Friday, February 29, 2008

WWBD: As In What Would Branson Do?

It appears that Richard Branson is a better role model than Jesus according to a new Britain survey. Just another mark of our times, the rich, powerful owner of Virgin beats out the poor, meek Son of a Virgin. Granted that that poor, meek man is just the Son of God, the creator of the Universe and now holds everything together by His Word, that does not seem to impress Britain.

Here is a quote:
He's a multi-millionaire maverick entrepreneur, part-time daredevil and now Britain's Richard Branson has beaten Jesus Christ in a survey to find the top role model for children.

The Virgin Group boss has been placed second in a poll of Britons asked who their children should look up to. Jesus came in third and a family member topped the list.

Read the article here from Reuters

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Emerging? Emergent? Who Cares!

Says Mark Driscoll:

“I’ll tell you what. Maybe this is what you can learn from the emerging church – what false doctrine is,” the pastor simply stated.

“Who cares what the emerging church is doing,” he stressed. “It’s a junk drawer category for all kinds of different people. It’s highly confusing. I’m not even sure that the description is any more of benefit or use.”

Rather than labeling Mars Hill as an emerging church, he calls it a Christian church and points to only two things he and the church really care about – Jesus and the Bible.

“Here’s what we’re all about – Jesus,” Driscoll highlighted. “The emerging church will come and go. The traditional church will come and go. The church of Jesus Christ will continue.”

So whether it’s utilizing the Internet, putting up giant screens in the church, or holding an 8:30 p.m. service on Sunday to reach the late sleepers, when it comes down to it, Mars Hill works to “make much of Jesus’ name in a place that desperately needs to know how wonderful he is.”

Read the rest of the story here from Christian Executive Magazine

Watch the Sermon from Mars Hill Here

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lobos and Uganda: The Day After

I have had some interesting responses to my post Tuesday regarding why I was choosing to be part of the Invisible Children night and not go to the UNM Men's Basketball game. Some thought it was pointing at them, and some have found comfort in what I said. For the first group, relax I was seriously only looking at my heart and how wicked it is, and for the second, I am glad this rambler can help in anyway.

Today we find ourselves a couple days removed from these 2 events. So do I regret not going to the game, nope I do not. Like I said Tuesday this game was a big one, but really in sports and specifically in college basketball aren't they all this time of year? The Lobos ended up losing by 1 point in overtime, in what appeared from all indicators (newspaper and post game radio show) that this was a great game and a fun atmosphere.

As for the Invisible Children, I think after Tuesday night I am becoming more resolved than ever to within the next few years go out to Uganda and spend time with Lutalo the child we sponsor through Compassion, as well as go to the displacement camps and see first hand what is going on. We had around 90 young adults show up at the Lobo Theater last night, probably 30-40 came from The Well, so that was great! Through the video we met a boy named Sunday who is 15 and living in a displacement camp, which really is just a bunch of straw huts set up side by side. Basically it is like having 30,000 people living on a small patch of land, side by side and really on top of each other. Sunday is a smart kid who wants to be a doctor not because that is where the money is, but because he is surrounded by disease and suffering and wants to be part of the solution, how totally Un-American Dream is that? Both of Sunday's parents are dead, and he was unable to pay for schooling, until he received help from the Invisible Children campaign.
During the filming, Sunday was getting sick, and unlike here in America where we go to the doctor or to the drug store for some meds, he did not have any of that, so he just went and rested. He seemed to recover by the end of the time the Invisible Children people were visiting.

After the showing we got to take out the roadie crew that is touring the country showing these films and spreading the word about the hardships going on in Uganda. It was cool getting to meet these people and talking to them about life on the road, and why they are doing what they are doing. I did get to watch the final few minutes of the game in the restaurant we went to, in fact one of the roadies watched it with me.

So how has life changed 2 days since that movie? I think something I have learned to avoid is romanticizing the situation, in other words, I do not look at my house, clothes, or whatever else and hate it. I do not wish for poverty or to be in Sunday's position, what I see in all the blessings I have is resources to use them for God's glory. Instead of hating my new MacBook I try to use it, to email Lutalo, or to spread the word about these children in Uganda, as well and primarily to share the gospel through this blog. Instead of despising my income I work, and it takes work, to be sacrificial in my giving.

The game is a distant memory, and I doubt lives were changed from it, but I think some of us in the Theater may have been.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lobos and Uganda...

Tonight the UNM Men's Basketball team will be playing the BYU Cougars in the "biggest" game in over a decade some are saying. I put the word biggest in quotations because I have been going to games for 20 years and also worked for and with the team as a manager, video coordinator and now as team chaplin for 10 years now and every season there is a "biggest" game of the decade that is built up to crazy heights. The reality is, is that if the Lobos win tonight then next week's game will be even bigger! Now I am not dismissing or belittling the excitement of this year's team or what Coach Steve Alford has done, but what I am saying is that we sometimes take sports too seriously and put too much hope into a game. I was at one of these games that has been remembered as a great one, 10 years ago I was at a UNM vs Utah game where Royce Olney hit a game winning shot over the then 3rd ranked Utes. I can tell you that that game is a fond memory but it did not change my life, I am not better off for having gone and compared with my wedding day or Jordyn's birth, yeah not so "big".

