Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update on Kyle

I haven't talked alot about Kyle and his MD (muscular dystrophy) for the past few years. It is a tough topic for me to talk about and in some ways have tried to push it out of my mind for as much as I can.
Jill took Kyle to the doctor today. This is one of those appointments we have been dreading for the past few years. Our appointments up until this point had been filled with he is doing well at this point, he is stable and not going downhill. Today we knew that the doctor would be suggesting him start on his steriod medication. That was nt a suprise, I guess in my mind what was a suprise was that Kyle also has osteo perosis (?) and an enlarged part of the heart from overwork. Both of these are not uncommon in md patients, but it is hard because we can start seeing the deteriation we have been dreading for the past few years. I think the hardest part has been well meaning people tell us he looks fine, we think this isn't really going to happen. Well we wish it really wasn't going to happen and I believe God can heal him but if that doesn't happen reality says his body and inner organs are going to deteriate in front of us.
As hard as all the crazy things have been in the last year, these trials may only be preparing us for each of the coming trials we will have.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We can vanquish fear

We can vanquish fear
I love the "Office" it is really the only show I watch on tv, other than all my bravo reality shows. In one episode Dwight decides to take Ryan on a sales call. Well Dwight first takes him to his beet farm for a lesson. In this lesson he brings Ryan into this barn and tells Ryan that in order to vanquish fear he needs to wrestle his cousin Mose who has fear written on his shirt. Ryan does not want any part of this so Dwight just suggests that he jump into this casket that is sitting in the back. If you don't follow the show this scenes is funny like most episodes.
What do we do to vanquish fear? If I am like anyone else I don't want to face up to my fears , I would rather manage them and try to skirt the issue until I am on my death bed. It is to painful and even when we come clean about the fear then we have a responsibility to change.
I spoke about David and Goliath last week in church and I did the childrens sermon on fear. So I asked all the little rascels what they were afraid of? Since I asked them what they were afraid I thought it was only appropriate to share one my many fears. I wanted it to be more tangible than lonliness, the future, or dead by termites. I told them snakes, which I hate. There is this one little boy who is the incarnation of the Crocodile hunter he has brought all sorts of crazy animals into the church including some florescent lizards, and some small furry australian rodent. I think he may have the reptile section of a zoo in his bedroom. When he heard I was scared of snakes he wanted to do something about it his mother told me.
He came to visit my in my office yesterday and he brought me a small garter snake I can handle it,and i thought this over. Well little did I know that around the corner from my office was a python that he had. So without me seeing he traded the garter snake for a python and then turned around and this 4 ft long pythoin was staring me down. I about jumped out of my chair.
This little boy is about 4 and he was telling me all about his pet python named stripes. He was trying to convince me that the snake wouldn't hurt me and I didn't have anything to be afraid off.
How do we vanquish fear? I think it is easier to deal with it when we are young because we still believe that things can change. I believe as we get older we settle for what life is and don't think to much about the hope that it will change.
I loved the little boy with the python, and his determination and desire to help me get over my fear of snakes and I just might with his help

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"great" ideas

Some great church promotional gimmicks
With the time I have spent in Goshen I have been able to come up with some "great" ideas. It really is amazing how many warped ideas I can come up when given the time.
Feel free to use these ideas they are great:
1. Sell your imaginary friends on ebay- You have spent enough time with them, it is time for a change but for you and them. They need the time and the freedom to explore other parts of the world. You are confing them and clipping their wings. if you are over 30 the time has come to part with them, please let me help you. I may be the first one to tell you this but you have to let go.
2. Popsicyle night- We did this the other night at youth group. What is better than a cottage cheese popsiclye. I will tell you what might be- pickle juice, oatmeal, or relish. Mac and cheese not so good. But you can not beat spam and cheese on a frozen stick. Watch ebay for the recipe for spaghetti and meatball pops. It is going to be the newest fad. Next week is slushies and shakes. What is better than tunafish mixed with ice cream. Yum yum.
3. A car wash- this may not sound like a new idea but here is the catch. We are auctioning off car washes on line to any one in contential us. Say there is extremely dirty car in topeka kansas that the owner would want just the right group of teens to wash. he can buy our services. It will be the newest youth group ad. Combine two great events road trips and car washes. It will be a huge money raiser. oh wait it costs money to get to Topeka kansas.
4. Make your own youth group cologne- This idea came after a group of teens threw a bottle of axe body spray, italian dressing, and kerosane into a bon fire. The fragrance is to die for. It will be on the shelves of your local dollar store soon.
Being in Goshen isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Do we stop learning?

How many of us read and expand our brains? If we read do we read materials that support what we already believe? Are we constantly trying to defend our own belief systems that we don’t even know if we believe because it is true or because it is a tradition. I am scared to think of this concept in the realm of Christianity and the church.
Pagan Christianity? has just been hammering at me over the last few weeks. It is one of the first books in a while that has challenged my thinking to the point of really reexaming some of my practices and certain beliefs I have about the church.
I don’t want to give examples because that isn’t point, the point is are we so dogmatic on how we live out our Christian walk that even faced with evidence against how we live we ignore it. Do we honestly believe that we are living out the purest form of following Jesus? If we don’t believe we are living it out, then we may need to examine our lives and see what we what sacred cows we are holding onto stronger than our actual faith in God.
Is our faith stronger in our traditions than in God? I think asking this question may have gotten Jesus killed. What traditions were the religous people at the time of Jesus practicing that Jesus questioned? Was it their pious attitudes, was it their pride in how much money that had given, was it their holier than thou attitudes over the lost and hurting.
What did Jesus lift up as stories for us to emulate? Was it the story of the good samaratan, was it the women at the well, was it zacheus, was it the children, was it the sheep and the goats? What does it look like for us to be the church on both and individual level and a corporate level?
Maybe we do not know because it would be so foreign to us if it was right in front of us. Is the church meant to be the group of people who attend each sunday morning out of ritual and duty and extremely upset if someone messes with their tradition of where they sit or the order of the service? Then they critique the pastor not by what God has done in the service but by the length and eloquence that the message is brought.
Maybe we all need to reaxime the way we view both our church corporatly and individually and see if it matches up to what the new testement describes the church to be