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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Interview with Dave Olson

In my continued man-crush with Dave Olson, here is an interview: 10 Minutes With...10 Minutes with … David T. Olson. Look in the right column and buy his book, The American Church in Crisis.

(thanks Brad)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Churches Seeking Staff - Evangelical Covenant Church

There are 26 Senior Pastor openings listed at the ECC's Churches Seeking Staff web site in mainland US Covenant Churches. One of those is part-time and another is a 2 point parish. That is a relatively low number compared to the last couple years as I have blogged about this. Typically it's been 35-40.

There are a substantial number more positions available, both full and part-time, for youth, children, music and worship.

If you are looking for a challenge:
Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, MN is looking for a President and the Covenant Village of Florida is looking for a Chaplain.

Sportsmanship: Missing Free Throws On Purpose

Who would have ever heard of a high school kid missing free throws on purpose as an act of sportsmanship in a very close important game? It's been done for a kid who lost his mother. Must read: Rivals High - Amid the grieving, a rare act of sportsmanship

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Professor Frustrated With Students Lack of Bible Knowledge

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Students 'do not know the Bible'

Certainly many pastors lament the lack of basic Bible knowledge by their parishioners. Now college professors are getting in on the action. An English professor at University College is frustrated in teaching poetry because his students have absolutely zero Bible background and they are unable to grasp the depths of the poetry. Take for example Milton's Paradise Lost. nearly every biblical allusion floats over the head of his students. He suggests the college do something about this. Like what? Teach Bible classes?

I'm Drooling Over This Hackintosh Mac Netbook

How To: Hackintosh a Dell Mini 9 Into the Ultimate OS X Netbook

I want a Mac netbook in the worst way. Apple is slow getting these things out. There are all sorts of rumors they are coming but I want one NOW! No doubt Apple's version will cost several hundred $$$$. This could be done for about $500 if you beg, borrow and steal all the right stuff. This doesn't even take a lot of hardware hacking -- looks fairly straightforward.

Bishop NT Wright from the Hayward Lectures

UPDATED: I originally posted these videos last December. The Acadia Divinity College lectures had been moved from their web site so these videos were showing up blank on my site for awhile recently. They are now hosted by Google.

Acadia Divinity College from Nova Scotia has a wonderful selection of theological lectures from their Hayward Lectures dating back to 1981 with many familiar theologians. Well done Acadia!

Here is the Rt. Rev'd NT Wright, Bishop of Durham from 2006. (Thank you Scott).

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

And for those of you who are Tom Wright devotees and stalkers ... look here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Evangelicals Unfaithful To The Word About The Word?

The other day I was in the kitchen doing dishes and I overheard my wife was reading a passage from the Bible to my kids. And as she read this verse, my ears perked up.

1 Timothy 4:11 "Command and teach these things. 12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching." (NIV)

As some of you know, I am prone to rant on this blog about the failure of many churches to read the Bible in their worship services.

Let's focus on v.13 for a moment. Are these three commands separate things or are they all part of the same thing? For example, when a pastor gives an expository sermon, meaning: s/he reads a few verses, expounds on them and then works his/her way through a passage, does that constitute what Paul had in mind when he instructed Timothy to "devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching." Is it one action?

Or, were they meant to be three separate acts? The public reading of scripture is very different than preaching and teaching. The latter two are a little more difficult to distinguish. Were all three meant to happen each time they gathered? Were people to experience three separate things: they heard a reading of Scripture, they heard a sermon and then they heard a teaching? The NASB and ESV use the word "exhortation" instead of the NIV's use of "preaching"

Regardless, considered the phrase, "devote yourself". They are meant to be a high priority.

It's clear Paul is giving a command not a suggestion. I wonder if that was a cultural command, meaning it was something that was commanded for that time and place, or is it to be that pastors and church leaders are to be for time and eternity devoted to those 3 things?

