Friday, December 30, 2005

Barna's Trends of the Church in 2005

As you reflect back on your 2005 take a minute and consider what Barna believes became trendy in the church in 2005.

Barna's Trends in 2005.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Denver Nuggets - 1

I am a huge Denver Nuggets fan! I can still remember going to Fat Lever and Calvin Natt's basketball camp when I was a little kid!

The Nuggets had another tough set back today with Marcus Camby out indefinitely with a broken finger and facing surgery. Nene is out and Kenyon Martin is good one day and then bad for a week!

We need a win against the Sonics at home tomorrow. And we need to get a third team in the deal so we can get Artest. Or we need to get Harrington!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tsunami...One Year Later

Today marks the one year anniversary of one of the most deadliest natural disasters in human history. Well over 230,000 people died and 1.8 million people were left homeless.

My heart, my mind, and my prayers are for those who are still recovering. I have kept this picture on my desktop since it happened to remind me of the devastation and to remember these people in my prayers.

I read a short letter a few days after by John Piper "Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy" that gave me some perspective. Then he wrote something in October, " Suffering and the Sovereignty of God" that challenged my thinking as it relates to the events of 9/11, the tsunami, and Katrina. Mainly, is there an absolute Truth that can help me process these horrible evils? YES!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2: 8-20

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[e] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Youth Worker's Guide To Helping Teenagers in Crisis

I am reading through this book that was given to me by one of the author's, Rich Van Pelt. I had coffee with him a month ago and he let me know that his book had been republished with Jim Hancock who added some stuff this time.

I gladly took my signed copy home and have been reading it during my recovery time.

Rich does a great job of summarizing the Columbine tragedy that those of lived through here in Littleton in the beginning of the book. I can still remember crying on his shoulders in April of 1999 and pleading with him for training. We asked him to come and speak to all the youth workers in the area and he did a marvelous job. I thanked him the other day for his take.

What's more, Rich has been a part of our southwest connection of youth pastors. His schedule hasn't allowed him to participate lately, but Rich will always be THE GUY we look to when the big crisis situations happen.

This book has been a great reminder to me that how I define a crisis and how a teenager defines a crisis are a lot of the times completely different. I realize that, at times, I underestimate the crisis in their life because I don't see it as one in my life. I was reminded to enter into their world, listen with compassion and seek to serve in anyway I can.

Thanks for the challenge Rich. In addition, this book is just simply a great resource and anyone and everyone who works with students should own this volume.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

You Shall Not Covet...

This weekend our pastor finished up his sermons on the 10 commandments with "The Heat of Commandment Keeping." Here are some highlights that challenged me.

Greed is that insatiable desire for more.
Envy is that resentful awareness of the other’s advantage.
Coveting is that powerful desire to get what belongs to another.

It seems that God placed the commandments hardest to keep at the beginning and the end.
In fact the two are quite similar.

The first says, "You shall have no other gods before me."
The last says "Don’t covet" or in essence, "Don’t set your affections on something else and think it will satisfy you."

The first is about trusting and serving God alone.
The last is about trusting and serving something else.
The first is about God being God in our lives.
The last is about something else being god in our lives.

Michael Horton said, "We are suckers for the latest products promising the latest cure for what the world has decided to be our latest problem (or need)." (Horton, The Law of Perfect Freedom, 251) .

What gets your best investment?

One author wrote that there are four stages of desire:
The initial desire
Dwelling on the desire
Developing a plan to satisfy the desire

Acting out the plan. (Douma, The Ten Commandments, 340)

Nine Requisites for Contented Living:

1. Health enough to make work a pleasure.
2. Wealth enough to support your needs.
3. Strength enough to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
4. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
5. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
6. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
7. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
8. Faith enough to make real the things of God.

9. Hope enough to remove all anxious ars concerning the future. Johann Wolfgang Goethe

TNIV - 3

I have the privilege of teaching our high school students each week from the Word of God. Our current series is an in-depth look at Romans 8. We are spending 8 weeks on it and we could probably spend 16 weeks on it as it is packed full of theology.

Speaking of theology, as I mentioned earlier I bought a TNIV and I am starting to read it for my own personal time in the Word and also using it up against the NIV as I prepare to teach Romans 8.

This past week I came across a difference that I have been working through. My text was Romans 12-17. My issue with the TNIV came in verse 14.

NIV - "because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."

TNIV - "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."

The greek word for "sons" is "huios" and it has been changed to "children." It's interesting to note that the TNIV translation is true. Women aren't sons of God, but they are daughters of God. Therefore the word "children" which is used isn't wrong, but I think it makes it harder to understand this all-important theological truth, to be a "son" of God. To be sure we are all children of God but the use of the word "sons" isn't meant to exclude women, but include the fact that we possess something that the Son of God has. The deeper truth here is that those who are the children of God are not only His children but they experience something similar to that of what the Son of God experienced in His relationship with God, the Father. Mainly, that we can cry out "Abba," or "Daddy" just like Jesus was able to do on this Earth which comes in verse 15.

I am not a Greek scholar. My Greek New Testament is on the shelf.

