Sunday, February 28, 2010

Warning! Watch at Your Own Risk!

Warning! Extreme challenge to people calling themselves Christian. Do not watch unless you want to be challenged, and want to grow in your walk with Christ! One of the best lines: "We distort things to get what we want!" Click to view!

Go here if your video is cropped and buggin' you:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What Are You Doing With Your Junk?

I found this picture today of a pile of junk. Ah, what the human mind can do! The world is full of junk; your life probably has its fair (or even unfair) amount of "junk" you'd rather not deal with. This picture reminded me that God gives us the wisdom and power to see something in the junk of life that many might miss: opportunities to grow in our patience, kindness, compassion... in short, opportunities to grow to be more like the One who experienced the ultimate junk (death on our behalf) and won for us the ultimate gift, an eternal relationship with Him.

So don't let the junk in your life win, "look" for a pattern, maybe even a surprising one that will ultimately bless you and those you encounter. Here's a paraphrase of Romans 8:26-30:

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun."

Our Father is the ultimate "sculptor!" Trust Him with your junk!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Birthday Memory - Matt Neeley

Before my feet hit the floor the morning, I thought about Matt Neeley. Matt shared the same birthday as me, and he always made it a point to call me EARLY on our birthdays to beat me to the punch. He took great pride in waking me up some morning to laughingly wish me a happy birthday. I can't really celebrate a birthday without remembering Matt.

In October of 2005, his life (along with the lives of his father, Phil, and stepmother, Anne) was taken by a drunk driver, as he was returning home from the fair. His death was, of course, devastating, and left a larger than normal hole in the fabric of the Denmark community.

You see, Matt's faith in the Lord showed in how intensely he loved people. Labeled as learning disabled by some, Matt was actually a very powerful teacher. He taught everyone who knew him that love is not something you just talk about, it's something you do, whether it's rolling a senior citizen's garbage can to the road, putting their paper next to their door, watering their plants, or visiting someone who had recently lost a loved one. He was a devoted and beloved member of Bethel Park United Methodist church, and was known for getting there early to unlock and turn on the heat and lights, and for staying late to make sure everything was turned off and locked up.

He turned on the lights wherever he went, spending his weekdays working in the Barnwell School system to aid seriously handicapped students. He didn't do that because he got a paycheck, but because he truly cared for his students (like he truly cared for so many other people!).

As I shared with my church recently, one of my most prized possessions is a sport coat his sister gave me that belonged to him. Whenever I wear it, I think about Matt. Today I want you to think about Matt, too. Another reason I thought about writing about him is that I'm reading Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love" and am in the chapter about Christians who take God's word seriously by loving God and others "radically."

Matt took God's love seriously, and it showed. He left way too early, and now it is our job as Christ-followers to love as he real ways; in visible ways. Then again, it always has been, but remember Matt's example reminds me to keep being "intentional" about loving people.

As Paul reminds us: You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5: 13-14

I hope that's how you are spending your life! There is no better way! I've had a lot of emails, calls, and cards today wishing me a Happy Birthday, but one voice was missing, but I will NEVER forget that voice, or the love and friendship behind it. I'm also glad I'll see Matt one day when we're all home; and he'll be flashing that same big smile he so often had while he was with us.

Here is Matt with Adelene Copelan (at her 100th birthday party!), who was 104 last March and went to be with the Lord this past October. She, too, loved much so that on her last birthday, she pointed at my stomach and said, "that belly has got to go!" How I thank God for all my friends, those who are still here, and those who have gone on to be with the Lord!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pray for the "New" Chad Hedrick at the 2010 Olympics

I know next to nothing about speed skating, but I came across this story and was impressed that even the secular press has picked up on the "new" Chad Hedrick, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist in ice speed skating. He once was called the "Paris Hilton" of speed skaters, but that all changed a couple of years ago when he came to know Christ. Here is an interview conducted by his pastor, just prior to the 2010 Olympics.

Riding a Skeleton!

Here is a point-of-view video of a skeleton run...a skeleton is like riding a luge, but head first! Are these people crazy? 85 plus MPH, headfirst! Still, if you're looking for a new hobby, you might want to think about it!

More Panoramics!

I promise I'll get this out of my system soon!!! Click to enlarge...

The Rare Snow of 2010

I finally posted pictures from this past weekend's RARE snow in Denmark! Click on the link below!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Playing Around With Panoramas!

Started playing around with a new "photo-stitching" software. This is a "stitch" of about five photos, oh, wait, let me show you another one! Click on either for the BIG picture!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Most of You Are Probably Too Busy To Read This...Pity...

Came across one of my favorite chapters in a favorite book about a favorite character named Mabel. Here is the entire chapter at this link, and I know it's long, but it's worth it if you need some refreshing encouragement on your journey with Christ. (If you HAVE to rush, you can skip to pg. 21 for Mabel's story. I posted this year's ago, but it's worth the repeat!)

The book is available for $3.99 at