Will I be at the game? Nope. Not because I do not want to go, I do, but because I feel I am privileged to be part of something better, something yes "bigger". Tonight The Well College Gathering is partnering with the Invisible Children to show a video about a kid that has been displaced from his home, and who for much of his life has been afraid of being drafted into the rebel army. To see the story of the Invisible Children click here. These kids are displaced and often dealing with disease and hunger. Even more crucial is that many of these kids have not heard the Gospel. These kids who are sinners and rebels to God have not been told of the message that brings eternal hope and everlasting Joy, the message of God redeeming mankind and saving man from well....God and His Righteous Judgement! The message of God putting on flesh and coming down as the man Jesus, a poor, displaced carpenter whose family was forced to move to Egypt for fear of death from a king who did not want any competition from the so called King of the Jews. A man that understands the story of the displaced, and is not just a man, but is God at the same time! The message that tells of this man's sacrifice of his own life so that Ugandan kids and Lobo Basketball fans can be reconciled through faith in the the work of this displaced carpenter. This message has to get out, this message comes in words and deeds, it comes in the telling of the story, but also in the building of schools and hospitals, the Kingdom of God is to be shown to these kids!

Tonight the Lobos may win, the game may be exciting and loud, it may not. Tomorrow the game may be talked about as "legendary", it may not. I am not sure what will be the talk about Lobo Basketball tomorrow, but I can tell you that outside our little city and state and in Africa there are millions who could care less. Tomorrow there will be thousands of children in Africa that are still without clean water, clean clothes, fighting disease, hoping to eat once this WEEK, and scared that they will never see their homes again and have no hope in the assurance of God's love found in the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I really believe that what could happen tonight at The Lobo Theater when a bunch of college students come in to see a video will have a longer lasting impact, possible eternal impact on not just Albuquerque, but the world than the outcome of a basketball game.

This post is not to toot my horn and say look I am more holy than the 18000 that will be at the game, I am not, not at all. I just think I have been more and more convicted of what I still often put my time and energy in, on things that I put value on that have no value at all. I do want to go to the game, I am Tivo-ing it and will watch the minute I get home, I do want my cake and to eat it too! But then I look at a picture of my Compassion kid Lutalo and am convicted of my own selfish desires and realize that I need that message of the displaced carpenter named Jesus just as much!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Study Shows America a Not-So Christian Nation

A new study that has come out has shown that the United States is "less Christian" than it once was, and that adults are now more likely to switch their affiliation to religious groups.

"The presumption of a Protestant framework for understanding the American character is now a thing of the past," said Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.

"We are an increasingly pluralistic society, and we Protestants now have to think much about how we can contribute to the common good as simply just one more voice in the American choir," he said in an e-mail.

As as Latino/Hispanic/Brown man I also found this quote interesting:

Immigrants to the United States are twice as likely as native-born Americans to identify with the Catholic church. One in three adult Catholics is Latino.

I grew up Catholic and have 2 very Catholic grandmother's, one being a former nun. It was not shocking to hear that Hispanics are more prone to hang with the Pope than with Luther, I often in fact call New Mexico the Catholic belt loop of America. I think one of the reasons for Hispanics and their leaning towards Catholicism is the importance of the Virgin Mary. In Hispanic families the grandmother of the family is often the center of the family. My father's mother is the center of our family, really almost everything we do revolves around her, kinda mafia like. I think that the strong emphasis the Catholic church has on the mother of Jesus provides some familiarity and relatability with the Hispanic. That is just my opinion.

Click Here for the LA Times Article

The Huck Overstaying His Welcome??

Ok, so with there being no mathmatical way that Mike Huckabee can win the Rep. Nomination why is he still in the race. Well for us Huck supporters it comes down to 2 issues many do not count on, 1. Super Delegates and 2. Miracles. Watch Huck explain this:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Kid Wants To Say Hi!

Primary Purpose of The Gospel and Therefore The Church

Covenant Seminary professor Dr. Sean Michael Lucas ( I wish I had 3 first names in my name) gives us a quote from Nelson Bell father in law of Billy Graham. This quote was taken from an article published in 1953, yeah my dad was 2 years old, but is still applicable today and must be remembered today.

While it is true that the home, the community and the nation are safer, happier, and better in every way when lived in and influenced by Christians, these happy results are incidental to the Gospel of Christ, for our Lord came into this world for the primary purpose of saving sinners, giving to those who believe in Him eternal life.

Without discounting in the least the social implications of the gospel, we need to constantly remember that there can only be social blessings and changes after men have been saved from sin and live unto righteousness. There is the constant temptation to long for the fruit and forget the absolute importance of the true from which the fruit must come. Social reforms must come through and from redeemed lives. Without such a transformation vital and lasting changes cannot materialize.
Click here to see the rest of the quote and blog from Dr. Lucas

When a Time for "Relative Truth" is Useless...

from NBC's "ER", yes from a secular TV show. Click below and see:

Props: Ed Stetzer

Friday, February 22, 2008

Women and Pornography

As a young man I understand and meet with guys that struggle agains and some that are flat out addicted to porn. It saddens me to talk to these men after they have been "beaten" and have rebelled by going to porn sites. I do not say they slipped on the net or fell into sin, cause that makes light of what sin is. We do not slip into sin like we would a banana peel, it is not an accident. We actively, and wantonly rebel against our Creator. This is not something I have come up with, but something my teaching pastor at Desert Springs Church, Ryan Kelly, told me and my then fiance now wife when we discussed our sexual sin in our relationship.

The crazy thing about porn addiction is that it is not a man only sin, yes it is a sin that men more often chase after than women, it is becoming more and more common for women to chase after this sin as well. Anne Jackson over at Flower Dust has a great post and a re-print of an article she wrote confessing her own sin of lust with porn. As well as here repentance and active struggle against her sin.

Here is a quote:

porn addiction is an ugly thing, and stats show over 1/3 of porn viewers are female - and that is just the number of women who are courageous enough to admit to it. stigmatized as a man’s problem, after this article was published, i’ve received literally hundreds of emails from women who are desperate to confess and be restored.

I urge you, man and woman, father and mother of a daughter to read this article!

Props: Flower Dust

Monday, February 18, 2008

NY Giants Provide Patriot Gear to Nicaragua

The victory of the New York Giants over the New England Patriots has helped not just those that love the Giants but other countries as well:

Taken from Time:
The fact that the Patriots lost the Super Bowl may be why the celebration was being held in this small Nicaraguan village — because Boston's loss was definitely Diriamba's gain, in the form of the "Perfect Season, 19-0" Patriots T-shirts and hats that Brady, Belichick and Brewski were supposed to have worn on the field after the game. Due to NFL regulations that prohibit the sale of the losing team's "championship" apparel, the T-shirts and hats were donated to needy Nicaraguans by World Vision, in conjunction with the NFL and Reebok.

Ah this makes me happy, the Giants helping provide!!

Click here for rest of article

NASCAR??? I Don't Get It

I admit it, I do not understand the hype that surrounds NASCAR. Yesterday afternoon I turned the TV on to see that the Daytona 500 was nearing the end, only 20 laps left in this "Super Bowl" of car racing. I decided that since I am pretty outspoken about how boring this "sport" is I would give it a honest try. So I sat there and watched as the commentators acted like it was the most exciting event ever, Waltrip the color analyst kept telling me to hold on to my seat, maybe he was afraid I would fall asleep and fall off my seat, I don't know. It seemed that everytime the cars got going there would be a caution flag for 3 laps or so which apparently means no one is able to move position and they just drive around the track like a parade. This happend 3 or 4 times during the last 20 laps, so more than half of the final laps were under this caution flag, Boring!! The final 2 laps were not under caution and the commentators were yelling and super stoked on whether Kyle Busch would dominate, he didn't and some other dude won the race, it was very anti-climactic.

Needless to say I still do not get it, I do not understand the draw for this so called sport. Maybe it just does not translate to TV very well but compare the final 20 laps to the final quarter of the Super Bowl, or to the month of March for College hoops and seriously, no comparison.

I gave it a fair shot and found it was not for me, luckily the NBA All-Star game was on to salvage the sporting weekend!

March Madness is coming too!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jack Won't Be Back Till '09

"24" and Jack Bauer will not be back for 1 year, as Z would say that is whack Jack!!

From CNN:

Even though eight episodes for this season had already been filmed before the beginning of the writers strike, producers would have had to ramp up production soon to complete the season.

So "24" represents this television season's most prominent casualty due to the writers strike.

A January 2009 start seemed the best way to comply with viewers' wishes that a season's episodes run without interruption to conclusion, Fox said on Thursday.

Props: CNN

Driscoll on 'Outreach'

"As long as Christians fail to repent of self-righteousness, we will continue to speak of evangelism in terms such as outreach, which implies we will not embrace lost people but will keep them at least an arm's length away. Unrepentant self-righteousness also permits us to justify our sin by viewing ourselves as "clean" and others as "dirty" which then causes us to avoid other in an effort to remain untainted. Repentance enabels us to kneel humbly with fellow sinners at the foot of the cross so they can see Jesus without our pride rising up to encumber their view.

Self-righteousness has so seeped into American Christianity that being a missionary to one's neighbors is easily overlooked because of this sickness of our faith. How sick are we when the most popular books among American Christians are about how to get blessed by praying a small section of the Old Testament Scripture like a pagan mantra, and about the Rapture, as if the goal of the Christian life were to get more junk and leave this trailer park of a planet before God's tornado touches down on all the sinners? Only through repentant eyes will we see that God has a plan, by the power of the gospel of grace, to build a community of transformed people." (Radical Reformission, by Mark Driscoll pg. 78)

Like Van Til, Only Better


That is Covenant Professor Dr. Sean Michael Lucas's view of Tim Keller's new book . Here is what Dr. Lucas says:
I had to smile in recognition to the apologetic methodology--moving on to the unbeliever's turf in order to show the inconsistencies of their own worldview and then demonstrating that only a Christian worldview can make sense of any thing. It was just like Van Til.

