Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Whether you agree with me or not it is worth listening to since they vocalize these ideas more articulately than I did.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Like Moses before him, he would never live to see the Promised Land. But from the mountain top, he pointed the way for us - a land no longer torn asunder with racial hatred and ethnic strife, a land that measured itself by how it treats the least of these, a land in which strength is defined not simply by the capacity to wage war but by the determination to forge peace - a land in which all of God's children might come together in a spirit of brotherhood.I think that we should praise God for those who live their lives and inspire us to live our lives in the challenge of Micah 6:8.
We have not yet arrived at this longed for place. For all the progress we have made, there are times when the land of our dreams recedes from us - when we are lost, wandering spirits, content with our suspicions and our angers, our long-held grudges and petty disputes, our frantic diversions and tribal allegiances.
And yet, by erecting this monument, we are reminded that this different, better place beckons us, and that we will find it not across distant hills or within some hidden valley, but rather we will find it somewhere in our hearts.
In the Book of Micah, Chapter 6, verse 8, the prophet says that God has already told us what is good.
"What doth the Lord require of thee, the verse tells us, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
The man we honor today did what God required.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Buy a $200 and $10 goes to HiV/AIDS relief in Africa. Buy a $60 T-shirt and $10 goes to HiV/AIDS relief in Africa. The contrast is I can buy a $50 MP3 player and sent $150 to Africa through a credible NGO. I can buy a $15 T-Shirt and send $45 to Africa through a credible NGO. Still the other contrast is (being honest) I am probably going to be shopping at Gap and Apple anyway!
This is where things get tricky for me. I am the person the products are marketed to, and if I am going to making these purchaes anyway, I should be buying (RED). The problem is why does a movement that is concerned about HiV/AIDS relief in Africa really want to continue to ENCOURAGE my consumerists lifestyle. The answer is a lack of LOVE!
Then I found (Red)emption and think it is a great idea! Can you participate with a $10 gift to Africa with no consumerist return?
- An apprentice of Jesus lives with a sense of legacy and destiny.
- An apprentice of Jesus practices desert reflection.
- An apprentice of Jesus practices radical repentance.
- An apprentice of Jesus makes a public statement of their commitment to live in reverence towards God (ie. Baptism).
- An apprentice of Jesus practices abstinence from normal consumption and activity in order to strengthen spiritual clarity and resolve.
- An apprentice of Jesus is aware of both human physical needs and desires and intangible spiritual realities.
- An apprentice of Jesus resists the urge to obtain power and authority in human kingdoms through surrender to God.
- An apprentice of Jesus resists the desire for status and reputation through humility.
- An apprentice of Jesus seeks the good of reverent people and does not depend on religious institutions or groups for validation.
- An apprentice of Jesus identifies with the poor, imprisoned, blind, and oppressed and seeks their liberation and restoration.
- An apprentice of Jesus communicates God’s favor for all people."
Monday, November 06, 2006
I got bored and quit reading before I found anything offensive. I could certainly see some of the offensive and crude points in other's excerpts. I wanted to include the link in case anyone else wants to read through and see what a fool he supposedly made of himself, after all he is an award winning food critic.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
The other day I posted about my horrible experience at church Wednesday night thinking that only 2 people from church read my blog and I was OK. Well it turns out that Mildred's sister was reading as well and hooked onto my comment about, "So here we are 10 years later at church the other night. A lady who I value for her simple uncomplicated faith... " which she knew was speaking of her sister and she had her sister read it, and well I once again looked like a loser.
So here is my official defense and disclaimer.
1. That sentence is a compliment! I regret the fact that I don't posses the ability to have a simple faith. I am rat who struggles with my faith constantly! I hold God out at a Deistic distance and protect myself from intimacy with him and others through theology, philosophy and intentional arrogance. I want to accept God and believe in him without 10,000 questions. Several of my favorite people in life are those who do that.
2. Mildred is one of those super people who are far more important and valuable to our church than ANYONE realizes. Few people are as involved in leading and serving in as many ministries as Mildred is. She is a diligent servant in our children's ministry, our women's ministry, and our benevolent ministry. I do not believe there are two ministries in a church more important than children and benevolence. She is a leader who shows diligence in both. My 5 year old daughter LOVES Ms. Mildred's bible class and is often offended that her mom and I can not arrive to Bible class on time on Sunday morning. There is no one in our church with a more important role to me than Ms. Mildred and their Wednesday night teacher for their continual service to my daughters!
3. Mildred reminds me of my mom. I have often watched Mildred with her teens and she soooooo reminds me of my mom when we were teenagers. I believe my parents were nearly perfect parents. Few people I know bat 100% with their children being involved faithful members of their church in their adult years. My parents did that! I see too that Mildred will have the same positive effect on her kids. I value that in a person!
4. Mildred did not take offense in either the deviled egg or the "simple uncomplicated faith" comment. I assume the worst in the people, and that is such a poor quality in a person. Mildred addressed my comment and asked for clarification which I deeply value in a person. She did not let pettiness cloud her vision. Imagine a world where more of us acted like that rather than being catty and self-centered.
As those of you who are regular readers know, I often find myself VERY frustrated at the values and lack of vision and mission I see in the decision making from our church leadership. The contrast to my rants, which I often post, are the reasons I am a part of Cardinal Drive. There is positive to the church, that I don't record here often enough.
2 years ago this February my wife and I joined Cardinal Drive as members. We had been attending on Wednesday Bible class for six months at that point, and had visited on Sunday mornings on a few occasions as well. There were 3 things about Cardinal Drive that led me to desire to place membership there on a full time basis. Although two of them are irrelevant to this discussion, the number one reason is very relevant. It was the friendliness of the membership. There were no airers of pretentiousness, instead it was a warm welcoming body of people. There were most certainly a few families that made this true, we were welcomed with open arms by the members of CD. Few churches had ever felt as open as CD did. My friend Mildred was among those people who were so open and welcoming! It was hearts like hers that made CD so attractive to our family.
