonus that they received tons of hatemail before they even did it, showing how people hate for something they really shouldn't even care about. It's not your time or your money, if they waste it, so be it.

But I have a third opinion. They're geniuses. Far and away geniuses. Why? They make a website dedicated to this stuff. They're famous. The story was featured on AOL (how I found out about it). Millions of people know who they are now. And as for the money they spent, they raised it at their website. They had people send in donations for them to buy something to smash. They're website reported that they made slightly more than the Wii cost, but they could be lying about it. They could have made more money waiting in line than you make in a month. Who knows? Then, to see all the emotions they raised over something so trivial. Unbelievable.

So here are my thoughts. Let things go. People who have never met them, never talked to them, never knew why they were doing it, all they knew was someone wanted to smash a video game system so they sent hatemail. Are we really so insecure or love our first amendment so much that if someone does something out of whack with our views we have to curse them for it? Reminds me of "Trading Spouses" tonight. I may talk more about that later...


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Finally Back For A While

Well, I've been in three states over the last three weekends and this is what I know. My bed is comfy. When I learn more, I'll blog again :)


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Gone Again

Hey all, I've been back a few days and now I'm out again. Heading to Cincinnati for a youth worker convention. It's fun, not like other conventions, so I should come back happy. Working on getting pumpkin pictures in the pictures site before I go. If they aren't up there, it means I'm still losing the battle, sorry.

See you all next week.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Well, I'm out of here. I'm heading to Louisiana for my buddy David's wedding (congrats Dave!). I'll talk to people when I get back.

For those that keep bugging me, the Ski Retreat forms are online ready for download on the youth website (



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Day

Can I say that I am so relieved that Election Day is finally here. Not that I can vote, we Canadians can't do that in America, but the commercials are finally over! I really don't want to see them every again.

The problem is, with the exception of the occasional Dick Luger commercial, none of them were positive. I really didn't learn who I want to vote for, only who I don't want to vote for. It's the way our society works (Pastor Mike and I talked about it one day), we run everything off fear. So really, I didn't know who was good, just who's stupidity to fear.

Then I started wondering this. Is this how we present God some days? I've heard it all before growing up. Turn or burn. Without God you go to hell. Life is empty without a Savior. And even though those are all true, what about the good aspects of God? His love, how He saved us, redemption, grace, being His children... All wonderful parts of God that we barely even comprehend.

So next time you hear people talking about God, how about we not turn Him into a bad political campaign. God is love, and that love and amazement and glory and everything beautiful in Him is more than enough to talk about until time ends.

Ps. 145:3 - God is magnificent; He can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to His greatness.


Edition: Did anyone notice how much Dick Luger won by? Either he is really good, or maybe focusing on what you can do rather than what the other guy can't was a good plan...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Salty Question

Just something for you to think about that I read today.

Christians are supposed to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). Meaning it should be obvious that we are around. Have you ever tasted meat without salt? Then with salt added?

Okay, next part. I read a statistic today that said that 9 out of 10 Americans say they pray daily and 84 million Americans say they the have made a commitment to follow Christ. That's almost 1/3 of America. Now, if you had a pound of meat, and you add 1/3 of a pound of salt, do you think you would be able to taste it?

How salty are we if that many people are Christians yet we're not supposed to say "Merry Christmas"?

How salty are you?


Monday, October 30, 2006

The Pumpkin Patch Is Now Closed!

So here's the news: We are completely out of pumpkins. I mean out. People were buying rotten ones from our pile on the side of the patch. It is done. It is finished. El finito.

So how did we do? Better than last year. Better than the year before. Not quite as good as our first year, but close. All in all, I think we did pretty well.

A big thank you to everyone who helped out this year. There is one more chore. Taking down the patch at 4:00 on Wed. If you can make it, please do.

As for everyone who bought a pumpkin, a huge thank you. Without your support we would not be able to have our mission trips every year for the low costs that we provide.

God is good... All the time...


Saturday, October 28, 2006

When Did It Become So Hard To Read?

I'm not kidding. People in general don't read. I've known lots of people that barely read at all. But why?

Here's how this got into my head. First, I was waiting for my computer to do something today, so I was reading my Bible, and I thought to myself, "Why don't I read more often?" I love the Bible, I loved what I read, I have all sorts of other books I want to read, but I don't read as often as I should (I type this on a computer while watching TV, how bad is that?)

But here's the other half. There was a study done last year. In general, people lose the love of reading at age 9. NINE! Then, they don't start liking reading again until 17, if they read at all.

Are our imaginations so tainted that we can't see what we read past fifth grade? Are words on a page that much of a chore? Look at history. Up until a hundred years ago, that was the primary form of entertainment. We didn't have TV, video games, computers, and unless you were rich or lived in a city (or both), you were unable to be entertained any other way. All you had was books. And look at some of the great books out there! Way better than the movies that are coming out of Hollywood (most of which are based on books anyway!)

So as you read this, finish by going to read something else. Don't let your brain die! And while you're at it, the Bible ain't that bad...

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. - Joshua 1:8


Monday, October 23, 2006

More Pumpkins

Hey all, sorry I've been MIA at my blogging, but there is one thing to add that everyone needs to know :)

699 pumpkins will be arriving at the church on Wed. at 3:00pm. Be there to help unload!


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Take It With A Grain Of Salt

I like to read, trivia is fun, and I'm always interested in all sorts of weird facts. But then today, I was reading something that reminded me that all information is slanted. Meaning, it all comes from someone's point of view. I was reading about rings and diamonds and the page added a fact that we all know and love.

Experts say that you should spend two months salary on an engagement ring.

That makes sense, right? You've heard that before, of course. Then below that, it said this.

But remember, these experts, it's their job to sell diamond rings.

What a surprise that these "experts" are making up facts to promote their own well-being. So as you read and learn and see plenty of weird and wonderful facts on the internet, always ask this question. Who's saying it and why? It may help determine the validity of the fact :)


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Home Bible Studies

Isn't it funny how God works things out. It seems like so many times whatever I'm trying to figure out or work with, God sends my Bible reading or other books my way at the right time. So here's how this one works...

I was talking with a few of the people in Home Bible Studies doing the Youth Disciple course, and they were telling me how attendance is dwindling because people don't want to do the reading and homework. Of course, part of what WATER in Fire& Water stands for is Teaching, the studying of God's Word and applying it to our lives. This got me thinking why people don't want to study, why they don't want to learn. Then I read this by Charles Spurgeon. He starts talking about the human body, how merely eating and tasting the food is not enough, the body had to work to digest it.

"It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. "

It's not enough to just sit on Sunday and be told something. You have to learn more. You have to be living it. So all of you that are not in a Home Bible Study, maybe it's time to sign up...

Ps. 119:15 - "I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways."


Monday, October 09, 2006

Pumpkin Woes

I'll get some pictures up of the patch, I promise.

But one of the reasons I haven't written lately is something else has been on my mind and making me busy. "What is it" you ask? It is the many, many holes in the schedule at the pumpkin patch. Apparently the novelty of working at the patch has worn off. But herein lies the problem. You see, the pumpkin patch is a fundraiser for students who want to go on the mission trips to make money. So the question is, why should I have to work to make you money? The short answer is I don't. The long answer is you should be working! (The biggest hole is from 4-7 each day, a shift that any student can easily work).

To help you see the big picture, I added up Liz and my hours and using the dollar amount from last year, which may change depending on how many pumpkins we sell, but using that number we have collectively worked for almost $140. $140 in 6 days! That's money that could be in your account to pay for your mission trip. To help you see said big picture even more, the last mission trip Sr. High took inside the country (Mexico was a little more expensive), the cost of the trip was $125. Basically, Liz and I have paid for one of you to go on a trip. In less than a week. Imagine what you could do if you were working...

One last thing, again, bigger picture. (Please understand, I'm just trying to help you see why you need to be working at the pumpkin patch for your own trip). For any given missions trip, Liz and I have to sit down, figure out where we can go, book it, do all the financial accounting for it, organize it, make and collect all permission slips, collect all deposits and final balances (which means more accounting including student accounts), get all additional medical paperwork, hand it out and chase people to collect it on time, create and implement training, then spend a week (maybe two) away from our families leading the trips. I'm asking, is it really fair that we work in the pumpkin patch to pay your way too?

