Found this Perspective

Ok, so thanks to the facebook, I came across this in somebody’s blog. The names have been protected since I only talked to this person for maybe 10 minutes on Sunday. However, it is still worth sharing. This was written in reference to a visit to the CSC on Sunday night. You may know who this is. Anyways, its always nice to get an “outsider” (hopefully it’ll be an insider before too long) perspective.

“I went to church tonight for the first time in a long time and my first communion in a really really long time. It was cool tho and the people were nice — a lot nicer than the people at my church anyway. So I’m going to try and be optimistic about this place and go as often as I can. I was able to lure **insert name** there with the free food and I told her I had to stay for service because it isn’t right to eat and leave. But she seems to have enjoyed the CoC experience and I felt accomplished being there too.”

Even Busier Weekend Than Planned

On Friday night, a group of about 25 of us went up to the Look Rock Fire Observation Tower for the annual first devotional. I’d like to say that I am proud of this group of people that went up. When we got to the top, there was another couple that was just eating take out chinese while watching the sunset. So we start singing and after a few songs the guy asks us if we do requests. We’re like, “Sure if we know it”… He’s like “I bet you know this”. So he gets out his harmonica and starts playing Amazing Grace on it. We realize he was playing Amazing Grace, so the second time through we join in in song with him. In the past I’ve been with groups that would not have joined in because they would have thought that it was wrong to do so. Think of the impression we would have given to this guy if we hadn’t joined in song with him… This sometimes makes me wonder, what would happen if some random person was visiting our church. During one of the songs said random person just happens to know the song on the harmonica and happens to have harmonica in said pocket. Said person gets it out of pocket and joins in playing it. How would you respond? How would we as a church respond?

Ok, this is the reason the weekend was busier than planned. After I dropped the folks off at the CSC, I took the van back to Laurel. On the way home, both Jon and I were hungry. We stopped at McDonald’s because its one of the few places that would be open at this hour. I think we ran into the Friday Night Football crowd, cause it was pretty busy. So after I finally got home, I checked my email. Chad has been feeling sick and wasn’t going to be able to do the PowerPoint for Sunday morning. This put me in a bind… Joey is busy studying for his qualifiers, so he is also out of the loop. That pretty much means I’ve got to put it all together before Sunday.

Yesterday we went whitewater rafting down the Upper Pigeon River. It was fun, but I like a little more excitement. Oh well, here’s a picture for y’all. Read more about it in Mer’s post.
Whitewater Rafting

Y’all Should Go

The CSC is going Whitewater Rafting on the Upper Pigeon River Saturday, August 27. All Laurel members are invited to attend. Cost is $27 per person. We will be leaving from the CSC at 1:30pm and returning at approximatley 7:00pm. (Please eat before you come. We will stop somewhere on the way home). Age minimum is 8 years. Weight minimum is 70 lbs. Bring some kind of “secure” footwear (no flip-flops). Remember to bring dry clothes for the ride home. Sign up deadline is Wednesday night, August 24th. Do not bring your money to Todd. You will pay Big Creek Expeditions upon arrival.


Yesterday I got a call from Bryan while I was at work. He had this great idea to get a group together to ride around the Cades Cove loop. The plan was to meet up at 10:15. I sent an email to the CSCLIFE listserv inviting all to come. I only got one reply. It was Todd. Here’s how things were supposed to go. Matt Troxler was going to meet Bryan at his place and they were gonna meet up with Todd and Me. Todd came over to my place. Matt Wizneiwski and his girlfriend Brooke was also going to meet us at the beginning of the loop.

Well for those of you that know Todd (the campus minister at UT), you know that he doesn’t have a cell phone. What you also may not know, is that his home phone is also not working. (Probably due to needing new batteries, but oh well.) So communication is a big issue to begin with… Well as he was getting ready to leave, he ended up busting one of his tires. He did manage to call. I’ve got a couple of extra bikes, so I let him us one of mine. On the way here, he used directions from Yahoo. I guess they are pretty bad. Somehow he was supposed to turn at an intersection of two roads that actually run parallel to each other. Well so we ended up getting there a little bit later than originally had planned.

We expected to be the last people there… but we weren’t. Matt and Brooke were already there. Luckily I knew Matt, otherwise they may have just gone on instead of waiting for Bryan. The thing was, right before Todd showed up at my house, I called Bryan because they were already supposed to have left. When I called, he said he was in Maryville. So I was a little surprised to see that he wasn’t at the parking area at the beginning of the loop road. We waited for about 10 minutes when he finally showed up. There was a couple that had locked their keys in their trunk. They had OnStar but apparently that only works when you leave the keys in the ignition. Oh well. So he drove them to a gas station where a family member was gonna bring another set of keys to them.

So the ride last night was pretty fun. It was foggy as all get out though. As you might can guess, it was really humid too. The full moon helped out in some areas, but there were other areas you just had to turn your light off because it was so foggy. Well that’s my adventure from last night minus having to go through a sobriety check point on the way home.

Biking the Virginia Creeper

One of many tressels
Yesterday, a group of us from Laurel biked the Virginia Creeper trail from White Top Station to Damascus. Yesterday morning I went up with Anthony and Adam Fuller. Our group had about 7 different families from Laurel. We also had a lot of small children on this trip. This is why we only did the first 17 miles. It was a lot of fun though. Michele had come with a group from the Central Church of Christ in Johnson City. Even though we started a couple of hours before them, she managed to catch up with our group when we stopped for lunch. Since half of her group had already gone on and half were still gonna eat, she rode down with Me, Adam, and Anthony. Anthony and I were ready to get going since we both needed to get ready for worship today, so we left the group behind because we knew it would take a lot longer to go down.

The next time I do it, I definitely want to do all 35 miles of it. 70 miles biking up it and down would also be fun. Anybody want to join?

The Other Side of the Keyboard

Yesterday, on the flight from Oklahoma City and Chicago, I read Milton Jones’ new book. The Other Side of the Keyboard. For those of you that don’t know who Milton Jones is, he is the preacher at what is now called the Northwest Church. No doubt you’ve probably heard his name before… He was a campus minister at Texas Tech and decided to do a Campus Ministry plant at the University of Washington over in Seattle. A few years after moving to Seattle, Mike Buckley did his internship in Seattle. So you’ve probably heard about Milton Jones and Seattle if you’ve ever been around Mike Buckley for more than 10 minutes.

As I mentioned earlier, the church is now just called the Northwest Church. It used to be called the Northwest Church of Christ. In fact, it was still called the Northwest Church of Christ when we did our spring break mission trip to Seattle back in 2003. Since we where there, they have merged with the Shoreline Christian Church. Basically, about the only difference in their beliefs had to do with instrumental music. Northwest was a cappela and Shoreline was instrumental.

Milton had done a study on just exactly what does the Bible say about worship. I’ll let you read the book to find out more. Its a really quick read, but you’ll find some of the stuff in an earlier post I had that pertained to this particular subject. What is interesting though was that when he preached his sermon on instrumental worship, he didn’t allow it to be recorded. He said that sermon was intended only for his congregation. Yet somehow, someone made their own bootleg recording of it and started to distribute it. Well words will get added and things that weren’t ever said will be said. This is exactly what happened with this bootleg. Milton wrote this book so that the words in it, would actually be his words.

Everybody (instrumentalists and non-instrumentalists) should read this book. He doesn’t really try to persuade one way or the other, but it definitely will help you understand what the Bible says about worship versus what we have added to the Bible.