Saturday, April 29, 2006

Paper Basketball...

If you have some down time here is a little challenge....

Friday, April 28, 2006

I DO feel appreciated!

This evening, the staff at church gave it's volunteers the night off.

Last year I missed this event but this year, Northern Hills volunteer appreciation banquet was wonderful. Northern Hills hosts a volunteer appreciation banquet every year. It cost us nothing but the gasoline to get there. This year, food was provided by KT's Barbeque, service by the staff at church and, after having each of the people in charge of the volunteers thank their crews, Dave, The Horn Guy showed up.

Dave was fun and entertaining! What a great evening! You can read more about the event here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Randall Balmer

I first heard of Randall Balmer when I stumbled across a speech he gave at Calvin College over 2 years ago. You can find that speech, titled "After Billy Graham: The Future of American Protestantism", here but you need Real Audio to listen. I found he even answered the email I sent him after hearing the speech.

My next exposure to Randall was at Christmas last year, watching the "Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory" documentary that my father had recorded from Iowa Public Television. I impressed enough that I wanted more.

I am now reading his book with the same title. So far, he has discussed Calvary Chapel and Dallas Theological Seminary.

My thoughts so far? One question! How much have we, as Christians done, to change the true gospel message that was personally delivered to us 2000 years ago?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

House of Mercy

I wanted to use this forum to thank Mark for sending the CD to introduce me to his church.

Mark is not only my cousin but has also been a great friend for many years and, if he doesn't know it, a spiritual influence in my life. He was the one who was instrumental in introducing me to liturgical worship styles.

House of Mercy is in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their site states...

House of Mercy offers a discriminating blend of high church and low, of tradition and innovation, sincere worship and healthy skepticism.

Their worship style is folk music and is quite enjoyable. I was surprised to see Gordon Gano on their "Welcome Visitors" CD. (I'll make my readers look him up).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A couple of favorite websites...

One of my favorite web sites is "How Stuff Works".

I have used this to find out how clutches work, how VoIP works, how DSL works and many other things. Usually explained without a lot of undue technical talk with pictures.

Another is LivePlasma. This site started out as MusicPlasma but expanded to include movies. Type in the name of a band or movie and it graphically shows the relationships between the one you requested and others.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

For some time now, I have thought that the Church in America has let it's respsibilities slip. Yes, they are in the business of ministering to people but one of the commands told to us several times are to feed the widows and poor, the disenfranchised among us. Instead, many of us are much more comfortable letting government programs take care of that.

I was encouraged by an interview with Dino Rizzo on Blogging Church. Dino is the pastor of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA. During the interview, he talks about the aftermath of the hurricane that hit New Orleans last year. He said that the first responders to the hurricane was not the government but the churches.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Getting all stacked up...

One of the reasons we have been so busy is that last weekend, Kyle participated in the World Cup Stacking competition. For those of you who don't know what that is, you can visit Speed Stacks. There were competitors there from Japan, 21 states in the United States, England, Germany and Austrailia. This was the first year for his school to participate but also Kyles first year. He didn't make the school team but was able to be on a compeition free agent team.

You can see one of Kyle's (on the left) Speed Stacking preliminaries below...

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If you want to see how fast this can be done, Emily Fox has the world record in many of the categories for her ages (Kyle got her signature on his competition shirt). Kyle's best time was 14.68 seconds. Her world record is 7.43. You can see it by watching the video below.

Blogging and Gluttony

I ran into my pastor (and friend) Rob at church. His comment? He was a lot more creative than this but "It has been a long time since you have posted!"

After making excuses about how crazy things have been since my family returned from vacation, I had the chance to really think about why! Gluttony.

On the "7 Deadly Sins" page, gluttony is defined. They say "Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires". Normally we think about this in terms of food but in my case, it has been in information.

With all the talk of knowledge being power, I HAVE BEEN AN INFORMATION GLUTTON. Not just good information, I have been trying to catch up on podcasts, tv shows, blogs forums. All my sources of information that I filter through during the week. I HAVE BEEN TO BUSY TAKING IN INFORMATION TO GIVE BACK! On this Blog or elsewhere!

So what is wrong with Gluttony? In my opinion, it is that we are not giving back and are hoarding resources!

What about gluttony around us? America is full of gluttony, in fact, we are a society of gluttons. We are materialistic, selfish, ungiving, overweight (at least the media tells me that but I DO resemble that remark).

We are also spiritual gluttons. Take statistics for what they are worth but my understanding is that in a typical church, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. If that is correct, that holds not only with service but with giving of offerings as well. I know that to maintain my relationship with Jesus, I have to listen to what he has to say which can be done by reading what he says in the Bible but I think even this can be taken too far. When we are so busy learning, reading, taking classes that you don't have the time to give back, you are a spiritual glutton. (Matt 20:26)

As I get back into a normal routine again, I will try not to be an information glutton and post here more often.