Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sandra Bullock: My wife and I went out and saw her new movie Miss Congeniality 2. Dont' make fun of me. Sandra Bullock is a fun loving actress but this was not her best work. They made her character to snotty and unlikeable for too long of the movie. Besides it was a chick flick, that's seldom good.

March Madness: is about to turn into the Championship game. After starting slow in all 3 of my brackets I can now points two first places and a second place. It looks like I'll win at least one of those brackets and have a good shot at the other to. Whooo-hooo.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Spencer Burke wrote a book or rather compiled thoughts from his website www.theooze.com. He says he originally called the book "more than coffee and candles". I remember thinking originally how in the world can someone confuse such a radical thought such as emergent church with merely lighting a few candles and serving coffee. Then I walked into my local christian book store and say how.

They had a full corner display dedicated to "the emergent church" they even have an emergent Bible now...whatever that is. So now this thing I had hope in of revolutionizing the church because like Reggie McNeal states I believe this church our way of doing church is on lifesupport and that unless there is a radical change of not just how we do things but what we do the church will die. Not the church of Jesus Christ...that church is good and will make it until Christ returns but our way of doing church.

So now that Emergent is popular I wonder what will separate the "style" emergent with the mindset emergent. Because styles change from year to year but the mindset seems to be the one of the culture that we are attempting to adjust to. Lighting a few candles is a style change, changing the mindset goes much deeper and is much more...scary. I think we will find in the next years or perhaps the next decade most pastors are going to be ready to undergo style change if only for the reason to stay up on the trents, very few will be willing to go to the style change which requires a paradigm shift from shepherd to gardner from teacher to student from advice giver to one who live in community with his people. There will still be a need for a leader in the emergent church but his/her role will be drastically different.

more to come...

Every morning Sometimes you can't make it on your own comes on VH1...what a treat! Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Passion: Last night we had a viewing of The Passion of the Christ. It still remains the most powerful movie I have ever seen. What amazes me is the people who have never seen it and their reaction when they watch the movie. It was good for me this easter season to walk the journey, or rather watch the journey that Christ had to endure to save our souls.

Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice;
You became nothing, pour out to death.
Many times I've wondered at Your gift of life,
And I'm in that place once again,And I'm in that place once again.

And once again I look upon the cross where You died,
I'm humbled by Your mercy and I'm broken inside.
Once again I thank You,Once again I pour out my life.

Now You are exalted to the highest place;
King of heavens, where one day I'll bow.
But for now, I marvel at this saving grace,
And I'm full of praise once again,
And I'm full of praise once again.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Oh Chewie...why don't you wear clothes? Posted by Hello

Finger Chili: Man you hear about this in urban legends but never did I think it would be true! After you're done puking wipe off your screen and get back to work!

So what's going on today?:
The school shooter thing has gotten me thinking. It's really not something you plan for and when it happens you either want to start pointing the finger at who is to blame, besides the shooter, or you just want it to go away and let the kids get back to being kids. Teenagers seem to live in the current, not yesterday or tomorrow concerns them but just today. When something like this happens it forces them to look backwards and forwards, but they still want to get back to living for the present.

For some reason I'm finding myself sympathetic towards the shooter. Which sounds crazy seeing as he destroyed the lives of 9 people and their families. I guess he needed something this world or people who came in contact with him didn't or couldn't offer.

Poor Terri Schiavo. Frankly I'm not sure anyone is really looking out for her, possibly her parent's but even them I'm not sure. I heard a report this morning that in 1992 when the malpractice suits were being awarded her parent's found at that they would be receiving no money this is when their demeanor toward Mike changed. Up until then they were friendly, they reported that Mike was a loving husband and they even lived together at one point. The money went to Mike and then they began to oppose him and even said "I'm going to make your life a living hell."

BUT...what can you believe?

Regardless there is a woman starving to death and I'm eating peanut butter toast...so caloused!

problems Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terri Schiavo: It's disturbing to know that this woman is starving to death and we have all the technology in the world to help her. I wish we knew the truth about her mental ability and if indeed her brain is still functioning. I think we will never know the full story.

