Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Bible

I believe the Old Testament writers spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. I believe the New Testament writings are a reliable account of the life and teachings of Jesus since they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sleep Chart 6

Week 6 saw some slight improvement in wake-up time, but seems to have done so w/o adjusting the fall-asleep time. So I got 8 hours less sleep and did feel pretty tired at times. I taught for an hour and 20 minutes on Sunday night, but I was just going on adrenaline and passed out as soon as I got home.

Tuesday 6-10 (4)
Wednesday 5-11:30 (6.5)
Thursday 5-11 (6)
Friday 6-8:30pm, 6-9:30am (6)
Saturday 4:30-7:30 (3)
Sunday 9pm-11am (13)
Monday 5:30-10:30 (5)
Too Little, Too Much, Just Right
*Too Late

The Good- I improved wake-up time. Last week I woke up AFTER noon 4 times! None this week. The Bad- This failed to impact my fall asleep time! The Ugly- I took a nap! Naps are bad for me.

This weeks healthy habit: Same as last week. I'll keep pluggin-away

Monday, November 28, 2005

Top 10 Churches

For the final installment of my favorite church series, I'll complete my top 10. The series will be retired in the right hand column under the special series' heading.

1. Church of God Anderson
Doctrinal match made in heaven
2. Wesleyan
My happy home
3. Nazarene
Full of great people
4. Mennonite
Gotta love the liberal Ammish
5. Calvary Chapel
Verse by verse Bible churches
6. Salvation Army
Unique, awesome reputation
7. Free Methodist

Their use of 'free' was full of meaning
8. Free Will Baptist

Share my views on 'elect in the Son'
9. Christian Missionary Alliance

Only disagreemnt is with ideas on healing
10. Vineyard Church

Emphasize God's present kingdom

Sunday, November 27, 2005

#1 Church of God (Anderson)

A beautiful balance of Wesleyan holiness theology and amillennial kingdom eschatology finds its home in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). Slightly bigger than the Wesleyan Church, this Church of God is not directly related to the pentecostal churches sharing its name.

The church stresses pietism, loyalty to the Lord instead of denominations, informal worship services, amillennialism, and does not take membership (which... lets face it... causes more harm than good). I can't find anything in the literature that I'm at odds with. It's as if I'm the founder.

I did find a Church of God, Anderson about 30 minutes away from my home and am trying to arrange a visit (which is quite difficult for a full-time minister). We'll see.

Tomorrow I will post churches 6-10 without much description. I didn't want to drag the series out too badly.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

#2 Wesleyan

Loyalty gives my own denomination the slight edge over the Nazarene's for the 2nd spot. The Wesleyan Church has been good to me. I was saved in a Wesleyan church. I was called at a Wesleyan camp. I was educated in a Wesleyan institution. My gifts are employed by a Wesleyan congregation. I am happy with my denomination and love my district.

Friday, November 25, 2005

#3 Nazarene

My 3rd favorite church is the largest holiness denomination: The Church of the Nazarene. This group has its roots in pentecostalism, but dropped the supposed excesses for which that movement came to be defined. Doctrinally the Nazarene Church is pretty much identical with my own denomination.

Bonus points go to the Nazarenes for 3 reasons
1. All the Nazarenes I know well are good friends
2. Their churches seem to have lots of pretty girls
3. I happily attended a Nazarene Church in Canada*

*Reason 3 may have been motivated by reasons 1 & 2

Thursday, November 24, 2005

#4 Mennonite

After the reformation, many decided that Luther and Swingli weren't quite radical enough. These 'many' became known as the Anabaptists. I've read some Church history literature which doesn't have much good to say about the Anabaptist movement, but I think they simply took the principles of the reformation to their logical conclusions. In my opinion the Anabaptists have much more in common with contemporary evangelicals than Luther and Swingli do.

