Archive for May, 2012
When the dust settles over the controversy of this one issue, my fear is that an entire generation will be lost because of examples like this from Pastor Charles Worley from the Providence Road Baptist Church:
I’m ‘again’t” it.
Sounds just like Jesus doesn’t it? *sarcasm*
Now go and read this excellent blog post about the potential and cost of losing a generation over this one issue.
Yesterday morning we had a baptism celebration. We baptized a dozen people (that is actually a preacher’s count…the true number was 11…preachers always round-up) in front of a crowd of 4657 (see what I did there? that is a big round-up).
It was a great morning. You can check out the video testimonies of most of those who got baptized yesterday morning:
We like to have our children, who normally are back in Kid’s Kanyon for the entire service, join us to witness the baptisms. I had just finished a message on baptism explaining the what and whys of baptism when our children entered the room.
And then yesterday evening I got this Facebook notification:
I started to think about how terrifying it might be for a kid to watch the preacher dunk people in water without any explanation!!! And then watch as everyone in the audience applauds and adds their approval!!
Note to self: it might be a good idea to explain to children what you are doing in baptism before they see it.
To the Medors – should there be any need for therapy sessions for poor Seth to overcome his trauma, you can send the bill to the Living Stones Church. OR – if he grows up with an aversion to getting baptized, when he meets God – I’ll step forward and take the blame for it! Just be thankful this is his issue. It could be worse. Rumor has it that our Children’s Minister’s [yea...I'm looking at you Amy Osterhout] child, after Doug Harsch invited everyone to stand and worship, yelled at the top of her lungs – “I DON’T WANT TO!!”
This really is what it looks like at my house. I can walk into the door and if I’m lucky I might get a “hi dad” from one of the kids. As soon as Kelly walks into the door…it is a full-fledged interrogation! Question after question! Every once in a while in an act of compassion I will say to my kids, “You know, I am your dad, you can ask me too!” To which they respond, “Where’s mom?” For Mother’s Day I sat all three kids down and said today is Mother’s Day – DO NOT ASK YOUR MOTHER A SINGLE QUESTION!
This video is a physics demonstration using dominoes.
My prayer is that it becomes a working metaphor and illustration for the vision and mission of the Living Stones Church that begins in that little orange brick building that meets at 718 E. Donmoyer Ave.
Last year a mama duck built a nest under a bush in an island in our parking lot. We watched her for weeks sitting there on her eggs. And then one day – she, and her ducklings – were gone.
This year the mama duck returned. Yesterday I was leaving the office at 5:00 pm when I noticed movement on the blacktop of the parking lot. I looked over and the mama duck was leading nine little ducklings through our parking lot, under our fence and off to new adventures.
Chad Newport & Wayne Karner who were working in the Pit came out to watch the show. Our neighbor in the white house at the back of our property came out with her child. My wife drove up just as they were leaving the property. We all snapped photos with our cell phones.
I love nature. It is delicious!
Honey Duck Recipe
- 1 (4 pound) whole duck, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 orange, quartered
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup undiluted, thawed orange juice concentrate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a small bowl mix together mix together the basil, ginger and salt and sprinkle mixture on inside and outside of duck. Stuff duck with orange quarters and lay in roaster. Add water.
- In a small saucepan combine the honey, butter, lemon juice and orange juice concentrate. Simmer together over low heat until syrupy; pour a little of the mixture over the duck, saving the rest for basting. Cover roaster.
- Bake/roast ducks in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn duck breast down, reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and roast covered for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until very tender. If desired, turn duck breast up during last few minutes of cooking, to brown.
Let me give you another blog you should be checking out. It is called Revitalize South Bend (*insertpumpfist*).
It’s creator: The most excellent Beth Harsch.
Listen to its purpose and intent:
As a resident of South Bend, I refuse to believe we’re a ”Dying City,” as a recent article in Newsweek claims. Nor do I care to give credence to Princeton who lists South Bend among the ”College Towns not so Great.”
