Friday, August 29, 2003

Another summer camp has come and gone but the memories will last for a lifetime.
I think that is what is so powerful about youth camps, the memories made, the lives touched and the friendships made.

Where else can you:
·Gargle with a goldfish?

·Win an Oscar for best movie (The winner was "The planet of the Hens" a planet of the apes spoof).

·Laugh until it hurts, while watching kids stepping in worms, Spam, ice and other gunk.

·Cringe with glee as girls in all their high drama, gag on peanut oil, oysters, sardines, sauerkraut, spicy V8 and cottage cheese.

·Munch on goodies and play "Signs" late into the night.

·Sleep in a stinky room with a bunch of chattering teens amped on Mt. Dew!

·Lounge on a plush Pontoon boat with friends in the warm summer sun.

·See God touch hungry hearts and fill them with His love.

·See students weep in complete repentance over their empty lives, drugs, and woundedness and yet leave empowered, restored and full of the Holy Spirit.

·Watch JH kids open up to God for the first time with timidity and expectation and touch Him.

·Sit in a room of sobbing kids as they read their letters from their parents on the last night (I am sure even angels were listening). Teens really do love their mommies and daddies and need to hear their words of love and encouragement desperately.

·Get dumped on a jet ski by a loving teen and know that God is bonding hearts in the process.

·Hug a kid that hasn't been loved by a dad in a long time.

·See young leaders born as they serve, lead and fall in love with youth ministry.

·Pick dirt out of wounds from kids toes.

·Yell at rambunctious kids that can't seem to understand that you're old, tired and want night-night!

·Play until your feet hurt and you have to use "Veterinarian horse gel" just to recover from your muscle pain!

·See the light of heaven in a kids sparkling eyes as they belly laugh at someone crashing on the tubes being pulled behind the 2 ski boats.

·Pry your eyes open with coffee after a late night of camp bed, dayafter soreness and excitement for the day.

All in all this years' camp was a major success and I wanted to thank everyone who sacrificed to make this week happen. You all are amazing and I couldn't do it with out your help, money and prayers. Thank you for everything you have done to help us reach, nurture and love teens. Heaven only knows the impact weeks like these will have on young peoples destinies.

I thank God for the privilege of serving Him by loving kids; it truly is an amazing gift!
I love all of you, and especially our Ground Zero Youth Church teens.

Pastor Eric.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Here are some of the things I am thinking about and might write more on...

* The alabaster box...made to make dead things smell good...

* Worship: Why is it so often more like the prophets of Baal dancing around a silent altar...why doesn't He come?

* Uncircumcised hearts...your heart is good it just needs to be trimmed. The cutting process of dreams, visions and desires...a lot like pruning roses.

* Are we sleeping in separate beds? The absence of fervent love in the church.

* Where are the Pauls? The absence of apostolic and fatherly care. Is no one out there who wants to empower youth pastors with more than a slick mag of the latest stuff to buy or articles that inform but don't inspire.

* biggest fan. A young man with down syndrome who attends our youth church and what he has taught me.

* Just standing...learning the art of staying put. My encounter with a rock at Newport beach and what it said to me.

* The ship that didn't make encounter with a sunken boat, wandering souls and a light house.

* Why I left my blanky behind...thoughts on friendships, the ones that stay and the ones that don't.

* The job idol...why do people put work before worship?

* What I've learned from not getting what I wanted...

Good Question
Why do Christians, who believe in salvation by grace as a gift of God that cannot be earned or merited, seem to enjoy the masochistic guilt that some speakers bring with their "you're not doing enough for God" sermons?

God in Video Games

General Douglas MacArthur - A Prayer
Youth is not a period of time.
It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort.
A man doesnt grow old because he has lived a certain number of years.
A man grows old when he deserts his ideal.
The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul.
Preoccupations,fears, doubts and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us towards earth and turns us into dust before death.
You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God.
If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old mans soul.
-Thanks Gaz...

