Verse of the Day

Saturday, December 18

Videos to Watch

Christmas Teaching for the 12 days of Christmas...

Christmas story reboot sort of ...

Hat tip to Quotidian Grace and Rev. Santucci

Peace and Merry Christmas

Alan

Sunday, December 5

Flash Mob at it's Best

Told the congregation I'd put this on the blog so here it is. Worth the watch and I give you permission not to rise.



The HD version is on YouTube.

Peace,
Alan

Wednesday, November 3

Welcome Home!

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”



So what if:
We realized and celebrated God welcoming us?
We welcomed one another and the stranger in such a way?
We realized the difference a little attention makes?

Would the Church be seen as different?
Would God's people be known by their Love?
Would we find people wanting to join with us?

What do you think?

Peace
Alan

Wednesday, October 6

Nobel Prize and Evangelism

How many pastors have told their members, either in a sermon or individually, that the best message to share about Christ is their own. Now we have scientific proof, of a kind.

Two physicists discovered a simple, one atom thick, piece of graphite [graphene]is more powerful than they ever thought. Their method of discovery was unique too. They didn't use "multibillion-dollar particle accelerators and orbiting telescopes" but "Andre Geim, 51, and Konstantin Novoselov, 36, both of the University of Manchester, laid the foundation for their discovery with an ordinary piece of Scotch tape"

The simple stories are the powerful ones. Our stories may not sound like something from the 700 Club, Guidepost or Decision but, assuming the presence of the Holy Spirit working, they have the ability to share what God has done for us to those in our world. A few fish [John 6, Matthew 15, Mark 8], a couple of coins [Mark and Luke 12] or being faithful in the little things [Matthew 25] each lead to big things with huge consequences.

Take time to reflect on YOUR STORY of how Christ has touched and changed you. List down three things that are different now, because of Jesus. Ask God to show you who needs to hear your story. Share your story with those to whom God leads. Trust God for the results.

Peace
Alan

Thursday, September 23

21st Century Immigration

Leonard Sweet makes us of the model of immigrant and native in describing two approaches to the digital and post-modern age in which we are living. In an interview Leonard says,
"I find that it is especially helpful for getting some people to think in a new way. I say this first, and then I backtrack from it. I am just going to make a generalization here. If you are over 30, you are an immigrant. If you are under 30, you are a native."

Read the whole interview to see it in context

Part of the application of this principle is how one connects with the world in which they live. How does an unchurched person look, act, talk and behave. In addition, what are they "into".

This all leads into something I heard today on a Portland, "Family Friendly", the new watchword for Christian radio station. The morning team were talking about how many families have DVR's and were using them to record the new shows that are premiering this week.

Then they show amazingly how totally "out of touch" they are with the world in which they live as they listed show after show about which neither of them had heard. It sounds harsh but I have a sinking feeling quite a few followers of Christ really don't care if others are damned to hell. We can become aware of what's happening without embracing and approving of it. Paul certainly did that when he spoke about Roman games.

Our Lord told us to go and make disciples of all nations not just our family and friends. We are ordered to make disciples of all nations not just those who look and talk like us. We are commanded to make disciples of all nations not just those who read the same books, listen to the same music and watch the same movies.
Peace
Alan

Thursday, July 15

Old friends and memories...


LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy. Hab. 3:2 NIV

I want to take a few moments to process how God has been at work since my mom's death May 23. Besides the usual emotions, I've noticed that God has touched my life with a variety and interesting group of people. Some of them are old friends. Some of them are relatives both known to me and new. Some are [were] youth that I worked with when I was a volunteer. Some were people that I sort of remember.

This probably won't make a lot of sense to you but that's my issue not yours. I've just been burned with the need to share what has been happening the last two months.

Family: I met Jerry, a cousin from the Wilkerson family that I met when I was 3 or 4 years old. We got to visit over coffee and share some things about family and our genealogy hobby. Sadly, my mom never knew he lived less than 15 minutes from her place.

I connected once more with cousins who I ran around with in Reno. Vicki lives in Washington,is a DVM, and owns a ranch. I spoke with my surviving aunt, Dawn, who couldn't make the service. She and my mom were roomies for a few years after my dad died.* Her son, Dale, works in Las Vegas and is Dawn's caregiver. Dawn's daughter Karen and granddaughter Sara were at the service. Sara spent much of the summer at the mobile home park during the years my mom and Dawn lived together.

Judy, Max and Kathleen's daughter was there too. I receive the most thoughtful letter of memories today from her. My cousin Philip wanted come down from Reno but was in Colorado on family business. Others health just wouldn't allow them to make the trip.


Friends:
A couple from Reno came with their daughter and son-in-law. They had been in the Hawthorne church I served and their daughter was good friends with my kids. Besides just visiting with them it was great to hear their son-in-law is looking toward an education with Multnomah University through their distance learning.

Ken Couser and his mom, Carol was at the service. His mom was a den mother for me and both his dad and mine were involved in our scout troop. Ken and I shared close to 12 years together through school. We were on PVHS' swim team, [I had a different body then]. We hung out at the same lunch tables and Ken, Neil and I were pretty much inseparable. It was great to see them and to cement a relationship that was simply posts on Facebook up till then.

