Thursday, April 27, 2006


This one might be a little long, sorry...

But it hit me today. I was reading Luke 5 and this verse stuck out at me. In verse 10, "Jesus said to Simon (that's Peter), 'Don't be afraid. From now on you will fish for people.' "

This is something I've been thinking about lately, how to get the student ministry and the church as a whole to grow, what can we do, what's holding us back, etc. and this verse just jumped at me.

It's like fishing.

I don't know if you've been fishing before, but growing up on Lake Huron, we did it all the time. We even host one of the largest freshwater salmon derbies in the world (I'm not kidding, we have people from all over come and they win prizes like brand new boats and trips to fish in Russia. What's funny is when I was in high school, one middle schooler won it two years in a row!) Fishing is not the most mind encompassing sports, it's not really that hard to do, but there are a few keys.

First, you have to go where the fish are. You won't catch anything in a pond devoid of fish. When I was younger my sister and I went fishing on a vacation up north. We sat at one spot and caught one fish all day. The next day, we tried another spot about twenty feet away (yes, only 20 feet). We caught 10 fish in 15 minutes. If we aren't willing to go to where the people are that need to hear about Jesus, who are we talking to? How will they hear?

Second, you need a lure. You need something that the fish will go, "Hey, I want to eat that." So do we need a lure to the church? You bet! Why do Christians think if we set up a brick building on the side of the road with a cross on the roof people will just start flocking to our doors? They won't. They need the lure of Jesus. If you show people Jesus' love, they'll want more. If you actually invite them to come and let them know they are wanted, they'll want more. The church as a whole has so much to offer this world, but many people don't know it. They have to see why being a part of the Body of Christ will be good for them. They need to see the lure.

Third, you need patience. It is very, very rare that you catch 10 fish in 15 minutes. It's more like one an hour, one a day, sometimes worse (all depends on what you're fishing for). It's so deceiving to watch those fishing shows, catching a fish every two minutes. A friend I worked with in Louisiana used to video one guys fishing show. Jerry would go to Mexico with the guy for a week and tape hours and hours of footage. Only after Jerry did his magic did you get some guy catching a fish every two minutes. It's the same with people. Growth and change can sometimes take time. God may be working on their heart, but they may not be ready to go to church with you or get down on their knees and pray with you after a ten minute conversation. Persistence. That's what is needed. When you fish, just because you don't get a bite the first time you throw out your line doesn't mean you go home. You may have to throw it out a hundred times before a fish bites. Patience. Keep at it. God may be doing things in that person's heart that you know nothing about, but if you're gone when they get to the point of asking questions, who else are they going to turn to?

So that's my thinking for today. Fishing for people. Jesus told the disciples to do it, and they were trained fishermen. They knew what it involved. Maybe a few more of us need to take a day off and go fishing so we can remember what it's like...


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Wanting To Want

Yeah, it's a weird title, but I'll explain...

Have you ever noticed that sometimes a desire can seem to fizzle? I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I sometimes hit a funk where I don't really "feel" like reading my Bible. Why on earth would I feel that way? Why wouldn't I want to read my Bible?

And so that's my new prayer, for the next little while. I don't just want to read my Bible, I want to want to read my Bible. I want to want to pray. I want to want to get closer to God. I was thinking of it this way (for some reason), some people want a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever, but then there's others that want to be in love. Simply having that person isn't enough, they want to want that person.

Just something to think about. Is prayer a chore? Or do you want to pray? Is church a pain to go to Sunday morning, or do you actually want to be there? Do you read your Bible because you feel you need to or because you want to?

It makes a difference. Trust me. Or ask anyone who is in a relationship, that got the spouse they dreamed of, but didn't want to be with them...



Sorry, it's been a while, and it's now 12;30 so I have nothing going through my mind except the 6-5 Montreal game I finished watching just a little while ago. Go Habs (up 2-0).


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Okay, so here's a quote from C.S. Lewis I read today, something that puts the whole idea of being tempted into perspective.

"Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... That is why bad people know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it."

