Tuesday, November 14, 2006


It is awesome that immediately following my post announcing my acceptance into grad school and I write a post dealing with teaching people who may seem simple-minded, with the worst grammer ever. Seriously, read the next post of you don't think it possible. .... Proof read...

Sorry, I was in a hurry and in a panera bread, (the only place I have internet access currently).
I left the post because I believe that this is a problem.

Most (if not all) of the great deceptions the devil pulls are through our pride. We don't even know it is there, and then all of a sudden we feel that we have an understanding that is above the comprehension of those we are supposed to teach.

How often do we hear about, get involved with, know of, or complain about how churches have a tendancy to become a baby-sitting service. The church gets full of people who only are there because of what they can get from the church. I would suggest that is because we get caught up in ourselves and treat people as though they were babies and needed us to grow. If that is the culture a leader sows...

I was recently told by a pastor that I know well that the people in his congregation simply could not do what was needed to grow the kingdom. This is totally contrary to the message of Christ. He was all about letting everyone in, and more importantly empowering them. The disciples were these guys, not the best or smartest and Jesus said you are capable to lead the church.

I doubt this problem is intentional, but we have to constantly check ourselves, and each other

Monday, November 13, 2006

A simple culture

On several occasions recently I have had people talking about teaching specific congregations within the church. More often than not, in my discussions of how to best teach a specific culture ( or subculture within western culture ) I have been told that the culture is too simple to understand deep teaching. Poor, rich, upper class, new christians, inner-city, suburban, rural, blue collar, you name it, all are used to rationalize a lack of solid teaching.

I can think of 3 seperate teachers/pastors in opposite cultural settings that have told me how their people cannot understand deep teaching due to being simpletons. Is this the truth?

I understand some people actual have mental problems that slow their understanding of basic truths, but everyone else just have not been educated. I wonder how dangerous it is for leaders to assume a lack of potential in their people. Doesn't God open the banquet to everyone once the original guests elect to see it as trivial and not show? Isn't there something to be said about how Jesus taught blue collar, uneducated people how to know God and they built the church?

Maybe it is just me, having a passion to teach, and thinking everyone else should. But maybe it is a huge problem, maybe many leaders in churches are dropping the ball.

I am still thinking through this and will post more, but it was a bit fresh today.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

hey big time college grad!

well, that is a while coming, but I officially have been accepted to graduate school and am now in the process of scheduling classes, and waiting for finacnial aide to come through. I am excited to go back to school.

I am currently at panera bread and a lady just sat down near me. Can I just comment on old lady smell? I used to think it was a natural smell, but now I realize that they actually purchase a pefume in order to make this smell. I am a second away from passing out from this mix of normal perfume, old spice, original lysol and comet. Seriously, feel free to dab. If you suffer from OLS, I apologize.

more news later

Thursday, October 26, 2006


If I could incur wrath by the power of my word it surely would fall on fafsa. I'm talking the sky would blacken, with thunder crashing, and lightning flashing, my voice would become huge and fill the sky and sound like an army of warriors reigning down a battle cry of death towards all whose ears they fall, simply when I said the word FAFSA.

Um yeah, you know how it is hard to convey emotion in an e-mail or or other print as such? You know, it is easy to sound distant and a little cold or maybe angry without intending to. Well, in this case it surely will do injustice to the amount anger that courses through my veins. If I took my blood pressure right now, both me and the nurse might have a heart attack. But I would stay standing, pressing on solely powered on the disdain for filling out the FAFSA!

For those of you who don't know, I am trying to go back to school. My application is taking forever to process and so the admissions office suggested I apply for student aide right away in order to have it all in by next wednesday when it is due. ( student aide is how I will be paying for school , so it is imparative that this happens) So, for the last enitre day, I have been trying to fill out the Federal Application For Student Aide. FAFSA! ( wrath & warriors & stuff) BY the way, who includes "for" in their accronymn? How much cooler would it be to say FASA? But no FAFSA! does nothing easy, everything takes forever.

The biggest hole , aside from having twelve million web pages to do two things (get and ID and apply) is discovering your PIN or acces code. I apparently had one from doing my undergrad ( I must have been skippng that day) but they can't tell me over the phone. They can however take every other bit of my personal information over the phone in order to tell me to go back to the website where dreams go to die and request a new pin be sent over the unsecured internet to my easier than a phone to access google account. Oh, and it takes between 4 hours and 3 days. I guess I just wait here at Panera like its Christmas Eve and I know santa is coming.

Needless to say I am a bit bitter. I get fired up with things that are automated and do nto actually help with a particular problem. I am sure John Fafsa is a good man, and I love him as Christ tells me to, but his application process is not cool. Sorry, I had to bring you on the tirade.

If you made it this far I give you open season to vent on something as a response. Anything. slow drivers, the guy at walmart, Ukraine's airport, Atlanta' airport, puppies, K- fed getting an album, you probably have something. If you were in a possitive mood, my apologies, you can comment on something awesome to lift our spirits.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Some Thouhts on Generations

So, one of the problems that so many churches face is the struggle between older and younger members over the basic approaches to doing church. My wife and I recently left a church that had well passed, but at one time had struggled with little things like choir robes and the color of the pew cushions. THings that I believe my generation views as inconsequential. That church over the course of ten years or so was able to change the culture out of holding so much stock in the "things" of the church.