Please, parents and students, fill the holes in the pumpkin patch schedule.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006


That's how many pumpkins we're expecting to unload today and put in our pumpkin patch. 2 8 1 1. Lotta pumpkins. If you want one or would even like to help, be there at 4:00 to get first choice :)


btw, I've been reading a lot about death lately, I don't know what that means...

Monday, October 02, 2006

National Turkey

Something interesting I read this morning. This is from a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to his daughter:

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing hawk; and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him... The turkey is a much more respectable bird and withal a true original native of America."

Can you see it now? A picture of a turkey on the presidential seal. Nice...


Sunday, October 01, 2006

One Generation Is All It Takes...

If you're looking for a fun book to read, go to Judges in the Bible. It's like Lord of the Rings with not as many creatures.

Anyway, there's a common thread in the book (not to give it all away for you). Almost every story ends with God using someone to do something amazing, and almost every time the next chapter starts with Israel doing evil in the eyes of the Lord. I've read this book a few times, I like it, and I always wonder why they forget so easily. God does something amazing and a few years later, no one remembers it. Then this morning I saw this verse.

They're talking about Joshua dying, and all the people who were with him when they take over all of the land that is now Israel. Judges 2:10 -> "After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers [means "after they had died"], another generation grew up, who neither knew the Lord or what He had done for Israel."

One generation. One age of people. That's all it takes for us to forget God. Don't believe me? Look at America right now. How long did it take us to go from prayer in school to guns in school? 30, 40 years? This generation is quickly becoming the one to forget God. So there's two things to this. One, don't be the generation to forget God. Tell your friends, live for Him, do everything you can so we don't turn our backs on God in one fail swoop.

But the other responsibility is to myself and the parents of this generation. How is it possible that one generation does all these amazing things for God and the next one knows nothing about it? The older generation never told them. Those guys in Judges may have done great things, but they never told their kids who God was. Otherwise, the children would have known what God did through their parents.

So fight for this generation, both from the inside and the outside. Don't let it be the one the forgets who God is and what He has done.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

See You At The Pole

So for those that don't know, today is an international event where students from schools all over the world gather at their local school flagpoles to pray for their school, fellow students, teachers, country, etc.

Sunday night we had a rally here in northeast Indy to plan the event and I was talking with one of the youth pastors who was a little disappointed. He felt like SYATP was heading kind of downhill, not as many people interested or working together for it.

Then I showed up at Fishers High School this morning, the school that has no seniors, and saw close to 100 students praying (I heard numbers between 90 and 110). 100 teenagers praying = downhill? What if people in our churches prayed that much...?


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gideon Pt. 3

Sorry it took so long for part 3. We had a guys' retreat this weekend and I'm still in pain... physical and emotional...

But here's the third part. After lighting fires and blowing trumpets, Gideon's men shout "A sword for the Lord and for Gideon." So can you guess what this means?

It's part of the divine drama set out by God. We are both a part of the process in which people come to a relationship with Jesus Christ. God has an active part in calling people to Him, but He also chooses to use us in that process. He could easily write someone's name in the sky, show up before someone in all His glory, even force someone to follow Him. But He doesn't. He uses us. He wants us, followers of Him, to tell others about his love. About His glory.

So remember this, you are a vital part to God's plan. He chooses to have you reveal Him to your friends. Are you...?


Friday, September 22, 2006

Gideon Pt. 2

I know, you've been anxiously waiting all day...

So we've got the story of Gideon and we've got that his mighty army of 300 were all holding torches in one hand, shining lights for God. What was next? The trumpets.

So what's the significance of the trumpet when we are sharing our faith? The trumpet makes noise. The trumpet has been used since as long as we've had trumpets to announce someone's presence (like royalty or an army into battle). Trumpets let you know someone else is here.

You have a life that shines like the torch. Great. So people know you're different. Woo hoo. Do they know why? Do they know it's Jesus Christ living in you? So far all they know is you're different. How are they supposed to now the reason if they aren't told?

Deuteronomy 32:3 - " I will praise the name of the Lord, and His people will tell of his greatness."

I Chronicles 16:24 - "Tell the nations about His glory; tell all peoples the miracles He does."

Psalm 107:21-22 - "Let them give thanks to the Lord for His love and for the miracles He does for people. Let them offer sacrifices to thank Him. With joy they should tell what He has done."

Notice the common theme, telling people about God. Yes, your life should shine like a light in the wilderness, but it has to go a step further. How do you expect people to know why your life shines if no one tells them why? Start a conversation. Tell about the One you love.

To be concluded...


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gideon Pt. 1

I was reading something today that I'm going to kind of do over the next few days. It's all about Gideon.

For those that don't know the story, here's a quick version (the full version can be found in Judges 6-8). Gideon is a regular guy who is in Israel under the rule of the evil Midianites. God tells him to attack the Midianites, but he only gets to take 300 men, so he ends up doing a surprise attack in the night, men encircle the camp with torches and trumpets and make lots of noise and in the confusion the Midianites freak out and basically kill themselves. God wins, Gideon's the man, everyone happy. (Told you it was quick).

But here's what we'll get to. While around the circle, all the men have three things to do. Judges 7:20 - "They held the blazing torches in their left hands and the horns in their right hands and shouted, 'A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!' " Three parts, all having to do with telling the world about God.

First part, today. They all have blazing torches. They can be seen. Their light shines. Matt. 5:16 - "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." We're to let our lights shine, the light of Jesus inside of us for people to see.

Is your light shining...? Stay tuned for part 2.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When Is It Not A Game?

So here's the article I was reading this morning...

Now come on, it's a little much. For those that don't have the time to read it (although you have the time to read this...), an instant replay ref in college football missed a call this weekend. Whoopedi do. I know it sucks. I've played sports, but it's all part of the game. No one's perfect. His equipment isn't as good as the NFL or TV. So many different things to throw in. But can fans live with that? No. He not only received death threats but people threatened to kill his wife and kids.

Come on! Is your life so shallow and lonely that all you have is football and when something doesn't go your way you feel the need to actually kill a small child who has nothing to do with it? Some people need to learn to keep life in perspective here. I like football. It's fun. Played it Sunday night. But I don't feel the need to skip church over it (hello, say TiVo), I don't make my wife feel like crap just so I can watch it, and I don't want to kill someone because what I wanted didn't happen.

Isn't it a little egotistical to think that someone's life is not worth as much as the football team you like but are not even a part of?


Monday, September 18, 2006

Deal Or No Deal

Seen the show? I'm not a big fan. I think my brother-in-law has it right. He said he would go on the show, pick his case, then just tell them to open it right there. You have exactly the same odds of winning. You don't get to change cases, so really it would just save a lot of time.

So today I saw three whole minutes while the show I was watching was on commercial (because I'm a guy, I don't watch them) and they guy has five cases left. He decides to go with the bank's offer of something like $650 000, the largest ever pay-out on that show. So then they go through the same old ritual of "if you had gone on, what would you have picked?" to work down to figure out what was in the case you picked and tell you if you made a great deal or a bad deal.

So guess who managed to pick the $3 000 000 case right off the top, even said he picked the big money case of the top, but then chickened out. Suddenly $650 000 wasn't a lot of money to those people.

But it reminds me of a classic 80's show that we don't see enough of, Perfect Strangers. Good old Balki Bartakamous won the lottery and he and cousin Larry thought they had won the jackpot when in reality they had won $8. Larry was upset they lost the whole enchilada until Balki, giver of wisdom, points out that they never really had the jackpot to begin with, and now they had $8 more than they had.

Gotta love human nature. What we have is never enough. Need to have more...


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Too Much

I was going to blog about something I noticed in the football games tonight, a good life lesson, maybe I'll do it another day.

But then I saw this as I was coming to my blog page.

Okay, you have got to be kidding me. Are we that dependent on cell phones?! Was it really that important? Gotta love America... And the sad thing, watch the whole video, it's more than one routine...


Trying To Blog Daily

I don't know how those people who blog like four times a day do it. Is my life really that boring?

The main excitement for me today was watching and learning more about the internet (I know that makes it sound like an old parent trying to learn about my kid's myspace page, but hear me out). Most of it was stuff I knew, but when you see it all together it brings out a new perspective.

I'll share the biggest one, since it's the one that bothers me the most. It's the whole online persona. I'm a little different. What you see is what you get. The blog's real. The website's real. The myspace is real. It's not a lie. But most people on the internet are liars, whether they outright call it that or their "online persona". Apparently once you use that term, it gives you free license to do whatever you want, call people whatever you want, and basically make the world a crappier place then turn around and go, "It's not real, see?"

Load of crap. How can you say you're not capable of doing these things if you can fictionally do them? The eye opener for one girl was watching someone read back to her what she messaged, emailed, blogged, etc. and realize just what she had said. There is no online persona. People do not know what's real about you and what is not because you know it. So they assume (sometimes rightfully so) that you are like whatever you write/say. And frankly, for most people, it's what you really are like, so what are you going to do about it? So stop telling people that's not what you're really like. I really read it. You really said it. 1+1=2...

Matt. 15:18 - "But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. "


(btw, this girl, she was an honor student that attended youth group...)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quote Of The Day

I know, the day's only just started, but I can almost guarantee I won't hear a quote like this one. For those of you who haven't been following the news, a teacher in California has already slept with her student this year. Her interview is on tonight at 10 on NBC if you want to hear the line for yourself, but here it is. She's talking about what she's done. She says how the 14 year old boy will probably have a negative image of women for the rest of his life. She says how she has nothing to say to him, good or bad, and that she doesn't even think about him at all. And she says this:

"I've committed a sex offence, but I'm not a sex offender."

Really? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that how we decide who is a sex offender? Someone who commits a sex offense? Isn't that how you become a sex offender?

I understand you feel bad (which she doesn't appear to feel that bad), I understand you know you were wrong, and I understand about forgiveness, but that is the perfect example of denial in our society right there. Someone lies and they think nothing of it. Call them a liar, "Wait, I'm not a liar, I'm not a bad person." Someone steals a car, who cares? Call them a thief, "But you don't understand, it's not what you think, I'm not a thief." People don't mind doing something wrong, but they don't like the label that goes with doing something wrong, being defined as someone who has sinned.

But you know what, I'm a sinner. I'm a liar. I've done those things. I don't deny that I've done it, instead I understand that I have been saved by grace and forgiven by God for these things. By not acknowledging them and saying I never did them means I never needed God and therefore He can't have forgiven me. I've messed up, and God has been gracious enough to love me through it and forgive me.

Eph. 2:8 - I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. (NCV)

Accept what you did, then accept the gift...


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

African Safari

So this morning Lorie and I were watching Jack Hannah explore the grasslands of Africa. Why? Why not. Anyway, I remember thinking about how I went on safari a long time ago and then it hit me. (this is in no way theological, just something to think about). They showed a group of people having a meal one night in the middle of the safari, all rich Americans out to see new animals.

So why doesn't it work the other way? I mean, we have Americans over touring Africa to see wild animals in their native habitat. Why don't we have Africans running around North America, getting tours through the forest, "Oh, look, a deer!"

I could only think of two reasons. One, we've got too much money. They understand that their money needs to be somewhere better and we do not. Or, we're just really boring. "Look, a rabbit, how exotic!" This hit me too, living in the mountains, the closest thing we have to a safari is hunting excursions. So people go to Africa to see the wildlife and appreciate what God created, everyone else comes here to kill it.



Monday, September 11, 2006


Last night I come home and my wife is all snuggled under a blanket watching Harry Potter, a theme for the day for her, and I sit down, and watch a bit with her, finishing off the movie this morning (we went to bed before it was done).

So as I'm watching today the scene where Harry rides a hippogriff comes on. A hippogriff is a legendary creature that's the offspring of a griffin and a mare has been found in writings as early as 500 hundred years ago. So I'm watching and thinking what a cool animal. Why didn't God make one of those? I mean, it seems so obvious that it would be fun, it would be beautiful, why didn't God make a flying horse?

And then I thought some more. What would we have done with a hippogriff? Well, let's look at what we do have that's somewhat close. Horses. What have we done with horses? We have taken this beautiful animal and to us their primary reason for existence is to do work for us and for war. Look at our history with horses. We have bred them to make them faster and stronger for war (that's how we got Andalusians, we bred them from Vilano horses from Spain, the horses known for strength and used by Julias Caesar, and Barb horses, the horses that carried Genghis Khan and his hordes across Asia. Sorry, the other day I was reading about Lizzpan horses, also made for war from Andalusians). So our history with horses have been, find the beautiful wild animal, beat it until it does our commands, than use it to work for us or carry us to war. Nice history.

So back to the original question, if that's what we did with horses, what would we have done with hippogriffs? What work could we have made a flying horse do? How easily would it have been to win a war if we had flying horses? Would we have locked it up in zoos? It's not like we could give them huge fields to roam in, they'd fly away on farms and zoos. Would we have made cages? Clipped their wings? Tie them down? Maybe even have made a device to hold their wings to their bodies when we don't want them to leave, but it can be taken off when we want a ride. Doesn't sound like much of a life to me...

Maybe there are reasons God didn't make every kind, shape and species of animal we could imagine. Maybe He knows us better than we know ourselves...


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Veggie Tales Predictions...

For those that know me, you know I have always said it. Veggie Tales is a cult. It will lead little kids astray. Today, I have more proof.

Veggie Tales started out nice. It was a Christian based video that told a Bible story reinacted by vegetables with a memory verse. Then, it changed a little. I guess there weren't enough good Bible stories, so it did a different story, but at least it still had the verse.

Today, watching Saturday morning cartoons (we don't do it all the time, that's why I'm just finding this out today), we come across, what? Veggie Tales, the weekly show. It's on NBC (Big Idea, the company that started Veggie Tales was bought out by Warner Brothers). And what was the show about? How to be a good friend. Still a nice message. But the story was not a Bible story, and the computer at the end that tells the memory verse, long gone.

It's amazing how the marketing world thinks. There's no room for God. Veggie Tales was a money making machine. So you'd think WB would keep things the same to make more money. Nope, have to take out God, then somehow it will make even more money.

My prediction, the show will be off the air after the next season. Don't take God out of everything, sometimes things, and people, do better with God!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Size Of The Manual

Okay, so today I'm a little excited, which is good because it started off bad (long story, don't worry, it doesn't matter). My programs I ordered for my home studio are in.

Two programs, each in it's separate box. Big difference, one box is about 4x as thick as the other box. So I open the two up. The thick box is huge for only one reason: the manual. Both have regular sized CD's, both have little warranty cards, but the one program has a manual that is 768 pages, all English. It's just massive. It even weighs a lot.

So why does that get me even more excited? My friend Chad used to call me "The Manual Man" because he knew if he couldn't get something to work, he'd give me the manual and in a half hour or less I'd figure it out. Manuals make sense to me. It tells me what I need to know.

So I look at this manual, and I love it. The first thing going through my head is just how big it is and that can only mean one thing. The program must be amazing! If it is this complicated and the manual is this big, it means this program is capable of so much more than I anticipated. It must be able to do almost anything. And I can't wait to start reading it to see everything this little piece of software can do.

And then it hits me (and consequently brings me here to write this). Why don't people, myself included, always feel this way about the Bible? Whenever they look at it they see how big it is and think, meh, too much to read. Too hard to understand. Too much stuff I'll never use. But that's what great manuals are like! They have so much more than we could ever think to use because they're that profound. And here we are, with this great manual for life, complete with FAQ's, troubleshooting, and even history of some other users (what manual can say that?). So sit down with it, even if it is big. All good manuals are...

II Timothy 3:16-17 : 16All Scripture is given by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right.  17Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work. (NCV)



There's a new event on the calendar, forms available on the Forms page. It's called "Awakening" and it's for guys only (sorry girls, you'll be at the Re:Volve Tour that weekend). It's a time for guys to get away and be guys. Sign up today!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Been Gone A While

Hey all, sorry I've been quiet so long. I was gone for a week for my sister's wedding and then was delayed a little returning home. But I'm back now and everything is almost back to normal, or at least as normal they can be for me :)

So here's what I was reading today. It was a devotional about the people back in Jesus' day who told Jesus they needed signs and wonders to believe (the story is found in John 4). They couldn't take Jesus at His word, they couldn't believe the stories they heard, they needed to actually see a miracle in front of them or else they did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God.

And the devotional writer went on to say basically, "How stupid is that?!" And I agree. He even went on to describe people who know of God but do not choose to believe in God until they hit a low point in their life. "I must feel deep horror of soul, or I never will believe in Jesus." And the writer goes on to say that this is so ignorant, to think that we dictate when and how God should work. We should tell Him when it's okay to accept His love.

