Friday, December 30, 2005

Band: Try to track this. Matt is my wife's best friend's brother. Matt is in a band called CLING. You can listen by clicking on this link-->CLING.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Here are some of the pictures from Portrait Innovations. They did an excellent job and I'd recommend them to anyone. Since they do everything digital they are quick to take lots of pictures. Our photographer took almost 90 pictures and had some really great shots. Here they are.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pictures: We had some pictures taken yesterday. Mostly they were of Nathan but we also did a family portrait that really turned out great. I'll get those up soon I just don't have the disc with me at the desk.

Twice: I was reading in Mark again and I got to the place where Jesus starts healing people. I'm sure I've heard the story but I didn't catch this before.

Mark 7
Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;

What a funny thing to do. Stick your fingers in someone's ears...and then spit.

But what was most fascinating was this story in Mark 8
Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around." Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. And He sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."

It took TWICE. I can't even speculate why. Was Jesus running out of power? no, I don't think so. Why?

Tipping Point: I'm reading an excellent book called The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I'll post more on it later.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas: I thought I'd put up a post and some pictures from our Christmas 2005. This is Nathan's first Christmas so it's been a very fun one and for an almost 10 month old he had a great day. My wife treated me great, of course, and gave me some great presents. I don't have a favorite but the expresso maker, coffee, wallet, and a Robert Jordan book are all excellent and things I wanted but would have never bought for myself.

Left to Right:
My sister Beth, my wife Heather and my Mom
and then Luke, my nephew, Nathan my boy and Abby my neice. Too bad half of them aren't looking.

Me, Nathan and Heather at my in-laws house

Here is Nathan with his Granddad. Nathan is sitting on the coolest Christmas present I have ever seen. Granddad made this rockin' airplane by himself. When I say "made" I'm talking about with some wood and a saw. Unbelievable!

Babies are always cute so I thought I'd finish up with a shot of some babies and their mothers. From left to right Heather and Savannah (my wife's cousin Greg's wife and daughter) then my wife Heather and Nathan and then Annie and Reid (my wife's cousin Bryan's wife and son). Reid is 2 months old and Bryan is in Kuwait and soon heading to Baghdad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas: Well I just finished wrapping up Heather's presents and good thing because we are leaving out tomorrow for our Christmas voyage. First stop will be Hickory, NC for furniture shopping. Next stop will be Spartanburg, SC for my neice's birthday and then of course Christmas...which will be on Christmas eve. Then last stop will be Atlanta to spend with Heather's family. It should be a good trip.

Santa: So like I mentioned I've been spending time with an old childhood friend. BJ is two years younger than me and I did things growing up that reminded him of that...probably more often than I'd like to admit. We were riding back from church the other night and BJ said "Nick do you remember...who told me there was no such thing as Santa Claus?" "YOU DID."

So now that he mentions it yeah I do remember that. I think he was only 5 or 6 years old. In my defense my sister told me and I was so distraught I had to share the tragic news with someone. After BJ reminded me I was the bearer of this news he whispered under his breath so I could hear it..."bastard". We had a good laugh.

Monday, December 19, 2005

BJ: I have known BJ longer than any other person in my life except for family. BJ is two years younger than me and I remember my sister baby sitting me and BJ. Well BJ never left the area sowhen I moved back I made sure to get in touch with him. We had lunch one day last week and spent the day yesterday together... clarification. Heather, Nathan, Christina, BJ and I spent the day together. We went to our old church Portsmouth Alliance and then went out to lunch (where Nathan pulled the drink tray out of the waitresses hand and had coke dumped on him). We then went up to Richmond to visit a church BJ had gone to when training for his cross country trip ( So qe went to be sevice which was a great "experiiential" service. Then we ate at the nicest Arby's in the world and drove the hour and a half back.
It was a good day and good to spend time with BJ and his sister Christina, they are almost family. I have been praying for a friend dare I even say best friend to plant this church with me. I can't help but think...

P-town: So my old church is...old but it is also home so we went there on sunday. The church is about 6 miles from where I am going to be starting the Bridge in Suffolk anf I even live down the street from the SR. Pastor there. So needless to say there is much room for ill feelings.

Yesterday Palmer Zerbe gave me an excellent introduction and a big hug and made it obvious he was in full support of this new work and that they were going to give resources and people to this church plant. I was literally overjoyed by his public support, thanks God!

Involved: I have led many times a hands on worship experience I realized last night I had never been a participant. The stations were well done but for the first five minutes all I could think about is how much time this syuff cost and hoe much time it all took. But after not too long I was able to relaz and I went to the stations. The theme was realizing the incarnation of Christ and that it not only meant a human bitrth but a human life and a death. When I think of Christ as a babe I don't think of him as a baby destined to die. The experience was helpful.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Birthday: My birthday was on thursday. I turned 26. I know 26 isn't much older than 25 but it feels weird to say that I'm 26...I can't explain it better than that I guess. My birthday was excellent. Reasons why:

  • I slept till 10.
  • The painting I had worked on the previous 2 days was finished.
  • I had lunch with my Dad.
  • I saw my Grandma and Granddad.
  • I had dinner with my Mom and JD.
  • We ate an excellent seafood restaurant.

There are more reasons but it simply amazes me that I was with so much family for my birthday. That honestly hasn't happened since I was a junior in high school which was exactly 10 years ago. It's nice to live back home again.

inbubblewrap: I was reading David Trotter's blog that is listed in my "blogs I read section" and he mentioned a free giveaway site for businessmen. I've been checking the site everyday and registering for my free book for about a week. Well I finally won! Whoo Hoo. So if you are interested in free stuff check out inbubblewrap. Tell them I sent you.

Graduation: My dad graduated with his associate degree last night. I have to tell you that my dad isn't perfect but I really admire so much of what he has done in his life. A few years ago he retired from the Navy after 29 years of service and getting promoted to the 2nd highest rank he could go. After he got out of the Navy he went to college to get his associate degree. So last night was a big deal. He is currently going to Old Dominion University to get his B.A.

Quote: I heard a quote last night that I'll put here and then comment on later, after I process it.

Leaders are meant to be the custodians of our ideals.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Paint: Yesterday I painted our living room. It wasn't all that bad- about 8 hours of work. The pain in the butt was the 7 windows and tv nook that I had to paint around. Today I painted our kitchen. They are really bold colors but they look great. Heather and I almost had a meltdown on Monday trying to figure out the colors we wanted. We even ended up going to Sherwan Williams to get them to help us match colors. Turns out we had exact matches and we went with what we orginially picked out but it was so helpful to have a 3rd party tells us we were going well and the colors would look good.

So I'm the cheap labor of the week and it's so nice to cross more stuff off the list!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mark: I have been reading the Gospel of Mark in my not-so-daily daily reading time. I read Matthew earlier in the fall and his emphasis on the "Kingdom of Heaven" is so prevelant it really is hard to miss. So when I started reading Mark I noticed that Mark wasn't all about establishing Christ's kingship but seemed to focus on the outcast.

I recalled as I read that Mark is the same guy that is in the garden the night Jesus was betrayed. In some of the gospel accounts you read about one that ran off and the soldier was able to catch his coat so basically Mark ran off naked. What a loser!

Then Mark is the same guy that went with Paul and Barnabas on their missions trip and made it only a short time before he got homesick and wanted to go home. What a loser!

So with all that loserific experience Mark writes his gospel. He gives 6 verses to the calling of James and John (of the infamous three) but gives 10 verses to the calling of Levi, the sell-out Jewish tax collector.

Mark has a thing for putting losers in his gospel. What a glorious idea! Jesus has a thing for putting losers in his kingdom. Only he doesn't call us losers, he calls us disciples and followers.

Monday, December 12, 2005

So after our mini-adventure with church sunday morning I was a little gun shy to go trying new churches. I had almost sworn off churches until we get ours going but I was still looking to get my Jesus on. So I set out to find us a sunday evening service. I decided on The Wave Church. It's a ways away in Va. Beach but I figured "A church alive is worth the drive".

The worship was what I was looking for and the guest preacher was great. He talked about some stuff that I really needed to be reminded of. The main point was "Jesus died not to make bad people good but to make dead things live."

