I’m traveling over the next few days. So any updates will be sporadic.
Today is a Yard work day.
I didn’t mow my yard last weekend because we were visiting family in Atlanta, and I can’t mow it next weekend because I have a wedding to go to. So unless I want to have a jungle in my yard, I really need to mow it this weekend.
Of course today is supposed to be one of the hottest days we have had all year. So I fully expect to be covered in sweat and be totally worn out by the time I’m done.
There is something really satisfying to me about working on a garden/yard. Maybe it is because I work in an office all week and don’t get to work with my hands all that much. My job consists of writing reports, designing data management screens, and coding SQL statements all day. And I enjoy what I do, but there are times when doing something that is totally different is actually relaxing. So getting out and mowing my grass or weeding my garden is a good way for me to unwind and clear off stress.
So today I have no ideas for a post. But since I’m trying to make sure I post every day for the next 30 days (This is day 3 of that process) I really have to post something. So this is going to be a boring post about my day.
I did read a lot of news today, but there really wasn’t all that much happening. The biggest news was the little war of words between Google and Microsoft over the Nortel Patents. Which really isn’t that exciting.
The only other thing I did was work. I got a lot done, but nothing I was working on was all that exciting. So all in all, it was kind of a boring day. Which I guess isn’t so bad. A normal boring day is kind of relaxing.
It’s summer, and there isn’t all that much on American TV to watch during summer. So I end up hunting through Cable channels to find things to watch. One of the shows I’ve found is called Hoarders.
It’s fascinating to me to watch the way stuff has completely taken over people’s lives. These people have let the collection of things (often worthless things) ruin their homes, families, and livelihoods. And they can’t let the stuff go. They fight the cleaners and organizers over every item that gets thrown away. And most of it is junk.
Apart from the entertainment value of watching them attempt to take back control of the “hoard,” the show has really made me look at how much “stuff” I have. Don’t get me wrong, my house isn’t cluttered or too full of stuff. But if I really took an inventory of all the things in my house, I would have to say that there are a lot of things I haven’t touched in at least a year. And if I haven’t touched it in a year, do I really need it? How many shirts and pairs of pants do I really need? I have pants and shirts I haven’t worn in years and I should just get rid of. I have bookshelves full of books that I have read and probably will never read again.
Even though my stuff hasn’t taken over my house, I really have more things than I need. So I’m going to try to get rid of anything I don’t really need.
I watched the following video yesterday, and was really inspired by it.
There are lots of things that I really want to do but it seems like I can never manage to set aside the time to start them. And when I do start a project, I never manage to stick with it for very long. The idea of doing something for 30 days straight seems like something I could do. Putting a specific time limit on a task or hobby, makes it easier to keep doing it even when I don’t feel like it or when it is inconvenient.
So what 30 day task am I going to try first?
Your looking at it. I’m going to try to get back into blogging regularly. I used to post to this blog more frequently, but in recent years I’ve kind of slacked off and I’ve always regretted it. So starting with this post, I’m going to try to do 1 blog post every day.
If I’m busy or traveling, the post might be very short. But regardless I’m going to try get a post out every day for the next 30 days.
I’m happy to announce that I have a new little baby girl. She was born this week on 2/3/2011 and her name is Adrienne Louise Barrows. I’m posting one pic above, but if you want to see more check out our website.
If you know me, you know I read a lot of books. Mostly fantasy or science fiction.
Over Christmas, my wife got me the perfect gift. An Amazon kindle.
I’ve been amazed at the battery life, the screen clarity, and the weight. As a replacement for the paperbacks I carry around all the time, it really hits the spot.
I used to take whatever book I was reading with me wherever I went. That way I would always have something to read if I was bored. But I really couldn’t carry more than one book at a time. So if I finished my book I would be stuck without one. With the Kindle, I can carry multiple books without taking any more space. So I’m never stuck without a book now.
Of course, that means all my books are electronic now. Which tweaked my interest in some of the data surrounding my reading habits. So this year I’ve decided to try to keep track of all the books I read. Maybe get an idea of how many per month and how often I finish one.
