Saturday, December 30, 2006


We're spending a few days in our old stomping grounds of Virginia. We're visiting friends and family and I'm perfoming a wedding for a couple of friends who are getting married just after midnight on New Years Eve. I'm preaching on Sunday at the church I served for twelve years. Looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all the readers of Soren's Blog. I know that your numbers are few, but I'm glad that you humor me by visiting my blog once in a while. Good tidings I send to you and your kin, good tidings for Christmas and a happy new year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Shopping

I thought I might get an early start on my Christmas shopping, so I will head out into the fray this evening. Will give a report tomorrow.

As Dave Barry once observed, "We find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Fox has been running previews for the upcoming season of 24.

It looks intense (as one would expect).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Captain Obvious

Today I preached about the Nativity Story: The Cast. I'm doing a series this month based on the biblical texts surrounding the birth of Christ.

After the service one of the guys told me that when I said, "Most Bible scholars believe that Joseph died at some point", his son leaned over and remarked, "Um, I don't think it takes a Bible scholar to figure that one out." Ha!

Tonight is the second performance of our dessert theatre. We attended on Friday night and it was fantastic. Everything was done first-class. The drama, the music, and the dessert -- yummy! I'm here tonight welcoming people and doing a wrap-up at the end. As I was doing the "Welcome to Cedar Creek" bit, I stepped forward and sort of stumbled off the tiny temporary stage (thankfully it's only about 10 inches off the ground). "Welcome to Cedar Creeeeeeeeeek" (regaining composure like I meant to do that). Some things never change :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Botox Boy -- the Board Game

My friend John Dobbs had this little gem on his blog. Unbelievable.

And while you’re buying gifts and you’re looking for that one unique present that’s going to set you apart, please pass up the Your Best Life Now - The Game. Lest you think this is some kind of joke or urban legend, check out all you want, it’s real! It is available at I know some of you will think you’ll make a good impression with this new offering, but I promise you will never be invited to that party again. Unless you’re doing gag gifts. What happens if you lose? You get a crummy life? The worst thing that could happen is the astounded recipient might break out the game and force you to play it. I’m sorry if you are a Joel Osteen fan and are offended by this little humor …. but … you gotta admit this is Christian marketing gone nuts.

Amen Brother!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bob and Doug McKenzie

Today I heard Bob and Doug McKenzie's version of The 12 Days of Christmas. It was a blast from the past, reminding me of my high school days. And yes, I actually owned this album.
Take off, eh?

12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Jingle Bell antlers for everyone to see.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Awful Christmas Songs

This time of year, I usually tune my radio to one of the stations playing Christmas music 24/7 (when I'm not listening to ESPNradio or right-wing talk radio). I know that the stations want to have a variety, but some of the songs drive me crazy. (I know I blogged about some of these last year, but I've added a few more.) And have you noticed how the radio stations play them constantly?

Jingle Bells Boogie by Jingle Dogs
Whoever thought it would be amusing to make a recording of dogs barking to the tune of "Jingle Bells" must have been drinking too much spiked egg nog.

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano
It’s not that this song is so especially horrible, but it gets stuck in my head and I can’t get it out.

Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid
No there won't be snow in Africa, Bob. It's AFRICA! And do we need to be reminded of the 1984 famine, every year?

Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney

I Like the Sleigh Ride (I don't know who wrote or performs this, but it must be McCartney inspired because it just repeats the same five words over & over)

So This is Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
Ugh. No wonder someone shot you.

Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg
I always hear this song played on the Christmas music station. Doesn’t anybody realize that it’s not really a Christmas song? And did this guy ever do a song that didn't want to make you kill yourself?

The Christmas Shoes by NewSong
I agree with the guy who wrote this: "What a heavy-handed, depressing piece of shlock this is. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a song about a boy who’s scraping together money to buy a pretty pair of shoes for his mom, who’s dying. He wants to buy them because “I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.” Oy. The only way to make the song even remotely tolerable is to imagine the kid is a grifter, his mom is waiting in the car, and they’ve been pulling this scam at every store in town, with plans to return the shoes for cash two days after Christmas."