One of the leading descendants of the Anabaptist movement is the Mennonite Church. The primary emphasis of the Mennonite church is that our allegiance should be to God's kingdom, not earthly governments or political parties.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

#5 Calvary Chapel

My 5th favorite church is the non-denominational Calvary Chapel. With its mother church in Costa Mesa (California), Calvary Chapel has birthed over 500 affiliate churches in the United States. Pastor Chuck Smith (who was a leading figure in the 'Jesus movement') now pastors one of the 10 largest protestant churches in the country.

While there are some things I don't like about Calvary Chapels (they are passionately dispensational), there is much more I do like! I've been edified by a number of their pastors (Chuck Smith, George Bryson, Gayle Erwin, Skip Heitzig) and have heard many good testimonies about Chuck Smith and some of the affiliate churches.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sleep Chart 5

Week 5 may have been one of my worst weeks of all time. It seems the more I focus on changing sleep schedule, the further away from my goal I get. Even stranger, I find this quite amusing. I have added a new feature in red called too late, perhaps it will add to the 3D affect.

Tuesday 4:30-12:30 (8)
Wednesday 4:30-8, 8:30-9:30 (4.5)
Thursday 5-1 (8)
Friday 5-3 (10)
Saturday 4:30-7:30 (3)
Sunday 12-10 (10)
Monday 6-2 (8)
Too Little, Too Much, Just Right
*Too Late

The Good- I got plenty of sleep. The Bad- I only fell asleep & stayed asleep before 4:30 once! The Ugly- Matter defeats mind every morning when the alarm goes off.

This weeks healthy habit: I pledge to set my alarm for 10am and actually wake up. Gotta start somewhere.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Odds & Ends

~I haven't posted in a few days because I didn't feel like it

~In the past week I was asked about '7th Heaven' and 'Women in Ministry' so I added those ?'s to my kingdom blog.

~Tonight I am planning on going to hear a speaker at Houghton regarding embryonic stem cell research.

~Tonight I will finish Ron Rhodes book about denominational backgrounds/beliefs and will post my top 5 churches countdown the rest of the week (Wed-Sun)

~Tomorrow night I'm going to the Sabres game, my first of the year

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Christian Denominations

The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations by Ron Rhodes is a well condensed resource for anyone wanting to know the basic backgrounds & distinctives of over 100 of the largest Christian bodies in the United States. Rhodes did a great job of dividing the content into easy to read categories. I used this extensively in preparation for a church history study and it worked very well. Missing were the Salvation Army and Calvary Chapel movements.

Grade: A-

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Walk the Line

I really enjoyed the biopic 'Walk the Line'. I've always been interested in Johnny Cash, but not enough to read about him! This movie was the perfect opportunity to learn in a lazy manner.

This movie was so much like 'Ray' that it was almost scary. If it were fiction I'd hold that against the newer 'Walk the Line' but since they are both biopics that hardly seems fair. Both lives contained serious tragedy, drug-use, failure, and ultimate success. But I liked this film quite a bit better than Ray because the redemption seemed more authentic and complete. Some real good quotes in there too, including:

Record Company Executive: Your fans are gospel folk, Johnny. They're Christians, and they don't wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin' to cheer 'em up.
Johnny Cash: Then they ain't Christians.

Rating: 8.4
Status: Must Own

Friday, November 18, 2005

OT Grace

I was struck tonight by God's grace as we continued our study through Genesis . One of the most humbling verses in Scripture is Genesis 6:5, "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." It was for this reason that God judged the world by the flood.

But there is a very similar verse two chapters later, "I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done." The situation was the same. Man was still evil. But God's grace was on the move.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Adrian Rogers

One of my favorite preachers, Adrian Rogers, has gone home to be with the Lord after being diagnosed with cancer back in March. Rogers had previously pastored the Bellevue Baptist Church for 32 years, leading a congregation that surpassed 29,000. Pastor Rogers is survived by Joyce, his wife of 54 years, 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild born the day before his death. For more information click here or listen to one of his sermons here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chained to the Past

I watched a movie last night simply because it had Claire Forlani in it. She is my favorite actress (which is the non-superficial way of saying she's the prettiest). But anyways, one of the characters was a famous writer who hadn't written in 20 years because he was afraid he'd never be able to create another worthwhile book.

