Friday, December 22, 2006
"Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
May your days this Christmas season be filled with the joy of the presence of Jesus.
Friday, December 08, 2006
I wanted to bring you up to date concerning my future in ministry. To start off, I will be writing a short-term missions volunteer handbook and teach a class on what it means to be involved with short-term missions (STM). There are a lot of negative comments concerning this and I hope to show that STM is very productive and useful to the Kingdom if done correctly.
I will also be meeting with Pastor Tobey next week to discuss my role as a volunteer pastor. Yes, volunteer. Not even bi-vocational, at least paywise. But that is okay, because I am doing what God wants me to do. This is a learning experience and will help me get my feet wet. I will let you know how the meeting goes next week.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Since then, I have talked to two of the pastor's at church. Since I am very much involved with missions and the Singles ministry, I will be a pastor overseeing those ministries. Missions is my passion and God has given me a burden for the Single's, especially the 20-something sincgles that are post college but not married yet.
I will be bi-vocational for a time, since my church just hired another pastor and can't afford to bring on another one full-time. The way the church is growing and God is blessing the church, I hope to be added fulltime in 1-2 years. Until then, I will be staying at my current employment.
This blog will chronicle the journey from here. Feel free to ask me any questions along the way.
Here's to the journey...
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I finished my degree and, while in the process, was told of a small store front church that needed help leading worship. I am a gifted musician and had always thought this was the area God was leading me. I worked with this church fo about 12-15 months and the pastor offered me the job full-time. I tried to force the issue on my wife and daughter. Never a good idea. My wife was not hearing anything from God concerning this little church. In fact, she was adamantly against it. She was so much against the idea that she didn't want me to even think of seminary.
There I was, stuck with no place to go. I started into a graduate program in History, thinking I could teach college evening courses. That was my new goal. I was miserable. I hated my job. I wasn't happy in anything I did, except mission trips and getting people excited about missions. This summer, I was asked at least a dozen times while on missions trips if I was a pastor. I would say no, then be depressed. We went to Ireland for a vacation and we fell in love with the people. I could see us holding home Bible studies and working with the small Baptist churches that were trying to survive against the established Catholic and Irish churches. My wife felt the same way. We even picked the same region we would like to live in. I was still miserable.
After the Ireland and Brazil summer trips, we had 4 straight Sunday evening services that focused on missions. We heard from all the different mission teams: Croatia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Gulf Coast and Sri Lanka. We heard from an evangelist concerning his work in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. I was crying during and after every service. I was miserable.
What could I do? Tomorrow, I will bring the story up to date.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
After spending 9 years in California (8 years too long), my wife and I moved to Colorado. I worked (still do for now) for Association of Christian Schools International and ACSI followed Focus on the Family's lead in moving to Colorado.
Once we found a church and got involved with the music ministries of the church, we suggested to out pastor to contact Jess Moody, our former pastor in California who had since retired, to speak at the church. Jess is very well known in the Southern Baptist realm and our pastor was pleased to offer an invitation to Jess to preach a revival. This would have been about 1996.
At that revival, Jess spoke about ministry. He knew that our church was beginning to look for land to build a larger facility. We were land-locked in a neighborhood and had 3 morning services to accomodate the people. We were also renting space 4 blocks away for extra classroom space. Most of Jess' sermons were on what a church needs to do to stay focused on ministry during a period of growth, warning that if we stay focused, the growth might continue for some time. This wasn't a negative warning, just reality.
During one of his sermons he talked about the church raising up ministers within the church, either to start new churches or to aid the present church during its growth. That is when God spoke to me, that still small voice in my head and heart that told me He wanted me in full-time ministry. I hesitated. People always said that I could be a preacher like my grandpa, but that idea always scared me. For one, Grandpa was a great preacher and pastor and I didn't want to be held to that measuring stick.
I kept silent for a few years, but that still, small voice kept telling me I needed to surrender to Him. I thought that all of mission trips I did would suffice. They did not. The trips would be a part of my decision, but they were not a replacement for complete surrender.
I finally talked to my paster about this. I will mention tomorrow his comments and the further developments. I am not in faover of long blog entries and this one has stretched the limits! I will continue tomorrow with the journey.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
To the journey, may God lead and, at times carry me, to do His will.
This is what we, as Christians, need to do, no matter the circumstances. God has promised to be faithful, so we need to cling to Him and trust in His promises.
verse 39 "We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."
