Friday, January 30, 2009

TOP 5: Cereals

Let me preface this list with my starting assumptions:

1) Anything that changes the milk color shall receive negative points.
2) Any cereal with anything but milk added to it outside the box does not qualify as said cereal (i.e. Raisin Bran with added sugar or splenda is not Raisin Bran...). They must be cereal au natural!

Here's the list:

1) Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch - it's a little sugary, but what more could you want?

2) Basic 4 - this stuff costs a fortune if it's not on sale, but soooo good.

3) Grape Nuts - nothing needs said, you love it or you hate it.

4) Crispex - i ate an entire box of this once at one sitting. so light and crispy, but the best part is its ability to capture the milk inside.

5) Cracklin' Oat Bran - it might as well be cookies. if you've never tried this, you must - TODAY! Just be willing to shell out $4 for a small box, it's pricey!

Honorable mention to cereals that don't exist anymore:
1) Graham Chex - perhaps the greatest cereal ever created. Graham flavored chex pieces with actual Graham cracker wafers thrown in for good measure. TOUCHDOWN!

2) Fruit filled Shredded mini-wheats - they had plain (non-sugared) mini wheats with strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry filling inside each piece. they were great in milk or dry as a snack. The people who pulled them from production need fired...and perhaps admitted.

What would you add, according to my assumptions? according to your tastes?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

True Community

It seems to be the job of pastors to try to encourage people toward community.

We plan events, have coffee times before services, make people shake hands for 5 know all of the tricks.

But can true community that people are looking for ever really be planned?

We have a small group that gets together once every-other-week.  It's a great time.  We talk, eat, study, discuss, and play Seinfeld TV games.  I can assume that we genuinely enjoy all of our time together.

But is that community?  or just an enjoyable evening together?  Is there a difference?

For me, true community is when people begin to naturally interact and flow together in the midst of daily life - when you can go to someone's house without a reason, just because you feel like being with them, when you can spontaneously call and talk through an issue at the moment you are experiencing it -without waiting until your next get-together.

Don't get me wrong, small groups, coffee time, and even the 5 minute handshakes are great on-ramps to community, but let's not mistake them for the real thing.

Community means getting messy, vulnerable, and a little out of control at times.  But that's the beauty!

Your thoughts?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

False Assumptions

It seems every time I prepare a lesson for church, I start out with a direction that is proven incorrect by my studies of the scripture.  I come to the table with assumptions of what the Bible says and how it applies, often looking for scriptural support for my already held belief.

Time after time, however, I not only can't find support for my assumptions, but I actually find that scripture presents the topic in an entirely different light.

On one hand, I like the learning experience, but do I really have to have my world rocked every week?

It never ceases to amaze me how much common assumptions have formed the way I look at the world.  I am scared to see how much my life will change by the time I am old as I continue to study each week.

What assumptions have you ever made about God or scripture that you seem to find incorrect upon further study?

Friday, January 23, 2009

TOP 5: Loving Husbands

I am a list kindof guy...I have my top 5s in so many categories from favorite cereals to biggest fears.  Every so often I will put forward one of my lists for discussion, with explanations.  

Today is Top 5 loving husbands I have seen...I apologize to anyone who is on or off this list incorrectly:

1)  Tim Yazel - my dad.  I don't know that I have ever met a more patient person.  He is grace giving in conversation and life with my mother.   Also, he serves her constantly, in every way without any words of complaint.  My mom has yet to ever pump gas, I believe.

2)  John H. - a man at KPC.  He is getting along in years, and has been married for probably close to 40.  His wife has struggled with mental issues for years now, often talking nonsense or even accusing him publicly of many things.  He takes every comment without a word, and day-in-and-day out just lives his life to serve her without any return.  What love!

3)  Joel Boehner - a friend and KPC brother - He has only been married for 6 years now, but he is another guy who always looks at his wife with love in any situation.  You can just see his love in his countenance with her.

4)  Tim Courliss - a great friend from Bethel on - his wife, Karen, is an actress/singer with goals to perform across the world.  Tim believes in her abilities, and supports her fully, and is willing to pick up and move wherever her career deems necessary.

5)  Harry Holycross - "The godfather" of the KPC church - Harry adored his wife Flo and acted as though everything she touched was gold.  Flo passed away last year from lung cancer, and Harry has taken it upon himself to live his life according to every last detail of what Flo wanted for him.  Even in her passing, his life is still lived around his love for her.

Any you guys see around you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Working too much?

So I struggle with the tension between 4 ideals:

1) The pattern of God who worked 6 days and rested the 7th, and commanded the same from us.

2) The pattern of traditional American middle-class jobs to work 9-5 Monday -Friday, then rest Saturday and Sunday.

3) That the advancement of the Kingdom should be pursued at all costs, which happens to also be the charge of my job as a pastor.

4)  I have been given the responsibility for raising my daughters to know and love God and people.

So where do we draw the lines?  

Clearly if we work 6 days dusk to dawn, the 7th better be one of complete rest (that means no chores, honey!)

If our work week is 40 hours, then Biblically, I don't think we are given the freedom to vacation the rest of the remaining time in our week.

If we have the choice to stop at 40 hours, or work more, SHOULD we stop?  or did God expect more from us with the example HE set?

As a pastor, in addition to my work week, should I build in "volunteer" time as I encourage the rest of my congregation to?

I really have no answers, but would like to get this all figured out at some point!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recession Proof

The Church of the Heartland here in South Bend is doing a series called "Recession Proof".  I like this for 2 reasons.

1) In a world where our Christian culture reigns supreme, the series is not about the Christian movie that just came out, but the world we live in.

2) It's true!

We as Christians have had our primary citizenship placed into the Kingdom of Heaven.  This means, regardless of what goes on around us, WE have only Kingdom ramifications to worry ourselves with...and btw, God's got those taken care of.

IT'S BEAUTIFUL!  If the economy tanks, does that change where we or others stand in the Kingdom (if it does, it only helps...according to the ramifications of the rich young ruler parable, shouldn't we be almost rooting for the economy to tank?)?  If sin gets a political vehicle to reign more openly, does that change the story that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?

Our job is not to minimize sin in the world, fight evil, or guarantee the American dream.  As a church we have been charged with helping our neighbors take steps toward Christ.

As the underground church has shown us by growing more rapidly in countries where there is no freedom to worship freely, politics play such a very small role in the advancement of the Kingdom. we have a new president set forth today (I am excited!), remember your primary citizenship!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have a dream

In honor of MLKJ Day, I have decided to kick-off this blog with an "I have a dream..." blog of my own.  Here goes:

I have a dream that one day...

- people won't confuse charity-from-a-distance with full-blown love.

- churches everywhere will ask themselves "Why?" and answer themselves honestly.

- large porches that actually get used by people sitting on them will make a come-back

- the wedding industry will go out of business (can you believe how much they charge for stuff?!!)

- this country will awaken from our denial regarding our unhealthy living and stop blaming genetics for everything (I loved the social commentary in Wall-E!)

- churches will start treating all sin for what it is...that the idea of "socially acceptable" sin goes out the window.  I'm sick of rooms full of people struggling with gluttony, greed, pride, etc. sitting around passing judgment on homosexuality, drunkeness, etc.

- the United States will win a World Cup.

- ESPN will realize that making fun of soccer is not good for their soccer ratings, and bottom line.

- my daughters will not date until the age of 20.

- Christians will focus more on the Great Commission than the Republican Mission.

- Mocha will realize that getting her tie-out wrapped around a tree in sub-freezing weather is NOT appropriate behavior.

Any you would add?