Thursday, October 30, 2008
OK, I have to say I now somewhat regret posting my post "The Bible vs. Culture" the other night. I say "somewhat" because I regret classifying my two churches as extreme. I shouldn't have portrayed the two churches as I did, because it was not accurate to do so. I somewhat understood this at the time, which is why I had disclaimers in there, but still, I feel bad about saying bad things about my churches that have only done amazing things in my life. I am sorry.

But, just as McCain said "The fundamentals of the economy are strong", the fundamentals of my post were/are strong. I am going to two churches that disagree with each other, and that is not helping me.

The good news is that changes are being made. Because AUMC has a Sunday night service which I need to start attending, I have sent in my "resignation" to the guy at DBC; I wont be volunteering there any more. This saddens me much, because I fully believe that it was during my volunteering at the Tuesday night service of DBC that I first felt my calling for church media. Sure, before that I had worked at AUMC, but it was always a passive thing; I enjoyed doing it, but I was not personally involved with the service.

Because of the way that the sanctuary was set up in the old building at DBC I was able to (while volunteering) worship WITH the congregation, I for the first time found that I could lead worship from the booth. It was that that made me find my new passion in life: media ministry.

Anywho, I am rambling now. Off to bed... that is, after I write a blog post for my other blog.



Wow, God continues to work in my life.

It amazes me how a simple e-mail that someone sends me changed so many things in my head. (To be a little more clear, it had nothing to do with anything that I have posted on this blog (recently, anyway).) And it wasn't even about a big issue... it was just an e-mail sent to several people about a small topic. But it directly and indirectly answered many questions and fears that I had, so I am glad that I got it.

In my emotional-roller-coaster life, this is a bright spot, a light on my path (which I have been praying about), and while the skeptic in me says "It was a simple e-mail, stupid!", my soul cries out "This ray of sunshine is truly from God."


The Bible vs. Culture

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Yea! As the temperature drops, so are the gas prices! According to, it is currently 35 degrees here, and the price for a gallon of cheap gas is currently $2.159. Life is good.

Oh, how I wish that were true. Of course, the temp and gas prices are true, I just wish that low temps and gas prices were all that were needed for life to be good. In actuality, life is a complex tangle of religion, culture, money, sex, emotions, love, hate, idols, blogs, and work. And don't forget you have to sleep and eat!

OK, on with long-winded meandering intros... let me get to what I wanted to talk about: The Bible vs. Culture! [cue dramatic music]

I could start this off many ways, but for once, instead of taking the scenic route and telling you how I got here, I am going to just jump in.

I have realized recently that one of my problems is that I am attending two very different, very radical churches. By day I go to Argyle United Methodist Church, a sweet little traditional church in small town suburbia. By night I go to Denton Bible Church, a contemporary Bible-centered soon-to-be-mega-church.

While there are many ways you can compare (and contrast, thanks Mrs. Lampo) these two churches, one particular thing has recently stood out to me: how each church relates the Bible to culture.

(Warning: In the following paragraphs I will be making generalizations. Don't take my descriptions literally, I am exaggerating to make a point.)

DBC is on one extreme. They follow the Bible, period. They take the Bible very literally, and while they do make their teachings relevant to today's culture, their interpretation of the Bible is in no way influenced by current culture. This makes a lot of sense to me, because the Bible is the core of my religion. The Bible is God's word, his instructions for life (while cliche, it is true: the Bible is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). But I don't agree with everything that they preach. I don't take the creation story literally, and I am not a Calvinist.

On the other extreme is AUMC. They preach culture with no influence of the Bible. (Again, I am exaggerating to the extreme.) They take culture as the truth and try to bend the Bible around it. For example, it doesn't matter that Paul said "I would NEVER let a woman stand up in front of a co-ed group and teach" (paraphrased, of course), Methodists say "It is cultural suicide to say that a woman can't do something that a man can do, so therefore it is OK for a woman to teach church".

