Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Eric and Danielle Timm have a ministry called No One Underground. At Springhill's fall teen retreat last weekend, Eric spoke with authority, humor, candor, and great love. He also painted two pieces of art that went along with his message. Danielle did a dramatic reading of some of her word art, which was also powerful, truthful and exacting.
The first painting he did for us was called "Issues" and is a picture that shows the God-shaped hole in every person, and three shapes (a circle, a square, and a triangle) in the background. The shapes cannot fill the hole correctly. We learned how to let go of these shapes, trust in the Lord and to get rid of the things we use to push God out of our hearts.
Check out No One Underground Ministries
Check out Eric's Artist Page
Check out No One Underground on YouTube
Thank you so much Eric and Danielle!! My students and I will have the reminder of how important it is to guard our hearts every time we see your painting in our youth room.
May the Lord's will be done,
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Libronix, a great scholarly tool for studying the Bible and theology, is going cool. I used Libronix quite a bit over the last few years and really wish I had it for myself.
Thought I would spread the word.
If you want to buy it for me, that would be good too ;)
May the Lord's will be done,
April 2008: Sell 82 VW Vanagon Westfalia, Buy 88 VW Cabrio
August 2008: Sell 88VW Cabrio, Buy 89 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE
Before you hate on my newest ride, realize that it came at a very discounted cost as my grandmaw is now rolling in a much newer, and much much faster Benz.
Nelly and Cedric the enteratiner knew what they were talking about when they talked about "Rollin around town in a big body Bez with two dollas worst of gas"(Country Grammar: Intro).
SO- I bought a new bicycle. It comes today. Should save me some money, help me be less fat.
More to come.
May the Lord's will be done,
Monday, August 11, 2008
You can submit your own 6 word memoir, read others, and submit your own at http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/
I submitted one:
"FS: College Degree take over payments."
Yes, I know FS is shorthand for two words. Get over it.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Terror continues for the people of Darfur. Despite our efforts and yours, China has not used its unique influence with Sudan and its role as Olympic host to try to address the Darfur conflict.
China has ignored the people of Darfur. Tomorrow at www.DarfurOlympics.org you can send Beijing a message by refusing to watch Chinese propaganda during the Olympics.
Every time China touts itself as a responsible world power during the Games, tune into our alternative Olympic programming on the web. Watch the Alternative Opening Ceremony with artists including Talib Kweli and R.E.M. and then watch Mia Farrow's daily webcast from a Darfurian refugee camp from August 8 to 15 at www.darfurolympics.org.
We hope that you will join us in helping to bring peace to the people of Darfur.
Dream for Darfur
May the Lord's Will Be Done
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
No, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night or save 30% by switching to Geico(I am very satisfied with Progressive BTW). Yesterday I finished something that has taken me years -- I paid off all of my credit card debt. I would like to share a more complete story, but for now I will boil it down to a few points:
1) I went to college and spent money I did not have - DON'T DO THIS
2) I realized that I needed to pay it back - DO THIS
3) I payed the minimum payment for a long time because it was what I had - Only do this if you have to, but DON'T DO THIS
4) I payed over the minimum payment to reduce the debt - DO THIS
5) I transferred the balance to another CC with 0% interest - DO THIS only if you are serious, read carefully, don't spend any more money you don't have
6) I paid it off. DO THIS
Not a very interesting story, but the basics are there. Thank you Carol, the Fogler Family, Dave Ramsey, and all my friends who have shared thoughts and ideas along the way. Praise the Lord!!
Now about those student loans... Please pray / send me checks.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Tell your friends
Monday, August 4, 2008
As I said, everything they said came true. During our time in Jamaica we worked for and with New Hope Moravian Church in Montego Bay. At the end of the week the youth from the church had us come over for some games, singing, dancing, and time together. At the end of the night we all held hands and prayed. As were praying we sang "Kum Bay Ya", which is a normal thing for the Jamaicans. It was for real, and great.
Yesterday I was teaching Sunday School and for the first time asked a question that's appropriate answer was "Jesus". It's happening.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Whether believe that healthcare should be left to unrestricted free market or if you are of the opinon that government should become increasingly involved (about 20% of healthcare costs are subsidized), the real cost of healthcare is this: we get sick. However, many if not most of the diseases that cost us the most are preventable.
Heart disease, diabetes, lung and mouth cancer, and high blood pressure are all very costly conditions that can be avoided by simply taking care of oneself. Its pretty simple really: eat healthy, don't use tabacco, and get moderate exercise. Save yourself and everyone some green.