Thank you Mildred for not being offended by my comment. I respect and treasure you!
Friday, November 03, 2006
I want to begin the discussion by comparing the Operating Systems made by Apple and Microsoft . Apple disciples claim that the Macintosh operating system is a much better user experience. However it is not scalable software since it works only on a specific set of 6-10 computer models. Microsoft's operating system has MUCH GREATER scalability since Windows is used on a virtually infinite variations of hardware. This means for the issue at hand my brother feels Christ's teachings are like the Macintosh operating system. If you accept Christ then you will be blessed by following his teachings. If you are not a Mac (a Christian) then as a PC (a Muslim, a Buddhist, an atheist, or a national entity) the principles of Christ bear no value to you since they can not run on your spiritual architecture. This is where I find myself in deep disagreement with my brother. I believe we were created to follow the principles of Christ: therefore when we follow those principles there will be a consequential blessing. In example, if I have eyes only for the wife of my youth and keep my eyes and my mind sexually pure that is a spiritual blessing to my wife despite our relationship with God. Or as another example, if I choose to harbor bitterness there is a physical penalty to that choice to my body despite my affiliation with or without God. My spiritual choices do not have an impact on the results of following the principles of Christ.
So therefore how does this play out on a Geo-Political scale? In order to answer this question most honestly I need to clarify a few things about myself. Firstly, I am not a pacifist but I do support the Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism . Secondly, I do believe my brother, who this post is directed to, makes a well thought out and well argued point for Iraq as a an aggressor and enemy. Finally, I believe "We The People" can act and should act independently of our national policy in matters of conscience. In addition to those three points I also believe one should clarify that a major point of disagreement in these matters seems to be in the doctrine of interpreting what Christ means when he speaks of the "Kingdom of God ." There are three views on the "Kingdom of God." There is the Theocratic Kingdom, the Apolyptic Kingdom, and the Universal Kingdom. Many evangelicals in America today subscribe to the Theocratic Kingdom of God. Their view is that America is the sword of God and should nationally submit to the laws of God. Augustine agreed with this idea (not America) and it has surfaced from time to time throughout the history of the church. To a certain point the Crusades, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem are a direct result of this ideology. I do not believe this is the idea my brother presents in his comment s on my Amish and Terror -4 Questions post. Instead my brother presents the second idea of the Kingdom of God. This idea draws heavily from the Revelation of John and teaches that Christ will one day establish a true, permanent kingdom on earth where he will sit as the literal physical king of the earth. This kingdom is in contrast to the current kingdom of the earth which is ruled by Satan. Although I do believe in an ultimate sense this idea is Biblically sound, I think Jesus presents a third idea of the kingdom of God in his own words that differs from the final kingdom John speaks about in the Revelation. Jesus speaks of his kingdom in such a way that the original church fathers defined it as, "The kingdom of god means, then, the ruling of God in our hearts; it means those principles which separate us off from the kingdom of the world and the devil; it means the benign sway of grace; it means the Church as that Divine institution whereby we may make sure of attaining the spirit of Christ and so win that ultimate kingdom of God Where He reigns without end in "the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God." This idea means that each member of the church universally has the responsibility to understand that he bears the weight of the kingdom of God on daily basis. The Kingdom of God is in any place and in every place where God's people are.
So as we come back to the Geo-Political question at hand, can the principles of the Kingdom of God be present in our "War on Terror ?" I answer a most resounding Yes! Christ taught that each person in need is my neighbor. That means if I have affluence and I encounter a person whether here in America, or in Africa, or in the Islamic Middle East who is suffering from the kinds of radical poverty where Islamofascism is growing our response to that on a personal should be deep sorrow and a deep need to respond to that suffering. We should on a personal level see these enemies as failures to love like Christ loved rather than as evil psychopaths. On a personal level we should be challenged to respond in the kind of sacrificial love that the early church demonstrated in their own economic care of their "cultural" enemies. Our response must be two fold, as a national government employed to "promote the common defense" our military must do precisely that against those forces currently presenting formidable aggression against our nation and our national interest. However the second side, that would be a much more long term and much more difficult road to walk would be to respond to the forces of poverty that open doors to this ideology of hate. If the Islamofascist were telling young boys they could leave poverty by entering their world of hate, and the Christian response to the poverty present present in these region was showers of love through the distribution of water and food, there would be no growth in the Islamofascist camps. This movement grows because it promises a better hope for the future, we should be using our wealth to present that better hope for the future in the name of love not hate. This can be the American response. If the people of America, outside of sectarian lines, poured hope in the form of food, water, and medicines into the Islamofascist controlled regions of the world Christ's principles WOULD SCALE to eliminate the recruiting tools of our enemies. Our enemies would become our brothers. An understanding of history teaches us that Christ's methodology would work, since previous nation states have built revolutions on meeting the basic needs of their constituents.So how would the Amish response look to the war on terror. I believe a delegation of Ambassadors, Anthropologist, Economist, and Sociologist could go to these parts of the world and find REAL answers to meeting these needs. I believe this delegation would repent to the people of these parts for our previous exploitation of their people and their resources. We would find mutually amenable solutions for using their resources in ways that build their communities rather than destroy them. If we took these actions we would eviscerate the political strength of the Islamofascist. If we treated the people of these parts of the world as our neighbors the terms of this war would be radically altered.
