Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I talked to my brother Steve the day before yesterday. He is dong quite well at work. In fact, he just got a promotion and is moving to what has always been his and Tracey's promised land, "Las Vegas." I am proud of him. To take this job he has done what I never thought he would do. He cut his hair. You can see the before shots on his website. When I get an after photo I will post it. He hasn't cut his hair in 18 yeara, other than a minor trimming, so this is a "Big Deal" for him. Way to go bro!
Well, I've been gone for a while, but I'm back! Lots of things going on right now in my life. I will be retiring in a week and am anxiously looking for a job. But I know that as long as I keep my heart right before the Lord,and continue in His will that He will work it all out.

Things are going well at church. Our small group of College and Career students is growing rapidly both in numbers and in depth of relationships. I feel that we have made some breakthroughs in the last few weeks. I can hardly wait to see where the Lord is leading us.

Interested in how the next generatioin views church? Look at the Voices of the Next Generation article by Jason Evans on THEOOZE. It is pretty interesting. What the generation that grew up under President Clinton and mass marketing is seeking in a church, and their relationship to the Lord, is authenticity! It is very refreshing.

So long for now. I'll be back

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

My Resume

My stint of over 20 years in the Us Air Force is about over. I am in the job hunting mode and thought it would be good to post my resume on this site. My Resume is pretty long and is hopefully interactive enough to give someone a good idea of what I have been doing with my life.

Thursday, September 26, 2002


Here's a pretty good article in THEOOZE about luke warm spirituality

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Being Seduced by a False Gospel

This month's Next-Wave contains a super article by Tom Ponchak that deals with Christian legalism. How do we balance our lives once we become a Christian. Our justification (salvation) is assured because as soon as we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are deemed worthy and our sins are cast away never to be seen by God as it says in Psalm 103:12. All God the Father sees is Jesus' blood when he looks at us. But how does that play out with our sanctification. Paul says in Philippians 2:12 that we are called to live a sanctified (or set apart) life. Our life as a Christian exists on that fine line between the freedom that Christ brings us through out salvation and living the sanctified life that God demands of us. This article by Tom Ponchak does a good job of highlighting the major issues as we live our Christian life.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Doing the Right Thing
Next-Wave has a pretty good article on Doing the Right Thing. Sometimes we get trapped into thinking that if we just do the right thing God will always reward us by making good things happen in our lives. What about learning the lessons God wants to teach us through character building events in our lives? If following God's will for our lives and doing the right thing always results in God's rewards, then how do you explain God letting Peter be thrown in jail and James being martyred in Acts 12:1-19?
Drinking and Smoking: Biblical or Cultural Sins?
I am an avid anti-smoker. Part of the reason is health related, my mother died from Lung Cancer 12 years ago, and I hate the health problems the use of tobacco has caused in our society. The other reason is relationship related, although smoking is a socially oriented activity, my nose can't tolerate the smell of cigarette smoke or the bad breath and smelly clothes it gives users. As much as I dislike both smoking and drinking I have never personally considered them Biblical sins, and I haven't found any Biblical evidence that these are sins. So, I have wondered how the taboo on smoking and drinking come about in the Christian Church. Christianity Today has an interesting and thoughtful article on the history of smoking and drinking within the Christian Church. It makes for good reading and brings up some issues on why smoking and drinking are looked down on in today's Christian circles. So, how exactly are we as a church supposed to integrate our cultural heritage into our personal relationship with God? And how do we relate our personal relationship with Christ without tying our cultural heritage onto it. I'm interested in your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Christian Webpage Usability Study
There are some great things happening online in the Christian Community. I have spent quite a bit of time reading the daily weblogs of Andrew Careaga, Tim Bednar of, Jordon Cooper, and blogs4god. These are some of my favorite webpages and I highly recommend them to anyone interested in learning what types of ministry are effective online. is currently soliciting people to review Christian websites and Tim is also asking for people to nominate Christian websites for the study. I believe this is an important study. Most churches are overly concerned with their webpage looking nice and the result is that they are not very functional or informational. They may have large quantities of information on them, but it may not be timely or accurate any longer. We should all strive to have our webpages current and functional, not just as a place to put information, but a place for sharing and building community.