Maybe that's what happens to us as Christians sometimes. God does something great through/in us, but then we're afraid He will never be that real again so we become attached to His previous work. We stop living day by day and start living in the past. God never stopped being an active God, but we stopped putting the pen to the page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sleep Chart 4

Things got worse in week 4 of my study. Well, technically, I don't really care when I sleep. But in terms of provoking change, the no laptop in bedroom policy backfired big time. I abandoned the policy by weeks end.

Tuesday 4:30-11:30 (7)
Wednesday 4:30-6:30 (2)
Thursday 1-1 (12)
Friday 7:30-12:30 (5)
Saturday 4:30-7:30 (3)
Sunday 9-11, 5:30-1 (8.5)
Monday 5-1 (8)
Too Little, Too Much, Just Right

The Good- I really never felt tired during the day. In fact, I haven't felt tired in a long time. The Bad- I only fell asleep & stayed asleep before 4:30 once! The Ugly- Apparently, the laptop was helping, not hurting!

This weeks healthy habit: I pledge to utilize my laptop every night until I pass out

Monday, November 14, 2005

20 Questions

Today is my brother's 20th birthday so I'll ask him 20 short questions.
Who/what is your favorite...


Sunday, November 13, 2005


I recently read the 1st section of Juan Carlos Ortiz's 'Disciple' upon recommendation from Steve Gregg. Based on this book, I'll read other Gregg recommended resources. Pastor Ortiz describes discipleship blunty and, in my estimation, accurately. I think this is a good book to read over and over again to remind us of the simplicity of following Christ with all we are.

Grade: A-

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Box

The latest inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame is...

The cardboard box joins an impressive list of famous toys pictured below and found at this link.

Friday, November 11, 2005

No Internet

Well, the 'no laptop in bedroom' rule I made on Tuesday has been quite easy to obey since the internet has been down at home since that time. In exchange, I have been playing XBOX hockey. I'm almost done with my first season. My Sabres are the clear favorites to win it all, but I'm only playing at the medium level. When I win, I'll switch to the toughest level.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Raising the Bar

Only two candy-bars meet my standars for excellence. My little sister recently gave me a pumpkin bag full of mini snickers, twix & butterfingers. I spent 2 days eating all the snickers just so I'd only have great candy-bars to look forward to. What are your favorites?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tough Questions

In the interest of stewardship I just started a new section on my Kingdom Blog entitled Tough Questions. If I find myself answering the same question 2 or more times, I might as well type up a thorough answer so that the next time I'm asked I can direct the person to my site instead of trying to give them a 1 minute reply as they're on their way out of the sanctuary. The other major advantage is that, since it's not a hard copy answer, it can be updated with new information and further insights from commenters. The first Tough Question I've dealt with is 'What were the Nephilim'.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sleep Chart 3

I continue to observe the pattern (I'm not yet truly attempting to change anything, simply experimenting) of my sleep. One more week and I'll have enough data to analyze.

Tuesday 1:30-12:30 (11)
Wednesday 6-8, 9-11 (4)
Thursday 3-8, 9-11:30 (7.5)
Friday 3-11 (8)
Saturday 2-8 (6)
Sunday 3-12 (9)
Monday 3:30-11:30 (7)
Too Little, Too Much, Just Right

The Good- The sleep wasn't all broken up in small pieces like last week. The Bad- I only fell asleep before 3 twice The Ugly- I pledged to exercise 3 times and failed to exercise at all.

This weeks healthy habit: I pledge to not bring my laptop into my bedroom.

Monday, November 07, 2005

NBA Predictions

My 2005 NBA Predictions


A Miami
A Detroit
B Cleveland
B Boston
C+New Jersey
C Orlando
C Toronto
D Charlotte
F New York
F Atlanta


A San Antonio
B Dallas
B-LA Clippers
B-LA Lakers
C Portland
C Minnesota
D Utah
F New Orleans
F Golden State

Phoenix over Miami

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers is a fast paced comedy that, if it were cleaner, would probably be one of my favorite comedies in recent memory. The idea is fresh and clever. The dialogue is not cliche. There wasn't a dull moment, some funny one's though!

