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Everything Changes

The more messed up this world gets, the more God makes sense.

SXC

Sunday, February 19, 2006
I love photography. In high school I practically majored in it. I loved hanging out in the darkroom after school developing the black & whites that I had taken with my Minolta SRT202.

In 2002 I bought my first digital camera. Although I am longing for a Digital SLR I have made the most of my Minolta S404.

SXC [Stock.XCHNG] is a royalty free stock photo site which allows photography buffs like me to post pics for the world to see and love. My church doors pic has gathered quite a reputation, including 354 downloads and various online postings. It has even been published in a book.

You Give God A Bad Name

Saturday, February 18, 2006
"...the Jews, in a fury of jealousy, got hold of some of the unprincipled loungers of the marketplace, gathered a crowd together and set the city in an uproar."

[Acts 17:5 | J.B. Phillips]

[Unprincipled loungers - I love that.]

The NIV says "they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city."

This verse caught my attention because of something I read a few weeks ago that sounded awfully familiar:

While traveling in Iran, I learned that it's regular practice for propaganda buses, arranged for by the hard-liner Muslim press, to roll into small villages and round up the unemployed and pay them a day's wages to whip themselves up into an anti-American demonstration - beating their chests, waving their fists, and burning flags.

[Muslims Next Door | Shirin Taber]

Now don't get me wrong... I'm NOT saying that every unemployed person is a lounger to be avoided, but I think it's interesting that people DO this sort of thing!

Godly people.

[Note: this blog is not about politics or other religions - although I DID visit a Muslim mosque this week. Met a young man last summer who is Muslim and we've had chats about our faith(s), etc., over the past few months. He came for a tour of my church recently and I told him I would visit his mosque. It was a very interesting experience, especially because I was able to be a fly on the wall during his "washing" (preparation for prayers) and their sunset prayers.]

No, this blog is more about unprincipled people who claim to be Godly [no matter WHAT religion they are] who do unprincipled things that give their "God" a bad name.

For example: Many years ago I was part of a Christmas Cantata at the church I worked for. Five minutes before "opening night" there was a power outage. [Or was there?] We found out later that a disgruntled soundman from the church sabotaged the electrical panel and cut the power because he was mad that he wasn't part of the production.

Jealousy. It is a powerful thing. The Jews in Acts were jealous too. And it made them do an unprincipled thing that caused an unnecessary uproar.
Please don't force me to take a hard line when I'm present with you. Don't think that I'll hesitate a single minute to stand up to those who say I'm an unprincipled opportunist. Then they'll have to eat their words.

The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way - never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.

[2 Corinthians 10:2-4 | The Message]

The Seven

Monday, February 06, 2006
Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas.

I tried Googling these five guys today. Didn't find out much - other than the fact that Nicanor means conqueror, Timon means honoring and Parmenas means constant.

I also found out that nothing further is known about Nicanor. Oh yeah, and that Timon was probably the Bishop of Bostra in Greece and was seized, tortured and martyred by the governor because of his preaching in that city. [Parmenas is thought to have died a martyr too, in Philippi.]

I DO know that they hung out with Stephen and Philip, whom we have a bit more information about. And that they were "...men of good reputation who [were] both practical and spiritually-minded..." [Acts 6:3 Phillips Translation]

In fact, the reason these guys are even mentioned in the Bible is because they were good waiters!
There is a new restaurant opening in town called Philthy McNastys - how's THAT for a restaurant name! They are currently hiring all positions, including wait staff. Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas could easily get hired as they have the necessary experience.
But these five guys had something else going on too. They "did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people!" At least I'm going to make that assumption. After all, that is what we're told about Stephen, and he was part of their posse. I mean, they were all chosen for the same reason. These guys were a team. Picked for being practical AND spiritual.

Deacons.

Well, not really. The name deacon is nowhere applied to them in the New Testament - they are simply called the seven.

The SUPER SEVEN, that is!

[Not to be confused with the Ontario Super 7, of course.]

They were men of good report, full of the Holy Ghost, and men of practical wisdom, who could take entire charge of distributing food and helping the poor! Plus - both Philip and Stephen, [who were of the seven] preached AND did the work of evangelists!

Holy servants, Batman! Now THAT'S what I call a DEACON! Constant, honoring conquerors who not only know how to take care of the poor and needy, but can handle getting you saved, healed and delivered all during the same meal!

Sounds like another Super Guy I know.

Hear | Obey">Hear | Obey

Saturday, February 04, 2006
I listen to God when He tells me to do something. Eventually. Quite often, like most Dad's, He has to tell me 2 or 3 times, but eventually I do what He says.

Sometimes it costs money to listen to God. Like the time three weeks ago when God told me to give $100 to someone at my church. Right in the middle of worship! Go figure! That can be tricky when you're the guy leading worship! Or a few years ago when He literally asked me to sell everything I had.

He had to tell me that three times. Eventually I listened.

Today He asked me to be honest. And although it really ticked me off, He only had to tell me once.

It all started when I decided to do my 2005 tax return. Punched in the numbers online and Quick Tax told me that my refund would be $1449.17! Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Not the largest tax refund I've ever received but definitely enough to venture off to a warm tropical location for 7 nights, including air, hotel and car rental!

Then God dashed my tropical hopes and dreams. He gently reminded me about a litte tour I went on last year with Kutless. And about some money I made on that tour. Contract money. Money that I did not pay taxes on. Money that, once claimed on my tax return, will reduce my tax refund to nothing and require that I pay additional taxes.

I tried to skirt the issue. Even went so far as to contact the production company that I worked for to find out how they were going to claim the money they paid me. Maybe they didn't claim it which would mean I wouldn't have to claim it either!

To think that I actually emailed them to ask.
"Hey,

Quick question re: the contract work I did for you last year - do you guys claim the money paid out to me? If not, just let me know.

Paul"
That's when God told me what to do. I didn't even have to wait for a reply to my email. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.
The Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands... IF you obey the Lord your God...

[Deuteronomy 30:9-10 | New International Version]

If you listen obediently. And do what you're told.

What's That Code?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006



A kid from my church told me about this music video site called WhatsThatCode.com so I thought I'd check it out. The drummer for Thousand Foot Krutch was only 13 yrs old when I was his youth pastor. It's been cool to watch how far God has taken him and his talented abilities.

*Don't like rock n roll? = Click here!