Archive for January, 2009

Casual Fridays

Posted on January 30, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In a lot of businesses that are “businssey,” (Yeah I said it) many of them call their Fridays “casual Fridays” because it’s the last day of the week. A day to dress down a bit. To let your hair down. Everyone knows at the end of Friday comes the weekend, and for many people, at least one of those two days is spent relaxing. That’s what were gonna do today. No issues to discuss, and no current events. Just a casual friday. Recently, a band that I was with did a promo video and I had the privalidge of being involved. The band is sort-of a soul-blues-rock project that does things a little different. If you have ever heard the song “hard to handle” by the Black Crowes, (Who are from Atlanta, by the way,) you will love this version that our band did. The video work is a lot better than the sound, but the band had very little rehearsal, another had to leave early before the filming started, and I had a fever! Well, anyways, I’ve got a cool wurley solo in here. I have posted the video for your enjoyment. Tell me what you think. Did you like our arrangement?

What are YOU gonna do this weekend?

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Old Testament Vs. New Testament- What do we believe?

Posted on January 28, 2009. Filed under: Church, Politics, Theology |

So if this is your first time reading this Blog, I’d like to welcome you to more than just a blog- It’s a conversation. People learning and growing in what they believe, why they believe it, and how current issues affect us, and out moral stances. Last week, I posted a blog post entitled “Abortion- a very sad debate,” in which I criticized some extreme anti-abortionists on their methods of protest and demonstration. I accompanied it by a video that showed these people holding their signs, and when questioned about the consequences of of the females who went through with abortion, they didn’t have very good answers. I mentioned in the post that my stance was pro-life, but asked the question of what we were doing to meet the needs of these women who were facing the choice of keeping a child or terminating a pregnancy. This article led to many comments followed by some debate about abortion, life, theology, absolute truth, science, and faith. In the most recent comments, the article has shifted fro abortion to some of the latter subjects previously mentioned. That being said, I have decided to start a new post shifting the conversation to the subject of the Bible. 

Cara, a friend from high school, has chimed in on our conversation. She mentioned earlier that she was glad that she hadn’t been pushed to the side or alienated from the discussion because her beliefs are different. So Cara, if you are reading this, you are welcome! I always welcome the opportunity to have these conversations. I feel like it educates me, and also helps me to understand that if I believe what I say I believe, and truly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, I will “love my neighbor as myself” which in a practical way in the situation of these conversations means that I am going to love other people, and engage in conversation with them, even if I do not totally agree with them. So here is the deal. If you are Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, hindu, Agnostic, New age or whatever. You are welcome to read this site, comment on what you see, and join in the conversation about faith, the Bible, and the supernatural. 

Before I present the next questions, it is important for any new readers to understand where I stand on these issues. Hopefully in knowing this, it will help you understand the reason behind the answer. Put quite simply, I believe in the literal person of Jesus Christ. I belief he came to Earth, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect sinless life, faced the same temptation that you and I face, died on a cross, rose from the dead three days later, and ascended to heaven. I believe that he is coming again one day, and that through the holy spirit, I have a relationship with him that can never be severed. Yea, this is all based on faith, and  what I believe to be truth through God’s word, the holy bible.

So here are the questions. Is it true that there are some things in the Old Testament of the Bible that no longer apply, or, that still do apply? Is everything in the New Testament applicable? What reasons to people have to believe that the Bible is the literal, inherent word of God if they are not Christians? I have been asked to give clarity to these issues. Because I am not nearly as trained biblically as I would like to be on this subject, I am going to invite my friends Pastor Dennis Thurman, Michael Seay (BA Moody Bible Institute) and Jonathan Blaylock (In school at Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute and Liberty University) to help answer these tough questions. 

Chime in fellas! For all those who had questions, enjoy. I will be commenting and moderating.

One final note to all who read and comment on this blog- Please remember that we are all human beings, and being such, we have feelings. And don’t give me that bit about the Gospel is offensive. I realize that. That is used to many times to excuse our harsh tones and arrogant attitudes. Please be civil. To all those who aren’t Christians, yes, I know that we seem like close minded jerks. I know you’ve had bad experiences at church and with mean people who don’t even know why they believe what they believe. However, I would like to think that my fellow Christians who read and comment on this blog would do so in love and for the purpose of bringing glory to our God, not self promoting or anything else, so if possible, try and stick around! Bottom line guys- just be nice, and everybody will have a great time!

Blessings and peace,

Josh

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Charge for ministry?

