Is That What He Means By Lukewarm?

Okay, seriously, I think I'm going to vomit.

No joke.

I went to a 'real' church for the second week in a row. Last week we were in Seattle and hit Mars Hill to hear Mark Driscoll speak. Didn't blow the roof off the place, but it was good for my heart to see the church seeking God through the scriptures and worshipping with new songs.

This week.....not so much.

I won't name the place, though I will pray for it so it might fall on it's knees in repentance (though that probably isn't likely).

It started off normal enough. Three songs of worship (new enough to be cutting edge, keyboards enough to be adult contemporary). Something that bothered me (and this is all personal), one guy on guitar led the first song, a chick with a mic led the second, and the guy behind the piano led the third. They all had great voices, but I wasn't sure the point behind splitting up the songs, but like I said, that's all personal.

Next, the youth minister stumbles out talking about the two weeks of camp he just came from and that he's hardly awake. Probably not the guy you want doing the announcements, but whatever.

Then the token special. 100 years by five for fighting. Excellent.

Then lighting struck. Well, it should've, cause then it would've stopped the abomination that causes desolation from taking place.

Seriously, it was that bad.

His topic was "How to Balance Work and Life."

I looked around.

Yeah, there's a crowd and a stage and a soundboard and microphones and lights. This is church all right. For a momment I thought I had stepped into a self help seminar.

"H0w to Balance Work and Life."

He quoted a science text book more than he quoted the bible. He used Jesus as the ultimate example of balance.

First of all, no duh, Jesus is the ultimate example of everything. However, Jesus was homeless and jobless, so unless you are advocating a mass exodus in the work force, I'm not sure that completely applies.

Now, maybe in the infinate wisdom of the elders they decided that this church was getting too full of workaholics so they searched out the formost expert on this.

But I doubt it.

Worst of all, his three points for keeping life balanced were: task lists, relationships, and rest.

I'm not kidding. Nothing about reading your bible or praying to begin your day. Nothing about keeping God first and letting everything else be small stuff. Nope; tasks, relationships, and rest are the way to do it. He even had us draw an example on our notes. It's an upside down triangle (doesn't that mean you're gay?). Tasks in the upper left, relationships in the upper right, and rest at the bottom.

I've preached some bad sermons in my life. But may I never, ever preach a sermon on balancing life and work. And if I by some off chance I am forced to, please, please, shoot me.

At least I won't have to vomit.


Got Jobs?

I just decided that I want a new job. I'm really tired of mine. Unfortunatley, it pays well, so this will be hard. I'm throwing this out there to see if anybody has some suggestions for a job that will let me sleep in past 6:30 am and pay decent. Any suggestions?

The Great Wilderness

This is a picture of the Hubbard Glacier. It is located just a bit north of Skagway, Alaska. This is one of the many pics I took on our trip. If you would like to see more, go to my myspace site here.

Sorry if this doesn't do the beauty of this area of our great country justice. You'll just have to visit it yourself.


Ain't Nothing But a Prayer Thing Baby...

So, I know it's been a long while since I gave a blog. We just got back from vacation and I was waiting until we got our pictures loaded onto our computer so I could share a few of the good'ns with you. But alas, the day before we came back I dropped our camera in the middle of Pike's Place Market in Seattle and well, right now I got nothing. The camera was shipped off to the manufacturer and we won't have it back for about four more weeks. Sucks. So, we are going to take the memory card to Wally World this weekend and try and load them on a cd or something. I'll post them when I can.

On other news, church was really great last night. After our core member's coversation two weeks ago I decided we ought to do a study based off Acts 2:42. I know this is somewhat overused, so instead of studying that verse we looked into the key components making up that verse. I decided to start with prayer, since it seemed to be of upmost importance to our savior. Out of all the verses that deal with prayer (and there are many) I focused mostly on what Jesus said of prayer.

I found a few peculiar teachings that I thought I would share.

First, Jesus tells a parable in Luke 11 about a man who has a friend come to town. He doesn't have anything to share with this friend so he goes to another friends house even though it's late at night. He bangs on the door and asks the man for some bread to share with his friend that was in town. The man says it's late, come back later. But the man at the door just keeps knocking and knocking until it eventually opens and he get's what he is asking for.

On the onset, this looks like Jesus is saying, "Just keep asking God for it and eventually he'll get tired of your asking and give you what you want." But I think there is more to this. First of all, if the man at the door was asking for a million dollars so he could impress his friend, I don't think he would've received it from his other friend. Secondly, the reason he was asking was because there was someone he was in relationship with who was in need. So he asked the only one he knew who could fulfill that need for his friend. I think this story reveals a lot more behind the motives of prayer rather than the persistancy of prayer.

Second, in his sermon on the mount, Jesus teaches us about prayer. In Matthew 6:8 Jesus tells us that God knows what we need before we even ask. This began a great discussion on the necessity of prayer. Why pray if the outcome is already known?

I think my sister (who is in town visiting) had the best insight on this. She mentioned how sometimes her daughters will hold up two different pairs of shoes. Maybe one goes with the outfit and one doesn't. It's not so much that she cares which pair of shoes her daughters wear. It's that her daughters care enough to ask for help. Her daughters want their mom's influence and love in their life. I think when we think of our relationship with God in these terms it can shed quite a bit of light into our lives.

Lastly, Jesus gave me some encouragement. He tells us in Matthew 18 that when two or more of us agree on something on this earth it will be done. He also says that where two or more are gathered, he is with us.

Now, I don't think that means God leaves us all alone when we are by ourselves. I think Jesus is emphasizing the importance of coming together and praying. In our weak moments when we are praying by ourselves, we may be tempted to ask for the million dollars or the perfect job or the perfect spouse. But when we come together as a church, there is an accountability that happens. Maybe if it's something you can't pray about together as a church, then it isn't something you need to pray about as an individual.

We had a whopping 5 in attendence, but I guess that meets the criteria.


Sorry folks...Church is cancelled.

It started with a phone call on Monday night. Two of my friends had heard me talk about our house church enough that they wanted to come Thursday to see what it was all about. I was so excited.

"Finally," I thought. "Things are starting to happen."

Over the next few days I called our 'members' just to make sure they were coming and to let them know we were going to have 'visitors'. One by one they seemed to all drop out. One is on a cruise. One has to work. One is out of town. One wants to spend the evening with his girlfriend. One had to work.

"What's going on?" I thought.

I was super bummed. I called my friends and told them not to come. This would be the second week in a row that beer church would be cancelled due to lack of participation. I had made up my mind.

Beer church was over.

It made me sad. Like a part of me was dead. And it was. I had such high hopes for a house church. I truly saw the need for something like this in our community. Something that was authentic. Where barriers came down and no one was there to impress anyone, but everyone was there to glorify God. A place where we could discover what it meant to be a church and travel that road together.

After two of our 'members' got off work, they ended up coming over. I told them my disappointments. Suprisingly, I was met with theirs. The more we talked the more I realized they wanted beer church as much as I did. The problem was, beer church didn't exist.

Oh sure, we had a Bible study every week. But where was the worship? Where was the communion? Where was the confession? Where was the prayer? And not the end of the meeting, do it out of obligation prayer. Where was the excruciating, soul reaching, depth of my splatna prayer? It seems the very things I was afraid of pushing were the very things they were craving. I was so afraid of taking leadership and being placed in a position I wasn't even sure I wanted to have exist at beer church, that I was missing the opportunity to lead these people to God.

It's amazing how nights when church is cancelled, God still shows up.



This is absolutely one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my entire life. This was during an actual game.