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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Recent conversation with Bishop Adams

The Rt. Rev. Gladstone "Skip" Adams visited our parish this past month for confirmation. He is really a caring pastoral soul. Our church has an alternative worship service and our band played during the confirmation service — which was really a big deal — and he couldn't have been more supportive. After the service Skip and I went out for drinks with my beloved boss The Very Rev. Donald Turner and his even more beloved wife Candy. I rode with him and asked him some questions ...

Skip voted for the confirmation of Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual bishop of New Hampshire. Certain priests in our diocese are furious with him and, quite frankly, are treating him harshly. They are angry and feel betrayed. I asked Skip if they were still being difficult and they were "but we're still talking" he said. And he was glad for that. One thing he said regarding his vote ... "I might be wrong." He basically felt conflicted about the matter and if he was going to err he wanted to do so on the side of grace and inclusion. I think he's wrong but I appreciate his humility and openess to dialog. He isn't driven with an agenda on behalf of homosexuals everywhere, he's trying to be faithful as he understands it.

While I am not sympathetic to his plight, his courage, humility, integrity and candidness was refreshing. I'm glad I know him.

Certain parishes are wanting Alternative Episcopal Oversight ... translated from Episcopalian to the common language ... they want a new bishop. The House of Bishops has devised a plan for Delegated Episcopal Oversight. Skip is willing to grant that to any church who asks for it as long as they have him in their parish beforehand to keep the communication lines open. He really doesn't want to make any parish's life any more difficult than it already may be but wants to keep some sort of relationship.

I think he's in extremely serious doctrinal error. But I really like this guy. Skip is authentic and caring. Beyond that, what a kewl name ... Gladstone ... I guess it was tough as a teen but he's grown into it. I like it better than Skip.

And tomorrow I will teach you about never bagelgating your crozier ... if I can learn how to spell it.

Nobody in my church seems to care ...

that the Episcopal Church is on the verge of internal schism and further being disciplined and alienated by Anglicans worldwide. I find this whole thing strange. This is an historic moment in the life of the church and few seem aware of it or interested in it. I observe that to some, that stuff is happening 'out there' somewhere and doesn't affect us here in our church. I just don't get that. I don't understand how they identify themselves as Episcopal but what happens in the wider church doesn't impact their identify. There is a disconnect that I don't understand.

I feel some angst about this whole schism thing. Here I am hired to do evangelism but do I really want to lead someone to Christ and then help them identify with a schismatic church? Certainly there is The Network within the Episcopal Church that is being recognized by Anglicans world wide as the true expression of Anglicanism in the US. But my church isn't one of them and isn't really close ... they're not really liberal either, they're just kind of lost and keep to themselves.

If your church (denomination) was being excommunicated by the vast majority of the rest of its worldwide network, wouldn't you be worried? Would you have some personal issues with being associated with a denomination that is splitting and then being left on the side that is being disciplined by the other world players in the matter?

I'm an Evangelical Covenant minister in an Episcopal Church. If my Covenant Church were in the same situation I might be bailing quick.

This type of stuff doesn't seem to be happening in the Eastern Churches. Remember a number of months back that church that performed some homosexual blessing in it so they defrocked the priest immediately and RAZED THE CHURCH. They don't mess around.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Click Here For Today's Artwork

Yesterday's Sermon

For whatever reason, I broke all my preaching norms yesterday. I used the Lectionary gospel lesson (Luke 9:51-62) and had 3 points. Not my preferred style but it seemed to work. Most Sundays I finish preaching and say to myself, "What the heck kinda nonsense was that?" but this week it felt pretty good. Here's the gist ...

Following Jesus comes with great personal sacrifice.

[57] As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go." [58] But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head."

Following Jesus means a rearranging of even our most basic priorities and relationships.

[59] He said to another person, "Come, be my disciple." The man agreed, but he said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father." [60] Jesus replied, "Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God."

Following Jesus demands an unyielding life focus.

