Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recent Economic History

I will be the first to tell anybody that Economics is not my strength.  I took an Economics class in college and was confused by many of the charts, theories and ideas. 

So when I found this video, I was impressed.  It makes recent economic history easy to understand through the use of technology and innovative teaching. 

It was too good not to share (I stole it from Scot McKnight's blog, one  I highly recommend, in fact, the link is on the left side of this blog):

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Christmas Anticipation

Like most people, I have pre-Christmas anticipation.  I find myself excited about watching the children open their presents and if I'm honest, I also get excited about opening my own presents as well. 

However, I get to experience post-Christmas anticipation as well.  There are several  reasons why:

First,my second daughter's birthday is on the 28th. 

Second, my birthday is on the 31st.

Third, it has become a tradition to celebrate Christmas at my parents house with all the brothers and sisters and nephews and niece's during New Year's eve and day.

Fourth and finally, we have other family to celebrate Christmas with well into the New Year.

I look forwad to giving and receiving presents for upcoming Birthdays and Christmas's. 

Afterall, just becuase the 25th has come and gone it does not mean that Christmas should end. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Other Miracle

We celebrate the miracle of Jesus' conception to a virgin this time of year and we should.  However, I think there's another miracle we should celebrate at Christmas that we may not think about.  

In his letter to the Colossians Paul wrote in 1:15-17 that everything was created by Jesus (and for Jesus).  If its true that Jesus participated in the creation of the earth, then Jesus is eternal and pre-existent just like God the Father and God the Spirit.

Therefore, for Jesus to come to earth as one of us, he had to leave the beauty, wonder and paradise of heaven behind.  He left what was safe, familiar and comfortable to walk among us and use the bathroom like us and feel pain like us and be born just like we are born.

I think it is just as much of a miracle that Jesus chose to leave heaven to be among us as it is that he was conceived in the womb of a virgin.  He did it because He loves us.  He did it to bring healing and rescue to a world and a people desperately in need of it.

So this Christmas, remember both miracles of the birth of our savior.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I'm blessed to have the friends I have.

Let me explain.

I'm finishing up the ordination process in the United Methodist Church.  As part of the process, each candidate has to submit work to the Board of Ordained Ministry.

Part of that work is to film a Bible study to submit.

I knew I would be extremely nervous doing this Bible study.  And I knew that one way to address that nervousness is by doing a Bible study with friends. 

So I e-mailed a friend of mine about doing it at his house in Charlotte.  He said yes and took the initiative to send an e-mail out to a very select group of friends.

The Bible study took place last night and they all showed up!  Even as busy as the Christmas season is, they took the time to support me and be a part of the ordination process.

I felt loved, blessed and supported.

So I wanted to publicly say a huge THANK YOU to each of you that came out for the Bible study.  Your time and support was a wonderful Christmas present.

And I think there is nothing more appropriate for my 200th post than to recognize the importance of friendships in our lives. 

I hope each of my readers are as blessed as I am with amazing friends.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The title and the picture is the number of posts I have made on this blog.

It reminds me of Christmas.

The anticipation of getting to 200 is like the anticipation of getting to Christmas day.

Okay, so Christmas day will be WAY better than post 200!

I think Christmas might be the except to the general rule that the anticipation of an event is often better than the event itself.

The anticipation is exciting and gives us something to look forward too and creates a hope and a purpose.

Then the event happens and it's over.  And all of a sudden all that excitements and hope and looking forward is lost.

What makes Christmas day different, is that in Christ's birth the Kingdom of God was ushered in on earth.  The kingdom of God on earth has begun.  Which means we have a ton of hope, purpose and joy now and we have a ton of hope, purpose and joy for our futures.

So we have both something to participate in now and something to look forward to in the future.

It's the best of both the anticipation of the event and the event itself.

It's a beautiful belief and it all started with the birth of Christ.

So in the midst of the busy-ness of the Christmas season, may we remember that we are part of the Kingdom of God now and for eternity, all because God had a birthday on earth.

Friday, December 10, 2010


For many of us, the Christmas season means invitations to various parties, events and church functions.

The invites are great, they make you feel wanted and loved.

However, sometimes they can get a bit overwhelming.

It's easy to say "yes" and hard to say "no."  And too many "yes's" can lead to resentment while participating in the event you are supposed to enjoy.

I feel a bit overwhelmed right now, not just from invites, but from other things as well.

One way I cope is by recognizing that life is a series of different seasons.  Each season brings it's own joys and challenges.

While this Christmas season is busier than ones in our past, our two daughters are probably at the best ages for experiencing Christmas (6 and almost 3).

So tonight we all hopped in the van and drank hot cider, ate Moravian sugar cookies, listened to Christmas music and drove through a live nativity. 

As cheesy as some of it felt, we all had fun, especially our girls.

So even in the midst of really busy seasons in our lives, we can take time to have moments that matter so that we can make memories for the future.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Like in any profession, sometimes pastors have off days.  This last Sunday at the 10:30 service was one of those days. 

I'm not sure why? 

The series is a good one.
The message was prepared.

The message was true.

The point of the message was something we need to be reminded of.

However, I just didn't seem to have the language I wanted to communicate what I wanted to communicate.

Even in the preparation, I knew the point was good and biblical and challenging for the church, I just couldn't seem to get the language to communicate as effectively as I would've have liked.

It felt as though I had let the church down.

I didn't like that feeling.

Thank God I feel like I've had more "on days" than "off days" in the ministry.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eating with Dirty

In Matthew 9 Jesus eats with "sinners" and "tax collectors" just after inviting a tax collector to be his disciple.

"Sinners" and "tax collectors" were considered unclean by most of the Jewish community and especially by the Pharisees.

So the Pharisees challenge Jesus' disciples about why he's dining with these "dirty" people.

Jesus responds with three powerful interrelated statements.

1. It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.

2. Go and learn what this means "I desire mercy not sacrifice" (this is a quote from Hosea).

3. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

These three statements are packed with implications for Jesus' ministry and for what He expects of those who are a part of His kingdom.

Want to know more?  Come to Catawba UMC this Sunday.