Sunday, November 01, 2009

Oh, hi

It's been almost four months since I posted anything on here! Wow! Where in the world did the time go?

Well...let's see...what have I been up to?

Summer was good. Went to Minneapolis at the beginning of June and then came back via a circle tour of the Great Lakes. Saw Lakes Superior and Huron for the first time. Spent some time on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is gorgeous. Also got to see Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan which is seriously one of the most incredible places I've ever seen.

Went camping a couple of times, once to Cook Forest with my mother-in-law Barb and Danielle's nieces Emma & Candace. THAT was an awesome adventure! We went tubing down the Clarion River which is always fun! Then a couple weeks later, we went with our dear friends Andy and Jenn to Beaver Meadows in the Allegheny Forest which was also a blast.

Over Labor Day weekend, Danielle and I went to Myrtle Beach to visit my dad and MaryJo. We also took Candace, which was so much fun. She had an incredible time, and so did we. My dad and MaryJo were kind enough to set up Scotty the camper up for us, so we were able to stay right on the beach. So much fun. I love that place. LOVE it.

At the end of September, Danielle, Aaron, and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Granger Community Church in South Bend, Indiana for Innovate '09, which was an awesome conference.

And then just a couple weekends ago, my best friend Chris and I traveled to Washington, DC to celebrate our friend Michael's birthday. He's been a dear friend of ours since we were in college in Daytona Beach many moons ago. He married a beautiful young lady names Toyosi and they had a spectacularly gorgeous and joyous Nigerian wedding. It was awesome. I've never had so much fun at a wedding that wasn't my own. It also made me loathe American culture. LOL. These people DEFINITELY know how to celebrate. Wow!

Over the course of these months, little Candace turned 3, my nephew Sebastian turned 19, my niece Cordelia turned 11, and my nephew Sheffield turned 2. And on Tuesday, my nephew Spencer turns 9...on the 19th, my niece Sara turns 18...on December 10 my niece Miranda turns 18...and on December 15, Danielle's niece Emma turns 5. December also marks birthdays for my sis-in-law Brandy and my sis Di. And our "nephews" Eli and Owen. Wow. I got tired just typing all that.

Work is going fine. I am still at the bank and also at Grace doing video work. Ministry is absolutely where my heart is, so I continue to pray daily that a door will open somewhere -- somehow. I am very grateful to be working (Danielle too), especially now when so many people have lost their jobs. Times are tough, but thank God - Danielle and I are doing very well for ourselves right now. Better than ever, to be honest. God has blessed us so much. He is so incredibly faithful!!!

Now, I look forward to the months ahead. I love this time of year! Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter, snow, lake effect...it's definitely my favorite time of year. Danielle and I celebrate THREE years of wedded bliss next month. Wow! It seems like only yesterday. No, seriously, it does.

And that has been 2009 in a nutshell by Dave Hartland. Thank you for reading.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Winter Forecast

In the midst of what is, thus far, the coldest July on record (our average temp in July thus far has been 65.5; that is almost a full degree colder than the current coldest July on record of 66.4 set in 1976), I thought it would be appropriate to share with you the first look at this upcoming winter forecast. If you like cold and snow, it looks like we're in for yet another amazing winter! :-)

Courtesy AccuWeather.com:

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Fourth of July Message























Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Six days in June

Tonight, I write to you to say this:
If you think all hope is lost and that our neighborhoods are too far gone..if you think people just don't care or have no decency left, I implore you to go take a walk along East 21st Street in Erie, Pennsylvania.

I'm not sure if I've ever been so moved by anything as I was today as I helped out with the Extreme Makeover side project that Grace is so privileged to be a part of. As I walked up and down that street over and over again, and I met the people who call that neighborhood home, I saw God's awesome hand all over that place. The smiles of the people who are just so thankful that somebody cares about them. The tears of joy that they are not forgotten after all. The sense of wonder and awe that these people have that somebody wants to do this for them.

Yes, Clara Ward and her home may be the focus here, but away from the cameras and out of the public eye, an incredible story is unfolding before our very eyes. A story I pray - O dear God - I PRAY, will have many chapters and that Erie, Pennsylvania will be a city transformed forever.

And it all will have started because of six days in June 2009.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Climate Change tax bill up for vote THIS FRIDAY

From icecap.us:

Waxman Markey Cap-and Tax bill comes up for a vote Friday. LAST CHANCE to put an end to this potential disaster in the making, one that will cost you dearly with millions of lost jobs, increased costs (a hidden tax) FOR EVERYONE averaging between $1600 and $4200 per year for the average American family according to the CBO, the Heritage, MIT and other studies.
The cost of all energy and goods and services will rise to try and cover some of the costs for the bailouts and other trillion dollar programs the government wants to burden us with. Call your congressman’s office and tell them to vote no or they will have to go on the next election day. Our economy is too weak to absorb another shock.

This bill is the most flagrant attempted con-job and propaganda campaign in US history. If it helps Congress enact cap-and-tax legislation, it will give activists, courts and bureaucrats control over virtually every aspect of our lives. It will enable them to confiscate hard-earned dollars, convert them to payoffs for activists and companies that get on the climate-crisis bandwagon, consign uncooperative companies and scientists to the ash heap of history, and conceal the exorbitant costs of restrictive energy policies - on families, industries, jobs and transportation - until long after the bill becomes law.

For those of us in Northwest PA, please go here and let Kathy Dahlkemper know that you do not support the bill and that you would like her to vote no. As always, please be polite and civil.

There is no climate crisis. In fact, it is becoming more and more likely that the earth is entering a period of cooler weather. The alarmists, however, are getting more desperate as "proof" of climate change is becoming harder and harder to conjure up. I encourage you to follow icecap.us for articles that actually shed the TRUTH on the climate change propaganda that is being thrown in our faces each day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

i'm a coward

Colossians 1:21-23

21
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven...
This morning's sermon was one of the most convicting sermons in a long time.