I am pondering, does the TNIV allow the reader to gain the fullest understanding of the intimacy God desires to have with His children on just a surface read? We have access to God as our daddy, in the same dimension Jesus had access to God as His daddy. So when read we are "sons of God" our hearts are triggered to the deeper understanding in the next verse that we are a child and we, in some way, have access to God just like Jesus! This use of the word "sons" fits Paul's expectation later in the text that we be conformed to the image of his Son (v.28). So when the TNIV changes it to children it seems they are making it harder to make that Pauline distinction that he desire for us to know!

Anyway, just a difference I came across as I am on my journey of reading through the TNIV!

Any thoughts?

Google Fight

Have you seen this yet? It is priceless. You type in two names and find out who wins! I did the Broncos and the Raiders and the Broncos won!


Enjoy! It's addicting!

Back in the Office!

Today was my first day back in the office! I cleaned out the mailbox, got the rest of my physical therapy appointments on the calendar and connected with Kristen, Than, Trevor, Jerry and a few of the office assistants downstairs!

It was good to be back in the land of the living today. Now I'm back at home, doing my leg raises, icing twenty minutes of every hour and in some pain!

I'm Going to Prison... visit my former high school baseball coach. I posted earlier that there might be a chance that he would go to jail for having an on-going sexual relationship with a high school student and he did. 15 years to life in prison! I am not sure what I have to do to go see him, if I can see him, or for that matter if he would even want to see me.

I will be praying for Craig and the young lady who experienced this horrible act.

My Baseball Coach Goes to Prison

Monday, December 19, 2005

Narnia Letter - 2

Here is John Mark Reynolds second letter written to a secularist that he has called Edmund.

To My Secular Friend Watching Narnia.

Here is the first letter - Narnia Letter - 1.

He is responding to the following question,

Imagine that you encounter an individual leaving The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. This individual is not only not a Christian, he or she has never been exposed to scripture and has no concept of basic Judeo Christian theology. The movie-goer looks at you and says, “What was that all about?” How do you respond?

This is a great read and he makes a great appeal to how the secular worldview has no place to account for beauty. Ravi Zacharias spoke on this point a couple of weeks ago when I heard him speak.


24 Countdown...January 15th & 16th!

January 15th and 16th are going to be GREAT NIGHTS!!!!!! My favorite show on television is going to be on for 2 hours each night! I can hardly wait. This weekend I have seen a ton of commercials promoting the premiere so I had to post!

If you have forgotten the end of last season and want a look at the prequel to this season you'll find it right here - 24 Season Five Prequel.

Here is the season five promovideo - 24 Season Five Promo.

Here is the official season five website - 24 Season Five.

I love this show because ever week it leaves me hanging! And I mean hanging! I can hardly stand to wait 167 hours until the next show!

Anyway, I thought it would be great for you to get ready for the show like I am. If you don't watch this show, I promise you will be hooked after January 15th and 16th. And you don't have to watch all of the previous 4 seasons before January 15th. At some point it will help for you to have the background!

One thought as it relates to my sphere of influence as a person who gets the privilege of teaching the Word each week to high school students. I have often wondered how I could use some of the elements in 24 to make me a better teacher. How can I invite the students into the story each week, give them a glimpse of what's coming next week, and leave them hungry for more of God and how he will reveal more of His truth to them? I love the way this show tells the story!

So here’s a little quiz for you to take over the holiday – Which 24 character are you?

24 Character Quiz - Let me know which one you are!

Can you guess which character I am?

President Palmer!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Broncos - Week 15

Broncos 28, Bills 17

Great the second half! Rod Smith had an amazing game! 11 receptions for 137 yards is a great day! What about the Lelie and his 40 yards...all on one play! And lets get straight - that was an amazing catch. In the post-game interviews Lynch had a great quote about that catch - rough summary, "We needed a spark, and Lelie gave it to us. When he made that catch it ignited us! And I don't know how he made that catch but it was amazing!"

Another interesting thing to consider: Rod Smith's first catch of his career as a Bronco was in 1995 against Washington. Wesley Duke's first catch of his career was Saturday and it was a touchdown. Could Duke be the next Rod Smith?

Finally, it was interesting to see the locker room after the game. No excitement really for clinching a playoff spot. Even Lynch in his interview was like, "We aren't jumping off the rafters in here, we have bigger aspirations!"

You gotta love the focus of this team right now! This week...the Raiders at home and a chance to go 8-0 at Invesco Field!

Don't Worry Colts, The Broncos Feel Your Pain!

Don't worry Colts fans! Our Broncos went to New York in 1998 13-0 and lost a heartbreaker 20 -16. Terrell Davis ran for 147 yards.

To refresh your memory: the Broncos scored with less than five minutes left on a 27 yard touchdown run from TD to put the Broncos up 16-13! We were on our way to 14-0 baby! Not so quick! With 48 seconds left on the clock Toomer caught a 37 yard touchdown pass from Graham. He had only had one catch to that point for 5 yards!

