Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Year's Day!!

Hey Everybody!

Can you believe it? 2005 is almost over. Personally, this has been quite the year. I have learned so much about God's love and plan for my family and me. In fact, as some of you know, I will be the new Senior Pastor at Willow Community Church at 3200 West Willow Road in Lansing, MI beginning January 1st 2006. Yep, this Sunday! We will start the year off with a special worship and prayer service at 11:00am followed by brunch (it just seems fitting to start the year off with worship, prayer and food!). If you are coming from the east side of Lansing, take MLK to Willow and turn west. The Church is located on the north (right) side of the street just a half mile from the GM Metal Fab Plant and entirely too close to DeLuca's!! If you are coming from south or west of Lansing, turn east off of Waverly onto Willow and you will find the church a half mile down on the left.

I can't explain my feelings about all of this very well. First, the thought that God would use me as a conduit to His love is something I embrace and want to develop as a speaker and teacher. Second, the thought that anyone would want to hear me speak or teach is a bit overwhelming! I am comfortable on the platform and I like sharing all the wonderful stuff that God is teaching me, but I want to make sure that I clearly and concisely communicate truth. I have been told that I have an "old school" way of preaching and that kinda' makes me a bit nervous. I'm not sure what that means, but do know that I am very excited about being a Christian! If you spend any time with me you will see that I take life in Christ very seriously and want everybody I know to experience the kind of life and victory that Jesus came to earth to give every human being. But I don't want my antics to get in the way of the message that God has given me to tell. So, please pray that I will develop a style that is uniquely mine and yet conducive to the message God had placed in my heart.

There is so much more I could write, but I need to have something left to write later. So come back and visit this blog and find out who Dave and Annie are and why I am so excited to be working with them.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holy Days!

OK, we have lost a few battles over saying "Merry Christmas," but have not lost the war! In fact, the people who have such an awful problem with 95% of us saying "Merry Christmas" wish us a "Happy Holidays". That kinda makes me chuckle :) Did you guys know that the root word for holiday is Holy? Yep, it really is; click holiday and read it yourself. Jist fer kicks, check out the meaning of the word holy. Now, if someone is totally offended by the word Christmas then why would that same person wish me something as religious as a happy holy day? It really doesn't matter what religion you are, to be blessed by anyone with a wish for a wonderful and happy religious experience is truly an incredible gift!

Please don't report this particular blog to the TPDPUSA (Political Correctness Thought Police of the United States of America); let's keep this one to our selves!

Friday, December 16, 2005

We Wish You A Merry Backbone, We Wish You A Merry Back Bone...

Hey, everybody! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. With the transition from Assistant Pastor @ Faith Church to Senior Pastor @ Willow Community Church on January 1st, I haven't been able to sit down long enough to blog anything.

I gotta tell ya', I did a little victory dance this last Tuesday! The legislators of the Great State of Michigan grew a Big Ole' Backbone seemingly overnight! They actually passed a resolution calling the lit up tree on the Michigan Capitol lawn a "Christmas Tree" instead of a "Holiday Tree." Can You Dig It? From what I understand, there was a bit of a brew-haha during the last session of the year, but in the end the Senate passed the resolution which included the terms "From This Day Forward..."! I'm not sure what that means because roll call wasn't taken which means it is only a resolution, not a law. But still, there is an official record that states the obvious, the tree is, always has been and appears to always be a symbol of Christmas. I am so pleased that the men and women we voted into office did something right just because it was the right thing to do. Join me in wishing Sen. Alan Cropsey (R-DeWitt) who sponsored the resolution and all of those who helped pass the resolution a Very Merry CHRISTmas!

Visit Sen. Cropsey's web site at http://www.senate.michigan.gov/gop/senator/cropsey/index.htm

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Just Say "Merry Christmas"

OK, things are just plain idiotic! Who are "they" and when did "they" make the decision for the rest of us to stop using the word Christmas? I know that we have been fighting the XMAS war for decades now, but I never considered that "they" would shame state governments into dropping the "C" word from their vocabulary all together. I heard last week that state officials in Michigan actually considered calling the huge lit-up tree on the Capitol lawn the "State Holiday Tree" instead of the "State Christmas Tree"?!? Are they serious? I thought that over 80% of Americans claim to be "Christian!" Are the atheists and agnostics of this great state so offended that they want to officially change a four hundred (or so) year old tradition? I don't thnk so. They usually don't really care what other people believe as long as those people leave them alone and not preach at them. And if they are offended by the words Chirstmas Tree, are there so many that they would impact the voting numbers of any future election? I'm not picking a fight with anybody. I'm only using atheists and agnostics because I know that their "beliefs" are contrary to religion in general. I admit that I have never had a conversation with someone about their views on this point (so, if you are atheistic or agnostic in thought, please comment and bring me up to speed on this issue). However, I do know a few Jewish people who wish me a Merry "C" word when ever I see them. I also have friends that are African American and subscribe to Kwaanza and they have absolutley no problem wishing me a Merry "C" word. So if atheist don't care, Jewish followers understand the rich history and tradition of the Christian faith, and Kwansa celebrator's have no problem with the rest of America saying the "C" word then why does local government?

Just today on the way home from Faith Church, where I work, I heard a story on the radio. A company associated with the Catholic Church in Ohio has started a campaign selling small plastic bracelets inscribed with the words "Just Say 'Merry Christmas'". Check them out at www.operationjustsaymerrychristmas.com. I love that! And so does America! In fact, the company started selling the bracelets two days ago and have sold over 15,ooo units! I think that says alot. What do you think?

