A Spirit-Imbued Character

We usually desire to have God rescue us from trials, in spite of the fact that we know God often uses those trials to further our character. Francis Chan says, "we care about our comfort a lot more than we care about our character." He goes on, "most times I don't think about my character, I just wanna be happy, I want all my problems to go away."




I’m starting to believe
that as a Christian to achieve
That zoe type of life
I must rival and strife

because Paul pleaded with God thrice
to remove that thorn in his flesh which tormented his life
But God said, “No.”
Why?  Perhaps to show
that the grace of God is sufficient for you
for in your weakness you are made perfect, which is true

the Bible does not state what affliction made Paul weak
But, because of this weakness God had to be constantly seeked

so I delight in insults
or hardship or persecution, that makes life difficult
for when I am weak I’m actually strong
and my need for God, my soul will long

He rains on the unjust and also the just
so in God’s consults I must trust

so I’m not just grateful
but also thankful
for these infirmities
‘cause they put a stamp on my heart that God I will always need

         -Nu Creation


What's Your Type?

Go here to discover what your personality type is...

According to this methodology there are nine personality types, each with a different approach to life and method of coping/achieving.

I am a '7' which is called 'the Enthusiast' by this particular site.  They describe me as follows:

The busy, productive type. Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their Best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.

Interestingly enough, my 5 year old son Zane is the same as me...



"The secret of success is constancy of purpose."
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

Sarafina and Randy on Your Wedding Day

I pray that God always wraps you in His loving arms,
and any loved ones Saraphina has back home that,
that generation, and the next generation, and the next generation,
will never succumb to harm.

I pray that God stretches out His mighty hand,
and not only bless you with children,
but with grands, and great-grands, and great-great-grands.

I pray that God always shows you favor, and favor isn't fair you see,
but I pray that He always shows favor to thee.

I pray that God's love would reach,
and bless Minister Randy with mighty words to preach.

I pray that the course that Sarafina's voice takes,
opens up heaven's floodgates and pours down blessings in the amount of
the Great Lakes.

I pray that God always keeps you,
and blesses you,
and protects you,
and favors you,
and loves you.

I pray that from you, raise up mighty warriors of God,
that stand for God,
and fight for God,
and screams, "Hallelujah," for God,
audibly loud!

I pray that my only plea would always be,
that God's grace upon thee would last an eternity.

-Nu Creation


Consumerism and Mission

The Church in the West has built a model of church growth that attracts people to attend congregational events, and ultimately join a local congregation, by providing services to the individual.  A local church will provide excellent child-care, professionally played music, state of the art facilities, and ministries specially tailored to individual desire.

This has resulted in a Church where individual Christians choose their congregational affiliation based on the fulfillment of personal desire.  Christians might live on the West Side of Buffalo, but attend worship services in Williamsville, or even further away.  This is not entirely problematic in and of itself; one person leaving their neighborhood to worship and witness elsewhere has little effect, but when the entire church pursues this same pattern of relationship, there is a deep disfunction that settles on the Church.

The Mission of God consists in getting the salt out of the salt shaker and into every corner of society, but when the salt continues to seek out larger and larger salt shakers within which to seclude themselves from the world, that mission suffers.  The Mission of God requires each and every Christian to take personal responsibility for seeing God's Kingdom Come to the little corner of the earth that they inhabit, this is impossible if we refuse to labor towards the blessing of the place we are at, and instead seek our own blessing by going elsewhere...


This doesn't mean it is a sin to drive past one worship service to attend another, but rather this is a check on our motives.  God called Paul to leave Jerusalem, and then to leave Antioch; it would have been sinful for him to stay when God said, "Go."  This is not about which congregation we choose to belong to, but about how we make that decision.

People want the Church to provide child care, excellent music, air conditioning, clean carpets, good teaching, hot coffee, and a single's ministry with lots of attractive and wealthy members.  God wants the Church to provide people who will live for His Kingdom, love each other sacrificially, work tirelessly for justice, and live their lives as a shining light in a dark world.  We must chose which list we will use to determine the course of our lives, and the course of our Church.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer tells us that, "discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ."  What this means, simply put, is that God is offering us an opportunity to get involved in His project, He has no real desire to get on board with our agenda.  He is not merely a planet in our sky, important and beautiful, but ultimately in orbit around us; rather He is the sun around whom we must find our orbit.


What this all boils down to is this: Consumerism is the enemy of Mission.  Consumerism, simply put, is making decisions based upon the fulfillment of personal desires; I will do what satisfies my needs.  Mission, simply put, is making decisions based upon the fulfillment of God's desire to bless other people.  When the Church embraces consumer values we eschew missional ones, and vice versa.



Sin and Psychology

"The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner. The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The psychiatrist views me as if there were no God. The brother views me as I am before the judging and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ."
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community)



"Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self, and it is a task no longer; it is a joy; it is art."
Bliss Carman (1861-1929)



Zoe has heard
cause she knows God's word
that He will not allow a sparrow
to peril
Zoe knows Jehovah loves her more
than a mere bird

God confesses
that He dresses
the lilies of the field
He suits Zoe in ruffles
cause its in His will

He is Yahweh
the only way
and at His feet grace and mercy lay
Zoe is fearfully and wonderfully made
Her skin is the perfect shade

Zoe's eventual height
will be a testimony to God's wonderful might
Even Zoe's petite size
was given to her as a heavenly prize

God even blesses
Zoe's lovely blonde tresses
Because God said
that Zoe was fearfully and wonderfully made

- Nu Creation