Dec 14, 2007

Talk about bad luck...

So, a convenience store security camera catches a guy grabbing a ladies purse off of the counter. All the police have is the guy's picture from the tape. But, who is he?
The local paper gets the story, and the picture, and puts it on the front page. Right below a story about a local sign guy that will paint holiday scenes on your business' windows. Included in that story is a picture of the window artist. As the paper is being printed, someone noticed something odd... Like the fact that the window painter dude, and the purse grabbing dude have the same build, hair color, and clothing... Sucks to be him. (Read the whole story here...)


Do they understand what we say...

I offer this as the follow-up to my "Fratalian Coffee" video. Do we communicate in a way that people can understand?



video

Dec 12, 2007

"I" as in....

So, someone is leaving me a voice mail earlier today (I'll not mention the name to protect the innocent...). They are spelling out a word phonetically, and they say "'D', as in David... 'I', as in ... ... umm.... I guess 'I' as in 'I'." So, is that 'I' as in eye, or 'I' as in aye? I guess it was funnier to hear than to read about it here...
So, for those who don't have the phonetic alphabet memorized, here ya go...

FPU Wrap Up...

This is a little delayed, but we wrapped up our first FPU classes a week ago. We had 33 families join, and about 25 completed the 13 weeks. We had an average of $9800 per family paid off in debt, and another $5100 saved.

Nov 9, 2007

A lesson for the church...

We have to remember to use words that the world understands if we want them to understand our message...
Click here to read more...

Nov 4, 2007

Now THAT's Dry.

Don't know the source of this official drought information, but:

It's so dry in Georgia that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling; the Methodists are using wet-wipes, the Presbyterians are giving out rain-checks, and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water.

Now THAT's Dry.

Candy Blast 2007 - The Report

Candy Blast was AWESOME. Almost 1300 people showed up Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We gave away almost $3000 worth of candy. Everyone had a great time and we had a lot of positive feedback from the event. A huge thanks to everyone who helped and gave and served.


Oct 29, 2007

Diet Coke and Mentos...

Okay, you've probably seen this on YouTube...
I used it as an illustration for offering yesterday. In the natural, what we are giving may not seem like much. But when we partner with God in giving, there is a supernatural response.

video

Oct 25, 2007

Candy Blast Set-Up

I'm taking a break from setting up for Candy Blast. I'm always amazed by two things: (1) How much work this thing takes and (2) how awesome it looks. For some of the set up pics, click here...

Oct 16, 2007

Innovate, Youth Convention...

I'm sitting here at 11pm, when I should be in bed...
I'm watching the video session from the Innovate conference. The teaching from Guy Kawasaki is awesome!! (Shane, P. Scott you guys should take a look at it...)
I'm working on my teaching notes for the class I'm teaching at our annual Youth Convention this weekend. Of course, I'm teaching on money and finances. The class is called "Show Me The Money!"
I love it when I reach the point of sleep deprivation that I start to hallucinate. Of course, it does make it easier, because that's when the little people come out... They're telling me to burn stuff...

Oh, how about another quote. This one is from Billie Jean King, a tennis during the '70's: "Be bold. If you're going to make an error, make a doozy, and don't be afraid to hit the ball."

Random Quotes... with Commentary

"Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work." -Thomas Edison

Edison was speaking about his work on the perfection of the light bulb. Instead of focusing on how many times he had failed, he saw it as how many times he had eliminated what would didn't work, putting him that much closer to success. How often do we let one failure, or two or three stop us?

"If everything is under control, you're going too slow." -Mario Andretti.
I like slow, comfortable and easy going. But not much gets done that way.

Oct 14, 2007

Blast from the past...

An old friend of my older brother contact me through MySpace the other day, and had some pictures on his profile from Hoonah. This is my dad's old truck that us kids pretty much destroyed. Good times...

Oct 10, 2007

93%

According to Wikipedia, 93% of kids in America go trick or treating on Halloween. We can either hide behind the church doors, or throw those doors open for kids to come in have a great time in a safe place.
More Candy Blast info...

Oct 8, 2007

Coat Outreach 2007

We do acts of kindness because we have message to share. Each year we take the children of the Williwaw subdivision and purchase new coats for them in the fall. This year we included at stop at Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch and some fun. We bought about 60 kids $3000 worth of jackets and $700 worth of pizza and game tokens. Way to go Wasilla Assembly for making this possible!!
To see the video report, click here...
www.wasillaag.org

Sep 26, 2007

Easily Used...

