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Friday, January 25, 2008

Graphic Designer

We all know that Moms love to dress up their kids. But when Dad is a graphic designer, anything is possible.It all started out with the innocent baby picture below...

Then came these others…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tough topics

My cousin Adam committed suicide. The pain of that came flooding back about a month ago when Tasha and I were listening to an audio book. In it there was a character named Adam that committed suicide. I called my mom to ask her some questions about Adam. I apologized for the subject matter but she said to ask because it needs to be talked about. Here's some info on depression and suicide that I bet you'll be shocked by.

To Write Love on Her Arms:
According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading causes of disability, with approximately 121 million people suffering with depression worldwide. The National Institute of Mental Health states that approximately 18 million people suffer from depression in America alone. Depression does not discriminate across age, race, gender, or class. Among teenagers it is estimated that 20 percent will suffer from depression at some point by the time they reach adulthood. There are also as many as 8.3 percent of teens suffering from depression for at least a year at a time, compared to 5.3 percent of the general population. (more)

U.S. Suicide Statistics (2001)
by Kevin Caruso

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dirty Word

Craig Gross, one of the "P*rn Pastors", of XXXChurch.com came to FPU to speak on both Thursday and Friday of this week. He showed a documentary of the beginnings of their ministry called "Missionary Positions". This movie is rated "R" for very good reasons.

XXXChurch.com started because Mike was taking a shower. In the documentary Mike explains that showering is something you do daily so he found it natural to use the time wisely to pray and speak with God. On this particular morning God gave him a word. P*rn*graphy. He met with Craig later that day, at the church where they both serve as ordain ministers, and shared the idea. This started their ministry that seeks to speak about what no one wants to speak about in an attempt move people away from sin and into healing.

How many people in the church do you think there is that says that p*rn is a problem in their home? 10%? 20% How much?

Click on A and drag to B to see the answer.

A 48% B

Satan is doing some real damage to the church through this p*rn industry. It isn't a male only problem. Women and children are getting shackled into this stuff too. Whether or not you agree with thier approach they are making a difference.

What amazes me most about these guys isn't that they are front line fighting this beast but that they said yes to God when God prompted them to do this. How many people say no to God when God speaks and an opportunity is lost to make an impact for the kingdom? Sadly, I think that stat would be just as high if not higher than the previous stat.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just Because

My grandfather has this amazing dry sense of humor. I figure you might giggle at what he sent me.


1. If you are choking on an ice cube simply pour a cup of boiling Water down
your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.

2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold
while you chop.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the

4 . For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a
few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from
rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will
be afraid to cough.

7. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't
move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Radicals

I go to Fresno Pacific University. I knew it had the degree I wanted and that it was Mennonite. I did not know what a Mennonite was though. Basically they really work at living out community and pacifism. Pacifism is harder to accept than community. I am really grappling with pacifism right now.


What is Pacifism?

Webster defines pacifism:
1. opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes
2. an attitude or policy of nonresistance

What do critiques say about Pacifism?

“The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Everyone's a pacifist between wars. It's like being a vegetarian between meals.”
Colman McCarthy

“The absolute pacifist is a bad citizen; times come when force must be used to uphold right, justice and ideals”
Alfred North Whitehead

What do promoters of Pacifism say?

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”Mohandas Gandhi

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”Mother Teresa

Is Pacifism an unattainable ideal?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”John F. Kennedy

Did Jesus speak of Pacifism?

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:38-42


This semester I am in a class called Theology of Radical Discipleship. Today we watched the first 10 minutes of “The Radicals” and on Thursday we will finish it. Here’s the back cover of the vhs box.

“To a world of fear Anabaptists introduced freedom...a crime punished by death.

The year is 1525. Michael and Margaretha Sattler have fled their religious orders.

Their quest: restore the church to the purity of its early days when communities of believers practiced peace, compassion and sacrificial love.The Sattlers join a group called the Anabaptists and together challenge the 1,000 year control of the Church by the State.

They call for baptism to once again become, not a mark of citizenship, but an adult and voluntary decision to follow Christ.

As their movement grows, so does the determination of their enemies to stop them...by any means necessary.In 1527, Michael is burned at the stake and Margaretha drowned.

But their movement survives and today is carried on by the Mennonites, Mennonite Brethren, Brethren in Christ, the Hutterites, and the Amish.”

There is some graphic detail portrayed in this film.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Spring Semester

School started back up today. I have gone to one class already and have another this afternoon. This semester's lineup is: 1-2 Corinthians, Religions of the World, Modern Middle East, Math, and Radical Discipleship.

I emailed the Bahers before class to let them know that school was back in session for me. They asked "Would you have EVER guessed that this was part of God's plan for you?" My answers:

Would I have ever thought that God would send me to Fresno to earn a bible degree?
Would I have ever thought that God had opened the door at ProU 3 years ago knowing that I could move to thier Fresno office?
Would I have ever thought that God would have planted Bakersfield friends here for us to join up with? (Matt and Leanne, Joe and Candace, Luke and Kate)
Would I have ever thought that God would provide Tasha with a new set of great kids and staff away from Almondale?
Could I have improved on this in any way if I had planned it myself?
No way!!

