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Everything Changes

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

The Urge To Truckle

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
There's this 13-year-old in my neighborhood. He is well known around town and has quite the reputation. Mostly for doing things that he shouldn't. He lives with his mom and takes three needles daily for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.

He showed up at my house tonight. Apparently he got punched and kicked by another kid earlier today, even though he didn't "do" anything to deserve it. He said he just wanted to talk about it. He told me that he likes to talk to me when he's having a bad day.

Some of you reading this have met him, most of you haven't and never will. A few months ago he stopped me to ask where I was going. I told him I was on my way to church. He asked if he could come with me because he wanted God to heal him of diabetes. He has been at church about three or four times since.

His last name is Truckle.

This post is not as much about this kid as it is about his name. Ironically, I was doing an online search to find out if he had ever made the local news. Nope. Nothing about him on the net. But I DID discover the meaning of his name.
According to Princeton's WordNet Search v2.1, the verb truckle means: yield to out of weakness.
And yes, very often this kid yields to things he shouldn't, out of weakness.

But don't we all? I know I do. All the time. And I usually feel like crap after the fact. The difference between me and my young neighbor? When HE goes through stuff that makes him feel like crap HE wants to talk about it! Because it makes him feel better. Plus, he also knows that I will pray for him, and usually asks me to do so.
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Romans 7:15, 24-25


He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9


Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.

James 5:16

Truckle + Confession + Grace = Power

Besides, nothing can separate me from God's love. Not even when I truckle.

Land Claim

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Unless you live in Ontario you probably haven't heard about the land claim dispute in Caledonia. It started last October when a company called Henco Industries started developing the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision on native land. In February a group of Six Nations members took over the housing project, erecting tents, a teepee and a wooden building claiming that the land belonged to them and Henco had no right to build.

The history of the land in question goes back to 1784. The protesters say the land was granted to Six Nations more than 200 years ago and was never officially transferred to non-natives.

Recently the native group put up barricades blocking two main roads in Caledonia in an attempt to get the government's attention regarding this injustice. And it worked. Well, sort of. Although the land dispute is far from over, native protestors dismantled the barricades yesterday, calling it a gesture of goodwill after the government of Ontario banned construction on the site.

Every place where you set your foot will be yours...

Deuteronomy 11:24

The Bible talks a lot about land claims - people claiming their allotted territories and taking possession of the land - good land, bad land. Even stolen land. And what we do (or don't do) with this land seems pretty important to God.

Do you remember that quirky worship tune called Enemy's Camp? (Okay, maybe it was just the ACTIONS that were quirky.) The lyrics say, I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me... he's under my feet... satan is under my feet.

I think we need to set up some barricades; raise some flags; dance on injustice. It is time to reclaim land that the enemy has stolen. No, I'm not talking about physical land like my native neighbors are fighting for, I'm talking about personal, spiritual land. Territories of the heart, mind and soul. Land that satan has stolen from our lives. Land that he is trying to build his kindgom upon.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Education, art, music, family, sexuality, integrity, justice, purity, freedom, health, media... (etc., etc.)

It is time to claim our land.

Photo Scrum

Sunday, May 21, 2006
(fō'tō) n. Informal. A photograph.

(skrŭm) n. 2. Chiefly British. A disordered or confused situation involving a number of people.
I did it! I started a photo club! And I want YOU to join!

Club rules:

1. You have to be invited to Photo Scrum; it is a member's only club. In fact, only OTHER Photo Scrum members will be able to view your pics, comments and discussions.

2. Members are called Tographers and I am the Photo Scrum Moderator. I will send you an email inviting you to become a Photo Scrum Tographer; if you would like YOUR friends or family to become a Tographer just send me their email address and I can invite them too!

3. You have to become a member of Flickr to be part of Photo Scrum. (Flickr is one the coolest FREE photo sites on the net.) The email invitation will give you all the details.

4. I know we're all busy, but this will be fun. Besides, we ALL need a hobby.
SIDE NOTE: Someone has said, "Hobbies are sanity preservers." And I think that is true. I think everyone needs something (hobby) that rounds out their lives; something that diverts their mind from the daily grind, etc. And I think that MY hobby (taking pics) does just that. Also said: "Imagination disposes of everything." I believe that the creative process (when you "hobby") is refreshing and invigorating to the psyche.
So come and join Photo Scrum! You'll have to wait for the invite, of course, and I will try to get them all sent out this week or next. In the meantime, if you have a camera (any camera will do) start gathering your ORIGINAL pics and ready to POST, POST, POST!

Sputtering & Throwing Smoke

Friday, May 19, 2006
Since I bought a car a couple of months ago I haven't been reading as much. That is because I used to read while I was riding public transit. It is not as easy to read while driving. Not that I'm suggesting it.

If only I could be like Susan, or Melodee, and fly through the pages of multiple reads while conquering the world! (Okay, how about if I could just read as fast as them.)

I've been trying to get through my Currently Reading selection, Blue Like Jazz. Great book so far. And it came highly recommended. I'm just afraid I may need to buy a new bus pass to finish it!
Everybody exaggerates when they are selling something. Everybody says their product works like magic. At the time I understood God's offer as a magical proposition, which it is. But most magical propositions are just tricks. The older you get, the harder it is to believe in magic. The older you get, the more you understand there is no Wizard of Oz, just a schmuck behind a curtain.

p.29

A lot of people seem to be disillusioned by God these days. Or perhaps it is the way we "do" God that is leaving them unfulfilled. Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz, says that he used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But have no fear, his book is about changing his mind. About God, that is.

But that doesn't mean that YOU have changed your mind - nor the people I have been confronted with on a seemingly daily basis who want more than they're getting on Sunday AM.

Did I just use the word nor? I did, didn't I. (Sigh.) And I probably used it improperly. But that's just the way it goes sometimes. We do things improperly. Quite often without realizing we have done so.

Maybe we are using God improperly. Or, at best, there is a better way to embrace who God is and what He wants us to do with Him. But how do we get there? How do we remove the coke bottle glasses we've been looking through to get a clearer vision of God? Maybe He isn't who we say He is. Perhaps He is WAY bigger than that. OR... maybe He wants to be SMALLER so He can dwell among us and reveal His glory.

Shoot. I think He already DID that. Maybe we missed it.

Or maybe I'm just sputtering & throwing smoke...

Picture Perfect

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It is hard to believe that my pics have been downloaded 7760 times from my SXC account. Am I bragging? Darn straight! This is cool!

It was about a year ago that Johnnie encouraged me to post my pics on the popular stock photos site. I have always wanted to share my pics with the world, and although these pics are fairly generic, (which is why they are considered "stock"), I am having a blast!

Sam bought a Nikon D70s yesterday and Brandon is getting a Canon A530. Not to mention the S3 that Fred picked up recently!

I think I need to start a club! (Wanna join?)

The Chronicle of the King of Judah

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Asa was one of the Kings of Judah. At one point in his life he was a smart King and inquired of the Lord. But by the 36th year of his reign Asa got dumb. And then? Dumber.

The story goes something like this...

Baasha, the King of Israel, attacked Asa by building a fort and closing the border between Israel and Judah. He wanted to keep Asa from leaving or entering. So Asa called Ben-Hadad, the King of Aram, and asked him for help.

Mistake #1.

You see, Ben-Hadad had a deal with Baasha, the King that was attacking Asa. So Asa sent a bunch of gold and silver (that he got from the Temple) to Ben-Hadad to bribe him. He wanted Ben-Hadad to break his deal with Baasha so he'd quit fighting against Asa. And, of course, Asa wanted Ben-Hadad to strike up a deal with him instead. Which he did.

And on the story goes. Ben-Hadad takes some cities and defeats Baasha. Asa sets up his own blockades. Etc. Etc.
Just after that, Hanani the seer came to Asa King of Judah and said, "Because you went for help to the King of Aram and didn't ask God for help, you've lost a victory over the army of the King of Aram.

2 Chronicles 16:7

Okay. In case you're confused, this is what happened. Instead of trusting God to help Asa defeat the united forces of Baasha and Ben-Hadad, Asa did it his own way. And that resulted in him being confronted by war for the rest of his days, INCLUDING defeat by the very army he bribed for help.

Gulp.
God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God's help. Now you're in trouble - one round of war after another.

2 Chronicles 16:9

So how does Asa respond to the prophet? Well... he got angry, lost his temper, put Hanani in stocks and even started abusing people!

Way to go Asa. (I would never try to make things happen on my own. That would be dumb!) Even dumber? Making the same mistake a second time!
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa came down with a severe case of foot infection. He didn't ask God for help, but went instead to the doctors. Then Asa died.

2 Chronicles 16:12-13

There is Healing in the River

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

Ezekiel 47:12

A Child Shall Lead Them">A Child Shall Lead Them

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
You must read my previous post to understand why this one is so important.
I promise you this. If you don't change and become like a child, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

What transpired at my church on Sunday night would have been appalling to some church folk. Kids, laying their hands on adults, and praying for them.

