Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pursuit of Happiness

So I was thinking about this movie the other day. I thought about showing it if we did a movie night at the church. Of course, as Christians we would say that stability and wealth do not bring happiness, but I am sure that most of us still seek it. I think that the important part is our motive behind seeking wealth and stability. Do we need it for happiness or are we satisfied in Christ? Also, what do we want to do with wealth? The Christians in Acts shared everything one with another. Was that just the popular thing at the time or was it recorded in the Bible as an example for us to follow after?
I know that personally, I have dreams of getting rich. I have my plans to make money in the long run. Of course, being a missionary is probably not the best means, but there are still ways of earning more money over time. I have always been cheap and so even with our missionary salary, we have been able to save and we also have kept our condominium in the states, renting it out, which will help out financially in the future. But even if I did eventually make a lot of money, what are my reasons for it? Would I use it for those dreams of solving some missionary support raising problems, or would I buy a nice new car? To be honest, I am not sure what I would do. I have had a dream of supporting missionaries through real estate, but would I be willing to contribute my condo to see it happen? I am not sure about that because it would be a big sacrifice (it's Evelyn's college fund).
What about you? Are you striving for happiness through riches? Or do you have any plans to "change the world" with what you will make?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

5 missed calls

A few hours ago, I left Sarah laying down as I went to play soccer at the park with the guys from the Vila. It is actually a decent temp here so I took my shirt off and wrapped my phone and keys in it and started playing. After a while I decided to head out and I checked the time. Immediately I saw that I had 5 missed calls on my phone. The first one was from the apartment and the rest from a couple other people. I tried to call home, but was out of cell phone credit. I started running and drove home quickly, heart pounding and regrets all the way. I thought Sarah had gone into labor. She is less than 5 weeks out at this point, so I guess it could be anytime, or still a good month away. Nevertheless I was thinking, "Great, on Evelyn's birthday every year, people are going to say, remember when Evelyn was born, her mom went into labor, and her dad was off somewhere playing soccer. She was almost born at home...neglectful dad."
Well, I got home and Sarah was safe and sound. She didn't think anything of it as I said over and over that I was glad she was not in labor. I wonder if this is what the next 5 weeks are going to be like. I need to get credit on the cell phone.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just thought I would brag a little here. I feel fine doing that as long as it has nothing to do with me. Two of my brothers are going to be having their work shown in Grand Rapids soon. Phil for a short film:

and Dan for his paintings:

Both are very talented in what they do and I am looking forward to what they do in the future.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reaching out

So right now I am trying to use the internet to reach out. Is that weird? I guess not, but I am not sure how affective it will be. But if it reaches one person, it is worth it. One problem we have had in the church plant we are at with making contacts. It is hard to make contacts here and then get them to come to anything. They are very work oriented and then family oriented. When they are not working, they are with family or watching soccer. The other day, the Pastor here and I had a discussion about ways to reach out because we have tried some things, and it seems like we hit road blocks. This year we thought we were turning a corner, but lately things just have not been panning out. We get people to come to some events, but that is the maximum involvement.
What are some interesting ways to reach out to those around you where you are at?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Government and Deacon boards

I was talking about the government the other day and decided to write something about it. I have tried not to get into politics on this blog, but I couldn't resist. It seems lately that the house and senate have been listening to the President and following whatever he says (a general statement, I know there are cases where they haven't). But that is what was going to happen with this bill and Obama expected it to happen. But don't we stop having a government and start with a dictatorship when this happens? If they are just a yes-board, doesn't that ruin the point of having them?
I think this happens in churches sometimes. Instead of a deacon or elder board, you have a yes-board. The Pastor does what he feels the Lord wants him to do, which is great, but I think that there are reasons for having groups make decisions. There is much more wisdom in groups. Elders are there to provide wisdom and feedback and prayer support and so much more. We should have confidence that we can trust every Pastor, but we probably should not let them know that and keep a leadership group together to make the big decisions. We need to show that group decisions are better than individual decisions. It seems to me that power gets into people's heads and makes them think thoughts they have never thought before. I mean, look at what happened to Spider-man.
So let's encourage our government and our churches to use the wisdom of the group when making important decisions about our life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some quotes on language

Here are some quotes that I have collected about language and basically talking. I wish that I could claim them, but I can't. The tongue is a very dangerous weapon and a lot of regrets in life have come from it's tip.

"No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut." -Sam Rayburn

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." -Leo Aikman

"Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it anyway." -Elbert Hubbard

"Promise what you can deliver, then deliver more than you promise." -Not Sure

"Never ruin an apology with an excuse." -Kimberly Johnson

"The easiest way to keep a secret is without help." -Again Not Sure

"Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you." -Spanish proverb

"Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to." Not Sure III

"Tis better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." -Mark Twain

"Just cuz you said it doesn't make it so." -Jeff Elliot

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Babies and Evolution

So this morning I was laying in bed with my wife with my hand on her stomach feeling Evelyn doing her morning exercises (23 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and three rounds from a new pre-birth-Wii-type kickboxing game). I was thinking about the amazingness of birth and how cool it is that my wife has a living baby inside her belly. At various random points during this pregnancy I have been slightly jealous that my wife has a baby moving around in her belly. I mean I have experienced gas before that made my stomach do weird things, but have a solid 15 inch baby in my belly; that I have never been able to experience. Of course the other side effects to it have caused that jealousy to subside rather quickly.
How does evolution explain the capability of reproducing? I mean, I know that there are intelligent scientists out there who think that I am ignorant for believing in Creationism. And I don't really want to bash them; I just wonder how that is explained. Yeah, dirt collided and there was energy, etc... and then this all resulted in an ability for mankind and animals to reproduce. Just curious.