Gone. No longer undefeated. I can still remember the play in my mind like it was yesterday. We went on to lose to Miami the next week 31-21 and beat the Seahawks 38-21 to get our stride back! And we did get it back! We played Miami in the divisional playoff and smoked them 38-3. TD went for 199 yards and 2 TD's. We played the Jets to go defend our title. I was at that game! It was amazing. We won 23-10. TD had 167 yards and 1 TD!

Then it was the Superbowl in Miami against the Falcons! 34-10 was that score! 2 in a row! Elway threw 336 yards! What a two year run!

The Broncos feel your pain and I am sure this year they hope your season doesn't turn out like their 1998 season because I know they want a piece of you at your crib for a chance to go to the Superbowl.

The playoffs are going to be amazing!

T.S. Elliot "The Journey of the Magi"

This weekend I have been spending some time reading this timeless poem by T.S. Eliot, "The Journey of the Magi".

It's the weekend before Christmas and I am spending all my time this week thinking about God becoming a man. I spend a lot of my time thinking about Jesus being God and it's all good, but this weekend I have found a renewed sense of wonder as I have been looking at the baby Jesus, who is God!

T.S. Eliot's poem is truly something something we all should file away and read on a contiual basis, not just at Christmas. A lot of work has been done trying to interpret this poem, here is one example.

Here's where God is growing my heart for the God-man, Jesus, as I reflect on this poem. The last part of the poem has really caught my attention.

"were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death, We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death."

There is something about encountering God, even God as a baby, that causes us to realize that we are at the end of ourselves. "Like Death, our death..." And it's a weird paradox, that we have to come to the end of ourselves to find ourselves. I think this is why so many in our day struggle with the call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The day we encounter Jesus we have to give up making the story all about us, and start making the story all about Him! We have to choose death to self, to be born in Him. We ask the question above, "were we led all that way for Birth or Death?" If we choose death(which is really birth), then the challenge begins, to continue to be "glad of another death," to die to the story in this life being all about ME and make it all about Him for as many days as I have left on this Earth!

After this baby grew into THE MAN, He said something that has been on the front of my mind almost everyday of my life since I decided to die in Him...

Mark 8:34-37 - "34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"

It doesn't matter if you see Him as a newborn, or hear Him speak the words, all who encounter Him will find and end to themselves and a beginning to themselves in Him. And no words can fully describe how this happens in the heart of those whom He has created.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Mentor - John Piper

I heard Leith Anderson speak several years ago and make the case that there can be individuals in our lives that we could consider our mentors even if we had never had coffee with them, or spent a significant amount of time face-to-face with them.

John Piper is one of those men in my life. Each week I download his sermon and listen to it at some point during the 168 hours God gives me that week - 2005 Sermons. His website is great too - Desiring God.

I listen to him because he deposits passion into my soul. Specifically, he deposits a passion for the Word, prayer and people into my soul. And I can't think of three better things to have deposited into me!

One of my favorite messages is one he gave to a group of youthworkers. It is simply the best message I have ever heard as it relates to youth ministry and equipping youth pastors to teach the Word of God. Some of his thoughts: As youth leaders, we must lead in such a way that our students want to burn for Christ after they hear our teaching. And the only way our students can burn is if IT is burning in us. Is the Bible burning in us before we teach? Are we burning in prayer over the Word and our students before we teach? The main battle for youth ministry isn't in the students it's in me.

Imparting a Passion: A Challenge to Youth Workers. If you are a teacher of the Word, then you must click on the link and I promise it will be worth way more that the $5 you will pay. There is no question that this message will impart a passion and challenge your methods of preparation.

Finally, I found this site which is a great overview of John Piper on Monergism with his bio and a ton of his stuff for free. I took the picture of him off the Monergism site.

Piper on Monergism

I know I will never be as prolific a writer or a thinker as John Piper, but I sure hope people can say of me in fifty years that Dan deposited a passion for the Word, prayer and people into their souls!

Investing in the Word, prayer and people are three things that we invest in here that will be with us for eternity! Sounds like a great portfolio for a legacy worth leaving!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Narnia Letter - 1

I read an excellent blog written by John Mark Reynolds, which is the first of two letters he will be writing. These letters are a response to a question that was written by the moderater of a blog site, OneTrueGodBlog, Hugh Hewitt. Here's the question by Hugh:

Imagine that you encounter an individual leaving The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. This individual is not only not a Christian, he or she has never been exposed to scripture and has no concept of basic Judeo Christian theology. The movie-goer looks at you and says, “What was that all about?” How do you respond?

Here's the first letter, written to Peter, a religious person, but not a practicing Christian.

"To My Religious Friend" by John Mark Reynolds

How to speak a teen’s language, even if you’re not one!

I am not one, but I work with a lot of them.

I came across this piece by a guy named Josh Shipp and I found it to be very informative as it provided me with a lot of good reminders and some new thoughts about how to speak in a language that our teenagers will understand!

BTW: these principles relate to adults as well!

Here's one of my favorite lines in his section on speaking words of inspiration...and I can't wait to use it in the next couple of weeks, "You're not a problem, you're an opportunity!"