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen
I liked this version when it first came out in the 80's, but it has been played to death.
This guy's rant is pretty good too (be sure to scroll down to see the comments/opinions)

What song gets your vote as the most awful Christmas song ever?

Kjergaard Open House

Yesterday we had our annual Open House for our church family and friends. We have been doing this for about 18 years. And when I say "we", I really mean Tracy. She outdoes herself each year. My job is to set up table and chairs and stay out of her way as she cooks, bakes, decorates, etc. It's our gift to the congregation. They seem to appreciate it. About 70 showed up yesterday (not all at once!). It's a tradition that we look forward to each year. And I look forward to all the goodies that are left over. Yummy!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Merry Ramahanukkwanzzmas!

Maybe it’s just me. And I don’t want you to think I’m nuts (or un-American, or quasi-Christian, or liberal), but if I get one more email that bemoans the fact that some retailers are instructing their employees to say, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, I’m going to scream. Is this really something worthy of getting all up in arms about? Aren’t there better ways to spend our time, energy, and resources, rather than getting upset about what some minimum-wage-earning-pimply-faced-checkout-girl says to us as we leave Best Buy?

I’m a HUGE fan of Christmas and I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ. But here are a few facts:

1. Christmas, as a holiday, was never celebrated or mentioned in Scripture.
2. The phrase “Happy Holidays” can be interpreted as including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (as well as the multicultural holidays).
3. Retailers are in business to make money. They are not making religious/political statements. In their minds, a Christian’s money is just as good as a Jew’s money which spends just as well as a Muslim’s money, which is as profitable as an Atheist’s money.
4. The average person, when he hears the phrase, “Merry Christmas”, does not think, “Wow! Isn’t it awesome that Wal-Mart reminded me to remember Jesus?”
5. It is the job of THE CHURCH to exalt, promote, preach, and share the name of Christ.

So when people get their shorts in a wad about this issue, they are once again making Christians look like a bunch of idiotic, reactionary, clueless dipsticks. Just shut up already!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Nativity Story

On Friday, my family and I went to see the new movie The Nativity Story. I know that many of you have included that as part of your holiday plans.

I thought the filmmakers did a great job depicting the reality of what it must have been like for Mary & Joseph living in that time. Much of the dialogue was taken directly from the biblical texts. Sure, there were a few “Hollywood edits” (for example, the wise men showing up at the stable). I recommend it. Maybe not for very young children. It is not your typical sterile, magical, Disney-esque version of Jesus’ birth. But it is a great reminder of how it all started.

Friday, December 01, 2006

First Snow

Well, after all of the media hype ("Run for your lives! Snooooooowwwww!"), not much happened here last night. We got LOTS of rain, but it was too warm for snow. Now we are getting gusty winds and a few flurries.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Do You Smell Something Burning?

I have temporary relinquished my "bonehead-of-the-week" title to my sister. My brother-in-law called me on Sunday afternoon to tell me that my sister caught someone's hair on fire at church that morning. Apparently they all had candles for some kind of "hanging of the greens" ceremony. They were all standing and when they were told to be seated, the lady in front of her sat down quickly and her ponytail went right into my sister's candle. Oh to have that on videotape! So my sister starts smacking the ignited hair, and the lady turns around and says, "Is my hair on fire?" To which my sister responds, "Not anymore!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Signs You're Overdoing Thanksgiving

~ Doctor tells you your weight would be perfect for a man 17 feet tall.
~ You are responsible for a slight but measurable shift in the earth's axis.
~ You spill more food on you than the local soup kitchen dispenses.
~ Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of your chair.
~ The "Gravy Boat" your wife set out was a real 12' boat!
~ The potatoes you used set off another famine in Ireland.
~ Your "Old Elvis Super-Belt" won't even go around your waist.
~ You receive a Sumo Wrestler application in your e-mail.
~ You set off 3 earthquake seismographs on your morning jog Friday.
~ Pricking your finger for cholesterol screening only yielded gravy.
~ You have five TV sets side-by-side to catch all the football games.
~ That rash on your stomach turns out to be steering wheel burn.
~ Your wife wears a life jacket at night in your waterbed.
~ Representatives from the Butterball Hall of Fame called twice.
~ You consider gluttony as your patriotic duty.
~ It looks like the left-overs are gonna last until Christmas.

