the view – wednesday, december 29, 2004

i just wanted to give everyone a reminder that we WILL have the view tomorrow night, wednesday, december 29, 2004 @ 6:00 till 7:15 p.m. just like we always do. remember that it is a very rare night ndeed when we cancel the view. we even continued the view during the two hurricanes we had two wednesdays in a row during 2002 (isidore and lili. if we aren’t going to cancel the service for a hurricane then we definitely aren’t going to cancel the view just because schools are out or it’s the week of a holiday. GOD’s worship should never be canceled.

new year’s eve prep

we’re not doing a new year’s eve youth service – this way i get to spend some time with my family and personally i hate lock-ins with a passion. because of this i am using the service at the view tomorrow night to get our kids and adults focused on the new year. we are going to do a “redo” service based on the story of samson.

i love samson. he is such a major screw up. he had everything going for him. he was incredibly strong, apparently nice looking, and most importantly called by GOD. yet samson got all egotistical and screwed it all up. he messed up bad and it appeared that GOD would drop him. nobody would have blamed GOD for dropping samson. i mean samson did everything wrong and selfish. samson wasted the amazing gifts that GOD has given him.

i can relate to that. “wasted” is the word that i often feel like describes my life. i’m not incrediblly strong, nor am i very good looking, and truthfully i’m often not so sure that i have been called by GOD. the little bit i have i usually waste on myself instead of using to accomplish something for the greater good. most times i don’t bring GOd glory. in fact, most times i’m too busy focusing on myself to really care if GOD gets any glory at all. i wouldn’t blame GOD if he dropped me.

yet, GOD did not leave samson. when samson asked GOD for HIS help GOD was there. if you read the text you’ll find that samson didn’t even ask in a good fashion. samson didn’t ask for GOD’s glory, or say he was a worm or anything like that. nope! samson just asked for GOD’s help, admitting that he needed GOD’s help, and GOD gave it.

the LORD gave samson a “redo”. right then and there between 2 colmuns GOD forgot about samson’s past and used him. if GOD would give a screw up like samson a “redo” then HE’ll give me “redos” also. i think allot of my teens need that message. i know i do.

so tomorrow night we’re going to set up a coupe of columns and a paper shredder. i’m going to give each kid a card and then tell them the story of samson. after i’m through i’m going to tell them that if they have failed GOD during the past year and that failure still haunts them then this is the time to get rid of their past. paper shredders destroy what we don’t want others to see or what we wish had never existed. during worship our teens will be invited to write down their failures, ask GOD to forgive them, and then put their failures into the paper shredder.

“poof.” they’re gone. it’s a redo.

happy hanukkah


my dog is jewish. i haven’t seen her wearing a prayer shawl, blowing a shofar, or reciting the shema but i know that she must be jewish. it’s the only explanation that i can come up with for what happened today.

today was montana’s introduction to parkview baptist church. my family and i go to church at parkview, i work there, and the boys attend school there so it only made sense that we would introduce montana to the people who would see a good bit of her. montana is going to go with us to pick up the boys from school, she’ll travel around with me when i do errands, and sometimes she’ll just come hang out with me at my study. after all, a dog is an easy way to meet new people and meeting new people is usually about half the battle for me in ministry. thus montana is going to be involved with the church and therefore i wanted her to get used to the place and more important the people who actually make up the church.

so i made the rounds around the church office with montana in tow. everyone in the office loved her and she gladly returned their love. after all montana is a friendly dog. after finishing our visits around the church office i decided to take her over to the maintence building and introduce her to our maintence crew, larry, kirk and david. their all nice guys and montana instantly picked up on that fact. she got along fine with them and they enjoyed meeting her. after we finished horsing around in the maintence building montana and i left to go back to my study and start to do a little more work before heading home for lunch. this is when the problem developed.

at the end of the maintence building is a creche (nativity scene). it’s one of the old, cheap, plastic variety that lights up when a light bulb within each figure is turned on. i placed a picture of the nativity scene at the top of this post so you could see it. when montana saw the creche she stopped dead in her tracks. i know she stopped because i did not and she jerked me backwards. she stared at the nativity scene, began to growl and then barked several times. she did this same cycle of growling and barking several times. in fact, she barked so loud that kirk and david heard her and came running out to us.

“what happened” kirk said.

“i’m not sure. she just stopped and started doing this and she keeps looking at the nativity scene.”

david suggested that i walk her closer to the nativity scene to see what would happened. this seemed like a good idea to me so i tried dragging her over to the creche. 45 pounds doesn’t really seem like allot of weight, yet when that forty five pounds is a dog that doesn’t want to be anywhere near the plastic JESUS it becomes an entirely different story. all my dragging accomplished was getting montana to perform a semi circle around the nativity scene without ever getting any closer to it. all she did was growl and bark while making sure that i wasn’t able to get her any closer to the glowing plastic diety.

when i finally gave up montana turned into her normal friendly self.

this is why i say montana must be jewish. of course, she could be muslim, buddhist, or whatever else a dog can be. : ) all i know for sure is that she doesn’t like gods made out of plastic that glow in the dark. then again i’m not sure i really like those gods either.

SIDE NOT – this was my 200th post which is an occassion of great joy and celebration. please pause for a moment of silence in honor of the great moment. after the moment of silense please go get yourself a snack and eat it and dance a little jig in honor of the occassion. thanks for celebrating with me.