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Friday, September 18, 2009

This week at Payne Church



In a small town, it is all about your family. If they do something really bad, then it is hard to regain your reputation. In the case of Jesus, that would be a real problem since his earthy family tree is filled with more unrighteousness than you would expect possible.

This Sunday: Noah: The Drunkard.

Join us this Sunday at 9:30a in Payne OH to hear how Jesus can free you from your past.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So True - Four Chords, 36 Songs

Since I play Guitar, I find this funny. It is so true. Enjoy. (Caution: profanity around 4 minutes if that this is an issue).




(HT to Jeremy Cotton from Facebook)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This week at Payne Church



In a small town, it is all about your family. If they do something really bad, then it is hard to regain your reputation. In the case of Jesus, that would be a real problem since his earthy family tree is filled with more unrighteousness than you would expect possible.

This Sunday: Adam: The Pacifist

Join us this Sunday at 9:30a in Payne OH to hear how Jesus can free you from your pass.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This week at Payne Church




Traditions are the things we either hold to or run from, especially in the Church. This week we look at what the Bible says about Communion. Why is there some much arguing over this issue and why do we do it at all?

Join us at 9:30am on Sunday at Payne Church of Christ located at 220 W. Merrin St in Payne OH.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This week at Payne Church




Traditions are the things we either hold to or run from, especially in the Church. This week we look at what the Bible says about Baptism. Why is there some much arguing over this issue and why do we do it all?

Join us at 9:30am on Sunday at Payne Church of Christ located at 220 W. Merrin St in Payne OH.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This week at Payne Church




Traditions are the things we either hold to or run from, especially in the Church. This week we look at what Jesus says about the Lord's Day. Why do we meed every Sunday?

Join us at 9:30am on Sunday at Payne Church of Christ located at 220 W. Merrin St in Payne OH.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "evolution" of God

Last night on the Colbert Report, a guy by the name of Robert Wright. He is probably smarter than me but on Jesus and the Bible he is missing something. He grew up Southern Baptist, probably in a Fundamentalist church in OK. So, I'm sure he is responding to some what he heard growing up but some of the stuff he quotes is way off of true historical facts. I haven't read the book but I can respond to what he says in the interview. The interview below.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Robert Wright
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests


He says two things, one about Jesus and one about the NT. I recommend Jesus and the eyewitnesses to talk about the reliability of the NT as a written Oral History. Here is a good review of it by Andreas Köstenberger. Also, did Jesus call himself God, see the Michael Bird Book Are You the One Who Is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question. See a good review of it here. If you are going to criticize someone, at least criticize the best of the argument (not a lesser person).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This week at Payne Church




Traditions are the things we either hold to or run from, especially in the Church. This week we look at what the Bible says about the tradition of Singing. Is more than old songs versus new songs and why do we do it every Sunday?

Join us at 9:30am on Sunday at Payne Church of Christ located at 220 W. Merrin St in Payne OH.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Luke and Sara's Story

Luke and Sara Shortridge are two people God used in a huge way to show me his grace. Ten years ago, Luke invited me to go to a Christian concert while his buddy Brent and future wife Sara showed me Jesus at a lunch table everyday. They are great people and have been of great encouragement from a distant and up close over the years.

Currently, Luke and Sara are going through a real tough time for their newborn Jackson has been in the hospital for seven straight weeks. This last weekend at their church (Cedarcreek.tv), they showed two videos showing how Luke and Sara have been dealing with things. Enjoy (as much as you can watching a child and his parents suffer through a tough time)!

Part 1


Part 2

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This week at Payne Church




Traditions are the things we either hold to or run from, especially in the Church. This week we look at what Jesus says about the tradition of the Word. Is it an out dated book with helpful tips for a moral life or something more?

Join us at 9:30am on Sunday at Payne Church of Christ located at 220 W. Merrin St in Payne OH.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cheap Hotels?

Okay. I've never done this but it seems sound. At the very least it is worth a try. Financial Guy Joseph Sangl showed this off in his blog today. Here what he said:

I have two friends that have followed these directions and have obtained amazing deals - one is staying at a four or five star resort for $40/night.You can check out the video HERE.

If you try it, let me know.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bible Alone?

I hear a lot that all I need is my Bible and I can figure things out myself. While I do believe the Bible's main themes are plain for all to see (like Jesus is the Messiah), we are often ignorant of something things the Bible assumes we know. The big one is that the Bible was never meant to be explored solely in a single person's experience. It is to be explored in a community. Why?

Justin Taylor wrote a great article (found here) talking about this very thing.

He writes:
And yet the irony is that if we use only this book, we may in fact be in disobedience to it. We should count good teaching about the Bible — whether through commentaries, books, sermons, study Bibles, and so on — to be a gift from God for the good of His church (see Eph. 4:11; James 1:17). So what may look pious on the outside (“Just me and my Bible!”) can actually mask pride on the inside.
We cannot have a arrogance to believe that we are all alone. NO one (including me) is above community. Carl Truman basically said the same thing in his warning to Ph.D. students in a recent article. Every heretic starts out doing the same thing: studying the Bible alone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This week at Payne Church




Traditions are the things we either hold to or run from, especially in the Church. This week we look at what Jesus says about traditions. Are they straight jackets to restrain our freedom or as Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof, the practices that give us balance?

Join us at 9:30am on Sunday at Payne Church of Christ located at 220 W. Merrin St in Payne OH.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Political Importance doesn't mean Theologically correct

Jimmy Carter was at one point the most powerful man in the world. He is also credited for helping the Christian Right get the idea that religion and politics should mix together in 1976 (The Year of the Evangelical). For a long time, he has taught a Sunday school class in Georgia at a Southern Baptist Church. In 2000, he said he no longer wanted his name linked with the Southern Baptist convention. No big deal. You don't have to be a Southern Baptist to be saved (they will even tell you that), just a Christ Follower (See 1 John).