Posted on January 27, 2009. Filed under: Church, Money, Music, Theology, Worship Leading | Tags: , , |

In your job, what is more important to you? If you are a speaker, would you rather make $30,000 a year getting $500 per event, or $40,000 a year, getting less per gig, but getting more gigs because you are affordable?

Is it inappropriate for people in ministry to charge a price? Or, should we do a “love offering” taking a step in faith that God will provide our needs? 

Is charging for your services a way of charging for the gospel?

 People in Ministry please comment! I would like to see some feedback and discussion on this post. If you know someone who could read this, pass it on…

Josh

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Best video of the week. Thanks Los

Posted on January 26, 2009. Filed under: Politics |

What brought a tear to YOUR eye this week?

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Tomorrow.

Posted on January 24, 2009. Filed under: Church, Money, Music, Self Help, Worship Leading |

What’s up world? Has it been a good Saturday? It’s been cool for us. Pretty laid back, no schedule, you know the drill. I gotta do some minor cleaning stuff around the house tonight, do some laundry, and practice for tomorrow morning. Now I know before I write any of this that I write to a community of people who believe in many different things as far as God and religion are concerned. One of the greatest things about being a Christian is the fact that there is no human needed to talk to God. I talk to him freely, and openly whenever I please, about whatever I please. It could be hardship, situational, for direction, or just to give thanks. But I do it every day. It’s part of who I am.

As part of that daily prayer, I am asking God to give me direction. Susan and I are going to be making some pretty big decisions about our future very soon. Who knows? We may be somewhere else down the road. God only knows. Seriously! If you read this, I am asking that you pray for me that God would give me the wisdom to do what’s right, the courage to do what’s right, even when it’s hard. That’s all we can pray for.

I hope you have a great weekend, and I look forward to re-opening the conversation next week.

Josh

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Michael Seay, Jonathan Blaylock, and other guys I envy

Posted on January 24, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I wanted to take a break from all the discussion of Obama, the abortion debate, ministry, doctrine, and all the other stuff you may encounter on my blog to talk about two of my best friends. These guys are dudes I trust. They love God, love the Bible, and in my opinion really demonstrate what it’s like to be passionate about something. The funny thing is, these two guys barely know each other, and as far as I am aware, the only time they have ever hung out is at my wedding. One day, though, the three of us will come together and conquer the world!!! (Sort of) 

I am petitioning that Jonathan start a blog. Honestly, he may already have one that I am just not aware of, but if he doesn’t, he should. I think he would have some pretty profound thoughts to share with the world. I think the more we can get some healthy conversations started about why we believe what we believe, why we do what we do, and how we can improve as leaders, the better off we’ll be. If you think Jonathan should start a blog, would you mind leaving a reply?

Michael Seay- I can safely say that this guy knows more about scripture than most pastors I’ve met in my life. (Sorry dude, that may not be saying much. Just take it as a compliment.) Anyways, I love to talk scripture with him. His insights are amazing. If you want to check out his blog, go here. Michael has helped bring a lot of perspective to decisions I’ve faced, and views I’ve adopted. This is a guy you want on your team. You should always have someone close to you who can ask you “Why” no matter the situation, and you won’t be offended. (Cough) Michael, you’re an alright dude.

I envy these guys. They both have qualities that I could only hope to have not only as a leader, but as a person. Props to you both.

For other guys who I respect, Google these dudes: John MaCarthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Mark Driscoll, T.D. Jakes, Greg Laurie, James I. Walker. 

Check em out!!!

Josh

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Abortion: A very sad debate

Posted on January 22, 2009. Filed under: Politics, Theology |

I started this blog a while back as a way to share my lighthearted thoughts on many different issues. With the inauguration of our new president, Barrack Obama, there has been an uprising of many liberal points of view, many of which have come to be considered mainstream pop psychology. This saddens me, because many people, especially in my generation adopt viewpoints without giving a second thought to what their point of view means. 

Before I continue writing, I would like to say that I am basically pro-life. To be more exact, I am 97% pro-life, and 3% pro-choice. Let me explain. 97% of the time, abortion is the result of an inconvenience. 3% of the time, it is something that is medically necessary to save the life of the mother, and this is where I believe that the choice of whether to terminate the pregnancy comes down to the mother or whomever is next in line. (Come on, if you disagree with that, I would question your motives in general.)

Today as I write, I would like to challenge the anti-abortionists. First of all, let me say that I agree with your cause, and I am on board with that. I am against, however, your less than appropriate graphics that you use to get your message across. I viewed an anti-abortion website today that had very graphic pictures of what a baby looks like after the abortion process. I was very disturbed. I was mortified. Even more, I was blown away that you would stoop to a level to manipulate someone into your decision using such tasteless graphics. This is terribly offensive, and I would encourage you to re-evaluate not only your methods, but our motives. 

