Monday, January 31, 2005

Blog News: 100th Post

One of the funniest & saddest things I've realized about the blog community is that many blogs are about blogs. Their posts are titled 'a new way to get blog traffic' or 'Is anyone reading this?' or '13 days, 13 color schemes!' It's like a 'state of the blog' address that last 365 days a year.

I like blogging. Hopefully not THAT much, but I like it. So today I will celebrate my 100th post with a 'blog about a blog.'

On October 13th I created a blog and made my First post (special thanks to Deana) and haven't looked back since. Sure, some of the posts have been dumb (in fact, I've deleted some dumb ones so this isn't technically my 100th post though there are, at this moment, exactly 100 posts on my blog), but there have also been some average one's. Here are my favorite 5 in case you missed them:

Prison Cell Phones
Red Sox Win World Series
Sydney and Vaughn
My Christmas Card to You
An Online Dating Conversation

As far as the 'state of the site' goes, I just want to say thanks to any and all who visit this site. I'm way more popular on the internet than I am in real life.

October Hits: 737
November Hits: 1,394
December Hits: 4,298
January Hits: 4,395

If, as it seems, I've hit a plateau, it's a happy one. I hope and plan to continue to provide you with seconds of mild amusement.

~The Matthew Never Knew

Sunday, January 30, 2005

An hour of me

Would you listen to me talk for a whole hour? Every Sunday night I lead our hour long Bible study. No music. Short opening and closing prayers. Much Matthew in the middle. I remember at Bethany, trying to come up with 2 minutes worth of material for a class speech was a daunting task. But now, an hour zooms by. Thankfully, it's not quite a lecture format. I try to provoke quite a bit of participation. I love leading this hour. Here are some of the subjects we've covered:

America a Christian Nation? (3 hours)
Amos (3 hours)
Apologetics (2 hours)
Armor of God (6 hours)
Can we Trust the Bible (3 hours)
Jesus in the Old Testament (3 hours)
Jesus in the Gospels (2 hours)
Jonah (4 hours)
Loneliness (2 hours)
Olivet Discourse (2 hours)
One-Hit-Wonders (2 hours)
Religions/Cults (5 hours)
Revelation (2 hours so far....this will be a long series)

BLOG NEWS: I didn't write down a sleep log this week. I quit. Perhaps God made me nocturnal. It's over.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Nothing to Lose

Nothing to Lose is one of my favorite comedies. Tim Robbins plays a husband who just found out his wife has been having an affair. Martin Lawrence plays a guy who, soon after, tries to rob him. It's a fun combination. I don't like swearing. Call me old fashioned. This movie has a lot of it. But if there's one person who can swear in a way that I don't mind, it's Martin Lawrence. Not sure why. He's a funny swearer. Very funny stuff here.

Rating: 8.2
Status: Must Own

Friday, January 28, 2005

What is TV Telling Us?

I've been told many times how evil TV is. Tonight I gave each channel 1 sentence to defend itself. Here's what TV had to say:

You are unique. All you have to do is look. You've gotta enjoy life and treat your body with respect. Carlos is in counseling. He seems to have some difficulty letting go of the game. It is a long term process of engaging in dialogue and enhancing relationships. Maybe if I didn't have so many people in my apartment all the time, I'd be able to get some work done. People get there by taking this ferry, which they love. I thought going back to school would eventually pay the bills. I bet you didn't know this guy had such a sense of humor.

Millions of Americans are just asking for a computer virus. In Canada there are no uniform standards about warnings on cough and flu meds. The car you've been dreaming of is the car we've been dreaming up. Joe Scarborough has seen it all.

Get noticed. Don't say anything until you've checked with Mike Barney. We want you to be the judge. Call toll free 1-800-253-6913. Let's be politically active.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Ordination and China

Today at work I got a call to setup my annual DBMD meeting. Thankfully, I finally get to do the official ordination interview. The title 'ordained minister' doesn't really matter to me, but I LOVE meetings/interviews! I know, I know, meetings/interviews are normally viewed as boring/scary respectively, but I really enjoy my district and its leadership. It's an encouraging time to share what God has been doing in my life and in the ministry at our church. My interview is March 15th at Houghton College (which is great b/c I can visit friends at the school and at my internship church afterwords).

