Easier than writing lots of individual emails

Archive for January, 2009


Once again, Todd Bolen posts a read well worth your time.
It’s a letter written from an Israeli soldier to the owners of the home he occupied when they invaded Gaza.
It’s titled ‘I Was The Soldier Who Slept In Your Home’

I wish all Americans, especially the younger generations (45 and younger) could all visit countries that have to constantly fight for their security and freedom (like in Israel). THIS letter might help people see that security and freedom really do cost something and that most war is necessary it’s not usually a result of hate-filled crazed lunatics who just like to shoot guns.
It is often a result of defending the ACTUAL life of the people of that land.
(I recommend clicking through to read the whole letter)

Oh, don’t get me started on recent national defense policy in the U.S. 🙂



Ok, so I started this post about 2 months ago.
I waited to finish and post it because I wanted to make sure that I really meant it.

Below are some of the blogs that I subscribe to and other sites that I recommend.
I also subscribe to lots of friends’ blogs, but other than 1 exception, I kept this post strictly related to ‘resource blogs’.

1.  Challies.com

He’s my favorite. Fair book reviews, convicting thoughts, faith building exercises.  He also has another site called Discerning Reader.  My favorite of Challies is ‘A La Cart’

2. Stand To Reason
Logical arguments and angles to engage the world in truth conversations.

3.  Justin Taylor, Between Two Worlds
Tons of resource info.  I find that he posts too frequently and it overwhelms me, but usually pretty great stuff

4.  Piper, Desiring God
Speaks for itself.  However, I really love the ‘short/sweet’ theme that this blog adheres to.

5.  Straight Up James McDonald

This a pastor blog and I just like him.  I usually agree, but more than anything, i usually chuckle AND learn something.

6. The Rabbit Room
Awesome site for artists, musicians, writers, etc to connect and be challenged to use it for the Glory of God.

7. Gospel Reminders
Just started subscribing to this last month…and have never regretted it.  It’s like a daily ‘post-it’ of weighty reminders of the Gospel.  If you find value in ‘preach the gospel to yourself daily’, then add this guy to your feed.

8.  Girl Talk
I like this about 70% of the time.  GREAT words of wisdom and principle from rooted women of faith. The other 30% is still valuable, but not as engaging for me.

9.  Radical Womanhood

Dig this site.  This lady seems to have her finger on the pulse of the church as it relates to thinking women.

10.  OwlHaven
A mom of lots of kids, who loves the LORD, loves her husband, loves her kids (some of them adopted) and is just funny and ‘normal’

11.  Cake wrecks
One of my absolute favorite sites that I can’t wait to check everyday.  A cake designer who gives commentary on ‘cakes gone bad’.  Her commentary is hilarious!

12.  Todd Bolen
Here’s my one exception of ‘friend’ site… Todd usually always has a montage of worthy data.

13.  Behind The Scenes: Invisible Children
This blog is the ‘funny, behind the scenes’ blog of IC.  They have a ‘front of the house’ blog too, but I like this one more.

Recommended by some friends, pretty hilarious, posts about failure ideas implemented in public.  Sometimes you’re embarrased to be laughing, but….

Every Monday Matters
A site to get the ‘how can I serve’ juices flowing

I Am Second
A site of people from all walks of life sharing their story of salvation

Abortion Changes You
A site of care and understanding for people involved in abortion (the mom, the dad, the siblings, the grandparents, the aunts/uncles, etc)


Sooo, if you went to TMC (or any other institution where the student body met regularly) you might remember the oft mocked ‘Chapel Scratch’ which is when girls (usually) play with the hair of and/or rub the back/neck of the guy OR girl sitting next to them.
(role your eyes and make that ‘uugghh’ sound now)

Ok, I give room for ‘youthful ways’, but apparently when people do not abandon the ways of their youth, those ways compound…and then the rest of us get to feel all the more uncomfortable in church (ahhhh, just like we used to when we were in chapel).

I read THIS article which was written in jest (kind of), but I almost wholeheartedly agree.
It left me with a ‘FINALLY!  Finally, someone is saying it ‘out loud’ (or at least in larger arenas than over the orange caf trays where we used to sit and eat and make fun of people who grossed us out in chapel).

Here’s the article, in case that extra click is a bit more commitment than you’re willing to make.

On Massage in Church

A few years ago, I was in the U.K. and a pastor there was explaining some of the cultural differences between British and American Christianity. The “church massage” was a key point. When his team of pastors first attended an American pastors conference and encountered the numerous couples stroking and patting each other during sermons, they were shocked. It read as much more than affection in their eyes and culture. Some were so distracted by this behavior that they had to leave the room.

I’m not British but I have to agree. I don’t view it as a precursor to anything (as they did), but I do find it highly distracting. Especially in winter when scalp massages send flakes a-flying. Blech. That’s why I am a supporter of the new movement, PAMIC. And I’m rallying the troops here after encountering this witty take on People Against Massage in Church on Prodigal Jon’s blog, Stuff Christians Like:

I admit, touch is not one of my “love languages.” Few things wake me up as fast as having my wife’s elbows and knees jabbing me in the middle of the night. Or what other people would call “snuggling.”

I therefore always thought I was the only one that didn’t like the “during church massage.” But on my blog, when I briefly mentioned a lady I’ve seen at church that rubs her husband’s neck during service, a number of people commented. Suddenly, I was awash with an ocean of hope. Although I have mentioned this issue before, this time I was filled with the sense that I am not alone. I am not that weird. Perhaps, I thought to myself, I can join an underground resistance dedicated to the elimination of the “during church massage.”

And the more I thought about that idea, the more I realized that every underground cause needs a manifesto. Some brief document that lays out our thoughts about the terror we so valiantly struggle against. I googled the name of the organization I wanted to join and didn’t get any good results. So I knew it had to be me. I had to make the first move in this battle. And thus this essay was born.

The People Against Massages In Church (PAMIC) Manifesto

1. The difference between a pat and a massage.
We recognize and respect the need to pat someone on the back. Sometimes, it’s good to say “Hi” or “Good job” or “Your chair is currently resting on my big toe” with a small tap on the back. We support that. But when you pat more than four times and then linger, you have now crossed into massage territory my friend. And you’re about to find yourself on the other end of a “PAMIC Attack.”

2. Circles are great for cheerios, not church.
We recognize and respect the need to lay a hand on someone as you say hello or want to show your spouse support during a prayer. But when you start rubbing in a circle, a square or any other geometrical shape, you are now giving a massage. That’s not a big deal right? Wrong. Your rotating hand is creating what we call a “circle of distraction.” People around you will not be able to focus on the sermon as they instead become hypnotized by watching you. God hates that. It’s in Numbers or Exodus I think.

3. There are consequences if you try to massage us.
The members of PAMIC are attractive and funny and Godly and often smell very nice. Please don’t get confused by those four things and think it’s OK to ever give us a back or neck rub during church. If you do, we can’t be held responsible if you suddenly find yourself in some sort of karate arm bar lock, a sleeper hold or at the bottom of a wicked leg drop.

4. Don’t confuse not loving in church massages with not loving life, Jesus, our spouses etc.
You will assume, based on our plans to rid all churches, in all countries of “during church massages,” that we are not loving people. That perhaps you are rubbing someone’s neck as an act of worship or praise or affection. And that members of PAMIC are not into any of those things. That is adorable. It’s possible we held hands with our spouses as we walked into church. We might give back rubs at home. We could be amazing “snugglers” but when it comes to touching folks at church, we follow the Bible. And there’s not a single example of someone in the Bible giving someone else a neck or back rub while Jesus taught. I dare you to find me a verse that show someone massaging someone else while they listened to the Sermon on the Mount for instance.

Is this extreme? Perhaps, but few great revolutions started quietly. We will not go peacefully. We will march and protest and launch thousands of PAMIC Attacks. (A PAMIC Attack by the way is when you squirt someone that is trying to start a during church massage with a squirt gun full of vinegar. Or what we call at our house, “sass juice.”)

Non-massagers of the world unite!

Enjoy your weekend and may you sit still in church. 😉

credit: Radical Womanhood


I recently posted a picture of our drummer Greg in his horrifyingly offensive orange sweatshirt.

well, Greg’s birthday was Friday.
From the genius idea of David, David and i went to 99 cent store and spent $20 on orange … well, shenanigans.
Then David proceeded to make Greg a fantastic birthday card commemorating Greg’s ‘love’ (ie obsession) with orange.

The worship team presented this bag-o-orange to Greg at the Indian restaurant where we ate in Canoga park for Greg’s birthday (really, it was for Jennene’s b-day).  It was fitting, as Greg’s hates Indian food…well, not just Indian food.
We love Greg very much (even though he hates Indian food and scars our retinas with his glowing neon clothes) and we’re SO thankful to all that he brings to the table!

So, please enjoy a few of my new favorites.


I really appreciate visual aides when trying to wrap my mind around massive concepts that involve numbers.

A church in Mississippi has created a visual aid to help people … one penny for every human life that’s been aborted since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 (which is approximately 50 million innocent children)…

Mississippi Memorial '50 Million Pennies'

Mississippi Memorial '50 Million Pennies'

50 million lives … gone.  And that does not include the living lives devastated and left behind after abortion.
And there are many more to come.

Now that Obama is president, I am willingly supportive of him as the man that God has ordained to be our president.
But, when I had a say,  here is why I did not vote for him.
I am confident that I will give an account as to how I used my freedoms in this life.
One freedom is my vote and I could not reconcile using that vote to further the power of someone who not only does not protect innocent human life (created by God and in His image), but one who is the most aggressive pro-abortion legislator that we’ve seen yet.
I’m sure Obama is a nice guy and I do look forward to living through his presidency (for historical reasons, more than policy).  But, respectfully said, when I sleep at night, I feel really good that I did not cast my vote for a man that will use his presidency to actively and purposefully increase the number of pennies that will go into that display in Mississippi.

God is merciful and forgiving.
We all have many sincere blind spots and issues to work on.  However, I hope that those of us who claim salvation in Christ are always seeking to find/correct our blindspots/issues/sins, according to God’s word and through the gracious leading of the Holy Spirit.  I hope that mainstream media and trend does not dictate ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ for us.  I hope that we can see through the smoke and mirrors and that God gives us wisdom and courage, beyond measure, to see and do what pleases Him…and Him only.

Proverbs 6: 16-22
There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.
My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
When you walk about, they will guide you;

Proverbs 24:10-12:
If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

50 Million Pennies (2)

50 Million Pennies (2)


I have a friend from New Zealand.  Talking to him is always an adventure in cultural education cuz half of the expressions he uses are common to his part of the world (where i don’t live).  I am constantly asking him to repeat it/explain it.  One such word/phrase is ‘gutted’.  A context exmaple, ‘That conversation left me gutted’ (ie. deeply affected, usually in the sad/impacting sense).

Sooo, I have lots that i’ve wanted to blog about, but frankly don’t have the time.  I’d like to write about my trip to Colorado, I’d like to write about certain people that have blown my mind during all this cancer stuff, I’d like to write about what I’ve been personally learning over the last month or so, I’d like to share some of the hilarious things that have gone on, I’d love to write ideas about the next few months…but, no time to post anything of detail/length.

HOWEVER, today, I read a blurb blog that i subscribe to and well, I was ‘gutted’.  I may not have time to write posts, but I sure have time to be read into conviction…  guilty on almost all counts.

“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
-Donalr Arthur (D.A.) Carson


Apparently, per Larry Flint, the American people can live without cars during this economic slump, but not without sex.  Huh.  (and he became the authority on Americans physiological ‘needs’, when?)
I can’t make this stuff up, people.
It’s been a while since a headline earned the ‘Ridiculous Headline’ category.
Read it for yourself.
When i read the article, over 350 people had commented.