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Cold!

I couldn't believe my ears!

Kimy gets up around 6:45am every morning. I get to lay in bed while my girls, Cassie and Bailey, get ready for school. I must tell you that I really don't like mornings! I would rather stay up 'till mid-night or later than get up early! So... when the clock radio weather man said it was only 3 degrees outside I just curled up even tighter into my little ball under the covers! I love living in Michigan, but this seems a bit excessive even for us! Do our brothers and sisters "Up North" endure these temps all winter long?

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Narnia and the Chronicles of Disney


I really love the idea that a major motion picture company has made what appears to be a very good adaptation of C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." I also love the fact Wetta Work Shops has done all the creature and battle armor effects (they did all of that for the Lord of the Rings!). I'm very excited to use this opportunity to reach out to our non-believing brothers and sisters with a movie that deals somewhat with a Christian view of good verses evil. In fact, Kimy and I are trying to get a pre-Christian friend of ours to go see this film with us so that we can talk about the spiritual overtones presented in the movie as a way of witnessing about the resurrection of Jesus Christ! But I have one big question: Aren't we supposed to be boycotting Disney?!?

By "we" I mean the Christian community. It doesn't seem that long ago that there was a huge hullabaloo about the awfulness of all things Disney. Everything from their fascination with witch craft and the occult in films like "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" and "Mulan" to the erosion of family values because of their desire to offer medical benefits to gay couples was just cause to eliminate the word Disney from the Christian vocabulary. I remember hearing some important companies and pretty big dogs in our "leadership" like James Dobson and the Southern Baptist Convention endorse the idea of staying away from Disney and all of it's accoutrements.

But now there seems be just as many Christian companies promoting this particular film as there were boycotting Disney only a year ago. Outreach Marketing for instance has a whole array of Narnia stuff to entice all people, especially non-believers, to see this film. To check out some of their really cool bulletin covers, door hanger and postcard mailers visit them at www.outreach.com. Pastor Joel and I recently received a cool promotional package with some teaching materials and some behind the scenes videos about "Narnia" from a youth ministry specialty group called Interlinc (you can see them at http://interlinc-online.com ). www.LifeWay.com/Narnia is an awesome web site promoting the books by Lewis with a really cool link to stuff about the movie (this really is a very well done web experience!). By the way LifeWay Publishing is a Southern Baptist Convention publishing company. Even Focus on the Family (www.family.org) has had some pretty good things to say about the Disney interpretation of this timeless story.

So who's changed? Disney or us? I know that Michael Eisner has resigned and the gay agenda doesn't seem to be a big deal with current Disney leadership, and that there hasn't been a huge blockbuster animated film with all kinds of controversial misgivings weaved throughout the plot (by the way "Finding Nemo" rocked!). I also know that I personally have changed as I've grown closer to Jesus Christ and I'm bettin' a lot of you have too. I know that the world is coming ever closer to an almighty end and Christians world wide are starting to pick and choose the battles we fight. Maybe it's a combination of both. What do you think? Comment and let me know.

Friday, December 2, 2005


Told Ya' I Was Old! Posted by Picasa

The beginning of the end - the beginning of the new

Today was a bitter-sweet day. So I thought today was a good day to share my pain and joy with the whole blog world.

I had to write a farewell letter to about 50 of my closest friends and co-workers because I am leaving a position as an assistant to become a senior pastor at another, smaller church across town. It really hit me hard to write it, so I thought I would post it here for other people who don't normally receive the communique' to read and comment on it.

Douglas Adams wrote a series of books about an alternate universe set in the not too distant future. The first book is called "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and was recently made into a sci-fi motion picture that is now a DVD rental. I wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone especially a Douglas Adams fan. At one point in "The Hitchhiker's Guide", all the dolphins on earth are returning to their home planet (remember, this is science fiction). Some of you might know that a dolphin's diet consists of only small fish, so on the way out of our galaxy they all sing a song called "So long and thanks for all the fish". I'm not sure they actually sang in the book, but the movie made it into a song that had a bit of a catchy tune. If you really want to know why the fish are leaving and why they were only using earth as a food source, read the book because the DVD is very confusing and disjointed. But that line is something I identify with at this time in my life. No, I have not lost my mind (well, not all of it anyway!). That line really says what my heart is feeling. You see, you all have been a very big part of my life over the last three years. I have truly been feeding off of you and your enthusiasm for the work that God has called us too. In fact, you have helped me become a better leader, a better Christian, a better evangelist, a better Pastor, a better man, a better person. You have given me something that I will take with me wherever God may lead. I could never tell you just how much you mean to me or how much of an impact you have made in my life. Because of your efforts, I have seen Faith Church grow beyond what most of us ever could have imagined. By grow, I don't just mean more people, I also mean spiritually as well. I have seen so many of you grow from a seeker of truth to a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I have also seen you share your faith and bring people into our community in order that they might hear about this wonderful thing called True Christianity. In other words, you have become "Fishers of Men". Jesus is the Great Fisherman, but I truly feel that each of you has baited His hook while He has reeled them in. Remember that the impact you are making is bringing even more fish into our boat. I'm going to miss that. I'm going to miss you. I know we're not moving that far away, but the dynamic of our relationship will change and time will continue to put distance between us, but I will never forget you and will look forward to hearing about the advancement to the Kingdom of God that you will continue to make! I love you all. So for now, "So long and thanks for all the fish!"