The St Louis Weather
Praise God last night between 3-4am thunderstorms rolled through the area and brought us some much needed rain (about 2-3 inches) and some cooler weather. It has been about 20 straight days above 90 degrees. Today it will only be in the mid 80s and a little less humid. We sure needed the weather to change. I was worried about the hot weather affecting the FBC O'Fallon Kids Kamp this Wednesday through Saturday. But, now the weather looks like it will be cooler and much more enjoyable for the kids.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Another Warm Day
I sure hate the hot hot weather during July and August in St Louis. Today it is supposed to be 99 degrees with about 75% humidity. It sure makes for an uncomfortable time outdoors. But, inside my office it is 75 degrees and about 50% humidity. Much nicer than the hot, humid, hazy (the triple H) weather outside. I'm not much of an inside person, but for about a month per year I do everything I can to stay indoors.

Kids Kamp
I'm looking forward to serving as a Kounselor at FBCO 'Fallon's Kids Kamp next week at Lake Williamson in Carlinville, IL. I will have 9 Elementery School age Kampers, another adult bunkmate (who has been doing this for the last 5 years), and a Junior High School age helper (the bunkmate's son). It should be a lot of fun. I guess my wife, kids, and myself will probably start doing this each year as a good way to take a family vacation with a purpose. On a secondary note, I will check out Lake Williamson for a possible College and Career retreat later in the year. I have heard some wonderful things about the camp.
I have been reading Tim Bednar's weblog each day at Tim is a postmodern internet pastor and has been redesigning his ministry's concept and webpage over the last couple of months. He has some great ideas that cause my baby boomer brain to think out of the box. I am not a very creative person by birth and Tim is very talented. Anyhow, he wrote an article on his weblog that dealt with living in the world and how we should be in the world, but not of the world. Parts of the article sounded a little like he was exploring new thoughts while writing and as a result didn't have the most compelling arguments. Happens to me each and every day as I put together this weblog. But, bsically Tim did nothing wrong and was only writing his own personal beliefs about where he could best serve the Lord. He could have made some of his arguments a little more substantial, but that is fine with me. The problem came though when another pastor commented on his article with a personal attack on Tim. He basically put down Tim and his thoughts saying that he had no guts and no substance. The comments were well thought out, but not delivered in the spirit of Christian brotherhood. Which brings me to my point. When do we to let our brothers and sisters in the Lord flounder a little and learn a good lesson in the process, and when do we jump in and offer our help in a brotherly or sisterly way? I don't exactly know the answer. I am a firm believer in learning by doing, and in this case I think it does good for someone to put their thoughts out there in print and then to mull them over and see shere they can grow. The pastor that attacked Tim stopped that entire process. The whole crux of postmodernism is that my experience is not the same as your experience, so my truth may not necessarily be the same truth that you are experiencing. I say that in the context of brotherly Christian postmodernism the pastor is way out of line in criticizing Tim for his thoughts. Just because the pastor has fire in his belly and doesn't mind torquing everyone off that hears him doesn't mean that Tim should be the brunt of his misplaced anger. Boy, would I not like to be in his church's community of believers!

Daily Bible Reading
Ezra 1 & 2
Proverbs 1
1 Timothy 1
Luke 13

Bible Verse of the Day
1 Timothy 1:5-- But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (Directly applicable to what happened in the webpage)

Monday, July 29, 2002

The St Louis Summer (Bummer) Weather
Wow! Another action-packed weekend. The weather was sweltering hot here in St Louis. Yesterday was 98 degrees and 85% humidity. It was a great stay-at-home weekend. But, we didn't stay at home. We ventured out to the St Louis Science Center and enjoyed the nice cool indoor exhibits. My kids love the "Puzzles" display they have featured right now. Sunday we went to church twice with a nice nap in between. Ah, the benefits of a wonderful, cool basement! Today it feels about 10 degrees cooler, so I think we will go visit the Missouri Botanical Garden tonight. It is a great place.

Mission St Louis 2002
We have 500-600 short-term missionaries staying in our church this week for Mission St Louis 2002. They will be here until August 2nd and will be working with inner city kids and adults in St Louis, MO, and East St Louis, Alton, and Belleville, IL. They will be doing God's work, but I am worried that after these short-term missionaries leave there won't be enough emphasis on following-up to ensure their work is fruitful in the long-term. We met with the missionaries at church last night and they are eager, excited, inspired, and anxious to get started serving.

