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Showing posts from February, 2007

My Public Split (and other weekend musings)

Friday Beth had her long awaited "Lasik" eye surgery. I really wasn't planning on going back with her, not because I didn't care but operations freak me out. But after seeing how nervous she was I "cowboyed up" (I've always wanted to say that) and went back to hold her hand during the procedure. The whole things was remarkably short, 15 min max. Once they got her to lay down they put her eyes under a microscope and up on a big screen the surgery went. You can check out Beth's blog and read in detail what happened but I'll just cut straight to the results and say going in she was worse then 20/500 and the next morning at her check up she was 20/25. As for me, the surgery wasn't as freaky as I had expected even if they were cutting her eye open right there in front of me.

Friday night as Beth slept off her surgery, I watched "Last Kiss" with Zach Braff from "Scrubs". Save your money. It was terrible. Probably one of the wors…

My Double Feature: Pan's Labyrinth & The Departed

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Saturday Beth and I had a rare day free of the kids as they spent the day with her parents. That allowed us to run some errands and even catch a couple of movies we had been wanting to see.

The first was "Pan's Labyrinth". The trailer for the film looked intriguing enough then my friend Ryan raved about how great it was so we decided to check it out. We went in not know what to expect. It was nothing like we thought it would be but everything we wanted it to be. First of all we had no idea it was a Spanish film and it was going to be subtitles the whole way through. Not a problem since the movie is so amazing you forget about you're reading it just a few minutes in. Second, I thought it was going to be a "Never Ending Story" type movie, and it was...kind of. It was more "Never Ending Story" meets "Saving Private Ryan" meets "Reservoir Dogs". It was one of the most violent movies I have ever seen. But the violence was justified. …

My Baptism By Fire

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Sunday we held our first ever Baptism service at The Refinery. Not only was it our first as a church but it was my first ever as a pastor. To say I was incredibly nervous would be an understatement. We had six people who wanted to be baptized so our friends at a local baptist church here in town let us borrow their sanctuary and baptismal pool for the service. We had a tremendous turn out of friends and families to support the ones getting baptized. As each person got "dunked" then brought back out of the water, the congregation cheered and hollered like their favorite team just scored a touchdown. It was awesome. Kipp assisted me with the baptisms and did a terrific job. Looking back on it a day later, I'd think it's safe to say it was one of our best services we have ever had.

Here are a few picks from the baptisms:






My Ten Deadly Sins Of Preaching

I ran across this great summary of a message John Ortberg recently gave at the NPC...

The Ten Deadly Sins of Preaching: John Ortberg’s insights from the National Pastors Convention

Monday was a great day to leave Chicago. The wind-chill was thirty degrees below zero and the Bears had just lost the Super Bowl. This week I’m in sunny San Diego for the National Pastors Convention. Although the main sessions don’t start until later today, on Tuesday I attended a five hour “Critical Concerns” course on preaching.

John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, CA, and the author of numerous books with really long titles, presented about preparing the soul to preach. His focus was not simply getting spiritually juiced for Sunday morning, but rather becoming the kind of person that preaching flows out of that pleases God. It was really about character formation.

Part of Ortberg’s discussion included a list of the ten deadly sins of preaching. (John said he originally inten…

My Cynical Smile

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This past Tuesday night I attended a book club which Beth's leads at the Panera Bread in Kernersville. They meet the second Tuesday of each month. This was the first time I have been able to go to so I wasn't sure what to expect.

The place was packed from the get go. Very few tables were available and the ones that were empty were spread all across the place. This particular Panera has a meeting room for groups like ours that seats about 25 people. It was "reserved" for a group of ladies that couldn't have been much more than eight in number. But that's another story. There also was a weekly chess club meeting and after witnessing us wonder around trying to figure out where to sit, they graciously offered to move since they had far less people then us.

