Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Random Thoughts...

  • Getting lots of snow is kinda cool and a pain at the same time
  • the blogoshpere is a wealth of information, inspiration and can be quite addicting
  • This website is both interesting and scary at the same time
  • I finally got to go to a wrestling meet last night... good times!
  • Why are priorities so hard to follow through on and seemingly easy to place?

Monday, January 29, 2007

The marathon winds down

Made it through the weekend! A few highlights and radom musings...
  • It was great to have breakfast Friday with two friends I just don;t get to see very often anymore.
  • The CRMC plan for discipleship/ small groups is coming together well. It's great to serve with the group I do and cool to see a vision taking form. It's going to be a lot of work ahead but well worth it.
  • Attended the opening night of the board retreat. Good time, good discussion, great homemade cinnamon rolls!!! Sad to miss Saturday :(
  • Passed my EMT practical by passing all 7 stations on the first try!
  • missed seeing the high school wrestling sectional for the first time in 5 years; grrrr
  • a great night of fellowship and euchre on Sat. evening -- thanks to the Troyers
  • it's amazing how many people take advantage of poor weather to stay away from church
  • Got to sit with my family for worship for the first time in a long time!
  • took the kids tubing and had a great time
  • looking forward to getting FPU going
  • I need to schedule a personal day of retreat/ reflection/ planning

Friday, January 26, 2007

The the race begin...

Two days off from my paying job. Gonna be a weekend on the fly. Need His help to make it all happen. Here's the gist of it:

  • breakfast meeting with old friends
  • Discipleship lunch meeting
  • CRMC board retreat


  • EMT State practical exam
  • Euchre tourney


  • graphics tech for worship
  • teach Sunday School
  • all church bowling party
  • Outreach training
  • back to work at 2300 Hrs

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Game of the Week -- Red Square Game

The Red Square Game Addicting, annoying, and don;t blame me when you don't get your work done when you should.

Christ Followers in the spotlight

I asked in a previous post if Lovie and Tony would be recognized or remembered for their abilities rather than their race. Add to that the story of their faith. I'm glad someone is noticing.

ESPN Article

Do your kids read?

This article by Albert Mohler caught my eye. We are raising a generation that does not read. I'll leave it to you to check out the article but will add this quote from it:

Do our own young people read books? Do they know the pleasures of the solitary reading of a life-changing page? Have they ever lost themselves in a story, framed by their own imaginations rather than by digital images? Have they ever marked up a page, urgently engaged in a debate with the author? Can they even think of a book that has changed the way they see the world . . . or the Christian faith? If not, why not?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Super Bowl Breakdown

Thought that I would take a look at the positions in the matchup and see who has an advantage.

Not much to say here; easily the most one sided comparison.

Running Backs:
Both teams have a quality two back attack. Very similar to each other in this aspect. I'm giving a slight edge to Jones and Benson because they are better at catching passes out of the backfield.

Wide Recievers:
Muhammed is always underrated and Berrian has had a great season but Harrison and Wayne are in the elite class.

Tight Ends:
Good players on both teams here but Dallas Clark is a versatile weapon.

Offensive Line:
Both teams are running the ball well and protecting their QB. Would be a push except Indy has been drawing sevral penalties per game of late.

Defensive Line:
The Indy front's new commitment to stopping the run makes them lethal. The Bears are just SOLID. Both lines get after the QB well.

Just like the wideouts, one team is good but the other has top shelf talent at this position. Urlacher and Briggs, enough said.

Defensive Backs:
Both teams are kinda beat up, especially at the safeties. Bob Sanders has proven to be the missing link and gives the slight advantage.

Kick Defense:
This has been the weakest link in the Indy arsenal all 3 weeks.

Kick Returns:
Devin Hester... period

Smith is a top-shelf kicker; Maynard is a field position weapon

Place Kicker
Gould has been incredible with a capital I, especially considering he is outdoors in Chicago. But you cannot go against the guy who has already made two game winners in the Super Bowl.

Final tally: 6-5 Bears. I think that this game will be much closer than people are giving credit; unless Rex implodes. If you are a wagering person, I'd take the 7 and run with them right now.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Who are the real Evangelicals?

I've been thinking about creating this post all day. I recieved my weekly email from the Barna Group and it includes an article that discusses how we truly define the term evangelical. I'll leave it to you to read the article, I'll just post a few highlights to ponder upon.
  • Asking people if they consider themselves to be evangelicals produces a comparatively large number: 38% of the population accepts that label
  • The Barna Group has traditionally used nine questions to categorize people as evangelicals, whether they consider themselves accurately described by that label or not. Using the nine questions about their beliefs produces a much smaller figure: just 8% of the adult population in 2006 fit the criteria.
  • The most striking differences relate to the beliefs of each group. Compared to the 9-point evangelicals, those who say they are evangelicals are:
    60% less likely to believe that Satan is real
    53% less likely to believe that salvation is based on grace, not works
    46% less likely to say they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others
    42% less likely to list their faith in God as the top priority in their life
    38% less likely to believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth
    27% less likely to contend that the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings
    23% less likely to say that their life has been greatly transformed by their faith
  • the Barna research also noted that one out of every four adults (27%) who say they are evangelicals is not even born again, based upon their beliefs

No wonder the world thinks that Christians are hypocrites?!?!?!?

Jack Bauer teaches discipleship

I'm not one to look to draw every aspect of pop culture into the church. But it seems that the more I look to become a true Christ follower the more I see truth before me. As I sat and watched this weeks episode of 24, the following thoughts came to me. I know that in now way does the character claim or preted to be Christian in any way but I think that there are some things that we can learn from him. This may be the beginning of a series of posts as now that I have recognized a few things I will surely see more. My take from this week's episode:
(possible spoiler info ahead)
Am I as devoted to my mission as Jack Bauer to his? With the twist of finding our more about Jack's family and history we learned that one of last season's bad guys is his brother. During the scene where Jack begins to extract information from his brother I thought of Luke 14:26:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and
children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my

Do we love God enough that all else is lost to us except fulfilling His plan and mission in our lives? It is not a question of whether we love our families, it is a matter of properly placing our devotion. The key to this is that once we decide to hate these people for the sake of Christ, He actually will fill us with more love and passion for them than we had before. These are notdecisions that we make so easily as to write about them. Think of what stress and discord quite possibly occurred in the families of the 12 when they left it all to follow Christ. How would your family react to you leaving them to go of and follow a guy around as an intern for 3 years? It is a challenge to us to follow the greatest commandment. Thanks for reminding me Jack!

Financial Peace

Do you have it? If not I urge you to join us for Financial Peace University. It is a 13 week class that will change your outlook on finances and arm you to tell your money what to do. Contact me at if you are interested. I'll leave you with the following taken from :

Phrases that will KILL your plans for achieving financial freedom
"I am so stupid, I will never be able to do that."
"I do not make enough money to win financially."
"My spouse will never do this with me."
"You just don't understand what has happened to me in the past."
"I can't live without my car."
"I needed it." (an obvious WANT)
"I don't want to seem like a nerd."
"My family will think that I am wierd."
Guess what? You CAN do it! I would point toward your current financial condition and ask Dr. Phil's question, "What you have been doing … How's that working for you"
I KNOW that every single person on this earth can have financial freedom. I KNOW that there is ENOUGH for everyone. You CAN do this - especially if you live in the richest country on the planet. All it takes is you!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Are you this dedicated? How much do you love your team?

I had to comment on this article. This woman actually had her labor inuced so her husband could go to the game. What does that say about us? priorities? Are we this dedicated to our church, families, and being a christ follower? hmmmmm

Who will you root for?

Well the dream SuperBowl for MIchiana football fans has happened. Colts or Bears? I think at first glance it is going to be a good game. I'm sure I'll have plenty mor ein the coming two weeks on this matchup but here are the keys as I see them right now:

  • who has the healthiest team? lots of bumps and bruises for both in key areas. week off will help
  • Can the Colts D continue their run stopping prowess? If not, Jones and Benson will run up and down the field. If so, Grossman will have the game on his shoulders -- that would make for some excitment.
  • will Peyton get past all the media hype to be able to concentrate on the game?
  • can Tony and Lovie get credit for being good coaches instead of black coaches?
  • will someone offer me a free trip to Miami to watch? (you gotta dream)
  • Will Reggie Wayne ever catch another pass?

Looking forward to sitting back and enjoying this one. Can't say that I "prefer" either over the other. Like both of them. Looking forward to the 4th for family time, nachos, commercials, hot wings, and who knows what else. I'm praying Prince double checks his wardrobe b4 going on stage...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Game of the Week - Monkey Curling

A day late due to cpu issues (see previous post). Another great one from fetchfido....
MONKEY CURLING I seem to be fixated on these monkey games of late....