On Al Mohler's Blog today, he talked about an interview Jimmy Carter had with a London Paper. Carter says (quoting from Mohler's blog)
Instead, his reference to the Southern Baptist Convention introduced his argument that any religious teaching that denies what he construes as full equality for women "is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God."
Mohler rightly points out that
[Carter] opens and closes his article by citing as his main authority the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. This text, we might note, also declares "freedom of thought, conscience, and religion" as basic human rights. The more important question is this: Does President Carter really believe that he will convince Christians -- Southern Baptist or otherwise -- to see any human statement as holding a higher authority than the Bible? That question, more than anything else, points to the real reason that President Carter and the Southern Baptist Convention have parted ways. The point of division remains the ultimate authority and total truthfulness of the Bible as the Word of God.
I think Jimmy Carter is a good guy and has done a lot of good for this world. Much of this came out of his Christian worldview. I am not questioning, his salvation (because that is only something I believe God has a right to do). So, this is not meant to vilify him

I bring this up because this points to a problem I've seen a lot through history. People of power will become consumed with their position and thinks that gives them the authority to speak on anything and everything. If that person is a Christian, that is especially true. Christian politicians can and should speak authoritatively on politics and religions.

Ever since Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire in roughly 323 AD, Emperors could influence how the Church was governed without a accurate understanding of the Bible/theological truths. He meant well but many of successors probably didn't. They would make decisions that made political sense but not theological (since they were not trained scholars or in many cases confessing Christ Followers).

A good example is an early one. The council of Nicaea was called because Constantine wanted unity in his Empire and could not have it until the Christians stop fighting. He did turn to a theological adviser to understand the issue at the center of the fight (the doctrine of Christ's divinity) but I'm not sure if he actually understand the magnitude of the issue. He just knew he needed peace. Because his own religious adviser, Hossius, over saw the preceding and he was bank rolling everything, it probably brought a "quick" end to discussion for fear of being against the government (they knew which side Constantine was on). They also knew Constantine wanted unity and a creed fast. I'm not saying that they didn't decide correctly but I am saying that for centuries, these issues lingered on in large part because the desire for political unity trumped the desire for doctrinal understanding. Pragmatism ruled the day.

Eventually, the east would adopt Ceasaropapism (Emperor is Pope) and when Constantinople was over taken by the Ottomans Turks in 1453, a Muslim was the head of the Christian Church. Obviously, a Muslim would not do what is best for a Christian Church. The same though could be said for the west. While the West would adopt the supremacy of the Roman Bishop (the Pope), Charlemagne, Frederick II of HRE, Charles V and even Louis XIV would all influence how the Church operated for political reasons. They w not understanding the theological ramifications of decisions (and probably many Popes for that matter).

In America, Thomas Jefferson has the foresight to know that a wall to protect the Church from the State had to be erected. Church would remain separate from State (for the most part every one said they were Christian) until the 1900's. Politicians would not meddle in Church affairs (though the Church would in civil affairs) The deathblow to the Fundamentalist resurgence was the Scopes Monkey Trial when politician William Jenkins Bryan (a Sunday School Teacher, not a Theologian like BB Warfield,Charles Hodge or even Machen) was schooled by Atheist Clarence Darrow on the witness stand. Here, an arrogant politician made a public statement in an area of ignorance that hurt the Church. He could only speak on his limited experience and not on behalf of Historic Biblical Christianity (though he though he could).

Many feel that the Christian Right being "in bed" with Evangelical America could be a reason for a decline in the veracity of the Church. Because we have been pigeonholed as abortion hating, gay bashing, death penalty loving republicans by Christians Politicians by making political statements coming off as theological statements, we have a lot of work to do to show why some believe these things are not just politically based but Biblical base. In many cases, I feel the republican "tail" have been "wagging" the Christians "dog" to do its bidding. The politicians probably only have themselves in mind and not the effect it will have on the Bride of Christ.

We have a hard time contending for the faith when any one believes that they are not ignorant of some things. A Christian speaking on theological issues with a right life can be just as damaging. That's why 1 Timothy 4 says
9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

11Command and teach these things. 12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
As a christian, I know every time I open my mouth I am saying what I believe about God. Every time I act, I showing what I believe about God. So I wrestle with the texts and wrestle with those who in both different eras and different culture have wrestled with the text first. I want to make sure I am not leading people astray and saying something that is not what the Bible is saying. Because of my education, I know how easy it is to say something is Biblical when it is not. I see this throughout the history of the Church when many well meaning people are caught up in saying something contrary to God's word.

I have found the things that I am the most sure of are not only things that make the most sense to me but are the things believed by those that are not bound by my time and my space. I'm sure of all of my opinions (who isn't) but that is why I don't trust my opinions alone. I always submit what I believe to Scripture, to watch both my life and doctrine as I read the Word. My authority to speak comes not from my knowledge but from the great cloud of witnesses before me that believed what I believe now.

I am always afraid of being too proud. I am arrogant by nature and most false teachers I've experienced (including me at one point) say something like this: "I'm sure this is right and I'm not going to budge on the issue." This reminds me of 2 Peter 2:
10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; 11yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. 12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
I, like these politicians, can be blinded by power and not understand fully what we say. When we aren't willing to let people question our faith/life, we will probably end up preaching/living a false Gospel.

If I only point to my experience or your experience for truth, I can't be "judged" because it is a experience; it cannot be measured by another. However, if I point to my experience with a Transcendent Truth along side of others crossing multiple times and multiple experiences, I can rest upon a standard that can judge me and I know that is true. Much like I can throw a ball up and know it will come down because it has been believed by a Assyrian, a Roman, an Aztec and an American, I know it is true and important. If I throw it and it doesn't come down, I must question my experience.

I can speak with confidence because I teach the Word of God, not just a word about God. I have interacted with many other experience in a scientific method sort a way to fish out the Truth. I don't have to trust my experience alone and believe every voice I hear because I have history, cross cultural emissaries, the Church, and others who watch my life to tell me if I'm branching into false teaching/living/ mishearing the Spirit of God. I am constantly seeking and learning because my position does not mean that I am experiencing truth. I just want to stand by the Truth and with the Truth, Jesus, who has given us all of these witnesses and evidences to me so I can know him more and not have to question.

So Politicians (and other who want to use their position in this time and space to speak about truth that transcend this time and space) please lets humble ourselves and see the picture is far bigger than what we can often see. Let us admit when we are ignorant in doctrine or in life. Until we can point to more than our experience, let us only speak of what we know :
1 Cor 15: 1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Prayer: what is it good for?