For a long time I've claimed 2 Timothy 4.11 as the biblical basis of what I do. Paul calls Mark helpful to him. In my role, I am to be useful to the leader I serve under. I just used my Quick Verse program to look up the meaning for the "helpful." According to the Strong's Concordance, it means "easily used." I like things that are easy to use. I hate phone menus that lead to no where, or websites that are hard to navigate. My cell phone is simple to use, that's part of why I bought that one.
If I'm truly going to be helpful to my senior leader, I have to not only be useful, but easy to use. There is a difference. I'm told a Mac is useful, but I've never found them easy to use. It may do wonders, but if I can't figure out how to get it to work for me, it's just a pretty paper weight.

And you thought YOUR pot holes were bad...

A video from Iraq... I don't think the DOT is set up to handle that sort of job. WARNING: a brief, bad word is used, watch with volume down.

Sep 24, 2007

Top Twenty Theological Pick-up Lines NOT to use

These are from C. Michael Patton


20. ”I am not overweight. The word ‘glory’ in Hebrew is kabod which according to HALOT literally means ‘heaviness.’ The Bible also says that we are to reflect God’s glory. Therefore, I am just doing what the Bible says.”

19. “Looking at you makes me reconsider preterism, because you are heaven on earth.”

18. “Paul said that it was better to marry than to burn. Therefore, I am under God’s mandate to marry you.”

17. “Here, let me take care of those tithes.”

16. “You may not have chosen me, but I have chosen you.”

15. “I could not help but notice you were exegeting me instead of the text during the sermon.”

14. ”Your name must be grace, because you are irresistible.”

13. ”There are six things that motivate me to talk to you, yea seven that turned my head.”

12. “Until this moment, I thought I had the gift of singleness.”

11. During communion say, “Can I get you another drink.”

10. “The Bible says that God is not concerned with outer appearance . . . neither should you.”

9. “The Good Book said that I might be visited by angels unaware, but something must be wrong with my interpretation, because I am perfectly aware of you.”

8. “I noticed you crying during alter call, can I help?”

7. While giving her a TULIP say, ”This Totally depraved person has been Unconditionally drawn to you, Limiting himself to your Irresistible beauty that is Persevering beyond all others.”

6. “God may be the bread of life, but you are the butter.”

5. “The site of you leaves me apophatic.”

4. “Well, gouge out my eyes and cut off my hands. If I hang around you much longer, I won’t have any limbs left.”

3. “You must have missed The Fall line, because you are lookin’ righteous.”

2. Sing this to the tune of George Strait’s “Chair”: “Excuse me, but I think you’ve got my rib.”

1. “Are you homo or homoi?”

Sep 15, 2007

Old friends...

The other day on MySpace (yes, I know some of you hate myspace...) a guy I went to high school with contacted me. We've haven't talked since graduation night, 15 years ago. It was a unique feeling to catch up with some one after so many years.
I wonder if God ever feels that way about us... How often do we let a ton of time go by with out connecting with Him. I heard a statistic the other day (I'm not sure where it came from, so I can't verify it) that the average minister spends less than 5 minutes a day in prayer. Seeems to me that it would hard to say that you speak on behalf of someone you barely know...

Sep 12, 2007

Some days...

Have you ever wondered how some days can be so calm and serene, and the next so crazy and busy?
Today was one of the crazy days. MC:WA 2007-2008 launched this week, plus we've had a special guest, plus Christy and I are still trying to get unpacked from our trip to the South. On days like this, the following keeps me going:

Sep 11, 2007

FPU Update

We had our first class on Sunday night, with a grand total of 33 families signed up... Over 60 people! Everyone is real excited!!

Sep 10, 2007

Yes, we did make it home...

Yes, we did make it home... And we hit the ground running... Busy, busy, busy!

Sep 1, 2007

Mission accomplished...

Mission accomplished... They got hitched. It was hot, and the black tux made it even hotter. But, it didn't last too long. Still, the tux place is going to want to give that thing a good cleaning... There's several pounds of liquid me in that thing.
Today's highlights include a trip to a Bass Pro store (WOW!!!) and a visit to the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated. There's an X on the street marking the spot that he was shot. There's actually 2 X's, he was hit twice. Or three times, depending on which theory you believe.

Aug 31, 2007

Dallas!!

We made it back to Dallas... Yesterday we went to Houston. Our purpose when we set out was to go all over town shopping. We did a detour to the Johnson Space Center, and wound up doing 5 hours there. I've now been to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Next stop is space...
So we were afraid we goofed up and lost our shopping time. Just a little further down the highway, we found all the stores we were looking in one spot, and Christy got most of what she was looking for. Yea!!
So, we did the rehearsal in the 100 degree heat. I don't believe I've ever sweat that much before. The back of my fingers were sweating. And tomorrow I get to do it in a black tux. Kill me... Kill me now. Oh well, Matt and Adina are worth it.

Aug 30, 2007

Two more pictures...

I'm not sure about a ferry named "deadman."

The view from where we are staying.


Aug 29, 2007

The Pictures...

Some pictures of our road trip...














The TBN studios in Dallas. Found them totally by mistake...















