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Location: Liverpool, NY

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Jacqui!

My little Jacqueline Grace turns ONE today!

Finding Jesus in London - TIME

The Alpha Course is still running strong at Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican Church in the city of London, where it was founded by Rev. Nicky Gumbel. It apparently is having a significant impact on the city. Read: Finding Jesus in London - TIME

I love the Alpha course, having run it 4 times. Mostly the impact I have seen is of Christian people becoming more devout and having a stronger faith as opposed to the seeing people become believers. I love the impact that I have seen.

There are several copycat courses now, created by people who didn't like some part of Alpha. Some who were using the videos felt the talk the was too long, some felt the overall course was too long, some didn't like particular theological emphases of the course, etc. I suppose it's all good for the body of Christ to have multiple choices.

Alpha has been used by Roman Catholic and Protestant churches of all flavors. If your church has never used it I strongly encourage you to consider it: Alpha Official Site. Even if you disagreed with all the content in it, your church community would be stronger and more vibrant for having done it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Best Mac Browsers

I'm learning how to play with templates and other blogging features so I created another blog with a simple and pleasant interface. It's a work in progress and really isn't ready for the public yet but I was out of patience and decided to put it up.

Notice the Google ads on the side and bottom, and a couple of Amazon.com ads. All help to monetize the blog for me. For the Google related ones, I earn a few cents whenever someone clicks on the links and for the Amazon ads I earn money when you purchase the listed item.

I found the template here along with many more that were absolute eye candy.

Best Mac Browsers

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kids in the Hall: Head Crusher vs. Face Pincher

I had posted this previously and the link expired. Here it is again. My favorite Kids in the Hall clip:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

God Changes Former NFL Bronco Drug Addict

My Way - Former Broncos Lineman Turns From Drugs to Faith

God is still miraculously changing lives. Former Denver Bronco, Matt Lepsis, left NFL cash on the table to go to seminary. God miraculously healed him of a drug addiction and changed his life.

If you're reading this to day, remember, whatever circumstances you face this day God can change your life too.

Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition - Yahoo! News

Amy Sullivan asks: "When did Christmas Eve displace Christmas Day as the time for Christians to observe one of the two holiest days in the church year?"

Interesting how Christmas is no longer a holy day. Christmas eve is ... sort of.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The Birth of Jesus Christ

2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when [1] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, [2] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” [3]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Monday, December 22, 2008

For Writers, Pastors and Other Authors

WRITER'S TOOLBOX: 35 Best Tools for Writing Online

A great list of online tools for writers. For those of you who are church and ministry leaders, there are a number of these that will be useful to you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Obama to Receive Bible

VirtueOnline: American Bible Society will Present Incoming President Obama with Bible

Apparently this has not been done before, but American Bible Society will present a Bible to President Obama at his inauguration. ABS has given bibles to other presidents but doing so at an inauguration will be a first. It will be a KJV special Presidential Bible. That's a great gesture by ABS.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Prayer Technology

Vatican approves iTunes prayer book - Telegraph. An Italian priest has created an iPhone app -- iBreviary -- a prayer book for the iPhone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Words of Hope

Cry Out To Jesus -- Third Day (2005)

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Internet Explorer A Major Security Risk

Millions warned not to use Internet Explorer after Chinese fraudsters use security flaw to hijack computers | Mail Online

WARNING: Do not use Internet Explorer. There is a major security flaw that exposes passwords and activities.
"Security experts urged people to switch to rival browsers such as Firefox, Opera or Safari, until the bug has been fixed. The problem, first revealed last week, allows criminals to take over computers and steal passwords if the user visits an infected website."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

OS X on a Netbook. Thank You Wired.com

Gadget Lab Video: Running OS X on a Netbook | Gadget Lab from Wired.com

Advent Conspiracy Promo

Saw this linked at Chris Breuninger's FaceBook page. Very well done.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Terror in Jos, Nigeria

Anglican Diocese of Jos: Jos Goes Up In Flames
TimesOnline: Death in the Streets as Christians Flee

Certainly by now you've heard about the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. But have you heard of the terrorist attacks in Jos, Nigeria? More than twice as many people were killed by Muslim extremists, who targeted Christians, burning down their churches, homes and shooting them in the back as they fled. Pray for the Peace of Christ to be the Peace of Jos. Pray for Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi.

End Times Alert

FT.com / Columnists / Gideon Rachman - And now for a world government

This article ought to have end times visionaries and conspiracy theorists all worked up.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Updating Mac Security

Even as the popularity of Mac's has risen recently, the number of viruses aimed toward it has declined.

Apple's Security Paradox - Forbes.com:
"In the last six months, Finnish cyber security firm, F-Secure, has detected 13 new samples of malicious software, or 'malware,' targeting Apple's OS X operating system.

