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what the hell happened with this family? i think kate was a fame monger and jon was just blasé about the whole thing… just liked the check every month.  i get glimpses when my wife or kids watch the show and generally i am just in the room working when the show is on or they watch off dvr.  i always just felt that jon was a pansy for letting his wife brow beat him all the time… and allowing her to just make him look stupid all the time

so i guess the rumor is that jon had an affair with a 23 teacher lady… and kate was doing her bodyguard.  at the minimum, it seems that both have had inappropriate  emotional attachments and spending way too much time with these ‘others’ .. to give the perception that there were issues

and what the hell was that show where they are sitting separately and doing their post show things apart … just feeding the full to the fire.

as christians… should they even be fueling the gossip?  should i be even blogging about this?

they both claim and are being made fun of on shows like the soup… that it is all about the kids and it should be.  they have put the well being of their kids by seeking the fame and celebrity.  what kind of speaking tours is kate going to give when the topic that she is supposed to be speaking it, being a christian mother to multiples and keeping a strong marriage, is being blasted away?

i hope they saved some of that money they get for allowing every aspect of their lives to be filmed and whoring out their kids … again for fame.  i mention it, cause i saw a shot where jon is driving around in a audi r8 sports car (yeah, real practical for the 8 kids) .. and i guess they just moved into a huge new house or something

i guess the controversy is good for ratings… i am just SOOOOO happy that the leaning channel (TLC) is contributing and becoming a tabloid feed .. not with just this show, but all of the midgets, 16 kids family or whatever the new flavor is.  i am just surprised that they did not give octomom a show.. since that is what she was probably looking for

once wish … gosselins … get off the f’ing tv.  live off the royalties and stuff .. and get out of the limelight.   repair your marriage.  take care of your kids. ’nuff said

my friend cak wrote something today that was nice to run across during a hectic day that proved needing of some soaking… carrots, eggs, and coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.  Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.  Soon the pots came to boil.  In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.  She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots and eggs out and placed them in separate bowls Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.  Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft.  The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.  Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.  The daughter then asked, “What does it all mean?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity:  boiling water.  Each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, however, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.  The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.  The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.  “Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Consider this:  Which one would best describe you Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?  Are you the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes with the heat?  Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, become hardened and stiff?  Does your shell look the same, but on the inside reveal bitterness with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?  Or are you like the coffee bean?  The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.  When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.  If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials at their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.  The brightest future will always be based on a forgiven past you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

yikes.. lots of tv postings recently…

i notice things… weird things. i see things through my slanty adhd eyes and sometimes… it is just me.

we were watching extreme home makeover … and the family that the total product placement infomercial wrapped into an evening show glossed over a couple of things…

the family that they helped.. they seemed deserving of the blessing that was bestowed on them by the abc show… as they walked through the house .. the family spoke of faith.. and even had a prayer couch.. where they sat and prayed for families other than themselves… that were in greater need. this family was the first to say.. hey.. instead of scrapping everything.. please save appliances and furniture and give it to people that need it… fantastic.. a family that understood the charity… understood giving… understood being in community.

they were sent to disney world.. um.. owned by abc. and then the fun started…

along with a brand new house.. the crew went over to the ‘community center’ that the family volunteered at.. except.. the ‘community center’ was a church.. and in that church was a school…

they got done with the remodel.. and as they panned in…. under a rainbow were the words ‘hope is jesus‘ .. you could barely make it out.. as they were in wide angle.. and only for a blip

then.. this is when i got torqued..

a pizza joint which wll remain unnamed… except to say that they do have a big presence in denver.. and name has john in it… you figure it out… well maybe because this pizza joint asked.. or because abc hates jesus.. as they scanned over the kids snarfing down pizza.. there was an extended shot on that rainbow.. but .. what the heck. all the words are gone… it looked like the worst blotting out or putting construction paper up on the wall to cover everything up… not even the hope is.. was showing

then i knew it was a concerted effort when the family came home.. and as they panned again to the volunteers and people in the auditorium.. they had to take a bunch of goofy angles.. and they passed over the rainbow again… but had the camera just low enough to make sure that the word jesus did not show.. it was just hope is

i am the guy in the movies that will see the costume errors and discontinuity or litte things out of place… and discuss after the movie.

