Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote for 3/31/08

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."
Arnold Bennett

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Feelin' pretty crappy

We had a Lock-In of sorts at church last night. It was a Family Fun Night that was actually organized by some of our younger teens. They did a pretty good job of it, too.
It went well. There were plenty of munchies and pop. There were TV's and game systems set up in one area for the younglings. The adults had the projection equipment and DVD player to keep ourselves entertained. Not to mention some board games as well.
We stayed all night, watched Time Bandits and then B.S.ed for a few hours. In the morning we had church. The service went pretty smoothly considering how wiped out, and sore, most of us were.
Afterwards, we all went to CiCi's for pizza. Not the greatest pizza in the world, but good enough for the price.
The only problem; sleeping on the floor has left many of us aching and sore. Then, of course, there's the whole sugar crash from the munchies and pop. While JT and I were wise enough to buy caffine free Pepsi, we didn't account for the normal levels of sugar. So, the combination of pop with the salty, starchy chips, crackers and what-not, just generated a massive, on-going sugar rush for some of us. At the moment, I'm feeling kinda hungover.
Now, if you don't mind, I think I'll make an exceptionally early night of things.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quote for 3/29/08

"Fear is something to be moved through, not something to be turned from."
Peter McWilliams

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Be not afraid

Of me.

I was out earlier this morning, doing my laundry and eating breakfast, and couldn't help notice that several people were showing signs that they were afraid of me.

The first example; an elderly lady, and her daughter, at the laundramat had left their "stuff" on a table beside one of the seats in the corner. I placed my "stuff" at the the opposite end of the table and sat down in a seat there. When they came back from loading their machines, they conveniently moved their "stuff" to the other side of the laundramant. Hmmmmm...
Next; I follow an older couple in to the Golden Corral. They took a seat next to one of the windows. I took my seat in the corner beside their table. They sat there for a minute as I went up to get my breakfast. When I came back they had moved to the opposite side of the dining area. Hmmmmm...
Also, as I sat eating my wonderfully, delicious breakfast, there was a family that kept looking over at me. The little boy seemed apprehensive about making eye contact with me, even though I smiled at him the whole time. Hmmmmm...

Ya know, I really don't mind it that people seem to have some concern about who, or what, I may be. I kinda like the mystique that it evokes. It's especially curious since I usually carry my Bible with me to the laundramat (I like to have something to read while I'm doing my laundry). I have to wonder what they're thinking about a big guy like me with a mohawk, a Punisher T-shirt and a Bible.
Then again, I've never really been one to be too concerned about what other people think of me.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quote for 3/26/08

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
Galileo Galilei

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Monday, March 24, 2008

I'll tell ya what I think

I don't know why this article got me so stirred up, but it did.
I'm sorry, but as far as I can tell they're all just excuses. A way to tell men that they don't have to take responsibility for their behavior. Just what we need in our perpetual-victim society.

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Quote for 3/24/08

"Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair."
Gilbert K. Chesterton

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I didn't forget

For those of you who may have been wondering, I did not forget that yesterday was Easter. I just never got online.
So, allow me to say Happy Easter to everyone today. Somewhat belated, but no less sincere. I hope you all had a pleasant day with family and friends, and maybe even in worship. I certainly did.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

More new toys

First off, I want to sincerely thank one of my dear friends for helping me with my taxes this year. She doesn't read my blog, but still, she got me a rather substantial return. First time since the Ex left.
I also want to send a less than sincere thank you to Uncle Sam for finally returning most of the money he confiscated from me over the last year. It's nice to be able to use that money for something that I really want.
Now for the fun part of this post...
Behold my newest toys.
I've finally stepped into the 21st century with an MP3 player.
Ta-daaaa!



Not just an MP3 player, but a media player. So this baby's got all kinds of neat features. Check it out here.

Then, of course, you all had to know there would be a unique weapon.



Yes, Wink, it's a Kit Rae. That man is a freakin' genius when it comes to blades and edged weaponry. Such an imagination. And I would love to have his job.
I think this one will go pretty well with the last toy I picked up. Remember this one? ...



