Friday, October 28, 2005

Out of my head!

Why have I been so cynical lately?

You ever get to that point where you catch yourself saying really negative things that you know you shouldn't? I've been that way all week and probably longer. There's been a lot of negative things going on and I think they're starting to really get to me.

The Wannabe Board had a link up to this site about people who seriously want to start "redeeming" states one by one and setting up "Christian" states. So... these people want to bring us back to the Civil War and break apart, rather than helping to change things. I've been really focused on this today.

Then I ended up directed to Lighthouse Trails Research. It's so good to know that everything from the Message Bible to that Youth Specialties curriculum the 7th graders are using are evil tools of the Devil. dang it. There goes that sarcasm again.

Why is it so much easier to be negative than positive? Usually, I am the optimist, always wanting to see the best in people. The problem is, that is getting harder every day lately. Without getting into details, everything that I worried about in my post "Back to Normal" has happened. My town is just as divided as the day before Hurricane Rita. There is so much mistrust going on that people are losing credibility. And why is it that those people who are wrong are always the loudest?

Why is the Church so good at knocking people and things down, instead of lifting them up? Shouldn't loving followers of Jesus Christ be the people who are least afraid? Have we forgotten that Paul said "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (Romans 14:19 NIV) Why is it that I have to defend people and activities?

Am I saying "Agree with everything?" Absolutely not! I'm saying that I wish that instead of automatically jumping to smash something down, that we should take the time to analyze and see what is going on. I'm reading A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren. As a Baptist Christian, I have a some concerns and questions with what he has had to say so far, but from what I gather, that is the point. To question. Not to follow blindly. To make sure that I know. Not to stick to one narrow view, but to see that there are people out there who don't agree with me. Do I despise them for their view or try to understand them so I can reach out to them.

A very wise college pastor told me that "You can't out-argue an atheist. All you can do is be the best representative of Jesus Christ that you can possbily be. He may come to faith through your life, not through your knowledge of apolgetics." I think I'm finally beginning to understand. I'm glad that God has put me where I am with the kids that I've got. I want to be through getting upset when people question my outreach methods (more accurately, the consequences of positive results). I don't want to focus on the negative. I want to be Jesus to these kids. Nothing else should matter.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Beacon Article November 2005

Every month, my church publishes one of those typical church newsletters. The silly person in me tries to make my part of it just a little bit different than my SP's article (who gets twice the space by the way :-p). Anyway, check it out.

Let's face it. I'm jealous of video game characters. Now before everyone starts thinking that I'm in need of a long sleeve jacket complete with buckles in the back, I'll explain.

You see, when I was little, video games had just started to really capture the marketplace of entertainment in America. I had the latest system each time they came out. The one thing that everyone who plays video games understands is the eternal value of the wonderful creation called

The RESET button.

You know it. Every game system has it, or at least the ability to turn the system off and try again later. So you're racing the Daytona 500 and Little E puts you in the wall... RESET. You're fighting the Battle of the Bulge over again and you're about to run out of health... RESET. Super Bowl not going your way? RESET.

And so I stop to think, “If only life had a RESET button.” But wait. Maybe it does. God supplied our lives with a RESET button.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

No matter what we've done in the past, it is all taken away the moment that we accept Christ! It's a total do-over in God's eyes. Or better yet... Sin got you down and you don't think you can get out? RESET. “Go and sin no more.”

Bro. D

What a surprise!

Hmm... I'm shocked. Music major turned youth/music pastor is Schroeder in the Peanuts quiz. Let me get my heart started again ;-)

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Now I Can Celebrate!

Took long enough, but now I can finally talk about my Colts for a little bit! The only good thing about the Houston Texans was that playing them twice in the year means I get to see the Colts twice on TV because I live in Texas. Anyway, David Carr drops back to pass 15 times and gets sacked five times. That front four has got to be the best in the league. I think I'm right when I say that out of all the sacks that defense has, none of them belong to the back seven. More sacks = less blitzes. Less blitzes = better coverage. Better coverage = more sacks. Follow the circle?

