Youth Camp 2009

January 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm (Uncategorized) ()

To find out where Youth Camp you are going to need Google Earth and you need to email Jonathan and ask for the tag to find out where camp is going to be this year. Simple as that.


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Acts Chapter 15, Huge!

November 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm (High School's Reading of Acts)

Okay this is of huge importance to church history.  It is here at the Council of Jerusalem that it is decided that Gentiles can become Christians without becoming Jews. Amazing, simply amazing. A turning point, where they decided being led by the Holy Spirit, that you are saved by faith alone.

What stood out to you?

And stolen from the pages of the blog Stuff Christians Like:

(Big thanks to Hucklebuck for providing today’s post, a look into the mysterious world of the church offering envelope.)

As I was reading Curtiseseses‘ post the other day, I suddenly had a flashback to the offering time in my childhood Sunday School class. You see, our church envelope was more than just a container for money; it was a spiritual interrogator. In addition to the usual blanks for name and amount, there were also several blanks to rank your Christianity over the past week. To complete your offering, you would fill in each blank with a number or check mark and then total up your score. The criteria were:

__ Giving offering
__ Brought Bible
__ Read Bible daily
__ Studied lesson
__ Attending worship service
__ Visitors brought

Honestly, I don’t know what those numbers were used for or if anyone even looked at them. The wooden leaderboard in the sanctuary never reported those numbers. Maybe some intern at the Southern Baptist Convention was tasked with developing metrics and came up with this idea. Maybe they were meant to keep you accountable. All I know is that when I was a kid, it was a competition to see who got the high score like the Galaga machine at the grocery store.

A lot has changed in 25 years. If we used those kinds of envelopes today, I imagine we would change it up a bit. Here is how I think it might look:

__ Side hugs
__ Christian blogs read
__ People you told you would pray for them
__ People you actually prayed for
__ Wore a Christian-themed t-shirt, bracelet, cap, or boxers
__ Quoted C.S. Lewis
__ Attending traditional service
__ Attending contemporary service
__ Attending blended service
__ Attending nontraditional, post-contemporary, non-fat, no-whip service
__ Christian fish on your car

So what does your church envelope look like? Is it just a place to spit out your gum before communion? Maybe it’s a place for your grocery list or the recipe for the Casserole of Hope that Sister Sue brought to the Pot Blessing. What blanks would you add?

(For more from mind of Hucklebuck, check out his blog.)

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This week’s sign of the Apocolypse

November 13, 2008 at 12:14 am (Uncategorized)

I am enthralled with the genius behind this.

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Run fast, jump well

November 12, 2008 at 4:41 pm (Uncategorized)

I know none of you actually want to do your homework, so I present to you a fun distraction 450run

This game wrecked my nerves and stole all my time. Have fun.

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Acts Chapter 14, Know your audience

November 11, 2008 at 11:43 am (High School's Reading of Acts)

There is a lot of cool stuff going on in Acts chapter 14 and I hope you get the chance to comment and learn from it, but I wanted to point out what stood out to me.

If you notice when Paul begins to preach he never mentions Crucifixion or even Jesus Christ at all.  The heart of the Christian message is Christ and his Resurrection. Paul gave them, basically, a good Jewish sermon.  He did so because he kept his audience in mind.  If they assumed he and Baranabus were gods, they had no real knowledge of who God really is.  The thing that impressed the folks at Lystra the most was that the sight of two men who did something they could not do.  They were prepared to worship Paul and Barnabus.

Because of this Paul’s sermon was extremely basic and talked about how God had revealed himself to man and was alive and had a relationship with his people. A very cool and foreign concept to some Greeks at this time.   Remember when you are sharing your faith to remember who you are sharing it with,  know them and by shaping your message around what applies to them you will show them greater love.

Also remember how easily the world idolizes anything and everything that is extraordinary. We even as Christians do it.  The world idolizes political figures, businesses, brands, family even. Basically anything under the sun that isn’t God  can be made a false idol. Even preachers who are working in God’s name.

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This week’s sign the Apocolypse is upon us.

October 24, 2008 at 5:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Um this game is a little childish, but that is why I love it ever so. it’s a simple concept — move the little guy using your arrow keys, trying to get him to the door. but the up-arrow flying action creates a fart propellant. complete with a variety of sounds! I hope you enjoy! I present to you, Puzzle Farter. Enjoy!

Not a link, but it is super awesome.

Not a link, but it is super awesome.

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Acts Chapter 12, I don’t want to get eaten by worms.

October 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm (High School's Reading of Acts)

Okay what stands out to me the most of Chapter 12 is that God is supernaturally at work with his church. God is in the process of making his name great and spreading his church. Whether it is in crazily rescuing his servant from jail or if it is in striking down Herod, who was not so cool.
The verse that stands out to me here is verse 24. But the word of God increased and multiplied. Herod in all his earthly power (I mean you are pretty tough, smart and powerful if you can run a kingdom that is propped up by probably the greatest empire of all time.) may have worked against the church with all his might, but he was far from being beyond God’s hand. The bigger they are, the harder they fall kind of thing happened here.

The Apostles and other Christians that were suffering under Herod found something that was far greater than what Herod could throw against them. They kept on worshiping God and sharing what Jesus had done for them. They did what God had called them to do and let everything else take care of itself. And God blessed that mightily, even though the world was stacked against them.
To be honest I don’t carry that kind of faith very often.

