I've Finally Found It!!!!

The drink for all those pesky guests that think they're doing you a favor by having no opinion on what beverage they'll have.

Now if I could just find a restaurant named "I Don't Care" I'll know exactly where to take Sheri!

Hebrews 11 and Faith

This chapter of Hebrews is the bottom line when it comes to faith, but a self professed agnostic with funky blue eyeglasses from the great state of New Jersey has a great take on it as well. (Yes, I'm from Jersey originally). Here's a clip from her post (used with permission):

"The whole premise of the concept of faith is that you believe in something that cannot be proven, that’s why its faith. You are making a choice to put your belief into something, even if you can’t stick your finger in the wounds. So, to tell someone that their faith is wrong because well, duh, it can’t be proven is such a waste of time. What is it about “enlightened atheists” that makes them so much like fanatic religious people. I mean, when you really look at it, what’s the main difference? An extreme atheist is what I consider someone who not only makes the bold claim that they do not believe there is a God, but also want other people to agree with them, and will go to lengths to “prove” their claim to you. An extreme religious person is making a bold claim that there IS a God, but also want other people to agree with them and will go to great lengths to “prove” their claim to you."

The "Far" side of any debate can get quite hysterical. As a Christ follower, I believe it is our job to live our faith 24/7, not just Sundays and discuss it with people that are ready to listen. The choices we make and our actions will speak louder than any proselytizing we can throw at someone with deaf ears. Our job is to plant the seed and let the Holy Spirit take over from there. (Although, I'll say it's sad for someone to believe that this screwed up planet is all we have to look forward to!)

Read the whole post below.


Thanks Quelyn

It's Great to be a Phillie!

Phillies fans have a lot to be Phanatical about right now. Not only are the boys 3 games over .500 this close to the half-way mark, they're also only 3.5 games behind the first place Mets. The last time we played the Mets we swept 'em 3 for 3 at Shea. Now we get them for a 4 game series at home! First place at the All-Star break? It could happen.

To top it off Ryan Howard just became the fastest in history to 100 HR's! Way to go Ryan!

Read the whole story here.

Online - Brad Paisley

I work down at the pizza pit
and I drive and old Hundai
I still live with my mom and dad
I 5′3 and overweight

I’m a Sci-fi fantatic
mild athsmatic
never been to 2nd base
But there’s a whole nother me
that you need to see
Go check out Myspace

Cause online I’m down in Hollywood
I’m 6′5 and I look damn good
I drive a Mazarati
I’m a black belt in Karate
and I love a good glass of wine

It turns girls on that I’m mysterious
I tell ‘em I don’t want nothing serious
Cause even on a slow day I can have a three way
chat with two women at one time

I’m so much cooler online
So much cooler online

I get home, I kiss my mom
and she fixes me a snack
I head down to my basement bedroom
and fire up the mac

In real life, the only time I
Ever even been to LA
Was when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade.

Online I live in Malibu
I posed for Calvin Kline, I’ve been in GQ
I’m single and I’m rich
and I got a set of six pack abs that’ll blow your mind

It turns girls on that I’m mysterious
I tell ‘em I don’t want nothing serious
Cause even on a slow day I can have a three way
chat with two women at one time

I’m so much cooler online
Yeah I’m cooler online

When you got my kinda stacks, it’s hard to get a date
Let alone a real girlfriend
But I grow another foot
and I lose a bunch of weight everytime I log in

online I’m out in Hollywood
I’m 6′5 and I look damn good
Even on a slow day, I can have a three way
chat with two women at one time

I’m so much cooler online
Yeah I’m cooler online
I’m so much cooler online

Yeah I’m cooler online

They got this one right......

This is my first "personality test" and it's scary how right it is.............

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

Today's Zip It Award Goes to...........

...anyone blogging about the glorious arrival of the iPhone!

Seems to Be Working.........

"America, is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."

Joseph Stalin

Take Out the Trash!

I read a great post yesterday that discussed all of the distractions in this world that are keeping us from seeking His face and spreading His glory. It was posted by Russ Lamb from Faith Community Church. Those guys have some great stuff to say.Here's an excerpt:

As we look at today's society, I think it's time to take out the trash. In Nehemiah 4:10 "Then Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall". As we look at building the Kingdom of God there's alot of trash that gets in the way. We let "trash" distract us and get into ours lives that causes us to get away from God. A TV show here, a computer site there. And here's the deal with the trash, the enemy will hide in it to attack us. In Nehemiah 4:11 "And our enemies said, "The Jews won't know or see anything until we come among them and kill them and stop the work".

Read the whole post here.

Perry's a Daddy

Congratulations brother, she's beautiful! Read below...

Charisse is Here!

When "Paraphrase" Becomes Rewriting

From the "This Blog Chose You" blog, a story about a new "translation" written by a former British Baptist pastor, John Henson, that was his attempt to omit language that is gender exclusive and homophobic. His version is titled "Good as New: A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures". Read all about it!

This Blog Chose You: Abominable "Paraphrase" Defies Scriptural Truth

Got a spare $100?

You too can have your very own square watermelon. Developed in Japan they are guaranteed not to roll off your picnic table! I just have one question....um....what was it.....uhhhh......oh yeah


Worth Fighting For

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill

Extreme Time Killer

Check out WILDCARD!

Just start draggin your mouse around the screen when the page loads. Be sure to click the #'s 1 through 5 on the bottom left for different patterns. I apologize to your bosses before hand!

Oops, I Did it Again (sin that is)

(Be patient, this is a long one but I feel it's worth your time)

I love my drums. No really, they stay in my bedroom, they each have their own padded case, I tune them often and cringe when someone else plays them. But you know what? Whenever I go into Guitar Center and see that big old Drum Workshop kit sitting there, man, I can just picture myself in the driver's seat!

You know what else? I just sinned. Not a minor one either. I broke one of the 10 COMMANDMENTS. It's way down the list, actually right at the bottom but there it is, #10, Thou shalt not covet. Most people think this is meaning coveting your neighbors wife but let's put the full text up on the screen. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbors."(Not that many of you have neighbors with donkeys, but you get the point!

Well that stinks, I can't complain that my neighbors grass is greener than mine without sinning again! And the 10 are just the beginning! The "Pentateuch" or the first 5 books of the Old Testament - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are filled with all kinds of things spoken to us from God that will cut
us off from Him in the afterlife. We really can't escape!

The Israelites spent their entire history - From Moses to the Birth of Jesus - constantly breaking the "Law". They'd be good for a while but were always being led astray. Either it was their own fallen nature or a neighboring country but they couldn't live sin free. They'd create idols to worship, borrow some of their neighbors if they were lazy, marry their women, fraternize with prostitutes in the pagan temples. They were a wild bunch.

You might say, "Why create all of these laws that you know your people will never be able to follow?" The ironic thing is, I believe that was the whole idea. WHAT? Do you mean that he made all of this rules that we couldn't follow and turned us all into a bunch of sinners just to turn His back on us?

First -

The Law didn't create the sin. The Law revealed the sin in us all. If nobody tells us what we are doing wrong, then we would continue believing how perfect we are. If we didn't instruct our children, they would grow up completely out of control, not even realizing that anything they were doing was bad. The Law was set up so we would realize we could never live up to God's perfection.

