Friday, November 30, 2007

Homework...newschool style

This is a school project my eldest son Christian did for his mythology project...He turned the reading text into a music video of his own creation. This is what an A student, a mini-mac, a love for metal and some creativity can produce. Oh...did I say...I think my son is brilliant????

Christian playing guitar

Here is my eldest carrying on the shredhead tradition...not bad for learning to play everything by ear.
Victim of Changes at the end...especially makes me proud.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Return of the Jedi...

ROTJ scene that was left on the cutting room floor...too bad, I kinda liked it.

Come have breakfast...

So when they got out on the land,
they see a charcoal fire laid
and a cooked fish lying on it and bread...
Jesus says to them, "Come have breakfast."
None of the disciples dared to inquire of him,
"Who are you?"
knowing that he was the Lord.
Jesus comes and takes the bread
and gives it to them and the fish likewise.
-John 21:1-24

This is one of my favorite set of verses in the Bible.
Jesus making breakfast.
A simple act of love.
God making something...for his friends to eat.

There is something holy...yes, I said holy...about making something for someone to eat. I am not talking about throwing some cardboard box into the microwave and scooping out its contents onto a plate. But when you take the time to think about what you will cook. When you prepare something that was first conceived in your mind and heart for those you love or want to bless. It really is an offering.

Cooking should be rescued today from the frantic hands of over busy lives. The kitchen should once again be sanctified and set up as an altar of worship. A place where time is spent. Where the aromas of slow cooked delights ascend like incense; calming the heart, soothing the troubled mind. The table should be set with a prayerful hum. Each setting is an invitation to share, to commune, to receive.

Cooking is really handle touch the meal. I pray that those who fight to remain at home would be hallowed in their home care. I pray that those who are forced or choose to be out of the home...would fully inhabit the home when they are there.

"It takes great artistry to create a home where people will want to talk to each other; where they will want to linger over dinner; where they will want to snuggle up with a quilt and a book on a rainy day instead of escaping to the shopping mall. it takes skill and sensitivity to design ways to buoy, comfort and strengthen the people we love." -Linda Burton "The making of a home".

This isn't woman's's parent work. It's's worship.
When was the last time you found a quilt or a blanket that was really, really comfortable and enveloped your son or daughter in it...together? It's about the feel of the blanket chosen...a deeply felt experience. Most memories are packed full of sensation, smell, sounds...a meal can fill the gut or fill the heart and mind. The danger for us parents is when we lose sight of the importance of home and the many nuances of home life that are sacred.

"We need to scrutinize the rush of our activities, because even venerable exertions may be keeping us from becoming and doing what God wants. A packed schedule may be detrimental not only to ourselves, but to those we seek to help. A few years ago our neighbors were drawn to us, but when we talked to them about the Lord, their response was, "We couldn't be Christians; we couldn't live at your pace." They had been attracted to Christ, but the busyness of our lives had scared them from a commitment. -Jean Fleming, "How Busy Is Too Busy?"

I love that Jesus...sat down and cooked a meal..a charcoal fire...not Elijah fire from heaven...PRESTO...kind of cooking but...He cooked fish and fact the scriptures mention the "means" in which He made the breakfast, it was a charcoal fire.. He took time making a fire and slowly cooking a hearty breakfast for hard working fisherman.

We should worship God in the same way...slowly, with intent, with quality the spirit of Jesus.

WInter wonders....

frozen feet.JPG
Old man winter is exerting his influence around here. I had to pull out the snow blower today and clear the sidewalks around the church and house. We plan on heading South for Christmas, so I am not sure if we will head to the hills to cut down a tree this year or not?
I was listening to the Christmas song "I wish you a merry christmas" the other day and heard the lyrics: "...bring us some figgy pudding." I must confess...I do not want any "figgy pudding". Odd.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The joker...

I cant wait....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saint Sourpuss: Lecture #1

Saint Sourpuss.jpg
While Mr. Spurgeon (Charles Spurgeon) was living at Nightingale Lane, Clapham, an excursion was one day organised by one of the young men's classes at the Tabernacle. The brake with the excursionists was to call for the President on their way to mid-Surrey. It was a beautiful early morning, and the men arrived in high spirits, pipes and cigars alight, and looking forward to a day of unrestrained enjoyment. Mr. Spurgeon was ready waiting at the gate. He jumped up to the box-seat reserved for him, and looking round with an expression of astonishment, exclaimed: "What, gentlemen! Are you not ashamed to be smoking so early?" Here was a damper! Dismay was on every face. Pipes and cigars one by one failed and dropped out of sight. When all had disappeared, out came the President's cigar-case. He lit up and smoked away serenely. The men looked at him astonished. "I thought you said you objected to smoking, Mr. Spurgeon?" one ventured. "Oh no, I did not say I objected. I asked if they were not ashamed, and it appears they were, for they have all put their pipes away." Amid laughter the pipes reappeared, and with puffs of smoke the party went on merrily."

