Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Are you a fork?

“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”

Jim Elliot,
Christian missionary and ultimate martyr for the proclamation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ

A story from my friend adam - "remember we are but a breath"



Swedish games mogul smashes million dollar Ferrari

Published: 22nd February 2006 10:28 CET

A rare one-million-dollar Ferrari sports car belonging to a Swedish game industry mogul slammed into a pole during a high-speed street race on Tuesday, reducing it to scrap metal, US police said.

Police in the plush Los Angeles district of Malibu said the 2003 Ferrari Enzo, only 399 of which were ever made, was owned by Stefan Eriksson, 44, a controversial former executive of the failed handheld gaming company Gizmondo.

The driver lost control of the Ferrari at around dawn when it careened up an embankment, probably became airborne and then slammed into a pole, slicing the vehicle in half, police said.

Eriksson, who was slightly injured in the crash, told police he was a passenger in the vehicle and that the driver was a German man called Dietrich who had fled the scene, Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Sergeant Philip Brooks told AFP.

"Whoever was driving the Ferrari and a Mercedes came out to Malibu for a little race," Sheriff's Department Sergeant Philip Brooks said. "The other car racing was a (500,000-dollar) SLR Mercedes," he said.

Eriksson had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09, which is above the legal limit, Brooks said, adding that nobody had been arrested in connection with the crash but that officers were still seeking to identify the driver of the car.

"He's still considered as the passenger," Brooks said of Eriksson. "We're continuing our investigation. He's not in custody."

The red Ferrari Enzo, other examples of which are owned by such high-flyers as Oscar-winning movie star Nicolas Cage and US fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, was speeding are more than 192 kilometers an hour (120 mph) when the crash occurred, Brooks said.

The impact sheared the red Italian sports car in two, separating the entire front section from the rest of the vehicle. The 650 horsepower car had a top speed of more than 360 kilometers (225 miles) per hour.

"For a million dollars, you get a very good passenger-safety system, and apparently, in this case, it did work," Brooks said.

Recent Message to Students on Fearing God

About 2 weeks ago I shared this message on fearing God with students. It really impacted me personally so I thought it was worthy of blogging.

Fear God

It's readable, but it made more sense when it was communicated by way of speech, but I hope you enjoy it. I used a lot of great ideas from many great people and most of them are mentioned throughout the message and there are probably many others who were left out.

Monday, February 27, 2006

weekend fun

Thursday and Friday I went to Minneapolis, MN. I enjoyed some good food, a very fantastic 3-man act called "Triple Espresso" (my second time), and the company of friends. It was a youth pastors and wives retreat that a bunch of youth pastors from the Central District of the EFCA celebrate each year. It's not always in MN, but it's always a refreshing break from the normalcy of life. Saturday was tax day!! We went down to Ankeny to have a guy do our taxes (for free!!). He's great and loves to serve pastors and others in ministry. Saturday night we went and watched the Boone High School production of the "Jungle Book". It was hilarious, well-done, and one of the best plays I've seen so far at Boone High. Congrats to several students attached to our ministry (Katie, Ash, Heather, Caitlin, Aaron, and many others). Sunday was a very encouraging day. We were able to celebrate a decision for Christ from one of our junior high students, we were fed a great dinner by our visitation pastor and wife (very godly and experienced couple), and then I wrapped up the night with good conversation and a great hair cut from my lovely wife. I preach next Sunday in big church so I get to sermonize this week :) Also, I am driving to South Dakota with a small team Thursday to make plans for our summer missions trip. Pray that God would reveal what the best ministry route will be this year. We are going back to the Rosebud/Pineridge Sioux Indian Reservation for our 3rd year, and it's exciting to see God open new doors of ministry everytime we go back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

