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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Appleintellect: Weblog | Gabe Jacobs

Gabe is giving away invites to Skitch.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pondering ...

I was listening to a CD by Chris Brady recently and was caught off guard when he asked, "If you could do anything with your life and you knew you wouldn't fail, what would you do?"

I stammered to myself. I didn't have an answer ready to roll off my tongue. "Plant a church? I have a vision for that." I am passionate about that but that wasn't really answer full of conviction I was looking for.

Probably my most well thought out and heartfelt answer is to be obedient to Jesus. But the question is a question of passion and inner desire. Where's mine?

So I'm pondering. What might you say?

Young, Restless, and Ready for Revival | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Oh my. You must read this: Young, Restless, and Ready for Revival. Must read it. Must. Must.

Becky Tirabassi writes about her speaking ministry to college campuses and the hunger for prayer, revival and confession she is encountering. As one who is greatly discouraged by what I see as the health of the church today, I was floored by the pangs of revival taking place on college campuses.
"The bottom has been falling out all over the place. Last July, during an event named The Call, more than 70,000 students, young adults, parents, and ministers from all over the country met in Nashville to pray for 12 hours in a solemn assembly of confession and prayer for our nation. There have been seven previous gatherings of The Call since 2000, with a total attendance over the years of some 250,000. Another one is planned for next October on the Washington Mall. The young adult ministry of the International House of Prayer hosts regional prayer-and-revival meetings yearly. For over seven years, IHOP in Kansas City has maintained a prayer room that is open all day, every day, with worship and continuous prayer. Another ministry, Campus America, has begun a project to establish "unbroken prayer" on all 2,600 accredited colleges and universities in the country by 2010. In addition, there will be a national prayer gathering of students and young adults called Paradise '08 that will take place in the middle of a Kansas field on May 25—no merchandise, speakers, or artists, just prayer, Scripture, and song."
Imagine that. Unbroken prayer on all college campuses. Lord have mercy and let it be so. One more quote ...

"Students tell me that spiritual mentors who are "on fire for Jesus," consistent in their walks with God, who remained sexually pure in their own dating and marriage relationships, and who lived full-of-the-Holy-Spirit lives in front of them are rare. But they are longing for, begging for, older Christians to be solid spiritual mentors and parents to them, to pray powerfully for and with them. They don't need more programs. They want prayer and revival for their generation.

I've been to dozens of campuses in the past three years and seen that the younger generation has started what Finney called "a new beginning of obedience to God."

Is my generation ready to join them?"

I doubt your generation is ready, Becky. Sorry. Maybe my generation even less so. We are desperate for holy mentors. We can only hope this younger generation will pray for us.

Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan | the Daily Mail

This Pope is a no nonsense kind of guy but he's really spooky looking ... almost like he needs an exorcism.

The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.

Yet another article is reporting ....

Vatican denies exorcist expansion - UPI.com

Friday, December 28, 2007

How to Walk Tall – Exercise Your Confidence | eHow.com

I liked this short article at eHow.com: How To Do Just About Anything: How to Walk Tall – Exercise Your Confidence. Written by a Christian, who mentions the importance of spiritual confidence.

Notre Dame professor tries to solve mystery behind the Star of Bethlehem | WSBT South Bend - Your Local News Leader | Local News

It was an alignment of the planets ... all of them.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Self Help: Brain Health

Here are a couple of links to brain health articles. I've been thinking about the importance of a healthy brain to our own personal spiritual formation. I'm wondering if our brain is somehow limited in it's functioning if somehow that affects our ability to experience and know God and His ways and purposes. Certainly God isn't limited. But I'm wondering if our brain isn't functioning at full capacity, maybe we can't experience the full amount of healing God has for us, or maybe we can't be the servant of Christ we would like to be or are called to be. Just thinking out loud, not sure that I've come to any conclusions.

But if brain health did impact our spirituality it would behoove the church to have a ministry for the saints for their brain. Minimally it would be educational. But I wonder what else could be done to help promote brain health.

Alvaro Fernandez: 10 Habits of Highly Effective Brains - Living on The Huffington Post

Brain Fitness, Health and Exercise guidance for individuals, companies and institutions.

VirtueOnline: 10 Reasons Why Pastors Avoid the Culture War

Should we or should we not be involved in changing the culture? If so, what is the Biblical support and how important it is it in the list of a pastor's everyday priorities?

LONDON: Getting paid to go to church

This would be almost like reading the sport page. A UK group wants to send 'mystery worshipers' like mystery shoppers to churches -- paid -- and get their feedback. Then they'll give each church that was 'mystery worshiped' a score and then have standings like you would have on the sports page. I wonder if the pastors would get awards like MVP, Rookie of the Year or Manager of the Year ... Comeback Church of the Year Award.

That's leadership! Poll the people and give them what they want. How very, very sad.

How Starbucks Saved My Life, Sunday Morning: A Riches-To-Rags Story Takes A Fortuitous Turn At A Coffee Shop - CBS News

What a great story about a guy who grows up in an affluent NY family, becomes a marketing exec as a Yale grad with a six figure incomes -- loses his job, spouse and health, hits rock bottom and finds a new life as a Starbuck's barista. Tom Hanks wants to play the guy in the movie.

Questions and Answers About Americans’ Religion

Some Q&A with Gallup about their polling processes and the trends they see in American religion. Of particular interest: "To summarize, more than 8 in 10 Americans identify with a religion and 8 out of 10 say that religion is at least fairly important in their daily lives; more than 8 out of 10 say they attend church at least "seldom"; and again more than 8 out of 10 identify with a Christian religion."

Priests brawl at Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus

Greek and Armenian Orthodox priests brawling over the cleaning of the Church of the Nativity. There was a group of media there to record the whole event too. On the one hand it's good to have some passion for the things of God. But mostly they just look like an embarrassment to Christianity.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Apples For The Army - Forbes.com

Good news. Bad news. The Army is getting more secure against hackers by using Mac servers. That's the good news. The bad? Apparently more hackers are honing their skills against Mac's and more malware against Mac's is being produced. Still the average Mac user never encounters a virus or spyware.

