Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy "New" Year

I won't go on at length since I talked about it yesterday (for those at church), but Happy New year everyone. I like the idea that because some monk picked this day 1300 years ago we get to ignore everything we did before and have a fresh start!

btw, for all those coming to the all-nighter tonight, unless we get some adults/parents to help we will have to cancel or have everyone leave early. Sorry, but I'm not allowed to be the only adult in the building with people under 18.

Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

What's Most Important

Sorry it's been a few days, not to mention I will be gone again for the rest of the week (happy holidays everyone, more specifically, Merry Christmas!)

So here's a thought for the week. Lorie and I watched a special tonight kind of by accident about different beliefs in God. Very interesting. But one thing was in my head. It originally started with two guys who were doing a documentary at the World Trade Center on 9/11, the day causing so many questions to them they decided to go around the world talking to religious leaders.

So, of course, there was one question about the place of terrorism and war in religion. Although one person was smart enough to point out that out of the six billion people in the world, only a few thousand hold to terrorism. Good point. But one other leader talked about how he had been to the U.N. one time and they didn't mention terror. They mentioned hunger. They mentioned the quality of life around the world. And this religious leader made the point that these things cause more deaths every day than terrorism ever will so we should not lose focus on where the real threat is.

Good thinking. It also got me thinking about Boxing Day, the holiday after Christmas that was originally intended to be celebrated by taking the left-overs, the abundance of food from the holiday, plethora of gifts and things, box them up and take them to those less fortunate. I invite you to do something like that this Christmas (and don't wait for someone to organize it, just do it).

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Get for yourselves purses that will not wear out, the treasure in heaven that never runs out, where thieves can’t steal and moths can’t destroy. Your heart will be where your treasure is." ~ Jesus (Luke 12:33-34)


Monday, December 10, 2007

O That The Church Would Have This Problem

Tonight I was doing a little reading in the book of Exodus and came across Bezalel, Oholiab and the "skilled workmen" who built the Tabernacle, the Ark of The Covenant, and all the other cool stuff God told the Israelites to build. Now I could go into a whole rant about how skilled people were giving their best to God, but we'll leave that for another time.

Instead, let's focus on the task at hand. These guys have to build this stuff for the isarelites. one small problem, they haven't arrived in the Promised Land yet, all the Israelites are still living in the desert which means no jobs, no resources, etc. So how did these guys build all this stuff? Donations. That's right, the people of God were to donate to the cause, donations from people who are living out of tents, have no permanent homes, have no jobs, have no source of income other than what they left Egypt with.

So you have skilled craftsman building incredibly ornate objects of worship for God, mostly made out of gold given by homeless people. What a surprise, they ran into a problem. The amazing part is, it's not what you think it would be.

Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. ~ Ex. 36:4-6

Yeah, that's right, in the desert, these unemployed people were giving too much to God! What a horrible, horrible problem to have. "Sorry everyone, thanks for your donations out of the tiny amount that you have, but it's too much so we need you to stop giving to God for a while..."

And here we are, roughly 3500 years later, probably in a rich first world country if you have the internet to read this, but for me, in one of the richest countries in the world, in what was once in the top ten richest counties in America, and churches are struggeling financially. Almost every family in my church has a job, many above the national average and our church has financial problems. Homeless Israelites need tons of gold to build stuff, and have too much. How does that work?

Luke 6:38 ~ "Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Who Came First?

It still amazes me how many people say they believe in God or Jesus yet know so little about Him.

Here's what got me started on this. Apparently this week on "The View" there was some disagreement about who came first, the Greeks or Jesus. Stories of Jesus being first because the Greeks fed the Christians to the lions abounded (you can see the story and clip at

Okay, a celebrity show not knowing all about theology and history. I can take that. But then there was an online poll asking who came first, the Greeks or Jesus. At the moment, 21% are wrong (1 in 5 people!). To me that's just shocking. Maybe it's because I care enough about what I believe to learn more about it, maybe I'm a freak that way, wanting to know more about Who it is I believe is the Son of God. But don't people want to know more about Jesus? If they don't, how do they believe in Him, a little goes a long way?

Btw, the Greeks came first. The Roman Empire took over just before Jesus came, and they were the ones who fed Christians to the lions a little later...


Monday, December 03, 2007

Those Tough Verses

I like reading the Bible, I think there's lots of good stuff in there, but this is one of those times I read something and wonder, "Oh, how's that going to work." Working with teenagers, youall are going to love this one.

Ex. 21:17 ~ "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death."

Now, some versions say "curse" instead of saying cruel things, but I'm sure a lot of people fall into that category too.

So haw many think they should be acting a little differently now, since just a few thousand years ago the same God we served would have allowed you to be stoned for saying mean things to your parents? I don't think it's a coincidence that the only one of the ten commandments that comes with a promise (that of a long life) is the one that says to honor your father and mother.

By the way, if you aren't sure if you're honoring them or saying cruel things, ask them. If you're scared to ask, I think you know the answer...


Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's Your Focus?

So tonight I was reading the story of Jacob and his wives Leah and Rachel. For those that don't know the story, quick synopsis. Jacob loves Rachel, but Leah is older and daddy wants her married first, so he convinces Jacob to work seven years to get Leah. Leah dresses up as Rachel and marries Jacob. It must have been a thick veil, because he didn't notice. Daddy says, sorry but you can have Rachel if you work another seven years. Jacob does. Big happy family.


Jacob doesn't have to wait the seven years, just work the seven years. He actually gets Rachel a week after Leah. So Leah obviously feels pretty unloved. And so the women fight for Jacob the only way they know how. Having children. They even get their servants to sleep with Jacob and have kids when they can't (kind of overkill, but okay).

But here's what I noticed tonight. Heard the story, knew all that, exciting none the less, but knew it. This part I never really picked up on. After every single kid is born, no matter who to, the mother (or surrogate mother, master of the servant) says something along the lines of "Jacob will love me now because I have a son" or "God has answered my prayer for a son" which they really only prayed to get Jacob's attention, or something along the lines of vindication or celebration. Every single child born the focus is in some way on Jacob. Every son but one.

Gen. 29:35a ~ Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!”

Now I don't know which is sadder, that it took four kids before she praised the Lord, but after all the bickering over a man, this was the only child born in which God was praised without a hidden agenda to Jacob.

And which tribe did Jesus come from again? Hey, if you want to go even deeper into spiritual ramifications of what God thinks and feels, was Jesus from the tribe who's mother was loved or despised...?


"That's Not Believable"

So here's the story that made me laugh a little hard this week. Lorie and I went out on Monday night (it was our 2 year, 2 month, 2 day anniversary, awww) and we ended up seeing The Bee Movie. Nice movie, cute, had a good lesson that even small jobs are important if they are done well. Anyway...

So we get to the end of the movie, big climactic ending that I won't give away, but it ends up that all the bees work together to do something amazing. This is the point Lorie leans over to say something to me, but ends up laughing. I ask her why and this is what she says:

"I was about to say, 'that's not believable' until I realized we were watching a movie about talking bees."

Gotta love it.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Did It Really Happen?

So yesterday I was reading about Noah's ark. I know, old children's story, everyone knows it. Animals enter two at a time (seven if you can eat them) into a big boat built by some old guy and next thing you know water floods the earth.

But really, did it happen? It seems so inconceivable, but, if you believe the Bible is true and God's not a liar, then you can't pick which pieces you like and which ones you decide are or aren't true (frankly, I don't know how people can decide that they know so much about the Bible they get to decide what's right and what's not, so basically we should decide what's true on everyones' personal feelings, yeah, that will work...). But it must have really happened.

And then I started trying to figure out what animals were able to swim and not on the ark. Did alligators make it on? They swim pretty good but they need land so they must have. What about seagulls? So many questions.

