Friday, April 28, 2006

Day Off Fun

Well, I'm sitting at Messiah College, using their free wifi (with Aubrey's sign in info) and loving it.

I came up here to see a friend's (his name is Ross, and believe it or not, he's getting married to Rachel) science project presentation. He's a senior and he and some friends worked on a plane project, using a rotary engine (never used before in a plane) as the engine. Their intentions are to help to design a lightweight and easy to manage plane for mission work. Somebody else will design the body of the plane and the fueselage and things like that. They just designed and put together the engine components (including propellor). Anyway, they did an excellent job on all their stuff. Way to go, Ross.

I got to check out the NTS in service program. I'm interested in attending school while I'm still in ministry, but I don't feel I'm done here, so I'm checking out various degrees. I'm also slightly interested in the masters of spiritual formation from Northwest Nazarene. I'm unsure about the Naz bias, wanting something from a different perspective than what I've grown up with. But I've heard good things about both of these programs, so am wading through it.

Since Aubs if finishing up her Masters on May 13th, I figured it's about time I start figuring out what I'm going to do with my edumacation!

Also, since it is my day off, I explored the net and found, which comes loaded with tons of time wasting games you can play. Check it out if you want to waste some time.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 3

So, here is the place you can put your thoughts for chapter 3.

Donovan carefully explores culture and Paul's missionary strategy...definitely some fodder for discussion.

You guys are great!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 2

And we come to the second chapter of the book.

Here Donovan goes into the history of the Masai people, talking about their circumcision and cattle habits.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this chapter.

(If you weren't able to comment on the last chapter, feel free to follow up there.)

P.S. If you ever wondered, all cattle belongs to the Masai people and all goats belong to the Kleinfeld people.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I just checked out a great article by Dan Kimball who pastors at Vintage Faith Church.

Click to read it here.

It does a great job showing the difference between the "emerging church" and Emergent. (Hint, the first is more about methods, the second is more about theology)

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 1

Wow, we've had great discussions so far. And it's only the beginning.

Thank you all for contributing, and thanks for keeping these things above board and in the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit that binds us and brings peace.

The first chapter gives Vincent's summary of the history of missionary work in Africa.

I'm interested in finding out everybody's take on what he has to say.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Reading Lord of the Rings again

I decided to dive back into the world of middle-earth. it's great to be surrounded by elves and dwarves and hobbits, those things we only find in our imagination.

a couple quotes i liked:

"Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again."

"Don't adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story."

Spring is Breaking!

Well, I love the weather right now.

I love the cool mornings, requiring a light jacket, but permitting shorts.

I love the warm afternoon with the cool breeze from the morning.

I love the cool evenings, bringing back the jacket.

My friend Dave came and visited on Friday. That was really cool. He brought his guitar and played for my family (aubrey's family was visiting too). There is something about live music in your house that makes you come alive. I wish I could have him there all the time.

And even before the music, we had a great time catching up at Borders. There are people in this world that you can go for a long time without talking and when you finally do talk it's as if no time has passed. Dave is one of those people.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Intro!

Alright, friends, tomorrow marks the beginning of our adventures through the waters of Christianity Rediscovered.

Since the chapters are not that difficult to wade through, we'll be reading a new chapter every Tuesday and Friday.

So tomorrow we will start with thoughts and questions on the introduction.

This should be lots of fun!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Da Vinci Code

Some good thoughts on the upcoming movie and book by Dan Brown. While I enjoyed the book as fiction (really entertaining, actually), there is quite a bit of unfortunate theological implications. This site deals with some of those well.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Way of the Cross

So our teens put up the Way of the Cross for our church this week. A lot of work went into it and I'm super proud of all they've done. They created some great works of art and the atmosphere in the room is just great.

I've taken pictures of the different stations and put the devotions that go with them here on the site, so if you want to go through it yourself via the web, you can.

People have already started using the stations and are really getting a lot from it. Glad that the teens can serve in this way!

Way of the Cross: Station 1-Jesus is Condemned

Jesus is Condemned
Scene from “The Passion of the Christ”

Basin of water


The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of."

But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

Mark 15:3-5

"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked.
They all answered, "Crucify him!"

“Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"

Matthew 27:22-24


The only innocent one in this scene is Jesus. The truth is, we are all guilty. No one is innocent. Christ is accused and condemned unjustly for things he wasn’t guilty of.