I believe what many residents of South Bend believe… that this is a generous, caring, innovative community.
My desire is to highlight those people (and groups) in our community who will not let some Newsweek article define them. This is for, and about, those generous, caring and innovative people doing transformational work that improves life in South Bend.
Won’t you join me as we share ideas and resources that can benefit others in our community?
Add it to your blog roll, check out its contents frequently, and COMMENT and engage in the conversation!!
And while you are there should especially check out today’s blog post!!
Most Pastors I know (including myself) want to believe that by way of identity they are leading a community of faith to change the world through the expansion of the Kingdom of God. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? It is (or at least it can be)! It’s the stuff of superheroes – battling spiritual principalities, rescuing those who have been taken captive to sin and suffering, standing up for truth (and grace)!!! I practically walk around with a music/movie soundtrack playing in the back of my head – you know…those anthemic intense superhero ones. ”I’m Pastor-Man!!!” *looks out the window to see if I can see my Pastor-man signal in the sky*
What most pastors don’t want to be is a chaplain to society. That is a totally different identity. It doesn’t have anthemic intense superhero music set in the background. It is more like musak in an elevator. Boring. Ignored. Seemingly unnecessary. And at times – obnoxious (really…you’re going to set “Everybody Rules the World” by Tears for Fear to Musak!!!!?)
Did you know that cruise ships have a chaplain? They do. And they get to enjoy a week-long cruise for free as long as they hold an interdenominational service on Sunday morning and are available should they be needed (guess how many people attend this service on a cruise ship). Do you know when chaplains on cruise ships are needed? Never. I’m going to suggest that every employee on a cruise ship, and I don’t care if you are the lowest rung of the maintenance crew, the kitchen staff, or the housekeeping – is more important than a chaplain on a cruise ship. You may be tempted to think to yourself, yea, but what if the ship is sinking…I bet you would want a chaplain then. The answer: NOPE. No one in the midst of a sinking ship thinks to themselves, “I wish I had a chaplain.” What they want is a life boat or someone skilled enough to plug that hole in the side of the ship. The only time a chaplain comes in handy is at the very end, when all hope is lost, we know we are about to drown…we’ve totally given up…now – someone find a chaplain to say something or pray something because we are about to meet God.
Pastors, if they aren’t careful, can very quickly be relegated by society to chaplaincy. It happens all the time. The obligatory prayer before the city council meetings, the invocation at the start of the Little League game, a blessing at some civic dedication ceremony (which by the way…these aren’t bad things…and I’ve done some of them), but ultimately it is a very different function than “Pastor-Man” (I just puffed my chest out as I said that…I’m not sure even when puffed it extends past my belly…dang it!) a leader of God’s people called to change the world.
After separating the two deacons who had come to fisticuffs in the lobby, I asked what in the world they were fighting about. They were both on different sides of the Great Living Stones Debate of 2012…fake-gold-plated offerings trays OR…chicken buckets. After five deacon meetings, three elder meetings, two congregational meetings, and a phone call to our church’s attorney about proper procedures from our by-laws…we’ve finally settled the Great LSC Debate of 2012 [all of the above is fictitious...like we have an attorney..pfft!...although what is sad is I can totally see this happening in a lot of churches I know]. What is true is that we switched offering trays.
Good-bye fake-gold-plated trays. HELLO Martin’s Supermarket Chicken Buckets!!
Why Martin’s Supermarket Chicken Buckets? Because Martin’s has the best fried chicken.
I would not call us a “redneck church.” But we are a “Fried Chicken Church” and those fake-gold-plated trays are about the most highfalutin thing we have and it didn’t match. So, we’ve pulled out the chicken buckets. And I’m going to bet if you did some analysis you’d find that our tithes and offerings have actually INCREASED since we made this move. And do you know why? Who doesn’t have an impulse to give more to God when the receptacle used to collect such an offering is a fried chicken bucket? I rest my case.
I am now going to write a book for mega-churches on how they can make more money…based on my chicken bucket