I think it's also interesting that according to that story man only became carnivorous after the flood, before we ate only plants.

But, here's the big thought of the day? Is the story so unbelievable that it couldn't have happened? But then, isn't that what makes it a miracle? Wouldn't be a crappy miracle if it was an everyday thing? Hmmm....


Monday, October 29, 2007

The Bestest Christmas Present Ever

I wanted this for Christmas, but then found out it's not real :( . The "Hello Kitty Assault Rifle".


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why Are You Hiding?

For those that don't know, this is Clover, our little pet rabbit.
For those that didn't notice, little Clover here has been chewing his new favorite box. We let Clover chew somethings, not others (like the newly painted trim in the living room). The box is one thing we let him chew.
But what does he do if we go near him while chewing the box? He hides. He gets in there behind that box and makes sure that no one can get him.
But here's the funny part. He hasn't done anything wrong. We didn't get mad at him. Hey, to get this picture I was lying on the ground with a camera, not too scary. But he thinks he was wrong. He hid because he thought he did something wrong.
Have you noticed how we don't need to be told we did something wrong, we just hide (or hide what we did)? Even the very first time, Adam and Eve, it says they realized they did something wrong and what did they do? Say their sorry? Nope. Hid. (btw, they tried to hide from God. Don't try that, it won't happen).
So here's my question for today. What are you hiding? Why are you hiding? And why?
Prov. 28:13a ~ "If you hide your sins, you will not succeed."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Would You Drink This?

Here's something I don't think I want to drink. Jones Soda is out of Seattle and made two new flavors for their Seattle Seahawk fans. Dirt and sweat (I think it's funny that sweat flavor is called "Sweet Victory", while dirt is just called "dirt"). You can read more about it here.

Bottoms up.


Friday, September 28, 2007

How Many Times Have You Asked?

It's a question that came to me today while reading the Bible (lots of questions happen that way). Next week (Oct. 7) in NewSong and at Fire & Water we happen to be talking about faith (it was not planned, two separate calendars planned months and years in advanced, what are the odds of that? Maybe God is trying to tell us something...). And it just so happens that today, I was reading about faith.

Have you ever noticed how many times in the Bible God tells people to do something for a miracle. Go wash in the Jordan to be healed of leprosy. Go look for rain. Things like that. The amazing part is that God never says "Go" and then it's done. For both of those stories, the person had to perform the act seven times.

Why seven? Why not just do it the first time? What if it's to see if you really want it? What if it's to test your faith in God?

Think of a little kid in a toy store. I was great in toy stores. I knew what I wanted. Everything. I know I asked mom for that, and that, and this over here, oh and that one, the big shiny toy. And my mom never bought me any of them. But she did buy me a toy Knight Rider car (I've been on a Knight Rider kick lately). Why? Because I loved Knight Rider as a kid. So when I saw the car, I didn't just go "Please mom" and forget it. I asked a lot. Over and over. And over.

By doing this my mom figured out two things. One, I really wanted that toy car (it talked, who wouldn't want that?!). Two, that I knew she had the power to give it to me, maybe even wanted to give it to me, but just wasn't doing it yet.

When you pray for things, do you really want them? Bad enough to ask more than once? Do you believe God still has the power to do it and wants to even if He doesn't grant your wish immediately the first time?

What have you given up on God for that maybe you should start praying for again...?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Absolute Truth

Hey all, I'm going to Canada for a few days, so I won't be on for a while. A parting thought for you though...

Reading today, a good thing to do, I came across this. Most people know what Absolute Truth is, something that's true no matter what. The problem is in today's world, we seem to try and get rid of it, saying there are no Absolutes. Somehow, we have become scared of something being true no matter what, like it traps us and shoves us in a corner we can't get out of.

But here's the catcher. The word absolute comes from Latin, the word is Absolvere and it means to "set free". These truths are meant to bind us up and hold us down, Absolute Truths were named so because they set us free. Now where have I heard before that the truth will set you free...?

(Oh yeah)

"If you continui in My Word, you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth witll make you free." ~ Jesus

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Zune Phone

I'm sorry, but this was just too funny. Microsoft's version of the iPhone.



Monday, September 17, 2007


Today I'm doing some reading like normal and learned a weird and wonderful fact. There is a small bird in Asia that spits out spaghetti like spittle that forms into a nest for its young. The crazier part, it is a Chinese delicacy, spit-made spaghetti-like bird's nest, starting price around $3000.

So this got me thinking, why on earth would you want to eat that? The only answer I can come up with, it's rare. We seem to love things that are rare. If there's lots of it, it has less value but the less of it there is, the more value it holds. No one eats the bird's nest outside my house in the tree, they're everywhere. This spit-nest, special.

And that led me to thinking how much we love rare things. In a way it was currency, gold was shiny and rare. Before money, people bartered, need vs. rare. It's like the old expression, "You always want what you can't have."

But is that really true, or is it a trick? Do we only want what's rare because that's what we've been taught to believe? The reason I started asking myself those questions is this. What is the least rare thing there is? God. God is everywhere. God wants to be a part of everyone's life. Starting a relationship with God is immensely easy, probably the easiest thing possible to be done in all of history. And yet there are those that see it as nothing. Why? Because it is too easy? Because someone has deceived us into believing that if it's not rare it's not valuable and therefore not something to be sought after? Is it that simple? Has our society lost it's will to be "Under God" that easily?

It's funny how we seek out the rare, but the things that are most precious, the things that we need, the things that give us life, air, water, food, they are abundant. Some of them fall from the sky, some are the sky! Maybe we should be focusing on what is in abundance and why He made the universe that way. Why there is more love of God in this world than O2 atoms...

Rom. 3:22 ~ "We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are."


Friday, September 14, 2007

I Saw Pirates

No, it's true, real pirates. I was gone earlier this week (Lorie and I left for our anniversary) and her suggestion on things to do was go see an exhibit on pirates. So we did, we went and saw the first ever authenticated pirate ship found. Pretty sweet. We got to see the cannons, swords, stuff like that including boxes of treasure (and I mean boxes!). I see how they got rich.

Through the exhibit they mentioned how many naval people wanted to become pirates. If you worked for the gov't, you got little pay, bad living conditions etc. On a pirate ship, almost everyone was equal and got a fair share of the loot and even got recompensed if hurt in a fight. They also treated everyone as equal in terms of race and color. In a time when the slave trade was huge, pirates were all together and even freed many slaves so they could take the ships.

To me, this was so weird! We read the pirate stories, etc, and it looks all glamorous but the truth is they were thieves. People hated them and would watch them hang and cheer for their death because by robbing people these pirates caused taxes to go up, took things that didn't belong to them, and so on and so forth. Yet, this group of thieves seemed to have a higher standing of ethics when it came to the treatment of people than everyone else! It kind of makes you wonder where we should look for our moral compass. I mean at least today we have things to look to like the government, TV, movies, books, magazines, the general populace. How's that working out?

Ps. 119:11 ~ "You Word I have hidden in my heart so I will not sin against You."


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Computer Back On!

For those that don't know, I moved and I finally have internet again! So hopefully I'll write more blogs, although I really don't have anything to say...


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Home Bible Studies

For those who are not signed up, we met to get the HBS groups together last night. Sing up now! It helps us make these groups. For those that are signed up, you should find out in a few days what's going on.

A little heads up, I'm moving this weekend. I have loved you all and will miss you dearly... wait, I'm moving closer tot he church, never mind. So if I don't return your email or you have some question that can wait until next week, I'll talk to you then.

Sign up for HBS!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why Always Me?

