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...?