Woman to stock boy: "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"

"No ma'am, they're dead"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stupid Church Signs

Faithful readers of this blog know that stupid church signs are a pet peeve of mine.
Lately I've been driving past a local church that has this gem on its sign:
Salvation guaranteed or your sins back.
For real. Do they really expect to appeal to the community with that lame message?
If you hate stupid church signs, you'll enjoy this website.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Big Weekend

We had a great "Missions Extravaganza" weekend at Cedar Creek. All 30 missions that we support were represented. We had several speakers & workshops on Saturday, with worship & preaching that evening. The morning assembly on Sunday began with a flag ceremony (a junior high kid carrying a nation's flag, with the missionaries serving in that country following him). Seeing all of them up front was quite a sight. Worship was wonderful and our guest preacher (Curt Nordhielm) did an outstanding job. After services, we all shared in a lunch and fellowship time together.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Yes, I'm a little bummed out today because of the election results (although the guys I voted for here in Indiana did win). I do have a slight glimmer of hope though. Perhaps a Pelosi speakership and Democrat control of the house will ensure that the GOP will keep the Whitehouse in 2008. The Dems might get cocky and put Obama or the Hildebeest on the ticket, and they will be beaten like a rented mule.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Someone's Knockin' at the Door, Somebody's Ringin' the Bell

At 1:00am, the doorbell rang. It must have rung a few times before I finally heard it, because when I woke up, my son hollered, “Someone’s ringing the doorbell!”

I fumbled around for my robe and went downstairs. And the conversation went something like this:

Me: (through the door) – Who is it?
Him: County police
Me: (after opening the door and stepping onto the porch) Yes?
Him: What’s going on?
Me: Um, nothing.
Him: Are you supposed to be here?
Me: Yes sir.
Him: Then why did we get a call from your wife saying that you aren’t supposed to be here?
Me: What?!

About that time it must have dawned on him that I looked more like a groggy guy who had just been awakened from a dead sleep instead of a man involved in a heated domestic squabble.

Him: What’s the address here?
Me: 11125 Birky Drive
Him: Oh, I have the wrong house. Sorry to have bothered you.

I hope you had a better start to your day :-)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Say What?

I don't know what church this is, but I don't think I want to be there on this Sunday.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Georgia Family Camp

Had a great time in Georgia. The camp is in a beautiful location in NE Georgia. It was fun spending time with my good friends John Mitchell and Tony Washburn. And the people were very encouraging regarding my messages.

The trip home was an ordeal. My flight from Atlanta to Detroit was cancelled, so I had to catch a later flight. Then, when I got to Detroit (about 9:30pm on Saturday) I found out that my flight to Ft. Wayne had been cancelled (lots of flights were getting cancelled because it was really windy). None of the other airlines were going to the Fort that night either. So I had to rent a car (ironically, the reason I didn't fly out of Indy was so I wouldn't have to drive home late on Saturday night). Well the first four rental car places I called were sold out (apparently all of the other stranded travelers had the same idea). I was really starting to sweat (it was approaching 10:00 and I knew that I had to preach at the Creek the next day). Finally I found a place with a car. That's the good news. The bad news is that I couldn't get a one-way rental. So I have to return the car to Detroit today. Ugh.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

One Last Campmeeting for 2006

Last Campmeeting of the year -- I'll be leaving tomorrow for Clarkesvile, GA to preach at the Georgia Old Fashion Campmeeting. Looking forward to seeing my old friends John Mitchell and Tony Washburn. Sharing the program will be Ray Bennett, Joe O'Neal, and David Jones. I'm sure there will be some wonderful sermons. Will fill you in on the details when I return.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I started a new sermon series yesterday about Heaven. I have been enjoying the prep work for the series. We sent out 5000 postcards to the community (from and advertised in the newspaper. As a result, we had several new people here yesterday.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Honey, um, About Your Truck...