to know

There is a discipline called Epistemology. That is the study of knowledge. It studies the ability or inability of how a person knows what s/he knows. Most Christians would argue that we can know truth in part, but never in an exhaustive way. Many Deconstructionists might argue that knowledge is not at all truly possible, but my use of a blog suggests that I am not a deconstructionist. In the past few days I have sought out to understand biblical epistemology. Does the bible address humanity's ability or inability to know . . . to really know truth?
In just a short bout of thought and reading, I am reminded that the majority of words in Hebrew and Greeek that relate to "knowing" are experiential words first, and in regards to reason secondary. In fact in Hebrew, to "know someone" was oftened used to refer to the act of sexual intercourse (a very real experience). Very rarely is mere mental assent a biblical idea of knowing. We are called to know Christ John 17:3 in order to truly experience eternal life. That Greek word (view the previous link to check up on my thoughts) is Ginosko and means to be acquainted, feel, to understand, etc. It is a deep understanding, well beyond the standard forms of catechism that just involve simple "I believe . . . " statements. Paul expressed a desire to know (ginosko) Christ in Philippians chapter 3 through suffering, death and ultimately resurrection. In John 7:27-29 "Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, " You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 " I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me." NASU The Greek word in these numerous words translated "know" is oraw . Jesus is saying that he knows God the Father in a very discerning way. This form of knowing refers to seeing, discoving, visiting, etc. Its deep, way beyond a mental assent. The final word (episteme) is also used, but not has often in scripture. It refers to facts, ability to do things, a cold understanding. Ah, "Yeah, I know (episteme) know that" kind of understanding. Jude slightly rebukes such trust in knowledge in the 10th verse of his epistle.
The reason I keep using this idea of "mental assent" is that the school of thought known as rationalism has believed for a long time that reason and knowledge are independent of experience. And also that all doctrines of knowledge can be expressed in self-evident propositions. The bible seems to definitely oppose the simplicity of knowledge in rationalism, as well, the rejection of knowledge in deconstructionsim. Though a Calvinist by theology, I have great love for John Wesley. One of his ideas seems to stand out in regards to discoveing truth, more specifically to make theological conclusions. I encourage you to look at his 4 prongs known as The Wesleyan Quadrilateral I personally believe these 4, with Scripture the starting and finishing point, can guide us very well.
  • Scripture - the Holy Bible
  • Tradition - the two millennia history of the Church
  • Reason - rational thinking
  • Experience - one's personal journey in Christ
These are ramblings of a crazy man, but I'm only a few days into this search for biblical epistemology. I'd be interested in your thoughts

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Fantastic Weekend

Thank you!!

This weekend, a volunteer force of about 40 students prepared and served an elegant, delicious meal. There were an additional squadron of 10 adults who served in many other capacities as well. It was an amazing weekend . . . near perfect. The students who I work with on a weekly basis are great. I am so very proud of them.

They helped bake 13 made from scratch, double layer chocoalte cakes. They also make 25 loaves of homemade bread. They sliced and diced thousands of veggies. They carved up 20 melons. They assisted in the cooking of a delicious fettuccino alfredo. They worked a mile a minute to serve a good chunck of our church body.

And oh the dishes. Not only did they set up 21 tables with perfection and beauty. But then they washed the corresponding dishes and silverware for a long time afterwards.

WOW . . .

These students are good.

All praise be to our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Celebration of Love Dinner

Every year our student ministry prepares and serves an entire meal to our congregation. Several students and I gave been working all day at the church cutting vegetables, setting tables, and gearing up for a big dinner tomorrow night. Well actually, the students do most of the work. They are great! They work very very hard. Thank you so much!!

NO time to type, more work to do. Come if you can.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Padgitt and good thoughts on the dangers of blogs

This is from the head of Doug Pagitt on January 11, 2006-

Blog Announcement by Pagitt

"After three years of keeping a blog and reading many I have come to a conclusion: In my experience personal Blogs are useful for allowing people to stay in touch and know what people are up to, but are not a suitable place for the exchange of ideas - ultimately they do more harm than good - in my opinion at least.

Blogs allow people to draw assumptions, and jump to conclusions (then link to them or comment on them without interaction or correction) that would not take place in casual conversation nor would be tolerated in other settings. People would never be able to "sound bite" one another and draw conclusions in a vacuum and then go on and on about them on their own blogs.

I think that blogs are adding to a culture of misunderstanding. Too many times, it seems to me, that the way people read blogs and respond to them is like listening to one end of a phone conversation and then having the person set down the phone and begin to comment on what the person on the other end is saying with the other phone partner no longer being part of the conversation.

I have decided to stop using this blog for the sharing of ideas, it will remain a place of personal updates.
I am toying with the idea of creating a passworded blog for the exchange of ideas with people who will behave in ways that are acceptable in other situations, but I am not sure about that yet. I might move to audio or video casts in the hope that most of the people who use this technology so poorly will either be too lazy to listen to the whole thing, or will have to pay more attention than they currently need to.

I am a big fan of the posture and technology that allows for all views to be shared and easily interconnected, but I am convinced that in the circles I run in the use of blogs to share ideas and thoughts for the world to pick apart, misunderstand and use for their own benefit does not lead to a better world of deeper understanding. It is a negative force in the process of creating more open and interesting dialog. Maybe after some time passes we will all learn to use this technology in ways that increase understanding and companionship.

