Archive for November, 2011

This Sunday we begin a new series (our Christmas series) entitled:  Unwrapped.  It is about the vulnerability of God.  I’m excited because I don’t think we ever think much about God as being vulnerable.  And I think the depths of His love can illuminate the possibility, or reality, that God has made himself vulnerable for our sake.  So, we begin this Sunday a conversation of what that means if true…

I look forward to seeing you there.  9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am.  Bring a friend!

My Baby Girl Turns 10

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today my little baby girl turns ten years old.  I no longer have any children in single digits.  It makes me feel old.  It was on this day ten years ago that we welcomed my first and only daughter, Alexandria Hope Barrington.

Little facts about Alex:

  • I call her “babygirl.”
  • When she was born I gave her the nickname “Cinnamon Sugar” because when she was born she had reddish blonde hair.
  • When she was a baby I made up a song about Cinnamon Sugar and baby girl and would sing it to her.  We still know the song and sometimes I still sing it to her.
  • Unlike her brothers, she cried a lot her first few months of life!  (probably because I sang to her)
  • She is by far the most social person in our house.
  • She can talk almost as much as her dad.
  • When she talks, it is always loud…even if you are a foot away from her mouth.  She also talks fast and always with expression.
  • She is dramatic.  And she loves drama.  She is excited for the school play this year.
  • She has a beautiful voice and I love to hear her sing.  That is what she does in her room most of the time.
  • Right now she loves Big Time Rush (much to her brothers’ disappointment).
  • She loves pepperoni pizza.
  • She will eat a 12 piece nugget from Chick-Fil-A every meal if you let her.
  • She still lets me cuddle with her.
  • She loves clothes and anything that has to do with hair products.
  • Jill Begeman is her favorite adult friend (Jill is very good to her).
  • She loves gum and diet coke.
  • She loves to make people laugh.  She can appreciate a good fart.
  • She doesn’t plan on getting married but rather wants to stay at home with her daddy for the rest of her life (I may have made this point up).
  • She always has the Disney Channel on or Nickelodeon.
  • She is beautiful.
  • The first guy that hurts her heart will disappear and no one will be able to find his body or trace his whereabouts.

Happy Birthday baby girl!  I love you so much!!

Twilight Moms

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

*snicker* *giggle*

My wife saw Breaking Dawn this morning.  pfft.

Christmas is just around the corner (hard to believe!) and it’s time to get in the spirit of giving!

This year we (the Living Stones Church) is going to continue what we started last year by pulling off Give 2011!!!  There are two different foci (yes…that is the plural of focus) in regard to Give 2011.  One is to share with every student @ Monroe a wrapped shoe box with a hat, mittens, and other small gifts.  At Lincoln, each child will receive a fun Christmas bag full of goodies and a party (with Santa) in their classroom.  Second – we are making some much-needed renovations on the PIT (our youth building).  Your gift will allow us to help remodel the building into a functional, attractive, youthful, and multi-use space!!

Total – we are shooting for $7500 ($4000 for the gift boxes at the school and $3500 for supplies to renovate the PIT).  By comparison, that is what we have budgeted for a normal weeks’ tithes and offerings.

There are several ways you can give.  You  may give monetarily, placing it in the Give 2011 envelopes (found in your bulletin or in the lobby area).  If writing a check, make sure you note “Give 2011” in the memo section.  Or you may give by donating items from a list found at our website (click here).  


This Isn’t On Jesus

Posted: November 17, 2011 in South Bend, Uncategorized

Over the past week a horrific story of child abuse has been a top news story here in South Bend.  Ten year old Tramelle Sturgis, a student at Madison Primary Center (where a few Living Stoners work), was tied up in the basement with duct tape and beat to death by his father.  Responders to the scene said it was one of the worst cases of abuse they had ever seen.  Yesterday, Tramelle’s paternal-grandmother was arrested for neglect of a child (which she should have been).  As the story unfolds we discover that there has been a long trail of abuses (which by the way were reported to CPS by the school and others…and CPS did come to the house three times…HELLO CPS!!!??  What are you doing!?  But that is another blog post).  Turns out, Tramelle, and his siblings, had been beaten and tortured with things like being burned with a homemade torch of lighter and cockroach spray, a heated end of a screwdriver to the genitals, broken bones, etc.  If you want more on the story you can find it here.

Tramelle’s obituary came out yesterday in the paper.  And it has me a little fired up.  I don’t know who wrote it.  Because I’ve been in the room when obituaries are decided upon, I’m going to guess the family decided what to say.  And the opening goes like this:

Jesus loves children so much that he decided to carry away into His loving arms Tramelle LaVaunn Sturgis on his 10th birthday, October 26, 2011.

If Jesus loves children and decides this…I don’t want Jesus to love my children!  And I’m serious about that.

Don’t put this on Jesus!!  Jesus didn’t decide “to carry away”  Tramelle by being beaten to death by his own father duct taped in the basement!  This is on Tramelle’s dad (and I have a few other choice words for him but I’m showing Christian restraint to leave it at that)!  Jesus didn’t want this; desire this; wish for this; or orchestrate this!!!!  The family might want to put a smiley face on this situation and make it into some sort of “everything is going to be OK because of Jesus” situation, but that isn’t the reality of what is happening here.  And everyone in this family should own up to their part of what happened to little ten year old Tramelle and NOT put this on Jesus.

There is a lot that can be said in regards to suffering (the problem of theodicy), Jesus, and Tramelle.  But for this short blog post – at least let me say – Don’t put this on Jesus.

Jesus is just as sad, horrified, and disturbed as everyone else.  And his promise is that he will vindicate Tramelle and the pain, suffering, and abuse he underwent (which should be a sobering thought to a family so desperate to make everything OK).  It isn’t OK.  And it especially is not OK with Jesus.

You CANNOT live a healthy life without boundaries.  Everyone needs to have those guard rails in life that give us latitude, but in the end, keeps us from flying off a cliff on the side of the road.  Boundaries are essential.  And most people, especially in Christianity, struggle with setting boundaries believing to do so would be antithetical to being a disciple of Jesus.  So, we say “yes” to things we neither want nor should do.  We enable in others destructive patterns that keeps them immature.  We give up our thoughts, preferences, and opinions to keep the peace.  We become plagued with the desire to have everyone like us (even if trying to get others to like us is driving us insane).

SO…this evening at our Kingdom GED we’ve invited local Christian counselor Jeremiah Wright to come and speak to us about a life with good and healthy boundaries.

See you at 6:30 pm.

I really do believe it will be life altering.

Did I Just See That?

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

I saw this commercial on TV the other day.  The drama and dialogue sucked me in.  And then at the end, I thought – WHAT!!!!?  IS THAT ABOUT WHAT I THINK IT IS ABOUT!!!?  And then I had to take a shower because I felt shame.

Would You Ever Leave Your Faith?

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

No.  But I come dangerously close when I see stuff like this. (that is slight hyperbole).

If Congress were to draft legislation that would ban Christian television – I would support it.  Not because it is bad for America, but because it is bad for Christianity!

And I know you have crazies in every religion, group, movement, subset, etc. – but I’m going to say that independent Charismatics with television ministries have a higher percentage.

Does Anyone Care About the Groping

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Politics

Herman Cain has been accused by several women of groping them.  And yet, his poll numbers and campaign contributions have risen since these stories surfaced.  I find that fascinating and it leads me to wonder if the reasons behind it are any of the following:

  • After what everyone goes through at airport security and the TSA we no longer consider groping to be that big of a deal.
  • We have grown suspicious of women who out of no where shows up on the scene when fame and notoriety are possibilities.
  • Gloria Allred is now involved. *increase cynicism and media circus*
  • No one knows how to adjudicate a “he said” / “she said” situation so we just ignore it in exasperation.
  • The economy is so bad that if a candidate can get us out of this crisis, we don’t care if he groped a few women 15 years ago.
We were talking about it at lunch and I joked that I wonder what would happen to this story if Herman Cain would have responded to these allegations with:  “H*#% yes I groped her!  15 years ago she was hot.  So, I saw something I wanted,  I went for it, and I took a chance.  And that’s the same kind of go-get-em leadership you can expect from Herman Cain in the White House!”
This blog post was not brought to you by the committee to elect Herman Cain.
Don’t worry, I’m not making Public Relations business cards just yet.