Here's what I got out of it:
I'm tired of playing games. I'm tired of going through the motions. I'm tired of the nothingness of life. There is something more than this. There's GOT to be.

I'm spiritually retarded. And I. Am. Sick. Of. Being. This. Way.

Ask me in one month what I have done with the brokenness of the moment I am experiencing right now, and I'll probably say "nothing".

Because that's the kind of person I am. I'm too much of a freaking coward and too dang lazy to change. Why should I think this time will be different?



Sunday, June 14, 2009

2 must-see videos

Some of you may have seen these two videos already, but I was introduced to them last week and I had to share them with those of you who have not yet seen them. They are absolutely hilarious:

Charlie Bit My Finger


David After the Dentist

Friday, May 22, 2009

Going Deeper

My desire to grow and cultivate a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ is not something that I take lightly. Something of this magnitude does not happen overnight; nor is it easy. During my reading today, I came across a list of ten core values for spiritual formation.

Spiritual transformation...
...is essential, not optional, for Christ-followers.
...is a process, not an event.
...is God's work, but requires my participation.
...involves those practices, experiences, and relationships that help me live intimately with Christ and walk as if He were in my place.
...is not a compartmentalized pursuit. God is not interested in my spiritual life; he's interested in my life - all of it.
...can happen in every moment. It is not restricted to certain times or practices.
...is not individualistic, but takes place in community and finds expression in serving others.
...is not impeded by a person's background, temperament, life situation, or season of life. It is available right now to all who desire it.
...and the means of pursuing it, will vary from one individual to another. Fully devoted followers are handcrafted, not mass-produced.
...is ultimately gauged by an increased capacity to love God and people. Superficial or external checklists cannot measure it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No, Mr.President

About a week after the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past January, Pastor John Piper addressed newly inaugurated President Obama on abortion. These are incredible words.

I pray that, somehow, they reach the ears (and heart) of our President.

h/t 22 Words

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

After church today, Danielle and I went to the cemetery to visit my mom. It has been 18 years since I was able to spend Mother's Day with her.

It's scary because as time goes on, memories of my mom get a little fuzzier and a little more distant. Don't get me wrong, there are still vivid memories that I will forever hold dear to my heart, but the everyday things do escape me sometimes. And even though the days are much easier now than they were in the months and years immediately following the death of mom, there are still times when the loss and emptiness I feel are so overwhelming that I have to literally stop and ask myself if it really happened. I remember my school nurse from middle school who sat down with me one day shortly after I had returned back to school after the craziness of the funeral. She sat down with me in her office and told me that there would be times when I would think about mom and memories of her and the feeling of sadness would be so overwhelming that my breath would leave me like it does when a cold wave hits you when you're standing in the ocean or lake. 17 years after the death of mom, I still have those "waves" hit me, especially on days like today when memories and a gravestone are all you have to celebrate what is supposed to be a joyous day to celebrate the blessing of your mom.

Although my heart is understandably sad on this day, I do not look past the blessings of those who have filled the mother role in my life. I couldn't have a more wonderful mother-in-law. Barb is an incredible mother to my wife, and an incredible grandmother to her grandchildren. I'm not exaggerating when I say that love oozes from her. She is an incredible example to mothers everywhere, and an inspiration to both Danielle and I. I love you Barb, and I am so very thankful for you.

I am also thankful for my stepmom MaryJo. Although we are separated by many miles, the happiness she has brought to my dad's life in the time he has left (which is hopefully 1000 more years) is something that I thank God for on a daily basis. She makes him incredibly happy and they are now living the life that they both deserve. I wish we were closer, of course, but my dad is living his dream and that in an of itself is more than I could ever ask for. He deserves it and I am thankful that he has MaryJo in his life...and also in mine.

If you are blessed enough to still have your mom with you on this day, I hope that you took time today to love on her like there is no tomorrow. For me, there once was a day when there was no tomorrow...and I would give anything to have just one more day with the precious, beautiful, loving, and incredibly courageous woman that I was lucky enough to call Mom.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

If You Go to the Bank

Here are two things that you probably shouldn't say to a bank employee:

Bank employee: Thank you, Mr./Mrs./Miss _______, is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Customer: Nope, not unless you're giving away a million dollars!


Bank employee:
How would you like your cash?
Customer: I'll take green.

If you are somebody who says these things at the bank, please know that it is not funny. And although we, as bank employees, may laugh along with you when you say it, you can be sure that we are definitely not amused over something that we've heard 5,600,999,238 times before.

I'm just sayin'.

;-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I found the cure for allergies

For the first time in my 30 years (or at least those where I am old enough to remember), I am not suffering from allergies in the midst of the spring bloom season. Normally, at this point in the spring, I would be miserable, completely under the weather, and not able to enjoy this beautiful season. My eyes, nose, throat, and ears are normally a hot mess right now.

The answer? Over-the-counter generic Claritin from Walmart.

The best part? It's only $4 under their generic medication program.

The other reason I think I haven't suffered at all this year is because I knew a week ago that some really warm and sunny weather was on its way. Warm weather at this time of year usually equates to pure misery for me because of my allergies. So, to prepare for the warm weather, I began to take the allergy medicine about a week ago. By the time the warm weather finally arrived, my system was completely protected from allergens! See, it pays to keep abreast of the weather forecast at all times. You people laugh. But while you're laughing, I'm not sneezing. Boom. Roasted.

Or, it could just be a complete fluke that --all of a sudden-- I am miraculously healed of all springtime allergies. It could happen, I suppose.

All I know is that after 30 years of springtime misery, it has been most delightful to open up the windows, go outside, and enjoy this awesome weather...without feeling like I would rather bury my head in a pile of burning lava.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

80?

Just look at this gorgeous forecast...wowza!!!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

70?

Could it be???

70 degrees??

According to AccuWeather, it may hit 70 here next weekend. I can't even imagine temperatures that warm.

Even though rain is forecast, 70 degrees will feel so amazing. It's been so long since it's been warm.

