Thursday, September 27, 2007

In honor of marriage

A married couple who didn't realise they were chatting each other up on the internet are divorcing.

Sana Klaric and husband Adnan, who used the names "Sweetie" and "Prince of Joy" in an online chatroom, spent hours telling each other about their marriage troubles, reported.

The truth emerged when the two turned up for a date. Now the pair, from Zenica in central Bosnia, are divorcing after accusing each other of being unfaithful.

"I was suddenly in love. It was amazing. We seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriage. How right that turned out to be," Sana, 27, said.

Adnan, 32, said: "I still find it hard to believe that Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years".

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Worship Journal 2

September 26, 2007

So this past weekend we had a change in our Sunday morning corporate worship – the
main leader is stepping down or taking a break so there are new leaders – and new experiences. The worship team actually laughed on stage (something I haven’t seen for quite a while), though it was at a ‘mistake’ when they were coming into a song. I loved it. For me, I love seeing others who aren’t perfect being willing to be leaders. There’s a phrase going around about worship needing to seek ‘excellence’ because it’s for God. I don’t disagree with that in principle. I do disagree with that when life (love, laughter, peace, etc.) is sacrificed for excellence. That kinda freaks me out. So I actually enjoyed singing along to the old songs this week because I got to sing them with people just like me.
Sunday night we had a worship service (Kainos) also. It was pretty decent – the band was just a piano/guitar with the players singing, but it seemed like people engaged with God. We participated in communion also – which I always appreciate, especially when I partake with my son.
Finally, I got my AW Tozer book in the mail this week. Looks like a collection of sermons, so I’ll probably be commenting on those here as well.

Recent Searches

I always get a kick out of my keywords!

1. wears
2. stetzer
3. god
4. story
5. Jones
6. scandrette
7. shults
8. by
9. mark
10. graffiti
11. lipstick
12. Tony
13. soul
14. leron
15. bell
16. rob

Sex God 3

In chapter 3 Bell takes on the challenge of living in the tension of honsety in regards to sexuality. He talks about the 'animal' side, where people just give into anything or live in a sexual despair. He also talks about the 'angel' side, where people deny any attractive feelings and completely abandon intimacy.

Both of these extremes, according to Bell, take us out of our natural way - being human (not animal or angel). He does a great job at tying it all in together at the end and making it concise, clear and engaging. Probably the best chapter yet.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Worship Journal 1

For my schooling I have to keep a record of a worship journal. So I am going to post them here also.

1. September 12, 2007

I write this as class is finishing up so I am going to discuss class a bit. I really resonate with the consideration of the influence of Judaism on Christian worship. Today is actually Rosh Hashannah, Jewish New Year, which we normally celebrate with the youth ministry. I think I have a willingness to be experimental with my worship. I like to try new things or different traditions. Sometimes it’s a great experience, sometimes I don’t understand what’s going on at all. At the same time, though, an experimental attitude sometimes gets me in trouble with fundamentalists who think its this way or the highway.
I also appreciate in class the way that when we really actually look at the emerging church we can appreciate the contribution that they are making to the western church. This takes a bit of humility from both sides though. The emergents need to remember to be patient, and the ‘old school’ needs to remember that they are old (kidding…mostly).
One thing I am still wondering is about the relationship between worship and personal taste. I wonder if its alright for me to like a certain style and not like another. It seems normal to me and it seems biblical. I wonder, then, why people say that it is a sign of growth when I worship God in styles I don’t like. Wouldn’t that make me a faker? Hmmm….

Planting Missional Churches 1

I am also reading a book by Ed Stetzer as collateral reading for my church planting class. The book is a rewrite of an older Stetzer book about planting postmodern churches. I will be doing chapterly reviews on the blog as it is a subject area that I am really interested in knowing about. There's 29 chapters, so this will go on for quite some time!

Chapter one is called the Basics of Church Planting and goes through the underlying reasoning for the promotion of a chruch planting movement in North America. Stetzer writes, "Establishing a missional church means that you plant a church that's a part of the culture you're seeking to reach." (1) The way to do this is by being missional, incarnational, theological, ecclesiological and spiritual (3). I laugh out loud that, according to this short list, you don't even have to be Christian to plant a church!