After sitting down we were greeted by a lady who introduced herself as a small group leader from a new church plant in High Point. She was supposed to be leading a bible study there but no one had shown up yet.…

My Valentine

First you had Romeo and Juliette, then Rocky and Adrian, now it's Mike & Beth.

I've been thinking a lot lately of how blessed I am to have a wife like Beth. We've been married almost nine years now and not to sound to cheesy but everyday still feels fresh and new. I think it's because we're so right for each other. You hear people talk all the time about finding their "soul mate". I don't know if I buy into all of that but I do know that there isn't a better woman for me then Beth. As Michael Scott would say, "She completes me".

I think a lot of people look for a mate that is exactly like them. Same interest, thoughts, feelings, strengths, weaknesses and so on. That's where the trouble begins. While it is great to find someone that shares some of the say enjoyments in life that you do, the longer I am married and more people I know that have their marriages fail, I am more and more convinced that besides having God at the forefron…

His Story II

I read a very thought provoking blog by Donald Miller the other day and wanted to pass it on...

"I wonder if the coming Presidential campaign season will divide the church. I am hoping it doesn’t, but as more Christians find themselves “homeless” in regards to a political party, I thought it would be good to prepare myself to not be taken by emotions. What I mean is I don’t want to defend political parties or affiliations without objectively being able to articulate why.

So here are some initial guidelines I hope to live by.

1. I don’t want to think in black and white. Black and white thinking stems from media methodologies that attempt to create as much tension as possible during a news segment. To do this talking heads present only two sides of an issue, and the opinions are considered binary opposites and conclusive. This, unfortunately, has taught Americans to believe the illogical assertion that issues are limited to two sides. The truth is every issue has many sides. I find wh…

My Partner

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Question: "If God intended man to live on bread, why didn't he create a bread tree?"

Answer: God could have created a tree that produced crusty loaves of bread, but he prefers to offer us a grain and invite us to buy a field and plant the seed. He prefers that we till the soil while he sends the rain. He prefers that we harvest the crop while he sends the sunshine. He prefers that we grind the grain and knead it and bake it while he gives us the air in our lungs and the strength in our arms. Why? Because he would rather we become partners with him in creation.

My Final Judgement

"Christians have often disputed as to whether what leads the Christian home is good actions or faith in Christ...It does seem to me like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most necessary. A serious moral effort is the only thing that will bring you to the point where you throw in the towel. Faith in Christ is the only thing to save you from despair at that point: and out of the faith in Him good actions must inevitably come." - C.S Lewis

I'm sick and tired of Christians throwing out the "Don't judge me" line. It's like they're on an episode of "Maury" with the audience yelling and all they can do is stand and yell back, "You don't know me! You don't know me!". Yes we do and that's the point. The idea that faith alone is all a Christian must have is absurd. Will our deeds save us? No! Are they valuable? Absolutely, yes. If one is given to question this stand, then answer this: Why are we (redeemed people) judge…

My Weekend That Was

I've discovered the library is a great place to check out DVD movies for free. They don't have new releases but most films are no more then a year old. I usually pick up movies I may have wanted to see but never wanted to pay to see them. This past weekend we watched "Ocean's 12" and "Dawn of the dead" (1978 version) Both were OK at best.

I spent Super Bowl night hanging with friends and sharing a few laughs. The colts won which made me happy, we got Aaron to cuss, and made some fat/gay jokes about Kipp. Good stuff.

Brent and Kaylyn have Beth and I addicted to a game called "Settlers of Catan". I'd explain it but it would take the next five blogs. All I can say is it taken up my last two Saturday nights.

Church was solid again Sunday. We've had 5 great weeks of church since the start of '07. There is an freshness and hungry attitude that's been missing for a long time.

We got all our tax stuff together and sent off to our accountan…

My Guy Love

Scrubs is back tonight with an all new episode entitled "His Story IV". This show continues to be the most creative on television right now. There last episode was a classic as the whole show was a musical. My personal favorite song was "Guy Love" which you can catch right here...