Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hip Hymns Are Him...Tomlin in Time Magazine

Hip Hymns Are Him
Most people have never heard of Chris Tomlin, yet millions sing his songs every week

There are two paths to music immortality: the Prince route and the Patty and Mildred Hill route. In the Prince model, you write a piece of music that people love so much, they seek it out, download it and turn up the radio whenever it comes on. The Hill sisters model is trickier; they composed the melody for Happy Birthday to You. They achieved their fame by writing a tune that people don't listen to so much as sing.

Chris Tomlin belongs in the second camp. People sing his songs a lot, often repeatedly. Specifically, they sing them in church. According to Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), an organization that licenses music to churches, Tomlin, 34, is the most often sung contemporary artist in U.S. congregations every week. Since glee clubs have fallen out of popularity, that might make Tomlin the most often sung artist anywhere. Read More Here


Ice Storm Saves FSM Students

Reminiscent of the Egyptian Plagues and the Parting of the Red Sea...the Lord delivers several hundred FSM students from Final Exams this week. An ice storm and a coming blizzard shut down the entire school. Prayers were going up, literally 7/24, after students in Stephen V's class realized the intensity of the aforementioned exams. Now with The Power of a Focused Life and some intense studies a most favorable grade is in sight.
Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!

Ps 103:1-8
1 Praise for the LORD's Mercies A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. NKJV

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Families During the Holidays

Families During the Holidays

An elderly man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing—45 years of misery is enough.""Pop, what are you talking about?" the son asks."We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts. "I'll take care of this."

She calls Phoenix immediately and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing till I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing."

The old man hangs up the phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says. "They're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own fares. Now what do we do for Christmas?"


What we can learn from the Nativity about the high cost of righteousness.

Because we live on this side of Christmas, we want to rush to the end of the story where everything turns out okay. We miss the anxiety in a young woman's announcement, "I'm pregnant" and the tension on a man's brow as he parses the right decision. You might even be tempted to think Joseph was slow spiritually and should have figured out what was going on a lot sooner. But if you do that, you miss the whole point of what Joseph is learning, and of what we can learn from him—that there's some amazing stuff going on around Christmas besides how Jesus got here. You miss out on how God is already beginning to redefine what true righteousness is.

Maybe God had a reason for this odd, painful, lonely way to start a family. Maybe God still calls people to be willing to die to reputation and status and comfort for the sake of love. That's why we seek to extend this kingdom launched by that little child.

Because Rev. Bob likes things short read the whole article here.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Using Wealth To Proclaim The Good News

The Modest BILLIONAIRE By Suzanne Jordan Brown
Hobby Lobby boss David Green believes God has blessed his business so he can share his money with others.

Could you pick a billionaire out of a crowd? Probably not this guy. Click here for whole story.

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What thinkest thou?



Do my prayers make a difference? What happens when my prayers seem ineffective? Which grain of sand actually causes the scales to tip? Which prayer, petition, offering of intimacy with the Father is the one with power. I suspect that it is the culmination of our prayers the weak and the strong that make a difference. When you feel discouraged in the place of prayer keep at it, persist.

Be encouraged the scripture tells us that our prayers are in bowls full of incense which the Father smells. Rev 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. I don't know too many guys that wear Old Spice cologne these days, but I know plenty of you just thought about your fathers, uncles, or grandpas. Some remember buying these gifts but most of us associate a scent with a person. Hopefully they are good memories. When I used to travel or have to leave my kids...I'll squirt a bottle of my cologne on their pillows...they love to go to sleep and feel like I'm there with them. Your prayers are the cologne or perfume that God fills the throne room with. Even when our prayers seem weak; we make heaven smell good. Even prayers you prayed weeks, months, years ago...they linger in the Father's presence reminding Him of you. You are always on His mind; no prayer is forgotten or wasted. Instead of leaving a comment....share a prayer!

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Monday, November 27, 2006


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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Java Evangelist (is this the six fold ministry?)

Coffee educators gladly spread the java gospel

By Melissa AllisonSeattle Times business reporter

Call them the java evangelists.

Just 19 employees strong, they make up the front line of coffee devotion at Starbucks, enlightening everyone from the chief executive to the newest barista about all things related to the little brown bean.

Like buyers, they can taste the difference between coffee grown in volcanic soil around Antigua, Guatemala, and beans picked in the foothills of Mount Kenya.

Like good baristas, they have personality to spare.

The job of a coffee educator is to spread knowledge and passion about coffee. People like a story with their jolt, and Starbucks believes that the more it imparts about its beans and blends, the more excited customers will be to drink them. Read the whole article here!


What Is Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dish?

So what is it? The comfort food that you look forward to this holiday. Why don't you eat it more than once a year? There is an incredible jello I love...most jello things are gross. But Grandma Rosella made one that was to delicious! What food do you HATE? Yams...definitely disgusting. Since we moved from Seattle, I have missed mom's pies, often incredible berry ones in addition to the standards. I always had at least one of each. The there is the stuffing...more flavorful than anything stove top or Pepridge Farms ever dreamed up. We tried recreating it, but alas the recipe is not written down and it is sorta just tossed together. Delicious.

