So what happened today umm… x years ago?

My Grandparents are celebrating their 65th Wedding Anniversary this year and I thought I’d do some research on the internet and find out what was going on the year they were married. Easier said than done! But I did come across this really helpful site called, dMarie Time Capsule. When you go to this site you enter in the date and year and then are walked through various results it calls up where you can choose what you want to include in a final “Time Capsule” print out.? Some things are automatically included like the prices of certain items for that year, the US President and Vice President, and the Academy Award Winners for that year. I printed out the finished list and I’m gonna frame it and give it to my grandparents. It makes a neat gift and one that I know will take them down memory lane. Thought I’d post about it here so more people can find out about this great tool. Thank to the administrator of “dMarie Time Capsule” for making this available free on the web!

Wireless Wonder World

WirelessMy wife and I had to take one of my daughters (Jenna) to London for a special test today at the Children’s Hospital. She’s undergoing a hearing threshold test to determine the degree of hearing loss she has. That isn’t the point of this post however (but do keep her in prayer!). I’m writing this from our hotel room and that’s the reason for this post.

I’m simply amazed with the capabilities of wireless networking! Back in January of this year our church upgraded our computers and we added a network and of course I had the fun job of installing everything :). Since the cost of wireless had come down so much I decided to go ahead and save work (threading wires through tight spaces is no fun) by putting in a wireless router and buying some cheap D-Link USB Adapters to plug in the computers. I learned alot in the process, not only about networking but also specifically wireless networking.

One of the tools I discovered that has proven to be a great help is Network Magic by Pure Networks. While I feel I have a pretty good handle on how networking works (sharing files, printers etc.) without using Network Magic I still decided to purchase it for the church anyway because it makes things dramatically quicker and easier to use and is a big time saver. If you are new to networks NM will help you get up and running in no time. If you are a network guru its features and time-savers are worth the price too!

Anyway I’m diverging from the purpose of my post (although it’s not too far off topic 😆 ). Before leaving for this trip to London I remembered reading an article somewhere about how most hotel chains have installed wireless networking in their facilities so that guests can have free wireless internet connection when staying in their rooms. So I thought, what the heck, I’ll grab the churches laptop and the D-Link USB adapter and give it a go when I get to the Day’s Inn in London. What do you know – 20 minutes after arriving I’m on the net! How cool is that. What’s more, I also use a program called Logmein which allows you to connect to your computer over the internet and control it as if you were sitting right in front of it. I have it installed on my desktop at the church as well as my computer at home. Well I decided to connect to my computer at home and see if I could get my mom’s attention who is watching our other three kids while we’re away. I connected, opened up notepad and then loaded up winamp, set the volume at max and played a song. I wrote a little hello message in notepad and then waited. 10 secs later Mom started typing in notepad and we ended up having a nice chat. Then after that I connected to my office computer and checked my email and tied up some loose ends there. I tell ya…all this from the comfort of a nice easy chair in our room.

From now on, anytime we’re going to be stayin over at a hotel somewhere I’m going to be sure to bring along my laptop!

Even Great Leaders make Bad choices…

Devotional PicturesText: Deuteronomy 1:21 (NLT)

“This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes.

Moses is without a doubt one of the greatest leaders in History. Handpicked by God to lead the Israelites out of their captivity in Egypt through the desert to the promised land, Moses had a big responsibility. There are also many miracles that God performed through his servant Moses. He definitely ranks as one of the first people I’d like to meet when I get to heaven :).

Yet, even Moses was prone to mistakes as a leader. In this particular passages, Moses shares that, “I chose” those who would be sent into the land to scout it out. Now I dont’ know what went into Moses’ choices but scriptures record that when the scouts returned only two gave encouragment to the Israelites to go into the land and conquer it. 10 of the scouts embarked on a tale of demoralization because of their fear and faithlessness.

It gives hope for all of us who are in leadership positions that when it comes to decisions there will always be times when we make mistakes – or when we entrust others with a task and they will fail. That doesn’t necessarily make us bad leaders – but we do need to learn from it and move on. God dealt with the rebellious Israelites, (and spies) who eventually didn’t make it to the promised land but Joshua and Caleb, two other spies (that Moses has picked!) became instrumental in Israel’s final march to victory 40 years later. In fact, Joshua became the next leader of Israel after Moses.

The point? Don’t give up when you make a mistake as a leader. Learn from the failure and invest in the success of that choice and submit to God’s continued leading.