The Texas/Arkansas border runs through the middle of Texarkana.

The state line goes right through the middle of the federal courthouse.
















The Mississippi River from downtown Memphis.
















The gates of Graceland. We were too cheap to pay to get in.















Cotton in a field in Mississippi














St. Louis Cathedral in Louisiana in the French Quarter
















State capital, Jackson Mississippi















Pastor Scott's home in Louisiana














The place where they make Tabasco Sauce. We took the tour.

Aug 27, 2007

Sittin' by the dock of the bay...

We are sitting on the tip of the Bolivar Peninsula, waiting for a ferry to take us across the bay to Galveston. We drove clear across the southern part of Louisiana today. We made a cool stop at the place where they make Tabasco sauce.
Went through some great thunder, lighting and heavy rains storms. It's crazy... We are going along and it's 90 degrees. In less than a minute it drops by 20 degrees. Massive lighting. One went off right over my head while I'm out in an incredible down pour. I was sure that I was going to get hit. There are those of you who have been saying for years that I'm due to get smited by God. I thought this was it...
P. Scott, I've got some pictures I'll post for you later...

Aug 26, 2007

A lllloooonnnggg bridge...

Last night coming into New Orleans, we crossed the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the worlds longest bridge. It's 24 miles long. We were moving along at 60 miles an hour, and it still took 25 minutes. It was dark, so you couldn't see too much, but it was still cool.
In the picture below, the thin white line crossing the lake is two, two lane bridges.



Here's the weather for today in New Orleans...

Aug 25, 2007

Made it to New Orleans...

We made it to New Orleans. Last night we were at the Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis. We left there this morning. Now we are at the Hilton, right on the Mississippi river. If our window opened, I could throw a rock and hit it.
Our rental car has a thermometer in it, and the outside temp has been right around 100. We were coming down, and it started to look like rain. The temp dropped from 100 to 86 in about 45 seconds, and then it began to rain HARD!! Later it dropped from from 86 to 75 in a few seconds. Crazy...
So, all things are going good. We were suppose to head to Galveston tomorrow morning, but we decided to spend another day here in New Orleans, and check into Galveston on Monday.
At some point, I'll try and get some pics...

Aug 23, 2007

Almost forgot... Financial Peace University...

We did our final preview, and have about 26 couples signed up for FPU.

On the road, in Texarkana...

We are on day one of a 12 day trip. Tonight we are in Texarkana. We flew all night to Dallas, just sleeping a couple of hours on the plane. Of course, it's much warmer here than Alaska. Almost double. Yesterday at home it was 55; today here at one point the thermometer was reading 108. Traffic in Dallas was miserable. One cool thing: we hopped off the highway to hit a Wal-Mart and wound up right next to TBN's big facility. We drove around and took a few pictures. Didn't feel the anointing, but had a huge urge to empty my wallet.... Just kidding.

Aug 13, 2007

A revolutionary new way of thinking...

Okay, here's the deal: if the genius's at SNL can figure this out, why can't we? What am I talking about? Click here...

Aug 9, 2007

Not much fun...

This started out as a beautiful night of caching. We did an easy cache in Settlers Bay, and then headed out past the Goosebay Airport for a cache on the Knik Arm. The view from where we parked above the beach is incredible. Christy and I came out here a few times early in our relationship.
So, we come down the beach, and head into the woods when the arrow swung that way. Got within 40 feet of cache, and GPS was jumpy and didn't haven't much accuracy. No problem, that was to be expected in the trees. So, we begin the hunt. About five minutes in, with the GPS reading 20 feet, Christy goes "Ouch... Ouch... There's something on me..." I turn around, expecting a thorn, maybe a spider. At first I don't see anything, and then I realize we are in the middle of a swarm of extremely unhappy bees. Apparently we stepped on their home. I've only been stung one other time in my life, so the first sting was a surprise. The second sting hurt, and then I realized this wasn't going to stop, we had to get out of there. We started running through brush, killing the bees as they stung. I took between 12 and 15 hits, and Christy took almost 20. We stinkin' hurt. Ice helps, but we only have two ice packs, and we are stung all over. We tried a baking soda paste, but it didn't help. I'm headed to the store to see what sort of help they may have.
Simply put, that sucked.

Aug 7, 2007

FPU is coming soon...

This week is the first preview night for the Financial Peace University. Our Pastor believes in it so much, he's given me the entire main service for the preview night. I'm thinking we've are going to have a good sized group.

Jul 28, 2007

Cool pics...


This is a picture of a cargo ship crossing the Columbia Bar at the mouth of the Columbia River. I just thought it was an impressive shot. It's the background on my laptop for now...
Click here for the link to the picture...

Jul 27, 2007

World Longest Zip Line

The world's longest zipline is where I use to live in Hoonah. They have a pretty cool video of the ride here...

