Over the Delaware and Through the Poconos

…to church camp I go!!  Technically, I am heading to southeast PA and will not pass through the lovely Poconos.  The kids are going to grandparents house, though.

Our Theme for the week is” “The Attitude of Christ” and the lessons are all based on Philippians 2:1-8.

I will be preaching Sunday morning to kick things off then our daily Bible classes, Sun-Fri  will be:

  1. Humility–Illustration: a toy baby
  2. Compassion–Illustration: Hershey’s Hugs
  3. Mercy–Illustration: a stone (a la John 8 )
  4. Service–Illustration: towel (John 13)
  5. Obedience–Illustration: a yoke
  6. Sacrifice–Illustration: a spike

The food is great.  The people are great.  It is well-run and beautiful.  Great singing.  There may be around 180-200 including staff.  One summer we had 180 kids but attendance has been down in recent years.

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Fantasy Baseball Mid-season Report

I play Fantasy baseball solely to make trades.  I like to build a team.  Even live drafts are subject to a lot of luck.  My team has changed alot.

Here are key players from my draft:

Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Quentin, Dustin Pedroia, Roy Halladay, Lidge, Nathan, Lackey, Doumit, Votto and Nelson Cruz.

But these is the team that brought me to the top 3 at the All-Star Break:

Votto, Ramirez, Russell Branyan, Aaron Hill, Edwin Jackson, Johan Santana, Rafael Soriano, Zobrist, Soriano, Gavin Floyd, Latroy Hawkins

And this is the team I will start the second half with, with maybe a couple of waiver moves in the coming days:

  • C–Russel Martin, Doumit
  • 1st–Votto
  • 2nd–Aaron Hill
  • 3rd–Aramis Ramirez
  • SS–Jason Bartlett
  • OF–Nelson Cruz
  • OF–Zobrist
  • OF–Nyjer Morgan, Franklin Guiterez
  • DH–Carlos Pena
  • BN–Martin Prado,
  • DL–Beltran
  • SP-Johan
  • SP-Edwin Jackson
  • SP-Ricky Nolasco
  • SP-Gavin Floyd
  • SP-Lackey
  • RP-Soriano
  • RP-JP Howell
  • RP-Leo Nunez
  • RP-Scott Downs

I am a little weak in the OF but feel pretty good about the overall balance of my team.  We will see what happens. I eclipsed 100 transactions before the All-Star Break but plan to slow down and let them play now.

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Yesterday was my wife’s birthday.  We are not big celebraters and she especially doesn’t want to do much.  I did get her a card and it pleased her because I only paid .44 cents.  I know my wife.  She even said the funny part was that she looked on the back of the card before opening it to see how much it cost.

Plus we got Outback take-out for dinner.

The American Christian Dilemma

I apologize in advance for those of you who will blow a gasket as a result of this. Yes, I am being provocative, but I think the point is very serious, very important and I am using my “freedom of speech” on this holiday .

Also, even though God never promised us what the 2nd Amendment does (gun ownership), the USA (or at least the Republicans) promises it, so I guess you can shoot me if you are real upset.  🙂

When I tweeted earlier this day a simple, thought-provoking question, I didn’t even realize the dilemma I was presenting.  It’s a lose-lose.

“Would our faith (or the church, if you prefer) be stronger or weaker without all the freedoms we are blessed with in our nation?”

Think!  Chew on it!  No knee-jerks. You can’t answer that question without getting depressed or disappointed in us as American Christians.

If my answer is “Yes, I would be stronger in my faith, the church would be stronger, etc.” that means we accept and realize that these blessings are hurting us.  They are not what’s best for our souls.  We are confessing our love of the flesh.  We are rejoicing and thankful that our national situation is detrimental to our faith/the church.  How sad!!

Okay, maybe instead, I say, “No, I would probably be weaker in my faith if not for these freedom.”  That could sound just as bad!  They are a crutch, then.  I need the government to make things easy so that I can assemble without harassment, so that my neighbors will be nice and good and punished if they are not.  I couldn’t handle persecution, being in the minority as a Christian.

Now, maybe these aren’t they only two options.  Feel free to attack my false dichotomy if you want, but really consider that question and its implication.

Anyway, enjoy your hot dogs and potato salad.  I guess I will be deported or something before the weekend is over.

🙂

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The Declaration of Independence “gives” us the right to rebel and cast off monarchs, and we have been doing that to God ever since.

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Those poor Christians in China, SE Asia, parts of Africa.

They are stuck with perseverance, character, and hope while all we get is the right to bear arms and assemble as Christians. (Romans 5:3-4)

They will be overjoyed when Christ’s glory is revealed, blessed in suffering, have the Spirit of glory and God rest on them, and praise God (1 Peter 4:12-19);  And all we get is a comfy lifestyle, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, voting rights.

They have a great reward in Heaven (Matthew 5:12) but we get to live an abundant life in America!

They get to be heirs of God and Christ and share in His glory (Romans 8:17), yet you and I get freedom of religion, speech, and press.

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(Oops, forget to make it clear that I turned off comments on purpose.  Just trying to squash dissenting opinions, and not get a big discussion started)