So this brings us to our LAST and final question, which my brother redefined to "Was Jesus concerned with Politics?" I agree with him that Christ would not have been in the "Political" arena. Jesus would not have encouraged the Roman government to have an "Office of Faith Based Iniatives" The church in Acts did not from a Political Action Commitee and hire lobbyist to bring the issue Jewish Widow Poverty before the republic's senate. However that was not the question I asked. "Was his (Christ) language a poignantly social and political praxis illustrated by an intentional counter-cultural lifestyle?" The answer to this question is another resounding yes. Jesus challenged every political idea and every social boundary of his day. Christ ate meals with the Mafia Dons, Homeless Schizophrenics, and $2 Hookers of his day, an act which no respectable Rabbi would tolerate, let alone be involved in. Jesus did not tell others to respond to the very different the needs of the tax collectors, lame, demon possessed, and prostitutes. Christ responded, getting his hands dirty with the mud that made a blind man see, getting his nose full of the rotting smell of flesh as he healed a band of lepers, and suffering a cruel agonizing death. Christ's setting aside of self-interest for the sake of others was the complete antithesis of any political or spiritual leader of his day, and for that matter of any day. The people of Christ should be acting in direct step with Christ in these matters. It is our responsibility to find sustainable answers to meeting these needs. We do not need to change the "Politics" of our nation by encouraging our government to send these "delegations of hope" instead we need a MASSIVE effort to unite our the kingdom of God to provide these answers and resources.Our immediate National response (Big N) was correct to the aggression against our nation on September 11th from a Political perspective. Our national response (small n) was abhorrent and should have been far more in line with the response molded by the Amish in their response to the terror against their community. A concerted effort to follow the principles of Christ responding on a macro scale to the most poverty stricken areas of the world would have drastically reshaped the five years since that dark day entered our memories. The only sustainable force of change in the Middle East will not be Political nation building, it will be instead for the Kingdom of God present in the western world to respond to the actual needs of the suffering in the Middle East. That is the lesson we can learn from the Amish.
P.S. - My brother linked to an article by Orson Scott Card on this issue as well. I do not agree with everything Orson Scott Card writes in the article but it is well worth the read.
When I was growing up at church in Junior High I used to get kicked out of Bible class VERY regularly. There was one member, to whom I am deeply indebted for his commitment to instilling the words of scripture into us young men and women by sending us home with pages of homework to complete each week, who kicked me out of class EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I believe he thought I was being cheeky. I will still argue that even at 12 years old I had serious faith issues in the status quo of the church and my questions were genuine, but looking back now as an adult I am sure that a Junior High boy asking the deep troubling questions of faith did probably seem disingenuous. As I matured I realized that people did not WANT to answer the tough questions, instead they wanted to ignore them as if Faith was Left Brained exercise of quantifiable fact so I stopped asking the questions and made it through my remaining years of secondary school.
In College I was honored to be instructed by William Kooi, a man who was unlike any other Bible teacher I had ever had. I found my hope for faith in the teachings of Dr. Kooi. Dr. Kooi was not only willing to ask and provide guidance to the answers to the tough questions of faith, he basically demanded his students to ask them. I changed a lot in my two years with Dr. Kooi and I once again was renewed in my hope for the church and it's honest search for truth.
So here we are 10 years later at church the other night. A lady who I value for her simple uncomplicated faith asked a genuine question that one could possibly imply was "blasphemous" for a person of faith to ask. She was attacked by the crowd, and I raised my hand to defend her. In my defense and answering of her question I called the "answer" of an older member of the church who is a retired minister an "immature and irresponsible" reading of Psalm 22 (My wife died on the spot) and explained a holistic view of the gospel from the fall in the garden to the cross as it related to the relationship between the Father, the Son, and mankind.
Well, the teacher OBVIOUSLY did not agree with my answer. Although I was not physically ejected from the room, as I had been so many times in those younger days, I was clearly ejected from the remaining conversation. The teacher would look directly at my hand raised in the air and refuse to call on me as if there was no one waiting to comment, or by taking the comment of another class member. Towards the conclusion of the class, another member asked an equally serious and challenging question. The instructor directly LIED to her and told her that the Bible did not address the question. I raised my hand a final time to offer rebutal to his ignorance, but was shunned from the conversation.
So Wednesday, November 1 2006, can go down in the memoirs of my life as the first time since Junior High that I have been kicked out of Bible Class.
P.S. - I actually had book, chapter, and verse to answer the question since it is answered PRECISELY by Christ's own words in scripture and my daughter and I had just read that chapter of John two evenings before. Funny!!!
P.P.S. - I mobed the previous P.P.S. to the correct post :-)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
A friend emailed this article to me and I read it just to confirm my view about Mr. Colson. I admit I was VERY WRONG! Mr. Coloson had a wonderful perspective and his aruments summary held a dead on accuracy.
"This is why Christians must never “fast” from politics. And it’s why Christians, of all citizens, ought to be lining up to vote on Tuesday. Do your civic duty because you’ll do your duty to God in the process.
And to abandon the battle on behalf of the sick and the suffering, the prisoner and the unborn: That would be a true sin."
No endorsements along party lines, no minimizations of the problems facing our nation and our world. The article is straight talk from a man who has sat at the highest echelons of the political power process. Thank you Chuck, I am sorry I missed out these past several years.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Now I certainly don't agree with Mr. Whitney on MANY issues like education, healthcare, etc. But he has something going for him that the other two mentioned candidates do not have, he is actually ON THE BALLOT. To me this is enough of a reason to vote for him. I want to send a message to the Republicans and Democrats ans I don't think a write-in candidate can do that. So please forgive me for going green, but what's a boy to do?
Andrew will be singing the music live at Christian Heritage Academy, in Northfield on December 2nd with Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken.
Praise God that this man saw a need. Praise God the church at Rochester got behind him!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Dr. Hauser argues that our basic moral code does not come from the world we are nurtured in, but from a more deeply seeded component of the nature of our DNA. I should state that I 100% agree with Dr. Hauser on that point. I differ in the fact that Dr. Hauser believes we evolved that way through a utilitarian need for morality.
I believe we were created through God's process with the ever famous "Imago Dei" or "Image of God." Our development as a species was guided from the dust to be the very likeness of God. In fact it was God's design not nature's that developed in us a universal sense of right and wrong.
I only got the chance to meet Mr. Howard once, but his work certainly had an effect on my life.
Rest In Peace Mr. Howard!
Monday, October 30, 2006
"No money left over to serve the needy of the world this week, I just bought my Saint B MP3" - Joe Christian
Friday, October 27, 2006
I have been VERY impressed with her teachers, the principal Mrs. Solomon, and the other people I have encountered. Being very against public education from a political perspective (I tend to be mostly libertarian in ideology) I assumed this experience would be a source of constant strife. However it has been quite the contrary.
I am thankful to God to live in a village with such a great elementary school.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I ask the following 4 questions to my brother here in Open Forum and I will link to his responses before I continue my response.
1. Will Christ wisdoms and teachings only work for a Christian?
2. Is God more powerful than evil?
3. Who is my neighbor?
4. Was Jesus' rhetoric "thoughtless feel-goodism" meant to be irrelevantly pondered in the walls of our cathedrals, or was his language a poignantly social and political praxis illustrated by an intentional counter-cultural lifestyle?
(OK maybe question 4 is baited) My comments after your response:
Thursday, October 19, 2006
As a father of two girls I tend to be a true feminist. To clarify I don't mean to have being a feminist confused with being a fem-nazi. Fem-Nazis are plagued with a reactionary philosophy that thinks women should abhor children, be compelled to work, and other misguided conceptions like that. As a feminist instead, I think that women should be valued, no treasured, as the Jewel of their people.
We live in a culture that does not endorse that perception at all. My daughters will grow up being told by the media industry, and their peers, that they are objects of sensuality; that their value is in beauty and their duty is in satisfaction. That idea sickens me, and so I therefore work very hard at showing my daughters another value system.
Jesus was radically counter-cultural to his time because of his feminist views. Last night my oldest daughter and I read John 11. As you read his interactions with Martha and Mary at the death of their brother look at how Jesus values their femininity. Jesus knows what miracle he is about to perform, but he values these sisters as women enough to participate in their mourning, to empathize and share the compassion they were created to desire.
As a father I want to celebrate my daughter's God given femininity, and part of the way I try to do this is in my relationship to their mother. My nature as a man is not to be empathetic or compassionate. I tend to be selfish and unconcerned with others, however when I practice the discipline of compassion I know that demonstrates to my wife the value she has to me. In the same way when I demonstrate my wife's value to me to her through acts of service and compassion, I am demonstrating to my daughters their value as women.
It is very important to never view my wife as a sexual being. What I mean is, to never view her as existing for my sexual pleasure. My wife and I share sexuality because we are deeply emotionally connected. I love talking to my wife. I know that is not true of a lot of men, and I think this stems from their views of their wife as a sexual being. These men loving having sex and see conversation as a necessary component of "foreplay." This is simply not the case with m. This isn't something I have need to work hard at, it is just the reality. I deeply treasure conversation with my wife.
I want my daughter's to have this kind of relationship. I believe the only way to ensure they choose men who will value them and celebrate their femininity is to start now by celebrating my wife's femininity in front of them. I need to deprogram the media-centric idea that a girl needs to wear a size two, look good in a slutty nurse costume, and be available for her mates pleasure. I need to be more of a servant, more compassionate, and more participatory in the household management. To put it concisely, I need to value my wife more.
I have more to say about this... But I am pausing for now.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
As you can see from the Peraica signs on the ground and the Stroger signs in nice stacks, the Strogger campaign is pulling up competing signs in this local Cook county race.
Politics has become so dishonorable that candidates are resorting to this... Disgusting!
I will most certainly be ripping this off next time I preach!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
I know that 100% of the people who read this blog regularly have absolutely no interest in this post at all. The reason I am writing is because I think that this needs to be a queryable question in Google since it took me quite a while to figure out how to do it.
So on with the explanation for those who come here one day via Google...
I was using a CFMAIL tag to send a query driven data set to an end user in a report at work. The dataset was a list of requisitions. I had an additional dataset that needed to be in the post as well. I needed to include Notes about the delivery within the email detailing the requisitions.
Coldfusion kept throwing an error because I had a query driven <cfoutput> inside of an existing query driven <cfoutput> since <cfmail> is functionally a query driven <cfoutput> I had used the group function to ensure the data would be output only once, but still the coldfusion server did not like the request.
In order to output my data I would need to use a <cfloop> and output a specific row from a query on each loop through the data. My problem was that documentation for displaying a specific query row was nonexistent in the LiveDocs and negligible on the web. I did find some old posts but their instructions did not work in Coldfusion 7.
So after trial and error using the limited old sources I had, I discovered the correct syntax was #queryname.querycolumn[row]#. I am sure this is not news at all to a more experienced programmer but it was HUGE for me since it was not well documented.
In the end my query driven output within a query driven output looked like this:
<cfif #queryname.recordcount# gt 0>
<cfset currentrecord=" 1">
<cfloop index="currentrecord" from="1" to="#queryname.recordcount#">
<cfset currentrecord= #currentrecord# + 1>
I hope this helps save you the time I spent!
Thank you Mike for linking to it!
Friday, October 13, 2006
As I was reading the post I saw this image:
And thought what a wonderful picture it was of what I want my relationship with Christ to be. I want to be the Bride of Christ in everyday sorts of ways! I want to belong to God in each and every casual decision I make. I think this picture perfectly illustrates the concept of living in two worlds as God's people. We must be real (the jeans) and we must be God's Brides in that reality.
I will definitely use this image on Sunday when I speak to the 3rd through 6th graders at our Pre-Teen Youth Rally!
