Worship Services for Pets? Really?

The final project for my Church Planting and Renewal class involved doing research for a church plant proposal. My proposal focused on Newport News, VA. As part of the project, we had to learn about churches that were already present in our target area. While looking on one church website I came across something quite surprising (and sad). Under their "worship services" section of their website, I found a "Blessing of the Animals" service. This is how the website described the service:
More than 70 dogs and cats attended the service (also one turtle and one bird), accompanied by their human families. Held outside, the animals gathered together, surprisingly well-behaved, to hear guitar music in their honor, and a message by our pastors. Bill and Eleanor then blessed each animal individually.
Wow. I love animals--I have one cat and two dogs. But I do not think that this type of "worship" service has any place within a Christian ministry setting. What has happened to true, biblical, gospel-centered worship? Do animals really need to have music and messages in their honor? I think not. Let me know what you think.


Drinking from a Fire Hose, Week 2

Well, it's time for my second week-long seminary course. Last week I took Church Planting and Renewal (which was great). This week I'll be in Systematic Theology III. These classes require pre-class readings and papers, as well as post-class readings and projects. Modular classes are like drinking from fire hose - lots of information in a short time. Hopefully I'll be able to share some insights that I've taken from these class in the coming weeks.


Earthquake in Haiti

As most of you have heard by now, Haiti was hit by a massive 7.0 earthquake yesterday. In the Lord's providence, a mission team from Erskine college and seminary is in Haiti at this time. We have not heard from them yet. Please pray for them. While it is certainly good for us to pray for their safety during this time, we must not stop there. The Lord has strategically placed them in a time and place where they can be ministers of light and hope. My wife spent some time in Haiti when she was in high school, and she can testify to the spiritual darkness that fills that place (voodoo, witch doctors, etc.). Pray for the salvation of many. Our prayers go out to the people of Haiti.


We both saw it for the first time.

I remember the first time that I saw it. I was spending the night at a friend's house. His parents were asleep, and we were up late watching satellite tv--the old, huge satellite system that took up a substantial portion of your yard. With the old satellites you had to wait for them to search out new channels. My friend and I were hoping to find some cartoons, but we got more than we were hoping for. When the satellite finally found some new stations, we both saw it for the first time: porn. At the time we didn't know what to call it. I remember feeling confused and disturbed. We immediately changed the channel and pretended that we didn't see anything. But that image stuck with me.

I'm sure that many people can relate to this story. Maybe you came upon it accidentally as I did. Or maybe an older brother or friend showed it to you. Or maybe you searched it out. Maybe it disgusted you too. Yet, somewhere along the way, maybe confusion turned to curiosity. Maybe disgust turned to delight. Maybe that first view led you into a web of lust. You certainly would not the first person this happened to.

Sadly, so many men and women (both Christian and non-Christian) battle with addictions to pornography. The sin of lust has consummed so many. It can quickly become your god, your idol. This is exactly what our enemy, Satan, would want. He seeks to take what is good--the God-given gift of sex between husband and wife--and distort and twist it. He wants men and women to worship the gift instead of the Giver. But Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).

Below, I've placed some links to a few free online resources (E-Books) that you can download and read. These two resources--one for single guys and one for married guys--are excellent. They are written by Tim Challies (www.challies.com). The table of contents contains these chapters:

Pornifying the Marriage Bed
Breaking Free
A Theology of Sex
Self-Centered Sex
Recommended Resources

In addition, these guides included some very helpful discussion/study questions at the end of each section

Sexual Detox - A Guide for the Single Guy

Sexual Detox - A Guide for the Married Guy


From Pastor to Creative Communal Coordinator

Being called a "pastor" is so 2009. Goodbye "Senior Pastor" and hello "Creative Communal Coordinator." It's 2010 people, so get in the game! Thankfully, if you are not artsy or cool enough to think of a hipper title on your own, Mark Driscoll has compiled a helpful chart. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Make the change today! (I'm having way too much fun with this.) Here are a few of my combos:
  • Heartfelt Soul Conductor
  • Master Motivational Manager
  • Imaginative Happiness Honcho
Well, now it's your turn. Place a few of your favorite combos in the comment section.