Pastor Personality #1

I shaved off my beard today, but before doing so I had a little fun (half the fun of growing a beard is cutting it off in creative ways). I experimented with my multiple pastor personalities.

This is the look I’d go with if I were a pastor of a biker gang, although I probably wouldn’t be so smiley.

Bad Dream

The other night I had the weirdest dream. It was filling me with consternation and worry and it just wouldn’t end. As soon as I thought things were clearing up something else would go wrong.
However, I can’t remember at all what happened, I just remember the feeling. Ever have that?

Most of you know I have fun making fun of the NIV but I am currently reading the NIV and came across their rendering of Psalm 73:20. He’s talking about the wicked and how God is going to wipe them out in an instant.

“As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.”

We often wonder how we’ll be able to have a good time in heaven knowing that all those folks back on earth that weren’t saved are now suffering eternal torment. Well, here’s your answer: it’ll all just be a really bad dream.

Another verse that fits in with this nicely is Isaiah 65:17, “I am creating new heavens and a new earth; everything of the past will be forgotten.” I think the idea is that things will be so great in heaven we won’t even consider the things and people of here.

Sound harsh? A bit, but this is one more reminder of just how lowly God views His creation compared with how highly we view it. People worship and serve the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25). Eternity will straighten that out.

Family Ties

There’s a growing trend in families: heathen parents who have Christian kids. There have always been families like this but it seems to be getting more and more. It causes some serious troubles for family relations.

“They get upset, however, when Kevin explains that he doesn’t believe in evolution. “To me, this is appalling,” says his mother, Karen Byers, who has a doctorate in strategic management and was raised a Methodist.

“We get into arguments, and voices get a little louder than they should.” Kevin says: “I don’t want my parents to go to hell for not believing in God. But that is what’s going to happen, and it really scares me.”

Would You Like Fries With That?

I received this link from a blog reader. It fits in with the discussion about where your soul goes when you die and reincarnation and all that shtuff.

When you Die, Do you want your Life Force to Vanish or Pass on to your Children and their Children? The Ancients knew. Warriors regularly fed themselves upon the Organs of defeated enemies to steal their Strength and Energy.

In Pre-History, Families consumed their freshly Dead Ancestors so that their Wisdom and Essence is Preserved and Carried On within the Family. Modern Man-Eater provides the Modern Equivalent using current Technology.

Interested in eating your dead relatives? They can make it all possible.

Boxing

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is standing by her assertion that Jesus is the Christian’s way, but perhaps not the only way, to God. In a live Webcast to church members, Jefferts Schori said that for Christians “to assume that God may not act in other ways is to put God in a very small box.”

I’m not going to comment on the further decline of the Episcopal church seeing as how no one goes there anyway, but I’d like to comment on part of her statement.

This “putting God in a box” criticism is very over-used. I have heard this one used against me many times for my dispensational beliefs. I don’t think the Holy Spirit makes everyone, for all time, speak in tongues, I don’t think the Holy Spirit heals every time you want Him to, and various other things.

I “put God in a box” is what I’m told. I didn’t put God anywhere. If Scripture lays out certain parameters within which God works, didn’t God put Himself in a box? Doesn’t God have to box Himself in just to deal with us?

If a holy God was not boxing Himself in, all us unholy sinners would be dead right now. Does me calling everyone a sinner yet avoiding death for the moment, really putting God in a box or merely pointing out a fact?

There are not many ways to God, there is only one, because Jesus said so. I didn’t say so, He did and He is God. God has large boxes and He knows how to use them. It’s for our own good.

Totally Awesome, Man!

Oh my, if you are an adult and it has been a long time since you have gone sledding, you must go. What a hoot.

And when I say “sledding” I don’t mean just finding a big wide open hill with 1,400 crying kids on it who routinely run their sleds into the back of your leg, I mean “SLEDDING.”

SLEDDING is when you walk through the woods looking for gaps in the trees that go down hills, walking to the top, saying a quick prayer and shoving off! Oh, what a riot that is.

I took my eldest daughter down a hill in a power line clearing. The snow was flying in our faces to the extent that we couldn’t see much, then we hit a jump and completely lost control but able to see that we had veered off course and trees were approaching. We hit a submerged stick that flipped us over into the snow. Oh that’s great. We did it over and over again.

I have yet to have a child old enough that wants to go sledding more than me. Some day, some day they will build up their stamina to allow me to get my fill. Or perhaps they will lose as much vision as I have to not be so stinking worried about every little tree.

What a hoot.

Eatin Good

According to a 2005 study by the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, frequent family dinners were associated with lower rates of teen smoking, drinking, and drug use.

Compared with teens who frequently had dinner with their families, (five nights or more per week), those who had dinner with their families only two nights per week or less were twice as likely to be involved in substance abuse. They were 2.5 times as likely to smoke cigarettes, more than 1.5 times as likely to drink alcohol, and nearly three times as likely to try marijuana.

They’re Everywhere, They’re Everywhere

A website founded by US religious activists aims to counter what they claim is “liberal bias” on Wikipedia, the open encyclopedia which has become one of the most popular sites on the web. The founders of Conservapedia.com say their site offers a “much-needed alternative” to Wikipedia, which they say is “increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American”.

I have used Wikipedia many times and never noticed a liberal bias, however, since my Christian media tells me there is, I must obey and notice liberal bias now.

As a test, I will give you the first paragraph of Wikipedia’s definition of “Christian” and compare it with Conservapedia.

Wiki: “A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as the Christ. Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God, who lived a life free of sin, who at the end of his earthly life was crucified, and then on the third day, rose from the dead, and later ascended into heaven, with the promise to return.”

Conserva:

Well, at the moment, I am not allowed to get into the site. Hmm, perhaps the liberals have infiltrated my computer. Goodness it’s worse than I thought.

Where Does Your Soul Go?

I write this paper for our church every Sunday going through a systematic theology book and then illustrating the theology somehow on the back side. This week we covered theories of what happens when you die. Thought I’d expand on it here.

1) Annihilation–when you die, you’re gone. This is primarily the belief of atheists. There is no heaven or hell option, just darkness, goneness, nothing, kind of like an eternal coma.

2) Transmigration of the Soul (reincarnation)–this is an eastern religion belief, primarily Hindu. It says that good people like me come back as Ryne Sandberg.

3) Conditional Immortality (or “Conditional Immorality” as I see I put it on my sheet! Oops, slight difference there). This says that believers go to heaven and unbelievers are annihilated. There is no judgment from sin, just a loss of heaven.

4) Universalism–everyone goes to heaven because God just loves all us sinners and can’t get enough of us so wants us all to come to His house for eternity. Loosely based on stressing the fact that”God is love.”

5) Restitutionism or Reconciliationism–eventually all people will get to heaven when they make amends at some point. Loosely based on “every knee shall bow.”

6) Rome’s Purgatory–believers go to heaven and all others go to purgatory to work off their sins. Shows that salvation is really by works not by anything God does for you. One of many Roman Catholic doctrines invented entirely free from the constraints of Scripture.

7) Nirvana–your mind and soul joins the divine and you lose all personal desires and enjoy “being.”

8) Heaven and Hell–the belief that those who believe in God through Jesus Christ go to heaven and those who don’t believe go to hell. Both are literal places and both last for eternity. Read it and weep.

Rhinos Are Cool

While doing some research on various theories of what happens to us after we die, I came across a quiz that will tell you what you will be in the next life.

Sure, I’ll take it, why not.

I will be a rhinoceros.

“You’re not perfect but you’ve lead a better life than most.” Almost 27% of people will be reincarnated as a better life form than me.

I’m OK with that though. Being a big fat animal that lounges in rivers and occasionally kills tourists sounds enjoyable. I’ll take it.

The Customer Is Always Right

Kevin Russell found out it’s not easy trying to cash a check from God. The 21-year-old man was arrested Monday after he tried to cash a check for $50,000 at the Chase Bank in Hobart that was signed “King Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Servant,” Hobart police Detective Jeff White said.

I don’t know, I’ve had trouble with Chase Financial institutions as well. They messed up my mortgage several times and caused me big problems and had some of the most unhelpful customer service I’ve ever met.

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