Saturday, July 24, 2004

Homo sapiens: var. christianensis
Now here is a thought that most people don't get, including my wife.  Shortly after we married, I made a shirt that said Homo sapiens christianenesis.  It caused some people difficulty because they recognized the Homo sapiens part but not the rest. 
What most people don't realize is that modern man is not simply Homo sapiens, we are Homo sapiens cromagnonensis aka Homo sapiens sapiens (hereafter cro-magnon) by some.  If you believe the scientists, cro-magnon came around while Homo sapiens neandertalensis (hereafter neanderthal) was still on the planet, and many believe they caused the demise of the neanderthals by killing off the men and breeding with the women. This causes a problem for some because they think of neanderthal and cro-magnon as different, but in scientific eyes, they are simply variations of the same species.  Species are defined by their ability to inter-breed and produce viable offspring, so as variations, inter-breeding is possible.  It's kind of like creating a hybrid tomatoe.
Well, modern man is cro-magnon man, eventhough most people don;t realize it, and I believe that if we believe what the Bible says, then Christians are variations of a different type.  If we are in Christ, we are truly a new creation, Homo sapiens christianensis.  We still have the ability to participate fully in the cro-magnon world, but the world's desire is to stomp us out or assimilate us because we are different.  Our job is to persevere and show the world the love of Christ.  

Just Playing Around
I just found out that i can change the color of my entries.  So I thought I'd post one just to see how it looks.   What do you think?

Friday, July 23, 2004

Powering Through
Our sunday school class has been discussing "joy stealers" for the past few months.  We are now finished with the study, but I find it mildly ironic that the week after the study ended, I find myself looking at some of the joy stealers first hand.  
As I have previously posted we are experiencing some pressure, especially financial pressure, in the family at this time, and I must report that God is taking care of the problem.  He has already met a majority of the first of 2 major financial needs in the next week.  If all goes well this weekend, one will be met by Monday, and I will have a week to watch God work the other.  However, today, I find myself stressed and irritated because I placed a call to one of the companies involved, and was told there is no deferment available, I must pay by the date cited.  The woman was curt with me, and that just hit me wrong because I've had nothing but bad dealings with this company.  I suppose the proper thing to do is get over it, and by typing I am, but I think I've decided not to ever use this company again. 
It boggles my mind that I can see the hand of God providing, and still, one rude woman can squash the peace I was feeling.  Wow.  Thank you Lord for what you are doing.  Please now, reset my attitude.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Stompin' Pedals
 I'm a fat man.  If you looked at me you would probably guess that exercise is not necessarily my friend.  I do however have an exercise I love.  I fell in love with it by accident.  Actually, I started doing it just to get some exercise and because I didn't own a car, and in Texas in July and August, walking sucks.  So, I( bought a bike for transportaion and exercise. 
When I started riding I weighed about 290.  I got down to 225 by riding 20 miles a day, but in 65 lbs, I only dropped one waist size.  It was a little disheartening.  Then, I stopped riding because i had access to a car, and to be truthful, riding a bike in July and August also sucks.  Then I developed asthma, and my regular riding days were over.  I regained the weight, plus some, because of a lack of exercise and 10 years of marriage, and now I'm looking at riding again.
I rode for the first ime in a long time last week.  I didn't ride very far, just about a mile and a half, all up hill.  it would have been a three mile round trip, but I blew a tire with no way to repair.  The ride was encouraging, I had some difficulty breathing, but it ended fairly quickly, and my legs felt great.  I love the feeling of turning a big gear up a hill and then getting off to walk and your calves and thighs feel tight, but it feels like your bouncing on air.  I love stretching and feeling the lactic acid burn in the muscles, and I love the euphoria I feel after a ride, easy or hard.  So what is my point?
There isn't much of one.  I could get all spiritual and compare my loss of shape because I stopped participating to the church's general loss of effectiveness because it stopped practicing the ministries it was called to by Christ, but I won't.  I'll let you stew on that one.  Instead, I think I'll go to bed and get rested.  I've got a bike to ride tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Too Much Emotion...
I'm in confession mode at the moment, and feeling a little too much emotion.  This probably isn't a good time to blog, but it is a great time to ask for prayer.  My family is feeling the financial pinch caused by my stepping down from management so we could prepare for the move to Abilene.  money is beyond tight, and I'm at the point where I don't know how we are going to be able to move, where we are going to move to, how I'm coming up with this months rent, how to continue to be calm...  I hold to the words "Be anxious in nothing," but I'm struggling with anxiety now.  The rest of the thought in that verse is to present your requests before God with thanksgiving, prayer and supplication so here goes...
I may be asking too much, but Lord please grant me peace concerning the move to Abilene.  I ask that You over and provide for my family.  Lord, provide us a job, a home, and a place to worship.  Lord, please light the path clearly so I can know I'm walking the right road.  And Lord, touch my wife and take away the fear and anxiety she is feeling now.  I know she needs an extra helping of Your peace today.  Please give it to her.  And finally, cover my children.  Lord, immunize them from the stress and strain of this situation.  Let them be children, unaffected by the pressures my wife and I are feeling.  Help us Lord to rest in You and let you share our burden.  You are a wonderful God, and have proven Yourself faithful to us over and again.  Thank You for all of Your provision, and the opportunity to serve.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Preparing the Way

The time has come.  In the next month, my family will move for the seventh time in ten years, that means it is time to get packing.  At our last move, my boxes of books filled the bottom of a 16ft U-haul one complete layer and then started another.  That was 2 years and 17 classes ago, not to mention the books purchased for kicks (an 8 volume church history set, at least 4 books purchased with grad money... That covers the last 4 months).  This will be fun, I love it when I get to play with my books. 
In order to be more organized this time around, I'm cataloging my books according to the LOC system.  It's easier than Dewey, and I don't have to buy software to do it properly.  I actually started this last fall when I convinced my mom to buy me Readerware for Christmas.  It is great  for cataloging, and is set up to track book lending as well.  The problem is getting everything catalog is time consuming.  Today, I entered over 30 books.  It took all morning.  I'm up to 70 books catalogued, but I still have a long way to go.  wish me luck, only 3 more weeks to go.

Chuck Colson on Alt. Church

My wife forwarded an email to me from Chuck Colson's Break Point Ministry.  The email is a copy of Colson's 07-14-04 Commentary entitled Alt Churches.  I think Colson makes a valid point when he criticizes churches that emphasize style over substance, but I think he has in large part missed the boat.
The problem is not with alt churches.  The problem is with the mentality that says if we put this program into place  (blank) will occur.  Colson makes this point by talking about other styles of church service and their apparent lack of substance, but he seems to group all alt worship into the same basket of experientialism. 
I must say, and I did to him in an email, that my experience with alt church has been a positive one, and somewhat less experiential than the traditional churches I grew up in.  I seem to remember a tradition of "hell-fire-and-brim stone" determined to scare people into salvation.  Fear, you don't get much more emotive than that. The alt church people I've been around and involved with have demonstrated the love of Christ in their actions and communities, and have challenged me to a point of helping shape some of my theology.  I've never seen the gospel watered down, though I'm sure it happens, and have consistently seen Christ lifted high, but maybe that is because the alt/emerging churches I've associated with are not about programs and numbers in the church.  They are about the growth of disciples in the Kingdom of God.
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20 NRSV