I do think it's ironic that two weeks away from the Monday Night Showdown in Foxboro, that ESPN is saying that Peyton Manning is Tom Brady from last year and Tom Brady is having to be Peyton Manning of last year. Manning is taking what the defense is giving him, and Brady has to throw for 300 yards to give their defense a chance at not losing the game.

Anyway, I'm going to enjoy the bye week and relax a little before Monday the 7th.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I don't have a lot of time these days to blog out thoughts, so I'll just make a quick scream of joy for the 7-0 Indianapolis Colts!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Here we go again.

Hurricane Wilma. wow. We're still picking up here in East Texas from Rita. My prayers are with the people of Mexico, Cuba, all those islands in the Gulf, and now it looks like central Florida :(.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wait a week, Miami

Congratulations from this former hoosier to two of the best football players to ever wear blue. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrision connected for their 87th touchdown together, breaking the record from Steve Young and Jerry Rice.

Every year, the remaining players from the 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went undefeated get together and watch the games. As soon as the last team in the league loses a game, they celebrate by drinking champagne. Well guys, put it on ice for a week, because the Colts are 6-0 and have Houston next week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


For all my YS people who stop by here, you know that I hardly ever dive into theological topics.  I used to think for a long time that it was because I didn’t want to argue in controversial topics.  But lately, I’ve been noticing that I don’t know as much as I guess I should.  

For a long time, I’ve been telling people that I just want to focus on “Jesus loves you and you need him.”  To me that seems to sum up everything in the entire Bible.  

The problem is, the more I start getting into the word to research the topics we’ve been on lately, the more I’ve noticed that I need to take some stands on theological issues that I have wavered on before.  

One thing that has been getting on my mind lately is the number of “experts” who are convinced that look for things in the recent past to tell me that they know that Jesus is coming back on this certain day.  

I live in the middle of the area that first helped victims of Hurricane Katrina and then got hit ourselves by Hurricane Rita.  Somebody on Christian broadcasting (700 Club I think) actually said that “Rita turned away from people and headed toward casinos.”  It didn’t come after casinos, it ripped though my BACKYARD, and my pastor’s backyard, and the town of Jasper, where I have friends from my Taekwondo class.  

Another person on radio said that the hurricanes and the tsunami last year, and the earthquake in Pakistan are “signs that the Lord will return soon.”  Remember when we all were told that the first Gulf War would make Armageddon take place?  Let’s not even start with the January 1, 2000 people.  Why do we spend so much time trying to predict when Jesus is coming back?!?  Doesn’t that make us worse than the Weekly World News paper in the front of our grocery stores?  

Matthew 24:36-44 (emphasis added)
"However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
37"When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. 38In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39People didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
40"Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. 42So be prepared, because you don't know what day your Lord is coming.
43"Know this: A homeowner who knew exactly when a burglar was coming would stay alert and not permit the house to be broken into. 44You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected.

I mean, if Jesus doesn’t even know when he is coming back, why should we spend so much time being preoccupied with figuring it out.  We need to be getting ready and making sure that as many people as possible go with us.  

What if we spent all the time talking about the end, and instead focused it on reaching people with the love of God?  That He loved us so much that he sent His only Son for us and wants us to go to Heaven to be with Him there?  Then we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the date of His return, because everyone would be ready.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

5-0 and rolling along!

The picture above was a sight that people saw all day long...Alex Smith laying on his back. The Indianapolis Colts are now 5-0 and the only undefeated team left in the NFL. Do I think 16-0 is possible? Well, mathmatically yes, but I highly doubt it.

I am still marking out for the defense! Tony Dungy has found fast athletes who know how to hit, and how to keep the action in front of them. It's amazing to me that the Colts have so many sacks, but they are all from the defensive line. No linebacker blitzes, no safety sacks, and yet the D has given up 29 points in five games.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Joining the Crowd

All right, why not join the crowd…
10 years ago I was...
- Starting my junior year at Shelbyville HS
- Playing in trombone in marching band.
- Working at the Western grocery store.