Any family traditions around Thanksgiving? Serious or funny what are they? As a kid I used to go see a movie every Thanksgiving with my best friend Ken. It was our tradition, even continued it a few times into our adulthood.

We just started our own...this will be our second year in a row of going to a Park to feed the homeless, drug addicted and rejected of society, with Rhonda & Danny. I've gone to the Mission before, but this is a little more raw. These are the people who won't go to a homeless shelter. Often because they are so strung out. We gather in a park and serve meals (more than 400 last year). The kids help too and are not allowed to play at the Park because of needle dangers. Last year they feed more than 400 people. Rhonda & Danny go to this inner city park every week with a team of friends from IHOP and neighboring churches. They've earned the trust and respect of the homless community. Last year was cold below 40'F today is supposed to be a record 70'F. Leave Your Comments, Please!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hilarious Derek Loux

If you know the International House of Prayer you'll find this funny. Otherwise you won't really care.

Derek Loux is the leader of Forerunner Music Academy.

Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within?

Luke 24:25-41 25And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over." So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, "The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon." They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

The resurrected Jesus appears to these disciples and they don't recognize Him. For some strange reason God is cloaking himself. Jesus isn't exactly trying to win friends here, because He calls them "foolish". Yet He goes on to reveal Himself to these men, the same way He reveals Himself to us today--through the scriptures.

"He acted as though He were going further. But they urged Him, stay with us..." Oh friends this is so incredible. He was going to leave yet they urged Him to stay and He did. Why did Jesus do it this way? Because He was showing us a picture of how He reveals Himself to us. He comes to introduce us to Himself through the scriptures. Yet many have read the scriptures and never encountered Him. Had they not urged Him to stay, I believe Jesus would have gone on without revealing Himself to them. Because God responds to the hungry. Asking the questions: "Do you really want to know me? Do you really want to follow me? Whatever the cost?"

It has been sugested by some that Hunger(spiritual) is the currency of heaven. When Jesus said blessed are the hungry they shall be filled, He wasn't speaking of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Rather He was saying those who hunger for me, the bread of life shall be filled.

They sat down to eat a meal together. Jesus lifted the bread and blessed it in prayer. Here in the place of prayer the encounter the living divine presence of Jesus. Their eyes are opened to Taste and see that the Lord is good. After they realized it was Jesus, He vanished.

It is through His word and the intimate place of prayer that we encounter Jesus. He shows a little, and to the hungry He shows a little more. After we are filled; more revelation or understanding of the God comes to when hunger, desire, longing, is stirred again!
When He touches our hearts we too can say: "Did not our hearts burn within?" That's what He does sets hearts ablaze with love!

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Former Brothel Used To Praise God

Former brothel used to praise God

The church is now the hub of the local evangelical communityParishioners have been flocking to a newly-renovated church which was a brothel just a few weeks ago. Kent, England. Read the whole article here.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Creative Economics

He was raised in the inner city of Chicago. At age six, he carried homemade business cards in his "briefcase" (a plastic lunch box). At eight, he started a business club. At ten, he suffered his first major setback. At eleven, he was co-hosting a national television-radio simulcast. At fourteen, he was a millionaire-the kind that wears a suit, addresses his elders with respect, but still hangs out at the mall. At sixteen, Farrah Gray was a reallionaire-a businessman dedicated not just to money, but to giving back and inspiring others.

Just 20 years old, Gray is a self-made millionaire, having founded ventures and made media appearances beginning at ages six and nine respectively. He chronicles and draws lessons from his successes and failures, from his first job selling handmade body lotion to his Los Angeles neighbors to his founding of Farr-Out Foods at 13, his sale of it two years later for over a million dollars and his current philanthropic and developmental projects like running INNERCITY magazine. With the help of freelance writer Harris, Gray presents a persona that is straightforward and confident, if somewhat generic ("Now, I want you to take a real 'lemon' from your life and make lemonade with it"), but the tale of his ascent is compelling. Fueled by his desire to help his family, especially his single, workaholic mother, Gray is virtually unstoppable; faced with rejection, he tries something else. It's that resilience that comes through most clearly, reinforced with chapter-ending "Real Points" and "Reallionaire Exercises." Despite the familiar gimmicks, the real parts of Gray's experience come through, making this a sound book for anyone seriously interested in getting ahead on his or her own terms.


Whom Shall I Fear?

Ps 136:23-26
23 Who remembered us in our low estate, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
24 And has rescued us from our adversaries, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
25 Who gives food to all flesh, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Prov 16:7
7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Porta Potty Kills Bible Scholars

Sometimes, the best survival instincts can be deadly. According to intriguing new research by an international team of Biblical scholars, the religious sect associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls may have been done in by its own scrupulous toilet habits. For the Rest of the Story Click

Churches Should Not Be Allowed These Kinds of Signs


Missouri's Tightwad Bank To Close

Missouri's Tightwad Bank to close

A small-town bank that drew $2.2 million in deposits from around the country because of its unusual name will close Jan. 31.