Sometime after that phone call, one of my real role models gave my tiny office a visit. He is organizing another trip to China. I am looking forward to going again. It looks like the dates for this trip will be something between April 11th and 27th. We will spend more time at the school (teaching english, sharing Christ with the teachers) than we were able to last time. I can't wait to see some of the friends we made.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Do you know anyone that...

Goes out of their way to find something they can criticize? Is respected by all, except those who know them best? Goes ballistic over seemingly insignificant matters? Is very hurtful, but their life seems perfect? Has their heart in the completely wrong place? Will be right at the expense of being loving? Thinks you always owe them an explanation? You'd be afraid to rebuke when necessary? Holds to tradition closer than truth? Has never/rarely been scolded?

Do you know anyone that gets away with all this because it's their personality, their way, their role, their right, their position, their responsibility, etc.

I've been studying through the Gospel of Mark and these are the characteristics I've noticed about Pharisees. Know any? Ever been there yourself?

I wish we would start calling things the way they are, like Jesus did.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Caedmon's Call

I am a pretty loyal person. If I decide something is a 'favorite' of mine, I'm not likely to go back on that. Ever. But I'm trying to change that about myself in exchange for an 'out with the old, in the new' mentality.

And so, I am officially changing favorites when it comes to music. My new favorite band is Caedmon's Call. I feel bad for my former favorite band (the waiting), but apparently they have dis-banded and so they are unlikely to offer me much further enjoyment.

Caedmon's Call was an easy choice to fill the gap left after waiting for 'the waiting' to re-emerge. I love their music, especially their most recent CD. They went to India and spent time with 'the untouchables' and the music reflects that experience. I especially like numbers 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 13 & 14!

I've also liked their past CD's (although I only have 3 of their CD's). I really enjoy 40 Acres (#'s 2, 4 & 6) and In the Company of Angels (#'s 1, 2, 6 & 7). Plus, there's alot of their older stuff I haven't had the chance to hear yet.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Day of Depression

A British Psychologist has declared today, January 24th, the most depressing day of the year. click here to read the story

Here are some reasons:
1. Bad weather
2. Christmas debt
3. Your football team isn't going to the Super Bowl
4-100. Etc.

To quote a pretty funny movie...'sounds like somebody's got a case of the Monday's.'

btw... I just realized this is my 94th post. 94 is my favorite number. Hurray!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Praise to the Glory

This is a hymn style song written to a variation of the music in the great hymn 'Wonderful Story of Love.' This song is worship to the Triune-God.

verse 1
Praise to the glory of God
Father of Jesus Christ
He chose us before the world
That we should be pure in His eyes

Praise to the glory
Praise to the glory
Praise to the glory
Praise to the glory of God

verse 2
Praise to the glory of God
Jesus the crucified
Gave up himself to the blood
That in Him we are unified

repeat chorus

verse 3
Praise to glory of God
Spirit who seals our lives
Promises all that is ours
Until the redemption arrives

chorus 2
Praise to the glory of God
Praise to the trinity
Praise to the glory of GodPraise to the glory

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Thursday I posted about the first of two lessons God had for me at the monthly pastor's meeting. Tonight I'd like to discuss the second lesson...on the topic of the authority of the pastor.

One thing I really feel is lacking in churches today is true accountability and discipline. When people become a member of a church, they agree to behave in specific ways. But when they don't really behave in those ways, nothing happens (unless it's pretty drastic). I'll admit, some of the commitments probably aren't incredibly meaningful...but that's not really the point.

I don't know if pastor's are just afraid to exercise their spiritual authority or what. Maybe they're afraid of being viewed as a bully. Certainly spiritual authority has been misused many times in churches, but we seem to have gone to the opposite extreme. Membership basically means nothing (maybe that's why so many younger people think we should just get rid of it).

In the past month I've realized that I am not really nervous at all when preaching/teaching... but I feel incredibly nervous to exercise authority. I almost shake when I sense that I have to rebuke a person or group. But as I read Scripture church leadership is commanded to exercise the authority God has given them.