Friday, December 21, 2007

.: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works :: Minority Page :.

Al Gore's crusade on the environment and that humanity has caused global warming and can do something to fix it continues to infuriate scientists. Apparently there is not a global consensus about global warming.

VirtueOnline: Calculating Christmas by William J. Tighe

Christmas is not a Pagan holiday appropriated by Christians. Read Professor William Tighe's article: Calculating Christmas. According to Tighe, December 25 actually is the result of early Christians' pursuit of truth. Here is his introduction:
"Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ's birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus' birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.

Rather, the pagan festival of the "Birth of the Unconquered Son" instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the "pagan origins of Christmas" is a myth without historical substance."
And here is a side note about the date of the death of Christ. Tighe writes:
"(Modern scholars agree, by the way, that the death of Christ could have taken place only in A.D. 30 or 33, as those two are the only years of that time when the eve of Passover could have fallen on a Friday, the possibilities being either 7 April 30 or 3 April 33.)"

A Quote from our beloved Weebs

A shout out to my boy Xorey of Ellsworth, WI for passing along this quote:


"Theodosius Harnack, Luther scholar of note, said that for Luther the imperative was to have "God deep in the flesh." Christmas celebrates just that: God deep in the flesh. So great was God's longing for his creatures' redemption, says Luther, that God's preference for human nature over angelic nature might even have provoked the angels to jealousy! But Psalm 8 nudges that issue: what are human beings that you are mindful of them? They have been made a bit lower than angels but crowned with glory and honor. A preference for humans: in that lies the Christmas gospel …

There is God in the flesh, thriving in a placenta, protected by a water bag, bouncing on a donkey ride to Bethlehem where his folks had to meet the local IRS. No different than any other baby at the time. While God preferred human nature to the angelic, God asked no human favors and got none. When inns are full they are full. Sleep where one can. God deep in the flesh became God deep in the straw. Mary, the mother of the Creator, sustained the one who sustained all the living."
—C. John Weborg in
the Covenant Companion (Dec. 1994)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Church Marketing Sucks: When Churches Get It Right

Oh I love it when churches do this. This story: When Churches Get It Right, tells of a church that did a 'Give Back Sunday' when the church passed the offering plate and instead of taking an offering everyone was encouraged to take an envelope. Whatever the amount in the envelope they were to spend it on someone else and bless them. The church gave out $13,500.

I did this one Sunday. I gave out $100 of my own money and gave everyone in the church a Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. I gave everybody in church a coin, preached on the parable of the talents and told them to come back in a couple weeks with the proceeds from their invested talent.

One of my fantastic leaders bought a bag of flour and used some ingredients at home to make cookies for a bake sale she did in her offices. She reinvested the proceeds of that sale, took a few more orders and made more cookies. Incredibly she showed up a couple weeks later with well over $100 and a great testimony of how God increased her faith.

Some look at that as a gimmick but I think this kind of ministry increases a church's faith and really helps to get them focused outward.


Good morning friends. Are you ready to become a TV star? Try Ustream.tv. Apparently there are a number of churches using it including what looks like a Covenant Church -- it just doesn't just say where.

A couple other I saw:

Westwinds from Jackson, MI.

Open Door Baptist in Rochester, NY. I used to attend this church years and years ago with my girlfriend in college.

It appears incredibly easy to use. Set up your account, web cam and it appears that you can be live in literally minutes. Which, of course, it you have a MacBook or iMac with built-in cam is even easier.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Celebrities Before and After

Went Christmas shopping today with my 3 older kids which of course leads to an educational discourse. Today I was getting worked over pretty hard by the Kohl's check-out person to apply to a credit card and receive their special discounts. I declined and gave the kids an education about how interest, lines of credit, credit scores, and why I didn't want or need their card.

The usual lecture they get when we're in the store together is me picking up Cosmopolitan or some such magazine and telling the kids that all the pictures are Photoshopped -- in other words --- FAKE! The kids have worked in Photoshop with me in the past and have an inkling what it can do.

Check out this link of before and after pictures: Celebrities Before and After. As parents of daughters, we must educate our kids that they cannot look like a photoshopped woman, and they don't have to to be beautiful. And we must educate our boys that porn is a lie and those woman in the men's magazines are p-shopped also.


"VirtueOnline has received unconfirmed reports that at the end of the Common Cause House of Bishops meeting this week in Orlando, Florida, formation of an Anglican Province of America (or the USA) will be announced -- with or without concurrence of Archbishop Rowan Williams, and an appeal will be made to Anglican Provinces around the world for recognition of this body and withdrawal of recognition of The Episcopal Church."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

USATODAY.com: Study: Young adults now find porn more acceptable

I have to admit I'm tired of hearing about porn. It's a force that we as church leaders cannot ignore. I'm just saying I'm tired of hearing about it. Go away!

For Religious Group, True Charity Begins onOn Operating Table - WSJ.com

So a small supposedly Christian sect has as one of it's practices donating their extra kidney to those who need it. The linked WSJ article doesn't give their theological explanation for this practices, so I've been wondering about the Biblical explanation for kidney donation. From the article:

"The Jesus Christians were founded in 1982 by David McKay, a 62-year-old native of Rochester, N.Y., who moved to Australia in 1967. The Jesus Christians expect members to turn over their savings to the group and to forsake family, friends and possessions.

"We're people who have strong Christian ideals and are prepared to do outrageous things to express our love for God and others," Mr. McKay says."

In One Word, Who Are You?

I read this article and was reminded of Beth Bilynskyj's response to my post "Whatever Became of the Public Reading of Scripture?" Essentially Beth's point is that post-modern people value and use words differently than previous generations. Here's a quote from the linked article:
"I’m not trying to propose our society function without language, just quit defining your life by the words of it. Eighty or ninety percent of language is conveyed through the body, which is a physical way of displaying emotions and attitudes. A bunch of sounds are given too much credit for being what really defines reality."
Christian vs. Christ Follower

The title of the article made me think about the current trend for believers in Jesus to describe themselves as 'Christ followers' instead of as a 'Christian'. I almost like it. If I was to say, "I'm a Christ follower", I feel some greater sense of obligation, responsibility, desire, etc. to live out the commands of Christ. If I call myself a Christ follower, I personally just can't coast in my faith, which I am prone to do sometimes. I like that.