i am just sick of the blatant disregard for the rights of believers … yeah yeah…. it is their prerogative to show whatever they want… build a house that is so over the top that the rest of the neighborhood is a blight. the house is the center of crime when someone busts in and steals all of the plasmas and flatscreens in the house…

what about estimated property taxes and costs to maintain and do things like run electricity to that elevator they put in.. and the maintenance on that. they are taking people in need… and probably putting them into a spiral of debt down the road…

by providing what seems to be everything the family needs… they are taking hope away… without a need or problem.. there is no need for hope.

hope is not abc
hope is not ty with his shirt off
hope is not showing how much man can do
hope is jesus …

there are times when my kids amaze me. make me swell up with pride…

my 8 year old daughter has been writing poems/lyrics in secret… and they are beautiful… faith of a child right?

i will have to have her sing it to me.. or we can work on it together… so we can put it into music.

when i stay
when i go
you’re still there

when i’m here
when i’m there
you’re lovin me

all around
you’re watching me in joy

when i see you i smile
come around and say hello
let the world see you

written by anais :: jan 2007

so simple and so right on to how we need to approach God and understand him. like david in the psalms… there is nowhere that you are not

sometimes… i think we just need to slow down and realize and learn from our kids. i have been working a lot lately.. and barely see them. and when my wife brought the notepad with these words on them… i have been reading them over and over for the past 2 days.

sometimes… we just need to feel like God is around… share a coke and a smile… come around… say hello… let the world see you.

ok… i am done biting my tongue.. biding my time… mulling it over.

the issue at stake is the senior pastor that has been at northernhills community c hurch has stepped down after 21 years. this was after 5 months of a sabbatical that was originally 90 days.. and just kept going. there were medical issues… and burnout issues… there was no sin issue that precipitated this… we were told.

i have always appreciated dennis thomas over the past year and a half… as someone that laid it out there and was not afraid to take chances.. but also trying to reach out to the community that he saw around him.

as we had been praying for his health issues.. there was also another issue that would have caused problems in the church if let out prior to last sunday… but as there was no point of reference.. it was a shock and somewhat hurtful for those that had not seen what was happening behind the scenes.

as dennis read his resignation letter, i noticed one sentence…. ‘although our goals remain similar, our approach to ministry no longer align’

maybe it is the pk in me that heard something that is not there. maybe it is the pk in me that has seen dozens of churches fall apart and split because of approaches to ministries that no longer align. maybe i was waiting for the other shoe to fall. maybe it is the pk in me that felt a sadness for dennis that the church that he had given his all for over the years and his kids sacrificing for, outgrowing, not needing, moving away from him.

i guess it is not his decision… but letting God open and close doors for him. i see some of this with my dad… where there was so much change in him in the past 5 years.. but now.. he is burned out. i think that he is nearing the end of his stewardship of his church… and it makes me a tad sad

the things that we have to consider….

  • keep praying for his medical issues
  • pray for his kids… (another pk-ism i guess)
  • is dennis going to continue to come to nhcc or does this mean that he is off to greater and better things elsewhere
  • did the sabatical time give him too much time to mull things over too much?  where he may have felt that ‘his’ church was moving away from him.. slipping from his grip.
  • how will this impact the attendance and membership at nhcc?  will people leave and follow dennis?  and if they do.. are they following a man and not God?
  • how badly does this screw up rkelly and his vision for whitewater… just as it was starting.. dennis flamed out.
  • how much of the success that nhcc has had in th community an extension of dennis.. and how much of it was the elder board?
  • was the difference in approach part of the bilingual movement that dennis had for nhcc and the large hispanic population near brighton?
  • was the difference in appraoch the non traditional.. ever more evolving contemporary service versus the traditional or even contemporary of 5 years ago?
  • was the church too big for him?  was the church not big enough for him?

there are so many more questions… but these are some of the more muted ones… that i have been steeping since sunday…

dennis… you will be missed.  but remember that you are loved by hundreds and hundreds.  we want the best for you and judy.  your sacrifice was worth it.  the sacrifice and hardship that your family went through was worth it. we love you man…. keep singing with the cd blaring out of your car.

like a cicadia .. that seems to be in rest for 17 years… (just think that you you are 4 years late) busting through into the next great thing God has for you.. with wings.  what you sowed into nhcc.. you will reap in abundance.  and like the song of the cicadia … God.. through you will reach even more people with the sound of your voice.  we love ya big man.  you melt our face off.