So who finds prayer hard? What to pray? How do I get out of the praying for myself only trap? How can I pursue God and experience his goodness and joy as mentioned in in Psalm 63

Psalm 63
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9 They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.

10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

I saw a good post by Steven Furtick talking about some "tricks". He says

Preemptive praise lays a foundation for present tense blessing.
Retroactive gratitude counteracts apathy.

Together, these two habits form a powerful tag team to defeat depression and despondency. They draw our attention away from our hurts and needs, focusing our affection on the character of our faithful God.
I must say I'm mostly retroactive praise and preemptive gratitude. God I am grateful now but may not be if you take something away. God, thanks for given me this thing. Go to his blog to read more about what he is taking about. I can see how this approach will not only change my heart but help me see where the Spirit of God is working (that and I see this all throughout he Psalms).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Life.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define life and how the Jesus defines life.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to Payne Church of Christ at 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Kissing "Kissed Dating Goodbye" Goodbye


If any one has ever been in a college ministry or youth group during the late 90's and early 2000s, you've probably seen the book by Joshua Harris "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" in some form or another. It was THE dating book for the longest time. Well, you may be interested to know that a bunch of my college friends in 2002 were bored on a Mid Summer Thursday night. So we decided that burning Kissed Dating Goodbye was a good idea. I think it came after a friend was having girl issues and we were sick of the legalistic treatment of the book . So we torched the two copies we could find (see picture above). I can't remember why; I just remember it is was fun.

Maybe others have done this before but I must confess our immaturity now. Especially so after reading Joshua Harris's Blog (the author) where he talks about the Pros and Cons of the book. Very interesting read. I also heard him interviewed by Mark Dever and talked very candidly his life and upbringing and that provided more context for the book.

Two things come to life through all of this. 1) I pledge never to vilify a person based on a book but only to deal with the argument presented in that book. I will try to understand context of the person. 2) I find it funny today the extent we would go to find a scapegoat for our relationship woes. Like burning a book of an author would make us all of the sudden married. It is easier to blame some one (or an author) than actually look to the Sovereign God of the Universe to see where we need to grow ourselves. Pointing fingers is easier than admitting our own problems. The Blame Game is much easier than admitting failure. As I single person, I should have learned that then. As a husband now, I see marriage is all about taking responsibility and actively pursuing Jesus to show me my sin.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Secret Sins

Ed Stetzer delivered a great message on secret sins and their influence on the people around us. Really good message for everyone to hear. You can see his outline here.

Big Idea:
The lie: Secret sin in your life and in the church will not hinder the mission of God.
The answer: Live a gospel-centered, repentance-filled life.

"Secret Sin and Spiritual Power" from Ed Stetzer on Vimeo.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Burqa or no Burqa?



Over at Jezebel, I saw that a Muslim Woman was killed in a German Courtroom. Couple that with the French Prime Minister wants to ban all women from wearing Burqas in the country.

I'm left wondering if this is where the US is moving towards? Europe is suppose to be more "enlightened" and "tolerant" but they are preventing Muslims from practicing their faith. Some will say that these "Christian" nations are doing this but no one will say that Europe today is christian. Europe is a secular area acting trying to ban religious expression.

I only mention this because it is nice to see many progressives see the stupidity in banning Burqa because they don't think that government should be telling any woman what she can or cannot wear. Not because it is religiously oppressive but womanly oppressive to tell a woman what to wear. John Stewart's team at the Daily show poked fun at this by encouraging Governments to ban high heels and bulimia as well.

Reading the comments on these stories echoes the thought the current major objection is that freedom of a woman's expression is greater than their ability to worship freely. Many of the comments pretty much downplay the "enlightenment" of women wanting to do this for God/Allah/Yahweh but applaud the right for them wear what they want.

In this instance, both sides have come to the same conclusion though for different cultural obligations. This reminds me of what Josh Patterson wrote on The Village Church Blog today. Quoting from the book "Bobos in Paradise", He additionally writes
[The author David Brooks]says this about American spirituality: “[We] are trying to build a house of obligation on a foundation of choice.” This sentence is provocative. As an American I am inundated with the notion of freedom, democracy and capitalization. These are all great things. One of the consequences of this environment is that I can begin to think that my freedom is paramount. It is not. The “house of obligation” that Brooks’ refers to in his book is the fact that as a believer I am enslaved to Christ. Ht Village Blog
This Burqa flap is a good illustration of this and I do believe this will be the battle for the United States in the future. We are trying to fight between what we are obligated to do and what we are free to do. The problem is we have different obligations and based upon we believe our obligations are, we will choose what we have freedom to choice. Because I have an obligation to my wife, I am I limited in how I choose to interact with other women. Because I am a Pastor, I am limited in what I can do on Sundays.

Today, we are going to fight over our obligations. What is Government's obligation to the poor? Morality? Marriage? What is my obligation to God? Until we can agree on our obligations. We are probably always going to disagree.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Mature.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define mature and how the Jesus defines mature.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

E-Conflict

I've been taking a blog break recently because I've been finding myself getting into a lot of e-fights. I was a little surprised but then started to realize that I have been pretty negative as of late. Being a critic more than being a cheerleader. I've been especially convicted of this after reading Vince Antonucci's post on Negativity. He writes:
The ironic thing is that I think we'd all say, "I prefer to be around positive people?" but we have to ask ourselves the question, "Am I a positive person?" Are you? Are you positive you're positive?
Well, I'm asking it and I really don't think I am. I am really good at looking at why something is wrong but not as good at saying something is good. I'm not as good at giving people the benefit of the doubt and looking for Graces in their life.

No where have I seen this more is in reaction to blogs or Facebook comments. For some reason, something wells up in me and I get VERY anger. Why? Also, I've had many of bad experiences trying to hammer out conflicts over e-mail. Facebook. Why? Is it my negativity that is the common thread? Or is something else?

