New Blogroll

I’ve completely redone my blogroll (that’s the link menu on the left) using the MT Blogroll plugin from Arvind Satyanarayan. If you’re saying “But it looks exactly the same” you’d be right. The look is the same, but the underlying code is different. The old way was a stand alone HTML file that I had to manually edit, now it’s managed from within Movable Type. Adding new links is much easier (there’s a ‘blogroll it’ button in my IE favorites) and they’ll show up in the menu automatically.
The geek in me thinks it’s pretty cool.

Interview Meme

Jared posted an interview another blogger did of him on his site. He answered the questions and then asked for 5 participants to be interviewed. Foolish man that I am, I stepped up and became number 5. Little did I know that he’d ask such tough questions. Oh well, here goes.
1. Today you are being executed (for a crime you didn’t commit, naturally). What did you request for your last meal?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I can think of a number of great meals, but one thing is certain. I’d tell the prison chef to take the night off and have my wife cook the meal for me. In 12 years of marriage, I can count on one hand the number of bad meals I’ve had. I’m a huge fan of “N Noodles”. You know beef-n-noodles, tuna-n-noodles, etc. Her meatloaf is awesome as is her potato soup and ground beef vegetable soup. That being said, I’d probably want prime rib, grilled medium, French fries (I love fries), corn on the cob and Handel’s ice cream. Maria would fins a way to marinate or otherwise season the steak so that it was absolutely out of this world.
2. You’ve got a weekend free and money is no object. You can’t leave town, but you can do anything you want in the city where you live. What do you do?
Can’t leave town? Well, I’d get a room in the Harrison House bed and breakfast (I’m assuming we’ve got a sitter. :-). Maria and I like to go out to eat, so we’d go out to eat at R.J. Snappers and probably a Cameron Mitchell restaurant or two (The Fish Market and Cap City Diner come to mind.) We’d spend some time shopping at Easton, a trendy upscale mall that has the feel of a town square and we might visit the Franklin Park Conservatory.
3. Who was the most influential person on your life when you were a kid? How did they influence you?
That’s a tough one. I think I’d have to say my friend Wayne McKay in High School. He was a year behind me and moved to Maumee OH before my Junior year, I think. I was decidedly unpopular. The guys my age on my little one block street were very popular and I was always trying, sometimes successfully, to worm my way into their activities. Well, about the time Wayne moved into town, I was finally coming to grips with the fact that they did not want me around. They were starting to drink too, which made me nervous. Wayne came to town and he just wanted to hang out with me. For some reason, he and I clicked and I had a friend that I could trust and talk to about just about anything. In hindsight, I don’t think I was as good a friend to him. After High School I went to college and he went to work. He was a DJ for a company that did High School dances for a while and eventually found his way into a job as an assistant stage manager on an around the world cruise in the late 80’s. We kept in tough for a while, but I lost him about 12 or 15 yeas ago. I think about him every now and then and wonder what he’s up to.
4. Your house is on fire but thankfully is everyone is safe. However, you only have seconds to get out of the house. What one item do you take the time to save on your way out?
Man, first I’m being executed, now my house is on fire! One item, huh? Well I’m torn between the sentimental and the practical. The practical side says grab my wife’s PC because it has all of our finances on it. The sentimental says gab the scrapbooks. My wife is an avid scrap-booker and we have about 12-15 awesome books chronicling our life. I think the PC would win because it’s close to the door and it also has our digital photos on it. (If I had time to go back I’d get the garage door up and get my 1960 Thunderbird Convertible out too.)
5. If they made a movie of your life, who should play you?
I’m not big on actors and stuff, so this was tough. I guess I’d say Keanu Reeves. He’s about my age (3 years older) and he’s done serious, deep roles (Matrix) but he’s done goofy stuff too (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.) I like to think that I’m a pretty deep and serious person, but I have a goofy side too. Probably a lousy choice, but I can’t think of anyone else.
Well, there you go. So the deal now is that the first 5 comments get to be interviewed to. I’ll give you 5 questions and you post the answers on your blog or in the comments of mine.

When Do You Leave Your Family?