Katie Nelson and I played phone tag for a couple of days. She was in the high school group at 1st Presbyterian Richmond in which I served in the seventies. We had a great talk about old times and she affirmed me in ways she'll never know during our talk. She is living a boring life she says, "Same job, same kids, same house, same marriage..."

Then there is the contact with two other childhood friends. John who lives in Portland and Freddy an elementary school friend. High school, exploring fields, riding bikes were part of the history with these two. Then I connected with another member from our home church in Richmond by comments on another blogger's post.

What I know is that God is doing more than playing "six degrees of separation" with my life. I can't help but recall Israel being reminded of what went before and the command to remember. I can't help but think back to the formative days of my faith under the tutelage of Denn, Ron, Paul, Lloyd, Judd and others. All I can say is thank you Lord and I wait for your leading.
Peace,
Alan

* IMHO Dawn and my mom were twins who were born a year apart. If one of them yelled at us my cousin Dale and I couldn’t tell which one it was.

Friday, June 25

Not a Surprise

Check out Rob Harrison's comments on the video below for he does a very good job of asking the difficult questions about it's content and purpose. My comments after the video.



In light of the Gospel of John which they are handing out should this surprise any follower of Jesus.
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me.

Are there other cities with such restrictions? Heck yeah! From Boston's recent protest of a church training event with Exodus International to confrontation of Gideons handing out New Testaments on the sidewalk in Portland Oregon there are probably a dozen more such instances.

Should we, as followers of Jesus Christ be surprised at being set upon. No! In fact, as I read it we should expect it and even welcome it as a chance to live out the love of our Lord in the very midst of persecution.

Thursday, June 17

Personal Reflection

One of the nice things about a personal blog is that it can be, well... personal. Many people have asked, "How are you doing" as concerns my mom's death. The easiest way to answer that is to say, "I'm doing ok...but." The ok part is that I understand the issues involved in grieving and my slips in memory etc. don't bother too much. I know that there's a bunch of stuff to do and most times, I feel just too overwhelmed to even start, let alone finish projects.

The "but" part has been a journey. My mom had a stroke about 6 years ago. Where my mother is concerned, dealing with her post-stroke became my focus. I realize that a big part of me had simply shoved the other times we shared aside so that I could work on the situations and get things done.

As I've thought about the trips dad, mom and I took I can recall many better than good times. I can relive some of those jokes she told me. I can smile at her exploration into doing "color consulting" [anyone remember spring, fall, winter and summer colors]. The thoughts are good, bittersweet at times, and full of life.

The upshot is that I'm doing okay...but and that is not a bad place to be.
Peace,
Alan

Monday, May 31

A Sobering Time


My mother passed from this life to eternity May 23rd. The cause of death won't be known till the toxicology screen is back from the coroner's office. We got the news of the fire in her mobile home as we were waiting to return from our vacation. It had been a time of celebration and relaxation up till the call.

One night home in our own beds then off to Sacramento we drove. Many people in Portland and elsewhere were praying for us as we started the process of dealing with the details of her death. God answered the prayers of people. God used my mom's chief care-giver Christina to do so much it's amazing. God oversaw some the issues with my mom's CD's as well as with the insurance she carried on the place.

All-in-all it the last week has been a heck-of-a lesson on watching God work. Is there more to do? Sure. Will there be set backs and road blocks? I'm sure there will be. But the fact remains that God's in charge and that's the best news we can hear no matter what we're facing.

I covet your prayers and thoughts for myself and our family.

Peace,
Alan

Monday, May 10



So, I've got a new toy/tool which has taken me a bit more time than I wanted to get tweaked. Found the jump to Windows 7 to be a bit of a learning curve since everything else I have is XP or older, but I'm moving up the curve.

A couple of things I've discovered with the new computer:

1. The handwriting recognition is much better on Win 7 than XP and it wasn't too bad on XP. If it can read my scribbling it can read anyone.

2. I'm not putting all the programs I've ever owned on this one. It's getting the necessary ones-- Office; Logos 4; Nero; Acrobat; Avast; NIV Study Bible and a couple of others

3. I hate the HP junk at the beginning of the boot up. Desk management or whatever they call it is "fill-ware" [there are other names for it]. I'd be willing to do an total reinstall if I could get rid of that stuff.

It's a nice computer. Hopefully it will let me do what I need it to do with less hassles than the old Motion 1400 [it is now a home e-book reader] or my kid's old Gateway tank of a convertible.

Peace
Hope your Mother's Day went well

Alan

Monday, April 26

South Park and "Islam is Peace"


After last week's Cartoon Network cave-in to Islamic hate mongers the way is open for followers of Jesus to also demand their time of censure. Perhaps Jon Stewart's spin is right; it was done to protect the creators. However even among the Muslim community there are those who called this a "distraction".

Perhaps vague threats against shows that take pot shots at Jesus, make fun of Christians, use the name of God in vain or which promote witchcraft and the third-date rule. But alas that won't happen because in spite of the aberrations among those who call themselves Christians; Christianity is REALLY a religion of peace and love.

