Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spiritual Engineering

I found this post today over at nakedpastors blog. Here is an excerpt along with one of the comments...

I’m interested in how our designs for spiritual communities in many ways resemble genocidal intentions for society. How often have I been attracted to an alluring, charismatic and convincing personality who had an agenda to create and build a new kind of order? And how often have I witnessed and experienced the isolation and eventual separation and elimination of those who did not fit the program? I have to be even more honest than that: How often have I supported and even promoted these kinds of agendas to shape spiritual communities and the people within them?

Great reminder, it is often hard to remember that growth in the faith life of someone makes them more the person God wants them to be, not the person we want them to be.

My thoughts...
The church does not change you.
The pastor does not change you.
God does the changing.

Too many churches throw you out with the bathwater if you do not fit their program. How shitty is that? I wonder how many people have been wounded by prideful leaders and no longer serve Papa today. I would not want to be that leader when I stand before Papa.

Do ALL things in love for one another!


I was in contact with an old friend yesterday trying to meet with him for lunch or something - but all this person wants to do is give me instruction, and I don't need instruction from him because he has no authority over me, he's just a friend. It was hard disagreeing with him but I did what God led me to do. I want to do what God calles me to do, but I don't want to hurt my friend. I guess this is part of the hard part of being obedient to God - trying to reach out to someone in love and being rejected and disfellowshipped. If you reach out in love, extending the olive branch, you are doing the right thing.


Keith Giles wrote an article I found today here.

Here is an excerpt I found that I really liked.

*Give people something to do OR *Give people something to attend
*Believe in people OR *Make people believe in you
*Delegate authority OR *Require submission to your authority
*Further God's plan for their life OR *Make them part of your plans
*Invest in them OR * Use them
*Love them and show it OR *Love the task more than the people
*Give them what you have OR *Take what they have
*Provide resources for growth OR *Harvest their resources for your own use
*Discuss with them OR * Preach at them
*Spend time freely with them OR *Require appointments that suit your schedule
*Give them the keys now OR *Hold back until you retire
*Serve them OR *Get them to serve you
*Praise them OR *Accept their praise graciously
*Transfer masterhood to them OR *Demonstrate your masterhood to them

Please pray

Please pray for my friend Barb today as she heads to Tucson for her tests. I pray that everything is benign and that it is not cancer on her pancreas and liver. Pray that she will be calm as she awaits the results of the tests and biopsy.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

8 years ago today

I almost forgot to mention this today. It was 8 years ago today that I had my last drink. I am proud of that fact and thankful to Papa who gives me the strength to stay sober. I am very thankful for His grace and His mercy every single day. I am also thankful to my family and friends who endured the bad years and have supported me in the good years.

Spent most of the day yesterday with Jeff. He fixed the crack in our ceiling by putting some 2x4's along the crack to support the ceiling. A lot of the time was spent up in the attic and it was hotter than hell up there. He patched it up real nice and next weekend we're going to sand it, texture it and paint it. After that he is going to help me take out the old plumbing fixtures in our master bath and put in brand new ones.

Last night we went over to Tom and Patricia's house for dinner. Patricia works with Patty and her husband Tom is very active in AA and has been for years. They also invited another couple, Mel and Jan over. They are all a bit older than Patty and I, but both of the guys, Tom and Mel, each have over 20 years of sobriety under their belts. This is the second year Tom has had us over, because Mel and I have our sobriety birthdays real close together. Mine is the 28th and Mel's is the 26th.

I went to the gym today after church and Patty went to the mall and then grocery shopping. Shannon is in Tucson this weekend for a concert that is today. It is an outdoor show all day at Tucson Electric Park. She'll be coming back home tomorrow.

Patty is heading to Las Vegas with all the folks from her work this Friday. They are leaving Friday morning and coming back Sunday night. It is some convention related to the optometry field. Jeff is going to come over Saturday and we'll finish up the ceiling job and I'm going to see if he wants to hang out and watch the MMA fights that night featuring Kimbo Slice against veteran Ken Shamrock. Good times.

Keep praying for my friend Barb who is going to the U of A Medical Center Tuesday for those tests I told you about. I'll update about her as soon as I hear something.

Grace and Peace!