as we mark the birthday of martin luther king jr… and seeing that wat used to be a holiday for a lot of places is no longer… it kind of saddened me. i also see the state of this great union… the replublic … and comparing it to the vision that mlk jr.

here is a middle section of the speech that most have heard at least parts of… maybe they just remember the ‘free at last.. free at last… thank god i’m free at last…” but don’t really know what the rest of the speech covers. it is also sad that a recent survey found that more than 30% of college freshmen associate martin luther kings name with abolishing slavery and not with the civil rights movement… i guess that is why we see why the last few elections have been so weird.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

 do you think that this dream can come true? do you live your life like you want this dream to come true?

today after i had packed up my guitar and about to head out.. i noticed a little girl coming up the stage…. she started to climb the stairs and sat there… watching me singing along to some leeland that was playing as people were leaving.. she wanted so much to come up.. i brought her up and let her walk around a bit.. and she was pointing to a guitar case saying open.. open. this is when i noticed that she may have some physical and developmental challenges..

as that case she she wanted opened was a les paul electric.. i went overn and brought my case over and let her open and lift out my acoustic… and she started trying to strum and pick along.

at this point. ‘tears of the saints’ by leeland came on…

here are many prodigal sons
On our city streets they run
Searching for shelter
There are homes broken down
People’s hopes have fallen to the ground
From failures

This is an emergency!

There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

There are schools full of hatred
Even churches have forsaken
Love and mercy
May we see this generation
In it’s state of desperation
For Your glory

This is an emergency!

Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!

And all Your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

leeland tears of the saints

it was hard to hold the tears back… here was a little child… singing ‘god is so good’ and ‘jesus loves me’ … if everyone had this sense.. that no matter what the issue or how bad others may see a situtation.. it is that personal attitude that makes the difference.

god is so good… and jesus loes me. that is what she kept saying as she tried to strum and pick at the strings … i think God loved that praise and worship more than the rehersed and polished sets that we try to present every saturday and sunday… no matter how many hours you practice… i still think God loves that spontanious outpouring from a 5 year old girl that loved music.. and through all of her .. lets put it as what others would call problems… still felt that Jesus loved her. that God was so good.

interesting that my verse of the day was psalm 107:1

give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!

driving home this morning.. i heard an ad on the radio for a psychic hotline thing…

fake conversation ….

caller ‘i am skeptical.. and i am calling just cause my sister told me about you’
psychic ‘i get that a lot … now.. why are you calling?’
… at this point… shouldn’t you just hang up.. or say… ‘ you tell me…’
caller ‘i am thinking about  leaving my boyfriend and seed to know what to do’
psychic ‘well.. put this issue in your mind while i put out some tarot cards.. and you tell me when the picture is clear in your head’
caller ‘now’
psychic ‘the cards are showing travel.. so you should take some time away from this person to decide about leaving him’

ummmm… so, did this person call psychic hotline or a sounding board….

what ever happened to healthy skepticism about anything and everything?  be it religion, science, bad science, news, politics, whatever…

do some research. read both sides of the issue.. don’t take things for granted….

don’t just accept the bible.. find out about why it is a text that can be believed.

don’t just accept that humans are causing global warming, climate change, etc… they can’t even get the weather predictions right for the same day… how are we supposed to accept their projections for 20 years from now…

don’t just accept the party line of whatever political affiliation you have… dissent when needed… support when needed…

the news…. um.. yeah.. the news… actually listen to the words that are being said.. listen to how they say it. the words they select to use…

i am so tired of christians that have never read the bible cover to cover… or darwinian evolutionists that have ever even picked up origin of the species.  how do you defend and proclaim your position if you don’t have even the base knowledge of what you are debating.

i hate lazy christians that just say.. i just have to believe that jesus died for my sins.. ok.. what now.. that is a singular moment… what about the relationship and growing in the faith that need to happen beyond that… ever crack open a concordence?  ever lift your finger and flip through other translations?  ever look at manuscript evidences?

i hate rationalists/agnostics that have their mind set that if it is not provable by science.. it should not be in public discourse at all… and since God is not provable.. you can’t have that discussion at all.  but by their own logic… they can’t disprove either.  they are putting their supposed logic inferred belief system over a a religious and maybe.. just maybe there is a supernatural explaination…

to do or to be … evil

that is another bonhoefferism…

‘it is better to do evil than to be evil’

this was his conflict when he became a double agent.. and to a certain degree a co-conspirator in the assassination attempts on hitler. he would be involved in a murder.. but killing of a murderer…

this simple statement carries with it so many implication in life and how you live your life as a persone of faith. capital punishment, war, self defense, justifiable homicide… and so on.