::sigh:: Welcome, Spring!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Time!


I hope that those of you who live in places where tea parties occurred yesterday had the chance to get out to your local event. I know that I am sort of a hypocrite though, since I didn't go to the one held here in Erie. :-\

What happened at these tea parties is so encouraging to me. It makes me excited about the movement that is arising within our country right now. This movement is being led by people who get up in the morning, go to work and work hard so they can provide for their family, and give half of their hard earned money to our irresponsible and careless government. It is being led by people like you and I who chose to WORK HARD FOR WHAT WE HAVE and WHAT WE WANT. My prayer is that this movement becomes so large and so loud that President Obama will be crushed in 2012, or better yet, will have to resign before his first term is up. THe tide is turning. His honeymoon is definitely over. Reality is kicking in hard and fast for our esteemed leader.

Of course, the liberal media in this country was up to their usual tricks last night. In fact, last place CNN decided to brush yesterday's nationwide protest off as a joke, and thus eroded the last remaining vestiges of their journalistic ability. Take a look at this, on AC360 last night, Anderson Cooper kept making inappropriate jokes about "teabagging" like a 6th grade uber-hormonal school kid:




Here's CNN Reporter Susan Roesgen being a complete donkey to one of the protestors yesterday. She kept cutting him off and finally just completely lost it and signed off the air in disgust:


Here is more analysis of the CNN debacle from yesterday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

On Being 30

A couple of months ago, I turned 30 years old. In the days leading up to that day, and in the days since, I have found myself thinking a lot about my twenties and what I would like to see happen in my thirties.


I am not sad that my twenties are over. I started out the decade living in Florida, and ended it back in my hometown of Erie. It was a decade for me that - for the most part - I am not proud of. I made a shamefully huge amount of stupid decisions. I made some terrible mistakes. A lifelong dream was shattered. I scraped rock bottom for many of those 10 years. I have shed way too many tears over the last decade. I spent way too much time being sad, angry, and depressed. I spent way too much time fighting with God and not nearly enough time seeking Him. I wasted so much time wallowing in pity because things weren't going according to MY plan. I didn't spend enough time loving and appreciating the people in my life who give so much to me -- and for what? So I could give them nothing in return?


I remember during my darkest times over the last few years when people would tell me that I would one day look back on this time and be grateful for it all; for it will help shape me and mold me into the man that God wants me to be. After I got done laughing, I would silently scream at God, pleading with Him to give me strength to make it through until those days arrived -- if they ever did. There were times that I wanted to give up completely. There were certainly times when I gave in completely. There were times that I crumbled under the weight of my own fallibility that I was all but certain there was no way out. I'm not kidding when I say that I was depraved to the core.


Yet, in the midst of the darkest depravity, there can be no denying that God was laying the pathway for something bigger; something amazing. I always felt it, I always hoped for it...even when I thought that all hope was gone. And even while I was struggling through my darkest days, I had found a place of refuge in Grace Church. At Grace, I found a circle of friends whom I cannot imagine life without. It was also at Grace that I found Danielle, who is the best friend I have ever known. And when the time came for my faith to be tested in ways I never thought possible, I can sit here today and tell you with confidence that the chains of bondage I had been enslaved to for so long were SHATTERED because - and only because - God led me to Grace and, ultimately, Danielle.


As I enter my fourth decade, I leave my third behind with a sense of gratitude that it is over. But I also look back upon it and thank God for what He did for me during those years. It was rough, and at times I couldn't (nor did I want to) see, but I have emerged on the other side fully intact. I look ahead with excitement. My thirties are going to be healthier and happier than my twenties were...that much is for certain. I look forward with anticipation at what will happen in this decade. It's already off to a pretty good start; I started a great new job last month. And with this new job, it will open up the doors for me to fulfill the new dreams that God has given me. Becoming debt-free (we're oh so close....YEAH!!!). Starting a family, Lord-willing (it's weird to think that my dad didn't even have me in his thirties...he was 40 when I was born). Devoting my life 100% to Christ, both personally and professionally (another byproduct of Grace). Going back to school to make that happen. Writing a book so I can tell my story. Yes, this is going to be an awesome decade. And although I am notorious for wanting to take ten steps at a time instead of one, I can't help but to be excited that these years will, without a doubt, be the best so far.


The name of this blog is The Broken Soul: Contemplations Along the Journey to Restoration. While I know that we, as believers, won't be fully restored until we're gone from here, here is where we begin the journey. Almost 14 years ago, I began that journey. Since then, I have had incredible highs and incredibly low lows. But one thing is certain: through it all, God has remained faithful to this incredibly broken soul. His promises have never failed me. His love has always endured.


And I am grateful.

Monday, March 30, 2009

whoisgrace.com


My wife probably would not approve of me bragging about her in a public space like this, but I'm afraid that there is just no other option. She and Chris Falzone have just completed a major overhaul to Grace Church's website whoisgrace.com. I am absolutely in love with the redesign. It is sleek, sharp, and sexy (can a church website be sexy?). Great job, guys. It looks fantastic.

One of the things I am most excited about is that whoisgrace.com finally has the functionality to play videos directly on the site. Last summer, I asked a question on this blog as to whether people would prefer Vimeo or YouTube as a host site for the videos that we create at Grace. Although opinions were divided more or less right down the middle, I decided to abandon YouTube and switch completely over to Vimeo. I believe the quality is better on uploaded videos at Vimeo, and the interface is definitely nicer as well (it's grown on me). You can see the videos yourself by going to whoisgrace.com, clicking on "connect" on the left side of the page, and then clicking on "Vimeo".

Another thing I like about Vimeo is that a Plus membership allows you to create a personalized channel for your videos. In fact, the Grace Church channel is the page that is linked directly off of the front page on the whoisgrace.com.