Proverbs 14 teaches us that there is a difference between submitting to God's leading and following man's logic. Rarely are the decisions that seem most logical or the actions that make us most comfortable the same as the decisions and actions that God would desire us to take in any given situation. I think we as a church are on the precipice of time where we will be free to be open to following God's leading; or instead be shackled by decisions that make us most comfortable, and the fiscal actions that insure us an institution. As I, like so many others, in this church family look on the potential usage of this gift from God I am reminded of the parable of the talents. This gift enables us as a church to make 5 talent decisions. This gift challenges us to invest into the kingdom of God in ways that will bear greater fruit for our master's kingdom. I dream of a future where this money is poured out into the lives of those scripture clearly teaches are closest to the heart of God. I pray that we will enlist these dollars to greater acts of service rather than bury them as asset lines on our church financial reports. I pray that these dollars will earn fruit for the kingdom rather than interest from a bank. I pray these funds will deliver the dividends of God's redemption in the lives of our neighbors, rather than the dividends of stock certificates and bonds.
I have heard several plans that I want to address directly before I share my vision to how we submit this to the service of Christ.
Building Projects - It has been stated to me that our foundation is crumbling, our a/c is on the fritz, our boilers need to be replaced, and that our roof is in serious need of repair. In the same vein our worship productions guys could make a case for a bigger projector, upgraded cordless microphones, a digital audio encoder, a better computer with better software, and additional spotlights with digital controllers. Our Sunday School teachers desire a more fully stocked and better functioning resource room, technology aides to augment the educational experience, better classroom lighting, and newer classroom paint. On the list could go with these building projects. We all know how the things we own can own us. Although these are all legitimate needs to improve the form and function of our building, I believe that the form and function serve as a distraction for the church rather than as an attraction to the world. Jesus' desire for us to store up treasures in heaven is as valid of a command in our community goal setting as it is in our individual lives. These kinds of priorities will consume this gift because the material things of this world continue to degrade as time passes on.
Interest Bearing Investments - I have heard other considerations of investing these funds into a series of interest bearing accounts. The proponents of this idea claim these accounts would provide a solid future for the congregation as they would bear new funds indefinitely. Although I as well as anyone else can see the logical benefit of a $40,000 a year cash stream. However, I am reminded of story between Jehosphat King of Judah and Ahab King of Israel. Jehosphat knew that Ahab was wicked and yet his own desire for power and pride among the kings caused him to enter in a military alliance with this evil king. The result of the alliance was that Jehosphat was shamed for his trust in the military power of Ahab rather than on the provision of God. In Isaiah 31 the Lord proclaims an curse against Israel for their reliance on Egypt for military protection. God reminds Israel as he reminds us that he is the mighty lion who devours the powers of this world. Our congregation relying on banks and financial planners for it's protection and future is the same reliance as Israel allying itself to be a vassal kingdom of Egypt. Establishing a congregational endowment would place our future in the powers and principalities of the enemy rather than in the sovereign protection of her King.
So then how do we respond when faced with a decision of such gravity. I think we follow the lead of Esther in her dealings with the king. We must invite the Lord into our midst and host a banquet in his honor. I believe we need to host a night of fellowship, surrender, and praise, and prayer. Esther began her request of the King with a meal. I believe we should gather as a body and eat together. It should be a festive meal, holiday like in it's splendor, and we should eat it together as a body. Next we must surrender ourselves to the King's favor. In Esther's case she stated, "If I have found favor with you, O king." In our case I believe we should surrender ourselves to God by having a time of confessional prayer. As we ask God's guidance we must be clean of our hidden sins. I think we should divide into 2 groups based by gender and have a time of true surrendering and confession. This time should be designed to ensure participation by all members from our teens through of most senior members. After we surrender ourselves to God through a period of confessional prayer and repentance I believe we must next gather together for a time of prayerful praise. Finally, after we have fellowshipped, surrendered, and worship then we would inquire as to God's leading for the usage of this gift in the furtherance of his kingdom.
I do not believe it is possible for us as the family to make any decision until we have entered a covenant with him together as a community to follow his Spirit and his power in this time. We can decide to be a 5 talent church, but only if we unite together as one body in surrendering our will, vision, and dreams and following only the clear evident leadings of the Holy Spirit after we have sought that as a Body.
I love each of you, and thank you for your leadership here at Cardinal Drive.
Kevin J. Bowman
Please let me know what you think!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Firefox Bookmarks allow you to add an Address Bar Keyword. This means when you type in your keyword along with your search terms it automatically sends the terms as a url search parameter. To Make this work you must follow these steps.
1. Navigate to a page using a URL Search Parameter.
2.Bookmark the page.
3. Goto to Manage Bookmarks.
4. Replace your search parameters with %s.
5. Next create a keyword association.
6. Try it out in a New Tab.
I know this will be very useful for me!
Google Maps -
- Site: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=%S&ie=UTF8&z=16&om=1&iwloc=A
- My Ketword: Map
Google Images -
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Friday, September 29, 2006
|Mario and Zelda fans can see footage of the first Wii games to feature their Fave characters and everyone can see that fun new controller.... Way 2 Kewl... I feel like a little kiddie waiting for Christmas ... I am going to be SOOOOOOO excited Christmas morning when my girls open up this gift.|
Wii is Cool
Friday, September 22, 2006
On another note. I am proud to have gotten the RSS feed working on our Church Site. Now I have some great ideas for TaskPads for my coworkers using RSS...
Monday, September 18, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Who do I want to keep? How far do I want to love? Do I want to love the crack whore on lower Whacker as much as I want to love Bob who goes to my church? Do I want to love the 11 year boy in the Ivory Coast who is beaten regularly if he does not pick his daily quota of cocoa? Do I want to love the gay AIDS patient in East Grenwich?
Jesus separated his disciple and set them apart from the rest of the world, by the measure of their love. The measure was not for their love of the fellow church goers. The measure was the love of the dark places of the world.