This is a must read!

How to speak a teen’s language, even if you’re not one!


The CU Buffs New Head Coach

Today I am proud to be a Buff fan! Today the college football team that I absolutely love hired Dan Hawkins from Boise State. I am thrilled that the AD went outside the buffalo family and hired a guy who can get it done! His offenses are unique, his approach is authentic and he will run a program that will bring the word integrity back into this football program.

If you jumped off the bandwagon with Barnett, then it's time to jump back on!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Fast Company

I want to make a plug for anyone and everyone to subscribe to this magazine - HERE.It will be the best $12 you've spent this year. It is full of insightful stories from fast companies in the business world (that are succeeding) that I have found extermely relevant to the ministry world I live in. There is not an issue that I don't walk away rethinking something I am doing in my ministry. I have been reading it for a year and here are few of the articles I have found helpful.

The Beauty of Simplicity

Things Leaders Do

The Art of Service

The Three Ways of Great Leaders

The Race

An elder in our church emailed me this poem a little over a month ago and I have been reflecting on it quite a bit. I thought I would share with you as something to reflect on as the year 2005 comes to an end.

The Race
D. H. Groberg

I. "Quit! Give up! You're beaten!"
They shout at me and plead.
"There's just too much against you now.
This time you can't succeed!"

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure's face,
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene;
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.

II. A children's race - young boys, young men
How I remember well.
Excitement, sure! But also fear;
It wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope;
Each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that,
At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side,
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went!
Young hearts and hopes afire.
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy's desire.

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought,
"My dad will be so proud!"
But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace,
And mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope
He couldn't win it now -
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said:
"Get up and win the race."

He quickly rose, no damage done.
Behind a bit, that's all -
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win -
His mind went faster than his legs;
He slipped and fell again!

He wished then he had quit before
With only one disgrace.
"I'm hopeless as a runner now;
I shouldn't try to race."

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father's face.
That steady look which said again:
"Get up and win the race!"

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last -
"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought,
"I've got to move real fast."

Exerting everything he had
He gained eight or ten
But trying so hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye -
"There's no sense running any more;
Three strikes: I'm out! Why try?"

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away;
So far behind, so error prone;
A loser all the way.

"I've lost, so what's the use," he thought.
"I'll live with my disgrace."
But then he thought about his dad
Who soon he'd have to face.

"Get up," an echo sounded low.
"Get up and take your place;
You were not meant for failure here.
Get up and win the race."

"With borrowed will, get up, " it said,
"You haven't lost at all,
For winning is no more than this:
To rise each time you fall.:

So up he rose to run once more,
And with a new commit
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now,
The most he'd ever been -
Still he gave it all he had
And ran as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling;
Three times he rose again;
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place,
Head high, and proud, and happy;
No falling , no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he'd won the
Race to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said,
"I didn't do so well."
"To me, you won," his father said.
"You rose each time you fell."

III. And now when things seem dark and hard
And difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my own race.

For all of life is like that race,
With ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win,
Is rise each time you fall.

"Quit! Give up! You're beaten!"
They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says:

Church on Christmas Sunday

An article ran over a week ago about churches cancelling their church services on Christmas Sunday on CNN and I am sure on other news pages - "Some megachurches closing on Christmas".

I have just joined the discussion.

Our church is having one service on Sunday later in the morning at 10:30.

I came across a blog from Andy Stanley and his take on cancelling church, Sunday, December 25th. I love his bottom line!

...somehow I lost the link, but it went something like this...bascially there are a lot of people outside this church that think I am a bad pastor, but there are hundreds of people that think I am a great boss!

On Going to a Christian College

I was reading an article today in USA Today that got me thinking about a conversation I had with a dad the other day that attends our church. The article was about how Christian Colleges are rebounding with increased attendance, "Christian Colleges Rebound" and how many Christian teenagers are choosing a faith-based college to earn their degree from. I went to Colorado Christian University.

Anyway, this dad was saying that he and his wife decided that their kids were going to be in public schools K-12th grades and then if they wanted to go to a Christian University they would foot the bill. It was an interesting philosophy that I had never heard articulated. He said that he and his wife desired their kids to be in a Christian environment because in college many huge life decisions happen, career choice, spouse (potentially), friends for a lifetime, etc... And they would pay the whole enchilada if they chose a Christian University.

Those all seems like good reasons. BTW, their kids are going to Christian Universities and they are holding true to their word and footing the bill.

In the article I was reading today I found a not-so-good reason to choose a Christian University. Here is a grandfather's response as to why he wouldn't send his grand-daughter to a NON-Christian school,

"The worst form of destruction for a younger person's worldview is to take it into an environment where it is laughed at and ridiculed," says Chewning, a retired Baylor University ethicist. An 18-year-old, he says, is "like a hot-house tomato. If you stick them in a humanistically oriented university ... they're going to get scorched rather than watered."

You've got to be kidding me...laughed at...ridiculed...scorched! Are those really reasons to not send a student to a secular University?

If anything, they sounds like a biblical reasons to attend a Hot-House Tomato University...

