Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home Schooling

Since our attempt to start a Christian School here in our neighborhood did not come to fruition, we decided to home school my daughter. This is our first attempt at home school and this first week went fine. We are using curriculum from Alpha and Omega press. ( It is totally computerized, easy for dad to figure out and (at least for this first week) enjoyable for my daughter to use.

I will try to keep updated on how things go.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Prayers God Answers

I recently have read, “Six Prayers God Always Answers” by Mark Herringshaw & Jennifer Schuchmann.
Interesting in the fact that the writers make an argument of answered prayers, that there may be some of those prayers that we might not want answered. So the title could have easily been, “some prayers you do not want to pray” or “be careful what you pray for”. Some prayers that we ought to be careful in praying are

1. bargaining prayers-those are the prayers where we make deals with God, “Lord save my childs life and I will serve you.” The problem may be that at times we get more than what we bargained for.
I think of King Hezekiah who became sick and God told him that he was going to die. Hezekiah begged for more time and God granted him his request. But during that extrat time Mannasah was born who became the most wicked king of Israel up to that time.
A bargain that would have been better off not made.

Another prayer that God answers but that we need to be aware is ‘questioning prayers’. The problem with those prayers is that the answer that we sought is not the answer we always get. So then the question goes back to us, What do we do with the answer once we get it?

A third prayer that God answers but we might want to be careful in praying, is the prayer for justice. Do we really want what we deserve? or would we prefer mercy? I am afraid too many times we want justice to be shown toward others and mercy toward ourselves.

3 other type of prayers that the writers mention God always answers are: Desperate prayers, Audacious prayers, prayers of Beauty and Happiness

Friday, August 22, 2008

Great Story

I love this story from the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.

He tells the story of a 14 yr. old girl named Brooke Bronkowski, who started a bible study on her school campus while in junior high. She would save her lunch money to buy bibles for the kids who did not have any. When she was 12 yrs. old she penned these words.

“I’ll live my life to the fullest. I’ll be happy. I’ll brighten up. I will be more joyful than I have ever been. I will been kind to others. I will loosen up. I will tell others about Christ . I will go on adventures and change the world. I will be bold and not change who I really am. I will have no troubles but instead I will help others with their troubles.

You see, I’ll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age. Oh, I’ll have moments, good and bad, but I’ll wipe away the bad and only remember the good. In fact that’s all I remember, just good moments, nothing in between, just living my life to it’s fullest. I’ll be one of those people who goes somewhere with a mission, an awesome plan, a world changing plan, and nothing will hold me back. I’ll set an example for others, I will pray for direction.

I have my life before me. I will give others the joy I have and God will give me more joy. I will do everything God tells me to do. I will follow the footsteps of God. I will do my best!!”

While a freshman in high school, at the age of 14, she was killed in an automobile accident.
Aprox. 1,500 people showed up for the memorial service in which all spoke of her example and joy. Many read poems that she had written about her love for God. The gospel invitation was given and over 200 kids came forward to give their lives to Christ. Afterward the ushers passed out bibles that Brooke had bought to share with her unsaved friends.

The question I ask myself is, what kind of influence am I having on those around me?

Sad Story

What legacy are we leaving our children and grandchildren? When we die what is it that our children and grandchildren will remember about us?

The following is a legitimate obituary published by a paper in San Fransico. Before publishing the obituary the paper wanted to see the death certificate, to be sure that this was not just some sort of joke.

SFist: R.I.P., Dolores Aguilar

Monday, August 18, 2008

jobs with high prestige

Results of the annual Harris Poll that measures the public's perceptions of 23 different professions and occupations indicates that the profession of clergy ranks in the top 10 most prestigious occupations.