Friday, October 27, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
I am normally a National League guy all the way, but I am tired of the Cards. Ever since Mark Maguire retired, it is hard to root for them. I will be going for the Tigers. The Tigers can continue the trend of old-school teams winning the series. Red Sox, White Sox and now the Tigers. Of course, the Cardinals aren't the new kids on the block like the Marlins or Arizona. Hopefully it will stretch out to 7 games that are pitching duals.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Here's a look at my favorite teams:
Colts: 5-0, but not firing on all cylinders
Steelers: 1-3 and trying to find themselves
IU Hoosiers Football: 3-3 and not scaring anybody
Reds: Finished with a 80-82 record but showed better pitching depth in the second half of the season. Aaron Harang could win the NL Cy Young award.
Pacers: Why is Stephen Jackson still on the team? Get rid of him and his 9mm handgun.
Penguins: Nice start to the season, but sold to a Canadien businessman. A move north in the future, eh?
Friday, September 29, 2006
The emerging church is a contradiction and an ethereal entity. It is always unsure of itself, keeping up a continual “conversation” (one of their favorite words) but never coming to any real conclusions. This is something to really be wary of because the deceptions are more subtle in practice than it might at first seem.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Today is my lovely wife's birthday. She is...well I won't tell you how old she is, but she doesn't look or act her age, but 10 years younger. I am a lucky man! She loves muder mysteries, especially those produced by A&E, so I got her season 2 of Foyle's War, which is based in England during WWII. Happy Birthday!!
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
It has been mentioned on another site about Thursday night TV in 1965-66. Besides Time Tunnel, Hank and Camp Runamuck were mentioned. While I never saw Hank, I know of the other because of Dav Madden who played Mr. Kincaid on the Partridge Family. Both very funny shows but only 1 season wonders. Here are a couple of pictures but none from the Time Tunnel. I loved that show.
Portsmouth FC, or known as Pompey to fans, has started the season 2-0-1 without allowing a goal. They are only behind perrenial powerhouse Manchester United. For those of you bewildered at what I am mentioning, I am talking about English Premiership Football...Soccer.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
He was a doctor and she is a nurse and they owned three different medical businesses. They were both fitness nuts and he got involved with steriods. She kept telling him to stop using them. He overdosed on the steriods which caused a major chemical imbalance in his body. He went into a deep depression and was not making rational decisions. She had to go away for a conference last week. While she was away, he moved all their monies into her accounts, set up the girls college funds and went out into the woods and shot himself in the head.
Everyone at church who knew them have been in shock. The wife is angry, not at God but at her husband. She said that when she sees him in heaven she is going to punch him! At least she hasn't lost her great sense of humor. Please pray for this family. Names are left out for obvious reasons.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I saw this on Scot McKnight's site and decided to play along. I will not include the Bible because that would be the answer to most of these questions.
1. One book that changed your life: D. Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship. I read this a few years ago on a trip to Brazil. I rank him up there with the Apostle Paul when it comes to indepth writing.
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: C.S. Lewis, Narnia Chronicles. Each book is a classic.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Tolkien, The Hobbit. Has always been my favorite book of the Middle Earth series.
4. One book that made you laugh: Anything by P.G. Wodehouse, especially the Jeeves and Wooster stories.
5. One book that made you cry: Something for Joey. I can't remember who wrote it but it is about John Cappaletti who played football for Penn State and his youngest brother was dying of cancer.
6. One book you wish you had written: The Foundation Series by Asimov.
7. One book you wish had never been written: A. Hitler, Mein Kampf. The mind of demented soul. (This was Scot's choice and I can't think of anything else.)
8. One book you’re currently reading: E. Wiesel, The Night Trilogy. There is a powerful forward to this book by a French Christian. Too bad there aren't more Frenchmen who believe as he does.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Wild at Heart by John Eldredge.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
My youngest child, Ian, will be 3 in September. I wonder what he will remember about this trip to Ireland. I tried to get several pictures of him. He has some great, funny expressions. He loves trains and planes, especially Thomas the Tank Engine and Jay-Jay. We found a train museum in a pub (where else!?!) and he loved it. Here are a few pictures of the little guy enjoying his trip to Ireland.
