Posts

Showing posts from April, 2011

Resurrection Changes Everything

There in the ground
His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth
In glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again!


"And if Christ has not been raised then your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins." 1 Corinthians 15:17

Just take a moment this weekend to reflect on how different the world would be if Christ had not raised from the dead. Christianity itself would not be a major world religion. We would have completely missed the BC/AD cross over. And death would have won.

Sacrifice we understand. From the beginning God required death to atone for human sin. But now Christ has died once for everybody. It is impossible for the blood of animals to erase sin for good. It had to be taken to the next level. Yet if He had stayed dead, then we would need more sacrifice.

The resurrection means that not only are our sins erased for good they are also erased forever. "[T]he blood of Christ Jesus...continually cleanses us of all sin."

What's m…

Update

Hello all,

My family will soon be moving to Moline, IL, where I will begin work as the youth and family minister. That being the case, my blog postings may be few and far between over the next few weeks as we make the move and settle in. But I hope to continue this blog as part of my ministry in the church.

We would appreciate your prayers as we make the transition. We are very excited about this opportunity, and we feel like God is leading us on an awesome journey. Thanks for your continued support.

Grace and peace,
Daniel

Easy Green Tip of the Week

Image
Plastic Bags

I know there is a big push to get rid of plastic grocery bags, and rightly so. They are a nuisance when they are allowed to be blown around freely by the wind. AND they inspired an annoying Katy Perry song...ugh.

So yes, when you can, I highly recommend switching over to the reusable bags.

The only problem is that we often forget about them until we are walking through the automatic doors. "Oh no! We forgot the bags...Oh well."

So if you find yourself with a small mountain of plastic bags shoved inside other plastic bags all shoved in your pantry, here are some tips to reduce, reuse and recylce!

1. Encourage the bagger to fit a few more items per bag, and don't get bags for some larger items (like milk jugs)

2. Use the bags as small trash can liners

3. Scoop up pet waste (i.e. litter box clumps) into plastic bags (Just make sure they don't have holes in them)

4. Take your lunch to work or school in one - fashionable? Nope. Cheap? Totally

5. Use spare bags as pack…

Christianity and Technology

Image
I may have blogged about this before, but it's been on my mind again recently. It seems to me that the church is lagging behind in this technological age. There have been so many advancements, especially in the area of global communications (HELLO!), that it almost seems like many congregations choose not to keep up.

What worked in the '50s and '60s works today, right? Maybe to an extent. But we need to start doing a better job at reaching people where they are.

Facebook has over 400 million users. There are over 25 million on Blogger alone, not to mention Wordpress, Tumbler, etc. Twitter has grown exponentially in the last 2 or 3 years.

And most churches can't even figure out how to make a decent website.

Recent research has shown that more than 2/3 of first time visitors will visit a church's website long before darkening the front doors. Wake up call, anyone?

But you may argue that the gospel message spread across the world centuries before the internet came alo…

High Five Thursday!

Have you ever been reading a story in the Bible and thought, "Man, if only I could have been there!"

Top 5 Biblical Fly-On-The-Wall Moments

Elemental Escape (Exodus 14:15-31)

How awesome would it be to be standing in the crowd with God on one side in a blazing column of fire while Moses is on the other side blasting an interstate highway through the sea? The chaos, the terror, the power, the elemental forces being tamed and manipulated right before your eyes.

It gives me chills just thinking about it.
_______________

Now You See It... (Joshua 6)

There one minute; gone the next. The impenetrable walls of the mighty Jericho stood before the Israelites in all their pride and glory. After some lovely afternoon strolls around the city, a bit of yelling, and some Louis Armstrong, Jericho was reduced to a pile of rubble and ashes. Well, except for that one brothel.

Americans can't get enough of destruction films in which the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Empire State …

Father

For you did not receive a Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!" Romans 8:15

This has been one of my favorite verses for quite some time. I love the contrast between those who cry out "Abba, Father" in this verse as opposed to those who cry out "Lord, Lord" in Matthew 25.

But I have been a father for just over 6 months now. And let me tell you (just as any new parent would) that having a child of my own has illuminated this view of God. My son cries out, I come to the rescue. He hits his head, I comfort him. He smiles at me, and my heart melts.

This is how God is with us.

Jesus repeatedly refers to God as "Father," not just in the sense that he was literally God's Son, but in the sense that God is the Father of all those who would be his children.

I can empathize with some of the fears, doubts, and frustrations that a new Christian might face. But God is not look…

Easy Green Tip of the Week

Image
Since having a kid, it seems our laundry has increased many times over. Which is fine now, but a few months ago, it was driving us crazy! Which leads me to this week's eco-tip:

Clean Out Your Dryer Vent

Our dryer was broken. Or so we thought. It was taking close to 2 hours to dry a load of wet clothes! It was frustrating to no end.

Then one day I got the bright idea to check the hose. It was fine. But the vent was being choked up by about an inch thick layer of lint. Doh!

Long story short, it took about ten minutes to correct a problem that had been driving us crazy for months. We were just a couple laundry days from going all "Office Space" on that dryer.

Crisis averted. We are no longer wasting loads of energy and loads of time just to dry a load of laundry. You can have all the energy stars you want on your dryer, but if the vent is clogged, it won't make a lick of difference.

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, take ten minutes to check your dryer vent. I…

Presence

I've started reading the book God's Pursuit of Man by A.W. Tozer. The first chapter is called "The Eternal Continuum." In it, Tozer points out something that most Christians take for granted, really to our own spiritual demise.

We get that God is the eternal I AM, as he told Moses back in the day. He was and he will be. He is self-created, self-sustained, and all-powerful. He always has been, and he always will be.

This is easy for most of us to get. We can look into the past and see what he has done. We can see how he pulled us through that struggle or that hardship. He healed a grandparent, he protected our neighbor from the storm, he provided when there seemed to be zero resources. It's easy for us to retroactively see how God works in our lives.

It's also easy to have faith that he will work in our lives again. He will get me that job, he will bless that mission effort, he will take us where we want to ultimately end up. We have no problem dreaming up a f…

Jesus Called Them One By One

Image
My wife and I were talking the other day about how to make the Bible more relatable to teenagers. The go-to Characters seem to be Joseph, David, and Timothy. These three started out their journey with God early in their teen years. But after awhile, these stories tend to lose their novelty and their impact.

Then we got to thinking, what about the apostles? Most of our lives, we have viewed Jesus and his apostles like this:


Not only are they white (??), but they're all old. Two even have gray beards!

But really, how old would the first disciples have been? Probably between 17-25. Barely old enough to have beards, much less gray ones!

Peter and Matthew were probably the oldest, given that Peter was married and Matthew was an established tax collector. But the others were probably not much older than high school seniors when Jesus called them. Jesus himself was only about 30. Why would he go calling disciples as old or older than he was?

Even Paul was probably not much older than 25 …