Thursday, October 29, 2009

Throw it away Church!

In my last post the discussion centered around our throw it away culture, including things and people. There is one throw it away item that irks me more than any other, Church! I don't like the pastor, there's nothing for the children, nobody my age goes there, the music is too traditional, the music is too contemporary, and on and on... It makes me want to scream, Stop It! Please show me in the Bible where it mentions any of these things as reasons to pick a Church. Even denominations get me riled up. Good theology is necessary, but if your spiritual maturity hinges on one or two aspects of a Church you've got a big problem. The first Church I was a part of as an adult had a good pastor who preached Biblical messages. But his preaching style wasn't the most entertaining. A number of people told me they wanted to leave the Church because they weren't growing spiritually. A pastor's sermons should never be the sole source of your spiritual growth. How many sermons can you remember on Tuesday? It's our imperfections as individuals that create imperfections in our Church. The beauty of God's design is that the community works out those imperfections under the Leadership of Jesus Christ. When you are ready to throw away a Church take a hard look at yourself. What are you doing to make the Church more like the body of Christ? The imperfections in the Church are only a reflection of you and you can do something about that!

Throw it away!

If you have not noticed, we live in a throw it away culture. Walk around your local Walmart and look at how many things you can buy that won't last more than a year (thank you China for cheap plastic). Fashions seem to change weekly and 15 minutes of fame has been brought down to 3-5 minute youtube clips. Even things like hair and eye color can be changed and discarded each day; not to mention plastic surgery and tattoos. On a more sobering note, marriages are a dime a dozen when half end in divorce. Don't like your spouse anymore, get rid of them and try another one. The child growing inside of you is inconveniant; get rid of the child. Even children born are a hassle. I know a woman who takes care of a little girl because the mother can't handle the little girl, her child. It won't be a far stretch to throw away the old and useless. The constant chase for something new to make me happy leaves a festering, rotting, stench of wreckage behind. The throw away pile of stuff is unsitely, check out your garage, basement, or attic. But the human wreckage of pain and suffering is truly crushing. Jesus makes such simple statements that take a lifetime of perserverance to work out: "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matt 6:20)" Maybe I'll think twice before reaching out to grab the next gotta have thing to make life easier, i.e. make me happy, which will only last a short season before I throw it away. Better yet, maybe I can "love my neighbor as myself" and change my orientation from a self-focus to an others-focus. Question to ask yourself: When do you tend to view people as short term use and then throw them away?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dumb Lyrics

Occasionally I listen to pop music. I do this for a couple of reasons;
1. I love getting really obnoxious tunes stuck in my head for days with pre-school level rhymes. 2. I can't get enough britney, kanye, and black eyed peas 3. I try to keep a feel for what types of things are popular with youth. That being said I was listening to the radio last night when the song "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo came on.
Sort of catchy beat, not really. What got me though was the lyrics. The song is about a guy that cheats on his girl friend. Imagine the song as his apology and subsequent begging to be taken back. Here's the "hook" so let me in (let me in) give me another chance (another chance) to really be your man cause when the roof cave in and the truth came out i just didn´t know what to do but when i become a star we´ll be living so large i´ll do anything for you so tell me girl When I become a big star......???????? That's the best you can come up with man? Come on. What girl is going to buy this? You can cheat on her, apparently lie about when you get caught, and you're only hope that she'll take you back is when you become a big star you'll do anything for her. I think this really highlights our narcissistic youth culture today. It's all about being a star. Once you are a star you can do anything you want. Morals are dependent on fame. Look at the Roman Polanksi thing. This guy drugs and rapes a 13 year old girl. Because he is a famous director a bunch of celebrities think he shouldn't be held accountable. There is a huge disconnect in teenagers about how a relationship really works. Right and wrong are not predicated on celebrity status. You are not more attractive as a suitor if you're famous. Girls you should get so lost in God that a boy has to seek God to find you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I just want to be a "Spring Carrier"