I forget that sometimes, I get caught in the mental trap of behavorial modification.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Church: So Heather and I don't have a church home for the first time in over 6 years. Last week we went to a Community church that seems to be doing well and has hit their 16th year of effective ministry in this area. After meeting with their pastor and our conversation I am encouraged by the ministry that he has. So like I said we went to their service last week and we enjoyed it and the sermon was excellent the music isn't quite as rockin' as we were hoping.

So this week Heather and I had decided to move to another church to try to find the music we were looking for. The phonebook said the service started at 9 a.m. so we got up early and after much searching we found the church (it is called New Life). We drove into the parking lot and there were about 2 cars in the parking lot and I decided we weren't staying. I guess I want a little bit of anonymity for a little while.

So by now it's about quarter after nine and we have just crossed off the biggest prospect for this Sunday. But not easily defeated we decided to go grab some breakfast and catch an eleven o'clock service at the community college.

So we eat breakfast at the Golden Corrall (I'll post about this below) and head up to TCC for Tidewater Bible Church. On the way in we see that there is another church called Greater Grace also meeting on the campus and so we go to their parking lot. I didn't want to get out of the car but only check it out but a woman caught us in the parking lot and invited us in to stay. Heather persuaded me to go for it so we did.

We walked in the door and the people tried not to act surprised but didn't do a very good job. It as evident that not too many (or any) white people come to their church. We had come this far and I wanted to stay open minded. Afterall I just wanted to get my Jesus on, I thought this might be the place to do it.

I don't even know how to go into it but after about 20 minutes Heather leaned over to me and said, I'm heading towards the bathroom meet me in the car. So after she leaves I wait the appropriate time and grab out bibles and head for the car as well.

I guess I won't be getting my praise on this week.

Maybe next week?

Golden: So we used to live in Frederick, MD which is only about 30 minutes from West Virginia. We used to joke that if you wanted to meet a West Virginian then go to wal-mart or golden corral.

Where we live now is at least 5 hours from west virginia and still the west virginians commute all that way for the buffet. Go figure.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Narnia: Heather and I saw The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe tonight and I must say...excellent. I was highly anticipating this movie hoping it would fall in line with the excellent fantasy such as was demonstrated in the Lord of the Rings...I was not disappointed. They stuck to the book well enough but not so much as you knew what was happening every second. The battle scene was excellent!

I have some criticisms but I don't want to criticize a movie I really did love. I think it is amazing that thousands and maybe millions of people will see a beautiful depiction of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in such a way that is easily understood.

I was reading in Mark the other morning and I remember seeing a verse that I underlined. It said (NPV) that whenever he (Jesus) taught them he used parables. Metaphors speak to the heart like raw facts don't!

Worship: I woke up today and I just prayed "Lord, make something happen today that is exciting." I'm not sure that's a fair prayer or that God answers prayers like that but it was my prayer. So Nathan and I went to the Post Office. Not terribly exciting but better than sitting around the house. So we're heading from the post office to the quick lube and Nathan got a little fussy so I started singing to him like I always do and this time it happened to be a worship song. Strange enough it wasn't a song I had ever heard before but a song from the heart, In that quiet between verses I felt the Lord ask, "exciting enough for you?" I'm not sure that' sa fair question...

The crazy thing is that the same experience happened again on the way to the mall to do some Christmas shopping, this time it was listening to the Derek Webb cd I posted about earlier.

God is good even when I make unfair requests.

Narnia: Heather has loved the Chronicles of Narnia for as long as I've known her and her love for the books has been the topic of our conversation for sometime now, especially with the movie coming out. To refresh my memory I reread the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe last week and tonight Heather, my dad and I are going to see the movie. I'm not looking as forward to it as any of the Lord of the Rings movies I am looking forward to it as much as any other movie.

I don't think it will disappoint!

Waiting: So I'm technically not employed this month, which is funny because I have been employed every day since I was 16 years old. I'm not bored yet either. The past two weeks we have unpacked the house. I painted Nathan's room and put up a chair rail. His room is smoky blue above the chair rail and is lion's mane (golden yellow) below. The rest of his room is a sort of Narnia theme complete with the huge stuffed animal Aslan. Blue and gold are my high school colors and well as the colors of my favorite store, Best Buy. Go figure.