The Tightwad Bank opened on a shoestring 22 years ago in the small community along Missouri 7 halfway between Clinton and Warsaw.

Now, UMB Bank Warsaw, which operates the bank, is cutting costs and has urged customers to do their banking at its branches in Clinton and Warsaw.

Officials at UMB, a subsidiary of UMB Financial Corp, would not elaborate on the decision.
"I don't like it at all," said Tightwad resident Linda Houk. "I'm not sure I'll leave my accounts at UMB."

Two months after the Tightwad Bank opened in May 1984, an article on it appeared in The Kansas City Times. Word began to spread.

"We were discovered," said Gene Henry, a Clinton banker who helped open the Tightwad Bank. "People would just mail us a check, Tightwad Bank, Tightwad, Missouri, sometimes with no ZIP code, and the post office, to its credit, found us."

Up to a dozen checks would arrive daily, each with a note asking for an account and a batch of Tightwad Bank checks, Henry said. In two years, customers from near and far gave the bank $2.2 million in deposits.

The bank started as a branch of a Windsor bank whose chairman foresaw growth fueled by development around the then-new Truman Lake. Henry said some even envisioned Tightwad as becoming the next Branson.

But growth never came. Tightwad, population 63, has eight more residents now than when the bank opened.

Am I the only one thinking that our present culture would love a bank with a cool name? People pay way too much money for "affinity credit cards". What about a bank with a name like...Millionaires Club...The Super Rich & Famous...a bank built primarily on trendy marketing rather then the stodgy bankers. The Harley Davidson bank, The Bank of Rolls Royce etc...people would love the image. Remember this little country bank got 2.2 million in deposit from people outside the community because of one newspaper article. Okay I am a genius now I just need some people with investment captial who want to start a bank with me. Let's meet for coffee.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pray For The Nations

Jesus told us to pray to the Lord of the Harvest for laborers. We all know someone from somewhere or someone who is going somewhere else. The CIA has a great website that gives you information on the nations. You might be sent to the nations or you might be praying for others who are sent. When you know something about the people you are praying for it helps to focus the intensity of our prayers. Click on the link and use the resource. Click Here

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chinese Sub Approaches US Aircraft Carrier

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Chinese submarine approached a US aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean last month and surfaced within firing range of its torpedoes and missiles before being detected, The Washington Times has reported.The newspaper said the encounter highlighted China's continuing efforts to prepare for a possible future conflict with the United States despite the administration's efforts to try to boost relations with the Chinese military.

The submarine encounter with the USS Kitty Hawk and its battle group also is an embarrassment to the commander of US forces in the Pacific, Admiral William Fallon, who is engaged in an ambitious military exchange program with China, the report said.Citing unnamed defense officials, the paper said the Chinese Song-class diesel-powered attack submarine shadowed the Kitty Hawk undetected and surfaced within five miles of the carrier on October 26.


More than 100

Did you know the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John total just 89 chapters? While the entire Bible has more than 100 chapters discussing the second coming of Christ, Millenial Kingdom, and the last days. Yet, most of us know very little of these subjects. The topic of the end times is more than just a Christian Horror movie or something that comprises charts, graphs, and timelines. Eschatology or the study of end times is really the study of Jesus' plan to establish His government on the earth at the end of this age. It won't be a political rally or party that ushers in His kingdom. It won't be a military based upon man's strength. It is His ultimate plan it is unfolding before our eyes. So study what the Bible has to say about it. It is not too deep. You do not have to a Ph.d in Theology, you can discover the truths. So you will not be surprised. Your theology might be right, but do you know becuase you have studied and sought out the truth? Or do you believe your right because your favorite Bible teacher has told you it is so.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Would You Wash n Wear Here?

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More Findings in Speaking-in-Tongues Study: Different From Meditation, and "Glossolalia Speakers" Rarely Suffer From Mental Problems

by Benedict Carey/TN : Nov 11, 2006 : N.Y. Times

"The new findings contrasted sharply with images taken of other spiritually inspired mental states like meditation, which is often a highly focused mental exercise, activating the frontal lobes."

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. According to a recent N.Y. Times report, the regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active; the women were not in blind trances.

"The amazing thing was how the images supported people's interpretation of what was happening," said Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, leader of the study team. "The way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them," he said.

Donna Morgan, a co-author of the study, was also a research subject. She is a born-again Christian who is quoted as saying the ability to speak in tongues is a gift. "You're aware of your surroundings," she said. "You're not really out of control. But you have no control over what's happening. You're just flowing. You're in a realm of peace and comfort, and it's a fantastic feeling."