I don't know why, but for some reason people always pick me to be messed up because I'm a youth pastor. Today, no different. I'm getting the oil changed in Lorie's car. Now, before I left we packed it up with boxes and other things because we're moving at the end of the month, so we've been taking things over a little at a time. Basically, the back of Lorie's car is full of boxes, a waffle iron we got for our wedding, her scrapbooking stuff, my computer manuals, etc.

So, I'm sitting reading, the guys are working on our car and one guy starts out of nowhere:

"What do you do?"
"What?" - That'd be me
"What do you do for a living?"
"I'm a youth minister."
"Oh, that explains it."
"Explains what?"
"All the stuff in your car."

Um, what?! How does me being a youth pastor mean the waffle iron and the scrapbooking stuff is normal? "You're a youth pastor? They all have cars full of crap, so that's why you do too." I mean seriously, what?!

On that note, bedtime, first McPrayer tomorrow...


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


A little refresher course from Sunday.

In a few days is the Back to School Bash. We're trying to get as many people as possible there. The problem is, even with a crazy frizbee golf course, three-on-three basketball, inflatible fun, CTF and everything else, that's not what people come for. 90% of people come to church because they are invited.

And here's the catcher. Most people are not invited to church. They are informed about church. Example. Information is "Hey, my church is having a Back To School bash with all sorts of fun. You should check it out." Invitation is "Hey my church is having a Back To School Bash. I'm going, would you like to come with me? What time do you want me to pick you up?"

Simply giving information is not an invitation. Remember, Jesus didn't simply give the disciples information about what He wanted to do, He invited them.

Matthew 4:18-19a ~ "One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me."


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

God's "Plan" For You

I'm sure this is something you've all heard before. It's spouted all the time. God has a plan for you. And He does, I wholeheartedly agree with that. I do have a new twist on it though...

I was reading an article about God's Plan and the author made a very, very good point that isn't stressed in enough churches. We all hear about how God has a plan for you, but whenever we talk about it, we make it sound far off, in the distance, something we need to strive for. It seems like God's plan is never reachable because it is always in the future.

Have you ever thought that you might actually be living God's plan for you?

Yes, there are plans for the future, but God also planned what's already happened, and what's happening right now. Students, maybe God has a plan that in ten years you will be some great chemical engineer, but maybe, part of that plan, is for you to be exactly where you are right now, going to high school so you can learn what you need for that job. Maybe God has plans for you to be the next Billy Graham, but a part of that plan is for you to be involved in our student ministry so you get a foundation for your faith before you go out and do that.

So for all those who have heard that God has this grandiose plan for your life but have had those days where you feel you've fallen short because you're not living it, reevaluate. Maybe you are living that plan, you're just not at the huge exciting part yet...

~Jeremiah 29:11 - I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.


Monday, July 30, 2007


For those that don't know, I've been away for two weeks. The first in NYC doing missions work, for pics and stories about that visit the youth website (pictures and discussion pages). Although everyone had a great experience, very few were lucky enough to be up to their knees in poop. Ah, memories...

The next week I was far away from the internet on a lake where it is nice and peaceful. Lorie and I went fishing. She caught "Bob" (so she named him). I caught mosquito bites. But I did get to play way too much golf.

I'll be back in the routine of writing on here soon. I'm just trying to play catch-up for all the stuff I missed. FYI newsletters will be out tomorrow :)


Monday, July 09, 2007

When People Let You Down

An honest confession, my heart has been really heavy today. I didn't have a bad day, although I wasn't that productive. I didn't do anything really bad or wrong today, no more than usual, which is too much but that's another story. Instead, I talked to someone I haven't seen in years.

Now, that's a good thing. I'm glad to talk to this person, it's great. Love them, miss them, they were fun to be with. But they told me something today. Something that pained me and really made me think.

They used to go to church where we had a mutual friend. This person, great. I didn't know them all that well but they did visit my town and my church every once in a while. They seemed called to minister to God's people, actually, I take that back. They were called to minister to God's people. But then they messed up. For reasons I won't go into, this person is now serving their sentence in jail.

And it pained me. First for this person, someone who was in ministry. Someone who I had led worship for, someone who had joked with me about being single (I had no prospects for dating let alone marriage at this point) and had said if I ever got married they would play guitar at my wedding. Someone who had talked to me about things in my past to try and help me get through them. I keep thinking, "What happened?" "How could someone screw up like that?" and many other things I won't write here. But it just hurts. All I can think is how and why.

Then this friend who told me. I think how much they must have been hurt by this person going to the church where it happened. All the people in the congregation that felt the effects of this. All the people that were hurt, were taken advantage of, whose trust was totally violated. How their view of Jesus is now warped or worse because of one tiny, insignificant person on all of planet earth.

This led me to think of all the hurt Christians all over the place (yeah, I've been thinking a lot today). People that put their trust in someone who said they represent Christ only to have that trust destroyed. Who have looked at someone and said, "That's what Jesus is like? No Thanks!" I have so many friends, family even who will never, ever enter a church again because of what one, maybe two people have done to them, all in the name of Jesus. It just hurts.

But then it hurts more. I think about me. I make no false pretenses, I am a faulty version of Jesus. I am a cracked vessel. I am a royal screw-up that has no idea what God wants me in a church telling people about Him. I feel completely unworthy and wonder how many people I've hurt like that. How many I will. Wonder if that person I knew could fall that fast and that hard, what's saving me? What if I do something so horrific that it hurts my wife, my family, my church, people I don't even know turning them off of Jesus and His love forever because instead of seeing His love they see how I warped it.

One more (I know this is long, sorry). Last night we had our "Vicis Per Deus" or prayer night at Drink Deep (our Sunday night student activity). We had all these prayer stations. One had a video playing, up on the screens were verses. There were two that keep replaying over and over in my head. At the video there was one section where Jesus writes in the sand, convincing the religious people of the day not to stone a prostitute, showing her love and helping her up (you can read about it in John 8). The other is a verse that was up on the screen from Ps. 51. To give you background, David was a king of Judah who is described as "A Man after God's own heart". Then he committed adultery, had the woman's husband killed and married her to try and keep it secret. When the truth came out, he wrote Ps. 51, one of my favorite Psalms even though it's so hard to read. God' loves us and wants to help us up, to restore us. I just wish we never had to fall, and we never had to take anyone else down with us...

Ps. 145:14 ~ The Lord helps the fallen, and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

(sorry it was so long).


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Most Popular Sign

Do you know why Churches have steeples? It started hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Basically, the church steeple was the highest point in any town, the cross above all other buildings so that any traveller (or person who lived there) would be able to find the church easily. By simply looking up, they knew that the cross meant Christ.

Now fast forward to today. As of a recent world study, the cross is not the most recognized symbol in the world anymore. There are people who do not know the cross means Jesus. But, they know the Golden Arches means hamburgers. So that means one of two things. Either we've taken the cross out of our message of Jesus, or we're more willing to share where to find a good greasy meal over where to find eternal love and salvation.

How did two all beef patties become more important than Christ?


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Favorite American

Okay, so Independence Day is a week away and people around here are gearing up for it, showing their American pride, etc. But then I read this today, which makes me shudder.

There was a poll of people in the U.S. asking who the greatest American is/was. Reagan won, good choice. Elvis made the list, not my favorite choice. But near the bottom was someone who I like but who should not have been there.


That's right. 1% of Americans voted Jesus as the greatest American. Now seriously, that's too much. Do people even know who Jesus was? Think, if 1% of people said that, and that's a representation of the U.S. as a whole, then 3 million people think Jesus was the greatest American. And that means even more could think Jesus was a great American, He just wasn't the greatest.

