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Showing posts from December, 2009

Day 52, Top Ten of 2009 Memories.

This should be a quick abbreviated list of what I think were the greatest memories of 2009, that I can recollect.

#10, The last chapel service in Iraq, where I completed the entire book of Hebrews. Preaching every single verse for 15 months, while deployed. Over 120 services, and 600 plus counseling sessions.


#9, Sitting on top of my CHU, in Iraq with my laptop in hand and my Chaplain Assistant rotating the satellite dish to eventually get a signal. The laptop eventually erupts with a green bar, and signal, ...thus that night...Jessica and I talked with video for the first time in 5 months over the satellite internet network.


#8, Riding on a riverboat with Mark & Melissa Reid in London with crystal blue skies, with Big Ben and the Tower Bridge slowly passing overhead.


#7, Giving MAJ David Raugh, the final haircut in a barber chair that mysteriously showed up in my office in Baghdad, before he would be promoted to LTC, and leave a couple of weeks prior our departure.


#6, The official…

Day 51, Multi-Campus Churches; Good or Bad?

In yesterday's USA Today, the lead story on the front paper was "New Face of evangelism 1 Church, multiple sites". The writer goes one to cite several different new church leaders, and their current understand and 'take' on the 'new face' idea of having a central head church, and multiple other campuses. The main pastor would basically, only go to each church to preach, and thus be traveling the rest of Sunday to get to each location. This varies greatly from the traditional pastor who does all the counseling, preaching, fostering discipleship at one location.

Some churches have even set up a type of video-cast that the pastor would only need to preach in one central location, while the other congregations would only need to plug into the video feed and watch their pastor via a streaming download.

Now, as I thought about this, I wondered what the natural response would be for me. Is this really new? Would I like being the pastor traveling around all day? Wo…

Day 50, My First Writing Assignment for Lifeway.

About 2 years ago, I stepped out of Youth/College ministry to become a Army Chaplain. I have to admit from time to time, I truly long for the local church. The fellowship of gathering together with believers of like-denominational thinking, even though the SBC is quite a motley of 'like-thinkers'. In addition, just having a good heart felt conversation with people who are much older. ((In case you didn't know, there are few people in the Army over 45 years old,...if they are they are Colonels or Sergeants Majors.)

With my desires to participate in the local church, while still being a Army Chaplain, I didn't know how I would be able to serve. Just recently, Lifeway, the SBC Publisher for Sunday School material contacted me to write a brief commentary on one of their upcoming Sunday School units. I know its not a book or a life change autobiography, but I feel God truly gave this opportunity to encourage me.

Now, the excitement begins. I have about 4 passages of Scripture…

Day 49, A Canon of Scripture?

In my early seminary years after I resolved my personal conflict, with the 'Doctrines of Grace', I preceded to read a great deal about apologetics. This is basically the way in which a person can defend their faith by giving legitimate reasoning and defense from Scripture. Being a very arrogant and immature, I thought that I was reaching my pinnacle of knowledge and would soar like a vulture waiting for any conversation that remotely brought up 'theology', and I would swoop in to devour my 'ill-informed' prey.

Through a course of about 5 years now, 3 in Full-time ministry, and 2 in Active Duty Army...I have noticed that my desire to answer these questions has still remained, but with different intentions. I do believe that I truly want to answer questions that Soldiers have in regards to the Scriptures and theology, because I pray that not that the 'intellect' is tickled, or my back warmed by their praise, but that hopefully,...they will return again to …

Day 48, The "Get Out!" Storytime.

About four days ago, Jessica and I were riding down the Autobahn discussing the events of the upcoming week and various dinners we would have. A typical discussion, when your husband plans all the time, and your wife is an obsessive Chef.

As we were planning, we trailed off on a topic that we rarely discuss,...previous dates in our lives. This instantly digressed into a situation that I will gladly share. We called it, our personal, "GET OUT!" stories.

This is the scenario. You are a teenager or college student, dating person X. You are traveling from point A to point B, in a vehicle. I am not sure if it matters or not, but one of the individuals gets HIGHLY upset, enough that the time in the car is just TOO LONG, and the current PRESENCES of that person is causing utter disturbia (if that's a word). THUS, the only solution is :

1. QUICKLY STOP THE CAR.
2. YELL or RAISE YOUR VOICE, "GET OUT!"; "SERIOUSLY, GET OUT!"
or
1. SAY, "PULL THIS CAR OVER, I W…

Day 47, Challenge to All Married Men.

I am 34 years old, currently. Since the age of 15 years old, I have driven pretty regularly. My first vehicle was a 1973 Ford F-100, basically a farm truck that we fixed up to suffice my teenage desires to have a 'cool' vehicle. My senior year of High School, I purchased (with the aide of my aunt) a 1992 Sunbird, the dreaded teal that was in style during the early 90's. It served well through my college years, and later on in 2000, I purchased my first New Volkswagen Jetta, TDI. Without any doubt, my favorite car. To wrap up my vehicle buys, Jessica and I sold our cars when we came to Germany, under some poor information flow that our cars weren't ready for the Autobahn,...yet as we arrived we bought a 2008 4x4 Explorer. A very nice ride for the often icy terrain that we experience here in Baumholder.

Now, I say all this to put forward my driving record.
Since the age of 16:

1. 1 Ticket in the Black Truck, for rolling through a stop sign (due to no power steering). (1992)

Day 46, Biblical Counseling

This coming Sunday I have been asked to preach at a local church, Trinity Reformed Church in Landstuhl. Seeing that it is Advent season, the pastor/elder, Brent Sadler, encouraged me to take a look at Psalms 23, with particular emphasis on verse 4. Since my 'assignment', I feverishly attacked my library. Pulling every commentary, historical background, imagery,...anything I could get my hands on just to make sure that I was not launching out on preparing this sermon in vain.

One commentator said, that this passage is the "John 3:16" of the Old Testament. I would wholeheartedly agree. Which is wonderful, but also causes some great distress. WHY you ask? Because, I have heard this passage preached 1,000 times ...quoted in movies...etc, etc. Therefore, I want to be fresh with my thinking, which could easily be recounting why this passage has been so comforting to so many.

As I labored, and even today continue in this task, I frequently get knocks on my office door for co…

Day 45, Meditation during Christmas.

Yesterday, Jessica and I sat down after having a wonderful, plum-stuffed pork loin with stuffing, to read a new book that we have started for the Advent season. The book is "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.", edited by Nancy Gutherie. It basically is a compilation of various reformed pastors/thinkers upon the topic of Christmas.

Last night, our very first reading was quite challenging. Jessica was really excited about reading it seeing that it was written by George Whitfield, knowing that I would delight in hearing his thoughts apart from the biography I am reading on him.

You could clearly tell as Jessica read aloud that this was 1730's English. It was difficult at first to understand, but just like listen to Shakespeare, your mind eventually clicks and you can understand a majority of it. Jessica continued to read, and I closed my eyes and listened to her.

With a smile she finished up the last couple of sentences, we both sat and pondered the brief message. In short, dur…