OK, well, I was going to give a few more examples, but as it tends to happen at 4 AM, my mind has hit a brick wall (or "blogger's block" as I like to call it). But I will still ask my ending question: What should I do? Sometimes I feel informed about both sides so that I can choose my own way, sometimes I feel torn and damned by both sides for not being on one extreme or the other. Wouldn't just going to one church be better for me? For that matter, what denomination am I? I grew up Methodist, but I can now see that I am not as liberal as they tend to be... but on the other hand, I am also not as conservative as Denton Bible is.

To answer my own question: I think it is is getting close to the time where I have to sever my ties with both churches, and find a church that can call my own. I haven't been a member of a church since before High School (I am not even a member at the church that I work for), and it is getting time for me to come home to a place that I can trust. Don't worry Joe, I won't be suddenly dropping out of AUMC or DBC, but I hope to, over a few years, migrate from a segregated church life to a new church home. Where that will take me, I don't know... but isn't that precisely the paradigm of life?


You're Fired...

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Here we go again... another night where I am depressed, down in the dump, just to wake up in the morning wondering why I was sad in the first place.


Idols part 3

Monday, October 20, 2008
(If you haven't yet, go down and read "Idols" and "Idols part 2", the previous two posts.)

The funny thing is, I started the "Idols part 2" post as something different. Sure, it turned out to be something that I had thought out already, but I had set out to say something different. So I just decided to make a third post about idols, rather than make a posts about two different subjects (the same topic, but different subjects).

What I had wanted to say was this: I believe that my "dearest idol I have known" (as the song put it) is money. This last year I have idolized money. I have centered my life on making money instead of centering my life on working for God.

This post actually fits very close with my recent post "A new leaf, maybe?". I am trying to not let money control my life. Yes, I am still planning on moving in December to save $100 a month, but there will be many more benefits than that. I am also trying to not be distraught over my "financial situation" (as I like to call it). Really, I should just call it what it is: I am broke.

In the past few months, I have been stressing out over being broke... and the economic failout isn't helping matters. I have been worrying about how I will pay back my debts; instead, I should be thinking about how to bring glory to Christ. Yes, I should be financially responsible, but stressing over money doesn't help anything.

So anywho, I just wanted to share my idol with you. Please pray with me that I am able to dethrone my idol of money, that I stop seeing what I want to buy, and instead see what I can do with what I have. Pray that I am reminded that money is an earthly object, and that I am reminded to focus on Heavenly goals instead.


Idols part 2

The previous post about Idols was taken from a song that we sung in church. I was later thinking about what it said, about taking our idols off of the throne. The more I thought about it, the clearer the metaphor became.

Thrones are places for things that control us. Kings sit on thrones because they control us (that is, if we lived 500 years ago). In fact, what happens when a king's power is taken away? He is dethroned! Judges sit on a throne because they control our fate. God sits on a throne because... well, because he is both a judge and a king (or would that be THE judge and THE king?).

Isn't this what an idol is? How else would you define an idol than "something that controls your life"? If something controls your life, than it is an idol, if something doesn't control your life, than it isn't an idol. I think that in this culture, the word "idol" has been changed because of pop culture; things like "American Idol" make the word "idol" something that is good, while the Biblical definition of idol is something completely different. Don't mistake superstars and idols.

Lets take this metaphor one step further. Not only is the throne the seat of something that has rules over us, but the throne itself is often an object that controls us. It is often made of (or covered with) gold or rubies, so that the subject is envious/greedy of the owner of the throne. It is large, larger than it has to be to hold an overweight king, so that it always reminds you who is in control. It is always on a pedestal, so that the ruler will be looking down on his subject, while the subject will have to look up at the ruler.

Isn't it true that idols often bring baggage with them? Idols are covered in gold, they make you envious of others. They are giant, they lord over you. And they are always higher than you, always making you think lower of yourself than you should.