...Only without the confusing terminology. And a whole heap more readable. And winsome. And literate. And interesting. And, well, better. I'm looking forward to finishing the book over the weekend.

Click Here for Rest of Dr. Lucas's view

Tim Keller Responded in Dr. Lucas's comment section:

Dear Sean--

You are kind. (But you haven't read the whole book yet!) Seriously, I am very much trying to argue in the tradition of Van Til, but I know there are different interpretations of him, and I look forward to hearing from some of his proponents who may feel I deviate from his method at places.

Tim Keller

Greg our Youth Pastor, whom I love, Responded to my post over at our blog:

That’s it Carlos, you bring Keller and I’ll bring the dutch…its on.

Then again, Keller would bring out his whole NY army of thugs, but then again, the dutch would bring all of Michigan.

Then again, Keller would bring Guliani…and the dutch would bring Bavinck (with Ben D to help translate) and it would be a stale mate.

Bottom line, read them both.

What is Going on??

Yesterday someone walked into class on the campus of Northern Illinois and started shooting the class up. This was a young adult, white male that did this, and this seems to be a trend. What is the cause for this growing pattern of somehow dis-heartened young adult shooting up a place? It really started with Columbine where kids that were picked on, came in with intent to kill and shoot as many people as they could. Last year there was Virginia Tech, the dude that walked into the mall with a gun, and the other guy that shot up a missions place and then a church. There was another report of a kid that was sent out letters that he was going to hijack a plane and crash into a Hannah Montana concert! Here are some reasons that have been thrown out:

1. These kids are reacting to being made fun of and seeking revenge for the pain they have felt all their lives.

2. Broken homes, the rise of broken homes over the past 50 years has led to broken kids.

3. Video games, and movies- there is something to be said about consequence free games and movies that can captivate a mind and help progress one's imagination.

Are any of these reasons valid, yes I think they all contribute, but what is the real issue tied to all of these?


Sin cuts us off from God, our true place purpose and meaning, our true relationship where we find esteem. Sin takes all of that away, it is like a disease that cuts God off, but we activley as fallen creatures seek out sin we are not victims we are criminals. The fall is where sin entered the world through Adam, cutting man off from God, who is holy and unable to associate or look upon sin.

Sin is the source of all these contributors to these disgruntled young adults. Being born without our primary relationship to God means we are born without our secure meaning and purpose, we are born lost.

Without this primary relationship we then actively, and sinfully put ourselves on a pedestal. We search for ultimate purpose and esteem in who we are, we know we cannot in the deepest part of our souls live up to this standard, but we still work and seek to be our own god.

This lose of self leads to using people to our end of giving us purpose, telling us we really are ok and loveable. We use people, either by putting them down to build ourselves up, excluding them because they are not able to provide to our purposes or we are bitter cause they do not understand and worship us as someone special and worthy to be on this pedestal where only God should be.

We blame others for our lack of esteem, we blame others for our pain and troubles. We are seeking a world where we are the center, the hero, the one that everyone esteems and loves, so often we get lost in video games, movies, books, internet social networks, or our imagination and that reality and our reality become blurred. We are so desperate to build ourselves up that we lose ourself in these worlds and often blend them with the real life.

All this is because our primary esteem and security is gone, because we are sinners. So if sin is the issue, if we can agree that sin is the dividing line of who we are, then what is the answer. Do something about the sin issue, much like cough drops are not the answer to lung cancer, only going after the disease is the answer! That only leads us to one answer! Jesus Christ!

Jesus came in sinless, not born of man, but of the a virgin so He was not tainted by the disease of Adam. He lived a sinless life where God's will, God's Kingdom, God's purposes were His only love. He then sacrificed His life by being crucified and killed by sinners, the innocent was sacrificed for the wicked. He then rose again 3 days later, to show that He had the power to forgive sin because He was man AND God, for only God can forgive sin.

Through faith now Jesus has put the sin of the Christian on Himself and took the penalty for it in our place. He not only takes our sin, but gives us His record of deeds, His earned merit of righteousness so it is as if we had lived that sinless life. So that through faith we are now reconciled to the Father, that primary relationship is restored, our purpose we were created for is restored, and our esteem goes from self to only found in Him. It does not happen over night in the fact that we still are sinners, that we are still messy, but that relationship is restored in that we are justified before God in one act and is also in process in that we are not free of sin, but are being cleaned and made new more and more.

This also enabels restoration to each other and to creation. We no longer use people for our gain, but love people because the are God's image bearers and cause we can for the first time truly love them.

Life is not perfect, not at all, but there is a real hope that in the midst of life crashing around us, we do not blame, we do not fall away into a fake world, but we hold onto the cross, we trust in Jesus, we in the midst of tears know we are loved by God even if we do not feel it, because of the sacrifice of His Son in our place. That is the realist reality there could ever be!

The answer then to the young adults that are depressed, angry and need esteem and love, is a restored relationship to their creator, their ultimate source of esteem and love, God. And that only comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

He is the answer, He has been the answer, He always will be the answer. Yes that is cheesy Christian talk, but it is true!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Office Returns Soon....

here is some real office shenanigans until then....

