Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Blogger Awards

By a quick count, 46 BBC blogs were updated in May, which is right on the average for 2008. Below are some of the more note-worthy posts from May:

Mark's "Is God Green?"
Mark's Sermonizing
Kirk's 'On Notice' List
Kelly's Un-Observant Son
Dave on Experience

Blogger of the Month: Jess R
January: Kelly T
February: AJ T
March: Jess R
April: Aaron P

Friday, May 30, 2008

First Contact

Brazil released some photos this week to prove the existence of an 'un-contacted' indigenous tribe. Of course, by flying over them and taking pictures, they are no longer un-contacted (as the pointed arrows suggest). Here's the story.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

2 New Jobs

I have 2 new jobs

1) Starting this Sunday I will be the 'preaching pastor' of the Lockport Wesleyan Church. This is a very small church that cannot afford a full-time pastor. Since my job at Hess Road is full-time, we came up with a scenario in which I preach and another man from our congregation handles the pastoral care. The scheduling is a little complicated. The Lockport service will be from 9-10am, but I will preach in the middle and then leave (around 9:45) so that I can make it back to Hess Road to teach Sunday School at 10:10. This means I will miss the 8:45 service at Hess Road. So as to not lose connection with that crowd, I will take 1 Sunday off of preaching at Lockport each month. All income from this 'job' will go towards job #2

2) Starting in the Fall I will, once again, be a 'student.' Today I received my acceptance letter from Houghton's new Masters in Theology program. I have to decide whether to take the Monday classes (Wes. Theology, Theology/Faith/Culture) or the Thursday classes (Exodus, Pastoral Care). If the former, I may have to get off the Lockport Carenet Pregnancy Board. If the latter, I will have to change the night of my men's group.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

24 OT Nominees


Since American Idol is over, I am going to fill the void via a contest to determine the best character of the Old Testament. First, we have to establish 24 nominees. Then we will vote 2 off each Wednesday until we, eventually, determine a winner. I am selecting 16 nominees and allowing my readers to select the final 8 participants. God/Trinity is disqualified since He's also the Judge :)


Who is Missing?
First 8 OT suggestions get in

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Okay, my post title is stupid. Nevertheless, it seems I have a somewhat unique perspective on the current price of gas. In my observation, an amazing percentage of casual conversations these days are about fuel prices. In fact, sometimes, I have to pretend to be alarmed at the prices just so I can be part of daily conversations. In reality, I am not bothered by gas prices for 2 reasons: 1) There's nothing I could do to change them, so why complain? (Yes, even obeying the email forwards about boycotts will not change anything) and 2) I actually think they're more positives than negatives!


Lots of positives can come from high gas prices. For instance, it could cause people to be better organized so that they multi-task on each trip. Or, even better, it should cause people to spend more time at home with their families. What is needed more in America than that? So instead of complaining about gas prices, think of the going rate as a gift: The value of staying home just went up.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding Pic

This is a picture of my girlfriend (Katie) and myself at her mom's wedding on Wednesday. I just thought I'd post it since I forgot to write down my blog ideas earlier when I had them!

Friday, May 23, 2008

4 Seminars

This year at Houghton Family Camp I'll be leading 4 one-hour seminars. I am just going to recycle material from my Sunday evening studies and put 4 of them into a 1 hour discussion format. I'd like you to tell me which 4 topics sound the most interesting. Which topics do you think Wesleyan camp-goers would most benefit from hearing?

