Showing posts from 2008

COLD in Portland

This last Sunday, December 14, 2008, was the Third Sunday of Advent. It was nice about 7:30 when I got to church. It was NOT as nice at 9:30 when I recorded a message on the answering machine and it wad down right NASTY by worship at 11 am. I anticipated as much since I only ran off 30 bulletins. We were blessed with an impromptu performance from a guest pianist as the faithful members of Kenton showed up regardless of the nasty weather. Didn't get a count but it was at least 40 there during worship. The video which is embedded was taken about an hour after worship. One of our more senior couples drove to worship...[not smart] so Joe drove them home and I followed him and brought him back to worship. That is when I decided to film this. It's been up on my Facebook but some of you don't have that so here it is. Peace Alan

More seasonal music to enjoy

Reliant K Jars of Clay Then there's this old classic...from Amy Grant Peace, Alan

A Step away from Advent

I'm going to jump back into the political arena for a moment. Great article by John Ortberg which is must read no matter who you voted for. Enjoy and remember we're waiting for the best. Peace, Alan

Advent memory

Found another one on YouTube. Forgot all about this song. Man I loved the Talbot Brothers, yeah, I know, I'm dating myself. Enjoy. Peace Alan

Kenton Dismissed

Presbytery of the Cascades voted overwhelmingly to dismiss Kenton Presbyterian Church, and it's pastor [yours truly] to the EPC. Now all we've got is the paper work and that is well in hand. We have a gracious God and I believe that Cascades did a very good job in showing it's grace and compassion in this process. There is another congregation, a much different situation, coming up tomorrow so we'll remain in prayer for our sisters and brothers in that process. Alan

Worth the reading...

Hat tip to Spyglass who shared a link to Jared Wilson's blog The Gospel-Driven Church . Click over and read these. He's putting 19 of 95 thesis for the Church. For those of you who do not know your history Martin Luther posted 95 thesis on the cathedral door in Wittenburg which pushed the Reformation to a new point. My take on these. There's something to make everyone wince. These hit home with me # 5, 8, 11, 14-19, 23-25, 32. He will write more tomorrow... Alan

One Step Closer

It's been hard to get this post up due to HTML errors and not a clue as to what they meant.... Sunday Kenton took a major step toward it's new incarnation as an Evangelical Presbyterian Church. About 2/3rds of our active membership [46] stayed for a congregational vote on Session's recommendation to seek dismissal to the EPC. The vote was 44-2 in favor, so letters will be written this week to Presbytery conveying the official request and we will be on the docket for November's meeting. What I want to do is take this opportunity to thank two groups of people. First is the Presbytery's Resolution Team. They did a great job working with Kenton. Soon into the process they realized that what was best for us was to see us dismissed with grace. They continue to work toward being our advocates during the upcoming Presbytery meeting. They were scattered over a wide distance which made some face-to-face meetings hard but they got the work done. The second group is Kenton'

When Debates become Old Hat

My oldest boy and I were talking prior to the debate about the candidates and how one goes about deciding for whom to vote. At the time I was wasting time by playing Civilization Complete and the idea hit both of us that what we needed was to see the candidates in action. I propose two five to six hour sessions. The first would be on domestic policy and administration with the second to focus on world politics. The first would involve both candidates playing SimCity and the second Civilization Conquests. I understand that Obama, being younger would have a leg up on McCain, but then Palin would have more city experience that Biden. All in all I think it would even out. During the play time they would NOT be allowed to have handlers coaching them on their next play, build or move. They would NOT be allowed to use crib sheets or have a walk through guide with them. Like most of us they would have to muddle through and hope for the best. The play would be on personal computers of


I'm starting a series of sermons/worship with each of the New Wineskin's Essential Tenets as the topics. Now that won't do much more than raise a yawn from most people but I thought I'd share something I ran across today as I was googling around the old internet. It's an old post from a Portland pastor dealing with different viewpoints when it comes to theology. It's a bit long but read it, take some time and play a tune on a harmonica while coyotes yip in the fall air, you'll understand when you read the link. Here's to all of us who are writing like mad for Sunday. Alan

North to Alaska

John Wayne went way up North in 1960 . I remember seeing the movie with my parents at the Rancho Drive-in which was down tank-farm hill in San Pablo. Well my bride and I are gone for seven days and then fellowship camp with Kenton. We'll miss you all. I'll post photos if I take time to get online, but have a good week. I know I'm going too. Alan

"I Think They've Got It!"