Letters Home from the Garden of Stone ... New Everlast video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dave Matthews - Gravedigger

Friday, September 26, 2008

Love is not a doctrine. Peace is not an international agreement. Love and Peace are beings who live as possibilities within us.
- Mary Caroline Richards,

BWC interview with Donald Miller

The BWC does an interview with Donald Miller, my favorite author. I am proud to say that he is endorsing Barack Obama.



Found this little quote on the Kingdom Grace Blog

Myth-telling that manipulates herd mentality that desperately needs a metanarrative to indulge its gross egocentrism.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rage against the Machine LIVE - Killing in the name

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My good friend Todd forwarded an email to me this morning that I would like to share. Think about it as you read it. Peace!

-Okay, let me preface this e-mail with this.......for a long time I just jumped into the "politically conservative" camp of Christianity.......well, because that's what I thought I was supposed to do......if someone said, "they're pro-this or anti-this" and it fit with what we, as "good bible believing Christians" believed then I was like, "sign me up."

didn't ask too many questions........somewhere along the way, I started asking questions and realized that it's not always as clear as some folks want to make it......the issues get blurry....this bill or that bill that may seem like a "conservative" or "liberal" bill a lot of times have other issues attached to them that make decision making far from easy........and regarding the men and women themselves running for office.....if I am a sinner that has made many mistakes in my life.......then what's going to make them any different (meaning we're all human), but for heaven's sake, let's not let the media, or church people who happen to have the media spotlight, or anybody else (left-wing nut or right wing nut) spin one group over another to make them the messianic answer to our country's problems.

for me, it has come down to the fact that on many issues I have much more in common with the more "democratic" side of the fence, save a couple of issues that in my conscience I disagree with and I'd tell them that to their faces.....

how bout you?........the best we can do is pray, look into the issues, ask for the grace to make the most Christ-like decision and then "vote your conscience" if that is what you feel led to do.......a little thought provoking tid bit below........

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight*..

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're"exotic, different."
* Grow up in Alaska, eating moose burgers, you're the quintessential American story.
* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.
*Graduate from Harvard law School, you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.
* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive
* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed 17-year-old daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.
* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
* If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Clay Aiken is gay

I remember awhile back sitting in my parents family room when I was there for a visit. I believe we were watching American Idol at the time and we were talking about past contestants. My dad said that Clay Aiken was gay, but me and my mom argued that he was not. I knew he was a Christian and I remember telling my dad that he couldn't be gay because he was a Christian. I was so wrong and I apologize. It turns out that he is a gay Christian, and that is beautiful!


Clay is gay: Aiken comes out of the closet

AP Music Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Clay Aiken appears on the cover of the latest People magazine holding his infant son, Parker Foster Aiken, with the headline: "Yes, I'm Gay."

The 29-year-old former "American Idol" runner-up, multiplatinum recording artist and Broadway star credits his son, conceived by in-vitro fertilization with friend and producer Jaymes Foster, with making him realize that he could no longer hide his homosexuality from the world.

"It was the first decision I made as a father," Aiken told the magazine, which arrives on newsstands Friday. "I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."

Aiken, who rose to fame on "Idol" in 2003, has long been subject of rumors and tabloid fodder that he was gay, but usually refused to acknowledge them. In an interview with The Associated Press two years ago, he said of the talk: "I don't really feel like I have anybody to answer to but myself and God and the people I love."

Aiken said he only told his family that he was gay four years ago. He recalled a tearful discussion with his mother in a car after dropping off his brother, who was being sent to Iraq, at a military base.

"It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out," he said. "She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting."

Aiken said his mother "still struggles with things quite a bit, but she's come a long way."

The magazine cover features Aiken holding his son, born in August. Aiken, who considers himself a born-again Christian, said he knows he may turn off some fans - known as Claymates - with his admission and his decision to have a child outside traditional marriage.

"I've never intended to lie to anybody at all," he said. "But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."

Gay groups applauded Aiken's public admission.

"We congratulate Clay for making this decision and for setting an example for others and his family," said Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. As we're seeing, more and more gay people, including celebrities, are living openly and honestly, and this has tremendous impact in terms of creating awareness, understanding and acceptance."

Aiken recently released the CD "On My Way Here" and made his Broadway debut this spring in "Monty Python's Spamalot."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ellen Shows a Video of a Flood Victim Being Rescued!