Now I've been in the U.S. a few years and I know there are a lot of people who take "One Nation Under God" too far and believe God is an American, but 3 000 000 people? Is it possible?

I really question how many people truly know God and how many simply make it up as they go, naming their new imaginary friend "God"...


Monday, June 25, 2007

The Isle Of Man

Pictures of the parade are on the website under the pictures section ( But this is about something completely different. Something I read and had to write, it was just great.

I am slowly working through a lot of old Irish folktales and came upon the story of Mac Cuill, one of the Children of Danu, or a god of years gone by. Being a god, his soul was immortal and would be reborn in people. His last rebirth was as one of a thief, a great thief who did so well at stealing it caught the king's attention and it took the king to capture him. Showing no remorse for his actions, but also being a Child of Danu, the king came up with this punishment. He put Mac Cuill in handcuffs and flung the key into the sea. He then put Mac Cuill in a boat saying "he will have the judgement of the sea."

So Mac Cuill floats for a few days and ends up on an island where he meets two wise men, Conindri and Romuil. Now here's where I was floored. The two wise men had "heard the words of the Son of God, and preached the new religion of love and forgiveness." Should sound familiar...

So these two guys take in Mac Cuill but cannot release him from his bonds. Instead, though, they tell him about the Creator, His Son, and the religion of love and brotherhood. But Mac Cuill thinks it is a waste. They tell how the poor in spirit are blessed, but Mac Cuill has no wish to be poor. They tell how if someone strikes one cheek, to turn the other and how if someone steals your cloak, to offer your coat also (all teachings of Jesus if you aren't following). So Mac Cuill decides to stay thinking that he can make a killing from these people, since if he steals from them, they'll do nothing to stop him.

But this fails on his first attempt. He meets Blaanid who offers him jewels and fine stones. Mac Cuill is disappointed, he doesn't want people to give him things, he wants to steal them. So he gets upset realizing that he can never truly steal again. That is when Blaanid takes him down to the depths of the ocean, where he sees other Children of Danu that hate this new religion and want to live as thieves too. They live at the ocean's depths, stealing from ships that sink. It is then and there Mac Cuill sees that this is the future of his life as a thief, and it is then and there he decides to become a member of the new religion of the Son of God. He goes back to Conindri and Romuil to learn more "about your God and His Son." It is there they catch a fish to eat for dinner and in the belly of the fish, Mac Cuill finds the keys to his chains and he is set free.

The very next day, Mac Cuill dedicates his life to telling everyone about this new religion, a loving God and His Son. He taught this to everyone, even the Druids. But this angers one of the old gods since they believe that once you stop believing in a god, he cease to exist. Yet Mac Cuill explains how this new philosophy "is the destiny of the world" and he cannot stop, so he makes a deal with this old god, the god of the sea. Mac Cuill will still teach the new thinking, but he will rename their home after this god so he will be remembered. The land was renamed the Island of Manannan Mac Lir, or for short, the Isle of Man.

Sorry, it was really long, but it was too great of a story. Everybody says that God changes lives, but so few people today seem to act like it, and here, in the old Irish history and folklore, is a story about God doing just that to such a degree that the island is renamed and it still holds Mac Cuill as the patron saint except under a new Christian name St. Maughold. Did God change your life? Does anyone know about it? Mac Cuill's was changed and it will be forever remembered...


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fishers Freedom Festival

We're in the parade tomorrow. Come out and cheer us on and get a free pen! Pics will be up next week.


Monday, June 18, 2007


For all of you that complain that your life is just a little too hard, check out this place.

It's a restaurant in California that serves you food only in pitch black surroundings. That's right, you're blind. All the waiters are blind so they don't walk into tables, etc. (they're used to it).

In exchange for you losing a sense, the restaurant boasts that your other senses heighten (which is true), so your sense of taste gets better making the food taste more amazing. But is that a trade you'd want to make permanently? As I was reading about it I kept thinking about how thousands of rich, upper-class LA type people will go, experience blindness for a night, then come out and complain about the color of their car (I can get you a video on that one too if you like.) It's amazing what we take for granted.

Colossians 4:2 ~ Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Do You Need Forgiveness?

I know, lots of questions lately, but this one hit me today while watching a movie. One of the characters had seen something violent on TV, and I don't mean bloody slasher violent, I mean like WWE Wrestling violent. He asked someone what they thought of this and the other person said, "You should pray for forgiveness."

And I remember thinking why. What's the big deal? He just watched something stupid. Why ask forgiveness? Why pray?

That's when I realized I'm screwed up. Um, shouldn't we be asking God to forgive everything we do wrong, no matter how big or how little? When did I decide what was worth forgiving? When did I get the power to decide what's bad and what's really bad? Then I started wondering how many "insignificant" sins have I piled up?

Maybe we should be praying for every little thing...

Jeremiah 16:17 ~ I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me.

I John 1:7b ~ Then the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How Much Is Enough?

Yeah, it's been a while, I'm sorry.

So last week at Drink Deep we talked about tithing and money, and this week we had some people mention how hard it is. I've always wondered about this because it's a percentage, it all comes to budgeting. I have two examples.

I was talking to someone last week who gambles. He was mentioning how the family was taking a road trip and they didn't want to stop for a hotel because it would cost $160. But then he said, "It's funny how throwing away $300 on a horse is okay, but $160 for a hotel, that's an unnecessary expense." Yeah, funny isn't it.

Then I read this today. In 1783, the Prince of Whales, George, was given a birthday gift equivalent to $6.2 million in today's currency. His father, King George III also set him up with an annual allowance of $5.2 million. Still, by the time he was in his mid-30's, Prince George had managed to be $70 million in debt. $70 million!!!! How does that happen?

We can blow money like that, but we can't give afford to give any to God?

Proverbs 21:20 ~ Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.

Ecclesiastes 7:7 ~ Even wise people are fools if they let money change their thinking.


P.S. I became an uncle today! Lacey Marcella Wood was born to my sister this evening!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

So Stupid...

...I had to write it.

Apparently last year there was an American Airlines flight where people started to complain about a smell much like matches burning. Fear of a part malfunction or worse, the plane made an emergency landing in Nashville and everyone was taken of the plane. After a sweep of the plane they did find burnt matches, a pile of them under a seat. They found the woman who's seat it was and asked what it was all about. Apparently she had gas and didn't want anyone to know/smell it, so she decided to burn matches on a plane to cover the smell.

She's not allowed to fly with AA anymore...


Saturday, May 19, 2007

What We Can Learn From Antarctica

Just wondering if people have been watching the news with the south pole. It's quite interesting.

First, science has again proven how it's assumptions can be wrong. Since the north pole was explored underwater and it was cold and desolate and no new creatures were found, people thought that the south pole would be the same. That is until someone sponsered a research team to go. Tons of new creatures were discovered, things we've never even seen anything like before. Instead of taking guesses, maybe we should look for facts.

The other one, for those that don't know, the Southern Ocean absorbs a lot of the excess carbon dioxide in the air, right now holding about 1/4 of the earth's CO2. Problem is though we've managed to fill it. The water cannot hold anymore since apparently in the last few hundred years we've managed to pump an extra 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the air through pollution (think that's more pounds of pollution than Bill Gates has dollars.) The sad part is, what are you as an individual doing to rectify that problem? America is one of the biggest contributors, we use 40% of the world's resources for less than 5% of the world's population.

So take some lessons from the land of penguins. We don't know all we think we do and we can't guess truth, and if we don't start changing some of our habits soon, it won't matter anyway...


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Traffic Solution

In the interest of our time travel discussion and Rich Clark's question about Sumerians or Romans, I found this that I found funny.

So we all hate traffic, of course. Apparently during 200-250 AD, the city of Rome was over 1 million people and had the same problem. So Julius Caesar came up with a solution. No wheeled vehicles were allowed in Rome during daylight hours.

