Archive for March, 2008

Time for a little humor.

On our recent trip to Indiana and Ohio we got to see some gas prices that were a little nasty. But we did our part to help end the recession and spent lots of money on gas. Luckily, we split it with our friends so that made it a little more bearable.

My mom recently sent me an e-mail with quite a few little cartoons about the gas prices. I’ve narrowed it down to 3:

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Are you investing in Genocide? Does your 401(k), IRA, or other investment vehicle provide money that is killing men, women, and children? Would you knowingly donate to a terrorist organization? I didn’t think so, but you might be doing the same thing with your investments.

Find out more from the Investors Against Genocide. There is a lot of recent news coverage due to a shareholder meeting that voted against Genocide.

Be sure to stop funding Genocide.

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Some of the rooms are a little dark. This was taken on my digital camera since we don’t have a real video camera!


What is your most important relationship? Your spouse, children, God, friends, or other family??

Barna’s recent survey suggests that opinions vary across the spectrum of people.

  • Seven out of ten adults mentioned family or family members as their most significant connection.
  • God, Jesus Christ, Allah, and the Trinity were among the names listed by one out of every five adults (19%).
  • 2% of adults said a specific friend represented their most important personal relationship.

I would say that my wife is my most important earthly relationship.

Here are a few more interesting tidbits from their research:

  1. The people most likely to list God were 40 or older.
  2. Political conservatives were almost three times as likely as political liberals to identify God as their most important relationship (33% vs. 12%, respectively).
  3. The only subgroup for which at least one-third said God was their most significant relationship was evangelicals, among whom 70% listed God.
  4. Thirty percent of Protestants listed God as their most important connection. In contrast, just 9% of Catholics did so.
  5. Blacks were about twice as likely as all other Americans to describe their bond with God as their most important relationship.
  6. Women were nearly twice as likely as men to list their children as their most important relationship.

A whole section of their research looked at social groups and how connected individuals felt to different groups. The younger demographics were less likely to have church has their most important social group – which shouldn’t be too surprising since they are a smaller demographic within the church.

The 5 main categories of social groups and their respective percentages are below. The % indicates how many % of people say that group is their most important.

Church – 29%
Work – 18%
Friends – 14%
Hobby/Social Group – 12%
Neighbors – 7%

I don’t have any major conclusions to draw from this research! Just putting it out there! Barna has also picked apart the data to include conservatives versus liberals, etc.

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I recently completed my first road race since moving to Minnesota. You can read a fully recap here.

But the short summary is this:

After some frustrating days running this past week I was excited and nervous to see how I would race. I was quite pleased with my first race in Minnesota. I ran the Human Race 8K at 1:20pm in 40 degree weather. I must report that I am very excited about my time! My overall time was 31:27 (officially) which was 33 seconds faster than my goal time! My mile splits were 6:20, 6:12, 6:25, 6:34, and 5:51 (.99 miles).

What do these numbers say about the state of the church? All from this Christianity Today article.

$633,314 Contributions given so far (February) by clergy to 2008 presidential candidates.

56% Percentage that has gone to Democrats.

52% Percentage of the $1,149,326 given by clergy in 2004 that was given to Republicans.


42.5% American congregations that spend less than 10 percent of their budgets on social services in their community.

12.2% Congregations that spend more than 30 percent.

(Source: The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy)

7.1% American congregations that receive government grants to provide social services.

$395,628 Average (mean) grant received by these congregations (which received an average of three grants over four years).

(Source: The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy)

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In the midst of Lent and now Holy Week I found this Scripture to be very fitting and thought provoking. It is Ephesian 1:4-14 from The Message. (emphasis added)

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

Thank you for thinking about me and planning a way for me to be free!

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