The questions that conservatives and some moderates should be asking themselves is not how do we beat the liberals, but how can we educate people on the subject of morals and ethics while at the same time showing grace and love. Many women in this nation are tormented by their decision to terminate a pregnancy. What do you think showing them these graphic pictures does to them? Imagine the pain they go through!!! Are we dumb enough to think that these women experience no emotional toll? Are we that ignorant that we think when they leave the clinic they say to themselves “Oh well, that was fun… Well, off to get my nails done?” I hate that abortion was even invented and legalized, and  I’m not by any means defending them, their decisions, or the act of abortion, I am simply asking if we can be humble enough as Christians and conservatives to evaluate our motives and our methods. Could there be a better way? Are we doing this out of overflow from the love God has given us, with a caring attitude towards the broken hearted, or are we attacking violently because we got a fire in our rear-end from some James Dobson broadcast, where he was no doubt leading the charge of some lackluster, thoughtless plan of action that would continue to tarnish the name of Jesus and his church?

I would like you to watch the following video. Recently posted by a not only a pro-choice, but a pro-abortionists blogger, This video simply broke my heart. Listen to the question. What would YOU say? Why? Could you take part in these protests and show love? What are we doing to minister to the girls who are today faced with the choice of “Do I have the baby, or have an abortion?

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A fairer verdict on Dubya.

Posted on January 21, 2009. Filed under: Money, Politics |

bush1

As Dubya is leaving office, it is a time where Americans can look back on the great achievements of G.W., and even began to give him the benefit of the doubt. Sure, I do not agree with some of what he has done, but all things considered, I think he did a great job. I had a friend remind me of all that he did in regard to the 9/11 attacks, and he told me that anytime anyone had a negative comment to say about George Bush, it should be stated as follows: “In light of what happened on 9/11 and all that bush has to deal with,_________________.” People forget that the man still had the highest approval rating in history after 9/11. People quickly forget about the good things people do. Bad news make for good stories. I would invite you to read this article by Victor Davis Hanson from Forbes.com Victor is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Enjoy:

 

Critics are tallying the Bush administration’s pluses and minuses, and some consensus is emerging that in time George W. Bush, like Harry Truman, will be seen in a far more favorable light than his current low poll ratings reflect.

Three great crises marked the Bush administration: Iraq; the “war on terror” following 9/11; and the mid-September 2008 financial meltdown. Yet as critics debate his performance amid these ordeals, lost in the controversies are a number of other lasting achievements.

 

Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito have proved superior appointments–far more inspired than any made by Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush. The HIV-relief package of some $15 billion to Africa saved millions of lives and exceeded any AIDs effort by any past president,Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton included.

While Bush the caricatured cowboy remains unpopular abroad, the governments of most key allies and neutrals–Australia, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany and India–remain pro-American and appreciate Bush’s stance on free trade, collective security and multilateral efforts post-Iraq.

What then about Iraq, the war and the economy? Bush–in the uncertainty of a post-9/11 landscape–completed the earlier efforts of Bill Clinton to halt the Hussein Regime. He inherited no-fly zones and legislation calling for regime change, but then got a majority of the Congress to authorize the military removal of Saddam.

Most of Congress subsequently canonized him after the brilliant three-week victory over Saddam, abandoned him when the insurgency took more than 4,000 American lives, and ignored him when–against the advice of the Iraq Study Group, most of the joint chiefs and grandees of his own party–he gave the go-ahead to David Petraeus and the surge.

Millions in Iraq today enjoy the opportunity of consensual government unimaginable in the era of Saddam. Iraq, in short, is Bush’s Korea: a messy and controversial war against authoritarian evil that in time will be vindicated by the growth of a constitutional society in place of a monstrosity.

There remain three great truths about Bush’s so-called “war on terror.” First, the American mainland has not been hit by a major terrorist attack in the last seven years, when almost every expert warned us that it most assuredly would be.

 

Second, our enemy, al-Qaida, is depleted and scattered, now largely isolated to the wild lands of Waziristan. Bin Laden’s popularity and support for suicide bombings have plummeted throughout the Middle East.

Third, reforms in the CIA and FBI, changes in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s wiretaps accords, and the Guantanamo detention facility were derided as a veritable shredding of the Constitution. That slur ceased with the election of Barack Obama, who apparently thinks such measures were efficacious rather than unconstitutional, and the media has reacted similarly, seeing such decisions as complex and problematic rather than fascistic.

