Upcoming Podcast

I have a good friend that I would like to be able to share with you.  His name is Stephen Shook.  I got to know him from the www.rctech.net forum, where we both have a passion for racing radio control cars.  We have a section on that forum called “RC Racers for Christ”.

Stephen served our country, serving in the Navy.  I believe that it was during that time that he was diagnosed with cancer, and has been battling it ever since.  He is married and in his early thirties.

I call and talk to him about twice a month on the phone.  And seen him go through highs and lows.  But one thing is clear, and that is his steadfast, and my I say say “contagious” faith.  He is an encouragement to his pastor and men’s ministry at his church.  He has also been an encouragement to me, though I don’t have a terminal disease like he does, I do have a chronic one (lupus) and we have level of understanding the comes from walking down that same path.

Interestingly enough, there are a lot of guys looking at his life.  There are factory sponsored racers who know who he is, and are watching to see how this man carries himself and conducts his life.  Some of them have commenting on watching to see how he does.

I look forward to the evening that we can record the podcast of the interview with him and put that up for you.  He and I talk about everything.  Life, the world, faith, stresses, our wives dealing with us, the hope of heaven and more.  I always enjoy talking with him, even when not everything is going very well.

I would appreciate your prayers for him.  Right now there is a tumor that has grown in one of his lungs and is only allowing him to breath with his other lung.  He has had this happen before and had chemo for it.  He plans to interview with us after he has two rounds of chemo treatment.  He is looking forward to being able to share with you as well.

So Stephen, if you are checking out the blog today, just wanted to let you know we are praying for you brother.  Godspeed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The NET Bible

I had originally intended to put this as a post script at the end of the first welcome post but I’m afraid it will get lost down there so I have decided to put it here instead.

I have chosen to use the Net Bible as the linked to and quoted reference on this site.  The reason is that it has a forward thinking copyright policy that allows it to be freely used in ministry on the internet.  From their site…

Bible.org’s ministry objective is to be used by God to mature Christians worldwide. To accomplish this we needed to quote a modern Bible translation in the production of thousands of trustworthy Bible Study resources that could be offered on the Internet for free. We predicted in 1995 that the number of Bible verses quoted in these studies would soon surpass available legal permission limits. We tried for a year, but could not obtain the necessary permissions. Lack of a legal ability to quote the Bible online makes online Bible studies impossible and threatened bible.org’s “Ministry First” model. Quite simply the only way we could secure permission to quote a modern Bible was to sponsor a new translation – the NET Bible. We now want to ensure that other ministries and authors don’t experience the same roadblocks. The NET Bible is not just for bible.org, but for everyone. (source)

It saddens me greatly that there are versions of the Bible with copyright so strict that it would prevent ministry from taking place.  In fact, when I did the album art for my friend Jolene for her new new project we had to put a huge copyright line on the inserts to clear usage of the NIV scripture she quoted.  That really bothered me.  Restricting scripture like that seems wrong.  Bible.org seems to have a much more balanced methodology, allowing ministry to take place freely but restricting exclusively commercial uses.  Quoting a Bible verse on a CD case shouldn’t be as big of a hassle as the NIV makes it.

Some of the cool things that I love about the Net Bible are…

I especially like the daily Bible reading page.  I set it up as my first bookmark every day when I get to the office so I get the important stuff first.  I find it truly helpful to be presented with the scripture first thing every morning.

As far as the reference materials, there is a study dictionary, study maps, word study and sermon illustrations.  And so as not to discriminate, in its older incarnation it included the Apocrypha to provide functionality to our Catholic brothers and sisters.

If you ever thought that you start reading the Bible again (or for the first time) give The Net Bible a shot.  The daily bible reading is still in the Old Testament book of Hosea so if you are new to the Bible you should probably think about starting in Luke and continuing in Acts.  Both of those books in the New Testament were written by perhaps the most intelligent Apostle, the physician Luke.  Both of these books are written as an eye witness account for his friend and young believer Theophilus, kind of like a history of the Church part 1 and part 2.  There is no better place to start.

