Thursday, February 23, 2006

some days are really good

some days just make me feel really good about being involved within ministry. yesterday was such a day. here the stuff that happened during the day:
  • early morning (roughly 8 to 9 a.m.) - study the old testament concept of "herem" and how it relates to our lives.
  • morning (roughly 9 to 10 a.m.) - discussion with a student for a paper on paul tillich - how does a struggle with "being" and "nothingness" relate to every day life? how do you disagree with someone and yet still recognize the truth that is found within what they are saying?
  • late morning (roughly 11-12 a.m.) - discussion with an adult volunteer concerning GOD's sovereignty and the current very painful situation that she is going through.
  • ealry afternoon (roughly 1 to 2 p.m.) - one of my former youth comes over for a visit after getting back from his army tour of duty in iraq. we debrief for awhile and i am humbled as he talks about his difficulties being in church now after a year of being told to never make himself vulnerable by placing himself in a situation that involves a mass of people who he doesn't know (he had to get up and leave his first sunday in church with his girlfriend in another city because he kept having the idea of being an easy target flash through his head).
  • afternoon - finished my preparation for our wednesday worship. because of the nature of "herem" i get to smash things with a mallet and this requires preparation.
  • evening - youth worship with me smashing a cantaloupe with a huge mallet during the service. it was a blast.
  • evening (after the service) - spend time talking with a teen who is going through some faith struggles right now. i spent most of my time listening to him as he talked through his struggles and tried to find answers.
  • late evening (roughly 8 to 10 p.m.) - i sat in a discussion group that one of the adult volunteers who works within the youth ministry has started. it was the first time that i had been his student. it was a cool experience.

it was a good day.

of course, there are other days when the closest thing to significance i did was put together some graphic slides of quotes to show during our announcement slide loop (i.e. the images attached to this post).


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

mt. terrell?

mt. terrell?
when is it that you no longer have zits? i would have thought it was around 38 but apparently that's not true because i am now the proud owner of a monster. this little puppy has been developing over the past couple of days and this morning it blossomed from a "little puppy" to a HUGE DAWG! it's so large that when my oldest son saw it he shouted "wow! dad, when did that mole grow on your face?" thanks son. as you can tell he is a real barnabas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

it's a baby ... church

don't you hate it when people much younger than yourself show you how to do things? this past sunday our college ministry (people who i am honored to know) birthed a church. many of them have been dreaming about this for the past eight years. they have been working hard and heavy on this thing for the past year solid. they have done things right. so right in fact that our state denominational convention has decided to support them as a church plant. the cool thing is that these guys & girls were starting the church long before they even found out that there would be support from the state denominational or associational denominational offices. they aren't dependent upon outside money to help them. i've learned allot watching them. i hate it when i get taught such amazing lessons but running nose little kids. :)

i am very proud to know these men & women.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

the image of GOD?

i'm doing research on a sermon for tomorrow on the imagio dei and i just found the above cartoon. it made me laugh because that's pretty much the mindset that i'm trying to preach against (the idea of someone created in the image of GOD being used as an object).

Thursday, February 09, 2006

our own self-interest?

the onion had an interesting article from the right reverend michael barrodale. rev. barrodale "honestly" declares "i am but a vessel through which GOD drones on indefinitely" and that none of what he says or does comes from his own needs or interests. of course, rev. barrodale is unlike most of the minsters i know, including myself, who have to constantly be on the watch for where their own needs and desires sneak into the ministry. i have to admit that i enjoy people wanting my opinion on things. i enjoy people considering what i say as important. if i'm not careful this enjoyment can begin to direct my actions within the ministry in which i am involved. i can start forcing my opinion and voice into conversations.

it happens in ministries all around us. if you are in the ministry you've probably seen ministers whose own interest, desires, and psychological needs have begun to direct their actions within their ministry. sometimes they speak longer and louder because they need to, rather than because GOD truly wants them to. if you've been to seminary you've probably seen people that if you had to guess you would probably guess were studying to be a minister merely because of their own needs and desires - they need to be someone important, to have some clout. the real problem for me here is that it's just to easy for me to do this too and thus it's not a problem that just "they" have.

i have to watch out for this all the time. i want to be someone who follows GOD's desires rather than merely placing HIS name on my own agendas.