But it's true, we do that. I remember it best when I watched the movie Prince of Egypt in the theatre. Some of us who went to college were there, and later found out we had more friends near the back. Apparently, one friend told us, there was a guy behind her who was watching, the scene with the Red Sea parting came up and he said, "Whoa. If I'd seen that, I'd believe in God..." How stupid! It did happen! Just because you weren't there to see it means that it doesn't mean as much to you or that God's love isn't for you?

Isn't it amazing how we can take something as pure and giving as God's love and salvation and turn it into something selfish for ourselves...?


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Calendar Mistake (Gasp!)

Okay, I messed up. I have Drink Deep (our regular Sunday Night activity) scheduled for Sept. 3rd, a holiday weekend. My bad. There will be no Drink Deep that night. Sorry for all the confusion it has caused. I have fixed it on the website, but the newsletter will be wrong too (I had to get it done early since I'm going to Canada), so ignore it, sorry, tell everyone you can.

See you all next week!


Saturday, August 19, 2006


That's the movie that was on TV tonight: Castaway. Now I didn't really watch it, I just turned it on here and there when I wasn't doing other things, but I happened to catch a few scenes that run together.

I know we've talked a lot about how much we have here in America, especially after going to Mexico and sponsoring our Compassion children, how we don't really need all that we have. There's a scene near the beginning of the movie, Chuck has just gotten on the island and manages to kill a crab. It's a tiny little crab, but it's meat. The problem is he can't build a fire. After a few tries, bleeding hands, all sorts of problems, he finally gets it and cooks his little crab.

Fast forward to the end of the movie. He's saved. Back in America, at a big party being paid for by FedEx. Everyone leaves and you seem him look down, picking up this huge leg of king crab, then picking up a bic lighter and flicking it a few times, realizing just how useful those things would have been.

Then, near the end, his former fiance gives him the keys to his car. On it, a Swiss Army Knife. You can totally see on his face how he took it for granted every day, but on the island, it could have saved him so much trouble and helped him do so much more.

So look at what you have. Be thankful for what you have. Then give what you have. There are so many people out there living on less than what you pay for a McDonald's Double Cheezeburger, for a Coke from the machine, or any one of the thousands of other things we buy on a whim, not because we need it, but because we feel like it, a tiny part of our day, that could feed, clothe and educate someone else.

Mommy always said it was good to share...


Desecrating The Temple

So this morning I'm reading from that old devotional book and it quotes a verse in Jeremiah 51 talking about desecrating sacred things. To give a little background, at the time, Babylon has sacked Israel and left it in ruins. The section is talking about how people would no longer treat God's temple as it should be, how Babylonians would just walk through it without care for Who's it was. They would enter the Holy of Holies, the room of the temple where God resided, thinking nothing of it. This really saddens me and hits me hard, for some reason it always has, to think that we take something Holy that belongs to God and desecrate it because of our ignorance, laziness or just the fact we don't care.

Then the writer goes on to say the church is like that today. Now, this is a book from England and his example was the church. Again, so you understand, the Church of England is the national church and is run by the government. That means the government can choose what goes on there and who teaches / preaches there (many nationalized churches in Europe are like this). So, that means you could go to a church where the pastor is not even a Christian, he's just someone who is a friend of a friend of someone in the political circle. Kind of sad yet true.

And then later on today it hits me. We do this all the time! Reason? Because we are now God's temple. I Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." (NLT). Every time we take who we are for granted, when we act in a selfish way, when we do something to our soul that God does not intend for us to do, we are desecrating the temple all over again just as the Babylonians did 2700 years ago. So we need to realize who we are as a temple of the Holy Living God and start living the way we should.

Kinda deep and depressing, but now you know how my day has been :)

I Peter 2:5 - "And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are God's holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ." (NLT)


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back Into Schedule

So how's everyone doing getting back into their schedules? Even though mine hasn't really changed yet, I'm already having trouble.

I had a nice scare this morning. Lorie woke me up, I could hear the alarm going in the background, and she's going, "Troy, you're late! You have McPrayer!" Hearing the McP word makes me jump up and look around, the first thing I look at is the clock, where it says 7:16, which means that not only is McPrayer over, but people have no way to get to school and I'm now too late to get them there. I yell "crap" really loudly and am about to jump up and go, but then lie back down.

"Um, honey, it's Thursday."

So don't worry if you're not quite back in your schedule yet, none of us are :)


Monday, August 14, 2006

Back To School Bash

Sorry I didn't get this up last night, I was too busy picking chocolate out of my nose. I'll explain...

Last night was the Back To School Bash. Good times had by all. All being over 110 students. Now, I had made a deal with our lovely students, if they got 150 people there I would get a pie in the face. For those non-math majors out there, they are a little under 40 short from their goal.

So I said no. And the boo's started and I think someone was even crying in the back, but no. A deal's a deal. They didn't hold up their end of the bargain, I'm not holding up mine. That's how life works. Watch some Judge Judy. You'll learn.

But then someone gets the bright idea. Wait, would Troy get a pie in the face if we raise money for our new Compassion Child? So not fair because, of course, how do I say no to a starving person overseas? So I say if they raise $100 in the next five minutes, fine, they can pie me.

And this is what you get for $233.75


Saturday, August 12, 2006


Hey all, sorry it's been a while. I really haven't had much on my mind except for Sunday since it's the Back To School Bash, so make sure you come out Sunday @ 6:00.

On a lighter note, I'm watching one of the best bands of all time playing a show in New York City thanks to the magic of internet. The funny part, the guitarist, after playing this song for 20 years like 80 million albums ago, he messed up, and it had to be when the camera was on him close up. He has to have played this song at least 4 billion times in his life and he still messed up. Give me hope :)


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Thankful Point Of View

This will be short, but it was something I was reading today. Many years ago there was a man named Matthew Henry, a great theologian who wrote a commentary on the entire bible (you can read it at

The story goes that one day while traveling he was robbed. That night, he wrote in his diary that the robbery caused him to be thankful for four things. "Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before. Second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life. Third, though they took my all, it was not much. And fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed."

How's your outlook on being robbed?


Monday, August 07, 2006

God's Plans Never make Sense Until After...

A little bedtime story for you all. Friday, Taylor, our wonderful drummer tells me he cannot be at Youth Sunday night to play drums. I email him back and ask if he will still be there Sunday morning for church. No answer. Check Saturday night, no answer. Sunday morning, no Taylor.

Now at this point I love Taylor but I kinda want to hurt hum. Just a little. At the kneecaps. But he's not there to hurt anyway. We have a full band for the first time in forever with no drummer. So we shuffle. I move to drums. But then we need someone to lead. Wes gets to do that. Now another small problem. Wes doesn't know all the songs well enough to lead, so we have to do some shuffling of music as well. All sorts of problems. Right now, Taylor's kneecaps are probably itching wherever he is.

And then it happens. Our time of corporate worship, good. But then Wes sings his special music he was scheduled for, an old hymn from years gone by, and God just hits him. Hits him hard. He's crying while singing. He lifts his hands (this is the guy who three years ago in youth when I told the youth they could raise their hands in worship he looked at me and said, "What are we, Baptists?"). And then, the last during the last song God hits him even harder.

So Taylor, I'm glad you weren't there. I'm still going for your kneecaps, but God had a better plan, better than any of us had planned. I just think it's funny that we do our best to follow God's plan, and I honestly believe we were, we were doing what God wanted, He actually intended to mess us up just so we wouldn't be so set in our ways so something could happen.

Go God.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Jr. High Parents!!

A little alert for all those waiting to retrieve your offspring. The Jr. High Missions trip is expected to return at 6:30pm. That was the last update we were given.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Crowning The Year With Goodness

No, this expression wasn't made up by me. It's from Psalm 65:11, talking about the harvest (I read a really, really old devotional book occasionally and this was the one for today, all in old English and King James).

But it makes a good point. We have a ton of things to be thankful for, at least in Fishers. After being to Mexico you would think many people now see how Fishers is almost the polar opposite. We have everything. And I mean everything, at least material. But the devotion talked about how harvest was a time of thanksgiving, the best time of the year since it is the time God pours out His abundance on us.

