Monthly Archives: July 2011

“I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go…”


I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord
Real service is what I desire;
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord —
But please don’t ask me to sing in the choir.
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord,
I’d like to see things come to pass;
Don’t ask me to teach girls and boys, dear Lord —
I’d rather just stay in my class.
I’ll do what you want me to do, dear Lord,
I yearn for thy kingdom to thrive,
I’ll give you my nickels and dimes, dear Lord —
But please don’t ask me to tithe.
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
I’ll say what you want me to say;
I’m busy just now with myself, dear Lord —
I’ll help you some other day.

(Author Unknown)


“The Power of Sacrifice”

The Power of Sacrifice
Medina United Methodist Church

Philippians 2:17-18

An Expose On Teen Sex and Dating

Andy Brainer’s, “An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating: What’s Really Going On an How To Talk about It,” was eye opening. I am a pastor and the father of two teenage girls and the book was extremely valuable both to my personal life as a parent and my ministry.

I was nailed in the introduction, “If we continue thinking about dating in the context of our own experiences, we’re going to watch a generation struggle through sexual depression and emotional guilt, and consequences that may last a lifetime.” (p.14) I confess…Guilty as charged. All I can say is thank God for the wake up call. This book can be used as a study guide, reference book, or even a devotional book at your local church. Brainer’s goal is to help parents and youth workers help teenagers walk through some of the most confusing time of their lives.

My jaw dropped on more than one occasion as I read the book. For example he cites a well known Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor that said that one of the most common things he deals with among teenagers is Syphilis of the Mouth!

Brainer is right on when he says that most teenagers see a relationship with someone of the opposite sex as opportunistic. He also says that a lot of times it has nothing to do with commitment and everything to do with pleasure. He describes teenage relationships as an amusement park.  A lot of times teenagers have the mentality, “‘There are lots of roller costers to ride, so I’ll just ride this one until it gets boring or it’s obviously over, and then it’s on to a new one.” (p.24) Brainer writes, “Most teenagers aren’t dating; they’re just seeing how far they can go with anyone willing.” (p.25)

The book would be totally depressing except that Brainer offers some very rational and practical solutions. He draws upon his 15 years of youth ministry to provide a valuable resource on how to talk to teenagers about dating/sex as well as how to help model healthy relationship skills. I filled up the back cover of the book with page numbers of useful suggestions for working with youth. I would recommend it for both parents and youth workers.

One review I read talked about Brainer over generalizing on a few key areas.   That’s probably an accurate observation, but it wasn’t too difficult for me to overlook such generalizations to get at his main ideas.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for a honest non-biased review.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Doing For One What You Wish You Could Do For All

This week I was listening to Andy Stanley’s message, “Do For One,” in his Leadership Conference Podcast. In that podcast (the link is below) he talks about how to keep your heart from getting hard in the ministry.

All Christians are called into a life of ministry (service) for the Gospel and yet here’s the thing… sometimes the needs around us can be so great and so overwhelming that it’s easy to fall into the mentality of, “Well since I can’t help everyone, I’m not going to help anyone.”

As a Pastor, I KNOW that feeling. Sometimes there are days that it seems like EVERYBODY needs help and I have to confess that there’s part of me that just wants to hide myself in my office because I don’t always know how to navigate through everyone’s problems.

In the podcast Andy Stanley is asked, “With everything you have going on… how do you keep your heart from growing cold toward people since there are always more people than you can really help?”

His answer was very profound and simple:

Do For One What You Wish You Could Do For All.

The big danger is to push away people’s problems because sometimes the magnitude and the quantity of issues are just too overwhelming. What do we do in such situations? Andy Stanley suggests something that I’ve found to be true in my own life… I need to always be doing for one or two individuals/families what I wish I could do for everyone. When I say doing for one or two individuals/families, I’m talking about REALLY getting involved in their lives whether it’s opening up your homes or providing financial help.

As a pastor, I can respond at some level to people’s problems in general… but there’s no way I can effectively deal with everyone’s problems at a deep level, but I can deal with one or two people at a deep deep level.

In John chapter 15, Jesus is in Jerusalem and there was a Pool of Bethsaida in which there were all kinds of sick and lame people. It was said that from time to time an angel would come and stir the waters and whoever got in the water first was healed of whatever ailed them. Jesus walks over all the sick people to a single man who had been paralyzed for 38 years and asks him, “Do you want to be made well?” and then heals him… and walks away. He only healed one person out of the whole crowd.” I’m not sure it’s a perfect example, but you get the point: Do For One What You Wish You Could Do For All.

A lot of you are actively doing what I’m talking about and you truly are an inspiration to me (you know who you are) but can you imagine what would happen if EVERYONE in our fellowship took Doing For One What You Wish You Could Do For All seriously?

May God give us the courage to aggressively engage the needs in this community one person at a time so that we might continue to Know Christ And To Make Him Known!

Link for Andy’s Podcast, “Do For One.” http://bit.ly/doforone
(All his podcasts are incredible!)


“Standing Out”

Medina United Methodist Church
Bill Stegemueller

Philippians 2:14-18

“If I Were The Devil”

“If I Were The Devil,” by Paul Harvey (1999)

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man’s effort, instead of God’s blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that life of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the minds of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack then family, the backbone of any nation. I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movies screens, and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agendas as political correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, the Bible is for the naive:

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

I GUESS I WOULD LEAVE THINGS PRETTY MUCH THE WAY THEY ARE!