If we didn't know we were sinning we wouldn't have the chance to repent of our sins and reconcile ourselves with our Father.


The Law disciplined. In Exodus, Moses led his people to the land promised him by God and he sent out scouts to check the land and the inhabitants. Upon returning they reported that was indeed the land of milk and honey but the residents were of great size and much stronger then they were. After hearing this the people rose against Moses asking why they were led out of the land where they "had it so good". You know, Egypt and the whole slavery thing. They had it great alright. Caleb and Joshua were only scouts with faith in their God to deliver his promise. When God heard this he basically blew up like a dad who's child broke the last straw. All the people 20 years old and above would never see the inheritance. They would die in the desert. Their sins against the Father led them to their death.

If we aren't disciplined for sinning we wouldn't feel the need to repent of our sins and reoncile ourselves with our Father.

We are constantly being disciplined. Not by God but by the results of our sinning. We're punished with debt, disease, divorce, job loss, humiliation, depression and the list goes on. Yes it also leads to death! Maybe not right away, some sins will catch up with you sooner than others, like drug and alcohol addictions or obesity but none-the-less if you are an unrepentant sinner, which is unfortunately our nature as humans, you will die for your sins.

How could God let us go through so much suffering? Look at it this way. I've heard numerous times about parents sick and tired of their miscreant children. Eventually they will stop bailing them out of trouble and let them see the consequences of their actions. How much more ticked off do you think God feels when we continue embracing our sins after He gave His Sons life for us? It's no wonder He would turn from us like He turned from the Israelites and let them get taken into captivity.

Third -

The law shows us how undeserving we are of His love but that love will always be waiting for us that come to him in repentance and pray for our forgiveness. God took the Israelites back, Hosea took Gomer back and the dad took the prodigal son back. The Israelites not only had the Law to tell them what was right in His eyes, but also in the Law was a means of atonement. There was a huge formula equating the sin to what type and how many animals should be sacrificed. The Israelites atonement was in the blood sacrifice.

But hey, we have our own blood sacrifice. God so loved us that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die upon the cross for our sins. He was the perfect sacrifice. The Lamb of God. So the rules don't apply anymore, right? WRONG. Jesus said He didn't come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He even made them more strict. Of course murder is a sin but Jesus said just being angry with your brother was on the same level. Adultery is with out a doubt sinful, but again He added an addendum. He said just thinking lustfully about someone was committing adultery. Being a Christ follower is no free ride! Plus, once you have given your life to Him, Satan really goes on the defensive. You have officially renounced this world and became his enemy! The darts of sin and temptation are really going to start flying.

Why did God make us this way; imperfect, sinning, proud, boastful? He didn't want perfect automatons. He gave us free will, the freedom to make our own way, right or wrong. He wants authentic a relationship with us, the kind that can only be had between a Father and son. He wants to correct us, praise us, discipline us and above all love us. That would be hard to do with a perfect robot-like person. He wants us to come to Him on our own accord, realizing this world has nothing for us and without Him we are lost.

It's not all bad. God gives us wonderful blessings when we bow to him. Rays of sunshine in the darkness. C.S. Lewis had a great quote that I am about to butcher but it went something like this....On our journey God has nice little bed and breakfast's along the way to give us a retreat and some relaxation but there will be hard times along the way lest we mistake this world for our home. I know that is nothing like the original quote but you get the drift.

If things were perfect we wouldn't look forward to our eternal life with Him.

Hey, it could have worked!

Clever thief tries anything!

Click here!

The One that Got Away...

...the golfer that is. A 50 year old golfing in Venice, FL nearly lost his arm to an 11-fot alligator as he was reaching for his ball. He managed to get free using his other arm. The golfer said it seemed the gator let him go when he realized the colors on the golfers shirt did not actually represent the Florida State Seminoles. (no not really)

Read the whole story here.

I Miss Her

What happened to the Kelly Clarkson we all loved on American Idol? I new from day one she'd win. It was the rough Bonnie Raite sound and strong voice that put her over the top. Now everyone's trying to turn her into everyone from Pink to Christina Aguilera. It's no wonder her latest tour was cancelled. She's not doing what got her to the top anymore!

Praise You in the Storm

Follow the link below to read the story behind Casting Crowns "Praise You in the Storm" and then read the lyrics. They told this story on the radio on my way home from work. It probably wasn't a good idea to have a bunch of motorists going 70 mph with their eyes blurred from the tears.

He Gives and Takes Away

I was sure by now,God,
that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You

and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth


I Need to get Jaw Arthritis!

Champion food eater Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi has been diagnosed with "jaw arthritis" threatening his career and making his next title defense uncertain.

Read the whole story here!

Mocha Club

We have started a Journey Church Team at Mocha Club. It is an incredible group of people that do some cool stuff for people in Africa with AIDS and other issues. They have a powerful quote that gripped us:

"This is not a cause, it is an emergency."

It is only $7 a month and that $7 will:

Feed 1 person for a month
Educate 2 children for 1 school term
Save 1 person's life from malaria
Provide clean water for 7 Africans for 1 year

Run don't walk over to Mocha Club and sign up.

Click here to join Journey Church's team!

If you sign up now you can get a copy of 2 Dave Barnes CDs for free as well. Dave Barnes is an incredible musician and our pastor, Adam Mayfield, actually went to high school with him. He was a few years older than him, but his sister Beth and Adam graduated together. He is a cool guy!

There are other opportunities over at Journey's website as well.

Click here for more info!

Prayer Request for Gary Lamb

Read his request here.

Green Care for Troops

The folks over at Project Evergreen have started a wonderfully easy program to help families of military serving overseas. If you have a lawncare service, know someone that does or just have a lawn mower and some time on the weekend click the link below!

Green Care for Troops

A little bit of time will be greatly appreciated!

The Tables are Turned

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

A Face Only a Mother (or owner) Can Love

Do you think this guys proud of his ugliest dog trophy? Read the whole story here.

Highs and Lows from the Blogosphere

Every once in a while I'll post one of these to catch you up on things that caught my eye. It will happen at times like these when I haven't checked my google reader in a while, enjoy!

Safe at Home

About Time!

Good Daddy

It's Gotta Stay in Omaha!

Endorsements in Their Future?

You're Kidding, Right?

Funeral at 1:00pm, Early Bird Special at 12:00pm

I Wish This Was Shocking

Good Advice

Your Fans Should Be So Proud

Great Fishing Trip

Sheri and I had a great day on the water yesterday. We caught trout on the flats, snook in the mangroves and spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper in the channels. I also got broke off on 3 massive grouper. My buddy Tracy caught a sting ray that had at least a 4 foot wing span, it was HUGE! Here's a couple pics:

All told we had 15 snook, 7 spanish mackerel, 2 mangrove snapper, a speckeled trout and one huge sting ray. I will have info on our captain and his boat plus a link at the bottom soon. He's Captain William Wise on the Finnaddict. A sweet 22'6" Pathfinder with a 225 Yamaha VMAX. This boat flies across the water like butter and you can't find a nicer or more knowledgeable captain. Stayed tuned for more info.