I hope this is an encouragement to you to take a look into the Bible.  One thing, if you come to the Bible with a sincere heart, and give God permission to speak to you through it, He will.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Coming up short?

Our local AF2 team, the Spokane Shock went to the Arena Cup for the second time in their three-season history.  This year, hosting of the Cup was awarded to the team with the best record so we got to have the championship game in our sold out home stadium.  What a crowd!  Ten thousand six hundred fans screaming their guts out for the number 1 Spokane Shock, it was incredible… except for the fact that we lost by 1 point in overtime.  I was dejected.

Now you have to understand that I am very invested in the Shock.  My dad had the incredible good fortune to get three season tickets in the front row of the center section, really some of the best seats in the house.  Plus, I did the audio editing for a lot of the in-game audio including a crafty edit in my own voice that turned Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ into ‘We Will Shock You.’  Not only that but my brother-in-law and I did all of the ribbon board graphics and much of the promo video, and we often do other projects with the voice of the Shock, Dave Mason.

During these first 3 seasons of the Spokane Shock I have only missed 1 home game, and that was only so I could go to one of my friends’ 40th birthday party.  When the Shock went to and won the Arena Cup in their inaugural season it was held in Puerto Rico so I couldn’t attend.  I was disappointed but glad that they won.  Imagine my excitement when the league announced that they were awarding the Arena Cup hosting to the team with the best record.  I was elated to have the opportunity to watch the Shock win the Arena Cup from the front row of our home field… except they didn’t win.

So there I was, lying in bed at 12:30 in the morning tossing and turning with regret over the win that got away from us.  Ears still ringing from the overwhelming noise I just couldn’t help but think ‘What If?’  What if we would have stopped the clock on the last play of the second half?  What if we hadn’t gone for it on 4th and 10?  I just couldn’t believe it, to come so close and fail by 1 point?  I was beside myself.  I kept lying on one side then the other trying desperately to forget this hurt, to forget this disappointment.  I just need to go to sleep and everything will be OK in the morning.  But my head was pounding, there was a sorrow and a rage that I just couldn’t shake.  How could this happen?  How could we get so close and lose heart?  How could we do great all season and lose the game when everything is on the line, in front of the home crowd?

Then like water cooling the fires of self-pity I heard the Lord say to me, “This is how I feel toward the lost all the time.  With time running short and the souls of so many on the line how is it that our team is coming up short?  The love of many is growing cold and they aren’t giving it their all.  Who will stand up, stop thinking of themselves and look to the harvest?  Who will defend my Name against those who mock and accuse and against those who wear my name in an unworthy manner?  Who will speak the truth?”

“I will,” I whispered. “I will.”

“Hurry,” He encouraged, “there isn’t much time.”

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

It’s about you.

This is not so much about us as it is about you.  We hope that writing about our struggles and faith, and podcasts on different issues will help encourage three groups of people:

1. Those looking into faith.  Maybe you have had a bad experience with someone who claimed to be a believer etc etc.  Fortunately there is more to Christ than what some people act like.  And we all know that some people are just jerks whether they try to be or not.  Let me be the first to apologize for your negative experience.  It shouldn’t have been that way.

2. Those who are coming back to faith.  Maybe you grew up in a Christian home, or had Christian Grandparents, or used to got to a youth group.  But somewhere along the way, you lost your way and know that now it is the time to come back.  You might not really be sure how to go about doing that.  Maybe you did things that you regret during the “lost” time.  There is a parable of the Lost Son, you maybe heard of it as the Prodigal son.  Like the father in that story that Jesus told, God is waiting with open arms for you to come home.  There is a celebration for those who come back.  It is good to be home.