On the other hand, it feels very individualistic to me. When I say, "I'm a Christian." I identify myself as part a group, The Church. I'm not just a follower -- all by myself -- but the word Christian, though it has some baggage, has a sense of community.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

For Pastors

Especially for the pastors reading my blog I give you: 8 Tips to Improve Your Public Speech Immediately | Social Packs dot Com. Hope your preaching improves.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me!

My new iMac just arrived yesterday afternoon. It's a new iMac 2.0 ghz, 1 gb RAM, 250 gb HD, superdrive, and it's beautiful. Bought from the refurb section of Apple's web site for about $250 less than new Also bought a Canon Pixma 700 printer and Fusion to run Windows when needed. What a great addition to my collection.

However, I also gave away 6 computers. My wife is very happy about this.

[2] PowerMac 5260/120. All in one units.
[1] PowerMac 5500/225. All in one unit.
[2] PowerMac 5400/200. All in one units.
[1] Macintosh IIvx.

Along with a keyboard, mouse and power cord for each of these. And then I also gave away:

[1] Color StylerWriter 2400.
[1] StyleWriter II.

Have you tried out the ReUseIt Network or Freecycle? It's an online Yahoo group that allows people to post what they want to give away or what they are in need of. Here's the links to the Onondaga County FreeCycle site and the Onondaga County ReUseIt Network. Worked like a charm for giving away my computers.

This brings my overall number of computers to:

5 iMac G3's (Rev. A's bondi blue)
2 PowerMac G3's All-In-One's

One of each of these:
eMac G4/1ghz
iMac G3/266
PowerBook G3/233 Wallstreet edition
Centris 610 (my first Mac)
Performa 6300
Performa 631
PowerMac 6100/66
PowerBook 100
PowerBook Duo 270c with docking station. My very favorite. Thank you DRH.
Apple II+

And then I have 3 laser printers, a Canoscan N 650U, an Epson 3200x AIO, an Epson 740, 3 QuickTake 150's and a Newton. I also have a couple of computers in hiding at a friend's warehouse: a clamshell iMac, a G3 tower and I think something else but I don't quite remember. I need to get over and get those to my new house.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Churches Seeking Staff - Evangelical Covenant Church

The Department of Order Ministry (DOOM) is doing a good job with Churches Seeking Staff web page. They are updating it frequently and where they can put links to job descriptions. Recently I've seen they have added the category "Interim Pastor Positions". Nice.

The total number of Senior Pastor positions available, including Interim but not including Alaska and Canada is: 30 which is pretty low.

Let's look at some of the choice positions:

Bethany Covenant Church in Lyndhurst, OH. I used to live in that neighborhood and my oldest kids went to pre-school there. We'll ask our friend Luke to make some good comments about his church, but I think it's a great place. The last pastor left under good terms after a 10 year stellar ministry there. They have good leaders, a pre-school, an emergent flavored worship experience and more traditional service and a prime location.

Lyndhurst & the metro Cleveland area is a fantastic place to live and raise a family. Good economy, world class health care, great park system, the Browns & Indians, some years you can play golf year round (I did) and Lyndhurst has good schools.

Zion Covenant Church in Jamestown, NY. If you enjoy snow, this is the place to go. Zion has close connections to the fabulous Camp Mission Meadows. It's a small city and gets rural quickly but I think Jamestown is quaint, Lake Chautauqua is georgeous and western New York in general is beautiful. I did an evangelism seminar there and met some really great people, and was impressed with some of the thinking of their leaders. Despite some of their conflict with their last pastor, who is a beloved friend, I think this has the potential to be a fantastic place for ministry.

Incredibly, the churches in North Miami and Venice, FL remain open. How? I dunno. There's a little known DOOM rule that says if a church is located within half an hour of the ocean one doesn't need to be called -- everyone is called to go and enjoy the ocean. I did my CPE in Sarasota and we used to go down to Venice to enjoy the beach and find shark's teeth. It's a great place.

Jeff Shirle is going to be the new Lead Pastor at Hope-Covenant Church in Crystal Lake, IL. That should be a great fit. Congratulations Jeff! Of course that means another position opens up: Looks like Paul Knight and the fantastic Hope Covenant Church in Grand Forks, ND will be searching for a new associate pastor ... again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

7 Stupid Thinking Errors You Probably Make - lifehack.org

Many of us in leadership positions often encounter decision making situations where we're grasping for answers. Sometimes our own thinking patterns are our worst enemies. Lifehack.org has a good article to help us become aware of some of them: 7 Stupid Thinking Errors You Probably Make.

Study: Monthly fasting may help heart - Yahoo! News

The research was done with Mormons, who practice fasting one day each month. Apparently fasting is potentially good for your heart.

A study in Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is based, found that people who skipped meals once a month were about 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with clogged arteries than those who did not regularly fast.

People did not have to "get religion" to benefit: non-Mormons who regularly took breaks from food also were less likely to have clogged arteries, scientists found.

They concede that their study is far from proof that periodic fasting is good for anyone, but said the benefit they observed poses a theory that deserves further testing.

No doubt: Mormons have traditionally been poor historians and even worse theologians. But I admire their piety and enjoy them as people.

Stephen R. Covey: The Leader Formula: The 4 things that make a good leader.

Great article by Stephen R. Covey: The 4 things that make a good leader.
  1. Inspire trust.
  2. Clarify purpose.
  3. Allign systems.
  4. Unleash talent.

Church Shopping in CNY

Looking for a church in CNY? Here are a couple different resources for finding a church home.

Syracuse Churches & Denomination Page Syracuse NY CNY Area -- This is probably the best of the pages with churches listed by (non) denominational affiliation.

Syracuse Area Houses Of Worship And Related Resource -- Some how this list is related to the previous list but I'm not entirely sure how. They're using the same dbase. This site also includes non-Christian religion sections.