5 years ago I was...- A music performance major, thinking I was going to move to New York City after I graduated.
- Singing in a college garage band, even though we didn’t have a garage.
- An active member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia!

1 year ago I was...
- Sitting in the same office that I am right now.
- Just getting to know Melissa (we had only been dating 3 months)
- Very poor
- 10 pounds heavier

Yesterday I...
- worked out for over an hour! (YAY!)
- Went to a Junior Varsity football game
- Got rained on (see above)
- Loved Meli more than the day before

5 snacks I enjoy...
- Baked Doritos (takes it to a whole new level)
- Popcorn
- Candy Corn (being October and all.)
- Oreo
- sharp cheddar and crackers

5 songs I know all the words to...(this is tough to narrow down!)
- Most things out of the hymnal, it is my job after all.
- Meant to Live - Switchfoot
- The Hokey Pokey!
- The Chicken Dance (da da da da da da da da)
- Lilo and Stitch Theme Song

5 things I would do with 100 million dollars...
- Live off the interest and work for a church for free.
- Finally buy a brand new computer
- Wrestlemania tickets!
- A green dress for Melissa (but not a real green dress that’s cruel)
- Gas for my new Hummer

5 places I would run away to...
- England
- Cancun
- The river I used to hang out at in high school
- My own little happy place (mmmmmmm)
- wherever my little Honda can take me.

5 things I would never wear...
- A cowboy hat
- tights (I had to once in drama and ugh)
- kilt
- my marching band uniform in high school ever again (black wool in August)
- Anything with Purdue on it.

5 favorite tv shows
- Simpsons
- All Star Treks
- Family Guy
- Tom and Jerry
- World Series of Poker

5 bad habits...
- Forgetting to turn blinker off
- Keeping things clean
- Not getting enough exercise
- Speaking before I think
- Not believing in myself

5 biggest joys...
- A hug from Melissa
- The snooze bar
- A Colts win
- That teachable moment!
- When I have a well spoken sermon

5 fictional characters I would date...
- None, I love Meli!

Mustard Seeds

Faith like a mustard seed...

Back in middle school, I was very much into drama. I was in every musical and play possible, and (I think) I was really good at it. I got lead parts all the time. Then I moved to a new town and when I got to high school, suddenly my parts shrank. I remember, the teacher told me the old theater catchprase "There are no small parts, only small people."

I never really understood that as any more than a way to pacify angry freshmen.

Now that I'm older, I understand the power that small things have. Luke 13:18-21 tells of two really small things that have big results.

The mustard seed: a 1/8 inch seed will take off and in one season grow to 8-12 feet.
Yeast: anyone just has to put too much in a loaf of homemade bread to understand that (Sorry about that one to my 8th grade home ec teacher).

Sometimes, situations that seem small can turn out to be big things for God. Consider this, it was a small town Sunday School teacher that led D.L. Moody to Christ. It was ten kids meeting in a living room that started See You at the Pole. Out of the eleven remaining apostles after Jesus's death and ressurection, the church was built that we see today.

Jesus was trying to tell us that the Kingdom of Heaven was not a huge concept, but something that we could grasp, and spread throughout the world, like yeast in bread. No matter where we are, we can be mustard seeds and grow into mighty plants. No matter where I am, I can be a part of what He has in store!

By the way, the last of our evacuated guests have left the church. It's so quiet here now... too quiet.

Do I look 13?

All my kids have had fun with me about this all week, so might as well share it with everyone else.

A couple weeks ago, I was flying with my fiancee to a taekwondo tournament in west Texas. On a certain airline that will remain nameless (but rhymes with Surthwest ) you pick where you want to sit based on a random grouping during checkin. We were first so the other person with us decided we could take the exit row to have more leg room. That, and you know, three martial artists should be able to open a door. During the preflight stuff, the and the following conversation took place.

Attendant: You know you have to be 15 to sit in the exit row?

Me: Yeah?

Attendant: Are you 15?

Me: I'm 27

Attendant: no. really? (followed by a large laughter from the people around me)

So then, we're at the tournament and before it gets started, it's sort of traditional to look around and see who all is there, espcially since in ATA, we all end up competing against mostly the same people. This kid comes up to me and the following happened.

Kid: Man, I hope they split the rings up (by height)so I don't fight you. When you grow up you'll be as tall as Yao Ming.

Me: How old are you?

Kid: 13

The age groups always split 11-13, 14-16, and 17-29 AHHHH! He thought I was 13!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Game on!

As someone reminded me today, there's a scene in Wayne's World 2 where Wayne and Garth are playing hockey in the street, and the car came by. They had to stop, but as soon as the car went past, they yelled to each other "Game on!"

Well, the fourth major sport in the country is back and I am happy. My life is now complete :) I may in the minority, but I am diggin on the new offensive rules. The Stars were down 4-0 and came back to win 5-4. Before the lockout, that game would have been unwatchable by the second period.

Welcome back hockey, this displaced northerner is happy to see the ice again... Even if I do hate snow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back to normal?

Someone just asked me if life was starting to get back to normal now that the evacuees are leaving for their FEMA paid-for hotel rooms. So that made me think, "What exactly is normal?" Then again, maybe the better question is "What is so great about normal?" I mean, over the past two weeks, I have seen some the best in people.

I've watched an 80-year-old man wake up every day at 5 a.m. to show up and help out with whatever he can. I grew a huge respect as I saw him bring in a truckload of food and supplies from another church nearby.

I've seen students asking and pleading to find ways to help, even when we were so full of volunteers, that I had nothing for them to do.

I've seen people displaced from their homes working to create a home out of church gym floor, and getting on people when they don't protect the sanctity of that home.

My biggest hope is that we don't let this die. It's so easy to step up and help people when there is a major crisis and the cameras are on. Now comes the hard part. I worry that when the everyday happens and we see the guy on the side of the road riding a 40-year-old bicycle with his beard down to his waist, will he help him? When someone who just got out of prison comes to church, will we help him or turn him away, saying he'll never change? Now comes the fun part. May God bless my town. I hope.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

4-0 Baby!!!!!

Woo Hoo!!!! The offense has never left! Peyton exploded for four touchdown passes! Edge runs for 90 yards.

Congrats to Marvin Harrison from this Colts fan for tying the NFL record with Peyton for the most TDs from a quarterback and receiver!

You know, I'm really glad for the NFL audio that I can get online. I can't afford the big Direct TV thing, and the Colts are not on TV down here in Texas (darn Houston Texans). The best $25 I've spent all year. I listened to the whole game jumping up and down with each TD strike.

Late Night Musings

I think I'm running out of synonyms for ramblings.

Most of the guest staying in our church have left for home. We only have about 20 left, after starting the week with almost 200.

In the words of a very underrated Christian musician, Paul Coleman "Why does it take a tragedy to bring us all together?"

You know, a white person, a black person, and a latino person look the same when they are sitting together in a shelter talking about how their home was destroyed.

I took a day away from the chruch to go to the Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in California around the West Coast, but not really close to the ocean. How does a team lost 7-1 to a team that wouldn't even play its best players for more than one at bat. Good thing I'm a Cubs fan. Oh, wait...

You know, ballpark hot dogs just taste better. For $4.75, they better.

Speaking of good food, you know, the military really have it good. Those MREs aren't half bad. I recommend the roast beef.

I need to go camping more. I'm not used to life without power, AC, running water, etc. It caught a lot of us off guard. I knew I should have worked harder in Cub Scouts.

That's it for tonight. Lots more to come, I bet.