Showing posts from 2007

First Admendment Suit

Orange County Register reports: "Mission Viejo sophomore Chad Farnan and his parents filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Corbett alleging the Advanced Placement European history teacher made anti-Christian remarks during class in violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause, which prohibits the government from promoting religious intolerance." Apparently Chad taped his teacher's comments. Some claim they are out of context. Others claim he's violated the First Amendment separation clause. Some current and former students what to keep Mr. Corbett while a smaller group wants to see him fired. All I know about the case is what I've read in the OC Register and elsewhere. What I wonder about is whether the same support would have been shown for Chad had he decided to write a paper with Jesus as the main subject matter. My first thought is not !!! Students First Amendment rights aren't protected at school. A number of rulings have shown this to be the

Christmas Linebacker

This is good... funny in a sick sort of way LOL On a more serious vein take a look at the video for Breath of Heaven . Alan

Christmas Trees

Kruse Kronicle had an interesting link so here is mine... Sounds about right. You Are a Traditional Christmas Tree For a good Christmas, you don't have to re-invent the wheel. You already have traditions, foods, and special things you bring out every year. What Christmas Tree Are You?

He who has ears...

Gary is amazing. He was in the front row at each of the ten performances of the Portland Singing Christmas Tree. He was the first to stand when we sang the Hallelujah Chorus . He touched many of us in the tree. He broke my heart. He reminded me of what Christ's coming is all about. For you see, Gary is doesn't hear the singing. He holds a balloon and feels the vibration of the music through it. Gary is mute yet he hears the gospel in Christ's birth clearer than many. Christmas can become a bit stale even for a pastor. Oh, we may not want to admit it but it does. Busyness takes the place of meditative prayer. Programs rob families of necessary time. Familiar texts and can keep us from seeing a new word from God in Christ. It has happened to me in the past and probably in the future as well. The second week of the Singing Christmas Tree found my voice better but my spirit dry. Not dry like stale bread, but dry like an un-basted, overcooked Christmas turkey that was left a

That's My King

If you haven't seen this check it out. I love it. Wish I had used it today in worship, but it's on my short list for next year to be sure. Peace Alan

Quick note--Thanksgiving

Ran across a great non sequitur cartoon on Wednesday. If you're too lazy to check the link here it is. I'm no longer a noob when it comes to the Portland Singing Christmas Tree. We had our first reheral in front of an audience and I felt much better about it. I'll be able to tell you more after Sunday night. There is a lot, LOT of standing, and with two performances this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I hope, Monday, I don't need assisted boarding for our flight to Oakland. Phyllis' father's service will be Monday afternoon so we're heading down and will come back Wednesday afternoon. In time for choir practice, the last four performances of the Portland Singing Christmas Tree and the beginning of Advent. We would appreciate your prayers through this busy time for us. God Bless and have a great tukeyday. Alan

Personal Down Time

Things are going to be a bit quiet on this front for a couple of weeks. My better 4/5ths and I are in Portland Singing Christmas Tree which has 10 performances starting Friday after Turkey Day through the Saturday, December 1. On top of this Phyllis and I received news today that her father passed so we will be going down to the Bay Area for the services. Keep us in your thoughts. Peace Alan

Another Presbytery takes action

Toby Brown has blogged about " Two Types of Presbyteries " and within 5 minutes of reading his blog I received the following letter from Rev. Brian Boisen, of Hope Presbyterian Church in Rouge River. Brian was in Sacramento with Rick and me, he is wonderful brother in the faith and a man of God. He's attempted to lead his congregation faithfully into and through difficult waters and…we'll I'll let you read what has occurred… Letter dated November 7, 2007 "My dear brothers and sisters in Christ and colleagues in His ministry, I wanted to get this note to you before you all gather for presbytery this weekend. I’m writing to let you know about what has been happening with our congregation, Hope Presbyterian Church in Rogue River, and I am doing it to honor our relationship and shared work over the past number of years, and because I am sure it will be discussed at presbytery. In a nutshell Hope has disaffiliated itself from the PC(USA) and placed itsel


The sermon's not coming along so I thought I'd sit and catch up on a few blogs. I'm not simple but I don't go in for multi page reads, usually. I want something short and sweet. But, being a kid from the 60's, I remember the beginnings of racial tensions. I recalled discussions and stories about the voting rights act. I remember watching the news during the "long hot summer" of riots. So when I came across the Thoughts and Actions blog I read it. No, it's not the whole story. No, it's not the total truth. Yes, it is one persons work and so acknowledged in the writing. But, it is a very well done overview of the issue itself from both sides. I encourage you to read it. Alan