I have some more thinking to do on this subject.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Make Us Holy

This was my very first song. Based on the 12th chapter in the book of Romans, it describes the only way to holiness...the Spirit of God renewing our minds, changing the very way we think.

verse 1
People try it every day
They change their life in some new way
The buy more junk, they change their look
While the answer lies right in the book

Make us holy lord, make us new
Make us holy lord, more like you
Renew the spirit of our mind
Make us holy lord, for in this we find
The change that changes us inside
Make us holy lord, like you

verse 2
People think it is a fact
That treasures of earth are what they lack
But one day these things will be no more
And what will they have when they face the lord

We are all sinners, but we may chose
To put on a new man and be renewed

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Today we had our monthly district pastor's meeting. God was teaching/reminding me of 2 things. I'll share the first today and the second tomorrow.

My dad has often reminded me of an important emphasis in pastoral ministry: Equipping the Church. Today that thought was echoed during our meeting. We're reading through Robert Clinton's book The Making of a Leader and I found myself studying through it very selfishly. I was asking myself, 'how does this part apply to me?' I was getting kinda frustrated b/c the part we were studying was so elementary. I was beyond this!

But then I realized everyone else was thinking in terms of developing lay leaders. Only I was 'me' focused. Then I came to a startling realization. In the past year and a half, I've been trying to make sure I was a good minister, trying to do the job, establishing my ability to lead. But I haven't been recognizing and/or developing leaders in our church at all. Oddly, that thought hasn't really crossed my mind. I've tried to disciple people, but leadership is something beyond that.

I hope today will be a day of transition. I want the ME focus to become a WE focus. A couple leaders can only accomplish so much. An army of leaders can accomplish a whole bunch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Online Dating: Part 5

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the wonders of online dating is to show you an actual conversation I had on December 21st. Her name was Isabela and she was, apparently a Chinese girl currently living in Africa. She instant messaged me for the first and only time just before midnight that evening.

gertrudemago: hi
mattrose: hiya
gertrudemago: how are you?
mattrose: Doing pretty well...just waiting to get tired
mattrose: how are you?
gertrudemago: iam fine, thanx.
gertrudemago: are you married?
mattrose: nope
gertrudemago: ok

Ok, so a pretty typical start. We have established our names along with my singleness

gertrudemago: can we be friends?
mattrose: sure, why not? :)
mattrose: where are you from?
gertrudemago: china.
mattrose: do you still live there?
gertrudemago: no
gertrudemago: iam living in africa now.
gertrudemago: can i see your picture

mattrose: there are pics of me in China on our church website.
gertrudemago: you are very handsome:)
mattrose: :"> well thank you
mattrose: i liked your picture too
gertrudemago: ok
gertrudemago: you must be very kind.:)

mattrose: haha, no...i am mean usually

Seems like a nice enough girl so far, and she has good taste!

mattrose: how long have you lived in Africa?
gertrudemago: for 10 years.
mattrose: how old are you?
gertrudemago: iam 22 years old.
gertrudemago: you?

mattrose: 23
gertrudemago: ok.
gertrudemago: one year older than me:)

mattrose: do you like living in Africa?
gertrudemago: not really.
gertrudemago: i want to come to states if i can get help.

mattrose: oh, i see....have you ever been here?
gertrudemago: no.
mattrose: why do you want to come here?
gertrudemago: i want to get married by an american.
gertrudemago: like you

Okay, so she's a little forward

mattrose: haha
mattrose: aren't there any nice young men in Africa?
gertrudemago: africans are liars.
mattrose: all of them?
gertrudemago: many.
mattrose: well that's too bad
gertrudemago: there is one say here in africa which says that" IF ONE FISH IS ROTTEN THEN ALL FISHES HAVE BEEN ROTTEN".
mattrose: hmmm...interesting
mattrose: you have many brothers and sisters?
gertrudemago: yes
gertrudemago: chinese and africans.

mattrose: how many all together?
gertrudemago: 10.
mattrose: are you the oldest, youngest..or somewhere in the middle?
gertrudemago: middle.