I haven't liked Owen Wilson before, and I don't think I've even seen Vince Vaugn in anything...but they both made me laugh on numerable occassions. And Rachel McAdams was, simply put, beautiful. Her character had one of the best personality/pretty combinations in recent Hollywood memory. It's a little purity short of a classic.

Rating: 8.2
Status: Must Own

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Cartoon Apostasy

I've got proof that you can lose your salvation. Dozens of cartoons are no longer worshipping God. Fred, Scooby & the smurfs have walked away from the faith. Okay, so technically Chris Rice has just stopped performing the Cartoon Halleluja Song after years of receiving the following complaints from Gargamellion Christians:

1) “Hallelujah” is a Hebrew word that means “Praise the Lord”, Chris was misusing the Lord’s name by changing the phrase, and using it in such a flippant and silly way.

2) By not letting Beavis and “that other guy” get saved, Chris was giving the wrong message to people, that God only loved certain types of people.

3) Chris should not refer to Beavis and "that other guy" in a Christian song, for "obvious reasons."

4) Chris should not refer to the Smurfs in a Christian song, because they do magic, and are therefore demonic.

Rice concludes that it's
"just a satirical song about the modern Christian tendency to 'Christianize' everything. I was hoping everyone would get the satire, but they missed the satire, and embraced the song as legit."
I'm just so happy that the church has eliminated this evil song from the worship airwaves. I hated seeing all those kids have fun in the sanctuary (hopefully people will understand my sarcasm better than they understood Rice's satire).

Friday, November 04, 2005

People are Talking

starbucks says:
i should read your blog says:
starbucks says:
might as well

Cassie- your blog is the highlight of my day

SabreJeff- Much better than Jordan's site

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Study of Job

I've continued transferring my Bible studies to my kingdom blog. Yesterday I posted all my Job handouts (see below). There are now over 100 posts there. Once I get completely caught up, perhaps I'll make them more attractive/useful.

Job 1:1-12
Job 1:13-2:10
Job 2:11-3:26
Job 4-7
Job 8-10
Job 11-14
Job 15-17
Job 18-19
Job 20-21
Job 22-24
Job 25-31
Job 32-37
Job 38-41
Job 42

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reducing the Risk

Yesterday I went to a seminar by Dr. James Cobble, an expert on church & law issues. We discussed weighty subjects such as child sexual molestation, church negligence, screening processes, insurance, and counseling practices. I really appreciated his pastoral approach to these issues. It seemed many pastors were afraid he'd come at the issues from only a legal perspective, but he had great balance.

Many churches have written, are writing, or will write policies. The motivation has often been for legal protection against liability, but we must make our primary motivation love and safety. We can't prevent everything, but we should be focused on making church properties safe places for babies, children, teens, adults & seniors.

For Dr. Cobble's website, click HERE

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sleep Chart 2

Feel free to yell at me as I try to reach my goal of sleeping from about 1:30-8:30 each night. This week, I'll explain my failure by saying I had to wake up and put my nephew on the bus and stay home to get him off. In between there was nothing better to do than sleep.

Tuesday 4-8, 8:30-11 (6.5)
Wednesday 6:30-8, 8:30-11, 12:30-2pm (5.5)
Thursday 3:30-8:30, 9-11:30 (7.5)
Friday 4-1:30 (8.5)
Saturday 3-7:30 (4.5)
Sunday 3:30-4:30pm, 1:30-10:30am (9)

Monday 3-6:30 (3.5)
Too Little, Too Much, Just Right

The Good- I had 3 days with the right amount of sleep. The Bad- I only fell asleep before 3 once The Ugly- I basically took a ton of naps and only had 1 unbroken/full sleep cycle.

This weeks healthy habit: I pledge to jog the block 3 times.