Thursday, July 31, 2008


Quick update -

We have 3 tickets available. If you know someone who would like to go, or maybe you want to go, please let me know . . .


Luther at his best

It's just after midnight and I am rereading my writing. Still kinda weird. I even hit a part which I did not remember writing which made me teary eyed. I'll write about that passage another day.

For today, slowly read these words from Martin Luther, from near the end of his work, The Freedom of a Christian ~

The Christian can do all things and has all things and is filled with the love which makes us free, joyful, almighty workers and conquerors over all tribulation, servants of our neighbors, and yet lords of all.

But who lives this Christian life in our day? It is neither preached about nor sought after so that Christians do not know why they bear the name of Christ. Surely, it is because God dwells in us so that by faith in God we become Christs to one another and treat our neighbors as Christ has treated us, that "Christ may be the same in all . . . that we may be truly Christian.

What wonderful words from Luther. To know that this was written in 1520 is pretty scary, since we are battling some of the same issues almost 500 years later.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Light Reading

Today I started rereading my major project. It seems kinda weird to be reading stuff I have written. I am taking notes about what I have written, with the expectation that some of what I take notes on will be areas where questions will be asked.

Along with that, while laying in bed I was reading some great reformed theology, reading up on the doctrines of God's Providence and Predestination (which includes election and reprobation). Just some light reading at 12:30 am.

Keep me in prayer!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Becoming Like Wal-Mart?

I read the following article on a church leadership web-site by Todd Rhodes. It was interesting and made me do some thinking and wondering about how the church moves in and around our community. What are your thoughts?!?

Maybe the Church Should Become a Little More Like Wal-Mart…

What is the price or value of a soul?


That’s the price that Wal-mart has put on each of their customers. A couple weeks ago, I happened upon a documentary on CNBC about the inner workings of Wal-mart. It was a very interesting program. One of the main things that stood out to me is that Wal-mart has done extensive research into their business.

If, for example, I go into my local Wal-mart store and get bad service; can’t find what I need; have to wait in the checkout line too long; or anything else that really makes me upset, Wal-mart knows that they have a lot to lose. In fact, they’ve calculated the value of what I’m worth to them. If I get mad at Wal-mart and never return, I have just cost the company (on average) $215,000. That’s how much sales they have figured they will lose from the average customer over their lifetime if they don’t come back...

Wal-mart puts a high value on me and every other person and family in my community.

Many churches, on the other hand, seemingly couldn’t care less about the people in their community. Sure, we give them lip service, but when it really comes down to reaching our target, many of us are too busy arguing about carpet color, worship styles, and how much to ‘give’ to missions in Africa, all the while missing the main point of reaching our own community for Christ.

Wal-mart provides diapers and socks and hemorrhoid cream for a profit.

The church offers eternal life and salvation for free.

Shouldn’t our communities know we value them at least as much as Wal-mart?

FOR DISCUSSION: Here’s today’s questions for you:

--Does your church value people more than Wal-mart?
--If so, what does that look like in your community?
--Who is better at reaching their audience in your community? Your church or Wal-mart?
--Does your church even have a specific target audience?
--Does your church have a specific plan to reach that audience?
--If your church shut down today, would your community notice?
--And if they noticed, would they care?
--What is your church offering your community that no one else can or does?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Reflections

WOW! I'm exhausted. For the second Sunday in a row, I could easily go to sleep early.

It was a wonderful day. I love having someone come forward to join the church or accept Jesus. Having Jennifer come forward was great. There is nothing like baptisms. Now we have 3 on the horizon, Jennifer's may be on Sunday due to family obligations and her fiance (Luke) is heading back to college and wants to be there.

I was really struck by the message. I am asking God, what changes do I need to make, instead of asking Him to change my every want and whim. How can God disturb me . . . wake me up. We all need it. How does God need to do that for you?!

Tonight was also a fun night, beautiful weather to sit and enjoy time together as a church. There were 125 people out there at Praise on the Prairie. Thanks to the Music Committee for putting this fun night together, for Doug's help and Jeff's equipment.