To My Darling Husband,

Before you return from your trip I just want to let you know about the small accident I had with the pick up truck when I turned into the driveway. Fortunately not too bad and I really didn't get hurt, so please don't worry too much about me.

I was coming home from Wal*Mart, and when I turned into the driveway I accidentally pushed down on the accelerator instead of the brake. The garage door is slightly bent but the pick up fortunately came to a halt when it bumped into your car.

I am really sorry but I know with your kind hearted personality you will forgive me. You know how much I love you and care for you my sweetheart.

I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again.

Your loving wife.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

50 Years of Celebrating Christ at the Creek

We had a great weekend Celebrating Christ at the Creek. It was our 50th Anniversary and we had a full and exciting weekend. Saturday morning began with a Men’s Prayer Breakfast with former minister Ron Collins as the speaker. Later, there was a Brunch for the ladies with Jean Anne Collins speaking. On Saturday afternoon we had games for the kids, a hog roast and plenty of time to fellowship. That was followed by a worship service with Ron Collins preaching. The teens had their own service, led by the Pulse Praise Band, and former youth minister Tony Brackenmyre speaking. And the evening ended with pie & ice cream.

On Sunday, we had a combined Adult Bible Fellowship time with long-time members reminiscing and telling stories about the early days of the church. Then we had a combined worship service (which we do a few times a year). But the atmosphere was electric as people sang and prayed and listened to the Word. It seemed like folks didn’t want the service to end.

Sunday night brought Ray Tolbert (former Indiana University basketball star) to Cedar Creek. Ray gave his testimony, and afterwards spent time with the young people (signing autographs and sharing with them).

We’re exhausted, but praising God for a fantastic celebration.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Embarrassing Moment of the Day

So I'm eating breakfast this morning with my predecessor and the chairman of the elders, and some guy comes over to me and says, "Excuse me, but did you know that you have a tag hanging from your shirt?" I just bought this shirt, and sure enough, the tag was hanging from the armpit. When the guy came over to tell me, he even had a little swiss army knife with scissors, so he cut the tag off for me. We all had a good laugh about it. But I'm glad I didn't walk around all day like that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trip to Notre Dame

The Revival is going well. I've got some free time today, so I'm going to head over to South Bend and visit the University of Notre Dame (I plan to stop by the bookstore and pick up some souvenirs for the fam).

Friday, October 06, 2006

Revival Time Again

On Sunday I begin a Revival Meeting with the North Liberty (IN) Church of Christ. I'm looking forward to it for a number reasons, but the primary one is that it is near the area in which I grew up. I hope to see a lot of people whom I have known for many years. On Monday night, the church will be hosting the Master's Men in conjunction with the Revival. The Master's Men is a quarterly meeting of the men & boys from the Michiana Area Churches. A good meal is followed by a time of singing and preaching. I have fond memories of attending these events as a boy.

North Liberty is a bedroom community to South Bend, IN. I hope I have an opportunity to visit the campus of Notre Dame University (it is beautiful in the Fall).

If I have internet access, I'll try to give an update.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Friday morning study group has started to read George Barna’s Revolution. I had been putting if off because one of my friends told me not to waste my money on Barna’s heresy. And I had also read several scathing reviews of the book. I tend to agree with those assessments, but there’s no denying that some of what Barna points out in his book is a shameful indictment against the modern church:

Driven out of their longtime church by boredom and the inability to serve in ways that made use of their considerable skills and knowledge…

After months of honest effort, neither found a ministry that was sufficiently stimulating and having an impact on the surrounding community.

They are not willing to play religious games and aren’t interested in being part of a religious community that is not intentionally and aggressively advancing God’s Kingdom.

