Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day: Monday is Memorial Day and I need to get something off my chest. Why is it we remember dead American soldiers by having family and friends over for a cook-out? Seems a little warped.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Death Penalty: It might surprise some but I'm not a supporter of the death penalty. However I find this recent news a little ridiculous. What the death penalty might actually be a little painful? I wonder if the guy he beat and strangled to death felt any pain?,4670,OhioExecution,00.html

Grace Eventually by Anne Lamott. I already started to rant about this book a little earlier in the week and I'll try to pick up with the same intensity I left it with. I got my car inspected today so I was in the waiting room a little while and used the time to finish this book up for the week. First of all I'm not sure why her book is called Grave eventually and then subtitled "thoughts on faith". The only thoughts of faith I heard was a hope that someone would hear her incessant whining and feel sorry for her. I was looking for a book on thoughts of faith about God and found very little of that. I feel a large discrepency with Anne on her view of God. At one point in the book she talks about her "glow stick Jesus" and how he is there to comfort her when she is afraid. I know it's not acceptable to question a believers faith but honestly I wonder if her view of God and mine could be any different. Tt seems her faith is around the crutch of God and her involvement with God is because it brings her comfort. This is a very valid reason to maintain close to God but I miss his power and awesomeness in her stories. Perhaps I just tire of her frailty.

Two chapters in particular soured me towards her probably for the final time. The first was her role in an assisted suicide to a friend with terminal cancer. Her friend was a self professed athiest and she gathered together the medication necessary, crushed the pills and mixed it with his meal. All at his approval, she calls this grace. But she killed this man. I hate to play the game "what if". But her logic that a person has the right to die with dignity and she merely helped this man do this. But what if his dignity is what needed to be stripped in order for God to penetrate his heart? She calls it grace but it's grace on her terms not on God's. I was disturbed, offended and appalled that she would not only commit this murder but would also write about it and call it grace. The harsh reality is that she not only helped this man die but she held his hand as she walked him to the gates of hell and dropped him off for eternal punishment.

The other chapter that raised my hackles was her railing against those that are against abortion. I have never justified the rights of women at the expense of an unborn baby. I just don't understand it. You know what causes a person to get pregnant, you get pregnant and then suddenly you think it's your "right" to terminate the life of an embryo. Sex is convenient so let's do that often, children however are not so let's just abort them.

15 of 52

Thursday, May 24, 2007

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In light of American Idol ending tonight I want to tribute the greatest american idol...ever.


Sanjaya Anthem

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Improve: I'm not sure where this post will go but I have an idea of where I want to hit on my way there. I was watching a story of Simon Cowell, the oft-hated but sometimes adored critic of American Idol. I had heard cracks that he was the idea behind Tele-tubbies and power rangers and wanted to see how much of that was true. It was really a fascinating story of his success. It would appear that whatever he touches turns to gold but that's far from the truth. He has many failed ventures but also many successes. One thing that struck me is that Simon has never come up with an original idea...or at least one worth noting. He has however improved upon ideas already out there. His millions hae come not from this own material but borrowed material from others.

My second thought is the fact that when I create something I want that creation to be better than me. I want it to be all the good parts of me and none of the bad. My son Nathan is a wonderful example of this. I want him to have the personality traits that I'm proud of and not the ones that embarrass me. I want him to have he parts of me that are attractive and not the parts that aren't. I want him to be smarter than me, more successful than me, simply put better than me. So far so good.

But I'm talking about those other creations; things ike songs, poetry, art, articles, books, sermons, churches, disciples, frienships, relationships and marriages. I want those things to be better than me but unfortunately the ways it works is that these things are reflections of me.

But then there are those things not just flavored by God but directed by God. As my passions lie with the local church I am of the mindset that the church is the eternal hope of the world but as Sarah Cunningham stated in her book Dear Church the church is not the hope of the world...Jesus Christ is. The church as a creation will be a reflection of me as the pastor but with dependence on Christ The Bridge will be a reflection of Him not me. That brings me hope and promise.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fun: Heather and I went with Brandon and Heather to Busch Gardens today. There was hardly anyone in the park so we could ride what we wanted to almost as fast as we wanted to. One of the highlights was Brandon and I riding Apollo's Chariot on the front row twice and the second time posing for the perfect roller coaster picture. I'll post the picture as soon as Brandon can scan it in and get it to me.

Glove Box: Have you thought about this? We have a glove box in our cars? When's the last time you put gloves in this compartment in your car. If you're like me you have a users manual, some pens, a tire pressure gauge and who knows what else but never gloves. Yet still we call it a glove box.

Cry: I really like reading Anne Lamott's books. I'm currently reading Grace (eventually); I like her quick wit, insights and all around love for her painful life. She sees God from a different perspective than I do and I appreciate that. But she also can drive me crazy. I'm only on page 50 and already she has mentioned George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Rumsfield. She mentions how they are ruining america and her life...seriously? Isn't that slightly overdramatic?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dear Church by Sarah Cunningham. I'm tired but I did finish this book tonight. I was glad that I read it but can't say that it was the most invigorating read I've had but perhaps one of the most important. At first I was angry that this woman was writing negative things about the church. I guess I'm just tired of hearing gripes and no answers or at least a hope for reconciliation. But she turned out to know what she was talking about and have a background that backs her talk. She grew up a pastor's daughter, worked at a church and most importantly is committed to seeing Christ revealed to the world through the church.

I like how she states that the church is not the hope of the world but Christ is. So often I feel this pressure on me to be hope to the world but really I'm just a reflection of Christ and just a road sign to this hope.

14 of 52

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Stripped: by Jud Wilhite. I actually bought this book because it was advertised in one of my "pastor" magazines, either Rev. or Outreach. Now that I've got that confession out of the way I can move on with my life. This book was good. I was a little disappointed becuase for some reason I thought the book was written by a church planter that had planted a church in Las Vegas. I'm not sure why I thought that but it was written by a pastor of the largest church in Vegas. The book was a collection of stories of grace of people that attend his church. Very complelling and enjoyable stories...grace can be like that!

13 of 52

212: I've noticed that Zondervan and Multnomah publish most of their christian living books to be about 212 pages. Rarely is a book more than 220 pages. I wonder what the science of that is?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm not even going to comment...ok maybe I will. No this is not a joke but it should be.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

12 of 52: After a very long pause in book reading I finally finished another book. The irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. This was fun book to read and while fairly light reading it came with a heavy message. This guy has met Mother Theresa! He's an active christian activist and is all about bringing the kingdom to his Philly community and to the world.

I like to meet Shane for some conversation, he's simply radical. But like he calls himself he's an ordinary radical. Still I'd like to talk with him. I have some questions as to how he lives out his faith in our crazy wack world. I want to know about his love for peace and how he is pro-life in more ways than abortion, like war.

Monday, May 07, 2007

In fact, Jesus and the disciples would probably get in a lot of trouble in most fancy churches. They'd probably be turning water fountains into wine fountains, inviting kids to swim in baptistries, ripping holes in the roofs when the crippled can't get in the doors, flipping over the cash registers in the bookstores- at which point a trustee would scold Jesus and ask, "Jesus!?!? What, were you born in a barn?" And Jesus would nod.

The Irrestible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

Jesus of Surburbia:
Born and raised by hypocrites
Hearts recycled but never saved
From the cradle to the grave
We are the kids of war and peace
From Anaheim to the Middle East
We are the stories and disciples
Of the Jesus of Suburbia

Yeah it's a green day lyric from the song Jesus of Suburbia. What can I say? I like to work out to Green Day sometimes. It's amazing where prophetic words can come from sometimes.

Collide: This week we're kicking off a new series call COLLIDE. What happens when the glory of God collides with the frailty of humanity? It's a look at the glory of God and our response to it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ordinary: I read a lot of book and I like to watch movies. I think like anyone else I read books about people not like me, I watch movies about people not like me. Because afterall I don't need to watch movies about people like me, I already know what happens. Perhaps that's why I don't find home movies very interesting.

I'm not sure if this is a matter of pride or not but I don't want to be ordinary. I want to have something in my life that's extraordinary. In my piousness I want this thing to count for the kingdom. I want it to matter for God, honestly.

My new friend Matt Keller at Next Level Church in Fort Myers, FL has a saying that I really like. He too is a church planter. He always says Everyone is looking for the long bomb, the quick touchdown. But we've had to plant this church up the middle. One yard at at time. Painfully, slowfully, at God's pace.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Haircut: I walk into starbucks and the girl taking my order says "Nick did you get a haircut?". Yes I did. "Your head looks more aerodynamic." Good to hear. Just what I was going for.

What do you think?

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You go first: One of the passages in the Bible that strikes me as funny everytime is in John 21. It starts with an amazing passage. The crucifixion has happened, Jesus has appeared to his doubting disciples and then in 21 they are out fishing and Jesus appears to them again. Jesus shows up on the shore and Peter swims to shore. Jesus and Peter get into a conversation and Jesus asks Peter 3 times if he loves him. I'm assuming Jesus is aware of the irony of him asking him three times in contrast to Peter denying him three times during his trial.

Then Christ makes Peter aware of what kind of death he would die...a pretty awful one. And Peter asks about John's death. Jesus says what is it to you if John lives until I return?

Based on that information a rumor got out that John would never die. Can you imagine being that guy? Your friends think you're immortal but you know better. Hey John why don't you go first that way if something happens to you we'll no it's not safef and can lead to death, don't worry you're immortal remember. Or your out with some friends and there is this huge guy, you're friends picke a fight with him and let you fight him, c'mon John it will be fun, he'll pummel you and then right when he thinks he beat you to death you do your thing and stand back up.

It'll be great!