Category Archives: Emerging

UPDATE: New Year’s Resolution: 2011 Edition

Day 2/365 - New Years Resolution

Ugh. Not yet.

New Years Resolution #1:  Spend less time on Farmville
I have not played Farmville yet this year, nor have I replaced it with Wizard 101!  Woo hoo!

New Years Resolution #2:  Finish getting CISSP Certified
My paperwork was verified.  I can officially add CISSP behind my name!  All I am waiting on now is to receive the actual certificate in the mail!  YAY!

New Years Resolution #3:  Lose a little weight
Ugh.  Not yet.

New Years Resolution #4:  Eat a little healthier
I really like food.  I won’t admit to being addicted, but I do have an emotional attachment.

New Years Resolution #5:  Spend more time with my boys
Apparently 15-year old boys do not wish to spend time with their dad.  HOWEVER, they do wish to gain driving experience.  Power to the dad!  We have also talked about driving around and finding geocaches (look it up).

New Years Resolution #6:  Read more with my wife
I read one book this year.  Maybe that should count as resolution resolved.

New Years Resolution #7:  Walk more with my wife
The year is still young-ish.

New Years Resolution #8:  Photoshoot at least once a month
This is an easy one that I am failing to do.  But boss also wishes to do this more, so I think this will be on track shortly.  I missed a great chance at Gardner lake when it was still mostly frozen over-a gaggle of geese!  It was pretty cool.  Seize the day people!

New Years Resolution #9:  Blog at least twice a month
How many spaces after the period ending a sentence?  WRONG, only one?  What the heck?  Yeah, I’m not unlearning this one easily.

New Years Resolution #10: Take up a hobby
More like hobbies, plural.  Photography, security (CISSP CPEs-continuing education), social media management, learning more web page coding (SEO, connecting to a database, shopping cart) blogging.

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New Year’s Resolution: 2011 Edition

I have never been a fan of New Year resolutions.  I have never consciously made, kept and resolved a New Year’s resolution.  Having said that its good to have goals.

  • New Years Resolution #1:  Spend less time on Farmville
  • New Years Resolution #2:  Finish getting CISSP Certified
  • New Years Resolution #3:  Lose a little weight
  • New Years Resolution #4:  Eat a little healthier
  • New Years Resolution #5:  Spend more time with my boys
  • New Years Resolution #6:  Read more with my wife
  • New Years Resolution #7:  Walk more with my wife
  • New Years Resolution #8:  Photoshoot at least once a month
  • New Years Resolution #9:  Blog at least twice a month
  • New Years Resolution #10: Take up a hobby
    FarmVille
    FarmLess

New Years Resolution #1:  Spend less time on Farmville
I wasted way too much time on Facebook’s Farmville last year.  Yeah, I have over 3 million dollars, the largest farm you can get and lots of everything, it is time to move on from the farming version of hunting and gathering.  Of course my end goal is to waste less time, but I am already testing the waters out on Wizard 101.

New Years Resolution #2:  Finish getting CISSP Certified
The hardest part in becoming CISSP certified is over, I passed that blankety, blank exam.  But now I have to jump through a few more hoops.  One is getting my resume updated and detailed to ISC2’s standard.  I am also gonna strive to put together a total of 4 resumes-biographical, technical, project managerial and managerial.   I have always liked playing with different resume styles and layouts.

Healthy Choice Logo
Be Healthier

New Years Resolution #3:  Lose a little weight
I can easily stand to lose 100 pounds, but I also am thinking realistic.  So here goes, the goal:  25-50 pounds.

New Years Resolution #4:  Eat a little healthier
One of the ways I plan to lose 25-50 pounds is to use an (free) Android phone app I got that offers different 3-7-day diets, complete with shopping lists.  I thought that might be a cool and tastey method, instead of holding to just one, long diet.  Another method I may try is just counting calories.  And doing some exercise, maybe with the Wii Fit.

New Years Resolution #5:  Spend more time with my boys
My twins will be 15 in a couple of weeks-they are freshmen in high school, weird.  The time just flies.  I wanted to do so much with them.  I wanted to build them a tree house.  I wanted to have long talks about life lessons.  Play more video games.  Teach them how to drive.  Have deep theological and philosophical discussions with them.  Of course there is still time, but it involves being extremely intentional.

Cover of "Ender's Game (Ender Quartet)"

Read More

New Years Resolution #6:  Read more with my wife
Check.  Minnie gave me a copy of Orson Scott Card’s new book, Pathfinder, for Christmas, I am on page 596 of 662.  Awesome book, by the way.  I just LOVE OSC (start off with Ender’s Game, go, NOW!).  I will do my best to offer reviews as I check the books off the list.

New Years Resolution #7:  Walk more with my wife
I dread thinking about this one.  I have never been a walker.  I hate the cold.  But, I like the idea of spending quality time with my wife doing something that will be healthy for both of us.  I am also gonna use my Android phone to track miles and calories burned, I love technology!  I love my phone!

New Years Resolution #8:  Photoshoot at least once a month
I have this really great digital camera, a Canon G10.  It has all these dials and settings and it is just a great camera.  It is what professionals use when they just want a simple camera and not a huge, top-of-the-line professional camera to lug around.  And most of the time I have the settings on “auto”.  I’d like to change the settings,  but I don’t know what they mean!  I’d like to learn more about photography and take more cool pics.  I also have this cool phone, have I mentioned that, that makes sharing pics extremely easy.  I also would like to post a video or 2 on Youtube!  I may use MS’s Movie Maker!  Ironically there are tons of youtube videos that teach you how to make youtube videos with Movie Maker.  Come on, that’s just cool.

New Years Resolution #9:  Blog at least twice a month
Check.  If I am not posting here it is because I am posting here:  http://inchdeepmilewide.wordpress.com/ I plan to use this blog to hold myself accountable.

New Years Resolution #10: Take up a hobby
I am hopefully setting myself up for success for this one.  Photography is one, security is another, but I am also getting roped into acting as a social media manager for a woodworking guild, so that may include the learning of what it means to be a social media manager as well as working with wood!  Win-win! 

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Celebrate the Day That Christ was Born to Die

I love the Advent season. It is a season of anticipation. It is also a season of Christmas music. At the Home Depot they have been playing Christmas music since Black Friday.  I am about sick of it.  And I couldn’t figure it out at first…I mean yeah you hear the same song every 45 minutes, by a different artist, sung completely different, and sometimes, most depressingly, in a country style, but why do I have this urge to remove my eardrums out of my head with a utility knife?  And then it dawned on me:  None of the songs were actually about the birth of Christ!  They were all commercial Christmas music for the most part. Songs about winter and snow and lights and Christmas trees.  Trite and familiar and it is supposed to make people happy. It just pushes me closer to the postal edge.  I’ll give you a white Christmas in a winter wonderland…  Willie Nelson sings Christmas songs?  Brings shivers to my spine.

On a different note…(get it, on a different NOTE?  Because music is made up of notes?  And I’m talking about music…Yeah, pretty funny stuff!)

Ever since City On A Hill: Its Christmas Time came out I have been hooked. I hope you will check out the link and buy a copy of it, you will not be disappointed. It is Christmas worship pure and simple. There is one song in particular that cuts into my heart, it is an original song (new) and it is sung by Jars of Clay, but the lyrics just tear me up. It is talking about Mary: “…you gave birth to the death that would bring us to life.” Just insanely powerful. Jesus was born with one purpose: To die for our sins so that we may truly live.

The other series that I just can’t get enough of is BEC’s Happy Christmas volumes 1-4. There are many traditional songs that are sung traditionally and some that are sung with a rock edge. And some original stuff on it too. Here is my favorite song of the series by Reliant K. Click on the link to see the youtube video and hear the song.

Reliant K-I Celebrate the Day

Again, Christ came to this earth and was born to die so that one day I would pray that he would save my life. Wow. Incredible. Powerful. Simple and profound. It just makes me want to fall and worship the Christ Child and anticipate his return.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

Happy Christmas,

-Derin-

Is the Church Failing Politically?

I posed this question to a fellow believer this weekend: If the American government is not restored religiously does this mean the Church has failed? Let me explain.

We were having a conversation about religion and politics. It was stated that America was founded on Christian principals and by Christian leaders. I agree. It was also stated that America needs to repent and to be restored to a Godly nation. I agree. So I clarified, I asked what the role of Christianity (or Christ) is in someone’s personal life? And we agreed to restore that individual to God-So that they can enter into a relationship with Christ.

What if that never happens in our American government? What if Christian leaders don’t make it into elected/appointed government leadership roles? The response I got was that then America would be worse off and stand in judgment! AGREED! At least in the spiritually. The response I got was that God would raise up Godly leaders. And once again it was re-stated that individuals need to reconcile to Christ and be saved. What if Godly leaders are not raised? Is that failure on God’s part? On the church’s? I think not. My friends thought differently.

Although I agree that individuals need to be reconciled, need to be saved, need to have the transformation that can only occur through Christ Jesus, what if that change never comes to fruition within American politics and leaderships? What if Christians constantly become the minority and pushed underground? The truth is that America is becoming secular and “turning away from God” I only put it in quotes because I am not so sure America was ever that Godly.

So I posed the question: If the American government is not restored religiously does this mean the Church has failed? Keep in mind that it is the role of the Christian to follow Christ-to help introduce individuals to Christ. It is the church’s role to change individuals! Not the government. Do I believe that Christians should not have a role in politics? NO! But I also do not believe that by not converting Congress that that somehow means failure on the part of the church.

Because take America out of the equation. What if we were Chinese or Middle Eastern or Russian? Would the calling that Christians have be any different? No. The culture would be different, the location would be different, our methods would be different-things would look different. But not the calling, not the Gospel message, not the task, not Christ.

And what happens over and over again to the church when it is given a taste of power? When Christianity was first legalized? When it gathered a military to fight against Jews and Muslims? When the Religious Right pulled the political puppet strings? Things were bad. People got hurt. People got lazy. Grace was cheapened. Religion was fashionable.

I think the day is coming when the American church will be restored to its “rightful” place: a position of humility. A position of persecution. A position of servanthood. Where Christianity is not popular, not worn like a badge of honor, not respected and where it is difficult to be a Christian. That day is already a reality for Christians in the Middle East, Russia, China, Muslim cultures, etc. And where is the church victorious? The church is growing in China and Russia. The Middle East is making martyrs out of Christians-heroes of the Christian faith. The blood of the saints is the seed of the church people! Lives are being transformed in the Middle East and in Muslim countries.

What say you?

-Durk-

The Door’s Interview with Brian McLaren

I enjoyed this interview with Brian McLaren in the Wittenburg Door Magazinehttp://www.wittenburgdoor.com/archives/mclaren.html

It led me on a search for Brian McLaren’s thoughts on homosexuality:  http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2006/01/brian_mclaren_o.html
I  found the comments VERY interesting too.

And that led me to this article by Mark Driscoll who is a critic of the Emergent movement and directly responds to the above article (which also led me to research what a “male lesbian” is):  http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2006/01/brian_mclaren_o_2.html  And an apology at the end?  WAY COOL!

All I can say is wow.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

-Durk-

Where is the Church? My 1st Rant

I have been talking to my mom about the emerging church or the Emergent Conversation that is taking place in the Christian church around the world.  Google those phrases and check these out:

I don’t fully understand it, so I am not too sure how I can explain it.  I have read criticisms and I have read A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren who is really at the forefront of this conversation (they do not like to be called a movement).  I also saw McLaren speak at a conference.  I do know this: The Christian church has dropped the ball.  Now I want to say that I am not ranting and raving against my mom.  I’m just ranting to the air.  I guess it is to the church, but to no one in particular.

The church has dropped the ball…and who is picking it up?  The government with their welfare programs that keep the poor just poor enough to not want to do anything about not being poor!  Who is picking it up?  Planned Parenthood slaughterhouses that get rich by pretending to love their victims, while still manageing to offer some sort of false hope.  Where is the church?  Encouraging the discrimination of gays and promoting war (KEEP READING…).  Why isn’t the church helping low-income families?  Why isn’t the church helping single-parent families?  Why isn’t the church helping the sick and poor?  Why isn’t the church promoting peace?  Why isn’t the church doing its job?  I don’t know, but I understand that the world has turned from the church that stopped offering hope and to the world that has nothing to offer.

So let me clarify a couple of my above statements.  I think homosexuality is a sin.  Thankfully it is the church’s job to help introduce the sinner to Christ-who forgives sins and transforms lives.  I think the winds of change in Iraq were the right thing to force.  But I am not blood-thirsty.  As I write this there has been a thwarted terrorist attack in Europe, Hezbollah is attacking Israel and Israel is defending themselves and I have not forgotten 9/11.  Tyranny and terrorism should be fought against.  HOWEVER, war should not be romanticized.  War is not good!  It is necessary at times.  Those times should be decisive and short.

I think part of the problem is that the church should be separate from a capitalistic culture.  Don’t get me wrong, capitalism has its place: in the economy!  Heck, I eBay, that is capitalism at its purest.  But the church should be a socialistic community of believers (within the church and within society).  The church should be a place where the members want to make more so they can give more away to those in need!  I remember thinking in college that the early church practiced socialism and that socialism could be a good American economy.  I was very wrong.  Bresee had it right or maybe it was Wesley, “Make all you can, save all you can and give all you can!”

It’s the church, THE CHURCH that should take care of people.  The church should love people.  The church should give away time and money and love.  The church needs do invest in people and not expect a financial return.

Where is the church when it comes to illegal immigration?  Should the church be on border patrol with guns?  Should the church be harboring fugitives and helping people break the law?  Is their another way?  Why isn’t the church offering to help immigrants come to The Land of Opportunity LEGALLY?  Because it involves, spending money and giving up time!  That kind of compassion used to be called sacrifice.  Christians are not so good at that anymore; they leave that up to Christ, they nail Christ back on the cross and tell Him to stay there.

I am not a supporter of separation of church and state, I think it is unconstitutional.  But it is happening everyday.  So Christians can choose to fight it or they choose to accept it.  I guess I do both.  I vote with my heart, but I also do not believe in legislating morality.  We no longer live in a Christian nation (if we ever really did), so once again Christians find themselves as the outsiders or the foreigners within their culture.  I think it is important to make that distinction.  The world does not understand Christianity!  It isn’t their job to pass Christian legislation or to believe the way we do!  The world does not follow Christ.  It is the job of the sinner to sin!  That is what they know!  That is what they understand.  But yet we Christians still operate like we are still in power.  But we aren’t.  And that’s OK; it is the way it has always been!  That is when Christianity does its best-when it is under fire!  It was Tertullian who said, “In the blood of the martyrs lies the seed of the Church!  ” I’m not saying that we should sit back and watch while Christianity gets outlawed, but I don’t think that it is always the church’s job to legislate morality.

I think homosexual marriage can put an end to the sacred institution of marriage and I also think that banning homosexual marriages alienates homosexuals from the church.  On one hand you have the world doing what the world does, sin!  On the other hand you have the church hurting a group of people.  It is a way for the church to discriminate against a community of lost people.  Christians don’t fight to outlaw couples who live together or protest against couples who get divorced for non-biblical reasons.  We don’t rally to outlaw affairs.  I mean what is the church doing about Rev.  Phelps and his band of haters; they protest at funerals!  AT FUNERALS!  I don’t know what the solution is, but what if the church fought with the homosexual for their freedom (to sin)?  Don’t you think that at some point they are going to take notice and build healthy relationships with folks that represent Christ?  And maybe learn what it means to live a life without sin?  Wow, how cool would that be?  I know, many of my friends don’t agree with me on this.  I am also not out there holding hands with the homosexuals as they march down the street.  But I struggle with voting to ban gay marriages and civil unions.

Take a slightly less controversial issue: Children with AIDS.  What if the church worked with AIDS stricken children the way Mother Teresa worked with those stricken with leprosy?  And why are Christians more apt to help children and kick sick adults to the curb?  Where is the church?  Campaigning for Republicans?  Trying to rebuild the Religious Right?  Trying to defend the actions of George Bush?  I’M GUILTY, right here, that’s been me.

I think I am winding down a bit…

Oh yeah, the Emerging Church… Well, it is all about what it means to be a Christian in a post-modern world.  How do you build the Kingdom of Christ when those that need to be transformed are no longer convinced by apologetics?  Post-modern people no longer respond to arguments.  Systematic theology tries to convince folks that Christianity is truth, that kind of method is a thing of the past.  People don’t want to be convinced, they want to see Christians living out an authentic life that actually means something to them.  They want to see it, they want to experience it.  They don’t want to hear sermons on prayer; they want to learn how to pray.  They don’t want to hear about the attributes of God, they want to experience the love of God.  It is very experiential which is very close to existentialism, but that is exactly where the unchurched, non-Christians are and they can’t be convinced or talked into something.  They want to see it.  They want Christians to live what they believe so that it makes a difference in their lives.

How do you present Christianity in a media-driven culture?  You present Christianity with media.  You present the e-Gospel.  It is the same ageless message, but presented in a modern way.  And not watered down, but in terminology that represents modern language.  Not catering to people that are seekers, but having a message that is presented in a way that the average person can understand.  Post-modern people communicate on a 6th-grade level, but are educated on a master’s level!  Use smaller words to describe the same message of hope.

How do you build a community of faith in a culture that longs to have community again?  Well, you participate in the community!

OK, I am almost done.

Finally, a word about justice.  Brian McLaren tells a great story that illustrates the difference between justice and mercy.  Say you are standing before Niagara Falls, just looking out into the water in awe.  Suddenly you see a person floating in the river, they are drowning, fighting for their life to get to shore before they go over the edge!  You panic, regain your composure, get some folks together and pull the guy out of the water to safety!  That is an act of mercy.  Say you see another person, you pull them out, and then another, and they seem to keep coming!  Again, pulling these drowning folks out of the water are acts of mercy.  But where is the justice?  Justice is when you walk up river and stop the guy that is pushing people into the freaking water!  STOP THAT GUY!

The church needs to practice justice & mercy.  But the church also needs to first stop pushing people in the water, and then they need to stand up against others that are doing the same.

OK, I feel better.

-Durk-