They have no use for churches that play religious games whether those games are worship services that drone on without the presence of God or ministry programs that bear no spiritual fruit. Revolutionaries eschew ministries that compromise or soft sell our sinful nature to expands organizational turf…they refuse to follow people in leadership positions who cast a personal vision rather than God’s…or who are more concerned about their own legacy than that of Jesus Christ…they are embarrassed by language that promises Christian love and holiness but turns out to be all sizzle and no substance.

If the local church is the answer to our spiritual needs, then why are most Christians so spiritually immature and desperate?

Ouch! I’ve only read the first third of the book, but I don’t think he’s going to ease up on us. More later.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Little Golden Books That Got Rejected

1. You Are Different and That's Bad
2. The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
3. Hammers, Screwdrivers and Scissors: An I-Can-Do-It Book
4. The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking
5. Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her
6. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence
7. All Cats Go to Hell
8. The Little Sissy Who Snitched
9. Some Kittens Can Fly
10. Grandpa Gets a Casket
11. The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
12. Garfield Gets Feline Leukemia
13. Strangers Have the Best Candy
14. You Were an Accident
15. Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
16. Pop! Goes The Hamster...And Other Great Microwave Games
17. Your Nightmares Are Real
18. Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
19. Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Back to the Future

When I arrived at the Indiana Christian Men's Fellowship meeting last night, I noticed a flyer lying on the pews. I picked it up and read an article which contained (among other things) the following statements:

“Our brotherhood had a glorious inception. Our fathers saw the reality of the sin of denominationalism and condemned it. They saw with equal clarity the possibility and beauty of the New Testament Church. They understood the difference between the two, and their preaching and writing were designed to teach the whole world the difference -- to teach it in such a way that God's people would repudiate the former and champion the latter.”

“Today some men who do not believe in the ideal of the New Testament Church are both openly and clandestinely attempting to denominationalize the movement.”

“The terrible fact that cannot be laughed into extinction is that for some reason certain preachers no longer believe the plea and therefore ignore it or speak derisively of it.”

“The Restoration Movement is in peril! Many of our preachers are in sympathy with the world’s worst monstrosity, Denominationalism…”

“Instead of preaching the gospel, some preachers are exposing their egotism by blatantly offering their personal panaceas for every ill of the world; instead of the advocacy of the New Testament Church with its pristine beauty and power, some among us openly state that we are just another denomination, floundering with the other denominations for relative truth.”

Good stuff, eh? But here’s the kicker. The document was written in 1943! Talk about a Back-to-the-Future moment. It could have been written today (except for the fact that few are willing to write in such a forthright manner and even fewer are willing to publish such articles).

Road Trip to Indy

Yesterday my staff and I spent the day in Indianapolis. We attended the Blueprint Tour, learning from Don and Paul Wilson from Christ's Church of the Valley (near Phoenix, AZ). Last night, some other guys from Cedar Creek joined us for the Indiana Christian Men's Fellowship. This is an annual event for the men of Indiana. Over 800 men were there to hear the Wilsons and to give an offering to IDES and the Alexander Christian Foundation.

It was a good day of fellowship and spiritual challenge.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

DeKalb County Fair

We finally made it to the DeKalb County Fair (sometimes called the Auburn Free Fair). Saw the sights and ate some great junk food last night. It was a perfect Indiana Autumn evening. This morning I returned and met my friends Frank Weller and Erick Riddle at the Bar None Saddle Club (where the Butler Church of Christ serves up a yummy breakfast -- read more here).

