Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell

The Bible Story - as written by a child.........


In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas.

The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.

Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbors stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.

There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats.

Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.

But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Gold Coin

I had an encounter with God this weekend.

Our church is involved in a spiritual growth campaign called “RESET”. We’re borrowing it from
Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is really pretty good and I highly recommend it. Each week during RESET, we’re given a different “challenge” to complete.

One of the things we were asked to do during this past week’s challenge was to participate in the “Prayer Experience”. The Prayer Experience is a series of 12 or 13 “stations” that you walk through while listening to a message on an MP3 player. Upon entering each area, or room, you click next on the player and listen to the narrator explain the intent of this particular area. The experience you have while there is strictly between you and God, even if other people may also be in the room at the same time. Each individual moves at their own pace, advancing to the next “station” whenever they are ready. One station leads you through the church auditorium, others lead you through small rooms or areas sectioned off by black curtains.

I went early Saturday morning and found myself to be the only one there.

Some things I have been dealing with lately involve fear, doubt, and feeling insecure about some things. Often times I wonder, “Where is God in all of this?” while dealing with some particular daily experiences.

During the Prayer Experience Saturday morning, God reminded me that He is still right there with me, and is in control of everything.

As I entered the third “station”, the one titled “IDOLS”, I noticed a wicker basket full of gold coins. (Don’t worry, they’re all cheap plastic coins, so no one will try to steal them). Each coin was imprinted with a symbol (a harp, praying hands, etc.) and had a scripture verse on the back.

I pressed “next” on the MP3 player and the narrator began to explain the meaning of this particular room. As he spoke I noticed another small basket which contained pieces of bread, and a box of toothpicks next to it. Beside the baskets of coins and bread, there was a sign that said to take a few coins and a piece of bread, and as you listen to the narrator, you’ll discover what to do with them. A few, to me, means three, so that’s what I tried to pick up.


I reached into the coin basket and picked up a few coins. When I looked in my hand, I counted four plastic gold coins. I didn’t really believe I would use all four coins and figured I could put one back in the main basket before I left this room. I used a toothpick to pick up a small piece of bread and made my way into the main part of the room.

In this room, I saw several brick pedestals with more wicker baskets on them. Each basket already had many coins in each of them and the front of each pedestal bore a sign which described a common misconception or belief you may have, or have had, about Jesus. The instructions were that if you thought you needed prayer in this area of your life, or if you basically need to hit the “Reset” button concerning your thoughts or beliefs about Jesus, then as you are praying (talking to God) about it, toss a coin into the basket, indicating that you are turning it over to Him.

As music now played on the MP3 player, I took my time reading each sign, and carefully, deeply and prayerfully evaluated where I stood on each issue. And I tossed a coin into a basket, and then another, and so on.

When I got to the end of the row of pedestals, I had tossed one coin into five different baskets. Five. A chill ran up my spine. I looked back across the room to where I had started and remembered that I had only picked up four coins from the first basket.

It was then that I also noticed that I still had one more coin in my hand. As I looked at it, my body began to tingle and my eyes began welling up. Through the tears, I read the verse written on the back of this coin. It was Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.

I had been conversing and listening to God the entire time, feeling Him, as it were, so I thought, “Okay Lord. I get it. I give it all over to you.” All of my cares, my worries my fears, my insecurities, I turned it all over to Him. I remembered the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand and stared at that piece of bread on the toothpick in my hand.

Nothing happened with the bread, so when the narrator said to eat it, I did. I looked again at the coin still in my hand and said, “I’m keeping this one”. I put the coin in my pocket, left the room and proceeded to the next station.

Blessings.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Penguins......

Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica - where do they go?

Wonder no more!!!

It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird, which lives an extremely ordered and complex life.

The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.

If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried.

The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:



"Freeze a jolly good fellow."




"Then they kick him in the ice hole."






You really didn’t believe that I knew anything about penguins, did you?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Really Good Quote....

"If a friend is in trouble,
don't annoy him by asking
if there is anything you can do.
Think up something appropriate
and do it."
- Edgar Watson Howe
I really don't think I should say anything beyond that.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

marriage_view.wmv

Enjoy.

Turn up your speakers!

Friday, April 24, 2009

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up.....