Churches In Syracuse NY And Central NY -- This is just one big long list and not exhaustive at all.

And if you are looking for a church in the Utica/Rome area try out:

Mohawk Valley Churches


Your choice of churches in CNY is pretty limited. I'm on a mission to see several new churches planted in the area. Thank God for Mike Mazzye, Grace Covenant Church and Larry Sherman partnering together to plant Catalyst Covenant Church.

There are also a couple other church plants I've heard about:

Bernie Elliot is planting Quest over in the Camillus area.

Vintage Faith Church is being planted in Cicero by Eastern Hills Bible Church.

One of the former associate pastors of Believer's Chapel is planting a church in the Clay area.

Bill Carr, Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church is interested in planting a church on the Rt. 31 corridor between Cicero and Baldwinsville. Bill is a great visionary and strategist.

Summit Church is a SBC church plant in Syracuse planted by Jordan Stinziano.

These are just a few that I have heard about. I'm sure there are more.

Just in case someone is waiting for a personal invitation to plant a church in CNY here it is. I'm publicly calling out several groups to get busy with planting more churches here:

Hey Craig Groeschel: Way to go planting a Life Church satellite campus in Albany! How about coming west to Syracuse?

Hey Fr. Bob Hackendorf, St. Andrew's and AMiA Bishop: CNY definitely needs way more AMiA churches. These churches are Anglican, charismatic, evangelical and liturgical. With the overwhelming population of CNY being dechurched Roman Catholic, I believe your churches will flourish here.

And while I'm calling out Anglicans: Hey Peter Akinola, Martyn Minns and Roger Ames: Don't wait for some Episcopal church to defect. Plant a new CANA church right here, right now!

Hey Joe Jansen & the Elim Fellowship: Let's have some more Elim churches in CNY. (Great to see you got a promotion Joe as Regional Director, taking Ron Smallman's place.) I've seen your fantastic church in Herkimer, Ron's former church in Holland Patent and a number of others like New Life Church with Pastor Kirk Gilchrist. We need more of you in Syracuse. Phoenix, NY? Baldwinsville? Liverpool?

Hey Mike Servello and Mt. Zion Ministries in Utica: Your ministry to the poor of Utica is incredible and is literally reaching all over the world. You've planted a campus in Rome and if I remember correctly you were attempting a campus ministry in Clinton. Have you thought about planting in Syracuse? Let's start with Compassion Coalition Syracuse. I know they want you in Fulton. You're the #1 distributor of food to the poor in Oneida County. Let's make you #1 in Onondaga County too.

For those of you who have been telling me you don't think it's the right time, not sure if it's the Lord's will, not sure if we can afford it, blah, blah, blah, ... don't make me cuss you out. I'm reminded of the words of my friend Paul Larsen, "If not you, then who? If not now, then when?" The time is now and the need is desperate here in the Syracuse and suburbs area. Let Jesus be lifted high in CNY.

Monday, December 10, 2007

OK, Maybe I'm Not Catholic Afterall

I took that theology test a couple of weeks ago and it said I was Catholic. Then I see that the Pope is still handing out indulgences. I thought purgatory was canceled due to lack of interest?

BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope approves Lourdes indulgences

Enjoying God Ministries > Whats Your Theology

My good friend Dennis has repeatedly acclaimed Sam Storms as an insightful theologian. Linked is a brief summary of Sam's theology. We agree on a couple of points, except I am not a Calvinist ... maybe a 1 or 2 pointer. But we're both sacramental in regards to the Euchrist, and charismatics, and maybe agree about a few other things too. Well done. Maybe I'll do a theology post, but I need to get an eschatology first.

Jesus Creed � Willow’s Reveal Study

Have you been following the Willowcreek Community Church discussion regarding their Reveal Study? Essentially they admitted publicly their approach to discipleship has not been working, which has prompted a whole lot of pastors and other morons to jump on board and say, "See, I told you so ...."

Scott McKnight has written a must read blog entry at Jesus Creed: Willow’s Reveal Study regarding these revelations. This I did not know:
3. To those who think Reveal is just a study of Willow, you need to listen more carefully. They have now studied — get this — more than 230 churches, more than 75,000 surveys, and studied churches all across the map. This doesn’t reveal just what is going on at Willow but what is going on all around the USA. 40% of the churches being studied are neither seeker-targeted nor seeker-sensitive.
I'm a Willowcreek apologist. I've cussed out many a pastor who thoughtlessly attacked Willow and will continue to do so. Just one question for us all today: When was the last time we researched to find out if our discipleship methods were actually working?

If you haven't heard about the Reveal study, check out the video here:
Watch Greg Hawkins | REVEAL

The Associated Press: Diocese Breaks With Episcopal Church

As expected, the Diocese of San Joaquin has voted to leave the Episcopal Church. A little church history fact for you: this isn't the first time a diocese has left the Episcopal Church. Bishop John-David Schofield in his address to the Diocese gives a little history lesson:
During the time of the Civil War in the 1860's when this nation was torn apart, dioceses in those states called the Confederacy withdrew from what was then known as The Protestant Episcopal Church. During the war years they held their own conventions, developed their own Constitution, had there own House of Bishops, elected a Presiding Bishop, and consecrated a bishop for one of their dioceses. Nothing could be clearer. The southern dioceses had departed and had created a separate church. Today we might call it their own Province.

Unlike many of the Protestant denominations, however, it didn't make sense to Episcopalians to maintain the separation when the war ended. Not only were the southern bishops and their dioceses welcomed back, the newly consecrated bishop was recognized, and no punitive action was taken against anyone. Presumably the southerners had taken their property with them when they left.
David Virtue outlines the likely next scenario:
"...the Presiding Bishop could ask the Title IV Review Committee to consider whether the bishops who have proposed and supported them [Diocese voting to leave TEC] have abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

If the Presiding Bishop presented materials to the Review Committee regarding potential abandonment by those bishops, and if the Committee agreed that abandonment had taken place, the bishops would have two months to recant. If they failed to do so, the matter would go to the full House of Bishops. There is no appeal and no right of formal trial outside of a hearing before the House of Bishops.