Julie and I are now serving in a new church that after being closed to dying completely three years ago, got a new dynamic pastor who has a vision to grow the church. I'll explain my quandry as quickly as possible. IN three years this church has grown from like 20 on Easter to 200 + weekly. THere is a life in this church like I haven't seen in a while. The people are eager to serve others and eager grow. It is evident the moment you step into the church and it is the main reason Julie and I decided to go there. Now that we have begun to submerge ourselves in to the church culture we have begun to see some of the behind the scenes struggles they have weekly. Yes, weekly. There are older members of the church who have been there for years, or were there for years and then came back as its grown. I say older because noon e under 60 causes an flak in the matter. The people there argue and raise complaints and cause dissention and are stubborn to the core about seeing the church go their way or die.

Now the problem I have is not with them holding onto what they believe is true, it is that the things they are holding to me seem stupid. Examples: The rails in front of the stage, the lecturns on the side that no one use...ever, the organ no one uses...ever, the "alter" that sits in the middle of the stage which no one understands why its there and is also never used...ever, the placement of a screen to run any video needs, the number of pews in the chapel, the 25 year old couch that is falling apart in the fellowship hall, when the bell rings, and then some. My opinion..the dumbest stuff ever. THey are basically a lead weight to the progress of the church. I can see being up in arms about a new program with questionable spiritual signifigance like a block party with slot machines to raise money, but the couch?

This is a problem that faces tons of churches, and I am not looking for encouragement that you just have to deal with it, nor am I beginning an argument to put all folks above a certain age on a reservation some place warm where they can have their own way at church, and music, and be able to drive, smell funny, make left hand turns at their own pace etc. . I feel that there is wealth of knowledge, wisdom, experience that is basically burned on the color of fabric on "things" inside a building where a specifc body meets. Why is it such a problem connecting older and younger? I wonder who fails? Was there a breakdown in the church a few generations ago that resulted in an age group of people more concerned with things and attaching their salvation to the place they meet and its overall appearance? ARe the two other generations present within churches wrong with their new music and now their to experiential and intimate approach to worship? Is there sin involved on either side? THese members are financial givers within the church, so do they have the right to have such a say in the thing they helped buy 40 years ago?

OUr church has put a band-aide on their problem by having a "traditional" service early in the morning, that everybody else warns new people not to come to. The two biggest questions I have are,
1. Is this a specific problem with this generation in western culture, or is it a problem that I will contribute to when I retire? (note I wonder if Billy Graham raises a fuss in his local church when the kids want to use their video ministry?)

2. If not, and if I think it is wrong because I feel they are not only missing the message of the gospel but also are hindering it, is it a sin for me to support a "traditional" service that appeases those sensabilities and not gently but firmly confront these brothers and sisters who are not to look down on me because I am young, with the truth and message of Christ?

Just some thoughts

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pastor's Wife

OK so here is something that has been a cool progression of what God is doing in our lives. Julie has a job as a youth pastor and I have the job of the pastor's wife, so to speak. I am sort of slowly getting into a leadership at the church. I am preaching the end of this month and we ( the pastor and I )are exploring ways to get me up to lead worship and teach some different classes. I am going back to school as well, provided I get accepted.

When we decided to come here, we felt that God was callingus to a place to minister together, for Julie to grow in a leadership role, for me to go back to school, and to step up into a leadership role. So far that side of it has been cool. I have had people ask if I had a million dollars what would I do. This is pretty close to it, only with a nicer car.

Since we have been here we have been confronte several times with the need to make some more money. I start to freak out and try to find the first job I can. I start the wheels turning in my head about how much better life would be if I had a job the doubled up our money. This was espescially strong in the first couple of weeks. God however has shown us that He is in control and my trust needs to be in Him. We have been able to work out our finances in a way that allows me not to have to work and to be a pastor's wife. Really, it means that I can pour my energy into the ministry God has called me to. I am excited to get some things going.

If are willing, please join us in praying that our house will sell by the end of the month, as this is the source of most of our financial turmoil.

I will keep you all posted in that regard.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


So here's what's been happening here. Julie and I are in our new place and liking it alot. (though not as much as if our house was already sold) Jeremy our ninja cat was angry that we put him in his cage to travel and then scared of the new surroundings and hid under our bed for three days. Steve our dog basically just thinks we put carpet down for him to run easier, as opposed to having actually moved.

It is interesting being away from where I called home. I moved alot growing up and adjusted relatively quickly every time. This has been a bit more difficult as and adult. I sound like an old lady in church I know, but there is something to be said about comfort and control. I used to go to my movie theatre, or my golf course, or my workout area, my gyro place, church, italian restaurant, sub shop, friend's house, field to play ball with steve, place where my wife and I shared our first kiss. All are not here and it is a bit discomforting. I am getting adjusted slowly but surely. I have met some nice young Christian peers, which will help.

I am also looking for a job (which stinks), I am limited in what job I can get as I am plannign to start school in January. There is a possability of me being a meter reader for the power company, which would be rather humorous and sort of crappy, but well paying with good benefits.

There is alot of thought going into the sort of ministry challenges facing this area, which I shall dive into later, except on commenting on the problems facing an area that is almost midwest, influenced by Judeo-Christian philosophy, depressed, sort of republican, and largely facing a total mis-conception of who Christ is. Like I said, large can of worms.

So, first priorty...find a job and not stress between no and then.

Then see Jackass 2....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Sorry that it has been a while all of you who may have been waiting anxiously for some insight into my soul. Julie and I are in the process of moving to Medway, Ohio. Julie got a job as a youth pastor at a church there, while I am going to be going back to school to get my master's degree in Biblical studies or something of the sort. I am sure that this will enable me to come up with more better things ramble about eloquently.