Some would want to argue that in our current cultural milieu, an extended oral recitation of the Bible (or any other book for that matter) is an ineffective means of communication. We are no longer a word driven culture but a icon/image driven people. We've been trained by Hollywood and Madison Ave. to listen in sound bytes and have a preference for the digital experience. Reading just isn't effective any more. That leads to an interesting theology of the scripture, inferring that the content or interpretation of the Bible is important but it's presentation as words on a page are less so. I'll have to give that some further thought.

Legalism never serves us well. To mandate that Scripture must be publicly read each time the church gathers will not ensure faithfulness to God. I find it one of the greatest ironies of all time, The Episcopal Church, which is now considered apostate by many, follows the BCP liturgy and reads the lectionary texts each week. Most still read 3-4 texts at every pubic worship service let alone the plethora of scriptural allusions and quotations in the liturgy. Yet so many evangelical churches, who are proclaiming the historic faith as it has been handed down from the apostles, have given up the public reading of Scripture in exchange for the expository sermon. Their liturgy has become 20-30 minutes of singing, 30-45 minute sermon, announcements and a closing song -- add in the occasional baptism, special music, video clip and communion.

I admit I'm not the sharpest theologian/philosopher out there and there are certain holes in my theology of scripture. But somehow I believe that reading the Bible is different than reading a sermon or other piece of literature. There is a mystical experience there. Essentially God is able to speak to people differently when we read the Bible as opposed to other containers of words on pages.

I believe that reading the Bible unexposited, without comment, is important. God doesn't need us to explain. His Spirit is quite capable of peircing people's hearts and speaking words of conviction and compassion without our contribution. It is good for the people of God to listen to the public reading of scripture even if it is not our culture's preferred mode of communication.

And finally, there is something mystical that happens when God's people sing songs of praise, hear the Scriptures read, pray together and hear a sermon. God speaks to people through that collective experience during worship differently than if we were just doing one of them.

I exhort you read the Scriptures publicly in your church.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Multimedia Stations Of The Cross

Stations Of The Cross :: American Bible Society

ABS has a multimedia Stations of the Cross with art, music and scripture.

Bible Reading Plan For Lent

The Apostolic Anchoress: Bible Reading Plan for Lent: A Prophetic Lent -- This Bible reading plan uses the Old Testament Prophets.

BibleGateway.com - News & tips from BibleGateway.com -- BibleGateway will begin a reading plan tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, to take you through all four Gospels for Lent.

Here are two sites with good plans: one to read through the Gospels in Lent and one for reading through the entire New Testament. The texts are linked so you can read them online or you can print the chart and initial each day you complete.
Lenten 40-Day Bible Reading Schedule (Gospels)
Lenten 40-Day Bible Reading Schedule (New Testament)

Free Software! Don't Spend Money on Software That's Free

I love OpenSource software. Often I see churches and ministries spending needless money on software thinking they must have MS Office or other stuff. Get the free stuff people! It works. Here's a couple links with useful OpenSource information.

11 Free And Useful Open-Source Alternatives For Designers - Opensource, Free and Useful Online Resources for Designers and Developers -- the article is slightly confusingly set-up but when you click on this link and open the page, keep scrolling towards the bottom and you'll start to see OpenSource software packages and what they are a solid alternative to.

OpenOffice.org: 7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do - Solutions by PC Magazine. Lot's of people use OpenOffice and have abandoned Microsoft Office. I certainly have. I use the NeoOffice version for OS X. Love it.

This linked article really helped me this week as I had some old Appleworks documents on my external drive and don't have a working version of Appleworks on the computer. One of the 7 Things You Didn't Know OO Could Do was open legacy documents, including Appleworks. It wasn't entirely a clean document but I could extract and edit my content easily.

Best OpenSource site for OS X: OpenSourceMac.org

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Always Hate It When My Parishioners Show Up Nude

Nude man Tasered going to Bay City church - Bay City News - MLive.com

It can be so distracting to worship with nude people around.