I mean, really, think about it. Harvest makes no sense. Take an ear of corn. Rip off all the kernels (let's say you get 150). Plant them. What do you get? 150 stalks, let's say 5 ears of corn each = 750 ears of corn from a single ear to begin with. What kind of freakishly stupid math is that?

God's math.

So be thankful for what you have and how God made it for you. As the devotional put it:
Let us render it by the inward emotions of gratitude. Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Then let us praise Him with our lips, and laud and magnify His name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. Let us glorify God by yielding our gifts to His cause. A practical proof of our gratitude is a special thank-offering to the Lord of the harvest.


Monday, July 31, 2006

Court TV

For those that don't know me, for some reason I have a small addiction to court shows. I don't get to watch them all that often, but today I'm at home so I got to see The People's Court with the honorable Judge Millian. I was watching I think I figured out some reasons why I am so attracted to those shows.

First, it amazes me how two different people can have such conflicting views over the same thing. Maybe it's part of our wonderful Postmodern society in which there is no truth but just everyone's personal point of view, a development I can't wait to die off but realize I have to live with for the rest of my life. A brief simple explanation is fifty years ago if you looked at the sky and said, "My, that's a beautiful green" the person next to you would go "No, it's blue you idiot" and life would go on. Now, when you look at the sky and say "My, that's a beautiful green" everyone says "I don't see that, but it must be green to you and since truth is defined by the person, whatever you say it is, it is to you".

And this is nowhere more evident than on court shows. Two people have ridden in the same car, one as a passenger and one as an owner. The passenger says it was dirty and the A/C didn't work. The wonder says it was clean and the A/C worked fine. Who's telling the truth? The stupid part is both people think they are.

This brings me to the other area that draws me to these shows. Now, after hearing two entirely different stories about the same incident on the same day in which both people were there, the judge has to figure out what is truth. Not always an easy job, a lot of discernment and patience needed. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I'm not so sure. But it amazes me that we need someone to figure out what really happened. In my mind, a judge would be used to decide how much the car was worth the other guy wrecked, not who actually wrecked the car.

The funny part is usually someone is lying, and they think they're actually telling the truth until the judge just hits them with it. Like today, some guy was saying his mom gave him money while she was suing him saying it was a loan. Again, you think there would be a clear answer, but both see something different and stick to their story. That is, until the mom pulls out a check her son wrote to repay her that bounced. Hmm... Why would he write a check to pay her back if it was a gift? And idiot keeps arguing after the check appears with his signature, etc. and says it was still a gift from him mom!

Are we really that stupid? Why can't people just tell the truth?

Psalms 15:2 - "Walk straight, act right, tell the truth."


Saturday, July 29, 2006

And Finally Home

Yes, it's finally here. We're not in Wyoming anymore...

It was a long trip, we were a little hungry, and Stephen Ogle ate bean burritos for breakfast (please, never again), but we made it home. We smell, but we made it home.

So how have people's lives changed since we went to Mexico. Here's the way to find out. Tomorrow in church (the 30th) we will have one students share a little bit about Mexico in each service. Please come listen and support them.

As for me, I think these were the longest blogs I've done so far, and frankly, I have to be at church at 8:15 tomorrow so I'm going to bed. But thank you. It was great to relive Mexico a week later, giving me a chance to reflect on what happened. I'll try to have blogs just as interesting in the future (no promises). Read Liz's blog too, she goes to Wisconsin with the Jr. High's for their mission trip tomorrow (we're praying for them at NewSong if you can make it).

Good night!


Homeward Bound... Maybe...

Want to know a great way to start your day? Go to bed at midnight the night before, then wake up at 5:30 in the morning! That's right, we had to be up that early to get packed, clean up our bunks and clean up the comedor (the job our group was assigned). I think Taylor and I sprayed so much bleach our nostril hairs were white. It was nuts. But it was clean.

Then we left at 7:00 for the border. Now, we've already heard about how things go with me at the border, lots of fun. So to get all 51 people through (both our groups), Youthworks walks everyone across single file. Good plan actually. I got out all the information (boy am I glad I was organized), give each person their paperwork, and they all walk through, myself included. For sake of ease, I used only my driver's license and hoped they wouldn't ask any questions (see Tuesday about being a Canadian, not that there's anything wrong with that, but I just didn't want to be questioned again). I ended up being in line behind Matt Simmonds. So what happened? They saw Matt, asked him all sorts of questions, then waved the rest of us through. So nice. We all made it through from the time off the bus to the other side in less than 10 minutes! A record I've been told.

But then it happened. We are back on American soil, about ten feet into America, walking back onto the bus. Everyone has all their stuff and Ann is carrying a plastic bag full of bottles of soda she's bringing back for her family. And the bag breaks. Bottle falls. Shatters. Punctures Ann's foot. Then the bleeding begins. Now, it was pretty bad, but the fact that there was clear soda on the ground, it all mixed with the blood quickly and at first glance it looks like she was losing a lot of blood, so where do we go? El Paso hospital again! For those playing the tally game, we're up to four (three for our group).

So Carrie (Youthworks leader) and I end up at the hospital, eventually one more Youthworks person comes with the van (the bus dropped us off), and Ann is being checked on. She has to be x-rayed to make sure there's no glass, then is given two stitches, the pain killing needle being the part that hurt her most. But here's the part I don't understand. She's just across the border, looks down, see all the blood (mixed with soda so it looks like more) and she starts crying. Understandable. Then in the hospital, the nurse is cleaning her stitches and accidentally presses where the blood has gathered at the cut and a small geyser shoots up. What does Ann do? "Cool! Can you do that again?!" I don't think I will ever understand...

But here's the important thing. We had a lot of major injuries this week. My hope is that the hospital visits are not what we all remember from this trip! Maybe God gave some people scars so they will remember the trip, i don't know, but our students did a lot of great work and showed the love of Christ to a lot of people this week, and they learned a great deal about the world outside of a Fishers cul-de-sac and how they can help those in need across the globe. Please don't forget that!

The trip for Friday was uneventful, except leaving four hours later than planned thanks to El Paso Hosptial, x-ray division. We watched a lot of Star Wars and slept = less stops = quicker travels. The only regrettable moment, we stopped at the same TA in Arkansas we stopped at for two hours on the way down (remember the air conditioner story?). It was kind of a downer to see that place again, but then to buy a Gatorade and have the sales lady on the phone, get off and tell us all about how her husband just cheated on her for the second time and that was her friend, the woman he cheated with, on the phone!

But there was one highlight. He's going to hate me for telling this but I cried laughing, so it's here. On the way home Mike Snyder (hospital visit Wednesday) was on a little bit of Vicadin. Cool. But that made everything funny. Then Mike went to the bathroom. Every sound that came out of his body made him laugh, which made more sounds, which made more laughter, which made an entire bathroom of people laughing, which made an entire bathroom of bodily sounds, and you can guess how it just keeps escalating. Too funny!

But we were on the road, fell asleep during Star Wars IV (A New Hope) the last memory of Friday is Obi Wan telling Luke he had a gift for him from his father...


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Actual Work?!

Yes, today we did some actual work. No playing with kids, no cooking, it was down and dirty time for my group (the groups that were doing work projects Mon. and Tues. got to play with kids today). There were two different jobs for us to do as we built Fetemine's house (the name of the guy who owns it). One was plastering, as you can see Alison doing here. The scary part is Fetemine was better than all of us at this, and could have done a much better job, but he was thankful for our help. Nice guy.

The other part we did was building a roof. Unfortunately, something happened with the group before us and all the beams were put on the roof at the wrong length (they were all different, hard to put a brace beam when only 2 of the 9 are touching), so Taylor, Stephen, Jacob and I were busy measuring beams and cutting them. There's me getting ready to use the skilsaw. Notice the plethora )for Liz and her dictionary fun) of sawdust on my head, the reason Taylor and I were allowed a second shower (ah blessed second shower!). It was during this time we realized just how hard it is to build a house in Juarez. Sure, they're not very big, but when you have really old tools, warped wood, rusty screws, well, you get the picture.

That night we went for ice cream. The Youthworks people said something to the owner about me in Spanish and he laughed. I still have no idea what that was...

