Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Some High Life For Some Low Life?

I read this today and thought to myself, I know plenty of Christians who are not all that concerned with the "return of Jesus"

Will Trade Beer for Jesus
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — An Australian brewing company is offering six cases of beer to anyone who returns a statue of the baby Jesus stolen from a nativity scene last week.
The South Australian Brewing Company (search) offered the reward after thieves swiped the statue from the company's traditional nativity display earlier this week.
Managing Director Mark Powell said security footage showed a man scaling a fence and lifting the baby Jesus from his manger.
"We are very concerned about the well-being of baby Jesus and we are calling for his swift and safe return," Powell said.
A reward of six cases of beer will be given to anyone who returns the statue, he said.
"That said, you would have thought that the incentive of a guaranteed exit through the right door after purgatory would be enough of an incentive in itself," Powell said.

Do you think that maybe they should have offered the thief a Carmen CD or a Prayer of Jabez Shoehorn or something "holy" like that instead?

Me neither. Good call on the beer!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Thank Anybody, Except God or Thank God Anybody Except ...?

Yeah, America is really the center of Christianity...

Yeah, right.

I'm recasting my vote for strong families and strong churches as the primary channel of communication to our children with regards to God. I know that sometimes we like to play the blame game and feel that if we could just fix the government, vote the right guy in, or overpower the schools, we could save the day and our kids morality as well.

I read this story below on the web today and was reminded again that God wants me to teach my kids the truth about the giver of all good gifts, not their history teacher.

Read it for yourself and see what you think:

Students Free to Thank Anybody, Except God
Monday, November 22, 2004
By Laurel Lundstrom

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland public school students are free to thank anyone they want while learning about the 17th century celebration of Thanksgiving (search) — as long as it's not God.
And that is how it should be, administrators say.

For the full story click here.

I am thankful for this reminder, as sad as it is.
And I'm thankful to God.
And that is how it should be.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Truth About "Kat" and Dog

See yesterday's post.

Here are some more thoughts after a day of reflection on this defection.

Under the "What the Neighbors Are Saying Category"

*"I thought dog was man's best friend?"

*"I thought it was Pit Bull ... with a 'P' ... huh?"

*"Honey Boy, Honey the girl? Honey child you sick!"

Under the "What the Local Veterinarians Are Saying Category"


Under the "What I'm Saying Category"

*She said the following: "It doesn't hurt," she told the newspaper. "But it's a little bit ticklish." to which I say, "Total Freak!"

Sunday, November 21, 2004

New Zealand, Milk & Honey

Woman Breast-Feeds Pit Bull
Monday, November 22, 2004

Somedays I am ashamed to be a part of the human race. Somedays I'd like to cast my lot with say a more intelligent species - like a freakin slug or a nat or a ... (insert your own small dumb insect here)

Read this article only if you have some time to flush down the toilet (waste time - just not milk) or if you want to feel really superior to a "Kat"

September 29, 2004
Here's one way to make sure your dog loves you: breast-feed it.

Kura "Kat" Tumanako, who lives in Hastings, a small town on New Zealand's North Island, gave birth to a baby girl at the end of August.

But, as she explained to the New Zealand Herald, she had problems nursing little Honey Pauline Philomina Flo, and she "didn't want to waste [the milk]."

"So I gave it to Honey Boy," Tumanako said.

Honey Boy is her Staffordshire bull terrier (search) puppy — commonly known to Americans as a pit bull.

Tumanako thinks the practice will only strengthen the bond between the puppy and her 3-month-old daughter, who is drinking formula.

"I wanted to raise [the pup] with my baby," Tumanako told the Herald. "I wanted to bring it up with a baby. It will protect her as they grow up."

Nor does she care what the neighbors think.

To read the entire article (your sick) click here.

Friday, November 19, 2004


If you liked the movie Napoleon Dynamite then you'll thank me for this.

If you didn't - don't ever read my blog again. Idiot!

Check it out. Go to multimedia and watch the clips, look at the pictures, and listen to the sounds.

If you don't I'll be "kinda TO'd"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Piano Man, Holy Ground, and Perfect

I had the divine joy of getting to know a man (whom for the purposes of this blog will remain nameless) last night over a meal at Highland. I had just finished my meal when Steve Hare pointed out to me that there was a man in a wheelchair who was one of our (Highland Church) neighbors and was joining us for our Oasis meal. He (Steve) had to run to a meeting and asked if I'd make a connection with him. I have to admit that I was planning on going back into my office when he said this but because he is my boss and because of some pulling on my heart by the Spirit I decided to approach this man and strike up a conversation.

