Saturday, May 31, 2008

Post-Race Report

The trip to South Bend was great. We toured the College Football Hall of Fame. That was fun. The race was excellent. It was very well organized, with lots of friendly volunteers. The race course was beautiful. It was a little hot & muggy, and I got really tired at about the 11 mile mark, but we really enjoyed it.

The best part was the finish. Less than a mile from the end, we turned a corner and we were looking at the Golden Dome shining in the the sun. We made our way over to Notre Dame Stadium and as we approached the tunnel the ND Fight Song was blaring on some speakers. We raced through the same tunnel that the football players run through. We charged onto the field and ran to the 50-yard line for the finish. It was very cool.

Friday, May 30, 2008

On the Run

Today I will be traveling to South Bend, Indiana to run in one of the Sunburst Races tomorrow. There is a full marathon, but my friend John Mitchell and I are running the half-marathon. This will be no problem for John (he has run two marathons in the last six months), but it will be a challenge for me (although I have been training through the winter).
We're going to check out the College Football Hall of Fame today. The race begins there and ends at the 50-yard line of Notre Dame Stadium. How cool is that?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones

We saw the new Indiana Jones movie over the weekend. I’m a big fan of the Indy movies, but I left this one disappointed. I probably had it built up so much in my mind that I was going to be dissatisfied no matter what. The reason for the let down is difficult to describe, but it seemed like the director was trying too hard. In the other movies, the stunts and edge-of-your-seat situations were at least somewhat plausible. But this movie, while adventurous and entertaining, simply was over-the-top. And towards the end it got way too cheesy and weird. Sure it’s an Indiana Jones movie. But three waterfalls? Three? And she drove the car off the cliff onto a tree and drove it into the river? And he survived a nuclear explosion? In a refrigerator? And the Tarzan sequence. Tarzan?

Another blogger summarized the movie like this:

Raiders of the Lost Ark was the best of the series. That aside, I can summarize Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in three sentences:
• Indiana Jones meets the space aliens.
• An army of ewoks/monkeys comes to the rescue.
• There is a flying saucer at the end.
So if those three sentences don’t bother you, you'll love the movie.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Going to Iowa

I'm heading to Iowa this afternoon. I'm going to spend a couple of days there visiting relatives, etc. Maybe I'll get a chance to play golf with my Dad and brother.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Another One of My Preaching Heroes

A couple of months ago I posted about listening to Ed Bousman preach. Tonight I got to hear another one of my preaching heroes, Ray Bennett. I met Ray in 1987 when I heard him preach at the Hillsboro Family Camp. Never in my life had I heard that kind of fiery preaching. Preaching that he calls, "heaven-high, hell-deep, world-wide and shotgun barrel straight." Ray is one-of-a-kind. He has always been gracious and encouraging to me. When I was just a rookie preacher he invited me to preach at the Delmarva Family Camp in Delaware (I will be preaching there again this year). He preached several times at the church I served in Virginia. He and his wife Gyneth are wonderful people. They have the love and respect of the Kjergaard family.

Ray is in our area this weekend preaching in a Revival meeting. It was great to hear him again. He's still got it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tommy Boy Moment

Tracy and her father left this morning for Virginia. They are picking up Grandma, who spent the winter there, and bringing her back home to Michigan. About mid-morning I gave Tracy a call to see how they were doing. She said they had a little setback -- while they were driving down Highway 30 THE HOOD FLEW UP (a la Tommy Boy). What in the world!? Somehow Ray hadn't latched his hood after he checked his fluids (and apparently the safety precaution second latch thing wasn't working). That must have been quite an experience. So he has a dented hood and a cracked windshield. What a way to start a 14 hour trip. Holy snikes!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Softball Season Starts Tonight

We have our first Church League game tonight. Cedar Creek 1 vs. Cedar Creek 2. The good news is that no matter what, Cedar Creek wins. I love to play, but every year my arm tells me that I'm not as young as I once was.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Christian Pick-Up Lines

Our intern (a single guy) sent me these. Enjoy.

