Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I love funny news stories so here is one I came across today. Last week I was talking with Nathan and asking him his whole name and asking him what his parent's names are. I thought that might come in handy of he ever got separated from us or was in some other situation that we couldn't speak for him. He did really well and I was real proud of him.

What to do when you're lost.

Turns out I've taught my kid what a parrot can do...I'll be wrapping up my book "Breakthrough Parenting" here in the next few years. Maybe you'll buy it?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hi, I'm 28.: As a teenager I remember reading 1 Timothy 4:12 (Paul giving instructions to young pastor Timothy) Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in life, in love, in faith and in purity. I remember is so well because I figured it would come in handy as a young pastor.

If I'm honest I can't say that one time someone's behavior has indicated that they look down on me because of my youth. In fact sometimes I'm uncomfortable with the opposite. I remember as a youth pastor I would get calls from parent's asking me what I thought they should do about their misbehaving teenager. I remember just laughing in the inside. First of all because I was only a few years older than a teenager myself, second because I wasn't the best behaved teenager so I was better equipped to give advice as what not to do rather than what do do and finally because the person asking the question was often older than my parent's. I just remember thinking, what can I offer this 50 year old person who has so much more life experience than me. But then I remember that as long as I didn't trust in my own skin and abilities and allowed God to work through me I did have some stuff to offer.

A good number of people at The Bridge are older than me. In fact many are old enough to be my parents. Sometimes while I'm up there bringing the word God has for that week I just think to myself that they are listening to someone so much younger than me. And often I'm so grateful they hear the words coming through me from God rather than words just coming through me.

I've been a part of my district's Church Health Committee which I find ironic because I have been the pastor of exactly 1 church and while I think we are a increasingly growing and quite healthy church we are also not the poster church for church health. But God in his wisdom let my superiors know that I love the Church as the Bride of Christ and that I enjoy assessing and equipping churches to be more healthy. It's perhaps one of the most humbling experiences I have.

Today I received yet another humbling thing. I've been asked to stand to be nominated to our Districts DEXCOM, which is like the district's governing board. What? I'm honored, but also baffled at this. Yet I learned years ago that God does these things to stretch me.

Finally, I was having a conversation with a man on the phone today that told me he was 57 years old. He's never met me or seen a picture of me so he has no idea how old I am and he didn't. In our conversation he said something to the effect of "Who knows that 27 year old kids are thinking these days?" I wanted to say "I do, I was just one a year ago."

Does this mean age is relative?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Graduation: My dad graduated on Saturday. As kids he always talked about going to school and getting an education. He worked hard in the Navy for 29 years and retired at the top of his rank. When he left the Navy 7 years ago he started taking classes at the community college and working towards his associate degree. His associate took about 4 years to get. Then after graduating with his associates he started going to ODU for his Bachelors. He finished his bachelors in 2 and a half years. As he likes to say he was pacing himself.

This Saturday all his hard work paid off and I was able to sit and watch my dad graduate. I can't express how proud I am of him. He finally did the one thing he has always wanted to do. So good job POPS! I'm proud of you.

Chris Matthews: While at graduation I got to hear Chris Matthews speak. He has a tv show in MSNBC called Hardball with Chris Matthews. I really enjoyed his speech. I don't often get to hear professional speakers. I liked his style and his brevity. His point was this. Don't expect success to find you but go out and find success. People won't be knocking on your door asking you to take incredible jobs but rather you have to seek them out. He said the secret to success is in the word "ask". The more you ask the better the chance to hear a yes. When people say yes to you they have invested in you and when people invest in someone or something they want to see it succeed. It left me with some motivation.

China: If you haven't seen this month's National Geographic it's worth checking out. The entire thing is about China and provides some great insight into their culture and mentality. It's also casts an outlook in their future, which I must say looks bleak. The culprit seems to be their incredibly large population is providing most of their economic growth at this time and then their new 1 child policy for those of the Han nationality. In just one generation the work force will begin to dwindle because of this policy. Another major concern is the lack of water to drink. The many damns on their major rivers that are used to power industrial plants have reduced the water to a trickle in many places add that to the pollution that those same plants dump into the rivers they are on the verge of an epidemic.

But what I wanted to comment on is the recent earthquake that has so far claimed the lives of 19,000 people. I don't think we americans can grasp 19,000 deaths. I don't think I want to. You can read more here,2933,355247,00.html.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Some pictures?