Friar Thomas writes the following:He told them another parable: 'The kingdom of God is like yeast which a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.' (Matthew 13:33)
Jesus says the kingdom of God is like leaven. In the ancient Mediterranean world as we saw, leaven had very negative associations. It was the archetype of uncleanness and corruption. Leaven was made by putting a piece of bread in a dark, damp place until it molded and stank. Both leaven and the process of leavening were symbols of corruption... In this parable Jesus addresses the popular idea that the kingdom of God is holy, good, and triumphant. The kingdom turns out to be active in the marginalized and the poor, both of whom regarded in Jesus' day as objects of God's abandonment. The state of poverty was regarded as the result of sin and hence was a symbol of corruption. Natural calamities"
Jesus' call to his disciples for "Love One Another" is best understood when we understand that this kind of love for tha marginalized is the yeast and that the dough is the Kingdom of God.
Any religous body will work to love each other. A group of Christians seeking to be a part of the disciples of the Kingdom of God will work to love the unloveable. That too who we need to keep!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Anyway I was honored today when he answered my question about checking buddy status using the XMPP gateway.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
"In October 1838, Darwin read An Essay on the Principle of Population by the clergyman and former professor of political economy Thomas Malthus. The idea that population increases geometrically while food supply increases arithmetically was meant by Malthus to prove that starvation, wars, death, and suffering were never the consequence of the defects of one political system or another, but rather the necessary results of a natural law. A Whig and a supporter of Poor Law action to ameliorate the condition of the destitute, Darwin was not sympathetic to Malthus's reactionary politics, but applying the clergyman's law to nature was a different thing. In his autobiography, Darwin recalled his immediate realization that given the struggle for existence everywhere, 'favorable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavorable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory'--the principle of natural selection--'by which to work.'
I decided to read about Malthus and his Malthusian Growth theories. His conclusions seem to me to draw from a flawed scientific model coupled with a very poor reading of scripture.
You can take a read at both sets of links for an intresting set of reading.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
This super simplifies a sexual predators task of making "live" contact with his next victim.
Additionally I believe even the generally very liberal on social issues would support such a law, despite that the media is being used in the privacy of one's own home since this pornography "does harm" or at least "appears to harm" another human and therefore should be abhored by any decent society.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sid, here is a cause for you to join with me on. The Coalation of Immokalee Workers and the AFL-CIO have teamed us and are joined by faith based organizations like the Chicago Arch-Diocese and Sojourners DEMANDING that McDonalds and Chipotle change their wage structure for tomato farmers. Currently a tomato farmer makes only $1.00 for every 64 pounds of harvested tomatos.
Join the Campaign to tell McDonalds that the Christian's of America will not stand by and ignore the mandate of scripture.
"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.(Malachi 3:5).
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Bought It At The Five And Dime
Played It TIll My FIngers Bled
It Was The Summer of 69!!!
Ok, so none of the preceding words are true about my life at all. I have never had a real guitar, don't think I've ever been to the five and dime, and the summer of 69 I was just an egg in ovaries of High School junior.
So I want to tell you about the summer of 1993. It was High Teen week at Camp Ne-O-Tez and there were two counselors coming from York College. Their names were Benny Nowell and Rachel Forehand. By the time they had arrived at our camp, they had been to already spent several weeks together, and I don't think they were liking each other very much.
Rachel and I spent the week together and when I arrived at school that fall continued our friendship. Rachel married Wes Hanson and we still keep in touch and I still consider them (though they live like 1000s of miles away) two of my best friends.
That is the week I met Benny. I remember he taught us this song,
"Blind Man Sat on The Road and He Cried
Blind Man Sat on The Road and He Cried
Blind Man Sat on The Road and He Cried
He Cried OH OH OH Show Me The Way....."
He also taught us
"He gave me food when I was hungry, surely good to me
He gave me food when I was hungry, surely good to me
He gave me food when I was hungry, surely good to me
He gave me something that the world couldn't give.
I really don't know why I remember him teaching these songs, and yet everytime he comes to mind I go back to those memories.
A few years later, I met Niki, we were instant soul mates. It was like both our minds were off axis is such a way were meant to be instant friends. We spent every night that week staying up late talking and laughing. On about the third night I knew her, I realized she had the same last name as the Benny guy who I had met several years previously. I asked her if they were siblings, and in fact the were married. I thought that was neat since I liked Benny and I liked Niki, so I thought it was very cool they like belonged to each other.
Some of you who are reading this, (other than Niki, Benny's wife) might be thinking Benny has gone on to be with the father, or something like that. It is just not the case. I am writing about Benny because he will be in Chicago this weekend and I encourage you to make sure you hear him speak.
Benny works for a ministry, that is going where no man has gone before, he works for Dry Bones. This ministry is reaching out into the poverty of Denver's homeless youth and bringing the love of Christ to that culture. Benny is living out the mission of Jesus everyday.
This weekend he will be speaking about that mission at three different venues.
On Saturday he will be speaking at a Teen Youth rally at Cardinal Drive Church of Christ where I attend. On Sunday morning he will be speaking at the West Chicago Church of Christ, and on Sunday evening he will be speaking at the Church of Christ in Matteson, IL.
I would encourage any one from here in town to make it a point to learn more about Dry Bones and their ministry to this forgotten population.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Then there are the lunatics who want to go on and on about how great Mac is and how crappy Windows is. I am not going to argue the Merits of their stability since I have no experience on a Mac in at least 10 years. I want to make 1 and only 1 point to each of my Mac entusiast friends.
Apple currently has 9 models (laptop and desktop) for a buyer to choose from. That is you can buy any one of 9 computer hardware configuration that run their OS. Windows, since it is a software company not a hardware company is written for and installed on tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of hardware configurations.
So please stop telling me how stable your Mac is, because I don't really care!!!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
VBS was a wonderful experience and by the grace of God and answer to prayer I only got angry at the woman who has been giving me problems one time, and I even then I stayed calm and addressed the situation peacefully but firmly.
Our children had a blessed time, and we met a few new families who might consider being a part of our church family.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Copy And Paste Code Below:
I had a few people ask me for the code to use my MySpace encouragements for their comments to friends. I am going to do that but since I am pressed for time thse days. I wanted to offer up this little token for those who need to send a MySpace birthday comment.