Maybe it's just the wonderful guilt-ridden childhood that makes me feel bad whenever I get the urge to do something that is wrong, but this kind of puts a different spin on it. Only by trying not to do something do we feel the pressure there is to do it. It's kind of like swimming in a river, something that I've done too many times and wouldn't suggest if you're not a good swimmer. It's easy to swim with the current. All you need to do is lie on your back and point your toes up. But the only way you find out just how strong the current is doesn't happen by riding with it, it comes when you try to swim against it, putting all your force against the rushing water. Then you find out how strong the current really is.

So don't feel bad about being tempted, or even by how much you want to give in. It's highly unlikely that evil spiritual forces in this world are going to tempt you with something you don't like...


Monday, April 17, 2006


It's a funny word I was reading about today. Here's the dictionary definition:

A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.

To put it in a more understandable way, believing that there is something at the core of our spirit that it is impossible to see or understand. Sound like a definition of God to you?

Why do we think we can understand everything there is to know about God? That somehow in seven easy steps we can learn the four aspects of God? Do you really think God can be narrowed down into 4 pieces of knowledge? What about 40? 4 000 000 000? Or can we even count that high.

Yes, God has made Himself known to us. He has given us His Word and His Son, His Holy Spirit to comfort us and lead us. So He has undisclosed a small piece of Himself to us, and I am eternally thankful for that, but why is it that now that we have this little, tiny piece of information about God we think we know it all? We think that we have God figured out?

Somehow, we have taken the mystery out of God. We have placed our limited theology in its place and said, "Here's all there is to God. Know this and you'll be okay." But there's got to be more. More than anybody can know. So much more that you not only will never know it here on earth, you will never understand it. When King David was a boy he sat out in fields thinking about God, writing Him songs and he was said to know God, to have a heart after God's own heart (Acts 13:22). Someone who surrounded himself in the mystery of his creator. And somehow, in today's world, if you have a Bible on your palm pilot you're a better Christian.

So here's my confession. I don't have all the answers. I don't know God in His fullness. The more I have learned about God the more I realize there is so much more I don't know about God. And even though there are things that I will never, ever know until I get to talk to God myself in heaven, I'm still going to spend time with Him and pursue Him, learning as much as I can about Him from Him.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Church Is Healthy?

I came across this article today, Easter of all days, the one day a year people who don't normally go to church.

It's funny to me that people are surprised that church is healthy for you. Think about it. God gave you a soul, but He also gave you a body. Doesn't it just make sense that the God of the universe who planned everything to perfection, from the tiniest cell in your body to the degree of the earth's axis, would make the gathering He intended for His followers to be good for not just your soul but your body as well? Just a thought...

btw, by the comments I've gotten, apparently God's the only one who reads this. I just didn't realize He had email...


Thursday, April 13, 2006


It's a little earlier today, but I know I'll have to get to bed right away tonight to get up early tomorrow, and I read this a few minutes ago and it's still ringing in my head.

So here's the story. Jesus has gone out and done a few miracles. He then goes home for a while and they ask Him to teach at the temple. He goes in and reads this Scripture:

The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness."

Then you know what Jesus does? He sits down. That's it. He doesn't get up and go crazy, He doesn't preach about who He is and what everyone should do. He calmly goes to His seat and just sits there. How many preachers you ever seen on a Sunday morning read the Bible verse than just sit? Wouldn't that be a change?

And the funny part is it's obvious to everyone what the Scripture is about. It's about Jesus! He was reading about Himself. Still says nothing. Not until everyone is staring at Him. Then He simply says, "Yeah, that's me," and still does nothing. The people want Him to prove it, and He sits. They want Jesus to heal somebody so they know for sure it's Him, but God's ego isn't bruised. He just sits.

How often would we be able to be quiet when we deserve the accolades? How many people in our world humbly accept the greatness in them? Or are they shouting little insignificant triumphs to the world to build themselves up?



No comments for a while... Does anyone actually read this?

Well, I don't have much today anyway. It is the first day of Passover though, so I wanted to wish everyone a happy Passover. For those that don't know, it's a holiday that started about 1500 years ago with Moses (you could have seen it in the 10 Commandments movie that was on the past few nights). Passover is a holiday remembering the day the angel of death swept through Egypt killing the first born of each household, but passed over the houses with sheep's blood on the door frame. Intrigued to hear more? If someone asks, I'll go more into it tomorrow. For now, sleepy...