(That title ought to get people curious. Don’t panic, read on.)
A couple of weeks ago I came across this post at Radical Congruency which quoted an entire article by Greg Kendall-Ball at the New Wineskins blog. It was about why folks leave the church.
Now in my church family (ICoC) the upheaval in the past two years has been hard. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and our churches and each other. Some, in response to what they’ve seen, have decided to leave for what they hoped would be greener pastures. In some cases they were long, soul wrenching times of introspection before they left, in others it seemed more spontaneous. In my church we’ve lost I’d guess 20 – 30 members in the past 2 -3 years. In the last year or so, several of those have been my closest friends. They’ve left, to some degree, over issues that I’ve agreed with them on, at least on some level. I’d be lying if I said that the thought that perhaps I too should leave hadn’t crossed my mind. It has even been suggested by some who left, not directly but indirectly, that they thought I would eventually follow those men.
Which brings the question, when is it time to leave? Now for those members of my church reading this, don’t get the wrong idea. I am not planning on leaving, I don’t feel compelled to do so nor do I see myself moving in that direction. I do have some things I am frustrated with, some bigger than others, but I’m not going anywhere right now. Please don’t read into this post anything of the sort. It’s simply a discussion of the issue of leaving a church.
So back to the question, when leave? Or better yet, how do you decide if this is an issue worth leaving over. I can imagine things that would cause me to step down from a leadership role, but to leave to go to another church? I can’t see it. I love these people; I’ve been here in this church from the beginning. I uprooted my family to move here to start this church. So what could be so big that I’d be willing to give it up and move on, starting over with new relationships?
Watching folks I’m close to leave has made me think about it. At times I have felt that it may inevitable that I too leave. The thought made me very sad and depressed. I don’t want to start over, to try to find someplace where I can trust the people. Somewhere I’ll be taken care of and where I can care for people. I think about how sad it would be that one of the founders of the church felt compelled to leave what he had started (That’s already happened. One of those four in my earlier post was one of the founding members of the congregation.) I though why should I leave, I was here first! Where would I go? Move to another city? Would it be better there? All thoughts brought me back to, what would make me go through all that?
That brings me back to Greg’s New Wineskins post. He writes about this thing that seems to plague not only the ICoC, but the CoC’s as a whole. That is the idea that some doctrinal issue or personal disagreement is big enough that a person feels the need to leave. I know that the CoC’s are not alone in this, churches have been splitting since Luther nailed his Thesis to the church door. But we seem to be particularly good at it. Greg lays out the story of a few people who have left the CoC recently, and talks about how sad it is for the church to loose those voices and their insight.
At the end of the article he acknowledges that there is no easy solution, and admits that he has no magic bullet. But then he hits on something profound:

One possible solution (and I am thinking of my family here), is for the church to act more like a family, and less like a country club. In my family we can disagree, we can argue, we can spit and scream and scratch . . . but leaving the family, breaking those bonds, is unthinkable. But in a country club, if I don’t like the new members, or the greens are getting a little rough, I can always take my dues and find a better club that suits me more, or I can push members out or bar others from getting in.

This idea has shaped my thought on this in recent weeks. This is not just an organization I belong to, it’s my church, my family. Family can be a real pain sometimes (family – sorry about that, but it’s true), but you’d never, never, never think about leaving them. You may stay away, even for years, but only in extreme cases of physical or mental danger or abuse would you disown your family. And even then, you’d probably acknowledge that they were your family. Family is permanent, membership is temporary.
If you think about it, that’s how God works with us. We call Him Father, He calls us Sons and Daughters. Jesus is our brother. We are members, not of God’s club, but his household.
So yes, I may have issues with my church. Actually, I will probably always have some. Yes I may even decide I can’t be a part of the leadership at some point due to that. But to leave – this is my family, why would leave and where would I go? It’s possible, but things would have to get real, real bad for that to happen.

Cool Freeware

Searching for some help with a batch file at work, I stumbled on this page listing a bunch of freeware. Adaware SE, a spy-ware removal tool, is a the top of the list. I was aware if that one as well as the Google Toolbar for IE (someone has done a FireFox version too.) Just above that was Fontlist which allows you to see any phrase displayed in every font on your PC.
But farther down the list was, for this fat fingered typist, the Holy Grail of free IE browser extensions, IEspell. I can now spell check my posts directly in MT and I can spell check my comments on other blogs and forums I visit. Any place you enter text in IE, you can spell check. How cool is that?

Linkage updates

For those of my readers who also read the Thinklings, their site appears to be down. The domain is messed up but you can still get to the site via That applies to Jared’s site (Mysterium Tremendum) too.
Also, Messy Christian has moved her blog away from TypePad to a stand alone Moveable Type blog at Her TypePad blog will go away at the end of the month.
I haven’t changed either link at the left yet, I’ll get to that later.
UPDATE: I fixed the link to Messy Christian and the Thinklings seem to be back to normal now.

One Year Ago Today …

One year, 225 posts, 398 comments and 43,346 unique visits ago today I launched this blog (I did back-date some of my QT entries so it looks like I started on January 1st.) To be fair, of the 43,346 ‘unique visits’ tracked by my host, I bet something like 43 were real people over the last year (although evidently only I guess only four of them are brave enough to let the world know they’re here.)
Thanks to all of you who read, and an even bigger thanks to you who comment (hint hint) for putting up with me for the last year.

John 8, 9 and 10

John 8:12-59, 9:1-41, 10:1-21
John 8:26 – Does Jesus mean here that he wants to tell them off (so to speak), but He’s submitting to God who has other plans? In other words something like “I really want to deal with you and your pride right now, but God says not now. He’s reliable, so I’ll stick to just what he told me.”
John 9:13-17 – This story seems so ridiculous, doesn’t it? I mean, a man was blind and now can see, a miraculous healing, even by today’s medically enlightened standards. Yet they are consumed with a less important violation of the law. God’s love was shown to a man, poured out on him, and they would punish Jesus for it because, while it was a good thing, he did it in the wrong way. Certainly we would not be consumed with a legal issue of little significance in comparison with love shown to the helpless, would we? Yea, right, we do it all the time. Majoring in the trivial. Standing firm on the insignificant.
John 9:24-34 – I love how this uneducated outcast puts the elite in their place.