"Don't get sick" is a wise plan reducing the costs of healthcare, and how those reduced costs are paid is another debate entirely. I'd rather pay the same or a little higher for my healthcare and allow for those 7 - 12% who don't have insurance and couldn't pay the bills if they did be taken care of too. I'm still hopefully for the private sector to get creative and make progress, but its hard not to be jaded.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Since Adam was the only one to comment so far, and I need to take care of July's giving before the end of July, I took one of his suggestions and headed over to Kiva.org and chekced out what they do. Basically, they are a place that lets people lend money to others who need it to develop themselves personally or professionally. This is called microfinancing.
Microfinancing is all about helping people that banks either cannot (too risky, not enough money to be worth it) or will not (it's in thier interest to keep people only partially successful). A small loan helps people "prime the well".
So I am using my "giving" money to microfinance through Kiva. When they pay me back I will either reinvest in someone else, or donate it to another cause.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Where should it go? Where do you give to? How do I get there? What are the biggest needs?
Comment so we can spotlight some places that could use it.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I went back to where we saw him first and waited. Eventually he came back and we started a real conversation. That led to a few of our students becoming his friends and sharing time, clothes, and food with him.
Michael and I talked and sat along the Hip Strip during our short week on the island. One topic was violence and how the rasta fight with words instead of weapons. He reminded me over and over of the prophesy of weapons being pounded into plowshares.
"A knife is better than a gun because it can be used to peel fruit."
Thursday, June 26, 2008
My summer has not been conducive to blogging so far. I miss you. In the morning I will be travelling to Jamaica with the church my fiance and I are interning at this summer. We will spend part of the time doing physical work and part of the time interacting with the children.
I am also going to try and get a hold of some green Blue mountain coffee to have AWC roast.
Pictures and stories are coming. I promise.
When I get back I will start a full time job for Cummins Engine Company through a contractor. The job is part customer service and part IT type work. We are considating purchasing databases. I hope that everyone's summer is off to a good start.
May the Lord's will be done,
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Presently I am working on a day by day basis to clear out the computers at one of Cummins Engine Company's buildings after it suffered damage from the flood that has devestated parts of our town.
Our boss is the one in the shark's mouth.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I made a fun playlist in light of graduation. Rules: had to be my music, no repeated artists.
1) "My Chains are Gone" by Chris Tomlin. I wouldn't resist the opportunity to laugh on the way home.
2) "Don't Come Around Here No More" by Tom Petty & the HBs. This is Taylor's song to me.
3) "Exodus" by Bob M and the Ws. Love me some Reggae. This was my nap CD freshman year, and the I am looking forward to the movement of Jah people.
4) "Fortunate Son" by CCR. Unlike The Dude, I still have my Creedence Tapes. Oh the Red Wide and Blue-- I ain't no senator's sawzall.
5) "Gone" by Montgomery Gentry. Whats in a name?
6) "Graduate" by Third Eye Blind. Because 6th grade wanted its song back.
7) "If You're Going Through Hell" By Rodney Atkins. This is for all those worn out juniors who will walk this lonesome valley next year.
8) "Into the Dark" by the Juliana Theory. For all of us who are unsure of the next steps.
9)"Me and Paul"by Willie Nelson. Its a song about learning from life, friends, and the cities of the nation.
10) "Run Like Hell" por Pink Floyd. 2 reasons: 1) the anti-school/social control theme of The Wall and 2) I left the first disc of the album in a middle-school classroom. Mrs. Boone if you read this, please send it to me.
11) "School's Out" by Alice Cooper. Any man named Alice who can make it in the rock world deserves some respect. Also, this list would be 67.923% incomplete without it.
12) "Self Americans" by Dogwood. Lots of talent going unheard from this band. See previous post for rationale.
Here at Taylor I have been given a very good, Christ-centered education. My practicum for a degree in Christian Educational Ministries took me to Juarez, Mexico where I facilitated high school mission trips in basically a squatter colony. There I learned what it looked like to not have enough resources to feed your baby properly, and to watch across a fence as another bank building goes up, waving Old Glory. As those people shared Christ and many gifts with me, I felt like I learned much more about the reality of God during my first few weeks there then I did as I was writing research papers at length for my Bible or Christian Ed classes.
My frustration is not against Taylor, but that I feel trapped. It takes a lot of effort to break myself of consuming, wasting, entitlement, and just plain ignorance. Oversimplified but not nearly as expressive as it is within me it is this that I am frustrated at: It cost me over $100,000 to realize that I don't want this kind of life-- and I have to retain my privileged place in society just to pay (a good portion) of it back.
