Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day!

What did you do with your extra day? I rested all day trying to get well before Sunday. I am pretty excited about the message Sunday. I think it is very important. We have been looking at Christ on the cross and what the aspects of the atonement mean for us. Thanks to Mark Driscoll for helping me to think more deeply about this subject.

It is more important than ever before to understand what the atonement means to the believer and why we needed Jesus to go to the cross and die for us, shedding His blood and then rising from the dead. Oprah has given space on her site to talk about A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. Her are some quotes from this book:

"There is no sin."
"A slain Christ has no meaning."
"The journey to the cross should be the last ' useless journey."
"Do not make the pathetic error of 'clinging to the old rugged cross."
"The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol... It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray."
"The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself."
"The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation."

Thanks to Ben Arment for the link.

As you can see the cross is under assault once again. As for me: "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:13-15

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Personally I find it important to get into a rhythm as far as my schedule and my work, as well as spiritually. There are have been several challenges to that lately. Since the end of October I have struggled to find consistency and rhythm in any sense. Chronic pain is one of the problems, combined with trips to the doctor, MRI's, two sinus infections, an ear infection, buying a replacement vehicle, the holidays, family emergencies and other things. I'm not writing this in the sense of poor me but in a sense just thinking out loud. It is hard to find a good rhythm. It is harder to stay in the groove so to speak. It has affected my prayer life, devotional life and my preaching/teaching. I feel like it is a spiritual struggle akin to warfare. I press on with the anticipation that I'm close to a break through much like a light bulb going on, or a eureka moment that will make it all worth while.

So do need to live rhythmically or do you thrive in spontaneity?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Junk Science

I came across this article yesterday about cfl light bulbs. If there is no change by 2012 we will be forced to use these light bulbs. The same folks who demanded that incandescent light bulbs be discontinued will very soon begin suing the manufacturers of cfl light bulbs for improper handling of the mercury that is contained in cfl bulbs. On top of this, we as consumers will be forced to purchase these bulbs and then most likely we will be held accountable for our handling of them. It will be illegal to throw them away and I suspect that eventually we will have to pay to dispose of them. Even more troubling is the threat that the mercury poses to our health when one of these bulbs break.

I have read a number of blog posts and also have listened to podcasts telling me that the church needs to get on board the environmental band wagon. The reasoning is that so many people are concerned about this problem. But just because a large number of people believe that the earth is close to an environmental catastrophe doesn't mean that this is true. It is based upon nonsense and in reality the radical environmental movement is based in humanism, communism and paganist worship of the earth. Many of the proponents believe that the earth would be better off without people. As a Christian, I believe that humans are made in the image of God and we are to steward the earth sure, be we are also to fill the earth and use it to the glory of God.

You can check out more at

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hat Trick

There is something that I have never understood about hockey. When someone scores three or more goals in a single game it is called a hat trick, the same as it is in soccer. In hockey after the third goal is scored people throw their hats on the ice. I would like to know what happens to all those hats. Sometimes there are hundreds of them. While I enjoy sports I can tell you that there is very little chance that I would throw my $25 hat on the ice unless I knew it would come back to me. Where do all the hats go?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Business Meeting

We conducted our annual church business meeting tonight. It lasted about forty minutes. After my friend Wayne had an over three hour meeting last month, I am so thankful that we do things differently. We will have two new members on the church council starting next month. One has never served before so I am looking forward to a new prospective.

Maybe it wasn't a super exciting meeting but after our church has struggled through conflict and some subversive nonsense the last few years it is good to have a tension free meeting. We didn't set any huge goals for the year. We are in a stage where the focus is just taking the next step. We have the next few steps mapped out and will take each in turn. After years of talking about serving our community some concrete minstry ideas are becoming reality. I talked about taking a step of faith (1 Samuel 14) like Jonathan did with the attitude that "perhaps the Lord" will step in and do something amazing. I challenged each person to be either a Jonathan or an armor bearer this year. I think our church is now maturing to a place of increasing fruifulness. It will be interesting to see what God does through His people here in Bethany this year.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Rebekah and I were able to get away alone last week so we don't have elaborate plans for V-day. I bought a Willow Tree item which she collects. This morning I took my beautiful daughter out for breakfast at IHOP. She picked the place and we had a good time. It is becoming a tradition of ours to go out for breakfast on Valentine's. We went to buy a present for her mama and then we went to Target to get something for her brothers. I would buy her the world if I could afford to but since I can't I will spend something even more valuable on her time. I want her to learn how she should be treated so that when she gets married she doesn't pick some loser who doesn't treat her right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

IU Integrity

Illinois finally had a good night last night beating Minnesota for the 18 consecutive time. Then I read this morning about Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson who according to NCAA investigators, "failed to deport himself … with the generally recognized high standard of honesty." Given that many of Illinois woes have stemmed from poor shooting and that this years freshmen class was supposed to include Eric Gordon the Big Ten's leading scorer this year I am not surprised at the report and it does little to wash away the disappointment from this season. Gordon of course originally committed to Illinois before switching to Indiana. His original committment caused other shooting guards to go to other schools which hurt Illinois' ability to replace Jamar Smith who is redshirting this year and Rich McBride who graduated.

What this really shows is that integrity and character always surface eventually. Sampson had issues with both while coaching at Oklahoma and I expect that he will likely lose his job at Indiana over these problems. Unfortunately he will likely coach long enough to make a deep run in the NCAA tourney. You can read the whole story here if you would like.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I hear some pastors talk about being bored by conferences and attending this one or that one and not remembering much or being changed much. I however go to very few mainly because our church can usually send me to only one a year. And it really isn't a conference so much as our District Council. But if anyone wants to send me to a conference this one looks awesome and I would love to attend. The Whiteboard Sessions looks intense. It is being put on by Ben Arment whose blog I have followed for quite some time. It is a one day event with top leaders. But each presenter is limited to 30 minutes to share one principle. Sounds like a great event.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Week that was...

Monday was a long day with three doctors appointments. I have on going pain in my back and right shoulder, arm, wrist and hand. There is still no answer there. I have been given a pretty clean bill of health as far as my lungs go. I have no further appointments with the lung doctors!

Tuesday I tried to catch up with homework. I did more Friday. Some wonderful folks purchased a new notebook computer for the church. This will help us in our video and multimedia stuff for services. What an unexpected blessing!

Speaking of unexpected, our good friends surprised us Thursday with tickets to see Illinois play against Indiana in Champaign. They watched our kids for us as well. It was great to be able to go to that game even though the Illini lost again. I was disappointed that so many students chanted profanity at Eric Gordon although I can't blame them too much. He brought it on himself to some extent.

Today I haven't gotten much done because of pain in my back that is shooting down my leg. If it doesn't improve it will be difficult to stand and preach in the morning. I am praying that God will heal me completly as I am tired of being in pain all the time. Looking forward to a great Sunday anyway!

Bloggers go to Uganda

We had a Bishop from Uganda speak at our church last may. We really enjoyed having Pastor Herman with us. In America we don't hear much about the ongoing violence in the northern part of the country. Several prominent bloggers are traveling to this country next week. You can follow them on their blogs.

Ragamuffin Soul in Uganda