Sunday, August 31, 2008

Neil Smith

Evangelist Neil Smith and his family visited our church this week, traveling from Austrailia for an 8 week tour of the United States in between preaching engagements. He preached some fiery, challenging sermons which the Holy Spirit used to really convict my heart. I have truely appreciated his sacrifice and willingness to spend his vacation time edifying the churches of America. Please pray for him that he would continue the work and his family would be encouraged.

Friday, August 29, 2008

101 Youth Activity Ideas #3: Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is a great option for a fun, hassle-free activity. It requires minimum adult involvement and can provide hours of fun for the youth group. Also, those who are not as athletically inclined can usually learn to throw and catch a frisbee fairly quickly so there is more involvement among the teens.

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

101 Youth Activity Ideas #2: Sound Scavenger Hunt!

Plan a scavenger hunt for sounds! Gather a bunch of small tape recorders (PDA's and cell phones might work if they have a recording feature), and send the teenagers out in teams of 3 or 4. Their job is to record sounds you designate like "A Baby Crying", "A Fog Horn", or "A Dog Barking". If you have parents that are willing to volunteer, give each team a driver and let them use the entire city. They must be back before the deadline, and the team with the most sounds wins!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

101 Youth Activitiy Ideas #1: Baseball!

Youth leaders are always looking for good youth activities, and it's a challenge to keep them fresh, interesting, and affordable. I'm going to give you 101 ideas that you can use right now!

Number 1:

Plan your own baseball game. Don't just play baseball, but plan on creating the whole experience. During the "7th inning stretch" plan on having hotdogs, nachos, and ice-cold drinks. While the batting team is waiting, they can be enjoying cotton candy, peanuts (in the shells), garlic fries, etc. Create tickets that each teen can buy for $5.00 (to cover the food). It may be advisable to play "rag-ball" instead of baseball since it's easier to hit, doesn't fly as far, and doesn't require everyone to have a glove. Play ball!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't Major On The Minors

An old saying goes, "Don't major on the minors". In other words, don't focus on the petty stuff. With all the talk of the impending election it's easy for Christians to become wrapped up in the flurry of political talk radio, voter registration initiatives, and campaign events out of a desire to keep the really bad people out of leadership. The truth is that un-saved Republicans in the White House are just as bad as un-saved Democrats, and we need to understand that true change starts with the change Jesus makes in an individual heart when that person gets saved. While I believe Christians need to be pro-active in the community, politics, and leadership; I think we must always remember that souls need to be saved and that is the real reason we are here. Soul-winning should be our number one priority as that is where true change will begin.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We All Do Dumb Things Sometimes...

I love the Geico commercials that were on the radio stating, "We all do dumb things sometimes, but paying too much for car insurance doesn't have to be one of them." It's true that we all do dumb things, but I would suggest that hurting your testimony and Jesus' reputation doesn't have to be one of them.

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.

[15] But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
[16] Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Julie's Jewels

Hey, if you haven't been to Julie's Jewels recently, check out the new plaid re-design! I think it adds a nice touch and I want to thank Julie for being so consistent with keeping the posts coming. It's not easy to do when you have other responsibilities but somehow she manages to keep pushing forward and putting up great content. Keep up the good work, Julie!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Special Forces?

What if Churches had SWAT teams? You know, like teams that they dispatched for "special situations"? Maybe a church member has kids getting involved in a gang, drugs, and/or crime and some intervention is necessary. Maybe a lady has a husband that is hardened and bitter toward Christians, and he's about to make a mistake that will impact his life forever. Maybe some lost family member is on their death-bed and needs the Gospel. Wouldn't it be cool if Pastor could send out a dispatch and when all the team members' beepers went off, they dropped what they were doing, grabbed their bibles, tracts, and pepper-spray (for dogs) and responded?

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.

My First Soul-Winning Experience

When I was 14 I went to Oklahoma City for six weeks to teach a Character training curriculum in the public schools there. I was on a team with about 6 other teenagers, all of whom were from various parts of the country. One night before dinner a bunch of us decided we wanted to go for a walk and, after getting permission, set off down the street. We came across a homeless man who was sitting on a bench and I remember one of the older girls (I think she was 17) suggested we share the Gospel with him. I was terrified...

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

A New Bible

I lower my nose to inches above the surface of the text and slowly inhale, taking in the scent of fresh leather, ink, and paper. The new black Scofield Study Bible in my hands feels firm, heavy, and resolute. I drink in the sight, the feel, the smell, the sound of the pages as they whisper when I turn them. I carefully run my fingers over it so as not to bend a corner or mess up the beautiful gold trim on the edges of each page. There is nothing quite so wonderful as a new Bible.

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

Tearin' it UP

Wow, I've been a posting machine today! I completed 3 PayPerPost opportunites totaling $55.00! If I do this everyday (except Sunday of course), I would earn $1,430/mo which would pay for the car AND the gas! I can practically smell the new leather...

Am I Still Spiritual?

You may be wondering if I am still going to post things of a spiritual nature on this blog. The short answer is...probably. Here is the complicated answer:

I started 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.

An Update On The Twins

I figured anyone who reads my previous post will want to know some more details about the twins, so here they are. Their names are Daniel Giles and Jenna Michelle. Both were born July 31st (they were born early at 32 weeks), and were both 17 inches long. Daniel weighed 4 lbs 9 oz, and Jenna was exactly 4 lbs. They are still at Kaiser, but doing well and we are expecting them to come home in a couple of weeks. So there you have it. I now have four kids under the age of 4, and three are still in diapers. Yay!


Hello to all you who have stopped reading my blog. As you know, I put the brakes on writing because of school, and now my wife just delivered twins! Life comes at you fast. Good thing there's Mastercard (I heard that somewhere).

Anyway...I'm starting up again, but this time for selfish reasons. I want this:,, and 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.

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