All idols sit on a throne. All idols control our lives, and bring baggage. What is your idol? What is controlling your life? What can you give up to be free to make the right decisions in life? Continue to pray to God that he help you to dethrone your idols, to strip them of all power, so that they have no rule in your life.



Sunday, October 19, 2008
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.

~ William Cowper



" answer your question, no, I don’t worry about the polls. Polls are just a fancy way of systematically predicting what’s gunna happen. The only poll I care about is the North Pole, and that is... melting, it’s not great."
~Tina Fey, as Sarah Palin


A new leaf, maybe?

Saturday, October 18, 2008
My brother and I had a good conversation tonight, and I have been thinking about re-arranging the priorities in my life. Instead of sitting around waiting for better things in my life to happen to me, why not make them happen?

So I am going to try to be more pro-active in my life. Start doing more video work, look for more event work, do more (paid) church work. Things like that.

The problem with me is that I am a lightweight emotional... meaning, by this time Monday I won't have the motivation that I have right now.

Oh well, such is life. Either I will have the motivation to do what needs to happen or I won't and I will wallow in life for another year.


Great Day...

Thursday, October 16, 2008
The greatest day of the year is here! I had to go get my fuzzy slippers out of my closet... yea!!

And on a completely related note: Here is my partial birthday/Christmas wish list: a new set of fuzzy slippers (these are the Marvin the Martian ones that my dad got me a long time ago, and they both have worn through the soles), and a "full" size electric bed warmer (the kind that you put under your fitted sheet and it looks like a fitted sheet... I have one (thanks Sara), but it takes about an hour to warm up 3 degrees... time for a new one!).

I can't think of much else that I want this year, outside of monetary supplications for my financial situation. (And I will always enjoy my iTunes gift cards from Sara!)


More Ephesians...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm...
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

~Ephesians 6:10-14a, 18a (thanks, Kellie)



Monday, October 13, 2008
I was just reading my RSS feed from Here is one of the "news" articles on the website:

FOXSexpert: Sex on the First Date, Do or Don't?
Sex on the first date can be tricky. Can you pull it off?

Wow. This frustrates the heck out of me, when mainstream media outlets are "reporting" these types of "stories". And we wonder why our culture is so infatuated with sex.

And on a totally different and happy note: Read this


The Cross

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don't cry, he is coming
Don't die without knowing the cross
~ Kevin Max



Christianity boiled down into one chapter, and my second favorite passage in the Bible:

Ephesians 4:17-5:21 (note verse 26, as it pertains to my previous post)


So much, so little

Sunday, October 12, 2008
There is so much I want to type out for my blog, but I am way too lazy to actually do it.

The good news: this morning I found that I could control my anger towards a petty offense... at least I did it this time (with the help of prayer), I hope I can do it again in the future.

Off to type out an apology to the person I was angry at, even if they didn't know I was angry at them. =: >



Saturday, October 11, 2008
So yesterday I filled up with gas: $2.999 a gallon! Woop! The first full tank of gas less than $60 in a long time! And I saw a place today for $2.879! We are dropping fast!

On a related note, why is the media not covering the drop like they covered the rise? I know this happens every year (early summer they report the rise, during the fall they don't cover the drop in prices), but I am still surprised by it.

Oh, and I am surprised that the price is falling this fast even through all of this "economic turmoil". With the stock market falling as much as it is (last week the stock market fell more than any other week in it's history).

Oh well, life goes on.


A (not so real) update

Friday, October 03, 2008
Yes, I know I need to post... I have several things that I want to talk about, like my new cell phone, Jackie, and the problems with waking up Rhonda.

But that will have to be at a later time. I am going to try to go to sleep soon (after I burn a DVD for church), tomorrow I will be refereeing flag football from 7:30 to noon, then I go straight from there to my job at Blue Moon Cinemas, and I won't get home until after midnight. Sunday morning I will be up early again to be at church to make sure everything runs smoothly (I am not running church, I just have to be there for the first service).

Anywho, wish me rest the next few days.