Monday, December 31, 2007

Book #24 - Bethany: the Lord's Desire for His Church by Frank Viola

This ebook came to my attention through my feed reader a while back. I had printed it out and in my ongoing effort to conquer my ever growing reading list/ pile I picked it up. I was initially interested because of the ties to the house church. I thought that the message of the book would be directed toward that movement. What I found were a series of lessons that apply to any church.
The book is based around 4 Biblical accounts that occurred in the town of Bethany. These are then related to the contemporary church. The passages are as follows:
Luke 10:38-42
John 11:1-44
John 12:1-8
Luke 24:50-53
The book is a short read but a quality one. It gives insight, encourages, and gave me inspiration in my own efforts within the body that I attend. If you are interested, you can download it for yourself HERE.

Link Dump -- Dick Clark is coming Edition

5 Powerful Reasons to Make Reflection a Daily Habit, and How to Do It
Twenty Top 10's of 2007 [Best Of 2007] - Best Apps
The Quick Guide to Eggplant Roasting
Wii Baseball Accident
Pray for Tom Brady
Fight clichés (Zinsser) great quote for writers and communicators
10 To-Do's For Making Your 2008 Comeback
Top 2007 - Lists Galore
USC packs away 799 pounds of prime rib, a ... [Meat Sweats]
How to Test the Spirits
Joel Osteen vs. A.W. Tozer
Bacon Nation Unwrapped: Recipes for the New Year
Two Perspectives on the Bible and Contemporary Issues

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Book #23 -- Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

I picked this book up as a "quick read" while looking for a new series to teach in Sunday School. It became the basis for my most recent Sunday School series. I have taught on spiritual disciplines a few times in the past but had never made the connection of how applying the disciplines will in fact allow us to arrange our lives to be responsive to the transformation process that the Spirit wishes to take us on.
That is the essence of this book; to arrange our lives in a way to become who God intends us to be. It has been most interesting to see how engaged the class has become in the discussions on these topics. That has shown me just how true these ring in the lives of those seeking the Father. Yet another reminder that we should not be trying to live our journeys alone but should rather be seeking out one another in an effort to do life together. The enemy seeks to isolate us and thus make us easy prey for his attacks.
While the material in this book is not something new to most who have studied spiritual discipline in the past, it is presented in a way that will give fresh insight to the young believer as well as the seasoned pilgrim. It is refreshing to see the author's honesty and transparency about her own personal journey of spiritual transformation. That was perhaps my biggest draw to the book. It is such a different perspective to learn from someone who you feel is on the road with you rather than one who seems to speak from a position of superiority.
I would recommend the book to anyone who is truly at a place where they are willing to open themselves to the Spirit and respond to His call to be transformed into Christ's likeness. The book can be read in a quick fashion but I think that the most can be gained by digesting it slowly over a period of weeks rather than a few days. I believe that it is also a book that I will return to as a reference for personal study as well as teaching.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Can you pass 8th grade science?

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

How many people died the day you were born?

131,535 People

Find Ultrasound technician schools near you

Unusual Deaths in 1971
Jerome irving rodale, an american pioneer of organic farming, died of a heart attack while being interviewed on the dick cavett show. according to urban legend, when he appeared to fall asleep, cavett quipped "are we boring you, mr. rodale?" , which cavett has recently stated in a may 2007 new york times article was incorrect - the initial reaction to rodale was fellow guest pete hamill noticing something was wrong, and saying in a low voice to cavett, "this looks bad." the show was never broadcast.

Natural disasters in 1971
1971 San Fernando earthquake
1971 Canberra flood
1971 Kuala Lumpur floods