The fair is a lot of fun. If you live in this area, check it out!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Revival Update

The Revival is going great! Even with a 6:00pm starting time, the church house (not acutually pictured here) has been full. The people have been gracious and enthusiastic. A couple placed membership on Sunday morning and a young man rededicated his life to the Lord on Monday night. Some old friends have attended the meetings. And, of course I have been enjoying my time with my father-in-law Ray Merritt.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Revival Time

I'm heading to Michigan tomorrow. Will begin a revival meeting at the Gilmore Church of Christ (not actually the church building pictured here). My father-in-law Ray Merritt is the evangelist there. Looking forward to spending time with him. Probably won't be able to blog again until I return.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Well

Tonight we kick off the re-boot of our Wednesday Night services. We have added several new classes for children and youth. And the adults will be meeting for worship, prayer, and a time of "deeper" biblical teaching. This will be preceded by a prepared meal. A couple of ladies came up with the idea of having an Iron Chef contest between the Adult Bible Fellowship classes. Each class will have an Iron Chef who leads the team in preparing a great meal for us. At the end of the 12-week session, the church will vote for the Ultimate Iron Chef (who will be awarded an engraved Chef's Knife).

I'm looking forward to a great time of fellowship and teaching.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Good Morning Officer!"

Had breakfast with Tracy this morning at the Grabill Country Fair, the little town festival that we look forward to each year. I dropped my truck off in Grabill for an oil change (yes, I'm man enough to change my own oil, but why should I?). So after breakfast, she was giving me a ride to the church building. We got pulled over in Leo. When she saw the lights, she said, "That can't be for us. I'm not speeding." As soon as I saw the motorcycle cop, I thought, "Oh crap! I don't have my seat belt on." Sure enough, that's why we got pulled. Funny thing is, I ALWAYS wear my seat belt. I don't know why I forgot (maybe because I was in the passenger seat?). I told him, "Sir, I always wear my seat belt" (like he hasn't heard THAT before). He had no sense of humor. I got a $25 fine. Doh! You gotta love Indiana. You can drive a motorcycle 70mph on the highway WITHOUT a helmet, but you can't go 25mph in a Ford Taurus (equipped with air bags) without a seatbelt.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Crikey! A Stingray!

News of Steve Irwin's death didn't really come as a shock. That guy always seemed just seconds away from disaster. But a stingray? How weird is that? I always figured he would get chomped by a giant croc or something. The kids and I used to enjoy watching this crazy man. You had to love his enthusiam.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Have a Great Weekend Everybody!

My plans:
1. Family Reunion in my hometown.
2. Notre Dame football season opener - Saturday @ 8pm.
3. Preaching Sunday about the importance of God's Word.
4. Cookout on Monday.
5. Lots of relaxing and enjoying the family.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Amazing Agassi

Watching the US Open last night was exciting. It looked like Andre Agassi was going to get spanked in his last appearance of the Open (he has announced that he will be retiring after this tourney). There was a great tiebreak at the end of the second set (which he won). But he seemed to have run out of gas. At that point, it was going on midnight, and I said to Mrs. Soren, "He gonna lose. I'm going to bed." She said, "Never count Andre out." Turns out that he came back and won. Wow.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Here's Your Sign!

These are worthy of Bill Engvall’s Here’s Your Sign comedy routine. They come courtesy of my Uncle Greg.

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old, still working fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: Free to good home. You want it, you take it." For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too untrusting of this deal. It looked too good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: "Fridge for sale $50". The next day someone stole it.

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because, he explained, he didn't want thesun waking him up every morning. She asked, "Does the sun rise in the North?" When my brother explained that the sun rises in the East, and has for sometime, she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff."

I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?" Wanting to end the call quickly, I said, "Uh, Pacific" . . .

My colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we overheard one of the administrative assistants talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible, but didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving.

My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car it's designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the trunk.

My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that the cases were discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought 2 cases. The cashier multiplied 2 times 10% and gave us a 20% discount.

I was hanging out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain. My friend said, "Wouldn't the chain rip out every time she turned her head?" I explained that a person's nose and ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned.

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet?"

While working at a Pizza Parlor I observed a man ordering a small pizza to go. He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6. He thought about it for some time before responding. "Just cut it into 4 pieces; I don't think I'm hungry enough to eat 6 pieces."