My job requires that I drive to different areas of our state quite often. During my travels, I’ve seen some rather interesting things. You are about to see why I now keep my camera with me whenever make these trips.
The following are a collection of a few of the photos I’ve taken during my travels around our state. You just can’t make this stuff up.




Apparently, this is where they bury the Old Baptists.
Not sure where they put the younger ones.







Obviously, part of Obama’s new economic plan….



The sign pretty much says it all. And, no, I have not eaten here.
I’m afraid to.

Now THIS farmer harvests his corn really faast!

Before you try to dispose of the body, make sure to check their ID first.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip to our state.

Please come back anytime.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Gathering Force - by Francis Chan

I just finished reading the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. I also used to be a member of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California (Francis Chan’s church). The article below is exactly what Francis talks about in his book, talks about in church, and is how he himself lives his own life. I know this man personally, and you can trust what he says…….



Is there any logic in believing that God started His Church as a Spirit-filled, loving body with the intention that it would evolve into entertaining, hour-long services? Was he hoping that one day people would be attracted to the Church not because they care for one another, not because they are devoted to Him, not because the supernatural occurs in their midst, but because of good music and entertainment?


Try to imagine what conclusions you would come to if you had no prior church experience. The things in church services might make sense to the American church-attendee, but they don’t make sense biblically.

Picture yourself on an island with only a Bible. You’ve never been to a church-you’ve never even heard of one. The only ideas you have about church are what you’ve read in your Bible. Then you enter a building labeled “church” for the first time. What would you expect to experience as you entered that building? Now compare that to what you actually experience when you attend church.


GANG RELATED
A while back, an ex-gang member got baptized at our church. He fell in love with Jesus and turned from his old lifestyle. But after several months at the church, he stopped attending. When we asked him why he stopped attending, he answered: “I had the wrong idea of what church was going to be like. When I joined the church, I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in the gangs we weren’t just nice to each other once a week-we were family.”


That killed me because I knew that what he expected is what the church was intended to be. It saddened me because I realized that the gangs paint a better picture of loyalty and family than the local church body does.


But what if the church looked like this?


They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)


That describes what the ex-gang member was looking for. It describes what the world is waiting for. I used to look at this passage as something that was wonderful but could never happen in the twenty-first century. There are just too many cultural obstacles for the Holy Spirit to overcome. He is powerful enough to raise the dead, but not powerful enough to form a sharing and loving body in our individualistic society. I doubted God’s ability to stir a body of believers to love tirelessly and give without restraint. I reasoned that this type of fellowship was probably not intended for our time. Besides, we don’t have time to love like this.


Looking back, I wonder if I came to those conclusions because there was a part of me that wasn’t sure I wanted it. It’s interesting how much our theology is driven by desire.


There came a point where the elders at our church concluded that there was no reason why God wouldn’t want the church to look like it did in the beginning. From there we reasoned that if God wants that, then we want it too. But the exciting part came when we resolved not to settle for anything less. We would pursue this for His Church regardless of how many would be turned off and move to other churches. If this is God’s standard, then we will one day give an account for how we led His people toward the biblical model.


But where do we go from here? The hard part is answering the question of how. There are probably many who want our churches to function like the early church, but how do we get there?


START WITH WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
In other words, start with yourself. It’s wrong to blame others for the condition of the Church. And it’s silly for leaders to blame followers. God wasn’t satisfied when Adam blamed Eve or when Eve blamed the serpent.


Our elders started with what we could control. We can’t control other people. We can’t make the congregation “break bread in their homes” or “sell their possessions.” We also can’t control God. We can’t make Him do “wonders and miraculous signs” through us. I can, however, sell my possessions as people have needs. I do have control over that, so that became the first logical step. As we do our part, we trust God to bring about the “awe” and “wonders” in His time.


It was a beautiful time of sharing as our elders laid “everything” at each others’ feet. We surrendered the keys to our cars, homes, and bank accounts. I actually believed the elders who looked me in the eyes and said, “What’s mine is yours. If anything ever happens to you, I will support and care for your kids as much as I would care for my own. I will be your life insurance.” And because they had a history of genuine sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, I trusted what they said. From there, we began going to some of our friends in the congregation and expressing our commitment to them (something anyone can do).


And now this mentality is spreading. New life is permeating the church as individuals are backing up their words with sacrifice. Cars and homes are being sold or given away. Expensive vacations are joyfully replaced with spending on others. People are being taken into homes-not only for meals, but to live. It’s still the beginning of the process, and most people probably still come for the teaching or the music, but there’s a growing number at our church who are coming to be with their church family and they don’t care about who’s teaching or leading music.


THERE MUST BE MORE
Something real was happing in the early Church. It was something of the Spirit, too powerful to be replicated by human effort. Imagine taking a friend to one of their church gatherings. Your friend might not experience a smoothly run, professional service. But one thing he would experience: God. Do we even need to ask which is better? So much of church growth today has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. The right team of talented people can make any church grow. When people sit through creative services, is it really God they’re experiencing?


Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give our best to God. If you’re a musician, work diligently at your music. If you’re a teacher, labor intensely over your messages. I’m just asking you to be willing to rethink what you’re doing and ask: How can we create a more biblical environment where people see and experience God?


I’m reminded of the story of Gideon in Judges 7. God tells Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.” (Judges 7:2-3)


If you remember the story, God then reduced the army to 300 soldiers. God did not just defeat the Midianites-He was careful to do it in a way that gave Him all the glory. He did not want to allow Israel to boast “that her own strength has saved her.”


May people see our churches and know that mere human beings could not have created what they experienced. May we seek the priorities of the early church and trust God to once again produce the fruit of the early Church.


“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)



Francis Chan is the pastor of Cornerstone Church and the president of Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley. In addition to being a pastor, Francis speaks to thousands of youth throughout the U.S., challenging them to deeper commitment. He can be heard on his radio program “Truth Be Known.” Francis has a great sense of humor, a genuine love for Christ, and a commitment to teach straight from the Word of God. Francis and his wife Lisa have been married for twelve years and have three daughters and one son: Rachel, mercy, Eliana, and Ezekiel. He is a graduate of the Master’s College and Seminary.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Just some stuff on my mind…..

Just thought I’d share a few things that have been on my mind lately and I’d like to get off my chest.

The Other Door
I went to lunch with some co-workers recently and the door to the restaurant had a sign on it that read “Please Use Other Door”. Well, there were a few “other doors” to choose from and the store front layout of this place did not make it easy to locate the correct door. My suggestion to anyone who posts a sign that says “Please Use Other Door” would to also post a similar sign on the correct door that reads “THIS IS THE OTHER DOOR”. It sure would be helpful.

Stimulus Money
This bailout stuff is really starting to get on my nerves. I cannot understand how so many people can be so stupid. Especially our so-called elected officials. Whether you call it stimulus, bailout, or economic recovery, it is all going to lead us to the same place. What is really happening is that they are putting money into the economy by taking money out of the economy, then putting that same money back into the economy and taxing it as it passes through. Sheer stupidity.
Would you like to know how to really stimulate the economy? I’m glad you asked. I’d be happy to tell you. (and, by the way, had you elected me as President, this is what would be going on instead).
First, instead of bailing out the major corporations (banks, mortgage lenders, etc.), I would put all those executives in jail for the illegal mishandling of the funds they were entrusted with. Those guys got rich while their companies, clients and investors went broke. They themselves screwed up and should be held accountable.
Second, lower gas prices. Please don’t whine to me about the oil companies and their problems! If they can run the price of gas above $4 per gallon and show record profits, then they can surely drive the price of a gallon of gas to below one dollar! Then, start drilling in ANWR and under the Colorado Rockies. Sarah Palin already thinks we should be drilling in ANWR, and that is in her home state. There’s more oil under the Rockies than in the entire middle east, so what are we waiting for? Oil production in Alaska hasn’t bothered the caribou any, so why should some dumb mountain goats mind either? By lowering gas prices and increasing domestic production, those middle-eastern guys will have no choice but to lower their prices as well in order to keep up.
Lower gas prices will also bring down the price of just about everything else (all that stuff that went UP when the gas prices increased last year), which means people will start buying more. When people start buying more stuff, the demand will increase, which will stabilize prices, create or reinstate more jobs, which puts people back to work, and drastically slows down the rate of inflation. Right now, by pumping more money into the economy, only serves to reduce the value of that dollar in your pocket. Bring prices down and let people EARN things, then the economy will stabilize and recover.

