Pray

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm getting beat up bad and things just keep coming on and everyday is just a constant struggle.

I hate to ask for prayer on a blog like this, but thats all I can think of to do.

Arrr! Today be International talk like a pirate day!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yup! Every year on September 19th, it's International talk like a pirate day. Well...at least according to these guys.

Don' you love the internet?

Ever wonder how much ministers get paid?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If so, don't go here. Well...I'm sure the survey is accurate, but certainly doesn't represent any ministers I know.

The youth ministers they surveyed came up with an average over 3 times what I make. Crazy!

What do Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Craig from craigslist.com have in common?

The internet has crashed!

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash



It starts out a little slow, but about half way thru it gets good.

Give your money so we can bless ourselves!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

video

Few things make me as nervous as huge church building projects and churches going 'in a new direction'. Too often I think, our voices of greed and selfishness are heard louder than the voice of God.

Our church is getting ready to embark upon a new building program. The church building has been in existence for 20+ years and in all honesty, we are busting at the seems. Which is a good thing. So, don't think that this post has anything to do with our building project because...well...I was on that committee and gave my $0.02 on what our needs are. Does it make me uncomfortable? Yes. But I honestly believe that if this is something that God does NOT want us to do, it won't happen. At least, thats what I keep asking God to do.

But back to my point. Being in such a culture where bigger and better means success, churches so often fall to this mindset that in order to be a successful church and fulling the mission of God, we have to build bigger and better things. If church attendance is going up, and people are joining the Church of God, that equals success! Not!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. - James 1:27

I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. - Mark 9:41

My prayer is that we don't give our money because of our selfish ambitions or vain conceits (Philippians) only so we can receive bigger and better things plus donuts. So, when are we going to give to the glory of God so that others may be well fed and taken care of?

The video is from TheChurchYouKnow.com and the site and videos are definitely worth checking out.

Funny Bumper Stickers

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I found these tonight while using my favorite social bookmarking system StumbleUpon. Here are a few that made me laugh:

Without geometry, life is pointless.
My gamer fragged your honor student.
National Spellling Bee Runer-Up
Dyslexics Untie!
In case of rapture, can I have your car?
Keep on working, millions on welfare depend on you!
Want a little taste of religion? Bite the minister.
To err is human, to moo bovine.
Carpe Diem = Seize the day. Carp In Denim = Fish in pants.
Practice safe lunch: Use a condiment.

Anyways, have fun.

You have to be careful just trying to help!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The big news this morning is about a family who stopped to help a woman they thought was in distress. She wasn't. In fact, she was an undercover cop posing as a prostitute. What happened? The husband was arrested on grounds that he solicited a prostitute (while his wife was in the car, and daughter just inside the store). Click the link to read the full story.

Theres a couple of things that bother me about this story.

First of all is the act of entrapment. I can understand police officers hiding out and trying to catch a crime in process, such as burglary or even speeding. But to set people up to commit a crime to me, isn't moral. And we could go on for days asking the question "Is it really a crime for a man to solicit sex from someone who really isn't soliciting?" I don't know, our law experts can argue about that. I obviously dont agree with people wanting to visit a hooker, but aren't there far worse crimes that our police can be taking care of? Lets try to solve all the murders and break ins first.

The second thing that bothers me is that the city of Chicago won't make things right for this man and his family. They wrongly arrested him, impounded his car, and are demanding some $4700 for its return. Not to mention all the humiliation this family has had to endure thru all of this.

Sometimes I just sit back and wonder...When will the madness end?

Difficulty

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings as eagles,

they shall run, and not be weary;

and they shall walk, and not faint" - Isaiah 40:31

Yes!! This is my dream!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lately I have considered going to the High School to start a "games club" and doing ministry within the High school through games such as chess, Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and other games such as those (also deemed as "nerd" games, see previous post). We've had a huge outcry against our Karate Ministry at church...can you imagine what would happen if I started a Dungeons and Dragons ministry? lol

So I've considered doing it outside of the church in the High/Middle school.

