Devotional Thought Inspiration Justice Spiritual Practices What I'm Reading

“I Will Gather Still Others to Those I Have Already Gathered”

Isaiah 56:3-8

The Lord says:

Don’t let the immigrant who has joined with the Lord say,
“The Lord will exclude me from the people.”
And don’t let the eunuch say,
“I’m just a dry tree.”
The Lord says:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
choose what I desire,
and remain loyal to my covenant.
In my temple and courts, I will give them
a monument and a name better than sons and daughters.
I will give to them an enduring name
that won’t be removed.
The immigrants who have joined me,
serving me and loving my name, becoming my servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath without making it impure,
and those who hold fast to my covenant:
I will bring them to my holy mountain,
and bring them joy in my house of prayer.
I will accept their entirely burned offerings and sacrifices on my altar.
My house will be known as a house of prayer for all peoples,
says the Lord God,
who gathers Israel’s outcasts.
I will gather still others to those I have already gathered.

Church Leadership Churches Fun

Some Stuff I’ve Learned from Performing Weddings

I found Candice and Heath's lack of faith... disturbing.
I found Candice and Heath’s lack of faith… disturbing.

     So yes, yesterday Joanna and I celebrated 7 years of marriage, and I’ve got marriage on the brain! I love marriage, I’m not going to lie. I also love doing weddings. When you’ve worked a big beautiful downtown church, you kind of end up doing a lot of weddings. I’ve performed around 25 weddings, which is probably not a lot for the average pastor, but for me and my stage of the game, it’s a lot. So in my little journey, I’ve learned a few things.

     1. The rings only fit about 50% of the time on the wedding day. You get it. All eyes on you. Making the biggest commitment of your life. Your emotions are high. This is a big deal. And now your stinking little fingers are plumping up like microwaved hotdogs. So in many cases, the wedding rings don’t fit in that moment. This is a tip I got from another pastor. I always warn the couple at the wedding rehearsal, tell them to get the ring on as far as they can but not to force it or hurt each other. Most couples give it the old college try during the service, anyway. I’ve seen some pain. Don’t worry people. It’s not a bad omen. It’s just biology.  read more »

Family Life

Celebrating 7 with Joanna

7 is a biblically symbolic number for “completion” or “whole.” I don’t think we’ve completed our marriage, but I absolutely feel whole with you.  Happy Anniversary. To many more.

the first picture we ever took together! Ash Wednesday 2005.
the first picture we ever took together! Ash Wednesday 2006
June 22, 2006. I gave Joanna an important ring at Charlie's Gardens in McCall, ID.
June 22, 2006. I gave Joanna an important ring at Charlie’s Gardens in McCall, ID.

read more »

Uncategorized

Help Me Send Skyers to Summer Camp for Kids with Muscle Disease!

Hey all,

Did you know I am going to Jail!? For GOOD?

photo-11I’m raising money to help my 9 year old buddy, Skyers, get to Summer Camp for Kids with Muscle Disease this summer! I need your help this week! Go to my secure MDA page to donate now!

I am participating in the Idaho Falls Lock-Up on October 17th to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) of Idaho. I’m sure you would love to see me stay behind bars, but I hope you will help me get out! My bail has been set at $1600 – enough to send two local kids with Muscle Diseases to Summer Camp in McCall, Idaho.

read more »

Church Leadership Churches Family Inspiration

Portland, Hotel Bathroom 3 am, Thoughts on being better

where awake parents are exiled to.
where awake parents are exiled to.

Good morning or whatever it is for you when you read this. I am currently in the bathroom of of our hotel room in Portland, OR, and the time is about 3:00 am. More on why I’m in the bathroom later, and more on why I am awake later. I have a couple blog posts in the hopper and will be getting them up soon. I’m also going to try my hand at some videos soon, but for now, I just have a lot on my mind that I feel like I have to get out.

Well, now is later.

I’m in a bathroom
So, I’m here in Portland to attend my church’s Bishop’s Symposium, a time for all the United Methodist pastors in Oregon-Idaho to get together, hear big speakers, dream, worship, and make plans on how to better equip people to be awesome. Joanna and Clementine are joining me in Portland. We have family and friends here, and Clementine has never seen the ocean, which is what we’ll do tomorrow today.

Things are never that bad with these two.
Things are never that bad with these two.