Lenten Worship: Good Friday Services

The season of Lent in the Christian calendar year begins 2 days from now on Ash Wednesday. Lent has always been very meaningful for me. I've nagged my pastor a little bit to get him thinking ahead for Holy Week worship. Here is a little help for the rest of you also.

For you pastors needing a little help planning for Good Friday, I offer you my favorite Good Friday services. Nothing really novel. It's based on the traditional Stations of the Cross from the Roman Catholic tradition.

The great thing about this service is that you can include so many people as readers. We used two people to alternate announcing the station and then 14 readers to read the Scripture texts and pray. We marked out 14 locations down the center aisle of the church, so that each reading moved progressively closer to the front of the church, to give a sense of movement toward the cross for the service.

You can also make this a Tenebrae service with 13 taper candles and 1 pillar candle to be the Christ candle. Extinguish one candle per station with the Christ candle extinguished last. Tenebrae is most effective when it is done at dusk/dark and less so if the time has changed and it's fully light out when you have the service.

If you prefer a more digital experience, you can project artwork or a symbol and the scripture texts for each station. Some people also use sounds like hammering, whipping, rooster crowing, etc. for various stations. One time I played a mournful video clip from Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ at the very end.

One year our music director, who was an outstanding oboeist, played a mournful solo of The Via Dolorosa as the closing song after the final station while in the dark. She played with such passion that people wept.

Finally after the service is over and people are still seated, strip the church of banners, parments, plants, candles, altarware -- everything -- symbolizing the stripping of Jesus and dark tomb he was laid in. Remove it all out of the church. People leave in silence. also The creates anticipation and dramatic effect if your church is full of flowers on Easter Sunday morning.

The songs below are from the red Covenant Hymnal and the gray Song Goes On but certainly are in other hymnals. More contemporary music could be used. There is a place for a sermon or homily after the 12th station but that isn't necessary. The service itself preaches and the benediction at the end isn't necessary either.

Good Friday
Way of the Cross Service

Welcome and Introduction to Good Friday Worship

*Call To Worship Isaiah 53:4-5
Leader: Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
People: Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.
Leader: But he was wounded for our transgressions,
People: He was bruised for our iniquities;
Leader: Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
People: And with his stripes we are healed. Thanks be to God.

Lord Jesus, on this day you carried our sins in your own body on the tree so that we might live. May we and all who remember this day find new life in you in this world and in the world to come, where you live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Spirit, one God forever. Amen.

The First Station: Jesus Prays in the Garden of Olives
Scripture: Luke 22:39-46
What Wondrous Love Is This #204 v.1 Covenant Hymnal

The Second Station: Jesus is Betrayed by Judas
Scripture: Matthew 26:45-49
What Wondrous Love Is This #204 v.1 Covenant Hymnal

The Third Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death by the Sanhedrin
Scripture: Mark 14: 56, 61-64
What Wondrous Love Is This #204 v.1 Covenant Hymnal

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #202 Covenant Hymnal

The Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter
Scripture: Luke 22:54-62
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #204 v.1 Covenant Hymnal

The Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate
Scripture: Luke 23:20-25
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #204 v.1 Covenant Hymnal

The Sixth Station: Jesus is Flogged and Crowned with Thorns
Scripture: John 19:1-3
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #204 v.1 Covenant Hymnal

On A Hill Far Away #198 Covenant Hymnal

The Seventh Station: Jesus Carries His Cross
Scripture: John 19:17
Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On

The Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon of Cyrene
Scripture: Mark 15:20-21
Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On

The Ninth Station: Jesus Encounters the Women of Jerusalem
Scripture: Luke 23:27-31
Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On

Were You There #203 Covenant Hymnal

The Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified
Scripture: Mark 15:22-26
Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On (gray)

The Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises to Share His Reign with the Thief
Scripture: Luke 23:39-43
Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On

The Twelfth Station: Jesus on the Cross with His Mother & Disciple Below
Scripture: John 19:25-27
Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On

The Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Scripture: Matthew 27:45-50
O How He Loves You and Me #130 v.1 Song Goes On

The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
Scripture: Matthew 27:57-61
O How He Loves You and Me #130 Song Goes On


There is a prayer for each station that we had written out for each reader. We also did this service using the Taize song Jesus, Remember Me #122 Song Goes On for the first 13 stations and Were You There #203 as the closing hymn.