But that's not all.
I also managed to pick-up a few things for my kids. Especially since yesterday was Not-So-Emo Bob's birthday. I also sent some money to a few of the charitable organizations that I support. And I will be buying more books for people who showed an interest in my booth at my church's Mission Ministry Fair. And there will be more as well.
But for now, I'm just chillin' here at home, admiring my new blade and loading my new media player with entertaining media files.
Oh, yeah!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

No greater joy

If you look below, you'll see a picture of the young lady that I'm sponsoring through Compassion.





Her name is Cheriter. She's an orphan in Kenya who lives with her aunt and 3 other children. Her profile doesn't say if they're her siblings or cousins. But that doesn't matter anyway. It's still a lot of people for her aunt to take care of as a part-time laborer.
As you can see from the note at the bottom of the photo, Cheriter lives in a community that is affected by AIDS. I don't know if that's how her parents died, or if it was one of the countless, other diseases that plague such areas. I don't know if that means that she herself has been exposed/infected, or if there's just a large (perhaps growing) number of people who are infected in the area where she lives. All I do know is that my heart breaks to know about her situation. And that's why I'm doing this.
I encourage any of you who are reading this, if you're not already sponsoring a child somewhere, through some organization, please, prayerfully consider contacting Compassion about doing so. To know that my meager donation can help this young girl grow up strong, healthy and educated for a better life, brings me more joy than you can imagine. And I would love for you to share that experience with me.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"We have some nice parting gifts for you"

That's the impression several of my co-workers had as we received our first real perk of being employees of Royal Philips this week; our brand new Sonicare Toothbrushes.



Everybody got one. And I love mine! But I have to make a note of not taking it out of my mouth while it's still turned on. There's toothpaste all over my bathroom now...
Just kidding. I cleaned it up right away.
But anyways...
I really despise the fact that I have so many co-workers who refuse to ever acknowledge anything positive about where we work. They complain about bonuses not being big enough. They complain about breaks not being long enough. They complain about the cafeteria and the food service. And now that the Philips acquisition of Respironics is final, they're convinced that we're on our way out the door to make way for new people to take our jobs. They see these gifts, not as a "welcome", but as a "parting gift".
Please!
How do these people survive in this world as such lame victims of their own negative imaginations?
As far as I'm concerned, I'm pretty happy to be a part of the Philips Home Healthcare Division. It's a brand new adventure for everyone. And I, for one, am going to make the most of it.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Quote for 3/17/08

"The Primative Church had no New Testament, no thought-out theology, no stereotyped traditions. The men who took Christianity to the Gentile world had no special training, only great experience - in which 'all maxims and philosophies were reduced to the simple task of walking in the light since the light had come.'"
B. H. Streeter

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Listen up!

For those of you who weren't already aware, I used to play bass in a band named Splintered. Some of the best times of my life were spent playing some of the tiniest venues imaginable - even for a Christian band - with these guys.
Well, thanks to JT, his Indie Music Podcast and his myspace page (of the same name), you can all listen to Splintered.
He took some time this weekend to create a myspace page for them. And even better, still, the music that's available from their player is from the CD that I was still playing bass on. So, now, you can all listen to me playing my bass.
I highly recommend Burn and The Right Track. Both of which I loved playing the bass lines to. Not because they were so intricate, complex or funky, but because they were so simple, yet powerful. Save The Children is also pretty good, and Seven Last Words was always better as a live version. It used to kill me to have to strecth out my fingers for that one, but it sounded awesome.
I'm allowed to offer my critique since it's my playing, too. Now feel free to give it a listen for yourself.