I loved Zachary telling jokes. What nerve he has. When I was 8 there would be no way you'd get me up on a stage.

Have a great week, and look to make a difference for Jesus.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Time to Defend

I now have the date for my Oral Defense . . . August 26th at 10 .m.

Of course, the bad part is the fact that this is my wedding anniversary. Now, this means it will be a great day, because the 26th of August must be a great day.

So, keep me in prayer as I prepare and move forward in the process. They don't give you questions in advance to review and discuss, it's whatever the readers deem appropriate. Hopefully, they will ask about the Cubs and Bears. I have no problem with those.

Anyway, I need to reread my writings and a couple of other books in prep.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I changed some settings, hoping the blog gets mailed on a more regular basis, since it seems it is not always getting e-mailed in a timely manner by the blog service called feedblitz.

Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ding Dong

At 1 am last night our doorball rang. We both jumped up, I looked out the window, no cars, nothing out there. Maybe it was the lightening. Not!

A little while later, while we were still moving around the house, it happened again, and this time I saw a head by the door. Gave me big time goose bumps. Do I get the butcher knife, call the police, what comes next?

Then Debbie saw them over by a neighbors house. Okay, it's kids. Fortunately, it began to rain and that put the kabosh on their night and mine. But the adrenalin made it difficult to go back to sleep and morning came too quickly.

A night out

We went out with members of the JOY class to Beef and Boards and saw Smoke on the Mountain. My first thought when I heard the title was the old Deep Purple song, Smoke on the Water.

We had a wonderful time, very relaxing, went in the church van with about 20 others. The food, company and performance were right on. Speaking of the performance, the talent was great, it was a comedy about a pastor's final Sunday before moving to a new church and the family remembers and looks forward to the future. Great truths about Christ and the Kingdom were passed on, there was a great deal of openness to speaking about Jesus, which was wonderful.

The group wanted me to take notes and the only one which I don't think I can do is the one they all wanted me to remember, and that is sermons should be 10 minutes. Don't know if I have ever done 10 minutes.

In my first church most sermons were 17-22 minutes, now they are 25-30 minutes. If I ever do a 20 minute sermon, you will all be so shocked. Anyways, it was a great night and a fun night.

I heard we missed the Oak Ridge Boys at the 4-H fair in Alec, and they sang Elvira. Gosh, haven't heard that one in about 20 years. That was a fun one.

Now it's time to lay my head on the pillow. The previous blog tells you why.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Open Letter

I received this letter / blog awhile ago and have held onto it. It's from Tim Stevens' blog, Executive Pastor at Granger Church in Indiana. This blog is from a woman named Kelly Adkins who writes a blog as "The Pastors Wife." I liked it, it was so right on about church people, about the way many think and react, so I thought I would send it out, uncut in a blog. What is your reaction, let me know.

Here it is:

Open Letter to a Church Hopper

Kelly Adkins was a dear friend (of Tim Stevens) many years ago when she lived in God's country (i.e. Granger) with her husband, Mike. About 5 years ago, they started Grace Fellowship in Orlando, a church that is growing and thriving.

I (Tim) enjoy reading Kelly's words of wisdom, and loved this open letter she wrote to a church hopper...

Dearest Career Church Hopper:

I met you again on Wednesday, the same person smiling at me through a different face, telling me that you've been shopping for churches for months now, and that darn it, you "just can't find one (you) like." The music's too rocky at this one, you said; the preacher too funny at that one. The latest one might make the cut, though: you'd had the pastor and his wife over the previous evening for a little "dinner audition" -- your words, not mine -- and he said things that made you feel good and comfortable, things that you already agree with, so you're thinking about sticking around. At the very least, you could get your teaching from this church and your worship from that one.

