Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hate, hate, go away!

I'm disgusted. I'm blown away that hate could really exist like this-especially with people who want to connect their hate with God. In my opinion this expression of hate is just a bit short of actually taking a life. It's murder with words. This group, inappropriately self-titled a church, is known for traveling around the country to cut down, curse, and basically verbally abuse people. They show up at military funerals, gay pride rallies, and this past week to a high school in our area. Gunn High School exists about twenty minutes from our Church's campus in Redwood City. Gunn has had five student suicides this year, and apparently because of that Westboro Baptist church believes it warrants their group spewing hate through chants and signs. I could barely stay one minute on their website: (little "g" god for sure) because I got chills and felt the haunting feeling of what it feels like to be demonically attacked. I caution you if you want to visit their site. It's a gross misrepresentation of God's truth.

Read more on what happened at Gunn this week in an article here.

One of the banners they were holding up, "Fag Marriage," has an upside down flag and a sexual silhouette. Other slogans say, "God is your enemy, God hates America, You're going to Hell." It's just ridiculous. I'm saddened that these actions, albeit by a very, very small minority, still attract and draw negative attention to God and his church. This is not the Church that God intended us to be. God is a God of love an kindness, who changes us by his love. He doesn't demand behavior change in this graceless, hateful way. I pray God's love over these people--and that through them the victims of their hate would experience, somehow, the true and just love of the real God!

Romans 2:3-5
So when you, a mere human, pass judgment and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Denver Colorado Recap

I'm typing from the airport reflecting on time spent this week in Colorado with the Midwinter Conference. As a pastor I am a part of a bigger movement of people collectively called the Evangelical Covenant Church,
It's an annual conference where we all gather in one place to hang out, encourage each other, wrestle through current issues, and learn.

It was a good week. I missed my family incredibly, but had so much fun skyping with them almost daily. Technology is amazing!
Here's a pic of them, above, participating in our worship gathering from Co from the comfort of our home in Ca! Isn't that so cool that we could do that!

Had great times of tweeting incessantly, drinking coffee, reading, journaling,

and applying much chapstick--the CO wind did me in for two straight days. I looked like I had lip gloss on, my lips were so shiny. (Yes that is Covenant Chapstick. Actually is Compassion, Mercy, and Justice chapstick). So, there were days when I had a hard ime smiling cause my lips hurt so bad, but hey, it was worth it.

I also sat with many pastors chewing on issues of the church, transition into adulthood, and what it means to be REBORN! I loved it.

Especially great was being able to sit with fellow pastors serving young adults and to talk about what God is doing and how best we can equip this generation for maturity in Christ and living the mission of God passionately.

I got to hang with one of my best buddies in the world, Matt Nightingale. Former PCC staff member for eight years, we are still connected and I love it. One night were walking down the trendy streets of downtown Denver (totally cool to hang there), and we heard screaming tweens. Come to find out Nick Jonas was playing a block from our hotel. Hilarious.

Matt and I roomed together, laughed all night long, talked about theology, marriage, Pop Culture, prayed, and podcasted together (stay tuned for those). You really should read his blog as he's a better writer and more consistent than I am. He shared his experience there.

Huge bonuses of the week were 1-that I got to see two movies (ON THE SAME DAY!) Since I had three days of no breaks and lots of mind-work, I needed to decompress. So I saw Daybreakers (Beware! I don't watch horror flicks, but there is some major blood in this movie--It's a vampire movie so it's to be expected-but it was a great story with some huge themes of redemption, and tons of Anthropology issues--even a resurrection moment that is undeniable) & The Book of Eli--Hugely recommend this flick if you can handle apocalyptic films. There is an obvious work of God in that film. Second bonus was that I got a ton of free books! Woot!

And another highlight was that I go to make a new pal! I had an instant connection with this dude: Gilbert-a Sacramento local, Covie pastor. I felt like a tween myself with how much we were texting and tweeting. Loved it. I also saw many people from the past, (and unfortunately said way too many times "We should do lunch," that never came to fruition. So much going on and not enough time). Got some lovin & schmoozing from fellow covies, and a great German lunch from John "Octothorp" Boyd, were I learned a ton about social media. Totally dug that time. Also wanted to shout out to Neil, Angie, Casey, Tara, Marti, Judy, Tim, and Dane-who I had significant 5-10 minute convos with that highlighted my time. I also come away with a great appreciation for the leaders of our denomination, while growing my love for my own PCC church family. On a personal note, I got to connect with old buddies, Erik Strom, Hefti Brunold, and Jake Horn (not pictured). Very thankful to share some times over food and coffee. And another important reconnection was with my friend pictured below:

This is Justin, aka "Sandpaper." I was in Justin's wedding 11 years ago. I was glad to have some time to remember friendship requires saying hard things. Proverbs 27 says both that wounds from a friend can be trusted and we are to sharpen each other like iron. Justin did that.

I'm on my way home. Full, a bit tired, but thankful for what God showed me and did in me. I was loved on by him, reminded that I am a mess, and grateful that he accepts me. So now, to take some time off to rest and be present, fully present with my family. I will be shutting down the computer and turning the cell phone off for a bit!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What do you think of Wednesday's Picture?

How do you feel about smoking? How do you feel about these signs?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 in Review

Every year I do this for my family, both of them. Every year for the past 6 "New Years that I've had with Wendy and now my two kids, I put together a year in review. I edit together all the videos from our year and we watch it around the end of the year. I also began to do it with our PCCYA church family and our tradition has been to watch the footage at our Winter Retreat in January. It's a look over the whole year in retreats, times together, and the fun of living community and serving community! I'm so stoked and blessed to be a part of our church family. It seriously is amazing to watch what God did over the year and to be reminded of all those who have come and come. Sometimes it's hard to watch, knowing some have walked away from God and our community, but other times our eyes filled with tears knowing some of those who've left have been called by God to other churches, jobs, and the mission field. This past week we watched this video. I was truly proud and thankful. Here's the link.

PCC Young Adults 2009 in Review from PCC Young Adults on Vimeo.

Monday, January 04, 2010

As We Forgive-

January 17th we will host this film in our worship center. As the New Year starts, many of us are reconsidering relationships, and hopefully renewing our commitments to live in reconciliation. Nothing can challenge our own selfish grudges than hearing stories of those who have forgiven the unthinkable: Murder...full on genocide. It's hard to believe that I could live in unforgiveness of someone who's snubbed me in some way in comparison to these Africans releasing those who have slaughtered their family..killing their children. Make it a point to join us Sunday Night January 17th 7pm.

As We Forgive Film