This is the album cover is from a band from the '70's(I think) called the tubes. The album is called remote control and they were using it to powerfully illustrate the point that the tv is not a babysitter but many american families use it as such.  Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Hostage: Saw the movie Hostage this afternoon. I had only one question as I was walking out of the movie...Could they have used use the F word one more time? Focus on the Family counted the f word 60 times and the s word 40...the good news was you didn't notice the s word because of so many f words.

Take all of the Diehards throw em together add a little unbreakable and viola' you've got hostage. The plot had a neat twist when some petty criminals "accidentally" get involved with some mafia men. Bruce the ultimate hostage negotiator gets involved when his family is kidnapped in exchange for something the petty criminals have in their held-up house.

In the end the bad guys get what's coming to them and all the good guys live. Worth the $6.50!

Easter: It is my intention this year to give my students some real passion and hope regarding Easter. Too often we just kind of get to good friday, we remember Christ's death which is incredibly powerful and important but then we forget that on Sunday he rose.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saturday Morning

TV: You know the best time to watch tv is early morning. It honestly is. There is decent programming and stuff you don't get to see on a regular basis...like comedy on comedy central, music videos on MTV and VH1...simply amazing.

PPT Backgrounds: Here are some excellent powerpoint backgrounds, as far as I can tell and up till now they are completely free and work excellent.

Name Badges and Lanyards: Lanyards and name tags are always hard to find and you can spend a ton of money buying them. Here is the best place I've found and they are a great and prompt company. We use these every year for our District Youth Retreat (product #'s badge holder - 1555/lanyard - 4403/paper - 2900-w-5). Thought I'd spread the wealth.

Aron Ralston Story: I saw this guys story on a tv special. Short version: he's hiking and going through a canyon, a boulder slips and pins his arm between the boulder and the canyon wall. He has only a little gear a camcorder and a pocket knife. For 5 days he records his last will and goodbyes...finally he puts the pocket knife to good use and...cuts off his arm. I bought the book and I'll start reading it soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Seriously: I think...well it goes beyond thinking. I'm pretty sure...that's not much more decisive now is it? I am positive that youth pastors take themselves too seriously. We act as if we are the only one's that can effectively minister to youth. It's quite sad really because I think either by our words, actions or telepathically we teach students that the rest of the church has nothing to teach them and that they are this "special cause" that requires special care.

But I ramble on...Give the students love, Be the conduit of Jesus Christ's love, Tell them about the salvation he offers...don't overcomplicate it.

Keep the main thing the main thing!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A youth pastor to his students:

It is with great love and favor I write to you now. I have been with you for three years now and some of you have proven yourselves faithful to not only me and the ministry but to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We may do all things for ourselves and gain nothing but anything we do in Jesus Christ is considered gain for our future. Not always a future of this world but of the world to come; that is eternal life.

I write you with love but I must also admit that I write to you with a heavy heart. I know that each of you has entrusted your life to Jesus Christ and have made him Lord of you life but my fear is and what you have proven by your actions is that you merely gave him lip service and did not or do not intend to act on this decision.

Serving Jesus Christ and asking him to be Lord of your life is no joking matter. But Jesus will not take by force what he rightfully could. Instead Christ is a gentleman, he stands at the door and knocks but does not barge the door down. The door of your heart is seldom open to him. I know that this inconsistency sometimes frustrates you and causes you to be downtrodden. But take heart and know that you are not alone. Never once have you heard from me that this journey in our salvation would be easy, I warned you of the trouble and turmoil that would come. But when that trouble and turmoil did come it came disguised as selfishness, greed, lust, laziness and division. It was not the massive frontal attack at the gates that conquered you, you stood up to those well and for that you are to be commended. Instead it was the sneak attack that brought you to the wretched place you are now.

I call it such a wretched place let me explain. Before you knew Christ and the power of his salvation and the joy of living in him you were slaves to sin. You were useless to Christ. Then you began a relationship with Him and you were restored and useful to Christ. But you took that knowledge and instead of letting it penetrate your heart you just stored it in your head where it became jaded and sour. So now once again because of your actions you are useless to Christ, not because you are not valuable to him but because you have taken yourself out of the race.

You have taken such a valuable and honored thing, salvation, and have deemed it worthless in your life. You can deny with your words but your actions prove what you deem valuable. It is not with reprimand that I write this letter to you but with pain and hurt. Not pain and hurt that you have bestowed on me but on the pain and hurt I see in your lives and yet you keep covering it up with more pain and hurt. Pain and hurt piled on pain and hurt never heals but keeps you searching for something…that will destroy you.

