Tuesday, October 31, 2006
NASA named the world's first space-based optical telescope after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889–1953). Dr. Hubble confirmed an "expanding" universe, which provided the foundation for the Big Bang theory.
This $1.5 billion dollar was supposed to provide support for the Big Bang Theory. Hmmm. It's been up there 26 years and the funny thing is I haven't heard any conclusive evidence that supports the big bang theory. NOTHING. $1.5 billion dollars initial cost and nothing! Not one shred of evidence. You know why?
There was in fact a big bang, but you can only see it's effects. And the big bang theory I believe in is the big bang that happened when God spoke and BANG! it happened. God created everything there is...
And I didn't need a $1.5 billion dollar telescope to believe this. Just look around. Tye out.
P.S. Let me know when you find ONE piece of evidence that supports the big bang.
Tye here - I spent most of my time meeting families and taking pictures. All my kids were serving in one area or another. I enjoyed chatting with Brent & Vicki, Russ & Renee, Carl & Sheralyn, Tara, Loretta, Brian, Mark & Kathleen (I got your name right!), Becky, and many, many others. Click on the picture for a slide show.
I'm so thankful for people like Cindy Forstrom, Mick Schultz, and Colette Reick who work so hard to provide such a cool night for our families! Thanks to all the volunteers too!Congrats on a job well done!
BTW, when we make mistakes are we willing to admit it? As servants, we should ALWAYS be willing to freely admit our mistakes. Be aware of people who will not say "I'm sorry, I was wrong." They are probably self-serving leaders. Tye out.
Have you ever wondered what to say when your wife is upset or hurting in some way? I have. Often I take it personally not understanding that there are usually issues behind the hurt that I probably didn't have anything to do with. We try to reason, explain, rationalize and these do not work! Our wives are emotional beings and that frustrates us men.
So, here are ten things you might say to your wife when things aren't going so hot for her:
1. I love you
2. You are the greatest woman in the world to me!
3. You're beautiful when you're moody/upset.
4. Tell me what's on your mind and I promise not to get mad.
5. How have I let you down?
6. How can I make it up to you?
7. Have you been getting enough sleep? [I'm not so sure about this one]
8. What would make you happy right now?
9. I don't have all the answers. But God does.
10. Do you want to pray about this together?
(The Power of a praying Husband by Stormie Omartian, pp79-80)
I would probably add one to this list; "Will you tell me what you are feeling right now?" (Thanks Dixon Murrah!)
These are not simple formulas to plug in to your marriage for a quick fix. They are, however, some things to say when you're not really sure what else to say. Let me know if you have one that you would add to the list. Tye out.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Eph 5:25 NIV
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Cor. 10:24 NIV
Monday, October 30, 2006
I have an extremely busy week (starting to sound like a theme!) so I'm pasting in something from the good folks over at www.leadlikejesus.com. I subscribe to their devotions and this is what I received this morning in my email box. Click here for the link. Tye out.
The heart is your character – why you are leading. To serve or be served? When your heart is wrong you quickly lose your way on the leadership journey. When Jesus talks about the heart He is referring to the center of your spiritual nature and consciousness rather than the physical heart. (Inspiring thoughts from Lead Like Jesus: Beginning the Journey Participant’s Study Guide - Page 19)
A wise heart instructs its mouth and increases learning with its speech.Proverbs 16:23
PRAY: Wisdom of the Ages, teach me to guard my heart so that my thoughts and actions will reflect You. May my words and thoughts be Yours and may those I lead sense a change in my character as I lead like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Welp, breakfast is served. Tye out.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Robin Koskamp stopped over today to let me copy the photos that are in my last blog post and in the process she SPILLED MY COFFEE!!! So, I thought you would enjoy seeing my spilt coffee - actually she was the one that wanted it on my blog!
Seriously, the Koskamp family was a real blessing last year while I was here by myself. Often I would stop by their house only 4 doors from the church and they would also make me feel like family. Thanks for being there for me last year and even now, even if you did spill my coffee!