Objections to church planting (or even missional church progression) are tackled well and general statistics are given. I leave you with this quote:

"During a recent breakfast conversation with Len Sweet, Len explained to me that recent studies show that nine of ten people who are told by doctors to 'change or die' cannot do so. In other words, they are told to stop smoking, lose weight, or quit drinking in order to survive, and nine out of ten die rather than change. Churches are similar; they often choose their traditions over their future."

Sex God 2

In chapter 2 Bell talks about our desire to be connected to others being (at base) an expression of sexual desire. In a tragically trendy way he talks about some celibate single people being the most sexual people he knows. This is justified by their connectedness to so many different people in real and honest ways.

I appreciated this chapter's consideration of the distinction between intimacy and physical sexual activity. At the same time, Bell appeals to the postmodern mind by redefining sex to mean something new (non-traditional). This was not done in the most smooth way...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sex God 1

I picked up Rob Bell's Sex God with a bunch of other textbooks for school this year. Becuase it's fun reading, I am going to post by chapters to milk it all the way out. Most of my textbook reading is done with speed in mind, so Sex God will be read with enjoyment.

The first chapter is called, God Wears Lipstick, in which Bell revolves a discussion of humanity's attitude towards itself impacting it's ultimate reality around a story from a Nazi concentration camp in which lipstick was given to the women who were being rescued. It also talks about lust and torture and how we treat others reflecting on our own health.

An interesting chapter.

Virkler, Hermeneutics

I had to read this book for my preaching class at PESM. There is a slant in this hermeneutics book towards exegetical preaching and application. It's a fantastic hermeneutics book for beginning preachers.

That all being said - its way to long because it takes on much more than it should. I don't need a hermeneutics book to explain to me as much as this book attempted to. I found it hard to stay on track because of the amount of rabbit trails that this book follows - especially presenting the personal dogma of the author - and remembering the point of hermeneutical study is difficult.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Holy Rule 6 - of Silence

This becomes a tough chapter to swallow as it goes on. In the beginning the silence is meant for the purpose of learning and discipleship. The monk is instructed to do the listening and the master is instructed to speak and teach - it's a relationship working the way it is intended to.

However, at the end of the paragraph the monk is instructed not to make jokes or cause laughter through his words. This becomes a little frustrating for me, as times of celebration and laughter would seem to be to be instructed biblically. I am holding out hope that a communal rule later in the text will give instruction in celebration and laughter together at festive times.

Applying this in a secular setting becomes challening as silence is increasingly difficult to come by. Even if we can eliminate talking there's still traffic, dogs, airplanes and more that will burst into our attention when we are living silently. Perhaps this is why I (more and more) believe that camping is a biblical mandate.

Slience is valuable enough to pay a high price for.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I feel great today. Other that sweating all day and feeling like throwing up everytime I stand up - life is great!

I watched a bunch of football, researched, studied and outlined a talk for tommorrow night, played video games, read a whole book, watched Civic Duty (which suced) and Letters from Iwo Jima (which was well done) and successfully made myself microwave popcorn and started getting hooked on the original British version of the Office (which made me laugh out loud)

Now I am going back to laying still, since Khobi is on her way home and she's throwing up - yep, she's taking her turn being sick also. I've got a great family.

Robinson, Biblical Preaching

Today I read this, my second in a week, book by Haddon Robinson. I borrowed it, so I didn't underline anything. I have become a quick fan of old (that's truth y'all) Haddon, though. For an old skool preacher, he is definitely good and I will for sure be perusing his books again when I am done with PESM assignments able to do so a little slower.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Chapell, Christ Centered Preaching

Chapell's book is very dry and long and detailed. Great book for entry level learning preaching.

His whole premise is based on a fallen condition focus, which grated at my personal theology, but his last two chapters on redemptive preaching have much to offer as an alternative to the theapeutic style that is prevalent today.

Robinson, Making a Difference in Preaching

This book is a collection of writings that Haddon Robinson has published in various books and magazines. It's a great little collection to give the young preacher a jumpstart and the old preacher a check-up. I didn't underline because I was reading it fast for school, but the last two chapters on preaching on money are worth the whole price of the book. Fantastic theological preaching!

Moore, Starting a New Church

This is the first book I read for PESM this year. Ralph Moore is the founder of the Hope Chapel Movement, and he plants churches in California and Hawaii (I know - that's called 'call envy'). I found myself alternatively loving this book for it's quick tips and practical ideas and hating it for it's focus on growing the church by putting butts in seats. Here's some stuff I highlighted:

>p.39 "If there is one predictor of church planters, it has to be that the good ones are voracious readers. Well-read people tend to be able to find solutions to any problem and they always seem to have a fresh supply of ideas."