I'm sure we'll run into each other again, but before we do, I'd like to suggest some things you could perhaps think about before you move on to the next church, as I'm sure you will, whether this weekend or next year:

* Christ didn't bleed for the Church so you could treat your search for one like an episode of Survivor, deciding who to vote off the island this week.
* The Church was not commissioned by Christ to meet your needs. You ARE the Church, and you've been commissioned to meet the needs of the world.
* Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25). Quit treating his bride like a Jesus buffet where you can pick and choose what you like, hedging your bets against the pain and sacrifice of making a commitment.
* Per scripture's instructions to use your gifts in service to the Body of Christ -- and its lack of instruction to search for a church that scratches you where you itch -- you might want to consider what the Church you're visiting needs from you, rather than the other way around.
* If you only want to hear things you already know and agree with, save your Sundays and talk to yourself in the bathroom mirror.

The Preacher's Wife

So, what is your reaction to this? Are there more you would want to add or subtract?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quote - 2

Seth Godin, author and speaker, wrote this on his blog (July 9, 2008)
  • If you are willing to satisfy people with good enough, you can make just about everybody happy. If you delight people and create change that lasts, you’re going to offend those that hate change in all its forms. Your choice.
Is good enough good enough for God? Does God expect greatness or simply good enough (simply passing the exam)?

As Christians we need to be asking those questions everyday? Not in the sense of am I good enough for God's salvation, because frankly we will never be good enough, but what are our actions like when we are in the world, how good are we and making a difference.


Don Hutson is a great speaker and author of One Minute Entrepreneur. I appreciated this quote from him . . .

“The image of a person, company or product is never a constant but an ever-changing variable.”

Have you ever considered how much you have changed in your lifetime. Then add to that God's call to change, which is a constant theme in the Bible.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Laughing Prayers

Usually we try to be pretty reverent during bedtime prayers. On Sundays I always pray and just before we started we were all giggling and and each time there was silence and I was ready to begin, we all would burst out laughing. What a great way, and I mean it, what a great way to enter into prayer. . . with hearts bursting with happiness and joy.

I eventually started the prayer off by being silly and we all settled down from there. Just a reminder God is not an old curmudgeon, He wants and expects us to have joy and laughter.

Sunday Reflections

Great day at church. Wow!! So amazing and exciting when people come forward. We had a couple and one other gentlemen come forward to join the church and one man who I mentioned last week, gave his life to Christ. That is so cool!!! Actually, it is also draining on me emotionally, physically and spiritually. As great as the day was, I was exhausted.

Since the final hymn was song over and over, Doug tells me 6 verses in all; we are shooting for 7 verses next time. Wouldn't it be great if we looked forward to the end of the worship, not because it is over and we can go home, but to celebrate those who come forward each week and to give God a praise offering. What an expectation that would be!!!

Why not keep that hope and dream as part of your prayers. Let's watch a God thing "miracle" occur in our midst.

All Star Ending

Seasons over. The Alexandria 10 and under all star team lost to Napannee in the first round of games on Friday at North manchester, 11-2. They were dominated. To think that Napannee was the 4th seed from their region and we were number 1 was scary. They were amazingly sound in all areas of the game.

On Saturday we beat Frankton 6-1 and needed one more win to guarantee a chance to advance to next week's state tournament, but lost to Plymouth in a close and hard fought game 5-3. Thus ends the season. Joshua was happy about playing, he walked and scored in one of the games on Saturday and caught a fly ball for the final out of the Frankton game.

He is already looking toward next season, when he expects to pitch and play 3rd base.

He is also looking forward to football season, and wants to start kicking, since he was the kicker last year, and practice running routes as a wide receiver.

Friday, July 18, 2008


We are going to be starting a ministry called ANGEL FOOD. It is simply a means of buying food at a discount and passing it out, but there is a huge need in Alexandria for this. You pay $30 for about $50-60 worth of food. Tree of Life ministries is moving from Alexandria to Marion and they have provided this to the community, we are going to take it over from them. I have met with their pastor Chuck Moore about it.