In My Fair Lady Rex Harrison declares that Eliza Doolittle, "has got it!" as she works through her language lessons. Later after a royal snobbery of an affair he returns and with Pickering he sings of his triumphant by declaring, "I did it!" I always thought it was a Western thing to pull one over on those who believe they are "better than us". It's a well worn plot in movies from Wargames , to Ferris Buller's Day Off . It's celebrated in the success of the independent candidate in politics to the "little guy" sticking it to the big company. But at this year's Olympics, we've seen China also has this lesson down. Now I am not a China hater. I believe they are making better political decisions that in the past and that the nation is a necessary partner for commercial and social work in this century. They have human rights issues to be certain but they are a valid trade partner for us and the rest of the planet. Their future in
I have to send you to read the GA Junkie's latest post on "Modern Echoes of the Adopting Act". It won't be for everyone but if you're at all interested in the current unrest of the PC(USA) especially following the PUP report it's a good read. If you're interested in early Presbyterian history, how we got to where we are it's a good read. And if you've ever wondered what the who "scrupling" stuff was about it's a very good read. Thanks for the post Junkie. Alan

Worship Planning 2.0

I'd love to sleep seven hours straight through without waking up but that's not my lot. So at 4 am I wake up and start thinking about what a reformation in worship would look like in this day and age. What I'm suggesting is not new. Heck, it's probably been around since Al Gore invented the internet [LOL] but then again I'm sometimes a bit slower than others are. So here goes. I'm proposing a way to develop a service of worship, sermon, environs, music and other aspects of worship. A couple of statements before we start HC stands for "Host Church" I'm not into psalms only, regulative principle, or going back to the 1500's as a model for worship. Some are called to do that, my predestination lies along another path The tools used to accomplish what I'm talking about are probably out there. I can think of Google documents, IM programs, GodTube , and probably a dozen more. This ALL HAPPENS UNDER A COVERING OF PRAYER. I'm not do

Cows with Guns

So it's been out a couple of years, but a high school senior sent this to one of my kids. Since this seems to have been a month of nothing too serious I thought I'd share it with the rest of the world. Makes me want to to McDonald's as I watch it. Alan

Oh the Places I've Been to....

Some have used this tool to show where they've been so I thought I'd add my two-cents worth visited 38 states (76%) Create your own visited map of The United States or determine the next president You can mark Alaska in 33 days... Alan

Keep Oregon Weird

Perhaps you've seen the bumper sticker "Keep Portland Weird" but the truth is, the whole state seems to be a bit "off the rails". Two recent articles demonstrate just how forward looking the state's health system has become. Barbara Wagner's cancer came back and she was told by letter, "Treatment of advanced cancer that is meant to prolong life, or change the course of this disease, is not a covered benefit of the Oregon Health Plan." But the same letter "that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide " (emphasis mine). If she were the only case one might figure it was a bureaucratic screw-up. Yet this not the case; Randy Stroup, 53-years-old found out a drug that could help make his last few months more bearable wasn't covered by the Oregon Health Plan. Like Barbara, he too, was offered coverage for suicide. Oregon will stop living wage jobs for the sake of an owl. Oregon

Video break

Hat tip to Stushie over at Presbyterian Bloggers . For your enjoyment and amazement I include the following video . Warning... This is cute Alan

New Widget for You

Just found a pretty cool widget and website for me. It is you can listen to some great music on line, IMHO. You can purchase CD's it will be easier than burning my records. And even publish a radio and play list on your blog or other sites. Mine is on the right and yes I have a weird selection of music in my playlist. If it works for you that's great. Alan

Happy Fourth

Took this at the USS Arizona Memorial a few years back. I tweaked the sky color but otherwise it is as it looked. Awesome place, awesome sacrifice, awesome nation. Have a great fourth. Alan

Mourning for the PC(USA) or "where do we look for the true church now"

Alternative titles for this posting included: "Thank you very much sir, may I have another" and, my son's option, "So long and thanks for all the fish." GA is at lunch. I imagine many will have a hard time holding food down after the debacle this morning. I outlived being a conspiracy theorist but I can't help wonder at what happened. Last night we undertook a new mission initiative to raise 2 million dollars so we might, in the words of the commissioner from Denver, "litigate in a graceful way". This morning we started off by being fair and limiting debate to one minute. This is because there's a lot of stuff to get through. [ side note: didn't they see this coming when they authorized guest speakers, ecumenical greetings and DVD's months before the GA? ] Yeah Gradey was elected moderator which might be like getting promoted to captain April 15, 1912 on the Titanic. His election was overshadowed by all that followed. In just over 90

Observations on GA 2

It's a mixed bag and a very disturbing one to me in particular. First the sort of good news is that we affirmed a "common faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior." Sure we don't affirm any allegiance to Jesus, just faith. [1] It sort of reminds me a few GA's ago when we put in our constitution "marriage was a covenant between a man and a woman". It bothers me when we "legislate" the obvious, orthodox and historical truth of the Body of Christ. At 10 p.m. the death knell for any ongoing contribution of per capita was sounded. O3-21 (text follows): That the 218th General Assembly (2008) do the following: 1. Provide funds to the Office of General Assembly for the purpose of sharing the cost of legal fees defending our Constitution against the New Wineskins Non-geographic Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and a group which has joined that denomination. 2. From these funds, reimburse the Presbyter

Observations on GA 1

Dr. Rodger was misleading at best. In discussion about the minority report on the Heidelberg catechism he said that only one English translation used the term "homosexual perversion". I did a quick search on and found that although the word "perversion" was not used the concept of "homosexuality" is in deed present in the NIV, NLT, CEV, NASB. I like the man. I've taken classes from him. I've enjoyed his conversation and insight but the last few years his investment in the pro-homosexual agenda has made him disingenuous. Alan

218th General Assembly

This is one of those posts that is SO denominationally oriented many of you will have fallen asleep already.. . that's okay, it's not for everyone. I wanted to give everyone a heads up for a couple of sights that you need to be aware of. First is This has all the business of the General Assembly on it and you can actually follow it as it goes through committee. It should have the final reports too as they area generated. Having said that, it's not up right now [8 pm PDT Saturday, June 21, 2008]. But I anticipate they will get the problems worked out since this is how the commissioners to GA are getting their information. You do have to register for this site but if you're interested in how some things turn out it will be well worth your time. This site will be important for Monday and Tuesday as the committees meet and do their work. Second is which allow you to watch the action at Ge

A Tale of Two Presbyteries

The PC[USA] faces a sever lack of consistency among its beliefs. Some Presbyteries ordain openly practicing homosexual persons [1] others make statements that they will not ordain such persons. Some presbyteries have a list of essential tenets [2] and most don't. On June 10 th 's Presbyweb [3] displayed this continued lack of meaningful "connectionalism" was loud and clear in two articles arranged literally over one another. The first is a letter , by Noel Anderson reporting how the Presbytery of San Joaquin unanimously dismissed Millbrook Presbyterian Church to the EPC with their property. Below this is a report from Presbyterian Layman about the Presbytery of Southern Louisiana and Woodlawn Presbyterian Church of New Orleans. The presbytery sought a "temporary restraining order" to keep the church from meeting to vote on seeking dismissal from the PC[USA]. The parish court denied presbytery's request. Maybe it's my political science ba

Happy Father's Day

In our household when one of my boys ask what I want for Father's day, Christmas or my birthday, my stock answer is "Your undying love and unquestioned obedience". Needless to say, I'm still waiting. I came across this video from an email ad from GodTube and thought it worth sharing. It reminded me of the fact that when my father died, 22 years ago, he and I had become friends. You who are father's remember the little things count. Those who aren't father's but whose father's are alive remember the love and obedience request. Have a great day Dads. Alan

Christmas Gifts for family!!

For those crafty type people here is a great idea for gifts for those hard to buy for folks on your list. You could even cover it with contact paper and personalize them. If my shirts looked that good it would clash with the rest of my wardrobe. Alan

Start of Summer Meme

1.) What first tells you that Summer is here? Portland gets above 70 and I put on shorts and put the jacket away. The travel vest comes out and the slugs return to the garden. 2.) Name your five of your favorite distinctively Summer habits or customs. Sitting on the back deck with a slight breeze blowing and cold drink in my hand. Listening to the pond, [I hate raccoons] and this year enjoying a hammock. It's not so distinct but it's nice when the "kids" [they're now 20 somethings] from the church invade our home on Sundays and I feel like I hold court on the deck. It's just nice 3.) What is your favorite smell of Summer? Barbecue, 4.) What is your favorite taste of Summer? Did I mention Barbecue? Brisket. mmmm mine's not as good as Allen's BBQ in Abiliene but I'm learning. 5.) Favorite Summer memory? as a kid Flashlight tag till 11 pm in Hawthorne fishing the Elbow of the Walker River 6.) Extreme heat or extreme co

WCC and Stupid Comments

A special hat tip to Toby for the wonderful link from the WCC and the stellar work they are doing in the world around us. I read the preamble and something just snapped in me and I thought, "I need to break this down so any liberals who read this will understand just how stupid it sounds." So here goes. "We are in Cuba, a country that approaches the celebration of 50 years of its revolution. Cubans describe the present period as a “Kairotic” passage, a time of crisis and opportunity." One should check out various meanings of words before they use them. The Urban Dictionary defines the WCC's term Kairotic as "used to express gayness or queerness or just to make fun of people who you don't like." To be gracious let's just accept the idea of a critical time. When has Cuba, the U.S., or any other nation NOT been a time of crisis and opportunity? "The people’s suffering is acute because of the U.S.-imposed blockade and the general forces of e