Arizona has a Stupid Motorist Law. Drivers that drive into flooded washes can be charged for their rescue and fined.

This lady drove into a flooded wash and almost lost her life as well as her little girl. A guy just happened to come along and was able to rescue them.

So she is invited on the Ellen show along with the guy that rescued them. The guy gets a cruise on Ellen. But the lady gets a Brand New Vehicle for being a stupid motorist, and an SUV at that. maybe she'll think she has a better chance next time in an SUV. Glad she and her daughter were okay, but unbelievable she is rewarded for being very stupid.

My week

Monday I dealt with some Union issues at work. What I thought was going to be a nightmare turned out to be not quite so. This is a good thing, although I am still ironing out a compromise with management.

Today I was able to get out of the office to Fountain Hills Park to check on my weather station there. Tomorrow I will head out to Lost Dutchman State Park. Thursday will be visits to my sites in Wittman and Wickenburg. Friday will take me to Stewart Mountain Dam. These are all daytrips so I will not really be out of town on travel status. That trip will be the week of October 20th where I will do my Fall trip on I-10 and I-8 out West. I'll leave on a Monday morning and come back on a Friday evening.

This Thursday I'll be helping out at the Gilbert Drop-In Center at my church. I always look forward to that.

Friday is my birthday. I will be 47. Man I'm getting ever so close to that half-century mark. Sunday the 28th marks my 8 years of sobriety date.

I've been giving someone at work a lot of encouragement because they are dealing with an issue. The situation is looking much brighter now and I have been praying with and for this person. I am also working with a guy right now that is struggling a bit but he is really doing good at this time. No drinking and we have been meeting on a regular basis.

Life is good folks. That announcement I was talking about may be just around the corner. Stay tuned!


The Beastie Boys - (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)

Video of the day

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pink Floyd The Wall - Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

New Feature

I'm going to change things up a bit and start a new feature on my blog. I'm going to call it my video of the day. Well, at least on days that I blog. Usually these will be music videos that I enjoy, but it could be a comedy bit or sports clip. Anything really that I feel like throwing out there.

I'll still do regular posts too.

So lets get started!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stuff I need to get out

This post is really not directed at any one person. It is just stuff that I've been kicking around with Papa (God) lately. I've been back in the groove of late of getting regular exercise and it just makes you feel so good. These are times that I take out for myself and I find it a good thing. While I am working out or running, these are the times I talk to Papa. I used to put headphones on and just blast some really loud music while I am lifting weights or running. I still do this on occasion, but lately I have just been enjoying my time with Papa.

That's really what prayer is, talking to God. When I am really in a state of worship, I can hear His voice. And this post is just about some things that Papa is teaching me on my journey.

I tend to bash the "institution" of church. Not because I don't like the church. I love the church. What I don't like about the church is the judgement and condemnation that comes from leadership based on what they themselves believe is right or wrong. There are many issues that come up in churches that are addressed in unkind, unloving ways. Now don't get me wrong here. I am not talking about sin issues. Although then you can get into an argument about whether or not it is sin. It's all a big power game in my opinion.

I like my church. I like other churches I have been a part of in the past. But I am now no longer interested in being a part of any leadership at all. Papa has told me to just go out and be who I want you to be. Encourage others, love others, help others, support others, pray for others. I will direct you to where I want you to go.

Some have said that I have a problem with authority. That's actually kind of funny to myself. The only places I have been told this is churches. Never at my workplace, or from my bosses over the years. That just strikes me as odd.

I basically believe that as a Christ Follower, I am to love God, and love others. Those are His two biggest commandements. Everything else is just minor and churches, and especially church leadership, seem to always be arguing and disagreeing on stupid issues. When I read the book UnChristian, which was basically a report on the research a guy did on what people today think of the church, it did not surprise me at all.

Some churches that I have left because of a difference of opinion I still have a bit of anger about. When you leave a church and you were friends with folks there, why do they want nothing to do with you after you leave? Were they not really friends? I am still friends with several people that I still meet with today and they are still a part of a church that I left. These are real friends. And in my mind, true Christ Followers.

I am comfortable not being in any part of leadership. I will continue to serve where I can. I serve at the orphanage, I serve at the Drop-In center when I can, I mentor people that struggle in the area of addiction and I hang out with those that do not follow Christ.