Robbie and I breaking it down with the 2008 rendition of "The Sprinkler"

Am I cold? Now I'm doing the "Cold Dance" if you've never heard of it that's because I created it.


Nathan giving Seth some love

Me and Nathan goofing off with the camera.

I thought this spider web would make a neat picture.

Mormons: A few weeks ago our local mormon missionaries stopped by the house. I knew the previous set but hadn't met these two yet. I always make sure I make my intentions clear with them and let them know what I do for a living so as not to deceive them in any way. After we talked for a few I asked them a few questions that I had for them about mormonism in general. I asked them about archeological proof for the ancient white race they said inhabited North and South America in the 4th century AD. My logic and knowledge of history tells me that if there was a large nation of people around only 1600 years ago there should be some archeological proof it exists. I also learned that for them Special Revelation is above all in their faith system; special revelation that was given to Joseph Smith and written in his writings. I also questioned them a little about the character of Joseph Smith. They weren't offended and gave me a book of mormon before they left and asked me to read several passages. I told them I would and they said they'd come back to talk about it.

They came back a few nights ago and I'm not sure they were ready for my questions. I didn't intend to but I gave them some pretty serious challenges. I wasn't trying to be aggressive to them but sometimes when talking with them I get so angered because I believe they are being deceived. I'm not angry at them but angry at the evil one and angry at the false prophets that founded the LDS church.

In short we had a circular conversation for about an hour. I commended them on their sacrifice to give up their lives for a 2 year mission. I also commended them on their faith and their willingness to put their faith in action. I believe they have sincere hearts and I made sure they knew that. I also told them that from what I can tell of the Bible that the entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ. Christ himself makes it pretty clear in the gospels that he is the one that was to come and as he left he made clear he would be the one to come. Jesus never told me to look for another prophet that would make complete the true gospel (this is what the LDS church teaches.) In fact I find in the New Testament that the prophets that are to come will be false prophets and to not trust them.

I also told them that I have some serious problems with the "revelation" given to Joseph Smith. I see how some of these "revelations" were awfully convenient for Joseph Smith and in his life. The first that I find awfully convenient is that Mormons use water in their communion or sacrament service. I found this interesting and started doing some research on this. Turns out that before the prohibition the LDS church used wine just like many protestant churches. However during the time of prohibition their began to be an uproar in the church. Turns out that Joseph Smith has a revelation that it is no longer pleasing to God to use wine but rather they should use non alcoholic grape juice or water. Turns out they selected water because they could all agree on it. Oh yeah, it was also ok to use wine grown in the vineyards that were owned by the Mormon church. Even though today Mormons are forbidden to consume alcohol.

There are two other convenient revelations. Joseph would have mens meetings in his home. The men would smoke on their pipes and then when they were done would chew tobacco. Turns out he didn't clean up after himself very well and his wife must have complained to him about having to clean up the mess. Suddenly Joseph Smith has a revelation that tobacco is wrong.

From wikipedia

According to Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, the Word of Wisdom was received in 1833 as a revelation from God. After Smith's death, Brigham Young claimed that the revelation was given in response to problems encountered while conducting meetings in the Smith family home:
"When they assembled together in this room after breakfast, the first they did was to light their pipes, and, while smoking, talk about the great things of the kingdom, and spit all over the room, and as soon as the pipe was out of their mouths a large chew of tobacco would then be taken. Often when the Prophet [Joseph Smith] entered the room to give the school instructions he would find himself in a cloud of tobacco smoke. This, and the complaints of his wife at having to clean so filthy a floor, made the Prophet think upon the matter, and he inquired of the Lord relating to the conduct of the Elders in using tobacco, and the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was the result of his inquiry."[2]

The final convenient revelation is that of plural marriage in the mormon church. The LDS men began practicing polygamy in the church. It is revealed that this practice is what God wants. The US gov't catches wind of this practice and makes it illegal to practice. It is again revealed by God that this is not what God wants.

Sound like someone wasn't the most in tune with!

It absolutely boggles my mind. I thanked them for coming and they went on. I want to emphasize that I wasn't going for victory but that I don't agree with them that special revelation should have more power over them that the scriptures of the Bible. It burdens my heart...