Get Birthday Code
|Enter Friends Name:|
|Get Your Code:|
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
So sitting down within a few chairs of my she joined our group. She was beautiful, no she was stunning; but she was shy. She joined us, but she did not talk much. Still I savored every word that she did say. I wanted to move over a few seat and start all my playa moves... but I did not. I was as confused as I was twitterpated. Here sat this lovely young lady, and how was I to act when I had heard that message from God so clearly. Additionally, I had been "out of the game" over a year at this point and was I even ready to be back in a relationship. Thoughts about these issues raced through my mind the entire evening as I could not keep my eyes off those amazing deep blue eyes.
Side Note: More about the eyes later... that is an entire LONG story that deserves a post all it's own.After group our little band of renegades always went out to Fridays. This is the way it was, at least this is the way it had been the previous three weeks since our fellowship had been established. This week however there was a glitch. The new girl had just quit her job at Fridays before moving to Chicago only a few weeks earlier and she did not want to eat at Fridays. If she was going out with us, we were not going to Fridays. The situation demanded immediate attention, standing on a chair I announced to our circle of 8 -10 other people, "in honor of the new girl we are not going to Fridays, we need to go somewhere else." Amazingly enough, somewhere else we did go.
Additional Side Note: As any of you who know me know, I have no problem filling a leadership void, making myself heard, or being generally loud and brash. These people however really did not know me. It was a crapshoot as to how they would respond to the dicatated message of the grungy scrawny guy bellowing orders from on top a chair. One might think I am bragging about my persuasive powers here, but truthfully I just think it is that my wife is hot and just about every other guy wanted to be at the restraunt she wanted to be at.Steak and Shake was not all I wanted it to be. I mean the food was fair as usual, but I was more concerned about the seating situation. In a best case scenario I would be on one side of the new girl and Kristin or Christine would be on the other side. The actual seating layout was Kevin --Mike -- New Girl -- Jeff and no one else really matters. She had a fellow in the chairs on both sides and I was not in either of them.
Mike was no problem, he was no conversationalist and I never stop talking. I could easily engage her by speaking around Mike. Jeff however was another story.
A Brief Pause For A Side Note Related To An 8 Year Old Argument: My lovely wife claims to this day there was no flirting going on that first night between her and Jeff. She claims that all information in the proceeding paragraph is a figment of my immagination and never occured. In reply I implore you to understand I have seen "While You Were Sleeping" and I know what was going on.Although I was being quite diligent in my efforts to keep the new girl as the center of attention, to make her feel warmly accepted, and to feel valued by the group; I had an advesary and he had the better seat. Conversation topic after conversation topic, I wooed her with my focalized attentions but still I watched as though his topics were scarce and boorish she was leaning with Jeff. Her body language made it clear, that my wife to be obviously did not get same message I did and my work was going to be cut out for me.
As I watched the leanings I knew I was going to have to bring out my Game 7 skills. I needed an oppurtunity, a moment to be seized that would allow me to be alone with just us to change the tide of her affections. Jeff's presence would have to be eliminated from the equation. The occasion would have to be timed perfectly and presented casually, so I laughed, conversed, and watched for the moment of my execution.
As my timeline was spiraling into inexistence we finished our meals, payed our bills, and headed out to our vehicles; it was now or never, carpe noctum time. I watched her as she said her goodbyes and approached her 2 seat Geo Metro Convertible. Lightbulbs ignited in my mind. My break was here, "Is that a 1992 Geo Metro convertible?" I yelled from my car, running over toward her, "My best in friend in High School had one of those!"
"You gotta let me climb in, it's been forever since I've been in one of those" I pleaded, hoping the desperation of this moment was not showing through.
A Final Side Note: I don't remember all the details of how I ended up sitting in the back of her of car. A fair assumption juding from the condition of her vehicle from all the years I have known, loved and been married to her, is that the passenger seat was so filled with junk that there was no possible room for me to sit. I was however a determined man, and so I surrendered all comfort and dignity to finish execution of plan "Get Alone With The New Girl"From the backseat of her car I sat talking to her, she was seated comfortably in the drivers seat, and minutes passed like drops of rain and I could tell the mood was certainly leaning my way. I could win this girl as mine on this first night. I had laid out all the charm, and in each passing moment she was eating it up more and more. As we sat and talked I could tell the only thing left to this evening was to have our first kiss. I was pacing myself carefully to ensure the magical moment was perfect. Then when I found the moment, when the time came to make my move for the first kiss a new question crossed my mind, "Is this really what you want to do tonight?"
I knew the answer was no. I knew the answer to my earlier question of whether I was even ready to be in a healthy relationship had ben answered. I had been on the verge of another in a string unhealthy destructive patterns, and I had chosen to walk, to wait, and to leave the wonder as merely wondering.
I said my good nights, got out of her car, and let this lovely new girl go on home. In my heart I knew it had been not a just a good, but a better first night.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
It was the end of October 1997 and I was working as the youth minister at the West Chicago Church of Christ. I was 22 and single, the only person my age was the minister's son. Although I love Jon, he was not a great dating prospect, and he had a circle of friends that I did not really fit with so although we watched 90210 together faithfully, we were by no means going to end up as best buddies.
Needing friendship and companionship in peers, I went to the Axis service at Willow Creek and then joined a medium sized group to meet some friends. I found myself in a circle of friends very quickly inside this medium sized group. We were all the "long haired hippy freaks." Our group became very close knit very quickly. I had made a great group of friends, and my emotional needs were being met.
A Side Note: I did not actually have long hair at this time. I was unshaven wore a backwards ball cap and a long trench coat that looked like it belonged on Sherlock Holmes. It was definitely a "hippy" look, one just needs to remember we hippies were in the "grunge" phase of wardrobe and music.
