Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Would Jesus Buy?

Wanna watch an entertaining but thought provoking DVD with your family this Christmas? I highly recommend Morgan Spurlock's latest and greatest documentary What Would Jesus Buy? Click pic for more info or the triangular play button below for the dead serious LOL preview.

Is the $hop-ocalypse Upon Us?

Americans spend $450 billion/year on Christmas every year. That’s right people. $450 billion with a “B”. But just think, if Christians in America spent less at Christmas, WE could have bailed out Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford all by ourselves! And as this video clip I'm showing in church this week reveals, we would still have money left over to provide clean drinking water for the entire planet!

But instead, more and more Americans are losing their jobs. And more and more people around the world, 25k/day to be specific, die each day of preventable hunger and water related illnesses while Christians continue to spend, spend, spend. Is the $hop-ocalypse upon us?

Merry Christmas Card 2008?

It’s that time of year again to take the Fortune Family Christmas Card Quiz. There's only 10 super easy questions no one can fail so enjoy!!! And for those of you who fought the traffic at the post office and snail mailed us a year in review letter or beautiful Christmas Card, BIG thanks and WTG to you!!! We do enjoy hearing from you!!! [I snapped the pic above through falling sleet while touring Zoo Lights with 13 other loony tunes from TF last SAT nite]

1.) In 2008, who didn’t spend some time in Toledo, Ohio?
a. Mike, Jackie, Joshua, Lydia [and Barkley]
b. Barack Obama
c. Joe the Plumber
d. Plaxico Burress

2.) This year for Christmas Lydia wants:
a. The Chicken Pox
b. An “American Girl” doll
c. Her two front teeth
d. Both B and C

3.) Which never happened?
a. Joshua Skyped his sponsored brother, Golu, in India
b. Joshua built a bridge across the creek in our back yard
c. Joshua and daddy’s pinewood derby car won all its races
d. Both A and C

4.) Why was Mike on the news?
a. Because Mike’s church prayed at the stump
b. Because Mike’s church prayed at the dump
c. Because Mike’s church prayed at the pump
d. Mike wasn’t on the news

5.) What was one of Joshua and Lydia’s favorite movies this year?
a. What Would Jesus Buy?
b. The Devil & Daniel Webster
c. Sicko
d. Kung Fu Panda

6.) Joshua [9 years old] and Lydia [6½ years old] are learning how to:
a. Load the dishwasher
b. Fold clothes
c. Play piano
d. All of the above

7.) Joshua [in 3rd grade] loves:
a. Playing coach pitch baseball for the YMCA Red Sox
b. Marie Calendar’s “Razzleberry Pie”
c. Sledding
d. All of the above

8.) Lydia [in 1st Grade] loves:

a. Gymnastics at the YMCA on Thursdays
b. Cleaning her room on Fridays
c. Reading to daddy any day
d. Both A and C

9.) Jackie still loves:
a. Driving around Toledo taking care of babies 2-3 days/week
b. Country music
c. Mike
d. All of the above

10.) Mike’s fave books in 2008 include:
a. Searching for the God of Grace
by Stuart Tyner
b. Searching for God Knows What
by Donald Miller
c. Just Courage by Gary Haugen
d. All of the above

Answers: 1D; 2D; 3D; 4C; 5D; 6D; 7D; 8D; 9D; 10D

>9 Very Fortunate
—Samuel Morse couldn't have telegraphed it better.

>7 Fortunate—Judging by the old saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you," you’re practically invulnerable.

>5 Unfortunate—Any friend of a friend of yours.

>3 A misfortune—Jesus still loves you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pump Patrol?

On Tuesday night NBC 24 wanted my thoughts on gas prices and the economy. I spoke about Advent and Immanuel and how God is always with us, in good times and bad, just as He was with Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:10-11 when God miraculously healed him and proved it by sending the sundial backwards ten steps. Unfortunately, much of that was edited out. Here's what wasn't:

David Custer [DC], NBC 24 11pm News Anchor: "Well, just a few months ago gas prices were topping off at over four bucks a gallon. They’ve fallen dramatically and some Toledoans are thanking a higher power. NBC 24's Arielle Berlin [AB] explains."

