Friday, September 5, 2008
We've had a lot of guest preachers come through, but not too many are fired up like this guy. Sometimes I think that the people who truly recognize what they were saved out of are the ones who are truly grateful. Would to God we had more Earl Ankroms! AMEN! AMEN!! AMEN!!!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
The rules are simple. Two teams, two goals (a soccer or football field works well), and a frisbee are all that are required. One team begins by a "throw-off" (similar to a kick-off in football). The frisbee is then passed from team member to team member up the field, but when a team member has the frisbee he or she cannot run. They must keep one foot planted and pass the frisbee to an open member. A goal is scored when the frisbee is passed and successfully caught inside the goal line. The opposing team must try to knock the frisbee out of the air (no physical contact is allowed). If the frisbee falls to the ground whether it was knocked down or simply not caught, it is turned over to the other team and they work their way to their goal. Another throw-off is only required upon scoring.
If you have a large park or sports field, try this for a summer evening of fun with your teens. I guarantee they will LOVE it!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
I was out with some business people yesterday, two of which are Christians and one who is lost. The two Christians were both smoking, I heard one of them swear on a few occasions, and the other suggested that we all go get some booze. What must the lost person's opinion of Jesus been after seeing the behavior of these Christians who supposedly have been saved out of sin? My experience is that lost people know that Christians shouldn't drink, smoke, or cuss and that the Bible commands them to be Holy, so this behavior reinforces the view that Christians are "hypocrites". Hey, we all do dumb things sometimes, but hurting your testimony in front of those who need Christ doesn't have to be one of them.
 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
So why don't we? Simple. Too few volunteers. Few people are willing to be available at a moment's notice because serving the Lord is too low on most everyone's priority list. Sad, isn't it? It shouldn't be an annoyance when our day is "interrupted" by the Holy Spirit prompting us to witness to a lost soul, or we realize that someone is in need of help. This should be our focus, our purpose, and our direction. We should be Christians first and employees/bosses second. Let's purpose to have a willing attitude and enlist in God's SWAT.
We sat down on the bench with him and this girl pulled a tract from her purse. I remember thinking that if it were me, I would have no idea how to share the Gospel with this man, what verses to cover or where to start. Then I watched as she went to the back of the tract and began reading the verses listed there, and explaining what each one meant. Why didn't I think of that?! Is it really that easy? It was. The Holy Spirit was working and the man accepted Christ as his Saviour on that bench.
Now, 13 years later, I still feel nervous when I approach someone to give them the Gospel but I don't worry about whether I will "cover all the points" or "miss anything". Instead I tell them what Christ has done for me and I try to be as real as possible. I think soul-winning plans, techniques, and programs have their place, but we should be careful to not become rote by dryly reciting a script and reading verses like a robot. Be real, and if you get lost, grab a tract.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
My old one was wonderful, but was worn out. More than one page on which resided verses of the Romans Road had been ripped from heavy use, and then there were the ketchup stains from the Children's Church sermon where I preached on Sisera, Barak, Deborah, and the tent peg through the temple (my Bible was a casualty when the tent peg caused the ketchup to violently squirt, as was the white dress of a little girl in the front row). Ah yes, a Bible which carried with it memories, stories, and legends. But now I have a clean slate. A new tool for my use in the service of the Saviour. A fresh blade with which to behead the forces of darkness and free captives from the bondage of sin. A sharpened blade. And I will keep it sharp, clean, and ready. Always ready.
I was taught in the Marines to never allow my weapon to be more than arm's length from my body. I ate with it, slept with it, and lived with it. It was part of me and as comfortable in my hand as my right arm in my shoulder socket. And when the enemy attacked I was ready to fight with it.
May we never take our weapons for granted. I will treasure this one.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I started EarnSpareChange.com for the sole purpose of making money, and writing about making money. The problem (as I've mentioned before) is that PayPerPost requires that I complete ten opportunities before I can add another blog to my profile. I'm up to 7 with them right now, so once I can migrate to the other blog, I'll use that for my money making ventures as much as possible.
That being said, this blog has a better Google Page Rank, and PPP rates it higher with their rating system. I've never had many readers on ESC so it only has a PR of 1 (all of which mean I won't qualify for as good of opportunities).
The long and short of it is time will tell. I don't have as much time to post spiritual stuff, and search the web for funny yet tasteful videos like I used to, but I still hope to be of some value to those who stumble by. Thanks.