Monday, February 06, 2006


pam, my cute, intelligent wife, pointed me to the following video from some university prof's studies on human observation. first time through watch the video to see how many times the white team passes the basketball to each other. the second time you watch the video just watch the video and see if you notice anything. this stat will probably mess up the experiment but i'll try it anyway - 58% of the people who view the video don't see anything odd the first time.

cool huh?

this thing has "ILLUSTRATION" written all over it. if you go to parkview, plan on going to parkview, or ever plan on having me speak at this church DON'T USE THIS VIDEO. if you do i will hunt you down and shoot you like a dog. you have been warned. :)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

cornel west & the light at the end of the tunnel?

for anyone interested dr. cornel west will be in baton rouge thursday, february 9th @ 6:00 p.m. speaking at the baton rouge community college. i don't agree with much of what he sayd but it's still interesting enough to me that i'm going to go.

now for the good church news - today i saw the light at the end of the tunnel. as i have posted before my church has gone through some rough times recently. it has not been fun. today we had dr. stan norman preach to possibly be our interim pastor. for those who do not understand the baptist manner of finding a pastor i'll explain. baptist to not have a higher organization to assign or help find a pastor. every baptist church is completely autonomous. so when a baptist church needs to find a pastor it has to do it on its own. this usually takes awhile and therefore most baptist churches find an interim pastor to fill the pulpit until they can find their real pastor. the interim helps give a consistent voice to the pulpit. consistency is key. "preaching by committee" never seems to work - no matter how good your "committee" is. so getting an interim pastor is a big step to our church recovering it's zest. dr. norman is a systematic theology prof at new oreleans baptist theological seminary. he knows his stuff. i thought he did a very good job today. his preaching style is definitely more modern in its nature and while i would prefer a more post-modern style you still aren't going to hear me complain. it was the best sermon we've had from the pulpit in awhile. the church still has a long way to go but at least a faint light has begun to appear.

[Listening to: Know Your Rights - The Clash - Combat Rock (3:41)]

Saturday, February 04, 2006

splinter cell - pandora tomorrow

i found "splinter cell - pandora tomorrow" today for $14 and decided to buy it for me and the kids. thus far it involves a ton of sneaking around. i personally tend to go for a game with lots of gun play. i fear that i may be disappointed here. sneaking around is just not my thing. i hope not.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

playdough worship

playdough worship
the photo above is composed of a few of my favorite playdough sculptures from our worship service last night. i asked the kids and adults to stay seated and work on sculptures while we all sang together. the tables were full of playdough and i wanted them to make a sculpture of how they felt when they knew beyond a shadow of doubt that they had sinned. the sculpture didn't have to be anything that anyone else would understand. it merely needed to have meaning for them. we used these sculptures later in the evening as a means of representing the forgiveness that we receive from CHRIST through the love HE showed on the cross. the kids left these sculptures behind them at the end of the evening. though we never discussed specific meanings of each one (after all they were supposed to leave it behind them) some of them spoke volumes to me.

[Listening to: Daylight - Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head (5:29)]

mp3 worship

awhile back i read where improv everywhere did an improv completely from mp3's that interested people downloaded. the people who downloaded the improv mp3 came to a local venue and then were taken through the improv experience via the mp3 they had dowloaded. here's their description of it. i thought it sounded great and then began to think that it might be an interesting worship experience. it be a cool way of discovering being individually and coporately involved within faith at the same time (i.e. you are individually listening to the mp3 but listening to it at the same time as others and thus doing the same things). i don't work well on vague timelines so i finally decided that i would just go ahead and schedule it. so it's setup for the wednesday, march 1st. this means i have to write everything out and get the whole thing mapped out word for word and then recorded. i just wish i knew someone with a cool british accent to record it.

do any ideas of what i can do within the mp3 to convey individuals working within community?

[Listening to: Square One - Coldplay - X&Y (4:47)]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

hello there idiot

the day my truck broke down in mississippi
pam and i are part of the less than one percent of the world that owns two vehicles. pam's '98 mazada 626 (with 140,000 miles) resides at night inside our garage while my '98 ford explorer (with 118,000 miles) sits in our driveway most nights. i say "most nights" because when either of my boys want to play basketball i have to move the truck to the side of the street. yesterday was such a day.

i pulled the truck in front of my house and let the boys play a little bball. i left "fred", my truck, on the side of the street over night. when i woke up this morning and went out to the truck i discovered that i had apprently left the doors unlocked during the evening. the way i know this is because someone had gone through my glovebox and console storage and thrown everything out. i'm assuming this was in an attempt to find some money or something of value. of course, the theif that broke into my car was an idiot and therefore nothing was missing. i can safely safe that he/she was an idiot because i had left my $1,000 guitar in the back of the truck and it was still there this morning. he/she didn't even steal noah's fossil watch in the change consol which would have at least netted the perp a few bucks. all the idiot was able to do was throw a few papers around the truck. this is one of the reasons why they say "crime doesn't pay" because most of the people breaking into vehicles and homes are too stupid to make anything from it.

[Listening to: 11 - Redemption Song - Bob Marley - Legend (3:49)]