Thursday, March 31, 2011


We finally got a fence up for the pups. We were originally wanting to go with the underground fence, but the shock collars could only go down to dogs 5lbs and up. Sammie just happens to be 4lbs so we couldn't do that. But, since we've had the fence, we've already had a couple of bigger dogs come up to the fence while they were out. So, now we're glad we put this fence up so they don't get swallowed whole. They've been loving it although haven't been able to get out a lot lately because of the weather. I can't wait for it to warm up a bit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I've been seeing this theme on a few different blogs within the past few months. Basically, so many people are criticizing Christian music on the whole saying that it's the same kind of stuff being said over and over, it's unoriginal, or even the people singing have never really faced what they're singing about. For instance, some sing about praising God while in the midst of the storm, yet have truly never faced a real storm. Now, let me say first that while I don't agree with some, I do agree with some. I think there are many who just write songs about glorifying God to sell when their lives don't reflect it in any way. I think that some write about peace in the midst of the storm, when in reality, they blame God for their storms. But, I do think that the positives in Christian music outweigh the negatives.

If we were to look about 20-30 years ago, when it came to more "contemporary" Christian music, I would have given this complaint more thought. There just wasn't a wide variety of it out there. But, today, if you don't like a certain type/style of Christian music because it's too cliche, listen to a more original artist...Yes, some might be cliche, but certainly not all of it. If the bandwagon likes the cliche, let them. The SAME exact thing goes on in pop music as well as rap as well as country. It's irritating when we'll ascribe all of the originality in the world to Lady GaGa for wearing a meat suit on stage and writing music about how gay people are born the way they are, but smash Christian music when it glorifies God because "it's already been said." Well, if you think that trying to get attention by outlandish actions is originality then good for you, but we've seen it before in different venues by different people with different ridiculous acts. Although I mentioned a specific name, I'm not attacking a specific artist. That's just one example of how we seem to attribute attention and awe to those who act differently. We see it when gangsters rap about how they're the hottest on the block and they'll cap anyone who gets in their way. And, many times it's the beat that will attract a person to listen to it, not the original words or belief in the words. I mean, how many suburban teen boys listening to this are really going to go shoot someone with their AK-47 that they don't have?

My argument is that even cliche can still be edifying and glorifying to God even though we might think it's unoriginal. I understand that so many words are used liberally and I don't deny that many of our Christian artists do get on a bandwagon of how to sing and what to sing about. But, in their defense, and writing stuff occasionally myself, why not write about the same things? Why not talk about praising God all the time? Sure, there are times where praising God is difficult, but we write about that too. Normally, those songs will not get the popularity that a praise song will because, let's face it, who wants to sing about the mully-grubs on Sunday morning when you're coming to get strengthened? So, the radio might be jam-packed with songs that, in a round-about way, say the same things, but I would say, in context, that it's a good thing.

To sum it all up, I have to hit this last issue. I kind of touched on it in the first paragraph. I've heard snippets of (and even at times in my younger days listened to) some of the trash that some young people listen to today. I'm not talking about what you might call decent (in the moral sense) secular music like Justin Beiber or Jonas Brothers. I'm talking about the stuff that's completely littered with violence, sex, drugs, and language. It's the type of music with subjects that I wouldn't want my kids listening to one day. And, while I'm not the type to say that music can turn kids into walking barbarians who kill for fun, I do think that it can have a negative influence. It can have kids thinking certain topics are cool and gives them an outlet to bring it up or live it out. When someone idolizes Katy Perry and she sings about kissing a girl and liking it, that adds fuel to the fire. When artists sing about being pimps and never holding down a relationship with one woman because that's for chumps, it adds fuel to the fire for young guys sleeping around. There are clearly deeper issues within these realms, where once again, music isn't the cause, but it's an enabler. For a person trying to live a healthy Christian life, although some music might be cliche, the benefits can outweigh that. I've had MANY times in my life where I was down about something and a song has lifted my up. Not to the point of getting me all better, but helping my walk. Sure, a secular song may not have put me through the roof with my anger or self-pity, but the Christian music certainly helped. This CAN help our youth. If not for anything else, to give them an alternative to some of the trash out there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I was reading a blog today from Jeremy Myers and thought this was horrible..