[61] Another said, "Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family." [62] But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Duct Tape

I used duct tape to fix my gutters yesterday. One of the connectors lost one of its rubber seals so I duct taped it. Duct tape is one of God's tools — there's nothing it can't fix. If you have a moment, tell me your favorite duct tape story ...

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Secret of Great Pastors

It's a little known secret of what makes great pastors. Some believe it is their ability to open the Scriptures, others believe it is power that comes from being on their knees. Many believe it is their ability to lead ... both navigating the cultural waters and getting people to follow.

Those things are crucial. I'm convinced that there is another very crucial element to effective pastoral ministry. And I do believe it exists in part, apart from the pastor's leadership. One of the secrets of great pastors are ... great parishioners. Maybe that's obvious, maybe it's not. Maybe it just reflects my own issues.

I was reflecting yesterday upon an older gentleman at church, who has little involvement with my ministry. He is more of a traditionalist in worship and my ministry is anything but that. Yet he constantly says things like, "You do a great job!" or "Nice work." People like that motivate me to be the best pastor I can be.

Another incident: At a Vestry meeting, a woman was highly critical of the money spent to fund my position at the church. Yet a week later, she sought me ought to affirm my work and let me know it wasn't personal ... she just had a different view on what the church could be doing with that money. I love working for people like that. Sure they have different opinions but it wasn't personal, and despite speaking 'against my ministry', she was open to conversation, challenge and sought me out to make sure nothing was between us. I can work with that. I want to work with people like that. It's motivating.

I can think of several other parishioners that give me a lot of love ... seemingly unconditional love. They are appreciative and affectionate (in an appropriate way). I really don't want to let them down when I do my work.

I wonder if in some cases, where pastoral ministries flourish, if it has to do more with right combination of great followers than with the skills of the minister. I do believe that many parishes fail because of the unwillingness of parishioners to change, be flexible or get on board with the leadership. Yet I see pastors get a lot of credit for "turning that church around" or "leading them to a new level", when really it might have been as much or more the right set of followers lifting up the minister to be all s/he could be. I'm convinced lay people need a little more credit.

The secret of great pastors is in no small way ... great followers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Church of Little League

This past weekend my kids finished their first season in Little League and had a great experience. Katelyn is 8. Carter is 6. It was a coach pitched league, which I like much better than T-Ball, for 6-8 year olds. They play 3 innings and everyone bats every inning. All the kids want to bat last because they get to hit "the homerun ball". All the parents cheer on both teams for every kid's at bat, every kid's throw, every kid's catch ... every kid's effort! There were a lot of laughs as balls were thrown all over the field, kids missing bases and generally not knowing the rules.

At the closing ceremonies on Saturday it was a lovefest. All the kids get medals for participating. In the older leagues, the winners and runners-up get trophies. They recognize players "graduating" from the league. Public recognition and thanks were given to the umpires, coaches, those who care for the fields, team sponsors, even God had a moment as we had a prayer. They had a memorial moment to remember a kid who had died but the field had been named after him and gave awards to 2 kids in memory of him. Since this is a military community they had the pledge, the Star Spangled Banner, a color guard and a moment of silence for those who have lost friends and loved ones in the war on terror. In my 3 year old's eyes, the best part was the free hot dogs. There was a raffle with numerous donated prizes. The atmosphere was celebrative, festive and full of thanksgiving and appreciation.

I saw lots of people watching each other's kids. A lot of people hugged and shook hands. Many personal greetings and words of thanksgiving were shared. Smiles on faces and laughter was all around. The children went home as better players and encouraged to be better people. You could see they had fun. My kids can't wait until next year.

Maybe I was oblivious to the factions and back biting. Maybe some kids and parents did go home mad because the grass and their uni's weren't the right color. Perhaps I missed the complaining because there wasn't enough money. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

If only church was this fun. Some how I think God had a church in mind more like Little League than the current popular version that is being avoided by vast segments of our population.