We are moving wednesday and then worrying about selling our home thereafter. Hopefully despite the crapiness of the current market, we will be able to sell our home rather painlessly. I will try to be better at filling every one in on life and what has been going on with us, but it depends on computer accesability.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ninja Master

So being in between work really is no fun. Julie and I are currently trying to figure out where we are going. IT is pretty stressful as we are waiting for different possabilities to play out. There are other areas of stress, but I cannot comment on specifics.

It is interesting how the blog basically enables people like me the opportunity to share thoughts with the world. Sometimes it functions like a personal journal of what is going on and other times like a newspaper column to shoot an idea out there for people to chew on and hopefully get a little fired up about.

Though I currently have alot for people to get fired up about(AKA probably just me), I will settle on happier trails. After returning from"vacation" julie and got home to a happy puppy and a cat further into his planning of world domination. He has been working on his fighting as he got into a tiff last night with a neighbor cat. He occasionally runs around out back. He did last night and apparently ran into another cat ninja. All we heard was the hiss/ reeeeeeeeer! of a good strike and then we we new a battle of epic proportions was ensuing. Complete with some matrix-esque kicks and a winning slash from Jeremy evidenced by white fur in Jeremy's claw found later. We sent steve ( our dog ) out to wag his tail at the opposing cat, but he got distracted by eveyrthing in between the door and the end of the porch. Alas Jeremy had apparently struck a walked away, like a true ninja master.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


So Julie and I are in Maine. It is good times. Lots of misquitoes. I mean swarms, I would welcome the chicken pocks rather than this opening of the fifth seal of the apocalypse. THe ocean is cold, there are supposed to be moose here. I am anxious to see one. We cooked up some fresh lobster, which was mighty fine and are having some good R & R, I am hoping to get some time to get some good updates on my blog which has fallen stagnate of late. My apologies.

Starting today with the question of how long is a good alter call? We were at a meeting last weekend where the alter call not only last one hour and fifteen minutes, but also included every prayer chorus in the book bringing even the most stubborn alter-goer-downer down with several repeats of "all that I am."

though I do love that song, I wonder how useful it was for me to sit in the audience and feel obligated to watch as people made tearful recommitments, I meant with heads bowed and eyes closed. I maybe just super cynical, and need to go the alter myself. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, don't fret it is no - big deal, just a rant. I will probably be putting more thought into this, later.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mexi Dips and Chips

Ok so, my friends Tim and Jamie always used to talk about Taco Bueno. Being from the northeast (where there are no Taco Buenos) I had to hear stories and take their word for its goodness. THeir description was "taco bell, but way better". Being a large fan (both figuratively and literally) of the crunch wrap supreme and chil cheese burrito, I thought there was no improving upon perfection. I stand corrected. I just went today for lunch and experienced firsthand mexidips and chips, with a chalupa-ish thing ( AKA #3). I feel as though I have just choosen the red pill ( matrix), and been confronted with reality for the first time.

I may be exaggerating a touch, but given the option of all fast food, pizza shops, and franchised restaraunts, Taco Bueno now sits amoung the top five. Good times, good tacos, hence the name I guess.

Monday, June 26, 2006

When Life gives you lemons...

sell them and buy some iced tea. mmm tea.

So, for those who don't already know, I lost my job. After four years at the church where I was serving, and a position shift, I got the ax. There are negative elements to the whole ordeal, but all in all, my leaving is on good terms. The hard part about it is the fact that both Julie and I had put in alot of time and energy into pushing the ministry foreward, only to be removed. We are now leaving alot of the friends we made and on to something new. TBA as I find out what that is.

It really has been evident through the whole thing that God is directing it all. Though it sucks being told "you don't fit here", it opens the door for us to freely move foreward. Anyone want to buy a house?

Well, I'm sure I have something lighter and witty next time, Superman opens tommorrow.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I feel as though I have talked about the movie Hitch before. It has recently been added to my elect top five list. It isn't remarkably funny, but funny. It does however perfectly demonstrate not only the concept of men marrying up, but more specifically is a perfect characterization of My wife Julie and I. ( If you put out a romantic comedy about she and I, Kevin James would play me and the girl from the movie would play her.) I am sure it will get blockbuster acclaim when it is made.

So, last week was a bad week. I elected not to write about it on the blog as not much positive could have been said aside from the journey is more important than the destination.

To quote Julie's friend... "I know God is trying to teach me something, I just hope it isn't something crappy like patience." or humility.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

So quickly you say

Yes, I wrote a blog like ten minutes ago, but I have been confronted with one of the more funnier videos I have seen in some time. Check it out if you'd like.

True Worshipful Community

So, I decided to listen to just the radio yesterday and stumbled upon one of the CHristian stations. THey played a Mercy Me song while I stuck hot poker's into my eyes. THen they proceded to talk about how their station promotes true worshipful community.

Is it me being fed up with people trying to sound like ultra spiritual, high thinkers, or would that phrase cause the biggest disconnect with anyone outside of western evangelical church subculture? I use words like... community, meaningful, fellowship, post-modern, etc. all the time but am often reminded that they are words that sound good. And "worshipful" ... come on, they can't be serious. It sounds like a word that would come out while praying aloud in a group of people who are better than you. Don't pretend like you haven't played the Pharisee, we all have done it at some point.

My point is, these sort of spiritual words, or made up words strike me as being dangerous. THey mask over the need for action with empty words. I have been seeing more and more recently how Christians get decieved with stuff that sounds important and sounds right but couldn't more distracting. THere are two bads happening. One, we use words like worshipful to help push us towards doing something new, something relevant, something that doesn't bore us because that will translate directly to a non- Christian, so we think.
Two , we use big words that turn away non-CHristians because the words couldn't be more irrelevant to someone who isn't engulfed in church culture.