My Valentines

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Personal Mission Statement of Jesus

City on a Hill's teaching elder Dave Bruskas taught a great message here at Desert Springs this past Sunday. I can tell you, and told him, that many left that place limping from God's Word, I know I did. I would strongly encourage you to download this sermon here, and get ready to limp!

The Outcome of The Fall

Did the outcome of The Fall of man just affect man and God? Or did it affect everything, is that why the world is so messed up? Where is the hope in all of this mess we find ourselves in? Why are we well aware that things are not how they ought to be?

Here is a video I made for our college group "The Well" last night. I went over the holistic nature of the fall, and the holistic nature of redemption that was foreshadowed and then seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's own son.

UFC for Dudes that Live in Their Mom's Basement...

Check out homeboy's mullet!!

I am going to see this movie for sure!!

Props: Reformissionary

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Huck Is Back....

with a good showing tomorrow, McCain could be put on the ropes in the GOP!!! Go Get'em Huck!!!

Props: Mattr Of Fact

Monday, February 11, 2008

We Are Evil....

"All traditional Christians agree that human beings have a biblically certified and empirically demonstrable bias towards evil. We are all both complicitous in and molested by the evil of our race. We both discover evil and invent it; we both ratify and extend it. ...

...We know that when we sin, we pervert, adulterate, and destroy good things. We create matrices and atmospheres of moral evil and bequeath them to our descendants. By habitual practices, we let loose a great, rolling momentum of moral and spiritual evil across generations. By doing such things, we involve ourselves deeply in what theologians call corruption" ("Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin", Cornelius Plantinga Jr. pg. 26-27

Mr. West at the Grammy's

For my boy Vitamin Z:

props: in case you were wondering

Tim Keller and Church Planting 2: Being Missional

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Do We Really Want To Get Messy?

"Messy People Lifting Up a Great God", great catch phrase right? I mean it is "real" and cool and blah, blah, blah. The phrase comes from the college group "The Well" that I lead, I believe that is our heart, that we are messy, jacked up people and we Lift Up a Great God through the cross of Jesus. I pray that we are broken for the lost, but is it all a front? Are we faking wantint to be missional? We often say that we want to reach the lost, seek the messy, broken and jacked up, but do we? It is a great thing to say, and us young, angry, cool clothes wearing Christians that wear square glasses are good at playing that part. Are we willing to walk the walk, are we really broken for the lost, or do we just like the way it sounds? Gary Lamb, pastor of Revolution in Georgia has a rant that is convicting and I know for me has a sting of truth in it that pierces my heart. Here is a quote:

I have learned that most church planters REALLY don’t want to reach those far from God, they really want to do church in a cool way. There is a difference. Just because you have great video, loud music, dress casual, and use movie clips doesn’t mean you are reaching those far from God.

I honestly believe most planters would freak out if they started having to deal with the issues that come from reaching truly unchurched people. It is messy, ugly, scary, and actually can keep you from growing because it scares the hell out of those who grew up in church.

Are we willing to see our church lose people because they are uncomfortable with the dude sitting next to them? Are we willing to have small churches that are filled with people who are really being changed and turned to the cause of Jesus, you know that cause, seeking the sick and lame, the sinner and rebel, the broken of the world (Yes I did enjoy, was convicted and encouraged by Dave Bruskas today).

Click here for the Rest of Gary's "Rant"

Props: Greg Qualls

Before Theological Undies Get Bunched Up

So the bloggers have been freaking out over the Newsweek article that says Tim Keller believes in a evolution. What did we in the evangelical community do?? Did we stop and investigate, or did we start rallying around burning Keller books, depends who you ask but it seems a lot were getting out their match books. So before anyone starts calling Keller a Heretic, or worse a liberal, too late for MacArthur-ites I know but still. Here is a clarification from someone that did investigate and asked Keller his views, Ed Stetzer:

Tim Keller responds:
We should be charitable to the writer on the issues mentioned. They are pretty minor.

Yes, it isn't my first book, but the last one was over 20 years ago. I don't preach at all 5 services--I preach 4 and every week someone from the preaching team preaches the fifth one.

I wouldn’t in the least style myself a new C.S. Lewis (who would want a new one when the old one is still so great) but she got that from publicity copy written by well-meaning people at Penguin.

I wouldn't want to characterize myself as another Rick Warren but she likes Rick and wouldn't see that as a negative statement.

I believe in the historicity of Gen 1-11 and Adam and Eve and I don't believe in young earth-creation or six 24-hour day creation, but, as far as she's concerned, that means I believe somewhat in evolution. She's not used to the fine distinctions on these things we make inside the church.

Also, I've never lived anywhere near Georgia (but maybe I've spent so much time in the airport it's affected my accent!)

And even the statement that my book disappointed her in comparison to my preaching is actually true—I’m a better speaker than writer, and always will me. That was more a compliment to the preaching than a criticism of the book.

Despite this list of nits to pick, it was an overall positive, even warm article, especially considering it comes from someone whose beliefs are so different. The writer clearly likes the church and appreciates the ministry in many ways. So I'm glad for her efforts.