"10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:10-16

Christian University or Hot-House Tomato University...we are all called to suffer. I am grateful that God has called students from our church to attend both kinds of schools and model for their peers authentic Christ-like living!

This challenges me to consider what am I doing in my teaching that calls our students to suffer for Him so that they might share in His glory!

You Might Be Emergent If....

I came across this blogspot that mad me lol! It is priceless for those who are looking for a way to define what someone who is "emergent" might look like!

This guy is really creative and it is very insightful! Click on the link below!

You Might Be Emergent If...

TNIV - 2

Today I am reading through a list of the 910 inaccuracies that are proposed to be in the TNIV.

This list is here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

TNIV - 1

I have started my quest to see what I think about the TNIV! I purchased a Bible and I am reading it.

I will be posting the stuff I find helpful in my quest to decide what I think about this new translation.

My first read will be something my small group leader at Denver Seminary wrote. He is for the new translation. I think he might have something to say. Dr. Craig Blomberg "TODAY'S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF A GOOD TRANSLATION"

Exodus 20:16 - Great quotes

This weekend our pastor preached a sermon on this commandment. Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me!

1700 years ago St. Augustine wrote, “The tongue inflicts greater wounds than the sword.”

“There is nothing more contrary to (the opposite of) God than a lie.” (Watson, The Ten Commandmetns, 170) Puritan, Thomas Watson wrote that in the 17th Century.I believe that statement captures why the 9th Commandment is so important.

“Politeness is an air cushion, there’s nothing inside, but it absorbs life’s bumps.” (Jochem Douma, 332)

One man wrote, “We indulge in this by making ourselves the people who are always right, making ourselves the people who always do good; we are the people, we say, who are always having injustices done to us, but who never do injustices to other people! For all lies are not just things which crop up occasionally and pass through us without affecting us; they are an expression of what we are, and as such they mold our lives, quite literally making us into a lie!”(M.E. Andrews, “Falsehood and Truth” in Interpretation, 17 (1963), 436)

Thomas Watson wrote, “He who tells it carries the devil in his tongue and he who hears it carries the devil in his ear.” (Watson, 169)

“There is nothing more contrary to God than a lie.”

Better I should steal my neighbor’s possessions than steal his reputation for he is made in the image of God.

Exodus 20:16, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Aslan, Humility & The Birth of Jesus

This week I have been reading quite a few blogs as people have now seen the movie. It seems several think Aslan was somehow not as powerful or majestic as he should have been. He wasn't triumphant. That somehow He appeared weak and an insignificant part of the story.

For me, this is not true. I thought the movie did a great job of showing the humility and humanity of Aslan. He was the King, but he was also humble, gentle, possessing qualities just like us!

As I prepare my heart for Christmas I found the movie's portrayal of Aslan to be quite refreshing and extremely beneficial to getting my heart focused on the humanity of Jesus. Too often we only want to see His power and deity and we forget that our Aslan was 100% human. I am grateful for the movie's portrayal of Aslan in this way. I think they did a great job of showing Him to be the King and yet gave us the understanding that He was human, just like us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ACL Recovery

This week I am at home attached to the machine pictured here. It's a continuous passive motion machine that keeps my knee moving while I sit in the bed all day! Here's what my days are looking like and other general.

1. Percocet - 2 pills every 4 hours.
2. Ibuprofen - 1 800 mg pill three times a day.
3. Wireless internet!
4. Direct TV!
5. Soup!
6. No shower until Friday!
7. I get to see my wife and kids all day!
8. I have two Christmas parties this week that I WILL ATTEND!
9. Naps!
10. My first physical therapy appointment is Monday the 19th.

Broncos - Week 14

Broncos 12, Baltimore 10

Great game...if you love defense! 7-0 at home with the Raiders left on Christmas Eve day!

Last year the Broncos lose this kind of game!

Quick stat I loved...Jake Plummer threw to 9 different wide receivers in the game!

Bring on the Bills on Saturday night!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Where is God in Narnia?

I have been eagerly anticipating what the paper will say about this movie, particularly what it will say about the theology found in this movie.

As I sat and watched the movie I spent a lot of the time looking for God in Narnia, and I found HIM...a lot!

As I have been reflecting on what I saw over this past week I was wondering how obvious the theology of the movie would be to those who know very little about Christ, or the Bible.

In today's Rocky Mountain News an article was written that gave me some insight into what I believe the general public will find on the surface when they watch the movie for their first time!

Here's the article and a quote, "Narnia, of course, can be viewed as a Christian allegory. The noble Aslan is a Christlike figure who restores life to the dead and who dies in a great act of sacrifice that leads to his resurrection as the redeemer of Narnia. But those familiar with Lewis' tale know that his idiosyncratic approach hardly qualifies as doctrinally pure. Lewis incorporated elements of mythology and whimsy into his story. Although the residents of Narnia refer to the Pevensie children as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, biblical references hardly abound. Lewis set an eclectic table."

