• The Met
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  • William Bouguereau

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  • Jeune Fille se Defendant Contre L'amour
    by William Bouguereau

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    by William Bouguereau

  • Flagellation de Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ
    by William Bouguereau
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Location: Liverpool, NY

"In my house, I'm a big deal. That's all that matters."


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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day

Did you have a good Memorial Day weekend? The weather was stunningly beautiful here. I had a great time. I busted out my brother's chain saw: an 18" Poulan Wild Thing. I took down three small trees/shrubs in my front yard and then fired up my John Deere and dragged them out back. They'll dry out and I'll burn them.

But the big fun was at my neighbor's house. He just got a load of wood for his wood stove. He got the load in logs, like the size of extra wide telephone poles and a chest-high pile of them. So I went over to his place and started cutting them up too.

There is just something very fun and soothing about working with a chain saw. I love it! On top of that his wife brought out Honey-Browns for us. What a great night!

Then to top it off, he's got a high powered telescope and we looked at Jupiter with its storm clouds and moons. Very cool.

Reinventing Church

I'm going here this weekend. Actually I'm more excited about going to see my friend who works at The Met. I'll see a real live Bouguereau there! We'll eat at gourmet restaurants and drink very fine vino.

But the seminar ... it's kind of an oxymoron thing ... Episcopal church growth seminar. They lost another church this week and it seems like a weekly occurrence.

Monday, May 30, 2005

AMIA Story: Rwandan Coffee

The Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

I really like this Bishop of Rwanda. He's got the brass to send missionaries to the US overstepping Anglican provincial boundaries, essentially calling the Episcopal church apostate. He plants 70 Anglican churches here in 5 years and now is supposedly planting a new church every 6 weeks. Now, he's tapping into the US coffee market to promote social and economic healing in Rwanda. This guy is sharp.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Putfile - Upload Video and Upload Images

St. Brad of Abet had a link to a video here. Looks like a great place to waste time.

World's Largest Catfish Captured

I don't know how long this link will stay active but it's a great shot of the 124 pound world record catfish caught in the Mississippi.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What to do?

What to do with your 4 year old son, who was put to bed over an hour ago but is still awake and fooling around, and you go in to discipline him and he's holding his hands in the shape of an A on top of his head and he says, "Look Mom, I'm a Bishop!"

One can only hope that his Episcopacy is in Nigeria or Uganda and not Canterbury or ECUSA.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


We had a Concert of Prayer at First UMC tonight. Our final prep event leading up to the North Country Encounter. Here was one of the prayers the UM pastor had us pray in unison.

Let us pray for all those, throughout the world, who believe in the Gospel: that they may grow in grace and humanity. Let us also pray for all Churches, that they may not lay up treasures on earth or become monuments to a past age, clinging to what is already dead and remote from people of today, but that they may be converted and receive the spirit of Jesus, our Lord, who is the light and life, hope and peace of this world, forever and ever. Amen!


My rector, Fr. Vance, says, "Everybody has one good sermon in them." So a couple of weeks ago I let a lay person preach and he did great. He's an insurance salesman who God is doing a great work in him.

That inspired another young man named Vern. He asked if he could say some things some time. I told him to write it out so I can read it first and we'll go from there. This young man is bi-polar and lives in a half-way house. So I was a little worried.

He wrote out his story of growing up on the streets of Manhatten where he was involved in a gang, been stabbed & shot, involved in drugs and done jail time. But he moved to he north country to get away from that. He's since attended anger management classes and doesn't do drugs. And he's begun going to church.

So I let him tell his story tonight. It was more about him than what God was doing in him but he was eager to give encouragement to others. His basic point was that if someone like him could have his life turnaround anyone's could.

Now Vern is not the most eloquent and showed up in a ratty, grungie t-shirt & baggy sweats. But he got up and read his story - one page, handwritten, front and back. People cheered wildly and gave a standing ovation for over a full minute. It was moving.

Now when I preached afterward, there was one obnoxious child being her usual beligerant self and one other woman with psychiatric problems throwing things, rolling her eyes and mumbling. I was so distracted and I was just plain bad.