Reporter Benedict Carey noted that "contrary to what may be a common perception, studies suggest that people who speak in tongues rarely suffer from mental problems. A recent study of nearly 1,000 evangelical Christians in England found that those who engaged in the practice were more emotionally stable than those who did not. Researchers have identified at least two forms of the practice, one ecstatic and frenzied, the other subdued and nearly silent. The new findings contrasted sharply with images taken of other spiritually inspired mental states like meditation, which is often a highly focused mental exercise, activating the frontal lobes."

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pray For The Peace of Jerusalem

An Appeal in the Jerusalem Post for Jews to Appreciate Christians and Accept Their Help
by Shmuley Boteach/TN : Nov 13, 2006 : The Jerusalem Post

"The one group traditionally identified as the single greatest threat to our continuity is becoming one of the chief guarantors thereof."

In an opinion piece published in the Jerusalem Post, Shmuley Boteach entreats his fellow Jews to accept and appreciate Christians. He begins his letter by asking the question: How can a tiny nation, often hated wherever it resides, possibly survive? Noting that this has been the paramount question governing Jewish existence for two millennia, he lists a new solution: "For the first time in history there is a...highly potent medium for Jewish survival: non-Jews. That's right, the one group traditionally identified as the single greatest threat to our continuity is becoming one of the chief guarantors thereof. Specifically, believing Christians are taking it upon themselves to ensure the survival and prosperity of the Jewish people in general, and of Israel in particular."

The new answer must be Christian love and support for the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and a case in point, adds Boteach, "is the ground-breaking work of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), founded by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Thirty years ago, when Rabbi Eckstein bucked the trend in Jewish organizations and started building bridges to Evangelical Christians, he endured withering criticism and personal attack, by those whose shortsighted vision saw in Evangelical Christians enemies, rather than friends. But today, the IFCJ is one of the foremost providers for Jews in need contributing close to $100 million per year to Jewish immigration, resettlement and social welfare projects in Israel, the former Soviet Union, and abroad."

"My own life-long work of building Jewish bridges to non-Jews, especially religious Christians, has led me to join Eckstein in furthering evangelical support for Israel," concludes Boteach, "and it is time others in the community overcame their skepticism of Christian support for Israel, and accepted that while the two faith communities have substantial issues on which they will always disagree, on the most important issue, the survival of God's chosen people, we are in perfect harmony."


Transformations...the neighborhood

COMMUNITY LIFERedeeming a Needy NeighborhoodNot all communities have too much. How one church brings the gospel to the economically distressed.A Leadership Interview with James MeeksA consumer culture doesn't affect only those who have too much. It also affects those who don't have enough. One pastor who ministers in the middle of both plenty and scarcity is the Reverend Senator James Meeks. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE

I love many of these practicle ways to transform a community. Now combine it with the House of Prayer and watch Grandview change.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Glory Displayed For Our Eyes To Behold

Ps 19:1-619:1

The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.
2 Day and night they keep on telling about God.
3 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it
5 and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race!
6 The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.



Prayer for this Little One

Please pray…My middle son Jesse’s baby Kylie’s condition is worsening. What was originally thought to be the cute way she squeaked when she breathed has been found to be part of a serious health condition that prevents her from getting enough oxygen.(Laryngeal stridor is a whistling noise coming from the baby as he breathes, usually associated with distress.) She has been hospitalized once, and now needs constant monitoring. Jesse’s wife, Cathy returned to the east coast to have the baby due to a need for insurance, so she returned to her old job. Following is an excerpt from Cathy’s e-mail:

“They had almost trached her but thank god she was able to bring her o2 back up on her own. They put a camera down her throat and found that her trachea is lazy it is called Laryngeal trachea maylshia with Gerd and that go hand and hand. they don't know if she will out grow it or require surgery it is a waiting game right now. They are treating her for gerd she is not to have thin liquids so we have to thicken her formula she has to have a sleep study in a couple of weeks I don't even know what that is for. Her weight is not where it should be so if it continues that way they will do the surgery. I basically don't sleep because i am up all night checking her breathing and of course still have to work because the medical bills our through the roof. “

She is not gaining weight and growing like she should, because most of her calories are being burned up in the effort it takes to breath. Please pray for her, please pray for Cathy.


Monday, November 13, 2006

150 Baptisms Last Night...Challenge to Dwayne & Allen

Last night Forerunner Christian Fellowship held our second baptism service this year. (Picture is of my daughter last May)We started out with 15o candidates before the night was over that number increased. It was three hours of dunkin' and joyful worship.

Baptism and communion are the two powerful secrets to bringing life to a "sleepy church." Watching another make a new commitment to Follow Christ, strengthens our own. Jesus didn't instruct us to do these things cause He thought the church would need rituals...He did it because He knew they would renew our strength and resolve to follow Him with our whole hearts.

Just as seeing the birth of your child encourages you to live life differently, so does seeing others make the commitment to follow Christ in Baptism. The way you live your life matters because others are watching. The way you live your life matters because He is watching.