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Quote for 3/16/08

"Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world."
Ammon Hennacy

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Allow me to clarify

I am thankful for the comments that I've already received from yesterday's post. So, please don't mind that I'm going to respond to them in this post, rather than in the comments. I had actually considered making it a two part post, but thought I should refrain. And now I see that I left out some important stuff in favor of brevity. My mistake.
So, allow me to begin by apologizing for mistakenly assuming that everybody would know just what I was talking about when I used the term "legalism". Also, I used the term "unconditional love" without ever explaining what I mean by that either. Fortunately for me - and all of you as well - the two seem to go hand-in-hand for my purposes.
Legalism, as I was using the term, is best explained as the idea that the Christian faith is a list of of rules, of dos and don'ts. Legalism stems from the notion that as long as you're keeping the Ten Commandments, you're being a good Christian. Or to take it one step further (as so many churches do), as long as you're not breaking any of God's laws - except for those which were expressly broken in the New Testament by either Jesus, Himself, or by the apostles after His resurrection - then you're being a good Christian. In other words, it's OK to eat ham now, and to do "things" on Sunday that aren't really work, but could be considered work by the pharisees.
Legalism is also what allows Christians to look at "the rest of the world" and declare them to be sinners. And legalism is why the church is so often identified by what it doesn't approve of, instead of being known by our love, as Jesus said we should be. At least, these are my best explainations of what legalism is, or what it does.
As far as the legalism that Alpha-1 speaks of in his comment; I wouldn't quite call the personal rules that we adhere to, as a hedge around our own relationship with God, to be a form of legalism, because they are your own personal rules. And as Paul said, "whatever is not done in faith is sin". You and I might have different personal rules around our relationship. But I don't mean for that to sound as if I'm saying that my freedom from the law is my "license to sin". It just means that we may have different personal rules that we apply to our individual situations.
Think of someone who is "straight-edge", and won't even drink wine during Communion because of their own convictions. We may observe that rule out of respect for them, but we aren't really imposing it upon anyone. But if we were imposing that rule upon someone as a church or church leader, then that would be legalism. That would be what might happen in an institutional church. And I choose this particular point because I have heard in sermons, from more than one church, that Jesus didn't really turn water into wine. He turned water into something that was a foretaste of what will be in Heaven for us to drink.
Yeah, right...
Now, why did I decide that unconditional love goes hand-in-hand with the idea of legalism?
Because in legalism, the type I just finished explaining, there is little room for unconditional love. There's room for judging others when they don't keep the same laws that I do. But there's no requirement for me to actually love anyone.
I can keep the Ten Commandments without loving anyone. It doesn't take love in my heart to not commit idolatry, to honor my parents, to not work on Sunday, to not steal from or to kill someone, or even to not covet their spouse or their belongings. And it certainly doesn't take love in my heart for me not to lie. In fact, some people use their "brutal honesty" as their most effective weapon to hurt people. That is not what love does, especially not unconditional love.
Unconditional love, as far as this discussion is concerned, is all about serving others. It's about putting the needs of others before my own. It's about making sacrifices for the sake of someone else's well being. It's not about what I get out of it, but what I can give.
Unconditional love loves even when it's not convenient. Unconditional love loves even when that love is not returned, or when it is flat out rejected. Unconditional love moves us to care for people that we might otherwise turn a blind eye to. And when it comes to the Christian faith, unconditional love means loving someone like Jesus did, whether they ever come to know Him or not. We are not meant to love someone only because they're likely to become a Christian, or because they'll probably join our church. That's why it's called unconditional - we don't attach any strings to it.
So, when I speak of my calling being to love unconditionally, what I'm really saying is that I have a calling to serve others to the best of my ability. I have a calling in my life to do whatever I can, to give whatever I can, even if it causes me some hardships, pain or a broken heart.