Finally, directly underneath the connect button on the front page is a button for "The 411". The 411 is what we have begun calling our weekly video announcements at Grace. We have been showing video announcements in our weekend services at Grace since 2005. Now, if you miss them, you will be able to view the video on whoisgrace.com. Although there have been cosmetic changes to the announcement video format over the last four years, there has never been a major overhaul on the way we do them. Starting earlier this month with the countdown [it's all part of the package], we are in the beginning stages of a brand new way of doing video announcements at Grace. I think that the people of Grace will be very pleased with The 411. I am working with the communications team as we speak and am so excited to unveil the new format sometime over the next few weeks.

Grace may be over 110 years old now, but I believe we're as cutting-edge as ever. As time goes by, the message always always stays the same, but the methods of delivering that message can and should change. At Grace, we are 100% convinced that Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. But shame on us if we think that the methods used for communicating this Hope in the church of yesterday will work in the church of today. Yes, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But that doesn't mean that we should sit idly by as we watch technology, time, and relevance pass the church by.

So check out whoisgrace.com, check out our new Vimeo channel, and get excited by what God is doing at Grace Church in Erie, Pennsylvania!! Oh, and if you happen to be reading this and don't currently have a church home, I encourage you to check Grace out "in person". :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Goings-on

Gosh, where is this month GOING?! It's already the 23rd. That means that my love turns 30 this week!! How exciting! Here's what else has been going on.

  • Speaking of Danielle's birthday, if you haven't been reading her blog lately, you've been missing out. She has been writing an excellent series called "30til30". Check it out. She's amazing. I have learned a lot about my wife through this blog series.
  • Work is going well. Starting a new job has been a huge adjustment, and at times it has been very difficult, but I can't really complain.
  • Church at Grace has been incredible as of late. I can't remember the last time I have been so moved in church week after week after week. There hasn't been a time in the last four weeks that I haven't shed tears. Our current series, "Lift Your Eyes", has been amazing. Al and Derek have done an amazing job so far and I look forward to what Mike brings to us next weekend. All I know is that God has been moving in a mighty way at Grace lately...and I'm not sure what's different or what's changed...but I truly believe that He is changing peoples' hearts there. Today, for instance, there was a moment in worship during the response time where I thought the roof was going to be blown off. The joy and the presence of God in that room this morning was palpable. I needed to meet God there this morning, and He didn't fail. God is moving, hearts are changing, a movement is happening. I can feel it. I think anybody who calls Grace home feels it.
  • Danielle and I sat down today to watch Kings, which we had saved on our DVR from last weekend. I have to say: I am glad we saved it. It was awesome. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a Christian (I still think it's an awesome show, though, even if you're not). The show is a modern-day twist on the story of King David, and from all I've seen and read, the series is pretty much spot on in it's parallel to David's story in the Old Testament. I highly recommend going onto NBC's website and getting caught up. I can't wait to watch this week's episode!

  • It's late. Morning comes too quickly these days. Gotta go sleep;.
  • Peace.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the (fragile?) state of evangelicalism

This article definitely made me think. It also scared me and made me concerned as to whether this could actually happen; although, it's hard to see that it's already sort of happening all around us. I believe, and have believed for some time, that it's only a matter of time until the church is looked upon as "the bad guy". Let me know what you think about it.

From The Christian Science Monitor on March 10, 2009.

The coming evangelical collapse

An anti-Christian chapter in Western history is about to begin. But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.

We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

Why is this going to happen?

1. Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.

The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

2. We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

3. There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.

4. Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.

5. The confrontation between cultural secularism and the faith at the core of evangelical efforts to "do good" is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good Evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, and much of that work will not be done. Look for ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.

6. Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.

7. The money will dry up.

What will be left?

•Expect evangelicalism to look more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth oriented megachurches that have defined success. Emphasis will shift from doctrine to relevance, motivation, and personal success – resulting in churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith.

•Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the "conversion" of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions.

•A small band will work hard to rescue the movement from its demise through theological renewal. This is an attractive, innovative, and tireless community with outstanding media, publishing, and leadership development. Nonetheless, I believe the coming evangelical collapse will not result in a second reformation, though it may result in benefits for many churches and the beginnings of new churches.

•The emerging church will largely vanish from the evangelical landscape, becoming part of the small segment of progressive mainline Protestants that remain true to the liberal vision.

•Aggressively evangelistic fundamentalist churches will begin to disappear.

•Charismatic-Pentecostal Christianity will become the majority report in evangelicalism. Can this community withstand heresy, relativism, and confusion? To do so, it must make a priority of biblical authority, responsible leadership, and a reemergence of orthodoxy.

•Evangelicalism needs a "rescue mission" from the world Christian community. It is time for missionaries to come to America from Asia and Africa. Will they come? Will they be able to bring to our culture a more vital form of Christianity?

•Expect a fragmented response to the culture war. Some Evangelicals will work to create their own countercultures, rather than try to change the culture at large. Some will continue to see conservatism and Christianity through one lens and will engage the culture war much as before – a status quo the media will be all too happy to perpetuate. A significant number, however, may give up political engagement for a discipleship of deeper impact.

Is all of this a bad thing?

Evangelicalism doesn't need a bailout. Much of it needs a funeral. But what about what remains?

Is it a good thing that denominations are going to become largely irrelevant? Only if the networks that replace them are able to marshal resources, training, and vision to the mission field and into the planting and equipping of churches.

Is it a good thing that many marginal believers will depart? Possibly, if churches begin and continue the work of renewing serious church membership. We must change the conversation from the maintenance of traditional churches to developing new and culturally appropriate ones.

The ascendency of Charismatic-Pentecostal-influenced worship around the world can be a major positive for the evangelical movement if reformation can reach those churches and if it is joined with the calling, training, and mentoring of leaders. If American churches come under more of the influence of the movement of the Holy Spirit in Africa and Asia, this will be a good thing.

Will the evangelicalizing of Catholic and Orthodox communions be a good development? One can hope for greater unity and appreciation, but the history of these developments seems to be much more about a renewed vigor to "evangelize" Protestantism in the name of unity.