I've been reading Shane Hipps book Flickering Pixels dealing "how technology shapes your faith." One chapter called "Our Nomadic Lives" dealt with this issue. He writes
The problem is that email and other test-based e-communication are designed for efficiency and, therefore, severely truncated. Intonation, body language, context, the rules of civil discourse, and the opportunity for midstream clarification are all stripped away, despite our best efforts to create a never-ending stream of emoticons. Given the limitations of email, the chances of miscommunication are near certain. (Pg. 118)
I intuitively know this but I don't know why I constantly try settle argument online. It is impossible. I know I'm negative and I do believe a good majority of are too. So if I say something, I should automatically someone might see it in a negative.

That's why I'm going to spend more time considering my words and asking am I positive that I am writing to be positive/constructing an idea versus being negative/deconstructing society. I repent. If I have given you the impression that I am a negative, angry guy, I repent that I have given people a false view of Jesus. I hope to make amends in the future and keep it simple and view things through the lens of grace.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Afterlife.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define afterlife and how the Jesus defines afterlife.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Giving.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define giving and how the Jesus defines giving.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Are all Religions the same?

One common claim I hear a lot is that All Religions are the Same. But one thing they are differ on is who Jesus is? Jesus is typically show by all as a Good teacher. Well that Good Teacher taught that he was God but people go to lengths to discredit him. Here are two views of Jesus. One from the Jehovah Witnesses and the other by the Mormons. Both Videos are quite entertaining.

Mormons:


Jehovah Witnesses



If you want to read about Scientology, The St. Pete Times did an excellent piece this crazy faith.

Here is a video of recent history:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gay Animal Kingdom

One thing I am often surprised by is rational, evolution minded, scientists make a case for homosexuality when from an evolutionary worldview, it doesn't make sense biologically. Typically, one of the arguments used to defend their position is that we see it in the animal kingdom. I've always thought some animals mate by showing their butts to one another and/or eat their partner after sex so does that mean we should do those things as well?

Well, today I read a time article from secular source ask the same exact thing in regards to homosexuality in the animal kingdom. John Clouds writes:
What all these theories [regarding the occurrences in animals] have in common is that same-sex sexual activity is either an accident or a quirky genetic method of helping males impregnate females. Which raises the evolutionary question of why men and women who are exclusive gay and lesbian exist. One answer is that exclusive gays and lesbians are a relatively new creation: the concept of exclusive homosexuality barely existed before modernity; even a century ago, most same-sex-attracted men and women got married and had kids.
So does this mean that there should be no such thing as Gay Marriage then? If nature shows you are only going through a phase, why scientifically should we fight for this right? The author then goes on to offer this question out of another evolutionary psych book which I think is valid and could be correct:
Will "the liberation of homosexuals, which allows them to come out of the closet and not pretend to be straight" actually turn out to "contribute to the end of homosexuality?"
Just because we are born a certain way, does that mean it is correct? Could the idea of gay marriage exist in a purely scientific community without the psychological advantage of a world saturated with a Christian message of love and tolerance (since this is also absent from the animal world)? Is the relative newness because People have stopped "dancing to their evolutionary drive" in favor of something different? Would true science condone birth control because it is impeding the evolutionary process of natural selection among offspring? If natural selection has worked so well to this date, why should care about changing our biology? I've heard Richard Dawkins say that we as Humans can rise above our evolutionary desires but I wonder what right do we have to mess with natural selection?

If you cannot tell, I am fascinated by the lack of a true evolutionary worldview among those that claim that Christian worldview is false. While at the same time, these same people seem to hold to a Christian worldview tighter than some that call themselves Christians. My aim is to only point out that those that think all of this have to consider how they believe what they believe and see if they are being consistent. Could they actually be believing there is no God but living like there is? I know I tend believe there is a God but live like there is not. The difference is in the Christian worldview that is expected to happen while in the other, it is not.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Sin.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define sin and how the Jesus defines sin.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ricky Gervais on becoming an Atheist





Interesting Interview. At least he is honest. How would you respond to this?

My thoughts is that there is more under the surface than what he is letting on.

I do think it is curious that animal cruelty is up there with religious zealots. the questions is what in nature would lead us to believe that nature is that kind to one another that we should be kind to one another? How does he know that his Brother was not lying to him?

If atheist would apply the same standard of proof that they require for the Christian faith, would they still look at Atheism so tightly? I find a lot of the non Christians (and Christians for that matter) will only quote/read people that support their opinion. If they quote the other side, it is usually a German poet on history or a dentist on earth science (meaning someone affirming their few from a semi-scholar) and call their opinion facts.

Both sides will rarely engage with the BEST representative each side has to offer. I've been recently listening a lot of debates recently between Richard Dawkins (atheist) and John Lennox (Christian Physics Prof at Oxford Univ). You can google the debates but you can find John Lennox talking about this issue at http://johnlennox.org/index.php/en/talks/.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Christian.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define Christian and how the Jesus defines Christian.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hats off to Stephen Colbert

Say what you will about Obama, Colbert and the US Military but You have to agree this is a classy way of people with possibly different political view coming together for a common cause. Reminding us all that we have it easy here and the men and women in the Persian Gulf deserve a little more press than say Jon and Kate. Watch this clip:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama Orders Stephen's Haircut - Ray Odierno
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Jesus.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define Jesus and how the Bible defines Jesus.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jon minus 9 and Gender roles



Since I don't have cable, I have not seen this show very much. In case you don't know, Jon meets Kate. Kate has PCOS. Jon and Kate gets fertility treatment. Jon and Kate have a set of twins and a set of six. (Go to Stuff Christians Like for a good funny recap EDIT: and the Soup for the new show title - HT to my Twin).

The first time I saw it, I didn't like it. I thought Jon was bullied by Kate, Jon was passive and it was just about Jon and Kate get this thing or that thing. Also, when I found out they were Christians, I got even more upset because it hit too close to home (meaning it is a good look at how Christians families are run today- too focused on the kids). Being a multiple from a divorced family, I can understand the stress being parents of multiples can cause on a marriage.

What I find curious is that Christians didn't start questioning the show until the questions of cheating arose. Christianity Today points out: "We evangelicals tend to be easily impressed. We cheered on Jon and Kate's decision to carry all six babies to term but rarely considered the prior question: Was it right for them to undergo risky fertility treatments in the first place?" (see CT for whole article). We don't like looking at things critically through the lens of the Bible as it is (especially when we slap the word s christian on it. Matt Johnson offered a good guide today at the Resurgence).