She has a pretty big family, and I was about to find out they were, perhaps, struggling financially...

gertrudemago: can you help me bro?
mattrose: In what way?
gertrudemago: With money. At least to have something in this xmass.
mattrose: i don't know. how would i get you it? Plus, I don't really know you very well.
gertrudemago: oh my,
mattrose: what?
gertrudemago: im just sad.
gertrudemago: to know me how? because as the days go we will get to know each well.
mattrose: is just dangerous to try to help people online b/c there are many people who lie on the internet, not that you're necessarily lying.
mattrose: is there a good church in your town?
gertrudemago: yes catholic.
gertrudemago: i changed to catholic.

mattrose: your church able to help you at all?
gertrudemago: iam just asking you to help me to buy clothes and shoes for this christ mass
mattrose: oh, i see. Well, I would recommend you ask your catholic church for help. I am sure they wouldn't turn you away if you really need clothes
gertrudemago: bro, please help me.
mattrose: have you tried asking the church?
gertrudemago: and iam a foreigner here they don't know me much.
gertrudemago: i don't need much money, just a small sacrifice bro.

mattrose: haha...I don't even know how I'd send you money. But I really don't think I can help you at this point.
mattrose: I think you should go to the Catholic church and ask for help.
gertrudemago: ok
mattrose: I'm sorry
gertrudemago: ok, bye

Abrupt ending. It was almost as if she was just out for money. Maybe she really needed money. Who knows. Either way, I don't think I'll be hearing from Isabela again.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Online Dating: Part 4

Part 1: Five Admissions
Part 2: Two Websites
Part 3: Five Pros

And now on to part 4...


1. Low Quality- There's a lot of fish in the online sea...and most of them are still in there for a reason. One of the hardest parts of online dating is finding a good profile. 95% of profiles aren't worth a second glance. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

2. No Contact- They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Well, I think a meeting speaks a thousand online conversations. You may need to upgrade your internet plan in the time it takes to figure out what an hour in person would deliver with crystal clarity.

3. Long Distance- Let's say you get lucky and find a special someone. Now what? They live in Montana for goodness sake! Upgrading to phone calls will be too expensive. Long distance travelling is too big a commitment. Especially when the first meeting may very well reveal you've been talking to a 58 year old remote-control-car-enthusiast.

4. Nerdy Story- I believe that one of the key components to a great guy/girl relationship is the 'how they got together' story. You gotta have a good one. But 'we met online' might only be 1 step up from 'we met at a family party.'

5. End of the line- So you tried real life...and despite your awkward feelings, you went ahead and tried the online thing. But nothing happened. Now what? Back to real life? More online searching? You're running out of options. And chances are, you're getting uglier by the minute.

Tomorrow: the thrilling conclusion

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Online Dating: Part 3

In Part 1 I made 5 admissions. In Part 2 I reviewed the best sites. In part 3 I hope to list 5 PROS of online dating.


1. Quantity- There's a lot of fish in the online sea. I live in a town of less than 3,000 people. The online dating community is millions of people. The odds of finding a decent match seem dramatically better.

2. Conversation- While many offline dating scenarios involve superficial attraction, online dating provokes meaningful discussion. You find out the person's likes, dislikes, history, etc. In my experience you can identify the personality pretty quickly.

3. No Guessing- Most online dating profiles describe the person's intentions. Maybe they just want to make some friends. Maybe they are extremely forward about their desperate desire to find a soul-mate. More often it's something between the two.

4. Practice- Even if you aren't too excited about the possibility of finding a meaningful relationship online, the internet can help you improve your skills. And if there's one thing Napolean Dynamite has taught us, it's that girls only wanna date guys that have great skills.

5. Easy Exit- If someone is much more annoying than their profile let on, you can just block them or something. No awkward cliches. No hints. Click, click, gone. You don't even have to wait till the end of a meal or movie.

Tomorrow: Five CONS

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Online Dating: Part 2

In Part 1 I admitted to my knowledge and participation of the online dating phenomenon. Now it's time for specifics. As a minister, I like there to be at least 3 of everything. But to be honest, I have only encountered 2 websites that I found interesting to any degree.

2nd Place
The award for 2nd place goes to eHarmony. When you visit Neil Clark Warren's site you are greeted by happy faced couples and their wedding dates. Match-making sites are supposed to produce married couples. It seems eHarmony does this better than anyone by using a system of 29 Dimensions of Compatibility.