As part of that project, I am logging all of my reading activity on my home page. You can see it here. I’m including a rating and a short little review of what I thought. Oh, and also a link to the book on Amazon in case you want to check it out for yourself.
I guess I could have done this just as easily with the dead tree books I read last year, but I never really thought about it before.
It has been a while since I updated this blog and I thought I should post a note giving a status. Especially in light of the Church Hunting post that was my last post.
My wife and I have found a wonderful church that is the perfect combination of not too big and not too small. And more importantly, it has solid biblical preaching without all the “extra” stuff that isn’t really biblical but rather preference. Grace Community Church seems to be what we were looking for. It was a long and frustrating search, but it was worth it.
What is wrong with churches these days? Why is it so hard to find a church where the word of God is preached? Has it always been this hard?
Lately I’ve been doing some church shopping with my wife. The reason being that my church isn’t a good fit for both of us. Not because of it’s doctrine or beliefs, but rather because the culture of the church doesn’t quite fit with me and my wife. So we have been shopping around for a church that would be a better fit for both of us. And you would think that the Pensacola area would be a good place to look. It seems like there is a church on every corner.
As we have been searching around I’ve been struck by how little of the Bible is actually preached in most of these churches. It seems like the majority of time preachers are pushing tradition, the latest semi-Christian psychology, or random political hobby horses. Some preachers use the Bible kind of like a good luck charm attached to the message. They read a verse at the beginning and one at the end. Maybe blessing is a better term than “Good Luck Charm,” but the usage is the same. Other preachers barely use the Bible at all. They all use the term “the Bible says” a lot, but they rarely show you where it says it.
I am so frustrated with the whole thing. How can I trust a pastor who preaches that going against church traditions (that is American church traditions) is sin? How can I trust a pastor who preaches that using a non KJV bible is sin? How can I trust a pastor who preaches that a particular music style is sin? There may be good reasons to avoid certain musicians, or to use certain Bible translations. There even are good arguments for preserving certain church traditions. The problem is that most of those arguments are based on opinion. Not on the Bible.
The Bible doesn’t single out any particular translation as being required. How could it single out a specific English translation when English didn’t even exist at the time the Bible was written? And it is totally silent on the issue of music styles. So you can’t make a case for a particular style being sinful if all you are using is the Bible. And when it comes to American church traditions, such as the Altar Call, they were all established within the last 200 years and none of them are commanded in the Bible. So any pastor that preaches these issues, without making it very clear that they are his opinion only, loses all credibility in my eyes.
But it goes even farther than that. Why don’t pastors use the Bible in their messages to back up the sermon points? How can I trust a Pastor who doesn’t? If he doesn’t use the Bible to back up each and every one of his points, how do I know for sure they are true?
I know a lot about the Bible. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian college, and regularly read the Bible. But I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything. So if a Pastor slips something into his message that isn’t in the Bible, I may not catch it. It’s not enough for him to say “the Bible says.” He needs to show me where in the text the content comes from. So that I can see the truth for myself in the context it was written in. Otherwise, the Pastor’s message is no better than that of a motivational speaker at a conference.
And I don’t mean read a verse at the beginning and preach for a half an hour on that one verse. If you can preach for a half hour without using the Bible more than once, then you are NOT preaching from the Bible.
I guess what I’m saying is that I am very frustrated and upset by the way so many churches simply let this stuff slide by. It’s like they don’t care about truth as long as the pastor is an entertaining speaker, or as long as he backs the traditions they like, or as long as the church has all of the programs they want.
So let me tell you what I want.
I want a church that preaches and teaches from the Bible.
I want a pastor that backs up every point using verses from the Bible and takes the time to actually read them. That way I can see them for myself.
I want a pastor that reads the context of the verse so I don’t have to guess or try to quickly skim the passage to know if the verse is being taken out of context.
If the pastor is an entertaining and engaging speaker, that is a bonus, but not strictly necessary. And if the church has a lot of programs, that is also nice. But again, not strictly necessary.
Really, how hard can it be to find a church and other Christians who care about this stuff?