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The End?

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If we assume that the 2009 movie "2012" or the 1987 hit song "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M. are prophetic, then we're in big trouble tomorrow.

But I wouldn't do anything too rash just yet. According to an excellent 14 page research paper given to me by my good friend Mike Hoornstra, I think the world is going to still be here come Saturday morning. There have been more than 180+ predictions that the world will end that haven't come true.

Martin Luther predicted the world would end no later than 1600. Christopher Columbus said it was 1658. John Wesley believed it would be in 1836. Even Charles Manson got in on the predicting. He said it would be in 1969. What do they all have in common, they were all wrong.

Another interesting thing I saw what that it seems that the same names kept popping up. Listen, if your first prediction didn't come true then all credibility has gone out the window. You shouldn't get a…

He Does Exist!

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For those of you who don't believe... we found his Bible at our Church. Enough said.


Thank You National Geographic

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I would like to thank National Georgraphic for providing me with some much needed amusement this morning. Here are some of my favorites from their "Top Ten Weirdest Stories of 2012"

1. Slime Has Memory But No Brain (article)
(This explains a lot. Next time your teenager gets in trouble and you ask "why did you do it?" When they respond "I don't know" don't get mad. Just remember... Brainless Jello Mold.)
2. Turtles Urinate Via Their Mouths--a First (article) (Ugggghhhhh! Are you kidding!? Researchers say that the Chinese soft shelled turtle that urinates out of its mouth helps the species to stay healthy. If you asked the Pee Turtle himself however he would just say, "It's sterile and I like the taste." If you think this is crazy, check out the male monkeys (article) that bath in their own urine in order to attract lady monkeys)
3. Genitalia-Head Fish is Evolutionary Mystery (article)






(Enough said, I'm gonna leave this one alone.)

Illustration Gone Wrong

I was reading an article last week about a Conservative Christian radio host getting blasted for his illustration of dealing with a "playground bully" in reference to a group trying to keep Christians from erecting nativity scenes on public land. (Article)

 Of course the whole "punch in the mouth" illustration has gotten a lot of heat, and that's exactly what it was meant to do. The "punch" it metaphorical of a verbal argument without the actions to back it up. This is what happens when good illustrations go horrible wrong. 

I like the illustration, but it seems to fall short. If "punch in the mouth" was meant to mean what James writes... "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:18) Then he's onto something. Of course he would need to follow it up with John 13:34-35... “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I ha…

Who Failed Us?

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I'm a very emotional guy. I can cry at the drop of a dime about pretty much anything (when I saw the first Transformers movie I cried when Bumblebee got injured). I haven't always been this way. Actually, I can tell you the exact moment it all changed for me... November 28th, 2007. The day my first son was born. That was the day I truly understood the love God had for me.  The day I looked into the eyes of my son and instantly feel in love.
About a month ago I decided to preach about the Prince of Peace on Christmas Eve. Today I wrote that sermon. As I was preparing, I couldn't help but look into the tragedy that took place last Friday,  December 14th, 2012 in New Town, Connecticut. As I looked through the pictures of the victims (Photos of Sandy Hook Victims) the tears streamed down my face. I swear I could see my sons face in every single picture. 
We struggle to answers the questions "Why" or "How?" However, the only questions that we need to answer is…

Rest

Saw a friend post this article on rest for ministers. Thought it deserved a repost because it caught me off guard, I'm not sure I actually "rest" when I'm "off." Something to think about.

Timothy Keller on Rest

Micro-Size?

So I just posted a blog and I used the word "micro-sizes." Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not even a word. I call it. Gonna use it for my new diet fast food restaurant that I'm gonna call "Starving." Everyone other fast food place will be "super-sizing" or "king-sizing" their meals. My place will be the only place you can "micro-size" your meal. 
"Can I micro-size that celery stick and side of greek yogurt?"
"Sure can, can promise you won't be satisfied or full. You're probably gonna go and order a large meat-lovers pan pizza in about five minutes."
All of the sudden I'm extremely hungry.

A Thousand to One

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When I was a youth minister taking the students on a trip I would always get the question "how much longer?" Every single time I would say "30 more minutes," even if we were hours away. Then they started saying things like "this seems a lot longer than 30 minutes." That's when I would revoke their right to speak for the rest of the trip. Is that mean? Maybe, but it was entertaining (seriously, 8+ hours in a stinky van with teenagers, you would do the same thing).

I thought about that when I was reading 2 Peter 3:8-9... But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,  as some understand slowness. He is patient  with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

This verse blows my mind ever time. To God, a day is like a thousand years. But then you turn around and a thousand years are like a day to h…

Disconnect to Reconnect

Found this article the other day with an interesting plea for father's on Father's Day. I don't think we realize how much get's in the way of our parenting. I will putting this into practice this Sunday.


Disconnect to Reconnect

Driver's License

Question, how many of you got your driver’s license for the first time, cried “freedom,” went out and either got a huge ticket or got in an accident? I did. I had the whole year of driving with my parents in the car, student driver, more like glorified chauffeur. The day came when I was free to drive on my own, I had the attitude that I got this under control. Next thing you know I was getting pulled over for doing 60 in a 35. Didn’t have my mom sitting next to me going, “your speeding, slow down.” Not one of my best moments. But it was all in my attitude.


That’s kind of the same attitude that Paul is battling with the Galatians. Paul argues throughout the book of Galatians that after God saves us, we're not on our own from that point on. No, we still live under His constant grace. For many of us, after God has saved us and things are going well we tend to think "I've got it from here." No you don't. He makes the difference, He changes you. Don't be so foolis…

Implied Promise

Whenever you see a command from God in scripture, it contains an implied promise. Why? Because God would never command you to do something he wouldn't give you the power to do. Many people think that God is sitting in Heaven thinking of ways to ruin our day and mess with us. Nothing can be father from the truth. 2 Timothy 1:7... "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline." Paul boldly claims in Philippians 4:13... "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me."

We have two different ways we can live. 1) A "I think I can" life. or 2) "I know I can't, but I know God can." There is only so much I can do on my own. But with God, the possibilities are endless.

Weak Guardrails

So we started our "Guardrails" series and last sunday I talked about weak guardrails that our culture tries to set up. Sayings that we all can agree with, we might even agree that they are good things, but when it comes right down to it, they serve as poor boundaries. The examples I used in the sermon were the following...

"Drink Responsibly." Well we all might agree with this, none of us would dare to say "Drink Irresponsibly." Because of the nature of alcohol, this is too vague to be a guardrail.

"Wait till your ready to have sex." This is specifically for teenagers. Our culture tells them to wait till their ready. How does a teenager know when they're ready? Most teenagers can barely dress themselves. How do they know? That's not a guardrail, that's something you say when your too scared or too weak to say, "WAIT TILL YOUR MARRIED!"

"Talk to your kids about drugs." Parents, this isn't a guardrail for your kids…

Place for Grace and NECC

I have been praying for a few years now for the opportunity to serve the homeless in the St. Cloud area. Now I don't just believe in praying that God drops things in my lap. I believe that we pray like it depends solely on God and we work like it solely depends on us (think about that for a second, powerful combinations). I have called numerous people over and over again with no call back. I have email organization after organization with no response. I have straight up been told "no" by different groups. I even had another minister tell me that the "homeless" isn't even a relevant problem in St. Cloud. The exact words were, "look around, I don't see any homeless."

Some time in November of last year, while working out a Gold's Gym I ran into my friend Ken Gilbert. I knew that he worked with FCA at Harmony High School and has done some amazing things for God in the school system. To my amazement, I learned that he also helped start a group …

Nothing Is More Important

This past week we launched our first Core Group session of 2012 along with our new series "Guardrails."   Last Core Group session my wife and I took a break from Core Groups to take Financial Peace and get our finances in order. This semester I have the great privilege to teach the Financial Peace class along with Larry Stolzfus (I really hope I spelled his name right, if not, sorry Larry). I also get to start a brand new Core Group with my good friends Donald and Keli Prickett (they lead the group, Fay and I just host).

While this week  has been very exhausting (two kids sick as well), it's also been very rewarding. The new Financial Peace class started Monday and I have to say that after one night I am very excited to be apart of this group. FPU helped me and my family so much. The openness that I saw on Monday tells me that God is going to do a great thing with this wonderful group of people. To be honest and open about such a tough subject like money is extremely dif…