Props: Ed Stetzer

Keller on Church Planting Part 1

With the arrival of Tim Keller's new book coming out and all this talk between me and my boys over at The Way into the Far Country about church planting, I thought this video would be helpful flush out some thoughts:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Keller in Newsweek

Tim Keller the pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City is featured in Newsweek. Move over Rob Bell, Keller is now the "it" Pastor, whatever that means. Here is a short exerpt:

His reticence, though, is about to belong to the past. With the publication this week of his first book, "The Reason for God," Keller, who is 57, is in the midst of a dramatic change in direction. Once highly protective of his community's grass-roots approach to growth—tell a friend, bring a friend—Keller is now pitching himself as a C. S. Lewis for the 21st century, a high-profile Christian apologist who can make orthodox belief not just palatable but necessary. To complement this role, Keller is also reaching out to young, urban Christians around the world, offering to help them build churches like his. To put it bluntly, Keller wants to be the Rick Warren of global cities. "It's hard to say this without sounding snobby," says Keller in an interview, "but some of what we do at Redeemer, we feel would be good everywhere … We want to, as humbly as we possibly can, renew churches."

I am in! I have been listening recently to Rev. Keller and can say that I have learned so much from him. I highly, highly recommend listening to him if you are a wannabe Church Planter, or a Christian, or just want to listen to an interesting talk from a dude that is engaging and easy to listen to.

Here is a link to Free Keller Sermons!!!

Props: Newsweek, Z, and Reformissionary

And Men Write Their Name In the Snow Too!!!!!

Yes this video comes from an actual sermon, yes this pastor is a bit excited, and yes this is funny!!!

Props: Z

Friday, February 08, 2008

Frame and Horton

In light of all this talk about whether or not Christians should be working to influence society or be members of another Kingdom in a foreign land, here are 2 dudes that are combine IQ 1 million taking different views, read and discuss among you Theological Types....

In this corner: John Frame

In this corner: Micheal Horton

Now let's have a clean discussion, and keep the blows above the presuppositional belt.

That's a Big 10-4

A couple of nights ago I was flipping around the channels and came upon one of the classics, one that lives among the greats of cinematic feats. What movie was it?? Smokey and the Bandit!! This movie is all things 70's and I love it, I mean to see Burt Reynolds in all bell bottomed glory and just the coolness that was the CB Radio. It is one of  those movies  that remind you of watching it when you were younger, I remember after my 10th birthday party coming home from Pistol Pete's Pizza and playing with all my new toys and watching this movie on the local TV station. This movie made me want to first, grow a killer mustache, and also drive a semi-truck and rock the CB radio.  I know what you are asking yourself right now, but Los don't you mock and dislike all things NASCAR and redneck, to that I say yes, yes I do. There is something about this movie though that when it is on I cannot change the channel, I am the same way with, Footloose, Top Gun, any Rocky movie and of course any episode of Night Court. So I commend going to Blockbuster or throwing good ole' Smokey on your Netflix queue and watch a cinematic masterpiece tonight with the wife!!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pray for The City's Youth

At my church we are as a body going through a daily prayer journal called "Seek the City for God: 2008". Each day we pray for different people in our great city of Albuquerque. Yesterday was the start of this prayer campaign and we prayed for the men of our town.

I want as much as I can to show a practical way to pray for certain aspects of our daily guide. Toda for instance is youth. The youth in Albuquerque according to stats (as much as you can believe them) are some of the poorest and products of broken homes in the nation. One ministry here in Albuquerque is doing something different than the usual throw money at the problem and hope it goes away. East Central Ministries is a ministry that is located in the "war zone" of Albuquerque, what they have done is invaded the neighborhood, moved in and are helping the people there learn to be self sufficient and in someways take back their own neighborhood, all the while spreading the cause of Jesus. This ministry is not about outside, rich white suburbanites coming to the rescue, instead they are about the locals making the difference. They have even transformed a old halfway house that really was just a crack house into a school for 18 students that are learning skills for the University, and also skills to become community leaders. Our church supports this ministry but does so in a very behind the scenes way, we do not want to be the "suburban church" to the rescue when rescue is not needed, instead we pray, we financially support and at times help with tutoring or even unloading trucks, but for this ministry less is more. Much more. So if you get a chance pray for the people of East Central Ministries here in Albuquerque and the change they are doing for the cause of Jesus in our city and among our youth!!!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Matt Chandler: The Importance of Context

and Authority of Scripture.

Props: Missio Dei Suburbia

Frozen in New York

This is really sweet check it out: case you were wondering.

I Know a Rock Star!!!

I have just finished listening to the CD "Passing Through" from the group Beautiful Feet, the lead singer of this group is none other than Vitamin Z, or as others outside the Blog world, Zach Nielsen. This CD is well produced and a has great flow, as well as amazing lyrics. For less than $10 you can get this CD from iTunes here!

Yeah I know this dude, jealous?? Guess what he is also a published author, you may have read his work in the most recent Christianity Today. Check out his take on his venture into the world of being a musical genius AND profound writer!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Broken Jar

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2Cor. 4:7

I knew it was coming I knew 4 days ago that I would probably be going through this, but when it came, it came quick and it is painful.