We relied heavily on Robert Webber's tome, The Complete Library of Christian Worship. He also has a liturgy of the Palms and a Seven Last Words of Christ service.

Seven Last Words of Christ
Good Friday Service

Welcome and Introduction
Opening Hymn

The First Word
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

The Second Word
“Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

The Third Word
“Dear woman, here is your son . . . Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27

The Fourth Word
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt 27:46

The Fifth Word
“I am thirsty.” John 19:28

The Sixth Word
“It is finished.” John 19:30

The Seventh Word
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Closing Prayer
Closing Hymn

We particularly enjoyed doing these services ecumenically with clergy from the community's churches leading each station or "word". The devotional really needs to be less than 5 minutes or the service will be too long.

Do something great for God this Good Friday that leads people to worship our Savior Jesus Christ with awe and majesty.

UK Tells Parents Not To Pass Values To Children

Here's another article that upon first glance you would think is from Larknews or The Onion, but no:

Parents shouldn't teach right or wrong in sex - The Times of India: "Parents shouldn't teach right or wrong in sex". Essentially they think kids should make up their own mind. What's important is that there is open dialog.

Fr. Don Turner

Fr. Donald L. Turner

Many of my Watertown friends who visit the Land of the Ultra Rev will fondly remember Fr. Don Turner, former Rector of Trinity Church, Watertown, NY. He and Candy are doing well and their church has a new web site: St. Peter's Barnegat Light Parish. There are some nice photos their of their church and parsonage and some wacky ones (see above).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dr. J.I. Packer on First v. Second Order Issues

What are first order and second order theological issues. Dr. J.I. Packer explains in this video.

Dr. J.I. Packer (6:50)

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Is religion an important part of your daily life?"

Where does your state rank in religious belief?

George Gallup has polled America on their opinion of the importance of religion and ranked the states responses. He asked them, "Is religion an important part of your daily life?". No surprises in his findings.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Evangelical Covenant Church Picks Another Great Leader: Dave Olson

David Olson Nominated for Church Growth and Evangelism Leadership Role - Evangelical Covenant Church

The ECC picks great leader after great leader. This time they have nominated Dave Olson to fill the leadership role vacated by Gary Walter, another great leader, who became President of the Covenant Church. This will be voted on at the Annual Meeting in June.

I have trumpeted Dave's book for sometime on this blog. I admire Dave greatly for his research on the American Church and it's declining attendance and his support of church planters. If you haven't read his book yet, click the Amazon link below and buy it now.

Buy Dave Olson's book:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lent Begins Next Week

Next week begins the season of Lent in the Christian year with the holy day of Ash Wednesday. It is a day of mourning over our sins, with the public imposition of ashes on our foreheads being a sign of our repentance. Though opinion varies, it seems this practice dates from at least the 8th century. Many people fast this day. In some churches the ashes created from burning the palms of the previous year's Palm Sunday.

St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Syracuse, NY is an AMIA Church and will have Ash Wednesday services. Here's their Lenten schedule. My church does not observe the church year, so I'm not sure of where I will go for Ash Wednesday, but this looks like a good option. Anyone want to go with me?

