Friday, June 27, 2008

Goodbye Cruel World

I'm going to die. I'm going to die an awful, painful, disgusting death, and probably soon. How do I know this? Because, as a favor to all of you, I break chain letters. That's right, all of those curses and threats that accompany chain letters fall on me. I do this not because I have a Messianic complex. Rather I do it to free all of you from the guilt that comes if you don't comply with all of the rules in a chain letter.

Here is what I have learned from my chain-breaking so far:

  • I don't love Jesus because I don't forward all of the letters that tell me that only 3% of the people will forward them.
  • I will never have good luck. Ever, ever ever.
  • I will never get $$ from Bill Gates or AOL for forwarding emails that are being tracked
  • Some dying kid will not have the requisite number of greeting/business cards he/she wants before he/she dies
  • I'll never have the Nieman Marcus cookie recipe
  • I will never get rich with some money from a Nigerian Princess
Just so you know, I will do this until my horrible fate befalls me. Each and every chain letter and email that requires me to forward it to X number of people to prove some point will meet a quick death in my inbox. Guaranteed, no questions asked. All I ask is that one of you take up the reigns and continue this service after I get sucked through a sewer, killed by a madman, lost at sea, or whatever calamity the chain letter deities wish to unleash on my mortal body.

You can thank me in the next life


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The End of Days

No, not the bad movie. Actually I was ruminating a little on prophets of doom and apocalypse, and two just suddenly seemed to merge into one in my head. The first is very well know, one Albert Gore Jr. He of the global warming hysteria. The other is Jack Van Impe, a televangelist who sees EVERYTHING as a sign of the imminent return of Jesus. Seriously, if a bear were to poo in the woods Jack would quote a scripture about how that foreshadows the return of Christ.

These two prophets share one unique talent. They have the ability to make anything that happens fit their agenda. For Gore, if it is hot, cold, rainy, drought, hurricane, blizzard or just normal weather, it is all a sign of global warming. No matter what (seemingly) aberrational weather hits, it is a sign. Sort of like the folks in The Life of Brian who saw a "sign" into all sorts of things Brian did, even though he was not the Messiah.

Jack Van Impe and his wife Rexella (her real name) go through the newspaper headlines on their television show and tell how the events of the day forecast the imminent return of Jesus. Never mind that every generation has someone who thinks they know when Christ's return is imminent and to my knowledge, they have all been wrong to this point. Keep firing away and eventually you may be right.

I just don't see whey people can't see through this. If everything points to something, why are you the only one who figured it out? Maybe I'm just too rational in my thinking (cursed influence of Augustine and Aquinas) but I can't bring myself to believe their claptrap let alone send money to the causes.

One last thought. Do they have the same hairdresser?

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Why do I hear Curly from the Three Stooges when I read this story? Let's see, take 1 ambidextrous pitcher and 1 switch-hitting batter, and you have a comedy of errors.

Can you imagine being at this game? I cannot.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God Help Us

Read this and shake your head.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Maybe they are finally getting the message

It seems that the political class is starting to feel the heat of $4 gas and their ineptitude over the years that has discouraged or even prohibited domestic oil and gas production. Today the White House joined the fray, and there is a bill before Congress to allow drilling in the outer continental shelf.

Call your member of Congress. Their attention span is short, and now is the time

Friday, June 13, 2008

Drill for Oil? Not in our country!

If you wonder why oil is so expensive and why your money goes from the gas pump to countries that want to kill us, ask your local member of Congress. The geniuses in a House of Representatives subcommittee voted to block drilling in the 100 mile wide outer continental shelf, where estimates place 76 BILLION barrels of oil, enough to keep this country running for 34 years at current use levels. Here is a list of those voting for and against the measure that would allow drilling in the outer continental shelf.

Chair: Norman D. Dicks (WA)
James P. Moran (VA)
Maurice D. Hinchey (NY)
John W. Olver (MA)
Alan B. Mollohan (WV)
Tom Udall (NM)
Ben Chandler (KY)
Ed Pastor (AZ)
Dave Obey (WI), Ex Officio

Ranking Member:
Todd Tiahrt (KS)
John E. Peterson (PA)
Jo Ann Emerson (MO)
Virgil H. Goode, Jr. (VA)
Ken Calvert (CA)
Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio

Here is a list of places that Congress has declared off limits to drilling for oil. I just thought you might want to know this.