Susie, Brenda (L), Hannah (R) Morgan
Robin Koskamp just dropped by and gave me some cool pictures of her daughter, my daughter and two other young ladies. Click on the picture for a slide show. (the bruised foot is Brenda's - it's broke)
I just love it that Morgan has made such good friends and they have so much fun hanging out together. These pictures are taken at Noelridge park where there are some beautiful flowers there in cascading gardens. Lots of people have their wedding pics done there, in fact, Allyson had her homecoming pics there.
Thanks so much to Brenda, Susie, and Hannah for being such great friends to my daughter. She REALLY loves being with you. There's nothing like best friends!
This weekend includes a retreat where I will lead worship for one session, a wedding gig (sax), and a dance gig (I'm not dancing, but playing sax!) with the D Anthony Big Band. WOW! So, there won't be much blogging this weekend if any. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
We had another 137 men come out this morning for Men's Fraternity and it was another incredible morning. This morning we talked about "Facing the Father Wound." We were challenged with eight proactive remedies for the absent father wound. Here is point #1:
1. Make sure your son has the "essentials."
a. Make sure he hears....
- "I love you"
- "I'm proud of you!"
- "you're good at _______."
b. Make sure he has...
- A manhood vision
- A code of conduct to live by (dad models this)
- A transcendent cause - something to love other than himself
We covered a lot of territory this morning. There was some great sharing around the tables as men processed the things they heard. As we unpack the "stuff" of our lives, God is doing a great work and I can't wait to hear how this affects not only the men of our church, but also homes, workplaces, our communities and the world!
“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Mal 4:5-6NIV
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Mackenzie and Duke
Today was our annual pony ride and pumpkin patch visit. It was a beautiful day, but at 38 degrees and 17 mile an hour winds it was absolutely frigid. But I can tell you that the smile on Mackenzie's face made it all worth it! After the horse ride, she picked out a pumpkin, and we were out of there! It was cold! But my heart was warmed as I saw KK light up as she climbed up on that horse. Click on the picture for a slideshow.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
We ate at Pizza Hut - I forgot how much I like that pizza. It was fun. The good news is that we were only like 4 miles from McElroy Auditorium were the concert would be. We headed on over to McElroy around 5:30. We got in line - prob about the first 200 people. I'm used to going to concerts in the big city. There were probably only 3-4 thousand people there. McElroy is an old auditorium with low ceilings. The seats are old wood stadium seats and their were posts to hold up the ceiling. It reminded me of a miniture Cincinnati Gardens - what I remember.
The concert was incredible. The warm up band was ok. Then came Audio Adrenaline. WOW! I loved it! it could have been louder - low ceilings probably hurt us there. I love their energy, passion! It's a Big Big House, Ocean Floor, He Lifts Me Up where just a few of the great songs they played.
Mercy Me came on next and they were fantastic as usual. Word of God Speak, Spoken For, So Long Self, and of course I Can Only Imagine were all included. Bart's voice was huge as usual. It's amazing to see him pulling the mic away from his mouth and still coming out over top the band. He also talked about his upbringing in a southern baptist church. He challenged the crowd to grow in their faith toward maturity, unlike some of the unkind elderly people in the church. : (
It's hard to believe that Audio A has been at it for 15 years. Adios Audio Adrenaline. Thanks for the memories. You were awesome!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Two burned skillets at the Male household
Ok, it's Friday and I slept in this morning. I finished my 5 year plan and Micro Vision narrative and sent it to our Business manager at 11:30 last night. Whew!
So, this morning I'm kinda stretching out, getting ready to do some work (church) and I'm checking email, reading the news, etc. I put a skillet on the stove to make eggs...And then walked off to check something on the internet. BIG MISTAKE! Next thing I knew was smoke was billowing off the stove! I opened all the windows and doors to air everything out. Once the smoke had cleared...
So, why are there two burned pots in the picture? Good question!
Judy decided to fix some oatmeal. Well, she needed to check something on the internet as well and next thing I knew smoke was once again bellowing from the stove!!! It was a good laugh for both of us! The house still stinks like burned oatmeal. But, we do live in the City of Five Smells, now we made it six!