#1 The Case for Christ (Did Jesus really live/die/rise?)
#2 Doctrine of Heaven (Putting feet to the music)
#3 3 Views on the Fate of the Wicked
#4 Euthanasia (The most complex issue of our day)
#5 What are we to make of Israel?
#6 3 Views of Physical Healing
#7 How do we hear from God?
#8 Are we still to keep the Sabbath?
#9 What are the essential beliefs of Christianity?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Idol #1

Surprisingly to some, David Cook won. More surprising, though, is the fact that he won by 12 million votes. If my math skills still exist, that means he got about 54 million call-in votes compared to 42 million for Disney David. I thought this was a very good season. If there is any talent left in America (and there always is) then next season should be fun too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Idol #2

So who should finish 2nd? I just watched the final round of American Idol and, I have to say, the answer to that question is really tough. Who chose smarter song choices? David A. Whose songs would I actually like to listen to on a regular basis? David C. Which performer was the most technically perfect? David A. Whose performance and personality was more enjoyable? David C. If the average voter is like me, David C will win. But I have no way of knowing what the average American Idol voter is like. I don't vote. I'm thinking the larger number of actual voters will pick David A, but I'm quite certain that David C will have a more notable career in the music industry. I, for one, look forward to his stuff.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Talk Radio

Last Wednesday I called into a radio show for the first time in my life. I didn't have anything very interesting to say, I just had an urge. I am interested in knowing if any of you ever call-in to radio shows/stations. I plan on calling in to this show more often.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Strange Dream

I have been having very strange dreams lately. This morning, for instance, I remember very clearly receiving an email from a former girlfriend (one that I haven't heard from in years) which said that she just wanted to let me know that some guy in her area was using my blog to teach some type of class. In particular, he was interested in getting the publishing rights to this post (for some odd reason). Just a short little dream, but strange.

I find dreams fascinating. Most often, though, images from a dream are fleeting in the first few moments after I awake. But from time to time there will be a run of a few days in which I remember dreams quite vividly. I'm in one of those right now. The other day I dreamed that Katie & I were walking on a big bridge in Toronto when suddenly there was a giant flood and we barely made if off the bridge before it collapsed.

My theory on dreams is that they are our minds recycling system. All the clutter from the thoughts we've had throughout the day (those thoughts that didn't get adequately processed) flood the mind at night for recycling. Dreams don't often make much sense b/c thoughts on various subjects are combined together. For instance, the earthquake (and possibility of flooding) in China has me worried about my friends in Da Qiao. Da Qiao is chinese for 'Big Bridge.' Since I am thousands of miles from being able to physically help my friends there, my mind could not process my concern. And so I ended up on a 'big bridge' with Katie. Why Toronto? I'm guessing b/c I've been thinking about taking a Megabus trip to Toronto sometime this year.

Should dreams get interpreted? Only if they are from God (and I think that's pretty rare). I don't think they are symbolic in the sense of having a greater meaning that we should discern. I think they might include symbols (the big bridge represented Da Qiao, the flood represented the natural disaster in China, etc), but only by accident (in a sense). You shouldn't interpret the contents of someone's garbage can, but you can, at least, learn about what kinds of things they couldn't put to use.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2 Weeks of Wii

So I've had a Wii for nearly 2 weeks now. I have 3 games: Wii Sports, Carnival Games & Cars Mater-National. I bought Cars Mater-National b/c it sounded like a fun racing game, but I didn't really like it for the 5 minutes I tried playing it. I bought Carnival Games b/c I thought Wii Games was somewhat stupid and CG sounded better. It's better, but it's still not that much fun.

Wii Sports is a completely different story. It's awesome. I like the bowling the best. So far my high score is 236 I believe. My 2nd favorite is the Golf, even though it frustrates me to no end. I was impressed with the details in the pitching part of baseball. I haven't played Tennis much yet, but it is fun. I'm not a fan of the boxing.

I really like that you can download NES, Super NES, N64, Sega, etc games! Making Mii's is also fun. I will probably try to sell/trade Carnival Games & Cars Mater-National. I definitely want to get Deca Sports (which is like Wii Sports except has 10 different games).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

'Pastor Matt'

I'm becoming more and more uncomfortable with being called 'pastor matt.' Maybe 'uncomfortable' isn't the right word. I guess I just wish I was called 'Matthew.' But it's a tough issue b/c people have a good heart and are just trying to show respect. I just think knocking down the clergy-laity distinction is worth more than getting the respect. I have to agree with Barth who said "the term 'laity' is one of the worst in the vocabulary of religion and ought to be banished from the Christian conversation." And I agree with Dunn when he said the clergy-laity tradition has done more to undermine New Testament authority than most heresies.