At this point in my life, I had not dated in over a year. I was healing emotionally from the person I was. I was a horrid person to be in a relationship, and I knew I had to get myself emotionally healthy before I could be in an emotionally healthy dating relationship.
Side Note Two: Jeni, my best friends wife, asked me the first time I played Jewel's "Foolish Games" (no one knew who Jewel was at the time) if the singer was an ex-girlfriend.So here I was still working on getting my emotional house in order, and having a great time in this new circle of friends when in to my life walks this new young lady...
Another Side Note: My wife is STUNNING beautiful. I am oft filled with pride at the attention she gets when we go out. When she enters a room EVERY GUY'S eyes are drawn to her and so you may believe that what happend next is not accurate, but I assure you it was supernatural event unlike any other I have ever experienced.When this young lady entered that room, that night, at Willow Creek my eyes were immediately drawn to her, she was AMAZING. Then something more happend. I heard a voice. The voice was pastoral and loving, it did not boom, it did not whisper, the voice just spoke, "Kevin, Behold Your Wife!" I questioned the message, but I did not doubt the reality of having heard it. It was an event unique in my life. A voice which I believe was God Almighty speaking audibly to me, I was Awestruck.
The room was filled with circles of people. There were probably 8 to 9 groups in the room, and all had chairs available. She looked around and immediately walked over and joined our group...
I'll stop there, more of the story next year...
I could not imagine being happier in my life. God knew what he was doing!!! We will be having our third child, our first son, any day now. There is a completeness to my life that she brings so perfectly.
Lord Byron's "She Walks In Beauty" has been a favorite poem of mine since my freshman year of highschool when I first read it. It rings so true that I will quote here:
Your Political Profile:
|Overall: 60% Conservative, 40% Liberal|
|Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal|
|Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
|Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
|Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal|
|Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
Monday, August 07, 2006
called the DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act).
The only thing great about this bill is it's name: since it will serve to only complicate life for IT staff at school's and libraries, while doing NOTHING at all for actually dealing with the problem of online predators.
Friday, August 04, 2006
This kind of site is a reminder of the diligence we must have in our kids internet viewing habits. It is not as challenging as some other means of deception that are out there like Ghostzilla, since it does not post pictures... However the ability to read Erotica and quickly switch to a report on time management would be quite simple.
On a Side Note, Sid this might be a good way for you to read my blog and get the comments!
Monday, July 31, 2006
I try very hard to instill Respect - Discipline - and Gratitude into my children, and I believe when I look at them and look at their peers (mainly my 5 year old) I see a difference in their behavior. My 2 year old is a curious little monster who has her daddy's neatural need to rebel. Even she is extremely curteous often repeating thank you over and over and over till you reply "your welcome."
Anyway, all that about me, when this post is supposed to be about Mr. Mead. Read hisMixed Signals post and you will see what I mean about ooozing Godly wisdom.
5 Reasons It Is Great To Be Home...
- 5. Managing an 11 person staff at camp is daunting!!! Being a 1 man IT department is a great gig.
- 4. Late Nights with the teens are a blast!!! Sleeping in my bed, with my wife at my side is next to heaven.
- 3. Water Games and The River can cool you off!!! Air Conditioning works better!
- 2. Camp Activities are Plan-Prepare-Play - It's a 1 shot deal!!! Programming is Write-Test-Repeat - Redos are a great thing!
- 1. Summer is almost OVER!!!!
1 week to my oldest's birthday pool party...
2 weeks till VBS ...
3 weeks till new Baby...
4 weeks till Oldest Starts School...
5 weeks till Labor Day Retreat...
Monday, July 24, 2006
I LOVE CAMP!!!!!!!! It is Monday and we have been out at camp since Saturday morning now!!!! It has been GREAT so far! We have had our annual carnival and out Yuck games. We are tye-dyeing T-shirts and tonight... DR. KAOS will be appearing!!!
It is such a needed respite and renewal for me to be out with these kids. The Late-Night with the teen staff has been great too!!! I am blessed to work at a place where I can take some time to come and be a part of this week.
Please pray for us as we minister to these young people.
Friday, July 21, 2006
I tried a few weeks ago to cancel VBS and was brutally attacked for the suggestion. So again, I sucked it up, put something together and decided to maker it work.
Today I get an ABSOLUTELY HARASSING email from one of our elder's wives.
Kevin,I plan to be at the cookout tonight, so you can just scrawl out the information I requested below with you and hand it to me then, if that's easier for you.
Here is my dilemma... I was very stern in the fact that I would plan VBS and would do the opening and closing program. I was very stern that I would not be able to do volunteer recruitment, but would talk on the phone with any volunteer that needed more direction than my Handout.
I have SERIOUSLY considered leaving this church over the way this lady CONSTANTLY treats me. She is the VERY REASON I did not want to do VBS in the first place!
Now I have admitted I overbooked. I am FIRM now in the fact I will NEVER lead VBS again, but what should I do now?????
Today RLP asked his readers to link the words Natural Homemade Soap to his wife's website in order to help her build page rank in the great Google Algorithm.
So RLP, here is my thank you.
The basic right to food, water, and humane treatment should never be compared to the "right" to information. I thank God that I live in a "free" society. Here where information is a powerful tool. However, that freedom is not, and should not be considered a Basic Human Right. Thomas Jefferson understood the meaning of God given unalienable rights, Amnesty however seems to have lost their way on this.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
In a Dutch Oven (I used my Le Creuset Doufeu) Combine:
4 Large Sweet Potatos (Peeled and diced)
2 Pink Lady Apples (Peeled and diced)
2 Bartlett Pears
1/2 Cup Crushed Walnuts
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 lb Butter (Cut into small pieces)
1/2 Cup Raisins
2 Pkg Al Fesco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage
I cooked for 1:15 on 350 and then insulated the dutch oven in towels for another 2 hours before being ready to serve.