Have you seen the Miller Lite commercials? They are really good. Click here to see one. Well, we are now going to have Male Laws (as in the Male household). Here's Male Law #1:
When cooking on the stove, don't leave to check your email, weather, or stats on your fave team's game. Male Law!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
We had another great meeting this Wednesday morning! I can't tell you how thrilling it is to see men streaming into the activity center at 5:45 AM each week. This week Robert Lewis drilled down one of the five wounds a man faces from his father - the all alone wound. Matt Thede started our session with a video clip from Gladiator - I love that movie! It was the scene where Marcus Aurelius tells his son Commodus that he will not succeed him as Caesar but he has chosen Maximus. Marcus then says that his son's failures are a result of his failures. Whoah! Then Matt shared a personal story about hunting with his wife - ask him!
There was some great sharing around the tables again this morning and I can't wait to see how God is going to use this in the lives of our men at NCBC and Cedar Rapids!
128 men showed up and I am thrilled to see men connecting in community!
I just started Stormie Omartian's book The Power of a Praying Husband and I can't wait to get into it. The truth of the matter is that I have not done a good job praying for my wife and family, although I have made improvements this year. I really want to go to the next level in my prayer life, so pray for me. Since I just started the book, I don't have a lot to review, but wanted to challenge you with this quote on page 25:
I am wrapping up my 5 year strategic plan this morning and afternoon. I don't do ministry by chance - there's a plan. That made me wonder about my strategic plan for prayer and my marriage. hmmm. I think I'll work on my 5 year strategic plan for prayer next week. Any ideas?
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Since I'm a little pressed for time today, here is the devotional that I received today from the fine people at Lead Like Jesus.
Trust is also a key factor in the successful implementation at the team level. Without the outcome of trust developed in the one-on-one relationship, empowerment will never happen. Individuals in the group will never “empower” each other to accomplish an assigned task if they do not trust each other. (Inspiring thoughts from Lead Like Jesus: Beginning the Journey Participant’s Study Guide - Page 17)
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:5-7
PRAY: Father, teach me to trust You more each day so that I can display, for those I lead, my trusting relationship with You. Give me all the trust I need for this day and expand it in the days to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Monday, October 16, 2006
I have had a lot of calls and emails from guys who are so stoked about what is happening with Men's Fraternity that they don't want to miss a single session! That is GREAT!!! But, what if you have to be out of town for a session? I've got some good news for you.
You can go the Men's Fraternity website, click on "Missed a session?" on the left side of the page and download an mp3 format audio version of any one of the sessions. There is a $5 charge for each download. The good news is that you can put this on your mp3 player and listen any time.
Men's Fraternity continues to reach men and we've only started! In the coming weeks we will begin hearing about biblical manhood and what this looks like today. But first we have to "unpack" the stuff of our lives to get ready.
Well, I left the lights on ("burning" if you are in the south) and needed a jump ("boosted off" in the south). I tried a roll start - no go. Emailed the church (no cell phone) for help and Mick, our resident bonified country boy, came to my aid with jumper/booster cables. Actually the cables were Peggy's. Thanks Peg!!!!
It was a bummer. It was raining, I'm not feeling too goood, and my fave car wouldn't start. Thanks Mick for boosting me (personally!) and the truck!
Rainy Days and Mondays
Words and Music by: Paul Williams & Roger Nichols
Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me.
What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it's all about
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
Tye here. I know that the writers are talking about a love interest, but let's think of Christ as our ultimate lover and friend. So what should we do on when we're down - run to him. Cool.
I really enjoyed The Power of a Praying Wife. Let me give you another quote from the book that kinda stopped me in my tracks. Now I have read such things in men's books before, but never in a book for women. It's actually kinda reverse chauvinistic and really caught me off guard. Check it out. In the chapter on "His Priorities" she makes this statement: When it comes to your husband, it's not so much a matter of how much time you take, but that you do take time to make him feel like he is a priority. (p128)
Now check out what she says next - I can't believe this ever made it past the editors!!!