Can you imagine that flying today? Actually, what I realized would stink is that poor idiot who left home for a two hour ride to Rome, then had to wait until dark to bring his chariot into the city, or park it outside the wall where he'll be nowhere near it and hope no one steals it, outside the city, behind the wall...

Be happy you get to drive where you need to go!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

When Would You Go?

This morning I was reading about real people who have claimed they have time travelled. Quite interesting. A high up Catholic that had a magic box (like a TV set) that allowed him to only look and hear other times (like a TV set) and was worked with two magical dials to pick the time you wished to visit (like a TV set). There was another guy who claims to have come back from 2036 to find a piece of technology needed in the future that was wiped out by a nuclear bomb in 2015. All sorts of stories of people who "really travelled through time."

Then I started thinking about our fascination with time travel. HG Wells, Michael Crichton, Back To The Future, even Einstein mentioned not the ability to travel across time, but the ability to slow time down to you when you reach the speed of light so when you returned to normal speed, you would have aged a day while the world around you aged a century. Interesting...

So here's my question to those who discuss this on bulletin boards (believe it or not, some do!), where and when would you go? Leave comments here, or go to the discussion boards, but please, no Eloi or Morlocks.


Friday, May 04, 2007


The last few days a revelation has come to me. It's one of those ones that kind of hits you, but then over the next few days it becomes more and more apparent and possibly even easier to understand. It's not really a mystery, I should have seen it coming, I just never thought about it until the other night. And then again Wed. And then again tonight.

I enjoy being confused.

I know, that doesn't sound like it makes much sense (which adds to the confusion), but trust me, it's true. I like not knowing. I like trying to "figure it out." Then I like that moment, that all encompassing fleeting moment when comprehension suddenly kicks you in the back of the head and you do all you can to stop from shouting, "OH!"

I think part of the reason I like this feeling is because it reminds me I'm not in control. I don't know it all. I don't have it all figured out. Then, suddenly, this burst of intelligence sweeps in and for a small, tiny, insignificant microsecond, I feel as if I totally understand. Then something else happens and I'm back to square one.

And we admit it too. Well, most people. There's always that person that claims they saw the end of the movie coming (and I know, sometimes it's so Hollywood predictable I do too, but some people claim to know it every single time.) There are the people that know everything, even the answer to the question before it's posed. And somehow they enjoy that. But where's the adventure? Where's the mystery? Where's the excitement of life if you always know what's coming next?

And yet, for some incredibly strange reason, we can admit we didn't see the end of a movie coming, but we think we have God all figured out. Maybe that's why I love the end of Job (ch.36 on.) Read it today if you can, I love it. Especially one little verse at the start of the section...

Job 36:26a ~ "Look, God is greater than we can understand." (from a wise young man named Elihu)


Monday, April 30, 2007

The Six Gifts Of Womanhood

Okay, this was just too funny, so I had to include it. At the end of Proverbs there is a list of things that men would be good to look for in a woman. Well, the ancient Celts had their own list of six desirable traits in a woman, finding one with all six was a blessing. Ladies, how do you measure up?

~the gift of beauty
~the gift of sweet speech
~the gift of singing
~the gift of needlework
~the gift of wisdom
~the gift of loving only her husband

You gotta admit though, it's not a bad list. How's your needlework coming?


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Family Fun Night At FUMC

A lot of you missed it, too bad. I just think it was funny that I was in charge of the movie and making popcorn, and that Liz and I had to work together on it. But it was fun. hence the name...


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Your Sins Will Find You Out

It's an old expression, but believe it or not it actually started in the Bible *gasp*

Numbers 32:23b ~ You may be sure that your sin will find you out.

This was just too funny...

"On Thanksgiving day 2001, police were called to the Ohio home of Nandor Santho, 46. While searching the premises they found 150 marijuana plants growing in the basement. Who called the cops? Santho's dog Willie - the pointer apparently stepped on his master's cell phone in such a way that it auto-dialled 911 - twice. Dispatchers mistook Willie's whimpering for a female in distress, which is why they sent the police to the home."

Gotta love it.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Religion Of The Cross"

I've started a new book this week that will keep me busy for eons to come. It's almost as thick as my copy of "War & Peace" to give you some idea. Anyway, it's a collection of Celtic myths and legends. I'll be honest, I've found the introduction incredibly interesting as it tells how the Celtic language is one of the oldest languages on earth and is a cousin of Sanskrit spoken in India. But I digress...

So I finished today the story of "The Ever-Living Ones", their story of creation and the war between the children of Danu (good guys) and the children of Domnu (bad guys). Really interesting, good guys win after all sorts of stuff happening but Domnu after the defeat of her children has a curse put on the survivors that good will fade to evil, judges will make unjust laws, trees will be without fruit, etc., etc. Then it mentions how these things took place and the religion of Mil was forgotten.

But then it says this one little line in passing that caught me, how "...the religion of the Cross replaced that of the Circle..." and it just struck me. We say all sorts of things that Christians are supposed to be and believe and act and what not. But it all boils down to the cross. All we do, all we say, all we live for should come back to the Cross of Christ and we should be recognized as that. Children of the Cross.

So as you do what you do tomorrow or the day after that or whatever, look and ask are you a part of the religion of the Cross, does what you say and do and believe point back to the Cross of Christ.

Gal. 6:14 ~ As for me, however, I will boast only about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; for by means of his cross the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world. (italics added)


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

It's almost over, but have a good one. What are you doing to make the world a better place? It kind of hit me while playing a computer game yesterday and having a fire here (not our apartment, one nearby) that we really pollute a lot. If everyone did just a little bit it would be so much better.

To bad most people do nothing and depend on a few to do everything...


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Keep Your Cool

Okay, I love hockey. Those that don't, I'm sorry for whatever problem you have that makes you not like it. Anyway, today the Flames played the Red Wings. Game 5, tied 2-2, need 4 to win. Every team has won at home, and today it's in Detroit. But I like Calgary, I guess part of having been to Calgary and knowing one of their former players.

But today was not Calgary's day. They were losing 5-1 with a few minutes left and it happened. What can often happen in a physical emotional sport like hockey. Someone lost their cool. To be more precise, the backup goalie who replaced Kiprisoff. He totally swung his big honking goalie stick right into the gut of an innocent Red Wing, and yes, he did nothing to deserve the hit. The player simply lost his cool. Then the Flames leading scorer went back on the ice with 2 minutes left. Why bother, they had already lost. Nope, he had to start a fight. Got ejected (as did the goalie). A minute later, same thing, another ejection. Calgary simply lost its cool.

Why bother? Why retaliate? Why get so mad that you have to actually cause someone physical harm? The stupid part was, did it hurt the Red Wings? Nope. A little physical pain, but they still won, and after the game, all the support they had from the broadcasters at the start of the game, gone. Respect from other players, shot. They lost their cool.

There were all sorts of verses in Proverbs about controlling your temper, but I like this one from Ecclesiastes better. "Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool." (7:9) And it's true, no one's praising that goalie for his brains in all the sports reports I've heard so far...


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

30 Hour Famine

I know, it's been a while, get over it.

So I finally got to mail off the 30 Hour Famine stuff today, and in doing the numbers I found out that people gave money in the offering Sunday morning and never told me. So, our new total for what we raised is $3103.40!! Good job everyone!


Monday, March 26, 2007


I know it's been a while, but through the month of March, I figured out I preached/spoke 8 times between NewSong, Drink Deep and Real World. On top of that we rebuilt the stage in the gym, so it's been kind of a busy month. So today I am doing nothing... well, until tonight when I have to do a little bit of homework (you students aren't the only ones).