Will the coming collapse get Evangelicals past the pragmatism and shallowness that has brought about the loss of substance and power? Probably not. The purveyors of the evangelical circus will be in fine form, selling their wares as the promised solution to every church's problems. I expect the landscape of megachurch vacuity to be around for a very long time.

Will it shake lose the prosperity Gospel from its parasitical place on the evangelical body of Christ? Evidence from similar periods is not encouraging. American Christians seldom seem to be able to separate their theology from an overall idea of personal affluence and success.

The loss of their political clout may impel many Evangelicals to reconsider the wisdom of trying to create a "godly society." That doesn't mean they'll focus solely on saving souls, but the increasing concern will be how to keep secularism out of church, not stop it altogether. The integrity of the church as a countercultural movement with a message of "empire subversion" will increasingly replace a message of cultural and political entitlement.

Despite all of these challenges, it is impossible not to be hopeful. As one commenter has already said, "Christianity loves a crumbling empire."

We can rejoice that in the ruins, new forms of Christian vitality and ministry will be born. I expect to see a vital and growing house church movement. This cannot help but be good for an evangelicalism that has made buildings, numbers, and paid staff its drugs for half a century.

We need new evangelicalism that learns from the past and listens more carefully to what God says about being His people in the midst of a powerful, idolatrous culture.

I'm not a prophet. My view of evangelicalism is not authoritative or infallible. I am certainly wrong in some of these predictions. But is there anyone who is observing evangelicalism in these times who does not sense that the future of our movement holds many dangers and much potential?

Michael Spencer is a writer and communicator living and working in a Christian community in Kentucky. He describes himself as "a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality." This essay is adapted from a series on his blog, InternetMonk.com .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Awesome picture

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has an amazing feature on their website showing the evolution of ice on Lake Erie over the winter using satellite images. They can only capture images when there are no clouds, so as one would imagine, getting a satellite image is pretty tough in these parts. The latest image, taken on March 4, is fascinating to me. You can clearly see that Lake Erie is completely frozen over (with the exception of some open water hugging the shoreline off of Canada). Lake St.Clair and Lake Huron are also ice covered. Lake Ontario, however, is not. That is because Lake Ontario is an extremely deep lake (Lake Erie is the shallowest) and does not freeze over very often, if ever.

Some other cool things to note on this image are the smaller frozen lakes and rivers dotting the landscape. You can clearly pick out Pymatuning Reservoir, as well as Chautauqua Lake and the Allegheny Reservoir. Also, note the sediment pouring into Lake Ontario from the Niagara River. Call me a nerd if you'd like, but I find this image utterly fascinating!

Also, if anyone thought that this winter was especially cold, you're not alone. In fact, the globe cooled more last year than at any time since 1950. There was a very good article in the Boston Globe today about how the media is choosing not to talk about the bitter cold winter of 2008-2009. But they examine how, if it were the exact opposite (a record warm winter), the media would be all over it. A very interesting read indeed...check it out.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hello.

I'm still alive, in case anybody was wondering. I apologize for being MIA lately. I have several blog posts written, but each one of them still need a little bit of tweaking and I just don't have time for that this week.

I am extremely busy with video projects at Grace right now. I have six separate videos that need to be ready for this weekend. I have made great progress so far this week, but I still have a bunch to do. Unfortunately, I am not going to be here Thursday and Friday, so that puts a huge pressure factor to get these things done today.

I start a new job tomorrow. As a result, finding the balance between the video ministry - a job that is (at times) more than full-time already - and a new job that is pretty much full-time, is going to be quite a challenge. I'm grateful that I have this new job, but it is bittersweet because I will not be able to devote 100% of my time to ministry and that is absolutely killing me inside.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Road Trip: Niagara Falls

On a somewhat lighter note than the last few posts... ;-)

A couple of weeks ago, Danielle and I drove up to Niagara Falls for the afternoon. Niagara Falls is a relatively short drive from Erie (less than an hour and a half). It's weird to think that we live so close to something that so many people all over the world only ever dream of one day visiting. The falls are awesome all year round of course, but as many of you know, my heart is quite fond of winter. As such, we decided to go up and see the falls in all their winter glory. They did not disappoint:









At the brink of Horseshoe Falls








Horseshoe Falls





OOooh, look at us, we're at the spot where half the world has taken their picture







Looking across the river to America, land of the ice?








Looking downstream at the American Falls and the Rainbow Bridge









The American Falls







Rainbow Bridge









Looking upstream at the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls






Along the Niagara Parkway, looking across to Goat Island







Back in the USA on Goat Island. The mist from the falls had coated EVERYTHING! It was really quite stunning...







"Blast. There's too much ice. I can't see a thing."




She just wouldn't heed the warnings. Look at the ice chunk that fell on her head! She's lucky she didn't get hurt from that thing!






They weren't kidding.










Looking downstream over the American Falls

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama-doodle-doo

Update 2.18.09
Hey guys! My friend Chris of savethedoodle.com was inspired by this entry to create a masterpiece that pretty much sums up the situation we find ourselves in right now. It is pretty awesome...and spot on! Check out Chris' doodle here.

Obama the Fearmongerer

Original Post
Well, barring a major and unexpected turn of events, the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (here's a great site with the breakdown of where the money is going) will be signed into law sometime early this week by President Obama. Unfortunately, the reality of the stimulus package is that while it it might bring some short-term relief to the state of our economy, the long-term ramifications of something this enormous and so hastily thrown together (read: a liberal wish list of things they want while they know they can get the money) are indeed frightening.

What has upset me the most, along with many other Americans I would imagine, is that the president paraded around the country scaring us all into thinking that we had no other choice. He got onto primetime TV and said that another depression was imminent if we chose to do nothing. But here's the deal. I wasn't alive in the 1930's, but we do have data and facts from that time period that allow us a glimpse into the reality of what a depression really was like. And folks, let's just say that we're nowhere near a depression. Not by a long shot.