If the House concurred, the Presiding Bishop could depose the bishops and declare the episcopates of those dioceses vacant. Members of congregations in the diocese remaining in the Episcopal Church would be gathered to organize a new diocesan convention and elect a replacement Standing Committee, if necessary.

An assisting bishop would be appointed to provide episcopal ministry until a new diocesan bishop search process could be initiated and a new bishop elected and consecrated.

A lawsuit would be filed against the departed leadership and a representative sample of departing congregations if they attempted to retain Episcopal Church property."
Millions of dollars will then be spent on important legal questions. The Episcopal Church maintains that individuals can leave the Church but parishes and dioceses cannot. Kind of like the Hotel California. The other side to that is if diocese or parishes existed prior to the formation of the Church and voluntarily joined, why can they not voluntarily leave.

Furthermore, The Rt. Rev. William Wantland, the retired Bishop of Eau Claire and a canon lawyer, makes some interesting statements about "The National Church", i.e. the denomination the Episcopal Church. In a David Virtue interview he states:
VOL: It is also alleged that all properties are also held in trust for the National Church. Is that automatically true if the diocese can also lay claim?

WANTLAND: What is the National Church? We commonly use that title, but the so-called National Church has no current machinery for holding title to property outside of New York. While the Canons in both Title I and II recognize an interest in parish property for the diocese, this only re-states law that has been a part of our Church for over 400 years. Further, a careful reading of the Dennis Canon does not grant any real interest in diocesan property to 815 2nd Avenue.

VOL: What exactly is the National Church? Is it an ecclesiastical body or strictly an administrative body?

WANTLAND: The so-called National Church is an administrative body with very limited authority. It has defined itself in a number of documents over the years as a confederation of dioceses. Neither General Convention nor Executive Council has any jurisdiction over dioceses granted in either the Church Constitution or Canons.

VOL: In the 'which came first, the chicken or the egg', is the national church a product of General Convention, or are the dioceses the product of the national church and General Convention?

WANTLAND: The Episcopal Church came into being in 1789. Dioceses preceded the existence of TEC by a number of years. For example, the Diocese of Connecticut not only existed for years before 1789, but elected a bishop and had him consecrated in Scotland in 1784. New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia also elected bishops and had them consecrated in England in 1787. Clearly, the dioceses came together to create the Episcopal Church by adopting a Constitution and Canons and a Book of Common Prayer. The dioceses created the Episcopal Church, and not the other way round.
This is whole mess with San Joaquin is just the tip of the iceberg. It would be one thing if the Church was just dealing with a renegade dioces, but what does the Episcopal Church do when it is attacked on several fronts with multiple dioceses leaving? This schism continues to get uglier. We haven't even heard yet what will happen to the pensions of the priests in San Joaquin.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wine & The Holiness Tradition

I remember being in seminary and a colleague's spouse was having some very minor anxiety issues which she saw a Christian doctor about. He suggested she have a glass of wine occasionally. At the time I was shocked. No longer. My father had a heart attack a while back. His doctor suggested a regular glass of wine for his health. More and more doctors are recommending a medicinal does of wine.

I've read some treatises recently by Wesleyan and Free Methodist pastors, scholars and lay people about alcohol abstinence. Many of them are thoughtful and balanced. They recognize Jesus drank wine, made wine and gave it to others. They recognize the Psalmist says wine is a gift from God. But they still have their reasons -- some good, some silly -- for abstaining. Here's a snippet from the Free Methodist Book of Discipline:
2. Our people abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages (Mark 12:30-31) because Christ admonishes us to love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. Alcohol, a legalized drug, is damaging to individuals, families, and society. It is unpredictably addictive and its destructive effects cannot be fully measured. Where it is used, it leaves a trail of broken marriages, family violence, crime, industrial loss, ill health, injury, and death. As concerned Christians, our people practice abstinence for the sake of health, family, and neighbors. Moreover, we see the adverse social consequences as so pervasive that we seek by abstaining to make a united social witness to the freedom Christ gives.
Almost all of the theological treatistes I read from the Holiness tradition still point to alcohol being bad for one's health. Yet research continues to pour out that wine in moderation is healthy. One article I read from a couple years back suggested the research recommending wine was somehow suspect or not very strong. But I keep seeing it. In the past week alone:

The latest buzz on booze’s body benefits - Diet and nutrition- msnbc.com

Wine may calm inflammation in blood vessels | Health | Reuters

Deep Red Wines Best For Heart, Experts Say

In some ways, it must be harder and harder to keep making the abstinence for health argument. They sound like Mormons arguing to abstain from caffeine. What's the internal experience of an older 'lifer' in the FM church who has a heart attack, goes to the doctor and s/he recommends a glass of wine for their health and has research to back it up? What's the internal experience of the new convert to the Wesleyan church which recommends abstinence when their doctor is recommending otherwise? I just wonder.

However they are in luck. One researcher thinks he can get the benefits out of the wine and into a pill:
Drink, er, Swallow Up: Red Wine Health Benefits Can Be Put Into a Pill

For one more interesting perspective read a CNN article about: The health pros and cons of drinking.

Enjoy the holidays but take care of yourself. Moderation is a good word for those of us who enjoy wine. But don't kid yourself that you're drinking in moderation with several drinks every day. Try two -- or less -- and not every day.

The 9 Most Bada** Bible Verses | Cracked.com

NOTE: The linked article contains cuss words, including an f-bomb.

I list this link, not so much for the humor in it. There is that. What I find interesting is this seemingly non-Christian site writing an article about the Bible, albeit from a very unique point of view. Who is their audience that they thought might read this and find it humorous? Christians? Surely they knew Christians might be offended. Non-Christians? Why would they care? I just don't get it.

Most of these verses are obscure Old Testament references. Some of them humorous. There's Moses killing an Egyptian and burying him. My personal favorite: a bunch of kids calling Elisha a "bald head", so a couple of bears come out of the woods and maul them to death.

