Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I'm not one to side with Vick, but it seems the hypocrisy of the situation is disturbing. Here is an article by Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN Page 2's Tuesday Morning QB1 talking about how we're all hypocrites for eating meat2. Tim Keown also wrote an interesting blurb about this case in This Weeks List. I link to both of these articles because I think people have lost their heads over this whole Vick case. I know we all like to root for the Underdog3 but I think this is getting a little out of control. As Grant4 over at The G Sides pointed out, there have been several athletes doing things far worse to other people (not dogs) who won't get any jail time at all. Too often we allow the sensation of a story to take it out of it's proper perspective.
I think the part of this story that's hard to take in is all of the horrible things he did to these dogs. I hate dogs and yet could never imagine doing something like that to an animal. It's despicable. But I've yelled at my kids. Earlier this afternoon I poked my two year old girl in the eye while we were having a little shoving match5. I've kicked my dog before in anger6. I guess we've all done things we regret, my question is whether or not Vick regrets what he's done. We'll never know if he laid awake at night feeling remorse about what was happening, or if he was thinking up ways to get a new edge for his dogs the next day.
1- TMQ is a very interesting and informative read, dealing with a wide range of issues not just football. I'd highly recommend you checking it out during the season.
2- He doesn't really go that far, in fact he heartily endorses the eating of meat. He's merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation.
3- Although not for the Disney movie, which I've heard isn't very good (interestingly though, yahoo thinks I'll like it). That's him in the red suit and cape by the way.
4- He's Sick of Vick, and who can blame him, but if you're interested in the ramblings of another youth pastor, you should read more of his stuff.
5- She totally deserved it. She's been sporting a little attitude lately, and I thought it was about time to adjust it.
6- But never in love. That's why hate is better and why I can never love my dog, it's too much fun to kick him.
Friday, August 24, 2007
During drama practices I always try and play a game to loosen everyone up, and then I have a short bible study and prayer time. Today God has spoken to me that for the drama game everyone needs to try their hand at evangelism, and for the bible study we're going to talk about the game. We may also talk about the importance of purity in the heart of a minister, but we may save that talk for another day. Well, gotta run.
PS: Also pray because we listed our house yesterday, pray for a quick sale!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"We're a nation of cheaters. We chase wrinkles away with Botox, get our stomachs stapled, our fat suctioned out, our noses resculpted, our teeth whitened, our hair transplanted, our assets filled out with implants. We fudge our taxes, swipe pens from the supply cabinet, take 10 over the speed limit, and scarf down pills and potions for everything from restless leg syndrome to erectile dysfunction. There's very little some of us won't do to get an edge. … But, d--mit, our athletic heroes better not cheat. Does anyone detect a note of hypocrisy in this? Does anyone who reviles Barry Bonds as a cheater admit to even the tiniest flaw in his or her own personal code of ethics?" —MSNBC sports columnist Mike Celizic, in the wake of Bonds' record-breaking (and controversial) home run on Aug. 7
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." ---Jesus Christ, Matthew 7: 1-5
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, mine began with driving back to Disneyland to see if they had sorted through the hundreds of pairs of lost sunglasses to find the ones my wife had lost a day earlier. After being denied once again (it was the third time we'd tried), I returned empty handed to our hotel to begin packing things up and prepping the van to leave. I also took some time to reminisce about the trip that was and compile my thoughts into what would later become this blog that you are reading right now. (Update: That part really was written the day we left, everything else was written 8/14)
Here is a summary of what happened, including a couple of testimonies:
- Even before we left Tiffanney and I knew this would be a great trip, but it was far above what we imagined. We had a service on Wednesday night that was just incredible. As worship was getting started I felt God telling me that we needed to pray for the pastors(please take a second to do that right now, too) of the church. We called out to God and His response was incredible. God took us and transformed us into vessels to be used by His hands. We were willing and so God poured through us mightily.
- There was one man who was specifically blessed that night because not only did God heal his knee pain (meaning that he'd be able to work again), but God healed his relationship with his wife and daughter that night too.
- Tiffanney preached a great word on Thursday night, and again the power of the Spirit fell, this time in the mission church we were at. I know that God is continuing the work down there even right now, and I believe next year we'll see the fruit of it.
- God stretched us in ways we never thought possible. Whether it was VBS or learning to preach with an interpreter, God used Mexico as an opportunity to bring us out of our shells just a little bit more. Because of this experience and Summer Camp, God has birthed in the hearts of our students the desire to form a drama outreach team. We did our first human video a couple weeks ago and it was incredible.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
- Links to church member's sites
- Pastor blogs
- Online church directory
- Church "classifieds"
- Social networking
- News Feeds
- Local weather updates
- Community events
- Sermon audio (and someday video)
- Video announcements
- Highlighted member profiles
- Groups for different ministries
- "Help wanted" section
- Ministry details
- Event pictures
- Message boards for members
- Online devotions
- Online Accountability
- Prayer Request Board
- Praise Report Board
- Links to other websites
Update: To see how the new site might look eventually, click here.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
I'll try and post some thoughts on General Council, so if you're not lucky enough to be able to attend, check in here for the latest news. Also there are at least two other blogs leading up to General Council that I've enjoyed reading, Future AG and AG Leadership Change. Check out both of those sites for information leading up to the conference.
Lastly, Tiff and I are looking to sell our rental house up in Stanwood, and we've got a lot of work to do in order to get it ready for sale. I'll let you know how it turns out, it promises to be tons of work and tons of reward once it sells.
So what's all this have to do with the third world? Well, my view of late has changed considerably (to read more about this, check out The mexi-blog pt 8: A story of God's love). Before Mexico I wanted to ship out all of the illegals, because they were criminals (because they had come here illegally). What I found down there is that the American ideals of being able to work hard and get ahead in life don't apply to the rest of the world. Just because you're willing and able to get a job doesn't mean that you will be payed enough to survive, or that you're guaranteed a job in the first place.
So what can be done about all of this? I love that churches are moving towards becoming more active in social issues. I think it's neat that some of the largest churches in the world are leading the charge towards eliminating poverty and disease. Many churches are supporting missions like they haven't in years. And yet the need seems to be so great.
Standing down there in Mexico the need became very specific. As I looked out over the houses I was overwhelmed by the pain, not for the entire area, but for the individuals in the area. How can I help and what can I do to make a difference, not for everyone, but for one person. An idea that's always been of great interest to me is microfinance. This seems to fit in with my love for (or at least understanding the need for) empowering people. The concept is a pretty simple one. A poor person has some sort of skill (say seamstress) but doing it by hand takes too long to make a profit. A company comes in and loans this lady $500 for her to buy a sowing machine, she starts to sell more and earns enough to repay her loan. If it doesn't work out the company is only out $500, but if it does then they've just changed the life of that entire family, possibly forever.
The problem people seem to run into is when the company is trying to make a profit exploiting people who are poor. Those who's businesses don't work out find themselves not only poor but also in debt, compounding the situation. This only works well when it's run through a non-profit company, because I personally would give to this without expecting money back. World Vision is one non-profit that is trying to aid in this effort. Here are a series of articles on microfinance, also put out by world vision. They state that 97% of their loans are payed back!
This story by the Stanford Social Innovation Review makes the point that while these loans might help those interested in starting a business, what of the 90% of the world that doesn't have the drive to make a small business successful? I guess that's why we need companies like Nike to outsource all their jobs, because to someone in Mexico making $5 per week, making $5 per day is like hitting the jackpot.
He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward him for what he has done.
He who gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
I guess to sum everything up I'd have to say that it's too bad that those that want to work and make there lives better only end up being squashed whereas those who take advantage of things like Welfare get to sit around all day. If only we could export the lazy and bring in those with a drive to do better. Then America would be a lot better place to live.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Really the plan is pretty simple. Give people money with the understanding they need to use it to help people, when they've never really done that before. Within a couple of days people are so guilt ridden that they can hardly get out of bed because they have no idea what to do with all of that cash. And the people who spend it on themselves are even worse off, because all they see is people in need, now that the money is gone. And what of the reports of money falling off of buildings and onto bridges? An obvious attempt to cause mass chaos when people come screaming for the money. Traffic grounds to a halt and the infrastructure of Japan collapses.
It's really quite an ingenious idea. It makes me wonder which terrorist organization is pulling it off. This is the perfect plan for terrorizing the Japanese people because they are so honorable and upright. They won't want to offend the giver or take something that's not theirs. That's why in the news article it says that people didn't want to touch the money because it was eerie. If they had sent it here to Oakville they would have caused a riot of people trying to get there hands on it, but then we would have gone out and bought ipods or plasma tv's for ourselves, it wouldn't have had nearly the paralyzing effect that this is having.
Car bombs and such are one thing, but this is a whole new twist on evil. Or maybe I'm just jealous.
Click here for the news article