So here we are doing what we never had expected and enjoying it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Run for your life

At a youth camp called Centrifuge, I remember a horrible game we played. The entire camp was involved. The adults were either Christians or enforcers. The enforcers out numbered the Christians. When we exited the building to begin, we were no longer at a church camp in California but in a country where being a Christian was not allowed. Our goal was to find The Church without getting caught and taken to jail. To make it harder they planted a few false churches where if you weren’t careful spies would kidnap you and then take you to jail.

When we walked outside there was someone talking over the loud speakers. They were saying over and over again that there was no God and that Christians would not find mercy if they were found. In the background were sirens and shouting. It was a very scary atmosphere.

Kids were running everywhere. The girls were really scared and few searched alone. Enforcers were everywhere and you could not know who to trust. I ran into a lady counselor from our church. I began talking to her, trying to feel her out and not be obvious about my intentions. She grabbed me by the arm and began pulling me yelling “Christian!” I was wearing a Christian shirt all that day and now that I was in this game it had exposed me.

She took me to the jail. She checked me in with the guard and left to go capture more Christians. I talked to some of the other kids. I found out that some were caught by spies in the false churches. Others had been led into an ambush by enforcers disguised as Christians. Close by an adult was yelling insults to some kids that were on their knees in front of him trying to pray. Also close by a group had gathered to sing and try to drown out the person on the loud speaker. I did not know what to do. I was angry. I was hurt. I was confused. I decided to kneel down by one of the girls that were crying and just wrapped my arms around her. I stayed like that for about 15-20 minutes before the speakers went silent and we were instructed to go back to the chapel.

Everyone walked in silence. Some cried but most just stared at the ground. Once we all sat down in the chapel the chapel host explained that this was time to speak on the microphones that had been placed around the room and express our thoughts and feelings about what had just happened.

I remember hearing one of the adults that was a jailer, he was the man that had been yelling insults at a group of kids. He was crying and took his time to speak. He said that a girl there had asked him what it would take for him to leave them alone, what would it take for him to believe. Then he yelled at her saying that he would not except her god and that she was foolish to do so herself. At this point the girl screamed at him, “I hate you!” and began sobbing. He asked us, “If this were real, how could your persecutors come to know the love of Christ if we ourselves can not love them?”

I also remember an adult that was a pastor in one of the false churches who had gotten up to speak. Through his tears he explained that many kids had been brought in to the false church. He preached simple messages to those that gathered. He incorrectly recited scripture to see who would actually be listening. He had recited “I am a way, a life, and a truth” many times. Some did not catch it and stayed. Others caught it and left. He said that his observation was heart breaking and almost caused him to expose who he was. He explained that those that left his church left with those they came with or by themselves, they did not take others with them.

May we be bold and fearless against men
who threaten to kill the body
and obedient to Him who commands our soul.


Run for your life because this is about your life. This is not just about an opposing theology or conflicted viewpoint on Jesus. This is about your life.

My mind is forever branded with the story that I heard of police officers from the city of New York. As people were fleeing from a crumbling building there were police officers and firemen and others that were running towards the building. They were saying “Run for your life!” at their own peril. And in some cases I believe they knew that they were going to die but there was a sense of duty. I was crying out to God saying “God! Oh, Jesus, don’t let my sense of duty be less for your kingdom than these beloved firemen and policemen were for those who were perishing in a falling tower. "

We are living in a generation where truth is falling into the streets. I want to be among those that are not running away from the conflict but are running into the conflict and saying, “Run for your life!” Run from gospels that only focus on success and prosperity. Run! Run from those that use the name of Christ only for personal gain. Run from those that are picking your pockets in the name of Jesus. Run! Run from gospels that only focus on self improvement. Run! Run from churches were men and not Christ are glorified. Run, run! Get out! Don’t touch the unclean thing. Run from churches in America and Canada where there is no bible. There’s no cross in the theology. There’s no soul searching words. There’s no repentance of sin. There’s no mention of the blood of Jesus. Run! It is unclean! Run! Run from churches where the worship leaves you cold. There is no sense of God because they do not know God. Run! Run from churches were you are comfortable in your sin. That’s a table of devils when you come into the house of God and you’ve got sin in your life and you are not convicted of it. You’re at a table of devils. Run from pulpits that are run by political men who are using the pulpit of God for a personal and political agenda. Run! Run from those who speak of divisions between races and cultures. Run! Run! Get out! Turn it off. Get away from it. They know nothing of God. Run from ungodly spasmodic movements and empty endless prophesying. Beloved church, run for your life. Run from preachers that stand and tell stories and jokes. Run like you’ve never run before. Run from those who are only after your money and they use one gimmick after another. One foolish thing after another to get your money. Run!

Sermon Index mp3 audio
Title: Do you have the real thing?
Compilation of various preachers, speakers, and teachers