Ray Comfort is Taking on The Vatican

Top Christian author challenges Vatican -- Ray Comfort is accusing the Vatican of believing Darwin over Jesus in regards to the creation of the world and thereby embracing atheism by supporting evolution.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Church Getting Intimate in the Pulpit

Sex and the sermon: Pastor in Gardens strips away taboos

Palm Beach Community Church makes headlines with a sermon series on sex and it's promotional billboards that go with it. For whatever reason, it still is a big deal when a church talks openly about sex.

Nearly everybody who does a sermon series on sexuality and a promotional campaign with it gets accused of preaching to "itching ears", referring to 2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." Translated: they preach about sex because it's what people want to hear.

They also get accused of doing it just for a marketing ploy to get people through the door. Maybe some churches do that but so far, the one's I've seen seem genuinely interested in serving their people and don't seem to have any trouble getting people through the door already.

I'm going to go out on a limb. Maybe you or your church doesn't need to do an entire sermon series along with a sexy gimmicky marketing campaign. But if you're not addressing sexual ethics and giving God's perspective on sex from the pulpit shame on you. It's not so much your people want to hear about it, they NEED to.

You say, "What about the old ladies at church? Do they need to hear about it?" Yes they do, so that they can be another voice of godliness in the ears of their children, grandchildren and other youth that look up to them. They, along with everyone else, need to be part of the chorus of voices that call ring in the ears of all our people, especially young people, when they are considering what's right and wrong.

Furthermore, have you kept track of the growing number of news articles that talk about seniors enjoying sexuality into their latter years and the problems at various elder care facilities dealing with promiscuous senior adults? And how many senior folks live in partnered relationships instead of marrying for a variety of financial reasons? Have we thought about how confusing that is to a young person who wants to do the same but we tell them "That's wrong!"

The staggering number of teens and adults -- men, women and youth -- dealing with porn directly or suffering the consequences of someone else' problem is growing. It's an epidemic.

People don't have just itching ears, they are itching elsewhere from the poor choices they've made in their sex lives. They need a church that's going to bring them a message of hope and forgiveness, letting them know their life can be redeemed from the mistakes they have made. They need a church that is unequivocally clear on God's standards for purity and how He desires to protect them and give them a sacred gift not just restrict their fun. They need a church that routinely encourages them to do what's right when they are bombarded with repeated messages, multiple times a day, with temptations to do otherwise.

I find it unconscionable how quiet many churches are in the midst of the concophany of competing godless voices that are attempting to fill the ears of our parishioners. The Bible isn't silent on sexuality and preacher and pulpit should not be either.

We need a few more churches like Palm Beach Community Church and the others who risk their reputation or someone going home mad because they addressed this important issue. Here's a quote from the linked article above:

But [Pastor Ray] Underwood is one of a growing number of church leaders willing to take on a topic that was once off limits. People have real questions about how to keep their marriages strong, how to talk to their kids about sex, what to do with desire and how to recover from adultery, he said.

"I think we should be more aggressive and upfront about talking about critical issues in people's lives. In the past, I think we were embarrassed and unsure about ourselves."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gary Haugen: The Enforcer

A Reporter at Large: The Enforcer: The New Yorker

Gary Haugen is an attorney for the rest of the world. Those who can't afford one and have not voice. “Prayers help,” Haugen says. “Prayers and a lawyer help more.” I heard Haugen speak at the Willowcreek Leadership Summit this year. Gary Haugen is like a mix of Mother Teresa, Mike Ditka and Alan Shore from the TV show Boston Legal.

Hold Me Jesus

A Rich Mullins song ...

"Well sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

I'm singing hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace "

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jason Condon: Pastors' Technology Seminar

Jason Condon: Technology Tools for 21st-century Pastors

My friend Jason Condon of Artisan Church in Rochester, NY led a seminar at the ECC Midwinter Conference seminar: "Technology Tools for 21st-century Pastors". The seminar is available online with video, seminar notes and slides.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Lion of Nigeria Roars

VirtueOnline: Nigerian Primate Says Anglican Communion Differences are "Irreconcilable"

The Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola has released an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams along with a supporting report of outlining the heresies of The Episcopal Church. It's not pretty:
"Episcopal Church leaders have denied Jesus as the only way to the Father, denied the divinity and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, denied the Resurrection, denied heaven and hell, denied salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ, denied the authority of Scripture, denied the Creeds and denied biblical standards for human sexuality," said AAC leaders.