1. "Nice Bible."
2. "Is this pew taken?"
3. "For you I would slay two Goliaths"
4. "You are so unblemished that I would sacrifice you."
5. "I didn't believe in predestination until tonight."
6. "I know Bob Russell."
7. (if no.6 gains no response) "Bob Russell knows me"
8. "Bible-gateway happens to be my homepage."
9. "Can I buy you a non-alcoholic beverage?"
10. "Now I know why Solomon had 700 wives... Because he never met you."
11. "Is that a thinline, duo-tone, compact, ESV Travel Bible in your pocket"
12. "So, my parents are home, you wanna come over?"
14. "Let's say, hypothetically, you were married. I would send your husband to the front line against the Amorites"
15. "I'm interested in full time ministry, and not only that... I also play the guitar."
16."Look, you're nearly 22. most Christians are 3 years into marriage by now... just settle for me."
17. "Who's your favorite apostle?"
18. "You make the Queen of Sheba look like a hobo."
19. "I have familiarised myself with all 5 love languages, in fact, I invented 4 of them."
20. 'All I'm looking for is a Godly woman. I don't care that you're not attractive.'
21. "If you were a leper, I would still hold your hand.. even if it wasn't attached."

Only in America

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

That's Powerful

I arrived home yesterday to find pieces of a tree scattered all over my yard. The lamppost was destroyed and things were a mess. What happened!? Neighbors confirmed that lightning hit the tree (both described the sound like a transformer blowing up).
Several of our electronic appliances are messed up. Our big television, two VCRs, and the coffeemaker don't work at all. Another television has its color all out of whack. I will probably have to get a tree company to deal with the tree. Insurance company says we have a $500 deductible. Isn't home ownership fun?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Luke!

My son turns 13 today. Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday he was playing with legos and stuffed animals. Now he is into skateboarding, camcorders, and classic rock. We're going to have a good time celebrating his entrance into the teen years. Happy birthday son!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Idol Controversy

If any of you are American Idol fans, you know that there was a little mix-up on Tuesday night -- Paula got a little, shall we say, "confused." I checked some blogs the next day, and this quote made me chuckle:

They say nothing is certain but death and taxes, but that’s only because ‘nothing is certain except death, taxes and Paula Abdul acting all crazy boogaloo’ is too long.

Church Autonomy

I just finished an article for my column in reIGNITED (a quarterly magazine for Christian Churches in Canada. Beauty, eh?). I thought I would share it here:

Restoration Movement churches have been described as nondenominational or independent or locally autonomous. What do those terms mean? Occasionally I meet someone who is interested in learning more about the church I serve. He might say, “Tell me about your church.” I have discovered that using those descriptors usually leaves the person more confused than enlightened. Explaining the structure of locally independent churches that are part of a loosely-knit fellowship or brotherhood is not as easy as one might think.

Our Restoration Movement forefathers were not seeking to start another denomination. They saw the problems inherent with a hierarchical structure in which the average church member often had little influence. Their back-to-the-Bible philosophy prompted scores of congregations to sever their denominational ties and become independent Christian churches.

Locally autonomy brings several wonderful advantages to a congregation. First, the church is led by elders (pastors) who know the congregation and the community. The apostle Paul told Titus, “Appoint elders in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). In the book of Acts and in some of the epistles we find references to local church leaders. These leaders prayerfully determine the direction and vision for the congregation. They also help ensure that the church stays on course doctrinally.

Another benefit comes in the area of missions support. Rather than sending missions funds to the denominational headquarters to be distributed to missionaries with whom the congregation has little relationship, the church decides at the local level whom it wishes wish to support. It develops a personal connection with the missionaries and parachurch organizations, sometimes sending church members on short-term mission trips. It can also respond directly to specific needs (as in Acts 11). There is also good stewardship to consider. Funds go to the specific mission, rather than also feeding the denominational “machine” (buildings, personnel, etc.).

Another important advantage is that the church is free to practice its faith without fear of outside interference. It is independent of any governing authority (other than the Lord and the Word of God) dictating what it will believe and practice. The congregation can allow the Bible alone to serve as its only rule of faith and practice. Its leaders can implement Restoration Movement principles as they lead people in to a growing relationship with the Lord.

With this emphasis on independence, perhaps a word of caution is in order. Restoration Movement churches have sometimes been guilty of being “too independent.” Local autonomy is wonderfully biblical. But the local church is part of the larger, universal body of Christ. New Testament churches frequently helped one another and partnered with each other in spreading the gospel. The Apostle Peter tell us to, “love the brotherhood of believers” (1 Peter 2:17). Even in our independence, let’s be the kind of people our fellow believers can depend on.