I will post more on my journey as I continue to seek where He wants me to go.

We just got back today from Tucson. We celebrated my birthday a week early at my mom's house last night. We met at Hot Dog Heaven (they make awesome Chicago Dogs) and then went to the house for cake and ice cream. My mom was there, Patty and I, my grandma, my cousin Jael and her husband Guillermo, and my Uncle Kerry and Aunt Lynn. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time since we sat around and told stories about some very funny stuff back in the earlier days.

I may have a major announcement coming up that will drastically change Patty and I's lives. But I don't want to say anything until things are more evident that it will happen. So stay tuned!

Grace and Peace!

I found this piece about Leaderman vs. Servant Leader on this blogpost.

Servant Leader: Has something to say
LeaderMan: Wants a platform on which to say something
LeaderMan: You almost feel you know his family, because he's your Leader
Servant Leader: You allow him to influence you, because you know his family
LeaderMan: Wants you to know he's a Leader
Servant Leader: You're not sure he knows he's a leader
LeaderMan: Loves the idea of the Gospel, and the idea of The Church
Servant Leader: Loves God and the actual individual people God brings across his path
LeaderMan: A great speaker, but self-described as, "Not really a people person."
Servant Leader: Makes himself a people person
LeaderMan: Helps you find where God is leading you in his organization
Servant Leader: Helps you find where God is leading you
LeaderMan: Gets together with you to talk about his vision
Servant Leader: Just gets together with you
LeaderMan: Resents "sheep stealing"
Servant Leader: Doesn't get the "stealing" part, since he doesn't own anyone to begin with
LeaderMan: Wants the right people on the bus
Servant Leader: Wants to find the right bus for you, and sit next to you on it
Servant Leader: Shows you his whole heart
LeaderMan: Shows you a flow chart
LeaderMan: A visionary who knows what the future looks like
Servant Leader: Knows what your kitchen looks like
LeaderMan: If it's worth doing, it worth doing with excellence
Servant Leader: Not exactly sure how to even calculate "worth doing"
LeaderMan: Talks about confronting one another in love
Servant Leader: Actually confronts you in love
LeaderMan: Impressed by success and successful people
Servant Leader: Impressed by faithfulness
LeaderMan: Invests time in you, if you are "key people"
Servant Leader: Wastes time with you
LeaderMan: Reveals sins of his past
Servant Leader: Reveals sins of his present
LeaderMan: Gives you things to do
Servant Leader: Gives you freedom
LeaderMan: Leads because of official position
Servant Leader: Leads in spite of position
LeaderMan: Deep down, threatened by other Leaders
Servant Leader: Has nothing to lose

I think I like the Servant Leader!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


It is possible to know all about doctrine and yet not know Jesus. The soul is in danger when knowledge of doctrine outsteps intimate touch Jesus. August 16th - Oswald Chambers

A new blog

I found a new blog I'm really enjoying. I found it by way of Rag Tags Hope (Todd's blog). This one has some great stuff and I've added it to my blog links. I introduce you all to Faithfully Dangerous yet so Wonderfully Awesome

I read this post and was hooked. Enjoy!


This is from Greg Boyd's book Myth of a Christian Nation.

"When people assume the position of moral guardians of the culture, they invite---they earn!---the charge of hypocrisy. For all judgement, save the judgement of the omniscient and holy God, involves hypocrisy. Whenever we "eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"---this is, whenever we find some element of worth, significance, and purpose in contrasting ourselves as "good" with the others we deem "evil"--we do so in a self-serving and selective manner. We always bend the tree, as it were, to our own advantage and, as a result, we do the exact opposite of what Jesus taught us to do. Instead of seeing our own sins as worse than others, we invariably set up a list of sins in which our sins are deemed minor while the other people's sins are deemed major. We may have dust particles in our eyes, we reason, but at least we don't have tree trunks like "those people." Unlike the tax collector who made no moral claims for himself, we thank the Lord we are not like other people just as the Pharisee did (Luke 18:9-14)."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today, the same Christ is in people who are unwanted, unemployed, uncared for, hungry, naked, and homeless. They seem useless to the state and to society; nobody has time for them. It is you and I as Christians, worthy of the love of Christ if our love is true, who must find them, and help them; they are there for the finding.

- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Random stuff

I've worked dayshift the last two days and work one again tomorrow, then an evening shift on Thursday. I'll be off Friday through Sunday and on dayshift all week next week. I just realized that I have worked nothing but evening shifts ever since my vacation ended on Aug 15th. I found it a bit hard to get up at 5 am again, but after the past two mornings I'm doing well with it. You just have to go to bed earlier.

I received some sad news today. A dear friend of mine, her name is Barb, is dealing with some health problems. Barb was the secretary at my office for years before she retired about 5 years ago. She has some cysts on her pancreas and liver and will be going to the U of A Medical Center in Tucson on Sept 30th for some procedures. Barb is dear to me because I have known her for 15 years. I watched as her husband battled Hodgkins Lymphoma before it took his life. She was inspiring to me during this time because of her positive attitude during this time. Barb is a wonderful woman of God and we had our beliefs in common. Her and her husband Larry went to Ireland for a long trip right before he passed away because it was a place they had both wanted to visit. She was also very supportive and encouraging to me when I was at the lowest point in my life. When I had hit my rock bottom in my battle against the bottle. We were also at work together the morning of Sept 11th when the unspeakable happened. I remember us sitting in the conference room and watching the TV not really believing what we were seeing. Around lunchtime she called me into the copy room and asked me if we could both pray about the situation. Anyhow, she is a wonderful woman and a dear friend so I ask all of you to say a prayer for her. She is very anxious and nervous about not knowing the details and for what news may come from the doctors after the procedure. Yet her attitude is the same old cheerful Barb, regardless of her situation.

Tomorrow night Jeff is coming over for the UFC fights that are on Spike TV live from Omaha Nebraska. I am sure it will be a great time and there are some great fights on this card.

We had a staff meeting today at work and there are some issues that I am going to have to deal with from a Union Steward standpoint. It is stressful, but I love the negotiations that we go through and love to get to a solution that is good for the bargaining unit yet makes management okay with it too.

Friday I'm going to meet Robert for lunch. It's been awhile since I've met with him and I'm looking forward to it.

I've still been running and lifting regularly and it feels damn good.

I need to get in touch with Bryant and see how he's doing and take him out to lunch sometime in the next couple of weeks. He's a great kid and is doing some great things these days.


And please--don't ask businesses for a ministerial discount. Why would you deserve a discount when you make a purchase more than a member of your congregation does? One salesman told me his reply to this request is, "Yes, we let you buy it for retail plus 10 percent."

From Ministry Today Magazine

Longtime Christian singer Ray Boltz, best known for his award-winning song “Thank You,” announced for the first time publicly this week that he is gay. Although family and friends had kept his homosexuality a secret since Dec. 26, 2004, the singer, who retired from the Christian music industry in 2004, told gay magazine The Washington Blade, “I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. … I had won awards, performed in front of thousands of people and sold millions of records. Still, I believed that if people knew who I really was, I would never be accepted. During the last few years I’ve learned that there are many people who feel the same way I did.” [washingtonblade.com, 9/12/08]

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sex-Ed...Abstinence and Birth Control

Lawn Griffiths is the Spiritual Life editor at The East Valley Tribune. He makes a good point in this excerpt from his column the other day.

Kudos to those candidates who passionately answer the fierce anti-abortion forces with a national call to reduce pregnancies through responsible and thorough sex education, including information on condoms as a preventive. Moreover, adoption should become easier to ensure babies and children will have homes where they are wanted.

The best way to reduce abortion is to reduce pregnancies that are not wanted.

My viewpoint...
I would favor abstinence, but I know that kids are going to experiment and make mistakes. Therefore, I think that they should be informed about birth control. I seriously believe that this would reduce the number of abortions in this country.


Smart Sheep by David Hayward

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A great workout

I met my buddy Jeff at the gym a little after noon today. He goes to the YMCA somewhere near his house, but today I signed him in as a guest at my gym. It was fun working out with a friend for a change. I think you get a much better workout that way, just because you can push each other a little bit harder.

Anyhow, I usually just use the machines when I lift weights because I am usually alone and don't like to lift heavy using free weights when I don't have a partner to spot me. Plus, I am not all that familiar with the different workouts you can do using free weights. So Jeff showed me the ropes.