Social Security and Health Care
My recommendation is to take away that golden umbrella and put our elected officials (all of them) on the same system as the rest of us, and then watch how fast they fix it!

About Christians
Okay, so I started by just blowing off some steam and I got a little carried away. Being a Christian means to be “Christ-Like”. Yeah, I know, it isn’t easy and it is much easier said than done. But if you are going to cut me off in traffic, swear at other drivers, flip the finger at people, and drive like a maniac, then please go get some warm water and a razor blade and scrape that “Honk If You Love Jesus” bumper sticker off your car. And please remove that plastic chrome plated Jesus fish symbol while you are at it.
And please, I beg you, if you are only going to act nice to people, and put on your “Christian face” only on Sundays, then please don’t tell anyone that you are a Christian. Because, quite frankly, dude, you are bad for business.
Jesus told us to follow Him. To be like Him and to tell others about Him (sometimes using words) all the time. Not just when we feel like it.
I’d heard it said that the two main reasons that most people do not come to Christ is
1) They have not yet met a Christian, and
2) They HAVE met a Christian.
I had a conversation this morning with a guy who is struggling with accepting Christ because of the church people he has met who don’t practice what they preach. He feels God tugging at him, but he cannot ignore what he sees around him.

Honesty
Why is it that the people who mean the most to you, that you love more than anyone or anything, that should love you back the same way, still feel the need to lie to you?

I’m just saying….


Friends

I so very thankful that God has placed in my life a few men who are allowed access to see into the very core of my heart and hold me accountable. These are some great men and are what true friends are really all about.




Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
JOHN 14:27

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pole Dancer Video

Be forewarned.
Before veiwing this video, please put down your soda.

Trust me.


video

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Getting Bent

Yeah, I know what you may be thinking, and you just might be right. But I hope you keep on reading anyway.

First of all, it may be helpful to understand the mind behind where this is coming from.


So yeah, that may explain a few things (thank God for spell check!), but please bear with me and I’ll try to make this as simple as I can.
You see, I’ve been thinking lately about Moments.

The following is a brief definition of a moment:

Moment of force (often just moment) is a synonym for torque, an important basic concept in physics and civil engineering. For example, "torque" is usually used to describe a rotational force that a wrench applies to a nut or bolt, whereas "moment" is more often used to describe a bending force on a beam.


This diagram can be explained by the equation MG = F x d.


F is the force applied on the beam, and d is the distance from the wall (or start of the beam). I have called the point where the beam meets the wall, point G, and you’ll see why in a moment (no pun intended). It is also important to note that at point G, the distance d equals zero!

Now suppose that F is constant, meaning that the amount of force pressing against the beam doesn’t change. No matter where you put it, the force is the same.
As F gets farther away from the wall, the amount of the Moment will increase (gets bigger). So, as d gets bigger, so does MG. Basic math stuff, right?

The Moment at point G, MG, experiences all the stresses and strains (torque) as it resists bending or breaking as the force F is pressed against the beam.


Think of a big tree being blown hard by a strong wind.

(I like this picture because it looks like someplace I’d rather be right now)

The force is applied by the wind and it creates a Moment at the base of the tree, the height of the tree (distance d) will depend on how much stress and strain is experienced at the base. The tree bends, but it doesn’t break. This may explain why the tree is bigger at the base. This is where it needs to be stronger. So it doesn’t break off at the base.

Okay, are you getting the idea behind the bending moment and how it grows depending on the amount of force and the distance from point G?
Yeah? Okay, good.

So, although the force is strong, the beam doesn’t rotate, or turn, because it is anchored at the base.

Now for the personal visual part:

You are the beam. The force applied on that beam (you), multiplied by the distance from the base (or connection point) results in the amount of stress applied at point G. Remember, Point G is the connection at the wall, where the distance d is zero.
When the forces of your life are applied at G (d = 0), the Moment, or stress (or torque) is also zero.
G stands for God. He is what is holding you in place.

Can you see where this is going?
The farther you are away from God, the greater the forces of life can affect you and cause you stress or strain and get you torqued.