See pictures of the kids fun at my photo website: http://homepage.mac.com/stevenevans/PhotoAlbum5.html

Friday, June 18, 2004

Prayer from Thomas Merton

Nearly a decade ago, a beloved friend sent me a little card with a prayer on it from Thomas Merton, which he had picked up while visiting the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. I had reason to share that prayer with a friend in need today and thought I would share it here to.

May God's richest blessings be upon you this day and always. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen. †††

by Thomas Merton from his book Thoughts in Solitude ©Abbey of Gethsemani.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Who Should Be A Christian Leader?

In light of the following passage of Scripture, do you think persons with children, who are rebellious, disobedient, etc. — not "submissive," should not be in or removed from pastoral ministry or lay leadership? Why or why not?

1 TIMOTHY 3:1-13 (ESV)
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. [2] Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, [3] not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. [4] He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, [5] for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? [6] He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. [7] Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
[8] Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. [9] They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. [10] And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. [11] Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. [12] Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. [13] For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Holy Communion for Pets

Observer of all things Episcopal, David Virture reports:

And in the DIOCESE OF CONNECTICUT, St. Francis Episcopal Church in Stamford Conn. is now giving Holy Communion to pets. The New Oxford Review reports, "That's one way to minimize membership losses in the shrinking Episcopal Church. It can only be given on the tongue, so there is a traditional aspect here. We imagine the priest or priestess must be very agile so as not to get bitten. There are fewer condemnations of bestiality in the Bible than of homosexuality. If the Episcopalians can swallow homosexuality, bestiality has to be a cinch. Yes we can see it now. Fido and Forklift Florence inside a sumptuous Episcopal Church. What a cute couple!"

Do you think our pets are in heaven? It would seem to me that even pets are affected by sin that has ravaged all of God's creation and therefore would need to be redeemed? Do you think that Jesus died to redeem our pets as well as ourselves? Are they part of the "body of Christ" and so should receive the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? It seems that some treat pets just like babies — although they have been impacted by original sin, they believe babies are innocent and would be heavenward bound if they died — as are their pets.

Reading about the Episcopal Church seems to be a perpetual News of the Weird.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Quote from Bp. Skip (Gladstone) Adams

"If money is the deciding factor as to whether to do a ministry or not, we have made money God. We have put money in God's rightful place." Spoke to the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church on June 10, 2003 at the Bishop's Office.

Paraphrasing some other important words from Bp. Adams: If God has called you to do it, the resources will be there. He recalled the morning office gospel lesson of the disciples feeding the 5k: they made an accounting of what they had and it seemed small. But Jesus said they had enough and to go carry out his mission.

Off the record: Trinity and their $6m endowment is the largest in the Diocese of CNY, trailing only the Diocese's own endowment of about $20m. But just remember, "We aren't a rich church."

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

What if it's true ...

I've heard a couple of quotes in recent months that scare, because they might be true:

One friend ...
"What if it's true that the biggest hindrance to the spead of the gospel in the US is Christians?"

Another friend of a friend (paraphrase) ...
"US Christians will have a negligible impact on spreading the gospel to future generations because of our wealth."

Who is rich?

I was at a meeting yesterday where a member of the group said, "This is not a rich church." I shut my mouth tight -- uncharacteristic of me -- as I knew I would fly in into an instantaneous flash of rage if I said anything at all. "This ... church" he was talking about has $6+ million dollars in endowments. Of course that number is down a little from the $8 or $9 mil they had a couple of years back because of the market down turn, so I guess they could be feeling a little poorer.

It is important to give a person the benefit of the doubt. Think the best of them first. Perhaps he meant that the people of the church are not wealthy as they once were many years ago. Early last century most of the elite in our small city went to our church, which at the time also owned a country club on the lake. Yes, the church owned a country club. It complemented the billiards room with Stickely furniture, bowling alley, pool and theater in the 56k sq. foot church very nicely. Certainly we were rich then but our parishioners now weren't so wealthy or elite.