and maybe some understanding of the other side of this war as well… as they see us as evil.. and they will do some evil to protect themselves and what they believe

as we come up on a new year… resolve to do some evil .. cause you know you will.. but to not be evil.

just suck it in… hold it in… let it burn… have been mulling this over for the past 3 days..

his point is that we often think of grace as cheap… but there was a great cost for the grace that we have… someone, people had to suffer for the grace that we enjoy a bit too much…

dietrich bonhoeffer on cheap grace

let the christian rest content with his worldliness and with this renunciation of any higher standard than the world. he is living for the sake of the world rather than for the sake of grace. let him be comforted and rest assured in his possession of this grace – for grace alone does everything. instead of following christ, let the christian enjoy the consolations of his grace!

that is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sins departs.

cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.

cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without jesus christ, living and incarnate.

costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. it is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. it is the kingly rule of christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of jesus christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must the asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow jesus christ. it is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. it is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. above all, it is costly because it cost god the life of his son: .ye were bought at a price, and what has cost god much cannot be cheap for us. above all, it is grace because god did not reckon his son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us.

costly grace is the incarnation of god.

from: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

paycheck or payday loan business is booming. i passed by 2 on bridge st in less than 1 mile. and these businesses are profiting off the needs and stupid financial decisions of desperate people

i worked on a server farm for an online payday load processor.. that went from a single server to over 12 servers by years end…

their big thing was $500 now.. before your next paycheck…

the thing is … it is great if you hit a rough patch in life and need to take out a paycheck loan for $300-$500.. but for ease.. i will just use $500 as that seems to be the default amount now a days…

so.. you need some cash now.. and your credit cards are maxed out… and family is not able to help you…

so what do you do?

pawn your car? no.. then you can’t get to work to make money to pay any loan back and you will lose your car.
pawn your jewelry? well.. may work.. but a lot of people sell ther wedding rings and such and a lot of times are unable to reclaim…

payday loans… yeah thats it. they are everywhere. the stigma is gone… from sneaking into and out of these establishments…

ok.. now back to that $500.

you write a check for the amount you are taking out as well as the ‘fee’ .. read interest.. of in this case.. $75 until your next payday…. read 2 weeks. so you write your check for $575.. and walk out with $500… on the face of it.. that is 15% interest if you paid it off when the 2 weeks were done. that is actually not that bad. a lot of credit cards are at 12%-23% … so.. right in the middle.. again.. not that bad… if you were desperate.

lets say that 2 weeks comes around and you are still in trouble… they offer a rollover plan… so you can just pay the ‘fee’ and write another check for $575 dated for 2 weeks from that time. ok… now you have basically committed yourself to 30% interest for that $500… with a total ‘fee’ of $150.

keep going… and add 15% each 2 weeks you are hurting.. and not able to pay the full $575 in full.. cause remember.. you were desperate for the money.. did not have that in the bank to begin with. bought too many presents… whatever… but you were thinking that it was gnna be like free cash.. without remembering that you have locked yourself into a system that can trap you very easily…

lets say you go 2 months… that is $300 worth of ‘fees’ .. and if you were desperate enough to take out a loan for $500.. then $300 is significant to you….. and that would be 60% interest … are you getting a picture of a loan shark at this point?

the fine print says…the max interest they can charge you is somewhere between 650% to 700% per year…. are you kidding me???

650% of $500 = $3,250.00

in one year.. there is a potential.. and i have heard of people that have gone months and months just rolling over their loans…. so even if it was half that… $1,125.00 ?!?!?!?!!!

i think this is where church comes into play… if you see need. you do something about it. quit sitting around at starbucks with your $5 coffee and get in community… isn’t that what we are called to do? instead of spending $50 at a crappy dinner at chili’s.. you think that if you got 10 people in a church of 1500… that spent that $50 that they would have used on a weekday dinner on someone in need? no interest. no fee. no rollover.