So, unless I change my mind, and please do not attempt to change it for me, you need not return here for thoughts, but you are welcome to keep up on the life and happenings of the Pagitts.

Please know that is not in response to any one particular post but is a decision I have been contemplating for some time."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

John Piper on the Emergent Church

This is a sermon on the life of William Tyndale, the 16th century reformer who translated the bible into the English language for the people . . . any thoughts?:

By the way, I have the opporunity of listening to Tony Jones (head of the Emergent Church in the US) on March 6th. I've read at least one of his books, and he has made me think more than once. So I am excited to listen to him in March.


"Where Luther and Tyndale were blood-earnest about our dreadful human condition and the glory of salvation in Christ, Erasmus and Thomas More joked and bantered. When Luther published his 95 theses in 1517, Erasmus sent a copy of them to More—along with a “jocular letter including the anti-papal games, and witty satirical diatribes against abuses within the church, which both of them loved to make.”36

I linger here with this difference between Tyndale and Erasmus because I am trying to penetrate to how Tyndale accomplished what he did through translating the New Testament. Explosive reformation is what he accomplished in England. This was not the effect of Erasmus’ highbrow, elitist, layered nuancing of Christ and church tradition. Erasmus and Thomas More may have satirized the monasteries and clerical abuses, but they were always playing games compared to Tyndale.

And in this they were very much like notable Christian writers in our own day. Listen to this remarkable assessment from Daniell, and see if you do not hear a description of certain emergent church writers and New Perspective champions:

Not only is there no fully realized Christ or Devil in Erasmus’s book . . . : there is a touch of irony about it all, with a feeling of the writer cultivating a faintly superior ambiguity: as if to be dogmatic, for example about the full theology of the work of Christ, was to be rather distasteful, below the best, elite, humanist heights. . . . By contrast Tyndale . . . is ferociously single-minded [“always singing one note”]; the matter in hand, the immediate access of the soul to God without intermediary, is far too important for hints of faintly ironic superiority. . . . Tyndale is as four-square as a carpenter’s tool. But in Erasmus’s account of the origins of his book there is a touch of the sort of layering of ironies found in the games with personae.37

It is ironic and sad that today supposedly avant-garde Christian writers can strike this cool, evasive, imprecise, artistic, superficially reformist pose of Erasmus and call it “post-modern” and capture a generation of unwitting, historically na├»ve, emergent people who don’t know they are being duped by the same old verbal tactics used by the elitist humanist writers in past generations. We saw them last year in Athanasius’ day (the slippery Arians at Nicaea), and we see them now in Tyndale’s day. It’s not post-modern. It’s pre-modern—because it is perpetual.

What drove Tyndale to sing “one note” all his life was the rock-solid conviction that all humans were in bondage to sin, blind, dead, damned, and helpless, and that God had acted in Christ to provide salvation by grace through faith. This is what lay hidden in the Latin Scriptures and the church system of penance and merit. The Bible must be translated for the sake of the liberating, life-giving gospel."

A great sermon on the fear of God

Hello high school students. This sermon by John Piper gives some more meat to the message I am sharing tonight on fearing God from Psalm 36.

Go check out: http://www.desiringgod.org/library/sermons/05/030605.html

Good thoughts from a Brit

http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_plan_hughes.html

The biblical studies folk in the UK often do some nice writing

the simple life

On the first day, God created the dog and said: "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said: "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?"

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said: "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said: "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said: "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."

But man said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

thanks Dan

This is a blog from a friend - check his blog out at http://llamatrauma.blogspot.com/


Why Context Matters

Check out the Scripture quote in this United Church of Christ website banner. In case you're having trouble seeing what's wrong, check it out in context.

Special thanks to Between Two Worlds for this exceptional example of why context matters when quoting Scripture.

In case they ever get around to updating the website (as I hope they will), I've taken the liberty of copying the header below.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

my friend David


Have you ever had a friend that you liked, but you weren't sure why? Has there ever been someone who just bothered you, but at the same time, you loved that person to death?

That's my friend David. We started hanging out the summer before 7th grade. He had me over one night and we played the game Crossfire (remember that one?). Later he asked me if I was a Christian. I had never had anyone ask me such a personal question, but I had given my life to Jesus, just a year before, so I just said yeah. It was the beginning of a weird, but very meaningful friendship. In the 7th grade, during Mrs. Kimball's art class, there was an announcement for some organization called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. David was in my class and he turned around and told me that since I was a Christian and an athlete, I had to go. So I went. I spent 6 wonderful years involved in the F.C.A. with my friend Dave.