The third passage they mention is from Ezekial, which brings me to a funny story. An older youth pastor friend of mine spent time ministering to another younger youth pastor at some Covenant event. A couple weeks later the younger youth pastor sent the older one a nice card with a long handwritten note thanking him for his ministry and extolling his virtues. And as some Christians are prone to do he put a Bible reference under his name at the end of the card. Ezekial 23:19-20. Very rarely is the Bible too racy for my blog, but that might be it.

If you know the OT at all the other passages might be obvious to you: Samson taking out the Philistines with a jaw bone, David calling for the Philistines foreskins, Elijah calling down fire and a guy named Ehud taking out a very fat king.

Two other interesting one's listed: A passage in Numbers where God instructs Moses to move his people away from Korah's tents, after which time the ground opened up and swallowed Korah. And here's one I hadn't remembered reading, from Exodus. If 2 guys are fighting and one guy's wife comes to rescue her husband by grabbing the other guy by his ... ahem ... frank and beans ... the guy being grabbed can cut the women's hand off.

No list is complete with a top 9. So I'll add a 10th:
Judges 4:17 But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died.
Uh, yeah. I bet he did.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Who Is He?

A couple of years ago I wrote an article about the best player ever in baseball. As single season home run records were being smashed, I was inspired to clarify greatness. As you read this now, some of the stats about the former left fielder of the SF Giants are no longer accurate but my point was valid in the day.

I thought it appropriate to publish this article today in light of the proceedings in federal court in SF today.

Who Is He?
by Steven M. Evans

We all know who the all-time Hit King is and we all know who he passed to get there. But does anybody ever talk about the #3 guy, with more hits than Stan Musial or Tris Speaker, and over 1100 more hits than Barry Bonds, who hasn't yet caught up to Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Roberto Alomar or Rusty Staub?

Do we remember the all time RBI king, the leader in total bases or extra base hits, who also had over 200 stolen bases?

Or how about the guy who is tied with Babe Ruth for third all-time in runs scored. Or what about the guy who is ninth all-time in doubles. Do we remember the guy who has played in the third most games with the second most at bats ever and still had a lifetime .305 batting average?

This guy didn't have a personal trainer feeding him a select grade vitamins, diet and work out regimen. He ate only in select establishments with a select cuisine offered only to people of his select color. But of course those were on the good days, when he was in a city that actually had open restaurants accepting people of his color.

This guy didn't have a former major leaguer for a father or a Hall of Famer, as his personal hitting instructors and mentors. He didn't get the privilege of going to a college to showcase his baseball talents for the big league draft. He played shortstop for a season with a team called the "Clowns" in league whose talent was being scalped by big league teams.

He had crowds of people taunting him because of his skin color, and had no personal services contract with someone to protect him. In fact in many cities the laws were not there or not enforced to protect people like him. Even his teammates didn’t want people of his color.

He didn't have videos and volumes of computer data on each pitcher he faced. He used his memory. There were no computer simulations. He didn't go into the cages in between innings to practice his swing.

There was no whirlpool and masseuse waiting for him after the game. He didn’t have a personal trainer or a team medical staff, let alone have his team hire someone to the staff just to help him stretch out.

He didn't have scads of money to spend on honing his craft, he needed his money to live and support his family. And of course he didn't have endorsement deals.

This guy couldn't easily vote in a presidential election, let alone vote in his trade union. There was no one there to fight for a raise he didn't deserve — a perk that modern ballplayers enjoy. Neither was there any union to protect him from clearing his soiled name, but then again he didn't soil his name.

This guy didn't fly first class in cushy seats. He rode in the back of the bus with other people his color. This guy faced death threats for his accomplishments. As he approached a record breaking event, he did not have a nation rooting him on, but received thousands of pieces of hate mail, so vile that they would garner an NC-17 rating. The content of the mail was so bad, that if it happened today there would be a federal investigation into these hate crimes.

He faced death threats on the field too. From pitchers like Koufax, Dysdale and Gibson, who weren't warned when they pitched inside. And he didn't dare glare at them or think about charging them. He was man enought to take it and retaliated with his bat and glove.

This guy never hit his home runs in band boxes like Coors Field or Minute Maid Park. He didn’t have the dimensions of his team’s field catered to his swing. He played in "fields" like Shibe Park, old Busch Stadium and Forbes Field. His storied career was built during an era when pitching reigned king, possibly the greatest era of hurlers ever.

This guy won a World Series Championship and a Batting Title. He could hit both the cut-off man and catcher in the chest.

He never struck out over 100 times in a season. Currently ranking 58th all time in strike outs, he was just passed last season by Barry Bonds, who has played in 5 less seasons and 600 fewer games.

Now certainly, he didn't face pitchers on steroids with the modern technological advantages, let alone play in an integrated league. He had the opportunity to hit against guys who pitched tired late into the game because there were no real "closers". But he didn’t face the watered down talent of our modern era where football, basketball and indifference take some of the best talent.

Nonetheless, his accomplishments were his and were earned in ways that our modern day ball players will never understand.

This guy is the greatest baseball player of all-time, bar none. Something that Barry Bonds should never be called. His name is Henry Aaron.

Seven Keys to Effective Church Planting

I really enjoyed this article: Seven Keys to Effective Church Planting. Here's the first effective key:

1. More effective church planters spend more time in prayer. The more time spent in prayer, the more effective the church planter. Regardless of field difficulties, those who prayed more tended to be more effective. The most effective church planters average four hours and 15 minutes more in prayer per week than their less effective colleagues.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Time for News of the Weird:

LarkNews.com and the Episcopal Church have a lot in common. Here is a quote from the Living Church article listed at VirtueOnline - News - News - Seattle Parish Offers Astrology Workshop:
"Evolutionary astrology 'begins with the premise that each person is a soul that is in the process of progressive evolution and eventually toward reconnection with the 'Divine',' said Scott Wolfram a certified consultant of evolutionary astrology.

