Wilsons Go to China

Our pastor and his family left this morning for China to bring home their new adopted daughter, Klaire. Joe & Julie have been praying for this day for a long time and I'm so happy for them that it's finally here. Klaire has a church full of people who can't wait to meet her!


Best Movie of the Ssssssssummer!

I saw Snakes on a Plane (SOAP) last night. It was a really great movie! Don't get me wrong - it's not going to win any Oscars or anything, but it's the most fun movie you'll have seen all summer (much better than that crap-fest Pirates 2). I laughed a lot, jumped several times, and felt like my skin was slithering the whole time!

I really love movies. I like artsy films. I like good action films. I like scary movies (especially zombies). I like comedy, drama, pretty much everything. But my favorite kind of movies are the campy sci-fi/horror B-movies from the 50s and 60s! SOAP feels a little like that, but without the shoestring budget. Bottom-line: if you like to have fun when you see a movie, then go see this movie. But if you tend to take yourself and your movies way too seriously and believe movies need to be "logical" to be good, then stay home and enjoy PBS or the History Channel.


Casualties of Youth Ministry

I took 3 talking, laughing, screaming jr. high girls to a teen missions rally about 30 miles away in Hartville, MO two nights ago. On the way home we struck and killed the following animals in my mini-van (it was very dark and I was driving a little fast).

Rest in peace fair woodland creatures. Your supreme sacrifice may well have paved the way to a teen entering the mission field. (Please observe a moment of silence - followed by a 21-hoot salute.)

What I'm Currently Listening To

Los Lonely Boys - Sacred
I'm really loving these guys right now. I'm really diggin' the whole Texican thing.
David Crowder Band - A Collision & B Collision
By far, my current favorite band. I like just about everything these guys put out and they are incredible live. B Collision is a remix of some of the stuff on A Collision, but some of it's much better than it's predecessor.
Prince - 3121
I've always been a big fan of Prince. I think he's somewhat of a musical genius. I love this new CD! It feels very much like his old stuff except without all the sexual innuendo. He's really cleaned his lifestyle up and his music reflects it. Several songs encouraging chastity, faithfulness, and relationship with God. Definitely worth checking out.
Eleventy Seven - And the Land of Fake Believe
This is just a fun new CD. These guys are a young Christian punk band and they have a great sound.


Back From Chi-town

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Last Wednesday ended my busy summer youth season as we finished up a great week of VBS. The next day the Myers family headed out on vacation to the Chicago area. We stayed in Joliet with my parents. Jamie and I got to have a night alone in Chicago on Friday night. It was great. We stayed in a hotel on Michigan Avenue. I won't tell you which one, but "guests of the Oprah show" stay there. That night we got tickets to see the Blue Man Group - FREAKIN' AWESOME! It was seriously one of the most incredible and fun shows I've ever seen. If you ever get the chance to see it, run - don't walk. Here's a pic.

I also got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants - Portillo's. They make the best hot dogs ever. Everyone needs to try a Portillo Dog someday. Mom brought the kids into Chicago to join us on Saturday. We had fun with them, too. We all went to the Field Museum, which is probably one the better museums in the world. The kids really enjoyed all the Egyptian, American Indian, and dinosaur exhibits. Here's some more pics: Isaiah with Sue (the world's most complete t-rex skeleton), Jamie looking very cosmopolitan downtown, and Mollie about to be devoured by a mean looking dino.


Books, How I Love Thee!

I saw this on Scot McKnight's blog (author, commentator, theologian) and it got me to thinking, too. So here's my list. Let me know what your list looks like.
  1. One book that changed your life: The Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning. This book helped me see (and feel) the size of God's grace like nothing else.
  2. One book you've read more than once: Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling. I've read them all 2 or 3 times. They give me great joy and pleasure.
  3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The Message - Eugene Peterson. This paraphrase is my day to day inspiration.
  4. One book that made you laugh: Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller. It's rare for a Christian to be that honest about his life and spiritual walk.
  5. One book that made you cry: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis. Actualy all the Narnia books. I cry every time Aslan shows up on the page.
  6. One book you wish had been written: Lighten Up! - Jesus Christ.
  7. One book you wish had never been written: The King James Version Bible. No other book has produced more confusion, bad sermons, and jerks in modern Christendom.
  8. One book you're currently reading: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places - Eugene Peterson. Good devotional theology.
  9. One book you've been meaning to read: To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. Love the movie.


%@*$ing Profanity, Part 1

Like I said yesterday, I would like to start a discussion on profanity. What it is and what it isn't? I would like to get as much feedback as possible from anybody who reads this. Feel free to agree with me or disagree with me or tell me to go @$!# off. I will say from the get-go that I have very definite opinions on this topic, but they are primarily just that - opinions. I would like to systematically go through the different teachings of the Bible on this topic and attempt to figure out what the Bible says about it. So let's start here:


Exodus 20:7 (NIV) - You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
I hope we can all agree that this is definitely a very specific (but possibly not clear) teaching on the kind of language that should not be coming from our mouths. We are not to misuse, or take lightly, the name of God (and since Jesus was also God, we'll throw his name in there with this teaching as well). The potentially unclear question here is what is really meant by "misuse" or "vain" as the KJV states.
Now, in the house that I grew up in, this meant never saying "oh my god", or using "jesus christ" as a swear, or putting "god" before "dangit" or "damn", or even saying "I swear to god". In other words, if you weren't specifically talking about God or Jesus, then their names should not be thrown around casually. I think this was and is an accurate teaching of that scripture. These uses definitely would be misuses, or show a lack of respect, of the name of God.
I've also heard it taught that this teaching was referring to using God's name in an oath when you're not serious about the oath. For instance saying, "I swear to God I will repay that debt," when, in fact, you have little intention of repaying the debt. I would say that this would also be misusing God's name, but that wouldn't mean that the first teaching is incorrect. I believe both would be examples of misuse.
There may also be other ways to misuse God's name. Telling someone a particular desicion was "God's will" when it was more accurately your own desire or opinion, would be misusing God's name. Let me know what you were taught about this scripture, if you agree/disagree, or other examples of misusing God's name.


Texican Pickin'

If you enjoy really great guitar playing (especially acoustic), check out this acoustic performance by Los Lonely Boys on Amazon Fishbowl (Amazon.com's cool weekly online show). Bill Maher hosts this show. The Boys do 2 songs and an interview. The second song is great from a guitar perspective. I love these guys - their harmonies are really tight.

Wassup, My N-Words?

I saw a program the other day that basically talked about how desensitized the American people are to profanity or lewd talk. In their arguement they stated what they called "the two dirtiest words in the English language" are currently. One I won't say, but the other was "nigger". By the way the first one was not the f-word.

I have to admit that I absolutely hate the word "nigger" (unless used by Chris Rock). Jamie and I work pretty hard to make sure our kids do not grow up around racial slurs or ignorant talk when it comes to race. Moving into small-town life last year has made this more challenging, but we do our best. However, I guess I had never thought of that word as the dirtiest word. It's definitely ugly and very-potentially hurtful, but it had never made my inner list of "dirtiest" words. But I have to say it makes sense to me. I have a harder time saying that word outloud than just about any other word in the English language.

Anyway, let me know what your thoughts are on this (make sure to include your name so we can all tell who the real racists are - teehee). I'm also interested in starting a kind of online discussion via my blog regarding the topic of profanity. What words are profane in 21st Century America? Is there even such a thing as profanity anymore? When the Bible talks about unwholesome talk is it speaking of "cuss" words? Etc... I'll post more about this in the near future, but if you have any thoughts feel free to share!



I'm currently reading Rejuvenile by Christopher Noxon. I'm about half-way through it and it's a great read. It's kind of a pop sociology book that talks about adults who have never given up "playing" or who demonstrate traditionally immature traits (i.e. - adults playing tag, kickball, whiffleball, hanging on to or collecting toys, living with their parents past the age of 30, etc...). Noxon acknowledges that some of these traits can be extremely healthy and just plain fun, and some traits can be unhealthy. His research found that this is not a new phenomenon at all, but merely a forgotton one. He traced the same sort of behavior back to the early 1900s and believes it was probably brought about by the Peter Pan play (check out the Johnny Depp movie Finding Neverland for a fantastic telling of how this play came to be). This is a great read and while it's not a "Christian" book, I think it could be quite relevant to church leaders. (8/4/06, 2:40 pm - I finished this book last night and still feel good about recommending it. Very interesting and sometimes funny.)

I would say that my own rejuvenile tendencies include hanging on to old comic books, a minor obsession with baseball, the occasional game of whiffleball, and a small collection/affinity for SuperMarionation (i.e. - old episodes of The Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, etc...).

Feel free to confess some of your rejuvenile tendencies. Leave your shame behind. We are free in Christ and only the little children shall enter the Kingdom, so get it off your chest!