Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: Welcome

Here's a list of words that should be banned in the year to come:

  • "Maverick"
  • "Staycation"
  • "Bailout"
  • "Wall Street"/"Main Street"
  • "Green" or "Going Green"
  • "Not so much"
  • "Carbon Footprint"
  • "First Dude"
  • "Icon" or "Iconic"
  • "Game Changer"

What words would you add to the list?

Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: Welcome

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kudos to Warren

Rick Warren's got everyone mad at him. Conservatives are cussin'. Fundamentals are fumin'. Liberals are livid. Warren's stirred up a hornets nest by accepting the invitation.

I, for one, am proud of Warren and glad to see Obama reaching out and continuing an ongoing dialogue of faith in the public arena. For twenty years I've been praying for a positive, constructive, and productive outworking of faith in politics. I'm amazed that it's a Democrat taking the lead reaching out to a leader that traditionally supports Republican policies.

Be careful. You just might get what you pray for.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Newton's Struggle with Prayer :: Desiring God

Do you struggle to pray regularly? You're not alone. Piper posted the following on his blog today...

imageIf you knew the struggles of the greatest of saints you might be heartened to press on in prayer in 2009.

John Newton (1725-1807)—slave trader, convert to Christ, author of “Amazing Grace,” pastor, fellow struggler—on a morning in April sometime between 1752 and 1756 wrote this:

Prayed over a part of the eighth of Romans in a way of paraphrase with some readiness. I greatly fail in the duty of meditation and am forced to use some artifice with myself to do it at all; thus sometimes I turn them into a prayer form, sometimes I suppose myself in imaginary conversation, sometimes that I am called upon to speak to a point. 

Without something of this sort I am not able to engage myself to attend with any fixedness of thought, and with it, alas! how seldom, I would remember to pray for grace and direction in this matter that my delight may be in the Law of God to meditate therein day and night. (John Newton, 91)

Newton's Struggle with Prayer :: Desiring God

Friday, December 26, 2008

Book Review: The Truth About You


Book title: The Truth about You
Author: Marcus Buckingham
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2008
Number of pages: 110

I've been told that you can't judge a book by it's cover. But I did and that put two strikes on the board.

Strike one: I don't know that I want to know the truth about me.

Strike two: I wasn't thrilled by the packaging. I felt like I was too much of a grown-up for the book's gimmicky feel. A DVD was shrink-wrapped to the front cover of the book and a blue and black spiral note pad was nested in the book's back cover. Numerals printed in a large font informed me of the order I was to proceed. The DVD is supposed to be watched first, the book read second, and third, practical exercises worked out on the spiral pad.

I felt a little too grown up to follow the order and didn't watch the DVD until I was about half way through the book.

I immediately enjoyed reading the book which is why I popped the DVD in. Buckingham gives the gist of the book in a video introduction. I would have had a different attitude about the book had I taken it in order. When lost, I'm rarely humble enough to ask for directions, but Buckingham put me back on course with engaging and interesting monologue.

The book is about doing what you love with your life. Buckingham says you don't find a job like that; you build it. And then he takes every quaint colloquialism managers use to herd us workers down the road to nowhere and turns them upside down.

  • "Your strengths aren't what you're good at, and your weaknesses aren't what you're bad at."
  • "When it comes to the job, the 'what' always trumps the 'why' or the 'who'."
  • "You'll never turn your weaknesses into strengths."

This is how he starts how a few of the chapters.

I handed this book to my twenty-one year old daughter and she loved the look and feel of the book. When I gave her a quick recap and her face lit up. She's excited to start the book.

So, I made a mistake judging this book before I read it. Buckingham knocks the ball out of the park. I'll probably by a stack of them to hand out to young people to help them to think through what it is they want to do and to give them a way to set some expectations for themselves vocationally.

Pick the book up and read it. Then give it away to a young person preparing for a new career path. And then treat yourself to a new copy.

YouTube - a tribute to bill


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

GSCF Talks & Sermons

imageLast month, not long after our historic election of Barack Obama as President, Bishop N.T. Wright was invited to Harvard to lecture on biblical hope. These are three lectures answer much deeper questions about hope than mere campaign slogans and political promises. The exciting thing is true, significant change is possible. Not easy. But with God's help, possible.

Give these talks a listen.

Reconstructing Hope: Why Do Good in a Hopeless World? (Listen)
Reconstructing Hope: What is Good in a World that Defies Hope? (Listen)
Reconstructing Hope: Doing Good: What Plus Hope Equals Change? (Listen)

GSCF Talks & Sermons

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Where's Santa?

On the wrong side of the Atlantic. HURRY UP!


Saint Nicholas | TheResurgence

imageWho was Saint Nick?

Nicholas was born in the third century in Patara, a village in what is now Turkey. He was born into an affluent family, but his parents died tragically when he was quite young. His parents had raised him to be a devout Christian, which led him to spend his great inheritance on helping the poor, especially children. He was known to frequently give gifts to children, sometimes even hanging socks filled with treats and gifts.

Perhaps his most famous act of kindness was helping three sisters. Because their family was too poor to pay for their wedding dowry, three young Christian women were facing a life of prostitution until Nicholas paid their dowry, thereby saving them from a horrible life of sexual slavery.

Nicholas grew to be a well-loved Christian leader and was eventually voted the Bishop of Myra, a port city that the apostle Paul had previously visited (Acts 27:5-6). Nicholas reportedly also traveled to the legendary Council of Nicea, where he helped defend the deity of Jesus Christ in AD 325.

Following his death on December 6, 343, he was canonized as a Saint. The anniversary of his death became the St. Nicholas holiday when gifts were given in his memory. He remained a very popular saint among Catholic and Orthodox Christians, with some 2,000 churches named after him. The holiday in his honor eventually merged with Christmas as they were celebrated within weeks of one another.

Reformation Controversy

During the Reformation, however, Nicholas fell out of favor with Protestants, who did not approve of canonizing certain people as saints and venerating them with holidays. His holiday was not celebrated in any Protestant country except Holland, where his legend as Sinterklass lived on. In Germany, Martin Luther replaced him with the Christ child as the object of holiday celebration, or, in German, Christkindl. Over time, the celebration of the Christ child was simply pronounced Kriss Kingle and oddly became just another name for Santa Claus.

Santa Myths

The legends about Santa Claus are most likely a compilation of other folklore. For example, there was a myth in Nicholas’ day that a demon was entering people's homes to terrorize children and that Nicholas cast it out of a home. This myth may explain why it was eventually believed that he came down people's chimneys.

Also, there was a Siberian myth (near the North Pole) that a holy man, or shaman, entered people's homes through their chimneys to leave them mushrooms as gifts. According to the legend, he would hang them in front of the fire to dry. Reindeer would reportedly eat them and become intoxicated. This may have started the myth that the reindeer could fly, as it was believed that the shaman could also fly. This myth may have merged with the Santa Claus myth and if so, explains him traveling from the North Pole to come down the chimney and leave presents on the mantle over the fireplace before flying away with reindeer.

These stories of Santa Claus were first brought to America by Dutch immigrants. In the early 20th century, stores began having Santa Claus present for children during the Christmas season. Children also began sending letters to the North Pole as the legends surrounding an otherwise simple Christian man grew.

Saint Nicholas | TheResurgence

Monday, December 22, 2008

YouTube - Partly Cloudy: The Rap


Jesus Is Still a Human :: Desiring God

This is an awesome reminder...

December 22, 2008  |  By: David Mathis
Category: Commentary
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 1: Biblical Foundations
Advent is a chance not only to celebrate Jesus’ taking of human flesh but also his keeping of it. It wasn’t a mere 33-year stint—impressive as that would have been. Jesus is forever the God-man. He is glorious not merely in assuming our human nature but in remaining our brother and continuing as the visible “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
To put it the apostle John’s language, the Word became flesh (John 1:14). His humanity isn’t a costume. The eternal divine Son didn’t simply make a cameo in the created world. He forever joined our humanity to his divinity and for all eternity will be fully God and fully man.
“As You Saw Him Go”
We get a glimpse of this at Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:9-11.
As [the disciples] were looking on, [Jesus] was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
He went up with a human body. He sits now in God’s presence in his humanity. And he will return “in the same way as you saw him go into heaven”—in his humanity.
Keeping the Form of a Servant
Philippians 2:5-8 speaks clearly about Jesus taking our likeness. But just as surely as he took it, so he also keeps it. In Philippians 3:20-21, Paul writes,
Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Jesus didn’t shed his human skin. He still has a body—a “glorious body,” a perfected human body, a body like we haven’t yet experienced but one day will experience when he transforms us.
The Man Christ Jesus
Paul also makes reference to Jesus’ continuing humanity in 1 Timothy 2:5.
There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Here Paul is writing after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, and he is not afraid to refer to Jesus in the present as “the man Christ Jesus.”
Jesus’ work as the perfect mediator between God and man is not only dependent on his death in history at the cross but also in his continuing life as a human. In his humanity, we are united to him by faith, and only in him are we united to God.

Jesus Is Still a Human :: Desiring God

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Calvary International Fellowship: Prayer Update

I'm posting this because I know some of you prayed for my friend Rick Deam...

Dear Friends,

Thank you for praying for the work here. Thank you for caring for us and the people of Kenya.

Please be in prayer for our Christmas outreaches. On Sunday afternoon we’ll have a time of fellowship and teaching. On Wednesday we’ll watch the Jesus Movie, which is totally appropriate considering we are currently going through Luke.

Please be in prayer as the Kimbo community is asking for a Bible study. Please also pray as Stephen oversees our youth and desires to spend image time ministering to them during their break in school.

Finally, thank you for praying for Rick, he is home with Jesus now, but please continue to pray for Ruth.



Calvary International Fellowship: Prayer Update

Christmas Claymation Rap |

Bubba's video is going viral... It's all over Facebook and other blogs are picking it up,

Christmas Claymation Rap |

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ESV Online Study Bible | Crossway

Psalm 138:6... For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

So... with whom should I associate?

  1. The Lord
  2. The lowly

The haughty person is the last I should want to associate or please or work for the attention of. So why am I so motivated to be around and to be like the one that craves the spotlight? Why am I not content to associate with the Lord and those that HE holds in high regard?

ESV Online Study Bible | Crossway

Aaron's Christmas Klaymation...

Here's the true meaning of Christmas from Aaron...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review: Holding Fast

image Holding Fast
Author: Karen James
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2008
Number of pages: 225

Karen James tells the story of losing her man to a mountain. Kelly James is a man’s man; a follower of Jesus, a lover of life, a godly dad, and hopeless romantic. He’s a mountaineer that’s straddled the world’s most famous summits. The final peak he mounted swallowed him up and refused to give him back to the family that waited for him. Kelly James was the kind of guy we dudes all wish we were like. Living for Christ is loving life. It’s not weakness in a man. It’s strength.

In the book, James let’s the reader experience her family’s desperation as a rescue operation is mounted to find her husband and his buddies while they are lost on Mt. Hood in the decade’s worst storm. Despite all of their skill, expertise, and meticulous planning, when its man is pit against nature, nature doesn’t throw in the towel. Nature does what nature will do.

But the family is not without hope. Or faith. And as the family talks of the faith and prayers from which they draw strength and hope, the nation is mobilized by their plight. Volunteers and resources from all over the country appear daily to pitch in to search for the three guys lost on mountain.

The author quotes Pastor Rick Warren as he’s interviewed by Larry King: “Larry, I used to think that life was a series of highs and lows, but I have come to realize there are always good things happening.”

James shares with readers that she was afraid of really jumping in with both feet with God, because she felt it would cost her something more than she could give. And then she lost her husband. But she wisely reminds us that “He decides how, when, and what we will have to face in life.” God’s purposes bring great reward, but often at a great cost. There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about being sold out to God. It takes passion and pain, strength and sacrifice. But that’s the only way to fully experience an abundant life.

James organizes the book well. She put incredible thought into how to tell the story so that the reader gets the best possible view of both the challenge of her faith and the triumph of her husbands.

This is a great read and I’d recommend it to both men and women who need a boost I their relationship with a spouse, a kid, or God.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Calvary International Fellowship: Please Pray for Rick

This is a re-post from my missionary buddy, Ed. Our friend Rick Dean is very sick. I met Rick the first time I went to South Sudan with FRM.

Rick was in the Navy and I was in the Marines so there is a fun rivalry between us. He used to say, "Yesterday I couldn't spell U.S.M.C. Today I are one."

Pray for my friend.


Below is an email concerning a dear friend that is very sick in the States. I first met Rick many years ago while in Sudan where he oversaw a Bible school for chaplains in the SPLA. Currently he and his wife Ruth serve God here in Nairobi in many ways. Rick is an assistant pastor at Living Water church and a representative for Firefighters for Christ, he also does Bible studies in various communities. Please pray for Rick. Please pray for his wife Ruth.

Rick handing out Bible teaching CD's.

From: Ron & Mary Nelson Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 4:18 AM
Subject: Rick Deam

Dear Ed -

    I don't know if you remember me - Mary Nelson ( I was there in Kenya for a year for a year with my four biological kids and one adopted).  Anyway, I'm writing to let you know, in case you don't know, that Rick Deam is in the hospital in California and it is very serious.  He is in ICU and has only 15% of his heart working. His liver and kidneys are shutting down.  Ruth is there with him.  Let me know if you need to  get on a chain-mail kind of update deal.  They sure need a special touch from the Lord!!!
In Him,

Calvary International Fellowship: Please Pray for Rick

#118 Ugly Sweater Parties « Stuff White People Like

imageWhy did Julia send me this link? Is she saying I don't know how to dress? Doesn't she know that my taste in sweaters comes from Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable of Cosby Show fame?

Don't get me an ugly sweater for Christmas or you'll end up in the Doghouse.

#118 Ugly Sweater Parties « Stuff White People Like

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your Impossible Task

Dear Men:

You have before you a daunting task: Christmas shopping for your wife.

Most of us wait til December 24th, just before the mall closes. We rush out and shop on pure adrenaline. Would you stop it? Just stop.

If you plan for nothing, worse than nothing will be your reward. You may get the DOGHOUSE.

The following video is meant to not just inform, not just to educate, but to warn.

Be warned my friends.

Thanks for the tip, Brad.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Re:Lit | Porn Again Christian | by Mark Driscoll | Chapter 5 - The "M" Word

It's been a while since I've posted anything to discuss about Driscoll's book on pornography and the men who enjoy it but shouldn't. What with my move and all, I've been pretty occupied.

So wouldn't you know it? I come back and the next chapter has to do with the one thing we guys don't like to talk about in mixed company. Which this blog is.

All I have to say about the subject is that all guys lied about it in high school.

My face is red as I type. Follow the link below to see what Driscoll wrote and tell me what you think about the Q and A he conducts in the chapter.

I tend to agree with what he says, but don't call it biblical advice because I guess biblical writers were too embarrassed by the topic, too, because they totally avoided it.

Thoughts? Are you braver than me about this topic?

Re:Lit | Porn Again Christian | by Mark Driscoll | Chapter 5

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I got nothin...

We're in the middle of unpacking and setting up a new place. Nothing is going to feel right until things are set up.

My wife is amazing, though. The charming and beautiful Susan is a blur as she sets up house and works the normal routine. I don't know how she does it. I'm disoriented. But she's a machine. I feel like I have feet of clay. She hovers.

Tomorrow Allie has her first appointment with Early Steps. I'll keep updates coming on that.

Other than that, I got nothin'.

Oh yeah... Here's a video Aaron shot last Saturday while we were getting set up. Thanks for the help moving us in Friday, you guys.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Slade's Artwork - a set on Flickr


I can't believe how long the Star Wars story has stayed current in our culture. Slade, whose art is featured above and at the below link to his Flickr account is six. I was eleven when I first read about Star Wars being developed in a scholastic newspaper. That was thirty-two years ago when I was in sixth grade.

Slade's Artwork - a set on Flickr

HT: BoingBoing

Monday, December 08, 2008

Book Review: The Great Omission


Book Title: The Great Omission
Author: Dallas Willard
New York, HarperCollins, 2006
Number of pages: 229

We are so concerned that Jesus be known as the Savior that we forget that He is the Greatest Teacher. Unfortunately, liberal scholars who are quick to deny that Jesus is God concede that He was a great teacher. Believers in Biblical fundamentals over the past 100 hundred years have distanced themselves from liberal scholarship, as they should, but have also distanced themselves from Jesus the Teacher only making Him known as God. But He is the Teacher who will teach us how to live this life and provide a way for the Kingdom of God to invade the earth.

One of Willard’s main points is that grace is opposed to earning, not effort.

“We find it hard to see that grace is not opposed effort, but it is opposed to earning. Earning and effort are not the same thing. Earning is an attitude, and grace is definitely opposed to that. But it is not opposed to effort. When you see a person who is caught on fire by grace, you are apt to see some of the most astonishing efforts you can imagine.”

Willard makes a compelling argument for the value and necessity of disciple making in church rather than church centric member molding and holding.

This book is intended for church leaders and influencers. The last thing Jesus told His followers to do is to make disciples. Willard writes that the word disciple appears 269 times in the New Testament while the word Christian only appears three. But the modern day (or post-modern, if you prefer) church focuses on making Christians rather than disciples.

A disciple is not a Christian version 2.0; it’s not a Christian with upgrades. Disciples are all we read about in the Acts and the Epistles. Not merely converts postponing living in the presence of Christ until the life here after, but students of the Greatest Teacher ever in the here and now who understand that living in the presence of Christ happens now. Doing what Christ did doesn’t earn us heaven; it gets us ready for it. “Not to earn it, but to know it. And, of course, finding the Kingdom of God is living the rule and reign of God in our lives,” writes Willard.

This book will be used as a text book for practical disciple making. Pick it up if you’re interested in obeying the Great Commission.

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Author, 9, reveals how to pick up girls - TODAY: People -

imageHave you heard about this kid? Nine year old Alec Greven has a book out about picking up girls. Where was this wisdom when I was getting beat up by girls on the playground in elementary school. Why do you think I went into the Marines?

A couple of nuggets from Alec:

  1. Don't try and make girls love you. Just make them like you. And,
  2. the class clown never gets the girl.

So that was the problem. This information could have saved me a ton of frustration during my adolescence (which is just now coming to an end).

By the way... don't tell the charming and beautiful Susan that the class clown never gets the girl.

Author, 9, reveals how to pick up girls - TODAY: People -

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Home Church

image I slipped in a little after church service started at Calvary Chapel Jupiter. It's been almost two years since I enjoyed worship with my CCJ family. We have missed our family so much. I feel like we're back from a season in the wilderness.

We drove back into town on Friday. As we drove through Martin County into Palm Beach County, it felt like we were never gone. Today, connecting with old friends, I had the same feeling. The awesome new facility and new faces were the only reminders that we'd been gone.

Thanks for the great homecoming, you all.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

Palm Bay

We made it to the home of the parents of the charming and beautiful Susan late yesterday afternoon. It was an emotional, hug-filled reunion. We didn't get it on video.

Charity is up in Gainesville.

Allie was a little over whelmed last night after so many days on the road so her and I had to go to bed early. Pray that today goes more smoothly. We only have about two hours of travel time this morning. We have a 9:00am appointment for breakfast and then we unload the Uhaul at ten.

No videos today. Sorry.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Macon is where we'll eat bacon this morning.

Not really. We'll probably have breakfast in Florida somewhere. Nine AM is when we usually start looking for a Denny's. I just couldn't resist making the stupid, obvious rhyme with "Macon".

Here's what our day will look like: we'll stop in Gainesville, (B), sometime before noon to drop Charity and her junk off. That's where she's going to live. Then we'll drive another three hours to Palm Bay, (C), to spend the night with the parents of the charming and beautiful Susan (sometimes I refer to them as the "In-laws"), and then, in the morning, we'll arrive bright and early at our new apartment in Riviera Beach, (D), to unload the Uhaul.

Having this trip close to over puts me in a pretty good mood.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Little Rock

We found ourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas, last night. This is a beautiful part of the country. I haven't traveled through this part of the country since I was nine years old.

Tonight we'll push through to Macon, GA.


Here's Aaron's version of day three:

and yesterday...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Baby Dedication

Just a quick note: Allie will be dedicated to the Lord (Christened) on January 18, 2009, at Calvary Chapel Jupiter at the 11am service.


We arrived in Amarillo, TX, last night. We had an incredible Italian dinner last night in our hotel room. Allie has been sleeping like a log which helps us get a good night's rest. Charity and Aaron are both so helpful. We absolutely could not do as well as we are doing without their contributions to the cause.

Today's goal is Little Rock.


Here's another of Aaron's little creations produced before we left Eureka...

While searching for the above video, I noticed Aaron posted a video of our second day on the road...