They said the fruits of TEC's new theology included a refusal to reaffirm the historic articles of the Christian faith, syncretism, the promotion of abortion, weakening traditional marriage, promoting same sex blessings and other sexual aberrations, communion for the unbaptized, and accelerating litigation by TEC against the orthodox.

"We conclude with the heresies of the current Presiding Bishop that demonstrates her affirmation of the classic heresies of Pelagianism, Marcionism, Pluralism, Universalism and Gnosticism."
As this kind of thing continues to go public, it will become increasingly difficult for fellowship at a local ministerial level.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Want You To Grow Spiritually 3: Spiritual Direction

UPDATE: I first published this back in September 2008; however, I saw some good other CT articles to add to it:

What Is a Spiritual Director? | Christianity Today
What Is Spiritual Direction? | Christianity Today
Spiritual Formation Agenda | Christianity Today

Spiritual Direction is different. It's not pastoral counseling. It's not therapy, counseling, psychoanalysis or psychotherapy. It's not really advice giving or empathetic listening. The word "direction" is almost too strong.

The work of a Spiritual Director exists more through being than doing. They help us see where God is already at work in our lives. They help us to listen attentively to God. Spiritual Direction could be described as helping to facilitate one's intimacy with God. North Park Theological Seminary says at their web site for the Center for Spiritual Direction, "Spiritual direction is a ministry of listening, discernment, and prayer in a confidential setting of encouragement and compassion."

Some times Spiritual Directors help us with our spiritual disciplines such as examen, confession, lectio divina, establishing and maintaining a Rule of Life. They journey with us to discover which disciplines God is leading us into and encourage us in our faithful obedience to Him through the disciplines.

There are numerous places to find a spiritual director. Ask your local Roman Catholic or Anglican priest. A Google search will provide a variety of resources. Contact North Park's Center for Spiritual Direction. Find a Benedictine or Jesuit community near you. They will most certainly be able to help you.

If you are dealing with a chronic deep seated sadness or anxiety, you will more likely need a counselor. However, if you are having trouble experiencing God, feeling intimate with Him or feel lost on your spiritual journey, a Spiritual Director will be of great help.

A note to my conservative evangelical friends: Don't get hung up with the fact that most (certainly not all) Directors are from the Roman Catholic tradition. You will likely find that they know Jesus as Savior and Lord intimately and experience Him slightly differently than you. You may not agree with every theological precept of their thinking, but their passion to serve and know Jesus is the same as yours.

This is part 3 in a 20 part series on spiritual growth. If you feel like you are not growing deeper in your faith or relationship to God, if you are not loving and serving others more, if you have a sense of 'stuckness' in your spiritual journey, and you really want to grow ——— the answer might not be to try harder. All too often I have heard the same solutions offered over and over — 'All you have to do is have daily devotions, pray more, read more of the Bible, be in worship every week and get more involved in the church.' In other words try harder.

Sometimes that doesn't work and I'm going to offer some suggestions that might help you move forward.

Previous Installments:
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 1: Give Up Daily Devotions
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 2: See A Counselor

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ray Comfort is Taking on Atheists

Author: Atheism, intelligence don't mix

Ray Comfort has a new book out:

Atheism is getting a lot of press time lately. It'll pass.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Syracuse.com Article on Paul Wagner

Believers' Chapel founder was one of a kind

It Appears the Anglican Communion is DOA

VirtueOnline - ALEXANDRIA 2009: Orthodox Anglican Primates Offer Clarity on Primates Meeting

David Virtue offers a stunning summary of his interviews with orthodox Anglican archbishops, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda and The Most Rev. Gerald Ian Ernest of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

It appears that the Communion is irreconcilably divided and has come to a place of openness and clarity on that division. According to these primates, there are not just two dissimilar viewpoints or factions within the Anglican Communion but in two separate religions.

