Monday, February 27, 2006

Audio A says "Adios"

I guess this news is about a month old, but I just found out today. Audio Adrenaline (a group to whom I have "rocked out" since their first album) is calling it quits because Mark Stuart's vocal chords can't take it anymore (no surprise there -- that guy has a voice that was made for rock & roll). I think I own all but one or two of their albums. They will be missed.

The Sermon on the Amount

I am very pleased with the response to the Take God at His Word series that we just completed. I think I have received more positive comments and encouraging words about this series than any other I have preached at Cedar Creek – a series about stewardship!

God is so good! Here's what He did at Cedar Creek during the month of February:
  • We had eight additions to the church family during the month.
  • During the first three weeks, our attendance increased each week.
  • On the fourth week, we received the largest offering of the year.
  • At the conclusion of Sunday’s service, 70 people/families turned in “commitment cards” indicating an increased or renewed commitment to honoring God with their finances.

25 indicated that they are tithing and will continue to give 10% of their income to God’s work.

16 indicated that they have been tithing and they have decided to increase their giving.

9 indicated that they will continue to give beyond the 10% level.

15 indicated that they have made the commitment to begin tithing for the very first time.

5 requested prayer in making this decision.

Is that awesome or what?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Upward Basketball

My son has been playing Upward Basketball. It's a great program, especially for kids who are not the ultra-aggressive "super-jock" type. He's having fun and learning a great game, in a Christ-honoring environment. You can't beat that.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Third Day Rocks

Mrs. Soren and I went to Muncie, IN last night (Ball State University) to hear Third Day and the David Crowder Band. It was awesome. I've heard Third Day three times. They don't disappoint. And Crowder was very high-energy.
The auditorium was fairly small and the acoustics were fantastic. It was a great night of worship.


Today I'm going to Great Lakes Christian College, my alma mater. I'll be speaking to the Advanced Homiletics class. The Prof. wants me to talk about my preaching style; how I write sermons; where I get illustrations, etc. I hope I can communicate well.

I've been told that sometimes the chapel speakers come in and talk about all the pressures and pains of ministry. Like the preachers-to-be need to hear that! But I want to tell them that there is nothing as exhilarating in this world as being a spokesman for the Lord God of the Universe! We are commissioned to speak forth the Word of God, partnering with the Holy Spirit to change lives for eternity! How awesome is that? You can't blast me out of the local church. I've been doing this for 20 years and it still lights my jets.

"Hey, God spoke through a jackass once. He's using me. And there's hope for you guys too!"

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Race Day

I've tried to get into it, but I just don't understand the appeal (except for the occasional crash). I lived in the south for 12 years, but I guess I didn't get NASCAR in my blood. For the second year in a row, I've tried to watch the Daytona 500. Two hours later... when I woke up, they were still doing the same thing they were doing when I nodded off.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Women Drivers

So I’m at Wal-Mart getting my wife’s car serviced today. As I was getting ready to pay, the woman at the front of the line was telling the clerk about her car, what she wanted done, etc. One of the workers said, “Can I have your keys?” She said, “They are in the car.” He returned a few minutes later and said, “Do you have another set of keys?” Yep, she had locked them in the car. To make matters worse, her car was blocking the lane for other cars to enter the place. Nice.

The incident reminded of the time when we had car trouble in West Virginia. We had to spend the night in Beckley and wait until the service station opened in the morning. The next day, while we were waiting for our car to get repaired, a mechanic came into the waiting area and said to a women, “Ma’am, the only thing we could find wrong with your car is that it is out of gas.” She said, “I had to spend the night in a hotel last night. I’m missing work. Can’t you break something and then fix it? Because my husband will kill me if he finds out I was only out of gas.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

47 Days and Counting!

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today. Just 47 days until Opening Day. Could this be the year for my Cubs?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tonja Rose

Tonight we're going to NW Ohio to hear an old friend sing. Ward and Tonja Rose, and their son Chuck spent a couple of days with us. We got to know them when we were living in Virginia. They moved to Nashville several years ago to pursue a career in singing and songwriting. Tonja is the real deal. Tonight's performance is at a church. It's a "songwriter's night." Kind of a coffee house type of thing. We're all looking forward to it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Valentine's Day Tips

Valentine's Day is just a few days away. Take it from Ol' Uncle Soren -- you DON'T want to blow it on February 14! Check out these tips, courtesy of Mikey's Funnies.

Here's a list of what NOT to give her for Valentines Day:
  • A box of chocolates, clumsily rearranged in an attempt to hide the factyou ate all the caramel ones.
  • Any food item with the words "diet","light", or "high fiber" on the label.
  • Flowers from a hospital's gift shop--or worse, a mortuary's.
  • Anything you ever gave another woman, including your mother.
  • Any clothing item with the words"push-up" or "slim-down" on the label.
  • Any household appliance, power tool or other item from the harder side of Sears.
  • A gift certificate.
  • Cash.
  • Lingerie that you think will look almost as good on her as on the Victoria's Secret model.
  • Anything you could have bought at the gas station mini-mart on the way over, even if you didn't.
  • An apologetic look and the words "That was today?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Just started reading Eddie Gibbs' book LeadershipNext. So far, so good.

This quote really busted my chops:

I confess to a growing disquiet about the time-honored term evangelism. When we refer to the good news of Jesus Christ as an ism, we are in danger of reducing it to an ideology. The heart of the gospel comprises news to be proclaimed and received rather than abstract propositions to be affirmed.

So much of contemporary evangelism has consisted in bringing individuals to a point of decision -- turning to Jesus as the Savior, who secures forgiveness of our sins and assures us of a place in heaven. While the gospel includes these important truths, it embraces so much more. It is as much concerned with how we live our lives before death as with after death.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Take God at His Word

Started a new series today. Based on Dr. Kregg Hood's book Take God at His Word.
We are encouraging all of our members to read a chapter a week. I will preach for four Sundays about stewardship and giving. Some people shy away from this topic, but I have found that people usually appreciate a forthright explanation of biblical giving.

So Long, Grandpa Munster

Al Lewis, Dead at 95.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why? M C A

So I’m at the YMCA today. And after working out, I headed for the showers. They were unusually crowded (probably 7 or 8 guys in there). So instead of being able to observe the“courtesy empty shower head” rule, I had to take a spot right next to some old dude. Next thing I know, everyone else had cleared out and it’s just me & him. Totally empty shower room, except two guys right next to each other. I felt like I was in the middle of weird Seinfeld episode. And I got out of there in a hurry!

Speaking of the YMCA... Over the years I have observed “Murphy’s Law of the Locker Room.” It is this: No matter which locker you choose, and even if the locker room is nearly empty, as soon as you pick a locker, someone will come in and his stuff will be in the one right next to you. This must happen at least 80% of the time. Or I'll come back to my locker after working out or showering and somebody will be right there. What's up with that?