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October 31, 2008

Halloween Memories

Filed under: Pictures — Neil @ 9:34 am

What’s your memory of Halloween?

The one I’ll never forget was Halloween of 2005. Amanda & I were living w/ my parents after Katrina forced us to move from New Orleans. My dad arrived home from work to discover a leak in the water line in their front yard. Following supper dad & I worked in the front yard digging a huge hole (actually mutliple holes as we searched for where the leak was – the yard was so wet you couldn’t tell where the source was).

So, dad & I are busy digging away into the soggy mess. Meanwhile, kids are going door to door in search of their Halloween candy. Mom & Dad’s porch light was on, but it did not shine on us. Several kids came to their door to get candy without ever noticing the two of us. However, that would change. As a group of really young kids approached their door they must have heard us & looked over to see 2 rather large guys digging a really big hole. I’m not sure what went through the minds of those kids, but I know that it caused them to turn, yell & run. Dad & laughed & laughed again last night retelling the story.

We eventually found the broken pipe & were able to make the repair, but that’s a story I’ll always remember about Halloween.

What are your Halloween memories?

Getting Political V

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 7:00 am

Today, we’ll make a change in the political posts.  Ken will be answering the question Does It Matter Who I Vote For this Sunday.  So, that has me thinking.  I’m sure people at Parkway would love to know  who (maybe more importantly why) he’s voting for on Tuesday.  I think believers in general are interested in the views of their spiritual leaders.  Today’s topic will give you some insight into how pastors across the nation will be voting.  The article is from Lifeway Research.  Thanks to Ed for posting it on his blog.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., 10/30/08 — Only about half of Protestant pastors say they plan to vote for Republican John McCain in the upcoming presidential election, but McCain still holds a substantial lead over Democrat Barack Obama, for whom less than one-quarter of pastors polled indicate they will vote.

An Oct. 10-28 survey conducted by LifeWay Research found that 55 percent of Protestant pastors plan to vote for McCain compared with 20 percent for Obama. A full 22 percent are undecided.

Evangelical pastors are significantly more likely to support McCain than their mainline counterparts. Sixty-six percent of self-identified evangelicals plan to vote for McCain while 13 percent are for Obama and 19 percent are undecided.

Only 36 percent of mainline pastors plan to vote for McCain. Thirty-seven percent support Obama, and 24 percent are undecided.

“Protestant pastors are strongly for McCain, though that changes when you look at mainline versus evangelicals,” said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. “Mainline pastors reflect the American setting – they are split between Obama and McCain. Self-identified evangelical pastors are overwhelmingly for McCain.”

Stetzer added that given the late date in the campaign, “there are a surprising number of undecideds.”

Political party and ideology

For the most part, Protestant pastors plan to vote along party lines. Fifty-four percent of pastors consider themselves Republicans and 22 percent said they are Democrats. Republican pastors are more sure about whom they will vote for, as only 13 percent are undecided. Twenty-one percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Independents are undecided.

Forty-five percent of Independents plan to vote for McCain and 20 percent for Obama.

Pastors’ voting plans also tend to follow political ideology, with 77 percent of those identifying themselves as “progressive or very liberal” or “liberal” planning to vote for Obama. Of those identifying themselves as “very conservative,” 91 percent plan to vote for McCain.

The undecided bloc appears to consist largely of pastors identifying themselves as “moderate” or “conservative.” Of the 46 percent who identify themselves as conservative, 71 percent plan to vote for McCain and 24 percent are undecided. Of the 15 percent who identify themselves as moderate, 47 percent plan to vote for Obama and 37 percent are undecided.

“The political ‘middle’ among Protestant pastors is more conservative than among all Americans,” noted Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research. “The large number of undecided pastors is found among those in the middle politically.”

Pastors in the East (38 percent) are least likely to vote for McCain while those in the South (59 percent) and Midwest (59 percent) are his strongest supporters. The strongest support for Obama is in the East (37 percent).

The South claims the greatest number of undecided pastors (25 percent).

“Differences in Protestant pastors’ voting plans by region reflects both regional denominational concentrations as well as political differences,” said McConnell. “Much has been made of the political shifts in the South, and Protestant pastors still may not have landed.”

Endorsement of candidates

When asked about endorsing candidates for any public office, more than half (53 percent) of Protestant pastors affirmed that they have “personally endorsed candidates for public office this year,” but only outside of their church roles. Less than 3 percent agree that they have publicly endorsed candidates for public office during a church service this year.

In a LifeWay Research study earlier this year, 53 percent of Americans at large agreed that “it is appropriate for pastors to personally endorse candidates for public office, but only outside their church role.”

When asked whether their church has publicly endorsed candidates for public office this year, 95 percent of pastors strongly disagree that their church has provided any endorsements.