What came you ask?? Let me give some background...

Last Thursday night Lauren went to on of elder's home, for a girls night with the wives of elders and staff of Desert Springs Church. This meant that I was home with my daughter, needless to say that anytime it is just me and Jordyn things get crazy, have you ever seen "Mr. Mom" yeah kinda like that. So as the night progressed we played, ate dinner while watching the Democratic debates, and then some Diego and Dora time as was promised to Jordyn. As Jordyn watched Dora I was in my office checking email. Well Dora ended and Jordyn proceeded to yell "Daddy More Dora!!!", I did not understand all she said but heard her yelling, so I started to quickly get up out of my chair and BAM! I slamed my right knee into the desk drawer, yeah ouch is a good word. I think a few other words came to mind as I limped out of my office, I yelled at Jordyn to stop yelling (yes I realize the dumbness of that) I was not mad or even annoyed at her I was just in pain and my yelling at her was more my knee screaming at me. I then immediately, by God's grace apologized and asked her for forgiveness and then felt some wetness on my knee. No I did not pee my pants, I was cut right on my knee cap and was bleeding, yeah fun times!!!

I have been putting neosporian and band-aids on my knee since then and was doing alright, until today. I have very sensitive knees from a childhood illness (long story) and often when I bang my knees that hard they end up infected and swollen, very painful. I thought I got off without this, but was wrong. As today went on my knee went from mild discomfort to a point of pain where I could not walk on it. I did have some medication at home so left work and got home to take it, I think I got to it in time, the pain is residing very slowly and the knee even looks a little better. I still cannot walk on it that much and it still throbs as I type.

This reminds me that even with my NY Giants winning the greatest game ever (hyperbole I know), that I am not in heaven that I am still in a messed up fallen world. The pain I have now points me to Jesus, who entered this world in a "clay jar" and was broken an beaten so that one day messy, rebels who trust in Him for their salvation will have new bodies, bodies that do not get infected. Jesus is making all things new, my heart first, and I know and wait eagerly for my body to follow! It also reminds me how much I am a fan of comfort, how I so cherish comfort and a painfree life. Today there were millions, yes millions of people that felt way more pain than me, whether it is pain from a body wrecked by Aids in Africa, or cancer here in Albuquerque, or a body that has been ravaged by war in Iraq, Chad or Kenya.

I am a broken clay jar, but the treasure that God has put in me is unbreakable, and imperishable. That is my hope, not the jar, but the everlasting joy inside!!!

Something to marinate in:

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8: 18-39)

The Morning After...

5 weeks ago no one thought the NY Giants would 1 make it past the 1st round of the playoffs, 2. Make it to the Super Bowl after beating Tampa, Dallas, and Green Bay and 3. Beat the Patriots, something no one had done this season.

It is funny how things change in 5 weeks!! The New York Giants are Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots are the "what could have been" team of the decade, and Super Bowl 42 may be one of the best ever. The bandwagon for people who are now stoked on the Giants, and know names like Eli, Plaxico and Coughlin, yes this happens and I say welcome aboard!!! It was a fairy tale game, that really caps a fairy tale, movie type story for the NY Giants over the past 4 years.

A troubled coach that can never get to the big game, a underacheiving quarterback who lives in the shadow of older all American brother. It is a story of a bunch of no names who lose their first 2 games of the season badly, who are basically invisible the whole season. thi team makes it to the playoffs barely, beats the teams that beat them at the start of the year in dramatic fashion on the road. And then takes on the "best team ever", a team that was undefeated and seemed unstopable. This team has the confident, quarterback, this team has the coach that not just makes to to the big one but does so quite often. And what happens, the underdog wins, they do so in the last minute with movie type plays, plays where the music is dramatic and everything goes in slow motion, plays that only Hollywood can script. Coming to a theater near you!!!

Yes I watched the 4th quarter 2x last night as I could not sleep, yes I watched all the highlights and am currently wearing my NY Giants sweatshirt. I am not a player, I am not even a New Yorker, I am a New Mexican, but today is special, I cannot explain it, but it feels like a holiday, like a day that you just don't want to end. Ok maybe I am a tad bit dramatic but still it is awesome ride for Giants fans!!!

Zach posted this play, a play that we will see over and over again, one that will be in a movie someday, and one that shows the ending to a true storybook season!

It is a good day to be a Giants fan!!!! It is a good off season to be a Giants fan!!! And it is awesome to be in New Mexico, aka Dallas Cowboy country and be a Giants fan!!!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

NYG Super Bowl 42 Champs!!!!!!!!

Everyone were saying it could not be done, the Giants cannot beat the Patriots. Eli cannot top Brady, no one can stop Moss!!! Guess what...


I did not sit the whole game (usual for me when watching the Giants or Lobos) and the adreniline is still pumping in my bones!!! Yeah it was awesome and something that will be remembered for a long time. Maybe they will make a movie out of this!

Me and Jordyn celebrating the Big Win!!!

Today Is The Day!!!! Go Giants!!!!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Jordyn Turns 2!!!!

