Thursday, September 29, 2005


I often wonder if I could ever get away with teaching on a Sunday morning instead of preaching. And I don't mean as an exception, I mean as the general rule. I love teaching. That is where I sense God's gifting in my life. I like preaching. I would love to be able to interact on a Sunday morning. I'd love for people to feel free to raise their hand with a question. I wonder if I'll ever attempt to transition a church into a Sunday morning teaching format. The early church seemed to teach when believers were gathered and preach when they were out in the community.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I really relate to a recent Drury Article regarding faith. Some years back I decided to believe God. Since then I trust God even when He doesn't seem to make sense. My personality draws me to such issues, but my faith reminds me that my senses are fallen. I find this exercise quite humbling.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Martyrdom of Polycarp

This is worth your time

*I've edited for brevity

Why what harm is there in saying, Caesar is Lord, and offering incense and saving thyself? But he at first gave them no answer. When however they persisted, he said, I am not going to do what ye counsel me. As Polycarp entered into the stadium, a voice came to him from heaven; 'Be strong, Polycarp'. And no one saw the speaker, but those of our people who were present heard the voice.

The proconsul enquired whether he were the man. And on his confessing that he was, he tried to persuade him to a denial saying, Have respect to thine age, swear by the genius of Caesar; repent and say, Away with the atheists (christians were accused of being atheists). Then Polycarp with solemn countenance looked upon the whole multitude of lawless heathen that were in the stadium, and waved his hand to them; and groaning and looking up to heaven he said, Away with the atheists.

But when the magistrate pressed him hard and said, Swear the oath, and I will release thee; revile the Christ, Polycarp said, Fourscore and six years have I been His servant, and He hath done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?

Then he said to him again, I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, unless thou repent. But Polycarp said; Thou threatenest that fire which burneth for a season and after a little while is quenched: for thou art ignorant of the fire of the future judgment and eternal punishment, which is reserved for the ungodly. But why delayest thou? Come, do what thou wilt.

Polycarp hath confessed himself to be a Christian.

Then they thought fit to shout out with one accord that Polycarp should be burned alive. When he had offered up the Amen and finished his prayer, the firemen lighted the fire. Seeing that his body could not be consumed by the fire, the lawless men ordered an executioner to go up to him and stab him with a dagger. And when he had done this, there came forth a quantity of blood, so that it extinguished the fire

So it befell the blessed Polycarp, remembered more than the others by all men, so that he is talked of even by the heathen in every place

Saturday, September 24, 2005


For the first time in a long while I went to the movies tonight. I took my sister Lauren & her friend Amanda* and saw Flightplan. Not bad. Not bad. A mourning widow (Jodie Foster) wakes up on a plane to find that her daughter is missing. To make matters worse, there aren't any records of her ever having been on the plane. The crew struggles with whether to believe an emotional mother or all the evidence.

Most action films have too many dumb lines for my liking, a feature this film was fortunately lacking. It was somewhat predictable, but not ridiculously slow. The acting was above average. Enjoyable, but not spectacular.**

*Lauren wants me to say that Amanda is the awesomest, bestest friendest ever in the entire world ever.
**Amanda described the movie as 'sad & heretic'...but I'm pretty sure she meant 'heroic'

Rating: 6.9
Status: Worth the Time

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mr. Holland's Opus

Tonight, for our 100th men's group meeting, we had a movie night. Mr. Holland's Opus is a moving film. And it takes a lot for a movie to move me. The movie is best summarized by the quote, 'life is what happens while you're busy planning.'

Mr. Holland is an aspiring composer forced to take a detour on the way to his dream. He grudgingly becomes a high school music teacher thinking it will grant him cash and free time. But needy students and family responsibilities turn a pit stop into a permanent residence. Holland doesn't realize, until it's over, just how valuable that residence had become over the years.

This movie left me with a great reminder that value is found in relationships, not accomplishments. It is better to invest in people than in personal ambitions. I'd recommend this movie to everyone, especially pastors.

Rating: 8.9
Status: Must Own

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The 100 Minute Bible

The Reverend Michael Hinton of England has created an abbreviated version of God's Holy Word which he claims can be read in 100 minutes by those seekers who simply don't have the time for the whole story.

