December 24, 2006

I've been tagged!

I have been tagged by the whyman and so I will list off 5 things about me you probably do not know

~ I came out with an instrumental album (it came out yesterday so it's news)

~ During freshman year in high school I was hit by a car walking home. The car hit me and I flipped over the top, spun once or twice, landed straight on my back unhurt and the car crashed into a snowbank. No one was hurt in fact my friends started laughing at me soon after they saw I was OK.

~ I love all foods except, olives, grapes and cherry tomatoes. Must be the shape and size.

~ A year before we really met. I hung out for a few hours only a few feet away from Melissa (my wife) in a spot a few hundred miles away from where we live
(phew! that was a long sentence).... I have proof because it was video-taped!

~ When I was in third grade I was all into the "Where's Waldo?" books. In the third one you had to find waldo, the wizard and the scroll in each of the scenes.
It came to where I found everything except the scroll in the underwater scene.
I searched forever with no success until one night I was dreaming in my sleep and in my dream I actually found the scroll, it was on the ocean floor in the middle of the scene. As soon as I found it I awoke, hopped out of bed, flipped open the Where's Waldo book and it was in the exact same place that it was in my dream.

So there you go...

December 17, 2006

scratching the surface of real relationship


I've gotten along with people pretty well, I still do. All my life it seems like I'm always on good terms with everyone. I go out of my way a lot to make others happy not in such an obvious way that makes me not my own person but at the cost of really speaking my mind, seeking improvement within and around me, and really going after God with everything.
But in this past year God has been pushing me. I have said stuff and made decisions that I normally would not have before my 24th birthday. By his grace I still get along with people but now it's in a new way. I have really made priorities in my spirit with God being my first allegiance. This prioritizing, I believe, is the foundation of real relationship. But before I speak too soon I know I have only scratched the surface. God is very big.

December 11, 2006

syncretism ~ pros and cons

The subject of syncretism has been the concern of many christian's and for good reason. Still, I believe that if our hearts are right with God and if we honestly look at the world and all it's ways and philosophies discerningly we will find principles that we should run far away from but also some that we should strive to acquire ourselves.
In the story of the crooked manager (Luke 16), Jesus said "... streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way-but for what is right-using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you'll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior." (the message).
The problem is not necessarily syncretism in the family of God but perhaps the fact that even though we may live according to good morals and correct theology or whatever (which is fine) , we sometimes do not fully see what God is showing us which may be something out of the box and we don't do what we already know to our full potential.
We each have our own personalities shaped by God partly through nature and nurture, and since it is ok to be nurtured who says we can't discerningly allow ourselves to be inspired by an unbeliever. When we compare the church today with the world in the arenas of science, art, music, politics, business etc... we do tend to get blown away. Praise God that his grace makes up for our shortcomings.
When the ways of the world are admirable, syncretism is ok. When the ways of the world are unrighteous, syncretism is bad. Most religions and philosophies have their own strengths and truths. We would do well to filter them out from what is false and make them ours. May the spirit of God give us discernment with this kind of stuff and the strength and courage to grow.

Phil Wyman on "Syncretism in the Evangelical Church: The Consumerism of the Altar Call and the Sinner's Prayer"Sally's Journey on "Time out from Tinsel"Matt Stone on Family ValuesSteve Hayes with an interesting turn about on where we find syncretism!Mike Crockett on Church and Culture: a double-edged swordCarl Nystedt on Syncretism: Pros and ConsBilly Calderwood - It's the Economy Stupid...John Smulo's BlogJohn Morehead's Musings

December 10, 2006

up a tree



24 hours ago, my cat isabel was chased up a tree by three dogs. Melissa and I watched as she climbed upwards for about sixty feet! We were nervous, we prayed and a half an hour later Isabel worked up the nerve to awkardly climb back down. She made it halfway doing all sorts of contortions and even jumping to another tree. At 25 feet she kind of slipped/jumped and landed with feet down and in perfect condition. Soon after she napped for a good six hours. She now has eight lives left. (hey, I just noticed that in every sentence there is a term of measurement, huh) .... life goes on.