O Bla Di O Bla Da :)


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Real World

Sorry I haven't been on in a while. This is a busy month for me. The biggest thing, Real World!

For those that don't know, basically it's like the MTV show. All those that signed up live together in a house for 4 days. This year, 24 people, so yeah, fun.

I'll post updates if I survive ;)


Monday, March 05, 2007

The Jesus Prayer

It was something I was reading about today. I won't go into the long story of where it came from (at least to the Western Culture), but basically there was a man wondering if it were truly possible to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17).

He came upon a holy man who said it was and would explain how. He was given a prayer, "Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner," and was told to recite it 3000 times a day for a week. The man did so. The next week the holy man told him to pray the prayer 6000 times a day for another week. The man did so. The next week the holy man said he was not done and had to spend the next week praying the prayer 12000 times a day (about 11 hours worth!). The man did so.

And that was it. The questioning man wrote later on that after he had done this prayer so many times it was embedded in his spirit. When he ate, it would be going through his head. When he read, he would be reciting it. He said he even recited the prayer in his sleep.

So here's my challenge (and I'm doing it to). I can't give up 11 hours a day, I wish I could, but as often as possible I am reciting the prayer in my head. Give it a try and see what happens :)


Monday, February 26, 2007

When Everything Goes Wrong...

I know people have said before that "everything" goes wrong in some big sweeping generality when in reality they only had one or two things go wrong, but here's my list for our student ministry tonight...

~got there late
~a booking mistake caused us to have no chairs
~Jon's guitar didn't work
~Stephen's guitar didn't work
~James' bass almost didn't work, but took time to figure out the problem
~sound problems
~Liz borrowed my keys, they were gone when I needed in my office
~the DVD we watched during hang out time didn't work (cut out after 15 min, supposed to be 30)
~the opening cover song I couldn't see my music and read the wrong line
~I forgot to take our offering for our Compassion Children
~the game caused blood
~the game also had a lack of listening to adults
~during worship someone well intentioned decided to help "fix" the sound and made things worse
~the computer stopped working, but fixed itself (thankfully)
~I was the speaker at youth (that's not good any day)
~for our small group discussion time, there was no female leader, so I got to talk about sex... with the girls
~we went long
~I forgot an announcement
~we knocked out a light during After Hours playing soccer

And you know what's amazing? We lived through it. It all went okay. No one died. People learned something. We had 18 people sign up for the summer mission trips. People learned and talked about sexual purity. It was a great night. Except for one more thing...

~no one said "hi" to a visiting student

I'll be honest, having nothing work was absolutely horrible. It sucked. I wish it would never happen again. But, I would be willing to have it happen every single week as long as that last one were solved, permanently.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Why Can't We Tell The Truth?

Last night we didn't have Drink Deep (our student ministry program) because of the holidays, so for the first time in a long time I was at home watching TV last night with Lorie. We watched "Without A Trace", a missing persons show I really like but rarely ever get to see.

But here's something that I've started to know about the show. Something that really irritates me. Every show needs some sort of plot twist, we all know this. But with them, it always involves someone they're interviewing lying. Almost every single time. Someone has to lie, then the lie is discovered, they save the person, on to next week.

So here's what's been eating at me. Why do people have to lie? I mean really, how much simpler would it be if people simply told the truth? I like watching court shows too and I notice how many people get caught in lies there. And I'm not talking about differing points of view or different takes of the same event. I mean out and out flat lying. Why do we need to do it? Why can't we just own up to our mistakes? Why do we always blame something else? Why do we lie causing others pain just to cover our own butts?

So take a second and do two things. One, think of how many lies you told today. I mean every little one ("I'm fine" when you're not, all of them). It can be quite the list. Then two, think of what the world would be like if absolutely no one lied. Everyone told the truth. We wouldn't need lawyers...

"No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to one another, because we are all members together in the body of Christ." ~Eph. 4:25


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Why I Love Sports...

The biggest reason, I cannot predict them. I'm the kind of guy who has an iPod that is always on random. I like surprise twists. I watch shows like 24 because they actually would kill a repeat character (I hate knowing that people will survive because they have a two season contract). I love to play them, but when watching, it's the spectacular finishes I focus on.

It was pretty bad today. Lorie was sitting with me on the couch, kind of "eh" at first, then changing channels to see what was going on before I could!

Starters, Penguins Capitals hockey game. There is one major reason I love soccer and hockey over football, baseball, basketball, etc. Those other sports, the last 5 minutes are fouls, timeouts, ball spikes, pitching changes, anything to go slower. Hockey and soccer, the last five minutes people work harder and play gets more exciting. Today, Pittsburgh up 3-1, Caps pull the goalie with 2 minutes left, score a squeaker with a minute to go. They came just short of tieing the game (they got a shot of with a second left!).

With that over, we flipped to Nascar. Now, I can't watch cars go in a circle for four hours, but when I saw a yellow flag with 2 laps to go, I knew there was going to be a huge heap of cars together for the last lap, something close, and of course, a crazy major accident! I wasn't disappointed. Wrecks, guys driving in the grass, one car upside down and on fire (nice!) and of course, the photo finish where Havrick literally beats Martin (who was leading the whole time) by inches. By this point, Lorie's yelling at the TV not believing the poor guy in first this whole time lost... again...

But, that was cut short by golf. Yes, golf. How exciting can it get? Not very, but when you have Mickelson miss up close to allow Howell to force a playoff, it gets a little more interesting. Then, have them tie three times, in the middle, Howell hit a shot so bad it actually came to rest on the sidewalk (I've hit the sidewalk, never had it stop there), looking like he's going to lose, just so Mickelson can miss again and eventually lose to a guy who hasn't won a PGA tour in 5 years.

I mean really, you can't write that stuff and make it seem believable. Only in sports...


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Who's To Blame?

So I'm reading an old paperback novel about airplanes, good story, and in the middle something happens that gets me thinking. There's an airplane with engine failure, smoke comes out, people scared, etc. Of course, everyone blames the manufacturer of the airplane. And the people who make the plane are furious. Why?

It's not their fault.

Of course, that sounds like a cop out. Plane one fire, must be the people who made the plane. Blame Boeing. But they made an interesting point. Most people don't know this, but industrial engines are very rarely made by the company that makes the machine. To give you an idea, for the plane, Boeing would make the plane, but not the engines. They would buy some other company's engine (like Rolls Royce) and have them installed on the plane. So really, the plane manufacturers are right. It's not their fault, but they'll take the heat for it.

To make it a little easier to understand, imagine you're driving your car. In my case a nice little Geo. I've been driving it for a year. Suddenly a tire bursts. Does Geo make the tires? No, of course not. You'd have Firestone or Goodyear on it. The tire could burst for any number of reasons. Bad road, old tires (they don't last forever), even on the off chance faulty tires. So should I yell at Geo for making a bad car? No. It wasn't their fault.

And this is what happens in the airplane business. They get blamed for parts that break that are not their fault. They take the brunt of all the accusations, stocks fall, people don't fly as much (for a bit) all based on the a part failing that was not the airline maker's fault. Heck, the airline maker doesn't even get to choose what engines are put in. They buyer of the aircraft does that. So really, they have no blame whatsoever.

Yet they pay for it.

But this is what got me thinking. Do we do that to God? Traffic's really bad and we slept in already, late for work. "God, why are You punishing me?" Someone steals your wallet. "How could You do this to me God?" We eat cheese puffs all day and get sick. "God, I don't deserve this. Why are You letting this happen to me?" Is it really His fault?

