Archive for the ‘Seaside Church’ Category

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!


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.



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.

My Weird Church

September 9, 2007

This morning I decided to act in accordance with my better judgment and submit to the wishes expressed in the comments of the official elder and the unofficial elder both of whom dared to tell me what I should write. I used to think that I was slow to anger. I used to think that I could live with authority. That was before I met people who actually use authority.

So, let it be known that it is the expressed desire of the Seaside Church leadership that all of you who read this blog post know that none of the bottles pictured herein did contain alcohol at the time during which these pictures were taken.

Now, if I could just find some way to get around those biblical commands to be subject to spiritual authority so that I can do whatever the hell I want.

Today there was a baptism at which three people became baptized. Lots of us decided to travel to Tom Engstrom’s house (pictured below). That person doing the cooking in that picture up there told me yesterday that by watching a movie called The Blues Brothers I could learn what would be required to build a culturally relevant church for black men (and their families).

Tom Engstrom had some very uncomfortable surgery performed upon his body last week. For some reason, he decided to be hospitable anyway. Please note the beer bottle in Mr. Tom Engstrom’s hand. This beer bottle is kind of like the beer bottle which is pictured in the picture above it.

This is a picture of Tom Engstrom’s backyard.

Here is an image of some kid with another beer bottle.

I figure that as long as I am making people happy, I had can make Crystal happy by removing this picture also.

Here is a picture of two of the people who were about to be baptized who were also having their picture taken while holding beer bottles.

Here is a picture of the person who was baptized first. Inconveniently, I don’t seem to have an image of this person holding a beer bottle. Conveniently, there seemed to be a number of beer bottles such that each person present seemed to be able to empty one all by himself or herself. I didn’t even hear any mothers saying, No Billy, you only get ONE!

This is an image of the person who was baptized second. It is also an image of the newly installed elder whose name is Eric Schuette and who is also my community group leader. I think that he is the only elder of Seaside Church who plans on attending any one community group consistently.

This is an image of the person who was baptized third.

Here are some other pictures that seem to have come out well:

More Visitors

August 24, 2007

I matched my all time high of five (5) visitors again this evening. I had a very nice time because Eric and Abby and Avery and Emily and Halsey came to visit me and eat my food and share their food with me. Eric is my community group leader and he came directly from his football coaching to his family’s home where his family honored him by waiting so that they could all travel to my home together.

The older children seemed to be cranky and hungry because the energy that used to be within them had been depleted during their afternoon at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, but that hunger and crankiness seemed to vanish during the meal.

So while I was eating and after my guests had finished eating, their was some conversing. Some of that conversing went something like this:

Emily: Mommy, why doesn’t Joshua have a wife?
Abby: Why don’t you ask Mr. Horky? Ask Mr. Horky.
Emily: says nothing. Is again prompted by her mother
Abby: Go ahead and ask him Lilly, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about
Me: (not yet knowing what Emily’s question is) It’s over there (pointing toward the bathroom)
Emily: That’s not what I was going to ask.
Abby: Say, “Mr.” (waits) “Joshua” (waits) “why” (waits) “don’t” (waits) “you” (waits) “have”
Emily: … a wife?
Me: Because I’m picky and the women whom I pick are picky and there are conflicts in the synthesis of our pickiness.

Alright, that last line didn’t really come out quite that well, but I was happy to hear such a question from a little girl who just walked into my home for the first time to eat a meal.

After dinner we took some pictures and watched some football and music videos on my two notebook computers and Halsey fell asleep while I held him and then it was time to leave. Oh. Eric didn’t take long to discover that I haven’t read nearly all of the books on my bookshelf.

This is a picture of Eric holding Halsey while sitting in the chair that Avery says looks as though Halsey pooped green or yellow or some such color all over it.

This is a picture of Emily realizing that she really is still hungry and wants to eat even more dinner.

This is a picture of Abby (not to be confused with Abby herself).

This is a picture of all of my guests staring at other pictures which are being displayed by my computers.

This is a picture of baby Halsey who began to sleep numerous times during the evening.

Thank you for viewing these mediocre quality pictures.

Jazz Event at Seaside Church

August 11, 2007

On Friday, August 17th, I get to do some sound mixing for a jazz event. Well, perhaps my volunteer will be doing it instead of me, but neither of us has ever mixed jazz before and neither of us has ever mixed anything that anyone has paid money to listen to, but maybe it will go well anyway. Please note that the date on the poster shown below is wrong. Oh, and there will be alcohol. I mention that because I have recently learned that knowledge of the presence of alcohol seems to make people interested, even in church events. So consider yourself invited if you are old enough to legally consume alcohol and enjoy jazz music without disturbing the people around you. Oh yes, the profit is to be spent on new chairs so that the next event can be made even more classy and comfortable.