Friday morning I will be heading down to Brazil as part of a team of 11 from my church. There will be 20 people total on the trip. We will be building a church in Luzilandia, Brazil. This will be the 10th time God has sent me to Brazil to work with Christian Missions Unlimited (CMU) building churches. I am excited about the trip and will share pictures and stories with you upon my return.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Killarney is a city at the gateway to the Ring of Kerry and the Killarney National Park. There is a nice cathedral in the city with two fun sites that take up most of your day: Muckross House and Ross Castle.
Muckross House (bottom picture) can be toured and has extensive gardens. We enjoyed the outside as much as the inside. They grow Brazilian rhubarb that has enormous leaves. We had to stand Ian under a leaf to have perspective of the size!
Ross Castle was refurbished about 10 years. They have done a great job of putting it back together as it once may have been. Because of the burdonsome taxes levied upon the Irish by the English, the castle went into ruin during the early 1800's. They were given a roof tax (based on the square footage of the roof). If they didn't have the money, the roof was taken off. Without the roof, it did not take long for the castle to fall into ruin.
Innisfallen Island is the site of a 6th century monastery. Brian Buru, the first high king of Ireland, was educated here and the Innisfallen Annals were written during the 11th - 12th centuries. This is about a mile by boat from Ross Castle and is a beautiful little island.
The monastic sites were my favorite part of the trip. These Irish monks preserved the scriptures and ancient writings during a time when Europe could not read or write. I always try tp imagine what life was like within the monastery.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Dad and I were to play golf at the northern most course in Ireland. Due to car problems, we could not play, but we stopped by the course to take pictures. Dad was a little intimidated by the course! The course is named after the rocky island which you can see in the distance. We passed a driving range with sheep. Hit 3 sheep and win a prize!
This is the Rock of Cashel, the high seat of the Irish Kings. It is on a high hill and can see 50 miles in every direction on a clear day. It was also a monestary. The oldest building on the site was built in the 9th century. It was used up to the early 1800's until there was a hurricane that hit the island and knocked a chunk of the castle off. That's the picture on the top. The middle picture is the church and bottom is a view from town. The bishop decided that he would build a new cathedral in the town instead of on top of the hill.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I propose that they lace up skates, flood the pitch with water and play on ice with no extra padding. They can wear the shin guards, but still in shorts and jerseys. This would eliminate diving, dangerous kicks and tackling from behind. Hockey players lose teeth, get sticthes and return to the ice. Let's call it sockey and see who headbutts whom.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I forgot to mention that we visited Derrynane House in Kerry. This is where Daniel O'Connell, the liberator of Ireland, lived. He was the George Washington or Thomas Jefferson of Ireland. It was pretty cool seeing the "Proclomation" which is their declaration of independence from England.
Tomorrow will be the Rock of Cashel.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The next day we drove around the Ring of Kerry. This was beautiful. It is a peninsula that has quaint little villages, beautiful coastline and several ring forts and iron-age sites. There are a lot of fishing boats of which Ian loved to see. The weather was overcast, misty and windy. We wished it was clearer and less windy. I could spend a whole week in this area, taking my town exploring the little villages, the old churches and the ancient sites.
Tomorrow will be the Ring of Berra
Friday, July 07, 2006
The fun thing about this day was the driving. The roads in the burren are very narrow and it was a road rally day. We had detours everywhere which put us on even narrower roads. We even came upon one of the race cars. He was not happy since we were blocking the road.
We visited Alwee Cave, which was interesting but not worth the price of admission. There were bones of a bear found in the cave, which is interesting since there hasn't been a bear in Ireland in several millenia.
We made our way back to the village and ate the best fish and chips on the trip at the Mill Pub.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Micheal they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyn's corn
So the young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.
Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely 'round the Fields of Athenry.
By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling
Nothing matter Mary when your free,
Against the Famine and the Crown
I rebelled they ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.
By a lonely harbor wall
She watched the last star falling
As that prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely 'round the Fields of Athenry.
The bicycles go by in twos and threes -
There's a dance in Billy Brennan's barn to-night,
And there's the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half-past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.