My re-occurring thought is that the newest Christian song isn't going to pull the secular world into the church. ( not that it won't aide or that being relevant to the culture is mute) THe world need truth taken directly to them. When JEsus taught he taught straight truth through teachable moments steeped in secular culture. How does the church find the balance? Will my thoughts change things? no. Does everyone in my circle say this? yes.

There could be more to say, but I am gong to go and do.

Monday, May 15, 2006

plotting and Flutie

First off, Doug Flutie announced his retirement from professional football today after 21 years either in the CFL or NFL. Hats off to the fluterino at 43 still had the juice to convert the first dropkick in like 50 years in the NFL. Giving hope to all short, old average looking dudes he had success all over the place from the National championship to the NFL where he took his team to the super bowl a few years back only to get benched.

Second, I have been watching Jeremy, my cat recently and have come to realize that he is definitely plotting world domination. He watches everything, constantly adding up figures in his head in order to achieve his goal of taking over the world. He practices his ninjitzu punches on Steve, my dog ( who thinks he is playing and runs all over the house only to be ninjitzu pnuched again). He has been walking around outside when it rains in order to build his stamina against his arch nemisis water. His only weakness is the flahlight, which when turned on, shoots a circle of light on the wall that is irresistible, and must be caught. World, be ware of Jeremy.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

On the subject of losing your passion

if you are tired...
I don't care who you are or what you do, there are days when you don't want to do what you do. There are days when I don't want to play my guitar, or go into the church and hang- out wth the people I love to work and do ministry with. Are these the days when my faith is falling short? are these the days when I fail? Are these the days when I have crossed the line and done all I can do?

I am not having one of these days today, but am reminded of those days when I talk about being passionate about something, specifically what GOd is doing in the world through His church or could do without our sinfulness getting in the way. IN those days, " sabbath" becomes real. Truly entering into a state of not only rest, but reflecting on who God is.

It is awesome to think that GOd is not only willing, but fully counting on using us to do His work on earth, despite ourselves. IT is also awesome to realize that most of the things God wants us to do not only seem too big for us, but are too big for us. I have always heard people in ministry talk about working out of the overflow. God's spirit pouring out of us do to our awesome time spent with God... I am currently making the face... (for those of you who don't know the face, think of the dumbest thing you have ever seen someone do to you, take that disdain and direct it through your eyes and the face will take of itself.)

I agree that we have to work out of our overflow, but we also have to be realistic about who we are. honestly, outside of Jesus, who has that good of a quiet time. To make the matter more real, God said, take a break! you are human, I took a break and I'm God. I find that when my passion fades, when the thing I know God wants me to do is boring, I have surpassed the point when I was supposed to take a break. So don't be lazy, but take a break, walk around outside, read the Bible for no reason, play "throw cards into hat", find some people to mess around with, do anything else that could be put into a dorky what to do that is touchy feely book,
just break away and be refuled, return ready to fight round two of the good fight.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

its all good

So, I have been feeling the pressure, having not posted in a while, to come up with something awesome. Luckily, I have been sort of focussing my energy into doing some song writing and reading through the book of Numbers. So far my creative and passionate buttons have not been depressed leaving me looking forward to anything.

Julie and I listened to a talk for a leadership program our church is doing. In the talk, the speaker was talking about our leadership moment when God reveals the element of our sinful world that pushes us to action. He talked specifically about Moses seeing a fellow Jew getting beaten by an Egyptian, this burned in him and eventually blossommed into His leadership role when God calls him. It was a good talk, the most important thing I thought that he said was to expose yourself to the things that tick you off. Like if it is bad music, put yourself into a position to experience it in order to fuel the fire. Another example would be Christ clearing the temple, His heart burning for what God had set up on earth to represent HImself to man.

Being very interested in how passions are developed in our lives I really connected with this concept now that I have been thinking about it. In our culture it is very easy to not stay fired up. Between TV, movies, golf, family, dog, bible study, order of service ( not in order of importance) I find it so difficult to stay fired up about what God has set me up to get worked up about.
"It's all good" should not be my mentality, but rather GOd's broken heart for all that is wrong with what could have been perfect. Maybe I should starring answerring the question "howsit goin?" with ... " bad. I look around at churches that don't get it or are so pre-occupied with themselves, they miss God! or how could you stand in front of the gathering of the body and not spill forth the most inspired - Spirit lead talk or worship or silence? ! "

I could go on, but it is already negative. of course... I am sure it wasn't kicks and giggles wen the temple was cleared.

Friday, April 21, 2006

One Bad and Roses

So, I watched a camp video from my final year working at summer camp, at the end of the video was an episode of VHI Behind The Music that some of us made up and produced about a made up group calle d" ONe Bad and Roses. It was ather humorous as we had an OK video editor, had talked all summer about doing the spoof, and then did it really quickly in an afternoon. So it came out very impov sort of in the same vain as Spinal Tap. Anyways, all that to say it was fun to remeniss (sp?). So fun in fact that I accidently rewound the entire tape and somehow ( I am still blaming my cat Jeremy, as he always has that look in his eye) pressed record. Recording 8 hours (on SP) of Sportcenter as we slept. THere was a sort of shock the next morning after realizing that memory piece was gone. Luckily I am not all that sentimental, but it was still kind of sad.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Elect

So my buddy in college used to talk about the elect when it comes to favorites. He was basically talking about songs he liked, even if they were more worthy of ridicule. He just liked them. An example... (not real) I caould say my favorite song was "Barbie Girl" by whoever techno group it was, and if it was ridiculed I could label it one of the elect.