First Pres. Roseville

If you don't read Presbyweb , shame on you. It is the best source of news concerning the denomination around. Click on it, make a donation and enjoy. javascript:void(0) Publish Post They reported from the Sierra Mission site that a decision was reached in the case of First Presbyterian Church of Roseville. God bless you on your new journey Alan

Video from Hawai'i

YouTube is up and I dropped some very unedited footage here to show you what is going on. Pretty impressive!

Pics from Vacation


Easter Greeting

Christ has Risen Christ has Risen Indeed


Thanks to Jodi and Eric for sharing this with me. You two rock. Great vid and great message. Alan

RIP Larry Norman

Larry is one of those who was never afraid to call us to truth. Before there was emergent there was Larry. Take heart Presbys there are those who hold to One Way . He was in chapel at Fuller Seminary and lambasted us for not being out in the streets talking to the world about Jesus instead of sitting in class. I remember feeling somewhat embarrassed for him and defensive for those us paying good money for our education. The truth was that he was probably much more right than I gave him credit for. Loved his life, Loved his witness and Loved his music. Alan

ER and Truth

If you haven't seen this video yet you've missed out. Take a look and ask what you hear, preach, think or believe. Alan

Pastor Straton's Story

Saw this video at Sunset and hadn't found it till now. It's moving, telling and very, very true for us too. Take six and a half minutes and watch something that will change your life. Video

World Vision Aids Experience

Our little congregation is going to be fielding a number of volunteers to help Sunset Presbyterian Church host the World Vision Experience Aids this coming April. There are other areas where this will be hosted as well so check it out and attend one of these. In the meantime check out this video:

Meth and Fox News

It's pretty much the same old news at 10:00 tonight. Vandalism, trials and a "breaking news" story. Along with "Fox's Most Wanted" we have our "Meth Watch" segment as I'm sure others do. My number 1 son put it all in perspective however when he said, "It's pretty sad when your news has it's own meth watch logo." Couldn't have said it better my self kid. Alan


Nothing profound. Just wanted to thank Presbyterian Gal for the cat. It's cute. If only I knew enough to turn it into a calico I could have Callie* on my blog. Alan *when she's in one of her moods it's spelled KALI.

The Trinity

The issue of the Trinity Paper is, as Charles Wiley says, "a sad irony". He admits the committee could have clearly shown the language used was part of "an ancient and medieval way of talking about God as Trinity". Yet that might be difficult since of the 12 statements of trinitarian formulas in lines 394-247 only two of them are referenced as being from " an ancient and medieval " period of time. In fact, other than the references to John of Damascus and Augustine the only other references are to the Book of Common Worship and a 2004 work by Gail Ramshaw. Bible references are given but no other sources for trinitarian statements like, Compassionate Mother, God is Giver, Gift, and Giving; or Fire that Consumes, Sword that Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains I am afraid that many people who watch this video will never read the Trinity paper. That is a shame because I believe this video could have done more good addressing the concern about dis

Essential Tenents

Continuing to comment on the video that has come from the powers-that-be* we move to a very short segment on Essential Tenets. If you scroll down the above link you can view just this portion. I've included the transcript of what is said below my comments. Please watch the video. I feel like the whole question of essential tenets was swept under the carpet in this segment. What's worse it is at the very root of the current situation and crisis within the denomination. Watch the video because I believe some of the body language and vocalizations say a lot more than just the words. It felt to me as if it were a throw away question. It was asked so when questioned by others the pob's (see * above) can say, "we dealt with that in a video segment already." I believe the force of this segment is to make essential tenets seem not all that important for leaders in the PC(USA). Joe Small downplays the importance of the ordination question which asks: Do you since

What is a denomination?

With movement happening in Peace River and Cascades Presbytery I thought it might be a good time to go through what we're hearing from Louisville. This is the first in a series of responses to the recently released video . With more than a few congregations looking at withdrawing and headed another direction I found it sort of interesting that this apologetic started around the question of, "W hat is a denomination anyway ?" The reason for this starting place is to place what follows within the context of history and to show the rich, varied and unified past that we share as Presbyterians. Joe Small , Director Theology, Worship and Education , talk of the denomination as "give us by our mothers and fathers" and of being "bequeathed to us." He speaks of faith worship and mission as "shared" but not "identical" then explains sharing actually means "broadly shared convictions". He totally ignored the fact that our curre