If you are believer and have never followed through with water baptism, I urge you to do it.

Why be baptized?

Because Jesus was and He commanded us to do the same.

I was baptized as an infant why do I need to be baptized?

Because every baptism in the New Testament was that of a believers baptism, a confession and public profession of faith. While there is no minimum age requirement in scripture, it is clear that baptism follows the individuals personal response of faith. Its great if your parents dedicated you to the Lord, but ultimately baptism is a matter of personally committing yourself to follow Jesus. Last time I saw an infant baptism, I did not hear that baby verbally confess and profess personal faith in Jesus.

Why do you believe in baptism by immersion versus sprinkling?

Every baptism in the New Testament was by immersion. This was how Jesus chose to be baptized. The Greek word means to "dip" or immerse the picture is that of a ship that was sunk. Immersion best illustrates the spiritual principle of identifying with Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Yet, it you were sprinkled as a believer who was old enough to understand the significance of what you were doing and sprinkling was a meaningful experience to you, I would not "force" anyone to get dunked. After all how much water is enough and how long should you be held under? Also due to health concerns for some a tank and immersion is simply not practical.

The only thing more exciting than watching someone be baptized is actually baptizing them. Follow Jesus in it today.

BTW, I am urging Dwayne Roberts and Allenhood to both consider having a baptism session at the ONETHING CONFERENCE THIS YEAR! The atmosphere would be electrifying. Tell them yourselves if you agree!

If you want to see my five minutes of video fame its here at portable baptistery I didn't get any money for this little infomercial just the joy of knowing more might follow Jesus.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jim Baker Was Here Last Night

Jim Baker was at our church service last night. He didn't come to preach, he came to the hear the guest speaker, who was a close personal friend. I was so thrilled. You see years ago I had the chance to read his Biography: "I was wrong!" If you don't know who Jim Baker was or the scandal he went through...Let me just say it was the Ted Haggard scandal of the 80's. But the Lord used his prison time to break, and a humble the man so He could rebuild, shape, and mold him into a sincere follower of Christ. Jesus I love your work!

Just last week I told some friends that if Ted Haggard is repentant He will go through the same transformation that I have read about and seen in Jim Baker. If we won't repent God will expose the sin we cling to. He does this out of love. His judgment is his discipline and His discipline is designed to bring about the greatest response of love. Ted is not being punished by a "mean God who is mostly mad", but he is being rescued by a loving Father who wants to see him run the race well...Run to finish.

All of us have stuff, we'd like to deal with on our own. But the truth is we are all powerless without His help. Part of His help is spiritual unseen power of the Holy Spirit, part of it is the Word of God, and the third part is the body of Christ. Being honest. Being Committed. When a leader or any of us falls we should have His heart towards one another.

God is committed to completing the work He began in us. I always tell people He is not like me, He always finishes the projects He starts. Let him finish the work! The problem with "living sacrifices" is they don't always stay on the altar! Jesus I love your ways!

Pray for the Church

Tuned In: After suicide, stations should rethink 'gotcha stories'
Monday, November 06, 2006By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The "sweeps" months, when local TV news promotions and "special reports" are at their most over-the-top, have become a routine annoyance to discerning television viewers. Less than a week into the current November sweeps period, they've taken a tragic turn.
The Rev. Brent Dugan, pastor of Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon, committed suicide last week after KDKA-TV aired a series of promotions for a Marty Griffin report that suggested Dugan was involved in illicit behavior.

Some viewers sent me understandably emotional e-mails that were as hyperbolic as the TV news promos they decry (one subject line: "KDKA's Assassination of Ben Avon Pastor"). That goes too far. It was Dugan's choice to overdose on aspirin and alcohol in a Mercer County motel. But this tragic outcome ought to make reporters and news directors in all newsrooms, particularly KDKA management and Griffin, take a contemplative look at the impact salacious, fear-mongering sweeps-month promos and reports can have. (click the title for entire story)

There He Hung

There He hung.
The Son, in utter agony.

The pain was unbearable.
The pain was overwhelming.

The physical pain was overbearing.
Yet, another pain overshadowed.

His very heart was being ripped.
His very heart was experiencing
The unthinkable.

Never before had this been experienced.
Not since before the beginning of time.

The Father,
The Son,

For eternity,
Before the created,
They, the three in one,
Were in perfect communion.

Never was one without the other.
Always in perfect love.
Always in perfect communion.

Perfect communion,
Now broken.

Overbearing pain.
That intimacy now broken.

He had called Him Abba,
Father of an unheard intimacy.

Never in all creation
Was there such
A communing of intimacy.

Never in all history
Past, present, future,
Will there ever be,
Like that of the Father,
The Son,
The Spirit.

Now the Son hung,
Hung in anguish.
He had accepted the cup.
The cup of separation.

He cries out for His Father.
His Abba.
The reply is silent.
He is unanswered.

The Son’s heart breaks again.
The deepest heart connection

The Father,
How He was in anguish.
He was separated from His only Son.

Separated to give justice.
Giver of Love
Now a giver of wrath.

It was this that the Son
It was this the Son
Asked to be taken from Him.
It was this that blood poured
Down His face in sweat.

Sweat in anguish of the separation.
Sweat for the cup to come.

It was there it began.
It was on the cross it finished.

It was as He hung.
It was as He lashed out.

It was there that God,
The greatest heartbreak
Ever known.

All for me.
All for you.
All for us.

God experienced the
Most excruciating,
Most painful,
Most heartbreaking,
For us.

The Father,
The Son,
The Spirit.
Each in part fully experienced
The pain
That paid.

The pain that paid
So, you
So, I
Could be invited.

Invited into the
Divine Communion of Love.

The price was high.
The invitation extended.

Will you enter?
Will you now accept?

Kevin Samuel

Friday, November 10, 2006

When I say "I am a Christian"

Christians - By Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian"I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'." I'm whispering "I was lost,Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weakAnd need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failedAnd need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect,My flaws are far too visibleBut, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain.I have my share of heartachesSo I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Many men will drink the rain
And turn to thank the clouds.

Many men will hear you speak
But they will never turn around.

I will not forget you are my God and King.
And with a thankful heart I bring my offering.
And my sacrifice is not what you can give
But what I alone can give to you.

A grateful heart I give,
A thankful prayer I pray,
A wild dance I dance before you.
A loud song I sing,
A huge bell I ring,
A life of praise I live before you.

Many men will pour their gold
And serve a thing that shines.
Many men will read your words
But they will never change their minds.

Ben and Rob Pasley
© 1999 Blue Renaissance Music.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

To Paint or to Preach by Jim Black

I’m a house painter by trade. I’ve been doing this since I can remember. My Grandpa Black was a union painter south of Buffalo, NY, and my Dad was a high school teacher who ran 15 man paint crews with other teachers every summer. I loved to hang out with them on the job when I was a kid, and they would let me paint trashcans and backs of garages to keep me out of their way. Once I painted a red garage, and got so much paint on me that even my underwear was red. When I got married the photographer took a picture of our hands with our new rings and there is paint all over my fingernails. No, I’m not a metrosexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…I’m not only a painter – I’m also a pastor (as well as a musician- talk about 3 jobs with sketchy reputations!).

We’re trying to start a new church – we meet in a school and the group has always been too small to support me full-time, so I paint. A while back I was painting for this rich guy in Boca Raton (translated “mouth of the rat” in Spanish, so I don’t know why all these rich people are so proud to live there!) I was not happy to be painting…I was tired of it and arguing with God about our church not growing and not having enough money and about paint on all of my underwear…He was not listening…I guess he’s heard me complain before.I needed a break, so I went down to the ocean to sit on a bench and clear my head with the salt breeze.

It didn’t help, and my argument with God continued to rage. As I fumed, a homeless man walked up and sat next to me on the bench. Now, I’m a pastor, so I know what I’m supposed to do when this happens…witness. I’m supposed to share my faith and introduce the person to the Lord. I told God that I was too mad to witness today, this guy would have to wait. I decided to ignore the man and say nothing. As I sat with my arms folded defiantly, the homeless man said “hi." I curtly returned the greeting. He said, “Hey, I know a place where we could go and get some lunch…it’s down the street at this church, and it’s free.” I looked down at my dirty, paint covered clothes and realized that this man thought I was homeless too.

My anger began to turn to embarrassment. This man was trying to help me!I said, “Thanks, but I’m not hungry.” He said, “That’s OK, but can I show you something else?” Then he pulled out a little booklet that explained how a person could know God, and he started to read it to me. By now I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I just listened. There was no way I could tell him that I was a pastor, and that I should be helping him.He led me in the sinner’s prayer at the end of the booklet, and I prayed along, then thanked him for sharing his faith with me. He said, “No problem, maybe I’ll see you around. Take care if yourself”Then he stood up and left.

As I sat there, I realized that God had answered my complaints. I wondered for a moment if I had just been in the presence of an angel in disguise, like in the movie "Bruce Almighty." I no longer felt sorry for myself, at least for the rest of that day! I still get tired of painting, but when I start to complain I think about the homeless guy who pointed me to the Bread of Life, and I remember what it is I’m supposed to be doing while I’m here on the earth. (I went home and wrote a song as a kind of penance called ‘til then…you can hear it at )

“Truly I say to you, whatever you do to the least of these who are members in my family, you do it also to me.” – Jesus (Matthew 25:40)
(The picture for this is a random google "homeless photo and not jim black)

Buying The Field

You can always count on Henri for a passing thought that will give you enough vision to walk out a few more steps. Here’s one that I remembered today:

“You have found a treasure: the treasure of God’s love. You know now where it is, but you are not yet ready to own it fully. So many attachments keep pulling you away. If you would fully own your treasure, you must hide it in the field where you found it, go off happily to sell everything you own and then come back and buy the field.”
-- Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the parable of the treasure in a field expounded upon more clearly than this. The economy of the whole exchange today seems vivid: by possessing whatever it is I esteem of high value now I actually inhibit myself from possessing that which is of preeminent value. So much of what I call “the dream of my heart” is by comparison to my invitation a trinket, not a treasure. And when I encounter truth, like in a Henri excerpt, I experience that wonderful feeling of energy and passion for lesser pursuits suddenly draining out of my being and through the floor. Though I’m only left with wanting, it feels more defined that it was a moment ago in that I know what-- or shall I say Who-- I want, maybe for the first time in days.