People who died on June 03 (various years)
2006 - Johnny Grande, original accordion/piano/keyboard player for Bill Haley's Comets
2005 - Harold Cardinal, Cree political leader, writer, and lawyer
2003 - Felix de Weldon, Austrian sculptor
2001 - Anthony Quinn, Mexican-born actor
1998 - Poul Bundgaard, Danish actor and singer
1997 - Dennis James, American television personality
1994 - Puig Aubert, French rugby league footballer
1992 - Robert Morley, English actor (b. 1908
1991 - Takeshi Nagata, Japanese geophysicist
1991 - Maurice Krafft, French volcanologist (eruption)
1991 - Katia Krafft, French volcanologist (eruption)
1990 - Robert Noyce, American inventor
1990 - Stiv Bators, American musician (The Dead Boys)
1989 - John McCauley, NHL official
1989 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian Shi'ite leader
1983 - Nanna, Rafi Khawar, Lollywood actor, Lahore
1977 - Roberto Rossellini, Italian film director
1977 - Archibald Vivian Hill, English physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate
1975 - Eisaku Sato, Prime Minister of Japan, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
1975 - Ozzie Nelson, American band leader, producer, director, and actor
1973 - Dory Funk, professional wrestler
1970 - Hjalmar Schacht, Nazi official
1964 - Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Finnish writer, Nobel Prize laureate
1963 - Pope John XXIII
1963 - Nazim Hikmet, Turkish poet
1955 - Barbara Graham, American murderer
1933 - William Muldoon, wrestler
1928 - Li Yüan-hung, Chinese general and political figure
1924 - Franz Kafka, Czech novelist
1899 - Johann Strauss II, Austrian composer
1894 - Karl Eduard Zachariae, German expert on Byzantine Law
1882 - Christian Wilberg, German painter
1877 - Ludwig Ritter von Köchel, Austrian musicologist (b. 1800
1875 - Georges Bizet, French composer
1865 - Okada Izō, Japanese samurai
1861 - Stephen A. Douglas, American politician
1858 - Julius Reubke, German composer
1826 - Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin, Russian writer
1780 - Thomas Hutchinson, American colonial governor of Massachusetts
1659 - Morgan Llwyd, Welsh Puritan preacher and writer
1649 - Manuel de Faria e Sousa, Portuguese historian and poet
1657 - William Harvey, English physician
1640 - Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, English politician
1615 - Sanada Yukimura, Japanese samurai
1594 - John Aylmer, English political theorist
1548 - Juan de Zumárraga, Spanish Catholic bishop of Mexico
1411 - Duke Leopold IV of Austria
1397 - William Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, English military leader
1395 - Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria

National Treasure 2

I made a rare trek yesterday with my wife and daughter to the movie theatre to check out National Treasure - Book of Secrets. We really enjoyed the first one and I was hopeful that the second would deliver as well. What we observed is that it IS possible to make a good action/ adventure film without gratuitous amounts of swearing or sexual content. And apart from one scene (in the Oval Office of all places) the new film was up to the task.
Will this film win Oscars? Doubtful. We we entertained? Absolutely! The addition of Ed Harris as a sympathetic bad guy was great. And like any good thrill movie we are left with the big question; what the heck was on page 47? Could be a lead in for future films or could be just a clever plot twist, we shall see. Although many reviews have been less than stellar, I wonder what they are comparing to. Are many of the plot twists, gags, and adventures redone from other films from the genre? Yes, but it delivers all that it promises. It does not pretend to be too serious.
We don't spend the time or money to often go to the theatre but I would recommend this film for the whole family, except maybe for the littler ones who might be scared by some of the action sequences. I relay hope this film does well to send a message that family movies do not have to be really corny (see my coming review of Underdog) or a cartoon. The Goofy short film at the front of the main film was hilarious as well. Big thumbs up for this one.
As an aside: If you have not checked out the digital projection at Encore cinemas in Elkhart you really should the next time you go out. It is amazing the difference!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It all started with a microwave...

My wife wanted an over the range microwave for her birthday. After spending some time shopping I took her with me to confirm that the one I chose was one that she liked. The intent was to purchase the unit, take it home and hang it, then spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and watching some football. That's when it started. Every guy who has ever embarked on a simple fix it project will know what I am talking about. It was then that we were informed that we needed either a cabinet or a heavy shelf above the unit for it to be properly installed. This led to trips to several of the big box stores in search of the right cabinet at a good price. Feeling fulfilled at finding it and the needed accessories we headed home. Once home we discovered that we have more room than we planned at our ceiling and in fact the 18" cabinet would fit, thus another trip to the store. A bit of setup and prep work led me to discover that I was in fact not going to be able to reach the outlet already in the area and would have to install one in the new cabinet, another trip to the store!

Making a long story short ; a project I hoped to have completed by 4 PM on Sunday was in fact , with delays and general life stuff, completed at about 7 PM on Monday. The upside is a great new appliance, more storage space, and a happy wife. The rumor is now that the wallpaper in the kitchen is old and maybe tile would look good on that wall...

No Search parties needed...

I completely checked out of the web (blog/ blogosphere, email, browsing, etc.) for 5 days. Believe it or not I survived. Funny how reliant we have bocome on some things that are very new. It was great to celebrate Christmas with family.
My mother in law rented a cabin at a camp ground on a lake at that side of the family spend Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning together. We played Bingo for prizes, board games, listened to music, watched a moview, played the Wii, and ate way more than we needed to. It was fun to connect in that way. We usually just get together on Christmas Eve.
My mom joined us at our house for Christmas day. It was a great time, just a bit hard being the first time without my dad. My mom got a great card from a friend that reminded her that he is now where it is Christmas every day!
I think that I watched more movies (5) in the last week than maybe in the last 5 months. I'm working up a post on them. I am also trying to avoid carpal tunnel or ealy onset arthritis from playing the Guitar Hero game that we got the kids for Christmas.
I also completed an improvement project in our kitchen that started out as a birthday present for my wife... that is a whole post in itself.
Along with a bit of reading it was a good time off of work and changing the pace. The kids are home for another week but I am returning to my routine. The only downside I have found is finding an effective way to clear my email inboxes and feed reader without missing the important stuff. Onward...