Is this Reno 911?

A group collecting signatures on a petition to get a bill before congress to protect the sanctity of marriage met up with a group of officers from the City of Sunrise (FL) police department. The officers confiscated the paperwork and said the group was breaking the law. They then commenced to mock the group and even began immitating kissing each other. I let you read the whole story here.

Horrible news out of Philly

Here's a link to a post on Chris Elrod's blog. News has come in that a fire has destroyed Shane Claiborne's Simple Way Community Center. He and Simple Way should be the prototype for doing away with the world and truly living incarnationally. His book "The Irresistable Revolution" will first break you then convict you get your rears out there and be the Church.

Where was this.... (aka more nerdiness)

...when I needed it? An AT-AT Attack Stroller! Photo was shot at a Star Wars convention. It was hand made by the father.

I gotta see this! SHOPOCALYPSE!!!

The new movie "What Would Jesus Buy?", which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, is an attack on consumerism and a warning that we are headed for the "Shopocalypse"! The question is how do you market an anti-consumerism film. Especially when big guys like Starbucks pulled out of the film festival. Is a movie company going to release this film that cuts on Wal-Mart when Wal-Mart sells a majority of their DVD's? This should get interesting.

What do you mean Iwo Jima?

The Japanese government has changed the name of Iwo Jima to Imo To. Wow, that's clever, now we'll never remember their quest for Pacific domination. Read the whole story by clicking the pic.



Why must people say this?

"In Florida, it can be raining on one side of the street and not the other!"

Doesn't anyone realize how dumb that sounds? Every single rainstorm in history had an "outer edge". They all started and ended somewhere and yes sometimes that might have been right in the middle of a road. Think about it, all storms move. So if a storm is moving to the east doesn't it make sense that it would stop raining on the west side of your street before the east side?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Hello?

More Church Marketing Sucks Poll Results

Now that you've found a church what is going to make you stay? Read the whole story here.


Like I said earlier, our seats on the grassy hill were awesome. We might not have been close, but we were comfortable, and check out the video screen we got to watch! Couldn't get much closer to Neal than that!

I can't figure out why everyone was sitting. They were playing Tom Sawyer!!

It's Huge!!!!

Well, my belly is anyway. Sheri and I will be at it again Friday with Capt. Shannon on the Finnatic hoping for some bigger snook and some bull redfish.

I'll post some pics when I get em!

Not what God meant....

...when he called it the land of milk and honey.

Read about Miss Israel pimpin' her home country!

Lions and Tigers and ....Bobcats?

This morning on the way in I heard an incredible story of bravery, strength and fortitude. An amazing tale of a 62 year old man in Wesley Chapel taking on a Florida panther barehanded, keeping his grip on the animals throat until it was dead and the world was a safer place.

Well, that was almost true. I checked it out when I got to work and everything happened the way the DJ said, except that it was a bobcat, not a panther. Now I'm not saying that it is still not an incredible story. This was a crazed, rabid bobcat. His neighborhood is safer now. Just not as impressive, that's all.

You can read the whole story here.

(In the picture the bobcat looks like my old mittens stretched out taking a nap after I fed him a bluegill from the lake across the street)

Back to Work....

...so I can relax! Another packed weekend is finished. Now it's a short week (every other Friday off) and Sheri and I are going fishing!

Here's how it went:


Home at 4:00. Sheri and I cut the grass, edged, weeded, etc. It's starting to look good with all the rain! With that finished I gave the aquarium a much needed water change. I'm getting a little ticked at our cichlid we named "Goliath". Don't know what type but he's purple with dark black vertical stripes. (If you know saltwter fish he kinda looks like a Sargeant Major). He harrasses all of the other cichlid's (we have 5 more) and he's been tearing up my Pleco's fins. I'm about to use him as bass bait. With everything done we settled down to "Johnny Kapahaala, Back on Board". Turned out to be another great Disney, made for TV movie about "Dirt Boarding".


No stopping now! Made it to the Salvation Army class on Food Preparation in the nick of time. The class is mandatory to volunteer during emergencies as a relief worker supplying food. Boring class but important for us if we're ever needed. Skipped out of their at 12:00 to get the kiddos and fly over to Grandma and Papa Carey's in Clearwater. Great food, kids swam forever, topped off with a brownie sundae! NEXT. Hopped in to the truck to meet Grandma and Papa "D" to drop the kids with them. Sheri and I were on our way to the "RUSH" concert! It's been my Holy Grail ever since I can remember and I've finally seen them live. Incredible show. BTW, never by a reserved seat at the Ford Amphitheater. The lawn section at the back is awesome! Bring a blanket, kick off your shoes, and enjoy! The set list was:

Digital Man
Entre Nous
The Main Monkey Business
The Larger Bowl (with McKenzie Brothers intro)
Secret Touch
Between The Wheels
(-Intermission-/video intro)
Far Cry
Workin' Them Angels
Armor And Sword
The Way The Wind Blows
Natural Science
Witch Hunt
Malignant Narcissism
Drum Solo
Summertime Blues
The Spirit of Radio
Tom Sawyer (with South Park intro)
One Little Victory
A Passage to Bangkok

A 3 hour show minus intermission, which wasn't all that long (the intermission that is). Made it home around midnight, bed soon after and then...............


...up at 5 am to make it to the theater to set up. I was beat but setting up is actually pretty fun and invigorating. Plus, I was about to jam on my kit just hours after seeing Neal Peart live! Service was awesome along with worship. Thanks Joe, Alyssa and Matt. We've got the stage down to a science. +/- 45 minutes tear down! Back home to a nice 3 hour nap (thanks family). Quick dinner, Next Food Network Star, Bed! Whew, we made it...........til next weekend!

Go Fred

Anyone see the irony?

Hit the pic of the "Governator" to read about Arnolds message to spanish immigrants.

Dump Elijah Dukes

The dude needs some major accountability from some of the vets (althought they are hard to find on the Rays roster). To top off all of his off the field problems an eighteen year old has now come forward to say the he is the father of her unborn child. Worse than that, she was 17 that the "event" took place. This will be his 6 child with 5 different women. He's become such a joke that radio station 97X had a condom collection today, gathering donations to give to Elijah.

I think he confused the hitting coach's words when he said "Knock em out, Elijah".