Even if he did mean that, in the room that night was a VP for an investment firm, an architect, a masters level counselor, an insurance salesman, a marketing person for a tech company, a retired music teacher, a real estate appraiser & investor, a director of a major non-profit, a banking exec, a pharmacistcist, an administrative asst. and two very well paid clergy. We are not among the uber elite in wealth but compared our region and the rest of the world, I can't believe how much money we make! But this isn't a rich church?

None of us lacked health insurance. All except one owned a home (but a couple owned more than one) but all owned a car (or two) and had internet access and could take vacations and had stuff galore! But we aren't rich? Who is then? Are only millionaires rich? We only had maybe one of them in the room. Maybe we need a few more to be qualified as rich.

Could he have some how meant the church institution wasn't rich? Six million dollars in endowments. That's $6,000,000.00. Now certainly all of that money is not liquid. There are restrictions on certain funds and principle that must not be touched. But that is only our endowments. What about the multiple millions they own in property and church paraphernalia? What about their half a million dollar budget, which is funded by about one third from offerings and the rest from interest on the endowments. But we aren't rich?

Our church is in a county with the second highest unemployment rate in the state, and we border the leader in that category. There is real poverty in the area, where people don't make enough to eat or pay bills. Many of them receive public assistance but some do fall through the cracks and rely on charity organizations. Of course, most of those people don't go to our church.

At this same meeting, was a coworker who arrived home from a visit to El Salvador. In her 10 days there, she saw streets filled with maimed beggars, people sifting through garbage bins looking for something of value, people who lived off rain water and ate beans at every meal because that is what they could afford ... she saw poverty.

At this same meeting, a teen came to request support for her trip to Tijuana, Mexico, where with a group of 29 others they will build 2 houses in four days for people who live in slums ... homes made of cardboard, scrap metal, with no plumbing, no doors, no decorations, no computers, no insurance, no food, etc.

Imagine this scenario ... a world conference for the poor people, where they were flown in from El Salvador, Mexico, Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Viet Nam, India and of course, the US would send their delegation of poor people also. They would have lectures about being poor and support groups. The US people would share their pain, "My welfare check just isn't getting me to the end of the month and I'm falling behind in paying my phone bill." "Yeah me too. And I'm just embarrassed every time I have to go to the grocery and pull out my 'coupons' and everyone else in line starts staring at me and rolling their eyes." "I really appreciate being able to go to the Urban Mission to get a bag or two of groceries because I don't qualify for food stamps. But they never seem to have enough personal hygiene stuff. I haven't been able to shave my legs in months." "My husband beat me and my son. We had to escape to a women's shelter. It was awful." "I'm homeless. Sometimes I stay in the shelter at night. There's no privacy and I hate it. The breakfast they serve is terrible." "I just can't stand those 'do-gooders' who work at the soup kitchen I eat at. Why do they think they are better than me?"

How does someone who lives in a dump in Bogata, Colombia respond compassionately?

But we aren't rich. And this isn't a rich church.

There just has to be a DSM IV category for us. Delusional? Narcissists? Idiots?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Trinity Sunday (The First Sunday of Pentecost)

This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday. Since our church is named "Trinity" it was our patronal feast day, therefore, Fr. busted out the incense to make things a little more festive and reverant. Of course that was not so great for the people with asthma. I enjoyed it thoroughly and was welcomed to it again when I came into work this morning, as it's fragrance was still in the air.

I'm thinking my next calling in life is to be a Thurifer, which is "an acolyte who carries a Thurible", which is "a censer used in certain ecclesiastical ceremonies or liturgies."

Here is a picture of our Thurible.

The texts for this Sunday were:

Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 29 Revelation 4:1-11 John 16:12-15

Fr. Turner put in this nice little graphic as an insert into the bulletin.

May the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you always. Amen.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Lark News

I can never figure out how Lark News can read my mind. I'm sure this could be done evangelistically with Bible verses on each page of photos and making each password a Bible verse reference (i.e. John 3:16) or an Old Testament name (i.e. Bathsheba).

Teen seeks missions assignment where women don't wear clothes

INDIANAPOLIS — Billy Pratt, 17, of Shafter Community Church is seeking a short-term missions trip to any locale where women hang around naked.

