Thursday, October 6, 2011
The Gospel, is essentially good news. Not good advice, not helpful hints. It is the greatest news anyone could ever hope to receive. But to receive it you may need some background information, so here goes nothing….
In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen. 1:1)
Man (as humanity) sinned (Gen 3). This sin then polluted humanity from that point forward and as such we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Sin is a problem, because it separates us from God. Because God is Holy (or set apart) Just, Merciful, Gracious, Giving, Jealous and Loving, he cannot tolerate sin. You have sinned, I have sinned, we have ALL sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
God gave humanity “the law” (see Old Testament), to help reconcile humanity back to God. The Shedding of innocent blood (often Lamb’s) was needed for the cleansing of sin. The law also foreshadowed the coming of Jesus (Matt 5:17)
Because God loved us so much God sent his only Son (Jesus), to be fully God and Fully man to the earth (John 1:1-3). Jesus lived a perfect life, and committed no sin. Jesus freely laid down his life to take away our sin, that however believes in Him will not spend eternity in hell (removed from God/ Jesus) but will be able to spend eternity with God/Jesus. (John 3:16)
That is the bare bones of it. I tried to keep it simple and not go off on a tangent with doctrine or historical evidence or proof (of which there is A LOT, if you look).
I pray for those who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior because I do not want them to parish but to see the beauty of God.
Friday, September 9, 2011
First to apologize
First to admit your fault
First to accept responsibility
First to lovingly call to repentance
First to give up your hobbies for your family
First to give up your own interests for the good of others
First to comfort those who need comforting
First to build up a brother or sister in need
First to go to the Bible
First to your knees in prayer
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I had the honor to be in two amazing weddings over the summer, one for Crystal and Ben Bobier, and one for Derek and Samantha Martin. They both had amazing weddings that really spoke to each of the couples personalities. But I think my favorite part of both weddings was decorating the cars. I learned a lot from the men of suite 104 in Travis’s wedding in regards to car decorating, and in these two weddings I had a chance to really let my skill shine. (of course 5th degree car decorating black belt Travis Waters aided in the decoration/vandalism of said vehicles). Both of the weddings were awesome celebrations, there was much merriment and dancing for all.
Last spring I stumbled upon a book series named “A Song of Ice and Fire”, it had dominated my reading over the summer. The majority of my vacation was spent reading the third book in the series ‘A Storm of Swords’, which I would rank as the second or third best in the series thus far. (I would say ‘A Clash of Kings’ is number one, followed by ‘A Game of Thrones’) It is a fantasy book set in the middle ages in a land called Westros where kings die (as well as main characters) and Lords and Lady’s fight using war and politics to obtain a crown.
I also went on vacation with family. We went to Battle Lake MN, and stayed in a cabin for a week. It was fun, I didn’t watch much TV other than the Women’s World Cup Final (which was a great game, hats off to Japan). I ran, read, and kayaked to my hearts content, and even visited with my wife’s family on occasion. It was HOT while we were there which made it uncomfortable outside, but it gave you a great excuse to get in the lake. The lake itself was incredibly clean, and in most areas you could see the bottom.
On our way to Crystal and Ben’s wedding Travis and I decided that we should take a disc golf trip across west central northish Iowa, so we stopped and played 3.5 disc golf courses on our way to the hotel. It was great fun and Travis and I were very competitive until we played a course that had poles instead of basket at which time Travis took a commanding lead from which I never recovered. I also had one of my favorite disc golf experiences at the Cedar Falls course. Travis and I set off to play the Cedar Falls disc Golf Course on the Friday afternoon before the wedding. Upon our arrival, a pair of red tailed hawks greeted us, and by “greeted” I mean they were screaming at us. We think they had a nest near by and were concerned we would eat their babies. So we got to see some hawks up close, and played some good disc golf. (on a side note I made a 30 foot put, which I was pretty proud of).
The months of June and July were both running months. In June we had to run 10 miles a week, and in July we had to run 15 Miles a week. I would say that I got back in to shape during those months and have maintained said shape since. (Kaci and I are running a half marathon in October) During my long runs (Runs of 4 miles or more) I usually listen to a sermon, which is awesome because it keeps me from getting bored.
So there you have it folks, that was my summer. I also had many fun times with my wife Kaci, but I’ll have to leave that for another post.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Last night she fought with her boyfriend. Loudly, not physically but verbally, and here are some of my observations about said fight.
1) The “F bomb”, I don’t think so many bombs had dropped since operation Rolling Thunder in Vietnam.
2) The repeated question, “What the F* did I do!?!”
