Monday, June 30, 2008


I hate the Twins! They don't win and have no good players. Yet for some reason Minneapolis agreed to let them build a new ballpark ON MY DOLLAR! If they wanted it bad enough they should have gotten it privately funded and chipped in a percent of their own million dollar a year salaries. Instead they had to raise my taxes (I lived in Hennepin County at the time). Because of this, St Bonefacious is trying to be annexed off to the next county over. They are miles away and will not benefit from the stadium, yet are being taxed for it. Also, who goes to the games? It is not just people from Hennepin County. People from across the metro will come to these games tax free. I don't care that it is .0125%, it is still a tax and still higher. They won't lower it when the stadium is funded.

Well tomorrow we get our taxes raised again. This time for public transportation and who knows what else they added to that bill! Look out! The only way around it is to buy non-taxable items or shop a few counties over. I bet the people way out in Lindstrom are happy they are going to be paying taxes for city buses that go no where near them...or not! :-)


I've had a calm weekend. I started off with a prayer vigil at the church down the road. I have a hard time focusing when I pray and find some of the Lutheran prayers guiding and focusing. At the prayer vigil there were various stations about repenting, forgiving, worshiping, surrendering, praising, seeing people through God's eyes, etc. It was good to be so focused yet have many things to focus on. It was projected to take 15 minutes to get through the things, but it took me an hour. This isn't because I'm slow or super holy, it was just so calm that there was no rush! It is so nice to simply sit, kneel, lay down, and rest in calm!!!

Then we went to the Farmer's Market, also calm. I love the beautiful flowers, plants, and foods! It reminds me of God's unique beauty!

Then church: a beautiful sermon about the Fire of God. You can check it out at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuff Stuff Debutes

My youth pastor friend just started a great blog. It is called "Ask the Tuff Stuff". There are surveys about hot topics which are discussed after the poll closes. It is geared towards youth and their parents. If you have a tuff question, you can email him and it will stay anonymous. Check it out:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

There is Hope!!!

Ok, so a more cheery post than last night.

So, the church is not the hope of the world. That's alright. We understand the hope of the world is God. However, we cannot deny that God is using churches large, small, and in between in more powerful ways than one could ever imagine. I've been blessed to work at four of them and volunteered at many more!!! Though the church may not be the hope of the world, it carries a great burden of hope!

Have you heard the wildly famous "If we are the body" song Casting Crowns sings? " But if we are the Body, Why aren't His arms reaching, Why aren't His hands healing, Why aren't His words teaching, And if we are the Body, Why aren't His feet going, Why is His love not showing them there is a way". I had a co-worker at one of the churches I worked at who had trouble with this song. She said it seemed to assume we were just lazily sitting on our couches doing nothing when the truth is God IS healing, His arms ARE reaching, His words ARE teaching! God is using the body! Could we do better? Sure, always. But we can't deny the power of God working through the church (defined as the body of Christ followers).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Hope of the World is...

I've heard a well known pastor and many pastors who emulate him say several times "The church is the hope of the world." Every time I hear this, I cringe. If you've spent any amount of time in the church or read the news, you know the church is flawed! You know it is not perfect! Just look at all the polls and surveys. It is said over and over that there is little evidence to show a difference between those who claim to be Christians and those who do not. This is why I cringe. I can't agree with the statement at all! To place the hope of the world in the church as we know it would be stupid! The church is made up of people: flawed, fallen, easily tempted, led away people!!!

A statement I could agree with is this, "Jesus is the hope of the world". I think this is what this well known pastor and his grrrr followers mean, but I wish they would say it that way. Jesus is the hope of the world and USES the church (defined as God's people). The church (defined as a building with staff and attenders) is not in and of itself the hope of the world (and I wish they would stop saying it that way!!!). God, as the head of the church, working through the church is the hope of the world. But God is not contained solely in the church. God is at the bar, God is at the mall, God is on the fishing boat, God is in the care, God is everywhere and therefore His hope is everywhere. The hope of the world is not locked in a church building, it is here and there and everywhere and for that I am so grateful!

Lyrics-Based Theology

Ok, I'll start with the positive and go downhill from there. Throughout time music has been an amazing and powerful instrument to assist in ushering humans into a spectacular awareness of God's presence. It is an incredible experience to worship God with others who have their attention focused in the same direction. It is incredible to feel the outpouring of God's love and power!

Music has risen in popularity and become easy to access. Just look at itunes, the near extinction of cds tapes and even records (ask your parents), and even the digitalization of the car radio. Intelligent lighting, moving background art in slides, the large sound board, wireless microphones, etc have replaced the amp, mic, and overhead projector (with transparencies) at our churches. The ability to create an engaging environment is more powerful than ever before and shows no sign of slowing down.

However, I see an issue arising. People are getting their theology (their belief of who God is) from the lyrics in the worship songs we sing. Sometimes this is fine and the lyrics are true to the Biblical text and portray the true God of the Bible, but more often than we realize, the lyrics are vague and not totally accurate (1 "Help me know you are near" why is God near? God's not near as if he were distant. God is here). They skew our view of God or really say nothing of value at all (2 "Won't you come, Won't you come and fill this place" this song really gets to me. I understand what it means...kind of...I just think the lyrics are so vague and speak as if God wouldn't show up even when God is already everywhere). Or what happens more often is our worship songs are about us (3 'Cause when we see You we find strength to face the day, And in Your presence all our fears are washed away, washed away). They are horizontal worship (us singing to each other ABOUT God) rather than vertical worship (us singing TO God). They are more along the lines of a narration of our life with God rather than a song of love praising God for His qualities (4 "Savior, He can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save"). This song interestingly enough is all ABOUT God, but maybe is only focused to God if you change the words "He" to "You" as in "You are mighty to save". They are not bad songs and even I like them and sing them, we just need to be aware of what we are saying.

Next time you hear a worship song, take some time to think about what you are saying. Sometimes we are asking God to break us, to change us, that we'll go wherever, follow Him to the end, but do we truly deep down in our hearts mean what we are singing? Would we speak that to God? Sometimes yes, sometimes maybe not. Is what you are singing vertical or horizontal worship?

I hope people don't think I'm bashing the wonderful people who write these songs, I am simply asking us to be aware of what we are singing because too many people these days are going into worship haphazardly.

1 Draw Me Close. Lyrics by Kelly Carpenter. 1994 Mercy/Vineyard
2 Meet With Me. Lyrics by Lamont Hiebert. 1999 Maranatha Music
3 Hosanna (Praise is Rising). Lyrics by Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche. 2006 Thank You Music
4 Mighty to Save. Lyrics by Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan. 2006 Hillsong Publishing

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Perfect Summer Weekend

This weekend was great!!! It started out with the graduation party for my cool brother Matty. Then canoing down the St Croix River with people from church on Saturday. A few of us went to Sonic afterwards and if that wasn't enough fun for one day I went swimming with my neighbors until dusk. Sunday started off with an odd sermon. Then friends came over to go swimming and eat lunch. After one friend left we scrapbooked and then ventured to Caribou coffee on our way to the Ski Otter waterski show in White Bear. Whew!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Phenomenon That is Sonic

So, Sonic just opened. Having a brother from Texas, I know about this slushi kingdom in all its inexpensive glory. There are about 10 in Longview (a city of about 30,000). Its pretty exciting (more so than it would have been had they opened in winter...brrr). I went there the other day to pick up some gift cards for graduates we know who are moving to Texas. It was a great idea (thanks mom). Upon arrival I couldn't believe the hoard of people and police officers directing traffic. So I wove my car around back hoping to somehow find a back entrance somehow invisible to everyone else so I could run in/run out and get the cards. At the back entrance I saw a huge parking lot with cones set up like my driver's ed course. It was the line to weave through to get your slushi. At the end of this line was an employee kid. "Welcome to Sonic! Are you dine in or sdarjlkr (whatever the pull up thing is called)?" "Uh, I just want some giftcards, do you have those?" "I don't know" I spied his walkie talkie "Could you ask someone on your walkie talkie" ", they'd get really mad!!!" Ugh! "You could park at Byerly's and wait in line and when you get to the window you could ask them!" (he was really proud of this answer) until I said "uh, Have you seen the line?" I thanked him (a little disgruntled) and left. Oh well. Sonic another day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Funny Thing About Law

I've learned a lot about law in the last few weeks (which is good because that's the point of my class). As we've read through various cases, I've been amazed at what people can get away with only because they weren't found guilty properly. They can find drugs on you and arrest you, but if the search was illegal its a different story. Or the recent case of a death row inmate who won reprieve from his sentence because the judge of his case was having immoral relations at the time of the verdict. It is amazing how many laws there are to protect us from "the law" i.e. police, government, etc. It is amazing how much we can bend the law to agree with our views. While the constitution has more spelling errors than a third grade paper, it is amazing the thought process our forefathers went through. They thought of everything, even put in a way to make more rules because they knew they didn't think of everything! They even put in laws protecting us from the law (ie being wrongly accused or accused in an improper fashion. In my opinion, they were very smart and humble people.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mc Cafe

I have nothing of much intelligence to write today. Actually, I still have to do my homework, so am trying to save some intellectual words for that assignment. But have you been to McDonald's recently? Now, I'm not a huge fan, but I'm a pushover when it comes to commercials (which is why I don't watch them). Last week I happen to catch an ad for free coffee samples at McDonald's. So, being a coffee lover, I wanted to try them. They are so good! And cheaper than the usual places! Yum!!! And my cousin, who works for McD's Corporate says more good things are to come...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Would You Obey?

In Law class we are learning about the different theories of law. Where did law and fairness come from? I guess I'm a Naturalist when it comes to the origins of law. I think we all have something deep inside of us that someone "knows" when something is not fair or right. I see it in kids all the time! "That's not fair!" We know we're getting jipped when our sibling gets a larger piece of cake than us, and we know its not fair when we get the bigger piece too. We know something is not right when we see people killing each other. We know something doesn't feel right when someone takes "our" stuff. But why? Would we refrain from stealing, killing, speeding, etc for the sheer reason that we knew it was good for the common man, or do we think there's something in it for us? Do we assume that if we don't do wrong, wrong won't be done unto us? I wonder how the world would be different if we had no laws or rules. I think the world would be bad, but not because there would be more people doing bad in the world. I think the bad people in the world would just being doing more bad things, worse bad things than they already do. I think, in general, maybe naively, that the majority of people in the world would still do "right" simply because they think its "right". They wouldn't steal or cheat or speed. They just wouldn't. There would not be a need to. But maybe I'm wrong?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Traffic Theories

So, I stole this link from a friend's blog. It is about highway driving behavior.
However, I woke up and upon entering my car decided this would be a fun commute because I could try this theory out. However, I found three reasons this does not work in the real world:
1) That gap you leave in front of you is just asking for people to cut you off (or merge in front of you) In fact, merging is not factored into this theory at all.
2) It is hard to determine the average speed of traffic as a whole from the few cars you can see (and the average speed is sometimes slower than your car goes without doing anything. And even if you go the average speed of traffic, there is always the guy who will tailgate you to go faster or be pushed off the highway.
3) It doesn't work if "traffic" is due to an accident :-P

Not Like I Have Homework or Am Late For Work Or Anything

I might as well blog. It seems to be the latest trend. Besides, I think I might have a few notable things people might be interested in reading. And its not like I have a pile of homework or am late for work or anything...ah! Gotta go!!!