i have been reading and delving into how dietrich bonhoeffer changed the perception of what church was supposed to be… not just about our personal relationship with God… but about how our relationship with God fits into our responsibility to be in community. he was one of the first to talk about being ‘in communinity’. actually living the sermon on the mount … and not seeing it as a spotlight on out sinful nature… and as a slam against us on what we can’t ever be… but that does not mean you don’t try

i want the maytag store that nobody went to back… and not that paycheck loan store. every time i see the neon with ‘no credit check’ .. ‘up to $500 cash’ .. i want to take a bat and beat the signs in…

there are so many people in our communities… both in church and in neighborhoods that are hurting so bad.. get into houses they can’t afford. are so house poor that they can’t feed their kids. every interest rate hike means turning down the thermostat just a bit more… a lot of us are so lucky. a lot of us have the luxury of being able to go out to eat pretty much when we want to. a lot of us have homes that we can afford. a lot of us have cars that are dependable… and then there is the other half of our community…. that need to have their kids on subsidized lunches, jackets that are too small… and barely live paycheck to paycheck….

i don’t want socialism… cause capitalism rocks.. but i want these scam artists and pseudo loan sharks gone… and the church to step up and relearn the word benevolence and caring for the poor

i am not trying to bash rick warren… too much. i enjoyed his first book… but felt by the time the second book came out.. something was changing. i can’t judge his motivations and where his mind is. i don’t doubt that he is genuine in his attempts to reach the world with the gospel. it is just the ‘way’ he is doing it that is making me wonder a bit. i respect him and like some of his concepts… but i don’t think everything applies…

i noticed that rick warren has been on a world wind tour trying to change the world after his book ‘purpose driven life’ and ’40 days of purpose’ and numerous branch offs sold millions…. churches across the country went through the book and series in classes and small groups. regular attendance at the church averages about 20,000.. but the member list peaks out closer to 80,000

now… i was flipping through the dish and seeing what was on.. and i see fox news has ‘can rick warren change the world’ and ‘purpose of christmas with rick warren’

i know that he has paid back his entire salary that he received from saddleback and is living a reverse tithe right now from the book royalties…. great… 10% of millions is pretty good no? he gives 90% of all earnings to the church… which is awsome.

i just noticed a change in rick warren.. maybe because of all the media attention and handlers… but he has gone from being a believable fatherly pastor… into a plastiky wrinkle removed botox injected lasik having media craving mega church pastoring author that is now doing things on a global scale and blurring the lines like pat robertson, james dobson, and jerry falwell.. and starting to have his message diluted
note all of the rancor over his trip to syria… that worked out really well.. with the assassination of gemayel… excellent work in changing the world. his aids conference that included barack obama went over well as well.. smooove

he went from an almost 60ish looking.. distinguished white haired glasses and denim wearing smiling minister … to a mid-40shair club for men, go-teed no glasses wearing italian suits and ties guy that never smiles anymore… maybe time to let the handlers go… get back to basics. back to the hunger that helped grow saddleback to the megachurch that it has become…

to what purpose? to what end?

can rick warren change the world … sure. i think he has generally given us something that brought christianity to the forefront. showed the media elite that christians would devour something like purpose driven life… the problem that i see is that he dished out something that has turned into a formula for many on how to fit into a mega church… in the saddleback model. instead of having churches that had their unique quirks and character… and then almost every church i saw was going through the same book… the same study guide.. watching the same video message from rick warren. i go to my church to listen to my pastor… not rick warren. i go to my church because it fit my personality… but we lose that if we are all using the same scripts. we need to have the core beliefs.. but there is freedom to worship, preach, study, learn in the means and manner that you choose… not based on how some megachurch does it. not just to mimic a megachurch.. because you are in a growth mode or hurting because you are down to a handful of parishioners

i saw churches crumble because they did not match the picture of church that was portrayed in the books… it was almost like a huge saddleback outreach.. and small groups and churches as extensions of saddleback and not their own church anymore. i know people that quit attending their home church once they started the purpose driven series.

sometimes.. pictures speak louder than words…

:: pix from purpose driven life ::


:: pix from post 40 days ::


:: pix in time mag ::


:: most recent pix ::


i saw a book that will be implemented in this house this coming year for the kids… it is a book by jason f. wright called ‘the christmas jar


put all your loose change into a jar… like you normally do.. but instead of using one of those coinstar units to change out to bills… keep collecting until christmas of the next year.

at that time.. look at the people in your circle or have knowledge of via friends, family, charity.. and do a tommyknocker on them…

park up the street… put the jar ‘o monies in front of their door, ring the doorbell, and run. don’t impose what you think they need or want.. let them choose.