And then, having been purged, I can again go back to the business of pursing what is mine by invitation. borrowed w/o permission from the blog of:Bret and Brandie Mavrich,
Intercessory Missionaries

Apostolic Prayers by Dwayne Roberts

This is how you pray the Apostolic Prayers for the church. Read the scriptures and then pray the scriptures back to the Father for a person, family, or church. It's so easy just do it! Hey, if the music isn't for you than simply insert your own prefered worshipW

Am I My Brothers' Keeper?

James 5:16-18
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. NKJV

What could have helped Ted Haggard? Confession of our "sins, struggles, and secrets". In his own words, he stopped sharing with others years ago. As Pastor Rod used to say, "our hurts, habits, and hangups." The protestant church threw out confessional completely. While we don't recieve forgivness of sins from people, we missed something here. (No I am not advocating the confessional booth.) Something that is truly Biblical. Confession of our sins to one another.
Why is it that for most Christ-Followers the local church is the last place they would admit their weakness?
Probably because the truth is we value the "fake it until you make it" mantra. Also the competitive nature within the body of Christ. You know we build "kingdoms" and then have to protect them. I dream of christians, a church, the Body of Christ, that is a haven for the sinner. Cause after all we are all just sinners being cleaned up by Jesus. Part of the cleaning or sanctification process comes from sharing your weakness' with one another.
Let us be a people brave enough to share our hurts, habits, & hangups with one another.
Let us be a people safe enough to pray for each other when one is bold enough to share.
Let us be a people who live 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen towards one another.
When James writes on confession he does so in the context of the power of Prayer to bring about healing, transformation, and continued sanctification. Prayer for one another will produce real fruit in our lives. We want to look like and live like Jesus.
He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. Jesus you finish the "projects" you start. Cause your body to be a people that resemble you in thought and deed. Let us have your heart towards one another. Your love compels us into righteousness. Jesus you instructed us to live holy, now enable your bride to walk in that Holiness.
Give us a hunger for you, a desire to see others grow deeper in you. May we be like the friends that were desperate to bring the lame man before you; so much that the tore a hole in a roof. Jesus give us that same heart towards one another. They did not seek you for themselves but for their friend.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Political Relief

Assyrian International News Agency
14 Year Old Assyrian Boy Decapitated By Muslim Group
Posted GMT 10-29-2006 20:14:18

(AINA) -- According to the Assyrian website, a 14 year old Christian Assyrian boy, Ayad Tariq, from Baqouba, Iraq was decapitated at his work place on October 21.
Ayad Tariq was working his 12 hour shift, maintaining an electric generator, when a group of disguised Muslim insurgents walked in at the beginning of his shift shortly after 6 a.m. and asked him for his ID.

According to another employee who witnessed the events, and who hid when he saw the insurgents approach, the insurgents questioned Ayad after seeing that his ID stated "Christian", asking if he was truly a "Christian sinner." Ayad replied "yes, I am Christian but I am not a sinner." The insurgents quickly said this is a "dirty Christian sinner!" Then they proceeded to each hold one limb, shouting "Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!" while beheading the boy.
Translated from Arabic by AINA

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ponder Story Time

A Fantastic Story
by Jill Carattini

An intelligent young woman once said to me, "Some people don't have the luxury of sitting around and thinking about God."

I don't believe she meant any ill will toward occupations immersed in theological matters. She simply meant that not everyone has the time to stop and ponder such lofty and distant ideas on what could well be an indulgence in the abstract. And yet her words were not vacuous or bereft of reflection herself. Did she really mean it is a luxury for her to think about God? Or maybe, she meant, it is a luxury just to think.

In this brief statement was bottled the reality of her own struggle with what was real. Twisted into this declaration was her perception that "real" life and "real" people do not have the time to think about things that are not, or even might not, be real. Time was the only thing she knew to be real. "The daily demands of life," she mused, "rarely pause to let us take in stories about God."

Again, her words seemed to reveal part of the struggle. To sit with "stories about God" was in her mind something like sitting with Alice in the midst of Wonderland or reliving adventures with Tom Sawyer. And she made it quite clear that she just didn't have the time or energy to escape the world of reality. God would make a fantastic story, but who has time to play all day?