Just greeting him first thing in the morning with a smile and a hug can make him feel he's important to you. So is asking him, [tighten your seat belt] "Is there anything you want me to do for you today?" (p128) (brackets mine)
If you want your husband to love you more, you need to love him more. It always works, especially if you're praying about it as well.
That's servant leadership!!! This scares most people off! But I want you to know that it really does work. Again, can you imagine a world where everyone tries to out serve one another?
I know it seems kinda strange that me, a guy, would be telling you that I just finished reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian but I want you to know that his book is a MUST READ for all women! Bill and Cheryl Currie gave Judy a copy and told me it would be good for me to read it, so I did. Check it out. Here is a woman that has actually come to some udnerstanding about how to encourage men! Listen to these quotes from Omatian's book:
I began to pray every day for Michael [her husband], like I had never prayed before. Each, though, I had to confess my own hardness of heart. I saw how deeply hurt and unforgiving of him I was. I don't want to pray for him. I don't want to ask God to bless him. I don't want to ask God to bless him. I only wnat God to strike his heart with lightning and convict him of how cruel he has been, I thought. I had to say over and over again, "God, I confess my unforgiveness toward my husband. Deliver me from all of it." (p17)
That's it! it all starts with forgiveness and we need it as much as anyone. When we pray for someone else God usually reveals our own self-centeredness and sin! We cannot change another person so stop trying! We can however submit our lives to God and in faith pray for those around us.
Check out another quote.
Don't write off the marriage. Ask God to give you a new husband. He is able to take the one you have and make him a new creation in Christ. We have God's pwer on our side. We don't have to leave our marriages to chance. We can fight for them in prayer and not give up, because as long as we are praying, there is hope.
This is an awesome book that every woman should read. It is chocked full of helpful tips, advice, and encouragement. You have a partner in life when you read her book. Let me know what you think!
In the five o'clock service Ed Luebe had me come up front and the church sang happy birthday to me - I felt bad for James Wartian who celebrated the big 4-0 this week. Thanks Ed - I owe you one - wink, wink.
I love being 45! I love the beautiful wife of 21 years God has given me and the four incredible extremely gifted and talented children he gave me. I love the ministry God has given me! I love serving on staff at New Covenant Bible church with other servant leaders. I love being in a place where I am challenged to grow in my leadership. It's especially exciting to be back playing my sax again. Wow!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
We just completed the roster for the first 4 weeks of Men's Fraternity and I can't believe what I am seeing on the Excel spreadsheet. It says that we have seen 171 men since the official launch of NCBC Men's Fraternity on September 20. If you add the over 20 men that have attended our evening edition of Men's Fraternity affectionately called MF PM we can now say with confidence that Men's Fraternity at NCBC has reached over 190 men!
Hats off to the leadership team who has met since the first week of May! Ed Luebe, Matt Thede, Tom Green, Dan Van Zoest, Jeff Dunham, Ken Smejkal, Kurt Tennyson, and Lance Greco! You guys are doing an AWESOME job!
Special thanks and kudos go to Joe Meyers and his team that are meeting Wednesday nights at his house with around 20 guys. Thanks Joe, Steve Boerhave, and Brian Wohlers!
Finally, all praise to God for blessing this ministry!
Alright, let's take a left turn and head for left field today. I just read where the two actors who play the doctors on Grey's Anatomy got into a bit of a tuffle this week just in time for ratings week. Now, I must confess that I have never watched this show. I think I tried, but for some reason or another I didn't think it was any good, or maybe not appropriate. Whatever.
Click here to read the article if you even care.
BTW, there IS a country song that talks about how a guy wants to be famous so he can pitch a fit when his latte isn't just how he likes it, and he can wreck his Ferrari on the way to rehab. The song title Celebrity. Hilarious and pathetic.
BTW (again), it kinda wigs me out when I see people like this who are making millions to entertain us.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
123 men came out at 6 AM this morning to learn how to lead lives of authentic manhood as modeled by Jesus Christ and directed by the word of God. There were are least 5 first time guests this morning that we are aware of! I am so stoked about this! Praise the Lord!
