Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Poll, Polls, Polls

I don't trust polls. Exit polls, early polls blah, blah, blah! There is nothing to them. I am never asked to be in a poll, so who are they asking? Dolphins? I just don't like polls. They scare people or sway opinions more than they really analyze what is really going on. Are they really a glimpse into the voters minds or do they just play with voters minds? Silly. Polls stink. Has anyone asked you about what you think in a poll? About the president? I trust starwars.com polls on whether fans like Chewbacca more than Jar Jar more than I do the latest USA today poll. I really don't like political polls.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Freedom and the Bondage of the Will

The following is taken from the Reformation Study Bible, R.C. Sproul general editor:

Proper understanding of the freedom of the will in the fallen human condition is assisted by distinguishing free agency from free will.

Free agency is a mark of humanity as such. All humans are free agents in the sense that they make their own decisions about what they do, choosing as they please in the light of their conscience, inclinations, and thoughts. They are answerable to God and to the rest of humanity for their choices. Adam was a free agent before the Fall, and afterwards. He continued to have desires and thoughts and to put them into action through his will. Similarly, we are free agents now; we will continue to be so after the resurrection. The glorified saints excercise their wills, but they are confirmed in grace, so that they cannot sin. Their choices are the product of human free agency, made in accordance with their nature, but now these choices are good and right. The transformation of their hearts is complete and they desire to do what is right.

Free will has been defined by Christian teachers from the second century on as the ability to choose any at all of the moral options offered in a given situation. Augustine taught that this possibility was lost through the Fall. The loss is part of the burden of original sin. After the Fall, our natural hearts are not inclined toward God; they are in bondage to sin and cannot be freed from this slavery except by the grace of regeneration. Such an understanding of the fallen will is taught by Paul in Romans 6:16-23.

Only a will that has been set free is able to choose righteousness freely and heartily. A permanent love of righteousness, that is, an inclination of the heart to the way of living that pleases God, is one aspect of the freedom that Christ gives (John 8:34-36; Gal. 5:1, 13).

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

keeping it real

So I haven't written on the blog in quite some time. Well, perhaps that will change. I don't think anyone reads this beast anyway so... But it would be great to have some questions and answers. I'll start. How can Christians be liberal in social issues such as abortion, welfare and gay marriage?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

2 Corinthians 4:1-12

1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. 6For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Cast Down but Unconquered7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- 10always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So then death is working in us, but life in you.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Boy have I been busy doing nothing. SO busy that I haven't blogged in awhile. I stink at this blogging thing. I wish I blogged everyday. I have now self-discipline or motivation it seems. All I ever do is look at web sites and waste my time. This is not a good thing. I have to gain control. I wonder what Strong Bad is up to...

Monday, June 28, 2004

Bill, David and me. Posted by Hello

frustration and the Holy Spirit

When I get frustrated with myself, (my sinful nature), it seems I quit focusing on Christ. I work with teenagers and it seems that my depravity is magnified to me through them. When I counsel them and they tell me about their struggles and what God may have them dealing with at any paticular time I always come back to myself and how I have struggled with that thing or am struggling with it. Mike Yaconelli, once said that spiritual lives are like roller coasters. Up and down, banking and speeding and so on... His statements sit well with me. I feel the same way. Sometimes my life with Jesus is fun and exciting, and other times I am terrified. But that is the way it is with child-like faith. Isn't it? We never know what is going to happen. We get frustrated sometimes too. I do anyway. Mostly, God has been showing me that my frustration comes when I don't trust Jesus for who He is. I don't me what He is doing for me. But WHO He is. I get frustrated with my own means of trying to work it out. Whether it be fighting temptation, or living to please Him. And I see it in the eyes of the youth I am in community with. They ask the hard questions, like, "Is there more to this Christian thing?", "How will I know God's will for me?" and so on. But I realize that I don't need to have the answer to their question sometimes. Sometimes, I need to ask Jesus with them. Figuring out I don't have everything figured out is a good place to be. It helps me trust Him more. And when I do that, He shows me the way. I am therefore thankful for the Word of God and that I can go to it for the answer, namely knowing Jesus. This in turn fills me with His Spirit, and takes away my frustration. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God." Eph. 5.17-21

Monday, June 21, 2004

me and the Qui-Gon pillow (for real) Posted by Hello

The boys from forever changed and me Posted by Hello

Brian and Kimberly Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Camp and Back Again by...

Well, not Bilbo Baggins. My tale doesn't have dragons or trolls. However, it was alot of fun. We spent the night at the church on Sunday, May 29th, just so we would be ready to go on Monday. BLAH! Never do an all-nighter "lock-in" style hangout event with teenagers the night before you leave for camp. We played Halo most of the night, the boys did anyway. The girls mostly ran around and giggled, while trying to be cool and just annoying enough that the boys would notice them. Meanwhile, sleep was not to be had for Brian the fearless youth pastor. As the sun came, so did the realization that the church was a mess and by now most of the kids were asleep. Mustering all of the energy I could, I started the "we've got to get this stuff on the bus when it comes, wake up we gotta get movin'" pep talks. Rushing here and there grabbing everyone's things to load on the huge bus that was now pulling up in our parking lot. Mr. Jim, the bus driver was a friendly fellow and chuckled when he saw me bringing everything out. As we loaded the bus, the youth's enjoyed a scrumptous pancake breakfast made by moms. So far so good. We prayed inside before rushing out to find our seats. Everyone on the bus? Yep. Do a head count to be sure. Yep, everyone accounted for. Good. Let's go...

Sunday, May 30, 2004

going to camp

I am a pastor to youth. We are going to camp for 5 days. I am pretty excited. It's weird. This is the first time I have been personally responsible for something this big and I feel a great peace about it. The Lord is really taking care of everything. My stress level, the youth's commitments, the money and everything. It seems to be falling into place. I was originally stressing out about the number of youth attending and then I just prayed and asked God to bring those that He would have come. I submitted my worrying to Him and I trust Him for the journey. Everything is in His hands, so He will direct those who are to come. He will also direct my steps in all of the challenges this camp has to offer. I am anticipating God to do some awesome things with His kids this week. Jesus has a way of sneaking up on us and just loving us into following Him. The Lord is up to something. I am glad I can be a part of it.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


What is it about getting up early in the morning that I loathe? Of the few times I can remember rising early to start the day I have had a great day. A day full of things and this is even before noon. Why then do I find it difficult to rise early and take care of things? Morning time as a child seemed so laborous. The early awakening before dawn, cold Ohio mornings with no sun, always made me feel depressed. Taking care of chores, and getting ready for school seemed tedious considering it was a daily routine. Over and over, morning after morning the same thing. Was there no end to the dreadful school year and it's cold early morns? The only bright spot of waking that early was to catch the only goodness in day that has already started mad, namely cartoons. What is it about cartoons that makes a kid believe and need it's story? I know for me it was the escape, the refreshing I needed to start my day. A moral lesson from GI Joe because knowing is half the battle and a vibrant battle between Autobots and Decepticons, helped get me to the bus. No longer was I thinking about the snow, sitting in third grade math or the chores I just did. I was part of the story. I was involved. Who would win between Cobra and the Joes next time? Sometimes I wish the real terrorists would wear insignias and scream "Cobra!" right before they attacked. Ah to be a kid in the 80's- it was refreshing. And now as an adult I find refreshment in another story. The story that is being lived out even now. The epic of my life with Jesus. How He is my hero. How he is changing me, and engaging me in the battle for this world. Bring on the enemy, I say. Knowing Jesus is half the battle.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


So why the journey metaphor? Well, I believe that life is a journey. We are always on the go. We are all pressing on toward a goal. From person to person the goal and the journey takes on a different shape. As a Christian, however, my journey is marked out by and with my God. I am not unique in this. All of Jesus' followers are on the Path. Jesus described Himself as "the Way." The Bible is full of journey imagery. From the very beginning in Genesis to the end in The Revalation. This is not a new concept or a clever way of putting it. I just want us to walk together on this path to see what adventures may sring up. Have fun my fellow pilgrims.

and so it begins...

All of us are on a journey. Our starting points differ and our ending points are across the board. There are no "safe" routes. There are familiar ways and there are strange and mysterious ways to travel. It is my belief that there is one True Way. A Way that is more mysterious daily. The path is worn, however by others and there are many detours and distractions. But there is someone in this Way that guides and leads if we ask and listen. The journey.

My journey now that is a story...