Book #2 - In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day

This is a second attempt at posting this (grrrr). Last night I spent about a half hour writing/ editing this post and I couldn't get it to post, I also was unable to cut/paste it somewhere so I could bring it back. Here goes again...

This was my first contact with Mark Batterson's writing and it will not be my last. One of the reasons I feel the book resonates so well is that the author is transparent. In the process of sharing the "how tos" he share how they have played out in his own life and the lives of those around him. It also is timely (one of the key points pf the book) in that I have been visioning how to draw and involve men more in our church. This material speaks to the heart of why I think so many men are dissmissing the church, they need a purpose and something to chase! What follows are justa few highlights...
  • God places us in the right places at the right time. We need to see the opportunities and seize them
  • Impossible odds set the stage for miracles to happen
  • the more we grow, The bigger God gets. The bigger God is, the smaller our lions become
  • the failure to unlearn irratinal fears and misconceptions keeps us from becoming all that we should be
  • Scripture rewires our brains to conform to reality
  • we need to stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and ask ourselves what God wants us to get out of them
  • God will recycle our pains and use them for someone else's gain
  • you have to do something counterintuitive if you want to reach you god-given potential
  • some things just will never make sense this side of heaven - we can trust The God is "connecting the dots" in ways we can never see or imagine
  • small changes and small choices become magnified over time and have major consequences
  • we need to learn how to give up something that is good in the name of something that is great
  • we will never regret the mistakes we have made as much as the God-given opportunities that we have missed
  • God brings bigger opportunities your way when you prove yourself faithful with the smaller ones
  • Never let what you can't do keep you from doing what you can
  • If you wait for perfect conditions to seize the day; you will be waiting until you die
  • you have to be willing to look foolish in the world's eyes
  • Christ followers should be the most passionate people on the planet!!!

This ius material that I will return to and use. As a bonus, I just read that there will be a small group curriculum come from this book.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

mid week ramblings

  • 5 days until another episode of 24 (insert frownie emoticon here!)
  • you can find a list of all of Jack's kills here
  • tomorrow is the final exam for my EMT class - now I can actually watch the Unit on Tues nights
  • like my new clock?
  • I feel pulled in SO many directions right now. Tons of cool stuff God is teaching me. Ive got visions for so many things and so few hours in the day.
  • The 3 teams that I have always followed/ rooted for in the NFL are all in the conference championship games this week. I'm assured of at least 1 team to pull for in the Super Bowl.
  • I need to plan a personal day away to get focused and plan family and ministry strategy
  • I need to plan a date night with my wife
  • I need to plan dates with my kids
  • I need to make some reservations for our Spring Break family getaway
  • I need to stop typing this blog and get some real work done (insert whistling emoticon)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Where are you deployed?

I was reading a note from a pastor regarding a member of his staff moving on (you can read it HERE)and he posed the above question. This really resonates with me for several reasons:

  • We have a tendancy to think that whatever "project" we are working on at the time is most important and the center of the universe; God is way bigger than that!
  • Assignments change from time to time. We need to be mindful of how our lives are like Esther's - "for such a time... "
  • the King doesn't always grant our requests for a change or not to change - we cannot see the big picture.
  • no matter what assignment has been given to us, we should do it full hearted. A great MLK quote on his B-day:
    If a man is called to be a street sweeper he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, "There lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

There are even more applications to this short note than I have time to think through at the moment but I wanted to write about these before I let them slip away.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Less than 24 to 24...

T minus 20 hours till another day starts for Jack...

Colts won! Saints Won! can the Bears make it a tri-fecta tommorrow?

Gonna be a long day in front of the TV after church for sure.

The way we approach the world

When did we decide that the world should come to us (the church) for answers? All we have to do is put up a shiny building, have a cool kids program and sit bak and wait for the people to flock to us. I am more and more convinced that we need to be invasive in our world. We also need to find new ways to reach out. I am seeing more and more how important our use of the web and its tools will be in the coming years. USC has just released a report that tells us that 43% of internet users who are part of online "communities" feel as strongly about their online community as their real world community. This says alot about us as a culture. Apart from that it tells me that if we are going to do what we are called to do we need to find a way to become part of this world and the lives of those who are there in order to have an impact on them. The who, how, where, whens of it are very unclear to me but I am sure that we need to be in the middle of it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Joy and Disappointment

