Thinking About Clean Animals

10 Nov

Our dog was groomed today and that got me thinking about Noah and his boat. Actually, more precisely, I was thinking about the clean animals that were on the boat. Do you remember the story? Noah took 2 of every type of animal and then he took extra clean animals to be used for sacrifices. Put yourself in their shoes ( or hooves). God just killed everyone and everything on earth and you were spared. You just spent a year on a boat with thousands of other animals (some that could eat you) and you made it out alive. Dry ground never smelled so good! Now when everyone finally gets off of the boat, you find yourself being a sacrifice.

What did they do to deserve that? Their only sin was that they were clean. Spotless. Free from blemish. That was the reason they were on the boat in the first place. That was the purpose of their life.

Oh, yea. Someone else was like that. Someone who died when others were spared. Someone who was as pure as fresh snow. Spotless, blameless, free from any wrongdoing. But yet, He was sacrificed for others. In fact, that was why He came here to this earth. Just like the clean animals on Noah’s boat, His whole purpose here on earth was to be our sacrifice. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He then conquered death by raising from the dead. Fulfilling His ultimate purpose.

Grace Learning Center

7 Nov

For those of you that do not attend Grace Community Church, I have started writing a daily devotional for our education site. We have started a 13 week study on the book of Hebrews. At the site, you can sign up for a daily devotional that will be emailed to you, download weekly sermons given by Pastor Bart, and download group study questions prepared by Jim Gayley. I’m really excited about this opportunity and I appreciate being a part of it.

Please visit Grace Learning Center and let me know what you think!

Lighter Side of Combat

19 Oct

Mullet MafiaI can get quite depressed watching the news. Having served in the Marines in the Persian Gulf during the Iran/Iraq war and then a tour during Desert Storm, I can relate to a lot of what those guys are going through. I found a video that illustrates some of the lighter moments of combat. This came from the “Mullet Militia” (what a great name!).

You can view the video here.

It’s important to remember that the guys and girls over there are there because that is their job. As members of our military, we voluntarily pledge to serve our country with our life. If they are like I was, I felt a sense of pride in doing my job to the best of my ability, but I wish I could have been back with my family in the United States. No matter how you feel about the war, always remember that these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are there because they have to be, not necessarily because they want to be. Please remember them in prayer and ask God for a safe return home.

Are you a follower of Christ?

15 Oct

Tatoo

What does a follower of Christ look like? Do they drink beer? Smoke? Like rock & roll? Ride Harleys? The answer obviously is “Yes”!

As Christians, we can get caught up in prejudging a persons heart by the way they look or behave. Look at the pictures here. What are your first impressions? Look closely at the tatoos. They are literaly wearing their faith on their bodies.

You see, it doesn’t matter what is on the outside as much as what is on the inside. Christ hung out with the rough-necks and despised in society. He recruited fishermen, tax collectors. He ministered to whores, beggars and theives. He spoke against the “religious” leaders of the day. He was a revolutionary. The followers of Jesus in the early church were considered subversive. A threat to society. They were persecuted.

Are you a Christ follower? We all come to Jesus with our own personal baggage. Most of us are just trying to work it all out. We are all sinners and you know what? We don’t quit sinning when we make the decision to follow Christ. By making the decision to follow Christ, we acknowledge that we are sinners and that in spite of our continuing sin, we want to follow Jesus. We accept his forgiveness and acknowledge His sacrifice on the cross as the means to our salvation. Our life does change – sometimes very slowly. We all work it out at our own pace. As we seek to serve Him more and more, our lives will change. Jesus said that we serve God when we serve others. That is really what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

“As a Christian, I feel very shut out from a lot of contemporary Christianity. My understanding in what it means to be a Christian is to, in our own subjective way, recognize Christ as being God, and recognize our shortcomings and our failings, and try and live according ot the teachings of Christ as best we can. And what I find so strange is I look at the behavior of so many Christians, and I don’t see any aspect of the teachings of Christ represented there. But [I remember] the quote about taking the log our of your own eye before you can see the speck in someone else’s eye, so I don’t want to get in the position of judging other Christians. I fully admit that a lot of my actions and a lot of things that are still in my life are inconsistent with my beliefs as a Christian. I’m very secular.”
–Moby

New Nephew!

12 Oct

My brother Darin and his wife Meeghan just had their first child. A beautiful boy named Justice. That’s grandchild number 14 for Grandma and Grandpa Petersen!
Darin and Justice

Mom, Dad and Justice are all doing fine! Congrats Darin! We Love You!

Will 20 Million Leave Traditional Churches?

11 Oct

A Faith Revolution Is Redefining “Church,” According to New Study

I read this article today. It is interesting to think about. What can we do today to make “c”hurch more experiencial for those who want more? Is it more programs? More Bible studies? More ministries? I don’t have all of the answers. I am glad that I saw this article though. It is stimulating a lot of thoughts on how to make “c”hurch more interesting and meaningful for the “C”hurch. First big idea – its all about relationships.

My Impressions of IHOP

10 Oct

Well, I’m back from IHOP(link: www.ihop.org). There were about 7 of us that drove down. It’s hard to describe IHOP. It looks like they took over a complete strip mall. The main prayer hall is on the left and they have a coffee shop, lecture hall, book store, thrift store and reality office in different “store-fronts”.

I walked into the main prayer hall. The worship band was playing and people were walking around, sitting, kneeling, praying, singing, worshiping. There were people with laptops working or maybe just writing what was coming to them. At first it was a lot to absorb. I just sat there – taking it all in – eyes open, observing. It was a little much. Eventually, I was able to quiet my spirit and just listen. I found myself inside my vision for a community center. A place where a safe place to meet God is always available.

Once we left, I had a lot to process. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I feel. It was interesting. I want to go back. I want to spend more time there. I want to talk to people on staff there to pick their brain.

But, the best part of the trip was the almost 8 hours of fellowship I had with Bart and Troy. I miss being able to talk “church” with others. It was nice to be able to bounce ideas and opinions off someone else. It was interesting to hear what is going on in their lives. Thanks Bart and Troy.

So, it’s back to work…. which is what our lesson is about. Talk to you tomorrow!

Eulogy for A Song About Cartoons

26 Sep

Almost every day when I take my daughter to school the song “Cartoons” by Chris Rice is playing on KLOVE. This is a fun song and Sarah really likes it. For the longest time, we never knew who sang it. Finally, today I did a Google search to find out who sang the song. My search came up with Chris Rice and a link to his website. On his website, he published an article entitled “Eulogy For A Song About Cartoons”, about why he has decided to stop performing this song live. I have to admit, when I read the article, I was left saying “HUH?”.

It seems as if this song has been kind of controversial! A lot of people LOVE it. It has been (and probably still is) one of the most requested songs on Christian radio. Others rebuff his “cartoon praise” theology. He says in his article that it was written as a satire and that nobody got it. Everyone took it as legit!

I like the song. It is a fun song to sing. The point of the song is correct. It isn’t for cartoons to praise God, that is what we were made to do! I also take issue with those who say it is bad theology! If we were created to praise God, then anything we do should be to praise God! If you are a cartoon artist, then drawing a cartoon praising God could be your way of praising God. In the Bible, Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:23 that in EVERYTHING we do, we should do it as we are doing it for the Lord! That says to me that everything we do has a spiritual context.

Are you a part-time Christian or a full-time Christian? Think about it before you answer.

While you think, I’ll just sing “Yabba-dabba-do-lu-yah!”