A Difference of Note

Being properly shamed into posting… thanks Toby , this one will be a couple of quick observations about the New Wineskins Convocation. Part of the meeting involved a "NWEPC Support Network Meeting" [Presbytery]. The docket and paper work was one page. If this sort of thing happened in Cascades, Staples, Office Max, and the whole lumber industry would be hurting more than they already are. Second, as Toby stated, Prayer was central, constant and a holy experience of the presence of the Father. Third, for me the biggie, there remains a sense of trust between our congregations. In Cascades, I've heard questions being followed by long, disruptive discussion. Similar questions at the convocation were met with, can we visit about those changes later and a head nod. There was no sense of dread about what may come out of the visit. John Shuck, IMHO a wannabe theologian, has dubbed us New Winos ; so be it. I would much rather be lumped into that category than the liberal wieni

Strange thoughts from a stranger mind

Last night I came up with a strange in not insane reality show. Gordon Ramsey Hell's ER. It combines the US love for medical shows, Scrubs etc with the angry show host. Of course I don't think I'd want to be a patient in the show... Alan

Celebrate with me!

Being a life-long SF Giant fan there has been little to excite one this season.... except!!! Peace!

Who is Jesus?

Working on Colossians 2 I started to think about peoples various "opinions" about Jesus. Since I didn't have the time or skills to do "people on the street" interviews I did the next best thing--YouTube search. The one below is 10 minutes but I believe worth it. Peace, Alan

Delayed Response

I've never been known to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, so sometimes it takes me a while to respond to what I've read, heard, saw or experience. June 21 st PCUSA congregations got a letter from the PCUSA Stated Clerk, Clifton Kirkpatrick and the General Assembly Council Executive Director, Linda Valentine. Here's my story…. A man and wife come to their pastor one Sunday after worship. They were members and regular in attendance. They gave to the church and attended various functions. But most folks knew things weren't all peaceful and joyous. The pastor felt she/he finally had the chance to see what was going on with them and perhaps be of help. Entering the office the wife was obviously the more upset. She had been crying while her husband looked very nonplussed and rather embarrassed by his wife's behavior. "I don't know what the big deal is." He said as the two of them sat down. "I just don't get it." Shocked, his wife lo

Talk about Stereotypes!!

I'm Ned Flanders, who are you? by Sadly. as I went through the questions I had a feeling this world happen! [sigh!!] Alan

Missed by a quarter of a century

You Are 29 Years Old Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe. 13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world. 20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences. 30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more! 40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax. What Age Do You Act?

Time to Take Off...

My bride, youngest child (19), a friend and our middle kid and my favorite "daughter-in-law" are headed to beautiful Lake Tahoe for a week of sitting on our bums and relaxing. Standing in line for the latest Harry Potter movie (midnight show is a must); reading, naps, going to the beach, freezing our tush off in the lake and lounging around the pool will the extent of our excitement. I may post a few pictures, maybe a comment or two, but in the words of the Genie in Aladdin, "I'm outta here..." Alan

General Assembly Response

Well the GAC finally came out with a paper to answer the concerns of the New Wineskins and it isn't too much of a surprise. Take the time to read it but understand that they find nothing wrong with what's happened in the PCUSA. Of course they do throw those of us who don't agree a bone when they write, " ...that there is always a gap between any denomination’s official positions and the views and practices of some ministers and members of that denomination ." Anyone who has read the statements of faith that come from those being received in our Presbyteries probably have realized this fact. I will say that they are quick in responding to comments. I emailed the link at the bottom of the PDF and got a response back in very short order. Read it, respond to it and I'm sure they'll be more on this in the days to come. Peace. Alan

Dilbert is a Presby…

So, one of my favorite cartoons is Dilbert and today's (Sunday the 10th) struck me as particularly Presbyterian. Because of copyright concerns I've not pasted the cartoon here but instead have pasted NEW balloons which you may cut out and use to see the denominational aspect of the carton. Have a good week all. Alan

Cascade's Process

It's on the table… The Presbytery of the Cascades has officially presented it's process for congregation's considering leaving the PCUSA. I received mine in my presbytery packet today. After making sure there were no major revisions from what I'd already received I post it for the enlightenment, edification and whatever else you may glean from it. (sorry for any formatting glitches) APPENDIX B: PROCESS FOR CONGREGATIONS CONSIDERING LEAVING THE PCUSA Preamble The mission of the Presbytery of the Cascades is to serve God by nurturing, supporting, and celebrating our common ministries. Even in times of conflict, we seek to uphold one another, respecting each other’s integrity as we perceive the Biblical basis and Christian credibility of varied perspectives. It is the Presbytery’s desire to encourage peace and unity while minimizing confrontation between and among its congregations and members as we seek together to find and represent the will of C

A great pic…unfortunately

Just got to post this link to PowerBlog because this car from Berkely would fit well here in Portland… LOL Alan    