That's the genius of Lewis. The writer saw the imagination of Lewis, but got the most important piece of theology in the movie! This author got the greatest message out of the movie, which is the greatest message of THE BOOK sitting on my table that has 66 books full of God's redeeming love! Here's the quote again, "The noble Aslan is a Christlike figure who restores life to the dead and who dies in a great act of sacrifice that leads to his resurrection as the redeemer of Narnia."

I will admit that I did find several references to the Bible in this movie and it did make the movie extremely moving for me, but you don't have to go to seminary to find the central message of the Bible that finds its way into every major sporting event...

JOHN 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Denver Broncos - Week 13

What a great game on Sunday! I love watching the Broncos and Chiefs play the game I love the most!

I think it was a great loss! Here's why? They could of won! What you don't want is what happened last year when they got blown out! The Broncos needed to fight hard for a win and this game will cement in their minds that they can play on the road and they will have a chance to win.

I loved watching Van Pelt score a touchdown. We play Baltimore this Sunday and it should be a great game to get it back together. Here's a quick look at the Bengals and Broncos remaining schedules and the fight for a first round bye!


Dec 11 Cleveland
Dec 18 @Detroit
Dec 24 Buffalo
Jan 1 @Kansas City


Dec 11 Baltimore
Dec 17 @Buffalo
Dec 24 Oakland
Dec 31 @San Diego

It looks like we could each go 3-1 or 4-0. The only loss I see the Broncos having is at San Diego and the only loss I see the Bengals having is at KC! It's going to be a great month of football!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Broncos Are Having FUN This Season!

This morning there was a great article in our local paper about the special difference that exists in the Broncos locker room this year. Apparently these guys are not just playing football, but having a lot of fun doing it.

The article in the Rocky Mountain News is a must read for all of my buddies who love the Broncos and don't live here in Colorado. Here is the

What's interesting about this article is that you get the sense that the locker room is much like it was in 97 and 98 when we brought home two Super Bowls!

Whether or not we actually get a chance to play the Colts it is great to be a fan of a team that is really enjoying not just playing a game together but they are loving being together.

I am grateful I work in an environment where we not only like "playing the game", but we also like each other! The Broncos are looking more like a team everyday. Don't be surprised if this is the X-factor Sunday and the Broncos pull out a close one in KC...or maybe not! Hey, at least they will be able to pull off some practical jokes to deal with the disappointment!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy 89th Birthday!

Noah and Josiah got the chance to wish their great grandma Iris a happy birthday on November 24th! We got out of the house before the Thanksgiving meal to take my only grandparent who is still alive a huge bouquet of flowers!

We love you grandma!

Thanks for all the stories through all the years and sharing my birthday month with me...only three days apart!

Will You Marry ME?

Ten years ago today at lunch I asked my wife to marry me! Thanks for saying "YES!"

We had a picnic where we had our first date! Our funniest memory of that day is how fast I made us eat lunch!

Thanks for 10 years of love! I love you!

BTW, I didn't use the pizza!

Noah Starts School!

Today was a great day for me as I got to take my first born to pre-school! It was his second day and it looks like I am going to be taking him every Friday to school which will be fun! With the sale of our rental property we decided we would use some of that money to get Noah started in school.

He is the only kid with the traditional brown lunch sack! And he should have no problem reading his name!

This is what being a parent is all about...watching your children grow up, or as Jim Hancock says it, "Raising Adults!" BTW, this is a great book on parenting!

What a privilege is it to raise these kids to be adults!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Direct TV

Our family has joined the world of satellite tv! Today is our first day of Direct TV with DVR! All I can say is that this is the first day of my married life I have watched television on the TV my dad bought us without static!

We decided to use the cash from my birthday and some early Christmas money to get the service. We have enough to pay for the rest of the year.

This will truly be a gift that keeps on giving!

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe Movie Review

I feel tremendously blessed to have had the privilege to see this movie yesterday. I was one of the guests of my friend Rich Van Pelt.

After I gave them my phone because it had a camera in it I headed into the theater and watched an unbelievable movie. We all knew it would be awesome, didn't we?

I found myself all throughout the movie seeing the story of My King being played out in the imaginary land of Narnia. All throughout the movie I saw the story of God and it gave me chills. I sat on the edge of my seat most of the time anticipating the story and watching it unfold just like it did in the book.

Here are some thoughts...

1. I couldn't help but think the whole time of what C.S. Lewis would have thought of the movie. I was picturing him sitting next to me saying, "Yes! That is exactly what I imagined!"... OR... "You know what? I never thought of it looking like that!"

2. When Lucy walked through the bedroom door and saw the wardrobe the whole crowd lifted in their seats. I thought to myself, "Here we go!"

3. The Beaver's were awesome! They provided great humor and it was done very appropriately.

4. I love in the book how Lewis describes how the children reacted when they first heard the name Aslan. Just the sound of his name caused movement internally. In the movie it was great because Mr. Beaver said his name and the camera panned to each child and you could tell they were moved. It was awesome.

5. The digital animation was appropriate and fairly believable. It reminded me of the animation from Lord of the Rings. So I am calling this movie, "Lord of the Rings for Kids!"

