Thursday, April 29, 2004

The End of the McKendree School Year

Last night We held our last Bible Study and Worship Service of the McKendree 2003-2004 school year at The Gate. We will have some events over the summer, but will be starting back up with our full ministry schedule again in August as McKendree's Fall Semester begins. Please check in here for updates. I will use our E-Mail distribution list to pass out information to everyone over the Summer. If you are not on the list please E-Mail me at It has been a great school year and I can hardly wait for next year to start up!

Take chances and live for the Lord every day.

Your brother Christ,


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Thanks For A Great Evening

We had a great worship service on Sunday evening. The bonfire was perfect. It was cool outside and the fire helped warm us while providing some atmosphere. We'll have to do this again sometime soon. I appreciate all the help you all provided. Josh built the fire and he and Matt kept it up, Julie and Dan provided some great campfire food, and the fellowship was extraordinary. It was nice to have so many McKendree and O'Fallon people worshipping together. Nights like Sunday night make this an incredibly awesome experience to work with both groups.

Congrats to all those who are graduating from college this year. The world is yours. Good luck and Godspeed to those leaving us to serve on the mission field. I know God will use each and every one of you to make a difference in people's lives.

Take care and God bless you all.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The World's Dullest Website

Here it is. I have found the world's dullest website. Click here for a yawn!

Amber's Graduating From Basic Training!!!

Our niece Amber will be graduating from Army Basic Training tomorrow at Ft Leaonard Wood. She has done a great job at Basic and is excited to be finished. We have lots of family coming out from California to go to her graduation and it will be a good time. We will be driving out to Ft Leonard Wood this afternoon and will all link up tonight. It should be a great couple of days. We only live about 2 and a half hours from where she is at and have visited her a couple of times for Sunday Chapel service, but this will be the only chance we have had to spend any length of time with Amber since she arrived at the end of January. Chapel is a 1 hour break that she gets from being yelled at by her Drill Sergeant. Other than that she has had no time off to even collect her thoughts. We are proud of Amber and wish her the best as she moves on to Arizona for another 6 months of further training. I'll post some photos on the fotopage Friday from her graduation.

I Am Trying Out GMail

When I logged on to Blogger this morning I saw the advertisement for Google's GMail. I thought I'd try it out for a while as a Beta Tester to see what it is about. So far so good. My GMail address is Let me know what is up!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A New Hobby: Geocaching

We have gotten involved in a new hobby called Geocaching. Your can learn more about Geocaching at the official website located here. To make it short, Geocaching is using a GPS to find a treasure (typicall a small box filled with trinkets, a log book, and other items) placed at geographic coordinates adn listed on a website. It is a great blend of what I have done my whole life: geography, navigation, and exploring. We have gone out the last two Saturdays in search of caches. We were skunked two weeks ago in Carlinville, but last Saturday we found 2 caches; 1 in Belleville, and 1 in O'Fallon. There are thousands of caches hidden out there that we pass by each and every day without even knowing they are there. So far it seems like a pretty fun hobby. We are going camping with the boy scouts this weekend to St Francois State Park in Missouri. Looks like there are at least 5 caches on the park property. I'll let you know what we find! What a great sport.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Fast For The Land

Noah and Andy coordinated a fantastic Fast for the Land yesterday. We had prayer and music for 4 hours last night that was inspirational and refreshing. How do maintain an attitude of prayer for 4 hours? You do it in a planned, methodical, Spirit-filled way. The 4-one hour blocks were planned well and gave us some direction to focus on for the different prayer blocks. The music and prayer went well without a hitch. The Holy Spirit was definitely moving among us and there was never a lull in what was going on. It was incredible to see 35 people focused in an attitude of prayer for 4 hours. Thanks so much to the musical artists from all over Southern Illinois, the Kansas City area, and Lebanon that shared with us. It was an awesome display of brothers and sisters in the Lord sharing their concern for what is going on in our area. I think we should try this again.

Monday, April 12, 2004

A Great Worship Service Last Night

Last night I thought we had a great worship service. Mike Cariker, the Youth Pastor at FBC O'Fallon, came and shared the reality of the resurrection with us. He talked about some of the physical trauma Jesus went through before and during the crucifixion, showed us a clip from the "Visual Bible", and then provided us with a multi-sensory demonstration of the resurrection. It was a powerful expereince I will never forget. Watching the "Visual Bible" and experiencing the crossbeam really made me appreciate the human side of Jesus' suffering. Jesus was both 100% man and 100% God. His mission was to come and suffer for each one of us and to offer himself up as our blood offering. That is a very godly concept, and one that doesn't include the human pain that goes with his mission. During the "Visual Bible" clip last night, when they drove the nails through Jesus' hands you could see the actor wince in pain, when he breathed his last breath you could see the actor's pain. It really brought home to me the painful suffereing that Christ endured for each of us. We talk about the crucifixion and the resurrection, but sometimes we overlook the human part of it, and how much it must have pained Christ to go through it. Praise God He did! What a great way to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Using The Internet and Pop Culture To Reach Today's Emerging Church has a pretty good article on the use of the internet and pop culture in today's Emerging Church. The article is located here. I like the comment that "I really think that if Jesus were around today, he would have a blog". Wow!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I Can't Believe I Passed My Spanish Translation Test

I found out yesterday that the Chair of the Modern Languages Department at Saint Louis University believes my Spanish translation skills are sufficient to conduct graduate level research in Spanish. What does this mean? A requirement of the SLU American Studies Department PhD program is that you have to have enough foreign language skills to do graduate level research in another language. So, what yesterday's results mean is that I have only on requirement left for my PhD! Now I only have to start/complete my 300 page paper on the meaning of life. Oh well, one more gate that I have successfully passed through and one more left on the long journey.

The reason why I can't believe I passed is because of how little I understood what I translated. It was an article in a Spanish Journal called religion y cultura (Religion and Culture). It was written about the Pope (Saint Louis University being a Jesuit school and all). I couldn't for the life of me tell you whether or not the article was written about something the Pope had said, or something that someone else had said about the Pope. It all depends on where the Spanish pronoun "el" is located in the sentence whether it means "he said" or "it was said about him". It doesn't matter any longer, I'm done! Woohoo! Now lets get on to page 1 of the dissertation.

Why Churches Need Websites

AKMA has a good post on his weblog that points out some very good reasons why each and every church needs to have a website. It is located here. I agree with him. If you are not out there, then it gets very difficult to find you. We had a visitor to The Gate last week, named Nicki, who was on a trip here from Washington, D.C. I asked her how she found us and she said through our website. Praise God we had one and were able to share the evening whith her!

Great Bible Study Last Night

We had a great Bible study last night at The Gate. We didn't cover as much as we thought we would. but what we covered was excellent. We studied Hebrews Chapters 1 and 2 and eventhough we concentrated on 2 chapters instead of 3 there was so much more we could have gone deeper in. It was a good evening. Next week we will plan to study Hebrews Chapter 3 and 4. If we have time we will get into Chapter 5, but we'll see how the Spirit leads.