...I ran an experiment to see.

Right now, I am growing my hair out. It covers my ears and looks a little shaggy. A while back, when visiting a church, I wore jeans, a grey t-shirt with holes in it, and a baseball hat, just to see how I would be received. I didn’t bring my Bible. Nobody greeted me. Nobody shook my hand. During the sermon, nobody offered me a Bible.

I returned the very next week wearing slacks, a tie, and carrying a big Bible under my arm. I must have been greeted by 20 people in 10 minutes, and nobody said “good to see you again.” They didn’t recognize me as a second-time visitor! I now fit in with the kind of person they wanted in their church, and so I received a warm welcome. I was handed whole reams of literature. Someone personally took me up and introduced me to the pastor. I guess I was now a “keeper.”

I didn’t go back.

Now, I realize that every church has their faults and even once in a blue moon, this CAN happen without true intention of prejudice against people. But, God forgive us and change us when we're not at least giving people a smile and a handshake to say, "how are you?" I mean, it honestly convicts me with a huge heaviness because when we go back to practice for choir, I don't have a lot of time to mingle. And sometimes I really think I could do a little more than I do anyways. But, I feel grateful and secure in knowing that the men and women we do have at our church don't pick and choose whose hands they shake, and who they greet. They are accepting of anyone who walks through the door. My father-in-law, Mark, is always buying Bibles too and our church will pass them out at events. Plus, in the past few weeks I've been able to give away probably 10-15 Bibles to kids coming to our youth group. It's been pretty awesome. We're not a perfect church, but I thank God that we have a group who loves people no matter what they wear to church.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God's Plan

It's crazy how much faith it takes to really be a follower of Jesus sometimes. I was thinking about when Jesus was being arrested. Up until then, the disciples had been following him so closely and desiring to see His power fully manifested. We see this when Jesus would tell them of His coming death and they would have nothing to do with it. Peter was thinking that there was no way he was going to let that happen. They had seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle on top of knowing the prophecies of the Messiah--how He was going to be this great conqueror of the nations. I can only imagine that they were going along with this peace making gig, but soon Jesus was going to really exercise His amazing power and start ruining some people.

But, that's not how Jesus did things. In fact, when it came to Jesus' arrest, Peter was carrying his sword and swiped off the ear of the high priest's slave. It was like Jesus had told them some big stuff was going to happen so Peter picked up his battle equipment and was ready for war. That's not an official scholarly opinion or anything, but judging by his decision here and then denying Christ later that night, it seems as if his attitude changed when he started to think that Jesus wasn't going to be what Peter thought He was going to be. It seems for a brief moment that his faith started to waiver.

I can see the same thing in my life though. There are these times when I feel at the top of the faith ladder and that God is doing exactly what He's supposed to do as far as I'm concerned. And I'm thinking that if any hard times fall that He's there about to show His true power in the way that I think it should come. It's like I'm waiting on Him to show that warrior, Messiah power in my life to not just help my faith, but establish it with the proof in His power. But, time after time, His abundance of power comes in such a different way than I expect. I'm caught off guard and sometimes even wonder if this is really Him, because it's not how I would have did things, and after all, He can read my mind, so why not do it the way I want.

But, God's glory is so much greater. And, eventually, Peter would see this and change his focus again. I guess that's part of the Christian life. Discovering God in so many new ways. Waiting for His presence and getting so much more. Even if pain is there longer than we want, He's still going to be there somehow.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


LOL My favorite parts:

"Learn popular phrases such as 'uh-huh' and 'mmm..mmm..mmm'"

"Learn why other religions 'refuse to laugh'"