Link Dump -- Leftover Ham Edition

Man searches world for birth mother, only to find they work in the same store

Questions about the Mormon Church

3 Reasons To Memorize Scripture

Training Thursday: Train Yourself

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Final Thoughts on his Life and Death

2008 Presidential Candidates and Baseball - The Democrats

2008 Presidential Candidates and Baseball - The Republicans

Seven great “medical myths” revealed
A Child Armed for Battle
Thomas Nelson’s CEO Believes “God Is At Work” In New “Parenting Book” By The Mother Of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears
Books For Free: Merry Christmas!
Use Shredded Gift Wrap to Store Decorations [Household]
How to Set Up Your New Computer [Merry Christmahanukwanzaakkah]
Free Bundle of GTD Articles Written By David Allen [GTD]
Ten Universities with Free Online Courses [Free]
10 new alternative search engines
I Can't Believe This Book is Getting Published
100 Notable Books of 2007 - as posted by the NYT
Moneyball - A book about Baseball Loaded with Leadership Insights
Save Money For Next Christmas - Part 1

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Howmany 5 year olds could you take in a fight?


Looking for x-ray technician school?

Link Dump -- The Reindeer are doing pregame stretches Edition

Beverly Hillbillies "Bible Study"
Beliefnet’s Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2007 -- thanks to for several of these links again
It serves 125, takes eight hours to cook and is stuffed with 12 different birds … now that really IS a Christmas dinner -- The TurDucken on steroids!
10 Year-Old Girl charged, brings knife to school to cut steak --- ummmm common sense anyone???
Linus explains what Christmas is all about -- perfect!!
What Christmas Meant to C.S. Lewis
Highlights even in the meanest of times - even Notre Dame had a highlight reel this season
My Top 7 Books of 2007 - Tim Challies shares his favorite books of 2007
2008 Junky Car Club Calendar
World Trade Center Ship
Five Great Gift Ideas for the Health-conscious
Training Thursday meets Phriday Photos
Ryan Gracie, Member of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's First Family, Dies at 33 - a sad end for an MMA great
Open Thread: Questions for Christians
Open Thread: Questions for Atheists
The Problem With Real Christians
Setting 2008 Financial Goals - Part 1
Plagued with the Curse of Knowledge
The Krusty Sage: Quit Buying Crap You Can't Afford Just "Because It's Christmas." Sheesh. my vote for one of the top Christmas posts of the year!!
Breathe New Life into Your Old Gadgets [Feature]
“This is America. When ordering, please speak English.”
Unequally Yoked -- Does it apply to more than dating/ marriage
Morality is never enough
14 Stress-Free Ways to Kick Weight Loss in the Butt - get a jump on that New Year's resolution

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Book Reviews

I am behind in my reading and getting my reviews typed. I did not realize how much of a pain it was going to be to go without my laptop. Hoping that in January I will have another one. 4 books to do reviews on. I have a few in progress as far as reads. Will I make my goal of 30 books? Chances are looking slim but I still have a shot and will be close for sure. Hoping to catch up on a bit of typing on my day off... looks like I can do that while waiting for the next pile of snow to shovel.

Hopless Notre Dame Fan/ Real Men of Genius commercial

I am a die-hard ND fan. I also love the "Men of Genius" commercials and the spin offs that have come as a result. This is the combination of the two; even if it is kind of painful, there is an element of truth here. Here's looking to next season...

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report -- My 2 Cents...

The report finally came out. The long awaited work of Senator George Mitchell has been made public. As a life long fan of baseball here are my thoughts on the matter; in no particular order...
  • how authoritative can a report be if there was no one compelled to participate or tell the truth?
  • It does not seem fair to "name names" when in many cases there is little more, if anything, but circumstantial evidence. Many are based of the testimony of one person, often with an axe to grind.
  • $60 million dollars is a lot of money to spend on what I feel could best be described as a PR event. I could think of lot of good that could have been done with that money.
  • was the motive to really gather information, or to appease the public and Congress?
  • is it fair to persecute someone for taking something that was either not illegal or banned by the sport officially?
  • after all of this work only a select number of names surfaced when during the spring training testing samples of two years ago almost double the number of active players tested positive for "something"
  • MLB realizes, as is supported by Mitchell that to punish for what is in the past is silly, and quite close to impossible.

I love the game of baseball. DO I think that measures need to be in place to protect the integrity of the game ? Of course. But I think that the best approach would/ should be to draw an imaginary line in the sand and state that from that point forward everyone is officially on notice. There will always be those who cheat whether in the ballpark, the board room, the pool hall, the back yard pick up game, or even at Monopoly. Lets not let a few bad eggs spoil the whole farm. PLAY BALL!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Link Dump -- No College Football This Weekend Edition

Old Farts’ Quiz -- not sure what this says but I got 13 of 15
Top 10 Common Historical Myths
Birds Eye View of Famous Homes
Tis the Season to be Jolly, with Humor for Pun and Profit - prepare to groan
Romney on "Faith in America"
Huckabee on Immigration
Non-Sports: Put a Cap in that Cow! - this reminds me of that scene from Napoleon Dynamite
Bible Boost Part II
BookGem - a great stocking stuffer for the reader in your life
STAR WARS HUMOR - twisted, but funny
What do players eat before games?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and The Cost of Discipleship -- Reflections from Randy Alcorn
Roger Staubach: 'I Enjoy Sex as Much as Joe Namath, Only I Do It With One Girl' wish more athletes would speak out like this
Put your memory to the test! - an online version of Simon
Coffee Better Than Napping for the Sleepy Driver [Driving]
The 20 Best iPod Utilities [Feature]
The Golden Compass -- another perspective. I did note that at Rotten Tomatoes the movie is getting mixed reviews at best.
Favre and Ministry
The 5 Myths of Positive Mental Attitude
BBQ Sauce Reviews. all Barbecue sauce, all the time!
The 10 Key Actions That Finally Got Me Out of Debt; or, Why Living Frugally is Only Part of the Solution

New Prince Caspian Trailer...

Looks like the delays on the film might just be worth the wait. Check out the new trailer HERE

Friday, December 7, 2007

Game of the Week -- Gimme Friction Baby

Another addictive time waster... my high score as of this post is 21.

Get Your Channukah Hams Here

Thanks to Seth Godin we know where to get our Ham for Channukah
things that make you go hmmmm...

What's Your Grinch Name?

Thanks to Corey Mann's blog I found THIS fun item. It will tell you what your Grinch name is. You can call me...

Crabbyurchin Rascalshorts

Give it a trya nd feel free to share yours...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Van done got wrecked...

I mentioned briefly that our van got wrecked. Suffice it to say I am thankful that it does not look like the one in the attached photo. When I find a cable to get pics from my camera maybe I'll throw some up.
Sunday morning I left work and was heading to the church to make sure everything was ready. The roads had been very slick the night before, but it had actually warmed up overnight to the main challenge was the slush in the middle and on the sides of the road. I was cruising right along and a full size pickup truck just drifts across center right in front of me. I swerved off the right side of the road and missed the truck, but when I tried to get back on the road I slid on said slush and hit a tree. The entire right side of the van took a pretty good beating.
The topper? The driver of the truck never even slowed, let alone stopped. I managed to get away with just a few sore muscles and a headache. God was good. The adjuster came yesterday and looked things over, now we wait to find out if we are going to the body shop for repairs or to a car lot for a new vehicle. I hate the thought of getting back into a car payment but I;m not sure if we would get enough from the van for an adequate vehicle. We shall see.
The only good thing so far has been that our rental car is a 2008 Pontiac G6. Pretty fun, sporty, little car. Life sure has a way of throwing things your way to deal with when you feel like you can least deal with them. Murphy's Laws really come into play at times like these.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 3rd -- my blogoversary

I missed posting on the 3rd.

I have had a good time, learned a lot about myself and look forward to more to come. I also am seeing ways that this blog can be improved, more on that in the near future. For today, I just wanted to recognize the event. Any excuse for cake and ice cream...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Self Examination

Last week's Sunday School lesson was about self-examination; something that most of us refuse to do... here are the main notes about the process we discussed:

The Practice of Self-Examination
· Some people use this process daily, others have found it useful on a weekly basis…

· spend some time in silence, be still and know God loves you
· use Scripture, prayer, or other material to help you “settle in”
· invite God to help you look for evidence of His presence in your day
Review the Day
· Identify the major events (spiritual practices, meals, appointments, work events, interactions, etc.)
· reflect on each to discover where God was speaking to, guiding, or revealing Himself to you
Give Thanks
· thank God for the day and the moments that you have discovered
· notice a greater freedom from sin, love for God, others
· Using Psalm 139:23-24, invite God to bring to mind attitudes, actions, or moments when you fell short of the character of Christ or the fruit of the Spirit.
· Reflect on what contributed to the situation and how you might better respond in the future
Ask Forgiveness
· express your willingness to take the concrete steps needed to be more fully formed into Christ’s likeness
· be assured of His forgiveness (I John 1:9)
· ask God if there is anything you need to do to make the situation right
Seek Out Spiritual Friendship
· talk to a spiritual friend about what you are discovering, your confessions, and your resolve to pursue personal transformation

Game of the Week - Smokin' Barrels

Been neglecting the blog again of late. Lots on my mind, several posts "in process", just not following through... I really hate that my laptop is not working!!!!
Here is a game where you can practice your quick draw...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Book #22 -- Creating Community by Andy Stanley & Bill Willits

I was amazed at how quickly I got through this book. Especially with the depth of information to be had. I am convinced that you will not find a group of people anywhere as passionate about connecting folks with God in a real way as the gang at North Point. Not only are they passionate about it, they have found relevant ways to do it without changing or compromising truth. This book is one of the resources they have made available. It is in a nutshell the why and hows of their small groups.

I always go into treading texts like this with the realization that I will not find everything presented as practical or agree with the process given. I am refreshed when the authors admit this fact and in fact acknowledge that the way they do things is not the way for everyone. If all churches were exactly the same what would be the point? I did find several things that I found interesting and that I feel we should at the very least take a serious look at in our discipleship groups. This is definitely a book that anyone who is involved in organizing/ leading small groups ministries should read. Here are some of my key takeaways...

  • the only numeric goal they set is in the area of small group participation
  • groups will not have true impact if the top leaders do not buy in and participate themselves
  • groups should be an extension of how God intended for us to "do life"
  • God has called the church to be about creating environments where authentic community can take place
  • We have to answer the "big three". What do we want people to become? What do we want people to do? Where do we want people to go?
  • A great strategy is simple to understand and easy to implement
  • the authors make a strong defense of closed groups
  • there is a fundamental difference in "thinking programs" and "thinking steps"
  • most people's problem today is not with God, rather with the church
  • each step needs to be easy, obvious, and strategic to be successful
  • our expectations of participants and leaders especially, need to be based in reality
  • it is not the acquisition of information that prepares a leader to properly lead, rather it is the application of the RIGHT information
  • "train less for more"
  • 5 factors for group success: SIMPLE, VISIBLE, VALUED, RESOURCED, MODELED
  • people do not need more things to attend; they need the kind of life-giving benefits that occur when people connect regularly in a meaningful way
  • the interesting policy of reimbursing families for childcare while attending groups

As we continue to mold our groups, this information will be a tool in our hands.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Water Bottle Boy

AMAZING! Especially the first 20 seconds...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Advent Conspiracy ... Christmas Tree

In the midst of BLACK FRIDAY, tons of football, creating leftover menus, and making big plans for the next month of celebration it is good to keep perspective.

a couple new favorites from ASBO...

Good thinking stuff... check out these and more HERE

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Link Dump -- Gobbler's Giblets Edition

A few for your perusal; probably more to come tonight...

Top 10 Resources and Inspirations for Decluttering Your Home good hoiday resource
Repeat Saturday: R U Willing 2 Sacrifice?
Facing Money Challenges?
How to Reduce Information Overload
Are You Over-Committed to the Bible?
Cash Duck — Earning Free Gift Cards - could be fun if you have the time
Dangers to Your Christian Walk
Contentment and Thanksgiving
Rob Bell: The gods Should Be Angry - a review of the tour
The Flaws of a Fad-Driven Church
Hillary Clinton Joins Rick Warren
Free Book Giveaway: Your Money & Your Brain - who can turn down a possibly free book?
Carve Your Thanksgiving Turkey Like a Butcher [Cooking]
What High School coaches make
Help Me Pick a Subtitle! - take a survey, help an author title his book. you too have the power!!
John Hagee Responds to Controversy
Thanksgiving Breakfast: New England Cheddar Cheese Pie - mmmmmmmmmmm Cheeeesseee
Kindle: First Impressions - a look at the new ebook reader
Top 8 Spectacular NASCAR Crashes of 2007 - you know its what you wanted to see anyway
An Anonymous $100M Donation
Motivational Posters for the Emerging Church
Live To Be 100: 7 Ways to Lengthen Your Life
How to Mark a Book
Holy Man, Earthy Man
Tips For Ladies Watching Sports
Just shake your head
A Church Afraid

OK it's a few more than a "few" -- have a Happy TurkeyDay

This and Dat

It's been over a week since my last post. Time flies, responsability reigns, and blogging become the lesser of the things to do. In the spirit of a day off blog I'll throw out the higlights of whats been keeping me away from the blogosphere. As an aside; when you go several days you feed reader can become overwhelming. This calls for an even higher lever of skimming and culling to get at whats important.
  • Two and a half days of hunting = BUPKIS! Saw very few deer and got no shots at anything bigger that a medium sized puppy. Still lots of days between shotgun, muzzle loader, and bonus shotgun. Just have to find the time to get out there.
  • my laptop took a dump -- thus way less access to write and read blogs, grrrrr technology
  • There are pros and cons to being the hosts on Thanksgiving. The biggest pros are that you don;t have to go anywhere and you can be relaxed. The con is that you need the relaxation after getting everything ready for guests to your wife's satisfaction!
  • read a good book on small groups -- post coming soon
  • looking forward to a great day with family.
  • going to to be a little tough as it will be the first family get together since my dad passed away -- the dog will miss all the handouts I know!!

Here's hoping that you and yours have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

T MINUS 23 Hours ....

A beautiful view... come out, come out wherever you are!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

T MINUS 48 Hours and counting

That's right, We are coming to see you!!!!!!!!!!