My first thoughts was that the reasons for much of the problems in the home today are Men just aren't leading their homes. We have been seduced by the myth of egalitarianism that says that men and women are 100% equal and should share in the decision making process.

In every organization, someone practically rises to the top to make decision and be the major influencer (see any leadership book). Usually, it is the more charismatic or the one that has the asset that is most demanded. Charisma could be found in either sex, so there is no "natural" advantage but does one have a resource advantage by nature (if we assume men aren't head by birth)?

When money and sex are concern, is there really equality? We are sinful and like to rule our own roost. That CAN'T be denied by anyone.

In most homes today, it is joked about that the woman is really in charge. Why? They'll jokingly say in most homes that she will "turn off the faucet" as I've heard it put. In the past, men been able to counter balance it because they were the "bread-winners" but now that is not the case. Women are working and don't need men to bring home the bacon. Men don't want to either because we have simple needs. All we want is sex and something to excel in (like video games, sports, business, etc.). We have then have no need to be at home for fulfillment. Because 99% of sex will beat money, women by nature (as in past) can and will always have an advantage in the home if A) Men aren't using their brute force to intimidate (historic way) or B) if it is a same sex couple. Plus, the children are always closers to Mom (since she birth them) so there is another check on the power side for the XXs. It is a nice though but in reality egalitarian though is a just fancy way of saying that the wife rules the home practically.

Why do I say all of this in relation to Jon and Kate? I think Luke MacDonald says it best:
The show became more about the parents and the kids having these great adventures than about pure survival. It didn’t take a pop-culture genius to see the problems in the Gosslein’s marriage slowly seeping in. It was obvious that John didn’t like having to take a backseat and let his wife be (in essence) the sole provider. I could write in-depth about a myriad of different problems that were predictors of future problems. It is interesting to note that as tensions rose in the home, the public pushing of the family as Christian role models increased. (Ht to Harvest)
But the problem arises when two parties are fighting over this role because they can't agree who has the final word. So unless both agree (or some outside force like the Bible) appoints one, it will be at best unhealthy and at worst a failure (see current marriage stats). The Bible appoints men simply because it does even the playing field more and it reflects Christ's love for his Church.

I have argued before that "egalitarian" relationship/marriage are more like joint ventures then a covenantal relationship Ephesians 5 talks about. Seth Godin today describes why they fail. He writes "Because there isn’t one boss, one deliverable, one person pushing the project relentlessly, [the venture] stalls" (HT to Seth). Not only are they not clear on success (what the venture hopes to obtain - which is another reason why marriage fail/unclear goals) but they have not one to drive the relation towards that goal.

While talking about businesses, he says the answer is "One side buys the right to use an asset that belongs to the other." The two remain separate but the venture "belongs to one party" for the use they determine. The man agrees to a venture involving low commitment and sex and the woman allows the man his freedom to whatever he wants. He then works "hard" to make sure that this venture is a success. When time to upgrade, he will then move on to find another asset to meet his business model. Woman will do this with the idea of having kids. Enter into a relationship with guy in order to get a father and then when kids come, forget about him. Oversimplification? Maybe.

When two people who aren't married live together (especially for financial reason), aren't they just doing the same thing? Isn't that the scenario that just play out above and in most homes today. Man wants sex so man gives money to an apartment/home for use of woman (asset). He will let woman do whatever she wants if he A) still gets sex and B) has success outlet. Take away one, partnership dissolves and the woman is hurt. However, if man is told he is responsible for the marriage and the home, watch him laid down his life and watch it succeed.

Objectors will say, "marriage isn't a business and shouldn't be run like one." But who says marriage is a democracy? Obviously, we can see how good some democracies work. My response, if it is good enough for a healthy business how much more should it be in a marriage/family which is FAR more important. This may sound cold and harsh but when people talk about the marriage/dating decisions in terms of money/sex/children/job alone, aren't they ignoring the spiritual/relational/social consequences of these decisions? When people reduce marriage to simply sex (of which I was guilty as a single man) or something else and call it love, we are ignoring the ramifications of any poor decision could have on other aspects of a relationship or life. At that point, we are simply using others for our "business" needs rather than using the Gospel example to transform relationships.

I don't want to vilify Jon and Kate. My heart breaks for them. I wish they would stop the show, travel to CCEF in Philly and get help. I wish Jon would man up and fall on the sword and stop bar hopping. I think they forgot what is true success.

As a whole, regarding all of this, I would rather see two people be honest about their decisions then try to vale it in "Christianize" or politeness to downplay the other possible effects it could have. While living together before you get married might lead to higher divorce rates, could the reason for that be because bad habits are being set up where money and sex dominate decision making rather than Christ's glory in the home? While women working outside of the home is good, could it be a problem because man/woman still see each other as man + woman rather than one unit? Finally, while equality is good, could the reason for pushing a certain theology be due to our desire to take an easier road than what the Bible has called for?

The Bible says that one man gave up his life, took the responsibility for his bride (the church) so that the two could be joined as one forever. Why don't our families look like this.

(Sorry if this seems unorganized: i had to get a lot off my chest).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This week at Payne Church of Christ




This week: After seeing God doing something huge, what do you do? This week we look at Jonah's Anger.

Join us this Sunday at 9:30 at Payne Church of Christ.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm glad I bought a Slanket. . .

Everyone loves the Snuggie commercials. But how good is it?


ht to Consumerist)

How does the slanket measure up? Go here to see the comparisons.

This week at Payne Church




This week: When the God's finally gotten your attention, what do you do? This week we look at Jonah Obeys.

Join us this Sunday at 9:30 at Payne Church of Christ.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This week at Payne Church




This week: When the chips are down, what do you do? This week we look at Jonah Prays.

Join us this Sunday at 9:30 at Payne Church of Christ.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Chuck Norris Security System

You can't make this stuff up . . .

A POSH bakery in Split, Croatia, has been broken into almost every week.

But not since the shop owners posted a life-sized photo of the toughest man in Hollywood Chuck Norris in the window.