Never thought of this...
"Remember, Hebrew reads from right to left. All languages seem to flow toward Jerusalem: Languages of the nations west of Jerusalem-English, French, German, Italian, etc.-read from left to right. Languages of the nations east of Jerusalem-Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Chinese, etc.-read from right to left."
-Chuck Missler
God & The VCR
"I learned that it doesn’t matter in the least that I be convinced of God’s existence. Whether or not God exists is none of my business, really. What do I know of existence? I don’t even know how the VCR works" -The Real Live Preacher
Fundamentalist Christians also carry a terrible, secret burden. Your soul is their responsibility. If you go to hell, they will answer to God for their lack of witness. Imagine carrying THAT load around all day. Naive Christians are shackled to this burden by pastors whose need to enlarge their personal church kingdom has an “Enron” feel to it.
by Real Live Preacher at:
Summer Camp Prayer
If you find the moment, would you pray for our youth summer camp this week (Mon-Thurs).

Pray for protection for everyone, with our boats, jet skis, games and well, teens...we will need it!

Pray that all who attend (38 people) will be touched in a life transforming way at camp. That the services would be full of His Spirit and clear in the application of the word. That all would be open to His voice and empowered to live in Christ and receive all and give Him all this week.

Pray that our youth church would be knit together in love and commitment to walk with each other faithfully this new school year in love and prayer.

Pray for all our staff (Deborah, Maureen, Angela, Randy, Jim, Josh, Jackie, Jesse, LeeElla and I) that we would be healthy, strong, wise and full of life and wisdom.

Pray that the outsiders would be drawn into the family and that the wayward would return, the lost would be found and the found would be filled, quickened and would move from surviving to thriving this new school year.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Something I am praying
Read 1 Chronicles 29:13-14 & 18-19, go ahead and turn it into your own spiritual incense.

Are you a Sheep or a goat?
Based on Matthew 26 would I be a sheep or a goat?
I know a lot of people that seem to smell like a goat...
I know that sounds judgmental but based on this scripture, there's a lot of goats on the farm.

Your needs or His Purposes?
"Any time we begin with our needs as the focus, instead of God's purpose, we will end up disappointed by the results."
By Wayne Jacobsen

Are you Free or Rebellious?
The free person in Christ and the rebellious will always look the same to those who labor under religious obligation, because both ignore the conventions that govern men.
But there is a major difference between the two.
The rebel does it to serve himself and his passions, always harming others in the process and leaving a wake of anarchy behind him.

The free person in Christ, however, does so because they no longer have a need to serve themselves.
Having embraced God's love at a far deeper level than any method of behavioral conformity will touch, they will guard that freedom even if it means others will misunderstand their pursuits.
They reject the conventions of control not to please themselves, but Father Himself.
By Wayne Jacobsen

Do we need a model or a guide to follow?
Jesus did not leave us with a model to build, but a guide to follow.
We experience the life of the church not because we meet a certain way or in a certain place, but because we learn to listen to God together and let him teach us how to share his life.

If we substitute any method or design for that process, we will end up following it instead of him and building a counterfeit instead of the real deal. I know of no greater distraction to the depth of relationships God wants us to share, than when we give our best efforts to doing something great for God. He didn't ask us to work for him, but with him. Beware of any model or would-be leader who wants to tell you what to do, rather than help you hear him Jesus. Are there real leaders in the Body of Christ today?

Of course! But they are not heading up movements or devising models, they are helping people know who Jesus really is and learn how to follow him. Religion results when men and women, with their best intentions, best activities and best programs try to accomplish God's working. It always leads to well-intentioned programs that will do some good, but never rise to bear the great fruits that God intends and only he can accomplish.

By Wayne Jacobsen

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

LeeElla and I, saw "Pirates of the Caribbean" last night with a couple of friends.
I enjoyed it but found myself pondering similarities to my own adventure instead.

