Friday, June 30, 2006

Can I Keep Him, Mom?

This is Pastor Dan riding a camel in Jericho. He's leading a team from our church on a tour of Israel (we couldn't have picked a better time).

Is that a parking lot in the back ground? Is that where the wall used to be before Joshua's invasion?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New Picture of Ali

This is Ali Rae's baby picture that they take in the hospital. She's there for one more night. They needed to keep both her and Charity one more night. Everybody should be coming home tomorrow.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Grandpa Mondok

I used to think of Grandpa Mondok as my dad's dad. He passed away before I was one. Then, we used to refer to my dad as "Grandpa Mondok". Now I'm Grandpa Mondok.

Charity had little Ali Rae this morning at 11:39. Charity was such a trooper. I was so proud of her.

Below are a bunch of pictures I uploaded straight to my blog from the hospital via my cell phone. Ali was only a few minutes old when I took these.

6 pounds, 15 oz.
19 inches
born 11:39am; 26 June 2006
West Palm Beach, FL

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Latest Charity Update

My daughter, Charity, will be induced into labor tomorrow.

For those of you that have been checking this blog for a while, you remember when Charity was having complications causing hospitalization a few months ago.

We asked you to join us in prayer back then that Charity would make it full term and she has. So thanks for praying.

Tomorrow I'll be a grandpa.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Congo's Killing Fields

I’m signed up for emails from Christianity Today. What came in my email today was all about Congo.

Africa is a mess? Africa is an opportunity.

Here are some quotes pulled from the article. (source)

"Christians should not run from trouble," says Lusi, now director of HEAL Africa, an indigenous ministry that operates a 156-bed hospital, trains medical professionals, and offers HIV-prevention services and holistic AIDS care.
"We should be where God wants us to be."

Music is another lack that is sorely felt. "Congolese love music," explains pastor Levi Nyamanda. "But all our music instruments were looted."
The most basic supplies are lacking. Not one of the 19 pastors in attendance has a complete Bible. Ten have tattered portions. They borrow Scriptures from each other or from church members.
And financial support? The question triggers a chuckle. Due to deep poverty, local giving peaks at US$10 per month. So how do they survive? More laughter.
"Faith," asserts one pastor. Others nod.

Outside, a teenager with a rusty AK-47 on his shoulder roams the streets. We wonder: How many people has he killed? No one knows. No one dares ask.

"Prayer is the only weapon we have," says pastor Innocent Malemu.

Links to other Congo related articles:

Born Again and Again | 'Jesus gives us strength,' says a Congolese pastor.
From Rape to Rebuilding | Women persevere in the Congo despite daunting obstacles.
Gospel Work in Time of War | Who says evangelism has to stop during conflict?
Glimpses of God in Africa | Reporting from the heart of darkness.

Previous Christianity Today coverage of the Congo includes:
Uncivil War | Missionary tells of horrors in strife-torn Congo. (July 25, 2005)
Roadblocks to Mercy | Congolese Christians won't allow a civil war to curtail outreach, church-planting. (Dec. 22, 2000)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chicks and Porn

Pete Kim has another great post on his blog (Pete's blog is bad to the bone).

This article was written by bloggerette, Anne Jackson. She wrote an article about her struggle, AS A GIRL, with cyber-porn. She grew up the daughter of a pastor (why are those pastor's daughters so nuts?).

Go over and check out her article in Relevant Magazine...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Donald Miller Podcast

I've been listening to Donald Miller's podcasts lately and have been enjoying them tremendously.

I read Miller's book, To Own a Dragon, a couple of months ago, and thought it was great. In one of the podcasts Miller has, he reads from the book. I thought the book was funny, but Donald's reading of the book had me laughing out loud.

Warning Label

This photo has been floating around blogland:

My blog-brother-from-another-mother referenced the label on his blog.

Here's a closer look at the label.

So the question being put out to Christians is this: how do we explain this label to non-christians?

First: you can't take the warning seriously: It's not a work of fiction. One must make a decision to take the Bible as literally as possible. Vewing the Bible as fiction is the root of the problem. In fact, viewing it as fiction is more ignorant than the statements made in the "Exposure Warning."

Second: I love the "Content Advisory". If it was a movie, it would have to be rated "R". That would make the Bible a best seller.

Oh, yeah. It already is.

The bottom line is that this book is God's Story about Him reaching out to man. All of the bad stuff listed in the label is the obvious proof that man has a broken relationship with God.

In the Garden of Eden, Man was given the option of having a planet where God was God resulting in a perfect place to live and raise a family. But Man decided that God's rules must be some kind fiction and decided to be god themselves. (Listen to Ravi Zacharias' podcast this week).

Thus the label's "Content Advisory".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Caffein Buzz

Coke with coffee.