Anyway...I'm starting up again, but this time for selfish reasons. I want this:
PayPerPost.com, iHype.com, and PayU2Blog.com are all going to get me there. Since this is a $50,000 vehicle, I figure I can finance it for $1,000/mo. Now since I can afford a $1,000/mo car payment, I've come up with a plan to earn the money via "unconventional" means. If I can earn $39.00 per day from blogging opportunities, I will have my $1,000 car payment! While you may see posts here, watch my EarnSpareChange blog for updates on my progress.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
That being said, I just finished my first "Designing Webpages" class at the Junior College and will be starting my second this week (the great thing is that they are online classes, so I can work in the comfort of my home after the kids are in bed). I was thinking it would be really cool to get some traction by volunteering to fix some websites that are broken (I know of a few), and improve some that are just plain terrible (I know of a lot). After completing a couple of these projects I could be a web design hero! I might need a cape…
Anyway, web design is a skill that you can learn on your own. I'm taking classes because it's giving me a great jumpstart, but the class is nothing more than working through some lessons in a book. I could've done that 100% on my own, and so can you if you are interested. The book is Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML and it walks you through learning HTML, XHTML (which are extremely similar) and CSS from the very beginning. I've found it extremely easy to use and understand, and very entertaining. It's not a dry textbook but more of an interactive, hands on experience.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
1. Stop wasting so much time sleeping!
I've found that 5 hours of sleep is plenty for me to function at 100% throughout the day, and this level of rest is sustainable. While I've gone for a couple of months on 2 - 3 hours per night, there is no way I could sustain that level of sleep and stay awake in church, in school, and at work. I can handle pulling an all-nighter once or twice per week, or a 3 or 4 hour night a few times per week, but I need to have some catch-up nights in between. If you know your limits you can work out a routine and use that extra time to get stuff done. Everyone is different, but if you are getting 7 or 8 hours per night right now, I would suggest staying up one hour later or (even better) getting up one hour earlier. You would be surprised how productive you can be when the rest of the house is sleeping. I know most of you are grimmacing right now, but trust me this works!
2. Man shall not live by bread alone...
We all eat. Some more than others. Did you ever consider how much time you spend sitting in the lunch room/break room at work? How about breakfast in the moring? This is a prime opportunity to pull out your New Testament and read. Hey, you may be able to recover an hour or more right here!
3. Turn off the tunes.
Got a car? Do you drive it? Most of us spend at least some time on the road commuting to and from work, the store, church, etc. Download the Bible and use your CD player, tape player, or MP3 to listen to God's Word. It's free, and it would be a great use of otherwise wasted time.
4. Wash the dishes, and your mind.
Few people hate doing dishes as much as I do, but once again its a fact of life. Use the Bible on MP3 (see the previous point) to fill your mind with scripture while you fill the dishwasher with plates. It's not like you would be doing anything else, right?
5. God's Word is sowed in the commode.
Once again, there are certain times of the day that we are all a captive audience. Why not strategically position a Bible in your bathroom? Take a few minutes while you are there to spend with the Lord (He sees you anyway, so don't worry about Him being offended). For some of you, this idea may add 3 hours of Bible reading time to your day!The bottom line is, nothing is going to happen unless you make it happen. Try one of these suggestions and see if it works for you. If it does, let me know! Also, if you already have a system in place that works I would love to hear about it. Stay young, and stay fundamental!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Though it came a little late
Don’t become ungrateful
Because you had to wait
Because you may not see it
Still without a doubt
Somewhere there’s a Marine
Who tonight will go without
Though his stomach’s growling
And his hunger’s very real
Somewhere that Marine
Will go without a meal
When you pull back your clean sheets
And climb on into bed
And on your fluffy pillow
You rest your tired head
Just know that far away
As you doze so deep
Somewhere there’s a Marine
Who will go without sleep
And though he dug a fighting hole
Without the aid of light
And he’s been up for 24 hours
Still he’s on watch tonight
So though you must rise early
Remember what I’ve said
Somewhere there’s a Marine
Who never went to bed
When you drive your car to work
And all the traffic stops
And drivers cut you off
Unnoticed by the cops
Don’t become exasperated
And spew profanity
Somewhere a Marine today
Has been walking constantly
He carries everything he has
In a pack upon his back
And on his head and body
Wears a helmet and a flak
No vehicle will drive him
With no shelter from the rain
His leather boots are all he has
Though he’s in constant pain
In the safety of your home
You kick back and relax
You’ve got everything you need
You know nothing lacks
You read of other countries
And see them on TV
And hear of suicide bombings
And shooting constantly
You know no one will harm you
For doing as you please
For you live in America
And you can rest at ease
Just remember why you have
The liberties you do
And who it is that pays the price
For others just like you
That Marine holds constant vigil
And stands in harms way
Lives with bare necessities
And does it every day
He sacrifices for he knows
What freedom means to you
He makes that sacrifice
For the Red, White and Blue
Monday, February 18, 2008
Hook, Line & Sinker by Cary Schmidt is a Sunday School curriculum written for teens and their parents. I have personally found it to be a phenomenal resource in my teen boys' class, and would highly recommend it to any youth director.
Schmidt begins by drawing an analogy between a fisherman trying to use lures, hooks, and bait, to catch fish; and the devil who is using the same to "hook" teenagers. He then begins to explain in detail the four most common hooks that the devil uses in our teens lives, how they can identify and avoid these mistakes, and what parents need to be doing to make sure their children stay protected.
This curriculum contains a lot of practical application and wisdom drawn from years of experience in the ministry, and clearly shows Schmidt's dedication to helping teens through their journey to adulthood.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
In this passage, Paul speaks of being cast down. He was clearly discouraged with all that he had been through, and understandably so. It's interesting that he was comforted by something as simple as the arrival of a friend. I want to suggest however that Titus wasn't just any old friend, but the type of friend who had been through a lot with Paul and understood his problems. Titus was a friend who was there for Paul through thick and thin, and when the going got rough, Titus had Paul's back. It's no wonder that Paul was encouraged when his buddy arrived to comfort him during his time of need.
I've had a lot of friends throughout my life, but I can only think of three that I would consider to be in this catagory, and one is now with the Lord. These were guys I could call during the worse of times and they would be there for me. I could tell them my struggles, and they could tell me theirs. Often just by being around each other we would be mutually encouraged and rejuvinated. Friends such as these should never be taken for granted. If you have a friend like Titus, thank God for him or her. If not, pray that God would send you someone who would encourage and challenge you to live for Him, and comfort you when it gets hard. Also, purpose that you will be someone else's Titus.
Sadly, it's rare to hear a preacher speak out against any sin this boldly for fear of offending, losing members, or being viewed as a "closed minded hell-fire and brimestone preacher". Maybe we need more hell-fire and brimestone preached from our pulpits to melt the icecubes in the pews. Billy Sunday wasn't afraid to call a sin a sin, and because of it his impact is still felt to this day. Praise God!
For Billy's entire sermon on Saloons, visit The Curse of the Saloon at Jesus-is-Savior.com.
SHAKE THAT TREE, BILLY!!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
A picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it? Often we don't realize the danger before us when we give in to seemingly "innocent" sins, or yield to temptations that we consider small. The devil is a hunter, and he has had thousands of years to perfect his technique. Just as a seasoned game hunter knows how to surpress his scent, hide himself, and "disappear", the devil is extremely talented in his ability to camoflage those things most dangerous to us. Only through pray and being led by the Holy Spirit are we able to dodge the crosshairs of the enemy. Don't be a casualty of war. How can we fight such a sly and talented enemy you ask? We can't, but God is on the other end of our radio, waiting for us to call in an airstrike and blow Satan to bits. Don't forget to use the power that's available to you.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I think often God uses the opportunities I get to preach to give me something I need. I probably came away from that message more convicted than any of the teenagers did. Funny how that works...
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
While I'm at it, I'll tell you about a project I'm working on. I'm going to create a page where I can post the sermons our Pastor preaches. The cool thing is they won't be just audio, they will be video! I'm going to see if I can upload them so they are available for viewing. Also, I'm taking a class on HTML and learning a lot! By the end of this semester, I should be able to do all sorts of tricky stuff with webpages, so be looking for some really trick changes down the road!
Thank you all for your loyal support. You may just inspire me to keep this blog alive. After all, someone needs to stir the pot of lesbians, liberals, and limp-wristed loonies out there and I'm just the guy to rile them up!
Have a fantastic evening!
Friday, February 1, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Old man: "Fill 'er up."
Old Woman: (asks the old man) "What'd he say?"
Old Man: "He asked if he could help us."
Old Woman: "Tell him to fill 'er up."
Old Man: "I told him to fill it up."
Gas station attendant: "Where are you two headed?"
Old Man: "We're going to Disneyland."
Old Woman: "What'd he say?"
Old man: "He asked us where we're headed."
Old Woman: "Tell him we're going to Disneyland."
Old Man: (disgustingly) "I told him we're going to Disneyland!"
Gas station attendant: "Where are you two from?"
Old Man: "We're from Hudsonville."
Old Woman: "What'd he say?"
Old Man: (angrily) "He asked us where we're from!"
Old Woman: "Tell him we're from Hudsonville."
Old Man: (very angry) "I TOLD HIM WE'RE FROM HUDSONVILLE!"
Gas station attendant: "Hudsonville, I've been to Hudsonville before. The women there are DOG UGLY!"
Old Woman: "What'd he say?"
Old Man: (looks at the old woman, then at the gas station attendant, and then back to the old woman and says) "He said he's met you before!"
I'm not bashing new years resolutions, but I'm suggesting that if you really want to make some changes, try some of the following tips to make sure they stick:
- Write down your goals. If you just say, "I want to lose weight" or "I'm going to read my Bible more often", you're going to have a tough time. Write down what you want and make the goal quantifiable. Decide how much you want to weigh, and by what date.
- Make a plan. Once you know where you are going, decide how you will get there. Don't just give yourself a longterm goal, but also create some shortterm goals that will keep you motivated and give you early successes. Most of the battle of creating new habits is right between your ears.
- Get a partner. Find someone with similar plans and conspire to keep each other on track. It's a lot easier to stay focused when you are exercising with someone, eating healthy together, comparing results, sharing Bible reading schedules, etc.
- Reward yourself. Establish small rewards that you can look forward to for each of your shortterm goals, and a larger reward if you have a final goal (if you are establishing an ongoing habit, reward yourself at intervals throughout the year, and at the end of the year if you've stuck to it).
Don't let 2008 be another year that you tried and failed. Purpose to make this year count!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
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