So begins a series of posts that will appear here off and on: The Saint Sourpuss Lectures. Reflections on the issues that push cranky christians into vein popping fury. Above is our patron saint of sourpussness who will oversee our dialogue.

I love the above story because it highlights the issue of being "ashamed" and how so often we walk this tightrope of freedom and sensitivity to other peoples consciences. I see flare ups of this issue often. It's refreshing to be around someone who is sure in themselves about the life they are leading. It's painful to see people cower before other peoples scruples. It's often a religiously imposed set of behavior collars that are tightened around the neck to produce actions that wont upset anyone. It's spoken about in binding jargon about love, not making people stumble and other fairly difficult principles that are hard to walk out...consistently and for everyone you know. It's one great mission to make everyone bland, safe and mellow. We produce christians that if they do have a life that produces a loud bark...they got no teeth in regards to impact. We impose a room temperature temperament upon the masses. We neuter people in a religious way that hopes to make everyone more mild and congenial. But in reality our palatableness becomes tasteless. Soon we are one big group of spiritual buffets...where everything tastes the same and all of it can be eaten with no teeth. Heard it, seen it, smelled it, felt's all the same mushy spiritual pepto-bismal. Forgettable people who blend in with the soft colors of our sedative inducing sleepy churches.

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. -Rom 14:22-23

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spokane Gentleman's Society

Here is a shot from the Philosophy & Theology Symposium last night.

Nah...just kidding...I wish...those hats are awesome.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

ahh...the glory days.

"So I'm heading out to the highway
I got nothing to lose at all
I'm gonna do it my way
Take a chance before I fall
A chance before I fall!"

Strange how God can use anything to inspire us and speak to us.
This song spoke to me at a time when I was wrestling with daring to follow a dream at great risk.
If God can speak through a donkey...he can speak through metal.

One of the best songs ever...

Dust in the wind
Hey...Is that Bob Ross playing guitar and Jesus on the violin?

Religious Nut Jobs...

As you well know, there has been flowing from Rome these many years--like a flood covering the world---nothing but a devastation of men's bodies and souls and possessions, the worst examples of the worst of all things. All this is clearer than day to all, and the roman church, once the holiest of all, has become the most licentious den of thieves (matt. 21:13) the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell. It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness." -Martin Luther

We live in some whacked out days...the above video from a recent event in Berlin, Germany exposes that. It is disturbing to see how freaking guidable some people are to any eccentric nut job that comes down the spirituality sewer. One of the things recovered in the Reformation was the freedom from all powerful popes. Dethroning the religious powers that exalt themselves above their brothers in a antichrist like manner. Luther stood up to the religious demagogues of his day like a wild boar. He did it because the gospel was being perverted, distorted and administered through a hierarchy of power.

We are in danger today as our brothers before us of not standing up to the powers that peddle a different gospel. I admire the young germans in this video for calling a spade a spade. For standing up and pointing out the religious fascist that was trying to cast a spell of stupidity over their minds.

Cheers to the Germans who know how to give a nut job a boot to the keister!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So do you?

Do men need a small group to grow?
Read more here:

Looking for a needy person?

Well it is the holiday time of the year, and without sounding too Scrougeish can I rant a bit? At this time of year Christians, churches, businesses start looking to show some charity. So they start calling churches like ours. They want to reach out, give, bless some families...basically show goodwill during the season. Good hearts, good works. So we help facilitate people with names and families for individuals and groups to do something for someone in need...down here there are plenty of good people to bless. And we sincerely love partnering with people to do such things.

But the issue raises some sticky problems. It raises the issue of why these people dont have relationship with the poor in their own circles?

Too many people just dont know the names of anyone who is needy. If we have to go to some organization or church to find the poor..I think that is sad position to be in as a human being, christian or church. Before we can care for the poor, we need to know the poor...they have names. They are not "needy" they are people with names and deserve the respect of relationship before charity.