His hair was long and hippie-like. His teeth were less than Hollywood-like. But as he wheeled over to my table I was struck by his eyes. They drew me in immediately and I was convicted that beneath those eyes was a story waiting to get out. After getting him some tea and enough sugar to make a sheet cake I began to uncover the story. A great story. An unfinished story.

Again, for the purposes of this blog and to keep his annonmity, I won't delve into the details but suffice it to say that this guy writes classical piano music (think Beethoven, Bach, etc)

Church was amazing as it was a time in my week when my mind was fixed on the things of God in an intense way.

The elders meeting was, as usual, totally amazing and such a "spiritual experience" I'm serious when I say this: being in an elders meeting makes me think about what it would have been like to have been alive during Acts 2 church times. The prayer, unity, compassion, anointing, wisdom, etc, is beyond comprehension. At one point during the meeting I leaned over to Bob Gomez and said we should video tape these meetings. While I know that we can't, I do know that people would be blown away to see just how biblical this eldership functions.

After the elder meeting (9:45pm) John (my son) and I went to see the movie Friday Night Lights. It was both fascinating and somewhat disturbing. Wow! My favorite line in the entire movie was the line about being "perfect" The thought of perfection being connected to a heart full of love was simply incredible. Such profound words from a football coach. But truth is out there...even in Hollywood. You just have to be in tune with it. God is not in retirement or on vacation.

I'm so blessed. I know that.

How about you? Anyone else see the Redeemer in the routine?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


The Pentagon announced today the formation of an ELITE FIGHTING GROUP called the U.S. REDNECK SPECIAL FORCES (USRSF)

The boys of this unit, Cooter, Bubba, Hoss, and Boo, will be dropped behind enemy lines.

They will be given the following information about Iraqi Terrorists:

1. The season opened last weekend.

2. There is no limit.

3. They taste just like chicken.

4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music, or Jesus.

5. They are directly responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt.


Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

If you haven't heard the rendition of "Come Let Us Adore Him" by Matt Redman on Passion '04 then you really haven't heard this song as it was meant to be proclaimed. WOW! This song is part prayer - part proclamation, and all Powerful!

Yesterday was another beautiful gift from God. Getting to sit in a staff meeting with Mike Cope, Steve Hare, Joe Almanza and the other amazing servants that I partner with at Highland is spiritually spoiling me. I learned more about being missional (not just in name) from lunch with Hare than in the three most recent books I read on the subject. Praise God for that guy!

Getting to work with Jeff Berry is not below average either. Godly, humble, and brilliant come to mind. God has really forged a strong friendship between us for which I'm so grateful.

My wife is the most giving, caring person I've ever met. If I had a dollar for everytime I saw Jesus clearly portrayed in her actions I'd make Bill Gates look like a pauper. Marriage to her is like winning a million dollars on a lottery ticket that cost you a buck. I get much more than I give in my marriage.

The time our family spends around our dinner table is sacred and holy. The conversation is almost always rich and the laughter is usually out of control. A good rule of thumb is that someone is going to either have some part of their food/drink come shoot out of their nose or almost lodge itself in their throat at some point in the meal. I'm so blessed! My kids are amazing!

Went to Grace last night...Luke was bringing the wood! By far and away the best I've ever heard him proclaim the gospel. I was uncomfortable and yet grateful if that makes any sense.

Kim and I worked on a project until almost midnight and when my head hit the pillow I remember thinking that while I was so wiped out from the day, I was still so thankful for the events of my day. I remember praying that if I got another day that I would use it to "Adore Him"

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

Christ the Lord!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Speaking of Speaking

One of the richest blessings of my life is getting to travel and preach the gospel to people all over the nation. These past couple of months I've been blessed to speak in Marlow, OK -- Sweetwater, TX -- Brownwood, TX -- Santa Cruz, CA -- Redwood City, CA -- Austin, TX -- and San Antonio, TX. In fact, Kim and I just returned from San Antonio yesterday and I have got to say that the Oak Hills Church is an amazing community of faith! I'm speaking there again in February '05 and cannot wait. (I might even get one more opportunity between now and then!) Bob Russell preached that morning and Tim Kimmel did a parenting conference that same Sunday so needless to say, I wasn't the main attraction.

But let me tell you the speaking engagement I enjoy best.

