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Location: Liverpool, NY

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


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FIND Employment - Jobs - Work in Syracuse, NY - Central New York - Upstate New York

As someone who has been a job searcher in the Central New York State region for the past several months, looking primarily for ministry but also other opportunities, I have compiled a short list of job search sites. It is by no means exhaustive but mostly just contains links to things I find interesting. Most of them are related directly to Central New York institutions but there are several -- especially ministry ones -- that have national and global opportunities.

I have posted many but not all of these links in a blog post previously (Find Jobs & Employment in metro Syracuse, NY & Elsewhere) but now have made them a semi-permanent feature in the right hand column. At the top you will see a section "About Me", below that "My Other Sites", below that "Grow Deeper Spiritually", and below that, my new section "Jobs, Work,
Employment, Central New York, Syracuse, NY".

I am particularly interested in helping churches, ministries and other institutions in the upstate New York region that are searching for clergy. Let me know of a job opening and I'll post it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Swine Flu & The Eucharist

FT.com / UK - Swine flu triggers change to Church ritual

I continue to hear many "authoritative" stories or legends with quotes, stats or studies by supposed epidemiologists or The AMA about the safety of the practice of using the common cup for the Eucharist (Look here). Nonetheless, some churches are changing their Eucharistic practices because of the swine flu. In the Church of England they are again referring to the 1547 Sacrament Act. Read it. It's fascinating.

The safety of the common cup argument goes something like this: There are several important elements to administering the common cup that increases it's hygiene:
  • A wide brimmed chalice: Every time one communicant sips from the cup, the cup is wiped and turned one "space" thus a wide brimmed chalice will allow several people to partake before someone again sips from the same spot.
  • Port or Sherry (I forget - whichever has the highest alcohol content): The high alcohol content is a germ killer (and for the enjoyment of the priest --- joke, joke, just kidding!).
  • A chalice bearer (someone to serve/administer the cup): Not everyone handles the chalice -- in theory just the priest and chalice bearer -- keeping germs to a minimum.
  • A purificator: This is the white cloth used by the chalice bearer to wipe both sides of the rim of the chalice after every person partakes. The chalice is wiped and turned after every communicant partakes.
And there are some that believe the Eucharist is a holy meal which God mystically protects from creating illness or harm.

Is your church doing anything to protect from the Swine Flu?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Church Growth & Death

As seen linked at VirtueOnline: Frank Lockwood, BibleBeltBlogger reports the Assemblies of God eclipses Episcopal Church. Of particular note, the AG has a higher attendance at their weekday services than the Episcopal Church has on Sunday mornings. The decline of attenance in Episcopal services is stunning and sad. Lockwood also notes that Episcopal attendance has dropped by 10 percent per year since 2003's ignominious General Convention. That's averaging roughly 1000 adherents per week -- LOST.

I suppose you could feel good if you are a AG leader. I'm not AG and I'm excited for them. However, evangelicals and the AG need to watch how far, how fast the Episcopal Church has fallen and be reminded that could easily be them in 2050 if not sooner. I'm sure many are thinking that will never happen. Well, let me be the Nouriel Roubini of the church attendance world and suggest it's substantially more possible and likely than you think.

My experiences over the past several years have led me into partnerships working across the denominational landscapes. I can't help but observe the widespread lack of urgency in the church over the widespread decline in church attendance.

I watched the Ben Stein movie, Expelled, for the first time this week (though I slept through a lot of it). I'm a little slow. Obviously the big statement of the movie is not his promotion of Intelligent Design theory, rather it's his assertion that the academic community has lost it's rigorous pursuit of science and become a political party that can't ask certain questions that might interfere with their beloved presuppositions. I worry the church world has been that way for too long.

Church attendances stats should be leading us to the point of urgently re-evaluating everything we hold dear -- save the gospel of Jesus Christ -- to identify why it is that fewer and fewer people attend church and swiftly make wholesale changes accordingly.

What if the Episcopal decline is just the leading edge of North American Christendom as a whole?

Wow. Aren't I just full of happiness today?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Ultra Rev Preaching & Teaching

On Saturday, August 1, 2009, 9:00 am - 12:30 pm, in Cafe Kubal's meeting room I will be leading an evangelism seminar for Catalyst Church (and others if you are interested -- let me know). This won't be a seminar in how to use tracts, door-to-door evangelism, street preaching or how to manipulate a conversation. This will be a seminar that encourages you to be a credible Christian witness in your day-to-day life and help you develop a plan for partnering with the Holy Spirit to lead people in your network one step closer to Christ.

I'm preaching at Catalyst Church on Sunday, August 2 from Acts 5:12-16. Here's my text. Should be a full-on pentecostal extravaganza.
The Apostles Heal Many

Acts 5:12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil (unclean) spirits, and all of them were healed. (NIV)

And this fall I'll be teaching a weekend evangelism seminar in Ashtabula, OH at First Covenant Church. Thanks to Pastor Bruce Wyand for the invitation. This seminar will be open to all the church in Ashtabula.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Communion on the Moon 1969

Eric Metaxas - Communion on the Moon: July 20th, 1969

Buzz Aldrin was an elder in his Presbyterian Church in Texas when he landed on the moon and took consecrated bread and wine with him to celebrate communion on the Moon.

(Thx Lady Caroline)

Klyne Snodgrass's blog | Primetime Jesus

Klyne Snodgrass is Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies at North Park Theological Seminary ... and he has a blog:

Klyne Snodgrass's blog | Primetime Jesus

I haven't spent a lot of time there yet but anything Klyne writes is worth reading. A list of his works is available at his Wikipedia entry.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Want You To Grow Spiritually

So I decided to link some spiritual advice that I have been giving in the left hand column of this blog. These posts get a ton of hits. I'll have several more forthcoming.

It all started with some people I knew who were having trouble connecting with God. They were Christians and had been for some time. But reading the Bible and praying became arduous and they felt some distance from God. They were painfully aware of that distance and really wanted to close the gap. They hungered for God.

After seeking spiritual help from their clergymen he offered limited advice: "Be in the Word" -- read your Bible every day. Make sure you are having daily devotions. Spend more time praying. Serve God more in the local church. To paraphrase, he said, "Try harder. Press on through." That was it.

Sometimes the spiritual life is not about trying harder at praying and reading the Bible. Through the centuries God has made Himself known through a variety of spiritual practices. Certainly praying and the reading of Scripture should never be neglected. But there are more practices that can propel us forward in Christian living, in becoming Christ-like, in holiness and in depth of intimacy with God.

Some of you won't like my advice because it's too Catholic or too Pentecostal or too mystical or too whatever. But I really want you to grow deep in your love and relationship with God. I honestly do. Do something people. Don't just fall asleep in your faith. Pursue God with passion.


Celtic Daily Prayer

Welcome to the home of the Northumbria Community online

For those of you interested in praying the Daily Office or in a fixed prayer way, the Northumbria Community has morning, midday and evening prayer and compline online. I linked them in side bar. Their daily office is very simple and easy to use.

I hadn't been to their site in quite some time and it has been upgraded quite nicely.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our Favorite Cussing Pastor Canceled

Baptist Press - Bott Radio blocks Driscoll, replaces segment mid-show - News with a Christian Perspective

Mark Driscoll was recently canceled from a radio interview -- IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SHOW -- because they were worried about what he might say regarding sex. Driscoll delivered a sermon in Edinburgh where he expanded on the virtues of various kinds of sex based on biblical texts from Song of Songs.

For those still thinking that Song of Songs is an allegory about Christ and the church Driscoll points out that the whole interpretation is very extremely weird and the sexual images are not helpful at all.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Former NFL RB / Evangelist

My Way - Sports News: Ex-NFL MVP Alexander Taking \"Tour for Jesus\"

Shaun Alexander is still hoping to catch on and play at least part time running back for an NFL team in the 2009 season. Beyond that he's on tour taking his faith in Jesus to various places.

Friday, July 10, 2009

On My Way To CHIC 2009 : UNDONE

I'll be serving on the mental health services team for CHIC 2009 for all of next week. 6000+ high school students at University of Tennessee at Knoxville. What a great privilege to serve these students.

Did She Commit Heresy When Calling Out Heresy?

VirtueOnline: GC2009: TEC Presiding Bishop says individual salvation is "heresy," "idolatry"

David Virtue is reporting: "In her (Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church) opening address to the church's General Conference in California, Jefferts Schori said it was a "heresy" to believe that an individual can be saved through personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ acknowledged in a prayer of repentance." Read the rest. It's really quite remarkable. Just when you think it can't get weirder in the Episcopal Church. It does.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Orthodoxy Takes on Calvinism

The leader of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah recently outlined several items -- heresies -- that stand in the way of full communion between the the Anglicans and the Orthodox. One of the heresies is Calvinism. Read here for further info: Ethics Forum: Where Calvinism Errs.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Acts 3:1-10

Here is the text for tomorrow's sermon:

The Holy Observer

In a recent comment on the Land of the Ultra Rev, my friend SJAustin outed himself as a "Co-Founder" of The Holy Observer -- Christian Humor, Satire, Parody, News -- a rival to LarkNews. Just thought I would pimp him a little today ... boost his ego some.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Turkish TV gameshow looks to convert atheists | Entertainment | Reuters

Turkish TV gameshow looks to convert atheists | Entertainment | Reuters: "

At first this article starts out like some crazy joke like Fr. Turner used to tell me:
"ISTANBUL (Reuters) - What happens when you put a Muslim imam, a Christian priest, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk in a room with 10 atheists?"
... or something crazy from the Holy Observer. But, no, it's real.
"Turkish television station Kanal T hopes the answer is a ratings success as it prepares to launch a game show where spiritual guides from the four faiths will seek to convert a group of non-believers."
Look at the prizes you can win!
"The prize for converts will be a pilgrimage to a holy site of their chosen religion -- Mecca for Muslims, the Vatican for Christians, Jerusalem for Jews and Tibet for Buddhists."
Apparently the show is struggling to get off the ground because they can't find a willing Imam.

10 Mistakes I’ve Made (so far) as a Church Planter — Shaun in the City

I love church planting and am attempting to learn all I can about church planting. For those of you who have planted a church or participated in a church plant what are the mistakes you've made and seen made? Your comments would be most appreciated.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Have You Seen St. Paul Lately?

Pictured: The 'sensational' 1,600-year-old icon of St Paul found in a Roman tomb | Mail Online