A few things that resonated with me from the images and themes from the movie were:

* I want my own "Black Pearl", my own ship.
* I long for a real "first mate" and a crew that can actually sail.
* The thirst for the horizon...for real freedom.
* The thrill of finding treasure, lots of it. ("The Count of Monte Cristo" nailed this one for me too).
* Water, deep and wild.
* A damsel in distress.
* A villain, dark and foreboding.
* Large canons, full of billowing black powder, thundering voices and pounding impact. (I love seeing things blow up!).
* A swift and sharp sword and the ability to use it deftly and deadly.
* A challenge that seems beyond hope but worth attempting.
* I want a compass too...preferably one that isn't on everyone else's North either.
* I want to help the "British nobels" but I don't want to be one.
* I must confess, I think I have a few "single shots" reserved too.

So True
"If change is to come, it will come from the margins. It was the desert, not the temple, that gave us the prophets."Wendell Berry.

Line from one of my faves
"Heed, paperrrr now"

Nailed it
"Modern man believes he is fruitful and productive when his ego is aggressively affirmed, when he is visibly active, and when his action produces obvious results."
Thomas Merton (love & living).

Monday, August 11, 2003

We have hemorrhoids
I was at a family camp this weekend and noticed something that convicted me.
We were worshipping around the camp "fire" (no fire really, there's a burn ban).
The children were on one side and the adults on the other, we were singing to kid's CD worship music.

The kids looking at us and us looking at the kids. Them singing, raising their hands and doing cute
hand and body movements to the acting disinterested.

I had to wonder what the kids thought about us mumbling worship songs and looking so disinterested.
Were we what those kids have to look forward to?
Looking around me in the adult services, I have to say that sadly it is...

No wonder Jesus said that you have to become as a little child to enter the kingdom.
We couldn't enter this weekend because we couldn't let go of our adult pride.

We suck...and our children will grow to become just like us...frozen chosen.
People who can't dance anymore, can't laugh in innocence, sing like we have hemorrhoids and
communicate like we are skittish deer.

My 3 year old son, Micah was dancing and started to roll around on the ground like a break dancer.
I went over and stopped was the most unholy thing I have done all year...
I'm a fool for not joining him. God help us...
My hunger to be heard is proof of....
I was writing to my brother Matt the other day about blogging and made this comment that
the desire for communication and community is reflective of:

"The image of God in us. The trinity infleshed in the fabric of our soul:
the desire and need for relationship among three.
Not just two but three, that is the mystery of birth and church."

I've been pondering that one for a while.


I needed that.
Thanks Mike, I needed to share that with someone and I didn't even know I felt that way.
It was a humbling moment but very needed. Sometimes we need a friend to just unload on.
Sometimes we need to unload more than we think. You being there was a surprise visitation,
you were my angel in the desert...thanks for the drink and bread.

The dog got loose
Someone was sharing with me how their husband ran off and rented all his favorite movies that he had
been longing to see but wouldn't because he knew his wife wouldn't approve; after he heard me speak a message at church.

Grace reveals what is in the heart, Law hides the heart.
Sharing truth can open up the Pandora's box of people's hearts.
Sometimes truth is dangerous but I would rather live in a dangerous freedom than a safe prison.
Uh, wow that's strange...
On average, U.S. hospitals treat 120 toilet seat-related injuries every day.


Not reflected in most churches...
You have 206 bones in your body. Surely, one of them is creative.
- Jonathon Read


Here's a little quiz for you:
True or false?

1. If a family member had a sudden attack of sternutation, I would immediately call 9-1-1.

2. I would take it as a compliment if someone told me I had lovely caesious skin.

3. My left axilla is hircinous.

4. I have a gelogenic face.

5. I think I could get work as a bersatrix.

6. I tend to be a mumpsimus.

7. I try to buy swimsuits that hide my dasyproctic features.

8. I can swim like a fish, although I'm esquamate.

9. The last time I ate Mexican food, I was later ignivomous.

10. Sometimes I like a few spraints on my salad.

~ Sternutation is a fancy word for sneezing.
~ Caesious means "pale blue-green."
~ Statement #3 is better translated, "My left armpit has a goat-like odor."
~ Something that is gelogenic tends to promote laughter.
~ A bersatrix is an old-timey word for a baby-sitter.
~ A mumpsimus refuses to correct an error or habit even after she is proved wrong.
~ Dasyproctic is a word frequently used to describe apes, and means, uh, "with hairy buttocks."
~ Esquamate means "without scales."
~ Ignivomous means "vomiting fire."
~ And those delicious-sounding spraints are actually the droppings of an otter.


Thursday, August 07, 2003

Had coffee with a fellow youth pastor yesterday, ummm coffee, good
He shared how a young man that recently came to Jesus came up to him right during worship
on Sunday morning and asked him: "Why does God only touch young people?"
He gave a politically correct institutional response that every good youth guy should give,
But deep down he wondered...

My thought was: Why does God always seem to lose His grip on those young people before
they become adults?

Chick Flicks
I was pondering this phenomenon in the usual biased male mode, when I realized something.
Girls want to be sought after, fought for, rescued and cherished above others and loved passionately.
I like to watch films where the guy does all that in a male kind of fashion. I realized that after watching
"The last of the Mohicans".

Not very profound, I know but it lessened my joking about the "chick flick" issue
in my home. Though I don't think I can watch another one for a much J. LO :)

I Must Confess:
I broke down and saw the first TOMB RAIDER movie. LeeElla brought it home
and the stupid man that I am, I was tempted to see if it was as dumb as the
first. Well, I thought it was good, a few parts even rocked
(not the Herbal essence spot though,
can you really feel that good washing your hair?)

This always makes me cry
The part in Simion Berch, where he is on the dock crying out: 'I'm Sorry, I'm sorry..."
Ugh, it get me everytime. One bad side effect of that movie: Micah (3) kept saying "Boobs, boobs".
That will go over great in the nursery...

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Breaking the it's not a Merciful Fate song,,,
I spoke from 1 Samuel 14:23-45 today on "Breaking the Oath".
The whole story about Jonathan eating honey and facing the oath of Saul and potential death.
It was a message centered on getting free from man made rules, regulations and traditions
that cause us to become weary, exhausted and faint.

Daring, if I may say so myself, could get me hanged...

Oh the responses...the yah got to love em.

We are a fearful sort, many would rather keep the dog chained to the post, loose dogs do things...
Well my friend, chained dogs will hump your leg as fast as a loose one will, I see it all the time in the church.

Read 1 Samuel 14 and see what men do that have lived under an oath...
they go mad and eat things they shouldn't, bloody things.

Here's a verse you don't see preached on much or posted on church signs:
"Don't submit to rules..." -Colossians 2:20

Ask your self: What would you really like to do, if you were not living under THE OATH!!!

FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as Mel would say.

"...But I am not concerned with any of the separate statutes of elfland, but with the whole spirit of it's law, which I learnt before I could speak and shall retain when I cannot write. I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by fairy tales, but has since been meekly ratified by the mere facts." -G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, chapter called The "Ethics of Elfland".

This sums up a lot of thought-path I have been traveling lately.


How magical: Eggs turn into chickens...
Who would of guessed. That seems quite like something that would take place in Elfland.

Friday, August 01, 2003

"No," said Gandalf. "That is not the road that you must take.
I have spoken words of hope. But only of hope. Hope is not victory.
War is upon us and all our friends..."

He turned "Come Aragorn son of Arathorn!" He said.
Do not regret your choice in the valley of the Emyn Muil, nor call it a vain pursuit.
You chose amid doubts the path that seemed right: the choice was just, and it has been rewarded...

...but the quest of your companions is over...

A strange passage to find the voice of God in...but even still, it rang clear.
I have been getting a lot of direction out of the LOTR and I am not even
reading it! Various portions of the narrative have invaded my prayer times.
Passages that deal with transformation, struggle, emergence and other
mythic themes that seem to whisper of a new season dawning.