Charity has its place but the issue of poverty is tough...When we have gone and delivered gifts in the past, I've seen some dads not even come out to receive is too humiliating. So I have sought for ways to sidestep that issue a bit, still give people a way to bless and reach out, but do it in a way that doesn't hurt the recipients too much. Granted there will always be open hands around here...and for some-people a gift is something they dont have to spend their-money they will take anything and everything...for free. But I am not convinced that is the best for them or their kids. Kids need to see the gift that was purchased, wrapped and given...from a loved one. A gift from someone-else...good but not best. Hard issues, and I dont say any of this to downplay any other works or ways...its just me and my thoughts based on living in an area that wrestles with these issues.

As a church we are doing a thing we call Jubilee Christmas, where we are picking families depending on how much money we raise and paying their rent (to the landlord). We do this so it feels a little more like empowerment than charity to the families. They can then take their "rent" money that they would normally spend on rent and buy their family presents they know they want or need. It helps with saving the families dignity a bit.

Giving gifts is awesome but giving dignity to the poor as well is better. I challenge you to live out a faith that walks with the poor day to day, not once a year. The poor are everywhere...not just "down here". Become friends with people who are friendships with them. Know them...invited them into you homes, love their children. Then you will know how to "help" them when holidays or situations come around.

You shouldn't have to call anyone to find someone in need...the church should be caring for the needy already.

Monday, November 19, 2007

simply awesome...

Chuck approved...

I've been impressed by Mike Huckabee decide.

Huuuu..heaven...huhh...huhh...heavenbound. I was a youth pastor when this video was I'm feeling old. I got to find my fanny pack too...why did those things ever go out of style...? :)

Sin Boldly...?

If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God's glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly--you too are a mighty sinner. -Martin Luther to Philip Melanchthon on August 1, 1521:

We will be looking at what Luther meant by this comment, when we guys gather at the Philosophy & Theology Symposium on Sunday, 4:30 @ the Empyrean.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's all downhill from here....

Here is a list of articles I want to write but...not sure if I want to deal with all the backlash:

-What I learned from my realitives porn collection...and how it helped my marriage.

-Latte's...the domesticated man's whisky...why many of today's men have got no kohones.

-Emerging church: candles, coloring books and sharing...and other stuff that makes the church fathers roll over in their grave.

-Jesus ate meat, drank alcohol and hung out with wild women...and other good examples for character development.

-How God used a prayer meeting to set me free from praying...

-How I got blessed by not tithing...and other stories you wont hear from the pulpit.

-How smoking a pipe turned me into a better christian.

-Why I let my son listen to Metallica....and other parenting tips for postmoderns.

-How I recovered my faith in fantasy...and other liberating tales.

-How the Judas Priest's song "Heading out to the Highway" helped me plant a church.

We will see...we will see...

Making Mr. Cash proud....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I cant get enough of this voice...

New blog

Spokane Gentleman's Society blog:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just go to sleep....

He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." Mark 4:26-29

Let God be God...-Martin Luther

Unfortunately...we modern christians are full of ourselves. We have a feverish focus on all things man. We proclaim him, we write about him, we teach on him, we lift him up, we analyze him and all his ways, we buy his books, his tapes, his manuals, we attend his conferences, watch his videos, we trust him, we admire him, we measure ourselves by him, we strive to please him, we fear him, we limit ourselves by him...we bow down to the idol, sacrifice anything to elicit some sort of response or reward from the flesh. We are imprisoned to conform to the patterns he pushes on us, and we seem to love it so.
But the New Testament teaches a different way, Paul sums it up like this: “We glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” -Philippians 3:3 Or as the NEB puts it...who put no confidence in anything external.

Martin Luther summed up his confidence in God and His word like this:

“I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philipp [Melanchthon] and [Nicholas] Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything.” -Martin Luther

Wow! Take that and shove it in your postmodern, ceo-managment style, flesh striving, trend following, administration top heavy, market driven pipe and smoke it! Maybe we would see a whole lot more accomplished if we put our faith in God and His word and went to sleep!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hockey: beer...babes and...blood...

