Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hard to believe where some phrases come from. . .

For same reason, I've been really enjoying reading the Prophets lately. This wasn't always the case. For the longest time, I avoided these books that conclude the Old Testament. I only referred to them in joking form (See Ezekiel 23:20) or in short form (see Jonah or Hosea). I would never touch the big, long nasty books. Ever since I went to Catalyst back in the first part of October (which I would recommend to everyone), I have been going through Jeremiah. Today, I read the following verse, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." (Jeremiah 13:23)

This provides makes me think about where I would be without Christ. I like evil (evil=living for myself) and I do it and without Christ living through me, I would be a wreck.

By the way, I have always wondered this but I'm curious do these two look alike:

Luke Shortridge - College Ministry Pastor, Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg, OH. He was a critical part in the beginning of my faith journey.

Kyle Idleman - Preaching Associate from Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. I've never met him but I do like the way he preaches.

I think so but I could be wrong.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Good bye first generation shuffle. . .

It looks like my iPod shuffle has died . Sad day.

By the way, C4 peeps. This sunday everything is happening as planned. . .


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things I wished were never invented. . .

Here are some things I wish were never invented:

1) Wallpaper - Could there be an uglier thing in the world? Plus, have you ever tried to change it?
2) Non-dairy creamer - It is disgusting and I never know how much to add.
3) Blackberries/PDA's - Aka electronic leashes. I know it allows people to stay connected at all times but is that a good thing? It is bad enough I have to put up with Cell phones ringing but do I have to compete with e-mail/internet access.
4) "Crotch Rockets" - they spawn so of the most annoying drivers in the world. . .
5) White Castle - Sliders are disgusting. . .
6) Chick-Fil-A Stand-alone stores- Not because I hate it but because I love it some much. Who knew they have awesome Milkshakes! At least when they were only in the Mall I could avoid them more. Also, I always want to visit them on sundays and they are closed. Again not a bad thing (actually to the contrary) but I want something more that I cannot have.
7) Text Messages - Only because I cannot stand the corrupting of the English language. OMG! IDK! My BFF Jill! Keep it to only text messages! en 1 w/me?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I knew there was something fishy about that guy. . .

Thanks a lot J.K. Rowling for telling us something that has nothing to do with anything. In case you haven't heard, Dumbdledore was gay the whole time. To quote John Cloud from TIME, "I don't see how Rowling's outing of Dumbledore strikes a blow for gay equality." How does it change anything that he was gay? Actually, it does. It seems like society is saying the same thing. Cloud goes on to write,

"But here is a gay man as de-sexed as any priest—and, to uncomfortably extend the analogy, whose greatest emotional bond is with an adolescent boy: scarred, orphaned, needy Harry. Rowling said at Carnegie Hall that in her conception of his character, Dumbledore had fallen in love long ago with Gellert Grindelwald when the two were just teenagers. But Grindelwald turned out to be evil, which apparently broke Dumbledore's heart."

Apparently, Rowling is implying that Dumbdledore is apart of NAMBLA or something. Yes, I am an evangelical and I have certain options about homosexually but why doesn't Rowling let her books speak for themselves and keep some mystery around them.

While I've never read the books, I do enjoy the movies. Will this ruin them for me? Maybe. But I am sick of people declaring their sexuality as some type of banner of honor. "I'm gay" or "I'm straight" or "I'm into donkeys", does it matter because all of them are identities that I'm now willing to die for or that really categorize me fully. They are limiting because they don't give me a purpose. In the Potter Books, Dumbdledore's purpose was save the world not "be gay". Much like today, if I call myself gay, then my purpose is to have as many gay relationships as possible. If I call myself heterosexual, same thing but with the opposite sex.

How we label ourselves will impact how we live out our lives. The only true label that I need to strive to live by is that of "Christ-follower". Every other label is selfish because it is devoid of a purpose that exist greater than oneself. Whether Gay or straight, that shouldn't be the first thing we call ourselves.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Going all the way. . .

I'm really excited about a new book that's coming out by one of my distant mentors, Craig Groeschel, who pastors in Oklahoma (and like 3 other states). Craig's Confessions of a Pastor is one of my favorite books and really prepped me for ministry back in the spring. He has a new book coming out dealing with sex. If it is anything like the series he did last spring on the issue, it is going to be good. I can't wait to pick up a copy. . .

Parents, you should pick one up so you can learn how to talk to your kids about sex. . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This list bugs me. . .

This is from

The 12 Most Powerful Christians in Hollywood

Click here to find out who are the most powerful Christians in Hollywood.

This is crazy. Why? Because WHO CARES! Because I don't care what George Clooney believes or Sean Penn or Tom Hanks, why should I care that there are powerful Christians? I'm glad they are there doing their work in the name of Jesus but why do we have to rank them in order? If they are Christians, isn't Jesus more powerful than all of them and guiding them? I know these actors or actresses are just living their lives and now we place them on a pedestal expecting them to change Hollywood. Because of this list, should we then only buy from these people? Plus, what criteria are we using to make this list? Do we really know their hearts because they call themselves Christians?

I'm sick of all of us calling people Christians just because they say so. Let's let God make that determination and just point everyone to Jesus. Only then can we all be in good shape.

