People Make the Difference Not Plastic :: Photos

Sitting in the bob-cat while not in use

Health resting in the grass

This was a busy busy weekend, but I spent some of Friday and Saturday at the building or construction of the new playground at our church. I think our pastor described this as a Mac Daddy playground on Sunday morning, and he was not kidding. This is one heck of a playground put in, basically over the period of a two day weekend.

You can see the gallery of images from the ground breaking to the finish now except for a few missing odds and ends. The real work, done by all the people who volunteered on Friday and Saturday was incredible. After spending some time out there on Friday I realized that this wasn’t about plastic, bolts, and some dirt, but people.

Through God, it is people that made this possible, and people that will be able to enjoy what was done on this weekend for years to come. So, when I came back on Saturday I decided to focus a little more of my attention on the actual faces of the people that made this possible.

I picked two of my favorites from Saturday above. One of my bud Heath over at gotroot and the other one of those who will use the playground, sitting with dad while everyone is on a break. Towards the end of the completed gallery you will see a little more focused attention on the people that made this possible.

It was a very hot and steamy weekend where many people took time off from work and their families to lend a helping hand.

Youth Day at the Lake Makes For Fun Photos

Youth Day at the Lake

Youth Day at the Lake

I have been a little off on my postings for the week this past week because my schedule has been so crazy. On Wednesday (18th) I spent some of the day at the Youth Day at the Lake event where, obviously, our youth spend most of the day at the lake.

Nothing can totally prepare a 40ish body for the amount of energy it takes to spend the day with the youth. I met them out at Lake Martin where I thought I would take a few shots of everyone hanging out at the lake. I arrive to find two ski boats and a wave-runner (sea-doo) and several inter-tubes.

I was able to get some shots of all the activities (see complete shoot here) and they all had a great time (how could you not). I was completely exhausted and wondering where the energy I had to do these things went. Although I did get a little burned, even with SPF 75 on, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the photography for and of the youth that day.

Thanks for a great afternoon everyone.

Creative Chaos 16 / Volunteer Celebration Musical from Granger Church

This is my post for Creative Chaos // 16 (see also guidelines) over at Ragamuffin Soul for this week. This is a video that has circulated around the blogs but I had not posted about it yet and I wanted to use it for Creative Chaos this week.

Creative Chaos 16 // Volunteer Celebration

We all know that churches need volunteers to function. Safe to say that it would be a different type of atmosphere if we didn’t have those great church volunteers to setup the tables and chairs, direct traffic, teach the kids, adults, Sunday School, and so on, the list is endless.

This church had a celebration for their volunteers in a Broadway musical type of skit that was just great. Not only did it thank the people who did volunteer but it probably got some others interested as well. Thanks to Heath Spurlock and Jack Fisher (who actually saw this in person at the time) for sharing this video, it was great.

The singing by those who probably don’t sing normally (I just guessing) is great. The church, Granger Community Church in Indiana, had a great idea for this weeks creative chaos post, thanks.

Should I Vote According to Dr James Dobson?

Do You Vote According to Dr James Dobson, that is, against Barack Obama? Criticism of Obama came in the form of the radio address that aired Tuesday on Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program.

In this address, Dobson accuses Obama of distorting the Bible and the Christian faith (see the CNN story, and see the Fox News story also see video). Obama makes some very interesting statements throughout the speech, but the news of course is only going to show small excerpts like they did with the Reverend Wright issue. Doesn’t mean it is any better or worse, just that I think context is important.

“Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?” Obama asked in the speech. “Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount?

He is bringing up things that are far more complex than can be answered in a town hall type meeting, but it isn’t my campaign and he speaks for himself.

Dr. Dobson’s Focus on the Family Ministry

The speech is interesting to say the least but it brings the question to my mind, who do we listen to when it comes to placing our vote? I have great respect for Dr Dobson. His work with Focus on the Family is really an incredible ministry, but I know, there actually are brothers and sisters in Christ who are Democrats as well. I might agree with what Dr. Dobson says, I might not, but he has been quite politically charged this primary season, and actually, I don’t really recall off the top of my head who he has been for, just that he has been against several.

“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,” Dobson said, adding that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

I am not going to re-hash the ins and outs of the speech and what Dobson said, there are two very good blog articles about it already, see Dobson on Obama from Jesus Creed, and James Dobson Accuses Obama of ‘Distorting’ Bible from the Christian Post. But I am interested to know who influences your vote now?