This morning Robert Lewis (via DVD) talked about 5 wounds that men have that need to be unpacked and dealt with. They are:
- Absent father wound - dad was never there for one reason or another
- Overly bonded mother - mom was overly protective and this leads to men not knowing how to treat women. They either control or they relinquish leadership role.
- All alone wound - we were created for relationship and we need that in our fathers in when that doesn't occur it wounds us
- The vision wound - living for the moment. This person typically has difficulty planning ahead because they can't see past today. (that's me)
- The heart wound - "work hard and you'll get where you need to go. Don't depend on others - you don't need anyone."
After the DVD, men sit around their tables and discuss the things that Lewis spoke about. It is exciting to see men starting to connect in community at Men's Fraternity.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Well, in just a little over a year now I have been blogging on blogger. I started out with the title "Pastor Tye's Weekly Update." When we were told that we would have to leave First Baptist church in Medina I eventually started sending out an email to prayer partners and friends who helped hold us up in prayer. It eventually evolved into a weekly email called "Pastor Tye's Weekly Update" and included updates about our family, a devo that I wrote, and job search news. I think the last one I sent out was update #51.
Once I was hired by New Covenant Bible Church I only sent out updates about once a month. Then I started blogging and it was easier to have people look at the blog. Then, came a watershed moment when I was leading a "Lead Like Jesus" small group and I changed the name to "Tye's Weekly Update" because we were challenged to not pursue titles before our names like the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Just call me Tye! I don't need titles!
Welp, in an effort to keep up with the Jones's, I am now going to get a domain name registered so i am going to change my blog title again.
Since I love Jazz music and the Lord is just opening up one door after the next - including having my horn overhauled and getting a tenor for future band jobs - I thought it would be appropriate to have something that has jazz in the title. I thought of: pastorsjazz.com. That was kinda weird. Then we came up with tyesjazz.com. i still haven't purchased the domain yet, but will very soon.
Hope you like it. Let me know what you think!
Judy, Grandma Pearl, and me
My last blog post says thanks to mom and dad for helping get my alto sax overhauled. While I was at Tenor Madness I casually mentioned that my grandmother had given me some money to help get a tenor sax and he actually had something. I've already played my new (used) Yamaha YTS 52 prob around 10 hours by now. It is incredible.
Thanks so much grandma for helping to make this dream a reality. You've had a rough go of it for the past 11 months (or more?) but you fought and fought. We are praying for you to get well, completely well!
Me, Dad, Mom, and Judy
This past weekend I blogged about picking up my Selmer Mark VI alto sax after having it overhauled. Well, that would have never happened if it hadn't been for my parents, John and Linda Male, giving me $1k buckeroos to have my horn overhauled. I had prayed specifically for this and they were the answer. WOW!
My alto is as good as new, actually, better than new. Randy and his guys at Tenor Madness did an incredible job doing a complete mechanical overhaul.
Again, thanks mom and dad! I love you!
Allyson and Lindsey
Today is a very special day here at the Male home. It is the day we celebrate Allyson's 17th anniversary of her birthday! Allyson has brought so much joy into our lives and we are so proud of her.
Lindsey came over to the house and decorated her bedroom. Sorry no pics - the camera went to the concert choir concert tonight.
We didn't really have a celebration tonight. She had a concert to go to and the family was kinda scattered around tonight. We'll have a party for her as soon as we can all get together!
Happy birthday Ally!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Randy up at Tenor Madness dials in my new Tenor Sax
Today was the day to go pick up my alto sax up in Cedar Falls at Tenor Madness. Randy owns and operates the shop that restores vintage horns like mine. You can click on the pic to see a brief slide show.
While I was there, I mentioned that I had a little bit of money saved for a future tenor purchase and he siad he had a great horn that would work for my discerning taste - one that played a 1968 Selmer Mark VI back in the early 80's. After experimenting with a number of necks and mouthpieces and several adjustments with the venting of the horn I finally found a combination I liked so I bought it. I was a few bucks short, but hope I can make it up teaching and playing.
Hats off to Randy at Tenor Madness for a job well done! You see, work on vintage horns like mine is more art than science. But Randy quickly added that it is passion, and he has a lot of it!
Friday, October 06, 2006
Can you imagine a world where everyone tries to out serve, out love, out forgive everyone?
- People hold the door for each other.
- At Panera, younger people (like myself) park in the other lot so the elderly people could park right up front.
- No one would go racing up the lane that is supposed to merge and then cut in line. They would patiently wait in line like everyone else. (my personal pet peeve)
- Unions would go out of business.
- Hungry people would get fed.
- It would look just like heaven, wouldn't it. (thanks Tammy for adding that one!)
I'll go first, uh, at going last. Want to join me at the back of the line?
(Excerpted from MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press Writer.
Click here for AP news report.)
Richard J. Gelles, a childhood violence expert and a University of Pennsylvania dean, said the importance of forgiveness in Amish culture should help survivors heal.
"Nobody has to accept that behavior. But forgiveness is a whole lot easier than seeking revenge," he said.
Many Amish have embraced the gunman's wife, Marie Roberts, and their three young children.
Enough said. Tye out.
I just finished reading through the Old Testament for the second time this year and it has been another eye-opening experience. God's sovereignty was clearer to me than ever, but so was God's willingness to act in response to man's actions. Over and over again he tells his own people Israel to forsake their evil ways and he will bless them. Nineveh was as good as destroyed by God's decree, yet when they repented God chose not to punish them. Did he change his mind? Nah, I don't think so. He knew what they were going to do. I think it comes down to trying to understand things that only God can understand.
In the end this Italalian prophet says a couple of things I like. First, don't divorce the wife of your youth. God hates divorce. Note that he does not hate the divorced! As men, we must stay true to our wives and love them as Christ loved the church - no excuses! Second, Malachi says that the sun of righteousness would rise with healing in its wings. We now know that that sun of righteousness was Jesus.
The Old Testament closes with a promise that a redeemer would come and you would know it because he has healing in his wings. Then 400 years later Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Whoah! I'm so thankful that over 30 years ago Christ healed me of my sin and gave me new life. I'm not perfect - you all know that! I'm just forgiven. : )
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:16 NIV
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Lexi Forstrom, Me, Kris Rutt
(Click on the pic for a slideshow)
Tonight I had the privilege of playing with a jazz band downtown at the IMAX called the Iowa Vanguard Jazz Collective. We played Billy Strayhorn to Sammy Nestico. Click on the pic above to view a slideshow. Again, thanks to Kim Pagel for taking pics and posting them.
It has been pure joy getting to play my fave music in the world - big band. It is challenging, fun to play, and the other players are incredible.
If you're not doing anything, head on down to the IMAX on either the first or third Thursday evening for an awesome evening of jazz music. Thanks to Lynne and Peter Hart for organizing this band so people like me can enjoy playing this kind of music and keep my reading chops up at the same time.
P.S. I am giving Lexi lessons and she came down tonight and I had her sit next to me so she could see what it's like to play in a section. Thanks for coming down Lexi!
Amish women pray outside schoolhouse
The outside world is trying to grapple with this whole Amish forgiveness thing and they have difficulty comprehending a group of people not only forgiving such atrocity, but offering financial assistance to the family of the murderer of their children. Check this out:
"The hurt is very great," Huntington said. "But they don't balance the hurt with hate."
In just about any other community, a deadly school shooting would have brought demands from civic leaders for tighter gun laws and better security, and the victims' loved ones would have lashed out at the gunman's family or threatened to sue.
But that's not the Amish way. [bold mine]
In the aftermath of Monday's violence, the Amish have reached out to the family of the gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, who committed suicide during the attack in a one-room schoolhouse.
(Quotes above by Gertrude Huntington, a Michigan researcher who has written a book about children in Amish society.)
Ok, so I've gotten a little carried away with this forgiveness thing. But can you imagine a world where everyone tries to out serve, out love, and out forgive one another? What if we took Jesus command to "forgive our enemies" seriously? What if we were all to "Love God, and love people" jsut like Jesus said? can you imagine the world we would live in?
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25NIV
Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19NLT
Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Luke 23:34NLT
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
To date, I am estimating that we have touched over 160 men between the morning Men's Fraternity and evening. One gentleman stopped me afterward and this is what he said about Men's Fraternity:
(Me, Dad, Mom, and Judy)
Today at NCBC's Men's Fraternity the topic was : The First Step to Authentic Manhood: Looking Back. Robert Lewis shared about his relationship to his dad and how it deeply impacted his life. I would like to tell you a little about my relationship with my father (in picture above) and the good things my dad gave me as I ventured out into life:
- Work ethic - dad knew how to give an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.
- He taught me how to check the oil, change the brakes. When I asked him why we didn't have it repaired at the gas station, he said "They are men just like you and me. We can figure it out just like they do."
- Dad protected mom and he loved her.
- He was a disciplinarian and I knew better than to mess with him.
- He bought me a saxophone and told me that I would be the best sax player in the world. (he was wrong, but the encouragement went miles)
- He taught me that swearing was unacceptable.
- He took me to church.
- He taught me how to hunt.
- He taught me how to give people the benefit of the doubt and to offer forgiveness quickly.
Thanks Dad for giving me some of the stuff of life that a man needs. Thanks for always encouraging me. Thanks for continuing to be my friend to this day! I love you!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I'm not surprised by what I just heard in the news - online Yahoo! News. In an interview with a buggy maker who works in the community where this terrible tragedy occurred we hear first hand how the Amish react to such evil and violence and I must admit I'm not surprised. Here's what this Amish gentleman shared with CNN:
In forgiveness there is healing...it's an understatement to say there has been a terrible hurt and so many times when folks are hurt they can become angry...we have a choice to do what Jesus would have done or we might do some other way. I don't think there is anyone here who wants to do anything but forgive and not only reach out to those who have suffered a loss in that way, but to reach to the family of the man who committed these acts.
What an example of Christian love. I wish we could all have this kind of forgiveness for those who have wronged us. I agree with this Amish man - There is healing in forgiveness.
Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing." And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Luke 23:34 NLT
Please Lord, forgive me when I secretly desire revenge when others have wronged me. Help me forgive them and allow you to work not only in my life, but in theirs as well.
From the suicide notes and telephone calls, it was clear Roberts was "angry at life, he was angry at God," and co-workers said his mood had darkened in recent days, Miller said. - MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press Writer reporting on yesterday's shooting at a school in Lancaster, PA.
This line grabbed my attention this morning. I feel like someone punched me in the stomach when I read this morning that two more children have died as a result of Robert's revenge.
It says that Robert's was angry with God. What if he had asked the Lord to heal his pain and to handle the vengeance part instead of him taking it into his own hands? What if this father and husband had given his hurt and pain from the past to the Lord and allowed God's justice to prevail?
I wish that Robert's would have done this. Had he done so, life in this Lancaster Amish community would be the same as it was the day before this trajedy.
Besides, why would you want to be mad at God? He is trustworthy. He is faithful. He is righteous. If we could only learn to trust him more - even with our desire to see the scales balanced.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV
Monday, October 02, 2006
After working almost two weeks straight, I finally got to take a day off today and we finally stained our deck that we powerwashed back in early July. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out as we applied the stain. Actually, the best part was spending the day with my wife doing a project together. Then it was off to our fav lunch destination Applebee's.
I watched part of Deal or No Deal tonight and I have to say I don't get it. It seemed kinda cheesy to me. The participants seemed like they were hamming it up too. Then, they got all excited when the case they opened had very little money in it.
The thing I did get was this - the guy turned down $48k hoping to get more. That's a little greedy if you ask me. I would have taken it, paid off our debt and bought a Selmer Paris Mark VI tenor sax from the 60's. They're around $5-6K. Then our family would have a family vacation next summer. Oh well.
P.S. the guy wound up walking away with $15k.