As for the heretical preaching that some of you might have been expecting. I wasn't sure if some of what I was saying might not be mistaken as salvation-by-works. If we're doing the will of the Father by acting with mercy, justice and compassion isn't that about works? To which I would simply explain that our salvation is still by our faith in the grace that allows us to act with mercy, justice and compassion.
But there is something else I hesitated to expand upon...
I mentioned the idea that God said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, and that He did not qualify that statement by saying only believers or decendants of Abraham, or of David, would be entitled to that outpouring of His Spirit. He said all flesh. And when I look around at how spirituality is such a big thing in the world today, I believe it's true.
I no longer believe that God will only use Christians to spread His gospel throughout the world. Because Christians aren't the only ones who are acting with mercy, justice and compassion. I already know of people, who are not Christians - who actually call themselves pagans for Christ, who operate in the gifts of the Spirit. I have been witness to Christians prophecying over these people about their ministries, and their callings, and I believe that God has a wonderful purpose for them in His great plan. And I don't mean that in the way people would say that about Judas Iscariot or Adolph Hitler. Perhaps more like I would say of Balaam's donkey, who was obviously neither a Jew nor a Christian - and yet, God spoke through him.
I believe that we are in an age when God is going to take what was meant for those of us who claim to be Christians and He will give it to those who have never allowed themselves to be bogged down by the dogma of what Christianity has become. I also believe that God will free those of us who have been bound by those dogmas so that we can serve Him with a wholehearted passion for His will to be done. He will use people that don't know or perhaps care to accept the traditions of the institutional church to achieve His glory. In the same way that salvation, which was meant for the Jews first, was taken from the Jews and given to the gentiles. God will use whomever He wishes to use. And most often that is the person whose heart is open and ready to be used by Him.
Is that heretical enough for everyone?
I'm looking forward to the diaogue that is just about to begin.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My conclusion

I've been putting off this post for so long, it's finally time I get it done.

In case you haven't noticed from other posts over the last year and a half or so, I've become disillusioned by christianity as an organized religion, or as a traditional institution. While I still cling to my Christian faith wholeheartedly, I've struggled for years with christianity as a religion. I've never really been able to appreciate the set-in-stone traditions. And I've always rebelled against the structural legalism of most churchs.
And what has this left me with?
A faith that, more often than not, judges others for their shortcomings, faults and favorite sins, condemns myself for my own favorite sins and leaves me feeling like I need to do better if I want to be in God's good graces - even though I've always known in my head that these things were wrong.
What has changed in the last year and a half?
Everything!
Over the last year and a half I've had the opportunity to spend time with some rather unlikely friends. People, that had you told me a year and seven months ago I would be spending so much time with, I would have laughed in your face - just before I punched your lights out. And, yet, over the last year and a half, these people have become some of my dearest, most treasured friends. Any one of whom I would gladly sacrifice my own life for.
You see, over the last year and a half I have learned what it truly means to love unconditionally. I have learned what it was that Jesus wanted us to learn from His very life and death. I have learned to see the potential that people possess, not to see their flaws. I have learned not to judge people, because I can't know what they've been through, what they're going through, or what God might be dealing with in them in their own life. And it has shaken me to the very foundations of my faith. And that's a good thing.
I mentioned the legalism of the church above because this has always been my biggest stumbling block in getting to where I am now. I always knew so many super-spiritual Christians who seemed to never fail in their daily walk that I believed it was possible to live without sin in my life. And to listen to what so many churches teach, that's what we're supposed to believe. But this is a lie from the very lips of Satan himself.
As long as I believed that I should be living a perfectly, sin-free life, I believed that that was something that was attainable by anyone who was willing to really try - even though I never could seem to get it. So I always held people up to a standard that nobody could ever reach - not even me. And even though I knew I wasn't reaching that goal, I still expected others to - or to at least be trying as hard as I was.
It was killing me!
It was killing everything about me. My faith, my hope, my love, my relationships were all dying because I couldn't let go of the legalism that I learned from institutional christianity. And nothing I tried could restore life to these things because I just didn't have it inside of me.
What didn't I have inside of me?
God's love. The overwhelming, immeasurable, inconceivable, unconditional love of my Creator. But even more than that, I didn't have the grace to believe that He did love me with such immeasurable depth. I didn't understand His grace.
So, after a year and a half with some wonderful, dear friends, I finally get it.
What if Paul was right when he said that we're free from the law?
So, I don't have to worry about sin anymore. Not my sins, and especially not yours or anyone elses. If Jesus truly nailed them to His cross, then they're not an issue to Him anymore, either. So why should I allow them to get in the way of my relationship with God, or with my friends, or with you, or anyone else?
And what about the legalism of the church?
Didn't Christ come to set us free? How can we be free if we're going to bind ourselves up in the law again? Isn't that something else that Paul warned us about, that if we're going to get stuck on one point of the law, we have to obey it all? Can any of us do that?
No.
Thank God we don't have to.
What I have learned is very simple, and some of you might disagree with me on some of the finer points of what I'm about to share, but I think you'll appreciate the jist of what I'm saying.
Sin is no longer an issue to God. Jesus died for all of our sins, all at one time. Past, present, future, all of them. They've all been nailed to His cross forever, never to be brought up on our account ever again.
The law no longer applies to our lives. We are still expected to be obedient to God. But I'm convinced now that He only asks us to be obedient to the specific calling He has placed in each of our lives. I am convinced of this because it wasn't for breaking any of the laws that Moses was forbidden to enter the promised land. I am convinced of this because it wasn't for any violation of the law that the kingdom was taken from Saul and given to David. It was because of their disobedience to what God had told them to do directly. I am also convinced of this by the simple fact that Abraham never had the law, yet he believed God and was considered to be righteous because of that belief. And I am convinced of this because, even amid their own sinfulness, the heroes of the Bible - people like David (who was an adulterer and murderer), Samson (who was a promiscuous drunkard), Peter (the brash loud-mouth who denied his best friend), Paul (who persecuted and approved the murder of the earliest believers) - all found themselves being used mightily by God any time they called upon Him. Just because they understood His love and grace.
Now I sit here and I contemplate what's next.