David has known (and is one today) since he was like 7 years old that he was going to be a pastor. He has always been one of those guys who practiced what he preached. He is a man of intregrity and grace. He loves Jesus and has always been a very willing to tell others about their need for Jesus too. For many high school years I listened to Dave preach at our friends (I guess he was practicing for the ministry or something). Sometimes he would turn to me in mid-stride and say, "Hey Matt, why don't you tell these guys about Jesus!" He made me uncorfortable, he challenged me, and he inspired me. It was bothersome, but also some of the greatest discipleship I have ever received. Thank you Dave.

We continue to be friends. We still disagree on a lot and make one another feel uncomfortable. Theologically, we disagree on some big points. He's a Wesleyan and I like Calvin. If you know anything about theology, we make a pretty pair. We do ministry differently. We act differently. But something has always united us . . . hmm . . . I don't really know what to call it, or if it really has a name. It's definitely one of God's graces, and something very special, but it's just some weird bond. He is my brother in Christ, and I think he's amazing. I love you Dave. (Trish you are lucky wife; Dave you've got a great bride)

May God bless you and use you for many years to come.

In honor of Valentine's Day to my beloved wife


I spoke these words on my wedding day and I embrace them today and everyday -

I, Matthew Wade Proctor, take you Carrie, to be my beloved wife, to have and to hold from this moment forward, until death brings us into eternal life, I promise to give my love faithfully in sickness and in health, in riches and in rags in prosperity and in hardship. Only by God’s grace, I promise to seek Jesus Christ above all things, and to obey Him, by leading in our home. I vow to honor and serve you as Christ honored and served the church, and I promise to cherish you every day of my life. As I entrust my heart, mind, and body to your tender care, I promise to be your faithful best friend, lover, and husband.

The greatest team!

Last night I met with the leadership team of our student ministry. Our small church has a great group of adult volunteers. This staff has a passion to share Christ with students through love, the Word, and through our various gifts. It was a great night for prayer, encouragement, and planning. They each have great ideas. Go team!

Monday, February 13, 2006

I love the Evangelical Free Church


Just thought I'd let you know where I land!

The 2nd proposed Revision of the EFCA statement

Any thoughts?

http://www.efca.org/about/media/sof_second_draft_revision.pdf

Winter Blast 2006


It was a great Winter Blast Retreat!

Lots of very sweet memories!

Love you guys!

The Da Vinci Code

Have you wondered if "The Da Vinci Code" is telling the truth?

Read this lecture from a world-reknown bible scholar http://www.spu.edu/depts/uc/response/summer2k5/features/davincicode.asp

It's long but worth the read.

Here are some other (shorter) articles to check out -

http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/newsletter/2003/nov7.html

http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/davinci.htm

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/persecution/pch0058.html

http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/special/davincicode.html

hilarious - anagrams

An anagram - A word or phrase formed by reordering the letters of another word or phrase, such as satin to stain (definition from dictionary.com)

Anagrams are most humorous and if you've read "The Da Vinci Code" you'd know that conspiracy theorists love them. Check out this website, put in your name and enjoy the hilarity of seeing your name put into fun phrases. http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/

CAMP ROT TROT is my personal favorite that comes from Matt Proctor.

working away

I finally put some of my favorite blogs and sites on my blog. Check some of the stuff out. it's interesting stuff, well at least I think so. But it's my blog so I enjoy the liberty to do whatever I want.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

pic of the Winter Blast crew


Junior High students ROCK!

pic of bus that broke down


On my way back from Winter Blast, a junior high retreat, things didn't go so hot!

worth a watch

This site is pretty funny if you've seen some of the Back to The Future movies!

This is not meant to offend anyone, just for a good laugh.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfODSPIYwpQ

25 years old

This week I get to celebrate 25 years on this earth. 1/4 of a century has passed by in my life. The bible says our lives are but a vapor. It also instructs us to number our days that we might have a heart of wisdom.

this was my journal entry today, a simple prayer to God: "Thank you for 25 years of breath! Thank you for leading me, saving me, and inspiring me. Have I been faithful to you these 25 years? Have I honored you? Have I served others? Have I been salt and light? Have I hungered and thirst for righteousness? Have I mourned? Have I rejoiced in the truth? Thank you Jesus for coming to save me, for coming to died for the sins of the the world and give true, abundant life, to all those who would take up their crosses and follow you. I love you Jesus."

Thanks for all the firends and family who have chosen (or been chosen) to walk through this life with me. I am indebted to you.

All glory be to God our Father, maker of heaven and earth, and His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior and Reddemer and the blessed sustainer, our Holy Spirit, who indwells and impowers us to live holy lives.