But then again, when we actually do something right, when we get the new job, when a new life is born, when miracles happen, who do we generally give the credit to...?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

National Youth Workers Convention

So I was busy this last weekend helping with Group Magazine and Doug Field's NYWC Conference. Of course, I was there to learn stuff, so here's some I got, either by design of the conference or by accident by being me.

~People can generally be really, really nice.
~You never know the whole story (I may give more on this later...).
~Churches of 16 000 have the same problems as ours.
~Cold affects different people different ways.
~Best line of the conference, "No Ringy, No Thingy" (you can figure out what that's for).
~Wal-Mart is never near downtown.
~It costs less to give it away than to ship it home, we got so much free stuff (thank you everyone!!!).
~A little spark of excitement can lead to a huge fire.
~People appreciate the little things.
~Busy-ness is not something to be proud of.
~Teenagers are incredibly fun, and are the people who work with them.
~People who seem to have every right to be exclusive can and are very humble and quite friendly.

I'm sure there's more, I may edit and add some, but there's some food for thought. Thanks to everyone who made it a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Quick Thought Before Bed

I was about to go to sleep and was reading something that I thought I should say really quick (it'll be short).

I was reading about Harry Houdini, the infamous escape artist. You know, he would tie himself up, put himself in a safe, then toss it into water and somehow he'd get out. Amazing. Well, I was actually reading a list of famous people and their fears (phobias really). Houdini was on the list.

He was scared of tight spaces.

Harry Houdini, the guy who got locked in a trunk on a regular basis voluntarily so he could perform was scared of tight spaces. And yet, every night, he did because he found out he had a gift and he couldn't keep it quiet.

What would have happened if he had given up the first time he tried because of his fear?

Are there things you don't do because you're afraid? Spreading God's Word, speaking in front of people, maybe even helping with teenagers (gasp!). Maybe you don't know it yet, but you're good at it. Really good. As in Houdini good.

Are you going to let a little phobia stop you from being as good at whatever it is God wants you to do as Harry Houdini was at escaping?

Stephen read it Friday at McPrayer (at least I think this was it, I'm kinda tired). "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." - Isaiah 41:13.


Monday, February 05, 2007

The Colts Did It

It's finally happened. The Colts are the Super Bowl Champions. They are it. The winners.

And Coach Dungy finally has his Super Bowl winning team. You gotta hand it to the guy, he's been waiting a long time for this. And yet, in the midst of his win, in the height of his glory, what did he say? All the news stories are running how an African-American coach won the game, but he added more...

"I'm proud to be the first African-American coach to win this," Dungy said during the trophy ceremony. "But again, more than anything, Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord's way. We're more proud of that."

Wait a minute, what was that? But that's not all he said...

"The Lord doesn't always take you in a straight line," Dungy said. "He tests you sometimes."

In a sport that seems to focus so much on "me", all the big hype, the end zone dances, the"look at how great I am" attitude, the announcers are looking to the sidelines and mentioning how Dungy never raises his voice and has never cursed or swore on the football field because of his faith.

That's a man I'm proud to see hoist the Lombardi Trophy.


(both quutes from AOL Sports)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Keeping Your Word

Most people know what a treaty is. An agreement between two countries to stop fighting. At least, most times that's what it means. And usually it will be forgotten and people still fight when angry.

But who has heard of the Treaty of Windsor? It was signed way back in 1386 by two countries who were not at war. England and Portugal created it saying they would never go to war with each other.

And 621 years later they have still never been at war.

Imagine if we all lived like that. If we all kept our word. If we simply stopped fighting (or never started) because we simply said we wouldn't and did our best to find another way to solve our problems. There are many treaties that are worth nothing because they simply aren't followed. This one has six centuries of worth.

What's your word worth?

Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no... ~ James 5:12


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Almost Made Me Sick

So last night I was up late with the TV on (I was at a hotel and couldn't sleep, more on that later) when an infomercial came on for the Season 1 DVD of "Gifted".

Now, for those of you who don't know what "Gifted" is, it's basically a Christian American Idol. You can see the website at I have no problem with people showing the gift God gave them, but there was something a bit too much for me.

Backtrack. Back when I was in high school (oh so long ago) the modern worship movement was just starting. It seemed good. Lots of new songs, lots of books and CD's so people could play the songs in church. Good.

Then it got bigger. Christian/worship CD sales were the second highest growing genre in the last few years. Worship was on the radio. Worship leaders were now giving concerts. I had mixed feelings. I'm glad people have the opportunity to hear these songs. People may even be worshipping in their cars while the radio's on, but is it focused worship? Are people really thinking about how God is holy or merely humming along to "Holy Is The Lord" while it's on in the background? Are we praising God or the laser light show? So many questions...

But this one made me sick. I mean sick. Like I said, if God gave you a talent and you want to use it, maybe even let people know God gave it to you, fine. But then, during this infomercial for the DVD set, I heard "How Great Is Our God", a wonderful worship song that is pretty much summed up in the title. And it was being sung by someone promoting themselves to win a recording contract. Singing "How Great Is Our God" to promote to judges "How Great Am I".

And I couldn't take it anymore.

I don't know where the line is. I don't know everything there is to know about worship. I honestly think our view of worship is quite small and think God would like it to be bigger. But is this really it? Singing songs written for God possibly even inspired by God to worship Him, use all this so I can show how good I am? I believe in doing a good job for God, giving Him our best, but is this really right? Am I off base here or is taking a song of worship and completely shifting the focus off of God onto ourselves okay? Can these singers actually say they were worshipping God while trying to show how good they were and earn a recording contract? It's possible, but probable? Even right?

One more thing that got me. The grand finale was all the contestants together singing the "hit radio single Amazing Love". Not "song of worship to God", not "wonderful song of praise", but "hit radio single". Honestly...

"What I do is done for My own sake—
I will not let My Name be dishonoured
or let anyone else share the glory
that should be Mine and Mine alone." ~ Is. 48:11


(we have no right to His glory, He has no need to share it, the only glory we get we don't deserve but is shared with us for being His children, see Ro. 8:17, Heb. 2:10, Col. 3:4. God is not being vain or proud in this verse, HE IS GOD. He is the only Being in all of time who can honestly say He deserves all glory because He does... because He is God).

I'll stop. I could go on forever on this...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Undue Stress

I've heard someone say that a majority of our stress is based on things in our head that have never happened, or based on something in the past that you cannot change anyway.

So today, Lorie and I had a wonderful meeting at Immigration. We've known about it for over a month. We've prepared. We brought 8 binders of information (yes, 8). We sat in the waiting room while people were separated from their families, lawyers told people what to say or not to say, and even while one guy found out his father was taken into custody and detained.

You can guess where our stress level was at (more Lorie's, I just made bad jokes that made her stress worse). So we finally get called in almost 90 minutes after our appointment was supposed to start.

We were there 10 minutes.

I kid you not, we had a great time, the officer who talked with us was really nice and totally understood what we were going through, in fact, the part that took us the longest was having our officer photocopy some forms. We left smiling. No problems whatsoever. So where did the stress come from?

We made it.

And it's a sign of our society in my mind. I noticed yesterday the A.E.D. at the high school (the portable paddles to start your heart, "Clear!") and started wondering when we got those things. Then I started wondering when did we need those things? Have we put so much stress on ourselves that our hearts might give out at any time? And is it proper stress or completely undue? We have to have machines at any public place in case our hearts give out. I don't think we were built that weak, so what can the reason be? Are our lives too stressful? If so, what's the answer?

"I leave you peace; my peace I give you." ~ Jesus (John 14:27)


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Verse For The Day

Sorry, I gotta go so I'll be quick, but there's a verse that was in some way told to me three times Monday, so I figured that was a sign from God to learn it. Now it's posted everywhere so I'll see it and I thought I would share it too.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father ~ Colossians 3:17

So whatever you're doing, no matter what, do it for God. Do your best since you're putting His name on your work :)


Monday, January 22, 2007

Things I Learned Last Night

Sorry, but another list since last night was just too much for me. So many things happened that people don't realize but we all need to understand...

