Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Think about it

Many of us live in the sorrow of who we are not rather than in the joy of who we are.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Honest, direct confrontation is a true expression of compassion...The illusion of power must be unmasked, idolatry must be undone, oppression and exploitation must be fought, and all who participate in these evils must be confronted. This is compassion.

- Donald P. McNeill et al.

from “Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life”

Monday, May 28, 2007

I found this today over on Jeremy Del Rio's blog and it moved me. I hope it does you too. Excerpt is below and here is the link to his entire post.

Jesus loves justice so much that he built it into his response to the most fundamental of evangelical questions: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The question sounds innocent enough, but its questioner, a lawyer, was attempting to test Jesus. Jesus deftly turns the tables. “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” he asked. The man replied simply: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”“You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live” (Luke 10:25-28).

Do this, and you will live. Coming from Jesus, those six little words burst with meaning. The unending life he offers brings joy and peace and abundance, and its citizenship rests in his Kingdom. If that’s the life to which we aspire, we must first understand “this” thing he requires of us.

Curiously, “this” is not the salvation formulation we evangelicals describe. There’s nothing in the lawyer’s response about repeating a prayer or responding to an altar call or attending a 12-week discipleship class. Instead this life he promises grows in proportion to obedience to three—not two—commands.

It begins by loving God, and receiving the grace his love offers.

It continues by loving your neighbor.

And it’s sustained, perhaps most difficult of all, by loving ourselves enough to receive God’s justice in our own lives.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wow! Or should I say POW!

So much for the much anticipated fight last night that I paid $39.95 for. There were some good preliminary fights for the first two hours but the main event between Liddell and Jackson didn't last 2 minutes. Liddell got knocked the $&*@ out. Unbelievable! I'm still in shock myself. It could have been worse though. I could have been there in person and paid $100 plus per ticket to see it. Thanks goodness I wasn't.

Be Moved!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A graduation party

We held Shannon's graduation party last night at the Vineyard Community Church of Gilbert. I thought it was awesome that they allowed us to use the youth building for the party. Attendance was very good and included family, church family, friends, co-workers and friends we had not seen in quite awhile. Patty and her dad Joe did most of the setting up with assistance from myself and Patty's stepmom Dee. Clean-up went very well with a lot of help from everyone. Tonight we get to attend another graduation party for some youth from our old church. We saw some of the folks that we had not seen in quite some time last night and will see them again tonight. Two nights in a row after not seeing each other for a long time, go figure.

Then the highlight of tonight will be UFC 71 Liddell vs Jackson. I have been anticipating this fight ever since it was announced and is the first time ever that I have purchased a pay-per-view event on television. We'll see if it was worth it or not. I predict a knockout by Chuck Liddell.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Graduate

Shannon Kincaid
Class of 2007
Mesquite High School
Gilbert Arizona

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How Teenagers Transformed the Church

Here is a brief excerpt from a series entitled How Teenagers Transformed the Church that I have been following over on the Out of Ur blog. I particularly liked this portion from part 3 of the series.

The United States is an extremely diverse collection of cultures. Whereas in the past, it was primarily foreign missionaries who spoke of an indigenous approach to evangelism, youth ministry has brought that philosophy home to the American church.

“We are in a culture that is just so diverse, and there have to and should be diverse expressions of faith,” Long asserted. “What youth workers do on a smaller scale, and what we need to embrace, is that there are a number of different ways into a person’s life....We get in trouble when we market and sell a certain way instead of letting things be organic.”

So, what’s next? Long believes that the larger church lags youth ministry trends by approximately 15-20 years. Regardless of the time delay, here’s what it appears we can expect to see in the future of the church:

• An increase in social action and social justice. The emergent movement has called churches outside of their own walls and back into the community. This trend will continue, as indeed it is continuing among current teenagers who are far more globally aware and active than their parents.