Today I ran across a post on a website that describes EXACTLY what I want to do. Read this and be amazed!

Back long, long ago... When Geraldo was doing his level best to make a name for himself by trying to demonstrate the suicidal tendencies of D&D players and MMS (Mad Moms Syndrome) had taken root all through out our fair land, I had my most memorable reaction to my playing.

One of the women at church whose son my best friend and I had invited over to play D&D one Sunday found out about the invite. She went to the pastors and begged them to intervene before our souls were utterly destroyed. They promised to look into the matter. The pastors had all heard the stories, but thankfully, being Methodist, weren't going to take them at face value. That evening, Pastors Bill and Dan showed up at our house. They talked with my dad for a while, then called me downstairs. It was so odd, having these two ministers sitting there asking if they could borrow my D&D books for the week. My dad, who had never had a problem with the game, especially seeing as how my grades had shot up since I had taken it up as a hobby, told me to let them. I was afraid they'd be burned, but since I trusted them, I agreed. Turns out my buddy Mike agreed, too.

The next Friday evening, we got a call from Pastor Dan. He wanted to know if I could get my gaming buddies together and meet at his place for a game session. He would provide the refreshments, all I needed to do was bring some players. Again, I agreed and showed up with 4 or 5 guys in tow. Both pastors, the associate pastor, the assistant pastor, the youth pastor, and several church board members were there when we showed up. All I could think of was "This is an intervention". How wrong I was.

I turned out that the assembled group had been passing around our books all week, and found nothing "Satanic" or "suicidally provocative" about these books. Most of the readers had found the rules as clear as mud (1st Ed was written at an almost post-grad level), so they wanted a demonstration to better understand what they had tried reading about. That's why they wanted us game for them, so they could observe. We must have played for nearly 8 hours. It was more interesting than any of us expected.

All these highly educated people were astounded that a bunch of middle schoolers had developed such off-the-cuff math skills, advanced story-telling abilities, and used a college level vocabulary to discuss aspects of our game (Who knew that words like longevity, heirophant, and polymorph were supposed to be 6 years above our reading level?). A few of them even tried following along in the rule books or making up characters of their own. It was crazy, but they were so excited about the benefits that could be imparted that they seemed to forget all the negative hype that had been thrown around the media. By the time we left, it seemed that the church wasn't going to worry about D&D any longer. What actually resulted was much stranger than I could have guessed as I fell asleep that night.

During church the next day, Pastor Dan announced that due to the concerns of several members of the congregation, they had fully investigated D&D and had come to a conclusion. They not only said that it was perfectly safe ("Those who decry it the loudest are those that understand it the least"), but that starting in two weeks, a regular D&D game would be held at the church every Saturday night, chaperoned by the youth pastor and any other interested parties, and that the church was ordering a complete set of the books so as not to force those running the game to transport a small library every week. Most folks looked vaguely confused as to why the church would bother making such a big deal about a game. Many more were upset that the "Satan game" had fooled such good men. I'm pretty sure the rest were as amused by the outcome as my father was.

There has been a role-playing group in the church almost every weekend since. They supported a gaming convention in the community center once a year for a long time until it got too big and was forced to move to a larger venue. There have been D&D themed weddings, trips to rennaisance fairs, geek-themed movie nights, and other gamer-friendly phenomenon ever since. Here, 25 years later, it now has a huge fellowship of gamers and the current pastors sometimes even let D&D references slip during their sermons. Who could have guessed all this would stem from one kid asking another kid, with a wack-a-doo for a mom, if he wanted to play an elf?


All because the church decided to investigate something and find that, hey, it's not so bad after all! Amazing!