Once again, pastors’ beliefs appear to line up with Americans’ preferences. In the earlier survey, only 23 percent of Americans agreed that it is appropriate for churches to publicly endorse candidates for public office.

“The pulpit is a powerful place of promotion, so many have wondered for whom pastors will vote,” Stetzer said. “Although few have endorsed a candidate at the church or in their church role, a majority have done so as private citizens. These influences may help understand where the faith-based vote will go during this election.”

October 30, 2008

I’m to Blame

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 3:03 pm

I apologize for the language (it’s beeped out) of the older lady in the interview.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “I’m to Blame“, posted with vodpod

Parkway Bloggers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 8:04 am

Who can identify all of the Parkway bloggers visible in this picture?

Answer:

Getting Political IV

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 7:00 am

Ed Young pastor of Fellowship made these comments while preaching on October 19.  I’ve taken the comments from this article.  You can listen or watch the sermon by clicking here.

“Once we ask ourselves these five questions and once we answer them, then we’ll be ready to vote for the right person,” he said.

The five categories are:

— Character.

“Everything begins with character,” said Young, pointing to Proverbs 29:2: “… If we elect righteous leaders, our government will be righteous, and if our government is righteous then the laws will be righteous.”

Christians should take a political candidate’s private conduct seriously, Young said.

“Character can be defined as who you are when no one’s looking,” he said. ” … For a long, long time, people have said, ‘Who you are in private does not really affect who you are in public office.’ … That’s absolutely, friends, nuts, because who you are in private is who you are. Who you are in private is who you are in public.”

— Conviction.

Reading from Proverbs 28:1 — which says the “righteous are bold as a lion” — Young said, “We need to elect lionesses and lions in this day — people who are not politicians, but people who are statesmen, people who are leaders.” That conviction, he said, must be based on God’s Word.

He mentioned the “gay agenda” as one area where society is moving away from scriptural teachings.

“God has told us from cover to cover that there is only one context where sex should be enjoyed and practiced and celebrated — marriage…. The Bible tells me and it tells you that during the end of time … what is right [will be viewed as] wrong and [what is] wrong [will be viewed as] right.”

Referencing those who compare the homosexual movement to the civil rights movement, Young said, “I’ve known a lot of former homosexuals but I’ve never met a former African American.”

— Courage.

“Does this candidate display courage?” Young asked. “Can you look at this candidate’s life — the history of him or her — and say, ‘You know what? He stood up for courage there. She stood up for courage.’ … Courage is the God-given ability to stand…. Conviction is belief. Courage is behavior.”

Pointing to Proverbs 11:3, Young said, “The other day I heard a candidate being interviewed, and here’s the response the candidate made to a question on morality, … ‘Well, for me as a Christian.’ … That was a relativistic answer. … The relativist says, ‘What’s right for you is true for you and what’s true for you is true for you.'”

Giving an example of the absurdity of relativism, Young said someone could say, as part of the relativistic worldview, “What’s true for me is to fly airliners into the sides of skyscrapers and kill hundreds and hundreds of people.”

— Compassion.

Giving the biblical definition of compassion, Young read from Proverbs 31:8-9, which says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” He also read from Proverbs 24:11, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”

Abortion, Young said, is an issue where a political candidate must show compassion.

“We’re taking the lives, of … 3,200 babies a day — taking the lives of developing babies — when you’ll get thrown in prison and pay an astronomical fine if you disturb the eggs of developing sea turtles,” he said. “What’s right is wrong and [what’s] wrong is right.”

— Constituency.

Young said examining who supports and opposes the candidate can help determine who to support.

“I can meet your friends, without even meeting you, and tell you what kind of a person you are,” Young said. “Who applauds this potential candidate and who opposes them? We better wake up and smell the coffee, here, friends. If the mainstream secular media supports a candidate or an issue, there is a great chance that something is sideways, [and] you better look at that one very, very closely. Who opposes them? Who is for them?”

What do you agree with?  Where did Ed get it wrong?

October 29, 2008

Video Break

Filed under: Videos — Neil @ 3:14 pm

In honor of tonight’s Harvest Festival @ Parkway:

Pocket Change Preview

Next Wednesday we begin Pocket Change in the youth worship services.  It’ll be a 4 week $ series.  The 1st 3 weeks we’ll be looking at what the Bible says about $ and then on the final week we’ll put it into practice with  a reality fair.