I also painted my office. I chose a color called corkboard and it is a brown of sorts. I was going for the coffee house feel and after much searching I think I have found all of the office furniture I am going to buy.

The last two full and complete jobs we have finished are shopping for living room furniture and organizing and sorting the stuff in the garage.

So I said all that to say while I haven't been bored, by any means I am itching to get moving on this church plant. I think rather I'm overready for something exciting to happen for something to come by and get me jacked up!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

You know what old ladies problems are with driving? I finally figured it out today. As I stood beside an old woman as she backed out of her parking spot I figured it out. Of course if you think about anything for as long as I did you'd have figured it out as well. She was backing out of her car and I was visualizing the 300 ways I could make her move faster, the best of which included a rocket launcher and a meat loaf, and that's when I figured it out. Her car was too big for her. Back after the war when she bought her Buick I'm sure it was stylish. But now the 27 foot monstrosity is so big the old lady can hardly steer it.

Of course the ladies that drive the new contraptions aren't any better. I was at DMV yesterday getting my new VA driver's license and the lady asked for my help. "I can't turn off my windshield wipers". Although cold it wasn't raining and I wasn't sure why her wipers were on in the first place. In my mind I was aksing the question but my good sense said just turn off her wipers for her. So I did.

What a useless and pointless rant...I'm not even sure it made sense...but darn the old ladies, can't kill, can't teach them how to drive can't suffocate them with meatloaf.

History: When this blog started about a year and a half ago it was called "Step into the Party" one of the lyrics of my favorite John Reuben song. As the blog evolved it was clear to me that this blog needed a new name. It needed a name that made a statement, that said something clear, than sent a message so then ignoring all of those requirements I went with The Thinking Padre. That is afterall who I am.

So I was thinking with the job change and the change of focus in ministry that maybe I should rename my blog. Same great thoughts, same provoking posts but new name. I was thinking of mixing some of my favorite books or movies with my current name so far the submissions are:

  • The Thinking Future
  • Present Padre
  • Padre Gump
  • U2 Padre

All of those seem pretty lame but one I'm really consider is

Velvet Padre- after a great book by Rob Bell called Velvet Elvis.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I was going to lay down a sweet post but I'm on slow butt aol dial up and the 10 minutes it took me to log on took up my blog time. Now LOST is on in 2 minutes and I'm not going to make an entry.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Back: Well I'm not really sure if I'm back or not but I wanted to get an entry in so that my faithful know I'm still kicking. I have enjoyed the time away, not necessarily from my blog but from technology. I can tell that as the date draws closer that I actually go on payroll with my new job that I will start using technology again.

I like it, I really do.

To commemorate my time of absence I bought a Palm Treo 650, which for you not technogeeks it is a palm pilot and a cell phone in one. It has a full thumb keyboard and so far I really enjoy it and has already made my life easier. The whole point of technology after all.

Pain: We made the move to VA on November 23 the day before thanksgiving. I'm not sure how much I want to recollect of the drive down not because I don't want to type but because the event was so tramatic for me.

It started at about 9:30 in the morning on wednesday November 23. We picked the cat up from where she was living and we hit the road heading south from Maryland. I need to mention that I drive a green '96 Ford Explorer. She's been a good vehicle for me, I really enjoy driving it. But in her old age the "Green Machine" no longer has working heat. Well with an outside temperature of about 38 F (for my canadian friends 3.3 C) having no heat can be quite the experience. So there I am shivering my butt off with the cat sitting beside me in her crate and the rest of the Beast loaded to the max with my office books and furniture. This goes well for about 4 minutes before the cat start meowing at the top of her lungs. The volume was literally equal to a child's scream and/or a chain saw.

Me shivering, cat screaming. Then I smell something really awful. Cat's don't pee in their crates so it's not Maggie. I'm shivering real bad and after checking realize I didn't pee my pants either. So back to the cat. Sure enough she has peed in her crate and now is giving a death cluth to the front of her crate where there is no urine. This lasts for a short while until I hit the brakes and the pee go up to the cats feet and she slides down to the sespool awaiting her. I actually feel very bad for the cat but trying to help her would have been as useful as...well it would have been pointless.

So for 5 hours we drove. Both freezing both whimpering. Occasionaly one of us would cry out in pain.