Pilate tried to wash away his guilt, tried to overlook his part in the death of Jesus. We all have sins in our lives that we try to overlook.

The Basin

Wash your hands with the water from the basin. Think about the sins in your life that you have tried to wash away on your own.

What would Jesus have you do with those sins?

As you wash your hands, ask Jesus to wash your heart with his love.


Jesus, you were unjustly condemned and scorned. Pilate handed you over to be crucified, when the whole time you were innocent. Sometimes I try to escape my own sins. Sometimes I try to not take ownership for things that I should own. Forgive me. Wash me with your purity.

Way of the Cross: Station 2-Jesus Takes up His Cross

Jesus Bearing Cross
by Josh, 11th Grade Student



Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.)

John 19:16b-17

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross…

Hebrews 12:2


What were Jesus’ thoughts as he walked through the busy streets? As he made eye contact with those he passed by?

After being beaten close to death, Jesus is made to carry the beams he would die on. How heavy that weight must have been.

In beginning this road with the cross, Jesus becomes one with everyone who has ever bled or been scorned or been unfairly punished. He becomes one with you and me. The very creator of the universe experiences the ultimate suffering.

Yet, somewhere in the middle of the pain there was joy. The joy was that he was bringing salvation to the entire the world.

The Cross

If you want, try to lift the cross. Feel the weight of it. Imagine having to carry this after being flogged almost to the point of death. This is what Christ did for you.


Jesus, I don’t know how alone you felt as you carried the cross through the busy streets. I do know that it took a lot of courage and humility to bear that cross for the whole world. Thank you for your grace.

Jesus, as you experienced joy in the middle of pain, you give me hope in my suffering. Grant that I may know your joy which goes beyond the temporary and rests on the eternal.

Way of the Cross: Station 3-Simon Bears Jesus' Cross

Simon Carrying Cross for Jesus
Sam-10th Grade Student


As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.

Matthew 27:32

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Luke 9:23


Simon might have thought that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the truth is, he was exactly where Christ needed him.

It’s easy to think that Jesus could take care of everything by himself, but he needed Simon.

Just as Jesus allowed Simon to carry his cross, Jesus allows us to carry his cross. Jesus could clothe orphans, feed the hungry, build homes for the homeless by himself—but he doesn’t. He allows us to enter into the revolution of his kingdom by giving us the ability and guts to continue his way of love and peace and giving.


Think through your own life of what crosses Christ might want you to bear for him.

Is there someone you know who needs encouragement or to accept Jesus into her life? Pray for them.


Jesus, you were so physically weak that you needed Simon’s help to carry your cross. Open my eyes so that I may see what crosses you have put in my life.

Way of the Cross: Station 4-Jesus Meets Women of Israel

Weeping Women of Israel

Basin of Tears


A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!'

Luke 23:27-29


The women were mourning for what Jesus was going through.

Jesus asks the women to redirect their mourning. He asks them to weep for themselves and their children, because the world is still broken with sin.

Jesus’ heart breaks over the sin in the world. For the ignored, for those who have lost their way, for the weary, for the orphans, for the forgotten.

Jesus desires that our hearts break over the things that his heart breaks for.

When our heart breaks like Jesus’ heart breaks, we are willing to go to any length to bring healing to the world

Basin of Tears

Rinse your face with the water in the basin. As the water runs down your face ask Jesus to show you his heart for the world. Ask him to change your heart so that what moves him moves you.


Jesus, you told the women to weep for themselves and their children. Change my heart to weep for the things that you weep over. Cause me to weep for my sins and the sins of my family and friends. I pray this, because I want to participate with you in the changing of the world.

Way of the Cross: Station 5-Jesus is Stripped of his Garments

Garments and Dice


Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Luke 23:32-28


Humility and grace are the trademarks of Jesus, and they are so evident in this section of his story. If there was ever a time to return an insult, this was it. Totally unwarranted insults, thick as sludge, were poured on him.

What Jesus did was priceless. But the guards, rebels, those passing by and the leaders of Israel failed to appreciate the greatness right in front of them.

The one who had the most serious message for the world was treated as a triviality, as a toy. He was stripped and ridiculed as the people he was dying for heaped abuse on him.


Roll the dice. Think about areas in your own life where you may not react with the same grace that Jesus reacted. Think about how you take for granted the priceless gift Christ has given you.