You start by taking your free personality test and then the matches come flowing in. As you scan through the profiles of your matches you can do 1 of 2 things. 1. You can add contact info to your profile (probably not technically allowed) or 2. You can pay for their EXTREMELY expensive subscription ($50 for a month).

My experience on eHarmony has been OK. I've contacted a few girls who included their emails and was bored to death. But a few contacted me and that has been more fruitful. One such girl and I have since had 50+ conversations and may even meet in April at Houghton College or something. We'll see.

1st Place
I may get made fun of for this, but the gold goes to HotorNot. I was told about this site as a joke while attending Bethany. But it's really pretty effective. It has a reputation as a very superficial site (and it is), but the beauty of this site is more than skin deep.

It's not JUST pics. I mean, sure you can rate people's pics and be rated yourself. But there's actually a lot to do on the site. You can filter your search by keyword (ie-Christian) or by location (ie-Buffalo). You can contact people who agree that you are incredibly interesting. You can send them cheesy pre-made notes or even virtual flowers (although, unbelievably, at a cost). And if you want to get real contact information, it's much more affordable ($5 for a month).

My experience on hotornot has been pretty good. I've talked to some neat people and made some good online friends. Once again, with one of these I've had over 50 good conversations and even though I'll probably never meet her, feel like I know her pretty well. Plus, it's not a BAD thing to SEE a person's pic before deciding your level of interest. Physical attraction certainly isn't EVERYthing, but it definitely is SOMEthing.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Online Dating: Part 1

It is hard to avoid the subject of Online Dating. I hear Neil Clark Warren telling me to check out every day via TV and Radio. In fact, while driving around today our local radio station made online dating its 3 hour theme. Type in 'online dating' on Google and you get 18.2 MILLION results. It's a big thing.

I think this subject will be a multi-day series.

PART 1: Five Admissions
First of all, I'll admit I've been to the first 13 million of these sites. I am single, rarely meet interesting people (no offense to all the people I meet), and get quite bored sometimes b/w 12-5am.

Secondly, I'll admit I've talked to b/w 10 and 25 people via such websites (most of them you can include your AOL or MSN in the profile and avoid paying, which would be incredibly silly)

Thirdly, I'll admit I've been incredibly silly and paid $5 bucks a few times on one particular site in order to gain the right to contact 'my matches' for a month at a time.

Fourthly, I'll admit that I've had over 50 AOL/MSN conversations with 2 of these 'matches.' More often, I've realized after one conversation that something went wrong in the online match-making process.

Fifthly, I'll admit that I'm currently engaged to one of these...okay, just kidding on that one. But I will admit I'm not totally opposed to meeting online people offline.

PART 2: A Review of the top sites
PART 3: The PROS of online dating
PART 4: The CONS of online dating
PART 5: Concluding Thoughts

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Little Blades

A song I wrote based on Stephen Crane's poem. It's about complete humility before God.

Little blades of grass
Tell me what you’ve done
Tell me of your services
And if your race is won

Little blades of grass
Tell me how you’ve grown
Tell me of your love for me
And if you are my own

You’ll be so amazed
By all the good things we will tell
You might as well just send us in
We’re too good to go to hell

Little blade of grass
Why are you way back
The others have done all these things
What is it that you lack

Little blade of grass
Quiet and afraid
I have never seen a more
Fearful looking blade

Lord I apologize
My memories erased
I’ve forgotten if I’ve done good deeds
As I stand here face to face

Best little blade of grass
How much you did just say
Best little blade of grass
Come with me this way

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cheaper by the Dozen

You can pretty much depend on Steve Martin for a nice clean family film. Nothing great. Nothing horrible. I'd say Cheaper by the Dozen is one of his better movies. Nice. Sometimes funny. Good lesson. Good ending. Predictable yes, but not in a bad way. Good cast. Good movie. Watch it with the family.