Am I OK with being called 'Pastor Matt?' Sure, it's OK. And I realize that some people would feel very uncomfortable just calling me Matthew b/c they have such a high level of respect of the pastoral role. But I have to say that I much more enjoy being called just plain Matthew. In order, I prefer 1) Matthew 2) Pastor Matthew 3) Pastor Matt 4) PM 5) Master Pat 6) Hey Man 7) Matt

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Idol #3

I came into the night expecting an 'all David' finale (and I still think that is a distinct possibility), but I am going to go outside the box and declare that I had Syesha Mercado as the winner of Tuesday's episode. I want to say a few things about Syesha. First, she has consistently improved throughout the contest, which I admire. Second, not that this matters much, but tonight she was the best dressed performer in the history of American Idol. Third, in contrast to the judges, I thought the 2nd song (Fever) was great (it was the only '9' I gave out on the night). Fourth, I hope she makes the finals over David Archuleta. I had the David's tied for 2nd place on the evening. Cook's songs were too short and he avoided the parts that would have been 'make or break' moments. I was disappointed, but I still want him to win. Archuleta was his boring old self. Technically quite good, but practically quite boring and predictable.

The Judges seem to want an all David finale, but I think we might be in for a surprise.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

China's Quake

The 7.9 earthquake that hit China had an epicenter in the SiChuan Province which is where I went 3 times on short term missions trips. It originated a little more than 50 miles from Chengdu which is the airport I flew into. Communications are, for the most part, cut-off from these areas. If you will, please pray for my friends at Da Qiao school.

On another note, one of my mentors, Fran Strong, is currently in China. This year, he did not go to the SiChuan Province. He was in Beijing at the time of the quake (the earthquake was felt even in Beijing). He is OK. Thanks to the Lord.

Monday, May 12, 2008

TV Update

Here's what I've been watching lately:

House Hunters: I actually really enjoy this show!
The Office: Not the best season, but still great
Lost: I can't decide if it's awesome or horrible
American Idol: I've enjoyed most of the season
American Gladiators: STARTS TONIGHT!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I met my mother when I was very little. She seemed tired. And ever since then, my mom has had plenty of reasons to stay tired (though she's since regained her vigor). My mother has been a full-time mom while all along being a part-time employee. She's been a faithful daughter, wife, mother & friend. She's been a problem solver, a ministry leader, and a worry wart (but in the way that reminds you that she cares, a lot). I have never, for one moment, doubted that my mom loves me (and I know that not all people can say that). I've seen her weep when one of us hurts her. I've noticed her enjoying when we're all together. My mom is fun (truth be told, most of the girlfriends I've had have liked her better than they liked me!). My mom calls me 'Cutie Man!' on MSN almost every day. My mom wants nothing more than to have her children love the Lord and live happy lives. Well, I love the Lord and I'm very happy. And I owe an awful lot of that love and happiness to my mom. Happy Mother's Day to my mother and to all mother's reading this blog.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Office

NBC's 'The Office' is struggling, in my opinion, to overcome the fact that Jim & Pam are now together. It seems to me that one of the most important aspects of a TV show is the unresolved romantic tension. Waiting for an inevitable engagement isn't really tension. Because of this, a few of this season's episodes have been below par compared to the normal brilliance. One of the most difficult decisions of a TV Show producer is when/if to resolve the tension. It's a catch 22. If you wait too long, the fans get frustrated (Gilmore Girls). If you deliver too quickly, the show loses its edge (The Office?). One show that seemed to make the decision well was 'Frasier' where Niles & Daphne hooked up toward the end of the series. It'll be very interesting to see if the makers of The Office find a way to bring some tension back into the Jim/Pam storyline. It's possible they will do this in next weeks season finale by having a career change for either Jim or Pam.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bird Poop

