Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tagged by Grandma

Normally, I ignore "tags" or any sort of mass-email that requires effort on my part. BUT, when your Grandmother tags you...that's a different story! So, here are my responses to my grandmother's questions:

1. What were you doing 10 years ago? I was cramming like crazy so that I could finish college the following summer. I was also beginning to work part-time at a church as the youth pastor. That was the beginning of my road to the ministry.

2. What is on my to-do list today? Let's see, it's almost 11:30...not a lot left on it.

3. What if I were a millionaire? Give, pay off the house, set up funds for the kids' college expenses.

4. Places I have lived? Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, and Texas.

5. Bad Habits? Trying to multi-task around people

6. Snacks I Like: pretzels


The inventor of the slinky passed away last week. The funeral was delayed for about half an hour. The pallbearers could only get the casket halfway down the stairs of the church before it would just stop...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumnal Equinox

May your day have equal light and darkness today.

Happy Fall!

OK, actually, the dates where there will be equal day and night (equiluxes) will be September 26th and October 15th.

Here's a good link to discuss with the kids today:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Piper & the Health and Wealth Gospel

WARNING: The following is rated PG-13 for mature themes.

I'm posing it in response to Frank's request for my thoughts regarding on the health and wealth gospel. What is amazing to me is that we even need to address this issue. The whole theology of the HWG people is in such blatant odds with Scripture that its hard to imagine how pepole would buy into it.

I think the only explanation is that the theology complements our flesh so well. We want's a theology that promises money. But Piper puts it far better than I can...may we find our complete and total satisfaction in Christ!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Large Hadron Collider

Here are a few videos on the super-duper collider near Geneva. The basic aim of the experiment is to try to create mass from energy. Though I obviously disagree with some of the premises of many of the scientists working on this project, I am excited about this research. Experimental physics seems like a fascinating field to me.

I wonder... will we learn a little more about what happened when God spoke the universe into existence ? Will we learn something about how He continues to hold the universe together?

The first is a 3-minute overview of the LHC.

The second is a very geeky rap song about LHC.

The third video obviously has a very different take on the LHC. It has some cool graphics when the black hole starts to consume our solar system. Note that they don't cite a lot of published scientific material to back up the whole black hole theory. In fact, it was interesting that they decided that the LHC would produce a black hole instead of stranglets, a particle which could be produced and turn the world into a dead lump. I would have liked to see the graphics on that!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Church Satire

The following is from The Sacred Sandwich website. I had thought about using it as an illustration, but thought that some might misinterpret it. It's pretty hillarious.

Summer Blockbusters To Fuel Preachers' Sermon Illustrations

by Horace Pook, June 2005

With the record-breaking opening of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, the 2005 sermon illustration season has officially begun, according to Evangelical Entertainment Weekly. Pastors from all over the country are now anticipating one of the best summers ever for discovering new movie references to enhance their Sunday preaching. Edwin Schnurr, editor of EEW, reports, “Since Joan of Arcadia was canceled by CBS last month, many pastors have been very worried about how they might explain God to their congregations this summer. Thankfully, Hollywood has come through for us once again.”
Besides Revenge of the Sith, the other films that are expected to provide sermon illustrations later this summer include Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, Bewitched, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Fantastic Four.

The initial concern from evangelicals was that the 2005 summer movie season could never match last year’s success, which was buoyed by the huge hit, The Passion of the Christ. “Obviously The Passion was the perfect sermon illustration, considering how it was the best portrayal of Christ since E.T.,” explained Schnurr. “But when we heard that Mel Gibson wasn’t planning to make The Passion of the Christ 2, we were fearful it might be a lean couple of years for movie-related preaching.”

Not so, says Gregory Redenbacher, pastor of Pathway Community Church, who attended the first showing of Revenge of the Sith. “Standing in line for three days was well worth it for me and Josh, our youth pastor. Not only did I get some great sermon material from the movie, but apparently Josh got some tips from all the tech support guys in line on how to clear the Internet cache on our church computers… whatever that is. All I know is, Josh is alone at church on many nights making sure those computers run more smoothly, bless his heart.”

After seeing the film three times, Pastor Redenbacher has already developed a four-part sermon series called “Soul Wars: Choose Your Destiny” which he plans to start in July. “This may well be the most powerful sermon I will ever give,” he conceded with Hanegraaff-like humility. Redenbacher described how he plans to get the congregation’s attention by dimming the lights, filling the pulpit with dry-ice fog, and coming out wearing a Darth Vader costume his wife made for him. “Christians need to see that messing around with the Dark side is no joke. Sure, the Darth Vader outfit is awesome to wear on the outside, but we all need to be a lot nicer on the inside… just like Jesus. I think this message will be very convicting to most people, especially when I get the AV Team to modify my voice to sound like James Earl Jones.”

Later this summer, Redenbacher hopes to bring a more positive, upbeat message to his church after Batman Begins is released. “Batman has a cool costume like Darth Vader, too, but he’s a good guy. Thank goodness Tinsel Town is giving preachers the opportunity to say, let’s be a Caped Crusader for Christ and not a Sith-head like Vader.”

According to Evangelical Entertainment Weekly, many pastors like Redenbacher will be using at least one of the summer blockbusters to help point people to Christ this year. Says Schnurr, “We’ve already heard from one pastor who is so pumped up about the upcoming ‘Fantastic Four’ movie that he’s already planned a sermon called ‘The Fantastic Four: Father, Son, Holy Spirit… and You!’” Added Schnurr with a happy shrug, “Who knew Hollywood was becoming so biblical?”

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Just had a quick moment in which I thought I could share two thoughts from our launch on Sunday.

First, I believe God was glorified by His Saints Sunday. All of the comments I have received have been very positive. Praise God that people did not leave talking about "Bethany" but instead were meditating on God and His work in their lives.

Second, Sunday was a testimony to what happens when God's people all commit wholeheartedly to the ministries to which He has called them.

Exciting times! Many questions remain unanswered, such as: Will people respond to the gospel message? Will new people come back? How will we shepherd everyone if they do? How do we build a sense of community? When will we have another Sunday brunch and will there be enough donuts?

May God alone be glorified in the exciting days ahead!