Tuesday, February 26, 2008

March Cadence

Dear Del Rosa Family,

There is an old adage that reflects our current state of being here. The saying goes something like this, "work it out on the outside, until it becomes a reality on the inside". We are making changes on the outside and change is being reflected on the inside.

Jesus Christ reminds us that we are made new in the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul says we are new creatures in Jesus Christ. In all of this I think we understand that we are made anew. So what does that mean? Is it anything like being born again? We aren't going to have go back and redo everything, or strip ourselves down to nothing only to be rebuilt bigger and better. We are being born by water and the Spirit, transformed into faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

In fact, we are being born again. Our sanctuary has been undergoing a steady transformation since I arrived, with new sound systems, and a few facelifts to longtime centerpieces, as well as some new decorations for our viewing, and contemplation. We have some outstanding new faces in the congregation, and some longtime faces that are undergoing substantial transitions in their lives. Change is all around, and we are being reborn in the image of Christ.

I am mindful of the recovery of this church and the Del Rosa community in light of the fires that so devastated the area just before I arrived. New homes are being built, new families taking residence in our midst, the vegetation is beginning to really look like days gone by, and we have even survived a few skirmishes with little fires in our area since then. The church has echoed this very evolution of the creation around us. We are being made new, as the lush verve for life returns to us inside the church, too.

Being born again means we have opportunity to ride the Holy Spirit as it takes us in powerful directions. Some of those directions have been shared with you by the Trustees, as we have some major changes in our electrical and roofing for our buildings, and as we have an opportunity to become more visible in the community as a place of refuge and sanctuary for persons with disabilities and for several children a day as we partner with "A Special Place", in the shared ministry of daycare with an established organization committed to children. We see new life in children, and we adjust to make safe space for them.

We are seeing the effects of reaching out, of invitation to friends and colleagues to join us in the praise and worship of Jesus Christ, surrounded by a loving and caring church family. Thank you for your extended arms welcoming and fellowshipping with new Christians and Christians who are being reborn for this time in the life of Del Rosa United Methodist Church.


Pastor David

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Favorites

Because it needed to be done, here are my two favorite dance videos

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Words of Silence

Amy Forbus wrote an outstanding piece this morning for the United Methodist Reporter blog.

She was commenting on a couple of posts about doctrine and practice in the church, wondering aloud about the connection to one another that it may represent.

It caught my attention, and so I commented on her blog, but I reprint here for your viewing my thoughts. And for the first time since General Conference was announced and the myriad issues before the church really began to spin out, I found a point of hope. I pray connection remains deeper, and effective.

I think we are not necessarily scared (though that might be another person's word for the same thing I am going to say), but feel a sense of inadequacy.
Additionally, I think it points to something far more powerful and possibly even exciting...a sense of "closer-than-you-think". By that I mean, we get so caught up in the "opinion pieces" of the church, that we forget how close we are on the actual "doctrine pieces" of the church. We have done so much bludgeoning of each other with the opinions leaving us empty to really engage in the doctrine. We believe the same things, but tend to feel that they need to be acted out in different ways, and that the way another person acts out the same belief is invalid, because it is not my way. I think the silence tends to show a "closer-than-you-think" mentality that should encourage us to see each other in better light and could be the quiet assent to unity with one another. Maybe this is a great focus point ahead.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More on Bible Abuse

An unfortunate video of a pastor preaching what I would call a truly "bad" sermon, not for the vulgarity, because LORD knows there is plenty of stuff we consider vulgar in the Bible that could and sometimes should be preached, but instead for the poor study and content.

I have preached recently on Bad Bible Quotes, and then someone came across the video here. Watch with warning that this is just another preacher "pissing into the wind". Comments made here and here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Niece

Some pictures of my niece's recent visit to CA, where she wanted to show off her wonderful new skirt.

Her mother was also very proud of this skirt as it was previously marked for sale at $80 and Kathy got it for $10.

Friday, February 15, 2008


A little thanks to Chuck over at Aldersgate Experience for this ditty.

· I know...enough to be trouble

· I believe...I have so much more to learn

· I fought...the urge to run from the crazies

· I am angered...about the need for better health care

· I love…my wife and family

· I need...a good long massage (or 6)

· I take...responsibility, occasionally when I should not

· I hear…differently

· I drink...from the cup of life

· I hate…not getting out to play more

· I use...caffeine

· I want... to cut back.

· I like...to play

· I feel…blessed for all of my extended family, in-laws, nuclear and more

· I wear...comfortable clothes

· I left...my bed unmade this morning

· I do...were some of the best words I have ever said

· I hope...for a church on the move

· I dream...of the Kingdom on earth

· I drive...and I contemplate

· I listen…for that which is out of place

· I type...fast, but not technically

· I think…in circles

· I need...to let go

· I wish...we were better able to travel

· I am…Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh

· I regret...not giving my best

· I care...about teaching

· I should...get on my horse and ride the curriculum trail

· I am...“A Walking Paradox”

· I said...“I was wrong” (My wife wanted that in writing-so here it is)

· I wonder...when I will get a chance to see the extended family like that again

· I changed...the inventory of VHS and DVDs today

· I cry...when someone with conviction speaks

· I lose...often enough to keep me humble

· I leave...the dogs in their kennels too much

· I'm going to tag…Anna, Debbie, and Kathy

Thursday, February 14, 2008

For My Sister

moar humorous pics

Valentine's Day

My father once told me many years ago, "I am glad I don't have to do the dating game anymore."