Of the 1,010 U.S. adults who were interviewed in July of this year, 40 percent said that the role of Priest/Minister/Clergy had "very great prestige." The top ten occupations ranked by perception of very high prestige were:

Firefighter: 57%
Scientist: 56%
Doctor: 53%
Nurse: 52%
Teacher: 52%
Military Officer: 46%
Police Officer: 46%
Farmer: 41%
Minister/Clergy: 40%
Engineer: 40%

Of the 23 professions that were ranked, Banker, Stockbroker and Real Estate Agent took the bottom three spots, with only six percent of respondents saying that Real Estate Agent was an occupation with "very great prestige." It's also interesting to note that, according to the Harris Poll in 1977, the occupation of Clergy was seen as having "very great prestige" by 41 percent of those who were questioned. That number rose to 46 percent in 1998 and dropped to 32 percent in 2004.
For the complete report, visit and search under the listing of the 2008 polls.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

scary story

sometimes I read short stories or illustrations that literally scare me when I think of all its implications....Here is such a story

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you."One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.He asked her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him. Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When they will not come

Taken from the blog

When They Will Not Come
Monday, August 04, 2008
A lot of my interaction with students, pastors and church planters is over the issues of post-Christendom and the revolutionary change required of us who seek to engage those outside Christ with the gospel. It truly is stunning to recognize how things have changed in this country over the last fifty years. Over and over again I hear the stories of churches and the lament "all we're doing is shuffling discontented believers from one form of church to another." Or I hear "another mega church has moved into the area and emptied out three traditional local churches." It's post Christendom and we're competing for customers.For those who refuse to enter this ugly frey, we are left to plant churches and think about the Christian life in a different way.

There simply are not a ready made group of people out there ready to join your church-plant in just a few months of your beginning (hallelujah). Salvations don't just fall out of trees (read here for my case on this) and disciples take several years to grow. There are no simple techniques or boot camps. I'm ok with this. For indeed church planting now has to be life on life - sustainable over many years.This is the situation of "when they will not come." It is church planting, church pastoring and church life as it is after the "attractional" nature of the church has disappeared. Now all we have left is "us."Church in post-Christendom therefore is nothing less than a chosen way of life. It is choosing a way of being together. This way of being together encompasses how we worship, how we share and eat food, how we pool together resourses to help the poor, how we get together and hear Scriptures read and teach our children how to listen for God in that. Forgiveness, patience, care, speaking truth in love, is part of this way of being together. In this way of living, career and making money is more about taking care of one another and giving glory to God than personal aspiration. And God inhabits this way of being so that miracles, blessings, sustaining times in life and death become a part of everyday life. Mission becomes our rhythym.

When those outside of Christ will not come to our church services no matter how professional they might be, when they will not come to our special out reach events, when they will not come for Sunday school for their kids, or movie night or whatever other crazy fanagled way we dream up to get people into our church, then we must somehow rethink the orientation of just about everything we do in church. This would include worship, community and fellowship, discipleship, preaching (part of worship), children's ministries, leadership, evangelism, justice and of course church-planting.....

Friday, August 01, 2008

Book Review

Book Review of "HOLY FOOLS" By Mathew Woodley

As I began to read I was thinking that this book would have been an introduction of some of the early Christians that were called ‘desert fathers and mothers’. It was more of how studying the desert fathers have affected the author. The author then goes through a list of ‘spiritual disciplines’ that were practiced by the fathers that he himself has tried to put into practice.
The 4 main sections of the book are 1.) Awakening to a Life of Compassion 2) Awakening to a Life of Vulnerability 3) Awakening to a Life of Discipline 4) Awakening to a Life of Spiritual Passion. Each section has either 2 or 3 chapters.

A few of the points the writer brought out that I thought were beneficial were:
-When having a party we should invite those who would normally not be invited. Those who are on the outskirts of society.

- In one chapter he talks about repentance and says this, “The point of repentance isn’t just to make us feel bad; it infuses us with hope and desire, specifically the hope and desire that God can change us, that God’s mercy is available to us, that every breath we take is a gift from a merciful God” p.67
That thought gives a positive aspect to repentance instead of the negative tone that we usually associate with the idea of repenting.

-He stated that the desert fathers emphasized a balanced approach to practicing spiritual disciplines. Noting that not every spiritual ‘program’ fits every human being. p.183

Though there were some good things said I believe I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been an introduction to the desert fathers themselves. I am not sure that another book on the spiritual disciplines is necessary, when there are quite a few others out there that are better than this one.
One thing that bothered me was the seemingly shallowness of some of the examples the writer gave in trying to imitate the desert fathers from a suburban landscape. One such example was that he equated waiting in line at a fast food restaurant equivalent to living in the harsh realities of the desert. Though waiting in line may be a good test of our patience it hardly equates with leaving suburbia and heading off to live in the desert. A book that I would recommend to this author would be “Death by Suburb” by David Goetz.

I would give this book 2 ½ stars.