Thursday, March 27, 2008

Goodbye Blogger


You were my first, but the time has come for me to leave to a better and much easier to use place to blog. Perhaps one day you will change, but until then I'll be with WordPress. Check me out at .


Friday, March 14, 2008

Wesleyan Invasion

So there has been a new Wesleyan invasion on my blog links. Make sure you check'm out:

Dustin Wilson - Youth pastor at Welcome Wesleyan Church in Seneca
Jon Brady - Youth pastor of The Core Youth at Smith Chapel Wesleyan Church
Nathan George - Youth pastor at Pickens View Wesleyan Church

Thanks Cody, I snagged all the links through you.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Are you sure?

I remember my first real experience with Dr. Gibbs. I was sitting in the front row to left side of the room at Spartanburg Methodist. I was in a chair that hardly had an armrest and creaked every time I moved. Obviously these desks had been there since the college was established in 1911. I have to say, they complemented the radiators very well. At any rate, the conversation began:

Gibbs: "Is the Bible inerrant?"

No one answered. I mean it was an awfully deep first question for a morning 9:25 class. For the first time in my college career I raised my home schooled hand in a classroom that contained more than just me.

"Yes," I replied, "I believe it is."

Gibbs: "Do you mind if I press you on that?"

I had no idea what he meant. "Sure," I replied.

For the rest of the class I remember arguing over this issue until Gibbs eventually asked me:

"Are you sure that is what you believe?"

I paused. I realized that I had no answer. I was stumbling over my words. I had never thought of why I believed the things that I believed. Here I was an all-knowing freshmen, and Gibbs is working on defending his doctoral dissertation on Clement of Rome at the University of Wales! I have to admit my first impression of Dr. Gibbs was that he was the kind of professor drank diesel fuel as he ate freshmen like me for breakfast. Luckily, Dr. Gibbs was playing devil's advocate and helped me immensely to go deeper in my journey of faith. Thanks Dr. Gibbs.

I was reminded of this time in my life as I read the opening of the Gospel of Luke.

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning,

(this is the part that hit me)

I too decided to write an orderly account for, most excellent Theophilus,
so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Luke 1:3-4

Theophilus (which means "friend of God"), has a special place in Luke's heart. Luke wanted to make sure that among all of the other people writing about the things that took place while Christ was present on Earth that he put out "an orderly account for, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

Each Theophilus needs a Luke to help him or her to go deeper in the faith. I pray that each of us will take the time to thank the Lukes that are in our lives, so that we may grow as a close friend of God.

I know that I'm blessed to have so many people like Luke in my life. So many people have helped me, and more importantly people are continuing to help me. I'm also blessed to have so many people in my life that are like Theophilus, friends of God. I'm changing my listing on the right to read "friends of God" instead of just "friends". Make sure that check out the links.

On a side note, I talked to Whit today and I have to admit I'm pretty jealous. She's traveling overseas and has seen some pretty awesome stuff like Corinth, the Pyramids in Egypt, the Parthenon and Pella. Of course I had to ask her what her favorite part about Greece was and here was her answer:

Being where Paul was. I have to say though, as many monuments and statues as there are to see here... parthenon, mars hill, temples... nothing to me beats the views I see. God's work to me is more interesting than man's.

Good answer Whit! G'nite everyone.

Monday, March 3, 2008


As my close friends know I hate saying goodbye to friends. However, there are times when you just have to say goodbye. There are those times when you know you will see that friend for the last time. It's painful, but you know you will get through it with some time. I am at one of those crossroads now. Rex is leaving. Yes Rex. Some of you might not know him, or perhaps some of you just never took the time to ask his name. I'm sure that you have all seen him, and now he is leaving. And to be quite honest, no one will miss him more than me. However, it'll be good to see him leave. It's his time, and I am at peace with him leaving. So here's to you Rex.... my little RX.The good part is that I am able to replace him and not feel guilty. So, with the money that I will make off of the Mazda I have the opportunity to buy something else with lower payments and better gas mileage! Each car has a clean carfax, is listed by a dealer, has cruise control, is a 4 cylinder engine (unless indicated), and is listed for under $4900 (except one). So here are the prospects thus far:

2001 Ford Escape 2WD, Unlisted Mileage, 5 speed

2001 Mazda Tribute 2WD, Unlisted Mileage, Automatic

2000 Nissan Xterra XE 2WD, 163k miles, Automatic, V6

2003 Chevy Cavalier, 79k miles, 5 Speed

2000 Mazda 626 LX, 83k miles, Automatic

1999 Nissan Altima, 56k miles, Automatic
2000 VW Jetta GL, 120k miles, Automatic

2001 VW Jetta GLS, 119k, Automatic
If you have a warning or a favorite let me know.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The "F" word

That's right... the flu. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) the flu is now considered widespread in South Carolina. They have also reported that the cases are rapidly increasing. Great news for all those living in SC. I wish someone had told me that the flu would be this bad. Now I'm having to experience it for myself.

I haven't been this sick in a while. It seems to be ok as long as I'm doped up on tylenol, orange juice, and chicken noodle soup. Well, that is until I stand up. Then it's like I've just stepped on a roller coaster that only goes in circles. Kristie has been great. She's been making sure that I'm still among the living and is trying her best to keep me here. She has told me numerous times about the children at the daycare and how they have been sick. The other day she was not feeling well and was running a slight fever (99.5), but overall was feeling ok. One of her kids walked up and asked her if she was dying. She got on his level and asked the little boy to feel her head. After hitting her in the five head like Benny Hen the little boy looked at her and said, "Miss Kwistie, I fink uwr dying." Another little girl walked up and said, "Wet me see." This little girl knew exactly what she was doing. She took her hand and grabbed Kristie by the top of the head with a grip tight enough to lift Kristie off the ground and said, "Miss Kwistie, uwr not diwing." I'm glad to see that Kristie has consulted the experts.

Needless to say that when I asked Kristie to check my four head to see if I was running a fever she replied, "Mr. Hunk, I fink uwr dying."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pondering a Quote

"No one has ever been saved by good works, and no one has ever been saved without them."
-John Wesley

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and Getting Ugly

So the BUMC Youth recently went to the Springmaid Spiritual Life Retreat. Overall it went really well. I broke 2 toes, earned a nasty bruise, and was tackled numerous times during football on the beach. The speaker was pretty good. He talked about surrendering your life over to God fully. No strings attached. The food, well it was cafeteria food. The rooms were nice. I slept on the floor. To be honest I liked it that way. One night Sam sat up screaming "Dad! Dad! Dad!" Which was followed up by Sean sitting up and nearly killing Sam. The funny part is that Sam has no recollection of any of this.

We had some beautiful shots of the sunrises as well.

On the bus ride a few of the youth helped to develop a list that they want to send to Xibit for "Pimp my Church Bus." It would be complete with:

Stained glass window tint
Air purification system (and odor neutralizer) <-- my idea

Hardwood floors

12 Xbox 360s

Full reclining seats

A 42" plasma tv mounted on the ceiling

Personal headsets

Ipod touches mounted into the seats

"Bible" holders that would really only be used for laptops

Rims with the Itchus in them

Black paint job

6" Lift Kit (to be closer to heaven)

A sunroof the length of the ceiling

Ten 12" subs (one for each commandment)

Bin for preheated blankets and pillows

Outlets at each seat

The actual list was nearly 3 pages handwritten. They also added a navigation system, a soundproof driving area, and a LCD monitor for backing up all for the driver.

Now for the rant. Yes, I'm going there. Yes, I hope people read it. Yes, there is a letter being sent to the conference office. The speaker we had was good, however, he was not the speaker advertised nor were we told why the scheduled speaker wasn't there. No one at the conference level had a clue what was going on when I called. They played "Crank That" at the dance. I realize my Wesleyan friends are gasping... I did too. Overall, it was very unorganized except for when the youth leaders had control of their groups during breakout sessions and free times. For the most part events were ran by youth. Now, this can work, but I don't remember seeing a youth pastor or for that matter a full time pastor ever taking the stage to direct the services.

All this brings me to this point:

I feel like youth ministry is being used as nothing more than a stepping stone to ordination. This is my
holy discontent.

I've seen what great work the Wesleyan Church has done with youth ministry. Just look at
Set Apart and the youth camps at Table Rock Wesleyan Camp. There are just over 50 Wesleyan Churches in South Carolina. There are 992 United Methodist Charges in South Carolina, and some of those charges contain two or three churches. Someone please explain to me why the SC Wesleyan Church is doing so much better than the UMCs in the area of youth ministry? I understand that this is not a competition between denominations, but lets look at the numbers. Which denomination values their youth? Which denomination is using their resources wisely? Which denomination seems to think that youth won't catch on that they are catching the short end of the stick?

I understand that from church to church the emphasis may differ, but as a whole we (UMC in SC) are doing a poor job.
Salkehatchie is doing great, but it was not a conference idea. It was lay and clergy lead, and evolved to a great ministry. (If you haven't seen the salk video check it out).

To the SC Wesleyan District and the Wesleyan Church as a whole: Thank you for taking youth ministry seriously as a denomination. Please continue to work hard for the glory of God in this area.

To the SC Methodist Conference: Stop playing around. If we expect to see our denomination flourish instead of flounder we need to get in gear and move. If we continue to sit idle we can expect to see a decline in youth and a further decline in membership.