My youngest son won 4 tickets to the Spokane Chiefs hockey game Saturday night through his school for good behavior. He is part of a program the school runs for kids that need a tad bit more positive support for good behavior...and it is working. The seats were fantastic! We invited Micahs buddy Spencer and father Dan to come along. Micah loved it...loud screaming, yelling, smack talking...junk fist fighting on the ice...swing large sticks at each other...slamming small men into the wall with the force of mad Rhinos...flying projectiles that could remove all your teeth...blaring metal music to chant and...blood...what couldn't a boy love? I am not sure the school realized...just what they were sending my son into...oh, and I think I found my inner sports guy too...


Ok...I watched "Metropolis" a 1927 silent film by Fritz Lang, with my son Christian and our church film group leader, Mike. Wow...crazy, trippy, good flick. But one of many questions remains...why do dudes have a thing for "Fembots"? I mean really...what gives...what is going on in the wiring of men that produces this tendancy? And why did the film call the two breasted female robot...a man? More gender confusion, I guess...well, for sure...look at the son's pants for heaven's sake! Those were the most fruity pants I have ever seen and why was his tie tucked in his pants? And what was up with the hair styles...swooped back...king georgeish...were all German men in that
I was surprised at the amount of slightly erotic imagery in this film...though nothing nude, there were a few points that I went...whew, that was a bit sensual. I dont know why...I guess I thought people didnt have those thoughts back then.
This lady was brilliant with expressions...a saucy, vixen that lead the men of Metropolis into a hormone frenzy that made me laugh. The expressions and groveling of the men during her dance as the Whore of Babylon was priceless...Oh and she can do some funky stuff with her eyes...and where did she learn those dance moves?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Twain stache

"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."-Mark Twain

Now here is one of my literary and cultural heros...a man that touted one mean fact, his hair and eyebrows were as eccentric as he was.

hummm.... (thanks to Damon) I admit...there is a Quigley Down Underish resemblance...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

For the sake of liberty...

Matter is real. Flesh is good. Without a firm rooting in creation, religion is always drifting off into some kind of pious sentimentalism or sophisticated intellectualism The task of salvation is not to refine us into pure spirits so that we will not be cumbered with this too solid flesh. We are not angels nor are we to become angels. The Word did not become a good idea, or a numinous feeling, or a moral aspiration; the word became flesh. It also becomes flesh.
-Eugene Peterson (The Contemplative Pastor)

This is a truth that isn't lived out with the New Testament exuberance that I think characterized early church life.
It's reflective in the letters written to the Corinthians...not a letter to shackle but contain the exploding freedom found in the gospel. I think we could use a few more Corinthian churches today.

In the Old testament there is a passage dealing with some festival/tithe stuff that captures what I think we have lost in our cultural reinterpretations of the moral principles of the scriptures.

Deuteronomy 14:26 reads, “You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.”

I am not sure we have room today in most christian circles for an understanding of how to, strong drink...hearts desires...the Presence of the Lord and rejoicing. Imagine a gathering in todays christians circles...this wouldn't be a description of our meetings.

It seems we are more consumed with the fears of living fully than actually teaching people how to live fully. Out of fear of making people stumble; (which by the way the new testament says the gospel/Jesus is "a stone that people trip over, a large rock that people find offensive" -1 Peter 2:8) we get hung up trying to fretfully appease everyones hyper scrupples or sins. Not to say that the recovering person isnt to be handled with care and compassion. We are to use our freedom in a way that empowers others to let go of tugging on their straining bootstraps and puts their hands into the grip of grace.

The gospel if really understood...offends the religious mind....the self glorifying man stumbles over free grace.

"If you wish to use your freedom, do so in secret as Paul says, (Rom 14:22) "The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God" but take care not to use your freedom in the sight of the weak, On the other hand, use your freedom constantly and consistently in the sight of and despite the tyrants and the stubborn so that they also may learn that they are impious, that their laws are of no avail for righteousness and that they had no right to set them up...These...resist, do the very opposite and offend them boldly lest by their impious views they drag many with them into error. In the presence of such men it is good to eat meat, break the fasts, and for the sake of the liberty of faith do other things which they regard as the greatest of sins. Of them we must say..."Let them alone, they are blind guides".
-Martin Luther in "Freedom of a Christian"

For the sake of liberty...oh the dangerous gospel we preach.