I wonder if there comes a specific moment in our lives when stories become synonymous with myth. The metamorphosis is strange because as children we take great delight in story time. But as we grow older, the story becomes mere fantasy, and wonder becomes something we are perhaps supposed to outgrow.

Scientist Carl Sagan once said, "Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." Interestingly, Sagan never gave up his childlike wonder of life in outer space. He spent much of his life as an avid supporter of SETI, an organization that supports the study of extraterrestrial life. Such a story of life in space would indeed be fantastic; but belief in God, for him, was just too fanciful. Like the woman with no time for stories, Sagan was convinced the pursuit of God was something akin to the pursuit of Bigfoot.

But their positions invite the question: Is it not possible for something to be both fantastic and true?

"Look at the nations and watch--
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told" (Habakkuk 1:5).

Is it accidental that the gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses a story that is simple enough for a child but deep enough for the most advanced and inquisitive of minds? As Ravi Zacharias notes, the very mind with which we ponder such a question is fantastic and yearns for the truth.

The same God who spoke through the prophet Habakkuk and called a weary people to believe speaks to you and me today: "Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3). He who made the heavens desires that you come to the most fantastic of all knowledge--knowledge of Him.

Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

Right Betr Blogs

Good Blog Writing Style

Danny Sullivan begs “Google Blog: Please Get Descriptive With Your Headlines!” and I agree. Here are some rules for good writing style when you’re blogging:

Use descriptive headlines that reveal the point of the article without further reading; the key here is to create microcontent that can fare well on its own. (An example of a good title is “Edit Captions in Picasa Web Albums” used at the unofficial Google System. An example of a bad title is the official Google blog’s “Greetings, Earthlings!”) Keep in mind the headline may be read in an RSS reader, a news portal which aggregates content, a search result, your blog archive, a bookmark and so on, and it may be surrounded by dozens of other headlines.

Write in inverted pyramid style: first get to the point and mention the core ideas, then fill in the details in later paragraphs. The first and second sentence should allow people to decide if they want to continue reading this.

The first link is the one most people click on, so it should also be the main link for your article. Also, too many links too close to each other diffuse your point and make you less of a filter, and a (news) blog should always be a filter for others.

In each longer post, re-introduce core ideas you mention because your readers come from all walks of life and may not be up-to-date (e.g. they may read your archived post half a decade from now coming from a search engine). It’s better to say “The Electronic Frontier Foundation yesterday announced ... the EFF also said that ...” than to say “The EFF announced... the EFF also said that ...”.

Use lists, images, tables, sub-headlines, examples, indented notes, indented quotes, icons, colors, bold and italics to lighten up your article and make it easier to scan it. Don’t expect everyone to cling to every of your words; instead, you can expect a large part of your readers to sit at the office, a coffee in one hand and the mouse in the other, trying to get up to speed at 9 in the morning.

With a global audience it’s never a good idea to only use sophisticated words not everyone may know. Some of your readers may speak English only as second language. They may want to learn new words, but it shouldn’t come at the price of missing your post’s point. (If you only speak English as second language to begin with, following this rule might be much easier.)
Credit your sources with a mention and link. As opposed to mainstream news posts, bloggers usually tell where they got the story from.

Mark updates and changes (and do update and change when readers find something wrong in your writing).

Spellcheck your posts, and read them for clarity once or twice before posting. An error now and then isn’t bad but the less fewer errors, the more quickly people will be able to read and understand your article. (This rule, of course, is universal in writing and doesn’t just apply to blogging.)

To practically all of these rules there are exceptions. For example, when your post is very humorous in tone and has a punch line, you may specifically not want to give it away in the title. Or when you’re writing a longer essay, you’ll just have to live with the fact that you won’t be able to “cut to the chase” in the first paragraph. Another exception is that it’s not really necessary to mark every change, e.g. when you fix a typo somewhere in the text, or when you just posted 10 seconds ago. Not every post needs an image, etc. etc. And sometimes, breaking the rule is a conscious style element (e.g. this style of linking – not sure if it has a name – intentionally breaks rule #3).

Good Blog Writing Style by Philipp Lenssen

Pray For New Life Church

This week we are praying for the members of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Skip the media and go straight to New Life's website. The board and leadership have done the right thing. Now stand with this body in prayer: 1. Pray that not one believer would "fall away" as a result of this. 2. Pray for the church that God would strengthen and guide them as they choose a new Lead Pastor. 3. Pray for Ted & Gayle Haggard as they walk through the healing process.

Ted appears to have taken full responsibility read his apology here:

Pray for Gayle, for real!

Regardless of denominational backgrounds, stylistic preferences, we are all the body of Christ when one of us is affected it impacts us all.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I Believe You Hear My Cries

Listen, God! Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning
you'll hear me at it again.
Every morning
I lay out pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch for fire to descend...
And here I am your invited guest--
it's incredible!
I enter your house; here I am,
prostrate in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions to get me safely through
enemy lines...
But you'll welcome us with open arms
when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Portions of Psalm 5