Washington, the entire state; Oregon, the entire state; Northern California, Central California and Southern California. The eastern Gulf of Mexico except for a portion of land. The South Atlantic, the Mid Atlantic, the North Atlantic, all national marine sanctuaries. All of these are indefinite. The Olympic Coast, Cordell Bank, California, Monterey Bay, California, the Gulf of the Farallones, California, the Channel Islands of California; the Flower Bank Gardens Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida and the Florida Keys, Gray's Reef South and Atlantic, Monitor Mid Atlantic, Stellwagen Bank, North Atlantic. That doesn't include the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Next time you fill up, thank your members of Congress for their foresight. They truly are the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Here we go

Last week our church board officially approved me as the Pastor to Children and Families in our church. It's an exciting time, and a humbling one as well for me. I'm excited for the opportunity and humbled by the responsibility that it entails.

I've always had a soft spot for kids. My mom ran a home day care my entire childhood, and I am the youngest of 11 children. I have nieces in their mid-30s so, I've been around a lot of kids in my life. And I care about them deeply. I have worked in the children's dept. in every church I have attended since I graduated from college. I love talking with them, getting to know them, playing with them and teaching them. One parent used to joke that her kids viewed me as a peer. That comment made me smile.

Pray for me. The mission field here in Dundee is large, and I want to be receptive to what God wants me to do and be. Pray for the kids in Dundee that need to know Jesus. Pray for the families that are separated from God. Pray that our church can be the hands and feet of Christ to them.

It's all a little overwhelming. But God is a big God.

Sacred Things

The dictionary defines Sacred as:
1. devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.
2. entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.
3. pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane): sacred music; sacred books.
4. reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object: a morning hour sacred to study.

5. regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero.
6. secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right: sacred oaths; sacred rights.
7. properly immune from violence, interference, etc., as a person or office

In the church, we often use sacred in a somewhat less formal manner. Rooms are sacred. Programs, activities, musical instruments and songs/hymns are sacred. But there are some sacred things that we may overlook that deserve our attention.

This past Sunday in our local congregation we had a sort of homecoming Sunday. Two families that left our congregation to move to Colorado Springs to attend Nazarene Bible College were back to tell us how God is moving in their lives. It hasn't been easy for them in several ways. They left their homes, friends and families to move more than 1000 miles away. One family has had their house for sale for 2 years and it still hasn't sold. But God has been faithful and has moved in their lives, and they gave glory to God for that. It was a sacred moment.

Other sacred moments are when a sinner receives the gift of eternal life from Christ and throws off the shackles of sin. Or when an addict breaks free of the bondage that binds him/her and keeps them from fully serving God. Or when a child/young person/adult hears the call of God on his/her life and says "Yes Lord" to the God that is calling them into Christian service. Or when believers are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

These are the sacred moments that I want to remember. We don't pile up rocks into Ebenezers anymore, like the Israelites did. But we should remember the sacred times when God met us and we celebrated his presence.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Leaps of faith

Chuckle at the image if you will. When I first saw the image, I laughed a little. On its face it is pretty funny. But then, as is my habit, I began thinking about it.

The Christian faith is a lot like this scene. There are giant leaps of faith in our lives that God asks us to take. He may ask us to move across the country or the world, as he did my friend John. He may ask us to change careers as John and I are doing. He may ask you to radically change your life.

Sometimes in life, you are the elephant. You are jumping out in faith toward something that, on its face, makes no sense. But that is what faith is all about. Faith is being obedient to God and trusting Him with the outcome. Our task is to be obedient. The rest is up to God.

Sometimes, we are the monkey. We have to catch/help people who are taking great leaps of faith. People who are throwing off lives of sin need us to help catch them in the church. People who want to break destructive patterns of behavior need a steady hand to catch them. But in all of this, we are being obedient to God's call on our lives.

Sometimes you are the monkey. Sometimes you are the elephant. But God is always God.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Want to see how much you remember?

Check this out.
You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

It's a quick little quiz to help you realize how much you do or do not remember from school. Just click on the blue words at the end and you can take the quiz too.

Thanks to Bishopman for showing me this.