There are those that need to be encouraged. Be encouraged if you are still running the race in faithfulness to Christ. You are working out your salvation, offering yourself as a living sacrifice and changing the lives of other. Don’t be dismayed. It may seem that no one notices but your heavenly father notices you’re striving and he is pleased! He is saving a place for you in heaven and he looks forward to you seeing him.

So I encourage you students to examine yourself. Are you acting worthy of the salvation given to you by the sacrifice of Christ Jesus? Have you counted the cost that Jesus took for you? Are you willing to count the cost that Christ asks you for? Be hot, be cold, don’t be lukewarm!

With all the love of Christ Jesus, Nick

Two Quotes; one from a stranger another from a friend

Quoted by Roy Lessin:
He is not the God of the "half-empty" or "half-full" in our lives. He is the God of the "exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think." His will for us is not just "joy" but "great joy".... not just "peace" but the "peace that passes understanding" ... not just "love" but "fullness of love"...not just to be a "conqueror" but to be "more than a conqueror." When He fills our cup, it is overflowing; when He flows through us, it is as rivers of living water; when He meets a need, He does it out of the riches that are in Christ.

Friend: this is the gut level of where i'm at now spiritually. i don't read the word, pray, or give like i've been told i should. do you know what i do...i think, struggle, mourn, serve, and seek oportunities to help and love. my theology is not orthadox any more. but it isn't a product of a fad. it is what it is...mine.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Good vs. Evil: In the March/April 2005 YouthWorker Journal Brian McLaren writes and article that piqued my interest. There is a point that I would like to expound on and to be honest I'm not sure if this is what he meant or not but it is where my mind took me.

I often hear people say "God is not republican" or "God is not calvanist" or something to that matter. Generally people are correct in these statements. God is not defined by a word rather people, normally believers have constructed a viewpoint and set of beliefs and preferences that they say God stands for. These people are probably mostly right, or at least not wrong in their assumption of these beliefs. They have contructed a moral code to live by, which I know is not easy to contruct much less live by. I commend them and I don't have a problem with this.

What I do have a problem with is that this moral code becomes the conduit of salvation not the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Morals get you to heaven no faster than roller skates. So what's the problem?

Rather than present the salvation of Jesus Christ to our friends and aquaintances we present them a moral code and lifestyle. We are so used to deeming things right/wrong, black/white, godly/sin that we start to label people with this same. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying there is not such thing as right or wrong or that it's not important. I'm saying that we are not judged our worth in God's eyes by what we do right and wrong we instead are judged by only one thing FAITH in Jesus Christ. So rather than sweat the right and wrong politics of moral codes let's see people for what they are and for what we all need.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Congress: Why again is there a congressional hearing on steroids and Major League Baseball? Why does congress care and if they should care why do they have a say in the matter?


Doctor Sense: So how long should we refrain from taking the baby out in public? Well at least two months you don't want to take him anywhere there might be germs than lead to illness. You mean like the Doctor's office?

how bout this? Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Nathan: When do you know it's time for your baby's first bath? When you can't stand to hold him because he smells like rotten milk. Poor little guy!

Learning: I think I have figured out that I do not want to be lectured to but rather I want to be involved in interactive learning. I wonder if others are like this?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Stupid People

Loss of one: I just watched Timeline (the movie) again for the third time. I like the movie probably because I like the time period and I like the fact that my wife will watch it with me. It's not a great movie but it is a good movie, I guess good enough to watch three times. I have a problem with movies that do one thing. Generally the plot goes like this. One person is in need of rescue or help. They are in a perilious place and then need to be saved. One person or a group of heroes, several reluctant people, one fool, and a jokster all agree to the quest. Now keep in mind the make up of the group can vary but will remain mostly the same as I noted above. Now they go on the rescue thinking it will be quick and they will get back real fast. As fate would have it, or holywood depending on how romantic you're feeling on this day, most of the rescue party dies.