Interesting quiz

Mined Splatterings linked to a quiz about matching yourself to a theologian. Interesting mix for myself in that it is equal between Calvin and Edwards. Alan

Home at Last [revised]

My bad, a lot of homework and not enough caffeine will be my excuse. Apparently, I forgot to mention that the reason for the article on Johnny Hart was that he died the day before Easter. One of the reports is here . Alan Alan

Home at Last

Among the more faithful expressions of the faith is Johnny Hart whose ministry in this last decade or so has upset, comforted, enlightened and blessed many. He drew comics. BC and The Wizard of Id were his tools. "BC" was a powerful expression of Johnny's faith in Christ. Our politically correct and fearful Oregonian pulled the comic years ago because of its Christian content. I got to read him via the net and Washingtonpost [kudos to them]. Without shame or apology, I'll admit that I've printed out his comics and put them on bulletin boards at our church. His Christmas, Palm Sunday, and Easter comics were usually able to summarize the truth in a quick easy manner. Yesterday, for some reason, I didn't even look at his comic. Instead, during our cantata I thought, "Dang, I was going to get that and put it on the door." God bless you Mr. Hart. You've done good. You've blessed the Body of Christ. Peace to your wife and daughters. I pray for m

Putting things in perspective

I can't help but notice that our branch of Christ's body isn't the only one with "issues". Check out the recent article from the UK Independent . Brings a whole new meaning to gutter talk. Have a memorable Easter Peace Alan

A Great Story Unfolding

Ok! Here is a blog to start reading. Go to "A Matter of Gravity" part 1 and get ready to be sucked into a great story not unlike Stephen King. Peace Alan

Missional mindset

Becoming Missional has a couple of great vids to watch. Even if you're not into hip hop watch them both. It's worth the 10 minutes or less. Another blog from the same author with extremely easy and practical advice for dealing with homeless people. Peace Alan

Missional Memorial Service

This past week I did a memorial service for a woman who was a member of our church. She wasn't regular in her attendance due to work, family and work responsibilities but she kept up to date on items via the web and email. What was an eye-opening revelation for me was that of the 90 or so people in attendance only a handful, mostly deacons who were helping out in the kitchen were from the church. Those who came were people whose lives she had touched in significant ways. A college professor, her mail carrier, neighbors and those who were students with her each had stories to share about the way she lived life. One young man recounted how he was one of her grandchildren, not biologically but in a deeper and more meaningful way. Others met her through her ministry in the area of crisis support and care. The testimonies about her didn't surprise me. What I wondered is how many non-church members will come to my memorial service? How many lives, outside of the walls of the church

You’re a Victim; I’m a Victim; Everyone’s a Victim…

Did you read about the man below? “A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal. James Pacenza, 58, of Montgomery, says he visits chat rooms to treat traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam. In papers filed in federal court in White Plains, Pacenza said the stress caused him to become "a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict." He claimed protection under the American with Disabilities Act. [1] “ Just the latest in the “it’s not my fault, I can’t help myself, this is how God made me, nobody understands the trouble I’ve seen” approach to excusing the inexcusable. Before you get upset I am in favor of EEOC for the most part. I believe strongly in the ADA provisions but even these can get a bit wearisome when common sense

orlando and home again

Back in church today, somewhat recovered from a flight that had 3 stops before Portland, I have had a little time to reflect on the convocation and what happened. I’ll echo what I wrote when I referenced Toby’s blog. It was a God thing. Here was a group of people who spoke the same language; shared the same values and walked the walk of following Christ. We were in a group in which we didn’t have to wonder what someone meant when they used language. We were in a place where the word Father could be used to refer to God without rolled eyes and gasps about being insensitive. We were sisters and brothers who understood that our actions were going to be church-shattering. What happens from here? That’s the question each congregation will have to ask themselves. It’s not enough that a pastor would like to affiliate with the EPC. It isn’t enough that a session is tired of the “stuff” out of Louisville and would like to be in a place where they own their building and aren’t embarrassed to

A God thing

I am not going to repeat the good report of Toby Brown. Read his blog . I'll merely add that the last two days have been a God thing pure and simple Peace Alan

Generational Differences

WOW , and I'm not talking about the Vista release , this was on January 23, 2007 and shows the difference between the next/current generations. Nothing on the site says anything about the sample size but a little searching on the Pew website and I found out it's based on 1501 interviews done September and early October last year. Quick thoughts. 1. If this is valid then the parents of Gen Next have done as bad a job as other parents in instilling the care for others into their children. I am the father of three Gen Next'ers and I apologize for my role in any of these findings. 2. If this is valid then it's probably a good thing the Democrats won so that the state can take care of people because it seems the people don't give a rip about others. 3. If this is valid the vast majority of those in Gen Next are going to be sadly disappointed with their life. That means the opportunity to reach them for Christ will happen whe