So, what do you think? What stood out to you? Am I totally off base on my thoughts?

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Have you read The Shack?

October 10, 2008 at 1:47 pm (Uncategorized)

If you have read The Shack or are thinking about it this will definitely be interesting to you. If you haven’t read it, than I highly suggest you go check it out.

You can read it here, or go check it out from the real source:

Willie’s Personal Journey

We live in a world where ‘normal’ does not truly exist except as an idea or concept. For each of us, where and how we grew up plays a foundational role in our sense of ‘normal’, and only when we begin to experience the ‘bigness and diversity’ of the world are we tempted to evaluate our roots. I thought the way I grew up was ‘normal’ but I think most would probably agree that my history and journey have been a bit unusual.

I was the eldest of four, born May 11th, 1955, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, but the majority of my first decade was lived with my missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua), among the Dani, a technologically stone age tribal people. These became my family and as the first white child and outsider who ever spoke their language, I was granted unusual access into their culture and community. Although at times a fierce warring people, steeped in the worship of spirits and even occasionally practicing ritualistic cannibalism, they also provided a deep sense of identity that remains an indelible element of my character and person. By the time I was flown away to boarding school at age 6, I was in most respects a white Dani.

In the middle of a school year, my family unexpectedly returned to the West. My father worked as a Pastor for a number of small churches in Western Canada and by the time I graduated, I had already attended thirteen different schools. I paid my way through Bible College working as a radio disc jockey, lifeguard and even a stint in the oil fields of northern Alberta. I spent one summer in the Philippines and another touring with a drama troupe before working in Washington D.C. at Fellowship House, an international guest house. Completing my undergraduate degree in Religion, I graduated summa cum laude from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. The following year, I met and married Kim Warren and for a time worked on staff at a large suburban church while attending seminary.

I have owned businesses and worked for others in diverse industries, from insurance to construction, venture capital companies to telecom, contract work to food processing; whatever was needed to help feed and house my growing family. I have always been a writer, whether songs, poetry, short stories or newsletters; never for public consumption but for friends and family. While I have extensively written for business, creating web content, business plans, white papers etc., The Shack was a story written for my six children, with no thought or intention to publish. It is as much a surprise to me as to anyone else that I am now an ‘author’.

Overall, I am a very simple guy; I have one wife, six kids, two daughter-in-laws and two grandkids on the way. I work as a general manager, janitor and inside sales guy for a friend who owns a small manufacturers rep company in Milwaukie, Oregon, and I live in a small rented house in Gresham, Oregon, that Kim has made into a marvelous home. My time is spent loving the people that are a part of my life. I am not connected, or a part, or a member of, or involved inside any sort of organization or movement anywhere. The truth is that I doubt anyone would want me. From my perspective that is a very positive thing… for both of us. I have lots of incredible friends, and now you are one of those. Oh yeah… and I wrote this book.

These are some of the facts of my life, but they don’t begin to tell the real story. That would take much more room than is available here. The journey has been both incredible and unbearable, a desperate grasping after grace and wholeness. These facts don’t tell you about the pain of trying to adjust to different cultures, of life losses that were almost too staggering to bear, of walking down railroad tracks at night in the middle of winter screaming into the windstorm, of living with an underlying volume of shame so deep and loud that it constantly threatened any sense of sanity, of dreams not only destroyed but obliterated by personal failure, of hope so tenuous that only the trigger seemed to offer a solution. These few facts also do not speak to the potency of love and forgiveness, the arduous road of reconciliation, the surprises of grace and community, of transformational healing and the unexpected emergence of joy. Facts alone might help you understand where a person has been, but often hide who they actually are.

The Shack will tell you much more about me than a few facts ever could. In some ways my life is partly revealed in both characters—Willie and Mack. But an author is always more. I hope that someday we can share a cup of coffee, or for me, an extra hot chai tea with soy. If that happens, and if you want, I will tell you a little more about the bigger story and you can tell me some of yours.

That about sums up my life. For me, everything is about Jesus and Father and the Holy Spirit, and relationships, and life is an adventure of faith lived one day at a time. Any aspirations, visions and dreams died a long time ago and I have absolutely no interest in resurrecting them (they would stink by now anyway). I have finally figured out that I have nothing to lose by living a life of faith. I know more joy every minute of every day than seems appropriate, but I love the wastefulness of my Papa’s grace and presence. For me, everything in my life that matters, is perfect!

Willie’s Blog

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Acts Chapter 11, Origin of Christian

October 9, 2008 at 6:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Two big sections to Acts 11.

It seems like the first part is a tiff between different factions in the church…not so much. Here God is done awesome stuff by bringing Cornelius’ family in to a relationship with him and some folks are crying because they aren’t Jewish. This is a really crucial moment in history, right here you know God was moving in the this movement that was called “The Way.” These Jewish centered folks weren’t being arguementative to Peter because they were a bunch of jerks, but they really were working from what they knew to be the best response. The awesome part is they were willing to listen to Peter, who they felt was listening to God and were willing to work together.

From that you get the second part of the chapter. This is the church at Antioch. I won’t say a lot about it, but it was here that folks started getting called Christians and there is a reason for it.

Leave a comment folks!

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This week’s sign the Apocalypse is coming.

October 8, 2008 at 4:24 pm (Uncategorized)

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