Rating: 6.9
Status: Worth the Time

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Last Sermon

Pastor Jack Arnold, 69, died Sunday while preaching at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Florida. His sermon was about heaven. In fact, with his last words he quoted John Wesley: "Until my work on this earth is done, I am immortal. But when my work for Christ is done ... I go to be with Jesus," and then said "And when I go to heaven..." before collapsing and dying of cardiac arrest.

I don't think that's a sermon those Presbyterians will be forgetting anytime soon.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Was I Wrong?

I just remembered a story from my time at Bethany. Tell if you think I was RIGHT or WRONG in my demand...

One day I went to buy a textbook at the campus store. Since I always waited till the last minute to buy things there was only 1 of that specific book left. The book was, let's say (I can't remember specifics)$40. As I walked toward the counter and flipped through the book I noticed that some of the pages were printed upside down (apparently that's why this particular book was the last to be purchased).

I'm a book lover. If I'm going to buy an expensive book I want it to be perfect. So I asked 'how much would it cost the school to send this book back and/or get a perfect copy? I was told it would cost, let's say $10. Well, I loved my school more than I loved books, so I figured I'd offer the school store a spectacular deal.

Instead of sending the book back for $10, I said, 'why don't you give me $5 worth of merchandise and I'll keep this defective book. The school store did not like this trade offer. Since I was pretty pleased with my creativity in solving this problem and had no more classes that day I continued to argue. And eventually I got my way (which included a bumper sticker and some candy I think).

Did this story make any sense? Were my actions super annnoying? Or was my offer a win-win situation?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

A Different Light

This is the 2nd song I wrote. I was trying to start seeing the world through God's eyes. I'm still trying that today.

verse 1
We watch the news
We read the magazines
We hear the headlines
Can’t find any good it seems
We see the world
Decaying away
And we think of it as just
A typical day

Let’s see the world
In a different light now
We’ll take the bad
Help turn it all around
We will see a change
That blows us away
We need to see the world in a different way

verse 2
The violent crimes
Storms rushing in from sea
We see disaster
Yes it’s a dreary scene
A helpless world
That could be our view
But there is something different
That we should do

verse 3
They’ll see criminals
We’ll see lost souls
They’ll see destruction
We’ll see a chance to console
They’ll see a bad hand
With no cards to deal
But we will see the world
As a mission field

Saturday, January 08, 2005

NFL Playoff Predictions

St. Louis OVER Seattle=RIGHT
San Diego OVER NY Jets=WRONG
Indianapolis OVER Denver=RIGHT
Green Bay OVER Minnesota=WRONG

Indianapolis OVER New England=WRONG
Pittsburgh OVER San Diego=RIGHT
Philadelphia OVER St. Louis=RIGHT
Atlanta OVER Green Bay=RIGHT

Pittsburgh OVER Indianapolis=WRONG
Philadelphia OVER Atlanta=RIGHT

Pittsburgh OVER Philadelphia=WRONG

*all picks subject to complete inaccuracy.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Very much like The Postman, Waterworlld got very bad reviews and made fun of by critics and jerks alike. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. I guess I must like apocalyptic movies that don't include the words 'left' or 'behind' in them. Costner plays a guy mutating into a fish looking for land in a flooded world. Okay, maybe it does sound stupid. But I heard part of it was filmed in Western NY. I give this my recommendation.

Rating: 7.3
Status: Must See

Thursday, January 06, 2005

My Favorite Foods

Yesterday I complained about the missing drink and the lack of positive evolution in the beverage industry. But while my glass has remained half empty when it comes to the liquid portion of a meal, the plate before me is usually great in terms of the main course.

My favorite dinner is probably a beef on weck sandwich. It is a Western NY delicacy. Basically, it's just a roast beef sandwich, but with an extremely salty roll. I also love stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut, especially the crust part (which is strange b/c I'm not a HUGE fan of cheese). I love Chinese buffets. I love chicken cordon bleu. I love a hot chicken finger pizza. I love french fries, and a lot of them is a fine meal in my opinion.

So what's your favorite food?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My Favorite Drinks

I've been thinking about drinking.

I am 23 years old. I have yet to find...the perfect beverage. Part of my failure to find the dream drink is probably the result of my failure to try new things often. But my quest continues at a slow and steady pace.