Due to tonight’s Harvest Festival we aren’t having any youth activities this week, so that’s given me some extra time to work on Pocket Change.  I’m no expert on the topic so I’ve looked to find some resources to plug into the series.  Here’s some of the good stuff that I’ve found:

  • Dave talks a lot about $ & has some great resources.  This stuff looks good.  We won’t be going through the class, but principles of it will be used in the series.
  • The good folks at Simply Youth Ministry have a great small group series on $.  It’ll be the basis for much of our series.  They’ve taken the $ topic & made it teen friendly.  I highly recommended looking at this curriculum if you are wanting to teach teens about $.
  • I’ve ordered this book & this book to help me understand $ from the teen perspective & to see if they are worth recommending to parents & teens.
  • This video made me laugh, but I won’t be using it.
  • This is one of the best sermon illustrations videos ever. I’ll use either in Pocket Change or when I preach for Ken on Nov. 16 in his God’s Divine Economy series.
  • I will be using this video:

Getting Political III

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 7:00 am

Perry had this to say about politics:

I’ve just about had enough…and am so glad I left the country yesterday…that way I don’t have to listen to this crap anymore.

And no, I’m not talking about the politicians and their crazy adds on television that are right in line with a middle school “yo mama” fight!

I’m talking about the Christians who have prostituted themselves with the political process and taken their eyes off of Jesus as their Savior and put them on either McCain or Obama as their Savior.

It’s STUPID!

Should we have a political opinion as Christians?  HECK YES!  Should we vote?  ABSOLUTELY!  I think a Christian who doesn’t vote is completely missing an opportunity that God has blessed us with as citizens of this country.

BUT…we can’t actually think that the salvation process is tied to who happens to be in the White House!

In reading through the Gospels the other day something HIT ME like a ton of bricks…the Jews missed the fact that Jesus was the Messiah because they were looking for someone to deliver them from the politics of Rome.

Let me say it more clearly–they missed Jesus because of politics!!! (And religion as well…but that’s another post!)
For a Christian to claim that the world is going to be doomed to hell because a particular party happens to “control” the White House is a slap in the face of a Sovereign God.

He reigns!  Read through Scripture & it is so clear…God has used kings and princes that were sold out to Him…and He’s also used those who had no love for Him at all…all for HIS glory!

So…next Tuesday…go vote!  “For who,” you ask…well, here’s an idea…ask Jesus who to vote for…and then do what He says.  (Yes, it REALLY is that simple.)

Then…whoever gets elected…PRAY FOR THAT MAN OFTEN!  Even if the guy you want to win doesn’t…all the more reason to pray!

One more time…YES, we should have political opinions…and YES, it is OK if they are strong AND we believe in the cause…BUT PLEASE let’s not make the mistake of thinking that God is somehow limited by the policies and philosophies of a particular party!

HE REIGNS!  Always has, always will!

Agree or Disagree?

October 28, 2008

Arrogance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 3:24 pm

We all struggle w/ being prideful. We typically try to cover it w/ false humility. However, not many are boastful in their arrogance. What made me think of this? Texas.

Texas is full of arrogance. Sayings like “Don’t Mess W/ Texas” and “Everything is Bigger in Texas” is evident of this. It all dates back to their national independence. I like Texas. I have family there & have always enjoyed visiting. However, while watching the University of Texas take on Oklahoma State I was reminded of its arrogance.

As the UT players came out of their locker room at the beginning of the game they did so as 2 of their team members led the charge waving U.S. flags (click here to see video proof). I suppose they would say that they are just proudly representing the U.S. I doubt that would be honest though. The Dallas Cowboys proudly proclaim themselves as America’s Team. I missed the day we voted on that. Texas likes Texas & assumes the rest of the country does as well. Texas has a Texas sized ego.

Texans, what do you say?

Getting Political II

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 10:15 am

Here’s today’s installment of Getting Political.  Its from Brad’s notes from a sermon preached by Kevin Myers at 12 Stone Church.  You can click here to view the original & more background info.

– Jesus is bigger and greater and much more highly ranked in the “Kingdom” than the President of the US.

– The Church is bigger and greater and much more highly ranked in the “Kingdom” than America.

– Our primary (1st) citizenship as a follower of Christ is the Kingdom of God. With this citizenship comes platform.

– Our secondary (2nd) citizenship as humans is to our country- in my case the United States of America. With this citizenship comes “pallet,” meaning that it is important and provides influence, but when you put a wooden pallet on a platform, it doesn’t compare.

– We have to be aware of the difference between rights and responsibilities in both the Kingdom of God and here in our country. Focusing on RESPONSIBILITIES is more important. We have lost that in our country. We tend to focus today much more on “what is my right?”.

– Daniel is a great example of how to be properly involved in both the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of man.

– God doesn’t need our country. God has worked, and the Kingdom of God has continued to prevail, whether in dictatorships, democracies, communist regimes, or whatever political system.

– Ultimately, he challenged everyone to do their homework, vote based on God’s values, and pray. Three good steps.

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