Who Are You?

The guys at Radical Congruency ripped off an idea from another blog that I just think is great. After seeing how well it worked for them, I decided to plagiarize it.
The idea is to learn a little more about my readers (and for you to learn about each other.) I know those who comment, but I’d like to know those of you who don’t. So I’m asking all of you readers, commenters and non-commenters alike, to tell me a little about yourself. If you never comment again, that’s OK, but please do so now. Thanks.
Something unique or interesting about you:
How you found your way here:
What kind of church (if any) do you attend:
Your favorite post (if any) at
I’ll make it easy on you to make it look nice (and easier to read.) Cut and paste the following in the comment form, add in your answers after each </strong> and it’ll be bold just like what I’ve typed above:
<strong>Something unique or interesting about you:</strong>
<strong>How you found your way here:</strong>
<strong>What kind of church (if any) do you attend:</strong>
<strong>Your favorite post (if any) at</strong>

Uh, No, Not Really.

Just to let you know, if your browsing the net and find this page, that’s not me.

Salguod carries a large, plain-looking bastard sword, which he commonly refers to as “Brand”, in a nondescript leather sheath. He also keeps with him a very beat up canvas pack in which he carries several books, a bottle of Elven Red (which never seems to run out), and several odds and ends.
Salguod is [an] elf from the plane of Amarhly’nn …
He carries himself as straight as his 5′ 9″ will allow. However, his ears extend a good foot above his head. He is well-built … and slim.

Definately not me, I’m over 6′ tall.
Just felt I needed to be clear about that.

We’re All Sinners

Isn’t that the most imaginative title you’ve ever heard? I mean, no one’s ever thought of that before, right?
OK, so it’s not new. If that’s the case, why is it that we seem to forget it on a regular basis?
There are a lot of ways to go with this topic, but I’ll stick to what got me started. I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern, at least in my fellowship of churches. That is, we like to find fault and reasons why someone should be s leader (or in extreme cases, shouldn’t even be in the Church). I’ve heard so many times things like “So-and-so should have never been put in a leadership position because of his pride”. Or, “Given the way he handled that, I’m not sure he should be in leadership.” Now there are certainly reasons to make such judgments, and sometimes folks are too slow in doing so (the Catholic Church certainly could have been more decisive), but it strikes me as a bit foolish how quickly, at least in the ICoC, we have jumped to such conclusions.
I guess I can think of times when leaders’ sin hasn’t been dealt with in a righteous manner. Usually it’s with folks that are in the higher positions of authority. It’s a combination of sentimentality, cowardice (fear to challenge the ‘leader’) and idolizing the leader (he must know better than me, I’m just a nobody) that leads to folks getting a pass on their sin. But what I’ve seen lately is a rush to judgment, a criticalness that is quite unlike Christ. I’m reminded of this scripture, that my brother Pfredy pointed out in the previous post:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5

The fact of the matter is that we are sinners. It’s something we all know but rarely apply to ourselves. I know that you’re a sinner, and I can tell you your sin, but I have a hard time identifying mine. I can see in brother A his pride, I can see in brother B his deceit, I can see in brother C his quick temper, I can see in brother D … You get the picture. So we start naming reason why folks aren’t qualified to lead. Or, falling short of that, we just throw their sin up in their face when they blow it. We hang them out to dry, leave them blowing in the wind. It hurts people, divides the fellowship and makes Satan smile. Just keep on attacking each other, and no one gets saved, no one gets closer to God.
Frankly, it makes me sick. I’m sick of hearing reasons why someone isn’t good enough, shouldn’t be trusted, is in over their head, etc, etc, etc. Folks, repeat after me: “We’re All Sinners.” Better yet, repeat after Paul: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15) or “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Do we really believe that others are better than we are? Do we really think that we are the worst of sinners? I simply think about my own life and the men around me. I can fairly quickly name the main weakness or chief sin of many of these men, but I cannot as quickly tell you what mine is. (Perhaps it’s pride? Ya think?) Oh yeah, so-and-so, he’s quick tempered, and that guy, he’s too sentimental, and this one is pretty pridefull, and that guy – I’m sorry, what? Oh, I nearly smacked you in the head with this plank when I turned around? Gee, I’m sorry. What was I saying? Oh yeah, and that guy ….
My point is, let’s just lay off of each other. Not excuse and ignore sin, but let’s not crucify each other either. Do you want to be crucified? Neither do I, so let’s start handing our grace instead. Speak the truth, yes, but in Love. You know, patience, kindness, no record of wrongs, etc. Sin is serious and should be treated as such, but if we keep beating folks up every time they sin, holding grudges and looking down at them, well, there won’t be any of us left to be in the church let alone lead it. Remember, if Jesus pounced on your sin the way you pounce on others, you’d be in a world of hurt. And the bottom line, if you continue to pounce on folks sin, Jesus promisses that He’ll treat you the same way one day (Matthew 7:1).
Wow, I didn’t expect that to turn into a rant.

On This Day

Recent Posts

Recent Comments