Yes, I am a nerd.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My wife continues to remind me, almost on a daily basis, that I'm a nerd. Let me list the number of ways in which I am:

  1. I love Star Wars.
  2. I love computers.
  3. I love video games.
  4. I miss the days where we the guys would devote 8 hours to playing a long Dungeons and Dragons session.
  5. I miss the days where we the guys would devote 8 hours to playing a long Star Wars the Role playing game session.
  6. Last Spring I sat down to watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (Extended versions). Each one is 3+ hours long. I started about noon, and finished about 2am.
  7. I can remember times when we would sit down and watch the original Star Wars trilogy in order.
  8. I own a "Force FX" lightsaber. It's in my office.
  9. We've made lightsaber battles on video.
  10. I own a real sword.
  11. I keep a collection of star wars figures and dragons.
  12. I have a large bag of assorted dice. 20 sided. 8 sided. 100 sided. I have them all.
  13. I can pronounce cthulu.
I can list lots and lots of things. But here's the thing...I'm proud of being a nerd. I really didn't believe I was until I saw a picture on the internet of a bunch of men, gathered around a table with dice, notebooks, D&D books and Taco Bell with the caption describing how much of a nerd these men were. I said to myself...wow...that looks a LOT like what our nights were like.

So. It's official. I'm a nerd, and I'm ok with that.

Blind man sat on the road and cried...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

As I continue my studying on the Gospels, I am amazed at the accounts that I come across that I never seemed to take notice of before. This morning I read John 10, the account of the blind man that was healed.

John tells us that this man was born blind, and people had witnessed this man begging for years. The disciples asked Jesus "Who sinned? Him or his parents that he was born blind?" Because in that day, physical afflictions were believed to be caused by sin. They should of read more of Job. But Jesus' reply is "Neither did!" and went on to explain why he was born blind...but we'll get to that later.

Long story short, Jesus gave the man his sight and it caused a huge uproar with the Pharisees and teachers of the law. So much so, they decided to investigate the matter and to further accuse Jesus of being a sinner. The once-blind man was called in to testify, then his parents (who were afraid of the Jews and decided that it was best for their son to fend for himself), and then they brought the once-blind man in again. What he says is amazing:

"Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." (verses 30-33)

Now, lets back track for a minute.

Why was this man born blind? Jesus tells us in verse 3:

"...but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

Jesus then told me to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. John tells us the name Siloam means "sent". I don't think that was just an FYI note, but to tell us something: This man is now sent to tell about Jesus. And that's exactly what he does when he comes before the Pharisees--he testifies that Jesus is sent from God.

What can we glean from this? I think what I pick up the most, is that there are times when we feel inadequate. I feel like that everyday when I'm trying to figure out what in the world I'm going to plan.

Inadequacy...that's what we're supposed to feel. If we felt strong enough to do it on our own, why would we rely on God? When we're out on a limb, we are forced to say "God, you brought me to do this, please work through me and in me to do what you want me to do."

Thats why the man was born blind. He if he hadn't, he never would of had the opportunity to testify about Jesus. So yes, we all have weaknesses--but for a reason!

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." - 2nd Corinthians 12:9

New study confirms it: Men like attractive women

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

And we all slap our foreheads and say "Duh!"

Researchers, led by Peter M. Todd of Indiana University did a study to find out if men go for good looks when finding a 'mate'. You can read the rest of the story here.

What I find interesting about the whole thing, is that they spent time, effort and money on this research. Couldn't they just have saved all that time and money and asked a couple of men on the street? Line up 4 or 5 women and ask men which one they would like to date the most.

I can see the conversation between researchers and their grant providers:

"Did you find the cure for cancer yet?"
"No."
"Why?"
"We were busy!"
"Oh so you're still research how to cure cancer?"
"Oh we gave up on that...we wanted to know if men find women attractive."
"..."

New Home

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This will be my new posting home. I've gone back and forth from here to Xanga, but I just can't go back to Xanga any longer.

Feel free to comment and engage in any discussion on the topics discussed here. Also look at any of the items on the right side bar. I've posted some of my favorite blogs: Tony Myles and Mark Oestricher. Both of whom I read every day. They have some amazing things to say about ministry and God.

Make sure you subscribe to this page. If you don't know how to do that, go up to your "Bookmarks" menu and click "Subscribe to this Page" and follow the directions from there. If you have any problems, just ask!

Thanks for coming over with me!!