The Wall Street Journal had a great piece today comparing three different economic downturns. The Great Depression, the recession of 1981-1982, and the recession we're in today. Here's how they broke it down:

JOB LOSSES
Last Year (2008): 3.4 million (2.2% of the work force)
October 1981-November 1982: 2.4 million jobs (2.2% of the work force)
The job losses were fewer in the 1981-1982 recession, but the work force was smaller than it is today. Thus the reason for the same percentage.
Job losses during the Great Depression (by percentage of total labor force who lost jobs) 1930: 4.8% / 1931: 6.5% / 1932: 7.1%


U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT
As of January 2009:
7.6%
At it's peak in 1982: 10.8%
At it's peak in 1932: 25.2%
Call me crazy, but last month's 7.6% doesn't even compare to 1982's numbers, let alone the numbers in 1932 during the height of the Great Depression.


GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)
2008:
The GDP actually rose last year (despite a really bad 4th quarter); however, the Congressional Budget Office predicts a decline of 2% in 2009.
1982: Declined by 1.9%
1932: Declined by 13%
1931: Declined by 8%
1930: Declined by 9%
Once again, it is obvious that the numbers from today are comparable to the 1981-1982 recession, but they are nowhere close to what they were during the Great Depression.


OTHER NUMBERS

Auto Production
2008:
Declined by 25%
1932: Declined by 90%

Bank Failures
2008: 24
1987-1988: 3,000
1933: 10,000
24 compared to 3,000 or 10,000. Seriously??


It is clear from these numbers that, while the current recession is bad - and there's no denying that there are people who are hurting from the downturn - there just is no comparsion to the Great Depression. If anything, the recession of 1981-1982 is more of a bellwether to the current recession than anything else, ESPECIALLY the Great Depression.


What Obama is doing is fearmongering. He and the media that worship and adore him have been able to scare hard-working Americans into a panicked frenzy. By using comparisons of our current struggle to the Great Depression, Obama has not only thrown historical accuracy out the window, he has created a political bombshell that is disguised as a necessary component to our economic recovery. Without it, he says, America may never recover.


It may sound good and noble to those that think that Obama can do no wrong, but the truth is that this "recovery" will be paid for dearly by our kids and grandkids.


I sure hope Nancy Pelosi is enjoying her time in Rome.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama & Pelosi MUST be defeated

I get a little more sick every time I think about the "spendulus" package that could be signed into law in mere days. However, I have not lost hope that there are some out there -- even Democrats -- who will stand up against this dangerously foolish package.

Case in point: Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat Congressman from Idaho, has proposed an alternate and very reasonable plan to what is currently being sold to us as "necessary for the survival of our country". He is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, which is a group of moderate and occasionally conservative Democrats. Basically, he is proposing a plan called START (The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act). The plan calls for a "bare bones" pure stimulus deal of $170 billion that will put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low to middle income Americans and then use the remaining $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. The best part? START would require any funds that go unused by 2010 be returned to the treasury. Quite a difference from the current plan, which says that once enacted, it cannot be undone. That's downright scary considering that there is no guarantee that it will even work.


Why have I not lost hope? Because this plan was proposed by a Democrat. Minnick was one of eleven House Democrats who voted against Obama & Pelosi's stimulus. We really only need either a couple Dems to vote no, or get the 3 rogue Republicans (including PA's own Senator Specter) who sided with the Dems to switch back. I think it's possible, considering that there are Democrats who don't support the plan....not to mention that public support for the stimulus package is collapsing.


We have got to find an alternative way to get the economy moving again...and I know that we can AND MUST do it without burdening future generations with the $1 trillion in debt that this stimulus package will place on their shoulders.


WHAT CAN YOU AND I DO?


  • Read the stimulus bill here. Find out what you, your kids, your grandkids, and your great-grandkids will be paying for.

  • Contact Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick and voice your support for his alternative plan at (202) 225-6611 or email.

  • Contact one of the three Republican Senators who voted for the stimulus and let them know that you do not support their decision: Susan Collins of Maine (202) 224-2523 or email / Olympia Snowe of Maine (202) 224-5344 or email / Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (202) 224-4254 or email

  • DO NOT GIVE UP. This fight is not over. Keep fighting for America! We can do this!


Don't let anyone convince you that this fight is over. If this fight was over, President Obama would not be traversing the country trying to tell us ordinary Americans that this is the right thing to do. They are scared. They know that they can still be defeated. And by God, I hope they are.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I love Jesus, but I drink a little.

Derek posted this funny Ellen video last night on Twitter (and was quick to point out that he, by no means, watched her show). I laughed so hard that I had to post it here. I love Ellen...and I'm proud enough and man enough to admit it. She makes me laugh like nobody else on TV can.

If that makes me less of a man, then so be it.

Hopefully you'll find this as funny as I did:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Commercialization of Groundhog Day

In recent years, Groundhog Day has become much more than a holiday celebrating the birth of Punxsutawney Phil. It has become an event that has given this nation yet one more reason to party and drink. Did you know that there are AT LEAST 40 groundhogs that supposedly offer their prognostication for the remaining days of winter? Rodents like Holland Huckleberry from Holland, Ohio. Or Connecticut Chuckles from Manchester, Connecticut. Or how about the ever-cutesy Pierre C. Shadeaux from New Iberia, Louisiana.

As far as I am concerned, any groundhog NOT named Punxsutawney Phil is NOT QUALIFIED to predict whether or not winter is or is not going to continue for six more weeks. The sooner that we the people understand this, the better off we'll be. I honestly can't believe that Groundhog Day has come to this.
It is high time that we get back to the true meaning of Groundhog Day and recognize that there is but one, and only one, Punxsutawney Phil.
/end rant

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snow Snow Snow

I took the camera along today to take some shots around the city of the copious amounts of snow that continue to fall on us daily. The one at left is down by the bayfront. The wind was blowing hard off the bay, creating blizzard-like conditions.