Worship Music

As a worship drummer and lead of our worship ministry I love this line from Perry Noble's post Watch Out-Part Two! when discussing Paul's discussions with Timothy on the importance of how you live your life and doctrine, not the style of ministry. Among Perry's list of things not to fight over is:

"The style of music. (This is NOT a doctrinal issue! If you want to make it one…then SHOW ME a piano or organ in Scripture!!! I can show you cymbals and “stringed instruments,” but not one organ!) "

Life Lessons from TV Dad's


"You're honest and expect others to be. That's a good philosophy, but don't always depend on it."
—Jim Anderson, "Father Knows Best"


"All of you who do not have a job, raise your hands. And while you have your hands up, I want you to look down. Because for guys who aren't working, I'm seeing expensive sneakers."
—Cliff Huxtable


"You're never too old to do goofy stuff."
—Ward Cleaver

Work Ethic

"I want to share something with you: the three sentences that will get you through life. No. 1: 'Cover for me.' No. 2: 'Oh, good idea, boss.' No. 3: 'It was like that when I got here.''"
—Homer J. Simpson


"I ain't got no respect for no religion where the head guy claims he can't make no mistakes. Like he's — whaddya call it — inflammable."
—Archie Bunker


"Those who want respect, give respect."
—Tony Soprano


"If you can't fight 'em and they won't let you join 'em, best get out of the country."
—Pappy Maverick, "Maverick"


"What would be love? Well, Rich, let's just say that one little part of love would be that you think more of what's good for the one you love than for yourself."
—Rob Petrie, "The Dick Van Dyke Show"


"When a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he's getting might actually be fear. So I don't carry a gun because I don't want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I'd rather they respect me."
—Andy Taylor


"If you're going to do something, you've got to give it all you've got."
Mike Brady

Farewell Ruth

We'll see you soon!

One Nation Under GOD

I want to live in America!

Seems some people will still do anything to live in this awesome country of ours!

Kick the balls around (well click them) to read the stories...


Have some spare time this weekend? Check out bands such as Wilco, The Police, Tool, The White Stripes, Ziggy Marley, Mute Math, Cold War Kids and String Cheese Incident on a live webcast from the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Hit the link below for more info!

Our First Love

In his blog, Recovering Our Primary Love, Alan Hirsch describes what he feels Jesus meant when saying to the church of Ephesus, "...you have left your first love." Below are what I think are 3 great examples of leaving, then returning to our first love.


Ezekiel was a prophet given special revelation in amazing visions during his exile. He was raised up by God in the final
days of Jerusalem to warn those who too had been exiled to Babylonia of what was to come in their homeland, and why.
He warned them that they too would be open to similar judgment if they did not turn from their sin and rebellion against
God. He describes the Isrelites as "rebellious" and "prostitutes". They had become comfortable in Babylon, actively becoming part of society and taking on the customs of their captors.

In contrast he also declared a future of hope for the Israelites after the fall of Jerusalem. Foreign nations who had come against them would also come under God’s judgment.

Finally God would raise up a Davidic king and establish him and His people in an everlasting kingdom and that God has established His everlasting heavenly temple on a mountain in Israel so that His people may safely return knowing that God is there. They would eventually come back to their first love.


Hosea's ministry to Israel (the Northern Kingdom) runs in parallel to his family life which God used as a lesson for the people. In the first section, Hosea married a prostitute according to God's instruction. His wife Gomer forsook him and committed adultery with many lovers. Hosea continued to love her and eventually bought her back out of slavery. His experiences with Gomer illustrated God's relationship with Israel. Gomer returned to her first love.

The marriage theme is continued in the section section. God loves Israel as a man loves his wife, but like Gomer, Israel did not return this love. For this God allows his "wife" to be taken from him by the Assyrians and the nation was destroyed. God would restore their land and some, like Gomer, would return to their first love.

The Prodigal Son

In the parable a man had two sons. The younger of the two asked for his portion and went into the world and "..squandered his wealth in wild living..." He quickly learned that this world had nothing for him. All the riches couldn't bring him peace. He sought to return to his father in repentance, hoping only that he could be brought in as a hired man. As we know his father was waiting with open arms to the dismay of the elder brother. The dad's reply should be on our hearts daily, "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' " The prodigal son had returned to his first love.

The central theme is that God (or the dad, husband, etc.) is waiting for the lost one to return, having repented and searching for their first love.

Have we truly returned to our first love. As Alan states, this doesn't mean something earthly as in a childhood crush. By first, Jesus meant PRIMARY love. A love so strong as to make our temporal relationships pale in comparison. If we have this unconditional, "Agape", love in our hearts our light will shine in the darkness.

C.S. Lewis

Awesome stuff here pulled from an article on relevantmagazine.com

In C.S Lewis’ The Problem of Pain, he points out that by our very nature as humans we crave security and happiness. God scatters moments of joy and pleasure throughout our lives, yet in His wisdom, refrains from allowing it to flow fully. If He were to allow a full sense of security and peace here on earth, we would set our hearts here and would oppose returning to Him. He sums up his thoughts by saying, “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home”.

It's a perfect answer to the blog I posted a while back on MySpace and later reposted here called "Call Me Boj". Much thanks to Todd Fisher for the article.

You can read the complete article here.

Perry Noble

Just read an awesome quote from Perry's latest blog,

"...Every night I have sat in the back of the room we are in and watched these teens worship…their passion for Jesus is REAL…and it is contagious. I can’t wait to see our church on Sunday as these teens literally lead us in worship! (Most of them attend the 11:15 service.)

I had this thought…if you combined the passion of these teens with the wisdom of the generation ahead of them…you would have a force that is unstopable–there would be NOTHING on planet earth that could hold it back…the way that force could advance God’s kingdom would be incredible…".

You can read the entire blog by following the link on the left.

Sheri and I get hit deep when we see the next generation living out loud for Jesus. That's one reason we invest so much time with our own youth at Journey. Another great example of melding young enthusiasm with our wisdom can be seen in the teen group C.O.R.E. at Church of the Highlands in Lakeland, FL. I can't wait for a group like this at Journey. We have as much to learn from them as we have to teach them.

Church Marketing Sucks Poll

In a follow up to their last poll What Would Make You Leave Your Church the folks over at Church Marketing Sucks have released the results to their Church Seeking Poll. Check out the poll results!

The Love Bomb

The Air Force on Tuesday confirmed a report that in 1994 a military researcher requested $7.5 million to develop a non-lethal "Love Bomb" that would chemically alter the state of mind of enemy troops and make them want to have sex with each other.

Are we sure this wasn't a plot by Ludwig von Siegfried, leader of KAOS?

Or possible a sinister plot by Dr. Evil to sap Austin Powers of his mojo?

Had to move!

Switched over to the new Blogger and lost all my formatting. Took it as an opportunity to redo my blog. Got it more in line with Journey's website so it's a good thing. Hope you like it!

OK Honey, We're Here.........

You can't make this stuff up!

Boater Knocked Unconscious by Leaping Sturgeon

ROCK BLUFF, FL - Tara Spears, 32, was knocked unconscious by a sturgeon on Sunday while boating on the Suwanee River, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported.

Woman Named Butts Charged With Toilet Paper Theft

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from an Iowa courthouse, and while they are chuckling, the theft charge could land her in jail.

Click both pics for full stories.............

Countryside High

Anybody in the blogosphere waiting for the Class of 88 reunion? Get in touch. How are things going? What's new?

..uh..What's the deal with the new logo?..

This Summers Forecast

Partly Cloudy, High's in the Low 90's, 30% chance of thunderstorms as you drive home from work, Have a nice summer.

Run, Rudy, Run

Cool Deal for Mute Math

Awesome news for Mute Math and their fans. They've done the theme song for "Transformers"! Read about it here.

Give us your opinions..........

There could be the stirrings of a good debate over at
Trailmarkers. Check it out and join the debate!

NDD - Nature Deficit Disorder

I love that term! Heard it on Albert Mohler's show and just read the story here. Basically kids have become moles. I'm surprised more children aren't being born blind like a lot of cave dwelling animals. They're obese, out of shape and are scared of nature.

