Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Check out Our Church Website

My Pastor (the great and humble, John Nett - a.k.a. PJ) and I have been working on our Church's website. It's not done and has to be updated constantly. We're not expert web designer's by any means. We'd love suggestions and help. A few key places I'd love to have you check out are:

Pictures of Stuff We've Done
Sermons - even one from me if you scroll down towards the bottom
Links - I need help making this a great page - if you have any links you highly recommend, let me know (it is going to be a massive work in progress)
Games - if you need a great game to play - group game or up front game - I think this list is pretty solid. If you have suggestions for a game I'm missing, hook a brother up.

We've been working hard on this page - so hoping a few of my friends will check it out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grandma's Funeral (Lori's Grandma) - Mormor

I had the honor and privilege of performing the ceremony for the funeral of my wife's grandma - Varla Olesen - fondly known as Mormor (mother's mother in Danish). She came to America at age 40 from Denmark. I immediately fell in love with her the moment I met her. What a fantastic woman (and I hear her husband was amazing too).

It was tough, but wonderful, to do the ceremony. A highlight for me was the great grand-children singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" during the ceremony. Our two oldest would sing that to her the last few times we visited. She wanted to hear it once more - but we didn't get back to her. It was a special moment - and my girl, Elise, belted it out the second time through when the congregation joined us.

This life is short. So many quotes come to mind.

Jim Elliot - "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last.

Here are some lines from the message I wrote - not that they are amazing, but they are true and she was an inspiration.

I’m told that in these last few years, Mormor was in pain so often – but she always prayed for her grandkids – each one by name. How does someone in pain think of others so much??
God loves to take all those bad things that happen to us and work them out for good. But what good is it – whose good is it? Verse 29 starts with the word “for” – it is going to explain what the good is of verse 28. The good that things are working towards is that you and I be conformed to the likeness of His Son – that we become more like Jesus.
Mormor did a lot of beautiful work. I really liked the cards she made from dried flowers (look at bulletin) – she took dead flowers – something that we see as worthless – wasted – and she made masterpieces out of them. That’s what God is doing - He is using even the painful parts of our lives that we don’t like - to make us more like Jesus. I can say that Mormor was able to think of others when she was in pain, because she had spent her life being made more and more like Jesus.

In the last months of her life, Mormor often prayed – “Jesus, just take me home”. You see, this world is not our home. To those who don’t know Jesus, this world is as close to heaven as you’ll ever get. But to those who know Jesus, this world is as close to hell as you’ll ever get.
I had the privilege of spending a week at Shepherd’s Home – a home for mentally and physically handicapped adults. The man who ran it asked me – what do you think we have to clean the most around here. I had no idea. He said – the windows. Because everyone here knows Jesus is going to return in the clouds, just as he left – and they will meet him in the air and get new bodies – and they press their hands and face up to the windows watching for Him.
We are not home yet. But Mormor is. She has fought the good fight – she’s finished the race – and now she is Home. I’m going to miss you Mormor, we all are. But we are so happy for you. Thank you for the life you lived, the way you loved, the prayers you prayed, and the example you set.

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A life verse for a single woman

"Have mercy on me, O God, for men hotly pursue me" ~psalm 56:1
If you are a single lady, claim this as your life verse :)
I didn't figure this brilliance out, but saw it on an old friend's facebook account. It's a great verse.

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Missions Trips - More Than Just A Week

Mission’s Trips – More than just a week.

Our youth group goes to the Rosebud Reservation each summer on a mission’s trip. We also try to visit at least once during the year. This will be our 6th summer going. We were told early on that this is no “love ‘em and leave em’” kind of trip. That doesn’t work well anywhere, and is especially true with Native American ministry. So we have built relationships that continue to grow over the years. On our last visit I received my own key for the Native American Community Center in the town we visit. That was amazing to me.

Our national youth conference (Challenge) is every other year. It is a challenging thing to do both a Mission’s Trip and a $500+ national conference during a summer. I am prone to think that the Trip ($200) is worth more – and... – if we don’t go every summer, we’ve wasted years of relationships. We are still offering both this summer, but I can say that I am not sure it’s a great way to do it – especially if I want to be purpose driven.

I’m done Rambling.

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Favorite New Song - Glorious Day - by Todd Agnew

Glorious Day by Todd Agnew. I listen to it here.

I rarely listen to our local Christian station, but yesterday morning I thought I wanted to listen to some music and decided to see what they had playing (usually it's not my favorite music). Glorious Day was playing - and it's really an old hymn - One Day - that I new growing up. The words are the Gospel story - well done. Todd Agnew breathes great life and passion in this new music he put to them. I chorded it out (simply - probably needs slight tweaking) too. I am going to put that below. I don't think I am allowed to put lyrics with the chords. So you can look them up via a google search for Todd Agnew lyrics to Glorious Day or however you choose. It's worth listening to. I think we may try to use it in youth group in Church. Somehow it has ear candy that really grabs me - and the lyrics and music fit so well.

Glorious Day - Sung By Todd Agnew

Michael Bleeker - 2006 Bleeker Publishing - Music
Words by J. Wilbur Chapman (originally titled “One Day”)

Ino Records / 2007

As a hymn, was copyrighted 1977 by Integrity
It’s in the Key of D – He starts singing with no musical intro – and comes in with the guitar on the G

G D/F#
G D (or D/F#)
G D/F#
G D/F#
G Em
D/F# G

D G D ????

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Karma, Cheating, Character, and the SuperBowl (and the Vikings)

I've been meaning to write some of this for a while - and after the game last night, I just had to write a bit.

When a person cheats in one area, you can be sure it's not an isolated incident. I've seen this in my life countless times. When I find a way to rationalize sin (or whatever), I find that I do it in other areas too. When Bill Belichick was caught cheating earlier this year, my first reaction was - you never got caught the first time, and if he's cheating this way, he's cheating other ways. That's why a person's private life always affects their public life.

If I believed in Karma, the SuperBowl would be proof. I got way too much joy in seeing the Patriots lose. Certainly they were a great team, but when someone cheats, it sure is nice to see it catch up with them. I think I lost site of grace - but maybe that's another a story for another time.

I talked to quite a few teens this last weekend and asked who they wanted to win the Superbowl. Most wanted the Giants to win. I then asked if they were cheering for the Giants or against the Patriots. Most were cheering against the Patriots. I found that interesting.

By the way, the Minnesota Vikings are undefeated right now and tied for first in the NFL playoff hunt!!

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