Yesterday I was in the parking lot of a post office when some bird droppings fell just a few inches from where I was standing. As far as I can remember, this is the closest I've ever come to being hit by bird poop. So I have 2 questions:

1) Why aren't we hit more often?
2) Who HAS been hit?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Idol #4

Scores for the Night
34 David A
31 Syesha M
30 David C
20 Jason C

I still find David A boring, but he was certainly the best vocalist on the night. Syesha, however, was the best performer as she really connected with the songs she was singing. David C was a bit off on a night where I would have anticipated he'd steal the show. Jason C is a strange cat. It still seems to me that he WANTS to get voted off. He's picking really weird songs and doesn't seem emotionally invested in the competition at all. But, oddly enough, I actually like his nonchalant attitude and I've always liked his voice. Even still, he should certainly be voted off. In fact, I'll predict just that.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


This is my 1200th post. It's been a rather busy week b/w church meetings, services, helping at my sister's new house and playing my Wii. I got 3 games for the Wii (Sports, Carnival Games & Cars Mater-National) and I like them, so far, in that order. I played some real tennis yesterday as well (though I was still very sore from flooring). I am in a blogging rut due to business, but I hope to come back strong shortly.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


It's very difficult to find a Wii in our area, so I was disappointed when I found out that Wal-Mart was having a sale on Sunday (pretty much the only day there is no possibility of me going to Wal-Mart at some point). Fortunately for me, my mom meandered her way to an area Wal-Mart and picked one up for me, so tonight I will play my very own Wii!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Teaching Update

I wanted to share a few tidbits about my current ministry:

I teach a Sunday School class. We finished long studies through Galatians, Luke & Acts and are now using the book 'Pagan Christianity' as a conversation starter. Even though I disagree with the authors at points, I like it as a discussion tool. On Sunday nights I finished my series on Eternity and began a series through the Miracles of Jesus (btw, imo, there aren't very many good books on the miracles of Jesus). I have been preaching a little more often on Sunday morning's and that may continue as I will be candidating (sort of) at Lockport Wesleyan Church on May 11th. No, I'm not leaving my current position, but I may be preaching for this small congregation most Sunday's at 8:45 and then hurrying over to Sunday School. We'll see.

Once a month on Monday I have a Lockport Carenet Pregnancy Center board meeting. I've been on this board for some time now. It's a good chance to help in an area that I am passionate about.

Every other Tuesday night my 20 something group (MOST) meets in a home. We have a good group and we usually study a re-working of my Sunday night material. I'm not sure what we'll be starting next.

Each Wednesday I lead a Bible study at the local nursing home and then do the same Bible study at our church prayer meeting. We did Exodus, just finished Leviticus, and have now begun Numbers. It's way more interesting than I had anticipated.

My men's group has been having quite a few 'work nights' as our facility is finishing up a face-life (new kitchen, new gym floor, new connecting hallway, etc). We just started 'Pagan Christianity' in that group too. This Summer, my favorite Bible teacher (Steve Gregg) will be coming to do a men's weekend event! I may also be starting a Summer 'thru the Bible' course for graduating senior teens.

This Summer at camp I am semi-in-charge of arranging the morning seminars. I will also, of course, be teaching one of the seminars, though I'm not sure what subject I will lead yet. This Autumn I may be enrolling in Houghton's new Master's Program in Theology. I am waiting to see if God opens the door at Lockport (extra income) and Houghton (acceptance) before I make a final decision on that subject.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Matt Stats

Monthly Stats for April
From My Secret Matt Stats Blog

Money Spent: $1,588 (2nd highest)
--$1,045 (Taxes)
--$240 (Gas)
--$169 (Food)
--$114 (Misc.)
--$20 (Entertainment)

Miles: 1495 (Car, new high) 0 (Bike)

Movies: 5 (new low)
--The Ultimate Gift
--What About Bob?
--Major League
--Mean Girls