So I call tonight the night when I got outpreached by a bipolar, gangbanger from a halfway house who reads his manuscript. It was a great night to be outpreached.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Satellite View of My House

I love this whole new Google maps thing where you can see a satellite view. I used another program to take a couple of screen shots of my house and an island in the village of Black River where the kids and I go hiking. Click on the link above to see the screen shots on my picture web site.

If you want to see something kewl, click here to see my house, and then scroll north and you'll see a blurred picture. Know why?

Now don't pay attention to the fact that the arrow on the page marking my address is down the road and not in front of my house. It's actually almost in front of Mr. Desormo's house. I wonder if you type in his address if the dot is in front of my house.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Faith Fellowship Christian School

I had the distinct privilege of preaching at the Faith Fellowship School's weekly chapel for high school students this morning. I preached on Luke 15 as I often do. What a great way to start the day.

They had a worship team of about 8 kids and one of the songs they sang was I Can Only Imagine. I was literally moved to tears watching these young people worship and lead worship. I think what moved me the most of was reflecting on how this whole type of experience was so absent from my life until I was much older than them.

As these kids led in prayer and worship, I also reflected on what a different place these kids are spiritually than the adults in my church. They are willing to lead, have a smidgen of leadership experience and a hunger to grow the kingdom of God. They are passionate about the things of God. I can't really say that about many of the adults I work with.

I'm so optimistic for these kids lives. They were wonderfully gracious in welcoming me. As I stood up to get started I said, "Wow, my day doesn't normally start this good." And it was indeed a good way to start the day.

A side note ....
It was also a good ecumenical day: I, the Covenant ordained working in the Episcopal church, preached in the pentecostal school where 28 different churches were represented. And then I went to plan a concert of prayer for the community with a Methodist pastor and another pentecostal women. It's only noon and already been a good day for unity in the kingdom of God.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I'm coming out of the closet today ...

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Have I ever told you that I'm a Pentecostal? Absolutely full fledged, unashamed, tongue speaking, praying for healing, believing in miracles, love it when the worship team sings one song for 25 minutes, wishing I was slain in the Spirit, occasional word of knowledge & prophesy, John Wimber fan, Jack Deere disciple, wine drinking, John McArthur mocking, Pentecostal.

There. It's out. I lie every time I don't put "10" on the Covenant Minister's Profile for the charismatic involvement. There. That's out too. I'm full of confession & self revelation today.

Mars Hill Church Seattle

Xorey connected me to this church site. I highly recommend Mark Driscoll's sermon entitled: A Theology of Alcohol. It is very funny and shreds the ridiculous arguments and prohibitions Christians have made regarding alcohol over time.

A couple of funny quotes ...

Supposedly John Calvin had it in his contract to get 250 gallons of wine each year.

Martin Luther: "Do you suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object that is abused? Men can go wrong with both wine and women. Shall we then abolish women?" "Some persons worship the stars. Shall we pull them out of the sky?"

To get there: See the Menu? Click on MP3/Audio --> Sermons --> Practical Topics --> Alcohol --> Then download and listen to Mark Dirscoll's sermon.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I was bad to my body today and didn't eat anything until about 3:30 pm. I hate when I act like a boomer workaholic who puts his work above self care. That's just not right. Nothing was really that important. Everything today was urgent and there was a lot. Still no excuse.

Anyway, for breakfast, lunch and dinner in one meal I went to the Cucina as my wife was out of town with the kids and I didn't feel like cooking. Usually I make linguine and clam sauce whenever I'm on my own but I was too tired today.

My friends Pete & Brenda own and run the Cucina, an absolutely delightful, classy, upscale Italian restaurant. Brenda is one of these people who could decorate her garbage dumpster out in the alley and make it look like you want to live there. On top of that, she is such an extraordinary chef that she could pick stuff out of the dumpster and turn it into a delicacy. She's nearly a magician with food.

I got to know Pete and Brenda through my involvement with the local evangelism crusade. Pete leads the Finance Team, and Brenda has volunteered to take care of the hospitality rooms for the guest artists and team members. I enjoy my new friendship with them so much. I like them because they attend a local Pentecostal church and serve wine with a full bar in their restaurant. While I was in the restaurant today, I was reviewing the lectionary texts which includes Psalm 104 ...

14You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man's heart.

(Yes, that's right. Wine is a gift from God to bring gladness to humanity.)

For me, the best part of being involved with this event has been making so many new friends, who whenever I go to a meeting with them or see them out somewhere I just feel blessed to be with them. I'm really grateful. I've met so many great pastors and lay people and my life is truly better for knowing them.

Today I had spicy sausage soup, stuffed rigatoni with a pomodoro sauce and sauteed peppers & onions and a hint of rosemary. Of course there was some garlic bread. And for dessert, a little French roast coffee and a peanut butter pie. I was stuffed. Now I kind of went over there because I wanted to be a blessing to them and support their business. They have given so much to this evangelism project I really just wanted to bless them back.

First Brenda, then Pete came out and visited for a bit and then back to work. After my waitress, also named Brenda, brought me dessert and said, "When you're done, you're free to go. Pete took care of your bill." He's so generous. I could tell you stories. But I was a little disappointed because I want to bless him. I saw him at a meeting later and called him a blessing thief.

But here was the real problem. I was going to pay with a credit card as I was out of cash. So when Pete picks up the tab I couldn't leave Brenda the Waitress a nice tip. Now I have to go back and take care of her another day.

I hope all my blog friends will come visit me and we'll go to the Cucina. And then we'll head up to A-Bay and eat at Pete's other restaurant, Cavallario's Bayside Pizza. Pete will probably steal the check again so make sure you have cash for his fantastic waitstaff.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Remind me

Next year for Mother's Day, my wife says she wants a day of maid service to come and clean our home.

Ronson's Gold Star Liquors

This is where we buy the communion wine (which is really a sweet sherry), for church. Tomorrow I'm going to make a stop for one of their specials ... perhaps a Don Ramon Red for $4. Big spender. Or maybe one of their Greed Relief wines for under $5.

UPDATE: Don Ramon is great. I consumed it at room temp. Nice oak flavor. It was $3.99 online but $4.99 in the store. I bought a bottle for some of my parishioners who lead the band at chutch. Got to keep the talent happy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Slow going

Bloggin has been a little slow this past week or two. Way too much work going on. I've been teaching the Sharing Your Faith Course, which is counselor prepration for an evangelistic outreach. It is my favorite ministry thing to do. In fact, evangelism training is the only thing in ministry I do well. Everything else people just tolerate me.
More blogging to come. I'm off tomorrow so maybe something good will happen there. I potentially have a job phone interview tomorrow if all schedules allign. Very cool.
Side issue ... I love it when Letterman throws stuff off the roof. It's dumb but I laugh like a fool. I also love that new commercial with "Bob" who does saftey crash tests with vans and the two little kids who egg him on.
After about 33 hours of work in the past three days, I think I will go to bed and get up tomorrow sometime past 9 am EST.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Prayer & Evangelism Associates

These pictures are my friends on the Covenant Prayer and Evangelism Associate Team. It's an honor to be on the team with them. They are great leaders and I admire immensely.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Free Online Wine Course : CIAProChef.com

I'm considering a career in wine tasting. Even volunteer work seems good.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Hedonistic Imperative - Abstract

The internet is full of interesting things and today's travels bring us to the Hedonistic Imperitive. The opening statement says, "This manifesto outlines a strategy to eradicate suffering in all sentient life."

I honestly don't think that is possible with the power of sin damaging this world. But it would be nice if at least a good portion of my suffering was eradicated. That would be really nice. Or, if I could at least have some suffering I enjoyed a little more I would be fine with that.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Anthony Road Wine Company

My latest wine acquisition was a Tony's Red from Anthony Road Wine Company. It's a semi-sweet red wine with a pleasant taste and without a lot of sophistication nor a lot of alcohol potency.

From the web site:
TONY’S RED (3.2% R.S.)
Our friend Tony likes his reds fruity and refreshing. This wine is best served chilled. Tony’s Red is a great choice for a favorite pasta dish or a gathering of friends.

Great Preachers

I preached yesterday at the 8 & 10 am services (normally I only preach at ¡alive@5! in the evening). I got my usual "Nice sermon." comments but while one parishioner was talking to me about my sermon, our rector Fr. Vance, said to that person that he thought I was a very good preacher. That was nice.

But it reminded me of that old ministerial proverb:

"You're never as good as they say you are, and never as bad."