Now what kind of sense does this make. The person is in a near impossible place to be rescued and the party is formed and most people in the party die except one or two heroes and the person being rescued. Wouldn't it be smarter to just count the person needing rescued as a loss and save all those other lives. Normally the person needing rescued made a stupid decision to be there in the first place...don't they deserve to die and not the people with good intentions. Of course that doesn't make for good movies and sounds harsh. I know what you're thinking, don't get lost in the woods on Nick's camping trip he won't come rescue you. No, I'm better than that.

Wanna go camping?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Cerda's Theory of Self-limiting Success

Part two: I was talking to my Dad today and he was telling me about excellent men in history and their success. He was telling me about his dream of a certain society where all people are given the same opportunity and there is no crime. He was telling me about how he wanted to write a book on this and who his real life fiction characters would be.

I then told him about my theory of self limiting success. It seems that we have concluded that people that are successful, incredibly, somehow figure out how to shut down the self-limiting feature that seems to be ingrained in humans.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Words from a friend

"It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

God will hold you accountable to His word and the convictions he puts on your heart. you see many flaws and walls built by the church in the name of Christ that are not of Him. stand up and expose them like a prophet of old when the Lord grants you the opportunity. in between the opportunities figure out some way to love them and hate the ties that bind them at the same time while all the time being teachable and Spirit lead. Aristotle said, "it is a mark of an educated man that they are able to entertain dangerous ideas without embracing them." (paraphrase). What a strength the Lord gives us when He says, "to the pure all things are pure". that's what i'm working on.

Thanks Nate!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Almost there

Theory: I have a theory. To my knowledge this is my theory and mine alone, I am the first to think of it therefore it this gets public (not likely considering the 3.4 people who read my blog) then I want credit for it. Here it goes.

Ever watch a minor league or pro baseball game? Count the number of fly balls that make it to the last 15 feet of the field but fail to go over. Count the number of homeruns that stay within 15 feet of the outfield fence. Put a player on a field that is 300ft and they will hit the ball just as close to the fence as in a field that is 320ft.

Every watch college basketball? Regular season games it's not unlikely for two great teams to play each other and blow the other team out by 20 pts. It's also not unlikely for the underdog team to get romped on by the better team. Bring on the championship games and tournaments. Any team is in it! What's more? The score will almost always be close no matter how unevenly matched the teams are.

So here's my theory. Sure some will say that the underdog team is just playing better than normal and the better team is playing worse than ususal. I can buy that sometimes but this happens far to often for it to be explained away like that. I think with the homeruns and with college basketball there is something in the brain or perception that limits a person. It seems like those that are great or do great things have figured out how to put down that limiter in thier minds and excel. I guess when I get famous for this theory I want it to be called Cerda's Theory of Self-Limiting Success.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Rocky II

Rock: Rock desides he wants to stop fighting. One because his right eye has bad vision in it and as a southpaw he's very dependant on seeing the swings from right handed fighters with that eye. So in his love for his wife wants to provide for her and he wants a good desk job. Problem is he only finished the 9th grade in high school and "don't read so good". So noone will hire him at a desk job. Instead he gets a week to week job at a meat packing plant but despite his hard work he gets laid off cuz of cut backs.

Rock is stuck, his love is boxing but that's no good so he wants to do what he thinks he should do and that's get a job but no one is hiring. What he has a passion for he doesn't have the skills for, boxing!

I think sometimes we want to do our passion but we don't have the skills.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Teaching Schedule

It's Time: I've been struggling sometime now as far as what direction I want to go regarding teaching my students. We are a solid group of young believers with good direction and a pretty strong passion for growth in their relationships with Jesus Christ...sometimes. I love my students and expect great things from them and at the same time I want to give them expectations and have expectations of them that they can achieve. I know there will be times that I am disappointed in them but I want to always love them and I want them to know I am proud of them.

Normally I teach my students what God is teaching me. Lately God has been teaching me about my conception of church, being a believer, and what Jesus expects from me as his follower (as found in scripture). Frankly some of what goes through my head and what I am positive God is teaching me will not be smiled upon from my church. I don't think these thoughts are radical, but they are different...diametrically opposed in fact. If I teach this stuff, this truth, it's not going to go over well. It is going to cause tension, problems, and conflict.

So what's a guy going to do? Well I'll tell you what this guy is going to do. I'm going to go for it. I want to press on in what I am called to. I'm going to equip these young disciples the best I can and I am going to prepare them for the church I know will be here tomorrow not the one that is dying today.