Saturday I spent the whole day taking out the water front here at Camp. What I mean by that is: we pulled out the blob (mopped it inside and out, the bladder as well), deflated and mopped the water trampoline, pulled in all the bouy lines, pulled out the docks and boat lifts, scrubbed the bottom of the yellow slide, put all the buddy tags on twisty ties, took out the beach and water volleyball nets, pulled the lifeguard raft onto shore. Not very interesting, unless I tell you about how I got the blue tractor stuck in the water and had to pull it out 3 different times with our yellow hilo. Which worked well until the 3rd time, I got the hilo stuck in the water and the blue tractor couldn't pull it out. So I called Vic and he mentioned that the hilo had 4 wheel drive and I was able to drive it right out. Sometimes, I just remind myself that I am good at other things, so I don't feel so inadequate at mechanical and maintenance type stuff. So because I worked a full day Saturday, I had today as a day off. We celebrated our 2nd daughter's 4th birthday. She got a cake for lunch since her grandma came up from Grand Rapids. She also got brownies with candles for supper because her mother prefers brownies to cake. As I was waiting for supper, I decided to take down our trampoline. Since the weather has been dry, and I wasn't anticipating much more usage by our kids yet this fall. I invited my 2 year-old son to come outside and "help." Which really meant he wandered around with his juice cup while I took down the net, and posts that held up the net. Then as I began taking off springs, I realized he could take them from my hand and bring them over to the box for me. He spent the next 20 minutes faithfully bringing springs from me to the box, over and over again. Never could he carry more than 5 at a time. Occasionally they fell on the way and he would pick them up again. But every one made it to the box eventually. I was pleased with his help. He willingly served. Back and forth, never complaining. Even when he made a mistake, he picked it back up. I could tell he liked being involved and loved getting affirmation from Dad on the good job that he was doing. As I reflected on that experience, I realize that I want to be a "Spring Carrier" for God. I don't need an important job, or one that will be noticed. I probably couldn't handle it, anyways. But I want to join him in the work that he is doing. I want to serve willingly. I want to pick back up, even after I make mistakes. And I definitely want to hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Say it isn't so!

There is a tragedy occurring right before our eyes. Did you even know about it?
Be a part of saving this story from a terrible ending. Eat a Krispy Kreme today.
I think I'm smelling Krispy Kreme's as I write this.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Life

This past weekend Grace hosted a retreat that we call the "2treat" for middle school students. We call it the 2treat because we run 2 completely different tracks on one weekend. The first track is called "Fall Blast", it is designed for a youth group to come, have fun and build a cohesive group with goals and expectations for the year ahead. The 2 churches that participated really enjoyed their time. The second track we call "Pure Adventure." I had the privilege of teaching this track on making wise decisions based on God's Word, keeping and protecting your heart, as purity is a heart issue. During the weekend one young lady met with one of my female staff, and asked her a bunch of questions about committing her life to Christ. On Saturday, I coached our staff on some scripture passages to have the young lady read and discuss. We praise God that on Sunday morning, this young lady approached our staff and asked if she could pray to accept Jesus salvation and commit to following him with her life. When someone does this, as Jesus teaches they are born again. Yes, it is as if they have new life. The old is gone, the new has come! Since Laura was in labor, she and I had been at the hospital for a few hours and things were progressing only slowly. So our doctor left to go to an elder meeting at his church. Suddenly the pace changed. Our nurse called him on his pager, but he got caught in traffic, so with the help of 2 nurses, Laura and I welcomed another miracle of life. The birth of my son, Trevor Lee. He tipped the scales at 8lbs 9oz, and was 20 inches in length. What a blessing of the Lord to experience 2 different new lives in one week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Neo-Christians

So today I was driving and had the radio on. Spencer and Heidi Pratt were being interviewed by the radio host. I would've continued channel surfing except they were playing "Jesus Jeopardy".

Spencer and Heidi Pratt are reality TV stars that are famous for.... not much. They have bounced around on different b-level shows. What sets them apart is that Heidi is very very vocal about her Christian faith. This has translated into a pseudo-faith for Spencer as well. This was culminated in the baptism of Spencer by none other than Stephen Baldwin on a joint reality show they were on.

Their lives however are fairly contrary to a Christian faith. Heidi is a playboy model. Spencer has demonstrated multiple examples of dishonesty, crude language, narcissism, and inappropriate sexual remarks on his multiple shows. So as they were playing Jesus Jeopardy this morning it hit me how much damage they may be doing for Christianity. Here me, I am sure they think that they are believers and they desire to be so. However there are a nation of people who call themselves Christians that I believe will not see Glory because they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We call them "neo-Christians". It was so obvious that these secular radio hosts were creating a segment to mock their religion. Why do they do this to them and not Tony Dungy? Because their actions do not line up with their words. Is this a problem? At least they want to be believers right? Maybe God will use them. There is a nation of people who need a solid Biblical world view. The Christian worldview is not how a denomination, or person, or pastor views the world. The Christian world view is how God views the world. Grace Adventures is committed to changing the world view of those in our world. There are too many people who think they're a Christian but aren't one. I really hope Spencer and Heidi know the truth, and aren't always demonstrating it, or find out the truth. Anchor's Away is a ministry that we have partnered with in order to combat this epidemic. FYI - Spencer and Heidi answered two out of six questions correct on "Jesus Jeopardy".