• A continued emphasis on relationships over programs. “Good youth ministry is community and relationships,” Long said. “It’s creating this community where relationships can evolve. In essence, all good ministry should do that. People want to connect, they no longer want to just watch....even at Youth Specialties, I think the movement has healthily begun to de-emphasize programming.”

• A movement toward intergenerational ministry. “Part of the adolescent thing is independence, but not completely. Youth ministry should be more purposeful and integrative, so that it is not just an appendage of the church, but is part and parcel of its identity,” Long stated.

Only time of course will tell how or even whether these trends will impact the greater church, but if history is any indication, teenagers, and the people who minister to them, can change the course of history.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ministering to the Wiccans

I posted an article awhile back written by this guy named Phil Wyman who pastors a church called The Gathering in Salem MA. Here is another well written article he wrote about his experience as a pall-bearer at a Wiccan funeral. This paragraph struck me the most and I wonder if he was wounded by a christian church in the past as I was.

I consider the life of this strange man who died, and contrast it with a man who yet lives. The man who yet lives is a Christian pastor I once served alongside. He says all the right things, and appears at cursory glance to be the model of citizenship. His dress is impeccable. His actions are sharp, and decisive. His ministry is successful by all appearances, but a deeper look reveals a dark underbelly of corruption. Subtle lies, clever manipulation, and political savvy are his trademark. He rules his little kingdom with an iron fist, and crushes those who refuse to labor under his heavy-handed control. Good pastors have been lost, churches have been dismantled, and reputations have been ruined under his guidance. I wonder which life is more tiresome to the gracious Nazarene I serve. Which life is wearisomely beyond the pall? I was strangely, but deeply honored to be asked to be a pall-bearer for my friend the Witch. Somehow I am ashamed to know the man who yet lives, and declares to serve my Jesus, and it makes me wonder what it is that only God can see beyond the pall-bearing.

read the entire article here

Sunday, May 20, 2007

An excellent quote from Mr. Alice Cooper

“You become an alcoholic when beer ceases to be beer and becomes medicine.” Alice Cooper - Fresh Air interview

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Former President Carter Blasts Bush

Carter: Bush 'Worst' in World Relations

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The tune of a collective ass

One of my favorite bloggers is Mr. John O'Keefe over at Ginkworld. He writes an excellent post about what is wrong with a lot of churches today. I agree with it. Other's won't. But here it is if you'd like to check it out.

Read it here

God and Empire

I'm not going to comment on this book because I have not read it yet. I do like the description of it in this link. But they are trying to get you to buy their book too. I am at a crossroads as to whether or not we should be in Iraq right now. So I think I may buy this book and see what it says and how the writer is interpreting the scriptures. Here is a brief excerpt describing the book.

In God and Empire Crossan surveys the Bible from Genesis to Apocalypse, or the Book of Revelation, and discovers a hopeful message that cannot be ignored in these turbulent times. The first-century Pax Romana, Crossan points out, was in fact a "peace" won through violent military action. Jesus preached a different kind of peace—a peace that surpasses all understanding—and a kingdom not of Caesar but of God.

The Romans executed Jesus because he preached this Kingdom of God, a kingdom based on peace and justice, over the empire of Rome, which ruled by violence and force. For Jesus and Paul, Crossan explains, peace cannot be won the Roman way, through military victory, but only through justice and fair and equal treatment of all people

Cancel church service and do service?

I found an article today that I would like to share because I think that every church should do this. I think that we as Christians should want to serve our neighbors and our community. Jesus did. He hung out and loved the worst of the worse. Anyhow...check out this article. Amadeo serves their community well and that's why I am glad to be a part of Amadeo. Pastor Ben is all about serving others and being missional. He may even cancel service for a month after he reads this :-)

Although we do a lot of service and that would probably not be necessary.

Church Cancelled, Service Begins

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Octogenarians performing a Who classic

CCM Magazine Redefines "Christian Music"

In my opinion, this can only be a good thing!

Nashville, Tenn., May 1, 2007—CCM Magazine, Christian music’s preeminent publication, is changing its definition of “Christian music” with its May 2007 issue to raise the profile of independent and general market artists of faith.