>p.144 "I preach without a pulpit...we meet between services at round tables under umbrellas in a courtyard. The setup resembles a large starbucks. This is intentional because our target audience for evangelism is still under 30...we work hard to look and feel different from any other church in our community."

Then I stoppped underlining. I have two MAJOR objections to this book. The first is that he gives his doctrine of tithing by comparing it to the doctrine of marriage. One is a sacrament, the other is not. This is ridiculous. the other is that Moore calls the baby boomers the "first postmodern generation" when what he means is the boomers are the first consumption based generation. postmodernism is wildly different than consumer driven culture. What he describes is clearly the latter.

Good try though...

For Aaron

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Not one lesson

I drew this today. I call it warmed helium.


13 hours left in my day, till I can go back home. PESM classes today from 8 am till 915 pm - that's a long time.

It's been pretty good at the parts that I dig and funny to see how opinionated I am (often in disagreement) in my preaching class. Classes that make you become a type of something you don't feel called to be are an interesting discipline. Our little discussion times aren't my alley either. It appears not everyone is comfortable with being committed to each other and still being able to have robust dialogue. That, and, I still believe that pastors never shut up fast enough :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2 hours 45 minutes

that's how long my class is on preaching. My prof just threw this one out:

The Scripture is always relevant, our sermons are not always relevant.

Awesome stuff.

Monday, September 10, 2007

High School Musical

One of the most creative high school students I know sent me a link to this article on High School Musical from Uncyclopedia. Apparently, it may or may not be true, but this section is worth recording here:

It is said that High School Musical was written by Dick Cheney to distract the Americans from the war in Iraq. They assumed it would work since most Americans have very short attention spans and randomly jump to protest at random causes - most often a different one every week. So they thought that it would cause all people to love it and forget about the war in Iraq. It worked like a dream. People who liked it obsessed over it, while people who didn't dedicated their lives to protesting and putting it down.

One of the reasons rumored to be the sole reason to the movie's sudden and overwhelming success is a subliminal message played throughout the entire movie, layered twenty-seven times, so no one would be aware. The message contained is, "Zac Efron is the man of your dreams. You want to marry him, even though his sexuality can be compared to twenty-thousand David Hasselhoff fans. You worship anything he is in or on, including movies, TV shows, albums, conditioners, and any other dingdingding you see his face on." This message is believed to have enslaved the minds of any girl (or boy) that is unfortunate enough to see it.

It is also rumored that the song We're All in This Together was meant as a means of persuading people to join the Communist Party. Lyrics such as "...we make each other strong...", "...when we work together all our dreams come true", and the obvious "...we're all in this together..." suggest that the writer, who was killed in a freak accident while mixing pure phosphorus and vodka, was in fact trying to persuade people to join him and establish him as a communist leader.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Recent Searches that Landed Here

1. coffee
2. church
3. isolationism
4. emergent
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Holy Rule 5 - of obedience

The fifth chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict instructs in immediate and joyful obedience. It guides the monk to follow the instruction of the abbot, under whose authority he has willingly placed himself, without delay. Then, the command goes even further to instruct the monks to obey without complaining, for this is what the Lord is seeking.

It is interesting to think of voluntarily giving yourself to the command of another. The trust of an abbot would have to be very high in order to do this with a fully pure heart.

Back At It

Today is very much a Rosh Hashannah for us - coming back from our Canadian vacation and getting LJ back into school and beginning the fall ministries.

There is a bit of anxiety around the house though that this fall is going to be more of what last spring was - over working and over stressed and over strectched. We got away from operating the way that God designed me to work and we're going to be actively committed to not letting that happen again.

And I'm committing to not "working through" burnouts anymore. lol - I love that God is still with me and working in me and through me - it's a huge blessing, as cheesy as that sounds.

May Grace and Peace with a Divine Origin Rest on my house and yours...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Calvinic Wesleyanism

I don't want to be a Calvinist mostly because of how mean some Calvinist come accross. But I have a hard time swallowing the theologically smurffy holiness peeps too.

So I was reading this post of mine (yeah, I reflect at times!) and thought it ended Cavinically, so I am considering a new bent called Calvinic Wesleyanism.

I'll have to google it to find out what it is.