Right now I'm drinking Swiss Miss: Chocolate English Toffee. I like it. I like a lot of drinks. It just feels like some super special drink is always missing from the menu.

Currently I drink very little soda/pop. I can't drink milk w/o having something with it. I get sick of those sport drinks really quickly. And real juice is pretty expensive. The only beverages I really love are chocolate Milk from Houghton College and apple Cider in the fall.

Can anyone think of a drink I may not have tried that could quench my thirst? Maybe you could lead me to the liquid I long for! What's your favorite beverage?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I've had a few people ask me 'So what do you think of the movie Saved? So, I finally got around to watching it, and here's what I think:

Saved is basically a movie that exposes hypocritical 'christianity' and contrasts it with genuine humanity and does so in a fresh manner. Mandy Moore plays a Bible-thumper of the worst variety. While she appears to many at her school to be the perfect Christian girl, a closer examination shows that she has issues of pride, dis-honesty, and lacks compassion. Jena Malone begins the movie as Moore's clone, but then her world falls apart. Her boyfriend decides he's gay. She tries to convince him otherwise and ends up pregnant. It turns out that the best friends she has are the two 'non-christian' students at the private school.

What I liked about the movie- The acting (especially Jena Malone), the theme that it is more important to be genuine than to appear perfect, the theme that showing compassion is better than pointing fingers, and the ending (for the most part).

What I didn't like about the movie- I think the movie would have been better, and much more well received by the Christian community if there would have been a stronger voice of authentic Christianity. We only saw glimpses of true, compassionate, Christlikeness. We see a little of it in Patrick (a skating PK returning from a missions trip and falling for Jena Malone). We see it in a staff member at the school when she tries to keep Jena's pregnancy private for her. But that's about it. The directer really seemed to want to keep a stark contrast, so I guess I can understand not having more from this middle group.

Perhaps the worst part of this movie is that it will serve to expand the stereotype among non-Christians that Christianity is just a bunch of hypocrites and Bible thumpers. It leaves room for authenticity, but doesn't fill that gap. I guess that's our job.

But this review sounds way more negative than I intended. I really liked the movie.

Rating: 8.2
Status: Must Own

Monday, January 03, 2005

Are You in the Ark

I wrote this song as a kids song, but I find myself singing it quite a bit in my head (maybe that speaks more about me than the song). It's a simple song, but carries with it the reminder that Noah's Ark was a type of Christ.

verse 1
Wicked is this world I see
Evil thoughts continually
Hating hearts have broke apart their bond
So here's the plan I will employ
Everything I must destroy
Just one face has found my grace to save

Are you are you in the ark
The ark the ark that's set apart
Apart apart from sin outside
Outside outside of Gods design
Are you are you are you in the ark

verse 2
If one is righteous one is mine
One will enter my design
I will protect whom I elect as just
The time has come for my return
Does this trigger your concern
Forgiven hearts I will impart with grace

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Postman

Many people make fun of Kevin Costner movies and say he sucks, but I like his movies a lot. The Postman is one of my favorite Costner movies. Sure, it's a heck of a lot like Waterworld, but I liked that one too. The story is very entertaining. There are plenty of good plot twists. There are lots of good lines. Just watch it, you'll enjoy it. No listen to the anti-hype.

Rating: 8.2
Status: Must Own

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Your Last Year?

5 Reasons why This could be your last year at {Insert name of your church here}
*my sunday sermon

1. Foundations can be Forgotton- (Rev 2:1-7) If your local church has left their first love, it may be removed by Christ.

2. Freedom is Fleeting- Religious freedoms are beginning to be challenged. If public church was against the law, would you continue being part of the church?

3. Faith is a Fight- You don't know what this year has in store. Do you have a strong enough faith to endure? (1 Timothy 6:11-12, 2 Timothy 4:7).

4. Flesh is Failing- (Genesis 5) The human death rate is 1 per person. Now is the time for salvation. We never know when our last breath will be.

5. Christ is Coming- (Philippians 3:20) We are eagerly awaiting the return of Christ. 2005 could be the year of His return.

Every day is a precious gift from God
Time is a responsibility, not a right
2005 is a gift, not a guarantee
This could be your last year here
Seize the day!