I hope that I can find someone who can show me what it truly means to become like Christ.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
A Message from Rita in the Recruiting Department:
Are you 20 years old or older? Are you (or a friend) still looking for a summer job or internship? YouthWorks still has PAID summer site staff positions available for their May 26th training. Spread the word! Call the Recruiting Team toll-free at 877.249.9904- option 2 today to find out more! Again, available positions are for those that are 20 years old or older.
YouthWorks is dedicated to providing life-changing summer missions trips for teenagers; nearly 40,000 participants are expected this summer. Live in one of 78 communities in the U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico with your staff team. Coordinate daily programming. Build relationships with 65 youth and adults who come to your site each week ready to serve. Help them be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Check out www.youthworksrecruiting.com for more information and to fill out the online application!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
"Act selfless, you will be infinite." -- My Tea
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." -- St. Paul.
Who says that faith and culture don't intersect??
P.S. Try the Mexican Sweet Chili, not spicy but pleasant.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
"Called to an allegiance higher than party, ideology, economic system, and
nationality, we Evangelicals see it our duty to engage with politics, but our equal duty
never to be completely equated with any party, partisan ideology, or nationality. The
politicization of faith is never a sign of strength but of weakness."
Friday, May 2, 2008
One quick thought:
Wednesday's chapel speaker asked us when the last time we had our hearts broken for the world.
For me it was when I wrote "Bed Sheets".
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
"I have met a number of born again Christians who believe in "gay rights" -- i.e. that gays
should have the same rights as everyone else -- even while they
believe that homosexuality is un-biblical and a sin. To most people
reading this, that will seem a huge contradiction -- can you shed any
light on what Christians like that are thinking".
I am a "Christian like this". Barna does a good job at explaining my thoughts.
While it is true that you can legislate morality - after all, what laws do is define what is right and wrong, which is the essence of morality - a growing number of born again people are not staking their entire realm of influence on the legal and political systems. Instead, they desire to offer a theologically honest but emotionally compassionate reaction to proponents of homosexuality. In other words, they cannot ignore the fact that homosexuality is a sin from a biblical perspective, but also realize that Jesus' primary exhortation was to love other people into a different way of understanding and living their lives
Dear Gay People, We love you. You know we disagree, but we love you.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Today I got a call from a friend telling me that Shane Claiborne was at Ivanhoe's, which is our local ice cream eatery.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I asked him what he did to deserve the big fish. He said that he pays the mortgage.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Last summer I worked in Juarez, Mexico with YouthWorks!. We had US and Canadian high school students come for a week at a time while we gave them places to serve by building homes and spending time with children.
Monday, March 3, 2008
I am disturbed by the movie, because I know that it represents something true. Arms dealers or traffickers exist, but only because of war. Why does war exist?
I came back to my room and started praying. Something like this is what came out of me:
"I have seen innocent blood shed, even though it is a movie, this is my world. Why, God? Jesus, is this the "year of the Lord's favor?"
Over the weekend I talked at our Spring Christian Ed retreat about the Exodus and the movement of God in the life of the individual and in societies. During that talk I presented the way Jesus began his ministry, which was by reading this in a synagogue in Capernum:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
Because He has anointed me
To Preach the Good News to the poor
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
To release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
Over the summer, I was praying about hunger. I asked God why it existed, I dared to ask God why He would let it happen
It is hard to describe, but the answer to that prayer was sorrowful.
"My children go hungry because my other children let them."
Mother Theresa must have listened to the same voice for she said, "As long as there are empty mouths in the world, the Eucharist is incomplete."
God has and will give his family more than enough. We just wont share. We have our own peace, but will not share.
Why do I go through a day and not ask where the clothes that cover my flesh come from, who worked to make them? How can I drink my coffee without thinking of who picked it, and whether or not they can live off the wages they earned? Why do I believe the lie that it is not my responsibility to make sure those people are getting what they deserve?
When have we given enough? When can we feel good about ourselves? When we all have enough, when we all have peace, when God is feared.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Welcome to the earth my newest cousin Aaron Michael Jacoby Holt. My cousin, his brother, Alex (AJ) is holding him.