~Football is more important than God
I know right away most people are going to be offended by this and I really wish it wasn't true, but actions speak louder than words (see Titus 1:16). Our attendance was down about 70% last night, and the only reason some of those people came is because I promised to bring my computer from home and hook it up to the big screen so it could record until we were done and we could still see the whole game after youth. Even then, people still had to check the scores on their cell phones. We even had people ask why we weren't canceling our student ministry to watch football. Yes, football's fun and I enjoy it and I like to watch and play it, but it's still just a game. The only power it has to control your life is what you give it.

~You don't need a lot of people to worship God
We had fun last night, people really missed out. Why? Hardcore's were there. People who really wanted to be at church. People who really wanted to worship God. And since it was all hardcore's no one was embarrassed to sing loud or have fun in worship. I think the people there last night were louder than any other night when we've had 4x as many there. It's all about God, not everyone else and what they're doing.

~Football is a really short game stretched out over 4 hours
One of the beauties of last night with the game on computer is we could fast forward through all the useless commentary between plays, commercials, ten minute reviews, etc. Here's the sad part. We watch two hours of football in a little over 40 minutes. And that was taking our time at points. I understand it's a rough game, but after you get hit in hockey, everyone doesn't' stop for five minutes and let you catch your breath. And do we ever have a lot of commercials. No wonder I don't watch them...

~Never give up
Down 21-3. People watching the game were so upset. And the Colts came back to win 38-34. You could hear the commentators praising Tom Brady before it was over. Anything can happen if you don't give up and keep going hard at whatever it is you are doing.

Just some things to think about...

btw, just one more for all those who didn't like the "football is more important than God" quip. Last night, by the number on a guys back, people were able to tell me who he was, what he'd done, his records, what school he'd gone to, etc. If I give you a verse number out of the Bible, could you give me that much information about what it says? People can quote an entire team's stats (let's say 20 people), can you quote 20 verses from the Bible? hmmm....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"White As Snow" Winter Retreat

Okay, I'm back and I'm not going to do like Mexico where I relive each day a week after or something like that. It hurt my brain. But I will list some highlights from the retreat...

-watching the floor bend under Thomas as everyone jumped to "Undignified" (and Teagan holding the projector so it wouldn't break during the same).
-the taste of well water with that hint of sulphur.
-great food (chicken and beef fajitas?! At a camp?!?!)
-having time alone with the Sr. Highs where we could learn about what God wants from us in our lives, how we can be "White As Snow" and why.
-a student actually coming up to me and saying "Good Job" after a discussion one night.
-seeing everyone with the chance to be alone use it for prayer.
-a football game with trees as the end zone (my arm still hurts, 3 hours as quarterback with a 1.83 passer rating).
-Jon deciding to hide on a boat for sneak.
-talking about suffering and not being made to suffer by those listening.
-the Colts winning for the first time for me on a winter retreat (they lost on that same weekend every single year since I moved here).
-Ali not having a clue how to play Euchre, and her being on the other team.
-Tina Myrick asking what an "M" on her piece of paper meant during Mafia.
-Ann going to the hospital after Noah "collided with her" during football.
-that amazing adult leaders who helped make this a great weekend (some even took Ann to the hospital after the above collision").
-having a room full of boys run a lap around the camp since they had too much energy to go to sleep at 1:00am.
-getting obliterated in air hockey by Shawn (sorry my home and native land).
-seeing students spend time with each other, get to know each other, talk with each other and pray and genuinely care for each other.
-watching how quickly everyone worked and how eager students were to serve when we were packing up.
-actually being able to hear people singing incredibly loud during worship.
-watching Sarah run to the garbage can gagging after trying a taste of "Buckley's Cough Syrup".
-realizing that God still heals, even though we say He does, actually experiencing it.
-seeing lots of deer.
-being away from it all, able to focus on God without the many distractions of everyday life and getting certain things in perspective.

There's my list, there are more but I'm too tired right now to keep going. Check the forum at by clicking on the "Discussion" button at the top of the page and going to the discussion titled "Winter Retreat." Also, pictures will be posted in the "Pictures" section. Thanks for a great weekend!


Friday, January 12, 2007


Notice it doesn't say "Skiing"...

But we're gone for the weekend on a winter retreat. It'll be fun for all with many fond memories for us to look back on someday. Hopefully pics will be up next week, if we remember the camera this time.



Tuesday, January 09, 2007


For those that don't know, the CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas, where all the new little gadgets and gizmos are put on display, things that make James Bond look like someone holding a ghettoblaster (and it's true, some of his stuff from the last movie was there, it's real).

Everyone was singing its praise today, telling about all the leaps forward and everything we can do, from the new Apple iPhone that will be coming out to new OLED displays. But here's something I noticed.

Nothing looks like it will actually make our lives better.

There were some things that will make our lives a little easier. Wait. A little lazier. A coffee maker that hooks up to satellite weather to tell you the forecast. Apple's new iTV which will allow you to play your iTunes downloaded movies on your TV. Speaking of TV, what about the 108 inch flatpanel (yes, 108 inches!). All nice, fun things to have. But how do they actually improve our lives? Very little. In fact, the only thing I saw mentioned that could even be close to helping us better ourselves was an outrageously priced exercise bike with a screen in front of you. It shows a course and as you ride, the pedals get tougher or softer depending on if you go up or down hills. Um, why not just actually go ride a bike?

So really, with all our technology and everything, I see only two uses. They give us access to more information and the entertain us more. The problem with the access to information is people will not be likely to download books or things to enhance their minds, they will just get more useless entertainment for all the other products that are there. Does a bluetooth really need an MP3 player?

So here's my suggestion. Buy whatever you want. Have at it. But don't let it control you or be your focus. All this stuff will do is make you lazier (except the bike). Instead be trying to better yourselves. We played a game on Sunday with the Jr. & Sr. High students. After the game I realized that people simply do not read enough (it was more mind exercise type games). Try reading. Try being a better person, not just one who owns a better TV...


Monday, January 08, 2007

They Like Jesus, But Not The Church

I haven't read it, but it's the title of a new book that caught my attention ( That's right, there's so much information on this someone was able to write a book.

So how does it happen? How is it that people like Jesus but don't like the body that is supposed to be representing Him?

Which makes me think how far off are we from being like Christ? When you go to church on Sunday morning, do you see Jesus in other people? Do they act, think talk, behave, love like you think Jesus would?

What about you? Someone told me long ago if you want to fix your church, draw a circle on the ground, get in it and start praying for the member of the church in the circle first.

No real answers, just questions. If I knew the answer, I'd be doing more to fix the problem, but how do you lovingly help people see where their spirit really is?


Saturday, January 06, 2007

People Get Mad Over Anything

I have a theory that you can get anybody mad over any little thing. It's not hard, people just like to be upset. So here's something I read today.

George Smathers ran against Claude Pepper in the 50's for Senator of Florida. Now, Smathers knew he had to run down Pepper to win, so he got people all fired up against Pepper by telling all sorts of true statements about him to belittle his character. Here's a few of them:

He let people know Pepper was a "known extrovert."
He said Pepper's sister was a "thespian."
He called Pepper's brother a "practicing homo sapiens."
Said while Pepper was in college he "openly matriculated."
And one more. Smathers said that before Pepper was married he "engaged in celibacy."

The people were upset, and they spoke. Smathers won.

And by the way, if you're actually upset by anything said here, get a dictionary.