Another possible consequence is the amount of kids dying during physical exercise. I read a study a while back that stated that by staying indoors a majority of the time childrens sweat glands aren't developing fully and their bodies can't regulate their temperature. As if we need another reason to kick them outside!

Thankfully I've been blessed with a neighborhood of kids that love to play outside and enough parents that keep an eye on what's going on.

We hit a big milestone in Jeffery's life the other day. He got to pick up and "squoosh" some earthworms after a rainstorm. AWESOME!

Pandering at it's worst!

Well, you can mark Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards off my list. (John wasn't ever really on it). Have you heard their latest garbled sound bites? They have both made the same statements about moral convictions. Basically that they have no weight when making political decisions. WHAT?

Here's a Rudy comment:

"And my view on abortion is that it's wrong, but that ultimately government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman," Rudy said. "That is my view that I — I consult my religion. I consult my reading of the Constitution. I consult my views of what I think are important in a pluralistic society."
HUH? This came after John Edwards made similar comments of not imposing his morals on the country.

This isn't a discussion about abortion though. It's about having some integrity. Here's another quote about separating morals and politics. In debating the Missouri Compromise, Sen. Stephen Douglas said of slavery:

"I am now speaking of rights under the Constitution and not of moral or religious rights. I do not discuss the morals of the people of Missouri, but let them settle that matter for themselves."

Would anyone agree with that crap today? Than why let these two pluralize morals? Without any moral background there can be no right and wrong. In anything! It would all just come down to personal choice. For example:

I don't like the color pink, but it's okay if you do.

I don't like to eat fish, but it's okay if you do.

I think people should work for a living, but if you don't and feel you must break into my house and kill me and my family and take all my money, hey no problem, it's your choice.

I don't have a "thing" for little boys, but what ever floats your boat. Don't allow me to force my morals upon you.

Think the last two were a little extreme? Why? If our leaders didn't listen to there moral convictions when charting the choice for our country first of all we wouldn't have freedom of religion, the right to vote, slaves would never have been freed, Hitler would have ruled all of Europe and there would be a lot less Jewish people around, etc, etc, etc.

Come on, do they think we are stupid? What about integrity, standing by your beliefs?

Looks like the best choice for the Democrats turns out to be Rudy!

Why people leave.....

The folks over at Church Marketing Sucks ran an interesting opinion poll. They asked people what reason would make them leave a church. I'm glad to see the majority didn't do it out of personal conflicts and the two highest percentages are good, if not the only, reasons. There are some cases where a person might be led to stay at a church losing it's biblical foundations and this is definitely part of our Apostolic mission. Stopping false doctrine is of major importance as is preventing Sunday mornings from turning into country clubs.

Of course the best reason is to plant a new church!!!!

Read the story!

Things that make you go hmmmm.....

"There's no surer indicator of a corrupted, wicked and abandoned society under God's wrath than when that society does not tolerate anger against sin." - Rev. John MacArthur

Like I need an example......

....to help prove Dr. MacArthur's point here's a recent news article out of Boulder, CO about a MANDATORY forum on world affairs held at a local high school in conjunction with the University of Colorado. This particular forum was entitled "STD's: Sex, Teens and Drugs".

This is what I have to deal with as a parent of three! When I was in school these things happened but we all new it was wrong. Now, you're not only saying it's not wrong, but encouraging kids to try it all, saying that it's only natural? Becoming a missionary in the back country of China is sounding better everyday.

If the article wasn't enough to get you motivated to do something about the moral decline of this country, check out the entire transcripts here.

Have we been abandoned?

Rev. John MacArthur makes some pretty bold statements in this audio from his Memorial Day sermon. I heard it this morning on 910am. Pretty strong but you can't help but agree with some of the parallels he relates with the early Israelites. He raises topics such as; Is modern-day America, which has forsaken godly principles in favor of rampant immorality, in danger of similar judgement? Will God abandon our nation as He did with Israel?

Listen Here!


It's good to laugh at yourself.....

The following is a transcript of my adventure on the way to work one day as related through email to my loving wife........not for the faint hearted.

There I was getting ready for the shower this morning, when I made the fateful decision that would change my morning commute. I figured I would wait until work to use the restroom and continued my morning ritual, sleeping late and getting ready as fast as possible. I was just passing the Airport Road exit when that early morning trip to the water closet would come back to haunt me. It started out as a small rumble from deep in my gut and was slowly building up a head of steam. I knew for sure I wouldn't make to work, but how far? I decided to stop at the Shell station at County Line Road. Pain filled my stomach and fear started to rise. As I neared and thought I was in the clear a big honkin semi pulled in front of me and cost me precious seconds. Upon entering the station, dodging a Rooms-to-Go truck and pulling into the spot sideways, I moved the best I could in through the inviting automatic doors. There it was the light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the rainbow, the men's room. A chorus of angels celebrated my victory. Then, the screeching of a needle on a record that is stopped abruptly. Little miss Latino cleaning lady had the bathroom closed. Could it be that I had come this far for naught? After what was probably some pretty comical pacing back and forth I made a decision. I was going in. I burst through the door and ran into the stall. A surprised voice said in broken English, "You no come in, someone here"! Using my skills of persuasion I immediately fired back a clever response, "Sorry". Once landing on the seat after a quick undress I got my final slap in the face. It seems she had already started with this stall and I found myself bathing in a fresh puddle of sudsy water. To say the least it was quite shocking. Some elaborate drying off and a couple of flushes later I exited with another apology and a good bye to Senorita Bathroom Cleaner. The remainder of the trip being uneventful I am now finally seated at work writing you about my epic journey, feeling like the brave Odysseus returning home after many travails on the sea.

I'm so Selfish

Have you ever had one of those days? Me too. The problem is I have them all the time. It hits me when I'm sitting in my gopher hole at work, "WHY AM I HERE?" Then I watch the news, see what's happening to this planet and shudder when I think about my kids growing up here in this world. About now the little voice in my head that I thought I could trust starts yelling, "WHY ARE WE STILL HERE! JESUS COME BACK, PLEASE. IF YOU DON'T HURRY UP THERE WON'T BE ANYONE WORTH SAVING!"

I don't know when the realization started to hit me but that was no angel in my head. I let the trash fill my head and while God was nowhere to be found Satan snuck in the back door. His battle is already lost, he would love it for Jesus to return and sweep all of us (self)righteous people up with him and leave the unsaved for him. To paraphrase that voice in the attic, I was basically saying, "SEE Y'ALL LATER, YOU CAN JUST GO TO HELL" Now do you understand the selfish angle? Some of those people I'm kissin off are, to name a few, my parents, my sister and her family, who knows how many other relatives, friends, co-workers and probably a lot of friends at church. If the "rapture" would have occurred a mere 4 1/2 years ago that list would also have included me and my son Jeffery never would have been born.

For years, the old me I'll call "Saul", would agree with those who'd say that religion was a crutch, a way to get problems of your back, or an easy way out for weak people. The new me, "Paul", now knows how ridiculous that school of thought really is. I have a house prepared for me in Heaven, just waiting on His call, but am still under the covenant paid for with His blood. My part of the deal is to spread the news of His sacrifice for our salvation and His wonderous love for a non-deserving, deceitful, hypocritical, still sinning, SELFISH loser like me.

Does this look like the job description for a sissy Christian boy.........

I have to learn to be excited and let the joy shine out of me at all times, even when I want to lock it inside me.

I have to learn to humble myself and weep for the lost.

I have to learn to be strong for my family in the face of this world, no matter how ugly it might get in the future.

I have to learn to be brave and be willing to be chastised as one of this countries newest minorities, "THE OUTSPOKEN CHRISTIAN".

I have to learn to be trusting, knowing my Father's words will be there for me when sharing my story with others.

I have to learn how to be wise and be able to discern my thoughts, dreams and circumstances to find His small voice in the cacophony.

I have to learn how to be faithful and not put any of these false idols we have created above the Lord, my God and pray for the will power to do this.

I have to learn to be sharing and let others feel the relief of their sins lifted off their shoulders.

I have to learn to be giving and share my blessings with those around me in need.

I need to learn to persevere. This world can be changed. It got to where it is now because the loudest voices won and Christians like me said, "TO HELL WITH THIS WORLD, I'M SAVED, SCREW EVERYONE ELSE." Enough of the "silent majority". If we don't speak up it doesn't matter how big our numbers are, we had better start running and don't look back if you don't like the taste of salt.

Above all I need to learn to be a MAN of God!

That's all for now from this whining, grumpy and selfish no matter how incredibly blessed he is gopher. I'll be in my hole if anyone needs me.

Call me Boj

Something occurred to me while reading Job (great story, read it).My revelation wasn't at all that I had anything in common with Job, just the opposite. I guess you could call me Boj.

As you've read before I haven't been that thrilled with work lately, well ever. It's a good thing Sheri doesn't mind moving because I'll get into a funk and the next thing you know I'm looking for work and we're moving. If you didn't know, I've had three jobs since living in Lakeland and we just moved here in 2004! It has to be better at the next place, right? Wrong. The problem is me, constantly searching for that something to put me over the top, new job, new car, new hobbies, new cymbals.

Back to the Boj thing. It seems Satan's method of attack for me is not to take anything from me, but give everything to me. I picture him standing there, swinging his tail in his hand saying, "Yo, Yahweh, I got a plan for that Chris Carey of yours down there. Let me borrow him and I know I can make him happy without you." God, running his fingers through his long white beard, thinks, "..hmmm, he doesn't want to hurt him necessarily, it could do him some good and he could possible write a blog about his experience 35 years from now...." So they spit on their hands and shook or possible bet a dollar on it like the Duke brothers in Trading Places.

So on May 1, 1971 a baby boy is born in Riverside, New Jersey to two wonderful parents and they do there best raising him to be a fine young man. Along the way a sister is born and they loaded up the truck and moved to Clearwater, FL in '75. Mommy sees some intelligence in her little lad and has him tested. Lo and behold, he can skip kindergarten and shoots right into 1st. Great grades, spelling bees, chess (yes he's a nerd), and finally baseball gets his attention. He's a natural! Starting pitcher, clean-up hitter, All-Stars, the works. As he moves into middle school football comes along, quarterback naturally, and girlfriends all the while a little blackness is growing in him. Slacking some, hanging with the wrong crowd and worst of all, the evil combination of break dancing and parachute pants. He even talked his mom into cutting his hair into a little tail in the back, and who's this? Meet Mr. Marlboro Man. So he windmill's his way into High School. Football? Nah, he'll stay in the youth leagues for a while, it's easier, can't work hard at anything, right? How happy can that make you? Plus the cheerleaders like him and the High School girls are all older than him. Now it's the big day, baseball tryouts! Chris makes the team as a freshman, surprise surprise, and by his sophomore year he's starting at second base. Smallish and built for speed he hits lead-off and is a terror on the bases. This is awesome! Plus the older kids on the team always know where a party is, can buy beer, and do this awful tasting stuff that makes you look so cool spitting everywhere, COPENHAGEN! Sign him up! Timeout, message from the dark side. Baseball's getting boring, been there done that, he wants more. Let's party. Him and his crew are everywhere that's anywhere with their partner Buddy Weiser. So much so that his future wife might say, "He can't tell a high school story without mentioning beer". Now baseball's on the back burner and he's having a blast with all the parties (he's pretty sure) so let's railroad his education! Perfect plan, who needs all that learning stuff, it's not very fun and it's not making him happy. One way or another he graduates with good enough grades that he's still accepted to UF and has a scholarship offer to Georgia Southern for baseball. Baseball? He's already skipped the senior all-star game and quit the American Legion team. Besides baseball in college means no party all the time, party all the time, party all the time (thank you Eddie). Let's register at UF, wait, doesn't know if he could coast through that, better try St. Pete Junior College. He can upgrade to the U later. After an enlightening 2 weeks he drops out of college and bounces from job to job until he gets on at Badger Engineering. See, he knew all that education was a waste; he has an awesome job, moves up through the ranks and makes great money. Just one problem, it's WORK. He doesn't like work, that's not fun, no makey happy. Luckily he hasn't lost contact with Mr. Weiser. He falls into a routing of work, bar, sleep; sometimes with the work omitted. Laid off, what do you mean laid off? So the wheel of jobs starts rolling and it's a downhill path. One short term relationship after another, he always finds something wrong with them. Can you believe the size of the pores on that girls face? In one last ditch effort to make Chris happy Satan allows a little sunshine into his life in the form of a sweet young girl named Sheri. "Heck", sneers Satan, "He'll probably corrupt her and I'll get a twofer". After a whirlwind romance and some not so smooth lines on Chris' part the two are married. Ahhh, sweet bliss. New houses, cars, vacations and two beautiful little girls. "What do you mean he's not content", screams Lucifer? "Um, excuse me", says Mr. Narrator, "Can I finish my story?" Anyhow, it's all the same blah, blah, job, blah, blah, be doing it forever, blah, blah, what's the point, blah, blah, there's got to be a purpose to all this, blah, blah, beer, blah, blah. The end.

Well not really, I found out it was only the beginning. As God collected his bet from the Prince of Darkness, who was really ticked that God would sneak a Christian into my life, he reached a hand out to our family. Sheri began taking the kids to Church and asked if I wanted to go. "Yeah right!" Well I finally attended service at Journey Fellowship in Orlando and it was good timing because it seemed the Pastor had written every word just for me. I wanted what he had! Through that entire contest called my life God was secretly steering the whole shebang to that moment. It took a long time to realize true happiness wasn't to be found in this world. I was saved in July of 2002.

Everyone has a story something like this with Satan's dealings a little different than others. Whether it's the poor inner city child with serious skizzles on the court who blows the millions on drugs, or the CEO with all the money in the world who blows the millions on greed. It could be the down on her luck single mom who turns to prostitution and in turn loses the one thing she thought she was fighting for, her child. Or, it could be joe average white guy with everthing in the world going for him that drives away his family with his complaining and sefishness. This world will eventually let everyone down if you let it. Satan's trying his damnedest!

I'd like to say it's been all milk and honey since that wonderful day in '02. Not that it's been bad in any way. It has been awesome from family, to work, to houses, church and a handsome little boy. All of it, but he's still there shooting his arrows at me not fully allowing me to revel in my salvation. I want it badly. Maybe I should read Ephesians again. You know, the old Armor of God stuff. Lately Sheri's been telling me to live everyday like we're already in Heaven and shut up and be thankful and HAPPY! I tell her she sounds like a broken Belinda Carlisle album. (For you youngsters she's the ex-lead singer of the Go-Go's, you know the tune "...we'll make heaven a place on earth..."

Maybe she's right.

Maybe I can be happy.

Bring it on Down

I recently finished reading a book by Rob Bell titled "Velvet Jesus". It's and excellent portrayal of his views on the future of the Church and I felt he was speaking of the Bible as a living document that evolves with us and stays as relevant as the day it was written. But that has nothing to do with this blog……….

He said something that really got me thinking. It was along the lines of Sheri's opinion of living as if we're already in heaven. The second we receive Jesus into out heart we also receive the free gift of salvation. Our old self is dead and immediately our everlasting life begins! We are, if not in Heaven, let us say Heaven's foyer. All the things of this world are also dead to us. Worrying about the temporal should be utterly ridiculous compared to the future we have in the eternal. That being said everything we do, say or think, how we react to adversity and who we point the glory to should be bringing down a piece of Heaven to everyone we come in contact with.

On the other hand, if the above is true, than so is the opposite. The lost are sitting in Hell's waiting room reading 10 year old Reader's Digest's with nothing to look forward to in life except for an eternal prostate exam in the next room (sorry about that mental image, just keeping in step with the waiting room theme). Hell is a state of being forever separated from our loving Father. People without Christ are temporarily separated but still have the chance to open their hearts to Him.

We, as God's children, have an enormous responsibility. The super rich man hording his money while children are starving, the Church that quietly forces out people that don't fit there image, the evangelist using his platform for gain and famous preachers claiming God's vengeance against a certain group of "sinners" in the form of hurricanes are all guilty. Not only are they giving Christianity a bad name, they are also bringing up a piece of Hell for non-believers who look at us as hypocrites and are forced farther from the Truth. I'm far from innocent. Every second I spend hiding in my house, windows closed and air on, is time I could be meeting neighbors and helping out where ever I might be needed. Bring Down Heaven! It may seem noble to give to needy organizations or adopt a child from afar by sending some cash once a month but those are still things of our own choosing. Not that they're in any way bad, just still in a small way thinking of self. It makes us feel good. Now neighbors on the other hand, whew, if you're blessed with good ones, congratulations. These people have been plopped down next to you with no consultation from you. But they are there for a reason. We may not like them on a personal level but human emotions are one of those temporal things that we need to ignore. God loves them, so should we. Jesus weeps for them, so should we.

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

So, some of you may be thinking to yourself, I myself am one, why is there so much discord between the various divisions within the Protestant Church? So many different theories, paths, teaching methods, doctrines? Well, we're not alone. This all started back in the early 1st Century. Come with me, won't you....................

In its earliest stages Christianity was a non-entity. The apostles believed Jesus was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and a finalizing of Judaism, not a separate religious movement. The term Christian wouldn't be coined until years later with Paul's missionary trip among the Gentiles in Antioch, the home of the first Christian Church.

There were three different factions in the first century Church. They all believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but from that point their philosophies went there own direction. One sect believed they could usher in the Second Coming by practicing strict adherence to the Torah. (Hey everyone, it's the first Fundamentalists) Jesus' brother, James, led this ultra-orthodox group. Some scholars believe he was a Pharisee while others contend he was the High Priest in the period recorded in Acts. James is also considered by some as the first "Bishop" of the Jerusalem Church. The verse James believed verified his position, which in actuality was Nazirite in practice, is "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17) In saying this Jesus was using phrases familiar to the Jews. To fulfill the law, and not abolish it, meant that he agreed with it. Jesus went on to say "...not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place." (Matthew 5:19,20) He also veered from the Pauline doctrine adopted by Martin Luther and thus the entire Protestant movement when he said, "Even so faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself." (James 2:17)

The next group was led by Peter, traditionally held by the Catholic Church as the first Pope, the "Rock" that the Church will be built upon (Matthew 16:18). His vision in acts, (Acts 10:9-16), eventually led him to bring the Gospel to the God-Fearing Gentiles and the Diaspora (Jews living outside of Jerusalem). The term God-Fearing Gentiles is an important distinction, meaning those that were proselytes, obeying the Torah, especially the importance of circumcision.

Now Paul was the renegade according to the rest, say the first Mark Driscoll at the original Mars Hill. This same Super Pharisee, persecutor of the Christians and witness to the murder of Stephen that was saved on the road to Damascus was going to reach the gentiles. This mission sprung from his own vision (Acts 9:19). Not only was he ministering to the non-Jewish, idol worshippers of Asia Minor, Greece and Rome, his message taught that following the Torah wasn't a prerequisite for Salvation nor were good deeds and living piously. (Ephesians 2:4-9). As you may see this caused mucho problemos with the Jerusalem Church.

This tension was the precursor to the First Apostolic Council in which the leaders of the church issued a proclamation concerning future mission trips to the world, agreeing that the new followers were not required to be circumcised but still must refrain from idol worship and eating non-kosher foods.

"Oy vay", what an uproar this caused. Up until this time the Jerusalem Church was enjoying freedom in their new beliefs. After all, their leader, James, was a Nazarene and followed the Torah to the letter, but once the decree from the Council was issued, the non-Christian Jews started taking exception to this new faith. This was probably the beginning of the end for them having any inklings of proclaiming Jesus as their Messiah. "Their" Messiah would not condone such a departure from all they knew. Another consequence at this time was the eventual martyrdom of James by stoning and the taking away of Paul to "protective custody" in Rome where he eventually died. James, interestingly enough, was put to death by the High Priest Ananias, cousin to the High Priest Caiphas who found Jesus guilty and sent him to His death. Furthering this divide between Jew and Gentile was the destruction of Solomon's Temple in A.D. 70 and the exile of all Jewish citizens from Jerusalem. A struggling religion was scattered.

With the Church firmly in the hands of the Gentiles and the remaining Jewish Christians relegated to practical obscurity, the rise of the Catholic Church had begun. One of the first items they decided (hopefully with the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit) was what would be considered canonical and what was heresy. A core belief of the Catholic Church is the perpetual virginity of Mary. For this reason Peter was elevated as their first Pope and the supposition that Mary had siblings to Jesus, let alone that one was the head of the early church, were suppressed. Thus the Pauline doctrine took precedence and James' take on salvation (faith without works is dead) was sent to the back of the NT as a minor epistle (Martin Luther was even said to have wished it wasn't included at all).

So what happened? I believe that just as Paul put a local spin on his teachings, like naming the unnamed God on Mars Hill the true God, Jesus' post resurrection conversations with, and appearances to, James, Peter and Paul were His way of spreading His message to the world in a such a way that would be understood by whatever audience was being reached. How was His message so thoroughly confused? The Jewish citizens at large denied that "their" Messiah would allow the Torah to be defiled and let "the uncircumcised" become children of Israel. James, though seemingly tolerant of Paul's method and terms of spreading the Gospel, was thoroughly Jewish first, and because of that, was probably defensive about "sharing" the Messiah with the Gentiles. Peter almost waffles along; agreeing with whatever James says.

Paul alone seems to get the drift of what Jesus' message was all about. All the nations would come to the temple, but not by becoming Jewish or obeisance of the Torah, but by faith in Jesus and his atoning death. Not the temple of their time but the true temple in the New Jerusalem. Not with circumcision, but with baptism by the Holy Spirit.

..........................okay, back to the future. You can see there has always been disagreements, even among the apostles. We need to agree to disagree. Of course there are certain core beliefs that should define a true bible believing Christian Church but beyond that it's all just window dressing, meant to attract the most moths (us) to the fire (the redemption of sin and baptism by Holy Spirit) by truly becoming one with the community and showing them that life In Christ is for the here and now as much as for eternity. We're not doing anything new. The message has been the same since before time began. Jesus was and still is the Senior Pastor of the Eternal Christian Church, truly relevant and truly ahead of its time.

Presidential Election

We are not of this world.

This world has nothing for us.

All things of this world have passed.

Sound familiar? I'm sure you've heard it all before.

Before anyone gets all out of shape, I'm not here to discount any of these truths. I'm just trying to figure out where we as 21st century Christians stand, particularly when it comes to the upcoming elections. I've always been what would be considered a Republican, even before I knew it myself. In my thinking, just looking at the leaders the Democratic Party has been putting forward was reason enough, besides the fact that I saw left wing liberal platforms as eroding the moral culture of this country. These feelings intensified with the birth of my two daughters.

Here's the problem. The more mature I become as a Christian, the more I feel the GOP isn't representing me properly. From the businessmen to the Christian Right. Now all you "donkeys" out there, don't get excited, I'm not switching over. For the mean time I'll be voting for the party that in my opinion has the most important of my Christian values at heart, the moral foundation of this country.

That being said, the GOP is failing in some areas that the Dem's are pulling for, at least in theory. There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism, but when it leads to greed and the idolatry of materialism, a vitalizing concept that built this country is bastardized. Ayn Rand got it partly correct in Atlas Shrugged. No one should be held back and made to use their talents to shoulder the load of the rest, but being an atheist her opinion is based on ego and the worship of self. This has spread like a cancer throughout industry and made everyone that supports big business into an evil imperialist in the eyes of the "left". Remember what Paul says, it's not money but the love of money that is the root of all evil. The hoarding of wealth at the expense of the whole is killing not only this country but the world. The middle class is dying, the rest of the world hates us and we continue exploiting the third world to increase our gain, or at least the gain of billionaire CEO's increasing their shares while cutting back benefits and wages to the workers. Still, like Pastor Adam put it so bluntly, the number one selling books year after year on Christian best-seller lists are all about how we can become even more blessed.

The list goes on, as stewards of God's creation, we have to start doing a better job taking care of our planet. Only He knows when He's coming back to do away with this world as we know it so we gotta make sure it's going to last. Not saying I have the answers, just saying, that's all.

Now on to the other guys. They definitely have a more aggressive stance when the environment is concerned. I just think it's a little "inconvenient" that they use scare tactics and a lot of real pretty graphics and theoretical futures to harness voters. Plus the "radical" environmentalists also put a bad taste in everyone's collective mouth just as a lot of ideals that come from the far ends of the political pendulum.

Yes, they also seem to be the party of "the working man" on the surface, if you believe the Kennedy's, Gore's, Kerry's, and (Jew, black, New Yorker, mid-western, southerner) Rodham-Clinton's are your average blue collar Joe's. Oh, don't forget the Sharpton's and Jackson's who when putting on a big show of building up are actually continuing stereotypes and holding "their" people back. It is our duty as humans let alone Christians to help our fellow man, starting with our neighbors but not to support them indefinitely. Our welfare system has created generation after generation of people dependent on the government with no hope, wait, no desire to do anything different. How does that help anyone? It's funny that the "rights" that illegal immigrants are fighting for are the same "rights" that have done the damage listed above.

This space was reserved for my thoughts on the morality of the Democratic party but my Mac doesn't have the memory.

It's real easy to bash big business and George Bush along with the rest of the Evil Empire. But this is coming from a country grown dependent on paychecks from these mean old businessmen. Like it or not, our country's fate hinges on what happens on that trading floor on Wall Street. To top it off, one leader who is giving back, Bill Gates, is constantly getting involved in litigation simply because he had a product people wanted. If we're not careful, ole' Billy might just pull a John Galt, disappearing along with his operating system. (Read Atlas Shrugged if you didn't understand the preceding comment.)

We are not of this world.

This world has nothing for us.

All things of this world have passed.

What I've realized is that there will never be a political party good enough to truly represent us. Politics is an earthly invention, composed of imperfect people, all given to sin and the failings of the flesh. It is probable a necessary evil to keep some semblance of civility unless we all gave up everything and lived in a world-wide commune. As we have it, we need to live within the laws of the land and above them at the same time. It's the old "Give unto Caesar" parable come to life and obey those in leadership positions for theirs is the authority of God.

I'm not saying not to vote, whatever party you are affiliated with. That is not part of His plan. Pray for wisdom when seeking a candidate, pray for wisdom in our leaders but above all pray for His will to be done.

…..by the way, there ain't no way in ---- I'm voting for H.R. Clinton.


It seems the Democrats have their own version of Potatoe now.

Check it out............here.

New Coach for UF?

Just read the story.......here!

I hear you Brother!

Quote from Perry Noble's blog at perrynoble.com:

"The temptation to get into a blog fight was very real yesterday…some dude e-mail me (anonymously) and misquoted Scripture in an attempt to attack NewSpring. However, I was reminded that the enemy is NOT a blogger or an e-mailer…the true enemy is satan…Paul reminds us of this in Ephesians 6:12.
THAT is the reason I do not get involved in e-mail wars and blog debates anymore. I am sick and tired of Christians standing around seeing who can pee the furtherest…hell is a real place…I really don’t want people to go there…and my focus is going to be on seeing people come to Christ and NOT Christians who seem to think they already have it figured out anyway."

Enough said!

Prayer request....

Bumped to the top to keep it fresh......

From Caitlyn,

Please pray for my teacher that GOD'S plan with her adopted girl will happen quickly. She is waiting for the date to fly to Vietnam to get her new little girl. Her and her daughter, whom she adopted from Cambodia, can't wait to meet their new family member. Pray that God is with them on their journey. Thank You

Say it Ain't So Joe......er.....Billy

I guess I'll join the despondent ranks of Gator fans wishing Billy good luck. I was ticked off at first, then sad, but really think this is the best for Billy's family. I'm sick of hearing it was for the money. Yes, the contract is doubled, but don't you think you could survive with 14 mil over 5 years instead of 27.5? I think it came down to the fact that recruiting was killing him and he really had no off season. He should now be able to spend more time with his family which is what it is all about.

Thanks Billy