And the debits? The Bush administration spent too much money during the first term, running up deficits and discrediting the revenue enhancements that accrued from his tax cuts. That said, Bush’s instinctual worries about closer monitoring of Fannie Mae (nyse: FNM – news – people ) andFreddie Mac (nyse: FRE – news – people ) were right; their defenders in Congress were wrong.

His rapid federal infusions of capital to shore up tottering financial institutions probably helped stave off a general collapse. He was about as culpable for the American banking and stock crises as are the leaders in Europe for their own economies, presiding over even greater and more unforeseen economic disruption.

For all the talk of the dismal world that awaits Barack Obama, Iraq is quiet, a policy of containment of, and victory over, radical Islam is in play and federal intervention to restore financial credit and trust has already begun.

Why then such Bush vitriol? The contested election of 2000 for the first time in history required the Supreme Court to adjudicate the outcome, giving the victory to a candidate who did not receive the popular vote. In reaction, Bush was easily caricatured by our influential cultural elite as a bible-thumping, Texas-twanged, inarticulate incompetent. In the euphoria of brilliant victories in Afghanistan and over Saddam Hussein, he strutted and accentuated such stereotypes instead of, as was true later, nuancing them with reflection and humility.

Finally, Bush placed an inordinate amount of faith in less than competent loyalists. A Michael Brown or Scott McClellan would have been over their heads as small-town bureaucrats. Others such as Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Meyers and Karen Hughes were simply unable to overcome media charges that they were mediocrities.

Unmentioned has been Bush’s character of both honesty and resoluteness. He ran one of the most corruption-free administrations in memory, something we are already beginning to appreciate as we compare the prior scandal-ridden Clintons and the Chicagoesque ambiguities that already swirl around Barack Obama and his cabinet appointments.

In time, historians will come to a fairer verdict of George W. Bush; in the meantime such a favorable reassessment has already begun.

 

What are YOUR thoughts on Bush’s 8 year tenure in the Whitehouse?

Josh

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Obama: our new president

Posted on January 20, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Well, we now have a new president. I know that there are many people in this nation who are elated about this. Some are saddened. No matter how you feel, today was an unbelievably historic and monumental day in the life of our nation. I myself am interested to see what this “change” he brings will be. I am not skeptical though. I know, as you should know, that according to the Bible, God is who has allowed him to be in power. As our president, he deserves our full support, and our prayers, so long as his laws don’t violate God’s laws. 

This is what I am committing to president Obama:

1.) To pray for him

2.) To support him

3.) To not engage in Jokes that would only show my own ignorance.

4.) To respect him.

What are YOUR convictions about Mr. President?

barack

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How I’m growing.

Posted on January 19, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Some people read this blog to find out what I’m up to these days. (Sorry. I never post about what I’m doing.) Some people are just curious. They for some reason want to know what my thoughts are on life, ministry, culture, music, and other random stuff. Why this is, I don’t know. In many ways, this blog is just like the other 5 bajillion out there. I am not a person of great influence. Yet. I guess people come to my site just out of curiosity.

So here it is. If you read this blog, I am going to ask you to do something for me that is somewhat selfish. Not that it’s self-centered or anything, but considering that I do not know 95% of the people that read this, and you don’t know me, it’s asking a lot. I need your prayers. Seriously. God’s doing a lot in and through me and Susan right now, and we are both stressed.

God is teaching me patience. It’s hard, and honestly it kind of sucks. I am an impatient person. I want to know what God is up to, and right now, I have no idea. I keep hearing from him that I just need to pray, and keep trusting him.

I am also learning that I need to have more discipline in my life. Much more. I need to learn to take pride in being structured and organized, and having goals. I need to be more driven.

I need to listen more to other people, but care less what others think about what I do. Not that I don’t care what people think about me, but I need to be unapologetic about who I am in Christ, and what God has called, and is calling me to do. My problem is that I tend to be a trend follower, because it’s easy. The road has already been plowed, I just have to learn how to fit the mold. The only problem is, God wants to do something big with me. Our God is a creative genius, and he has gifted me with the ability to be creative, and innovative.

Most of all though, I am learning that I am absolutely nothing without Christ. I’ve said it for as long as I remember, but it’s beginning to sink in. My identity must be in him. Period. I must decrease, he must increase.

Would you pray for me and Susan that God would give us peace? That we would be able to hear his voice? That we ( I ) can be still, and know that he is God.? Can you pray that in the midst of a bad economy, and long hours that God will continue to grow our marriage? Would you pray that I could be the leader of my house, and my family like God has called me to be? Would you pray that I would strive to be more like Christ, at any cost?

I need your prayers. God is stretching me.

Thanks,

Josh

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