All I can say is that it was a GREAT workout and with Jeff's guidance in the proper form and different exercises using free weights, let's just say that it kicked my ass. But in a good way. I will definitely feel it tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone. Patty, Shannon and I are going to enjoy a meal out tonight together as a family. Shannon has been sick with strep throat and went to urgent care on Wednesday. So she is feeling much better now.


Victorious Secret: Lingerie for Overcomers

Seriously? Are you kidding me? Sad but true! Check it out.

Victorious Secret bills itself as "The Lingerie Line for the Overcoming Woman"
And it is the "premier and dominant" producer of Christian-themed apparel in America, and maybe in the universe, according to the company's innovative founder, Veronique Wisteria.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Phoenix Dust Storm 2007

This one was from a year ago and was taken from a news chopper. These things are amazing to see if you have never seen one before. The way I describe them to people is that they look like a huge brown tidal wave.

Dust Storm dun dun dun

This was a dust storm that happened last night in Phoenix. I actually got to work this event. It began from collapsing thunderstorms near Gila Bend that created a big outflow boundary. This dust storm moved from the SW to the NE across the entire Phoenix metro area. Most of our dust storms come from the SE between Tucson and Phoenix so this one was a bit out of the ordinary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Justice is what love looks like in public.
- Cornel West
From Call and Response, a documentary on global slavery.

Accepting Each Day As It Comes

This was the devotion from a devotional book written by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling. This was the entry for Sept 8th.

Accept each day exactly as it comes to you. By that, I mean not only the circumstances of your day but also the condition of your body. Your assignment is to trust Me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness.

On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: the demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives - giving up or relying on Me. Even if you wrongly choose the first alternative, I will not reject you. You can turn to Me at any point, and I will help you crawl out of the mire of discouragement. I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day. Trust me, by relying on My empowering Presence.


Monday, September 08, 2008

The Christian Bubble

I had a very nice relaxing weekend with my wife. We went to the gym together, went out to eat at a place that has all-you-can-eat sushi, and just hung out together all weekend. It was aweome. I even got to watch the much anticipated UFC fight between legend Chuck Lidell and undefeated up and comer Rashad Evans. Rashad fought an excellent fight and stood up to Chuck, which a lot of folks cannot do because of Chucks one punch knockout power. The fight never went to the ground at all as Rashad never attempted a takedown because he did not want to run into one of Chuck's counter punches. The fight ended in dramatic fashion about a minute and a half into the second round. One punch! Right on the button! Chuck was out before he even hit the floor and then stayed there for about 10 minutes after the fight.

Okay, sorry. I got off track a little bit. Obie is the Youth Pastor at my church. A great guy who does the stuff. He led the service Sunday morning and I was so sorry I missed it because it was on a subject near and close to my heart. A lot of "Christians" live inside this Christian Bubble. All of their friends are Christian. Obie's sermon was about stepping out of that bubble and loving your neighbors. He challenged us to all step out of that bubble.

I don't think I am stuck inside this bubble, but I could do much better.

I offer you a couple of scenarios and feel free to answer honestly.

If someone you knew, a female that was pregnant and wanted an abortion, asked you to go with them when they had that abortion, would you?

If you had a friend that you knew was gay and he or she invited you out to eat or to go out on a date with them and their partner, would you?

If you can, please explain why or why not.

Grace and Peace!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sarah Palin And Republican Hypocrisy

Fair and Balanced eh Billy boy?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Matthew 23:4-12

Matthew 23:4-12 (The Message)

4-7"Instead of giving you God's Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn't think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called 'Doctor' and 'Reverend.'

8-10"Don't let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of 'Father'; you have only one Father, and he's in heaven. And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.

11-12"Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

Save Me

Gay actor Chad Allen stars in this indie flick called Save Me. This is a great article about the movie and Chad's struggle with the Bible, Christianity, and being gay. Here are some excerpts from the article and a full link to it here.

As a teenager, Chad Allen used to lie awake at night convinced that God hated him and that he was going to hell.

At 20, addicted to drugs and alcohol, he paced alone in his Malibu condo, gun in hand, agonizing over whether or not to pull the trigger.

And for years, he thought all Christians loathed people like him—because he was gay.