This Saturday morning we will have the opportunity to go with them to Swayzee to pick up the food and see how it all works. I cannot go because of a funeral, but if you would like to be involved and see how the operation works, they will be leaving from their church off Harrison St. at 8:40 a.m. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about what to do and how you can help. To learn more about Angel Food, go to

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brett Favre and the church

If you are a football fan then you are starting to salivate since the preseason practice begins in the next week. . . go BEARS! Now they need our prayers.

Brett Favre the great quarterback for the Green Bay Packers retired after last season, and now he wants to play again, and needs the Packers to resign him, in order to be eligible to play again, then they need to do something with him. That is, play him, trade him or sit him on the bench. Remember, Green Bay has already committed to start a quarterback they drafted 4 years ago. I wonder how this guy, Aaron Rodgers feels about all this. He's kept quiet. It is an interesting story because of the intense emotions. Let me give you a couple of thoughts . . .

Favre retired, he had an amazing career. As a life long Bears fan, I intensely disliked it when he played against the Bears. Yet I marveled at his playmaking ability and excitement for the game. I heard a reporter say he received a voice mail from Favre after he retired saying he was not forced to retire, it was his decision, but now Favre is saying he was forced to retire. Something is not fully correct here! What should the Packers do?

Favre has one, maybe two good years left, and has been brutally critical of management in the last weeks; and two years ago he stunk. Last year was a surprise year for the Packers, but I don't think he can repeat that magic. So, do you keep what was old, but good, even great; or do you move forward into the future which is unknown and go with a new quarterback? That seems to be the struggle for the universal church . . . do we look to the future and grab at new opportunities God gives us, or do we stick with something which has worked, but will no longer bring us to the promised land? I don't believe Favre has the team or ability to lead the Packers to the Super Bowl.

There are hard decisions to make, sometimes I see selfishness in Favre, making this all about him. Do we do that in the church as well? Do we make church about us, about our likes and dislikes, or about the greater mission of serving Christ? I see Favre trying to hold the Packers hostage, sometimes we hear about church folk holding the church hostage by not giving or serving. I also have seen a great enthusiasm and passion for the game, which you don't see from many professional athletes, do we as a church (individually and corporately) have that same passion and excitement for serving Christ?

I believe the Packers will sign him and trade him and move into the future. They may stink this year, but they are building for the future, and that for most sports teams is painful, but I give the management credit for sticking to their guns, thus far.

When you think about yourself and your faith, your role in the church, what will you do, what will you be for Jesus?

Church Business

I thought we had a great start to the future of FBC last night. There were many people who were willing to share thoughts and ideas. It is so important for us to communicate and know we our on the same team. So, great job to all!

There were so many comments, majority were positive and we need to build on that and on that momentum and passion which we have for one another because of Christ. There is a lot of work to do, but there always is. The road ahead will have stretches of unbroken perfectly smooth paved roads, while other roads will be rocky, with wild bends and curves and detours, but the final destination remains the same. We will rely on one another and we will make it and we will as Paul said, "fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith!"

I am excited about the future possibilities God has for us.

New Life

  1. Announcing the birth of Micah Lynn Barnum. She was born on July 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm. Weighing in at 7 pounds 2 ounces. Mandy and Micah, and Damon are all doing well.
  1. No mistake, we have a tie for number 1. Also at just about the same time I was praying with a new gentlemen to the church to accept Jesus as His Lord and Savior. Lots of tears and lots of joy.
Now that is a good day!!


  • I usually blog late at night, but am trying to stop that, and as a result, have not blogged at all this week, so go figure.
    • Too many late nights, makes for a tired guy in the a.m., so one of my goals for the coming weeks and maybe life time is to start to go to sleep earlier. That's not easy for me, but one I think is becoming necessary.

  • Got my new car on Monday. YAHOO!! It has that wonderful new car smell, can't get enough of inhaling that smell. Actually there is just the right amount of new car smell, not too overpowering. It's fun to drive my new Toyota Corolla. If your nice, maybe I'll give you a ride.