That's what I'm talkin' about.

Parting Christians from Thier Cash

There’s a line in the book Body Piercing Saved My Life that I love:

"Advertising executives would slide naked down a splintery board to reach these people."

This line was used to describe the marketing opportunity to the of hip, twenty-something demographic/culture at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

More and more, the Church is seen as a group to be marketed to. For some reason, this really rubs me the wrong way. Passion of Christ movie theater deals, Chronicles of Narnia sermon kits and contests, Napoleon Dynamite Youth Bible Study Kits, the DaVinci Code cottage industry of books and church group studies are the examples that are fresh and come to mind easily. Christian and secular book stores and companies alike are cashing in.

CNN wrote an article about the Christian overtones in the latest Superman movie Superman Returns. They site all of the similarities in the Superman myth with the Biblical Messiah, Jesus Christ.

How do you feel about being seen as part of a demographic that Hollywood cashes in on?
How do you feel when Hollywood spurns the input of Bible believers when it produces disgusting rubbish and calls it art, collects an award, and calls Christians cavemen?

Any thoughts?

Am I just a stick in the mud?

Über Christ Follower Bobby Michaels

There are guys that talk about doing it and then there are guys that go out and get it done. Bobby Michaels goes out and gets it done.

Bobby is an Inspirational Gospel Music recording artist. He’s had a number of hits on gospel radio stations including “I Know the Plans” and “New Man”. The record project these cuts come from was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002.

He has worked with a number of artists that had airplay when I was growing up: B.J. Thomas, Freddie Fender, Linda Ronstadt and even Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

Recently, Bobby spoke at a breakfast for our church’s men’s group. Bobby spoke of a conversation he had with Brother Andrew aka God’s Smuggler. Brother Andrew asked him, “Bobby, what will be your legacy?

Bobby began to list his entertainment accolades.

Brother Andrew said, “Those things are nice, but not eternal. What will survive when the elements of this earth are heated up and melted in the fires of God?”

Bobby: None of my gold records, awards, or music projects. Only the souls I’ve taken to Heaven with me.

Bobby believes the message of the Gospel. He talks and sings about it from his heart in places on this planet that missionaries and performers have little opportunity to go. He gives the message of Christ with the understanding that this may be his only shot. In Cuba, North Korea, Communist China, and war-torn Cambodia he’s had an open door to give the message of Christ.

Bobby’s life is an open challenge to musicians whose talent was given to them by God. “What will be your legacy?” Will you pursue only what enriches yourself? Or will you sow what God has given in His work?

I heard this home-spun bromide lately: “This guy was born on third base, but takes credit for hitting a triple.” That’s how many gifted people behave. They think they are self-made… as if one can make one’s self.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's Hip to be Cool: The Christian Music Industry

Christianity Today has a couple of realy good articles about the Christian Music Industry this week.

The first article is about what it takes to market one's self as a "cool" Christian band.

Being a "cool" Christian is a pretty tall order. As mid-life crisis lands on me with it's full weight, I find myself wasting way too much time trying to market myself as hip. I think I'll feel relieved when I fainally give up the losing battle. Just a side-note :)

Take a couple of minutes an read the article. (source)

The second article, The Kingdom of Rock is at Hand, is a great read. Patton Dodd, the article's author has been reading my mail:

Show me an evangelical between the ages of 15 and 50, and I'll show you an evangelical who can tell this story (or something much like it): I used to listen to secular music, then I discarded it all and listened only to Christian music. Then I realized I didn't like much Christian music, so I slowly started listening to secular music again. Now I listen to the David Crowder Band in the mornings and Radiohead on the drive home.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

iPoop Accessories

I saw this today over on Jason's blog. What a hoot!

Now you can enhance your experience in any room with your favorite music with the iCarta iPod Toilet Paper Holder. Seen on the Drudge Report, the Daily Mail and more. Order today.

"Halen" or "Hagar"?

My blog nemesis, ChrisG, left me a comment on a recent post with the obvious intention of picking a fight.

He made the absurd statement that Van Halen was better with Sammy Hagar than David Lee Roth.

I know! I'm thinking exactly what you're thinking: "That guy's nuts!"

But just to be fair, why don't you leave a comment affirming that you stand with me in my correct opinion.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

David Lee Roth a Little Bit Country?

You've got to be kidding? I'm amazed that some people don't just go away. I was sad, twenty years ago, when David Lee Roth, left Van Halen. But I got over it. Nineteen years and 364 days ago.

I was reading a new bloggers post this morning and cam across a link to this article.

David Lee Roth

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Beer Dethroned

The other day I posted an opinion about Mac computers and Mac marketing and Mac guys in general with a not very nice attitude.

Today is the day I eat humble pie. My ears are burning because I hear all of you Mac people saying, “I told you so.”

For a rare occasion in history, something in the universe is more popular than beer.

Unbelievable, I know. But it’s probably no surprise to the marketing people over at Apple who brought you Mac Colors, Mac Silver, Mac White, and now Mac Black products, but the rest of us, especially PC guys, are astonished. College students across the country have said that the iPod is more “in” than beer (source).

Only one time has anything been more popular than beer. For a short time, the Internet was more “in” than beer. That was in 1997. But in 1997, more people had beer access than Internet access, so way to go Internet.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Über Christ Follower Doug Snow

Doug Snow befriended me, encouraged me, and was a brother to me in one of the loneliest and confusing seasons of my life.

In 1996, I went to Longview, WA, to plant a Calvary Chapel. It was a difficult and friendless endeavor. Church planting can be like that. I was in Washington for two years with my family. Me, a couple from the apartment upstairs, and another couple that lead worship met for two years in my apartment. The couple from upstairs quit coming to the Bible study. I offended them somehow. The Bible study rarely expanded beyond us two couples.

I never understood why that happened. What was God’s purpose in bringing us from Florida to Washington? I could never figure it out.

I don’t think I’m supposed to. But we do need to stick by each other and be willing to encourage somebody even when answers aren’t available. That’s how Jesus appeared to me through Doug Snow, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Southeast Portland.

I ran into him last week in Southern California at a pastors’ conference. He’s a guy who stuck with me, closer than a brother in a difficult and confusing time.

Doug may not know this, but he taught me about pettiness. When pastors, leaders, are petty with one another, I still must love and encourage and be a brother. I never have the right to judge. Or I will be judged. It’s more likely that my sin will come to light before anyone else’s.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Optical Trippin'

Follow this link to check out this optical effect. When you get there, stare at the dot in the middle of the photo for thirty seconds. Move the mouse over the photo while staring at the dot. The picture is now in color. Look away, and it's in black and white.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Is a Twelve Step Program Needed for Bloggers?

I was reading a book I picked up at Barnes & Nobles today: Blogosphere: Best of Blogs and copied the following from page 293 into this post:

This is where blogger addiction or burnout kick in. Everyone jokes about blogger burnout, but its real, if not taken seriously. Symptoms may include
  • Complulsion to post several times a day
  • Conduct all social interactions online with new blog friends
  • Realization that you live most of the time in your head, thinking of new, fresh material for your blog
  • Spend most of your work hours surfing the Web or working on our blog, failing to effectively manage your time
  • Start engaging in fueds with annoying people who leave comments on a regular basis or pick fights with fellow bloggers
  • Obsessively check your site visit statistics, comments, or trackback pings
  • Resentful feelings for your blog, which results in posts that grow increasingly bitter, cryptic, or hostile

Congress About to Surrender Internet to Highest Bidders

It's in an environment of lobby scandals that Congress readys itself to allow the internet to be parcelled out to communications corporations with the disingenuously-named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE). The House voted 321 to 101 for the bill, which does not include meaningful network-neutrality protections creates an opening that powerful telephone and cable companies hope to exploit by expanding their reach. They will be given incredible control with the ability to funnel internet subscribers and users in the direction they choose.

(SOURCE)"Congress is about to cast a historic vote on the future of the Internet. It will decide whether the Internet remains a free and open technology fostering innovation, economic growth and democratic communication, or instead becomes the property of cable and phone companies that can put toll booths at every on-ramp and exit on the information superhighway..."

"The protections that guaranteed network neutrality have been law since the birth of the Internet -- right up until last year, when the Federal Communications Commission eliminated the rules that kept cable and phone companies from discriminating against content providers..."

"More than 60 percent of Web content is created by regular people, not corporations. How will this innovation and production thrive if creators must seek permission from a cartel of network owners?"

"The smell of windfall profits is in the air in Washington. The phone companies are pulling out all the stops to legislate themselves monopoly power. They're spending tens of millions of dollars on inside-the-Beltway print, radio and TV ads; high-priced lobbyists; coin-operated think tanks; and sham "Astroturf" groups -- fake grass-roots operations with such Orwellian names as Hands Off the Internet and"

"They're opposed by a real grass-roots coalition of more than 700 groups, 5,000 bloggers and 750,000 individual Americans who have rallied in support of net neutrality at . The coalition is left and right, commercial and noncommercial, public and private. Supporters include the Christian Coalition of America,, National Religious Broadcasters, the Service Employees International Union, the American Library Association, AARP and nearly every consumer group. It includes the founders of the Internet, the brand names of Silicon Valley, and a bloc of retailers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Coalitions of such breadth, depth and purpose are rare in contemporary politics."

"Most of the great innovators in the history of the Internet started out in their garages with great ideas and little capital..."

Here's another link to an informative post...

My boy, Jeff,
blogged about this before anybody in the frickin' universe!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Number of the Beast

I was catching up on my blog reading this evening. I was out of town at a conference earlier this week and stayed off the internet. Imagine that.

While at the conference Wednesday night, the speaker came out and said, "this is the sixth day of the sixth month of '06."


Anyway, check out this post I found tonight from Wednesday: (SCOURCE)

666: You Do The Math

Its the 6th day of the 6th month on the 6th year of a new century and its also a great day to freak out Christians. The fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Thats a big word. And possibly the biggest Technorati tag ever created. Google No. 1 rated site is 666Watch and Wikipedia have a page.


I remember when Marc Van Der Woude freaked us all out with this article.

For the record, I am old enough to remember 1984 when there was a lot of hype about 666 and the mark of the beast and all those books on eschatology that got left behind in bookstores in the early eighties. Today is a day to bring back that hype. Riddleblog asks who people think the antichrist is. USA Today has some thoughts about 666 and not getting left behind and Purgatorio has some images like this one.


But will it really happen one day? Read on for the actual passage from the Bible . . and you do the math.

Technorati Tags: ,

Revelation 13:

11Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mac Snobbery

Mac guys are in a class all by themselves. Right now, all you Mac guys are saying, "You got that right."

And all you PC guys are saying, "You got that right."

If you have a problem with your PC (I think PC stands for Planet’s Choice), the Mac guy will just roll his eyes, give you a condescending “I told you so” look, and give you the Mac Mantra, “shoulda boughta mac.”

The gadget guru bloggers out there are having a wet dream over this new black Mac. They tell you that Macs are more integrated, that people doing any kind of credible audio/visual work use a Mac. It has a “fire wire”. It has an “airport”. It has really neat icons that magnify when you mouse over them. Neato. Now it comes in black.

First, Mac colors.

Next: White.

Now: Black.

That’s innovation.

That’s slick marketing. Some guys are so ga-ga over the black Mac that they totally forgot they have the white Mac (that’s how I got mine cheap). White is yesterday’s news.

“Wow. It’s black.”

AC/DC marketed that color twenty-six years ago.

One guy I know is begging his wife to let him buy the new one. But she won’t let him. So he’s resorted to leaving it in places hoping that it’ll get stolen. He leaves his car windows with the old fashioned white Mac sitting on the passenger seat. But nobody wants that old white Mac. They did snake his car’s sound system, though, along with his new black iPod plugged into it.

I think it’s predetermined in the gene of a Mac guy. The gene used to be called the “Nerd Gene”. If you have this gene, you may have owned a Commodore 64 or Amiga 500 or played Pong.

“I heard the new Macs don’t get viruses,” sad one Mac guy to another.

That may or not be true, but the Mac guys I know are always sick or sickly. That come from a weaker gene pool.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Free Media

I brought home a stack of CDs from the library yesterday to load into my iPod. The library near my house has a pretty descent selection of CDs and DVDs. On top of the stack are albums from Pat Benatar, Jimi Hendrix, and Meat Loaf. These are all tunes from my middle school and high school years. Some of the Hendrix tracks were cut in 1967. I was in my terrible two’s when Hendrix began making a name for himself. Where were you?

Tracks on these discs include Heartbreaker, You Better Run, Treat Me Right from Benatar, Purple Haze, Hey Joe, Castles Made of Sand, by Hendrix, and Meat Loaf’s Two out of Three Ain’t Bad and Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

Meat Loaf is a great performer. Not only is he an amazing singer, he’s played some pretty quirky characters in movies like The Rocky Horror Show and Fight Club.

So here’s a question for you: Is it illegal to borrow media from the library and copy it into iTunes for my listening pleasure? “Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.” That’s what it says on the back of the Hendrix disc, anyway.

I quote Steve Urkel and ask, “Did I do that?

Back when Benatar and Meat Loaf were still popular, my buddy Steve Parker and I used to tape each other’s albums on cassette. We’d make compilation cassettes of just guitar solos and drum solos from live albums (Peter Criss’ solo during God of Thunder on Kiss Alive II was the favorite). From the money we earned from mowing lawns, running paper routes, and washing cars, Parker and I split the cost of albums and blank cassettes and taped all the new stuff that came out. We thought we were earning our way. We didn’t think we were doing something illegal.

I never even knew that it was against the law to record an album and give the tape away until I started going to church. Buck and Dottie Rambo were featured music guests singing their down home country style of gospel. As they made the pitch to sell their music to continue blessing ourselves and possibly our friends, they reminded all of us that it was not “Christian” to make recordings of the merchandise we buy. If we want to bless our friends, the artist should share in the blessing, too.

That was news to me.

I thought to myself, Is there another reason to own a cassette recorder?