Some stuff in my life has happened recently to get me rather torqued off.
Why did those things affect me so much?
Why was it so easy for me to get torqued, and cause me to worry?
My wife had a most profound statement for me. She simply told me that if I have worry, then I am not close to God. Wow. That is scriptural too!

But still, some of life’s Moments were causing me stress, and putting some strain on my life. Remember: M = F x d.
If I was experiencing big “Moments”, then my d was not zero, or not even close to it. Even though I believed I was close to God, apparently I wasn’t. How could I be, if I was getting torqued?

All this time I had thought I was doing so much for the kingdom of God. Constantly driving to do more, and do it better than I had before, and just plowing straight ahead with all that I had to give. I was racing at 200 MPH and showed no signs of slowing down, getting tired or burning out.

But the “Moments” were increasing. (Remember the story about the Pharisee?)

A very dear friend of mine shared a devotional with me that simply stated that I needed to build some margin into my life. I had no idea what that meant until I read the whole thing.
(Purpose Driven Life – daily devotional, January 6, 2009)

The article said that by building margin in my life I will get:
1. Peace of mind. When you’re not always hurrying and worrying, you have time to think, time to relax, time to enjoy life.
2. Better health. Unrelenting stress harms our bodies…..your body needs downtime in order to heal. Race cars make pit stops occasionally in order to get repaired. You can’t fix anything going 200 miles an hour. Yet, we try to repair ourselves while we’re still racing through life.
3. Stronger relationships. When we don’t make relationships a priority and make time for each other, our relationships suffer.
4. Usefulness in ministry. ….when you have margin, you’re available for God to use.


My response to my friend said,
“So basically, I am in the pits being repaired.
I have been racing at 200MPH for too long and I suppose I could use a rest.
I’m not used to that, so it will be something to get used to for a time.”


His response to me is what really got me thinking.
“So basically, you're in for repairs as you've been bumping into other cars and smacking the wall from time to time. . . then find out the real problem. . . I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO DRIVE!

The Lord drives! He drives the bus, truck, car, motorcycle, etc. He's the only one that knows where we are going! If He drives we get there safe and sound and all we have to do is sit back and listen to His instruction and follow His guidance and we Win the race!

Driver or rider. . . you decide.”



So I’m taking a rest. I spend my time in God’s Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with Him. I am just allowing Him to restore me so He can use when and where ever He so chooses.

One more thing to think about is deflection. That is an engineering term for the amount of bending experienced by the beam as d increases. (Don't worry, I won't go into the math to calculate the effects that deflection has on the beam)
When we get far enough away from God, we, the beam, can start to bend. The problem is that this stuff usually happens gradually over time so it is difficult to notice when we are doing it. How far do you have to bend before you realize that you’ve gone too far?
Well, if you start making excuses, you are pretty much there.
“Oh, I know what the Bible says, but that can’t apply to me, because my life is different”
“Surely God knows that I need to have this or that, because….”

And we start trying to justify our sin.

The Bible says what it says. God gave us His commands and there are no exceptions. The Bible is quite clear on what we are to do and how we are to live our lives. I couldn’t find any references (and believe me, I looked for them) that give us an out. “If only that person would do this, or behave that way, then I’ll obey God’s directive”. Nope. Sorry. It just isn’t in there.

I have mentioned before that many, many years ago, I told God that “My answer to you is Yes, now what is the question?
Meaning that I will not hesitate to do whatever He calls me to do. For now, I suppose, He is calling me to rest and recharge, and be renewed, in Him.

I heard a song on the country radio station recently, I think it is titled “Down the Road” (I can’t remember who sings it), but the song has a line in it that asks if the guy is “Washed in the blood and not just the water”.
So I thought about my own life. Am I washed in the Blood? Or, did I merely get wet when I got baptized? I understand that water baptism will not get you into heaven, only the saving grace of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior will do that.
But you know something? Some days, I can, without a doubt, declare that yes, I am living my life as proof that I was washed in the Blood, saved by Grace, and living my life for Christ.
I can also show you other days when all I did was get wet in a church.

Christian song artist Michael O’Brien has a song that says “What would my life say to you, if I said nothing at all?
My life is supposed to be a living testimony to the awesomeness of Jesus Christ.