The sign says: “This shop is under the protection of Chuck Norris.”


See rest of story here. (HT to Relevant)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This week at Payne Church




This week: Why do we run from what we know is right? This week we look at Jonah Runs.

Join us this Sunday at 9:30 at Payne Church of Christ.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A few changes

First, I updated my blog roll. Removed some of the YM stuff and replaced it with

Second, I'm really enjoying stuff from Sovereign Grace and Nine Marks. Really challenging how I view scripture and the church in a good way. Plus, they have a lot of free stuff I can listen too.

Thirdly, I have added an amazon wish list to my blog. It is simply a list of books I want to get. Hopefully, I can get and read most of them (since my birthday is coming up). It has been a while since I have read a good book.

Lastly, I have really realized that I have been mourning sin more recently. Both in my life and in the lives of others. I pray that this continues to motivate me to see people in light of God's grace.

Friday, May 1, 2009

This week at Payne Church (5-3)

Our current series:


Topic: Suffer Humbly. We are usually the humblest people we know. What does the bible have to say about humility this weekend. Come Sunday at 9:30 to find out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I wonder why this doesn't happen more. . .

It wouldn't have mattered since I watch Top Model with Lori. I always hate it when shows are preempted for news conference that are covered on CNN or FOX News
The Fox network announced today that it will not air President Barack Obama's primetime news conference this Wendesday at 8pm (ET), and will air the regularly scheduled drama Lie to Me instead. It is the first time a major broadcast network has declined Obama's request to break into the primetime broadcasting schedule. Lie to Me viewers will see an on-screen graphic informing them that sister cable networks Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network will air Obama's press conference in its entirety. (HT to EW.com)

Friday, April 24, 2009

This week at Payne Church (4-19)

Our current series:


Topic: Suffer Wisely. Churches are strange places. Who are responsible? Come Sunday at 9:30 to find out.

(Note: I need to do this earlier in the week).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Guinea Witch Project

So we have a guinea pig. He is a fast little bugger. My wife recorded this video the other day. I wanted to put menacing music under it but she wouldn't let me.



I know all of you are going to sleep with one eye opened tonight. Be afraid!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quiet Time of Guilt?

As a Christian, one of things that most struggle with is having a "quiet time" with God in the Morning (or evening) in order to make sure that we are hearing from him. Usually, takes the form of duty or obligation (or simply a check mark to click off).

Tim Challies wrote a great post on this idea. I would encourage you to check it out here.

Best Quote:
Whether you are having a good day or a bad day, the basis of your relationship with is not your performance, for even your best efforts are but filthy rags. Instead, your relationship is based on grace. Grace does not just save you and then leave you alone. No, grace saves you and then sustains you and equips you and motivates you. You are saved by grace and you then live by grace. Whether in the midst of a good day or bad, God does not base His relationship with you on performance, but on whether or not you are trusting in His Son.
Enjoy

Friday, April 17, 2009

This week at Payne Church (4-19)

Our current series:


Topic: Suffer Justly. We are all about fairness in the U.S. How does this feeling play into our relationship with God? Come Sunday at 9:30 to find out.

(Note: I need to do this earlier in the week).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We love Technology (but not as much as you, you see)


Last night my wife and I finally saw Wall-E and we LOVED it. It was really interesting watching the humans in the movie so tuned into technology that they forgot how to interact with each other.

Reality isn't too far away from reality. Twitter is the last straw. I heard Shane Hipps say that the more we use technology, the more our souls become divorced from our bodies. Maybe one day we will be floating batteries living in a dream land (see The Matrix).

Craig Groeshel posted some good guidelines for for keeping this from happening over at his blog today. Here is what he said:
  • No tech interruptions during family time.
  • Take consistent blogging or twittering vacations. (Guest blogs work great.)
  • Fast from email on vacations.
  • No surfing the net in the evenings.
Thoughts?

Monday, April 13, 2009

I guess I was quoted in the Toledo Blade Yesterday

Found in an article on Twins:
Older twins have tips too.

Consider Dan Staifer. He says that until the age of 5, it can be cute to dress twins alike from tip to toe. Matching shoes and socks. Matching pants and shirts.
After that?

"Knock it off," Mr. Staifer said. A decade after graduating from Clay High School, he keenly recalls the ribbing when, groan, he and his twin, Derek, dressed in haste and showed up in class with matching shirts.

Dressing twins alike fosters the "one-identity twinness," said Mr. Staifer, a minister in Payne, Ohio. Parents should encourage twins to be individuals with individual identities, he said.
See the whole article here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

2 Liter Light Bulb?!?!?!

I'm amazed sometimes by the ingenuity of humans. When there are limited resources, it amazes me to see people rise to the challenge. Here is a case in point:



ht to Lifehacker

Friday, April 3, 2009

This week at Payne Church (4-5)

Our current series:


Topic: Suffer Selflessly. Who hasn't been accused of being selfish before? I'm sure everyone has at some point in the last week. It is a natural part of the human soul. But should it be so? Find out Sunday at 9:30 at Payne Church.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This week at Payne Church (3-29)

Our current series:


Topic: Suffer Peacefully. Edwin Starr once sang "War. . . what is it good for? Absolutely nothing." Often times though, all we experience is conflict and war. This is especially true among followers of Jesus, the very person that said "Blessed are the Peacemakers". What gives? Find out Sunday at 9:30 at Payne Church.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Reason to Consider a Cash Only Life

From the Consumerist:

First we need to clarify something: just because you select "credit" and sign with your debit card, you're not really making a credit card purchase. The money is still drafted from your account directly, it just takes a little longer. This method of using your debit card is called a signature debit, and it's cleared via a different network than when you pay by punching in your PIN (which, logically, is called a pin debit).

Merchants have to pay more money for signature debit transactions than for pin debit ones. It's in the card issuer's interest to get you to use the debit card in the way that will generate the highest fees. If you're going to pay with debit anyway, it's cheaper on the merchant if you go the pin route.

Remember, though, that paying with a real credit card conveys certain benefits. It may give you more protection in terms of disputes or extended warranties, and in cases where the merchant places a hold—hotels and car rentals, for example—a real credit card will prevent your checking funds from being frozen indefinitely. Your bank may in fact extend those benefits to any signature debit transactions on your debit card, but you'll have to contact your bank to find out.