'In order to recreate or set up the conditions and dynamics needed to fulfill ones past karma in this life, the soul chooses one's family and early childhood experiences. Over the course of one's life one experiences different circumstances and as well as an evolving inner development that supports the soul's intent in this lifetime.' "

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Welcome to the Land of the Ultra Rev

Recently, I've had some new visitors in the Land of the Ultra Rev.  Thank you for stopping by. Here's a little information about me ...

I've been married to my fantastic wife for 16 years and 11 months.  We have 4.9 brilliant, beautiful, wonderful kids that we home school who can't keep their rooms clean.

I currently work as a Festival Director, arranging large evangelistic events for an evangelistic association.  I am ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church having served First Covenant Church in Willoughby Hills, OH; however, most recently I served as an associate pastor at an Episcopal Church in Watertown, NY.  I live in Liverpool, NY, having moved here just recently from Black River, NY.

This blog consists of my various ramblings about theology, culture, my family & life and sometimes wine.  Whilst I am mostly evangelical in theology, evangelical culture drives me crazy and so I often like to poke fun at it. I also blog about the current Anglican crisis and the nonsensical organization called the Episcopal Church. I like to blog about God at work in my life. I have offended people on occasion and have been known to delete or change entries when the offended asks.

I'm passionate about marriage and family ministries, evangelism, giving away the Bible, church planting, upstate New York State, the Evangelical Covenant Church, the Anglican Communion, good coffee, fantasy baseball and football, my friends and family, and Apple computers.

On the side bars of this blog you'll find various ministries that I'm passionate about, some bloggers friends, a list of the places I've been over the past 2 years, links to my outdated .Mac site and my YouTube site and my other interests like OpenSource software and self help sites, as my life generally needs a lot of help.

Why "theultrarev"? 

Here's the deal ... In the Anglican Church, they have various titles for varying callings within the church.

If you are a Deacon, you are called "Deacon ..." or "The Rev. ..."
If you are an Archdeacon, you are called "The Venerable ..."
If you are a Priest you are called "The Rev."
If you are a Dean of a cathedral or district, you are "The Very Rev."
If you are a Bishop, you are "The Right Rev."
If you are the Presiding Bishop, you are "The Most Rev." and you can also be called a "Primate" or "Archbishop"

I just didn't want to be out done. When I was a pastor in Ohio I used to irreverently refer to myself as The Most Rev. Then one kind man in my church, whom I love and miss dearly, Ed Palmer, started sending me mail addressed to "The Ultra Rev. ..." and it stuck. So now I am the Bishop of My Desk, which is a relatively small diocese that I have a great deal of difficulty managing with one cantankerous clergyman.

I am considering a promotion to The Supreme Rev.

Thanks for visiting The Land of the Ultra Rev. Comments are encouraged.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Church Staffing weekly mailing

I subscribe to the weekly mailing from Church Staffing.com that comes with a list of current job openings and an article/devotional of some kind that is usually excellent. Today is no exception.

Practice Jesus' Habits
Whitney Hopler

All of us have habits - regularly repeated behaviors that shape our lives, for better or for worse. The best habits are those that Jesus, God incarnate, practiced during His time on Earth. Since He designed life, He knew how to live it most effectively.

You can learn a lot from what Jesus taught, but even more from practicing what He did. The more you devote yourself to emulating Jesus' habits, the more God will bless you.

Here's how you can make Jesus' habits your own:

Practice seclusion. Withdraw from everyday noise and demands on a daily basis to spend some time with God, to connect with him and recharge your emotional and spiritual batteries.

Practice prayer. Choose to pray regularly; don't wait until you feel like doing so. During prayer: praise God, thank God, confess your sins to God, ask God for something on behalf of other people, and present your personal requests to God.

Practice worship. Focus on encountering God to: praise Him for who He is; thank Him for what He has done; confess your sin; surrender your mind, will, and emotions; offer him your total life; obey what He tells you to do; ask Him to work in your life; tell others of your love for Him; and experience new love for Him and a new commitment to Him.

Practice building relationships. Take the initiative to get to know people well for the purpose of making an impact for Christ as well as meeting your own need for relating to others.

Practice touch. Affirm people in appropriate ways by touching them, such as through a hug, handshake, or pat on the back. Every day, ask God for the opportunity to touch someone who needs it. Determine to be the hands of Christ wherever you go.

Practice confrontation. Be willing to deal with another person about an issue head-on, in a spirit of love and truth, with your sole motive being to help that person.

Practice challenging the status quo. In a spirit of love, choose to challenge that which continues on as a tradition but no longer serves a good purpose.

Practice listening. Focus on what another person is saying with your ears, mind, eyes, and body so that person feels valued by you.

Practice love. Consistently choose to do something that is beneficial, kind, and encouraging for another person before considering your own needs. Be willing to be inconvenienced and to sacrifice for the sake of others.

Practice thankfulness. Decide to be grateful to God in any situation - even when facing challenges. Believe that God is greater than any circumstances you face.

Practice faith. Choose to trust God and believe what He said in His Word, the Bible - no matter what.

Practice motivation. Believe that all things are possible with God, and put all your resources (time, money, energy, etc.) to good use to fulfill your highest potential in His kingdom. Through your example, encourage other people to be and do their best.

Practice handling criticism effectively. Respond to criticism with love, truth, and humility. Demonstrate God's love and allow Him to be your defense.

Practice making family a priority. Consistently choose to put your family and their needs ahead of your own needs, other people, work, recreation, or anything else in life except God.

Practice obedience. Decide to act on God's will rather than your own. Strive to discover God's will by reading the Bible and following the Holy Spirit's leading when there is no clear word in Scripture about what to do.

Practice honoring the government. View the government as a God-ordained institution that should be supported voluntarily through good citizens obeying its laws.

Practice asking questions. Ask certain things in order to gain knowledge and understanding. Try to ask open-ended questions as often as possible.

Practice having fun. Enjoy life. Give yourself permission not to take things seriously all the time. Make laughter part of your daily routine.

Practice living by the truth. Consistently decide to say what is right, do what is right, and live within God's will.

Practice resting. Relax your body on a regular basis through the right amount of sleep at night and periodic breaks during the day.