Yep, they walk among us. And reproduce!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

More About the Island

The bike ride was awesome! We rented some mountain bikes and traveled off the main roads, following trails in the wooded areas. I had no idea how many private homes are on the island (and I had no idea how out-of-shape I am). We discovered a place called The Inn at Stonecliffe. Somehow we stumbled upon one of the golf courses (riding on the cart paths for a little while) and then the airport. We must have ridden 8-10 miles (and yes, our legs expressed their displeasure the next day). It was a lot of fun. (Oh, and now I want a mountain bike!).

That night (back on the mainland) we ate at a place called Audie's. I had elk for the first time. It was really tasty.

I hope it won't be another 20 years before we return to the island.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Anniversary at Mackinaw

Tracy and I are enjoying the celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary at Macinac Island, Michigan. I'm blogging from the business center of the Grand Hotel. This place is awesome! The movie Somewhere in Time was filmed here in 1979 (which happened to be when I first visited the island with my family). We are staying in Macinaw City (yes, either spelling is correct) at a place called the Lamplighter Motel. Going to bike around the island after lunch. More later...

Monday, August 14, 2006

He Might Have a Point There

Yesterday I preached my guts out on the subject of baptism/salvation. On the way home from worship, I was a little bummed out that more people didn't respond to the invitation. My son Luke (11 years old) says, "Dad, you gave them a lot. You can't expect them to just run up front. They have to think about it. It's too important."

I grounded him :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Leadership Summit

My staff and I will be attending the local simulcast of the Leadership Summit over the next couple of days. We have done so for the last couple of years. There is usually some good stuff presented. I'm looking forward to hearing Andy Stanley and Jim Collins.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I'm preaching a sermon series this month based on questions that the congregation asked (they wrote topics on survey cards over the last several weeks). This week's "I've Always Wanted to Know About..." topic is baptism. People submitted some really good questions about it, like:

"Are we the ONLY ones who are right?"
"What about my friend who believes in God, but isn't baptized?"
"Please explain why we believe in baptism and others believe in faith-only."
"Why do some verses say believe and others say to be baptized?"
"There are people who are much better than me who haven't been baptized. Yet I'm going to heaven and they are not? That doesn't seem fair."
"What must I do to be saved?"

That's a lot to cover in one sermon. I have to be careful not to explain it so thoroughly that I leave everybody utterly confused. Years ago, Clarance Greenleaf taught me the phrase, "There are more terms of pardon than are mentioned in any one verse, but there never can be less." I like that.

But how can I fast-track over 500 years of church history (the Protestant Reformation, Restoration Movement, etc.) and explain that some ran so far from Rome that they blew by Jerusalem? Maybe I'll just stick with the Bible :-)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Northmen Sing!

Enjoyed The Northmen last week. But boy was it HOT! I'm a Michigan boy and I don't remember it ever being so hot, especially so far north. It was in the high 90's for a couple of days. When we arrived at the camp, we couldn't find the guys from our church. They were all down at the creek, sitting in their lawn chairs (in the creek), trying to cool off. Tuesday night, a fierce storm came through and cooled things off (a little).I enjoyed hearing Mark Scott preach. He did a great job (as usual). Also enjoyed fellowship with Tony Sullivan, David Jones, and a lot of GLCC alums.

Next year, the speakers will be preaching expository messages from the Parables of Jesus.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Campmeeting Time Again

Last week we atended the Hillsboro Family Camp. We have only missed a few times since 1987. It's always fun seeing old friends and hearing great preaching. I preached on Thursday night. I was quite nervous. They have a clock next the pulpit that counts backwards (HFC is known for staying on schedule). So if you isten to the CD, I'm talking very fast (I probably tried to cover too much material).

This week my son and I will join some other guys from our church at The Northmen. This meeting has a much different "flavor." It's all men & boys, camping out in the middle of the woods in northern Michigan (the nearest town is 12 miles away). No electricity or indoor plumbing (bathing is done in the creek). And the weatherman says that it will be in the 90's -- wow! But this too, is a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with old friends. More importantly, it's a great time for father & son bonding.