AB: We’ll have lower gas prices...’ That was the call to prayer just six months ago.
Me: We asked God not to allow gas prices to go any higher.
AB: And since that prayer at the pump vigil in June, gas prices have fallen. A lot.
Me: We think God did that. That He lowered them and they stayed low for quite a while now.

AB: The Toledo First Seventh-day Adventist Church is taking partial responsibility for the drop in prices at the pump. But issue the reminder that we’re all in this together.
Me: We have to pray for God’s wisdom and that our government’s leaders will make wise decisions and that the church will not drop the ball.
AB: There is of course speculation. Why would God let us get into this mess in the first place? Did God abandon us?
Me: Why on earth would we come to the conclusion that He’s not with us now? That’s insane.

AB: This past weekend a church in Detroit prayed for help for the big three [automakers]. Churches in California, Florida, and right here in Ohio have prayed for the economy to turn around.
Me: Prayer is a normal thing. This is not a last resort. This is something ordinary Christians do constantly all the time.

AB: Back in June the Adventists had faith their prayers would be answered. And today, they say they were. Now after seeing the church in Detroit pray fro the big three, the Toledo First Seventh-day Adventist Church say that may be their next move. With the industry effecting so many people in Toledo they say it couldn’t hurt to ask God for a little holy help.

DC: I guess this means you should never under estimate the power of prayer.
AB: That’s true.

Hot As A Pistol?

Jason McElway is his basketball team's manager. For the past couple of years, he's been fetching water and toweling off other people's sweat. Because he is autistic, Jason says he's used to feeling different. But never this different. Never this wonderful. Click the triangular play to see why Jason was hot as a pistol.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Death of Grace?

One day after an F-18 Hornet fighter jet fell from the sky and crashed into his house, 37 year old husband and father Dong Yun Yoon returned home and reminded us that grace isn't dead. Rescue workers sifting through the debris had found the bodies of his Yoon's wife, Young Mi, 37; his nearly 2-month-old daughter, Rachel [in pic on right]; and mother-in-law, Suk Im Kim, 60 on Monday. The body of his 15-month-old daughter, Grace [in pic on left] was recovered Tuesday.

Though little was left of his house except a charred garage wall and piles of blackened beams, Yoon said he bore no ill will toward the Marine Corps pilot who ejected safely before the jet he was flying on a training mission experienced engine failure and plunged into Yoon's neighborhood two miles west of the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. "I pray for him not to suffer for this action," Yoon said. "I know he's one of our treasures for our country."

How a grieving father speaking to a mob of reporters could say anything coherent much less do so sharing words of forgiveness and encouragement remind us that though his family died, grace didn’t. The Advent Birth of the Christ child is obviously alive and well in this young father's heart. Proving that even amidst unspeakable tragedy, Jesus can grow in yours as well. Grace is not dead. Click pic above for more from the LA Times article I read and the triangular play button below to hear Yoon in his own words.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

They Kept Shopping?

The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night. Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob of 2,000 surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede. “When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been in line since yesterday morning,’ ” one eyewitness told The Associated Press. “They kept shopping.” [click pic for more].

Our English word Advent comes from the Latin adventus and is the translation of the Greek word parousia commonly used in references to the second coming of Jesus. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves as a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by believers for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure as they await the second coming of Christ.

How sad that not even the death of a 34 year old man in Wal-mart can remind some how eternally significant it is to know the 33 year old man who also died on a Black Friday. Do you care more about saving a few hundred bucks on a TV than anticipating the birth and return of Jesus? Do your kids? How can you tell? Mute the playlist on the right and click the triangular play button for more.

What's So Amazing About Grace?

This rendition of Amazing Grace by Il Divo might be my fave all time...Mute the playlist to the right and click the triangular play button to hear what's so amazing about grace.

Hip Hop Parable?

The prodigal son Jesus talked about in Luke 15 rebelliously chose to get lost, but his father ran to meet him upon his return home. In the video below, Adrian Monk gives Jesus' most powerful parable a hip hop flava. Mute the playlist to the right and click the triangular play button to enjoy [or just tolerate!!! LOL!!!].