Allegedly Impending Death Part #5

February 22, 2015

This is just a short post to share how I know that I am always in God’s presence. I first noticed it when someone called me on January 21, stating that God had told Him to call me. It was during a time of the day when I could talk and it was the day on which I was told that about the inoperable tumor inside me, and it was a person to whom I wanted to talk about it. But people claim that God told them things all of the time… that doesn’t mean that God really told them anything. They may be just trying to sound spiritual.

The unusual thing is that I have had hiccups at least three (3) times recently. Hiccups are painful for me because of the large tumor(s) inside of me. When my wife prays for the hiccups to stop, they stop and I don’t hiccup any more for at least a day. One (1) of these instances was just a couple of minutes ago. This indicates that God is paying close attention to my situation.

I asked Amber to pray for the tumors to go away, and she complied, but the tumor(s) still seem to be inside of me. Hopefully, God will destroy the tumors soon, but at a time that is even more glorious for Himself! In the meantime, please glorify God for being the Lord over hiccups.

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Allegedly Impending Death Part #4

February 21, 2015

Some time has passed by now, since I came up with an answer to the “why” question regarding the tumors that are threatening to kill me from within. Maybe two (2) months ago, my wife and I were unhappy with ourselves because of the way that we were using our time. We enjoyed our respective selves and each other a lot, but we wasted time on TV and such, even though we knew that God wants us to delight in Him, and for Himself to be our comfort when we get home at night. We shouldn’t long for beer or video games, book knowledge, or other idols to make our lives worth living. We live in a neighborhood full of heathens, some of whom come to our door, and we often couldn’t seem to be motivated to go out and share God’s love with them. We concluded that we didn’t love God, because if we did, we would be full of His Spirit and we would be unstoppable.

We prayed together and we asked God to do whatever was required to grow love for Him in us.

Now that these tumors have manifested themselves and been diagnosed as inoperable and unstoppable, we are relieved to know that we run to Jesus in hard times like these and wish to be identified with Him still.  Moreover, I have had some sweet and wonderful times in God’s presence.  Previously, I couldn’t get myself to apply myself to reading the Bible.  Last week (I think) I planned to read the Bible and then watch television.  What actually happened was that I became carried away by the Bible and read for 70 minutes and never got around to watching television!  Recently, I have found that I have an unusually large number of things to say during prayer times as well.

I remarked to Amber last week (I think) that if God were to take all of the tumors and cancer far away from my body, I would probably revert to my old ways.  I hoped out loud that God would come up with a way to keep me without killing me.  Amber told me that children would probably do the job.  So, if God heals my body and destroys the tumors within me, our plan is for me and Amber to become parents.

Amber and I have also been having a wonderful time praying for all of your requests and hearing your praises.  I had a wonderful time playing praises to Jesus on my mother’s bass guitar this past Monday.  Please continue to join us in praising God and asking Him to grant me a long and enjoyable life on the earth, during which things go well for me.

Allegedly Impending Death Part #3

February 9, 2015

I had a wonderful time singing worship songs to Jesus and talking about my hopes that God will use and remove the tumors that are inside of me while visiting Tacoma Christian Reformed Church this morning. I don’t think that I have ever had so many perfect strangers tell me that they have been in prayer for me.  Tacoma Christian Reformed Church is the church that my new wife attending during her growing up years, and which her family still attends.  Amber and I have been enjoying our visits with lots of different people.

The outline of my five minute speech is included below:

Joshua and Amber at Tacoma Christian Reformed Church on 2015-02-08

What is going on?

  • Joshua Has had cancer since 2011. Joshua has used chemo therapy and enjoyed four (4) surgeries.
  • Joshua married Amber on August 9, 2014, thinking that all of his struggles with cancer were behind him.
  • Joshua had the most involved and most recent surgery in October of last year. The surgeon was not entirely successful in removing all traces of the tumor.
  • Some of the remaining tumor cells have multiplied and grown a tumor that is so large and involved in Joshua’s body that surgeons are unwilling to attempt to remove it from Joshua’s body.
  • A medical professional has estimated that Joshua will live for less than 5.5 more months if he does nothing, and up to 11.5 more months if he uses chemo therapy.
  • Joshua and Amber are comfortable with not using chemo therapy for the time being.
  • Joshua has made a vow to throw a large party to share the good news of God’s miracle of healing soon after it occurs.

How can we pray?

  • Share about Amber’s prayers for her husband and Joshua’s dad’s miraculous healing
  • Pray for Joshua and Amber to use cancer and tumors and not waste them. This can be done by
    • Sharing their story, [with believers and with heathens] which inspires people to pray for them, bringing them into God’s presence more than normal.
    • Taking sin more seriously than cancer.
    • Seeking comfort in God and not hope of healing
    • See John Pipers small book called, Don’t Waste Your Cancer.
  • Pray for things to go well with Joshua and Amber and for them to get to enjoy a long life on the earth as God has promised those who honor their parents.
  • Praying for Amber and Joshua to get to become parents
  • Praying for Joshua and Amber’s life goals to become biblical, i.e. to do fruitful labor for Christ.

Allegedly Impending Death Part #2

February 1, 2015

Last night I was thinking of Psalm 116 and how God can be glorified by the fulfillment of vows in the presence of other Christians, and I think that I came up with a vow that is very appropriate to my condition.  I have already taken it.  I have pasted the vow text below:

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Joshua Horky’s vow witnessed by Schuyler Horky and Amber Horky at [address] Bremerton, WA 98337:

Father in Heaven, cancer and tumors are inside of my body and the best oncologists have no hope for my recovery and no hope for my life continuing beyond January of 2016.  If you will heal my body and remove all tumors and cancer therefrom so that no tumors can be found on CT scans and no cancer is indicated by blood markers or other medical science, I will throw a party as soon as can be reasonably executed for the purpose of sharing and rejoicing in your miraculous work in me.  I will invite my neighbors and doctors, and in keeping with Psalm 116, I will invite Christians from several church congregations.

I thought of this idea last night and I have discussed it with several people.  The making of this vow was witnessed by my wife as well as by my brother Schuyler.  My wife and I have many ideas for the party and plan to spend several thousand dollars.  If you would like to pledge to contribute to the fulfillment of this vow, please contact me and I will add your name to a database to use at the appropriate time.

Allegedly Impending Death Part #1

January 25, 2015

Some of my negligence to blog during these last two years has been due to not having very many exciting things happen to me.  The remainder of my negligence to blog has been due to my occupation with the exciting things that have happened to me.  Exciting things did begin to happen to me after I returned from my trip to the DRC in Africa.

These exciting things include:

  • Taking a trip to Kauai (and back)
  • Getting a new job
  • Breaking my leg (spiral fracture)
  • Getting more than two dates with the same woman.
  • Losing my job
  • Getting a better job
  • Becoming engaged to become married
  • Becoming married
  • Becoming aware of and experiencing surgery to remove a fast growing tumor in my abdomen
  • Becoming aware of an inoperable tumor that my doctors say will kill me in about a year if I use chemo therapy and in less than six (6) months if I do nothing.

If I get around to it, I will type about all of these.  Right now I am typing this to ask for prayer regarding the tumor that is supposed to kill me.

Because of my wife’s prayers, I have a job that I like a lot.  I also have a wife whom I like a lot.  I like my life because of these good things that God has given me.

I would like to ask as many of you as are Christians to ask God for a miracle.  I have even found a promise of which to remind God in prayers.  Please remind God of his promise to provide a long and enjoyable life on the earth for those who honor their parents, and to have things “go well” with them (Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:1-3).  I am asserting that I have honored my parents, but concede that I don’t know what the fulfillment of this promise looks like.  I am aware that many who have honored their parents have lived short and unpleasant lives, but I would like to glorify God in life for a while longer before glorifying Him in death.

Please share my story with others.  I believe that God is more glorified in his work when many people see it than when only a few people see it.  I plan to share what God does on this blog so that you can know about God’s work and response to our prayers.

I also wish to report my conclusion regarding a previous blog post in which I guessed that kindness might be a good way to get a woman to desire me.  It’s true.  My wife says that she is and has been attracted to my kindness.

Since writing the first paragraphs of this post, I have become aware that a more biblical reason to wish to continue living in the body would be to accomplish fruitful labors, as Paul did (Phil 1:21-22).  I realize that there is some overlap between this and my current reasons, but I wish to increase in interest in the biblical reason.

Surveying

March 14, 2013

On Tuesday, March 12th, I performed land surveying on a project site where a new elementary school is to be built.  The land area is on the order of 50 acres and is nearly full of very dense, very tall grass.

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This grass makes surveying difficult.  Fortunately there are several hills that were built by termites, upon one of which a water storage tank has been placed.

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I used an instruction manual to figure out how to use the total station unit to tie in about 20 points from four instrument setups.

Then I returned to the house in which my EMI associates and I have been staying and I built a spreadsheet with another engineer to convert angles to decimal degrees and changed the elevations differences to absolute elevations (relative to an assumed datum).  Having no survey data reduction software, I then drew these angles and distances in AutoCAD and added elevation coordinates and description labels.

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The architects are using the survey information and also ground water percolation measurement information about this very flat land to build something called a Master Plan which seems to be a site plan based on hours of consultation regarding proposed uses and schedules and personnel and vehicle loads.

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03/10/2013 inside of a guest house in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo

March 10, 2013

Today is Sunday and I am having a great day! There is a Methodist church building across the street and I attended a French service with my Engineering Ministries International team this morning. I had thought that I was emotionally deficient, but I could have begun crying two (2) minutes after walking through the door. I have never seen a worship leader put his foot above his head during a worship service before. The whole thing made me think of Christian Hedonism, or the idea that God is most satisfied in us when we are most satisfied in Him because the people seemed to be particularly pleased to glorify God.

I began sleeping right away upon going to bed last night and slept for five (5) hours. Waking up then was convenient because I used the opportunity to change the power supply from one electronic device to the next. I then enjoyed lying in bed as though I was on a vacation in a very luxurious place. Oh, I used mosquito netting for the first time last night! Jet lag seems to have passed me by, even though I don’t know that I slept much on the airplanes when I was supposed to. I had a bit of an inconvenience at the Lubumbashi airport when I was asked to present my yellow fever card which was in a checked bag because I was made to check a bag which should have been a carry on in Washington D.C., but that problem was worked out without too much trouble. I am quite happy that that bag arrived though.

I really liked the lunch that I just ate. The potatoes must have been boiled, for they were skinless and red. I also ate white rice and some sort of vegetable dish. I really like just about everything that has happened here. I seem to be bypassing the culture shock too. The thing that I find the most troubling so far is that the transportation design, seems to neglect drainage altogether. The things that have been constructed and which I have observed seem to be designed to fail, or at least to create large puddles.

I am here with two (2) architects and two (2) other civil engineers to do civil engineering work for a ministry, and I get to meet with the ministry leaders later today.

Missional Solicitation

February 16, 2013

This is a solicitation for your money and prayers.

Those of you who are still reading this may be wondering, “Why?” and, “What could Joshua possibly do that would be worthy of my money, much less my prayers?”

The answer is that I have committed to taking a risk in order to do something that I have wanted to do since I attended junior college.  I am going on an engineering missions trip.  I am planning to leave North America for the first time to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo on March 7 and return on March 19.

I have been unemployed since November when I was laid off because my company closed its engineering department as a result of several company leaders retiring.  I have been applying for jobs in lots of places like Hawaii and Alaska, waiting to see where God takes me.  I made myself available to a couple of missionary organizations too, and Engineering Ministries International determined that I could be of help in preparing construction drawings for a proposed english speaking elementary school building which is to be run by the United Methodist Church of Southern Congo.

I am pleased at the opportunity to travel with a Civil Engineer much my senior from whom I may learn many useful things.  I am pleased that the land surveying and civil engineering skills that I have been developing for the past six years can be used to serve Jesus.  Having read John Piper’s book called Risk is Right, which was made freely available on the day that I decided to commit to this mission, I am pleased to take this opportunity to not waste my unemployment, and to visit a church in Africa.

If you wish to pray, please ask God to prevent me from doing and saying stupid things, losing my protein drink or other important items, and failing to love God and my neighbors.  I don’t want to waste any spiritual opportunities on this trip any more than I want to waste your money.  Please pray also that God will glorify Himself through the project and my work on it.

The cost to me is approximately $3000.  If you wish to give money, please continue reading.

Tax-deductible donations can be made easily with EMI’s secure on-line process by clicking on this link http://emiworld.org/donate.php

This portal that will allow you to make a one-time donation or create an account if you’d like and track or edit your own donations.  (Please be sure to enter 5585 and my name in the designation field).   If the hyper link does not work for some reason, you may log into the EMI website (www.emiworld.org) and follow the link to “Donate.”  If you prefer, mail-in checks are always fine.

Thank you for your prayerful attention,

Joshua Horky, P.E.

Civil Engineer

that which love is differs from that which love does OR love is love even before it is given away

May 17, 2012

Perhaps sometime near the 20th of March, I learned some factual things about love which I expect will benefit me in ways that I did not previously think possible.  At the beginning of the conversation that day, beginning to love someone seemed impossible to me, at the end of that conversation, beginning to love someone seemed possible to me.

The reason that beginning to love someone had previously seemed impossible was persistent and I experienced it consciously over at least seven years (7).  The following happened to me more than once:   One day during a walk (or a meal) with my mother I was telling her good things about a particular lady whom I admire, and my mother stopped me and asked me the question which I could never answer for myself or anyone else, “do you love her?” and I stopped and hesitated for a long time and said, “ah” and “um.”  The reason for this is that I had been made to understand that “love isn’t love until you give it away” (thanks to Michael W. Smith and those like him).  I also wanted to avoid being like some men who declare love to women only because they want sex.  But my primary problem with declaring love for a lady was that I felt that I first needed to have a list of generous and sacrificial things that I had done for her so that I would not be making an empty statement.  I thought that any love that I might ever have for anyone or anything would have to be worked into existence.

This is where my dad’s thought provoking conversation comes in.  My dad pointed out to me that even if I did have a long list of loving and sacrificial deeds that I had performed in the service of a lady, I would be unable to use that list to prove to God that I had ever loved her.  “How could you possibly know that?” you might ask.  Well 1 Corinthians 13:3 indicates that neither great sacrifice nor great generosity need to be accompanied by love.

“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3, NASB95)

I could be using that list of sacrificial and generous things as just a tool to get sex from a lady, entirely neglecting kind intentions and tender affection which, my dad pointed out, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of New and Old Testament Words indicates are what the Bible really means when the word love appears in its English translations.

This means that love must be somehow different than doing sacrificial and generous things.  So I began, during my conversation with my dad, to think about what love is and I figured out from John 3:16 and 1 John 4:10 and Ephesians 1:4-5 that God has loved people long before they existed and long before He ever did anything for them.  “For God so loved the world that He gave…” indicates that God was loving someone before He gave anyone or anything to anyone, and that it was His love that prompted Him to do something good.

So I am happy about the possibility of imitating God by having love for someone which will prompt me to do generous and sacrificial things for her, instead of trying to figure out a way to do a bunch of generous and sacrificial things without declaring love (or receiving verbal acceptance thereof) in order that I may then declare a love that I still may or may not have.

This gives me hope that someday someone will say the following about me: “Joshua had so much tender affection for this lady, and the inclination of his heart toward her was so kind that he told her that he loved her, even before he had contributed any significant thing to her life, and he married her and he lived with her every day, working with the intention of bringing about good things for her.”

Baptism Event Coverage

May 9, 2011

The previous post of this blog announced my impending baptism.  This post is to confirm to you that it really happened and to reiterate to you that what Jesus did for me (think of Don Francisco’s song, or just watch the video below which isn’t as appropriately emotional as the song, but its a start).

This is an image of me reading my speech.

This is an image of me thinking about water.

This is an image of the portions of my body and clothing that weren’t immersed at the same to time as the rest.

This is an image of me.  My sister decided to take a picture of me since I had been baptized recently.

This is an image of me gazing disdainfully at the water.  Try to think of sin that way.

This is a video of my speech and baptism.

And once again, here is an electronic copy of the paper from which I read that speech.

My Second (2nd) Baptism

April 22, 2011

Hello everyone.

I am scheduled to be baptized in the Seaside Church building on Sunday, April 24th 2011 during the 11 am service.

I’ve been baptized before and I plan to explain why I want to be baptized again before being baptized again.  I’ve written down the majority of what I plan to say on Sunday and it is available here in pdf format.

Sorry about the short notice.  I haven’t been checking my church’s facebook posts often enough, and so I found out about the opportunity just last night.  The thing is that I’ve been wanting to obey God in this for a while now, and I put it off for a while before that, so I don’t want to wait any longer.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Talking to Myself

August 1, 2010

I had been meaning to listen to C. J. Mahaney’s sermon about Psalm 42 and the troubled soul for quite some time.  Probably ever since the video was played for me at Seaside Church.  I finally got around to it last night and I typed notes!  Here they are:

Paul Trip wrote about counseling and the most influential voice in your life.

How faith driven and Christ centered is the conversation that you have with you every day?

No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.  You are in an unending conversation with yourself.

There is a direct relationship between the content of this unending conversation and the state of your soul each and every day.

Psalm 42 gives us the unique opportunity to listen to the internal conversation of the psalmist as he evaluates his own eternal conversation.

  1. The troubled soul:  All is not well within the soul of the author of the Psalm.  Perhaps this is similar to your experience.  Perhaps your soul is in torment.  If you are not prepared for this experience you will be vulnerable to temptation and sin when this experience comes.  This Psalm informs you that the problem is not unique and you are not alone.  The psalms express honest human emotion in the context of faith.  The psalmist is troubled by three experiences
    1. The apparent absence of God.  Verses 1-4 are about the apparent absence of God.  The Psalmist is thirsty for God, yet his soul is downcast and in turmoil.  The problem is that he feels distant from and forgotten by God.  The psalmist desires God’s presence, but feels God’s absence.  Charles Spurgeon seemed to have this problem along with many other people who were very close to God.  Spurgeon said that faith in God was the solution.
    2. The presence of trials.  Verses 6-7.  The waters and breakers are continuous and overwhelming.  Perhaps you have loneliness.  Perhaps it appears to you that everyone else has many friends.  Perhaps you thought that you would be married by now, but lately, you have begun to wonder if it will ever happen.  Perhaps your body has a chronic debilitating illness which makes even the simplest daily tasks to become difficult.  This contributes to the troubling of your soul.
    3. The opposition of men.  Verse 3, 9-10.  “Where is your God?”  The soul can be downcast and troubled because of the opposition of man.  This can be spiritual or supernatural, the demonic, etc. seeking to convince us that God has abandoned us in our trials.  The opposition comes in the form of individual people as well, especially in universities.  Regardless of the humility with which you hold biblical positions, you will know opposition from relatives and teachers and co-workers and that opposition can affect your soul as it affected the soul of the psalmist who was troubled in his soul.

It is particularly noteworthy to look carefully at how the psalmist addressed his troubled soul in response and the God of his soul:

  1. The hopeful soul.  When your soul is troubled and in turmoil, there are two appropriate responses.
    1. Talk to yourself (verses 5, 11).  The psalmist interrupts his soul’s unending conversation.  This makes all of the difference.  Too often this practice is neglected by those who are troubled in their souls.  Spiritual Depression by Martin Loyde Jones is an exposition of psalm 42.  “We must talk to ourselves instead of letting ourselves talk to us…Most of your unhappiness is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself…You have to take yourself in hand.  You must preach to yourself and question yourself…and say to yourself ‘Hope in God!’”  Have you realized this?  Address yourself with the gospel and the promises of God.  Talking truth to yourself is a learned skill that requires practice and effort.  One conversation with yourself will not normally be enough to alter our troubled souls.  You must persevere.  You’ve been listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself for a long time.  The good news tonight is that you can begin to talk to your soul.  If you begin right away, you will reap the effect of the truth sometime in the future.  So the next logical question is “what do I say to my soul?”.  The psalmist provided a starters kit full of content: “hope in God.”  Troubled souls can not be trusted and circumstances often lie to us when they inform us that God is not for us…When we cannot see God’s hand we must trust God’s heart.  You can expand on this content by searching the scriptures for promises applicable to your trials and troubles.
    2. Talk to God.  Verse 8 is a prayer to God, built from knowledge of God from God’s word.  This turns his troubled soul into a hopeful soul.  Troubled souls become hopeful souls as we sing truth to our souls.  God desires that we humbly but boldly remind Him of His promises and rehearse them before Him.  Spurgeon said that “God’s promises were not intended to be thrown away as waste paper…”  The more time that you spend talking to yourself and reminding God of his promises, the less time you will spend listening to yourself and allowing a downcast and a troubled soul.

One cannot read this psalm without remembering our Savior’s uniquely troubled soul as his death on the cross drew near.  The psalmist felt the absence of God, but the Savior actually was abandoned by God and was crushed by God.  The Savior’s soul was uniquely troubled so that the souls of sinners like us would know freedom from the fear of eternal torment of soul in Hell.

Psalm 42:5 (NAS)

Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him

For the help of His presence.

Psalm 42:11 (NAS)

11         Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,

The help of my countenance and my God.

iPod & Chain

December 15, 2009

Bishop Jefro used his sermon on December 6th to point out yet again that the root of divorce and lust and anger is the lack of affection for God which is a sin because God is actually more worthy of affection than everyone and everything else.  Sometimes this lack of affection manifests itself as dissatisfaction with God or with what God has given.  E.g.  a man allows his beer drinking and football watching buddy to use inappropriate names for his wife like the ball and chain.  Bishop Jefro says that when a man allows this, he is showing that he has more affection for his beer drinking and football watching buddy than he has for the wife whom God has provided for him.

The logical question to follow Bishop Jefro’s statement would be what are the problems with the buddy’s illustration for the affectionate man’s wife?

It seems to me that there are three primary problems:

  1. The illustration implies that the wife is a burden and not a joy.  This is hopefully not, but may be true.
  2. The illustration implies that the husband did not choose the wife or that the bridegroom was somehow forced to marry the bride and has been unable to free himself since.
  3. The illustration implies that that which binds a wife to her husband is unpleasant and oppressive.

On the positive side, however, the ball and chain illustration does have a strong point:  It points out that a man’s wife is bound to him closely.

So, in order to redeem this strong point, I have modified the ball and chain illustration and renamed it the iPod illustration.  The man should inform his beer drinking and football watching buddy that his wife is more like an iPod than a ball and chain to him because of the following reasons:

  1. His wife is more of a joy to him than a burden.  This statement may need to be objectified for accuracy, but the distance on the continuum between the current position and complete joy is indicative of the remaining work of sanctification.  John Piper has pointed out that Ephesians 5 says that Jesus, whom husbands everywhere are to emulate (vs. 1 & 2) went to a lot of troublesome (deadly) suffering and died because he wanted to have a radiant church for Himself (vs. 27).  Not everyone responds well to Jesus, and not all wives respond well to their (respective) husbands, so if you’re a man thinking of becoming married, choose a lady who wants to respond well to Jesus.
  2. The men I know who have iPods, myself included, have those iPods because we wanted iPods before we had iPods and so we spent significant chunks of money on them.  Our memories of this spending encourage us to enjoy them instead of wasting them.
  3. The men I know who have iPods, myself included, carry them around with us everywhere we go all of the time because we desire the benefit of their presence all of the time, not because of an oppressive link.  Note that the benefits of the presence of said iPod are very great if said iPod is an iPod Touch!

So here you have it from the twenty-seven and a half year old unmarried man whose iPod has a cracked screen and was lost in an armchair for several months during which the twenty-seven and a half year old moved (with his armchair) from Silverdale to Bremerton:  Don’t allow your wife to be called a ball and chain!

Television

September 15, 2009

I was invited to the home of a family I know from church last night and I had a very nice time eating very nice food which was good for me, but which is all gone now. The family gave me a television antenna and I hooked it up today. I can now receive eight digital channels!

I took a look at them this afternoon and I am amazed that the things that I saw are somehow lucrative. I guess that this wouldn’t seem like quite such a suprise to me if it weren’t for the existance of public libraries and the internet, but since these both exist, I can’t figure out who watches it.

One of the channels is a weather only channel, so I think that I’ll just leave the tuner there.

Blogging for Brandon

June 1, 2009

Brandon has been asking me to blog, but not the Brandon who became married in September.  I haven’t blogged since October because I figured out that blogging is generally something that I do in an effort to get people to worship me because I worship myself.  In an effort to blog without worshiping myself (because that’s idolatry), I’d like to tell you about some things that are better than my blogging.

I’ll start with the Coffee Oasis place in west Bremerton.  The Coffee Oasis place  is a facility that his been configured for ministry to lots of different people, but many of them are quite poor in the eyes of the world.  Every time that I go there I am reminded of how small my love for Jesus is.  This usually happens when I am standing around the few people with whom I am aquanted there and thinking about the best way to make myself sound good.  About this time someone starts telling someone else about how amazing Jesus is or what Jesus did for her or how grateful he is to be saved because he is not very smart, but God laid salvation out for him on a silver platter in such a way that he would have been a fool to not choose it.  I met one of the Coffee Oasis ministers at Washington State University.  Now I attend a different church in west Bremerton with people whom the world would say are significantly more successful than those at the Coffee Oasis, but I have recently been thinking that perhaps my friend has been blessed with greater love for God because he has taken people who have been discarded by the world and made them his community.

So let me point out to you a better blog (like, better than my own) by Daniel Frederick of the Coffee Oasis in west Bremerton:  in full and glad surrenderhttp://dafrederick.blogspot.com/

You probably won’t find too much author glorifying stuff there.

Candy Party!

October 10, 2008

Once again churches and various other organizations are sponsoring end of October events which are less than aptly named.  Seaside Church is having a Halloween Carnival Festival on October 25th from 4pm to 8pm.

So once again I am publishing this previously published memo which I believe should be used as a pattern for flyers for all such events.

Have some good Candy Partying this month.

2006

2007

The other Brandon’s Wedding

September 30, 2008

Here is an image of the front end of a wedding.  Up front there is pastor Paul Dean of Alathia Community Church in Issaquah WA, where I insisted that Brandon attend church with me when he moved to Redmond last year.  It was just a visit for me, but the two of us went out to dinner afterward with two other men and four young ladies.  Brandon decided to return to Alathia Community Church over and over again for the purpose of convincing one of those ladies to marry him (yes, one in particular).

I have two friends named Brandon, and now they are both married.  I took pictures, but I didn’t get paid.  I didn’t get paid because I don’t have good equipment and because my photography skills are insufficient, and because I did not indicate ahead of time that I would bring a camera with me.  I had fun anyway.

This is a picture of Brandon and Brandon’s dad and Brandon’s mom.

This is an image of Brandon and Brandon’s brother and Brandon’s other brother and Kyle, who was very nice to me when I showed up at Washington State University.

This is an image of pastor Busby of the Evangelical Free Church of Pullman and his daughter.  Pastor Busby gave his daughter away and performed a forty-five minute ceremony, which I am told was his shortest ever.

You can all tell what is going on in this image.  For some strange reason, the newlyweds decided to break the convention of tilting their heads to their respective right sides.  This picture would likely have turned out better if they had observed that convention.  No, I don’t know about that convention from experience, just observation and questioning.  Perhaps I should ask around some more.  Perhaps I can figure out how to include a questionnaire voting thing in this blog.  Until then, go ahead and post comments if you have experience.

This is an image of the back end of a wedding.

This is an image of the reception starting off in about the normal way.

This image shows the bride wearing the groom’s coat and the groom carrying the bride’s flowers.  This continued for the majority of the duration of the reception.  This image also shows Jay who was practicing his skill of walking in one direction while looking in another.

Dating Verse?

August 30, 2008

I read this verse in the Bible and I thought to myself, “that verse seems to be about dating” or something like that.  I could be wrong though.  What do you think?

Proverbs 18:22

What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Pr 19:22). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Perhaps one (or more) of you male readers is (are) dating.  Let me know how being kind kind and not lying works out for you.  I can tell from where I am at that the not lying part does not seem to be very attractive all by itself.

Wedding in Kirkland

July 30, 2008

On Saturday I visited Kirkland for the wedding of a friend with whom I haven’t done anything significant in several years, but also to visit my dear sister who has been far, far away with her husband at missionary school.

The wedding seemed to be successful. The ceremony was annotated. This means that the past told us what he was about to do and why it was that he thought he was doing it before he did it.

Then my sister and her husband and me had our pictures taken. He had a nice tripod which we didn’t take a picture of, but we did take a picture of the “huge free” sign.

Seaside Church Baptisms 2008

July 28, 2008

Seven (7) people were baptized at the Seaside Church baptism in Island Lake Park on Sunday, July 27. The sermon at Seaside Church by bishop Jefro was about baptism (sermon recording, sermon notes).

I had an interesting time at the Schuette’s community group on Thursday night because there was a discussion about whether or not people should be allowed to be baptized immediately upon the transmission of a statement of repentance. Three of the seven people who were baptized on Sunday had previously been deterred from baptism by men who thought that the appropriate time for their baptism had not yet, or never would come. On the other hand, one lady at community group knew of several people who were baptized at a summer camp (candy was involved) but had not been known to live as Christians.

My comment was that maybe baptisms should be a bit more public than they generally are because if they were people might be a bit less likely to be baptized just to be baptized. I seem to have changed my mind from what I was thinking at the Tuesday night community group when I said that baptisms didn’t need to be public because circumcision wasn’t public, but that people should know that they had occured. Perhaps Mars Hill Church has come across the best of both worlds by including video of baptisms on the world wide web. I guess that this blog helps too.

The most interesting thing I heard was that the reasoning that says that new believers should wait and live as Christians for a while before they are baptized is the same reasoning that says that people people who have affection for each other should wait a while and live together to see how they get along before they become married to each other.

Directly above this text is an image of a goose which distracted us all at the front end.
This is an image of Alan telling us all why it is that he was about to baptized.

This is an image of Alan and lead pastor Chris (Swanny) walking into the Island Lake
Directly before.

Directly after.

One down, six to go.

This is an image of Kehly telling us all why it is that she was about to baptized.

Two down, five to go.
This is an image of Clarissa telling us all why it is that she was about to baptized.

This is an image of Clarissa being baptized.

This is an image of Paige and her daddy telling the witnesses why she is about to be baptized.

Directly Before

During.Directly after.

Four down, three to go.

This is an image of Olivia telling lead pastor Chris (Swanny) why it is that she was about to baptized.

Five down, two to go.

This is an image of Candice (not Queen of the Ethiopians) telling us all why it is that she was about to baptized.

Directly After.

Six down, one to go.


Directly after.

Now take a look at lead pastor Chris (Swanny) in this picture and compare it the wedding picture below.
Now you tell me which event is happier.