Virtue writes, "The Anglican Communion is broken and it is beyond repair. It can never be repaired, was the message these primates gave."

Speaking of Venables and Orombi, "Both men said that the daily Bible studies highlighted their differences. Liberal and orthodox primates simply don't read the scriptures in the same way and they don't believe the same things."

And speaking of Ernest, "The Most Rev. Gerald Ian Ernest of the Province of the Indian Ocean confirmed that there were now two religions existing side by side in the Anglican Communion that were irreconcilable."

Apparently the era in Christian history of having a cohesive Anglican Communion is coming to a close.

Join Alyx and I At The Marriage Course

Alpha USA : The Marriage Course

Grace Covenant Church continues the Marriage Course. The Marriage Course is for good marriages and those who are struggling. Though it is faith based, you really don't have to have a church background to participate. It's for anybody who wants a strong marriage.

The good people at Grace Covenant Church, located at Rt. 31 & Stearns Rd. in Clay, NY have been running the course repeatedly and literally hundreds of people have benefited from it.

Alyx and I will be participating in the next class beginning March 15 at 5:00 pm. This is the "Come and See ..." evening. No commitment to sign up for the course, just come to the evening and enjoy. If you would like to come to the rest of the classes great, and if not, go and be blessed somewhere else.

Each evening starts with dinner, followed by a video message and then discussion about the video. There isn't any counseling and no one is expected to talk about their personal marital issues.

The course is free. There is no childcare provided, but if you want to attend and childcare is an issue call the church and ask for help: Grace Covenant Church, (315) 699-1551, ask for Pastor Bruce Baehr.

The Marriage Course Schedule.
(These dates are all Sundays at 5 pm.)
March 15 Come and See
March 22 Session 1
March 29 Session 2
April 5 Session 3
April 12 EASTER -- no class
April 19 Session 4
April 26 Session 5
May 3 Session 6
May 10 MOTHER'S DAY -- no class
May 17 Session 7

Friday, February 06, 2009


People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
—Rogers Hornsby

New Anglican Service in Second Life

A new virtual service = you are invited | The Anglican Church in Second Life

Rev'd Mark Brown of the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life has announced he will begin a new worship service on Sunday, February 15th at 3 pm Wellington, NZ / 6 pm PST / 9 pm EST. Over the past 18 months the church has grown to 5 services, a Bible study and a discussion group.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Business Plan

Being underemployed has caused me to flirt with the idea of starting my own business. Every business of course needs a business plan. Dan Miller has posted a free Business Plan on his web sites:

Business Plan - Dan Miller’s Blog

Business Plan - 48days

If your are going to buy one of Dan's books, please use this link and I'll make a small profit. Thank you.

Arkansas, Guns & Church

Proposed Law Would Allow Guns in Churches|Channel 7 News

Not sure why but the people of Arkansas want guns in church. Didn't know church was that dangerous of a place.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pancakes, Pastries, Adult Entertainment & Church

X3 Church can help your church to hold a variety of events to address the epidemic problem of people who addicted or dabbling in smut. Here are a couple of options but their events page has more:

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Ultra Rev in Pittsburgh area this weekend.

Welcome to Stoneridge Church of Allison Park, PA

I am very excited to be preaching at Stoneridge Church of Allison Park, PA this weekend February 8th. Thank you to my friend Dr. John Delancey for this opportunity. Stoneridge is planning an affinity evangelism outreach for the spring which I will speak at and I will be helping them prepare for that event during this visit.

If you are in the area you are welcome to join us. I'll lead Sunday School, preach during worship, enjoy lunch and lead a seminar 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

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