What if Jesus was telling the truth when He told His disciples, "Whoever is not against us is for us"?
What if Jesus was serious when He warned us that not everyone who calls Him Lord would see his kingdom, but only those who did His father's will?
What if God really meant it when He told the prophets that His will is for us to act with mercy, justice and compassion above all else?
What if He was serious about pouring out His Spirit on all flesh?
What if He intentionally left out any qualifiers so we would know He meant it for everyone - no matter what their belief system?
What if Jesus really seperates the sheep from the goats based on whether they've acted with mercy, justice and compassion towards others?

Where do I fit into all of this?
I have heard God's calling in my life for many years. I know that He wants me to act with unconditional love towards all those He brings into my life. And by unconditional He means that I should love whether that love is ever reciprocated or not. He means for me to love even if I never get to see the end result of my efforts - no matter what those end results are. He means for me to be Jesus to everyone I meet. So much so, that even if I never say His name, everyone will still know that Jesus was there - inside of me, acting in and through me.
I know that God has poured His Spirit out on me and upon the others of whom I've spoken. I have seen miraculous things happening in and around us. I've had glimpses of people, places, and things that God is planning on doing in my life, and the lives of those around me. And I've had people prophesy over myself and my dear friends for what God wants to do through us.
I will be obedient to my calling from now on.
I will love unconditionally.
I will give generously.
I will use the gifts that God has given me.
I will do my best to be Jesus to everyone, everyday.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Our mission

Allow me to start this post by tracking things back to Saturday night.
JT and I decided to get together to do another episode of Geek-n-Tell, only to remember that none of the recording equipment was available since it was set-up for our Mission Ministry Fair. But that's OK, because JT has just posted our previously recorded Episode 4 where we talk about Battlestar; Galactica. So yinz can go listen to that now.
Anyways, we still watched Blade Runner, and had our wonderful dinner of Seafood Nachos...

The only thing we didn't do was record our discussion afterwards. So we might have to re-do this one.
But what does all of this have to do with our Mission Ministry Fair?
Well, considering that our podcasting is actually a part of our church's outreach, it counts as a means by which we bring people into fellowship with us and our congregation. Eventually, as we get more people to join in on our viewing and recording sessions, it'll become a bigger fellowship. And that's all that really matters, strengthening relationships, and that's what we're doing.
This was our Mission Ministry Fair.

We had a lot of groups represented here. And, as I've mentioned before, we're just a small congregation. But we have a big heart.
One thing I do want to point out is the flag you see in the above pic. That's a part of our Mens Group's commitment to the USO. We have several memebers of our congregation who are currently serving in the armed forces. Two of whom are in Iraq. So we want to show our strong support for them.
Below you're going to see pics that represent some of the groups that I'm most impressed with.
First, there's SLY, which stands for Skills for Life for Youth.

It began as our afterschool program, but has since evolved into something more. Now they support a summertime reading program, an after school art program and even karate classes for some of the young teens. Not bad for the shoestring budget that they operate on.
Next up is P.Dave's wife, Ella's, booth. She is a big time supporter of Fair Trade merchandise.

There was a wide variety of items available here, and all done as Fair Trade. I think this is a great way for capitalism to work in the world. Especially since the alternatives aren't doing any good for the communities that produce these things.
Last on my list of other people's things is JT's Media booth.

This one covers our worldwide outreach. It begins with The Revolution Church website. A website that has been consistently growning in popularity. Last year we averaged over 800 visits per month. So far this year, we're averaging nearly 8000. P.Dave's sermons are being downloaded regularly by churches in Saudi Arabia and China. And there are constant inquiries about accessing more of our materials. Praise God!
Then there are the various blogs that are connected, however loosly, to our church. One of which you're reading right now. But I had other responsibilities for the day, and you'll find out about that soon enough
And lest we forget, JT's Indie Christian Podcast which is defying all the conventional wisdom of podcasters and podcasting. From everything that JT has read in various, online, podcasting sources, he should've expected no more than 10 listeners his first month. JT has 30, and that number is growing. He was also told to expect all kinds of hassles from the bands whose material he wanted to play. He has bands searching for him, offering to give him music to use. Even bands that have been signed to major labels, but who are currently not producing new music. He is also in line for being syndicated. It is truly unbelievable.
And, in case you're wondering about my particular Ministry, just read my next post below....

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My mission

This was my booth.

Not much to look at, but there's an explaination in my presentation;

Give "it" Away
Whatever "it" might be, be willing to give "it" away.

Have you been blessed?
Are you sharing that blessing?
We are called to be a blessing to others, in whatever ways we might be able to be a blessing. And the beauty of such a calling is that it doesn't really take much to be a blessing to someone else. Just a willingness to give "it" - whatever "it" might happen to be - away, to someone who needs "it".

Do you have time that you can spend with someone who needs a little company? Give "it" (some of your time) away.

Do you have some time that you can spend in prayer with others? Give "it" (the time and commitment to pray) away.

Have you been blessed financially? Give "it" (some of your financial blessing) away.

Can you afford to buy an extra can of something for the food bank? Give "it" (the can of food) away.

Have you been blessed by a book you've read recently? Give "it" (a copy of the book) away.

What about a CD or a movie? Give "it" (a copy of the CD or movie) away.

This is my ministry, my mission, my calling. To be an empty vessel, so God can keep filling me up. To allow His blessings to flow through me and not just to me so I can horde them for myself.
When we come to the full realization that everything belongs to God, and that we have no real right to declare anything to be completely our own, it becomes very easy to share all of those "things" with others. Giving "it" away - whatever "it" might be - becomes easy. Try it.

On this table you'll see several items that have truly enriched my life. In turn, I've shared them with others, in the hopes that they too will be as inspired by them as I have been.

I've given away 7 copies of Starving Jesus, 4 copies of Mere Christianity, I'm giving away this copy of Pagan Christianity today. I've given money to friends in need. I've given a place to stay to a friend with nowhere to go. I buy the bread and juice for The Revolution Church's Communion (usually). I've purchased 2 cases of Bibles (New Living Translation) so this congregation can give them to anyone who needs one. I spend time in prayer for this congregation every Sunday morning with my sisters, Kathy and Trudy. And by the end of this month, I will be sponsoring a child through Compassion International.

Am I bragging?

No, I'm just hoping that I can encourage everyone else by my small example. I'm not asking for money, or even a pat on the back. I'm asking everyone to look around and see what you can do, what you can give, to be a blessing to someone. And once you see what "it" is, give "it" away.