3. Those struggling with life and faith.  Maybe you are at the end of your rope.  Maybe you are even passed the end of your rope.  It may seem like a no mans land.  You are not alone.  Some of us have been there as well.  In the podcasts we plan to do some interviews with guys who really struggled and yet God is seeing them through.  We will probably look at men from the Bible as well who went through the same kinds of garbage that we go through today.

I just want to take the time to thank you.  I was talking with a friend today, and he was saying “When are you going to update the site.  I need this.”  For all of you, who need this as much as we do, thanks for dropping by.  Ken and I sincerely hope that God uses this site to bless you.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Giving up control

Yesterday, my pastor gave another great sermon. It’s kind of unfair really, to be at Calvary Chapel of Spokane. I get amazing sermons every week. I’m spoiled…

Yesterday, my pastor gave another great sermon. It’s kind of unfair really, to be at Calvary Chapel of Spokane. I get amazing sermons every week. I’m spoiled… in a good way. Anyway, this sermon dealt with godliness and maturity in Christ. So you can track with me here is the audio from yesterday and here are the sermon notes. (Right click and ‘save as’ to hear and view the files.)

I paraphrased K.P. Yohannan last post and am going to do so again. My pastor quoted from K.P.’s new book and I think it is insightful.
“Unfortunately many Christians, even after decades of knowing the Lord, still remain shallow and carnal…. They have not really touched godliness. The reason is that they are still in control of “their lives” and God cannot mold them, for they are not like clay in the potter’s hand. Instead, they fight to save their lives, and in the end they lose them.” K.P. Yohannan

Pastor Ken went on to talk about how a certain member of the congregation has struggled financially for years and years and finally got fed up and went before the Lord for three days until he got his answer. He asked God, “Why won’t you bless me?” and God said, “Because you won’t let me.”

I am having a really hard time with this right now in my own life. I am constantly asking myself, God is this path from you or am I doing it on my own again? I want so badly to hear from God and in some small ways I believe I have. As I am transitioning from a steady full-time job to freelance media work I am being worked over regarding trust and I have come to the conclusion that God has indeed spurred me on to this path. Now the battle of faith forces me to constantly be on my knees trusting God. I know in my head that I can trust Him, I always have known that. It is another thing entirely to be relying on His provision for your paycheck. I have never had to live that way. It is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Some times I am scared, some times I am at peace, but at all times I am safe. The trick, I am finding, is to bring my emotions into line with the reality of the situation.

As K.P. said, to release control of my life to God is what is necessary. I pray that God will give me the faith to trust Him. “I believe, God help my unbelief.”

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

What is up with life?!

I don’t know about you, but a number of things have my life turned upside down.  I look at life, and think, “Man, this is not what I had planned at all.”

I am not in full time ministry like I used to be, and trained for.  My health is a shambles.  My wife has serious heart problem.  The economy has gone stupid.  The world seems in such upheaval.  Everything seems in such negative flux right now.

There are a lot of things that I am unsure of right now.  Politically, I think, “Man, are these the best people this nation has to offer?”  I never put a lot of faith in politics.

Obviously I can’t trust a lot of what I am seeing on News channels on TV.  There seems to be bias everywhere.  Advertisers want to tell you that their product is the best, number one etc etc.  Except they can’t all be the best, they can’t all be number one.

With all the uncertainty of our times, I do find security when I am reading my Bible.  It doesn’t change.  It has passed the test of time.  What it said would happen, has happened.  If anything, I do need to read more of the Word.  It gives me something more solid to hold onto than political flavor of the week, or the current thought or fad.

And it has a grip of me as well.  Sometimes with as crazy as the world is, I am wondering if I can still find right side up.  I don’t know about you, but a lot of my expectations have been dashed.  And some of that leaves me large areas of confusion.  But there are some things for certain though, that I do know down to the very core of my being.  Those areas have been tested, and have passed!

Sometimes church politics and what is does to people can be really destructive.  But I didn’t fall in love with building or an organization, or a board of people, I fell in love with a Savior.  When life hurts Christ is who I go back to.