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fast Change

Why is change so slow? After my little rant and rave yesterday, today was completely different.

Today, change happened quickly (although it was supposed to happen a while ago). The new church website is up and running. We installed the projector in the youth room. I found out the sermon series for the next month and a half that I will be doing a lot of in NewSong today (it starts Sunday! Easter!!).

Whenever I have days like today, it makes me wonder what took so long in the first place? Why do we take so long to initiate change, even when it's necessary and/or all the components for change are right there?

It's funny, we have a few people at the church that do not like change. I won't go into details, but there have been a few changes made in the past few weeks, changes for the better, but people have been against those changes. They want things to stay the same, no matter what.

It kind of goes with a quote I heard the other day. "The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth." Something to think about...


Monday, April 10, 2006


Yeah, I'm back. I took a week off so I didn't write any blogs either. Sorry to those faithful readers... both of you.

But now on to what I was reading about today. Okay, I've heard many different arguments for and against evolution, but this was a new one to me. My fascination with evolution is this, it's all about odds. What are the odds of swirling gases forming into planets? What are the odds of a fish crawling up onto land and having the necessary equipment to breathe? What are the odds of a plant developing a natural defense against a creature that eats it before it gets eaten into extinction?

Well, here's the question I read today. The earliest form of life believed by scientists is bacteria. Each bacterium has 2 000 enzymes. Now, how long does it take for those 2 000 enzymes in some sort of primordial soup to randomly assemble and organize themselves into a bacterium? The answer is 40 to 100 billion years. At the earliest, 40 000 000 000 years!

Okay, is it possible that given 40 billion years that would happen? Sure, I'm all for that. Except for one small problem. Those bacteria need somewhere to live, in our case, good ol' planet earth. However, good ol' planet earth is not 40 billion years old. I've heard anywhere from 2 to 4 billion years (the book I was reading said 4). So there's a problem, one that evolutionists seem to admit. How is that possible?

I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm trying to start thought. One answer in the book I was reading was another form of life put it here, extra-terrestrials, the lovable aliens. They planted life here. It's funny that the book I was reading actually chose that and when asked if evolution was "directed" meaning some outside force helped it, the answer was, "That's Creationism and it's wrong. Just plain wrong."

Yeah, aliens sound a whole lot more likely than God...

The very beginning of the Bible, very first line, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Changing Clocks

For those that live outside Indiana, it's no big deal. I grew up doing it too, changing the clock ahead an hour every spring and changing it back an hour every fall. Whoopiddee-doo. But for some it's amazing how these tiny little changes affect their life. How any small deviation from the mundane causes their world to crash. I honestly wonder how many people are going to be an hour late for church tomorrow...

But it's true. My wife works in the church office and changed our monthly newsletter. Now, one complaint about the newsletter by those who assembled it was the stapler. There was always problems with the stapler. So, she made it new without staples. What a crazy idea. The people who assemble it were mad and frustrated. One of their complaints: no staples.

It seems like some people would rather live with things harder than learn something new. Even if the new way is better, easier, faster, more reliable, whatever, it's safer to stay in routine and they like it that way. Take our keyboard for example. I'm typing this on a standard qwerty keyboard, the same that is used all over the world. But do you know why these letters are in this order below my fingers. Why the z, x, and c are all next to each other when they're barely used. It's really quite simple. Years ago there were no computers, only typewriters, and the biggest problem with typewriters was if you hit two keys too quickly (too soon after each other), the keys would stick and you'd have to pry them apart. How do you solve this problem? Put the keys in an order that forces the people typing to type slower.

That's right, the letters on your keyboard were put in that order to make you type slower. We could easily type way faster if we moved them around and learned the new system. So why don't we? Change. People fear change. They would rather use something that is comfortable than learn something new, no matter how bad it is.

It's kind of funny that God would design a world like that. He never changes (Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17) yet He created a world that lives and breathes on change. Seasons change, temperature changes, weather changes, night and day, water levels rise and fall. The entire planet is built on change. Maybe we should be more open and accepting to things God wishes to change, or even using newer keyboards or flyers without staples or even changing clocks if they help us work better...