I've always wondered why there is a choice (other than the option for cash back) between debit and cash. Either way, the retailer befits more from cash transactions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This week at Payne Church (3-22)

Our current series:


Topic: Suffer Lovingly. Statistically, most everyone will be married in their life. Unfortunately, tough times can put a stress on marriages. Peter will address how suffering can influence one of the most important relationship in our lives.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Guest Blogger: The Other Dave Ramsey

The first Dave Ramsey I ever was the best man at my wedding. Great Guy, Great Friend and one heck of a funny guy. He posted this on his facebook page. It is too funny not to share it with cyberspace. Here is what he said:

Our shop is such a mess that we occasionally find weird, random items with no idea as to how they arrived. Today while cleaning, we found a 1947 issue of "Child Evangelism News" with bonus flannel-graph images. I have fond memories of flannel-graph-illustrated stories in Sunday School during my youth, but I don't recall any like these.

The rather un-PC figures depict a Native American chief becoming penitent, along with his family (and apparently, his horse), thanks to the proselytizing of a well-dressed, benevolent white man. Not that the message isn't a good one, but we thought it was rather funny. Actually, the white guy looked amazingly similar to the picture of the editor of "Child Evangelism News." I wonder if you can still find these in any Christian book stores.


















































Some of the Comments from our friends:

"This made me laugh phenomenally.

I especially love the way their clothing is so completely from two different time periods. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Either that or the preacher randomly went to a Native American Tribal Fest or reenactment and converted the actors. But I doubt it."

"HE CONVERTED THE HORSE TOO?!"

"At first I couldn't figure out why they were all genuflecting to that preacher. Then I realized: They were just trying to get a better look at what must be the world's largest pair of feet.

Also, I'm amazed that this family saw the need to put a riding blanket on the back of their dog-sized horse. Any one of them would kill the poor little beast if they tried to ride it."

Thoughts?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dave Ramsey and Craig Groeschel

Two guys that I deeply respect are Dave Ramsey (the finance guy) and Craig Groeschel (from Lifechurch.tv - a church that has greatly impacted me). Apparently, they are going to share a stage. Here is a good interview Craig did with Dave:


Ht to Swerve

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This week at Payne Church

Our current series



Topic: Suffer Willingly. Who likes to submit to authority (especially those that are unfair and down right mean)? This week look at how submitting to authority helps during times of suffering.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Church Website!

Payne Church of Christ now has a website! As time goes on, hopefully it will expand from a simple information portal.

Paynechurch.com

It is early but thanks to David at Sugar Maple Interactive for helping me put it up! While I did a lot of the designing work (i.e. finding a good template), it wouldn't be a reality without them. If you need a site, see them. They are good people.

Feel free to let me know what you think.

As an aside, Our current series

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Change of place, change of pace

Well, it has been a week now moving from Raleigh (Big City) to Payne (Little Village). There have been some things I have been trying to get use to.

First and foremost, it is weird being an obvious outsider. Everyone is nice but I get the sense that they are skeptical about me. I'm also trying to figure the ins and outs of the town.

Secondly, I'm learning to live without FOX. Since the local FOX station is not broadcasting at full power, we can't pick it up (yet). I'm hoping that changes come football season. Also, that's why my wife is forcing me to watch the Bachelor finale as oppose to forcing me to watch American Idol. I would rather watch a baby seal get clubbed than watch this sorry excuse for a show manipulate the word love.

Thirdly, I'm also trying to figure our if we need to be a one car family. My regal is acting up. I hope everything is alright but I've found that I enjoy walking places. I'm also looking forward to trying to bike places that I need to go if Lori has the car. We are still praying about this.

Fourth, now that I am in a house, I realized how much I took for granted living in an apartment. There is definitely more to do (like take out the trash) and deal with landscaping.

Finally, I am 94% sure that after six years of having a cell phone that I will no longer have one. Verizon does not have good reception (though the actual land line is run by Verizon).

So yeah, that is what is going on for all you who were wondering. . .

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Adventure on a Greyhound Bus Part 4

I was pretty excited when we rolled into Emporia, Va. I had over heard that my new "friend" crowding me out was getting off at this stop. This would be my last stop before Raleigh which also made me happy. We pulled up to the "stop" (a bunch of cones in a parking lot of a truck stop). Everyone though this was a break so there was a bum rush towards the door to have a Cigarette break. The Bus driver pull the kibosh down on that and the throngs of the nicotine addicts were ready to riot.

It got me thinking: is there anything in my life that would cause me to get this upset if a mean old bus driver wouldn't let me do it? If the answer is yes to any of thing, I have to pause to see if this is a addiction or something that is a master over me. For these people, it was a cigarette. You should have seen the look on these people's faces. It was like we were clubbing sea kittens or something.

I think the whole bus experience helped remind me how cluttered life can be. The Bus help eliminate distractions of media and internet and showed me it was all going to be okay. The world will go on if I don't follow it for a day. I have a problem with info lusting. I am a thinker and learner. That drives me in most days. The bus help detox me. Because this is a self-imposed trip without luxury, it enabled to quiet down my soul and listen a lot. To people. To God. To my brain.

When I finally pulled into Raleigh a half hour late (thanks to construction), I was happy to see my wife, tired from the trip and willing to do it again. I found it a cheap way to travel and to crowd out some of the noise in my life. It forced me to quiet down and look at my urges and how I see the world. It was a unique experience that I hope I have prepared all of you for since I'm sure you don't know anyone who has ever rode the bus.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Adventure on a Greyhound Bus Part 3

Sorry it has taken me a little longer than I expected to conclude this series. The north side of D.C. is a very different place. As a man that grew up in the suburbs of a rust belt community, I have never seen anything like this. A lot of housing really close together that looked really small. I never knew D.C. was that big. I know I wouldn't want to live. Not because of the social structure but because I would not know where to go to get things done. There is no state Government. There is no (official) U.S. Government Representation.

