Tuesday, July 26, 2005

No More Anonymous Comments...

I have taken back the ability for people to make anonymous comments. I first wanted anyone and everyone to be able to comment. I was hoping they would at least give a name or title when they made a comment, but I have found that people like to making anonymous comments because it keeps them from being responsible for their comments. I don't like the fact that people must join blogger to make a comment, but anonymous comments bug me more.

On a side note, I received an anonymous comment (consequently, I deleted it) saying that I had problems with my grammar. I want to get some feed back from you guys out there in the blogosphere, should a blog be polished and correct in every way or should it be a person's thoughts free from the normal constraints of grammar. This particular commenter made the claim that by having bad grammar in my posts, I am making all youth pastors look bad. What do you think?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Calling All Southern Baptists...

All Southern Baptists (especially younger pastors) please take the time to fill out the survey for next year's pastor conference. They are looking for our input, now is the time to give it. I have always felt we can not complain if we refuse to get involved, here's our chance. Survey is here.

Harry Potter - An Honest Look at Book 6

Since the very first I heard of the controversy surrounding the J. K. Rowling's book series about Harry Potter I have been interested. I wanted to investigate the books from a Christian point of view. As a point of reference I have read all the books. At first it was for research, but then I began to like them. I have enjoyed each one, but now I find myself troubled by books number 5 and 6, but not for the reason you might think.

The original argument against Harry Potter for Christians is that it teaches kids that it is ok to become a witch or wizard and they might become interested in the occult because of Harry Potter. I will confess this may be a danger with some children, but the danger is very small. Harry Potter is realized to be a fantasy book, much like the Star Wars series, Lord of the Rings, or even the Christian based series The Chronicles of Narnia. I admit the Harry Potter books are not Christian based or even pro-Christian. I believe they are neutral on the issue, I don't believe Rowling is trying to make a statement with these books or convert children to witchcraft. She is simply trying to write an entertaining children's book series. Which is were I find a problem. The books have all been in good fun, up until the last two.

In this last book we find very violent and graphic scenes. Scenes which I believe would be very disturbing for children younger than 8. The children reading these books have read several detailed description of death. The book also uses some crude language and we find a couple of the main characters "snogging" (making-out) several times. I am not a parent and do not confess to know the child mind very well, but I don't think I would let my five or six year old read or listen to these books as many people have. If you saw the news last week then you realized that people all over the country were lined up on Friday night awaiting midnight, when they could legally purchase the book. Many of these people were not geeks or insane extremists or even witches, but many were children. However much I enjoy these books, in the back of my mind I feel some uneasiness that children all over the world are reading these books.

And, no I do not believe these books are wrong for a Christian to read. If we throw these book out then we must throw out every other book or movie that mentions wizards, witches, or magic; including The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella. Let me know your thoughts on the subject of Harry Potter, especially if you have read the books.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So, we took in this stray cat...

Sounds like a joke right, but about a month ago, we took in this very small cat that was hanging out on our driveway during a thunderstorm. We checked around the neighborhood, put up signs and ads in the papers, but no one claimed the cat. We decided to adopt the cat. When we took it to the vet for it's shots we found out that it was pregnant. So, five weeks later we have a litter of kittens. The vet told us to expect three or four, in actuality Cindy (That's the cats name) had seven. That's right seven little kittens. It was cool to see the birthing process, although somewhat gross. I think we have homes for 4 or 5 of them, but it you live in the Chicago, IL, Lexington, KY, or Louisville, KY area we would happy for you to have one if you can provide it with a loving home. Drop me an email and reserve you cat. Here's a picture of them:

Back From Camp

We just got back from camp on Friday and I did absolutely nothing this weekend. You may or may not understand this, but after camp I was exhausted. I was able to rest this weekend, but now I have a cold, which probably is a result of not sleeping enough and not eating right last week. Anyway, camp was a blast. We had several of our students become believers, or recommit their lives to Christ. It was amazing, God moved in a mighty way. The job now is to enter into an intense disciplship period. I think they have realized the need for other Christian friend for encouragement and the need to witness to their friends. I am now praying that camp will not be a "spiritual high", but a life changing event. Check out our student website and the Lift website for pictures and updates. Since I have been out of it last week, I don't really have anything insightful to say about the world. I have to catch up on news, sport (Cubs, NASCAR), and everyone's blog. Thanks to all those that prayed for us.
This is my favorite pic. Matt, a new believer, worshiping God

Monday, July 11, 2005

Off to Lift Camp Central

I will not be blogging much this week, because I am at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH. We are here for Lift Camp, which is summer camp for High School and Middle School students. We will be here all week having a blast and learning about God. Please pray that God will speak to each and everyone of us this week and that our hearts will be open to hear him. You can see daily updates of our camp experience here and daily updates from Lift Student Ministries here. Thanks in advance for all those praying for us.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dancing with the Who?

Has anyone seen this new Dancing with the Stars show on ABC. I haven't, but apparently 15.5 million people did last week. This show came in second place in the rating behind the Pistons and Spurs championship game. I don't understand what the interest is with seeing "stars", and I use that phrase very loosely, dance around on stage in a contest. You can see Trista (Bachelorette), Evander Holyfield (Boxer), John O'Hurley (Seinfeld), and many other "stars" cutting a rug. Please can someone tell me why this is such a good show, I just don't get it. Go rent the last season of CSI or Alias on DVD instead of forcing your self to watch this junk.

Jesus and Buddha

The reason I haven’t been blogging for the last week is because I been spending a lot of time studying for the Bible study we have on Wednesday’s with the students. We ask the students at the beginning of the summer to write down a question about life, religion, the Bible, etc. and I would answer it from the Bible. One person wrote down a very intense question for a high school student: What is the explanation for the hundreds of things that Jesus said that are virtually identical to things that Buddha said? So all this week I have been studying and researching this topic. I didn’t really know that people accused Jesus and Buddha’s saying to be similar, but apparently some do.

I have linked the Bible study, worksheet, and PowerPoint game here. You can read the lesson for yourself if you want, but I will say two things, first there are not hundreds of sayings that are similar and secondly they are not identical, they are at best similar in theme. It would seem that people like to compare sayings of religious leaders, for instance I found books comparing Jesus with Muhammad, Buddha, and Lao Tzu. I also found books comparing Muhammad and Buddha among others. It is crazy to think these religions are even close, in my Bible study I not only discuss the reasons for similarities in the sayings, but discuss the differences between Buddhism and Christianity. They are different on ever theological issue like God, salvation, scripture, etc. This was a very exciting study for me to do, if it interest you please feel free to use for you own purposes.