I have been devoting all of my spare time since Saturday morning to reading the final installment of the Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I just feel the need to get a few things off of my chest about it, if you have not read it yet move on as I do not want to be responsible for your spoilage….
So the New York Times reviews Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The nature of this review upsets J.K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. The NYT apologizes for perhaps having spoiled the books for all of the fans.
Where is the apology for releasing top secret information about the war on terror? I am a pretty big Potter head but I am still waiting for the apology from the times for aiding our enemies in the war and perhaps putting more of our troops in danger.
Does the NYT really believe that then end of Deathly Hallows deserves more respect than top secret information? But I guess J.K Rowling has more of a spine than our President because at least she took it to the times instead of just sitting back and letting it happen.
Reading through the entire Bible
Every year I try to read through the entire Bible, and with the help of some friends I have done it successfully for a few years now. I have been asked many times why I do it but it really comes back to the fact that I believe the Bible, all of it, to be the inspired word of God.
Forgive me while I wax political for a moment but I really am sick of the way things are going. There are times when I feel like I am a traitor to my country because I simply think we are past the point of no return. Years ago Professor Alexander Tytler made a statement I believe we are living out now, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
- Why is it that all the people who do these concerts to save the planet take their private jets that burn more fuel in one hour than my car does all year?
- I am a little ashamed that my neighbors have made more active moves to talk to me than I have to them when I pray to God to help me practice hospitality to my neighbors.
- How can liberal like Al Gore be so sure humans are the cause of our global warming when Pluto, Mars, and Venus are also warming?
- Would it be worth it to most people to take a huge pay cut and hence a lifestyle cut to not hate going to work every day?
- I have heard that a torture method used in WWII was to make prisoners dig a ditch and fill it back up making the men feel useless. Every night we clean up after our daughter putting her toys away and every day she wrecks the place again.
- Why is it that people consider smoking a cigar or having a glass of wine a sin but gorging yourself at a buffet and is fine?
- Is the Bible the only book we feel justified simply by reading without making any attempt to understand or digest what is has to say? I mean outside of high school lit class.
- Why do I continue to work when it seems that the politicians are so anxious to take everything I have. If all of us who work hard just stopped who would pay for everything? Maybe we need a new Tea Party where we just all don’t go to work.
The Student that Lived
This incident was a very scary one to say the least. I was home, getting ready for bed after a fairly normal youth service, when I received a phone call from Amy, my JR High director. She wanted to let me know that a parent had arrived to pick up her son only to find out he was not at the church. They had called his home to see if he had gotten a ride with another student, no such luck.
I hurried back to the church where we started looking all over the property for him. As I rounded the corner of the back of the building back toward the parking lot I saw a police car arrive. I knew went to talk the officer since we had called and I was in charge. To my relief the student that lived got out of the back of the cruiser. Turns out he decided to walk home all 10 miles at 9:00 well after dark had fallen, and was picked up by the officer as the call came in to dispatch.
We were all relieved to see him safe and sound but I couldn’t help but think: he had called his mother and she was on her way, what would make him decide to walk home. I have been involved in ministry for long enough to know that Students don’t have a problem asking for a ride, money, or anything under the sun. But I was definitely not prepared for that little adventure, by my bible college education.
A friend and I have started a new blog strictly for the purpose of reading through the Bible. It is found at We read the Bible.com We used to do a forum but we didn’t really have the interest to make it happen but we think this will work out better. People can read along with us as we go through the New Testament from now until the end of the year and leave comments if you would like, or simply read along with us. Come and check it out…
Kyle Gets Broke
I was especially proud of this illustration, I had been preaching for a month about not living a double life and allowing God to enter every area of your life. This was all leading up your Youth Vision Sunday, the day when we take over Sunday morning service and let the church know what we are doing. I was comparing the Apostle Paul’s apparent dual identity in Romans 7 with James’ double minded man in James 1:8.
Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Or I have come to affectionately call it the “Who’s on First Verse”
James 1:8 (KJV)
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Making the point that the first man has made up his mind but is struggling against his flesh to be whom his spirit desires to be, whereas the second man has not made up his mind as to what type of man he wishes to be. To drive this point home I asked for a volunteer to help me demonstrate. Kyle jumped to his feet eager to assist and get out of his chair.
Every Youth Pastor should have a Kyle. At this time Kyle was twelve or thirteen, typical JR high boy, youngest of three brothers. He eagerly came to the front for his instructions. I explained to the group that first Kyle would demonstrate for us the double minded man. “Go to your destination,” I directed. Kyle turned and looked at me confused, “Perfect,” I explained as the group began to chuckle. Kyle was always a good sport when it came to a laugh. I then instructed him on how to be the Romans man, I told him is goal was to get the right side of the sanctuary. He casually strolled to that side of the stage to the thunderous applause of the Youth group. I called him back and then asked for volunteers to represent the struggle Paul was facing. I had a dozen or so students and leaders of various sizes come forward. I, again, point out to you that Kyle is a shorter JR high student. Then I asked Kyle to go to the right side of the sanctuary while the other group tried to detain him.
I assumed that the group would form a wall or grab Kyle and hold on to him as he tried to walk to his destination. I was wrong. The group decided the best way to arrest Kyle’s movement would be to for a dog pile on top of Kyle. I saw my life of a youth minister passing before my eyes not to mentions Kyle’s short life. As I dug through the pile like a referee looking for the fumbled ball I was relieved to see that Kyle was only a little worse for the ware.
I was able to share same concept, and the story of Kyle’s near death experience with the entire church at our Youth Vision Sunday and begged Kyle’s mom to still let him come back to our youth group.
Heather and I have decided to change some of the way we live, we have decided to eat less processed foods and junk and move toward a healthier more organic diet. As we were shopping at Whole Foods, our local organic market I thought about something I have thought about a few times before and that is how things are changing.
We continue through the bible by chronologically by hitting the intro of each of the Gospels. Notice the differences between each of them.