On the drive home from San Antonio Kim and I shared 4+ hours of beautiful conversation (although it was quite interrupted - another blog altogether). When we returned home we decided to do something spontaneous with our girls (I know that it might be hard for many of you to imagine me doing anything spur of the moment - just go along with the story...) so we sat the girls down and told them how incredible they were. (John's incredible too but we was at work at the airport so his incredibleness was not rewarded). Telling them how incredible they are is the speaking that I love the most. Then after my little incredible speech - Kim announced that because they are so incredible we were taking them to see The Incredibles (which was an incredible movie - "totally wicked!")

Yes I love speaking about Jesus all over the nation. But I like it better in my home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I Am Sorry

Yes, the title of this post is chalked full of double meaning.

Several of my last post and ensuing comments have been way out of line. As one of best friends pointed out in a recent email: "You didn’t ask me, but I think your response to Julia’s comment was out of line. Not necessarily on its merits, but the spirit of it. Very belittling. Definitely not you."

His function in my life as a "Nathan" is a blessing for which I am eternally grateful.

So here it goes ... my sincere apologies (as sincere as an apology can get on a blog)

To the Democrat readers, I'm sorry. I was rude and stereotyping and not Christlike in my post about Kerry.

To Julia, I'm sorry. I was mean and vengeful and not Christlike in my response to your post. Opinions are over-rated and in an attempt to defend my honor I tried to dishonor you.

To my wife, friends, family, co-workers, and church, I'm sorry. When I act like I have it paints you in a negative light and brings your character into question.

And finally, to my Lord Jesus Christ, I'm sorry. As a dad I know first hand how it feels to see your kids treat each other unkindly (thankfully this doesn't happen too much in my home) and yet I don't know how it feels because I can't love my kids at the deep, life-giving level you love your kids (me, Kerry, Julia, etc) so my unfair treatment of my brothers and sisters must break your heart.

And that breaks my heart.

I'm sorry.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Pious Horror

John Stott just kicked my butt.

"Christian salt has no business to remain snugly in elegant little ecclesiastical salt cellars; our place is to be rubbed into the secular community, as salt is rubbed into meat, to stop it going bad. And when society does go bad, we Christians tend to throw up our hands in pious horror and reproach teh non-Christian world; but should we not rather reporach ourselves? One can hardly blame unsalted meat for going bad. It cannot do anything else. The real question to ask is: where is the salt?"
- John Stott in 'The Message of the Sermon on the Mount."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Why The Long Face?

John Kerry

Well, it's over. And of course the last to admit defeat was Kerry. (He still hasn't at the time of this post).

I have some thoughts on this election:

Maybe Ohio voted for Kerry before they voted against him.

Look on the bright side ... while the "Flip" is gone - the "Flop" part of Kerry's persona is very much alive!

Looks like John isn't the only Kerry in the "Ketch Up" business.

Yes, more people will die in combat in a terrible war that may or may not have been a brilliant proactive move (only history will tell) but that number is only about 1/100th of the innocent babies that will be killed before they ever have a chance to be born, grow up, decide to serve our country and then die at the hands of our enemies. So if innocent lives being slaughtered are important to you I guess that today's news has to come as a dissappointment.

Maybe Kerry can take back that shotgun and camo outfit to Walmart since it has only been used once?

One thing is for sure - while being a master of the English language is helpful - America has spoken (by more than 4 million votes) that being a great debator and the most liberal politician in America won't get you elected.

I'm sure Kerri can catch up (pardon the punn) on his sleep in one of 7 mansions.

With Kerry out of the picture it might just mean that the government will have to handle Air Space Defense, new highways, and putting officers on the beat. Caring for the poor, helping the sick, and teaching our children values will default to individual family members, churches and other non government sources. I know that isn't the news that most Kerry supporters wanted to hear.

If anyone is really upset that Kerry never got the chance to implement his health insurance policy they could always move to Canada and check it out first hand.

And finally, as sinical and snooty as this post has been I want to end this post with my true feelings:

No matter who had won the election or what happens in the future God is still God. America's future is not dependant on an election but on an our eternal God. The kingdom is still alive in America and breaking forth in pockets of faith every where, every day. And the world we live in is much bigger than America and we need to remember that God is in all peoples and over all nations.

This song says it best:

You Are God Alone

You are not a god Created by human hands
You are not a god Dependant on any mortal man
You are not a god In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is
Chorus: You are God alone From before time began
You were on Your throneYour are God alone
And right now In the good times and bad
You are on Your throneYou are God alone
You’re the only GodWhose power none can contend
You’re the only God Whose name and praise will never end
You’re the only God Who’s worthy of everything we can give
You are God And that’s just the way it is
Repeat Chorus Bridge:
Unchangeable Unshakable Unstoppable
That’s what You are