another alternative would be to use something like travelers cheques (you know the company) and leave said cheque in an envelope or whatever.. and do the same ring-ding-run-along … it will make you feel better…

oh yeah… think about how much ‘coin’ you dropped for christmas lights, decorations, gift wrap, electrical bill.. and maybe go get rolls of coins to cheat a little and do it this year… or those sappy insurance or diabetic supplies commercials that talk about a few cents a day…

i was thinking back to some of the early years when $15 was what we needed… when $50 meant food and gas for the week… when we had to pull money from our sons piggy bank to pay the electrical bill… that $11 saved us that month.

over the span of 1 yr… you could have close to $100 if you think about it… but even if it is not…. think about the impact an anonymous gift like this would/could/will have on some family that is sometimes too ashamed to ask.. or have been praying over their struggles and needing people on the ground to pour Gods love down on them

i hate maintenance windows… i have one again tonight to upgrade some of our corp firewalls to newer mo fancy ones that changed config style (what a tedious process)..

i have had years of doing weekly maintenance windows at 4am at my previous company on all of our servers and networking gear… and then having breakfast at the only thing that was open and close to work… the denver diner. much better now that there is no smoking in denver.

we had a 2am -> 5am window wednesday morning.. and had to back out last minute because of one issue that i figured out at the very end… but it was too late to go back through the whole process again.

i am about to sneak in  a 11pm -> 2am window to try and get a whole vacation between christmas and new years without having to go into work.. or work for that matter

i think a lot of us fall into the trap as men.. in providing for our families and working is the way we do it.. even to the point of obsession and neglect of your family. working 60= hr weeks is no good in terms of spending time with the wife and kids.

and then when you pull back… going maybe 50 hrs… you feel like you are slacking because you set your expectations so high for yourself. and you have paranoia that the people at work are noticing that something is just a bit off… but you are still working more than normal people

we all need maintenance windows…. i think God gave us the model… get everything you need to do in 6 days of that week… and then… just chill out on the 7th. rest. do nothing. relax. provide maintenance for yourself.

as i get ready for this upcoming maintenance… i realize that the snow days gave me somewhat of a respite and it was nice. iam hoping for a 15 minute.. move cables around.. and then some quick tests.. and then heading home… and then turning the blackberry off and … what what am i saying.. i will leave blackberry on.. but with a different ringtone set that i use when i am not on call… which.. actually i am this weekend.. dang it. nevermind…

my friend dpowers posted a link to a site that estimates how rich you are in the global scope of things… globalrichlist and read dpowers here

sadly… in my world and circle.. it is about getting more. who has what. keeping up with the jones’ .. outdoing the jones’ .. beating the jones with their own stuff that you bought at their estate sale cause they went bankrupt

my family is the 35,732,201 richest in the world! in the top 0.59% of all of the people on earth… blast you .. you 35,732,200 that are ahead of me

we all work hard to give our families and kids what we did not have when we were growing up or to try to stay in the socioeconomic stratum that we have grown accustom to

i think that instead of influenza being the biggest threat as the next pandemic (note that scientists think that 50+ million people are gonna die of flu next year) .. but what i affectionately call affluenza … the bug that keeps us wanting more and more. got the affluence bug.. no matter how much we have already.. how much we have been blessed with already. we seem to look at those that have more than us.. have the bigger house, better car, bigger salary… and forget that sometimes… we make more in one day than some people make in a full week.. or even months. have you noticed that most of the car commercials are for vehichles that top $0k.. wait $60k in most cases… more than most people make in a whole year

i look back at how much my family of 5 survived on my moms pay check… and i think she was making about $18k/yr … and sometimes i think that we _had_ more then than what my current salary allows us to have

another weird part of this is the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer… i have found that the higher you climb.. the less you have to _pay_ for. sports games that we had to pay out the nose for are now ‘perks’ .. like avs and broncos games. magazine subscriptions that we turned away little boys doing fund raisers for are now free.. because you have influence in your corporation… and you get free trade magazines, books, and perks… all corp writeoffs or slated as the cost of doing business
i think we have to go back to what we do with the resources we have been given… like the parable of the master and 3 servants that were given money to do with what they would with it… one buried it, one lost it all and one invested wisely and reaped greater gains… we have been entrusted with little.. or a lot… what are you doing with it?


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