6. The death of Aslan is powerful and well done. The whole time I was reflecting back on The Passion of the Christ and Jesus' ascent to His death. It was a moving scene that clearly portrayed the sacrifice that was to be made.

7. When Aslan kills the White Witch it is awesome! Dude!

8. Finally, when the four children get their crowns in the end it reminded me how those who are "In Christ" will be joint heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven!

For as much anticipation as The Passion got this should get more. This movie will spark all kinds of conversations that I pray God will use to draw millions to Himself. It will be and should be the movie that gets translated into languages and shown in villages all across the world!

It made me think about leaving a legacy. Did C.S. Lewis ever imagine what his King Aslan would do with this story? That His King would use one of the most dominate currencies of the culture to tell the story of God in a land that feels so much like home!

World Aids Day 2005

A big thanks to my friend Doug for reminding me of this today.

"This is a day to think about the over 20 million people who have died from AIDS. It is a time to reflect on the current lives of over 25 million people believed to be living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Of those who are HIV positive, ninety-five percent live in developing countries. Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS."

Doug lost his infant daughter and wife to Aids.

Thanks for your allow me and so many to know your story Doug! We are thrilled you are speaking at our middle school and high school retreats.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Miracle of a Child Growing

This week is our 28th week of experiencing the miracle of our third child growing inside the womb. Here are some thoughts.

1. Our baby is 16 inches long! That is a good sized Trout!
2. It weighs approximately 2.4 pounds and the rest of the weight it accumulates will be body fat. This is the only time in life when you are grateful for fat growing and giving you 2/3 of the weight you will need to live outside the womb!
3. When we go to bed Julie just starts laughing because our child starts doing flips inside of her!
4. It's also odd for me to imagine trying to go to sleep with someone always kicking me...from the inside!
5. Both Noah and Josiah think it's a boy. I personally think they just want another person to hit, especially Josiah!
6. We have no names...I mean we know it's last name but that's obvious!
7. Julie has a Dr. appointment this week so we will find out how everything is going.
8. It is so fun anticipating the sex of our child. We keep thinking about what it will be like with three boys or to finally get the princess. It's been great imagining the different dynamics each one of them will bring. We are truly excited to have another ankle-biter in our home.
9. Finally, this child will probably be born during the end of the Olympics in Torrino!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ten Years of Holidays!

As Julie and I were talking this weekend we realized that we are celebrating our 10th holiday season together. We just sat back in the couch and shook our heads at how fast it has gone.

We laughed when we thought about being in college ten years ago and living in our little apartment eating Mac n Cheese and thinking it became gourmet when we added Tuna! We laughed when we thought about our first tree that was about 2 ft. tall!

Now, ten years later we have two kids who think this truly is the "most wonderful time of the year!" Kids just have a way of making this time of year sweeter. I can't explain it, but there is something about kids that allows them to enjoy the simple things of the holiday. They love lights. They love lights on houses and lights on trees. They are enamored with garland, and there is nothing boring about putting ornaments on a tree. They love seeing Santa on the window and they love squeezing those annoying bears that play Christmas songs all the while never getting tired of squeezing them.

Most importantly though, these kids remind me that after ten years of celebrating these holidays in marriage, I need to make a lot of room in my life for reclaiming a sense of wonder.

A big thanks to my wife for ten great years of holidays. Ten years from now we will have kids that are 14, 12 and 9 as we celebrate the holidays!

Spending Time with the Family!

I absolutely loved this past weekend! I got to spend a ton of extended time with my wife and two sons. It was an awkward holiday because typically we are running from family to family and I typically feel exhausted by Monday. That's not true this year as I feel rested and ready to hit the road running.

We watched a lot of football, played a lot of football, put up the Christmas tree and hung lights on the house outside. It was a great weekend!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Finished Painting the House!

I finished painting my house today. I figured I better get it done before the ACL surgery. It was a great time to connect with my neighbor's! My neighbor next door kept giving me a hard time! The neighbor behind me told me he might be selling his Mexican food restaurant and moving it within 1 minute of our house. Currently it is about 27 minutes! He makes amazing Green Chile!

It was also a great time to get a view of the front range! What a view from the top of the house. Over 60 degrees today and you it seems like you can see forever!

My Black Friday Experience

What can I say? I am a sucker for a great deal and today was the day of deals all over the city! I have never participated in Black Friday so I was a little gun-shy when I woke up at 4:50 a.m.

I got in the minivan and headed to Best Buy! I had my list and I was prepared to take anyone on for what I wanted. The parking lot wasn't crowded, it was jam-packed. As I was walking in I was unsure what would actually happen.

When I got inside it was chaos. People were pulling Plasma's, carrying a handful of DVD's, etc... I was off to the DVD's first. I loaded up about 7 and then headed to the wireless router section. I am currently using it right now as I blog upstairs in my bedroom. Nice. I need the wireless router because I want the internet when I have my surgery in two weeks. A guy has to work even when he goes under the knife! I then proceeded to pay. The line was longer than the line at Magic Mountain. I started talking to a kid wearing a Colorado Christian University sweatshirt. Based on the line I figured I could probably get to know this guy so well I could get him to give me his social security number! Anyway, I realized that he wasn't standing in a paying line and that meant I wasn't either. I was wasting valuable time!