  • Zachary had a 104 degree temperature on Monday. Wow! That is high. He ended up being diagnosed with strep throat. He's feeling better, but still has stomach pain and pain in his legs and arms. Keep him in prayer.

  • Joshua made it back to play in two all star games, and they won the 10 and under district tournament in Alec, beating Marion 6-2. Now we go to North Manchester (75 miles one way) to play in the semi-state tournament. It's great for the kids, but tough on time and mileage.

  • I'll post separately about a couple of church related things . . . including my take on Brett Favre and the church.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More pics

Joshua on a water slide, this one was one of the boys favorites.

Pillar was loud and okay, didn't know as much about them. The boys were not into them.

David Crowder Band at work. David is in the pinkish shirt. They were good.

Tobymac at work. Super high energy and loudness. It was AWESOME!! Toby is in the middle with the bandana white t-shirt on.


Joshua with funky hair after getting soaked and spiking his hair from a water roller coaster ride.

Zachary enjoying bumper cars, one of his favorites. Avoid getting hit and hit others.

Zachary after a little wild water slide wondering which way is up.
Joshua likes to be warm when he sleeps, but wearing a sweatshirt with hood on is downright weird. That's my boy!

Kings Island News

Didn't blog last night, as we were bushed. It was a great day at Boomerang Bay, the Kings Island water park. It rained for about 30 minutes, then cleared up and the rest of the day was great, the sun came out and my back actually got burned, the rest of me browned. We enjoyed every water ride available, even Zachary who is not a roller coaster kid, loved every water ride, even the faster ones. The only one we didn't go on was the Tasmanian Typhoon (too long of a line).

We brought lunch, ate our lunch and went back on the rides. One downer was the fact that any man who has rivets, those little holes in bathing suits on your back end, cannot go down 3 water rides, my suit had 3 rivets. Otherwise, it was great.

After the water park we went to the amusement park side and went on more rides, took in a Christian rock group "Pillar." Rode on more rides, Joshua loved Congo Falls, since you get totally drenched. He loved that part of it. You get the wettest watching from the bridge. We went and saw David Crowder band which was fun, then we ate dinner, the boys were ready to fall asleep, but Tobymac was coming and there was no way I was going to miss that. They perked up and I told them, they would not sit down, and for 1 hour and 25 minutes, you stood, jumped, waved your arms and enjoyed an intense and exciting performance by Toby. The boys know most of the songs, so they were into that big time.

Then it was time to head back to the hotel, even though they now wanted more rides, but the park was closing in 20 minutes, so we let them get wet on the bridge to Congo Falls, then to the hotel.

The boys slept in this morning. We were going to go to church, but they did not wake up until just after 9 a.m. They needed the sleep, grumps are no fun on vacation.

The next blog will have some pictures from the vacation.

PS - we also saw and heard Skillet on Friday night, along with Jeremy Camp, but the boys were too tired for Casting Crown, but we will be seeing them August 16, along with Mandisa, Skillet and Tobymac. Check out World Pulse Festival in South Bend, it's a great way to end the summer break!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vacation News

We started out a little late, 7:45 a.m. departure, but had a long and full day at the park.

Everyone had a great time. We rode rollercoasters (the mild ones), went on lots of roller coaster rides which involve water, Joshua got majorly soaked and loved it.

We took in a little of Skillet and Jeremy Camp, but did not stay for Casting Crowns, as we will see them in August. Saturday will be spent at the water park, Boomerang Bay. I'll try to post a few pictures as well.

Time for night night, as everyone else is sleeping already.

Have a great Sunday!

Exchange and Transformation

In talking with Alan Erwin, he needs to find homes for 3 new Exchange Students this year. They are all boys, Rami from Lebanon is 15, Asim, 16, from Pakistan, and Jannik is 16 and is from Germany.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about someone else's culture, view of life and spiritual life. While you cannot evangelize, conversations about the spiritual life can occur. It can be a time where you share your Christian faith, home and life with another young person, which changes their life and even the world.

Here is some info. about each one.

Rami wants to become a teacher and likes biology and math. He is very good in distance running and debate. He also likes chess and academic competitions and playing basketball with friends.
His English skills are good and he is anxious to send an e-mail to his new family. He lives with parents and 2 older sisters.

Asim plans a career in mechanical engineering, likes physics and math. He plays guitar, and enjoys writing music for his band. He enjoys many kinds of music. His friends call him “diverse and cool”. He plays the sport of Cricket, but wants to learn others while here. He lives with his parents and younger sister and has excellent English skills!

Jannik will be a in the 11th grade. A 5’10” basketball player, he plays on a team, but says that he is not the strongest player they have. He also likes to ski, play football and soccer, tennis and volleyball. He wants to become an engineer after college. His favorite classes are math, history, and computer science. He helps the family fix any computer problems they have. He lives with his parents and sister and has good English skills.

Who can host? Just about any family, single adult or single parent over the age of 25.

Are there girls who need homes also? YES! There are girls and boys from several other countries.

What does it cost? These students have money for personal needs. What you spend on them is up to you.

You feed them as any member of the family; they pay for school expenses, snacks with friends, and clothes.

Where do they sleep? They can share a room, but not a bed. A separate room is not necessary.

What if there are problems? Aspect provides trained International Coordinators (IC’s) to prepare you for this adventure and to be with you if there are problems. Occasionally a student must be moved, but not often.

To host one of these boys, or other students from other countries for just the fall, or for the school year, contact Alan Erwin (724-9234). Host families are needed soon for arrival in about a month.

There is a$50 per month tax credit on Federal taxes, and Aspect will give a one-time $50 donation to a non-profit group if the host family belongs to that organization.

All Star Game 1

Joshua's all star team started off with a tough first inning. Our pitcher walked the first two batters and they both scored, with no balls hit out of the infield. It didn't look good for the home team. We scored three runs in our half of the inning . . . walks will kill you every time. In the second inning we held Tri-Central-1 without a run, then we scored 9 runs to break the game open. We won 13-2 in a 4 inning game. The next game is Saturday night, but we will be gone, hopefully we'll win our next two games and be ready for the finals on Monday night. We just need to win one more game to guarantee a spot at next weekends semi-state tournament.

Post 300 + 1

Didn't realize I hit post number 300 on the last one.

Yahoo!TM Let's celebrate! that makes this post 301

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Doctoral Update

I received an email yesterday from my first reader telling me the second reader has read my project and they want to proceed to the Oral Defense (now the nerves begin).

We are try to schedule it the week of July 21, however, I have learned my first reader, Dr. David Larsen will be lecturing across the country for a few weeks, beginning that week. So, we are looking to August or early September in order to mesh schedules for me (the most flexible), the two readers and the director of the doctoral program. Keep me in prayer as I begin to reread my project and read up on some other material.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Holy and UnHoly Communion

Today I went to the nursing home to give Joyce T. communion and to visit with her. She mentioned her roommate, a 5 year resident wanted communion with us. No problem! So, after Joyce and I visit, the roommate comes over as 2 aides come into the room to make her bed. This woman rudely, and that is being nice, tells them to leave since we need quiet for prayer and communion. I'm trying to apologize to the aides with my shoulders and eyes. Eventually we take communion and I offer a prayer which includes forgiveness for the words we use. Not sure if there was a connection. It was not the best way to enter into communion. . . actually it felt kind of sinful. . . that was the unholy part.

At the same time, Joyce asked one of the aides who was last to rush out if she wanted to have communion with us. A wonderful act of grace by a woman who can't figure out why God has not taken her, yet. The aide responds, she is not right with God, and it would not be appropriate for her to take communion when her relationship with God is impure and not right. That act of not taking communion was a wonderful admission, a breath of fresh air, and a moment of holiness before an all forgiving and loving God. Just part of the day!

This incident made me ponder over how many people have I led away from Christ because of my actions, words and attitudes. God, forgive me, forgive us for our lack of care and compassion and our indifference to one another, especially to You, Lord . . . cleanse us to have that pure heart, that holy heart You so desire in us so that all others will see You through us.


YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS STORY. . . well you will because of the world we live in, but it is still unbelievable . . .

Here it is and here is, and click on the title for the link to the CBC (Canada) web site.


A father plans to appeal after a Quebec court ruled that he didn't have the right to punish his 12-ear-old daughter by barring her from a school trip.

Quebec Superior Court Judge Suzanne Tessier ruled Friday that the girl should be allowed to attend the three-day trip within Quebec this week.

The father's lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, speaks to CBC Newsworld about the case.The father's lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, speaks to CBC Newsworld about the case. (CBC)Initially, the father forbade his daughter from going online after the Grade 6 student posted photos on a dating site, the Globe and Mail reported in its Thursday edition.

The girl's parents are divorced, and after she had an alleged row with her stepmother, her father barred her from going on a school trip to mark the class's graduation from elementary school, the newspaper reported.

"When he said, 'OK, it's final. You're not going,' she smacked the door, left and went to live with her mother," the father's lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, told CBC News.

Last Wednesday, the father received a motion petitioning the court to overturn the punishment.

'This will only lead to more poor behaviour and will encourage other children who do not like their parents to do the same thing.'

Two days later, the judge ruled the punishment was too severe because the girl had already been sufficiently disciplined, Beaudoin said.

Beaudoin said the judge also said there was no reason for the punishment to stand, since the girl was now living with her mother, even though the father has custody.

Beaudoin said the father, who has four children, was "devastated," especially since the ruling came days before Father's Day.

But the judge's decision was not just a case of a child going to court to get out of trouble, said Miriam Grassby, a Quebec family lawyer who has spoken with the various attorneys involved.

Under Quebec family law, it is not uncommon for a child in a high-conflict situation between two parents to have an attorney appointed to protect his or her best interests, as was the case here, Grassby said.

"In Quebec, no matter who has custody, we have joint parental authority," Grassby told CBC News on Thursday. "There are issues of discipline where both parents have to agree, and if they don't, we will have a place" to resolve the issue in court.

The attorney representing the child had been chosen and agreed to by both parents, she noted.

"The court is there to be an objective third party, and these children who are in these high-conflict situations need the protection of the court," Grassby said.

"I think we could presume the judge had good judgment in the fact that she read the statements and found out what both parents were saying, and that the child was punished at least once for that, and this was excessive punishment."

While Beaudoin said the case is a first for her, she doubts it will trigger a flood of similar claims.

"Usually children have lots of respect for their parents and they wouldn't go there," said Beaudoin.

She said the judge stressed that the case was an exception. "But for a field trip, I'm thinking this is a big exception," she said. (END OF ARTICLE)

Can you imagine this? The girl posted pictures of herself on a dating service. Did anyone remind the judge this girl is only 12. How many male predators has she put in jail? Has she ever watched Stone Phillips on Dateline? She deserved more than what dad was trying to teach her. Of course, since I don't have any girls it's hard to say, but I know I would be more protective because I know the male species.

So, this is an exception? An exception for what? Where is the simple respect for a parent's authority to discipline their child? What has that girl learned through all of this? It's a scary world out there folks, and all the more reason to show the love of Jesus to those around us.

Indiana Jones

The church that came up with the idea for the One Prayer series, is presently doing a series they do every year, called "At the movies." They seek to take current movies and talk about the spiritual dynamics within them. They are presently doing a series on Indiana Jones. Below are pictures of what they did to transform the church . . .

As guests approach the church, a military vehicle with ammo crates appears to have “broken” through a mural spray painted by a local graffiti artist . . .

A waterfall constructed in one corner of the lobby

The church entrance covered like cobwebs . . .

Between the auditorium doors rests a large “stone” skull that breathes fog.