Those Political Guides Churches Hand Out

I use to belong to a church that handed out political “guides” during the election season. I never minded these because they were pretty much exactly how I was going to vote anyway, so I didn’t give it much thought. They never mentioned who you should vote for, they were just those pamphlets that said where each candidate stood on what issues.

These are hated literature by the left but pretty common and accepted among the suburban churches. I really didn’t pay much attention until a discussion from a fellow blogger I respect (Ragamuffinsoul), a Believer, and voting for Obama (see Reason #42234 I Love My Team and Caption Please – You Knew It Was Coming for a laugh).

There Are Politics Galore in the Bible

It isn’t new to mix politics with faith, or Christianity, the Bible has scripture all over the place about the Kings and taking land from here or there, but we are no longer in a divide and conquer kind of time period anymore either. I am not saying it isn’t important, it is. Being able to live in a free country is something we sometimes take for granted, especially here in the U.S., so regardless of how you vote, I think it is an important process. What influences our vote is something else altogether.

Radical Ideology or Conservatism / Liberalism at Work?

The more radical someone or some entity gets I think the less weight I give them. I do objectively look at the issue at hand and try to decide for myself, but I really don’t think that is how many approach the media blitz that occurs daily. Some don’t care, there isn’t enough time (there really isn’t), they do like this person, don’t like that person and so on. What I don’t like, no matter what side they are on, is when a church specifically says I should vote for this person or that.

Shouldn’t Churches Do What They Do Best?

I would no more want Obama’s “former” church leaders, i.e., Reverend Jeremiah Wright giving a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, than the Southern Baptist’s here in Alabama telling me to vote for McCain. If I think Rev Wright’s wrong for doing what he does, I have to think it wrong on the other side of the coin too.

I want to see a church focused on Jesus, the Gospel message, as it is written in the scriptures. The extent to which the involvement should be from the official voice of the church, to me, is to encourage their parishioners to vote. Who am I voting for? Well, I am taking a real strict issues view about the election, I am voting for the fellow left handed candidate. I found out there are four pervious left handed Presidents. Ford, Bush (41), Regan, and Clinton. What are the odds we would have so many left handed Presidents, I was thrilled.

What about you? What role does the church (that is church with a little “c” not a big “C”) play in the election process.

Condemnation Against All Mankind, Romans 3:9-20

We are all under sin

This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 3:1-8. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidelines). Right now we are several weeks into the group, which started in James.

No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

This week we are studying the second part a smaller section of the third chapter of Romans. We left off last week with a discussion on a guilty world (see my post Blogger Small Group, Romans 3:1-8) and Paul picks up where he left off.

A Little Background on Romans 3:9-20

In this next section, Paul is talking about the condemnation against all mankind. He includes the Greeks and the Jews in this conversation saying we are all under sin, and shows how God’s righteousness is revealed to us through our sin.

We Are All Under Sin [v9-18]

Paul starts off this discussion with an exclamation that all are under sin, Jews and Greeks alike. Paul talks about how the Jews have advantages over the Gentiles (2:17-20; 3:1-2) but then explains here that God does not give them preferential treatment when it comes to the righteousness of God and judgment of sin.

Psalm 14:3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

To show his point, Paul references the Old Testament in verses 10-18. This passage was taken from Psalm 14:1-3, and although not quoted word for word, emphasizes that there is not one member of the human race that has not done good.

The phrase there is not one, or there is none is said several times to show how important it is that we see, there is only one who has done good, and that is Jesus.

White Board for All Under Sin

Ok, so here is my whiteboard for this week. I have been going back and forth about this one and I am not totally in agreement with myself on this one, but I wanted to put it up as it came out and let the discussion handle it.

I think accountability can be in both places, but the idea is we are either counting on ourself, or we are counting on Jesus. There is no in between to me.

So there it is, feel free to pick it apart. It isn’t perfect, but, I just read the scriptures and it says I’m on the left side of this chart.

Become Conscience of Sin Through the Law [v19-20]

Paul concludes by talking about how the Jews are under the Law. The Law is not a way for all of us to be declared righteous (justified) in God’s sight (3:28 coming up), that was not the purpose. Instead the Law was given to us so through it, we would become conscience of sin.

Conclusion and Other Bloggers

This was a real interesting part of Romans for me. I go back and forth constantly with the Law, personal conviction, justification, and God’s grace through Jesus. The upcoming verses will only continue the discussion and I look forward to those too.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers below that also post for the Romans small blogger group, and if you can, leave your comments below.