Jesus, the message and hope that you bring is for my entire life. But often I treat what you have done as somewhat of a triviality, I don’t take you serious enough. I am like the soldiers sometimes. Jesus, help me take you seriously in my whole life.

Jesus, when you were abused, you did not return insult for insult. That’s not easy for me to do. Help me to react with the same grace that you do. Plant your grace in me, and may it grow out in how I react to the people you have put around me.

Way of the Cross: Station 6-Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Nail in Hand Surrounded by Names
Nick-11th Grader

Bucket of Nails


When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there…
Luke 23:33a

Bucket of Nails

Grab a nail from the basket. Hold on to it as you think about the pain Jesus went through for you.


Huge, sharp spikes are hammered through Jesus’ writes and feet—he almost loses consciousness with each swing of the hammer. Now he is raised up and the cross drops with a thud into a hold in the ground. Jesus’ weight hands on those spikes, and to breathe he has to pull himself up on the nails. A sponge with vinegar is stuck in his mouth, and soldiers below him gamble for his clothes, even as the blood, breath, and life drain from his body.


O Jesus, dear Jesus, though you never sinned, you hang there on the cross. I should be there, not you. You hang there in my place. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

(Reflection and Prayer taken from Soul Shaper by Tony Jones)

Way of the Cross: Station 7-Jesus Dies on the Cross

Pictures of those Jesus loves

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."

One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"

Mark 15:33-39


Jesus’ death was for the forgiveness for all people. Jesus was forsaken so that no one else would have to be. No one, absolutely no one, is outside the shadow of the cross.

But often it is easy to live as if God’s love is only extended to certain people. It easy to exclude people because of what they have done or because they are different from me. But Jesus’ death was for all.

No one can do anything to deserve forgiveness. But to Christ, everyone is worth it.

If Jesus offers forgiveness and new life to all the people in these pictures, that shows the bigness of his forgiveness.


Have I held back forgiveness from anybody?

Have I kept myself from forgiving others because I think they are unforgivable?

Have I embraced the greatness of his forgiveness for me?


Jesus, your forgiveness goes beyond any normal forgiveness. What can I compare your grace to? All I know is that sometimes I don’t live like I am forgiven. Help me to forgive like you. Help me to live as a person with a future written by forgiveness.

Way of the Cross: Station 8-Jesus is Buried

“It is finished” painting-Jess, 11th grader


As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

Matthew 27:57-61


At the very moment that Jesus was closest to his eternal glory, he seemed to be farthest from it. His body was placed in a stone-cold tomb, sealed with a massive rock, guarded by Roman soldiers.

Death is so very final.

Many of us have experienced the pain of death, or losing something or someone who has had a significant role in our lives.


Give me the trust, O Christ, that your plans are higher than mine. For even when all seems lost, you’re still at work. Death is not the final word for you, Son of Life. We adore you, O Christ, we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Friday, April 07, 2006

CR Book Discussion Begins April 18

We will officially start the conversation on Christianity Rediscovered on April 18...Some people are still waitin for their books to come to them in the mail, so we've been kind enough to wait for them.

So, here's how we're thinking of doing it. I'll create a post titled "Introduction Thoughts" or "Chapter One Thoughts" (all based on whatever section we're reading) and then we'll have a running commentary in the comments section.

Just make basic observations about the chapter and offer your interpretation...normal book reading stuff.

I'm looking forward to this...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Paradise Now

Aubrey and I went to see this movie with our friends Jeremy and Amy. Wow, what a great perspective. Two palestinian guys are recruited for a suicide bombing, but struggle with the idea, wondering if it is the best way for final peace. First movie I've seen that shows the Palestinian side of things, how they feel trapped by the Israeli's, how they feel like the victims with no power and how they want liberation.

Miroslav Volf writes: "the categories of oppression and liberation provide combat gear, not a pin-striped suit or dinner dress; they are good for fighting, but not for negotiating or celebrating--at least not until the oppressors have been conquered and the prisoners set free." (103 Exclusion and Embrace)

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Hotwheel for the Hulls

I found the sweetest van for my friend Brian and his family.

Check it out at the matchbox site.

It's a VW Micro-Bus.

The One Hotwheel Nobody Wanted

Seriously. Can there be an uglier vehicle?

I just searched the hotwheel site and found that they don't even sell these. I also searched the matchbox site and didn't find any there either.

I wonder if they designed 'em like this so nobody would be tempted to steal them?