This is probably why I was so shocked at the state of D.C. It reminded me a little of Guadalajara in look and feel (minus the Spanish signs). It seemed like an area that had no pride in itself. With the amount of people moving in and out of the community, I can understand why. When we constantly move, how can we love the area we live in? Maybe I'm naturally looking at this because I'm in the middle of moving and how I hate it so much.

But as we pulled into the bus station at around noon, I was hungry and had to go to the bathroom. BUT, I couldn't go do either. Not because there wasn't any facilities. Not because I didn't have time. I had forty minutes. I couldn't go because I had to stand in line in order to make sure I caught my transfer bus. Even though I had a ticket, everything was first come, first serve. If I did any of those things, I was not guaranteed a spot on the bus. As it was, the line was already reaching halfway around the station. If I left my spot, I would be in trouble. Not very convenient. When we loaded the bus, almost every seat was filled. So I could have did those things and got a seat but I could not have been sure.

Thus, I had to wait until Richmond, Va to obtain any of these "luxuries" I craved. I was surprised that Richmond had reasonable food prices though the wait was long. Also, while I was waiting, I think I saw a demon possessed woman. She was sitting in the food cafe, yelling at some other people saying something like "Jesus has a thumb up his butt." I couldn't help but look around and people didn't know how to respond. I didn't know how to respond. I was scared. A manager went over and tried to console her but she came back and continued to yell. I wish I knew what to do. I was at a loss. How did people see this? I don't know but it was an experience.

As we traveled on, I got to sit next to an interesting person who crowded me into a corner. He also kept answering to me whenever my wife called me. It was actually quite funny.

I guess this is long enough. One more post tomorrow for all you found this interesting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Adventure on a Greyhound Bus Part 2

I arrived in Cleveland and my new friend had to catch a transfer so I was on my own again. For some reason, we had to sit in the Cleveland bus station for an hour (probably for driver switch and gas up). It was an interesting Bus station. Very Art Deco in feel. I looked at getting some food but there was no way I was going to pay 10 dollars for a cheeseburger from a shady cafe.

Lesson #2: The Greyhound has a captive audience and don't care about it. They will charge what they want. I should have brought food but I did not. Good thing I have strong stomach.

We then loaded the same bus for our next leg to Pittsburgh. I don't remember much of that drive because I tried to sleep. The bus was pretty thin so I could spread out. That didn't last long because we then stopped at the Pittsburgh station (which was by far the nicest one of the trip). But again, we had to stop and wait for another hour. Sigh. I just wished they would travel. Lesson #3: Sleep on a bus is awfully hard to come by.

Once I got back on the bus, I tried to sleep until we reach the end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. As a aside, I'm glad most of my trip was on a Turnpike because that minimized the stops made. Maybe that was why the one hour stops were made too to give the driver a break. I don't know but it was a very confusing part of my travel. Eventually, we stopped at a non greyhound stop on the Penn Turnpike where they had a Starbucks and a Cinnabon. If I was going to pay high prices on anything, it was going to be on something good. I was expecting to get something of a breakfast meal but that didn't happen. I did stock up on some Sun Chips, peanuts and beef jerky at the Shell station there so I could hope to avoid paying the high prices of food in the Greyhound stations.

As we continued on, we stopped at the Hagerstown, MD stop. This was on of the worst stops of the trip since the Greyhound station was a basically a shed with a McDonald's across the parking lot that I didn't have time to go to. Oh the tease! The Frederick station looked nice though I didn't get off.

By this time, I notice a trend among the people that traveled on Greyhound. They are predominantly lower income and mostly nonwhite single people using the bus. I did see a few families try traveling but I can see why more do not do it. I couldn't tell for what reasons people were traveling but it was a different class of people then what I'm use to. I'd try to make conversation but many of them quickly poo pooed the conversation.

One of the benefits of the trip was it got me out of my comfort zone. I would recommend any one who feels superior to any one else, take a trip on a Greyhound. It would expand your view of the world. Most of the time, Greyhound stations are in downtown portion of towns. Often times, you drive into areas you wouldn't go through normally. The trip from Silver Springs, MD to D.C. was especially enlightening. I got to see a side of D.C. that I would never see on a tour bus. Very eye opening.

But more on my D.C. exchange tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Adventure on a Greyhound Bus Part 1


Sorry about the lack of post for all 3 of you who care but I wanted to write about my adventure on a greyhound bus. Why was I traveling on a greyhound bus you ask? Aren't there plane, trains and automobiles? Well, last weekend I drove my 91 Buick Regal north to our new home, Payne, OH along with some stuff. I was going to leave my car there so needed some way back. Since planes were expensive and trains did not run very well from Toledo to Raleigh, so I decided to try my hand at riding the bus. Mind you, I have never ridden in a Greyhound before. I have rode charter buses for band trips and group trips so I'm a aware of how buses travel. I have also traveled on intercity buses in Mexico (which were REALLY nice). But never the two together here in the US.

I decided the price was right ($65) and I am always up for new adventures so why not go for it. At the very least it would give me plenty to talk about for a while. Here is the details of my trip and my thoughts on using Greyhound as a manner of travel here in the United States.

My bus was suppose to leave at 10:20p Sunday night from Toledo. I didn't know I needed a confirmation number so I had to call my wife. The lady there was busy watching a DVD and waiting for her lunch break so she didn't seem to willing to help. There were a few people sitting there watching FOX news (of all things) while waiting for the bus to arrive. Since the bus is first come first serve, a ticket doesn't really mean much. If the bus show up and there are no seats, you are out of luck. Usually people try have two seats so they can spread out. So I didn't willing want to ask for someone to move over. I was hoping to find an empty seat.

The bus arrived pretty full. I found a seat by itself and sat down. There was a late comer that sat down next to me (since I sat in the window seat and not the aisle seat as was the trick everyone else was using). So the guy sat with me. This is guy was a conductor on Amtrak. Really interesting guy. Very nice. I won't go into everything but this guy was nice enough to give me some tips in traveling on the Bus. Without it, I would have been totally confused.

The first thing I noticed that it is a very insider focused industry. Things were not communicated clearly and you had to learn things on the fly. People aren't willing to help very much. (though I thought the bus driver were really nice). As time rolled on, I started to become sucked into the insider culture and didn't really want to help people. Kind of sad on my part.

More to come tomorrow.