By contrast, every day F-Secure pulls from the Internet between 20,000 and 30,000 new samples of malicious code aimed at PCs"

The Orthodox Christian Page in America

Looking for some icons or interested in Orthodox Christianity: The Orthodox Christian Page in America

Sunday, December 07, 2008

SUVs at altar, Detroit church prays for a bailout | Markets | Markets News | Reuters

SUVs at altar, Detroit church prays for a bailout | Reuters

Rev. Charles Ellis of Greater Grace Temple had 3 SUV's, one from each of the Big 3 automakers, parked in his church, in front of the choir this Sunday, as he prayed for a government bailout.

Serve The Evangelical Covenant Church

Other Job and Ministry Positions Available - Evangelical Covenant Church
Nice job listed here: Events Manager for the ECC. Annually put together: Annual Meeting, CHIC, FEAST, and Midwinter Conference. That could be fun.

Churches Seeking Staff - Evangelical Covenant Church
Either something wacky happened at the Covenant site or a lot of positions were filled in a hurry. There are a total of 13 senior pastor positions listed. Usually there are about 30-35. I suspect there was some sort of human input error. Just today I was told both First and Zion Covenant Churches in Jamestown, NY were open and neither of them are listed on the Covenant site.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Snow-Belted - Syracuse.com

The are east of Lake Ontario in Oswego County NY is getting punished with snow already this year. Redfield, NY has already received 106 inches of snow. Winter starts in 2 weeks.

XXXChurch Hitting the Strip

Nightline just did a reasonably balanced piece on Craig Gross of XXXChurch. Craig moved his ministry from Grand Rapids, MI to Sin City: Las Vegas. He's starting a new church on the Vegas strip: The Strip Church

Anglican History Being Made

Conservative Anglicans Create Rival Church | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

As I have written about previously, the current machinations of the Anglican Communion and Episcopal Church is the stuff that will be written about in future church history books. History was made again this week.

A group of North American Anglicans have adopted a new constitution and procedures to become a new province and in theory, transplant the place of the Episcopal Church within worldwide Anglicanism.

Some suggest that since they have not gone through proper application procedures through the Anglican Consultive Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, that they cannot replace TEC or be recognized as an official province. However, when 80% of the Anglican Communion recognizes you as replacing them .... well, there's something to be said for that.

This is really exciting to God's hand at restructuring Anglicanism.

2008 April: Where Is It Written? - Evangelical Covenant Church

This week I enjoyed this article -- 2008 April: Where Is It Written? - Evangelical Covenant Church
-- by Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom, who was my seminary classmate. It's a nice piece on PP Waldenstom, covering his unique view of the atonement and why it's relevant to the church today.

Billy Graham TV Special Celebrates True Meaning of Christmas Dec. 6-14

Billy Graham has a TV special coming up. Check out the linked article or the BGEA web site.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Gratitude Journal

Ririan Project: Change Your Life Instantly!

The Ririan Project has a short article about using a gratitude journal. Try journaling at the end of every day about 3 things you are grateful for and see how it impacts your life.

I actually tried this for a while and found it really helpful. There was a period of time last year where I was traveling so much for work. I was homesick, sad -- full of 'piss and vinegar' as the saying goes. So every night in whatever hotel I was in, I started listing 3 things I was thankful for that day. It really did help my attitude. Try it.

Today I'm thankful for:
  • The area Covenant pastors, especially the Mazz, for giving me hope that maybe I could plant a church.
  • Cam, my recently former boss, who has been graciously, generously and kindly looking for a job for me.
  • Family movie night with my wife and kids. We watched the Bee Movie.
What about you?

Mac Virus?

Giz Explains: Why OS X Shrugs Off Viruses Better Than Windows

Here's a good article explaining why Macs do not have a virus problem. I'm sure you've heard it's because there are so few Macs so consequently malware authors and hackers just aren't that interested. That's not really true or at least the whole story. It's all about permissions.

Communion Every 15 Minutes

Patrick White of Christ Community Church in Allegan, MI is a great pastor and leader. He has this unique New Year's eve tradition of having small communion services: 8 of them over the course of two hours. Read about here: Quiet, Intimate Describe Unique Communion Approach - Evangelical Covenant Church

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wisdom From the Dalai Lama

Sex invariably spells trouble, says Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama thinks that sex leads to a more complicated life -- even murder or suicide. It has been my observation that the lack thereof leads to an even more complicated life.

Prayer Meeting: 17 years 24/7

The parish of my mother's side of the family, St. Joseph's-St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Utica, NY has had a prayer meeting going on for the past 17 years -- non-stop.

Utica prayer service hasn’t stopped in 17 years

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Free Incorporation, Free LLC Formation Services :: MyCorporation

Free Incorporation, Free LLC Formation Services :: MyCorporation

Act quickly if you want to start a corporation for free. A cursory glance at the site seems to indicate that non-profits -- church plants or ministries -- could also be done for free.

Answer some questions and MyCorp fills out and files the paperwork for you. That's the free part. If your state has any filing fees you will pay those.