God be with me?
God be with me!

simon says? Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Big scary world

We brought Nathan home from the hospital today. He was there in his little carseat oblivious to the world and then it hit me that yeah this was my little son and I needed to care for him. Almost overwhelming but then again quite inspiring!

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Nationals: I caught a little bit of the Nationals game while sitting in the hospital with Heather and Nathan. It was nice to see them play and even better to see a win! I have a problem with their uniforms. I bought the official cap that has a "W" on it. I like that. Their uniforms have a DC on it kind of intertwined. I like that. The only problem is no where is an N or Nationals. I'm sure regular season stuff will be different but I think they need something that has their name not just where they are from.

March Madness: One of my favorite sports events of the year. Filling out a bracket is always fun even though since I started following college basketball more (the past 5 years or so) my bracket skills have gotten worse. Go figure.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Nathan Douglas Posted by Hello

A year

March 3, 2004: Last year on March 3 I did the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. It was absolutely horrible but somewhere in that tragedy God gave me the eyes to see his grace and to see light in such an incredibly hard situation. I put hope in Jesus Christ and although I knew life would never be the same I knew it would go on and with the grace of God would even be good.

March 3, 2005: Exactly one year to the day of the above said event I experienced the most wonderful day of my life. Last night at 9:38pm my son, my first child Nathan Douglas was born. When I first saw him in the doctor's hands the only thing I could do was cry. Not only was he my son but he was the fulfillment of the promise God had given me a year before during such tragedy. As I touched Nathan, it was so surreal. I've tried twice now to find the words to describe the joy that I need to describe touching and holding my son, and I can't. All I know is that I cried more than he did. Simply the greatest day of my life!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Actions: We do what we value not what we say we believe. That is perhaps the most life changing statement I have every heard. Another way to put is your actions show what you really think is important.

If we take a cross section of our average day I think it would be clear that I value relationships. But relationship for what? Am I doing anything with these relationships or really just using them to make me feel better about life and self worth?

I value watching tv, I sure do enough of it.
I value my wife and spending time with her.
I value...
I value...

We do what we value not what we say we believe.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Baby I got your money

Offering: It is not my desire to use this blog and my brief writings and rantings to take a subject I was in conversation with and then come here and ‘tell you want I really think’ I think that would be wrong and disrespectful to my friends and those I converse with.

Let me get you on my train of thought. I was talking to my best friend JB last night and he was telling me about his future and how he and his wife are expecting to go to Russia this fall. I was asking him about support and how I could help him out financially. Then a few days ago I think I was either talking to a family member or a friend and they were talking about giving to missions and other Christian charitable organizations. During that conversation they were telling me their frustrations with people taking out of their ‘tithe’ check monies for missions. Giving for missions, in their mind, should be above and beyond what they normally give to the church. At the time I heard these words I felt in my heart I disagree but either decided it wasn’t a battle I wanted to fight or didn’t quite know what I would say in rebuttal I just knew I didn’t agree.

So this morning I was writing my offering check. I designated about 2/3 of it straight to operating expenses of the church and the other 1/3 to foreign missions and home missions (church planting). I really believe in these two efforts. As I designated on the envelope I wondered what people would say if they knew I wasn’t giving my full 10% to the church. So it got my thinking why I give, what I give to certain places and am I OK to be doing it this way.

God has called me to give my time and efforts to expanding his kingdom. I must admit that the kingdom I am trying to expand often is more confusing than helping. Lately my heart has been broken for peoples in third world situations such as AIDS, tsunami and the Dalit’s of India (see below post). I believe that there is great potential in these people and I want to see them experience a relationship with Jesus Christ. Right now my best way to help is with my money.

Maybe I should answer this question first. Why am I not giving the full amount to my local church body? I think the short answer is…This church is about the discipleship and nurturing of current believers. I think that is a very valid and necessary ministry. I also believe it is about ½ of the spectrum of ministry we should be involved in. My heart and passions lie with the unchurched and those who don’t know Christ.

It was good to think through this and made me feel a little less like a bad man!

OH man!

Waiting: My wife is officially past her due date for our little boy. Geez the waiting is killing me. I'm told a baby is worth the wait so that makes waiting more tolerable.