Side note, I am assuming this comes from God's elect, specifically from a Calvanist point of view being that whoever he chooses for Salvation, gets Salvation not for any reason or merit, but because He is sovereign God and He says so. Interestingly enough, whether predestination is your thing or not, it says some great things about GOd's love for us that no riducle could stand against us when we are saved. Nothing can seperate us from God, no matter how dumb a song we might be.

Anyways, after taking some flack for my previous post of top ten movies I could see over and over and songs I like now, I thought I should prefface those lists as being not all time favorites, but rather songs I like at the moment... AKA would have on my Ipod if I had one; and movies I could watch several times and not fall asleep. SO ... here is a list of elect, songs and movies that should take flack, but can't because I, being sovereign to what is my favorite or in this case what I like , elected them to be....for now.
10. You've got mail
9. Notorious thugs
8. If I had a hammer
7. Bloodsport
6. Star Wars Episode 2: Attck of the Clones
5. Walking on Sunshine
4. THe Incredible Hulk: new movie
3. The cutting Edge 1
2. Bye Bye Bye - NSync
1. Lamu

Thursday, April 13, 2006

top ten lists

TOP TEN MOVIES I COULD WATCH MULTIPLE TIMES.... 10. 13 going on 30 ( I am currently hiking up my skirt) 9. Anchorman 8. Die hard: with a vengance 7. Die Hard 6. Black Sheep 5. Trains, PLanes, and automobiles 4. Crimson Tide 3 The Pink Panther Strikes again 2. Tommy Boy 1. You've got mail ( what can I say...it makes me smile)

Top Ten songs I like alot right now,
10. More THan a feeling - Boston 9. Under Pressure - Queen w/ David Bowe 8. Fix you- coldplay 7. Sattelite- Dave Matthews Band 6. Come Awake- David Crowder Band 5. Smooth Criminal- alien Ant Farm remake 4. Hold the Line- Toto 3. Rainbow Connection- Jason Mraz 2. All you need is Love- Beattles 1. With or without you- U2


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

THe CHuck

So my little brother showed me Chuck Norris and Vin Deisel Jokes, which are basically dumb one liners like.. Vin Deisel irons his shirt while he is wearing it..or, Once Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked someone so hard his foot broke the speed of light sending him back in time, killing Hitler...or CHuck Norris' tears cure cancer, unfortunately he has never cried, ever.

Anyways, it took me back to rediculous high school jokes. When I was there, it was always "this verses that". Like who would win in a fight? Batman or DareDevil? Vin Deisel or CHuck Norris? Bryant Gumble or Oprah? Tony Tiger or Sugar Bear? Mr. Myagi or the winner of Norris/ Deisel? Got any more? or insight victor information?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

working out

So I have been trying to get over a bad back and return to to the rigors of a workout schedule, hence returning me to my once great physic. ( see picture) Alas, it has yet to happen.
My favorite excersize if the pull up, probably because I can only do one. It is over quickly.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lack of Passion

I had the opportunity to visit a church last weekend. It was a surprisingly big church and felt rather comfy until we got hounded by two leaders of the church. It felt as though they tried to immediately assimilate us into their culture. We were at the church, so we must be church people. Despite the crappiest music ever, not just in selection, but also in congregational response; and a sermon that took one verse dealing with following hard after GOd alone and then some how jumped onto a soap box of of talking about Pre-marital sex, the unchurched couple we were with didn't have a good experience. I wonder why, gee I don't know, I guess some people just aren't ready to hear from GOd.

I have been jumping from anger and sadness as result of going to that church. I cannot say this without sounding like a mega/ seeker sensative church lover, or a gen X-tradition hater, or whatever othe adjective falls into this category, but what the crap? I is tearing me up to think that individual churches feel it is OK not to follow the call of the Lord. I have been trying to pay attention t o different churches to get a vibe of how we are doing, and it is not all that good. I am a part of a church that is growing, whose people are passionate and spreading the gospel, but I look around and see so many other who are not. They instead focus on their services, or their classes, or what will make people more comfortable. I don't want to be where a church is trying out new things with the same lifeless motions. I would just a soon go someplace that sings "Blessed be the tie that binds" and "love lifted me" and on fresh days, "Lord I lift your name on high" as long as the people are on fire for GOd and are being encouraged to go into the world as well as to grow in t heir faith.

In that service this weekend, I wanted to stand up and scream. I am sure that there are good things happenign in that church, but why do I have to preface all the good things about that church weithin the bigger church, before I say " shame on you for not being so passionate about Jesus that it oozes off of you onto everyone around you." That was the shorter version of a longer rant.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Imogen Heap

OK, so I am usually not on the cutting of hot music, but I just heard a couple of songs for a lady called Imogen Heap. SHe is all keyboard, electro, drum machine stuff and she is from the UK ( which doesn't mean much except the genre similarities to what is coming out of the UK currently). Any ways, if you like new and sort of a break from the norm, check her out.

THis will not meet the approval of rock -n-rollers, lovers of country, rap, or metal, Michael W., orthe occasional boy band.

Passions 2

OK so builing on the premise that, If our passion is pointed in the wrong direction, it can and will cause bad things to happen; (It might not be seen right away, but it will on some scale be negative.) and on the idea that no matter who we are there is at least someone for us to lead and somefor us to follow, is where I want to continue.

THe reason bad happens when our passion isn't right is that passion, begets passion. Look at at anyone close enough, and see who they lead and follow... their passion, no matter how great or focussed or intentional is passed down. THink of any successful business, somebody somewhere got passionate about smoething and it passes through the company. It is also why businesses fail or are stagnant. if there is no passion for what is being produced, and the passion is instead somewhere outside the workplace, it won't flourish and folks will not love their work. Obviously, I do not think work should be anyone's primary passion outlet, but it should occupy a little space in their heart.

Also, look at sports teams, the team that aligns their passions wins, which usually comes from a passionate coach or a Joe Montana or Michael Jordan. OK lots of secular examples to reinforce in my own mind that people see and respond to my passion. If I am fired up about something the people that see me as a leader will be fired up to.

IF I am a naturally high level leader ( lots of people will follow) then consistant passion is necessary to drive those followers.

Was Jesus a strikingly handsome dude? Was he exemptionally strong, smart, loud, quiet? Upon looking through scripture, I see other people described in such ways. I suppose Jesus was described as an exeptional teacher. I think more importantly, the thing that drew people to him was his heart. His Passion for the Father came out in everything he did, even when he talked back to his mother. It was so evident that it went beyond talking and into the miraculous.
I will stop there.... this is like the tip of the iceberg in my head.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


OK, so this is an intro into a new era for my blog for a time. I have not had the opportunity to access it in a while, so there has been nothing new. I have had the opportunity to wrestle with some things that I see God doing with me and in the church.

IT all centers around the idea of passion. Michael Jordan, Braveheart, mother Theresa, Napoleon ( what? ), Joan of Arc....Pause, my office neighbor just stuck her head in the door and asked about Passion cd's, that's a mistery..Resume... freakin William Booth, Martin Luther, Hitler, Terry Bradshaw ( 1 pt. for Steelr reference.) the terminator, FDR, Bono, (1pt. Bono), Muslims, John Maxwell, Jehovah's Witnesses, Druggies, Rocky Balboa, if you know their name, they were probably passionate about something. Passion works in wierd ways, for some its awesome like Mother Theresa, for Hitler... not so awesome.

I have been hit hard with this idea that, being created in God's image means we were created with Passion. Realizing that passion unleashed can be so very awesome and so very dangerous in the same breathe... how much more bigger does this idea make the commandment for us to have nothing else come before Him in our Passion pecking order. Holy geeze, when a person's Passion is not on God whether by choice or ignorance, it is dangerous. But, when our passion that gets unleashed on the world is on God....

Warning... this will be the topic of several posts to come.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

back that thing up

Ok so I hurt my back with the strength of a thousand suns. I have been stuck laying on our living room floor due to what I hope are just muscle spasms for about 5 days now. This has been present for about 4 months now, but this last week has been the pinnacle. I have had to ride in the car a couple of times which has been the most painful times of my life, and when I walk with my new cane every step has been bad news. Plus i cannot sit down. ( I am going to the doctor) all that to set up the fact that I have been left to sit and ponder between dr. phil and I love th 80's strikes back. It is humbling and also an electrifying thought that the ministry that I have been placed in has little to do with me. Realizing that God gives us talents and gifts and uses us in ways we could never imagine is important, necessary, and awesome. Even better is being reminded that is not me on my own, but rather God working with and through me. He is made perfect in my weakness. I have been made more aware of this this week as well as have begun to really become more aware of the how the body of Christ works. which will have to be discussed later.

Anyways, God works through us and it is awesome when it happens.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blog: 2 mo. Evaluation

OK, so I have a blog. I still feel like it is very much like a diary. I am on the fence at how much I like posting things. It is good because it makes me communicate things more simply, and cause me to think more critically. I actually enjoy checking out what everybody else's blog say more than checking my own. I have one friend who thows up a ton of long posts with long words that are his thought process. I have another friend who uses it exactly like a diary. I have another friend who now and again puts up short simple statements that challenge his immediate churchn or The Church.

The best part about it is the responses, its like when you are listening to talk radio and Jo-Bob calls up and wants to talk about them thar Politics. Half the time I don't know who is responding but it usually seem to miss the point. ( myself included)

THe friend with the long posts usually has something profound such as ( possible example, I wonder Theologically how the church has gotten lost in externality when we are called to focus on Discipleship) ( again not a real example..) and the responses will be like... "whoo woo, discipleship rocks" or "I have a puppy." or I will say... "Your mom gets lost". All who joined me in the response are winners.

THen diary guy gets responses that are more like e-mails that are harder to check... " what's man, great to hear about your rash clearing up. Hope to hear from you soon." good times, glad we get to join in.

THen the challenger will say something like, "Why does the church care more about the pledge than the orfan on the street within a mile from where they currently are. ( a bit dramatic to make a point) To which the responses start flowing in. You can see the fury in the people's responses. THey definitely tensed up and breathed heavy while finding the best group of words to defend their cause, and often times focus on only a part of the idea. THe see pledge and" !!Pledge! we have sadi under God since 1776 ( not knowing the pledge was written in 1892 and changed 3 times the final change occuring in 1954 with the adding of the words... "under God".) they would talk about their side for keeping the phrase and then a large side discussion will flow out and people will argue over the seperation of church and state. All the while the point of the post was missed, but an awesome and passionate war of words over nothing. Its a good thing my brother doesn't get on there, (if you are on here, the other brother).

THose are the best blogs. I am going to start coming up with and posting great argumentative statements. Like, " the Browns suck", and "Leno is better" and "I went to see brokeback mountain." and "you don't need to be baptized, because you were pre-destined, so what difference does it make?"

If you have any ideas for discussion now is the time to enter them...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Two down...

So my parents have some new children. 5 was not enough so they have two more. THe boy is Donnie, the girl is Tori. THey are good times and very smiley and cute, or the more masculine equivalent.

It is interesting to be a part of adopting children. I get to see first hand the need. It is hard to think that Donnie and Tori could be in a place that they wouldn't smile as much and wouldn't get professional photos of them in unnatural poses, as Donnie would never sit as shown. And to think they would have been neglected, underfed exposed to drugs etc. . And this happens in America, it is a shame. THe more I think about it, the more I realize how much Christians, or the church fails at truly helping.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


NOw that we have hoisted a certaint silver football for the fifth time, we can call ourselves champions again. Go Steelers! a great team game, nobody did awesome, but the whole team was good enough for victory. Awesome. Farewell to the bus. Hip-hip... horay....hip-hip....horay!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Wish Granted

so I have been trying to eat more healthy and work out more. I used to be quite fit for a thick dude. But after like 23 years of eating way more than several people, my metabolism basically packed up and left. I am finally pretty motivated to work out which in turn helps my eating. I have been drinking alot of v8,(I chug it fast and wash it down with Iced tea so its like it never happened) that was until last week...

So Julie and I found ourselves at Quaker Steak and Lube...

single order, double order, compact bucket (50% more wings), I had to do the compact bucket. I tried two new flavors to me. I am pretty old school only ever getting hot and ranch, so this was a big day. Arizona Ranch and Suicide Barbecue now haunt my dreams with their temptation. THe wings are bigger than I remember, also more tastey all around. they make all hopes of eating well seem bad. If only there could be a marriage. A chicken wing that was holistically good for you. iT had no extra fat. Somehow through the advances in modern science, the yummy Barbecue sauce was made not with sugar and brown sugar, but rather broccoli and carrots, but still tasted awesome. And the ranch I dip them in...it too was simply more healthiness. If only...

I guess everything that is bad for us has some pleaseurable aspect. I could say that about anything... I wish cigerettes were good for you, they not only make you look cool, they sweeten your breathe and help your heart. Drugs, aside from making you feel funny and see things, they make you smarter and help make you a more responsible person. Chicken wings aren't a sin, but it seems like a good sermon illustration on deception....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Missed Opportunity

You ever know full well you missed an opportunity. It is awesome how, as a Christian, I can know the right things to do. I, more often than not, choose not to do them. In this culture, specifically in ministry, in this culture, I do not get to interact with people not like me very often. If I am being brutally honest, no one does here. We have our nice, Christian, conservative bubble. Not all that many in, and definitely not all that many out. THis is not across the board, but I am sad that I so easily return to the bubble. Donald Miller talks about this idea in " Blue Like Jazz."

Last night I taught a class on " how to be sure of your faith". Basically, the idea was that CHrist gives us assurance through the cross, which is testified to us through the Word, which is made alive to us through the Spirit. BUt I ended the class with a look at Galations 5. The fruit of the Spirit, versus the fruit of the sinful nature. THe idea being that when we act ( emphasison our action) on the prodding of the spirit these fruits become more and more evident in our lives. THe effect is that these come down to us loving those around us with Christ-like love. Great! We all left feeling motivated to love others.

I stopped at a gas station on the way home, and upon returning from paying the bill a man approached me and asked for money for the bus. I didn't have cash to give him, but I did have a car, an ATM machine within fifty feet, and time. My first reaction, as we all have is... you'll just go buy beer...sinner. THe second one was, I could help but I don't have time, I want to catch the end of a show. ...For Real? A show made it inconveient? Has it really come to this, my time being wasted inside this bubble that doesn't recognize anyone outside of those in my church circle?

Is anything more important than an opportunity to touch the heart of someone who may need Jesus? Needless to say, I was convicted. Whether that was truly a chance to minister or a chance for me to fail, I would definitely like to be the guy that answers the call when it is inconvenient.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New Musack

SO I am currently working on writing some music. My job necessitates me to arrange music every week, but I am trying put some energy into writing some stuff on my own. HOpefully, by telling some folks, I will be motivated enough to fight through my own particularity and finish some songs. I have felt for a time that I should do some writing, but have not done it yet.

THe hardest part for me is to write something that doesn't add to the noise, but will evoke emotions that spur others to faith in CHrist or encourage the beliver's heart to worship not just with their lips but with their whole heart or ,better said, "life."

THat makes me nervous, we'll see how it goes.

Here we go

I needn't say anything about the super bowl, we know its coming and we know who the most awesome team is, so here we go.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Real american heroes: Ice Hockey

So I am playing in the community adult hockey league. There is nothing more savage (2pts) than men's league hockey. All these guys who were never any good, releasing their aggression on each other. It is fun times to be had by all and anyone watching by accident. I don't have the wheels I once had, but luckily I fall alot more and my pants don't fit as well. good times.


So Julie and I are doing leadership course at our church. It actually is quite cool, we are going through books I have already read and talking about things I am sick of talking about. Such as, "what kind of leader amI", "what style of leadership is the best" and " who is the best leader you know?". The good part of the whole thing is there are like 150 leaders of leaders to be at our church that are in smaller groups discussing, challenging and encouraging one another. At the end of the day, I know that God uses people to lead in different ways, with different styles, abilities, gifts, etc.. I also understand that a part of the growth and sanctification process is honing in and working to refine the those gifts, abilities, etc..

THere is a ton to think about when trying to pigeon hole what makes a leader, a leader, or what different kind of leaders there are. Leaders who push, leader who pull, leaders that are just there and people follow, micro managers, the other kind or managers. Can leaders be made or just made better? I would love to hear ideas on what makes a good leader and what then makes a bad leader.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Super Bowl

Oh yes it has returned at last.
That is all for this one. Let's all just savor for a bit.

Friday, January 20, 2006


So Julie and I babysat Donny, the older of my parents foster children. My parents were at a mandatory retreat. ( it is a retreat but you have to go and have to participate in stuff... isn't that a mystery? ) Anyways, so I am running around cooking up patty melts which Donny didn't eat. geeze he's like 1 years old now, he can handle a toasted burger with onions. Well, he wasn't too content and so we settled on yogurt.

NOw the swimming 15 minutes after you eat applies for leg horsey on babies and for several hours after the meal. Donny proved the theory by throwing up in and amongst his laughter at being bounced on my knee.

THat was gross only to be topped of by the worst diaper in the history of diapers. I cannot begin to describe the depths to which the poo hath wrought. The entire inside of the diaper was covered. Elastic to elastic and tape to tape. I instantly almost threw up myself while donny seemed content to kick around in it. I went through nearly a whole box of whipeys try to peel what was like sweet potato caserole off every possabile place the diaper had touched. Other than that it has been fun.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Holding the Keys pt. 1

About my choice of blog title. "holding the keys" comes from Matthew 16 as is referenced under the blog title. Jesus tells Peter that the church is going to build from His profession of CHrist as God. THen he says , "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heavn , and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in hevae/ The prhase "holding the keys" also comes again in Revelation. Jesus says that He holds the keys of hades and death. There is an authority that is portrayed in the Revelation phrase. Jesus has authority over death, specifically because He is Life ( Jn 14: 6). He has authority to judge.
Now the other passage, from which my title comes, is a bit tricky to connect what that means for the church. THere is an authority that Christ gives to Peter that I as a Christian often times miss the gravity of. In this passage, Jesus is talking about a different set of "keys". THey are not keys that give the authority of judgement and open up death. They are keys that open up life. My dad is a pastor and now and again growing up I would get to use his keys to open the church or to get smoething from his office. It was always a bit of a power trip. Yeah, my dad is boss, and I, by association am also boss, look I have his keys. Any place you want to go I can take you, chapel, upstairs apartment, office, band room, food pantry. ( THose in the SA know what I am talking about) He didn't have a ton of keys on his ring like Bill the maintenance man, he just had the right keys, the master keys.
Its funny to think that Jesus used this metaphor in a similar way to my dad's keys. He says to Peter, " I am going to build my church, the gates of hell will not over come it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven..." I feel like he is including the rest of us in what is now the church ( Big C) when he says I will give you the keys. At that point, Peter had no conept of the CHurch, and Jesus is beginning to explain it to him and us.
It is awesome how when Jesus talks about the church, Sunday morning never comes up, how to do music never comes up, open gym never comes up, small groups curriculum never comes up, how to best give sermons that connect with everybody never comes up. He does however say , " I will build my church", I have the authority, it lives and dies with me. I am going to give you authority as well. I am giving you the keys, you have access to me and to what is important to my church.
So often I, like so many others feel pulled to make things ( activities) happen at the church. Sunday morning has become our entire Christian experience. Sabboth, tithe, worship, teaching/ learning, communion, almost fellowship, prayer. Too many CHristians, myself included get deceived inoto feeling like we have fulfilled our CHristianity on Sunday. It isn't the lion's club. I as a Christian am joined with Christ, along with the rest of my brothers and sisters inCHrist. We as the body, the church ( Big C), have been gievn authority, we have been given the keys to the kingdom, most challenging is the repsonability I have to open the Kingdom of heaven for my neighbors. I hold the keys, you, if you're a Christian hold the keys. OUr faith does not revolve around Sunday, but rather around the charge Jesus gave to make disciples of all the nations. My dad never gave me the keys with a detailed out line of all the aspects of what to do with them. He understood that I would know because of who I am what was right and wrong in key usage, and if I didn't he would continue to teach me. He was bigger than any wrong door I could have opened.
Jesus has given us the reponsabibly to spread the gospel to people, oftentimes I feel like I keep the keys in my pocket and get stuck staring at the door.
I want to be the kind of CHrist follower that opens the door, that sees the church as door openers, movers and shakers instead of decieved into thinking it is fine now that I am in.


I am an old school Steelers fan. I began when I was very young, growing up in Pittsburgh in the days of Mark Malone and Louis Lipps. It was not until I was a bit older that I fully understood just how vast the depths of victory to which I was aligned. From the glory days of the "steel curtain," to the lows that we knew as the Brister and then back so close year after year in the Cowher era. Kirkland, Green, Woodson, Stewart, Anderson, Lloyd, Dawson, Morris, Foster, Lake all were so close to hoisting the trophy. And now we find ourselves poised to make yet another run. The Bus, Big Ben, Hines, El, Palamalu, Von Olehaffen, ah yes, two steps left.
After a huge victory over the team picked to win it all, the Steelers stand poised to go to the Bowl.

It was an awesome game yesterday. IN the end, I found myself way too excited for comfort, but that's why they play the games. Victory. Good times.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


So, do any other bloggers feel like this is a journal that everyone can read. I am immediately drawn to type out something deep and profoundly life changing due to its complexity and the mere challenge it invokes to smiply understand the sentence. Perhaps if it is good enough I will get quoted... they can use my picture to go along with it.
hmmm.... Whatever I'll be deep later.
Go Steelers!

ps. just got the blog so it is currently a real work in progress

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


OK, so I have a blog. Everyone who know me will know how great a thinker I am. NOw I can project the depths of my madness to the masses. mmm blogging