Monday, December 31, 2007

My New Wheels

Well, they were my "new" wheels for the weekend. This is the vehichle that we rented to go to the retreat. This was my "economy" car from Enterprize. I "digged" the free upgrade since they did not have an economy car. It drove very nice but I was shocked at the lackluster amount of power. I was expecting some muscle. I guess that is why you need a HEMI.

Out at the Sk8 Park

The boys got Fusions for Christmas. Today (due to us traveling and me at the camp retreat) was the first day that we were able to get to the park. I am going to put 3 videos up for your viewing pleasure (hopefully the one does not embarrass Jacob too much).

Isaiah and Jacob riding the park (23 seconds)

Isaiah Going Down the Ramp (14 seconds)

listen to the words of Jacob at the end ... it will be needed for the next video

Jacob ... Not Quite Ready (22 seconds)

2007 Is Behind Us

The great thing about driving and looking forward is that you can see what is ahead of you but you can also glance and see what is behind of you. Well, for me today, I look ahead and see that 2008 is right upon me and 2007 is behind me. My eyes are focused ahead and waiting to see what is going to be around each turn and hill in 2008. But I want to briefly take a glance in the mirror and see what happened in '07.

2007 was a roller coaster ride year for our family. Stacey had a battle with her Crohn's. It knocked her down for awhile and it occurred without insurance which caused a royal nightmare. However, we were able to get her back on her feet.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we had a very short tenure in Indiana and we made another move and ministry change. In June, we packed up the house in Lafayette, Indiana and made the move to Wooster, Ohio.

The boys had to adjust to another new school in a different state. Thankfully, they adjusted to the transition well. Unfortunately, I think that they did it well because they had to make one between their 1 & 2 grade year as well (Alabama to Indiana).

However, the last 6 months of 2007 were wonderful. We settled into a fantastic community and a wonderful church that has showered us with love. We have begun living in a great community and connecting with the community through various avenues. We began to take many strides and touches on the church and the ministry responsibilities that I oversee. We are so looking forward to '08 at Zion.

My family has wonderful health care coverage and health care providers through the Cleveland Clinic. They are all doing well and the monitoring is going great. I am so thankful that Stacey and Bethany are able to be under their care.

As I mentioned, it was a brief glance back because we are looking forward and moving on into '08. We are excited to see what it brings. We look forward to church, the schools and all the extra-curricular activities that the kids are able to participate in and will be participating in. We also are looking forward to the ways that we will be able to serve our new home community.

2008, let's rock.

No Turning Back

This weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Hopwood, Pennsylvania. In Hopwood, there is a beautiful camp in an amazing setting. The camp is called: Jumonville. It is a camp that has historic value to our nation as well. However, I did not go there for the history lesson. I went out there to help lead a weekend retreat. The youth ministry was SMX and they are part of the Greensburg First UM Church. the group of students there was wonderful.

Brad did a great job of putting the theme together for the week. He gave me four messages/lessons to develop and place into the overall theme of the week.

I will Not Give Up (Friday Night)
I Will Not Let Up (Saturday Morning)
I Will Not Back Up (Saturday Night)
I Will Not Shut Up (Sunday Morning)

I think that each of the lessons and sessions went pretty well. I am still waiting for some feedback from some of the critiques. I had the opportunity to take two of my students from Zion with me. I am thinking about (in the fall) using the method that I used there (the retreat) for Sunday School or for a week night event. Thus, I will be interested in hearing their response and see if they believe that this might work in our current setting; I am not quite sure.

I changed up a few things with each session. I am going to give each session a seperate post and give highlights of the message lay out and the main points of the talk. Maybe someone here could use them ...... But, it is also just for me to have them in my memory bank :)

Wow ... it is the last day of 2007 ... maybe I will do a year in review.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Heading Out ....

We arrived back home around 6 pm from our trip to Illinois. After getting the car unpacked, I went over to the church to check in on the room renovation at the church. We are changing up a few things in high school room. When I get back from my trip, I will post some pics. After the church visit, I came home for an hour+ to watch some of the Texas / Arizona State game. ASU got it handed to them. I also went to Wal-Mart to make a resource run. I needed to buy a few items for the weekend trip that I am headed out on.

Tomorrow afternoon or in about 11 1/2 hours, I will be heading over to Hopwell, Pennsylvania. I will be speaking / leading 4 teaching sessions for a retreat. I am also taking 2 of the students from Zion. I am looking forward to this weekend. I am looking forward to doing some teaching and I am looking for some time away at camp and I am looking forward to the time with two of the students. The lessons / teaching times were already themed out; so I have been preparring messages that go with their theme.

Upon my return, I will give the four themes and how I approached the sessions. I am hoping that everything will run smoothly. I put this 4-part series together a lot quicker than I normally would and I did it over a holiday period.

Thus, on Monday, I will try to catch up with my posting. I will give more details on the church service, Christmas, the trip in general and the weekend in Pennsylvania.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you.

I hope that today is a fantastic day.

We are having a great time in Illinois. The kids loved their Christmas and Stacey's family is over for a wonderful lunch feast. I can't wait.

Cheers to you.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

In Illinois

We arrived in Illinois late Friday night. The drive was uneventful for us for the most part. There was misty rain, bad fog, a carthat caught on fire that stopped us for 30 mins .... but he travel overall was good and we even took a dinner break at Cracker Barrel.

Saturday was our family day. Stacey's brother and wife was in and Stacey's dad's brother and mom were at the house. We had tons of food and the kids received their christmas presents. It was a fun and relaxing day.

I have also been previewing my lessons/messages for the retreats. I am preparing 4 of them. 2 of them are going well, the other 2 are moing along. I am having major problems with the computer and software though and I want to chuck it :) Don't worry, I am not chucking it. I am hoping that I can figure it out though. I need to give Eric a call from Alabama.

Today we went to church at Second Church of Christ in Danville (will blog about that later) and then went out to lunch. This afternoon, I have been reading and checking scores via yahoo.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Church Arrogance ?

We were traveling back to Ohio tonight and on our way back, we saw a church (well, we say a number of them) that caught our eye. It was their sign. Stacey was the one that actually spotted it. She told me what it said. I had to stop and take a picture of it. Maybe arrogance is not the right word to use in the title.

However, there is just something that "rubs" me when I see or hear a church that say, "you need us". Maybe, it is just me ... what says you ?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Family Confirmation

Family Confirmation that is what I am investigating. We have just recently finished our first quarter of confirmation here at Zion and I am re-evaluating. I think that we may need to be making some whole-sale changes.

Now for those of you from Zion, sit back and take a few deep breaths. This is not a guarantee. It is not a definite. But it is a sincere investigation and I am hoping to have a proposal on the table for the Jan or Feb council meeting.

There are numerous reasons for the change but if we go this route, the main one is going to be taking a look at it from the biblical perspective - putting it (teaching the faith) back in the hands of the parents. We will do this cautiously and have numerous steps in place to make it easy and not overwhelming for the parents.

The parents will also be "facilitators". Using the technology that is available to us, we will still be providing the teaching via media resources. However, the parents will be the one "in-charge" and "guiding" the process.

I am looking forward to getting on this project as soon as Jan turns on the calendar and seeing what resources that we might be able to pull off to make this dream a reality.

What a Morning ....

Yup, it was one of those mornings. It was a pull your hair out morning. In the scheme of things, maybe it was not too bad but this is what occurred. We had staff meeting at 10 am and there were a few things that I needed to get ready for the meeting. Thankfully, I got a lot done yesterday evening before council.

When we woke up this morning, Stacey was not feeling good. Thus, the first small wrench was put into the day, but nothing that would make it a pull your hair out day.

I woke everyone up, pulled out some cereal, directed them to the clothes and was making sure that they got ready. Stacey was up enough to do Bethany's hair .. dad doing that in the morning for a doctor appointment is not good ( at least not for this dad ).

There was ice on the windows of the car, so I went out to scrape them off. The game plan was to get the kids in the car. I was going to drop the boys off at school, take Bethany to the doctors and then drop her off at the house and get to church for staff meeting .....

Well, I decided that I would turn the car on after I scrapped the windows. I would then go inside and get everyone out. By the time we got to the car - 3 mins ? ... the car was dead. I tried and tried and it would not start. It looked like we were out of gas. The gas light had been on ( I was not aware of this ). So, I take the kids inside.

I go out to the garage and see if we have gas in the gas can. We had about a half gallon. I put it in the car. I tried to start it. It almost starts. The car is on an incline, so that is not helping - gas is moving all to the front.

We cancel the doctor appointment and I walk the kids to school. When I get back, I try to uncover my van from the ice / snow. It was a little harder because it had been there for a few of the storms. After finally getting it defrosted, I start it up. Did I tell you that the transmission is almost out on this van. I jerked back and forth in the fan most of the way there .. it was a rough ride.

I get to the gas station and fill up the container and head back home - jerking back and forth all the way home. When I get out to Stacey's van; I try to put the gas in her van. The lid on the container breaks and spills all over my hands and wrist.

I was able to get enough gas into the car to start it up. I then drive to the gas station and fill her car up with $ 55 in gas. I then drive home and get ready to head over the church .. What an hour it was for me.

I get to church and print off some of the materials that I needed. The rest of the day was the following:

10:00 - 12:00 Staff
12:00 - 12:30 Unload Items to Youth Room (Project)
12:30 - 2:30 Volunteering at the Free Clinic
2:30 - 3:15 Youth Ministry Retreat Preperation
3:15 - 3:45 Pick Up Boys
3:45 - 4:15 Work on my Teaching Lessons
4:15 - 6:45 Went to Edgewood Basketball game (Cheer on Zach)

Now, a little blogging before dinner.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bye Bye ... Rich

Hey, he can almost wear the same colors. Hope you have fun in Michigan. I can not believe he took off and how he did it. Oh well, I enjoyed your offense and the recruits that you brought in, but I think that your coaching and play calling cost us the opportunity to play in the National Championship game.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You're Nothing But a Bunch Of ....

You are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites who are only focused on getting people saved. You are a bunch of homo-phobia sheltered individuals who are too political and are judgmental freaks.

There you go. It is now out in the open.

The Barna group has come out with their newest study and their findings from a new book called: UnChristian:What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity.

There were six broad themes that are the most common points of skepticism and objections raised by outsiders.

1. Hypocritical
2. Too Focused on Getting Converts
3. Anti-Homosexual
4. Sheltered
5. Too Political
6. Judgmental

The thing that once again gets to me is that we (Christians) are perceived for what we are against (or they think we are against) rather than what we are for. Of course, it could be do to the fact that we do that quite abit.

We are good at telling them what we are against. They see us boycotting The Golden Compass, they see us holding signs that say ABORTION KILLS, they see us carry signs that say Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve *rolls eyes* and the list can go on forever.

It would be nice if we were known for our "love". Yup, that cheesy song that we use to sing. Wow, it would be great if we did live that out and people (outside the church) would see us for us loving each other and *gasp* loving them as they are.

Take the challenge. Grab one of the six broad themes and talk and discuss ways that we can overcome the perseption. The one that I am going to take is # 4 - Sheltered.

In the study, people think that we are out of touch with reality. They also believe that we do not respond to reality in appropriate complex ways. They also do not believe that we are willing to deal with the grit / grime of people's lives.

Well, I think they pretty much hit it on the head. We are the champions of pat answers, throwing out key scriptures (God's will) and our 3 step sermons and 7 keys to success and everything will be alright.

It is tough to step out of our comfort zone and live in their lives. It takes time and energy to walk and journey with them. Life is messy. There may not be a light at the end of the tunnel. There may not be a rose ready to bloom. We may not have the right words to say. There may be nothing but silence. But, we are there with them. We are living with them in their reality. We can / should do what Bonhoeffer wasy, "we need to be place-sharers".

Can we get out of our Christian Bubble ? Can we see the world for as it really is ? Can we truly be willing to loe and expose ourselves so we can be with them.

Let's take a stroll through our lives and see who we come in contact with that may need a fellow individual to come alongside them - be that person.


So I went up the mountain
But all I saw was another mountain
So I came down the mountain
And I said, "leave me here lord"
So I went up the mountain
And all I saw was another mountain
So I came down the mountain
And I said, leave me here lord
Leave me in the valley
Let me rest my weary head
Give peace to your survivor
Put all my fears to bed

As I was doing some administrative work, I had Rhapsody playing. The song Wind and the Mountain came on by Liz Phair. I took a minute break and "rested". As I closed my eyes, I imagined myself in the song.

Presently, I am not weary and there are not many fears that are looming but in the journey of life, you never know what is coming and I am sure there are a few out there who need to hear the words: it is okay to rest and it is time to put your fears to bed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crying Alone in Pain

Matthew Murray is the individual behind the shooting. There are many sides of this story. Individuals are talking and debating about gun laws. There are groups who are talking about the heroism of Assam who shot and killed him. He had over 1,000 rounds of ammunition (who knows how much pain and damage he could have done ). Then there are some who are posting and blogging about the fact that he posted on forums about what he was about to do. They include the following lines:

I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed . . . And I WILL shoot to kill . . . All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you . . . as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world

I want to take a look at the poem that he wrote. There is some "bad language" and thought process in the poem. JUST A WARNING

Crying Alone in Pain (in the nightmare of Christianity)

Crying all alone in pain...losing all reserve….I can't wake up out of this nightmare........ Insane? Am I the only mother f***** with a brain?........

Maze...psychopathic daze...I create this waste
Back away from tangents, on the verge of drastic
ways...can't escape this place...I deny your face
Sweat gets in my eyes, I think I'm slowly dying

put me in a homemade cellar
put me in a hole for shelter
someone find me please, all I see is hate
I can hardly breathe and I can hardly take it!

lost...ran at my own cost...hearing laughter, scoffed
learning from the rush, detached from such and such
bleak...all around me, weak...listening, incomplete
I am not a dog, but I'm the one your dogging……

I am crying here in a buried kennel
I have never felt so final
Someone help me please, losing all reserve
I am f***ing gone, I think I'm fu**ing dying

You all stare, but you'll never see
There is something inside me......

Cut me! beat me! molest me! abuse me! @#%$ me! hate me! break me! Rape me! kill me! show me! Here is my purity……
Enter this nightmare…..I am willing and able and never any danger to myself
Knowledge in my pain, knowledge in my pain, just....@#%$ acknowledge all my pain, acknowledge all my

pain.....knowledge in my pain......
Or was my tolerance a phase?
Empathy! out of my way!
I can't die.....I can't die.....I can't die.....trancing out into another dark reality as the pain

fades purity.....
You all stare, but you'll never see
There is something in you I despise.....
have you ever seen God?......have you ever seen God?!
have you ever......

Those words tear me up. I am not sure what the answer is folks. However, I will tell you that there are a lot of people in this world that are hurting and screaming. We need to hear their voices and try to help.

I am not sure how many attempted to reach out and I am not sure if he was willing to receive help or if he even realized that he may have needed it.

This could be a wrong perspective on my part and I might be using this to beat a dead horse or draw wrong conclusions to point to an issue that I want to stress ... so take the following through whatever lens that you want to see it through or filter it through.

We, Christians, need to keep our eyes and ears open to what is occurring around us. We, as churches, really need to see what our purpose and priorities are and make sure that while we are reaching for the stars that there are those around us falling through the cracks screaming and we are deaf to their screams.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shooting at New Life Church

Early this afternoon, there was a shooting at the church and the gunman was killed by an armed security staff from the church. Security was on higher-alert this afternoon due to a shooting during the night at a missionary training center in Arvada. The church also has offices for the training center. They are not sure if they are connected at this time.

From CNN: A gunman attacked worshippers at a Colorado Springs, Colorado, megachurch Sunday afternoon, killing one person and wounding four others before being killed by a security staff member, the city's police chief said. Emergency vehicles gather near New Life Church in Colorado Springs on Sunday.

Chief Richard Myers called the person "a courageous security staff member who probably saved many lives today." He said some of the shooting victims being treated at the hospital have life-threatening injuries. Several "suspicious devices" were found at the church, Myers said.

From Fox News:

The program that runs mission training in Arvada has a small office at the New Life Church's World Prayer Center.

A gunman in a black trench coat and a high-powered rifle entered the church's main foyer about 1 p.m. and began shooting, according to the church member, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the police department had asked that it release all information.

The church's 11 a.m. service had recently ended, and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from the nursery.

Three people were taken to Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs, where they were listed in critical, fair and good condition, said hospital spokeswoman Amy Sufak.

The first shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada, a Denver suburb, police spokeswoman Susan Medina said. A man and a woman were killed and two men were wounded, Medina said. All four were staff members with the center, said Paul Filidis, a Colorado Springs-based spokesman with Youth With a Mission.

From MSNBC (16 mins ago):

Gunman, victim killed in Colo. church attack
Police: Four others wounded, no link yet to earlier Colorado shooting


My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the greater COS area and with the church and ministry. The church has gone through a great deal lately. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be led in worship with 5500 youth workers at the National Youth Workers Convention by their worship band: The Desperation Band.

Steelers ......

I wish FOX would be showing this game today ... I mean Pittsburgh vs. New England .. C'Mon. But, no .. they are on CBS and I can not watch it due to regional coverage. We get to watch the Browns vs. Jets ... *blah*

I apologize for the following:

1. First to those in our town who are reading this that are so thankful that the Browns are playing.

2. To those who are rooling their eyes at another sports post

3. To those who are going, Jeff, there are more important things to be upset about than what fb game CBS is showing.

I know and I am soory. But, I want to see if the Steelers can knock off the "perfect" NE Patriots. My plan was to tape it and watch it when I got home tonight. So, now, I am getting the 10 sec refresh from yahoo before things get going and then check in around the 4th quarter .....


Well, may I should be glad that it was not shown; they played horribly. Get your act together Steelers or the Browns may catch you ...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Golden Compass

Well, we went to the movie tonight. I will not write much about it though. I do not want to spoil it for those who may want to go and see it. I do have to say that I am becoming a fan of good vs. evil. I thought that the action was good. However, I did think that it was a little slow and it did seem like we were in the theater longer than we were.

One of the things that Christians are worried about is that they are afraid people may now run out and buy the books and the other books are more "dangerous". I have not read the series. I have read inserts / reviews. Thus, I am not 100% where it is going. They say it gets darker and evil. I am not sure. But, they (Christians) may be right in there will be a "flood" to buy the books.

The reason: I am sure that people are wanting to know what happened. They just saw 1/3 of the story and they are going to want to know what happens to Lyra.

The controversy does crack me up. I did go see it with some teenagers. We enjoyed being together and our conversation afterwards at Starbuck's.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

God Goes Out Of Business

"Just my luck," I said. "The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him."

wow. Those words are the words that are screamed out in Psalms 77:10. One of my favorite quiet/devotion tmes is reading through the Psalms. At times, it is just raw. We, as Christians, are not good at raw. We like things neat and pretty and please have a bow on it ...

Here is Psalms 77 in its entirety in the message format.

1 I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.

2-6 I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn't heal. When friends said, "Everything will turn out all right," I didn't believe a word they said. I remember God—and shake my head. I bow my head —then wring my hands. I'm awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can't even say that's bothering me. I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by. I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together.

7-10 Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? "Just my luck," I said. "The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him."

11-12 Once again I'll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.

13-15 O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! You're the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do—You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.

16-19 Ocean saw you in action, God, saw you and trembled with fear; Deep Ocean was scared to death. Clouds belched buckets of rain, Sky exploded with thunder, your arrows flashing this way and that. From Whirlwind came your thundering voice, Lightning exposed the world, Earth reeled and rocked. You strode right through Ocean, walked straight through roaring Ocean, but nobody saw you come or go.

20 Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, You led your people like a flock of sheep.

When was the last time that you had a true heart-heart with God ?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It Snowed Last Night

Last night, we had our first "real" snow of the season. It started after midnight and continue through the night. I think that we got 3-4 inches. I am not sure. But since it came during the night; the kids did not have school. They enjoyed it. Anyway the pic is from our family room. You can see the back yard and the lacrosse field (which is at the bottom of our hill).

Born Again Lazy

I was reading a story from Craig that I thought "hit home". Here is the story, read it and tell me what you think.

They were out to lunch with the minister, minister wife and a few others from the church and Craig shared a story about reaching out to an "untouchable" and them (untouchable) getting their life turned around.

Craig continues: To know God has used us to help another find redemption and start a new life in Christ was a great and humbling testimony for us to share.

The nice, southern, evangelical Christian pastor's wife looked across the table with her beautiful smile and well-intentioned life and stopped the Gospel dead: "No matter what you or others do, God would have taken care of it, if he wanted it done. It doesn't matter if you gave her money or not, God would have taken care of it if he wanted."

My jaw hit the table as she finished her sentence and smiled at us like she had just dispensed the greatest Christian wisdom since Christ hung on the cross. I grabbed for my coffee cup and prayed: "Lord, don't let me kill this lady."

"So basically it's okay to look the other way when we see others in need?" I asked politely.

"If God wants something done, he will do it." She said with a smug righteousness.

J.R. (my friend and partner in ministry) buried his fork in his napkin, which was translation for "Lord, don't let me kill this lady." We think alot alike.

I leaned forward, "If we all adopted that way of thinking then the Bible becomes a moot point." She smiled. I just about vomited all over the table. Moments like those suck. The "Born Again Lazy" have no idea they are even lazy. The church grows this attitude by never confronting her crazy rhetoric. She truly thinks it is okay to let God have the bulk of responsibility. After all: he's God. Nevermind the countless opportunities He will hand you in your lifetime to help those around you. Why bother if he can do anything he wants.

Many Christians see the world as a mission field, but the sad truth is that many of us never leave the driveway of the church to do anything about it. Our pastor wife may never get it.

I liked the story.

Let us follow Jesus: Go and Do

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

There is a God

I was watching the MNF game and flipping channels during the timeouts. I came across CMA channel and this video was playing. Now, it may not be a "worship" song in the sense that most would define; but I would say that this is a great worship song.

Here is the video and the lyrics are below the video:

Try and put your arms around
the 100 year old tree
Climb up on a horse
and let it run full speed
Take a look out at the world from 30,000 feet
on your next flight

Watch a flock of birds
against the morning sun
Close your eyes and listen
to the river run
Catch a firefly in your hand
or a raindrop on your tongue
That's right

There is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?

Plant a seed and see
what comes out of the ground
Find the heartbeat on your baby's ultrasound
In a few years hear it laughing,
and don't it sound like a song?

Stop and think about
what you don't understand
Things like life and love
and how the world began
Hear the doctor say he can't explain it,
but the cancer is gone

There is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?

Science says it's all just circumstance
That this whole world is just an accident
But if you want to shoot that theory down,
just take a look around

Oh just look around

Now there is a God
There is a God
Oh there is a God,
How much proof do you need?

Now, There is a God.


Ummmm, two late night post with both having to do with country music. I feel dirty; I think i need a shower :)

BTW, the game had a great finish.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Stupid Boy

I heard this song today and it reminded me of an individuals who came across my blog and sent me an email telling me a little bit about her story.

This is by Sarah Buxton. I think Keith Urban did the song originally (as well). I am not sure, I am not much of a country video person. But here is the video, the lyrics and my thoughts to the one this goes out to ...

She was precious, like a flower:
Yeah, she grew wild; wild but innocent.
Perfect prayer in a desperate hour:
She was everything beautiful an' different.
Stupid boy: you can't fence that in.
Stupid boy: it's like holding back the wind.

She laid her heart an' soul right in your hands,
An' you stole her every dream an' crushed her plans.
She never even knew she had a choice.
That's what happens when the only voice,
She hears is tellin her she can't:
Stupid boy: you stupid boy.

So what made you think you could take her life,
An' just push it, push it around?
I guess you built yourself up so high,
You had to take her an' break her down.

She laid her heart an' soul right in your hands,
An' you stole her every dream an' crushed her plans.
She never even knew she had a choice.
That's what happens when the only voice,
She hears is tellin her she can't:
Stupid boy.

Ah, you always had to be right,
An' now you lost the only thing,
That ever made you feel alive.

:. Instrumental Break .:
(Whoo, yeah.)
(Na, na, whoa.)

She laid her heart an' soul right in your hands,
An' you stole her every dream an' you crushed her plans.
She never even knew that she had a choice.
That's what happens when the only voice,
She hears is tellin her she can't:
Stupid boy.

Ah, it's the same old, same old stupid boy.
Mmm hmm.
It took her a while to work it out she could run,
But once she did, she was long gone, long gone.

Stupid boy, yeah.
You're just a stupid boy.
You never get it right, do you?

Rob Bell: Church & Community

I came across an interview that the WittenburgDoor done recently and it "touched" something today. Here are two questions: back-to-back that got me thinking today.

DOOR: Why do you think we have so many Jesuses? My Jesus vs. your Jesus, Conservative Jesus, Liberal Jesus, Pentecostal Jesus, Episcopalian Jesus ...

BELL: People will grab all aspects of the truth. I guess it would be hard for one person to wrap their arms around that much truth. Easier to grab small pieces, I suppose. I'll take all the good. I want the best of the Assembly of God Jesus, the Latin America Jesus; I want the best of all of them. Jesus talked about fruit, told great stories—you can say anything, but its actions that you can't argue with.

DOOR: How did this Mars Hill thing happen, anyway?

BELL: Seven years ago, a group of friends were just dreaming of something better. I guess the natural evolution of each generation is to explore what it means. How to live the way of Jesus here and now. So we started and it now feels like fifty years packed into seven. Mars Hill is an old mall. Our "architect"—I say that as a joke—says everything about the church should scream "Welcome to our church service! Now get the hell out of here." We say, "This isn't the church, this is a church service. It's just an hour where we have some teaching, some singing and you'll hear about things in the community." If there are 43 "one anothers" in the New Testament—serve one another, carry one another's burden's, confess to one another—you can only do a couple of those in a church service. Until you have a community that you are journeying with, please don't say you are a part of this church. You just come to a gathering. We are very intentional about that. The question is, "Who do you call when your brother ODs on cocaine? If your mom is in the hospital, who comes and sits in the waiting room with you? When you cannot pay your rent, who do you go to and say please help me out?" That's your church.

I really liked the answer that he gives and it has caused me to think how we can help people plug into a true community (if they so choose). Also, it fuels the desire for me to be in that type of community in "our church" and to connect others to this; so we can truly journey together.

Desserts @ Church

This past weekend, we tried a new event at the church. From a numbers standpoint, people would have not considered it "a success". However, events like these are events that I am really beginning to love.

The concept of the event was the following: everyone bring their favorite dessert to the church and meet in the fellowship hall. We would then all sit around the tables trying all the desserts (everyone would bring the recipes so we can try them out over the holiday season) and fellowshipping with one another while we had Christmas music playing. After about a half an hour, we would put Charlie Brown's Christmas on while we continued to fellowship. We would then have St. Nick do a reading on Christmas trees and their meaning (tie in with CB).

Even though there were only a few individuals that came out, we enjoyed the desserts and we enjoyed the fellowship with one another.

St. Nick & The Kids: Here is a picture of St. Nick up by the trees reading the story. Everyone brought Christmas toys for us to give to the People to People Ministry. the pass out toys to the families in the community in need. The younger kids seemed to really enjoy watching CB and listening to the story.

Pastor: He always has a great time at these events and he is a great 'sport'. He has a heart for people. We just had to have him put on the ears. Don't you think they look good on him ? Of course, you can tell by the picture that he was not was not watching CB. That is okay though. CB was "background" for the fellowship that was occurring.