I have an idea on how he can cut a couple more letters out. Instead of putting 'Bible' on the cover, just put 'Bib'. It may be more fitting anyways. Click HERE
for more info.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

GG, Israel & Sleep

Couldn't think of a single thought to post about today, so I'll give ya 3.

1. I am currently watching an episode of Gilmore Girls. My gender is still male. But I think both the mom & the daughter are cute and an online friend of mine raves about the show, so I'm giving it a shot. I missed the season premiere b/c I was too ashamed to ask my brother to tape it. I like how fast they talk though. I bet I'm not allowed to end a sentance with 'though' though. Crap.

2. For anyone super bored and interested in the question of whether modern day Israel matters prophetically, check out a great debate I've been participating in for the past 2 weeks. It's really long and still growing, but I found it to be a good example of iron sharpening iron. It's mostly between myself & a guy named Tom. You should be able to read through the entire discussion HERE

3. My sleeping patters are still horrible. I didn't fall asleep till 6am last night (thanks to Liz for being in Japan and, therefore, awake & online at that time so I didn't die of boredom). Sleep patterns continue to be my #1 problem in life and for that I thank God.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Family Night

It's nice when something works

Last night we kicked off our Fall programs. Children's ministry moved from Wednesday night to Sunday night, youth started back up, our senior pastor started a video series on parenting, and I started a series on church history. And the atmosphere was great. We had close to 90 people scattered throughout the buildings. I think that's double where we were at last Spring. Plus, now a whole family can come and plug into a ministry instead of just young teens and older adults. By moving the kids ministry and offering a parenting class, we brought back the other two age brackets.

I think Sunday night's will be a great time at our church this year

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Things you can know

Continuing my thoughts from Thursday, I believe creation points even those who've never heard the Gospel toward the Creator. The heavens declare the glory of God. Here are some things that Scripture seems to indicate we can know about the Creator through creation.

The Creator exists (Psalm 19:1)
The Creator is eternal (Psalm 93:2)
The Creator is wise (Psalm 104:24)
The Creator is to be worshipped (Acts 14:15)
The Creator is good (Acts 14:17)
The Creator is transcendent (Acts 17:24)
The Creator is self-sufficient (Acts 17:25)
The Creator is sovereign (Acts 17:26)
The Creator is immanent (Acts 17:26-27)
The Creator is righteous (Romans 1:32)
The Creator is the standard (Romans 2:15)
The Creator will judge (Romans 2:15-16)
*List modified from This Book

I believe that to NOT know the above, we have to suppress the truth (Romans 1:18) that we know in our hearts. Sadly, much of mankind has done just this. I don't think we should be overly optimistic about the fate of those who've never heard. They won't miss heaven because they didn't have enough information, but they may miss heaven because they refused truth they did have access to.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Saved Muslims?

Am I the only evangelical who thinks there may be some muslims who will inherit eternal Life? There are millions upon millions of muslims that are, simply put, muslim by birth. They've never known anything else. Some of them are, I'd imagine, truly seeking the true God. They might not call Him what we call Him, but they are truly seeking Him. They might be skeptical of some of the lies attached to God by muslim teachers, but they haven't heard otherwise.

These men & woman recognize from creation that there is a God (Romans 1:20). Perhaps they even respond positively when God speaks through their conscience (Romans 2:15). They simply haven't received the light of Christ (or else they've been told false information about Him).

I don't think such people are saved by some Way other than Christ. I just think Christ reaches out to them in the same way I believe He reaches out to children and the mentally handicapped and, for that matter, the same way He reaches out to me, in grace & love!

I tend to think their is a remnant of true Truth seekers in every culture. What do you think?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Notes From Ordination

1. It stinks when ordination is the same day as the first Sunday of the NFL season. I had to miss the end of the Bills game. 2. It stinks when ordination service is a few minutes away from the before mentioned Bills game. This means there will be lots of traffic...which means you have to leave earlier...which means you have to miss even more of the Bills game. 3. Dr. Earl Wilson is a hit or miss preacher in my observation. Tonight's sermon was a home-run. 4. It kinda stinks being the only single person being ordained. Kinda puts the pressure on. 5. I like the Bible they got me. It's thin & stuff, unlike all my other Bibles. 6. They built me a cake. It was huge. 7. Many members of our congregation came. I was humbled. 8. I don't like being the center of attention. It's different when I preach/teach because then God's Word is the center of attention, but an ordination service is more person focused. 9. I got home in record time. I kinda like driving at night. I feel like the cops can't see me. 10. I think I'll go get another piece of cake. Later.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I Pledge Allegiance

I have recently been convicted about pledging allegiance to the American flag. I don't think it is necessarily wrong/sinful for everyone, I just feel that I, personally, have been wrong to do this in the past. I have been too devoted to my earthly country and to my political opinions perhaps at the expense of my true country and biblical beliefs. Today, I commit to pledge my allegiance to God alone.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

NFL Predictions

American Football Conference

11-5 NE Pats
10-6 NY Jets
9-7 Buffalo
4-12 Miami

10-6 Baltimore
9-7 Cincinnati
8-8 Pittsburgh
2-14 Cleveland

13-3 Indianapolis
7-9 Jacksonville
6-10 Houston
5-11 Tennessee

11-5 Kansas City
10-6 San Diego
10-6 Denver
8-8 Oakland

National Football Conference

11-5 Philadelphia
9-7 NY Giants
9-7 Dallas
6-10 Washington

11-5 Minnesota
8-8 Detroit
6-10 Green Bay
5-11 Chicago

10-6 Atlanta
10-6 Carolina
6-10 New Orleans
5-11 Tampa Bay

9-7 St. Louis
8-8 Seattle
8-8 Arizona
2-14 San Francisco
Super Bowl:
Indianapolis over Minnesota

10 positions correct
98 wins off

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Doctrinal Purity

Sunday night we finished our 25 week study of the book of Revelation with a question/answer time. Obviously, there were some differences of opinion since we were talking about eschatology. One thing I stressed at the end of the discussion was that none of us has a completely perfect set of doctrinal beliefs.

I had read something helpful sometime earlier from N.T. Wright. He said none of us are morally perfect & none of us are physically perfect SO why should we imagine that we are doctrinally perfect? We shouldn't. Instead, we should hold to the essentials tightly and the non-essentialy loosely.

That doesn't mean non-essentials aren't important. I believe they, sometimes dramatically, affect the way we live our lives. We should always be seeking the truth even when others have concluded such a pursuit for various reasons.

Monday, September 05, 2005

No Medium

Yesterday my lil sister and I stopped at a lil window restaurant on the way home from church and the person in front of me ordered a medium drink, but the girl said they only had small, large & extra large.

For some reason I find that super hilarious.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The 6th Day

If you don't mind the dozen or so cheesy lines that accompany most Arnold Schwarzenegger flics, then you'll probably enjoy The 6th Day. I did.

This movie does a pretty good job of showing the good, the bad & the ugly regarding human cloning and it does so with an entertaining storyline. The only thing I didn't like was a song that interrupted the streaming action near the end of the movie. I hate when movies have songs in them. It's okay if there's music in the background, but they shouldn't stand-alone. Overall, though, this is one of my favorite Arnold movies.

STATUS: Must See

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Quickening

I'm at a loss to describe what I really want to say with this post. It seems like in life there are routine years and then routine breaking years. I have a feeling that from this Summer till next Summer is gonna be a routine breaking year. I think my life will change quite a bit. I think my family will change quite a bit. I think my church will change quite a bit. I think my country will change quite a bit. The changes have already started. Life is quickening.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yankee Apologetics

Today the local radio sports talk show host was trying to convince me that the Yankees have overcome enormous odds to currently own the wild card playoff spot in the American league. He noted injuries & clubhouse drama as barriers that they have overcome. It was the dumbest monologue I have ever heard.

The NY Yankees have a payroll of 205 MILLION DOLLARS. That is $85 million more than the 2nd most expensive team. They should be nearly undefeated, not sneaking their way into the playoffs. They have not had any significant injuries to their star players. They have not had more 'drama' than any other team.

If you combine the salaries of the 3 teams they are fighting for a playoff spot with (Oakland, Anaheim & Cleveland) you still come up with a number LESS THAN the Yankees payroll. Shutup Yankees fans. Stop defending your under-achieving prima donnas.