Then we ended with club as usual, but the last night with Youthworks is always the foot washing ceremony. For those unfamiliar with this, basically, we reenact Jesus washing the disciples' feet. The Youthworks staff wash the leaders' feet, then the leaders go and wash all the students' feet. Always quite an emotional time, because as we go the leaders pray with the students, then the students start to pray with each other, and so on and so forth and before you know it we have a huge noise of prayer. A beautiful noise by the way. I always like the foot washing, but the one wish I had is that we had more time. I didn't get a chance to pray with everyone, something I like to do. But I don't know how much more time I'd want. We prayed for over 2 and 1/2 hours! It was quarter to midnight when we finally said, "We have to be up at 5, we need to go to bed." And there were some really moving and powerful prayers there too, things the students and adult leaders prayed that really moved me, but I won't discuss them here, that's something between us and God.

But that was the day, hard work then hard prayer. I wouldn't trade it for the world :)


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Universal Language Of Worship

So Tuesday night I got no sleep. None. This is not an exaggeration, I literally roller all night long. And yet for some reason, I was a little tired, but I didn't do too bad at all. Maybe it was because that morning at 6:00 I got to the coldest shower I've ever had. It was freezing, it was mucky, it was smelly, but t was one of the best showers I ever had (I had not showered since Saturday before we left, they have a water shortage in Juarez so we were limited to one to two showers and this was number one).

Why was I up so early in the Mexican morning taking a shower? It was church service day! The one day we all had to dress up somewhat respectable and worship God with the good people of Juarez in our Comedor (thanks Shawn) we've been eating in. Worship in Mexico is not dependent on Sunday morning, they have it any time they can on a regular basis, Thursday nights, Monday afternoon, or in our case, Wednesday morning. Sorry, but I haven't gotten any pictures of this.

Because I was with a detail of people that cooked (I'll get to that), we had to be there at 8:30, an hour and a half before everyone else, which also meant we skipped devotions. But that was okay, God and I had a little talk anyway. At 8:30, the comedor was easily half-full. Tell me this, when was the last time someone showed up for church an hour early just because, not for a committee meeting or to stack chairs or something, but showed up early just to show up early? At 9:30, Jenni (the woman who runs the place) got up and spoke for half an hour. I have no idea what she said outside of "Christ" and "Glory to God", but people listened for a half-hour with no problem at all. She was also fluent in English (thank God) so I was able to talk to her a little after.

At 10:00 everyone else showed up and we started our time of singing, praising and corporate worship (the time we designate as "worship" for some reason in our church bulletins). Here we are in Mexico, we don't know the language, there are no overhead screens to tell us the words, it's being led by one guy on an out of tune guitar with another guy on a Casio (Radio Shack) keyboard on the oldest sound system still working in North America, and still everyone, including our guys(!!) sang for the entire time, clapped, praised God for an hour solid, no breaks to sit down every ten minutes or whatever! I actually spent time with the little Mexican kids during it and I remember seeing one gentleman at the front, he seemed mentally challenged, having troubles with some actions, etc., but when it was time to raise our hands, he was completely focused on God. There's a lesson there...

At 11:00 was an hour of preaching time (again, when does that happen in our churches). We took up a bit of that time as we were introduced and told a little about ourselves plus the offering. Then we had a sermon in English by a Youthworks staff (the normal preacher was gone) and translated to Spanish by another Youthworks staff member. At 12:00, Jenni came up again and spoke, this time to tell people they did not give enough in the offering and they had to try harder (again, what church in America would dare say that?!). She was right though. There was only $7 in the offering, and almost all of that was from us.

We finished the service with a massive time of lunch together (the reason for the cooks). Good authentic Mexican food! We served the kids first, then the adults, then we ate while a few of us handed out food for people so they would have some food this week. It was amazing to see a church doing so much for the community. Km and I had a little talk about it, I kept feeling like our church didn't do this much, but she mentioned we did, but it was so much more behind the scenes, giving money instead of food and time. Good point.

After all this we went shopping at the Centro or "downtown". Here Juarez was much more advanced than we thought it would be. At the center of town were fountains and the most precious commodity of all, grass and trees (you can see them in the back of the picture). They were all fenced off and you were not allowed to touch them. Stephen, Shawn, Mandy and I went walking around, pet some baby bunnies, found out there was no silver anywhere for my wife, and did all the fun stuff like that.

Then we hit the second lesson in worship. This building is a Catholic church downtown right next to the first mission built in the country of Mexico. However, there are a few rules in this church. It is primarily for prayer. There is no talking allowed, period. You go in, you kneel silently, pray silently, light a candle if you wish silently, and you depart silently. All the time that you are silent there are ornate works of art all around you, stained glass, statues, and other pieces that show God's glory. It was quite a contrast to the morning. This too was worship, but instead of jumping up and down, it was introspective. Rather than doing what you can on a shoestring budget, everything here was huge and done to the absolute best of your ability for God. Another area we have no pictures from (we weren't allowed) but that's more than ok. Our discussion this night in our church time was quite long about worship and the time of "worship with a Youthworks guitar player" became "Worshipping God with all that we've got while a Youthworks guy played." Big difference.

But, in the midst of an amazing day, we had one problem. Mike Snyder, one of our wonderful chaperones, played basketball during free time and went up for a rebound, but came down on the curb. Rolled his ankle nicely and caused a lot of swelling. So, we took him to the hospital, although this time I didn't go with him (I think he was old enough to handle his own medical insurance stuff) and Matt Simmonds went with him. Running tally now at 3 (2 from us) trips to the hospital in El Paso. He even got the same doctor as Zak. Small world.

So how do you think a person's view of worship changes after a day like that?


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Trouble Is A Brewing

What? Trouble in Mexico? Say it isn't so...

It was a long day, but not necessarily a bad one. I guess it depends on who's point of view you're looking at it from. My day started out bad anyway. I mean, I don't get much sleep as it is, like I need less. But I still didn't get much sleep at all, just enough to get me to breakfast where I loaded up on sausage (to get me through the rest of the day of course).

So here's the thought of the day. Justice. God's justice. Now think about it, what does justice really mean from God's point of view? I mean, the first thing that entered my mind when we were talking about it was Judge Judy freaking out on someone, but is that really what God means when He talks about justice? How do love and justice co-exist? Yet they do in God's eyes. Just more to ponder throughout the day (we talked about it a lot at group time in the evening). But that was our devotional for the day (look at James studying so diligently).

It was shortly thereafter I found out that Carrie, our fearless Youthworks leader in Juarez, was in the hospital last night thanks to a bug bite. It just so happened to make a really nasty bruise in the exact same spot, so it looked really ugly and she went to the hospital, the first visit of the summer for our site. That's important, tally now at 1... We also had a small problem as one of our vans we use to get all our groups to their work sites had a flat. It was fixed that afternoon, but it made for a lot of shuffling in the morning.

Kids Club was a little more fun today. First we painted a room bright, bright orange. As in you would go blind if you stared directly at the walls. Bright. So bright. My retinas are burning just from the memory of it. Did I mention bright? But then we had fun playing with the kids. I was doing crafts again, but this picture's of the song time down the hall. Are they dancing? I have no idea. I'm hoping yes.

I actually even learned a little more Spanish today. It was kind of forced on me. One of the kids showed up and told our director Stacie (the crazy white person looking at the ceiling above) they knew where one of our Youthworks soccer balls were, but the kids wouldn't give it back. Her brilliant idea? "Troy, go with him and get it back." So I do the normal thing and ask what Spanish I'll need. "Oh, none, just go and look tough." So to bully people, I'm now the first choice. Yeah, Mexico's a little messed up. But I went, two kids almost got in a fight, lots of fun. The only part that made me happy were the fighters were two tiny kids that I could lift up with one arm, while all the big huge guys thought it was funny and were trying to joke with me in Spanish. I also got killed again in soccer upon bringing the ball back. I should have left it with the other kid.

But then we had one more problem. The guy in the picture is Zak. I'm sure he wished I picked a better picture of him, but I don't care, he ticked me off. I have been at Fishers United Methodist Church for three years and have not had a single injury. Not one. Liz has had people get hurt from catepillars. Troy, still nothing. Until Zak decided to walk too close to a metal gate over a window. His left arm had a nice sized gash in it and upon request from Youthworks we needed to take him to the hospital (I told him to tough it out, but meh).