Aberrations like white supremacists wand those who bomb abortion clinics and murder in the name of God are the exception not the rule. Followers of Jesus do not crash planes into Mecca on Hajj. Presbyterians don't plant car bombs outside of Baptist Churches on Sunday mornings. Lutherans don't gather in mobs and beat Catholics or Pentecostals on their way to worship and burn down churches. We leave that to others.

No, Christ followers take abuse because our Lord was abused. We believe it when we're told we will face persecution because Jesus was persecuted. Christ followers believe in turning the other cheek, going a second mile, and repaying evil with love.

Need examples? Here's a large church in Portland that will hold abbreviated worship services this Sunday, May 2, in order to send their members out into the community to serve others. Countless other everyday folks reach out each week to those in homeless shelters to the hungry and to children in less than ideal situations.

Millions worship in small congregations, old buildings, and with a dozen different styles. Millions give sacrificially to support others in doing what they cannot--from bringing aid to Haiti [no we haven't forgotten] and to adopting children around our world. And ALL of this is for the sake of Jesus.

So go ahead networks produce your junk. Go ahead talking heads and spout your attacks against God's people. You don't fear censorship because of our threats. We won't kill, maim or attack your homes, businesses and the like. Instead we'll do the worse possible thing we could do. We'll pray for you.

Peace
Alan

Sunday, April 18

Prayer Pups Christian Comics

Prayer Pups Christian Comics

Posted using ShareThis

Message from on high LOL

God wants to inform the ecumenical community of some upcoming plans which may affect their service. These changes are currently slated to begin Memorial Day weekend however some within the church may notice a change sooner.

1. God will not be present every Sunday at worship. He needs time to recharge His batteries by going to the lake, beach, mountains and camping. God wants the church to understand that he needs time for Himself too.

2. God will not be blessing His people during much of the summer months. He will try to be regular with His giving but sometimes there are unexpected events cause Him to run short or simply forget to pour them out. If this causes a problem please just "trust God to provide".

3. God will also not be offering forgiveness those weekends He is away. He asks the church to save up our sins the weeks He is not present and He will get to them once school starts.

4. God will not be doing much "saving of souls" during the summer. His busy schedule, time away, and previous commitments, makes it difficult to commit His Holy Spirit for the events. He asks the church to understand that this is only temporary and once programs get ramped up again he is sure souls will be saved once more.

Praise God this is simply a nightmare for our Lord says:

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


Hope your summer is touched by God's presence.

Peace,

Alan

Tuesday, March 30

Religious University duh!

Trinity University in Texas, has a covenant relationship with the PC(USA) church. It was founded by Presbyterians right after the Civil War. Now at least some students want "Our Lord", as in "The Year of Our Lord" removed from their diplomas. You can read the article here.

Now I sympathize with Mr. Medina but... the name of the school is "TRINITY". As a Muslim I would have thought that would have been a bigger issue than "our Lord". Just a thought!

Peace
Alan

Sunday, March 14

What's Keeping Me Busy


This is the main reason for my lack of writing lately. We've been having a lot of fun, loving, nuzzling and napping. I'm sure I'll be getting back into things in a while. In the mean time, Peace

Alan

Wednesday, January 13

Remember Why We're Here

Take a moment to read William Vanderbloemen's post.

It's a great reminder:

1. of Christ's love for all people

2. of the transforming power of God's Holy Spirit

3. of our need to engage those who we usually scorn

4. of our calling as Christ's Body and God's people.

Today, let us commit ourselves to being open to seeing, speaking with and praying for such people as Christ leads us. Amen.

Peace

Alan

Sunday, January 3

Year in Review Answers

On the 29th of December I shared a link to a set of questions to help us review our past year. Don't know if you're read it or not but here are my answers to these questions... Care to share?

Go back and take a look at the article and share your answers with us.

1. If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be? Drama, romance, adventure, comedy, tragedy, or a combination?
o Dramatic comedy with some character development and a few insightful, awe-inspiring scenes

2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring? These can be single words or phrases:
o Family, Hospitality, Celebration

3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of? Here are some of mine:
o Seeing Kenton's spiritual gifts used to get us through some hard choices
o Holding my first grand-child
o Watching the church meet the needs of several hundred hungry people around us.

4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t? Okay, This can be a bit of tough nut and in a medium like this I think my answer will have to be:
o No comment.

5. What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year? As leaders, we naturally have high expectations of ourselves and others. Where did you let yourself down? Where did you let others down? Here are some of mine:
o Not taking the time to do an "A" job on a couple of studies I undertook
o Not getting my garaged purged, stripped, organized and redone
o Getting sidetracked by the urgent way too often

6. What was missing from last year as you look back? Again, look at each major area of your life. Don’t focus now on having to do anything about it. For now, just list each item. Here is my list:
o More time spent on planning, particularly leadership training
o Not much recreational reading

7. What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year? Boil this down to a few short, pithy statements. For example:
o This past year, "Don't sweat the small stuff" was taken to a whole new level for me. I found I didn't get as anxious in the face of things not happening like I'd expected or wished.

Peace,

Alan