I soon found a paying line and in the process found the 20 inch T.V. I wanted for $58. I waited in line an hour. I saw one of our elders with the same T.V. I bought and Kate from 180 who was with her mom and brother and sister from Europe.

I also got to know the lady behind me who had been widowed for for three years with two teenage daughters, 16 and 18. My heart broke for her, but I was impressed with her perspective and I could tell that she was truly leaning on the strength of the Lord. Later in our conversation I found out she leads the youth ministry at her church as volunteer!

I left and went to Starbucks and swiped a breakfast sandwich from McD's!

If you have stayed with me this far, now you will get my take on this day.

"I like it...I like it a lot." Guess the movie? I kept thinking that I wasn't going to like it.

Thoughts were running through my mind about materialism and could there be any more of a better picture than this day. I am sure that for some this was a day to load up, but I also know that if you are willing to pay the price by getting up, you could say this is a great day of stewardship.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Broncos - Week 12

Broncos 24, Dallas 21! 9-2 baby!

First, you have to love having a game like this on Thanksgiving. There is nothing greater than throwing down huge amounts of calories and then kicking back to watch a great game!

We were all going crazy towards the end. I popped a Pepcid-AC and it didn't even help the rumblings in my gut as I sat on the edge of my seat. All I can say is that this is a TEAM winning games, not just great players! A great example is Ron Dayne stepping in for Tatum today and delivering the knock out punch!! In an interview right after the game he was laughing about getting tackled and said he should of dove into the endzone! I still remember watching him run for the Heisman!

Next week in Kansas City baby! I can hardly wait for that game!

Happy Turkey Day!

Another great day with some bird, taters, family and football! Mom and Bruce came over to the pad for an absolutely wonderful meal that Julie cooked! Nice job babe!

This year our football marathon had some significance because the Broncos were playing...more on this later!

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.....

1. Another child is on the way!
2. Noah's first Broncos training camp this summer.
3. A great group of high school students to serve.
4. A great wife!
5. Friends who fight for my soul.
6. The sale of our rental property.
7. A new minivan...I need to blog on this!
8. Vacation in Illinois and Wisconsin.
9. Birth of Logan and Tanner.
10. A great time of reading and reflecting in several different books.
11. Surgery in two weeks that will cause me to slow down the first half of the year.
12. My grandma's 89th birthday today!
13. Crocs...I love them!
14. Caribou Coffee opening in my area!
15. New flooring in our first level.
16. Great studies in Proverbs, the Prayers of Paul, the Sermon on the Mount and Elijah in 180.
17. Golfing in Phoenix with Chris, Dave and Dave for four days!
18. A life-changing trip to Poland with our high school students.
19. 9-2 start of the Broncos.
20. Another year of experiencing the love and forgiveness of God in new ways.

Can you imagine how long this list could get?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

2, 6, 7, 9, 20 and 21

These are my new favorite numbers! Apparently there is an unclaimed lottery ticket out there worth 4.6 million dollars!

How funny is this?

I can almost imagine the story.

The ticket was bought in a mad rush at the last minute at a gas station after a fill up on gas and a 98 oz. Diet Pepsi in one of those huge mugs you buy only when you are traveling across the country along with a Willie Nelson CD!

They went with the quick pick because they had to get home and watch WCW at 9! Upon rushing into their Yugo they threw the ticket and the receipt for their purchase in the front seat. The only problem with this is that those weren't the only two things in the front seat. Upon further inspection, the following was found in the front seat: a pair of goggles, a McDonald's bag, half of a Whopper with Cheese and extra mayo, three fries from Wendy's, last week's Sunday paper with the ads, some flowers they bought for their grandma and forgot to give her a month ago, two bank statements, a letter from their landlord giving them notice that their rent is overdue, 17 sticky notes, two packs of empty cigarette containers, and a shirt they bought at Goodwill for $.75 that says "You Can't Win Unless You Play the Game!"

A House Full of College Students!

This morning I picked up one of our former students at the airport who is back for the Thanksgiving break. We went to Q'doba and then to his house! When we got to his house I found out his older brother was back from Dallas Baptist. It was great to catch up with them both. Then right before I was going to leave their two sisters showed up with their mom!

4 college students from the same home in the kitchen together...home for Thanksgiving. Does it get any better for mom?

It was great to see them interact as they all came through our high school ministry and I can remember them all as seventh graders! They just seemed...well, like they weren't in high school. It's hard to explain.

Anyway here are a couple of thoughts that came to my mind from this experience.

First, it was great to be standing in their kitchen knowing that I have have known them since seventh grade. I thanked God that I could be a consistent male figure in their lives as they come from a divorced home. Who would of thought we would have a moment like this some 8 years later?

Second, I just got fired up to think about what it must be like to be the parent of college age students...besides expensive! It's almost impossible for me to think of Noah and Josiah as college studs! Or for that matter, their soon to be brother or sister!