“This month marks a historic step for our magazine, and, as a result, the fans and the industry we serve,” said CCM Editor Jay Swartzendruber. “We’re going to start mixing indie and general market Christians such as The Fray, Mary J. Blige and Sufjan Stevens in with artists with traditional Christian label affiliation. Rather than define ‘Christian music’ just by its label or distribution, we’re now defining it as Christian worldview music. CCM Magazine has always taken its role as a leader seriously, and we believe this is the way of the future.”

Read the entire article here

Cinco de Amadeo

So Saturday was a wonderful day. The folks at Amadeo went over to bless the folks over at Sonoqui Village. An inflatable jumper was available for the kids along with face painting and a Spongebob Pinata. We had a grill set up and cooked hamburgers for the folks. We handed out free water, free bags of groceries and clothing.

While all of that was going on, Pastor Ben and I sat out under an umbrella beside the main road with a sign advertising "free prayer". I don't think the sign was big enough. One lady did stop and we prayed for her and her family. The best one was a guy in a pickup truck that pulled over and stopped. Ben and I walked up to his truck and asked him what we could pray for. He said "Oh! I must have misread the sign. I thought it said free pavers." In the back of his pickup truck was a bunch of pavers. Anyhow, we asked him if there was anything he needed prayer for. He told us his dad just had surgery for prostate cancer so we prayed for his dad right there while he sat in his pickup smoking a cigarette. We handed him some matches with our church logo on them and he thanked us, shook our hands, and went on his way. How cool is that?

Tuesday I drove down to Tucson to see my parents and had a nice visit with them. I stayed the night and took my mom out to lunch the following day for our annual Mothers Day outing. We went to a nice little Italian joint and it was very nice. Before we left my mom and I sat down and looked at an old photo album of when I was born. It was a special moment with mom. The meal was great too. I look forward to our little lunch date every year now. The drive back home was absolutely horrible. I got stuck on I-10 heading towards Phoenix for 3 hours due to an accident that shut the Interstate down.

So summer is here in the desert. Triple digit heat all week topping out at around 108 by this weekend. Really looking forward to it. NOT! Can't wait for October to roll around, and the summer is just getting started.

Be well, be blessed, Be Moved!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life-that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 NLT

Monday, May 07, 2007

This is a very long read but interesting too.

Is Religion 'Built Upon Lies'?
Best-selling atheist Sam Harris and pro-religion blogger Andrew Sullivan debate God, faith, and fundamentalism.

As written by Becky Garrison in this article. The article is pretty good too btw, but this paragraph stuck out to me because I believe it to be so true today.

Through my travels and travails covering this unique phenomenon called Americana Christianity, I’ve learned that many of those with a deep hunger to be fed spiritually are those souls for whom “church” is not in their vocabulary. Often they’ve been burned by one too many toxic church settings, or they grew up in a household where religion was inconsequential at best. They can embrace the universal message of Jesus but they balk at how his teaching gets corrupted by those prayer warriors who are engaging in some very public and tawdry biblical battles waged in the religious-political arena.

If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right ... does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully—such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.
- Ezekiel 18:5-9

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Waiting Until It’s Too Late

I got up early this morning and was reading an article written by Penny Carothers, an editor at the Burnside Writers Collective. She recently had a baby. Her mother is also diagnosed as a Paranoid Schizophrenic, which puts her and her baby at risk of possibly developing this mental illness. She then links to a very good article about Cho and his illness and the VT shootings.

Read Penny's article here

Then read the article she linked to here

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Therefore, somehow, we have to learn to get our satisfaction and our joy in faithfulness and in our intimate relationship with Christ. Then the question of effectiveness and success, in the usual sense of those terms is not the issue. We can transcend that and get energized and nourished by faithfulness knowing we are doing what we must do to live- not what we must do to change the neighborhood. The constant struggle is the deepening of faith that enables us to really trust that somehow the whole show is going to come off right in God's timing.- Gordon Cosby
Co-founder and pastor of Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. Excerpt is from "Spirituality and Community: Reflections on Evil and Grace."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Self Assessment

I found this post written by Tammy on the ooze blog and thought it was right on. In life's rat race, sometimes we need to take care of ourselves too.