November 27, 2006

church swapping for dummies

I have been with my current congregation since I was thirteen. I essentially grew up there in a spiritual sense. Every one is family and a few of them have been key figures that God has used to change my life. It was in this family where I first experienced the presence of Jesus. I was discipled, loved and I was encouraged to be who God created me to be with my gifts and personality. Lately(however long that is), I think I (and my wife) have reached a plateau. For the past 4 or 5 years I have had an itch for change and I would bring that to Jesus every time it came around, that has been way more often the past couple months and I take that as one sign out of many. There are many reasons and thoughts on this matter, too many to write right now.

The struggle I have is not in my decision to leave which I believe is the will of God but actually doing it. We are excited about what lies ahead but we are also mourning as we're leaving. Also, we were nervous about telling others the news. Who do we tell first? How much longer should we stay? How should I word my explanation? Would anyone take it really personal?
There may be a myriad of bible studies, books and conferences on certain spiritual topics that churces offer but a hand guide on church swapping? I don't think they exist. This has been a circumstance in the grey. But through constant prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit's guidance I believe Melissa and I have done a decent job. We are now both ready for the adventure that God has for us.

November 21, 2006

steady

Up and down. That's the theme for november. The weather has been changing drastically within a matter of hours. I have had moments of extreme fun and than the very next day a good friend of mine is killed in a car crash. Melissa (my wife) and I celebrate our birthdays and than the nearing of holidays reminds us not only to be thankful (my birthday lands on thanksgiving this year by the way) but shows us just how broken up our families are. Thank God we have very understanding relatives. We are leaving a now old season and mourning as we say goodbye to that era of our lives while at the same time excitedly preparing for what we see is ahead. With all this Jesus is steady, very steady. I think I'm doing OK most days as I try to follow his example. Jesus, keep me steady in the power of your spirit.

September 07, 2006

balancing


For years I've been trying to keep in the balance. I've done my part in worshipping in a style thats liturgical & spontaneous. I've also tried "being in the world but not of the world". I've dealt with sin, guilt, forgiveness and resolution with the concepts of grace & discipline. I've come across the quirks of diversity and it's possibility within a circle of truly compatible friends and these are just to name a few examples. I've come to a semi-conclusion. Balance stinks, it's hard but it's worth it. It's where Jesus is.

August 25, 2006

talachination proclamation BLAM!

stacked more wood tonight. I can feel autumn coming. can't burn any of it though because it's all wet. I have a good feeling about this winter.

August 08, 2006

I think I'll slow down

bought a new car the other day. izabel is now an outdoor cat. this weekend there's gonna be a big party at my house and my brother's coming home from california. really good friends of mine just had their first baby. often in busy but good times like these life takes on a life of it's own and goes on and on until I realize for the last time that I need to slow down in God's presence. not the kind of slow down in prayer as I'm on my way to work in my new car, that's good and all but I'm talking about the slow down in prayer that I need to squeeze into my "busy" schedule so my attention is undivided. God and His blessings are far too often taken for granted.

July 11, 2006

this rocks!

yup, I'm a stoner. I am addicted to granite. I just finished both sides of a stone walkway and I am psyched.

June 05, 2006

What God is showing me through my in-laws

Two months ago my wife and I moved in with her parents for different reasons like saving money. A sacrifice on everyone's part but beneficial to everyone as well. After deciding to move I remember the way I felt. Unsure of how things will go but confident everything will work out, especially since we believed it was God's will. My first thought was space, where could I hide if I needed space. What will people think about us living with our parents. After two months every insecurity is just about gone and I'm am super excited for this new season ahead of us.

For the past few months the reality of community has been on my heart strongly and how our Father has made it so necessary, a priority even, to live life with others and not just as an individual. America needs to let go of a lot of it's individualism, it's one of our great sins. We must swallow our pride and repent to see God move in new ways. He will provide to us as a community and as individuals. My mind and heart are being renewed in the way I view this subject and I didn't think I had much of an issue. Improvements are still needed.

There is an excellent site with a paragraph or two on community, it's called churchthink.com
By the way I do have places to hide, more than I did before.

May 30, 2006





I've been forced into creating a blog. Say Hi! or something