Small steps in faith

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

This has always been one of my favorite holidays because of the candy. I have a huge sweet tooth :) I've never been a fond lover of dressing up but I like to see the costumes other people think up. Halloween has always been one of those holidays that "christianity" has seen in different ways. I know some churches call it "Fall Harvest Party" to take away from the "satanic" view of Halloween. Wikipedia has an interesting article on it with all the beliefs,symbols,history etc.
I have a hard time thinking of "evil" when a 2 yr old shows up at my door dressed as Winnie the Pooh :) Whatever you call it..... Halloween is Halloween

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Won't Back Down"

Sometimes you hear a song and the words are just what you need to hear. This song is by an artist Mat Kearney. Thanks for letting me borrow this Mike :)

Won't Back Down

You woke the morning up
Running off the darkest night
The longest fight I've seen
Here goes a chance I know
Cashing in on all my chips
Let all my ships come fly
These days a little bit longer than the last
And all of your ways, a little bit stronger than the past
And your light, found my bottle in the night
Kept me in this fight, gave me second life
And I won't back down
I won't turn around and around
And I won't back down
Doesn't matter what comes crashing down
I'm still gonna stand my solid ground
You found me once and for all
I laid it down in the sinking ground
The hopeless undertow
Singing out the gentle sound
Rattling through my smoking screens
My broken dreams last night
Hallelujah ripped through my veins
I heard the hammer drop
My blood in the rain
Hallelujah came like a train
When all is lost
All is left to gain

Monday, October 23, 2006

What does Jesus smell like?

I read this and though I don't want to spend 19.95 I am curious to know what a company thinks Jesus smelled like :)

Ever wanted to warm your home with the very scent of Jesus? Well, thanks to a new candle company, apparently now you can. "The Miracle Candle" claims to capture "the overwhelming scent of divinity" and proclaims, "This is the Scent of Jesus." The price of smelling God: just $19.95 ..

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fall Break

Kristen and Tyler(and Dylan :) have been home this weekend for fall break. The time goes quickly. It's nice not being the only female for awhile. We took Kristen to The Greenes. Unfortunately the day we went was kind of rainy but she still loved looking at the shops. We went back on Fri night and went to see "Flag of our Fathers" at their movie theatre. If you see this movie you have to see it on a big screen with the surroundsound to get the full effect. The things I miss the most about Kristen..her sense of humor and the way she breaks into song :) They travel back tomorrow so keep them in prayer. Thanksgiving can't come soon enough :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A good article in Relevant

I enjoyed reading this....we all have or will have "Eddie"s" that will want answers to the tough questions

Learning Outreach from an Agnostic
Brian McCormack

Free wireless Internet at my favorite local coffee shop had kept me there for hours. Where I should have been word processing, I was instead keeping an eye on my beloved Astros’ pursuit of a late-season playoff run via a live score update. The result was nothing more than a title, where my whole sermon should have been.

And then he spoke up. I had barely noticed him two tables down about a half hour before. No drink in front of him, just his keys and a hardcover book, the title of which was out of view.

“Can I look at your book?” he asked boldly, looking down and pointing at the copy of How Now Shall We Live, by Charles Colson next to me on the booth seat.

I smiled a cautious smile and handed it to him.

“This can’t be the same …”

I cut him off: “Yeah. Watergate Colson.”

He raised his eyebrows, obviously surprised that a man sentenced to federal prison for his role in the most notorious government scandal in American history had authored a book on biblical worldview. I shared with him how Colson had given his life to Christ in prison, and had since founded Prison Fellowship and become a prominent cultural personality for Christianity in the U.S.

He nodded as he scanned the back cover, then responded, “As long as he’s sincere. I guess it’s possible that he’s not just doing it for political influence.”

And thus started the dizzying conversation of politics, philosophy and religion that would span the next 90 minutes; fairly typical-sounding considering the setting … only there would be nothing typical about this conversation.

I pulled up a chair at his table and, without introducing myself, continued to expand on my experience with Colson’s work. We covered a lot of ground: naturalism, the relationship between Lewis and Tolkien, the laziness of using one’s faith to side-step real questions posed by science and experience.

It did not take long for the definitive facts to come out: I was a Christian, youth pastor and bible teacher, and he was an incredibly well-read, intellectual agnostic. We were both very civil and polite, even friendly, but the unspoken wall had been erected, and we were on opposite sides whether we liked it or not.

Twenty minutes into our conversation we exchanged names. His was Eddie. He worked at a bookstore, and could quote more C.S. Lewis than I could ever dream to have memorized. He knew the primary apologetic arguments of Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict and explained the Christian Gospel parallels within The Lord of the Rings Trilogy to me so well that I was tempted to take notes on a napkin under the table. I was impressed … and honestly felt outmatched when he started asking me questions about my job.

“Brian, do you want to know why most agnostics, including myself, are not Christians?” he asked. “We look at the Christians we meet or read about in the paper or see on television and have no desire to spend eternity with them. Heaven comes across as an air-conditioned version of Hell where you’re in terrible company. If our options are to endure ignorant people forever, burn in hell, or just believe that after we die it’s all over, which do you think appeals the most?”

I was speechless. I completely understood his point but had no response, which was just fine, because Eddie was just getting started. He went on to tell me that he had no problem with Jesus Christ. He loved what Christianity was supposed to stand for and supposed to look like; he just had never seen those things in the Christians he had encountered. He shared about the youth group kids that used to make fun of him at in high school. He spoke of the Christian customers at the bookstore who yell at him, accusing him of only displaying liberal books. And he explained in detail his frustrations with the ignorant Bible-thumpers who use blind faith in scripture to justify a closed-minded approach to life’s issues.

I silently drew an alarming conclusion; if it were not for the actions of Christians, Eddie himself would be one. The Church has become the very opposite of what it is supposed to be; a deterrent to faith in Jesus Christ, instead of a testament for it—so much so that people like Eddie choose unbelief over an inescapable association with people like us, even though they agree with the principles and concepts in scripture.

I took advantage of a rare silence and spoke up, “Eddie, is it possible for someone to believe in an ultimate truth, to have faith in Jesus Christ and what He’s done for us on the cross, to whole-heartedly believe those things and not be closed-minded in your eyes?”

“Is it possible? Sure.”

I went on, “I passionately believe those things. Do you think I am closed-minded?”

He paused to think again.

“You know what? The fact that we can even have this conversation lets me know that you aren’t.”

I smiled and continued, “Not all of us dodge the important questions and skirt the tough issues. I want to challenge you; you obviously recognize the importance of decisions involving heaven and hell, or you wouldn’t be as well-read on the topics as you are. Make your decisions regarding Christianity based on Jesus, not on the actions of a group of people who do hypocritical things in his name. Isn’t that how we should draw conclusions about a belief-system? In the same way, we can’t judge Islam as a whole by the actions of a handful of extremists that decided to fly planes into some skyscrapers.”

He raised his eyebrows again and nodded, “Valid point, Brian. Valid point.”

Our conversation continued until an employee started mopping the floor by our feet, a not-so-subtle indicator that it was time for us to make our way to the exit. We shook hands, exchanged friendly smiles and went our separate ways, thus ending our unexpected encounter.

Eddie did not fall on his face in the middle of the coffee shop in surrender to his savior that evening. He did not ask if he could come to church with me, or request a Bible with his name etched on the cover. However, he did say he looked forward to our next conversation, and that left little doubt in my mind that our talk had been a successful one. Eddie and I together had asked the hard questions and looked for the hard answers, and we honestly admitted when we were still in the process of doing so.

Only then will the truth have the chance to be what it is intended to be; a light in the darkness for those who are earnestly seeking what it real. Then maybe—just maybe—guys like Eddie will be excited to join us in our efforts.

I stepped up into my truck, placed my carrier bag on the passenger seat, and fired up the engine. A few seconds later my stereo turned on, with U2’s Best of 1980-1990 resuming where it had left off when I arrived at the coffee shop nearly 8 hours earlier:

You broke the bonds, and you loosed the chains,
Carried the cross, and all my shame, all my shame,
You know I believe it,
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Man-led vs God-led

"Just like the Israelites at the foot of Mt. Sinai, many times the majority believes following God lacks logic and safety and they attempt to find a better way. Yet repeatedly, Scripture shows us, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong,” (1 Corinthians 1:27, TNIV). God’s plans for our churches may not appeal to many of us initially, but if we fail to follow where the Spirit is leading, we will miss out on the fullness God has planned for us."

"Democracy: A Bad Idea in Church?" Monica Hoover
Relevant Magazine

I sometimes wonder how many times I have missed that fullness in my own personal walk

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


For whatever reason, I have had this "nesting" feeling today. I've cleaned, washed, baked brownies. I'm not sure where it's coming from. Maybe because I know it's going to get colder? Maybe because Kristen is coming home next week? Maybe because I know I will have no time to do this the rest of the week because of my schedule?
Honestly, I don't get this very often. I had always heard you get this when you're pregnant and ready to have your baby... um that's NOT the reason ...I never got that with either one of my kids... believe me Darrell was waiting for that to kick in :) Probably why I had to be induced both times.
I'm sure there's a reason for it just like there's a reason for it in nature.
God knows what we need to prepare for even when we don't .

Saturday, October 07, 2006


"And I will worship You, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You Lord"

Sometimes I will hear things through the week and I know that God is trying to get my attention because I will hear the same theme or word over and over. This week that word was" priority". I sometimes forget what my first priority is. I think also that there are churches who have lost their priority as well. The focus is so much on growth and "doing" that we "forsake our first love" Revelation 2:4
If a church , a group, a ministry, a person is going to be healthy, it comes down to 2 things.. Do you love God with all your heart? Do you love others? You can't separate the two. One thing to remember.. bigger doesn't necessarily mean healthy There are large churches out there that are being eaten away from the inside out and there are small churches being blessed.

God should be your first love Here are some ways to know if you've "lost" that first love

1 If you feel your love for God is growing while your love for others is decreasing

2 Love for the Lord isn't as great as your love for someone else

3 Your patience level worsens toward others

4 You harbor a cynical outlook on just about everything

5 When you'd rather "do" for Him than commune with Him

6 When you do not willingly and cheerfully give to God's work or to the need of others It should be a desire not a duty

7 When you view the commands of Christ as restrictions to your happiness

8 You are controlled by fear

9 When you hold on to unforgivesness Unforgiveness is equal to self abuse

I know personally I struggle with some of these at times..but I also know that I want God to be my priority and first love so I'll pray that God works through me to strengthen those "weak" areas.

Thursday, October 05, 2006's felt with the heart

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.... they must be felt with the heart

---Helen Keller

Sunday, October 01, 2006

You just think you know everything :)

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right. (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn't you?)

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable. (I'll bet you're going to check this out.)

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt". (Are you doubting this?)

Your eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet. (Now, you KNOW you're going to try this out for accuracy, right?)< FONT face=Verdana color=black>

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes). (Yep, I knew you were going to "do" this one.)

There are only four words in the
English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. (You're not doubting this, are you?)

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." (Yes, admit it, you are going to say ...... a e i o u)

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out)

All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. < /B>
How the heck did they determine that?????????????

(Some days that's about what my memory span is)

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years. (I know some people that could do this too.)

Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.

Leonardo DaVinci invented the scissors.

On a Canadian two-dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American fl ag.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. (Good thing he did that)

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Now you Do know everything