So we have to take Zak to the hospital. Only one small problem. We're in freaking Mexico! No, he couldn't get hurt in the good ol' U. S. of A., he has to get hurt in Mexico. So Carrie and I load him up in the van with the new tire and drive to the border. More background information. I never have a good time at the border. I have been stopped, I have been searched, I have been given a pat-down. It never turns out good. So we're in line and the guy asks our nationality. "American", "American", "Canadian". He looks all dumbfounded. "Canadian? Do you have papers? Why are you here?" Yes, if I wanted to sneak into the country from Canada, I wouldn't go from the Canadian side, I'd travel to Mexico and try to get across there. After pointing out the kid with the bleeding arm and the whole need for the hospital, he hurries things up a little.

Then we get to the hospital. If I ever get hurt, I am going to the hospital on Mesa in El Paso. What a great facility! And quick. Zak got thirteen stitches (yeah, the Youthworks people were right, he needed to go) and was out really quick. As in from the time we left our camp, it was an hour and fifteen minutes. Across the border, stitched up and out the door in 75 minutes?! That's nuts. And we were held up too. Guess what young man didn't have his Social Security Number on his health form? The best part was when I called his mom to get it (we work together) and she answers with, "Troy! Wait, that means this can't be good..."

So while we are gone, the rest of the group gets to go on a walking tour of Juarez, looking for things, learning about the town, etc. Alex, the guy over Carrie who met us at the hospital, is nice enough to give Zak and I a short tour as we drive home, letting us see what the other guys saw without leaving the comfort of our pick-up truck. Here's a picture of something you would have seen. A tiny little house, one wall made out of a tarp. Notice the tires too. There is no foundation anywhere here. The ground is all dirt (grass is precious, we only saw it three time, at a church, at Oscar's, and one other place I'll mention tomorrow, and all grass was under lock and key). So tires are used as a foundation of sorts all over Juarez. Hey, it's cheaper than cement. By the way, tally now at 2...

I learned one more lesson today. Since we were back kind of late, we let the guys and gals in the student ministry stay up for a bit, but they were asked to be quiet. Apparently, it is impossible to be quiet. When talking outside, our bodies are physically unable to whisper, or so it seemed. And the larger the group, the harder it was. Noise is infectious. I hope the neighbors didn't mind too much. And after this writing for today, we'll give it a rest, but this is nothing compared with tomorrow.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday - The First Day Of Real Work

That's not a joke, today was a wake up call. More specifically, a 6:45am wake up call. For those that don't know me, I only see 6:45 by staying up until then, not the other way around. The only thing that gave me strength? Cocoa Puffs. I totally forgot they turn milk into chocolate milk. Made the morning much better. That may seem like a little thing, but after no sleep, it was a big thing!

So I guess you get the schedule. That lovely breakfast takes place in the commodore (yes, like the old computer system). It's down the street from us, so we have to walk in groups of threes past the four or five infested dogs that live near there. After breakfast, we have our devotion time. Surprisingly, I got stuck on a really simple question, something I do more and more now. Rather than brush over something quickly, I ponder too long now. Here's the question: How is God beautiful? Think about it, you could get stuck for a while.

Then we went to our work sites. A little different than most places, we split into four groups, two work on houses and two do Kids Club (a nine week long VBS), but we only do it for two days, than the groups switch, so everyone gets to do a little of everything. We got Kids first (yay). That's me trying to do crafts with left handed scissors. Notice the concentration. But we did learn a few things. There's a lot of poverty here, although Juarez is considered moderate poverty, still worse than anything in America. Free education lasts until 6th grade. Once done you have a graduation ceremony. If you want to go on, you have pass really hard exams and pay a lot of money. One added catch, schools don't start to teach English until 7th grade.

I also learned some things about myself. I'm not good at soccer. Got schooled badly. I look like some movie star, but not knowing any Spanish movies and not being able to communicate (we learn French in Canada) I have no idea who. I make really ugly masks out of paper plates (their words, not mine), and most importantly, I can speak Spanish Sign Language, which is really a lot of pointing and going "Que?"

One more fun fact, we walked some kids home today. Three kids, one of which I carried on my back until he almost fell asleep. We got to see some of the guard dogs on the way home, not diseased and hungry, but in fences and very, very pissed off! He would have eaten my hand if he could. Still, we took the kids home. Their house was tiny and had a homemade fence built from shipping palates. No gate either, the kids had to climb over them to get into their own house. Reminded me of how every single house in Africa had fences and gates, no matter how cheaply made they were.

After that we had some spare time before dinner, which usually consisted of going to Oscar's, one of the little soda shops run out of someone's house that are every few blocks or our students grabbing their guitars and playing worship.

Our evening activity was a hike. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of that yet, so here's one of us hiking from the bunk house to the commodore, just to let you see a little of Juarez. This small mountain showed me a few things too. I kicked one of the small green plants with long leaves and learned those leaves are rock! I bled for quite a while (no one knew, shhh). Also, on the side of the mountain is a message to the city of Juarez that loosely translated says the Bible can save you, read it. It was written in letters painted white that are so huge, you can see them from El Paso. The entire city can see those words. Cool idea.

At the top of the mountain you see two things. Facing south you see the Bible message and cross standing over the entire city as a blessing. Facing north, you see the entire city of Juarez. Here's the funny thing. From that distance and seeing everything, Juarez and El Paso bleed together. If it wasn't for I-10 running through the middle with a huge fence a little south of it, you would think it was all once city, except for the fact that the quality of living jumps a little at that fence. The thought that we discussed after was how the people of Juarez can see America so clearly and so close, yet it's still so far away. It had to be really hard.

The last part of every night is a group time of worship, Youthworks speaks, then we break off into our churches for discussion, where we talked a lot about the impact of the first day and God's beauty, how God is beautiful even here. Family was one of the most common answers, but there are many more. We followed that up with sleep. See you tomorrow :)


Sunday a Mexico

So when last we left our traveling crew the air conditioning had stopped working. You have no idea how horrible it is to try and sleep on a bus of 41 people when the air conditioner is spewing hot air instead of cold (yes, it was actually hotter than outside). At 1:30 we stopped to refuel and try to fix it, a half hour gone to no avail. The only idea we could come up with, open the emergency roof hatches and keep driving. The drivers abandoned this idea about 4:30 when we stopped at three "TA"'s in a row trying to find a mechanic on duty. At the third, still no one who could work on the bus, so they called ahead trying to find a mechanic somewhere on the road.

Jump ahead 2 hours. We're still at the same TA in Arkansas and nothing, so we decide to start the bus up and leave. Somehow, after turning the bus off and on, the air magically works. We say nothing, thank God and try to sleep (yeah, right) and continue the journey. But now we have 15 hours of bus driving and everyone's sleep schedule is messed up (yes, 15 hours + 6:30 in the morning = late, add in no showers = lots of fun). The poor people at McDonald's who fed all of us on one order as we took it all to go back on the bus since we were already 3 hours late, God bless them, they must have hated us. Still, we needed to get going and get to our destination.

Youthworks was waiting for us in El Paso along with another youth group from Virginia, they had been there since 10:00am (poor forgiving people). But we made it. So the 39 of us, the 12 from Virginia and the Youthworks crew all pile in an old school bus with Minnesota plates and a really broken back seat (just the one) and we all go to the Mexican border. Before we even cross, you can feel a Mexican flavor, but that was nothing compared to Mexico.

We cross extremely quickly (Mexico isn't as worried about people sneaking in as America) and hit Juarez. The city has water running through the streets from the storms, water rushing to the Rio Grande. I remembered my old friend Mike Grafton saying how borders are imaginary lines that make no sense. It kept running through my head as this was no imaginary line. You could see I-10 clearly with cars on it a few hundred feet away, on the other side of the cement wall with barbed wire on top running along the tiny river. I was a little disappointed we didn't see Juarez in daylight first as Carrie (the Youthworks leader) said most people take it as quite a shock. Some of our guys were so shocked in the night, maybe I should be glad it wasn't daylight.

We arrive at our site, definitely not the Ritz. We live in a small compartment half-way up a hill with double sets of steel doors (this picture is from during the day). Wooden bunks in each room hold us all as close together. Because of lack of space and it being late, etc., I end up on the floor, but I'm underneath a swamp cooler. What is that you ask? Really cheap air conditioning. Basically it's a wall of hay with a fan behind it, water siphoned up and dribbling down the hay, causing the air blown to be cooler and moist. Still, after our drive, long day, shock and awe and being hot and humid, falling asleep didn't come as easily to some as others. But everyone has amazingly great attitudes, so we're not doing too bad.