Have you ever had a concussion?  I only had one.  And that was obviously a time for confusion for me.  It was first week of college, and I hit my head on the pavement after wrecking on a skateboard ramp.  I was totally dazed and confused.  Some of my friends took me to the emergency room.  I can kind of remember them saying “Your wife and kids are going to be OK!”  (I was single at the time with no kids).  They were just messing with an already confused me.  I had a CAT scan that I don’t remember, I signed hospital papers that I don’t remember signing, but it was obvious later that it was my real signature.  But my friends did tell me afterwards that what I kept saying at the hospital to the doctors and the nurses when I couldn’t answer their questions, “I am confused and I don’t know a lot of things, but one thing I do know, I love Jesus!”  My soul was laid bare, the very core of my hope made public.

Maybe part of that, I am back to today.  Work is not going as good as I like, life seems a lot harder than I expected.  My health and finances are not where I would like them to be, at the age that I am at right now.  I am dazed by all the stuff that I am bombarded with.  “I am confused and don’t know a lot of things, but one thing I do know, I love Jesus!”  I am going to hang on to Him, knowing that He is going to somehow pull me through this situation like He has done for me again and again in the past.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

A blog to change the world…

… the actions and attitudes of sinful humans should not be taken as the only representation of Jesus Christ in this world.

well, at least a tiny part of the world.  The purpose of this blog is to remind both Christians and non-Christians that the actions and attitudes of sinful humans should not be taken as the only representation of Jesus Christ in this world.  Jesus saves sinners, He forgives them of their sins, He changes them… sometimes really slowly… so don’t get impatient.

My name is Ken.  Together, my buddy Rich and I will do our very best to present a real version of what true faith is all about.  We want to serve as encouragement both to the body of Christ and those who have no relationship with God.  Whether you believe in Christ or think it is all a bunch of bunk, we want you to know that Jesus is much more deserving of your respect than the followers that bear His name.  ”Hypocrites,” you charge, “the church is full of hypocrites.”  I agree.  In fact, the scriptures make it quite plain that every Christian is nothing more than a sinner who is forgiven.  Of course, God loves us enough to not leave us that way, and slowly transforms us as we give Him room.  Give Him room…  I think we’ve found the issue.  Unfortunately there are many people who are Christian in name only and are as dead on the inside as ever.  Jesus even said that not everyone who merely calls him Lord will enter heaven.

K.P. Yohannan relayed an interesting story.  I’ll have to paraphrase since I can’t find the source at the moment.  It goes like this; A man left his home to go to work.  While he was away a thief broke in and took the man’s hat and coat.  The thief then went to the nearby store and robbed the store owner.  After the robber had left, the store owner called the police and reported the robbery.  He told the police about the clothes the thief was wearing, the hat and coat.  One of the police men recognized them from the description and confronted the man to whom the coat and hat belonged.  ”But I have been at work all day.” he protested, “I would never rob a store.  Honestly, you have to believe me.”

For non-Christians I hope the point of the story is obvious, just because someone is wearing the identity of Jesus in an unworthy manner, doesn’t mean that they truly represent Him.  My friends, please don’t let the actions of any person dissuade you from considering the claims of Jesus Christ.  What a disservice you would do to yourself to simply reject Jesus based on the actions of someone who may or may not know Him.

For Christians there is a meaning as well.  The scriptures warn us that in the last days the love of many would grow cold.  I say this because I have found myself guilty as well.  Brothers and sisters, let us not grow weary in doing what the Lord requires of us.  As He said, we will know we have life because we love our fellow believers.

Rich and I love God and are committed to loving people and presenting them with an honest picture of faith, salvation and the church.  We hope you will enjoy reading these thoughts and that our ramblings will encourage the body of Christ and entice those who don’t know God.

Our goal is to create a podcast where we can talk about these issues, answer questions from believers and non-believers alike and encourage everyone.  Life is hard, and the life of faith is even harder, but with the life changing power of God we can make it through.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend