Dumb, Dumber, and What The?!?

Today I saw an online article about the increase in teen pregnancies, which have risen for the first time in a decade.  Here’s a quote:

“The cause of the increase is the subject of debate. Several experts blamed the increase in teen pregnancies on sex-education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence.”

Are these people just trying to create fodder for the late night comedians?  I’ve never claimed to be an “expert” like the “experts” cited here, but I’m pretty sure that “encouraging abstinence” does not impregnate teenage girls.  If these programs required artificial insemination in order for a girl to participate in the program, then I could understand.  Otherwise, these “experts” might seriously need to consider taking a vocational aptitude test.

Maybe they accidentally omitted a “not” somewhere in that quote.

Either way, the fact that the current administration has withdrawn $150 million in funds for abstinence programs might have a little something to do with the current rise in teen pregnancies.

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Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm  Comments (4)  

Stuff

Stuff:

  • We’re almost halfway through the series “Revealed” at CrossWay.  It’s going well, but I wish I had another two or three months to prepare for it!  Guess I’ll always feel that way.  Sermons are like paintings–it’s hard to reach a point where I can say, “It’s finished.”
  • Laura Marie is eating “solid” food!  Doesn’t look that solid to me, but I guess it’s solid compared to milk.  She really likes the peas, green beans, and carrots, but the sweet potatoes seem to be her favorite so far.  It’s so cute to watch her eat with a spoon!
  • I’m really pulling for a Yankees-Dodgers World Series.  That’s the classic matchup, and it hasn’t happened in 28 years.  Unfortunately the Phillies don’t seem like they’re keen on the idea.  And the Angels aren’t exactly one step away from elimination.  We’ll see.
  • Cheez-its rock.  And now they have some made with whole grain, which are even better.
  • Greg Cooper, the youth pastor at Ocean City Worship Center, is leaving soon to become the pastor of a church in Columbia (Maryland, not South America).  I’m sad.  Happy for Greg and his wife Heather, but sad for the community, the Worship Center, and me.  Greg is such a tremendous asset to our community.  His absence will leave a hole in our ministry to the teenagers in this area.  He’s also a lot of fun to hang out with and very encouraging.  Today we’re having our last hurrah at Plaza Tapatia, which I think is the only place we’ve ever met for lunch except for one time in D.C.  God bless you, Greg and Heather!  (Sniff sniff.)
  • Autumn is totally the best.  I love the smell.  If I ever took two months off, I think I’d take all of October and November and just sit on the back porch watching the trees, drinking Vanilla-Macademia coffee, and listening to the wind.  And maybe reading a 19th-century Russian novel.
  • A couple days ago I finished reading Monster by Frank Peretti.  It was really a great read.  I’d forgotten what an amazingly talented writer Peretti is.
  • About a month or so ago, Carolyn and I started having a community group at our house.  We talk, pray, read the Bible (we’re going through the Gospel of Mark), and eat.  It’s wonderful.
  • Speaking of Mark, I’ve been studying it for a couple months.  It’s been great to slow down and really spend time in Mark.  It’s been spiritually invigorating.

Um, You Can?

Wow….

During President Obama’s highly controversial speech at Notre Dame yesterday, someone shouted, “Stop killing our children!”

Amazingly, the graduates actually responded by chanting: “Yes we can!”

How sick is that?!?

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Excuse Me… No, Excuse Me

I just read in TIME magazine that a couple weeks ago two European nuclear submarines collided “deep in the Atlantic Ocean.”  One was the British H.M.S. Vanguard, the other was the French Le Triomphant.

Aside from all the other questions and concerns this raises, two questions stand out:

(1) How the heck can you collide “deep in the Atlantic Ocean”?  I mean, is it really not big enough or deep enough?  I can understand two people in a narrow hallway who do the back-and-forth thing followed by the obligatory awkward laugh, but colliding in the middle of the ocean?

(2)  The article reports that the French navy believed at first that they had struck a shipping container.  Who in the world is steering these things?  Do they need a better windshield?  Can they actually see where they are going?