Today (Friday), we had yet another unexpected dumping of snow (it was lake effect from a frozen lake...go figure!). Here is where our statistics lie as of midnight on Saturday, January 31.
Friday's snow total: 6.9"
January total so far: 59.2"
This is our 3rd snowiest January ever. 2nd snowiest is January 2004 with 59.9". The snowiest January on record is 62.4" set in 1978. Will we break the record for January? Probably not...but we may very well break into the #2 spot by midnight tomorrow.
Snow so far this winter: 129.5"
This number earns us the #5 spot for snowiest winters in Erie history. We now need less than 20 inches to break the all-time record. Will we do it? I'm not really that worried...after all, we received 1/4 of that amount in four hours today. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that by the time this seemingly Narnian winter ends, we will not only break the all-time record...we will SHATTER it!
Also, the latest update regarding next weeks' storm: it's not going to be nearly as bad as the weather peeps thought just 24 hours ago. In fact, here in Erie, it may not even be close enough to us to give us ANY snow. Danielle told me I can't complain about a storm missing us...especially after what has happened thus far this winter. So...I'm not complaining. I'm just sayin'....
I leave you with some more pics from around town today. It was truly a whiteout at times with horrible driving conditions. And yes, I was taking pictures as I was driving. So sue me.



1. Along the bayfront highway. Couldn't see a thing.
2. The I-79 and 26th St interchange
3. The mounds of snow were creating a canyon along this sidewalk
4. Along 28th St downtown
5. Parade and 28th

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Here It Is

7PM Update:
The most recent DGEX model (forecasters use several models to predict weather and make their forecasts. DGEX, which is an acronym for Downscaled GFS with ETA Extension, is one of them) pumped out some incredible snow amounts with this storm next week. If one were to believe this model, Erie sits --yet again-- in the bulls eye. Take a look at the key...and you'll see that cities like Erie, Buffalo, and Rochester sit in the line of >18" snow amounts. In addition to the snow, winds with this thing are expected to be extremely strong. So...add in AT LEAST 18" of snow, 40-50mph winds, and...well, you get the picture. I'm still not gonna say the "B" word yet...but it's getting close.

Holy crap...this is really exciting!


Earlier Post:

Courtesy of AccuWeather.com, here is the first graphic issued for the big storm coming our way next week. If the weather discussions are correct in what they are seeing on the models, we could be looking at a monster storm here early next week. "Crippling", if you will. Stay tuned.

Inching Closer...

I apologize for the shallowness of this blog lately. I just find that weather and politics seem to be more interesting than my own life right now. ;-)

<-- This is what I've been doing pretty much every day since early November. Thank goodness for snow blowers. That's all I have to say.
Well, the storm last night and today has come and gone. With the 1.4" yesterday and 10.1" so far today, that has propelled this January to an unbelievable 52.3", which -- with three days to go-- officially makes this January the 5th snowiest in history.
Seasonally, we are up to an astounding 122.6" (or 10.2 feet). I'll have to ask Brian the Weatherman if he can check to see whether Erie has ever had this much snow at this point in the season. I find it highly unlikely considering that the all-time record for seasonal snowfall is 149.1". I mean, you do realize that it's only January 28...which means we have ALL of February and ALL of March to go....and we only need 27 inches to break the record? (just to give you an idea....if we were to go by last year's snow totals for February and March: In February, we received 28.6" and in March we received 33.9"...meaning that if that were to happen this year, we'd be at 185" by the time March was over. Incredible.)
Also, just so you can say that you heard it here first....some computer models are becoming increasingly confident that a massive storm is going to hit the Eastern United States early next week. There are several possible scenarios, but the most likely one at this point looks to be yet another huge storm for Erie -- possibly making today's storm look like a flurry in comparison. In fact, Henry, my favorite weather guy over at AccuWeather, is already throwing the "B" word out. A blizzard on my birthday next week? Now that would be swell.
Finally, I'd just like to point out that those older folks who use the tired, worn out phrase "the winters just aren't what they used to be"....I mean, I'm sorry -- and I certainly mean no disrespect -- but you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

I love this epic winter. May it never end!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama's Legacy?

This is Pastor John Piper speaking last weekend in response to President Obama's heartbreakingly disappointing actions last week on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
[via Desiring God].

Be Courageous, Mr. President:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One for the record books

Yet another winter storm is bearing down on Erie beginning late tonight and is expected to last through much of Wednesday. Although it could drop as much as a foot of new snow on us, the storm itself isn't going to be one for the record books -- but it will certainly put this winter into the record books. In fact, any snow from here on out will be part of some sort of record for us here in Erie. Where do we stand?

So far this winter, 112" of snow has fallen in Erie (or at least at the airport where the official measurements are taken). So far in January alone, we have received 41.5". Where does this stand historically?

Top ten snowiest winters in Erie
1. 149.1 2000-01
2. 143.0 2002-03
3. 142.8 1977-78
4. 131.3 1993-94
5. 129.2 1995-96
6. 124.9 1985-86
7. 122.6 2004-05
8. 120.0 1970-71
9. 118.7 2007-08
10. 115.9 1963-64


So, that means that this winter, with 112 inches, is less than four inches away from getting into the top ten list. With up to 12" forecasted for tonight and tomorrow, we could easily be in the #7 spot by midnight tomorrow night. And with February, March, and April to go, I would think that the all-time record may be in jeopardy. However, with the lake completely frozen now, lake effect has essentially been shut off. We have to rely on storms like the one we are going to get tomorrow.

January Snowfall Records (Top 10)
1. 62.4" in 1978
2. 59.9" in 2004
3. 57.9" in 1999
4. 57.2" in 1985
5. 51.8" in 2003
6. 46.9" in 1994
7. 41.5" in 2009 <-- So far this year
8. 38.8" in 2005
9. 38.3" in 1945
10. 37.7" in 2007
(Erie snow records can be seen here)

With only five days left in the month, it will seem pretty tough to break the all-time snowiest January on record, but I would imagine we'd climb to at least #5 on the list.

As our next storm inches closer to us, I have noticed that the weather guys keep increasing our expected snow amounts. I love when that happens! What was originally expected to miss Erie completely is now expected to put Erie in the path of heaviest snowfall. So, I feel sad for those in southern PA and the Virginia's who wanted snow. Now they're just going to have a nasty icestorm.






Friday, January 23, 2009

A post-racial America?

I promised myself that I wouldn't get overly political on my new blog...but man...today was a doozy of a day and I just HAVE to talk about some of it.

With the election of Barack Obama, many people have declared that the end of racial division in America is here. Well, this video proves that not everybody thinks that this is the case. This video was taken at an event that took place at a club in Washington, DC on inauguration night. The voices you hear are from rappers "Jay-Z" and "Young Jeezy" who were "performing" at a celebration for the new president:

Please be warned that this video is extremely offensive:


Seriously? This is how they chose to celebrate the inauguration of a new president? This is downright pathetic.

And in other political news...Obama has signed an executive order to close down Gitmo. That, in and of itself, is a very controversial move. That aside, though, the obvious question then becomes: what does Obama suggest we do with all the detainees? Well, our favorite Congressman from Southwest PA, Jack Murtha, has signaled that the Gitmo detainees will be welcomed with open arms to western Pennsylvania. He says that we "could use the jobs a new prison would create". In addition, a new prison would provide a "round-the-clock operation". I'm sorry, but can somebody tell me how this bafoon keeps getting reelected? Seriously. Anyone?

I also found this video (sorry) that I wanted to share. I found it very timely, considering that our new president didn't waste any time in helping the abortion industry out:


It's only Day 2 of the new administration and I already find myself counting down the days until 2012*.

*1,384 days until Tuesday, November 6, 2012 -- Election Day

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Love Coldplay

I saw this video this morning on Facebook...and had to respost it. I love this band...and their amazing creativity only helps me love them more.

Coldplay: Life In Technicolor ii

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

111 Inches of Glory

  • It is only January 21 and Erie is four inches away from cracking into the top ten list for snowiest winters in history. For the season, we are now over 111 inches. So far this winter, we have experienced our 10th snowiest November in history, our 7th snowiest December, and we are now in our 7th snowiest January with over a week to go. I think it's safe to say, though, that the snow (at least the lake effect kind) will at least slow down a little bit now that the lake has frozen over completely:


  • I was really sick on Sunday. I mean, REALLY sick. Thankfully, it was just some 24 hour bug. I was fine on Monday when I woke up. Then last night, Danielle started feeling the same thing. Hopefully, it will be as quick for her as it was for me. I can't bear to see her sick. I feel terrible that I gave it to her.


  • Tonight, my guys' group wraps up our book that we've been reading. It's been an extremely rewarding time for me...and a time that has led to some changes in my life. Even more amazing however, is to see how the lives of some of the others have changed as well. God has truly been at work in our little group. I am excited to see what all ends up happening as a result of this. Next week, we are having our "Iron Chef America" dinner by Chef Seth! I am pretty sure that - even though we have finished our book - the group consensus is that we would love to continue meeting. Hopefully you're up to the challenge, Pastor Mike!


  • As I said in my previous entry, I've been fixated on Romans 8. I have read it every day over the past week and have decided to memorize it.


  • I am excited about some decisions that have been made. Unfortunately, I am not ready to divulge them on here!






Finally, I know you're wondering what my thoughts are regarding what happened yesterday. Well, it was no doubt a day that will go down as a pivotal moment in our nation's history; one that our country should be extremely proud of. That much is true. And for the sake of our country, I certainly wish him well. That's it.













peace.













PS) Happy Birthday, Kelly!!! You bring such joy and laughter to the lives of everyone around you. Enjoy your day! Love ya!! :-)







Friday, January 16, 2009

broken

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are
regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Romans 8:31-39 ESV

Last Sunday at church, the band sang "How He Loves Us". Upon the conclusion of the song, Derek read some Scripture, including some of the above passage. In that moment, I broke. I'm not sure what it was, but I just broke.

I haven't been able to let that moment go all week.

Then, at my Wednesday night guys' group, I opened up to them about some stuff. They said, "you've gotta be in the Word".

Typical answer.

But today, I opened up the Bible today and read. And I read. And I read.

Today ended up being a not-so-typical day.

Praise God.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hey Obama & Co: Are you hearing this??

CNN recently ran a piece by Lou Dobbs suggesting that there is a growing body of evidence that the earth is actually cooling, not warming. CNN is the last place I ever thought I'd see a story questioning the supposed settled science of "climate change".

Good for Lou, and good for CNN for allowing this piece to air. It would do well for President Obama and his team to research both sides of the issue before they go and legislate us all into green oblivion.






Also, I've posted this before, but I think it's hilarious. The Warm List: things caused by global warming.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Obama: Elected by the "media"?

Look, I don't mean to start controversy...but anyone who didn't have their head in the sand during the last election cycle knows that the media was dangerously biased and slanted towards Obama. Trust me: biased and slanted are the two kindest words I could come up with to describe what I think was the absolute most outrageous and vicious reporting to ever occur during an election year.

Imagine my delight this morning when I discovered that a documentary was in the works highlighting how the media, in so many ways, allowed Obama to win the election (nor would they stop at anything to make sure it happened like that). Media Malpractice will hopefully shed some light on the 2008 election cycle and why 2008 truly was the year that the media died in the United States of America.

Here's a quick excerpt featuring the filmmaker's interview with Sarah Palin (and here's what he had to say about it...a very interesting read). I love what she says about Katie Couric!










(HT: drudge)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

If it's not your mother, it must be Howard Johnson's

Danielle and I are spending a few days up in Minnesota with Aber and Molly. As is usually the case with this particular friend group, my love of all things Howard Johnson's has been discussed several times. I enjoy it, even though I get laughed at. It's okay, though: I'm used to it.

Anyhow, perhaps this early 1980's-ish advertising campaign is one of the reasons Howard Johnson's began its steady decline into oblivion: