Thursday, May 31, 2007

Who Wouldn't Want to Beat Victor?

So Victor thinks he can get more MySpace friends than me even though he has been on MySpace for years and I have been on for a week. He posted about taking me down.
So please go on my MySpace page and add me as a friend and help me beat Victor.

So Pumped on Ducks

I'm starting to think that our home team might actually win the Stanley Cup!! 2-0. Now we have to go win in Ottawa. I'll keep this short because I don't think people really like my hockey posts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


It's my beautiful bride's birthday today. I wonder if I'm allowed to say her age online. I don't think I will...just in case. She is wonderfully loving, incredibly funny, and a bit spicy. She is carrying our unborn daughter in her belly and it's been a bit of a challenge so I thank her publicly for the effort this takes. This picture is about a week old and the baby is due July 1st (or in Bea's opinion, next week).
Bea at 8 months


Oh man, watching the Ducks vs. Senators game on Monday was one of the most intense sports watching experiences ever. Right when they dropped the puck the players were skating twice as fast and hitting three times harder than a normal game. The Senators kept taking the lead and the Ducks had to battle back. But there is this sense of confidence you have when Pronger and Scott Niedermayer are on the ice. If the Ducks keep hitting hard and playing aggressive, but can cut down on the silly penalties (like Getzlaf's repeated cross-checks and May's pointless clothesline) then they will win the whole thing. Plus Jiggy is a stud.
Ducks Beat Senators in Game 1
Thanks to the OC Register for the great photos.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I'm getting addicted

My MySpace addiction is increasing. My blog has sucked since I started MySpacing. I have to get back to blogging - my main thing online. By the way, Victor should not talk trash or call me a sellout. He has a myspace.

Also, I just asked Barack Obama to be my friend on MySpace. Hilarious!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


That's how many hits you get when you Google "Barack Obama Antichrist"

That about proves it!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My MySpace

I started MySpacing this week. I had one before to check on staff members or students who would say gross things on there, but now I'm doing the MySpace thing for real.

Check it out at

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Calvary Blogger

Josh Simpson is in the blog world now. Check it out HERE.

Hillsong United Last Night

A group of guys went to see Hillsong United last night at the Forum. It was pretty awesome. The band was great. They sounded perfect although I was wishing it was a lot louder. There were 8 people on stage - 2 electric guitars, 2 acoustic guitars, bass, keys, drums, and a singer/hype-man. 3 of the other musicians sing as well. There must have been about 6,000+ people there. Packed!!
They played:
Time Has Come
Take It All
World Will Never Take
Look to You
I love You (unsure of title)
The Stand
Jesus My Reedemer (hymn)
Fire Fall Down
Break Free
None But Jesus
From the Inside Out
A Reprise - Be Lifted High
Savior King
Tell the World
I Don't Care - All Day (unsure of title)

Great songs. I wished they played Salvation is Here, Point of Difference, and Lead Me to the Cross. Oh Well! I got pumped to play a bunch of United songs in Jr High on June 6.

The weird part of the night was when the pastor, Phil Dooley, came out to preach for a while. I felt like I was in the movie "Saved." It was a very hyper-emotional cheer-for-Jesus feel. Then he did a "raise your hand" altar call and counted down 1-2-3 and about 90% of the room raised their hands and prayed out loud. Yeah, I'm sure all of these people at a worship concert were accepting Christ for the first time. I felt like these people would have drank the Jim Jones Kool-Aid if the band or the pastor asked them too. It was a bit sad to me.

The actual music and the worship part was awesome though. I loved it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Little Props to Falwell

I saw this article on (full disclosure - Peter showed it to me). But it paints a slightly different picture of The Jerry. Look for the part about desegregating churches. That shows how he was initially part of a segregated church movement and took heat for changing it.

This along with the Larry Flynt quote and an endorsement from Clyde Cook make me think of Jerry a bit differently.

The quote is below but see the full op-ed piece that Larry Flynt wrote about Jerry Falwell here.
The truth is, the reverend and I had a lot in common. He was from Virginia, and I was from Kentucky. His father had been a bootlegger, and I had been one too in my 20s before I went into the Navy. We steered our conversations away from politics, but religion was within bounds. He wanted to save me and was determined to get me out of "the business."

My mother always told me that no matter how repugnant you find a person, when you meet them face to face you will always find something about them to like. The more I got to know Falwell, the more I began to see that his public portrayals were caricatures of himself. There was a dichotomy between the real Falwell and the one he showed the public.
Larry Flynt

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

One Real and One Pseudo Competition

THE DUCKS WIN!!! They dominated the Yankees for the first 50 minutes. They almost blew it at the end, but the held strong. They are now in the NHL Finals against the Ottowa Senators. Canadians - Prepare to cry!! Depression will begin again soon. Jasen - I am very sorry that you feel the way you do right now. It must hurt to have your beloved Detroit Yankees lose. That was the real competition.

Now for the pseudo comp. American Idol. I call it a false competition because the lame song that the two dorkmeyers from Seattle wrote was completely created for a more traditional singer like Jordin. I like Jordin.
She is a better singer, but Blake is a million times more creative and interesting.
I want Blake to win, but my prediction is that Jordin will win it all. By the way, I never voted this whole season and I continued to keep my commitment tonight. I did not vote on American Idol - even though I watched every show and now I'm blogging about it.

I do dumb things

Last night I had to leave to counsel some people from my church at 8:00 and I didn't get home until 9:30. Then I talked to Bea until about 10:00pm. She, being both smart and pregnant, went to sleep. I felt like I had to know what happened with the season finale of 24. So I watched it. Then I thought, "If I don't watch the season finale of Heroes someone is going to tell me what happens." So I watched it. At this point it's just after midnight. Then Grace walks in the living room as I'm turning off the TV and she wants me to come "cuddle her." So I lay in her bed until about 12:35am. Then I sneak out and finally go to bed.

Needless to say, when the alarm starting going off at 5:40 I was very sad. I will continue to be sad through a day of meetings.
I do dumb things.

Do you?

By the way, I was disappointed in both season finales. I heard 24 is going to change the show a lot and they need to. It's getting WAY TOO formulaic. A lot of things happened at the end of Heroes, but I wasn't sure if I cared.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Biblical Study on Wine - Conclusions

Before I post my thoughts and conclusions off the study I wanted to list the links to the study below.

After reading through all of these texts, I feel like I have a couple basic conclusions. God created wine as a blessing to His people including Jesus when He was the Incarnate Christ. Wine seems to be something that Christians can and maybe even should use as a remembrance and celebration of the blessings of God much like the Jewish people do in their feasts. Wine is something to be enjoyed responsibly. Drunkenness is clearly and obviously a sin. There are also times where people, especially Christian leaders, should abstain from drinking wine for the purpose of prayer and seeking direction from God.

Drinking wine should not be something that people are judged for doing, but those who have the freedom to drink wine should be thoughtful of who they are around when participating in their freedom. I also don't agree that if someone is an alcoholic and sees someone having a glass of wine that they will then be sent into an addictive tailspin to stumbling ruin.

The biggest standout for me is not Jesus turning water into wine (although that is interesting) and its not the O.T. passages about God giving wine to be a blessing to His people and its not the assumptions that Scripture makes that people will drink wine. The standout for me is that Jesus drank wine. He came eating and drinking and people judged Him and called Him a drunkard and He served wine to His disciples and told us to remember Him when we drink it.

So if you have had major addictive issues with alcohol in your past then don't drink wine. I'm also not talking about slamming back jager-bombs or drinking 4 Long Island Ice Teas. I'm talking about a couple glasses of wine. Be responsible people! But if you don't have an addictive issue and you are over 21 years old then practice your dominion over God's creation and enjoy the fruit of the harvest that God has given to you. And please, stop judging people for something that is nowhere even close to a sin. In fact, it's a sin to judge people for enjoying wine responsibly.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bea on Film

I had the Macbook with the iSight in bed tonight and I made Bea talk on camera. It's good stuff. You will love it. The lighting is really dark and the sound is low, but that's perfect. You will see how much Bea loves blogging. Plus I haven't been preaching as much lately so I miss making the confessionals.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another Awkward Celebrity Interaction

As most of my friends know, I turn into a total moron when I am around famous people. Seeing as we live in SoCal this does happen occasionally.

Yesterday, I took Grace to disneyland and we saw Guy Fieri from The Food Network. I love cooking and food and I watched the whole season when he won The Next Food Network Star.
So I see him walking by with his family at Disneyland right between the Teacups and Storybook Land - by the way, only go on Storybook Land if you want to suffer a slow and painful death. Then I recognize him and I stick my fist up like "Yes!" and I say, "Dude, I watched your whole journey and I rooted for you the whole time!" He says, "Thanks man, I appreciate it" with a seemingly genuine smile.

I am a serious dork.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Question on Wine

Before I post my thoughts and conclusions, I would like to ask a question of you all.

Why do you think this is such a huge issue for people?

A Biblical Study on Wine - Acts to Revelation

This is the end of our journey through the Scriptures looking at verses about wine and the vine. After this I will post some thoughts and conclusions.

Romans 14:21 "It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles."
In the context of this verse Paul says that the kingdom of God is not about eating or drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy. This verse shows how drinking wine can be a sensitive issue with people. This shows how some people struggle with it. God is saying that all things are clean. Wine is acceptable, but it might be hurtful to some. Discretion and sensitivity with your liberty is very important.
1 Corinthians 8:9-13 "But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble."
This verse shows that we do have a liberty with things like wine, but that some people struggle with it and we should care more about them than our liberty. I honestly get frustrated with this passage (not just for wine) because I always want to show people the truth of something and help them change instead of just caving into their ignorance. I don't think this verse says that we should just always cave into people's wrong views of what is sin and what isn't. If someone thinks it is sinful for me to drive a car or use a computer, should I stop? It's just tough to figure out how far to go with this verse. I do think that no matter what it shows us that we should be careful about how we display our liberty.
Ephesians 5:18 "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit."
This one is pretty obvious. Don't get drunk. God wants us to be filled and intoxicated with Him.
1 Timothy 3:3 "An overseer...not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money."
This says the same thing about deacons in verse 8. A Christian leader should not be addicted to wine. It doesn't say they shouldn't drink wine, but they shouldn't be addicted to it. Titus 1:7 says the same thing as this verse.
1 Timothy 5:23 "No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments."
A little wine can help out the tummy when it doesn't feel good. I know that wine does have some medicinal value. My mom is encouraged to drink a glass of red wine for her heart by her doctor. They actually say her previous practice of a glass of red wine almost every day has probably saved her life.
1 Peter 4:3 "For the time already past is sufficient {for} {you} to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries."
Drunkenness is bad.
Revelation 18:13 "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."
Here wine is used as a metaphor for something negative. It is used as metaphor in Scripture for things like judgment and immorality as well as for things like God himself and forgiveness.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I love ministry

After youth group tonight a bunch of the staff in the Jr High Room started kicking and throwing these big rubber balls - the kind that you would buy in the big metal cage at the grocery store back in the day. We were chucking them and kicking them at each other right in the face and loving every second of it. Guys and girls were sharing in the mayhem. Then we laughed about it and talked about life and funny stuff while sweating from the kickball-fest. It was awesome. I love the little fun parts of ministry like that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dies Today

Oh my gosh!! I feel so evil. A week after I write my post about Jerry Falwell that began as a way to talk trash on Peter, the man dies of a heart attack. I already got two emails that said, "You killed Jerry Falwell." No I didn't. He did not read my blog...I pray. P-Diddy said, "Jerry's in heaven now and now he knows what you said." Aaaggghhhhhh!!!! So weird. I'm sorry Jerry.

Read the press release here

A Biblical Study on Wine - Gospels

The study on wine continues through the Gospels today.

Matthew 9:17 (Mark 2:22) "Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."
This verse really has nothing to do with wine other than that Jesus used wine as an object lesson. It makes me wonder why we wouldn't do that today. Alcoholism wasn't invented today.
Matthew 11:19 (Luke 7:34) "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
This is one of the most interesting verses. Jesus drank wine. If they called him a drunkard it wasn't water in his cup. He was misjudged for drinking wine yet He still did drink wine. He was with sinners drinking with them.
Matthew 21:33 "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey."
This parable places God as the landowner who plants a vineyard for making wine. Again, Jesus uses wine in an illustration and shows God as the owner of it.
Matthew 26:29 (Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18) "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
The Last Supper had Jesus and His disciples drinking wine and using it as an illustration for His blood.
Luke 1:15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb."
This is about John the Baptist. So we see some element of holiness and separation associated with not drinking wine. It's tough to contrast this with Jesus drinking wine.
John 2:1-10 (9-10 here) "When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him,"Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now."
This is the story of the wedding in Cana where Jesus turns the water into wine. Jesus not only provides alcohol for the party, but he also made good stuff. He also provided more wine for the people after they had drank a lot.
John 15:1-5 (1 shown) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser."
Jesus compares himself to the vine that wine grapes grow on. The father is the master of the vine. We are the grapes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Submarine Ride is Back!!


Postcard comes in the mail today. Special Passholder Sneak Peek. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. June 6 and 7th. I entered the opportunity drawing for Annual Passholders to see it early. We hope we get it!

It opens to the general public on June 11.

Ducks Win in OT

Say goodbye to your home-ice advantage Detroit. Now the Ducks just need to win at home and they can take it all. One word to my friend, Jasen, "BOOYAH!!"

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Classic Jr High Ministry Moment

At the end of Jr High Sunday morning we made some general announcements about some events - Hume Lake openings, Gong Show, an outreach night, etc.

Then we announced some major staff changes: 1. The JH Associate, Melissa Brosch, would be moving to High School Ministry. 2. That our current intern, Nikki Smalley, would become the new JH Associate.

We asked if the kids had any questions. A hand goes up.

"Is the Gong Show free?"


AIDS Walk Report

The Orange County AIDS Walk was yesterday and according to the OC Register the numbers were up from 4,000 people last year to 8,000 people this year. That's so good because they had been going down the last few years. It was an amazing event. So many people and a festive atmosphere. My job was to be a shuttle. I drove one of the Calvary Church vans and shuttled water station/route monitor workers to their different spots and then I was available to pick up people that were tired. I was parked with the side of the van facing the walkers as the 8,000 people walked by. I got to meet some great people.
It was cool to see how other churches were involved. Some had booths and had tons of people in special shirts. The Walk organizers highly encourage people to come in "teams" to foster pride in their team and to get more people to come to the event.

My goals for next year:

1 Calvary Church booth that sells ice cream treats and all proceeds go to the fundraiser. Then we would also pass out literature on Calvary Church (completely acceptable).
2 Church vans with drivers to shuttle people
48 Route Monitor workers from Student Ministries
100 Walkers who raise an average of $500 each for a total of $50,000

Wouldn't that be awesome?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Biblical Study on Wine - Ecclesiastes to Malachi

Here we will finish the Old Testament section of our study on wine in the Bible.

Ecclesiastes 2:3 "I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives."
This is interesting aside from the fact that this is one of the things that Solomon tries to find fulfillment and he found it all vanity - wine included. It says that he was stimulating his body with wine while his mind was guiding him wisely. Was this wise to stimulate his body with wine? Was it just part of his exploration and that's why it was wise? Is exploring things like wine wise? Difficult.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 "Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works."
Solomon seems to be saying that all this stuff is fine because it just doesn't matter. Go ahead and do this stuff. The next verses say to work hard, dress well, put oil in you hair. It doesn't matter. God matters. That's the proper perspective. This puts drinking wine into perspective. Don't want it too much. Don't judge it too much.
Ecclesiastes 10:19 "Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything."
I'm honestly unsure if this is sarcasm or not. I'm not consulting commentaries in this study. I am trying to read the surrounding contexts before I make my comments though. This feels a bit sarcastic, especially with the comment on money, but we do see here that wine makes life merry.
Song of Songs 1:2 "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine."
The kiss of the lover is compared and contrasted with wine. Almost as if that was the next best thing that they could think of. Wine is a very good thing.
Song of Songs 7:9-10 "And your mouth like the best wine! It goes down smoothly for my beloved, Flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep. I am my beloved's, And his desire is for me."
This book is intense. Wine is compared to the mouth of the beloved in such sensual language. Wine is love. Wine is sensual and according to this in a very God-ordained sense of sensuality and desire.
Isaiah 1:22 "Your silver has become dross, Your drink diluted with water."
Watering it down is a negative.
Isaiah 5:1-2 "Let me sing now for my well-beloved A song of my beloved concerning His vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill. He dug it all around, removed its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it And also hewed out a wine vat in it; Then He expected it to produce good grapes, But it produced only worthless ones."
This is imagery of Israel as the vineyard.
Isaiah 5:11,22 "Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, Who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink..."
Drunkenness is bad. Longing for wine in the morning and getting wasted late at night is not a good thing. Don't think of yourself as a hero because you can drink a lot. People still do this and think this way. So interesting. Our world isn't much different.
Isaiah 22:12-13 "Therefore in that day the Lord GOD of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing, To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth. Instead, there is gaiety and gladness, Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, Eating of meat and drinking of wine: "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die."
We need to be focused on God and not on partying. If we knew that tomorrow was the end of days, would we party? Or would be proclaim Christ and pray fervently?
Jeremiah 13:12 "Therefore you are to speak this word to them, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, "Every jug is to be filled with wine.'" And when they say to you, 'Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?"
I have to be honest. I have no idea what this means to this discussion.
Daniel 1:5,8,16 "The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king's choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king's personal service. But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables."
This basically shows that from a health standpoint it is better to not just be drinking wine all the time.
Hosea 4:11 "Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding."
Here we see that new wine is comparable to regular wine. Also, it seems to say that both have this negative effect. This goes in line with the view on drunkenness.
Joel 1:5,10 "Awake, drunkards, and weep; And wail, all you wine drinkers, On account of the sweet wine That is cut off from your mouth. The field is ruined, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine dries up, Fresh oil fails."
Judgment comes on those that are focused not on the day of the Lord, but on their wine and pleasures. God must be our focus and first love. Again, being drunk is not good.
Zephaniah 1:13 "Moreover, their wealth will become plunder And their houses desolate; Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, And plant vineyards but not drink their wine."
Not being able to drink wine is viewed as a punishment of holding back something good from them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Middle Eastern Mickey

Click this link HERE and you will see why war hurts my heart so much. This is the image of the other side and what they are teaching their children. I think the translation is trustworthy but I can't say for sure. To be honest, it frightens me. Can we ever have a world with true peace? In the words of maybe the smartest man of all time, Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"

P.S. You will have to watch a short commercial before the video on the link. The one I saw was about fishing with your kids which is strange when connected with the video.


I will be helping set-up for the AIDS Walk for a few hours this morning and then volunteering at the Walk tomorrow for about five hours or so. I have definitely enjoyed my time helping out at AIDS Services Foundation. I have been getting to know people and they all know that I'm a pastor who is not there to judge them, but I want to get to know them and help the work that the Foundation is doing.

You can make a donation or even just go down to Angel Stadium tomorrow and check out the festivities. It would be a good way to meet some people and learn more about AIDS in "perfect" Orange County.

What stuff are you guys involved in that you love?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Bono!!


Thanks to Ryan Walton for reminding me of this, but can we all just stop and sing Happy Birthday to one of the greatest men of all time! 47 years old and he is still the coolest cat in any room.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Biblical Study on Wine - Joshua through Proverbs

Now our study continues through the book of Proverbs. We are looking at where passages on wine and the vineyard are discussed throughout the Bible and making objective comments on them.

Judges 13:4-5 "Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines."
This is the first instance of an angel giving a woman advice about not drinking wine during pregnancy. This shows that even in this time it was known that alcohol had negative effects on fetal development. It also seems to show that she would have needed a warning from an angel to curb the normal drinking of wine.
Judges 19:6,19-22 "So both of them sat down and ate and drank together; and the girl's father said to the man, "Please be willing to spend the night, and let your heart be merry. Yet there is both straw and fodder for our donkeys, and also bread and wine for me, your maidservant, and the young man who is with your servants; there is no lack of anything." The old man said, "Peace to you. Only let me {take care of} all your needs; however, do not spend the night in the open square." So he took him into his house and gave the donkeys fodder, and they washed their feet and ate and drank. While they were celebrating..."
Now Judges 19 is a freaky passage, but what is interesting is that the "good guys" in this strange story are the ones who are drinking wine, celebrating, and "being merry."
1 Samuel 16:20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son.
A jug of wine is a normal beverage consumed by these biblical juggernauts.
2 Samuel 13:28 "Absalom commanded his servants, saying, "See now, when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, 'Strike Amnon,' then put him to death. Do not fear; have not I myself commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant."
Amnon is a man who raped his sister and is an overall bad guy. They knew he would be "merry with wine" or drunk and planned to strike against him when he was drunk. This is a pretty negative association with drunkenness.
1 Chronicles 9:29 "Some of them also were appointed over the furniture and over all the utensils of the sanctuary and over the fine flour and the wine and the oil and the frankincense and the spices."
These are some duties of the priest. There is a priest appointed over the wine. Interesting job description.
Nehemiah 13:4-5 "Now prior to this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being related to Tobiah,had prepared a large room for him, where formerly they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils and the tithes of grain, wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, the singers and the gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests."
This is just another occurence of wine being part of the tithe given to the Levite priests. Wine is given to God as an offering.
Job 1:13 "Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house..."
These are children of Job, the righteous man, who are killed while hanging out and eating and drinking wine. There is no negative connotation to the wine.
Psalm 4:7 "You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound."
God puts more gladness in our heart than wine, but there is an implication that wine brings gladness to our hearts.
Psalm 60:3 "You have made Your people experience hardship; You have given us wine to drink that makes us stagger."
Wine that makes someone drunk is being used here as a metaphor for judgment from God.
Psalm 75:8 "For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain {and} drink down its dregs."
Drinking wine from God is being used as a metaphor for judgment again. I'm not sure how this impacts this study.
Psalm 78:65 "Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, Like a warrior overcome by wine."
God's hiddenness is compared to a man asleep after drinking too much.
Psalm 104:14-15 "He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine which makes man's heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man's heart."
This says that God makes wine and wine makes men's hearts glad. This is a very compelling passage.
Proverbs 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise."
This begins a few proverbs that are very clear on the negative aspects of drinking wine. Wine is a mocker in that it will cause you shame and ridicule if you use it poorly and are intoxicated. That is clearly not wise.
Proverbs 21:17 "He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich."
We are not to love wine in such a way that we make it an idol and long for it like any pleasure.
Proverbs 23:29-32 "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper."
Wine is dangerous. Longing for wine can cause big time trouble in life. Be cautious with wine.
Proverbs 31:4-7 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, for they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more."
Drinking wine is not good for those who are making decisions and leading. It seems to say something that surprises me - that it's recommended for those who are bitter or troubled to drink and forget.

Paris Update

This is funny. Paris Hilton's attorneys have asked the governor for a pardon. This is how her petitions begins: "Let me first begin by saying that I grew up as a child enjoying all of your wonderful films. You really are the truly great action hero for our time. You are doing a great job in the great state of California."

That's hilarious. Total brown-nosing. She is desperate. It's kind of sad in a pathetic sort of way.

The Governator's spokesman said of her request, "We will treat it no differently than any other of this nature." The funny part is this is exactly the kind of sentence Arnold would say, especially when being parodied. He always says, "of this nature." Say that in the Arnold voice, "aahhvv thees naycha." Awesome.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Paris Hilton Prison

Can I just say that I love the judge that sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail for driving with a suspended license and other traffic citations? She was cited multiple times and basically just ignored the tickets and warnings. I read in the LA Times today that the judge is a very reasonable man who doesn't normally make examples of people, but people that know he felt like she just thumbed her nose at him and was waiting for him to dismiss the case. So he didn't give her the minimum sentence that wouldn't involve jail time, but threw the book at her and gave her 45 days of jail time. He said that celebrities have to obey the law just like everybody else. I love it. He should have said that celebrities who are famous for nothing should go to jail for being con artists against society. Maybe all the people who watch her show and are actual fans should go to jail too...or maybe mental institutions.

Coming in 2008 - The Simple Life: Prison Edition. I would watch that.

Congrats to Kim and Victor

Victor and Kim had their baby yesterday and we are so happy for them!! They are awesome people and Matthew is an amazing little boy. Rachel will be a great addition to their wonderful growing family. I heard that Victor wants to have something like ten kids. His catholic roots are going to cost them a lot of cash and Kim a lot of pain. Check out the pictures at Vic's blog The only wonderful noise in their house will be crying at 2am for the next few months. Our baby is due July 1 so I'm getting ready for the wonderful noise too.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Jerry Falwell

UPDATE: I'm sorry for posting this the week before the man's death.

So I have a few friends that went to Liberty University back in Lynchburg (scary name), Virginia. Peter is convinced that I can be swayed to be positive about Jerry Falwell. He says that Falwell is misunderstood and that after hearing him speak in person many times as a student that he is a good man. It's tough for me to feel positive about a televangelist fundamentalist type so this will be a big challenge for the former rock-star turned youthworker to convince me.
So I have done some studying of my own and was a combination of shocked and surprised.
1. I didn't know that he opposed the Civil Rights Movement calling it the Civil Wrongs Movement. That's not so good.
2. He calls himself Dr. Jerry Falwell even though he hasn't earned a doctorate. He has three honorary degrees from schools I have never heard of. That's not so good either. Most of the time he does go by Reverend instead of Dr. So that's good.
3. He did a documentary on the Clinton financial scandal and had the producer pretend to be a journalist that was afraid to give their identity and spoke behind a silhouette. The producer, Patrick Matrisciana, admitted the hoax and said that it was Falwell's idea because he thought it would be dramatic. That's not so good as well.
4. He apologized for this, but he did say some intense things after 9/11 like this,
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
That's pretty extremist - especially about feminists.
5. Falwell said this month in WorldNetDaily about the emerging church.
"The site further states that members wish to "reanalyze the Bible against the context into which it was written." This is very dangerous territory. Such a view opens perilous avenues that enable suggestions that Jesus is not the Christ, that the Bible is not inspired by God Himself and that there are ways to heaven other than through Jesus. Such notions counter the very fabric of the Gospel."
I agree that there are many things wrong with the emerging church movement, but I don't think it's dangerous to look at the Bible in it's context even if that means reanalyzing certain things. I don't think it is dangerous at all and I don't think it will open up views that Jesus is not God. I feel like he is afraid of really looking into Scripture because he might find something he doesn't like. Don't be afraid Jerry. God is bigger than our fears.
6.This quote from Falwell in WorldNetDaily sums up well some of my issues with him and the Religious Right.
This Sunday night, March 11 at 6:00 p.m., Thomas Road Baptist Church will welcome an America hero and one of my personal heroes, former Marine Sgt. Tim Lee.
Sgt. Lee, who lost both legs in combat, will bring a stirring message: ''America is Worth Dying For.'' This man, who is representative of millions of Americans who have paid a great price of defending our freedoms, has been confined to a wheelchair since a land mine explosion took both his legs. Returning home to the cries of anti-war politicians and journalists following his terrible injury, he made a life-changing decision to choose victory over personal defeat.
Called by God to serve as an evangelist, he has become one his generation's great communicators of the Gospel. Sgt. Lee has stirred and challenged Americans from platforms across the country. This Sunday, in addition to bringing his riveting Christian testimony, Sgt. Lee will discuss his support of President Bush's efforts to stamp out terrorism abroad, rather than here in on American soil.
This soldier has a great story and should be heard by many. I just don't see why someone should come to a church to talk about Bush's efforts to stamp out terrorism abroad or how America is worthy dying for. How about, "Christ is worthy dying for" or someone's plan to take Christ to the people around the world? It just doesn't make sense to me in the church.
7. He has grown his church from the ground up and preached the gospel to millions of people. That's very good.
8. He has been married for almost 50 years and has two sons. That is great. Both his sons work for him. That's a bit weird, but mostly OK. In a pope-like system like in Lynchburg it might not make for a good balance of power.

That's all I have for now. Bring it on Liberty People!! I love you.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Biblical Study on Wine - Torah

Genesis 9:20-21 "Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent."
This is the first time we see wine and it's the first thing the righteous Noah does after getting off the ark. It shows that wine was something common, normal, and not considered evil. However, we do see the first case of drunkenness which has very bad consequences.
Genesis 14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High."
This is the first case of a priest using wine in a blessing. OK, so the first real priest drinks and serves wine.
Genesis 19:32-35 "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father." So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father."So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose."
Here we see some awful effects of too much wine. This must have logically been a large amount of wine if it was enough for a man to have sex with his daughters. Too much wine can be very bad.
Genesis 27:25,28 "So he said, "Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son's game, that I may bless you." And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank. Now may God give you of the dew of heaven,And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine"
Isaac drank wine and the blessing given to him by God would include an abundance of new wine.
Exodus 29:40 "and there shall be one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering with one lamb."
Wine was something that all people had and would give as part of their offering to God. It was also part of the food of the priests and priests would drink wine.
Leviticus 10:9 "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die--it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations"
This is the instructions for priests as they approach God. So we see that wine is something that does make us less pure in some way.
Leviticus 23:13 - another offering of wine verse.
Numbers 6:3,20 "he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. 20 Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine."
This is where the Nazirite period of separation includes abstaining from wine, but then when it is over the Nazirite may drink it again. So we see that it is good to not drink wine at periods of time, but that the drinking of wine can even continue for those with the most devout commitments of obedience to God.
Numbers 18:12 "All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the LORD, I give them to you."
This is God giving wine to the priests to drink for themselves after the people have made their offerings. So God directly gives wine to priests.
Deuteronomy 7:13 "He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.
This was a blessing of God if you kept His commandments. Wine is part of that blessing by God.
Deuteronomy 11:14 - this is a repeat of the last passage
Deuteronomy 29:6 "You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God."
This shows that part of being close to God is abstaining from wine or strong drink. So wine should be avoided at certain times for drawing close to God.
Deuteronomy 32:32-33 "For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter;their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps."
I'm not sure what to think of this, but it does imply that their is good wine and bad wine and each are used as metaphor of other things.
Deuteronomy 33:28 "So Israel lived in safety, Jacob lived alone, in a land of grain and wine, whose heavens drop down dew."
The blessing of the Promised Land included wine as a positive bonus.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Biblical Study on Wine - Introduction

I will be publishing a series of posts on wine and the Bible in the next couple weeks. These will be divided by Torah, rest of the Old Testament, and the New Testament. Then I will make some conclusions.

My initial interest comes from the fact that I think many things in modern Christianity are based on tradition or opinion rather than on Scripture - how we dress in church, wine, etc. Part of this was inspired by a friend's love of wine and it's benefit to community and conversation and a rich sense of enjoying life.So I want to study wine in the Bible and make comments underneath each passage of Scripture of what it seems to be saying about wine and its use. I will attempt to avoid making strong conclusion until the final post.

I also am coming from the point of view that wine is an alcoholic beverage even if it is referred to as new wine or fresh wine or else the people in the book of Acts would not have thought they were drunk on new wine.
Acts 2:12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine." (ESV)

You can see that I have some sense of a presupposition if I think that the negative view of wine might be based on tradition and opinion, but I will be very honest throughout the study.

Also, it must be known that I adamantly believe that drunkenness and too much drinking is definitely a sin and is wrong. I also believe that Christians must obey the law of the land and so underage drinking and drunk driving are completely sinful and wrong as well. These topics will come up within the study as well. I also am not advocating the use of wine by anyone who has issues with alcoholism or those who do not have issues and simply choose not to use it. I am not advocating alcohol in any way. I am simply taking a look at the appropriate biblical understanding of wine.

Hume Lake Youth Pastors Trip

Last week I spent Monday through Thursday up at Hume Lake with a bunch of our team. This was for the best youth ministry conference ever. They have great speakers, great worship, it costs about $140 for everything (conference, room, food), the food is good, and there are only about 150 people coming that get to play on all the fun things that normally are made for 1,500 students.

I was supposed to be speaking this Sunday in Elevation. We were going to have a guest speaker from Iraq and I was just going to speak for about 10 minutes before him and 5 minutes after to keep us in the Crossing series, but he couldn't get his visa approved. So I was supposed to speak the whole time and have to prepare from Hume Lake. On Tuesday morning I sat down with my laptop to work and saw the view below and really thought about everything going on at the conference and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So I threw in the towel and emailed P-Diddy (Pastor Dave) and asked if he could just do both services. He was totally willing and I could enjoy the rest of the trip.
Hume Lake Docks
We went on a crazy Suzuki Samurai off-road tour one afternoon and this is the group after the dust-filled adventure was completed.
suzuki group
Then on the way home I had the best experience ever. I have always loved this meadow that is at the very beginning of Hume Lake Road just off Hwy 180. It is majestic and honestly reminds me of God. I have always wanted to frolic in the meadow and this time I had my chance. Peter Pizzuto took pictures of me out there. All the other pics were taken by him as well. Here they are. Bask in the majesty.
Eric Meadow Running Away
Eric Meadow Running Back
Eric Meadow Close

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ducks Advance

I know the Canucks are from Canada and that Canadians love their hockey and that they love to make fun of our team name, but I have an official announcement. THE CANUCKS SUCK!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! You can interpret that as evil, maniacal laughter as I celebrate our glorious victory in only five games. I guess the Canuck fans will start rooting for Ottawa - only Canadian team left. I will root for them to make the Finals too.

Detroit is tied 2-2 with San Jose and either team would be an awesome opponent. The Canucks were fun because of family and friends in British Columbia. The San Jose Sharks are our ultimate rival and I can't stand them. The Detroit Red Wings are the NY Yankees of hockey and Jasen's favorite team so that would be a fun series too. GO DUCKS GO!! This next picture represents what happens to opponents of the "mighty" Ducks.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This is what happens...

...when you have a daughter and you play girl games. I need to go play some football or something.
eric and grace jewels

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Kenya Team Pictures

Here is the Kenya Team minus about four people. We were in the youth room of Mount of Olives Lutheran Church which had all this cool graffiti art. That's why we are flashing the gang signs.
Kenya Team normal
Kenya Team Gang Signs
Kenya Team Silly