"Each of us has things that keep us strong. It's very important ... (that) we make a daily practice of using them. You need to ... set aside the work of the day ... As we become tired in the face of life's wounds, one of the first things that will be taken from us is our capacity to discriminate and deliberate and focus ... (to) tell the difference between your stuff and someone else's stuff ... (to) know whether or not you're dealing with an actual crisis or just fear."

That is the best advice I could have gotten today.

How are you doing?

Lapses found in battlefield ethics study

The overall study was the fourth in a series done by a special mental health advisory team since 2003 aimed at assessing the well-being of forces serving in Iraq.
Officials said the teams visited Iraq last August to October, talking to troops, health care providers and chaplains.
The study team also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental health problems.
But Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army's acting surgeon general, said the team's "most critical" findings were on ethics.
"They looked under every rock, and what they found was not always easy to look at," said Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health.
Findings included:
•Sixty-two% of soldiers and 66% of Marines said that they knew someone seriously injured or killed, or that a member of their team had become a casualty.
•The 2006 adjusted rate of suicides per 100,000 soldiers was 17.3 soldiers, lower than the 19.9 rate reported in 2005.
•Only 47% of the soldiers and 38% of Marines said non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect.
•About a third of troops said they had insulted or cursed at civilians in their presence.
•About 10% of soldiers and Marines reported mistreating civilians or damaging property when it was not necessary. Mistreatment includes hitting or kicking a civilian.
•Forty-four% of Marines and 41% of soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or Marine.
•Thirty-nine% of Marines and 36% of soldiers said torture should be allowed to gather important information from insurgents.

If you're gonna drink, please don't drive!

A sad story from the baseball world. I'm sorry for his family and their loss. Maybe this will be a wake-up call to some. Other's probably won't think twice about getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking too much. Not only was this man drunk, he was extremely drunk according to his B.A.C.

Police also found the wacky weed in his car. Apparently he was on the cell phone with a lady at the time of the accident and was on his way to meet her at another bar! Looks like he never made it there.

At least he didn't kill anyone else in this accident. The drunk person usually survives and it's the innocent people that are killed. I am so thankful that I never hurt or killed anyone in my years of drunken driving. I am very happy to say that I am still sober after over 6 and a half years.

I have nothing against drinking. I choose not to because I have an addiction problem. But if you're going to drink, and drink to excess, PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE!

Police: Cards' Hancock was drunk at time of accident

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fun with the Seniors

So this morning we went to the homes of all the Seniors at the lovely hour of 4:30 am and kidnapped them for the Senior Breakfast at Denny's. Tia came to our house to kidnap Shannon and it was pretty funny. Shannon is in a great mood at that hour of the morning. Tia had a metal pot and a spoon to bang the pot with so Shannon was surprised to say the least. My assignment was to kidnap Bryant. We all met at the Denny's over on Val Vista and Warner at 5 am. The seniors were not allowed to change or clean up. They had to go with their jammies on. It was fun and I thank Obie for inviting the Amadeo folks to be a part of it.

My roadtrip was pretty uneventful. Lots of driving and no major jobs as all of the equipment was functioning well.

American Idol is getting interesting now. I would love for Jordin Sparks, the Arizona girl to win, but I'm pulling for Blake man! That guy blows me away with his remixes of songs and his beat box style. What he did with that Bon Jovi song the other night was absolutely incredible. If he keeps making songs his own like that, I seriously believe he can win.

Cinco de Amadeo is almost upon us. There will be food, free bags of groceries, clothing, a pinata, an inflatable jumper, and face painting. We'll also have a table where folks can come up to receive prayer. We are also going to clean the area up really good. We are just serving these folks because they live in our community and we want to help them and bless them.

Be Moved!