Best movie ever...

It's 2.30 am, and I just got home from the Simpson Movie. Totally worth it.

Jul 25, 2007

Jul 19, 2007

Stupid fish...

I'm sitting here, glued to my computer, wait for updates on dipnetting on the peninsula. If the fish are still holding off shore, or if the commerical guys got them all, then there is no point in driving 4.5 hours to stand in the water. But, when it's hot, you can catch a fish a minute. Stupid fish...

Jul 7, 2007

Bears, glaciers, and fish...

Pics from the trip...

On the Road again...

Actually we just got off the road... We left Juneau on the ferry with Mom and Dad, and arrived in Haines. Then we drove 800 miles back to Wasilla, stayed the night, and then drove 300 miles to Homer. On the drive from Haines, we saw 7 bears, on with a cub.
In Homer, dad and I went halibut fishing. The first day was really good, with the largest fish being caught weighing in at 110 pounds. It wasn't caught by us, but another lady on the boat. The second day, the fish were smaller, but we both caught our limit.
Both evenings we ran the 80 miles back up to Kasilof to dipnet. The first night I caught one, and got skunked on the second night.
And know we are back home. Mom and dad fly out tomorrow morning.

Jul 1, 2007

Juneau

I was going to do a follow up post to the dipnetting one, but never did. I caught two sockeye salmon, as a group we got 13.
We are in Juneau right now, getting ready to go fishing. It's been rainy, which is normal for Southeast. We met mom and dad here on Friday, and tomorrow will leave for Haines for the drive back home. Coming down we saw to bears, and whales on the ferry. Well, the whales weren't on the ferry, we were, and we saw whales.

Jun 26, 2007

Dipnetting...

I will be leaving here in a few moments to go dipnetting... I'm not sure why I enjoy it so much. It involves a a net with a 5 foot hoop and a 12 foot handle. You put on chest waders, and go stand in the river waiting for a fish to swim into it. I'll let you know how it goes...

Jun 14, 2007

A beautiful day in Alaska...

It's just awesome outside right now!! These are the days where it is great to live here! Let me see if I can figure out how to get a picture in here...
I need to cut the grass... Maybe tonight. Christy has a baby shower she's going to, so I'll have some time...

May 28, 2007

Oops, almost forgot...

I almost forgot about the Shoe Outreach that happened last week. It's one of the funnest events we do. There is a neighborhood here in Wasilla that our church has adopted, and every year in the spring we buy shoes for all the children. We pick them up on a Sunday and bring them to the church for a great Children's Church. Then we feed them lunch and take them to Payless Shoes, where they get to pick out a new pair of shoes. It's so awesome to see how excited they are!
You can view the pictures here...
In addition to the shoes, we do complete Thanksgiving Dinners, a Candy Blast, free coats, and Christmas gifts. Before we started, the State Troopers tell us that they would receive 3-5 calls a night. After three years of showing God's love, the Troopers tell us they only receive 2 to 3 calls a week.
If every church in America would pick an area, and show God's love to the people, we would live in a very different world!

Been awhile...

It's been a little while since I've blogged... And it's not because nothing is going on, but because there has been so much going on... Spent a week in Florida on Pastoral Vision Summit. The first day I lost my glasses in the ocean, the second day I got sun burnt beyond belief. My shoulders are still sensitive and itchy. Oh, and before that, the screen on my laptop fried, so I had to get a new laptop. I'm still trying to get everything set up the way I had it on the old one.
After Florida, I was home 6 days and then left with the Master's Commission to Southeast Alaska. We drove 16 hours to Haines, spent 2 days there, and then took a 28 ferry ride to Petersburg. I was there 2 days, and then handed the team off to Pastor Nathan. I had such an awesome time with the Masters. They are an incredible group of young people. And it looks like we'll have over 20 students for next year!!
Christy is still very busy at work. We spent the whole weekend trying to fix computers. Her grandfather's health took a turn for the worse, and he is in the hospital. The doctors don't figure that he'll make it to the end of the week. We are going in tomorrow night to visit him.
Well, it's late, and I'm tired... Have a good week!

May 4, 2007

Great Quote

I just read this quote on Steve Furtick's blog:
“You can tell what God is about to build in your life by the equipment He brings around you”?

So, what is God building at my church?

May 3, 2007

An update from our Summit...

We are still on our Summit. It's been pretty intense... We've been meeting almost non-stop, talking about the church, and mapping out the future. We can see that we are weak in the area of discipleship and equipping believers for real ministry. One of the reasons we are here is to connect with a church that has an incredible program. They have given us a ton of time and material and have been a real blessing to us.
We came to Florida because it was the cheapest way to go. We had enough air miles for the tickects and Pastor Ed has a hook up at a hotel in Vero Beach.
The first day we were here we took a quick dip in the ocean, and my glasses got knocked off and were gone... The quickest way to see again was to go to Wal-Mart and get contacts. I haven't worn contacts in about 13 years.
The second day we did our talking in the ocean, and was in there for about 3 hours. Too bad I have the worlds fairest skin, and got sun burnt like crazy!! Right now it's in it's blister stage, and my back and shoulders are covered in them. I am in mass pain...
Yes, I am an idiot.