A third corner has converted a coffee bar into a foreign marketplace.

There were more pictures, but you get the idea of what they are doing. Now, does all this decorating and hard work, done over a 4 day period lead people to Christ? NO!! So, why go through all this work and expense? Imagine how many more people in their area were more willing to come to church and hear the message of redemption they desparately need to hear. How many more people saw the church a little different because the church was willing to be a little different, to be a little more bold. It's not for everyone, but it is one way one church seeks to be relevant so that nonbelievers hear the message in a nonconfrontational manner.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Night Reflections

I am exhausted! It was a long week and a long night last night as I felt myself wrestling with God about where I was going with this weeks sermon. I am working on only 2 hours sleep and feel I could lay down and be out to sleep.

I liked the flow of worship, I didn't like the many people who were gone for the holidays. I've noticed that even when we have 280 people, the main floor looks empty.

I struggled with the sermon all week, knowing God wanted me to talk about passionate followers. It was getting to the message which was difficult. The words were not coming. Hopefully I was able to bring the point home that God wants us to be passionate about Jesus, and there is a difference between believing in Jesus and following Jesus.

Tonights worship featured Perry Noble's one prayer for the church is 'make us dangerous.' He spoke about 3 points, to walk with Jesus, listen to Jesus and believe in Jesus. It was an excellent sermon.

Sadly, there are only about 25-30 people attending Sunday evening worship. It is depressing and at times disheartening to see less than 10% of our Sunday morning attendance at our Sunday evening worship. Any thoughts, suggestions would be helpful.

Independence Day Autographs

I love history . . . and I love America!

Thought I'd share a little of both as we move beyond our 4th of July celebration weekend!

We live in a a day and age where we almost have to defend our patriotism. I'm certainly not suggesting that America is above reproach. Far from it. But a few years ago I did extensive research for a sermon series on our spiritual heritage. And I walked away with a renewed sense of destiny. There is so much revisionist history out there that we tend to forget that a lot of our Founding Fathers were motivated by their faith in Christ.

Just thought I'd share some backstory about some of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans know next to nothing about these fifty-six heroes who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the cause of freedom.

John Witherspoon was an ordained minister and authored several books of sermons, as well as editing America's first family Bible published in 1791.

Charles Thomson served as Secretary of Congress and was a Biblical scholar. He helped edit the first American translation of the Greek Septuagint into English.

Charles Carroll, the last of the fifty-six signers to pass away at the age of 95 in 1832, wrote out his declaration of faith at the age of eighty-nine ~ On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for my salvation, and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.

Another Founding Father, Benjamin Rush, is considered the "Father of American Medicine." He personally trained three thousand medical students. Dr. Rush also founded "The First Day Society" which was the precursor to the Sunday School movement, as well as founding America's first Bible society. It was Benjamin Rush who said the Constitution was "as much the work of Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the effects of divine power."

Francis Hopkinson was a church music director and edited one of the first hymnals printed in America in 1767. He also set 150 psalms to music. Roger Sherman is the only Founding Father to sign all four of America's Founding documents: the Articles of Association in 1774, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Articles of Confederation in 1778, and the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

Roger Sherman was also a theologian. He wrote a personal creed that was adopted by his church:

I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

I could share story after story, but the bottom line is this: many, if not most, of our Founding Fathers were motivated by their Faith in Christ. They wrote sermons and creeds and hymns. They founded Bible Societies and Sunday Schools. They served God's purposes in their own generation.

By the way, five signers were captured and tortured during the Revolutionary War. Twelve signers had their homes ransacked and burned. Two signers lost sons to the war they declared. Two signers had sons become prisoners of war. And nine signers fought in the war and died from wounds or hardships of war.

Hope that adds a dimension of gratitude to our recent 4th of July celebrations!

Fun Kids Devotional

God Gave Us the Bible: 45 Favorite Stories for Little Ones is a very well done, hardcover introductory Bible for parents to read with thei...