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.