Will Resume Blogging August 18th

Dear friends,

I am heading into an unusally busy season for my work as a pastor and I’m finding it hard to write quality material while focusing on my ministry at CCV.

I’ve decided to take a blogging hiatus until Monday, August 18th, to focus on CCV-related activities. When things let up I’ll begin posting again.

I’ll see you then.

Brian

What Your Husband Really Wants For Father’s Day

oprah-favorite-thingsI’m horrible at buying gifts for my wife.

For instance, for Lisa’s first birthday after we were married, one of the gifts I bought her was James Dobson’s book What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women. As soon as she opened it, a funny grin immediately crossed her face.

“What?” I asked.

“I really appreciate the gift, but aren’t wives supposed to give these to their husbands?” she replied.

Awkward pause.

“Maybe I felt that you needed to know all the things that I needed to know about you as a wife. Did you ever think about that?” I said.

That gift sort of set the pace for the next twenty years. [Read more...]

Michael Behe To Speak At CCV July 6

Michael Behe
Regardless of where you stand on the creation – evolution debate, you won’t want to miss Dr. Michael Behe, one of the most well-known proponents of Intelligent Design in the United States, speak at CCV on July 6.

Michael J. Behe is Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.

Behe’s current research involves delineation of design and natural selection in protein structures.

In addition to publishing over 35 articles in refereed biochemical journals, he has also written editorial features in Boston Review, American Spectator, and The New York Times.

Darwins Black BoxHis book, Darwin’s Black Box, discusses the implications for neo-Darwinism of what he calls “irreducibly complex” biochemical systems. The book was internationally reviewed in over one hundred publications and recently named by National Review and World magazine as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th century.

Dr. Behe will speak at each of CCV’s three services at 9, 10:15, and 11:30am. This event is free and open to the public.

What Word Best Describes What Your Church FEELS Like To You?

church
Over the past few months we’ve been working with a company called Plain Joe Studios to help us re-envision the look and feel of everything from our logo, to our website, signage, print literature, to the look and feel of our buildings.

What we’re hoping to come away from this process with is a unified look and feel to tell the story of what God is doing in and through our church.

One of the things Plain Joe did was perform an exhaustive survey of all of our active attenders. In this survey they asked people to “Pick a word that best describes what CCV feels like to you.”

This word collage (upper right) represents the unfiltered responses. Larger words were used more often. Smaller words were used less often.

Honestly, I wasn’t surprised at all by the way people described the environment of our church. I love the people at CCV. They are everything this picture describes, and more. If only every pastor had the privilege of serving such a wonderful group of people.

What word best describes what your church feels like to you?

Mary Oliver On Living Without Regrets

New and selected poems
“When Death Comes”

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

- Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol 1.

 

One Second Is All That Divides Us

all that divides us
A thought for my skeptical friends:

One of the reasons you reject Christianity is because you have been taught to be skeptical of things you cannot test with your five senses: things you cannot see, taste, touch, smell, or hear. Everything beyond that is mere speculation, you tell people of faith.

But what if there’s something ajar with the very thing you use to assimilate and assess the data you receive through your five senses – namely, your cognitive functioning?

What if you’re biased?

What if in the same way you say Christians are biased towards believing what they can’t see, taste, touch, smell, or hear, you are biased in the opposite direction?

Let’s get to the very heart of the issue.

What existed one second before the big bang?

For all the scholarly speculation about the origins of the universe one second after the big bang, why stop there? Why is it suddenly irresponsible for Christians to speculate what existed one second before the big bang? [Read more...]

Elton Trueblood On The Need For An Unapologetic Faith

Romans 1-16

“Whatever the mood of this time, it is perfectly clear that our hope lies in the acceptance of an unapologetic faith. For some, at least, the decision to stand unapologetically for the gospel has been tantamount to a new conversion. It brings peace; it dissolves fears; it snaps fingers at ridicule. Herein lies much of the power of many of the new cults, which demand public witness as a first evidence of sincerity, and whose members are so often placed in positions where they are immediately subjected to ridicule.

Any group that is wholly unapologetic will work wonders in any community. Ten such will accomplish much more in any Sodom than will a thousand lukewarm “members.” What we seek, then, is the Fellowship of the Unashamed. They will know one another by their faces, for they will be unabashed. They will have one golden text, and that text will be the sixteenth verse of the first chapter of Romans.”

-Elton Trueblood, Alternative To Futility (USA: Harper & Brothers, 1948), 68.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

be a millionaire
A book that has had a tremendous influence on the way I think about money, especially debt and savings, is a book called, The Millionaire Next Door.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read it. It’s a bit dated, but it’s a fascinating read. The authors, Dr. Thomas Stanley and Dr. William Danko, wanted to discover who were the millionaires in the United States and how they become millionaires.

A startling realization

The authors began the book by sharing a surprising fact that they stumbled upon early in their research:

Twenty years ago we began by studying how people become wealthy. Initially, we did it just as you might have imagined — by surveying people in so-called upscale neighborhoods across the country. In time we discovered something odd. Many people who live in expensive homes and drive luxury cars do not actually have much wealth.

Then we discovered something even odder. Many people who have a great deal of wealth do not even live in upscale neighborhoods. Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America. Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income each year and spend it all, you’re not getting any wealthier. You’re just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.

The  surprising characteristics of millionaires:

In their research the authors discovered aspects of the average millionaire lifestyle that surprised them: [Read more...]