Want to see the view from where we are? Tune in tomorrow (we didn't' see it until then either).


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Juarez Blog Starts Now

Hey all, so here's what's happening. We (the Sr. Highs) returned from Juarez today, and since we left exactly one week ago, I am blogging to you what happened exactly one week after. So from here on in, we are time warped one week back. Enjoy.

It's Saturday and we left right on late at 4:30 (supposed to be 4:00), but it's all okay so far. We watched a few movies and also had some worship time on the bus. How good was the worship time? Well, I managed to break a string. That's right, we're not even to Mexico yet and my guitar is kinda useless (not really, but it doesn't sound as good).

For our worship time, I asked a whole bunch of questions about Jesus to make you think (from Group Magazine's 50 Questions about Jesus). By far the best question and answer went like this. I asked that the students actually take time and think about the answers, not just be the first to raise their hands (see blog last week) and have Scriptural proof. So I asked, "Did Jesus cry as a baby?" We got all the normal answers quoting Christmas Carols and the fact Jesus was 100% human, but then Justin VanTress said this, "In Luke 2:21 it says Jesus was cicumcised on the eighth day. That would have made me cry." Far and away the best answer of the night.

I also spent most of the trip reading that book I stole from Liz (which I finished) and it was funny how Louie told of his trip to Zimbabwe, the only other place I've been on a missions trip out of the countries (Canada and U.S.). It totally got me remembering what life was like there and thinking about what to expect in Juarez. Isn't it funny how God's timing can work out like that?

Well, at 11:30 we stopped and I started writing all this down in a notepad to remember. Most of the students were either asleep or close to (whispering, etc.), but that's not all. For some reason, the air conditioner stopped blowing cold air and started blowing hot air. As I've heard before, it makes for a good story...

Until tomorrow.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Blogging In Mexico

Alrighty, here's the plan. I'm not counting on wireless internet or laptops in Mexico, so I will blog every day in a notebook, then write it down exactly a week later. So next Saturday, the 22nd, will be my post from the 15th (tomorrow).

Make sense? It will. But for now, I'm off to Mexico. Pray!


Thursday, July 13, 2006


Sorry to those who heard this last night, but it might be good to hear again.

So here's the story. I'm reading about a pastor who prayed every day "God, bless my church." All the time he prayed it. Whenever he prayed, it came up. Never an answer, just prayed it anyway. Then suddenly, one day, in a nice, quiet voice, God answered.


What an amazing thought! How often do we talk to God in huge, overwhelming gross generalities then wonder why nothing is happening (and wonder why we can't pray longer than 39 seconds)? God is a very specific person. If He know how many hairs are on your head times everyone, He must be kinda detailed oriented.

So let's look at a story, shall we? A man named Luke wrote this down, and hundreds of years later someone called it chapter 18...

He came to the outskirts of Jericho. A blind man was sitting beside the road asking for handouts. When he heard the rustle of the crowd, he asked what was going on. They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is going by.” He yelled, “Jesus! Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Those ahead of Jesus told the man to shut up, but he only yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered him to be brought over. When he had come near, Jesus asked, “What do you want from me?”

Hello?! What do you think a blind man wants from the Son of God, someone who has been healing people all over the country! But Jesus still asked. He likes the specifics.

He said, “Master, I want to see again.” Jesus said, “Go ahead—see again! Your faith has saved and healed you!” The healing was instant: He looked up, seeing—and then followed Jesus, glorifying God. Everyone in the street joined in, shouting praise to God.

So next time you're praying, try being a little more specific. God may be waiting for it.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When Did First = Best?

This is a random observation I've made about our society as of late. One that really has started to goad at me. Since when did we equate doing something first to doing it right?

Some examples. First, I was watching the World Cup and they have the little "text who you think is the most valuable player' contest. At about half-way through the game you're supposed to pick who was most important in the match. Half-way through the game? It was 0-0. What if someone scored a goal in the second half, the only, game winning goal? They were not included. Why? Because we have to be the first to announce who the player of the game is, not necessarily make the right choice.

Another one. Politics. Who watched the last election? I did. I was a little intrigued because we do things differently in Canada. But then I noticed something. Every station had different numbers. One said Bush had won 83 seats. Another 120. Then there was Fox, which had Bush at 239 seats for the whole night until they could officially say he had won the 240th and won the election. And what's worse, these stations were making assumptions on states and counties after only 7% of the votes had been tabulated. 7%?! How on earth can you make a fair call on 7% of the information? Apparently being the first to say who won was more important than actually giving the citizens who voted the correct facts.

Let's go with one more. Science. Please understand, I love the pursuit of science, I've just learned to hate the business of science. For those that don't know, here's how the business works. Scientists have to earn grants, be it from companies or the government. So it's not based on actual information, it's based on the perceived value of the information. No one wants to pay someone for three years of research to find out that what so-and-so discovered 200 years ago is still right. So they jump the gun to try and be the first to have the slightest shred of proof so they can get funding. Example? Saturn's moon. I'm not sure if you heard this, but they took a picture of one of the moons and found energy being released. So what did that mean? To the average person, it means there's energy. Nothing more until we find out more. But in the business of science, we have to assume more so we get funding, so apparently energy under ice = water = life = aliens living on Saturn's moon that we must find (because aliens will get you money every time).

Whatever happened to finding truth, even if you are the second, third or three hundredth to find it?


Monday, July 10, 2006

Just How Small Are We?

To bug Liz, here's more of the book she lent me (Liz, stop reading now, I'll have it back to you before I go to Mexico).

Okay, so here's something to think about. Let's talk about your physical size. If you're reading this you're probably somewhere between 5 and 6 1/2 feet tall. Let's go with 6. That means you are 1/880 of a mile big, or .001 miles tall. That's pretty small. That means from my apartment to church, the route I travel pretty much every day, would take 11 440 of you lined up in a row to get me to FUMC. Feeling small yet?

Well then, let's not waste time and jump to the opposite end of the spectrum. It appears that we have found a piece of the universe that is the farthest point from us that we know. It is 13 billion light years away (for more info, go to Since our universe is only about 13 1/2 billion years old, and the Big Bang had everything moving from the center, either we moved really fast at the start or it doesn't quite work out, but that's another topic.

13 billion light years away. Let's add that up for you, shall we? 13 billion light years, a light year being the distance light can travel in a year, would then make our equation to equal you to that galaxy (depending on where on earth you start from, but you get the picture):

13 000 000 000 (distance in light years) x 5 878 482 084 580 (miles in a light year) x 880 (you in a mile). According to my trusty Windows Calculator, that means we are (=)
67 249 835 047 895 200 000 000 000 of you away from that point in space. Still feeling big?

And God's in every single inch (all
4 260 949 548 615 631 872 000 000 000 000 of them)...

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid Your Spirit?
to be out of Your sight?
If I climb to the sky, You're there!
If I go underground, You're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute-
You're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, He even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to You;
night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to You.
-Ps. 139:7-12


Sunday, July 09, 2006

What Movie Are You In?

I'm reading a book I stole from Liz (it's really good too, sorry Liz) and it had a little line in passing that really struck me about your life being a movie.

So let's run with that for a second. Your life is a movie. Every second is being watched with anticipation by crowds. But tell me, who is the star?

This is the question Louie (the author) asked. Who is the star of your movie? And it got me thinking. Okay. I'm in a movie. But am I the focus of the movie, or am I a part of a great movie? In the terms of life, am I trying to put all eyes on me, the little actor, or are they watching God, the real star of the show?

Now there are many people each day who are the stars of their own little movies. But is it really that good? To use an old cliche, would you rather be a small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a small pond?

It got me looking at my life a little differently. I guess we all have the choice to be Peter Summer. You know him, right? He was the star of the horror movie "The Spiral Bureau". Nothing? Come on, you have to have heard of it. Heard of him. He was the star. He was the big actor. First on the credits. Don't you want to be Peter Summer right now? After all, he's a star. He was in some other movie too. Really little part. He isn't even in the credits it was so small.

But tell me, do you think when Peter Summer is introduced to friends, do you think he says, "I was the star of The Spiral Bureau", or do you think he says, "I was in Star Wars"...

I don't know about you, but if I was given the chance to star in a movie or be in Star Wars, I'd take Star Wars every time. What about your movie of life? Wanna be the star, or let God be the star and see where He takes you...