only 2 more EMT classes to go!! Then practicals and the state exam. There is joy in that. Can't wait to get this done so that more time and energy can be diverted to other important projects. With that short of time I found out that 2 members of my class will not be able to finish it and are ineligable to take the final. How disappointing :( I got to thinking about how this applys to life. When the finish is in sight how often we never finish. Those half done projects in the garage, half read books, and those commitments we made but never followed through on. We so often take the low road. I'm thankful that Jesus didn't do that. Where would we be if He had? Carrying things through to the end, even when they are painful is important. I'm ending this day with a little better understanding of what I need to be and do. Funny how much we can learn if we just pay attention to the world around us.

Game of the Week

This weeks game is actually a link to one of my favorite game sites. Tons of things to choose from depending on what you like.


Tuesday, January 9, 2007


It's amazing the things that you didn't realize you couldn't see until your vison gets better. Slowly a vison for discipleship is coming from the fog for CRMC. It's also good to feel a personal sense of direction coming to light. Still so many things that I want to see happen and be involved with. The key is wisdom and discernment to know what to be involved with and to what extent. The calendar seems to be full for the year already. Baseball, General Conference, my boys going into Jr High; time flies. I am more and more convinced that God would have us use some new approaches to reaching people and helping other along in their discpleship journey. With the internet, blogs, video, wireless networks and the like, we need to be in place to take advantage for the Kingdom. Seems like a bit of rambling, but it all comes back to the need to have clear vision... for this I pray.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Book #1 - "Bleachers" by John Grisham

I became a fan of Grisham several years ago when I was looking for something different than my usual fare. I have to date read most of his books and am sure I would enjot those that I have yet to read. He is a master of the "page turner" and this book is no different. Ringing in at just over 200 pages in PB it is a quick read as well. In typical Grisham fashion he makes the characters and the story fit into life so well you might think that they are people that you know.
There are many facets to his book but I would have to say that the theme is the past. We all have one. What are our memories and beliefs of the past? To make the quickest summary of this I would say that the past is not to be forgotten, but we cannot let it control us or weigh us down. We must move forward to the future, using our past experiences to teach us and help us make better choices than we have previously. Although there is no direct spiritual application in this book there are lessons that the characters learn and live that we all can apply in our own lives and spiritual walks. Definaletly a quality read, especially for a sports fan or just someone who has had that one person in theor life that placed a great influence on them.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Game of the Week -- Bejeweled

Thursday is here and it's time for the game of the week. This week is a popular one but still one of my all time favorties.



In a previous post I noted that I had a goal of reading at least 30 books in 2007. As you can see from my sidebar I have got a few going. I think that I have 4 books actually in process right now. My wife can't see how I can have more than one book going just like I don;t see how she has multiple craft projects at the same time. I believe that I also have at least 5 others awaiting a start. If I can keep at it 30 might be too low to set the bar. I don;t however want to just read for the sake of saying that I read. That's why some of the books take a lot longer and I have to put them down and then pick them back up. The "Why Men Hate Church" book is like that for sure. Anywhoo, part of my self-discipline in reading these books will be that I must post a review/ highlights of each book that I cover. I look forward to doing this because it will not only make me better process the books as I read them but I will also have the archive of these posts to return to for reviewing. If all goes well possibly review #1 tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I Love Technology

That's what Napoleon Dynamite says anyway. That said along with this blog and some other things going on I'm really trying to get better. I'm becoming more and more convinced that in the near and far future this will be a major way of communication and forwarding the Kingdom. Hey today Ive learned how to properly post links and put my reading list on the sidebar of my blog. Hopefully this site will continue to improve.

A few random thoughts...

Thought that I would start the new year by tapping out a few random things that have gone throught my head in the past 24 hours or so...

  • just typed "24" -- t-minus 2 weeks until the new season!
  • you never realize how inconsistent you are until you try to be consistent
  • New Year's party at the church was fun
  • I've got so many great books I have and need/ want to read -- and still I keep shoppong for more --
  • The need to organize some prioities in my time
  • 3 more weeks of EMT class
  • the calendar for '07 feels like it is already getting full , it's only Jan 2nd
  • I can't believe that my boys will be jr highers in the fall
  • This is a great week for football. Even without cable I think I can watch 11 games between Monday and Sunday
  • I hope ND shows up and wins their bowl
  • need to stop typing random thoughts and get to some actual work...