Our church doesn't run a children's program during our service. The kids stay with their parents. In today's church culture that is almost unheard of. "No children's church?! What kind of church is this? I ain't goin' to THAT church! My kids would drive me crazy!!"

Sad, but true. Many people can't wait to get to church so they can send their little ones off to Kids Church. I call it the Dysfunctional Church. And why not. Families are dysfunctional; society is dysfunctional; why shouldn't church be dysfunctional?

Do you realize that children's ministries have only been around for about 30 years? A lot less for some churches. Someone came up with the bright idea that we should separate children from their parents in church, because the parents were falling short on their Biblical responsibility to teach their kids the Word. So, instead of helping parents become BETTER spiritual guides we created Children's Pastors to do the job FOR them!

Don't get me wrong, my church DOES have a kids program, but it's on Saturday mornings. Our people run the program, but it is almost parachurch in nature. Yes, it is a kid's program, complete with fun games, etc., [and even a Children's Pastor - in the purest sense of the title], but it compliments what is happening on Sundays - AND in our city. Kids are learning to hear God and obey.

And their parents are encouraged to teach them the same.

Forgive the length of this blog, but I just wanted to set the stage. Because we experienced something sweet on Sunday night. Something pure.
I promise you that you cannot get into God's kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does.

Mark 10:15

Over the past two years our congregation has been learning how to hear the voice of the Lord. This past Saturday morning some of the kids were getting visions from God; seeing people healed that they prayed for. This is normal for our kids. One girl had a dream that God was going to use the children to see adults healed in our Sunday service.

So, we released them to do just that.

For an hour and a half we [the adults] waited on the Lord, while the kids were released to lay hands on us and pray for us. And they did.

...and people were set free.
...and people fell on the floor unable to stand in God's presence.
...and kids spoke encouraging prophetic words over people.

We didn't sing songs or wonder what would be happening next, we just enjoyed the presence of the Lord while the children walked around in pairs praying for people.

No, we're not going to change our theology based on Sunday night and start ordaining children. But maybe we should? Perhaps some of our "ways" need a reformation; some of our foundations rebuilt. Maybe it's time to let the children lead us into God's kingdom. Time for us to change and become like a child.
When the last days come, I will give my Spirit to EVERYONE.

Acts 2:17

Boy Does Homework, Smokes Pot With Mom

Sunday, May 07, 2006
HANOVER, Pa. (AP) - A 13-year-old boy told police his mother required him to do his homework first thing when he got off the school bus, then smoked marijuana with him as a reward.

The mother said she had been smoking marijuana with her son since he was 11, usually as a reward, according to court documents.

The police interview came after officers executed a search warrant at the woman's home last weekend and seized marijuana, an array of drug paraphernalia and $600 in cash that she said belonged to a drug dealer, court documents said.

Amanda Lynn Livelsberger, 30, faces charges of marijuana possession, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children and possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia, police said.

A telephone listing for Livelsberger couldn't be found and it wasn't clear if she had an attorney.
What. That's not the norm nowadays? I thought it was! Kids smoking up with their parents? It seems common in my neighborhood. I personally know two kids that have been there, done that. After all, our province is trying to legalize marijuana - and the public schools freely give these same 13-year-olds condoms, so obviously they are grown up enough to smoke pot with their mom!

Duh, everybody does it.

Invisible Children

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I met David when he was 14. I was the youth pastor at a local church where the African Children's Choir was performing in our Sunday PM service. It wasn't until the next day, when I walked into a makeshift classroom in our church's prayer room, that I realized the kids were staying in town for a few days.

The choir's tour manager asked me if I would help chaperone a trip to Canada's Wonderland - an amusement park in Toronto. I agreed, gathered my things and hopped on a tour bus full of African children. There was only one seat left on the bus - next to David.

He was this incredibly shy, quiet young man. The oldest "child" on the tour. Although the tour manager was not supposed to tell me David's story, I insisted after a fun-filled day walking around the park with David and two of his younger friends.

David and his brother witnessed rebels brutally murder their parents. I won't go into the details because they are horrific. After escaping the rebels themselves, David and his brother fled to the "bush" where they hid for 4 months. Shortly thereafter a ministry discovered the boys and brought them to their home for orphans.

Long story short: I have kept in contact with David since the day we met. He is now in his twenties and still lives in Uganda.

Tonight I watched a video from a link on Will's blog called Invisible Children. I want to encourage you to take some time to visit his blog and watch this powerful documentary. Whether you have an African connection like me or not, I am sure it will impact your life.

And it will give you a glimpse into one of the many crises happening in our world.