So my daughter's birthday was 2 weeks ago and we are celebrated with a Griego style bash today at my in-law's home. It was postponed due to me being in St. Louis. It was a fun time, Here is a video so you can experience a Griego Birthday...

Are Christians The Stumbling Block??

We are told that the cross and Jesus crucified is a stumbling block (1 Cor 1:23). The question is, is there other stumbling blocks, such as the arrogance, and the judgmental attitude of the Christian? Check this out:

Order UnChristian Here

Props: Greg Qualls

C.J. On The Super Bowl and God's Glory

C.J. Mahaney one of my favorite pastors and teachers has first off started a new blog, and in that blog has given us instructions on how to view this game to God's glory. Here is a little quote

"Sometime after the game—that same evening or the next day—it’s helpful for a father to draw his child’s attention to the game in light of eternity. It’s also helpful for us as fathers to be reminded of an eternal perspective.

Apart from those few who listen excessively to sports talk radio, this game will be quickly forgotten. Let me ask you this—who won the Super Bowl even five years ago?"

Although I greatly respect C.J. here is one thing I found I was in disagreement with:

"Okay, on to predictions. Who will win? I predict that New England will win easily and decisively. How’s that for a bold and risky prediction?"

C.J. does redeem himeself a little:

"Who do I want to win? I cannot believe I’m saying this, but Sunday I will be rooting for the New York Giants.

As a lifelong fan of the Washington Redskins, it’s most unusual for me to root for the Giants. The Giants are a division rival. In the NFC East, I scorn teams in order of priority. I despise the Dallas Cowboys. I strongly dislike the New York Giants. I dislike the Philadelphia Eagles. Just like my dad taught me."

Yes C.J. is a Redskins fan which shows that we are all messy and no one makes perfect decisions.

The rest of the blog is funny and insight full Click here for C.J.'s take on the Super Bowl.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Pop!

In the Bible there are times when the people of Israel would set up stones to remember certain events. In other words when they would see the stone it would remind of what God had done for them in their midst. These stones were pointers to be thankful and give all glory to the LORD for his amazing works.

My dad in many ways is my stone. Often when I see my dad the life he has now, and the way he loves my mother and his family I see pictures of the love of my Heavenly Father. My dad is not perfect he has like all of us things to overcome, things that looking back now are not "highlights" of his life, but what he displays is unconditional love and care for his family. My dad is also a stone that shows me what it means to be a man. Yes he is tough and I bet could beat up your dad, but more than that. He started his career as a garbage man, and not like the garbage man of today that sits in the truck and lets the vehicle do all the work. My dad would have to get out on cold winter days and hot summer afternoons and go into dumpsters and pick up and haul garbage. Yes he actually used his hands for more than typing and texting, I know crazy huh! He did this to support his family and raise his daughter. He worked his way up the company ladder and retired the head of a whole division of the City of Albuquerque. He did this by hard work, and not by sucking up to the bosses or playing office politics. My father also coached my soccer teams, and maybe we will bring him out of retirement for Jordyn's future soccer adventures. My dad was actually willing to invest in my life as a father, not just work 70 hours a week and buy me stuff to compensate, he actually showed me the way to invest and sacrifice for your child. He was a protector of us, willing to stand between danger and his family with out thinking through the risk to himself.

I do not want to paint this picture perfect dad, he was not perfect. He had issues in life he had to deal with, and God has given the grace to do so. In fact he now supports and mentors those that are dealing with the same stuff he once did.

The biggest thing about my father is his faith. He now is a Christian that seems to be walking by faith everyday that God will provide and ultimately that God is His only true and everlasting Joy through everything. To say that Christ has transformed my father's life is a huge understatement.

As I was a prodigal son for many years, off and partying and dishonoring him. He was always running to meet me when I came back. My dad is the embodiment of unconditional love and forgiveness, my father is my stone that points to my True, Eternal, Father in Heaven. He never once locked the door and left me out in the street, although I deserved that many many times.

He now loves my daughter in a way that I think a grandfather should. My daughter loves her pappy so much, not a day goes by she does not ask about him. It is not because he buys her things, but because he is there for her, he is willing to get on the ground and wrestle, he is willing to read a book to her, although she prefers nana for that. Basically he invests and cares for her the same he did for me and my sister. That is rare these days.

I praise God for my old man, and pray I can be half the father he has been!

Today is my dad's 57th birthday, so happy birthday old man!!!!

Super Bowl Weekend is HERE!!!!

It seems that no one is giving the Giants a chance in this game, not even the parking lot attendant at UNM I spoke with today. That is ok, did anyone give them a shot agains Tampa, Dallas or the Packers?? NO!!!

Here is the other thing some people have falsely accused me of being a front runner, in other words I only like the Giants cause of the success this year. If you have known me for any length of time you know that is not true at all, I have been a NYG fan since the days of Simms and Parcells. I watched Super Bowl 25 with extreme emotion, and I was in 5th grade over 15 years ago. So I have been a true NY fan through the good times, and through the downright awful times.

So this weekend I will be enjoying the Super Bowl with excitement for the NYG, I mean come on who really wants to see Goliath beat the crap outta David, you know you want to see an underdog get the W!!!!

Click here for the so called experts pick.