A milk man open fired on a classroom of old order Amish girls in Lancaster PA today. (Click here for the news story) Apparently there was some disturbing notes left about a suicide attempt by the killer but other than that no one really knows why he unleashed his fury on innocent school children. In a cell call to his wife during the hostage situation he told her that he was getting even for something that had happened 20 years ago.
Help me out on this one. Killing innocent people makes things even - to get revenge? Many, many lives will forever be changed because of someone who felt the score needed to be settled. A wife, sons and maybe daughters of a murderous dead man, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends; on and on the list goes. How could this happen? One man's revenge is everyone else's demise. Why?
What drives people to even want to get revenge? Selfishness drives us to settle scores, get revenge, and make sure everyone knows how right we are. Grudges only eat and destroy like a cancer the person holding it. Grudges cause sickness (physical) and emotional instability.
I fear that what we have seen in recent days is a lack of value for human life, and this is directly proportional to our cultures lack of acceptance that we have a creator who has endowed each of us with inalienable rights and ultimately we are responsible to God and God alone. And when we toss God out of a society, all hell breaks loose. People kill one another. Innocent people die. Marriages are broken because a younger, sexier person (that looks like those "hotties" on TV) walks by and offers a temporary fix. (oops, I'm ranting now)
What should be our response? First of all, let's pray. Pray for the wife of the deceased murderer. Pray for the Amish community of Lancaster PA.
Are you harboring resentment toward someone? Have you been secretly seeking an opportunity to get revenge?
The Bible says that vengeance belongs to the Lord. I think the reason is because when we get revenge, uh, even the score, get even, etc., it NEVER solves the issue, resolves the hurt, and sets things right. Only the Lord knows how to balance the scales, so we should leave that up to him.
I know this is getting long (that's why I break it up into short paragraphs) but I have to say a word about forgiveness and justice. We are called to forgive people who have done evil things to us. God is love and we are called to extend that love to others which includes forgiveness. On the other hand, God is a just God and therefore he must punish sin. God solved this problem in the person of Jesus Christ. Accept him today as your Savior. He is the only hope for our world.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Today was the culmination of 2 months of recruiting and training Hosts and signing up participants for this year's Impact ~ Growing Great Lives! Click on the pic above for a slideshow that will give you an idea of what it was like today at Impact Central. BTW, Host is an acronym:
H - have a heart for God and others
O - open your home
S - serve by leading a discussion (or, serve snacks!)
T - tell othersWhat all this means is we spent the day today between all four services trying to place last minute particpants in a small group based on what over 60 Hosts have told us how many people they can take in their group. All total, we spent several hours, including today at the services doing something that would be somewhat like attempting a match-making service for around 200 people - no wonder I'm a little stressed! Ha!
The story of the day was when one of our groups was overloaded and as we were discussing this, another Host walked up and said, "Hey, I'll take some!" About then another Host walked up and said that they were full as well. In just a few minutes, two groups that were too full leveled off and group that was lacking people got filled. Praise the Lord!
Connecting others to community is what we are all about at New Covenant Bible Church. The most exciting part of this year's Impact is seeing lots and lots of new people stepping up to get connected in community. We have a few couples Hosting groups who have only been attending NCBC a few months. What a great way to meet people and connect.
Stay tuned for updates as we Prepare for Impact!
P.S. Click here to read our Executive Pastor's blog about the Impact.
Allyson & Josh
Saturday night was Allyson's homecoming dance and she was accompanied by Josh Pagel. It was a perfect evening for such a celebration. They started off at Olive Garden with a 12 young people ranging from freshman all the way to seniors. It is so cool to see the upper classmen including the under classman.
AFter Olive Garden they headed off to Noelridge Park for pictures in the beautiful flower gardens there. Click on the pic above to see a slideshow of the pictures taken by Josh's dad. (thanks Kim for taking pics - they are incredible.)
After the dance they all headed over to Purdy's house until around 2 AM. I think it is so incredible that our kids can get together and have such a wonderful time and still be committed followers of Jesus. Allyson said she had a great time.