He was right. I am glad that the "dating game" is over, and that I have found someone I adore, think is wonderful, and who somehow manages to keep pace with all my wild ramblings, and mysterious thoughts. God bless you Anna, for putting up with me, and showing me what Love can truly be.

May the days ahead be filled with joy, warmth, hope and adventures untold.


Monday, February 11, 2008

More from Bad Bible Quotes

So I thank you for the help with some ideas for bad/challenging Bible quotes. I used them in the reminder that Satan does use scripture, and uses it accurately, allowing us to change it and shift it beyond compare. I also reminded the congregation that many of the prophets recount stories where God renders judgment, the judged hears the judgment, relays it to the people, with even greater horror as to what will be done, only to have the new judgment that God did not originally pronounce acted out upon the people.

In other words, be careful what you say; know that truth will win out; and remember the "whole tenor of scripture" in interpreting the scriptures.

Some of the examples I used of well-used verses, and misunderstood ones, and dangerous ones:

Eph 6:1-4

Children and Parents

6Children, obey your parents in the Lord,* for this is right. 2‘Honour your father and mother’—this is the first commandment with a promise: 3‘so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’

4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves and Masters

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling

Ps. 137:9

9Happy shall they be who take your little ones
and dash them against the rock!

Leviticus 11.10:

But anything in the seas or the streams that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and among all the other living creatures that are in the waters—they are detestable to you

1 Timothy 6.10:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:24
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 14:34
women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.

Proverbs 13:24
He who spares the rod, spoils the child.

Please see this article for an interesting understanding of the Proverbs passage.

Exodus 21:24
eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Matthew 5:29
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Exodus 21.17:

Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.

Luke 14.26:

‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.

Matthew 10:34
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Tough passages all. Sometimes the counter argument comes right after the original, and I intentionally left them out. But it goes to the unfortunate habit so many of us have of proof-texting, or the more dangerous element of literalism, with the regular achievement of ignorance about the "difficult for me" passage that would provoke our need to consider the whole tenor of scripture.

I was told by one of my seminary professors that if you do not hear 3 other passages of scripture in every passage you read, then you do not know your Bible well enough. I think I can at least claim 1 for every passage now, and many times 2 and the occasional success at 3, followed by a few that evoke 4 or more. But alas I am still learning my Bible too.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Hitting Home

Quote of the Day:

"The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us."
- Quentin Crisp

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thanks for the prayers

During the past week my grandmother Camphouse has been in the Hospital in Arcadia, CA.
She has been dealing with full renal failure, which has meant several attempts at prognosis (read estimates for how long it might be before her death).

Grandma has been a powerful leader in the Camphouse family for many years, and I love her dearly. Last night at Ash Wednesday service I was asked how she was doing. I told folks she was still holding on, and that we had cancelled the family service we had already planned, because she was still keeping on.

The irony of that is that when I arrived home from the service (which was affirming and uplifting), I had a message from my folks telling me Grandma had died about 5PM Wednesday night, in peace with her youngest daughter bedside.

Thank you all for the prayers along the way, and for the prayers for the Camphouse family in the months ahead.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Scripture Abuse

Hey there friends,

I am preaching the "Temptation of Jesus" this coming Sunday and I am thinking about how Satan does a good job of quoting scripture, just not the whole thing, and ensuring that the scripture is pulled out of context.

As such I have been thinking about some of the ones that have been quoted out of context to me, and used to foster completely backwards thoughts to the one presented in scripture.

Two quick examples:

Blessed are they who dash their babies against the rocks. (Psalm 137:9)

money is the root of all evil (1Tim 6:10)

I wondered if you all have others to add to my mixture for this Sunday.
Any help would be appreciated.

A Clean Desk

They say a clean desk is a sure sign of a cluttered mind. This one just signifies that it is time to get rid of the desk.

I really appreciated Vicki's post on "Stuff" the other day. I have been in the middle of finding space for the stuff we have around the house, and I managed to get a few things out the door the other day to Del Rosa UMC for the church rummage sale this weekend (sale starts at 8AM on Friday, and continues on Saturday if you are in the area).

I talked a few weeks ago about simplifying and what that means to my sanity over the long haul. Well, just to show I really mean it, here are a few things that went out the door from my house to the church this week.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Voted

Just as a word to say that I did get to vote today, despite my lackadaisical approach to getting registered. Thank God for the DMV, who took care of it for me when I took care of my move.

Now, if only I could run my life like the netowrks run their political coverage - calling things with only 1% completed.


Friday, February 01, 2008

No on CA Prop 94, 95, 96, 97

CA legislature and the Governor have made a deal with four Indian Gaming Facilities. The benefit to the state budget it nearly $10bn over the next several years. Beside the Social Principles and the stand of the UMC against gaming of any sort, I have been riding the fence, but known that I would probably vote against these agreements.

Then, I found this helpful information from another blogger about slot machines. She is fighting them in Maryland, but the post is well worth reading, and the statistics, while inflammatory - and intentionally so, provide some helpful talking and thinking points. Be wary of cause and effect reasoning, as it seems a couple of the statistics tend to put the effect before the cause, and mute the argument. On the whole, I found Amy's post helpful and decisive (at least it helped decide me).


PS. From the LA Times this morning, even more bad news about how unfairly the distribution of up to $9bn - OVER 23 YEARS - adds to the coffers of the state. This doesn't look like a good deal for the state. Come to think of it the tribes looking at increasing their slots seem to think so too, since the commercials are diversionary tactics, meant to turn you against the opponents of the agreements, to vote for the agreements, rather than providing helpful facts.