Practice acting like a man. If you're male - like Jesus - strive to be physically strong, emotionally caring, mentally expanding, and spiritually growing.

Practice esteeming women. Choose to treat all women, at all times, with the utmost dignity and respect they deserve.

Practice giving. Embrace a lifestyle of offering yourself and your resources (time, money, etc.) on behalf of others in the name of Jesus.

Practice kindness. Be sensitive, understanding, gentle, and compassionate to everyone you meet.

Practice fitness. Take care of your body through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Practice keeping your word. Do what you say you will do. Let others know they can count on you to follow through with what you promise.

Practice fellowshipping. Spend time with other Christians on a regular basis for the purpose of enjoyment.

Practice using Scripture. Study and apply the Bible to everyday life situations, whether temptations, trials, or triumphs.

Practice living for a purpose. Realize that serving God is your reason for living. Strive to fulfill your purpose of making a positive difference for Him in the world.

Practice fasting. Choose to go without food for a specific time in order to seek God and His will with more passion and intensity than you could otherwise.

Practice using money God's way. Use your money to support God's kingdom, meet your needs and those of your family, and save for the future. Follow biblical principles when making decisions about money.

Adapted from The Jesus Habits: Exercising the Spiritual Disciplines of Jesus copyright 2005 by Jay Dennis. Published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.broadmanholman.com.

Jay Dennis is senior pastor of the 6,500-member First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida. A popular conference and seminar speaker, Dr. Dennis' previous books includeThe Prayer Experiment, Taming Your Private Thoughts and the Broadman & Holman book Dangerous Intersections.

Leadership Network - ADVANCE: Church Planting Study in US

According to Leadership Network "Church planting in the United States appears to be undergoing an extreme makeover." Here's some fascinating stats from a newly published study about church planting:
  • 68% of church plants still exist after 4 years.
  • The typical church plant is under 100 in attendance after 4 years.
  • There are about 4000 church plants a year.
  • Average number of baptisms or conversions in a church plant is 10 the first year, 11 the second year, 13 the third year and 14 the fourth year.
Thank you to the Leadership Network for providing a host of free resources for those interested in church planting. You have to register at their site but they have podcasts, books and PDF's of information on funding, approaches and viability. In my warped thinking, those who provide resources and information like this for free are ones who are truly interested in advancing the kingdom.

I first saw this link over at Brad Boydston's blog, who has been advocating for church planting for a very long time. His church planting manual is still available for free and along with his whole list of resources. Thanks Brad.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how passionate I am for church planting. I'm excited to be supporting Pastor Mike Mazzye and Catalyst Church that is starting in the eastern 'burbs of Syracuse. Currently we meet in St. David's Episcopal Church in DeWitt, NY. No doubt we'll outgrow that soon. Please pray for our church.

Different topic about church planting ...

I am often part of discussions about "a church's DNA". What I mean by that are the spoken or unspoken core values that frame the life of a church right from it's inception. I've struggled with the thought of how does a church maintain it's missional focus and vitality after it grows. It's easy when the church is being planted and very young. Reaching out to the unchurched is vital: grow or die. But it seems that churches lose that focus as they age. How can we maintain it?

Here's my theory (which obviously could be a bunch of crap, but hey, it's my blog): New churches need to be planting new churches right from the start. Right from the first discussions. It almost seems disingenuous to be planting without plans to plant other churches.

Even more importantly, the plan to plant new churches needs to be in your first budget. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6, "19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust [5] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Based on the principle Jesus lays out of where you invest your financial resources so also are you investing your emotional resources, I say, that if it's not in your budget it's not part of your church DNA. It's not in your church's heart even if you say it is. Fortunately, for Covenant church plants it's built right into the beginning budget.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Paul Cain update

I saw an off handed comment about Jack Deere recently and went to his website where I stumbled an almost year old blog post by Jack about Paul Cain being restored to ministry.

In March 2005 I blogged about Paul "coming under care" for moral failings. Since that time, according to Jack's post, he chose to continue his restoration process with some different ministers.

Long story short: the guys who used to pimp Paul -- Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle and Jack Deere -- do not know much about the current ministry caring for Paul and therefore can't approve of his restoration process. But Paul is back ministering again at 78 years of age. Since the info with some of this information are older, this whole scenario may be ironed out by now. I saw Rick Joyner's ministry listed as a friend on Paul's MySpace page.

It sounds like he is ministering, at least in part, because he is broke but no doubt he has a passion for ministry also. And of course, with his supernatural gifts people will pay to hear him speak and see him minister in the prophetic realm.

Most everybody who knows Paul Cain has their favorite story about Paul's prophetic gifting. Here's mine. Many other's refer to The Jean Raborg Miracle, which is equally phenomenal.

Paul Cain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
MySpace.com - Troas Paul Cain

His list of MySpace friends lists like the Who's Who of the Universe ... Oprah, David Letterman, Bill Clinton, Pope Benedict, Larry King, David Yongii Cho, TD Jakes, TL Osborn, Nelson Mandela, Leonardo, Madonna, Diane Keaton, Neil Diamond, Joel Osteen, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Faith Hill, and a whole bunch of other names you would be familiar with ... even Julissa, who I met and drove around in a golf cart with her y her esposo y padre this summer. Paul even has some dead friends like Keith Green.

Obviously not all of those people maintain all of those pages and are Paul's friends but clearly the guy is networked. Of course he also has the usual MySpace friends like some doofy looking guy named Tyler and a very hot chick in a bikini named Jules.

I once heard Paul speak and minister in Akron, OH at St. Luke's Anglican Church, pastored by the Very Rev'd. Roger Ames. His sermon and ministry time was nothing spectacular. When he was done, he started to walk away from the pulpit, made a quick turnaround and came back to the mic and said, "I almost forgot to speak a word to those people who are dealing with ...". Right there he spoke words of hope into one of my friend's who was with me, life, that night. Thanks be to God.

I really hope all is well for this guy. Deep in my soul I long to see more of this supernatural gifting take place in the church, even in my life. Not for the entertainment and "wow" factor but for kingdom purposes. Lord have mercy.