Apr 28, 2007

A great breakfast...

This morning we had the first of many Men's Breakfasts. The food was incredible!! You never know what you are going to get with church food, but this was a good one. Tomorrow we have One Lord Sunday, where over 20 churches are coming together for a Valley Wide Joint Service. Then that evening, we take off for our Pastoral Summit.
Fun stuff...

Apr 25, 2007

Access...

On Saturday, Christy and I swung by the Wal-Mart on A Street in Anchorage. We normally don't shop there, just because it seems so run down and dirty. As we were checking out, I heard a familiar voice, and there in front of me was Governor Palin. When Christy and I first started dating, she was a nanny for the Palin's. This is when Sarah had just become mayor of Wasilla. Christy was with them for about a year, and I spent a lot of time over there. Christy had her own seperate living space, so I didn't spend a lot of time around the family, but I still got to know them.
We waited for her to check out, and then walked out of the store with her, chatting as we went. She was curious to know how we were doing, and how the church was doing. We expressed our surprise in running into the Governor in Wal-Mart of all places. She was running to a couple of speeches, and need to pick up some make up. Once we were outside, we wished each other well, and went our ways.
I remember my first reaction was think about how cool it was to run into the governor in Wal-Mart. She was by herself, with no security detail, or assistants. Then I remember thinking how it was even cooler that I knew the governor of the greatest state in American personally, and that she knew us, and would take the time to ask how we were doing.
It was great to run into Sarah, but it got me thinking...
It's a big deal to meet someone important. When Christy was in high school, they went to Disney Land and saw the Olson Twins on the Mono-Rail. I've met the winner of Survivor Guatemala, Danni, and got a picture with her. One time at Phoenix First, there was a chance that President Bush might visit to discuss his Faith Based Initiatives, and the church was all a twitter. When I lived in Hoonah, large yachts would lay over there in the summer, waiting for their permits to go into Glacier Bay, and there was usually a celebrity on board.
We make a big deal out the rich and famous. But think about this: As believers, we have instant, continuous access the the most famous celebrity of all. We have a direct line to the God of the universe. We have a audience with the Lord of lords and the King of kings. Whether its in our prayer closets, or as we work, or in church; we have God's ear, and His heart is turned towards us. Forget about meeting an elected official, or a TV star, or a sports hero... Through the blood of Jesus, we can boldly approach the throne of grace!! Once there was not a way, but through His death on the cross, Jesus has made the way!
But do we fully appreciate this? Do we walk with God throughout the day, every day; or do we just visit Him once a week? This week is District Council, and I spent yesterday at Muldoon Assembly. Their wireless system was secure, so I couldn't log on get my emails. I felt so disconnected and out of touch. How often do I "log on" with God through out the day?
Perry Noble mentioned once that Leadership is merely listening to God. As Moses lead Israel, his leadership method was to take every decision and problem to God. Look through Exodus at how many times it says "and Lord said to Moses."
Well, I'm not trying to get too deep or spiritual, but it's pretty amazing that we are children of God, and we have the Father's attention...

Apr 23, 2007

Almost died today...

I've got another thought I want to blog on, but will save that for later. For now, I wanted to share a near death experience... Not really near death, but still pretty cool.
So Matt and I are in his truck (thank God not mine), and we are coming through Wasilla on the Parks Highway. Going by Carrs, this chick in a Chevy pulls completely out in front of us. Matt panics, but I keep my head and my cool and calmy told him how to aviod t-boning her. Due to my sage advice, calamity was avoided, and his truck barely nicked hers, just rubbing the mud off of his bumper. It could've been a disastrous accident.

Apr 21, 2007

Yeah, new laptop...

I'm typing this from my new Toshiba Laptop. We hadn't planned on buying one, but the screen on my old on completely died. I've had it for over three years, and had it set up exactly like I wanted. It sucked to lose it, and we hated to have to spend the money on a new one. But, we did get a nice one. Windows Vista Ultimate, 2 Gig of ram, 280 gig hard drive, Core 2 Duo. My wife is so awesome... We've been saving hard for a house, and then we have to spend some of it on this. She was very understanding!

Apr 20, 2007

Luke 9.28-36

I realize I've been a little all over the map on topics covered in this blog. I'm just amazed that I'm doing it at all... Self-discipline is not my strong suit...
I was just reading about the transfiguration in Luke 9 and had some thoughts. Verse 32 says that Peter and his companions were very sleepy. I ask myself, how often have I been in the midst of a divine, supernatural moment and miss it because I'm not paying attention?
Verse 33 says that it was as Moses and Elijah were leaving that Peter spoke up and offered to make 3 shelters. It would be easy to guess that he didn't want this incredible thing to end. He wanted to "camp" in this moment. How often have I been tempted to park at a particular spot because it was a great place to be? But, obviously, the plan was to move forward. There was a work to be done. The next day, Jesus brought freedom to a little boy who was tormented. If he'd been on the mountain still, roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbaya, this chance to show the Father's love would have been missed. There are times on the mountain in the glory, and there's time to take that to the people, so they may know the Father.

Apr 12, 2007

Cache On!!

Just got back from hitting a quick cache. It was the second version of one that disappeared right after we found it. Hopefully we are not bad luck, and this cache disappear also.
The thing I love about geocaching is that it gets you out and about. We would've just set on the couch all night watching Survivor, CSI, and Scrubs, but instead we got off of our duffs and enjoyed the great state we live in.

A great story from Perry Noble...

I've lately become a huge fan of Newspring Church, Perry Noble, and Tony Morgan. Perry Noble had an incredible story from one of the ladies in his church on his blog recently. It's amazing what one act of love can produce! Click here to read it...

Apr 11, 2007

STOMP

Christy and I went to STOMP last night at the PAC. It was incredible!! The music was great, the presentation was great, the way they so many different sounds and tones out of the different items was pure genius! It's not cheap, but if you ever get a chance, go to it!

Google Maps

A lady in our church showed me this... Go to Google Maps (www.maps.google.com) and select Chicago as your starting point. Then ask for directions to there from London. Look at step number 20.

Apr 9, 2007

My passion

In an attempt to be a better blogger, I've been reading some how to's. The biggest suggestion was to blog about what you are passionate about. The ironic thing is that I'm pretty sure that no one is even reading these. I'm only doing these because I hope some day to author a book, and I believe blogging will help me get practice in organizing my thoughts.
So, my passions... #1 is my relationship with God. I have a theory. We've all read the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. One of the way some people primarily show and express love is through acts of service. That is my love language, and how I show my love to God. It's not working to saved, but working because I'm saved.
#2 is my wife. She's an incredible woman, who loves me very much. I'm not sure why... She works her butt off every day so that I can pursue my third passion
#3 Being in the ministry. It's what I'm called to do, it's who I am.
#4 Geocaching. If you've done it, you understand.
#5 Family. I'm surrounded by incredible family members.
#6 Alaska. If you've been here, you understand.

Apr 7, 2007

Geocaching

Other than church and family, geocaching is Christy and mine's biggest hobby. Any chance we get we got out. It's a great way to get some exercise and see more of the greatest state in the world.

Apr 5, 2007

Am I Newsworthy?

I was just reading in Romans, Chapter 1, verse 8, where Paul is saying that he thanks God for these believers in Rome because "your faith is being reported all over the world. (NIV)"
Whatever it was that this church, this group of believers was doing was being reported and spoken about throughout the whole world! Was is their love for each other, or miracles, or their stand for righteousness in corrupt world? Was it healings, demonstrations of the Spirit's power or good works? It had to be something real and tangible, something that people could see.
In our world today, if a Hollywood star or politician sneezes it makes the headlines at cnn.com. We have an overwhelming amount of real time news at our command. Now compare that to the world Paul lived in, where a simple journey could take days, weeks, months. And yet, in that "primitive" society, the church was being spoken about around the world.
This forces me to look at two questions:
1. Is there anything in my life of faith that can be seen? Is there any tangible, quantifiable results of the hope I profess?
2. Are those results newsworthy? Jesus "made headlines." In Acts 17.6, Paul & Silas' activities were known. Is there anything in my life, am I doing anything with this salvation I have received that is worth reporting?
2 Corinthians 6.1 tells us not to receive God's grace in vain. The word vain there means empty. Is there anything to my life, or is just empty?
God, I desire to live a life that will make headlines "for your name's sake. (Rom 1.5)"

Apr 1, 2007

So, we are here practicing for our Easter Illustrated Sermon... We have just a couple of practices left. We use to practice for months, and it got real old. Now we slam it into less than two weeks. A little more intense, but it doesn't drag on and on. Pastor Ed always has incredible Illustrated Sermons. They are not entertainment for the church, but a tool to reach the lost!
We have a cross on the platform that is about 20 feet tall. We have a ladder up to the cross piece, and a pile of mattresses below. We are going to do a human video to "Dive" from Steven Curtis Chapman, and a parade of brave souls will go up the ladder, across the cross piece and then dive about 15 feet. It's going to be pretty insane. After Easter, you can view the video at our media site at www.wasillaag.net.
And if you live in the area... be sure and stop by on Friday or Sunday.

Mar 19, 2007

Top Ten Signs Your Pastoral Church Job Search Is Not Going Well

Top Ten Signs Your Pastoral Church Job Search Is Not Going Well

10. Average time between sending in application and receiving rejection notice: 5-7 minutes.

9. On eight different job search websites there’s a picture of you with the caption “Don’t bother applying.”

8. You keep getting responses rejecting you for the position but encouraging you to apply for “Pastor of Folding Bulletins.”

7. Every opening you see needs a minimum of 25 years experience at a church of at least 10,000 members.

6. You find out that the "salary package + health benefits" for your "perfect job" consist of "Love Offerings" and some Band-Aids.

5. The search committee asks if you'd be willing to accept a salary cut in order to pay for their tickets to see the local NASCAR race.

4. One position involves you signing an affidavit insisting that you've "never struggled with worry, doubt, confusion or disagreeing with your spouse.?

3. When you call to follow up on your resume, the church secretary hangs up on you. After swearing at you.

2. You and your family might be able to make the salary package work if the government repeals the child labor laws.

1. The head elder says "We’ll pitch the parsonage for you as soon as we can find some stakes."

Feb 21, 2007

From Francis Frangipane

Deliverance From Bitterness
Francis Frangipane

There are two conditions of the heart no one can hide: one is when the heart is filled with love and the other when we are infected with bitterness. Either condition can take over our thoughts and both can filter our entire view of life. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must make our highest quest to possess hearts full of God’s love. Indeed, how successful we are at revealing Christ’s love is the true measure of our spirituality.

Thus, love cannot long exist as an unexpressed or hidden secret. If love is real, it will be seen in a thousand manifestations reaching to the heart of its beloved. Love, which is in truth passion for oneness, is too powerful to be contained by mere discipline or self-control. Indeed, is not love boldly displayed in its unrequited gifts, and is it not heard in its many encouragements and expressions of concern? Is it not tangible in its unabashed enjoyment of time spent with those it loves?

Bitterness, too, cannot be hidden. A bitter soul is not seeking oneness, but justice. It is driven by the unresolved theft of its peace, personhood or possessions. Bitterness is not just a wound seeking healing, it is a prosecuting attorney building a case against the guilty. Because a bitter soul is conjoined to the injustice committed against it, it perpetually is listening to the voice of its heartache and, thus, perpetually wounded by the unforgiven offense.

Dear friends, Jesus said He came to give us life in abundance. He said He was anointed and sent to proclaim release to prisoners and freedom to captives (John 10:10; Luke 4:18). If we feel we have been spiritually incarcerated by a bitter experience or an injustice, God is not seeking to condemn us for it, but to save us from it. Even now, His Spirit is reaching to release us from this unbearable burden of the past.

How Do We Become Free?
In my thirty-seven years of walking with the Lord, there have been times that I have been slandered, defrauded or unfairly attacked. I have had plenty of opportunities to be embittered by injustice. Not every wound was healed instantly nor each injustice swiftly remedied. Jesus said, “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19). The Message translation renders this: “Staying with it - that's what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry; you'll be saved.” In the final analysis, being wounded or suffering loss is not the issue – Paul said he “suffered the loss of all things.” The real issue is that we “may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).

Let me also say, I know people whom the Lord simply touched and healed. Yes, often the Lord will simply remedy the offending situation itself, thus bringing healing. Let us make room for the vastness of God’s grace. Indeed, Hebrews 2:18 reveals that since Christ “Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” For no other reason except that He loves us, He will “come to the aid of those” who are embattled. Let us always make room for such grace.

At the same time, I have also recognized that God’s highest goal for me is my conformity to Christ. (See Rom. 8:28-29). God heals me so He can conform me to Christ, and sometimes He reverses that process: He conforms me to Christ so He can heal me. In other words, my deliverance came as I appropriated Christ’s love and learned to entrust myself to God even when I was wounded by injustice.

Consider this issue of trusting God. Peter tells us, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;” (1 Pet. 2:21-23).

Sometimes my healing from wounding and possible bitterness came, not because restitution was made to me by the person who hurt me, but because I learned to entrust myself to God who judges righteously. To trust that God will vindicate me in His time and in His way is a sign of spiritual maturity. It’s really the only way we can avoid responding to reviling with reviling and allowing a wound to fester into bitterness.

There are other times when a lingering conflict would become an oppression upon my soul. Again, as an antidote to becoming bitter, Jesus taught, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad (Luke adds, “and leap for joy”), for your reward in heaven is great” (Matt. 5:11-12).

If you have been unfairly treated, if some injustice has soiled your name or threatens your future because of your faith in Christ, one antidote is to rejoice. Before you defend your right to remain miserable, let me ask this: have you obeyed Jesus by leaping for joy? I remember one occasion when I was especially hurt by a man who, based on a dream his wife had, used his wife’s fantasy to divide our little church. I loved this couple greatly, just as I loved everyone in our church, so my sorrow was multiplied. Indeed, each time I considered the evil this slander was causing, my emotions stormed with anger and grief.

Yet, eventually the Lord spoke to my heart. He asked, since the slander spoken against me wasn’t true, why I hadn’t obeyed Him? He said I had become oppressed by people’s words, but I hadn’t yet leaped for joy. So, I decided to obey Him. Standing alone in the dimmed afternoon lighting of our church sanctuary, I prepared myself to rejoice. Yet, I was so emotionally drained with sadness I had no joy; I could hardly walk, much less leap. Yet, in obedience I tried a feeble jump. Then again, and again, until the Holy Spirit broke through and I was shouting and leaping before the Lord, rejoicing in His sovereign power in my life.

Now, if the problems we are encountering are legitimate consequences to our bad behavior, then we should repent and not blame others for our condition. We still can rejoice that we serve a great God who can work even our failures for good. But if our conflicts are due to our commitment to serve the Lord, then we ought to obey Him and “leap for joy.”

The Waters of Marah
Christ is not our “Savior” in merely a distant or theological sense; He is Immanuel, “God with us.” He dwells within us; He is committed to us. He is fully capable of transforming what was meant to destroy us and using it as a means to perfect us. We must believe that God is fully able to redeem all we go through. If we harbor unbelief about either the Father’s goodness or His abilities, our difficulties will reduce us to bitter, angry people.

Consider also, if Satan is set on destroying us, it must be because God has something powerful waiting for us in the future. The devil does not waste his time attacking insignificant people; he attacks those he fears will be used by God to liberate others. If Satan can set up an attack that causes you to become bitter, your destiny will be sidetracked until that root of bitterness is plucked from your soul.

How is it that bitterness can exist in us? Bitterness is a demonic manipulation of a wound or injustice we suffer in our soul. Jesus, however, said that the only way to save our souls is to lose them to Him (John 12:25). Beloved, I am telling you how I have passed through some of the most difficult battles I faced: I carried the cross.

I believe that my steps are ordered of God. Therefore, if I have faced an injustice, He must have either allowed it or ordered it. In His great omniscience, He knew I would need more love or faith or dependency upon Him, so He arranged my steps so He could work in me His overcoming nature. My battles are not about me and someone else, or even me coming against the devil; ultimately, in every conflict, God is seeking to create Christlikeness in me. As the character, authority and love of Christ become functional in my life, my enemies are subdued and Christ is triumphant through me.

We must, therefore, get over the idea that there is a painless place of existence on earth, and we must learn how to carry the cross of Christ. The cross puts to death our unbelieving, fearful, selfish nature and allows the character of Christ to emerge in our spirits. The cross is the cost we pay so that redemption prevails.

There is a story in Exodus that figuratively reveals the power of the cross. The Israelites went three days without fresh water. When they finally found water,“they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah” (Ex. 15:22-23). Marah, you’ll recall, means bitterness. They finally found water, but they could not drink it. The Lord, however, showed Moses “a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet” (Ex. 15:25).

What Moses did was prophetic. The tree that was applied symbolically to the bitter water was a picture of the cross of Christ when it’s applied to our bitter experiences: it turns the bitter to sweet. I know in the many times the enemy has used people to wound or strike me, as I applied the cross to my life – forgiving, blessing and letting love be perfected – the outcome has always been a greater manifestation of Christ in my life.

This is exactly how Paul handled adversity and injustice. Listen to what he wrote, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:7-11).

Dear one, is this not what you desire most: the life of Jesus Himself manifested in your mortal flesh? Satan has been manipulating your old nature, seeking to work bitterness into your life. The way the Lord has redeemed me from every battle I have faced has been to use that battle to crucify my old nature and release a greater unveiling of Christ in me. This is New Testament Christianity in its greatest glory.

Lord Jesus, forgive me for trying to save my life. I purpose to trust You, to allow love to be perfected within me, to not seek justice, but mercy for myself and others. Help me, Lord. Reveal Your Spirit’s power within me. Even now, uproot every bitter plant in my soul. Let my words be full of grace and truth, not bitterness and evil. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Feb 9, 2007

A preachers struggle...

Sung to the tune of “I Need Words” by David Crowder:


Verse 1:

I need a word

To preach tonight

I need a message that will

Save my hide


Verse 2:

And I need a title

That makes some sense

I need an illustration

That packs a punch


Pre-Chorus:

I need help…

I need help…

(x2)


Chorus:

It’s almost time… (x2)

Service has begun (x2)


Bridge:

Where else can I go?

What else can I do?

This is the only job I can get!!