Praise God for life. May the Lord bless and keep him always.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Schedule of Events
SUNDAY NIGHT KICKOFF
- Pancakes in the main lounge from 8-9pm
- Jim Spiegel speaking on Spiritual Disciplines on Sammy II at 9pm
MONDAY NIGHT – MORRIS OLYMPICS
13 Events Planned and the winning floor gets Root Beer Floats.
SIGN UP FOR THE OLYMPICS WITH YOUR PAS
Crazy’s Apartment - Scene It Competition @ 8:45pm
- Dessert Bakeoff - Entries in by 10pm
Basement - Corn Hole Bean Bag Toss @ 10:00 pm
- Carpetball starts @ 9:30pm - Billiards Competition @ 8:30pm
Foundation - Foosball Tourney @ 9:00pm - Washers @ 10:00pm
- Nerf Gun Dueling @ 9:15pm
Sammy II - Euchre Tourney @ 9:00pm - Bible Trivia @ 9:30pm
Brotherhood - 4 Square Tourney @ 9:15pm
Penthouse - Ping Pong @ 9:30pm
Front of Morris - Nalgene Toss @ 9:45pm
Sign up to win Crazy’s Parking Spot for the month of March @ the Front Desk!!!
Sign up by Friday Night at 1am! One entry per person!
Winner will be announced through a hall email!
TUESDAY NIGHT – All Hall Dodgeball Game
9:30-11pm in the Odle Gym
WEDNESDAY NIGHT –Power Outage Night-3pm-3am – power will be shut off at 3pm
- Enjoy the Community of your floors
- Taylor Basketball Plays at home at 7pm against Spring Arbor
= remember if you want to save food in your fridge bring it to the front desk with your name on it.
= if you want a wake-up call on Thursday morning come and write your name down at the front desk and the time you want woken up.
= let me know if you need your power on for a certain reason
THURSDAY NIGHT – WORSHIP NIGHT/DEBRIEF
9PM in the basement. We will also spend some time singing and reflecting back on what was learned from the week.
Goals of Dude Week
1. To devote the week to intentionally fellowshipping together.
2. To grow spiritually and develop some spiritual disciplines.
3. For all of us to agree to voluntarily deny ourselves something we usually partake in for the week.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
- Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
- where there is hatred, let me sow love;
- where there is injury, pardon;
- where there is doubt, faith;
- where there is despair, hope;
- where there is darkness, light;
- and where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love;
- for it is in giving that we receive,
- it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I found this on PreachingToday.com's Series about money. There is more research out there suggesting similar conclusions. We should tithe out of both obedience and love.
Tithing Christians Would Meet Global Need
A husband and wife team of researchers, the founders of Empty Tomb, Inc., in Champaign, Illinois, have tracked American and American Christian expenditures as well as global needs. John and Sylvia Ronsvalle have estimated that $70-$80 billion a year could meet the most essential human needs around the world. "Projects for clean water and sanitation, prenatal and infant/maternal care, basic education, immunizations, and long-term development efforts are among the activities that could help overcome the poverty conditions that now kill and maim so many children and adults."
The Ronsvalles go on to write: "That figure of $70-$80 billion may sound like anything but good news. God may be generous, you may agree, but has he been that generous? Consider this: If church members in the United States would increase their giving to 10 percent of their income, there could be an additional $94 billion available for overseas missions."
In addition to providing the $80 billion a year needed to eliminate world poverty, tithing Christians would also provide the $7 billion needed to provide primary education for all children, and the $5 billion needed to end the preventable deaths of children under 5.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
A Selection of Dr. King's words from "I Have a Dream" August 28, 1963:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
WE ARE not free. Yet. Last week my class stayed at the International Teams guest house in inner-city Lawndale, Chicago. Our host Mark Soderquist and his friend and fellow churchman Derrick joined us for a discussion about their story. I cannot tell it well, but basically these two men of faith in our Lord have learned to trust each other and love each other although they did not when they started their relationship nearly twenty years ago. They have now realized fuller that they are both created in the image of the Holy God, although their skin had different tones of beauty.
Later that week our class had the privilege of invading a sacred gathering of men that have become the Chicago Urban Reconciliation Enterprise (CURE). They showed us about how being dedicated to spending time with people who are different than you can help you to love and understand them. They even showed us how that can help to understand Scripture in new ways, bringing a more full understanding of how the Word is alive.
Surely this group is one that believes that the "banks of justice" and "vaults of opportunity" are not empty.
The Lord is saying "Love one another," as He always has. Dr. King is right when he says that our freedoms are inextricably bound. "We cannot walk alone"
Mr. Mandela reminds us that freedom requires steady and unrelenting passion, and Dr. King reminds us that we must do it together. For everyone who is sick of the talk, hates it when they hear a man say "they have gotten what they wanted", and who has yet to feel like they can trust and be trusted by their character alone....keep going.
"Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children." To the Glory of God.