You just never know what you’ll hear of next.

Published in: on February 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Principles & Principals

This afternoon I was part of a pretty exciting meeting.  Several pastors and church leaders from our community met with the top education administrators in north Worcester County.  It started out great because lunch was provided, but then it got even better.  The churches’ agenda was simple: we wanted to find out how we can help and support our local public schools.

After Pastor Daryl McCready from SonRise Church and Pastor Gary Baer from Buckingham Presbyterian Church opened the meeting, one of the principals who was there observed that kids who are in church tend to be more successful in school than those who are not involved in a church.  So he said the best thing we can do is work to connect unchurched families to our churches–which, of course, is already foundational to our mission!

Several of the pastors commented afterward that they were surprised by the meeting.  The school administrators, rather than coming prepared with a long list of unfunded projects, had one simple request: Mentors.  One heartbreaking story after another was shared about kids who don’t have a caring adult in their lives.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room!  Rarely have I been to a meeting with so much passion, drive, and commitment to action.

I admire the way they were so focused on the one need which can have the greatest impact; and which, incidentally, the Church is most equipped to meet.

So now the church leaders will meet again to discuss practical ways we can plug our congregants and ourselves into the mentoring programs that the schools already have in place.  I’m so excited about the potential!  I’ve already talked with the principal of one of the elementary schools in our community, and we’ll be meeting soon to discuss how CrossWay can begin serving and partnering with them.

God is as much at work as He’s ever been!

Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm  Comments (4)  

Inauguration Day: On A Positive Note

Now this is interesting!

Published in: on December 18, 2008 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  

CrossWay: Celebrating 25 Years

Church was awesome yesterday at CrossWay!  We celebrated our 25th anniversary as a church.  It was the biggest crowd we’ve had since I’ve been pastor here, even bigger than Easter.  Two of our former pastors were here, as well as some of the interim pastors and a number of former members and other people who have been connected with our church over the years.

We started off with the music, and Josh, our worship pastor, had a great selection which included a medley of some older songs.

Several people had worked to put together a video collage of pictures from the past 25 years, which was set to music.  There weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the place by the time it was over!

A number of people served in different roles during the service.  Steve had the tough job of following the video, which he handled beautifully.  He was followed by Chuck Hostetter, the founding pastor, who shared an inspiring message from Psalm 105 about how God has been at work, is at work, and will continue to be at work in our church.

Bob Miller, who was Chuck’s successor as pastor, was unable to be with us but sent a message by video.  We prayed for his dad, who had surgery the day before, and then heard from Joe Kolb.  Joe was the pastor here for a couple years after Bob.

After I talked for a few minutes about 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 and how Jesus Christ is the permanent–eternal–foundation for our church, we heard from several other people before we wrapped up the worship service with “How Great Is Our God.”

Kristen took a group photo of everyone right after the service, which will be available on Flickr in a day or so.

Then we ate for about three hours, a totally delicious meal from Famous Dave’s.

A great, memorable, special day at CrossWay.  I look forward to doing it again in another 25 years!

Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

On the Obama Victory

Sometimes you just gotta give the spotlight to people who can say things better than you.  So on this first morning with our new President-elect, I’m turning the mic over to Darren Plummer, a church planter friend in the D.C. area.

Click here to read his thoughtful and well-expressed reaction to the Obama victory.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Election Update

Sorry, Merv.  Maybe in ’12!

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 12:34 am  Leave a Comment  

And My Vote For President Goes To…

… Merv Stoltzfus! 

I believe Merv is the man who can reach across the aisle and bring this country back together.  As we look ahead to the future, President Stoltzfus can lead this nation through our current troubles with his wise and discerning leadership.

Plus, he’s a good friend and our Conference Minister.

Here’s a picture of my vote for Merv on the screen of the voting machine.  It’s a little blurry, but what can you expect with a cell phone camera snapping a shot of a computer screen?

Here I am campaigning for the candidate.  If the sign looks a little cheap and poorly made, that’s because the campaign budget was only 53 cents.

May the best man win!

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment