Small steps in faith

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Relevant Article

I really liked the message in this article. We clutter up our lives sometimes with "stuff" instead of putting our focus where it needs to be. Those things we use..books,music,art,etc...should be in addition to time with God..not in place of it and sometimes we do tend to do the imitation or substitution for the real thing.

Fasting from Religion

Jordan Halland
I’ve been fasting since midnight on New Years Eve.

I have fasted before so I knew kind of what to expect. I am fasting from coffee and all animal products, which is hard because of my deep love affair with cheese. When I’ve fasted in the past I had really bad headaches and felt drained of all energy. That usually lasts about three days then my body realizes I’m not pumping it full of caffeine and sugar and what I am doing is a good thing. I have to say that this time it’s a lot easier than it has been in the past. Before, I had cravings for food almost the whole time and the first thing I ate when I was done was a huge piece of seven-layer chocolate cake and a cup of the blackest coffee I could find. This time I am finding it quite easy.

After three frustrating days of eating only corn, peas, rice and potatoes, I called my brother who is a vegan and asked him what he eats. He told me that they have vegan substitutes for anything. If I like pasta with alfredo sauce then I can use vegan cheese and soy creamer mixed with vegan butter to make a sauce that not only was completely void of all meat products but actually tasted like alfredo should taste. I hung up the phone, wiped the drool from my cheek, and headed to a natural food store to try my luck. I walked to the case labeled “Vegan” and shed a tear of joy for the bounty I had just discovered. If I wanted sausage, I could have vegan sausage. If I wanted ice cream I could have mango and vanilla swirl soy ice cream. If I wanted chocolate chip cookies I could have vegan chocolate chip cookies. So with a full cart of soy, animal-free products I gleefully walked out with two bags of substitute food.

I was in heaven. I was sticking to my fast without actually giving up any of the food that I loved to eat. And for the most part there wasn’t a real taste difference. Then I began to wonder, am I fasting at all? Yes I gave up animal products but had I really given anything up? I still ate the same things I did before just with a slight soy aftertaste. So was I really fasting?

Then another thought popped into my head. “What else have I given up in exchange for a poor substitute?” The first thing I thought of was religion. I grew up in a series of pretty staunch, conservative, old school churches. The kind where the pastor led us in hymns and the only instrument was an old piano that an elderly lady played like a sewing machine instead of a beautiful instrument. When I went to college I threw off the shackles of religion. I didn’t believe that you had to dress up to go to church. I thought that you could have a band play worship and even (gasp) show a movie clip in the service every now and then. I felt like I had come pretty far from those years of wearing a family mandated suit to church and sitting in a pew.

But when I feel distant from God my first inclination is to buy a CD or a book that will rekindle that flickering flame. I like getting tattoos but I have a hard time with Christians that don’t get Christ centered tattoos. My gauge on someone’s spirituality is more based on how they look than how much they are living in grace.

I had given up the religion of my childhood for the religion of the reformed thinker. I was eating soy religion.

I have a friend that struggled for years with drinking and drugs. After he asked me to pray for him one day, he said he was heading to the beach to clear his head and connect with God. The thing is, he would go to the beach after each of his benders and try to get close to God. Eventually at the pleading of his friends and family he went into rehab and for the first time in years, is drug free and able to walk unashamedly hand in hand with God. Going to the beach is fine. Getting away from the distractions of life to grow closer to God is wonderful and I believe biblical, but when you expect a certain location, conference, book or CD, to do what only Jesus can do, you are establishing your own religious ceremonies.

So, lately I’ve been trying to tear down any soy religion that I have in my life. If I feel distant from God I don’t ask what song or book will restore my relationship with Christ. Instead I remind myself that the only distance between God and myself is the distance that I put between us and that relying on anything but Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross to restore me is a feeble attempt on my behalf to reach for a God that I was never meant to reach for. He already has me in His arms and nothing I can do; no book, no song, no tattoo or t-shirt can ever help me attain what I already have.

Whenever we use religion, be it soy or classic old school, as the foundation for growth in our walk with Christ we might as well not be doing anything at all. And that’s exactly where God wants us to be.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Starbucks :^(

If you were planning on visiting Starbucks from 5:30 – 8:30 this evening, you may want to make new plans. The coffee retailer is closing most of its 7,000 U.S. stores to train baristas after some customers have complained about the declining quality of their drinks …

Guess it will have to be DLM Boston Stoker and a Lara's cookie :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Falling Slowly" on the Oscars...Best Song

In case you missed this...It was awesome. It includes their performance as well as their acceptance speeches.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Easter trivia

My dad sent me this and I thought it was kind of interesting if you like trivia

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring
Equinox (which is March 20).

This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used
to identify Passover,
which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Based on this, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is
pretty rare.

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our

And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95
years old or above!).

And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!

Here are the facts:

* The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year
2228 (220 years from now).
* The last time it was this early was 1913
* The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the
year 2285 (277 years from now).
* The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.

So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jesus and.....judging others

When I saw the topic for this sermon...I leaned over and told Darrell.."God's trying to tell me something again"
This passage in scripture is meant for all of us though. It's not for "the other person" We all are guilty.

Luke 6:37-42

Certain people can create an "inner growl" in us. Are there times when judgment is needed? yes. John 7:24, 1 Corinthians 5:5, Galatians 1:8-9 are some examples of when it's appropriate.
This scripture deals with those people who have a lifestyle of being judgmental.
We see a lot of it in the generation of 20-30 yr olds. There is a constant attitude of cynicism.

You know you have a lifestyle of judgment when:

1 Your general outlook on people is that of being over them

2 You place people in categories of you don't have to do anything with them.

3 You are consistently suspicious of other people's motives.

4 You size up people by how they can contribute to your needs

5 You place standards on others that are not on yourself

Three reasons why a lifestyle of judgment is dangerous

1 You end up hurting yourself. There is a boomerang effect. You don't have a lot of people close to you for this reason

2 You mold that lifestyle into people within your influence i.e . kids,spouses,coworkers,neighbors
People aren't influenced by what you say to's your you live your life

3 You inhibit your ability to serve hurting people. There's a big issue of unresolved sin

The cure for being judgmental? Knowing how to forgive

Friday, February 22, 2008

Alan Hirsch at Apex

Last night Darrell,Aisa and I battled the snow to listen to Alan Hirsch speak. Darrell and I went back today for an all day conference for house churches.
If you haven't heard of him he wrote a book called "The Forgotten Ways" which gives a totally different way to look at how to do church. It puts focus on Incarnational Mission.
It was a challenge to get there. I had to interview someone at 4:30 for our nurse practitioner role and the doctor I work with had an emergency patient which delayed the interview until 5:00pm. When I walked out the door, there was the snow they had talked all day about. It was a challenge getting to the church but we made it with time to spare.
He is truly a dynamic speaker. He is from Melbourne Australia and has the most beautiful accent. He is here in the United States for the next 5 years being called by God to minister to the western church.
There is so much material...too much for me to write here(but you're getting my 9 pages of notes Adam) so I'll put some of the things that stood out for me:

In church today we get too comfortable with "huddle and cuddle" We need to go out and "reach people where they are. We also need to engage people in ownership of church to create a reversal of the 80/20 mentality 80% passive and 20% who are active.
There needs to be a focus on discipleship. He used the model:TEMPT

T=together we follow
E= Engagement of Scripture
M= Mission
P= Passion for Jesus
T= Transformation
This is his model for house churches.

He also gave an individual model created by his friend Michael Frost who he wrote"The Shaping of Things To Come" That model is BELLS

B= Bless x 3 Do something good for 3 people ..1 in your community 1 outside of your community 1 of your choice
E= Eat ..Invite 3 people to eat with you 1 Inside your commmunity 1 outside of your community 1 of your choice
L=Listen to God for 1 hour each week
L=Learn 1 The Gospels 1 Another book in the Bible 1 another book that enhances you
S=Sent Wherever you are sent..whether it's work,school,etc Look at how God can use you and keep a journal in how God was involved..It will change you!

Today he totally focused on his book The Forgotten Ways" I will post separately on that when I process the info(My brain hurts!!) but the main focus of the whole day was this:

"Every believer is a church planter
Every church is a church planting church"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jesus and a broken rock

John 21:7-22

My notes from Apex sermon

How does Jesus restore my heart when I have made horrible choices after conversion?
Can God use me again?
As a can you be Jesus to someone in this moment?
Peter had denied Christ 3 times..God still used him

When people hit a black hole they usually:
1 Go back to what they were doing before
2 Settle for noncommittal church attendance

What does Jesus do?

1 Initiates with gentleness..He goes to them in the middle of brokeness and gently guides them
When people screw up publically they don't need our verses...they need our gentleness.

2 Calls you back into intimacy with Him

In these verses Jesus shares a that time in that culture that was something done with those who are close with each other.
We are strong in our brokeness. We need to spend time in prayer with God.
Sometimes we need to go to lonely places just as Jesus did.

3 Reminds you of his power and faithfulness

4 Simplifies the meaning of your life
"Do you love me?" "Feed my sheep" equals Love God...teach others to follow Him

5 Defines Reality..."tough love" You can't stay where you are

6 Renews the command "Follow Me"

If you mess up in a big way God can still use you in a mighty way. It comes down to love and grace.

How do we end up in that black hole?

1 Be hard hearted Selfish not broken

2 Don't listen to the Lord

3 Don't spend time with the Lord

4 Make life complicated....Fill up your calendar

5 Forget about reality...just escape

6 Don't follow Christ...stay comfortable Forget about the cross

Campus Choir comes to Princeton Pike

Kristen came to Cincinnati this weekend to sing with Lee Campus Choir. We don't have the best camera but she is basically in the middle(second row) of the group picture. My friend Aisa went with us :)
I love to watch her sing. She has the most passionate look on her face. They have such hearts for God and such powerful worship.
We didn't have any drama like we did last running around on the pews. The church was absolutely beautiful and huge inside. They don't let you take your coffee into the sanctuary though.
They were in Mansfield yesterday and took a tour of the prison used to film "Shawshank Redemption" It's closed now and actually people have their wedding receptions in morbid is that! There was a cell painted gold that a group called Godsmack used to film one of their videos.
They will be touring in Texas in 2 weeks and then will be going on a medical missionary trip to Guatemala in May.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Flowers,candy,card, and a clean kitchen

This was in my email this morning from the Robbie Seay Band and I thought it was cute
I'm with his wife...I like the flowers,candy, and card and a clean kitchen :^P

"I bought my wife some flowers yesterday. I wish I was always so thoughtful, not just on Valentine's day, but I am a man and we're not that smart or kind really. I'm standing there surveying the 6 magazines that all have Brittany on the front and her latest meltdown, when I suddenly hear the man in front of me blurt out, "Valentine's is a fraud! It was the creation of credit card companies and card makers, so we'll all spend money on flowers and chocolates and things that don't last!" The 20-something cashier laughs and responds, "Yeah, flowers are a total waste of money. I tell my man to clean the kitchen if he wants to impress me." They both slowly glance my way. In my hands? Flowers, chocolates and a $4 card. "My wife likes this stuff, and a clean kitchen," I responded. Nothing but silence from the cupid haters, but I stood my V-Day ground."

Grandma's hands

My friend Bona sent this to me. I lost my grandma 10 yrs ago this month and she was a huge influence in my life. I still miss her and I still remember her hands :)

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench.
She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the
longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her
at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and
looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she
said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here
staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I
explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really
looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them
over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at
my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have
served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled
shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to
reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my
mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled
on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off
to war.

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were
uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated
with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I
buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and
shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the
rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried
and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works
real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to
fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out
and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to
His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God
reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my
children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and
caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Response from Shane Claiborne to Cedarville

I found this on Jim Wallis's website

Friday, February 08, 2008
Don't Fear Disagreement (by Shane Claiborne)

The Internet has made it possible for every person to have channels of significant influence at their fingertips, regardless of credibility or content. This can be used for good or for bad. And in the case of Cedarville University, we have the bad. I was supposed to speak at Cedarville University in Ohio. At the last minute they cancelled, the VP's job was threatened, all kinds of ugliness. A small group of people have used an impersonal, indirect means of communication to try and tear down something they disagree with. Unfortunately Cedarville gave validity to this group of bloggers by reacting to their demands … and as we all know, dissension spreads like fire -- or yeast, as Jesus said.

A university must believe its students are able to "test the spirits" and work out their salvation "with fear and trembling." We are not talking about junior high kids, but young adults who are capable of discerning truth from fiction, and who need to be trusted with and exposed to diverse perspectives.

If there is anything I've learned from both conservatives and liberals, it's that we can have all the "right" answers and still be mean. And when you're mean, it's hard for people to listen to, much less desire, your truth.

We have nothing to fear from people who disagree with us. Folks who see things differently from us are our best teachers.

I would love to have a conversation with these folks who disagree with me. I have often said that one of our great witnesses to the rest of society is how well we can disagree. In fact, I offered to use the honorarium Cedarville promised to fly in the angry bloggers so we can have a public conversation. I take all criticism very seriously. I will prayerfully listen to every critique and concern that is expressed directly to me. My address is on our Web site ( And I respond personally to every one, usually with an invitation to have dinner together (hmmm, I can feel the surge of "angry" letters from folks looking for a free meal, haha!).

Unfortunately it's difficult to communicate with folks who will not talk to you, who only talk around you, as in this case. I do not have time to hunt down every rogue Web site. There's too much constructive work to do for the Kingdom for us to spend our energies constantly reacting to every destructive voice, especially those who do not honor Matthew's admonition to speak directly with one another in love (Matthew 18). And there is too much brokenness in the world to spend time tearing each other apart.

I am excited to say that these bloggers do not represent the majority of Christians -- who want to see evangelism and social justice kiss, and who know that what we believe must affect the way in which we live. This is evidenced by the surge of energy from other local communities and congregations who contacted us immediately after the cancellation with hopes of hosting the evening. We have worked carefully and respectfully with Cedarville University and the many folks in the area to organize an event on Monday night, autonomous of the university. It will be an evening of sharing worship and prayer hosted by Apex Community in Dayton.

So while I am disappointed that the institution itself at Cedarville was not secure enough to stand up to these vigilante voices, I am deeply encouraged by the faith and courage of the students, local residents, and members of the faculty and administration who have not allowed this minority voice to hijack goodness. I pray that our time together on Monday will move all of us closer to Jesus and to the Kingdom of God. It would also be nice if an angry blogger or two showed up so we can have communion together.

A night with Shane Clairborne

Last night I had the privilege of hearing Shane Claiborne speak. It was a last minute thing that Apex was able to get him for the night..and it wasn't without some controversy. He was originally to speak at Cedarville but they cancelled because he is "too radical" Even on Monday morning, the elders and ministers were receiving emails from people with the same concerns. The only thing I can guess is that these people have never actually heard or spoke to Shane. He started off the night saying with emotion in his voice that "he doesn't like when people don't get along." He has a very soft spoken voice with a southern accent from his upbringing in eastern Tennessee. He laughs at his own stories which made me laugh. He is a tall man but a beanpole and he makes his own clothes because he loves to sew and I'm guessing he would have a terrible time finding clothes to fit :)
Many of his stories are from his book , "The Irresistible Revolution". He talks about his time with Mother Teresa. He talks about his times on the streets of Philadelphia.
He talks about his time in Iraq. The thing that stood out the most to me..he loves people. He lives out a life as a disciple for Christ. He doesn't just talk about it..he lives it. He is a humble man with a huge heart and passion for the poor.
There was a time for communion which was very touching. There were at least 800 if not more there and quietly we all went to the front and took a small piece of bread and dipped it in the juice. There was a short question and answer period where you could text your questions to a cell phone number and then they put them on the screen for him to answer. The first question was," What are in your front pockets?" :) His pants have these 2 large pockets in the front. He has his bible in one and his wallet in the other because "he's heard you can get back problems from carrying your wallet in the back" He had 2 smaller pockets above them that he puts various things like "sidewalk chalk" The second question was "What is his thorn that keeps him humble?." He didn't go into detail but did state the importance of friends who keep you accountable. He actually brought his friend Chris with him. Chris was one of his roommates and also spent time in India with Mother Teresa. Chris talked briefly about his time ministering to the dying. The last question was "Who are your modern day heroes?" ..he has 2, John Perkins who is a civil rights activist and "is about 80 yrs old and can say whatever he wants" and Rich Mullins.
He had buttons that they make at Simple Way that had various sayings..."Jesus was a homeless man", "Jesus for President"(the name of the book he and Chris wrote which comes out in March) and "Love Your Enemy" just to name a few.
If you would like to hear his talk, Apex will have it on their website or you can get it through the Apex podcast on iTunes.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Correlating clutter and weight loss

I was in Borders and saw a book with a funny title "Does this clutter make my butt look fat?" The book basically is showing how there can be a connection between the two behaviors of having a messy house and being oveweight. When you weigh yourself down with are more likely to also weigh yourself down physically with food. When you don't take care of the environment that you are less likely to take care of the body you live in too.
There was actually a show on Oprah that showed an overweight family and their disaster of a house. I have some clutter but NOTHING like these people.
Anyway, after watching the show, it motivated me to declutter things in my life. I started with my books and moved to my closet and then to my drawers. Tomorrow I'll tackle my bathroom drawers. I'm not honestly that messy and I'm married to "Mr. Clean" but it felt good to get rid of that extra stuff I didn't need. Will it help me lose weight? I don't know but it does put me in the frame of mind to look at improving things for the better including my health both physically and emotionally.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Darrell :)

Darrell hates a fuss for his birthday so he and I will celebrate it quietly
If you know Darrell you know this is his personality...
He would give a stranger the shirt off his back, the shoes off his feet, the last dollar in his wallet, and share his heart for Christ.
He does give his friends and family...his whole heart and his whole life.

Happy Birthday to the person I love the most in the whole wide world :^)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Jesus and a thief

Luke 23: 39-43

My notes from Apex sermon

The primary meaning of this message...GRACE

U2 sang a song "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"

Two typical reactions when we get stuck in a moment we can't get out of

1 Anger at God for our state..."Why did you let this happen?"

2 A humble plea for mercy..."God please help me"

The first thief reacts with anger

"Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us"
He wants to be rescued by Jesus without the authority of Jesus

"Car jack theory" by John Piper...You take it out of the trunk when you need it then put it back in the trunk and don't think about it
Puts Jesus in the role of driving the getaway car for his crime

The second thief reacts with the humble plea for mercy

1 He understood the fear of God
The Fear of the Lord...everything in your life is done for the love of God

2 He acknowledges his guilt and the justified punishment

3 He recognizes the innocence of Jesus The Perfect lamb
1 Peter 1:18-19
1 Peter 2:22-24
1John 3:5

4 He sees Jesus as King

There is nothing darker than the blindness of sin
The body of Jesus was weak and broken but not his grace
Mercy begins where blame ends
Until death ..there is ALWAYS hope
Which cross will you die on? The one of the 1st thief or the second?

Galatians 2:20

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


This is hands down my favorite movie I've seen all year.
I hadn't really heard a lot about it before I went which is always a good thing.
I watched it without preconceived ideas.
Ellen Page is absolutely amazing as an actress.
It deals with teenage pregnancy and all the decisions,emotions,conflicts,that it involves including family,friends,abortion,adoption,and just the emotions that a 16 year old girl goes through. It adds quirky humor which I love.
The movie is up for 4 academy awards and after seeing it...I can see why.

Friday, February 08, 2008


"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Salon Restored

"If you can't feel something beautiful in yourself, you'll walk around finding something negative in others"

This a quote from my friend from house church, Jeana Dean, who recently started a salon in December with her friend Krissy Cordrey.
The Salon is called "Salon Restored" It's located at 84 N. Main St in Centerville. It's the house with the rocking chairs in the front :)
This salon isn't your typical salon.
It's also a ministry to reach out to those women in need ..single moms..women down on their luck...woman who need a boost in their self worth. They bring these women in at no charge for a spa experience where they receive salon experiences, time with a personal trainer and a motivation coach. They also have a room of clothes that they have received to help those woman who need a suit or "interview clothes" when they are trying to find a job.
Their mission: "To be known in the community as a place where all can come in to be truly restored"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Everything will change

It's been a hard week. Sometimes lyrics describe feelings the best

"After night
Comes a light
Dawn is here
Dawn is here
It’s a new day, a new day
Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be the same
Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be the same"

Alcohol at christian concerts..a great answer by David Crowder

My friend Aisa sent this question that was answered by David Crowder.
I really thought he gave a great answer to the touchy question of alcohol

question 6: “i went to the show in cincinatti and there was alcohol being served. i was shocked that it was being served at a christian concert. can you tell me why it was being served?”

yes. i’m pretty sure that the bar was selling alcohol because it is a bar and that’s what bars sell. they typically like to make money and so they buy things, such as beers, from a distributor for a certain price and then mark it up to sell to people so that they will get a profit and get to pay their employees and get to stay open and such. alcohol is usually a pretty big seller for bars. i am sorry this was shocking.

i might add, both historically and currently, there are many people who love jesus, and follow him, that also enjoy alcohol regularly. if you have not encountered these people first hand, you should attempt to enlarge your peer circle and i think you’ll get a clearer picture of the diversity of the body of christ. there are denominations and traditions that denounce alcohol, and there are those that condone it. these beliefs are typically culturally specific and attached to a particular sect's interpretations of a few particular passages in scripture. i should state here that we, as a band and as individuals, do not, in any way, condone drunkenness, as it is stupid, nor under-aged drinking as it is also stupid and against the law, and trust that those in attendance at various dates on our club tour are intelligent enough to arrive at both of these conclusions as well. it is not very difficult to observe the damaging effects of abusing alcohol. it is simple that way; abuse it, it abuses you back, most of the time immediately.

(an aside: in my experience, most conversations about alcohol with those who adamantly reject it as a possible beverage choice, present that it could cause a brother to stumble. this is awful logic. apply this logic to various food items ordered at your next public meal. there will doubtlessly be present various numbers of people who struggle with obesity or high cholesterol or heart disease, who would really love one of your cheesesticks. there will also be those present who are vegetarian, myself included, who are attempting to not ingest meat. i’m sure you see the trouble with this line of thinking. this was the very argument that peter and paul were having regarding idol meat. i will not attempt further argument here since there is plenty to find out there, if one were truly curious, that would present things in a much more scholarly and organized manner than i could hope to present it. i will also state here that i shall not require you to cease your carnivorous ways while sharing a restaurant with me.)

and finally, i should state the reasons we went on a tour that had as its venues bars and clubs exclusively. we wished for the story of god to be experienced beyond the safety of our cloistered church environments. it was our deep hope that many who would not frequent a bar would come join us and experience the reality of the presence of god in an environment that they might not typically suspect to experience such a thing in. we believe, if we are reading scripture correctly, that once the veil was torn, that in an instant, suddenly, god was everywhere. the symbolism and consequences of this moment are epic! the way human beings access the maker of heaven and earth were forever changed. suddenly, once and for all, through the ultimate sacrificial offering, suddenly, he is everywhere. every second is lived in the very presence of god. there is no moment that is not holy. there is no space that is not sacred. it is the awareness of our reality that shifts, not this reality. therefore, all that is needed is for our awareness to change and we begin to view spaces and people and cultures and music and art and eating and drinking and sleeping and waking as moments and spaces and places where god is already active and present. our hope on this tour was to give people a physical, tangible experience of this reality.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


John 2:1-11

What do you do when your joy runs out?

1 Remember that Jesus really does care about the "small stuff" Psalm 55:22
1 Peter5:7

2 Commit your needs to Jesus but trust Him with the timing

3 Religious ritual will not make a person clean..It involves the "external" not the heart

4 Inward righteousness with outward fruit is the evidence of a cleansed life

5 Jesus wants to be consumed just as wine is consumed

6 Not every miracle of change by Jesus is done in a dramatic way or through dramatic people

7 If you are in Christ....the best is yet to come