3) “Get out!” “go sleep on the couch!”
After listening to them fight last night I realized how well Kaci and I fight. Granted we are not perfect and are still working on how to fight with each other we still have a basic concept of how to fight. Here are some of our rules… (although they aren’t official we try to stick by them as best we can)
1) No yelling (although I do raise my voice sometimes, mostly when I am frustrated, but I don’t yell)
2) No swearing (duh)
3) Listen (again duh)
4) Admit when you are wrong
5) Stay on topic, no jumping around, address the issue at hand, if there are other issues save it for another (more appropriate) time.
Kaci and I don’t “fight” very often, although we do have some disagreements, we do our best to listen and try to understand one another. Kaci is really good about not letting things that bother her fester which helps our relationship a lot.
Plus I think it helps that we are 100% committed to one another and not simply sleeping together. I think that when you are committed you tend to look at arguments and disagreements with more of a long term perspective in mind.
Some great advice that was given to me by Ryan “Elder” Tow was learn how to fight, it makes sense, I mean sooner or later you will fight about something, and it is best to know how to fight when the situation arises. (so you don’t wake up your neighbors at 2:00am)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
People have been making a huge deal lately about Jon “Bones” Jones and rightly so. He is undefeated in the Octagon, and has won all of his matches in an impressive fashion. He has been considered the best at 205 yet he hasn’t fought for the title. He has defeated top notch competition in his climb up to his title shot, yet he hasn’t faced the ultimate opponent, a loss.
Jon Jones (Throwing the knee)
People underestimate the power of the loss, and I can’t think of a better example than Lyoto “the Dragon” Machida. Machida climbed the UFC’s light heavyweight ranks undefeated, and handily dispatched all who stood before him… UNTIL, he fought Shogun. Shogun beat his leg to a pulp for 5 rounds and Machida was unable to mount any sort of offense. He lost the fight even though the judges thought otherwise. The judges decision led to a rematch, and this time Shogun left nothing to chance and KO’d Machida in the first round. The undefeated “Dragon” had fallen, and the invincible was suddenly mortal.
The fact that the undefeated champion fell is nothing spectacular, and it was bound to happen sooner or later, but what may have been harder to predict was the mental toll that it would take on the now defeated “Dragon”. He has fought once since his defeat, and he lost… again, to a game Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but he didn’t look like he had improved from his former self. The question is why? The competition did not evolve that much in a year, he wasn’t suddenly “left behind”, so what happened? I would say that Machida was beaten both mentally and physically. Losing when you are undefeated can have dire consequences and is often times a greater test than any worthy opponent. Shogun mentally defeated him the first time, he broke the Dragon, and in the second fight he simply swept up the pieces.
There have been other instances where a fighter comes back better from a loss, as seen in the case of GSP, or Randy Couture, and that is why they are true champions. Jon Jones may be one of those true champions but only time will tell.
Until Next Time,
p.s. Don’t get me wrong I think Jon Jones is a great kid, he has an amazing humble attitude, and is soft spoken, I’m just saying he may be a bit over-hyped as he has yet to face the test of a loss.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Well I am working out now, just getting back into it really. I started Saturday, we did a ton of reps with light weight. I was literally sore for four days afterwards. Sunday we did cardio just 30 minutes on the elliptical and every five minutes we do a 30 second speed burst. (that was ok). Wednesday I attempted the leg routine but sprained my glut on the first set of lunges, and it is really REALLY sore today, so I did another 30 minutes on the elliptical did some leg extensions and called it good.
I am currently reading “A Game of Thrones” which is a good book, but long, and I am not a very fast reader. (well not as fast as Kaci anyway). I am also reading “Doctrine” by Mark Driscoll, it is really good, he has some insights in to parts of doctrine I haven’t really thought about. While I enjoy Doctrine it is very dry and deep, so it is hard to take large chunks of the book at a time, but it is enjoyable none the less. Last week I started reading (at B&N) “The Virtue of Selfishness” by Ayn Rand, interesting indeed, I always enjoy listening to atheists speak of ethics, when there is no real moral authority. While I do appreciate her views on capitalism she goes a bit overboard with it I think. I am excited to continue this book the next time I am in B&N.
I have kind of followed the Egypt thing with some vested interest, but I ultimately realize that God is the one who takes down and brings up leaders. I have found the Wisconsin labor union strikes much more interesting. I may write a carefully worded blog regarding my views on it. (I’m sure Kelsey will be thrilled)
Self Control 2011 Update
Still chuggin along with “Home TV Free Feb” although I had a dream I messed it all up, but dreams don’t count I guess. I still miss TV, and have got to watch some this past week at “The Pound” (The Pound = A house where 4 of my friends live as roommates. Oh and three Dogs live there as well (Thus “the pound”)) I watched some “Top Shot” along with my favorite show “The Office”. Anyway, I still miss waking up Saturday mornings and playing video games.