Book #21 - I Believe - Exploring The Apostles Creed by Alister McGrath

McGrath is becoming known as one of the most prolific writers of our time. He turns out texts at an almost unbelievable rate, yet I had never read a full book of his. I can now understand why he has become so popular. This book is filled with treasure and can easily be used as a reference or teaching text yet it maintains an element of readability that books of that style generally lack.
The topic itself I found interesting. I think that in general a large portion of the church is afraid of and shys away from anything that could be considered liturgical. I think we fear that we will either somehow be tied to groups and denominations that we would rather not or that following a liturgical path somehow makes us lose touch with a modern audience. While I think that we always need to be mindful of he way that we apply the Gospel message, we also need to be aware that the message in itself never changes. This is a strong advantage of some liturgy and creeds in themselves; they allow us to memorize and a retain facts that are important to us.
McGrath does a line by line, thought by thought analysis of the Apostle's Creed in this book. The historical background of the Creed itself is inspiring and made me want to keep digging. Each line is discussed and backed by Scripture. While I never felt that the truth was shorted it is quite clear that much more could have been said/ written on many of the topics addressed. That is another positive to this book in my opinion, it is not overwhelmingly long. I registers in at around 120 pages. I have become more aware of the fact that I learn much more and others get communication better if we stick to simple thoughts rather than extending our conversations. Not to imply that this book is simplistic. It covers the topics that it is designed to in clear fashion. It may just work into a Sunday School series in the coming new year. I will be adding other McGrath titles to my book pile in the future.

The Reading level of this blog is...

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

Monday, November 12, 2007

Book #20 - TNT Diet by Jeff Volek and Adam Campbell

I picked up this book for two reasons. First, I can earn 100 points for my wellness program if I read a health related book. Second, I have been looking for a nutrition/ fitness plan that is practical and doable. I began following some of the principles of this plan prior to the book coming out, and prior to my father's death. It worked fairly well and I was able to not only stick with the plan fairly well but saw some good results.

I was glad to read the book. The book does a good job of providing information about the science behind this plan without becoming burdensome to read. There is a balance between information about the plan and information/ suggestions about how to do the plan.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to drop some lbs. or even just build a bit more muscle. I look forward to implementing the plan and hope to see good results for my long term health.

Advent Conspiracy - Swingset

I know its still early for the holidays but thinking on the Advent is never too early

Link Dump -- 12 November -- The Deer are Nervous Edition

The second half of last week completely got away. Hope you had a good week/ weekend. Unless you are an ND, Michigan, Ohio St, or Colts fan I guess ; rough weekend. Here are some links from the past several days...

10 Simple, Sure-fire Ways to Make Today Your Best Day Ever - a great post to read on Monday morning
Five Things You Need to Know About Effective Habit Change
House - trailers for the upcoming movie based on Ted Dekker's book
Our Silly Protests - another perspective on the "boycott the evil movie" trend
70 Unique Places to Find Ideas: No Metablogs Allowed
Free Stuff for Teachers
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism - good book review/ recommendation
100 Examples and Ideas For Home-Based Businesses
Canada's Latest Invention: Leaf Blower Hockey - those crazy Canucks...
Free Clip Art at the Open Clip Art Library [Free]
Keep Clutter Down With the Like In, Like Out Principle [Organization]
Stressed? Get Just One Important Thing Done Today [Life Hacks]
I’m Not Afraid of Atheists (or Their Movie)
100 Resources for Bloggers - ought to be something of use for you here
10 Things I've Learned in 10 Years
Why I Support Mike Huckabee for President - Randy Alcorn's endorsement
Book Darts - cool tool for students, teachers, readers
Five reasons I always offer to pray for people on-the-spot
Lessons In Not Sucking: Common Communication Mistakes
Wall of Scripture Found in Jerusalem
A Brilliant Prank
Lose? Break Out the Knife. - a new low in athletic sportsmanship
20 books on Christ and culture.
C.S. Lewis Conference
Things to Ponder
'The Golden Compass'-- Does Not Point to True North
WWF Jesus
Britain’s most stupid laws
Top Ten Military Bombers of All Time
A BLT that goes baaah instead of oink -- courtesy of Bacon Unwrapped
Have fun feeding hungry people...really
Not just what, but HOW! -- creative ways to invite

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chase the Lion Curriculum -- Thanks NCC

I just wanted to give a quick shout and thank you Pastor Mark and Pastor Heather from National Community Church. Yesterday I got a free copy of the new Chase the Lion curriculum published by Lifeway in the mail. I took a skim through it hoping that it would be as good as I thought. I think it's even better! I hope that one of our discipleship groups picks up on it in the Spring. Plus I'll be buying a couple of copies and using it as a discipleship study to go through with my 13 year old boys. They need to learn to chase lions! Thanks again guys for all you do for the Kingdom!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nouwen -- Part 11

As I close out my series of posts from Nouwen’s book, In the Name of Jesus, we will be looking at the final chapter “The Discipline: Theological Reflection” and the short conclusion to the text. Nouwen talks about that aspect of the Christian leader’s life that so often keeps them from true discernment and this being led by the Spirit; reflection. He are some of his thoughts:

· What then is the discipline of a leader who can live with outstretched hands? I propose here the discipline of strenuous theological reflection.
· Strenuous theological reflection will allows us to discern critically where we are being led
· Real theological thinking, which is with the mind of Christ, is hard to finding the practice of the ministry
· The task of future Christian leaders is not to make a little contribution to the solution of the pains and tribulations of their time, but to identify and announce the ways in t=which Jesus is leading God’s people out of slavery, through the desert to a new land of freedom
· They have to say no to the secular world and proclaim in unambiguous terms that the incarnation of God’ Word, through whom all things come into being, has made even the smallest event in human history into karios, that is, an opportunity to be led deeper into the heart of Christ
· Theological reflection is reflecting on the painful and joyful realities of every day with the mind of Jesus and thereby raising human consciousness to the knowledge of God’s gentle guidance.
· Seminaries and divinity schools need to become centers where persons are trained in true discernment of the signs of the time
· It requires a deep spiritual formation involving the whole person – body, mind, and heart. I think that we are only half aware of how secular even theological schools have become
· Jesus sends us out to be shepherds, and Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led to places where we would rather not go
· I do believe that those from whom I least expected to learn are showing me the way
· The oldest, most traditional vision of Christian leadership is still a vision that awaits realization in the future

While the main purpose of these posts has been for me to personally review and reflect on what has been said in this book, I hope that any who may have been reading these posts have found something valuable. I would encourage everyone to read this short book and learn from it what the Father would like to teach you. I have become increasingly aware that in order to truly lead, we must be willing to follow. Who and what we follow is the challenge and our responsibility, for that is the path that we lead others down. If I humble myself and follow the lead of the Lord Jesus, I will never go wrong.

Advent Conspiracy - Born In A Dump

First in a series of thought provoking clips...

Recent ASBO cartoons

Here are a few of my recent favorites from The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus

Bad Day @ Work

Weren't computers supposed to make our lives better????

Link Dump -- 06 November - Elections Edition

I realized this morning that it's time to clean up the blog reader again; too many feeds. Here are some good posts from the last seeral days.

Bringing Serving Back
Feast of St Hubert
C.S. Lewis & the Emerging Church
More on Learning to Speak Human
‘Prophetic Untimeliness’ by Os Guiness
Earth from the other side of Saturn
A baby’s will to live -- pretty hard to miss the miracle here...
50% attend top 10% largest churches
Ten Websites Every Pastor Should Know
Lessons In Not Sucking, Communication In Print
Burnout in Ministry?
A Bag Full of Wet Tribbles
Washing Osama's Feet
Loyal To The End -- sad


Day Off Blog

Sunday was my "day off".
  • worship practice/ taught SS/ graphics @ church
  • picked up lunch
  • took a nap
  • watched the Colts give the game away to the Pats
  • Jimmie win again!!!! took the points lead, no looking back.
  • did some reading/ internet
  • watched a bit of DAL/PHI before hitting the sack


  • took Bethany to school
  • worked at the church
  • took Bethany to the "A" basketball game
  • dinner/ hang out with family
  • reading
  • watched Prison Break
  • back to work at 11 PM

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Nouwen -- Part 10

As we begin to wrap up the posts on Henri Nouwen's, In the Name of Jesus we come to a chapter titled, The Challenge: "Somebody Else Will Take You". Nouwen emphasises in this chapter the need to have a willingness to be led, not lead the way ourselves. Here are some of his thoughts.
  • Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go.
  • the servant-leader is the leader who is being led to unknown, undesirable, and painful places
  • for those who have heard the voice of the first love and said yes to it, the downward moving way of Jesus is the way to the joy and peace of God, a joy and peace that is not of this world.
  • Christian leadership in the future is not a leadership of power and control. but a leadership of powerlessness and humility in which the suffering servant of God, Jesus Christ, is made manifest.
  • I an speaking of a leadership in which power is constantly abandoned in favor of love.
  • Powerlessness and humility in the spiritual life do not refer to people who have no spine and who let everyone else make decisions for them. They refer to people who are so deeply in love with Jesus that they are ready to follow him wherever he guides them, always trusting that, with him, they will find life and find it abundantly
  • What is good about being poor? Nothing, except that it offers us the possibility of giving leadership by allowing ourselves to be led.
  • Wealth and riches prevent us from truly discerning the way of Jesus
  • Paul writes to Timothy: "People who long to be rich are prey to trial; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and harmful ambitions which plunge people into ruin and destruction" ( 1 Timothy 6:9)

Once again the ability to grasp and exercises the counter intuitive nature of Jesus' leadership is the key to our success. The willingness to set our preferences aside in the hope of finding true joy in following a path led by the Master is much more difficult than it would seem it should be. Understanding that true freedom comes not from the choosing of our own destiny but from knowing "the plan I have made for you" and living them out.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Going All the Way Promo Video

A promo for the new book...

Link Dump -- November 3rd

Sodium Disposal 1947 -- looks like a cool job.
~Which is a higher Christian priority -- social concern or evangelism?
Co-ed Combat and Cultural Cowardice
5-Step Guide to Basic Weight Training
iMonk 101: A prayer for Alex- What to do when your child says he doesn’t believe any more.
The Cost of Self-indulgence
The secret of writing to be read
Prayer Feeder - New 2.0 App for emerging churches
Contextualizing is not compromising

Nouwen Part 9

Post #9 on "In the Name of Jesus" leads us in to the 3rd and final section of the book, titled, From Leading to Being Led. The first chapter in the section deals with another of Jesus' temptations and is titled, The Temptation: To Be Powerful. Here are some of Nouwen's thoughts.
  • You all know what the third temptation of Jesus was. It was the temptation of power. "I will give you the all the kingdoms of this world in their splendor" the demon said to Jesus (Matthew 4:9)
  • One of the greatest ironies of the history of Christianity is that its leaders constantly gave in to the temptation of power
  • the temptation to consider power an apt instrument for the proclamation of the gospel is the greatest of all
  • we keep hearing from others, as well as saying to ourselves that having power -- provided it is used in the service of God and your fellow human beings -- is a good thing. With this rationalization Crusades took place; inquisitions were organized; Indians were enslaved; positions of great influence were desired; episcopal palaces, splendid cathedrals, and opulent seminaries were built; and much moral manipulation of conscience was engaged in.
  • power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love
  • ever since the day the snake said, "the day you eat of this tree your eyes will be open and you w ill be like gods, knowing good from evil" (Genesis 3:5) we have been tempted to replace love with power
  • it seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than love people, easier to own life than to love life.
  • the temptation of power is greatest when intimacy is a threat.
  • Many Christian empire builders have been people unable to give and receive love.

The offer of power is hard to resist. When we follow the direction of the world to look our for #1 and strive to be the best it is an easy path to follow. That is why it is essential and imperative that we make the daily decision to set our own agendas aside and pick up our cross to carry it. It is not the natural thing to do. Power, control, and the establishment of and earthly kingdom are in opposition to what we are called to do. Humility and service are our calls. Much of the destructive behavior and disputes within the Body can be traced Io the chase for power. It is when we chase after this false god that the enemy finds us vulnerable. Much of our attitude toward power can be summed up by asking if we choose SERVICE or SERVE US. Which will it be?

30 minutes of 90's cartoon Openings

SO after looking at this I discovered 6 of these cartoons that I did not know. I also was reminded of greats like Tale Spin, the Tick, and Samurai Pizza Cats. I had forgotten that there was a cartoon for Bill and Ted as well... time flies

Friday, November 2, 2007

Nouwen -- Part 8

Becoming a true follower of Jesus and a leader within the Body requires discipline. We cannot expect to continue on the way that we have before and achieve successful results. In the next chapter of "In the Name of Jesus", Nouwen talks about the discipline of confession and forgiveness. Here are some of his thoughts.
  • what discipline is required for the future leader to overcome the temptation of individual heroism? I propose the discipline of confession and forgiveness.
  • they must be persons always willing to confess their own brokenness and ask for forgiveness from those to whom they minister
  • I have the impression that priests and ministers are the least confessing people in the Christina community
  • How can priests or ministers feel really loved and cared for when they have to hide their own sins and failings from the people to whom they minister and run off to a distant stranger to receive a little comfort and consolation?
  • How can people truly care for their shepherds and keep them faithful to their sacred task when they do not know them and so cannot deeply love them?
  • the men and women who are dedicated to spiritual leadership who are easily subject to very raw carnality. The reason for this is that they do not know how to live the truth of the Incarnation.
  • when spirituality becomes spiritualization, life in the body becomes carnality
  • Christian leaders are called to live the Incarnation, that is, to live in the body, not only their own bodies but also in the corporate body of the community, and to discover there the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • all of this does not mean that ministers or priests must, explicitly, bring their own sins or failures into their daily ministries
  • what it means is that ministers and priests are also called to be full members of their communities.

What a drastic change from what we have come to expect from leaders. We have the impression that the leader is somehow separate and above those that they lead; rather than someone travelling the journey along with those they lead. This is not now Jesus did it. He walked and lived a real life in front of and with his followers. A leader who takes this approach will often be isolated and often becomes an easy mark for the enemy. No wonder there are such tragic tales of massive failure in the leadership of the Church. The fact that leaders might be the least confessed people is due to an arrogance that we are somehow above the need to share or confess. Sometimes it comes from fear that we will be stricken down by those around us if they find out that we are not perfect. In fact I believe that we would find true brotherhood and community if we pushed through that wall. That is what the enemy fears; the body of Christ functioning properly and working in the Kingdom in unison.