Archive for March, 2007


March 26, 2007

Don’t scroll down to look for a picture of a smashed can in this blog posting because it isn’t there. I didn’t smash this can because I didn’t open it and everyone knows that difficult it is to smash a sealed can. The reason that I did not open it for easy access to its contents is that my interest in its contents was not sufficient because I am a Phenylketonuric. I took this picture of this can so that I could point out to you that my name has been written on it. See, right there above the website address: Phenylketonuric which had may as well be my name because there are only fifty or so of us in the state and fifty of anything is fewer people than the number of people who are named Joshua and who live in this state. So now I am likely to have people calling me by this name. Oh well, can’t say I didn’t ask for it (but I didn’t say please).

I took this picture while lying down on the Seaside Church parking lot and pointing the camera to the west directly after the second service.

Oh, you probably want to know what a phenylketonuric is. A pheylketonuric is a person who is allergic to Phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building of protein. Since I am such phenylketonuric, I avoid all protein except that which has been processed so that the said amino acid has been removed. This often appears odd to people who are ignorant of the reasoning behind it. Fortunately, I have nearly always had a dear sister in the same condition to help me out.

My dear sister has told me that one of the good parts (I don’t think that she said best) parts of her honeymoon was not having to pack any food or even think about what she was going to eat because her new husband knew exactly what she would want to eat. This brings me to the the most valuable part of this posting: instructions for people whose VIPs have complicated diets:

  1. Find out what the name of the condition is and then research it yourself. It will show that you have been paying attention to the lady and that you really can’t think of anything better to think about than what is good for the person to whom the name of that condition applies.
  2. Don’t say “Poor you, I could never live like that!”
  3. Don’t ask the same questions about it over and over again.
  4. Don’t say how sorry you are to not have any food appropriate for your VIP and then forget the next time and talk on and on about how sorry you are yet again.
  5. Don’t make a point of mentioning it to all of your friends when you are telling them about your new VIP. This will only force them to answer the same questions over and over again while listening to the same insensitive comments.
  6. Don’t be like a relative of mine and say “that vegetarian pizza looks like dog food.”

Can I hear an “Amen” sister?


MCG Sequim

March 21, 2007

I did some things that were fun for me to do on Sunday. I got to church on time and all that, but during the second service, I got to be part of the congregation and read the words which were displayed on the screen and thought about them and sang them, which I hadn’t done in months. I was able to do this because one of my volunteers told me that he was ready to take the new sound mixing board and so I let him, and I only had to remind him of a couple of things. I am happy about this not only because it helps the spiritual component of my life and thus improves the whole thing, but also because it means that eventually, I’ll be able to go and do other things like visit Coram Deo Church where I am told that the audio/visual team needs help and like visit Alathia Community Church in Issaquah where some friends of mine have helped to build another Acts 29 church.

Pastor Chris preached from the end of Philippians 2 about how Timothy had a genuine interest in the wellfair of the church and how conern for Seaside Church consumes every one of his waking minutes and many of his non-waking minutes. He painted a bleak picture and also said that it was hoped that all of the men in the church would become qualified for the responsibilities (of which there was quite a list, even applied to each attender). Maybe when the church body grows some more there will have to be a teaching pastor and a shepherding pastor or something like that.

I had the Seaside Church executive assistant over for dinner which was too short because of the Sequim MCG.

I hurried over to my community group leader’s house to borrow a book for the MCG and rushed over to the lead pastors house only to be later than I was supposed to be, but earlier than Luke and Jamie (Jamie is pregnant, so they can’t really be late).

I drove with Luke and Jamie. As we drove up to the appropriate exit from highway 101, we looked up the hill to the south and saw a cute little development. It made me think of a song that I started to sing, which you can listen to by clicking here. Then we drove into that development and began the MCG.

Just in case you didn’t read the candy party memo, I guess that I had better state here that MCG means Missional Community Group.

I was kind of excited about this MCG because I was told that Adam would be attending. Adam lived in a house called The Embassy before I did. He seems to have been a part of the ultra smart, ultra gracious group Christians that lived there before I did. The people in this group care deeply about thinking God’s thoughts after Him and not much about coming up with their own new philosophies or perspectives. This may be why he is interested in helping to build a new Acts 29 church. Oh, that reminds me: The new church in Sequim is to be an Acts 29 church (as opposed to an Acts 30 church) because Acts 29 is a really long chapter and we don’t know when it is going to end.

Maybe sometime I will blog about the content of the meeting and the trip home.

Chris S (lead pastor)

March 16, 2007

Chris S is the lead pastor of Seaside Church and he does use an IBM compatible computer. Yay. I could say a bunch of little things like this, but I guess that I said that I would be typing about the conversations that I have had with the men at Seaside Church.

Chris S got around to talking to me for the first time directly before he began to preach about money from Galatians chapter 6. He asked me if I had met anybody yet. I pointed out a number of men whom I had met in the previous few minutes and then added, “who knows, maybe I’ll be allowed to meet a woman in a week or two.” He responded by saying something like, “just so long as you have a goal.” I guess that that conversation was kind of about something.

Then there was the time that I finally showed up on two Sundays in a row (or a column or a diagonal or a rank or a file) and pointed that out. I finally had to become aggressive at a certain point because I didn’t want to have the same sort of role at Seaside Church as I had at the Evangelical Free Church of Pullman in Pullman Washington during my college years (i.e. being a do nothing for a couple years and then being assigned to doing something that I wasn’t any good at after that) so I sent him and the other elder my customized resume with a customized cover letter (is there any other kind of cover letter for a resume?) in an electronic message. The subject line of the electronic message read, “put me to work.” The execution of this idea worked even better than a really really well engineered and manufactured product delivered in a properly padded parcel. I recommend this course of action to everyone, although I guess that it may not actually work at a great big large church like Mars Hill Church in Seattle, but if you’re just sitting around waiting for someone to ask you to do just what you’ve always wanted to do in a church, stop waiting and point yourself out to the leadership.

The problem with conversations that are actually about something is that I cant’ always repeat them, so I’ll just tell you what these conversations were about. I have actually conversed with Chris S about designated giving, the practice of respect for elders, women, sin, expiation, and I am in the middle of an electronic discussion with him about whether or not husbands are supposed to “help” (that word is important) their wives (clearly husbands are to love their wives, and this can look like help, but is it really?)

Average Birthday

March 9, 2007

I realize that all of you who have VIPs are swamped because of anniversaries and birthdays and trying to be in two places at once during major holidays and other such things, but since I have no VIP, I have a tendency to think of things for other people to do.

One such thing is the average birthday spreadsheet which I built around the time of a house meeting of the Embassy in Pullman because there were eight of us and the child we were sponsoring wanted to know how old his sponsor was.

I very quickly realized that my creation could be used for romantic purposes, i.e. some sharp guy could input his birthday and that of his VIP and receive the output and use it as excuse for some sort of celebration with said VIP.

It works like this: The computer looks at the current date and then looks at the first input date and determines the number of days between them. It does this same thing for the second input date. These two numbers are added together and divided by the number of input dates (which must be specified by the user). This number of days is subtracted from the current date and the resultant date is the average birthday.

Just what you always wanted, right?

Download the file by clicking here.


March 6, 2007

Some time has past since I realized that I have had conversations with a lot of men at Seaside Church. The conversations about which I am typing were conversations that were actually about something. I have noticed that when I go to a church or a college group or something like that, I generally wind up talking to one or two people the whole time and determining that everyone else is comparatively boring (which is probably not really the way that they are), but that hasn’t happened to me at Seaside Church. I haven’t exactly determined why this is, but it might have something to do with being assigned to a leader for ministry and spiritual growth with whom I do not naturally get along so that I often have to force myself into self restraint for the purpose of godly behavior. This excludes rebellion.

So I am going to make a list of these people and maybe I’ll accidentally leave some out.

Chris S (lead pastor)
Chris C (my former community group leader)
Eric (my community group leader)
Mark (Real Deal with a truck that can outrun my body)
Russ (killer good drummer)
Mike (been hiding that voice for much to long)
Jeremy (executive assistant)
Jeff (bishop)
Pat (worship pastor)
Josh G. (church planter)
Luke (teaching finance class)

Perhaps I’ll go through this list and write about the conversations that I have had with people when I run out of things to blog about.

I’m so brilliant that it hurts to look at me

March 5, 2007

My friend Brandon about whom I have written before got himself a blog from blogger, apart from that thing called Myspace. He told me on Saturday that blogs are just for the documentation of one’s own brilliance. Unfortunately for him, his blog doesn’t really document his own brilliance. On the bright side, it does document my own brilliance! So let me point it out to you. After all, Proverbs 27:2 does say, “Let another praise you” and that is just what I am doing.

Acts 29 or 30?

March 4, 2007

I went to my first all church prayer meeting at Seaside Church on Wednesday and learned that the plan is to start a new church in Sequim or Port Angeles. I learned that Seaside Church is a place of rest for me and other people, and that if we deserve a rest, other people do too. The text was from Joshua chapter 1. Oh yes, and the Hood Canal was considered analogous to the Jordan River and all of us at Seaside Church were considered analogous to the tribes to whom God gave land on the east side of the Jordan River. This church is to be planted out of Seaside Church, so I wonder if this church will be considered an Acts 29 church or an Acts 30 church. Oh well, I am looking forward to it because I have never before been part of a church plant that has not been planted out of discontent, and neither has my father. I guess that I don’t know that I will be a big part of this church plant, since my ministry at Seaside Church doesn’t seem to be going away, but it is still kind of fun to think about.

My first Acts 29 retreat for men 2

March 2, 2007

On Saturday morning the first thing I said was, “That depends on how fast you eat,” or something like that because someone in the room in which I slept was asking someone else, “how long does breakfast last.”

I was able to find food to eat for breakfast and to eat it, but not in time to finish building a power point presentation for the morning worship song set and set up the projector, so all of the attendees has to wait while the computer was rebooted. The computer had an apple on the front of it and it has a touch pad mouse that is not terribly sensative and it seemed to slow me down. After some time and “help” from people who volunteered their advice, we finally made it work. The first teaching time was from Romans chapter six about four things:

  1. Know
  2. Consider yourself (i.e. apply knowledge to yourself)
  3. Turn from
  4. Turn toward(s)

If you didn’t go, don’t expect to understand this, I have placed it here as a reminder to people who attended, but may have forgotten already. This teaching was followed by a meditation time (considering the power and provision of God (which are known) with respect to ourselves and how we can turn from them and toward obedience to Jesus) which was of appropriate length. This was followed by a sharing time about the meditation time and the determinations made during it. This time was too short because of the lunch thereafter.

During the afternoon I played frisbee golf and ultimate frisbee! I lost both games, but I don’t remember previously having the pleasure of playing both of those games on the same day. I guess I learned that Frisbee is bigger in Portland than on the Kitsap Peninsula, but still not as big as it is in Pullman. I think this because I had to play frisbee golf with men from Red Sea Church, and only one other person from Seaside Church played ultimate frisbee with us.

I got my act together on the power point presentation for the evening worship song set so that there was no significant delay at the front end. The last teaching was about a number of things, some of which have been included below:

  1. Knowing that you are a warrior
  2. Knowing your enemies: The world, the flesh, the Devil
  3. Knowing your weapons
  4. Knowing your brothers

This was followed by another sharing time in groups made up of whole churches. Seaside Church got done before Red Sea Church got done. I learned some interesting things there which I won’t share with you because you may not have been there. If you were there, you probably remember them. If you want to find out about these things, show up next year.

Ryan found another way back to Bremerton to hang out with his parents for a bit. Pat rode back with me on Sunday morning and decided (temporarily) that my driving had improved markedly. We entered the Seaside Church building and set up for the first service, and we did it all apart from our lead pastor (gotta love compitent and qualified elders and elder candidates and church planters).