My mistake

June 26, 2007

I received some negative comments about my blog on Sunday. Crystal told me that she really didn’t say that my empty bun was a veggie burger. Crystal was really trying to inform me that I could fill my empty bun with something called a veggie burger. I neglected her kind message to me and missed out on the veggie burger as well as the pleasure of quoting her correctly the first time on my blog.

Crystal has threatened to start her own blog at, but it has yet to appear. If it does appear, I will have my first real opposition and I am sure that my site traffic will increase a lot. Perhaps I should make more mistakes. But if there are mistakes that I should make, are those really mistakes at all?

Community Group 1

June 21, 2007

One of the meetings of my Missional Community Group took place last night.

I have included the picture of an instant of this meeting on the left there not because it makes me look good (clearly), but because it is the only picture that I was able to have taken last night; my batteries only had enough energy for one picture and my backups had been sitting around for far too long to be worth anything.

The beer in the blue cup was the first beer from a can which I had ever consumed, and I did not find it positively impressive, but it was a gift which was offered to me by a military man directly after he learned that I had finished with my engineering exam. I felt very uncultured after I had begun to pour the can of beer into the blue cup which I had been using for dihydrogen monoxide because Crystal decided to tell me that there was too much foam on the top of the beer which I had poured into the blue cup and that I was supposed to tip the blue cup while pouring. I was later informed that I was not supposed to pour the beer into the blue glass at all. Isn’t it convenient that people in the beer drinking community are so pleased to share the correct cultural protocols?

My whole community group seemed to be on a mission to rejoice with me, even though I wasn’t bent upon rejoicing.

Hostess: When you found out that you passed, did you jump up and down?
Me (not wanting to think long enough to remember that I did jump up and down): I don’t remember.
Hostess: I would have jumped up and down.

I got to eat oreos and potato chips and a hot dog bun. Crystal told me that the hot dog bun is called a veggie bun or something like that when it is empty. I can’t imagine why it is called that.

Please note that Real Deal Mark Keel (pictured) is not the military man whom I mentioned above.

I am not completely helpless

June 2, 2007

I am taking a little break from blogging about spiritual things. I may never cease to be amazed (from time to time) at how much aggravation there is to be had inside of Jesus’ church, just among those who are committed to the one mission. I must remember what Pastor Dale Swanson once said, which was to the effect of, “If you knew that tomorrow morning, one of your Christian brothers or sisters was going to be found dead, hanging on a streetlight downtown, you wouldn’t care which church you went to. You wouldn’t care if they spoke in tongues or not, you wouldn’t care if they baptized their babies… you would just be glad to be with a brother who loved Jesus and believed the Bible. I don’t think that having the ability to be choosy and seemingly independent means that I should be so. But I am taking a break from that (now where’s that seat belt?).

The reason that I can say that I am not completely helpless is:

You guessed it! Yesterday, I sewed my own button onto my own pants with my own needle and my own thread all by myself after I realized that the original thread was failing. I even used thread that matched the pants. My employer’s wife informed me that I should have done it her way, and not just the way that I was instructed to do it by the internet, but it seems to be working.

Bishop Jefro

May 20, 2007

I will be blogging about worship pastor Patso again soon because I wound up at his house again last night, even though he didn’t invite me to his house and I did not plan to visit his house.

I can’t seem to remember exactly how I did it, but on Sunday evening, I talked bishop Jefro into allowing me to invite myself over to his house anytime that I wanted to. On Wednesday, I tried to invite myself over to his house, and we decided that I could visit his house on Friday evening.

So on Friday, I climbed aboard the Illuminate 2 and traveled along the same road that my dad lived on years ago to visit bishop Jefro. I was five minutes early so I decided to sit in my car on the side of the road, near the outside edge of a bend in the road and wondered whether or not any cars would fly off of the road into the Illuminate 2. I decided that I should stop wondering about that.

At the appointed time, I was received into bishop Jefro’s home and the television was turned off and bishop Jefro and his wife began to tell me all about their cat and their local library and how repulsive bishop Jefro used to be to his wife before they were married and they fed me an orange and a sweet potato and brown sugar and butter substitute. Then I watched them feed their son and prepare their son for bed because their son is not yet one year old and needs help with these things. Oh, they told me about their cat too.

I was asked about how I got to Seaside Church from Pullman, and they didn’t want to hear about how I got into my little car and drove, so I had to tell them which church I used in Pullman and which house I lived in and which website I used to learn about Seaside Church and what I didn’t like about the other churches that I tried in the area. I didn’t mention Dale Swanson to both of them, but I have realized that he is probably the person who prepared me most for typical Acts 29 events like the one I had last night at worship pastor Patso’s house.

In as much as most of the women who attend Seaside Church had gone away to learn about sabbathing, but bishop Jefro’s wife was unable to do that for various reasons, bishop Jefro then decided to take me to worship pastor Patso’s house to meet with men who were exploiting the absence of their wives in various ways.

Worship pastor Patso part 1

May 15, 2007

It is kind of funny that the people with the authority and the responsibility at the church that I attend are the three people with the comical nicknames: Lead Pastor Swanny, Bishop Jefro, and worship pastor Patso. Worship pastor Patso canceled a meeting tonight and told me to spend the extra time blogging and reminded me that he hadn’t read any blogs about himself recently. He must have recently read the proverb that says, “let another praise you and not your own mouth” recently, because he had the wisdom to avoid blogging about himself. So here we go.

Here is a picture of worship pastor Patso sitting to the left of “Real Deal” Mark Keel. “Real Deal” Mark Keel was sitting directly between worship pastor Patso’s little green car and the camera that took this picture during the time that this picture was being taken.

Worship pastor Patso does his ministry in an unusual way. I have observed that most worship pastors get things done by doing the things that need to be done all by themselves because that is one of the ways to be sure that things get done (see the end of my blog called What I did last night). One of the responsibilities of worship pastor Patso is seeing that the congregation at Seaside Church is led in worshiping Jesus with songs on Sunday mornings, but instead of doing this himself, worship pastor Patso has been able to find musicians whom he has directed to perform this task and the tasks related to it so that he can perform more pastoral tasks like premarital counseling and less deaconatorial tasks like tuning his own guitar.

I have been imagining in my own mind that you who have read the last paragraph are thinking to yourselves, “What good is a worship pastor who can’t lead worship music,” so I guess that I should say that worship pastor Patso used to lead most of the worship music at Seaside Church and still does lead worship music from time to time when the other musicians are otherwise engaged.

Not too long after I sent my resume to the elders of Seaside Church in an electronic message, the subject line of which read, Put me to work. I was assigned to the Audio/video (mostly audio) team which is also under worship pastor Patso. At the time, Seaside Church was running only one service and I was expected to arrive at the facility two hours ahead of said service. My first remark to worship pastor Patso was something like, “What in the world are we going to do for two whole hours?” and worship pastor Patso told me that he thought that I had chosen a strange way to begin a ministry with someone. I should probably not begin any dates that way because it might be the beginning of my ministry to my wife, and that would be a strange way to start.

My first Acts 29 Resurrection Sunday

April 12, 2007

The alcohol that I consumed on Sunday was located at Mike’s house and had been built previously (i.e. prior to being consumed by myself) by the lead pastor of Seaside Church. I had never had such an easy time with getting a beer (this one was an ale) down before then.

Mike had just finished leading one of the three (or so) bands at Seaside Church during the Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday services and pushed me and a bunch of people through a fair amount of work that we all wanted to do. I didn’t find myself thinking about anything explicitly ultra-spiritual except for the rebellious attitude that rises to my head so that I realize its presence every time that I am told to do something that I wasn’t about to do regardless of the opinions of others. When this happens I can’t very well say to myself, I’ll do it because I want to, not because you told me to.

Oops. That last paragraph probably made you think that Mike wanted me to do something that I didn’t want to do anyway, but that is not the case. I may blog about this later.

The good part of the whole thing is that after all of the bullets had been bitten, the result was appreciated a lot and I got a better idea of what the sound system can do after working with it for four days straight. One church member commented that some of the music was the best music that she had ever heard in church or elsewhere, and a number of others indicated that the services were spiritually beneficial to them!

Let me also point out that he Good Friday service did not include commentary. Just about every other Good Friday service that I have ever attended (e.g. the ones at other churches) included quite a number of little interpretive readings that were placed in the program between songs and scripture readings and I always thought that they were stupid because many of them seemed quite distracting and a number of them seemed unbiblical. The Good Friday service at Seaside Church went like this:

Scripture reading
Scripture reading
Scripture reading
Scripture reading

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?)


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.

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).

Can Smashing (or my first Acts 29 retreat for men 1)

February 25, 2007

These are pictures of a can that I smashed a few minutes ago inside of my own home. I took a picture of this can and then I smashed it and then I took another picture of it so that I would have pictures with which to illustrate this blog entry.

I went to Black Lake Bible Camp last weekend and while I was there, I lost four games of chess to Alex from Red Sea Church in Portland Oregon. I did not win any games of chess, but for every game of chess that I lost, I smashed a soda can with my two hands. The integrity of the can failed due to excessive compression. I have no doubt that some people think that I did so out of frustration, kind of like a particular young lady must have assumed when she saw me smash such a can directly after she told me that no, I was not to be allowed to ask her parents if I was to be allowed to ask her if I could go out with her. In actuality, I just smash these cans because I can (what a pun!). I figured out that I could do it while I was living at the Embassy.

Fortunately, these four chess games and smashed cans were not the high points of my weekend.

The drive from my parents house in Monroe which I had been visiting because of a stormwater product seminar and the birthday of my younger brother was exceptionally lengthy (with respect to time, not distance) because of the high traffic load with which interstate five was burdened. The unpleasantness of the excessive duration was offset by the pleasantness of the company of Ryan from Mars Hill Church in Seattle who used to be the worship leader (as opposed to worship pastor) at Seaside Church in Bremerton. I had a nice time conversing with him about Jesus, church, music, simple theology, and of course, traffic. I managed to input bad data to my computer mapping program, so we were ten blocks off of our target at the end, but Ryan was wise and asked directions and got us there before the electrical system of the Illuminate 2 became overloaded by the frequency modulator transmitter, the frequency modulator receiver, the electrical inverter, the audio amplifier, the cabin and forward lights and the engine’s demand for spark while we were driving around slowly and looking for the camp site. We did arrive before 1900 when I was told that the gate would be locked and a nearsighted guard would be posted with a shotgun.

After I parked the Illuminate 2, I unloaded and joined the music worship team (provided by Seaside Church) in the chapel area and soon found that there was lots of power available and every reason to use it. The music sounded good, and I got to use a graphic equalizer that had controls for even more than three bands! Dinner was good, but the chess games were not so fun. At least I didn’t throw my chess pieces all over the room.

Pithy terseness

February 19, 2007

During the meeting of my community group on Tuesday, the topic of God’s specific will came up and I managed to get a word in edgewise which met with some resistance. I didn’t back down and transmitted an aggressive little electronic message to the group about it the next day.

It sort of sums up a bit of what I learned from the Discovering God book by Henry Blackaby, but the references were pointed out to me by David Andrews who was the “leader” of the house at which I once lived in Pullman. These references were pointed out to him by someone else, but I pulled them out of the house meeting documents that I had built so that I could include them in the electronic message about which I am typing.

I have received so much good feedback about this electronic message that I have decided to include its text below:

Subject: Getting started on God’s will

God’s will for your life is God’s will applied to your life.

1 Thess 4:1-12
Romans 12:2
Ephesians 5:17
1 Thess 5:16-18

I am Joshua

Superbowl Sunday

February 6, 2007

The Seaside Church building seemed quite empty to me yesterday, but two services were held in it on that day anyway. I became kind of excited because of the talk about another church being planted out of Seaside Church! No one seems to know where this church is to be planted or who the leader will be, but I have been told that we don’t want to just sit around and make Seaside Church look shiny.

I spent yesterday afternoon sleeping and then walking to my community group leader’s house and giving all of the parents there a hard time about how I got to take a nap and they didn’t. I was probably less than gracious, but I did offer to take care of the three sons of a married couple in their own home (i.e. married to each other) so that they could take a nice nap in my apartment. The husband said that that seemed to be too good to be true. I’ll see if he takes me up on it. Observing all the little kids there was at least as fun as watching the super bowl, a good third of which I missed (o dear).

Oh, on the way home from the Seaside Church building I used my debit card for the second time ever. I bought fuel this time. I didn’t even have to type in my personal information number. That just makes me feel ultra-secure. I tried it last week, but at that time I seemed to be incapable of interpreting the instructional illustration correctly, so I inserted the card incorrectly and could not make the card reader function. This reminds me of the Luther movie, There is but one proper interpretation of Scripture, and of my favorite way to twist that saying: There is but one proper interpretation of the cookbook: That which your mother has established.

Tonight I’m off to drink beer at spiritual disciplines class with the elders of the church. Maybe my parents are right to be worried about Mars Hill Church and the Acts 29 Network, but I am not worried yet.