In this sort of temptation and struggle, contempt is the best and easiest method of winning over the devil. Laugh your adversary to scorn and ask who it is with whom you are talking. But by all means flee solitude, for the devil watches and lies in wait for you most of all when you are alone. This devil is conquered by mocking and despising him, not by resisting and arguing with him. Therefore, Jerome, joke and play games with your wife and others. In this way you will drive out your diabolical thoughts and take courage Be of good courage, therefore, and cast these dreadful thoughts out of your mind. Whenever the devil pesters you with these thoughts, at once seek out the company of men, drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some other form of merriment. Sometimes it is necessary to drink a little more, play, jest, or even commit some infraction in defiance and contempt of the devil in order not to give him an opportunity to make us scrupulous about trifles. We shall be overcome if we worry too much about falling into some sin. Accordingly if the devil should say, "Do not drink," you should reply to him, "On this very account, because you forbid it, I shall drink, and what is more, I shall drink a generous amount." Thus one must always do the opposite of that which Satan prohibits. What do you think is my reason for drinking wine undiluted, talking freely, and eating more often, if it is not to torment and vex the devil who made up his mind to torment and vex me. Martin Luther

I will toast to that...

Now...I'm not trying to turn you into a drunk, that would be sin. In fact, I care not if you drink or not...that isnt the point of the post, its just a lightning rod to draw the strike. So dont lose the point in the flash of reaction. Jesus often used such a method to awake us through outlandish means. We are slapped into attention... to truly think about our life, our laws and our gospel.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sporting the stache...

Ok...I dont see the wife keeps making Magnum comparisons...

In honor of the Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day on is my daughter singing a solo (Star Spangled Banner) at her school.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My wife and her sister...LeeElla is on the right.

Philosophy & Theology Symposium...or, Brains, Bibles & Beers

One topic...many voices.
Hosted by: Spokane Gentlemans Society
Topic: The Freedom of the Christiain by Martin Luther
Sun November 25th

Symposium: originally referred to a drinking party (the Greek verb sympotein means "to drink together") but has since come to refer to any academic conference, whether or not drinking takes place. It was a forum for men to debate, plot, boast, or simply to party with others.

The Philosophy & Theology Symposium will include these elements:
1. A meeting or conference for the discussion of some subject.
2. A collection of opinions expressed or articles contributed by several persons on a given subject or topic.
3. A convivial meeting, usually following a dinner, for drinking and intellectual conversation.
4. Oh and really good beer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Website upgrade

Our church website has received a major overhaul and upgrade.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Good enough....?

and I'm still waiting for the rain to fall,
pour real life down on me,
cause I can't hold on to anything this good enough
am I good enough for you to love me too?
-Good Enough by Evanescence

This video really moved me. I think it is one of the most creative videos I have seen in a long time as far as the subtle use of imagery goes. A woman singing about the consuming nature of moments in our lives, the increasing heat and combustible fire...the helplessness of her condition...the fiery crescendo...the look heavenward...the falling rain...the drenching rain that snuffs out the flames...the word that had been planted burst forth in life giving hunger...the dawning light that enters the dark...the blooming flower in the final shot...simply awesome.

I plan to use this in my series on the book of Romans.

"There is none who does good...there is not even one. -Romans 3:12

In one way that seems like the most depressing news...but from a redemptive view...the complete hopelessness of it...liberates us. We are free from being good live in God's constantly descending grace.

What can I made me laugh.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Gospel for the Barbarians

"I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:14-17).

The Barbarians need the gospel...

I really believe that the gospel is poised to reap a huge harvest in this generation. If you have keen eyes and sharp ears you can see the coming together cultural elements that are positioning the church to speak to an age that is fully ripe to the resurrecting power of the gospel. Might I add, the gospel as it is expounded through the reformed tradition seems to be particularly calibrated to penetrate this emotive, dark, and awakening generation. Our Lord stands among the graveyards of this culture and brings to life the sleeping souls. His voice opens graves. His light can give a path to those in darkness. His hands are scarred and open to lift the downcast out of the pit. He is the sunrise from on high...that is dawning on those who sit in the shadow of death.

He can make you fully alive.

I am starting a new series through the book of Romans called: "The gospel for the Barbarians" starting this Sunday. I pray that it will unlock prison doors and set captives free from...religion, law, the past, the self, sin and every binding noose of false piety that keeps people from living in the liberty of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Blasted teenagers in my house...little music pushers got me hooked on this band.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Candy Carnival

Our church threw one awesome party last night for the neighborhood trick or treaters and their cold parents. Carnival games, fresh pop corn, old time cartoons, prizes and a ton of candy, baked goodies, drinks and a whole lot of laughter dressed up in crazy costumes. Around a 150 people attended the night. Last year it was around year???? Some pictures here:Candy Carnival