"There are definitely places in the world where people just don't wear clothes," he says, perched on his bed at his parents' house. Pratt hasn't told his pastor about his criterion, but he has researched locations extensively on the internet. He adds that if teen boys could work in a place where they were surrounded by "tons and tons of boobs" the ranks of missionaries would swell.

"I don't know why they don't publish this stuff," he says.

For his part, Pratt hopes his church will send him on an exploratory trip to remote Brazil and perhaps the French Riviera — "wherever unclothed people need to hear the gospel," he says. He is collecting Bibles to give away, and bought two dozen memory cards for his digital camera. He expects to garner financial support from boys his age who, in exchange for their donation, would receive the password to Pratt's web site which will include video updates and a slide show of his work there.

He feels called to return to these locations three or four times a year, and he hopes his church sees the urgency of sending him.

"I have a meeting with the pastor next week," he says. "We'll see how it goes."

Donatism and Those Damn ECUSA heretics!

Below is a dialog with Brad Boydston, who is helping me understand the heresy of Donatism better.

At 11:30 AM 6/3/2004, you wrote:
The Ultra Rev:
Dear Brad,

Could you help me in understanding the Donatist heresy a little better? I have read a couple of articles get the basic gist: the efficacy of the sacraments is not dependent upon the moral character of the one who administers them. The 4th century issue was the consecration of a bishop by another bishop who was considered a "traditor" (or a traitor: one who turns over sacred books & relics to civil authorities during a period of persecution).

The part I need help with is this: is there a difference between the moral character and theology of a bishop/priest/pastor?

No, there is no fundamental difference in the response that Augustine developed (If memory serves me right). Augustine argued that the efficaciousness of the sacraments resided with the catholic church itself rather than with any particular individual bishop. The Donatists argued that the efficaciousness had something to do with the character of the individual bishop.

But what happens when the whole church pretty much abandons catholicity? For example, Augustine would have not recognized the sacraments of the Donatist churches because they had abandoned their catholic connections (regardless of how orthodox they may have been). The individual bishop (Cacillian) was okay because the catholic connection was still in place -- even though he had a moral failure. He was still connected to the broader church. The Donatists may have been purer but they had abandoned the catholic connection. This is really about catholic connection.

Again, though, what happens when the whole structure abandons catholicty? In other words, the current situation in the Episcopal Church is the complete opposite of the Donatist controversy. The Donatist controversy, as framed by Augustine, involved an individual and his followers who had abandoned the catholic connection. But now we have a whole church which is acting like separatistic Donatists (but for different reasons). So, the orthodox remnant is the only part of the church that maintains catholicity.

The Ultra Rev:
Would heretical theology make the sacraments or the consecration/ordination of a priest any less efficacious? When I say heretical, I am thinking about ministers who might deny the deity of Christ, or the existence of the Trinity, or the authority and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

I don't know. It seems to me that it is hard to know where to draw the line. In typical Covenant manner I can tell you where the center is (and that's where I want to be) but that it is often difficult to discern the edges. The problem in the Episcopal Church is that they don't know where the center is anymore.

The real issue is when does the church cease being the church? And I would answer that it does so when it denies the center -- the core -- then it is no longer really a church anyway. It may have a church structure and it may function with some degree of effectiveness. But they are no longer the church because they have no catholic connection. Portions of the Episcopal Church are still Church but a good portion is nothing more than an empty shell. Are the sacraments they produce efficacious? Who knows? But why do we deny the gospel by pretending that we are united in sacrament when there is no real unity? And there can be no unity because Christ is no longer the center. That's more of the issue. The sacraments become a false statement.

This is where the Eastern Orthodox are helpful. They understand that it's not apostolic succession in and of itself that makes the difference. It is the connectedness to the church catholic that it represents. That is, there is no magic that is transmitted through apostolic succession so that someone can function apart from the whole. And the Episcopal Church is operating apart from the whole.

The Ultra Rev:
Many orthodox priests in the Episcopal Church are being accused of being Donatists if they do not receive the Eucharist from their Bishop whose theology appears to be heretical.

So they, the organizational Episcopalians, are admitting that they have betrayed the gospel and sold out like Felix (He was the one who had surrendered the gospel)? If the orthodox are puritan separatists then they are traitors (using their argument).

The other problem with this argument is that Donatus was seen as a heretic. In the ECUSA system nothing is considered heretical. By definition you can't be a heretic in that environment. And that is un-catholic.

The Ultra Rev:
While these Bishops may be fine moral people, clearly some of their public statements no doubt make them out of step with the faith handed down to us by the Apostles — outright heretics if you ask me.

Yup. How can heretics rightly accuse people of orthodox faith of heresy? Go figure.

This morning Richard Kew sent email to his list (see below) in which he talks about Thomas Oden's thesis ("The Rebirth of Orthodoxy") that orthodoxy always wins out given enough time. Kew says, therefore orthodox episcopalians should hang in there. But as I see it there have been plenty of places where heterodoxy has prevailed for centuries -- where the Arian church almost eradicated the catholic church. Yes, over centuries orthodoxy bobbed to the surface time and time again. But I think that the problem with Kew and friends is that they too closely associate traditional Anglicanism with the totality of orthodoxy.

I would argue that orthodoxy will bob to the surface but it may or may not be Anglican. I like Paul Larsen's metaphor of water running down a hillside. It may encounter a barrier -- a rock or a tree truck -- but it will just move around it and cut a new channel. The kingdom of God is unstoppable. Eventually it will do an end-run around the barriers. At this point the Episcopal Church is acting just like another barrier -- rather than a channel.

The Ultra Rev:
Do you have any wisdom on this subject?

I'm not sure I'd call it wisdom -- more rambling and frustration than anything. And maybe the thing that I find even more disconcerting than the heresy of the Episcopal Church is that the orthodox people seem to be at such odds with each other. They don't support each other. The people who have chosen to stay in the Episcopal church bash the AMiA people and the AMiA people aren't talking with those who have remained within the ECUSA. The small continuing Anglican groups have all set-up their own mini-dynasties. The grass is definitely not greener on the other side of the fence.

Fortunately, there are still people committed to preaching the gospel in the midst of the crisis.


My admiration and appreciation of Brad Boydston grows everytime my inbox is graced with his email. Thanks Brad.

My Jesus I Love Thee

In the face of pain and depression, I sing this hymn to Thee O Lord ...

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou:
If ever I love thee, my Jesus 'tis now.

I love thee because thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on my brow:
If ever I love thee, my Jesus 'tis now.

I'll love thee in life, I will love thee in death,
And praise thee as long as thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow:
If ever I love thee, my Jesus 'tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I'll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow
If ever I love thee, my Jesus 'tis now.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Praise God for Hollywood

Had a conversation this weekend with a friend that went to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" with me. She's had a transformation in her thinking that is slowly making it's way to her heart.

She has always had trouble with forgiveness toward people who have done heinous things. After hearing in the news of another tragic death of a child at the hands of an adult, she pondered. She would used to say she could never forgive someone who did that. But since seeing The Passion, and watching Jesus "get the hell beat out of him" and being forgiving ... she is open to the idea that she could forgive. If Jesus could forgive his torturers and God could forgive us, she reasoned that she might be able to forgive others.

The heart of the gospel is becoming clear before her eyes. All because of God and His use of Hollywood. Talk about redemption! Praise God for Hollywood.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

All my friends ...

... have blogs and i was feeling left out. so here is my first post. i've acutally wanted to do this for awhile but haven't got to it. now i was motivated to do it to keep up with the boyz. and i have a lot to say.

i promise this blog will not suck neither will it be nice. i hope that it will be like a shot of lemoncello, which is an italian dessert liqueur — the first sip is spine tingling, toe pointing, and body vibrating, after which it becomes strong, warm, enjoyable, mind altering and friendly.