Board games—We have played a lot of “Dominion” which is just an awesome game, Kaci and I have two sets, and our friend Derek has all the expansions which means that there are endless possibilities as to how the game could be played. Kaci and I have also enjoyed “Stone Age” we are still getting the hang of the strategy piece though. Video Games—As stated above I haven’t been able to play video games, BUT!! I have read articles about them, specifically “Dragon Age 2” and “Elder Scrolls Skyrim”, both look like awesome games! So it bums me out that I can’t play. Oh well, I still need to beat Dragon Age 1 before I can really look at Dragon Age 2.
Not gonna lie, this month has been a bit harder than some of the other months, but I think that is good to an extent. It has opened up some good conversation between Kaci and I and it has ultimately made us more holy. (which is the point, right??) I am still in awe of what an awesome woman Kaci is. She is in a constant state of reflection. If she is annoyed by something she immediately looks at what she could do to change it, instead of yelling at me, or blaming me. We have been trying to cut back on our spending recently, which is never easy, but Kaci is always finding deals and ways we can save money. She recently got $75 in free food (yeah, amazing I know). Also she is a great cook!! (and by great I mean amazing). I know, my wife is awesome. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Kaci and I had an amazing valentines day (really though it was three days), we had some great Pizza (made by me, and not frozen, from scratch) great steaks, great mashed potatoes, a great time reading together, a great time playing games!! it was amazing!!
Overall it has been great! Developing new friendships and relationships, keeping old ones, deepening community, loving and worshiping Jesus. Yeah, I love my church.
So that’s about it, oh, and Kaci and I leave for Florida Wednesday!! Yeah! Vacation time sucka!
Because that’s the way the cookie crumbles,
Friday, February 11, 2011
To be honest I thought it would be hard to be at home without TV, I mean Kaci and I both keep pretty busy throughout the week, and when we are home we can simply read. I was right. It is hard but managable, however, what I didn't plan on was the increased amount of stress.
As it turns out I use the TV to unwind/relax, and with out it stress just seems to build. I have tried reading, and relaxing with my eyes closed, but nothing really seems to be able to relax me like watching an episod of the office for the thousanth time.
I think my dependance on TV has really shone through this month, and I may need to consider fasting from it on a more regular basis so I am not dependant on it. I am also going to start working out with a buddy of mine, so that should help too.
That is all... FOR NOW!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
One of the more interesting things I am finding is that a good chunk of "The Law" regarding clean and unclean things are for the health of the Israelites. Things like, "don't touch dead animals" and if someone has a skin disease they are considered "unclean" and have to be quarantened. What did this do? It kept people healthy, disease couldn't easily spread, or be contracted. God didn't want people to horribly die, so he took care of them, by building a health program of sorts into the law.
This to me is awesome. I always thought that "The Law" was put in place to point out our sin, (and it was) BUT it also a way in which God takes care of us. Even in the Law we can see God's love for us. Granted we have moved beyond the "clean" and "unclean" part of the Law as Jesus has now paid the ultimate sacrifice, as detailed in Hebrews and Romans, but it think that it is good to know that even we didn't have Jesus, God still showed his love to us (humanity) through the law.
That is all,
Thursday, January 20, 2011
This is what we have so far:
1) No Junk Food January (give up junk food)
2) Home TV Free February (No watching TV at home)
3) Home Meal’s March (No eating out)
4) Early Bird April (Wake up early EVERY DAY, still tentative)
So we still have about eight months to go. If you have any ideas let me know. (also if you could make it semi rhymie that would be great also).
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
What also sickens me is when people point the finger. When the columbine massacre happened it was the fault of bullies heavy metal music and guns. When a teenager is repeatedly violent it is because they weren’t properly socialized as a child, and most recently when I man attempts to assassinate a congresswoman and murders several people it is the fault of Sarah Palin. Really folks? Really?? Where is the line? When do we point the finger at the person who pulled the trigger? When does it come back to them? Because it seems to me that the things that take the most heat are not the ones who should be held accountable.
Now lets take a look at the logic behind some of these arguments.
After the tragedy at Columbine heavy metal rock groups were in part blamed for the violence that took place. Among other things, Bullies, Guns and Heavy Metal were also blamed for what happened. I would say that probably thousands of kids each year are bullied, thousands more listen to heavy metal music, and thousands more have access to gun(s). So why aren’t there more of these shootings? I mean if those are the things that are to be blamed, then why aren’t there more shootings? They should be right? I mean if these three things mixed together is an explosive combination then why isn’t it happening more often?
I will keep this one anonymous as the child involved was a minor, but my knowledge is based on first hand accounts.
I heard a story of a child who was repeatedly violent and was sent before a judge. When the child’s (teenager) defense attorney gave his defense he said that the minor had been home schooled, and therefore was not properly “socialized” and was unaware of how to function in normal society. Really? Awesome, so if that holds true I could be as violent as I wanted because I was home schooled right?? Wrong! I am, and should be held accountable for my actions. Additionally, thousands if not millions of kids are home schooled each year, so why isn’t society MORE violent.
Because Sarah Palin had crosshairs on some of the districts where the Republicans were campaigning hard against Democrats it is obvious to me and everyone else that she caused this young man to murder innocent people. Oh, wait, NO! What the heck?? I’m a Conservative and the cross hairs didn’t have that mystical magical effect on me. It didn’t make me want to shoot people, and even if it did it doesn’t mean I would do it. There are millions of conservatives out there, and if Sarah Palin really did have this effect on people because of her election map then we would be looking at a civil war not at a one time shooting of a mad man.
The fact is, the people who do these things are mentally disturbed and possibly demon possessed. How can we hold anyone responsible except for the people who commit these crimes? I’ll admit society has it’s short comings. We are sinners, and we are sinned against just as we sin. There are consequences for our sin (namely death), and when God looks down and judges all of humanity He will not excuse sin, He will not justify sin, he WILL punish sin. So why do we try to excuse these things away? Why do we try to pass the blame? Have we lost all sense of personal responsibility? Stop pointing the finger and take responsibility.
I thank God, that he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross that his perfect blood will pay the price for my sin, and the sin of others who believe and confess that Jesus is lord. Even with that said, there are earthly consequences to my actions, that I must take responsibility for. I just pray that I am man enough to accept that responsibility for my actions and the actions of my family.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I am a Star Wars Nerd.
My favorite movie when I was four was Return of the Jedi (mostly because of the space Battle of Endor). I remember going to the library and renting that movie repeatedly. It was awesome.
As I got older my love for THE Trilogy increased, I started reading books, the new adventures of Han, Leia, Luke and Chewie. I was told by one of my friends that I may be a super nerd. I think you guys can decide for yourself. Here is a list of some of the games I have played and some of the books I have read.
o PC Games
§ Dark Forces
§ Dark Forces 2
§ X-Wing Collection*
§ Tie Fighter Collection
§ X-Wing vs Tie Fighter
§ X-Wing Alliance
§ Rebel Assault
§ Rebel Assault 2
§ Jedi Knight
§ Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
§ Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
§ Empire at War
§ Knights of the Old Republic
§ Galactic Battlegrounds
§ Rogue Squadron*
§ Droid Works
o X-Box/PS2 Games
§ Knights of the Old Republic 2
§ Jedi Starfighter*
§ Jedi Starfighter 2*
§ Battlefront 2
§ Republic Commando
o X-Box 360 Games
§ The Force Unleashed
§ A New Hope*
§ Episode 1: The Phantom Menace*
§ Episode 2: Attack of the Clones*
§ Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith*
§ Shadows of the Empire
§ The Truce at Bakura
§ The Courtship of Princess Leia
§ Jedi Search
§ Dark Apprentice
§ Champions of the Force
§ Children of the Jedi
§ The Crystal Star
§ Before the Storm
§ Shield of Lies*
§ The New Rebellion*
§ Ambush at Corellia
§ Assault at Selonia
§ Showdown at Centerpoint
§ Heirs of the Force
§ Shadow Academy
§ Rogue Squadron*
§ Wedge’s Gamble*
§ The Paradise Snare
§ The Hutt Gambit
§ Rebel Dawn
§ Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
§ Han Solo: At Star’s End*
§ Tales from the Empire*
§ Tales from the Bounty Hunters*
§ Essential Guide to Characters
§ Essential Guide to Characters 2
§ Essential guide to Vehicles
§ Essential guide to Weapons and Technology
§ Star Wars Insider (Magazine)
Well, there you have it. That pretty much sums up my Star Wars studies outside of the movies , I may have missed or overlooked some things, but you have enough information to make your decision. Have I achieved “Uber Nerd” status?
*Denotes an item that was started but not finished.
There are boys and there are men, and I don’t think a clear distinction between them is always made. Men are supposed to work, and the work may not be fun (as after the fall of man God made work a labour intensive process Gen: 3:17). You see because of the fall of man (and by man I mean humanity) God gave men (males) a curse, and that curse is work. He is supposed to provide for his wife and family. God gave also gave women a curse but for the purposes of this post I want to stick mans (male) curse.
So God gave the Men work to do. So if you are a Christian Man you should be providing for your family. Your wife should have the choice to work but should not in any circumstances be obligated or forced to work outside of the home. Remember that women have their own burden(s) to bear in life, they don’t need one more especially one that God gave specifically to males. If a man wants a family one day he will make sure that he has the ability to support said family (or will have) before entering into a serious relationship.
Lets be honest, men don’t go to college, boys do. In today’s society high school now last 8-12 years. That’s right! It’s called college. The best part about your last 4-8 years is that there is NO parental supervision, AND you can drink! It is amazing! You have little responsibility (with the exception of studies), your parents send you money, OR you get a bunch of money from this great bank or these things called student loans. (which you won’t have to pay back til later) If you do have a job it is probably one that a high school student could just as easily handle. To be honest college is amazing.
Men V Boys
This is where the hang up comes. You are out of college (or almost out) and you don’t want to leave that college mind set. Why would you? College was great why can’t it go on forever? Here is where we get to find out if you will be a man or a boy. I jotted down a couple of things that may help you figure this out.
Men will get a job, they will take anything they can find to get some money while they look for a career.
Boys will move in with their parents or girlfriend while they endlessly search for the “perfect job”.
Men will intentionally pursue the woman they like, and clearly states said intentions.
Boys will have an ambiguous relationship that leads a girl on, but breaks her heart.
Men pursue Christian women because of their heart for Jesus
Boys pursue will pursue non-Christians because they are “in love” (more like lust) or it “feels good”
Men will work their backsides off to pay off as much of their accumulated college debt as possible.
Boys don’t mind borrowing a little more.
Men will get married because they want to support and lead (as a servant) a family.
Boys will get married because they need support. (As a parasite to it’s host) OR in the Christian case because they want to have sex.
Men will take responsibility of his actions and the actions of his family
Boys would rather push their responsibilities off on someone else (maybe their wife?)
Men carry their curse
Boys give their curse to their wives
Boys can be some of the nicest people I know, but I do not respect them. I was that boy once, unemployed, supported by someone else, not really in college, not really looking for work. Jesus saved me from that. I have had great teachers in my life show me what kind of a man Jesus wants me to be. I have the Bible which tells me what kind of Man I am supposed to be, and I struggle towards that every day. I am not all the way there, and I may never really be, but thanks to Jesus I am now a more mature man that I once was.
Glory to God forever,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
This past Sunday Brother Minister Barker, talked about Genesis 1:1, and how “God created the Heavens and the Earth”. He talked about how he (Barker) made a snow ball, but then he went into all the details of what was necessary to “make” a snow ball. About how the water has to be 32 Degrees, and the atmospheric pressure has to be just right, and how Earths Gravity has to be just right, and how water hast to have first evaporated and be carried by earths winds. And for the wind to exist the earth has to rotate. The Earths rotation has to be just perfect so it doesn’t go crashing into the sun. It really blew my mind. God made all of this out of nothing.
Humanity has made some pretty amazing things, I work downtown so I get to marvel at some of them on a daily basis, from the HUGE sky scrapers to the vehicles that get me to work every day. Yet everything we “make”, from Brandon Barkers snowballs to my paper airplanes to the Space Shuttle, comes from something that God made from nothing. Not only does God give us the natural recourses to build things, he has given us the laws of physics that allow us to build some of the most amazing things on Earth. Even with our ability to manipulate to "create" nothing will ever compare to some of the most beautiful things God has created without the help of a human hand.
I look in awe at all that He has created and I am speechless.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
This year will be different, as I have decided to take on this challenge. Overall it isn’t as “extreme” as some of the cleanses or “diets” I have tried in the past, but it will be more than I have done the past year as far as watching what I eat.
That being said, here are our rules:
1) No dessert, candy, ice cream or anything like this
2) No fried stuff (that includes potato chips)
3) No beer or white wine (red wine is okay)
4) No pastries from starbucks/quiktrip/caribou
5) No food with excessive amount of cheese
6) Store bought pizza/carryout pizza not okay, but homemade pizza okay.
7) Only “Sugar Free” energy drinks (don’t worry, no aspartame)
a. Additionally I won’t be drinking these during the week. (which I do anyway :P)
Also, I am going to start working out three times a week, since I haven’t worked out since the living history farms race.