So why am I in the bathroom blogging away on my iPad? Because we haven’t quite mastered the fine art of traveling with a 9 mo old. The trip’s been a little rough for baby Clementine-lemon-lime. She pretty much didn’t sleep yesterday and is pretty frustrated that her english just isn’t where she wants it to be right now. I try to encourage her, but she’s pretty hard on herself. So, I’m in the bathroom because C-town is asleep in the hotel room we’re sharing, and when she’s asleep, only sleeping people can be in that room. All the awake people have to go to the bathroom. read more »

Christian Culture Church Leadership Inspiration Theology

How to Make Disciples and Why I Don’t Like the Sinners’ Prayer

     If converting people to Christianity was like buying shoes, the “Sinner’s Prayer” is like swiping the credit card and signing the receipt. It’s kind of the linchpin to a proselytizing session. The goal of all the selling, persuading, and smiling is to get the person that believes differently than you to say the “Sinner’s Prayer.” And like the credit card, the “Sinner’s Prayer” is an invention to make the transaction as simple as possible.

     I was trained as a teenager to proselytize my friends to my faith. I was trained to get into conversations, and the ultimate goal was to seal the deal by getting people to say the “Sinner’s Prayer.”

     My first encounter with the prayer was after a terrifying Christian play. I might have mentioned this before. I was 12 yrs old, and I attended a play consisting of something like 20 vignettes of people just before some sort of freak accident (like a brick wall falling on them). Each vignette then depicted the characters waking up in front of an angel with a book, and if they at some point in their life said the “Sinner’s Prayer” and really believed it, then the Hallelujah Chorus would play and they’d get to go to heaven. 

     However, the majority of the characters had not said this prayer, so Satan and his demons would slink from the wings to drag these poor souls, kicking and screaming, into a hell of cray paper and strobe lights. At the end of the play, some guy that I didn’t know and didn’t know me came out and told me that I needed to give my life to Jesus or I would go to hell, and then he led me and other scared children in the “Sinner’s Prayer.” Transaction complete, I even got a receipt.

read more »

Devotional Thought Inspiration Theology

What If Adam and Eve Never Ate the Apple?

Think about guys...
Think about guys…

     For now, let’s not scrutinize the story. Let’s just accept it as it is. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, ate the fruit they were told not to, and a bunch of consequences issued forth: snakes lost their legs and became hated by people, women will have pain in child birth, the earth will be harsh and harder to farm, etc.

     But what if Adam and Eve never ate the apple? The story makes us imagine this “what if?” What if Adam and Eve lived on in blissful obedience? What if history marched on and no one disobeyed God? When I was kid, I used to imagine that world. I assumed it would be everyone in the Garden of Eden playing nude volleyball forever and ever. Makes sense.

read more »

charity give Justice Life

Bail Me Out to Help Fight Muscular Dystrophy!

Family, Friends, and Readers!

I’m proud to tell you that I’m going “behind bars” to help in the fight against muscle disease. I’m joining other community leaders to help raise critical funds for the Muscular Dystrophy AssociationMDA, and I need your help to reach my bail! I’ll be raising funds for two children with Muscular Dystrophy to go to camp here in Idaho.

logo3

read more »

Family Friends Life

My Birthday Wknd

This last week, I turned 29. I jokingly told someone at church that I’m about to end my freshman decade of living. I didn’t presume her age, but she laughed asked what does that mean for her?! Whoops. haha. Anyway, here’s some pics of what we did.

I love breakfast and brunch out. We haven't found our place in Idaho Falls yet, but yelp recommended Mitchell's. When we arrived, we found that it was a truck stop. Still, we loved it. Reminded me of Kwik Inn in Security, CO.
I love breakfast and brunch out. We haven’t found our place in Idaho Falls yet, but yelp recommended Mitchell’s. When we arrived, we found that it was a truck stop. Still, we loved it. Reminded me of Kwik Inn in Security, CO.
Here's my girls at Mitchell's! Clementine is getting so good at being out! She can now say, "Mama," "Dada," "Book," and "Gaga" which could mean dog, God, or Lady Gaga.
Here’s my girls at Mitchell’s! Clementine is getting so good at being out! She can now say, “Mama,” “Dada,” “Book,” and “Gaga” which could mean dog, God, or Lady Gaga.

read more »

Fun Spiritual Practices

Atone for sins with the E-Scapegoat!

Hey, need to get something off your chest? Need to confess a sin and receive atonement, but you don’t have a priest or a goat? No problem! In preparation for Yom Kippur, tomorrow, you can lay your sins on the eScapegoat, and watch your sins leave the camp and head off into the wilderness (and off a cliff!) This is hilarious, and even a little educational. Enjoy!

Screen-Shot-2013-09-12-at-8.34.13-AM