Ours is a faith of action, not just words. Let's live our lives like we believe what Jesus taught us. Lets all be great in the kingdom by being servants to all.

My Compassion Child:
Marline Cheriter Adhiambo
Birthday: January 12, 1995
Age: 13
Gender: Female
Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Program: PCEA Mathare North Church Child Development Center
Orphan: Yes

Personal and Family Information:
Cheriter makes her home with her aunt. Carrying water, helping in the kitchen and running errands are her household duties. Her aunt is sometimes employed as a laborer. There are 3 children in the family.

Playing ball games is Cheriter's favorite activity. In primary school her performance is average and she also regularly attends Bible class.

Please remember Cheriter in your prayers. Your love and support will help her to receive the assistance she needs to grow and develop.

.....

So this is where I am, now. Ready to serve God in whatever way He wishes. As I mentioned above, the books on the table have really impacted me in my faith, and in my life. I'm all but too happy to share them with anyone who would like to read them. I've already promised to buy several more copies for people that were interested in them. The offer extends to all of you, too.
And the real kicker here, this is just the prelude to what I really want to share with everyone. But that will have to wait until later this week. Until then, just let these thoughts stew in your heart.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Whetting your appetite

This was supposed to be the first part of that significant post that I've been putting off. You know, the one I promised to have for you after this weekend.
Well...
This post was also supposed to include photos from the Mission Ministry Fair that we had at church today. But I'm having trouble uploading those pics. So all you're gonna get for now is this brief post telling you that you're not getting your significant post until I can post the pics in the appetizer post.
But I will explain a little bit about what our Mission Ministry Fair was all about.
Currently, our congregation, in all of it's forms, is taking part in Rick Warren's 40 Days of Community - the follow up to his 40 Days of Purpose series. It is a remarkable program, and I'm not a big fan of "programatic Bible studies". So trust me when I say it's a good thing.
Anyways, a part of this program asks the churches that are using it to evaluate the various outreaches and ministries that actually take place in them, and then put on a Mission Ministry Fair. What we have discovered is that there are at least 41 different ministries that take place in our little church. That is amazing.
Now, I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get the pics posted and share a little bit about the fair with everyone. I was really impressed with some of the ministries that exist in our congregation. And I'm actually kinda geeked about sharing them with you. Not to mention my own ministry, which I'm going to be using my presentation from the fair today to transition into that significant post I've been putting off.
See? There is a method to my madness.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Getting there slowly

I've been putting off a really good post for some time now. Something I've had stewing inside my heart and soul for quite some time, but has always felt just a little incomplete.
Well, it's been feeling a bit more complete, lately. And I would attempt to post it today or tomorrow, but then I would be jumping the gun on a different audience that I will share it with first.
So, expect to see something really profound either Sunday or Monday. Or perhaps you'll think it insane - or as I once suggested, heretical. But I'll allow each of you to judge that for yourselves.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Shaken

Check this news story out. Watch the video.
This was less than a mile from my work. Our entire building shook from it, and we could see the smoke rising.
I guess there are a lot of families to keep in our prayers tonight...

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Quote for 3/3/08

"The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I find this Quote to be quite inspirational. Read below to explore something else that I find to be inspirtational.

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Be inspired

In reference to the above Quote, go watch this brief, 2-3 minute long inspirational video. You won't be disappointed. In fact, you might actually be inspired.

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Quotes from 2/2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another episode completed

Just thought I'd let everyone know that JT and I did another Geek-n-Tell night last night.
We started out with a sort of "pot-luck" dinner. I had some hot italian sausage at home, JT had mac-n-cheese. So we went to Giant Eagle to grab a few more things - like sauce, buns and mozzarella cheese. And then headed back to church with it all.
I tended to the sausage and sauce. JT took care of the mac-n-cheese.After I put together the sandwiches, we mixed the mac-n-cheese into the leftover sauce.
This is how it all turned out...




Yes, it was quite tasty.
Afterwards, we watched Battlestar Galactica; The Mini-series. But you'll have to listen to the podcast, when JT posts it later on ths week, if you want to know what we thought of it.

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