Sunday Morning Bible Study
Yesterday we had 11 attend the 9:45am Bible Study. It was a great time of fellowship and growing in the Word. We began having an individual share his or her personal testimony, something I think we will do every other week or so. The students seemed to think sharing our testimonies was very worthwhile, and gives them an opportunity to open up and share their life experiences with any who care to listen. We are progressing through the book of 2 Samuel, and learning about how King David handled his life when he encountered trouble. It applies to us today and we can learn many great applicable lessons through studying his life.

Bible Verse of the Day
Psalm 150

A Psalm of Praise.
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Wednesday Night Bible Study
I am very excited at how well the FBCOF College and Career Wednesday Night Bible Study is going. Last night we studied 1 John 1:1-4 in some detail. The group has made lots of strides this summer at going deeper into God's Word and applying it to their lives. The quality and depth of our relationships and understanding have increased dramatically over the summer. The group is working together better as a unit. The only downside is that we continue to have lots of visitors who float through the group and come once or twice and then move on. Our core of 10-12 students is slowly growing, but we need to make a better effort at contacting the visitors and incorporating them into our community. Rusty and Eleanor Bean are doing a great job of leading the Bible Study. God is really working through them.

Is Heaven the Ultimate Goal, or Simply the Ultimate Destination?
In our Bible Study last night I made the statement that "Heaven might not be the ultimate goal, only the ultimate destination." I said this because I am convinced that over the course of the last century that Evangelists have made too big of a deal of the "If you died in your sleep tonight would you spend the rest of eternity in heaven or hell" line. Of course, the eternal future destination of our souls is important and a big deal. But, rather than hook, or scare, potential converts into accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior by using the "where will you spend eternity question", I believe we should be focusing a little more on the present day benefits of a restored personal relationship with God. In short I think evangelists have over done the "benefits of justification" side of accepting Jesus as our Savior and have not spend enough time talking about the "benefits of sanctification" that we experience each and every day of our walk with Jesus as our Lord. There is so much more to our walk with the Lord than simply "becoming saved."

What I'm talking about is the change we experience in our lives when we know we can stop trying to save our souls through good works, and rest up in our daily walk. The joy we experience in living for the Lord each and every day is really undersold. Good works are a part of our Christian life, but not because we are trying to save ourselves; they are the fruit that flow out of a right relationship with God. I think it is important that we stop pushing people toward accepting Jesus Christ as the final step in the process of God drawing us near to Him, and start realizing it is really the first step in the process of us growing near to God.

Kids Kamp
I am looking forward to serving as a Kids Kamp 4th grade counselor in August. My son and daughter will be in the group, and it is their first experience at Kamp. I'll bet they love it. It looks like I will be my son's counselor, and I am not sure whether or not that is good, but I know God will work it all out.

I am meeting an old friend for a "job interview" at lunch today. I will be retireing from the Air Force soon and am looking for a job. My friend runs a consulting firm in the local area and is looking for somwone to work as a consultant for Department of Defense Information Operations Exercises. I really want to get as far from the military as I can after I retire, but the pay and benefits are great, and it is the only way that I will be paid for the knowledge I gained while serving in the Air Force. So, we'll see what happens at the interview today. At the very least it should help me firm up the decision of exactly when I plan on spending my last day as a "Blue Suiter."

Daily Bible Reading
2 Chronicles 34-36
Psalm 150
2 Thessalonians 3
Luke 12

Bible Verse of the Day
1 John 5:13-- These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Overextended Again
I have decided to bite off another chunk of my free time and teach a World Regional Geography class at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, Illinois. I have been going to school forever and it is about time I put all my degrees (read knowledge) to work for me. It is a pretty good part-time job, and it will give me some much needed teaching experience and opportunity to share Christ with some college students that otherwise might not hear the good news, but at the same time it represents another opportunity to lose more family time as I try to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

My growing up is coming quickly as I begin to think about retirement from the US Air Force sometime in the next few months. It will be weird to have the umbilical cord severed from Uncle Sam after 20+ years of not having to worry about missing a paycheck, or what clothes to wear to work (those decisions are all taken care of for you in the military). But I am looking forward to having a little more creativity in my life and "letting my hair down" for once.

Daily Bible Reading
2 Chronicles 30-33
Psalm 149
2 Thessalonians 3
Luke 12

Bible Verse of the Day
Proverbs 24:5-- A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power

Monday, July 22, 2002

Ahhhh Vacation!
I have been on vacation for the last couple of weeks. We traveled up to Minneapolis, Minnesota with "Nomad" and "Babe" the Blue Ox. Eventhough we had a bout with migraine headeaches and another bout with strep throat it was still good to be off work and together as a family. Minnesota is a wonderful place with lots of energy, and the Mall of America may just be responsible for 10% of America's Gross National Product. I can't believe how busy the Mall was. We had a long day driving home on Saturday. It took 12 hours to get home and we were exhausted when we got there. But, the two days recovery time before going back to work on Monday was worth it.