I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom, I am king
Of banks and stones and every blooming thing.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
As a response to Christianity’s PR problem, Emergent has clearly blurred the lines between church and world in troubling ways. Given their lack of confessional anchors, some Emergent leaders are likely to depart further from biblical standards, even scandalously so. And while history’s verdict on postmodernism remains outstanding, the movement seems likely to shift and redefine itself according to new categories in the coming years. Nevertheless, an opportunity remains for us to be sharpened and shamed by the important issues they are raising, and to bring the rich resources of confessional Reformed theology to the table, for their good and for ours. As sinners redeemed by the sovereign mercy of God, we have precious treasures to steward. The glory and honor of Christ, and the utter lostness of our neighbors who bear His image, demand nothing less.
HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLICGeneral Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
- The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
- It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
- Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
JOHN A. LOGAN,
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Listen to these words by Charles M. Province:
"It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
---by Moina Michael
While growing up in Indiana, Memorial Day meant the Indy 500 and the beginning of summer. I never appreciated the history of the day or of our military. Many members of my family served in the various branches of the military and many of those saw action. Yet, no one talked about it much, so I never understood the meaning of the holiday.
Four summers ago, I visited Uncle Robert and Aunt Golden on a Sunday. We went to the old church the Rhine family had been members of for nearly a century. Aunt Golden fixed us a huge spread of food (there were only 4 of us) and I admit committing the sin of gluttony that afternoon. I hadn't tasted her cooking in about 25 years. It may be a good thing because I would weigh about 400 pounds by now! Anyways, Uncle Robert showed us around the county. We saw the old farmhouse that his parents lived in and he grew up in. That same house is where my grandparents (his sister was my grandmother) were married and my mother was born.
Then he took us to the family cemetary. It is where several Rhines and Merrills are buried. It is in the middle of corn or bean fields (I can't remember) and is kept up nicely by the county. There are some huge oak and elm trees to shade the area. I took several pictures of the plots. Uncle Robert mentioned that the family used to have a picnic every Decoration Day (May 30) at the site and spend the day cleaning the cemetary and replanting flowers. I think I have missed out on that special event.
Then we traveled to some other cemetaries and he showed us graves of Civil War veterans. These names have become heroes in my eyes. I am sure they would say they did what they had to do or what God compelled them to do.
I guess what I am trying to say is that there is more to Memorial Day than racing, eating and summer vacation. Many men and women gave their lives for us to enjoy these things. I ask that you not forget. Thanks Uncle Robert.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
My favorite manager, of course, was Sparky Anderson and he managed both teams to World Series victories. This should be a good series. Go Reds!
This just in...Peyton Manning is retiring. Ok, in eight years, so he says. I am a life-long Steelers fan and have only followed the Colts since they moved to Indy. I grew up in Indiana and there were no NFL teams. I could have followed the Bengals, Cardinals, Bears and Lions. But I always liked Pittsburgh. So when Manning was drafted by the Colts, they were finally interesting to follow. What a privilege to watch one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. For eight more years anyway.
Go Cleveland and Clippers!
St. Arbucks is a Sacred Place
by Greg Asimakoupoulos
It’s communion… of another kind
where caffeine seekers can unwind
to drink in the sweet ambiance
that St. Arbucks provides.
As congregants both young and old,
we’re seated close and thus are bold
to talk of life (latte in hand)
and taste the mystery.
We lift the cup and share our lives
in honest words that aren’t contrived.
And if inclined, we all confess
our failures and our dreams.
St. Arbucks is a sacred place
where those who run the human’s race
can sip the nectar of the gods
awake to what is good.
It is quite sanctuary-like
where mothers and their little tykes
can find a refuge from routines
while seated near the fire.
There are no stained glass windows there
but those behind the “pulpit” care
about the thirst we long to quench
and “preach” through what they pour.
What Cheers was thirty years ago
is now St. Arbucks. Don’t you know?
A church where we are known by name
and feel like family.
Friday, May 12, 2006
God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself, but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory--we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.
God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission--I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his--if indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work: I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me--still He knows what He is about.O my God, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I--more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfill Thy high purposes in me whatever they be; work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see, I ask not to know--I ask simply to be used
The title for my blog, Converging Heritage, may raise a question. The more I check into my family history, the more I see how God has worked in each family. As a general statement, you can say that my family's heritage is Christian in nature. This starts with the Hershey family being labeled Anabaptists in Switzerland during the late 1500's and throughout the 1600's. On the other side of the family, the Wootens have a long line of pastors, evangelists and church workers. These heritages have converged to my generation. I hope I understand what it is I am to do with this convergance.
Until next post...