Stupid Lists. . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So what is my job?

From Church Relevance, (bold is my emphasis)

"A recent study by The Barna Group researched the spirituality of teens as well as what they want and learn from church. Here is what they discovered:

In a typical week,

* 72% of teens pray
* 48% attend a worship service at a church
* 35% attend Sunday school
* 33% attend youth group
* 32% participate in a small group
* 31% read the Bible

What teens expect at church:

* 45% of teens expect “to worship or make a connection with God”
* 42% expect “to better understand what I believe”
* 34% expect “to spend time with close friends”
* 34% expect “to get encouraged or inspired”
* 30% expect “to volunteer or help others”

What teens prefer for church:

* 39% of teens prefer a church that teaches how their faith should influence everyday decisions and lifestyle
* 16% prefer a church that teaches the traditions and background of their faith
* 45% do not care

What topics taught at church shaped teens’ views in the last 12 months:

* 65% said moral and ethical standards
* 62% relationships
* 55% faith traditions
* 50% evangelism
* 35% media, movies, and television
* 30% money and finances
* 28% the supernatural world
* 27% leisure activities
* 26% government and law
* 22% art and music
* 21% health issues
* 9% technology

Overall, the research is not surprising. Sadly, it affirms that a large portion of teens just don’t care. It is not that they simply just don’t care about the teaching style; the low levels of weekly spiritual commitment also prove that they don’t care enough to invest their time into spiritual things.

Obviously, hearing God’s Word is not enough to transform many teenagers into being doers of God’s Word. So what is needed to engage these teenagers in a way that causes them to start caring enough to do God’s Word? I believe that meaningful relationships are the key. The measure of your relationship with teenagers directly affects the measure of the influence you have with them. And your influence can dramatically shape how they live their lives."

Dan's thoughts: I think Teens are bored in church usually and they don't hear anything of substance. They only hear things that are relevant by someone who cares.

I am a big fan of women named Lori

Sunday was Lori and I's first anniversary. After being married a year, I realized something. I have grown more in the last year with Lori than any year previous. This verse has become really real Ephesians 5:25 - "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Over the last year, I have come to realize how hard it was for Christ to give his life for me because how little I actually give myself for Lori. I have come to respect Christ that much more. I realize that I don't love Lori as Christ loves the church because I am really selfish 100% of the time.

I also read the three previous verses "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." I then see that I have authority issues and I don't like submitting to Christ. I see how Lori does follow me when I do lay down my life and I wonder why I don't have that same drive to follow Christ in that manner. I can be a real idiot but I don't understand why submitting is so hard for me. Jesus has laid down his life but I do an awful job of living out it out.

Lori is doing a great job of showing me Christ. After a year, I have so much longer to go.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I couldn't have said it better. . .

This is Mark Driscoll. He is my favorite preacher and this is some I think all of us needed to be reminded of, especially in light of my Kid Nation observation.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It has been long over due. . .

Last night, Lori and I did something that we needed to do for like three months. We made a budget. I now feel a lot better about our finances. For the last three months, I was freaking out about every time we spent money. Now, I feel freedom. I know where all of the money is going and I can't believe how much more focused our money is and why I didn't take the time to do it sooner. Listening to Dave Ramsay at Catalyst, motivated me to step up and make us put every thing on paper for a purpose. I repent that I have not been a better manager of God's money. I have not stepped up to the plate to lead my household better. If you are not a budget, get on one yesterday and tell me if you don't feel relieved.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kid Nation. . .


I watch Kid Nation on CBS Wednesday night (well not last night on this morning). If you don't know it is a collection of 40 8-15 kids living by themselves in New Mexico with hopes of building a new town. Last night episode dealt with religion. I wasn't surprised to see what I saw. All of the kids did not see a problem in a having one religious service for all religions. Hearing the kids speak about their own faith broke me heart. The kids all said some good things but the only arguments I heard for separating the faiths up is that it will create fights between the sects. CBS spins this the same way. They even gave the kids an assortment of religious texts for them to study. There is a scene where a Jewish kid and a Christian kid both read Genesis 1 and come to the conclusion that that it all sounds the same.

Of course, this could be just creative editing but I really think this is what MANY kids think today. All prayer leads to the same God and all of this fighting is stupid. If I pick up my phone hoping to call my wife, dial randomly, I shouldn't be surprised if Domino Pizza picks up. If I hear my wife's name and I think of one of a tutu wearing polar bear on a unicycle, then I'm not thinking of my wife. If don't have the right picture or the place to look to God, then we are not praying to God. He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings and if you read the OT, he is the God of all Gods.

Parents, how are you talking about Christianity? Is it just another religion or a way to know the Most High God?


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm a blogger

Yes, I have joined the blogging world (again). Why might you ask? I had a Xanga Account but this is a little more professional. Plus, I have been greatly influenced by the Blog world. I currently subscribe to some 30 RSS from various pastors and leaders. I would like to try to do this as well. I would like to have impact on the students I minister to here at Capital City Christian Church in Raleigh, NC. So there you have it. I plan to use this to comment on Pop Culture, the Church, and the Bible. I don't want to use this as a whine journal or a soapbox to grip from. So please comment and please enjoy.