While on vacation I finished Andrew Careaga's book eMinistry. What a great read. He has inspired me to try harder to make my ministry more effective to the Net Generation and to begin a hard-core Internet ministry. There is no reason why the church can't be more effective in ministering via an electronic community. All we have to do is make up our collective minds that this is where we are headed, invest in the future of our faith, and forge ahead. We can begin the process by beginning individually if we can proceed collectively.

The other books I read on vacation were John Brickerhoff Jackson's Discovering The Vernacular Landscape and I am about half way through John Fraser Hart's The Rural Landscape. I am pursuing a PhD in American Studies at Saint Louis University and am doing my dissertation research on the Landscape of Consumption in California's Central Valley, 1848-2002. these two books are "classics" on the art of landscape analysis. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in studying the Cultural (or manmade) Landscape.

Daily Bible Reading
2 Chronicles 25-27
Psalm 147
2 Thessalonians 2
Luke 12

Bible Verse of the Day
1 Thess 2:3-4-- For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

I have been reading Andrew Careaga's book eMinistry over the last couple of days. He does such a great job of explaining the Net Generation, or N-Geners as he calls them, and their reliance on and fluency in the internet. It really is a generation different from the modern Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. N-Geners are the first generation truly submersed in postmodern thought. Combine that with a digital education and it is easy to see how we must treat and minister to them differently from the generations that preceeded them. I will post observations from this book as I wade through the waters it describes in some detail.

Daily Bible Reading
1 Chronicles 1-2
Psalms 123-124
Colosians 1
Luke 7

Bible Verse of the Day
Psalm 123:2-- Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He is gracious to us.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Christian Athletes and Their Daily Walk
Today was another hard day for St Louis Cardinals fans. We said goodbye to Darryl Kile this morning at a memorial service held at Busch Stadium. Darryl's passing has affected so many in the St Louis area. The Cardinals are a team loaded with Christians. The one with the most visibility lately seems to be Mike Matheny. How would our daily Christian walk be if we spent 7 months per year working 12 hour days, 3 months of which are spent on the road? It may seem like vacation dream to many of us who don't have to live it, but how do you take care of your family when you are away from home? Take it from someone who as a USAF officer and has spent an average of 150 days away from home over the last 10 years or so. It can be very difficult to maintain your Christian witness on the road! How do you teach your kids right from wrong, evil from good, God's way verses the world's way, when you are living out of a suitcase for half of the summer? I have the highest respect for Christian athletes that continue to dedicate each and every day to the Lord and act as role models and mentors for all those people who look up to them. It is hard enough to maintain your Christian walk when you are in familiar surroundings, with an 8 or 9 hour per day job, and with all the things in your life going right. Praise God for those athletes who take their relationship with God seriously! It is so important in times like the ones the Cardinals have gone through this last week with the passing of Darryl Kile and Jack Buck.

Our New Trailer: "The Nomad"
We picked up our new trailer last night. It is a nice, clean, sleek 27 foot Nomad. Hopefully "The Nomad" will give us many years of pleasure just as "Old Faithful" did. We hope to take it up to Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota just after the 4th of July. We just can't pass up the opportunity to go to the Mall of America!

FBCOF Wednesday Night Bible Study
I am looking forward the First Baptist Church of O'Fallon's Wednesday Night Bible Study tonight. I am feeling a little drained today and could use some "filling up" tonight. The Bible Study is led by Rusty Bean and seems to be just what the College and Career students want. It will be a good chance to fellowship with younger brothers and sisters in Christ, to build on our relationship as a unified body of Christ, and to get recharged for another busy weekend in the College and Career Department.

Bible Verse of the Day:
Ephesians 4:11-13-- And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

We have a 29' camping trailer ("Old Faithful") that we bought brand new in 1987. Our family enjoys towing our camping trailer around the country and seeing the sights. Well, "Old Faithful" has seen better days. It has been a great part of our family and has served us well. When you are a part of the Armed Forces you get used to moving around the country or around the world and we have lived in the trailer whenever the Air Force has moved us. On one move from North Carolina to Sacramento, California we lived in the trailer for 6 months. It was a great time that my wife and I wil remember for the rest of our lives. We've towed "Old Faithful" coast to coast 3 times and have enjoyed every minute of it. But, in today's disposable world nothing is sacred any longer; not families, not cars, not jobs, definitely not trailers. So, we went out last week and bought a replacement for "Old Faithful." Our new movable home is a 27' Nomad that weighs in at about half of what "Old Faithful" weighs. It should be a lot easier to tow with the Blue Cloud (our 1991 Ford F-350) and should allow us to burn up less precious fossil fuel on each trip. It is a wonderful new place to call home. We bought the new trailer from a firend and we pick it up tonight, so today I put "Old Faithful" in the resale lot on base at Scott Air Force Base. The price is pretty low, so hopefully "Old Faithful" can get adopted by a new family. I guess we will have to come up with a name for our new trailer. Stay tuned......

We have friends visiting from Colorado Springs. They used to live next door, but 2 years ago the Air Force moved them to another location. We took "Old Faithful" out there last year to visit them. Colorado Springs is such a beautiful place that has so much to offer. The mountains, the weather, the traffic! It is a super town that I would love to live in some day. Anyhow, it's great to have Laurie and Andrew back visiting for the week. Our kids miss each other and they add a lot of spice to our lives whenever we are around them. It will be tough to see them go.

Bible Verse of the Day:
Proverbs 18:24-- A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother

Monday, June 24, 2002

Yesterday was a great day at church (First Baptist Church of O'Fallon). We offered Vacation Bible School for Children this last week. Attendance was around 800 kids between 6 months old and 6th grade. Thre were 26 Children that either came to know the Lord or rededicated their lives through VBS this week. What a great ministry VBS is to the local community. Last night the VBS Children performed a musical for our evening service. It was wonderful to see 200-300 Children all singing their loudest for the Lord. Praise God that our church has such a great Children's ministry. It is making an eternal difference in the lives of so many people. Parents are coming to the Lord because their Children attend VBS. Amen!

The 9:45 Bible Study was good. We are a new class at church and have only been meeting since March 24, but we are continuing to grow and get deeper. Each week the students seem to be getting closer to each other and coming out of their shells a little more. The goal is for us to begin acting and perfoming functions as a true body of Christ, not individual believers. It will take some time, but we are slowly moving in the right direction.

Bible Verse for the Day:
Romans 1:16-- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Well, it has been a difficult week here in St Louis. On Tuesday we lost Baseball Hall of Fame Cardinal announcer Jack Buck. On Thursday we lost Rich Barklage, a helicopter pilot/traffic annoncer for NewsChannel 5. And, today we lost another great guy Cardinal Pitcher Daryl Kile. I have always said that bad things come in sets of three. Hopefully, it is over for a while for St Louis. These tragic events continue to remind us that we are small, finite, and insignificant when compared to God, the Creator of the Universe. I can't figure out why He chose to want to have a relationship with us. But, I'm so thankful that He did!

It will be an interesting Sunday Morning Bible Study tomorrow morning at First Baptist Church of O'Fallon. I know we will talk about our own mortality and how God can both save us from eternal separation from Him and at the same time give us an opportunity here on earth to enjoy the incredible life that He gave us. I can't imagine going through a week like this and not having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Bible Verse for the Day:
Ephesians 3:20-21-- Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen

Monday, May 27, 2002

Happy Memorial Day!
It was a great day today. There aren't too many things better than a military serviceman being able to spend a Memorial Day with his or her family. After being gone for all of last year to Korea is was wonderful to spend the day with the family. The weather was warm (mid 80s) and a little humid with a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Perfect. Matthew spent some time this afternoon working on the neighbor's yard. He sure is getting good at doing yard work. He earned $10 today for about 2 hours work. Not bad for a 10 year old. Better than minimum wage! Bethany worked hard on her room and the house cleaning inside and out. Marilyn and I are trying to get the house in shape for Dad's visit on Wednesday. He will be coming on Wednesday and staying through Sunday. He hasn't visited in almost 7 years. We hope he likes it. Well, after a wonderful day off today it is back to work again tomorrow.

My Bible verse for Memorial Day: Exodus 15:1-3

(1) Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord and said,
I will sing to the Lord for He is highly exalted;
The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.
(2) The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him.
(3) The Lord is a warrior;
The Lord is His name.