Archive for March, 2006

Ministry: Fun News Site.

March 29, 2006

I have been browsing this site for years. It’s one of those real cryptic, mystical-type, end times web-sites. It reminds me of the Drudge Report but all of the news has something to do with the fall of humanity or the chaos in the world. I remember when 9/11 happened this site was the place to go to feed your appettite for all things “Apocaliptic”. It’s kind of fun to navigate through the whole website. Are there any sites where you get your news from that are unusual? Let me know.


Ministry: Why I Like "The DaVinci Code".

March 25, 2006

Dan Brown’s book “The DaVinci Code” has been a huge success in many more ways than just a NYT’s Bestseller: it is soon to be a blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks and directed by Richie Cunningham; many other books have come out like “DaVinci Code for Dummies” and one I have read “The DaVinci Deception”. It is obvious that our culture is intrigued by the whole “DaVinci Code” fad. Many Christians are ticked off about this book/movie. I’m not. It has done the opposite for me. Here is why I like “The DaVinci Code”……..

I have had to brush up on Church History. Church history is one of those subjects I have kind of avoided for a long time because I convinced myself that it was irrelevant. Well, thanks to Dan Brown I have changed my mind and I am aggressively researching our Christian history. It has been a joy looking into the early days of persecution to the middle ages of silence and ignorance. I would challenge everyone to better understand and know Church history. My pastor suggested a really good, simple, yet very informative resource here. Check it out.

It keeps you on your toes. Because of all of the recent buzz about the conspiracy attached to the book and upcoming movie, I have had to be more prepared to give an answer. I have always thought it was important to know what I believe, but this “DaVinci Code” deal has really challenged me and convinced me of better knowing my faith. This is a great thing and again, I’m thankful for Dan Brown and his novel for stirring me and keeping me on my toes.

It proves Jesus impact. Have you ever heard anyone write a fictional book about Mohammed? What about Buddah? Or Confucious? Isn’t it amazing that a man that lived 2000 years ago still gets people so worked up to the point of trying to change or manipulate His life and legacy. This just proves to me that Jesus impacts this world more than any human in history.

People are curious about Jesus.
Along the lines of the last point, Jesus is like a lightning rod. The fact is, people like to question His claims and legacy. People want to investigate more and try to add their own little spin to His life. Do you remember the movie from the middle ’80’s “Last Temptation of Christ”? It was one of those weird, twisted yet accepted by the Academy movies that just was pure sick fiction. Only Jesus, the perfect, Son of God that died for the sins of His kids and resurrected on the third day, could do that.

Adoption: Some Thoughts.

March 22, 2006

Penny and I have been at this adoption thing for about 6 months or so. People have told us to be patient because it’s a long process. Boy, they weren’t kiding! Here are some thoughts on our Russian adoption.

The US Government takes their sweet time. In December Penny and I made an appointment to get fingerprinted by the FBI so that we could be ok’d by the Department of Homeland Security. We were able to get our fingerprinting incredibly fast. We thought the turn around would be just as fast. No dice. We still haven’t heard from them. I guess a husband and wife trying to adopt internationally is not at the top of their priority list.

The Russian government can’t make up their minds. Since we began the process in August, the Russian government has made several (like 3-5) changes in the process for Americans adopting Russian children. The latest: when adopting two children they can only be siblings, no exceptions. Before January this wasn’t the case. It makes us wonder what’s next?

It costs a lot of money! I wont get into too much detail, but the cost of adopting two children these days is not cheap and we aren’t rich. Penny and I decided right off the bat that we couldn’t afford this but we know that this is what the Lord has called us to do, and we trust that He will provide. Plus, no price is too much when it comes to your kids!

It’s hard to contain yourself. One of the most difficult parts of this process thus far has been the desire to go get our kids right now! We want so bad to just get on with it, its hard to hold it in sometimes. Its great to know that God is all knowing and none of this is a surprise to Him. He knows our children and when they will (or have been born). He is in control and this gives us great comfort.

Long periods of silence. Another difficult part of the adoption experience: silence. Sometimes we go weeks without hearing anything. Its almost like the whole adoption is on hold. We do know that this is a part of the whole deal and we remind each other of this. This is kind of a weak analogy but here you go. Its like when you put an offer in on a house, and you wait, and there is silence , and you wonder what’s going on at the other end. It drives you nuts!

Please pray for us as we trust and wait. We know that the Lord has called us to get our babies from Russia but it sure is a trying process. As soon as there is “breaking news” I will be sure to inform you.

Entertainment: March Madness.

March 20, 2006

Did you catch any of this weekends NCAA Basketball Tournament? Wow, there were some amazing games, they were all close. I would have to say the most memorable game was on Sunday between Bradley and Pittsburgh. Penny noticed the scoreboard on the screen so I took a picture of it. Some other games of significance: George Mason beet reigning NCAA champ North Carolina, Wichita St. beat Tennessee. That’s what I love about this tournament, some scrub teams that nobody has ever heard of beats the state powerhouses! My pick from the beginning is still in it. I think they are the most talented team (that goes a long way in college hoops). My pick, UConn. Who’s you’re pick? Are they still around? Did they get knocked out in the first or second day?

Entertainment: Why I Like Mac.

March 18, 2006

I work with PC and Mac. PC at work and Mac personally. I believe Mac is just a better machine. Not that PC doesn’t work or is bad, I just prefer to use Mac. Here are 5 reasons why I like Mac…..

1. They look good – Lets face it, there are no pc’s out there that even come close to the aesthetics of a Mac. Every piece of hardware Mac produces is just slick. Take for instance the G4 iMac, which I still believe is the coolest looking computer ever. How about the PowerBook or Mac Book Pro. The aluminum casing and grey trim, too cool. Have you ever noticed that every other computer manufacturer tries to impersonate the Mac. I could go on and on about the look of Mac computers. We all know that they are far superior looking than anything out there.

2. They have a great operating system – If you have never used Mac OSX then you are missing out. My first Mac was an first generation grape iMac. It ran on a clunky OS 9 platform. This OS is so smooth compared to OS 9, XP, 2000 or whatever else Windows has to offer. I think the operating system is the biggest win.

3. They are easy to use – Macs may not come with a right click button, which is the usual gripe from pc lovers, but you can do some real cool, easy things with a Mac. For example, the F9 button allows you to glance at all open applications (very cool). Another cool Mac trick, hold Shift, Apple button and 4: you can take a picture of anything on your desktop and save it as a JPEG. There are many other cool, easy tricks you can do with Mac. Maybe you know some, just leave a Comment.

4. They have great packaging and promo’s – Hands down Mac is way ahead of ANY ONE when it comes to their look. Next time you go to CompUSA or just compare on the web Mac’s advertising package to anyone else. I think Mac has set the industry standard in “look”. Even Microsoft has made fun of their own lack of good packaging and branding.

5. They are very simple – In January my parents bought a new iMac G5. My dad was blown away with the simplicity of the machine. There are like 5 or 6 buttons and ports on the whole thing. No third party software stickers or third party hardware that has been installed. Its a beautiful thing, very simple and clean. Oh yeah, go to the Dell website and try to figure out which computer is which. There are like 300 different computers. With Mac there are a couple of options, iMac, MacMini, MacBook Pro, PowerMac and three types of iPods. Simple. Effective.

Entertainment: No Luck for the Celtics!

March 17, 2006

We went to the game last night, and our boys did not disappoint! After being down by 25 points early, D-Wade, Shaq and the rest of the Heat came back and beat the Boston Celtics. Wade only had 5 points at half time. He scored 25 points in the second half and led the Heat to a dominating second half. This dude can break some ankles (he’s fast!). I have been to a lot of professional and collegiate events (football, baseball, hockey, basketball), and the NBA has the most entertaining product out there. If you have never been to an NBA game, go, you will not be disappointed.

Entertainment: Go Heat!

March 16, 2006

Tonight Penny & I are going to the Miami Heat game. They will be playing the Boston Celtics. Interesting enough, growing up I was a big Celtics fan. When the Heat came to town in ’88 I automatically started supporting my local team. I remember some of the players the Heaters have had over the years, Seikly, Douglas, Rice, Smith, Salley (really!), Hardaway and of course ‘Zo. Now we have the 2 greatest Heat players, Shaq & D Wade. I am so jacked up to be able to see my boys play tonight! Go Heaters!

Ministry: Rapture Postcard.

March 15, 2006

When I was in third grade I had a Sunday School teacher named Ms. Lund. She gave us stuff every week. One time she gave us a UNC Tarheels magnet (we talked about Roman soldiers, they wore tar-heel shoes), a Bible trivia booklet, old school Chick Tracks and this postcard of the rapture. This postcard haunted me for years. Now I look at it and say, now that’s bad artwork! Its amazing how you remember the little things people do for you. One thing I can say about Ms. Lund she did do one big thing for me, she told me about a Savior, named Jesus. I will never forget that Sunday morning when she introduced me to Him.

Family, Ministry, Entertainment: Ramblings.

March 14, 2006

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you look back and say what the heck went on? I had one of those last week. It seemed like I had no time to do anything in the form of relaxation. Here are some thoughts from my week, enjoy…..

12″ Powerbook – In 2004 I bought one. It has been great (I’m typing on it right now!) Well last Sunday I had to give the harddrive a funeral. It decided it had enough so I had to bring it in to the Apple Store down the road. They replaced it in 2 days! Too bad it cost me $***!!!! Anyway, I’m using it again and she’s running like a well oiled machine. Awwww, those Powerbooks! A laptop owners dream.

Universal Studios ROTS! – Ok. A little cavalier you might say. Have you been there lately? Well, last week we had this deal called the “Youth Pastors Summit”. It’s one of those annual promotional events put on by Rock the Universe and Student Leadership University. You go there ( I took a couple of guys from our ministry), you hear some speakers (Doug Fields, David Nasser and Jay Strack), you get a free lunch by Chic-Fil-A, then they hook you up with a free duel park pass for Islands of Adventure/Universal Studios. The Summit was ok. Doug Fields was the real deal and David Nasser gave one of his stump speeches ( I have heard it before, it was encouraging) and Jay Strack was a walking commercial for his thing, Student Life U. All of this to say, Islands of Adventure/Universal Studios is stinko! I know I sound like a complainer and all. We went to Disney a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t help but notice how clean, concealed and complete they were. IoA and US was dirty, distracting and deficient. Now I see why Disney is light years ahead of anyone else when it comes to entertaining people. Its all about the details baby!

West Palm Beach to Miami – Every year Palm Beach Atlantic University asks us to transport short term mission teams to and from the Miami airport with our beautiful “Calvary Cruiser”. It amazes me that a simple trip that is only 67 miles takes almost 2 hours!! That’s ridiculous!! I did the math and you average a measly 33.5 MPH. Not too good on the gas mileage, huh? I remember back in the day (before I-95 was a war zone) sometimes it would take me only 55 minutes to get to the Orange Bowl from WPB. Those were the good ol’ days! Oh well. Enough of that.

LOST – What up with LOST and all of the repeats? I understand how TV works and all, with the sweeps and the 22 episode deals they have, but dang, how to lose momentum: show a new episode one week, then a repeat, then a new one, then a repeat. It’ll tick some people off (like me!) Because of this, my ultra-conservative dad says he will never watch the show again. He said “years ago they didn’t used to have repeats! There was a new episode every week!” I asked him to give me an example of a show “back in the day” that didn’t show repeats. The only thing he could come up with was, “I’m not watching that show anymore!” I think he’s ticked because he hasn’t solved it yet. Just a suspicion.

The Office – Another repeat! Fortunately I can watch this show over and over. The episode this week was the one about diversity training. It was so hilarious. Michael Scott (the main character) reminds me of Archie Bunker in some ways. I had watch this on Friday evening (props to TiVo) because of the aforementioned Summit trip. I love TiVo.

American Idol – I was unable to watch any of last weeks episodes. I just asked my wife who did good on the show and she would give me her run down of those who sucked and those who rocked. I would have to say All of the girls (except Mandisa), Kevin and Bucky suck. My picks so far have survived, Chris (the BALD guy! He will win), Mandisa (the only good girl) and Taylor (the gray haired dude with turret’s). Who are you picks?

Student Ministry – I have been doing youth ministry in some form or another for a long time. Usually church youth groups are very predictable. You know the typical church guys and girls. For a long time our ministry resembled a typical ministry. Not anymore. Over the past several months we have noticed an increased interest in our ministry from bisexual and Goth kids. They come every week now and they are inviting their friends. (Last week we had some girls making out; needless to say I had to break them up). A couple of weeks ago one of the Goth ring leaders accepted Jesus as his Savior. On Saturday we baptized another (he obviously accepted the Lord). We are starting to see the results of the time we spend on campus. I’m so thankful that the Lord is using our ministry to reach out to our community and the students here in a very unique way. Please pray for us.

Ministry: Why I Like Calvary Chapel.

March 13, 2006

In 1996 I was volunteering at a local church here in Palm Beach County. As a matter of fact I was leading a college ministry and enjoying it quite a bit. A friend of mine suggested I go attend a church in Ft. Lauderdale, just to check it out. Well, on a Saturday I decided to take a ride over to this church, and see what they do. I was blown away. Never had I seen so many normal people at church in my whole life, and the teaching, the guy taught from the Bible (the church where I was serving at, at the time occasionally studied the Bible). Needless to say, I was blown away by the whole experience. This was my first Calvary Chapel experience. Since then I have had the incredible opportunity to serve in a Calvary Chapel as a full time associate pastor. Here are 5 reasons why I like Calvary Chapel so much……

1. The Bible is Taught – not all CC’s are the same (from what I hear). I do know one thing that all CC’s do have in common: the Bible is taught. I love the commitment that my pastor has to teaching the Bible. I know every time we gather corporately and my pastor teaches, he won’t try and bring to the table some regurgitated Andy Stanley, Rick Warren or Bill Hybels message. He studies the Bible and teaches the Bible. Plain and simple. No bells and whistles, just the Bible. Pastor Chuck Smith was the first CC pastor and he has set an example for so many of us by just teaching the Bible.

2. The Organic Philosophy – this branches off of the previous comment, teach the Bible. It’s amazing how God raises so many people up naturally within the church as the Bible is taught. Over the past year a load of people left our church for various reasons, leaving a gaping whole in some places within the church. Well, amazingly enough, because the Bible is taught, many people have been moved by the Holy Spirit to step up in various ministries. It is the natural flow of things here. We didn’t have some blitz to fill the spots left open. We have left them open (and sometimes they naturally closed right up) until the right people are called and placed into these vacancies. It’s amazing how people are challenged and changed by the Bible and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

3. The Simplicity – Pastor Chuck Smith is known for the saying “Where God guides, God provides”. How simple! As our church has aged (we are now 8 years young) we have lived by this philosophy. I can’t tell you how many times my pastor has said this. We live this out by not taking an offering. We have tithe boxes in the back of the church. I know it may sound absurd, but we have never asked for money or taken up a special collection or anything. Our church has been committed to trusting the Lord to provide for all of our needs.

4. It’s Roots – in the ’60’s CC was birthed out of Chuck Smith and his heart to reach the hippies. Some of the guys he ministered with thought he was nuts. He was committed to making disciples. Out of the early CC movement many guys were raised up to do incredible ministry. The roots of CC were focused on ministering to a generation that was considered lost and unreachable.

5. Regular Guys – I love reading stories about some of the CC pastors. They are some former druggies, atheists, rockers, and legalists. Some were pastors in other denominations. It seems like a lot of CC pastors are just regular guys. This has been so refreshing to me. I come from a background that often times over looked men called into ministry because they didn’t fit the typical pastor mold.