Apostasy vs. Relevancy

Just a quote I came across today that I think is so true:

“Some churches, for certain, abandon many of the cardinal truths of the faith in their quest to be relevant to the community they serve. But even more churches are woefully unaware of the realities, hope, and pains of those around us. Failure to be true to the doctrines of the Christian faith leads to apostasy. Failure to understand the world in which we live and serve leads to irrelevancy.” – Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources, in Outreach magazine

Help Wanted: Apostles

Apostles and The Emerging Apostolic Movement

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

Author: David Cannistraci

Year: 1998

Category: Apostles, Leadership

Publisher: Regal Books

ISBN: 0830723382

David has written a book that is an attempt to elucidate and give shape to an understanding of the biblical office of apostle and make an argument for the validity of restoring this office today. I think he has done a good job pointing out the important need for apostles and their ministry as well as clearly outlining the characteristics, work, and authority of the apostles as written about in the New Testament. There wasn’t too much in this book I disagreed with and I would recommend it as a read for any leader in the church.

As I was reading it however I began thinking of my own fellowship (PAOC) and how to some degree while it may not be directly recognized as such (with the term “apostles”) there are men functioning in that role already. We have sectional presbyters (who “oversee” groupings of churches in a district) and regional directors (who oversee groupings of sections in a district) and district superintendents (who oversee a district) and then the General Superintendent (who oversees the districts). I think it might benefit our fellowship more to understand (and perhaps recognize) the role these leaders have as “apostles”.

I also realized as I read this book how little is actually taught in our churches about the office of apostle and yet how important it is to teach. One of the reasons why I picked up this book in the first place was because an experience I had within my own church with a person who was convinced God was calling them to be an apostle. I wasn’t convinced however that this individual correctly understood the purpose of that office. Another thing that stood out was the fact that the individual had never really been in any place of leadership in the church and as such had never been proven. I doubted this person’s motive for seeking that mantle even though he claimed it was to restore the church to it’s “God-given calling”. The thing is, I had no doubt this person really did love God – but unfortunately, their pursuit of this office was misguided. How I wish I had the resource of this book as a companion to my understanding of what the Bible said when counseling this individual – it would have been a good resource to pass on to him as well.

Anyway, in this book, David does a good job of providing some sound counsel for understanding the ministry of apostles and it will be a welcome reference on my bookshelf!

Tags: apostolic movement, apostle, leader, church, ministry, five-fold ministry, David Cannistraci,

Things not to do with email…

I came across a post at the “43 Folders” blog (Writing sensible email messages) that has some good pointers on writing useful email messages. I won’t rehash it all here but it got me thinking of some of the things I’ve learned over the years with all the emails I’ve handled (and if you’re anything like me you know what a nuisance spam is…but then nobody is immune!) Anyway, I’m surprised how many people still follow such poor email habits that I thought I’d write a list of things not to do with email…hopefully it will be helpful.

1. Don’t be a lazy forwarder…

What is a lazy forwarder? A “LF” is someone who gets a joke, or chain letter, or story from someone via email and fowards it to everyone in their address list. I usually delete close to 95% of such emails I get from people simply because a. The subject field has a, “[FWD – Cute joke lucy!]” or b. I just don’t have the time to be reading all these things. Half the time I wonder if the person sending me the forward even knows that they sent it to me.
Some helpful pointers:

  • Before forwarding something ask yourself if what you are about to pass along is something you’d print out a hard copy of, place in an envelope and plant a stamp on to send to everyone in your address list.
  • Although it takes more time…take the time to find out whether people in your address book actually want to receive those jokes, stories, or chain letters that you just have to forward. Use your email program’s groups to make it easier to differentiate between these people. It will take a little time to set up but if you are a compulsive forwarder DO IT!
  • If you forward something, do a little editing to ensure that the “meat” of the email is what is seen first. Cut out all the comments that people added (“This is funny”, “Cool”, “LMAO”, etc.) and just leave the original text. The biggest reason why I delete any forwarded emails I get is when I have to scroll to find the original – now i don’t even bother…I just crumple it up and trash it (well, figuratively speaking!)
  • Then, make sure the subject field contains a good description of the contents. It also doesn’t hurt to add a brief message to your recipient(s) to indicate that you’ve actually read it.

2. Don’t be a myth propagator!

There are numerous myths, urban legends, and hoaxes that circulate through the internet and via email. A myth propagator is someone who receives one of these things and right away thinks to themselves, “Oh my! I’ve gotta pass this on…I can’t believe it!”. Then the “MP” proceeds to forward it to everyone in their address book. The problem is, they shouldn’t have believed it! Just this week I received three emails from friends that were forwarded hoaxes. Remember:

  • Not everything you receive from people (even friends/trusted people because they probably just were LF’ing it) via email is true. Before you send it off to someone else check out the story…if you’re too lazy to check it out then don’t bother forwarding it. A good resource I use all the time that helps me determine if something is a hoax or not is www.snopes.com
  • Sending off stuff that is a hoax passed off for fact can be detrimental to your credibility – do you really want to become known as the joe who believes anything that comes through their inbox?
  • Sadly, I find that Christians tend to be among the most prolific “MP’s” when we should be vigilant at what we pass on as fact. Alot of the hoaxes that I get in my inbox have to do with religious themes.
  • When in doubt, and a story can’t be verified – don’t send it unless you can verify it.

3. Don’t be an Attachment Queen!

Email has given us the wonderful ability to send documents, pictures, and different files to friends, workmates, and others. Attachment Queens are people who fill up their email with so many “attached” files that instead of taking milli-seconds to open an email, it takes 2-3 seconds to open theirs (even longer for dial-up users). I’m not against sending pictures via emails but please, please don’t send a whole album! Also, take the time to resize your pictures so that the file size is smaller. Most photo album or editing software will automatically do this for you when you use it to send the pictures via email (some good software that I use is Picasa by google. Best of all – it’s FREE!)

Well that’s just a few of my suggestions for things not to do with email. It would make all our inboxes a whole lot less cluttered if there were less LF’s, MP’s, and AQ’s in the world…wouldn’t you agree?

KaBoom One-Liners (Episode #3)

What are Kaboom One Liners? Go [here] to find out!

Alright, the word for this episode is gravid. (grav-id)

KaBoom was walking his dog Chachachink (a beagle/daschund cross) down Red Boulevard when he bumped into John Busybody.”Hey KaBoom, did you hear the news about Mr. and Mrs. FightAlot’s separation?” KaBoom did a quick look around and then gazed in a conspiritorial way as he leaned in towards Mr. Busybody, “No, I didn’t but I’m sure you’re just gravid with all the juicy details. Now make sure you don’t speak too loudly because my dog here is a bit of a gossip…”

KABOOM!

Words of Christ?

The Day I Was Crucified

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Gene Edwards

Year: 2005

Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers

ISBN: 0768422248

I was given this book to read by a lady in my church. At first from the title I thought it would be a testimonial about someone giving their life to Christ and implementing Jesus’ instructions to His disciples to ‘Take up their cross’. However when I actually picked up the book to read I noticed the subtitle, “as Told by Jesus the Christ” which clued me into the fictional nature of this book. I’d never heard of the author before so I had a little chuckle when I read this promo piece on the back cover,

…There is good reason for his being called “The Most Loved Christian Storyteller.”…

From the high recommendations and reviews given this book in it’s cover pieces I was looking forward to an interesting read and in that regard I wasn’t disappointed. I agree with Bill McCartney’s comparison with this book as a written “drama” on par with the visible drama developed by Mel Gibson in “The Passion of Christ”.

With that being said this was a good story and I emphasize that because while it is clear that the author is drawing from direct biblical sources in crafting this work there are many assumptions and conjectures being made on the thought processes and some of the “behind the scenes” stuff happening in the circumstances surrounding Christ’s crucifixion. It certainly could have happened that way but that is by no means a declaration that it did happen that way. There are some artistic liberties taken in this story that don’t seem to directly contradict the witness of scripture but nevertheless are developed by “filling in the blanks” with the author’s interpretation of events.

Whether or not this book was a “rhema revelation that was put deep within Gene Edwards by the Spirit of the Lord” it does rightly communicate the incredible agony and suffering Jesus willingly endured for the sake of grace and love for His creation (us). I was moved by the thoughts written on paper of what it must have been like for Christ and the level of sacrifice he endured on the cross and the intensity of what occurred there for those who would be redeemed. I can’t say that I was moved to the same degree as what was quoted by one reviewer but it did affect me on an emotional level.

My only concern (and it’s not a really big one at that) with these kinds of books (and movies too) that develop a picture of biblical events is that the power of a story holds incredible sway and it’s easy to supplement the truth of scripture with the subtle nudges in the wrong direction via the emotions/thought processess invicted by the story. In some ways its best to leave some of the “mystery” in the missing blanks to prevent projecting wrong ideas over the truth of scripture. For those not grounded in the Word of God such stories have the potential of becoming a “word from God” rather than being taken for the fiction (based on fact nevertheless) that they are.

Also, even though these creative pieces can provide an entry point for people to be introduced to gospel truths there is danger that the seeker would gain an incorrect bias before even being introduced to scriptural witness!

In conclusion, for entertainment value and emotional impact Gene Edwards did provide a good read. I definitely wouldn’t consider it a doctrinal thesis…but then he probably didn’t intend it for that anyway!