Today, at 34, the veteran actor says he's gotten over all that. Allen is now convinced of God's love, has been sober for eight years, and no longer thinks of taking his own life. And he counts among his good friends a number of evangelicals who object to his lifestyle but have reached out to him in love and compassion.

What Mark (played by Allen) does not find at Genesis—an apparent reference to Exodus International—is a "cure" for his gayness. At the end of the film, Mark has changed for the better in many ways. But he's still gay.

"I think the premise of gay conversion is a false one," says Allen.

But the actor very much believes that ex-gay ministries can and do bring hope and healing to the lives of hurting men like Mark, the main character in Save Me.

"I don't think there's any question that Mark was helped by his stay at Genesis House," Allen says. "He's transformed by it."

Allen notes that in the film, "We don't empty Genesis House of all the characters at the end; Mark leaves, but everyone else stays. It wasn't our intention to bash ex-gay ministries. We've seen that done before, but we wanted to achieve something different. We made this film for anybody who wants to have the conversation about God and gay."

When Allen came out about his homosexuality at the age of 25, his father initially rejected him. "It was a long time before my dad could look me square in the eyes again," Allen says. "I wanted his acceptance so desperately, and I was afraid I was never going to get it. Now, looking back, I realize that same relationship [father-son] is often how we define our relationship with God. I used my relationship with Dad to identify God. I believed God was this big, mean, scary guy who could never love me and I could never earn his acceptance, so why even try?"

Allen says his father eventually came to accept him again. "When I realized he still loved me, that changed my relationship with God. Now I have a great relationship with my dad, and with God."

"I don't think you can discern the Word of God unless you're holding the love of God in your heart," he says. "I can take any piece of written material, and if I'm holding fear and anger in my heart, I will get fear and anger as a result. And if I'm holding love in my heart, I will get love as a result.

"I don't pretend to say that Scripture doesn't say what it says [about homosexuality]. And I don't have the intellectual and theological background to enter into a debate. But I know there's lots in Scripture that I can read and come up with fear. And there's lots that I can read and know those aren't aspects in my life. Certainly today we know that slavery isn't something we can condone, but it seems to be condoned in Scripture. And today we know that women have a role in society that wasn't there in Scripture. When I'm reading Scripture, it's about the experience of a loving God."

Some Christians say that sexual orientation alone isn't necessarily sinful, but acting on it is. Allen disagrees.

"In the three and a half years I've been loving and committed to my partner, the fruit born of that and of my sexuality is beauty and love and goodness, not fear and destruction," he says. "The fruit that was born of my alcoholism was fear and destruction."

Which brings Allen back to Save Me and his hopes for the film.

"I want viewers to walk away from it knowing that God is participatory in all of our lives and all of our experience," he says. "Maybe I don't have all the answers, but I can choose to love my brother. Period."


Thursday, September 04, 2008

When Evangelicals Attack

Jenny Lowe wrote a very good article over on the BWC site which you can read in its entirety here.

The way that James Dobson attacked Obama about his interpretation of scripture was just wrong on so many levels. I guess that Dobson is the "only guy that has the correct interpretation." This is not only common to Dobson, it is common among a lot of Evangelical Christians who try to use their interpretations as the "correct" interpretations.

Yes I have to admit that I was raised in an Evangelical Christian Right Wing Republican household. I was told that this was the "correct" way to be. Frankly, I see more hatred from Christian Republicans than the Democrats.

There are certainly problems with both parties. I just do not like the fact that because I am a Christ Follower, some folks automatically think I am all in favor of the Republicans.

When you vote in November, vote from your heart. Not from what CNN, Fox News, James Dobson, or Jesse Jackson tell you.


Sarah Palin

I watched her speech last night. She did a good job. She took a good jab at Obama when she said this...

"Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.
And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities."

She's cute, smart, and a good speaker. I think this election will be very close.

I'm still...as of this writing...in Obama's camp. I think the debates will be interesting to watch.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Some Theology by David Hayward

Monday, September 01, 2008

Historia de un Letrero (Story of a sign)

Historia de Un Letrero (Story of a Sign)
With a stroke of the pen, a stranger transforms the afternoon for another man in this emotionally stirring film by Alonso Alvarez Barreda.
The winner of the short film online competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
Filmed in Tampico, Mexico in 2007.