“Radical Together”

I just got through reading, Radical Together, by David Platt which takes off where his earlier book, Radical, leaves off by moving the emphasis from the individual to the church. The book is short compared to Radical, but it makes some good points and gives plenty of examples of how the Church as a whole can be radical for the Gospel.

In his first book, Radical, David challenges the individual to lay everything on the table. In Radical Together, he challenges the church to lay everything on the table.

He writes, “We have to put everything, even good things in the church, up for reconsideration before God, releasing them wholly to Him and asking Him to show us His priorities and purposes for each,” he goes on to write, “The ways we minister to children, youth, and college students; how we serve women, men, singles, marrieds, and seniors; how we do music and mission; how we approach and implement finances and budgets, administration and communication; all our policies, priorities, and procedures; all the buildings and land we own or rent –all these things (and more) belong on the table. The gospel compels the church to go to God with everything we have and everything we do and then as, “What needs to go? What needs to change? What needs to stay the same? And then wait for God to answer.” (p. 9 of Radical Together)

Wow… what a RADICAL, thought! Thinking about it left me spell bound for a moment thinking what if the church took those words seriously. It was both scary and refreshing though at the same time. As a pastor, I get tired of watching churches and pastors playing it safe. I love the way David Platt challenges us with the same kind of radical spirit Jesus uses.

Radical together is a very practical and relevant book. David Platt does an excellent job leading the reader to feel the tension that pastor’s often deal with in the church between choosing what is best from what is good for us to be doing as a church. That’s the rub every pastor feels: Choosing what is best from what is good. David Platt leads the reader through a process of discovering the very best things that God has for us to do as a church.

The book includes small group discussion questions in the back. I read the book individually and it was a good read, but it is geared toward group study.

I received this book free of charge in exchange of a honest bias free review of it’s contents.


Application to Date My Daughter

pen
LINK to download PDF

NOTE: THIS APPLICATION WILL BE INCOMPLETE AND REJECTED UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A COMPLETE FINANCIAL STATEMENT, JOB HISTORY, LINEAGE, AND CURRENT MEDICAL REPORT FROM YOUR DOCTOR.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

NAME_____________________________________
DATE OF BIRTH_____________ HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________
SOCIAL SECURITY #_________________
DRIVERS LICENSE #_________________
BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES__________________________________________
HOME ADDRESS_______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______
Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
Is one male and the other female? ___Yes ___No
If “No”, explain:

If less than your age, explain

ACCESSORIES SECTION:
A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No
B. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __No
C. A waterbed? __Yes __No
D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No
E. A tattoo? __Yes __No
F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, pierced tongue, pierced cheek or a belly button ring? __Yes __No
(IF YOU ANSWERED ‘YES’ TO ANY OF THE ABOVE, DISCONTINUE APPLICATION AND LEAVE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. I SUGGEST RUNNING.)

ESSAY SECTION:

In 50 words or less, what does ‘LATE’ mean to you?

In 50 words or less, what does ‘DON’T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER’ mean to you?

In 50 words or less, what does ‘ABSTINENCE’ mean to you?

REFERENCES SECTION:
Church you attend _______________________
How often you attend _______
When would be the best time to interview your:
Father?
Mother?
Pastor?

SHORT­ ANSWER SECTION:
Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential.

A. If I were shot, the last place I would want shot would be:

B. If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my:

C. A woman’s place is in the:

D. The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is:

E. What do you want to do IF you grow up?

F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is:

G. What is the current going rate of a hotel room?

I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, CRUCIFIXION, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE, RED HOT POKERS, AND HILLARY CLINTON KISS TORTURE.

________________________________________
Applicant’s Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)

________________________________________
Mother’s Signature Father’s Signature

_______________________________ _________
Pastor/Priest/Rabbi State Representative/Congressman

In the boxes below, please provide Finger Prints, inked in your own blood for Homeland Security Identity Checking and DNA sampling:

Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.

Please allow four to six years for processing.

You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write (since you probably can’t, and it would cause you injury). If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (you might watch your back)
To prepare yourself, should you, by some ice cube’s chance in HELL, be even remotely considered, start studying Daddy’s Rules for Dating, which is attached to this Application.

Daddy’s Rules for Dating
Your dad’s rules for your boyfriend (or for you if you’re a guy)

Rule One:

If you pull into my driveway and honk, you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two:

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Rule Three:

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open-minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

Rule Four:

I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a ‘Barrier method’ of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five:

It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is: ‘early.’

Rule Six:
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule Seven:

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process than can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight:

The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter:

  • Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool.
  • Places where there is darkness.
  • Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness.
  • Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear
  • shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose
  • down parka – zipped up to her throat.
  • Movies with strong romantic or sexual themes are to be avoided; movies which feature
  • chain saws are okay.
  • Hockey games are okay. Old folks’ homes are better.

Rule Nine:
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a slow, potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted hasbeen. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.

Rule Ten:

Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway, you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

 

“Cooperating with God”

Medina United Methodist Church
Bill Stegemueller

Philippians 2:12-13

Where Does The Time Go?

I guess I’m getting sentimental in my old age. It has really begun to hit me that Christi (my oldest) is a Senior in High School and I’m dumbfounded because I can believe how fast time flies!

It seemed just yesterday that I was teaching her how to sing, “Oh Be Careful Little Eyes,” and, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”