So that’s what I am trying to do. Live my life for Him. Get and stay as close to God as I can. To make my M = zero. To not allow myself to get torqued, or get bent. And resist the temptation to tell certain others to “get bent”.
Given my sarcastic and rebellious nature, this won’t be easy. But I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

So how about you? Are you washed in the blood, and not just the water?
What would your life say, if you didn’t say anything at all?

Are you getting bent? You don’t have to be. Just spend a little time talking to God, and He will straighten you right out.


Those forces of life will still press against you, and those winds will still blow, but staying close to God will help you weather any storm. And sometimes, those things are good for you. Like Winston Churchill said, "Kites rise against the wind, not with it".

Blessings.





“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Friday, February 06, 2009

Wow. What a Day!

I woke up this morning, put on my shirt,
and a button fell off.

I opened the dresser drawer,
and a knob fell off.

I picked up my briefcase,
and the handle fell off.















I am afraid to go to the bathroom!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day!!

No, I’m not referring to some overgrown rodent seeing or not seeing his shadow. I’m talking about what should be a National Holiday.

Yep. Today is my birthday. I’m not saying how old I am, but when someone at church this weekend jokingly mentioned that I am 29, I replied that I am indeed only 29, with 18 years experience! And so far, this is the oldest I have ever been!
(I don’t mind getting older, it’s the side effects I could do without)

I hope you all have a wonderful day and that you enjoy the following jabs at growing older…….
A few Quotes on Aging....

We spend our lives on the run: we get up by the clock, eat and sleep by the clock, get up again, go to work - and then we retire. And what do they give us? A bloody clock. - - - - Dave Allen

When you reach forty you can’t do anything every day.- - - - Henry “Hank” Aaron

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.- - - - Lucille Ball

If I were younger, I'd know more.- - - - James Barrie

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.- - - - Bernard M. Baruch

What Youth deemed crystal,Age finds out was dew.- - - - Robert Browning

I prefer old age to the alternative.- - - - Maurice Chevalier

One keeps on forgetting old age up to the very brink of the grave.- - - - Colette

Old age is no place for sissies.- - - - Bette Davis

As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish.- - - - Fran├žois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.- - - - T. S. Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

We do not count a man's years until he has nothing else to count.- - - - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If youth but knew; if age but could.- - - - Henri Estienne

Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.- - - - Bob Hope

After a man passes sixty, his mischief is mainly in his head.- - - - Edgar Watson Howe

I have everything I had twenty years ago, only it’s all a little bit lower.- - - - Gypsy Rose Lee

After thirty, a body has a mind of its own.- - - - Bette Midler

At age fifty, every man has the face he deserves.- - - - George Orwell

Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.- - - - Satchel Paige

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?- - - - Satchel Paige

Old Age: First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.- - - - Leo Rosenberg

When men reach their sixties and retire they go to pieces. Women just go right on cooking.- - - - Gail Sheehy

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”Said the old man, “I do that too.”The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”“I do that too,” laughed the old man.”Said the little boy, “I often cry.”The old man nodded, “So do I.”“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seemsGrown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.“I know what you mean,” said the old man.- - - - Shel Silverstein

Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man.- - - - Leon Trotsky

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. - - - - Kurt Vonnegut

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.- - - - Oscar Wilde


___________________________________


You Know You're Getting Older When . . .

Your knees buckle, and your belt won’t.

You feel like the morning after, and you haven’t been anywhere.

6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to sleep.

You hear your favorite song on the elevator at work.

Your back goes out more than you do.

You watch the Weather Channel.

You sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there.

You join a health club and don't go.

Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up".

You're the one calling the police because those dang kids next door don't know how to turn down the stereo.

Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.

You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonalds.

Sleeping on the couch is a no-no.

“Happy Hour” is taking a nap.

Dinner and a movie --- the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

You stop looking forward to your next birthday.

You look forward to a dull evening.

A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff".

You actually eat breakfast foods at breakfast time.

Over 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.


Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.


Okay, that’s enough for now. Remember that growing older is something we all must do. It has been said that you are only as old as you feel. Well, if that’s true, then I am way too young for this.

I know a lot of people my age who are already grandparents. So I suppose I should be thankful that I am not yet a grandpa, I have most of my hair and all of my own teeth. I run more than two miles every other day and can bench press more than twice my own weight.

When I opened my lunch box today, I found a note from my wife.
It read, “You’re the kind of person who becomes more wonderful with every year.” There was more, but I’m not about to share that with you!

So I guess I am more like my favorite car, the 1932 Ford Model A (I don’t have one, but I sure do want one). I’m not getting old, I’m becoming a classic!

I’m not as young as I used to be, but then, I’m not as old as I’m going to be either. Every day that I live brings me one more day closer to the day I get to start spending my eternity with my Savior. In the meantime, I plan to spend my remaining days serving Him and telling/showing people about the incredible saving grace found in knowing Jesus as Lord of my life.

And only He knows how many days I’ve got left, so I guess I better get busy!

Blessings.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Who, or what, is an “Alpha Dude”?

There has been quite a stir about the use of the name Alpha Dude. Mostly from a few select individuals at my church. You see, I was involved in our Alpha Course for about four years. For three and a half of those years, I worked with the kids in the role of “Alpha Dude”. Everyone I knew or ran into at church would call me Alpha Dude. It was sort of embarrassing at first, since I was not used to getting that kind of attention, but after a while it sort of grew on me and I merely accepted it.

I began using the name Alpha Dude on my blog because it seemed like the natural thing to do (“Scott Trammell” blog wasn’t getting many hits) and it offered a more impersonal avenue to be able to share stories about what was happening in my life and through the ministry. People responded positively and it opened some doors to share the awesomeness of Christ in a way some folks may not have seen before. My blog, my name, is about ministry. Not self promotion. I have done the best I can to make sure that everything written in this blog directs people to God and His amazing Son, Jesus Christ.

There’s this other “Alpha Dude” named Paul who wrote in I Corinthians 10:31 that no matter what it is that you are doing “….do it all for the Glory of God”.
That is really what I am attempting to do. I screw that up a lot, which is why I am so thankful we serve such a loving and merciful and forgiving God.

In each lesson to those kids I was allowed to minister to, I made sure they knew who the REAL Alpha Dude is. In case you didn’t already know, his name is Jesus. ‘Cause, that’s what it is really all about, isn’t it. (it sure ain’t about the hokey-pokey!)
(By the way, the sidebar in my Bible says that the Main Theme of I Corinthians was for The Purification of the Church. It seems to me we could use some more of that, ya think?)

But some people just can’t seem to get past that big honkin’ log in their own eye (if you need the bible reference for that, just ask and I’ll send it to you) and go out of their way to make trouble for someone trying to do God’s work.

I’ve mentioned a particular Pharisee before. This fellow seems to think that “Alpha Dude” is a copyrighted name and that I am putting the church at legal risk for using it outside of the church, or outside of the Alpha Course. He now has our executive pastor afraid of legal ramifications from Alpha International or Alpha USA.
I’m sorry but, ministries suing each other? A ministry suing a church because one of their members is trying to promote the program and draw people to Christ? Good grief, give me a break! You’d think they would encourage such a thing!

The Pharisee made a snide remark about my “Alpha Dude” t-shirt. He considers trying to sell that shirt on my blog as self-promotion. I guess he didn’t take the time to read about where the shirt came from and why it is posted here. If he did he would know that ALL the money raised from that t-shirt is for the church and its building campaign. Our church building program gets every penny from that. I get nothing!

As far as Alpha Dude being a copyrighted name? Good luck with that.
I googled up the words “alpha dude” and got quite an education.

I also noticed from my sitemeter that the Pharisee and his cronies have done the same thing, they have also been spying on my blog to dig up whatever dirt they can.
Can you believe this type of behavior from a group of people who are supposed to “love your neighbor as yourself”? What happened to forgiveness?

It has been said (I can't remember who said it first, or I would tell you) that the two mains reasons that most people don't go to church or accept Christ is
1) they have not met a christian, and
2) they HAVE met a Christian.
Ouch.

Anyway, from the google search for Alpha Dude, I discovered the name Alpha Dude attributed to the following:

  • There is a fellow who goes by the name of “The Alpha Dude” and he is a member of the muslim community (Islam) in the UK.
  • A guy on safari who stared down a lion. (Not real smart, but there is a video showing this).
  • Some guy, from MySpace, in a rock band from Joliet, Illinois.
  • Alpha Dude Omega is a group on Facebook.
  • An Alpha Dude is a computer programmer and is often referred to as the guy who fixes your computer. This Dude works with alpha and beta software, but I have yet to hear of anyone callings themselves “Beta Dude”.
  • The Alpha Dude is also sometimes known as the best surfer on the beach. (I can surf, but I will never be called the “Alpha Dude” on the waves!)
  • Alpha Dude in various writings refers to the “Alpha Male” of a species, the head guy of a group or organization. The “Top Dog”, if you will.
  • If you go to a website called alphadude.com, you’ll find a site selling t-shirts and other merchandise about being a hunting, fishing, outdoorsman type of Alpha Male.

In many of the writings I found, Alpha Dude is also commonly used to describe a man who is tender-hearted, loving and caring. In these writings, the female writer used the name “Alpha Dude” as a term of endearment in reference to her husband.

The Alpha Dude is the provider, the protector, the head of the home. The one guy that each member of the family can turn to in their times of need. The Alpha Dude is comforting, caring, understanding, nurturing, while at the same time providing a strong male presence in the home.

I have a son, and he is a young man now. He still lives at home and I am, without question, the Alpha Dude in our home. I have never had to make that statement, and I have never had to enforce or defend that position. Because things in our home are in line with biblical standards, the formal establishment of who is the Alpha Dude has never been necessary.

Sometimes my wife even calls me her “Alpha Dude”, but we won’t go into that here!

So who is an Alpha Dude? He is a man who adheres to the following:

I have chosen to follow the example of my heavenly Father (through His Word).

In my own family, I have chosen to follow God’s example by being 1) Slow to anger, 2) Gracious, 3) Compassionate and 4) Abounding in Love.

As a husband, I have chosen to honor my wife and lift her up daily, to God, clean and unblemished. To love her unconditionally, and completely and to remain faithful to her only. To be a “One Woman Man”. I have burned my ships, and continue to burn my ships daily. Semper Fidelis.

As a father, I have chosen to love my children and to raise them up in the teachings of the Lord “that they may never part from it”. One of the greatest gifts I received from God when I was very young was the earthly example in my stepfather. I will consider myself a success as a Dad if, as the song says, I can be “half the man he didn’t have to be”.

As a servant of the Most High God, as a man of God, I would like to be remembered, like David, as a man who sought after God’s own heart. I desire to serve only Him and to live my life in a manner that would bring glory to Him on a daily basis. What I do for a living doesn’t matter. How much money I make doesn’t matter. The size of my house doesn’t matter. It all takes a back seat to Christ.

I desire to be, like James and John, a Son of Thunder. I have decided to make as much noise as I can for the cause of Christ. That everyone I meet will be exposed to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I desire that when people meet me, they will have met Christ. Because I am a child of the King, made in His image, when people meet me, I want them to recognize Him, before they recognize me.

By divine appointment, I am the spiritual leader of my household. I am, scripturally, the example of God’s teachings to my wife and my children.

Yet I was born a sinner. I have been redeemed by the cleansing blood of Jesus and have my name written in the Book of Life. But because of my sinful nature, I often, daily, stumble and fall. Desires, intentions, wants and best laid plans are not enough. Please, pray for me to continue making that constant conscious daily decision to follow my Savior and pattern my life after Him.

So that is what it means to be an Alpha Dude.

The Pharisee had me removed from the Alpha ministry and promised that I will not be allowed to serve ever again (his words) on our church’s Men’s Retreats. I was asked (instructed) to remove all references to the Alpha Course, or Alpha Ministries in general, (which is why the joke book is gone) or any "official" anything pertaining to our church or Alpha, from my blog and Facebook page. So, from this point forward, you will not find any information or links to Alpha on this site, and I have deactivated my Facebook account.

Many people at our church, and the children as well, still call me Alpha Dude.
In light of what you’ve just read above about what it means to be an Alpha Dude, I have chosen to continue to go by that name here on my blog. (If you still don’t understand why, let me know and we’ll pray for you.)

It should be understood that the name Alpha Dude on this site is not affiliated with any church, group, or ministry organization. I am merely a follower of Jesus Christ, the real Alpha Dude.

If you are okay with this, please come back as often as you’d like.
If not, then you certainly have the freedom not to return.

Blessings.