Thoughts from Peterson…

I came across an interview with a guy that really causes me to think – here’s an excerpt:

Repentance, dying to self, submission—these are not very attractive hooks to draw people into the (Christian) faith.

I think the minute you put the issue that way you’re in trouble. Because then we join the consumer world, and everything then becomes product designed to give you something. We don’t need something more. We don’t need something better. We’re after life. We’re learning how to live.

I think people are fed up with consumer approaches, even though they’re addicted to them. But if we cast the evangel in terms of benefits, we’re setting people up for disappointment. We’re telling them lies.

This is not the way our Scriptures are written. This is not the way Jesus came among us. It’s not the way Paul preached. Where do we get all this stuff? We have a textbook. We have these Scriptures and most of the time they’re saying, “You’re going the wrong way. Turn around. The culture is poisoning.”

Do we realize how almost exactly the Baal culture of Canaan is reproduced in American church culture? Baal religion is about what makes you feel good. Baal worship is a total immersion in what I can get out of it. And of course, it was incredibly successful. The Baal priests could gather crowds that outnumbered followers of Yahweh 20 to 1. There was sex, there was excitement, there was music, there was ecstasy, there was dance. “We got girls over here, friends. We got statues, girls, and festivals.” This was great stuff. And what did the Hebrews have to offer in response? The Word…

You can read the article in its entirety HERE

quince años…

This coming Saturday, scoey-d gets to do something that he’s never done before… drumroll… I get to ‘officiate’ at a quince años party (aka the quinceañera…) Generically, it’s a “coming of age” ceremony for Latina young ladies as they reach the ripe old age of 15 (hence the name, quince años, which means 15 years.)

From what I can tell, it’s similar in purpose to the bar & bat-mitzvah where a ceremony & party are thrown to celebrate the young woman’s entrance into womanhood, & also into society… You can read a bit more about this ceremony here.

My role in this thing as the officiant is to give a 10-15 minute ‘challenge’ or ‘encouragement’ to the young lady… I’ve watched a few examples on video of this occurring, & so far, I only know what I won’t be doing. I’ve seen preachy lectures, a soliloquy borrowed from Shakespeare (poorly I might add;) a Proverbs 31 adaptation (also bad)… so, rather than taking my cue from what I’ve seen so far, I’m branching out on my own into uncharted waters…

my question to you is this:
What advice, encouragement, wisdom, etc. would you give to a 15 year old girl? In the spirit of me asking for advice, feel free to let me have it. And I’d appreciate real advice as well.

Thanks in advance…

flying solo…

This next week, 5 Mai, I will be flying solo – literally – to Frankfurt. Last year, the Bean & I were in Frankfurt 3 separate times – Maerz, August, & November, for a total of 31 days, if you include travel days, which really should count double for all the wear & tear on the body, mind, & psyche… & that’s not even mentioning the need for acquisition of unique travel supplies, all in containers of 4 ounces or less, support hose, & the smuggle-able french press & coffee stash.

It was too much for the Bean for many, many reasons – the emotional, physical, relational & financial toll was too great – she acquired a job in Januar, & starts a new schedule on the day I fly away…

So, I’ll be going on my own for 8 days – traveling solo is ok; I’ve done it quite a bit… it actually makes the choice of ‘where & what to eat/drink’ much easier. I just ask myself, “Self, what do you want to do?” And I usually answer, “Thanks for asking. I am hungry. And thirsty. And hungry.” And then it’s on… I don’t know why, but traveling brings out the snacker in me – I want to stop at every kiosk for a sample, to chow down & imbibe wherever possible. Wonder why that is?

This is a significant trip for me – I know it down in my guts… this will be a trip of resolution – I believe that my interactions & appointments, & calling to Europe will be becoming clarified. And resolved. Some of the nebulousness, the WHY’s will be cleared up. Or be clearer.

I also know that this will be relationally significant… there are several situations that will require a miracle to see healed. If you’re wondering what to pray for in this for me, pray for grace & peace in relationships. And reconciliation.

Finally, I am really looking forward to staying at the home of my friends Alex & Linda, & getting to spend a chunk of time with them. They are definitely one of my happy thoughts about this voyage, the one on which I am flying solo…

contemplation ahead…

TheMoses & I are planning a retreat…

For the last year or so, we’ve been talking about going to a place together where we can disconnect from the regular & get away for some contemplation… (in the vein of the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book by Scazzero.

After lots of searching, I found a place that is relatively clost to where we are, Vina, California. In early April, we’re off to New Clairveaux for about 3 days. It’s a Trappist monastery that allows individuals & small groups (up to 3 at a time) to come to their site for rest, personal enrichment, silence, etc.

A bonus is that the monks support themselves by making vino – you can find out more about that HERE.

I’m not sure what to expect, other than some quiet personal reflective time, & also some bonding time with TheMoses.

Man Church… it’s real.

Statistically, less men attend church than women. There are myriad reasons for this – one of them, valid for the masses or not, is that church has become too “girly” or feminine – leaving guys feeling uncomfortable, on the outside in the pursuit of faith with God through Jesus. Many claim faith, yet find that the common church experience isn’t for them.

Enter a ‘new’ concept: MAN CHURCH. Interesting – Billed as a place for men to go to church, with lots of things men like, & not the things they don’t.

Instead of a speech/sermon, there’s a short 20-25 minute “Chalk talk.”

Guys that attend are guaranteed to laugh.

Instead of a worship team with 30 minutes of music/worship, there’s a non-marching, marching band.

Free pizza. A HUG-FREE Zone, (sorry TPT – I know you’re a hugger.)

Fodder for a Monday…

Taking the Pasty Gangster to school this a.m. we were doing what we always do – listen to the pontifications of Colin Cowherd on ESPN 630. A topic that comes up occasionally on his talk show is his distaste for religion, esp. as expressed by tele-evangelists who are “just after your money” in any way they can get it… He brought up the interview that Good Morning America did with Joel Osteen, & Pasty & I prepared for a diatribe… A diatribe that didn’t come…

What did this self-described “completely unreligious” guy have to say about Osteen? He’s positive. He seems authentic. He keeps the message simple. He seems to believe it. He’s doesn’t hammer on others that don’t do it like he does. He isn’t a “religious zealot.”

Interesting to me – I know that Pastor Osteen takes a lot of heat from the “Christian world” – esp. with the statements that he is just doing “Christianity Lite” at best, “heresy” at worst.

Here’s a couple of articles that have been in the news of fairly recently…

ABC News Article on Joel Osteen… and another GMA


I saw this Headline News interview called YOGA & the Christian. Its about 7 minutes long, very worth watching.

I was very intrigued by the dialogue between MacArthur & Pagitt, esp. when MacArthur challenges Pagitt’s statements about “wholeness.”

Not sure if it is a generational issue, a world-view issue, or a combo of both. Or?


My long awaited 20th high school reunion finally arrived, & Friday night & Saturday day/night, the Bean & I got the opportunity to interact & celebrate with a plethora of people, most of whom I had lost touch with upon my move to Carson City in 1987/88. Going into the evening, (Friday) I made a list – (as every good, organized person knows you’re SUPPOSED to) – of people that I wanted to make sure to talk with in the attempt to reconnect. I feel pretty blessed in that I was able to have significant & meaningful interactions with every single person that I put on my list.

Over the next couple of days, pre-Deutschland, I hope to post some pictures, organize some thoughts, & pontificate a bit about what I experienced. In a nutshell – it was an 11. My hopes for this weekend were realized. Prayers were answered. Thank you Jesus.